Uncurrency Anime(s) – Now and Then, Here and There, Infinite Ryvius, Touch

I think I mentioned once that I was splurging on old anime. I wasn’t kidding. . .

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First in line is Now and Then, Here and There. Out of the three old series that I watched, this one is definitely the best. The implications of differences and similarities between what is happening currently and what will happen to the future is amazing. The subtlety of its symbolisms and the brute force of its actions make this series an easy standout. This isn’t just some story which was made to entertain. . . this is a story to raise awareness. You know the KONY video that’s going viral in the internet this past month. If people only watched this anime (which aired a decade ago), awareness could have been raised a long time ago. Then again, people are ignorant (myself included) and won’t watch things unless it becomes popular.

This isn’t an anime for the faint-hearted though; it depicts child slavery, torture, and rape in a very upfront way. I don’t want to go into too much detail on the anime but if you want to be blown away or become more aware of the world around you, then please go and indulge yourself with NTHT.

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Infinite Ryvius on the other hand is definitely for entertainment’s sake. By entertainment, I mean entertaining yourselves seeing kids slowly become crazy, episode by episode, inside the Ryvius. No, this anime is very grueling to watch. Nicknamed ‘Lord of the Flies in Space’, Infinite Ryvius is the perfect character study in anime. Every unique trait of a character turns into a flaw causing them to go insane, almost killing each other aboard the Ryvius. Teenagers try to create some sort of government to create peace and order, but this ultimately falls against them causing more unbalance as the episode count goes higher and higher.

It definitely reminds me of Neon Genesis Evangelion (another anime that punches you harder and harder each passing episode) and comparing the two, Ryvius stands out a lot more. I recommend it to those who loved Evangelion because of its painful character developments.

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Touch is an 80’s production, based on the manga by Adachi Mitsuru the creator of Cross Game. It runs a whooping 101 episodes and because of that, characters, more importantly Tatsuya and Minami,  are fleshed out in a way that I already see them as real people. Their strengths and flaws are well recorded and even though the storyline does take a lot of twists and turns, its really surprising how believable the characters became.

It’s a bit unfair to compare this Cross Game since this is essentially longer so everything is more set up and while Touch is technically the better story out of the two (Adachi’s is much more rougher yet at the same time it feels like more effort is pulled in this) I still prefer Cross Game by a long shot. I guess its first come-first serve, but Cross Game did have better character interactions, something very important for both series. Touch did run for a bit too long and the ending felt a bit open-ended unlike Cross Game’s (it had one of the best scenes I’ve seen in anime history) ending.

Still Touch is essentially a masterpiece and I loved every bit of what I’ve watched. If you’re looking for a  slice of life series (with a touch of baseball) which runs a lot more than how things are aired today then please do watch this 80’s classic.

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Now and Then, Here and There: 95/100

Infinite Ryvius: 91/100

Touch: 93/100

All made it to my recommended list (and I really will update that page later) so if you  are venturing into Anime’s past, don’t forget to watch these ones.

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Chihayafuru and it’s deconstruction of the Bishounen Genre

Your usual Bishounen in Anime is that perfect guy who can do everything and is popular with everyone and is impeccably handsome in an effeminate way. He’s untouchable. He doesn’t exist in real life. He’s something the fujoshi crowd have been dreaming in their bedside for years.

Now what makes Chihayafuru’s take on this trope, more specifically Taichi?

Taichi has all the same traits. He’s smart, athletic, good with everything he does, popular with the girls etc etc. . . What makes him so different? In my opinion, what makes him so different is the realistic delivery of Chihayafuru that makes him so believable. The very same traits that make him great are the very same traits which make him faulty.

The story shows him being good at everything, the way his mom wanted him to be. He has a TIGER MOM. He’s one of those Asian kids that suffer from too much expectations. At the same time though, Taichi realizes he’s just good at everything. He doesn’t have anything he can actually master or concentrate on. He’s the Jack of all trades, Master of None. The trope that he supposedly belongs in is brought down to earth, making him human.

It’s not just that. His character revolves around his inherant selfishness (something we all have) and affects how it affects his interactions in real life. Do I want to be with Chihaya or just want her for myself, making me selfish? Do I not want her to have Arata’s phone number because it might affect her performance or is it for my own selfishness? Do I want to be promoted to Class A in a jiffy or do I want to earn it myself?

There’s also the fact that he does try his best at Karuta. But even though he tries his best, why can’t he get to Class A? He finally poured investment on something, more so a trivial game, yet why isn’t he still the best?

So yeah, Taichi. . . isn’t he such a good example on how to deconstruct the bishounen genre?

Ano Natsu de Matteru – That moment when it crossed the line from “Good” to “Great”

I really liked Ano Natsu de Matteru to begin with. All the essential pieces for a juicy romance is there. It had that spark of directing brilliance that Toradora had in spades, yet it stuck to its cliches. Simplicity at best, if you would put it that way. The thing is though, I still had that inkling where “Hey, isn’t it getting too been there done that?”. The Okinawa trip (probably compulsory for this series) showed lots of cracks in its story though the knack of awesome directing and heavy character development did make up for it. It was averaging out, not becoming better and better which is a bad thing for an Anime. The series hasn’t crossed that line from “Good” to “Great”.

Well of course until episode 9.

 

Yes I am a sappy romanticist but that doesn’t stop me to still objectively realize how good that episode was. Well at least a scene in that episode which was waiting to happen for a long time. NO IT’S NOT KAITO AND ICHIKA FINALLY KISSING. It’s the assist.

