February 25th, 2006

Smiles

Die Buster

Wow. I just now finally had time to watch the fourth episode of Top o Nerae 2. Absolutely amazing. It was the first time in a long time I felt what you might call "anime awe."

Anime is chalk full of super strength and big, big, bigger-than-you-can-even-imagine type explosions. So almost never do I feel as I think I'm meant to feel. All the ultra-mega blasts and urban supernovas get to be pretty underwhelming after a while--even, I suspect, to the people making them. It gets to be so rote--even the average romantic comedy can't go five minutes without a soufflé or a lawn ornament going critical and endangering the neighbourhood.

But every once in a while, you get the big thing and it actually comes across. Such was the case with Top o Nerae 2 episode 4. Within the space of about thirty minutes, it did better than most big budget epic sci-fi movies. There's an exhilaration, undeniable even for the ultra-cute main character, Nono, and the show's theme song, which doesn't seem so much standard J-Pop, as an attempt to actually up the ante on J-Pop sugary sweetness. It makes you feel like you're masturbating in public.

Perhaps it was an ironic juxtaposition, because not since Evangelion have I been so emotionally involved with the pretty kids in their bipedal machines fighting huge alien menaces. Amazing video, audio, and art design are all on the ball here and moments touch the Lovecraft nerve with their feeling of unimaginable, alien malevolence.

You know the cats are damn good when you're gamely cheering for the pink-haired heroine to resurrect the legendary "buster machine." Wow, that was neat.
  • Current Music
    "The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)" - David Bowie