Media Months in Review – May – October 2015 – Television and Film

Still catching up. November and December will be together. Still have games and anime to catch up on, aside from anime films, which are here. Quite a few films, more than I thought I watched, and I didn’t care too much for most, but I did for a few, so let’s go through it.

Movies:

When Marnie Was There / Omoide no Marnie - Meeting Marnie

When Marnie Was There + Rewatch – Yes, I actually watched it twice during this time period, once in May, and again in November. This is my 2nd favourite Studio Ghibli film from the last two decades (accounting for the fact I haven’t watched a couple of the Takahata films), with the favourite one being Princess Mononoke. This is a perfect capstone for Studio Ghibli, or at least to the Miyazaki style of movie-making. It’s small and heart-felt and magical. I wrote a bigger editorial about it that is heavily spoilerific, but I strongly recommend this film to anyone and everyone, of every age. I do recommend the sub strongly here – the dub acting is fine, but it completely changes the nature of the thing. 9/10.

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Media Month in Review – May-October 2015 – Books (And Manga/LNs)

I had the May post in draft for a long while, then I’ve been busy since, so let’s have a several months’ worth of wrap-up again. Only books this time, cause writing it took far too long as is, and I’ve read so much recently that it deserves its own space.

Books/Comics:

The Windup Girl - Paolo BacigalupiThe Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi – This book had a better starting position than many other near-future sci-fi books I’ve read simply because the culture it describes is already “ever so slightly alien” to me in its present form. I don’t know a whole lot about many South-East Asian countries, let alone about their daily lives. Thai near-future sci-fi, food shortages, a bevvy of points of view. This was a well-written book. It wasn’t really about the sci-fi and more about the lived-in experience, which the book got across very well, including the rising tensions, the terror of riots, and other such “fun stuff”. It truly did feel like peering into another fully-formed culture. Though Thailand and not Vietnam, it did remind me of some media revolving around the Vietnam War, in terms of atmosphere, that tense “peace” at times.

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Media Month in Review – April 2015

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. Highlights this month: Ready Player One, Trigun Maximum, Dead Leaves, Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Dungeon of the Endless, and Netflix’s Daredevil.

Books/Comics:

Ready Player One

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline – This book was a lot of fun. An adventure story that is told mostly within the game-world and a bit in the real world. Made me think ever so slightly of Cory Doctorow’s For The Win with its take against the dystopic nature of rampant capitalism, but this one feels like the main attraction is the adventure tale. The build-up is the best part, and everything once things get “serious” feels a bit rushed, and not as well-written. It was eminently readable and enjoyable, especially to a child of the 80s such as myself who could smile at many of the references, but I don’t feel not knowing what gets referenced will hinder enjoyment much. I did find the romantic part of the story to be not very much “told”, but it also made me think of first loves and being a teenager, so I guess it worked.

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Media Month in Review – March 2015

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. Highlights this month: Pillars of Eternity kickstarter delivered, Sherlock and The Blacklist, anime of the heaviest and least-heavy sorts.

Movies:

Big Hero 6 - Baymax and Hiro - Non huggable armour

Big Hero 6 – This movie sort of exemplifies the problem I’ve had with the third Harry Potter film. I really liked the book, but the film sort of ticked all the plot-boxes, without actually spending any time on characterization. Likewise, this film ticked all the “Feel good” boxes, the group support, the don’t give into the darkness, believe in yourself, etc. It had beautiful vistas, some good action sequences, and a couple of emotional scenes, but again, everything according to the standardized mix. The film was empty calories, even if enjoyable, in a standardized enjoyment way.

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Media Months in Review – September 2014 – February 2015 – Games and Books

The intention is to post these monthly. Since I haven’t posted these in a while though, I’m going to split the last half year’s media consumption post into several parts. This one will focus on games(video games, board games, card games), and books (also manga and comics). I’ll give a paragraph or so for every show I have what to say of.

Video Games:

Diablo 3 4 Furnaces

Diablo 3 is all about the loot. Taken during patch 2.1.1, those 4 Furnaces, damn.

Diablo 3 – The big elephant in the room. I’ve spent over 800 hours on the game over the recent months. It had consumed me, at least for the first 2-3 months, where every single free moment of my time was spent on it. I barely watched anime, even. The drive for loot was strong. I’m now slowly winding down my time with it. Both because the gameplay isn’t all that good, and because I realize the only goal you play it for is to get items that make you faster at obtaining items. The “end-game” content is truly lacking, and the only thing worse than the end-game content is pre-end-game content, which just feels bad. Though the basic leveling in terms of levels feels good.

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Media Months in Review – September 2014 – February 2015 – Film and Television

The intention is to post these monthly. Since I haven’t posted these in a while though, I’m going to split the last half year’s media consumption post into several parts. This one will focus on films (anime and otherwise), and western television series. I’ll give a paragraph or so for every show I have what to say of.

Movies:

The-Hobbit-Battle-5-Armies

Many armies. Much battles. Wow.

The Hobbit 3: The Battle of the Five Armies – I’ve had issues with the pacing and scope of The Hobbit from the first movie, where much of what made Lord of the Ring adaptation a good one (cutting material to tighten things up) was actually handled in the opposite manner, and additional material was added. Furthermore, The Hobbit, as a novel, was about a single character’s journey, whereas the movie adaptation made him to be but a small part of a larger tale. Nowhere was this more apparent than this film.

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Media Months in Review – September 2014 – February 2015 – Anime

The intention is to post these monthly. Since I haven’t posted these in a while though, I’m going to split the last half year’s media consumption post into several parts. This one will focus on anime. I’ll give a paragraph or so for every show I have what to say of.

Hyouka Anime - Chitanda Eru is curious

Hyouka episodes 1-18 (+OVA): There will be a lengthier post on this once it’s done. Hyouka is told in arcs, and each of them covers a mystery Oreki Houtarou, a cynical and lazy high schoolers and his friends tackle. But as with most so-called mystery shows, the focus is on something else, on human interactions. Small interactions between people happen to be what the studio behind the show, Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) is best at, and this is quite a good show. There are a couple things more this show is about, but you’ll have to wait for my post about it. The first arc is the strongest, while the second is considerably weaker.

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