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Errinundra's Beautiful Fighting Girl #133: Taiman Blues: Ladies' Chapter - Mayumi


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Errinundra
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:29 pm Reply with quote
Thanks, 12skippy21.

I've been to the UK once for about 3 weeks, although I spent most of my time in the south of England with a trip up and back to Edinburgh that included a pilgrimage to the Brontë home in Haworth and a stop-over in Leeds. The latter was drab, but things change. Does that someone still work for Middlesborough tourism?

Quote:
...they kept him at such a low energy state for so long that when it explored his character you fail to care...


That sums up Vincent Law nicely.
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phia_one



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:57 am Reply with quote
Very interesting write up on Ergo Proxy, although I disagree on Vincent Law. I thought he was an engrossing character and liked seeing him accept himself the course of the series.
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12skippy21



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:09 pm Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
I've been to the UK once for about 3 weeks, although I spent most of my time in the south of England with a trip up and back to Edinburgh that included a pilgrimage to the Brontë home in Haworth and a stop-over in Leeds. The latter was drab, but things change. Does that someone still work for Middlesborough tourism?.


Most places in the UK have a tourism office, they are normally shut, I fell out of contact with the guy, with council cuts they may well have turned it into a chippie by now. Leeds by my standard is ok, they have a good armoury museum and a few good drinking holes. Nought to do in Middlesborough though unless you like football (soccer).
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1783
Location: South America
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:14 pm Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
Reason for watching: Two years ago Sony Universal, out of the blue, released in Australia a sequence of anime series, including the classic, metaphysically inclined Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei, Texhnolyze and Ergo Proxy, all at moderate prices.


Series like those are what make me crave for anime. Too bad they are so rare.

Quote:
Rating: Very Good. A ripper opening three episodes and an engrossing and satisfying three closing episodes bookend a series whose appeal will depend on how much you may be engaged by the characters and the themes being explored in the remaining seventeen. My rating tells you that, on balance, I was. As with the (even more) ambitious Hyouge Mono the more you understand what's going on, ie the more effort you put into it, the more rewards will come your way. A charismatic female lead character and some entertaining support characters will mitigate some of the tedium that may be encountered. Ergo Proxy is, if nothing else, brave.


What I loved about it was the atmosphere and the dark art style. Very cool stuff.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:43 am Reply with quote
phia_one wrote:
Very interesting write up on Ergo Proxy, although I disagree on Vincent Law. I thought he was an engrossing character and liked seeing him accept himself the course of the series.


For sure, how he changes and what he becomes are interesting, but I found the dopey persona tedious. Each to their own, though.

Jose Cruz wrote:
...What I loved about it was the atmosphere and the dark art style. Very cool stuff.


I forgot to mention the atmosphere. You're right.

I overexposed some of the screenshots so they'd stand out more in the thread.
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nobahn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:44 am Reply with quote
12skippy21 wrote:
I also wish there were more lead female characters like Re-l.


Please check out this thread.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:48 pm Reply with quote
Hey, I nominated Re-l in that thread.

errinundra wrote:
...Ergo Proxy, Re-l Mayer. Like Fate / Stay Night and Canaan, the heroine is better than the show she finds herself in. In fact, amongst Ergo Proxy's major flaws is how it spends altogether too much time on the forgettable male lead, Vincent Law (and two more are its inclination to meander pointlessly and the supernatural silliness at its core). But, like Canaan, when Re-l is on screen, the tension increases, the visuals get a boost - surely she has one of the outstanding character designs in anime - and the plot takes on purpose. Re-l starts off as self-entitled daughter of the elite but through courage and force of character becomes much, much more...


I was more critical of Ergo Proxy in that nomination than I am here.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:28 pm Reply with quote
Momotaro's Sea Eagle


American inaction contrasted with Japanese initiative.

Reason for watching: Back in 2009 the US company Zakka Films released a DVD entitled Roots of Japanese Anime until the End of World War II, containing eight animated films from the period 1930 to 1942. Interested in Momotaro's Sea Eagle and intrigued by the the others I imported it directly from Zakka back in 2011. The other seven films, having little more than animation historical curiosity value, can be a chore to watch. It helps that they're all short. Compared with them, Momotaro's Sea Eagle is in a league of its own. Not only is it significant in the development of Japanese animation but it also offers a fascinating glimpse into propaganda films and the the wartime mindset of the Japanese. Zakka has included a generous booklet and a photo gallery of the film's posters from the time. The posters are presented here.


