Tag Archives: revolutionary girl utena

Quantifying the unquantifiable: A Golden Drop In the Ocean

So, 2012 found me pummeling this corner of the internet with my presence on yet another blog, thanks to the magical compulsion power of vucub_caquix. Now he’s compelled me to do yet another deviant, uncharacteristic, and hateful act: a top 5 post. So let’s skip the ado and get on, in no particular order.
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Surrender at Five: Database now live!

source: pixiv

source: pixiv

A little secret: I hate writing reviews. I also despise putting together “Top Lists” due to an inability to rate one thing over another. Say I was called upon to list my favorite series of this past year, 2012. Immediately springing to mind is Tsuritama, for I honestly cannot think of an anime more jubilant than that one. It was tightly-plotted, colorful, and emotionally satisfying. Then again, how could I possibly compare the burst of emotion and energy I received from Tsuritama with something that make me laugh warmly week after week like Polar Bear Café? This idea continues to fall to pieces when fondly remembering the other series I so loved this past year: Hyouka for it’s exploration of detective fiction, Tari Tari for its warm heart in spite of a rather cynical backdrop, Aquarion EVOL for its over-the-top ridiculousness, Smile Precure for its Cinderella episode alone, and Acchi Kocchi for washing away the troubles of the day with fuzzy romantic sweetness.

The fact is, that when called on to compare them, I simply cannot. They’re all too different. I loved watching each and every one of them, and this is well before any mention of the perpetual war between emotional resonance and objective quality in reviews; a war in which I refuse to speak for one side – although one may hazard a guess to where my opinion would fall. Now having established my hatred for these sort of things, what should follow this introduction when asked to list my top five anime of all time? Well, I refuse to rank them, although feel free to argue amongst yourselves in the comments section about quality versus emotion and how to place things on your MAL user list with an insignificant number. I am simply here for the sole purpose of speaking to five spectacular series, in no particular order. All are highly recommended.

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Formula and Function: A Critical Lens for Formula in Serial Works

It is often observed that works of an episodic nature tend to fall into predictable patterns over time. Plot structures, character personalities and so forth tend to develop comfortable, consistent shapes, often called “formulas”. Many works, of course, use formula and repetition to a specific end—e.g. in service of a specific thematic goal. Yuasa leverages formula in The Tatami Galaxy to viscerally drive home the work’s thesis; untold volumes have been filled dissecting its use in Revolutionary Girl Utena. But what I mean to discuss here is the function that repetition serves more generally as a narrative, not thematic, device—we arrive at formulas because if something worked once, it’s likely to work again. Repetition, used carefully, can enhance a work as much as effective photography or musical score.

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Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 22

"Coming to see you...right now!"

ajthefourth: Towards the end of Revolutionary Girl Utena, director Kunihiko Ikuhara and his writer Yoji Enokido decide to re-introduce the audience to its Greek chorus element, The Shadow Girls, by showing them briefly out from behind their customary screens and shadow puppetry, talking to the main character, Utena Tenjou, in class. The Shadow Girls then proceed to put on a play for Utena and the two other main characters. In doing so, they present what has come before and recontextualize it a bit; setting the stage for the series’ final arc, The End of the World.

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Filed under Colloquia, Episodics, Mawaru Penguindrum, Mawaru Penguindrum

Today’s Slogan: The Role of Double H in Mawaru Penguindrum, Episodes 13 through 18

"Gogai, gogai, gogai!" source: pixiv

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Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 14

"I wonder, I wonder, do you know what I wonder? Multiple choice. Which of the following three things is eternal? 1. A diary. 2. Momoka Oginome. 3. Canned peaches."

“The next day, she’d come out of the coffin, and there was something about the look in her eyes…however, I thought for sure that he must have shown her something eternal.”

-Kyouichi Saionji, Revolutionary Girl Utena

ajthefourth: What exactly in our lives is eternal?  With such a fleeting, time-bound existence, it’s no wonder that humanity constantly seeks for eternity.  The concept itself is a bit daunting to wrap one’s head around, since all one has to go on are their own limited experiences.  If something eternal does exist, then surely it would be outside of the worldly parameters of time and space as we know them.  In other words, surely, it would be God-like.

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Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 9

"Survival strategy!"

“Like I said, the apple is the universe itself.  A universe in the palm of your hand.  It’s what connects this world and the other world.”

“The other world?”

“The world Campanella and the other passengers are heading to!”

“What does that have anything to do with an apple?”

“The apple is a reward for those who have chosen love over everything else!”

“But everything’s over when you’re dead.”

“It’s not over!  What I’m trying to say is that’s actually where everything begins!”

-Mawaru Penguindrum, Episode 1

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Apprivoise! You are forever responsible for what you have tamed: The Little Prince and Star Driver. (via We Remember Love)

Ghostlightning runs a fantastic blog: “We Remember Love” and was kind enough to allow me to post my analysis of Star Driver through the eyes of The Little Prince. For the article in its entirety, click on the link! Thank you!

Apprivoise! You are forever responsible for what you have tamed: The Little Prince and Star Driver. Allow me to introduce to you a guest writer: the lovelier half of The Untold Story of and Vega anime blog, AJtheFourth. Along with her real-life partner and fellow anime fan vucub caquix, she’s written involved essays on the currently ongoing Mawaru Penguindrum and is a fellow fan of Revolutionary Girl Utena. The discourse on Mawaru Penguindrum cannot escape that of RGU, given Ikuhara Kunihiko’s direct involvement in both works. Not too long ago, … Read More

via We Remember Love

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The Self-Actualization of Utena Tenjou

"I've taken back what I was."

So as of late, my partner and I have been fairly obsessed with  Mawaru Penguindrum. However, I had never seen Ikuhara’s previous work, Revolutionary Girl Utena. I’ve been told by several people that I’m doing a great disservice to myself by not having watched it, so I’ve taken it upon myself to get up to speed by watching it with Emily and a few friends on skype.

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Colloquium: Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 2

"Molest and be arrested."

ajthefourth: The phrase above, in addition to being humorous, is a tagline for this second episode of Mawaru Penguindrum given to us by the blue and pink haired girl icons on the train. It encapsulates the entire episode as a whole, which begins as a seemingly harmless romp where the two twins follow a girl from a different high school, Ringo Oginome, having been told that she may have the penguindrum.

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Filed under Colloquia, Episodics, Mawaru Penguindrum, Mawaru Penguindrum