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When Worlds Collide

In a recent interview, C.J. Cherryh says that she likes ... Saiyuki.

OK, she mentions it as an anime ... but still! That makes me happy!

(She says she likes Bleach, too. And Kyo Kara Maoh.)


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
I can't quite reconcile Cherryh with Saiyuki, and *especially* not painfully animated filler-filled anime Saiyuki.
Oct. 29th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)

What, you don't think Nii and Ariane Emory I would have lots of things to discuss?

But yeah, there is that little problem. (I'm not sure I can picture her watching KKM, either.)

I'm going to pretend it's Saiyuki manga that she likes. I girl can dream, yes?

Oct. 29th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
The anime was just good enough to work as a gateway drug to pique my interest in the manga -- so it could happen!
Oct. 29th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
It's entirely possible! And I just started one of her books, perfect timing.
Oct. 29th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)

Which one?

Oct. 29th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
At Wave without a Shore she just had a thread this week about anime recommendations.

The only downside to that is that some people hijacked it to ask about her reactions to Elizabeth Moon having been disinvited as GoH by Wiscon. So we get lots of name-calling of commenters among each other.
Oct. 29th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
Heh, interesting! The Saiyuki/Bleach/KKM connection makes definite sense now, given her talk of preferring more mythic stuff with complex storylines and good-looking older characters rather than cutesy little kids, and having avoided the genre for ages due to a perception that it was just shallow cheesy kiddy stuff, and having trouble with some of the visual conventions. (Boy does that sound familiar! I've had similar conversations over the years trying to get through to F&SF-loving friends who were convinced anime was nothing but giant robots and magical schoolgirls and dudes kicking each other in the head for half an hour.)
Oct. 29th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)

Heh, maybe I should dig out my login info for that board and rec Black Lagoon.

Oct. 29th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
I see folks have already recced her Cowboy Bebop -- I wonder if she'd go for Wolf's Rain too, although it's one of those where the mythic edge leans far enough into ambiguous/unexplained territory that some folks get really frustrated at not being totally sure exactly what the hell is going on. (I'm happy to roll with it as working on a subconscious/emotional level, but someone who gets hung up on the "GIVE ME A LOGICAL EXPLANATION FOR THIS!" worldbuilding angle would have a lot of trouble with it.)
Oct. 29th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
Wolf's Rain and Last Exile both had that problem for me, but they were awesomely cracky otherwise.
Oct. 29th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
I never got around to finishing LE (was watching that one on TV and kept missing episodes, but I liked what little I saw), but WR hit me a lot like Saiyuki -- it hit me so well on an emotional level that I didn't care if big aspects of the worldbuilding weren't explained or didn't make much sense.
Oct. 29th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
For me, these were interesting to watch once but I have no need to see them again. Saiyuki is the same for me. I hope you and chomiji can forgive me for that ^^.
Oct. 29th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)

... surely you're not suggesting that we care about the Saiyuki anime?

(The manga, on the other hand, I'll argue about.)

Oct. 30th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC)
Hey, I do care about the anime a little, nee-chan! Not at the same level as the manga, natch, and I would never rec it without serious caveats and encouraging folks to look at the manga as well for better art and deeper storytelling -- although I also give the first manga series some caveats when reccing too, since the art is relatively weak at the start and it takes several volumes for the story to really hit its groove. But I am somewhat fond of it, and not just because it introduced me to the manga! I really love the soundtrack and the seiyuu -- Gojyo and Hakkai in particular I do "hear" in my mind's ear with Hirata Hiroaki's and Ishida Akira's voices, and a tiny trace of Tony Oliver and Ilich Guardiola for Gojyo, too; and seeing it before I'd come across any of sensei's own color art, I really imprinted on to the idea of Gojyo having a slightly deeper skin tone than the other three. I even like some of the filler episodes -- there are some cute character moments in a few of them, and the entire Homura arc is filler that's fairly well-done and emotionally affecting.

Edited at 2010-10-30 12:47 am (UTC)
Oct. 30th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)

I'm sorry, imotou-chan, I shouldn't have spoken for you!


Yeah, the artwork in vols. 1 and 2 was pretty appalling. I tell you, reading Saiyuki as my second series after SDK had me pretty well convinced that all manga series start off badly! And Fruits Basket has similar issues. To me, one of the astonishing things about Antique Bakery was the fact that it came out strongly right from the start .. although with such a short series, she had to do so.

