Mary Had a Little Lamb, My Fair Lady: Terrorism in Mawaru Penguindrum and Terror in Resonance

September 4, 2014 § 2 Comments

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“Anyway, do you really think those guys have a future?”

- Five, to Lisa Mishima, Terror in Resonance, episode 8

Five has a future. She chose – according to Nine – to stay in the Rising Peace Academy, and therefore has been able to fashion herself quite the future from this decision. Thanks to the academy, Five has a cozy gig with the ISA and does not have to worry about her career. She commandeers an entire airport, blows up an airplane, and bombs an apartment, receiving only the gentle admonishment of, “Please show some moderation.” from her superiors. She has little need to worry about her own future, provided that she meets their goals.

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Terror in Resonance and Playing by the Rules

September 1, 2014 § 2 Comments

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Monopoly is, and always has been, a boring game to me. Growing up, my brother and I would try to spice things up by playing something we called “Mafia Monopoly.” This is a fancy way of saying that we slipped each other money beneath the table and made clandestine deals with one another in an attempt to gang up on my parents and end the game in under an hour. Our parents turned a blind eye most likely because they wanted to spend time with us, even if we were dirty rotten cheaters. Similarly, I had another friend who would say the classic, “Oops! I dropped my cards!” after melodramatically performing the act before slipping extra cards into his hand. We put up with it because we liked him as a friend, even though he was a horrid card player.

When Five lays the groundwork for her chess match with Nine, she presumably also sets the rules. It is the job of Nine and Twelve to respond accordingly. She chooses the playing field. She sets the stage. She decides the goal. Unlike the rules of Monopoly – or the game she is modeling her interactions with Nine after, chess – the rules are hers to construct and break as she pleases. This makes the chess match in episode seven of Terror in Resonance a bit of a boring game for the audience; however, the parry and riposte from Sphinx and Shibazaki speak to the crumbling of established rules within the series.

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A Me-Colored Sky: Aikatsu! and Artistic Inspiration

August 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Creativity springs from familiar and unlikely places. As an artist, of any medium, one can fluctuate between immediate compulsive reactions to life experiences in addition to falling back on a comfortable style or source of inspiration. In painting, and additionally while writing for this blog, there are times where I work on crafting the familiar, and other times where I see something and am suddenly compelled to produce something.

Aikatsu! is a series that assigns inspiration to each of its characters fairly neatly, while accounting for both of these sources. Main heroine Ichigo Hoshimiya is a perfect example of this. She carries with her the love and support of her mother, represented by a rice paddle from her mother’s bento shop that Ichigo often brandishes, along with her own love of food. Initially, Ichigo is influenced after attending a Mizuki Kanzaki concert, but later finds out that her mother was also an idol prior to opening the bento shop. This revelation allows her to move forward with her own idol career, now using her mother as an additional source of motivation.

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The One Thing I Can Always Do

August 22, 2014 § 13 Comments

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Before I knew it

Even my nonsensical dreams

Passed me by

And my feelings were tangled.

Run, run!

It’s the one thing I can always do.

- From “Ambivalent World,” opening to Bakemonogatari episodes 6-8

I don’t know when running began to mean something to me.

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Tippecanoe and Pariston Hill Too

August 20, 2014 § 8 Comments

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Following Chimera Ant – where Hunter x Hunter challenges humanity’s collective existential crisis in an arc that is equal parts uplifting and depressing – manga artist Yoshihiro Togashi knew exactly what his emotionally exhausted viewers needed. Someone to hate. Pariston Hill fits this role perfectly.

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