Archive for the ‘Anime’ Category

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Gundam Build Fighters Try: She’s My Hero!

November 17, 2014

narutaki_icon_4040 I loved the first season of Gundam Build Fighters so I thought it would be hard to top it with a new cast in another season. But then Fumina Hoshino appeared.

During a Gunpla World Championship, young Hoshino observed a magnificent player and decided then and there to aspire to the same greatness. Hoshino is now 14-years-old, building Gunpla, and the head of the Gunpla Battle school club with a goal of putting together a team to take all the way to their own championship.

Hoshino is a young woman and her inspiration is also a woman. And Hoshino is the protagonist of Gundam Build Fighters Try.

hisui_icon_4040 As someone who has listened to Gundamn for several years I have noticed a few recurring questions that pop up in their mailbag from time to time. (Apparently podcasts can regularly receive questions. Shocking but true. I have no experience with that phenomenon so this is all apocryphal.) One such question usually involves some variation of, “When do you think a Gundam series will have a female protagonist and what will she be like?” The general answer is that the closest they have come so far is Haruhiko Mikimoto’s Gundam École du Ciel manga and that is currently on indefinite hiatus and Tiel’s Impulse which I did not even know existed until I checked just to make sure there were not any other notable female Gundam heroines.

It would be foolish to discount École du Ciel and Tiel’s Impulse as unimportant steps towards a female protagonist in Gundam but I think the real victory for the fans who want a little more gender equality in Gundam would be a woman in the driver’s seat of a Gundam TV series. While Gundam is not totally married to the idea of a persistent canon the parts of the franchise that have the strongest claim to canon tend to be the TV series. That means that a Gundam TV series with a woman at the helm would set a powerful precedent.

As surprising as it is Fumina Hoshino might actually be the leading lady Gundam fans have been waiting for. Gundam Build Fighters Try might not be the expected route for the first female Gundam heroine but a slightly obscure path might be exactly what was needed for it to happen.

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #006 – Shiro the Puppet

November 16, 2014

hisui_icon_4040 The name of this episode is Mirage. A simple single word title can often open itself up to much interpretation. There is no obvious illusion in the episode. Shiro is not tricked into going to the Ryuudou Temple by a mirage. I think the titular mirage is the illusion of control that Shiro has.

Despite how much he thinks he is in control of his life it seems that more and more he is just being moved like a pawn at this point in the story. Rin is distinctly in control of their alliance. While that arrangement is clearly in Shiro’s best interest it is theoretically an equal partnership but the thing is Rin is in the drive’s seat. We see Shinji play Shiro like a fiddle as he knows all the right strings to pluck on his former friend. And in the end Caster draws Shiro into her little trap all too easily. Shiro might think that he is a knight on the chess board of the Holy Grail War but it is clear that he is merely a valuable pawn. He won’t gain any measurable power or control unless he can survive long enough to get a promotion. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #005 – The Silly Faces of Rin Tohsaka

November 8, 2014

hisui_icon_4040 Look. It took a lot of willpower not to just make the whole article just pictures of all the faces Rin makes during the episode. They are quite amazing. (Also if I did that I would not get to put in any Saber shots in the post so maybe I would have never done that in the first place.) But she just makes so many wonderful faces this episode that you have to understand where I am coming from after watching this episode. But that said the fact that I could do a whole episode review with nothing but Rin reaction shots clearly shows that we are firmly into Unlimited Blade Works arc with young miss Tohsaka as the heroine of the story. So lets start talking about the episode for all the people who love to talk about how Rin is the “best girl.”

Spoilers: The best girl is clearly Kaede Makidera.

(Who did you think I was going to say?)

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #004 – A Good Neighborhood Tiger

November 5, 2014

hisui_icon_4040 Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

But seriously there was a lot of Taiga in this episode. I mean I love the lady. She is a lovely comic relief character with an earnest heart. I have a feeling that she might have won over a few hearts at Ufotable through Eizenberg consultation room extras just like she was a character beloved by the staff of Type-Moon during the creation of Fate/Stay Night. This is also the only path where she actually participates in the main plot. All that said she always has been a minor character. There was a reason that when Studio Deen threw the United Blade Works parts of Caster’s story into their version of Fate they had Sakura be the one who was kidnapped instead of Taiga. It was one of the few times one of the changes did not do that much to alter the themes of the story. You could argue that putting Sakura in that role added themes and elements that were never meant to be there but I think it is more an interesting choice that can be debated as more than just a poor decision like many of the other changes they made.

I don’t mind more Tiger but like the added prominence of Ayako Mitsuduri and the Three Amiags it makes me wonder if they are trying to build up these characters a bit more for Fate/Hollow Ataraxia. I know part of the reason I keep mentioning it is because I’m seriously hoping that Ufotable will animate the sequel game as they are probably one of the few studios who could easily find a way to tell that story in a way that hits all the highlights, captures the themes correctly, and only cuts the enjoyable but unnecessary filler parts of that story. I really feel like the only way characters like BazettCaren, and Avenger will gain any serious prominence is if they get a role in a proper anime. I feel like one of the reasons Tsukihime has always been a lower tier is that its anime has always been lower profile as well. Without a decently accepted anime you will never be able to break through that glass ceiling.

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