thetinygentleman

The philosophical opnion generated through logic… of random things


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The Current Problem With the current Kamen Rider(s)

Kamen Rider is a Japanese Tokusatsu show. If that doesn’t make sense then take it this way; Kamen Rider is a special effects show in the same way that Super Sentai/Power Rangers is.

Kamen Rider has been around for quite a long time starting in the early 1980’s. Ever since its debut it has created an icon and has made itself a household name. Every children in Japan has heard and known of at least one Kamen Rider. Every year the Rider changes in the show by having a completely different story and hero. It aired along side Super Sentai and many viewers always saw the difference between the two. Kamen Rider was a show about one man (or a small group) fighting against an enemy in the shadows while protecting the people. Kamen Rider was advertised as an all age drama show. Although it appealed heavily to children its target audience was broad enough to encompass young teens and adults. Super Sentai on the other hand is aimed purely for children and young teens. It’s storyline, sometimes being complicated, always taught the viewers about teamwork and doing good things because they are good. Kamen Rider on the other hand taught a different lesson. Never give up and sometimes doing the good thing will hurt but that is okay.

Kamen Rider can be split into two (three according to people outside of Japan because it technically makes no sense to them what the third section is) sections. Showa and Heisei. Showa Kamen Rider are the riders pre 2000 because that is the era that is titled Showa in Japan. So the Kamen Riders released after 2000 are considered Heisei because that is the era it is shown. The third section that many have started to use is Neo-Heisei Kamen Rider. For Japanese people this makes no sense because the first two sections of Kamen Rider follows the era it was shown. So it would be an insult to the era itself to rename a section of a tv show as something else. So to Japan, Neo-Heisei Riders do not exist, they are merely called Heisei Riders.

These three sections of Kamen Rider are completely different from each other due to the era they are shown.

Showa Kamen Rider was about one or more Kamen Riders fighting against an evil organization that created them. They fight for justice and to keep peace. Showa Kamen Riders are a double edged sword. All Kamen Riders in the Showa era are described as monsters. With the exception with Super-1 and to some extent Stronger, the Riders were forced into their position. They are abducted, their body experimented on, their minds twisted, and turned into human transforming monsters. With some luck they are able to escape the complete mind control process and escape back into society where everyone they know and love are dead because the evil organization had already killed them as a precaution against their experiments. The experimented ones at first fight for revenge but in order to don the name “Kamen Rider” they need to accept Justice in their mechanical heart. After understanding that they cannot live with normal humans they start to understand that they are the only ones that can protect people from becoming like them; a monster. Once they have this “justice”, and only then would they call themselves Kamen Rider. Then the story goes for every season as they try to stop the evil organization while trying to protect people. But with just some logical thinking the story becomes disturbing. In each of the evil organizations that the Kamen Rider’s have fought against, they always have to create monsters in order to do evil deeds. And its implied but not shown that the monsters that the Kamen Riders fight are either lower level types as them or higher levels of experiments. The question then is how are these monsters made? The answer unfortunately are humans. Monsters are made by abducting human beings and changing their body then twisting their minds to do their evil deeds. So in order to protect people, Kamen Riders fight and kill monsters who are the same as them and used to be human. What intrigued many viewers about Showa Kamen Rider was how brooding yet heroic it was.

Heisei Kamen Rider on the other hand was almost the same beast. The huge difference in it was that it highlighted the dark and brooding moments more than the heroic parts. It established itself as heroes who were broken but not defeated. There seems to be a confusion with what a Kamen Rider is in this era. Some series follow the forced into fighting scenario and some gives them that option. The other difference is that the Kamen Rider sometimes may actually be human (until the end). Some Kamen Riders are humans who can become Kamen Riders due to a belt. The problem of humanity and being a monster is changed and instead its about humans fighting their monsters or rather fighting with their monsters in order to protect the people. Showa Kamen Rider was subtle about its dark themes but Heisei Kamen Rider put it up front. And due to its direction and themes it felt natural.

Then Decade happened. I have a theory on Decade and its that it literally destroyed the true Kamen Riders. With the advent of Decade, the whole Kamen Rider world was destroyed. Their past gone and when Tsukasa journeyed through their worlds the story changed. Some staying the same and many changing in themes and riders. Because of this Neo-Heisei was born.