Poor Kanna played the good guy and gave Ichika a lesson. “Just tell him you love him!”. I think the part where she said “that’s an option I will never have” hit me the most. In love and war, especially in high school where hormones is at its peak, we spout things that our head says more often than we should now. Kanna was playing BOLD. The courage Kanna demonstrated, something heavily built up from episodes of frustration, was a blast to see.

After Kanna finishes her speech (complete with a “baka”), she runs away in which then Tetsurou consoles her. Also hiding on the side is Mio, who had the most dramatic change in the most subtle way. There was a shot where all three were in a line, I just found that very artistic and a damn fine directing. It totally encompassed the emotions our side-cast was having.

BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER!

Episode 10 focused on its side characters. Sure there was some lovey-dovey time with Kaito and Ichika (which is almost sickening to a point), but the main point of this episode was the aftermath. Tetsurou had a lot of focus, whether it was consoling Kanna, clearing it out with Mio, getting a lecture from his sister, he had it hard. Kanna thought it was a love triangle but it was much MUCH MUCH bigger than that. Once Tetsurou indirectly says that he loved Kanna for a long long time, we get to see a proper finish to Kanna’s failed love story with her confessing to Kaito (and him turning her down like the alien-stud he is). Tetsurou gets consoled by Mio again (I swear that girl has changed) similar to how Tetsurou consoled Kanna. Again there was a damn fine direction here with how everything worked like a line focusing on one character then going down to another character in the love polygon.

So those two episodes. They were really REALLY close in making it to GOD MODE, but what stops this from doing so. It really is about the few cracks it still has. The main problem is that I don’t like Kaito and Ichika. I appreciate their development (and again a fine direction in their love story) but when both are together, its like eating sugar with more sugar. It’s kind of a big flaw when you don’t like your main characters and compared to Toradora’s main couple, Kaito and Ichika are light years away from making me like them together.

Still that flaw doesn’t stop me from loving this series which will probably go down as one of my favorites this year (right now there’s only Chihayafuru and Nisemonogatari standing against it and those two are godly)

KONY and Now and Then, Here and There – The brutal realism you wished never existed

disclaimer: This is less of a “KONY is evil” post and more of a “NTHT is a really good anime” kind of thing. Also you need to have watched a bit of Now and then, Here and there. Well I doubt much of the blogosphere have watched it and it is decades old, so my audience is quite low.

Please do watch Now and Then, Here and There. It’s easy to download it if you find hard enough (ohshit the cops will get me). I really think NTHT is one of the anime you need to watch before you die.

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Ever heard of an anime called “Now and Then, Here and There”? Produced in the very late 90’s, its definitely one of a kind anime. But why is it so? Because even after 10 Billion’s worth of time, this piece will still be relevant.

Just look at KONY and the Ugandan Army. I’m not exactly big on the details but the depiction of children killing other people and hurting many others is the information we get, but in NTHT we get to see the sight of this kids. More likely than not, this kids will never get back home. In NTHT, Hamdo (apparently the Hamdo in Fractal was modeled by him) promises these kids that they can go back to their hometowns when the war is over. The thing is, he blew up their villages right exactly after he’s able to get children recruits. Now let’s go to the side of the children. As they grow up, we can get someone like Nabuca who instilled in his mind that he can go home if he does his job. We also get someone like Tabool who instilled reality in his mind and just wants to do his job efficiently and reach higher ranks. The question is “why don’t these people try to escape?”. Besides the fact that they’ll get killed if they do, staying in the army is much better than going outside. Here the children can actually survive and some might even have better living conditions that back in their village.

Another question would be “why don’t these kids see that what they’re doing is terribly wrong?”. Well the main character is Shu and he was the one who asked this question. Then again who is Shu? Some asian boy from 10 Billion years past. He’s an outsider. These kids don’t actually see the problem. Shu is like us internet folks who go “STOP KONY, MAKE HIM FAMOUS!” and the like. We do know the problem but we do not know these kids problems.

(Oh yeah I only talked about the soldiers’ case. Don’t get me started on Sara because all I have there is despair and cries of “SOMEONE HELP THIS WOMAN” while watching NTHT. And guess what? Her plight is also happening in the Ugandan army!)

All I can say is that the world is cruel. NTHT is a brutal reminder of that.

Back from my monthly hibernation

Well there’s a lot of reason’s why I always have hiatuses:

1) Real life constraints. Its hard to keep up with blogging every now and then. Even blogging Nisemonogatari and Ano Natsu de Matteru came to a close.

2) Damn you wordpress! Every time I try to create a post, wordpress shits on me. Well not today I guess!

 

3) Because I’ve been busy watching old anime because I’m a hipster. My recommended list is sort of inaccurate as of late so expect a big change soon.

Oh yeah my monthly roundups. . . I’ll get to that as soon as I catch up on things. For now my favorites is really more of the same. Nisemonogatari being bold, Chihayafuru becoming more awesome as it comes to a close, and Ano Natsu finally breaking its shell of characters being insufferably nice to each and get a full dose of that love triangles we’ve wanted to see for a long time.

Guilty Crown’s fucking broken beyond repair so I dropped it, Nymphogear’s also dropped, haven’t catch up with Mouretsu Prates and Mirai Nikii (though those series are the types to be marathoned) and i’m still patiently watching the 1980’s classic Touch (from Mitsuru Adachi, the author of Cross Game (its fucking 100 episodes!)) so things will still feel relatively slow around here.

Oh yeah after Touch I’m planning to watch Monster and Maison Ikkoku (a relatively old series done by the author who did both Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.)