Why it’s ‘Doctor Who’, not ‘Nurse What’… Defending Doctor Who…

Doctor Who 8Doctor Who is getting another face. Which means that there are plans for at least another three years of Doctor Who. Two things to celebrate as a Doctor Who fan. Doctor Who is going to be played by a woman for the first time in over 50 years.

The scale of reaction to this last detail has ranged from celebratory, indifference, a reason to recycle jokes about women (that should be as dead as Adric on a spaceship), and the end of the f***ing world. It’s these last two disappointing reactions that have disappointed me so much I want to address them in this post.

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Reflecting on January (2016)…

Ivory Killed2Okay, first month of a new year, and I have to say it’s been a pretty good start. It’s going to be a year without much in the way of writing. I have to focus on my self-studying for accounting. I could divide my time, but I would rather get through my studies and then focus on my writing. But, writing isn’t just punching my imagination into a computer through a keyboard–as I have wanged on about before in previous posts–it’s about researching for new projects and promoting the finished ones. Continue reading

Tokyo Ghoul (2015)

In ‘Tokyo Ghoul’, college student Ken Kaneki has a chance encounter with a demon–a ghoul, a creature that possess human bodies, capable of producing limbs of organic matter and energy from the host’s back, which it uses to fight. Left in critical condition, Kaneki is only saved by organ transplants. Unfortunately for innocent Kaneki the donor was the host for the ghoul who attacked him and he awakes with the same hunger for human flesh. The demon is now within him. Frightened by his urges he does his best to suppress them, but unable to tolerate regular food he faces starvation–until he is taken in by other ghouls; ghouls who are managing their hunger by feeding off the dead. Walking a difficult path between his old human life and his new ghoul life Kaneki has to contend with possible rejection or endangering of his best friend, navigate the politics of ghoul’s gang-like structure and the vendetta they have against the ghoul personality within him, and avoid the Ghoul Investigators–a government department intent on hunting down and killing ghouls. And Kaneki isn’t just a ghoul–he’s a hybrid, which puts him in danger of losing his grip on what’s left for him, and make him a tasty morsel for other ghouls…

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Gurren Lagann

‘Gurren Lagann’ is set on an earth where humans live underground where the surface is a myth to many. The young boy, Simon, is a digger committed to his drilling after his parents were killed in a rock fall. He works mindlessly in his grief, expanding his subterranean village, thought of as an oddball by the others–except by the older boy, Kamina, who sweeps him up with his quest for the surface to follow in his father’s footsteps on the land above. When Simon finds a mechsuit gunman in the rock shaped like a head–Gurren–Simon and Kamina find the key to escaping their underground life. However, the surface is not what they expected, and they find themselves amidst oppressed humans resisting constant attacks from beastmen in their gunmen…

Many ‘Gurren Lagann’ episodes are formulaic, the artwork is the most caricature anime I’ve come across yet, and it can all be a bit silly… So why is it so awesome?!

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Black Butler (anime)…

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‘Black Butler’ is a 2008 anime following 12 year old Ciel Phantomhive on his hunt for those that killed his parents, aided by his supernaturally efficient and mysterious butler–the titular black butler–Sebastian Michaelis. Ciel has also determined to continue the Phantomhive business–not his family’s world-renowned toy company–but his parent’s work as agents of Queen Victoria. Ciel immerses himself in the criminal underworld of England as his parents had to protect Queen and country from threat. However, Sebastian Michaelis is not just one Hell of a butler–he’s a demon, bound by a contract to follow Ciel’s orders and help him avenge the death of his parents. In return, Sebastian will feast upon Ciel’s soul…

Sound dark enough? Well, I was drawn to this as it had been compared to ‘Bat Man’. I can tell you that aside from Ciel having dead parents, and being bent on revenge, it is nothing like ‘Bat Man’. In fact, as dark as it can and does get, it balances it with farcical humor. Take the first episode; Ciel and Sebastian work together to rid Ciel of a treacherous business partner–toying with him like cats with a mouse, and exacting haunting methods of revenge; Sebastian spends much of the episode trying to run the home despite an inept trio of staff who cause various domestic disasters. But does it work?

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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985)…

This follow-up to ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ is set 8 years after the events of that series, which saw the fall of Earth’s enemy, the Zeon empire. The Earth Federation has created a specialist force, the Titans, set on hunting down the last of the Zeon forces. While the Titans are widely considered the hero protectors of the Earth Federation they are establishing themselves as a totalitarian military dictatorship over the colonies.

Elements within the Earth Federation forces recognise what is essentially a coup and defect, creating the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) and soon the members of what was once one military force have to choose sides in a civil war.

Kamille Bidan, a colonial teenager, feels the brutality of the Titans himself and gets caught up in the struggle and into a Gundam when the AEUG and Titans fight in his colony. In the chaos Bidan secures a Gundam for the AEUG, and after the Titans use Bidan’s parents as leverage against him, he commits himself to fighting the Titans with the AEUG.

While the animation and characterisation of ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ may not have been as sophisticated as the modern anime I’ve seen, I made allowances for its age and the complex and pretty mature stories which had made that first series an enjoyable watch. I was interested in seeing where this 50 episode run would take the characters we’d followed from the first series. There was a little thrill at seeing the original crew of the Whitebase in the opening sequence all grown-up, and I realised how fond I’d become of them. The opening music for the dubbed version is great by the way–would love to hear that played live. Would ‘Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta’ match or better ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’?

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