ZERO :: the Fool (annwyd) wrote,
ZERO :: the Fool
annwyd

animuuuuuu

A meme from the japanweb has somehow found its way here. I could not resist. (Note that for the favorite characters sections, I'm including Japanese video games as well, since I actually have not watched all that much anime, compared to some.)

オタクバトン - OTAKU BATON

◆好きな女性キャラクターを五人答えてください
(Your five favorite female characters.)

❶ Nia Teppelin (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
❷ Gwendolyn (Odin Sphere)
❸ Teresa (Claymore)
❹ Aigis (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3)
❺ Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier)

◆アナタが一番好きなのは誰ですか?
(↑ Who do you like the most?)
Nia. I feel kind of bad about it because as a good feminist I should be naming a Claymore character as my favorite or something, any character who isn't stereotypically feminine and docile in every way, but Nia is my waifu. (And yes yes, before you correct me, I know feminism doesn't work that way blah blah blah. That doesn't stop my irrational feelings.)


◆好きな男性キャラクター五人答えてください
(Your five favorite male characters.)

❶ Hatake Kakashi (Naruto)
❷ Mwu la Fllaga (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED)
❸ Lockon Stratos (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
❹ Archer (Fate/Stay night)
❺ Auron (Final Fantasy X)

◆アナタが一番好きなのは誰ですか?
(↑ Who do you like the most?)
Right now it's Lockon, but it varies pretty widely depending on what I'm obsessed with at the moment.

◆好きなゲームを三つ答えてください
(Your three favorite games.)

❶ Katamari Damacy
❷ Final Fantasy VI
❸ Planescape: Torment

◆好きな声優さんは?
(Your favorite anime seiyuu?)

➝ 朴 璐美 (Paku Romi), 能登 麻美子 (Noto Mamiko)
➝ 子安 武人 (Koyasu Takehito), 三木 眞一郎 (Miki Shinichirou)

◆好きなアニソンは?
(Your favorite anison [anime song]?)

➝ "Lion" [May'n & Megumi Nakajima] (Macross Frontier)
➝ "Northern Cross" [May'n] (Macross Frontier)
➝ "Yuukyou Seishunka" [Ali Project] (Code Geass)
➝ "Tobira no Mukou e" [YeLLOW Generation] (Fullmetal Alchemist)
➝ "Tank!" [The Seatbelts] (Cowboy Bebop)
➝ "Call Me, Call Me" [Steve Conte] (Cowboy Bebop)
➝ "Anna ni Isshodattanoni" [See-Saw] (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED)

(I feel like it's cheating to include Cowboy Bebop songs, but it would be wrong not to include them at all.)

◆コスプレをする?またはどんなコスプレをしてみたい?
(Do you cosplay? Or, what kind of cosplay would you like to do?)

The fact that I can't sew, and costumes are expensive, puts a dent in my cosplaying activity, but I try. I cosplayed Komui from D.Gray-man at Otakon for a couple years, but as I lost interest in keeping up with the manga, I lost interest in the costume...it didn't help that it was really hard to convincingly crossplay him. He has fairly girly hair and a rather unisex outfit, which in canon is offset by the fact that he's supposed to be six-foot-six. I am not, so.

However! If sapphire_hime's Otakon plans go through, I'm hoping to be Patrick from Gundam 00 this year, which would be lots of fun.

◆アニメ・漫画・ゲームの中で現実に欲しいものは?
(Does the one actually wanting it : in the animated cartoon, the cartoon, and the game?)

[Judging from other answers, what this is asking is what's most important to you in an anime.]

Characters and relationships. This is why I adore Gundam SEED despite the cookie-cutter character design and silly plot.

That said, I tend to have trouble with really low-quality animation, as I was spoiled by my earliest anime loves being Cowboy Bebop and Fullmetal Alchemist. So the pretty is nice.

◆アナタが最も萌えを感じるものは何ですか?
(What makes you feel "MOE" the most?)

➝ Earnest vulnerability in characters who are usually cool and guarded.
➝ Earnest fierceness in characters who are usually gentle and innocent.
➝ Social awkwardness or naivete when it's treated as cute rather than stupid by the other characters.
What Is This Thing You Call Love and related tropes of getting in touch with one's humanity.
➝ Related to the above: this trope. Characters who might be quite smart, but thanks to their upbringing are clueless about normal life.
➝ The Cloud Cuckoo Lander: a character who thinks at right angles to accepted reality, but in an endearing way.

◆このバトンを回す人五人
(Five people who you pass this baton to.)

Too lazy. Do it if you want to.

To go with that, I have finally answered the questions from this post. Here they are!

1) What are your thoughts on Ed/Winry and will you be watching the new FMA anime? :P

Fullmetal Alchemist is always an awkward subject for me to get into, especially with manga fans.

