3D Kanojo got off to a fascinating start in the first two episodes, giving us some perspective and a view into our awkward, complicated romantic leads Tsutsui and Igarashi. It was a pretty solid foundation, in my opinion, to base the rest of the show off of, and episodes 3 and 4 have both proved to have not dropped the bar of quality that has been set for the show thus far. While the first two episodes acted as a primer of sorts, episodes three and four focus quite heavily on the ways in which insecurities can develop on all sides of a new, burgeoning romance, how they can complicate issues between partners, and ultimately how people can respond to those issues in healthy, trusting ways.
3D Kanojo, on the surface, isn’t exactly a show we haven’t seen before. At first glance, it appears to follow the archetypical show/book/etc. formula of “nerdy boy finds love through beautiful girl”, a trope which, obviously, is fairly problematic. But there is far more to this show going on below the surface. From these first two episodes, we find that, in fact, it has so far come to us as a show about harmful misconceptions, and how looking beyond them can lead to genuine, satisfying relationships. While there’s a lot that we could focus on for a discussion of this show, I want us to look specifically at our main characters, Hikari Tsutsui and Iroha Igarashi, and the fascinating, complex spaces that they inhabit.
This week, we wrap up the Winter 2017 anime season with a surprising mix of solid and…not-so-solid shows. Highlights include in-depth discussion of harem vs. rom-coms with Mythos and Owningmatt93, an overview of some of the great (and just okay) picks of the season, and General Tofu getting way in over his head with Hand Shakers.
This podcast was recorded on April 6th, 2017.
Intro Song: Barakamon OST – Track 14 – Dassai Sensei
Outro Song: Barakamon OST – Track 07 – Shizen he no Kanmei
Intro/Outro Music by Kenji Kawai
Cyborgs have always been an interest of mine. The idea of machine and human integration in various forms for human advancement fascinates me – as such, I love a good cyberpunk or sci-fi show centered around this idea and the moral and ethical discussions that arise from such human alterations. Heck, I even based some of my graduate studies writing on the exploration of various kinds of human/machine integration, using bits of Production I.G.’s dystopian cyberpunk crime thriller Psycho-Pass (2012). Somehow, with all of those boxes checked off, it occurred to me recently that I had never sat down and watched Ghost in the Shell (1995), which just so happens to be another science-fiction futuristic police drama anime by Production I.G. (and the film progenitor of an insanely popular franchise worldwide), and I figured it was high time I corrected that.
Ghost in the Shell reminded me a great deal of Psycho-Pass. The ways in which each of the two works depict crime prevention and the methods used therein is fascinating; the former’s bodily augmentations from Section 9 and the latter’s lack of such augmentations in favor of the Sibyl System and the Dominators presents an interesting contrast in the ways that these two futuristic societies have opted to dispense justice. However, likely because I had gone into the movie with a mindset thinking about cyborg identities and my previous writings, what was more interesting to me was the way in which both works presented cyborgs in their worlds, despite taking place roughly a century apart from one another (2029 for GitS, undefined year in the 22nd century for Psycho-Pass).
You know who the biggest assholes in myth are? Fairies. I mean, sure, the Greek pantheons were pretty bad, but what they typically did was monumental in scale, making them seem more malevolent or dispassionate towards humans rather than just plain trolling. Let’s say here I am, walking through the cliff sides, when I suddenly see a beautiful woman blocking my path and dancing to a haunting tune. She asks me to dance. If I don’t, I get thrown into the nearby thistles to hurt for the rest of the week. If I do, she may let me pass or I’ll just end up in the bushes anyways. Not to mention that given my skills in the art of dance, I’ll probably be in the thistles either way.
This example is actually from French folklore of the Dames blanches or “White Ladies”, a
particularly nice fae compared to a lot of others. See, even when fairies are nice to humans, they’ll still find some way to dick you over, or, in the case of this fae, have you pulling thistles out of yourself for weeks. In fact, throughout most European mythology, fairies are notorious for messing with humans because 1.) they can, 2.) it’s fun killing humans for sport, torturing humans for decades and what not, and 3.) because it’s all some power play to keep us down, like we’re a group of beatniks oppressed by the Bourgeoisie. The worst part is that sometimes they may help a human out on a whim, making it confusing as hell to figure out what they’re up to. It’s like meeting the Joker on a good day. I think the Fae took Cyndi Lauper to heart because, particularly at our expense, fairies “just wanna have fun.”