Archive for the 'Pop Culture' Category

The many ways in which Gravity’s Rainbow directly inspired Neon Genesis Evangelion

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

I recently read the well-known post-modernist novel Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon, and I noticed a number of surprising similarities between it and the well-known Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). In fact, there are so many similarities between the two, both thematically, stylistically, and plot-wise, that I am forced to conclude that Hideaki Anno, the writer and director of Evangelion, must have read Gravity’s Rainbow and drew upon it specifically for inspiration in creating his series. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any discussion of the similarities between these two works, hence the need for this post.

I’ll assume a familiarity with Evangelion for the remainder of this post (which allows me to focus on summarizing and explaining Gravity’s Rainbow). There are some spoilers for Gravity’s Rainbow below if you haven’t read it yet, but the novel is so meandering and expansive that it’s not possible to ruin it.

I’ll examine the thematic similarities first. Gravity’s Rainbow runs from the beginning of World War II, through V-E Day, and through the occupation of Germany by the Allied forces. The first part of the novel, which takes place in England during the German bombing and rocket campaign, takes place under a heavy siege mentality. V-2 rockets are falling often, at random, and killing lots of civilians. There are many scenes that take place deep within bunkers, or have military personnel travelling to the scene of the latest rocket strike to investigate the effects. This whole section of the novel feels very similar to the overall mood in Tokyo-3 as Japan is besieged by one attacking Angel after another, right down to the missions being ordered from within the safety of a bunker.

Gravity’s Rainbow is suffused throughout with the paranormal, the occult, the bizarre, and many different references to psychology (especially that of Sigmund Freud). Pynchon is every bit as obsessed with psychology as Hideaki Anno, to the point where if you couldn’t handle the original last two episodes of Evangelion, you probably won’t enjoy the similar parts of Gravity’s Rainbow either, as there is an equal amount of psycho-analytical musing in it. Both works examine military hierarchies and point out some of the inherent absurdities in them. Gravity’s Rainbow especially focuses on jargon-heavy, acronym-laced, secret military, espionage, and industrial research organizations, and the interplay and conflict between them — exactly like Evangelion.

Gravity’s Rainbow is also laced throughout with sexuality and sexual deviance, which is another theme that Evangelion explores quite thoroughly. A pervading sense of paranoia is present throughout the text. It has a large amount of technological detail in it, verging towards technobabble on many occasions, same as Evangelion. It even has one particularly memorable scene in which a boy is plugged into a harness made out of Imipolex G, an erectile plastic polymer (you can’t make this stuff up) that interfaces directly with the boy’s neural network. This harness is then put inside a V-2 rocket and launched with the boy as the unwitting cargo (not as pilot). Shades of Shinji being plugged into an Evangelion and then losing control of it, anyone?

But the most convincing case of Evangelion’s inspiration from Gravity’s Rainbow can be made by looking directly at some examples from the text of the novel. I’ll present three passages that were so startlingly similar to Evangelion that I set the book aside in amazement long enough to take notes, wondering how nobody had ever caught this before (or, at least, if they did, why they didn’t post their findings online). All page numbers I’ll be using are from the original 760-page edition of Gravity’s Rainbow.

First, we’ll start with a passage from page 151, in which a Royal Air Force bomber squadron is attacking the German town of Lübeck.

It’s a dangerous game Cherrycoke’s playing here. Often he thinks the sheer
volume of information pouring in through his fingers will saturate, burn him out
. . . she seems determined to overwhelm him with her history and its pain, and
the edge of it, always fresh from the stone, cutting at his hopes, at all their hopes.
He does respect her: he knows that very little of this is female theatricals, really.
She has turned her face, more than once, to the Outer Radiance and simply seen
nothing there. And so each time has taken a little more of the Zero into herself.
It comes down to courage, at worst an amount of self-deluding that’s vanishingly
small: he has to admire it, even if he can’t accept her glassy wastes, her appeals
to a day not of wrath but of final indifference. . . . Any more than she can accept
the truth he knows about himself. He does receive emanations, impressions . . .
the cry inside the stone . . . excremental kisses stitched unseen across the yoke of
an old shirt. . . a betrayal, an informer whose guilt will sicken one day to throat
cancer, chiming like daylight through the fourchettes and quirks of a tattered
Italian glove . . . Basher St. Blaise’s angel, miles beyond designating, rising over
Lübeck that Palm Sunday with the poison-green domes underneath its feet, an
obsessive crossflow of red tiles rushing up and down a thousand peaked roofs
as the bombers banked and dived, the Baltic already lost in a pall of incendiary
smoke behind, here was the Angel: ice crystals swept hissing away from the back
edges of wings perilously deep, opening as they were moved into new white
abyss. . . . For half a minute radio silence broke apart. The traffic being:

St. Biaise: Freakshow Two, did you see that, over.

