November 10, 2014

Fate Stay Night again...

So, I think Fate Stay night has more posts than anything else here.  Anyway, I just got the first Fate Stay Night on Blu Ray and just rewatched it in the first time since my last post about it here years ago (the sub this time as over the years my tolerance for English dubbing on shows has dramatically declined).  The emotions of that show still hit me just as strong as ever.  I cannot see that image at the end of the stuffed lion sitting on the desk without tearing up.  


I still haven't played the VN or watched Fate Zero, though I am going to watch Fate Zero at some point though I'm not sure if I'm going to wait to finish Railgun first or not.  The thing is though, that it is the characters of the show that appeal to me so I have little enough interest in a prequel.  Still, going to watch it, mostly as a lead in to the remake.  I may finally break down and see about downloading the VN since it is apparently never going to get an English release, and, well, importing a ten year old game is somewhat outside of my price range.  

The thing about finishing a work like Fate Stay Night is that the more emotional I get about a work, the harder a time I have with moving on and doing anything else.   It's the one way that my middle tier animes are inevitably better than my top tier.  I watched a bunch of Tenchi, wrote a post, and then started watching Index.  Now, having rewatched Fate Stay Night, I started rewatching again from the beginning, stopped to look up the VN, checked to see if Fate Zero was on Crunchyroll, and then lamented that I was at my parents place instead of at home so I couldn't immediately figure out how to get a hold of the VN.

Certain shows and a couple of books affect me that way(the only game to do that to me is Bioshock Infinite, by no means the best game I've ever played, but I got drawn in emotionally far more than normal for me playing a game--which just might be the topic of my next post).  I get so invested in them that I cannot then change gears.  I mope about, sad that it is over, and have to do other things like write posts like this that only I'll read, or talk them over with someone.   So...yeah...I'm going to go and try to find something to get my head straight.  

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November 06, 2014

Index/Railgun

Because I'm significantly behind the curve I've only just now gotten around to watching A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun.  And having seen both seasons of Index and the majority of the first season of Railgun, I'm thinking that, thus far, at least, Railgun is probably a better show.  Despite that I think I prefer Index, just because of Index herself.  I don't think any of the Railgun characters are quite as much fun as Index is. 

I'll have a full length post on something just as soon as I figure out what I want to post about. 

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November 02, 2014

No need for continuity! A Look at Tenchi Muyo: Part 2

So in my previous post I wrote about the OVA series and Universe, but I didn't mention any of the other Tenchi properties.  I cannot speak to Tenchi in Tokyo, GXP, or the War on Geminar simply because, in the case of the later two, I've never seen them, and I haven't watched the former since high school.  I fully intend to collect and watch them in time.  The other thing I didn't speak about were the movies.  Daughter of Darkness won't really be covered here as it lies outside the two continuities I'm discussing.  But the two Tenchi Muyo in Love movies are very relevant.  And are, honestly, the high point for the  Universe continuity.  And along with OVA 3 dragging down the OVA continuity, they are what ultimately pulls Universe ahead.  

Both of the Tenchi Muyo in Love movies are excellent, even though they are resoundingly different.  Tenchi Muyo in Love is simply a fun, enjoyable movie.  The good points are numerous.  The characters are all spot on.  Kiyone is her usual competent self although she doesn't have a huge role--really all of the girls roles are decreased slightly with the extra emphasis going to Tenchi and Achika, which isn't a bad thing.  Washu is also at her best at least as far as the Universe continuity is concerned.  Even Mioshi is less annoying than usual as she doesn't have her usual massive screw-ups.  But of the girls the highlights are Ryoko and Ayeka mostly do to their chemistry together.  This is possibly the first point in the Universe continuity where you actually start to see them as friends.  They are still clearly rivals and they have their usual fights and disagreements.  But they spend the bulk of the movie in each others company, and you can see a sense of camaraderie between them.  In addition, like many of the best parts of Tenchi, Ryoko has some good moments.  Perhaps my favorite scene of the movie is towards then end when Tenchi is fighting the effects of the temporal disturbance, and insisting on doing so without the assistance of Washu's device.  Ryoko places a hand on his back as he struggles, literally, to hold himself together.  You see her concern as she lends what little support she can, but allows him to take care of it himself because that is what he wants and what he needs at the time.  I love any chance that brash, loudmouthed Ryoko gets to show her softer side, especially done here with no words.  

