The Otakusphere: Good tunes, sad times and some Sailor Moon fighting

I’m glad there are people in the world that still like Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. With all the talk about sports anime going around, I’ve been thinking that Beck might just be a sports anime with guitars.

While I love the manga, it’s the music in this show that really sells it. The art and music in this opening are enough to get me going.

Now that we’re finished with that, grab a cup of coffee (or your morning beverage of choice) and let’s take a trip around the Otakusphere.

Beck Mongolian Chop Squad

I’m not the biggest Leiji Matsumoto fanboy, but his anime has always been special to me. Whether it’s seeing Tetsurou hanging his head out of the space train in Galaxy Express 999 or watching the adventures of Captain Harlock, Matsumoto has a way of painting fantasy landscapes that makes me feel a bit of wonder.

When I saw that he had medical trouble, it was a bit of a kick to the gut. I know that he’s 81 and a lot of the other creators that grew up around the same time have died. (Even some that were younger.) I’m glad that he’s doing better. Here’s a couple of stories from Anime Herald and Lesley’s Anime and Manga Corner.

Did you know there was a Sailor Moon fighting game? I didn’t. I mean there are millions of things that I didn’t know, but that’s a different subject for a different time.

Honey’s Anime put up a post about it. And just in case you’re a skeptic like me, here it is on the side stream at Evo.

The weird jerky animations of Street Fighter II era put me off, but it’s interesting when a game lives on well past when it was new.

One of the things I love about anime and manga is that it can introduce me to traditions I never knew existed. Krystillina’s post about Descending Stories taught me about rakugo, which is a really interesting storytelling style. I recommend watching the video embedded in the post. It’s a great story and it’s worth a watch.

It’s rare that a review will make me pick up a show, but I want to pick this one up.

From stories about stories to stories about war. Reasons to Anime did an overview of how different anime look at war. It’s worth a read. It would be interesting to do a comparison between how war is treated in anime over time or by different creators.

A long time ago, I found an AMV of Jonathan Coulton’s Code Monkey. I still love that song. What’s interesting is that the show they used for it was Legend of The Black Heaven.

So the only reason I have Legend of the Black Heaven sitting on my shelf is because of that AMV. I’m still not certain if it was a good purchase, but don’t take my word for it, go read this review from Irina.

Finally, the Sakuga blog put out this wonderful retrospective about KyoAni and the company’s blog. I know that it’s cliché to say, but the right words don’t exist to convey the tragedy. My condolences to everyone affected and I too hope that you can begin to share your feelings after this.

On the home front, I finally reached one of the two goals I had when I started talking about Evangelion, which was to talk about religion and existentialism in Eva. Not saying I did a good job, but it was fun. I’m on the downward side of the show, and most of the stuff I’m noticing now is just continuations of themes that started earlier in the show.

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