Magical Mondays: Trigun and Lacking Exposition

I love this series a lot, but...

I love this series a lot, but…

Yasuhiro Nightow’s series Trigun covers a lot of topics spanning from the morality of man to the effects of abuse all the way back to environmentalism. However, speaking as someone who’s only watched the anime the whole way through—I’ve read some of the manga, but not all of Maximum—I’ve now realized how much the anime series lost compared to its manga counterpart. There’s only so much you can fit into twenty six episodes, but unfortunately the shortness led to the trivialization of one of the most important species of the show, the Plants.

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When is A Fridging Not a Fridging?

Anime isn’t usually hailed as a feminist-friendly art form unless speaking about a very specific example. With images of illogical breasts floating around the internet at alarming speeds and subtypes like harem anime being some of the most popular and readily accessed genres, the apprehension is easy to understand. As a fan of anime, especially as someone who happens to like some of those Escher girl-esque harem shows, ignoring these things has become impossible. However, pointing out such obvious examples of poorly written or drawn representation does little to actually further the conversation outside of “wow, yeah, that’s bad.” Of course, there’s a time for these conversations with more obvious examples, but it’s perhaps more important to look at underlying elements in these narratives.

The myth, the legend... -- via Escher Girls

The woman, the myth, the legend…
—via Escher Girls

With two of my favorite anime/manga series, Trigun and X/1999, something always sat wrong with me in the way the series gave their male leads incentives to further the story’s plot. Namely, by killing off a female character. These deaths begin the series-long lament of the male protagonist over how they could have/should have saved her and all the fun times that come along with such thoughts. But the more I thought about it, the more the two deaths began to seem less similar, although they functionally serve the same purpose in terms of the male protagonist outside of plot progression—they give the protagonists some goddess-like martyr to aspire to.

Trigger warning for gore under the cut.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Warrior Priests and Armies of God

Organized religion has a lot in common with the military. They both have a hierarchy of power, snazzy outfits, and ostensibly, a founding interest in protecting others from danger, whether it be physical or spiritual. Sometimes religious folk will make the connection explicit, as with the Jesuit sect within the Catholic Church, which was founded by a military man and whose members are called “Soldiers of God”. Nevertheless, in most cases religion and military forces have very different images and priorities.

Fiction sometimes tends to conflate religion with the military to the extent that they are the same thing. Although many religious leaders have spoken out against the idea that violence is ever necessary, it’s not uncommon to open a book, watch a movie, or read a manga that involves priests or religious folk fighting—for any number of reasons, but in a decidedly physical fashion.

gunslingerAnd I find that unsettling. St. Thomas Aquinas and other “just war” theorists may have argued that war can be justified for certain reasons, but it’s difficult to look at a regiment of crusaders or even just one nun with a gun and really believe that their intent is to bring peace to a troubled land or to protect innocents. Continue reading

Manga Mondays: Trigun

TrigunComing off the high that is Anime Boston, I’ve gotten a refresher of sorts of why I enjoy anime—also why I dislike it and the culture that comes along with it, but mostly why I like it. Reminders of the anime that started this long-lived affair (it was Panda! Go Panda, by the way), and the anime and manga that have kept these fires stoked. One such anime/manga also started my adoration for complicated villains. I’m honestly surprised that no one has tackled this behemoth of a story yet. So, today let’s take this opportunity to look at my favorite swirling vortex of feels, The Humanoid Typhoon, and his life as told through Trigun.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Top 10 Fan Videos

Usually for Web Crush Wednesdays I post about a particular site, project, or person, but today we are going to do something different. There are a ton of awesome nerd videos out there and today I’m going to give my TOP 10 favorite videos.


A sexy little video between Batman and Catwoman that captures their relationship better that many big budget Batman movies.


Because there can never be enough raps about how awesome Firefly/Serenity is.


So  raise your glass if you are wrong, in all the right ways!!


You don’t always need your own script or actors to make a good fan video. Sometimes simply the right clips and some good music is enough. “Supernatural bringing you more creepy children. Sigh!”


This is why you don’t piss off the Katamari gods!!


Spike sure has run into some creepy characters. This video actually won for Best Dramatic/Serious AMV at Otakon’s 2010 AMV Contest!


Will the real sugar baby please stand up!?


If this doesn’t make you tear up from Harry Potter nostalgia I don’t know what will.


Darth Vadar plays an accordion! Nuff Said!


I LOVE fake trailers! But this one most of all! It will have you screaming, “Why isn’t this real!”

I hope after seeing these videos you have as much of a web crush on their creators as I do!