Check-in Station: Knights of Sidonia ep1 (See? They really do all look alike!)

What a strange show. Being my first attempt to jump into the Spring 2014 season, I decided to go with something familiar. And something that would keep my attention at the same time. As people will learn as they stick with this show, Knights of Sidonia is an acquired taste. A mix of grimdark, twisted and coy, it’ll be interesting to see how this show reverberates through the anime community.

This show is such a weird mix, but I’m gonna just focus on this first episode before things get too weird.

This is the story of Nagate Tanikaze, a young man with a mysterious past who wanders up to the surface world in search of food after his “grandfather’s” death. Just with that set up, the story could go anywhere, for KoS Nagate finds himself on a giant floating spaceship/colony with what may be the last remnants of human society left in the universe. It’s here that Nagate learns that his years of solitude and training have made him a great candidate to pilot the colony’s primary means of defense – mecha. What is the threat requiring mecha? Giant evil, mysterious tentacle monsters – duh!

There are all sorts of logistics to get into in this sort of world, but for now the focus is on Nagate and the slowly unfolding world around him. And this is kinda where I have a problem with the manga and the anime that it spawned. The protagonist of this show this isn’t a good representation of the audience, nor is there a narrator in any form to help bring us along and connect us to this new world. What we get in result is a disconnect that never leaves as the show plays out. There’s nothing to help us understand this dude and the fact that he’s likely the last “normal” human left in this world. He’s just kinda there for now. Sure he’s obviously gonna be a bad ass later. If you pay attention you’ll learn in this very first episode that he was the one person trained by the mysterious Ace, and has practiced this tutelage day after day until his emergence on the surface world. But for now, he’s just a donk with a lot of perceived potential.

What I find more interesting right now is the world we’re shown, and some of the science behind it.  More specifically, the decisions that have been made around the situations that lead to them choosing the different sciences that they’ve chosen.  Though it’s been said in the show that they’ve enjoyed about a century of peace without the presence of evil alien tentacle monsters (hence all the safe and sound Japanese girls running around), it’s clear that this world is highly geared towards survival of the race.  That may seem like an obvious thing for anyone who decides to travel perpetually through deep space, as this colony has done.  However, when you see how the human races have evolved and “modded” itself of the many, many years they’ve been away from Earth, you’ll see some pretty extreme choices that point to a desperate focus on survival.  Not only is it clear that this colony is choosing from a very limited gene pool, as we notice by seeing all the people who look identical to each other.  It’s clear that there’s heavy gene manipulation going on.  When Nagate meets Izana Shinatose, he learns that there’s now a third hermaphrodite gender that’s appeared that’s capable of mating with a male or female depending on the mate they choose.  In essence, if Izana falls in love with a male “IT” will develop breasts and a vagina, but if “IT’ falls in love with a female, then Izana will receive no luscious knockers and swinging shlong instead.  It’s an interesting way to go about conserving the human race, but quite effective if you want to make sure that no matter what, you’ll have two compatible people to repopulate the human race should the worst happen.

There’s a lot more going on in this episode, but it would be better explained after the second episode.  Then we’ll see a bit more characterization to match up to the loads of set up we’ll be getting as well.  Plus we’ll see more of the infamous evil aliens, and their habit of murdering cute little Japanese girls, too.  Everything will come into place.  There will be a rival, a love interest, a rival for the love interest who also doubles as the best friend, some really disturbing gross sh*t and what will hopefully be some great and intense battles.

Before closing out, I know that this show will be heavily compared to two very popular series that have already ended.  Attack on Titan, because of the very similar set up.  And Neon Genesis Evangelion because this is another of the classic, dark do-or -die, all hands on deck epic super mecha anime that so often get compared to the legendary series.  And I’m perfectly OK with that, but I’ll be trying to keep the comparisons to a minimum, even if it’s kinda eerie that they would air such a comparable show in almost the exact same spot they aired its predecessor.

In the end, this was an interesting first episode.  I don’t think it’s the best way to introduce an ignorant audience to its world, but it should have been effective enough to get most people’s attention.

Note: I did take notice of the weird bear lady in this episode.  I still don’t get it even after reading all those manga chapters.  She’s just weird man.