Wingman: This is Freakshow Two—affirmative.

St. Biaise: Good.

No one else on the mission seemed to’ve had radio communication. After
the raid, St. Biaise checked over the equipment of those who got back to base
and found nothing wrong: all the crystals on frequency, the power supplies
rippleless as could be expected—but others remembered how, for the few
moments the visitation lasted, even static vanished from the earphones. Some
may have heard a high singing, like wind among masts, shrouds, bedspring or
dish antennas of winter fleets down in the dockyards . . . but only Basher and
his wingman saw it, droning across in front of the fiery leagues of face, the eyes,
which went towering for miles, shifting to follow their flight, the irises red as
embers fairing through yellow to white, as they jettisoned all their bombs in no
particular pattern, the fussy Norden device, sweat drops in the air all around its
rolling eyepiece, bewildered at their unannounced need to climb, to give up a
strike at earth for a strike at heaven . . . .

Group Captain St. Biaise did not include an account of this angel in his official
debriefing, the W.A.A.E officer who interrogated him being known around the
base as the worst sort of literal-minded dragon (she had reported Blowitt to
psychiatric for his rainbowed Valkyrie over Peenemünde, and Creepham for
the bright blue gremlins scattering like spiders off of his Typhoon’s wings
and falling gently to the woods of The Hague in little parachutes of the same
color). But damn it, this was not a cloud. Unofficially, in the fortnight between
the fire-raising at Lübeck and Hitler‘s order for “terror attacks of a retaliatory
nature”—meaning the V-weapons—word of the Angel got around. Although
the Group Captain seemed reluctant, Ronald Cher-rycoke was allowed to probe
certain objects along on the flight. Thus the Angel was revealed.

The similarities to Evangelion here are obvious. The bomber squadron runs into an apparition in the sky, while all radio contact goes dead. This apparition is even known as the Lübeck Angel.

Next, we have a small fanciful vignette from page 674:

Onward to rescue the Radiant Hour, which has been abstracted from the day’s
24 by colleagues of the Father, for sinister reasons of their own. Travel here gets
complicated—a system of buildings that move, by right angles, along the grooves
of the Raketen-Stadt’s street-grid. You can also raise or lower the building itself,
a dozen floors per second, to desired heights or levels underground, like a
submarine skipper with his periscope—although certain paths aren’t available to
you. They are available to others, but not to you. Chess. Your objective is not the
King—there is no King—but momentary targets such as the Radiant Hour.

Notice that the city of Raketen-Stadt as being described here is pretty much identical to Tokyo-3, in which the skyscrapers are above-ground during the day, but are lowered underground into the Geo-Dome at night or when the city is under attack from Angels.

And finally, from page 753 near the very end of the novel:

The countdown as we know it, 10-9-8-u.s.w., was invented by Fritz Lang
in 1929 for the Ufa film Die Frau im Mond. He put it into the launch scene to
heighten the suspense. “It is another of my damned ‘touches,’ “ Fritz Lang said.

“At the Creation,” explains Kabbalist spokesman Steve Edelman, “God
sent out a pulse of energy into the void. It presently branched and sorted into
ten distinct spheres or aspects, corresponding to the numbers 1-10. These are
known as the Sephiroth. To return to God, the soul must negotiate each of the
Sephiroth, from ten back to one. Armed with magic and faith, Kabbalists have
set out to conquer the Sephiroth. Many Kabbalist secrets have to do with making
the trip successfully.

“Now the Sephiroth fall into a pattern, which is called the Tree of Life. It
is also the body of God. Drawn among the ten spheres are 22 paths. Each path
corresponds to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and also to one of the cards called
‘Major Arcana’ in the Tarot. So although the Rocket countdown appears to be
serial, it actually conceals the Tree of Life, which must be apprehended all at
once, together, in parallel.

“Some Sephiroth are active or masculine, others passive or feminine. But the
Tree itself is a unity, rooted exactly at the Bodenplatte. It is the axis of a particular
Earth, a new dispensation, brought into being by the Great Firing.”

“But but with a new axis, a newly spinning Earth,” it occurs to the visitor,
“what happens to astrology?”

