It's truly sad to see a decent-to-good product decline into mediocre writing, sub-standard plotlines, and vulgarity for the sake of shock value like T...moreIt's truly sad to see a decent-to-good product decline into mediocre writing, sub-standard plotlines, and vulgarity for the sake of shock value like The Authority property has done.
The current author of this TPB needs to be removed from this project, and hopefully any other writing whatsoever, if this book is any indication of his level of storytelling. Not only have the characters of the Authority devolved into the one-liner-spouting, four-color comic book heroes they were intended to avoid becoming, but the stories themselves are so re-hashed and maudlin that I'm tempted day in and day out to just burn this book and pretend like it never existed. A multiverse-spanning casino taking odds on our heroes' survival? ::Yawn:: A pandimensional corporation that came about because a being of pure spirit was overwhelmed when it entered the body of a crime lord on the receiving end of a blowjob? ::DOUBLE YAWN::
Toss in a few liberally-sprinkled fuck you's, and you've got the makings of a juvenile and literarily retarded product. Whoever decided to assign the scriptwriter and penciler to this book needs their head 'examined' - with a cricket bat at high speed.
Recommended for anyone who thinks the words "fuck you" equate to high art, and Twilight Twihards. Seriously, the writing level's about the same.(less)
This has got to be literally the single longest book that I have read wherein nothing happens for the majority of the book.
I have been through Man-Mac...moreThis has got to be literally the single longest book that I have read wherein nothing happens for the majority of the book.
I have been through Man-Machine Interface several times cover to cover, and I have to say that the entire 'plot' of the book - so called - could have easily fit into one half the number of editions. I don't know how many pages I skipped during the useless and pointless cyberspace e-"battles" wherein the main character does absolutely nothing except float there on a page packed with pretty CG images and tell her little drones to release "toy bomb combo B!" or somesuch nonsense, while they blather at her that "barrier maze QQQ has fallen, and the enemy has begun action 'X'!!!". It's almost as if the honorable Mr. Shirow realized that the story he had plotted out had a minimal page count, so he had to pad the story out with gratuitous illustrations of the heroine in skimpy panties and low-cut dresses talking to simplistically designed helpers while floating in a non-specific representation of computer land.
Now, about those gratuitous upskirt shots. I'm beginning to think that Masamune Shirow is a dirty old man with a pen and a panty fetish, because of the number of pages wherein our heroine is depicted either in skimpy clothing, performing martial arts in a skirt (with the point of view conveniently placed to greasily ogle the heroine's unmentionables), or stylistically rendered as completely nude, such as when the characters are floating in cyberspace. There are simply too many of these pages scattered throughout the book for it to be little more than pandering to perverse shut-ins with a hentai fetish. I suppose that it could be argued (if one wished to delve so far into a make-believe world) that those people who have opted to become total cyborgs no longer suffer from the shamefulness of being naked that most people seem to suffer from. If this were true, then where are the naked male cyborgs? I counted only one half-naked male cybernetic organism in the entire book, and the character was actually a 'suit' for yet another scantily-clad female cyborg to crawl into and hide within. Any female cyborg that has a position in the healthcare field is dressed like some ultra-distilled male pervert's version of a pornographic nurse, where all the men are in casual clothes, three-piece suits, or heavy concealing armor. Even a female cop cyborg that is taken over by the 'heroine' of the book gets into a fistfight with several robots while wearing a micro-miniskirt, giving the reader several free looks at her gonch.
Of course, there was also the gratuitous, pointless lesbian scene in the first Ghost in the Shell, so I think it's safe to say that Mr. Shirow just enjoys drawing nekkid women. That's fine, if the book is erotica, porn, or even an artistic representation of the female form (as another Shirow book has done). Ghost in the Shell: Man-Machine Interface is none of these, however, so the technique seems almost desperate, as if the author were trying to say: "Look! Boobies! Don't look over here at the lack of story! Just look at the tits on this chick! Hey, check it out, I'm giving you panty-shots galore, too!"
Don't get me wrong; for the most part, I think all of Masamune Shirow's work is entertaining, complex, well-developed, and a thousand times better than the dreck that passes for anime nowadays (Naruto, anyone?). I just feel that this one could have done with either a little more developing and proper scripting, or a lot less page count...and far more of a point to having so many naked women in the book (or fewer naked women to begin with), rather than for some kind of base gratification. GitS:M-MI has been touted as a "philosophical romp into the meaning of personality and identity", but I suspect that's just an overenthusiastic PR man trying to get the books to sell. (less)
I don't know. Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe it's an issue with the translations. Maybe Masamune Shirow is just an incredibly obtuse writer. Either way, I fo...moreI don't know. Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe it's an issue with the translations. Maybe Masamune Shirow is just an incredibly obtuse writer. Either way, I found these books (along with Appleseed) a bit muddled and indecipherable. I repeatedly felt that the books were written as though Mr. Shirow automatically expected us to understand certain things that were not explained - almost as if one were required to see the thought processes that went into the writing - the constant, unexplained references to 'ghosts' is a good example. Were these 'ghosts' supposed to be memory? Souls? The mind-recordings of the individuals that were speaking? And just what was the point of the lesbian scene? So many things remain unexplained and unexplainable, no matter how many times I re-read these books.
Regardless of what the ultimate intent was, I'm not a major fan of most anime or Japanese comics (with some exceptions), so I cannot say that this series is entirely at fault; in the hands of a Troo Fan, it is probably much more enjoyable. (less)
This is a definite departure from the dystopian series Battle Angel Alita, and may be something of a shock for those who were expecting similarities f...moreThis is a definite departure from the dystopian series Battle Angel Alita, and may be something of a shock for those who were expecting similarities from Yukito Kishiro. Personally, I liked the different feel, style and tone that this series had, because it means the author has the ability to write with a larger range than what people expect.
Where Alita is more 'adult' in theme and scope, Aqua Knight has a brighter, sunnier feel that seems a little more fun (though admittedly, staging a story on an island in the ocean is going to convey that sort of feel more than a giant scrap city would, but the characters are also less mopey and angsty in this series than in Alita)
The one similarity I would make note of between Aqua Knight and Alita is the theme that one has to rely mostly on oneself to achieve happiness in life, and that you can't wait for anyone to give it to you.
While I sold my copies to make room on my bookshelf, I would definitely consider keeping these around as an occasional diversion from some of the other material I have on my bookshelf. (less)