[OWLS Blog Tour] Architecturally Grotesque

Hello Archi-Anime lovers and friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in the OWLS blog tour! So without further ado, let’s look at our October prompt!

“Grotesque”

In honor of Halloween, we will explore what we find vile and ugly in pop culture.  For this month’s topic, OWLS bloggers will be exploring characters or aspects of the grotesque in a piece of media and how it is a metaphor or allegory for society, human nature, or some other philosophical or humane idea.

I’m not exactly the biggest fan of horror, I’ve got a weak disposition over it. It takes me days to get back to a normal sleeping routine after watching a horror movie. So, I just try to avoid them as much as possible.

While I’m not familiar with the genre, I can at least appreciate the aesthetics of the “grotesque” in terms of Architecture. When, I first started at my beloved alma mater SCI-Arc, I was really intrigued by one of the professor’s work there as he is exploring the term “grotesque” in terms of architecture.

Grotesque in Architecture

In the architectural world, the grotesque is correlated to the gargoyles you see in Gothic Architecture, or chimera’s that are considered to be decorative sculptural pieces, atop buildings from the medieval ages.

However, the aforementioned professor at SCI-Arc, Hernan Diaz Alonzo, took the meaning of grotesque and tried to apply it to the buildings themselves, as a way to challenge the surroundings. I should probably note, that he was very much inspired by the horror genre.

While the historical grotesque is denoted by sharp edges attributed to Gothic Architecture, Hernan’s work was more fluid in it’s shape, to the point some of the imagery can be unsettling.

Context

Architecture alone can be iconic, but what really helps architecture be iconic is the context of it. Context meaning the place surrounding the building. Integration into its surroundings (to me) creates something more than just a pretty building. Like Hernan’s work, it’s really how the architecture reacts to what’s around it.

The following scenes in anime, not only pose a lot of implications in the building itself, but really add to the context of the scene or the environment.

Berserk (2016), Tower of Conviction

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screencap via crunchyroll

In Berserk’s season 1, the main setting is the Tower of Conviction, and the surrounding site. It looks to be a fairly simple, straight forward tower, but let’s be real, what happens inside the tower is pretty heinous. The tower is representation of the imposition of religion. The heaviness of the tower, due to it’s materials also creates a daunting atmosphere that is intimidating.

Attack on Titan, Trost/ Shinganshina

attack-on-titan_ep1_shinganshina

In the vast realm of Attack on Titan, one of the most unsettling points of the series is the fact that along the perimeter of the walls, there are small pockets of towns in which majority of the population is gathered. They say that Titans are attracted and drawn in by humanity, hence the pockets allow for the Titans to be concentrated in these areas.

Again, the architecture itself isn’t unsettling (despite being filled with sleeping titans) but the fact that humanity is caged within 50 meter walls in these pocket towns is an unsettling thought, as they’re literally bait for titans.

Voltron (Clone planet, cemetary, organic planet) *

Voltron has several episodes that exemplify the unsettling and grotesque. My favorite example is when Pidge searches for her Father and Brother, and ends up on a planet that’s solely dedicated as a cemetary.

It’s my favorite because, it was depicted as a beautiful landscape, especially when Pidge actually arrives on site. She arrives as the sun is going down, often known as “The Golden Hour” a time of day that has perfect natural lighting.

Its a beautiful planet but gosh, is it unsettling to know that such beauty can be found with such despair.

*sorry guys, I cannot provide images for this particular example due to being unable to 1. find images of it online and 2. screenshots are not allowed via phones. please forgive me!*

Psycho-Pass, Sibyl System HQ

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screencap via crunchyroll

The room in which the SIBYL system in itself is inherently grotesque. Basically a ton of brains store in one room run the entire  city of Tokyo. If you haven’t seen Psycho-Pass, I just gave away the major plot in the anime. Honestly, the whole layout of this room kind of makes me laugh, as I’ve had to design a lot of Data Centers at my job, and the fact that this room looks exactly like a data center, is kind of ironic.

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screencap via crunchyroll

The image above is the exterior of where the SIBYL system is housed, and the exterior is eerie in that the pipes make it look like it has legs like a living breathing organism; a perfect reflection of what the system really consists of.

