You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2014.

Kokou no Hito is a manga adaptation of a Japanese novel by Nitta Jirou that journalize the mountain climbing exploit of a real Japanese hard ass mountain climber in the 30s named Kato Buntarou who have written essays of his solo climbing expedition that were used to adapt to the novel which then again got adapted to the manga by artist Sakamoto Shinichi with help from the adaption of the novel’s story by Nabeta Yoshiro even though Sakamoto Shinichi did the story after volume 4.

Yes, it’s a complicated web of multiple authors but Sakamoto Shinichi is our guy here because it’s ultimately his own story. He deviate a lot from the novel which took place in the 1930s and modernize it. I personally deduced that this complicated web of different authors explained the different in directions and focus the comic book took after the first few volumes.

The first few volumes acted like a shonen sport manga. Our hero Mori Buntarou(before he changed his name to Kato Buntarou), an anti social student with a mysterious past got inspired by a hard ass shonen hero’s rival and took up mountain climbing as a hobby. The story then introduced us with a passionate mentor and a likable innocent love interest that will act as the pivot of the love triangle between our hero and hard ass shonen hero’s rival. Not only that, it also introduced a mysterious bishonen rival that seems to be related to our hero’s dark past. It’s build up as a competitive adventure that will teach us valuable lessons on bonding and friendship through the sport of mountain climbing.

And……….. all of those got thrown away after the first few volumes. Our hard ass shonen hero’s rival became a con man and a worthless adult throughout the comic. The passionate mentor got a rock in his face and died. The love interest became a prostitute that stole our hero’s money because she is a bitch. Mysterious bishonen rival only appeared in 2 chapters and shown to be dead in the K2 mountain by the end. Our hero learned that he really enjoyed the solitude after all his buddies died during a dangerous expedition. Every time he tries to play the friendship game, it will hinder him and the only way he felt at home is by going solo without any friendship and bonding bullshit to bog him down. Most of the time when he meet new characters, they are awful human beings that are selfish little piece of shit that hinder his mountain climbing ambition.

Awesome.

If there’s a deconstruction of shonen manga, Kokou no Hito is the one. It’s an anti thesis of shonen sport manga. What you normally think that will build up as a hot blooded shonen plot, it will then subvert the shit out of it and tell you that this shit will never fly in real life.

In the end, the manga is not really about mountain climbing but a psychological analysis and character study of Mori/Kato Buntarou . It’s all about how an outcast with no other desire than mountain climbing live and feel. All the other side characters(that got thrown away like garbage) and mountain climbing stuff are tools to develop Buntarou as a character . You get lots of interesting metaphorical imagery to describe Buntarou as a human being.

Buntarou is an interesting characters and his story gave you a interesting perspective of a different lifestyle of solitude without condemning or approving that lifestyle . Normally, stories will tell you that bond is good while solitude is bad and even though Kokou no Hito does slightly adhere to that moral near end, it also says that solitude isn’t really that bad and bonding might not be that amazing either. In the end, you need a bit of both, be considerate to people around you while still living your life aloof.

Advertisements

Outlaw Star:

The first episode seems like fun. I like how it utilize live action cinematography namely the focusing in and out of a character. The animation is also top tier with fluid fights and gorgeous character designs. The characters visit prostitute and such so it’s quite interesting. I heard that the plot only happen in episodes 23-26 but I don’t mind interesting hijinks of characters fucking around if they could maintain the level of direction and animation. I have enjoyed stuff like Haruhi, Kill La Kill, Champloo and Vandread when they are just fucking around without moving any plot forward. I don’t know if it’s fun like the shows I mentioned though so I need to watch more to find out.

G Gundam:

I don’t hold Gundam as this highly regarded real robot show that is heavy on its realism factor. Hell, the first Gundam has super robot like gattai sequence so I don’t really think G Gundam deviate that far from what Gundam means. However, I don’t really know if G Gundam is worth 49 episodes of my time. I like hot blooded manly stuff but I don’t think my idea of manliness= macho. I hated GaoGaiGar for example and think that it’s a piece of shit. I can’t find anything to convince me that this stuff is worth it.

