Short-form Formspring answers sprung

July 5, 2010

Who were Yonge and Bloor?

Trapeze artists in the early 1900’s. They came to Toronto seeking fame and, hopefully, fortune but instead plummeted to their deaths in the center of what is now a busy intersection. Trapeze Marketing (www.trapeze.com) was actually named in honour of their tragic demise. ~ Toronto Historian, Jakob

Is this a pimple, or a boil?

It’s an extra nipple. The seeping white liquid is milk. Harvest it and put it in the coffee of your house guests. ~ Dr. Jakob

Are either of you Studio Ghibli fans?

Mandi: Haaaaaammmm!

Jakob: In Toy Story 3 last night, I responded to the Totoro cameo by cooing, out loud, “Totoro!” The Japanese girl sitting beside me giggled. Later, she bawled at the end of the movie. Some people might call this the result of “heavy-handed emotional cues” but they have no soul.

We probably have more Studio Ghibli movies on our shelf than any other franchise besides Star Trek.

Response via Facebook: I do so have a soul. (Kyprieth)

The end: Nigh or not nigh?

As long as Bill Nighy is involved, it’s all going to be okay.

Seriously though, I think we’re at the end of the beginning of the end but the end of the end is still quite a ways off from beginning since we have to get through the whole middle of the end before the beginning of the end of the middle begins and the end can truly begin. ~ Prophet Jakob

You ask, we’ll answer: www.formspring.me/nerdhurdles


Episode 47 – Nerd Hurdles vs. Anime

January 8, 2010

I’ve kept this from Mandi to some extent, but there was a time when I truly loved anime. Like an ex you deeply regret, and therefore deny the existence of, my youthful foray into the world of anime as a source deep shame. I think back on those days and feel what I imagine is the same shame one would feel at the remembrance of a night spent in a dive hotel with a coked-out hooker.

And to be honest, I only ever dipped my toe into the murky anime pond. It started in childhood with Robotech (back when anime was Japanimation), but I lost interest soon after Ghost in the Shell, a movie I wore-out my VHS copy of, was released.

A few years later, I had a roommate who tried to get me to watch his stack of  Macross tapes, but I just couldn’t do it. Anything even remotely akin to Transformers turns me completely off. That writes-off the whole mech-warrior (or as I call it  meh-warrior) sub-genre.

So what is the hurdle? There’s a lot that’s great about anime. It’s often grittier than conventional animation. Until The Matrix, it was the only place cyberpunk had been done well on film at all. Anime is stylish and fast-paced. It’s usually sci-fi or fantasy with lasers and magic and sexy genetically enhanced ladies.

Anime films also seem to aim to deal with deeper themes than your average shoot-em-up sci-fi. But they often fail in this goal. And I think this is partly where the hurdle lays for me now. They’re philosophical, sure, but in a sophomoric, juvenile way. Anime might be a great way to expose existential and metaphysical themes to a younger audience, but as an adult they now seem terribly trite. And character development is generally the worst you’ll find outside of Episode I.

Not to mention tentacle rape. WTF?

Of course, there is one anime director whose work we adore. Hayao Miyazaki‘s films spellbind us.

Even Tim Burton doesn’t blend surreal, horrific imagery with a whimsical sense of magical wonder with such alacrity. I’m not sure I’ve seen a movie which so unexpectedly blew my mind as Spirited Away or if there’s ever been such a truly effed up movie as My Neighbor Totoro to give me warm fuzzies. In fact, Miyazaki movies might be the only films to awaken that sleeping sentimental giant within me at all these days.

Also in this episode, we unveil the first installment of a short series of Battlestar Galactica chatter called Project GalacTALKa. Each week, we’ll talk about our impressions of this celebrated sci-fi television show as we watch it for the first time. Discussion will be entirely spoilerific, for those who have watched the entire series (or have seen it up to the same point we have). We give you this fair warning as we’ve remained relatively spoiler-free and wish to remain so. Basically we’re having our ambrosia and drinking it too.


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