Cool air flowed in from a crack in the window. At that time of night, the heat of the day gives way to a refreshing colder temperature. But the sounds below also trickle in. Tires screech as young drivers revel in their impudence and the absence of competition. The city owls chatter and giggle as they make their way home. And every little while, the sound of a train clicking over its tracks would return her to focus.
The loudest noise was her phone, playing a melody more aggravating than dulcet as its creators may have wished. I could see her eyes dart towards it and then dart away. In the end, she let the song end.
She held her head in her hands, face down, her fingers massaging through her hair. Her elbows rested on the desk, shifting as they got lightly sore from weight and time.
She sighs. Her hands drop and she faces me with a smile, determined, but mischievous. A gaze confident in her own cleverness.
That was the first time she ever spoke to me.
The rules of the flying sport of Flying Circus in Aokana are relatively simple. In a one-on-one match, players will race towards four buoys in succession. A faster FC player will speed towards each buoy, while the other will skip the buoy and try to intercept. Points are scored by either touching the buoy first, or by touching the back of the opponent. Tactics for the most part are divided into the speeder who goes after the buoys, fighters who intercept and go after their opponents, and all-rounders that try to balance both. But in the championship match, Saki Inui introduces a new tactic tilting this balance: birdcage. Continue reading
One of the things that I’ve continuously wanted to write about, that I’ve struggled to write about, that appears to keep coming up in whatever I’m reading is the distance between people. One of the shows that recurs among these thoughts is Kimi to Boku. In particular, the unfortunate non-romances of the twins. Continue reading
Upon being elected Prime Minister, Gel Sadra begins a set of massive changes to reform. He (probably through influential means, rather than political or legal) causes the resignations of all politicians (and subsequent dismantling of Japanese parliament), as well as the removal of political bureaucratic heads to handle everything on his own. Except for policy making, which he imposes the most extreme of progressive electoral reform, democratic decision-making on all issues using GALAX. The internet application was now more than just a tool, but the Athenian ecclesia¹.
The first season of Gatchaman Crowds revolved around using social media to start a revolution – Rui had created a new system to change the world. Insight has all the characters drawing away from that sort of digital democratic uprising. Instead, all of the characters have embedded themselves within the system.
The Gatchaman and Rui had all originally been secretive, external powers trying to affect society as a whole in their own ways. But now Jou and Sugane are working for the government, O.D. has a TV show, and Paiman has a daycare. The Gatchaman themselves are well-known and regularly participate in publicity and media events. They are not just an external force, but, once outsiders, they’re now insiders, though the effects of these activities may be small. The grand acts of heroism now secondary, relegated to showmanship. The Gatchaman now emulate Hajime’s model – organizing community members, volunteering, and using the Gatcha equivalent of Niconico.
While writer’s block is awful, in the midst of everything, I constantly want to come back to Yuyushiki. There’s a number of reasons, but mostly because it is set up on two levels. There’s the subtle, emotive nature of it that Emily and I wrote about multiple times when it was airing (and a little after). And that it’s pretty funny and always leaves me with a smile. As is her destiny, Minami Tsuda handles Yui, the straight man character. Alongside her is Risa Taneda’s Yukari – a little ditzy, airheaded, and willing go along with anything that sounds fun. That is, Yui is Azusa and Yukari is Yui, more or less. Lastly there’s Yuzuko, whose primary characteristic is that she spends most of her time intentionally trying to be funny, not just to the audience, but to her friends.