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< Piro >

Tiara & Lina - Shamanic Princess

"magical made"

Thursday - June 21, 2001

[Piro] - 09:13:00 - [link here]

[quick note - i wanna say thanks to Hot Soup over at Lethal Doses for filling in for me today. Largo and I just were not happy with the script for yesterday, so chapter one will continue on Monday. Thanks soup! (ping is so cute in the last panel ^_^)]

Have you ever been in one of those arguments with friends or just random people on the net about how good or bad a anime show is? Ever been in the position of trying to defending a show that you REALLY like, but you can't really explain why? Unfortunately, 'Generally Accepted Opinions" (GAO's as I call them -architects have a bad habit of creating acronyms for everything because we are lazy) exist, and normally pretty well match your own opinions about things. Its when your feelings on something don't gel well with the GAO that you can find yourself standing alone in a spotlight, surrounded by people with railguns and bags of tomatoes. Not fun, is it?

One positive thing about GAOs is that they are a big help to people who are just getting into anime. For the most part, the community has a pretty good idea what anime titles are good, and which are, like, really bad. ^^;; What's sad is, sometimes people's opinions of a show have more to do with what others think of it than what they themselves felt about it. That's bad. Others often feel they have to keep their feelings to themselves, and just sit there and take it as other people rip on their shows. That's life. Some people feel the need to go on the attack when someone makes a statement contrary to the Generally Accepted Opinion, and form a lynching party. That's just plain wrong.

Sadly, all of this is a deep rooted part of human behavior. Thats what wars and religions are all about. I think that most GOAs are not universal things - they tend to exist independently within groups of friends, online communities such as IRC channels and forums. Gee, sounds a lot like the term 'Peer Pressure' doesn't it? ^_^

I tend to ignore Generally Accepted Opinions completely. Why? because i tend to always be on the wrong side of things. My statements about my admiration of an anime series or show is usually more of a defiant statement than a timid declaration for which i hope people agree with. Anyone here ever seen Shamanic Princess? I love this anime. Is it one of the best animes ever made? No. is it a fabulous piece of storytelling? No. Is it any good? Depends on what you are looking for.

And that's the crux of the issue. Sometimes what you get from a show is not easy to describe. The story in Shamanic Princess doesn't necessarily grab me, but some of the visuals, especially in the first few episodes, are amazing. Also, the soundtracks are fantastic (I highly recommend the first and second soundtrack for the series).

I think it's the backgrounds... gloomy, medieval towns completely devoid of population - the characters, highly stylized, complexly detailed, almost surreal - and the music, spooky, engaging, saucy, intense, soft... the scenes, where Tiara is talking with Jopolo in her boarding room, with the rain and the wind whipping against the glass, a distorted look at Tiara's face thru the rain soaked leaded glass.... images of Tiara sleeping, dreaming, tortured in her thoughts. The inane conversation with her fellow schoolmates, and the rather fascinating character designs that these secondary characters have, angled eyes and articulated ponytails...

Can't explain it. Shamanic Princess is just one of many odd shows that i take this kind of inspiration from. Some of it comes out in my work sometimes. I think that's why people like me aspire to draw. I guess i've just been reaching for ways to communicate these perceptions and emotive responses in ways that words never have seemed to be able to communicate.

Generally Accepted Opinions are notorious for being more statistic and fact oriented than on the raw inner feelings people have about things. An anime is considered good because it's story is well done and is entertaining, the animation is top notch, and the mecha fight scenes are oh so accurate. In actuality, most GOAs are negative in nature. "this show sucks' or 'the story is stupid' is an easy to define attribute, and cause for instant dismissal of a show.

I've had people flat out tell me Shamanic Princess sucks. (shrug) maybe it does, maybe that's what most people think. I don't really care. I've taken a lot of inspiration from it and many other things that many would consider an 'unworthy waste of video tape'. Some things in those shows have found their way into the way I do things. So, you like Megatokyo? Well, guess what... ^_^

So the next time you feel the urge to try to convince someone that they shouldn't like something, lay off. They probably see something in it you didn't, and that is never a reason to suppress someone's opinion. Who knows? That 'little thing' they see might show up in a piece of art you print up and hang up on your wall someday, because that person was finally able to communicate what it was he or she understood - and thanks to them, you finally got it...

< Dom >

Oop ack!

"rent is due"

Friday - June 22, 2001

[Dom] - 13:45:00 - [link here]

This past Tuesday, I was sticking around the office playing with Adobe Premiere and grabbing screenshots from Sakura Taisen 3, which'll dominate my rants for the next few months. Times like these I wish I had an S-video cable for my Dreamcast, but that's not the point of this rant.

At around 6:30, my sister plucked me from the office and pulled me about eight blocks down the street to the Orpheum Theater, where Rent was playing (It's worth noting that she did the exact same thing to me two years ago when Rent was in town, but at the Golden Gate Theater instead of the Orpheum).

I love that show, and I could say a lot about it, but something happened to me at that show that made me realize a thing or two about myself. I was sitting next to a young girl--I'd estimate around 15 or so, and it was obviously her first time seeing the show. And during the reprise of I'll Cover You at the funeral, I realized she was snuffling and tears were streaming down her face as if she'd shot Bambi's mother. And she did the same during the finale with Mimi and Roger.

To my surprise, even after seeing the show multiple times, I found myselfgetting a little choked up as well during the funeral. I looked over at my sister, and saw her looking a little raw herself. I asked her about it after the show, and she somewhat sheepishly admitted that the first three times she'd seen the show, she cried during the reprise of I'll Cover You, and she still chokes up when Tom Collins sings his farewell song.

I truly envy the ability of a writer who can create such a strong attachment to a character, especially in the, oh, hour and fifteen minutes that the audience has to see him. Jon Larson had that, and from what I'm seeing from the forums and my inbox here at MT, many fans are forming the same kind of bonds to the characters, and I envy Piro for his ability to write and draw them to get much the same effect.

Me, I can't get the same effect when I write. Those who know me know that I can't stay serious for more than a few hours at a time, which means I can do two things well: make people laugh, and make people angry at me (which are sometimes one and the same). Every once in a while I get inspired, sit down, and am able to fire off a poem that I like enough that I don't immediately set it on fire. My life's one big punch line or play on words, and while I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it just limits my ability to write a certain way that makes the characters a little more tangible and reachable, rather than madcap stick figures cracking strange, esoteric jokes while inflicting untold violence on each other.

Although in my view, the ability to create an emotional attachment to a character is abused as often as it's masterfully executed--just look at the classic case of fan abuse, Evangelion. While some people will debate with me on the likability of the characters, there's no denying that a large fan base grew to love (and love in some SCARY ways O_o) the characters, and the ending is basically Hideaki Anno rolling naked in a pile of money, smoking a fat stogie and giving the fans the one-finger salute as he does obscene things to all eight cels of animation the TV show used. After learning what the future of the show was, I stopped watching at around episode 11. Then Ed tied me to a chair, propped my eyes open and forced me to watch The End of Evangelion while he laughed maniacally and played a synth version of Ode to Joy on his walkman...

Okay, I exaggerated about that last part, he didn't prop my eyes open, he let me blink every once in a while, because he didn't have eye drops at the time.

But anyway, on with the rant: Piro said at the ACen panel that he gets inspiration from Gainax. I'm gonna kick his ass if he tries to manipulate you like Eva--but that's a subject for another rant.

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