To set the scene, I spent a day last week in Kelly and Elisa's charming but extremely cold home. Here I am, watching anime while huddled for warmth in a fox hat, with Elisa doing a ninja-like vanishing act beside me:



Three...



Two...



One...



Vanish!



Yukikaze

Kelly and Elisa described this as "men who love men who love planes." Kelly added that it seemed like an attempt to capture two large markets at once: people who like fighter jets, and people who like gay love stories. Unfortunately, it ended up appealing to the much smaller market of people who like both fighter jets and gay love stories. Luckily, I like both.

Mysterious aliens known as JAM attempted to invade the Earth, but were beaten back to a planet called Fairy. A number of years later, the general population of Earth doesn’t much care that a completely pointless war is still being waged over the skies of Fairy via fighter jet. On Fairy, Rei Fukui is the pilot for the amazing plane Yukikaze, who talks to him and protects him. His commanding officer is in love with him - well, there’s no on-screen kissing, but if they were a heterosexual couple, there would be no doubt whatsoever in any viewer’s mind that their relationship is romantic. But Rei, who is socially impaired to say the least, doesn’t quite know how to deal with this strange thing called love, especially when it emanates from one of those strange beings called humans rather than from his beloved plane.

Yukikaze is beautifully animated and designed, with a lot of shots that evoke the loneliness of a futuristic Edward Hopper painting. The details of how the planes work are very realistic, given that they’re super-jets. Despite the many aerial battles, the series has a hypnotic, meditative atmosphere, aided by the unsettlingly mysterious nature of the war and the JAM: no one has ever seen a JAM, only their jets.

I liked this a lot, though I was glad to have Kelly and Elisa on hand to explain some of the more confusing moments. It’s understated in the extreme, but gathers a lot of emotional force by the satisfying end.

This is a short series, of 6 episodes. Four are thirty minutes long, and the first and last are about forty-five. Yukikaze

The series was based on a book series, Yukikaze, which is out in English from Haikasoru.

Texhnolyze

I only managed to watch the first episode of this, and I liked it less than any anime I’ve seen yet. There was no background music, and almost no dialogue. In episode one, in a moody dystopian landscape...

- A boxer stares zombie-like into a mirror, then has zombie-like sex with a creepy woman with a prosthetic arm. She pokes him in the eyeball with her sharp nail while having an orgasm (I had to look away) but luckily, he has a prosthetic eyeball.

- A CGI ceiling fan gloomily turns.

- A man gloomily cooks boiling glop.

- A girl with a fox mask stares at people and has visions of people getting killed.

- The boxer lurks gloomily in a sewer littered with prosthetic limbs.

- People hack off the boxer’s arm and leg.

End of episode one! Also, end of me watching any more of this. Don't blame Kelly and Elisa for it - it was one of a handful of random anime DVDs I bought for a dollar at a garage sale. I was robbed!

Texhnolyze
zdenka: Miriam with a tambourine, text "I will sing." (i am very smart)

From: [personal profile] zdenka


Mysterious aliens known as JAM attempted to invade the Earth

That really is dangerous jam.
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)

From: [personal profile] sovay


End of episode one! Also, end of me watching any more of this.

I'm so sorry it managed to wreck a girl in a fox mask.

From: [identity profile] wordkink.livejournal.com


Kelly says not to forget the three awesome episodes of Baka and Test!

Seriously though. That was the worst anime ever. But you forgot the lizard! Sewer lizard!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Oh yeah! I think I'll make another anime round-up post later. I am now watching Noein, which I'm enjoying. (Time travel + last summer before middle school nostalgia + magical girl.)

From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com


Yeah, I like the series. The kids act like real kids, it seems, complete with slap fights. And oh man, the Shangri-La ships are nicely creepy, especially when they are destroyed.

From: [identity profile] mind-the-tardis.livejournal.com


The end of Texhnolyze makes verrrrry little sense, having hung in there and watched the whole thing. I liked the atmosphere and the visual style (I like slow pacing in anime), but it didn't add up to anything except atmosphere. Well, there was something about the need to struggle as essential to human survival, and genetic perfection being a dead-end, I think.

From: [identity profile] thomasyan.livejournal.com


I liked Serial Experiments Lain and Haibane Renmei, so I was and am curious about Texhnolyze. But on my first and so far only try, I am not sure I even made it to the end of the first episode.

Possibly before I tried, I had already heard that my brother's friends who liked anime had tried or were following it, and so far it was incomprehensible.

So maybe I'll get back to it...after a full decade has passed.

From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_profiterole_/


I've seen Yukikaze, they were GAY, no doubt about that! :D

I've never watched Texhnolyze.

From: [identity profile] nekonexus.livejournal.com


Yay for snuggly fox hats. ^_^

[livejournal.com profile] kintail and I watched Yukikaze with E & K last time we were in San Diego. I think I was tripping on cold meds at the time -- this might have actually helped, rather than hindered, the watching.

I am curious about the book, but our library network does not have it alas.

From: [identity profile] rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com


Back when Animerica was still The Single Print Magazine About Anime surviving in the U.S. market, they used to run summaries in each issue of what anime was running in Japan, complete with episode-by-episode recaps. I have always felt so incredibly sorry for whichever poor intern got stuck doing week-by-week we-have-no-idea-if-this-show-will-ever-mean-anything recaps for Texhnolyze. My housemates used to do dramatic readings of those recaps, sometimes including interpretive gestures. Yours is sixteen times more coherent than any of the magazine's attempts ever managed.

From: [identity profile] ancientone.livejournal.com


Tex does move slow at first, but it does get to the complex story by episode 3 or so. it is true, the first episode is bloody, but that is only a device to set the gloominess of the world where he is.
I always watched Tex during January or February. this is good anime to keep you warm at night.
.

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