|| Ask Andrew
Andrew - August 27 '03- 3:40 Eastern Standard Time
I've come to the conclusion that a haircut is in order, which can only end in disaster. For one thing, getting a haircut requires me to wake up before the hour of noon, which is never a good thing given my tendency to go to bed at 6 AM. For another, it raises the spectre of all those possible looks I could come up with, none of which are probably a good idea, but each of which would garner some very annoying fussing over from my mother.
For instance, when I first started to sport my pitiful attempt at a beard, I couldn't come within fifteen feet of her without the following exchange:
Mother: Oh... What's this look? I really like this!(this, of course, is followed by her stroking my chin bemusedly)
It's not a look, dammit! It's "I gouged an inch-long strip of death out of my chin the last time I shaved and decided to forego the pleasures of self-inflicted pain and blood loss". While few people subscribe to the appearance of convenience school, and let me tell you, I have my moments of vanity, I think it's fully justified in this instance, since I'm fairly sure there's a giant scar beneath my poorly cobbled-together beard and I'd rather not give it a twin brother that will give me a cheerful puckered look when I'm sixty.
Needless to say, it's going to be a crappy morning tomorrow, or more accurately, in six hours from now.
Evangelion drags on just one more day
Although I'm sure most individuals use the following comparison as a sort of
"clever" jab at the game, I nevertheless have to say that Xenogears portrayed
Evangelion pretty well. Being my favorite RPG and anime, respectively, I am
fully aware how neither plot resembled the other more than superficially, at
least at first glance. The more I examined both however, the more I began to
realize that Evangelion would make a terrible game - seeing as how the entire
point of the animation revolved around one man's struggle to find a purpose
for his existence, not saving the universe from ancient evils. So, while
Evangelion did have "bosses" and "enemies" in the traditional sense (Angels,
SEELE, JSDF), these were really simply motivators and diversions for the true
"final boss": Shinji himself (and Anno, by extension).
Xenogears had a similar struggle within Fei, but his introversion was
actually given game-world importance in terms of Id, being an Anima, killing
god, and so on. Players as Shinji would not be able to do a whole lot as a
14-year old boy, but while controlling Fei one is able use outrageous kung-fu,
go psycho, and kill a planet-destroying god. Different presentations, common
theme. This is, of course, ignoring the other similarities of the two, such as
mechs, SEELE/Gaziel, killing the source of all life, Wooden Chair Monologues,
emotionally complicated red-haired German love interests, and so on and so
As for Ismail's request for documentation of Evangelion's non-religiousness, I
will kindly point him to this interview.
For those who do not wish to link out, I submit a direct quote from Kazuya
Tsurumaki, the assistant director for Evangelion and Anno's right-hand man:
There are a lot of giant robot shows in Japan, and we did want our story to
have a religious theme to help distinguish us. Because Christianity is an
uncommon religion in Japan we thought it would be mysterious. None of the
staff who worked on Eva are Christians. There is no actual Christian meaning
to the show, we just thought the visual symbols of Christianity look cool. If
we had known the show would get distributed in the US and Europe we might have
rethought that choice.
I am sure there are some terribly clever people who will point out that
Tsurumaki is not, in fact, Hideaki Anno, and should be thusly discredited.
Unfortunately I have no response to such pundits as all Anno ever offered as
an explanation was "Don't expect to be catered to all the time." Even still, I
believe it is hard to argue with the guy Anno personally chose to work at his
side, and gave freedom in the directing of the first half of End of Evangelion
- which Tsurumaki then did alone. All things considered, I'm inclined
to give the man the benefit of a doubt.
P.S. I've devoted some 6000 words in a FAQ
for Evangelion - if one were so inclined, I'd suggest a look. I cannot claim
it to be the most definitive or best-looking FAQ out there (especially if
one's resolution is less than 1024x768), but I do at least have the humility
to give links out to the other good FAQs on the subject, should second or
third opinions become desired.
I really need to play Xenogears before the plot is destroyed for me entirely...
The Eva topic here is pretty flogged, but considering my last letter and
your response, I figured I'd just close it out over here and mention the
Jung thing as you asked rather than just waving the name.
