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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Posthuman
Posted: August 19, 2015 at 8:44 am
Capitalism, Francis Fukuyama announced more than a decade ago, is the promised land at the End of History. The collapse of the Soviet Union confirmed that there was neither an alternative to the market, nor a possibility of transcending capitalism.
Not even the events of September 11, which have led many critics to mock the ‘End of History’ thesis, have given Fukuyama cause to change his mind. The end of history, Fukuyama argues, means not the termination of conflict, simply the recognition that nothing can improve upon capitalism. Why? Because, as he puts it in Our Posthuman Future, capitalist institutions ‘are grounded in assumptions about human nature that are far more realistic than those of their competitors’.
Yet even Fukuyama has come to worry that the reports of History’s death might have been a mite exaggerated. Capitalism, he fears, is undermining its own foundations. Not, as Marx thought, through the agency of the working class, but as a result of the unrestricted advance of science and technology. Science, and in particular biotechnology, has, Fukuyama believes, the potential to change the kinds of beings we are, and in so doing to ‘recommence history’, propelling us from a human to a posthuman world. From the end of history to the end of human nature as we know it.
Fukuyama’s argument runs something like this. Human values are rooted in human nature. Human nature is rooted in our biological being, in particular in our genes. Messing around with human biology could alter human nature, transform our values and undermine capitalism. ‘What is ultimately at stake with biotechnology’, Fukuyama declares, ‘is… the very grounding of the human moral sense.’ We therefore need international regulation to obstruct any technological advance that might ‘disrupt either the unity or the continuity of human nature, and thereby the human rights that are based upon it.’
While most worried about genetic engineering, other technologies also concern Fukuyama. Cloning is an ‘unnatural form’ of reproduction that might create ‘unnatural urges’ in a parent whose spouse has been cloned. Prozac is giving women ‘more of the alpha-male feeling that comes with high serotonin levels’, while Ritalin is making ‘young boys… sit still’ even though ‘nature never designed them to behave that way.’
Even attempt to slow down the ageing process is ‘unnatural’ and fraught with danger. The world, Fukuyama believes, may soon be divided ‘between a North whose political tone is set by elderly women’ (since women tend to live longer than men) and ‘a South driven by… super-empowered angry young men’. The consequence will not simply be more days like September 11, but also a disinclination on the part of the West to use force in response, since women are apparently naturally less aggressive than men.
Such fears may seem to carry all the scholarly weight of a Hollywood dystopian fantasy (Gataca meets The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, perhaps). If capitalism is as natural as Fukuyama claims, how is it that for virtually the whole of human history people abided by entirely different sets of values and beliefs? And what exactly worries Fukuyama about genetic engineering? That we will be turned into a race of beings who believe that the market may not be the best way to promote human flourishing? Or (God forbid) that we will lose our attachment to the sanctity of property?
As for the dangers of longevity, life expectancy has doubled in the past two centuries – without any evidence of social breakdown. Nor is there any evidence that the extension of the franchise to women at the beginning of the twentieth century made that century any less violent than the nineteenth.
Absurd though such arguments may seem to be, at the heart of Fukuyama’s book is a discussion, not of biotechnology, but of what it is to be human. To understand his alarmism about biotechnology, we have to understand his confusions over human nature.
For Fukuyama, humans as a species possess an inner essence or nature, which he defines as ‘the sum total of the behaviour and characteristics that are typical of the human species, arising from genetic rather than environmental factors.’ From this perspective, humans seem little more than sophisticated animals. ‘Many of the attributes that were once held to be unique to human beings – including language, culture, reason, consciousness, and the like – are’, Fukuyama believes, ‘characteristic of a wide variety of nonhuman animals’.
At the same time, though, Fukuyama presents humans as exceptional beings. While all animals have a nature, only humans possess ‘dignity’. Dignity gives humans a ‘superior… moral status that raises us all above the rest of animal creation and yet makes us equals of one another qua human beings.’ Such dignity, Fukuyama believes, resides in a mysterious ‘Factor X’ which is the ‘essential human quality’ that remains after ‘all of a person’s contingent and accidental characteristics’ have been stripped away. It is Factor X that Fukuyama wants to preserve from the clutches of biotechnologists.
