At least I had school in the morning anyway yesterday and to-day. When it was 111 Fahrenheit after class yesterday, I drove to the beach where it was only 104. But at least there was a breeze so it didn't quite feel like 104. These temperatures are all what my car dashboard tells me it is, by the way, I have no idea how accurate it is.
A few days ago, I decided to dip into the latest anime crop a little. A poll I read of "Top Ten Anime People are Watching for Plot" ranked a series called One Week Friends (一種間フレンズ) as number one so I thought I'd start with that--despite the fact that I don't think plot is everything.
The first episode opens with a teenage boy chasing a teenage girl through their high school near sunset. He desperately asks if she will be his friend and she politely refuses before running away. The rest of the episode slowly unravels the mystery.
"What mystery?" you may ask. Well, maybe you're not an awkward teenage boy who runs over scenarios in his head of real and imagined rejections by girls. It's gradually revealed that for some unexplained reason the girl, Fujimiya, loses all memory of any friends she makes, unless they're family members, after one week. So she tells the boy, Hase, of course she'd like to be friends but she can't bear the idea of hurting someone when she forgets everything next week. So it's a gentle fantasy to explain why the male protagonist is secretly not being rejected at all.
A lot of anime and manga seems to have become an institution for assuaging men's egos--some would say it's gotten a little too good at this as otaku are in droves abandoning attempts to connect with real women altogether.
On the other end of the spectrum, I noticed when I looked for One Week Friends that a new blu-ray edition of Galaxy Express 999 (銀河鉄道999) has been released so I watched the first episode for the first time in years.
It still amazes me that this beloved children's classic begins with a young boy watching his mother being gunned down by cyborgs before being stripped naked to be skinned and hung on the leader cyborg's wall--followed by the little boy taking his revenge by massacring the cyborg hunting party. All this as a preamble for his interstellar journey on a space craft that looks and sounds like a steam engine train.
Anime used to be so gloriously weird. Well, I can take heart in the the massive success of the anachronistically creative Kill la Kill and hope that the fledgling studio, Trigger, that created it will now change the playing field drastically.
Twitter Sonnet #626
Carotene carousels careen through clay.
Orange flashes intensify in grey halls.
Floaters organise in the well armed eye.
Face paintings raise the value of cheek malls.
Disks melting across robots marinate.
Succulent circuits succour transistors.
Seven council dwarfs love the magistrate.
Birds brought blue bodices to registrars.
Incongruous Yuki beat bamboo strips.
The homeless gold is in the firewood.
Sometimes moss devises round about trips.
Near bonfires is darkness understood.
Duelling spears mete out scars to generals.
Lives broken in flame bare bright minerals.