Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Flying the sky

Doc's comment on America's shameful lack of pulp manga is correct. Most manga and anime that come over here are the ones deeply immersed in the tics of their medium, the rote, predictable shit that Kentaro Takekuma so ably skewered in Even A Monkey Can Draw Manga.

Which makes me all the happier that I never once guessed what the hell was going to happen next in five episodes of Air Master.



Air Master is pretty much all about the fight scenes. Not boring posedowns or ritualized fighting tournaments where every showdown lasts five episodes, just insane acrobatic beatdowns and a stream of dementedly themed opponents. I'd almost forgotten that anime fight scenes were allowed to be kinetic, though the rest of the episode often pays for it with lots of time killed on still shots and cityscapes.



That said, the first episode is actually kind of misleading, as AM has a lot more intentional humor than, say, Ring ni Kakero. The first ep is practically film noir compared to the increasingly surreal follow-ups, culminating in the astonishing iron pimp hand of Julietta Sakamoto.



I dearly wish this was available here past the 2 or 3 discs Toei tossed out and forgot about a couple years back, though it looks like they might end up streaming it. I think what I love most about this show is that it has enough confidence in its insane convictions to just throw out an idea and see where it goes. It absolutely delivers in a way too few shows do. Is it good? Beats me. Is it entertaining? Oh hell yes.

12 comments:

  1. I recall a great schism over the spastic dwarf, and over whether ugly panty shots were less distracting than supposedly sexy ones.
    All I cared about was the fights, and Airmaster consistently delivered fucking awesome fights the entire damn run.

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  2. The midget is absolutely one of the most horrifying characters I've seen outside of Overfiend (I actually had someone reach over and turn off the first episode once it started squalling), and the panty shots come from some bizarre dimension of pure unsexy, like the bovine chest of the token lesbo, but either you like the show enough to get past all that, or you are Guder.

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  3. I dunno, man, I could't get past how terrible that first episode was. "Screeching dwarf and retarded fighting cow engage in meaningless combat" wasn't my idea of a quality formula. Maybe if in episode 2 the dwarf is brutally murdered...

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  4. STOP BEING STUPID

    MAN UP AND WATCH IT

    IF *I* AM TELLING YOU THIS YOU KNOW IT'S ON

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  5. And wait, how is this manly Jovian pride? You besmirch the honor of your brothers on Jupiter!

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  6. PS COMBAT IS ITS OWN MEANING

    DID BATTLE ANGEL TEACH YOU NOTHING

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  7. It's all about Sakiyama Kaori IMO. Renge is more or less the Excalibur of Soul Eater; while opinions divide upon her like a political scale, it doesn't matter at all.

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  8. Julietta Sakamoto is the freaking Jovian Emperor, Derek. For reals.

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  9. Sakiyama is indeed a force to be reckoned with, but I suspect I have not yet seen her in full psychotic flower, if that bit from the opening sequence is what I think it is.

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  10. I think Guder has conflated the completely obnoxious girl whose only character trait is her boobs, and the refreshingly butch lead.
    Then again, Guder hated Dynamite Warrior despite the awesome parts, and his first words on completion of the undeniably brilliant District B13 were, "Why are the plots in these things always TERRIBLE?" so his tolerance for these things is more Saturnian.

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  11. I do remember the combat chick and cow-tits being different, but I also remember combat chick have almost no dialog and a disturbingly vacant look all the time.

    Besides, Dynamite Warrior kept swinging from totally awesome to totally stupid and was way too damn unneven. Elbow applied to head only entertains for so long, and I was very disappointed by how quickly they dispensed with the actual explosives.

    As for B13, I can enjoy and appreciate that movie plenty and still hate the shit out of the plot. The action alone was enough to carry it - but it would have been better if they had hired someone who wasn't retarded to write it.

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  12. I refuse to hear complaints about movies being retarded from someone who ranks Army of Darkness ahead of Evil Dead 2.

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