The one main issue with the movie is Kain.  He is a rather poor villian overall.  He is clearly a threat, there is no denying that.  But there is no depth to the character.  He hates the Jurian power and wishes to destroy all sources of it.  That is all.  He's more of a force of nature than a character.  Which I suppose may have been the intention since he isn't on screen much.  He's the threat looming over the whole thing, and not directly involved until the end.  Then again, strong villains (character-wise not power-wise) have always been a weakness for Tenchi.  Ultimately, Tenchi Muyo in Love, is the best parts of the series in a 90 minute movie.  There is a lot to like about that.

Tenchi Muyo in Love 2, on the other hand, is a massive departure from the series' norm.  Where as the series is usually a comedy with some serious action elements, Tenchi Muyo in Love 2, basically drops both of those to instead focus entirely on the drama and the characters.  I would be lying if I said Tenchi Muyo in Love 2 was anywhere near the top of my favorite things about the series.  I enjoy it certainly, but it just isn't fun the way Tenchi is.  That said, again the interplay between Ayeka and Ryoko is good, which is good because it is the bulk of the movie.  Really, the main thing that Tenchi Muyo in Love 2 offers is a conclusion to the romantic element of the series when Ayeka bows out and admits that Ryoko is the only one who can get through to Tenchi which pretty much makes Universe unique among Tenchi continuities.  Apparently the original creator has self-published works where it is made evident that in the OVA continuity Tenchi ultimately ends up marrying them all.  But as he doesn't own the rights, it means that unless another OVA series is made that's all non-canon.

more...

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October 27, 2014

No need for clever titles! A look at Tenchi Muyo: Part 1

So...Tenchi Muyo...anyone remember Tenchi Muyo?  I do.  And that is because Tenchi Muyo is fucking awesome. 

Anyway, up until the last couple of weeks I hadn't actually watched Tenchi since back in High School when it was on the Toonami roster so what...twelve/thirteen years ago?  Well, I had watched the movies more recently than that but it has probably been at least five or six years since the last time I had seen them.  Also, I had never seen the completion of the OVAs.  Which...yeah, after having seen OVA 3...okay, not really missing anything there.  Still, either I had forgotten how much I loved Tenchi in the past or, more likely, I simply like it more than I did before.  Whether that is because something about it speaks to me more now that I'm older or simply nostalgia I can't say for sure, although I think it is likely a combination of both. 

I'm just kind of rambling here because I'm not quite sure where to begin,  But I guess, I'll go ahead and return to my old three tier grading scheme and take it from there.  Various spoilers of various severity in the reviews.
more...

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August 06, 2011

Utena re-release?!

I just saw that Revolutionary Girl Utena is getting re-released.  The first two box sets are out now, and I'm just going to go ahead and order them.  I'm a little disappointed that it isn't getting a Blu-Ray release since I'm trying to stick to Blu-Ray purchases (although I did get a DVD copy of Seven Samurai the other day).  Still, that is totally awesome.  I mean, I still have all of my DVDs, but still to have new box sets will be totally awesome. 

I'm just babbling, but fuck yeah!  Utena! 


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September 18, 2009

Finished: Black Cat

Middle tier:  Black Cat was a largely entertaining, fun show with enjoyable characters.  But it could have been better than that.  The show simply does not take itself as seriously as its subject matter suggests it should be.  It is too lighthearted for much of what happens.  Not that that means everything necessarily works.  Creed utterly fails as a villain.  He is so far beyond bat-shit insane that he often fails to be a threat.  But he is the main thing that fails.  Otherwise, it is a pretty entertaining show. 

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September 04, 2009

Ah My Goddess

Thanks to Ubu, I had to find my copy of the Ah My Goddess movie and watch it again. 

