Once again, we are obliged to skip ahead in SourcererZZ’s overview of the history of mahou shoujo anime due to copyright. This brings us up to the years 2005 to 2007.
This particular episode is slightly NSFW, about as NSFW as I can put on this blog.
The first title he discusses, UG*Ultimate Girls, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of, and it looks awful, a brainless cheesecake show.
Of most interest to me personally in this edition is Powerpuff Girls Z, which is bizarrely unavailable in the U.S. even though it’s based on an American cartoon. Cartoon Network needs to broadcast it as penance for what they did to the franchise in the reboot.
Notice that most of the titles SourcererZZ discusses in this episode are parodies or fanservice or both, with only two exceptions. That’s not a sign of a genre in good health.
(And, as a courtesy, I mention that the language here is Not Safe for Work, though if you have a job where you can read magical girl blogs while you’re working … I want your job. No, seriously, I want your job. Where do you work? If my boss caught me reading magical girl blogs, I’d be out on my ear.)
Since this blog is going full Utena until further notice … no, I’m kidding. Never go full Utena. But since this blog is going very Utena until further notice, I invite you to watch the video “Redundancy Girl Utena” by sudoStef.
It begins as a humor piece in which he mocks the show’s repetitious use of the transformation sequence, also known as “Utena Ascending a Staircase No. 2.” Repetitious transformation sequences in mahou shoujo used to be the norm, back when anime recycled as much animation as possible. More recently, it’s gone out of fashion.
Personally, I disagree with sudoStef. Usually, when a magical girl starts transforming, that’s my cue to get up and get another beer. But I never get tired of Utena’s, probably because I ignore the repetitious animation and just headbang to the music.
At the end of the video, and the reason I’m posting it, he does a fine job of presenting an insightful interpretation, coming at it from an angle I hadn’t thought of. I am mostly interested in Utena‘s Gnostic metaphysics and epistemology, which it acquires from Hesse’s Demian. But sudoStef is interested in what we might call its politics, and he does an excellent job of linking the ambiguous conclusion back to the various characters’ machinations and backstabbing and social climbing.
He even does it without spoilers, though as he admits, that means that unless you’ve seen it yourself, you won’t know what he’s talking about. But for me at least, this gives another way to view it.
Once again, we have to skip a chapter of SourcererZZ’s extensive history of magical girl anime because of copyright claims. This time, Pony Canyon is the culprit. So we pass over the years 2002 to 2003 and head to 2004, a big year for the genre.
As an update on my end, chapter 19 of Jake and the Dynamo is drafted and I’m currently working on chapter 20. I’d like to have five chapters in draft form before I begin posting them again, but we’ll see how that goes.
My schedule is likely to get very busy very soon. I’m likely looking at two jobs plus schooling. I’ll keep writing, but I can promise nothing in regards to speed.
We continue with SourcererZZ’s nearly exhaustive history of magical girl anime. Unfortunately, copyright claims have once again made parts of this series unavailable in English. You’d think that a few clips used in a free online documentary would be considered fair use, but Victor Entertainment hates free advertisement, and thus has laid the smack down.
Here, SourcererZZ covers the years 2001 and 2002. I think I recognized a grand total of two titles in this one, so I got an education here.
I tried watching Magical Play once. It was so stupid, I gave up. I’ve probably killed enough brain cells with magical girl shows since then that I might give it another go. I don’t know a legal source for the other titles mentioned here, but they might exist.
By way of update, I’m presently out of work. That means I won’t be acquiring any new media in the near future, as I have to save my funds. But I have a backlog of things to discuss, and there’s always free stuff (I just have to watch it in low quality with ads).
I also need to spend time on some things more urgent than my hobbies, so there’s a possible brief hiatus on Jake and the Dynamo in the near future, as my buffer’s been shrinking dangerously. Chapter 13 will appear this weekend, and chapter 14 needs expanded and rewritten, but should appear the weekend after. Chapter 15 needs only slight alteration. Chapter 16 needs rewritten. Chapter 17 needs to be drafted. So I should have four weeks of material left if I get on the ball.
Like many magical girl fans, I have sometimes daydreamed about what a live-action Sailor Moon movie might look like. My imaginary version would probably piss off most of the fans, because it’s a gritty Kung fu film directed by the same guy who did The Raid. No, I’m serious.
