“Possibility, or what we refer to as Imagination, is 99% imitation. The real deal is only 1%”
-Kouhei Kadono, as translated by Andrew Cunningham, Boogiepop Returns VS Imaginator Part 1
A little while back, 2-D Teleidoscope read Zaregoto book 1 and brought up the interesting fact that as he read it, he imagined the world and characters as an anime. Light novels feature illustrations in definitive anime/manga style and often feature characters and situations that seem to be torn right out of those mediums, so it’s only natural that we would visualize them that way – however, when I thought back on the images in my head from reading Zaregoto, I noticed something odd. The characters looked like anime, and the situations played out in an anime-like way, but the world itself looked nothing like anything I’ve seen in anime.
It’s no surprise at all to find that many people cannot stomach Texhnoolyze, most commonly by the reasoning that it is ‘boring’. I can’t blame anyone for thinking so – it’s an incredibly slow and ruthlessly dense experience, and written by Chiaki J. Konaka who never seems interested in letting anyone watch his shows easily. I, however, do not find Texhnolyze boring at all. ‘Boring’ would imply a certain indifference and disinterest – ‘boring’ would mean that I didn’t care. Rather, I really enjoy Texhnolyze and find it wholly interesting, but I would describe watching it as ‘physically painful.’
All too often, I see the phrase ‘animation’ getting tossed around without a proper knowledge of what the word entails. Although, for the record, I also see people talk about wanting to watch anime with ‘good graphics’ so at least most of us aren’t that bad, but nonetheless, I think a lot of people confuse a series having ‘good art’ with having ‘good animation.’ There are a lot of ways I could explain this with examples unrelated to one-another, but I think the more effective way to illustrate this is with Haibane Renmei and Texhnolyze – two shows with art designed by my favorite artist, Yoshitoshi ABe.
I wish I could say a whole lot about All You Need is Kill, but being as it’s a very brief and straightforward story, I can’t get too much into the plot without spoiling, so your best bet in learning just what this story is about exactly is to read it. I read slowly, and it took me less than 4 hours, so it’s a good plow-through, but with more than enough re-readability to be worth owning. Hopefully I can sell you on that in this review.
I am fairly certain there were 2 releases of Haibane Renmei – originally, the individual DVDs and artbox from when the company was Pioneer Entertainment, and then the much prettier box set that I am pretty sure was made during Geneon time before that company hit the can. I bought Haibane volume one with the less attractive box waaay back because I had found it cheap and I collected the DVDs over the course of about 4 years. So mine is Pioneer released, and therefor I don’t know if the content was changed for Geneon.
Before Aria came along, there wasn’t really much competition for ‘best anime town ever’ with Haibane dominating the category. Episode 2 is mostly about exploring some of the town and introducing Rakka to some of it’s facets. It’s not a full-scale town rundown, as only so much can be done in one day, but we definitely start to get a sense of things. But first things first.
I was not and am not planning to blog haibane Renmei episodically – I don’t think. I was originally just going to watch the show, but then I thought I might post after each DVD… and then I watched the first ep and found enough things that I wanted to do a post about it. However, it won’t be as stupidly insanely long as my Paranoia Agent and Boogiepop Phantom ones (I hope)
This is a carry-over discussion from my comments section on the Unrepresentative Studio Screw-ups post.
The word ‘good’ gets thrown around a lot in anime discussion, and in conjoint with various aspects of what most consider to matter in an anime. ‘Good animation’ or ‘good characters’ or ‘good directing’. Good is always taken to have an objective meaning (I won’t get too deep into that, though, since I’m sure I have too many times on this blog.) However, some of these things are totally up to opinion, while others aren’t. I’d like to explore what things should and shouldn’t be personal considerations.