I don't have much to say except it is a very pretty show.

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August 26, 2009

Finished: Noein

So I have internet again.  Yay. 

Noein: Middle tier- I enjoyed Noein the whole way through, but nothing stands out as really exceptional except the visuals.  Noein is a very pretty show, and it has, I think, the best looking CG I have seen in an anime. 

Oh, and I like Atori.  He's probably my favorite character.  But even he isn't all that great.  Just a solid show.  Not bad.  Not amazing.

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June 21, 2009

Started watching Tenjho Tenge...

And holy crap are there some nice ladies in this show.  When a girl like Aya is a distant, distant third on the hot girl rating...that's pretty significant.

I'm pretty sure that Maya Natsume and Chiaki will find their way onto my favorite anime females list. 

And Chiaki will stand out.  Maya fits in with the competent and athletic vibe that fills out the top part of the list, but Chiaki is so different.  She's rather gentle and so very sweet.  I liked Bob pretty much from the beginning.  But seeing him and Chiaki makes me like him more.  I understand why Bob would want to be strong for her.  She is so worth it.  Chiaki may find her way sneaking into the upper levels of the list...but then so could Maya.  They are both incredible. 

So far, I'm really enjoying the show.  As with all martial arts shows, you're not allowed to think (it will hurt you brain trying to make sense of it), but I like the characters.  None of them are bad...and like I said two of the girls are amazing. 

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May 14, 2009

My Upper Tier as it stands now:

I just wanted to list my favorite shows again.  Mostly because a couple dropped off the list since the first time I did it.

Rah Xephon- Rah Xephon still tops all with it's amazing relationships.  Wonderful characters and beautifully handled interactions (especially that between Ayato and Haruka) carry this show for me.

Revolutionary Girl Utena-  I like Utena.  Once again the characters stand strong.  Most of them are deep, complex people.  I also like the surreal elements that show up throughout. 

Crest of the Stars- There was some talk at some point of moving Fate Stay Night above this show.  But I can't do that until I give Crest another watch through.  I owe Crest that much for Lafiel's sake if nothing else.

Fate Stay Night- Like all of my top tier shows, the characters and relationships drive this one for me.  The beautiful but painful ending doesn't hurt either. 

Off the top:

8th MS Team-  Don't get me wrong, I still love 8th MS team, and I worry that I'm doing it a disservice.  I really enjoy the love story, but any time they're not together the show just falls a little short.  It certainly has its moments, but I don't think I can keep it in the top any longer.  I think the Middle tier is more clearly its place.

Infinite Ryvius- This show didn't survive the rewatch.  I still think it is a good show, but I didn't get far enough through it this second time to get to the points I really liked.  I know most of the characters are good enough to make it a very enjoyable show, but most of them really don't start that way.  I'll probably give it another shot, but for now it probably stands below some other shows that were in my middle tier when I first watched them.

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Finished: Eden's Bowy

I actually finished it awhile ago, I just never bothered to put this post up.

Middle Tier: I was almost tempted to put this in my upper tier.  But I think ultimately I just prefer more serious anime, and this just doesn't make the cut.  Don't get me wrong, the show is a lot of fun.  And it dips it's hand into more serious waters, without the laughably inept moments that other lighthearted shows usually have when they try for a serious tone.  At the same time, it doesn't quite reach the point where those moments have the force that they should. 

I guess the main reason I can't get behind this show as a top tier show (other than it just not being serious enough to reach those heights for me) is the main character.  Sure, he's amusing enough, but so are most of the other characters.  But he's just so very inept and clueless most of the time.  Exceedingly so.  He's not Shinji Ikari's level of whiny loser; he actually does buckle down and try.  And he does have a much better attitude than a lot of loser main characters, but most of the times when things get rough he only seems to get out of it because of his natural power as a god hunter or because one of the other more competent characters intervenes. 

Update:  Um, weird...I actually posted this one before my re-list of my top tier shows.  Wonder why it shaped out this way.

