The project of 12 days as an idea started as a sampling of moments but many bloggers like us take the chance to generally talk about the series we loved during the year that passed. But this year we thought it might be a good idea to actually do that in a seperate post where we collect the 10 astounding and 10 horrible moments from titles we haven’t included elsewhere. As the list descends, the moments have made better or worse impressions respectively. The last and second part full of ranting is here.
10 moments of lousiness
Disclaimer: This is just my humble opinion and things that ticked me off personally. I fully recognize that one’s trash is another’s treasure. Also, a hard rule is that the harder I fall for a story the angrier/ more frustrated I get when it fails me. Let me have some fun getting things out of my chest.
Pokemon Movie 1- Mewtwo Strikes Back
Who’s Musashi? *drum duradadum drum* Jessie! Ash is Satoshi, Misty is Kasumi, Brock is Takeshi not to mention the pokemon names; Bulbasaur is Fushigidane and Charizard is Lizardmon… I had an idea that 4kids and Nintendo(?) localized the franchise but I haven’t ever imagined such a difference. Foolishly so perhaps. But what ruined my childhood since I decided to watch this in Japanese to see if there were changes was the OST. That super duper catchy POKEMON intro? Or the heart-wrenching Brother, My Brother about the interspecies war scene? They weren’t there!!! Instead we got some more boring, with an unfitting retro feeling songs that included “looking under girls’ skirts” in our search for Pokemon. PURIZUUUU… [P.S.: there was an extra 10 minutes of story in the start that was probably a good decision to be ommitted, although it limited Mewtwo’s characterization a bit.]
Knights of Sidonia
“Get out of here, Izana!” Tanikaze, that naive immortal who’s almost always super cool and saves everybody, belongs to Midorikawa and her alone! Be careful not get on her nerves or you’re gonna face her fangs and nails! Somehow that heroic fool or trained savage -whichever you prefer- of a main character has the affections of two girls and an intersex: Hoshijiro, Midorikawa and Izana. If it wasn’t for the glorious CG Gauna slaying battles, this could have been named Tanikaze’s Harem- The Animation. And what animation! CG is a very bad idea for characters. They literally reminded me of the Barbie films. The character designs, where their hair look like licked by a dog, doesn’t help either. Both the story and the characters left me coldly uninterested.
Macross: Do you remember love?
“YUCK DECULTURE!” The dismorphed electronic voices of these creatures as they laugh and sweat akwardly at the sight of a man and a woman kissing is hilarious, I swear. This expression is also one I shared 20 minutes in the film when the macho blonde -who thankfully dies soon- asks the protagonist what kind of man he is if he’s done nothing sexually with the singer while alone and continues throwing BS at the female captain (that she should act more ‘accordingly’ to her sex) and forcibly kissing his girlfriend (?) to teach them a lesson of manliness. Forgot to mention the main character thinking of her as bossy as well. In any case, dropped. Mecha isn’t my genre and love triangles never touched me much. The more old stuff I watch the more I realize they usually go for relatively simple narratives, something that doesn’t responds to what I ask of a series to tickle my interest.
We siiiiIIING out of the BLUEEEE ’cause we’re in USSSS and found it such a goooooood idEA to make this a mUsical~~~ At least it was contained inside the first few episodes; it was awful singing to top it, too. Red Garden has spades of style and fashion. It also has really great characters -especially how they faced the traumatic experiences they find themselves into and how they bond despite their differences- BUT the premise while having potential is crappy and the plot has more holes than Swiss cheese. So I kept watching anticipating things making sense, yet we reach the end and, in spite of some clarification, question marks are left hanging from my mouth, my chair and that homonymous red garden… Then again, we have zombies and ancient magic books, I shouldn’t have expected much sense in the first place. If you love character-centric stories and don’t care much about plot execution, you’ll appreciate it more than me.
Casshern is very atmospheric with some awesome individual episodes, particularly in the first half of the show, where the effects of ruin are obvious in the actions and philosophy of different individuals. Both the OST and the visuals (colors, landscapes, framing) are top notch and I’d list this as a masterpiece if it weren’t for the bad script, and especially the godamn redundant dialogs and ‘catch phrases’ (“CASSHERN KOROOOOOOSU” for the first half, “I killed Luna, the Sun named Moon, Luna” from episode 5 and on). Here’s an example of what I mean from ep.5:
Casshern: I don’t know. I don’t remember a thing.
Lyuze: You just said you did it with your hands! You don’t remember anything?
C: I don’t remember.
L: You killed Luna! The Sun named Moon! Do you seriously don’t remember anything?
C: I don’t remember anything. Not even why I don’t remember.
L: How can you commit such an unspeakable act and then forget it? Since you can’t remember, I’ll tell you. The ruin began with Luna’s death…
Nagi no Asukara
Oooh my feelings are like salt that melted in the sea, oooh love is like the sea, ooooooh love is magic- where’s Amlet’s skull? *sniff sniff claps claps* The ojoushisama cried looking towards the surface BUT no, she loved the sea god, we got that ALL wrong. it’s not that we silenced the fact that as a sacrifice she got raped to bear all these children; NO NO SHE LOVED HIM ALL YOU SILLIES. You see, Ojoushisama felt guilty coz once she saw that hunk of a God, she wanted to screw him & she jumped him so much that she made 1000 kids so she cried for the poor guy whom she betrayed and was waiting for her; I mean we can’t have the god not appear big-hearted… right? Also, not that the Sea God could simply save Ojoushisama’s love interest or that she could heal & love another person; no mansplaining shhhh. [It was this scene or the other one where Tsumugu literally explains Chisaki’s feelings to herself and the conclusion was of course she loves him. But the god’s mansplaining was of bigger impact, so I choose that one.]