By the way, I have to plug an oldie but a goodie. Irina did a wonderful post on how to build your own SIBYL system, which is creepy in it’s own right, but in good fun. You should drop by and check it out here.


What are some unsettling, “grotesque” scenes featuring architecture that stand out to you in an anime? Again, the grotesque doesn’t necessarily mean horror, but rather unsettling in it’s theme, context and maybe even some of actual architectural elements.

Let me know what you guys think of grotesque architecture, in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out Matt’s post coming up next.

And in case you missed it, check out Megan’s post here.

Also, if you haven’t don’t forget to follow us on facebook as well as our twitter @OWLSbloggers and our official blog as well as our YouTube channel! And if you’re interested in becoming an OWLS member, you can contact us here.

[ANI-Reality] Attack on Titan

Good afternoon ladies and gents.  Welcome back to ANI-Reality! It’s been quite awhile, and I’ve been thinking about this one for quite some time.

Now, I have another Attack on Titan inspired architectural post in the works, but I’m still working out the feasibility of it. But I digress! Would you believe that the world of Attack on Titan is based on something in the real world?

Nordlingen-map
screencap via Google Maps

Nordlingen, Germany,  is one of a the three towns that are still walled left in Germany. However, this town in particular is one of the main inspirations for Shinganshina, the town in which our beloved trio hails from, and where the story kicks off. The other German towns are: Rothenburg ob der Tauber Dinkelsbühl

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image via wikimedia
attack-on-titan_ep1_shinganshina
screencap via crunchyroll

City walls back in the days were known as “defensive walls” and as obvious as that is, it’s to protect a town, civilization from any possible attackers. The walls in Attack on Titan are obviously exaggerated, as the walls in Nordlingen are nowhere near as high, but at least the walls in the German town are inhabitable and not filled with Titans.

attack-on-titan_ep1
screencap via crunchyroll

Also, my other architectural fun fact for you guys. The type of Architecture featured in Attack on Titan, is a mix of half-timbering for the homes, while the walls and more civic buildings look to be Romanesque in nature (i.e. Trost District).

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Jaeger home – Shinganshina District, screencap via crunchyroll
Noerdlingen_town_hall_from_Daniel
image via source
  • Half-timbering: is literally as it implies. Timber is used as structural framing for homes, and the spaces in between are infilled with several kinds of materials: brick, stone, tiles, mud. There’s a plaster that covers the infill, and the structure is left exposed.
attack-on-titan_ep1_trost
Trost District, screencap via crunchyroll
  • Romanesque: This style of architecture is often characterized by a large hefty appearance with semi-circular arches and small paired windows, as well as the groin vault. (see link for a more descriptive info on the groin vault).

Germany has been on my bucket list of places to visit. Without a doubt Nordlingen is probably going to be added to my list of things to do in Germany!

I’ll be further exploring the architectural types featured in Attack on Titan in a future post. Keep an eye out for that! 🙂

Have you guys heard of Nordlingen? Or have visited it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this German town.

Till next time!

Harem High Jinks

It’s the beginning of a new era. I’m actually responding to a post I was tagged in!

Okay, to be fair, I just couldn’t pass this particular subject up. We’re talking about Harem’s here, and not to mention the very lovely Scott decided to nominate me! So check out his post here.

So before we get started, let’s get some logistics out of the way. Quick shout-out to Anime Q & A for starting this tag and here are the following ground rules:

buildaharem

The ‘Build A Harem’ Tag Rules:

  1. Link back to the original post on Anime QandA so they can check out everyone’s picks!
  2. Use the ‘Build A Harem’ logo somewhere in the post.
  3. Make sure to mention the person who nominated you too!
  4. Pick 5 Anime Characters (any show & any gender) that would be in your ideal harem if you were the main character of a harem anime, explain a little bit as to why they are your picks (if you want).
  5. Make sure each character you pick falls into some of the following harem character types: Childhood friend, tom boy/girl, genki girl/boy, loli/shota, trap, tsundere, yandere, kuudere, dandere, etc. (If there’s a character you’ve picked that doesn’t specifically fall into one of these types or falls into multiple types that’s fine too!)
  6. Nominate 5 people to participate in this tag!