“The signs change, idiot,” snaps Edelman, reaching for his family-size jar of
Thorazine. He has become such a habitual user of this tran-quilizing drug that
his complexion has deepened to an alarming slate-purple. It makes him an oddity
on the street here, where everybody else walks around suntanned, and red-eyed
from one irritant or another. Edelman’s children, mischievous little devils, have
lately taken to slipping wafer capacitors from junked transistor radios into Pop’s
Thorazine jar. To his inattentive eye there was hardly any difference: so, for a
while, Edelman thought he must be developing a tolerance, and that the Abyss
had crept intolerably close, only an accident away—a siren in the street, a jet
plane rumbling in a holding pattern— but luckily his wife discovered the prank
in time, and now, before he swallows, he is careful to scrutinize each Thorazine
for leads, mu’s, numbering.

“Here—” hefting a fat Xeroxed sheaf, “the Ephemeris. Based on the new

“You mean someone’s actually found the Bodenplatte? The Pole?”

“The delta-t itself. It wasn’t made public, naturally. The ‘Kaisers-bart
Expedition’ found it.”

A pseudonym, evidently. Everyone knows the Kaiser has no beard.

This illustrates many thematic similarities with Evangelion, including references to the Kabbala, the Tree of Life, mythological angels, the occult, cataclysmic events, and even a search for The Pole (ahem, Second Impact). And note that it takes place in the context of a long-winded, jargon-heavy discussion between military figures. If you animated this passage it would fit right into an episode of Evangelion.

I believe that the similarities between Gravity’s Rainbow and Evangelion (which came out two decades later) have been established beyond a reasonable doubt. I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word “steal”, but in my mind, Evangelion directly owes a lot of its feel and setting to Pynchon’s work. As a consequence of this, if you’re an Evangelion fan, you owe it to yourself to read Gravity’s Rainbow. Not only is it a good novel in its own right, but by reading and understanding some of the inspiration behind Evangelion, you’ll get a better understanding of Evangelion itself.

Parody is not license to be racist

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Recently, some Republicans thought it would be a brilliant idea to distribute a CD to members of the Republican National Convention containing a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro”. The general response was about as predictable as the sunset, and rightly consisted of outright condemnation over such disgusting and overt racism. But get this: the excuse of the Republican who distributed the song was that it was a parody.

Really? A song sung to the same tune as the pop hit “Puff the Magic Dragon” is parody? Anyone with two neurons to rub together can figure that out. Yes, “Barack the Magic Negro” is parody. Racist parody. Racism and parody are not mutually exclusive, so asserting that it’s parody isn’t a defense against the actual charge. The rebuttal thus rings completely hollow. The idiot should’ve just apologized instead of offering this pathetic attempt at an excuse, thus digging the hole even deeper.

If the Republican Party wants to recover from the doldrums they’re currently languishing in, they might want to stop being openly racist. Most people don’t like that. Just saying.

Batman Minus Batman

Monday, December 8th, 2008

You may or may not be aware of Garfield Minus Garfield, a mash-up of the comic strip Garfield that simply removes Garfield from all frames, leaving John Arbuckle as a lonely, psychotic man. I bring it up because it serves as a useful analogy to discuss the film The Dark Knight, which I finally saw last week after friends’ insistence. While I did enjoy the film, I felt that it would’ve been better as Batman Minus Batman.

Yes, I found Batman himself to be completely superfluous to the better themes of the movie. Apparently that’s the secret to making a good Batman movie: make him irrelevant. The Joker was the most interesting character in the movie (a tip of my hate to Heath Ledger for that), followed closely by Arthur Dent and the police commissioner. Batman and his to-be girlfriend were unconvincing, uncompelling, and, dare I say, out of place.

The story of the Joker as anarchist terrorizing a large city is what made the film good. It would have been better if it had just focused on this subplot, especially the civilian and police response to a city under siege by a non-rational villain. Instead, a significant amount of screen time is devoted to a billionaire moonlighting as a crime fighter with incredibly high-tech gear who nevertheless beats up his opponents with ham-fisted punches. It’s hard to fathom, but Batman really was the worst part of this Batman movie. Without him, the city would’ve had to deal with the threat from the Joker on its own (perhaps with some highly risky SWAT missions), instead of the deus ex machina solution provided by Batman.

The Batman series seems to have evolved beyond the need for its title character. It’s an unusual position for a film series to find itself in, but there it is.

