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 Post subject: Bokurano, aka 7th-graders and the 500-meter tall 'mechs who love them
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 2:04 pm 
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So, anyone else watching the fansubs of this? its all about this Gient Robot called Zearth (because it protects the earth and wuz built by the french maybe) that has big lazors and according to the opining animation missels too i guess anyway it fights evil giant robots to protect teh city and is piloted by a bunch of kids and this one is so kawaai(!) and they hav differnt chairs and then its all like pew pew pew arrgg ill crush your head ebil enemy robot and it does and everyone chears except teh peeple who got killed i guess they cant sux 2b them. and then theres panty shots for all OMG! (j/k lol!1)

...

Come back, I'm kidding, it's actually pretty good. It's basically a deconstruction* of the whole mecha genre, probably the best since Evangelion. A group of middle-schoolers do indeed get roped into piloting a giant 'mech and supposedly saving the world, but they're fairly realistically portrayed, which means many of them are little shits in some way or another. Making allowances for extreme personalities and a few too many cute girls, this is pretty much exactly what I imagine a random sampling of my middle-school classmates would have acted like in the situation. Then there's the actual realistic body count (for once) from two robots the size of city blocks duking it out in the middle of town. Add in the fact that their weird little guide-creature is playing mind games with the kids to pit them against each other, the government wants to know what the Hell is going on, the revelation of Zearth's power source (which I won't spoil), and the possibility that none of it is actually real or at least the likelyhood that nothing is really what it seems, and the actual 'mech battles are probably the least interesting part of the show. The whole desperate giant hand-to-hand fighting thing has been done better before, but I do like the way the 360° view cockpit sways around during fights like an amusement park ride from Hell.

Twice in the first 4 episodes, the show has made me say "well, fuck" out loud, which doesn't happen often. (The one at the end of the second episode also made me laugh for like a minute straight afterwards, just because of how contrary to the usual genre patterns it is).

It's an interesting show, although I have to wonder how it can maintain the momentum of surprises for an entire season. I do have a theory about one of the upcoming ones, though (anyone who's read the manga, don't tell me if I'm right or wrong, and anyone who might watch the show will probably want to skip this to see the first episodes without preconceptions):

[spoiler]What if there's another group of kids inside each of the "enemy" 'mechs? It would explain why the one in episode 4 was trying so hard not to smash any buildings. Given the scale of the robots, the "core" they have to smash could in fact be another cockpit-room, with enough waterproof/absorbent layers to keep the blood from leaking out. The thought is kind of horrible, so knowing this show it's probably true.

Also, I'm going to be pretty mad at the end if it turns out the whole thing is some kind of VR sim and the kids are still back in the cave, but given how Kokopelli was acting before he disappeared, I doubt it's that simple.[/spoiler]


Saying much more than I already have about the premise would spoil it, so I'll just make with the linkses. It starts out a bit slow and there are a lot of characters to keep track of, but I've been looking forward to the new episodes since stumbling across it a few weeks ago. I personally just get the full eps from Veoh (first one here, free registration to download), but the original torrents appear to be over here).


* If Icy stops by he'd probably berate me for improper use of the term, but seeing as Derrida is dead and can't come after me save in slowly-shambling zombie form, I get to not give a fuck. Ha!


Quick summary for anyone who doesn't want to read all of the above: A group of middle-school kids stumble across a giant mech and get roped into supposedly saving the world. Hijinks ensue. Deadly, traumatizing hijinks. Download if you liked the "unsure-of-themselves-kids stuck in psychologically impossible situations" part of Evangelion.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 7:46 pm 
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Sounds Awesome. Am downloading soon(I've reached my limit on Downloads for the day).

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Kokopelli, eh? Did he choose that name for a reason or just because he thought it sounded cool?


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 10:09 pm 
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I should note that the show is as much a psychological character study as anything- seeing how the events affect the various kids and getting insight into their (sometimes screwed up) home/personal lives. As demonstrated by their amusingly-revealing chairs. The episodes seem to be roughly alternating between actual battles and their aftermath thus far, which seems like a pretty good pattern for a 24-episode show with a built-in 15 battle limit.

I'd say it takes until episode 2 to really form an opinion on the show, and the full premise doesn't become entirely clear until 4 (it's up to 5 currently). I am curious about the rest of the season, since they seem to be dealing with things fairly early on that most shows would leave for later, but I suppose that's part of the reason I like it.

