History of Magical Girl Anime, Part 15

Haven’t done one of these for a while. This is yet another video from SourcererZZ’s well-made series on the history of magical girl anime. His presentation remains impressively disinterested and scholarly, though his thick accent also remains hard to understand, so I recommend turning on the closed captions, which, though somewhat messed up, are nonetheless helpful.

He goes here through the years 2007 and 2008, discussing series such as Kamichama Karin and Shugo Chara! (which I’ve discussed at length). I hesitated to post this, mostly because he also discusses Moetan, a grossly mishandled educational series that’s sort of like Dora the Explorer … for perverts. But as I said, SourcererZZ is professional in his presentation, so I decided to share anyway.

Although he for the most part simply summarizes the series he discusses, at the beginning of this video, he talks about how Getsumen to Heiki Mina, which had its origin as a fictitious anime referenced in the television drama Densha Otoko, which you may know better under the title of Train Man. Basically, it’s a case of a fake series being made real, somewhat like Kujibiki Unbalance.

Dude, That Is So Metal

In Jake and the Dynamo, we are gradually drawing closer to the first appearance of Magical Girl Metal Huntress Van Halensing, the vampire-slaying rock idol.

I’m not a particularly musical person, so to figure out how to make this work, I’m currently trying to give myself a crash course in J-metal girl bands. This is the kind of stuff I’m thinking of when I refer to “monster metal,” the magical girl-inspired rock popular in Urbanopolis.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Isaac/REX/Shutterstock (5012088l)
Babymetal – Yuimetal (left), Sumetal (centre), Maometal (right).
Reading Festival, Berkshire, Britain – 29 Aug 2015

There’s Babymetal, of course, a technically proficient band fronted by three girl idols. They’re starting to get big even here in the US, which is a major accomplishment for J-idols, who usually get a cold reception in America. They just spent April touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I understand that their shows are quite a spectacle, with fireworks, intricate dancing, and of course those gothic lolita outfits.

Continue reading “Dude, That Is So Metal”

And Then They Danced

I’m working on a Rag & Muffin novelette where much of the action takes place at a formal ball. I was hunting for some information to improve the verisimilitude and came upon this video of the Stanford Viennese Ball Opening Committee performing a dance to the “Morning Paper Waltz” of Johann Strauss Jr.

I wanted to share it not only because it’s a lovely performance, but also because all of the men are wearing what, as far as I can tell, is proper white tie, though I think one fellow’s had his shirttails come out in the back.

The Mary Sue Awakens: Now with Finger Puppets

[VIDEO SHOULD BE HERE]

I cannot believe it. I cannot freaking believe it.

There’s a popular YouTube channel called Bad Lip Reading, which dubs inexplicably hilarious gibberish over clips from movies and TV shows. In one of their most creative works to date, they produced a Bad Lip Reading of that Star Wars movie that came out sometime back, the one I think was called A Newer Hope: Starring Ensign Mary Sue. In addition to the dubbing, they had added blacked-gloved hands over some scenes of Kylo Ren so that he appears to be threatening Han Solo with finger puppets.

Also, Mark Hamill did the voice of Han Solo.

The video was up this morning, and I watched it. It sounds like something I might have made up, but it was real, as you can see here.

This evening, I meant to share it with you, but the video is now gone. This seems odd, since other videos, including previous Star Wars parodies, are still up on Bad Lip Reading’s channel.

According to the placeholder for where the video used to be, the copyright infringement claim came from something called Dramatists Play Service.

I’ve never heard of that, either, so I found their website. According to the mission statement, Dramatists Play Service “was created to foster national opportunities for playwrights by publishing affordable editions of their plays and handling the performance rights to these works.”

The hell?

Maybe they quoted a famous play in the video. If they did, I didn’t notice. I’d go look for it except, oh, the video’s gone. Somebody’s got a lawyer and no sense of fun.

At least there’s still this:

Oh, and by the way, we’ll have a special review in time for Easter.

Art: ‘Princess Tutu’ and the Art of Awesomesauce

Featured image: “Magical Girl Noveau: Princess Tutu Bookmarks” by Vivifx.

Today’s art post features the greatest magical girl of all time, Princess Tutu, an unlikely fusion of “The Ugly Duckling,” Swan Lake, and Revolutionary Girl Utena, with easily the most highbrow soundtrack in anime history. I ship Duck with Mr. Cat.

And yes, I said greatest. Of all time.

Because if it weren’t for Princess Tutu, there would be no guitar ninjas. You can’t argue with that.

Many fans of Her Tutuness consider the AMV for “Hold Me” to be a successful encapsulation of the awesomesauce, even though this song is not actually on the soundtrack:

Cinemassacre Has Blown My Mind

Featured Image: “Board James!” by WakkaCiccone.

Ever since some busybody feminists went after James Rolfe, the creator of the Cinemassacre YouTube channel, because he refused to review the new Ghostbusters movie, I’ve been enjoying (and sometimes cringing at) his Angry Video Game Nerd videos, in which he reviews bad games from old gaming consoles, usually with a lot of rage and vulgarity.

From there I discovered his Board James series, in which he similarly reviews old board games. Over time, the Board James videos become less concerned with actually reviewing the games and more concerned with their own story arc. Rolfe finished the series in 2015 with what was allegedly a review of the game Nightmare, but which quickly turned into an Inception-like head trip with some really creative special effects for a video filmed in a basement (video is NSFW):

I was mostly enjoying Board James (except the Mister Bucket episode; I could have done without that), but I sometimes wished the series would focus more on actually reviewing the good and bad points of the various games rather than on the antics of its characters, but just today I stumbled upon a post-series video in which Rolfe, who’s apparently much calmer and more polite in real life than are his screen personas, explains the “mythology” of the Board James universe and also points out symbolism and hints from the video series that I never would have picked up on, ever.

He kind of blew my mind. I’m posting the video here, but I should warn that it’s a spoiler for the series:

In a parallel universe, Rolfe is probably a moderately successful B-movie actor-director. He’s too cute and goofy to be genuinely scary, but he’s got quite a range of facial expressions that enable him to really chew the scenery as he gradually transforms his series of gaming reviews into a serial slasher horror movie.