Neo-Heisei in my honest opinion threw away what it meant to be a Kamen Rider and unfortunately it shaped itself as a one person Super Sentai team. Neo-Heisei has brooding moments and dark themes but they do not match with each other. W was the first Neo-Heisei Kamen Rider series and it seemed to start off good but in the end the execution and the story just seemed odd and Super Sentai-ish. In the previous Kamen Rider series’s if anyone died they are not revived (sometimes even the main heroes) because it uses it as a reason or a lesson for the cast. There was always a sense of urgency in the fights that if the Rider was to lose, the world would be taken over. Neo-Heisei does not give me that feeling. In fact the fights feel like children fighting each other. There aren’t huge disadvantages if Kamen Rider looses in W, Wizard, Fourze (ugh), OOO, and to an extent Gaim (but this is a different series in itself). In W, what could have been character development was destroyed when they revived a certain someone in the end. It felt like W in the end was saying “It’s okay nothing bad will happen”. Fourze is where it definitely showed that Kamen Rider is no longer the same as what it was. Childish, gimmicky, no danger, and idiotic main hero who is barely likeable and who can easily be killed if he went up against a real Kamen Rider. Fourze with its themes and colors being so bright makes its dark moment odd and its huge reveal for taking over the world seems easy to stop if they actually tried in the beginning. The sense of urgency is not there. And I’m guessing that after understanding that Fourze made no sense, the writers tried to put a sense of urgency at the forefront and Gaim happened. Unfortunately due to how showy and bright Gaim is, it feels odd that when the Beat Riders fight seriously the bgm for fighting is out of place.

The problem with the current Kamen Rider is that they are becoming Super Sentai and they are trying to sell a children show as an adult drama while still looking like a children’s show. Showa and Heisei Kamen Riders had the balance correctly if not okay-ish. Neo-Heisei Kamen Rider unfortunately does not match with what it is trying to do. And in doing so looses what it was before. And when they try to tell a serious story it is engulfed by idiotic main characters and way too childish themes trying to be an adult drama.

The unfortunate yet logical events that happen now is that everyone who starts with Neo-Heisei believes that, that is what Kamen Rider is about. So when Neo-Heisei fans (W, Fourze(ugh), Wizard, OOO, Gaim) watch Heisei and Showa Kamen Rider they wont completely accept it and to some point find it odd that being a rider isn’t glorified. Where in Showa and Heisei being a Kamen Rider meant endangering everyone by even existing; Neo-Heisei glorifies being a Kamen Rider. In the Showa Era being a Kamen Rider was a curse and it meant they couldn’t live normal lives. In Neo-Heisei being a Kamen Rider is a good thing and almost any action taken has no negative effect and that being a Kamen Rider is a good thing. Kamen Rider before meant throwing away what they had in order to protect everything. The characters, both main and support, change overall and in turn they sacrifice alot of things in order to change. In Neo-Heisei nothing is given away (in full because in the end they gain everything they lost back without repercussions).

 

 

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Nyaa DOWN again…

Nyaa is yet again down.

Whoever these people that are DDoSing these anime sites are honestly just hurting the companies that license and release anime officially.

Think about it. Who will the fans blame when Nyaa and other anime sites (even fan sites) go down? They will look at the ones that would benefit from them; Crunchyroll, Funimation and other anime companies.

People would argue that pirating is bad and we shouldn’t do it. And I agree if you made that as vague as possible. I am an avid anime watcher and buyer. I buy box sets, I buy figurines, I buy plastic models BUT I WILL NEVER PAY FOR HALF-ASSED WORK. I’m looking at you Crunchyroll and Funimation. Crunchyroll has the “HD” episodes behind a pay wall and honestly that’s smart and good. It gives the idea that you can watch for free and watch it in Standard Definition but with a small monthly fee you can watch it in “High Definition”. The problem is that their idea of “HD” is less than 720p. Where 720p is barely even HD in our current generation. Then guess what, what are the fansubbed animes released as? 420p, 720p and 1080p. Basically every episode that gets released by a fansub is either DVD quality or Blue Ray quality. What Crunchyroll and Funimation produce are literally TV versions that have below sub-par subtitles for those who want to listen to Japanese audio. BELOW SUB-PAR. That is inexcusable!!

I was one of those people who paid for Crunchyroll and I felt I was scammed. Even though my knowledge of the Japanese language is at the Elementary level I can spot multiple grammar and mistranslations in about 100% of the shows I watched when I paid for their services. So I did the logical thing. I stopped my subscription, started to watch fansubs (again) and when the shows were released in DVD or Blu Ray format I bought the box sets.

To use an example for how idiotic it is to justify paying for Crunchyroll and Funimation (Funimation also produces below sub par translations and quality); I would like to use an apple tree.

Imagine that in a city there is only one apple tree. A family has monopolized this tree and charge 5 dollars for 1 apple. At first people loved the apples but as time passed the quality of the apples deteriorated but the price stayed the same. So now for 5 dollars you get 1 rotten apple. Some people decide that this isn’t right and with the seeds of the rotten apples they grew their own apple tree. And they gave away the apples for free. The apples were healthier than the rotten apples and so it became more popular. But when the family found out that less people started buying their apples, instead of trying to fix the quality of their apples to sell to their customers they instead cut down and burned the free apple tree. You would think that people would buy rotten apples now since there are no more fresh apples right? But no, since people now know the difference in quality then only those completely desperate for apples would buy rotten ones. The rest will continue to produce high quality apples no matter how many times their apple tree gets cut down.

