CalAggie (Level 15)

looking forward to the World Cup starting next month
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Gawker Media blog io9 recently posted a list of "The Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows" and its validity was criticized fairly quickly by some of the people I follow on Twitter including ALF ranking ahead of GitS: SAC and Get Smart being listed at all (at #67) since it doesn't seem like it fits in the category. (I guess the site thinks tech counts as sci-fi, which I'm so-so about, or spying part of fantasy, to which I'd say "no".) Though I'm not a big fan of the increasing practice of "listbaiting", I'm also often curious to see what made certain lists so I suppose they've got me in their traps.
 
(Each section, for your convenience: 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100)
  
Here are the animated entries that made their list: 

#14 - Futurama
#15 - The Tick (animated series)
#23 - Cowboy Bebop

This gritty, fun anime series about bounty hunters in the 22nd century probably helped inspire Firefly, and it definitely gave us one of the most memorable characters in science fiction — the super-fighter with a dark past, Spike Spiegel.   

#28 - Venture Bros.
#29 - Batman Beyond
#35 - Robotech

The show that helped introduced space opera to a whole new generation (along with Starblazers), Robotech gave us humans struggling against not one, but three alien invasions, using bootstrapped alien technology. And more importantly — super robot armor.

#46 - Invader Zim
#60 - Starblazers

A plucky crew of humans takes to space in the sunken battleship Yamato, repurposed as a spacecraft, in this melodramatic, thrilling animated space opera. The crew of the Yamato are never anything less than awesome, and the show really gives a feeling of space travel being slow and dangerous — but the show's real standouts are the villains, especially the sly Desslok and the chilling Comet Empire.     

#61 - The Jetsons
#89 - Transformers
#91 - Static Shock (I'd honestly forgotten about this show!) 

The Big Bang, an industrial accident in the city of Dakota, turns many of the city's residents into powerful metahumans. Though many "Bang Babies" use their newfound powers for evil, quick-witted teenager Virgil Hawkins uses his electromagnetic powers to fight crime, aided by the gadgets built by his genius best friend, Richie. But it's trickier hiding his identity as Static Shock from his widowed father Robert and strong-willed sister Sharon. Even amidst a glut of superhero cartoons, this is one of the most memorable.

#93 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 

#94 - Serial Experiments Lain 

Shy junior-high school girl Lain is living a quiet life — until she gets an email from her dead classmate Chisa Yomoda, who claims she's not dead, but has just transcended the flesh world and moved to cyberspace. Lain gets drawn into a journey of cyber-discovery, hallucination and weirdness, as she's encouraged to ditch her flesh body and help bring down the walls between our world and the cyber-world. Trippy and bizarre, Serial Experiments may be the best cyberspace-as-drugs show ever.

#96 - Aeon Flux 

Aeon Flux originally debuted on MTV's Liquid Television as a series of shorts about Aeon Flux, the bondage-clad agent of an anarchist nation battling the forces of the restrictive Bregna government, only to be repeatedly thwarted by her own death. But Aeon eventually got her own half-hour show, where she locked horns (and occasionally naughty bits) with her nemesis Trevor Goodchild in a surreal, disturbing, and yet sexy dystopian future.    

#97 - Thundercats 

#99 - Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 

Cybernetic police officer Motoko Kusanagi keeps New Port City safe from cybercriminals, maniacs and terrorists, using an array of surveillance toys that includes optical camouflage and mini-tanks called tachikomas, while she tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious "Laughing Man" incident. It's been praised as one of the most fully realized cyberpunk futures, and for having the best depiction of cyberspace environments, ever created. Plus, cyborgs with tanks versus mysterious cybercriminals FTW!

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Here I am again, writing about anime characters appearing on "best X" lists. I generally dislike the general concept of list stories, especially if individual items are broken up into their own "slideshow" pages (such as UGO and Forbes) but I feel like I should mention whenever anime/manga characters make appearances in such features.

Matt Atchitchy of Rotten Tomatoes ran a Total Recall column about the 50 best movie robots in commemoration with the release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in theaters and Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell) placed 12th, ahead of Maria from Metropolis but behind Tom Servo & Crow T. Robot from Mystery Science Theater 3000. His blurb about her:
In our opinion, Trinity from The Matrix owes more than a little bit to Major Kusanagi. They both wear tight clothes and they both are willing to jump through the windows of office towers.
The other list I want to mention is Penthouse's "Vixens of Fiction" feature. Though this one doesn't seem to be intentionally ranked like RT's was, Motoko appears at #27 while Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop) shows up a little later at #29.
27 MAJOR MOTOKO KUSANAGI 
From her oversize breasts to her long legs, this deeply intelligent beauty in Ghost in the Shell has the best cybernetic body we’ve seen. She’s also very well-armed. 

[...]

