Evangelion 3.33 – You Can (Not) Redo – Oh, How I Wish You Could!

This post will contain massive spoilers about this movie. Long story short? Extremely disappointing.

I’ve watched the Neon Genesis Evangelion series many times, I own it as a set of individual DVDs before they released a smaller box for all of them together. As such, I was very excited with the ending of the 2nd Rebuild of Evangelion movie, it was throwing us both off-course in what was happening, and  when it was happening. I expected we’ll get new content, unlike what we’ve seen in the anime – so after we went through 1.9 movies’ worth of old content we’d finally get new content!

Well, there’s an idiom where I live that says that as big your expectations, the disappointment are just as big, and it couldn’t be more true than what I think of this movie. Again, massive spoilers ahead. This won’t be a review, more my thoughts on the movie and thoughts arising after watching the movie. If you look for an actual review, you should look elsewhere – the goal here is to lead to an interesting conversation.

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Angel Beats! – It Could’ve Been Wonderful

angel-beats Angel Beats! started great. The hype-machine was in full force. Angel Beats was probably the anime with the most visibility this last season. But in the end, I don’t know how many people who did not watch it this season will even remember or speak of it in two years’ time. It could’ve been great. It wasn’t.

This series is about people who have died, reached a sort of a high-school purgatory, where they can live their lives as school-students. Otonashi, the main protagonist of the series wakes up without memories, dies to someone referred to as “Angel”(Tenshi), and is pressed into the “Rebels Against Gods” (The “SSS Brigade”). You see, if you live your life as a good school student, you disappear. The members of the brigade, having suffered horrible lives, or deaths they cannot accept, cannot accept the will of God (though it’s not really clear how not going to the next life is going to help… just because it’s doing the opposite of what God wants?).

(This is a “Things I Like” post, and as such covers more my thoughts, and is less focused as an actual bona fide review. There will be a LOT of spoilers in this post.) Continue reading

Figure Friday – August 28th-September 3rd in Review.

Ok, this is the post for the figures and news of the week running from the 28th of August to the 3rd of September. It is a tad late, I do realize. That week had more than its share of news, but slightly fewer figures, so we only have “Four Hot” and “Four Not”. Last week’s post will go up Monday or Tuesday.

And as for this being Monday my time and not Sunday, with such a great semi-final in the US Open between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, what can you expect? :)
For those who wonder, I think I did pretty well on my test!

As always, click on the first photo to go to a page with more details/photos, and click on the following pictures to see a larger version.

Four Hot:


Vocaloid #01 Nendoroid Petite trading figure by Good Smile Company

Vocaloid #01 Nendoroid Petite trading figure by Good Smile Company

 Some more photos on Kumo’s blog.
CUTE overload! I especially like Megurine Luka (with the red hair), and Sakine Meiko, the bopping redhead (orange hair).
Miku Saihate, with the flower (at a funeral?) is also adorable.
Reserve, 6,000 yen. November 2009.
Update: Second shipment opened for reservation right now.

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Odds and Ends. Also, Endless Eight Thoughts.

This post will be a rare collection of odds and ends. I’m just undergoing major crunch at school this week and will resume normal posting on Sunday. Also, some Endless Eight thoughts at the end.

So, what to expect in the week or two to come:

  • There will still be a Friday Figure post later today (it’s Friday here).
  •  There are a couple figures I have taken photos of which will go up sometime next week, I have three figures in the mail, and another magazine with an accompanying figure.
  • It is currently GenCon, the biggest RPG convention in the world, set in Indiannapolis, and there will be a post on stuff I found interesting from it after it ends (probably a Monday post, will probably give people a week to recover and tell us what’s hot, a Monday post could only be about the big news).
  • I am going to cover the Ribbon Drive game, where you tell the story of people on a road-trip, which can be played on an actual road-trip.
  • I will finish watching and hopefully make up a post about To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index).
  • I will finally set up the Links page on this blog.
  • I may cover “Meaningful Sentences” to me in books, such as Sabriel to a lesser degree, and anything by Glen Cook (The Black Company, A Chronicle of the Dread Empire) to a greater degree.
  • I may cover how something weighing characters down within a story can weigh the reader down, as in Eragon, or Interview with the Vampire (the movie).
  • Whatever else catches my attention enough to blog about.
  • I will try to finish some extra entries and put them in the “Drafts” section to ensure that if I suffer a crunch, there’s a ready-made entry to go up.
  • When you can’t let eBay go, when you really should.

Now, for a random anime thought, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya anime had finished its now infamous Endless Eight run, where the characters undergo a time-loop, and the watchers had to more or less undergo it as well, watching the same events unfold with minor variations over 8 weeks’ worth of episodes.

