Turambar (Level 10)

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Spent a night mulling over my thoughts on the latest movie, and wrote up a mini-essay detailing parts that I considered to be failings. However, twitter has a way of providing you people that share your exact views, presenting them in far more succinct ways. So let's just go with that.

Editorial line: the most painful part is, 3.33 doesn't even make good on the bloody kaiju battles that were so well done in the first two.

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No, this isn't an essay on the movie. Rather, this is me being depressed out the ass over the closure of We Remember Love, one of the best anime blogs to ever grace the sphere and enter my eyeballs.

So, I come to you guys with a request: I need a new blogroll. I've read almost nothing but this one for the last 3 years (and for damn good reason too), and now have no idea just what's actually worth reading out there. No, I don't think any of your suggestions will top Ranka Lee & Her Geneology of Hate, but I need something that at least comes close in terms of enthusiasm and creativity. My brain, it cries out for sustenance.

(Seriously, if anyone ever wondered where a lot of my blog ideas first originated, WRL is it. While the comments above are made half jokingly, I suggest everyone go there and read some of the archives. (The final post has a decent list of greatest hits as it were.) Ghostlightning's goal was to always write a blog that would make non-mecha fans find interest in mecha, and I'd be a poor fanboy for not spreading his gospel.

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After the first two episodes of this season's Muv-Luv Alternate: Full Eclispe, it was hard to avoid noticing the similar thematic elements it had going with the classic Gunbuster.  There is the idyllic school setting prelude to a blood bath of a war, the masses of faceless space monstrosities, and the rather hilarious acronym names given to them.  Most importantly though, there is the abundant usage of of Imperial Japanese imagery and verbiage in both shows.  That last bit reminded me of the following.
 
This is a series of essays written about a year ago dissecting Gunbuster and viewing it through a Japanese Imperialism lens.  Knowledge of Gunbuster is not a prerequisite to understanding the content of the essays, but previous viewings of it as well as historical knowledge of Japan during the World War II period will help.   (Note: I did not write any of these, nor contributed to any of them.)
 
Introduction
Episode 1
Episode 2 (NSFW)
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
 
If you enjoy this form of analysis of any form of media, not just anime, the above pieces are definitely worth your time.
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I had a wall of text written speaking to my reactions to this Kids on the Slope, but in hindsight, it really was just an excuse to get people to watch and listen to the following.  So I'll save that for a later time and keep this brief.  Kids on the Slope sets up musical pieces as important points in its story: music that symbolizes the wishes and motivations of the characters.  In this scene, we see Kaoru and Sentaro, two friends and musical partners, coming back together to reclaim both their personal connections as well as musical connections they had lost.  Moving through My Favorite Things, Some Day My Prince Will Come, and Moanin', all pieces that set up major points in the story told so far, they remind each other as well as the viewers of just what they are reclaiming.
 
More, than anything else though, it just sounds so good.  So listen, and smile. 
  
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This post might be better titled "How Cross Textual Knowledge Bites me In The Fucking Ass"
 
I finally decided in a bout of grad school workload caused insomnia and depression to jump the shark and watch this movie.  I always knew it was bad, but man.  Mannnnnnnnn.  The story and character portrayals are bullshit.  Building the ultimate Gundam for the ultimate Innovator so it can go fly off and take a psychic history lesson about some pieces of living liquid metal?  Seriously?  I don't need to go into that.  But what makes me angrier is all the ways it so clumsily tries to ape the better moments of superior shows and present loose ends of actual merit and discard them completely.

Descartes Shaman, one of the first innovators to appear after Setsuna, proved to be a xenophobic racist, calling non-innovators the inferior species.  One would think when a wave of innovation(TM) is spreading across the human population, the movie would do well to touch further upon this racial tension right?  Nope.  Lets just kill him off.  Further, lets completely abandon any notion of that sentiment and by the end of the movie, let a population with 40% innovators live in complete peace and harmony because apparently he was the only racist in the history of the species except for all the innovades that came before him.

And then there are the referential moments.  Andrei Smirnov and four of his GNX buddies using transam to push a giant ELS capitol ship as it falls on earth, and exploding just as they succeed.  Well doesn't that sound familiar?  The movie was literally shoving a shitty tasting poopsicle in the shape of Char's Counterattack into my mouth and I was literally giving my computer screen the finger.  You're going to replace Amuro with Andrei?  Seriously?  You couldn't at least do it was a character that was memorable in anyway and give Graham the heroic death he so dearly deserved despite his antics as Mister Mushido (His first Name Is Mister)?  (For the record, SolBraves is a pretty awesome name for a MS team.)

And then of course there is the whole Jupiter Express of enemies.  The fact that something in here reminds me of the glorious Diebuster is an absolute affront to the latter.  But it doesn't take a seasoned film critic to know that this show can ONLY end with humans and aliens finding peace.  So what better way to present an alien enemy than ones completely devoid of any character at all.  In shows such Diebuster or Gunbuster where the mass of characterless aliens are titled the Space Terrible Monster Crowd, that is excusable.  In fact, that is what you should be doing.  In a show where our man protagonist is suppose to be having a dialogue with them at the climax of the movie, this does not effing work god damnit.  The fact that it made all combat between the armada of GaGa Squadrion in GN Lance costumes and the Feddies a snore fest is not lost on me either. 

Though for the sake of being fair and balanced, I will say one thing.  At least the Zabanya was entertaining to watch.  Lockon actually used its bits (fins, funnels, fangs, DRAGOONs, WHATEVER) dare I say, intelligently.  Rifle bits are fucking RIFLES and shoot from far away.  They don't go charging into melee range.  Shield bits are shields and they not only defend the MS itself, but also the rifle bits from incoming shots, prolonging its combat capability.  Totally nominating the Zabanya for Saimecha 2013 because it made me enjoy this movie for just a few moments, and that is a fucking momentous achievement.
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