The main character of indivisible is Ajna, a young martial artist who draws on South East Asian cultures for inspiration. In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, “Ajna” is the name of the 6th primary chakra. Chakra are 7 points running down the center of the body that regulate spiritual energy.
The Ajna chakra is located between the eyebrows and represents wisdom and intuition. It is believed that spiritual energy enters the body through the Ajna. It is often referred to as the “third eye” and often depicted as such in art.
The following is an analysis of the latest and final Metal Gear Solid V trailer, cut by Hideo Kojima himself. As with the previous E3 trailers, this one beautifully sets up the themes of the game set to awesome music. This analysis will focus primarily on the theme of language as a tool of subjugation and how that relates to the Native American experience.
The characters in the trailer make many bold statements about how language is core to human identity and also the most powerful tool there is for control over society. I’d first like to focus on the passage spoken by Code Talker.
“Since ancient times, every civilization’s ruler has had the same idea: When people unite under one will, they become stronger than the sum of their parts. And what do rulers use to bring people together? Language.”
Code Talker is described as “a wise man denied his homeland.” It’s very important to note that he is Native American. His name is a reference to real life “code talkers,” who used Native American languages to transmit secret coded messages during World War 2.
Warning: This post contains many plot spoilers for the film Mad Max: Fury Road. Please don’t read any further if you don’t wish to learn of major plot points and themes in this wonderful film.
We (Richmond & Andy) were lucky enough to catch Mad Max: Fury Road in Thailand a few days before most of the English speaking world. Here’s a quick brain dump on the themes and imagery in this fantastic film.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a story about human beings fighting against objectification in the most literal interpretation of the word. The desolate earth of the post apocalypse is a cruel place where simply surviving is a constant struggle. In this harsh environment people have been reduced to objects valued only for their utility.
The film opens with Max being caught by Joe’s henchmen as he is very literally driven to madness by hallucinations of past failure. Max is stripped down, shaved, and his back is tatooed with his nutritional information. We hear from the excited chatter of one of the captors that Max is a universal blood doner, which is important to the plot and also has great symbolic value (more on this later). He is very literally reduced to a commodity to be consumed.
We are introduced to Immortan Joe looking down on high from his mountain citadel upon hordes of disheveled worshippers. The peaks of the citadel are covered in lush greenery seen nowhere else in the wasteland, the only way to reach there is by a gigantic lift powered by children turning cogs. Within the citadel are stables full of women milked like cows to provide nutrition for a chosen few. Immortan Joe himself is part machine, kept alive by a breathing aparatus. In this world, the common person has been reduced to a literal cog in a machine while Joe sits on top and is very literally kept alive by this machine.
In celebration of international women’s day, let’s look at some of the awesome women that defined the video games industry:
Kinu Nishimura: Artist behind many of Capcom’s flagship titles
If you recognize these characters you’ve played a game Kinu worked on
Kinu Nishimura has been with Capcom since 1991 with Street Fighter II and has worked on countless titles since, rising up to become the most senior artist in the whole company.
Designs for Street Fighter III: New Generation
I’ve also heard stories from Capcom staff on how Kinu was the most intimidating person in the studio, relentless in making sure the high standards of Capcom artwork were maintained by everyone, and an immense amount of respect was given to her in turn.
Many of the games that had a profound impact on who I am today and my career path in video games is directly related to Kinu Nishimura’s masterful designs.
Some of the girls of Capcom games, illustrated by Kinu Nishimura
Keiko Erikawa, co-founder of industry giant Koei and #34 wealthiest person in Japan
She must be from the same generation as my aunt ’cause they have the same fashion sense
Keiko Erikawa started off in the fashion industry but then co-founded the prolific Koei company with her husband Kou Shibusawa.
Keiko Erikawa is credited for getting some atypical games made, like the stylishly odd rhythm action game Gitaroo-Man, hotel cooking game Shaberu! DS Oryouri Navi Marugoto Teikoku Hotel, and deciding that Koei should pick up the Gundam license because in her words: “I want to use a Gundam in a Koei game!”
But one of her most notable accomplishments would be…
A very very very very very obscure to get title for English speakers, even the console it was on wasn’t released in the US!
Though video games is usually seen as a male dominated hobby, Koei’s female co-founder believed there was no reason women couldn’t be part of the core audience so she assembled an all-woman team to created what would be the first ‘otome game’ (lit. ‘girl’s game’, a genre of Japanese games which seek out women as their prime audience).
Koei at the time was most famous for hardcore strategy/kingdom building games like Nobunaga’s Ambition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms that starred macho mustached men of military history. With those roots Koei created Angelique (1993), where the protagonist is a young woman given the responsibility to rule over her own kingdom, if her kingdom thrives then she will inherit control over the world. Will she do so as a benevolent queen or martial despot? Such choices are up to the player to decide.
Many of the women I’ve worked alongside in the games industry have told me that their interest in games started with the otome genre that Angelique created, That is the difference that a single person in power like Keiko Erikawa can make on a whole industry.
