Sunday, September 18, 2016

[Ended] Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World - Great from Start to Finish

Pros: Plot. Story. Characters.
-One of the strongest growth arcs for a main character I've seen yet. Not the strongest, but up there.
-A story that just doesn't quit. That first episode is twice as long for a reason, it's just about the only slow point of the show. If something doesn't seem like it's interesting at the moment, you can be sure it will be important later.
-A strong over-arching plot, that is at it's heart quite simple, which is good. Some more proof that you don't need a plot as enigmatic as blackhole physics for it to be powerful.

Cons: Slow start, a bit of a quiet ending compared to the rest of the show.
-That first episode is twice as long, and while it never drags anything, compared to the rest of the show it's much slower and doesn't compare. Makes it hard to come up with ways to explain to a prospective viewer, 'No, Really! Sit with it, it gets amazing later!'. Be honest, how many times have you heard that from a raving fan and just rolled your eyes?
-The ending is good. But the show was such a wild roller coaster, that such a simple ending feels ... quaint. More on this later.

My Opinion: Fan-fucking-tastic. A straight up:

for this one, hands down. A fine model of excelling. I got really invested in this show, and the week long wait has never hurt so bad, because this show fucking loves its cliffhangers. Really loves them. Likes sticking them into your heart and twiiisting that knife. Sometimes literally.
Now, about that ending. People are clamoring about how there will be a next season, but when aren't fans saying there will be another season after their favorite show ends? That doesn't mean much. On the other hand, it seems that the anime has only covered part of the original light novel material, which is a doubly good sign. One, because there is more for them to cover; Two, the studio animating the show didn't decide to wing it, or over-extend themselves past the source material. That's good taste in my book, any day.
More importantly though. If a second season never comes, which has happened before:
This show will still be amazing.
That is why I have confidence in a second season, because the studio didn't leaving the show with an open ended finale. Certainly, there are a ton of extra questions to be asked, and some unanswered riddles and reveals, but everything that was relevant to the story of this season is completed by the ending, and that is so important to me. I have never had good luck trying to push a show that ends unfinished, expecting to make a next season, that never came.

Impartial Opinion: It is fantasy at the end of the day. Down to earth, dark as a moonless midnight fantasy at times, but still...very much fantasy. For some people, that just doesn't sit well. I actually understand that, mostly because if you've noticed anything at all about me by this point, you should know that I'm a retard when it comes to giving shows a chance to impress me. Even after the fiftieth dagger in the heart. " gets...better later...? I've come...this far....*Stab*."
So I've seen what I imagine they have seen, shows that use fantasy as an excuse to hand-wave away any sense of intelligence, cohesion, or rationality what-so-ever, and just fall to pieces like so much sand leaking from the hour glass, as time runs on. This show doesn't have that problem, it details and weaves things together amazingly.

Beyond that, this show is particularly remarkable for not over-playing any of its elements. It has mystery, drama, action, and love. But it never overextends any of them beyond their welcome. I also believe this show, or perhaps animation studio, has an amazing knack for setting up very poignant scenes. The kinds of scenes you want to make a gif out of, but you know it would never be as impressive out of context.

Go. Watch. This. Show.

Friday, September 2, 2016

[New][July 2016] The Disastrous Life of Saiki K

Last Seen:
'Episode' 1

Summary: Saiki Kusuo has a wide array of superpowers at his command, and he can use them to get whatever he wants. This might sound awesome, but in Kusuo's experience, superpowers are not all they're cracked up to be. He knows everything that people are thinking. Everything. No surprises, no secrets, no normal human experiences. Everything comes so easily to him because of his powers, he doesn't get to experience any of the struggle, or the triumph, other people do. He’s kept his powers in check since childhood, but with the temptations of high school now on his mind, he’s bending the rules, all in the pursuit of a normal life.

First Impression: Absolutely hilarious.

My Opinion: This is what Mob Psycho 100 would have been if the emphasis had been on comedy, and they had just thrown the plot out the window. As far as I can tell with my absolute lack of willingness to do research, the show airs one "episode", or Special, as Funimation labels them, at a time, and then after five of them they get packed into an Episode proper. So you can either watch it one story at a time, or wait for five of them to be bundled into your standard ~20 min length.
For me, the show is an absolute joy. The scene where he's trying to get away from Kokomi Teruhashi and his 'friend' Riki Nendou shows up...ohh, my lungs.
I highly recommend this show for its pure comedy gold content. Check it out.

