February 16, 2011

Utewarerumono

Funimation has re-released Utewarerumono in a Super Amazing Value Edition. As a result I now own this unpronounceable title, and a few weeks ago I watched it.

*****
A man awakens in a hut, in what appears to be a medieval village, wearing a mask he cannot remove, with no memory of his past, and finds himself being tended to by an old woman and her two granddaughters, who, to his astonishment, are equipped with dog ears and tails.
 
And there are new rules to learn!

The story progresses very fast but logically, and our masked hero ( who the women name Hakuoro) and his growing band of allies encounter and must overcome a steady stream of increasingly difficult challenges, all the while trying to find out who he is (and why he is tailless).

This show is remarkable in a number of respects. First, this show is a fantasy adventure done straight.  Utewarerumono has above average production values and very engaging characters. In contrast to the fantastic elements such as magical beasts and exotic races, the  relationships, motivations and even the tactics are realistic. The world is very well realized.

Perhaps most remarkable of all, Hakuoro is a very likable, ethical, AND SMART person. This rare combination of traits is found in most of the shows other protagonists as well.  The men in the cast are generally strong, ethical adults and as such are the antithesis of the nebbish whiny brats or hotheaded punks that seem to be the norm of late (well, there is a hotheaded teen punk, but he's a foil and he advances the plot). This is not to say that the leading women are overshadowed by the guys...they more than hold their own.

To wit...

Do NOT make fun of the trenchcoat

It's just refreshing to see a show where the men are men and not jackwagons or wimps.

The show is exceedingly well paced and has a very humanistic streak. It doesn't pull its punches (characters die) but it is at times a downright inspiring show.

Utewarerumono  contains 19 episodes of the some of the most satisfying adventure anime I have ever seen.

Unfortunately it is a 26 episode series.

This is just episode 20 child. There is more fail coming than your young mind can possibly imagine.

GAINAX call your office...Mary Sue broke in and stole one of your endings.

The last 7 episodes of this show form a bone crushingly painful cascade of stupidity wrapped in schizophrenia and bound together with a truly impressive level of contempt for the audience.

I cannot type enough swear words do justice to the ending of this show. Frankly about the time the mechs show up (yes...the mechs) I had real difficulty following it. The story got disjointed nonsensical and downright hateful.

...but wait there is more...

 It tried to weave together 2 separate, out of order, quite dystopic flashbacks into the story.

Here is a semi-coherent overview of the flashbacks which I knicked from the Wikipedia entry.

If you did not read that , you are likely still sane.

Note that that only covers the flashback portions of the plot...the "present" plot has the previously wise cast becoming mind numbingly stupid...before the whole insipid mess just collapses under its own incoherence.

I know these writers can write...they wrote the first 19 episodes, so unless they switched writing teams 3/4s of the way through
this isn't likely incompetence.  I think it could be sadism.

Or perhaps this was made for the American market and this is one of those cruel jokes they play on foreigners...like natto.

Which, come to think of it, brings us back to sadism.

ahem...
 
I'm going to refrain from recommending this series...but if anyone's interested I have a complete set right here.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:13 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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February 15, 2011

Two Things I Would Not Have Thought to Combine

While I wrack my school and illness addled brain for content, d.merril has combined Tezuka and Pez to good effect.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 12:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 13, 2011

Save the Turtles!

Oh noes! Star Turtle Village is 4 ninjas short of the number needed to maintain  our elemental decompressor! We need space turtle ninjas!




...What?
You don't wear black or blue pajamas and adventure?
You don't have experience in space?
You aren't a turtle?
Well, fear not 'cause we aren't picky!
We have a crackerjack apprenticeship program headed up by a highly respected...ummm...dolphin..ninja...biker...ummm...


...actually...we don't know WHAT the hell he is but he's very good at his job so you can learn your ninja trade right here!

Since we are classy SPACE ninjas (with a fashionable Turtle motif) we take care of our members. We have a Ramen shop, a Burger Ninja and a Pizza Witch in our food court and if that doesn't impress you we've got SCIENCE!tm, and a Party House with a fully stocked Juice Bar. We even get to beat up on  undead zombjas periodically 'cause we are just that bad ass.

Click on the banner above to start your ninja career today and not only will you be able to tell your grandkids that you saved an entire village from being elementally undecompressed....you'll even know what the heck that means!

Just remember to keep all kunai stowed and all hands and feet onboard the elephants.

Please note that this week's announcements are sponsored by:
 Ankh-Morpork Assassin's Guild:
Inhumation with a contemporary touch.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 07:49 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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