So for my first ever Plight I decided to exemplify a sense of "deconstruction". So each my Cartoon, Anime, and Comic all have the unique property of forcing you to look at something inherently familiar and showing you either another side, an imagination, or a rebooting of something once ordinary and making it into something extraordinary!
Anyhow, on with the show!
As some of you probably anticipated, I managed to sneak in some Arrow in some regard. Now here’s the thing, While I am doing Green Arrow: New 52 BUT I’m advocating for anything issue 17 and after. With regards to the whole deconstructionism theme, issue 17 and after takes that and just destroys all the prior foundation. Up until this point, G.A. wasn’t doing well and upon hiring Jeff Lemire (a Canadian who I may add), dissolved the old creative staff and essentially rebooted the comic without rebooting the comic
Out with the old, just throw it all out.
Unlike previous generations of Green Arrow, Ollie is back to a younger kid, no beard yet, and relying on the assistance of others much akin to the TV show trying to do the same thing. However, what Lemire brings into the fold is not only a "born again" sense of Oliver Queen but also an intricate sense of what it means to be Oliver Queen, Green Arrow and a superhero. We also get a new villain and new league to help explain this to him by the name of "The Outsiders" who are comprised of a number of weapon factions such as "The Spear", "The Sword", "The Axe" etc. In doing, so we learn that there is a sense of something bigger to just being Green Arrow and the individual who we all thought was so familiar is someone more enigmatic.
Also, enlightening is the art; particularly during the Outsider’s War arc.
Andrea Sorrentino illustrates the harshness, somberness, and mystery conveyed through his use of colour. Particularly interesting, is how he utilizes multiple shades of Green in composing his environments; a trait carried from his other works such as I, Vampire. His focus on the effects of Ollie’s trick arrows strike attention, and character’s themselves are depicted as soft, doll like creatures meant to act within the new mythology that Lemire has created.
In fact, that’s probably what makes Lemire run a deconstruction. The fact that he is willing to divert from the traditional formula even going as far as stating he’ll hold back Ollie’s signature beard the more people ask for it, or willing to ignore a DC crisis collateral effects within his own run, not because he wants to anger fans but to build a new mythology around Green Arrow as a new being from the new 52. This Oliver Queen is far from the one you know while also retaining many of the trademarks that make Green Arrow who he is. The big difference though, is that we are now seeing him as someone trying to come to terms with themselves all the while belonging to something bigger be it the outsiders, the justice league or superhero at all.
For my Cartoon, I decided to go with an old "classic", being Codename: Kids Next Door. At first when I saw the pilot I thought it was stupid. "Why do these villains look like a walrus and buffalo?" "That’s a poor excuse for a kiddie pool" "I wish I had all these super Mechs!"
What began as a weird pilot then transformed itself into 6 seasons and a movie/animated special that answered the question of "What do kids truly imagine and see when they’re playing with their friends, going to school and dealing with members of traditional society?" The answer is simple, you add one part Gundam Mech, one part Power Rangers, one part of cinema adventure and then you sprinkle all of that onto your childhood memories. The villains were hilarious and represented different authorities in your typical life such as Stickybeard (The pirate who stole your candy), the Toiletnator (who no one took seriously), The Old Crazy Cat Lady (nuff’ said Grandma Stuffum who fed you weird and gross meals ‘til you were stuffed) and you even had your nemesis being the "goody-goodies" who lived down the street and their dreaded Father (whose rage was a literal manifestation of fire).
Stare into the face of evil
What’s surprising is despite every episode being a one off, the story eventually carries on, plots become heavier and you actually feel what they feel whether it being your childhood crush, sibling rivalry, the problem of growing up and stupid teenagers, all the while experiencing it in an over-the-top grand way. This show also had a well-made series finale and was arguably one of the best shows on Cartoon Network during it’s time as I would religiously wait for a new episode on satellite every Friday night. It’s certainly worth at least 20 mins of your time with some of the later seasons being quite memorable. Only thing though, is I dunno if this is available for you guys on Netflix or Hulu as I can’t seem to find it.
For my anime, I thought a nice short anime would suffice. At only 11 episodes, and holding one of the strangest names for an anime that I know of, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control is an interesting take on both the financial economy and the tournament/partner genre much like Sword Art Online, Zatch Bell, Pokemon etc.
The plot is described as such:
The Japanese government was rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens, however, life has not improved and unemployment, crime, suicide, and despair are rampant. Kimimaro, raised by his maternal aunt after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship student whose only dream is to live a stable, ordinary life. One day he meets a man who offers him a large sum of money if he will allow his "future" to be held as collateral. From then on his fate is radically altered as he's drawn into a mysterious realm known as the Financial District, where he must compete in weekly tournaments called "deals" in order to keep his money and avoid losing his future.
So every week Kimimaro has to bet his future as collateral in "deals", acting much like fights, using his partner or "asset" to do better. You MUST participate once invited and if you lose, a part of your future is lost; particularly if you go "bankrupt" (trust me, like the effects go from depressing to dark incredibly quickly). Like with any other show of the genre you start seeing big figures and factions appearing who want to control the future of Japan but like anything financial, nothing is ever really simple. When you see individuals, who actually owned big corporations, going off into these fights the stakes were usually pretty high for both their future but also everyone’s! Again, it’s another deconstruction of what the global economy is, what consequences can ensure but all done in a crazy way (Plus did I mention there’s a creepy clown whose sole purpose is to get you to trap you in their bizarre system)
Giving big business a whole new meaning
I personally loved this show and was disappointed that there was never a season 2 despite the possibility of there being one. Nevertheless it ends on a high "note" (Get it? Get it? A note is a form of money that-- Ah forget it ;P) and is worth some attention.
P.S. The head for the Sovereign wealth fund had possibly one of the most ill-voiced English dubs for a Japanese subbed show. So that alone is worth watching.
Anyhow, this has been my first ever Plight and I hope you came out of it with some intrigue at what I picked. I tried to pick some things you haven't heard of, or tried to make you think differently about something you thought you knew, and to put it all in a theme that may impress both you guys as well as my high school English teachers!