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Gunslinger Girl [message #354802] Mon, 23 October 2017 06:27 Go to next message
Brian is currently offline  Brian
Messages: 441
Registered: February 2012
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Senior Member
I recently have been watching the show "Gunslinger Girl" over at
Funimation.ccom, and have been quite enjoying it. I am not going to
review it, I will leave that (reviewing anime) to others, but I will say
that I think it is very well animated. I also really like anime that is
set in the United States (Kaleido Star, Chrono Crusade etc.), Europe
(Gunslinger Girl, Victorian Romance Emma, etc.) and Psuedo-Europe (FMA,
Kino's Journey - and yes, I still say that one is is Pseudo-Europe).

However, I think the single most interesting aspect of show is the
music, specifically the opening and ending theme. The opening theme,
"The Light Before We Land," by the Delgados is one of the rare instances
of an English-language song being the theme for an anime. The song
itself is good, but I like it more because it is quite rare that that
happens, and makes the show "stand out" in a way.

I thought about it and think that I like anime that uses English theme
music for much the same reason I like the settings I described earlier,
they are fairly rarely used in anime.

I did some research (it wasn't graduate-thesis level research, it was
just a quick read of the Wikipedia page and the Allmusic page) on the
Delgados, who played the theme song. They are apparently a Scottish
indie rock band that lasted from 1995 to 2004, and broke up after one of
the founding members quit.

When I first heard the ending song, I thought "this is interesting, the
song is in Italian." Then I got to wondering if I just thought it was
Italian because it was "operatic." So I did some searching, and found
the title of the song, "Dopo il Songo," and the lyrics. It was indeed
in Italian (or at least it looked like Italian to me), and was described
as a "contemporary aria." I am just going to guess that using Italian
music is even more rare than using English music in anime.

In my research, I saw a comment that it is a travesty that they didn't
use the Delgados (or at least English-language music) for the theme of
the 2nd season, and went with the more standard J-pop. I have not seen
the second season yet (I think that is at Funimation.com as well), but I
do not think it is a "travesty," but I do like the fact that the first
season used the English-language theme song and that it would have been
at least intersting for them to do that on the second season.
--
My Yonkoma: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brian0908/albums/7215768022352 6176

The E-mail associated with the account is a "spamcatcher" account that I
got to every couple of months to empty out, and anything sent to it will
not be seen for probably several months, if it is seen at all.
Brian Christiansen
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #354803 is a reply to message #354802] Mon, 23 October 2017 20:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dave Baranyi is currently offline  Dave Baranyi
Messages: 1057
Registered: January 2012
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Senior Member
On Monday, October 23, 2017 at 6:27:31 AM UTC-4, Brian Christiansen wrote:

>
> However, I think the single most interesting aspect of show is the
> music, specifically the opening and ending theme. The opening theme,
> "The Light Before We Land," by the Delgados is one of the rare instances
> of an English-language song being the theme for an anime. The song
> itself is good, but I like it more because it is quite rare that that
> happens, and makes the show "stand out" in a way.
>
> I thought about it and think that I like anime that uses English theme
> music for much the same reason I like the settings I described earlier,
> they are fairly rarely used in anime.
>

The award winning anime from 2002, "Hanada Shounen-shi" used Back Street Boys songs for both the opening ("The One") and closing ("Drowning") animations.

I don't think that the was ever officially translated into English, which is a shame. It's a fun, smart, and well done 25 part series about a boy who becomes able to see and speak to ghosts after he has an accident. And once the ghosts find out about him they all have something that they want him to do for them.

Dave Baranyi
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #354804 is a reply to message #354802] Mon, 23 October 2017 21:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dave Baranyi is currently offline  Dave Baranyi
Messages: 1057
Registered: January 2012
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Senior Member
On Monday, October 23, 2017 at 6:27:31 AM UTC-4, Brian Christiansen wrote:
> I recently have been watching the show "Gunslinger Girl" over at
> Funimation.ccom, and have been quite enjoying it. I am not going to
> review it, I will leave that (reviewing anime) to others, but I will say
> that I think it is very well animated. I also really like anime that is
> set in the United States (Kaleido Star, Chrono Crusade etc.), Europe
> (Gunslinger Girl, Victorian Romance Emma, etc.) and Psuedo-Europe (FMA,
> Kino's Journey - and yes, I still say that one is is Pseudo-Europe).
>

BTW - I wrote my review on the series way back in 2003 when the series was being broadcast and posted it on r.a.a.m.. I tried to find the review in Google Groups but failed. However, I still have an e-copy of the review (and most everything else that I've posted on r.a.a.m. over the past 20 years or so) so if you are interested in my thoughts let me know and I can repost it.

