Archive for the ‘Cartoons and Anime’ Category

“Masters of the Universe: Teela’s Secret”

There was a change in car­toons in the 1970’s, fol­low­ing a mis­placed furor about vio­lence in children’s car­toons. Vio­lence, even car­toon vio­lence, was sud­den­ly for­bid­den. That was the rea­son you nev­er saw Thun­darr the Bar­bar­ian decap­i­tate any­one with his Sun Sword. It was why Cobra pilots always bailed out before their jets explod­ed. It was why GI Joe and Cobra used laser weapons that only seemed to affect tanks and jeeps instead of ordi­nary rifles and machine guns. (The lat­ter was also cheap­er to animate.)

It forced writ­ers to devel­op new and dif­fer­ent (or old and dif­fer­ent) sto­ries and plot devices on a week­ly basis.

Enter Mind Control.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““Mas­ters of the Uni­verse: Teela’s Secret””

30 Days of Hypnosis: Day 12

What’s your favorite pop culture reference about hypnosis?

Whew! So many possibilities.

The first one that comes to mind is “The Hyp­not­ic Eye”. A movie about a sin­is­ter stage hyp­no­tist who entrances his love­ly sub­jects cer­tain­ly plays to many of the pub­lic mis­con­cep­tions regard­ing hyp­no­sis, plus the pro­duc­ers had a pro­fes­sion­al stage hyp­no­tist instruct the actor how to per­form on cam­era as well as hyp­no­tiz­ing the actress­es to go in to a trance on cue. Regret­tably, it suf­fers from low pub­lic knowl­edge so it bare­ly reg­is­ters as a pop cul­ture icon.

Anoth­er one that comes to mind is the clas­sic spi­ral motif that so rep­re­sents hyp­no­sis in pop­u­lar cul­ture. That and the spooky, swirly music that seems to always accom­pa­ny it in any adver­tise­ment or tele­vi­sion episode scene tran­si­tion. The same also goes for dan­gling crys­tals and star­ing eyes.

But I guess my favorite has to be “Tril­by”. No oth­er work so influ­enced the pop cul­ture regard­ing hyp­no­sis through­out its his­to­ry. It is one of the few cul­ture icons that direct­ly influ­enced the Eng­lish lan­guage, with the addi­tion of “Sven­gali” as a term for a manip­u­la­tive mentor.

“Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman” — ‘A Lavish Banquet for Guys in Trouble’

Baku­mat­su Gijin­den Roman is a fan­ta­sy tale set in late 19th Cen­tu­ry Japan. When the black ships returned to Japan in the 19th Cen­tu­ry, the 200 year old rule of the Shogun was over­turned, and with it came mass social insta­bil­i­ty and ram­pant crime. For­tu­nate­ly the peo­ple one town have a Robin Hood-like pro­tec­tor, Roman, who is actu­al­ly “Mis­ter Helper” by day. Aid­ing Roman is his sis­ter Koharu (dressed as a nin­ja) and their cute dog Saku­ra (dis­guised with a ker­chief over his head). There’s also a full cast of char­ac­ters sup­port­ing him, where­as oth­ers are hunt­ing him and some whose motives are still unknown.

This is Roman on the left, in dis­guise, and his sis­ter Koharu beside him. In the mid­dle is Suzu­ki Magoichi,  the new inves­ti­ga­tor with a hid­den mis­sion and a mas­ter of gun-fu. To the right of him is the mys­te­ri­ous geisha Lady Oku­ma with a hid­den agen­da her­self, and on the far right is prob­a­bly the vil­lian’s com­e­dy relief hench­man.

