Watch & Learn: [C] - CONTROL #6

Topic started by No_name_here on June 29, 2011. Last post by zaldar 3 years, 2 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (856 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Staff

L?
L?

Sooner or later, something in this series was going to make me think of FREAKONOMICS. There are no “freakoflation” attacks, sadly, but Yoga’s dealings with the guy who looks like L’s better-adjusted and less-threatening cousin reminded me a bit of the chapter on institutionalized cheating in sumo wrestling. Basically, the better wrestlers will take dives to those who’re one defeat away from getting dropped from the federation so as to decrease the total number of shut-outs. It’s something close to an altruistic form of fixing, but it also factors into the Japanese notions of propriety. I’m forgetting the names, but there are precise terms for the rosy reality’s everybody’s expected to convey when they speak and then the seedier reality everybody’s expected to already understand.

The FREAKNOMICS documentary asserted that the aforementioned system also prevented many other crimes from being reported. I didn’t watch all of it because I’d already the book and such talk of being “ahead of the curve” might be doubly relevant here. It’s often said that science fiction at the movies is 10-20 years behind literary science fiction, and I do feel like this is show’s got its finger on the pulse of a topic we probably won’t see “mainstream” entertainment explore for a long while. Not only is this first real work of fantasy I’ve seen that mythologizes the recent global recession, it’s also touching on the long-term consequences of social network in a meaningful way. The more people you’re connected to, the greater your responsibilities and exposure to hardship are. We see that here with the many children who are effected by the loss of Yoga’s “business casual” opponent (who takes his loss so well, too. Maybe all these guys get serious sportsmanship training from human resources?)

Maybe it was kind of cold for Yoga to go ahead with trouncing the guy after hearing out his shrewd plea to “think of the children.” Perhaps his heart’s starting to harden like it needs to? He got some sound advice about not doing the same thing for years on end (lest he end up like his co-worked at 7-11.) That’s a habit of highly successful people, right? If only he’d get enough horse sense to realize it’s dumb to step into a van.

Watch this episode “Conflict" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Post by zaldar (1,275 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Ye he does take his defeat here a little easily.  I am not sure though that he took a dive if that is what you are implying with your freakanomics reference.  One question though, why would the better sumo wrestlers want to prevent the worse ones from dropping out?  What is the benefit to them? 
 
Hadn't thought of it in social network terms, but definitely did get a to big to fail feeling from here on out in this show.  And yes anime (though somewhat behind literary science fiction) is light years ahead of mainstream American entertainment in dealing with issues.
Post by Dunchad (72 posts) See mini bio Level 7

@zaldar said:

Ye he does take his defeat here a little easily. I am not sure though that he took a dive if that is what you are implying with your freakanomics reference. One question though, why would the better sumo wrestlers want to prevent the worse ones from dropping out? What is the benefit to them? Hadn't thought of it in social network terms, but definitely did get a to big to fail feeling from here on out in this show. And yes anime (though somewhat behind literary science fiction) is light years ahead of mainstream American entertainment in dealing with issues.

I think the reference was due to the fact that it would be easy for Sennoza to pay off Kimimaro, due to their positions (Kimimaro having only a fraction of Sennoza's capital), just like Sumo wrestlers who have their required amount of wins won't mind taking a dive for someone who needs a win desperately - for a price of course. Similar situation, but sort of reversed.

Not a huge fan of this show. It seems to me like it tries to be really intellectual and draw inspiration from economics, but fails in the end. The capital should be the source of strenght here, yet they mix in some sort of physical battle as well which seems to trump everything? Also the powers of the Assets are seemingly random - some are really powerful while others are not. Though I suppose that is maybe explained later on, when they theorize on what an Asset actually is - if what they assume is true, then I guess it might makes sense that the strenght of an Asset varies from one person to another.

The ending was pretty disappointing as well - the show is way too ambitious for its length and thus never answers some questions. And I thought the final fight had some inconsistencies as well. Will be interesting to see what you'll think of it once you've seen the latter half of the series.

