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Brain Diving - Short Term Memory


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MorwenLaicoriel



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 1610
Location: Colorado
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:30 am Reply with quote
Ooh, great, this looks like it'll be a wonderful new column. I'm one of those fans that likes to (over?)analyze anime and other aspects of pop culture a lot, so this'll be a real treat.

I don't know much about the GITS series beyond the basics about it, but this was still an interesting read. I'm always really happy when a series I like gets some supplementary material that expands on the world in a way they weren't able to do in the main bulk of the series. it's a shame we rarely get that sort of thing here in the USA.
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OtakuExile



Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Posts: 202
Location: Neo Vegas
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:09 am Reply with quote
Welcome Brian, I await to see how "scholar" you are in this fandom. Great work so far, I say this because cyberpunk is my favorite. Thank you for the Burning City and Star seed info. I'll look into these.
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Nephtis



Joined: 21 Jul 2005
Posts: 138
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:08 am Reply with quote
Excellent, as a cinema studies/Japanese university student I look forward to reading this column regularly.

Off to a great start Brian, I shall have to check out the titles you've mentioned.

While I'm too early on in my degree to really comment I must say that if the text doesn't read well and is 100% faithful than it is simply too faithful. There's a balance between being faithful to the original and actually doing the job of effectively translating something so the audience/readers can still fully understand the media. It's a challenge for sure, one that I cannot wait to undertake myself.
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CG



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:47 am Reply with quote
Finally, a thoroughly intellectual take on anime!

I can't wait till you discuss works by Miyazaki, Eva and Makoto Shinkai. There are some serious Jungian discussions on Eva, and Artaud's Theater of Cruelty is an excellent mode of analyzing 5cm per Second's appeal!
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diligent sesame



Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:36 am Reply with quote
I'm excited for this new column.
That being said, I'm not sure how the debut article shone "a light on just why so many people take anime and manga so seriously as an intellectual pursuit." Instead it just seemed like a list of light novels related to famous anime properties. I'm tired of pompous analyses of anime & manga series so I sincerely hope this column does not prove to disappoint. Oh, and the weekly featured piece of online writing is a cool idea.
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JohnnySake



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 579
Location: Auburn Hills, MI
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:57 am Reply with quote
Wow, I've actually picked up both of these books over the years. Like the article says, they are an easy read, and I found both enjoyable for someone who wants a little more GiTS in their life. I always see them available in the local Borders, I'm sure they are still quite available for anyone wanting to pick them up. A good start to an interesting new article series!
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SaharaFrost



Joined: 13 Jul 2009
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:23 am Reply with quote
Hmm...I have mixed feelings about this new column. While I'm very excited to see an academic column, I'm a bit disappointed that it will only be a review of other writings (or based upon other writings). I was really hoping it would also cover some independently-produced ideas...there's a lot of interesting general topics out there that could be discussed at length without having to always review someone else's writings. There's just so many review columns as it is, and so, while it will be nice having an academic approach for this one, I'm a bit concerned this one will simply blend in with the rest. I still have my fingers crossed though, and will be looking forward to seeing how this column goes. Smile
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slipperybogle



Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:36 am Reply with quote
SaharaFrost wrote:
Hmm...I have mixed feelings about this new column. While I'm very excited to see an academic column, I'm a bit disappointed that it will only be a review of other writings (or based upon other writings).


I think the presentation was admittedly confusing, however, my impression was that the reading suggestions would be only one component of the column.
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gartholamundi



Joined: 18 Mar 2010
Posts: 316
Location: Gainesville, FL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:49 am Reply with quote
slipperybogle wrote:
SaharaFrost wrote:
Hmm...I have mixed feelings about this new column. While I'm very excited to see an academic column, I'm a bit disappointed that it will only be a review of other writings (or based upon other writings).


I think the presentation was admittedly confusing, however, my impression was that the reading suggestions would be only one component of the column.


I'm really excited about this column ... Brian says himself it's not primarily a review column though:

"Each week I'd like to highlight a different piece of writing online that strikes my fancy for one reason or another ... It's not necessarily that I'll always agree with what the author is saying, but the writing will usually (hopefully) provide a good jumping-off point for discussion."
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gartholamundi



Joined: 18 Mar 2010
Posts: 316
Location: Gainesville, FL
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:09 am Reply with quote
so ... let's jump off:

the thing that interests me about GitS-type worlds are the ways creators push or experiment with the boundaries of human identity -- what it means to be human. and also symbols of oppression, and the inevitable relationship between the individual and the community.

there seems to be an arc that runs from The Six-Million Dollar Man to Star Wars to GitS, and can be seen sometimes in Philip K Dick's android/human problem (especially where police are concerned), suggesting a connection between "loss of humanity/gaining of mechanical parts" leading a character on a nearly inevitable road of working government jobs. (ha!)

that arithmetic turned around would suggest government jobs, or bureaucratic jobs in general, lead to loss of humanity. PKD certainly suggested that in things like the novel which became Blade Runner, which of course much of anime (especially 80s sci-fi anime & manga) seems to use as a jumping-off point.

GitS in particular seems to examine this thread, whereas a series like Serial Experiments: Lain maybe suggests an opposite viewpoint -- assimilation into the system becomes a liberation from the system? (Or maybe it really only shows the movement from one system to another, one kind of limiting slavery in "the real world" to another, bodiless system of limitations in the Wired.)

Franz Kafka is, i think, also part of this group concerned with these symbols and themes -- that slavery to a system (where the days become assembly-line, cookie-cutter same) can lead to robotification in the individual. there's a case to be made that his dung beetle narrator in "Metamorphosis" might be one of the first unwilling recipients of chitinous "powered armor." Wink
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khaos1019



Joined: 28 Nov 2007
Posts: 82
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:37 am Reply with quote
I'm glad to see Brian Ruh on the site. I've read several of his writings, and I'm a big fan of The Stray Dog of Anime. I look forward to reading more of this column.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1733
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:49 am Reply with quote
I always wondered why the fans had such a hard time translating Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles so it's interesting to hear that CLAMP was messing around with the language as well as everything else. Now that I know that's even possible in Japanese it would be cool to see other manga-ka do it for all sorts of weird interpretation.
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_V_



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 619
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:02 pm Reply with quote
"My short-term memory has been erased. This, I ascribe to the proximity of the magnetic coils from Starbug's rear engine. Secondly, due to the proximity of the magnetic coils, my short term memory appears to have been erased. This, combined with the erasure of my short-term memory, has left me a little disoriented, disoriented, disoriented...."
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slipperybogle



Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I can't claim that I get GitS. I think I've started the movie 3 times without watching the whole thing. It's always seemed to me, though, to be a series that had something to say, and it's interesting to consider how academics react to that. From my limited exposure to some film studies journals/classes you can divide studies of mass media between those that treat the subject matter on its own terms and those that have a more adversarial approach, maybe looking to find some reading of the text which either subverts or castigates the author/director etc. I wonder, is this at all applicable to academic research about anime?

It'd also be great if Brian could give us a broad overview of the field in terms of who the major players are, where things get published, and what sorts of things people are studying. But I guess that's sort of the point of the column.
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lascd123



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:16 pm Reply with quote
This looks like a really interesting new column, and I adore the idea of looking at anime, manga, light novels, and other non-traditionally academic texts through a more intellectual lens. As someone who enjoys the heady concepts and symbolism of works like serial experiments lain, akira, GITS, paprika (or any satoshi Kon work for that matter), Black Lagoon, and Evangelion, I have to say that this seems like a column that has A LOT of potential(at least for me personally).
Well, keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing what next week's topic will bring.
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