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46  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: TV shows axed too soon on: July 12, 2015, 07:57:04 PM
ASIDE: Sometimes I wonder how much of it is the actor and how much of it is the director.  For example, Hayden Christensen's acting was not very convincing in Star Wars (directed by George Lucas), but he acted very well in Shattered Glass (directed by Billy Ray).  And we all know Natalie Portman's an excellent actress, but Lucas's directing did not bring out her best in Star Wars. 
47  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: July 12, 2015, 05:04:23 PM
Dice, the way I saw it with the crazy scientist was that
he just got lost in the void.  He can gorge himself on all the information he wants, but he can't use it or share it with anyone.  He's a ghost trapped in an infinite library who can read all the books, but can't leave the library or interact with its visitors.  It's the "neutral" ending because he wasn't inherently good or evil.  He helped out Gene Starwind as much as he hindered him, all in the quest for knowledge.  
 The ending didn't wrap everything up into a neat little bundle like Cowboy Bebop did (I can't think of a TV series with a better ending), but it left things with enough closure to satisfy me and I'd like to imagine for myself all the new misadventures Gene and crew get into.  

The few bits I had to let slip by virtue of "because anime" were
episode 5 where Gene shoots Aisha in that restaurant in Blue Heaven.  In a prior episode, Mikey and Swano told him that he can't fire a gun in Blue Heaven or the powers that be would kill him.  But for the storyline, that rule was let slide.  And I will not call into question how Jim, an 11 year-old, is allowed to drive various vehicles and no one bats an eyelash.  Again, "because anime."

I did like how characters like Suzuka and Aisha started out antagonistic toward Gene but he grew on them and can't imagine their lives not being part of the crew.  Melfina comments that they're like family and it's true.  I particularly liked the brief "big sister/ little brother" moments between Aisha and Jim.  I would have liked to see more of Suzuka's interactions with the boys.  She has positive interactions with Melfina and Aisha, we know that.  The dynamic between her and Gene is interesting- he outfaced her and though she wasn't beaten, she was kinda defeated.  Jim regarded her with suspicion, but toward the end she seemed to grow on him.  I would have liked more interplay between them since they're similar in different ways.  Both are no-nonsense and all-business, but Suzuka is a coldly efficient whereas Jim struggles to keep Gene's cavalier recklessness (and later Aisha's blunt tactlessness) in check.  I feel like Suzuka and Jim could mutually respect each other.  Jim's my favorite character in the whole thing.  I think he's the glue that holds it all together.  Gene alone couldn't hold that crew and I think they all stay with Gene because Jim is part of the package.  In the beginning, Hilda put up with Gene's tomfoolery because she came to an understanding with Jim.  

It's too bad the Outlaw Star manga isn't available in English, because I'm sure it would have delved into some of the anime's glossed over points, like Suzuka's
history with Hitoriga.  I got the basic gist of their rivalry in the anime, but I'm sure it went deeper than they said.

The episode intros were great.  My favorite was the one about ancient ruins all over the various galaxies before episode 21.  It reminded me of the ancient aliens theory which I'm into (I grew up in a Hindu household after all and my mom's the one who told me about the vimanas and she's interested in ancient alien theories too.)  

Oh, and if you're looking for anime with a similar vibe to Outlaw Star, one that comes to mind is The Irresponsible Captain Tylor.  Granted, I have only seen the first handful of episodes, but I liked what I saw and the series is held in high regard by anime fans.  And this madcap fantasy called Sorcerer Hunters gave me very similar gut feelings as Outlaw Star; I've both seen the anime and read the manga so I can definitely give you more details about it.  It's not a highly regarded or well-known series in the slightest, but I enjoyed it a lot.  
48  Media / The Soundroom / Re: The Music Video Topic on: July 12, 2015, 09:42:00 AM
I love the animated sequences in this video.  Great song too.  Butthole Surfers "Who was in my room last night?"  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNAkbbKycCM
49  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 11, 2015, 06:47:21 PM
Sausage?  But I thought you were a vegetarian, and don't a lot of vegan sausages taste awful?
50  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: July 11, 2015, 05:22:06 PM
18 eps into Outlaw Star.  I didn't realize there were two ending themes, and the second one is fantastic.  

And fandom feelings from back in the day creep up again.  Like it felt as if the Internet tried to make you choose between it, Bebop, and Trigun.  Bebop is the better series from an objective point of view.  I can't think of a better ending to a series, but if you were to ask me to summarize the plot for you, I couldn't.  But holy hell I'm having way more fun with Outlaw Star.  It's more "my" kind of anime, with alien races, special powers, screwball comedy mixed in with the adventure.  I don't know if a year from now I'll be able to summarize its plot for you, but I might have an easier time recalling it than Bebop's.  Bebop and Outlaw start off with similar themes, but it's interesting how they diverge.  Bebop stays more grounded and melancholy with the whole thing about learning to accept life's blues.  On the other hand, Outlaw is more adventurous, fantastical, and "where there's a will there's a way" optimism to it.

EDIT: And I just finished Outlaw Star.  The ending was kinda tropey, but it was really well done.  It was a "jump out of my seat" type ending and I enjoyed it.  Definitely a great series I'd want to watch again.  Bebop's like that too.  You know how there are some series that are really good when you first watch them, but then you don't really have the desire to watch them again?  Bebop and Outlaw are those great series I'd want to watch again. 
51  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dice Plays FFIX (1st post now with Table of Contents & Plot Summaries!) on: July 11, 2015, 01:29:22 PM
Jawsh, if you've seen any of my posts in an FF7 related discussion, you know I have a soft spot for Jessie.  Put "sweetie pumpkin" in the search bar and you'll see I talk about her too much. 

