Convergence is supposed to be a cool thing. In technological convergence, I’m supposed to get a slick black box that does everything for me. Convergence in anime, on the other hand, is apparently the process of taking different anime series and homogenizing the shit out of them until you get a tasteless slurry. But that’s okay; like how a sprig of parsley is supposed to liven up a plate of overcooked stodge, there’s nothing quite like a pair of ginormous, bouncing tits to hide the blemishes of your average anime series. The preceding paragraph essentially describes two of the three shows I watched tonight.
What would we do without our bossy Mary Sue heroines? Haruhi has one armband? Well, Medaka has five! Haruhi’s a club leader? Medaka’s a student council president! She even has a reluctant boy toy that she drags along with her. Zenkichi totally doesn’t want to go along with her plans!… only to, naturally, go along with them anyway. So what are Medaka’s plans? Is it to find aliens and time travelers in some thinly-veiled attempt to disguise her crippling loneliness? For all of my complaints about the Suzumiya Haruhi series, Haruhi’s pathos was hinted at early and often. At least she has a reason for being a Mary Sue (what with being a God and all). All that Medaka Box‘s first episode really tells me about our main character is that she’s a sanctimonious do-gooder who likes to give dull speeches about her duty to the well-being of her classmates and stuff. Oh yeah, she can also beat you in kendo just because. But is that all she really is?
From the looks of it, the Wikipedia page tells me that the story won’t be quite as simple as the first episode of the adaptation would have you believe. If that’s the case, though, why open the story with a plot so boring that it could hardly be distinguished from SKET Dance? No, really, Medaka becomes the student council president and her first mission is to solve her peers’ myriad problems. That sounds totally boring and SKET Dance-y. If first impressions are everything, why kick things off in such a bland and boring way? Even if the rest of the series is nothing but shounen nonsense, it would be a step up from the pure gruel that is the first episode. All that the first episode of Medaka Box has going for it is the outrageously oversized pair of breasts on Medaka’s chest. As I would learn throughout a night of anime-watching, cleavage appears to be the dominant theme so far in the young season.
Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna
I won’t blog this anime and I won’t waste too many words on it either. Obviously, Lupin III has old roots and thus old appeal. Why change what has been an old favorite for so long? Why change what has worked for so many for so long? Certainly, you wouldn’t do it to please the sensitive PC jerks like me. Plus, the animation and art direction are both slick as all hell; I’d almost watch the series just for the aesthetics alone.
But I won’t. Why? I’ll let another spy story sum my reasons up for me:
M: You don’t like me, Bond. You don’t like my methods. You think I’m an accountant, a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your instincts.
James Bond: The thought had occurred to me.
M: Good, because I think you’re a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to that young woman I sent out to evaluate you.
James Bond: Point taken.
You know the drill: a mysterious (often anachronistic) babe falls from the sky and lands before your feet. She claims to be a
goddess Oda Nobunaga and knows nothing about the modern world. As a result, you get to treat her as if she’s retarded. Duh, this is a hamburger. And this is a microwave. Sweet, all the fun of patronizing a young woman without any of the guilt!
Thrice today, I got to see a woman in a state of undress flummox the opposite sex into a quivering mass of tears and sweat (see: the three of the four screen caps above). It used to be that a young man couldn’t resist peeping. The girl would then blush, scream and throw things at her transgressor in a fit of embarrassment. Nowadays, the girls no longer care, but the guys have suddenly become puritans. Oh, the leaps and bounds we’ve made in gender role depictions!
As for Sengoku Collection‘s plot, er… Oda’ll want to go back to her original time period, the generic anime shounen will try to help her, then she’ll realizes that (dokidoki) she really wants to stay with him and all the friends she’s made. Yeah, I bet that’s going to be how the story unfolds. If that sounds like a retread of a familiar story, that’s because it is. We’ve only stuck big boobs on Oda as per the requirement of the season; truly, a riveting nuclear arms race. And with that, I’m all anime’d out for the night.
Oh, one final thought: I guess that panda anime was kind of cute.