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Sailor S
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 2740

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:46 pm Reply with quote
I'm working my way through the first set of Sgt. Frog because it was next on my shelf, but it's not going very smoothly. It just hasn't been able to really hook me. There's some funny parts and all, but I don't really find myself wanting to see what happens next. So, it's alright, but it's not very compelling. I'm not terribly surprised since I remember buying one volume of the manga and never really feeling the urge to buy the rest of them.
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kaydub



Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 318
Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:22 am Reply with quote
I started watching K-ON! the other day because it had guitars. While there has been a somewhat unfortunate lack of guitar playing up until now, I haven't minded much because... dat Mio.
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kandysweet



Joined: 12 Oct 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:50 pm Reply with quote
kaydub wrote:
I started watching K-ON! the other day because it had guitars. While there has been a somewhat unfortunate lack of guitar playing up until now, I haven't minded much because... dat Mio.

I was just thinking about reading the manga and watching the anime! Coincidence much Laughing

I'm watching quite a few, but right now my main priority is Bokura ga Ita. I heard good reviews about it so I decided to watch it and OMG it's amazing.
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moonie92



Joined: 15 Nov 2011
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:37 pm Reply with quote
I watched the first five episodes of Seven of Seven today. I now understand why I got it for 18 dollars or so, it wasn't very good. The only redeeming thing I can think of is the best friend is the voice of Misty from Pokemon, who is a favorite of mine. It has a magic for magic's sake theme running and I'm not so sure I'm on board. It's not so terrible that I won't finish the series but I wouldn't recommend watching it.

Now time to sit down and enjoy The Secret World of Arrietty.
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shamisen the great



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 452

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:02 pm Reply with quote
I'm watching the original Mobile Suit Gundam. I've not been the biggest Tomino supporter, but I'm kind of digging it. It does have some pacing issues that the movies improved; but it is not as much of a problem as I had heard.

I also started Shiki. So far it is really interesting. I love the character designs and the art direction. It was a blind buy, so I have no idea were the plot goes. I can only hope it maintains the quality of the first few episodes.

Finally, I finished Transformers Headmasters. Wow. That was rough. No one would claim that the American show was a masterpiece; but at least it had a sort of nostalgic charm. Headmasters was just a train wreck. I suppose it did have some "so bad it's good" moments.
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Masakaki



Joined: 23 Mar 2012
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:14 am Reply with quote
[edit]

Last edited by Masakaki on Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gewürtztraminer
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 838
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:49 pm Reply with quote
House of Five Leaves: Silly story, before watching I decided to swap out the mono discs from the replacement disc. As I was doing the swap, I noticed I put disc 1 in both the sleeve for 1 and 2. At that point I realized that I had not been paying attention, and I had no clue which discs were good or bad. Listening to the discs, I could not tell any difference, so I just picked a set and went with it.

Once I got used to the character designs, around the end of the 2nd episode, I was hooked. No watching at 1.5 for this one. The dialog action and visuals combine for a wonderfully detailed look into what makes all the characters involved tick.
Revisiting this every couple of years will be fun.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2409
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:18 am Reply with quote
Legend of the Galactic Heroes season 1 (episodes 1-26)

When I was about 8 years old I used to write my own space operas where two rivals with gigantic space fleets would battle it out for control of the known universe. (Of course, in my fantasies, I was one of the rivals and, if I remember correctly, the other character was a boy from school I didn’t like.) The conflict ended in an Armageddon with the two rivals facing off in hand-to-hand combat in outer space: I think I chopped off my rival’s head. I remember drawing a picture of a helmet floating off on its own. Mind you, this was back in the sixties (yes, I’m that old), in the days of Star Trek’s first TV run and other shows such as Thunderbirds and Lost in Space.

It is both LotGH’s charm and failure that it never really goes beyond those childish fantasies. It’s likeable because it appeals to the boy in me. It annoys because its view of human nature is so simplistic and naive.

