Cheerleader Samurai VS Megaton Shark
It’s the sort of awesome title that usually gets said “awesome” descriptor in scare quotes. It’s ridiculous and funny, but it’s also silly in all the wrong ways– that’s the usual reaction to this sort of thing. It’s an attitude that isn’t without precedent, since such titles are usually made out from the more cynical sides of trashy exploitation entertainment, but I think that has more to do with said cynics being the only ones willing to be so overt in their advertising of these sorts of mashups.
Spec-Ops is exactly this sort of mashup. The title itself gives away its premise: magical girls who act more like characters from a modern political action thriller than a normal magical girl show. They have the cute outfits and are all teenage girls, but they use military weapons and special forces tactics to combat their enemies. It’s really no different from the sorts of movies that movie poster is referencing. We have to disparate genres clashing together, and we have a series title that’s totally up front with that fact. It’s the very recipe that instantly gets a lot of people to say “That’s gonna be so bad, I can’t wait to see it!” Those irony barriers go up because, yeah, there’s a history of these sorts of things being fodder for ironic hate watching or whatever.
It’s understandable in the abstract, but it’s not something I really grok.
As a guy who likes to write fiction, a lot of my personal ideas usually come from some approach along the lines of “let’s mash together these two things that I like and run with the idea.” I’ve written a few short stories with concepts similar to Spec-Ops, along with some other disparate genre mashups. My natural reaction to this sort of thing is “Yeah, that’s something I’d do. I hope they “get it” in a way similar to me.” And yea, usually the result is more of a cash-in trying to ape on two fads or whatever. But at the same time we have entire sub-genres of really cool stuff that pretty much started like this. Cyberpunk pretty much started off as detective stories and film noir with popular sci-fi elements from the time tossed in. Most YA fiction is “let’s take the coming of age children’s story and add in this thing.” They just don’t call Harry Potter “Beverly Cleary vs J.R.R Tolkien.”
That’d be an improvement if you ask me.
So yeah, the movie poster is a throwaway joke, but it’s also a sly little comment on how peeps “should” react to this sort of thing. The girls here are excited to see it (although its probably mostly due to hanging out together or whatever), and they coping a superior attitude towards it. It’s not a concept that’s as alien and ironic as the titles make peeps believe.
Also, I want more of that American magical girl and her Sicaro-meets-magic scenario. We also need to talk about her magical girl handle, but we’ll do that once we’ve met all the girls. Spoiler: their names are all rad so far.
Also Also, this is officially the 100th post on the new blog. Yay and stuff?