I was really, really into the FMA anime for a good long while. Unfortunately, in the process I got involved with some highly unpleasant people. Who were both manga snobs and rabid Ed/Winry fans. Okay, so it was mostly one person, but she sure left an impact. On top of that, I just kind of burnt out. So I never did get around to reading the manga.

From the anime, I never found Ed/Winry all that interesting. I could see that they were half-heartedly playing with it as a romantic pairing, but they never seemed to go all the way; Ed, Al, and Winry just came off as adorable childhood friends to me. Al and Winry seemed like they had more of a chance of romance, although I understand this isn't the case in the manga. I wasn't hostile to Ed/Winry, but it didn't really interest me. Mostly, I liked Ed/Al/Winry as a platonic OT3.

I am given to understand that Ed/Winry is much more canon in the manga, and I am perfectly fine with that; if I ever do read the manga, I'll probably like it.

As for the new anime, I honestly don't know. FMA still kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth, which is a shame because I used to love it so damn much. Plus, if the anime follows the manga closely, there won't be as much Hughes as there was in the first anime, and he was my favorite. Yes, I know, that's shallow.

We'll see. Knowing that Paku Romi and Kugimiya Rie have signed back on nudges me a little closer to watching it, but still...it depends on what else I'm following at the time, I guess.

2) Do you think Casca/Farnese has any chance of becoming canon??

Short answer: that depends on what you mean by canon.

Long answer!

If you mean canon like Guts/Casca became canon, then no. Not gonna happen. But we should be glad for that, because remember what happened there?

However, I think there's a fairly good chance that the manga will end with Casca not happily paired up with Guts again, but rather on her own and moving on with Farnese and Serpico's help. Which leaves open the possibility of Casca/Farnese becoming...something.

Here's the thing. In some works, it's easy to tell which pairings are "canon" and which aren't. You get nice clear dividing lines between the way the text treats couples and the way the text treats friends, siblings, teacher/student, whatever. Think of Avatar, or Gurren Lagann, or even (fandom be damned) Naruto.

Berserk is not like that.

In Berserk, you get things like Griffith thinking of Guts while he has sex, which he's only doing anyway because Guts left him. You get Farnese whipping her half-brother in an unmistakably sexual way--but both of them shying back from going all the way. You get orgies and naked touching and all sorts of quasi-sexual craziness. I am left with the impression that Miura Kentarou either has some really weird ideas about relationships, or that he just enjoys letting his subconscious issues roam around on the pages. He seems like a nice enough guy from what I've read about him, so I'm hoping it's the latter.

This is not to say I dislike this paradigm. In fact, messy relationships that can't be easily classified as filios, eros, agape, or even a tidy combination of the three are my favorite kind of pairings and often become my OTPs.* Berserk's wholehearted willingness to play with such relationships is quite possibly the main reason I love it despite its endless parade of gratuitous violence and deep-seated woman issues.

But it does mean that in Berserk, trying to pin down pairings as either "canon" or "not canon" is really pretty silly.

In the context of all the above, though, here's what you have for Casca/Farnese: lots of touching. Casca acting more conscious, aware, and adult around Farnese than she does around anyone else. Farnese thinking of Casca as her salvation. Casca growling jealously at Farnese's fiance.

Yeah. You can't convince me that Miura intended to write a completely platonic relationship there, and more than anything I look forward to how much hotter it'll get once Casca gets her mind healed.

* Guts/Griffith, Casca/Farnese, Farnese/Serpico. Garak/Bashir. Lockon/Tieria. Zoe/Violet. To a lesser extent: Azula/Ty Lee, Jet/Zuko. Axel/Roxas. Yukari/Mitsuru.

3) So, Lyle/Anew... y/n?

Well, when you boil it down to a yes/no question, yes, certainly, because I'm happy for anything that develops Lyle's character.

That said, it was about as far from perfect as you can get; Anew herself had very little character (she all but existed to get stuffed into the refrigerator for Lyle's sake), and it was rushed as hell. The second season in general is a mess, and while there are a lot of reasons for it, I think it's at least partly because they dawdled too much in S1, leaving themselves with too much ground to cover plot-wise and backstory-wise in S2. If they'd managed to get some of the Innovator stuff out of the way in S1 and set the stage better for Katharon and A-Laws, perhaps, they'd have had time to actually develop the characters in S2.

Which brings us back to Lyle/Anew. Which is just one of the things that I think should have been better about S2. Lyle himself is really the flagship character of "things that could have been really awesome, and which kind of are if you read all the extra material and novels and stuff, but are actually pretty dismal in S2 itself."

4) 3 questions:

-What do you find most important in a work: content related to social awareness or content related to artistic qualities? Would you be able to enjoy something based on terms of expression and art rather than ideas?


