Sunday, September 26, 2010

:anime: Blacks and Head Shots in Anime (Part 7 - Final)

<--To Part 6

Over the past six parts, we have explored the pattern of dark-skinned characters dying from head wounds in anime. We have also seen a number of peculiar traits shared among them and tried to place them in proper perspective with the issue, as well as history and culture. Yet, the question prevails as to why they die in such a particular way, beyond just story conventions.

Friday, September 17, 2010

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry
Video [Free]: Hulu, YouTube
Video [Pay]: The Anime Network (after first free ep.)

An aspiring ballerina who is a bit of klutz (and really a duck) valiantly attempts to retrieve the shards of heart belonging to the one she loves: the prince. But while she possesses the ability to turn into the graceful Princess Tutu and ward off the darkness, she must not confess her love to her beloved, or she will perish...

The Anime Network recently started posting video onto Hulu and one of the titles they started off with was Princess Tutu, a 2002-2003 magical girl series that, even after the critical and viewer praise it has garnered, still has not gotten the love it deserves. By genre master Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon, Pretear, Sea Story (Umi Monogatari), the series showcases his skill at trumping its conventions and offering something new and fresh. Not only that, it also displays his oft-overlooked implementation of music into his shows, here filled with classic ballet compositions, from Romeo & Juliet to Swan Lake, along with an appropriate original score by Kaoru Wada (InuYasha, Samuari 7). All of it blends with and enhances a great and unique story (well-balanced with comedy and harrowing drama), memorable characters, and fine production values.

Personally, I do have broad tastes, so as much as I can appreciate a depressing show like TEXHNOLYZE or Now and Then, Here and There, or action-filled ones like Afro Samurai and Gungrave, I can also appreciate a (really) good shoujo series in Princess Tutu. However, even those not exactly warm to the genre have had glowing praise for it. Though dubbed only (but wonderfully done), it is freely available for view on Hulu (missing Eps. 22-25, but will probably be resolved soon), YouTube (in full), and Anime Network's own site (free first episode, the rest to paid subscribers only), now's good opportunity to give the show a chance (and maybe some of that lovin' too).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

:anime: Of Updates and Lengthy Write-Ups...

It's been quite awhile, but the seventh and final installment of "Blacks and Head Shots in Anime" has finally been completed. Its creation was certainly more arduous than expected, even after having plotted it early on. There was a two week-long "writer's block" of sorts at the beginning, but things afterwards started to flow again and I made up a lot of ground. Even so, the proofreading and revision stage was extensive, with sizable portions removed (and subsequently saved for a later time...), streamlined, moved about, and altered multiple times, with the final fine-tuning stage taking good deal of time itself, featuring a number of twinkings and testings. Mix in a few diversions (including computer matters needing to be addressed), some lethargy on my part from working on this, and the series as a whole, for so long, a few wasted days trying to update an iPod touch (the neverending backups...), as well as some genuinely difficult times writing things out, and you have a final installment nearly three months in the making.

As much care as I like to take in the quality and substance of what I write, even this was ridiculous. But despite everything that happened, Part 7 managed to turn out as well as I hoped it would. At the same time, while I dislike taking this long to write something up, I would much rather take my time in doing so than rush out a subpar piece just to get it done and over with quickly (though that doesn't mean I haven't been trying to write faster over the course of time...). Still, my apologies for the lengthy gap between Six and Seven. And as something a "joke", the latter will go live in a few days on the 18th (Sat.) at 2:02 AM--exactly three months to the day that former was posted. :) It also gives me some time to fit in this month's free anime pick...

Thank you for your patience.