12EoC2:TRES is awesome, and Steamboy too.

I’m a very critical guy. When I read books or comics and watch movies or other visual media, I’m always quietly analysing things.

For example: Steamboy is a Japanese animated film set in London in the 19th century. (Incidentally, for you Girl Genius fans it’s also a supremely “Sparky” film.) The English dialogue is excellent, which is what you’d expect from Patrick Stewart and Anna Paquin. The rest of the English cast is good too.

(I didn’t see it with the Japanese dialogue. Yes, purists, I prefer not to have to look at the bottom of the screen to understand what the characters are saying because what’s coming out of their mouths is foreign gobbledygook. Plus, I always find it funny when the characters make reference to speaking in Japanese when they’re actually speaking in English.)

Anyway, it’s a fantastic film. The visuals are breathtaking, the characters are very sympathetic and the plot has very few holes in it. (If you can accept the idea that a major arms manufacturer based in the U.S. would attack the London Exhibition using Weird Science gadgets just to show off, the rest is fairly easy to swallow.) (On the other hand, it is a very Sparky film.)

However, there are a few things that bugged the heck out of me. In the train chase scene, Ray and a few bad guys are on top of the train. The bad guys manage to get Ray into a net which is attached to a zeppelin flying overhead. The bad guys see a big metal thingy (not sure what it’s called) that the train is about to pass under and have to duck to avoid it. The metal thingy passes between the train and the zepplin and, off-screen, harmlessly through the net because of a continuity error.

As another example, in the scene when Scarlett and Ray are looking at the mirrors and Scarlett “bows to the guests”… Girls don’t bow, they curtsy. Scarlett may be a spoiled little American brat but she would know that girls curtsy, they don’t bow, especially since she was pretending to be polite. I know this film was made in Japan. They got nearly everything else so right. So close. I can accept it when characters in pseudo-European/American settings seem to prefer Oriental foods for no good reason because it’s just fantasy. I can accept it when “American” characters act so weird that I don’t realise they’re supposed to be Americans until someone points it out. But this is a thoroughly researched historical setting and GIRLS IN THE 19TH CENTURY CURTSY. They should have known this. I’ve known this for as long as I can remember and I didn’t live in England until I was 12. Girls curtsy… Argh…

Now, I love the film. But I have a habit of picking out every little flaw in everything that I can. I don’t remember how it started. Maybe I’m just a little OCD, though I certainly don’t have any nervous habits or phobias.

Anyway, it occurred to me lately that maybe I’ve been a little too critical about some things. Like The Ravaged Earth Society. I was given the explicit instructions “pick it apart” on more than one occasion, but I think perhaps I haven’t been positive enough. Because what they’re doing behind the scenes at Double G Press is really fantastic.

I’d give an example, but I’d rather not violate any NDAs. I’ll tell you about the book after it’s released.

Anyway, I just want to publically say that The Ravaged Earth Society is awesome. Trust me on this.

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