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Dice
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« Reply #2145 on: June 26, 2013, 11:59:46 AM »

Don't think anybody will crucify you for posting in here about it. When the heck is Korra S2 coming? It's felt like ages to me since S1 ended but it turns out it was only about a year ago. Hm.

Got delayed because they're making Season 2 longer.  A bad thing but ultimately a good thing (read below)!

What's the general consensus with Korra?

I thought it wasn't very good. Then again, I do compare it to The Last Airbender.

Yeah, the production values were significantly better, but I found the plot I giant mess.

Minor plot-rant.
Code:
Particularly the ending.  Some people thought Mass Effect 3 left too much unsaid and unresolved; Korra went the opposite route and cleaned *everything* up within  5 minutes.  She finally learns how to Air Bend, she (very dramatically) LOSES her ability to bend, but magically gains it back when she was SAD and managed to hit a spiritual side and go into the full Avatar state.  This would have worked, but it was crammed so tightly that it kinda loses its punch.  But also, some of it doesn't seem deserved: sure she loses her powers, gains them back, and brings back everyone else's bending --- BUT HOT DAMN THAT'S JUST PERFECT.  Yet it feels less deserved; her sorrow was so temporary it's hardly relatable, and her new found spiritual came only out of desperation for it[?] than anything else.  Normally I think that'd be okay, but it certainly renders a lot of her training and efforts moot for it.  Ah well, this isn't my big issue anyways, moving on...

Amon has his own plot-problems.  Particularly, his dramatic backstory growing up with his brother and dickhead father was probably a better sell for equalists than the one he made up.  Mind you, the murder-suicide between him and his brother was....extremely unexpected and quite a shock (fuck, a pun, literally shocking).  I don't really get his ultimate plan either, or it felt rushed/unfinished.  So he wants to get rid of everyone's bending, is it because he wants to rule as the sole bender?   And DAMN that plan takes a LOT of work -- made worse by the fact it isn't REAL energy bending like Aang possessed but just some fancy blood bending which does ______[?] to the body (which is kinda surprising it can't be reversed?).  But again, the fact that Amon HATED his father who taught him how to Bloodbend and to use it for evil and revenge was like....1000x better than "firebender assholes burned my face!".

Now, between the brothers, Bolin was hands down the underdog we cheered for, not Mako (which is certainly a problem given his supporting role status OVER Bolin).  Mako was a typical, good-looking hero, but then he just turned from gentle and noble older-brother, to a confused cheat who starts going ga-ga for Korra (for mostly unexplained reasons other than "love happens") and two-timed a great, great girl like Asami (who they never spell out *why* she might be a *bad* girlfriend to perhaps justify the cheating...there's like, no message to take home from that).  It's actually kinda sad really; she also betrays her father to stay with her boyfriend's party and she really got the short end of the stick.  Also, that one "date" Bolin and Korra go on was probably more amusing than the whole of Korra and Mako's relationship; he seemed to have been given better material as well.  I dunno, I thought Bolin was the better hero in all this, but they stuck Korra with Mako because....maybe he's just that "ideal man" or something.

Their major theme is a giant mess as well.  The idea of bender versus non-bender is a REAALLY big deal given the advantages benders actually have, but we don't hear anything about it, and bending is hardly justified because non-benders still, more or less, suck without it.  Again, maybe we'll hear more about it later, but we got no resolution FOR THE PEOPLE even when Korra becomes a sort-of Mother Theresa in all this to support both sides of the fight (a no-named characters said "you're the PEOPLE's avatar"); instead we see her Korra as if her life just ended the moment she loses her power.  Again, this could have flied if they stated how dramatic it is to be born and raised and *touted* as the next Avatar, and to go from being a big somebody to "just another nobody", but she makes no vow to still be at least "Avatar-in-Name" for the people, solidifying how *awesome* it is to be a bender>non-bender.

These are probably exaggerated findings, but I am confident in thinking this could have been better done if they had a longer season to do it with.  The fighting was still out of this world, and it's great to see the legacies continue on from the original "Aang-gang"
Hard to think I'd like a tiny vegetarian pacifist (i.e.; Aang) more than an ass-kicking female, but the series certainly had been fleshed out more; so I'm actually glad Korra is going the same route to give the series more time to do its thing.