First off, regarding the fact that a post-2000 apocalypse and the like are
not NECESSARILY related to religion, point taken. Anyway, you're right in
saying that you were willing to look at it in other ways as mentioned later
in your first column... my original reason for writing was a concern at not
looking at it beyond the superficial level, which is moot now :).
Anyway, as for Jung. I have not been SO enamored of the series to pore over
his texts with a desklamp and thick glasses on or anything like that (I
liked the series and I researched some of what I saw in it but I don't feel
the need to do more than that)... anwyay I've done *some* research on it...
and for an example of an idea which is in Jung's psychology, he states (my
simplification here, since I haven't read his original texts besides a brief
peek in a bookstore of a book by him) that when you exist, you NEED to have
others exist around you. Argument being that if you are born and then, in
all the things you perceive, there are not other living beings around you,
on a sensory level and in your own individuality, you won't be able to
ascertain what is YOU and what is not. Seeing what WE can now interpret as
"That's the lamp, the crib, hey, that person is moving independantly of me
and is another being OUTSIDE of myself"... whereas otherwise you can be
clueless as to the fact that the lamp and crib are not parts of your being,
kind of living in a haze of "Is this all me?" I guess. Granted, there are
potential flaws in this overall outlook, but that's because, so I
understand, it's rather old psychology now and there are thinkers who are
proposing new things more recently and all (just like Freud is not
necessarily completely subscribed to now without some consideration of more
recent psychological thought).
Anyway, these ideas of self, about how you can't be completely alone with NO
others forever because (and this is probably another simplification) you
will not be able to separate a difference between yourself and nothing.
Shinji's feelings of wanting to be alone and running away, but wanting to be
around others every time he does so. The Jung idea is most blatantly and
explicitly stated within the last two episodes of the TV series, where the
actual words "If I'm alone, then there will be no difference between me and
nothing!" or somesuch are stated.
My research has also indicated that, though I don't know what he believes
now, that at the time of the series he basically had subscribed to Jungian
thought and those beliefs manifest here and there in the series.
Anyway, that's one significant example I can give of how Jung factors in to
the themes and ideas of the series. That rambled on longer than I intended
Anyway, yeah, I won't write in on THIS topic again (unless your response
specifically prompts me for further response from me like how you asked me
to not just wave the name Jung), sorry for the ramble and let's move on to
greener pastures :).
Sorry I originally got writing on your ramblings ;).
To bring this into the topic at hand... games that are conducive to anime
spinoffs.... well, certainly not fighting games. Even those with enough
backstory between characters to have something to work with other than "Hey
there's a tournament" can end up poor. I think games with linear plotted
adventures of some sort are the most conducive since they can adapt directly
in a sense, and if the story was good in the first place, the story should
be good in the anime also. I think RPGs are probably pretty well suited to
it, if they're done carefully.
You are correct sir. I went and did some cursory Junging myself, and then I realized that the whole bit where Shinji gets to see what the world would be like without him kind of fits in to a degree with what you're talking about above. Anyhow, sorry bout my combative approach before, but I just wanted to make sure you could put your money where your mouth is, which you've gone and done.
As for the anime-games connections, I wouldn't be so sure about fighters. I mean, true, the story behind a game like Street Fighter isn't exactly Ernest Hemingway material, but hey - they managed to drag Mortal Kombat out to a full movie or two followed by an eminently terrible television series, so why not an anime? Heck, your requirements for dialogue are even lower than a movie if you're just throwing together a cartoon, since it doesn't necessarily have to be a good series ^^.
Under the sea, Under the sea...Oh, if only I didn't know all the words. These are the evils of having two sisters, though
Hopefully this one won't be thought out in vain. I hate burning brain cells.
By the way. Beating your head against a wall for an hour burns 150 calories.
In any case, as far as games that might make for good anime, the first one that came to mind was Suikoden 3. While it had a massive cast (120+), I think the epic story would have been quite engaging if it were animated. The Trinity Sight system would have no problem in being integrated into an anime, since other anime have done something similar (Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, when Parn et al split from Orson et al, and the two groups are shown endeavouring on their respective quests.) Besides, who wouldn't want to see all the great character designs animated and given voices? ...okay. So I'm probably the only one who would.
