Huzzah. I am back for another Saturday, and to be honest, I’m kind of wiped out today. I have some ideas for posts. I actually have some ideas that have been sitting around in my brain folder for a long time.
But I got to mow the lawn, and I want to catch up on some shows and play some video games. And I really don’t want to spend four hours thinking about a post, then writing it, then agonizing about why I haven’t gotten enough people reading my post. Then think about how that really doesn’t matter.
OK. Enough of my maudlin ramblings because this leads to saying that I’m responding to a tag post today. It’s been more than two months since Pinkie, the Pokemon Princess, tagged me as part of a Color Challenge. That seems something short that shouldn’t prove to be too challenging.
Though according to the rules of this tag, I’m supposed to fear my fate. I say, “Bring it on!” Let’s see what damage a princess, unicorn, Pokemon duck can do. I think she was a moth too.
Have at you, I say! Fisticuffs at dawn! Marcus of Queensbury rules.
But first… Teh Rouxs
Teh Rouxs — By which you make gravy
- Share your favorite stories—movies/books/anime/manga/drama/songs/games—by classifying them on these seven colors’ traits (listed below).
- Send this challenge invitation to at least one of your friends. Let them fear your superiority, as you—decide their fate.
- Link back to the original post here! And, enjoy!
- red: passionate, exciting, invigorating
- blue: peaceful, calming
- pink: romantic, caring
- orange: warm, motivating
- black: mysterious, thrilling
- green: fresh, unexpected
- white: random
Teh Colours — out of space
(Note: This joke only works if I spell color wrong. I mean, that is assuming the joke works at all. I’m going to say it does because it’s my joke.)
(Second note: Yes. I know much of the English-speaking world spells color with a “U,” so technically, I didn’t spell it wrong. I spelled it English.)
(Third note: Yes. This is the third note. Not for any real reason, other than good jokes work in threes. Right? I think I heard that one time. Oh. Forget it.)
Two things before I start talking about colors. The first is that some jokey part of my mind really wanted to just name RahXephon for all of the colors, but I thought that wouldn’t be taking the tag seriously enough. So, just know that I could have answered RahXephon for all of them.
Second, I’m going to try to stay with anime, but I might dip into music or books or movies or games, depending. I’ll try to have a few honorable mentions.
Anyway, let’s get talking about colors.
Red: passionate, exciting, invigorating
Black Lagoon: When I think of excitement and passion, I think of gunplay, exploding bars and people jumping boats into helicopters.
I’ve already talked about my love for pulpy, trashy stories, and Black Lagoon is the king of all the pulpy trashy anime. I’m always ready to see what the next adventure is for Rock, Revy, Benny and Dutch. Not only that, but the setting, which is kept vague in the anime, but seems to be in Cambodia, is wonderfully exotic. It created a mythos and staffed it with larger-than-life characters who were all battling it out. It was John Wick before John Wick.
Overall, definitely my pick for both passion and excitement.
Here are some alternative picks.
Anime: Akudama Drive, Rolling Girls
Music: Walla Walla by The Offspring, Johnny Quest thinks we’re sellouts by Less Than Jake
Movies: Dredd, Riddick, Die Hard, Avengers
Books: Anything Jim Butcher has written
Blue: Peaceful, Calming
Grapevine Fires by Deathcab for Cutie: So, I don’t really watch too many stories that I would consider peaceful or calming. I want emotional investment from my anime. There are a couple of possible exceptions that I will list in my alternates, but I would say if I require peace and calm, then I turn to music.
But even with music, I don’t want something that is just sleep music for sleeping. I mean, I will listen to that if I just want some white noise, but really I want something that is maybe a little dark or has some sort of edge to it.
There is a ton of songs I could put here. Anything from Iron and Wine to Drive-by Truckers to Jim Croce. But whenever I want to capture that feeling of maudlin peace, I inevitably turn to Grapevine Fires. The song is about some people watching a wildfire burning off in the distance, or at least that is how I’ve always interpreted it.
I’ve always found wildfires to go through stages. At first, they’re exciting as firefighters assess what is going on and devise a strategy. Then they settle into this almost rhythmic pattern as firefighters work to establish lines and get ahead of the fire. As an observer, there really isn’t anything that I can do at that point. Something is calming about that period, where nothing is really threatened, but it could be, and all I can do is wait.
This isn’t meant to lessen the devastation they do to people, but, at some point in watching a fire, there just is little that I can do.
I think this song captures that feeling.
Here are some alternative picks.
Anime: Girls’ Last Tour, The Great Passage, After the Rain
Music: Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time by Steve Mason, Operator by Jim Croce, Flightless Bird, American Mouth by Iron and Wine
Books: Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
Pink: Romantic, Caring
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: So I have a strange relationship with romance stories. I like them, but I can’t say that I like all of them. I mean, I could put My Love Story! here, but I haven’t finished it, so I can’t say whether it’s really romantic and caring.
I like romance stories where the characters slowly develop an affection for each other, and we as an audience learn more about who they are and their struggles. I don’t think any show I’ve watched recently really captures that as well as My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU.
I still find myself occasionally thinking about the growing love between Hikigaya and Yukinoshita and the cast of characters that surround them. While I would have liked to have seen more of Yukino’s story, watching Hikki come out of his shell and find what really makes him happy is compelling.
I will admit to crying a few times.
