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The Deadening of the Deaded: Ultra Dead

Would you believe me if said I actually finally had an update after so many months of being a completely lazy arse face? If so, would you believe me if I said it was a large, extravagant update that totally makes up for my multi-month absence? If so, ha! It’s just a Random Action Hour update. Yeah, even I wanted a bigger update, but it’s either churn one out now or wait another five years before I realise what a good work ethic is.

I have not been up to much excitement this week. Really about the only interesting things were the ways I totally wasted my time, and a couple of things I watched.

Vampire Wars: It’s another anime thing that’s been sitting around for quite some time, and the name always seems to grab visitors’ attention, but I’d never bothered to watch it until now. It’s a typical example of a 90s OVA – an amusing piece of fluff that tries to be something big, but is overall very forgettable. I could barely even understand the plot when I watched it, and having to write about it like a week later is even worse, but I think it was something like guys from the space project and blood transfusion industry are being slaughtered, so an ex-Communist (our main hero!) is hired to look into the situation. Eventually we find out that, surprise, vampires are behind these attacks, but not just regular vampires – space vampires! They’ve come to Earth looking for their new ruler who will grant them stronger life and blah blah blah, but in the meantime their life-force is rejuvenated by drinking human blood.

It’s probably kind of sad that despite being a total sucker for escapism fiction, the space vampire rubbish bored the crap out of me. I actually had more fun watching the down-to-earth conspiracy nonsense, if just because it was a bunch of jerks with accents being jerks to each other, with the same amount of colourful swearing as Cyber City Oedo 808. “You probably fist your wife because you don’t know what to do with your cock!” Classy stuff, folks. It’s only fifty minutes long and there’s a fair few characters who the protagonist expo-dumps on briefly, giving the impression it’s trying to create a more tiered and flavoured world that could be expanded upon later, but all it does is make you wonder where they disappear to when, well, they disappear from the plot. It doesn’t help that after a fair amount of fluffing around in the opening half, the actual ending comes across as a bit unceremonious, and a bit lame. Our ex-Communist hero falls in love with a teenage film star who is now the queen of the vampires. Can you say awkward? Alternately, can you say sitcom premise?

Aside from that, there’s not much I can comment on. Being a 90s OVA it tries to make the main character hardcore and “mature,” so of course he constantly bangs prostitutes and breaks peoples’ necks on a daily basis, but there’s one particularly disturbing sequence. While expo-dumping on an old ally he’s sought refuge with he explains that they went on a mission together to destroy the economy of Japan, and to do that, they crashed a jumbo jet full of nukes (!!) into Tokyo’s business district, leaving it an inhospitable wasteland with only scarred remains of the once tall buildings. I’m pretty much the last guy to think anything is an allusion to 9/11, but when I saw it I was like, Christ. It’s like 9/11 times a thousand! On a lighter topic, the OVA has an amusing fixation on riddling bad guys with as many bullets as possible. I’m sure I counted at least four guys who die by being shot with machine gun fire for a solid fifteen seconds before they can finally fall down. And I think one of them can still speak afterwards.

It’s an amusing piece of fluff, but it’s totally forgettable.

The Walking Dead: Pretty darn good! I only watched the first episode, but I was definitely impressed. It’s very accurate to the original comics and it captures the atmosphere so, so well. The comics are basically a drama-filled slice-of-life in a zombie apocalypse, which actually makes for a really engaging story where you can get to know the characters very well, making it all the more heartbreaking when they kick the bucket (Axel, you were taken before your prime!), and a lot of it is simply the characters adjusting to the end of normal civilisation. I haven’t kept up with the series since issue 50, but I was well and truly enjoying it… but I won’t deny that sometimes the slice-of-life style and pacing felt a bit out of place in a comic. There were times when the mothers were discussing if they should let their children watch Ghost Busters or not (which is actually an amusing conversation) and I’d be like “man, is anyone going to go crazy and starting shooting people anytime soon?”

I remember the first issue of The Walking Dead being very strong, but the TV version really amps it up. It emphasises the lonely and frightening environment so, so well, and it makes such a change actually hearing the characters talk to each other. I’ll be looking forward to more, though I do feel like I’m all zombie’d out lately – I’ve been playing Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead and House of the Dead: Overkill a lot in the past few months, I’ve watched a few crappy zombie movies, and zombies just seem to be the hip thing nowadays. I can’t help but get the impression there’s going to be a backlash against them soon enough (there’s been a backlash against vampires, right?) and that’ll sink any zombie-related media for a while. Then again, I’m an idiot. What do I know? It’s awesome to finally see the TV adaptation after so much talk about it, and I definitely look forward to the jailhouse arc – I just hope it doesn’t get cancelled before it covers all the good stuff.

Today’s doodle is a scribbly Cyclonus. It’s not very good. Also, man, Transformer eyes are weird.

2 Comments

  1. MightyKombat wrote:

    Sweary old anime gets me going every time. Benten from Cyber City Oedo has this to say:

    “You wouldn’t recognize a goddamn vampire if one jumped up and bit you on the end of your fucking dick.”

    Friday, November 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
  2. greybob wrote:

    Well, personally I think zombies are more versatile and have been handled a lot better then vampires have recently. I’m not quite zombied out yet. I’ve been meaning to check out Walking Dead, both the show and the comics.

    Have you heard of High School of the Dead? It’s an anime about a group of high school students who get trapped during the zombie apocalypse. I’ve been meanng to check it out, but I’ve heard it’s very very fan-service-y.

    Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Permalink