The last thing we watched, cartoon/animu edition

Chimpzy

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Chimpzy watches Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex (Part 18)

Season 1, Episode 19: CAPTIVATED

A former PMs daughter is kidnapped as part of a mass abduction slash organ harvesting ring perpetrated by the Northern Territories, along with a number of other young women. Said politician had long denied these kidnappings are real to strengthen ties between Russia and Japan. While investigating Section 9 stumbles on the kidnappers by chance, ending in a Russian ex-SVR officer running with the hostages, hoping to gain asylum at the Russian embassy. Aramaki convinces the politician to go public, turning the affair into a political firestorm, of which Russian wants no part, dumping their former agent, allowing the Major and Batou to capture her.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of Stand-Alone Complex is how believable it tends to be. It takes reality as it was at the time, and extrapolates from there. The world may be high tech, but the situations our protags find themselves in are generally not Iirc, this was released around the time North Korea admitted having kidnapped Japanese citizens in numbers which the Japanese government is very likely still downplaying to this day. The victims were also largely young women. The inspiration seems obvious.

Of course, getting killed and chopped up for your healthy organs and cyberware is quite different from being forced to be wives for terrorists (or whatever the irl reason was). But SAC takes place in a post-nuclear setting that has to deal with radiation, which Japan doesn’t suffer from thanks to the vaguely defined Miracle. Within this contest a black market for untainted organs sounds credible (if horrible, because if it wasn’t for internal gang struggles causing the kidnapping of the wrong target, the other 28 girls would’ve been literally slaughtered)

It’s fun seeing how much of the speculation turned out correct. Not that there aren’t some flagrant misses. Given the current circumstances, Russia seeking closer ties with the EU has aged poorly. Granted, this was created before Putin turned mask off president for life, and iirc, at the time both parties were still open to the idea of Russian EU membership. I’m also not quite convinced that it would be wise to bank on the current crop of politicians being willing to sacrifice their political careers to save their own child.
 

Dalisclock

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But SAC takes place in a post-nuclear setting that has to deal with radiation, which Japan doesn’t suffer from thanks to the vaguely defined Miracle.
IIRC NANOMACHINES!

Which I know GITS is a lot harder Sci-fi then Metal Gear(Granted, Metal Gear is so soft at times it's pretty much Liquid) but it still makes me chuckle regardless.
 
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Drathnoxis

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I just finished Cromartie High School based on Yahtzee's recommendation a while back. It was cheaply animated, had almost no continuity, and was only 26 10-minute episodes, but I liked it quite a bit. The pace is snappy, they move from gag to gag at breakneck speed, and while I didn't find it as funny as Niichijou, it was still pretty good. I love the way that every single character is drawn as a big tough guy and talks with the most serious, stoic voice no matter what ridiculous stuff is happening. Even the mascots of children's shows:



It's a ridiculous show, but it was a lot of fun and definitely doesn't wear out it's welcome in it's 4 hours of runtime. I also would recommend.
 

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Granted, I haven't seen this anime since 2011 or 2012, but there's a reason why I never went back to it. It's still a shame the author died and not much else can be done with the story. High School of the Dead had some neat ideas, but it falls through for me no matter which version you're looking at.
 
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PsychedelicDiamond

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Trigun

Classic 90's anime series, based on (parts of) a manga by the same name and considered kind of a classic of the era. Not on the same level as something like Evangelion or Bebop, but certainly up there

Trigun follows the exploits of a red coated, spiky-haired outlaw called Vash the Stampede on a wild west styled desert planet. While wen won't find out what the deal with its setting is until quite a bit into the series, it's a pretty cool one that will probably invoke Fallout New Vegas for those who've played it. Having a reputation of causing carnage wherever he goes, Vash is being trailed by two agents of an insurance agency, which you'd think would be a one-off joke, but no. The two young women, temperamental Meryl and good natured Millie, become his permanent companions and act as something like viewpoint characters.

The show starts off as a series of episodic adventures and, about midway through, starts to follow a serialized plot, but, at heart, it's a character study. Vash the Stampede is definitely the centerpiece of Trigun. Contrary to his reputation as a bloodthirsty gunslinger, it turns out, Vash is a friendly goofball, firmly dedicating himself to nonviolence in a violent world. Trigun seeks to establish his principles, explain how he came to acquire these principles and challenge these principles.

This is, by all means, a strong premise, executed mostly well, if not always perfectly. Trigun, you see, is what we animeheads call a "Shonen" series, which is Japanese and loosely translates to "for babies". I'm joking around, of course, but there is a distinct... Saturday morning cartoon vibe to Trigun, that other part of the 90's canon, your Evangelion's and Utena's and Lain's don't have to that extent. Trigun starts to falter a bit once it introduces its core conflict, and with it some of the most tediously dull villains this side of a MCU production.