Momotaro and his warriors stand proudly on the deck.

The Peach Boy Folk Tale: An old, childless couple find a giant peach floating down a nearby river. When they try to eat it they discover a baby boy inside. They name him Momotaro (Momo = peach, Taro = eldest son) and raise him with love. When, as a young man, Momotaro learns that demons from Onigashima (= Demon Island) are terrorising local villages he recruits a dog, a pheasant and a monkey. Through pluck, persistence and strategem they defeat the demons. You can watch a version of it from Folktales from Japan at Crunchyroll. Momotaro is an exemplar of strong, upright and courageous behaviour and a perfect vehicle for nationalistic propaganda. By all accounts he became something of mascot character during World War 2 and it isn't hard to see how Americans came to be depicted as the demons on the island in Hawaii.

Synopsis of Momotaro's Sea Eagle: In this version, aircraft carrier captain Momotaro gives the order to attack the demon fleet. His pilots are pheasants, the dogs are the gunners and radio operators, while the monkeys are bombadiers and saboteurs. On the way to Pearl Harbour the crew of plane #3 of the torpedo squadron befriend a sea eagle. When theirs is the only plane to be damaged during the successful raid their friendship with the eagle comes in handy.


The anime is entirely in black and white, which deflates the attacks on American cartoons.

Comments: Given this short film's place in the history of war and the history of anime, it's unavoidable that I'll be discussing it more as an artefact than as a work of art. Any shortcomings as animation, which is much better than you might imagine, are more than compensated by it's curiosity value.

This is a full-on propaganda piece. It makes no bones about describing the Americans as demons. At the same time it is squarely aimed at children, with all the simplification, sentimentality and childish action sequences you might expect. The simplification is useful for its polemical purposes - stereotyping the enemy as demonic, stupid drunks and your own soldiers as vigilant, fearless, honourable and kind-hearted is hardly a nuanced portrayal of the conflict. From our far-off vantage point it's hard to be offended by the crass depiction of Americans or its naive presentation of Japanese virtue. There are, however, underlying threads that give more pause for thought.

The attack on Pearl Harbour was a declaration of war. Although there was deliberate allied provocation beforehand, the decision to go to war was made by the Japanese and history condemns them for it. The film omits any background to the attack. It is entirely an in-the-moment sequence of action set pieces. Pearl Harbour must be attacked for no other reason than it is Onigashima. Oddly, when we finally see the Americans they are so ridiculous they are anything but demonic, (although the images of the battleships capture well their power and brutality). For sure, the demons of the Folktales from Japan are also ridiculous, but we know they are ravaging the surrounding villages. No such argument is made for attacking Pearl Harbour. The aggression of Momotaro and his warriors comes across as entirely natural.


The pheasant kind of undermines the notion of the fearless warrior.

Japan's modern constitution and its seventy year history of peace make it easy to forget that, until 1945, warfare was a defining characteristic of Japanese history. From the perspective of 1942, attacking Onigashima was the natural order of things. The film reinforces this by the contrast between the Japanese and American combatants. Momotaro is godlike - I can't help but think he is a representation of the emperor - while his warriors are animals at their most kawaii. The Americans are humans at their most venal - lazy, careless, drunken. The connection to the natural order is also presented in the befriending of the sea eagle and its chick. It not only creates a sympathy for the crew of aircraft 3 of the torpedo squadron, it also argues that nature itself is on the side of the Japanese.


Pheasant pilot with Rin Tohsaka smile. The American seaman references Bluto from Popeye.

As you can see, the posters are also making digs at American animation. Not only are they a call to arms against Roosevelt and the American demons but they're also declaring war on cross-Pacific cartoons. "Japan's longest feature-length cartoon is complete", they proclaim, "as different as night and day from Yankee Betty Boop and Popeye." There's a cultural cringe demonstrated here. For sure, Momotaro's Sea Eagle is an enormous leap from the earlier films on the DVD but I it's not in the same class as, say, Snow White (1937). It is surprisingly good, though. It introduces multiplanar filming to Japanese animation, while the choreography of the Pearl Harbour attack is exciting and the artwork occasionally rises above its propaganda limitations. You also get the classic 1920s and 30s techniques where many identical characters are performing the same action simultaneously, or where the same sequence is iterated multiple times. The effect is mildly entertaining in a goofy sort of way.

