Monthly Archives: July 2013

Anime you should watch: Here is Greenwood

Here is Greenwood, manga by Yukie Nasu (1987-91), OVA series directed by Tomomi Michizuki/Studio Pierrot, Asia-Do (1991-93)

Kazuya Hasukawa arrives at Ryokuto Academy late, and the only room left is in Greenwood dorm with Shun Kisaragi, a very feminine-looking young man*. The heads of the dorm are Shinobu Tezuka, who has a rich family and a strange sister, and Mitsuru Ikeda.

Kazuya has to deal with the very eccentric people living in his dorm, like the motorcycle fanatic and Shinobu and Mitsuru (they’re best friends and roommates; they count as a unit). His older brother married the girl Kazuya had a crush on when he was younger, and now the brother is the school doctor. Kazuya moved out of his home and into the dorm to get away from his brother and the girl he crushed on for years.

The six OVAs revolve around Kazuya and the guys in the dorm. One episode is about an inter-dorm competition for prize money, wherein the guys of Greenwood make a movie called “Here is Devilwood,” a very tropey fantasy thing starring Shinobu as the evil wizard. The last two are about Kazuya meeting a girl his own age and falling for her and their budding romance.

*It’s been a while since I watched this. The way Shun is introduced to Kazuya (he pretends to be a girl living in the boys’ dorm For Reasons to haze the newbie) is problematic. Shun is not intended to portray a trans* person (he is decidedly a man). This may turn some people off. Decide for yourselves.

Getting a copy in the US is [currently] easy. Copies are available on Amazon for very reasonable prices, new and used. This may change in the future. Media Blasters’ license expired, and Central Park Media relicensed (and redubbed) it. I’m not sure what the current license status is, because CPM went bankrupt in 2009. Continue reading

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Monday book notes

I’m reading Soccernomics right now, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m about 3/4 of the way through, so you’ll get to hear my further thoughts on it next Monday.The instructors of Viable Paradise encourage the students to read something by each of them, so… Continue reading

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Book review: 2312

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson.This was another nominee for the best novel Hugo award.300 years in the future, humanity has colonized Mercury, Venus, the moon, Mars, Jupiter’s moons, and Saturn’s moons. Neptune’s moons are the next target. There are trav… Continue reading

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Anime summer 2013

It’s a new anime season, so there are new shows! Here’s what I’m watching, and also what I tried and gave up on.

Tried and abandoned

I give you the links, so you can watch an episode or two and decide for yourselves.

Gatchaman Crowds This reboot of the classic 70s series “Science Ninja Team Gatchaman” didn’t do it for me. At all. The main character is an archetype that I want to stake in the heart, set on fire, and shoot its ashes to the sun for good measure. She’s irritating as hell. She has a notebook fetish. She goes around loudly announcing that she’s in Gatchaman. She’s Haruhi fucking Suzumiya, whom I also wanted to stab in the throat. Ain’t got time for that.

Devils and Realist So, a few years ago there was this show that was pretty popular called “Black Butler,” where the heir to a family enters into a contract with this demon who’s been working as his family’s butler for a long time. D&R is in that vein, except where as Ciel accepted Sebastian’s service, the lead of D&R is a realist, who believes only in science. Which could lead to a lot of humor, except it doesn’t. Complicating things, William is the reincarnation of (that) Solomon and the elector of Hell, and Dantalion is a nephilim who wants to rule while Lucifer is sleeping. It is a ridiculous, confusing amalgamation of Old Testament lore. (Also, Solomon had yellow-blond hair and blue eyes. Not particularly likely…)

Uchouten Kazoku Yasaburo is a tanuki living in Kyoto. He just wants to have fun, but his father was powerful in tanuki society, so there are high expectations on him and his brothers. Cute concept, but it really didn’t do anything for me. (Tanuki are also known as raccoon dogs, and in Japanese lore, they’re shapeshifters and tricksters.)

Still watching

Attack on Titan Continuing on from last season.

