This Ugly Yet Beautiful Fanservice?

Steven remarked (20070122.1945):

UPDATE: I don’t know what DVD Ubu Roi watched, but it isn’t the one I’m watching. After three episodes, I definitely see characters being built and groundwork being laid for a real story. It remains to be seen whether it’s a worthwhile story, but it sure isn’t lighthearted hijinks at high school so far.

Well, in my defense I don’t think I said “high school” but he may not be speaking literally anyway. Perhaps I’m being too harsh; the show wasn’t bad, but it was off-putting to me. What didn’t work on DVD 1 was the sudden switch from the intense combat and mystery of ep. 1 to several episodes of harem silliness. Yes, there’s chracter development going on, and quite a few serious moments, some hints being dropped, but the crazy scientist chick is just unbelievable (I can’t even buy it as an act!) and no one even considers calling in the government. “Hey, we’ve got a couple of alien girls here, you think someone should know we just made first contact?” (Words you don’t hear in that show.) And the pacing seems spastic. We have the slow build-up in episode 1 to a raucous fight sequence, and then…. we’re poking along leisurely for the rest of the DVD, with little or no tension. Just a typical week with a couple of hot-bodied teen alien girls hanging out with the guys….

If the best that can be said about the ending is that “it didn’t suck,” I have to question whether it’s worth buying the rest. OTOH, it’s not like it’s 7 DVDs or anything….I’ll have to watch it again before I decide, and I intend to watch the last two episodes of Lain before that. To give credit where credit is due, it’s a good OP song; I liked it instantly when I ran across it on

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4 Responses to This Ugly Yet Beautiful Fanservice?

  1. Ultimately, I liked TUYBW, but not a whole lot. I loved Jennifer Porter and the big robot, but the rest of the characters bored me and the ending seemed like, “You know, we’re kind of, um, being dull and stuff. How about if we, like, almost destroy the world and stuff? Whoa, man, that would, you know, rock.”

    I think, after some weeks away from the series, that I’d rate it as “Fun but forgettable.” Could be worse I suppose.

    It was enough, after this and Evangelion to make me think about Gainax, “These folks really don’t know how to construct a story.” So now, the “Story by Gainax!” credit is pretty much the Big Red Label, “Warning, Larks’ Vomit.”

    But hey, if Steven can see stuff here that I can’t, more power to him.

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of a series, it looks confusing, but you think it’s mysterious and deep, and it will all be explained in the end. Then you get to that end and realize that the writers just didn’t have a freaking clue, so they went with confusing to mask their inability to make it deep. I’m worried that’s how Simoun is going to turn out.

    Other times, the writers make you think it’s shallow and episodic, yet underneath there is a deeper narrative. Najica Blitz Tactics is a good example of the latter; I can’t think of an example of the former offhand. Maybe Godannar, but it looked shallow to start with, so I can’t say it didn’t live down to it’s expectations. Perhaps Mars Daybreak. It looked like there was a great mystery involving the Martian flood and the aborignies, but what did we get? “The Greenpeace victory.” Meh.

    Edit: But at least it didn’t have a label: “Warning! Raw, unboned, dead frog!”

  3. The Matrix Trilogy is a good example of what John August refers to as “Playing obscurity for depth.” (Found in my referers.)

  4. Andrew F. says:

    This was one of the first anime that I watched, and the first fansub of a recent, not-yet-licensed series. Having been introduced to anime fandom via Evangelion, I chose it because it was from Gainax and the title sounded cool. Those were my only two reasons; I had no idea what it was about or even what genre it belonged to.

    Of course, Konomini has almost nothing in common with Eva other than their production studio, but I enjoyed it anyway. I have no complaints about the ending, really; what differentiates it from the stereotypical “Gainax ending” (as seen in Evangelion and Kare Kano) is that the creators had a decent idea of where they were going before they started out.

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