It’s Monday again. Well, when I’m writing this. It’s going to be Saturday when I publish it. A little discount time travel. For now, it’s Monday which means I have to go to work boohoo, but I get to chat with Scott about AMAIM. YAY!
Before we get to that, how has your week been Scott? Not too exhausted after a cruel Monday?
Hi Irina. Well, this is that plot twist where I say that I had a busy weekend, but not really a cruel one. Today, this last Monday, was Memorial day which means that I had some time off. I spent the day in Seattle just traveling around the International district and eating some good food.
I’m sorry about your pretty mean sounding Monday. I hope that work wasn’t too bad.
Let me get a random thought out of my system before we get to the actual episode. I think that Amou in a suit but with his weird dreadlock/pigtails situation is the perfect level of absurd. It makes no sense at all but you just can’t quite put your finger on why. I had a grand ol time with it. I hope the series ends with a flash-forward and we get to see him as an old man in a super fancy suit with that same hairstyle all greying. That would make me happy.
I honestly don’t have that much to say about Amou in a suit other then: oh, that’s Amou in a suit. Now, I am not the most character design or fashion conscious person, but I can see your point about it being a little off. I think we kind of associate dreadlocks with more of a street behavior, so maybe that clash between professional and otherwise kind of felt wrong. I don’t know, I can’t think of it either.
This is going to be a bit challenging for me to explain. I liked this episode of AMAIM. In fact, I think this latest arc is my favourite so far and just plain interesting. But I think it’s limited by its characters… Rather, I thought.
I’m kind of there too. I find everything happening in this arc the most interaction direction that the show has taken in order for the series to make some more complex and interesting decisions.
So let’s look at the characters a bit. First the easy one: German. He is very frustrating for me. German is an arms dealer and really the biggest antagonist in the series. German has no loyalties, morals or really any stakes in what’s happening to Japan. He makes money selling weapons, by all accounts a lot of money. So his only interest is that the war goes on as long as possible and remains an armed conflict. That’s it. He has no interest at all in who wins.
And on paper, I love this. I think arms dealers in war films bring on this great dynamic. Because they change the perspective from having two sides, the good guys you root for and the bad guys you want to lose, to making war itself be the bad guy. It broadens the scope of these types of stories and makes it less likely that you just end up glorifying war. And that’s all good things.
German himself as a character is great for all the potential he brings to the story. But German himself is also super boring… Is that just me? Like he is the default arms seller and nothing else. I can’t even muster to dislike the guy. He’s a blip. And I think that’s tragic since he is one of, in not the character with the greatest storytelling potential in this particular series.
Any thoughts on German?
My thoughts are rather simple towards German too. He is the arms dealer, but I think the main thing that makes him so boring to me is that you know where his loyalties lie. German is one of those people that looks out for only himself. Number one. He is aligned with people only until it is in his own best interests to move to the next faction when the advantage is pushed from one to another. That means he is pretty predictable and we know what he is going to do and probably when he is going to do it.
I do not think that AMAIM would be able to function without a character like German, but I wish they gave him an actual personality. He probably could have been just replaced by an algorithm or a character off screen instead of just existing. If he had more of a personality or dug a bit further to being evil, I feel like he could be a bit more then a personality vacuum.
Maybe I had more thoughts then I thought I did…
Ok, so the two other characters that are bothering me are Alexei and Brad. This is where things get a bit more complicated. Unlike German, I don’t think they are boring characters. I do think all characters in AMAIM are underdeveloped, including these two but they hold their own and both bring interesting things to the show.
However, I am having trouble following their personalities.
Alexei was established as a villain. He wasn’t monstrous but was shown as generally callous and seemingly undisturbed by casualties of war.
And now he’s a shiny golden boy. Not only was he relatively kind and a voice of reason last episode. He continues to be level-headed and possibly the best mentor Amou has had so far. And in the first act, as soon as the gunshot went off, he immediately threw himself on Amou to protect him, potentially putting his own body at risk, without a second thought.
