Do androids dream of frilly gothic lolita dresses?

Ok now this is just getting silly. A few days after I finished The Last Guardian, Square Enix released what may be the most Josh W. game ever made.

That game is NieR: Automata.

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Seni Soshitu

I’ve been remiss in allowing my otaku side to wither a bit in recent years – a pretty big liability given that I now regularly write for an otaku website. As part of my attempt to remedy this, I started watching Kill la Kill. A show which has the advantage of being relatively recent-ish (2014), popular, controversial and made more or less by the same people behind Gainax’s Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

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Man’s best friend

last-guardian-3

The Last Guardian is arguably a victim, not just of its lengthy development hell, but also of its own predecessors’ success. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were both revolutionary games whose ideas have since trickled into the mainstream, turning their creator Fumito Ueda into a critical darling of the industry.. In drawing from the same toolkit as those games The Last Guardian inevitably is unable to replicate the same feeling of newness that those games had; and in that regard it is also the least important of the three.

In spite of that, it might actually be the best.

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Double Trouble

My most recent post at Beneath the Tangles also wound up getting published today, in case for some reason you want even more words from me in under 24 hours.

I’ve lately been playing The Last Guardian, Fumito Ueda’s long (very long) awaited followup to his arthouse PS2 classics, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The game, true to Ueda’s style, is a rather oblique fantasy scenario where very little is explained to the player. You play as a boy who awakens to find himself…

via Weakness in The Last Guardian — Beneath the Tangles

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Zelda Gaiden (Part 2)

majoras-mask-2

(Continued from Part 1)

It has become increasingly popular in discussions of pop culture to throw around phrases like “mythic” and “mythos” in a rather loose fashion (I myself did so in the previous post). But for the sake of this post it’s worth attempting to define just what we mean by a myth. Northrop Frye in his Anatomy of Criticism provides a helpful approach to literary classification:

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Zelda Gaiden (Part 1)

majoramask4-1080

The first six entries in the Legend of Zelda series followed a peculiar pattern: for every odd numbered genre-defining entry there was a more eccentric, experimental even numbered one. The original Legend of Zelda was followed up by The Adventure of Link, a convoluted attempt at mashing together platformer and RPG mechanics; the rather straightforward A Link To The Past was chased with the Twin Peaks-inspired Link’s Awakening; and Ocarina of Time – the Star Wars of the medium – had as its direct sequel Majora’s Mask, a game so bizarre that it still feels unique some seventeen years later.

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Listomania

Because I like posting and tinkering with these top ten lists with farcical regularity, I decided to give them their own separate page. It’s pretty spartan right now.

And for those of you who intuited the pun:

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Murder by the bayou

re7-box

I’ve picked a good time to bring myself up to date with modern gaming; older franchises that I thought were past their expiry date are getting a second wind. And so it is with Resident Evil, a once genre-defining series that seemed content to fritter itself away into mediocrity and irrelevance by transforming itself into yet another generic shoot-em-up. But Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (or, as it is called in Japan, Biohazard 7: Resident Evil) is a surprising return to form in the literal sense that Capcom wanted to go back to the good old days of survival horror and actually had the know-how to pull it off. It’s heartening to see a new example of a beloved subgenre I had considered long dead, and even more heartening to see a major developer like Capcom crank it out. It’s a good game, although I have some reservations that prevent it from being the ultimate survival horror Renaissance that it almost is.

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Minor update

I haven’t written much here lately due to a lot of reality getting in the way. However, last week my most recent post for Beneath the Tangles went up. It’s yet another Final Fantasy XV themed post, if you haven’t heard me talk about it enough.

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Dead Ringers

dead_ringers_poster

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about something other than a Final Fantasy game, so let’s take an abrupt non sequitur turn to David Cronenberg’s 1988 film, Dead Ringers.

I’ve lately been dipping back into Cronenberg’s backlog after having ignored him for a few years – and now I feel stupid for doing so, as I feel safe saying that he’s one of my favourite directors. His films have a knack for getting under the skin in a deeply divisive fashion: depending on your inclinations as a viewer they’re either deeply unpleasant experiences to be remembered with a shudder, or a deeply bitter treat, like a shot of rye or tequila. There’s something potent about his blend of visceral horror and detached, cerebral themes, all undercut by a deeply gothic romanticism of the sort that isn’t too far from what Emily Bronte was doing over a century earlier.

I’m starting to sound pretentious, but the point is that the dude’s got a very eccentric style that can be movie magic for me at his best, and Dead Ringers (which is new to me) is one of his best.

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