Oct. 30th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC)
I have to wonder if Yoshinaga-sensei's own publication history and storytelling preferences may not have a lot to do with that. I haven't really read anything by Furuba's creator to judge by, but an awful lot of hugely popular shojo and shonen series do tend to be fairly sprawling, episodic things. Yoshinaga seems more grounded in josei and BL, and in the BL world at least I know there tend to be a lot of relatively short series, one-shots and stand-alone short stories; something like Fake or Kizuna or Junjou Romantica are exceptionally long and plotty series in the BL world, while they're practically miniatures compared to some of the epic shonen action series...
Oct. 31st, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Well, I won't argue that you and your imouto are big Saiyuki fans, I sort of hope you can forgive me for not being a huge Saiyuki fan, it just didn't quite work out for me. In neither form, really.
Oct. 30th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
Eh, no worries, I am so much more of a reader than a watcher that I rarely re-watch most video media, even things I really loved -- there's a reason why I have shelf after overstuffed shelf of books and manga and comics, but could fit every DVD I own in a single shopping bag. And Cho doesn't really watch *anything* unless someone sits her down and twists her arm, and hates the Saiyuki anime on general principles without having seen more than random clips. ;)
Oct. 30th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)

Well, that trailer didn't help ... (Gojyo's magenta hair ... among other things).

And I really have looked at lots of stills from the anime, trying to find stuff for icons, and I really really don't like the art style. Sorry, ma'am!

(I will give you that the storyline doesn't seem to have been butchered to the extent that SDK's was.)

Oct. 30th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
If I can interject:

I hate anime made from manga on general principle. To me, it's almost always inferior. Ouran Host Club, which is too superficial for me as a manga, is an exception; so is Hetalia -- maybe both need the injection of color that anime provides.

The character design and artwork from Gensoumaden makes me shudder. I've never seen any of it other than in AMVs, though I probably will someday for the sake of knowing what's in it, especially the Gaiden/Homura arcs. But I actually like and enjoy the Reload anime and Requiem OVA, which one of my beta reviewers gave me free of charge (her brothers got her copies of Gensoumaden); the artwork and character designs are much better, the seiyuu are good (I particularly like Gojyo and Sanzo's seiyuu), the filler is (mostly) entertaining, and the Kami-sama arc is powerful as anime. There is something extra gained from actually seeing the characters walk and talk and interact that you don't get from manga.

There are things I don't like -- Goku is occasionally dumbed down and too shrill, some of the filler is stupid, and the illogic of the Demon Genjyo Sanzo episode gives me a headache -- but I appreciate a few of the differences from the manga: Sanzo's more aloof than snarly, and Gojyo acts more grownup and is more appealing.
Oct. 30th, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
There is something extra gained from actually seeing the characters walk and talk and interact that you don't get from manga.

Yeah, that's pretty much my attitude as well; color, movement, a good soundtrack and good seiyuu performances all can enrich the experience in ways that make for a deeply enjoyable supplement to the manga. (And in series that start as anime, the voicework and music and action may be such integral components of the storytelling that manga adaptations are actually a bit of a letdown.) Genso and Gunlock are really inconsistent in art and writing quality, I wouldn't recommend either as a starting point (and Gunlock I'd actively warn people away from unless they're completists or amused by trainwrecks), but they have the same excellent voice actors and decent musical scores as Reload.

but I appreciate a few of the differences from the manga: Sanzo's more aloof than snarly, and Gojyo acts more grownup and is more appealing.

I didn't see those as being particularly noticeable differences in characterization from one medium to the other, but it does illustrate the point we're both making pretty neatly -- sometimes video adaptations, where you can pick up subtleties of body language and verbal inflection directly instead of trying to infer them from still images or words on a page, can take even an excellent source manga and make certain aspects of it a little richer or easier to understand. And in cases like these, some of the things that may be lost in the video adaptation, like subtleties of the art, can really be balanced out in a lot of ways by what is gained from the translation to a new media with different strengths.
Oct. 30th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
I'm prejudiced against anime versions of manga, especially when the anime is done before the manga is finished, because so often the plot, characterization, or both go off the rails, as happened with Gravitation. It's a fine anime without reference to the manga, but it just doesn't star the characters I see in the manga, nor is the plot at all the same by the end.

I see enough differences between the manga characters and their anime equivalents that to me, they're slightly different characters, but that gives me a wider characterization to play with when I write. Thinking of them as slightly different versions of the same th ing is also a way to cope with the differences in character design between the two media.

