Seirei no Moribito, Saraiya Goyou, Michiko to Hatchin, and Rose of Versailles

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Hey y’all, been watching a lot of shows but not talking about them. Here’s the index for my brief review / thoughts on some things:

Seirei no Moribito and Duty

Saraiya Goyou’s Perspective of Social Anxiety

Michiko to Hatchin and Being A Sexy Badass

Rose of Versailles and Meaninglessness of Living When We’re All Gonna Die Anyway

Seirei no Moribito and Duty
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Seirei no Moribito was super fun. I basically stayed up the night before I had a big exam because I was so invested in the show. By far the weakest part was that the La Lunga looked kind of stupid and the whole story was predictable. It made me think a lot about my role as a human being and having a duty to make other people’s lives better. Balsa, the coolass protagonist of the show who’s a 30-ish year old woman bodyguard (how’s that for unusual main character?), has a strong sense of duty in protecting others with her own life because she wants to make up for the lives lost to the man who protected and raised her. It made me really step back and think, do I have a duty to protect my loved ones? Of course the answer is yes, I do. It put a whole new perspective on what it means to love people, particularly in something like parenting since in parenting you’re especially responsible for protecting your children. It’s obvious that a parent should protect their kids, but to a certain extent I didn’t grasp the whole “Hey, I need to be a badass so my kids don’t die” kind of thing until now. Thankfully I don’t have kids. Still, excellent show for setting somebody on the path of ethical contemplation and queries, since ethics are largely considered in the show, not just by Balsa but by other characters as well. A pivotal moment is when the royal warrior / assassin-y people decide to trust Balsa and tell the others to stand down against the orders of the Emperor because they have respect for her for what she’s done. It’s pretty fucking cool, especially in a world where royalty is so fucking highly revered.

Saraiya Goyou’s Perspective of Social Anxiety

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First thing I noticed about Saraiya Goyou is how fucking gorgeous it is. I instantly recognized the art style of the mangaka in the women’s noses in Saraiya Goyou, because they’re precisely the same as the way women’s noses are drawn in ACCA 13.

Saraiya Goyou presents a comedic, yet never outright laughable story— the main character is a samurai, the pinnacle and of being cool, but is also a shy, nervous, and low-confidence man with a dreadfully submissive appearance. The way he slumps whenever he walks or in how he moves generally is the cherry on top. I hold so much adoration for Masa. The comedy here comes in because while there are never jokes made about social anxiety, some of the ways Masa reacts to a situation because he’s nervous can be humorous.

There is little for me to say about the show, really. I loved it. The soundtrack was amazing. It’s pretty straightforward as a story, but thoroughly enjoyable nevertheless.

Michiko e Hatchin and Being A Sexy Badass

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It’s rather interesting that two of the shows I watched recently were from the perspective of criminals and two from the perspective of bodyguards protecting against criminals. Michiko e Hatchin made me want to be a sexy tanned Brazilian woman who can beat people up. That’s all there is to say about it. Michiko is fucking great.

As a little tidbit about the show, though, I love the presentation of maturity the show gives. Michiko is the obvious mother figure for Hatchin, but she’s reckless, immoral, selfish, and inconsiderate of others, causing Hatchin to disapprove of her actions particularly earlier on. Hatchin, while a child and therefore innately immature, only expresses her immaturity in her constant tsun attitude toward Michiko throughout the show because she’s a petty brat. Yes, Hatchin is a tsundere. This makes for a pretty fucking cool “we-make-up-for-each-other’s-flaws” relationship, since Hatchin holds up the ethical / responsible side of the maturity coin, and Michiko holds up the life experience / empathy side of the coin. Most brilliantly, I love how Michiko learns to treat Hatchin as an equal rather than a subordinate child. Given that my parents largely raised me with the same mindset and I’m pretty happy about my upbringing, it gave me a good sense of “Yea! That’s the way it goes.”

Hatchin being a tomboy was adorable. Also I fucking loved everything about the character designs and their outfits. It was great.

The music I feel strongly captured the inherent tension of romance and gave me good feels. I’d need to listen to it more if I were to want to analyze it. c:

Rose of Versailles and Meaninglessness of Living When We’re All Gonna Die Anyway

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Hey, you know how Seirei no Moribito is a show about a badass female bodyguard to royalty who also goes against the orders of royalty and is attacked because of it? You know how it made me question my duty as an individual? Well, it’s a funny thing, because I happened to watch Rose of Versailles not to long afterward. Unlike Seirei no Moribito, Rose of Versailles does not end so happily, which made me really sad for a couple days because I was like, “Well fuck, I want to have responsibility and protect others, but what if the people I’m protecting are stupid as hell and also what if I’m dying?” and just generally it made me feel really shitty because I already fear acquiring some incurable disease and slowly dying because of that. I think Oscar made the right choice to go out in a blaze of glory, because that’s the only thing you can do when you’re gonna die.

Also, I get what people mean when they say Utena is inspired by Rose of Versailles. The entire perspective of Oscar’s gender identity / expression feels exactly like Utena’s. I felt so strongly when Oscar falls in love with Fersen (they use she/hers in the show but I dunno. Feel more comfortable with they/them) as I did when Utena falls in love with Akio. It’s the simultaneous feeling that yea, they’re attracted to men so it makes sense and all, and the feeling of betrayal that they’re supposed to take the man’s role and not submit to anybody. It was deeply relieving when Oscar finally falls in love and spiritually gets married to André, since he’s the only person who could love Oscar for who they were rather than as a woman or as a man. It feels more true to them as a person and I was crying tears of joy over them falling in love. Absolutely perfect. (Well, plus I’m a sucker for childhood romances sooo…)

Beyond this single aspect, Oscar’s entire questioning of their gender identity and feeling as if they aren’t masculine enough after rejecting Fersen from their life completely was incredibly moving. As somebody whose gender identity has also not been completely consistent, I can sympathize with Oscar strongly, and the whole interplay of a pretty distinct sense of their gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex in conflict with societal values was impressively well-considered even by today’s standards, and for the 1970s is unbelievably ahead of its time.

Rose of Versailles is easily the most clearly flawed show that I have enjoyed as much as I did. I loved it enough to put it on my 3×3, but I was keenly aware of how many facts they got wrong about the history of the French Revolution, et cetera. Also, the sound design was often clunky and could be off at times and holy hell their eyelashes are too fucking big. Many of the early episodes felt like second-rate shoujo drama I could get more intensively and done better in Oniisama E…, though this only intensifies the impact of the later episodes when Oscar becomes literally the biggest badass in all of human history. I was so entranced by the story of Oscar’s life that I forgot its flaws and learned to enjoy earlier anime.

Somebody’s gonna call me out on watching something generic because, honestly, Rose of Versailles comes close to the most mainstream / generic anime I really loved. On the other hand, I like plenty of obscure shows so I think that’s fine.

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