Tag Archives: notes

Now Cracks a Noble Heart

Fair warning: this post contains Tsar Bomba-sized spoilers for the eighty-second episode of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and comparatively minor ones for the subsequent episode. If you have any interest in watching it, and you haven’t seen the eighty-second episode, don’t read this. Continue reading

‘time just endlessly spins’

At first it seems weird that time should spin. We seem to like (in English at least) to describe whatever it is that time does in terms of movement in space, true, but the word that springs to my mind first is ‘flows’.

It is very appropriate that time should spin here, though, for at least two reasons. Firstly this is a Galactic story, and galaxies are prone to spinning. Secondly the Legend‘s most overt message (which opens the episodes of its second season) says that in one important respect time does not progress: ‘the deeds of men remain the same.’ If we’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes then idea that time flows begins to look a bit odd.

To my amusement, I’m reminded of the opening statements of something else I’m fond of.

Moe-Mao and a Mobile Suit

Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!, like Infinite Ryvius, isn’t directly about politics but still has a political edge. Leaving aside the campaigning, the referendum and the clashes with oppressive authority, there are also little touches here and there: the left-facing swastika in the eighth episode is one and the above declaration from Manabi herself is another.

Except that, unlike the reversed swastika, those of us who don’t speak Japanese can’t tell who came up with this allusion, as we don’t know if the phrase that Manabi uses is the Japanese phrase used to describe the real Great Leap Forward.

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Figure 17: Attention! Deficit!

Author pointed out that I didn’t explain why I found Figure 17 ‘hard to digest’. It’s probably good that he brought it up, because I’m not sure I’d really considered that myself. Justify, justify . . .

A brief preamble is probably in order: Figure 17 takes a premise from the magical girl genre (the young heroine has to use her powers to collect some objects) and unites that premise with an unusually kinetic style of action (the objects are monstrous aliens) and a startlingly intense amount of emotion (‘THE SCENE‘, for instance). It’s not quite The 08th Mahou Shoujo Team, but it may be as close as we’ll get, and I rather like it.

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Need The Warld Ken About My Ramblings?

'Read yourself happy! Read yourself thin!'

'Read yourself happy! Read yourself thin!'

I reacted positively when the idea of writing about Catcher on an anime blog was raised in certain quarters. It’s always easier to write about something if you have something else to compare it to, as you can dress up a simple list of points of similarities and difference and pretend that you’ve been thinking. Moreover, I like to compare seemingly unrelated things and – better still – lots of people have read The Catcher in the Rye. (The idea was/is essentially that people – anyone who wants to – could chip in, if they felt so inclined. Not that this is organised, or anything.)

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Snapshots: Fall of the Free Planets

Spoilers ahead for Legend of the Galactic Heroes up to episode fifty-four. Continue reading

Notetaking: Unionised Female Magic Users


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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Crest of the Stars 13: Of Arms and the Otter I Sing

Otter I

Crest of the Stars closes with a bumper edition, extra-long finale, and I think it’s my favourite episode. This is mostly because of the amusement park that Jinto and Lafiel blast their way into. The subsequent scenes of chaos, as soldiers and fugitives clash with robotic talking animals, are deliciously surreal. Furthermore, the first time I watched the show this odd choice of setting for a near-final showdown forced me to reconsider the previous story. I had been lured into taking Crest too seriously, but the sight of (for example) our heroes talking at cross-purposes with a chummy man-sized otter swiftly cured that: Crest of the Stars is a tale of gripping space warfare in a well-detailed universe (right down to Hiroyuki’s Baronh), but it also has space elves and a mining colony staffed entirely by maids.

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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).


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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