[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

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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.

Orange You Glad For Man Crush Monday?

LOL, okay I’ll apologize for such a pun of a title. It’s horrible. I could’ve changed it, but I’ve decided to keep the cheesiness of it. So, Sorry not sorry, I guess? With that being said, this week’s MCM features my top 10 orange-haired men.

 

10. Robato Hatohara (Robot X Laserbeam)

The newest character to add to my ever-growing obsession with sports anime. Robato hails from the new manga Robot X Laserbeam, a manga about Golf, from the mangaka Tadatoshi Fujimaki, the creator of my beloved Kuroko no Basket. Robato’s nickname is “Robo-Kun” as he is expressionless, straight-faced, and completely honest (very much like Kuroko). His classmates basically see him as a robot due to all of his mannerisms. Also, he’s a megane!! Who doesn’t love meganes! ❤

Continue reading “Orange You Glad For Man Crush Monday?”

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

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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 “

EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD BAD GUY

Ah, bad guys, baddies, antagonists, scum of the earth. You can’t help but just love a good bad guy. The worse they are, the more we’re drawn to them, even when they end up dying you can’t help but feel a tiny bit sad they’re gone, but at the same time you’re like yes! They deserved what was coming to them! So here are my Top 5! (To be honest, I wanted to add a FMA character, but *sigh* I wanted to stick to a top 5. I’ll feature an FMA character when I go back to single posts! But! Lists for now!)

5. Zeref, Fairy Tail

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The greatest Antagonist of the Fairy Tail world! He becomes the ultimate bad guy by mastering powerful Dark magic and becoming  the most evil mage in history by creating various demons that have been active and inactive throughout the years. His journey to becoming a n evil mage happened unintentionally as he had started from a good place. Due to the demon’s he’s created, many dark guilds have used him as inspiration in bringing upon evil in the world.

Continue reading “EVERYBODY LOVES A GOOD BAD GUY”

Megane Monday!

This week’s MCM is a bit special; some of the following weeks may end up being a Top 5 list; because well it’s hard to choose one favorite. I may end up featuring each of these guys more in-depth but for now I shall list my top Megane’s! This also coincides with Naja‘s March Megane Madness theme. Ah, you gotta love alliteration. Be sure to check it out when you can: her first post is here.

top_10_megane Continue reading “Megane Monday!”

Take Two! Feb 12 – 18

This week’s recap is a bit sparse due to the small break I had to take for work. The worst of it is over – I believe. So I’m trying to churn out as many scheduled posts as I can!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Yeah, last week was sparse. But I refused to give up on the OP/ED feature and MCM.

 

LAST WEEKS’ INTERESTING READS:

  • Favorite Anime Crushes: by avathenerd. Ah, the fairy tail boys. I was happy to see Gray and Jellal! 😀
  • Blog update: Introducing the Monogatari dissection project: As someone that isn’t familiar with this series; and not sure if I’ll ever get around to it – I’m looking forward to seeing their thoughts/dissection of the series!
  • ANI-Tay: One of my favorite anime communities; I haven’t been on it as of late since I became active on wordpress. But its still good to check them out once in awhile!
  • OTABEK ALTIN’S FLIGHT FROM INFERIORITY – OWLS YOI POST: OWLS Februrary Blog Tour is about halfway done, and Venus looks at Otabek’s role! My post on YOI will be coming out at the end of this week as well! 🙂

I am behind on everyone’s blogs so I haven’t really been able to pick out too many; but these are the few that stuck out to me last week!

 

The Shepard and the Hound: Shinya Kogami

I’m so excited that today is finally favorite psychological male day. Mel, you totally called this one – but this one was a dead giveaway from the moment we became friends.  By the way, if you’ve been following me for awhile; then you know that Shinya was bound to make this list since I am a huge Psycho-Pass fan!

Edit 2/14/17:*I should’ve checked back to the prompt because well, weekendotaku totally called this one too.*

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Shinya Kogami, one of the main protagonists from the anime Psycho-Pass (2012) is one of the Top 3 favorite male characters. He’s a highly skilled detective and is able to solve cases fairly quickly due to his calm and collected demeanor. He’s often depicted as detached from emotion as well as have sharp instincts and insights that some people would over look. He’s highly respected amongst his peers; both Detectives and Enforcers. He also has a high level of training in hand-to-hand combat; specializing in a style called “Silat” while being proficient in kick boxing and wrestling. Continue reading “The Shepard and the Hound: Shinya Kogami”

30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 22

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There are a lot of cool gadgets out there in the anime universe. Especially in the weaponry department. But one weapon stands out above the rest to me; the weapon OF choice in Psycho-pass: The Dominator.

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The Dominator, a.k.a. Dominator Portable Psychological Diagnosis and Suppression System is a firearm carried by Inspectors and Enforcers in the MWPSB. The gun is programmed to an individual user and requires authentication via the SIBYL system. Once the Dominator recognizes it’s user – it’s like a mini-computer that links to your brain and you can see the screen in your periphery. When pointed at an individual it’s constantly assessing the psychological status of that person and determines the value of their crime coefficient. There are different modes that the Dominator functions at. The lowest being is the “non-lethal paralyzer” in which it just stuns the target and knocks them out. If the crime co-efficient goes beyond a certain level (300) the gun transforms and actually fires in “Lethal Eliminator” mode which completely kills the target, also known as the “anti-person lethal mode”.  The last mode is “Destory Decomposer” – the target is annihilated, also known as the “anti-material mode” in which it works best against drones.

