Tag Archives: notes

Brief Praise of Stock Footage

I’ve said this a couple of times, but because it suits my prejudices I think it deserves its own post.

Recycling material is fine so long as the material is good. And often it is good, especially when it’s a more formalised, expected component like a transformation or combination or launch sequence. I don’t mind watching goodness several times. In my better moments, I rather like the idea of watching goodness several times.

Furthermore, stock footage has a certain reliability. However dull the rest of the episode is, at least I can bank on the manly combination to be great. This is an efficient way for animators to spend money and time.

And if you’re not convinced that repetition has its place, consider the two most commonly recycled elements of your standard anime episode, which we all take for granted: the OP and the ED.

(Would I take much the same stance on grander kinds of re-use, like repeatedly using the same premise? Of course I would. Of course.)

Wolfgang in the Middle

I understand what you're saying! But Wolf der Sturm is crying right now!

(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.

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Encroaching Emotion

I recently joined Goodreads, partly because I hope it’ll give me the chance to slap more people in the face with my lit-peen and partly because I find it useful to have a place to look up books I’ve read in the past — going through the bibliographies of past work is a time-consuming and haphazard method. I’d include a link to my profile, but I don’t want to, so I won’t. Continue reading

Remember, Remember

Today’s the twenty-fifth anniversary of the premiere of Do You Remember Love? (Oi, Ghostlightning!)

In some ways this feels more significant to me than Mobile Suit Gundam‘s thirtieth anniversary earlier this year, despite the fact that, as my tagcloud attests, Gundam is the franchise I’m more familiar with. But it may be precisely my lack of easy familiarity with Macross that makes DYRL? more prominent in my mind. It was very nearly my first Macross experience, only preceded by Frontier‘s first episode, and it’s the one part of the franchise that I’ve since watched again. I can quickly call several scenes to mind: Minmei and Hikaru going on a date, for example, and of course the spectacular martial-musical fusion of the final scene.

Sadly I am restricted to memory myself tonight, as I didn’t bring a copy with my on my laptop and I won’t be able to squeeze one down this internet connection any time soon (apparently downloading slowly is preferred here). But even  remembering DYRL?, thinking of its delicious animation and its curious mixture of silly and serious, always uplifts me. I rather like the fact that this movie shares its anniversary with the 2005 Tube bombings: facing such gunpowder treason, love, in more than the narrowly romantic sense of the word, is not a bad thing to remember.

Landscape With Anti-AT Rifle


Armour Hunter Mellowlink arranges lots of fighting around a simple, sturdy story, leavened with drama and mystery in just the right (minimal) amounts. I owe it a certain debt for being my introduction to the VOTOMS franchise. It has, therefore, always pained me that the only available subtitled version is a set of rips from some kind of well-worn VHS fansub. Recently, however, I discovered that some inspired /m/en had got together to release Armour Hunter Mellowlink in higher quality. It’s still the old, amusingly unreliable translation but — well, I did say this was mostly fighting, didn’t I?

Anyway, to celebrate, I thought I’d write another post about it. Continue reading

Notes on Ballet Bodies


When, in Ride Back‘s first scene, Rin dances, she looks to me like she has weight. I don’t mean that she looks like she’s heavy, I mean that she doesn’t look ethereal. It helps that the first few shots we see of her show her testing and adjusting her ballet shoes. Continue reading

‘My Father is a Pirate’


It should be no surprise that I’m watching Space Pirate Captain Harlock: it’s about a chap who captains pirates, in space! The presence of pirates – of fictional pirates, not the depressingly prosaic Somali kind, or petty internet pirates like me and (if you use fansubs) you – is almost a guarantee of excitement, and so a story about pirates in space could only really be improved by adding a Gundam. Harlock (recently reviewed by psgels) almost manages to make even that deficiency up by being full of incident and infused with some kind of distilled Spirit of Adventure.

(Since we’re on the subject, I’ve heard rumours that this anime might appear legally on that streaming site – what was its name? ‘Brittlebun’, or something. Since it has had a longstanding presence across the Atlantic (probably despite, rather than because, of Toei’s own efforts), it’s somehow fitting that Harlock might still be at the cutting – or bleeding – edge of anime distribution, whatever one thinks of Brittlebun. Not that it’s available to viewers over here, of course, but it’s still really fitting – and that’s some comfort, isn’t it?)

I’ve only watched roughly the first fifth of the series so far, but I felt the need to try to crystalise a few of my thoughts – stimulated by one or two posts from other bloggers – by writing them down. Continue reading

Fate/stay notes


Personally I'm all for priests who serve God first, but 'whatever'.

I was tempted to use a Slowpoke as my initial image, but given how late I am to this party it wouldn’t fit – not even a Slowking would fit. Slow-God-Emperor-of-a-Million-Worlds, perhaps? Anyway, Sir Lancelot, the Wife of Bath and Anne Hyde have combined in a dastardly conspiracy to take away any free time I might have had to produce something thought-out, so I offer you this succession of impressions, followed by some musings about violence, instead. (Just in case there’re any readers out there who don’t already know that Servant Archer is Soylent Green, I think I’ve avoided giving away any significant spoilers.) Continue reading

The Cloud-Capped Towers, the Gorgeous Palaces

This astounding piece of foppery appears early in the first scene of Tytania. What we have here is a classic high-tech space battleship bridge, commanded from the lovechild of a proscenium arch stage – complete with curtain – and an incredibly opulent drawing room.

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And Before VOTOMS There Was . . .

There’s this mecha anime from Sunrise about the son of a white-haired absolute ruler. Violently disagreeing with his father’s regime, he joins a ragtag group of freedom fighters and becomes the hero of a rebellion. Continue reading