The fifteenth episode of the currently airing From The New World continues Saki and Satoru’s quest to find their friends, and return with them to the human settlement before their deadline falls, and the hounds released.
The series itself has prompted a smattering of praise, speculation, and attention from across the anisphere. Indeed, with recent revelations, one might wish to spill yet more ink on a range of topics; from Mamoru and Maria’s inevitable demise, to the limits of the humans’ abilities. In the following, I intend to spill my ink on the topic of the societies shown—that of the queerat society in particular.
Radar: I can’t because I’m ignoring her all the time.
Radar: Because she’s ignoring me.
Hawkeye: Ah! But you ignored her first!
Radar: Yeah, that’s because I’m trying to beat her to the ignore.
-a conversation between Radar O’Reilly and Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H Season 3, Episode 6
So, it’s finally my turn. Let me tell you a story about how I like my pictures.
“I think… that I would rather recollect a life mis-spent on fragile things than spent avoiding moral debt.”
― Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things
Amidst the hulking bodies of twelve year-old boys who look like men, and grown men whose bodies rival those of only the greatest bodybuilders, it’s easy to overlook the development of Erina Joestar neé Pendleton, the love interest of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure‘s first protagonist, Jonathan Joestar. After all, what viewer would pay attention to an unremarkable supporting character when there are bombastic fights to be had, powers to be gained, and fabulous musical fade-ins with Yes’s “Roundabout?”
The answer is a large number of people, when said unremarkable supporting character has become a powerful and formidable matron. More surprising is how easily her new role simply fit. Characterization, and character progression, are shadowy demons who often escape the grasp of even the most competent. For Erina’s transition to be so widely-accepted, the groundwork had to be laid early.
Believe it or not, anime has a lot in common with rock and roll. They both inspire great fandom, huge arguments, and sometimes brilliance that transcends pop culture into the realm of something more universally accepted as “art.” But perhaps the purest forms of both media revel in the lowbrow, the seedy, the less-than-distinguished. That is to say: a loud, primitive, vintage-sounding rock and roll record by Guitar Wolf or Billy Childish may not be high art, and neither is Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, but they’re both fun and your parents hate them.
Somewhere between the early stomp of Eddie Cochran and the insipid horndoggery of Nickelback lies the 70s. And therein lies a metagenre deified by many a radio station across the United States and held in similar reverence by Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’m talking about Classic Rock.
There are plenty of kinds of classic rock, many of them terrible, although some are downright listenable. All are fair game for these characters of the “Phantom Blood” arc. I’ve included a bevy of YouTube links for your edification (and sometimes pain).
Two girls sit in a tank, facing the viewer. The city in the background appears to be on fire. Via Pixiv
2DT, blogger and endless fount of writing prompts, recommended I watch Girls und Panzer (GaruPan for short) for unspecified reasons which very quickly became clear: the show presents a world with different rules for gender roles. During the informational video played at the end of the first episode, the girls of Oarai are told that “tankery” (the “sport” of tank-mounted combat) is one that emphasizes grace and beauty and is as a result ideally suited to young women with poise and drive. Because in our world, men wage war, this alternate reality represents a progressive vision where women lord their martial might over men… WRONG. And, frankly, it wouldn’t matter even if that were the case. And here, I think is an opportunity to say a few things about choice.
We occupy a rather unique niche on this world in that we’re the only ones blessed with the capability of pondering our own finitude. It grants us the perspective of reckoning with our mortality, a bitter balm for the weight of knowledge.