And therein lies the problem. ‘Factor X’ appears to be both the same as human nature the ‘essence’ of our humanity – and also that which makes humans entirely distinct from the rest of nature. Indeed, Fukuyama suggests that somewhere along the human evolutionary journey there occurred ‘a very important qualitative, if not ontological, leap’, that came to separate Man and Beast.
Fukuyama is right, I think, to assert the ‘dual character’ of human existence, of humans as both animal and yet more-than-animal. But he seems not to recognise what this means for the concept of human nature. If humans are qualitatively distinct from the rest of the natural world, then the human ‘essence’ cannot be simply rooted in nature.
What sets humans apart is not some mysterious Factor X hidden somewhere in our biology but rather our ability to act as conscious agents. Uniquely among organisms, humans are both objects of nature and subjects that can, to some extent at least, shape our own fate. We are biological beings, and under the purview of biological and physical laws. But we are also conscious beings with purpose and agency, traits the possession of which allow us to design ways of breaking the constraints of biological and physical laws.
It is only because humans are conscious agents that we possess moral values. As Fukuyama himself observes, ‘Only human beings can formulate, debate, and modify abstract rules of justice’. This is why we should not ‘confuse human politics with the social behaviour of any other species’.
Human values, in other words, are not fixed in our nature, but emerge from our capacity to transcend that nature. To a certain degree, Fukuyama recognises this. Violence, he suggests, ‘may be natural to human beings’. But so, too, is ‘the propensity to control and channel violence’. Humans are capable of ‘reasoning about their situation’ and of ‘understanding the need to create rules and institutions that constrain violence’. Humans, therefore, possess the capacity to rise above their natural inclinations and, through the use of reason, to shape their values.
But if this is so, then no amount of biotechnological intervention will transform our fundamental values. What may transform them, however, is the kind of pessimism that Fukuyama expresses in his End of Human Nature thesis.
Fukuyama rightly worries about the ‘medicalisation of society’ – the inclination tendency to view personal, social and political problems in biological or medical terms. In part, at least, this arises from the growing tendency of our age to view humans as weak-willed, sick or damaged, as victims lacking the capacity to transcend their situation, either individually or collectively. Biotechnology, Fukuyama believes, can only entrench such perceptions, making it easier for individuals who ‘would like to absolve themselves of responsibility for their actions.’
But Fukuyama’s own belief that values are embedded in our biology, and should be ring-fenced for protection, can only exacerbate this problem. If our values were simply evolved adaptations, then the notion of moral responsibility would indeed appear to be fragile. And what would then be wrong with popping a pill or performing a bit of genetic surgery to improve our moral condition?
The real debate is not about whether biotechnology will undermine our values, but about the kind of values to which we aspire. Do we want a human-centred morality rooted in concrete human needs (such as for solutions to brain disorders and genetic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cystic fibrosis)? Or are we happy with a moral code that undermines the promise of medical advance in the name of a mythical human nature?
For Fukuyama ‘There are good prudential reasons to defer to the natural order of things and not to think that human beings can easily improve upon it through casual intervention’. But why should the ‘natural order of things’ be better than human creation? After all, we only need medicine because nature has left us with jerry-built bodies that tend constantly to break down with headaches and backaches, cancers and coronaries, schizophrenia and depression.
‘If the artificial is not better than that natural’, John Stuart Mill once asked, ‘to what end are all the arts of life?’ ‘It’s unnatural’ has always been the cry of those who seek to obstruct progress and restrain ‘the arts of life’. It’s an argument no more valid in response to biotechnology than it was in response to vaccination, heart transplants or IVF treatment. The ‘duty of man’, as Mill put it, ‘is the same in respect to his own nature as in respect to the nature of other things, namely not to follow but to amend it.’
Posted: August 17, 2015 at 5:47 pm
Bioscience and medical technology are propelling us beyond the old human limits. Are Extremes and The Posthuman good guides to this frontier?
(Image: Finn OHara)
HOW would you like to be a posthuman? You know, a person who has gone beyond the maximum attainable capacities by any current human being without recourse to new technological means, as philosopher Nick Bostrum of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford so carefully described it in a recent paper.
