Media Month in Review – March 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.

Movies:

How to Train Your Dragon

  • How to Train Your Dragon – Had this lying around for a while, and felt like watching more films recently, so gave it a go. Yes, I love cats, and that the main dragon is so very cat-like made me go “Awww!” – It’s a small and harmless little film. It only has one real character, and no real character growth anywhere. It’s mostly there for neat moments, for gag moments, and for ye olde “Be yourself, and you’ll change the world and win the girl” message. Take it or leave it.

  • Her – Spike Jonze’s film. It was a slower paced RomCom. That it was so very RomCom shouldn’t be surprising, because it’s been modeled to look that way. You could consider it to be a science-fiction film, but I don’t, not really – just take a girl, replace her with an AI, and that’s it. Towards the end there’d been about 2-3 minutes of how a relationship with an AI or transhuman would differ from one which we’re used to these days (or at least a long-term relationship), but aside from that it was the same.It was an interesting film.My enjoyment was more than a tad ruined by a very rude person who sat close by in the cinema, as I’ve watched the film :-/
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – This film wasn’t short by any means, and it ended with a very clear “To be continued”, and yet my issue is that for all its length, and all that happened in it, it all felt like build-up. I left the movie feeling nothing of real substance had occurred, which is weird.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica 1-2 (Beginnings & Eternal) – I’ve obtained the third film, and to mark the occasion I’ve watched the first two films, which I hadn’t yet. These two films are an adaptation of the series, and take about the same time – 4 hours, compared to 4 hours and 20 minutes over 13 episodes (sans the opening and ending songs). Should you watch the films over the series? Most definitely not. They are good, and cover more or less the same ground, and are even considerably prettier, but they still lose some content. The first film is two hours but rather than stand in for 6 episodes, attempts to stand in for about 8.5 episodes, while the second film actually takes longer than the episodes it intends to cover.I give the series somewhere between 9 and 10, and the first movie a high 8, and the second a low 8. They convey the story, they have most of the emotions there, but it just doesn’t build it as well as the series had. If you’ve watched the series, then sure, go ahead and watch them, especially the second one which expands a bit, and yet doesn’t convey Homura’s struggle nearly as well as that episode in the series did. Good, but not as good as the original version.

Anime:

  • Durarara!! – Complete (1-25 + episode 12.5) – I wanted to marathon a show, and while this took me longer than I wished (which was one or two evenings), I still went through it pretty quickly. This was a fun ride. This was a ride showing one all the energy and chaos of life. Many characters, all of them over the top, yet all of them oh so human. The second half was merely “very good” rather than exceptional, but this series is still highly recommended. Expect a write-up soon™.
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure episodes 23-26 – Finished the show! Fun, over the top! Same old! :P New season begins this week, and it should be even better. If you dislike things that are ridiculously and self-aware over-the-top in the style of B-movies, then you should avoid this series; otherwise you might enjoy it quite a bit.
  • Texhnolyze Episodes 4-5 – I really need to stop that if I watch a show “with” a club and fall behind I just tend to leave them and forget them. I should finalize the shows I’ve started without finishing before picking up new shows, but sometimes it’s just fun to pick something up and marathon it. Still very slow and methodical, but it finally feels as if the plot is beginning.
  • Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Yoku Wakaru Mahouka Episodes 1-3 – A series of 3 shorts, giving you information on the world of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic Academy) which is slated to begin this weekend. Considering just how much the books use infodumps and internal monologues, you might want to watch these to know what’s going on. Also, the first short tells you all you need to know about the atmosphere of the younger sister who loves her older brother…
  • Highschool DxD Episodes 1-2 – I’ve asked people what is the best ecchi/fan-service (sexually suggestive, not outright porn) anime show, in terms of plot and characters. Highschool DxD was the consensus answer, so I’m giving it a shot. Thus far it’s indeed a passable shounen story ala Shakugan no Shana, plus a lot of nipples and panty shots.
  • And for the currently running shows: Chu2koi Ren 9-12, Gin no Saji S2 5-11, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha 8-10, Kill la Kill 21-24, Koiuta 9-12, Log Horizon 22-25, Nagi no Asukara 22-25, Nisekoi 8-12, Pupipo! 12-13, Sekai Seifuku 8-12, and Tokyo Ravens 21-24.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve watched 75 full length episodes and 6 shorts this month, compared to 75 and 5 last month, along with a short film last month, but 2 full-length films this one. Most of the currently airing shows I’ve watched had been quite good, though a couple had some weak episodes. Catching up on Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon) certainly improved my outlook. Shouldn’t have let it slip. Now to catch up on Samurai Flamenco.

