Category Archives: running commentary

The same as the commentary category, except it applies to things which haven’t finished

I Am Just Going Outside

The

Char - always relevant.

. . . and I may be some time.

I’m moving tomorrow. I’m supposedly going to have internet access set up around the beginning of October, though I’ll believe that when I see it, and not before. Anyhow, until then there probably won’t be any more posts here, though I may be able to hop online every now and then to answer emails.

(Maybe being deprived of fresh anime will help me force myself to watch the rest of Space Runaway Ideon.)

A Matter of Manners

I’ve been told that if you slurp it you mix more oxygen into the tea to enhance the flavour. This is one place where you have to trade manners off against taste. Do we praise refined sippers for their ascetic prioritisation of appearance over pleasure, or blunt slurpers for their healthy disdain for pretense? I’m a slurper – in private – myself. Given that she’s using a teacup rather than a mug, and drinking at something like a garden party, Yoshika’s probably better off sticking her little finger out and sipping – unless she wants to stick her middle finger up at the Establishment!

(Having taken the tea into your mouth you’ve a choice: taste it at the front before shunting it to the back of your mouth, so that you get the lighter aspect of its taste followed by the bitter aspect, or attempt to hit all of your tongue with the tea at roughly the same time, so as to take both aspects at once.)

State of the Fandom

‘Someone mentioned me? Great, now I have to reply with Rob Dougan playing in my head . . .’

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Notetaking: Unionised Female Magic Users

Geography

The premise – sudden alien portal, inscrutable airborne invaders – reminds me rather of Battle Fairy Yukikaze, though I’m going to assume that Strike Witches doesn’t have the military consultants – it doesn’t need them, after all. The show also doesn’t feature trousers, or at least not many. I’m hoping some suitably wacky in-universe explanation for this bizarre sartorial absence will be provided (and no, the King Solomon’s Mines Gambit doesn’t count as a proper excuse for trouserlessness).

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Kaiba 05: Observations

Kaiba continues to tell its story of multiple dystopias with a utopian aesthetic (distinctly unsettling, like a scary clown).

Horned

It’s a nice touch that quilts are made of (if only grammar would allow ‘by’) patches, and it’s nice, too, that the body designer’s own body is practically unusable. Actually, the nice touches are everywhere: did anyone else smile to hear the horn-eared Patch picking on horns as a useless feature? Kaiba excells at this kind of whimsy: Vanilla’s ice cream may be people (the novel was better – although I would say that, wouldn’t I?), and the tension between setting and aesthetic may be unsettling, but there are still gently witty moments like the pursuit which opened the (otherwise rather serious) fourth episode.

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Not Elevens, Allusions

Pretty Sparkles

The funny thing is, wildarmsheero is right: Code Geass doesn’t have a pretentious bone in its body. It’s the fans who are the pretentious ones. The show is just noise and pictures, and it’s the fans who shove the meaning on it. We’ve been here before, and we don’t need to say anything about Code Geass at all – it can just be enjoyed. Nevertheless, some of us find it even more enjoyable if we do say things about it, so, while we don’t need to talk about Kallen, I want to. It’s viewer’s prerogative time.

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Colonial Code Geass and Narnian Nerve Gas

Beautocks
‘Pizza Butt’ is an inelegant nickname. I propose ‘Beauttocks’ as an alternative.

You may recall that in the first episode of the first season of Code Geass, one of the resistance fighters, having been wounded, reaches out towards a button next to a picture of his family, mutters ‘Nippon banzai!’ and blows up the truck he’s driving. Now I am not Japanese, and in fact I have my doubts about the act of suicide, but I nevertheless found this moment rather stirring. The scene as a whole, however, is also rather disturbing – and not, I hasten to add, because of any patriotic fervour or jingoism, but for a rather subtler reason. This, remember, is the context: the resistance have got their hands on a container of what they think is a gas weapon from the Britannian military, and the lorry carrying it it is trying to escape through Tokyo’s old subway system.

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Lelouch’s Little Light Reading

Nothing like a good book

Eagle-eyed viewers of Code Geass R2‘s first episode may have spotted that Lelouch is reading Dante’s Divina Commedia while Rollo gives him a lift. (As a child, I never loved anyone enough to give them my last Rolo.)

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Kaiji 24: Chairman vs. Warrior

Chairman and Warrior

At the beginning of Kaiji 24, something unusual happens. Kazutaka Hyodo (the Chairman) asks Kaiji for something. It’s not something important – all he wants Kaiji to do is to let go of his wrist – but it is a request. Having tried to beat Kaiji’s arm away with his cane, the Chariman resorts to calmly asking Kaiji to do something (he should’ve hit Kaiji on the left side of his head, but in the heat of the moment perhaps he forgot about Kaiji’s injury).

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Kaiji 22: The Fierce Immediacy of a Red Hot Human Griddle

True Tears
‘The School of the UnDefeated of the East!’

The allusion was too tempting, and Tonegawa even looks just a little like Master Asia. (If anyone’s interested, this entry contains a moderate-level plot spoiler for Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann too; not a character death, or anything, but more of an arc-structure point.) As for this entry’s title, I suppose it demonstrates the global dimension of current US politics. If I were a homeowner, I wouldn’t have any control over the sale of the big mansion next door but I’d still like to know who it was likely to be sold to.

There’s probably little point in me praising Kaiji to you now; if you’re reading this, you’re probably a Kaiji fan already – and if you’re not then further paeans are unlikely to persuade you. So I will simply note that Kaiji continues to be my favourite currently airing anime before moving on to consider what happened in Episode 22. Continue reading