Side Comments for the Month VII – the Mindless Violence Edition

Side Comments for the Month VII – the Mindless Violence Edition

There are spoilers for Battle Royale and Hellsing Ultimate in this post. To read the spoilers, highlight the invisible text with your mouse.


The "class photo" from the ending credits of Battle Royale is a disquieting coda to the film.

1. In Things I Should Have Viewed Ten Years Ago, I finally got around to watching Battle Royale (2000) on Netflix. It’s a beautiful movie. Now that’s what I call gratuitous violence done right! It also has just the right amount of gravitas. While watching I tried not to get attached to any of the characters in case I’d have to see their heads blown apart. The massacre in the lighthouse is especially poignant. I was rooting for the guy with the GPS system; unfortunately, he does not survive.

Incidentally, I can’t believe that the mousy male lead, Tatsuya Fujiwara, also plays the villainous Light in the Death Note movies. He will play Shishio Makoto in the upcoming  Rurouni Kenshin sequels, too. I think I need to catch up on my live action film adaptations.   

Going back to Battle Royale, though, the film ends on an optimistic note in spite of its high body count. I haven’t heard good things about the sequel, so I’ll probably won’t touch it. I might check out the novel. But yes, I’d love to see Battle Royale again.


2. Adam and I also finished watching Hellsing Ultimate (2006) a few days ago. It’s one of those anime series that I cannot figure out if I liked it or not. It has a lot of objectionable content, ranging from gratuitous amounts of blood to rape (specifically, mind rape and necrophilia.) While I seek out violent entertainment of the Quentin Tarantino variety, I do draw the line at scenes depicting the rape of a murder victim, with the violation carried out in full view of her young daughter. That’s just sick.

Still, objectionable scenes aside, Hellsing’s vampire anti-hero is fun to watch. I never latched on to the sparkly vampire trend so I’m happy that Alucard is a throwback to the old gothic traditions. I do wish, though, that Hellsing Ultimate’s basic plot was more than Vampires versus Immortal Nazis. Nazis can get so tiresome

Hellsing Ultimate reminds me of the second season of Code Geass with its ability to make my eyes roll hard, with such things as the Vatican deploying its secret army of gun-toting priests. There’s also a female character perennially addressed as “Sir” in complete ignorance of the proper forms of address. (That seriously does not make sense. Integra

I like giant robots.

Hellsing is supposed to be the last member of an ancient noble family. Even if she was a marchioness, a viscountess, a baroness, or a baronetess in her own right, she should still be addressed as Lady Hellsing.) Call it nitpicking but a major theme of the story is the love of tradition and the continuity of the social order. A character that’s supposed to uphold these things wouldn’t allow anyone to call her Sir. I know it’s irrational on my part, but this bothers me more than the gun-toting priests!


3. Lastly, I caught Pacific Rim with my nephew and my brother-in-law over the weekend. I know it’s not doing well in the United States, but since I am a fan of Stringer Bell I hope it earns most of its money back overseas. Pacific Rim is a great popcorn movie. No heavy cerebral processing is required! The film definitely satisfies the ten-year old boy part of me that wants to see Giant Robots Fight Giant Monsters. I love that my two adopted home cities, Manila and San Francisco, are both destroyed within the first five minutes of the film. 

Pacific Rim probably the closest thing I’ll get to a good live action Neon Genesis Evangelion film. Even if it doesn’t have a whiny Shinji or a tsundere Asuka, I’ll take it.



3 Responses

  1. Battle Royale also has that Go-Go Yubari girl, Chiaki Kuriyama. But there were so many other cute Japanese girls in there as well *fanboy squeal*

    Haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet, though I am more excited for it than any other movie this year. Because of the Ramadan month, it will be delayed here until August 8th.

    Man, I miss commenting on real blogs! Everything is on Facebook now. Hope you’re doing well. Let’s Skype naman minsan :)

    • Hey Rain! I knew you find Chiaki Kuriyama cute! *chuckles* You really have a type, you know that? But yeah, there were a lot of cute girls in that movie. Too bad they all end up… well, you know.

      Wow, you haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet due to Ramadan? That’s too bad. At least the release is just delayed. August 8 is not too far off. I think our friends in Manila saw it before anyone else I know. Films seem to be released there first. I was irritated to learn that live action Kenshin won’t even get a US screening! *whimpers* But… but… it was shown in Manila!

      Heh, commenting on real blogs is so old school. Fixing the commenting system of this blog is on my “to do” list. I’m planning to add a discus plug-in but maybe there’s something better. Any suggestions?

      • A discuss system would be fine, methinks. And yeah, I do have a type. I figured I’d have a Japanese girlfriend first before I get tied down, but, whatcha gonna do? Hehe.

        Man, I miss these long talks with you. :( If you were in the Philippines, at least I will know that you’re just in Kapitolyo, and we can order them mojo potatoes.