Cheers -

Dave Baranyi
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #354808 is a reply to message #354804] Fri, 27 October 2017 21:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brian is currently offline  Brian
Messages: 441
Registered: February 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On 10/23/2017 06:15 PM, Dave Baranyi wrote:
> BTW - I wrote my review on the series way back in 2003 when the series was being broadcast and posted it on r.a.a.m.. I tried to find the review in Google Groups but failed. However, I still have an e-copy of the review (and most everything else that I've posted on r.a.a.m. over the past 20 years or so) so if you are interested in my thoughts let me know and I can repost it.
>
Reposting it isn't all that necessary, but just out of curiosity, what
did you think of the show overall. What about the music?

I could probably count on 1 hand the number of shows I know of that use
a English-language theme song, if you include shows that use
English-language music For shows that use it somewhere else, such as for
background music or an ending theme, I might have to go a 2nd hand, but
probably not much past that. I have no doubt that you know of more than
I do, but I really do not think I am going out on a limb to say it is
quite rare for that to happen.

I am up to the second season, and in that season there is an episode (I
would have to do so googling to remember exactly which episode, but I
think it was toward the middle) where the song "Scarborough Fair," one
of my favorite songs, by Simon and Garfunkle was mentioned, so it was
used as the ending theme rather than the regular ending theme
(unfortunately, I am pretty sure that the Simon and Garfunkle version
was not used).

I think it would have been quite interesting if they had kept up this
motif throughout the whole show. For example, in another episode, the
girls are listening to Beethoven's ninth, and start singing "Ode to
Joy," and so that could have been used for the ending theme. In
another, some of the girls to the opera "Tosca," so that one could have
used an aria from Tosca as its ending theme.

The beginning, ending, and internal music of a show don't magically make
a good show into a bad one, but I think that it does add to the overall
experience of the show.

For example, I like both seasons of K-ON!, but I think the opening and
ending songs from the first season are by far the best individual parts
of that show, and I watch both of them when I watch that show. The
themes from season 2, not so much, and I either go out to the kitchen to
refill my iced tea or hit the FF button when those come on.

My favorite of the Pretty Cure series is Splash Star (which maybe makes
it my favorite magical girl show, I have not decided yet), and my 2nd
favorite from that meta-series is the original. However, the opening
and ending from Splash Star generally inspire me to either refill my
iced tea or hit the FF button. For the original however the
opening/ending is one of my favorite such combinations (after perhaps
K-ON! first season and Evangelion), and I usually quite enjoy it when
watching Pretty Cure.

I also like the translation that they did of the ending theme (Love Love
Mode, I think) that was done in the English dub of the show. Usually
transliterated songs are the epitome of cringe (look no farther than the
Ranma 1/2 Tendo Family Christmas Scramble for an example of this), but I
really like the translated song from Pretty Cure. I am sure however
there is someone out there who likes the translated song from Ranma 1/2
(and not just because sexy anime girls are singing it), but absolutely
hates the song from Pretty Cure.

I have not watched more than a few episodes of the show "Your Lie in
April" (though, from what I hear about the show, I guess I need to get
on that right away), but I do know its "basic" plot and that the leads
are a classical pianist and a classical violinist so it features quite a
bit of classical music (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.), though I don't think
it features any opera arias. I think it would have been neat if they
had used a classical piece, perhaps even a different one each time, for
the ending theme.

I also once came across a YouTube video where someone had translated the
themes for "Your Lie in April" and "Lucky Star" (these were brought to
my attention in a review by Anime America). Though the translations
were not used by the official English dubs and were just little projects
done by anime fans (at least I assume they were anime fans),who: spoke
Japanese and English well enough to translate a song, also happened to
be musicians and were also songwriters, because it seems to me that when
translating a song, if the best translation does not "mesh up" with the
music, some songwriting skill have to be come into play to produce
lyrics that do not sound cringy.