In other words, a superbeing by todays standards. If this sounds like hyperbole, bear with me. Behind the jargon lies a fascinating, troubling idea. Were not just talking about someone like Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, who is augmented with technology to compensate for his disabilities and thus can outrun many able-bodied Olympians.
No, we mean people who, through genetic manipulation, the use of stem cells, or other biointervention, have had their ability to remain healthy and active extended beyond what we would consider normal. Their cognitive powers (memory, deductive thought and other intellectual capabilities, as well as their artistic and creative powers) would far outstrip our own.
Is it possible to imagine such humans without recourse to science fiction clichs? And if we can, how would they affect how we see ourselves and each other? Would they change how we treat each other? Or create a society you would actually want to live in?
If this seems a stretch, consider this: preimplantation genetic diagnosis already lets us screen out some genetic abnormalities in our IVF offspring. And as evidence mounts for genetic components to the physical and cognitive traits we consider desirable, designer babies are surely plausible.
Then again, imagine if you were alive 150 years ago, and someone described life as it is today. Life expectancy then was a mere 40 years on average, with a few lucky individuals making it to 75 or more, though they would likely have succumbed to the first harsh illness they faced. Today, average life expectancy in rich countries hovers around 80; death and disease have all but disappeared from view, mostly into hospitals and hospices.
Our expectations of our bodies, their functional capacity and their term of service, are profoundly different from those of people living in the mid-19th century and, in the great scheme of things, that is a mere blink of an eye.
Posted: August 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm
“Too often the pressing implications of tomorrow’s technologically enhanced human beings have been buried beneath an impenetrable haze of theory-babble and leather-clad posturing. Thankfully, N. Katherine Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman provides a rigorous and historical framework for grappling with the cyborg, which Hayles replaces with the more all-purpose ‘posthuman.'[Hayles] has written a deeply insightful and significant investigation of how cybernetics gradually reshaped the boundaries of the human.”Erik Davis, Village Voice
“Could it be possible someday for your mind, including your memories and your consciousness, to be downloaded into a computer?In her important new bookHayles examines how it became possible in the late 20th Century to formulate a question such as the one above, and she makes a case for why it’s the wrong question to ask.[She] traces the evolution over the last half-century of a radical reconception of what it means to be human and, indeed, even of what it means to be alive, a reconception unleashed by the interplay of humans and intelligent machines.”Susan Duhig, Chicago Tribune Books
“This is an incisive meditation on a major, often misunderstood aspect of the avant-garde in science fiction: the machine/human interface in all its unsettling, technicolor glories. The author is well positioned to bring informed critical engines to bear on a subject that will increasingly permeate our media and our minds. I recommend it highly.”Gregory Benford, author of Timescape and Cosm
“At a time when fallout from the ‘science wars’ continues to cast a pall over the American intellectual landscape, Hayles is a rare and welcome voice. She is a literary theorist at the University of California at Los Angeles who also holds an advanced degree in chemistry. Bridging the chasm between C. P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’ with effortless grace, she has been for the past decade a leading writer on the interplay between science and literature.The basis of this scrupulously researched work is a history of the cybernetic and informatic sciences, and the evolution of the concept of ‘information’ as something ontologically separate from any material substrate. Hayles traces the development of this vision through three distinct stages, beginning with the famous Macy conferences of the 1940s and 1950s (with participants such as Claude Shannon and Norbert Weiner), through the ideas of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela about ‘autopoietic’ self-organising systems, and on to more recent conceptions of virtual (or purely informatic) ‘creatures,’ ‘agents’ and human beings.”Margaret Wertheim, New Scientist
“Hayles’s book continues to be widely praised and frequently cited. In academic discourse about the shift to the posthuman, it is likely to be influential for some time to come.”Barbara Warnick, Argumentation and Advocacy
Read an interview/dialogue with N. Katherine Hayles and Albert Borgmann, author of Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium.
