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The Grey Wolf

Anime II: Back to Zero

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I watched A Silent Voice, In This Corner of the World, and My Life as a Zucchini over the weekend.

A Silent Voice was interesting and the topic is one I don't think I've ever seen addressed on-screen or indeed anywhere else.

My Life as a Zucchini was nice, short fluff.

In This Corner of the World, while somewhat bold in its subject matter, was just too slow for me to really get into though I did sit through the whole movie.

In other news, the third season of Castlevania was bloody awesome. Next up on the docket: Avatar!

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Silent voice is interesting in that it follows the consequences of being a bully. I also like stories in general that get you to feel empathy for those who have done something shitty as it usually means the writing/acting/directing all have to be top notch.

The fuzzed out faces is a great visual technique.

You are in for a treat if you've never seen avatar! I once called it "the wire" of animation. You can also go straight into legend of korra. Wonder if we'll ever see other avatar animations? I fear it's unlikely with the live action show turning up. Either the new show is successful and they stick to live action or it's a flop and the franchise is on pause. Weird to hope for a show to be mediocre as then we might get an animated film/show to back it up like with altered carbon

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Re: Zero first episode just dropped but I'm waiting there are more episodes. Probably.

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Avatar Last Airbender really is the wire of animation. I also mean by that it might take a bit to get into it ( that was my experience with both anyway) but once you do you’ll understand it’s greatness. It has some of the most thoughtful characterisation I’ve seen in an animated series anyway. Plus the fights are beautiful.

Korra is skippable I think. I really liked it in parts but it doesn’t really come close. The setting is interesting though and I liked how it was an extension of the world created in the original show.

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5 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Korra is skippable I think. I really liked it in parts but it doesn’t really come close.

I'll beg to differ. On the contrary I'd highly recommend it.

The first time I saw it I really didn't like it. Nothing clicked: I didn't like Korra herself (man, is she annoying!), didn't like the antagonists (and the overall messages of the show), didn't like most of the new themes explored... etc.
It all felt wrong and clumsy, even the pace didn't always work for me.

Then for some reason I started a rewatch a year or two ago and absolutely loved it.
It's hard to explain why. But one main reason was that I initially tried watching Korra soon after AtlA, and the two shows are really nothing alike. That's like saying fire burns, and yet I still think the reason so many people dislike Korra is precisely because they see it as an Avatar show.
I think it's more of a show set in the Avatar universe with a main character that happens to be the avatar.
The funny thing about Korra is that she never truly becomes the avatar. She's surrounded by characters who are much wiser or smarter than she is, and she even struggles to be the best fighter. She's not even always at the center of the story, and other characters are much more likable  (Jinora is far more lovable, the true heir to Aang). In a nutshell, she's more "superhero" than avatar. Despite what she does, as a character she never reaches the presence and charisma of Aang or Roku.
I'm not 100% sure but I think that everything clicked during my rewatch because I didn't see Korra as the avatar, but as an arrogant kid who really needs to learn and grow...
The very opposite of what Aang was.

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My backlog is insane but rn my top three are Avatar: TLA, Re: Zero season 2, and Umbrella Academy season 2, after which maybe I'll catch up on Attack on Titan.

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Posted (edited)

Just watched the first episode of the Higurashi Remake.

I... I don't really know where I stand. So far the art style is the only part that severely puts me off. The characters look like plastic figurines and the always blushing cheeks during the slice-of-life segments never stop irritating me. I have been really paranoid about fanservice, but so far there hasn't been anything notable. There was one really strange crotch shot of Satoko during the picnic at the Furude shrine though that I don't exactly know where to put. Other than that, they have restrained themselves, but we also haven't seen any penalty games for some reason.

On the plus side of things: The first few scenes lift the dialogue pretty much verbatim from the visual novel. I think that's their way of assuring viewers that they are trying a faithful adaptation. I also soon discovered that they ditched the reddened cheeks during serious scenes, which goes a long way in making me get used to the art, though the plastic feeling never stops, which will make gore scenes very odd to look at I assume. They also pull all the stops in terms of foreshadowing, especially the prominent display of Rika's calendar took me by surprise this early.