My blog is not dead (again). It’s getting pumped up for a return to action.

Alright, this extended hiatus has gone on for more time than I was hoping.  But I’m planning a real return to action soon.  Starting with a massive update of the manga material I’ve been reading, a hype (and belated) start to the Spring 2014 season, and of course the completion of KILL LA KILL.

I’ve been hit with a quadfecta of disaster with my grandfather passing away last month, the good but stressful news that my family is moving, a close family member being diagnosed with diabetes and a major project coming up at work.  But I won’t let this sideline my attempts to live a healthy, happy and hobby filled life.  I’ll hammer out this anime watching somehow some way.

Here’s the line up of anime from the Spring 2014 season that I’ve committed myself to viewing for at least a few weeks.  Think of this as a slightly late preview of the Spring 2014 season.  Though I’ve never truly done this before, I think it’s fair to those that have kept reading my blog and are kind enough to return to let them know what they can look forward to.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Extremely hyped for this one.  I’ve been watching JoJo’s on the low since the very end of 2013, and I’m rewatching Part 2 right now to get better caught up before fully diving into Part 3 (which I’ve already done by watching the first two episodes).  JoJo’s is a strange series that I’ve found to be strangely addictive, viral, weird and almost universally appealing.

The more I watch, the more I understand the love and excitement that so many people have for the series.  It’s genuinely making me wish I’d read the manga 10 years ago when I actually had a chance to do so.  And those OP themes for the show – KICK SO MUCH ASS!  Give it to me!  The shounen battle manga loving blood in me boils for this show!

Knights of Sidonia

I guess I’ve been so out of the loop that I had no idea what was coming this season, nor did I even suspect that this manga would get an anime adaptation.  The series seems too hopelessly dark and twisted, but then again I’ve seen a few production like that crop up lately.

I’m getting an Attack on Titan type of vibe from this manga’s attempt to be a successful series, though I doubt it will have the explosive popularity of its predecessor.  It’s another story about humanity on the brink, though this time it’s about humanity being pushed to brink in the far future and in outer space.  The basis of this show is more based on high technology and genetics, as opposed to Attack on Titan’s old world technology and assumed magic/witchcraft.  Still, it was a damned engrossing read for me.  And it can get just as intense as anything out there.

Now that I’m thinking of it.  If they can give this manga a shot at an anime, maybe they can do the same for the other manga I was reading at the time, Bra Girl.

…..

On second thought, that Nana to Kaoru OVA adaptation was utter sh*t.  I doubt Bra Girl would turn out any better.

Captain Earth

I have no idea what the f*ck this show is about even.  and when I first started hearing people talk about it on Twitter, I kept thinking of the American Captain Planet cartoon, though it seems this show has much more in common with Star Driver than anything else.  And if that’s the case, then I’m all in!  I’d like to think of Star Driver as one of the best mecha/god mecha shows of the past decade, though series like Gundam AGE, Gundam Unicorn and Majestic Prince have really stepped up to challenge it.  I genuinely come into this series with no expectations and only hope to be entertained and get goose bumps from hype.

No Game No Life

I don’t know much about this show, but @Jake_W on Twitter brought it to my attention.  The premise is interesting, it’s another story about humanity being on the brink of extinction.  Though this time humanity is in an alternate dimension where all disputes are decided by games.  It could be a sleeper hit, and though I don’t usually formulate opinions or prejudices based on animation studios, I can at least say that Madhouse will animate the sh*t out of it.

Mekaku City Actors

This show by SHAFT has been vaguely on my radar for awhile as I was tipped off about its story and premise last year.  I haven’t seen the trailers for this, but I’d be interested to see what SHAFT does with this decidedly musical production.

Hitsugi no Chaika

I really, really want to skip this, but it could be depressing or grimdark – and that’s kinda my thing.  I’ll give this suggestion a fair chance I suppose.  Who knows, it might even be a surprisingly upbeat series with nice morals and teachings to go with it.  Lord knows I could go for something that makes me feel better right now.

Black Bullet

Because of the name, that’s it.  I don’t have much hope for it aside from that really.

