SPT Layzner has been slowly emerging from the untranslated depths of the 80s for some years now. I always welcome the arrival of a fresh episode, interested to discover how the hero, Eiji, will become more put-upon this time.
The physical controls of the title robot are supplemented by a basic AI called Rei, who takes voice commands and issues alerts. A weaponised Siri, if you will. Rei’s simplistic, programmed desire to preserve Layzner and efficiently destroy its enemies brings out Eiji’s more complex goals, for the poor guy frequently winds up arguing with his computer to his job done.
But it becomes clear that there’s another computer in Layzner, one which will cheerfully act without consulting the pilot at all. This sets up what was to my mind one of the finer scenes I saw this year, Eiji’s attempt to provoke Layzner’s second computer out of hiding by shooting up his own cockpit. Excessive? Well, Eiji says that his cockpit is his world, and he has a point: he’s renounced his home planet, and has spent most of the show genuinely living in Layzner’s cockpit or its tiny support shuttle and fighting day-in, day-out. It can’t be fun when there’s something uninvited living in technology so intimately tied to your life.
As it turns out, Layzner’s second computer is not simply a malevolent actor—but I should really shut up before I unleash spoilers.
(Lest I give the impression that Layzner should be taken entirely seriously, I leave you with a link to wah’s handlist of lessons from the show.)
There’s very little point in me writing anything here.
I may have humourous qualms about the format, but it’d be a shame to let the tradition lapse.
(Legend of the Galactic Heroes spoilers.)
Wolfgang Mittermeyer seems middle-class. Upper-middle, but still middle, with his moderate house, and his normal marriage to his sweetheart. His closest friend within Reinhard’s comitatus, Reuenthal, is all Gothic aristocrat: heterochromia, candlelit mansions, Norio Wakamoto, the bizarre and unpleasant relationship with Elfriede.
I wasn’t planning to mention this, as I don’t have the energy to do it justice. But I also don’t have many other ideas, so here we are.
I got my hands on Mazinkaiser SKL‘s first episode on the evening of December 31st, so it makes it into 2010 by a whisker. Readers are invited to imagine any of my standard enthusiastic responses to giant robots fighting after this here colon: burble SKULL burble explosions burble. The amount of actual and implicit violence against women distressed a small thinking-section somewhere in my head, but the other sections argued it down—’It’s not normal,’ they said, ‘to simultaneously have scruples and an anime blog’.
If you want to read more, Crusader wrote a solid reaction, Ghostlightning tried to pin down SKL‘s essential puerility and psgels was unimpressed. EDIT: Dave weighs in with a SKL-as-1998-Manga-Video-property take.
I heard a lot about Votoms in 2010. Shining Heresy, the defrosted-Chirico-vs-Space-Catholics OVA, was (finally) translated, and there was a sudden flood of new material produced or announced: Alone Again, Phantom Arc, Case;Irvine and Votoms Finder.
I’m cautiously optimistic about this. The CGI action in Pailsen Files was tolerable more often than it was great, and one wonders how much more interest can be wrung from the life story of Chirico Cuvie. But Case;Irvine and Votoms Finder aren’t about Chirico (from what I can gather, Takahashi isn’t even involved in them). This could make for some interesting uses of the Astragius Galaxy, which is a very nice real robot setting. Okay, it probably won’t, but it could, right?
Also it’s sort of heartening that someone, somewhere, reckons money can still be made out of this franchise.
I watched the last episode of Victory Gundam this August, about two-and-a-half years after I watched the first episode. I thought it was a fairly bad mess with salvageable, enjoyable facets. I stalled about half of the way through, which is fairly common with lugubrious fifty-episode-plus Tomino anime, but I also stalled for a long time before watching just the final episode itself. Because now that I’ve watched it, I’ve more or less caught up with the production of Gundam.
Well, that’s a lie. There’s still the 00 movie, which I probably won’t enjoy, and three-fifths of Wing, plus Endless Waltz, the one part of the franchise which I find entirely unwatchable. Beyond that there’re a few oddities like Mission to the Rise which I can’t be bothered to watch, and of course a substantial amount of manga, games, prose &c. But still, finishing Victory created a sudden absence: I no longer have the ‘see more of whichever Gundam I’m working through’ option when I’m bored.
I watched Overture to a New War last January. I’m not sure if it was freshly translated back then, or if I just happened to choose that time to watch it. It’s a filled-out and more coherent replacement for the first two episodes of Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
While reviewing some of the Alliance’s officers, Truniht poses Yang a simple question: what is the strategy for certain victory? And Yang says to assemble six times the enemy’s numbers, supply the troops perfectly and ensure the commander’s orders are transmitted without error.
The Legend doesn’t do jokes, or rather doesn’t do funny jokes, but it can be wry when it wants to.
As Dai-Guard nears its conclusion, Tokyo is evacuated. The streets are completely empty.
But of course we must still stop at red lights.
By chance it was December the first time I watched 0080, and in the years since I’ve made rewatching it part of Advent’s furniture. Moderate lateral spoilers follow. Continue reading