I’m sure there are other stories out there that I could fit into this category just as easily. Honestly, if there is one where RahXephon really belongs, it’s here. But I thought this might be a better fit.
Here are some alternative picks:
Anime: Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, Bakemonogatari, Toradora,
Movies: Rudy, Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, Prancer, It’s a Wonderful Life
Books: Family Circle by Danielle Steel, Once a Hero by Michael Stackpole
Music: I Will Follow You Into The Dark by Deathcab for Cutie, Fifteen Days (Leaving Time Again) by Patterson Hood
Orange: Warm, Motivating
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad: I have to be honest. I had a hard time picking something for this category. Some stories are motivating, like Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, but I certainly wouldn’t call that show warm. Then some shows probably could be called warm like Honey and Clover, but I certainly wouldn’t say it was motivating.
What I really think that falls into this category are the traditional shounen sports stories. The type where you have a plucky hero with a hidden talent who manages to make it against all of the odds.
The only problem is that I haven’t watched a lot of those. So I’m going to settle with the closest that I have — Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. I still remember getting sucked up into Koyuki’s story as he learns how to play guitar. It’s among the handful of shows that I’ve binged.
More importantly, for this category, I found that I really wanted to learn more about the guitars they were talking about or figure out the musical references they were making. It motivated me to learn more, so that’s why it ends up here.
Here are some alternative picks:
Anime: Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, (Maybe) Kaiji
Movies: High Fidelity, Rudy, Hoosiers
Books: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Lock In by John Scalzi
Music: The Legend of Chavo Guerrero by the Mountain Goats, Carmelita by Warren Zevon
Black: Mysterious, Thrilling
Darker than BLACK: There really are so many picks that I could put in here for mysterious and thrilling. I’ve been watching Astra: Lost in Space with the #Anitwitwatches crew lately, and that is definitely both mysterious and thrilling. Then there is Trigun, Cowboy Beebop, Samurai Champloo, Psycho-Pass, Ghost in the Shell… etc., etc., etc.
All of this is a long way to say that I like mysterious and thrilling stories. But I figured I would throw one out there that doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should: Darker than BLACK. Everything about that show screams mystery, starting with the getting thrown in media res with characters working for an unseen leadership with unclear motivations. The artwork, music and direction all play into creating an atmosphere that reminds me of good spy movies.
And what is more thrilling than spies facing off with spies.
To be fair, I’ve never watched the sequel series, so I haven’t seen the explanation of what is going on. But I never needed more than what I got.
Here are some alternative picks:
Anime: Psycho-Pass, Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex, Serial Experiments Lain,
Movies: Inception, 2 Days in the Valley, Minority Report
Books: Anything by Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiassen.
Music: The Mariner’s Revenge Song by The Decemberists, The Ugly Organ (Album) by Cursive
Green: Fresh, Unexpected
Flowers of Evil: This may be a controversial pick, but I recently finished this series, and except for the flash-forward at the end of the last episode, I think the only word I could pick for it was unexpected. What I had thought I was going to get was a story of a young man being led astray by a seemingly evil young woman.
I expected something like The Perfect Insider, which I already have some mixed feelings about.
What I got was a love story between two middle schoolers who really don’t understand themselves or the world very well. Now the path it chose to take to get there was filled with creepy imagery, but it’s almost heart-warming when it finally gets to the conclusion.
Also, I really wasn’t expecting how well the music and the rotoscoping would work for me. There are a lot of scenes in the show that are shot like a traditional film. Without going too deep into spoilers, there is one scene later where there is no dialogue for the entire front part of the episode. It felt like a film.
I won’t say that Flowers of Evil wasn’t tense and occasionally hard to watch, but it all pays off in something that is genuinely thought-provoking.
Here are a few other alternatives:
Anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, RahXephon, Now and Then, Here and There, The Twelve Kingdoms
Movies: In the Land of the Blind, Snowpiercer, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Books: 14 by Peter Clines, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
Music: Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time (Album) by Steve Mason, Spiritual Machines (Album) by Our Lady Peace
A Certain Magical Index: So, for the people who have been reading this blog, you may notice a dearth of the classic shounen action or fighting shows. There’s a pretty simple reason for that. I don’t really watch them. Even shows like Attack on Titan start to wear out their welcome for me pretty quick.
So I can’t really explain why I like Index. And Index specifically. I haven’t seen the spin-off shows.
I mean, I know why I like it. The idea of a main character whose main power is that he can cancel other people’s powers makes for some interesting fights. I also like the conflict between “science” and “magic” when they are effectively the same thing.
I recently started watching it again, so we’ll see if the charm still holds from when I watched it before, but it’s doing pretty good so far. It fits pretty well into the hole of the other stuff I’m watching at the moment (Vivy and s-CRY-ed.)
So that’s pretty random. Now I’m going to put some other random things into the alternative.
Anime: Legend of the Black Heaven, Argento Soma, Kaze no Yojimbo, Eureka 7
Movies: Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Brick
Books: Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks, Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan, The City & The City by China Mieville
Music: Caramelldansen by the Caramella Girls, Rockabilly Impending Deathfuture by Days N Daze
OK. Time for tagging. Mostly, I don’t put as much thought into these tags as I should, so if you feel inclined to give this tag a shot, go for it.
But here are some people with who I am sharing this.
The Traditional Catholic Weeb