We've moved! Go here now for all our new stuff. Since Blogger looks lame. Purely for the lulz, I might do something here since this blog has been around for a long time.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Esperanto And The Galactic Railroad

It has been a while since I have seen the classic Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo, better known as Milky Way Galaxy (Night on the Galactic Railroad). I did not know it at the time I saw the movie, but apparently Kenji Miyazawa had approved of the International language known as Esperanto and apparently Miyazawa is not the only great artist who approved of the language.

Latin and French used to dominate the world. English is currently the dominant language. Esperanto is different in being an International language. Latin, French and English are considered world languages and are used Internationally, however, the languages do not belong the world, they belong to their native lands. Esperanto has no home or nationality. Esperanto is meant to be the language of mankind.

I picture a world where man can get a long with his fellow man without the use of letters or metal but rather with their words. The word Espera means "hope" and that is where Esperanto derives its name.

Doktoro Esperanto (L.L. Zammenhof) lived in Bialystok and saw a world divided. It was this division between ethnic groups that made Zammenhof think that all the strife of living in such a multicultural community was caused by different languages. The language barrier created misunderstandings that created rifts between people. Being troubled by all this he set out to create a universal, International auxiliary language that let people keep their native tongue, yet let them be more apart of the broader community.

Knowing this I can see why great artists like Miyazawa would be in support of Esperanto.

Cxu vi parolas Esperanton?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Everyone loves Space Nazi's

At this point Gundam 00 would probably be better off if it stopped pretending it knew anything about politics and science, and just became a fun show about robots shooting each other. That’s the conclusion I came to after watching episode 11.

When I was watching the first season of 00 it striked me as different from most Gundam series, since their really were no evil factions involved. Celestial Being was a terrorist organisation, and they’re methods couldn’t always be agreed with, but they did slowly appear to bring about peace. None of the supposedly antagonistic factions of earth were very evil either, they were just doing what was right, defending they’re countries from a hostile terrorist group. Its something we’ve seen before, Tomino’s gundam series are often praised for giving the series sympathetic enemies, but there was usually some figurehead in the series who was undoubtedly evil (Hell, in the original series Gihren was described by his own father as much like Hitler)

Unfortunately, this moral ambiguity in 00 didn’t last like I hoped it would. About half aways through the first season the Thrones are introduced, a group of insane Gundam Meisters who are almost undoubtedly evil, or at least extremely naive and have far too much power. So hurrah! Now we have a villain our heroes can fight with no shades or grey, and we’ll know their doing the right thing by shooting the enemies mobile suits into many different pieces!

Ok, admittedly this could be seen as a bit of a copout by the writers, to abandon whatever moral ambiguity there was in the plot and instead opt for the easy way out, but at this point in the series I didn’t really care. Looking back I think the show handled that plot pretty well, even if the show became quite a bit sillier from that point on.

With the second season we’re seeing something similar happening. If you’ve been keeping up with the show (and it’s likely none of the four people reading this have) you’ll know the second season has focused on an Authoritarian government which has arose in Celestial Beings absence, the Federation (like the united nations, but bigger with more mecha and nefarious plots) The big baddies of this season have been the A-Laws (really that’s an awful name, and not just because its far too similar to A-Holes) the feddies elite fighting squad who apparently like to use they’re powerful mobile suits to pick on people in the middle east, and set fire to there cities... Or something.

So basically, it’s those pesky Titans from Zeta Gundam again, except not. Really, I’m making this sound far worse than it is, because to be honest the show has handled this fairly well. Yes the A-Laws are quite a bit like the Titans, but the difference is that some of the A-Laws are actually sympathetic (well, slightly) While the Titans were really just walking ass holes, who lived to beat up those damn protestors, take away they’re rights and gas they’re colonies, I’ve actually started to take a liking to some of the A-Laws. In fact, I think most of my favourite characters in the series are a part of A-Laws.

Let’s see, the adorable Patrick, Graham Aker... And that awesome Russian guy is part of the feddie military (which is close enough to A-Laws, really) Yup, most of my favourite characters are A-Laws. (Patrick, Probably the best character in this whole show)

It’s a pity the series hasn’t explored the idea more that maybe what the A-Laws are doing isn’t so bad after all. We know from the first season (and from real life) that the middle-east is a hostile environment, where civil war is very likely. So, maybe it would be best if A-Laws did swoop down and take over Azadistan. In the long run they’re interventions would probably be the best thing for that country.

At this point however, it’s unlikely that this will happen, because of the MASSIVE thing which happened in ep 10. I’m about to let loose some MASSIVE spoilers, so only read on if you’ve already seen the episode in question, or you just don’t care (i.e. Tissuekins)

In ep 10 the A-Laws come to the realisation that everyone in every gundam series must inevitably come to. The best way to bring about peace is through weapons of mass destruction! Usually giant space lasers, or if you want to use a more imaginative technique, why don’t you just go ahead and crash a space colony into earth? (Char decided to be a bit more original, and actually sent a meteor crashing down to earth! That’s right, HE IS that awesome!)

