Category Archives: dead tree format

Stuff on paper

Sounding Foreign in My Mouth

Magic Bullets

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s features a group of magical antagonists whose combat terminology is in German, although this is by no means the only foreign language used in the series (Bardiche and Raging Heart are noted for their English, while ‘Asura’ is a Sanskrit term and so forth). Quite what the status and connotations of the German language are in Japan I’ve no idea (though I’d like to find out) so I can’t guess what the intention of the staff behind Nanoha‘s German is.

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Ecole du Ciel Vol. 1: A GCSE in Gundam?

Characters

I don’t read enough manga. It’s not that I dislike it, it’s that I find it hard to relax with a book, or more specifically with the physical shape of a book, a codex. To ‘come home after a hard day’s reading and relax with a book’ carries a certain contradiction, as I’m sure you can see.

But I try. After all, manga has a number of practical advantages over anime as a form of entertainment: it’s much cheaper, and it’s available in the UK pretty much as soon as it’s available in the US because (glory be!) books don’t have those pesky Region Code thingies. [Wouldn’t life be awful if they did?]

Credit is therefore due to Kaoishin-sama for putting me onto Ecole du Ciel. Ecole has what it takes to interest me: obscurity value, curiosity value and hawt Mobile Suit-on-Mobile Suit action value. Plus the manga-ka is Mikimoto Haruhiko, who has an impressive set of character design credits including a number of Macrosses (and the animation direction for Do You Remember Love?) and War in the Pocket. And the first volume arrived in my letterbox recently, so here I am talking about it. Continue reading

GAR (II): Epic GAR

Theatre At Argos
How Culture makes one popular

[This is part of a series of entries considering GAR. The first one sets out what’s happening.]

I had already felt GAR before I encountered the concept. After all, ‘unconquerable courage, the sheer will to accomplish the impossible, the willingness to sacrifice all for victory, and the ability to openly mourn the loss of something worth dying for’ have existed in storytelling generally long before anime. Indeed, for all that it’s compared to virtus, GAR’s history stretches back long before the Romans themselves. So indulge me – or ignore me – as I look back to an older meaning of ‘epic’. Continue reading