Nomad’s Super Awesome Manga Review Part The Nth: Buckaroo Banzai

By Nomad(There! Evil PURE AND SIMPLE by way of the Eighth Dimension!)Otto

I have a series of papers to write to justify my continued suckling of the public teat. They are due very soon. They require data which I have not yet fully collected/analyzed. They are very important and need to be super awesome in order that I might avoid teaching in the future. This means that my room and desk at the office have been made very clean, a great deal of boozahol has been consumed, many sci-fi/gangster  movies have been watched and a great many used book and record stores have been visited. Moreover, it means that some of the manga that’s been sitting around unread is being/has been read.  This is a review, or, rather a series of reviews. I would have more words, but they are currently being pressed into the service of SCIENCE! and my future conquest of both my own sanity and the pitiful nations of man. The pictures have been stolen by pixel elves, and I have no time or desire to travel to their kingdom to get them back. Now, Son of Jor-El: KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!

I may have seen this movie a couple of times, yes.
I may have seen this movie a couple of times, yes.

Continue reading ‘Nomad’s Super Awesome Manga Review Part The Nth: Buckaroo Banzai’

Maria Holic- Pander Spectacular or/and Something Mo(r)e?


By Nomad (Needs more Bookshelves) Otto


So, I’ve been rather busy with Grad School recently, blah blah. I’ll save you the Fred-isms, and start moving towards the point. Anyway, Shinbo makes a lot of crazy stuff, most of which I really like. Recently, he’s just been the director on MariaHolic, another moe-focused comedy-romance set at a school. But there’s always the twist, and, in this case, it’s that it’s set in an all-girls catholic school, and the main character is female, as are all of the potential love interests.  Obviously, it’s intended to appeal to people with a certain purient interest.   You could probably make a show off of less of the humor, less of the weird Shinbo-ism, and well, less plot (zing, Marmite!). The question is if there’s anything to be gained from Maria Holic other than the indulgence of that particular interest and a couple of cheap laughs?


Nomad Prepares to Bare it All

Nomad Prepares to Bare it All

Continue reading ‘Maria Holic- Pander Spectacular or/and Something Mo(r)e?’

Fandom is doomed

By Nomad (Brain the size of a planet and here I am… ) Otto

In the not too distant future (by the end of this week), I’ll be headed out to France to work on the experiment which will make up my thesis. This will mean that I have a month of limited to no internet access, which means that I can throw some firebombs around and BigN will have to clean up the mess. I do this because in addition to studying science, I’m also making a career of evil (as per the Blue Oyster [I wish I knew how to do the umlat in HTML] Cult, though mad science might be a better description); learning to rain on the parade is a vital skill, vital to spotting errors in plans etc. Therefore, let the flaming begin!


Bombs Away!

Continue reading ‘Fandom is doomed’

Oh Father, where art thou?

by Nomad (Buy Dapper Dan Haircream) Otto

I was originally going to write something pointing a finger at the virgin/mother/whore trichotomy you find in a lot of work, even those things written by women. Then I realized that I don’t really have anything to SAY about it, other than “look, it’s this weird thing. You may now shower me with gifts.” On the other hand, when I was thinking about this topic, something else occurred to me, and that’s that the father figure in…. basically every show I’ve seen in a good, long while is either absent (either physically, as in, they’re not around, or emotionally, as in, you occasionally see them, but they have no real influence over the lives of their progeny) or bad (sleezy, corrupt, manipulative, or otherwise a jackass).  Especially considering that Japan is a very male-dominate society, and that anime/manga is a very male-dominated  hobby, you’d expect that an important relation in the lives of the characters would be the bond between fathers and sons. This post is designed to look at the issue, both from the literary standpoint and the social standpoint, and, then, will degenerate into crushing irrelevance. Join me for it, won’t you?

ahahahah, suck it batman, my dad isn't dead (......for a while)!

ahahahah, suck it batman, my dad isn't dead (......for a while)!

Continue reading ‘Oh Father, where art thou?’

Jim Morrison, John Paul II, and….. er… Zange-chan

By Nomad(The damn weather needs to pick something and stick with it)Otto

Jim Morrison (of the Doors) had a famous bit in which he he shouted, “When I was back in seminary school, there was someone who put forth the proposition that you could petition the lord with prayer…… YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!” John Paul II (who, in addition to being a pretty good pope, is one of my favorite philosophers in the field of Labor Economics ), on the other hand, had a belief in the efficacy of prayer, but, at the same time, didn’t believe that prayer was “God’s telephone.” Zange-chan, of course, not only has a cell-phone, but does her best to answer the prayers of the masses, and listens directly to the confession of sins for the cost of 100 yen.  The reason for this could be that Morrison was a drugged-out musician, JP was the Pope, and Zange is a fictional character, and additional analysis is stupid. On the other hand, I’m writing this post, so I obviously think there’s something more going on, namely, that we interact with things on a human basis, and, moreover, that interaction makes us humanize things that obviously aren’t, from Godzilla to God. More after the jump.

