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Reflections on 2016: For Japan, the Postwar Extends Forever

shin-godzilla

戦後は続くよ、どこまでも

“Postwar extends forever.” This is one of the most memorable lines to come out of Shin Godzilla, Hideaki Anno’s ambitious reboot of the Godzilla franchise. In context, it’s a powerful moment. Our protagonist Yaguchi looks around at the world disrupted by Godzilla’s existence and voices something that he has always felt – that the problems which Godzilla laid bare were always there, and that this is the burden Japan must bear into the future.

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Some Concrete Revolutio-related Stuff + I’m Hiring!

conrevo noizi ito

Art by Noizi Ito

First off, I recently collaborated on a post with my friend iblessall about the official English translations of the Concrete Revolutio anime. Please check it out on Mage in a Barrel!

Speaking of Concrete Revolutio, lately I’ve been translating some of the interviews and commentary posted on the official website. I’ve been doing it on and off in my spare time, so it’s gonna take a while before I finish translating everything, but I’m super stoked about this anime and I hope it lives on as a cult classic. A few weeks ago, I translated some commentary by the director and scriptwriter, which I hope you find interesting!

I’m also hoping to write some articles in the future about the cultural history of kaiju movies, tokusatsu, magical girls and some of the other motifs used in Concrete Revolutio. I hope this will be of interest even to people who haven’t watched or didn’t enjoy the anime. That said, this will require lots of independent research and some rewatching of Concrete Revolutio, so I plan to take my time with this little project.

In other news, I’m hiring a social media coordinator! I’m also giving away a free 20% discount voucher for Madman’s online shop. Details below the cut!

Applications are now closed. Thanks very much to everyone who applied!

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Re: Zero and the White Knight Complex

reinhardEpisode 3 of Re: Zero introduces a character who is, quite literally, a white knight. Reinhard van Astrea is a member of the Royal Guard and is apparently so powerful and righteous that he’s known as the Sword Saint. He is also, incidentally, a minor character.

As anyone watching Re: Zero would be aware, the character with the white knight complex is actually Subaru, a hikikomori who is summoned from modern Japan, armed with only a cell phone and his wits. If Reinhard is supposed to represent the unattainable white knight ideal, then Subaru is the white knight whom the audience can relate to, a hapless young man who struggles through life (and multiple deaths) in the best way he can manage. So far in the story, he is motivated almost exclusively by his desire to save the girls he meets from death: initially the heroine Emilia, and later the twin maids Rem and Ram.

We’re not told much else about Subaru (to the detriment of the storytelling, frankly), but we’re expected to immediately understand and accept his obsessive desire to save these girls he barely knows. Why?

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What I’ve been up to lately

Before I begin, I’d like to take a moment to express my deep sympathy for those whose lives were disrupted by the Kyushu earthquakes. I actually haven’t followed the news about this too closely, because I find it extra upsetting to look at photos depicting a place I’ve physically been to in ruins. I can only hope that the residents of Kumamoto find safety and that the death toll does not rise any further.

There was also a devastating earthquake in Ecuador recently which has killed at least 233 people at the time of this writing. My heart goes out to everyone whose lives were stricken by tragedy today.

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On that somber note, I’d like to mention that it’s my birthday today, so happy birthday to me.

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