Valkyrie Profile would also have been an interesting anime. It's a very cinematic story anyway, so there wouldn't be any real problem for it to be converted to animation. Enix did a great job with the anime cutscenes. I loved the intro...sooooo pretty.
Parasite Eve is another title that comes to mind. While I've heard that the acting in the live-action movie that was released in Japan is even scarier than the content it presents, I think a PE anime would be awesome...though gory. Probably along the lines of Battle Angel or Twilight of the Dark Master.
And sorry for e-mailing not only on a closed topic, but to the wrong columnist. =/
I saw you mention movies made from television shows and then movies from cartoons. What're your thoughts on movies being recreated into video games, and vice versa? Just for something to work with, so you don't have to write paragraph on paragraph to answer that, I honestly think the two realms are incompatible, even though my NES entertained me for days on end with The Little Mermaid. Shut up. I like getting the power ups for the bubbles.
Video games made from movies suck horribly always. There are no exceptions to the rule, save possibly for Enter the Matrix. Back in the days of 8 and 16 bit, movie-based games were always crappy sidescrollers which played like a poor shade of Super Mario Bros. and usually had some critical gameplay flaw that made them utterly impossible to enjoy somewhere along the line. Once things hit 3-D it only got marginally better, and I think the reason is simple - good game developers have better things to do than use other people's ideas, and so the ones that end up working on license titles are the ones who would have cranked out junk like Legend of Dragoon or Beyond the Beyond - stuff slavish in its attention to copycat detail.
And The Little Mermaid? Uweehehehehe...
Grad Students of the world unite
Wo shr ing wen lao shr!
Are fragments of random Chinese ok?
Oh, and I'm in grad school too, and I COMPLETELY ignore your ramblings. Hope that makes you feel better.
The evil Taiwanese Bushiban Teacher
Random Chinese will do splendidly, although I have absolutely no idea what you just said. I'm not a fan of random Japanese because it gets used incorrectly, it tends to make people sound like elitist asses, and there's just something about sentences that end in "ne?" that make me want to gut the offending speaker and consecrate their carcass upon the cornerstone of a brand new Tower of Babel which I will then use to destroy all languages. Or maybe I should see if I can replicate that Snow Crash virus...
And yes, it warms my heart that you ignore me, although it doesn't quite make sense in view of the fact that you've somehow managed to send me a letter.
And of course, this works in reverse, too
Bonjour cher Castomel,
Ah crap, where did you learn french! Although as a Franco-Ontarian I was extremely proud to see someone from Toronto write something in french that was actually composed of words that actually exist, I still felt awful because even if it was somewhat understandable it still sounded worst than nails on a chalkboard when read out loud. So I'm totally confused! Should I feel proud and encourage you to continue writing in french and find a way to get by your awful knowledge of it or should I ask you politely to please stop so that I don't grind my teeth in pain each time I read what you wrote in french and feel left out because no one else ever wrote in french (to my knowledge) in Q&A? So if you don't mind, I'm going to go hang myself until tomorrow so that I can read your answer...
Oh and could you also tell me about any great Strategy RPGs you know of ?
Simon "The rope burn on my neck is itching" Durocher
Either one works, since those titles were, after all, just a shameless attempt to make somebody like you cringe. I used to be better, but then I got this really horrible French teacher in Grade 12 that totally killed my interest in learning the language any further. This teacher and I had a good hate-on for each other, me because she was terrible at her job, never showed up for tests, taught lessons poorly and indifferently and was utterly bitchy because she was six months pregnant, and her because I was a little prick who baited teachers he didn't get along with and enjoyed every moment of said thornhood.
Anyhow, the crowning moment came when I spilled jam on one of my essays and circled it since, after all, it was due twenty minutes later, and wrote something smartassed about cover jam, which was of course evil because things had to be written in French on pain of death, a ridiculous expectation since she was never there to enforce it. Anyhow, she docked me like 5% for the jam which I thought was pretty stupid since it had nothing to do with the essay itself, but apparently it would have been of grave importance had I ever been hawking my poorly written essay to anyone (it was on seventh-century Gauls, in case you're interested) and then topped it off by dicking me with a zero on a presentation worth 10% of my final mark the very next day because I had the temerity to skip her class.