Symbol of the follies of mankind or your new best friend?

Symbol of the follies of mankind or your new best friend?

Continue reading ‘Jim Morrison, John Paul II, and….. er… Zange-chan’

On the Suspension of Disbelief

By Nomad(Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated)Otto

As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted in a fair while, this is for three very important reasons:

THE GOOD: Quals, which I passed, meaning that I’m no longer a masters student, but, rather, a doctoral candidate…. whoooooooooo (this means nothing other than the fact that I’m closer to having an extra three letters after my name)

THE BAD: Research, which has been going not at all, since I can’t get the damn equipment set up right. Also, I need to pick my committee, which is a challenge and a half, considering one of the people I’d like to pick is on sabbatical.

THE UGLY: I’m teaching a bunch of pre-meds, and, as you should know, you can’t spell pre-meditated murder without pre-med, especially when they keep fighting over stupidly small numbers of points, even though I’m the “mean TA”.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is not only a fairly accurate summary of my life right now, but, also, for having a very unusual element, that the characters cannot see outside of the frame of the shot. To quote Ebert,

“Sergio Leone established a rule that he follows throughout The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The rule is that the ability to see is limited by the sides of the frame. At important moments in the film, what the camera cannot see, the characters cannot see, and that gives Leone the freedom to surprise us with entrances that cannot be explained by the practical geography of his shots. There is a moment, for example, when men do not notice a vast encampment of the Union Army until they stumble upon it. And a moment in a cemetery when a man materializes out of thin air even though he should have been visible for a mile. And the way men walk down a street in full view and nobody is able to shoot them, maybe because they are not in the same frame with them.”

This is a pretty weird rule, and, at first, would seem to hurt the immersiveness of the film. However, rather than hurting our ability to understand the movie, it helps a great deal, because what we see is exactly what the characters see, which means that our understanding of the characters’ actions is deeper, since we know exactly what they’re reacting to.  People can suspend their disbelief in weird ways, but, the more unusual the thing that we are being asked to believe, the less likely they are to belive it. The way around this, of course, is to do what Leone did, and to present the world, complete with the rule, and to not draw attention to what the audience is being asked to accept. What does this have to do with anime, you may ask? Well, below the fold will have the exact detail, but, to summarize:

Nodame Chokes again

Nodame Chokes again

Continue reading ‘On the Suspension of Disbelief’

Technology and Science in Gunbusuter

We Have the Technology: Aim for Physics

By Nomad(it’s education time)Otto and W-General

N) Science fiction, as distinct from other genres, is notable for its use and misuse of the language of science and technology, as much as it is for the setting. Of course, works of fiction bend the rules of nature to tell a story, insomuch as the events detailed never actually happened. However, many of works of fiction go much farther, and not only postulate events that are contra-factual, but, also, violate the laws of physics as we know them. In most genres, I, NomadOtto, can accept these violations without (much of) a fuss, but, in science fiction, bad science really gets my goat. This is mostly due to the fact that I dislike handwaving, and, in general, I like to explain stuff.

W) For this reason, we’ve decided to write a set of blogposts about physics in anime, in which I try to get Nomadotto to explain what’s going on, and, comment on the feasibility of such science and technology. The origin of these discussions dates back to Nomad’s ranting about Gunbuster II (Daibuster), after I showed him some clips in which crazy shit was going down, and, so, for historical reasons, we’ll start there.

Continue reading ‘Technology and Science in Gunbusuter’

Money and Art


There’s art, and then there’s the buisness of art. Art is about truth, beauty and associated Bull. Buisness is about making as much money as possible. There’s a fundamental tension between the two ends, and it’s this tension, which exists in the commercial arts, like hollywood film or romance novels, which causes many people to consider them to be a step below the fine arts, like painting. In fact, some people feel that commericial arts aren’t really art at all, but this group of people probably aren’t going to read this blog. A lot of people feel that the commercial aspect of art is in competition with the creative aspect, and that until art is free from commercial concerns, we’ll never have the quality of art that we could have otherwise. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but what I do know is that if there’s an art form which is not commercially successful, it doesn’t tend to get a lot of exposure. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s interest (or, at least, everyone who wants more folks to know about some artform) to ensure that art is successful. Today, I’m going to talk about visual novels, which have a sizable market overseas, and no market here in the states. After that, Otakon!

Get to the Goddamn Point already!

Get to the Goddamn Point already!

Continue reading ‘Money and Art’

The Authors (with others, too.)

The Good Old Days

Blog Stats

  • 979,061 hits