Here's a goofy parody fic of Zidane hangin' out with his crew.  I love how "Shut up, Cinna!" is a running gag.  Yes, I'm a fan of Mooncalf's parody fics, can you tell?  http://mooncalf.org/library/parody/hangingout.html

And I like Dice's version of Agahnim.  He looks like a  stoner Kids Next Door.  Sorry Link, but you don't steal Agahnim's harvest without retribution. 
52  Media / Game Journals / Re: Dincrest plays Chrono Cross PlayLog on: July 10, 2015, 08:22:15 PM
I dunno what ending I'm going to go for.  Standard one I guess since it's a first playthrough from scratch. 
53  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: TV shows axed too soon on: July 10, 2015, 12:27:45 PM
Nu He-Man was axed after 2 seasons and was just getting warmed up.  I don't recall if the season 2 story arc came to a resolution, but either way there were still a TON of hanging plot threads for new seasons to tie up.  If I am to believe speculation, the proposed season 3 was supposed to be the arc about
Teela finding out that Sorceress is her mother
and further speculation was that season 4 would introduce
Adam's twin sister Adora, who's She-Ra.

And from what I've gathered, nu Thundercats ended with a massive cliffhanger since the story arc was planned for 52 eps instead of 26. 
54  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: R.O.T. on: July 10, 2015, 12:03:57 PM
First impressions count, and it looks like a generic RPG Maker or Kemco RPG- and those are trite and generic offerings farted out at tremendous rates.  I can appreciate indies being labors of love, but unless they bring something cool to the table, I'm not interested.  Dust: An Elysian Tail was in-fucking-credible.  That was a one man operation.  After seeing and playing Dust, I'm thinking, "Damn, everyone's gotta step up their game now, even the pros!" 

It's like with music.  I value and support local bands/musicians/artists because they're working hard, writing their own music, trying to make it.  I feel like big-name popular bands already have tons of fans, tons of money, and tons of sponsorships, so I'm all about seeing what's "real."  That's why any band's first album is always the best one- because it comes from a real place.  But even if you have a group of excellent musicians, it's for naught if they don't write memorable songs and/or put forth a boring stage performance.  When I was with Pool of Thorns, other bands kinda looked down on us because we weren't the most technical musicians, but we wrote songs that stayed in peoples' heads and we  put forth an explosive stage show.  I've seen plenty of bands who were nice people who were incredibly skilled with their instruments, but I couldn't remember any of their songs and their stage show had no life.  I'd rather see a shitty punk band with wild stage antics than a mediocre metal band. 

Color me not interested in R.O.T. 

I AM interested in Celestian Tales: Old North, though.  Their first Kickstarter failed, but they completely revamped the game, the new Kickstarter was successful, and the demo was fantastic. 
55  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: TV shows axed too soon on: July 10, 2015, 08:21:52 AM
(on a completely unrelated note, I couldn't quite get into "nu" Thundercats.  Maybe I'll give it another chance, but man I was NOT feeling nu Cheetara's design.)  

I decided to get over myself and give nu Thundercats another shot and watched some episodes of it.  That show is really good and I'll add it to my list of shows canned prematurely.  Apparently its story arc was planned for 52 episodes, but it got the axe after only 26.  I think what got the nostalgia fanboy in me was that it deviated so far from the 1980s original and was a different animal entirely; like with Pumyra being a villain this time around.  On the other hand,  nu He-Man took the 1980s series and turned all of its jumbled continuity storylines into something truly cohesive.  But when I decided not to let childish nostalgia cloud my mind and accept nu Thundercats for what it is, I can dig this tiger's new stripes.  

So, yeah, nu He-Man and nu Thundercats are my picks for "shows axed too soon."  
56  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal on: July 09, 2015, 07:00:26 AM
I'm rewatching Outlaw Star.  I have only seen it on Toonami (and not in its entirety) and am watching the DVD boxset, subtitled.  I only watched the first 5 episodes last night and my feelings are similar to what they were before.  Yes, Cowboy Bebop is objectively the better series, but Outlaw Star is just more my style of anime, "what the huh?" moments of 'anime logic' be damned.  But if I didn't allow myself to succumb to the oxymoron that is "cartoon logic" and nitpicked all the niggles I wouldn't enjoy anime and cartoons (especially 80s cartoons) and would need to be admitted to the Please Please Please Get a Life foundation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNJ6dFwh8a4.  

And although Bebop has excellent music, Outlaw Star is no slouch in the music department either.  Its opening and ending songs are quite good and the music throughout the series is solid.  Again, Cowboy Bebop has arguably superior music, but Outlaw Star's music is more my style.  

Bebop has the superior dub, though.  Bebop's dub felt effortless whereas Outlaw's sounded a bit "try hard." That being said, Jim and Aisha are a hoot in the dub.  

I know the trinity in those days was Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, and Trigun, but I never quite got into Trigun.    

EDIT: 10 episodes in and loving it!
57  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Transistor (iOS) on: July 07, 2015, 08:25:22 PM
A review of this baby (iOS version) is in the works.  It did kinda get put on our back burner because of E3 and because it's not a new game, but we're covering it. 

Bastion on iOS was very well done.  Controlled great on an iPad and looked killer too.  Supergiant knows what they're doing when it comes to adapting controls to tablets.  This puts them a cut above other developers, in my book.  You'd be surprised how many very reputable developers fall flat when adapting and tuning game controls for tablets. 
58  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 07, 2015, 10:59:03 AM
Love the previews, and thanks again for indulging us. 
59  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 06, 2015, 04:27:37 PM
Tomara, may I put in an article request for an HD remaster of Panzer Dragoon Saga being nothing but a pipe dream?  That it will forever be the greatest RPG you never played?  Please and thank you.
60  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Youtube on: July 06, 2015, 11:23:03 AM
Skeletor's best insults: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNz6eHfsESQ
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