Tag Archives: close reading

A Delicious Slice of SDF Macross

A Minmay in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Relieved of the requirement to always take itself seriously, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross has free rein to give us entertaining moments (like fishing in space) and brilliantly ludicrous design decisions (like a battleship with aircraft carriers for arms). It’s also what lies behind a sequence in the second episode which – as far as I can see – wraps up into one brief segment of animation the essence of the whole show.

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Epic Scope, Forensic Detail: The Legend Begins

We Will Not See His Like Again
This entry is dedicated to the memory of Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Judging by the few episodes I’ve seen (how’s this for rushing to conclusions?) Legend of the Galactic Heroes is epic in scope and subject – and title: in its English rendering, ‘Legend’, ‘Galactic’ and ‘Heroes’ all convey the scale of the show. This isn’t the debased ‘epic’ bandied around on imageboards. This is the real deal. It may be the first time I’ve encountered an anime which has seemed truly Virgilian – I’d say Homeric, but I think in its awareness of war’s victims, its solemn stateliness and its focus on empire(s) the Legend is much closer to the Aeneid than the Iliad.

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Epitomising 0080


The climactic battle of Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket deserves detailed attention.

I’m a little ambivalent about doing this, however. On the one hand, I love 0080 and I’m aware that not everyone who reads this will have seen it – so it’s a chance for me to recommend it. On the other hand, I’m going to write a commentary on the final battle of the series, and so by its very nature, it will be spoileriffic.

I really wish I was able to write good reviews, because then I could encourage you to watch this without giving away the ending. But I can’t. All I can do is say ‘This is great, and I can’t tell you why without ruining some of it for you’. It’s your choice whether to read on or not.

If you’d rather read a review, here are three. [The first comes from ANN, but the other two are from unvetted blogs. You Have Been Warned.]

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136 Words per Second

An Eye

Sometimes I like to pay (ridiculously) close attention to short stretches of animation, an activity I call, half in jest, ‘close reading’. This is one of those times.

This particular slice of animation is the second fight scene from the third episode of Seirei no Moribito (also known as Guardian of the Sacred Spirit), though I’ve attempted to ensure that this will be of some interest regardless of whether you’ve seen the show or not: the entry is lavishly illustrated and contains no major spoilers. It just so happens that this is, in my opinion, one of the greatest pieces of animated action ever to have crossed my laptop’s screen, for reasons which will hopefully become clear shortly. Continue reading