Archive for September, 2009

September 30, 2009

Animewriter on the Issues of Senjougahara and Araragi

Original post: Authenticity, How Beatiful You Are (Bakemonogatari 12)

animewriter

September 30, 2009 at 5:12 am

[…]

Hitagi’s father tries to tell Araragi this when they’re together inside the car, he basically tells Araragi that he saved/changed his daughter when he couldn’t.

While Araragi has his problems and issues, I think they pale in comparison to Hitagi’s issues. I can totally understand why she’s head over heals in love with Araragi, her faith and trust has been totally betrayed by the one’s who were supposed to protect her, her mother offered her up as a sex toy, and he father was too busy with work, or whatever, to notice. Araragi was the one who was able to save her, even in the face of her own threats to him, so I can see why she feels that he’ll always protect her.

Now, I also feel that Hitagi’s “tsundere” behavior was a red herring, she isn’t tsundere, she was just being mean as a self-protection defense tactic, after being betrayed by the ones who were supposed to protect her, I can’t blame her. I also feel that Hitagi’s feelings of self-worth are even lower than Araragi’s. It was pretty telling when she offers Araragi everything, her heart, her mind, her soul, and even if she’s scared, her body, and she feels that it’s not a lot. What more could a man want than having a woman offer everything she is to him, I would take it as a sign of absolute trust and love.

So, in the end, Araragi and Hitagi are two gentle and lonely souls that have made a connection and are struggling with issues of self-worth and loneliness.

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September 30, 2009

Sorrow-kun on Redefining Harem Anime

Original post: Authenticity, How Beatiful You Are (Bakemonogatari 12)

Sorrow-kun

September 30, 2009 at 1:25 am

How good was this episode? You know me, I look at things with a critical eye, but I couldn’t find anything in it that didn’t have value, and that wasn’t good. The car scene was so entertaining and had a strong sense of awkwardness that was palpable, and the star-watching scene exposed us to yet another layer of Hitagi, and showed why the romance between her and Araragi is genuine.

People are better off after knowing him. This is clear. Maybe this is some kind of magic wand waved by the narrative, but no, not really.

It’s interesting, since this is a formula commonly seen in harem anime, except here the “magic wand” is much better concealed. That’s the difference between Bakemonogatari and most harem anime… there’s more genuineness and believability to the girls falling for Araragi (in most cases, only to a mild extent) than there is in a standard harem anime.

I kinda think that shows like Bakemonogatari and Kannagi give us a reason to rethink the definition of “harem”. It’s become such a dirty word in anime discourse, but these two in particular are genuinely great titles, and calling them “good harem” isn’t far-fetched. So it doesn’t have to be that way, IMO. A couple of years ago, I wrote that the thought-provoking harem was like a black swan. Well, between Shinbo and Yamamoto, two of anime’s best directors, they’ve sure answered that.

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September 29, 2009

otou-san on Contrasting Views of NOLA and Fictional Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Original Post: Notes on Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and the Lack of Villainy in People and Characters in the Show

otou-san

September 29, 2009 at 12:40 am

I think it would be unwise to swing from one extreme to another when talking about this, especially with only anecdotal evidence. Yeah, there were a lot of people helping each other, as is often the case in disasters. But shit was messed up. Nothing against the city, I had (past tense, pre-Katrina) friends there and I love it, but it could be a downright scary place.

Mark nailed one of the big points: the situation got worse as the ineptitude of the government on the city, state, and federal level screwed them even harder than they were screwed initially. Can you even fathom that level of frustration?

I think disparity is a huge part of what contributed to the issues as well. Firstly, some of the worst-off areas of NOLA and around were hit hardest by the levee breaking. In a city with some pretty bad disparity already, emphasized by the fact that we’re supposed to be the best-off country in the world, really ratcheted up the problems.

An offshoot of that is that some of the worst things we heard about, like the situation in the Superdome, came from shoving these disparate elements (haves, have-nots, have-even-lesses) together in an anarchic environment when they previously never mixed. That was further exacerbated when people were dumped in other cities like Houston.

Mark’s second point is equally valid — I’m not enough of a weeaboo to imagine I know what Japan’s culture is like on any deep level, but I can say this with some confidence: Japan is more culturally homogenous than New Orleans, so the racial/cultural problems would be less of an issue.

So to sum up this mess of a comment: The problems stemmed more from (lack of) government response, economic and racial disparity, and the link between those (i.e., black = poor to a large degree) than from the disaster situation itself, but the problems were real. And I think those factors would be less significant in a TM8.0 situation than a Katrina situation.

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September 16, 2009

Baka-Raptor on Awesomeness and Relating

Original post here: Gaming Humanity in Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji

Baka-Raptor September 16, 2009 at 1:10 am

It’s ok (and often preferable) to watch anime detached. Kaiji is a story about a guy who isn’t you, your mom, or the guy next door. It’s a story about people with problems being forced into crazy situations and doing crazy things. “That was awesome!” is a much more relevant reaction than “I totally relate to him!” If there’s anyone we should feel connections with, it’s the rich guys watching Kaiji’s struggles for their own amusement.

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September 9, 2009

Crusader, on Kyon the White Knight

Original post here [->]

Crusader

September 9, 2009 at 5:23 am

Haruhi has always been Haruhi, I personally found that Kyon’s new found morality to parallel anyone who was suddenly disgusted. Mikuru being abused and treated like Haruhi’s toy forms a pillar for her character, and certainly Kyon and many viewers were delighted as Haruhi forced Mikuru into various cosplays only when Kyon is cut off and we are shown a near continuous barrage of abuse do people start getting a new sense of “morality.” Kyon was not pissed off that Haruhi was abusing Mikuru, he was pissed off that he was not allowed to enjoy any of it and had to watch Itsuki do all the things he wanted to do.

Pretty much every one including Mikuru arrived at a consensus that they needed to keep Haruhi happy. I don’t think Mikuru is as helpless as she seems certainly when she grows up she will have greater confidence, but there is nothing that prevents Mikuru from extricating herself. She had a mission to do and she stuck with it, even in her drunken stupor she had enough sense to tell Kyon to stop his infantile white knighting. To me the interesting thing is not so much that some people have found a new sense of morality and outrage, what I find interesting is that Kyon White Knighting was lauded as people identified with the urge to punch Haruhi. I think that is the greatest demonstration of hypocrisy having after all the while enjoying the fruits for Mikuru’s humiliation and then all of a sudden get emotional once Kyon flips out over having Itsuki steal her first kiss.

I did have a good chuckle over Kyon’s failed attempt to demonstrate his pitiful might.

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September 1, 2009

Zyl on the Inauthenticity of Araragi

Original post here [->]


Zyl

September 1, 2009 at 6:06 am

WRT Araragi’s messianic tendencies, suffering hero complex, taking kindness to its extreme (i.e. kind to others to the extent of being cruel to self and, by extension, cruel to those who care for and love you; being more in thrall of the idea of ‘being kind’ than to truly ‘be kind’ – with all the burdens and inconveniences that entails). He’s not the first anime chara with that tendency but, by golly, he’s so much less annoying than, say, Emiya Shirou from F/SN or the early proto-pacifist Kira Yamato.

And that’s partly because he keeps such excellent company – Oshino and Senjougahara – who won’t indulge his inauthenticity for even the span of a full episode, stepping up to say clearly, cutting to the chase, ‘That’s BS, Araragi-kun.’ But also because he sheepgracefully accepts it, growing and maturing, even if a little bit by bit; the quest is not so much to root out the messiah in him but to sublimate so that he can save others while not hurting those who love him who hurt seeing him hurt himself with cuts of a thousand kindnesses.

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