Archive for the ‘Freezing’ Category

The backlog decimation, part I: artsy anime, part I

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Many of my classmates have dubbed this free time (our version of the ‘summer break’) to be the ‘last summer of our lives.’ I mostly agree with them, especially because we will go on duty by this time next year, and have to establish ourselves in the medical community after that. It is most probably the last break we’ll have as students.

The best artsy anime ever

A lot of them are going places, enjoying trips to different countries or exploring the different landmarks of this country. I’m staying at my real home, doing nothing but reading, watching movies, and watching anime.

‘What a boring life!’ some of you might exclaim. I guess for someone not privy to my interests, it is quite a chore. But I watch and read precisely because it is the last chance I have to take care of everything I have obtained or downloaded to my PC. I grew up as a quasi-obsessive, and I think it evinces itself with this current status of mine: I simply have to finish watching everything before I part with my PC, and I’m doing it right now.

Most of what I have watched were artsy anime, aside from the more traditional (and more mundane) series. With this post, I’ll try to talk about the artsy anime I just watched.

Over the past week, aside from the Eden of the East movies and 009-1 I have also finished watching the laughable MM! and Freezing. I also watched Genius Party, 1001 Nights, Noiseman Sound Insect, and Alien Nine. In retrospect, it’s not really much, but I have also had to deal with real life despite it being at a distance for the most part.

In a nutshell, most of the artsy anime I’ve seen were shit: all that glitters is not gold. That saying may be trite, but it sure fits the bill for the artsy anime I saw. Most of the entries in the Genius Party anthology were forgettable, save for Masaaki Yuasa’s Happy Machine and the elegiac beauty of Shinichiro Watanabe’s Baby Blue. Limit Cycle deserves a special mention for being outright, utter crap. I don’t think anyone wants to listen to 20 minutes of whining psychobabble.

Baby Blue, despite its unimpressive character designs, really reflects the genius of Shinichiro Watanabe. It was the only entry in the series that, for me, deserved a 10. It seemed to be taken from a Haruki Murakami novel in its inventive method in dealing with forthcoming loss. It’s a short film, and if I were to pick one entry from the anthology I would unhesitatingly choose it, even over Happy Machine. While I liked Kaiba I didn’t think it was a masterpiece: I still don’t.

Alien Nine is more understandable than 1001 Nights, but I still don’t think of it as good. At best, the series is average: Kumi is a girl scared easily, but she was chosen to battle against monstrous aliens. She, of course, fails nearly all of the time with her teammates picking up the slack. I think she’s even worse than Shinji in this regard, because Shinji at least fought even though he was extremely hesitant. Maybe the fourth episode will change my perception of things, but I highly doubt that.

Noiseman Sound Insect was actually a pleasant music video, although due to its length there is wanting depth and nearly nil character development. The variegated color and the potent imagery somewhat compensate for that, however. Trees Make Seeds was a great ending for the short film.

1001 Nights is the last and the least. It featured 23 minutes of music and imagery, but little more. I thought it was horrible. A vanguard anime only works when it is complemented by a plot that serves as a foundation to the kinetic art, and there was none of that here. I’m glad I finished watching it.

Freezing: why I quite like it

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

I did not expect anything from Freezing, and judging from the rather average scores in AniDB, was right not to. I’m glad I didn’t, as well, because I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining and involving Freezing is. The well-drawn ladies, of course, factor into the equation, but I like how Mamiko Noto voices Satellizer, and how the romance between her and Kazuha is slowly developing. I was surprised when I discovered Satellizer was also Mamiko Noto, since I didn’t hear this range from her in her other roles. Her voice was clearly huskier and more masculine than most of her other roles, and that’s kudos to her.

I have never hidden the fact that I am a sucker for idiosyncratic romances. Among those romances is a relationship between an older woman and a younger male. There’s something attractive from its deviance, and when it’s well-executed it’s just a joy to watch. Take for example Rika and Mayama’s complicated relations in Honey and Clover, or the exciting relationship between Jin-Ho and his sensei in Unbalance x Unbalance. When the complications and the dynamism are established and the strength of their love is shown majestically, I as a reader or a viewer feel elated.

The beautifully-drawn breasts, I must admit, are among the factors that have invited me to watch more of Freezing. But it is essentially how Satellizer thaws from the influence of Kazuha that keeps on sucking me in. I frankly thought that Freezing was going to be as mindless as Ikkitousen, but it’s not. There are reasons, for example, why Satellizer acts like a frigid bitch, and why everyone else is going for her. I’d probably act like an asshole all the time if I was molested, too. I even wonder why she’s that strong even when the whole world is against her (except for Kazuha).

It’s no candidate to be the best anime of 2011, but it’s fun to watch for me, and that’s all that matters. (Plus, it’s a bit more tastefully done than Ikkitousen, and the plot actually makes a bit of sense. That’s not bad.) It’s also a great way to waste thirty minutes of one’s time after a taxing day, moreso if one’s a guy.

I just feel depressed, however, when I know that it’s probably not going to end soon and the anime probably won’t even touch on further events from the manga.