Seiha Girl:

It’s still good. Very hardcore in sega references. For example, I don’t even know the existence of Border Break because it’s a 2009 Japanese arcade game. How deep do you need to go to know about that? I think this shit is the real nerd show because your enjoyment really depend on how nerdy you are.

Blue Blazes:

Blue Blazes is the best anime in 2014, even though it’s a live action show. Go watch it.

Legend of Black heaven is about a 40 years old salary man facing mid life crisis and wonder if he is truly happy by being caught in the drift and gave up on his rock and roll dream for a more down to earth life. You would think that the premise of the show will be heavy and tender but not really, it’s a comedy and the only heavy stuff appears in episode 5. The rest is just his attempt to recapture his dream of rock and roll.

Now, I can see why people are impressed because you seldom see such premise appearing in an anime. That’s true but if you step out of anime, the story of mid life crisis and recapturing your childhood dream is actually done to death. Not only that, they are done better with more personality because Black Heaven don’t really say much about its character and what they are facing. Beside episode 5, it doesn’t really implore what Oji is thinking and how is he dealing with that. Even with that, during episode 6, he just turn ok after getting beaten down by reality when a hot woman send her a guitar under a snowy sky. Ok, I thought I would see more introspection and drama but all right, whatever.

In fact, I enjoyed the realistic dynamic between Oji and his wife and how disconnected a family can be. But it doesn’t really dwell on it too much because rock and roll and hot alien woman are more important. Beside the first two episodes of tender moment of husband and wife, his wife was just relegated as an obstacle and nuisance for his dream and nothing more after that.

Episode 4 where we are shown how disconnected Oji and his son was is also fucking terrible. First, Oji is a terrible father, he left his son alone in the park because he is a irresponsible, self absorbed adult who wants to play guitar. In the end, he put his son in danger and what did he receive in return? Adoration from his son instead of resentment. Realistically, his son should realize that his father love guitar more than him but no, the anime don’t have the balls to go there. It doesn’t want to show you how to solve this complicated issue. Instead, it went the easy way out of showing the heart warming moment of father saving son when it was the father who put his son in danger in the first place. FUCK!

Layla is also a terrible character. Tell me, what’s the point of her beside being a plot device that will stand by Oji no matter what he face. She’s that perfect girl friend character in your generic harem. You think harem only happen in high school anime but nope! Wish fulfillment applies to everyone.

The music was all right but that guitar riff and the colorful silhouette were overused. It was cool the first time round but it well on and on in each episode. What the hell?

I am now halfway on episode 9 and I think that his friend will go to see his concert and relinquish their passion in forming a band. Then they will have this power of friendship reunion and team up to have this epic space battle, win the shit out of it and relinquish their youth. It will then tell you that you shouldn’t forget your dream because dream is the pursuit of real happiness.

I actually hope I am wrong because if that happen, no matter how well done or how I am a sucker for the old men friendship thing, Black Heaven would just be an all right cartoon that offers nothing new.

I bought and read like 70 volumes of Naruto but I pirated the last 20 chapters because I heard that the characters have kids and want to see if Naruto and Hinata got together. In the end, that’s the only thing I really care about because the story turned into woman alien planned this shit and Sasuke is so feeble in his motivation that you can lie to him that eating shit makes him strong and he will believe it. Like “Yea, Sasuke, hatred makes you strong, eating shit cause you hatred and make people hate you, you won’t have any friend if you eat shit so your destiny is to go eat shit.” and he will proceed on in eating shit without knowing that you duped him.

To be honest, I am quite impressed by Naruto, sure, it’s not tightly written but it didn’t succumbed to its own weight by having really obvious plot holes( though it did crumble on its own weight by getting overly convoluted and contrived to cover these plot holes). Most shonen manga like Dragonball and Hokuto no Ken gave the shit up and blatantly recon the shit out of things and having tons of plot holes just to lengthen its story. That’s not to say that it’s planned very well because it did pull a lot of things out of its ass and it’s obvious that Kishimoto dropped a lot of things like Byakugan being strong, Zabuza and swordsmen, Rock Lee’s side story and  basically all the other side characters arc. He even wanted to salvage Ten Ten by showing that she might be able to use the Six Sage items to do something but nope, Ten Ten is still fucking useless.

