mjj (flemmings) wrote,

The sense of place, plus rant

paleaswater said she found X resonant of Tokyo so I watched some X. And it /is/ Tokyo, pretty much, the generic Tokyo of pedestrian overpasses and schools and construction sites; but for me it lacks the distinct sense of place that the second Otogizoushi arc has. X is prettier than (the determinedly ugly) Otogizoushi, of course-- it's CLAMP-- but I find that a drawback. It rains in X but you don't feel the rain: it's just generic Tokyo rain. Whereas boy do you feel the heat and smell the unsavoury Ogikubo smells in Otogizoushi. I haven't seen that one right through, and as far as I did see it, it looked rather a mess narrative-wise; its unprettiness extends to the VAs who all manage the neat trick of making my skin crawl; but its version of Tokyo is the real thing. Ugly and in your face and take it or leave it. It's a world away from CLAMP's ethos.

CLAMP inspires in me the same instinctive loathing I felt for Los Angeles: 'this is the antithesis of everything I admire.' It (or they?) affects me like a cat in a thunderstorm. Those dewy CLAMP eyes, those pretty CLAMP features, those generic by-the-teenaged-numbers CLAMP characters, make me hiss and arch my back and gnash my terrible teeth and show my terrible claws.

This is a reaction of a good ten years' standing so it's not going away soon, even though I try series after series hoping to see what the attraction is. They drew good dragons for Tanaka's Sohryuuden-- which itself is a pretty undistinguished and pedestrian work. Other than that, they're just so banal it hurts. Nothing but a good shounen series is likely to take the taste of them from my mouth.

Unfortunately I tried Clive Barker's Imajica instead. This, in a heat wave, was a bad idea. Heat waves make everything feel nightmarish anyway without throwing Barker's imaginings into the mix. (I think he'd make me queasy even in the fall, so I conclude that life is too short to read Clive Barker.) Best to give up fic and manga entirely in summer, because the resonances are likely to be unpleasant. So if you want me I'll be over here in this Chinese grammar textbook. Descriptions of basic sentence structure have an innate sanity that defies any kind of weather.
Tags: anime, chinese, japan, manga, place, reading_05

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