Nuns, DeLoreans, and Big Daddy (Mama?) Cthulhu

 Anime, Haibane Renmei  Comments Off on Nuns, DeLoreans, and Big Daddy (Mama?) Cthulhu
May 082012
 

So that nun chick with the DeLorean in Nyarlko, who is like totally awesome and stuff because she dresses like a nun and has a DeLorean, is probably the anime’s Cthulhu equivalent. Right? Yeah, I think I’m right.

The obvious proof for this is that little chibi-Cthulhu dangling from her hair from the commercial break eyecatch. That should be proof enough and stuff. But such an observation isn’t worthy of a blog post. Hell, it isn’t even a tweet. It’s just, like, a stray electron hitting a synapse– the sort of thing your brain barely acknowledges for longer than a second. “Mini-God. Girl. She’s Cthulhu. Bam.”

But this chick is too awesome to not waste precious words and time upon. She has a DeLorean, dude! And it flies! She isn’t just 1955ing here, she’s 2015ing as well. She plays the time and space awesomeness spectrum in multiple dimensions.

What struck me about pitting Nyarlathotep against Cthulhu (again, assuming this green haired maybe-nun is Cthulhu) is that this sort of butting of cosmic heads already happened in the Mythos. Indirectly. The dude that effectively took over the Mythos after Lovecraft died, August Derleth, tried to turn the Great Old Ones and Elder Gods into embodiments of the elements. Cthulhu became a water elemental. Cthugha was created to make a fire elemental. And Nyarlathotep got shoehorned into being an air elemental.

What’s interesting about this is that Derleth didn’t pit the traditional elemental opposites against one another. He pitted Earth against Fire and Water against Air. Not sure why that’s the case, but that’s the case. What this means is that Nyarlko is already paired against this new lady by this elemental nonsense. Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu are opposing beings and their duking it out over Mahiro’s mom is to be totally expected. This new lady is so meant to be Nyarlko’s nemesis. It’s already written in the stars.

Except I turned around and read the Nyarlko Wiki and found out that this new pseudo-nun just works for the Cthulhu Company. So actually all of what I just wrote is yet another one of my failed conspiracy theories. My shit’s already busted and I haven’t even finished this post.

But wait! This has created an even more elaborate conspiracy theory that allows for this new character to both be and not be Cthulhu. Check this out.

I’ve had this idea rummaging around my brain ever since I started watching this series. There has to be a reason why all of these Elder Gods take the form of cute girls and shit. I’m not buying into this “Nyarlathotepians are just an alien species and not one single God Being.” That’s just a ruse– a lie to tell mortals to make their existence a bit more palatable.

See, there’s no such thing as “Nyarlathotepians” and these other space “races.” Nyarlko isn’t a member of an alien species, she is Nyarlathotep in one of his many Masks. In order to keep Mahiro and other humans from going completely bonkers and lose all of their SAN, Nyarlko and Kuuko and the other Gods not only take cutesy human forms to soften the visual blow, they also concoct elaborate backstories to make the very concept of GOOs a bit more comprehensible. A mortal mind can’t handle knowing that the moe girl in front of it is just an Avatar of a creature so powerful its akin to a force of nature, but it can handle the concept of such gods being misinterpretations of entire species from another planet that just happen to have superior technology and magic and shit.

It’s the sort of effect you get from World of Darkness games like Werewolf or Mage. The human mind needs to rationalize the fantastic in order for it to allow such stuff to exist in its paradigm. Seeing something that goes beyond the human scope of reason breaks the mind, so for the Elder Gods to mingle and get their otaku swag, they have to play by The Masquerade and lower their conceptual level to more manageable levels.

That’s why this new girl isn’t Cthulhu. He’s the Big Daddy of the GOOs. She can’t just rationalize it away as saying “I’m a Cthulhuian. My species is the basis of Cthulhu and I really do have tentacles instead of green hair.” That shit’d still freak out humans. We can handle a fire being taking mortal form, but not Cthulhu himself. So he has to pretend to be an employee of a company called Cthulhu Whatever and not even use his name to refer to himself.

That’s why this Cthulhu chick is and isn’t Cthulhu. It’s to make sure we have some modicum of sanity left over for the next story arc.

Also, I want her car so bad.

Dec 202009
 

If you listen to the young crowd, 2002 may as well be ancient history. Not quite the “mythic age” of the late 90s where legendary heroes like Cowboy Bebop and Evangelion traipsed around the countryside, but the early 00’s may as well be set in Byzantine Rome in the eyes of “modern” fans.

So let’s take a look at the awesomeness that was airing on wall of bath houses while those Romans were doing their orgy thing.

10. Please Teacher!

Yeah, I don’t buy that “oh, he’s really over 18, he just looks young because of some mystery anime sleeping diseaseshit. Please Teacher is all about that fantasy of scoring with that one hot teacher almost every teenager has at some point in high school. And it’s totally OK because she’s an alien! Your fantasies are totally legal, dude, and they’re even more exotic! Score! It’s pretty baffling that this series ended up being watchable, much less pretty decent. A lot of that comes from the side characters. Their issues and relationships are far more interesting than anything that happens to the dream couple. And the whole thing has a decent sense of humor to it. But yeah, dude, you’re not an adult. Stop lying to the audience like that.

9. Haibane Renmei

I don’t love this series. It just doesn’t do it for me the way it hits those buttons for other people. Redemption stories aren’t what I’m interested in. I don’t get the same warm fuzzies other people get when they see someone overcome those sorts of personal odds. I’m weird like that. What interests me is the actual world that’s created in this series. It’s a cool take on Purgatory. It may be a bit too idyllic for my tastes, but the series does a great job of crafting this image of a pastoral world with just a hint of sinisterness lurking about. In a way, it’s something of a miracle that this series even makes it onto one of my lists. It’s way too nice for me.

8. GetBackers

GetBackers is similar to Heat Guy J in that I hated its first episode. I also hated its second episode. I was all but forced to watch the third. And that third episode was pretty cool. And then after that the series became kinda awesome. It has insane characters with insane powers, and said characters get into insane action scenes and shit. That’s about it. It’s shallow shounen action. It isn’t nearly as good as something like Air Master. But it has characters with names like Mr. No Breaks. Seriously. That’s one of my favorite anime character names ever. A getaway driver named Mr. No Breaks, whose “poweris that he never uses the breaks. That’s some brilliant character stuff there. That one character represents everything I like about this series.

7. Chobits

One of my earlier posts compared this thing to Blade Runner. Not so much in terms of quality or anything, but in terms of the whole “just how human is an AIthing. Yeah, it probably isn’t relevant anymore to ask if artificial intelligence is real intelligence. Fiction’s weighed in on that enough to where the assumption is pro-AI. Chobits then asks “can you do all that other stuff you do with an equal human intelligence with an AI.The result is something that’s kinda creepy, but it’s kinda fascinating in that sort of “CLAMP has some weird fucking tastesway.

6. Trava: Fist Planet

Call it a dress rehearsal for Redline. It hits a lot of the same buttons as that awesome movie, except we see everything through the eyes of a couple of slacker salvagers. It isn’t the sort of “against the oddsstory like Redline. It’s more of a world-building piece where the creators are setting and exploiting the boundaries of the anime’s universe. It’s kinda inconsequential, I guess, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun and stylish.