Free! a/k/a “the bishounen swimming anime.” This offering from KyoAni, purveyors of such fine moe-blob (ware: TV Tropes link) animation as K-On! and Clannad, is about four young men on a swim team. They all have feminine names. They used to swim together in middle school, then the red-haired one went to Australia to go to a school for swimming. The other three (the genki blond, the cheerful brunet, and the weird black-haired one) stayed together. The genki blond decides they should restart their high school’s swim club to make the black-haired one happy. (He really likes swimming. He wears swim trunks under his clothes, and in a running gag, whenever he sees water, he strips and jumps in.)

The red-haired one’s sister, who has a masculine name, offers to be their manager. She frequently comments on the boys’ deltoids, traps, and assorted upper body musculature. It isn’t particularly deep, but it’s fun.

Genshiken Nidaime This is the second TV season (not counting the OVAs) about a college anime club. It’s like the first season, except there are mostly new people. I’m vaguely uncomfortable with the way two of the characters treat the male crossdresser (a new character, who is a straight man but likes reading BL and wearing women’s clothes), but they’re actually fairly realistic from what I’ve heard. (One wants her to just stop crossdressing and be a boy; the other treats her like a girl except when she wants to look up her skirt.) But I really don’t expect careful explorations of gender issues from anime.

All the characters are fucked up in some way or other, in ways which will be familiar to anyone who has ever attended a college (or high school) anime club. Continue reading

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Book review: Three Parts Dead

Three Parts Dead by Max GladstoneGladstone is a nominee for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.This is a fun read. Tara Abernathy is a Craft user, who was thrown out of the Hidden Schools. This is more dangerous than it sounds, because the Hidden S… Continue reading

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Friday miscellany, mostly ReaderCon

Last week I went to ReaderCon, and I wrote about it here, with links to the separate posts I made with my panel notes. I tried out taking notes on my laptop this year, because my Air is tiny and light and has good battery life, and I never seem to do a… Continue reading

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Anime you should watch: Gundam: The 08th MS Team

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Takeyuki Kanda, Umanosuke Iida; Sunrise/Bandai.Shiro Amada is sent to Earth to help fight Zeon. He joins up with his new squad, and they work alongside local guerrillas to drive out the Zeon occupiers. Zeon has a t… Continue reading

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Book review: Blackbirds

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig, Angry Robot 2012.Chuck Wendig is nominated for the Campbell Award for best new writer. It’s not a Hugo, but it’s on the same ballot.Miriam can see people’s deaths when she touches them. She’s started attending people’s death… Continue reading

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Hugo thoughts: Best semiprozine

This category is really hard. These are all good magazines.Apex: Edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Apex features dark fantasy, weird, and horror. The issue included in the packet was #39, August 2012, which features stories by Marie Brennan, Kat Howard, Genev… Continue reading

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Anime you should watch: Eden of the East

Eden of the East, Kenji Kamiyama/Production I.G

Akira Takizawa wakes up completely naked, in front of the White House, with a gun and a cell phone. He has no memories of how he got there or why he’s at the White House, naked, with a gun. The cops notice him and start chasing him around DC, where he runs into Saki Morimi, visiting the city as part of a graduation trip.

Three months before the show opens, there was a terrorist attack called “Careless Monday,” in which missiles struck ten uninhabited parts of Japan. When Saki and Akira are returning to Japan, they learn of another missile strike.

Saki’s friends created an image search engine cum social network, called Eden of the East, and through Eden, they learn that Akira isn’t who he claims he is.

Akira is part of a game to “save Japan.” He’s one of the Seleção, chosen by Mr. Outside. His cell phone connects to Juiz, who uses the funds attached to the player’s magic phone to make their orders happen.

Over the course of the show, the strange secret conspiracy becomes more and more dangerous. Players who run out of money before winning the game are killed. Saki tries to unravel the mystery around Akira, and she and her friends get in over their heads.

You can watch it at Funimation.
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