TV Series:

  • Gargoyles (Disney cartoon) Episodes 1-2 – Was on a nostalgia kick, decided to check it out, just for the hang of it. Might not keep going. The “good stuff” comes later I think, but eh, it was enough nostalgia :P

Books:

  • Mahouka Kokou no Rettousei (The Irregular at Magic School) Last 10% of book 1 up to the first quarter of book 12 – These books aren’t the best, to put it mildly. I actually think the anime adaptation might be better, because it’d cut out a lot of the crap out. The fan-translation of the books being not the best doesn’t help, but the source material is clearly mediocre in most ways. Read it if you really need more “Too cool for school” character with prose that keeps lingering on girls’ breasts and thighs, but I’m sure you could do much better. Expect a post this weekend.

Video Games:

  • One Finger Death Punch – Basically a rhythm game. Two buttons, and you must fight to kill enemies coming at you from either side. I actually like it a bunch, and it’s a good game to relax with. Just pop on a longer level or survival mood and drift into “The Zone”.
  • LUFTRAUSERS – I waffled on whether to get it or wait for a sale, so a friend got it for me. It had surpassed the “$1 per 1 hour of play makes a game more than worth it.” – I’ve played it for over 10 hours, a-yup. You can play it for a few minutes, or for an hour or two at a time. It’s just too cool hanging in the air, without gravity. I actually find the design quite ingenious in a certain way, and should post something a tad longer about it.
    I like it enough and it’s the perfect game on the go so I might pick it up for the PS Vita when it’s on a sale there.
  • The Unfinished Swan – Creative, beautiful, austere. An interesting “game”.
  • Final Fantasy X HD – After several hours, it feels the game might begin! Too many cutscenes, honestly. I want to play already! :p
  • Muramasa Rebirth – Most of the time for this game was spent on One Finger Death Punch, which was easier cause it’s on my computer. Played a bit.
  • Conception 2 Demo – A much worse Persona 4 Golden. Rekindled in me the urge to play P4G though. Good thing demos exist. Actually cancelled my pre-order.
  • Destiny of Spirits – This game is a freemium game. No real need to spend money, very little real incentive to do so. It’s on the Vita. There’s no real gameplay here and most of it is collecting and staring at your screen. It’s addictive as hell. I need to uninstall it, because all the time spent loading or waiting is time I could use on other, better things.

Actually a pretty busy month. A new anime season begins this week. I’m actually tempted, after reflecting on my Plan to Watch/play list to cut shows mercilessly and use the time to do other things. I mean, most shows each season can only hope to be passable, so why not delve into stuff that comes highly recommended and stands a better chance of being “great”? We’ll see how I do. If I don’t really write about most shows, it’d free some time up as well.

2 comments on “Media Month in Review – March 2014

  1. rikuo06 says:

    Ah yes, the ball is about to drop for those who didn’t watch the 3rd Madoka movie in theaters and managed to avoid the spoilers. I’m hoping it will revive some interesting discussion.

    I’m trying out the first volume of Mahouka Koukou. I also watched the introductory shorts to the anime. They were very telling in how the series probably plays out. Characters methodically made but generic. World shiny but uninspiring. I think No Game No Life will be more enjoyable.

    • Guy says:

      The third Madoka film sure was interesting. I managed to avoid all spoilers except “Lucifer Homura”, but I have some interesting thoughts on the whole thing. Hopefully I’ll have a post about it up for Monday.

      Yes, I think No Game, No Life will be one of the more “exciting” and “fun” shows of the season, but Mahouka will have some cool fights, at least.

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