Archive for January, 2005

The End of Dragonball

Its funny. Dragonball is sort of the in-joke of the otaku crowd, yet I am actually sad to see it finally finish. With 508 episodes, 17 movies, and 2 TV specials1, it is a very very long series. I saw the entire life of Goku, and I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Sure, the series is ultimately just about fighting, but after awhile even in such a series, the characters become real, as if the whole weight of the world really was on their shoulders. Goku ultimately wins against the most supreme evil, a culmination of the worst humanity… no, the entire universe has to offer.

Dragonball for 11 years2 has taught anyone who watched it to stand up for what they believe in, and to always protect friends and family. Goku even died for this… several times over. Not once did he regret his actions, for his heart was pure.

I’m just sorry that Dragonball is now hated within the otaku community. It was one of the first major hits in the US, and was both horribly translated (with sucky voice actors) and all the good parts were left on the editing floor (thanks to insane censorship laws).

Due to its popularity, it gave rise to the otaku community’s hatred of mainstream anime, and also gave rise to the influx of action/fighting animes that dominate the American airwaves. However, we can not blame the series for this. We can only blame those who let it be corrupted in the first place.

[1] 153 episodes of Dragonball, 291 episodes of Dragonball Z, 64 episodes of Dragonball GT, 4 Dragonball movies, 13 Dragonball Z movies, and 2 Dragonball Z TV specials.

[2] Dragonball ran February 26, 1986 to April 12, 1989. Dragonball Z ran April 18, 1989 to January 31, 1996. Dragonball GT ran between 1996 and 1997.

Bush Rapes America

Well, as everyone knows, President Bush just wasted $40 million of taxpayer money on his stupid Inauguration. You know what $40 million could do? Feed a small third world country for a year. Provide medical aid for thousands of Americans who are currently without. Hire 800 teachers (at $50k/yr) for one year. Send a scientific satellite into orbit. Any number of things, and Bush chose to spend it instead on tear gassing hundreds of protesters.

President Bush, I am very disappointed with you. I did not vote for you, the majority of Americans did not vote for you. You and I both know you disenfranchised the American people. You are supposed to act in our best interests, and in your four years, you never did this even once. How can you live with yourself?

Why explore space?

Why do we explore space? Why do we always look to the skies? Why do we try to understand the universe? Why do we read or write science fiction? Why does our technology always turn out to be like science fiction? Because we can.

Why do we kill others? Why do we blame others for our own shortcomings? Why do we take instead of give? Why do we horde instead of share? Why do we praise Alexander the Great instead of Mahatma Gandhi? Why do we develop weapons of war instead of implements of peace? Why was the Internet created to allow communications after a nuclear war, instead of something to share knowledge with? Because we can.

Why do we kill off life on Earth instead of protect it? Why are we the worst mass extinction event ever to happen? Why are we not spending our energy to go from the cradle of life into the stars above? Because we are ignorant.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

In the future, life between the digital and physical world has been blurred. The boundary of technology and humanity has been stretched beyond imagination with lives being led in both the electronic and physical worlds. With the melding of man and machine – a new cybernetic level of existence is being created – An existence that continues to redefine mankind.

I finished episode 26 of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex today.

Gits: SAC is one of those series that is perfect from beginning to end. Its the kind of series that you watch several times to fully enjoy everything it has to offer. It is simultaneously comical and dark. The team of Shirow Masamune, Yoshiki Sakurai, and Kenji Kamiyama provide a wonderful vision for this version of the GitS universe.

It complements the GitS movies well (although, both exist in different universes and are alternate realities of Shirow’s manga). The introduction of the child-like Tachikoma robots (“Sentient Tanks”) was a great idea, and I wish they had appeared in the other two universes. They make you question what is human consciousness (“Ghost”), and they make you question what is real or not.

Hell, the entire series makes you question what is real.