Archive for November, 2010

November 21, 2010

Pterobat on Love and Fandom

Original post: The Rules of Love, Meditations on Fandom

Pterobat says:

General thoughts:

I am full of love. Love for many different characters, series, plots, media, and fandoms. Because I’m an analytical sort, I try to discern trends and tendencies within the great pile of different interests that I have, and I have emerged with some definite trends, but more and more I find that the “root” of love for a fictional thing is inscrutable.

Why? Because while I might be able to predict if I would like something/someone or not, often these predictions fail. I don’t like *every* example of something I have a proven tendency to like, and may even find myself falling for a trope I normally loathe. Just like real life, we need plans and predictions to invite stability, but many of these fall apart if you look too closely.

Or consider the issue of cliche: each iteration of the cliche might hold something special for a certain viewer, who is otherwise uninterested in other examples of the cliche, despite them supposedly all being “the same”.

As to flaws, I always seek to find awareness of a work or character’s flaws and never to shy away from acknowledging them. There are times when I feel a certain character’s actions are indefensible, but I maintain a strong attachment to them despite never feeling the need to lift a finger against their detractors. Why do I do this? I don’t know, really, but it’s an essential part of me.

I also believe that one should not only seek out the “best” of everything. To only search for perfection is to lead a cold, mechanical life. The way I go about it is that something hits you or it doesn’t–it doesn’t matter how good it is, to an extent. We are all human, and that means we are imperfect.

Perhaps because I do not seek perfection, and think that different things can be equally enjoyable, I don’t have one Most Favourite Character or Most Favourite Fandom, and what exceptions there are to this general rule of rankless love have been a long time in establishing themselves as such.

Finally, there is the issue of simple resonance–a thing that might have little value to others, but that you become attached to in a deeply personalized, idiosyncratic way that might make sense only to you, but makes a *tremendous* amount of sense regardless.

Love is a wonderful thing.



November 19, 2010

Caithtyria’s Macross Continuity

Original Post: Is Kawamori’s Macross Your Macross?

Caithyra says:

November 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I wonder if one could possibly take it like this (at least I try to do, but there’s some places when it doesn’t work.):
“Real” Macross Canon (aka, the non-existent “real events” that Kawamori indirectly refers to, which we can discard because we never see them) >> TV Series Canon (including OVAs) >> Movie-Retelling Canon (DYRL, BH, TFS).

So, if you’re in “Real” Macross, you watched the TV Series, and within the TV series, you knew that the movies had been made re-telling history (kind of how we would watch a documentary about Jack the Ripper which also shows scenes from Jack the Ripper movies). In you’re in TV Series Macross, you’re just watching the movies. And if you’re in the movies, you aren’t watching anything.

Now, “Real” Macross is a middle-man that we can cut out because “Real” Macross does not add or change anything from what we watch, hence, we would be taking the place of “Real” Macross, just without their history with which to verify facts and compare to.

Which would make TV Series the Main Canon, i.e, the facts by which everything else will be compared, and the re-tellings would simply be as their events were recorded in the history books, with some added flair from the director (The director of TFS could, perhaps, be a Ranka-fan but unable to make her a heroine using her real actions and personality, and thus changed a few things to make it viable. It would also explain the over-the-top-perfection of Sheryl, who would probably be nearly a saint to Frontier. Minmay would probably get the polishing treatment no matter who made the movie because she was that important to humanity and aliens first getting along together. If we got an M7 retelling, it would be very divisive in terms of Basara, those who thought him irresponsible and the zombie-fans who would treat him like a god). Hence, we could see the movies as the public perception of the Macross people (would also explain why so many battles were moved from deep space to Frontier; people probably remembered getting their city smashed more than some distant battles in space, and gets a skewed perception as to how large a percentage of the battles were brought to their doorsteps).

