Blog Archive

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Koutetsujou no Kabaneri Rewatched:

Great anime is so great you can watch the whole series not just once but twice and still enjoy it.  In order to prove that, it's my policy to not only watch in full every series in my top anime hall of fame, but also rewatch them all.  Once Macross was finished, next up came Koutetsujou no Kabaneri, which had also recently received a blu-ray release.

This show was best before Biba was introduced, so until ep 7 or so.  Everything became so corny after he showed up.  Steam powered motorcycles, gunblades and a sense of 'anything goes' silliness became the basis of all decision making.

Luckily Biba dies by the end of the season, so season 2 can pick up on a better foot again.  I wouldn't rank kabaneri so highly (#102) except for this second incoming season in 2018 which presumably will get things back on track -- humans vs. zombies.

Next up for rewatching is Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls.  There never was a blu-ray release of this series, but it's been a long time so I need to just buckle down and rewatch the tv version already.

I also finished listening to the Star Wars soundtracks.  The songs that got upgraded to Star Classical gives a real sense of the relative quality of the movies as a whole:

Phantom Menace:  3 songs
Attack of the Clones: 1 song
Revenge of the Sith:  8 songs
A New Hope:  15 songs
The Empire Strikes Back:  13 songs
Return of the Jedi:  12 songs

Out of the prequels, only Revenge of the Sith was musically inspired, and even it was a large step down from any of the originals.  Attack of the Clones was just embarrassingly bad.

Now I just need to vet the rest of my star classical playlist.  I hate people who brag about how they're so much better than everyone else because they can appreciate classical music; because nothing could be further from the truth.  Anyone in this day and age who still thinks classical is better than rock/j-pop is a blithering idiot.  Even if you restrict yourself to classical instruments, modern composers are still the best -- like the music of Star Wars or Lodoss War.  Just like how chess and go play have improved over the centuries, we've gotten much better at music composition.  It would have been extremely weird if humanity was able to progress so much in other fields, like splitting the atom and landing on the moon, without ever figuring out how to compose better music than the 1700's.

The people saying they prefer classical are just status signalling.  There isn't any actual innate musical worth they can possibly point to that matches the opus of, say, Sarah Brightman.  But we also shouldn't go to the opposite extreme and say classical music has nothing of worth at all.  Objectively measured, classical still has a lot of very good songs.  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Air, Canon in D, Dvorak's New World Symphony, the Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake, the 1812 Overture, the Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven's Symphonies, Fur Elise, the Ride of the Valkyries, Ave Maria, Hallelujah -- there really are some good songs from back when.

You just have to take the songs on their genuine worth and stop worrying about all the class and status issues that go into it.  Is this a good song?  Is it actually fun to listen to?  Does it keep you enthralled from beginning to end like fripside's only my railgun?  If so, there's nothing to complain about.  If not, there's no reason to go hyping it to the stars just because you smugly think that makes you look cool.

This playlist is about determining which classical songs belong in an objective, true hall of fame, as opposed to the puffed up claims of our 'betters' who insist all trillion songs by Mozart are perfection incarnate.  (this reminds me of a scene from Princess Bride:  "I'll give you my word as a Spaniard."  "No good, I've known too many Spaniards."  "I give you my word as a Mozart aficionado."  "No good, I've listened to too much Mozart.")

No comments: