Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Six – The Sun Sets on Pluto


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This episode picked up where the last one left off, with the apparent sinking of the Yamato on the seas of Pluto. But, we are finally given our first glimpse of Gamilas’ leader, Aberdt Desler, the absolute ruler of the Gamilas Empire, and a very relaxed dictator who views reports on the progress of his conquest to be a simple amusement. With his introduction we have finally seen the face of Gamilas, an autocratic empire that also seems to have a deep connection to Iscander since Desler can see the planet from his palace. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Blinded by Perfection


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Up until now, Shouwa Genrku Rakugo Shinjuu has largely focussed on the early Shouwa period, a period that saw Japan shift towards an authoritarian, and nationalist regime. It also represents a period where Japan was simultaneously an industrialised, and modern country, while also maintaining a direct link to the more traditional past, with dirt roads, and classical architecture in abundance through the last two episodes. Read more of this post

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Five – The Trap on All Sides  


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This episode offers a first look at the tactical approach to combat found in Yamato 2199. Instead of lots of lasers flying across the screen, or a visual overload of fighters, battleships, and rockets moving across one another in a complex, and ever changing pattern, we see deliberate, and tactical combat.  Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – The Captivated Audience


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To be successful, rakugo must captivate the audience, taking them to a time and place that has long since passed, and one that often deals with mannerisms, etiquette, and social issues that are largely irrelevant to modern society. The majority of these stories are set in the Edo period, and are therefore bound up in older traditions, ones that may well be passed on in other art forms such as kabuki, noh, and tea ceremony, but have long since disappeared from everyday life. As such, central to a rakugo performance is the ability of the rakugo-ka to successfully conjure up these periods, twisting space and transporting the audience into his world. Read more of this post

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Four – Gravestone on a Frozen Field


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With the fourth episode a number of subtle little shifts occur regarding character development, while also offering a reminder of the price paid by those who have come before. At the same time the series maintains its classic sci-fi feel, with more meetings, disagreements, and little moments that point to something more complex than a story simply about saving earth. Read more of this post

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – Different Worlds


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I briefly touched upon the conflict between periods in my first post on Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, pointing to the tension between the new, modern period of economic success, and the traditional, even old fashioned image of Rakugo, complete with kimono and classical architecture. These moments are brief, but important, representing a split within the culture and society of Japan. Read more of this post

Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – Episode Three – Escape from the Jupiter Sphere


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Now this was an interesting episode, introducing a number of new themes, while also building upon existing elements of the story. But first, let us talk about techno-babble, glorious, glorious techno-babble. So many sci-fi anime have a horrible tendency to try and explain absolutely everything, often using overly complex language and silly semi-philosophical phrases and ideas to explain their world’s technology and society. They can spend so much time explaining with heaps upon heaps of exposition that there is little time for any major character or story progression. Yamato 2199 does something a little different, there is still the ridiculous amount of explanation, but its all wrapped up in techno-babble, explaining how the ships engine creates black holes to warp, or to fire its main gun, without ever fully explaining how. And that doesn’t matter, we’ve had the explanation, we know that this ship has lots of technology and strange systems on board, and that’s fine. We are also treated to lots of nonsensical dialogue regarding angles, degrees, speed, and all sorts of other systems that clearly make the ship work but we are neither told, or expected know exactly how. Read more of this post

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