An excerpt from How We Became Posthuman Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics by N. Katherine Hayles
You are alone in the room, except for two computer terminals flickering in the dim light. You use the terminals to communicate with two entities in another room, whom you cannot see. Relying solely on their responses to your questions, you must decide which is the man, which the woman. Or, in another version of the famous “imitation game” proposed by Alan Turing in his classic 1950 paper “Computer Machinery and Intelligence,” you use the responses to decide which is the human, which the machine.1 One of the entities wants to help you guess correctly. His/her/its best strategy, Turing suggested, may be to answer your questions truthfully. The other entity wants to mislead you. He/she/it will try to reproduce through the words that appear on your terminal the characteristics of the other entity. Your job is to pose questions that can distinguish verbal performance from embodied reality. If you cannot tell the intelligent machine from the intelligent human, your failure proves, Turing argued, that machines can think.
Here, at the inaugural moment of the computer age, the erasure of embodiment is performed so that “intelligence” becomes a property of the formal manipulation of symbols rather than enaction in the human lifeworld. The Turing test was to set the agenda for artificial intelligence for the next three decades. In the push to achieve machines that can think, researchers performed again and again the erasure of embodiment at the heart of the Turing test. All that mattered was the formal generation and manipulation of informational patterns. Aiding this process was a definition of information, formalized by Claude Shannon and Norbert Wiener, that conceptualized information as an entity distinct from the substrates carrying it. From this formulation, it was a small step to think of information as a kind of bodiless fluid that could flow between different substrates without loss of meaning or form. Writing nearly four decades after Turing, Hans Moravec proposed that human identity is essentially an informational pattern rather than an embodied enaction. The proposition can be demonstrated, he suggested, by downloading human consciousness into a computer, and he imagined a scenario designed to show that this was in principle possible. The Moravec test, if I may call it that, is the logical successor to the Turing test. Whereas the Turing test was designed to show that machines can perform the thinking previously considered to be an exclusive capacity of the human mind, the Moravec test was designed to show that machines can become the repository of human consciousnessthat machines can, for all practical purposes, become human beings. You are the cyborg, and the cyborg is you.
In the progression from Turing to Moravec, the part of the Turing test that historically has been foregrounded is the distinction between thinking human and thinking machine. Often forgotten is the first example Turing offered of distinguishing between a man and a woman. If your failure to distinguish correctly between human and machine proves that machines can think, what does it prove if you fail to distinguish woman from man? Why does gender appear in this primal scene of humans meeting their evolutionary successors, intelligent machines? What do gendered bodies have to do with the erasure of embodiment and the subsequent merging of machine and human intelligence in the figure of the cyborg?
In his thoughtful and perceptive intellectual biography of Turing, Andrew Hodges suggests that Turing’s predilection was always to deal with the world as if it were a formal puzzle.2 To a remarkable extent, Hodges says, Turing was blind to the distinction between saying and doing. Turing fundamentally did not understand that “questions involving sex, society, politics or secrets would demonstrate how what it was possible for people to say might be limited not by puzzle-solving intelligence but by the restrictions on what might be done” (pp. 423-24). In a fine insight, Hodges suggests that “the discrete state machine, communicating by teleprinter alone, was like an ideal for [Turing’s] own life, in which he would be left alone in a room of his own, to deal with the outside world solely by rational argument. It was the embodiment of a perfect J. S. Mill liberal, concentrating upon the free will and free speech of the individual” (p. 425). Turing’s later embroilment with the police and court system over the question of his homosexuality played out, in a different key, the assumptions embodied in the Turing test. His conviction and the court-ordered hormone treatments for his homosexuality tragically demonstrated the importance of doing over saying in the coercive order of a homophobic society with the power to enforce its will upon the bodies of its citizens.
The perceptiveness of Hodges’s biography notwithstanding, he gives a strange interpretation of Turing’s inclusion of gender in the imitation game. Gender, according to Hodges, “was in fact a red herring, and one of the few passages of the paper that was not expressed with perfect lucidity. The whole point of this game was that a successful imitation of a woman’s responses by a man would not prove anything. Gender depended on facts which were not reducible to sequences of symbols” (p. 415). In the paper itself, however, nowhere does Turing suggest that gender is meant as a counterexample; instead, he makes the two cases rhetorically parallel, indicating through symmetry, if nothing else, that the gender and the human/machine examples are meant to prove the same thing. Is this simply bad writing, as Hodges argues, an inability to express an intended opposition between the construction of gender and the construction of thought? Or, on the contrary, does the writing express a parallelism too explosive and subversive for Hodges to acknowledge?