Slumdog Millionaire – A movie in review

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

My mother is plugged into the independent arthouse movie scene, so she’s always seeing (and raving about) movies that I’ve never heard about. Yesterday, my cousin from New York City was in town, so we took the opportunity to see Slumdog Millionaire at the artsy movie theater in Bethesda, Maryland. I knew precisely nothing about it going in. Since I’m kind of short on blogging ideas at the moment, I think I’ll write up a little review of it.

Slumdog Millionaire is about a boy rising from abject poverty in the slums of Mumbai to become a hero of the people through his unexpected success on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?”. Shots of the high-tension proceedings at the game show are interspersed with scenes of previous experiences from the main character’s life showing the unlikely experiences he lived through that left him knowing all of the answers to the questions on the game show. The game show is actually a nifty plot element that sounds like it could come off corny, but doesn’t.

Overall, Slumdog Millionaire is a good movie. It tugs all of the requisite emotional heartstrings, and it proceeds at a pace that never left me wondering “When is this thing going to end?” (which I find to be the hallmark of a bad movie). It uses lots of tropes you’ve seen many times before in cinema: poverty, destiny, karma, love, evil, manipulation of children, religious warfare, a look at how a man turns evil and then redeems himself with his dying moment, etc., but doesn’t feel like a stale retread. I dare say some of it was even slightly cliché, or at least nonsensical, like when two hitmen are subduing their boss’s wife — who isn’t even putting up much of a fight — and nevertheless manage to give her a good slice on the cheek while fumbling around with a knife, solely with the apparent purpose of having a symbolic scar for the main character to dismiss in one of the final scenes of the movie.

The movie’s tone is quite sad, with scene after scene of crushing poverty, slum life, religious warfare, criminality, police corruption, abuse of orphans, and life on the run. It has a few humorous moments, but it’s overwhelmingly sorrowful, and despite concluding on a somewhat happy note, I was still feeling very downbeat upon leaving the theater. In this regard it was much like The Pursuit of Happyness. So if you don’t handle sad movies well, you might want to give it a pass. Otherwise, I’d recommend it.

Oh, and the Bollywood-style dancing during the credits (despite the movie not being a musical whatsoever) was unexpected and awesome.

A perfect example of rule 34

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

I just stumbled across a perfect example of rule 34 (if it exists, there is a porno/fetish of it) while performing an unrelated Google search. It’s way too weird not to share it, so I present to you: Inflated anime and videogame characters. Surprisingly, it’s work-safe, because all of the characters are wearing their normal clothing; their bodies are just inflated like balloons to the point that they approximate spheres with small stubs for limbs.

And then if you venture even further into the site, you begin to discover the *shudder* obese fan-fiction.

Seriously, can anyone possibly explain this to me?

We humans are quite full of ourselves

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

It is one of the conceits of our race that we are quite full of our own intelligence. Hopefully, one day we’ll run across a vastly more intelligent species and be put in our collective place. But until then, we’ll keep on calling our own intelligence the best thing since sliced bread — something, I should point out, that our intelligence invented, and still thinks itself mighty clever for having come up with.

Orcs are a classic fantasy villain race.  They are anthropomorphic, but vastly lacking in intelligence in comparison to humans.

Orcs are a classic fantasy villain race. They are anthropomorphic, but vastly lacking in intelligence in comparison to humans.

In nearly every fantasy universe, humans are the smartest creatures around. Even elves, the high variety of which are frequently portrayed as wiser than people, are really just humans with pointy ears. If you don’t believe me, just ask a half-elf, or a quarter-elf, or a third-elf. Now compare that against all of the stupid races in fantasy universes: goblins, orcs, trolls, ogres, etc. They’re all so dumb one wonders how they even manage to put their armor on in the morning.

To make up for their incredible stupidity, these creatures are also given incredible strength. The human protagonists in the story must therefore rely on their cunning, their wit, and their intelligence to triumph over the enemies. Even magic is nothing more than a form of intelligence made physically manifest — the art of spellcasting is portrayed as an academic endeavor, in which the most studious become the most powerful. The concept of fantasy magic is the ultimate in human intelligence navel-gazing.

Even in non-fantasy media, the protagonists typically defeat their human rivals by outsmarting them. The movies in which the protagonist defeats his nemesis simply by beating on him more powerfully are few and far between — and of those that do exist, most of them involve sport, an activity so frequently fetishized by commentators that all connections to reality are lost. You simply can’t have a compelling story without a triumph of the mind. It’s understandable, really: while our eyes merely gaze at the movie screen, it’s our own mind that is truly watching it, and minds do harbor sympathies for other minds.