Well okay, I deserved that one, but "Malheuresement, je dois te donne un zero" with a hugely insincere look of motherly caring pity and a throbbingly emotional tone of voice is just infuriating however much it may have been warranted. On the upside, I did manage to spite her by telling her that I skipped her lousy class to finish an English essay which I may have mentioned I cared about a hundred times more.
Yes, we got along quite well, this teacher and I. Miraculously I somehow got a 73 in the class, but I could never again stomach French class, much to the detriment of those titles from yesterday. Hmm. I wonder if she's dead...
Oh, and everyone seems to be in love with Tactics Ogre, and I quite liked FFT, though I'm sure you've played that.
THANK you, at least someone noticed I said "Favorite"!
Hello again Andrew,
I noticed that you asked for people to recommend anime title singular :) here's hoping you're not flooded with a bunch of laundry lists!
One anime I could recommend to you, since you liked EVA, is "Revolutionary Girl Utena." It was broadcast a couple years after EVA, in 1997. The director, Kunihiko Ikuhara (b. 1963), is very close in age to Hideaki Anno (b. 1960) and I feel they have similar outlooks about some things.
There are ways that "Utena" is repetitive, including stock animation and the way the characters' problems are presented (that's not very specific but if you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil anything). Otherwise, it's a great, thought-provoking and sometimes very funny and surreal show. It has a lot to say about relationships and desire, and self-delusion about both of those things. The visuals are unique and often beautiful. There are 39 episodes and a movie--the anime has three DVDs to go (in US release), and the movie has been out for awhile although IMO it's best watched after the TV series.
I admire your ability to resist the lure of the walkthrough for so long! I haven't been a "gamer gal" for long (less than two years) but I can think of very few games I've played where I didn't consult a walkthrough at some point. Part of it has to do with patience, I think. I don't get much pleasure from beating my head on the same problem for hours at a time. That time I'm spending feeling stupid and not enjoying myself could be spent having real fun with another game. Or, I can use the walkthrough crutch and continue on! I can totally understand the "anti-walkthrough" point of view, though...if someone uses a crutch, they could be lame. ;)
Well I'm anti-walkthrough in theory, but in practice some games nowadays are just too arcane in their demands for me to bother wasting hours on end trying to figure out what to do.
Anyhow, I do appreciate your attention to little things like plurals; while all those lists of yesterday were entertaining, they weren't terribly practical since I was looking for more detailed descriptions of a single title and why I should lavish excessive amounts of love upon it. In fact, perhaps I shall honour your spiffiness by watching some Utena.
I have my sources...
I dunno where you heard these terrible things about Kare Kano, but all my
friends enjoy it, as do I. It's a romantic comedy, so if you're the type
to avoid shoujo anime/manga, THEN you'd wanna avoid it. If not, I
recommend Fushigi Yuugi and Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne as well. Looking for
some good shounen anime? Rurouni Kenshin is a safe bet, that one's
generally well-liked (for good reason), and... Oh yes, the Final Fantasy
anime (not movie, NEVER the movie) is pretty good. Hard to find, though...
Oh, and why do you hate PS2 games? Dynasty Warriors 4 and the .hack series
are both extremely fun, not to mention the PS2 is the best place for home
You know, I've been doing this for three weeks now. You may have noticed I have a slight tendency to overstate things horribly, such as when I threaten to kill or gut people. I also have a small problem with facetiousness, like when I said "My GameCube is worthless because other people say it is" or indeed "The PS2 sucks and has no good games."
Wait, I meant that last one. The proper home of DDR is in arcades where you can laugh at pasty skinny white guys flailing about in their attempts to dance gracefully, not in their living rooms where they can hide their shameful lack of coordination. As for .hack, if I wanted one game for the price of four, I'd have asked, and then gone to buy the Brooklyn Bridge off that guy in the 7-11 who also has some pretty sweet deals on crack.
Back on topic...
Andrew, who is not Andrew, nor is he the other Andrew:
I don't want to sound like a total loser here, but I'd really love to have a
Final Fantasy anime that doesn't suck.
For that matter, Wild ARMs: Twilight Venom is pretty cool, but could have
And Sonic X looks interesting, despite being butchered by Fox, solely
because Jaleel White (Urkel) has been duct-taped to a wall far, far away
from wherever they dubbed it.