For some fans, daydreaming is not enough. They take it to the next level and actually make the movie. There have been several such projects, and even though they’re not-for-profit, they have a habit of disappearing because of copyright claims. In fact, when I stumbled across Sailor Moon: The Movie on YouTube, I mistakenly believed it was the 2011 short film starring Avery Danielle, but I was wrong. That one, sadly, is gone from the interwebs. No, this is the 2015 loooong film starring MaryBeth Schroeder, and it clocks in at a whopping two hours and twenty-two minutes. That’s the size of an epic-length feature film. Continue reading “Watch ‘Sailor Moon: The Movie’ Before It’s Gone!”
I’ll often go looking up something to fact-check what I’m writing and stumble across bizarre things like this. This is a pastiche of scenes from coffee ads ca. 1950s-1960s.
Of course, the comments on YouTube are all about “sexism” or whatever, but my experience of ads from that era is that they were a lot harsher and more aggressive all-around than ads of today. In the 1960s, advertisers were unafraid to tell you that your breath stinks, or that you’ll never get a date if you’re bald, or that you can’t make coffee worth a damn.
Whether the shift in the tone of advertising is due to refinement in advertisers’ technique, or due to people today being pussies who can’t handle criticism, I leave to the reader’s speculation.
The copyright Nazis aren’t allowing us access to several of SourcererZZ’s videos on the history of the magical girl genre, so the next one I can embed is episode 8, which covers the years 1998 to 1999
He here discusses some very well-known and influential series, starting with Cardcaptor Sakura, which is possibly the most overrated magical girl franchise of all time (I’m sorry, but it’s true) by the inexplicably popular CLAMP. I was geeking out about magical girls with somebody a month or so back, and he described Cardcaptor Sakura as the story of “an adorable, innocent little girl completely surrounded by perverts.” I can’t think of a more accurate description. But I’ll rant on that at another time.
SourcererZZ also discusses the cute witch mega-franchise Ojamojo Doremi, which is known to cause cavities. Then he goes on to describe Phantom Thief Jeanne, the original manga version of which recently saw a re-release. The anime version of that one was bowdlerized from the manga.
He goes on to discuss Jubei-chan: Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch, one of the most bizarre series I’ve ever seen. Although it’s inexpressibly weird, it has an excellent story involving ancient grudges and samurai battles, but it sacrifices much-needed character development on the altar of cheap boob jokes.
Unfortunately, part 4 of SourcererZZ‘s thorough history of magical girl anime is not available in my country because of a copyright claim, so we have to skip ahead to part 5, where he starts with 1993’s superhero parody Moldiver. He continues from there through 1995. These are the years immediately after the appearance of Sailor Moon, when the genre enjoyed a surge in popularity.
I particularly enjoyed his discussion of Magic Knight Rayearth, an RPG-inspired adventure with a twist, which is the only story by CLAMP (that team of manga-ka that is both so prolific and so overrated) that I like.
Unfortunately, his sound quality is going down the tubes. SourcererZZ has always been hard to understand, but now he’s got a bad mike to go with the broken English. His description of Moldiver is more-or-less indecipherable, but he becomes intelligible shortly after that. In spite of the shortcomings (and, alas, the missing episodes), this is the most thorough overview of the genre I’ve ever come across. His research, and his insane ability to find clips from obscure cartoons from the days of laserdiscs and VHS, is quite impressive.
The remake of Ghostbusters has certainly stirred the pot. Its trailer has the dubious honor of being the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history. At the time of writing, the dislike count is 839,395. That last dislike on there is mine. I don’t normally hit dislike buttons and, in fact, generally dislike them, but I wanted my own piece of YouTube history.
Recently, the popular Cinemassacre released a video in which reviewer James Rolfe says, calmly and reasonably, that he is not going to see the film because the trailer looks terrible and the new movie pays obvious disrespect to the franchise. His reasoning, given the subject matter, is sound: Continue reading “Why the New ‘Ghostbusters’ Looks Like Suck”
I continue to be impressed by SourcererZZ’s video series covering the history of magical girl anime. His presentation is professional and knowledgeable if perhaps dry.
Here he covers the bulk of the Studio Pierrot era, when the genre was still mostly tame, but could sometimes get a little sleazy.
Unfortunately, at this point in the video series, a version with accurate subtitles is apparently unavailable, and SourcererZZ’s English continues to be, at times, difficult to understand. On the plus side, if you turn on the closed captioning, it is, as always with YouTube videos, hilarious.
Why does YouTube even have automatic closed captioning when it always turns out like this?