Wednesday, November 22, 2000

At Saalon’s insistence, I watched the last two episodes of Samurai X: Rurouni Kenshin (the OVA, not the TV show) tonight. It punched me in the emotional gut, while it never became preachy or cheap or melodramatic. Tears were fighting for escape from my eyes during the denoument (which is, arguably, the best part of the series). There was this moment where Kenshin just stares off into nothingness, and a number of emotions play over his face: loss, regret, determination. And this was done by simple ink brushed on clear acetate.

I also watched the final six episodes of Battle Athletes Victory. Actually, the last three felt very tacked-on, whereas everything else up until that point has a smooth arc of plot and character development. And whereas the rest of the series had evolved into a dramatic sports show with a comedic twist, the last three episodes were mostly comedy with touches of character development and drama. So that was sort of disappointing, but the rest of the show was so good that I couldn’t help loving the series as a whole anyway.

I haven’t described my reactions to the other shows yet either, so let me do that while I’m thinking of them.

Trigun is a wonderful comedic/action show that hinges on the lovability of its hero, Vash the Stampede. Vash is alternately kid in over his head, goofy comedian, and kick-butt action hero. Slick as butter, he slides from one personality into the other, leaving you (and his opponents) wondering: “Just who is this guy?”

Key: The Metal Idol is the closest thing to serial experiments: lain that I’ll probably ever see, and while thus far it isn’t as good as lain, I’m content that it’s a serious show that covers similar territory. Key is an android who is trying to make friends, and trying to find within herself what it means to be human. She is innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the large world, but neither naive nor stupid. It’s fascinating to watch her, mostly because you don’t know how much of her quiet demeanor is shyness, and how much is observation and reserving of judgment. This is definitely a thinking man’s anime.

Photon…sucks in a terrible way. More on that later, I think. It’s hard to put badness of this stripe into proper words.

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