Returning to the Aniblogosphere!

Tadaima!  That was a refreshing two months!  Though just two months, it feels like a coon’s age since I’ve blogged on Medieval Otaku.  At any rate, the transition from critic to fan was achieved over this time.  Being a critic is miserable: one watches so much anime that the flaws start standing out more than the good.  At the same time, one feels as though one never watches enough, which induces one to watch mediocre anime and be tortured more than ever.  A truly vicious cycle!

AG 11

During the past two months, I have kept up with precisely one current anime: Aho Girl (★★★★).  Two have been finished: Eureka 7 and You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle.  Many consider Eureka 7 (★★★★1/2) one of their favorite shows, and quality and uniqueness shine through the entire series.  For all that, understanding why I enjoyed it is difficult to pinpoint.  Perhaps, if I watched it again, I could take apart more of the ideas–particularly, the comparison of Dewey Novak to Raskolnikov (the protagonist of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.)

E7 2

Hey!  That’s a map of Slovenia!

Then again, even the name Dewey is worthy of remark, since it’s reminiscent of the secular humanist and Pragmatic philosopher John Dewey.  Novak is from the Slovene word for “new.”  So, could Dewey Novak symbolize a new John Dewey?  One who puts Dewey’s philosophy into play with absolute power?  (One doubts that the name Novak refers to a famous thinker.  I only know of two Novaks: the American Catholic philosopher Michael Novak or the American conservative Catholic journalist Robert Novak.  Secular humanism and Thomism are about as compatible as Christ and Belial.)  Dewey’s refusal to accept or to condone extraterrestrial phenomena, the Coralians, may easily be compared to how secular humanists can’t accept the supernatural and try to destroy it in people’s imaginations.  At any rate, material for an article exists.  Maybe, I will write it.

E7 1

On the other hand, You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle is a very simple affair: I love the characters and police action; so, I will watch anything with the YUA label.  But, only the first season  (★★★★1/2) has a claim to being classic.  The second season, YUA: Fast and Furious, (★★★1/2) and the third, YUA: Full Throttle, (★★★) can really only be appreciated by diehard fans, while YUA: The Movie (★★★★) is fun but predictable.  I could write a piece about how annoyed I am that the third season appears to be playing to the lusts of the male fans through Yuri-esque fanservice, giving little time to the relationship between Nakajima and Kobayakawa, and forgetting the existence of Tsujimoto’s beau, Shouji Toukairin.  Essentially, it’s vexing that the characters and their relationships do not naturally develop.

YUAFT 2

Perhaps, I have not completely squelched the interior critic after all!  But, I must confess to watching a show I declared utterly derivative.  I also claimed that I would never watch it because the triteness of the characters insulted my sensibilities.   If you said to yourself: “Medieval Otaku is watching Rinne,” you’re quite correct!  It seems like I’ll watch anything which comes from the pen of Rumiko Takahashi.  She has been accused of using the same formula over and over again; yet, somehow, Rinne–after giving it a college try–diverges enough from the plot and mood of Inuyasha, Ranma 1/2, and Urusei Yatsura enough to keep me intrigued.  Perhaps I simply never wanted Inuyasha to end.

Rinne 1

C’est tout!  Some opinion pieces should be forthcoming.  And, I should be writing for Beneath the Tangles come next month.  Other than that, I will try to follow the program I set for this blog before the hiatus.

So, what anime should I be watching?  (Yes, feel free to spam me with any and all shows which have caught your enthusiasm of late.)

 

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11 comments on “Returning to the Aniblogosphere!

  1. Gaheret says:

    Welcome back, medievalotaku! It´s great to read you again.

    I hadn´t even heard of any of these shows but Eureka 7, which is in my watching list. As for me, I´d love to hear your thoughts on Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope), Haibane Renmei, Kino´s Journey, Serial Experiments Lain, the gloriously absurd Nichijou or Now and then, here and there, my favorite show ever.

