Clean breast about Vandread

September 15th, 2007 by Author

I saw a panegyric to Meia at Karmaburn yesterday, and that got me thinking just why she wasn’t my favourite in Vandread. She is quite cool and seems like a pleasant and strong character. I cannot remember well now, it was so long ago.

If I wrote a good summary, Meia would’ve been in it and then I would know why. But immediately after I watched Vandread, I was too upset by the ending to write anything, and all notes are gone by now. All that remains is this draft (verbatim):

– to be edited later

Vandread vs. Stellvia

I was going to write stack them together as twin character-driven shows with mecha backdrop, but I’m so disgusted with the ending that I’m in no condition to give Vandread justice. The main failing of Vandread is in the idea that by constipating hard enough you can accomplish the impossible. I just can’t stand that. Stellvia’s climactic battle ends with a moment of clarity. Shima’s program works, Kouta gets a hold of himself and does the job. In Vandread, well, Praksis is the answer to everything. Think and talk tough enough, Praksis tunes in and its absolute power fixes all life’s problems. This is such a load of crap. With one master stroke the creators of Vandread made me forget all the good things I carefuly collected.

Was Steven Right?

No, she’s all right. Unfortunately, the big crash of the main show made all the small things insignificant.

The later question refers to an exchange with Steven after the 1st half of the series, where he wrote: “[Barnette] changes quite a lot before the second series is over, but from the sound of it, you probably wouldn’t like the way she changes.” I have to say, the gun freak episode was somewhat unpleasant because it designated Barnette as a comic relief, but actually I suspect he meant something else. Key issue for Barnette was her commitment to Jura, which made her a perpetual sidekick. She, however, grasped favourable (if tragic) circumstances to make a sidestep maneuver in the ship’s hierarchy, which pleased me. I do not remember what happened to her androphobia exactly, it seems to have faded somehow when she had more important things to do (although, knowing Vandread, probably there was more to it).

Anyway, after so many months it’s rather laughable to think that a bad ending would ruin the show so thoroughly. I knew I would change my mind on that, which is why I didn’t try to blog the summary hot.

I’m also going to throw a visual retrospective in too, such as at is: I didn’t save many screencaps.

My Meia is no worse than one of Evirus’ ones. In this case she’s taken aback by Hibiki. This is highly emblematic of the whole series.

This is the original Barnette’s eye candy. Vandread is one of those anime where eyebrows go under the hair.

This is how the 2nd stage corrupted her design (and everyone else’s for that matter). Watch for the pointy chin and other deformations.

It’s not always that bad, but he inability to retain the original designs is symptomatic throughout.

Barnette is not angsty on the whole, but it happens to everyone. Notice how the shadowing increases in its square area while following the design outline.

Gascoyne and her ridiculous shoulder pads.

Dita, the sacred cow of the Hibiki’s harem. She would fill a role of female lead in any less inspired anime, but Vandread creators were not afraid to trot out a whole cast of interesting characters.