Very rarely do you see a series of this kind where the protagonist is endlessly compelling and the antagonists, here represented by two underwritten prettyboys and their one dimensional henchmen, are just kind of... there. It's one of those things that I reckon the manga probably does better, but boy did I not find them interesting.

That doesn't exactly ruin the show, though. Matter of fact, its central characters, morals and worldbuilding are all incredibly compelling. And while I did mention that the plot has its issues, and the animation is quite spotty aswell, it really picks up by the end and the last five episodes are all great and offered the kind of emotional payoff that does, in the end, help Trigun be more than the sum of its parts.

Trigun is not the smartest or most sophisticated work of fiction to explore the themes it does. But it does offer some very likeable main characters, solid world building and what is definitely a unique look at christian values and how they apply to a a selfish and violent world. That selfishness and violence is never interrogated remotely as thoroughly as the morals that stand in opposition to it, but it does make some emotionally resonant points in favour of them. And what the hell, I'm a sucker for futuristic westerns.
 
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BrawlMan

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Not on the same level as something like Evangelion or Bebop, but certainly up there
Depends on who you are talking to. I find Trigun way better than Evangelion (or some consider them on the same caliber of classics). Do not forget, you're talking about an anime part of the Holy Space Western Trilogy.
 
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Gordon_4

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Depends on who you are talking to. I find Trigun way better than Evangelion (or consider them on the same caliber of classics). Do not forget, you're talking about an anime part of the Holy Space Western Trilogy.
It really doesn’t. You (and many others) may not like Evangelion, but remember influential is not a synonym for ‘good’. Evangelion was one of the most influential anime of the 90, same as Bebop, Trigun and Pokémon. And frankly trying to deny that is silly. I mean fuck I hate the Dark Knight Returns with a passion but it’s impact is as undeniable as the rising of the sun.
 

BrawlMan

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It really doesn’t. You (and many others) may not like Evangelion, but remember influential is not a synonym for ‘good’. Evangelion was one of the most influential anime of the 90, same as Bebop, Trigun and Pokémon. And frankly trying to deny that is silly
Who said I was denying it? I know Evangelion was heavily influential, I just don't care and still hate the show and most of the characters. I still consider the show shit, and glad anime learned to move beyond it. Plus, most anime that cribbed Eva from ground zero were crap. The only anime with Eva influences/90s and early 2000s deconstruction phase I enjoy are Digimon Tamers and Big O (uses some Eva towards the end). Everything else can get fucked. Tell'em Bennett.

 
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Gordon_4

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Who said I was denying it. I know Evangelion was heavily influential, I just don't care and still hate the show and most of the characters. I still consider the show shit, and glad anime learned to move beyond it. Plus, most anime that cribbed Eva from ground zero were crap. The only anime with Eva influences/90s and early 2000s deconstruction phase I enjoyed are Digimon Tamers and Big O (uses some Eva towards the end). Everything else can get fucked. Tell'em Benett.

Man, random aside, Digimon Tamers was fucking FIRE. If I ever see that ***** on BluRay as a complete set, it’s coming home with me.
 
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Man, random aside, Digimon Tamers was fucking FIRE. If I ever see that ***** on BluRay as a complete set, it’s coming home with me.
 

Drathnoxis

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I've said it before, but Trigun is one of the worst anime series that I've watched all the way through. I found Evangelion and Bebop kind of middling but watchable (except the ending of Evangelion), but Trigun is just plain cringe.
 

BrawlMan

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I've said it before, but Trigun is one of the worst anime series that I've watched all the way through. I found Evangelion and Bebop kind of middling but watchable (except the ending of Evangelion), but Trigun is just plain cringe.
Nope. Trigun is nowhere close to the worst. There have been many worse anime in the 90s and 2000s. Many that never got finished or they expected to have a franchise going on and got nothing. You want pure cringe, look up Pilot Candidate. That anime is so bad, it never got pass its first three or four episodes. Inuyasha (anything by the Ranma ¹/² creator has not aged well and get worse every year) and it's mediocre-forgettable sequel are cringe. Love Hina is ultimate harem cringe.

Trigun is only cringe if you're insecure about your anime hobbies. I will admit that the part with young Knives and Vash having that spiders and butterfly argument is over the top, no matter which dub you're watching, but other than that, the series is good. Oh, and that one clip show episode you can skip, and nothing happens. I always skip it whenever I marathon the show on DVD.
 