I recently saw The Last: Naruto the Movie in theaters. Thought I’d share some quick thoughts.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead!
Still with me? Good!
One of my favorite things about Japanese animation and comics is that on top of plot and characters, the stories tend to be very theme driven. And those themes are often reinforced with consistent symbolic imagery. One of the central images in The Last: Naruto The Movie is the “red thread of fate.” Longtime readers of Art-Eater (is there such a thing? :O) will already be familiar with this classical allusion when we first wrote about it as a central motif in Kill La Kill.
The latest trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain uses the song “Nuclear” by Mike Oldfield to GREAT effect!
Just wanted to post some quick thoughts on the music choice behind the rad new trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that was just unveiled at E3 2014.
Here’s the trailer:
The song used for the trailer is “Nuclear” by longtime British prog rocker Mike Oldfield.
Oldfield is best known for his 1973 album Tubular Bells which was used as the theme of the classic horror film The Exorcist. This album also inspired a JoJo Stand.
“Nuclear” is a track from Oldfield’s 25th studio album Man on the Rocks which was released on March 3 2014, only a few months before the Metal Gear E3 2014 trailer. The song fits the trailer in an amazingly layered fashion. Aside from setting the perfect tone, the song’s lyrics very literally describe what’s happening on screen while also emphasizing the themes of MGS V: The Phantom Pain.
“Nuclear” is very clearly a song about war, which has always been one of the main themes of the Metal Gear series. The first stanza goes:
“Standing on the edge of the crater Like the prophets once said and the ashes are all cold now No more bullets and the embers are dead Whispers in the air tell the tales Of the brothers gone Desolation, devastation What a mess we made, when it all went wrong”
This perfectly describes Big Boss following the destruction of Mother Base in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. His life’s work has been destroyed. His comrades have been slain. Where he once fought for his ideals and the dream of a world where soldiers could determine their own fates, in The Phantom Pain he fights for revenge. The line “the ashes are cold now” has particular significance as it’s revealed that instead of giving his slain comrades a burial at sea (a time honored military tradition), Big Boss has their ashes compressed into diamond knives which are used in cold and violent fashion to avenge their deaths. Continue reading “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Song”
May 12, 1999, 15 years ago to this day, the best game I’ve ever played was released into the world. That game is Street Fighter III: Third Strike, easily my favorite game of all time. I’ve spent countless hours on Third Strike over the last 2 decades and I’m still just scratching the surface of its depth. But beyond the entertainment value, this game has enriched my life in 2 immeasurable ways: it inspired me as an artist and it helped me make some of the best friends I’ve had in life.
The character art by Daigo Ikeno is masterful. The poses, the angles, the confident rendering, the way he simplifies forms, it’s all so ON POINT. So stylized and fun, and yet so subtle and subdued. And the sprite animation is just peerless.
I could go on forever about Third Strike, but my words don’t really do it justice. So please enjoy this high resolution character art from Daigo Ikeno. If you have a copy of Third Strike, you should give it a spin. And if you’ve never tried it, well there’s no better time than now to start.
“Indeed… clothing is sin. When man ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge he became ashamed of his nakedness and covered his nethers. From the time humanity first gained free will as human beings it has been his fate to cover his body in the clothing called sin. Because we alone know man’s sin and create clothing for clothing’s sake!”
As Kill la Kill advances the plot at break-neck speed, the lore of its world comes out at an equally break-neck pace! While the early episodes delve into historic imagery of clothes (such as fascism), later episodes delve into the religious side of things:
Kill la Kill gives us the world-shattering revelation that it was not humanity which created clothes, it was clothing that chose the ancestor of humanity and spurred their evolution into a being that relies on clothing! This point is driven home with well known biblical imagery (Trigger is ex-Gainax after all!) but is there more to it?
There’s a sect of Christianity calledChristian naturalism that believes man’s natural state is to be naked and wearing clothes is the result of sin. To them, Adam & Eve were created pure in their nakedness until the serpent caused them to sin, so they covered themselves in leaves to hide their shame from God. God gave Adam & Eve animal skins, not for them to hide, but to show them that sin requires a blood sacrifice. Christian naturalists cite this event as the first time that bloodshed is known (an animal has to die for one to wear its skin) and all subsequent blood sacrifices, from common lambs to the Lamb of God (aka Jesus) is the price paid for this original sin. Continue reading “Kill la Kill: The Sin of Clothing”
Today, December 7, is the Rakugaking’s birthday. To celebrate, here is a small sampling of some of his pieces from his Hot Pot Girl’s exhibit (best show ever). Some of these original pieces are still available to purchase from Giant Robot here.
Lightning fast strikes, flying kicks, incomparable lattisimi dorsi muscles, and the piercing warcry of “WATAAAAAH!”, few men have made as huge an impact on the very fabric of modern badassery as Bruce Lee.
Here is but a few of the many video game and manga characters we have thanks to The Dragon. What characters are your favorite Bruce Lee tributes? Tell us in the comment’s section!
