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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

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2-17-09 Ghost in the Shell

Posted by Sean on February 17, 2009

Hmm… a tank possessed by a cat spirit, you say? Heh heh heh heh heh AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…

I’m sorry. I was thinking of the ways I could screw with your guys’ minds in the D&D campaign. You were saying?

Anyway, Japanese cartoons do tend to be more philosophical than their American counterparts (Power chords. “YEE-HAAAAA! Buy consumer products that look vaguely like the characters in this cartoon, kids! WOO HOOOOOOOO!” More power chords).

This is not necessarily a good thing, though. There is a fine line between being philosophical and standing around in a long shot for upwards of two or three minutes discussing the meaning of life. Now, I know the latter saves bundles on animation costs, but consider the poor viewer. The writer’s rule of “show, don’t tell” applies in Japan as much as it does anywhere else.

A fine example of a cartoon letting a whole lot of plot get in the way of the story, as Joe Bob Briggs would put it, is Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. There are a few hits. The episode with the Tachikomas – spider-shaped gun platforms with the voices of 11-year-old girls [1] – getting into heated philosophical debates and calling each other “Comrade” is priceless.

But most of the episodes you need a program and scorecard to keep track of them, and the endings have a eerie tendency to just kind of peter out and end… as if the writers had written themselves into a corner, leaving you thinking, “Well, that was, um… nice.” And the animation is not up to the standards of the two Ghost in the Shell movies, either, or up to the standards of Saturday morning cartoons, for that matter.

It’s a shame, too, because one of the best opening sequences I’ve ever seen. Look! That CGI character actually has something resembling a believable expression on its face with which you can empathize! Holy shit! You don’t see that too often.

The song is Inner Universe, with lyrics by Origa and Shanti Snyder, music by Yoko Kanno and sugn by Origa.

Courtesy of DXMTheMachine.

[1] And it’s from Japan! Watta surprise!

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One Response to “2-17-09 Ghost in the Shell”

  1. […] 2-17-09 Ghost in the Shell […]

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