29 FAYE VALENTINE
Hot pants have gone out of style, sadly, but this curvy bounty hunter in Cowboy Bebop sports bright yellow ones most of the time, and oozes sex—and sarcasm. That ain’t no crime.
Both are among my favorite female characters from anime/manga but even if they weren't, I don't think I'd mind their appearances in either list. Other comments about the Penthouse list are I had forgotten that Maleficent was the villain in Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty and I'd never heard of Brenda Starr before since the comic strip doesn't run in the local papers.

P.S. Since the last four lists I've linked to have been about women, I should try to find at least one about dudes, "hunks", or male characters in general for a sense of gender equality or some similar ideal!
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C.T. Smith cosplay
C.T. Smith cosplay
Since I misplaced the jacket that would have been a key part of an America (Hetalia) costume, I bought some reading glasses and ties earlier this week for a C.T. Smith (Zombie Powder) costume, which I have wanted to do for a couple years. I haven't been able to find a silver pistol around so I'm not going to sweat it - it'd have to be peace-bonded anyway. I doubt many people will recognize it at first glance but if they do, I'll be glad. I'll be wearing it on Saturday and possibly street clothes on Sunday. It'd be interesting to see a Wolfina cosplayer sometime with a Tripod of Justice.



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[cross-posted from Nigorimasen!]

A few days ago, I read something from ANN’s The Gallery series for the first time. In that series, they profile fan artists that could use a bit more exposure and this time it was about Stephanie Kao. I’d never heard of her before but she said some things I’d like to comment on, particularly since I’m going to a con this weekend and will take at least one cursory walk through Artists’ Alley.

Kao mentioned having to deal with negative reactions to her art style - a mix of traditional, anthro, and anime influences - from both the anime and the anthro (aka “furry”) fan communities. The first time it came up, she admitted it wasn’t easy to stick with the style she likes to draw in; the second time concerned putting together a recent sketchbook and deciding to push away some of the anthro-stuff from the front of it so more readers might be drawn in. I personally don’t mind anthro and I think it’s gotten a bit of a bad rap based on skewed perceptions about that broader community, such as a certain episode of CSI from 2003.

I don’t participate much in artists’ communities, fan art or otherwise, mainly because I’m not much of one myself. I can appreciate art on aesthetics (what it makes me feel) and mechanics (e.g. use of lines, empty spaces, etc.) and support a level of artistic freedom that lets artists work with as few restrictions as possible so that less diluted expressions of their intentions might be produced.

Kao also said “it makes [her] sad when artists feel like they must do fanart that they have no passion for”. I’m more inclined toward original works since their reception is not potentially hampered like prior conceptions about characters held by a collective audience, like fan art is, and because I get more pleasure in seeking out and experiencing new things than settling for what’s familiar. A potential risk for original stuff, though, is its lack of instant familiarity/recognition of their subjects that could be achieved through fan art. Determining at what place on that continuum an artist is most comfortable seems like it might help him/her in producing better work and enjoying it as well.


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"50 Hottest Sci-Fi Women" feature on UGO
"50 Hottest Sci-Fi Women" feature on UGO





I was checking the mail on my domain and saw the above sponsored link tonight. I clicked on it and was taken to a page-by-page photo feature (I HATE THOSE!) on UGO called "50 Hottest Sci-Fi Women" from last November. Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop was #44 [link] and desired for being "strong in all the right ways" and "not just a steteotypical anime chick". The only video-game character was Samus Aran at #8 [link].





















Among the "Related Features" in the sidebar was
"Top 50 Animated Hotties" and being curious, I clicked down that trail. The earliest comment is from December 8th so I'm guessing that's when the feature appeared. Each entry explained "what makes her hot" and "who should play her" if there were a live-action adaptation. Anime characters took 11 spots: Maya Natsume from Tenjho Tenge (#4), Kei and Yuri from Dirty Pair (#11), Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon (#12), Faye from Bebop (#16 - with text & image copy-pasted from the Sci-Fi Women feature! Lazy UGO!) , female Ranma from Ranma 1/2 (#20), Asuka from Evangelion (#28), Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo (#31), Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell (#35), Saya from Blood: The Last Vampire (#37), Trixie from Speed Racer (#45), and Agatha June/Princess from Battle of the Planets/G-Force (#47). [Chun-Li from Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (#15) and Tifa Loveheart from FF VII: Advent Children (#10) were also listed but I consider them to be primarily video game characters.]

Characters I'd never heard of before were Holli Would from Cool World (#3), Kimberly from Space Ace (#18), Firestar from Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends (#22), Taarna from Heavy Metal (#33), M'Ress from Star Trek: The Animated Series (#36), and Kylie Griffin from Extreme Ghostbusters (#38).

Personally, I don't care for UGO's young male demographic bent but I would include Motoko, Asuka, and Faye among some of my favorite female anime characters, although there are some others I like more (e.g., Saki, Genshiken; Mireille, Noir, et al.)
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