Slice of Life is this literary term that gets thrown around a fair amount on the internet. It’s supposed to show an unincorporated piece of the life of a character. In film and theatre its combined with various dramatic techniques to make the mundane seem profoundly important, and an entire industry of anime exists to feed the need of young men and women for self contained stories about average people doing average things.
However, to me, it always seemed like coded language for ‘nothing going on’. In this era of character driven storytelling with unreliable narrators and subjective perspectives being infinitely deconstructed, everything turns into a Woody Allen bit with characters who do not move through stories by their own agency but are instead moved by their own inadequacy. When the cry goes out for a hero, what we tend to get are characters whom are heroic by happenstance when they aren’t violently dangerous sociopaths.
What’s actually going on here is not Slice of Life, but an older motif loosely referred to as “One Thing After Another”. Even when things slow down, it’s just an opportunity for another problem to pile onto the growing mess of problems Kale and Callisto have to stumble and fight through. Further, as you read, one would hope you notice an ‘action-reaction’ beat to the individual issues through the arc. This is an intentional reflection again of the film motifs that inspire us. In the Dirty Harry series of films you get an implicit Left-leaning Right-leaning conflict between films, with Harry strictly in the middle in a world that increasingly doesn’t understand him. Kale and Callisto move from one job to the next, one struggle to the next, but just where they stand in regards to the rest of society?
You’ll have to keep reading.
There are a few things I like about this page, the way it reminds me how at the time I was playing far to much saints row the 4th with the Author when working on the script, the fact that Kale is one lazy girl in the morning and how Callisto is obnoxiously cheerful and makes enough pancakes that even Deadpool would say “Hold on there a moment”. Seriously, you can’t see it but off frame there is a mountain of pancakes, turns out synth sex burns up a lot of energy.
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