May 25, 2008

You Got Chocolate In My Peanut Butter!

In a similar vein to enjoyment of dichotomy between texture and text in music, I find the blending of genres in other media to be quite fascinating. I'll be the first to say that what I'm mostly referring to is mixing science fiction and fantasy.

The first time I think I really ran across this was as a young child, watching a cartoon that I doubt anyone remembers (especially my very few readers): Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light. Take a high-tech society and bust the tech, then mix in some semi-Arthurian stuff with magic that can power the tech and BAM! You have series that lasts only 13 episodes (there were some toys though - I know this because I had some of them).

After that I'd say I didn't encounter quite what I'm thinking of here until I started reading Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. I've only read the first 3 books, but the point is this: despite the initial introduction in the first book, until they found the last remnants of the colonization ship, I had the feeling that "this is fantasy that doesn't feel like fantasy." To which I eventually said, "Duh! They're space colonists who've lost touch with the technology they showed up with!"

In the further realms of animation, the series Scrapped Princess applies Clark's Third Law to blend the two genres. For those too lazy to follow the link, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


Anonymous said...

Dude, I SO remember Visionaries! I had a couple of the toys as well. That was one of my favorite concepts in the crowded Japanese toy/cartoon market in the 80's. Those shows were very cart-before-the-horse. The toys were not a natural outgrowth of a popular cartoon, rather the cartoon was created for the express purpose of selling toys. Didn't keep it from being super cool to a grade-schooler, though! ;-)