viernes, 4 de agosto de 2017

Anime review - Earth Girl Arjuna

My blog isn't focused on reviews per se, but if you have bothered to look at some of my posts you'll notice I have written a few rants here and there to curb my boredom.

Today I felt like reviewing an anime that is over 10 years old known as Earth Girl Arjuna. Why would I bother to review a somewhat unknown anime that is this old?

Because I hated it.

At first sight this anime seemed really awesome. An anime that fully learned how to combine digital animation without a plastic feel that plagued a lot of tv series of that time, even for today's standards (that have been crudely dumbed down for crappy third rate animation), the animation is great.

This is one of the huge draws of this show and in that sense Arjuna showed a lot of promise.

The problem arises with everything else.

Juna is some ordinary school girl that is chosen to become a warrior that fights for Mother Earth that is being plagued by the contamination brought by humans. When she fully transformed into her Earth warrior self, she even reminds me a bit of a mixture between an elf and Captain Planet!

Yes, I grew up during the 80's and saw that idiotic tv show on Saturday mornings.

I totally dig the ordinary girl becomes a heroine for the preservation of Earth. The Princess Mononoke is my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film which shows how to tactfully deal with the struggle between humans damaging their planet to survive and the mythical godly beasts that are affected by them.

The problem is that instead of making Arjuna a really cool show with a coherent plot or any purpose, it goes in a direction that is both a mixture between ridiculiusly preachy and with no real solution. Ever since Juna has been touched by this mythical power against her will, she can feel the agony of animals dying and pesticides everytime she eats something. You'd think she'd die of starvation because she never eats anything. I always found that to be super annoying with the show.

I like her relationship with Chris, a crippled psychic boy that wants to help her fulfill her mission. The relationship is rather interesting and dynamic, mostly because Juna is a lot older than him.

One thing that strikes me about Chriss is that he bloats that he is so awesome because his mom decided it would be a cool idea to give birth to him in the ocean. Now, I'm a physician and know that a lot of women crave water births because they feel it's more natural. The debate as to whether children born in a tub do better is still open, but many Ob/Gyns believe the risk of infection and drowning overcome the benefits. Still, the few private hospitals in Mexico that offer this special kind of birth sure like to charge a ridiculously huge pricetag for it.

At the end, Juna never really accomplishes anything in the short series and Earth remains the way it is without her. Quite frankly, if you want to watch a far better series about people with supernatural powers fighting to kill humanity in order to save Earth, you should be watching CLAMP's X instead.

miércoles, 2 de agosto de 2017

Is Froylan friend or foe?

Just a short post. A super fan of my book series has commented to me recently that he has decided that the series's main antagonist Lord Froylan is now his 3rd favorite character which he oddly enough tied with Spaulding.

He used to hate him with a passion because of his nastiness, cruelty and sadism and yet his opinion of Froylan changed dramatically as he read the third novel Exile. While there hasn't been a considerable amount of people that have read up to the third novel, several people have commented that after reading the first novel, they absolutely despise Froylan and probably have no idea why I love writing him so much.

Forced to become a guard almost 2000 years ago against his will after being captured for multiple heinious crimes, Froylan initially detested his new life as an Äimite guard and that he had to obey his superiors and king. He wished to burn Salman into pieces with all of his soul, but over time, something changed in him.

Perhaps he started to find a common goal when he discovered that Salman is as cruel as himself or perhaps he enjoyed his newlyfound social position as a newly minted nobleelf that was both feared and respected by the populace. A talented fire mage and swordsman from the start, it probably didn't take him very long to move up the ranks and become promoted as a captain.

Not much is known about his initial life as a guard because it happened such a long time ago or the reason why he likes to wear his characteristic short black cape, but we do know that he asked the previous commander of the guard Lord Ferhyr about the veracity of some rumors regarding how Salman's father King Faisah died. Salman eventually promoted him to a highly coveted Senior guard position several centuries before the beginning of the series and he was one of the two guards that permanently maimed Lord Jamarnid 800 years ago.

While he will always be vicious, cruel, sadistic and a pathological liar, we start to see a change of heart in him in the third novel. As he ponders with himself about conflicting feelings of being forced to serve Spaulding who he always detested, he starts to show a softer side in the initial hopes that he could start to gain Spaulding's favor. Perhaps his initial kindness was a ruse, but it starts to seem like he has genuine feelings of appreciation for Spaulding over the following novels.

The finale of the 6th novel Quandary has a pivotal scene where he seems to have shown what his true side is much to Spaulding's astonishment. He continues to play a huge role in the unfinished Harlequins novel and I'm certain that if you give the sequel novels a chance, you'll find him to be a most versatile and fascinating character to read.