Paranoia Agent: The Trouble of Finding a Middle

This is a review written for Reverse Thieves’s Secret Santa event. I must wonder if Lostty wanted me to loathe myself or something during this season of high consumerism, recommending both Paranoia Agent and NHK ni Youkoso!. It was great, thanks.

By the beloved Satoshi Kon whose passing is still a recent memory, Paranoia Agent is a show I’ve had on my mental “to watch” list for a great number of years now, mostly in its reputation as one of those “DEEP” shows that were localized and dubbed for the US in the early 2000’s. It, and other examples of this like Serial Experiments Lain and Boogiepop Phantom, generally enjoy a very healthy reputation for being very purposefully off-kilter–experimental, even–at the risk alienating a more general audience. To prioritize your vision over marketability, is perhaps how one would describe it.

This is as opposed to other shows that can be said to have a vision, which are not quite so experimental and instead seek its thesis in lieu of much more conventional forms of entertainment, recent examples being anime such as Mawaru Penguindrum with its heavy plot suspense and cliffhangers or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica‘s use of rock solid profit staples such as cute girls, popular voice actors, etc. Rather, shows such as Paranoia Agent and et al often seek to approach its issues in such an obtuse fashion to make a challenge and draw attention to itself, risking broad appeal. It’s an opportunity for putting a lot of unusual ideas to work but really does risk excess that’s ultimately not a good thing. Continue reading

Posted in Anime, Watched complete | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Dog Days and False Warfare

The small stratus of anime fans who appreciate Seven Arcs productions may have looked forward to the Dog Days project, if perhaps only cheekily anticipating it. Well, I doubt there were ever that many, but I was personally excited. All things said and done, I was satisfied, at the very least. I won’t give a review of the show (but if anyone cares, I gave it 8/10) and in fact what I’m going to talk about has absolutely nothing to do about why I enjoyed the show either. Excellent! Continue reading

Posted in 2011 Spring, Anime, tl;dr, Watched serial | Tagged | 3 Comments

Maken-ki! 01-03: The Ugly, the Good, the Bad

Another season begins and of course the first I must write of is probably one of the most atrociously executed shows out of all of them: Maken-ki!. It’s a harem fight manga adaptation that takes place in a high school involving special powers of which the protagonist is a strange wildcard whose surrounding circumstances are a fascinating mystery! Fascinating! The manga is the brainchild of Takeda Hiromitsu (Tsundero) and it is being adapted by director Ohata Koichi (Burst Angel, Ikkitousen, Genocyber, MD Geist) while the series composition is the charge of Kuroda Yousuke (Gungrave, Hellsing Ultimate, Infinite Ryvius, High School of the Dead, Honey & Clover, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Trigun). Did I mention we get character designs by Yuki Nobuteru (Angel Cop, Paradise Kiss, Heat Guy J, Seikon no Qwaser)? What an interesting staff!

As the title of the post suggests, I am going to go over the shows qualities in as deliberate and purposeful a way as the director has his camera work done. Continue reading

Posted in 2011 Fall, Anime, Watched serial | Tagged | 4 Comments