Update again:  And now they switch back around...hmm...

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April 27, 2009

Votes

In Don's most recent poll I had to vote Rin, Teletha, and Naomi since they were all nominated by me.  Spoor just missed.  A shame she wasn't in the previous rounds where I had votes to spare.

Update- And with only one vote in the final round, it has to be Lafiel.

I'll just have to hope Rin and Tessa get enough votes from others to give them a good score without me. 

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April 05, 2009

...but the rant continues

My bitching about the end of Gilgamesh was just paused, not stopped.  I had to go to bed for work. 

Once again, spoilers follow.
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Finished: Gilgamesh

Bottom Tier.  Not because it is really a bad show throughout but because it is the worst assfuck of an ending I think I've ever seen.  The ending to this is worse than that of Gasaraki, Knight Hunters, and Evangelion mixed together and vomited on.  My freaking God.  If you tried, I didn't think you could ass up an ending this bad. 

Spoilers to follow:
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March 16, 2009

Finished: Divergence Eve

Middle tier show.  Nothing too outstanding.  It has its moments (mostly involving Lyar), but the negatives are too significant.  I'm just not a big fan overall. 

I had another idea for a post in mind where I would examine the character designs, but that was just too pervy.  Suffice to say that I think Lyar is the only one of the girls who I didn't look at during the course of the show and think, 'she would look better with more reasonably sized breasts.'

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February 21, 2009

Finished Two more shows:

Middle Tier:  Hellsing- I liked Hellsing.  It wasn't a great show, but it was a good one.  It put together a handful of interesting characters, and put them against reasonably competent enemies, and kept me entertained the whole way through.

Bottom Tier- Bastard!!-  I loved the hell out of Bastard.  It was just so much fun.  But that is because Bastard is so clearly in the so bad it is good territory.  Everything was horrible--but the good kind of horrible.  From the main character's name being Dark Schneider (obviously Rob Schneider's cousin...even though they don't look alike, or sound alike, and Dark Schneider is clearly funnier), to the nonsense spells (Wait so you call on the power of fire to cast Venom...which has nothing to do with either fire or venom?  The ultimate attack spell Harrowing is cast three times and kills a grand total of...no one.).  Dark Schneider has a horrible voice in both Japanese and English so we just watched the English version and just rolled with it (and it is hilarious).  Oh, and the four Lords of Havoc seem to be naturally drawn to cliff faces.  And let's not forget that the castles of note are clearly named after rock bands Iron Maydon (Iron Maiden), Judas (Priest), Whiteos-Neiki (White Snake), Meta-Ricana (Metallica). 

Making this more amusing, I find out this is actually the case in the original Japanese manga, and the names were changed for the American release to prevent law suits.  Nice going guys, you manged to change it, but still keep it so that people can still tell what they were originally.  I wish you would have done a better job on the spells.  I didn't even realize Harrowing was Helloween.  Megadeth as Megadeath was an easy one though.

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February 01, 2009

RahXephon Dub

I was watching RahXephon again.  I'm through the first three discs.  And I'm sure again that it is still my favorite anime.

But I noticed something strange.  I actually like the dub.  Usually I watch the dub either because I just don't bother to change it, or I'm watching with my roommates who seldom watch the shows subtitled.  But in this particular case I started watching it in Japanese then switched back to the dub.  This has got to be ADV's best.  That sounds like damning with faint praise, but I actually mean it as a good thing.  Sure, it has all of the same voice actors as all ADV shows, but the casting just seems better than normal, their voices fit the characters better, or they deliver their lines better.  I don't listen to the characters and think about how they sound just like someone else in some other show.  Obviously I recognize the voices, but I don't find myself dwelling on it as I do when I watch most ADV shows. 

I don't actually know if the dub is better than the Japanese language version.  The Japanese language version might well be better.  But I'm such a fan of the dub that I don't feel the urge to find out. 

