All posts by boteotu

Anime Spotlight #37

Akko, and a lot of “Shiny” things…

“You’re a witch, Akko.” — Little Witch Academia and the ...

As is typical of my Anime-watching ways, it’s what lies just beyond the usual plot elements that most people look forward to in Anime shows that particularly interest me here.

As is typical of Anime from Studio Trigger, Little Witch Academia is filled to the brim with symbolism and esoteric references that will usually go over most people’s heads.  For example, Chariot’s “Shiny Rod” possesses seven nodules — seven being the number of the divine — arranged in the shape of the Big Dipper — a constellation considered by some ancient cultures to resemble a wagon/carriage, hence Chariot’s own name by analogy.  Alcor, Chariot’s pet bird, is one of Mizar’s three companion stars, where Mizar (in Arabic refers to a cover used for wagons) is a Chikadee in Mi’kmaq lore (Alcor is the Chikadee’s cooking pot).  Other cultures have seen the Big Dipper as rod-like, hence the wand itself.

My BFFs!! by Onigensou
from Onigensou

 

Little Witch Academia is an Anime Harry Potter, in many ways.  Several of the characters have names that map their character — the best example of this being Diana, whose silvery hair symbolizes the Moon and whose purpose, as decreed by her family, is to perform an important ritual on a very important Full Moon.  The main protagonist, in this case Atsuko (“Akko”), has two best friends who follow her everywhere and help her out whenever possible (note also that Akko has Harry’s dark hair, Sucy has Hermione’s dirty-blonde hair, and Lotte has Ron’s flaming red hair — even Akko’s “rival,” Diana, has Draco’s silvery hair).  Finally, Akko, like Harry, is raised in the non-magical world and so comes into the magical world completely clueless as to what this other world is all about.

To prevent further potential spoilage, I’ll leave you all to watch the show itself to experience the rest of what this show has to offer you — which is an awful lot.  Enjoy!

Never forget:  Believe in yourself.  That is your magic!

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Anime Spotlight #36

On the lighter side of things.

TV Anime 'Frame Arms Girl' Episode 4 Screenshots and ...

“Frame-arms girls” are an actual thing — they’re Figma-type figurines that stand there wielding various plastic weaponry (usually, these weapons are as large, or larger, than the doll holding them).

But, it’s the Anime based on these figurines that I’m covering here.

This show stars “Gourai,” a Frame-arms girl capable of wielding almost any weapon she gets her hands on.  She is delivered to the residence of a ditsy teenager named Ao — her father is a higher-up in the company that manufactures these figurines like Gourai.  She unboxes Gourai, somehow activates the girl, and from there a whole lot of interesting stuff happens.  While the girls are sometimes hard for Ao to handle, in the end she doesn’t care because their virtual battles are making her money.

For those who like slice-of-life Anime, this show has a lot of that.  For those who like magical-girl Anime, this show technically has a lot of that as well.  It’s a fairly good time all-round, regardless.

 

Anime Spotlight #35

Speaking of yandere….

Mirai Nikki Ep. 1: Let’s look into the future to cheat on ...

Covering Darling in the FranXX reminded me of Mirai Nikki — “Future Diary” — so I figured I would go ahead and make note of this Anime as well.  Especially when both shows have very similar male-female protagonist couples in them….

Yuno is the Japanese transliteration of the Roman goddess Juno, who herself is fairly “yandere” in behaviour — according to myths about her.  Yuuki(terou) is the Japanese transliteration of the Roman god Jupiter, Juno’s brother and king of the gods — in this case, Yuuki becomes “leader” in the competition designed to determine who will replace “Deus Ex Machina” (means “God from the machine” in Latin) as almighty ruler of the Universe itself.  In effect, Mirai Nikki is an Anime re-hash of the Graeco-Roman legend of Jupiter and his siblings replacing the titans as rulers of the Universe.

Now, onto what immediately comes to everyone else’s minds when they think about this Anime:  Yuno, and her yandere-ness.

