Anime Review 10: Basilisk, Karakuri Odette, and Rozen Maiden
Basilisk, Romeo and Juliet + Ninja Scroll
Called Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scroll in Japanese and Basilisk in the FUNimation dub. It has elements of other historical fiction but I also thought that the weird powers the various ninja exhibit reminded me somewhat of Yuyu Hakusho and Naruto. The Romeo and Juliet part of the story comes from Gennousuke Kouga and Iga no-Oboru, who are in love and engaged despite the fact that their families, rival ninja clans which support rival heirs to Tokugawa Ieyasu, have hated each other for hundreds of years. And the Iga and Kouga clans can't seem to stop killing each other for 5 minutes, even with Gennousuke and Oboru and a few members of both sides desperate to call a truce. I get the feeling that Oboru just wishes she came from a normal family, not one full of superpowered ninja freaks, and both of them dream of peace even as the world seems bent on thrusting their families into war. They show a hawk or eagle fighting a snake in the opening sequence of the show, symbolizing the Kouga/Iga rivalry and their deep-rooted hatred.
The ninjas in this show have cool powers, the characters are original, not fitting a mold (with the exception of Oboru and a few of the women, who look either like typical kunnoichi or like typical Yamato Nadeshiko types, or both, changing back and forth between the two.), the character design and art of the show is very original. This is a uniquely weird and grotesque show with a lot of shocking violence. And I can't get enough. It was the best show on this week's list.
Karakuri Odette (manga)
A robot girl manga I can get behind!
Karakuri Odette is one of those beautiful mangas I found myself liking despite the fact that it's about an android girl. I expected icky fanservice and a lack of substance, like Chobbits which I did not like. I basically pre-judge every android manga thinking ew, it'll be like Chobbits, with a creepy dude fondling a naked robot girl who's stupidly naïve and drawn to look like a pre-pubescent girl. GROSS...
Anyway, Karakuri Odette is none of that. It's about an android girl who's curious about the world and about humans, and has the desire in her to become more and more human. She wants friends, to be able to eat and taste things, and to explore human feelings. At one point, she asks her creator, who she lives with, to reduce her awesome android strength to that of a normal junior high age girl. The sad thing is that after this, she finds herself unable to save a friend who fell down a well! That was the first time Odette cried, and learned what it was like to cry. This series is heartwarming and beautiful, not having all that child fanservice (Fans of that stuff make me sick how they use the cute-sounding name "Lolicon" to disguise the fact that they're fans of CHILD PORN!) that makes me want to puke up an organ when I see it. This is about growing up itself in a way it's a coming-of-age story, Odette develops and slowly learns about the ways of the world around her. The manga brings forth the interesting sociological and philosophical implications of androids, it's obvious that we have a society now where two things are happening: Robots are getting more human and people are getting more fake. So it's food for thought, definitely.
Desu desu desu desu.
Rozen Maiden is about these dolls that are about 3 feet tall, dressed in elegant Victorian style clothing, and alive. And they control people and drain their energy to play something called the "Alice Game" and the loser has to forfeit the people she controls and essentially die, becoming unable to move or talk (it's unknown to me at this time if they still think and feel or if they are essentially dead). The main doll is named Shinku, who has an aloof, reserved, aristocratic bearing and basically calls everyone she encounters her "servants". The other dolls are a good addition to the show, as they show more emotion. Shinku saves Jun, a random boy, from being killed by another magically animated doll who would've killed him by throwing playing cards. However, for her powers to work, she needed him to swear to serve her and he is now bonded to her by a magical rose ring that he can never take off! Jun and his sister, who live alone because nobody in anime seems to have parents, are forced to take in 3 dolls and possibly more as the series progresses. They act like children, one even scribbles on the walls with crayons, although Shinku is mature and serious. Jun is anti-social and never goes to school and has a negative attitude, showing signs of depression. His sister he lives with is sweet and charming, however, and she takes to the dolls living with them right away, while Jun hates the whole idea from the beginning. The show is cute, original, and elegantly drawn; however, as far as action goes I found it a little boring at times.
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