In this same case, until companies can release high quality anime in the same way that fansubs do when they are released then viewers will most likely side with fansubs and will only buy DVD and Blu-Ray boxes after.

The industry calls fansubs piracy but I see it as competition. With competition in the industry you get better products. The only problem is that we don’t get better products because anime licensing companies believe that what they are doing is right and we need to tell them NO! The standard for quality has stayed the same because companies do not understand that people will side with the ones that give the best deals and accurate quality in their products. In my opinion, I have noticed that companies do not change with the times. Instead of going with the flow they fight against the current thinking that old ways can work with a new and changing world. The anime industry are cutting down our apple trees to justify giving us rotten apples and I for one will not tolerate it.

You want buyers and viewers to support your company? Then release a product that is either as good as the fansubs or even greater.

 

 


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To the End of Unicorn

Although this post will be lost in the sea of other more important arguments in the internet, I still feel as if I have to say this.

Gundam Unicorn has been getting mixed reviews. And it makes sense.
I’ve stated before in my other posts that there are three types of Gundam fans:
The Universal Century fans
The Alternate Universe fans
and the I like every universe fans

Now why would this matter? Well because each universe tells a different story with a different theme. For example the Universal Century tells a war story that focuses on the human aspect. They prioritize character development and talks about philosophy to advance the plot. They use mobile suits in the same way that war stories uses guns. They are nothing more than tools. In some cases these mobile suits become a Deus Ex Machina but the main focus is still on the characters.

The Alternate Universe starting with G Gundam (A great series), was much more focused on the younger audiences. In order to pool more consumers into the franchise (and because Bandai is greedy) they removed its creator and chose to focus on younger audiences hoping to get more money out of it. They managed to be successful with this strategy by fleshing out different target audiences through different series. I like to call this the “Searching state” of Gundam. I may heavily criticize each series but some of them were actually quite good.

G Gundam took the aspects of Shounen anime and infused it into the series. No longer was the Gundam about war, philosophy and the destruction of war. The audience was now concerned with what type of Gundam is going to fight in the next episode. In essence G Gundam is a super robot anime. It’s target audience was elementary to middle school students. Where as the Universal Century was aimed at the young adult to adult audiences. Now G Gundam was an awesome series! Why? Because it was selling itself as a super robot fighting genre with a hint of drama; and it delivered in all those aspects.

The next in line is Wing Gundam. Wing was created to appeal to young women. The character design were more bishounen and the the Gundams had more of a human feel to them (more so than G Gundam, odd). Wing had a lackluster storyline that favored one sided fights. This is also considered as a Super Robot Genre due to how impossibly powerful the Gundams were. In other words Gundam wins, Grunt suits lose in every fight. There was no tension in any fights unless there is a Gundam in it. The story tried to show a Universal Century type storyline with dark and gritty themes but fails in doing so because it does not deliver the dark tones. Instead the main point of Wing are the fights rather than the story. Yet unfortunately this was what made Gundam popular in the West. So when these fans hear of Gundam they put Wing on a pedestal and believe that this is what makes a Gundam show a good Gundam show. It was inevitable because it was what we believed to be the first.

Gundam X came after Wing (and it was great!) Gundam X was the closest in recreating what made the Universal Century great, character development and using mobile suits as tools to further the characters ambition. It’s target audience was still younger audiences but after Wing the young women audiences despised X due to its shift in tone. There were no more bishounen type characters and everything relied on storytelling. The Gundams were strong but never overpowered. There was a feel of danger in every corner. Although it was cut short due to a reason that Sunrise and Bandai still won’t explain. It is still a great series that pays a homage to the Universal Century story telling.

Turn A Gundam. A masterpiece. With Tomino back in the helm, Turn A Gundam was truly the successor of the Gundam name. The tropes of character development and mobile suits as tools is definitely in the forefront. With small or almost no battles in every episode Turn A was able to tell the story that the Universal Century was trying to preach through dialogue. But due to its odd design many of the fans (whom at this time are the newer fans who came starting from G and Wing) disliked the series altogether. Poor sales and poor viewership did not stop it from ending all the way through though. Turn A has a sleek alien design purely because its design is not man made. It was back engineered from the Turn X. A mobile suit that was found drifting past the Jupiter colonies. It was an alien machine from the future. If Turn A truly ended the Gundam franchise I would have been happy with it. Because..