The story is space opera standard fare. There are two rival superpowers – a decaying Galactic Empire and a disorderly Free Planets Alliance - that have been at war for over a century. Both are corrupt but for different reasons. In the Empire patronage and self-aggrandisement have undermined the effectiveness of the ruling nobility, while, in the supposedly democratic Alliance, political squabbling and self-interest hinders any worthwhile decision making. Alongside these two political systems is a shadowy and somewhat independent group called the Phezzan Dominion that seeks, for its own benefit, to prolong the war.

The first season follows the neatly parallel careers of the leading admiral on each side. Reinhard von Lohengramm is known within the Empire as “the Golden Lion” by his supporters and “the Brat” by his denigrators. The Alliance’s Yang Wen-li is known as “Miracle Yang”, whether genuinely or ironically it again depends on the speaker’s point of view. The reputation of the two men steadily rises as they navigate space battles, political problems and, eventually, separate civil wars. The season ends with each cemented as the pre-eminent military figure of their respective ideological grouping, and pondering their coming battles.

The structure of the series is simple. Generally episodes alternate between the two men. The plots may be large in scope but they are usually relatively straightforward, short, and mostly fit into one of two categories – external conflict or internal treachery. The external conflict may involve attacking a planet or fortress, or fighting a battle in space. The internal treachery usually involves one or more malcontents stirring up trouble for the heroes. The season climaxes with the two themes coalescing into two parallel civil wars on a galactic scale.

The heroes always come up with a brilliant plan to win the battles or overcome the dastardly villains. Lohengramm devises apparently elaborate schemes to foment revolution within the Free Planets Alliance, while Yang Wen-li’s unerring judge of character enables him to predict the battle plans of the most obscure enemy admiral.

The supporting characters are all paper thin: the women are idealistic, tragic victims; the soldiers are manly and predictable; the villains are self-servingly vile. On the one hand, there is a huge cast so, in fairness, not much time can be spent on each character. On the other hand, the vast array of characters does, admittedly, add to the epic scale. What is lost, however, is intimacy, a sense that we are privy to the inner thoughts of a person. When one of the most important characters is killed unexpectedly I presume it was supposed to be tragic, but, because he had never been portrayed as anything other than earnest and loyal, I failed to feel the grief it seemed I ought.

The one exceptional supporting character is Oberstein, Lohengramm’s Chief of Staff. He sort of performs the emotionless role that Spock or Data played in Star Trek but without the sense of novelty or the humour. Oberstein is cold, calculating and utterly creepy. Your enemy is going to nuke 2 million people? Should it be stopped? No. Better to film it for propaganda opportunities. That’s how Oberstein thinks. As far as I can tell, he is solidly loyal to Lohengramm, even if he does bring out the worst in him. He is a memorable character and one of the highlights of the first season.

What really makes LotGH worth watching is, needless to say, the two mains. Here I have to give credit to the character designers. Whereas most of the other character designs are functional without being notable (again Oberstein stands out, and Kircheis’s red hair is distinctive), the designs for Lohengramm and Wen-li capture their respective personalities nicely.



Lohengramm’s inner conflict between his better nature (outwardly personified by Kircheis) and his vaulting ambition (cue Oberstein again) is perfectly represented in his repressed mask of a face. The pretty boy looks and golden locks are countered by his narrow eyes, brusque manner and flowing cape. I must admit to liking Lohengramm. It would be easy to pigeonhole him as the villain of the piece but his weaknesses and his generous streak engender sympathy.

Wen-li has his own inner conflicts. He’s an avowed pacifist yet he’s the best strategist, tactician and judge of his opponents in the entire Alliance fleet. The laid-back way he drapes his body over the furniture never fools us for a moment. His genuine concern is always written clearly in his face. His, so far, inextinguishable optimism – or perhaps I should just call it a lack of cynicism – along with his kind, unassuming and irreverent personality make him a readily likeable character.

Both Lohengramm and Wen-li are, it seems to me, being set up for tragic ends. That’s fine. This is space opera, after all. Part of the pleasure of tragedy is its remorseless inevitability. For sure this franchise is more than happy to kill off important characters. Unfortunately, I think that sometimes LotGH lacks the wherewithal to carry out its vision effectively. The death I alluded to earlier was portrayed somewhat perfunctorily, even if the flashbacks shown immediately beforehand should have prepared me for it.