Mitsuyo Seo was an odd choice as director. Before the war he had been part of the Proletariat Film League of Japan, which led to his arrest and torture by the militarist government. He directed a propaganda sequel - Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors, which, at 74 minutes is considered Japan's true first feature length anime - and, after the war, a pro-democracy anime feature film, Ōsama no Shippo but was unable to find a distributor as it was too left-wing. He thereafter left the industry to become a children's book illustrator. Osamu Tezuka has cited Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors as an inspiration to become an animator.

Rating: Irreplaceable as a cultural artefact; so-so by the anime standards of 2016.


The resulting detonation rockets the monkey back to his torpedo bomber.
There's a neat scene where he jumps from plane to plane as they fly in formation.


Last edited by Errinundra on Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:48 am Reply with quote
Moving ahead 31 years, and continuing the naval warfare theme, this review comes from 28 October 2012. The only changes are to the images, resized to match the thread standard.

Space Battleship Yamato (1974)

Reason for watching: If you can be bothered ploughing through this post you may think the more pertinent question is why it has taken me 38 years to finally get around to watching it for the first time.

Please bear with me as I digress prior to giving my specific thoughts on the anime series. There is a point to the digressions.

Imperial Japanese Battleship Yamato

When I was a young lad (from about 11) one of my hobbies was building World War 2 battleship model kits – a love I picked up from a step-uncle. With my uncle and among my friends we would discuss whether the Hood was unlucky and whether the Bismarck was the greatest battleship ever built. In the pursuit of this hobby I learned about the existence of a ship that not only surpassed all the others but was on a gobsmackingly different plane of existence altogether – the Yamato. Thanks to the Washington Naval Treaty, battleships had been limited to 35,000 tons (the Hood at 42,000 tons was granted an exemption). In the mid 1930s the Japanese abandoned the treaty and laid down the Yamato and its sister ship the Musashi, which were to be 70,000 tons – twice the size of existing battleships. (Subsequently, other nations abandoned the treaty and built large ships. The largest of the rest – still at only 52,000 tons – was the American Iowa class.) With a main armament of 18.1”, these two behemoths far exceeded any rival, the best of which were 16” but more frequently 15” or 14”. (18 to 14 may not seem like a large difference. The hitting power of a shell is approximately a product of a shell’s mass, which is a product of its volume. All else being equal, an 18” shell has twice the volume and mass of a 14” shell.) Not only did the Yamato have much thicker armour than any other ship it was also far beamier, allowing for much greater compartmentalisation and thus less likely to suffer from catastrophic flooding. Never mind that a battleship is a fleet ship (as opposed to a cruising ship) and it’s the quality of the fleet that matters in war, not the quality of its best two ships – in a protracted war the Americans, with their productive might, would inevitably have a greater fleet. Never mind that by the time the Yamato was commissioned (14 December 1941) it had already been made obsolete by the aircraft carrier as demonstrated by the British at Taranto on 11-12 November 1940 and proven comprehensively by the Japanese themselves at Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. (Those events took place while the Italian and US battleships were in harbour. The Yamato was the first battleship sunk by carrier-borne aircraft while under steam at sea and with complete freedom of movement.)

Anyway, the point of this exercise is to demonstrate that, from an early age, I held the Yamato in complete awe. It was the likely beginning of my fascination with Japanese technology and culture – later enhanced by my appreciation of Japanese motorcycle-building prowess. The Yamato’s capacity to transcend the everyday and enter the legendary realm is an essential part of what makes the anime so powerful. My affinity with this perception of the great ship, I think, gives me some insight into how powerful it is in the consciousness of the Japanese.


My most recent model of Yamato, some of my literature on the subject, and some other important
ships in the development of the battleship for comparison. Yes, I have interests outside anime. Neat,
though, when I can combine interests. The ships are to the same scale.


