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Old 2011-09-02, 13:32   Link #1033
Kaioshin Sama
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Neither Here nor There
Age: 33
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
One man's trash, you know? What you're effectively saying is, "Take the show as the director intends it and shut up." That doesn't inspire much of a discussion, does it? Offering critical commentary isn't "playing the critic" as you so condescendingly put it - it's participating in a discussion. If you're not comfortable with anything but positive commentary, you're the one with the problem.

It's certainly valid to love Ringo as a character - different viewers are going to react differently to a character as a matter of course. I'd certainly take issue with the statement that we've never seen anything like her - we've seen lots of characters like her. In fact, she's practically a trope. It's just that - in my view - many of those characters were executed much more effectively. I'll certainly agree she's much different from Utena as a character - they fill a different role and represent a different perspective.

In terms of whether the show is fresh and whether it would benefit from brevity, again, it's a matter of opinion. There's plenty here that was fresh - the first time we saw it, seven eps ago. Now that we're seeing it for the nth time without anything beyond cosmetic change, it isn't quite so fresh. That was an issue I had with Utena and why I worry about MPD - it felt like a lot of the freshness was packed into the early parts of the series and a lot of the creative spark was stale by the end. RGU was 39 eps, I believe, so that was always going to be a challenge. That''s why the "no wasted frames" argument doesn't fly with me, because I see Ikuhara using not just recycled imagery, but recycled imagery to accomplish the same result. And we're only 8 episodes in.

Is this interesting? Absolutely - it's the most visually striking series of the season. Ikuhara is undeniably a man with a genius for surrealism and his skill at composing a shot is stunning - he has a great imagination and a great eye. I just see worrying signs that his discipline isn't at that same level and I think the balance of the show has gone out of whack with the last few episodes and their obsessive focus on Ringo. It might be a different view than yours, but I don't buy the premise that not accepting what a director is doing at face value makes your opinion invalid.
While I might not agree with you on the whole Ringo thing (I personally can't get enough of her character, but can see why others would have problems with her), I'm more than on board with this attempt to bring Ikuhara back down to Earth for the purposes of making this thread a little less ridiculous. I mean I can understand why people are so excited here. It's like something of a Nostalgic trip and Utena fans basically never expected this guy to come back, but it's just gotten a little too overbearing in my estimation to the point where the implication is that his work is somehow beyond our meager attempts to criticize.

I'll share a little something with the thread. While I really enjoyed most of episode 7 on account of the Ringo scenes, I also made the comment to someone that the stock footage use has gotten extremely bad to the point of looking out of place and actively working against one of the shows characters. When the Survival Strategy scenes first started it was about introducing the Penguin Himari in a flourish (all those exploding clothes and poses and what not), now when they are using the same footage for scenes like Himari talking to the brothers about getting Ringo together with Yabuki it just plain does not fit anymore. Like I know at this point I'm watching footage that was meant for a completely different set of circumstances, so why are we still using the exact same scenes. To me stock footage should be barely noticeable or at the very least flow with what needs to be done for the purpose of a scene (one of the reason most Magical Girl/Super Robot transformations are still okay in my estimation).

This to me is a pretty glaring flaw in how Himari's character has been handled. As I mentioned earlier, it is indeed a little hard to identify with and see a character as present when she basically only exists in stock footage. Shame since she started off extremely sympathetic.
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