Rescue Wings – episode 5

March 24, 2006 on 9:38 am | In Rescue Wings | Comments Off on Rescue Wings – episode 5

“Title pending”

Another good episode that is a little too neat in its platitudes and some of its framing, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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Binchou-tan – episode 4

March 24, 2006 on 8:42 am | In Binchou-tan | Comments Off on Binchou-tan – episode 4

“Rainy Sunday bin”

On a rainy Sunday, Chiku-tan and Binchou-tan meet up, go to Binchou-tan’s secret hideout (a surprisingly –tan sized broken down car) and visit a bamboo forest. The rich –tan is taken for a walk in the rain by her butler and seems to long for contact with the outside world.

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Mushishi – episode 18

March 24, 2006 on 6:41 am | In Mushishi | Comments Off on Mushishi – episode 18

“The robe that embraces a mountain”

I’m not entirely sure how you can have an uplifting episode of Mushishi when there are so many deaths involved. Somehow, this is that episode. It deals with success, nostalgia, block, exile, acceptance and rehabilitation in an admirable fashion.

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Shinigami no Ballad – episode 2

March 23, 2006 on 9:38 pm | In Shinigami no Ballad | Comments Off on Shinigami no Ballad – episode 2

“The time of the fish”

I used to dislike episodic shows, but Shinigami no Ballad, Mushishi and Master Keaton have taught me otherwise. This is a clever episode that already breaks the rules set by the show. I could easily watch 26 episodes of this calibre, but six will do.
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Australian press remains condescending towards anime

March 23, 2006 on 9:31 pm | In Media coverage | Comments Off on Australian press remains condescending towards anime

From this week’s “The Guide” from The Sydney Morning Herald:

Samurai Champloo

By Karin Bishop
Don’t miss this first episode of a new 13-part anime series, colourfully described as hip-hop samurai action “stir fried in cool”. It’s fast, with lots of fighting and whirling, a very cool soundtrack and a few wincing moments of finger-breaking, all with tongue firmly in cheek.

The storyline (although who needs one with all that going on?) revolves around three characters who set off on a quest. Juu, the ditzy waitress, wants to find the samurai who smells of sunflowers. For some reason the warrior Jin and the arrogant fighter Mugen agree to defer killing each other to carry out the quest. Why is never explained. In the end you can only take the advice at the start of the show: “This work of fiction. Is not accurate historical portrayal. Like we care. Now shut up and enjoy the show.”

And we wonder why anime gets the raw end with the mainstream in Australia. The Herald is a generally reputable publication, but it has in the past sparked controversies after reviewing Evangelion in its late teens, deeming it “incomprehensible” – because everyone knows you should watch a serial at this point. Worse than that was its review of Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 which included the utterly appalling line “it brings me to my jappa knees”.

Their review of Gunsmith Cats was a veritable mud sling, but that was due to being caught up in the fan service. I have long thought that there’s no such thing as a real “gateway” anime, as so much anime has some sort of impediment to “normal” people enjoying it. The Herald‘s TV reviewers – otherwise sensible people – perpetuate this stereotype something fierce.
If you want to be acceptable anime in Australia, you have to be Miyazaki.

For a little balance Doug Anderson, one of the more wry critics at the Herald, wrote the following in his TV column today (I chose to format it):

Samurai Champloo

10pm, SBS: A new anime series, combining hip-hop music, droll humour and martial arts, is horribly ringbarked by no-frills woeful dubbing.
The principals are Mugen, a spunky but taciturn warrior in the samurai tradition, who has developed a unique fighting style inspired by breakdancing. Well, of course! Why didn’t someone think of it sooner! His accomplice in the endless fight against corruption and brutality is Jin, a louce wanderer with refined manners and his own eclectic fighting style. They don’t like one another but form an alliance to defeat mutually irritating nasties who reckon the duo could do with a major haircut – administered with a beheading sword.
Love interest – such as it is – emerges in the person of Fuu, a ditzy waitress with a cute bottom and considerable resolve, who they encounter in a teahouse during the initial fight sequence. Beautifully drawn and well staged, the flavour and subtlety – such as it may have been in the original – is diluted into the shambling mediocrity of a kids’ morning cartoon by the American-accented dialogue. Pity.

It’s worth noting that Anderson never complained about the dubbing when Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was on SBS; I guess he just doesn’t like Bang Zoom!

I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this way, but I get annoyed when I read about anime being “drawn”. It sounds wrong. Doug Anderson’s review is closer to the way these things should be treated – he talks about every show in that fashion, which generally makes for an incredibly uninformative television summary column.

Personally I think the papers should learn about anime or shut up. It’s not as bad as Canada (the whole country) is right now – and it’s better than if these reviews were focusing on some sort of imagined sex and violence prevalent in the “genre” – but it’s still just not on.

Mushishi – episode 17

March 23, 2006 on 9:31 pm | In Mushishi | Comments Off on Mushishi – episode 17

“The Hollow Cocoon Picker”

Did you ever wonder how, given that he has no fixed address, Ginko receives all of these letters asking for help? The answer is provided in this episode, a triumph over adversity.
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Angel Heart – episode 12

March 23, 2006 on 9:31 pm | In Angel Heart | Comments Off on Angel Heart – episode 12

“Encounter and Farewell at Sea”

The old dock sounds return and, as usual, every crime lord has their own tanker.
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Rescue Wings – episode 4

March 23, 2006 on 9:31 pm | In Rescue Wings | Comments Off on Rescue Wings – episode 4

“Precious One”

An excellent episode that creates a real sense of community for those on Komatsu Air Base and absolutely sells Rescue Wings.
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Suzuka – episodes 15-18

March 23, 2006 on 9:31 pm | In Suzuka | Comments Off on Suzuka – episodes 15-18

Yeah! Everyone’s using everyone! Or, more accurately, Yamato is using Honoka, and Suzuka is using Yamato. Man, they’re all doomed.

Spoilers ahead
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Nadia Omake Theatre – episode 1

March 23, 2006 on 9:29 pm | In Nadia | Comments Off on Nadia Omake Theatre – episode 1

Remember Nadia? Its 39 episodes were amongst the best and worst anime I had ever seen. It had a very inconsistent heart, and were it 13 episodes shorter and had a faster start, it would be undoubtedly in my favourites.
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