Do you even bleed?

So this comic came about in an odd way.  I was ranting to Yuji about how sterile the some of the ‘women’ (if they can be called that) feel sterile in Manga and Anime.  He then took one of my unopened pads and held it up yelling ‘Do you even bleed!?’  The image perfectly summarized my feelings on the matter.

These ‘women’ probably don’t bleed, it would ruin the fantasy.

Dragonball: Revelation

We have been going on a Dragonball and Dragonball Z Abridged lately, after catching up on Team Four Star’s Dragonball Z Abridged series on YouTube.  To my delight, Hulu has added all of Dragonball and Dragonball Z to their library.

My introduction to the Dragonball franchise began when I was 11, when I would watch Dragonball Z on Toonami every day after school.  Dragonball was never shown on television when I was a child.

Dragonball Z is notorious for drawing out its story to unbelievable lengths.  Entire episodes are wasted on two men staring at each other and/or screaming at each other.  It is the only television show that I know of where the selling point of a recent special edition release was LESS footage.  (Despite this flaw, my brother and I loved the show.)

Since Dragonball came before Dragonball Z, I expected it to follow this same formula.  I am shocked to discover every episode of Dragonball furthers the plot in some way.  There are clearly defined beginning, middle and ends.  WHAT A MINI REVELATION!

Lets see if I still feel this way when I finish the series.

Dragonball Super: The Double Quickening

What is there to say about a new Dragonball anime. Really? Dragonball Z itself was already taking Dragonball, jumping the shark, and then following that up by detonating ten nuclear devices at the world international clown cyborg ninja crocodile convention. We’re talking about a series that was suppose to have reached it’s dramatic conclusion with the defeat of Frieza. That was suppose to be the crowning  achievement of ridiculous in that series.

There’s excitement around this new series as Akira Toriyama (The creator of the series) is working on the story. Which of course means that there is a 90% percent chance of the series containing high levels of shenanigans (Majin Buu saga level silliness) if the new movies are anything to go by. Toriyama was largely kept in check during the series to keep things more serious by his editors. Towards the end of the series however he was given more free reign to do whatever he wanted (with the exception of bringing Goku back as the hero)

Look I love the Dragonball series alot, its iconic and set the trend of shounen manga and anime for decades to follow (for better or for worse). But let’s be real here…Dragonball’s time has long since passed, it will never be what it once was, and it will never be as good. I will of course still watch the new series, if only to satisfy my curiosity of what exactly the Z crew will be doing in this strange new world…

Angst Angst Angst

I’ve been recently reading Fist of the North Star, appreciating the great manly man art in display. It occurred to me that it’s hero Kenshiro, has a great deal of sadness and angst to overcome. Already stuck in a post apocalyptic wasteland, losing loved ones and close friends, having to fight his own family due to the rules of the Hokuto martial arts, Ken deals with a great amount of hardship on top of having to be struck with the tragedies that naturally follow him. Yet he doesn’t break or sulk in a corner. He feels sadness and yet it seems to strengthen him rather than cripple him.

Something like that almost seems impossible now, feeling of angst and sadness becoming a strength, rather than a flaw. In most cases it would cause characters to curl up and feel helpless, or drive them to a vicious cycle of vengeance. There are of course exceptions to this, but it’s funny to think that the general feelings that caused Shinji Ikari to cry in a corner, only a decade ago caused Kenshiro to beef out and become Kung Fu Action Jesus.

Perhaps angst will change characters yet again differently in some Future Anime.

Final Fantasy XV: Super Fabulous Edition

I think the problem Square has with Final Fantasy is that they take it more serious than it needs to be, especially with their visual aesthetic. I only know of one man who can craft an excellent story FROM SUCH FABULOUS DESIGNS! But alas there can only be one Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure in our world and thus it may never be.

That won’t stop me from thinking about it though. Besides just because the main character is this guy who wears all black, has slicked down hair that covers his face, has powers that commune with death, and looks like Sasuke from Naruto, doesn’t mean he’s going to be some brooding overly depressing guy, right…Right? I guess we don;t know until it comes out. Whenever that might be.

Can’t possibly be any worse than the XIII series. Ugh…

Ultimate Shonen Training 2: Making School Unnecessary

I like to think this is why all those heroes need not worry about ditching class, or never doing homework. As for those heroes who are more … dense… I like to think that they did learn all of it in advance but still flunked anyways.  Seriously though, stay in school.



Ultimate Shonen Training: Talk the Talk

This happens even in manga I love. The most egregious example I can think of is Eyeshield 21. It’s probably more apparent since you can realistically imagine how much time it takes for these actions, like catching a football, jumping, or throwing. Yet they throw in dialogue that would take 30 seconds and fit it into a moment that should take no less than a second at best. Most other times they get around this by pausing the fight or action, or someone on the sidelines is giving the exposition. It’s not something that I dislike, I mean Eyeshield 21 is one of my personal favorite manga, and it’s built entirely on that kind of ridiculousness. I just wonder what happens in real time or whether this is some special skill these characters learn for coolness sake. In manga space time can be ambiguous, but in anime since the audience experiences the passage of time it’s way more noticeable.

Ultimate Techniques: Show Don’t Tell

I’ve recently read a few manga that are guilty of over exposition when it comes to character powers and abilities (cough cough BLEACH! cough…) Not just in explaining what the power is but that it’s the character using the power that’s giving away this information. It’s like the character has this compulsive urge to stroke their ego even at the risk of giving away vital intel and exposing potential weaknesses to their ability. To me this likely occurs for a few reasons. 1. The writer believes s/he has come up with a truly unique ability or power that deserves explanation to show how awesome or how clever they are. 2. Said power is so outlandish and impossible to deduce that the character has to give this information away or will end up being nigh unbeatable. I know it’s kind of a thing in certain genres of manga/anime to have strange and bizarre powers and they can be interesting to learn about. It’s simply the stupid way in which some shows explain the powers, especially if it’s the character who wields the power themselves. It seems rather ironic too since Japanese swordsman, and martial artists would consider special techniques to be sacred treasures whose secrets should never be revealed to outsiders. There are simply better ways to do it. Just read Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, they made a whole manga around characters trying to solve mysteries about the nature of their opponents power that becomes part of the fight. It would be much less interesting if the villain simply explained that he can control the iron around him and in your body.

It’s never a good idea to sacrifice the intelligence of your characters for some potentially cool exposition.