Wednesday, January 13, 2010
      ( 8:31 PM ) posted by Setsuled  
I had MSNBC on while I ate lunch to-day and saw some of Keith Olbermann's coverage of the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. Astonishingly horrible, what's happened.

Olbermann went on to talk about what Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson have said about the matter, and on the one hand I have to wonder why those two should be given any attention, though on the other I suppose both men have massive audiences who hang on their every word and it might be important to have their arguments refuted somewhere. Pat Robertson's comments I found particularly fascinating, his idea that Haitians are being punished for a pact with Satan. It's similar to Robertson's claims about Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 being the fault of sinners in the respective cities where they took place--the obviously weak logic somehow makes it even more insulting. It implies Robertson will stop at nothing to blame the victims. This is what happens when people settle on fast explanations for everything in life--stagnate imaginations make them cruel.

I watched the second episode of So Ra No Wo To to-day, which was pretty disappointing after the promising first episode. Cheaper looking production values meant the town in which the story takes place appeared to be deserted as it seemed no-one was able to animate or even draw still versions of the townspeople. And the main cast coalesced in the episode, coming off as something that might be called Azumanga Evangelion--it was clear every character was a slightly tweaked version of an Evangelion character;



From left to right, we have Ritsuko modified to be kindlier, Misato modified to be grumpier, Shinji modified to be a girl and happier (with Pen Pen on her head modified to be an owl), Asuka not really modified at all, and Rei modified to be a narcoleptic. Otherwise, it's exactly the same characters, only with awkward silences in which the characters have delayed reactions to everything and utterly pointless dialogue. This stuff, along with just about all the "mundane adventures of young teen girls" style anime series can probably be blamed on people trying to emulate Azumanga Daioh. All these series, though, So Ra No Wo To included, fail to capture what makes Azumanga Daioh so good--a genuinely insightful, sort of melancholic perspective on human nature.

I'll probably still watch the third So Ra No Wo To, though. If the second episode can be this different from the first, maybe the third episode can be as different from the second. We get to see a map of the fantasy world in the new episode;



The show takes place in the town of "Seize", which I thought at first was a stand in for a coastal French town until I realised the lighter area on the upper left wasn't water. I misread "Nomansland" at first as "Normansland", the implication maybe being the Normans went to conquer England but, finding it missing, stubbornly planted their flag in the ocean.

Not exactly the most creative names for towns, there. I suppose they sound perfectly exotic to Japanese viewers.

Last night's tweets;

Junk food cops watch from a helicopter.
Some burritos are the saddest donkeys.
Now powering torches of the lobster--
Perpendicular water batteries.
#





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