Continuing with the Searching themes of the Gundam era came SEED and DESTINY. A story that tried to tell a realistic war story with the tones of Universal Century, hoping to get the old fans back into the franchise and keeping the newer audiences amused. The character design had a feel of bishounen and the mobile suits had a sharper design on them that mirrored the mobile suits in the Universal Century. But in the end it fails. It says that it tells a realistic war story but the fights drag on and have a super robot theme into it more than a realistic feel. The character development goes absolutely nowhere and are not justified whatsoever. Some of the older fans never looked back at the AU’s after SEED while some enjoyed it. But the newer audiences definitely enjoyed it the most because SEED and DESTINY were closer to what Wing was than any other series in the franchise.

So what does this long explanation to the audiences of Gundam have to do with the End of Unicorn?
Well its because different audiences have different conclusions to Unicorn.

To start, the old Universal Century fans immediately pieced everything together from the past series’s and understood just how important the charter truly was. They understood how it could potentially destroy the status quo and view of the whole universe. They understand the reasons as to why Banagher chooses not to kill but is willing to fight. Unicorn in general appeals heavily to die hard Universal Century fans who came for the story and character development and not mostly on the mobile suits and fights. It is true the Unicorn is a beast. But in that same way in order to make sure that the Unicorn doesn’t become a walking bomb destroying everything in sight, the pilot must have a kind heart. And a kind heart can truly use the charter to its full potential. That was who Banagher was. Now why would a piece of charter be so influential? Well the charter itself defines something from the start of the Universal Century, that was that Newtypes of any new breed of humans would be represented in government. The same exact thing that the Zeon was fighting for in the One Year War. Equality was the goal.

How would the charter even disappear? How come no one else made a copy of it? The answer was answered throughout the OVA. From the start the Vist Foundation worked with the higher-ups in the Federation in order to hide this fact. They silenced and removed every information regarding the last part of the charter. How? Through force in the beginning. With a group being called terrorists destroying the original charter in space, the Federation had a backup ready that did not include the last part. Again how did the people viewing the broadcast not see it, or aren’t there recordings of it somewhere? Yet the answer again leads to the Federation and the early Vist Foundation. Earth is technically in a police state with the Federation being able to do whatever they want. As the OVA explained they had everything planned out already from the start. The Federation silenced all who knew and saw the truth.

But even though the charter is revealed there is still war in F91 and Victory!
Yes there is. But its completely different from the type of war that is being fought over in the early Universal Century. In the early Universal Century the war was about being equal and being able to govern those in space by space people and not by the earth government. Because life in space was brutal and those in earth didn’t have a clue what it truly meant to live in space. Zeon was the name of this cause and equality was their main goal. In F91 the war is about having the strong rule over the poor. But why would they resort to start a war for this? Because the opposite must be in effect. Everyone must have been equal by the time of F91. In the beginning scenes of F91 the words Spacenoids are equal to those who came from Earth. The Federation has less power and Zeon is no more. Unicorn ended the fight of Zeon. It did not mean complete peace.
It is the same for Victory. The strong should rule over the weak and the Federation is such in bad state that they have to rely on using private militias to fend off anyone who wishes to disrupt the peace.

Now why would the Federation even go as far as to team up with a group who blackmails them? That sounds stupid!
Some would ask this question but when you think about it there is no other way for the Federation. The Federation has gone through vile acts to hide this and to keep themselves in power. The Vist Foundation was nothing more than a helping hand and when they did blackmail the Federation it was about money. Think of it this way, if the Box is found and it goes against the Federation then the Federation will lose the trust of the people. The Zeon and Spacenoids will have a just reason to fight and their actions are in fact good (apart from the colony drop). The tides would turn for the Federation for they were seen as good, but if the charter proves otherwise then it would show that they are the evil entity and would lose both power and money. They were not willing to lose that.

On to the what the AU fans. AU fans would say the mobile suits were awesome, the fights were cool and intriguing. But the characters suck. Episode 6 is bad because it didn’t have any fight scenes. Why doesn’t Banagher man up and just fight them, the Unicorn can easily destroy those grunts! These are the reactions that I got from my friends who grew up with Wing and G. They questioned the validity of the charter, not because it may have been fake but because it would not change anything in the current state of power. I’m not trying to say that they are wrong, but instead they are misinformed and do not have the common understandings of the Universal Century. AU fans will complain mostly about what they don’t understand and why the fights seem half assed (by Banagher). But these answers can only be understood by understanding what was the point of Gundam in Universal Century as a whole.

I myself am a bit of a fan of U.C and A.U (but only G, X and Turn A). So i understand why people would find Unicorn illogical and confusing and sometimes even incomplete. But as a fan of Gundam, this was inevitable because of what Bandai has done to the series by trying to appeal to different audiences then showing a die hard story set in an era where die hard fans would love it and normal fans would hate it.


