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The Veef Show Episode 24: Squidline


Did you know squid ink is a condiment for pasta?


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Posted 29 August, 2011 - 09:48 by VF5SS


16 comments posted
Ika Musume always messes with

Ika Musume always messes with my head because my squid plush looks a lot like that girl.

The personality of Ika Musume always kind of reminds me of Keroro from Keroro Gunsou: Theoretically very competent, but very easily distracted.

Dkun's picture
Posted by Dkun on 29 August, 2011 - 17:32
She was so sad when her

She was so sad when her amazing mathematical abilities wouldn't help her conquer the surface world.

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 29 August, 2011 - 17:38
Veef actually watching a moe

Veef actually watching a moe show!? Is the world ending?

Yes Squidgirl counts as moe show just as Code Geass counts as a mecha show. Oddly the show didn't really do it for me (butI actually like the OP theme from it).

VZMK2's picture
Posted by VZMK2 on 30 August, 2011 - 11:22

He's been watching it. He did some reviews of them.

Diakron's picture
Posted by Diakron on 30 August, 2011 - 21:59
Yeah but usually he hates

Yeah but usually he hates them. This seems to be an exception.

Bygones be bygones I guess.

VZMK2's picture
Posted by VZMK2 on 30 August, 2011 - 22:12
Oh and BTW, Ika's getting a

Oh and BTW, Ika's getting a figma.

VZMK2's picture
Posted by VZMK2 on 4 September, 2011 - 08:00
You Just Gave Me the Whedon/Rove Double Whammy

For the time being, I will be a good sport and put aside the fact that you opted to read, forward, and perhaps even post my AIM conversations with you to other people/message boards without my knowing about it until after the fact so that you could all collectively spend a few days thinking of "man, when he said THIS, I totally should have said THAT!" replies.

But I think you're either misinterpreting my words or projecting the very viewpoint I am specifically advocating against onto me, so let's try this again: when I say that "show X is not a mecha anime; it is a show with mecha in it" and then follow that up with "the key criteria in determining this evaluation is not the presence of a given element but emphasis upon it," that does NOT mean that I have a stopwatch and am timing how long the robots are on screen such that if that number exceeds some arbitrary percentage then presto, it's a mecha anime. This seems to be what you and Team /m/ are ascribing my argument as being, then refuting that as completely stupid. (Rightly so, because that IS completely stupid.)

Rather, my usage of "emphasis"--and I thought this was contextually clear based on the follow-up statements, but apparently not--is with regards to narrative structure. It doesn't matter if we're dealing with "super robots" or "real robots": what is the principal driving cause of conflict and what is the principal manner by which conflict is resolved? Even in something as heavily character-driven as Mobile Police Patlabor, the narrative structures for nearly every single story is such that the key conflict is either established as a result of people doing stuff in robots, resolved as a result of people doing stuff in robots, or in several cases both. On a side note, Patlabor is not in any Super Robot Wars game, so let's refrain from using SRW as a barometer for answering "is it a mecha series?" given that the roster of those games is purely based on marketing and merchandising rights.

You seem to frequently get on my case for Code Geass in particular as of late--I've no idea why; the way you talk, you make it sound like I bring it up constantly for extended periods of time as opposed to just in passing--so we'll let "show X" be "Code Geass" for our example: the primary cause of and resolution to the key conflicts in that series is NOT "get into a Knightmare Frame and defeat that army / blow that thing up / prevent X from happening." To my recollection, conflicts are not resolved through the application of robot violence. They're just perpetuated that way. I could very, VERY easily be wrong on this, but my recollection is that the robot scenes in that show, cool as they may be at times, weren't really central to the greater issue at hand. Even Macross Frontier, which is just as equally crafted from top to bottom to tickle the fancy of as many fan sub-sectors as possible, is not guilty of this. The core conceit of the series is "the Vajra are attacking," and the only thing that stops them is "giant robot." Not "ero-game character designs," not "high school hijinks," not "love triangle," and no, not even "singing."

