Caesar Needs A Bath

Jonathan Dingel, who I met at last summer's Mises University, passes me the Caesar's Bath meme:

Behold, the Caesar’s Bath meme! List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can’t really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), “Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.”

I've never gotten into:

  • Buffy: I tried really hard, but have still yet to see the appeal. People tell me it gets better in the later seasons; I'll see if I can muster up enough interest to give it another shot.
  • American Idol: Reality TV and Karaoke - two awful tastes that taste awful together.
  • Anime: From the convoluted story lines to the headache-inducing animation, anime makes me want to throw up. Yet more evidence that Japanese culture is insane.
  • Friends: Thank God it's over and we don't have to hear about it anymore.
  • Sports: all of them. Except for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is gonna be huge in the next few years. Just watch.

And while we're on the topic of Caesar, here's a reverse Caesar’s Bath - something I'm wild about but that hasn't really caught on with anyone else. Caesar's 24/7 - a reality show on A&E that follows the lives of employees and guests at Caesar's Palace casino and resort.

Tag to Jacob Lyles, Abiola Lapite, and Donna Matias.

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Buffy is really that huge in

Buffy is really that huge in your circle of friends?

I should add that if anime

I should add that if anime is that popular in your circle of friends, then you're hanging out with a bunch of NERDS!

(Sorry, couldn't resist writing that.)

I'm so with you on anime.

I'm so with you on anime. The only kind I can appreciate is the porn version (Hentai).

Half Sigma, Yes and yes.

Half Sigma,

Yes and yes.

It's axiomatic: geeks shall

It's axiomatic: geeks shall inherit the earth.

"As an old school anime fan,

"As an old school anime fan, I have to protest- Ghost in the Shell is utter shite. The art is horrific, the story pap, and the direction is plodding and boring. It takes Shirow’s work and tentacle rapes it (especially with the unforgivable sin of completely redesigining Shirow’s exquisite character designs and beautiful art with an eye towards “how ugly can we get")."

Wow, really? I've never met anyone who didn't like Ghost. :) We are talking about the one with Kusanagi, Batou and "The Laughing Man?" Are your complaints directed at the movies, the manga or the Stand Alone Complex series? Just curious. :) The reason I like it so much was because of how accurately I felt it predicts the future of information networks and how society will react/develop around them.

I love anything and everything done by Miyazaki. I thought "Porco Rosso" was absolutely amazing, and highly recommend it to anyone who has seen his more popular works.

"But if you look at the creators who, ala Pixar, see animation as a medium and not a genre, you’ll find some excellent storytelling that until the past 5 or so years you couldn’t find in the US (either animated or live action). Verily we live in a Golden Age of animation…"

Definitely.

Brian W. Doss, I used to

Brian W. Doss,

I used to watch a lot of Patlabor as well.

As to terrorism, etc., well, imagine how popular post-9/11 the original Matrix would have been? Shit, they practically blow up an entire building at one point.

You thought that the good guys were the assholes on Earth? :)

Ever notice how ALL the engineers are females and the hotheaded, emotional, irrational, etc. characters are men?

Well, if you like the idea of combustion engine mobile suits, etc., you will like Kishin Corps. The way they bend the historical narrative is interesting as well.

If you haven't seen "The Wings of Honneamise" you should check that out too.

Other anime serieseses with

Other anime serieseses with great storytelling IMO:

- Escaflowne
- Rurouni Kenshin*
- Cowboy Bebop (albeit in a more episodic fashion)
- Serial Experiments Lain

...Those are the ones that stick out in my memory from my college-anime-club days as being noteworthy in the story department, besides what's already been mentioned upthread. Man, I'm actually tearing up a bit from looking back over the club's website, no kidding - for one thing, I feel so OLD now... :cry2:

*The series is 90-some episodes, and the later ones don't keep up the same quality, but it's great up through episode, uh, 60-something... Brian (Doss), help me out, when does the Shishio story arc end?

Gundam 0080 (War in the

Gundam 0080 (War in the Pocket) is awesome. One of the first actual anime shows that I saw in Japanese with subtitles.

0083 is the greatest Gundam series, the zenith of the Universal Century storyline/timeline/universe. I liked it precisely because the good guys weren't really likeable and you had a sympathetic idealist as the bad guy. Granted, now that I think of it in a post-9/11 mindset, the bad guys seem a *lot* less sympathetic and the show anticipated reality in some rather unsettling ways (dropping a colony on the midwest of North America).

Ranma 1/2 suffers from the fact that the animators had to put out an episode every week when Takahashi was still writing the manga. So they'd hit long stretches between Tankouban where they had to essentially "Star Trek" the episodes; everything back to the status quo ante by the end of the episode so as to not deviate from the developing manga storylines. That crippled the series IMHO. My roommate who is a big Ranma fan (manga) attests that upon rewatching the series (after reading the manga from beginning to end) the TV show mauled the comedic timing and engaged in waaaaay too much filler (and changed the characterizations a bit, too).

I never saw Kishin Corps. Tenchi was good when it came out, but then they drove that cash cow into the ground. I especially didn't like the later OAV series in the original plotline that just made a big mess of everything.

