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ANNCast - To Make A Long Story Short

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Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 8344
Location: Penguinopolis
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:08 pm Reply with quote
I loved the Steven Universe movie. Poor Spinel. Pink Diamond did her dirty.

The only Okada works I've really checked out are Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans, of which I prefer the former. Between her and Takeshi Koike, they gave the Lupin franchise its teeth back. IBO was okay for the first season, but the second was kind of a mess.

The only Dreamcast game I ever played was Grandia II. I enjoyed what little of it I played.
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Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 3767
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:50 pm Reply with quote
I think in some cases we attribute too much blame to the lead writer of an anime when things don't go as we would like, even though the director (among others) often has as much or even more of a say in the direction of a story than the writer does - especially when the writer is a more well known name than the director like Okada. To take an example mentioned in the podcast, I see more of the director Tsutomu Mizushima in The Lost Village (via his previous work Another) than I do Okada, and if it seems different than her other works, that's probably why. Going a bit earlier into her work, I don't know that anyone would think of Fractale as an Okada work, even though she was the series composition writer, as with most works attributed to her. While this does not absolve her of all responsibility or mean that you can't hear her voice at all, just labeling the works she was involved in Okada works (especially those earlier in her career) assumes more creative control on her part than she may have had and neglects the voices of others, often less well known creators working alongside her, even among those who follow the industry closely.

While I think I would put Maquia above it personally, and Vinland Saga will probably be my favorite of the season, I do think Maidens is a close runner-up. While I may not have gone through the same things the characters (or other viewers who see themselves in the characters), I can still appreciate the emotional rawness nonetheless. I think Hongo is my favorite character as well, even though she may have made a number of ill advised choices.

While it doesn't happen every season, I do still find myself surprised by a show every now and then. I've seen plenty of anime, I generally know where to set my expectations from who is working on it and what sort of genre it is, and I know how things often go with these things (aside from genres I don't often venture into), but I'm still find myself surprised sometimes. Now these are often modest surprises and from shows that aren't the best of the season, but they are out there for those who might seek them. For me this season, Wasteful Days of High School Girls has been that show, especially after the most recent episode spoiler[where they could have just left the fact that one character's favorite Vocaloid song writer, whom she deeply admired, was her teacher as a punchline, but they actually made it a touching and surprisingly serious storyline from a usually silly comedy]. I think even those who are very literate in a medium can still be surprised, if you are open to it. Though that may take a lot of digging, and if you don't have the time or interest in doing so, I can certainly understand that. But even if you don't have the time to go to the mine and search for a few tiny diamonds among tons of dirt and rock, I do think there is merit in questioning one's presumption that you always know everything about where a story is going from the first episode even just from hearing about it secondhand, or even about how one grows as a fan of the medium. I think those who have been in the medium a long time can be blinded to different ways of maturing as a fan by their own experiences and those of their peers, thinking every media literate person will eventually never be surprised like them, that their tastes will mature only by a winnowing down, that one's jadedness is an inevitable part of knowing the media as much you do. That is not to say those experiences were somehow wrong, but rather that it is not inevitable or the only way things can go.
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Angel M Cazares

Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 5095
Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:15 pm Reply with quote
I liked your discussion about O Maidens in Your Savage Season. It is a unique and interesting show with captivating characters. Momo became my favorite character when it became clear that she is gay; I will be happy if Niina reciprocates her feelings. I am a big fan of Okada and have watched and enjoyed a bunch of stuff she has written.

Maidens has a chance of being the best anime series of 2019 if it sticks the landing. But I will probably still consider Hanasaku Iroha the best work I have watched from her.
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Joined: 04 Nov 2007
Posts: 538
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:58 pm Reply with quote
I saw this show up this morning, then ran out to watch the Steven Universe movie so that I can listen to the podcast when I get back to work on Monday without being spoiled Razz

Overall, I really liked the movie. Spinel was entertaining, and it continues the long and uncomfortable thread of how Pink Diamond impacted a lot of people. The musical numbers were great, too, as were the jokes.
Though one thing really bothered me:
spoiler[Ok, so the world got injected with enough poison to kill all organic life, and because the (now empty) injector was destroyed, and Steven can heal the ground in about a 4 foot radius at a time... everything’s fine?
I’m ok with returning to the (new) status quo, but they could have come up with at least *an* explanation of how they were able to stop it, like reversing instead of destroying the injector, or maybe some help from the Diamonds]

I dunno... that just felt like a real black spot on an otherwise very enjoyable movie.

//ok, so it will spoil some of Maidens for me, but I’m ok with that.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:22 pm Reply with quote
I'm glad you're enjoying O Maidens as much as I am. Equal parts hilarious and brutal. I never want it to end. Even when they do the standard rom com tropes, it feel like the stakes are much higher.

The later seasons of Steven Universe are worth watching, if only to spot all the Utena references.
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Joined: 15 Jul 2019
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:07 pm Reply with quote
Good show, O Maidens is fantastic. But a part of me died every time Okada's works were mentioned, and no one brought up Anthem of the Heart. Thought that was really good, but oh well.
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Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 806
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:05 pm Reply with quote
If I had to rank Mari Okada's works, I'd probably go with "O Maidens" as my favorite as well. It just covers so much of that experience, and every single one of those girls is so relatable in one way or another it hurts. As for the rest, I'd probably rank them as:

2. A Lull in the Sea (definitely more melodramatic, and closer to works like Maquia than Maidens, but I love its themes on change/growing up and its a melodrama without the mean-spirited-ness found in some of the other more dramatic works of hers)
3. Dragon Pilot: Hisone & Masotan (I still feel like I enjoyed this show more than most people, but it is kind of lost in the Netflix algorithm shuffle)
4. A Woman Called Fujiko Mine & Toradora (Bunching them together because I don't know how much of her input is in these works since the former seems more inspired by the director, and the latter is an adaptation, but I still really love them)
5. AnoHana (parts of it work extremely well for me to this day, and other parts not as much. If you haven't seen it in a long time, I would highly recommend a re-watch, especially since its pretty short)
6. Maquia (same with AnoHana, its a mixed-to-positive for me, more so after re-watching it at home)

I still have not seen Wandering Son, but I don't remember if its an adaptation like Toradora.
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