[New][July 2016] Momokuri

Last Seen: Episode 16

Summary: Yuki Kurihara, a second year high school student, falls in love with Shinya Momotsuki, who is a year younger than her. She decides she will confess to him after she takes a hundred hidden camera pictures of him for her "Momo-kun Photo Collection", and then leaves him a love letter and confesses. He accepts, and the two of them start to date, but Kurihara still continues to take hidden camera photos and collect the things he touches, and she's acting kind of weird, despite her friends constant attempts to remind her she's being creepy.

First Impression: Comedy. All of the comedy. Maybe this is what they call a Romantic Comedy? Not sure, I'm laughing too hard at her creeping on the other main character.

My Opinion: This show is just straight up good comedy fun. Grant, the concept may creep you and a lot of other people out, but I have a high bar set that things have to jump to creep me out so it's not much of a point for me. Interestingly enough, I actually find the romance in this show quite intriguing as well. A lot of that has to do with the fact that aside from Kurihara creeping on Shinya, she actually does just really like him, even though the reason she first started to like him was just that he was really cute despite being a guy. Conversely, Shinya constantly worries about being short, being cute, and overall just not being very manly. Starting to date Kurihara doesn't help that any, because she constantly calls him cute, and it just makes him want to prove to her all the more that he is actually a man after all. When he does so, it catches her completely off guard, even more so because she spent so much time not just stalking him, but studying everything about him, likes, dislikes, and all. All before she even confessed to him.

So quite aside from the whole creeping thing being hilarious, it is quite enjoyable to watch these two characters interacting with each other. There is still the usual 'lovey-dovey' sort of atmosphere around them, but it's not quite so hugely annoying and overbearing as it usually is because of the interactions between the two, and Kurihara's creeping nature, which she succinctly summarized as:

"I want to know everything about the person I love! Wouldn't you? It's perfectly normal to want that, right?"
You can go ahead and put 'everything' in Italics, bold, and an underline if you want, because that's just about how obsessive she is with it. So yes, while I won't put a recommended tag on it, because I know the creeping thing may bug some people, I'm greatly enjoying the series so far, so
I'd say it's worth your time to try it.

In other news, isn't great? Specifically for always having the air date for shows? There's a small pile of things that every now and then I wish I had asked The Evil Cat about when I started subbing here, like where he got information about when shows first aired for his month-year tags. I've just been scrapping together websites to provide me with such info and improvising. So far so good!
[Aside end]

Thursday, September 1, 2016

High Speed Status Update: Lazy is Bad

Right! So. Missed the monthly posting like I prefer to keep up with here, but going to try and skim over everything to make up for it. Mostly it's just that I forgot to write something for here, but the rest of it is that nothing amazingly spectacular has occurred that made me just want to jabber about it. Well, besides Re:Zero, but I make a point of not writing things until the end about a show that has me as hyped as this. No body wants to hear the incoherent ramblings of a person suffering from a Fanatical Fan Frenzy.

From the top then (and by top I mean in no particular order whatsoever):

Jojo, Diamond is Unbreakable: It's more Jojo's Bizarre Adventures. You know the drill by now, and nothing special would change anyone's mind at this point to cause a sudden opinion shift. No, there hasn't been a post about this in the blog, but whatever, I'll just cover everything I'm currently watching.

Taboo Tattoo: I really enjoyed the first 2 or 3 episodes, but the more they play, the more...apathetic I become about this show. I'm not specifically sure why. Oh wait, I know a huge contributing factor; Those stupid Erotic and Comedic moments they salt and pepper the show in until you couldn't get within a mile of it without sneezing your brains out. Literally and figuratively. All of the right elements are there for this to be a good show, but for whatever reason, they had no confidence in playing their cards straight and serious, so everything just comes off a bit dull. Not even the Dramatic Twist in the last episode or two.

Mob Psycho 100: This show went from, "mm it's 'kay", to "MORE I WANT MORE". Most of that is that I was only partly right about Arataka. I was correct that he would continue to be a joyous source of comedy as he tried to keep his cover. I was incorrect, that he would mainly be a feature as only trying to lie his way through keeping Mob working for him. He's actually a really strongly built character in the show, and, hilariously enough since he is a con man, he often plays the Wise Man for Mob and now maybe other characters as well. I also fricking loved it when one of his 'clients' showed up, and he had a small fit about a previous con man they had seen, not doing it right. I can't say more than that without spoiling it, but you all should definitely be watching this show, it's great for more than just pure comedy. It really does feel like One Punch Man's spirit reincarnated in an entirely different setting. It really feels like the author did this to try innovating with the core idea in a new setting, rather than just to cash in on the hype train.

