thekokapelli (Level 9)

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Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Generally Unpopular/Controversial Anime Series (Guilty Pleasures)

@EquitasInvictus: You like I Don't...(not worth saying the title)? You have far more temerity and tolerance than I do, my friend. I'm a morbid curiosity kind of person, I watch things "just to see how bad it is" and I couldn't get through the first episode. But everyone's entitled to their guilty pleasures. I for one enjoy the first season of Black Butler even though I don't think it's any good, and it's pretty sleazy, the kind of thing I normally detest, but...I don't know, I get a sick pleasure out of it, I guess. Also, HSOTD, not that I think it's a bad show, as it's actually pretty well-executed, but the fanservice is incredibly tacky, superfluous and disgustingly exploitative. But it's constantly entertaining.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

@Destinyheroknight: Speed Grapher? I saw that one but any kind of symbolism must have gone over my head, b/c I didn't notice anything. Care to elaborate?

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

Sorry, something happened to my computer and it sort of shut me off. Anyway, continued! =)

Anthy and Utena are lesbian lovers because it's meant to show that female love is pure and men will always fall short because women can only approach each other on equal terms. I'm not saying that's what I think, I'm just saying that's what the show is saying.

Okay, I will continue this tomorrow. Can't expect you to do all that reading all at once, and I need to rest my fingers and my brain! =)

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

@sickVisionz: Ah, let's see. I guess I should gather my thoughts for a moment.

Brief rundown: Utena originally began as a concept project called B-pappas, branching out into a comic series and a tv show, neither of which had much to do with each other. The very eccentric but talented director, best known for directing Sailor Moon, was frustrated with the lack of creative control he had over the shoujo, the tropes of which he helped to establish, and was also under a lot of pressure. He was also under pressure, so he thought Utena would be his last project, so he decided to make it his opus. He created the series Revolutionary Girl Utena, which realized shades of adolescent self-actualization, deconstructed shoujo tropes, and functioned as a postmodern fairy tale. It subverted and exposed traditional gender roles, sexual repression, and fairy tale archetypes. While watching the premiere of the show's finale, he was struck with the idea to create a stand-alone movie called Adolescence of Utena, which was a different version of the story. It had a bigger budget and seemed to leave more of an impact than the show, but unlike the show, which offered much in the way of style but even more substance, the movie showed no artistic or narrative restraint whatsoever.

The series is about a girl named Utena who attends an extravagant cyberpunk/turret fantasy high school who vows to become a prince after her life was saved by one after her parents died. She's not mannish, and she doesn't want to be a boy, and in this version it is important to note that she is heterosexual (not b/c there would be anything wrong with it if she wasn't, but b/c to mistake her for a lesbian would be to miss a large point of the show) but she prefers to dress like a boy and asserts herself. In the Japanese version she refers to herself with the boyish pronoun "boku." While defending her friend's honor in a sword duel and defeating the boy she challenges, she inadvertently wins the "hand" of a girl named Anthy, whom the Student Council Members call the Rose Bride, and must keep dueling to defend Anthy and her champion title. But that's...not really what the show is about...that's just the best I can summarize it in a few sentences.

I'll start with analyzing the movie because it's much simpler.

In the movie, Utena isn't exactly straight; she dated a boy named Touga a long time ago but now dresses like a boy and denies her femininity. She goes to a magical turret school but she doesn't pay it any attention. In the original series everyone had a different hair color; Utena's pink hair was symbolic of the feminine mystique as well as being part of the color brand of the Kaballah. Green (the color of Saionji's hair) was foolish pride, and that symbolizes Saionji's personality quite well. Orange symbolizes intellectual curiosity, and orange is the color or Juri's hair. Juri is a strong, complex young woman who fights to accomplish her own dreams. However, none of this applies to the movie, because the characters were much better developed in the series than here. In the movie, the rainbow colors of everyone's hair are just that, rainbow anime hair. This happens a lot in anime, as we all know, and it was exposed and gently subverted in the series, but it only worked in the show because the characters were better developed, (like actual people) and the characters in the movie are more strawmen than actual people. In the movie the hair doesn't really mean anything. Moving on! =)

Utena goes up to the roof, where she meets a girl named Anthy taking care of a rose garden. Roses are used heavily as a motif in the movie as well as in the series. It has different meanings in the show, but in the movie it's a bit more straightforward: the roses here symbolize feminine sexuality and how, in order to have a sexual/romantic relationship on equal terms, two women have to approach each other free of a position of servitude towards a man to feel validated, which is why Anthy is tending the roses herself. Basic summation: Anthy and Utena are lesbian loverers

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

@sickVisionz: I can go ahead and give you a sort of run-down of the Utena movie and shows, although there may be spoilers. Would you prefer to watch them first so we can have a more mutual discussion, or would you not mind spoilers and just like to hear my take on the movie and the show respectively?

