Well, it’s been a while since our last “Things I Like” post, so now we’ll cover 07-Ghost, a new anime that just ended its first, 25 episode long, season last week. It’s a slow-moving series, based on a still-running manga, but overall, it’s worth it.
This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such, it’s not a review per-se, but my thoughts on the series. Spoilers should come as no surprise, but this post will have relatively few if any.
You know how this category is called “Things I Like”? I guess sometimes we have to post about things we don’t like. Maybe I should use another category, or just remove the TIL tag? Feel free to chip in in the comments.
Anyway, Element Hunters is a new anime, which Dattebayo is currently fansubbing, so I’ve decided I’d give it a whirl. The first episode was awful, but I decided I should check at least the second episode as well, it was still awful. Now I’ll give you a slightly more comprehensive run-down, but in case it wasn’t clear; the show is horrible.
SPOILER ALERT: I spoil so you won’t have to suffer through this.
Short synopsis: The year is 2029 AD, and elements from the periodic table disappear into Nega(tive)-Earth. This causes ALL the places on our Earth (at least) with these elements to lose them, causing things to be ruined, disappear, earthquakes (if something disappears from Earth’s molten core), etc. They have teams of “Element Hunters” who go and hunt the creatures who “take” the Elements.
Shonen series are series aimed at boys, many of them are combat/adventure heavy, series such as Bleach and Naruto. The protagonists are usually teens, who overcome their enemies, and like in Poke’Mon‘s 5th episode (I have one heck of a memory, I know), the protagonist often loses, and then through sheer guts and determination (bloody-cussedness) trains or just comes back and wins.
In Naruto Shippuuden, there’s a bit of a ridiculous moment where Team Guy faces their clones, they get kicked, and then win just because they decide to be stronger than they were yesterday… rather than just switch who they’re fighting or try new techniques. It was a serious “WTF?!” moment to me.
In Gurren Lagann, there are actually three phases to the series. It begins with the Kamina and Simon’s home community underground, and then quickly goes on war. They wage a war on the beast-men and their mecha who keep them down (both underground and stopping them from reproducing). They fight and fight and fight, and after episode 8 there’s a slight change in the atmosphere, though the fights continue.
Then in the second half of the series, which many people like less, what was revealed in part at the end of the first half is explored. We find out that beings which can reproduce have something called “Spiral Energy”, and the reason Simon wins is because he wants to win strongly enough, and using his inherent spiral energy, well, he wins.
So the second half of the series is in the future, several years after the first half ends, with our characters leading either quiet lives or leading the new and freed humanity, political machinations, and then they go into space to fight the “Anti-Spirals”. Right now it becomes much more about how the “Will to win” translates into “Winning”. And this to me makes Gurren Lagann not only a series, but commentary on the shonen genre; the “I win because I want it more than you” is given context and reasoning inside the series, and while many think it is flimsy, it is better than it happening without context. In a way, this is a context to all those series.
I loved the series, and would give it 4.5 stars out of 5. I was really surprised at some point, the one where the series switches tone in its first half. I was like, “No way!”, and it was emotional and good.
First “Things I Like” post, a bit late, but it’s going up. And in case it’s not obvious, all such posts may have some spoilers.
I’ve watched the anime of Tenjou Tenge a couple years back, and am actually a bit surprised seeing it’s from 2004 and some comments, since I remember the art as being generally sub-par to what I consider the modern standard. Enough that I’m going to grab some episodes and re-watch them to see what’s up.
Anyway. I began watching the anime, saw cool cool fights, cool characters, and all was well and good. We then got to a flashback sequence, which lasts 6 episodes. I was all up for it in the beginning, but at some point I was going, “Hey, this is a limited run series, what’s up?”
We then get 3.5 more episodes in the present time, before we get another flashback sequence, from episodes 19 to 23, out of 24 episodes. At this point, I remember going, “What the fuck? When will I watch the series?” but after a couple of episodes I dawned of me, but it’s something that’s disturbing if you don’t realize it, and disturbing that (when?) you don’t know it going in:
The background story is the real story. What happens now is cool, but what happened before is cooler. You care more about that by the end, it’s amazing, it’s awesome, and it’s sort of like a bait-and-switch. After I realized that, I stopped waiting for the flashback sequence to end, because I’ve realized that was the main story.
Then the anime ends on a cliffhanger. Not surprising, considering it’s an adaptation of a still-running manga, and I now found out there’s been an OVA which I’ll have to track down. So the anime ends on a cliffhanger, after you finally know what happened in the past to set it all up, but not what’s going to happen. In a sense, the anime ends before the present day story can really start (ok, it did start, and made some progress, but now we were getting to the exciting stuff!), so it leaves you open-mouthed when that happens. You do get a full story though through the flashbacks, and a desire to know what happens next, perhaps it’ll be worth it to get the manga?
UPDATE: Viewing it again to check the art quality. Ok, I watched it before on extremely low quality, which made the drawings look ugly, both style and technique. I now compared it to high quality, and there I still hate the artistic style, how most characters/faces are drawn, but it’s very well-made on the technical level.
Hm, an 8 on a story within a story, but only 6.5 overall?