A-Laws decided to be classy and go for the giant space laser technique and with it commit mass genoicde. So yeah, what this really means is Gundam has once again thrown moral ambiguity to wind and opted instead for some truly evil space Nazis.
But who doesn’t love some good ol’ Space Nazis?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sheryl loses her panties, Wackiness ensues!

We whine a lot about how anime is going down hill, and how much superior the stuff from the 80’s is, but we’ve had some good shows recently, especially in the mecha department. Gurren Lagann is one of the manliest mecha series I’ve ever seen, and Gundam 00’s one of the most original, and both of them came out last year. There were some great mecha series from the 80’s, like Votoms and Gundam, but there was plenty of crap too.

There’s plenty of crap now as well, and after watching episode 8 of Macross Frontier I’m beginning to think it fits that category. I gotta admit, when tissuekins rallied against Macross F(uck) I thought he was just whining for the sake of whining, but I’m beginning to see his point. When the series started I thought it would be awesome. The music is great, the animation (especially the mecha) is equally good, and the action scenes are some of the best I’ve seen.

But Episode 8 is pretty much the worst episode I’ve seen yet. I’m not gonna go too her far into what it entails, so I’ll leave it to one sentence. Sheryl panties are stolen, wackiness ensues!
It’s worth mentioning the episode before this one was a huge space battle filled with mecha, explosions, spaceships and space crabs! So these harem antics feel a little out of place, and unneeded.

And that’s the whole problem with this show, the mecha is all well and good, but there’s no character. The characters have no personality, there’s nothing about them to be attached too, cause’ they’re all just stereotypes. Each one covers a different otaku fetish, whether it be the zentraedi porn star who can turn into a loli, or the Valkryie pilot who’s also a shota. And I know tissuekins really wants to bone Ranka cause she sounds 12 years old or whatever, but she just gets annoying. She’s just there to act cute, sing a sad song and have doujinshi made out of her.

Ok, admittedly once you get past that the action scenes are bitching. I’m usually not a fan of CG in anime, but here it looks awesome, and it integrates excellently. The only problem is... There’s nothing behind it all. The fight scenes in Gundam 00 and Gurren Lagann might not be as jaw dropping as this, but at least in that show I care enough that I want the good guys to win, in Macross Frontier I don’t care that much either way, as long as things blow up good.

But hey, that’s why I’m gonna keep watching it. Things blow up good. Maybe Ranka might blow up too.

Lost, and why I'm tired of it

Lost is praised for it's "suspenseful" and "cliffhanging" writing. It's great character development and inventive storytelling. But you know what? GET ON WITH IT. We get it, this is awesome, but all those twists and turns, I just do not have the attentions span to keep up with such a long-going TV show. Now, I;m down with twists and turns and all this "flash forward"-ing. I think Lost would be better if it was a book. This is actually the same problem I have with LOGH. I;m a person who would rather read something long and spanning, than just sit there and be passive. I wanna be involved, and I think a book is more involving than a TV show. I'm not really ahting on Lost, but man, it;s just so confusing and drawn out, just tell my that evil black thing is killing things and why there's a polar bear. Doctor Who can pose the same mystery, but have it solved in an hour.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Classy Anime, and why it's never gonna be the face of anime

Ok, so quartears comes on one day and asks something about what classy anime is. and

I told him


Sure, I also dropped Kon and Otomo in there but let's face it, if you wanna be deep and high brow about your anime, Tezuka is where to start.

Tezuka is the reason Kon and Otomo are making their movies, he;s the reason why japan won't ever create war robots (well that and the nuclear bomb) and the reason why Japan thinks men with scars are sexy (or is that me?)
His works were large, expansive and epic, they were also thoughtful and very heartfelt. But one thing strikes me about Tezuka and his works, that is he can show you the many faces of humanity
When the man makes a manga he's not simply scribbling characters interacting to make a buck, but to tell you an idea, a concept or to show you something that should stir something deep within you. His work, for me, is reflective and very human. I also think it's the fact that he was a man of peace that he can also show human conflict in a sad yet interesting light. One of his works, Buddha, is a good example. It's like if someone were to take the story of jesus, add in realism, conflict and self reflection and that's Buddha. And Buddha is not exploitative, but reflective.

But you know why anime will always be commercial? Cause Tezuka will never come back from the dead and give meaning to anime again. That doesn't mean anime can be meaningful, but the face it'll show to our children and their children will be that of a whore, who will fulfill their disgusting dirty needs.