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Seto Kaiba

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  • Birthday August 22

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    Anime (duh), Antique Firearms, Cryptography, Mechanical Design

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  1. I think I added a bit of pertinent detail. Stand Alone Complex character designer Hajime Shimomura discusses the design process in Stand Alone Complex Official Log 01 and mentions he used Man-Machine Interface's designs as his starting point for anime's, and that was Ghost in the Shell at its most exploitative. (His draft character studies use her appearance and wildly impractical dress from MMI's first chapter.) Yeah, it definitely stands out more in the less overtly 90's cyberpunk-y setting of Stand Alone Complex, though we do see a couple background characters on her level like Ran and Kurutan when they had a cameo in Ep5, the high-performance cyborgs the yakuza use as bodyguards in Ep7, and a number of background androids in various fetish-y outfits. I've often wondered if her being mistaken for a sex droid in 2nd Gig's Ep3 was a joke at their own expense there. (Ironically after she started dressing more reasonably.)
  2. Poor writing and fanfiction aren't completely synonymous... but the vast majority of fanfiction is badly written, and poor-quality professional writing has enough in common with it for it to pass as a synonym in common use. Having been directed to some of what I'm told are the "choicest cuts" of Star Wars material by friends who are fans, I'm not sure that's a good thing and IMO it says more about the iffy quality of a lot of Star Wars's first-party offerings than anything. I agree with your general point, though my take as to the cause is reversed. To me, it feels like The Acolyte's writers are trying to write a more mature story than Star Wars's usual fare by injecting some complexity and some shades of grey into the normally rigid and inflexible Good vs Evil dynamic that accompanies any story involving the Jedi. They're just going about it in a very halfhearted and desultory way because there's only so far they can go with it before they lose the audience. The Jedi in The Acolyte are still the wise, noble, selfless, heroic defenders of truth, justice, and the Republic way™️ they are in prior works. All that's really been done to make them less saintly in this story is that their characterization is slightly more grounded, so they come off as officious and arrogant. The Witches are still very much depicted like the dark side-worshipping cults of previous stories. They're still paranoid and aggressive while espousing a "Dark is not Evil" philosophy at odds with how the Force actually works and a "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!" worldview. All that's been done to soften their evilness is that they're shown to love their children and their leader outsources maniacal laughter to another witch. The result is that neither performance comes off as convincing because they're trying to add nuance to factions that are normally one-dimensional by nature of the Force's inclination to moral absolutes. IMO, it's more a limitation of the source material. The Jedi are expected to be serene and collected warrior monks. That means a "good" Jedi performance is nevertheless a flat one, like playing a Vulcan on Star Trek. Dark Side-aligned groups like the Sith or Witches are the opposite extreme. They're expected to be emotionally volatile and quick to anger. Classic uncomplicated melodramatic villains. That still makes for a stilted performance because they can't exhibit a believable emotional range. On this, I am not sure I agree. If anything, Osha's desire to be her own person with an identity separate from that of her identical twin sister Mae's is pretty standard identical twin behavior.
  3. That would be Shirow Masamune's own personal tastes showing through in an adaptation of his work. Motoko's outfit from Stand Alone Complex season one is a slightly modified version of one of the tamer outfits she wears in his sequel to the original manga Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface. Though that version came with a sleeved crop top-like jacket similar to what she wears in season two instead of a leather jacket. I'm not sure if you've read the original Ghost in the Shell manga or its sequels, but Shirow Masamune's work started out on the "sexy" side with a fair amount of fanservice and that aspect of his work only got more pronounced with time. Once he quit doing serialized work to focus on being an illustrator his self-published work became increasingly salacious until it crossed the line into literal hardcore pornography... though even Ghost in the Shell and Man-Machine Interface had explicit sex scenes that were removed from the western releases and reprintings.
