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these competitors made further strides of their own, Obari stayed with the style he created, ironically looking like an out of date copy in the process.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.


  1. If you are feeling guilty about this, then I should be suicidal. I like a lot of shits out there, Kimi to Boku being my latest guilty pleasure.

  2. On the subject of tits, mecha violence and crappy plots, have you checked out Mazinkaiser SKL yet? Shit is fucking awesome.

  3. Love the blog, just starting mine. followed!

  4. I guess there are a lot of blogs about anime, huh. :) Check out mine... >.> or don't 'coz I haven't got much on it yet xD

  5. First off, welcome back! I haven't come to this blog in so long, and when I do, I see all this.

    Now, if you want to watch an anime that you might not hate, you should try Tiger & Bunny. It's a show about super heroes, and the male lead is a 30-something year old super hero, who's past his prime, and has to deal with a younger, more popular counterpart.

  6. SRWOGIN wasn't written by Obari. And the purpose of SRWOGIN wasn't to tell the story of SRW OG2, because
    a) it is impossible without at last 10 more episodes, and OGIN covered much more than OGDW covered OG1, despite OG1 being simpler.
    b) fans of the game (target audience) already knew it and they just wanted see robots explode and characters being awesome, what OGIN fully (aside from poor poor Lamia) delivered.
    c) nobody would care about the plot anyway.

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  9. OMG! Anonymous who posted at November 9, 2011 5:18 PM said exactly what I wanted to say!

    First, SO GOOD to finally see your posts again in this blog! How much I miss blogging. Sad how it seems that social networks like Twitter; FB; Tumblr killed the blogging stars; or interests. That, or we've somehow got more attached to offline than online lives. :O

    Yes, Tiger & Bunny is a recommended anime of 2011! I enjoyed it a lot. I really love Tiger & a whole bunch of other characters in it. I reviewed it in my LiveJournal, but that's locked, so I guess it's time for me to get back to Blogger; public blogging as well.

    Good to hear from you and LIVE LONG & PROSPER! XD

    (what happened to selecting Blogger account in comment as option o_O)

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  18. Obari isn't THAT bad. At least he's honest in his hackery. He doesn't set out to create art, he sets out to animate trash, and dynamic looking trash at that.

    He's better off by far as a designer and animator, though as you note he's fossilised somewhat into that early 90's mould. Even some of the poses and animation sequences in SRW OG: The Inspectors were recycled outright from his past shows.

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