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Old 2008-07-01, 16:08   Link #221
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
By the way, real life Eliza.
Episodes 9 and 10 gave me new hope for this series. I think episode 10 is the best I've seen so far.

"Eliza Weizenbaum" is a cute concatenation of the name of a famous computer program, ELIZA, and its author, MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum. I heartily recommend Weizenbaum's Computer Power and Human Reason about the limits to artificial intelligence and the profundity of the human mind. Weizenbaum brings a remarkably humanistic perspective to a field too often dominated by technologists. (One example from the documentary trailer on the linked site. When asked what was the most important paper in artificial intelligence from the past fifty years, Weizenbaum cited a paper by an MIT student entitled "Where Artificial Intelligence Meets Natural Stupidity.")

In the book he describes ELIZA as an attempt to model sessions with a "nondirective psychotherapist in an initial psychiatric interview." The program was quite famous and quite popular when I was at MIT in the 1970's, being ubiquitously available over the Institute's time-sharing network. In its earliest incarnation, ELIZA would pay attention to certain key words like "mother" and reply from a selection of canned phrases. If you mentioned something about your mother, ELIZA would usually respond with something like "tell me more about your mother." The illusion of deep understanding that ELIZA could produce came mostly from re-packaging what people said about themselves, entrancing people with their images in the mirror as it were. Episode 10 makes reference to this as well.

Then there's the hilarous pun on 2001: A Space Odyssey as we see Haru and Eliza in a pure white room with the identical style of furniture. To top it off we have Minamo appear in her mecha suit looking just like Keir Dullea after his trip through the "vortex" or whatever you want to call it. I laughed out loud at a number of points in this sequence. (2001 remains in my personal top-20 (top-10?) of movies all time. I watched it the day after it was released in 1966 in an authentic "Cinerama" theater with the wide curved screen. I've probably seen it twenty times since. The bone toss could be the single greatest "match cut" in the history of cinema.)

As for episode 9, while I thought it worked well on the human level, it suffers from a misconception of computing technology that appears often in popular media, a model that envisions some kind of central "brain" that controls everything. (This is just the latest installment in a long line of such portrayals of computers; Alpha 60 in Godard's 1965 Alphaville is an early precursor.) While this model has dramatic value -- someone must save the world from collapse after the computer goes haywire -- it really misses the fundamental nature of modern computing, its widespread distribution. Modern computer systems increasingly move the "intelligence" of the sytem to the endpoints, relying on shared networked resources only for communication and "collaborative" control. Sharing files with P2P over the Internet is really a canonical modern application and sharply contrasts with the centralized model of episode 10.

This isn't just a problem for Real Drive; most shows about computing still rely too much on central processing issues for dramatic content. Dennou Coil came a bit closer to the distributed-computing model, but there was still a central authority in charge of managing the cyberworld the kids inhabit.

Afterthought: The HAL 9000 in 2001 is another example of the centralized brain that goes haywire plot.

Now a couple of questions about things I might have missed along the way:

Who was the guy the director is sleeping with? Was he the other guy at the table when they decided to axe Minamo's dad?

And, what's with that fishbowl that Minamo wears at school? Did I miss something along the way? I'm guessing it's because she doesn't (yet) have a cyberbrain? Does anyone actually "see" the fishbowl in the "classroom?" It seems more plausible that her projected avatar looks just like Minamo without the fishbowl. Why wouldn't it?

A kid without glasses in Dennou Coil would see an entirely different world than the one the kids inhabiting the cyberworld experience. Does Minamo experience the world in a manner different from everyone else because she doesn't have a cyberbrain? Other than the fishbowl and her dive into the Metal, how else has it mattered? When she became Haru's "diving buddy" perhaps?

Like some others here, the less Minamo the better for me. I just find her really annoying. The adults, on the other hand, are a pretty intriguing lot.

Professor Weizenbaum sadly died on March 5th of this year. I wonder if this episode was created before or after his death. It aired in Japan on June 11th. I have no idea if an episode could be created from whole cloth in three months. Perhaps some more informed forum members could address this?
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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2008-07-01 at 17:08.
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Old 2008-07-01, 17:33   Link #222
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
And, what's with that fishbowl that Minamo wears at school? Did I miss something along the way? I'm guessing it's because she doesn't (yet) have a cyberbrain? Does anyone actually "see" the fishbowl in the "classroom?" It seems more plausible that her projected avatar looks just like Minamo without the fishbowl. Why wouldn't it?
It's real life out there, they're not avatars. Minamo needs the helmet because she doesn't have a cyberbrain, so since the class apparently is handled digitally, she needs it to display whatever the teacher "writes". The rest of the students can simply see it "on air".

