I’m stuck at a particularly awesome episode of Planetes. Part of me doesn’t want to watch beyond this because I’m afraid it doesn’t become as good anymore. It’s happened to me while watching Overman King Gainer, episode 17 is beautiful and as winsome as anything I’ve seen from Tomino Yoshiyuki. But back to Planetes. Episode 12 shows Fee Carmichael do ridiculously extreme things to get her cigarette fix; risking her life, arguably to kill it all over again, slowly.
I can somehow relate because I am a smoker. Yes, I’m an unapologetic smoker. I’ve been smoking for the last 20 years, save for two separate 1-year stints of abstinence to win separate bets (yeah I won them). Like most of the kids my age, I started out with Marlboros. But after decades of experimentation I prefer the very bland Winston Lights. Flavorful cigarettes I smoke on more special occasions.
Can someone who has spent significant time in Japan confirm this for me? A lawyer acquaintance claimed that 40% of the Japanese are smokers, and that number balloons to 60% when social smoking is considered. I mean, I know people who will smoke with smokers during nights out, etc., but don’t smoke regularly otherwise.
That acquaintance also told me that there ashtrays (and even air purifying gadgets) almost everywhere. This is amazing to me. I hate littering and it sucks when there are no ashtrays or garbage receptacles around. One of the great things I enjoyed about walking all over Hong Kong is how evenly distributed the ashtrays are along the streets. I particularly enjoy smoking while walking in the city.
In SDF Macross ep 27, which was originally intended to be the finale of the series, a big Minmay medley played — very similar to how the Ranka and Sheryl medley played in Macross Frontier 25. In the SDFM episode, Ichijo was making his entry to the atmosphere after taking damage from a Zentraedi missile salvo. At that point, Minmay hit the chorus of her song ‘Silver Moon, Red Moon.’
Tsumetai anatawa shahai dandy
You’re so cold, my shanghai dandy
Jitanno kemuriga mani shimiru
The smoke of Gitanes gets in my eyes.
Translation c/o Animefiends.
Gitanes! These are the same smokes Ichinose Takumi (Nana) prefers, and that is one fucking cool dude. I wish I knew where to get this brand locally. I used to be able to get Silk Cuts, and even Sobranie Black Russian cigarettes, but they’re a lot harder to find now. Gudang Garam is nice, but never good to smoke regularly. Part of me suspects that Gitanes would be the perfect import for me.
Of course, I understand that anime, manga, and all fictional characters don’t have to suffer any consequences of a smoking habit. I don’t endorse smoking here to those who aren’t smokers already, nor do I wish to prevent those who want to give it up from doing so. But for those who enjoy smoking as I do, I want to believe that there’s a distinct pleasure in watching characters we like share our habit.
Characters I’d like to have a smoke with: [You can't view this slideshow in a feed reader, but you can if you go to the post itself.]
Right now, the best scene involving cigarettes HAS TO belong to Black Lagoon episode 07. Omisyth and I took some time to reflect on the scene:
This is the point where Rock completely gives up on his old identity and let’s himself become like the ragtag group he’s associated with. The antithesis of Revy and Rock is what makes their argument so great to watch. Revy ends up having to actually show some level of emotion beyond “FUCK” and Rock ends up having to stand up for himself. No matter what, be it getting shot, screamed at or punched in the face, he doesn’t back down until he gets Revy to acknowledge him: a real “rock” (excuse the pun). Far from what Rock says (“There’s no medicine for violent idiots”), the two are essentially what each other need to grow.
[Important Note: Omisyth's contribution to this post isn't representative of his views on cigarette smoking.]
Is the scene objectively sexy? The fuck should I know. But for a smoker like me, it’s badass sexy, incredibly so.
Who’d you like to have a smoke with?