Requiem for Battleship Yamato

Among the books in the photo above I want to mention this one as it reinforces the point I’m trying to make. It was written by Yoshida Mitsuru, a junior naval officer stationed on the bridge for the Yamato’s final voyage to Okinawa. He was one of 280 survivors from a crew of about 3,000. I think it is one of the great literary works of World War 2. It is terse, written largely in the present tense, uses the bungotai literary style and is imbued with a quiet rage at the moral affrontery of war in general and this doomed mission in particular. Yoshida would later write passionately as a pacifist. (The translation, along with very useful notes, is by Richard Minear.)

The name Yamato refers to a region within Japan. It is also a literary term for Japan itself. The Japanese title of the book is 戦艦大和ノ最期 (Senkan Yamato-no Saigo or The Last Moments of Battleship Yamato). The allusion to the last moments of Meiji Restoration Japan as a viable concept is obvious. Yoshido later said,

Quote:
That aspect of things in which Japan – the Japanese - excels and that aspect of things in which Japan is very, how shall I say it, very one-sided: both aspects were present in the extreme in the death of Yamato. On thinking back after the fact, that is, I had that feeling. In that sense, you see, the death of Yamato had elements of the symbolic.


Yoshida first attempted to publish a version of Requiem in November 1946 while Japan was subject to occupation. Unsurprisingly, it was banned. The censor wrote,

Quote:
The young author reports, it seems, anything and everything he saw and as he heard with his own eyes and with his own ears. There is very little exaggeration, if any, but the effect is penetrating and touching… Here is an instance of the Japanese military spirit… viewed from the inside. The simple attitude of the author and the vivid style as well as the extremely impressive contents themselves cannot fail to arouse in the mind of the readers something like a deep regret for the great lost battleship, and who can be sure that the warlike portion of the Japanese do not yearn after another war in which they may give another Yamato a better chance?


The final, complete version was published in 1952.

Space Battleship Yamato

Synopsis: In 2199 The earth has been subject to meteor attack by forces from the planet Gamilus prior to invasion. The bombardment has evaporated the oceans, leaving the surface of the earth an arid, cratered wasteland. Living underground has provided only a temporary reprieve for survivors as radiation from the bombardment is seeping downwards. The human race is expected to die off within a year. A message is received from another planet – Iskandar – where a promise is made to provide a radiation purifier if only the humans could travel there to obtain it. The message also includes instructions on building a faster-than-light engine and a weapon of stupendous destructive power. A spaceship is built from the shell of the once sunken (now exposed) World War 2 battleship and the intrepid crew takes off for the Large Magellanic Cloud where both Gamilus and Iskandar are located. On the journey the Yamato and its crew must face ever more powerful opposition from the Gamilusians.


Sister planets Iskandar and Gamilus. Last Exile, anyone?

Space Battleship Yamato seems to have come about through a partnership between creator Yoshinobu Nishizaki and credited directors Noboru Ishiguro (Legend of the Galactic Heroes) and Leiji Matsumoto (Galaxy Express 999). (Mike Toole has written extensively about them in his column – it’s worth chasing them up.) With these men at the helm it should come as no surprise that the star of the series isn’t ship captain Okita or his hot-headed deputy Kodai; it’s the ship itself – the Yamato. Like Galaxy Express (and the entire Leijiverse, for that matter) or Legend of the Galactic Heroes, what drives this series isn’t the characters or the plot or the conflict – it’s myth creation and, at the core of the myth, is the mighty namesake battleship. From its basis on the World War 2 battleship, to its planet smashing wave-motion gun, to its seeming indestructibility (it somehow seems to have an inexhaustible ability re-grow destroyed superstructure: blown-up or dissolved in one scene; back again the next), to its intergalactic wave-motion engine, the Yamato is always there, always dependable. No matter the travails of the crew or the potency of the enemy, the Yamato remains indefatigable. In the darkest moments, all that it is needed is a screen image of the ship to reassure me that all will be well. It’s kind of like a mirror of moeru. Where a successful moe character only needs to appear to create a sense of protectiveness within me, the Yamato only needed to appear to create a sense of being protected. Just as I found myself rooting for Taiga in Toradora! I found myself constantly rooting for the Yamato. I think it’s a remarkable achievement.

