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Old 2003-11-05, 10:03   Link #1
Megane
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Earth Girl/Maiden Arjuna

I saw a couple of the episodes fansubbed a year or two back, and I didn't think much of it then. But I recently saw the whole of this series on DVD, and I was so impressed, I am now considering buying it. Before I engage in a little "e-commerce", what did others think about the series? Did they find it too preachy for their tastes? Or did anyone actually learn anything from it?

Is is a bad thing when an anime tries to reach you on such a directly moral level?
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Old 2003-11-05, 14:26   Link #2
Go-lytely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megane
I saw a couple of the episodes fansubbed a year or two back, and I didn't think much of it then. But I recently saw the whole of this series on DVD, and I was so impressed, I am now considering buying it. Before I engage in a little "e-commerce", what did others think about the series? Did they find it too preachy for their tastes? Or did anyone actually learn anything from it?

Is is a bad thing when an anime tries to reach you on such a directly moral level?
Well, I didnt find it all that interesting and the pro-eco message did get quite annoying. It was very obvious when they were getting on their soapbox and sometimes it didn't flow too well with the story. So yes, too preachy for me.
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Old 2003-11-05, 15:28   Link #3
Tzurial
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I did find it a little too soapboxy- and im even a big conservationist. i think they could have delivered the message in a more subtle way and definately less repetative. But overall I kinda liked it (and the soundtrack is amazing!!)
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Old 2003-11-05, 17:21   Link #4
Lambda
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The answer to the title question is both! It is an important message, but it is presented in a crashingly unsubtle way, so to anyone who already understands what it's saying it's just tiresome.
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Old 2003-11-05, 17:44   Link #5
NoSanninWa
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Waaay too soapboxy, but on the other hand it was an important lesson. I really liked this series. I liked the characters and I liked the story. Heck, I even liked the ending. Oh, yes, I liked the message also. I actually learned a few things from this series. It's one flaw is that it wasn't a bit more subtle. Even so, the content of the message was admirable.
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Old 2003-11-05, 17:47   Link #6
Rama
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Well, besides the obvious message Arjuna is beautifully drawn, has great music
(Yoko Kanno) and an interesting plot.
I'd say watch the first episode again and decide if you want it.
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Old 2003-11-06, 08:35   Link #7
Megane
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Thanks for the opinions people. Ignoring the messages it tries to get across for a moment, I thought it made a very good drama. The underlying story of Juna and Tokio's relationship and how it develops when Juna is given the eco-warrior responsibility of Earth's defender against the Rajaa was nice and believable (as far as Japanese girls saving the Earth goes these days, anyway).

Yes, the music was a great mix from Yoko Kanno, and suited the series extremely well. Throw in some impressive while not over the top CG, and I feel that all together there's enough to keep your mind off those kinda intrusive messages.
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Old 2003-11-06, 19:41   Link #8
Akkarael
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I completely agree, Megane... there are plenty of positive things to find in this series - amazing images, an original idea or two, and a very organic style of music that I still enjoy listening to, two years after watching Arjuna.

I think it's definitely daring for an anime to be so outspoken about environmental issues, and yet it's all a bit ironic that this encouragement to return to an agricultural, rural style of living is promoted by an *anime* series - a rather evolved product of technology!

By the very end of the series I did find myself getting rather fed up with the disjointed storyline and the eco-messages, but that doesn't mean there isn't something to appreciate in this anime.

I hear the dvds are of good quality and have some nice extras, but whether it's something you'd like to add to your collection and watch again and again is, of course, a choice only you can make!
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Old 2003-11-07, 21:44   Link #9
Supernaut
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Actually just finished watching this series. Generally enjoyable, I did find the message a bit unsubtle and repetitive near the end. Lots of interesting concepts though!
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Old 2003-11-08, 02:25   Link #10
diabolistic
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The beginning few episodes baited me.
They introduced eco-problems in a very artistic manner.

But then..disaster strikes..

I didn't think much of the ending, either
:\

They should've talked more about the innevitable water crisis!
Did you know that less that 1% of all surface water is drinkable?
now THATS an environmental issue they should talk about
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Old 2003-11-09, 10:29   Link #11
Gaara11
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I've never regretted buying a dvd so much thann when I bought this one. It sure was a waste of money. Considering all the hype, it just didn't do it for me.
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Old 2007-10-28, 09:22   Link #12
Kittie Rose
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Earth Maiden Arjuna

I've taken to watching this recently. While the overpreachiness is cringeworthy(and this is keeping in mind that I was interested in watching it to begin with for being a big Earthy person, just because I strongly believe in saving the environment doesn't mean I believe GM is always bad, Nuclear plants are always unsafe, etc.) it's so beautiful I can't stop watching. And the character interactions and overall feel of the anime is very nice.