The Veoh link in the above post lets you watch it on the site without logging in; I just always download it because the quality is pretty crappy in the embedded version.


Kest wrote:
Kokopelli, eh? Did he choose that name for a reason or just because he thought it sounded cool?

Yeah, I assume it has something to do with the Indian fertility god, but given that the character clearly pulls it out of his ass in the show, who knows...

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:00 pm 
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Sounds interesting. Do I need some torrent program to download it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:02 pm 
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<table width=400px><tr><td>Why that dirty little bastard...



Just watched all five currently out. How often are these being released?


[spoiler]Figure some of them might die without piloting the robot first? Kako looks like he's going over the edge.

When do you figure they will be teleported to do battle in another country?[/spoiler]
Wandering Idiot wrote:
[spoiler]What if there's another group of kids inside each of the "enemy" 'mechs? It would explain why the one in episode 4 was trying so hard not to smash any buildings. Given the scale of the robots, the "core" they have to smash could in fact be another cockpit-room, with enough waterproof/absorbent layers to keep the blood from leaking out. The thought is kind of horrible, so knowing this show it's probably true.[/spoiler]

I'd agree with this, or that something similar is going on. There's been enough death that such a thing might slip unnoticed by the authorities.</td></tr></table>


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 Post subject: There are like five million main characters seriously and they are all kids. ALL KIDS.
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:51 pm 
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Wandering Idiot wrote:
It's basically a deconstruction* of the whole mecha genre, probably the best since Evangelion.

I want you to stop watching anime and stop posting about anime right now. Really, WI. That is the most disgusting thing you have ever said, ever.

Ever.

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 Post subject: Re: Bokurano, aka 7th-graders and the 500-meter tall 'mechs who love them
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:07 am 
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Wandering Idiot wrote:
the revelation of Zearth's power source (which I won't spoil),


Is it kittens? I bet it's kittens.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 1:21 am 
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The power source is...

[spoiler]Ezelek's posts[/spoiler]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:35 am 
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Is it similar to Enders Game?

And the greatest power source on Earth is obviously procrastination.
Every time someone somewhere wants to do something but doesn't, that energy has to go somewhere.
I'm guessing, and mind you this is just a guess based on no available evidence at all, I'm guessing that the energy goes to Fidel Castro's beard trimmer.

He needs it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 7:15 am 
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[spoiler]The mechs are powered by the heart of an orphan.[/spoiler]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 7:37 am 
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I liked mine better.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:33 am 
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Agreed. I just like to imagine Dr. Orpheus condemning the machines for being fueled by the heart of a forsaken child.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:14 am 
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I should mention that the show is fairly easy to spoil, so you really shouldn't click open the posts in this thread if you plan to watch it first. On a related note, stay the hell away from its Wikipedia page. I just went there to check a character name, and quickly had to close it.


Insane_Megalomaniac wrote:
Sounds interesting. Do I need some torrent program to download it?

Eh? For this page? There are fancier clients available, but these days I just use Bittorrent itself, since includes a GUI unlike the earliest versions. And it doesn't try to cheat on the upload like some clients (See, I'm civic-minded about my illegal copyright infringement).

On Veoh you can watch it immediately on the site Youtube-style, or register (with a junk email account, as I assume they spam you to death afterwards) and get their video player to download the original high-quality video. It downloads a regular .avi file, so you can play it back in whatever you want once it's done.


Kest wrote:
Why that dirty little bastard...

[spoiler]Heh. Dung Beetle or Kaku? If the latter actually tries to rape Chizu in the next episode, I'll be hoping for his quick death... luckily the show has a quick way to deal with unlikable characters :) It's kind of like Titanic in that sense, where you know your wish will likely come true (I hated both the lead characters in that, as any sane person should)[/spoiler]

Kest wrote:
Just watched all five currently out. How often are these being released?

About every week I think, as it's currently airing in Japan.


Kest wrote:
[spoiler]Figure some of them might die without piloting the robot first? Kako looks like he's going over the edge.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]That would certainly put them in a pickle with the whole "15 enemies" thing. I suppose they'd have no choice but to rope Kana in at that point. One wonders if her brother would stop being a little bastard for once and object, or just jump at the chance.

