The Catalog


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It just aint the same no more...

Anime and manga are almost starting to bore me.

Yeah... you read that right... but before those that know me start to hyperventilate... I guess I should be more specific here...

Its the glut of cutsey/moe, harem and battle themed anime and manga that are starting to bore me. Its not the fact that they have the same themes and similar characters that puts me off; because that is something I have come to accept (Heck thats something any Adachi fanboy/fangirl would accept).


What IS ticking me off is that people are putting more effort into character design than actually building up a character. Sure they are pretty to look at... but nowhere near as memorable as characters from an old school manga and anime.

I can barely remember the names of some of the more recent manga I have read (let alone the characters). Its not that I didnt like them at the time nor that I found them unfunny or uninteresting. Its just that they really were TOO generic for me to care to remember much about them.

There is a glut of emotionally disturbed/dark past pretty boys (or pretty girls), the dudes or dudettes who for some reason has been stuck into a harem situation (which they must pretend to either hate or be completely indifferent to...), the klutzy-cutesy or cutesy-klutzy kinds of girls with boobs bigger than their brains, the supernatural female characters whose costumes could have been pieced together using less fabric than a pillowcase (if that) and must also include some cute animal appendages. They all look the same, act the same and really dont have any standout qualities. This basically makes it impossible for me to actually remember their names.

What gives me hope is that there are some exceptions to the rule (Thankfully!) . We have characters like Kou Shuurei from Colorcloud Palace, Sawako from Kimi No Todoke, Integra Hellsing and Alucard from Hellsing OVA, Rock and Revy from Black Lagoon, Jin and Mugen from Samurai Champloo. Think about them for a bit (if you know them) I am certain that some scene or dialog immediately pops into your mind. You are able to remember some defining characteristic pretty easily.


Its just not the same with the majority of the current breed of anime and manga. Characters are no longer as "strong" as they used to be. The character of the characters (so to speak) is no longer the driving force behind an anime and mangas popularity or marketability anymore... and that really sucks...

I think back to the days when characters like Rurouni Kenshin, Saito Hajime, Lupin, Fujiko Mine, Faye Valentine, Spike Spiegel, Yang Wenli, Reinhard, Captain Harlock, Maetel, Miyuki Kobayakawa, Natsumi Tsujimoto, Ken Nakajima were the norm, where the characters had enough "power" in them to make me remember their names... even years later...


Thats not to say that the women did not rely on sex appeal, and the men werent pretty boys in the good old days... Its the fact that they were more than just that.... Heck Fujiko is (arguably) more "provocative" than any of the anime women in this generation... She was sexy and she knew it... But the point is that their characters were more important than just their appearance... They used their sex appeal, but it wasn’t their sole selling point... they may have had 'complicated' pasts, but they had more to offer than that...Again... using Fujiko as the example... her character was based on her utilization of her sex appeal, but she did it with style, and she knew how to take care of herself in a scrap.…

I wish I could bring back those days. But perhaps thats just me... the fact is that such manga are popular among the new generation of anime and manga lovers... So yeah... It just aint the same no more...

P.S. - The 'Grammar Nazis' have my apologies for the slang and poor grammar... its one of the devices I use to augment dramatic effect.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A hot deal. Or is it?

I read about the civil nuclear liability bill being passed a couple weeks ago. This is supposed to be a big step for India. Many papers and publications described the passing of the bill as "landmark" and/or "revolutionary."

I agree. It is both landmark and revolutionary. After all...

How often does the government of a country basically open its borders to allow its citizens to (in effect) become guinea pigs for technology that has the potential to destroy entire cities should something go wrong?

Note: The USA has not built a single new nuclear reactor for 3 decades. All of a sudden they want to 'export cutting edge technology' to us? I read: experiment on us. Even if their motives are benign and only limited to the financial gain. It says something that they havent built a reactor within their own borders for 3 decades but want to help us build several dozen.

How often does it basically absolve one of the primary offending parties (foreign suppliers) of any wrongdoing for a paltry maximum liability of Rs 500 cr (approx $110 million) vs $10.5 BILLION in the USA and assume all other liability on "itself"?

Note: To be clear... the bill does not say that the total liability for an accident will be limited to Rs. 500 cr. It just says that any foreign suppliers (who will build the reactor and supply the fuel) will only be liable for Rs 500 cr (approx $110 million ) in damages for basically any kind of accident. The rest will be paid by the operators (NPCIL) i.e. the Government.... i.e. the people of India... i.e. you and me.

Dont get me wrong. I am all for nuclear power. But only if its ensured to be safe and if the parties responsible for accidents will be held liable and pay ADEQUATE reparations. Heck BP spent many times more money cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf than what the government is proposing that a foreign supplier might have to pay if a nuclear plant explodes (exaggeration... hopefully...).

Meh... I bet a lot of money changed hands in Delhi (and elsewhere) that day... but even so... this level of liability for anyone doing anything involving nuclear materials with potential for widespread contamination in one of the most densely populated countries in the world, home to 1/6th of mankind... is a farce...

I would go on about India's poor civil nuclear safety record, but ssh! Lets not scare too many people. If reports by foreign agencies are to be believed.... and even if only 10% of them are true... I would not advocate living anywhere within 200km of the active nuclear reactors in India.

Over to you people.