November 30, 2014

Various Things of No Importance

Crunchyroll is holding a sale this weekend and while I generally do not do fannish accouterments any more, I figured I'd peruse it and check out their DVDs and look for gifts to....



79 Dollars for a nendroid!!?

Well then. 
It seems that my absence from the weaboo brickerbrack market will persist for the forseeable future. 

Also regarding Crunchyroll, I seem to recall that they had announced that they'd be carrying that show about the Teenaged Twintailed Transylvanian superhero, yet it's nowhere to be seen as of the end of November. 

Similarly,  Amagi Brilliant Park and the very intriguing 7 Deadly Sins do not seem to have a legit release. 

Well, even with three of the shows on my watch list unavailable and  RWBY finished, I still have Log Horizon  and the Fate Stay Knight remake, both of which which I'm enjoying. The latter is, surprisingly engaging,  even for those of us who saw the original, as it has managed to have numerous surprises.

When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace looks interesting but I haven't watched past the first episode. This is in part due to time constraints and in part to to a 'harem' vibe I got from it. 

SAO 2,  a horror show called Parasyte, the oddball looking Gugere! Kokkori-San, and possibly Wolf Girl and Black Prince all look look to have potential as well. While some of them will surely suck, this may be a red letter season. I normally can only find one or two shows to watch. This season there are 8 that I want to see in addition to the two I'm watching. My lack of time and the vagaries of licensing rather than a dearth of non-crepe seem to be the bigger issues this year, which is a welcome if frustrating development.


more...

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November 23, 2014

SPACE FIDDLES!

Suburbanbanshee is blogging again and amongst her recent posts she points to this gem fragment..



Well, THAT'S on my 'to get' list. 

There's more at the link.

The first two Yamato series were absolutely excellent and I consider Yamato 2199 one of the best series of the last decade. One of the bigger disappointments in recent years was that the big international release (Star Blazers in the US and some Commonwealth countries, Space Patrol in Brazil) was cancelled. This is a show that deserved a good dub. It probably could have been a success on TV here.  

In 13 days a new Yamato film will be released. It does not seem to be a remake or even imagining of any other Yamato project, though it does have some interesting elements from the second season. 

It's unclear if there are to be any more after this, but given the general excellence of the series, it will certainly bear watching. 

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November 22, 2014

Log Horizon 8

In this episode, there was no cake whatsoever.

I think this lends some credence to 'the cake rule'.
The two previous episodes were quiet, one being a study in the psychological aspects of going to "Church"....the other was a training montage. Both were intelligently done and moved the story quite a bit.

This episode was less subtle.  Akatsuki and Princess Lenessia being the keystones to the salvation of the city. However, they've changed the power dynamics of the city in the process, all while the very laws of nature are changing around them.



Despite its dumb as rocks premise and poor to mediocre production values, I'm really liking this show. The writing is really top notch and the silly premise is intelligently handled. Furthermore there are few shows that have really managed to integrate concepts like community and civics into an adventure yarn.

  Integrate is the crucial difference here. Lots of shows will have an episode or two where a band of adventurers teach a town an important lesson about societal affairs...before leaving them to their dull lives while said adventurers head off to do great, exciting, and non-domestic deeds far removed from such matters as the 4-H Club. In this show, building and keeping a cohesive society is the raison d'être for the action and adventure.

The teamwork and tactics are well thought out too. These characters are SMART as well as determined, and that's pretty refreshing. 

Next week it looks like we will revisit Shiro and company, though there is still no word on Crusty

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While We Await Actual Content

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November 16, 2014

RWBY Second Season Ends

After the spectacular home run that was episode 11, the Finale of RWBY season 2 fell rather flat. The animation was off, and despite a several moments of awesomeness there was a rather perfunctory feel to  the big climactic fight, which seemed disjointed and not entirely consistent. Basically everyone got a moment to shine though there was very little of the spectacular Monty Oum choreography that had been so impressive in previous fights and in fact the fight was so by the numbers and below the standards of the rest of the season that I suspect they ran out of money, time or both in this episode. On the non-technical side, there were some things that just didn't quite work.

Of course the other problem had to do with a general lack of answers, though this is not nearly as egregious as it would normally be, since it's pointed out by Ruby herself while our heroines recover from the day.


"Wait.We helped arrest a bunch of very bad people but we didn't really solve anything!"

Like the fist season finale, this one did not feel like a climax at all, but rather seemed to be just another episode, steadily moving the plot along, with the rather sedate last half of the episode being in a lot of ways better than the nonstop action of the first half. 

It's not a bad episode,  but is also not up to the high standards the show had set for itself.

That being said though, this season overall has been quite enjoyable. While the first season of RWBY amused me quite a bit. The second season has (overall) been even better. 

This is despite the fact that, in sharp contrast to the carefree whimsy of the season opener, the overall tone of RWBY season 2 is quite a bit darker than the first.  Fortunately, the show avoids descending into something grimm depressing, thanks in part to its oddball, upbeat quirkiness.

Also: The super heroines get a corgi

While it is still obviously a very low budget show, the animation, art, pacing and voice-work are all much improved over season one. I've heard griping about what at first seemed to be an awkward subplot (involving side characters) that suddenly metastasized out of nowhere. However, unlike a similar digression in the first season, its resolution was both unexpected and satisfying. Plus, it ended up advancing the larger plot quite nicely. 

The protagonists remain likable and have gained a bit more depth. Crucially, teams RWBY and JNPR consist of people that one actually enjoys rooting for. They are flawed human beings, sometimes wrestling with dark secrets, despair and self doubt, but they are not anti-heroes or cynics. These are an idealistic bunch who want to make the world a better place, want to do the right thing and are willing to pick themselves up and struggle on even if they get knocked down…hard.  This is important because our heroes are punching well above their weight…rather more than they seem to realize. 

The villains really came into their own in this season and are actually a pretty interesting lot…. Exactly WHAT their ultimate goal is remains unclear, but they are not incompetent and can think on their feet.  They are, overall, quite worthy and occasionally terrifying antagonists. 

These 12 short episodes were 144 minutes of my time that I do not regret. Despite the non-finale that was #12, I find that I’m eagerly looking forward to the third season.


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