Stolen heredity

Some Ponyo research led me to an article about Lupin the Third, and it suddenly struck me that I should read some Lupin the First – just for purposes of self-education! Luckily the 21st century makes this pretty easy for anyone capable of reading this LJ entry; thank you Project Gutenberg for this collection of Arsene Lupin tales.

I found the first book of stories to be entertaining reading, though I noticed that Lupin resembles the Bronze Age Superman – nothing is truly a challenge for him. If author Leblanc needed Lupin to escape a locked room, frequently a subsequent scene would show him out of the room with no explanation, other than a shrugged “it’s Lupin, what do you expect?”

And this is what put the brakes to my reading of the character, when the French author decides to place Lupin against Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes in “The Blonde Lady”. It’s a pointless battle from the start; Holmes at least engages in his own equivalent of Star Trek technobabble to justify his more unlikely successes (“I can recognize hundreds of brands of cigars by their ashes, of course.”) Lupin has no such limitation, and in this tale penned by a Frenchman, the French thief walks all over the English detective.

Of course, I knew that Holmes would lose the contest – I can see the author’s name at the top of the document, after all – but I’d have enjoyed a real battle of wits, with each side forced to play their best game against the other. Instead, Holmes is shown as completely unprepared for Lupin, and incapable of causing him even mild discomfort. It’s an ungentlemanly treatment of another author’s work, and I’m hardly surprised that Conan Dolye’s estate demanded the removal of Holmes’ name from reprintings. I could not even finish the novel, such was my irritation with it.

I’ll go back to Lupin III, I think. The unstoppable thief is more fun in the slightly deranged world of anime shenanigans; but I’m glad to have briefly met his grand-dad. (Leblanc’s estate does not approve of Lupin III’s use of the name, btw, and in several countries he’s had to be called “The Wolf.” Pot, may I introduce you to kettle?)

Hey… where’s my watch?

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Happy Returns for the Rat

Happy belated birthday to rattrap!

Of all my friends, you’re in the few that have had the most influence on who I am and where I am today. I’m very glad that I know you, and I only wish we got to catch up in person more often.

If you didn’t get to this weekend, go treat yourself to Ponyo. You fanned the flames of my newborn anime fandom back in the day, and it just seems appropriate.

Starfleet Vice – 1990

The RoVaCon 15 Starfleet Vice video, as threatened promised…

So, I’ll explain a little of what’s going on. I’m in the wheelchair because I’d been in a life-threatening car accident only weeks ago, but I was too stubborn to miss the con. Heather and Valerie are dressed in costumes from the anime Dirty Pair. Mike Allen represented KODRA, a ruthless Klingon-Orion terrorist organistion out to rule the Alpha Quadrant; while Markus… well, he had a lab coat, so we worked that in. And of course, Tom, Mike, and Beth were solely there to support our blatant swipe of Monty Python material.

I don’t remember the name of the dude working the camera… but he really liked the anime costumes.

Brief updates

  • 10:42 News is that the house contract is almost done and we can overnight it to the sellers in the next couple of days. Please let this all work. #
  • 13:14 For the Interstella 5555 fans, a great Daily Costume pic of the Crescendolls: dailycostume.com/archive/greenabsence/ #

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The latest Guardians

Having already closed a couple of tickets this morning, I bounced over to my RSS feed reader, which notified me of the day’s posts on dailycostume.com.

Clicking through the links, I brought up this particular group of variant Sailor Senshi. I thought, “Okay, cute, bet I’m missing someone’s fanfic story here…” and then I suddently realized exactly what the theme in question was meant to be.

All I can say is, there’s a weekday afternoon cartoon that I’d put on the DVR recording list.

20 SF Movies

There’s a “25 Things About Me” meme going around Facebook. Rather than just re-post it here, I was inspired by John Scalzi’s column to write “20 Memories of Sci-Fi Movies of My Youth”. Agreed, it’s not quite a catchy a title, but I can live with that.