I'm watching the first series again right now, and whether intentional or not, the way loyalties are handled with Zuko and Iroh are nothing short of brilliant and probably better handled than all of Korra's plot.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 12:02:05 PM by Dice » Logged

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« Reply #2146 on: June 26, 2013, 12:45:10 PM »

I didn't like Korra very much either. I don't like most of the concepts, even though I appreciate that they're trying to deliver something different. I also agree with almost everything Dice listed. I also cheered for Bolin, felt the pacing of the season was really wonky, and think Mako is a bland-as-hell designated love interest.

On the other hand, the real-life Mako had the best character in the franchise.
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Annubis
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« Reply #2147 on: June 26, 2013, 12:45:26 PM »

What really grinds my gear with Korra is how half-assed everything in the world was.

The best example I can think of is:
Code:
At the end, when they find the baddies' base, you realize that there was a giant airport on a hill like right next to the city and nobody ever realized it. Planes have been taking off that runway the whole time too.
Also, said planes had machine guns that were pointed in the wrong direction only because it made sense for one scene.

It's like they forced the world to be like it needed for the plot they had, instead of making a world where the plot happens.
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« Reply #2148 on: June 26, 2013, 01:23:42 PM »

I guess the shippers will go and play Oreimo Happy enD for their ending anyway (I actually kinda want to play that myself... game is supposed to be creepy on multiple levels. Supposedly worst than the PSP games that were already said to be creepy as hell)

Creepy as hell?  I played them and I thought they were fine.  Pretty true to the characters (in fact there were bits of volume 12 that reminded me of scenes in the PSP games...), although the first one was made long enough ago that a lot of notable events in the books hadn't happened yet, so there's divergence there.  But the PSP games (particularly the second game, though it's really just a continuation of the first) are quite satisfying for the shippers, so I guess they'll always have that...

I don't know about about Happy enD, though.  It just gives me a weird vibe.  It's not a normal VN, they're doing this idol management thing that could be interesting but seems kind of out of character here.  I mean, other than Kanoko none of the girls in this series have ever expressed any interest in being and idol.  And I can't even imagine Kuroneko or Saori doing it, that seems blatantly out of character.
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« Reply #2149 on: June 26, 2013, 01:48:55 PM »

Wasn't the second PSP game the one with the pregnant endings?

and I could see Saori being an idol after that small character development arc she has.
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« Reply #2150 on: June 26, 2013, 02:04:29 PM »

The first game had an ending like that for Ayase (and just Ayase, don't really know why) if you got her true end, but you need to put that in context.  It was at the very end after a big time skip, showing that years later they got married and had kids.  In the second game they decided to do something similar for everyone else, though rather than pregnancy scenes they skipped straight to showing the kids.

I don't know, do you think people getting married and having kids is creepy?  It's not like these endings even took place when they were still in school or something, it was always a many years later thing.
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« Reply #2151 on: June 26, 2013, 02:12:33 PM »

Long rambling post time...

I finished reading the final volume (number 12) of the OreImo novels last night.  In Japanese, of course...I don't think the fan translations have gotten that far yet and there aren't any plans for an official English release.  Feels like the end of an era since I've been working on these books for so long now.  It's was the first novel series I really tried reading in Japanese and it certainly felt like quite an accomplishment at the time.

In any event, I think that like most people my first exposure to the series was the original anime season, which I enjoyed well enough for what it was, or at least what I thought it was (more on that later...).  But I wasn't crazy about it or anything at the time.  Then I got interested challenging myself to read novels in Japanese and ended settling on the OreImo series.  Not going to lie, a big part of the reason why it was the first novel series I read in Japanese is simply because it was easier than others that I looked at.  Down-to-earth setting, no special vocabulary, straightforward writing style. etc.  These aren't necessarily things that make for great books, but they certainly do make for easier to read books, particularly when you aren't completely comfortable with the language.  And believe me, reading novels is a lot harder than manga or something.

Somewhere along the line I started really getting into these books, eagerly anticipating every new volume.  I even played both of the PSP games that were released.  I'm still not going to claim that these books are anything groundbreaking, but the author certainly manages to craft a cast of memorable and likeable characters.  It also walked this fine line between parody and pandering.  There's a certain level of self-awereness that pervades the series, starting with the whole concept of having a little sister character who is obsessed with moe little sister characters (but doesn't act like one at all).  And the constant "if this was an ero-game" references at least seemed aware the fact that life is not an ero-game and that a lot of the situations presented in such games are pretty absurd.  So at the start I thought the series was firmly on the parody side of the line, but as it went on it began to resemble the things it was parodying more and more...