Quote:
Does Minamo experience the world in a manner different from everyone else because she doesn't have a cyberbrain?
Not everything, but there are things that she can't do. That's why she carries that cellphone-like terminal around. People with cyberbrains don't need it. Other than that, when perceiving real-life objects, there's no difference.

(By the way, the concept of cyberbrain-enhanced humans in Masamune's works is that of a regular, biological body, while the brain has cybernetic augmentations. There are other people out there who are simply cyborgs--people who've had their biological bodies completely replaced by cybernetic parts, as were almost all of the Section 9 members in GITS. The Director in RD appears to be one of them).
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Last edited by WanderingKnight; 2008-07-01 at 17:46.
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Old 2008-07-04, 19:47   Link #223
MrProphet
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Currently on a crash-course through episodes 8-13 of Real Drive.

Episode 8 was another irritating Minamo piece. Though, it wasn't as bad as some of the others and I am starting to get a feeling that I dislike not Minamo per se, but rather the school setting which feels like it downgrades my Real Drive experience to the level of "common anime". Rather presumptuous of me, I know, but that's feelings for you. The plot seemed to evolve in a roundabout way. I couldn't get what exactly Souta was investigating untill Minamo's classmate mentioned cyber-sharing at the very end of the episode.

Well, I knew he was investigating some sort of @home project (I am actively participating in folding@home community, so I got the clues), but the specifics were rather weirdly presented. Also, I could not really understand the relevance of this "mystery", unless it's just another attempt at world sketching.

Episode 9 was goddamn excellent. Clearly the best one since... oh, i don't know... one of the early ones at the very least. I was quite moved by Aoi-senior's approach to science and his self-sacrificing attitude for the sake of Metal. It was quite inspiring.

Also, on a more creepy note. You know, all these episodes I was convinced that the Secretary General and Minamo's mother are one and the same person and that this is going to be a Big Revelation at a later date. Well, color me flabbergasted by the scene between her and Souta in bed. Let's just say that either my theory jumped straight out of the window, or this show is even creepier than I expected. 8)

Also, I assume that when Mr. Aoi is talking about "Mizuho", he is referring to Minamo's mother, and not Minamo herself. But the way he does it seems to imply that "Mizuho" lives with Souta and Minamo, or at least close-by. Which she doesn't seem to.

This Ms. Aoi business is rather mysterious, don't you think?

Episode 10 was also quite good, though I must say that I liked it in spite of Minamo. I think the discussion of Earth Law between Eliza and Haru was the most intriguing. It shed a bit of light in that direction. I still don't know what Earth Law is, but it seems to imply some kind of natural balance in the biosphere/noosphere. Its relationship to Metal seems ambiguous still, but from that talk about water I gathered that just as living things require a balance of flesh/organs and water/liquid, and the Earth requires a balance of water and dry land, so does Metal require some kind of balance of something with something. Perhaps those thought-bubbles are one part of the equilibrium?

By the way, I loved the Haru/HAL pun. Did you know that the famous character designer and mangaka Haruhiko Mikimoto is also nicknamed HAL after the HAL 9000?

Watching further...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Who was the guy the director is sleeping with? Was he the other guy at the table when they decided to axe Minamo's dad?
The man with the Secretary General is Souta.

And the fellow at the table seems like the Chief of the Island's Security. Think of it. She is the director, Kushima is the tech guy, the only other relevant position is security/defense. Also, he was the one to approach Haru about that guy caught in an erotic Metal vision, and that also smacks of a security/intelligence/police professional going through back-channels to solve a delicate issue.

Last edited by MrProphet; 2008-07-04 at 20:13.
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Old 2008-07-04, 21:26   Link #224
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrProphet View Post
The man with the Secretary General is Souta.
I thought that might be the case, but I didn't recall any earlier material that suggested they even knew each other much less were sleeping together. I hope for all our sakes that your theory is wrong.

I've watched this show in fits and starts, so I might go back and watch it again from the beginning now just to see what I missed. Or perhaps, in the case of Souta and the Director, I didn't really miss anything, and this was just revealed to us now?