Other items of note: series that I abruptly stopped watching will for the most part be continued in AniFriday posts.  That means I’m gonna pick Wizard Barristers, Tokyo Ravens, Sakura Trick (if I don’t drop it by the time I get to episode 5), and No-rin (the director is too beloved by me to give up on the show) up for continuation.  Anything I didn’t mention that was already in AniFriday posts is already dead to me.  I’ll just have to move on continue those series at a much later date.

Next, there should be new pervy manga posts coming soon as well.  I’ve found series like Happy Negative Marriage and Liar’s Paradox to be surprisingly interesting, while I’ve also finally put the somewhat infamous Girl Friends series to bed.

Finally, extracurricular stuff like my experiments in food and tea blogging will hopefully pop back up once I’ve moved and regained my sanity.  And I don’t mind having guest bloggers to help me out with material or just for fun.  Whether you want to just do a guest post, have your own thing on this blog or help me out with a series that you also like, all I ask is that you’re a follower on Twitter that I can regularly get a hold of, and that you submit an idea to me first.  I’ve had some questions about help in the past, but they’ve never truly born fruit.  But I’m still very much open to the idea.

Thanks again for reading this and sticking around.  Hopefully I can finish weathering this tough period for now and pick things back up to full speed soon.

Check-out Station: Golden Time ep21 – FINAL

Well here I am.  I’m quite late, but not as late as i expected.  It’s been a long time coming.  I originally said that I had high hopes for this series, and that I was looking forward to something dramatic and exciting.  But as I got through this series it got more weird, a less of everything else.  Less romance, more screaming.  Less comedy, and more goofiness.  So then let’s see if this final stretch of the show can redeem Golden Time, and make it truly a memorable show. Read more…

The trouble with keeping friends; is not always having the right ones.

There are some things I don’t, nor will never understand. I never before found this to be something worth discussing or even caring about. But I’ve been drinking quite a bit lately, and it gave me some time to think about certain things. My relationships with family, and with friends, and in this case faux friends. And also how many of them have piled up over the years.

It goes without saying to many people who know me personally, that I don’t actually get close to many people. Usually for me to make a friend, they have to come to me. That’s not to say I’m someone who is not open to conversation or greeting strangers. I live in the American South, and just walking by someone with out simple greeting is generally considered rude. I will give most people that much at least. What gets to me, is when I have a friend that I’m close with, and then there’s some strange falling out. It’s hard to describe, but what was once daily or at least somewhat regular conversation and contact just seems to suddenly fade away into nothingness. These people just stop talking, are cold or distant when they greet you, and pretty much seem to almost avoid, but never mention why. It bugs me. Not because of the distance exactly, but because that person never had the decency to say they didn’t want to be friends anymore.

If there’s anything I value (aside from money and my own peace of mind), it’s clear communication.  If you don’t like me, then tell me why.  You don’t want to talk to me anymore?  Sure, just let me know.  But don’t slink away like a coward never to have us hash things out.  Whether it be a relative, a high school friend, a college friend (most of whom I would never truly call friends), old anime and blogging buddies, or even friends at work, once you pull this stunt you’re pretty much dead to me.  There are no assumptions with me.  If you don’t tell me outright, then it never happened – not in my head, not in my imagination, not ever.  If you don’t speak it, it doesn’t exist.  I can’t understand something that doesn’t exist, especially a conversation.

I’ve had too much time lately to reflect on life and those connected to me to care anymore about former or faux friends.  Attempts to connect with these people are done, hopes that they’ll come around and explain themselves to me are gone.  I’m going to expend much more mental energy on those that actually make time to talk to me, and hang out with me.  Those coworkers that share my likes and passions; those friends that call me even though I rarely see them anymore; those family members that actually make a f*cking effort to be a part of my life; all those people will get a lot more focus and care.  And saying this feels like a huge weight coming off my shoulders.

This post is not for the friends that have left or disappeared; it’s for the few that have truly stuck around and supported me.  It doesn’t even having anything to do with this blog.  This has to do with me reflecting back on my mortality, and the events or my life and saying that I appreciate you guys, and that this post is a testament to that.  You guys are great, and I’ll never be able to truly pay back the time you spent speaking with recluse and weirdo like me.