The early Naruto is actually pretty good because they have strategic battles and villains aren’t really that overpowered, you feel that anyone could really beat anyone. Even though this lessen the tension because our heroes are in lesser predicament but in the long run, after seeing overpowered shit like Madara and Kaguya, I think it’s really for the better. Because in the end,  only Naruto and Sasuke could do something and battles are decided by who could make the biggest kamehameha.It did try to have some strategic fights but after seeing the trick of clone techniques for the one millionth time, you couldn’t really call that smart. In fact, beside Shikamaru’s fights, most fights in the second part are kinda sub-par.

Onto the characters, Naruto’s woman characters are at least league better than most other stuff in term of gender equality and strength. Yea, they are still not good enough but at least the poison is less poisonous on this side. The other characters like Rock Lee, Hinata, Killer Bee, Kekkaishi, Minato, Naruto’s mom and many others except are good to above average characters. Hell, besides Sasuke and Sakura, I don’t really dislike any of them, even  if they are useless like Sai and Ten Ten. Seriously, what’s the point of Sai and Ten Ten?

Oh, and the twists. I guess Itachi was planned to be a good guy because I have that vibe since he first appears(It’s a cop-out reason to kill everyone just because you are very evil, Kishimoto had since shown through Zabuza that he at least put some thoughts into character building. Though Itachi’s story is really not that good and sensible and it’s really a disappointment because I expected better written stuff that is not contrived) and it’s very obvious that Naruto’s father is the 4th Hokage earlier on. Other stuff like Tobi, Madara, Black Zetsu, Kaguya and such? Nah, don’t think so, they are all made up as they go. Very contrived, twist for the sake of twisting, I don’t even feel surprise or whatever and just let it goes and accept whatever shit it throws at me without thinking too much.

It may seems like I hate Naruto and think it is a piece of shit story but well, in actual fact, I think Naruto was worth the money and effort. I liked Shikamaru and some of the characters like Jiraiya and Killer Bee among many other likable stuff. The good strategic battles, the really great first 26 volumes, great detailed wtf did he really drew that in 1 week art, the hot blooded and cool lines, the grand scale of chaotic summoning battles, the above average characters that try not to be generic and really inventive jutsus far outweigh its flaws. It’s not even far fetched to say that Naruto is one of the best Ninja anything because honestly, name me another serious, non b grade good ninja anime/novel/manga/movie whatever. Basilisk? Dagger of Kamui? Ninja Trilogy(Ridiculously awesome but not really serious) movies? Ninja Scoll that is more like samurai than ninja? Path of Assassin maybe. I like Flame of Recca better but honestly, Naruto is the better written work.

There’s a justified reason why it got so popular and ran for 72 volumes, it has its own charm and a veneer/illusion of depth that are league better than run of the mill generic shit even though it’s not good enough to be in the top tier, unlike One Piece.

Themes? What themes? I just want to see ninjas fighting ninjas and don’t really care for consistent theme. I don’t learn moral lesson from this shit. Fuck moral lesson but children should really learn from Naruto because beating up dog is very cool and talent reign supreme over hard work. It’s all about the genes and bloodline dude. Hard work is bullshit without talent because you can’t be the best without talent. Children should understand that and don’t hope for anything that’s untrue.

P.S: Woah, I read the internet and Naruto fans love to over think shit. Maybe you can analyses why it got so popular but hell no should you over-analyses the plot of Naruto so much, it’s not that even that deep. There’s even delusional fangirls that still ship Naruto and Sakura by finding things that are not even there. Woah! Dude(err, woman dude so GAL?), move on.

IWICSYI

  • What Facebook did to American democracy, by @alexismadrigal theatlantic.com/technology/arc… 54 minutes ago
  • It's hypocrisy and instinctively, you kinda know for some reason because you can't feel they are genuine 4 days ago
  • The scandals of production companies who produce progressive work but are rampant with sexual assaults are why I don't buy their message. 4 days ago
  • Maybe he matured and start thinking about his influence in stuff he writes. Like "Not afraid" is hell out of character too. 4 days ago
  • He does rap about politician and stuff but most of them are tongue in cheek but this one seems soap boxing and he is the anti soapbox. 4 days ago

RSS My MyAnimeList

Categories

Blogstats

  • 95,145 hits