Media Month in Review – January 2014

I’ve been all sorts of busy and pre-occupied this month, which explains the relative dearth of movies watched, as well as all the editorials I said I’ll write and hadn’t. I’ll also use this entry to give a sentence or so on each of the currently airing anime I’ve watched, and there’d been a metric ton of those.

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

The Hobbit the desolation of Smaug

Movies:

  • The Hobbit part 2: The Desolation of Smaug – Definitely a film you’re going to enjoy more if you don’t remember The Hobbit as clearly as I do (though it’s been roughly two decades since I’ve last read it). It’s a fun film, with lots of “fun” moments, especially ones designed to wink at and draw people who liked the Lord of the Rings films, but I really feel as if the titular hobbit had been relegated to an unimportant role. A lot happens in this film, this lengthy film, yet afterwards it feels like nearly nothing of import did.Smaug is well done, a feat of CGI. I liked his acting, my friend didn’t, since he was a bit too smug and cold, and as he said, he seemed like a Bondian villain. That’s exactly what I expected him to be like, myself.

Anime:

  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure episodes 6-8 – So much for hopefully finishing it the week I started it ;) It’s still fun, just can’t marathon it.
  • White Album 2 episodes 6-13 – Done with the show, it just didn’t grab me all that much :-/ The characters felt a bit flimsy, the conflicts felt a bit flimsy, some of the tears and how everyone kept blaming themselves and telling everyone else they’d been perfect just wearied me. I actually laughed at a certain sequence when a character began crying.
  • Ixion Saga DT episodes 1-2 – This is pretty hilarious. It’s someone getting sucked into a fantasy game, and everything here is a parody/joke. DT stands for “virgin”, the main enemy is called “ED” for erectile dysfunction… it’s actually quite a funny show.
  • And for the currently running shows: Links will link to my episodic notes page for the relevant show when they exist. Organized the show alphabetically and gave it a score for where the show is currently.
    • Buddy Complex 1-4 – Standard Sunrise mecha show. Two sides, morally grey, overcoming inhibitions and becoming buddies. An easy, light entertainment. C+.
    • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren 1-4 – 2nd season, focuses heavily on the comedy rather than the relationship up until now. I like the characters, and I like the show. A+.
    • D-Frag 1-2 – Standard comedy, situation is a bit flimsy, art’s a bit flimsy, but the actors are mostly top notch. Put on hold. C.
    • Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon S2 1-3 – It’s like we never left off. Hachiken is still a likeable dunce, the cast is still amusing, and we still learn more than we ever wanted to know about livestock. A.
    • Hamatora 1-2 – A flashy show. If you want action, there’s not enough here, the mystery is let down by a ridiculous villain introduction and how everything ties together, and any thematic exploration is undone by spewing cool lines just to be cool. A nice mix that doesn’t gel. C-.
    • Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha 1-3 – It’s a RomCom? It’s a feel good show? It’s full of nice characters, and supernatural antics which force them to face their decisions rather than avoid them. I like it. B+.
    • Kill la Kill 13-16 – These episodes have probably been the most interesting episodes in the show, bar the early ones. Still a spectacle, still hard to know where it’s going, but finally the pieces are all set. A-/B++.
    • The Pilot’s Love Song / Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta 1-4 – A drama story, coupled with ye olde teenager romance/military training. The roots of drama feel like they’d be effective though. Show’s coasting much on promise and flashbacks at this point. B.
    • Log Horizon 14-17 – The show had really been pulling its weight lately, after some really weak episodes from episodes 6-13 or so. We finally get to see some real diplomacy, and get to see how a game would work were it made into a real world – one that had been a game beforehand. A–.
    • Mahou Sensou / Magical Warfare 1 – Angsty teenagers run from home and gain powers, some of them manifest by making boobs grow larger. Running off to another world. Meh. C.
    • Nagi no Asukara 14-17 – The last few episodes had been exceptionally strong. We still get “Breather” moments now and then, and the type of the drama had never changed, but well, it’s a solid drama story. A.
    • Nisekoi 1-3 – It’s your bog-standard RomCom SitCom. It also has Studio Shaft’s unique visual style. I like it, but if you’ve watched more than 3-4 RomComs, then you’re not going to be surprised by anything. B.
    • Nobunaga the Fool 1 – Bad acting by good actors, bad CGI, plot seems to have everything and the kitchen sink without seeming fun. I wanted this to be good, and kept following what people said about it to see if I should pick it up around now (with 5 episodes out), but seems not. C-.
    • Nobunagun 1-4 – Crazy fun, crazy people. This is an unapologetic action romp, which suffers when action or the titular Nobunagun (Oda Nobunaga made manifest through a modern Japanese teenager girl) are off screen. But when it’s got its mojo on, it’s on! B+.
    • Noragami 1-4 – I think this show would’ve worked better for me had I marathoned it, or read it as a manga. We spend a lot of time just spending time with the cast, not really expanding our knowledge of the world or cast considerably (but keep introducing side characters). It also doesn’t have enough action to merit being a proper action show. Seems episode 6 finally truly will introduce the main plot. B-.
    • Pupa 1-4 – This show is terrible. We only watch it cause it’s 3 minutes a week. Cannibalistic brother and sister, terrible art, terrible censorship, no real plot… it’s bad. F.
    • Pupipo 3-5 – A short with an actual story. Some moments are touching, and the metaphysics draw me. Wish it hadn’t been a short, actually. A-.
    • Samurai Flamenco 12 – Yeah, I’m several episodes behind. Thursday had been killing me. It’s more than a bit crazy, and the animation is suffering. Need to see how the authors keep it about the core story, about characters. B+/A-.
    • Sekai Seifuku  Bouryaku no Zvezda / World Conquest – Zvezda Plot 1-3 – Such an interesting show. Many of solid comedy elements, but all played straight. Very interesting thematic discussions. I wonder if/where they’ll go. A-.
    • Space Dandy 1 – I’ve only watched one episode, yes. It’s very episodic, very much like a western cartoon from the 80s. Just nothing is propelling me to keep watching it? It’s not bad, but it’s just there. B.
    • Tokyo Ravens 13-16 – Action, solid action! We get to see people really doing things, at long last. The show is still not the best or most exciting, it’s just simple popcorn, but I stuck with it thus far. B–?
    • Tonari no Seki-kun 1-3 – Short skits. 7 minutes, fun, mindless. Some of them drag on for me, it’s not really my kind of show, but each sequence is just about how much I can take at a time, so it works. B.
    • Witch Craft Works 1 – Throwing us into the middle of nonsense, no real acting, seems entirely cliched, and not very interesting. I might pick it up at some point. On hold. And no, just making the lead male and female reversed doesn’t really do much, especially if it seems like a harem. C.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve watched 70 full length episodes and 10 shorts this month, compared to 88 and 7 last month. Wrote about more of them, so actually took more time.