The Secret of Blue Water is the finest series ever done by Gainax, period. Its all been downhill from there.

Brian W. Doss, I like the

Brian W. Doss,

I like the older Gundam series. And Kishin Corps. The older Ranma 1/2 is good too. :beatnik:

Of course Miyazaki's work is

Of course Miyazaki's work is anime. Anime is the japanese contraction for the borrow word "Animeshon" (Animation). So anything animated in Japan is anime.

IN the cultural sense of "Anime" (capital A), Miyazaki still counts, though his style has not been imitated, it is still a recognizable variant of anime style of the 60s and 70s. And the acid test for connotation, Miyazaki's works are considered the foundation stones of Anime, the Capo di tutti Anime or some other mangled metaphor quote.

As an old school anime fan, I have to protest- Ghost in the Shell is utter shite. The art is horrific, the story pap, and the direction is plodding and boring. It takes Shirow's work and tentacle rapes it (especially with the unforgivable sin of completely redesigining Shirow's exquisite character designs and beautiful art with an eye towards "how ugly can we get").

The best anime out there are the romantic comedies. :D I admit my bias, I'm a major Kimagure Orange Road fan as well as Maison Ikkoku. To me, these are the two defining shows of Anime, which of course is a radically idiosyncratic position but who cares. The thing about both is that while the art style & animation quality are not as fluid and refined as modern day stuff (MI is from 1986-1988, KOR from 1987-1988), the stories told within are gold.

And thats really the point of good anime- storytelling in the medium of animation. I agree that most anime is crap but most of everything is crap, strictly speaking (as mentioned above). Anime creators know as well as anyone in Hollywood that you'll never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator, so you get Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon and various fighting animes, blah blah blah. But if you look at the creators who, ala Pixar, see animation as a medium and not a genre, you'll find some excellent storytelling that until the past 5 or so years you couldn't find in the US (either animated or live action). Verily we live in a Golden Age of animation...

In any case (to Micha), there are plenty of good stories out there done well; I imagine that it is more likely than not there is a "Deadwood" equivalent in terms of serious storytelling that would appeal to you. OTOH if you're just not into animation as a medium then the question (and answer) is moot...

You guys are just watching

You guys are just watching the wrong anime. Especially you HS - if you tolerate the aesthetics of Final Fantasy XI well enough to spend hours playing it, there is anime out there that you would enjoy, I promise you... :twisted:

C'mon, where's Brian - he needs to be in on this discussion too!

Patri - odd that you like hentai but not regular anime, because whereas there really is non-hentai anime out there to please any taste (although 99% of it will never be commercially available in the US), most of the hentai I've seen (or skimmed, anyway) falls into one of two categories, both of them awful. Either it's all tentacles and rape and scat and other horribleness, or it's interminable teen romance BS with one or two short, tepid sex scenes that make up 5% of the show if you're lucky. Or occasionally both at once. Where's the "couples hentai"??

PLbth. I admit nothing.

PLbth. I admit nothing.

Brandon W. Doss, Sorry,

Brandon W. Doss,

Sorry, didn't mean to offend. :bigcry:

I see how you are differentiating the good guys now.

My wife is a big fan of "Record of Lodoss War" and "Maison Ikkoku." Normally she finds anime rather silly. I think she likes "Lain" as well; I thought it was O.K.

I have friends who are extreme anime fans and I drop into that world from time to time when I find something of interest in what they are watching.

I saw "Ghost In The Shell" in the theatre after being dragged there by friends who claimed that it would be "awesome," etc. When we left they were bitching, moaning, practically crying, etc. I said something like, "You dragged me to this shite?" :)

Two Memes First, one on

Two Memes
First, one on books, via Pearsall Helms: You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451; which book do you want to be?

Brandon- HA! :beatnik:

Brandon-

HA! :beatnik:

My girlfriend bought me a

My girlfriend bought me a copy of "Ghost in the Shell," and we watched (most of) it together. That was the only time anyone ever apologized to me for a gift.

Alex- I have no idea, I

Alex-

I have no idea, I wasn't a Kenshin fan really and I never watched the series outside of UGAnime meetings, so I never even got to the Kyoto arc with Shishio.

Hus- Bite your tongue,

Hus-

Bite your tongue, suggesting I haven't seen Wings of Honneamise! For shame! I founded Newtype Animation (er, ok, the east coast anime club not the magazine heh), subtitled Maison Ikkoku for mass distro, subbed Bakuretsu Hunters shortly after it came out (though by the standards of the day, being 1996, shortly meant within a year or two vs. the digisubbers who do things within a week of airing now). And back in *my* day we didnt have the fancy WAV timing or digisubbing power. Hah!! We used GENLOCKS and VIDEO TAPE and hand-entered our times, and it took hours and hours and your fingers and wrists started hurting with stabbing pain and you cried "oh noo why do I have carpal tunnel syndrome at 20" AND WE LIKED IT! We loved it! [/grumpy old man].