Post by Rxanadu (83 posts) See mini bio Level 7
@zaldar: As I recall from the Freakonomics movie, the sumos usually started training in a small community house with other amateur wrestlers.  Once they go pro, the more experienced wrestlers would feel a sense of camaraderie towards lesser pro wrestlers from either their community house or other houses and would aid them by throwing a match to help the lesser pro earn a higher rank.  It may have grown to something more perverse like in boxing, where someone of great importance would get the pro to throw the match for the "up and comer" to look good, while the pro gets a large sum of money under the table, so to speak.
Post by zaldar (1,275 posts) See mini bio Level 15
Oh yes I didn't mention the noodles...someone else said after this episode they couldn't help them selves from thinking about the size of the whole in the card *facedesk* anime does seem to attract such odd people sometimes.
 
The strength of the various assests is explained if you think about it a little.  The amount of capitol comes into play in the battles by the capitol being used to power the assests moves.  So yes the more capital you have the more powerful you are.  (but someone with less capitol can still beat you, just like in real bussiness if they have a better idea, more work ethic, ect).  So I think the metaphors hold up pretty well.  Ending was a bit dissapointing yes and it could have used another season.
 
Ambition though is never bad, I much prefer something like this with unrealized potential than another k-on clone (especially when I could have done without the first one to begin with)
Post by Dunchad (72 posts) See mini bio Level 7

@zaldar said:

Oh yes I didn't mention the noodles...someone else said after this episode they couldn't help them selves from thinking about the size of the whole in the card *facedesk* anime does seem to attract such odd people sometimes. The strength of the various assests is explained if you think about it a little. The amount of capitol comes into play in the battles by the capitol being used to power the assests moves. So yes the more capital you have the more powerful you are. (but someone with less capitol can still beat you, just like in real bussiness if they have a better idea, more work ethic, ect). So I think the metaphors hold up pretty well. Ending was a bit dissapointing yes and it could have used another season. Ambition though is never bad, I much prefer something like this with unrealized potential than another k-on clone (especially when I could have done without the first one to begin with)

But how do you explain the fact that Msyu gets tired after using her moves, despite still having enough capital left to play around with? Also where do those "money swords" come into play - how is it that an Entres physical abilities can determine the outcome of an fight based on economic principles? Could just be that my accountant's brain is too inflexible to get all these analogies - but I found the fighting rather nonsensical most of the time.

Why did the weakening of Yen give Msyu an advantage instead of weakening her as well? The last battle seemed really weird in how they were just spouting their own ideals at each other and the previously established combat system was pretty much abandoned - at least it seemingly had no effect on who won the fight.

And shame on you for picking on Yui. K-ON! is really good and funny slice of life anime - like you said, there're several clones around that are just no good. Offhand I can think of only few enjoyable ones in last 5 years like SoreMachi, Hidamari Sketch, Minami-ke, Hyakko and Lucky Star - and K-ON! is definitely the best of them. It's almost up there with Azumanga Daioh as far as humour goes and remains to date the only 4koma I've read.

Isn't it more likely that you just don't care for the whole genre, rather than having anything against K-ON! in particular?

Post by Rxanadu (83 posts) See mini bio Level 7
@dunchad said:

@zaldar said:

Oh yes I didn't mention the noodles...someone else said after this episode they couldn't help them selves from thinking about the size of the whole in the card *facedesk* anime does seem to attract such odd people sometimes. The strength of the various assests is explained if you think about it a little. The amount of capitol comes into play in the battles by the capitol being used to power the assests moves. So yes the more capital you have the more powerful you are. (but someone with less capitol can still beat you, just like in real bussiness if they have a better idea, more work ethic, ect). So I think the metaphors hold up pretty well. Ending was a bit dissapointing yes and it could have used another season. Ambition though is never bad, I much prefer something like this with unrealized potential than another k-on clone (especially when I could have done without the first one to begin with)

But how do you explain the fact that Msyu gets tired after using her moves, despite still having enough capital left to play around with? Also where do those "money swords" come into play - how is it that an Entres physical abilities can determine the outcome of an fight based on economic principles? Could just be that my accountant's brain is too inflexible to get all these analogies - but I found the fighting rather nonsensical most of the time.

