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Friday, January 23, 2015

Hell Girl Out, Assassination Classroom In:

With the new season comes a new reason to shake up my rankings.  Assassination Classroom is a famously popular work.  It's getting at least 20 episodes this year, with probably more to come.  The first three episodes have all been fun and exciting.  There can be no safer bet than that Assassination Classroom belongs in my hall of fame.

Assassination Classroom still hasn't proven how on Earth the students are supposed to beat their teacher.  There doesn't seem to be any remote chance in Hell they can pull off their world saving duty.  As such, a lot of the dramatic, suspenseful moments just fall flat because we all know Koro Sensei won't die.  Still, there are some other dynamics going on, like the humor and the bonding, that shine forth in the violence's stead.  Ultimately the fighting isn't the point, the point is that it's fun to get better at something, and as all these students improve as assassins, they can gain confidence in themselves even though they can't fit into society or get praised for any of their studying skills.

It's refreshing to the spirit when people are judged on something they actually have control over.  Since education just tests people's personality and IQ, all of which is genetic, no one has any control over how well they do in school.  Then they get lectured for not doing well enough, and the whole thing becomes a ridiculous farce.  Assassinations, however, rely on the unique creativity and ingenuity of the plotter.  They can prove themselves in their own way, at their own pace, doing their own thing.  They cease to be under the control of fate and can finally start to weave their own destinies.  If anyone succeeds in the assassination, they get enough money to support themselves for life in luxury.  They're E level students, but their career path has opened up to a very simple shortcut.  All they have to do is kill Koro sensei and they win at life.  No one can ever lecture them about anything ever again.  Koro Sensei has given hope to the hopeless, which is strange given the despair he's plunged the world into via its imminent demise.  Just one more clever paradox in this most paradoxical of shows.

Meanwhile I'm dropping Hell Girl because the system depicted within the series is just too unfair.  Why should innocent people have to go to Hell just for killing off some obvious bad guy who had it coming?  Why can bad guys use Hell Girl to kill innocent people?  These two problems are so obviously unfair that I just don't like how the whole series unfolds.  Its fundamental structure is twisted and wrong.  No matter how you play around with the formula, it always comes back to the broken core that just ruins everything about this show.

There are good things about Hell Girl, like the beautiful artwork.  But for every good thing that happens in the series, five bad things also happen and completely spoil the flavor.  There's just too much junk in this series to be worth anyone's time.

Meanwhile, the first episode of Isuca was junk.  It spent 90% of its time on pornographic nonsense and 10% on a typical, randomly violent and stupid plotline and characters we've seen a million times before.  It's rare for a series to be this bad even if it's trying to gain the rotten tomato award or what have you.  It takes a special level of brilliance to muck things up this thoroughly.  I spent weeks anticipating the arrival of this show.  What a joke.

Meanwhile, 50% of Japanese adults aren't having sex.  I find that to be a rather impressive number.  Who needs monasteries or vestal virgins anymore?  Anyone, and apparently everyone, can do that much no problem.  Why did anyone think refraining from sex was a big deal in the first place?  Apparently, when given the option, that's what everyone eventually decides on their own, voluntarily.  Religion never needed to do anything from the start.  With shows like Isuca around, who needs sex partners?  Boys now have a low maintenance alternative to girls, and girls were never interested in the first place, so naturally sex would drop off in a world of free choice to mate or not mate as individuals see fit.  Whether any society can survive women's liberation in the long term, however, is yet to be seen.

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