Quote:
I was quite moved by Aoi-senior's approach to science and his self-sacrificing attitude for the sake of Metal. It was quite inspiring.
I was so taken with episode 10 that I didn't really give episode 9 the attention it deserved. Thanks for pointing out what i found best about this episode. As I said before, it worked well on the human level even if not so well on the technological one.
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Old 2008-07-06, 10:47   Link #225
MrProphet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I thought that might be the case, but I didn't recall any earlier material that suggested they even knew each other much less were sleeping together.
He does know her. In episode 1, Souta and Kushima speak with her via the video conference when there is an electricity outage on the Island.

Also, there is a scene with her in bed with some man in one of the earlier episodes. The man is not shown, but going by episode 9, it was probably Souta as well.

All right, moving on...

Episode 11 was very good because it finally focused on Kushima, even though an abundance of Minamo made it a little bit less than great. Though, I really must say that I liked the animation, especially Minamo's wild gesticulation in the beginning. I think the episode was slightly important because it juxtaposed musical harmony with the Earth Law/Balance. At least, if I understood Holon's speech correctly, the episode was making that comparison in general.

Episode 12 was yet another one of those "Minamo is genki, so WEEEE" episode. So pointless. Though, I loved the little touch where you could see Minamo's schoolmate's eyes moving when she was reading cybertext in front of her eyes. Nice, subtle touch.

Episode 13 was the best of three. My favorite thing about it was the change in the color palette used when they were showing flashbacks of Haru's childhood and his home town. Unlike the usual very light coloring with lots of whites and greys and light blues, the flashback was full of vivid, vibrant colors. Also, Haru's hometown really reminded me of Dennou Coil's Daikoku city. It felt very much similar.
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Old 2008-07-06, 14:37   Link #226
aorta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Does Minamo experience the world in a manner different from everyone else because she doesn't have a cyberbrain? Other than the fishbowl and her dive into the Metal, how else has it mattered?
She couldn't see the ghost in episode 8.
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Old 2008-07-07, 18:57   Link #227
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by MrProphet View Post
He does know her. In episode 1, Souta and Kushima speak with her via the video conference when there is an electricity outage on the Island.
I recall that scene, though the focus was on Kushima and the Director. Souta just seemed to be there because of his relationship to Kushima. I wouldn't say watching that scene would have led me to the conclusion that Souta knows her "in the biblical sense." In the other scene you mention we don't see the guy's face. So I'd still argue that there was little to prepare us for the notion that they are having an affair. I doubt Minamo has a clue about this; I'm not sure either Kushima or Haru know about their affair, either. I wonder if it will become a source of tension in later episodes.

I wondered who the woman was in the ED during the naked "convergence" sequence; I guess the couple are Souta and the Director, especially given the woman's "physique."

I just wish episode 11 ended with a real encounter between the violinist and Kushima instead of his watching from afar on the deck. Perhaps that's another insight into how hermetically-sealed Kushima can seem, despite Haru's belief that Kushima has deep emotional resources.

Like you, I could tolerate Minamo a bit more in this episode because she was less unrelentingly "genki" and a bit more thoughtful and modulated than usual. I was somewhat afraid she'd knock the violinist over during her initial outburst. I could imagine some people in his situation would be put off by Minamo's rather overwhelming style, but he seemed to take it in stride. Not sure if I could do the same in his position.
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Old 2008-07-08, 10:59   Link #228
MrProphet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I wondered who the woman was in the ED during the naked "convergence" sequence; I guess the couple are Souta and the Director, especially given the woman's "physique."
At first i thought it was Haru and Holon, which now seems unlikely, since they don't seem to share much of an emotional connection, if any.

Then I decided that it was Haru and the allegorical She-Haru, his female opposite self.

Then I started doubting if it was Haru at all. He has blue eyes, not not that bright a shade. In the end, i decided that this scene simply features allegorical representation of a male and female human, who meld into the background noise when entering Metal.

It's not Sota, Director or Holon. Sota has dark brown eyes, Director is a lot more voluptuous and Holon also has dark eyes, instead of the woman's auburn.
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Old 2008-07-08, 15:38   Link #229
MrProphet
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Episode 14 is a recap.

For the first half Minamo relates the events of the previous 13 episodes to her Grandmother via her cell phone.