There is surprisingly little animation in this animated show. I imagine that one of the reasons that anime producers in the 70s, 80s and 90s had such a penchant for space ships and robots is that their movements, compared with a living creature's, are simple and, thereby, inexpensive to animate. The humans themselves have minimal movements and the few moments of action always came as something of a mild shock. I would love to see this sort of show being made with today’s CGI technology. Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing showed us how awesome massed flying battleships could be. A new LotGH style epic space opera, with its battle fleets numbering in the tens of thousands could, figuratively speaking, blow Last Exile away. Then again, the fleets would probably be crewed by high school girls. Skip that idea.

To complement the epic scale, the soundtrack is made up of mostly 19th century romantic orchestral music: I've recognised Bruckner, Mahler and Dvorak; there was also one occasion when Nielsen's 20th century Inextinguishable Symphony was used. Much of it I didn't know and, despite the woeful OP song, it's all stirring stuff.

Rating: decent. The pluses are the two main characters. Everything else is so-so. What I’ve heard about it tells me that the franchise gets better after the first season. It is good enough in any case that I want to continue.


Last edited by errinundra on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:18 am Reply with quote
I watched Chi's Sweet Home and Chi's New Address, and boy was it adorable and hilarious. You don't have to own a pet to appreciate the cuteness or comedy in this show. I love how Chi (a kitten picked up by a family, the Yamadas) isn't one dimensionally cute. She's got fuzz for brains, but she has her own personality. They were smart to make each episode 3 minutes long. Every episode left me wanting more of this charming show. I especially liked New Address when they started introducing neighbors with pets. The spoiler[rabbit] being such a troll made me laugh so hard Anime hyper.

I am going to start Dark Side Cat because apparently now I am obsessed with cats.
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 13464
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:23 am Reply with quote
It's funny you mention Chi's Sweet Home because a few weeks ago I would have had no interest in checking this out. However, I went to the NISA panel at Anime North. I was early and as I was waiting in the room, Chi's Sweet Home was playing on the screen. I watched about three eppies and really enjoyed them, so I'll definitely check out more. Very cute stuff.
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Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:29 am Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
It's funny you mention Chi's Sweet Home because a few weeks ago I would have had no interest in checking this out. However, I went to the NISA panel at Anime North. I was early and as I was waiting in the room, Chi's Sweet Home was playing on the screen. I watched about three eppies and really enjoyed them, so I'll definitely check out more. Very cute stuff.
Similar here. I didn't have much interest, but it is finals week and so I decided to watch it because each ep is only 3 mins. The show has a lot of heart and even though it is slice of life it doesn't get boring.
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Spastic Minnow
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 2911
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:02 am Reply with quote
I just watch a handful of Chi's New Address on Crunchyroll every couple months. If they all flowed together as one show without credits, pauses to load the next video, and the occasional CR Flash crash I get when playing too many shorts in a row on their site I'd be done in a day.

It'd be great if there was a cut of the series that just merged them all together without the credits.

I think I won't be watching many continuing series during the Summer Season, I have a modest backlog I want to get through and watching close to 20 shows like I am this season causes them to flow together.

the only non-current stuff I've watched lately are a couple episodes on the last Hayate TCB disc and Whisper of the Heart.

I watched Whisper of the Heart subbed so I don't know if this new release has any dub changes like the newer Kiki release did. The only part of the dub I did listen to was the dub change I knew was there and I really don't like. That being the scene where Seiji lets Shizuku in to see the Baron and in the dub version he tells her about spoiler[the missing paired statue, Louise,] which I don't think he even knew about and that Shizuku wasn't supposed to know about. Unfortunately those lines are still there. Sad
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moonie92



Joined: 15 Nov 2011
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Have I ever mentioned that I like magical girls, surely I have. I like magical girls so much I even liked Corrector Yui which is certainly not a testimony to the genre. It proved to be worth the five dollars I spent. Yui is about as good with a computer as your basic three year old child, maybe even a little worse. Somehow she's picked to be the corrector to save a virtual world. The mascot isn't very cute, certainly not like Kyubie or anything like that either. I give the first five episodes a pass. I'll slowly hunt down the rest of it.

