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Pile of Shame - Seven Cities Story




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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1241

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:12 pm Reply with quote
I remember hearing about this OVA a couple of years ago when the fansubs came out. I never saw it but it really sounds like something that was made simply because the people behind it wanted to ride off of the success of Arslan & LOGH, with hopes of making some nice money by simply relying on Tanaka's name.

Shame, as I agree with Justin that the world it takes place in has some cool potential.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9040

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:47 pm Reply with quote
I've been talking about this one for years trying to drum up support. It's a fantastic introduction OVA, every bit as captivating as LoGH, even if Tanaka was trying to capture the same lightning. Certainly a better effort than what became of Tytania, but a shame that only two episodes were produced, which is the really only flaw I can think up. LoGH also thrust the viewer into a huge multifaceted situation where the characters' names needed to be shown on screen continuously, so that should not be held against this anime. I completely disagree about forgetting it immediately, the premise and emphasis on naval warfare really stuck out to me.
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Galap
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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:06 pm Reply with quote
I saw this one a couple of years ago. I thought it was good. Definitely a lesser Tanaka work than Arislan and LOGH, but it holds its own and does bring some new things to the table. Sure the material is a little convoluted but it's definitely better for it than being simplistic. There's a lot more going on in the setting than can be said for most short OVAs. I agree with walw here: sure LOGH followed through with its setting very very thoroughly, but this one created enough interest in its short running time to get my attention. I think I'm going to watch it again sometime soon because this time around I probably won't have to focus too much on who's who and the like. That kind of thing may bother a lot of people, but I've learned I tend not to care as much. For me it's ok if you have to work at it a bit.

I remember I particularly liked at the end when spoiler[Wei Liu flew the coop because he knew the brass would be after him. He leaves in the middle of the night, setting up the classic wad of pillows under the covers to fool the soldiers he knows are coming. He takes his cousin (was she his cousin? i forget it was a while ago. I'm pretty sure it was some sort of relative. I think that's interesting too. We don't see many aunt or uncle or cousin relationships in anime, with the exception of the stupid little sister-cousin.) Marine in his pickup truck and takes off with blueberries and weapon equipment in the back (or was it just that stuff in blueberry crates?), hoping to figure out how to take down the automatic satellites that have blocked the sky from humanity. The two of them have a conversation about the future of the world and the nature of things as they ride off into the nght]. I mention that scene because it was really beautiful and unique.

Justin, do you cover things that have neither been officially released nor fansubbed, where the only source of them is in Japanese? There are some great and very interesting works like that, some of which I'm a pretty strong champion of, and exposure in this column I feel is very good at getting things into the fan consciousness that weren't there at all previously. I've now had numerous chances to talk about Genesis Surviver Gaiarth where previously I had none. I think that covering those could serve as a catalyst to getting a lot of untranslated gems translated, which would be really nice. There's a lot of very good stuff out there that fans are missing out on because of accessibility barriers.
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musouka



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 433

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:31 pm Reply with quote
It's not that I don't believe it's possibly boring and plodding, despite not having the runtime it needs, but the plot outlined in the article makes me want to track it down immediately. I love high concept sci-fi like that, and I love Tanaka's work--Arslan is my personal favorite--so I'll probably end up judging more favorably unless it's absolutely execrable.
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jsevakis
ANN Director of New Media


Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 1571
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Galap wrote:
Justin, do you cover things that have neither been officially released nor fansubbed, where the only source of them is in Japanese? There are some great and very interesting works like that, some of which I'm a pretty strong champion of, and exposure in this column I feel is very good at getting things into the fan consciousness that weren't there at all previously.

I try to keep it to only things that have been subtitled, since there are so freaking many obscure fansubbed works out there, and honestly while my Japanese is good enough to watch most things without subs, writing about them requires a fairly comprehensive understanding. I'm really concerned I'll miss something or misunderstand something major and be called on the carpet for it.

That said, if there's something you really want me to see and write about, by all means let me know.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:04 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
That said, if there's something you really want me to see and write about, by all means let me know.


You love Kunihiko Yuyama, so get to writing about Leda already~! It's a shame that one isn't in print here again, it has a great looking R2.
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Galap
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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:16 am Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
I try to keep it to only things that have been subtitled, since there are so freaking many obscure fansubbed works out there, and honestly while my Japanese is good enough to watch most things without subs, writing about them requires a fairly comprehensive understanding. I'm really concerned I'll miss something or misunderstand something major and be called on the carpet for it.

That said, if there's something you really want me to see and write about, by all means let me know.