It would also fit with the Ranka-love at the end of the last Frontier episode. The people of Frontier really, truly believes that their (TV) Ranka is like Movie-Ranka, which would fit the innocent messiah much more than Ranka’s immaturity and single-minded focus on Alto. To them, Ranka thought equally about Alto and her brother. To them, Ranka and Alto were childhood friends because they knew each other before Ranka was famous. To the Alto-fanboys, Alto used his Kabuki to solve the mystery of Sheryl (also, the movie would address the doubts people had about Sheryl’s allegiances to Galaxy and Frontier). Even Brera gets even more cool super-soldier actions, to make his and Alto’s alliance against Grace in the last episode all the more sweeter (you know, the feeling of completeness when Badass Warrior acknowledges the main character and fights back-to-back with him).

These movie re-tellings would also be colored by what happened during and after the TV series. Sheryl might’ve gotten along great with Ozma, so she gets extra interaction with Ozma in the movie. Brera might’ve grown closer to Sheryl and Alto, which would add extra interaction between them as well.

This would also explain why Battle Galaxy got all the added thorns and spikes: It’s more villainous. Battle Galaxy, if the Vajra were out, was the face of the enemy to everyone who couldn’t access Vajra Network at the time (see also Hades from Disney. In Disney’s version, Hades looks evil. In Mythical versions, Hades is just as handsome as his brothers).

It would actually be kind of fun to see an analysis of how Frontier views their heroes if TFS was their take on the events of the series. (Lonely Sheryl versus Sheryl Who Wasn’t Completely Alone Until Grace Abandoned Her. Innocent Ranka versus Ignorant Ranka. Blatant Alto versus Subtle Alto…)


November 9, 2010

Jerry on the Other WW2 Reference in Mobile Suit Gundam (Unicorn)

Original Post: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn 02 Unmasked

Jerry says:

I think the writer of Unicorn is really trying to link Zeon to WW2 Imperial Japan, and not Nazi Germany as many Gundam fans usually see it. And he’s doing it in a way that to me seems very obvious and direct, unlike Tomino who was more covert about it. In Tomino’s shows, there was the Battle of Solomon, which I thought was analogous to WW2′s Pacific war around the Solomon Islands. In Fukui’s episode 1 of Unicorn, we have a Neo-Zeon soldier saying “Space belongs to the spacenoids!” which is analogous to Japan’s WW2 slogan of “Asia for the Asians!” which was a message that opposed the colonization of the non-white world by white Western nations.
And in Episode 2 of Unicorn, Full Frontal tells us that the space colonists of the Federation had no ability to vote. All their leaders were appointed by people in the Federation. In other words, by white European imperialists, as it was in the various colonies found in Africa and Asia and elsewhere. Finally, episode 2 and 3 will take place in Palau, which is a mining colony in space. In WW2, Palau was a Japanese mining colony in the Pacific, and there was a big conflict there between the US and Japan. There’s going to be a big one in the Unicorn show too.

Before Unicorn, I often suspected that Gundam’s resonance with segments of Japan’s population was due to their ancestors’ participation in WW2, and how Japan’s younger generations have various paradoxical opinions about that. I believed that the reason the usual main character of Gundam was a Federation pilot, and either a spacenoid (Amuro, Camille, Banagher) or of Japanese background (Uraki), was supposed to appeal to the Japanese public’s sense that the modern Japan is allied with American side of things, despite the fact that the spacenoid cause is supposedly championed by Zeon (imperial japan). To me, Unicorn really proves my suspicions.

So basically, Gundam’s appeal to the Japanese public has to do with how post-War Japan is in a kind of cultural conflict with WW2 Japan. Zeon is Imperial Japan and all its brutality. And some of its more noble sentiments. (Did you know that Imperial Japan advocated the passing of the Racial Equality Clause in 1919? Black American groups became fascinated with the possibility that the Japanese empire would somehow liberate the non-white world from Western European control.)

Spacenoids are the people who were taken over by the white Western powers. The Federation is America’s military protecting Western European imperial politics. I feel like Unicorn’s writer (Fukui) saw this pattern and really cemented it in. Who knows if Tomino intended much of this though, or Fukui and Tomino ever even met. And I don’t get the impression that the people who really Nazified Zeon in MS IGLOO were ever talking with either Fukui or Tomino.