I figured I’d take a break from my quest to watch the pilot of every new show on Crunchyroll and resume my quest to view every single pilot available on Hulu. Who knows when or if I’ll ever complete either goal, but after enough half-baked #1’s that make me long for the days when anime came to America through a finer filter, I really wanted to watch something that’s had a bit more of a consensus of lasting praise.
Here’s the show that rocked Alexei’s teenage world back in the 90’s. I missed this particular ship when it first went sailing, and I finally board it with a bit of trepidation. I really didn’t like TEXHNOLYZE, and I’m weary of watching a show that’s so often been praised as something “THE MATRIX totally ripped off!” by fans who are very probably carry a blithe unawareness of VIDEODROME and the Sprawl Trilogy.
There isn’t a lot going on in this opener and, for once, that actually works to the show’s benefit. There’s a palpable sense of mood and menace oozing from every artistic flourish; rendering an experience that hits on a surprisingly visceral level for all its intellectual aspirations. At points, I was planning to call this an AMV that Aphex Twin might’ve supervised, but the evocative and symbol-rich plotting really draws ERASERHEAD more to my mind. Indeed, it’s the most Lynchian anime I’ve ever seen.
Given the show’s enduring esteem, and the amount of second-hand spoilers I've already been exposed to, it feels a little futile to speculate about what comes next (especially considering that I most likely won’t get to see the rest of the series through here, either). At the least, though, it’s worth it to say that this had more color and style than the most titles in the bleached-out cyberpunk anime sub-genre that I so often have so little patience for.
Watch this episode, “Weird " here and decide for yourself.