What have you done with Urkel you awful awful man? I've still got my Disgruntled ex-CIA Agent hanging around here, and I'm not afraid to use him!
Disgruntled ex-CIA Agent:
Yeah, we so would have had immunity if it wasn't for you and your anti-Urkel tricks. I swear, if you think you're lasting longer than tomorrow here, you're in for an unpleasant shock. I've talked to Tyrese and Glendon and they're both voting for you, and all I have to do is convince Estella and you're history, pal! HISTORY!
I still haven't figured out quite why he thinks he's playing Survivor, but I can only assume it's related to some sort of severe trauma. Of course, being as how he's a figment of my imagination, it could just be that I don't have to make sense, but that's nothing new, especially where my French is concerned.
One of the unholy DBZizites
Hey Andrew(you didn't answer my question about leveling up a level 1 Lord though),
If you don't like Dragonball Z(which I do, up to the Cell Saga, but not any farther,) you'll hate DBGT, where they use every comcievable idea that they used in the first one, and you're watching it and like, man, this is so boring. I think that is why DBGT is the last in the series because it sucks so badly.
Also, when you talk about a anime based game, do you mean, something like Thousand Arms, which is a RPG based on many anime sequences, where you take girls on dates to make your blacksmithing skills stronger, so you can get better spells along with the stronger weapons you make, along with taking the girls on more dates.
Or are you talking about Arc the Lad 2, where both the anime and the game are different stories with the same characters, which Elc is the main character, and still a hunter(and the anime is called Arc the Lad).
Also, if you ever get Ogre Battle 64, Dark Knights(Terror Knights) suck badly, make sure you keep high alignment and get Paladins(3 attacks, higher defense, they can block with a shield, and make sure you answer that question about Tactics Ogre).
So you're recommending I avoid something I would never have heard of had you not mentioned it? Well, you're not doing a very good job of furthering your own ends, but hey, I suppose I haven't been doing a very good job of making myself clear, so it's probably not your fault. Speaking of Ogre Battle... Well, you'll see. Don't you just love it when I'm secretive and mysterious?
Connections: how to make bad ones
Video games turned into anime series huh. Well having watched some of the cut
scenes from FF Chronicles, I'd have to say Chrono Trigger would probably make a
pretty good series. I mean it has a story we all love and enjoy, and the plot
could easily be broken down into segmented episodes.
And I fully understand the milk going bad thing. Happens way to often and
usually right when I'm craving a bowl of cereal.
I'm not quite sure exactly why you mention the FF:CC video, but good for you. I'd like to be playing that game right now, except my GameCube is still in the hands of a mystery benefactor who may or may not be gutting it irreversibly right now. This still doesn't explain how this would contribute to a CT anime, but I'm sure you have some sort of reason for saying that, so I guess there's not much point in belabouring the fact that you don't make any bloody sense.
...Which I guess I just did, and furthermore I did it on purpose, but hey, it's late and I'm rambling and gosh darn it, you've had the same problems with disgustomilk that I have, so I can afford to be vague and friendly and as terribly unfunny as I'm being tonight. For at least tonight, at any rate. Ugh. This train of thought stuff is nice and all, but lurking just beneath the veneer of this friendly and pointless banter are random word streams like the helter skelter madness of rabbits will bring blue rhythm to the all in one's face.
So let's just throw that out and pretend like I'm answering this question, shall we?
The games that are most conducive to anime spinoffs? Arc the Lad, Tales of Eternia, and Star Ocean 2. They already have spinoffs, in fact - in AtL's case, a quite good spinoff. Star Ocean EX wasn't half bad, either, but I haven't watched enough of Tales of Eternia to form an opinion yet ;).
Gundam Waltz: Endless Duel, and Dragonball Z: Hyperdimension probably do the most justice to their anime counterparts. Unfortunately, they are the only non-suck spinoffs that I can think of - and they are only for the SNES :(.
Of course, then there's the .hack stuff - Is it an anime spinoff? A game spinoff? Something else? All I know is that I lurve it all to death. ESPECIALLY after seeing .hack//UDEDEN (Legend of Twilight's Bracelet?), and .hack//SIGN episode 27 :).