We value human intelligence so greatly because we are the only beings on the planet who possess anything close to it. When we triumph over a lion, a bear, or a hippopotamus in nature, we do so not by brute force, but through our intelligence. In one-on-one hand-to-hand combat, a fight against an elephant isn’t remotely fair. Allow the human use of a simple hand-held weapon such as a spear and the odds tighten considerably. Now give him a modern weapon that represents the apex of human intelligence — say, an F-22 joint strike fighter — and the elephant is easily reduced to a cloud of pink mist that has no chance whatsoever of retaliating against the human roaring away at Mach 2 a couple miles above it.

It is no surprise, then, that our fantasy worlds mimic very much the real world. Even though we make our villain fantasy races anthropomorphic (an orc is frequently portrayed as being a human with prominent boar features, for instance), even though we give them the ability to speak language, they represent nothing more than the animals of our own world, which we are used to accustomed to dominating completely. Are the fantasy creatures more intelligent? Certainly. It’s not a fair fight if the man-sized enemies don’t use weapons. But ultimately all that they really are is animals. No wonder fantasy story lines follow the races of player characters: humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, and others — all of which are pretty much the same as humans, sharing the same relative physical weaknesses, but possessing the same mental prowesses.

So it makes sense that human intelligences are most entertained by the dealings of other human intelligences, and that is thus what our fictions focus upon. It makes sense that in our fantasies we conduct battle against either humans or animals, because that is all we really know about fighting against in our own world — except in fantasy even the animals frequently look like humans because we really are that obsessed with ourselves. Yes, we humans really are quite full of ourselves, but seeing the complete lack of alternatives, who can blame us?

Stephen Fry celebrates GNU’s 25th birthday

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Now this is a slightly unexpected, yet nevertheless entirely awesome, bit of news. Stephen Fry, famous British comedian of Fry & Laurie fame (that’s Hugh Laurie, the actor who plays Dr. House on House), has released a celebratory message to GNU on its 25th anniversary. It contains a good bit of background on GNU and Linux, though nothing that should be new to you if you’ve been involved in the Free Software community for awhile.

Still, it’s a nice video, and it’s cool to see someone so, well, famous extolling the virtues of Free Software. Check it out! Unfortunately, it’ll work a lot better in the United Kingdom than here in the United States, since they actually know who he is. We just need to get an American equivalent to tape something equally praising of GNU/Linux. How about … Scarlett Johannson?

Why men’s gymnastics is better than women’s gymnastics

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Men’s gymnastics is better than women’s gymnastics (not that either is even close to my favorite sport, mind you). Here’s why.

In addition to having events that focus on grace, flexibility, tumbling, vaulting, etc., men’s gymnastics has at least two events that focus mainly on strength: pommel horse and rings. And why is a focus on strength important? Because then you can’t have fricking 12-year-olds with forged passports from a host country illegally competing in a gymnastics event (can you tell that I’m bitter?).

Look at all of the male gymnasts. They’re built. You’re not going to see that kind of muscle strength on a twelve year old. In men’s gymnastics, there is no temptation to try to skirt the rules and run a gymnast who’s under sixteen because any gymnast under sixteen would be utterly trounced. There’s simply no way they’d be strong enough to handle some of the events. By comparison, there is a big impetus in women’s gymnastics to try to sneak in under-agers because there’s nothing other than the rules that would make them unable to compete.

Besides my bitterness over the United States getting beat by a team of way-underaged Chinese gymnast cheaters, there’s another reason for preferring men’s gymnastics: Since the competitors are older, they frequently start later in life, allowing them a couple more years of unfettered childhood before they’re shipped off to gymnastics camp gulags. There’s no way in hell what’s happening to these girls who start training at the age of 4 is healthy.

Otakon 2008 impressions

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

So after spending most of today decompressing from Otakon by mindlessly watching the Olympics, I’m ready to relate my impressions about the event, which I promised on Thursday.

Despite never having been to an anime convention, Otakon didn’t overwhelm me at all. It was pretty much exactly like what I expected. Going to Wizard World East (a comic convention in Philadelphia) a few years back definitely gave me a feel for what it’d be like. Plus, I know many people who’ve been to these things before, and I’ve heard all sorts of stories. The experience wasn’t as transporting as when I went to a local renaissance festival, mainly because while everyone was also in costume there, they also kept in character the whole time. The cosplayers at anime conventions pretty much only stay in character for photo shoots and the masquerade.

