Friday, January 19, 2007

Revise and extend my previous remarks...

Subject: Noir
So after my little rant about Gonzo last week, I spent this evening actually being entertained by two Gonzo shows.

First was the last two discs of "Samurai 7". How it got to this point despite it being named for the classic Akira Kurosawa film, I really couldn't tell ya. But putting aside all my baggage about the show to this point, and just relaxing and letting it happen, it wasn't entirely void of fun. Yeah, there was a lot of eye-rolling to be done at every bit of contrived melodrama, and a lot of how the final battle came together didn't make a whole lot of sense -- that is, you could tell they were sort of making it up as they went -- still, it had a lot of fun action, and like I said, they definitely have an imaginative style.

Still, all-in-all, the attempted association with "The Seven Samurai", down to the very end with the singing and the rice-planting and the swords on the hill, really just emphasized my whole "dissappointed" point. But I managed to let go of that for the time being and roll with the rest of it.

Also, I caught up with the Undead Teenage Fashion Models From New York™, and got through episode 13 of "Red Garden". You know, for a Gonzo zombie-vs-werewolf show, it's remarkably restrained and reasonably well-told. I stand by my observation that the animation isn't getting much beyond moving-manga, but there's enough style and focus in the intention of the story that the characters are worth paying attention to.

Though the illusion is going to be tougher to maintain, as it relies too heavily on the narrative to keep up the suspension of disbelief. Heck, plenty of manga and comics can do it just fine, so surely "Red Garden" can. But if it starts to fall apart into absurdity for the sake of pulling a big ol' WTF, then there's nothing to fall back on.

Still, I really dig the art direction and all the other little unconventional touches present in this one. Someone there is really trying and experimenting a bit, and that's earning a lot of points. But, since ep 13 wasn't actually the end of it, that means they're going to drag it out for another 13, and I don't know if it'll make it that far. They just opened up a bunch of new possibilities, and now the girls' powers are starting to manifest, but I fear it's going to lose it's discipline and fall into an over-sensationalistic trap like most everything else I see with Gonzo. Still, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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