January 2018 news

January 2018 gwern.net newsletter with 3 tech/philosophy essays and links on genetics, AI, biology/medicine, Bitcoin, linguistics, Touhou, and 2 anime reviews.
topics: newsletter
created: 21 Dec 2017; modified: 21 Aug 2019; status: finished; confidence: log; importance: 0


This is the January 2018 edition of ; previous, (). This is a summary of the revision-history RSS feed, overlapping with my & ; brought to you by my donors on .

Writings

Media

Books

Nonfiction:

Film/TV

Animated:

  • (one of the most unusual fictional treatments of & to date, and a further unusual integration of Noh drama & twisting of the legend into a vampire story. The animation is nice, something of a throwback to Basilisk and Ninja Scroll and ‘80s-’90s OVA styles. The repetition of the rather MacGuffin-esque plot is unfortunate but necessary for the viewer to identify with the protagonist and experience the full horror—I would definitely say this benefits from lack of spoilers, so the suspicions can gradually dawn on one and one can enjoy some of the deliciously weird sequences. Some reviewers are confused by the end, but I think it’s clear enough what is going on, who is the mastermind, what their ’twisted love’ is about, and how Kurozuka falls into the immortality/time-dilation subgenre of horror.)
  • (a colorful take on yuri-esque mahou shoujo, Flip Flappers starts off with a strong visual imagination and fun animation, but the pieces never gel. If I had watched only episode 6, an unusually hard-hitting depiction of senile dementia, and episode 8, a colorful and fun ‘80s cyberpunk Tron-esque confection homaging classic robot anime, I would have thought Flip Flappers was an excellent anime; but—alas—I watched the others too. The various worlds never form as interesting a commentary as the witch-domains in Madoka did and come off as largely random, and the ’fetch of the week’ format fails to make the two protagonists interesting or convincing friends: Cocona remains a boring stick-in-the-mud while Papika never rises above ‘manic pixie dream girl’ stereotypes. The backstory is dumped at the end, and I have never seen a more shameless, comprehensive, or boringly unoriginal ripoff of Nadia/Neon Genesis Evangelion/End of Evangelion—I did think Kill La Kill went a bit far in homaging EoE, but KLK brought a lot to the table & was still its own anime. The predictable fighting-means-friendship ending is based on too much sketchy nonsense for me to even bother trying to understand it or appreciate its half-hearted gestures at having an emotional impact.)