Wednesday, March 18, 2009
"To-night You've Presumed Too Much"
With breakfast this afternoon, I watched the first episode of an anime series Tim recommended to me about a week ago, Soul Eater, a 2008 series based on a 2003 manga about an "academy" of paranormal hunters whose mission is to kill demons and eat their souls. It's not bad--Halloween cute. I particularly liked the first segment where the female lead, Maka and her scythe, named Soul, who manifests as a teenage boy, hunted and fought Jack the Ripper, whose soul apparently manifested in the Soul Eaters' world looking like this;
It's a neat design, maybe not too original, but I enjoyed it, and watching him crawl about, swinging those big metal claws versus Maka swinging her scythe was some well animated fun. Lots of good animation and some very cute and somehow genuinely disturbing design for the spirit city for its shear, manic loudness. I liked this sun, which was constantly laughing;
Soul's character is obsessed with being a "cool guy" and his attempt at being a paragon of detached masculinity is undermined when a cat posing as a naked witch immediately gives him a nosebleed, the anime shorthand for extreme sexual arousal or ejaculation. Soul and Maka seem to be involved in the familiar awkward teenage romance of many an anime, which actually seems to suit their environment and jobs--children, are of course, best suited to be killers for their undeveloped morality and the childishness inherent in sadism. To love children, you have to be kind of cool with sadism, too.
I watched The Quiet Man last night at my parents' house, which my mother likes to think of as a Saint Patrick's Day tradition. That movie is certainly one of John Ford's most beautiful, which is really saying something since his movies are always beautifully shot. Which is why it's such a shame that there doesn't seem to be a good print of it on the market.
I only watched one episode of Battlestar Galactica last night, episode sixteen of the fourth season. Far from the best episode of the series, the stuff with Baltar especially dispiriting. I know we're supposed to take his followers as young idiots, but James Callis' performance projects so much of his true motives through his proclamations to them that we have to take them as cartoonishly dumb. Baltar's character in the fourth season swings wildly on an episode by episode basis from an interesting portrait of a man who's done bad or cowardly things and has achieved a kind of wisdom from it, to a sort of Wile E. Coyote version of the morally fragile character he was earlier in the series. His wardrobe in the past year and a half alone has reflected the confusion about his character--from his Abbey Road look late in the third season, to his early twentieth century aviator look at the beginning of this season, to the nice neurotic guy t-shirt look he sports now, it seems like one writer after another is presenting a theory as to who Baltar is, only to have the board scrubbed clean again by the next episode.
And, ye gods, was Ellen ever annoying in that sixteenth episode. This after she was kind of cool in the God/Satan argument with Dean Stockwell in the previous episode, pretty much the only episode where I liked Ellen. So much for that.