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ZakuHead's Blog

October 16th, 2010

I'm currently in college, and when you're in college, you'll have to take a lot of different classes. I currently taking a online Intro. to Media class, which is freakishly easy, despite the teacher being an idiotic grader. Last week, I had this really awesome assignment where she wanted us to make our website and we could make it talk about anything we want, just as long it didn't offend anyone. For the second part of our homework, we had to look over all the sites and write about a few we really liked. Being Asian and thus a rabid anime viewer since I was a kid, I decided to make my website about the most recent and most awesome anime I finished watching recently, Legend of the Galactic Heroes. I geeked out and spent several hours at night working on it and I finished the next day. Tell me what you think of it in the comments section:
But anyways back to my rant. When I posted my website on the online class blog, I eagerly waited to see what others had to write about and of the 40 or so people in this class, they all talked about...THEMSELVES. It's like seriously? Are you that conceited that you have to talk about yourself and show of pictures of you looking "oh so FABULOUS" everywhere you are? The assignment expected you to write about something you are passionate about or have an interest in, who knew everyone was so narcissistic about themselves? Almost every site I looked at had someone literally saying on their site, "Don't I look absolutley awesome/fabulous doing this and that and showing off pictures of myself?" or it along the lines of a " I don't care if you think I'm a weirdo, its because I'm cool like that." I was like WTF? Does your life revolve yourself so much that you can't even talk about something else you like such as a favorite book or movie? Really? To make matters worse( and more hilarious), almost all the responses written on the homework blog did not follow the directions that our teacher had laid out. We were expected to write a paragraph talking about your favorite site and almost everyone wrote just one sentence and they all said the same thing.

It was pretty much like this for all of them, literally

*Cue high pitched stereotypical dumb blond girl voice when reading these responses*

"OMG, ...(<--insert name there) your website is SO cool! I never knew that you were so full of sh!t when it comes to yourself!!!"

" I luved yurs too!! I really like how you talked about yur whole life!!!! I luved it so much!"

So hopefully you all learned a lesson from this, if you ever have homework that wants you to write about something you really like, it does not mean that you talk about yourself and why you think you are amazing because of stupid things you want to tell others such as being a 36 year old woman still in college and dating a 21 year old and showing off about it(and trying to say that you are not a pedophile at the same time, reason being that you look ugly as hell). I'm not kidding, someone actually wrote about this. Instead focus on stuff you like, such as a your favorite sport or be nerdy like me and write about an anime you watched.
Posted by ZakuHead | Oct 16, 2010 12:01 AM | 2 comments
October 6th, 2010

Chances are if you've seen Darker Than Black recently, you really enjoyed it due to its atmosphere. The Contractor's renumeration techniques were weird and awesome and Hei was like Batman, only difference being that he has electrical powers. Season 1 wrapped up the main the story fairly well despite not explaining the origin of Hell's Gate and the Contractors. I was perfectly content with just season 1 and was fairly excited when I heard news of a continuation.

Sadly, I found season 2 to be rather underwhelming despite some good concepts partly due to its weak execution and inconclusive ending. The Gaiden episodes were done well enough to help clear up some of the things in season 2, but it didn't give me much hope of a future continuation that would wrap up the entire series. I recently stumbled upon the manga adaption entitled Shikkoku no Hana and it brought me some renewed interest.

The manga adaption is currently still running and is done by the character designer for the series(which reminds me of Yoshiyuki Sadamoto doing the manga adaption of Evangelion). It takes place after the events of season 1 and seems to replace the events of season 2 entirely. The story is rather interesting and brings back some of the elements that made the first DTB so enjoyable, only this time it has more of a long stretching story arc than individual episodic ones. If you were like me and found DTB to be awesome, but felt the sequel was lacking, check out the manga adaption, it works as a great replacement sequel and will make you remember why you liked the series in the first place.
Posted by ZakuHead | Oct 6, 2010 11:06 AM | 0 comments
September 3rd, 2010
Anime Relations: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu
I've just watched up to episode 14 and I have to say, it is one of the best episodes so far. With the Empire's use of the scorched Earth policy with the advance of the Alliance, it showed that people will not care about liberation if they are lacking their basic necessities to live. It also showed that even if one side is fighting for "freedom and democracy", it cannot be necessarily true as there will be individuals who only seek to benefit themselves, thus causing turmoil for the very people they vowed to help.
Posted by ZakuHead | Sep 3, 2010 10:58 PM | 0 comments
September 2nd, 2010