I find it interesting that during battles, the chairs seem to be high up enough up that the kids have no way of physically reaching each other. Which means if the pilot decides to take the opportunity to go on a rampage and settle some old grudge, the others couldn't do anything to stop them. Giving a half-kilometer tall walking death machine to an unstable teenager isn't the best idea to begin with, let alone when they've got nothing to lose.

Since I'm all spoiler-protected, a couple other things I like about the show:

The way both the opening and ending animations gain more impact as it goes on.

The way it plays with audience expectations. Waku was your typical Shonen Jump-esque "I'll never give up, always get stronger for the good of the world!" character, which is why it's hilarious when he dies in the second episode. It was obvious from the beginning that Kodama's turn as pilot would be bad, but instead of leaving it hanging over the proceedings, them deal with him in the third fight. Then the fact that the government's already involved and knows what's going on, which would typically wait until they needed to shake things up later in the season (like in 24, when someone new comes in to take control of CTU about 3 different times per year).

What I don't like is the rather boring look of the 'mechs, but I'm not really watching for the fights anyway. And I can't really tell the characters apart until "their" episodes, although in an odd way it works for the show as they die right when you've gotten to know them.[/spoiler]


actor_au wrote:
Is it similar to Enders Game?

Sort of, except the kids aren't geniuses. And my guess is the twist at the end will be exactly opposite the one in Ender's.

I thought about describing it as Lord of the Flies meets Voltron originally, but the mental picture was unintentionally hilarious.


Ezelek wrote:
Wandering Idiot wrote:
It's basically a deconstruction* of the whole mecha genre, probably the best since Evangelion.

I want you to stop watching anime and stop posting about anime right now. Really, WI. That is the most disgusting thing you have ever said, ever.

Yes, yes, you hate Eva with a fiery passion. What can I say? I rather like the show, at least when it's paired with the movie. I should note that what I say "mecha genre" above, I'm referred to "Super-robot fights monster of the week" shows (mecha-kaiju?), not Gundam/Macross-style large fleets, which tend to be more thoughtful and less subject to the same treatment. I don't take it as seriously as some people, but Evangelion seemed like a pretty clever twist on the usual genre tropes in the way it pointed them out and gave actual reasons for their existence (The city is built with the idea of giant robot battles in mind, the Angels always attack the same city because Adam/Lilith are being held there, the Evas can't draw the Angels away due to their power limitations, etc.) I should note also that I'm talking about Evangelion: The TV Series, rather than Evangelion: The Subsequent Internet Discussion, which is all some people tend to think of when they hear the name.

Is there a better recent example I missed of a show that takes a critical look at the genre conventions without being an outright parody? The only ones I can think of offhand are copying Evangelion to some extent.

And for what it's worth, I can't tell half the characters in Bokurano apart either until the episode(s) focusing on them. There are like six black-haired girls, for instance. It's less of a problem as the series goes on.


Shinigami wrote:
The mechs are powered by the heart of an orphan.

Nah, they just siphon love straight out of the universe.

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Last edited by Wandering Idiot on Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:37 pm 
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i havent watched it myself as i have been informed that the anime heavily edited a number of themes like rape and murder etc

so i guess i'll just stick with the manga

and a great mecha show right now is Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann . go watch it. except my avatar pretty much spoils it so woops


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 3:28 pm 
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UNINSTALL UNINSTALL

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:08 pm 
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UNINSTALL UNINSTALL

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Wandering Idiot wrote:
Yes, yes, you hate Eva with a fiery passion.

Incorrect. I hate people who construe that Eva was anymore than what it was, a show about a boy dealing with the rejection of his father and the issues it brought up in his life, with some filler that was big robots and religious dogma. Y'know, like Anno said it was.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:59 pm 
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OMFG EVA WAS TEH BEST EVER! I watched that show like it was totaly my bibnle of something, i didn't go online for spoilerz I just guessed and talked with my friendzx and familys for all thirtenn weeks that it was on tv and tryed to guess out how it would ends and I was like totally wrongs but damnn i was close!

yay robots!

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 8:40 pm 
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I'm more interested in Hellsing Ultimate, honestly. Nazi werewolves (well, ONE werewolf) for the win. On a side note, the goose-stepping son of a bitch (pun intended) stole my coat! And now I can't wear an M43 cap without feeling like a fanboy.

As yet another anime sidetrack, is Black Lagoon or whatever it's called worth watching? I hear there are lolis with BAR light machine guns. I don't know what that's all about, but it got me off just thinking about it.

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