Hmm...I guess it takes quite a few skills to translate a song well.
Well anyway, I quite enjoyed both of these translated theme songs. I
think they were fairly accurate translations and not total rewrites like
the theme for Sailor Moon where I think essentially a love song was
totally rewritten to a song about how Sailor Moon and the other super
gals swoop in to save the day (don't get me wrong, I actually like the
dub version of that song).

I kinda wish Viz had translated that song, because as the translated
versions of the themes to "Lucky star" and "Your Lie in April" (and a
few others such as "Smile Bomb" from YuYu Hakaso, Ruroni Kenshin) at
least show me, that sort of thing can be done well. Or at least Viz
could have put subtitles on the theme song of Sailor Moon.

I meant for this to be just a short statement that a reposting of your
review is not really necessary, but it turned out to be a lot longer
than I thought it would.

--
My Yonkoma: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brian0908/albums/7215768022352 6176

The E-mail associated with the account is a "spamcatcher" account that I
got to every couple of months to empty out, and anything sent to it will
not be seen for probably several months, if it is seen at all.
Brian Christiansen
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #355261 is a reply to message #354808] Sat, 28 October 2017 12:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris Buckley is currently offline  Chris Buckley
Messages: 56
Registered: July 2012
Karma: 0
Member
On 2017-10-28, Brian Christiansen <brian_christians@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I also once came across a YouTube video where someone had translated the
> themes for "Your Lie in April" and "Lucky Star" (these were brought to
> my attention in a review by Anime America). Though the translations
> were not used by the official English dubs and were just little projects
> done by anime fans (at least I assume they were anime fans),who: spoke
> Japanese and English well enough to translate a song, also happened to
> be musicians and were also songwriters, because it seems to me that when
> translating a song, if the best translation does not "mesh up" with the
> music, some songwriting skill have to be come into play to produce
> lyrics that do not sound cringy.
>
> Hmm...I guess it takes quite a few skills to translate a song well.

Indeed. And there's so many different ways to do it!

My favorite anime song is "God Knows" (_The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya_).

Just looking around on YouTube, there's probably a dozen different
English translated performances of it (not all animated, most are just
sung, which avoids the lip-sync problem) Some of them are quite good,
including the official dub translation, done by the dub voice actress.
(There's also umpteen other versions of the song, including several on
concert pianos and a nice one for piano and 3 violins (it's a standard
guitar rock band in the anime.))

Great song and fantastic animation for the time. The biggest YouTube
version (about 65 million views) pre-dates common HD, but some of the
other later versions in HD really show the animation well.

Chris
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #355262 is a reply to message #354808] Sat, 28 October 2017 16:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dave Baranyi is currently offline  Dave Baranyi
Messages: 1057
Registered: January 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On Friday, October 27, 2017 at 9:29:13 PM UTC-4, Brian Christiansen wrote:
> On 10/23/2017 06:15 PM, Dave Baranyi wrote:
>> BTW - I wrote my review on the series way back in 2003 when the series was being broadcast and posted it on r.a.a.m.. I tried to find the review in Google Groups but failed. However, I still have an e-copy of the review (and most everything else that I've posted on r.a.a.m. over the past 20 years or so) so if you are interested in my thoughts let me know and I can repost it.
>>
> Reposting it isn't all that necessary, but just out of curiosity, what
> did you think of the show overall. What about the music?
>

In my listing of anime shows for 2003 I gave Gunslinger Girls a "D." On MAL I gave it 2 out of 10. Here's a key summary of my feelings about the show taken from my review:

"Okay, nit-picking aside, what we have here is an attempt to wrap the titillation inherent in portraying pre-pubescent girls as mini-skirted killing machines in a cloak of reputability by focussing on the “evil” inherent in the situation. Everyone in the show is evil – the bad guys, the good guys, the doctors, the Government, and so on, with the exception of the narrator Jose, who is going through a crisis of conscience. Jose thinks of Henrietta as a surrogate little sister and is torn by her unexpected and unplanned return of affection and loyalty. So the stage is already set for a sad denouement, as if this were a medieval morality play. "

I couldn't remember any of the music so I just went and checked out the opening and ending themes on YouTube for the first time in 14 years, and sure enough, I found both to be totally unmemorable.

