Friday, October 14, 2011

I feel guilty for liking Masami Obari

It's no secret that I've largely left the anime fandom due to the overwhelming torrent of mediocrity that has seeped out the industry in past years. In fact, with the exception of the upcoming Persona 4 adaptation, I really can't see myself returning to active participation in the fandom anytime soon.

Given how much I've moaned and groaned about the lack of quality in anime, I must admit, I feel some degree of hypocrisy when I utter the phrase, "Masami Obari is one of my favourite directors."

For those who don't know Mr. Obari, he is pretty much anime Michael Bay; he absolutely loves giant robots and the objectification of women, and he couldn't tell a coherent story to save his life. So, pretty much like the live action Transformer movies, but anime.

If you are unfamiliar with his work, he is the director of mecha anime such as Dancouga Nova and Gravion, both being shows ranking among my top 10 despite no objective merit of their own, as well as horrifying fetish pornography, such as Angel Blade, which Meimi once reviewed, much to her horror and disillusionment.

Obari is a rather strange chap. In the early 90s, he led a revolution in character design and action choreography, resulting in a sea of competitors. However, as these competitors made further strides of their own, Obari stayed with the style he created, ironically looking like an out of date copy in the process. In fact, certain shots have become so iconic of the man, that they appear in nearly every work he's done, almost to the point of self parody.

What truly defines him as a subpar director however, is his complete inability to tell a story. Often times, his works start with interesting plot premises, only to devolve into an incoherent mess with no satisfying resolution. In fact, if anybody can tell me that they made sense of the story of Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspector, then you are a greater man than I.

So yeah, despite being nothing more than cheap fanservice for mecha fans, I love Obari's work. There's nothing of substance in them, but goddamn, are they fun.

And with that, maybe I should apologize to fans of moe. Like them, I too am guilty of loving stuff that is nothing more than vapid, unsubstantial trash. But then again, unlike moe, I can't get arrested for my trash. So no, guess I don't want to apologize to moetards.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So I heard you like Date.

There is a character type I like to call the Capcom Hero; the ludicrously over the top guy who wears ridiculous costumes, carries ridiculous swords, spouts idiotic catchphrases, acts like a dick and thinks he's the coolest thing alive.

In any other world, that guy would either be seen as a douche, or a parody of horribly written Marty Sues.

Yet Capcom continually markets and sells these characters with great success. Devil May Cry's Dante and Sengoku Basara's Masamune Date are what I consider the ur-examples, who are intensely well loved by their respective fanbases. And as much as I like Date and the Sengoku Basara series in general, I've always liked Date on a more ironic level; as a lame, insecure dude who tries so hard to be cool that it somehow ends up actually being kinda cool.

Yet people seem to love these characters completely free of irony. I really do have to ask, why?