Friday, January 07, 2005


Subject: Noir
Okay, it's been a bit since I posted last; my apologies!!

First up: My favorite Portuguese Pen Pal recommended that I give "Elfin Lied" a chance. Okay, I'm giving it a chance. But I have to say, after just two episodes, it's going to be difficult. There's a lot of same-'ol-same-'ol cliche going on. First is the excessive, pointless gore. Yeah, real shocking. I have seen "Akira", y' know!. Anyway, I'm not a fan of excessive gore.

Second: clueless cat-girl. Well, okay, the cat-girl's alternate personality is a badass superpowered chick who causes most of the pointless gore so far. But her other aspect is that of the "doesn't-understand-the-language-and-just-says-"nyuh"-all-the-time" fanservice-bait.

Which of course leads to third: the typical awkward teenage boy who now needs to care for said fanservice-bait clueless catgirl. And be all embarresed and stammering over the inevitable nudity that ensues. I mean, yeah, when I was that age, I probably would have been all embarrased and stammering if I had to deal with a nekkid catgirl, but at my age, I really don't need to see it again. And again. And again. *yawn*

Fourth: Setting up the inevitable jealousy triangle with the unrequited-love character. I'm really tired of that too.

But, there was a bit of a twist at the end of #2 where a second catgirl gets introduced, and it was just barely enough of a hook to keep me going. That, and Ms. Pen Pal's encouragement. I hope she heeds my advice about trying Monster out. I think that's a much more superior show, and I hope she likes it better!

Anyway, on to my Friday DVDs! "Irresponsible Captain Tylor" -- the last disc of the first season. I am very impressed with how this series wrapped up. When it started, it seemed kind of shallow albiet entertaining; in this last disc, there was ample evidence for a deeper layer behind the otherwise amusing and simplistic surface. This show is definitely a keeper, and I'm looking foward to not only seeing the second season, but buying the up-and-coming "perfect collection" in the next couple of months or so.

Finally, my pre-order for "Neon Genesis: Evangelion" disc 4 arrived, so I rewatched #3 (because I was probably a wee bit intoxicated and didn't quite remember the key happenings) and that one.

I've got to say, in #4, the writing was very, very tight. Impressively so. It covered a lot of deep ground, yet it held up even in the brevity of the English subtitles. Despite some of the more "filler" types of shots, the dialogue still left an excellent impression, and what these paltry 3 episodes revealed proved to be quite a turning point in the series thus far. I'll admit that I caught a bit of a spoiler in one of the forums (before I tried to back out and block out the memory of seeing it), but it still works quite well even though I know what I know.

Anyway, despite the cliche relationships and other nonsense, the animation and story quality definitely rate it as a "top-tier" program. And while it may not quite be in my "top ten" (and I don't yet have ten programs to fill those slots), it's still pretty darn good. I'm still happy that I'm buying the "platinum" version (which, like I've mentioned before, looks and sounds excellent!)


Anonymous said...

Well, concerning Elfen Lied, you're 100% right about all the cliches and fanservice, those are kinda excessive, pointless and annoying, but you've been warned about that beforehand :p but I must say I found the gore element quite "refreshing", I mean, I'm no sadistic or something, but it was well made in the way that make me want to turn my eyes away from it!

Anyway, I think you're missing the big point hear, this story is DEFINETLY not about an "akward boy" finding a "cute girl" and all the lovey dovey romance that follow that... :p it gets quite angst actually, and I'm not talking about "romantic angst"... maybe you missed the part where they hint about Kouta's past, you know, his father and sister... I won't spoil it but those are the gived important details to the story so far! That and the fact that there's a dangerous creature on the loose that escaped from a high-security facility! Aren't you worried about that? :p

Also, I find it amusing that they keep changing the atmosphere from the "warm, cute, pink and familiar" to the "dark, agressive, dangerous and visual reppeling"... it gives the viewer a great contrast of sensations!

On a last note... as an art student, I loved the detail of the art production for the Opening/Ending! They've adapted the characters to Gustav Klim works! I thought that was a beautiful detail and worth of praise! :) if you haven't noticed this just check this site

Concerning Monster, I already saw the first 4 episodes and I'm willing to see more of it! It's good, very good indeed! :) So far, I've found no flaws! It's very dark and serious, but the characters maintain their "humanity". And, despite the realistic atmosphere, that is reflected right from the character design, this anime doesn't get boring... they can make suspense and dramatic tension from a doctor's normal day life situation, and that is remarkable. I'm enjoying it even more, now that it's getting kind of paranormal! (btw, the ending theme disturbs me greatly, especially with that "scarecrow" kind of thing just staying there! really, what were they thinking... :p )

*** "your favorite Portuguese Pen Pal" (MartAnimE) :p

Fellini 8.5 said...

Heh. Lord knows I've "missed the point" on many occasions before!

I've gotten through episode 4 of EL now, and it's definitely introduced some new twists to seperate it a little more from the cliche-drek that I've been avoiding thus far. That said, it's still got a lot to prove for itself. There's a certain "obviousness" to how it's trying to insinuate itself; like the creators are trying a little too hard to come up with twists as opposed to the story just making itself something to pay attention to on it's own merits.

Don't forget that I'm coming to this medium as a jaded, cynical snob who's been momentarily caught up in the magic and uniqueness of Koichi Mashimo's work. That said, I think you've provided an excellent review, and I will endeavor to stay with it for a little while longer to see if I can see some semblance of what you see!