Bakumatsu-Gijinden-Roman

‘A Lavish Banquet for Guys in Trouble’

The episode opens with mas­ter thief Ishikawa Gojue­mon gloat­ing over the suc­cess of his most recent rob­bery at the behest of Lady Oku­ma. What he stole was­n’t revealed, but his reward was a night with her, which did­n’t exact­ly turn out all that well: he winds up drugged and par­a­lyzed, lay­ing on the mat­ting, and they the geisha leans over him, catch­ing his gaze as her eyes turn into hyp­not­ic kalei­do­scope pat­terns. In the next scene, the poor thief is wan­der­ing the streets of the city in a daze, until he is noticed by the police, upon which starts to wake up but the image of her eyes is too strong and he dives into the riv­er to his death.

And what was stolen? It was a map of the coun­try, the most com­plete map ever made, describ­ing every nat­ur­al land­mark and water­way, an essen­tial source of infor­ma­tion for any invad­ing army, and just it so hap­pens there is a West­ern mil­i­tary force already estab­lished in a hid­den fortress near­by, where the mys­te­ri­ous geisha has just deliv­ered it. Roman and com­pa­ny have to invade the fortress and retrieve the map to save Japan from inva­sion. Magoichi is also involved, as his mys­te­ri­ous supe­ri­or orders the death of the fortress com­man­der. From then on, the map switch­es hands sev­er­al times until the fortress com­man­der rides away with it, prov­ing in the process that he, too, is a mas­ter of gun-fu.

Com­men­tary: If the char­ac­ters, espe­cial­ly Roman, and the over­all theme of the series appears to resem­ble Lupin III, it is because both were the visu­al cre­ations of Mon­key Punch. Whether Roman is sup­posed to be an ances­tor of Lupin is doubt­ful, giv­en the time frame, as Lupin III grand­fa­ther, the orig­i­nal Lupin, was French.

“Mondaijitachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?”

“Mondai­ji­tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?” is a new ani­me series based on a series of light nov­els about three teenagers (two girls and one guy) with extra­or­di­nary abil­i­ties who are sum­moned to a world to com­pete in a series of games. In real­i­ty, they were sum­moned to aid a strug­gling orga­ni­za­tion that was almost wiped out by a much stronger ene­my through those games. Because of the hope­less sit­u­a­tion and the oppor­tu­ni­ty it affords for the three to com­pete and to make friends, they all agree to join the belea­guered organization.

Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is one of the teenagers, Asu­ka Kudō, who is seen in the first episode (of two at the moment) order­ing a sub­or­di­nate around. There was a dis­tinct spe­cial effect at that moment which led me to expect she pos­sessed some form of ver­bal con­trol, not explic­it­ly lim­it­ed to peo­ple, as she also appears to order birds as well. That was why I was inter­est­ed in see­ing the sec­ond episode. There, she bla­tant­ly orders an oppo­nent not only to sit down and shut up, but then to reveal the truth of how his orga­ni­za­tion was able to defeat numer­ous oth­er orga­ni­za­tions (through hostages) and that he killed the hostages as soon as they were tak­en. For that, she and the oth­er girl chal­lenged him: that is prob­a­bly the sto­ry of the next episode.

By the way, the oth­er girl not only talks to ani­mals but dupli­cates their abil­i­ties and the guy is not only incred­i­bly strong but there may be some­thing even more mys­te­ri­ous about him and his abil­i­ties. Add a whim­si­cal char­ac­ter in the form of the Black Rab­bit, the explana­to­ry char­ac­ter and mys­te­ri­ous allies and ene­mies and this may quick­ly become one of my favorites. We’ll see.

‘Mayhem of the Music Meister!’ — “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”

And so for me, it’s des­tiny to be the mae­stro of villainy!
Yes I’m the Music Meis­ter, and I’m here to set­tle the score!”

In the most unusu­al of all of the episodes of “Bat­man: The Brave and the Bold”, an all-singing, all-danc­ing episode, where heroes and vil­lains alike fall under pow­er of the hyp­not­ic melodies of the Music Meister!

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing “‘May­hem of the Music Meis­ter!’ — “Bat­man: The Brave and the Bold””

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