 

Now, if you’ve been following Archi-Anime for awhile, you should know a few things about me. One, there’s quite a few men I’ve featured on the blog via MCM or other character analysis posts, but let’s be honest, I just love 2D men in general! Second, I have a weakness for Blondes. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out who my top two are honestly. That being said, aside from the harem character types we have to choose from, I’ll be creating my very own blonde reverse harem. But wait, there’s more!

Not just any blonde reverse harem, but a harem with a twist!!

 *Coming soon to your gaming platform of choice: 
Battle of the Blonde Angels on Planet Gunsmoke (localized title)
Enkō Sentō Jinbutsu! (Angel Battle Characters) (Japanese title)

Synopsis: 

Zel’s transported to another world. A western dystopia wherein blondes reside on planet Gunsmoke. Where the future battles with the past. Swords, guns and superpowers reign supreme in the battle for survival.  In the race against time to get back to her own world, our heroine crosses paths with battle angels fighting for the same thing: love and peace.

That’s right! You guessed it! A visual novel, an otome, featuring all types of blondes! My personal otome game.

Choose your Battle Angel!

Childhood Friend/The Boy Next Door – Armin Arlert

HAREM_BIOS_ArminArmin’s usually saving people’s asses when in a pinch (namely Eren). He’s witty, cunning and wise. His tactician side is really what appeals to me, because apparently to some of my friends I’m like Armin. I thought he’d be a great character to start off with for this post.

The Dandere – Kunihiro Yamanbagiri 

HAREM_BIOS_Yamanbagiri

Silent but deadly, Yamanbagiri made the cut because…anthropomorphic sword! If you’ve seen Hanamaru, then you know he’s just the cutest thing in the world! I really like his stoic attitude, but his character design was what really won me over, that tied in with his personality of being somewhat shy, bashful and insecure because of his origins. However that’s just how he’s portrayed in his character in Hanamaru. In the ufotable version he’s much more authoritative.

The Yandere – Toma (Amnesia) 

HAREM_BIOS_Toma

Toma broke my heart, and shattered my completely in Amnesia, how could this sweet looking boy be the way he is T_T. I really wanted to love him! But for those who have played the game know, that Toma just can’t be trusted. But I had to include him in my harem to be well-rounded, right? Right.

The Tsundere – Katsuki Bakugou

HAREM_BIOS_Kacchan

Kacchan is the latest addition to my running list of favorite blondes. This particular explosive blonde is just so complex that I can’t help but want to know and learn more about his abrasive tendencies and his lack of sensitivity, because underneath it all, this kid is just insecure and really needs a true friend.

The Deredere/ Ace/ School Idol – Ryota Kise

HAREM_BIOS_Kise

Last but not least is one of my ultimate favorite blondes! Kise is an adorable sweet puppy and just too cute for words. For those that know, I usually feature Kise in my fanfics because I find him so much fun and easy to write for. Also, Kise’s a force to be reckoned with on the court, as he can perfectly copy all of the GoM, add that to the zone and he’d be unbeatable.

BONUS!

*hidden* character to be unlocked after finishing all Good Endings of each character: 

The Ultimate Ace/Deredere: Vash the Stampede!

HAREM_BIOS_Vash

We all know, that Vash is my ultimate of ultimates. We’ve seen his silly side and his serious side, and that’s exactly why he’s my favorite. He’s anti-violence and is truly the symbol of love and peace. 🙂



Your turn:

ShoujoThoughts

I’ll only be nominating shoujo since I’m sure tons of my blogger friends have already done this challenge. LOL.




*Author’s note: Keep in mind this is a parody on the idea of an Otome!

**Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters! This was all in good fun!

This conclude’s Zel’s reverse harem. Thoughts? Comments?  What did you think of my personal otome game? Let me know in the comments below!

