esmenet: Pinkie Pie with stars in her eyes (*stars of glee in eyes*)
At first I thought Gatchaman Crowds was just going to be a flashy show about fighting aliens and stuff like that, but it turns out to be a really interesting exploration of the conflict between heroes (who publicly swoop in to save the day) and crowdsourced assistance (where ordinary people are able to pool their skills to help whenever something bad happens). It's super interesting and I love it!

There are also two or three characters who read as trans* or non-binary to me, which is really nice. Representation! \m/
esmenet: Korra and Bolin high-fiving after their first pro-bending match together (highfive)
So I finally started watching Shingeki no Kyojin! It is just as good as everyone says. If you can deal with absolutely-no-happy-endings shows, and some gore, I would definitely recommend it.

The first thing I heard about this manga was the artist's refusal to draw the main lady, Mikasa, in a sexy sexy bikini for a magazine cover, instead depicting her (in a sports bra) like this. A good sign, right?

Mikasa is 100% the best, as expected. ♥ (SO GREAT, seriously. SHE IS AMAZING.) I was not expecting to like the main dude, Erin, but instead of turning out to be your usual Mr Shounen Main Character Dude, he turned out to be the kind of person who is good at exactly two things: one, speech-making; and two, disregarding personal safety, good tactics, and any kind of actual thought in favour of killing the fuck out of anything he regards as a monster.

(note that fighting does not appear on this list. this is because he kinda sucks at it and without Mikasa would have been dead within a week.)

It's really interesting to have this kind of a guy as a main character, because he has what you would think of as typical shounen-manga goals (kill monsters, save people) but it's made clear that he is absolutely ptsd-ed to hell and back -- though possibly he was this kind of person all along -- and that his pursuit of these goals is not exactly noble or admirable. It's really fascinating to watch him, because he draws people in with his determined face and encouraging speeches and then you realize that he doesn't care that much about teambuilding or saving the world or anything like that, he just wants to kill every single Titan, every last one, and keep his last remaining family alive.

...which is really interesting! I keep using that word, and I keep talking about the main dude more than I mean to, but yeah. I didn't think I'd like him at all, and I didn't at first, but then I gradually realized that he was absolutely fucking nuts and I was like oh. huh. this dude is not as boring as i thought.

Also, I hear that the ladies who showed up a couple episodes ago are actually canonically girlfriends? YAY. \o/
esmenet: Korra kicking ass from the LoK trailer (korra kicks ass)
Watching the Shin Cutey Honey opening (definitely NSFW) is making me happy! Because I feel like basically all the 'good-looking' ladies in anime, especially these days, are built to one certain model. But the Cutey Honey of this show seems to have bigger shoulders and thighs and arms to go with the T&A, and I like that.

Most of the older shows that have more of this type of character model are very much not shows I am into, so I'm glad there's a version of Cutey Honey with this body type!
esmenet: a rainbow rose (rainbow rose)
So, I have been watching Re: Cutie Honey! And enjoying it quite a bit. I love the animation style, love (most of) the characters, love the colors, love the music. I even like the T & A, which is rare for me. Usually panty-shots and obvious cleavage and that sort of thing really, really bother me, but when it comes to things like this I am apparently just fine with it.

Possible reasons include: a) there is no actual male gaze! Most of the manga (not so much anime, since I avoid that genre of animation like the plague) where I've seen really ecchi stuff has a male protagonist, and when you see that stuff it's because of where they're looking. It feels creepy as fuck, because it's like I'm complicit in his sexist fantasies. Not so in Re: Cutie Honey. :D

b) the female characters don't make a big deal out of it! So Honey's clothes got torn off again, so what. Natsuko is damn well going to do more important things, like shoot stuff.

c) In the first episode there is this great, great scene where Honey is basically wearing bits of string. She goes to a cafe with this guy, still without actual clothes, and eats an enormous meal and talks to him like it ain't no thing. Even he acts like she's just wearing a low-cut shirt or something; they have a totally normal and reasonable conversation about her father and nano-machines. This is not a show where the narrative treats nudity as 'boobs, whatever' (unlike Basara) so it's very refreshing to see some of the characters doing so for a while.

d) Honey and Natsuko. They are all about each other and their respective jobs; there is no point whatsoever at which they flirt with dudes, or put up with dudes' shit if they try to flirt with them. While technically-speaking the show's nudity is aimed at guys (I don't think this is the sort of show that was advertised super-heavily to women) it sure doesn't feel like it.

Also, here feels like an appropriate place to mention that Natsuko is the only member of the police who actually accomplishes anything. She is the goddamn savior of the Japanese police force, no matter what those old dudes try to foist off on her.

e) The T & A aren't in the usual ecchi 'sexy sexy' art style. They're just, you know, there. And bouncy.

Other fabulous things: The music! There are all these variations on the opening theme that get used for battle music and such, and they're all pretty fantastic. I'm going to go hunt for mp3s at some point, I think.

