darkblade: (Default)
[personal profile] darkblade posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Last time we were witness to the children’s first fight and received a bit of the back story. Today we see the rest of that fight and receive a little more back story.
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First things first, I am going to confess that I am reading this as I am posting it. I already watched the anime adaptation so I have a very general idea as to what is going to happen. Last post I made some assumptions based upon where certain lines came in the anime version not realizing they came in a different order in the original manga. So I mistakenly said that the Spider-bot was destroyed while it is still active.
So when we ended last time Kokopelli shot down a fighter jet much to the children’s horror. We open to the fighter’s squad mate reacting to this.

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Kokopelli is all business though.

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Maybe not all business he gets to snark at Dung Beetle a little which is always cool.

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Now since you have been reading my narration this should come as no surprise that the human-alien didn’t create this game but this is something of a shock if you go into this blind.
Anyways Kokopelli proceeds to kick some more Spider-bot ass and do enough property damage to make Michael Bay jealous.

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Some of the kids suddenly manifest bi-polar disorder. At least that is the most ration reasoning I can think of for them to go from shocked horror at the loss of innocent human life to, “Weee! Giant Robot Fight!” so quickly.

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That kid is the sound of everyone from the Marvel Universe who has ever fought Wolverine or seen him fight someone else yelling that you are an idiot. Although they’d be wrong since this thing is really of little plot importance so it’s regeneration isn’t as stupidly powerful as his.

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Wait so we have a giant enemy that vaguely resembles a crab with a weak spot. No I am not going to say it.

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Oh who am I kidding? Attack its weak point. FOR MASSIVE DAMAGE!

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You sure you don’t want to try again? Maybe find someone old enough to shave to play this cosmic game?
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Now after this the kids are transported back to the beach. We have some very well written reactions by all of the kids to what they were just witness to. I really wish I had room to show that to you but I kind of have to get the plot out of the way.

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Well either that or “I’m filled with nothing but mad hate for you and your screwed up universe.” Those are about the only two things he could have said that make any sense upon doing this to children.

Date: 2009-11-27 02:26 am (UTC)
blake_reitz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blake_reitz
Same here, I had no idea it was so specific.

Date: 2009-11-27 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lynxara
It is extremely specific. A show like the sort of thing Bokurano is parodying hasn't been made in about ten years. Raijin-Oh is.. actually almost twenty years old, but it was a really huge hit at the time. It spawned two (inferior) sequels and a third sequel made it into pre-production before the network pulled the plug.

The Wikipedia page for Raijin-Oh is horrible so I'll explain the premise here before I go edit over there: The premise of the 1991 Sunrise TV series anime Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh is that an evil empire (literally called the Evil Empire) are coming to Earth to destroy it. A single benevolent alien called Eldran opposes them, but for vague reasons he can't actually fight the Evil Empire himself.

Instead he selects a fourth grade class of children to do the job for him, entrusting them with a superheroic combining robot called Raijin-Oh. The kids become known as the Earth Defense Classroom and have wacky adventures fighting Evil Empire enemies, who tend to have names like Evil Satan.

Bokurano pretty much just turns Eldran into Kokopelli (who is the shitty dude that Eldran comes off as to an adult viewer), then comes up with a far more grim and tragic reason why an alien might arbitrarily leave a robot in the hands of a bunch of little kids. Part of what would make this manga so stomach-twisting for the original audience would be comparing its uncomfortable sex and death themes with Raijin-Oh's highly sanitized air of innocence.

There's just no way the mangaka wasn't of the Japanese generation that would've grown up loving Raijin-Oh and similar kid-oriented mecha shows. These fell out of production in the late 90's when kids got more interested in monster shows thanks to Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh.

The kiddie mecha shows of the early 90's were very different from the "teen" mecha shows that have stayed in production through this decade*, typified by Gundam and Evangelion. Most English speakers have probably never seen one, so I'm not surprised such a reader would instead interpret it as a general genre parody.

Bokurano pointedly ignores most "teen" mecha show tropes** in favor of playing with stuff very specifically from the early 90's kiddie mecha shows, particularly its habit of exploring the personality of every single kid in the class one by one. Certain Bokurano characters also appear based on character archetypes specific to kiddie mecha shows, particularly some of the girls.

* Even "teen" shows may be heading for a fallow period, since as of this writing there are no major teen mecha projects in production that aren't films or OVAs-- and most of the major film/OVA projects in production are remakes or sequels. This production pattern may be a repeat the first great rise and fall of mecha anime, with a kiddie wave followed by a teen wave, that occurred in the 70's and 80's. If so, then we're due for a fresh wave of kiddie shows sometime in the next decade...

** The only modern mecha show that seems to have exercised any influence at all on Bokurano was a rather popular recent one called Soukyuu no Fafner, which also used the idea of piloting a robot being very lethal to the young person doing it. Fafner was also an angst bomb like Bokurano for much the same reasons, but all-around a much poorer story.

This said, I'm not entirely convinced that Bokurano and Fafner being produced around the same time wasn't just a coincidence, and Bokurano may predate it somewhat in its manga form. I need to look into the matter more closely when a researching mood seizes me.

Date: 2009-11-27 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lynxara
Aw, I wouldn't. Raijin-Oh predated anime and manga having any sort of popularity in the West, so the material is just not available to know about. Even if it was more recent, fansubbers and R1 companies rarely focus on translating kids' material.

Even then, Bokurano is a good enough story that it's not clear something is being referenced with it, so to speak. It makes sense unto itself, so finding out about the Raijin-Oh influence is not completely essential. It will explain a few things, like what the hell is up with Kokopelli, but no more.

It's sort of like how Evangelion mostly makes perfect sense to English speakers who haven't seen stuff it's referencing like Gundam, Ideon, or Ultraman. Now, Evangelion's ending makes no sense unless you've seen Ideon, and the backstory makes no sense unless you've seen Ultraman, so English-speakers tend to get really frustrated with those parts of the show. It is intelligible enough to get into, though.

Date: 2009-11-27 12:43 pm (UTC)
skjam: Man in blue suit and fedora, wearing an eyeless mask emblazoned with the scales of justice (Default)
From: [personal profile] skjam
Oh, Raijin-Oh! I have most of that one on tape somewhere.

I loved the design of the field leader villain (Belzeb?), no internal organs, and an evil fairy (Falzeb? It's been a long time) living in his rib cage.

Date: 2009-11-27 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lynxara
The designs were what really set Raijin-Oh apart at the time. The art had more detail than most kids' show styles and all the weekly monsters and enemies were weird and unsettling. Maybe that's what makes a mangaka deconstruct it so much later?

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