  4. The Jedi forget they have superpowers with monotonous regularity... I even noted that the reason... ... is because Sol seemingly forgot he can use the Force to levitate things. Mind you, I think the answer is right there in the series. They assumed (correctly) that the girls had been instructed by their parents to try to fail the test, and asked them what they truly wanted. Osha wanted to be a Jedi, Mae didn't. If Mae had actually managed to fool the Jedi into thinking she didn't have Force powers, Sol would probably have rejected the idea that Mae could be the assassin once Osha was exonerated. (The lie was never going to work anyway, because we see the Jedi take blood samples for midichlorian testing.) I believe my exact words were... 😉 Dumb sh*t - often plot-convenient dumb sh*t - happens constantly when Force users are involved. What happened with Qimir is way less egregious than the prequel trilogy's Jedi Council spending so much time around Palpatine and never realizing he was the Sith Lord they were looking for, or even that he could use the Force... something that the prequels established could be tested for objectively and scientifically with minimal effort. At least what happened with Qimir fits the idea of the Jedi as arrogant and sloppy in this era. They were about to start rifling around in his brains to find answers and stopped just because he started volunteering information. (I even commented on how stupid it was that Sol offered to let him off with a warning when his crime was, at the very least, being an accomplice to the very murder they were there to investigate.)
  5. ... the hell? So it's not a business decision? It's some kind of contractual limitation preventing them from releasing the OVA in a standalone form? That's weird.
  6. Considering how... vocal... Mae is in this episode when it came to her disapproval of the Jedi and her sister's desire to join then, what makes you assume the Jedi had to be fooled into not recruiting Mae? When we see Osha being tested, Indara and Sol can tell right away that she's deliberately trying to fail because her family doesn't want to be separated from her. Sol then directly asks her what she wants, and after a brief discussion she says "I want to be a Jedi". They almost certainly put Mae through the same thing and almost certainly got the opposite answer, that Mae didn't want to leave her family and become a Jedi. So far, I'm not seeing the series abandoning logic... at least not any more than Star Wars usually does when the spacemagic of the Force is involved. It is undeniably poorly written though. Like others have said, it has that definite fanfic vibe. The funny thing is I wasn't even looking for it... ever since I watched The Acolyte trailer my YouTube recommendations have been full of Star Wars lore videos for some reason. Prerequisite-wise, it's definitely less onerous than Ahsoka requiring me to watch seven seasons of a mediocre cartoon and read three novels from the 80's to figure out why anyone would be insane enough to give Anakin an apprentice and why Elon Musk joined the Blue Man Group and violated a space whale in order to make stormtroopers even less effective by zombifying them. Like I said a while back, it's real easy to tell that The Acolyte was written for fans not for casual audiences. The reference density just does not support casual viewing. The two Tales of titles were the same way.
  7. Master Indara's group of Jedi were on Brendok surveiling a coven of witches, apparently for an extended period of time. Long enough for the witches to have noticed them in turn and been monitoring their whereabouts. Sol also makes a remark that suggests they were surveiling specific people on suspicion of criminal activity. That's official investigation territory, meaning they were almost certainly sent there by the Jedi Council and would be expected to report their findings. Trying to lie to a committee made up of telepaths who can sense deception is not a winning strategy to begin with, and pointed questions will surely be asked about where Sol came by that freshly traumatized child he's calling his new apprentice and why the child is traumatized. Osha might not know what specifically happened, but she knows she saw the aftermath of a mass casualty event and that's not the kind of news you can keep a lid on. Fair, though it doesn't quite track with how the Jedi in The Acolyte started this series explicitly on a mission to apprehend Indara's killer specifically so the Jedi Order could make an example of her because the killer was (wrongly) believed to be an ex-Jedi. The Jedi seem to want to show the galaxy that their all-powerful unsupervised magic lawmen are self-policing... which may or may not have something to do with the Republic's having built a prison specifically to hold renegade Force users a few hundred years earlier. I watched a lore video earlier that explained the vow that Torbin took, and if his goal was to cover up that he participated in something horrid that is the wrong way to do it. That vow he took is apparently a penitent's vow that a Jedi only takes if they've screwed up so epically that they believe they are incapable of functioning as a member of the Order. If his fellow residents of the temple know he's taken that vow (and they do) then they know he's done something particularly heinous. It's basically the Jedi version of a nobleman being forced to take holy orders and become a cloistered monk to escape some public dishonor.
