Ghost In the Shell (1995)Review: The Future of Humanity Is A Stream of Conscience

What are we? We are nothing more than a ghost in a shell. In the near future, the world will erase nations and races. What do we get, something beyond AI. Ghost in the Shell, based on a manga by Shirow Masamune is a film that I have never got around to watching until now. I wouldn’t understand it anyway if I were a kid. Let’s just say it’s some pretty deep stuff. It’s so deep that it’s almost omnisciently god-like. It made me wonder if God is a computer?! After all, life is nothing more than just information of simulated experiences. Are humans really different from machines?

In this animation, Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg for Section 9, an anti-cybercrime Japanese Law enforced organization, was given the task to hunt down the cyber criminal known as Puppet Master whose identity is sexless, originated from America and is the most extraordinary cyber criminal hacker. What is its intention? It seeks to spread its kind through the network of information. As a living organism, it is fated to die and therefore it wishes to merge with another entity to pass on its “DNA”. Who do you think is the lucky bride? The Major, who is a mirror of the Puppet Master.

It’s a great animation to watch and if you want to dive into deep philosophical questions about what makes human a human. The Puppet Master, also known as Project 2501, is a bug which has its own desire and freewill separate from its programmers (sounds kind of scary). It wishes to complete itself from one particular frame of mine that is make up of a single entity. In other words, it’s trying to create an entirely new entity–something beyond humans and AIs; something like a godly being who knows and sees everything. After all, variety is good for the continuation of existence. Different viewpoints like variety of genes, ensure a higher chance in the birth of stronger beings. I can see why this film is a masterpiece. Apparently, the bug in Project 2501, like humans, wants to procreate. Woah, that’s some deep stuff I just watched.

Street Fighter II The Animated Movie (1994) Review: A Great Work Out for the Eyes

Do you like fighting games? I love fighting games even though I never did beat my brother in a match. It’s the only video game genre that will make me lose my temper. Let’s just say my brother enjoyed watching me get angry when I lose to him. Not so fun if you keep losing. However, I could sit for hours watching him play. It’s fun to watch. He still tries to encourage me to play it more often online. Unfortunately, I’m not the type who enjoy playing against a real life opponent. The fighting games community can be a bit aggressive for my liking.

This weekend I had a blast watching Street Fighter II The Animated Movie. Great fighting scenes mixed with ominous rock music made the viewing experience enjoyable. Even though the hero, Ryu is intended to be the highlight of this series (he stands for everything right and powerful), I actually am more intrigued with M. Bison. Why? His origin is mysterious and he has a crazy psychotic power. And I confess, there is a little bit of an evil side to me. Like M. Bison, I like to feel powerful! Who wouldn’t want to be the best of the best in terms of strength? I felt so macho watching this animation that it became comical to me. Ryu doing his rocking climbing and all. So intense.

All of the characters, Cammy, Chun-Li, Vega, Fei Long, Sagat, E. Honda, Guile just to name a few made their entrance in this animation. So it was fun to watch your favorite characters in action. Although, I must say the highlight of this animation was Chun-Li versus the flamboyant Boy, Vega. I can tell they put a lot energy into this fighting scene. I guess who wouldn’t want to see a beautiful woman kick some boy’s butt in her underwear? There’s no time to be shy and modest. Some guy just clawed her face. Go Chun- Li! Show that bad boy some manners!

I watched this on Amazon Prime Video. It’s currently free for streaming. And no, I am not advertising Amazon. The lockdown brought me to the site as I depend on it for groceries. It’s kind of like being distracted at the super market. Got to find something good to watch with my meal!

Well that’s it for now. Until next time, bye bye.

After the Rain Review: Chase After Your Dream

When I first skimmed over the description for this anime, I giggled to myself– it’s about a 17-year old girl infatuated with a 45-year old man who is a manager at a family restaurant called Garden. What is the likeness of that happening? We know that Japanese men are notorious for enjoying the company of high school girls, but to make a show out of it, it’s kind of comical, but I was wrong. To my surprise, this is a very wholesome anime with a good feel to it. It’s more than just emotions and admiration for one another.

Akira Tachibana quit the track team due to her injury. She starts developing feelings for her manager where she works at a restaurant as a waitress. He’s clumsy, but nice and clearly not the best looking guy. However, there’s something captivating about him which made Tachibana chases after him throughout the show, until it is revealed what sort of person he really is.

This anime has a simple plot, but it’s filled with depth when it comes to dealing with human emotions and self-discovery. Even though I can’t say for myself that I have ever been in Tachibana shoes where I chase after my superior for a date, I have in my college years admired my literature professor for his use of words and his thought process. In fact he is the one who made me fell in love with writing and poetry. Not everyone is a gifted but humble writer, so it’s hard not to be captivated when you get the opportunity to meet one.

For my final thoughts, the proper use of colors does something to the senses so the animation is very soothing and attractive to look at. Overall, it’s an enjoyable anime if you want something light and full of colors with a positive message about not giving up in one’s dream no matter where we are in our lives. Aren’t we all born to do what we love? I think that is what matter most in life is to remain true to one’s essence.

Scum’s Wish Review: A Logically Scummy Anime

In this anime, there is no consequence to promiscuous action, which makes it so intriguing. You can explore your lusty nature with your messy emotions, especially with the confusing ones. Sometimes emotions are just too hard to describe, especially if you are a teenager who is still trying to find your identity. This show successfully take apart complex emotions and lay it out for the audience to see. It’s a pretty relaxing anime to watch, actually.

In this unrequited love story, the two protagonists Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya happened to be honor students who use each other to replace the person they cannot be with. They rationalize their sexual meetups by using sound logic. I guess they are just too smart to study so they have time for screwing around.  There are other characters involved in this unrequited love mess. The biggest one that stood out like a sore thumb is the female school teacher, Akane Minagawa. She puts on a nice front, but she is actually the biggest scum of them all. She enjoys stealing the affection of men from other women because it makes her feel like she is the ultimate prize. Truth is–she is just an empty blowup doll (that’s my metaphor of the day). I don’t blame audience for lacking sympathy for her, however, I must say it’s nice to see a woman take charge of her sexuality. In most cultures, it’s more acceptable for a man to cheat on his wife–he’s just a man, but it’s not okay for a woman. Would a man still love his wife if she has multiple affairs outside of marriage? I think that is her dilemma. She sleeps with men casually out of contempt. How could anyone possibly love her unconditionally? As for the rest of the characters, they are not as developed or interesting. They are very two dimensional for my liking. I almost forgot they exist, but they are in the cover–the guy in the blue shirt, the blonde girl with twintails, and the redhead lesbian. I don’t even bother learning their names.

Because this anime is so scummy and alien to me, I enjoyed it. I don’t really recommend it to teenagers though–the content might be a bit too deep for a kid to grasp. Older audience may find this enjoyable and even relaxing after a long day.