SirTheory’s Treatise on Life

(opinions on just about anything)

Naruto

So I’ve been a big Cartoon Network addict the past few weeks. Be it Futurama or Robot Chicken or Frisky Dingo. Mostly Adult Swim fare. So this weekend, where had no plans Friday evening, Saturday all day, or Sunday all day I planned on getting a bit of television in. However, I groaned when I found out that Cartoon Network was going to be spending all of that time (except for Adult Swim hours) in a marathon of the kid’s anime Naruto. 100 episodes spread out over 50 hours and 3 days.

I have an appreciation for anime. I’ve enjoyed Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop, as well as others that I’ve seen on Cartoon Network like Full Metal Alchemist. Naruto, while I was familiar with its existence looked more like a silly, brainless anime. There was no real appeal there for me. Yet I sat down Friday evening, bored, and turned it on. Three episodes in and I was hooked. It has the number one thing I look for in movies, books, and television: Amazing characters.

A lot of shows and books have well developed main characters (Full Metal Alchemist seems to be that way) and that is great. I love well developed main characters. However, Naruto not only does great character development of the main characters, but of the side characters as well. While Naruto appears in all the episodes, in many of the shows he is more of a peripheral character. Instead that episode will focus on one of his friends, or enemies, or someone else, and we get treated to textured flashbacks and get to know that character in a way that brings them alive.

Oh, speaking of enemies, the evil characters in this show are stunningly textured. Especially Gaara, a red-haired boy who alternates between a dead, evil stare and a fierce scowl. He is terrifyingly powerful, especially in the earlier episodes, and his character development is superb. You hate him and yet you sympathize with him and want him, as be becomes more and more pathetic as the episodes go on, to turn around.

Naruto is the spiky, yellow-haired kid. He is our hero and a kid with little talent yet high aspirations. He is loud, annoying, and doesn’t like to recognize authority. Yet he is more than that. He manages to use what he has effectively. In most of his fights he is a severe underdog because the other person has a lot more tricks up their sleeve. Through raw determination to succeed and using his brain to combine things in new, unimagined ways, Naruto will often succeed against all odds. And in such a way we see him grow from geeky kid in over his head to a real competitor.

The show isn’t for everyone as many episodes may be short on action for many viewers. Other episodes might be too gruesome for other viewers (just the fact that it is a show about kids battling each other with magic might be too much for many). But I really enjoyed the marathon, even though I didn’t get a chance to see every episode. Unfortunately, the DVDs are ridiculously expensive, even used, at this point. But hopefully in upcoming years they’ll become affordable. I’d enjoy picking them up.

August 20, 2007 Posted by | Television | 11 Comments

First Post

“Glory, glory hallelujah…” goes the common refrain. In this case it is a reference to my discovery of wordpress, which looks like an honest-to-goodness free (FREE!) serious blog site. I had always been under the opinion that Xanga served my needs quite nicely. I still think that Xanga would work great for serious blogs. I mean, the set up and layout is great. There are two serious problems with xanga. 1) You have to become a xanga member to comment. 2) The general population has Xanga stereotyped as a social journal kind of site. Regardless, I have no qualms in acquiring more of a serious blog on which I will various reviews and commentaries. The Xanga shall continue to exist for updates on me. And it was good.

A little about me:
Name: Jacob
Age: A totally mature 23
Beard-growing Capacity: Amazing.
Location: Central PA

I am into music, particularly that of a quirky/avant-garde nature. Examples: Sonic Youth, The Residents, The Fiery Furnaces, The Danielson Famile, and so forth. I also like normal indie stuff: Sufjan Stevens, Wilco, Hella, The Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, blah blah blah. And more mainstream things: Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, Bjork, Kelly Clarkson, The White Stripes, etc. There are very few genres I don’t appriciate to some extent, although I have a tough time enjoying emo, ska, and r&b.

Movies are pretty cool, and although I don’t pretend to be an expert on them, I will talk about them occasionally. I tend to gravitate toward the pretentious serious films like anything from the Tarantino catalog: specifically Jackie Brown, although Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill are both excellent. I also quite enjoy comedies like Office Space, The Princess Bride, and Saved!. Not to mention anything Monty Python related. In fact, British humor is definitely more my speed.

I would say I love books more than movies on the whole. My favorite authors include Madeleine L’Engle, Tad Williams, J.K. Rowling, Ray Bradbury, and oodles more I am forgetting at the moment. My genre of choice right now seems to be children’s or adolecent fantasy because it does a much better job of capturing the spirit of fantasy than a lot of adult fantasy which insists on throwing in obnoxious, gratuitous sex and stuff.

The one thing most people don’t realize about me when they meet me is my fanatical obsession with Phillies baseball. I am a huge, huge fan and I watch every game that I can on TV. Also a big fan of football (go Eagles)… but nothing really rivals my commitment to the Phillies. The one sport I truly, honestly hate with a passion is basketball. Really, what is the point?

I am a beer snob. I love microbrews. Thankfully Central PA has quite a few very good ones… and is only an hour and a half drive to Philadelphia where there is a whole slew of microbreweries. And hey, we have Stoudts! Every month some church friends and I go to a brewpub and check out the local goods. Expect opinions and reviews on beers right after such trips.

Television. I am a much bigger fan of the products created for TV than the big screen. I mean, Arrested Development? Futurama? Classics. Then there is the old Police Squad show that lasted exactly six episodes before getting canceled… the creators of that went on to do movies like Naked Gun and Airplane!. And can’t forget Monty Python’s Flying Circus… that was one of my best ebay finds.

I have long been a creator of content on the internet. I started off on h2g2.com, a website created by the awesome and clever Douglas Adams, who wrote the entirely too funny Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. I was young and naive. It’s a good site but I only go back really once a year and try to remember my bloody log-in info. Then I moved on to the afore mentioned xanga and blogcritics, of which blogcritics is the most prestigious. Check it out, it’s awesome. Blogcritics.org, a “sinister cabal of superior writers.”

The last thing I shall mention in my virgin post here is that I go to Millersville University where I am in the process of making sure everyone realizes that I am totally awesome.

August 7, 2007 Posted by | Beer, General, Internet, Literature, Movies, Music, Sports, Television | 1 Comment