1) The first SF movie I saw in the theaters was “Star Wars”, when I was seven. I remember seeing the commercials and thinking, “Meh, might be okay.” Yeah, underestimated that one a bit. I do not remember “Episode 4” atop the opening crawl. The John Williams soundtrack spent long hours in the following months accompanying my pretending to blast TIE fighters from a laser gun turret.

2) The next one I recall seeing in the theaters was “Starcrash”. This would only have been a good movie had I been old enough to enjoy Caroline Munro’s outfit. I can’t remember too much about it now, which may be a good thing, but I’m tempted to find a copy and enjoy the badness from a whole new perspective.

3) “Close Encounters” confused and frightened me, especially the part where Richard Dreyfuss starts losing his sanity. I didn’t understand the ending at that age, either. In fact, to this day, there’s a lot of unexplained bits having to do with the aliens, which is just as well; I suspect that any explanation from Spielberg would have been far lamer than the mystery.

4) While we’re on such movies, I was mildly traumatized by the laser surgery and ‘cannibal’ robot in “Logan’s Run”, and I didn’t understand the whole “Carousel” thing at all. That’s another movie which is probably unwise to watch before puberty, especially in a midnight showing in a darkened house.

5) “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”: Wow, new Klingon ships. Whoa whoa, new Klingons! Triple whoa: I am in love with the new Enterprise model! Okay, excellent, what’s going to happen for the next ninety minutes? Oh. Not much. I’m glad I never took it in to my head to get myself one of that movie’s uniforms.

Fifteen more behind the cut

Reviewer to Battloid mode

Four years after the OAV series concluded in Japan, I have finally found time to sit and watch through Macross Zero. For my part, I was disappointed in the show.

The CGI effects of the Valkyrie fighters made up a high point – the opening chapter demonstrates a drawn-out Fighter-to-Battloid transformation sequence that nearly made me drool. Sadly, the actual plot and characters brought me right back down. The series suffered from prequel-itis: I knew the Earth wouldn’t be destroyed, because that job would fall to the Zentraedi in four years. For the same reason, I knew that Roy Focker wouldn’t be killed in combat, making his dogfight duels mildly tedious.

A repeated subplot is the preservation of the ancient ways of the island people, which again felt moot with the coming holocaust; and the bad guys only received the personalities of one-dimensional psychopaths. I expect better than that in anime. One of them had the nerve to try a sympathy ploy on the audience minutes after napalming a village of non-combatant islanders. I just wanted them to hurry up and get killed in combat so we could get back to the real plot.

Oh, and late in the series, there’s the standard anime “I have taken it upon myself to decide that humanity has reached a dead end so I shall cause their destruction in order to pave the way for the next rulers of the Earth” scientist. Isn’t that one on TV Tropes yet? Boring. Lame. Move on.

Still, I feel more “caught up” on the Macross mythology now, so I’m ready to hit Macross Frontier next. As always, your mileage may vary.

Brief updates

  • 11:13 Experiencing a blast from the past: I have Eve Tokimatsuri songs running through my head now. #
  • 11:45 @snidegrrl “The spiders launched to the space station a supply of tasty fruit flies for food” – spiders with orbital capability? Uh-oh. #
  • 12:07 Noting that the “post Twitter entries to LJ” script is doing so at wildly varying times of day for some reason. #

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An old message for Operator 7G

I just found the Megazone 23 3-disc DVD set on Barnes and Noble. These movies influenced my imagination strongly, and I set one of the strongest pieces of fanfic I’ve written aboard a similar Megazone.

I got to tell you, though, this Christmas my reptilian “want” reflex is a little muted by the recent move. I can’t forget that everything I might buy, or receive as a gift, is something I may have to pack up and move in a box someday. Right now, I’m not thrilled at the prospect; who knows, perhaps my distaste will fade over coming months.

On the other hand, I still do have a B&N card from my birthday… and a couple hardcovers or a DVD set don’t take up all that much space… right? Right?

Yeah. I think I’ll wait until after the holidays and see if I still want it then 🙂

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