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Shelf Life - I Am Number Six


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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1098
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:21 pm Reply with quote
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The dueling arena itself spontaneously fills with objects symbolic to the plot: mementos meaningful to the antagonist's life, desks that move by themselves, and chalk corpse outlines prefigure the fate of each duelist.

The story had always been charmingly surreal and abstract beforehand. But when Utena reenters the dueling arena for the first time in this story arc, and we see the haunting imagery of the desks, the objects atop them and the body silhouettes—by that point it feels the audience is being told from here on out officially anything can and will go, and the limits will only keep rising.
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utawoutau



Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:45 pm Reply with quote
I hate to be the correction police, but Himemiya's brother is "Akio", "Dios" is the spirit that floats down from the castle and empowers Utena.

spoiler[But even that is kind of a simplification.]
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1452
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:50 pm Reply with quote
Haven't seen No. 6 yet and, considering I'd rather watch the Ghost in the Shell TV series over any of the compilations as a matter of principle, I'm just glad you enjoyed the second arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena.

At the same time, rather than focusing on all the specific symbols and their multiple interpretations, what I particularly like about the duels is simply their basic meaning. They are rituals precisely because of their repetitive nature, showing us the ultimate expression of a given duelist's emotions or mindset. In one brief moment, the characters try to grasp their dreams or overcome their nightmares, in a manner of speaking, and this only matters to us as viewers because of all the previous build-up, including psychological introspection and even manipulation.

It really is part of a very effective characterization process. The fact that the Black Rose arc deals with secondary or even less important characters ends up being a significant positive too. It's also a bit tragic that, both literally and figuratively speaking, their time in the limelight comes and goes so quickly.

Of course, the catchy music certainly contributes to making the duels enjoyable despite all the recycled animation frames, but it was also nice to see the basic framing sequence change after the first arc. It really does illustrate that things are eerily similar yet also quite different as far as this set of duelists is concerned.

Finally, I'll admit that I had some initial trouble coming to terms with how this arc eventually ended. Back in the day, my first reaction was that it had been a cop-out. Now, after giving the matter some thought and with the benefit of reading Ikuhara's comments (some of which practically count as spoilers for future events, at least in my opinion), it does feel strangely appropriate. Not the most natural conclusion, to be honest, but one that works in the grand scheme of things.
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CareyGrant



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 453
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:21 pm Reply with quote
I'll cop to not quite "getting" the artsy Hunter S Thompson-like David Lynch acid trip that is Utena, but I will say I do like their box art. It looks kinda art deco, which I dig.

Erin wrote:
There are hints in the GitS manga that that Kusanagi prefers ladies, but since she is a brain that can be transferred between bodies, I think of her has post-gender.


Exactly! But do we get that sapphic goodness in the anime? No. No we don't. *sigh*

5 years? That's too long to go without a new GitS series--love that show. Hell, if I were bankrolled like Warren Buffet I'd buy the rights and finance that show myself.
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erinfinnegan
ANN Columnist


Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 598
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:21 pm Reply with quote
utawoutau wrote:
I hate to be the correction police, but Himemiya's brother is "Akio"...

Ah, someone else pointed that out, too. I'll correct that.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 817
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:02 pm Reply with quote
I hate to sound like a broken record to people who frequent other anime forums, but I want to ask you Erin, what's your setup for watching this Utena release? It seems you have no problems with aliasing/jaggies, but I haven't found a way around them on mine, or more specifically, on mine it's very prominent but for others less so. I heard the aliasing was inherent on the R2 remastering, but on my setup it seems much more apparent than on other people's. I normally don't complain about picture quality, but this is really bugging me, some scenes look worse than a PS1 era video game cutscene, jaggy wise. I mean, yes the colours are indeed bright and the clarity is good, if only some lines didn't look like MS Paint ones.

I've only been able to watch mine on a DVD player (fairly new) and an LCD widescreen TV (though obviously I watch the show in the proper aspect ratio). But whether I use component or composite, it doesn't matter, the jaggies are extremely apparently in nearly every frame with a curved line. Watching it on a standard TV with composite wires is somewhat less jaggy, but it's still pretty spottable. I've tried adjusting sharpness, edge enhancement, to no avail. The only thing I haven't tried is to watch it on a Blu Ray player or an HDMI setup.
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 5912
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:11 pm Reply with quote
A Cat named Naruto... really?
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The Mad Manga Massacre



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 1059
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:16 pm Reply with quote
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episodes five through seven are boring and talky

I've found that many Noitamina shows have at least some episodes which are dialogue heavy. Judging from the preview of episode 9 it looks like the pace will be picking back up again.
Quote:
Whether Sion and Rat's relationship is platonic or something more

To me, their relationship has seemed romantic from the beginning but
I think spoiler[the kiss in episode 7 removed any doubt]. Overall this is easily my favorite series of the summer 2011 anime season. The animation awesome, the characters and plotline are well developed and the world it plays out in is rather fascinating.
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pajmo9



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 618
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:34 pm Reply with quote
I actually stopped watching No. 6 after episode 3 because I wasn't enjoying it. The whole post-apocalyptic, utopian walled city, government conspiracies, killer bugs thing made me feel like I was watching a cheap made for Syfy channel movie. Its just not really my thing. Although I did enjoy Ergo Proxy quite a bit. I may have to go back and give No. 6 another chance
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1434
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:37 pm Reply with quote
I'm also concerned that No. 6 won't be able to pull up from its nosedive, which is a real shame, because there are so many quirky things about it that I love.

