You Are All Wrong About Trapeze | Kuuchuu Buranko

Because all Trapeze seems to be is an eleven-episode Denki Groove music video.

I’m not kidding.

Well, okay, it’s not entirely an extended Denki Groove music video–but given that nearly the entire background music was comprised of Denki Groove songs, and how fond this particular Toei team (I use the term “team” loosely, but I’m referring to the loose staff interchange between Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror, Mononoke, Hakaba Kitaro, and now Trapeze, many of which are also Noitamina series) seems to be of Denki Groove, I’m looking forward to the inevitable feature-length collaboration a la Interstella 5555, only with even better music (sorry, Daft Punk–Discovery is awesome, but I’m far more partial to Denki Groove).

As for the actual episode itself, I rather liked it, although I feel certain that I might have liked it less if it hadn’t had the Denki Groove soundtrack to back it up. It certainly isn’t something I’d want to marathon, but the first episode struck a nice balance between sheer absurd lunacy and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink animation. Mind Game comparisons are flying around, and even without having seen Mind Game I’m inclined to believe them. I might have to go watch Mind Game now, but I fear that an hour and a half of sheer insanity like this would probably destroy my brain. But 22-minute packages? That could work.

Also suggestive scenes involving hypodermic needles. That probably wins the award for “most bizarre thing I’ve seen all year”.

Is it pretentious? Is it truly complex and deep and meaningful and spiritually satisfying?

No. It’s a rave party. A really, really weird yet awesome rave party.

I might have said the former a few years ago, it’s true,  especially if someone came at me with the latter angle, but at this point I don’t care anymore.

I really just want an excuse to spam Denki Groove songs at you.

So I will. Because words alone can probably not do Trapeze much justice at all, and if they can, I don’t know them.

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11 Responses to “You Are All Wrong About Trapeze | Kuuchuu Buranko”


  1. 1 Seinime 18 October 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Speechless quite literally after the first episode, in a sense.

  2. 3 animekritik 19 October 2009 at 12:02 am

    I’m not going to assess your assessment of Daft Punk ;)

    Ok, so I liked this, and there’s obviously no guarantee it’ll keep up but we’ll see.

    Hypodermic needles have always been sexy, I thought…..

    Also, recently ghostlightning started asking this, and I’ve gotten curious too: what do people mean by the word “pretentious”?

    • 4 OGT 19 October 2009 at 7:48 am

      Hey–I like Daft Punk just fine. Or at least Discovery, as I haven’t heard other albums except Alive 2007. It’s just that I happen to like Denki Groove better. This might be because I’m one of those freaks who likes Kraftwerk, though. The fact that I like one more than the other has absolutely no bearing on the fact that neither is actually better than the other–I’ve been caught on loops of Digital Love before.

      Also, re: “pretentious”: as someone who has formerly used the word as an insult towards people and series alike, I have absolutely no idea. The dictionary definition (ostentatious with the intent to impress others; a false claim to importance) might offer some clues. Generally speaking, I used it towards a series/book which I felt was excessively wrapped up in how “smart” it was, or towards a person who was haughty about their allegedly superior taste. Hopefully that helps some.

      • 5 animekritik 19 October 2009 at 11:10 am

        You might absolutely love their last album, then again, you might absolutely hate it. It’s a 180 degree from Discovery…

        “Pretentious” is weird. I used to use it before too but now…

        I can understand people being haughty, but a show..? It seems like it’s the viewer’s or reader’s assessment whether the show has failed at what the viewer thinks the show was trying to do, so…

        Anyways, we’ll see how good Trapeze is or isn’t come next episode!

        • 6 OGT 19 October 2009 at 1:38 pm

          I stopped bothering with the label on actual works itself, it’s so hard to tell. “Ostentatious” (glam, glitzy showing-off) might earn the epithet, but really, it’s hard to label a work “pretentious”.

          On the other hand, the more alien the work is to any given person’s experience, the more likely that they’re going to hurl that epithet at it. It usually gets thrown around when people think something is being smarter than they are, which sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.

          I should try out more Daft Punk but I haven’t the money at the moment. I can’t say whether I’d like it even if it is a 180 from Discovery as it depends on the TYPE of 180, but I’m used to bands pulling obtuse angle switches on me over albums. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

      • 7 otou-san 19 October 2009 at 12:01 pm

        I try not to use it myself because it’s important to realize that my (that is, the viewer’s) perspective of “what a work thinks of itself” is all we have to go on. There’s plenty of stuff out there that makes no claims on its importance that still gets labeled “pretentious” simply because it has the balls to be big, bold, or different. I think we should reward rather than condemn that ballsiness.

        I didn’t see Mind Game either but I did see all of Kaiba, which consistently had those accusations leveled at it even though I thought it was quite understated and thoughtful rather than ostentatious or wrapped up in its own cleverness.

        Anyway, I expect someone to start throwing the P-word around pretty soon with regard to Trapeze but I’m glad you actively decided not to.

        • 8 OGT 19 October 2009 at 1:56 pm

          I probably threw a “pretentious” or two Kaiba‘s way, although perhaps not in those exact words. I still intend to go back and re-watch that when I get the chance–I did like the second episode more than I did the first, and I never really thought it was a bad series–in fact I recognized it was very good–just a series I didn’t care for at the moment, because it got caught up in attitudes and complexes that hadn’t been fully abandoned at the time.

          I think the pretentious argument has already been thrown around a bit–people are certainly being thrown by it, and even for the heritage of this kind of series in the Noitamina slot it’s pretty eccentric.

  3. 9 kadian1364 19 October 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Having not seen Mind Game, the first comparison I came to was Paranoia Agent, both taking mildly psychoanalytic angles while being as surrealist and stoned as possible, and the comparison is especially apt if Trapeze switches focus to tangentially related characters every episode like I think it will.

    Certain kinds of shows draw that criticism of pretentiousness. There’s that mystery intent thing to contend with that otou-san mentioned, but when you feel it, you just feel it. The last anime I remember calling the dreaded P-word was Bakemonogatari, a genuinely smart and rewarding show, but often its whats and whys of doing certain things remain unknown to me.

    Trapeze, on the other hand, comes off as much more straight forward to me. No hidden messages, no repetitive and possibly subversive cuts and camera angles, its just trying to be as ridiculous as possible. This kind of understood purpose is why I wouldn’t call Trapeze pretentious.

    • 10 OGT 20 October 2009 at 9:31 pm

      Bakemonogatari is NISIOISIN + SHAFT, which is like the One True Pairing of the gods, so…

      I don’t think anyone’s seen enough of Trapeze to really make any valid judgements on it (other than “this sure is trippy”), but from what I remember of Mononoke (which I really need to go finish up like I’ve been intending to do for years now) that was more of “let’s tell a good yarn with some crazy animation direction” and Trapeze seems like it’ll follow that “let’s tell some yarns” rather than make any super-profound point. You can always watch Paprika for your super-profound point.


  1. 1 Kuuchuu Buranko Isn’t Quite What I Expected, And That Is A Good Thing. « Fuzakenna! Trackback on 20 October 2009 at 1:53 am

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