It is the season for me watching shows about creepy crawlies. With Halloween around the corner, it’s appropriate that I am watching shows that may make a person’s skin crawl. I’ve added watching Parasyte – the maxim – to my fall anime season repertoire. Parasyte was a manga that ran from the years 1990 – 1995. It is science fiction horror which is one of my favorite genres because you know: ALIENS!!! There is nothing new about the premise of Parasyte; aliens infect humans and take over their bodies then go killing other uninfected humans to feed. What makes Parasyte stand out to me so far is the relationship that seems to be building between the main character; Shinichi Izumi and the parasyte (sic) that failed in his task to completely take over Shinichi, Migi.
Migi only manages to take over Shinichi’s right hand leaving his brain fully intact and functioning. This leads to some very awkward situations in the beginning and a lot of times, making Shinichi look mentally unstable as he seems to talk to himself. Underneath the silliness of some of the behaviors, there are things that Migi says that ring true about humans. He questions Shinichi on what makes his kind different from human kind. Humans slaughter animals to feed themselves and think nothing of the life that was lost to feed them. Humans kill each other viciously for no other purpose besides anger, jealousy, greed; irrational emotions. Migi’s kind on the other hand tend to see themselves as more rational and logical especially Migi. For Migi, it is killed or be killed. Migi does not suffer a conscious but being attached to Shinichi, a symbiotic relationship is created forcing Migi to deal with Shinichi’s human conscious.
Is it better to do the logical and rational thing or is it better to respond out of emotions? Humans tend to respond using emotions and not rational thought. Humans also respond to situations based off their religious faiths something that Migi would find odd. Humans are worthy of study as we inhabit a world with other humans who have their own thoughts and behaviors; as humans, we have to adapt to each other to live in harmony. I don’t think we do a very good job of it sometimes.
Big, fucking cockroaches. With wings. They exist. We like to call them “waterbugs” but they are really just big, fucking, nasty ass, creepy-crawly cockroaches. And someone in Japan decided to make a manga about big, fucking cockroaches. Then another person in Japan thought it would be an even better idea to make it an anime. Hopefully, some genius doesn’t get it into her or his head to make a live-action about big, fucking cockroaches with wings. I decided to watch Terra Formars as one of my shows this season. Hence, now my skin is crawling.
The show is pretty good so far. Good enough for me to want to read the manga. I’m pretty sure everybody dies; if not everyone, but most and probably in gruesome ways. That’s what it seems like so far although Crunchyroll is giving us the censored version so I don’t get to see the deaths in their full glory. But what we do get to see, is big, fucking cockroaches with wings. If you’ve ever encountered a cockroach, you know that those little fuckers are smart. They will play dead, they will sneak in from the tiniest places, they will flatten themselves so you can’t squish them, and if they have wings, they will fly up your wall. In Terra Formars, these cockroaches surpass our meager little annoyances. They seem to possess a high level of intelligence and massive organization. Which come to think of it, they probably already do in their tiny forms but now they are huge. And they are extremely muscular, think Arnold Schwarzenegger from the 1980s. These cockroaches don’t want to eat you, they want to crush you. They want to crush you the way we crush their tiny cousins. Step on you and push down hard to make sure their guts come out. That’s the only way you know they are dead.
I am rooting for the “humans” in this series even though they hold responsibility for these huge cockroaches on Mars. Mars! We already think of Mars of a shitty environment for humans to live but now add monstrous cockroaches to it. This is one show that I will check out the manga as well if I can find time for it. Shows like this tend to lean towards being excellent but don’t satisfy me when they end. It doesn’t look like it will bode well for the “humans” so far and I’m up to episode 3. There is also the smell of conspiracies afoot with clandestine meetings in darkened bars. If it can provide a good balance of fleshing out the conspiracies in a matter that makes sense and mindless violence; this show may end up a standout of the Fall Season.
What are you watching?
I know it’s the time of year that I am supposed to blog about what I plan on watching for Fall Anime 2014. I plan on blogging about that soon. For now, I’m going to focus on Hamatora. It was one of my favorite series from the Spring and Summer lineup. It was one that I didn’t drop when others fell by the wayside.
Hamatora; which means “Beach Tiger” (still trying to figure that one out) has ended its 12 episode run. The show has given me a Durarara!! feel almost each episode. The similarities include the animation style, the storytelling style, a mastermind, double crosses, and the behaviors of the characters. Hamatora focused on a private investigation agency named, you guessed it, “Hamatora”. The agency is made up of minimum holders which are special innate abilities that some humans have. These abilities can range from super speed, super strength, super green thumb, pretty much maximizing abilities humans already have to superhuman levels.
Of course you know with superhuman powers comes supervillain shenanigans. But wait, are these really supervillains or just misunderstood humans? Humans acting out of grief, desire to control the world, or a desire to make the world the way they believe it should be. We live in a society that good and bad is not always clear cut. Many of us would like the people of the world to behave a certain way and go about interacting with others in hopes that they may act in the way we want them to. Some of us are a bit more forceful and choose to destroy those who don’t conform whether by death, brainwashing, or isolation. Some of us just want to see the world burn. Hamatora has all of this in its show.
Hamatora revolves around Nice who is an extremely powerful Minimum Holder but wants to live a carefree existence while helping others. He is our favorite anime character; appears to be a bumbling idiot and immature while truly is very keen on what is going on though he acts brashly. Nice is able to see the connections between crimes and tries to solve them at great risk to himself and those who work with him: Murasaki, Birthday, Hajime, Ratio, Three, and Honey. This really wasn’t a “deep” anime, though I felt it tried to go there but not in a heavy-handed way. Hamatora was able to keep it light even when murdering off characters or beating the crap out of them. It attempted to describe the “Minimum” as the human’s ego exaggerated. As in, humans seek to be better than others at all times.