But seriously, I go way back with anime. I'm an old school fansubber. :)

I'm more of an Appleseed man. GitS the original movie is the deal killer for me. I haven't touched any of the other stuff since then, though I've heard that they dragged the new character (re)designer out into the street and beat him senseless (before firing him) and have returned to Shirow's designs, so that might help, but I never found net or info-tech related 'intrigue' to be very intriguing. Shrug. Thats why I thought "Serial Experiments Lain" was so utterly boring. I don't care about stories involving the shinto-ization/deification of the internet. That's so dot com. But it had a good OP, tho, by that British band something or other.

As for OO83, I knew the good guys weren't the Feds, the good guys (such as they were) were the moronic main character who stole the GP-01 (Gundam Security as usual) and his buds on the ship. Reaslly there were Bastards, Total Bastards, and the Misguided in 0083, which is kind of why I liked it. A big ol "life sucks and then a colony falls on you" kind of story. Ditto for 0080, which illustrated poignantly some of the pointlessness of war.

Porco Rosso is my favorite Miyazaki film, still. Looking at that and realizing that he used no computers at all to animate the flight sequences just blows my mind. Truly a master of the old ways. Of Miyazaki Classic Porco is #1 then Kiki's Delivery Service. Nausicaa is still very long and boring, though ultimately good if you can stay awake. Takahata's work I'm not too keen on, though Grave of the Fireflies is both awesome and a major downer.

Jacob-

2 out of 3 ain't bad. ;) Eva is overrated. It was bad in the beginning, got decent in the middle with promise of greatness and then went into juvenile middle-school philosophical poseurism and fell into pieces. The movies didn't help things. Steven Den Beste (retired hawk and now Anime critic) pretty much nails why Eva fails.

But Escaflowne is great, a technical breakthrough for its time, though the ending is kind of weak; they got too ambitious there, too. Cowboy Bebop is fantastic- the music, the style, etc. Kinda noir without the excessive noir tropes and misogyny (ala Sin City, which takes classic noir misogyny and turns it up to 11).

For even older school goodness- Record of Lodoss War (original 13 ep series, not the later series which fall apart halfway through). My other roommate is currently watching Legend of Galactic Heroes (for the ultimate in old school 80s).

Gah, listen to me. "Old School." IN my day, the old school were all sciffy folk who boasted about watching 6th gen unsubbed anime they watched while reading a hardcopy script (and they LIKED IT; no panzy-ass subtitles for them!! Keep it real!), and for whom everything after 1983 (post Macross) is crap. *shudder* I guess they're paleoschool? Grad school? Shrug.

I've got my Ceasar's Bath

I've got my Ceasar's Bath reply up.

Oh, and anime:

Evangelion
Escaflowne
Cowboy Bebop

Doesn't get any better

* Buffy: I don't get it

* Buffy: I don't get it either. But lots of people I know seem to.

* American Idol: Terrible. This is also on my "I just don't get it" list.

* Friends: Terrible

* Sports: Some are better than others to watch, some are better than others to play. I do not enjoy baseball or golf, but love fencing and football.

* Anime: I agree on the "you're watching the wrong kind" sentiment.

95% of anime, like all genres, is TERRIBLE. Anime takes terrible to extremes. But there are good ones. I especially recommend starting with: 'Ghost In the Shell'. You can rent the movie from your local Blockbuster or watch the series on late night Cartoon Network. It's nothing like the bad anime, and pre-figured much of the matrix long before Keanu.

And, of course, there's everything by Hayao Miyazaki, whose masterpiece is "Princess Mononoke." I'm not sure it's really considered "anime," but it's excellent. If you liked that, I recommend "Nausicaa" (which just got an English translation) or "Spirited Away."

I've seen Ghost In the

I've seen Ghost In the Shell, and while it's better than most of the anime I've suffered through, it didn't live up to all the hype. Though the anime on the Animatrix was pretty good, especially the shorts that gave the background story. I also liked the short anime clips in Kill Bill. I do intend to see Princess Mononoke and all of Miyazaki's other work (incidentally, he was profiled in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people last month).

Nobody in my family will

Nobody in my family will watch anime except as a favor to me. :razz:

I used to love Eva (that was one of the things that UGAnime was showing when I went to my first of their viewings and got my first real exposure to anime), but yeah, it's basically a long-form way of showing that creator Hideaki Anno spent too many evenings at home. :roll: On the other hand, anime is one of the few media where one has a reasonable shot at getting by on "weird for the sake of weird" (see also Kodomo no Omocha, Trigun, Hare Nochi Guu, etc.)

I graduated and left the anime club JUST before digisubs became practical for the masses. Literally - I think the boom started during my first summer out of school. Collecting anime pre-digisub was such a royal pain in the ass - I spent literally hundreds of dollars on blank tape and filled a bookshelf and a closet with a collection that would now fit comfortably onto an average-sized hard drive... (I also graduated just as anime DVDs were becoming easily obtainable - double dammit) Oh well, I'm making up for now it. :grin:

And Brian, you're just saying you don't like Lain because you don't get it, it's too abstract for you. Go on, there's no shame in admitting it. :wink: