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Spriggan Then vs Spriggan Now


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Key
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:19 pm Reply with quote
Having seen the movie version back in the day and just recently finished the Netflix series, I fully agree with the comparative assessments. The movie still stands as one the great visual action spectacles among anime movies, and I remember the ambiance being quite strong (almost too much so), but the script was weak enough that I only gave it a score equivalent to a B- overall. The story in the Netflix series is a distinct improvement, though also too episodic; aside from Yu and his boss, I think only one character had more than a bit role in even two different episodes? Yu does, I guess, get developed some, but it's still not a lot.

Overall, the series is definitely worth watching if you're only looking for lots of (sometimes intensely) graphic action and aren't expecting anything else.
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andramus



Joined: 19 Apr 2020
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:18 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
The story in the Netflix series is a distinct improvement, though also too episodic;


I actually thought the episodic nature of the Netflix series felt like a breath of fresh air. It was old school not just in terms of modern anime but modern TV in general.

Don't get me wrong. I like serialized storytelling and some of my favourite series have been heavily serialized. However I feel like lot of TV these days relies so heavily on serialization that most invidual episodes are easily forgettable and often the serialized elements feel like they are crowbarred in.

I think the concept of the season long "Big Bad" that I belive began with Buffy has had an adverse effect on a lot of superhero TV shows particularly the ones on the CW. Where it feels like the "Big Bad" storylines each season are stretched incredibly thin only to be wrapped up at the last minute in the season finale.
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:58 pm Reply with quote
While the Spriggan film was a nice spectacle and got me intrigued with the franchise, I liked the three volumes of the manga I read back in the day a lot more. They stuck with me more than the movie, which definitely was a different take on the franchise overall. And this new Netflix series by and large captures the manga very well. So absolutely I want a Season 2.

The storytelling is not stand-alone or uninvolved, as every episode continues to develop the world and its players in some fashion--ARCAM, Trident, the Orichalcum-based technology, Yu's past and convictions... This franchise may have a formula to move it along, much like Cowboy Bebop or Witch Hunter Robin, but there's a lot more than meets the eye just below the action-packed surface that's mixing and bubbling together. It's not the deepest thing ever, but it is not one-note and it raises a lot of creative, intriguing "what if" scenarios related to mythology, history, etc., as well as questions about the military industrial complex and whether organizations are defined by their leaders or their members.

I don't agree that it is ONLY about action. If you're someone who's interested in history, the narratives of mythology, and political science, and are not married to the idea of everything having to be one-to-one with reality, there is a fair amount to chew on. That subtext and the detail put into the technology and feel of the globetrotting world are what make this stand out from other action-heavy old-school anime or even most anime today.

Plus, the thing the movie missed out on was how Yu leads the double life as a student...and while it's perhaps cliche, it adds genuine "heart" to the series. Without spoiling too much specifically, Yu's been through more than spoiler[just losing his parents, which makes his line about Rie saving him first when he went to her when she was crying as a kid all the more poignant in Episode 1. And it speaks to why he wants to embrace his school life but is always pulled away and has a reputation that isn't accurate that he has to deal with.]

I think some of the criticisms being given to Spriggan, a 30-year-old franchise, could also be leveled at a lot of Shonen Jump titles. Granted, it may not be the best thing ever, but on the whole the Netflix series is a stand-out anime release, especially in this day and age.
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luisedgarf



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 5:16 pm Reply with quote
Just a little question, does the TV series still had the same anti-American slant the movie had, to the grade the English dub had to change it to something more generic at the end?
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Divineking



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:48 pm Reply with quote
luisedgarf wrote:
Just a little question, does the TV series still had the same anti-American slant the movie had, to the grade the English dub had to change it to something more generic at the end?


I haven't seen the movie, but there's definently been some unsubtle jabs at American excepionalism in the Netflix series, and the English dub left all of that unaltered
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Snomaster1
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:54 pm Reply with quote
Well,my feelings about "Spriggan" are probably pretty clear. I'm not really fond of it and the anti-Americanism is one of the biggest reasons for it. I couldn't stand watching either version. I even wrote a whole post about it in the Anime section if anyone wants to read it or comment. One thing is clear,it may be for others,but not for me.
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RockSplash



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 8:19 pm Reply with quote
luisedgarf wrote:
Just a little question, does the TV series still had the same anti-American slant the movie had, to the grade the English dub had to change it to something more generic at the end?