You know how in The Matrix Revolutions there's like 45 minutes of people in sweet powered armor firing sweet chainguns at robots? How it's literally about a third of the movie? Except none of it actually matters when taken holistically because the conflict that's actually important to the resolution of the plot is going on somewhere completely separate? Which means there's little reason to care during the mecha battles aside from admiring them as aesthetic spectacle? That is what I remember the Code Geass mecha scenes as being like. They are "there." They are "in the show." There are certainly several different types of Knightmare Frames. They look nice and can blow up real good. But my recollection of the Code Geass conflicts and resolutions that are actually important are almost entirely with respect to the best superpower in the world this side of the Death Note being used in the absolute stupidest way imaginable this side of...the Death Note. The problems are solved--and caused--through use of the Geass first and foremost.

Which is why even if my recollection of the importance of the mecha segments to the conflict/resolution dynamic is wrong such that Code Geass really is a mecha show after all, then Code Geass is simply a mecha show that isn't particularly good enough that I'd ever watch it again or recommend it to other people. Mecha or no, it's the kind of show you watch just once.

I don't really think that position is all that argumentative or meant to stir the pot. In conclusion, Eva units aren't robots. PEACE

Daryl Surat's picture
Posted by Daryl Surat on 4 September, 2011 - 15:00
In conclusion, Eva units

In conclusion, Eva units aren't robots.

Nope, they're cyborgs. I knew that. ;P

Ohh, you're gonna go there, huh? Well, guess what? Almost all of those giant robots in anime that have pilots in them are technically not robots. They're vehicles. The word "robot" gets thrown around so casually in regards to humanoid constructs-and-the-like that we have a tendency to forget what that word really means!

I'm certainly not an expert in the field, but from what I've learned over the years, a "robot" is a machine that is built and programed to perform repetitive tasks. (Yes, there are exceptions and the line is blurred once in a while, but I'll get to that.)
Now, you're about to ask me if moving arms and limbs about isn't a repetitive task, and I would answer "No". Wheels turning on a car is repetitive, as is the engine running, suspension system, doors and windows opening and closing, automatic transmissions, and cruise control. But the key ingredient here is that a car is not a robot- it does not move unless there is some form of human interaction. And when we tell our Car of the Future to drive to such-and-such a place while we read our next-gen iPad(c), even then it is under human control because the car itself did not decide to go to that place.
So what about modern U.A.V.s? Think about that for a second- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (and/or Unmanned Attack Vehicle depending how you look at it). Again, not a robot. Sure it can get from the airfield to target zone and back on its own, but that's not repetitive because it's sent to a different location each time and it has to make judgments based on information it is fed from human inputs (weather conditions, movement of the enemy, and orders to abort, fire weapons, begin/end reconnaissance, etc).

If you think about it, "giant robots" in anime and tokusatsu are nothing more than over-sized and more-elaborate backhoes. This can be summed up best in the Real Robot genre, where there is little-or-no automation. They have their fantasy elements to make them interesting to viewers, certainly, but they're not really "robots" because these giant machines have to be told what to do by the human operator inside (or- like a modern U.A.V.- from a remote location).

...I just lost my train of thought. Dammit! >_<;

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 4 September, 2011 - 15:01
From Wikipedia's entry on

From Wikipedia's entry on Robots:

For robotic engineers, the physical appearance of a machine is less important than the way its actions are controlled. The more the control system seems to have agency of its own, the more likely the machine is to be called a robot.

EVA_Unit_4A's picture
Posted by EVA_Unit_4A on 4 September, 2011 - 15:05
Did you just register to post

Did you just register to post this?

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 4 September, 2011 - 22:02
Does this mean you finally watched Code Geass, Daryl?

Until not that long ago, I was under the impression that you hadn't and were only aware of it because of the fanbase or due to certain things Gerald had told you about it...both of which, incidentally, may help explain why you've ultimately come to see the show this way instead of possibly giving it the leeway you've given other flawed but enjoyable productions that could, technically, also be openly deconstructed with a similar attitude.

I still have to wonder if you actually finished either season though. If I had to guess, I would say no.