This sense of myth unfolding before one’s eyes reaches a climax in the extraordinary episode 22. The Yamato is attacked by three Gamilusian carriers, a hybrid carrier / battleship (a very Japanese thing that) and the flagship battleship. Yes, the battle is replete with dive-bombers and torpedo bombers, bearing some resemblance to their World War 2 counterparts, including gull-wing Stuka look alikes. As in the 1945 Okinawa battle, wave upon wave of spacecraft attack the stricken Yamato. The battle became so intense and my emotional investment in the ship was such that by the halfway mark I had a break for a while. It was as if the creators were able to finally assuage that yearning for “another war in which they may give another Yamato a better chance” as posited by that allied censor all those years before.


The breathtaking climax to the Battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster (episode 22).

Having raved on for so long I must point out that the series has many, many faults. It was made in 1974, after all, and the artwork, animation, storytelling, characterisation and music all seem primitive by today standards, even if they were all somewhat better than I feared. While some of the incidental music sounds like second rate 1970s progressive rock, I came to like the theme song, which not only promoted a suitable fervour for the ship but also proved a very fertile source for much of the rest of the incidental music. Keep your musical motifs short and you can do a lot with them!

When I realised early in the series that main character, Susumu Kodai, was voiced by Kei Tomiyama I could only imagine him thereafter as a young Yang Wen-li who hadn’t yet had any sense knocked into him. The characters vary between Matsumoto eccentric (all the women, Dr Sado, Captain Okita) to Ishiguro mundane (most everyone else). It didn’t matter because this isn’t really about characters; it’s about character types in the creation of a myth.

Similarly the Leijiverse penchant for continuity lapses (those reappearing superstructures among other things) and a cavalier disregard for the laws of physics (did the creators understand the concepts of gravity or the conservation of momentum?) don’t really matter in the course of myth creation. Add to that two outrageous Lazarus moments and there is much to be sceptical about Space Battleship Yamato. I’m also still trying to figure out how science officer Sanada managed to paint the entire battleship with reflective paint without anyone knowing. And while the ship was travelling at faster than the speed of light, to boot.


Anime fanservice: it was ever thus. Analyser the robot harasses Yuki Mori, Environmental Officer
and all-purpose woman on the bridge.


Watching Space Battleship Yamato was also fun in locating it within the science fiction realm. It aired fully a year and a half before Star Wars opened and I wonder if George Lucas was familiar with it. The US version, Star Blazers, didn’t get aired until 1979 so I suspect not. Nevertheless they share many qualities and themes. Perhaps they were both products of the Zeitgeist. Be that as it may, the meteor bombs come straight out of the 1955 sci-fi classic, This Island Earth. In an early episode (first aired in October 1974) the viewer is introduced to the Yamato’s holo deck, years before Star Trek Second Generation. I mentioned this to a Trekkie friend who told me that Star Trek the Animation introduced a holo deck around the same time. Checking Wikipedia confirms that the particular episode – The Practical Joker – aired in September 1974. Did either know about the other? Or was it just a form of convergent evolution?

Having watched both Martian Successor Nadesico and Irresponsible Captain Tylor, it’s now easy to see their inspiration. Matsumoto’s own later series continue his obsessions outlined in Space Battleship Yamato. Of those I’ve seen only Galaxy Express 999 surpasses this effort, largely because the two main characters – Tetsuro and Maetel – transcend their character type limitations. Similarly, the debt Ishiguro’s Legend of the Galactic Heroes owes to Space Battleship Yamato is enormous (even if it too is superior) not just because Kodai and Yang have the same voice actor, and not just because the villains have Germanic names. Again it’s the deliberate mythmaking, but you can add to that certain elements of its visual style and characterisation. Like the Galactic Empire admirals, the Gamilusian military leaders are usually defeated because of their own hubris. There were a couple of instances of the Yamato crew saving the day by pulling rabbits from hats (the reflective paint escape being the most egregious) but mostly the Gamilusians are the instigators of their own demise.

Lastly, the denouement was altogether too short and spoiled by one of the unnecessary Lazarus moments. Sure, I could see the metaphor for the resurrected Earth but I would have much preferred fewer miracles and more of the real thing. An extended sequence of the earth being reborn would have made for a much more ecstatic ending.

Rating: good – for all its technical shortcomings I enjoyed this tremendously.

