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?

 

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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!!

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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….

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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.

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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.

 

Anime Spotlight #30

Government and Law made interesting through Anime fiction:

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It’s another “…star gate appears in Japan and fantastical beings pop out…” kind of Anime.

The impact this Gate’s existence has on Japan’s government and bureaucracy, as well as how governmental and bureaucratic procedures are tested to the limit, was primarily responsible for holding my interest in GATE overall.  What should a nation do when it is suddenly faced with a whole new world, and are shortly forced to interact with it?

That said, my biggest highlight of the show was probably when Rory Mercury slams an overly outspoken activist for being too ignorant for her liking — during the time the four misfit protagonists spent on Earth together.  Epic burn!

It’s not just Japan that has to deal with new applications to old procedures.   The lands on the other side of this Gate must also find a way to cope with a foreign force that’s leaps and bounds more advanced than they are.

Basically, if you’re really into Rory Mercury and/or into interesting political and foreign policy applications and concepts then I highly recommend watching GATE.

 

Anime Spotlight #29

Come for the Gems; stay…for them, too.

Image result for houseki no kuni

Houseki no Kuni — “Land of the Lustrous” — is that CG-made Anime that actually doesn’t look like crap, for a change.  In fact, this Anime, I feel, absolutely had to be made with CGI or else it would’ve looked bad.

As someone who likes collecting and studying rocks and gems, as well as watching the odd Anime, to get both aspects in one show was sure a treat for me.  In a nutshell, 28 (or so) “Gems” take on anthropomorphic (asexual) form and do battle against the invading “Lunarians” who in turn wish to turn the Gems into jewelry for their own sake.  Each Gem embodies the properties of their mineral counterpart, for example:  Diamond-class Gems like Dia(mond) and Bort(z) have a Mohs hardness of 10, but Dia is prone to breaking by impact shock while Bort is not.  The main character, Phos(phophyllite), has a hardness of just 3.5, as evidenced in their breaking easily and often throughout the series; they’re also a platy, mica-like mineral, that can take in other matter easily, as evidenced in the way that they’re able to replace their missing limbs with those made from other minerals.

While Phos’ personality is mostly adorable, and their maturation later in the series is mostly admirable, I’m still gonna divert from the crowd and favour Cinnabar above all.

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Primarily, this is because, like me for much of my life, Cinnabar’s a social outcast despite being incredibly intelligent and surprisingly capable.  Their wisdom comes from the hardship provided by not wanting to accidentally harm their Gem-mates with their production of pure mercury, at times uncontrollably.  Cinnabar, therefore, is cognisant of things that all the other Gems cannot possibly be able to know themselves; things that only misfits tend ever to be aware of….  Cinnabar’s also, without really realizing it, the greatest influence on Phos.  Despite wanting to be taken away by the Lunarians, Cinnabar never once allows the Lunarians to actually take them away.  I feel this is because they’re subconsciously begging for someone, like Phos, to give them a meaningful place in the world — like any social misfit does, in one way or another.  In return, Cinnabar becomes Phos’ primary “saviour”; nobody else aids Phos like Cinnabar does, nor as often.  Though Phos made a change of mind and appearance to be more like Antarcticite, after their being taken away, it’s Cinnabar that ultimately gives Phos a truly meaningful work — to find the truth about the Lunarians, and Kongou-sensei’s relation to them.  Cinnabar knows full well what Phos has now become, but chooses to team up with them anyway for the sake of having some feeling of what it means to have a friend.  Finally, being the truly weakest Gem (they’re actually an ore mineral, but whatever…) of them all, weaker even than Phos at Mohs = 2, Cinnabar is most aware of needing to find a way to overcome that weakness in order to do anything meaningful — and they do just that.  In the end, this makes Cinnabar strong.  Phos, on the other hand, does what many “normal” people tend to do on realizing how weak they actually are:  Just complain about it, until stronger people find a way to make them stronger for them.

Enough spoilers…, go ahead and watch this Anime!

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