This is relatively important to the matter at hand, because the accuracy of your comments and judgements concerning the "narrative structure" of the series -and their value for resolving the specific issue of whether or not Code Geass is or isn't a mecha show, if only according to your own personal standards- depends on how well informed and supported they are. That doesn't mean re-watching every single scene or whatever but, going by the nature and tone of your arguments, one would have to imagine you should have seen at least the majority of the show first.

If you haven't seen that much of Code Geass, then I don't see the actual point in making such sweeping statements. On the other hand, if you have actually done so, I'll apologize for my previous deductions and extrapolations....but I would say that still doesn't make things any better and must disagree.

Contrary to your recollections, plenty of major and minor conflicts during the two seasons repeatedly involve the application of mecha on mecha violence as a relevant, integral element. Just because they may also involve other relevant factors and abilities -either before, during or after the fact- doesn't mean the robot battles were entirely irrelevant to the narrative structure, or at least not upon anything resembling closer inspection.

I wouldn't agree with implying that removing the mecha by force would lead to an equivalent experience where absolutely nothing would be lost. Even the freaking manga adaptation(s), as bad as most of them are, prove the production doesn't work quite as well without the mechs (for instance, it completely messes up the scale of events and other non-robot but still mecha genre-related references lack any sort of context) .

I'm not going to go into a ton of detail nor will I make a comprehensive list of events here, but let's at least go through the basics with a certain amount of emphasis. Lancelot, the white robot piloted by Suzaku, serves as the show's main rival or antagonist mecha. It is repeatedly used to get in the way of the protagonist's plans, which most of the time involve the use of giant robots, not as a mere footnote but as an integral part of the action. During the first season, the number of confrontations involving the Lancelot is greater than those involving Suzaku alone. In short, that's the most common form of struggle between antagonist and protagonist.

The fact that Lelouch, as the series protagonist, isn't intended to be an "elite pilot" does mean he isn't limited to acting or interacting through the use of robot violence to further his goals, but he still ends up either giving orders to subordinates who do pilot mecha, or taking part in the mecha battle in whatever role happens to be necessary. Sometimes he sits back, sometimes he engages. Or both: one action happening right after the other.

Which, particularly during the original series and to a far lesser extent during R2, usually means his robot gets crippled or destroyed a lot at the hands of the Lancelot. To say there would be "little reason to care" about the outcome of such battles is really pushing it, I believe, by any reasonable measure. Nor, as a mecha fan, would I argue it's not worthwhile to see a show where the tables have been turned: our "hero" is basically someone who would play the role of the misguided loser villain and/or evil schemer in a traditional mecha series. In other words, Char with really bad piloting skills.

It is obvious that accomplishing Lelouch's goals may not be exclusively centered on the use of mecha, but in practice it is one of the main tools employed by both him and his foes. If the idea of mecha as storytelling "tools" is a bad thing, both in and out of a narrative context, then that really breaks down the core principle behind any remotely sincere "Real Robot" show down to near absolute nothingness, because many -or even just the best- RR mecha series do not demand slavish devotion to resolving or developing their major conflicts exclusively with mecha and nothing else (for a SR example of this, please see Daryl's beloved Giant Robo -which is actually quite awesome, btw).

Then again, I believe even the titular Geass ability is also mostly used as a tool in this series. For many episodes the real impact of the Geass superpower was often quite limited. Its most common use was being a source of information, a quick way to kill somebody or, just as well, something used to force someone else into helping set the stage for a larger plan, which may actually require the presence of mecha to get anywhere. In that context, Geass became almost a matter of simple procedure: it enabled or disabled something or someone else.

In other words, when the vast majority of climatic confrontations involve the use of mecha combat -sometimes entirely alone but also including situations during which it served as a prelude or as the consequence of Geass-related actions- we see that the fates of the protagonist, his main rival or their respective friends and interests are often at stake during robot fights. With a couple of infamous exceptions, I wouldn't say Geass was the one and only active factor used to resolve most of the big conflicts. So no, that wasn't the single biggest cause or solution to everyone's problems within the story...let alone the cause or the solution to the single most important conflict (Suzaku vs. Lelouch). Nor were the mecha, to be honest, but that's the point: I believe there was much more of a balance than what you've argued.

