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#CBR5 Maneuver #9 – Jam

JamTarget: ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw’s Jam

Profile: Parody, Post-Apocalyptic

Summary: From the back cover,

“We were prepared for an earthquake.  We had a flood plan in place.  We could even have dealt with zombies.  Probably.

But no one expected the end to be quite so… sticky… or strawberry scented.”

After Action Report:

This one falls clearly under the category of book candy.  I enjoyed Ben Croshaw’s first novel, Mogworld, mostly because it parodied a subject close to my heart, MMOs, and did so with a level of clever understanding that a lot of satirists don’t manage. It was no Hitchhiker’s Guide or Guards Guards! but it scratched that itch at the time.  In contrast, I read Jam because I enjoyed Mogworld and was disappointed because I definitely wasn’t the target audience.

Jam is an offhanded response to the glut of zombie apocalypses in popular culture today, the premise being that we are really unprepared for the potential variety of apocalypses that are waiting out there.  What would the survivalists of the world do in response to an ocean of carnivorous jam?  Unfortunately, the parody doesn’t quite connect because it never manages to shed the tropes of the genre.  While there are great moments of humor peppered about, the majority of the satire is lost because, on a very basic level, zombies and carnivorous jam are very much the same.

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LAB Notes #3 – Scrapped Princess

Target: Scrapped Princess
Studio: BONES
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Notable Themes: Mystery, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Episodes: 24
Fanservice Level: Average

Reasons to Watch:
A mysterious story that transcends genre
Broad appeal without sacrificing substance

Reasons to Not:
Main characters are somewhat one dimensional

Similar to: Turn-A Gundam, Last Exile, Avatar: The Last Airbender

Review:
It kind of baffles me that Scrapped Princess doesn’t get mentioned more often.  The series is a nearly perfect example of how anime can tell interesting stories that would do well on U.S. television.  It has action, mystery, comedy, drama, cool concepts, and solid characters.  Combine that with the above average production values and decent dubbing and I just don’t understand why this wasn’t picked up by some U.S. network during the anime boom in the late Nineties and early ‘Aughts.  Regardless, Scrapped Princess is one of those rare series that has something for everyone and doesn’t really compromise to get it all packed in.

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