I really would not call the series anti-american. Yes, the villians in the Noah's arc story are the marines, but there are also nazis, the KGB(or the modern equivalent in '22), and the Chinese military as villains. Heck, there are even multiple Japanese villains. I think spriggan is just anti military in general.
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Yu Ominae



Joined: 21 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:41 am Reply with quote
RockSplash wrote:
luisedgarf wrote:
Just a little question, does the TV series still had the same anti-American slant the movie had, to the grade the English dub had to change it to something more generic at the end?


I really would not call the series anti-american. Yes, the villians in the Noah's arc story are the marines, but there are also nazis, the KGB(or the modern equivalent in '22), and the Chinese military as villains. Heck, there are even multiple Japanese villains. I think spriggan is just anti military in general.


I don't recall the PLA there. There's the British military (only because they were sponsoring a scientist studying OOPArts).

Otherwise, there's a mercenary group founded by arms dealers. They're a major recurring villain.

There's also that s*tass of a CIA agent who happens to be a giddly firestarter.

Divineking wrote:
luisedgarf wrote:
Just a little question, does the TV series still had the same anti-American slant the movie had, to the grade the English dub had to change it to something more generic at the end?


I haven't seen the movie, but there's definently been some unsubtle jabs at American excepionalism in the Netflix series, and the English dub left all of that unaltered


That is correct. A bit more pronunced.

----

animenewsnetwork.com/bbs/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=5342036&highlight=#5342036

This is Snomaster1's post in case people want to read his thoughts on Spriggan.

spoiler[I just have to point that the Crystal Skull/Holy Grail Arc (which had Kutheimer as the big bad) was already finished. After that, only Bo survived.]

PS - I can surmise that he's really conservative based on his thoughts. IMHO, it's not wrong to be patriotic about your country, but I wonder if that extends to seeing your institutions not being wrong with someone who does his work on behalf of said institution. And that's not getting to the obvious dislike of having a Hitler story in it (which I get).

PPS - Snomaster (on talking about Rebecca Silverman) was talking about the issue on the controversy of Recovery of an MMO Junkie's director Kazuyoshi Yaginuma liking alt-right tweets/social media statements. In case you didn't know, Rebecca already reviewed Spriggan. I read it and nowhere does she mention her questions about the anime adaptation with the Crystal Skull arc. Of course, this can change depending on how the Holy Grail arc's done.
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IdeaOfEvil



Joined: 21 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 12:45 pm Reply with quote
I never knew of the manga's existence before the first anime movie, and I still don't know anything about the manga since I refused to read the edited Viz releases way back when. But because that movie was so awesome at the time I've eagerly been waiting 20+ years to see this franchise get more content created since. And... this '22 series is just okay.

The action and choreography is great. But I was hoping for more creativity and emphasis to be put on various OoPArts than what we got. And maybe it's just that the Noah's Arc story was such a fantastic concept that the show felt underwhelming and rushed as a whole in comparison? In any case, Noah being episode 2 definitely made the rest of the series feel slow for me. You go from a world devastating device (the arc) that had three distinct "super villains" for Yu to fight in episode 2, to episodes about a skull that creates explosions, a budhist tree virus thing, a bug robot, and some island... and it all felt very bland in comparison. And I think that what the original write-up here is saying is a boon to this series is actually what took my excitement away - there's just way too much character development and very little adventure and exploring. People in offices are always talking, people in school talk, people on site talk, and these scenes just amplify the loss (maybe misdirection?) of how I want to see these people finding all the cool technologies being hidden behind ancient traps that the current soldiers could fight over.

