|monday again: thank goodness it's a short week...
||[Jun. 30th, 2008|08:32 pm]
I want this. Too bad it seems to be available only in the UK.
July 2008 releases of manga in English that excite me:
Kiss Blue Vol. 1 by Keiko Kinoshita from DMP/June
SILVER DIAMOND Vol. 1 by Shiho Sugiura from Tokyo Pop
Vassalord Vol. 1 by Nanae Chrono from Tokyo Pop
Hope SD's translation does it justice. XD
Yet another discussion on loanwords, this one peppered with observations on Chinese and Japanese.
Japan's great energy efficiency numbers ruined by...toilets
Article on Japanese women at Nissan breaking into management that came off rather sexist and condescending. I love how it states: "As Japanese companies try to improve their disgraceful record of promoting women, they are finding that the biggest problem isn't defeating the chauvinism of Japanese men. It is building up the confidence of Japanese women." So...the lack of confidence of Japanese women don't come from the chauvinism of Japanese men? Where does it come from, then? A deep well of under-confidence native to Japanese women?
Movie quota for the year fulfilled: WALL-E
Two words: Oddly disappointing. It wasn't as if I expected a whole lot, either.
First, the plot. I tried to reign in the logical side of me that wanted to poke a zillion holes and failed in the face of several that refuse to stop bothering me.
The romance was just plain annoying and lame to me. Some of it was admittedly cute, but a lot of it made me roll my eyes. I think there was just too much for my taste.
The robots and humans and their relationships just baffled me. It didn't help that I had just listened to a Scientific American podcast on singularity. One of the main theories is that computers will become intelligent and supplant humans. While I don't necessarily subscribe to the theory, should the whole "computers gain consciousness" thing happens I can see them supplanting humans. Thus, seeing the robots in WALL-E clearly have consciousness and that they can in fact go against their directives, yet still act in a more-or-less benevolent fashion towards humans really irked me. Especially considering how useless the humans had become (though oddly docile--I would've thought people would've become bitchy in trivial ways in such a situation, but maybe they put something in those nutrient drinks?). Even the auto pilot wasn't being an evil machine with nefarious plans, it was just following different orders.
I couldn't accept the gap in technology between what was left on Earth and the Axiom. The Axiom boasts tech so much more advanced than what was left on Earth, I initially thought the humans had just advanced over the centuries while Earth tech rotted. But when it became clear the ship was really one big cruise ship that had been cruising for 700 years it pissed me off. I suppose you could cynically argue that B&L Corp really and truly meant to abandon Earth permanently from the very beginning and thus left the reject tech back on Earth, but it really didn't seem that way. They meant for humans to go to space for five years and come back to a clean Earth. They simply realized that the scope of the problem was beyond their ability to fix and gave up (and didn't tell anyone except the auto-pilot apparently).
The crazy machines seemed very pointless. I guess I just don't appreciate good comic relief.
Speaking of B&L, can what they stand for be any more obvious? I think the message was hammered waaaaay too hard in this film. Not that I disagree with the message, I simply dislike having such things shoved in my face during what is supposed to be a kid's movie. I had enough problems with Mononoke Hime and its environmental message, and this was so much worse.
I think the most beautiful and affecting part of the movie is the very beginning with WALL-E all alone on Earth doing his job. The balance between the bleak reality of an empty Earth and the small hope of one little being chugging along in his own little created world was lovely. The animation, with everything being dusty and old, seemed almost real. The Axiom, in contrast, really felt cartoonish.
Overall, I was really turned off by the mish-mash of cynicism and optimism, esp since the mixing of the two seemed nonscensical.