Now, I have not watched the episodes yet, and am waiting for the new season to end. I did however have a thought from the second week on how it should end. I don’t know if that’s how it did, but that’s how it should have.
Basically, the time-loop was caused by Haruhi enjoying herself so much she didn’t want the summer vacation to end. What was necessary was to make her await what’s to come in the school-year more than she enjoyed the vacation she just under-went.

Solution? Kyon should have asked her out, for a date next week, after the summer vacation ends. Of course, if she had enjoyed the date too much, or hated it too much… but that’s the dangers when you’re playing with someone who’s effectively God.

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[TIL] Kannagi – Crazy (Shrine) Girls. First Season.

I had this post written on another web-page, but then my browser crashed and it got deleted. That site usually saves drafts as well, so I’m especially miffled, so this post will be shorter than it was before, your forgiveness.

Also, I link to what this is about, because I am not making a real review, you can check what the subject of my post is about by following the first link. I’d have done differently if this were something hot and new (like Element Hunters), but it’s not. This is more to give people my thoughts on what is there, what is worth it and what isn’t.

Left to right: Zange, Nagi, Tsugumi

Left to right: Zange, Nagi, Tsugumi

Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens, or as it may as well be called “Kannagi: Crazy Girls” is basically a romantic comedy which edges towards the “Magical Girlfriend Order” ala “Oh My Goddess!“, except the would be girlfriend (Kan)Nagi is much less willing to begin with, also a trope.
Jin carves a figure of someone he remembers meeting before from a Holy Tree, that weas Kannagi, a Goddess, and this was the tree she lived in, so now she lives with him, and together they fight impurities and try to find out about Nagi’s past. No, they don’t fight crime :)

Based on a manga that is currently discontinued ever since the author fell sick a year ago, it covers the first 3 out of 6 volumes of the manga, and does so in what seems to be a faithful manner. I appreciate it when the manga is followed, even when that means new episodes/seasons are farther apart. Rather than having the anime make up its own stuff (Fullmetal Alchemist) or have endless “Filler” episodes to bridge the gap (Naruto, Bleach).

The anime is very self aware, with characters who say “If this were a manga, he’d be the lead character”, or someone who says he appreciates Nagi’s flat chest, but since it’s not in 2D it’s not his taste. The anime also has cameos from other series such as Lucky Star, which the director of Kannagi had directed before, glimpses of Haruhi Suzumiya, the line “It’s a Sony!” given in a brilliant, brilliant manner, etc.

This makes the fact that much of the character is ticking off trope-boxes more palatable, since it’s part of a post-modernist and inter-culture inter-textuality. If this sort of thing bugs you off, then you’ll see plenty of it in the series, but if you’re not an anime/manga fan, you might not notice the actual cameos, and only notice when they discuss the topic, or themselves when using terms from this world (there’s an Otaku character, BTW).

– We have Nagi, who is clumsy and causes a lot of problems for Jin with whom she stays, as they grow to like one another more. She is angry and pleasant, cute and intimidating. I dislike her hair/face when straight, she was designed to appeal to males, and has another personality where she’s much calmer. Also, like her Seiyu (voice actress), Haruka Tomatsu, with her voice being both mischievous and angry, and calm and serene when Nagi is in her Kannagi personality. I also like the “Evil Laughter” she comes up with.
BTW, I don’t like her hair/face, too square, when lax. But it is ok when she moves it or smiles, just not static in profile..
– We have Zange, who is sexier than Nagi and tries to take Jin, and who goes around selling confessions, a word for which is “Zange” in a nurse outfit.
– We have Tsugumi, the childhood friend, who is nicer, bustier and more energetic in a cheerful manner than Nagi, but I’m sure won’t stand a chance against her. She likes Jin.
– This gives us a mini “Harem comedy” at points, which one of the characters refers to, “If this were a manga, he’d be the lead.”
– We have the mandatory karaoke episode, but one which adds even less to the story than usual.

There are a couple of episodes where we join late, and only find as the episode progresses (usually towards three-quarters in) what happened before, and this is done nicely.

We have the great quote from Nagi, who is probably (or only possibly..) a Shinto Region Goddess, to Jin, “A Follower like you is several hundred years too young to be worried for his god!”

The character Daitetsu doesn’t show up enough, to my tastes.

Opening song: I can appreciate the singer’s voice in general, a bit deep, a bit husky. But the song is too silly/vapid for me. I also don’t like Nagi on stage dancing like a mindless idol. I’m sure some people like watching people perform like that, I’m not one of them.

Ending song: Calm, relaxing, nice. I like it. You could easily put it on repeat on the background for a couple of hours and chill. I need to check out the full version, which I hadn’t yet. It slightly picks up at the middle, but it’s still good.

Anyway, this show gets a 7.5/10 from me. It’s cute, it’s enjoyable, but in the end, much will depend on the second season, whenever it will come, as Jin and Nagi will try to uncover Nagi’s true past and identity.
And this show I suspect makes many people older than 25 guilty for liking Nagi so much, but she was designed to appeal.

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