Now, who would be in your harem? 😀

Unbreakable: Mikasa Ackerman

Hello ani-bloggers and friends! Today is an exciting day as we’re embarking on a new year with of one of my more popular segments’ Women Crush Wednesday. If you’re new around here, WCW focuses on more than a celebration of these ladies in comparison to the eyecandy of MCM. I highlight female leads that stand out due to their bad-assery, they’re independent attitudes, accomplishments, and character development in a series.

In previous WCWs, I’ve written about a few other strong Attack on Titan ladies, specifically Ymir & HistoriaAttack on Titan is no stranger to lots of strong females, after all the world is cruel and most of the ladies here have a story to be told.

mikasa_ackerman
image via source

This week, we celebrate Mikasa Ackerman of Attack on Titan. As, this week is her birthday week! Her birthday is actually this coming Saturday, February 10. 

Continue reading “Unbreakable: Mikasa Ackerman”

Titan Fanatic: Hange Zoe

Welcome back to another segment of Women Crush Wednesday! I hope all of your weeks have been off to a great start!

hange_serious
image source

This week’s feature is Attack on Titan’s Hange Zoe. There are two sides of Hange that I couldn’t help but take note of. On one hand, Hange is the epitome of what it’s like to be a fangirl. On the other hand you have an incredibly smart, quirky scientist. It’s a great combination and honestly I think she represents a lot of us ani-bloggers. We all have that side of us that can fangirl about something yet have the professional side of us that the rest of the world knows us for. I promise there are NO spoilers in this post about her, even though I’m ahead in the manga! Continue reading “Titan Fanatic: Hange Zoe”

Top 10 Chocolate Haired Men 

Good morning everyone! I hope you’re all trying to combat your Monday Blues! I’m back with another list for MCM! Today I’ll be counting down my top 10 chocolate brown haired men. Hopefully some of these will bring a smile to your face 🙂

Oh, and it’s pretty clear this list is definitely filled with sports bias. Sorry, not sorry.

10.HEATH HASEKURA (PRINCE OF STRIDE: ALTERNATIVE)

Kicking off the list we have Heath from Prince of Stride. He’s the third year captain and a runner in Honan’s stride club. Heath is dependable kinda guy who’s got a bit of a manly spirit. He’s half British and half Japanese. One of his sister’s owns an international fashion company and has modeled a few times against his will, and modeled as a requirement for the company only to gain sponsorship for his stride team. Another dependable big brother type!

Continue reading “Top 10 Chocolate Haired Men “

Top 10 Raven Haired Men 

Ah, the Monday Blues. Probably the worst day of the work week. But feat not! I’m back with Man Crush Monday!  What better way to keep away Monday blues than to have some eye-candy for a quick pick-me-up!

This week’s list features my Top 10 Raven Black Haired males! 🙂 Gah, the Top 3 are repeat males for MCM, but I swear I’ll get back to my individual posts, and also why I opted for a top 10 since the top 3 are givens!

HONORABLE MENTION: TUXEDO MASK

mamoru

I had to include this guy. Forever the First Anime crush, and raven haired man I fawned over. You can read more about him here.

10. “MORI-SENPAI”  TAKASHI MORINOZUKA (OURAN HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB)

Kicking off the list we have Mori-senpai. The strong silent type; a man of little words. He’s my third favorite host from Music Room 3! I’m just bummed I couldn’t find a better quality screenshots of him! (Totally off topic- I finally got the box set of OHSHC and I plan on reading it soon!!!)

Continue reading “Top 10 Raven Haired Men “

Humanity’s Strongest: Levi Ackerman

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a huge fan of Attack on Titan; and not because of the hype train and the fact that it’s so mainstream. To be honest I got into AoT a bit late; it’s a bit embarrassing but I was living in Japan the summer it came out. I was more interested in living in  and exploring Tokyo that I didn’t really indulge with anime. My roommate, however, who was also studying abroad with me from my school was tuning into it every week he’d tell me huge spoilers but I didn’t really mind. Flash forward a year after that and I finally watched it. I was completely hooked and the standout character from my first watch of it was: Levi Ackerman.

levi_chara_design

Continue reading “Humanity’s Strongest: Levi Ackerman”

Her Revenge on Life

First off, I want to thank everyone for all the great and positive feedback that I got for introducing WCW. I’ve mentioned this in a few comments, but I may have set the bar too high with using Utena Tenjou as the first girl. I’m not sure if ALL the women I choose can be as thought-provoking and deeply complex, but I’ll try my best. I’m really humbled by all the great feedback guys! I love you all!