Then we came across our first diversion. In a nod to the original Anime featuring the club's welcome card game to Keiichi the remake skips to one day later with Keiichi asking whether they will play this again and the club instead playing a "game" to find Mion's marker that she hid somewhere in the school. That... I don't really what was the intention of that? The card game was extremely useful for getting to know how the club and its penalty game's work, as well as giving a crucial clue for the mystery of this chapter. Why just telling what happened and even removing the penalty part of the replacement game? It's as if this Anime is aimed exactly at people who are already familiar with the story and don't need those clues anymore, which I think makes very little sense for a remake aiming at getting a new audience.

This feeling got turned up to eleven during the final scene of the episode where for some reason the old Anime's opening song started playing for the credits. Does that mean they will literally use the old opening? Seriously? I'm... not sure what to make of that if it's true. And some tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist within me is quite on edge about this Anime pulling a Rebuild of Evangelion on us and severely altering the story we know. Heck, the post-credits scene extremely hinted at something like this, to be honest...

I'll keep watching and will try to stay on my toes. We'll see how this goes storywise and whether I can manage to adjust to the art style.

Edited by Toth

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The first episode of Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon just dropped. It was good.

I do have a problem with this sequel series to Inuyasha because it's something completely original - no source manga exists for it so the script writer is basically inventing things wholesale now. I'm afraid the powers-that-be have declared Yashahime to be "canon" but I will grudgingly consider it "anime canon" at best.

Manga > Anime (in terms of canon)

Quote

It is the story of Sesshōmaru's twin daughters, Towa and Setsuna, as well as Inuyasha's daughter, Moroha.

See, that's the problem... Sesshoumaru doesn't even have a girlfriend in the original source but here he has half-human children. One wonders who the mother could possibly be...

Canonicity aside, I did enjoy Yashahime. It's only one episode but it was fun. 

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Ryukishi played his audience like a goddamn fiddle! I mean... sure that the author specializing in ridiculously unreliable narrators and meta-twists will play a prank like this on the viewers he made to believe that the new Higurashi show is a remake. Damn...

So the whole thing started to come down on Wednesday. Amazon put up the show and an episode list and people started wondering why it was named "Higurashi no naku koro ni Gou" and why its first arc is called "Onidamashi" (Deceived by Demons) instead of "Onikakushi" (Abducted by Demons) despite the first episode having depicted Onikakushi events. I watched the Reddit melting down in real time as people started discussing that this could indeed be a different story.

And then Episode 2 aired. Immediately starting out with:

Spoiler

Rika being in the Sea of Fragments and having a discussion with Hanyuu about whether she died again and then freaking out upon realizing that Hanyuu is going to send her back to 1983 despite already having won their future before.

IT IS A SEQUEL! NOT A REMAKE! GODDAMN IT, RYUKISHI!

Ironically I am now a lot more curious how this will play out. I have honestly no clue whatsoever. None of this was ever shown in any of the VNs or mangas. So far the second episode as well depicts mostly Onikakushi events, including some scenes the first Anime skipped, but skipping a lot of very crucial scenes and still alluding to them as if acknowledging that they should be here. Which in turn makes me wonder:

Spoiler

Why the hell does Rika not do anything whatsoever? She already knows who will kill her, so why is she completely idle and allows events to unfold like in Onikakushi up until the festival? Saving Tomitake was kinda important last time around...

Anyway, my first hunch that the scenes they skipped were far too crucial for this to be a remake and suspecting a Rebuild of Evangelion situation was so absolutely on the mark that I'm still stunned about my prediction. Yay, I guess?