Have I mentioned Natsuko? I mean, I know I did, but I don't think I mentioned her enough. She is badass and cool and she is like a cross between Hiruma of Eyeshield 21 and various Cowboy Bebop characters. Or possibly Michiko of Michiko e Hatchin, it's too late at night for me to be sure. But she is a hard-hitting lady of much shouting and many guns, and I kind of adore her.

She is also Honey's girlfriend! Sort of. Eventually. It's really sweet, despite all the (plot-necessitated) nudity.

The other policemen! Apparently the Japanese police force consists of Natsuko, a bunch of old dudes who try to order her around, her two sidekicks, and a bunch of adorable knee-height chibis in uniform. SO CUTE.

The reason the bad guys dissolve when you kill them is because they are made of NANO-MACHINES.

James Bond shoe-phone.

Basically, if you like the kind of things I like, and you are okay with animated women who are often rather lacking in clothing, this show is for you. Here is the opening, if you would like to see for yourself. (Note: the actual OVA contains a lot less of Honey looking upset/getting perved on and a lot more of her and Natsuko kicking ass.)
esmenet: pre-series Anthy, with swords (the princess cave)
I am going to have mixed feelings when the local library's anime club stops showing Gundam Wing. On the one hand, I will have to go to the effort of actually finding the DVDs and blocking out new space in my nonexistent timetable to watch them. On the other hand, I will no longer have to put up Mr DudeBro Jr & his friends saying that all the GW women suck.

(No, I was not glaring daggers at them, because I was too busy watching Relena on the screen. I'M SORRY YOU AREN'T COOL ENOUGH TO REALIZE HER AMAZINGNESS, YOUNG MAN.*)

On a completely different topic, I think I may have finally figured out the posting etiquette of Tumblr? It's not just posting pictures, it is also posting/reblogging pictures or quotes or videos and your reaction to them. Thank goodness, because I can never really do just pictures.

On a third unrelated subject, is it bad to hold a huge giant grudge against a fic for ending in excessive heteronormativity? I just read a lovely pair of DC/MK fics (the two long ones by this author), positively adoring the fact that Kaito didn't really like being Kid, and then the veeery last chapter showed all the characters except for two in happy soon-to-be-married heterosexual bliss, and the first of the two (never shown to be interested in anything remotely resembling romance, save his first canonical appearance) was gifted with a very wink-wink nudge-nudge "oh, I'm sure he'll find someone soon" comment by our lovely POV character. I really liked the rest of the fic, but . . . ASEXUAL SMASH.

I feel like this sort of thing happens way too often, but I can't think of any other examples of such shoehorned heteronormativity.

*They did kind of shut up while/after we were watching the episode where Darlian died, though. I guess ladies need explosives to be cool, or something? *eyeroll*
esmenet: Utena and Akio duelling (akio vs. utena)
My Utena boxsets have arrived! Suddenly having the best day ever.

Excuse me, I have interviews to read and extras to poke at. If I should happen to disappear for several days, you know where to find me.
esmenet: one hand held in two others (hands)
Two-and-a-half episodes in, and I am enjoying Creamy Mami a lot more than I expected to! Especially for something that came out eleven years before I was born. I like that it's not a fighting show, the way magical girl things usually are—not that I don't like those fighting shows, but they feel very formulaic. Creamy Mami is quite different; the main plot so far concerns her reluctant recruitment as a singer for an idol company. It's pretty eighties (well, as much as I can recognize as eighties) which probably makes it better rather than worse.

Also, and this is kind of a shallow reason, but I really love the main character's hair. Her character design as a whole is pretty cute, actually. If I'm not careful I might start looking for Creamy Mami everything the way I look for Hello Kitty everything.

I would be okay with this, I think.
esmenet: Mugen with his sword over his shoulder, Jin with his at his side. From the opening of Samurai Champloo. (the voice of summer)
I am enjoying Uta no Prince-sama quite a bit! In related news, the only way episode four could have been more of an Utena reference was if they'd found an occasion for Ren to actually say "Baby, you light my heart on fire."

Also, the violin-playing in the opening isn't totally unbelievable! I used to think that no animators in the world actually had a clue about how stringed instruments worked. (Hint: the bow does not go over the fingerboard! There are only four strings, not six. Moving the bow slowly back and forth will not magically produce staccato eighth notes. Et cetera.) These ones also seem to have a reasonable idea of pianos and saxophones! It's very exciting.

The only thing I take issue with, actually, is the lyrics. I know it's idol music & it is not known for the deepest, most meaningful phrasing, but after spending two days listening almost exclusively to Florence + The Machine, Janelle Monae, and Marina and The Diamonds, it almost physically hurts to listen to such fluffy, peppy variations on the 'teenage love song' theme. Mood whiplash to the extreme.
esmenet: A slightly battered white wooden sign on a brick wall, reading "NO SEX PLEASE" (no sex please)
This is the first time I've ever been in a fandom that has just one totally obvious m/m pairing, and it's kind of weirding me out. I'm used to being in fandoms that have lots of ships, or one het ship (well, okay, that's really just Gokusen), or no ships at all.