But parts of it are really wearing me down - The lame arguments between Nezumi and Inukashi, the threadbare tie between Rikiga and Sion, and how Karan can't seem to learn that she is constantly being monitored spoiler[(first her son is taken away, then Safu, and now she let's another man confess his plot to destroy No. 6 to her)] are irksome.

One thing that impressed me was that they actually showed spoiler[Sion kiss Nezumi. Usually in a shonen ai show a kiss like that would be shot ambiguously - leaving the viewer to wonder if the kiss was on the lips or the cheek. Or it would be in some sort of fuzzy silhouette. This was a full on lip-to-lip kiss.] I like that they didn't leave it up to the viewers to argue about/analyze what happened.
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GhostShell



Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Location: Richmond, B.C., Canada
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:45 pm Reply with quote
I'm a really big GITS fan, and I have to admit that I wasn't enthused about the two compilation movies (The Laughing Man and Individual Eleven), especially when I learned that the English dub cast wouldn't be the same as who was used for the series. After watching the series, I can think of no other to portray Kusanagi, Togosa, Batou, and the rest of the Section 9 team than Mary E. McGlynn, Crispin Freeman, Richard Epcar, et al. To me, it never made that much sense to do a re-cast, as opposed to extracting the already dubbed dialogue, though I'm sure there was some reason for it.

I picked up the compilations when they were released on DVD, mostly because I was curious as to what they'd be like, with the focus on the main two season story arcs. I still found I preferred, and appreciated more, the series. As Erin pointed out, there were many key background contributing scenes that were left out of the compilations, though considering the length of the arcs, I supposed some things had to be left out. The result, though, are dramatic moments in the compilations that are less dramatic in tone than when present in the series.

Oddly enough, I still picked up the two compilations when they were recently released on BD, only because GITS: SAC lends itself to be presented in the best quality format possible. I'm still hoping the series will be released in North America on BD with the original English dub cast.

Also, cats=cute.


Last edited by GhostShell on Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1434
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:46 pm Reply with quote
pajmo9 wrote:
Although I did enjoy Ergo Proxy quite a bit. I may have to go back and give No. 6 another chance


I get why you'd connect the two shows and wouldn't try to stop you from giving No. 6 another try (I'll probably stick with it, even if the downward spiral continues). But aside from the distopia theme, the two really are different beasts.

(Side note: This is the second time in 24 hours that I've seen mention of Ergo Proxy on this site. It's nice to know that it hasn't faded away.)
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Sailor S



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 2945
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:06 pm Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
A Cat named Naruto... really?


I can't really say much. I had named my cat Asuka.
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pajmo9



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 618
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:11 pm Reply with quote
here-and-faraway wrote:
pajmo9 wrote:
Although I did enjoy Ergo Proxy quite a bit. I may have to go back and give No. 6 another chance


I get why you'd connect the two shows and wouldn't try to stop you from giving No. 6 another try (I'll probably stick with it, even if the downward spiral continues). But aside from the distopia theme, the two really are different beasts.

(Side note: This is the second time in 24 hours that I've seen mention of Ergo Proxy on this site. It's nice to know that it hasn't faded away.)


I think my problem is that they are different beasts. Ergo Proxy was just a lot more captivating to me then No. 6 was. I think I'll pick up where I left off and see if I can make it through the downward spiral and if it still doesn't hook me I'll give up.
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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 328
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:24 pm Reply with quote
bravetailor wrote:

I've only been able to watch mine on a DVD player (fairly new) and an LCD widescreen TV (though obviously I watch the show in the proper aspect ratio). But whether I use component or composite, it doesn't matter, the jaggies are extremely apparently in nearly every frame with a curved line. Watching it on a standard TV with composite wires is somewhat less jaggy, but it's still pretty spottable. I've tried adjusting sharpness, edge enhancement, to no avail. The only thing I haven't tried is to watch it on a Blu Ray player or an HDMI setup.

I've been watching my copy using a Blu Ray Player and I haven't noticed any of the problems you were talking about. I didn't even know there were any problems with the DVDs until I read your post. All I've noticed is "OH MY GAWD IT SO PRETTY!!!" I don't know if that helps you at all.
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