Why did the weakening of Yen give Msyu an advantage instead of weakening her as well? The last battle seemed really weird in how they were just spouting their own ideals at each other and the previously established combat system was pretty much abandoned - at least it seemingly had no effect on who won the fight.

And shame on you for picking on Yui. K-ON! is really good and funny slice of life anime - like you said, there're several clones around that are just no good. Offhand I can think of only few enjoyable ones in last 5 years like SoreMachi, Hidamari Sketch, Minami-ke, Hyakko and Lucky Star - and K-ON! is definitely the best of them. It's almost up there with Azumanga Daioh as far as humour goes and remains to date the only 4koma I've read.

Isn't it more likely that you just don't care for the whole genre, rather than having anything against K-ON! in particular?

 
As far as the money swords and the whole concept of the "deals" in the Financial District: maybe the writers were really into SMT games and just needed to fill their show with stuff like that.  Who knows?  Just be glad they didn't add Igor and the Social Links. 
Now about "slice of life" shows akin to K-ON:  I haven't really seen my share of those shows, so I don't even know where to start.  I stopped watching "Honey and Clover" halfway through the third episode; I'm surprised I got through two of the three "Nodame Cantabile" series without destroying my brain; I watched some of "Good Bye, Mr. Despair" (the one with the suicidal teacher in a kimono-type robe) and kinda liked that.  Maybe one day, I'll find myself knee-deep in the second season of K-ON and not even care.
Post by Dunchad (72 posts) See mini bio Level 7

@rxanadu said:

Now about "slice of life" shows akin to K-ON: I haven't really seen my share of those shows, so I don't even know where to start. I stopped watching "Honey and Clover" halfway through the third episode; I'm surprised I got through two of the three "Nodame Cantabile" series without destroying my brain; I watched some of "Good Bye, Mr. Despair" (the one with the suicidal teacher in a kimono-type robe) and kinda liked that. Maybe one day, I'll find myself knee-deep in the second season of K-ON and not even care.

We really have differing tastes. Hachimitsu to Clover and Nodame Cantabile are some of my favourite series ever - but I don't really consider them slice of life. They're both really funny, but both have actual substance to them. H&C is about art college students, their relationships and trials as they go toward adulthood, while Nodame is about Shinichi who is a genius when it comes to music and his desire to become a conductor and Nodame who is pretty much a crazy person, but with a ton of talent with the piano, and their relationship. They're both filled with drama, tragedy and strong emotions - which are the antithesis of slice of life.

A proper slice of life is a series that doesn't really have any real story - each episode is just a snapshot of the lives of the characters. It's without any deeper meaning. There may be some progression, like say, entering a high school at the beginning and ending with graduation - but the high school is just the setting in which everything happens. I like the genre a lot because it's sort of a relief to watch it. There's no sinister plot going on. Any drama that happens gets resolved quickly and episodes end with a happy note. Episodes are full of comedy and slapstick, interesting and hilarious characters and all sorts of whacky happenings. Watching them just makes you feel happy - they work perfectly as a palate cleanser after some heavy and serious anime, or just to brighten up the day.

A good way to get started in the wonderful world of slice of life might be Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran - at first glance it looks like a humourous samurai story set in feudal japan, but once you start watching it, it soon becomes apparent that's it's very slice of lifeish. Despite the setting, it manages to be quite a relaxing watch.

Post by zaldar (1,275 posts) See mini bio Level 15
@dunchad: If I am going to take the time to watch something I want it to make me think and I want it to warp my brain a little.  So yes things like Ghost in the Shell, C, and Noein are much more what I enjoy than K-on which I pretty much despise.  As for the particular things you mentioned in the battle, think about it this way.  The physical abilities take the place here of intelligence and creative bussiness sense.  Someone with less capital in a business situation can win if they are creative and have a good idea see, Steve Jobs, and Microsoft for example.  As for getting tired that is just to continue the metaphor.  If slice of life relaxing moe stuff is what you like then this probably isn't going to be to your taste.
 
Eva, Ghost in the Shell, Texnolyze, and Hanibai Renmei are some of my favorite shows.  Actually rxa you were watching Hanibai were you not?  How is that going?
Post by Dunchad (72 posts) See mini bio Level 7

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