Post 'bout anime, and also Vocaloid.
- So, there's this cover of the Katy Perry song "ET", by Megurine Luka.
Please notice that Luka doesn't sound any more autotuned than Katy Perry does—she just sounds like she has a Japanese accent, because she does.
Only, Luka does not actually exist, she's a voice-synthesizer. I have said it before and I'll say it again, "The time of flesh is ended. The future belongs to the machines."
...At least, where pop music is concerned.
- Transitioning to talking about Macross because the 3DPV of Megurine's song "Corruption Garden" features both Itano Circus mecha fights and the good ol' Macross Missile Massacre (which the makers of the rebooted Battlestar Galactica were proud of themselves for having...22 years after Studio Nue did it). I need to watch the first movie, which, though I dislike some of its revisions (the two sexes of Zentraedi are supposed to be rivals within the same military, not enemies, and I don't like the movie versions of Britai and Exedor's bodies). Why? The Zentraedi language, that's why. I also need to see if it's the same as the Marduk language from Macross II, which is apparently now non-canonical.
Interestingly, I'm surprised nobody ever came up with the obvious answer to why Zjentohlauedy and Vrlitwhai are pronounced Zentraedi and Britai—Tibetan. Tibetan is written all crazy-like, because its orthography is centuries out of date, e.g. how the 13th Dalai Lama's name was pronounced Tubdain Gyatso...but written Thub-bstan Rgya-mtsso. Maybe all those extra Ls and Js and Ws and Hs in Zentraedi represent obsolete sounds. (Alternatively, the voice-cast of the anime speak a language with 18 consonants that never puts more than one of them in a syllable, and just can't pronounce "Vrlitwhai" as written—speaking as a Slav, it ain't that hard to do. For your reference, English has 24 consonants and can put three of them in a syllable; Czech has 27, and not only can it put three of them—any three of them, practically—in a syllable, it can use most of the ones that aren't stops as vowels, e.g. prst "finger", vlk "wolf", z "from", v "in").
- I wonder if anyone has ever noticed the startling number of things in Warhammer 40K—damn near everything that isn't borrowed from Warhammer Fantasy, Aliens, or Dune—that are probably from Macross. The Eldar, having been made by the Old Ones, are basically the Zentraedi—making the Old Ones the Protoculture. They were made to fight the Necrons, who, of course, are the Protodeviln and Supervision Army (leave to one side that the Zentraedi pre-exist the Supervision Army).
Eldar mecha bear a striking resemblance to Meltran Queadluun-Rau mecha, albeit emaciated, with helmets that look a lot like the main body of Glaug and Regult battle-pods. There are, of course, two big differences between the Eldar and the Zentraedi, of course; Eldar are not sex-segregated test-tube babies (and using love-songs as psych warfare would probably just bring Slaanesh a-knocking)...and they're not 30 feet tall (neither can they change size, like Zentraedi can). Actually physically the Zentraedi are basically Imperial Marines on steroids (they have similarly reinforced bodies, and at one point Commander Britai fights a human mecha hand-to-hand in space...without so much as a breath-mask, because officer-class Zentrans are crazy modified).
- Apparently, Guillermo del Toro wants to make a third Hellboy. Many suspect he's planning to use the Hobbit money for that (maybe that's why it's a trilogy now). Now, I liked the first one, little as it really resembles the comics, but the second was just awful. Then again, Pan's Labyrinth—Del Toro plainly does not grasp the fairies (neither does he get the Spanish Civil War—remember, the real Communists were worse than his fictional fascist—but "not knowing jack about history" is typical of the Mexican Left).
Personally (and this is how this relates to anime), I think animation is necessary, to do justice to Hellboy. But none of the animated Hellboys have been any great shakes, mostly by completely ignoring the extremely iconic art from the books. And don't say it doesn't work as animation. Know why? This:
It's the ending of the second season of Sayonara Zetsubô Sensei. I don't know, looks pretty good to me. This "can't do" attitude on the part of too many animators has left me in despair.
- Pretty lackluster anime just now. Other than Binbougami ga!, is there anything worth watching, that's out now (in Japan, the summer TV season ends in September, and the fall one starts in October)? Lemme check. Nope.
As for the fall season (which starts in October)? Another season of Bakuman, if you were following that (I just read the manga). Same RE: Hayate the Combat Butler. Kamisama Hajimemashita is a manga by the lady what did Karakuri Odette; its anime oughtta be okay. I seem to recall Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (Monster at the Next Desk) was all right, it's getting an anime. They're releasing an OAV of the Tenri arc of World God Only Knows, which, I mean, damn right they are.
So, continuations of some stuff that was all right, and some shojo series getting anime. Seriously, that's it? Come on, you're practically Hollywood. And no, I don't mean that in a good way.
- My brother's finally seen Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. His current Team Fortress account is named Theophrastus Bombastus, and he's been devouring everything Wikipedia has about Hermeticism and alchemy, because, well, we're blood-related. But what's funny is, he tells me he keeps coming across people who think FMA is anti-religious or atheistic (generally, the people who think so are atheists—so, I guess "think" should be in quotes).
But, as my brother would point out to all these idjits, Hermetic alchemy is pantheism, not atheism. The Truth at the Gate is Poemandres, Mind of All-Mastery, the Teacher of Men...a divine emanation. The whole point of the entire series may be summed up with a quote from the Corpus Hermeticum—"Though Unmanifest, God Is Most Manifest".
It helps that Arakawa-sensei isn't as stupid as the dude who wrote Baccano. He actually uses a plot centered on Hermetic alchemy for atheist screeds. Only, dickweed, you actually have God as one of your characters. He's the reason for the immortality stuff. When he first shows up, he says, "I know all thy desires and am with thee everywhere"—he's Poemandres.