While avoiding spoilers as much as I dare, it is probably no stretch to say that Yuno is the most infamous yandere in all of Anime right now.  Thanks to what she received growing up as a child (not unlike Zero of Darling), as a teenager she has zero qualms about killing anyone who gets in her way; her only anchor is Yuuki, who just happened to be in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time to catch her attention.  If he doesn’t give her an order, she’s practically a one-person monstrosity; too bad he can’t even rely on her to obey him all the time….  We can rely on Zero to always follow Hiro’s orders (it’s when he doesn’t give her orders that she tends to do whatever), but the fact that we can’t do the same with Yuno is part of why she can be so frightening to watch.

What is it with pink-haired girls and relative insanity, anyway?

 

Work of the Week #47

I’ve been trying out Daz Studio recently, and having fun with it along the way.  I managed to create a likeness of the Peregrine (of Fantasium), among other things:

If I remember correctly…:  Genesis 2 Female was used for the body (dialed to full elf/fairy-mode), Charm Hair for the hair, and the clothing was all from the various Genesis Female clothing items available.

I’ve been working on my other fictional characters, so perhaps they’ll be posted in future Works.

Anime Spotlight #34

Tits on a Mech!!

Image result for darling in the franxx

Welcome to Mirai Nikki-meets-Gurren Lagann-meets-Logan’s Run (if it were an Anime):  Darling in the FranXX.  Unlike nearly every other Anime I’ve covered here, this one is actually still going with Ep. 14 having aired just this past Saturday (and a, decidedly, much-needed Ep. 15 due to come out this coming Saturday).  For more info on the shit-storm Ep. 14 caused, please see virtually any otaku’s blog or channel….

Because, it seems, I never watch Anime for the same reasons most everyone else does, it’s only natural that my take-away of Darling be departed to some degree from most everyone else’s take on this show.

Firstly, I keep getting this awkward feeling of a foreboding, or the like, in relation to the Parasites in contrast to all the adults and, specifically, the entity named “Papa.”  A Logan’s Run– or Soylent Green-kinda foreboding feeling about this Anime….  Who’s this “Papa,” anyway?  How do these kids keep dying?  Is it as benign as they just keep dying to the klaxosaurs, or do those who are able to survive to adulthood “disappear” never to be seen again (ie, they’re incinerated or something)?  Maybe the same has happened to Naomi?  Or, did she just die when the klaxosaur attacked the craft she was in?  What happens to the children who disappear while in the Garden?  Are they incinerated, or what?  I’m discomforted by all the things the adults are hiding from the Parasites, and equally discomforted by the Parasites, save for Hiro and Zero, just accepting the silence without question.  Then again, all save for Hiro, Zero, and Ichigo lost the ability to question anything a long time ago (along with their individuality — something very reminiscent of Kiznaiver).  This aspect of Darling is what I’m personally hoping to see more illuminated in coming episodes.

The means of piloting a FranXX is a pretty neat concept, to me.  Essentially, it’s a microcosm of how healthy male-female relationships are meant to be:  The girl generally controls the mech’s body (this may translate into women being willing to take on obstacles alongside her man, as well as standing up for him if he may need it), while the boy generally serves to guide the girl along and shares the burden of operating the mech with her (this may translate into men providing support for their women when they feel like breaking, as well as helping her along the path to her goals whenever she may get lost).  The stamen cannot do what the pistil does, nor can the pistil do what the stamen does — just as in real male-female relations.  At any rate, I admire the dynamic here.

And then there’s the Yuuki and Yuno of Darling:  Hiro and Zero Two, respectively.  Zero even has the pink hair for the role (and Hiro the dark hair).  Hiro and Zero symbolize two “Jian” — a bird that, in oriental mythology, is born with only one wing, and so only by partnering with a soulmate for life can they ever actually fly (for a great example, see Xayah and Rakan of League of Legends).  Technically, each FranXX partnership here symbolizes two Jian; but, Hiro and Zero are meant to symbolize it most accurately since they’re only able to pilot a FranXX when they’re piloting one together.  Hiro and Zero are practically swimming in symbolism, actually.  Zero is the “Oni” hoping to become Human, while Hiro is the “White (or, perhaps, Dark) Knight” who, perhaps foolishly, falls for her; they end up loving each other, but in the end such opposing entities keep being pushed away by their very natures; the Beauty and the Beast is a very similar tale.  Because Hiro and Yuuki are very similar characters, and the same goes for Zero Two and Yuno, this means that Hiro also represents the god Jupiter while Zero represents his yandere sister Juno — and all the symbolism that is associated with those two deities.  I guess that would mean Ichigo represents the tsundere goddess Minerva….  It’s also interesting that Zero drenches all her food in honey, perhaps as a metaphor for the fact that she’s trying to hide her vile nature from the world (and herself) by “sugar-coating” it.