A series that began with great potential, with bigger things in the picture like religion and environment was reduced to a moppyfest with the teens’ love polygons as the focus. Much shame. All this visual gorgeousness for naught -or to be more precise for loli moeblobs’ tears.
Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero
Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero (YuYuYu) is the new Madoka wannabe with an end that dig its own grave. It took time to patiently build up the girls’ relationships and dreams, it had great disability representation, only to blew everything for a happy-go-lucky, reset-button end. And this infuriated me. You know, people talk about grimdark shows and how many try too hard to be like that but I haven’t seen one that ended truly grimdark. Although PMMM included the willing sacrifice of a single person as a solution, something I usually dislike, it worked well in-universe and I don’t necessarily lust for the characters suffering. But PMMM didn’t end in suffering. Neither did YuYuYu and it did so at the cost of consistency. Some pull that ridiculous ‘foreboding’ about the offerings, but I can refer back to the numerous times we saw the Death tarot card, too. But NOPE, the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP and WILLPOWER CAN OVERCOME EEEEEEVERYTHIIING~~~ It can get you back from coma, because there’s no better magic trick than your friend’s voice! Accompanied by sakura petals, of course. And sappy words and music.
I can ask how Togo got so easily convinced by Yuuna to abandon her plan -what about the rest of the innocent future recruits? I can ask how Karin, who had lost to Mankai her eyesight and most of her limbs, found the strength and her way to join the last fight. I can also ask why the fight was postponed indefinitely or why did an almighty god take such sacrifices without informing the parties concerned and what did really change. And don’t try to excuse it by saying the Taisha were stating the truth all along or they wouldn’t have reasons to hide part of the ‘truth’ or avoid answering further questions or have Karin monitor them as “mentally unstable”. Things don’t add up.
Inari Kon Kon Koi Iroha
I liked the fluff it was this series, especially Inari’s affection towards Tanbabashi and our lesbian lil couple. Unfortunately the series ended very soon (just 10 eps) and unfortunately for me it had a tsundere for Uka-sama’s love interest. Inari’s brother is an immature sexist boy and what I found worse was that he never apologized about the awful things he said. This was the point in episode 7 where I got soured big time:
Touka: If someone falls for you, consider it a compliment. Nobody likes a cynic.
Uka-sama: We are telling you, they only love us for our rank!
T: That might just be your own hung up. Women are so damn self-conscious!
U: Why are men so quick to paint all women with the same brush? It’s downright rude!
T: Because women treat men’s heart with contempt!
U: Well, maybe /you/ don’t understand a woman’s heart, which is why you can’t get a girlfriend!
T: A woman’s heart? The only womanly thing about you are your boobs. Should I squeeze them? … This is ridiculous. Go on and have your little arranged dates or whatever. Maybe they’ll teach a gamer nerd like you a thing or two about being a woman.
U: Fine I’ll go and have a ton of dates!
We talk about a show where the main ladies are called Tiramisu and Chocolate while the main man is named Carrot. The latter is the moving stereotype of the idiotic pervert who salivates at every skirt he sees. Well, at episode 5 it reached a point of WTF Japan? Carrot meets four women, who are essentially one and the same just in different ages and from this chance meeting this Lake Lady judges humanity. The thing is Carrot says her age doesn’t matter, including her loli self =.= And he asks her to play again with her in which case she confirms that he had the “bad thing” in mind even when she was a small girl and he happily nods! AND SHE’S FINE WITH IT!!! That man was humanity’s hope -I wanna pull my hair! TT_TT
Yu Yu Hakusho
Before flame arrows and rocks start flying, let me get two things clear: a) if I solidified one opinion this year, that was the distinction between fiction and reality, and that the consequences of our application of fiction in real life lies on us alone. Thus there’s a difference between saying x content is dangerous and y writer/director talks shit and/or panders to specific audience. Moreover, criticism is more than justifiable when there’s word of God out there on the content or the narrative goes out of its way to obviously deliver a message. b) Yu Yu Hakusho is the quintessential shounen. Without its popularity and without the experience gained through it Togashi wouldn’t be able to produce the masterpiece Hunter x Hunter is. With these things in mind, let me get to the reason you see this megatitle on number one of the list.
The series had a good start parodying the almightiness of shounen heroes by having the protagonist coming back from the dead. From then on though, little flaws kept piling up. The battles were cheaply animated, the villains were lacked character, and the power ups kept becoming more incredulous making the suspension of disbelief in-universe harder and harder. So episode 24 was the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me and my girlfriend. It began with a nice antidiscriminatory speech only to end in a hot transmisogynist mess. Urameshi attacked the demoness Mizuki and the first thing he did was to grope her breasts and her nether regions to “check”. After few minutes of intense battling Urameshi spilt the beans: the demoness had her genitals intact -the way she was born. He went on to lecture her -while misgendering her- about how she should have gone around with her body: “If you’re a man, then stop going around half-assed! And if you’re a woman at heart, don’t go doing things halfway -make both your heart and your body a woman’s!” Kuwabara was about to “take advantage” of her as well but thankfully Botan hit some sense on him. Aaaaaaand DROPPED. At least Togashi changed his mind in Hunter x Hunter (see Alluka).
[P.S.: This is the Japanese dialog; in the English dub, at least the bluray edition, it’s still there, but toned down by having Urameshi say he wouldn’t have said anything about it, because it didn’t matter, but since Kuwabara was being obnoxious about him hitting a woman, he told them. In the manga, it’s actually worse, because not only there’s denial of her gender identity but also the battle is over with a single punch.]