kaigou: Jung-In (Kim Jae-Wook) looking very please-no (1 oh dear heavens no)
Well, it's a kind of linear, but it's still not very good. I mean, watching Fam: the Silver Wing (sequel to Last Exile which was and remains a favorite of mine) and... it's like every episode is a timeskip. One episode ends with a cliffhanger of a character fighting what appears to be a major one-on-one fight -- and the very next episode opens with the same character now fleeing several miles away. What? Did I miss an entire episode between then and now? Apparently not. Apparently "end of an episode" is grounds for the director to just, idk, skip a few scenes or something. A mini-timeskip every time. It's driving me bonkers.

I think I'm only still watching out of affection for the original characters, because the new characters just don't have much going for them. Nor does the story, for that matter. That's not to say there isn't a good story in there, it's just not the story being told. That kind of almost-could-be is the worst, I think.

Anyway, those random interval timeskips make it especially wierd when I'm missing an episode. Not helping is the fact that some of the fansub groups have renumbered somewhere in there; an unexpected recap got skipped by some groups as tediously useless, but their numbering also skipped. So depending on the group, episode 12 is actually episode 13. And it's taken me to the (real, not renumbered) episode 17 to realize we did skip an episode in there, somewhere, which I think was episode 14. Or maybe 13. I'm not sure. I wouldn't even know for sure if I didn't follow a blogger who posts weekly reviews.

Meanwhile, Rinne no Lagrange is holding in there (and its humor remains undismayed, even as its plot thickens), but Mouretsu Pirates still holds my heart, this season. When was the last time you saw the bureaucratic aspects of owning/operating a ship (let alone a privateering vessel) -- and there isn't a shonen-mecha show I can think of that ever thought, let alone actually went and showed, sending its hero into a test situation before ever exposing him to true battle. What a freaking concept.

Ah, then again, turns out the author of the original story is an award-winner of the Japanese version of the Nebula. Well, now it makes a lot more sense how we can be seeing a hard SF anime that, well, makes so much sense.
kaigou: fangirling so hard right now (3 fangirling so hard)
Did I think my love for Seirei no Moribito and Twelve Kingdoms could ever be eclipsed? No -- okay, not really -- but damn, Mouretsu Pirates is coming very, very close, and if it keeps this up, it will definitely stand alongside quite easily.

I think I've rewatched ep5 at least four times, and I suspect that ep6 is going to get the same. No ditziness passed off as cuteness! Genuine humor that has nothing to do with gender (but lots to do with inexperience)! And some incredible team-work and a club president who may be blonde and blue-eyed but is also steely and capable of delegating and has a quiet slicing humor, too. And a buxom "medic" who may be dressed like the fan service but her lines are nothing but intelligence, and a cast of what looks like equally male/female roles among the pirates.

Holy crap, did I actually die and not notice? Or did one of us save the president in a former life? Because what did we do to deserve this, so we can make sure to do it again, as often as possible?

although with the way the roles are set up between Marika (the cheerful but terrifyingly ingenious newbie pirate-captain), Chiaki (the somewhat tsundere quasi-rival), and Mami (the perky and naive best friend), if these three were guys, we'd already be neck-deep in shipping posts. It has all the early hallmarks of what slashfans seek, just with genders switched.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 the part that's less fun)
Now that I understand written Cantonese (in comics) uses the grammatical forms of Cantonese, not Mandarin, I finally know why a Chinese (from Shanghai) friend took one look at a manga I'd purchased and said, "no one talks like this!" She didn't know, anymore than I did, that it made a difference that it was an HK publisher. Now I know. And now I need to figure out how to get Taiwanese translations, although I guess this means paying more, seeing how all the import-to-US companies carry HK translations.

I've been helping with translations for a shoujo work that has its fair share of bishonen. I've become accustomed, over the past [censored] years with shonen work, of seeing self-identifying young women declare they hate the girl leads, or the female side-characters, or want some (or all) of the girl characters to die. I am slightly surprised that I'm not seeing that, with this manga, and it finally dawned on me that perhaps we've been blaming female readers for being indoctrinated with misogynist feelings (in re female characters).

Maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe it's that, honestly, the majority of female characters in shonen stories really are that useless, compared to their male counterparts. Because in reading commentaries by young (some as young as 12) female readers, for the rare stories (shoujo and shonen) where the female characters are not stupid, are not helpless, and are not whiny self-entitled children expecting to be saved... the responses are quite different. There's a whole lot of love for the character(s), and a certain sense of satisfied expectation when it comes to the pretty men being interested in her. Few have said it so blunt, but at least one female reader did: "of course they'd all be interested in her, because she's interesting!"

Speaking of which, if you like your science quite hard, and you like your cast strongly female, try Moretsu Pirates. It's translated (for no reason that I can tell) as "Bodacious Space Pirates", and the OP seems fluffy enough... but it's suddenly taken a strong left into hard sci-fi. It's like a stealth anime. The premise isn't that unusual: an unknown parent dies, and leaves some kind of inheritance (in this case, the letter of marque for a sanctioned space-pirate ship), and the child (usually a boy, but in this case a girl) must decide whether to accept the deceased parent's mantle. We're on episode four, and the heroine still hasn't actively made that choice, but damn. The first episode was fluffy shoujo, with a few hints. The second episode started to show a bit more of a feminist flair. The third episode, Mom's teaching our heroine how to shoot a gun (and not one that's small and pink, either) and the fourth episode, we're dealing with science the level of your average Star Trek episode. And not a twit-brained, big-chested, useless waste-of-space* in sight. The female characters are capable, realistic for their age (able to joke around), but also pretty savvy. I am torn between love for the yacht club president and vice president.

Here's hoping this series stays strong, because it's been a long time coming, not to mention to have two such strongly female-centric anime in one season (the other one being Rinne no Lagrange).

* there is a doctor-character who gets the fanservice, with boobs and garters and heels, but so far if she's in any stereotype, it's as the intelligent but somewhat sly femme fatale. Not perfect, but still not a twit. I'm not sure what it says about the expected audience, if the majority of the fanservice is an adult character.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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