The second half has Minamo going to dive for the first time with the two guys who work downstairs in Haru's house. When she dives, the scenes switch to live action film of marine life.

Next episode preview has food. Oh, the horror!
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Old 2008-07-09, 14:00   Link #230
Molenir
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Reading through this thread, everyone seems to be down on Minamo. Maybe its weird, but I like Minamo. I like her being "genki" It livens things up for me. Makes the show more entertaining and appealing. For me so far, the best parts of the show have Minamo in them.
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Old 2008-07-09, 14:04   Link #231
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I just want more Holon ><.
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Old 2008-07-16, 07:29   Link #232
MrProphet
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Episode 15 has Unlimited Minamo Works.

I'll admit, it was hellaciously cute and genki, but still.... Unlimited Minamo Works!



Definitely the funniest, and one of the most well-done Real Drive episodes. Too bad nothing happened.
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Old 2008-07-25, 18:03   Link #233
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It feels so lonely in this thread. Just me... and me... and more me.

Which is kind of a shame, since Episode 16 was BADASS! The story is still nothing to write home about (just admit it, Real Drive has a shoddy plot line), but the characterization once again hit the bull's eye.

This time it was an episode about Sota, namely about his obsession with Holon and the frustration she has brought into his life. On Kushima's behest, Sota is investigating a "massage parlor" that pimps out high-performance androids such as Holon as prostitutes and then entraps their Johns. Sota, according to Haru, thinks of Holon as a person and a human, hence his mixed feelings about Holon and outrage about the prostitution. He poses as a rich boy client to get a close look at the club, but the brothel manager sees through the disguise and sends another Holon to silence the investigation.

An EPIC fight ensues. Holon vs. Holon-2 and Sota vs. Holon-2 with Haru, the surfer dudes and Minamo caught in the middle. At first, Sota is unable to fight Holon-2 (who is similar to the Sous-Marin guy, but immensely more badass, since she punks out Holon with ease), but then Holon sort of responds to him getting his life kicked out of him with emotion, which snaps Sota out. Minamo is creeped out by the whole Sota x Holon action.

Imagine that little fight between Holon and Sota in the OP (and episode 1), as well as Barsa's fights in SeiMori, and then multiply them by something... large. It'll do nicely to express how cool the fights in Ep. 16 looked.

Too bad the eye candy (and interesting characters) are the only things keeping this show afloat. It would have been so nice having a bit more plot to get engrossed in. But, alas...
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Old 2008-07-26, 15:43   Link #234
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Yeah, it probably is pretty much you. Sorry, but the rest of us are waiting on more subs.
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Old 2008-07-28, 06:02   Link #235
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Yeah. Way too much technobabble for me to watch raws alone, though I understand 99% of it still.

That said, the Amy episode was pretty much a coincidence for me since I was playing that weird videogame art/sensory hybrid. The whole idea of seeing by touch, tasting by hearing, etc. Very surreal especially since it has been true. To me that was the most philosophical show of the series so far since it touches upon real issues we face today regarding the culture of handicapped peoples. Whether it'd be discrimination to treat handicapped people or whether it's truly helpful (it can be both I suppose).
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Old 2008-07-29, 21:34   Link #236
MrProphet
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17

Mizuho Aoi being Secretary General theory = shot down. Though, Aoi siblings' mother is cute, she doesn't really look even similar to the SG.
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Old 2008-08-04, 16:58   Link #237
MrProphet
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Oh, so that fight scene from episode 16 was actually animated by Norio Matsumoto? I should have known, the thing was so awesome.

Thanks to Manuloz for the heads up.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Yy7jY7D3qlQ
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Old 2008-08-08, 08:30   Link #238
SuperKnuckles
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Just watched ep 13. Just beautiful how there were barely any speaking moments, but the images spoke all the words for them. Never quite had a flashback moment like that.

And lol at the EXTREME global warming scenario with entire cities submerging. That was pretty crazy.

Also, the homages to 80's and 90's style music, which was a laugh in itself.

Kudos to the animation studio for that one. Very unique episode for a unique show.
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Old 2008-09-04, 13:48   Link #239
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I love Production I.G! they are not afraid of killing main characters! they really screwed Souta big time hehehehe!
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Old 2008-09-05, 04:41   Link #240
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How long will the break be for fansubbing I wonder. I only see till Ep 13 fansubbed and that was at the beginning of August. I'm missing my RD fix.
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