Note: The wreck of the IJN Yamato has been discovered since the series aired. A catastrophic explosion broke the ship into four parts which lie separated on the ocean floor. The bridge has completely collapsed into pieces.

****

You may be able to guess where this thread is going.


Last edited by Errinundra on Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:15 pm Reply with quote
I only watched the new one and the new movie. Did you like Yamato 2199 more or less than the 1975 Yamato?
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murph76



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:56 pm Reply with quote
I'm waiting for the alt-universe version where humanity resurrects the Edmund Fitzgerald from Lake Superior. It's mission: to hunt down and destroy every existing copy of that terrible Gordon Lightfoot song. Razz

Seriously though, Yamato always will be a huge nostalgia title for me. Star Blazers aired in syndication when I was growing up, and it was one of my favorites as a child.

I'll be interested in what you think of the second season, errinunda. I find it to be the rare sequel as good or better than the original.
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Beltane70



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 3920
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:43 pm Reply with quote
murph76 wrote:


I'll be interested in what you think of the second season, errinunda. I find it to be the rare sequel as good or better than the original.


I was thinking the same thing, murph! I've always loved the second series more than the first.

On another note, I found the remake, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 to be better than the original. I also consider it the best remake of any series or movies!
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:41 pm Reply with quote
I've not yet seen either the sequel series or the 2199 remake series. Embarassed

All I can say is that they're on my watch list.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:32 am Reply with quote
Beltane70 wrote:
On another note, I found the remake, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 to be better than the original. I also consider it the best remake of any series or movies!


Agreed on best remake but I haven't watched the original but I find very hard to think that something could top Yamato 2199 for me. Its just an amazingly great series. One of the best of this decade.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Moving ahead now another 41 years. It seems odd how Space Battleship Yamato is now closer in time to WW2 than today.

This review is a bit of a cheat in that it's adapted from posts I made in the series discussion thread. I've edited, and added to, the text somewhat, added some pics while reducing the size of the one previously posted, and upgraded the table to include all the on-screen characters from the first season.

KanColle

Reason for watching: It wasn't the fleet girls; what's really cool is... ship spotting. That shouldn't surprise, given my posts above.

Here's a pic of my Japanese warship and book collection.


Back wall: plan and external profile of Fuso.
Back row (l-r): Fuso and Yamato
2nd from back row: Nagato
2nd from front row(l-r): Kirishima and Hyuga
Front (l-r): Chin'en and Mikasa


