Bradley's Reviews

A place to post reviews and opinions on various anime series.

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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby EveryNameTaken » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:05 am

My review of the extremely divisive Blood-C is up, along with my review of Hipira-kun.
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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby bakamatt » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:10 pm

EveryNameTaken wrote:My review of the extremely divisive Blood-C is up,
...Did you care about any of these characters? Then you were a fool, and doubly so to buy into any of Blood-C’s absurd premise, from the fetish-tastic school uniforms to the way any character looks or acts. It knows that these characters are thin parodies of past CLAMP designs, and laughs at anyone who takes them seriously. In a way, that kind of contempt is almost refreshing.


I haven't seen Blood-C; like I'm going to let that stop me from having an opinion...

But I filter all of my responses to CLAMP projects though the first season of Magic Knight Rayearth, which is, for me, easily one of the most interesting anime series I've ever seen - the awesome precision, patience, and subtlety of the way it becomes less and less silly throughout (though never, it should be said, entirely forsaking silliness); and that damned unexpected ending, the revelation of what's actually going on that might be the most surprising twist ending I've even seen to any story anywhere. I know they can jerk around an audience, play with your expectations - which I why I twitched at the use of your word "contempt" in the above quote.

You seem to me to attribute a kind of vindictiveness, mean-spiritedness to CLAMP; was that intentional?

And, as with any CLAMP project, I find myself wondering how it fits into the CLAMPiverse since, supposedly, all of their stories take place in the same "place".

All this aside, it was, as usual, a darned sharp review! And one which left me, at least curious to see the show. I think for me the question will boil down to what it always does with super-violent stories: does the violence serve the story (which is fine), or does the story serve the violence (which is not something I care for).
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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby ZeroRyoko1974 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:15 pm

I only watched the first episode and dropped it like a sack of potatoes. Only memorable thing I can recall, is that when the main character is walking to school singing about everything, that her foot step sound effect kind of kept in beat with the song she was singing.
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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby Tsunami3k » Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:34 pm

I'm familiar enough with CLAMP's output over the years for the Rayearth afterglow to have tarnished significantly. Kind of like Miyazaki or Rumiko Takahashi, their latter work lacks the sharpness and daring of their earlier work. While I do enjoy some of their newer work like [what's I've seen of] Kobato (which plays squarely to CLAMPs strengths), they've definitely shifted towards more homogenous products with their focus more towards rich details, particularly in their characters' outfits, accentuating long, lithe limbs and other hallmarks of their evolving style. My crackpot theory is that they lost their edge way back when they failed to finish RG Veda because they, as they put it, became so attached to the characters that they simply couldn't commit to a dire ending for any of them. So, as I understand it, they simply didn't finish the story. Fast forward to recent years and it's clear that they're heavily into recycling their character designs. Per CLAMP, they liken their cast of reusable characters as akin to actors with any of them taking up roles in whatever fictional story CLAMP decides to cast them in. They haven't said as much to my knowledge but [this is where my crackpot theory begins] I think that they clearly still feel very attached to the characters they've created and have crafted these ornate stories within which to sprinkle their characters but ultimately they're very safe "dollhouse" worlds in which we pretty much know the characters are largely safe from nasty fates and the like. And I think this is why they stopped evolving as creators, at least along certain [arguably critical] lines, because they intentionally chose to limit their palette in this way.

In any case, after reading Brad's take on it, I'm certain that it's just as incongruous as I expected it to be...and yet I made it through the caveat barrage unscathed. I'll definitely have to check this one out. There's a chance, particularly since there are no recycled favorites in this one (the thought of Sakura as Saya just melted my brain a little), that they might get a little daring on this one and make it dark and I can absolutely see them starting it off being nearly treacly sweet and sentimental, particularly at first, to make the contrast between Saya's struggle to remain "normal" amid the darkness and chaos that has descended upon her life all the more stark. CLAMP 2.0? Probably not. But I can hope for a CLAMP 1.1.11 right?

Hipira-kun sounds worth checking out too, at least when I'm not zombie, vampire, whateverthefsck'ed out.
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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby bakamatt » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:07 am

Tim, much good stuff in your post.

Tsunami3k wrote:I'm familiar enough with CLAMP's output over the years for the Rayearth afterglow to have tarnished significantly. Kind of like Miyazaki or Rumiko Takahashi, their latter work lacks the sharpness and daring of their earlier work.


Whereas I’ve pretty much ignored their later work, except for CardCaptor Sakura.

Though I’m not sure I’d describe much of Takahashi’s work as “sharp” or “daring”. The most daring thing I think she ever did was actually bringing Maisson Ikkoku to a definate finish. I can’t say I see a lot of difference between Ranma and Inu Yasha – that the former works for me and the latter doesn’t is more a matter of taste than technique.

Miyazaki, of course, I’ve complained for years phoned in Howl, and I feel the same about Ponyo.

My crackpot theory is that they lost their edge way back when they failed to finish RG Veda because they, as they put it, became so attached to the characters that they simply couldn't commit to a dire ending for any of them... have crafted these ornate stories within which to sprinkle their characters but ultimately they're very safe "dollhouse" worlds in which we pretty much know the characters are largely safe from nasty fates and the like


If so, that would be a shame. One of anime’s great strengths has always been the knowledge that, in a certain kind of story, they might kill anyone.

(The first time I was startled by a Japanese cartoon was back in my brief C/FO days, c. 1984. We were watching some mecha show – Getter Robo, maybe – and a boy’s dog was apparently killed in a battle. “Sure,” I sneered. “Like they’re going to kill a kid’s dog.” Well, darned if they didn’t, and, as you can see, it made an impression that’s survived to this day.

The second time I was startled by an anime was around the same time: Cutey Honey, ‘nuff said.)

Though, contrariwise, as I grow older and, apparently, into more and more of a sissy, I can’t say I object to the concept of some safe refuges where you feel sure nothing really bad is going to happen. From the start, one of the appeals of CardCaptor Sakura for me was that the world it was set in was just such a gosh-darned nice place.
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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby Tsunami3k » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:34 pm

bakamatt wrote:Though I’m not sure I’d describe much of Takahashi’s work as “sharp” or “daring”.


A product of generalizing the evolution (or lack thereof) of multiple creators. As compared to their earlier works, the statement gains some credibility but I admit it's a stretch.

bakamatt wrote:Though, contrariwise, as I grow older and, apparently, into more and more of a sissy, I can’t say I object to the concept of some safe refuges where you feel sure nothing really bad is going to happen. From the start, one of the appeals of CardCaptor Sakura for me was that the world it was set in was just such a gosh-darned nice place.


Kobato has been mercifully shy of gore and bloodshed thus far as well.
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Re: Bradley's Reviews

Postby Kokon Tozai » Fri May 30, 2014 9:38 pm

The last review for THEM Anime was Dec 2013. Is this dead?
Just thought it would be fun to check out Bradly's latest pervreview.
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