Artistic qualities, absolutely. I like it when there's good social awareness in a work, and I'll criticize it if it's ignorant in some way, but I don't watch/read/whatever for the message. I do it for the story.

I use "artistic qualities" somewhat loosely, though, because there are any number of serious, artistic works that don't affect me as deeply as, say, a Gundam show. It's funny, because there seems to be a cultural divide at work here: when it comes to Western media, I tend to respond intensely to really high-quality stuff like the Wire or a book series by Octavia E. Butler (my fifteen-year-old self thought that Sandman qualified for this list, but I haven't reread in long enough that I withhold judgment on that). But with anime, while I enjoyed Princess Tutu and cried a bit at the end, I was much more absorbed in the characters and relationships in Gundam SEED.

So I probably just have bad taste in anime.

That said, I'm not sure that "expression and art" vs. "ideas" isn't a false dichotomy. If something is very pretty and well-plotted, but has little substance as far as themes and character go, it'll feel kind of hollow to me as a story and a work of art, and I won't get all that into it. If something has intriguing and complex ideas behind it, but a shoddy artistic execution, I'll be too frustrated and dissatisfied to fully appreciate the ideas.

Possibly the Wire ruined me for all other shows ever.

-What do you think are the main qualities or traits from Nia from Gurren-Lagann that make her so lovable but at the same time so hard to completely understand? I personally think the quirky combination of ethereal, larger-than-life elegance with rather simple curiosity and love for life is what makes her so charming, but would you like to elaborate on this a little?

This is something I've asked myself. I still don't have a complete answer.

Part of it is definitely the way she approaches the world at right angles to normal social reality. I love that kind of character, and they're always an interesting challenge to comprehend. Some of it can be attributed to her sheltered upbringing (that's another thing I like in a character, when they are ridiculously naive about the world and have to learn everything from the ground up), but some of it is just something that's her--Nia has her head in the clouds (her hair being symbolic, or something) the way Simon has his feet on the ground.

There's also the way she pretty much exemplifies the good traits of the "princess" archetype--kindness, strength of will, love--while struggling to overcome the passiveness and lack of agency built into the role (it's a little hard for me to get entirely behind that last part when we actually see so little of her eventual actions and decisions, but...I have hopes for the movie). But it's also hard to talk about that, since while we have all sorts of ways to talk about how "gar" a character is when they measure up to stereotypical masculine strengths, there's not much of the same for a character who deals in stereotypical feminine strengths.

And you're on to something with how she combines the epic with the simple. She says things that should be obvious, but which other people don't see because they're so used to them--because she loves life enough not to take any of its details for granted. There's an element of the-fool-speaks-truth there, and I love the Fool archetype, and dammit, now I'm pondering Gurren Lagann Tarot. Nia is of course the Hanged Man, but she and Simon both have something of the Fool in them.

-Nothing is perfect and everything has the potential to be better, obviously. What kind of scenes would you like to see in: Gurren-Lagann's second movie, Gundam 00's ending and future Michiko to Hatchin episodes?

Lagann-hen: I want to see Nia being more active in the movie. This is really all I care about at this point. I want to see more of what she was feeling and thinking when she was resisting the Anti-Spirals and guiding Simon to her; I want it to be clear that she wasn't just waiting for him to find her, she was pulling him. I'd also like to see some more details on her decision in the end to give up her life for the sake of the universe, as it's something that was easy to miss if you weren't watching closely for it.

Gundam 00 ending: I have given up hope of Lyle's character, and his unenviable but undeniable status as Lockon's replacement, being used to make any point about the dysfunctional nature of identity in wartime, as cropped up often in the first season. We got Lyle's character development, after all, and they shied away from openly acknowledging the general fucked-up-ness of his storyline connection to Neil. But if they did do something with that, I'd be somewhat happy.

I want to see Feldt do something. Anything. Just let her have one damn chance to be badass in her own way; she was set up so beautifully for it at the end of the first season.

I want to see Hallelujah, Soma, Allelujah, and Marie all interact and reach some accommodation.

Now that spoilers about the movie have been leaked, I know this isn't going to happen, but I really wanted to see Tieria get a beautiful heartwrenching death and then be reunited with the sparkly space ghost of Lockon.

I was, at one point, going to add that I wanted Louise vs. Nena, but then I got the spoilers for the new episode. At least sometimes this show still delivers.

Future Michiko to Hatchin episodes: I am way behind in Michiko to Hatchin (I think I haven't watched past episode four or five). From what I've heard, most of what I've wanted has happened already. More Michiko/Atsuko subtext. More development of Atsuko as a character herself. More exploration of Michiko and Hatchin's weird relationship. Now if only they'd do something with those vaguely nasty racial issues.
Tags: anime, berserk, fullmetal alchemist, gundam 00, gurren lagann, memes, michiko to hatchin
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