Tag Archives: serio ludere

VIII: The Perfect Strategy

Swapping words.

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.

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

Asura Cryin’: This Season for Busy People


Every now and then I get this unaccountable urge to mention anime that is actually still airing, so here’s a remark on the unremarkable Asura Cryin’. Continue reading

Strike Witches: Whut

William Earl Johns is spinning in his grave like the prop of a Striker Unit.

In his grave, William Earl Johns spins like the prop of a Striker Unit.

Strike Witches gave us fanservice hyperinflation (not the Divergence Eve kind). If any shot involving a female character is a pantyshot then the pantyshot becomes fanservice’s Zimbabwe Dollar, as it loses its air of the extraordinary. The ‘panty’ part of the word ‘pantyshot’ also begins to feel superfluous. Perhaps Strike Witches was actually part of a conspiracy to denature fanservice (and perhaps in 2009 the UK will get an artbox release for Mellowlink). Continue reading

Hakushaku to Yousei: A Bower of Britsploitation Bliss?

Suddenly, Lelouch is out-collared.

Suddenly, Lelouch is out-collared.

Hakushaku to Yousei is not exactly the show of the moment, but it has a certain charm, especially for viewers who, like me, don’t watch many shoujo romances. Besides, I have what you might call a semi-professional interest in Britsploitation, and if 2008 had a Britsploitation anime it was this one. (Apart from the adaption of Black Jeeves, but I’m not watching that.) Continue reading

Not a Community-Spirited Story

I believe I’m right in saying (and I’m not an economist, so take this with a pinch of salt) that posts by the side of the street like this one are a public good: however much you ‘use’ such a post – walking safely by the light cast from it or holding a telephone conversation over the wires mounted on top – your actions don’t somehow use the post up, and you can’t exclude particular people from its benefits. (Compare Taiga’s cookies. It’s easy to control access to them. Furthermore, eating one reduces the total number available and prevents anyone else from eating that particular cookie.)

It’s rather mean to damage such a post. Ostensibly a victimless crime, it nevertheless creates hassle for some minor local government employee and perhaps uses up some small shred of government money. Not that this is a concern to the tiger or the dragon, as I’m guessing they don’t personally pay any taxes.

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.

Continue reading

Passing Shot: Snipe Me! Author-tan

Save-Game Menu

‘The numerical, quantitative nature of the points-based entrance exam is itself a symptom of the masculine desire to categorise, sort and restrict things – nowhere is this made clearer than in the save-game menu and the preferences menu. The overlap that Author identified is not a mistake but rather the replacement of the (female) Author-tan by something numerical and categorised (the list of saved games or options). Significantly, the menus only excise Author-tan, the female writer, from the shoulders up; her head, the site of her thought and personality, is removed but her hips, the site of her breeding potential (to the patriarch, her most important feature) remain on-screen.’

[Snipe Me! Author-tan courtesy of DiGiKerot. This is what you call over-analysis.]

Just For ‘Fun’: A Condensed Theory of Moe

Moe In A Box
As my Japanese is nonexistent, I’m just hoping it’s nothing scurrilous written on the box.

1. Where does moe (or moé for the pronunciation pedants among us) happen? The site of moe must be in the viewer. When, therefore, we say of a character that she or he ‘is moe’ we are identifying the presence in her or him of traits which provoke or stimulate moe in us (and perhaps in an imagined community of ‘people like us’).

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A Brief Note On GAINAXing


I was recently reminded that I originally planned a consideration of GAINAXing as a shorter companion piece or addendum to my remarks on the pantyshot. Perhaps these things are better for being mulled over for a month or so. Continue reading