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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12 Days of Anime #2 – Nine Great Anime Related Moments from 2014

Tomorrow I’m going to post the anime moment that had left the deepest impression upon me this past year. I’ve already written of 10 moments, but here are nine more moments that I thought merited a paragraph each, of an exciting, impactful or “other” moment in my anime-related life from the past year. Why nine? Because tomorrow is the tenth, the big one (Order of following moments is arbitrary).
Moments will be included for: Nobunagun, Mushishi, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Chihayafuru, Princess Tutu, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (and Stardust Crusaders), Log Horizon, Hunter x Hunter (2011), and Madoka Magica: Rebellion.

Princess Tutu Anime - Kureha / Rue standing over Prince Mytho

1. Princess Tutu is a Magical Show: Princess Tutu is hands down the best show I’ve watched this year, which makes me not finishing it even worse. I’ve listened to a lot of classic music and ballets as a child, and Princess Tutu using them all was splendid. The story is basically timeless, speaks to my love of narratives and meta-narratives (similar to The Witches’ sub-series in Terry Pratchett’s The Discworld series), and the more thought you put into the show, the more you get into it. Would be a great show to watch with one’s children, for the older readers of my blog.

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Fall 2014 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

Fall 2014 is nearly here, and the season actually begins on Thursday, October 2nd (Terraformars aside). So time to see what I’m more interested in. this post doesn’t really focus on my “predictions” for how good something will be,  but is about my interest levels, on what I think will be interesting, and why. Shows that “didn’t make it” are usually shows I’m slightly less interested in, or find it interesting to remark on.

What do I think of the season? It’s the season of sequels or returning shows! Almost everything I’m actually excited for falls under that purview, from Psycho-Pass 2, to Log Horizon 2, and of course, Legend of Korra Season 4 (not anime, I know). Aside from that? Some seasons have no comedies, others have no action. This season has it all, the only thing I see lacking is romantic comedies, but between straight comedies and straight romances, I think most people will be satisfied.

As always, organized by days of the week, because I might pick a show on an empty day or cut shows I enjoy on days already overfilled with other shows. Order is by expectation within that day. Continuing from Summer, I’m cutting down on my coverage of posts with episodic write-ups, so only up to a couple of shows will get that.

Most of the information about the shows can be had from RandomCuriosity’s page, the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information.

Sunday:

The Seven Deadly Sins / Nanatsu no Taizai anime Fall 2014The Seven Deadly Sins / Nanatsu no Taizai – This looks to be a pretty standard shounen fantasy adventure – a group of super-powered klutzes who must be convinced to save the kingdom from tyrannical Holy Knights, with the usual shounen manga gag humor. It’s going to be a long-running shounen, so don’t expect any real form of closure. Directed by Okamura Tensai and series composition done by Suga Shoutarou, who between them worked on Cowboy Bebop, Darker than Black, Kannagi, Sekai Seifuku, Wolf’s Rain, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and OreGairu. That’s impressive.
Interest Rating: 1.5/3.  I like shounen action, and the people behind it make it likely for this to be on the more enjoyable end of the spectrum for a sort of show I already enjoy, even if it’s likely to be “nothing special”.
Airing Date: October 5th. Preview.

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Media Month in Review – August 2014

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: Too much Hearthstone, several Marvelverse films, films from my childhood, and 143 episodes of Hunter x Hunter (2011)!

Movies:

Jumanji movie

  • Matilda – I probably haven’t watched this film since 1998, at the latest. This film shows its warts. While the first 10-15 minutes where we see Matilda growing up with just the narrator to guide us are pretty magical, the acting in this film isn’t the best, and at some points you can see the director went too wild with the “Children Movie silliness”, such as when the schoolkids get rid of Ms. Trunchbull. Still, it was an enjoyable view.
  • Jumanji – I’ve probably watched this last around 2001. I’ve meant to watch it a week before Robin Williams died, but I ended up watching it only after. This film isn’t an adventure film, holy shit but is it a horror film! When that vine went for Peter? It gave me flashbacks to The Exorcist, and that film had me run out of the room when I watched it in the 5th grade… I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Well-acted, and fun. Also, only when I went to IMDB did I realize the Hunter going after Alan was acted by the same actor who portrayed his father, similar to how in Peter Pan, the Darling family father also plays the role of Captain Hook.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – I’ve had a lot of fun watching it! It was a silly film, with silly lines, and silly action. I chuckled and laughed and enjoyed turning my brain off for a bit. Also, I kept waiting for “The Guardians of the Galaxy” to appear, which I was sure would be The Green Lantern Corps, which are of course in DC-verse. Still, kept waiting for someone serious to come and save the universe, not our bunch of incompetent walking shticks. Rocket and Groot were really great. Especially Rocket.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 8 (Anime Power Ranking)

This week was alright? Thematically more shows that are generally lower on the pole did well, but there was nothing that wowed me. The order is roughly by how good/how much I liked the episodes, but aside from Fate/Kaleid which was terrible, most of the shows are pretty interchangeable this week.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sword Art Online II,  Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) (Also, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, including finale!, and previous weeks’ Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun and Sabagebu!).

Link in titles leads to full-episode write-ups for Aldnoah.Zero and Zankyou no Terror.

Barakamon episode 8:

Barakamon anime episode 8 overview - Kotoishi Naru loves Handa Sensei

Before I get to anything else, there was a noticeable dip in drawing quality in this episode. Faces and figures were not drawn to the usual standard, with a lot of off-model shots.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 5 (Anime Power Ranking)

This week wasn’t really hot. All episodes were serviceable, but there was very little that was just “good”, sadly enough. Moved these to earlier in Wednesday, so there’ll be no mention of Fate/Kaleid S2 this week. The list is slightly less-organized in terms of “like” this week, as it’s mostly one big mesh.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, , Sword Art Online II,  Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) (Also, Avatar: The Legend of Korra).

The list is organized by how much I’ve enjoyed each episode, and the link in the title is to a more thorough write-up on the episode. For first impressions it means mostly more about production and presentation, but also about themes.

Zankyou no Terror / Terror in Resonance episode 4:

Zankyou no Terror / Terror in Resonance anime episode 4 overview - Shibazaki Kouichirou wants to connect

I’ve figured it out! This show is House M.D. the anime! Well, what I mean by that is that just as House M.D. isn’t a mystery show, but the mysteries are only there to move things along in the drama, here the mysteries aren’t the real point either. Continue reading

Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 4 (Anime Power Ranking)

Another week. Dropped or put on hold a number of shows, so there are less shows to cover, and I also didn’t write as much on a few of the shows. Let’s get to it.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, , Sword Art Online II,  Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) (Also, Avatar: The Legend of Korra).

The list is organized by how much I’ve enjoyed each episode, and the link in the title is to a more thorough write-up on the episode. For first impressions it means mostly more about production and presentation, but also about themes.

1) Barakamon episode 4:

Barakamon anime episode 4 overview

The greatest complaint I’ve had about this episode is also the biggest piece of praise I can give it – it was too damn short! I’ve had so much fun, and then it was over, and I wondered where it all went! Continue reading