The 2012 International Saimoe League has just shifted into Serious Business Mode with the first regular-season match starting up today. There’s still some time to vote in the 24-hour voting period, so get thee hence!
This year features separate divisions of newer and older shows, and some interesting exhibitions. Now that all the months of Preliminaries are done with, it’s the start of the grueling Regular Season and its endurance run to the end, months down the line. Do you believe it?
Girls I’m planning on supporting this year include (from the list below): Kyoko and Homura (from Madoka), Kurisu (Steins;Gate), Victorique (Gosick), Menma (AnoHana), Tenshi (Angel Beats!), anyRozen Maidens, Kotomi and Nagisa (Clannad), Holo (Spice and Wolf), Taiga (Toradora), Saber (Fate Stay/Night), Shinobu (-****monogatari), and Shana (SnS). I supported the couple from Another in today’s last exhibition matchup as well.
Here are my votes for this first-of-many matches; some very tough choices to make! But… ya do what ya gotta do xD (The chosen ones are in the dark text)
ARENA 01: Iwasawa Masami [Hasegawa Kobato]
ARENA 02: Tōwa Erio [Sakura Kyōko]
ARENA 03: [Makise Kurisu] Nakagawa Kanon
ARENA 04: Suzutsuki Kanade [Charlotte Dunois]
ARENA 05: [Eucliwood Hellscythe] Gasai Yuno
ARENA 06: [Elucia de Lute Ima] Konoe Subaru
ARENA 07: [Himeji Mizuki] Kōsaka Kirino
ARENA 08: [Yui] Mikazuki Yozora
ARENA 09: [Kirishima Shōko] Kuroi Mato
ARENA 10: Haqua du Lot Herminium [Aragaki Ayase]
ARENA 11: Shimada Minami [Akemi Homura]
ARENA 12: [Irisviel von Einzbern] Kashiwazaki Sena
So go vote if so inclined… and may the best girl win
PS: In lieu of Mirai Nikki‘s separate review post I’ll just say that no, not a masterpiece but a definite 9; enjoyed it but for a few parts which prevented it from being perfect. Still, it was a great ride though!
PS2: Currently sorting through around a dozen Spring shows to review for the belated Spring 2012 Anime Season report. Quite a few good ones, as it turns out, among them Fate/Zero, Kids on the Slope, Sankarea, Eureka Seven Ao, Hyouka and many others! Kids on the Slope is going to be an excellent show, I can just tell. Any series dedicated to musicians with the mention of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the first ep signifies a show with real intelligence and heart, and the animation of the players is beautiful at times. Highly recommended to musicians out there. It’s also called Sakamichi no Apollon; seek it out!
Celebrating a happy eighth birthday for Lily-Doll, the replicant for UNBOUND‘s Lily Godwin!
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein
Many people seem to have a hostile reaction toward dolls in general and can’t help but feel “creeped out” by them, no matter what size. Many more simply take them for granted and lump them all into a convenient little pile named “Barbie”, which boys should never play with! To many more rational-minded people, dolls are simply mysterious little (and not-so-little) avatars, and our ancestors’ playthings, proxies, and companions dating back from our earliest cold and lonely nights in the cave. I fall firmly into the last camp. And glad about being out of the cave
This last group includes the more tolerant folks and their attitudes towards life-sized dolls, which apparently begs questions of a different nature from those either curious (a good thing) or judgmental (bad). Honestly, I don’t care about psychoanalyzing the “phenomenon” as it reduces the magic about them, let alone the annoyance of “discussing” the subject with someone already with their mind made up that they’re horrible for whatever trivial reasons. Ever since getting Lily-Doll, I’ve seen plenty of that “doll-magic” and don’t need any “proof” of it, nor feel a need to be convincing about it. And need I add, no Chuckies ever appeared. Seems they aren’t all that close
The magic lies in the bonding, and that depends upon one’s imagination, and how free one is willing to let themselves go. Imagine that you have ownership of a doll. Not a simple, mass-produced one, but a specially-designed doll that you chose every aspect of yourself. It doesn’t have to be life-sized for this experiment; imagine a ball-jointed doll, like Soony here.
Can you get inside her little head? She’s your doll, you should want to! Go ahead; look into her face: Is the doll reaching out to you, but you just don’t know it?
In the second episode of Rozen Maiden Traumend this “relationship” is expressed beautifully by the doll-maker’s assistant, Shirosaki. I’ll even quote my own Blog, from April of last year:
In their second season, the much darker Traumend, Jun is brought to a new dollmaker in town by his female friend Tomoe. The conversation and dialogue in this scene is brilliant, with the dollmaker’s salesperson Shirosaki praising Jun for being interested in dolls despite being a boy, and explaining the dolls’ feelings towards their owner in touching detail. (Apparently the Japanese are much more tolerant and understanding about this than westerners, but it’s still seen as “un-natural” thanks to Society’s presumptuous pre-conditioning.)
Essentially, Shirosaki explains that in spite of appearances, dolls do feel that love bestowed upon them by their owner. Paraphrasing: “It’s not that dolls won’t give love; they can’t. They just sit on the shelf, and no matter how hard they try, they can’t communicate that love to their owner.” And this exchange later, I believe by the doll-maker, Enju: ”The feelings you put into a doll are all the same. As long as you pour love into them, they continue to live. When love disappears, they die. They become lost, no matter who it is.” He cradles his newly-forged doll, smiles at her, and says, “Hello.”
So with that in mind, we’re celebrating Lily-Doll’s 8th Birthday a little late this year, but this comes at an opportune time as there’s a current wave of publicity via the film by Elena Dorfman and Allison DeFren. This, plus the current momentum of publicizing Lily’s story, UNBOUND, after whom the doll was fashioned to promote in the first place, is all very synchronous, and that’s pretty cool
Okay… I’ll say it again: I really hate the term “the doll” when describing Lily-Doll. I’m only using it in deference (as it were) to those who can’t grasp calling an inanimate object a sexually-identifiable term. So they’ll know what I’m referring to and won’t have their little sensitivities become offended by my daring to refer to Lily-Doll as “her”.
"When early youth had passed, he left his cold fireside and alienated home to seek strange truths in undiscovered lands. Many a wide waste and tangled wilderness has lured his fearless steps; and he has bought with his sweet voice and eyes, from savage men, his rest and food." (from 'Alastor, or, The Spirit of Solitude', by Percy Bysshe Shelley,1815)
For info on our novel UNBOUND, please see our website in the Blogroll!