「親指トムは油田を走る ジブラルタル通行阻止戦 I」 (Oyayubitomu wa Yuden o Hashiru Jiburarutaru Tsuukou Soshi-sen I)
“Tom Thumb Races Through the Oil Field The Battle to Blockade the Gibraltar I”
What if this isn’t an action anime? What if it’s all a lark?
Heavy Object as a B Movie
I find myself continually confused by this series. Not because all the science, military strategy, and basic logic are all battier than a Batman vs Manbat vs Rogue the Bat vs Zubat vs bat-form Dracula brawl in the Bat Cave (all of whom are wielding baseball bats, obviously). No, I’ve accepted that already. I’m confused because I don’t hate it. Whereas Comet Lucifer has been disappointing me, this show remains somehow lovable. It’s strange. It’s ridiculous. It’s goofy. It’s not a serious story, no matter what it might tell you (for about four seconds, until something foolish happens again). It’s a B movie. I expect Bruce Campbell to show up at any minute and start being awesome all over the place.
Why yes, I’m totally hyped for Ash vs. Evil Dead. Why do you ask?
I Hope Their Superiors Are Trying To Kill Them
You all know I love talking about what makes stories tick. Probably that’s at least a good two-thirds of why I inexplicably like Heavy Object, because there’s so much to talk about here. Take Qwenthur and Havia’s motivations. In a really good story, it will be the protagonists, of their own free will, whose actions lead them to interacting with the plot, or guide how they interact with the plot in some way. Sometimes protagonists refuse the call (trope!) early on, but eventually they get into it, or at least accept that this is happening no matter what.
Qwenthur and Havia, on the other hand, are being railroaded into accepting the call. They’re pointing out hundreds of completely valid reasons why they shouldn’t be trying to 2-man a fuckin’ country erasing tank/ship/oil rig/military base, but the plot (as being revealed by Frolaytia this time around) ignores their prudent objections and forces them into it anyway. They’re being railroaded (trope!), gentleladies and gentlemen, and it risks being aggravating quick.
Once again, I’m surprised it doesn’t annoy me. Probably it’s because we have some kind of refuge in audacity (trope!!) thing going on here, where it’s just so much that I go, “Yeah, sure, whatever you say Heavy Object. That makes no sense, but you haven’t made sense up to this point, so fuck it, carry on.” Alternately, I might be punch-drunk from all the this-doesn’t-make-sense that’s happening. I will say this, though: I hope their shady superiors are trying to get them killed. That seemed to be what that scene was insinuating. Because if they’re not, all this shit that’s happening to them is cruel and unusual (and stupid), and it’ll probably get to me eventually.
Maybe It’s All A Lark
It occurred to me during this episode that Heavy Object might not be an action series at all. It might all be a lark. Or in more familiar terms, it might be a comedy. Nearly every line of dialogue (that isn’t exposition, which is most of them) is dripping with sanguine, sardonic gallows humor, where even the prospect of friendly fire is met with a comedic glance between commiserating friends and a slapstick jump for the safety of the water. It could be that Heavy Object isn’t trying to operate on the Rule of Cool (trope!!), but on the Rule of Funny (trope!!!). Or it could be—and this is perhaps more likely—that it’s failed at its intended appeal so badly that it’s actually become so bad it’s good (trope!!!!). Of course, your mileage will vary (trope etc), but that’s where I’m at tonight. It’s not serious. It’s a B movie. It’s all a lark, where the universe is conspiring against Havia and Qwenthur not because seeing them rise to the occasion will be cool, but because it’s funny to watch them grumble. Hey—at least you called out your death flags (just look up the trope page yourself, lazy bones *grumble grumble*) Havia, so you might not trigger them! And you look like you’re making headway with Hime-sama, Qwenthur you lolicon. Not all is lost.
Looking Ahead – It Couldn’t Be That Easy
For a second, I honestly thought they might blow up the Tri-Core early, and this arc would be over quickly—but lawl no. $10 says the Heavy Axe charge Havia put in his pocket will be the deciding factor. Easy money.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – This isn’t an action series. It’s a lark. It’s a B movie with a railroad plot & a kawaii eva pilot. This. Is. Heavy Object! #heavyobject 04
- Apparently becoming an Elite comes with free massages. Neat. I’M IN.
- Hey, I’ve shopped at Tom Thumb before.
- When Frolaytia was showing off her oppai in a low kimono, Havia could be forgiven for thinking she wouldn’t mind a little ogling. It might not be correct, but I can see where the confusion would come in. But Havia this episode was full-on sexual harassment. I liked that he copes by joking around, which fits his personality (though him admitting as much out loud is more tell than show), but seriously. Less sekuhara of your direct superior! Though to be fair (again), he might want to get court-martialed at this point. I wouldn’t blame him.
- Who uses a super-heavy Object to drill for oil? It’s like using a Super Star Destroyer for escort duty. You’re making its designers cry.
- Hang onto the door, Jack!
- If they planned things out like the infiltration ahead of time, it could have had tension. It’d be all, “Will the plan work!?”. But they don’t. It’s all happenstance. Because it doesn’t matter. See? It’s a comedy! Or terrible writing.
- Putting guns on an oil tanker seems like an asshole move. It’s an ecological disaster waiting to happen.
- Looks like Qwenthur has AT&T. Oh, what’s this? Low-hanging fruit? Don’t mind if I do.
- WL3B1 instead of WL3B2. They need more distinct weapon designations. Every military everywhere is crying right now!
- “We’re back … battlefield, you asshole.” So much character in one sentence.
- So cute.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Momentum & mental space, The best content is in email, My morning routine, and True Ends