Thursday, March 17, 2005 — St. Patrick’s Day

I tried something new tonight: I gave myself a couple of hours to goof off after I got home, expecting to get some things accomplished afterwards. I hoped that the rest would recharge me with enough energy to get me through a few hours’ worth of personal duties. It worked: I had no problems cleaning, paying bills, and finishing this week’s updates to Matrix Experiments Lain. Excellent!

[Godzillas Revenge]

I goofed off by watching Godzilla’s Revenge, a truly awful Godzilla movie about a whiny kid who dreams he can travel to Monster Island and see Godzilla and company duke it out. So half of the movie contains decent Godzilla fights, while the other half follows this kid around his mundane life in Tokyo, being picked on by a local gang of older kids and acting morose because his parents work so much. Of course, there’s a Big Adventure: a couple of incompetent bank robbers kidnap him, and he has to escape. He uses a few of the tricks he learned from his dreams to outwit and outfight the crooks and run to safety.

But the really intriguing thing about the film is the end. The boy is shown going back to school the next day, and on the way he’s surrounded by the gang (who previously dared him to honk the horn on a bike belonging to a painter nearby). Our hero promptly rams the leader of the gang and fights him, finally winning the fight. The hero then runs over to the same bike and honks the horn, causing the painter to fall over in surprise and get paint all over himself. The hero then runs off, where he’s joined by the cheering gang of kids, and they all run off into the sunset.

I blinked. The heck kind of ending is that, where the hero ends up essentially joining a street gang?

But after thinking about it for awhile, I realized that the kid had triumphed by finding a way to be part of the larger social group. He was no longer an individual outcast; now he belonged to a group. It fits perfectly with Japanese ideals of conformity to a larger social structure.

Obviously, I don’t want to read too much into an overtly silly Godzilla movie. But I can’t think of any other way to understand the ethics of that ending.


In other news, I’ve put together another audioblog anime review. The one comment I received about my previous review lamented at being unfamiliar with the series being reviewed. So, this time, I’m reviewing the first disc in the series: Gantz volume 1. I’m actually rather proud of this review; I’m not as hesitant as I was in the previous review. It helped that I had a list of questions on the screen, which I was answering as I spoke.

As before, let me know what you think.

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