I guess that my tastes are just different from yours.

Cheers -

Dave Baranyi
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #355263 is a reply to message #355262] Sat, 28 October 2017 20:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Chris Buckley is currently offline  Chris Buckley
Messages: 56
Registered: July 2012
Karma: 0
Member
On 2017-10-28, Dave Baranyi <davebaranyi@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Friday, October 27, 2017 at 9:29:13 PM UTC-4, Brian Christiansen wrote:
>> On 10/23/2017 06:15 PM, Dave Baranyi wrote:
>>> BTW - I wrote my review on the series way back in 2003 when the series was being broadcast and posted it on r.a.a.m.. I tried to find the review in Google Groups but failed. However, I still have an e-copy of the review (and most everything else that I've posted on r.a.a.m. over the past 20 years or so) so if you are interested in my thoughts let me know and I can repost it.
>>>
>> Reposting it isn't all that necessary, but just out of curiosity, what
>> did you think of the show overall. What about the music?
>>
>
> In my listing of anime shows for 2003 I gave Gunslinger Girls a "D." On MAL I gave it 2 out of 10. Here's a key summary of my feelings about the show taken from my review:
>
> "Okay, nit-picking aside, what we have here is an attempt to wrap the titillation inherent in portraying pre-pubescent girls as mini-skirted killing machines in a cloak of reputability by focussing on the “evil” inherent in the situation. Everyone in the show is evil – the bad guys, the good guys, the doctors, the Government, and so on, with the exception of the narrator Jose, who is going through a crisis of conscience. Jose thinks of Henrietta as a surrogate little sister and is torn by her unexpected and unplanned return of affection and loyalty. So the stage is already set for a sad denouement, as if this were a medieval morality play. "
>
> I couldn't remember any of the music so I just went and checked out the opening and ending themes on YouTube for the first time in 14 years, and sure enough, I found both to be totally unmemorable.
>
> I guess that my tastes are just different from yours.

As I know from the past, my tastes differ from yours very
substantially in certain areas. One of them is that any anime that
exploits kids seems to be very strongly disliked by you (I have no
problem with that!). And this anime does.

I give Gunslinger Girls a 10/10. It's one of my favorites (on MAL, I
have 19 10's, out of 330 rated (I really need to update it)). The
setup is undeniably evil. But very little else is. The question of
what to do when confronted with an evil situation is a very tough one,
and one that is explored from many angles in the series. It's
presenting questions like this that attract me to anime - the ability
to take things to extreme in a fictional world.

I think all the major characters in the series were well presented and
the problems each of them faced, and the different way each of them
handled their problems was very well done.

I seemed to remember I liked the opening music, but the music from it
that I will always remember is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in the final
episode of the first season. The was an extremely emotionally
effective ending to the series. Later seasons and OVAs I rated at 7 or 8,
but the first season was fantastic.

