Gratuitous Violence, Necrophilia and Losing the Plot in Btooom

Violence in anime can often be something we take for granted, much like we take it for granted in action films, even though there seems to be an explosion every minute. In general violence isn’t bad, if it is for a particular reason, however, there are times when violence is used in a gratuitous and unnecessary way. The results are often described (quite accurately in many respects) as torture porn, with violence essentially taking the spot where a proper plot or story would go. In anime there was a period where many films and OVAs employed ‘ultra violence’, with the gratuitous use of violence and general destruction and dismemberment of characters for no apparent reason. In many respects films like Akira help to demonstrate elements of the violence used, with the obvious ending sequence when Tetsuo finally loses control exemplifying the extreme direction of some anime. Although in this case there is a distinctive reason for the scene and in it perfectly encapsulated elements of Akira’s story. Read more of this post

Btooom! – Battle Royale Without the Good Bits

Survival games can produce fascinating stories; following the intricate psychological and physical battle and punishment that fighting for your life can bring it in the ordinary person. What might be considered one of the original, and easily the best survival game has to be Battle Royale. It explores the social, cultural and political landscape of modern day Japan, looking at the stresses of everyday life and the almost tyrannical laws and political system that the Japanese live under. The Battle Royale act is passed after 800,000 students walk out of school, refusing to attend the rigid and almost militaristic education system which punishes anyone for insubordination or not living up to the expectations of the school. Through the eyes of Shuya Nanahara we see his middle school class go slowly (on in the case of some rather quickly) mad – they are forced to kill in order to survive, and while Shuya, Noriko and eventually Kawada attempt to work together as they try to survive this brutal game of life and death while the world watches in horror and perhaps awe. Read more of this post

The slightly Illogical Autumn 2012 season preview

So it appears to be that time when many anime bloggers start to look forward to the new season, to see what looks interesting, or to simply rip into anime as a whole with an immense sense of superiority. I tend not to look too far ahead when it comes to anime, and for the most part concentrate on the current season rather than look at anime that have yet to air. Also, I never watch previews, they tell you very little about the series, providing a few sound bites and a look at the animation style without really giving any indication as to what the anime will really be about. As such my previews don’t contain them and I don’t even bother with them, instead I see what other information is available and generally make up my mind based on the plot overview and artwork. Having had a look at the line-up for next season it does look to be potentially very interesting. As with all anime seasons there is a plethora of anime on show, ranging from the classic romance/shoujo series, through the light novel adaptations to the (usually) over-hyped anime that never quite turn out to be as good as everyone suggests they should be. Overall the season has quite a varied lineup, with may different genres included, something that is always nice to see in an anime season. There are some potentially very nice romance series which will obviously go down well with me as a fan of a good romance, along with numerous sequels to some more recent, along with slightly older series.

This list is in no particular order, and barring a couple of series that I honestly dont like the look of I will at least have a look at everything listed, whether I finish the anime is another matter entirely. Read more of this post