Now for a simple story of possession by time travellers, talking cats who watch porn, and orange juice. New anime series that are actually good are so rare these days, I'm intensely pleased whenever I find one that's halfway decent. I just finished the twelve episode series Punchline (ぱんちライン), an impressive pile of adorable yet sincere weirdness. The layering of concepts in just the first episode is a little dizzying--two masked assailants attempt to hijack a bus but they're thwarted by a superheroine named Strange Juice who wields a giant bendy straw as a weapon.
But she loses the struggle and the day is saved by a random boy in the bus named Yuta--Yuta is the spirit of a boy living in a girl's body making this the most unexpectedly trans-friendly anime I've seen. Unfortunately, Yuta is killed in the process.
His ghost, guided by the aforementioned cat, haunts Korai House where his four female friends live--Strange Juice's alter-ego, Mikatan, an MMORPG player named Ito, a medium named Rabura, and an android named Meika. There's an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and it's Yuta's mission to somehow warn the living and formulate a plan for stopping the asteroid all while avoiding the sight of panties, the excitement provoked by this unleashing energy that might destroy the world. So there's your metaphor for adolescence.
The show's stimulating series of surprise conceptual introductions keep going but don't stand in the way of real relationships between the characters. These become, as is so often the case in anime, a little too sentimental towards the end but this show is still more than worth watching. It's like a more popular version of Natsu no Arashi.
This morning I read "DRY BONES", the new story in Sirenia Digest, a very nice shapeshifter tale, maybe the most classical of the many shapeshifter stories Caitlin R. Kiernan, the author, has produced. It very nicely captures the frustration of a human mind caught in a bestial form, a bestial form caught in a human contrivance, also paired with the irony of a beast being exploited and punished for a lack of passion. Early in the story, there's mention of how the shapeshifter, Alma, stays with a human woman, Flannery, out of both necessity and love and I was reminded of a Smiths lyric, "Loud, loutish lover, treat her kindly though she needs you more than she loves you." It occurred to me that in Caitlin's work I can't remember two people pretending to love each other which made it interesting that the story goes on to be one about someone being punished for not pretending to love. I wonder if Caitlin despises the pretended love so much that she can't even give that trait to her characters.
Twitter Sonnet #777
Long even rows of seeds make weirder teeth.
Putting Evas in the can was Red Eyes.
Closing lambless roads over dripping heath.
Loops of lupines stumble for seven tries.
Short Dahlias pin the den on the lost.
Angel roads wander dreamless in Glasgow.
Half a pumpkin persists in snow at cost.
Seven put ghosts over the Jordan now.
Crow Valentines mean the month opposite.
November findings divest of the cloth.
Christ canidae consult the composite.
Ophelia satellites ravish sloth.
Bay leaves arranged merge with the paper fan.
Even careful claws cannot avoid Pan.