That was reaction to the first minute of watching Kill la Kill, the first fight of Kill la Kill, and the marathoning of every episode up to the latest (which you can watch online for free and legally here: http://www.killlakill.com/streaming/). Now I’m here to share with you my happy joyful feelings on this amazing show created by Studio Trigger (formed from ex-Gainax staff).
Dressed to Kill
When a show begins with a history lesson on fascism you wonder if it’s supopse to mean something. Luckily for us, the director of Kill la Kill, Hiroyuki Imaishi (of FLCL and Gurren Lagann fame) explains it outright: “When Japanese pronounce the english words ‘fashion’ and ‘fascism’, it sounds nearly the same.” and from there many more puns sprung forth and formed the key words to Kill la Kill’s plot.
To wear (clothes)
This is a story of fashion, fascism, and conquest through the power of blood soaked school uniforms.
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E3 has revealed to the world yet another stunning Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain trailer:
What speculation can we brew from this footage?
Eli- A youth who curses his fate
But the Lord spoke of Samuel’s sons: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
1 2 3 4 Watching the latest Dragon’s Crown trailer I was delighted by the density of historical and pop cultural references they managed to sprinkle into every shot. Dragon’s Crown is the latest game from Vanillaware, best known for Odin Sphere and Oboro Muramasa. Vanillaware is staffed by many ex-Capcom employees who worked on some of the best arcade games from back in the day, including Capcom’s Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara (my favorite beat-em-up next to Capcom’s Aliens vs Predator). Dragon’s Crown is very much a spiritual successor to these games, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast array of influences at work in this title. Here’s the trailer.
Now let’s go through shot by shot …
Walt Disney Presents … The trailer opens up with a glowing fairy flying by the Atlus logo. This is an homage to the iconic Disney introduction where Tinkerbell flies by and sprinkles pixie dust on the Disney logo. This is the first of many Disney tributes to follow.
So the trailer the next generation of Pokemon is out!
I still remember the joy of getting Pokemon Blue on my birthday… and then I realize that was nearly 16 years ago. Pokemon has persisted … Read the rest
by Andy Lee
So the trailer the next generation of Pokemon is out!
I still remember the joy of getting Pokemon Blue on my birthday… and then I realize that was nearly 16 years ago. Pokemon has persisted since then, each generation bringing another 100 critters to collect (and more multimedia tie-ins), adding new gameplay elements, and also building upon its incredible lore. So let’s talk about that lore.
Every Pokemon generation has carried a core theme that shapes the story, setting, and legendary Pokemon to catch. But it’s the antagonists of each generation that really define what the game is about, and their theme builds upon the generation before them.
Pokemon Red/Blue and Gold/Silver is about coming into conflict to attain powerful WEAPONS. The pokedex is full of colorful quips about the violent power of Pokemon able to melt steel with their breath or reduce buildings to rubble with a swing of their tail. From the Koga ninjas to Lt. Surge, we’re shown that Pokemon have fought alongside humans in conflicts ancient and recent, though there is peace in the present day. The image of Pokemon is softened through a trainer program where young kids are given Pokemon to treat as their friends and companions.
Enter Team Rocket, an underground organization that holds on to the archaic view that Pokemon are weapons to be wielded, and use them against their fellow man. When scientists obtain the genes of the phantom Pokemon Mew, they use its immense genetic potential to craft the ultimate weapon, Mewtwo. But its immense power proves uncontrollable, and the scientists are destroyed by their own creation. Continue reading “The World We Must Defend: War, Peace and Pokemon”
The article then went on to be featured on Kotaku.
This has been very life affirming for me, so thanks for reading! Now on with the tour! Lets talk about Weapons!
Buddhist Weapons The characters in Asura’s Wrath wage war using a mix of ancient and modern weapons. You could say the characters are quite … well armed (haha that was terrible!). Many of the weapons depicted in the game have special significance in Buddhism.
Shakujo (錫杖) – The Bishop’s Staff
The debut video for Asura’s Wrath opens with Asura being struck by a rain of spears:
The shape at the head of these projectiles indicates that they’re shakujos.
Shakujos, also known as bishop’s staffs, monk sticks, xīzhàng (Mandarin) and khakkharas (Sanskrit) were originally walking sticks used by travelling monks originating in India. The sticks were sometimes adorned with jangling rings that were used in prayer and telegraphed the approach of a holy man. The sound of the rings could also be used to ward of dangerous animals and the stick could be used in self defense. Over time the shakujo was incorporated into various religious rituals with the number of rings corresponding to the rank of the wielder.
In the hands of Shaolin monks, the Shakujo was developed into a ritual weapon.
In China, the Shakujo has long been romanticized as the weapon of choice of warrior monks through hundreds of years of Wuxia novels and more recently movies, tv shows, comics and games. This practice lives on in Japan (Zen Buddhism is the Japanese form of Chan Buddhism, the sect of Buddhism practiced in Shaolin) where people still train in fighting with Shakujos to this day.