Chris
Re: Gunslinger Girl [message #355264 is a reply to message #355263] Sun, 29 October 2017 03:01 Go to previous message
Brian is currently offline  Brian
Messages: 441
Registered: February 2012
Karma: 0
Senior Member
On 10/28/2017 05:04 PM, Chris Buckley wrote:
> On 2017-10-28, Dave Baranyi <davebaranyi@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Friday, October 27, 2017 at 9:29:13 PM UTC-4, Brian Christiansen wrote:
>>> On 10/23/2017 06:15 PM, Dave Baranyi wrote:
>>>> BTW - I wrote my review on the series way back in 2003 when the series was being broadcast and posted it on r.a.a.m.. I tried to find the review in Google Groups but failed. However, I still have an e-copy of the review (and most everything else that I've posted on r.a.a.m. over the past 20 years or so) so if you are interested in my thoughts let me know and I can repost it.
>>>>
>>> Reposting it isn't all that necessary, but just out of curiosity, what
>>> did you think of the show overall. What about the music?
>>>
>>
>> In my listing of anime shows for 2003 I gave Gunslinger Girls a "D." On MAL I gave it 2 out of 10. Here's a key summary of my feelings about the show taken from my review:
>>
>> "Okay, nit-picking aside, what we have here is an attempt to wrap the titillation inherent in portraying pre-pubescent girls as mini-skirted killing machines in a cloak of reputability by focussing on the “evil” inherent in the situation. Everyone in the show is evil – the bad guys, the good guys, the doctors, the Government, and so on, with the exception of the narrator Jose, who is going through a crisis of conscience. Jose thinks of Henrietta as a surrogate little sister and is torn by her unexpected and unplanned return of affection and loyalty. So the stage is already set for a sad denouement, as if this were a medieval morality play."
>>
>> I couldn't remember any of the music so I just went and checked out the opening and ending themes on YouTube for the first time in 14 years, and sure enough, I found both to be totally unmemorable.
>>
>> I guess that my tastes are just different from yours.
>
> As I know from the past, my tastes differ from yours very
> substantially in certain areas. One of them is that any anime that
> exploits kids seems to be very strongly disliked by you (I have no
> problem with that!). And this anime does.
>
> I give Gunslinger Girls a 10/10. It's one of my favorites (on MAL, I
> have 19 10's, out of 330 rated (I really need to update it)). The
> setup is undeniably evil. But very little else is. The question of
> what to do when confronted with an evil situation is a very tough one,
> and one that is explored from many angles in the series. It's
> presenting questions like this that attract me to anime - the ability
> to take things to extreme in a fictional world.
>
> I think all the major characters in the series were well presented and
> the problems each of them faced, and the different way each of them
> handled their problems was very well done.
>
> I seemed to remember I liked the opening music, but the music from it
> that I will always remember is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in the final
> episode of the first season. The was an extremely emotionally
> effective ending to the series. Later seasons and OVAs I rated at 7 or 8,
> but the first season was fantastic.
>
> Chris
>

At first I wondered what "MAL" meant, but after thinking about it, I am
pretty sure that it stands for "my anime list."

As for what rating I would give the show, I certainly would give it much
higher than a "F**k it" rating (2/10), but I don't think I would give it
a "certified frosty" rating (10/10) either (Fans of glass reflection on
youtube will get that rating system). I suppose I will give it a
"stream it" rating, but then again, all the anime I watch is streamed.

Legal streaming sites that it is on are: Crunchyroll, at least the
subbed version of the first season is there (Crunchyroll was at one time
not a legal streaming site, but it is one now, which to me is the only
factor that matters, the operators of the site "got religion" and signed
the paperwork or whatever they needed to do to transform it to a legal
streaming site).

It is also available on the Funimation web site, in both subbed and
English dubbed formats. Currently it is free and one does not have to
have their premium service to watch it. I say currently because I do
not know if Funimation periodically changes what is available for free
or not.

I also just checked and it is available at
viewster(http://www.viewster.com/), which I think is a legal site. I
would have to watch an episode there to be sure, but I think it is the
subbed version that is available there (according to the episode count,
I am sure it is not both versions).

It might also be available on paid services like Netflix or Hulu, I have
no idea.

As for not so legal sites, I strongly suspect that most people here know
where those are located or at least how to find them, whether you watch
them is a decision that is up to your conscience.

As for the episode with "Ode to Joy" (in fact, I looked through my CDs
and am listening to Beethoven's 9th instead of Accuradio like I usually
do as I am typing this message) in it, I am sorta embarrassed about
that, because even though I have watched the 2 seasons within the past 2
weeks, I misremembered and thought that episode was "about in the
middle" of the 2nd season and not the last episode of the 1st season.

Now I am beginning to second guess myself about the episode with
"Scarborough Fair" being at "about the middle" of the 2nd season.
Anyway, I think it would have been neato if they had done that every
episode, used something like "Ode to Joy" or "Scarborough Fair" as the
closing music for the episode.

As for the song "The Light Before We Land" (I think that was the title,
if I recall correctly), I am not going to claim it as my favorite song
or run out to the Itunes store to buy it, but I quite liked it. I also
quite liked the fact that they choose to use an English-language song
rather than a standard J-poppy song. Like I said, the opening or ending
theme does not automatically make a bad show into a good one, or a good
show into a bad one, but it does add to the overall experience of a
show, or at least I think it does.

--
My Yonkoma: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brian0908/albums/7215768022352 6176

The E-mail associated with the account is a "spamcatcher" account that I
got to every couple of months to empty out, and anything sent to it will
not be seen for probably several months, if it is seen at all.
Brian Christiansen
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