Sunday, June 28, 2015

Spring Stream: Plastic Memories Final Thoughts

wasted potential nothing ventured nothing gained

Spring Stream: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works: Final thoughts

Love, Duty, the courage of conviction, these are the things that matter and ultimately while the fat of Shirou may not change it's his path and he can move on living with those ideals. It's an alternitely bitter sweet and inconclusive ending to a series that made good on the hopes of the Fate/Stay fans for a proper retelling after the hack job that was the Unlimited Blade Works movie. From lush backgrounds to little small intimacies between Rin and Shirou it's a quiet end to a series that was often loud and epic and sometimes stultifying speechifying. Still a great cap to a great series and now I only have to wait for Heaven's Feel to come out. In conclusion I unconditionally love this series and only hope that this may make for a way for more fans of it to be made.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Spring Stream: Plastic Memories: episode 12

More warmed over late 90s early 2000s era romantic drama that has been done better at this point I just want the show to be over and honestly pulling the plug on Isla does'nt make me sad I really wish they would just get it over with as this feels insufferable. Nothing of any real note has been said or done in the series only a tired slow trudge to lukewarm pseudo-tragedy.

Spring Stream: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Episode 24

This was an episode that hit all the right parts from Shirou learning that dedication to an ideal that's not you're own does not mean it's fake to seeing Gilgamesh the smug Nietzschean brought low by someone he sees as an utter inferior. It's a greatly choreographed battle with harsh angles and turns of the camera capturing the claustrophobia of being trapped in an alien mind-scape. While the battle against the corrupted grail feels like someone lifted certain parts of it from Eva it's a knowing or unknowing reference and or rip off but it's still a nice tip of the hat none the less. While Tomokazu Seki captures the snide arrogance that slowly crashes into unbelief and rage at being defeated by Shirou. While Rin's determination is a sight to behold showing that she is a more determined and often times vulnerable girl than the fan version of her being a one dimensional tusndere-sue. All of this has really whetted my appetite for the Heaven's Feel movie latter this summer. Next up for UBW is an epilogue but it's been a thoroughly enjoyable if sometimes padded look at idealism versus cynicism and moral fortitude in the face of hard choices. All and all a positive series that looks deeply at the questions of commitment and conscience

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sailor Moon Crystal Stream: Episode 24

This has been the first legitimately good episode in months with the Dark Crystal Arc coming to a conclusion that's epic but it all feels lost due to the wonky off model character design and the feel that this is simply a "re-skined" version of the first stoyr arc with Black Lady now being the stand in for Byrle although she is better written as a broken emotionally fragile girl. Although this also leads her into brainwashing her future Dad into being her boyfriend they seriously could have adapted this part out of the manga becuese the Loli NTR just served no puropuse than to be used as something to further wound Usagi emotionally in a really hacky and cliche way on top of being really, really, squicky. Usagi get some great charcte devlopment grows and even does the stuidly heroic thing. Although this does come at the expense of the outher Senshi getting to do anything obviously no one has learned from the last arc that makeing your suppourting cast into a static chours does not make the main herione look powerfull but everryoneelse look weak and Usagi like an over powered purity sue. Although as a hardcore Sailor Pluto fan it was great to see Ai Maeda due justice to the internal conflict in the Guardian of Time and her internal conflict. So the good parts are really good while the bad parts are simply the standerd cut rate charcter design and bland CG. So the good far outweighs the bad but since the bad has been so awful I may be thinking that something that is merely okay is great becuese my perception has been so negative for the past months on end. All that being said this episdoe does restore may faith that a good episode or two can be turned in.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Say I Love You Volume Eight

At eight volumes now another well worn story element in Shojo Manga is brought up that of the high school cultural festival. While often times the event it's self can be an excuse for little more than insipid ans saccharine capering of the main couple. Not this volume instead the build up is a rather deeply introspective look into Mei coming into her femininity deepening her friendships and even giving Megumi a chance to grow and mature out of her old fake persona. While the drama is very much built around the forgone conclusion of someone wining a date with Yamato. Again it's one of those contrived situations used to gin up drama, it's used more to show Mei's growth and willing to change and allow others into her otherwise private world. It even earns her some admirers due to her bravery in going outside of her comfort zone. This is a series at eight volume that still has a fresh relationship and doesn't seem stale or cliché and also feels as much about the secondary characters as much as Mei and Yamato's relationship. Also any moments where Aiko gets to shine are welcome and her straight up strutting confidence at the contest had to make me smile while also the tip of the hat to Galaxy Express 999 . While Yamato's older brother Daichi is very much a deus ex mechna of sorts to make over Mei, it's nice to see someone take a interest in her and give her some advice. While really other than Mei's growth it's Megumi who impresses me the most from actually being wiling to forgive and talk with some her former friends and try and patch things up with them. It's a classy mature side that makes her so much more than the cardboard “evil” love rival. She's a slowly sophisticating girl that I improbably find myself falling for, it's really the writing that improves over volumes Hazuki-Sensei has a eye for crafting little moments of intimacy, interior monologues, and occasional comedy with out any of it feeling disjointed. While also broaching the physical side of Mei ad Yamato's relationship in a way that is subtle and doesn't treat sex as some kind of “cure all” or gateway to instant maturity having sex does not make you mature it simply makes you no longer a virgin. Also it's never preachy about putting off sex it's simply subtle about it and for avoiding an overly didactic moralism I'm thankful for. Yet if I have one criticism it's that the art is more miss than hit in some places with sparse blank backgrounds that don't set any kind of mood or ethos making it look rushed, unfinished, and overall slap dash. While character anatomy can have some very bad proportions from the overextended almost giraffe like necks of some characters. to a use of super deformed character design that while cute feels more like a way to spare having to draw full scale characters, yet really these feel like nit picks in comparison to such a well honed story. Although the parts were the art does succeed from fashions which while not as ornate and pretty as Ai Yazawa's in Paradise Kiss. They are impressive or even Mei's numerous over the top reaction faces some which make her look like an emaciated zombie to her droopy stressed out face after the Festival. The few intimate moments between Mei and Yamamoto also make good use of perspective screen tone in between scenes creating an almost dream like atmosphere in it. While the volume is left on a pretty brutal cliffhanger, it still feels like a complete story in and of itself making for another volume of well written Shojo that now having dropped My Love Story. This is the only Shojo Manga I'm currently collecting and reading just this makes each volume of Say I Love You extra special now comes the hardest part which is waiting for the next volume to come out. Volume nine can't come soon enough and still I feel happy having now eight volumes to re-read till that time.

Spring Stream: Plastic Memories: Episode 11

lame romantic comedy antics that feel insufferably long only to have a last minute bit of melancholy not really saving anything simply feeling like more of the same and not really improving or disproving simply being average and workman like. Continuing the trend of mediocre romantic comedy this series has been on and not even really asking any of the questions it raised early on simply tiresome.