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Gundam Unicorn Episode 7 (Over the Rainbow) Understanding what the hell just happened

Gundam Unicorn has ended with a total of 7 episodes. In this final episode all of my questions have been answered and on top of that it was able to explain the potential of Newtypes and the potential of psycho frames. To an ordinary viewer who have no clue as to what had just happened, this post is perfect for you. I will talk about how it is completely logical for what had happened in the ending of Unicorn.

To start let’s summarize what exactly happened. In the battle between Banagher, Riddhe, and Full Frontal; Full Frontal released a golden glowing saucer that spread across. It is not told but these are actually psycho frames. In the same way that the Unicorn and Banshee have an absurd amount of psycho frames all around the mobile suit, the Neo Zeong has even more and in this case it is able to spread it out in space. So let’s skip to the battle. The Neo Zeong grabs the Unicorn and shows the thoughts that Full Frontal has had for quite a while. These thoughts go through his memories of the past and even showing the possible future of everything (nothingness). Lalah and Char appear and state that they have shown them enough and was ready to move on. With this we return to the present and the Neo Zeong starts to decay and Full Frontal dies. Lets skip again to the end when the Unicorn and the Banshee blocks the full blow of the Colony Laser from Gryps 2. Here we see that the Unicorn’s psycho frames become crystalized and is stated that Banagher became the perfect newtype; also the Unicorn with one whole swipe was able to immobilize a fleet of mobile suits.

Now let’s start by trying to understand psycho frames. Psycho frames were introduced in the Universal Century in Zeta, At this point it was unknown and every unit that was built with it was a prototype. No one knew much about the technology except for the fact that it made it possible for the pilot to be able to easily control a mobile suit. What the scientists and engineers couldn’t figure out was not how but rather what it produces. Zeta Gundam (the series) also defined something in the Universal Century. It was that those who have died do not truly pass on but instead they stay with us as a part of us. Newtypes are able to see them and interact with them because of their seventh sense. Seventh sense? Yes; Newtypes are able to understand the physical, mental and the spiritual aspects of life. And with the ending of Unicorn we now understand that all of the Newtypes in the past were all incomplete.

ZZ Gundam also started something quite dark for the series that leads up to Unicorn and to the rest of the Universal Century. Cloning was introduced in ZZ Gundam with Elpeo Ple. Humans that were artificially created and are given memories from others. Marida Cruz was Ple 12. The twelfth clone of Elpeo Ple and just like those before her, was abandoned after their master Glemy Toto died in battle. Not only that but Full Frontal is a clone himself. Yes, Full Frontal is not Char; he is a cyber newtype that was given the memories that were left behind from Char’s cockpit from the Sazabi.

Let’s move on to Char’s Counterattack (CC). Psycho frames have been tested more and more but still there were many unknowns to the system itself. The Nu – Gundam was a prototype that had the psycho frames built in into the frame itself so that it would resonate faster and stronger to the pilot. It was here that the miracle occurred in Axis. A bright green light surrounded Axis which in turn pulled it away from the Earth’s gravitational pull. With this they explain that the light that the psycho frames produce are actually energy. The light is what we perceive it to be. What psycho frames create is energy that was what we understood in CC. Also with Unicorn we understand that both Amuro and Char died in the end and their spirits roam through the vastness of space to hopefully guide other Newtypes.

Then we have Unicorn. Unicorn Gundam has an insane amount of psycho frames built into not just its frame but also from its armor. With what we know about from the past technological advancement of the psycho frames we can state that the power of the psycho frames were still unknown. Unicorn has shown the full potential of the psycho frames and it is scary.

Now let’s take a look at the fight with the Unicorn and the Neo Zeong.I do not believe that both units time traveled. What I think happened is that with the mass amount of psycho frames spread out around the Neo Zeong, the Unicorns own psycho frames resonated along side with it giving both pilots the images/thoughts that Full Frontal has seen before. In other words Banagher saw Full Frontal’s past with the help of the psycho frames being the door that let Banagher used to see through Full Frontal’s mind. For example this occurred as well (in a much smaller manner) when he first activated the NT-D against Marida and saw her whole life story. That is what happened with Full Frontal and Banagher. The only difference is that Banagher was shown something else, the possible future of the universe. It wasn’t time travel but it was the thoughts of Full Frontal that Banagher was seeing. This is further justified when the spirits of Lalah and Char are shown stating that they have shown the two what Char had seen before and entrust that knowledge to create the future. The spirits of Lalah, Char and Amuro state that they have done what they wanted and seemed to move on. What they passed was the knowledge of the past. Now what exactly happened to the Neo Zeong? I only have theories on this mostly because I can’t logically figure out what happened to it. It could have been from the burst of energy that the psycho frames produced made the Neo Zeong decay. When two things that produce energy clash it pushes each other away, but what if one of those things stopped producing the energy? The one producing energy would over power it. I think that is what happened. After Lalah and Char’s spirit left they took Full Frontal with them and in turn killing him and turning the switch off from the Neo Zeong. So what made the Neo Zeong and the Sinanju decay was that it was being baked by the strong energy being created from the Unicorn. At least that is my theory.