Which brings us to the final volume.  Massive spoilers follow.

Code:
I have to give the author credit for ending the previous volumes in such a way that there were actually numerous, completely plausible directions he could have gone in the final arc.  It's a great way to sell books, after all.  Even so, I really didn't expect him to go the direction he did.

I don't know, Kyousuke obviously cared about his sister a lot and for her part Kirino wasn't really as tsun as she acted, but at the end of the day I still always saw them as family.  In the past they had a falling out and over the course of the books they managed to reconcile a bit and be more honest with each other.  But that doesn't mean they had [i]romantic[/i] feelings for each other.  There's nothing wrong with family getting along better.  No matter how much Kyousuke doted on Kirino I always interpreted that as just him being a nosy older brother.  Honestly, I kind of thought that was one of the main points of this story!  That life isn't an ero-game and one shouldn't automatically interpret things in a perverted way.

Apparently I was wrong.

Honestly, the fact that Kyousuke and Kirino started dating for real shocked me.  It seemed like the least-plausible coupling to me.  But nope, the author went there and went there big.  Then I started to half-expect (OK, maybe more than half) an 11th hour Kyousuke-was-adopted-and-they're-not-really-blood-related reveal.  It's not like the possibility hadn't been hinted at before and it seemed like the only possible way this could end well.  But nope, they're honest-to-god siblings.  Probably for the best, since that kind of twist would have been incredibly trite.

But it just makes the whole thing...uncomfortable.  What's even the message of this story anymore, I don't know.  At least they have enough sense to call it off at the very end, realizing that this isn't something they can do forever.  But the final ending doesn't really resolve anything, and of course pleases none of the shippers (not that the author should necessarily be trying to please shippers...).  It was awkward, uncomfortable, and inconclusive.

But, I guess at least somewhat realistic and certainly not like an ero-game.  So I guess that's something.

So there ends my first ever light novel series I read in Japanese.  It's memorable to me for that reason alone, but if nothing else the conclusion was certainly memorable in its own right.

Oh yeah, since this is an anime thread I guess I should talk about season 2 a bit.  It's airing currently and frankly...I think it's a bit of a mess.  I don't know, I hate to be one of those "the books are better" guys, and I don't even feel that way about the first season.  The first season of the anime was great.  But season 2 has all kinds of weird pacing issues, with them covering important events way too fast and then spending too long on stuff that doesn't really matter.  Maybe it's because I already knew where things were going having read the first 11 volumes already (and now 12, but the anime hasn't gotten there yet...).  And of course they're leaving the actual conclusion for OVA eps coming in August...weird thing to do.  I think there was plenty of material for two more full seasons, and then maybe it would have been paced better.

So in other words, it ended about as well as that one series about a college student raising an 8 year old girl (the actual name of said series I cannot seem to recall for the life of me).
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« Reply #2152 on: June 26, 2013, 02:30:48 PM »

It's not like these endings even took place when they were still in school or something

Well, that's the info I was missing.
Like I said, I questioned you because I've never played those games myself. Just heard some Internet THINK OF THE CHILDREN brouhaha.
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Dice
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« Reply #2153 on: July 01, 2013, 11:30:46 PM »

Fucken Sokka can bring on the chuckles.

Avatar Moments:

Sokka: “Can your fortunetelling explain that?”

Villager: “Can your science explain why it rains?”

Sokka: “Yes!  Yes, it can!”
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« Reply #2154 on: July 05, 2013, 06:21:19 PM »

Since we talked about Gundam SEED Destiny not too long ago.

I watched the EDITED version of GSD (that's the 4 movie version, not episodes) in the last few days.
In the EDITED version, they even make Athrun the hero of GSD. Kira gets his usual badass moment spotlights, but overall, the story narrator is Athrun and they keep all of his scenes while scrapping almost every Shinn scene that doesn't move the plot forward (so pretty much all the Stella crap).

I just thought that was a funny little blurb to add.

Fucken Sokka can bring on the chuckles.

