Saturday, 10 June 2017

Regarding Maria

Maria was fucking great. I mean, I'd heard it has accurate depiction of historical european martial arts, which is totally my fetish, but it had one more design element that I totally didn't expect. It had actual New Testament-style angels. The japs always portray the angels as either kind of bad, or as something closer to Lawful Evil than to anything else. You know, if you want to ground it in actual Christianity, you'd say they are Old Testament-style at best. But not in Maria. Power-hungry church, yes, but the angels weren't oppressors, even considering the plot of the anime.

Setting aside, though, it was a good series anyway, with decent writing and lively characters with sympathetic worldviews. Practically all of them. Maybe the sociopath monk wasn't exactly the most relatable, but he was still a decent portrayal of a sociopath. If I have to complain, it is that the first few episodes don't do much to sell the series to you. There is a huge chance you'd just skip it, thinking the HEMA will be an irrelevant gimmick, and the angels will be the same LE as everywhere else, and the story will be sugary and so on, thus concluding that there isn't much of a point in watching it, even if it isn't showing too many bad flags. But in actuality it's a nice series.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Re: Shirobako

Finally watched Shirobako. It's suffering from all the flaws I expected it to have, back when I dropped it after the first episode nearly three years ago. Frankly, it was really fucking hard to ignore Tarou, or the fake drama. No conflict, no reasonable character development, no nothing. The whole saga around the editor in the second half was simply inexcusable, and ruined any immersion or believability. You can't just slap in non-characters like the editor or Tarou and expect them to work in a cast that at least resembles human beings and has at least hint of reality to it.
But, as long as you manage to ignore the fake drama and the Tarous of the anime, it was quite the enjoyable SoL about anime production. I wish the ADs kissed at the end - you perfectly well know which two ADs I mean in particular. Smug Erika best girl. Ms Diesel also best girl. The Rec ripoff was boring. The half-words girl was funny, especially in her jealousy. There are at least a dozen of characters that left stronger impressions in me than Emi and the CGi girl. Aoi-jou was a competent protagonist. I expected her sanity to suffer more… actually, let me correct myself. I would have preferred her sanity to suffer more. I still can't understand how the fatty turned into bishie. I still remember that one time it happened in Basquash. Hiraoka was okay, he was the least fake of all the drama in this riddled with fake drama anime. The old guy was cool. But, more than any of the characters, what makes this SoL enjoyable is how you as the audience know how you'd personally react to these staffing choices. At the same time you get their slice of life from their own eyes, and you're completely aware how the whole situation looks like from the outside. Which is nice and shit. It's pretty much a must-watch for any anime fan who follows at least a little what staff makes each series. If only the writing was better, and they didn't depend on fake drama…