Oh man, this was really good. I’m going to have to stop myself, because otherwise my post on the first episode could easily balloon into a couple thousand words. But in short? This was really good.
Not a lot to say here, so I’ll keep this short. The art is fine, more of a style I associate with slice-of-life comedies. Rather soft. It’s… fine. The palette is very blue-centric, with blues and green-blues, alongside with outright neons everywhere helping to give this a more futuristic look.
Director Ari Folman is well known in Israel these days for his film Waltz with Bashir, which isn’t done by Rotoscope, in case you’re wondering. A couple of weeks ago I’ve watched his newest film, The Congress, at a local sci-fi and fnatasy convention, surrounded by other convention goers. The film was different, and interesting on many levels. One thing I didn’t feel it manage to do well is add up to a consistent creation, on an artistic level, or on any thematic level – discussing its theme, the main question it raises, or its messages. However, considering the film is split into two different moods as part of its concept, I guess it’s not all that surprising. The Congress is very loosely based on Stanisław Lem‘s novel, Futurological Congress.
The first half of the film deals with actress Robin Wright, and is filmed “normally”, with her being faced with her fading career and being given an ultimatum – sell over her digitized avatar to the studios who will be able to make film without her involvement, with the catch of being unable to ever act again – the other side of the ultimatum is that she simply will get no more contracts – so either way, they’re shutting her away from movie-making, but the difference is whether she’ll get to choose which roles to play in, or won’t. In case you wonder, she sells her rights over.
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.
Gurren Lagann, which is actually called “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann”, is an embodiment of the shonen genre, in anime form.
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.