more than 500 pages? (intensely off-topic)

christian nutt ferricide at
Fri Feb 7 13:49:56 EST 2003

>From: Tanaqui
>I'm not sure I agree with "intensely off topic" in the header. Or at least,
>if these posts are lacking in obDWJs and OMTs, they're not striking in 
>flagrant departure from list norms.

for some reason it seems to me that if we're not discussing just books it's 
more off topic. maybe i'm just paranoid. =)

>ah, but I didn't know when I posted that that was your specific dislike:
>you'd mentioned length and _Cryptonomicon_. I don't think the Super Action
>Sequences contribute much to the length. Out of interest, um, exactly what
>do you mean by an "action sequence"?

yeah, i understand.

basically how every book of his seems to end with a balls-out crazy huge 
action sequence featuring many/most of the characters. zodiac featured, 
iirc, a giant chase sequence in the zodiac rafts; snow crash features hiro  
rescuing the love interest on the boat; diamond age features the riot and 
nell rescuing the woman who did all the racting for her book. (i can't 
remember all of the character names.) i like the action sequences 
throughout, but the Final Resolution action sequence just seems ... 
anticlimactic, in such intelligent books.

>No, no, nothing like "brainless sex and violence", but you mentioned
>_Evangelion_. Now, that's robots and psychics (via "angels") both running

i don't think that you can make a case that there are psychics in 
evangelion. evangelion is my favorite series and i've incredibly 
overanalyzed it to shocking degrees.

>I am not helped by the fact that I've seen more than one of the
>iterations of _Evangelion_, so I've confused myself with differing
>storylines. It's not brainless; more confusing than simply weird.

oh, it's far from brainless.

>And <blush> I've never understood _Akira_. I can track what happens easily
>enough, but I have no idea what the resolution in the White Sphere is
>supposed to mean. Something to do with Destiny, obviously, but the film
>just doesn't resolve (for me)...

that's a difficult movie, that's helped enormously by the recent 
translation. the old english dub was not very good in that department; the 
new bilingual DVD with its new dub and sub tracks are much better. i think 
akira is very excellent and amazingly well written; it's perfectly paced to 
be interesting and hit every plot point that it neeeds to, to reach its 

the problem for finding motivation is that akira (the character) is 
exceptionally enigmatic. i could go into this in depth but i'll leave it for 

>_Ghost in the Shell_ is more my speed. I look forward to seeing the latest
>"Ghost" project.

i find this movie to be overrated, although i haven't seen it in years -- i 
probably should again. you might want to check out patlabor 1 and 2; they're 
from the same director, and imo they're better films. not cyberpunk, but 
more police/political drama with some few action bits.

>Now here I could spout endlessly about genre (content) versus mode. Suffice
>it to say, though, that Western filmmakers just can't manage to make good
>anime/manga. There's definitely something in the blend of content which is
>more than the stylistics of the palette or eyeshapes or other artistry of

western filmmakers who are influenced by anime seem to only watch one sort 
of anime; hence the animatrix. when you examine it, there's tons and tons of 
variety -- as much variety as there is in western television and film. 
that's why it's impossible to suggest it's a genre. from the art style, to 
the directorial, production design, intended audience, etc., there are so 
many different series with different aims, goals, methods that it's 
impossible to lump it all together without sounding ignorant.

>It's the same "flavour" that is present in the (non-anime/manga) film
>_Avalon_. It can't be emulated by using the genre standards, either, so
>it falls somewhere between genre and mode.

avalon is directed by mamoru oshii (ghost in the shell, patlabor) so this 
makes very much sense. i have not seen avalon yet.

>I already have two versions of Kiki: the English sub from the original
>Japanese DVD, and the American dub video with Kirsten Dunst. Jiji is
>considerably more sarcastic in one version, but the soundtracks are 

i prefer to watch things subtitled. i've never seen the original macek dub, 
but the subtitles on the japanese DVD are a transcription of that dialogue 
and surprisingly accurate to the original -- much more so than the disney 
dub, which i like, but feel that phil hartman's adlibbing doesn't hold up to 
repeated viewings (it's funny the first time or two, though.)

>Ah, what I meant was "slow unfolding gameplay". I don't think simple 
>interludes would make for the feel I want, but it's interesting to learn 
>people are trying for that sort of feel. There's heavy use of cut scenes in
>_Grim Fandango_, which does help in framing the mode, but I'm looking for
>something integral to the playing.

hrm. slow unfolding gameplay is definitely something else altogether. the 
problem is that even those of us who like a broad narrative pace don't want 
to have to wait. there are definitely games that get deeper by degrees. i'll 
have to think on this one more.


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