Now onto the perfect Newtype. When the Unicorn blocked the Colony Laser he used a psycho field to block it. A psycho field uses the energy created from psycho frames to produce it. In theory this means that as long as the psycho frames are active it creates an unlimited amount of energy that produces the barrier. The real question was whether or not it was enough to block the colony laser. The answer to this at first was no. It wasn’t until Banagher faced a near death experience that he became the perfect newtype and was able to produce enough energy to completely block the colony laser. In this state the Unicorn’s psycho frames were crystalized. But why would they crystalize? I believe that at this point the red and green light was nothing more than a mass amount of energy that was not being used. The crystals were the pure form or the matter of the concentrated energy that the psycho frames released. Also it would seem that the perfect newtype is not just a person but one who can understand the physical, mental and spiritual world to a point that they can have an out of body experience. What made this possible are the psycho frames that amplified the pilot’s abilities. Again and again in Unicorn Gundam (series) everyone has been saying that the mobile suit amplified what the pilot is capable of. In this case it led Banagher to becoming the perfect newtype. Now how did the Unicorn take out a fleet of mobile suits with one hand swipe? I believe that this was possible by spreading that energy that the psycho frames create and shutting down the mobile suits.

Which in turn mimics the power of the Turn A and the Turn X’s Moonlight Butterfly.

This is my explanation of what happened in the end of Unicorn Gundam. It may not be complete and I for sure see a lot of holes in my argument. But I would be glad to hear any other theories to further understand what happened.


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Why Nisekoi (anime) is not Nisekoi (manga)

Nisekoi is a romance/comedy manga that has just recently released its first animated episode this season.

Nisekoi a story about an Eternal Love. Ichijou Raku Despite of being the only child of the Yakuza’s head, all he wants is an ordinary Life. Many years ago a girl whose name he does not remember gave him a pendant of which she holds the key. He actually has a crush on a Girl named Kosaki Onodera. He also suspects that Onodera might be the girl He made the promise with. One Day He meets an Extremely Violent girl from America named Chitoge Kirisaki. It’s her first day in japan so Raku is forced to show her around the school. while hanging out with kirisaki he notices she has a smell that he is quite familiar to (Gunpowder). Later he finds out that her Father is the Leader of the Mafia and to prevent a war between the two Families He must date Kirisaki. so while trying to confess to Onodera and Fake Dating Kirisaki he gets in all kinds of Weird situations and meets new and interesting people and while still searching for the girl who holds the key to The pendant.” Summary by Anime News Network

The animated series is done by SHAFT and it is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (SIMBO). Shinbo is known for directing but not writing Bakemonogatari, he has also directed, but not given full power to, Madoka Magica.

Akiyuki Shinbo is notably (in my opinion) the worst director for anime series. He may do well in movies but definitely not in anime. Many fans out there choose the Monogatari series as their favorite anime. Some even say its “the best” that has ever been made because of its writing and its art direction. I’ll admit that Bakemonogatari has a good story if you can sit through it. One can dissect and find a well written story buried beneath fan-service scenes and random and unnecessary random scene cuts.

My problem with Akiyuki Shinbo is his neglect of the source material. Nisio Isin wrote the Monogatari series not Akiyuki Shinbo. Nisio Isin also wrote and had another anime released that was so different from Bakemonogatari in terms of its visuals. That anime was Katangatari. A superb anime with great writing, great pacing and great direction. Katanagatari was not directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and what captivated viewers was not the good looking CGI (because it had no CGI) or its “artsy” direction (it also had no artsy direction) but its story and unique world and unique characters.

Now Bakemonogatari is a shameful work that tells me that SHAFT was lazy. Purely because of how much CGI was used in every scene and how dialogue scenes are treated like paintings. If someone was talking the camera is pointed in a different angle that has no connection to the character speaking. Often times it would cut to a color panel with the name of the color on the panel. Completely irrelevant to the dialogue at hand. But what makes it worse is that throughout the series viewers are not listening to the dialogue as much as they should because what is shown on screen are flashy fan service shots or irrelevant items being shown. Katanagatari on the other hand was superb. No quick cuts to random color panels or random items during dialogue. The camera stays focused on what is happening and doesn’t become “artsy”. Another example where artsy conflicts with telling a good story is Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch has a great story that encompasses rape, reasons to live, and rising up against those who oppress you. But no one remembers the story of Sucker Punch because Zack Synder decided to put as much visual effects in the movie that made no sense for the context it was put in. And so Sucker Punch to me is the Monogatari series. It has a good story but is encompassed by the blatant unnecessary use of visuals to appeal to the audience rather than the story pulling viewers in.