I don't know what more content can be adapted. But I sure do like this universe and would love to see another seasons worth of episodes created (even though Netflix just dropped their animation department). I'm just hopeful we do get more of a focus on finding ancient tech (or at least more focus on various tech rather than on characters) because I want that Indiana Jones-feeling of adventure more than I want politics and grandstanding about how evil/good the people are who are chasing these devices.
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:06 pm Reply with quote
I wanted to post here again to first off say that the video comparison in this article is fantastic and really appreciated. I liked seeing it all lined up, and the analysis was spot-on. Some of the information about the manga stories being out of order in animation and about the production staff was especially appreciated.

One thing that wasn't noted in the video is that the 1998 scientist at Noah's Ark is actually the Berserker arc's scientist in terms of visual design. They must have thought the latter was more iconic-looking.

I didn't answer two of the questions in my initial post here that I want to touch on...

The 2D and 3D mix is not perfect, but there are many moments where it absolutely fooled me, and it did afford them to go "big" in various moments in ways that might not have been possible without a budget and crew along the lines of the 1998 film. In the end, while more 2D would be appreciated, I understood why they did it and am IMMENSELY grateful that they made an attempt to blend it with various techniques, including drawing over the models to various degrees. The new Trigun Stampede trailer was my worst nightmare for this Spriggan adaptation when its very first teaser was shown. As a fan of the manga (what I've read), I feel they captured it overall, and even with various changes for time period, run time, etc., I feel like this Netflix version is 90% accurate to the material, whereas the movie version was hovering around 50%.

I actually love the school stuff, even if it might be corny. I love the contrast. Tspoiler[he school relay race] is one of my favorite moments from the manga I've been able to read, and it was done well by David Production.

In terms of my favorite episode...I always loved The Forest of No Return in the manga. spoiler[The overwhelming variety of the curse's manifestations, the rivalry and team-up with Akatsuki, the contrast of Yoshino.] And while the Netflix version seemed to add a bit more comedy in spots and had more CG than I was expecting, it was still really cool. I felt like they toned down the cultural context of the curse, though, which was odd. In the manga, it was more specific than just saying "the king." I felt The Flame Serpent was also great. The Forgotten Kingdom was all-new for me, and I really enjoyed it as well. For some reason, whether it's the movie, the manga, or the Netflix show...the Noah's Ark story never stood out as the best for me personally. I get the stakes, and the characters are iconic, and the artifact is awesome, but for some reason it's just never been my favorite. Maybe it focuses too much on action to the point it becomes numbing? I will say that while I appreciated the diversification of villains and historical references to seeking ancient treasures, the Nazi arcs never really impressed me in the manga (though I like the crystal skull as an artifact), and the anime adaptation of the Crystal Skull was the same mixed bag. It and the Berserker didn't fully grab me, but I did still enjoy them. I think the Berserker one in particular didn't feel quite right in spots. Some of it was the CG was iffy on that one and some of the 2D character shots seemed bland. Also, it removed the plot point of the spoiler[trapped workers in the base's nuclear power plant.]

Random note: I didn't like in this series how CG bullets didn't damage trees on impact. That is typical in anime, but I'd like to see that fixed going forward, as it went against how blended some other aspects were.

I think the way the stakes shift are interesting and prevents the series from seeming one-note. The various things are all very dangerous. spoiler[The forest's curse is an inescapable trap that is terrifying, the crystal skull is basically a nuclear weapon, a world-destroying robot, the phantom island can warp half the world to another dimension if it goes out of control, the flame serpent can cause a volcano to go crazy]--all of these things are definitely high-stakes in their own context.

I do have one fundamental question about this series. Regardless of how it was adapted...is a series that has so much scifi and military trappings something that resonates with the anime community these days? I have spoken to fans at gatherings that have told me how anime is more about fantasy, samurai swords, and slice-of-life to them. They don't really consider the scifi or machine-heavy (planes, tanks, mecha, etc.) stuff legit anime, which is interesting but understandable given the hit franchises over the years. I think that is at least part of why Gundam can't really get any good traction anymore and why we haven't seen series that try to refine or build off of things like Bubblegum Crisis in the modern era.
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Snomaster1
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2022 6:19 am Reply with quote
Well,I see that I got a response to me from someone called Yu Ominae. While it is appreciated,there's some things that need explaining. It's one thing when something like an anime series has at least one or two villains of a certain nationality. But when a series has most of it's villainous characters of that same nationality,it's hard not to conclude that the creators of the manga the series is based on doesn't seem to like the people of that nationality and that many of the people making the anime seem to share that dislike.
At least,that's what I get from what I've heard about "Spriggan." I've read up on both the movie and series version. It's hard for someone like me not to come to that conclusion from what I've heard and read about it. It's a show for others,but not me. I made that abundantly clear in my post. If you want to respond to that post or my comment,go ahead. I have no problem with it.

