Saturday, September 30, 2006

Lolibots and mystery endings

Subject: Noir
I've been stocking up on pasta and pasta-related program activities.

You see, this weekend is one of those "special occasions". No, it's not because I didn't get laid off like 10% of my department did on Thursday. It's really just another marker of my advancement in eventual decrepitude. Or something like that...

Okay, okay -- my birthday is this weekend and I'm planning on watching all of "MADLAX". Can't I just say it straight-out? *sigh*

Anyway, as a warmup, besides having the OST blaring out while driving around today, I finished off a quick rewatch of "Avenger". "Finished off?", you say? Well, I did pop in disc 1 a short while back, but I didn't bother blogging about it. This evening, I slammed through the rest of it. I really missed it's wacky little insanity.

As a work of science fiction, it's really quite old-skool. As a work of animation, it's quite a mixed-up experiment on Mashimo's part. It's got to be a test of the techniques that would eventually make their way into "MADLAX". There's crazy camerawork, still frames that still move, hidden twists and last-minute narrative -- it's all there. As bewildering as it winds up being as a whole, it's chock-full of moments that are spot-on fantastic; Mashimo nails it on a number of occasions.

And the deconstructionist in me revels in the way he puts it together. The swoops, the eyes, the musical selections... It's all so inspiring, even if the narrative finds itself with a few continuity conundrums and wince-worthy WTF-ness.

Though the end may be making a little more sense each time I see it. Volk losing, and his dome sinking into the newly raging ocean is rather obviously symbolic, and no-one has an issue with that, I figure. But Layla suddenly walking off into the sunset, as it were, and dissappearing... literally dissappearing; that takes a grounding in Eastern "ghost" philosophy that I'm really not qualified to pursue. But suffice to say, after my earliest impression of this series from over two years ago, I think I've grown much more attached to this show than I did back then. And my bias on the subject makes me oh-so-much more forgiving of it's discontinuity issues.


Anonymous said...

No spoilers! I (coincidentally) just started to continue on with the series after about a six month break while I was bored at a Cross Country meet. It's fun to watch, though I'm not surprised that it's not very well recieved by people outside of the Bee Train fandom. Mashimo's use of long pauses to convey emotions are especially frequent here, and at times I even find myself close to laughing out loud because I can't take them seriously. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of this week, though I can't say I'm entirely excited about it because I've heard very bad things about the ending.


Fellini 8.5 said...

No spoilers!

D'oh! Sorry 'bout that. While I wasn't exactly "Posting While Intoxicated", I was certainly "Posting Under the Influence" -- a lesser charge, certainly, but still a condition where questionable judgement trumps all rationale... *sigh*

Mashimo's use of long pauses to convey emotions are especially frequent here, and at times I even find myself close to laughing out loud because I can't take them seriously.

Yes indeed. And, I think, that's exactly how he feels about it too. He's trying to push it a little and see what he can milk out of such a low framerate... Heh.

Don't fear the ending; just let the experience wash over you and simmer in your brain for a bit. It's got good action, and the music-to-visuals experience is quite affective (as opposed to "effective", which it may very well be as well...)