Archive for January 22nd, 2008

That was some mighty fast talking in Hatenkou Yuugi

So, prior to knowing anything at all about Hatenkou Yuugi, what attracted me to it was the writing credit: people don’t toss around the name Imagawa Yasuhiro for no real reason these days. And, while an Imagawa writing credit is less spectacular than a Imagawa directing credit, it’s still a Good Thing to have him involved.

And I just watched episode 1. And it was glorious.

Things don’t really make sense in Hatenkou Yuugi, and probably won’t until the end, or possibly ever. It doesn’t seem to have any kind of overarching plot, and will probably consist of episodic adventures of Rahzel, Alzheid, and Baroqueheat helping people out. The content of the first episode was fairly standard fare, as well.

But that’s not why you should watch it. You should watch it for snappy, witty character dialogue and brilliant character chemistry. For two people that met randomly with zero explanation, Rahzel and Alzheid certainly get along fairly well, enough to instantly start taking potshots and one-liners at each other. I mean, watching it, I just sat there in awe at the back-and-forthing that all the characters did. There’s no hefty backstory to get you started, you’re just dropped into the middle of things. It’s a style of show you don’t see often in anime, and, of course, Imagawa handles it beautifully.

I have no idea if the snappy dialogue is from the manga or not, but evidently the manga is released in the US as Dazzle, so maybe I better go pick it up sometime and find out. That might be a good idea, since Hatenkou Yuugi is only going to be 10 episodes. An act that should be criminal, if the series keeps things up at this pace.

Deus Ex Gundam

I am now possessed by a sudden urge to see anime remake Oedipus Rex with mecha as a direct result of titling my post this. Then again, I think about what happened to A Little Princess when they tried to remake it with mecha…

So in this episode everything goes according to keikaku (TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: keikaku means “plan”) for the other side of the equation, for once. Well, okay, it was going according to plan until whoops, there’s another set of Gundams out there, and hey presto! Everything stops going according to plan and jumps back in Celestial Being’s favor.

I am really liking the way that Gundam 00 doesn’t recycle animation very much, or even at all. All the other Gundam series I’ve seen, animation got reused a ton. Part of the reason I think they’ve been able to do this is the small scale of what’s going on–Celestial Being isn’t really fighting a war, like in the other Gundam series (except maybe X), they’re fighting a series of small pitched battles. The 30th anniversary-ness of 00 truly shows in the visual aspect.

One other thing I’ve just now thought of, since I’ve basically been watching four Gundam series practically back to back: 00 is incredibly different than the others, even more so than I thought. Usually by this stage in the game, events are moving at a fast clip, and here, 00 is just moving sedately along, perambulating its way through a tangled web almost casually. I don’t think that 00 is trying to be the hippest, coolest, most action-packed Gundam (go watch G for that) or even coming close to a more “normal” Gundam series level (there is no such thing as “normal” in Gundam, I’ve decided). This, and the attack on the Ptolemy, are the two most action-packed episodes. The plot doesn’t revolve around the combat, the combat revolves around the plot. It’s an interesting and tradition-breaking perspective on Gundam.

Oh, and it’s also got the highest cute girl ratio. Why can’t Kouga Yun draw some kind of non-BL shoujo manga so I can read it without feeling awkward? Maybe she can switch to yuri. That’d be super.


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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January 2008