There’s one thing that I’m trying to get out there the most, and knowing your tastes from both this column and anncast, I think it’s something that you’d really be interested in.

It is a 1995 film called Kazu&Yasu: Hero Birth. The film is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, It’s an animated biography, which as far as I know is pretty unique. It is the story of the life of Japanese football/soccer player Kazuyoshi Miura, and his brother Yasutoshi (also a professional footballer), detailing their childhood with their sister and single mother in 70s Japan, the genesis of their interest in football, and ultimately the start of their careers. The second point of interest is that it’s the directorial debut of Kazuki Akane. While he isn’t the most well-known or well-regarded director, he was involved with stuff that a lot of people know, Escaflowne for example. He’s my personal favorite director, which is how I found out about this.

The last point of interest is that it’s, well, really good. The soccer scenes have some very dynamic and beautiful animation, and the storyboarding is incredible (for example, it depicts the planet Venus in the evening sky, and draws attention to the fact that in Brazil, the sun is directly overhead because it’s near the equator.). It gives a real sense of the spaces and locations that set the stage for the story, and has a real artistic and unique sense of shot composition. I'd guess that some of the storyboards were done by Akane himself, since they seemed to show his thumbprint (It's hard to explain, but if you see the stuff he does as storyboard artist you might know what I'm talking about). The characters were very engaging, and their depiction had a certain magic about it, revealing something about everyday existence and personal life stages. Akane's other works all have grand science ficiton and fantasy ideas, which are the main draw for me, but they always fit it in with very compelling character drama and real-seeming portrayals of the characters' individual lives and world. This time, it fit that stuff into a framework of a sports story, rather than science fiction/fantasy. Though I obviously wasn’t there, I can tell it really captures something special about what it was like growing up in Japan in the 70s.

Some info: http://myanimelist.net/anime/20143/Kazu_&_Yasu_Hero_Tanjou. I can’t link it in the ANN database because it’s not even in the database. To talk about ‘buried treasure’, or something that literally no one has heard of, this is it. I’ve searched pretty exhaustively on the internet, and I can’t find anyone talking about this. All I find is listings with almost no description on database sites like that, even in Japanese. Obviously no fansubs exist (which I’d very much like to see change), and there’s no Japanese DVD or anything. There were a few VHS for sale on amazon jp, and at least one of them shipped internationally, so I imported the thing. One of the Japanese database sites says there exists a laserdisc but I didn’t find that elsewhere (and I don’t have a LD player anyway). There now is a raw version floating around on the internet (I wonder where that came from Wink).

Yeah that’s my recommendation. I really want other people to see it, and especially want to see what you’d have to say about it.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1006

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:17 am Reply with quote
Like some others here, I rather like this OVA. More would've been nice, but there's only one book of it in Japanese anyway (aside from some "shared world" stuff by other authors whom he let play in this particular sandbox for a while).

I think there's something else that might also play into why Tanaka set this world up the way he did: a lot of people in Japan seem to have an affection for battleships, but as practical weapons in full-scale war, the development of the aircraft carrier severely curtailed their power and usefulness (as Yamato, for example, found out the hard way). This setting, however, allows Tanaka to tell a story with battleship warfare, and have the battleships doing stuff besides just getting bombed into oblivion by fighter planes.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 13866
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:27 pm Reply with quote
Now to convince people that Legend of the Galactic Heroes is no masterpiece . . . . . .
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 1038

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:07 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Now to convince people that Legend of the Galactic Heroes is no masterpiece . . . . . .

Because of course it's your duty to convince everyone that a show is good but no better than you think it is.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 13866
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:28 pm Reply with quote
^
What? No, not at all. Your one sentence has no fewer than four factual errors. I get that you want to defend a title that you consider to be a masterpiece, and fair enough, but there's no need to be rude about it.
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jymmy



Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Posts: 1038

PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:51 pm Reply with quote
I don't see that that's rude, but if I've appeared so I apologise. I'm not particularly interested in debating the point (although I checked your list, and am interested in hearing the parts of the show you thought were awful); your comment made it seem to me as though you felt you needed to "convince" people. The show being "no masterpiece" would put it roughly in line with what I gather is your assessment of it. I'm sure you can see how I misinterpreted your post. A statement of opinion, I thought, would have gone more along the lines of "Good article, although I don't agree that Legend of the Galactic Heroes should be regarded as a masterpiece."
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aisuru113



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Did the character designer for this come from the School of Rob Liefeld Character Designs? Such tiny heads on such wide shoulders.
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