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

@Neurotic: Millenium Actress is terrific, it's definitely Satoshi Kon's best movie. I don't know if you'll like it though, if you didn't like Paprika, but Millenium Actress is definitely the better film. Basically the main character's life revolved around her movies, and the line between what really happened to her and what was just in a movie becomes blurred. Satoshi Kon often liked to explore that theme in his work, and Millenium Actress is his best example of that.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

@sickVisionz: The art is very beautiful, and the animation for the series, for as old as it is, is stunning. Great music too, just as an fyi. In fact the music is sort of a motif in the series. If you are interested in watching either I would recommend you watch the movie first because it is enjoyable, but it's not nearly as good as the series and a lot of the fans of the show can't stand it. It's a little hard to enjoy if you've seen the show. I think it might be easier to start with the movie because it's shorter and easier to find. I can discuss the show but I'd have to see at least a couple episodes again, and it's VERY hard to find. It's recently been re-mastered on DVD and I'm in the process of collecting it, but it's sort of expensive, so I've so far only bought the Apocalypse Collection.

@Neurotic: Actually, FLCL isn't really metaphorical, it's more an explosion of images and creativity and different ways to convey a very simple and straightforward message: Growing up is hard to do. I love it, though, I think it's Gainax's best work. It's not exactly smart, but it is honest. Also, I would love to do Paprika, as I'm a huge fan of Satoshi Kon, but Millenium Actress might be a better choice, honestly. And again, Paprika isn't really metaphorical so much as surreal and psychological. I love Satoshi Kon but he's kind of like David Lynch in that he is sometimes guilty of putting in images not because they mean anything, but just because it looks cool.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

@sickVisionz: Would you prefer to talk about the series or the movie? Or both? They're very different. The show is a perennial favorite of mine, but I do actually kind of enjoy the movie too. It's very funny. It's just very style over substance, while the show has a lot of substance to back up its style, and the show is deep, while the movie is merely clever. Like I said, I do still like the movie though.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » I'll analyze it since you'd rather not

There are a few anime that I have seen that I enjoy dissecting and analyzing. I'm a literature buff, and I relish complex symbolism, extended metaphors, motifs and allusions. A few of the ones I've seen that have these are:

Wolf's Rain

Haibane Renmei

Revolutionary Girl Utena (mostly the series, but the movie too, I guess)

FMA (no really!)-The original, not Brotherhood. Not that Brotherhood isn't good, it's just not deep enough to warrant an introspective reading. Also, don't ask me to talk about The Conqueror of Shamballa. I honestly hate that movie too much to even make fun of it.

RahXephon (although I've only seen the first few episodes, I can tell, and I'd be happy to go ahead and finish the rest of the show if someone wants it explained. The same goes for Darker than Black)

Princess Tutu

Kino's Journey

Trigun (seriously!)

GITS has a lot of philosophical allusions but those are really really freaking obvious so I doubt anyone needs me to explain those.

From what I've heard of Madoka Magica it would count as well, but I don't know where it's available and I don't like to watch things illegally, so that one will have to wait.

If you would like me to analyze an anime, or if you have questions regarding the ones listed here, please reply. I am ready to rise to your challenge! Also, feel free to put together your own interpretations of ones you've seen. I'd love to get a discussion going.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Overrated animes

Gurrann Lagann, Code Geass, and Neon Genesis Evangelion are all really over-rated. Which is not to say they aren't good, they just aren't good enough to justify all the hype. Hellsing I would call over-rated but I can't even stretch to call it that. It's just straight up awful. The same with Naruto. Sorry, I don't want to be a hater, but it's true.

I'm not sure Gankutsuou could really qualify as over-rated because while it is well thought of (deservedly so, the writing is masterful) it's not that popular.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Cowboy Bebop or Ghost in Shell?

They're both good, but Cowboy Bebop is much deeper and FAR better written. If you want to be preached at about Descartian dualism by characters who are more strawmen mouthpieces than actual people, than Ghost in the Shell is for you. But if you want existentialism at is portrayed well, with subtle and rich dialogue, incredibly complex characters, and mature themes about human nature that are subliminal rather than preachy, than I would recommend Cowboy Bebop. But they're both recommended.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Which version of FullMetal Alchemist should I watch?