So after all of this why haven’t I said anything about Nisekoi (anime)? Because I already have. Just replace the title Bakemonogatari with Nisekoi (anime) in the previous paragraphs and you have my argument. The color pallet is brighter than Bakemonogatari but the quick cuts and unnecessary camera angles are still apparent. Flashy images are at the forefront rather than the characters or the story. Everything that is noticeable about the first episode is not the characters, not the story, not the dialogue but on “how pretty it looks”. Everything but the characters were CGI and the characters have less movement that most. Usually having only two or no movement at all.

I was looking forward to Nisekoi (anime) for quite a while now. I reread the manga from Chapter 1 and was quietly anticipating its release. And yet the only thing that has been transferred to the anime was how the characters look. Nisekoi (anime) feels/looks like the Monogatari series. The backgrounds of the school and the Yakuza household are so different from the manga and the anime that its not even the same. Akiyuki Shinbo does not use the source material at all and instead puts his own flare on the source material. Is this bad? Yes and no. Yes because you piss off the fans of the manga and no because its a different iteration of the source material and in doing so creating different story and themes.

D-Frag is more like Nisekoi (manga) than Nisekoi (anime) is.

And for an example of a good manga being translated from the source material into an anime is D-Frag. (I didn’t even know D-Frag existed until the anime was released this season and was about the only Rom/Com that i could tolerate after watching the god awful iteration of Nisekoi)


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Turn A Gundam and How Newer Gundam Fans Refuse to Watch and Acknoweldge its Brilliance

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Turn A Gundam is not about what atrocity war has done and the things it has done. It is not about how many people have died in a war. It’s about what could happen and what is happening.

Turn A Gundam stars many main characters and a whole slew of supporting characters. The main character/pilot being Loran Cehack a young man who is from the moon who wishes for both Earth and the Moonrace to live together in peace. Loran is a pacifist but pilots the strongest Gundam ever created, the Turn A. It tells the story of the Moonrace wishing to live back on Earth but the people on Earth who had no idea that there was an advanced race on the moon, who do not want to share the land that they have had tendered since they were born. Conflict arises and everyone becomes selfish. A part of the Moonrace’s military attacks a nearby city and war is soon to erupt. Negotiations start with Queen Dianna Soriel of the Moonrace but due to rising conflicts with the Earth militia and the Moonrace wishing to “educate” the barbaric nature of human beings by conquering them, the negotiations become troublesome.

Turn A is, in my opinion, the greatest Gundam story because it shows the conflict through before, during, and after the war. What makes it as great is because the time spent on each person is the same. We get to understand all the sides of each character and understand their motives. I grew to hate the actions that many did but it made sense with what they thought was right for them.

For example Loran Cehack is a pacifist; In all of his fights he never took a life unless he absolutely needed to because his life was in danger or his crew might be in danger if his enemy were to live. In all of his other fights he disarmed, or talked his way out of a fight. A true pacifist unlike Kira Yamato from Gundam SEED.

There are many episodes that didn’t have any action but that is okay. Gundam shows, at least to me, were never just about big huge robots clashing at each other. Tomino, the creator of Gundam, preached in every Gundam series he had worked at (Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, Zeta Gundam, ZZ Gundam, Victory Gundam, etc.) that war is bad and that we should avoid it as much as possible. That was the heart of the series. The Mobile Suits were tools of war that was exaggerated in order to show the devastation that it creates. Yet the newer iterations of Gundam has forgotten that and has focused purely on combat between Mobile Suits. In the same way imagine the movie Saving Private Ryan; then imagine a reboot of the same movie but this time there is 80% more guns and instead on focusing the story of finding a wounded soldier the story is replaced with tons of gun battles and a narrative that tries to tell you that the story is actually supposed to be about fighting. I understand that is an odd analogy to create but in some ways it is what has happened to the Gundam series.

Turn A delves in the morality of men and their selfish reasons to act. All if not most of the characters in Turn A develop in unexpected ways. Some who I hated early in the beginning became my characters that I can relate and like and some the exact opposite happens.

I accept that there are now four generations of Gundam fans. Those who like the Universal Century, those who love Wing, those who LOVE SEED and the those who started with 00. Turn A appeals heavily to those who loved the Universal Century fans but will almost never appeal to both the SEED and 00 fans purely because they were shown a different iteration/generation of Gundam. The emotions and lessons created by the Universal Century applies and are more explained in Turn A and wishes to tell a story of why we should not wage war. It does so effectively by choosing not to show “war” until the later half of the series. Instead it uses the beginning half to fortify the reasons of the characters and show the effects of an impending and current war between two races.