    By the way, the past months I finished LOGH, which I found amazing in its scope and conflicts, but ultimately flawed as, say, War and Peace by Tolstoi. Both are astonishing tapestries of human passions, ethics, politics and situations, I´m glad I finished them both, but the latter suffered from that absurd, insisting idea that invasions had nothing to do with human freedom -and its despicable treatment of Sonia, if you ask me- and the former suffers from a conspiration of Terraists which doesn´t make any sense and damages the show greatly.

    This is not only because I firmly believe them to be a grotesque caricature of Roman Catholicism (the imaginery, the pilgrims, the robed and celibate bishops-“grand bishop”, Adrian Rubinsky and De Villiers even makes this parallel explicit linking Terra-Rome, Constantinian Nicean conspiracy theory-Terraist plot, peppered with some ridiculous remarks about the Crusades. Therefore, martyrs-suicidal fanatics, Lohengramm purgue-Roman persecutions, etc). Also -spoilers ahead- villains so flat, complete with their evil laughter, diminish the complex worldbuilding and take from us the would-be total confrontation between Yang/Julian and Lohengramm, in which both parties would be partly right and sympathethic to the viewer. Moreover, they work as mere plot mechanisms whose plans doesn´t make any sense: big spoilers ahead. You want to destroy the Empire, why on Earth would you assassinate Yang Wenli, of all people? Or, if there is a secret, antique conspiracy directed by a cynic as De Villiers, why would such cynic try to assassinate an agonizing Emperor in person via suicidal attack? Its only goal is to provide a satisfying conclussion for Julian. Well, and to conveniently kill Oberstein. There was more potential there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’ve seen Kino’s Journey, Serial Experiments Lain, and Now and Then, Here and There. All are top notch anime. Now and Then, Here and There does not make the top of many people’s lists, but it stands unique among anime and is a very worthy choice. I wish more people would watch it. The other three shows you mentioned I’ll add to my watchlist. Many people have been telling me to watch Haibane Renmei in particular.

      It’s been too long since I’ve read War and Peace. I do not recall Tolstoy writing that about invasions not affecting human freedom. I can certainly see that as possible if two monarchs are warring over land, they want the land to be as productive as possible, and their soldiers don’t aggrieve the population. But, it can’t hold true with the Napoleonic wars and most modern wars also, which are less between lords and more between peoples and less over land and more over ideology. Belgium and Spain certainly felt a great loss of freedom after Napoleon’s invasion. And, I am rather inclined to despise the French of that bloody period.

      With LOGH, the Terra Church does look pretty stupid. It does seem like they borrowed some motifs from the Roman Catholic Church, but I think the Terra cult was the author’s way of insulting all religion. Even the Norse inspired religion of the Empire seems mostly for show/national identity–much like Shintoism in Japan.

      But, I am only half way through. I was watching on YouTube when the all the LOGH episodes were removed. I really need to get on with finishing it.

      Like

      • Gaheret says:

        In fact, it was the other way around with Tolstoi: what he defended is that human freedom is not the cause of invasions, but some mechanic pendulus movement East-West, West-East, analogous to the movements of migratory birds. The people who believed they were commanding the movement, Napoleon and Kutuzov, would be self-deceiving marionettes. For some reason, humans would only be free at the individual level, but mechanically determined in the aggregate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is a strange dichotomy to have: individual freedom but deterministic peoples. One would think that, since individuals make up peoples, that the groups would partake of that freedom.

        But, I should read more Tolstoy, I’ve only read War and Peace, his Confessions, and that miserable book titled Resurrection, for which he was excommunicated by the Orthodox Church. That last book turned me away from Tolstoy for a while, but I want to read his Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilych at some point in the future.

        Like

      • Paul Dang says:

        It looks like some people put LOGH back on Youtube.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for telling me! I’ll have to catch back up.

        Like

      • Paul Dang says:

        I agree that the depiction of religion in LOGH is by far the weakest link. It’s treated as an afterthought, and thought of mainly as a means of subjugating the uninformed masses. Whereas Proudhon, whom I extremely dislike, nonetheless admitted, with surprise, that all political questions are intertwined with theological questions.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. TWWK says:

    Glad to have you have back!

    Liked by 1 person

Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

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