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Judge Mitchell Hattaway's Blog
• Location: Griffin, Georgia
Gatchaman, Gatchaman, Gatchaman!
The folks over at ADV are getting ready to release the classic anime series Gatchaman in all its original glory. I had the opportunity to watch the first three episodes of the series, and for me it was quite a surprise. I grew up watching the Americanized--or, if you prefer, bastardized--version of this series when Sandy Frank Productions first brought it here in 1978 (it started airing two days before my eighth birthday, which at the time seemed really cool). I can remember most of my friends being amped about it--after all, this was back when the initial Star Wars (yeah, like I was somehow going to get by without mentioning that) fever was still going strong, so anything sci-fi was destined to go over big with us. Needless to say, I loved it back then, despite the presence of that damn 7-Zark-7 and that guy from "America's Top 40."
Anyway, watching it now is quite a different experience. I had a vague idea of the changes that had been made to the original shows, but it was still a bit of a shock. The villians weren't aliens--they were just a bunch of terrorists! Joe and Ken? Whaddya mean Keyop can talk? Science Ninjas? Hey, that theme song is pretty cool! And while I can't say I enjoyed it as much as (or even in the same way as) I did back then, I do have to admit it put a big stupid grin on my face. A lot of what I used to watch back then doesn't cut it for me anymore, nor does it give me a nostalgic feeling (I now cringe when I realize how much I used to love Battlestar Galactica), but Gatchaman somehow got to me. Who'da thunk it?
Oh, yeah, might as well throw this in. I went to see Revenge of the Sith. Third best of the bunch.
Worldwide Pants, or: This one is about Episode III
Gilgamesh or: This has nothing to do with Episode III or Hitchhicker's
I'd like to tell you about the anime series Gilgamesh (released by the fine folks at ADV Films). Really, I would. There's just one problem: I don't know what the bloody hell is going on. Well, that's not entirely true. I do know what I saw, but I'm not sure what it all means or how it all fits together.
Anyway, at some point in the near future a terrorist organization known as Heaven's Gate (don't know if they're related to those guys who laced up their Nikes and then castrated themselves in hopes of hitching a ride on that comet, or if maybe they're just a bunch of Michael Cimino fanatics) unleashes a massive attack upon the world. This attack, the nature of which is rather unclear, renders most of the planet's technology inoperable, and the blue of the Earth's sky is replaced by a mirror-like metallic sheen. The attack is followed by outbreaks of war, the crumbling of civilization, dogs and cats start living together, mass hysteria, etc.
Flash forward a few years. Tatsuya and Kiyoko Madoka, the orphaned twins of the man responsible for the attack, are being pursued by rival factions: Gilgamesh, a shadowy army of superhuman beings led by a scientist named Enkidu, wants to use the twins in an attempt to complete the destruction of humanity; the Orga, a small band of mutants led by a powerful woman known only as The Countess, want the twins' help in restoring order.
Other than that, you're on your own.
I was able to watch only the first two episodes of this series, so at this point I find it difficult to make a call on it; I'd like to take a look at a few more episodes before I decide if I want to see the series through to its end, and I also just want to know what in the world is going on.
Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU
Sat down and watched the first three episodes of ADV's Full Metal Panic? FUMOFFU today. I'm not familiar with the original Full Metal series, but Rob seemed to like it, which is good enough for me. I believe the original series was pretty much a straight action/adevnture anime, while FUMOFFU is more of a high school comedy with bits of action sprinkled about here and there. I almost hate to describe it this way, but imagine Luc Besson running a season of Saved By the Bell and you might get an idea of the plot and tone.
A word of warning: this series seems geared toward people who have already seen the original, as there's no recap of the earlier story, the characters' backgrounds, or their relationships. This bothered me a bit at first, but I eventually got over it, although I still wish I hadn't gone in pretty much blind.
This series is fast-paced, over-the-top nonsense. It's pretty funny at times, with a surprising number of gags that actually work (including what appears to be some pixelated poop, and a very funny nod to the opening of Apocalypse Now). It's also beautifully animated, and it makes me want to take a look at the original series--as long as I can find it on the cheap.
Damn, Adam, that's pretty cool! Don't know how I missed Maggie Cheung, though.
Although this one does sorta make up for it.
Speaking of Sith
Wonder what Papa George is gonna make of this?
ELFEN LIED OR: CUTE NAKED CHICK WITH HORNS AND PINK HAIR SLAUGHTERS A WHOLE LOTTA PEOPLE
So, I've been watching the ADV anime series Elfen Lied, which is about a young girl who has spent all of her life in a secret labratory (as if there's any other kind in anime) and whose DNA has been tampered with by mad scientists (as if there's any other kind in anime). As as result of these experiments, the girl--whose name is Lucy--has developed a pair of phantom arms she can use as a weapon. Oh, yeah, she also has a pair of horns growing out of her head. And she's completely naked for most of the first epsiode.
This show is gleefully nasty--Lucy spends the first ten minutes of the first episode telepathically dismembering and decapitating security guards--and more than a bit goofy--the male lead doesn't really see anything odd about a dazed, naked woman wandering around town--but it's also kind of enjoyable. Unfortunately, the disc I have only contains three episodes, and the fourth installment promises to showcase a bloody fight between Lucy and one of her mutant sisters. Denied!
All in all, not a bad show--if you're into mindless violence and gratuitous nudity, that is (like that's a bad thing).
And thank god they didn't kill that puppy.
I Agree With What Dan Said...
...About Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" being used in a Coors commercial, that is.
I feel his pain--and I'm waiting for the day "Comfortably Numb" is used to sell Prozac.
I think we have Iggy Pop to blame for all of this. Thanks, Jim.
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