There is many reasons why Neon Genesis Evangelion has been praised as a postmodern masterpiece ever since its first broadcast in 1995. It was able to blend psychological aspects with mecha in a post apocalyptic setting which also questioned the very meaning of one's existence and purpose in dire situations. Hideaki Anno modeled the characters after himself(especially Shinji) and how he struggled with and overcame his depression. Since these themes were used were handled so well, many aspects of Evangelion has been copied by many anime series to follow, in terms of plot, style, setting and characters. But despite being so highly praised, they has been many people who find it utterly confusing due to its "plot holes", non existant explanations and heavy Christian symbolism. This is not true, almost everyone of these things has been addressed in the show and the film, the main reason that people don't understand it is that they have just not been paying attention when they were watching it or that they forgot to watch the director's cut episodes in place of the original.

The purpose of my new blog is to fill in the questions and state the reasons why people do not understand it. *note there may be heavy spoilers ahead*
I will be covering most of the main points, if you want explanations to other things, please let me know and I will add it later on

1. The religious symbolism in Eva means something and the story alludes to the Revelations in the Bible

-This is not true as the producers such as the assistant director Kazuya Tsurumaki has stated that the symbolism means nothing and was only used to make it stand out from other anime. The story does not allude to anything as well, it is a psychological drama about how people deal with their depression in dire circumstances as evidenced by Anno himself.

2. The tv episodes 25 and 26 are just huge WTFs! that make no sense and resolves nothing

-The last tv episodes were are not the true endings and do wrap up the story, character-wise. Gainax was not granted approval to make and broadcast the true ending(ie End of Eva) due to the lack of money and it being too violent. The tv episodes clearly explain that it takes place in everyone's minds during Instrumentality and focuses directly on Shinji more as he was the one who decided to start the 3rd impact. The end result and setting of the tv ending is the same as End of Evangelion, it's just all Instrumentality scenes.

3. What happens in End of Eva?
from eva geeks:
"With the defeat of the final Angel, Gendo Ikari turns on the Seele organization, each of them wanting to initiate Third Impact under their own control. Through Seele's control of the United Nations, it orders a massive leave-no-survivors assault on Tokyo-3 by the JSSDF. Asuka, piloting Eva-02, is able to repulse the JSSDF, motivating Seele to deploy the nine Mass Production model Evangelions against Eva-02. After a titanic battle, Eva-02 is destroyed, killing Asuka. Meanwhile, Misato fights her way through the JSSDF's invasion of Nerv HQ to bring Shinji to Eva-01. Rei merges with embryonic Adam and then Lilith, rejecting Gendo, and instigates Third Impact and Instrumentality using Eva-01, the Mass Production Evangelions, and the Spear of Longinus. After examining his life's meaning with Rei/Lilith, Shinji decides to reject Instrumentality, and return to the world even though that means being hurt. Some time later, Shinji wakes up on the beach of the Sea of LCL formed by Instrumentality, and finds Asuka alive next to him."

4. What caused the 2nd impact?
Explained by Misato in End of Eva,showed in director's cut episode 21.

5. What is Rei?
Clone of Shinji's mom Yui, evidenced by Ritsuko's mother in episode 21. Kaworu also mentions that Rei is the same as him, she carries the soul of Lilith

6. What is the 3rd impact and Instrumentality?
Again explained in End of Eva by Misato. Basically 3rd impact would cause everyone on Earth to fuse into a superbeing similar to an Angel which is Instrumentality. The angel's version would actually kill all people on Earth instead.

7.Purpose of the Evangelions?
Developed to fight the Angels, but the real purpose is to use them in place of the Angels to cause the 3rd impact.

8.Where did Adam and Lilith come from and where did the Angels come from?

