The Deconstruction of an Idol

Author’s note:

For any of the 3D YouTube video links, up the resolution as high as will run on your computer. It’ll look like garbage otherwise because 3D uses a different standard for resolutions.

Also, I have not seen the full performance.  These ideas are taken from what parts are available online and what research I could find after diving into articles written about the show.


It’s a dark venue.  The stage is set up sparsely, with no instruments present, only three backing screens against the wall and a veiled screen on center stage.  All of a sudden, the music starts and the three screens light up to display very ethereal and blue landscapes that don’t follow conventions of design or reason.  Amongst the cacophony of electronic sound and imagery, a blue light materializes on the veiled screen and from the light emerges a girl, an idol in virtual form with humanoid features, but not nearly human enough.  She begins to sing.

STILL-BE-HERE

At first glance, it almost seems like I’m describing a modern version of the opera scene from The Fifth Element and honestly, the alien nature and style wouldn’t be far off from this performance. In fact, though, I’m referring to an art show put on at the CTM Festival in Berlin that was all about Hatsune Miku.  If you tend to tune out when people start to go Ga Ga for Vocaloids, bear with me. This show might interest you specifically.

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Youjo Senki Episode 10 – Back with a Vengeance

With episode 9 leaving off on the heated moment of Tanya and her armed forces launching several rockets into key Republican areas, I fully expected this episode to be the way that it was. The foreshadowing of Sioux in episode 8 and the beginning of this one heavily screamed “He’s got a bone to pick”, and I felt this whole episode was a build-up to his anticipated appearance. Earlier in the series, I wrote about the fantastic battle between Anson Sioux and Tanya in episode 7 and how it became this battle of ideological differences on war. Sioux was once a noble man, being one of few “morally good” characters we’ve had in the show. However, after his battle with Tanya, it’s obvious now that his mindset has completely changed, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that this change was brought out by Tanya.

His inevitable confrontation of Tanya was something that was bound to happen, but the way it was handled so far seems a bit hollow and empty compared to previous ones. Because of the episode attempting to build up to this key moment, there was an immense amount of focus on the incline to the climax, rather than exploring the other ideas that this show normally never hesitates to bring up. That doesn’t mean this episode didn’t have its high points though.

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Log Time Podcast #23 | Steins;Gate Discussion — Mad Scientist Discussion Sponsored by Dk Pepper

This week, in what might feel like two separate timelines, we both extol the mad scientist virtues of Chiyomaru Shikura’s wild ride Steins;Gate AND go through an impressively long rant about the show in a fairly short span of time.

Also, this is NOT actually sponsored by Dr. Pepper, which is probably a good thing, at this point.

This podcast was recorded on March 17th, 2017.

Intro Song: Steins;Gate OST – Track 04 – the universe ending
Outro Song: Haibane Renmei OST – Track 06 – Suspicious Eyes
Intro/Outro Music by Abo Takeshi

Youjo Senki Episode 9 – Rocket man, burnin’ out her fuse…

For a show I was mixed about at the start, I have to say they’ve sold me on this story.  This has gone on to be an incredible ride and this episode was definitely my favorite so far.  We have action, comedy, evil, struggle for survival, and an explosive ending that teases the end of a world war!  Tune in at ten for the action!  (Check your local listings for channel information.)

To be serious for a moment, Tanya has come a long way since the beginning of her journey, rising through ranks and becoming an accomplished leader.  Yet we also see why this show has such a dark and enticing title, especially with the horrifying decisions our protagonist decided to make last episode, sweeping away responsibility and hiding behind a very apathetic defense that wouldn’t quite hold up in the Nuremberg Trials.

[HorribleSubs] Youjo Senki - 09 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_00.14_[2017.03.21_23.32.56].png

“And my stew is as bloody as the innocents I’ve sentenced to die.  Man, I love contrasting metaphor!”

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Are We Scum for Watching Scum’s Wish?

Although we aren’t quite finished with the Winter 2017 season yet, and I’m admittedly not entirely caught up on everything I started watching this season, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Scum’s Wish will handily secure the position of my Anime of the Season. I haven’t seen an anime in recent seasons that has so maturely dealt with ideas such as, but not limited to, sexuality, sexual identity, views of self-worth, and the various ways in which these factors affect people and their interactions with one another. It’s a drama unlike any other I’ve seen in the genre, and each week I have consistently come back eager to see what new element of the story is going to unfold before me. In watching the show, though, it’s impossible to get around one of the integral themes that some of the characters wrestle with – are they scum for using others in the ways that they do for their pleasure? By extension, are we scum for watching these events unfold, and using their pain and drama for our own enjoyment?

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Youjo Senki Episode 8 – The Hard Questions

Episode 7 of Youjo Senki presented us with a view of the ongoing war not just from the perspective of Tanya and the Empire, but also from that of Entente soldier Anson Sioux. Among other things, such as giving a perspective from outside the Empire, expertly weaving in tonal shifts that made for a rather dramatic and fantastic episode, and fully fleshing out Sioux as a solid, memorable side character, episode 7 used these factors to give the viewer pause and to really consider the morality of the war.

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Youjo Senki Episode 7 – The “Duel”-ality of War

In previous episodes, we’ve seen Tanya constantly struggling to have more influence over “Being X” than it does over her, and episode 6 was yet another beautiful example of this. Youjo Senki seems to definitely be letting the viewer decide which side is actually the “good” or the “evil” sides, as both sides have their own stories to tell. This can be seen throughout most of the show, with “Being X” forcing these continuous brutal punishments upon her for just merely not believing in a higher power, and also in the past two episodes, seeing a more light-hearted and less merciless side of Tanya than ever before. Similar things could be said about the escalating war between nations. Which side is actually the “evil” one and which side is “good”?

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