Archive for December, 2010

December 28, 2010

Xard on the Edible Evangelion

Original Post: Moments of 2010: You Can (Not) Advance The Plot Using Slice of Life

Xard says:

[…]

Yes, this whole sequence was fantastic from beginning to end. In general I loved the way Anno manipulated common anime tropes and cliches in Evangelion 2.0 with same brilliance as in original (albeit nothing will beat the genius that was Tokyo-3 morning montage with music from the 70s nigh-classic scifi film man who stole the sun playing in the background. Incredible, multilayered sequence in so many ways).

The whole deal with the usage of food (in particular: bentos) as a motif was great and this is just another link in the chain. That Rei truly starts opening up to Shinji here – as well as truly establishing the food motif for the pseudo-triangle drama – during the cooking scene is also very important event that happened here which I think is worth mentioning among the ones you listed.

This is not the first time Anno has used food as motif in NGE, mind you. In episode 17 food/eating played big role in scene changes and as a setup for scenes (more numerous to count) as well as setting up false expectations of happy anime narrative with the whole deal with Hikari cooking for Touji. In ep 18 the brutality of harsh reality destroyed the blooming romance: mercilessly illustrated by the post-Bardiel scene of Hikari cooking and wondering if Touji eats/will like what he cooked tomorrow, oblivious to tragedy that had just happened. For such a minor scene it has haunted me to unusual degree.

What Anno does with food motif in Rebuild is quite similar but far larger in scale and complexity. In very similar way to ep 26′s “alternative universe” material we see Rei and Asuka “competing” over Shinji via cooking, following closely the laws of romance anime cliches. The rich meal enjoyed by Kaji et al during the picnic is contrasted with rations eaten by Gendo & Fuyutsuki during their trip to moon etc. Shinji also shows her caring and love for others mainly through cooking and as such apron-Shinji fussing around in kitchen is one of the key images that represented the “family” Shinji, Misato and Asuka build during the point it seemed Shinji Could Advance. It’s not by coincidence Anno included shot of abandonded kitchen in the scene Shinji abandons Misato, the apartment and Tokyo-3. I think there even was the very same tablet in the shot Shinji used in Asuka’s “toothpick” scene.

The food motif – as goofy and clichedly animesque motif as Anno needed – also came ot represent opening up of Rei and the way to hope and fixing relationship between Shinji and his dad via Ayanami’s “party”.

And it all is – just like in original eps 17-18 – big buildup towards happy anime narrative that Bardiel incident destroys. The shot of Rei’s cooking boiling over as NERV agents come to her is the final shot and culmination of the whole food motif in the film. It says everything.

The “picnic” more than any other scene setup this “false narrative” and as such is one of the most important scenes in the film’s first half.[…]

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December 20, 2010

Shinmaru on Gundam SEED Destiny

Original post: To Make The Impossible Possible: Enjoying Gundam SEED Destiny

Shinmaru says:

I think by the one-third point of SEED Destiny I was doing OVER 9000 double takes each episode at how butt-fuckingly retarded each episode was. The final stretch is just … something else. Meer’s stupid episodes (who fucking CARES about her??), two recaps in the last nine (WHAT), Ray going batfuck insane, the eye-rollingly stupid recall to Mu’s sacrifice in SEED, Jesus Yamato, Shinn x Lunamaria (god what a fucking nightmare), and so on and so forth. Just … fuck, what.

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December 20, 2010

schneider on the legitimacy of hate

Original post: To Make The Impossible Possible: Enjoying Gundam SEED Destiny

schneider says:

I remember a poster in /m/ saying that every /m/an should watch all of Gundam SEED Destiny to know how bad it is, because “real /m/en finish the shows they watch.” The logic is kinda jacked in that one, but the thing with GSD is that it brings out what’s good with the Gundam franchise just by being irredeemably terrible. It also acts like a Gundam litmus test–if you think GSD is good, then you need to watch more Gundam shows (I had experienced this firsthand).

At any rate, I know some people who hate on shows as if they were the shittiest shit ever shat out of a butt after watching (and dropping) the first few episodes. But we /m/en don’t do that! If you want to be a hater, then you must know your enemy. And that is by finishing GSD, because you have more material to hate with all 50 episodes, right?

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December 19, 2010

Chan on Panty x Brief; Fit and Foil

Original Post: Moments in Anime 2010: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt 12 and Remembering Love

Chan says:

Interestingly enough if one looks at Brief closely you’ll see that his fact actually resembles Panty’s. In fact one could call Brief both Panty’s spear counterpart and her foil, in his name, his appearance, and personality. Interestingly enough this episode did several things to bring both Panty and Brief to the same level.

Brief’s own is obvious, his facial features which Panty is attracted, too. The size of his *coughpeniscough* and his desire to help Panty even if he himself is powerless. There were two or rather three; his physical appearance, his prudence, and his *coughsexualstaminacough. Throughout the series Brief was basically shown as the guy that had all the qualities that Panty was looking for, only problem was Panty wasn’t look *at* him and also had he revealed himself then Panty would never have the attribute his behavior to personality. She would have been too superficial to look past his face.

Similarly the way how Panty was brought down to brief’s level and thus set up new barriers which actually go hand in hand with Brief’s prudence, and works in favor of their relationship. Previously as said before Panty likes men with big …penises, which Brief possess, she is also the kind of one who does not think long term which is attributed to her putting sex first in contrast to Brief who wanted to start a relationship first. The first one ends up becoming a problem as now that Panty is a virgin it actually is painful for her to have sex with someone so ……hung, she can’t get any pleasure out of it, and thus sex between them has now become an act of trust, as Panty won’t be receiving any pleasure out of it, that requires them to actually yes be in a relationship, before they pursue that level of intimacy. In other words Brief has effectively become the one person Panty cannot just “love and leave”. Adding on to that Panty has been turned into a normal human, which means she doesn’t have her guns anymore she has lost her super strength, and durability, and yet she wants to help Brief. The tables have turned Panty is now the powerless one who wants to help the one she likes even though she knows that she knows that she’s useless, in other words a role that Brief has been playing throughout the entire narrative. This would have been stranger in another narrative as a love story but it works in this one.

The reason why this all works is because of Panty’s established personality, is such that just letting Panty see how Brief really looks she would be too shallow to let herself see the real him. And while she probably would have given Brief more respect it would have been more for his face than anything else, she would have been more blind to his faults, therefore not allowing them to get as close as they did in episode 12. She probably wouldn’t have let any other guy see her so distraught and not in control of her situation, but because its Brief its okay. This is because it actually seems like it would be out of character for Panty to be distraught in front of a total stranger. In other words Panty isn’t the type of character in which the writers can just create a one shot character for her to fall in love with, if Panty has to fall in love it would have to be an established character otherwise it would be out of character for her. At the same time the poor smuck that falls in love with her better have a high tolerance and be very faithful otherwise it wouldn’t not work as a love story. This is why their relationship started out the way it did, and why it develops the way it does. Panty and Brief’s foil like nature, serves as a way to both keep them together and differentiate them each other, in other words opposites attract.

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