Now there’s just one more thing I’ll have to make peace with, and I’ll be back to normal again.  Hopefully.  But that will take time.  And I’m not looking forward to it.

Categories: Not Anime

KILL LA KILL ep19: face the fear of a world devoid of nudity

March 3, 2014 3 comments

If the previous episode was a knockout punch, then this episode is the ref’s countdown to see if the show’s protagonists can get off the mat in time. and by the end of the episode it’s clear that while the battle is not over, the good guys have weak legs and are disoriented. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Hajime no Ippo lately.)

I started this episode in a really dour mood.  Not only are all my favorite characters getting their asses kicked, but possibly the best character was gobbled up for good when the COVERS monsters caught Mako and ate her!

Me: “YOU BASTARDS!!!!”

Then we see that Ryuuko is unconscious from Lady Satsuki blowing up the arena.  Lady Satsuki has been taken hostage and is again being sexually assaulted by her mother.  And the Four Devas and the remains of Nudist Beach are fighting a losing battle in Japan against the COVERS onslaught.  It’s looking pretty bad at the moment.  Things do turn around at the end – sorta.  With the COVERS army engaging Nudist Beach at their final stronghold in Japan, Mako is saved by Ira – who we can confirm 100% shipping status.  They’re totally gonna bone and have weird babies – just you wait!

The episode ends painfully though, as Ryuuko finally awakens, super strong and angry.  She wipes out a large group of COVERS a-holes, but then turns to a happy Senketsu and tells him to piss off!  She says she’ll never ear him again and calls both of them monsters!

She’s really taking this whole end of the world/my mother is the devil situation pretty hard.  Someone get her an ice cream cone or something.

Overall, a pretty sad episode, but a welcome reprieve from the past two.  KILL LA KILL only took less than a full episode to bounce back into the drama and battle.  And it seems now that most all secrets are totally out of the bag.  Matoi  Isshin being proven to be her real father all along.  Lady Satsuki and Ryuuko being sisters.  Ira and Mako being a super weird and cute pair.  And the fact that Lady Satsuki had not only been consolidating power, but protecting those she’d kept under her harsh rule.  The Ultima Uniforms giving the students power and resistance to Life Fiber control.  But no one could foresee the god-like power Ragyou wields.  And speaking of g0d-like, it looks like Ragyou still has some plans for her daughters, and she’s even making a new godrobe more powerful than any of the others for them.  Why?

What I take from this episode is that the show has finally been laid bare.  Once known, this show was never terribly complicated, just really, really weird.  Lady Satsuki and the Four Devas were indeed never the real enemy, and were merely harsh and devoted double agents.  The nobility of all of them really did shine through.  There is nothing more to this episode it seems for now.  The whole show has no choice but to move forward now, likely to a conclusion that will move worlds.

Note: something else I’ve confirmed is that Nonon is a certifiable hotty and sex symbol.  I could feel the undercurrents of this truth coming through via comments on Twitter and the multitude of “interesting” fan art that I’ve seen on G+ and Pixiv.

Note 2: was I the only one that noticed that Mako’s mom was staring super hard at Aikuro’s d*ck?

Further Reading:

Golden Time ep19: weak sauce

On the plus side, I learned I was horribly mistaken about one of my previous misconceptions about this show. On the other end, this show still feels compelled to disguise high school drama in the cloak of a university setting. Or perhaps this is just another in a long line of cases of me having too high a bar for a series in terms of its maturity.

Despite my negative tone, it wasn’t as if I didn’t enjoy this episode.  Progress is Read more…

KILL LA KILL ep18: !!!!!

February 17, 2014 2 comments

This episode was like watching someone reach the summit, only to be grabbed by the balls and tossed all the way back down to the bottom! F*CK!

I was so ready to write something positive, but everything good that happened this episode was wiped away by the near godly hand of Ragyou Kiryuuin. I dare say that this episode had the most jarring power swing I’ve ever seen in an anime. And this looks like it could be a worse defeat than anything I’ve seen in any other anime. Every pinnacle was overshadowed, and any weakness became a glaring flaw for the world to see. Read more…

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