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:

Read more... )

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
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:

Read more... )

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
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Nov. 1st, 2010 11:14 am)
For my birthday, not one, but TWO people independently decided that I would enjoy a review of the awesomely bad YA novel Crazy Beautiful, in which the hero has hooks for hands and never lets you forget it:

Gee, if I'd known spilling my orange juice was this effective, I'd have spilled it in Dad's direction every day when I was younger. Then maybe he'd have made time to do things with me like, I don't know, play catch in the yard. Not that I'm complaining or playing the neglected child card. I'll never do that. I know what I've done. I know who's responsible for everything in my life, past, present, and future. Still, a little catch would have been fun, when I still had hands.

[livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks: In conclusion: this book is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. I am not managing to tell you about half of it. You should all read it. It is a real treasure, a thing of great rarity and magnificence, and I could not remotely have put it down. It is the worst book I have read in at least a decade. I wish I could really manage to communicate its essence to you, but criticism can only go so far.

[livejournal.com profile] coraa: While these two are being kept apart by... um... by I don't even know what, we wander through a couple of subplots.

Best birthday ever!

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sartorias took me to Huntington Gardens for tea and strolling. Photos below (by me - I hope she'll post her own at some point - except for the one of me.)

Click for pics of me, a lizard, beautiful gardens, and the Yuletide bush )
rachelmanija: (Naruto: Super-energized!)
( Nov. 1st, 2010 11:14 am)
For my birthday, not one, but TWO people independently decided that I would enjoy a review of the awesomely bad YA novel Crazy Beautiful, in which the hero has hooks for hands and never lets you forget it:

Gee, if I'd known spilling my orange juice was this effective, I'd have spilled it in Dad's direction every day when I was younger. Then maybe he'd have made time to do things with me like, I don't know, play catch in the yard. Not that I'm complaining or playing the neglected child card. I'll never do that. I know what I've done. I know who's responsible for everything in my life, past, present, and future. Still, a little catch would have been fun, when I still had hands.

[livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks: In conclusion: this book is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. I am not managing to tell you about half of it. You should all read it. It is a real treasure, a thing of great rarity and magnificence, and I could not remotely have put it down. It is the worst book I have read in at least a decade. I wish I could really manage to communicate its essence to you, but criticism can only go so far.

[livejournal.com profile] coraa: While these two are being kept apart by... um... by I don't even know what, we wander through a couple of subplots.

Best birthday ever!

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sartorias took me to Huntington Gardens for tea and strolling. Photos below (by me - I hope she'll post her own at some point - except for the one of me.)

Click for pics of me, a lizard, beautiful gardens, and the Yuletide bush )
Two Gothics!

The Wizard's Daughter is, I think, the only one of hers which isn’t in first person. It’s in omniscient, with a narrator who wryly comments on the heroine Marianne’s naivete, speculates on what Freud might have to say about Marianne’s dreams of her father, and mentions that no one yet knew the concept of allergies. More than any of Michaels’ Gothics but Someone in the House, it’s almost a Gothic parody.

When innocent and extravagantly beautiful (silver-gilt curls) Marianne is left penniless after her father’s death, she gets caught up in evil nightclubs, séances, and questions about her parentage. She ends up trying to call up her father’s ghost in a house inhabited by assorted peculiar characters, from an insane gardener who lurks in closets to an aunt with hundreds of cats. It’s very funny, down to the explanation of Marianne’s psychic trances and the revelation of the true fate of her father.

Read more... )

The Master of Blacktower, one of Michaels’ earlier novels, starts out more seriously, with Damaris (red-gold curls,) also orphaned after her father’s death, taking a position as secretary to the Master of Blacktower in rural Scotland, where servants and peasants make dire warnings in phonetic dialect. The Master has a scarred face and black silk gloves which he never takes off. At one point Damaris is shoved off a turret, caught, then dropped. To prove that he wasn’t the one who caught and dropped her, the Master inquires whether the person who grabbed her had all his or her fingers, then whips off his gloves, revealing that he’s missing several fingers and the glove fingers are stuffed with cotton!

Sadly, this is not supposed to be hilarious (I think) though as [livejournal.com profile] coraa pointed out you’d think that Damaris would have noticed before that only some of his fingers ever moved. Then there’s a rather random duel, people thought to be dead return, and several characters fall to their deaths in the Very Same Pool that killed the Master’s first wife. It’s ridiculous but not really played for laughs, which in this case makes it less funny than The Wizard’s Daughter.
Two Gothics!

The Wizard's Daughter is, I think, the only one of hers which isn’t in first person. It’s in omniscient, with a narrator who wryly comments on the heroine Marianne’s naivete, speculates on what Freud might have to say about Marianne’s dreams of her father, and mentions that no one yet knew the concept of allergies. More than any of Michaels’ Gothics but Someone in the House, it’s almost a Gothic parody.

When innocent and extravagantly beautiful (silver-gilt curls) Marianne is left penniless after her father’s death, she gets caught up in evil nightclubs, séances, and questions about her parentage. She ends up trying to call up her father’s ghost in a house inhabited by assorted peculiar characters, from an insane gardener who lurks in closets to an aunt with hundreds of cats. It’s very funny, down to the explanation of Marianne’s psychic trances and the revelation of the true fate of her father.

Read more... )

The Master of Blacktower, one of Michaels’ earlier novels, starts out more seriously, with Damaris (red-gold curls,) also orphaned after her father’s death, taking a position as secretary to the Master of Blacktower in rural Scotland, where servants and peasants make dire warnings in phonetic dialect. The Master has a scarred face and black silk gloves which he never takes off. At one point Damaris is shoved off a turret, caught, then dropped. To prove that he wasn’t the one who caught and dropped her, the Master inquires whether the person who grabbed her had all his or her fingers, then whips off his gloves, revealing that he’s missing several fingers and the glove fingers are stuffed with cotton!

Sadly, this is not supposed to be hilarious (I think) though as [livejournal.com profile] coraa pointed out you’d think that Damaris would have noticed before that only some of his fingers ever moved. Then there’s a rather random duel, people thought to be dead return, and several characters fall to their deaths in the Very Same Pool that killed the Master’s first wife. It’s ridiculous but not really played for laughs, which in this case makes it less funny than The Wizard’s Daughter.
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