12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: Towards an Oppressive Architecture in Kill la Kill

The buildings are notable for their simplicity, but also for their intimidating nature, courtesy of the camera angle.

The buildings are notable for their simplicity, but also for their intimidating nature, courtesy of the sheer number of them and the camera angle.

Concrete, glass, steel, and steam. At least that’s what makes up most of the buildings in the post-apocalyptic Tokyo Bay’s upper quarter in Imaishi’s latest series, Kill la Kill. Everything in Kill la Kill’s world is utterly dominated by the powerful heiress of the Kiryuin family, Satsuki, and as decreed by her, all of the region is separated by one’s performance in school. Social class and class for… erm, school, is synonymous; a student’s uniform is the sole determinant for whether one lives the ragged slums or the upscale, modern city up above. While the slums beneath are frequented by petty thieves and violent criminals, the upper cities may be even more frightening for their iron-fisted regime and disturbing level of uniformity.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: Inferno Cop was a good show.

Post is kinda an excuse to use this picture but yolo

Post is kinda an excuse to use this picture but fuck it, YOLO. Source: mitaknight

Inferno Cop was fucking yonkers. I don’t think I’ve witnessed such a densely concentrated force of pure absurdity ever before, but damn, Inferno Cop is among the silliest I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those series which manages to combine a number of crazy shit, ranging from geysers exploding out of pregnant women to dinosaur-fighting mecha cops, along with bad animation and killer voice acting and still manages to come out a real winner. Inferno Cop himself is a completely ridiculous caricature of ultraviolent early 90’s anime protagonists and every one of his equally ridiculous cohorts bounces off him to create some of the most insane comedy gold this year. Inferno Cop is the kind of anarchic comedy genius which is funny the third, fourth, and fifth time around and ceases to be any less entertaining with every watch. It’s worth a watch.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: Putting Together the Theories in Infinite Stratos

Well damn. German science really is the best in the world. Source: 根黒@ツイッター勢

Damn, German science really is the best in the world. Source: 根黒@ツイッター勢

Day in and day out, the students of the prestigious Infinite Stratos Academy study, very predictably, the titular mechanical exoskeletons, the Infinite Stratos. As goofy as the series makes the topic out to be, the subject matter seems to be rather serious – the students’ curriculum as seen throughout the two seasons is entirely made up of the study of IS battling and its mechanics, whether the topics be actively formulating strategies, carrying out mock battles, or even maintaining or designing an IS from scratch. However, at the end of the day, IS theory is really just a bunch of messy theories jammed together: bringing these theories together when building or in battle is whole different matter entirely.

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12 Days of Christmas: A Cradle for Priest Myoue

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The greatest cradle, complete with the greatest mobile of all-time

For the gods in Kyousougiga, it seems that abandoning all responsibility is part of the job. When the young Yakushimaru first receives the power of creation from his father, the former Priest Myoue, it seems that he inherits his father’s and grandfather’s habit of abandoning all their obligations as well. And why shouldn’t he? After all, it’s only fair that he expects someone to take his place, just as his father and grandfather did before him! It’s not like he wanted to be brought back to life anyways! Why should he be any different from the people who held the job before him!

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: Way Too High to Write about Free! Right Now

You think shit is crazy? It's fucking mind-blowing when you're high.

You think this shit is crazy? It’s fucking mind-blowing when you’re high.

Oh man, I fucked up this one. My ex recently got back from a week-long snowboarding trip earlier today, so the two of us, as close as we are, today decided to finish Free! together. Before we went on our two-week road trip through California, watching Free! on Wednesdays was sort of weekly ritual between the two of us, and both us were totally digging the biceps. When a good mutual friend of ours whom we met on our road trip called to tell me that she was in the area, my agenda for the day was pretty much confirmed to be watching every episode Free! with them.

Unfortunately, one thing lead to another and seven-something bowls later, I’m sitting in front my computer zoning out harder than I’ve ever zoned out before. While I admit this may have been one craziest anime viewing experiences I’ve had since a certain Kenya Boy incident earlier this year and that it was good to catch up with friends, this was clearly the wrong decision. If this and getting lost in LAX’s Southwest Airlines terminal while being blazed out of my mind wasn’t a clear sign to stop smoking weed, I don’t know what is. All I can really do right now is admit defeat and leave you readers an IOU for a Free! article sometime soon. But for now, it’s time to just lie down, make nachos, and watch the rest of Fast 5.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: Defacing and Decorating a Classroom

[HorribleSubs] Aku no Hana - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.31_[2013.12.18_22.20.27]

Holy shit, that is one perfect circle!

The urge to decorate has long since been ingrained into our minds. On the plaster walls of Christian catacombs in Priscilla, Rome, untrained artists from a millennia ago attempted to paint rather crude depictions of Jesus’ life. Although many of these fairly rough paintings may be outdone by any number of first level art students across the globe, the quality of the paintings is insignificant and even more notable for their ineloquence. These paintings, much like any number of modestly decorated rooms or ornate households, are simple reminders of the ideals that the homeowners aspire to.