The pursuit of perfection in humans or being better than others is evident in our everyday lives. It’s always about being number one. Awards are given, massive amounts of money is made, accolades, celebrity-dom comes from people wanting to be the best, to be noticed. What is it that drives humans to want to be the best? To want to be the top of it all? Is it a cultural phenomenon or do most humans seek to edge past others even if it is a little edge? This is why I love watching anime even when series are pretty terrible as it raises questions that I find that many live-action shows don’t do anymore. Could Freud have been right about the id, ego, and superego. I definitely think he was on the right track.
Tokyo Ghoul is one of my favorites so far this season and it is magnificently ghoulish. A component of it leads me to think of “I am Legend”, the book not the film. In Tokyo Ghoul, ghouls are hated by humans and are hunted down and killed because of the ghouls that ferociously devour humans. Humans find it hard to understand that the ghouls live off flesh and that there are ghouls who don’t want to kill humans to survive. Some ghouls try to create their own society and want to live relatively peaceful lives. Humans do not know about this side of ghouls and cannot see past their fear. In the book, “I am Legend”, Neville has been killing the infected humans and was completely unaware that there were “vampires” who were taking control of their infections and trying to live normalized lives again.
Ken Kaneki who is the main character in Tokyo Ghoul is trying to live a normal life as a half ghoul/half human. He has to fight to overcome the ghoul side of him that wants to viciously devour flesh. He wants to maintain his humanity. He is learning as we are learning in each episode that there are ghouls who also want some humanity. It brings to question, what is humanity? There are characters, specifically those that are called “Doves”, that act horrifically in murdering ghouls, and these “Doves” are human. One laughs at killing a ghoul in front of her child and mockingly questions that she can feel love for another. As humans, we have the tendency to let our fear and lack of knowledge sully how we see those different from us. Granted, not all ghouls are peace-loving creatures but those who are get placed in the box with those that are not. They suffer from the stereotypes perpetuated upon their group because of bad apples. This happens in our society constantly. A group of people are demonized by due to the actions of a minority in their group. The group as a whole pays the price for the actions of a few. Or the group has stereotypes placed on them because another group simply does not like them and wants to oppress them. So far, in Tokyo Ghoul, it appears that it is the former in their situations.
The show is very dark and though the story isn’t teeming over with complexity, it most definitely has a good plot. The fight scenes are pretty good, lots of violence with dark, vibrant, bold reds. There are some levels of intrigue. For example, Kaneki was not born a half ghoul/half human, he was given an organ transplant of a ghoul. It appears that the doctor knew what he was doing based off the smirk he gave when Kaneki told him he didn’t like regular food anymore. In addition, there was the snippets of the conversation between the doctor and nurses during the procedure. The show has not returned to this but I hope that they don’t leave this plot hole gaping open. I will say this show has me biting my fingernails.
What are you watching right now?
Image created by: xmelancholyskyx
I generally don’t do episodic posts which is probably why my blog tends to be classified as opinionated. It is highly opinionated, I might add. Anime is one of the few things I have an opinion on or care to have strong discussions about outside of politics and religion. Although, I rank anime right up there with politics and religion in terms of “things you don’t discuss at work”. It’s not as if I can stand by the water cooler and say “Did you see that episode of Tokyo Ghoul last night? Oh, man!” I also don’t have the urge to come to my blog and say the same thing and explore every minute detail.
If I write an episodic post; it’s a clear indication that I like the show and had a lot of thoughts on it. I just simply do not have enough time to write a post on every episode of a show. One, I watch multiple shows so I would have to choose one or two. Two, I would have to take notes to write a clear and concise post. I’m not in school, I’m not taking notes on a show I’m watching for pleasure! Three, I don’t really have a three. It’s just that three is the magic number. I prefer rambling about a show after it’s finished and reading others’ episodic posts. Except some of you people watch the shows a day earlier before it hits Hulu Plus or Crunchyroll so I have to ignore your posts! I also shake my fist at you mentally. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here is a list of some of what I am watching.
- Tokyo ESP – So far, I am enjoying this show. It seems to be doing the start from the end, then jump to the beginning to circle back to the end. That will definitely keep me watching. It’s got a mixture of action, violence, and comedy. Humans with special powers trying to take over the world and destroy humans with no powers works for me.
- Tokyo Ghoul – I’m not sure how I ended up watching two shows with Tokyo in the title but this is another show that I am feeling. Ghouls are monsters but look like humans physically until they try to eat you. Our main character becomes a half human/ghoul by some unfortunate circumstances. Very gruesome show. I like.
- Terror in Resonance – This is actually a show dealing with terrorism. We have yet to figure out why the characters are terrorists but there has been a lot of foreshadowing. I’m impressed because usually anime deals with terrorists as the “other” but they are front line in this show. Lots of homage paid to real terrorist attacks that have occurred in our lifetime and in other centuries.
- The Kawai Complex Guide – This show is complete but I’ve just started watching it. Its my comic relief. It has tons of fanservice (shocker!) but it works for this show. It is done in a way that has me cracking up and is relevant to the plot.
- One Week Friends – I finished this a couple of weeks ago. Interesting premise, a girl forgets her friends after one week and the boy who wants to stay her friend forever.
I’m also watching Captain Earth, Hamatora, Blue Spring Ride, and I’m going to check out more shows that were posted as recommendations in my post about looking for more mature anime directed towards adult; or has more serious content. Tokyo Ghoul and Terror in Resonance definitely meet that criteria. Happy Friday, everyone!