On that note, there are several important scenes where the resolution takes place entirely outside of a mecha unit, this is very true, but I don't see why it suddenly makes everything that happened before, after or even during those same moments somehow irrelevant to the narrative structure. If a mecha battle is what led into -or directly allowed- a personal confrontation, does that mean the battle didn't matter? Yes, there were a couple of situations where the mecha played absolutely no actual role, I have no problem saying so, but certainly not all nor most.

I honestly don't see the point in defending such an extreme line of reasoning. That would almost be like saying that robots aren't always so important in original Mobile Suit Gundam and, as a result, it isn't really a mecha show. After all, Amuro had plenty of character development scenes which happened when he wasn't blowing up stuff with the RX-78-2, but either before or after the fact. Even his initial rivalry with Char ultimately led to them fighting their last episode duel with swords and on foot. Some of the other notable characters, such as Kycilia or Gihren Zabi, also died in ways where the mecha didn't play the main role.

Or, for that matter, you could cynically argue that since the final conflict in Char's Counterattack was ultimately resolved by a giant burst of Newtype energy which happened in the absolutely stupidest way imaginable, after the real mecha battle was already irrelevant and while Char and Amuro argued back and forth over stuff, then the robots were just there for show.

I wouldn't seriously claim that though. I'm just using this to illustrate how bad that argument would be, if taken in another direction.

Wrapping things up, I will go for a predictable yet often necessary disclaimer. Code Geass is quite a ridiculous show and not an example of perfect storytelling, but that isn't an inherently bad thing if your attitude and suspension of disbelief can adapt to it. I think this depends on your own interests, tolerances and tastes, not just in terms of all the so-called "fetishes" but also regarding subject matter, characters, plot devices and more. I don't pretend this is -or was ever meant to be- all classy, family-friendly high-brow entertainment.

Yes, this is a production which includes tasteless elements meant to attract a diverse otaku audience. It is rather shameless about that. Just like what many other popular anime titles, both good and bad, have come to do on a similar, lesser or even greater scale. But let me ask...did including lots of countless fetishes do any good for Dragonaut or Linebarrels of Iron? No, not at all. That's one part of the equation, surely, but not the full story here.

On a completely separate level, I think Code Geass was just more interesting and entertaining than Daryl or other Internet personalities give it credit for. At the same time, it is indeed more flawed than what the average drooling fanboy/girl population will tell you. I have my own list of complaints, you know. In this particular case, however, that doesn't even matter. My point is, for better and for worse, this is definitely a mecha series, regardless of what else could be said about it.

TheOmmadon's picture
Posted by TheOmmadon on 8 September, 2011 - 02:00
wait what

Uh, you guys, why does it even matter if the "primary emphasis" of the series is on the use of robots as a way to resolve conflicts, or if it just happens to be a story that takes place during a robot war? Are you guys saying that stories that are inextricably dependent on robots are somehow superior to stories in which the robots are not absolutely necessary?

recognizer's picture
Posted by recognizer on 13 September, 2011 - 20:02
... It's no wonder that

... It's no wonder that people think that CollectionDX people are all insane some times.

Dkun's picture
Posted by Dkun on 4 September, 2011 - 15:32
Sometimes, huh?

Sometimes, huh?

Edit: Intended to be a reply, of course.

SpaceRunaway's picture
Posted by SpaceRunaway on 4 September, 2011 - 16:36
The popularity of an opinion doesn't reflect its accuracy

You could turn that argument around and say that non-mecha fans are even less familiar with what does or doesn't make a mecha show in the first place, so they are inherently more inclined to care for the non-mecha parts because they are just that more interested in whatever doesn't involve robots rolling or flying around fighting each other.

They are not aware about the history of the mecha genre and all of the variety that is possible within it.

Then again, as a dissenting yet also relatively crazy mecha person who has seen plenty of robot shows both new and old, my perspective is also not completely objective about this for the opposite reason: I enjoy plenty of regular anime, but most of my background is still mecha-related.

I doubt it could be any different, either way. So we'll just have to agree to disagree, at least when we're not ranting or otherwise mocking each other.

TheOmmadon's picture
Posted by TheOmmadon on 8 September, 2011 - 01:11