In other news I am very slightly starting to get used to the art style. That doesn't mean I like it, mind you. I still find it lifeless and rigid with everyone looking like plastic dolls. The thick lighting effects somewhat manage to cover it up during twilight and night scenes though. Other than that I have nothing else to say, except having you enjoy the fantastic opening:

There are two very tiny Umineko references in it though that leave me utterly at a loss just how meta this show will get. I hope this will not throw off people who only know Higurashi. Adding on these concerns there is a small bit at the beginning of the episode where:

Spoiler

Rika spoke of her death in third person.

That was odd, to say the least. And now I'm worrying that this might mean...

Spoiler

... that this is not Rika, but Bernkastel? That would be quite the twist...

 

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On 7/9/2020 at 3:16 AM, Rippounet said:

I'll beg to differ. On the contrary I'd highly recommend it.

The first time I saw it I really didn't like it. Nothing clicked: I didn't like Korra herself (man, is she annoying!), didn't like the antagonists (and the overall messages of the show), didn't like most of the new themes explored... etc.
It all felt wrong and clumsy, even the pace didn't always work for me.

Then for some reason I started a rewatch a year or two ago and absolutely loved it.
It's hard to explain why. But one main reason was that I initially tried watching Korra soon after AtlA, and the two shows are really nothing alike. That's like saying fire burns, and yet I still think the reason so many people dislike Korra is precisely because they see it as an Avatar show.
I think it's more of a show set in the Avatar universe with a main character that happens to be the avatar.
The funny thing about Korra is that she never truly becomes the avatar. She's surrounded by characters who are much wiser or smarter than she is, and she even struggles to be the best fighter. She's not even always at the center of the story, and other characters are much more likable  (Jinora is far more lovable, the true heir to Aang). In a nutshell, she's more "superhero" than avatar. Despite what she does, as a character she never reaches the presence and charisma of Aang or Roku.
I'm not 100% sure but I think that everything clicked during my rewatch because I didn't see Korra as the avatar, but as an arrogant kid who really needs to learn and grow...
The very opposite of what Aang was.

Korra was meant to be the anti-Aang and the series was meant to be the anti-Last Airbender.

A hormonal teen, instead of a wide-eyed idealist 12-year old.

A city of adventure, instead of a globe-spanning adventure.

I thought Korra had more lows, but overall I liked Korra more than TLA.

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Oh wow, I just read the announcement that the release of the Log Horizon Season 3 anime has been delayed. 2020 just keeps on giving!

I guess I'll have to wait for 2021.

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Loving Dorohedro.

Haven't seen a setting I'd think of as Urban High Fantasy that I like this much since Perdido Street Station...

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Two new shows from Netflix that have been really excellent. Transformers War for Cybertron ( when is season 2 out!) and Blood of Zeus.

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I've been trying The Great Pretender (also on Netflix) in an attempt to get back into anime. The animation is pretty cool (amazing colour palette and attention to detail with real life locations) but the characters / story etc are nothing special so far.  

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On 11/22/2020 at 7:30 PM, Rippounet said:

Meh. I started Blood of Zeus (first 2 episodes) and found it mediocre. Does it get better?

From what I've heard no.

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Still watching Higurashi Gou. And still not entirely sure how they will go about resolving this show. So far the idea seems to be entirely "It's the same exact story arcs as in the original Higurashi, but with a twist". This... I am not quite sure I like as much as I should. With every arc so far being four episodes, this means there are three episodes that are 90% boredom because it is just repeating stuff you already know with only some small hints that something has changed and then it all comes crashing down in an ending that usually has the murderers and victims switched up.

The ending of the "Watadamashi" arc was a fantastic mystery though, giving you just enough clues to figure out 80% of what happened on your own, but still leaving something you need more information for to get a clear picture. And yet, YET, I am annoyed just how much of the arc was just the Watanagashi arc despite Keiichi giving the doll to Mion. Vast swathes of the plot shouldn't have happened like that. At least in this one Rika has the excuse for how fast she was dispatched to explain why she wasn't able to influence more things.

Edited by Toth

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