I've yet to read Ms. Silverman's review of this show. But,I know this. Most Jewish people in this country are probably not going to like something that tries to make Hitler into a good guy. In fact,that would make most people queasy. I just wanted people to understand my stance on this show. It's probably something I'm going to have on my must miss list. It's not really the thing I want to see.
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2022 8:19 pm Reply with quote
Snomaster1 wrote:
Well,I see that I got a response to me from someone called Yu Ominae. While it is appreciated,there's some things that need explaining. It's one thing when something like an anime series has at least one or two villains of a certain nationality. But when a series has most of it's villainous characters of that same nationality,it's hard not to conclude that the creators of the manga the series is based on doesn't seem to like the people of that nationality and that many of the people making the anime seem to share that dislike.
At least,that's what I get from what I've heard about "Spriggan." I've read up on both the movie and series version. It's hard for someone like me not to come to that conclusion from what I've heard and read about it. It's a show for others,but not me. I made that abundantly clear in my post. If you want to respond to that post or my comment,go ahead. I have no problem with it.

I've yet to read Ms. Silverman's review of this show. But,I know this. Most Jewish people in this country are probably not going to like something that tries to make Hitler into a good guy. In fact,that would make most people queasy. I just wanted people to understand my stance on this show. It's probably something I'm going to have on my must miss list. It's not really the thing I want to see.


I have read your posts right along, and I think you make some very valid points, honestly. I am just going to supply a few thoughts here just from my perspective. I'm not trying to convince anyone, nor do I intend any offense whatsoever; I'm just laying out some additional information and perspective on these matters.

1.) Regarding Americans as bad guys. I have experienced the 1998 movie, Netflix series, and three VIZ manga releases from the late 90s, so that's all I can speak to. Here's what I will say: This franchise has a number of American villains, this is true, and it at times critiques American investment in military development as well as interventionism overseas. I think it does this, however, within the larger context of a Cold War arms race and the aims of the military industrial complex, of which America is one player in the story, but a prominent one. This mirrors President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address, though: "Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."

The American enemies are often somewhere within the military industrial complex, like a cabal. On the flip side, ARCAM, which is an international organization that houses the Spriggan agents, was founded in the United States. For all intents and purposes, the heroes work for an American organization. It is hinted that they spoiler[may have a nefarious agenda as well], but the fact remains that many times we're seeing Americans fighting Americans when ARCAM sends in its non-Spriggan agents or personnel, like Cooper, Kevin, and [possibly] Dr. Mayzel and Margaret. I tend to look at it all as a critical-thinking exercise about military expansion and the military industrial complex in general, and many other countries do not get off the hook in this series. Great Britain and Russia are shown to be in this same arms race. Really, this series is fueled by the Cold War. The characters definitely have some not-so-nice things to say about the American villains, but then those said villains are taking things to extremes, so that's to be expected. Rival nations in the story also take jabs, but that happens in real life, too, and is historically accurate to this series' Cold War origins. I can see how it could be taken the wrong way, however, and it's definitely an element that can be uncomfortable. In the end, the series tries to make a point that individuals within organizations have their own wills, good or bad.

2.) Regarding the Hitler story in the Holy Grail arc... First off, that [very short] arc does make me queasy, not going to lie. In fact, the arc is not even any good save for a British Spriggan character named Tea Flatte and explaining Yoshino's backstory. However, the Nazi villains, like in the Crystal Skull arc, are shown to be laughable. (Something repeated by the Netflix version's Japanese creators just recently in an interview while working on animating the Crystal Skull arc). In that sense, I don't think it glorifies them. It makes them out to be has-been, delusional fanatics seeking a bygone era. Main character Yu even notes: "Just the thought of those evil b*****ds getting their hands on the grail makes me sick." It does not deny the atrocities of Germany in WWII did happen; it even calls them out. The Holy Grail arc tries to thematically tell a message of how we create human idols to worship, and how we can subconsciously give away our power to others, both in political and human terms.