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Drathnoxis

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Nope. Trigun is nowhere close to the works. There have been many worse anime in the 90s and 2000s. Many that never got finished or they expected to have a franchise going on and got nothing. You want pure cringe, look up Pilot Candidate. Anime is so bad it never got past its first three or four episodes. Inuyasha (anything by the Ranma ¹/² creator has not age well and get worse every year) and it's mediocre-forgettable sequel are cringe. Love Hina is ultimate harem cringe.

Trigun is only cringe if you're insecure about your anime hobbies. I will admit that the part with young Knives and Vash having that spiders and butterfly argument is over the top, no matter which dub you're watching, but other than that, the series is good. Oh, and that one clip show episode you can skip and nothing happens. I always skip it whenever I marathon the show on DVD.
I could repeat our previous argument where I state that I like Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2, but I don't really see the point. I'm not insecure about anime, it's just when I watched Trigun both myself and the person I was watching it with were groaning the whole way through because it was so dumb.
 

BrawlMan

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I could repeat our previous argument where I state that I like Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2, but I don't really see the point. I'm not insecure about anime, it's just when I watched Trigun both myself and the person I was watching it with were groaning the whole way through because it was so dumb.
Don't know how you can groan about Trigun, but not Ranma nor Inuyasha. Different strokes for different folks. Nothing wrong with that. My problem with Inuyasha is that Kagome is completely unlikeable the further the series get, and most of the characters are either annoying or not interesting. The only one I like is Sango. But I'm not wasting 100 plus episodes just to see her nor go through the series all over again. Say whatever you will about Trigun, but it at least no matter the version, the show or manga knew when to end and not stretch things out. I can't say the same for Inuyasha. Ranma, I find everyone obnoxious and unfunny. I'd sooner watch Tenchi in Tokyo three times over then either of those shows.
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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Trigun

Classic 90's anime series, based on (parts of) a manga by the same name and considered kind of a classic of the era. Not on the same level as something like Evangelion or Bebop, but certainly up there

Trigun follows the exploits of a red coated, spiky-haired outlaw called Vash the Stampede on a wild west styled desert planet. While wen won't find out what the deal with its setting is until quite a bit into the series, it's a pretty cool one that will probably invoke Fallout New Vegas for those who've played it. Having a reputation of causing carnage wherever he goes, Vash is being trailed by two agents of an insurance agency, which you'd think would be a one-off joke, but no. The two young women, temperamental Meryl and good natured Millie, become his permanent companions and act as something like viewpoint characters.

The show starts off as a series of episodic adventures and, about midway through, starts to follow a serialized plot, but, at heart, it's a character study. Vash the Stampede is definitely the centerpiece of Trigun. Contrary to his reputation as a bloodthirsty gunslinger, it turns out, Vash is a friendly goofball, firmly dedicating himself to nonviolence in a violent world. Trigun seeks to establish his principles, explain how he came to acquire these principles and challenge these principles.

This is, by all means, a strong premise, executed mostly well, if not always perfectly. Trigun, you see, is what we animeheads call a "Shonen" series, which is Japanese and loosely translates to "for babies". I'm joking around, of course, but there is a distinct... Saturday morning cartoon vibe to Trigun, that other part of the 90's canon, your Evangelion's and Utena's and Lain's don't have to that extent. Trigun starts to falter a bit once it introduces its core conflict, and with it some of the most tediously dull villains this side of a MCU production.

Very rarely do you see a series of this kind where the protagonist is endlessly compelling and the antagonists, here represented by two underwritten prettyboys and their one dimensional henchmen, are just kind of... there. It's one of those things that I reckon the manga probably does better, but boy did I not find them interesting.

That doesn't exactly ruin the show, though. Matter of fact, its central characters, morals and worldbuilding are all incredibly compelling. And while I did mention that the plot has its issues, and the animation is quite spotty aswell, it really picks up by the end and the last five episodes are all great and offered the kind of emotional payoff that does, in the end, help Trigun be more than the sum of its parts.

Trigun is not the smartest or most sophisticated work of fiction to explore the themes it does. But it does offer some very likeable main characters, solid world building and what is definitely a unique look at christian values and how they apply to a a selfish and violent world. That selfishness and violence is never interrogated remotely as thoroughly as the morals that stand in opposition to it, but it does make some emotionally resonant points in favour of them. And what the hell, I'm a sucker for futuristic westerns.
I wish they would've held off the anime until the manga was further along, like, they diverge around the midpoint of the anime. Ever wonder why those coins stopped showing up? But yeah, there's a raft of extra bad guys, a few new good guys, Knives is fleshed out, both story wise and cthulu-esc angel merging ways, the Earth fleet tracks down their missing, off-course colony and they get reconnected with the whole interstellar organization, and lots of other stuff I can't describe because the art style get incomprehensible. Like, literally could not understand what was going on in any sort of action scene, would've loved to see that get animated.
 
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