Are there any other similiar earthy animes that are less preachy? I do like that they save the planet with BADASS helicopters(the one Blackout from the TF Movie turns into too?) and supercomputers. I'd like to see more of that. We might have fucked the earth up with bad technology, but chances are, if we're going to fix it, it's going to be with good technology, not sitting up a mountain saving insects. I've always liked the character of Gaea in greek mythology, but she's nearly always left out of all mythology type stuff too. Though she was voiced by WHOOPI GOLDBERG in Captain Planet, which is hilarious, especially since the guy who played LaForge was in it too.

The whole thing kind of reminds me of the episode of the old 80s Transformers cartoon called The Golden Lagoon. It basically had the Transformers get into a BADASS fight over a lagoon that gave them uber p0wer, but every few seconds it would cut down to the ground and trees falling over and deer getting squashed. It was quite disturbing if you're a kid. I imagine Arjuna would be too.
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Old 2010-12-18, 18:10   Link #13
roriconfan
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Excuse me for missing innovation in my comparison skills but Arjuna really IS the Japanese counterpart of the American Captain Planet cartoon. Its prime directive is to teach the target audience how to respect nature and the basics of ecology. Of course it is far more mature than Captain Planet, as it has a lot of violent, tragic and even slightly horror aspects to it. That does not make it a better show by the way; only more mature. Because just like the cartoon, all its morality is thrown at you with long serious monologues which can easily pass as preachy. Learning stuff through anime can be fun but not when the characters are telling you to open your textbook on page 123.

But maybe I’m rushing a bit. What Arjuna is about has a lot to do with a coming of age adventure for the lead girl. It may easily pass as yet another mahou shoujo show, as she is at first just a normal teenager who wants to have fun with her friends and romance with her boyfriend. But as it usually happens, all of a sudden she is given super powers to protect the world from monsters who want to destroy civilization. Yes, very typical on its initial premise.

After that, the show becomes more and more unorthodox to the point you have no clear idea of what it’s all about. It simply has too many themes in it, with ecology being its prime and most memorable aspect. Unfortunately, none of all those themes pass as interesting on the long run because they hardly feel exciting or exploited enough for you to care. I mean it has a guy who got crazy on ideals and a little girl who already knows what an orgasm is because she can feel the memories of her parents and a grandpa living on the mountains who preaches about the wonder of life. All these sound interesting on paper but feel so disjoint from one another to the point where the show has no uniformity about what its all about.

Even the lead girl’s magic powers don’t manage to attract your attention much, as they are used scarcely throughout the show and only for stomping some monster with no personality. Otherwise, the mahou shoujo aspect is indeed very controversial in its application, as it is not used on each episode, gives the lead girl a very weird appearance, and its prime weapon is a bow. Beyond that, Arjuna is indeed a very interesting character as her psychology is shown through numerous aspects and her worldview is tested numerous times. There is a part where she feels sick to even eat a burger because she sees it as toxins and chemicals and not real food. Her development and growth is actually far greater than any magic girl out there.

On the other hand, all the rest of the world feels cold and distant. All the rest of the cast is too stuck on a one-track mindset and the only thing they receive as development is questioning their ideals as of that time. Feels better than remaining stiff in personality but still happens through dried up monologues and counts as two-dimensional.

Beyond all that dryness, the show’s greatest downfall is its snobby attitude towards the viewer. It is so polarized towards “nature is good, human civilization is evil” that it becomes ridiculous. Poor old humanity and its science has no counterattack towards all that; its presented evil-by-birth, like Nazis or KGB agents in American movies. It even goes as far as saying “You are all idiots if you don’t accept what we tell you.” Well ok, even if you are right, that’s not a way to address it in a format which is meant to be mostly for entertainment and not pro-ecology propaganda. Which is sad.

The saddest part is the aesthetics of the show which are just marvelous for the year the anime was made. The use of colors and cinematography to depict plants and pollution as two worlds at war is fantastic, while the filters used on Arjuna during her magic attacks are quite funky. Even voice acting and music themes are quite well done and put you in the mood of the show. Too bad many parts of the show seem like propaganda against technology and progress because otherwise they are quite intelligent and well done.

Bottom line? An uncommon series that wins in thematics but loses in presentation. If it wanted to preach the viewers about morality and pretense, it should have taken the road South Park walked on. Just mock everything and let the viewer decide what to accept as right from all that.

I give it a 6.
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