That said, the choice to explore this through a type of revisionist history on one's of history's most infamous figures was a huge misstep I can't defend. It is downright weird and cringey. If I try to find logic in it, I chalk it up to Japan being uncomfortable with its role in WWII, the shock value of going somewhere Indiana Jones didn't with its Nazi villains, and the franchise's theme of turning pieces of history upside-down to create unique adventures. Also, the creators seem to have a genuine interest in random historical tidbits, and looking into it on that hunch, I just found there is allegedly the whole "split personality" testimony of Dr. Theodor Morell in The Guardian in May 22, 1945 that they were perhaps interested in exploring. Any way you slice it, I still don't care for it, and I think it distorts history too much to an unhelpful end. It also makes the in-universe character Yoshino look especially naive.

I also personally don't like the way it talks about the Holy Grail in general... This arc would have to be completely reworked if it ever gets adapted, excising the Hitler clone angle altogether, first and foremost. spoiler[(It'd have to focus on Kutheimer personally trying to regain his vitality and gain greater power.)] So, bottom line, I don't like this story at all nor do I endorse it, but unless I end up seeing a bunch of other Spriggan stories that go off into this territory, I'm not going to condemn the franchise as a whole. That said, I won't criticize anyone for saying its presence in a deal-breaker for them, as I can see how it could go beyond cringey/bad taste toward offensive. This story did not reflect the rest of what I've seen/read. I'd be curious to know when this arc was intended to land in the series' chronology, as it was made a direct sequel to the Crystal Skull arc in the VIZ manga release and was the last volume to hit the U.S.
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Yu Ominae



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:18 am Reply with quote
Good thing you brought up the Military industrial complex.

Kinda funny with the initial translation on Trident Corporation. Viz says it's a weapons division under NATO's structure.

The actual ones (Japanese) has them as mercenaries solely backed by arms dealers/defense companies.
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Snomaster1
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2022 3:37 am Reply with quote
I wanted to say thanks for the fair comment,LightningCount. I wanted to say something. For someone like me,"Spriggan" is the type of show I tend to avoid. It basically has the reputation of being anti-American and it's something I tend not to like very much. It seems like the sort of show that would appeal to those like Michael Moore,not to someone like me. It appeals more to those who are progressives who tend to hold very negative views about this country.
It's unlikely to appeal to someone like me. While it's nice to hear that there's some balance in the series by them having good Americans and bad Americans,it's highly doubtful that I'm going to be looking this series up,even if I did have a Netflix account. I'd probably have a hard time with this one,so I'm possibly going to stay away from it. It's something I have little desire to see.
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kakugo complete



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2022 4:28 am Reply with quote
Snomaster1 wrote:
I wanted to say thanks for the fair comment,LightningCount. I wanted to say something. For someone like me,"Spriggan" is the type of show I tend to avoid. It basically has the reputation of being anti-American and it's something I tend not to like very much. It seems like the sort of show that would appeal to those like Michael Moore,not to someone like me. It appeals more to those who are progressives who tend to hold very negative views about this country.
It's unlikely to appeal to someone like me. While it's nice to hear that there's some balance in the series by them having good Americans and bad Americans,it's highly doubtful that I'm going to be looking this series up,even if I did have a Netflix account. I'd probably have a hard time with this one,so I'm possibly going to stay away from it. It's something I have little desire to see.


I can't stand Michael Moore and modern American liberalism, let alone anime inspired by it, and I love Spriggan. Not all anti-imperialist media is created equally and this came from a very different age.

I really wanted to love the movie since I generally hate "style over substance" criticisms but after reading a bunch of the manga I really felt there was little there beyond technical showcase. Might have to rewatch it and take it as its own thing but I really love the manga's vibe and I feel David got it across very well.
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