Vandalism for the most part is far from exempt from this; after all, vandalism just translates to unwanted redecorating. So when the two leads of Aku no Hana decide to raze through the classroom which once taunted them for so long, I couldn’t help but let out a small yelp. When Kasuga and Nakamura creep back into the classroom late at night, the first step towards a horrifying, yet beautiful scene of chalk, paint, and screaming began. The final result is a classroom which has ceased to be a classroom, just a space which is equal parts frightening and liberating. It’s also covered with the word hentai.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: Gatchaman’s Distant Hero

Bird, Go! Source: ksmyu

Bird, Go! Source: ksmyu

Perhaps you know of someone who’s made an impact on your life despite never truly meeting him. This person might be someone like the leader of your country or someone as subtle as the asshole cop who keeps ticketing your ride for parking on weekdays. Regardless, until we meet these people they exist, to us, only as ideas in our mind and furthermore, it’s also extremely unlikely that when you meet this person that they’ll still exist as only a representation of that idea. The only time we meet people whose sole purpose is represent an idea is in fiction, and even then, it’s rare for these characters to star as the lead.

Hajime Ichinose is more than just a character; she’s an unstoppable force of change. Unlike a majority of the protagonists we observe across the medium, Hajime neither experiences emotional growth in her journey nor gives us her personal past. Hajime exists in the series as a character from whom we are distant and most forms of emotional connectivity that we experience the series hinges on her certainly imperfect cohorts, from the depressed Joe to the straight-laced Sugane. She’s for all cases and purposes an idea given physical form.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: You Should Probably Go Watch Yamato 2199

He's the shit. Actually, every character is the shit. Source:

He’s the shit. Actually, every character is the shit. Source: aotan

I typically don’t do well with anime space operas. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve always found it difficult to empathize with characters growing up in a near-future setting or maybe it’s that I’m still traumatized by that tool Setsuna turning an enemy base into a giant space flower, but it usually takes something of enormous pedigree such as Cowboy Bebop to really get me going. But after twenty-six episodes of Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199, I’m almost at a loss for words. It’s hard to believe that such a gem of series has been around for nearly a year and half and that I’m only finishing in near Christmas time.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning: To Lead An Interesting Life

Source: ポン酢

Source: ポン酢

“All there is to do is lead an interesting life.” At the beginning of the first episode we hear those words ring out as some kind of raccoon-dog runs out through the streets of Kyoto, shaves through bushes, and transforms into grown man. And, at least until we hear unequivocally one of the best openings of the season, it’s likely the most striking moment in the prologue. When those words roll off of Yasaburou’s tongue for the first time, they almost make him look weightless and free. The next few moments make Yasaburou seem even more so: he claims no responsibilities and enjoys his days by pranking the way time.

But very much to my surprise when I revisited Uchouten Kazoku months later, it was never just Yasaburou who acts in such a way. The Kyoto presented Uchouten Kazoku is an entire world filled with grown-up children, in love with their own fun. Whether it be Yasaburou, Benten, Hotei, or any number of tanuki, tengu, or human beings, they’re all interested in playing games to satisfy their boredom. Some eat others as a way to express their love. Some cry for no reason. Others even play hide-and-seek with their ex-fiance. And in the beginning, much like any of the number of trickster heroes to precede him, Yasaburou plays tricks.

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12 Days of Hardcore Marathoning Begins with An Update

I’ve been slacking.

I don’t think it’s any real secret that I’ve been nearly absent from the blogosphere since I went on my road trip about four months ago. Immediately afterwards, I started attending college in Los Angeles and needless to say, college life has been very busy. I don’t think I’ve gotten a day of sleep during the weekdays past 10 hours and though I can’t say that college life has been rather stressful, it’s certainly been difficult juggling a social life and academics.

However, my biggest regret is sidelining my hobbies and the people I associated with previously to keep up what I am doing now. I’ve been keeping myself distant to enjoy everything that I couldn’t do back home, but now I realize that it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. Keeping up with college life is difficult and time-consuming, but if you want something, you make time. And everything considered, the time to watch anime definitely exists.

So where does that put me now? Well, nearly almost two seasons behind on anime. And fuck that shit, man. There are shows I want to watch, damnit. But on the positive side, I can definitely, easily catch up. There are three weeks of near free time until I go back and catching up and staying caught up are entirely a possibility. Living the Honey & Clover dream and keeping up with anime isn’t really too hard. It just takes a bit of effort.

Fortunately enough for me, by the awesome power of UNMEI, I arrived on the day that 12 Days posts start to come out. And so twelve (well, eleven since I woke up at 8pm after my flight) days of hardcore fuckin’ marathoning begins in order to get a “Best of 2013” post by the end of the year. And my goal, at the very least, is managing to get non-shitty articles with substance in them like I did last year, instead of just briefly describing marathoning every episode of Project ICE (it’s only three episodes, but each episode takes fifteen years). It might not be the best start since I’m putting this out 15 minutes before the first day ends, but I’ve got this in the bag.

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