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big screen - small screen

[big screen] I was going to like American Splendour, really, wasn't I? Semi-animated, fourth-wall splintering film about an autobiographical cartoonist/clerk ... a bit of a sure thing ... even if I didn't read the original comic a lot (not really my generation). Impressively, they'd turned up masses of actors who looked just like Robert Crumb drawings! Amazing! ... the man playing Crumb himself looked tantalisingly familiar -- I eventually remembered him as the guy who was the plaything of time-travelling atomic lesbians in The Sticky Fingers of Time -- vast cult success should follow, if there is any justice in the world. Oh wait, there isn't. The audience was full of people who looked like they might enjoy going to Caption, maybe we should advertise in the Phoenix's programme?

[small screen] Please allow me to summarise Excel Saga: Lord El Palazzo (who looks just like the super-bad space pirate in Tenchi) is head of the evil conspiracy Lacrosse (sp?) whose only agents are Excel who is very enthusiastic and Hyatt who dies a lot. Except that it took me ages to figure out that Hyatt is called Hyatt because Excel always calls her Ha-chan. Anyway, they wear shorts (well, Hyatt's are more like micro-culottes) and try to take over the world, in a different genre every week. You know, horror, romance, sports, swimsuit specials ... on the opposing team are civil servants of the city Watanabe and his two embarrassing friends, whom I shall call Spikey Hair and Silent Toad Man. Their boss is female and bad-tempered, and her boss is male and very, very odd, which (speaking as a government employee myself) is actually quite realistic. They live in the next door flat to Hyatt and Excel which is convenient both for romance (Watanabe ♥ Hyatt) and conflict. Also resident at Excel's flat is Menchi*, their pet cat-dog and emergency food supply. It lives a very tragic life, although not as tragic as Pedro's, an ex-coworker of Excel's (she got him killed through poor traffic direction) whose marriage and subsequent affair with the Great Will of the Macrocosm (represented as a galaxy with arms) have both gone badly. How will it all end? Well, the SciFi Channel's showing it daily (at 5.30am, bad for non-tivo-owners), so I should know fairly soon.

[big screen extra] Oh, and Kitchen Stories? Just brilliant. Just ... yes. Great.

* apparently the DVD version has a special feature where Menchi pops up every so often to explain some of the more obscure cultural references. But-but that would spoil the fun!

Comments

( 4 worms — Feed the birds )
applez
23rd Feb, 2004 12:04 (UTC)
That guy...
Ride with the Devil and Teknolust? Surely that's gotta give him a cult following ... whatshisname.
applez
23rd Feb, 2004 12:06 (UTC)
re: Excel Saga
That is actually one astonishingly difficult anime series to get into.

The US dub translation is relatively accurate (besides the familiar naming terms in Japanese, which provokes the problem you identified), but at hideous breakneck talking speed.

The Japanese is as light-speed fast, making accelerated subtitle reading a challenge at best. With similar translation difficulties.

Overall - I can't say I liked the series much, largely because the formula breaking devolved into formulas, which I found disappointing.
cleanskies
23rd Feb, 2004 14:39 (UTC)
hum
... well, I'm kind of enjoying it. But I'm probably not being very, you know, demanding. I expect that it's the same US dub we're seeing -- it's pretty lovingly done ... I thought the pet-name thing was cute rather than annoying, but I can see how you might easily find it (and lots more about the series) annoying rather than cute.

(And, since Sunday, so can half my friends! Bwa-ha-ha! Still, it serves them right for persuading *me* to watch Garth Marenghi's Dark Place. Okay, that was a completely different set of friends from the ones I made watch Excel Saga but anyway the principle remains!)

(Aaaaaaargh! Jeremy is talking like Excel!)
applez
23rd Feb, 2004 16:18 (UTC)
Re: hum
:-)
( 4 worms — Feed the birds )