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Watch & Learn: [C] - CONTROL #9 + MUSHI-SHI #15

Chaos escalates in [C] and this may have to be the last episode of MUSHI-SHI that I watch.

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

The dog's doing what a lot of you already wanted to.
The dog's doing what a lot of you already wanted to.

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.

MUSHI-SHI #15

The kid's wandered into a Fabreeze commercial.
The kid's wandered into a Fabreeze commercial.

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.

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

zaldaron July 8, 2011 at 4:07 p.m.
having watched all most all of C now, it doesn't end things as well as I would have liked.  It will drive discussion I think, but it could have been more satisfying.  As for mushi I am enjoying read about it but all ready following to many shows as I am following c, steins gate, and Lotte but hope to watch it some day as it does sound interesting if more episodic.  
 
The main question in C is when is the cure worse than the disease?  Have you watched the directors comments, I've been waiting until I watch all of the show, but I expect that might be interesting.  Oh and yeah...many of us did want to take the place of the dog...I've been to scared to do a search for "C" hentai on google image but I expect it all ready exists...I think I might go do that search next...shall I post here what i find? ;)
 
Oh and I asked some questions about Singapore in the last episode that I'd love to talk about!
Fat_Magnumon July 8, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
Oh damn, first  paragraph for C sounded familiar....  vaguely. 
 
Yeah, it's all being 'heavy, bro!' with its analogous bits 'round here. I was also expecting it to turn into some super epic format of a show at this point and was a bit jarred by it's brevity. Either way, I like it a lot. 
 
In regards to that image and caption: Goddammit, Tom.  
 
You got it all wrong, Q is the babe, brah. Oh yeah!(randy savage voice)  
 
@zaldar: AV already has this in its image gallery if you like, though it ain't no hentai of course. It's enough to make me averse to it, though. 
 
I sound like such a white knight... only for Mashu =P
Rexicon July 8, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.
I implore you to not end mushi shi with the next episode.to add more discussion you could possibly have them be how you did this column,with both the series episode.It would be a waste to not see mushi-shi to the end.
Rxanaduon July 8, 2011 at 8:15 p.m.
I actually respect [C] a bit more due to your description of the Southeast Asia incident.  Never would have thought that would be how they represent the sudden effect recession has on entire countries. 
 
As for Mushi-shi: I actually don't mind if you stopped here with the series.  Despite my admiration of the series, it is basically the same episode in terms of story structure.  Regrettably, Ginko doesn't have a cheesy one-liner to spout off at the beginning of every episode. 
 
I'm guessing you'll be going to another of the shows you liked during the previous voting process.  I'm guessing you'll go for Claymore, but I could be wrong. 
  
 
@zaldar
: Speaking of Steins;Gate, I finally found some time to watch the series, and I'm loving it now... OK not right now, since... you know... ;(  
 
However, I looked into the series and found out the show's based on a visual novel game that came out in '09 for the 360.  So, technically, the entire story is out for you to spoil for yourself, if you're into that sort of thing.  I know it is for me, which is why, after watching the first episode again, everything else makes sense. 
 
Also, I watched the anime adaptation for the supposed prequel to Steins, Chaos;Head, and found it to be kinda bad.  Pretty interesting episode near the end of the series, though, dealing with braaaains
 
Finally, I finished Haibane-Renmei a few weeks ago, and wanted to talk to you about how everything comes together for a generally religious experience.  Despite my Catholic upbringing, I still found some things hard to follow.  If you want, we could talk about it privately.
zaldaron July 8, 2011 at 9:32 p.m.
Oh no by all means start a thread on it and link me to it!  Really my all time favorite show and want to give it as much exposure as possible.  You are right how it ends makes the whole thing a religious experience.  The con I have mentioned before that is more intellectual than most had the creator from Japan over....I found out about it a week before it happened...and it was at a bad time work wise for me.  But I made it work, as going to see him was like a pilgrimage.  There is a site dedicated to it that I need to refind the link to, some interesting theories there.
 
As for steins gate yeah it is awesome and should SO be the next show he chooses to follow.  Talk about the potential for discussion time travel and the mysterious stuff it creates will always create discussion, and yeah...the most recent episodes are sad...not into spoilers so not getting any stuff from the visual novel, but maybe manga gamer will pick it up at some point and I'll uh...hmm read and listen to it (you really don't play those).  Anyway link me to the thread when you start in on HR...I may even find time to watch it again..I could use some of its uplifting right now.
Dunchadon July 9, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.

Well if you like the show, you shouldn't drop it. But if you'd rather watch something else - feel free.

I like reading your comments about the shows, but I can't really contribute much myself. I've pretty much seen everything already and since all the videos you post are only available in the US (or at least they're not available here), I can't even rewatch them just like that.

Though it is weird how inactive these threads seem - I think there should be more AV users out there, but they rarely show up to comment on these W&Ls. I guess the problem is with the animes you've chosen - they lack characters that could be used in hypothetical battles. Maybe you can post your next Watch & Learn with a title: "Kimimaro vs. Ginko" - maybe that'll trick them into commenting. How will Msyu's flations fare against Ginko's mushi? :P

thekokapellion July 9, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.
i still think it's worthwhile to continue with mushishi if only because of how eastern it is, and that's part of what makes it so unique.  we can absorb a lot about japanese ideologies from it, especially that whole mono no aware thing, which seems to be a reoccurring theme in the show.  of course, you could make the argument all japanese media is about mono no aware to some extent, just as you'd be hardpressed to find an american film that isn't about redemption isn't in some way, but i think mushishi is one of the stronger examples.
Fat_Magnumon July 9, 2011 at 12:50 p.m.
@dunchad: I try to comment on all these since I've been here =O 
 
But, yeah, I've only been checking out the C ones. I should give more love to other of Tom's efforts.
 
W-wait a minute... do I feel the urge to debate whether Mashu could beat someone in a battle? I proudly asserted myself as a cynical eye-roller of such silliness as soon as I made an account here and checked out the battle forums.
 
B-but she totally could... Overheated Economy! She get's weak after using that... WTF am I saying?! This anime stuff is making me.... an anime fan apparently, nothing wrong with that =P 
ZombiePieon July 9, 2011 at 11 p.m.

How much time did you put into your last Mushi-shi article and still only got one comment? That's a shame you put in too much effort to only get one comment. A lot of times people don't have a lot to say when they agree with your opinion try being an asshole more often. I kid.

By all means don't let us monopolize your time if you don't think the show isn't sparking the discussion you want them to.

Rexicon July 10, 2011 at 7:19 p.m.
couldnt you just do mushi shi once every week then?like fairy tail?

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