It's interesting to see the difference between the fandom for something like T&B and the fandom for something like Natsume Yuujinchou, which has a totally obvious threesome and a separate fairly obvious m/m pairing but a roughly equal ratio of gen:romance fic. On the other hand, Gokusen fic has about the same ratios as T&B, except Gokusen fic is usually funnier. (This is probably because Gokusen as a whole is funnier, not because Gokusen fic is better.)

The kind of topics I (would) really enjoy in Tiger & Bunny fic: Karina & her singing, Kaede finding out her dad is a hero, the hardships of hero life in general (are you allowed to tell your non-hero friends about your secret identity? would you even want to? what happens if you die? what's it like, all your closest friends/acquaintences also being your rivals?), Kotetsu & Barnaby roommate hijinks, why Fire Emblem enjoys playing to the gay stereotypes so much, Kaede & Barnaby's first meeting.

But now I've read a lot of the fic and I think I found all the genfic there was. :( NOT ENOUGH.
esmenet: Kanae standing at a window (kanae)

Not that this is really anything new, I cry at things all the time, but out of all the things I'm watching right now I didn't think this would be the first one.

esmenet: Mugen, Fuu, and Jin, with the caption "Go Team!" (go team!)
In past twenty-four hours, have taken breaks from Tiger & Bunny for:

a) yoga class

b) food

c) sleep & bath

d) pushups

e) this post.

Am still sad it is not in fact the crossbreed of Kimi wa Petto and K-On! as title led me to assume, but not very.

ETA: This is not counting the 'embarrassment squick' breaks, of which I have taken several. BUT STILL.
esmenet: Pinkie Pie crossing her eyes and grinning (XD)
My favorite part of Seirei no Moribito so far—keeping in mind that it's hard to differentiate between 'amazing' and 'slightly more amazing'—is the short period of time where the main characters essentially go undercover-in-plain-sight AS A NUCLEAR FAMILY. Everyone is all domestic together and it's adorable, and meanwhile we all know that they are a badass lady bodyguard and a supposedly-dead prince and a . . . okay, Tanda is still Tanda. BUT APART FROM HIM: sekrit fugitives of awesome!

I am like eight episodes past this part of the plot, but it's still floating around in my head. I love things where awesome amazing famous people hide as/become ordinary people with ordinary lives. All the political stuff is interesting, as are the bits about the water fiend and Nayug & Sagu, but. I have kind of a thing about people being domestic, okay.

I'm glad this anime is based off of novels, because it means that when I've watched all of it I still have some Balsa to hold in reserve for later. It's actually kind of blowing my mind, the concept of a) books that I know for sure are totally lacking in fail which I have not yet read, that are not b) Twelve Kingdoms.
esmenet: a rainbow rose (rainbow rose)
Just watched the first episode of Suite Precure, and it is fabulous. The main characters are in high school, so it's a little bit serious, and the animation is positively gorgeous. (Well, save the CG, but you can't have everything.) Also, it is about MUSIC, which automatically makes me predisposed to like it. The villains are suitably scenery-chewing, and their stated motivation is to sink the world into the depths of sorrow, but the real reason is probably just wanting all the music to be written in a minor key (something I can certainly sympathize with!). The Precure transformation sequence takes forever, but it's pretty enough and subsequent ones may be shorter. Also, don't look now, but I think there may be CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT on the horizon! Though it's a bit early to tell.

It's interesting watching this alongside Futari wa Pretty Cure and having watched some of Heartcatch Precure. In the first series, the girls started out pretty reluctant and needed to be convinced. In Suite and Heartcatch, they just go right ahead. Then again, in the first one they don't get attacked straight off; in the newer two, they need to save someone or something just as or right after they discover their powers.

Speaking of that, Suite is the only series in which I can actually imagine the characters holding onto their powers as they get older. I have no idea what their powers actually are, but I imagine they're the sort of thing that would make for hilarious hijinks at concerts when they become famous musicians or whatever.
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Kabuto)
I'm rewatching Initial D in the hopes of actually finishing it this time, and . . .

Well . . .

fdas;ljkdsjf NATSUKI IS SO CUTE. Seriously, she kills me with the adorable-ness. "Nee, Takumi, let's go on a nice long drive this summer! To the ocean! And I have a new bathing suit and I dragged you up to the roof just so I could tell you this!" I just want to hug her. D'awwwwww.

Sadly, from what people have told me she doesn't show up as much after First Stage. :( I might just not watch the others.
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
I just found out Kaworu's seiyuu, Ishida Akira, is the same guy who did Hikari/Hiwatari Satoshi in D.N.Angel. It's been years since I've watched that show, yet the voice was still familiar . . . (Also, he seems to have done several Yaoi Guys/Ho Yay-ish characters apart from those two. Wheeeeee! Homoeroticism, Yay, indeed.)
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
When I listened to the GeekNights episode on Eva, and they mentioned Utena's symbolism, I thought they were kidding.

Nope. Not at all. I got to episode 21 a little bit ago and there really was a BEEPING, FLASHING HAND ON THE SCREEN POINTING AT THE SYMBOLIC THINGS. That episode is awesome just because of that. I'm not sure why that makes it awesome, but it does. Squee.


esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)

May 2016

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