I have all of Reload and some of Gunlock, but my benefactor gave up on Gunlock after awhile, so I don't have the whole thing, and I haven't watched any of it yet. I get the impression it really takes a nosedive once it gets into the Hazel arc, since Hazel is more of an out-and-out villain than he is in the manga, and the plot is different.
Oct. 30th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
The Hazel arc in the anime is especially egregious, since it starts out following along with the manga and then has to go off with its own script since, much like back in the end of Genso, they were caught up with the published manga. But where the Homura arc had some decent writing and didn't screw with the existing characterization too much, the Gunlock Hazel arc is just...well, looking at it in retrospect, there are some elements that make me think they must have asked Minekura to give them some hints or an outline of how it was supposed to play out, but their writers just weren't good enough to pull it off. But Gunlock's problems start long before that -- the animation is hugely inconsistent and flat-out horrible in spots, there are a ton of filler episodes and many of them are just atrociously written: most of the filler in Genso and Reload I don't mind at all, and some of the filler eps I'm really quite fond of, but a lot of the Gunlock filler IMO is nonsensical and wildly out of character. The voice actors are still all doing their best, but with scripts that bad there's really only so much they can do to salvage it. (And if you do grit your teeth and try to watch it, make sure to watch at least one Hazel episode in the dub to see how much worse it gets without good voice acting -- dub!Hazel's inexplicable cheesy accent must be heard to be believed.)
Oct. 30th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
I can't watch the dub anyway; I've only been watching the sub.

Is the episode where Hakkai goes on strike and the rest have to fend for themselves for a day any good? I've been looking forward to seeing that one. I read a fic based on it and have seen stills of Sanzo in a frilly apron from it. XD
Oct. 31st, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Yes and no? It's got some enjoyable moments and overall plays sort of like an extended version of one of the cracky omake, but if you think about the scenario for more than a second there are some pretty big plotholes and characterization fail. A lot like the "Demon Genjyo Sanzo" spa episode, pretty much -- amusing if you take it as a sort of non-canon comedy special, the premise of the guys wondering about Sanzo's kill count and its consequences is a cool idea, but it makes no sense that "we have no time to get involved here" Sanzo would take time off for a spa day, or that any of the guys, Goku especially, couldn't tell the difference between him and a random youkai. This one has similar problems -- I can totally see Goku and Gojyo being slobs (heck, it's canon for Gojyo) and Sanzo expecting other people to do the chores for him, and I can see Hakkai getting ticked off and wanting to teach them a lesson -- but again this episode doesn't explain why they're suddenly hanging out at an inn long enough to make it such a mess when Sanzo's usually in such a hurry, Sanzo's carelessness around the sutra here is utterly unbelievable, and Hakkai can be scary and controlling/manipulative enough that I tend to think any such issues around housekeeping and not taking him for granted would have been worked out long before this late stage of the journey.
Oct. 30th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC)
The magenta hair is only in Genso, though: Reload and Gunlock (for all Gunlock's many, many other massive flaws), and the Requiem and Burial OVAs, all return the kappa's hair to the proper blood-red. And the art style changes a lot between Genso and Reload: the character design in Genso is certainly less attractive to my eyes, but it's also rather obviously drawing upon Minekura's own style as of the earliest volumes of Saiyuki, before her art really evolved. The later series have somewhat better character design which is of course still simplified to meet the needs of the medium and animation budget, but it's been tweaked a bit to reflect sensei's changes in style -- compare that Genso OP to the Reload OP here, for instance, and you can see the coloring is a little more subtle, the faces and bodies are a little less cartoony, Gojyo's bangs no longer stand up several inches above his head, and so forth. I don't blame you for finding the anime art, even at its best, inferior to Minekura at her best, because there's really no contest there at all; but looking at stills and the occasional disjointed YouTube clip really doesn't leave you in the best place to judge fairly what someone might possibly see as worthwhile in the anime, because there's so much more than just the art style coming in to the equation. (Also, judging by some of our past discussions on fanart and doujinshi, I think you are in some ways much more persnickety than I am about objecting to versions of beloved characters that don't look exactly like the way you're used to seeing them? I love Minekura's mature style and do prefer fan/DJ/animation art that hews a little closer to it, but I can still often find something to like in art that deviates more strongly from the canon portrayals of the characters.)
Oct. 29th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
Did you see that rachelmanijaanswered us both on your birthday post?
Oct. 29th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)

Yes, I did, thanks! (I'm so obsessive about my LJ that I usually remember how many comments there were on the top couple of topics from check-in to check-in, so I notice things like that!)