The World War 2 ships: To put eros and thanatos into some sort of perspective, here's the fate of the namesake ships in World War 2, along with the number of sailors who died when the ships were sunk, for all the girls listed in the ANN encyclopaedia. This list doesn't include the people killed by these ships - from China to Ceylon to Northern Australia to the Solomon Islands to Hawaii to the Aleutian Islands; the sailors killed on the ships in earlier actions; or the victims of friendly fire.
Code:
Ship       Type           Sunk/Fate    Deaths   Notes
Fubuki     Destroyer      15 Nov 1942  >100
Akagi      Carrier        05 Jun 1942  267   
Akatsuki   Destroyer      13 Nov 1942  179   
Ashigara   Heavy Cruiser  08 Jun 1945  1300     Includes 1200 troops being transported
Atago      Heavy Cruiser  23 Oct 1944  360   
Chikuma    Heavy Cruiser  25 Oct 1944  ~850     The ship carrying survivors was sunk, only 1 person survived both sinkings
Haruna     Battleship     28 Jul 1945  65       Sunk at moorings & raised for scrap
Hibiki     Destroyer      To USSR      
Hiei       Battleship     14 Nov 1942  188   
Hiryu      Carrier        05 Jun 1942  394   
Hosho      Carrier        Scrapped              Training ship; survived the war
Ikazuchi   Destroyer      13 Apr 1944  238-250  No survivors
Inazuma    Destroyer      10 Jun 1944  113-125   
Jintsu     Light Cruiser  13 Jul 1943  482   
Kaga       Carrier        04 Jun 1942  811   
Kirishima  Battleship     15 Nov 1942  212      Sunk by Amercian battleship Washington
Kisaragi   Destroyer      11 Dec 1941  150      No survivors
Kitakami   Light Cruiser  Scrapped      
Kongo      Battleship     21 Nov 1944  >1200   
Kuma       Light Cruiser  11 Jan 1944  138   
Mamiya     Supply Ship    20 Dec 1944  ?   
Mochizuki  Destroyer      Not completed      
Mogami     Heavy Cruiser  25 Oct 1944  192   
Murasame   Destroyer      05 Mar 1943  128   
Mutsu      Battleship     08 Jun 1943  1121     Accidental loss from magazine explosion while in dock
Mutsuki    Destroyer      25 Aug 1942  41   
Nachi      Heavy Cruiser  05 Nov 1944  807   
Nagato     Battleship     Nuclear test          The only large Japanese ship afloat at the end of the war
Naka       Light Cruiser  18 Feb 1944  240   
Ooi        Light Cruiser  19 Jul 1944  153   
Oyodo      Light Cruiser  28 Jul 1945  ~300     Sunk at moorings & raised for scrap
Sendai     Light Cruiser  03 Nov 1943  184   
Shigure    Destroyer      24 Jan 1945  37   
Shimakaze  Destroyer      11 Nov 1944  ?   
Shiratsuyu Destroyer      15 Jun 1944  104      Collided with Seiyo Maru, detonating her depth charges
Shokaku    Carrier        19 Jun 1944  1272   
Soryu      Carrier        04 Jun 1942  711   
Taiho      Carrier        19 Jun 1944  1650   
Takao      Heavy Cruiser  Target ship           Survived the war and sunk by British as a target ship in 1946
Tama       Light Cruiser  20 Oct 1944  ~450     No survivors
Tone       Heavy Cruiser  24 Jul 1945  ?        Sunk at moorings & raised for scrap
Yamato     Battleship     07 Apr 1945  3055   
Yayoi      Destroyer      11 Sep 1942  67   
Yubari     Light Cruiser  28 Apr 1944  19   
Yudachi    Destroyer      15 Dec 1942  ?   
Zuikaku    Carrier        25 Oct 1944  842



Fubuki-class destroyer in foreground with IJN Nagato behind. Isn't she adorable?
Don't you just want to hug her? Oh... and the chibi Fubuki does nothing for me.


Notable activities of IJN Fubuki in World War 2:
- 4 November 1941 - 30 January 1942: supported Malaya, British Borneo & Anambas Islands invasion operations.
- 27 January 1942: took part in the Battle of Endau - HMS Thanet sunk (39 killed, 33 captured)
- 13-18 February 1942: Sumatra invasion forces; assisted in sinking or capture of at least 7 vessels including Li Wo
- 28 February - 1 March 1942: Battle of Sunda Strait. Fubuki is credited with sighting the allied force of the heavy cruiser USS Houston, the light cruiser HMAS Perth and the destroyer HNLMS Evertsen. In the ensuing night action all three were sunk by a larger Japanese force. 1071 American, Australian and Dutch sailors were killed and 675 captured. 4 troop transports and 1 minesweeper were sunk by friendly Japanese fire. It was long thought that a spread of torpedoes from Fubuki was responsible, though recent research indicates it may have been the heavy cruiser, Mogami.
- 12 March - 23 March 1942: took part in Indonesian and Andaman Island invasions, and Indian Ocean raids.
- April 1942: maintenance in Kure.
- 4-5 June: battleship/cruiser escort providing anti-aircraft cover during the Battle of Midway.
- 29 August - 11 October 1942: troop transport for the Guadalcanal campaign. 26,000+ combatants died in the campaign and forty ships were sunk.
- 11 October 1942: sunk by gunfire in the Battle of Cape Esperance; 109 survivors were captured by the Americans.

Sources:
1. Jentsura, Hansgeorg (1976). Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
2. http://www.combinedfleet.com/fubuki_t.htm
3. Wikipedia


The final moments of IJN Yamato as her magazines explode.

Synopsis: Loosely based on events from the Pacific War in early 1942 culminating in the Battle of Midway, KanColle follows the exploits of the Japanese fleet girls - warships embodied as moe girls - as they overturn the fate ordained for them. In particular, we follow the career of the special destroyer, Fubuki, as she trains, befriends other fleet girls and battles their Abyssal enemies.

