Saturday, January 26, 2013


Next up is Bokurano, an anime which aired in 2007 (before I actually started watching anime properly) and came highly recommended. 
You know, this picture kind of makes it look like it is a show about a bunch of kids being kidnapped by sentient chairs
Bokurano initially comes off as your generic "middle school kids fighting in giant robots" type deal.  Although why anyone would trust this creepy fucker hiding in a cave surrounded by computers is beyond me.
Nope, no thank you, I'll pass on that
I swear, contracts for children in anime are worse than strangers with candy in unmarked white vans.
Totally sketchy soul-binding magical contract?  Sign me up!
Then Dung Beetle, the creepiest obligatory animal companion I have ever had the misfortune to come across in anime, arrives on the scene, and I can't help but make comparisons to a certain other terrible animal companion that also enjoys forcing children into death contracts...
They even have the same color scheme
But where Kyubey was initially adorable and sweet, Dung Beetle is a creepy little shit and clearly evil right from the get-go.  Granted, that mouth full of razor sharp teeth doesn't do a whole lot for his image.
Nor does his foul mouth...
Seems simple, right?  Defeat the enemy robot within 48 hours, and you save Earth.  Lose, and the entire planet and the universe is destroyed!  Oh, and by the way, the robot is fueled by your soul, so at the end of the battle you're going to die regardless.  Enter the terrible Parallel Universe Russian Roulette controlled by everyone's favorite floating bastard.
Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows or cares because you're all going to fucking die anyway
And before they all die, we get to see these wonderfully angst-inducing backstories.

Dung Beetle convinces Kako that he needs to rape Chizuru before he dies?  That's cool.  Chizuru is in a statutory rape situation with her teacher, who posts videos of their sexual encounters online without her knowledge?  Awesome.  Oh, and he is boning her sister on the side.  And other middle school girls.
I'm just gonna
Or how about the part where the enemy robot fucking commits suicide.  Kirie has decided not to fight when his turn comes up (seeing as his mother has just slit her wrists), but the enemy robot kills itself, saving Kirie the trouble of dooming Earth to nonexistence. Of course, all of these so-called 'enemy robots' are just powered by normal people from parallel universe Earths, so suicide is really more like universe-cide.  
Seriously, just fuck everything about this
Machi turns out to be Dung Beetle's sister (which means Dung Beetle used to be human AUGH).  Obviously, the remaining pilots are not amused by this.
Surprisingly, it ended on a happier note than I was expecting.  As I was expecting everyone to die, this doesn't give me a whole lot to work with, but at least Kana survived!
Is it bad that I have an entire subset of gifs for crying in the rain
One of the things that I appreciated the most from this anime was that they actually took into account all of the accidental deaths and property damage incurred by giant robots fighting all over Japan.  Unlike most mecha anime, in which robots fighting is pretty much the only point of the show, Bokurano places a focus on how much damage and death these events are causing.  Not to mention the fact that every time they kill an 'enemy robot,' an entire universe dies.
Well not really
And now here's something I don't do very often.  I'm going to compare it to the manga, because although the general premise is the same, there are several notable...differences.  And when I say differences, I mean terrible plot-altering but mostly just more traumatizing differences.  Kako doesn't fall down the stairs - he gets stabbed in the neck by Chizuru and we get to see the lovely arterial spurt.
And why does Chizuru carry a knife everywhere she goes?  Where the anime had statutory rape (which is bad enough), the manga featured statutory rape + gang rape by six other men.  Because statutory rape wasn't bad enough.  At any rate, I'm glad they didn't try to put that in anime form.

Also, I appreciated this little gem:
Spoiling the ending to the manga in the manga while talking about another manga- BREAK ALL THE WALLS
Good things that happen in the manga but not in the anime:
The pedophile teacher that lures Chizuru into gang rape gets stabbed by the quiet kid

Good things that happen in the anime but not in the manga: 

How about the part where Japan nukes Hawaii AT THE BEHEST OF AMERICA.  A robot ends up in the Hawaiian island chain shooting missiles at Japan, and in order to save face, America gets Japan to do the dirty work and bomb Hawaii for them.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MANGA.

And then there is this little pseudo-romance thing between Ushiro and Machi, this one sudden moment of almost-happiness, and then BAM - This kid comes up and shoots her point-blank in the head, totally out of the blue.  Random unnecessary angst-inducing plot device, like we needed any more of those.  No happiness allowed in this manga.
Like the loving brother that you are
Then Ushiro is forced into the final battle on another Earth, but the pilot escapes before Ushiro can kill him.  And, of course, in order to win the battle and save his own planet, the only recourse Ushiro has is to kill every single person on this Earth.  With lasers.
After the battle, Ushiro becomes the new Dung Beetle, and Dung Beetle becomes human again in order to recruit the new wave of children to pilot the soul-sucking mecha.  The cycle continues, and everything is terrible forever.

Strangely enough, the manga actually gives Dung Beetle a backstory that makes him seem marginally less horrible and even slightly pitiable.  I prefer the unrepentantly evil anime Dung Beetle, who becomes so much worse when you realize that he used to be human.

And after the manga...there is an omake.  A hilarious omake.  I guess after so much serious angst the creator wanted something...different.
Not...Actually sure what to say about this one
Overall though, I definitely preferred the anime to the manga, partially because there are some things that just can't be conveyed as well in a static black and white format.  The repetitive grating noise that is played when the robots are fighting is highly disturbing, and the opening song is just fantastic.   Also, as horrible as it is to say, statutory rape is a lot more disturbing when animated, and I am assuming that disturbing is what they were going for.  Plus, animation for spinning chairs!
And fuck this creepy whispering shit in the eyecatch
Join me next time on "How many gifs can Kathryn possibly fit into one post?"


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