Finally, I guess I could focus a tad-bit on Ichigo….  As of Ep. 14, it seems like she’s become the biggest villain in Anime history; but, I’ve no real idea where this is coming from.  To me, she’s only acting in accordance to what’s happening around her and to the way she feels about her fellow Parasite team-mates.  I expected nothing less from her that episode, and from the prior episodes.  She’s team leader, so she needs to have her team’s missions, goals, and safety foremost in her mind and in her actions.  She also, obviously, loves Hiro, so she especially is concerned for his well-being.  Her biggest fault is in being tsundere, and nothing more.  Zero, and even Kokoro, have her well and truly beat when it comes to SHTF in this Anime; Kokoro breaks Futoshi’s heart because she’s surprisingly selfish, and Zero’s too deep in her delusion of becoming Human to realize that being Human is a state of mind and not an outcome based solely on how one looks or how one is born.  I was actually pleased with how Hiro handled Zero when she was trying to strangle his entire team in front of him; well done, Hiro!  Perhaps, that’ll be enough for Zero to snap out of her coma and actually start loving Hiro back for once.

We’ll see, though….

Anime Spotlight #33

When you’re playing a dying VR game, and you fail to log out when its servers all go offline….

Image result for anime overlord

While the game was still active, Momonga and his guild comprised the highest-level, most skilled players the game ever had.  The mansion their guild inhabited was set up as a dungeon to end all dungeons in the game, with NPC’s (the “Pleiades”) patrolling each level that were usually more powerful than most every other player in existence.

Then came the day the VR-supported MMO game was to close its servers for good.  After fiddling with Albedo’s programming, Momonga decided to sit about to wait out the shutdown just to see what would happen.

Unexpectedly, he became the Overlord of a whole new world within which his mansion was plopped into.  NPC’s now had their own will and character, and now Momonga had an Albedo who will forever be madly in love with him (and no way for him to undo it).

As the only remaining guild member, Momonga changes his name to “Ains Ooal Gown” — the original name of the staff that embodies his guild.

The remainder of Overlord is his adventures in this new world….

 

Anime Spotlight #32

A hot-head, self-proclaimed goddess, and painfully meek girl walk into…a guy with actual spine.

Image result for sky wizards academy

Kanata Age does the superhero-sacrifice thing, but makes it back alive (somehow) only to be called a traitor by all the other “Sky Wizards” at Mistigon.  What else could go wrong?

How about:  Forced to teach Fire Team E601, the Academy’s worst-performing team ever!

>Misora Whitale — E601’s leader, epic tsundere, and always on the shortest fuse.  No wonder she has red hair!

>Rico Flamel — The self-proclaimed goddess, who’s in love with herself and refuses to do anything because she’s “too good” for the routines of “mere mortals.”

>Lecty Eisenach — The shyest, most introverted, least confident young girl alive, who hails from a wealthy, well-known family and is meant to carry on her family’s unique fighting style (if only she were sure of herself to do so).

Kanata, though, is my favourite of them all in this Anime.  He could give Arata from Trinity Seven a run for his money, the way he is with girls, and everything he does is, ultimately, for a well-thought out purpose.  It is for that reason that, I feel, only he had what it took to make E601 great; great enough even to win the Sky Wizards Tournament.

Well worth a watch!

 

Anime Spotlight #31

Blood…, blood everywhere.

Image result for elfen lied

Definitely don’t watch this Anime after a meal, unless you have the stomach for it.

I can’t really figure out why I was able to watch this show through-and-through, as I was seriously considering putting it down regularly while I was watching it.  When I wasn’t being grossed by the gore factor, I was being bored by the slice-of-life parts of it.

“Elfen Lied” is basically German for “Elven Elegy” — so, another one of those Anime shows whose title makes no real sense with respect to its plot.  The “Diclonius” of the show are not really “elves,” in any of the senses one might presently apply to this word.  What do I know, though….

At least Lucy’s alter-ego was pretty cute.