Overall, the people at the convention were very friendly. Although I didn’t meet up with my friend from work until later in the day, I wasn’t alone while waiting in the entrance line on Saturday, as the girls behind me in line were very chatty and approachable. They were also from Canada, which kind of made my complaint about having to drive a whole forty miles from DC fall on deaf ears.

Later on during the convention, I struck up many conversations with random attendees, some of whom I was photographing, others of whom were just hanging around, and I never so much as had a rude interaction. No one ever turned down a request for a photograph, which I guess makes sense because anyone willing to go through the effort to make an elaborate costume certainly wants to be seen in it. It was really easy to strike up conversations and find things to talk about, because everyone there shared a rich appreciation of anime and knew a lot about it. I was surprised to find that I was pretty much the least knowledgeable anime fan I ran into.

I was also quite surprised at the sheer abundance of videogame cosplay, which came in a close second behind anime cosplay, with general Japanese fashions (such as gothic lolita) and non-anime TV shows and movies bringing up the rear. I wouldn’t even bill Otakon as an anime convention — I would bill it as an anime and videogame convention. There was a huge videogaming hall that was packed the entire convention. Amongst the videogame cosplayers, the Final Fantasy series was the most popular (with cosplay from the Final Fantasy Tactics subseries surprisingly common). I also saw a lot of Kingdom Hearts and Team Fortress 2 (red team only though). On the anime front, it was the usual suspects (basically, whatever anime is obscenely popular either at the moment or in the near past, such as Gurren Lagann and Naruto), but there was also a surprising number of Trigun cosplayers considering the age of that series. Not that I’m complaining, given how awesome Trigun is.

The only sour moment of the whole convention was when we attempted to attend a panel called “Welcome to Touhou”, which was supposed to be an introduction to a very specific Japanese subgenre of shmup (rail shooter), but were instead greeted with a panel-troller who spouted off bullshit on the “Psychology of Cosplayers” for a good half-hour before Otakon staff shut him down. Our best guess is that the original people leading the panel never arrived, and this asshole seized the moment. He kept babbling on and on, stopping occasionally to curse out the audience members that were leaving or calling him out, and took “questions” only to ignore them and continue spouting bullshit. The volunteer that he had found to walk around the microphone for him quickly grew exasperated and walked off, so it was a solo show. I don’t know why in the hell this guy did this or what he found fun about it, but it was incredibly lame.

On the first day of the convention neither I nor my friend cosplayed. It actually left me feeling a bit out of place (just like being one of the few “normals” at the renaissance festival), so I decided to wear my cloak to accompany my friend who was going as the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who. Yes, I have a cloak, which I made for renaissance festivals but haven’t yet had a chance to attend one with. My basic plan was to go along with whatever the first person “recognized” me as being, and since one of the first events of the day was a Doctor Who cosplay shoot, I was quickly pegged as one of the older iterations of “The Master”, the Doctor’s Time Lord nemesis.

All right, and now for those promised pictures! And if these leave you feeling disappointed, just know that these pictures don’t really represent the complete lengths that some of the females at the con went to to show off some skin. In particular, there were a few ladies there flashing a lot of ass, but I don’t know of any polite way to ask someone to turn around and present their backside for the purposes of taking a photograph, and I’m not about to be that creepy dude sneakily taking pictures of girls. All of the photographs were taken with consent.

View the Photographs (Woohoo, I installed gallery2 just for this.)

Otakon, here I come

Friday, August 8th, 2008

This weekend I’m attending Otakon, which is an anime convention in Baltimore, MD. Yes, stop making those faces. I’m going with a coworker (Drinian, who comments on this blog occasionally). The closest thing to an anime convention I’ve ever been to was Wizard World East in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania some years ago. That was a comic convention so it can’t be too different, right? Not that I was there for the comics, mind you, but rather for a national competition of the MechWarrior miniatures tabletop game, which I suspect is at least as nerdy.

I imagine I’ll have all sorts of crazy stories to relate here on the blog on Sunday from Otakon, but in the meantime, all of my time is going to be occupied with … whatever goes on at anime conventions? I gather there’s a lot of anime-watching that goes on at these events, along with the cosplaying. I kind of feel like I’m going to be a bad con-goer, because I haven’t even watched any anime in months, and I haven’t watched it a lot in over a year. So, either fanatical reintroduction or event that turns me off anime forever, here I come!

And yes, I know the majority of my readers will probably only be interested in the results of this if I come back with pictures of hot female cosplayers. To this I say: I’ll try not to disappoint.