If so, now we have two mysteries instead of one. Why does Turing include gender, and why does Hodges want to read this inclusion as indicating that, so far as gender is concerned, verbal performance cannot be equated with embodied reality? One way to frame these mysteries is to see them as attempts to transgress and reinforce the boundaries of the subject, respectively. By including gender, Turing implied that renegotiating the boundary between human and machine would involve more than transforming the question of “who can think” into “what can think.” It would also necessarily bring into question other characteristics of the liberal subject, for it made the crucial move of distinguishing between the enacted body, present in the flesh on one side of the computer screen, and the represented body, produced through the verbal and semiotic markers constituting it in an electronic environment. This construction necessarily makes the subject into a cyborg, for the enacted and represented bodies are brought into conjunction through the technology that connects them. If you distinguish correctly which is the man and which the woman, you in effect reunite the enacted and the represented bodies into a single gender identity. The very existence of the test, however, implies that you may also make the wrong choice. Thus the test functions to create the possibility of a disjunction between the enacted and the represented bodies, regardless which choice you make. What the Turing test “proves” is that the overlay between the enacted and the represented bodies is no longer a natural inevitability but a contingent production, mediated by a technology that has become so entwined with the production of identity that it can no longer meaningfully be separated from the human subject. To pose the question of “what can think” inevitably also changes, in a reverse feedback loop, the terms of “who can think.”
On this view, Hodges’s reading of the gender test as nonsignifying with respect to identity can be seen as an attempt to safeguard the boundaries of the subject from precisely this kind of transformation, to insist that the existence of thinking machines will not necessarily affect what being human means. That Hodges’s reading is a misreading indicates he is willing to practice violence upon the text to wrench meaning away from the direction toward which the Turing test points, back to safer ground where embodiment secures the univocality of gender. I think he is wrong about embodiment’s securing the univocality of gender and wrong about its securing human identity, but right about the importance of putting embodiment back into the picture. What embodiment secures is not the distinction between male and female or between humans who can think and machines which cannot. Rather, embodiment makes clear that thought is a much broader cognitive function depending for its specificities on the embodied form enacting it. This realization, with all its exfoliating implications, is so broad in its effects and so deep in its consequences that it is transforming the liberal subject, regarded as the model of the human since the Enlightenment, into the posthuman.
Think of the Turing test as a magic trick. Like all good magic tricks, the test relies on getting you to accept at an early stage assumptions that will determine how you interpret what you see later. The important intervention comes not when you try to determine which is the man, the woman, or the machine. Rather, the important intervention comes much earlier, when the test puts you into a cybernetic circuit that splices your will, desire, and perception into a distributed cognitive system in which represented bodies are joined with enacted bodies through mutating and flexible machine interfaces. As you gaze at the flickering signifiers scrolling down the computer screens, no matter what identifications you assign to the embodied entities that you cannot see, you have already become posthuman.
Footnotes: 1. Alan M. Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Mind 54 (1950): 433-57. 2. Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma of Intelligence (London: Unwin, 1985), pp. 415-25. I am indebted to Carol Wald for her insights into the relation between gender and artificial intelligence, the subject of her dissertation, and to her other writings on this question. I also owe her thanks for pointing out to me that Andrew Hodges dismisses Turing’s use of gender as a logical flaw in his analysis of the Turing text.
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Posted: at 3:09 pm
Indie Superhero Film: ‘The Posthuman Project’ http://posthumanmovie.com
SYNOPSIS Denny Burke is finally about to graduate high school. Senior year has been one bad thing after another: a broken leg, a broken heart, and — worst of all — a broken home.
With four of his closest friends, Denny goes on one last rock-climbing trip to prove he’s ready to start his adult life… On their trip the five teens receive a genetic boost beyond anything they’d ever imagined.
Denny’s soon faced with the first big decision of his adult life: does he give up these powers and stay a normal teenager, or does he keep them…and graduate from the human race?
TAGLINES: Graduating from the human race. Unleash your inner hero.
ABOUT With the heart of a John Hughes film and the energy of X-Men, ‘The Posthuman Project’ is a feature-length independent superhero film which focuses on the roots of the teenage experience, capturing that careful mix of invulnerability and powerlessness that only youth can conjure.