Rewrite: A bunch of people on several sites called it, and I failed to listen. This show is flopping around like a fish out of water, and I'm just sitting here, wishing I hadn't put the fish hook of my time investment in its mouth. I'm going to finish it out, because there's nothing explicitly horrible about it, it's feels hugely unpolished and mediocre. Not unpolished like Taboo is, that feels like effort was being made, just in the wrong direction. Rewrite just feels like someone lost a lot of motivation very early on. Maybe that's just a by-product of it being a Visual Novel adaptation, and it's simply 'a bad adaptation', but I don't have a lot of experience with shows adapted from visual novels, on account of the fact the only one I recall ever consuming was the first episode of World End Economica, and being in too much pain to start the second episode yet despite having owned it for a year. So I can't really say anything about what is and is not a good adaptation from a visual novel, and what the usual symptoms of a bad adaptation are.
(I really love Isuna Hasakuras works, btw. Bought all the Light Novels of Spice and Wolf)
[Aside end]
Amanchu: This show is just absolutely delightful. Light-hearted, easygoing, and absolutely not serious. Very much a pure slice of life show, and one that is doing everything right. If you don't really like Slice of Life, I don't know that this would change your mind at all, but otherwise if you need something to just quietly sigh in happiness, laugh light-heartedly, or just sit down and unwind after a bad day, this show may do wonders for you. It's great comedy, and light-hearted fun with a cast of slightly kooky characters interacting with each other around a solid core concept. They want to do the divin', and one of them doesn't really know squat, so it goes slow as it brings her up to speed. The core of the show isn't the diving, it's the diving facilitating the characters interacting with each other. So, if you immediately decide you don't like one of the main characters, you probably won't enjoy the show that well, since as far as I can tell, the characters are the main draw for the show.

Orange: I haven't watched past the first episode. Let's just say this one failed to motivate me, but it hasn't put me off either.
(almost impossible for a show to put me off in just one me, that's not a good trait)
I'll get around to it eventually.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K: I haven't made a post about this show either, mostly because it caught me off guard with its layout. It's actually a ton of short-short shows, but then after a few of them, it bundles them all together and calls it an episode. I wasn't sure at first if this was actually a show, or just a series of OVAs. Now that I know for sure it's ongoing, and not just a small finite amount of material, I'll be making a post proper soon. Suffice to say, this show is like the twin of Mob Psycho 100, only without the serious tone to hold together a long reaching plot. It's layout is basically, here's a godlike powerful psychic, here's a situation, watch what happens. Then repeat. Maybe that's not for everyone, but I'm laughing like crazy, and I love it. I recommend this, easy.

Momokuri: (oh shit. Did I not make a post about this one?...right, more work to do.)
Weird. But funny. Sometimes cute. Mostly just weird and creepy. There's a phrase that gets passed around, based on two movie references, something about a guy holding a radio outside a girls window, and "now picture that guy as _____(character) from _____(movie), and suddenly that's not romantic anymore, and you have a call to the police." The basic gist being that the situation is dependent on whether or not the character in question is good looking. Well, Momokuri is the essence of what that little quip is trying to say, exponentially multiplied. I find it absolutely hilarious, as the show continues to try and insist, "ah, no, she's not completely crazy, see? Look! She has restraint, she's just eccentric." It's a lovely study in psychology for me, but hey, maybe most other people would just find it completely creepy. I urge you all to at least try a few episodes, just to see how you react. Maybe you'll find it as hilarious as I do. Aside from that, all the show really has going for it is a surprisingly straight relationship between the two main characters, and a whole lot of cutesy'ness going around by the bucketful.

Twin Star Exorcists: This show escalated fast in the last handful of episodes. At first, it was just a cheesy setting for two main characters being lumped together, with a poorly strung up reason for them to be smashing up some evil. As it turns out, everything fleshes out wonderfully as they start exploring those two characters histories, backgrounds, and motivations. I straight up recommend this show, barring the catch that you don't absolutely hate the Shounen Genre. I don't know that the show expressly fits into the Shounen genre, as when I think of that genre I usually think of settings and characters that are immensely more dumbed down than they are in this show. Like, One Piece for instance. Sure, a lot of cool and dramatic things happen a lot, but in essence, what you're there for is to watch fantastic fights set to a decent story and plot, that mostly exists just to create more fantastic fights. Twin Star feels a bit more serious about itself than that, as it has some torturously human moments. Just to clarify, by 'Human' I mean "gut-wrenching darkside of humanity", Human. It's just that the show still feels very Shounen'esque. Maybe it's the flashy Technique Name Screens. *shrug*
Regardless, I still highly recommend this show. It gets really good once it starts rolling, and it wasn't bad to start with, just not as eye-catching.

annnnnd that's about it for now, folks. I hope that proved slightly useful for you all, I'll get back to proper posts, post-haste. (hurr hurr hurr).
Just writing this made me realize I have two of them to write that I should have done a long while ago.