Television:

Nothing this month.

Books:

  • 1984, by George Orwell Last third done- Good? Yes. Great? Hmmm. It was certainly a very thought provoking read, and made me go “Hm, that reminds me of X, and now I want to think Y thoughts.” – Definitely a meaty read. I don’t really have more to say about it as a whole, if anything I’d need to break it down and focus on specific aspects.
  • The Kestrel, by Lloyd Alexander – Continues last month’s Westmark, this is the 2nd book in the Westmark trilogy. This time we deal with the evils of war, and how good men can do bad things, and losing yourself. Considering this is aimed at young readers, this is some heavy stuff. The characters are interesting, and it’s charming to see how two kids from the boonies perceive war, from the tales they hear of it, and how different the real world actually is. Had to buy this book 2nd hand, and looks like the third book will require the same, alas.

Video Games:

  • Hearthstone – Played a few games. I can still enjoy a few games a week, but it’s lower priority now.
  • League of Legends – This takes more time and dedication, but it’s also more fulfilling. I didn’t play much, but am slowly easing my way back into this game.
  • Poker Night 2 – I play a tournament now and then, need to unlock the final achievement. That the game won’t advance unless focused is annoying, since the NPCs have these dialogues you can’t skip, and I’ve heard most of them a couple dozen times.
  • Full Mojo Rampage – Was on sale, picked it up. Just a cute little game. Still have to try the 2nd quest seriously, first quest usually won by having a “can’t heal for 10x hp” deal. Didn’t try all the characters yet, and the game is still in “Early Access Mode”, so there’ll be at least a third quest yet. It’s ok.
  • Kami – A small game, a puzzle. I open it every so often and just try to get perfect in 9 levels. It’s been taking me slightly longer in the advanced levels, and the “premium levels” are really hard. Has a really great music track that doesn’t play during the game itself, only in the menus, so located the MP3 in the game files and am happily listening to it.
  • Desktop Dungeons – Like some other games here, it’s just nice to pick a game every so often, you can just treat it as a puzzle, and try to reach success. Nice to play at short spurts when you’re bored.

Yup, busy month, need to clear my schedule of some stuff, including real life things, to be able to progress ahead. Winter doesn’t play well with my mood.

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2 comments on “Media Month in Review – January 2014

  1. Di-Dorval says:

    Hated the whole black arrow back story they added in the hobbit. They try to make an anti-climatic death in the book be epic and climatic in the movie and it ends up being super cheesy. Theres tons of more stuff that annoyed me but I don’t remember now.

    Other then the first episodes the first part of JoJo is a lot less fun then the second so theres that.

    And the first episode of Dandy was definitly the worse imo (so many bad puns). 4-5 were the strongest so you’ll probably end up liking the serie.

    • Guy says:

      Dunno, Space Dandy is episodic, and not exactly my thing, I only need so much nostalgia ;) I might try it once it’s done, one episode a day.

      Got to JoJo’s 2nd story, and yeah, so much better, or rather, so much more fun :)

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