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The transformative properties of the dominator is what makes it the coolest weapon I’ve seen. The fact that it transformst and is linked to an overall system that helps appraise the status of their targets is pretty amazing really intricate in design. And I am definitely a sucker for great design. The gun is pretty sweet looking too. I admit I’ve been tempted to buy a replica for display but…unfortunately I think it’s absurd to pay $1,000 for it, even if it transforms like the anime (T_T). The destruction this weapon produces really violent results. I remember the first time Kogami fired the domintor I was in total shock and awe that it produced that much power. If you haven’t seen it; you really need to see the dominator in action!dominator_transformation

30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 14 

An anime that never gets old….hmm…

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I’m going to have to go with Psycho-Pass. Everytime I watch this show; I always find a new element that’s intriguing.  I actually have a few posts planned regarding this anime in terms of thematic elements and architectural analysis. They’re just a few observations I’ve made that were a bit mind-blowing. I think this show does well in using architecture as it’s environment.  But I’ll follow that up with another post.

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One of the reasons why I enjoy this anime is simply because of the dynamic’s of the different characters on this show. Just to name a few: Shinya Kogami, a bad ass detective turned Enforcer. While Vash the Stampede is my favorite because he’s silly and badass; Shinya is my favorite for being an intellectual badass. Tsunemori Akane also has great character development from the very first day on the job in episode 1 to where she ends up in episode 22. Ginoza Nobuchika – it was really interesting to watch his character go down the path he did.  I also really liked Kagari Shuusei because of his somewhat happy go lucky attitude despite where he was at in life. But…*sigh* well, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone – you’ll just have to watch it. He probably had the worst ending – which really shocked me but still…ugh.. (Poor Kagari!)  I probably don’t have to mention Makashima Shougo; as I wrote about him in a post claiming him as my favorite villian.

I’ll keep this short. If i keep going on about this it’ll bleed into the other ideas and thoughts I have planned for another post!

Till next time! Whats an anime you never get tired of?

30 DAY ANIME CHALLENGE | 09

When I first saw this prompt – there was ONLY one person that came to mind- Makishima Shogo. Let me just say – his character sends chills run down my spine. His twisted personality makes him the perfect villain in one of my all-time favorite shows: Psycho-Pass.

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“To live is not merely to breathe; it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, faculties – of all those parts of ourselves which give us the feeling of existence” – Rousseau. (Makashima’s motto)
Makishima is the primary antagonist of the series. He’s the mastermind behind a lot of the crimes that the Public Safety Bureau investigate. His personality is cold and calculating. He’s cultured, intelligent and eerily charismatic and he speaks so eloquently that he’s able to manipulate and persuade people with his speech. He’s probably one of the most brilliant antagonists I’ve ever seen.

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He’s obsessed with violence and savagery. He seeks out the worst traits of humanity in individuals and uses them as his puppets to carry out his crimes and disposes of them when he realizes they don’t live up to the expectations of chaos he dreams of. He has stated that in doing this he wants to see “the splendor of people’s souls”. These people are often directed by him and act as distraction for the PSB while he works on a larger scheme. His lack of humanity is frightening as he remains incredibly calm and emotionless as he carries out acts of violence. And he does everything with such grace and ease – it’s mind-boggling to think someone like this is pure evil.

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He has issues with how humanity has been blindly led on by the SIBYL system; they’ve  lost what it’s like to have independent thinking. His sole wish is the destruction of this society that SIBYL has built due to the personal resentment he harbors against the system itself.  The SIBYL system unable to judge Makishima despite his criminal has maintained a pure psycho-pass. It is speculated that his feelings of alientation from SIBYL for not recognizing him as a “normal human” drove him to lose his mind and drove him to feel like he had to destory it. He has claimed that because he doesn’t consider killing or commiting crimes to be wrong, but rather, completely normal reflects a flaw in the SIBYL system. Kogami states that he believes because of this isolation that SIBYL created and being recognized as a non-entity is what led Makishima down his criminal to begin with – his isolation had just made him that much stronger and that Makishima must have expereinced incredible hardships as a child that allowed his mind to stay pure.

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Shinya Kogami is labeled as Makishima’s nemesis; as Kogami and he have very similar thought processes and are both incredibly smart and well-read (which is why Shinya is also one of my faves! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to talk about him in this 30 Day Challenge – that makes me sad!!). He and Kogami understand one other and both are solely focused on the other. Makishima doesn’t agree with Kogami’s trust and belief in the flawed SIBYL system – which is the catalyst that triggers them both being hell-bent on killing one another. They both recognize the flaws in SIBYL, but as a detective Kogami can’t let Makishima get away just because SIBYL doesn’t recognize it, he is forced to turn his back on the MWPSB and capture Makishima on his own. This is exactly what Makishima wants in the end. He wants to force people to think for themselves and act for themselves, and then live their lives of their own will. He believes in this so much that he’d be willing to die at the hands of someone “who has the will to kill”.

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Makishima’s character is a work of art. When you first meet him he seems unsuspecting but as the story unfold’s it’s clear he’s a genius mastermind that’s orchestrated all the chaos that runs on in this world of Psycho-Pass. It’s amazing what alienation did to Makishima – it drove him mad that he had to do something for him to be a force to reckoned with. He’s my favorite villain in any series because he embodies such eloquence and grace but underneath all of that is a calculating murderer. It’s really creepy; but that’s what makes him so good!

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