The Saturday Supplement

Hello! I hope you’re having a merry weekend. I’d planned to spend my Saturday out and about but a week of wounds and wandering caught up with me, and now I’m contenting myself with a day of cookery shows and occasional naps. Below, you’ll find the fruits of our weekly entertainment regime, outside the world of games. It’s been a melancholy week for lovers of pop and stardust, and Alec remembers David Bowie, while I avoid the sadness and instead begin my journey into Marvel with The Sentry, which is everything I love about comics in one continuity-dodging miniseries.

After last week’s love letter to Kino’s Journey, Graham digs deeper into the anime pile, picking out his favourites. And, in the first part of what will hopefully become a long-running series, Pip takes us through the latest events from Holby City and Casualty. Meet Guy Self, narcissist.

  • First up, here’s Alec’s memorial to David Bowie.
  • The fact of his transgression and his subversion, the license he gave the world to be whatever we wanted be, was never why I loved him, although I always understood why it was so powerful and so essential to what pop is now. I am a quiet and shy man, and though I have some regrets at having led a very conventional life, drawing any attention to myself in either clothes or behaviour feels almost unbearable. But the message worked on me even if I didn’t wish to be like him. For me, Bowie was simply life-force. A walking celebration, an effortless engine of intelligent joy. Musically as much as aesthetically; even in his unhappiest songs, there are notes of hope. Oh no love, you’re not alone.

  • Graham’s list of favourite anime series includes Paranoia Agent, Azumanga Diaoh, Death Note and more.
  • Last week I wrote about Kino’s Journey, one of the few animes I’d recommend to people who don’t care about anime. The reason I think that’s a useful statement is because I want to draw a distinction between “anime” as a medium of Japanese animation, and “anime” the collection of tropes, stock characters, and, well, bullshit that is generally associated with the form.

    If Kino’s Journey is number one on this, here’s numbers 2-5.

  • Pip brings us up to speed with the happenings in Casualty and Holby City, two BBC medical soaps. In this instance, a medical soap is not something that you wash your hands with before entering a ward.
  • This week is a concept episode. It’s not on the same plane of existence as Casualty’s noir episode (which they called Holby Sin City). Instead it cuts a typical Holby plot with “documentary” footage. The documentary crew are actually following one of Holby’s resident narcissists, Guy Self, as he attempts to cure the symptoms which are preventing a violin virtuoso from playing his violin.

    Yes. They called the narcissist Guy Self.

  • And I begin my journey through modern Marvel with a close look at the fascinating miniseries The Sentry.
  • In its depiction of a man who no longer understands his place in the world, this is a deeply melancholy story. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it before now because it seems natural to mention it alongside Grant Morrison’s much-discussed Animal Man run in the late eighties. While not as blatantly metafictional in its approach to superheroics and the convoluted plotlines of the big publishers, Jenkins’ work finds a similar desperation and sadness in the life of its titular character, whose most significant ability is the power to be forgotten and erased.

    Next week, thoughts on The Hateful Eight (I didn’t get round to seeing it ’til last night), more Marvel and (hopefully) more medicinal drama.


  1. Risingson says:

    Yesterday two djs in two different clubs closed their sets with “Let’s dance”. So I guess the same happened with every London club that opened.

    • silgidorn says:

      Last Night I was Djaying in a club (in Switzerland) we played “hallow spaceboy” from Bowie, the dance floor was empty mid-song, it was great !

      Then we played “Overkill” as the last song and tried to launch an game of quotes from Alan Rickman. It was a fun night remembering them.

      • Risingson says:

        You must be one of the few djs with a hint of originality, then. Dalston Superstore closed last night, AGAIN, with “Let’s dance”.

  2. Thirith says:

    As the son of an ex-pat, I was brought up on a heady mix of Casualty, Benny Hill and (strangely enough) episodes of M*A*S*H on Betamax. I still have a soft spot for Charlie, Duffy and Dr Mike Barratt (whenever he turns up in something, whether it’s Alien 3 or Game of Thrones, I go “It’s Dr Mike Barratt!”, much to the chagrin of my wife).

  3. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I watched Bone Tomahawk after the recommendation on the last one of these. What a great film! I hadn’t even heard of it before, but it’s easily one of my favorite recent films.

  4. Anthile says:

    I still think the ultimate anime for people who don’t like anime is Legend of the Galactic Heroes, perhaps the best anime ever produced. Its relative obscurity stems mostly from it being unavailable. It wasn’t licensed until half a year ago. Before that there were only fan translations.
    Also the amazing Monster, another anime that doesn’t really care about being anime.

    • Immobile Piper says:

      I’ve heard great things about Galactic Heroes and as a fan of space opera style it’s been on my much neglected must-watch list for a while. Also gotta love that 80’s/90’s drawing style.

      That said its +100 episode count means it’s not as casually approachable as some 12-or-less episodes long show.

      • Risingson says:

        One of my friends/flatmates is absolutely in love with anime and manga, and he recommended me this years ago.

        I’ve been trying to watch the first episode like a million times already. There is more complex exposition there than in the first pages of “Downbelow Station”

    • C0llic says:

      The one I was introduced to (and I still watch very little anime) was Akira. It remains visually stunning.


    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I still think the ultimate anime for people who don’t like anime is Legend of the Galactic Heroes, perhaps the best anime ever produced.

      I reckon anything by either Hayao Miyazaki or Sylvain Chomet (especially The Illusionist), Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir or even the Daniel Craig voiced Renaissance would wear that title much more comfortably.