It depends on what you like and what kind of fan you are, really. If you prefer reading manga to watching anime and enjoy action-packed shonen with a lot of fight scenes, you'll probably dig Brotherhood more. But if you're a critical person, prefer watching anime to reading manga, and admire writing and storytelling, you'll probably like the original much better. Why? Because the original is FAR better written, better paced, more thoughtful, and handles the wide swathe of tones a lot better. Brotherhood is great, but the only reason it's great is because it's working with great material (it's a great manga). It's a clumsy adaptation to be sure, but it's certainly not awful. I'd still be cautious in starting with Brotherhood anyway, because the beginning is barely watchable in some parts. But it does get a lot better. It's exciting, emotionally involving, and handles its many subplots well. I still maintain that despite the problems with the original, (and there are, I'm not saying it's perfect) it is still superior, and its accomplishments far eclipse its flaws.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9
Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Johan Liebert » What is the meaning of Johan keep on pointing at his forehead?

I know this is an old post, but I just found this. His pointing to his head is also a nod the Book of Revelations, because Johan runs parallel to the anti-christ figure and there are a lot of revelations allusions. ("And I saw a beast rise up out of the sea...") In this case, Johan, like the Beast from Revelations, was resurrected after being pierced in the head and was mistaken for a monster with several heads.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Haibane Renmei anyone else seen? What did you think?

One of the things I liked about Haibane Renmei is that unlike shows such as Utena, RahXephon, Wolf's Rain, etc., you can shrug off all of the symbolic aspects and still enjoy the story. It's also not like Evangelion or Lain where you know there's this philosophy being shoved down your throat; I prefer the subliminal approach because it's more rewarding and much harder to do. At first I thought the characters were kind of forgettable, but the friendship between Rakka and Reki was really captivating, and the characterization was subtle but strong. I'm not sure how heavily based in Christianity it was, but I loved the themes about forgiveness, flight, and freedom. The bird and cardinal direction imagery was really well done as well. I need to revisit the show; I've only seen it once and it's worth a second look.

Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Heavily Symbolic Anime

@takashichea said:

I would put Serial Experiments Lain even though it has no symbols. I put Lain because I heard the author is upset that people misunderstood the message in the anime series. Plus, the series is bizarre and the boundaries of reality tends to be blurry with all these psychological stuff.

It's been a long time since I saw this anime. (about 8 years ago or so)



I don't feel qualified to discuss that one because I haven't seen it yet.  (I definitely want to see it, though).  Have you seen Texholyze or Paranoia Agent by any chance? A lot of people who like Lain like those. 
Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » Overrated animes


Evangelion (I see the merits of it, but it's not as perfect as a lot of people see it as) 
Gurrenn Lagann (again, it's a good show with fantastic animation but it's stupid and it's not the greatest thing ever) 
Code Geass (a fun ride, but I've seen much much better ones) 
Ouran (a good show, but still, not one of my favorites, and every time I say I don't like it my friends ask if I'm a lesbian) 
Elfen Lied  
Hellsing-so many people told me this was great, I heard almost nothing bad about it.  I was expecting to be blown away and I got one of the worst anime I have ever watched.  Bad storytelling, bad technical execution, and immature sensationalistic hyper-violence wrapped up in no overall direction.  I was irate. 
and then there's the obvious ones like Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon I think too
Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

Just Anime » My Descent into Insanity: One Man’s Research into Moe

All moe shows are based off hentai games (Air, Kanon, etc) and the reason they were created was because of the attempt to make childish innocence subversively erotic.  That's right; it's Freudian.  There are girls who enjoy moe, and some guys who enjoy moe for non-sexual reasons, but that's not what it was created for. 
Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

General Discussion » Vampire Anime I should Watch?

Vampire Knight is a sleazy reverse harem show more than it is a vampire show, so any dudes should steer clear.  Hellsing Ultimate is what I would recommend (it's much better than the anime series, the plot of which is incomprehensible). 
Post by thekokapelli (98 posts) See mini bio Level 9

General Discussion » Any good action Shojo,Harem,Echis out there?

There's no such thing as a good Harem show.  Along with its twin sister magical girlfriend anime it objectifies women to a stunning degree, and is probably the lowest form of anime storytelling outside of pornography.  Chobits was easily the best harem/magical girlfriend show that I've ever seen, and even that is barely tolerable.  But then, if you thought Fushigi Yuugi and Ikki Tousen were good than you'd probably enjoy harem shows.   
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