And the issue I have is, when did this happen? Is this Alexei the same? Did we just not get the chance to know him until now? Maybe but this shift seems a bit much. Why is he soooo perfect. It’s too quick and jarring.
Of course, it could be an act and he might eventually betray them but even that doesn’t really explain it all.
Irina, I do think that I have a few theories of my own on why Alexei is like this. I do not think his character has changed too much. What makes sense in my mind is that after Alexi suffered a loss from Brad, he had that small amount of time to think and I feel like he decided that what Amou and his friends in their AMAIMS were his only shot to continue living or move forward. Otherwise, he would be stuck and wouldn’t be able to move forward at all.
That’s how it makes sense in my mind. We kind of see how important the AMAIMS are in combat with the North American Coalition invaded the Asian Free Trade during the episode itself. If it wasn’t for Gashin and his larger machine gun and AMAIM upgrades, the Asian forces would be goners. The internal politics of the situation make what Alexei choose the right option for the moment and probably for a long time.
The other answer I have is Alexei is playing the role of the Char Clone like in Gundam. In this case, the Lt. Qautro variant from Zeta to where he started playing the mentor figure because being a villain hasn’t worked out for him at all. I wish the show spent a bit more time with Alexei to understand him a bit more and what he set out to do. But
And then there’s Brad. So, all throughout the episode I kept thinking, Alexei became a saint for no reason and Brad a devil and there’s just not enough build-up. It’s too sudden, it doesn’t work.
I suppose that there was that six months of time where Brad had been connected to power to change him from who he was to who he is now, but man. Maybe we will see more about what he does later on.
I was even thinking, the pink-haired girl (I’m sorry I forgot her name) was going to be Amou’s salvation when she gets disillusions by Brad. I was pretty proud of my insight but then two scenes later she basically spelled it out for everyone and I realized I wasn’t being clever or anything.
And so I watched the whole episode with that little thought gnawing at the back of my mind. Thinking to myself, this is really good. A staged coup and political manipulation. How will they get out of it? What about the public. It’s getting genuinely cool. In fact, I would enjoy this episode if it was one of the first ones. If Alexei and Brad hadn’t been previously established and we were just getting to know them, this would be quite riveting. But now, I’m all bothered by their weird personalization. And then that last scene happened.
And my only note is WTH Brad… I have no clue what’s going on anymore. What is the long game here? Who am I supposed to trust? And you know, it’s not a bad feeling!
Yeah, that last scene was something else. I mean, Brad is trying to play some kind of master mind here. That’s the thought I got going on here. He’s doing the terrorist stuff, the political set up, and then letting Amou and Alexei go. Same with being mean to his pink haired cohorts. That’s the angle that I say going on here.
Could be completely wrong and this story is going all over the place. That has happened and everything had and hasn’t worked out as I thought it would because AMAIM has been throwing around some interesting angles to what direction I thought the story would go to.
I don’t know, I like being confused about what is going on. Would be a bit better if it made a bit more sense, but I am going to trust it will to make sense as we get to the conclusion.
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep1 – After the War
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDER EP2 – THE COUNTRY SIDE TERROR
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep3 – A knife to a gunfight
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDER EP 4 – THE COSTS OF WAR
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep5 – Homecoming
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDER EP 6 – AWAITING THE HERO
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep7 – Double Ghost
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDER EPISODE 8: IS THIS A GHIBLI FILM
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep9 – Family Ties
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDER EPISODE 10: A RETURN TO ARMS
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep11 – Day Trip
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDER EPISODE 12: THE GHOST OF AMAIM PRESENT
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep13 – An Actual Cliffhanger
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDERLINE EP 14: OMINOUS BEGINNING
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep15 – 8 Months
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDERLINE EP 16- GHOST ON A LEASH
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep17 – Tragedy
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDERLINE EP 18 – OH, SO THEY AREN’T ALL CARTOON VILLAINS?
- AMAIM Warrior at the Borderline ep19 – Surprises
- AMAIM WARRIOR AT THE BORDERLINE EPISODE 20 – THE COMPLICATIONS OF UNITING