How to Find this video: Geek Week, #GeekWeek Posthuman Trailer, The Posthuman Project, superheroes, avengers, x-men, The Breakfast Club, John Hughes, Days of Futures Past, The Wolverine, Iron Man 3, superheroes, Man of Steel, Independent Film, indie filmmaking, web series, superhero, teen movie, Kyle Roberts, Reckless Abandonment Pictures
Posted: July 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm
This article is about a critique of humanism. For the futurist ideology and movement, see transhumanism.
Posthumanism or post-humanism (meaning “after humanism” or “beyond humanism”) is a term with five definitions:
Schatzki  suggests there are two varieties of posthumanism of the philosophical kind:
One, which he calls ‘objectivism’, tries to counter the overemphasis of the subjective or intersubjective that pervades humanism, and emphasises the role of the nonhuman agents, whether they be animals and plants, or computers or other things.
A second prioritizes practices, especially social practices, over individuals (or individual subjects) which, they say, constitute the individual.
There may be a third kind of posthumanism, propounded by the philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. Though he did not label it as ‘posthumanism’, he made an extensive and penetrating immanent critique of Humanism, and then constructed a philosophy that presupposed neither Humanist, nor Scholastic, nor Greek thought but started with a different ground motive . Dooyeweerd prioritized law and meaningfulness as that which enables humanity and all else to exist, behave, live, occur, etc. “Meaning is the being of all that has been created,” Dooyeweerd wrote [1955, I, 4], “and the nature even of our selfhood.” Both human and nonhuman alike function subject to a common ‘law-side’, which is diverse, composed of a number of distinct law-spheres or aspects. The temporal being of both human and non-human is multi-aspectual; for example, both plants and humans are bodies, functioning in the biotic aspect, and both computers and humans function in the formative and lingual aspect, but humans function in the aesthetic, juridical, ethical and faith aspects too. The Dooyeweerdian version is able to incorporate and integrate both the objectivist version and the practices version, because it allows nonhuman agents their own subject-functioning in various aspects and places emphasis on aspectual functioning (see his radical notion of subject-object relations.
Ihab Hassan, theorist in the academic study of literature, once stated:
Humanism may be coming to an end as humanism transforms itself into something one must helplessly call posthumanism.
This view predates the currents of posthumanism which have developed over the late 20th century in somewhat diverse, but complementary, domains of thought and practice. For example, Hassan is a known scholar whose theoretical writings expressly address postmodernity in society. Theorists who both complement and contrast Hassan include Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Bruno Latour, N. Katherine Hayles, Peter Sloterdijk, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, Evan Thompson, Francisco Varela and Douglas Kellner. Among the theorists are philosophers, such as Robert Pepperell, who have written about a “posthuman condition”, which is often substituted for the term “posthumanism”.
Posthumanism mainly differentiates from classical humanism in that it restores the stature that had been made of humanity to one of many natural species. According to this claim, humans have no inherent rights to destroy nature or set themselves above it in ethical considerations a priori. Human knowledge is also reduced to a less controlling position, previously seen as the defining aspect of the world. The limitations and fallibility of human intelligence are confessed, even though it does not imply abandoning the rational tradition of humanism.
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Posted: July 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm
I will not pretend to be a fan of anime but to a point I do enjoy the aesthetics and content of the more accessible titles and generally get into it until it becomes lots of tentacle monsters and nudity. I say this because Drumb is clearly a fan and as a result has made an independent anime short film that really captures the look and style and content really well. The plot links to the suggestion of a bigger story but more or less still works as a single short film (which is what it is). A hacker and a power naked spirit woman of some sort are attempting to break into a secure experimental facility where a test subject with extremely power physic powers is being held and tested.
The animation looks great and moves really well; it is an indie short, not a big studio production but yet the standards are really high. The violence is excessive but stylish and of course, being anime, we have a female lead with a lot of power but who also has to be naked and have large breasts it stands out as unnecessary but I guess it comes with the genre territory. It is very short but it has plenty of cool content so if you are looking for an espresso sized hit of anime then this short film will give you your fix as it does a good job to create story and relationships through the dialogue and then hitting the viewer with some violent and cool scenes. A bit more action and a bit more time would have been good, but for what it is it works pretty well.
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