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GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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Ergo Proxy V1 Anime Cover Ergo Proxy V1. Anime DVD Review

And now for something completely different...

Publisher: Madman

Sun, 20 May 2007

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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Women dressed all in black - who know how to handle guns - are so sexy. Not that I've met any, but I'm sure they are out there in society, having secret monthly meetings in bingo halls and gun clubs with their delicious cheese sandwich luncheons. But when these dangerous gun-toting female vigilantes get busted,
I for one will be there to stand up. Because hey - free sandwiches.

Ergo Proxy is another fine Anime that left me perplexed and bewildered as to what doings were a transpiring. "Why did they kill that guy, wasn't he with them? He wasn't with them? Then it's a good thing they killed him."

So I watched Ergo Proxy Volume One / V1 a second time. The first time I didn't get it. But then I did kind of fall asleep while watching it [from extra tiredness, not boredom] the first time around. Fortunately the second viewing in my urban domicile was worthwhile and led to vastly superior comprehension of the story. Don't you hate it when people talk fancy to disguise their lack of anything real to say?

Well so do I, so I better stop doing it myself before I complain about others. Go back and read that sentence again about 'urban domicile' and you will get how I feel when watching so called 'Intelligent' adult Anime. I guess I made the mistake of lumping Ergo Proxy in with those bastard Animes that - like the Matrix sequels - are enjoyable but too damn intelligent for their own good and inject all sorts of half-baked philosophy in just to appear fancy.

As usual, I was as wrong as the idea of meat-pie pizza.

Ergo Proxy V1 Anime Screen 1
"Son, go fetch Momma's boomstick"
So this Ergo Proxy is a nasty monster thing. It's all demony, likes to drool and make with the killing. You with me so far? Good. It escapes, makes with the stereotypical killing spree and disappears. The show is obviously named after this particular beasty.
"Ergo" is taken from the famous Latin expression "Cogito Ergo Sum" / "I think, therefore I am" as stated by French Philosopher René Descartes.
"Proxy" means the "authority to act on behalf of someone else"

Enter Re-l Mayer.
An inspector for the Citizen Intelligence Bureau, and grand-daughter of the Dome City Regent. She encounters the Proxy / Monster while investigating a virus that affects the humanoid robots living in society. While investigating a particular apartment building, Re-l encounters the Proxy then it vanishes. She attempts to investigate the monster's origin and current whereabouts, soon after a conspiracy is made evident. Re-l's discovers her android personal assist Iggy had his memory wiped clean of the encounter with the monster.

Re-l's superiors recommend she undergoes psychiatric evaluation; lending credibility to the idea that the encounter was all in her head. With her self-confidence further eroded and any believability about the events of the day before destroyed she is removed from her duties and kept under a watchful eye by the conspirators, who include her own grandfather - the Regent of the city.

While she has some doubts as to her own memories, they don't last long. Re-l confronts the Regent and his council of cronies. They don't deny her accusations about a conspiracy. They don't even acknowledge her pleas for reason or supply any kind of answer. So damning is the councils non-answer it becomes self-evident that they are the ones behind the cover-up.

The sense of paranoia in this show and always not knowing who you can trust - combined with mature themes and relatable interesting characters - make this one Anime I can't wait to see more of.
At times while watching I was reminded of the game world of Dues Ex, or even that other X, the X-Files. Maybe it was the heavy shading and liberal use of the colour black throughout the show. Maybe it was the integration of humanoid robots at all levels of society. Maybe it was the patriarchal law enforcement / government / big brother types always looking over your shoulder and influencing you in subtle ways. Whatever it was, it's rare I can enjoy a mature Anime storyline that doesn't resort to gratuitous sex and violence, which are fine in the right context [such as in Golgo 13: The Professional] - but generally speaking are heavily abused in "mature" Animes.

Ergo Proxy V1 Anime Screen 2
Ahh, to be young moody and emo in a bleak futuristic society. How good the kids have it these days
As I said earlier, I fell asleep the first time I watched it, thus muddying my impressions of the show. Then with a clear head I really appreciated the relaxed pacing, the deliberate confusion and misinterpretation possible with certain key scenes. The background music really sets the mood too. At times suitably sharp enough to keep you on the edge of your seat in suspenseful moments. While at other times soft and relaxing enough to lull you into a false sense of security.

The first four episodes on Volume One of Ergo Proxy serve as an adequate introduction to the series. Just enough story and character development to whet your appetite, with a hint at the delicious events yet to unfold.
I guess there's not much else to say. The animation is exceptional; dark and moody, music is expertly integrated into the whole production seamlessly, and the characters are all likeable and interesting. The series kicks off at a leisurely pace taking the time to get to know the characters, but mostly focuses on Re-l. All up a highly enjoyable Anime that shows great promise and now I'm off to ruin the story by looking up an episode guide on the net.

by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja

Fantastic show that makes for compelling viewing. I want more!

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More Toons

Q&A with Handy
Tales from Earthsea. Anime DVD Review
Armageddon Expo '07 Report
Le Chevalier D'Eon V1. Anime DVD Review
Manifest '07 Report

Which of these animated shows is the funniest?
The Simpsons
South Park
Family Guy
King of the Hill
Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny etc.)
The Flintstones

ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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