Anime Deco 01: Early Origins

What is the difference between a striped cow and a spotted cow? More on that later, our first collaborative work on Anime Deconstructed was a piece on the origins of cyberpunk, interesting phenomena you may be familiar with, provided you have a clue as to what pinterest is.
The year is 2029. We find ourselves in the sort of neo Tokyo, where cyborgs abound and criminals can take control of people’s minds through hacking. Public security section 9 is the police force responsible for protecting the public from more crimes. Our main character Major Kusanagi is a cyborg, with many existential questions, whereas our secondary character Batou is a cybernet enhanced human who acts her protector and muse. Actually while revising this, the word お互い was unmistakably evoked in my physche, meaning that without a doubt, the two officers clearly work so well together because they compliment one another’s philosophical discourse. A phenomenon I find singular to fictional works to this day. One simply completes the other, that is the nature of their togetherness. Such inter-dependence, much collaboration, flawed though it is still wow.
The series is landmark due to its key aesthetic elements including the green computer text later seen in the matrix, and more importantly for its sound philosophical questions, which have been revisited numerous times in films like Blade Runner and more recently, Ex Machina.
We touch on the work of a philosopher called Freidrich Hegel and his landmark work, The Phenomenology of Spirit. The ship of Theseus paradox and its cultural parallels with Shinto shrines of Japan
We mull the interesting dichotomy between the Eastern and Western schools of thought, or whatever, enjoy the show, though.
Enough, you should watch it!
Stay frosty,
TK

First Steps in Gunpla: HGUC 1:144 Big Gun Zaku

Where oh where to begin in the wide world of Gunpla?

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Universal Century High Grade, 1:144 Zaku II

I got the Big Gun set, which comes with some kinda positron canon, which you first discover between the first few pages of Gundam Thunderbolt. An amputated solider with a penchant for Jazz is at the controls defending a sector where a space colony exploded. The Thunderbolt sector is thusly named because the area is plagued by thunderstorms caused by the electromagnetic storms that rage among the wreckage of a space colony that was destroyed in the one year war. In classical Gundam fashion, no punches are pulled when it comes to wartime storytelling. It’s been described as the most gritty Gundam anime series yet, I would tend to agree.

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There is a full feature article on the series and the manga in the works, know that if it stayed on my radar, that’s a fair sign it’s probably quite good.

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I thought I would just be straight building the model and popping it on my shelf beside my other collectibles, but such was not to be the fate of my Zaku II. What ended up happening is I learned several model building skills over the  past 12 months and those will be covered in a series of upcoming articles. These include:

The tools of the trade: From Ghetto Grade to Pro Tools

Model Building Basics: Assembly and Cleanup

Hand Painting 101

Detailing: Wear, Battle Damage and Rivets

Intermediate Painting: Dry Brushing, Shading and Layering

Topcoating and finishing

Panel line detailing

Model Photography

That’s quite a list, but it takes time and often multiple attempts to get it right when you’re getting started. Anyone can build, though, and you’ll see that if you enjoy collectibles, it’s quite rewarding to build your own.

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Recent Changes

You may have noticed some recent content changes on Project Valence.

Fear not, the site isn’t going anywhere, I’ve made a few changes and I’ll outline them for you here.
Trimming the fat to make room for what really matters.

When I started PV back in July, it was basically a collection of all my disparate interests on one blog.

I had 7 categories covering everything from Anime to Cars. This sort of goes against the founding principles of the blog though, which should be focused on matters pertaining to visual arts, literature and electronic culture of the Internet.

At some point one of my friends and co-host of my podcast Anime Deconstructed, Nas, mentioned that he always wanted to have a blog reviewing beer. Beer has about as much to with visual culture as cars do. Furthermore analytics showed that you guys, the readers weren’t particularly interested in that content in the first place.

So Beer, Whiskey and Bourbon, Moto Futura, Technica, Frontieres and Montrealism are all done.
Finito, khalas, sayonara, baby!

That’s a lotta fat, huh?
Sure would be nice if my personal fitness program were this effective, but this has not been the case.
Speaking for myself, reviewing cars and gadgets and stuff  was fun, but in the back of my mind it always came down to “Basically, what I’m doing indirectly is acting as an indirect marketing channel for car makers, and device manufacturers and I’m not seeing much of a return on that”

It’s time and resource intensive, and I’d rather focus that time and energy towards posting more anime related content, including reviews and more analytical pieces with social commentary, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while but haven’t had the time to.
So without further ado, welcome to the sharper, more focused Project Valence!

Stay Frosty,
TK