Oct. 31st, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
I wasn't sure if the notification would reach you because she answered my comment (I have no real grasp of the inner workings of LJ and since I hardly ever have posts of my own, I thought I'd better tell you.).
Oct. 29th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out! She seems aware of a lot of the Gaiden plot and appreciates Saiyuki from that level. She also said she and Jane have "stacks and stacks" of Bleach, which gives me hopes that maybe she means manga as well (although it could just be recorded video - she comments that anime is very re-watchable).

I am not surprised that warriorofworry jumped in on Wiscon - I actually agree with her (so does writer Ann Leckie, who used to post on Shejidan using a nom de Web). But it did not need to be brought up in that space. I wonder who that character is who first brought it up. I don't think I know him from the Shejidan board (if he's there, he must be using a different handle).

I see that someone recced Mushishi along with Saiyuki, which is all to the good.

I think I have an account on Wave Without a Shore, but I've forgotten my login info. Also, I can't even keep up with Shejidan, which is less prolific ... .

Oct. 29th, 2010 02:26 pm (UTC)
I read that as meaning stacks of DVDs/videos myself -- she goes on enough talking about subtitles and soundtracks, and doesn't seem to mention anything manga-specific at all, that it sounds like she's focused purely on anime to me. Do you know if she has any background in reading Western comics? It sounds like she was put off from even watching anime in the first place due to that perception that it was all like the most visible and commercially popular sorts of kiddie fare, if she's not a comics person (with the similar common perception that it's all cheesy superhero schlock), then she may perhaps not have explored print comics much either. Or she may just prefer animation to comics, of course! And since it sounds like a lot of the Japanese visual conventions are a little unfamiliar and offputting to her, having color and movement and music and excellent voice actors bringing a little extra life to things may be helpful in bridging the gap in adjusting to a new genre.
Oct. 30th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)

Re: CJC and Western comics.

(Having pointed that out ... I don't really know how much reading she's done in comics! I guess I really should start following the new blog, but I sort of have my hands full as it is. I added several new blogs to my LJ recently - authors who came out sounding sensible about the Moon situation.)

Oct. 30th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
Interesting! But that looks like it's a tie-in to the "Lois and Clark" tv series of the mid-90s, nee-chan -- it's all based on the Superman characters, but I don't know if I'd take a TV-novelization tie-in as proof positive that the author was necessarily a huge fan of the original comics property, or superhero/mainstream Western comics in general. She might have really liked the TV show without being into the funnybooks -- I've known plenty of fans of the live-action X-men movie series or Superman-based TV series like "Smallville" and "Lois and Clark" who weren't really interested in delving into the actual comic books either. Some folks just have strong preferences around storytelling media, nothing wrong with that!
Oct. 29th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
(Also on the Gaiden front, I wonder if she watched the Genso anime rather than Reload? That actually had essentially an ultra-condensed recap of the earlier part of the Gaiden storyline over about two episodes late in the Homura arc; how it all ends is sort of glossed over since sensei hadn't written that far yet, but by the end of the series it's all pretty clear to the viewers that our boys were connected in their past lives. Heck, even the rather fanservicey opening sequence points it out -- skip to about 1:09.
Oct. 30th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
The blog reads very much like she watched Gensomaden and not Reload, which makes me shudder a bit -- she actually thinks that's visually attractive -- but whatever. Her recitation of Gaiden and reference to the War Prince (I think she means Homura, not Nataku) are from Gensomaden, not Reload, and it seems pretty clear she's not familiar with the manga.
Oct. 30th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
*nods* From her talk of having trouble adjusting to chibi characters and disliking baby-faced art and series focused on cutesy kid characters, I have to wonder if "attractive" here isn't in part boiling down to "looks like an adult"? I've got a preference for series with older characters rather than children or young teens myself, so when I stumbled into the Reload anime it was definitely a plus for me that the guys were mostly all grown adult adventurers rather than high school kids. It sounds like she's very new to anime and so probably formed her earlier negative impression of the media based on whatever hugely popular stuff she might have been exposed to in passing, which would lean rather heavily to big-eyed kiddy stuff that she finds aesthetically offputting; the Genso art certainly isn't the prettiest stuff in the world, but the guys with the possible exception of Goku all look pretty unambiguously grown-up, and aren't big-eyed or baby-faced.
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