I hope that clears up a lot of confusion surrounding it. Most of the main points are explained throughout(especially in the director's cut) but requires viewers to pay close attention in order to do so. Lastly, a lot of other "plot holes" were not explained in the show itself, Gainax provided a booklet called the "Red Cross Book" with their releases of End of Evangelion that explained it all. Translated version:

*The commentary and various other bonus features on explaining Eva done by its English translators(ADV and Manga) are inaccurate and embarassing. They have been disproven many times by both fans and Gainax. Only watch them if you want to torture yourself.

The following image is from Evageeks and shows how incredibly bad the ADV features are(I've watched them and this picture is a very accurate depiction of the entire thing)
Posted by ZakuHead | Sep 2, 2010 9:25 PM | 0 comments
September 1st, 2010
Anime Relations: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu

I have to say, LOGH lives up to the praise everyone gives it. I initially avoided watching it because of its length. At 110 episodes, I was scared that I would be unable to do anything as I would glue myself to the screen for who knows how long just trying to finish it as fast as I can. Good thing I overlooked that fear and spent some time watching the first seven episodes. I liked how there is no set antagonist, both sides have noble purposes worth fighting for so you end up rooting for both sides. While it does start out somewhat slow, it gets better and better. After 7 episodes in, I am officially hooked and I hope I will be blown away by what is to come. More blogging to come soon as I continue my viewing.
Posted by ZakuHead | Sep 1, 2010 3:09 PM | 1 comments
August 31st, 2010

Before I start going more in depth, I have to state that I have not seen every series in the Macross franchise. I've seen the original series along with DYRL and 2012 flashback, tried watching Macross 7 only to stop due to its dullness(but I plan on finishing it sometime) and lastly Frontier. I plan on watching Zero and Plus when I get chance in the future.

What really makes this franchise great is the use of it music and how the first generation characters are established and made legendary from all the incarnations to follow. Despite the initial plots of all the series focusing on fighter pilots in transforming mecha, aliens and how music affects the outcomes of the wars humans engage in is somewhat cheesy and cliched, it is executed masterfully with its characters. The first generation characters are what makes this franchise so great. Hikaru, Minmay and Hayase's love triangle becomes the basis for all the other characters to follow with similar traits and personalities. But the character that truly helps the entire show to stand out is Lynn Minmay. The music sung by her voice actor Mari Iijima is simply amazing and the pinnacle song "Do you Remember Love?" helps to establish the basis of Macross. No matter how large scale a war may be and no matter who the enemy is, music is the only thing that can that can reach both sides and let them realize that they should love each other and set aside their differences to end the fighting. From this point on, almost all idol singers found in the different incarnations start to follow these traits set by this character.

From sending off the three pinnacle characters in 2012 Flashback only furthers the legacy of the three main characters in Macross. Minmay is giving her last concert to Earth before she departs with Hayase and Hikaru aboard the SDF Megaroad to colonize other planets. Some of the most memorable songs in the first series are played throughout, ending with a huge crowd of people waving good bye to the three as they depart Earth on the Megaroad. We learn that 4 years later into the Megaroad's journey, all three disappear without a trace ceasing contact. Shoji Kawamori never specifies any further as to whether they are dead or alive, making us viewers realize how important the three really are in future sequels.

The eventual sequels all vary in terms of entertainment quality but they all retain basic aspects. Every show has numerous references to the three characters along with references to past events and each are accompanied with some of the best J-pop we can find in any anime. The three characters as also constantly referenced, especially Minmay as many characters strive to meet them again(as shown with Birler in Frontier) while others try to be like her(Basara in 7). The music sung by these individuals are all extremely catchy and memorable, furthering showing how much the Minmay character is tributed even though she may be long gone.

Macross is truly amazing. No other anime has been able to replicate its masterful blend of mecha, sci-fi and music and executed so memorably. To fully appreciate what the franchise has to offer, everyone should start with the original series and progress onwards after that, to get the sense how important the 1st generation characters were to everyone else in the Macross universe.

*Note, this is the first analysis/review I have done. For any tips, comments or whatever, feel free to let me know.
Posted by ZakuHead | Aug 31, 2010 4:54 PM | 1 comments