Rick and Morty S3 #03 — A Reading of AlphaRickFanX’s Fan Theory

August 7th, 2017


Boy, if you thought last episode was on the nose…


Once again, I find myself not really wanting to talk much about this episode itself as I do wax nostalgic about things it represents in the animation field, particularly things that seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur in Japanese media. The episode was again, mostly okay. The rat massacre was the kind of gratuitous action scene 'action' anime should be putting out every week, and most of the Pickle Rick side of things in general was just unhinged enough to be generally amusing. But then there's the therapy side, particularly the extended denouement towards the end. It's tiresome at best, and no doubt hundreds of internet fanboys screamed out in unison "They read my psychoanalytic screed on the show's illustration of the burden of intelligence!" Maybe I'm getting older. Maybe it's just fatigue with how much media wants to push "everything is always awful and dark and horrid all the time." Either way, I'm incredibly tired of it.

But at the same time, I'm keenly aware that the rat-murder sequence, as well as the therapy crap, exists because the creators got together and said "This would be awesome as hell." Well, not the same exact sentiment for the therapy bit; that I imagine was a lot more smug and bitter about someone's recent divorce. It's extremely auteur driven… auteurful? aueteristic? driven by the creators themselves in a manic experiment that I simply don't see almost at all from Japanese media anymore since the dawn of the lockstep adaptation. There exist almost no ambitious OVAs like FLCL or Gunbuster, and the experimental comedies are largely relegated to the 2-3 minute-long shorts hell. And I walked uphill both ways through the snow in 100 degree weather to school. Things always seem better in the past, but it certainly seems really hard to find much in anime these days that I can say without a doubt was driven by the creators and the desire to express themselves through their work, rather than the marketing department.

Posted in Rick and Morty | 5 Comments »

5 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • jgoi says:

    Meh. It was ok but the pickle rick parts felt like that alt dimension tv stuff they did before.

    Wish they would, like, go back to barely using Summer. Never gave a shit about her teen problems.

  • Travis says:

    Heyo, it’s been a long time!

    I gotta say, I’m really digging your new line-ups. And I also agree with you on the subject of… Hey, is it okay if I ramble for a bit?

    For me, I feel like one of the biggest ways people get encouraged to keep their heads down is by stronger people telling ’em their lives don’t matter. Dime-store nihilism.

    And there’s an incredible difference in station between the writers/producers of a jaw-droppingly popular animated series, and the rest of us. When people feel like they aren’t special, they don’t matter, and nothing they do is important, they don’t strive, they don’t try to learn, or change, they don’t… I don’t know, vote, for example.

    People like to rag on ‘participation trophies’ and ‘snowflakes’ but I mean – if nobody ever says ‘hey, good job, pal’ most people don’t have the self-drive to keep on going. Back to R&M for a sec, well, I enjoy it for a lot of the clever animation & writing gags they do, but it always leaves me incredibly listless and angry.

    ‘Cause I know a lot of friends/family’ll use it, or things like it to justify not caring about the big stuff, or the small issues. I mean, why even /try/, right? Caring about anything is passe.

    Shows shouldn’t have to have messages, but every show does; intentional or otherwise. And colour me a skeptic, but, I feel like the message – and maybe unintentionally – of R&M is, lie down and die.

    And I feel like that sort of ‘give up, nothing matters, everything is exactly the same’ bullshit gets people in a lot of trouble.

    (Plus, Rick is a smug self-insert if I ever saw one. Still pretty funny, though.)

    • Travis says:

      Oh, while I’m here, what do you think about self-funded OVA’s? I’m a bit skeptical of their short-term profitability, and ability to get an audience, but I think the long-term benefits might lead to some cool, really interesting stuff a decade or so from now.

      Chances are you’ve already covered this in a post I’ll hit while browsing the backlog, but, y’know, feel free to ramble in return, if you like. I enjoy reading it, dude.

      • Aroduc says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by self-funded, first of all, at least so far as I’m not sure I could name any that aren’t stuff people did basically completely on their own over many, many years. I can appreciate passion projects, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be particularly good or bad. It feels like we have been seeing a lot less of them in recent years, while it’s the overly melodramatic things (in Japanese animation) that have more taken up the mantle of the ‘artsy’ label. I do think more experimental stuff has definitely been getting shut out a lot more lately, even at the fan/doujin level. It’s unfortunate, and I’m not sure I can point to why it would be happening in the more indy scene exactly. Possibly just the sheer crush of other things flooding out all the rest.

        • Travis says:

          I’d heard that a few big-name studios were going to try a mix of independent funding and crowd-sourcing for passion projects, but after I wrote this, I looked all over for anything and couldn’t what I was looking for. Guess I’ll blame it on a fever dream; I was in the hospital for awhile, so let’s roll with that. Hah!

          On the subject of melodrama in Japanese animation, I do feel strongly it’ll peter out, but – probably in a decade or so. I’m just old enough to remember when every big show had elements of Eva in it, even if it had nothing to do with Eva, or mecha, or…

          Anyway, thanks for replying – I’d like to hold out hope that some of that experimental stuff’ll be good, but it always feels a bit like a roulette. Even if I like it, doesn’t mean it’s good or commercially solvent or whatever the term is; doesn’t mean it has a wide audience.

          The phrase “sheer crush” sums it up perfectly.