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#RetroRecaps and other miscellany

(POTTED LID) Mecha Marathon – The Vision of Escaflowne

If there was ever a mecha anime made for girls it is this one which features a fantasy setting with magitek, the prominent use of divination as a legitimate form of magic, and romantic entanglements as driving elements of the plot. This is not mentioning the winged romantic interest and all the times we see a shirtless muscled swordsman, usually Van, who also happens to be the winged love interest (of course). His wings rip his shirt to pieces when they unfurl. Where he gets his replacement shirts after these occasions is never explained.

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#RetroRecaps: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross – “First Contact”/”Big Escape”

Episodes 11 & 12: Captured by the Zentradi, Vermillion Squad are interrogated and learn something about the Zentradi culture. Then Vermillion Squad escapes the Zentradi fleet with information about the enemy and Protoculture.

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Kiwi-Made Movies to See

I spent a year in New Zealand and made friends with people who love the same kind of pop culture I do. Naturally, they introduced me to the movies of their home country. Here are the ones I recommend to others:

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#RetroRecaps: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross – “Miss Macross”/”The Blind Game”

Episodes 9 & 10: Lynn Minmay enters the Miss Macross contest but Hikaru is called for a mission as it happens. Then, an attack disables Macross’s radar and leaves the ship vulnerable.

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Top 3 Picks of Stuff (updated)

It’s been two years since I updated my original Top 3 Picks of Stuff. No one is static in terms of taste and I am especially malleable. Hence this updated list.

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“Written Off” is a Lot Less Meta than I Expected in a Bad Way

For Valentine’s Day, my local library had a table filled with books wrapped in brown paper. These were Book Blind Dates, meant to entice library users to try something new despite displaying the first paragraph of the official synopsis on the front of the package. It was the best idea ever and totally in the realm of Valentine’s Day. So naturally I picked the synopsis that sounded the least like a historical fiction romance and took that home.

What I got was Written Off, a cute mystery novel by E. J. Copperman. The premise was out there but still fun: a mystery writer gets a call to consult on a missing persons case by her own fictional character. Attention-grabbing premise, don’t you agree? And it’s a mystery, which is out of my normal wheelhouse. Then again, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is also out of my wheelhouse but it is still my favorite book of all time. And so I gave it a go.

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5 Fave Songs on Crazy Ex Girlfriend Season 1

I listened to a lot of music for this post and it was so hard to narrow down the scope. But here we go!

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Heads Up: 2 Week Haitus

Letting y’all know that #RetroRecaps is taking a 2 week haitus because I’m moving for a new job. This does not apply to posts unrelated to #RetroRecaps. Your regularly scheduled snark will resume later in March. In the meantime, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

(THE POTTED LID) Mecha Marathon – Gargantia on the Verduous Planet

The beauty of Gargantia on the Verduous Planet is in its simplicity. Unlike other mecha shows, Gargantia discards a traditional wartime story in exchange for a story about peace; thus the focus is on Ledo’s assimilation to a new culture and ultimately a new life. The show takes its time working through Ledo’s main obstacles of establishing his place on Gargantia: forming relationships, learning a new language, and acquiring a profession. However, Ledo is only able to build his new life after discarding all connections to the Galactic Alliance, the most painful of which is the sacrifice of his pseudo-parent Chamber.

Read more of this post on The Potted Lid by clicking this elegant and finely-crafted link! Be sure to subscribe to The Potted Lid for more essays on pop culture.

Retro Recaps: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross – “Bye-Bye Mars”/”Longest Birthday”

Episodes 7 & 8: 1st Lt. Hayase pines for her lost love who died on the Martian base Salla. Then Minmay’s 16th birthday coincides with a major attack by the Zendradi.

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Retro Recaps: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross – “Transformation”/”Daedelus Attack”

Episode 5 &6: In order to fire the main cannon, Macross must transform. Inspired by the resulting destruction of the civilian city, Hikaru joins the military. Captain Global plans to lure the Zendradi in the open around Saturn.

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Retro Recaps: V The Final Battle (Part 1)

Part 1 – The human resistance plans and executes an operation that exposes the true lizard faces of the Visitors.

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(POTTED LID) The Lost Potential of Firefly

I first saw Firefly as a freshman in college when my roommate at the time introduced me to the works of Joss Whedon. We watched about 4-1/2 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and maybe 1 season of Angel, but I fell for the space western Firefly. Since then, if I don’t watch it for myself at least once every two years then someone around me starts watching it. Early last year, I introduced my host-mother in New Zealand to it. Later in the year, my flatmate cracked and watched it after years of avoiding it. The more I see it, the more my feelings metamorphosed from rose-tinted amazement to my current love-despite-the-flaws state.

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Retro Recaps: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross – “Space Fold”/”Lynn Minmay”

Episodes 3 & 4: Macross executes a space fold to get away from the attacking alien forces to find themselves on the opposite side of the solar system. Then Hikaru Ichijo and Lynn Minmay are stranded in an uninhabited part of the ship for approximately two weeks.

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I Don’t Like The Opening Credits of Netflix’s The Crown

The Crown details the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II, current monarch of the United Kingdom and British Empire. Set in the 1950s, the show starts with Queen Elizabeth’s marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh Philip Mountbatten and the re-election of Winston Churchill as the British Prime Minister. From there, the show takes slow and deliberate steps in covering the reign of Queen Elizabeth II through episodic storytelling and beautiful cinematography.

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Happy (belated) Galentine’s Day! My Favorite Female Friendships in Geek Pop Culture

Happy Valentine’s Day! I do not think of myself as a sucker for romance (as I groan every time two characters don’t kiss in a movie). BUT I am a total sucker for friendships between two ladies, especially if they support each other in navigating a man’s world. In the time-honored tradition started by Leslie Knope, here are my five favorite female friendships:

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Retro Recaps: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross – “Booby Trap”/”Countdown”

Episodes 1 &2: Macross is attacked by an unknown alien enemy on the day of its maiden launch. Hikaru Ichijo, a stunt pilot, is downed in the middle of the battle and rescues Minmay from alien ground troops.

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Retro Recaps: V The Original Miniseries Part 2

The human resistance establishes a base in the California mountains while Mike discovers the hidden agenda of the Visitors.

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(THE POTTED LID) Mecha Marathon – Aldnoah.Zero

Aldnoah.Zero takes the common archetypes of the Gundam franchise–teenaged mecha pilots, a military ship transporting civilians/refugees, indestructible giant mecha, and (my personal favorite) aristocracy in space–and makes them into something new with the help of the world building. This is not the year 2014 we know, though it shows as many similarities as it does differences. There are smartphones and internet and regular Japanese high schools, but there is also a hostile space empire literally hovering over everyone’s heads somewhere around the destroyed Moon. Therefore, it is plausible that the United Earth mandated military training for all high school students, which in turn informs why a group of teenagers can pilot a couple giant war machines and the military is totally okay with this.

Read more of this post by clicking this elegant and finely-crafted link! Be sure to follow The Potted Lid for more essays on pop culture when you do.

Retro Recaps: V – The Original Miniseries Part 1

Visitors from the star Sirius arrive on Earth and ask for assistance in manufacturing a chemical needed to save their home planet in exchange for medical knowledge and technology. But not all is as it seems.

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