Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2 Worlds in Fiction

Most stories revolve in a battle between two entities, good versus evil, black vs. white, strong vs. weak and so on. My favorite stories are those that discusses this rivalry but adds a very different twist to it.

The anime series, 'Last Exile' is one of them. In the world of Prester, Anatoray and Disith are two rival countries that are physically separated by a barrier of fast-flowing air current called the Grand Stream. What is interesting in the series is the fact that the rivalry between the two countries is governed by another independent entity, who provides the machinery and capacity for the two countries' wars. What's more interesting is the fact that the two countries know about this but still they battle with each other.

I recommend the book 'The City and The City' by China Mieville.It is a novel about the cities of Bessel and Ul Qoma. This time, there is no physical separation between the two cities. Yet their cultures are quite very distinct from each other. I was amazed at how the author intricately described each city-- you really have to read it to know about it for yourself.

In the sci-fi series Fringe, the topic of a parallel universe is the main theme. One major arc of the series is a quest on how to traverse the other side. It's cool how the series depicted the alternate universe by giving very small yet noticeable differences (i.e Manhatan).

The critically-acclaimed movie 'Another Earth', tells of a story where there is another Earth with another set of people just floating within Earth's view.

In many Zelda games, a very usual scenario to move the story is for the protagonaist to travel between "worlds" in order to complete a quest. In the Oracle of Ages for example, Link has to do some actions in the 'past' (World 1) to advance the game in the 'present' (World 2). In the 'Minish Cap', Link has the ability to shrink into a smaller version of himself thereby experiencing a very different yet connected mini world as compared with his real sized world. While in 'A Link to the Past', Link has a magic mirror that allows him to traverse between the Light and the Dark world, which is required to finish various in-game quests.

In these stories, the conflict between the two worlds is not the main focus-- it is the interaction or synergy of the two entities that primarily move the story.

(Images courtesy of the web)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trese book 4: (Not a Review )

I've just finished reading Trese Book 4: Last Seen After Midnight for the second time. This is not really a review, just some random thoughts after reading it. Probable spoilers ahead.

As usual, Budjette Tan's writing is very captivating in this new book. It offers everything that you loved from the first three books and even more. There's the drama and the horror, the funny banters of the 'kambal', the walk into the Pinoy mythological lane, the slice of life stories with a twist and the entertaining popular culture references. (Offtrack question: How many creatures can you spot in the collector's gallery? I see a Tikbalang skeleton, a 'nuno sa punso' (or is it a duwende?) in a bottle, a diwata, a mananaggal's wings and what seemed like a 'banga' (i.e 'halimaw sa banga').

As for the stories, all I can say is that they are all great. Ruel de Vera , in the introduction, is quite spot on when he mentioned this book alongside the legendary classics of Warren Ellis' 'Planetary' and Mike Mignola's 'Hellboy'. I agree 100%. My favorite perhaps is 'Fight of the Year'. It's got that similar tribute vibe which I loved (being also a Pacquiao fan) and amazing story that could match 'Our Secret Constellation' (which is in my opinion the best Trese story). [Though I find it funny that when I read Manuel's lines, I hear it in my mind the way the real Manny speaks. You know what I'm talking about, I mean, you know.]

I truly admire Kajo Baldisimo's artwork in this book; from the detailed depiction of many cityscapes like Luneta, Ortigas and Katipunan, to the fine, flowing lines for the elementals and underworld creatures, to the splash pages and panel layout, everything just works out perfectly. My favorite is Manuel's fight in the underworld boxing arena. I like how the fight started with six panels on the first fight page and becomes 5 panels, then 4 then 3 then 2 as the fight goes on to the next round. Then, on rounds 11 and 12, there is only one panel each. The round 12 single-panel page shows Manuel standing over his kill-- that's the perfect victory shot right there. Add also the fact that Manuel fights a bagyon (?) lightning tribesman, a shark, and a Cthulhu-esque monster no less, says something about the awesomeness of these splash pages.

Some more thoughts:
I have a feeling (or yearning) that Jay Gerson will be back. Though I like how Trese is always able to give a 'happy' ending to each case (by curing the cursed or defeating the baddies) I would like to see a vulnerable side of her-- the side that sometimes lose fights and possibly cry. I think an archenemy can expose that side of her -- an enemy with the same skills, background, or even personality but with different motivations. I feel that Jay Gerson is a very good candidate. Like a nemesis that would challenge Trese's skills throughout many overarching cases. Like her Moriarty or Joker. Like a supernatural serial killer.

I'm also curious why the Great Santelmo is very loyal to Trese. In past books, the santelmo have played big parts in solving some cases.  It actually appeared in this book twice and saved Trese's life both times. (Maybe Budjette and Kajo are building this up to something bigger?)

That's all. I'm already watching out for Trese Book 5 whenever that will be.

(Image from www.tresekomix.blogspot.com)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...