Comments: It has been fascinating re-watching and reviewing KanColle in the immediate context of posting reviews about Momotaro's Sea Eagle and Space Battleship Yamato. All three use a blend of heroism and naivete to gloss the evil of the ships' primary purpose as weapons of mass destruction. KanColle could be every bit the war propaganda film that Momotaro's Sea Eagle was. It also seems, like Space Battleship Yamato, to give expression to the fantasy identified by the American censor who said, "who can be sure that the warlike portion of the Japanese do not yearn after another war in which they may give another Yamato a better chance?" KanColle doesn't come across as ideological - the premise of warships as moe girls is altogether too preposterous - but the suspicion that the Japanese would like to re-write World War 2 did pop into my head at times. Happily, the chutzpah in presenting the ships as girls was so funny that I laughed myself silly on more than one occasion both times I've watched it. More importantly, the real purpose of the series isn't about those sorts of things at all. It's all about merchandising, which is a little offputting, given its meretricious portrayal of a time of wholesale slaughter. That I could find it so funny is also somewhat disturbing.


The fate of IJN Nagato.

The series had two things that I enjoyed. First, for a model battleship builder like me it was a lot of fun spotting the ships and noting how the actual ships' features were incorporated into the designs of the characters. The brazen tranformation of deadly war machines (and the Japanese WW2 ships were, imo, the most brutal looking warships ever built) into moe girls never failed to amuse. The series succeeded for me on a comedic level in a away I'm not sure was fully intended by the makers. Second, and sort of related, as someone who has read widely on the naval battles of WW2, it was interesting analysing how the writers used and interpolated from the actual battles of that war. As the series progressed the screen events diverged more and more from history but it still used historical events in the plot. Even with the most wild departure - the Battle of Midway - some of the key moments of the anime battle paralleled the historical battle.

Apart from the predictable and timid plot the other big disappointment was the feeble depiction of the characters. Indeed, predictable and timid could also be used for their characterisation. They were uninteresting even by moe standards, with faces and bodies and personalities I've seen many times elswhere, except in real life. Paradoxically, and to the show's credit, the large cast were easily distinguishable design-wise. From destroyer to light cruiser to heavy cruiser to battlecruiser to carrier to battleship, the girls grew taller and older. The also had simple character traits that likewise distinguished them from the others. Catch was that their emotions never seemed authentically human. I kept getting the impression that the emotions were being switched on and off like a light bulb to meet the demands of the story. I didn't really mind as the most notable thing about them was, as already mentioned, how the ship features were built into their designs. I didn't come to care for them so there was no sense of danger in their battles. Quite the reverse, I was perversely hoping for them to be sunk, simply for entertainment. ("Wow! Look how this one went down.")


IJN Kirishima (bottom) and her nemesis, USS Washington (top).

And, yeah, the plot flubbed it. As Akagi was saved I knew the last chance Kan Colle had of going somewhere interesting was irretrievably gone. At that point I was fully expecting Kisaragi to come up from the depths to help save the day. In hindsight that sort of timidity was typical of the series. The show could have been so much better if it had gone the Evangelion/Puella Magi Madoka Magica route with a "war is hell" ordeal for the characters. Alas, it wasn't to be. I suppose the production committee didn't want to alienate the fans of the various characters. Admittedly I too had my favourites: Kongo for her unshakeable ebullience; and Nagato for her icy seriousness. (Shame about the squirrel.) Let's not overstate things, though. I'm not about to add them to my figurine collection.

Rating: So-so. Kan Colle ended up quite the disappointment for me, even if from early on it seemed it would be little more than a merchandising exercise. All the way through I was hoping it would push through its marketing constraints to give us something authentically emotionally engaging. It didn't have to be a "moe-blob massacre", as someone put it, but I wish it could have been more adventurous. While it was both amusing and disturbing for the bizarre way it transformed vicious steel into soft flesh, either the makers didn't understand real wars or real women, or they didn't care. Marketing triumphed as consumers unconditionally surrendered their money. I could forgive that if the series had earned it.


The last moments of IJN Zuikaku. As the sailors of the Imperial Japanese Navy were drowned, pierced,
blown up, burned or dismembered, they may have consoled themselves, had they known, that their
sacrifices weren't in vain; that one day they would inspire a vast range of merchandise to satisfy
the desires of a world-wide fandom.


Last edited by Errinundra on Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:40 am; edited 15 times in total
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