Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

Final NaHaWriMo wrap-up and Astro Boy reflections

Well, a whole month went by and I wrote a haiku every day except the first day, when I posted one of my favorites to get me started. Technically speaking, I wrote a haiku for every day, since I got behind around Thanksgiving but caught up today (11/30/12). I did better than previous attempts to write a limerick each day. These turned out mostly as either "news headlines with scansion" or "multi-sensual images". I will leave it up to the reader to decide which is which. Third batch:

Patriotic geeks
May have saved the election
Karl Rove sputters bile

A new world provides
Natives share their rich bounty
American fare

One two three four five
Six seven eight nine ten e
Leven twelve thirteen

Sunlight from below
Flush softly off buoyant clouds
Journey's final glow

Powerball jackpot
Needs dream of fantasy prize
To motivate me

Still prefer desktop
But shiny pulled me geekward
First ipad haiku

Nice computers are
Sympathetic to my cause
But not Powerball
-- today's contribution to NaHaWriMo

Not quite winter frost
Leaves of autumn on the ground
What coat should I wear?

Image or events
Cadence and senses engaged
A month of haiku

Now, I rest on my laurels.

After a wait of over two years, the next disk of Astro Boy finally came off the Neflix "short wait" designation. I wasn't sure Carole would like the black and white early anime that I grew up with, and that turned out to be correct. So far, the pilot episode is the only one I would recommend to anyone who isn't nine-years-old, or isn't still nine years old someplace inside, but some of the episode have been better than others. The first one on Vol. 7 was one of the better episodes.

Mysterious Cosmic Rays (click on Episode 31 in the left menu) is described thusly: "Gray Dorian is returning from Mars. Although he is a man in his 80s, he appears to be in his 30s. He has learned to harness cosmic rays to keep himself young. His former partner Dr. Geiger suspects that these experiments may have had grave side effects, which Astroboy soon discovers."

As a tween, I got "Dr. Geiger" but the "Gray Dorian" reference went waaaay over my head. It's a remarkable piece of science fiction. For a 1963 children's show

The episode opens with someone dying horribly in the middle of a crowded futuristic street, with a voice over placing the time as "the year 2000". Astro Boy and Dr. Packidermus J. Elefun, head of the Ministry of Science are called upon to investigate. They find Dr. Geiger, fortuitously. They also encounter Dr. Dorian, looking very young, and with an exceptional ring on his finger, which he says he made from Mars rocks. Dorian and Geiger had been experimenting with cosmic rays on living creatures, but Geiger didn't go the last step to experiment on humans so only Dorian was sentenced to the Mars Penal Colony for 30 years.

We fairly quickly learn that Dorian had continued his experiments on Mars, and that Mars gets a different kind of cosmic rays than Earth (which is true, since we're closer to the sun) and he perfected his immortality research... as long as he drains other people. So it's a vampire story. With moral implications that are explored, though not particularly deeply. And that's the first half.

The second half of the episode has Dorian turning into a monster, giving Astro Boy something to fight. I'm sure my nine-year-old self appreciated the battle scenes more than the vampire story, but nearly fifty years later I was croggled at the set-up.

Carole said I could watch the other episodes without her. So I will. Having grown up on stuff like this, the later anime doesn't do much for me, and Astro Boy is as much nostalgia as pleasure. I certainly enjoyed this episode more than I did at the time.

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