  8. Whatever it is that happened on Brendok sixteen years before The Acolyte's present day, it can't have been that bad. After all, none of the four Jedi who visited Brendok were tried by the council and sent to The Citadel for incarceration. None of the four were expelled from the Jedi Order either... like what happened to Ahsoka Tano and Bariss Offee. Indara was already a Master, but both Sol and Torbin were subsequently promoted. Torbin was promoted twice. He was a padawan sixteen years ago and he's been a Master for something like ten years by the show's present day. Sol was promoted from knight to Master and is allowed to teach the children in the main temple on Coruscant. That's probably not something you do if you're guilty of the kind of heinous criminal act that only suicide can atone for. My guess is they're feeling guilty for something which probably isn't actually their fault, because Star Wars requires the Jedi to be the embodiment of Lawful Good. Probably because Mae was very clear about not wanting to go, and there's probably some law against straight-up kidnapping as a form of recruitment.
  9. The movie was subs-only, AFAIK, when it was released in the west. Only the OVA version was dubbed.
  10. Eh... when all is said and done, The Acolyte is still Star Wars. Its cosmos is underpinned by a higher power that maintains and rigidly enforces a simplistic Light is Good vs. Dark is Evil dichotomy on its adherants. The Jedi are on the side of Light and therefore Good, and their opponents are on the side of Dark and therefore Evil. For that reason, I suspect we won't be seeing any real shades of grey from The Acolyte. The worst the Jedi are likely to get up to will likely not go beyond "Good is not Nice", while Dark Side users like Mae and her master remain the familiar overdramatic card-carrying villains we've already seen they are. Value for money, yeah... it's not worth it. Unless you have small children.
  11. If I'm reading this correctly, and as it is in Chinese there is a possibility that I am not, this looks to be an advertisement for a Macross convention or other gathering at a shopping complex in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, China.
  12. I was so thrown by the fact that the Wookiee was wearing clothes that I completely missed that he also had a shaved head and a topknot. That part is normal for Star Wars. Bottomless pits without any kind of safety rails seems to be a galaxy-wide engineering tradition.
  13. New episode just dropped... and the title's the overused word I loathe the most in all of Star Wars: "Destiny". Looks like the writers were in a mood to get all that pesky exposition out of the way so Mae can get back to posing like an idiot and talking like an edgelord. I know this is an incredibly trivial nit to pick, but why does every character who appears in a flashback always have to have exactly the same haircut as a child that they do as an adult? I don't know anyone who kept the same haircut for their entire life. Can I just say how unnatural a clothed Wookiee looks? For real. I guess I'm so used to seeing Chewbacca go around letting it all hang out that seeing a Wookie wearing more than just a bandolier and a smile just feels weird. I suppose it's a nice bit of continuity that we see the Jedi use the same testing methods here that they used on Anakin in The Phantom Menace. All in all, it's a backstory dump an entire episode long and yet it doesn't feel like it added anything substantial to the story. It confirmed Mae has always been at least a little bit of a psychopath and why Sol and the twins all believed one of them had died, but that's about it. This is the TV episode version of the meeting that could've been an email. Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific).
  14. Well, you're likely to get some character figures out of it at the very least... Good Smile seems to be one of the sponsors. (Also, we just sleeping on that pun I threw in there? Racy figures for a racing series?) That we do... though that was also never in any doubt considering her very first race saw her disqualified for a rules violation and something like 1/3 of her total career has been some form of disqualification. Now that they've gone and said that the AIs that've been outperforming her all series are technically not even competent racers, the win that they'll hand Rin at the end of the series is going to feel extra unearned... like how her only prior decent placement was because she was blindly following the instructions of the AI.
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