I had started another post last night that ended up being another intense philosophical character; but I couldn’t bring myself to publish it. I still need some time with her; so I’m pushing her to next week. I’m totally doing today’s post on the fly, so I’m going to pick someone that might be less intense. But looking over this post, I think it’s still just as intense. But I won’t diverge from the fact that these women are a force to be reckoned with!

But anyways,  this week’s character is from Attack on Titan. I plan on featuring a lot of the characters from this series because they’re all vital to the story. I want to try to be spoiler free, but for the most part if you don’t want to know what happens to these girls I advise a lot of you to skip it because I can’t help not be talk about them beyond season 1 of the anime. So, let’s talk about Ymir.

Ymir is a supporting character in Attack on Titan. There’s not much to Ymir in the first season of Attack on Titan. But I’ll try to be spoiler free in this section at least. Ymir is uncooperative, cold and confrontational. She likes to exploit those that could be of use to her or owe her a debt that needs to be paid back. Ymir has a general distrust for people for the most part but with good reason too. She’s a mysteriously complex character as we don’t know her reasonings for wanting to join the cadets or joining the survey corps. After the break I’ll talk about her backstory and her vow to live for herself; her revenge on life.

Ymir_jokes_with_Historia.png

She’s a bit of a lone wolf in Season 1, until she meets Christa (whom I also intend to write about at some point too!). These two are actually foils of one another. Christa’s friendly façade is really Ymir’s true personality, and Christa’s nature is actually the cold loner that Ymir pretends to be. Christa brings out Ymir’s warmer personality, and Ymir has such strong feelings towards Christa that she’ll risk whatever it takes to ensure her safety. The relationship between these two is more than friendship; I would actually go as far as saying they’re soulmates. However, it’s probably best to characterize them as star-crossed lovers. I really enjoy the dynamic of Christa and Ymir; their understanding of one another, their trust in one another and the bond they shared added another layer of complexity to the world of Attack on Titan. Their story is on the verge of tragic, but that’s for another time! More about Ymir after the break! STOP HERE TO AVOID MAJOR SPOILERS.

Continue reading “Her Revenge on Life”

30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 27

When I think bad-ass; there are a handful of character’s that run through my head. However, when I think of an ultimate bad-ass scene from an anime character – I’d have to pick one of my all-time favorites: Captain Levi of the Scouting Legion.

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If you haven’t seen the OVA about his life before the scouts I highly recommend watching it.  Not only does it set-up Levi’s backstory but also sets up how he comes to view the world of titans and how he comes to terms with his belief in Commander Erwin and the scouting regiment. On top of that Levi goes absolutely berserk spurned on heavily by his emotions. It’s pretty clear that Levi never wears his emotions or heart on his sleeve, and with good measure. If you’ve been reading the manga you know why; Levi’s story is actually quite tragic and the OVA depicts it pretty well. We see him performing at his peak and we also see him in his most vulnerable state,  he’s actually devastated and crying!

The only other time we’ve ever seen Levi perform at this kind of level is against the female titan when he retrieves Eren in the forest. But this OVA is a whole other level; you really need to see it if you haven’t already! I cannot stress this enough!

This scene is extremely violent and really graphic. It really pushes the tragedy that’s befallen Levi home. The juxtaposition of the sad melancholic piano piece over this scene encapsulates and expresses the sorrow that Levi is feeling; however instead of showing sadness he chooses to express himself with pure rage. Here’s a clip of him going berserk:

Attack on Titan has a lot of OVA’s. Levi’s backstory ranks at the top followed by Jean’s short story (that includes cooking).  I hope you enjoyed the clip – despite the goriness of it all. What other bad ass scenes come to mind? I’d love to hear in the comments below! Maybe I’ll add more to my long list of anime’s to watch!