dreaming_dragons: They Can't Break Me, As Long As I Know Who I Am (frail but hard to kill)
[personal profile] dreaming_dragons
 Well, when it comes to this week, all I can say is that I really really wish that, whatever an Arctic Vortex is, that it packs up and goes right back to the Arctic where it can stay. Also, global warming my fucking foot, it's under 20 degrees. 

At any rate, I've got a metaphorical bee in my bonnet about something other than this topic [not to mention I actually found somewhere nice and warm to hang out], so let's talk about that instead. 
Arashi No Yoru Ni, for those of you that don't know, is a Japanese story about a goat and a wolf, named Gabu and Mei, that meet up and become friends due to their similarities, despite the fact that one could very easily eat the other in a fit of hunger. From what I can tell on the Internet, there's predominantly a movie, a short-lived CGI anime series, and a book [maybe series, not 100% sure so don't quote me on that]. Also, before you get into this, let it be known that there's some interesting stuff here involving the author never strictly stating the gender of the goat, so some scenes get a little...

Yeah, romantic-y. Or perhaps the more accurate term would be subtext-y. More so controversial seeing as the goat in the movie was male, and the creator eventually came out and said that the goat was always intended to be male soooo....Yeah, nutty people and their hang-ups with other peoples' ideas of romantic love. Not that I really see it that way. I mean, everyone ships everyone on the Internet, I'm pretty much romantically blind to all of the little gestures unless something is implicitly said, and then again, it's a wolf and a goat. I guess the term 'stalking prey' never really crossed some peoples' minds. 
Well, moving that can of worms off to the side, I love this story. I'm a fan of both the movie and the TV show, which seems like a rarity given that most fans don't seem to like the latter all that much, mostly due to the fact that they changed Mei's gender to a girl. Nothing wrong with that, ultimately, seeing as Rule 63, but people threw a fit over it anyhow. Personally though, I find myself watching the show more than the movie [subbed not dubbed, remember that people], and here's why:
The movie tended to simplify things that the TV show didn't. Especially when it came to the reactions of the supporting cast following the big reveal. Everyone's confused/upset or really angry, and they try to come to terms with it in their own way. One of the goats goes off and cries, understandable seeing as he's just lost his friend. Another won't accept the loss and tries to make it so Mei can find her way back to the rest of the group. It's pretty powerful. Gabu's reception is almost the opposite, his 'friends' abandoning him and callously telling him that he will die for being a 'traitor'. You could say that, more or less, the devil is in the details here. It does come up at other moments in the show as well, with Mei or Gabu spending time on another member of the herd/pack, and showing some extra dimension to their background and their world. The way the other characters interact with them also says a lot, not only for their role, but how they are viewed off the clock. And in that sense...man if Gabu's bit towards the end of the movie didn't make me feel downright horrible, it's the fact that he doesn't really seem to be that close to anyone else in his pack either. The only one he seems remotely close to is Lala, and he says himself that he doesn't see her that much. Barry in the TV series at least seemed decently invested in making sure that Gabu was alive at the end of the day, making him relatively decent compared to his movie counterpart. However, that bit can be more interpretation than canon, so on we go. 
Another thing that the movie tended to gloss over that the show took it's time with is to establish their friendship. It's understandable in that one medium you have a two-hour window while in another you have at least 52 periods of 30 minute intervals, usually anyway, that there would be some cramping for time. But, looking back at the movie, it makes the whole thing seem incredibly rushed. They meet, and almost immediately they're buddies. Not that there's no resistance; Gabu almost goes along with his instincts for a minute, but the fact that Mei seemed to so readily accept it was somewhat unrealistic to me. In friendships/romantic relationships, you have adversity, you have trials, and this is part of what makes a bond strong. The only real trial that the pair went through was following the big climax of the movie. For risk of spoilers, I won't say exactly what, but the one going through more of the adversity is Gabu than Mei. Mei...just, either doesn't care or he adapts almost scarily quickly. I don't know, I guess given all the crap Gabu gets to go through over the movie and our view of how it affects him it feels like I really don't hear or see much from Mei in terms of character. Yeah, he seems optimistic, but when comparing it to the TV show, it seems like I'm seeing dimensions to the character that I completely missed out on when watching the movie, not even counting the change in gender and if someone brings that up may you be struck down with the wrath of a thousand suns-ANYWAY!
Mei in the show is playful, optimistic, and energetic. Perhaps still a touch on the oblivious side, but not to the point of outright looking a charging wolf in the face and almost not batting an eye. There's also more adversity with Mei, with actual impact, something that the movie just didn't seem to catch or touch on. Even if he's supposed to be upset, he still doesn't really seem to let it affect him or more accurately it just doesn't affect him. But here we're seeing conflict and seeing triumph over those problems, and not just in the big climax that was in the movie and the show. It's kind of all over the place, making the entire thing more interesting, and the emotions the characters go through as well as the strength in their conviction to stay friends all the more believable. They talk, they have fights, and they make up, like any pair of people would in any sort of a relationship, regardless of its nature. 
This is not to say that the movie doesn't have it's good moments, the ending always gets me, seeing as that's when we really start seeing the screaming limit of emotion that these guys can go through, and it's both compelling and heart-wrenching. I can't really say too much without giving a whole load of plot related spoilers away, but really, folks. Go see the movie. It's that good. Check them both out when you have the time. 
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