We're all still recovering from the double whammy of AX2011 and July 4th weekend. I've been keeping up with these two mind-shredders all the while but, seeing as how it's been a few days since I've posted about either of them, I figured it was best to hit you lunatics with a double whammy of my own.
[C] - CONTROL #9
Ha! It’s a good thing I left Singapore when I did. At this moment, I could be wiped out of existence… and then who’d be here to watch and learn with you?
As was the case with every episode of TATAMI GALAXY, this draws my mind back to college, specifically to a macro-econ. As bizarre as it sounds, I got a tremendous amount of personal benefit out of micro. Applying cost-benefit analysis to my lifestyle led to me losing 40 pounds and - - through a clear line of causality - - to writing for you right now. Macro, however, was a wee harder to apply to everyday life and one consistent source of confusion I had was over what exactly causes a prosperous GDP. Is it policy or chaos? My professor seemed to be giving conflicting explanations, so I finally asked the TA about it, straight-up, and he said that it was the million-dollar question of the field. Economists will forever disagree about which is ultimately more important and whether a president can ever be deemed responsible for a strong or weak economy. If there's any kind of consensus, it'd be that a leader can either make a bad economy worse or only slightly improve it, or he can conversely botch a good economy or ride it to even greater prosperity.
In other words, the economy’s decided by policy’s intersection with chaos.
Perhaps that’s a long preamble, but these are the thoughts this show provokes in me. Mikuni’s agenda has finally been revealed and there’s just a terrible sense of inevitability as he tries to bargain Southeast Asia out of the more terrible consequences of what’s essentially a natural disaster. In the broad terms of a metaphor, it does certainly call to mind the seemingly all-nullifying powers of a recession - - how it makes it feel like the Sun coming up tomorrow isn't even guaranteed.
I didn't realize this was one going to be such a short series. It feels like they've got a tall order to fulfill over the next couple episodes but, even if it does somehow botch things, I'll give this show a whole stack of credit for giving me this much food for thought.
Watch this episode “Collapse" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.
Funny thing about storytelling in anime is how it’s the norm for a TV show to be finite. You’ve got your mini-series on American TV, sure, but it’s rare to find something that’s designed, specifically, to only last for a season. Even for series that purport to have some over-arching plans, you get the sense that a lot it was made up on the fly with a hope to ride the train for as long as audiences would allow. On the whole, TV’s episodic. Columbo solves a case in one episode with his trademark M.O., and it has no bearing on the case in the next episode. That makes for easy viewing - - you can watch it whenever you feel like it - - but it doesn’t make for good water cooler talk. Or message board discussion.
All that preamble’s just a long way of explaining why I plan to drop MUSHI-SHI with the next episode. The series has been a wonderful change of pace, so far, but it might be too great of a change, because it’s not getting as good of discussion going as, say, CODE GEASS did. After watching this, the most I can speculate about later episodes is that maybe Ginko might get himself a lady since the sleepy kid’s sister obviously seemed more than eager to have him around (and not just to keep the mushi under control.) If such an interruption upsets you, then please cry bloody murder in the talkback. Discussion is what drives this column.
Anyway, it’ll be a pity if I do have to stop the show, as I thought this mushi-fueled spin on mirages/oasis’s was one of the better episodes. Not only was it funny to see Ginko coming to his wit’s end as he dealt with a kid with a short attention span, it was also unusual to hear him finally speak about the inherent appeal (and occasional positivity) of these critters who cause so much misery. Sooner or later, the mushi were going to prove good for something, weren’t they? For lifeforms that are supposed to be amoral, they do seem to be malevolent almost all the time.
Watch this episode “Pretense of Spring" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.