Archive for March 26th, 2008

true tears: THUD.

I certainly didn’t see THIS coming. Time to play Armchair Therapist again!

First, a list of Bad Things that have happened to Noe:

* Shin’ichiro apparently abandoned her for Hiromi
* Her brother, Jun, confessed romantic love for her (This one came from completely out of left field in one sense, and totally expected in another)
* Hiromi has told her to stay away from her and Shin’ichiro

Short list, yes, but at the moment, the fragile world Noe had constructed for herself has come crumbling down. The world was constructed for the sole purpose of evading the what I can only imagine as unbearable grief for the loss of her grandmother. I don’t think she’s really gotten over that, hence the concept of “I gave my tears away” and subsequent lack of emotion that implies. Now, however, this supposedly emotionless Now is feeling pretty much like she wants to cry, yet she can’t. What’s probably happened here is that the sequence of events listed above have piled on top of the buried grief of her grandmother’s death, bringing it back to the surface, mixing it with all the other tangle of emotions, and resulting in THUD.

I have literally no idea if the last episode will be a heartbreaking and/or bittersweet tale of young love gone horribly awry, or whether it will finish off on a somewhat lighter note (although the note it finishes on will certainly not result in the final scene text overlay being “And then they lived happily ever after…”) The unpredictability of the series is certainly its major selling point. It’s also been written extremely well, although I don’t know how much of that is Okada Mari’s fault (series composition) or whether it’s Nishimura Junji’s fault (director). The world may never know, however, one thing is certain: Okada Mari certainly proves herself to be a much better writer than that stray Kodomo no Jikan series composition credit would seem to imply, but she also worked on Aria the NATURAL and Simoun and Red Garden, so we all knew that she was capable of Good Things. (N.B.: That isn’t a slam on Kodomo no Jikan so much as it is noting that writing of the sort found in true tears is not exactly the sort of writing that you’d see in Kodomo no Jikan, so it’s one of two things: her prowess as a versatile writer, or a case of “well, someone had to write it”. I haven’t seen it beyond the too hot for TV OVA episode, so I can’t be the judge of that)

Next week: We bid farewell to true tears, or, more realistically, sit on it for a month and then watch it again and try to mine the depths of the character’s personalities again. I’m sure there’s a subtext I’m missing somewhere.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00: “Not God, but me, by my own will”

Gundam 00 is fast becoming a vast repertoire of memorable quotes.

Setsuna, in his own atheist ways, has a point with that little speech near the beginning of the episode. Regardless of whether or not you believe in a God, ultimately you are the sole person in charge of you and your actions ((unless you’re a Calvinist, of course). Praying might make you feel better, or help you to encourage yourself to accomplish something, but, in the end, it is up to you, the person, to alter your own reality. Whether that urge to alter reality derives from a secular or spiritual source, it doesn’t really matter–you simply have to grasp reality with your own hands and give it a good smack or two and tell it to shape up. Gundam 00 is an extreme example of reality-altering–budding Aeolia Schenbergs take note, organizing a vast and far-reaching conspiracy to bring about some kind of massive change in the world, such as, oh, say, world peace, usually end in massive failure (because, after all, there is only room for one vast and far-reaching conspiracy in the world, and we filled our allotment with the Illuminati a long time ago, so just go join it)–but this lesson has practical, daily use.

So much for Setsuna-chan’s Phiilosophy Corner. On to the main event.

We have witnessed the deaths of quite a few of the main cast of 00 in this episode. Apparently losing Lockon wasn’t enough torment for Felt, so she had to lose her lesbian lover good friend Christina Sierra as well. Since Patrick isn’t dead, according to official rumors of some kind (the cockpit of his GN-X unit was left intact after the explosion, so he may be shaken a bit, but he’s allegedly alive), Christina is the most impactful death of the episode, and, as such, it got the high-class treatment. Like Lockon’s two-episode “hey he’s going to live! Pranked!” death sequence, Christina looks like she is going to make it through the massive explosion, having lost Lichty, the only man she has ever loved (last-minute just-before-death love interest developments are always harsh), but then, of course, we find that she has a shard of the Ptomemaios wedged in her suit, effectively piercing her and killing her.

I already felt a strong upwelling of moe for Felt, far greater than any previous feeling of moe towards said Felt, when she composed the letter for Lockon and her parents, but when she broke down in tears in the normal suit after the death of her second half, I had to sternly remind myself that, no, you cannot hug an anime character, unless one buys the special limited edition $300 dakimakura and somehow finds a pillow big enough to fit in it, and anyway those things aren’t usually meant, strictly speaking, for “hugging”, so it’s kind of a moot point. At any rate, whatever grip Nena Trinity and her Kugimiya wiles might have on me, Felt is currently the strongest female in the series for me, although, given the wide array of 00’s cast, and their respective developments, that’s saying something, I think. For a character who’s had an almost bit role to date, she’s the strongest supporting character, and I can only hope that they expound on Felt’s moe-ness for the second season.

Hopefully the second season won’t have Alejandro Corner piloting a gigantic mobile armor to kick the tattered remnants of Celestial Being around. Especially not after they’ve found their purpose in existence even stronger than ever before. 25 promises to be a spectacular mid-series conclusion. I want it to be Saturday already. :(


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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March 2008