I also watched Saint Tail recently (I love cutesy things!) I enjoyed it much more than Corrector Yui. It's adorable. I find Meimei interesting and her role as a Robin Hood of sorts is nice to see. Her relationship with Daiki (the junior detective) is not overly complicated which is nice to see. The first volume is definitely a success.
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Botan24



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 684
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:29 pm Reply with quote
Keeping up with my movies/OVA streak:

Trigun - Badlands Rumble
There are a few things that impressed me. One, the bounty hunters/hired guns every one of their character designs is unique. Love that attention to detail. Two, the show looks good. It still has the gritty quality, but the animation has a "higher polish", if you will. Three, the music has been kicked up a notch in favor of resounding guitar strumming, (whether acoustic or electric) and bass. And four, Johnny Yong Bosch does an excellent job in his return as Vash. He's loving getting to reprise that role - you can hear it in every line.

The story is good. It was a little cliche, spoiler[what with Amelia being Gasback's daughter and all, but there's always gotta be that element right?] I liked the ending. I liked the way Meryl and Millie interacted with Vash. Although Wolfwood did refer to Vash as "needle noggin" a few too many times. I especially loved the part on the sand steamer when Vash and Amelia spoiler[take on those thugs.] But I was sold when spoiler[Gasback stole the plant.] That was fantastic! And maybe that part was predictable as well, but I was so caught up in the story that I didn't even notice.

Okay, so I still don't like that FUNimation was unable to get the original cast back together. But, I'm willing to overlook that because Meryl, Millie, and Wolfwood don't have all that much screen time. Also, FUNi did a great job casting those roles, so that the VA's sound pretty damn good.
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Melanchthon



Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 527
Location: Northwest from Here

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:28 am Reply with quote
So I borrowed President Obama's Magical Time Machine to go way back to 1991 for the OVA series Here is Greenwood. It was... interesting. The character designs are pretty weak, but the characters themselves are engaging. The Shounen-Ai is strong with this one, something that I was not expecting going in, but it is primarily a gag and character-based comedy so far. Besides, it's set in a all-boys high school, and everyone know that single gender schools are breeding grounds for teh gay (not that there is anything wrong with that)
And it is the first show in a long that got me. Oh, it got me good. The protagonist opens his dorm room to discover a cute girl inside. It turns out that this girl is disguising herself as a boy for various reasons and he needs to keep her secret. Oh, I thought, it's this kind of show. spoiler[Well, it turns out that the 'girl' is really a dude, and the senpai-tachi where just playing a prank on the new kid. Well, they didn't just fool the hero, they fooled me as well, I totally did not see that coming. It takes a lot in anime to surprise me these days, but that was a good one.] Anyway these dorms are all filled with freaks and misfits (although in a kind way -- there is nobody really crazy like in Arakawa or something), but my favorite is the religious zealot. You usually don't see evangelism in anime at all, so this character is pretty unique. Generally, Christianity in anime is either mysticism fueled by basic ignorance (Like in Hellsing, where apparently the Peace of Westphalia never happened, or in Hayate, where there is a Greek Catholic nun (Greece is 97% Orthodox)) or used a stock character to symbolize righteousness (Like the nun in Mai Hime). Japan has a really pantheistic culture, and it is quite comfortable with absorbing and synchronizing various confessions together (For example, look at Cosprayers or Butt Attack Punisher Girl Guataman (actually, don't, those shows are horrible), where the show is framed on the idea of multiple religious faiths working together (Although the cynic in me says Cosprayers was an attempt to offend every religion at the same time). Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that the idea of the crazy street preacher handing out bibles is not one that is found in Japanese pop culture, and so I found the crazy street preacher handing out bibles in Greenwood to be fascinating.

Oh, and I started watching Sailor Moon Super S. I was going to write a angry rant on how the character of Chibi-usa is the show's equivalent of Scrappy Doo and should be discarded post-haste, when they doubled down on the derp and introduced the [censored] kitten from the future, which at that point I had to be physically restrained from smashing the television with a baseball bat.

Tris8 wrote:
I am going to start Dark Side Cat because apparently now I am obsessed with cats.

If you like cats, might I recommend this? Although be forewarned, it is pure, undiluted eighties.
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