The SEED fans will not enjoy Turn A because of its great pacing and because of its character development. They won’t even like the beautifully done fight scenes or the greatly designed Turn A Gundam. Instead what SEED fans will be complaining about is the lack of fight scenes and “beam spam” that the series is known for. It is known that SEED (and including Destiny) has absolutely no story to tell and just crams as much “Gundams” as possible in a series and make them fight, for sometimes, absolutely no reason except they want to have a ton of fighting in the anime. To summarize, SEED fans won’t even watch a trailer of Turn A because not enough fighting and “weird” looking Gundam.

Wing fans…. they are kind of in the same boat as SEED but not as bad. Some may decide to watch the series but they just won’t like it or they will just be okay with it.

00 fans are definitely on the same boat as SEED fans.


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On the Subject of the State of Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and Tokusatsu as a Whole

As a kid I grew up watching Japanese special effects shows (Tokusatsu). I’ve watched from the beginning to the current era. I grew up remembering the lessons that were taught to me in those shows.

In another post I will create at a later date I will discuss my hatred to the fan named “Neo-Heisei” Era of Kamen Rider. Of which I would call them Super Sentai and would rather not classify them as Riders. (I’m looking at you Fourze)

Anyway, after a few years ago (which oddly enough started around the Neo-Heisei era of Tokustatsu, the quality of both the writing and the fighting has gone below passable. I understand that some tokusatsu are aimed towards children such as Super Sentai but Kamen Rider is meant to appeal to teenagers and young adults more so than children. I will only be discussing the decline of Super Sentai this time around.

Super Sentai, to those who don’t know what it is, is the origin of the Power Rangers. In its early years it was not a copy and paste job. It was its own show with its own story but just used some stock footage from Super Sentai. Its gadgets and suits are the same of course. But after Saban had sold the rights to Disney it became a carbon copy. Even after he bought the rights back it still retells the Japanese story but with a western twist. There’s not much I can say to that except the fighting has no passion and the story can be summed up in one to three sentences.

Super Sentai on the other hand has had numerous great story lines with plot twists, romance, revenge, repentance. You name the genre they’ve done it. What greatly separates Super Sentai to Power Rangers is how they handle their audiences. Power Rangers appeal to children so they make their characters to appeal to them and make the story as plain and comprehensible to a child as much as possible. Super Sentai on the other hand treats their children with more respect. They teach lessons in their shows not just entertain them. It is true that it is a business of selling toys (well more so now than before).

Now with the more recent Go-Busters paying homage to Power Rangers it would seem that TOEI decided to either hire help from a director of Power Rangers or they started to copy their style. What’s wrong with this? Everything. The story becomes one-sided and almost incomprehensible to a point that almost everything that can’t be explained could be explained as “because they are heroes”. One staple of Power Rangers is their panorama fight scene. In which the hero/villain is hit and moves from right to left in a panoramic view while explosions happen in the back of the hero/villain. (Logically this is impossible). This was implemented in every series starting after Shinkeger. In the old Super Sentai this never happened. In fact their fight scenes grounded them more towards reality rather than fictional. Punches hurt both, special attacks destroy/kill (only if weakened), kicks are stronger, and many more. Nowadays its blaster this and blaster that.

With Kyoryuger they had a non-Japanese cast in Super Sentai. Good, they are appealing to more audiences. But the way they executed it was pathetic.

I feel that TOEI had a form of deal with Saban now since TOEI actually defends the slander against Saban. Back then this was not the case. They acted independently before and yet now there seems to be more collaborations. I personally don’t like this. Not because I want each IP to remain the same. But if you replace something good with something bad it wont work.

Then there is the situation of the actors. I understand that they are trying to use actors that appeal to what is currently popular at the moment. But do flamboyant men = strong protagonist work? I don’t think it does. Shiba Takeru of Shinkenger (heck the whole cast of Shinkegner) was good! That is how you cast strong and currently hip actors. It’s believable that they can fight. The cast of Go-busters on the other hand feel like they can’t. New Kamen Rider main actors look ridiculously frail yet throws strong punches. Unbelievable. In the old era’s defense their women actors were strong but feminine, now the women actors are just feminine and cute their strength is very questionable. The old era men actors had bulk and looked like they can put up a fight, not so much has changed to this (except for Kamen Rider). Some may try to argue that it’s a kids show. Yes, it is a kids show but so are cartoons yet we as a fandom argue and discuss its effect in storytelling. Even though its a kids show it should not squander its talents to both entertain and teach.

The idea that including effects and story lines of Power Rangers into Super Sentai is not a great idea. Both work in different cultures and where one was grounded in reality the other was grounded more in fiction. It cannot work. Recently TOEI started to loose their grip in the Tokusatsu genre due to this. They started to loose the Japanese popularity but are winning the popularity of the Western audiences. If TOEI wants to become successful again they need to look back at what they’ve done and create with the old era as a template.