And what about Record of Lodoss War and its further "sequels"? (Chronicles, etc.?) Record of Lodoss War isn't quite based on a video game - Dungeons and Dragons - but they still are damn good, and are based on a game!
Why does milk that you leave in your fridge always turn chunky? Duh! It's not cold enough - here's a tip. When the thermometer reads 35C, it doesn't mean 35F! In fact, 35C is pretty damn hot - that fridge must be acting like a heater or something! You need to take F measurements! Not C!
And in response to the Inu Yasha recommendation: The only major fan service I remember was on the guys part :(. There was a few minor bits of gal fan service, but the VAST MAJORITY *AGH! MY EYES!* was male :P.
Another particularly good anime recommendation that I forgot and I saw no one recommend is Vampire Princess Miyu. That.....was neat :).
.hack is, I suppose, the ultimate example of this topic. It's not only a game, it's an anime and a card game and a lunchbox and everything in between, with the possible exception of one of those "have you seen this child?" pictures on a milk carton. Speaking of milk, I'm not quite sure where you got the impression I had milk stewing at 35 degrees anything - my fridge, while terribly inoperable, does experience brief flashes of reliability, and even when it's doing its level best to melt my unmeltables, it still doesn't manage to claw its way above anything over ten degrees or so. And that's celsius, Mr. Tipster.
Somehow I knew I'd earn myself a repeat letter ^^
Well, that'll teach me to leave my sig. attached to the email. I don't care much that it's been published--I think previous letters of mine have had it attached as well. And I'm a known anime-and-video-game fangirl, so I can deal with the hormone-ridden fanboys. I'll just hide behind my boyfriend--chances are he can kick their butts, beat them at Contra, and outwit them. It's a good combination, and it leaves me free to do girly things, like ... uhm... is Tetris a girly thing? Well, whatever. I mean, what competition are they going to be for him if the combined might of Kurama, Hiei, Kenshin, Id, and Sephiroth can't shake my loyalties? Damn those bishounen for trying, too.
As anime music goes, I've got a healthy addiction to anime and game music. 2179 songs on my playlist, 88% of them legal. I drag my iPod (graduation present! I love my boyfriend's family!) everywhere, and inflict it upon my roommates when we drive somewhere. I don't think they mind, though, as at least one roommate is learning to words to many of the songs. They're in Japanese. I don't speak Japanese. She doesn't speak Japanese. I'm impressed by her ability to parrot 300 songs. Well, I guess it's better than listening to the radio, as you've demonstrated.
So, said roommate is getting married to another roommate on Saturday (there are 5 of us--3 girls, 2 guys.) They've picked "Adesso e Fortuna" as their first dance. It's one of the end-themes in Record of Lodoss War. They're also burning a couple of Bebop songs to CD and handing it to the DJ. It should be an interesting wedding.
And while I know that most dubs suck, it does make things more accessible to the general public. For instance, the broadcast of an anime series on Fox or Cartoon Network leads to more people watching anime, and a wider variety of the anime being watched by the expanding fanbase. That expanding fanbase means that it will be more profitable for companies to bring over anime and make it readily accessible to everyone. I've seen fansubs, and though I haven't seen every fansub, the ones I have seen really suck, so I prefer it when my anime is on DVD (my sound/music snobbery coupled with the urge to have decent video quality) and released by a company that can invest some money into a good translation. Besides which, not all dubs are bad. The dub of Bebop is good, for instance. But that's just my opinion.
-Meghan, sans signature for your printing pleasure.
You do have a point there - while the general public may not be the greatest thing for any sort of niche entertainment, as the unfortunate wealth of firstname.lastname@example.org's kicking around out there is not-so-mute testament to, their interest does help to create a market for the entertainment in question, which in the end means a wider variety and hence potentially better quality material being available to the fans who enjoyed the stuff in the first place. Which is pretty much what you just said, come to think of it.
As for the Japanese parroting, you'd be surprised what music can help people learn. For instance, my little sister couldn't remember much of anything when she was four, but for some reason she was able to store anything that was sung to her. So it was that you could ask her for our phone number and earn a blank stare, or say "sing me the phone number song!" and hear it twelve times in five seconds. Which apparently qualifies as "cute", and not "borderline autistic".