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January 13, 2009

Divergence Eve and Last Exile

Well, I got Divergence Eve and the Misaki Chronicles with the Best Buy gift card I got on Christmas...and I don't know.  I'm one disc in and, well, I know I'm going to continue, but I'm in no hurry to do so.  Yeah, I knew about the over the top breast size (why every character?) going in.  And though irritating (why every character?), what I'm finding even more jarring is the downright bad CG.  I tend to dislike outright CG in anime to begin with, most of the time it is bad, and too jarring, and the CG here is no exception.  It's downright abysmmal.  I know I won't give up on the series.  After all, I plowed my way through Evangelion and Knight Hunters so I can get through this.  I just hope it picks up soon...and cuts down on the CG. 

On the other hand, I hope my roommates and I spend some time doing something other than playing games at some point so we can finish Last Exile.  It was an interesting show that I'm hoping to finish.

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December 20, 2008

Anime Females

I keep mentioning my favorite anime females.  Utena, Lafiel and everyone.  Here's the full list as it stands.  Since, I've already made it clear who the top ones are, there's no point building up.  Besides, this list is easier when I start at the top and work my way down.  The list only grows.  So new ladies will simply be crammed into their appropriate places. 

1.  Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena)-  The total package.  Pretty, athletic, reasonably smart, capable, and fun.  There is an unshakable core of nobility and honor to her that makes her really incredible. 

2.  Lafiel (Crest/Banner of the Stars)-  Many of the same qualities as Utena, but she also brings a greater edge because she seems to have more of an attitude to her.  Still falls just a little flatter overall...because well...to me Utena is just one of the top anime hotties.

3. Rin Tosaka (Fate Stay Night)-  Once again she shares many of the qualities of the top two.  Good deep character; she plays at being tougher than she ultimately is...though she's certainly holds her own.  Like the other two, she is intelligent, and capable.  And she is one of the few that surpasses Utena in the looks department.  Still, ultimately she still falls just short of the others...and I can't really explain why.

4. Naomi Armitage (Armitage the Third Poly Matrix)- Competence, attitude, and looks.  Note this applies only to the Poly Matrix Armitage.  In Dual Matrix, they changed the art style too much (and the English voice actors) and I was no longer a fan. 

5. Ryoko (Tenchi)-  Just awesome.   In many ways, she's the only one in the show that you can see how deeply she cares for Tenchi (because I'm pretty sure she's the only one who does).  As to why she's on the list: attitude, energy, bad-assedry...and not a bad body. 

6. Saber (Fate Stay Night)-  Back to those same qualities.  Maybe losing some to the others because she is too rigid and unbending when it comes to her honor.  It's a good thing to have, but at this level it detracts from her humanity a bit, which is why she falls this low (though I love, love the scene with the stuffed lion...).

7. Teletha Testarossa (Full Metal Panic)-  Okay...this is a hottie pick.  Sure, I like Tessa, but she's lacking compared to the others...except when it comes to looks.  But she loses to no one, not even Rin or Saber there in my eyes.  A lot of guys look at Chidori, but I prefer Tessa.  Not only is she more attractive (once again: to me), she's not a freaking bitch.  By and large, she keeps herself composed, but other times she gets out of her depth which keeps her human.  Maybe a little too prone to make a fool of herself (at least in dealing with Sagara).  Overall I'm just a fan. 

By the way, the 4-7 spots are really tightly packed and these ladies can shift between these spots based upon any random whim of mine.  The first three are pretty well entrenched after that it gets iffy.

8. Lina Inverse (Slayers)-  Almost all attitude and competence here.  She doesn't match any of the others in looks, but no one is more competent or has more of an attitude than she does.  That counts for a lot. 

Not rated on account of being a kid: Ruri Hoshino:  Yeah, but if she were a few years older she would shoot up the list.  One of my favorite characters ever, while technically a female, her age prevents her from being anywhere on a list where looks weighs so heavily. 

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December 12, 2008

Xam'd

I hope it comes out on DVD at some point fairly soon.  My roommate rented the first few (wholly overpriced) episodes from the PlayStation Network, and it was pretty good, from what I saw.  I hope it hits DVD at some point so I can finish watching it. 

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