May. 5th, 2010

starlady: Hei poised to strike at sunset (sunset before the fall)
I think I just need to accept that I won't be able to read everything I want to read for Wiscon before Wiscon. But hope springs eternal.

House of Five Leaves 1 - 3
Even if I hadn't looked at the website I could have told you that this is based on an Ikki manga, based simply on a) the slow pace and b) the extraterrestrial character design. Based solely on the scene in the second episode where Akitsu follows Yaichi to the shitamachi and then walks into a pole thinking about him, I predict many Yaichi/Akitsu doujinshi at Comiket this summer (also because Yaichi is hot, and says he finds Akitsu interesting. I will take his word for it). I like the characters, though. And they're making quite a lot of money on these kidnappings, even if this is middle Edo when the currency's metal content started dropping. Not surprisingly, I think Yaichi is my favorite. Also, the subtitling is pretty good. Also, look at Edo with its canals and moats and bridges! I never realized how thoroughly such things have been eradicated from contemporary Japanese cities until I went to one (Yanagawa) that has retained them. Also, looks like Seinoshin is making some wrong assumptions. We'll see.

Darker Than BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini 12
The end! I liked it, though as usual I value the ending just as much for what it suggests about what happens after as for what it actually shows happening. I was glad about what happened to Hei, and Misaki's boss turned unexpectedly awesome at the end (WTF happened to him? holy crap!), as did Madam Oreille and her flying car, FTW. I was less pleased about Suou and July, though I don't want to privilege the copy over the original; Hei doesn't, and I think we ought to follow his lead. The Americans occupying Tokyo injected an interesting (and pointed) political note, too. I'll have to rewatch with subs at some point.
starlady: (bang)
I wrote the following for one of the two history classes I took in college in spring 2006. I'm still really pleased with it.


Samurai Stew: History and Anime in Edo

“…Yet there is something that’s special, that one ingredient that makes it a stew. And do you know what that is?”
“The meat?”
“That’s what everyone says. The meat. But that same meat could be used for anything. Curry, goulash, it’s the same ingredients.
It’s the stew mix that makes it a stew.”
Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven’s Door

To the average person outside of Japan, one of the most familiar images of the country is undoubtedly that of the samurai. While the age of the samurai lasted approximately 700 years, from roughly 1185 to 1876 CE, these stereotypical images are almost always drawn from the early-modern Edo period (1603-1867), when Japanese society was “frozen,” at least according to official ideology, in the patterns it had acquired in the sixteenth century and before.

One of the primary vehicles for constructing this image of Japan, both in Japan and abroad, is that of the moving image. Anime & history in Edo )

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