FLAG


I’ve already made a post on Summer vs. Spring Anime ‘O6; this is to expound on what I’m probably going to watch (or am already watching), though this is by no means a complete or exhaustive posting. I’m leaving that up to this site.

Series I’m totally watching and finishing:

Honey and Clover II – this is a series I’m definitely watching until the end. The first season was simply majestic, beautiful, wondrous, amazing, [insert positive adjective here]. From what I’ve seen of the second season, this doesn’t change, if ep2 was any indication. The same holistic balance between levity and gravity, between comedy and drama, is still very much present.

Series I’m willing to give a try:

Bokura ga Ita – I don’t know much about the story. Since it has Akitaroh Daichi as the director, it’s good enough for at least an episode.

Tsuyokiss – It’s a romance. I love watching romances, but after seeing the raw of the first episode I was let down. I’m trying again, this time with the subs. Some of the girls look hot, so I’m not giving up on this series so easily.

Zero no Tsukaima – I may download an episode. Mahou shoujos are quite common and cliched, so I’m not expecting much from this.

The Coyote Ragtime Show – I love action as well. Since some people compare this (albeit negatively) to Cowboy Bebop and Black Lagoon, that’s enough for me to at least give it a try.

FLAG – Well, I’ve been talking about this a lot (see here and here), so I’m definitely watching at least an episode whenever I’ll find one.

Series I’m probably not watching:

Binbou Shimai Monogatari – a lesser form of Grave of the Fireflies. No.

Zaizen Jotaro – even worse than Gundoh Musashi. Think about it.

 

Haiti's civil flag

this is the civil flag of haiti. no, it doesn’t have any connection to what i’m talking about. it just looks cool.

Have any of you ever watched an anime not only for its merit or popularity? Of course, most anime a watcher sees fall into popular anime series, critically-acclaimed anime series, both, or simply part of the genres he is often accustomed to. There are times, however, when the sheer mystique or the lack of popularity of an anime series draws one to watching it because of the mystery. A certain acquaintance (I’d like to call her friend, but I don’t think she wants to be treated as one) quipped an apt moniker for that feeling. She called it ‘romantic intrigue,’ which I felt described that emotion well. Certain things may invite interest in an anime despite its popularity (or lack thereof), but the things themselves are not the ones stoking the flame of interest, but the watcher’s preconceived notions: thus, because looking at anime in this manner is far from what it really is, it is deemed romantic (i.e. not really coinciding with the general consensus or what many believe the anime really is).

Quite recently, I’ve been talking about FLAG almost incessantly. To be entirely honest, it’s not my cup of tea. Since the anime seems to be dominated by mechas, I just better watch Turn A Gundam. The only thing really different with this anime from other anime of the same genre was that the plot this time was dovetailed with war photography, something unique and not really well-explored upon in the medium of anime. It didn’t offset my perception that most of the mecha designs were generic, with war photography somewhat only an addendum to a probably re-hashed mecha anime.

I’ve had that feeling that I’ve mentioned in my first paragraph, however. The reason, I think, this time, is that because it lacks anything that can even be seen other than its trailer (of which I have been religiously downloading for almost a day already but still haven’t finished doing so because of its lack of seeds), my interest was strongly piqued. It’s not that FLAG is unpopular in Japan: to clear up things, the lack of raws has mainly been because of Bandai Channel, as stated in the previous post; however, I’ve failed to mention that Bandai Channel exclusively streams content; that is, you can only watch streams of it online, and not anywhere else.

The inquisitive and perceptive readers can then form a question: what about Wings of Rean? To set things straight, yes, it is airing on the Bandai Channel, and yes, similar to FLAG, it is exclusively streamed.Why have some people procured raws of it, then?

The answer lies in the fundamental difference between Yoshiyuki Tomino and everybody else. To many, Yoshiyuki Tomino is a god: he is the god of all mecha anime, and oftentimes, the stuff he directs are bound to be good. FLAG, however, was made by a bunch of nobodies relative to Yoshiyuki Tomino, because everybody’s a nobody when compared to him.

Another thing is that the media’s streamed to prevent it from being capped, or, if capped, only to a limited quality. People care enough about Tomino to do what it takes to obtain a copy of it – can the same be said about FLAG? Simply put, no. Those two are mainly the reasons why there aren’t any raws of FLAG anywhere.

I initially planned to download the trailer, post some screenshots on the trailer with the corresponding blog-post. Instead, I decided to post on why I seem to be so fixated on FLAG. (Besides, the download is going to take much longer despite the fact that I have only 1.25 Mb left to download.) I also initially planned on posting a RapidShare link on its trailer, but I guess that will either have to wait and be probably seen in my following posts.

Unless there’s going to be raws released on FLAG in the next month, I think that this will be the last post on some obscure anime for a while. Oh, and I decided that ranting about daily life in an anime blog is anything but sane. That was an error in judgment, and unless I’m going to have some more sleepless days (highly likely) I won’t post like that.

***

I’ve finally downloaded FLAG Trailer 1; using RapidShare, one can obtain its trailer by clicking the link. At least you won’t have to suffer like I did, waiting 25:38 (that’s in hours and minutes) to simply download the darn thing. lol

And although I said I’d probably post screenshots, due to the nature of the trailer (it being in a .wmv, it’s hard to use the grab function of FFDShow, and to take screenshots with either MPC or ZP takes serious tweaking that I don’t want to get into), I cannot. You can simply just download or watch the trailer itself: that’s the same trailer I got from somewhere; in fact, that’s the sole torrent on FLAG (the anime) itself.

 

FLAG wasn’t really among the anime I’ve waited for this summer (in Japan) to watch, but I was willing to give it a try given the well-made poster IMO. After watching the trailer, however, I think that it only takes a backseat to Honey and Clover II as the anime to watch. Wait, scratch that: I don’t even think it worthy to watch at all, honestly.

From what I’ve seen, FLAG is an anime about mecha and war photography. War photography in itself is a barely delved into topic in anime, and that was what made me look into this series in the first place. Seeing the predominance of the mecha, however, in the closing seconds of the trailer, I still think it focuses quite a big percentage of its airtime on mecha. I didn’t like the designs at all, because I thought they were unoriginal: honestly speaking, they reminded me of Joe’s mecha in Bakuretsu Tenshi.

Why do I seem so caustic when most of the first part was about photography and realistic explosions? I’ve read from a book on psychology dealing especially with memory that the first thing one remembers is the end (of an event, a novel, everything), then the beginning, and the middle is the one least remembered and mostly blurred at the end, when one tries to ‘remember.’ Subliminally, that meant that they put more emphasis on mecha than on the war photography itself, and it tells the viewer to watch the series unconsciously because of its cool mecha designs. (The last image, if you’ve noticed, is that of a mecha, the mecha that they’ve featured.)

As usual, Bandai concentrates on their mecha, from what I’ve seen. (Does Bandai concentrate on mecha?) Then again, there’s always Honey and Clover II. Thus, and unless there’s going to be someone subbing them, I probably won’t pick up this series until much later, or maybe even not at all.