To Catch A Cloud

August 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm (Animanga, Character Focus) (, , )

(1) Essentially doubling an essay to embarrassing lengths was not really what I had in mind when I said “revise” to my brain. Just sayin’.

(2) I tried to write this so that anyone not versed in Katekyo Hitman Reborn! can hopefully also follow along and enjoy.

(3) Spoilers up to the latest chapter — 205

(4) Long essay is long.

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TYL Fashion Police

August 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm (Animanga) (, )

Dahlings, do take a gander at this spread of the TYL boys in their casuals. Gorgeous, wouldn’t you say?

Okay, if only for the pretty boys. To be honest the colors leave a little to be desired, as do a few of the outfits. Yes yes, it’s a pin-up, characterization doesn’t matter, but I need a break before I go back and edit my stupidly long updated Hibari essay so bear with me, dahlings. Let’s go Left to Right~

LAMBO‘s look is nothing unusual, really. His signature cow-print is out in full force. My only quibble is that he looks like he’s about the same age and size as the rest of the Guardians and that’s just not true. Lambo’s ten years their junior; he should look it, at the very least only in height and stature. It’s the jacket and gloves that age him the most, I think. What happened to his silk cow-print shirt and trendy jeans of yore? Now that look was distinct but not too old. If there was some kind of theme to this spread, I probably wouldn’t care as much. But there isn’t.

GOKUDERA, by contrast, looks absolutely delicious. I think his look is a logical extension of his 15-year-old self’s sense of style, meaningless and numerous arm ornaments included. He looks gorgeous. Though I must say, what’s up with his crotch? Look how much higher it is than the other characters’. Same with Lambo. Is this meant to tell us something? It looks fine at first glance but when you look closer…you start to wondering.

RYOHEI looks very, er, gangsta? Is that the word? He looks good, though. It’s the kind of simple, no-frills thing you’d expect a guy like him to wear. No time for fussing with bracelets and layers when you’re busy living life TO THE EXTREME!!! The sunglasses do look a little out of place, though. They’re his only accessory, which perhaps explains why they seem to work with his ensemble.

MUKURO dahling, what’s happened to you? Once upon a time you rocked the black-leather-coat not-quite-suit and now…! Look at yourself! Lime green and navy blue-to-white gradients? You clash with yourself, dahling! It’s as bad as when Karin’s colors first came out. The outfit would work so much better sans color, and maybe with a different collar on the suit. Let’s face it, this outfit’s not all that different from what Mukuro normally wears: it’s just his death clothes with a few frills on, none of which seem to actually work. The suspenders? Are too much when combined with the long coat. And the thigh-highs! Let us not get started on that faux pas. Seriously, Mukuro. I know you like the black leather gloves and clothes, and you look lovely in them, but the boots are going too far, dahling, too far.

I’m surprised there hasn’t been bursts of Gokudera/Mukuro shipping, considering how everyone (myself included, I must admit) seems intent on making this spread into CONKRETE EVYDENS for their OTP of choice. I mean, look at them! Looking away from each other, wearing similarly style clothing, standing level with each other…clearly this is a match made in Amano-land.

HIBARI dear, not that you don’t look good, but why such a change? Hibari’s outfits tend towards the uniform and utilitarian; the only in-manga casuals we’ve seen him wear is a kimono. Why, then, such a hip young set? With ripped jeans and a tattoo, no less! A tattoo of a sparrow? Hmm…

You know what I think? I think Amano Akira meant for HIbari to be Yamamoto. The outfits work so much better when switched. Hibari doesn’t seem to be one for casual clothing, always wearing his school uniform and Mafia suit neatly buttoned — even after fighting off the ravening hordes of mindless Millefiore redshirts. Yamamoto, on the other hand, has always been the ostensibly “normal” one of the Guardians, with his ordinary name and ordinary hobbies and ordinary obliviousness. Why then the suit, hardly divorced from his regular wear as a Vongola hitman?

I therefore maintain that Amano Akira meant for Hibari to be Yamamoto but messed up–perhaps the hair was right in the wrong way or wrong in the right way, perhaps Amano realized that the figure was too short or posed wrong — whatever the reason, the result is puzzlingly normal Hibari and puzzlingly formal Yamamoto.

Ah, YAMAMOTO. What is there to say that hasn’t been said? Do you love being a hired killer so much you’d wear their colors even off-duty? Also, I’ve only just realized that you’ve got a jaw, dahling, it’s gorgeous. Makes you look dignified as anything.

TL;DR: the clothing is OOC, the anatomy not all it’s cracked up to be, and really if you wanted to read pairings into this spread, there’re much more crackier to be found than *yawn* Yamamoto/Gokudera. Who doesn’t ship that, may I ask? Who indeed.

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Before I Forget Theatre II

August 15, 2008 at 11:14 am (Don't Touch That Dial, Miscellaneous Meta) ()

I watched an episode of A Model Life a few days ago. Now, A Model Life is a reality show about six young models competing to earn a modeling contract with NEXT Modeling Agency. No one gets eliminated, it’s really more about the trials and tribulations of being a professional fashion model. Or something.

ANYWAY the ep I watched was the six girls getting a chance to be in a photoshoot with Gilles Bensimon (apparently a famous fashion photographer and also International Creative Director at Elle Magazine), the results of which are later discussed and critiqued by the people at NEXT. One model had a particularly good shoot and the people looking over her pictures said she could realistically model for Elle. Hooray for her?

She was 16 years old. Considering Elle is a magazine that focuses on women’s fashion and health and what not, this is pretty astounding. The ideal body to be seen gracing the pages of Elle is that of a teenager? That is the body all women should aspire to? Stick-thin puberty? Something is wrong there. I didn’t look like that when I was s16 and quite frankly I can’t think of anyone who did. It’s an unrealistic expectation of women to fit that one specific image. Not all women are white, not all women are or want to be that unhealthily thin, and no woman can turn back the clock. Skinny and bony teenagers should not be held up as the ideal for which 34.7* year old women should aspire.

In a similar vein, the International Creative Direction of Elle is a man. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but judging by the title an International Creative Director would be in charge of the creative vision and direction of Elle magazines across the globe, right? So every woman who reads Elle to see who’s wearing what, to see what’s hot and what’s not, is having their idea of beauty and body influenced by the vision of a man. Elle is supposed to be a women’s fashion and beauty and health and whathaveyou magazine. Why is a man in charge of telling women what they should aspire to look like?

* median age of Elle’s readers, according to Wikipedia. The entry’s section on weight issues in the show is arch and condescending and basically says something to the effect of modeling = bad health and if you don’t like it get out of the business. Ugh.

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Reaction Shots: KHR! 205

August 11, 2008 at 6:39 pm (Animanga) (, , )

AKA the chapter where–no, I won’t spoil it. Spoilers come after the cut.

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Reaction Shots: KHR! 204

August 4, 2008 at 12:57 am (Animanga) (, , )

My mission, as I chose to accept it: to not be an incoherent flailing fangirly adherent of His Great Holiness Hibari Kyouya And His Asskicking Abilities, Or Maybe Just His Ass School of KHR! Chapter Commentary. You see I am already having trouble!

Anyway, spoilers abound etc.

(WARNING: ends with, not incoherent fangirling, but incoherent ranting. And the chapter started out so well, too.)

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