Unreachable Expectations. The Problem With Hype
We have all seen it before, the one show or movie always mentioned when one brings up the topic of excellent anime. We all have our favourites but a few names are universally thrown around. Classics they are called, the shows that defined genres, decades or “deconstructed” genres and tropes. Being the open minded and adventourous fan that I am I placed a few shows on my “to watch list” after hearing nothing but praise about them. My good friend came over one weekend and we decided to watch some “classic anime” First on the list was..
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Heres a Synopsis of the show courtesy of Anime-Planet.com;
“When Utena Tenjou was very little her parents died, and a prince comforted her in her time of loss, giving her a ring with a rose seal. He so impressed her that she decided to become a prince herself one day. Now, Utena is a teenager at Ohtori Academy who’s athletic and notorious for dressing in a boy’s uniform. When a member of the Student Council humiliates a friend of hers Utena challenges him to a duel, and he accepts only when he sees she possesses a rose seal ring. She soon discovers that this is no normal duel – it’s a bizarre and ritualistic battle that the Student Council regularly conducts. In fact when she wins, Utena finds to her considerable chagrin that she gets to have Anthy Himemiya, a rather docile student, as her ‘Rose Bride’. If she wants to keep Anthy she’ll have to win more duels against members of the Student Council and others. What is the ultimate purpose of these duels and Anthy’s role as the Rose Bride?”
What I Liked
The first two episodes do a great job of explaining all these details, The show is very well paced so it doesnt leave you confused or asking questions… well not questions about the basic plot anyway.
The visuals are fantastic, J.C Staff pulled thier A game on this one. The character designs are attractive and the screen is usually filled with roses or cherry blossoms or anything fabulous you can think of putting on a screen. The director really had a vision for the show and he made sure to implement them.
Lesbians. Im heterosexual and if you are “a healthy young male” like me you certainly find the idea of watching georgous lesbians together enticing. hey Im just being honest.
Absolute Destiny Apocalypse
Yes that castle is upside down. Aparently its a trick of the light…..im not joking.
What Dissapointed Me
This is what this post is all about anyway but i felt the need to highlight the positive aspects first so I wouldnt be crucified, these are regarded a some of the best shows in anime afterall and I am not here to make enemies.
The Characters were just unrelatable and uninteresting to me, I couldnt find anything to like about anyone on the cast. Ive found that having relatable characters is very important to me, especially when it comes to anime. Even if the feeling is negative like say Lelouch from Code Geass or Kirino from Oreimo the fact that those characters produce a reaction from you is enough for you to “care” to see what happens to them. The Utena characters were just so “out there” I guess. I really didnt care for any of the characters at all. Theres a scene where Anthy is repeteadly slapped by Touga and I didnt feel a thing! I was just happy to see the little pet mascot guy being cute about it (oh yeah I liked the mascot did I mention that?) For a show that many people seem to be so fond of I was so surprised at how uninteresting the characters were. Got me thinking if people just liked them because of thier hairstyles or just coz they were lesbian.
The story does not captivate me either, You guys watching Usagi Drop this season? how long did that take to grab you by the neck and get you to your knees begging for more? By the second episode I relaised this was going to be one of those battle of the week episodic types. Now I know episodic anime has its charm but very rarely does that format suceed. Cowboy Bebop did not blow me away for that exact reason, episodic anime just feels like a bunch of filler thrown at you every week. Chog through this unnecesary stuff and you might get to the actual plot is what it feels like to me. I knew from the second episode that Utena had to fight a new challenger each episode and save Anthy from the impending doom of eternal physical abuse. Naa doesnt work for me, its totally not what I expecetd from a so called “greatest show of all time”
I had preconcieved ideas of what this show was supposed to be like and very few of my expectations were met, it didnt tick the right boxes for me, in fact it crossed all the wrong ones which is why my dissapointment was so severe. I reckon had this show not been hyped to me I probably would have worked my way through it, but now all I see when I watch it is could have beens.’
“Nekki Basara, a guitarist in the band Fire Bomber, is living in City 7, a part of the Macross fleet. An unknown enemy force is attacking the fleet, absorbing the energy force – the “Spiritia” – from the pilots it destroys. Basara does not believe in using force to handle the enemy, and thus he flies out on his red valkyrie to sing to them, hoping that the songs will help calm the battle. Though it is unknown what the effects of the song have upon the enemy, Macross 7 decides to go with this plan and send members of Fire Bomber to the battlefield to sing. Can Nekki Basara save Macross 7 from this unknown enemy force with the power of his songs?”
What I Liked
The Character designs. I really loved them they looked so good for an early 90’s anime, We all know how hideous some 90’s anime character designs were Thank God Macross 7 survived that plague.
The Characters were actually Interesting. Yes they were, all the band members of Fire Bomber have distinct and unique characters. You get to find out Basara is an arrogant d-bag right off the bat and the drummer (I didnt get her name) is one of those cool quiet types I like. Right from the first episode im emotionally vested in the characters this is a good thing.
The Animation was really really good. Alot of money was spent on these must have been riding on the success of the previous series and/or movies.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes