Re: Kenshin’s Comeuppance

When you have wronged as many people as Kenshin has during the Bakumatsu, sooner or later, those individuals will inevitably come seeking retribution. When that happens, any friends Kenshin made would be caught in the crossfire. Kenshin can live in a fairy tale and believe that protecting the innocent and giving up killing would make his sins magically disappear, but all evil deeds stink. You can forget them for a while, but they don’t go away. Based on all of this, Enishi deserved his revenge against Kenshin and it would have been better for the story if Kenshin did not have a happy ending. People with a past as checkered as Kenshin’s don’t deserve a happy ending.

Grady Brown, “Kenshin’s Comeuppance”

I can see where Grady Brown is coming from here even though I haven’t bothered to read that far into the manga (and though it’s been a while, I don’t think the anime ended the same way).

However, I think it helps to bear in mind that Rurouni Kenshin‘s subtitle is “Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story”. Presumably the emphasis is on “romantic”, and nowadays you can’t have a romantic story in either sense if the protagonists don’t get a happy ending—even if they’ve got to suffer in order to “earn” it.

One might also bear in mind that writing serialized manga is a job wholly dependent on fandom appeal. You can even be a pedophile as long as you’re discreet about it and keep the fans happy. Why? That’s just how modern capitalism works.

Avasarala Gets All the Love

The writers and producers working on Amazon’s sci-fi saga, The Expanse, are not at all subtle in their favoritism. Crisjen Avasarala (played by Shohreh Aghdashloo) gets the best lines, the best costumes, and the best bling. It’s hard to complain, though, when she’s 80% of what makes The Expanse worth watching.

The lady takes no shit, gives zero fucks, and has a hell of a time doing it.

Click this image to watch on YouTube…

Incidentally, readers of the Foreigner novels by C. J. Cherryh might understand what I mean when I say that while read Ilisidi’s dialogue I imagine her sounding like Shohreh Aghdashloo—but without the profanity.

Anime Pilgrimage?

I’ve never heard of an anime pilgrimage before, but I’m not going to dismiss the notion out of hand. I have heard of people following their favorite bands across a country or a continent (especially the Grateful Dead and Iron Maiden).

When my wife and I went to Paris in 2017 we made a point of visiting the Chateau Monte Cristo, the house Alexandre Dumas built after he made it big, because The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the books we shared as part of our courtship. Then again, since Studio Gonzo adapted the novel as Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, perhaps we went on an anime pilgrimage after all?

I Think Death Note is a Comedy

I finally got around to watching Death Note (the anime) and even though it’s not supposed to be a comedy I can’t help myself, mainly because I know a lot of infosec types who watch it and love to point out all the ways Light Yagami screws up and gives himself away to anybody who isn’t constrained by the plot to refrain from spotting the actual clues (for example, there’s gwern’s Death Note: L, Anonymity & Eluding Entropy.)

Click this image to watch on YouTube…

What these people don’t seem to get is the Light wants to be recognized. What’s the point of being “the god of a new world” if nobody recognizes and worships you? He just has to be make do with being recognized and worshiped as “Kira”. Also, even though they’re supposed to be gods of death, shinigami like Ryuk remind me more of the Lords of Chaos from Michael Moorcock’s fantasy novels featuring emo (before emo) antiheroes like Elric and Corum.

After all, this whole thing started because Ryuk (who might as well be an aspect of Moorcock’s Arioch) was bored and decided to drop a perfect murder weapon into the human world (with instructions in English) just to see who would pick it up and try to use it. He might not have expected a bored teenage sociopath to be the one to find it, but he’s certainly having a grand old time.

There’s also all that stuff about the “real Kira”, and since ‘Kira’ is supposed to come from ‘killer’, I can’t help but remember when O. J. Simpson stood trial for murder and swore he’d find the “real killer”.