Among my favorite ones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vr9xPqGD8o

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« Reply #2155 on: July 05, 2013, 07:03:52 PM »

Since it's summer and I was thinking about the guilty pleasure anime thread, I re-watched Sorcerer Hunters.  I don't know why I love the series so much, but I do!  The manga's solid too, and I'm now re-reading those.
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« Reply #2156 on: July 05, 2013, 07:16:43 PM »

Fucken Sokka can bring on the chuckles.
Among my favorite ones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vr9xPqGD8o

Perfect example of male bonding! 

I have to say, I re-watched the series, and it really, really is amazing.  I remember hating it at first, thought it just another anime knock-off, but it really stands out and works beautifully.  It seems to have 3 shitty, kid-friendly episodes (in order, one per season: Great Divide, Avatar Day, and the Painted Lady), but it's great how they managed every finale to be super strong.  I think, not only for "just" a cartoon, but it has one of the best put-together series finales I've seen in ages. 

Aang is almost a perfect hero: he's a goofy kid, yet he can stop everything and silence everything so he can meditate, he's a strong and crafty fighter, but he wants to take down the world's "fire-powered Hitler" without killing him (true to the Air Temples Buddhist-like creeds), and he manages to form interesting interactions with the people around him.

Since it's summer and I was thinking about the guilty pleasure anime thread, I re-watched Sorcerer Hunters.  I don't know why I love the series so much, but I do!  The manga's solid too, and I'm now re-reading those.

I loved the series way back when, I sadly remember nothing about it now except for some awesome girl-chasing hijinks
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« Reply #2157 on: July 05, 2013, 08:05:40 PM »

Carrot's hijinks totally amuse me.  And coupled with Tira Misu being one of the hottest anime chicks I've ever seen and tiramisu being one of my favorite desserts (whenever I'm at an Italian restaurant or a diner with great desserts, I always get tiramisu)... yeah.

And the English dub has one of my favorite lines as quoted in my sig:

Chocolate Misu: Why do you run, darling?  Am I more woman than you can bear?

Carrot Glace: Actually, I'd rather make love to a bear

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Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #2158 on: July 11, 2013, 03:57:43 PM »

I've been meaning to post for a week or two now after finishing up penguindrum. What an interesting series.

I can't really think of too many, if any, others I can really compare it too.  Very artfully done, the comedic series is constantly taking sharp turns into thought provoking psychological sequences that keep reminding you that there is truly something to pay attention to here.

The storytelling and the way the plot unfolds is a little disjointed and confusing but comes together well enough as things progress. The content is riskay enough at points to curl your toes and would almost be enough for me to call it in poor taste if it weren't pulled off concurrently with story development and some real artistic integrity (by way of actually being pertinent to the plot). Sorry if that is a bit vague and confusing but I am trying to keep my impression void of spoiler-ific details.

And while most of the characters are nothing to write home about, the character of Dr. Sanetoshi really appealed  to me.

All in all I'm not saying Penguidrum is great but if your in the mood for something of a very different flavor than what you may be used to, it is worth checking out.

The blend of humor and mind-f*** that is executed here is of high and rare caliber indeed.

I actually think now, upon completing and understanding things a wee bit better, I could really appreciate a rewatch of the series. That is something you will rarely here me say, even of some of my favorite series.

Since it's summer and I was thinking about the guilty pleasure anime thread, I re-watched Sorcerer Hunters.  I don't know why I love the series so much, but I do!  The manga's solid too, and I'm now re-reading those.

Since I so love your taste in games, I had to check this out when I read your post... A 1995 fantasy anime series I have never seen... you have officially made my day and totally sealed the deal as to what I NEED to watch next good sir! Thank you :)
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« Reply #2159 on: July 11, 2013, 04:54:16 PM »

Let me know what you think of Sorcerer Hunters and we can talk about it and stuff.  One aspect I definitely like about Sorcerer Hunters is the music.  And even though the dub is nowhere near as good as the subtitles, that's where some of the best one-liners emerge.  I'm reading the Sorcerer Hunters manga right now (I just finished vol. 7 out of 13) and it's great.  The manga is a LOT better than the anime.  The TV series is fun (even if it kinda strays from the manga and doesn't have the most comprehensive ending), but the OVAs are priceless because they stay truer to the manga. 

I recently marathoned Cowboy Bebop (series plus movie) and realized why I fell in love with that series in the first place.  Heck, I named my car Faye Valentine the day I bought it.  (I got a 2010 Honda Fit 3 years ago with a blackberry pearl finish.  I saw the anime-eye headlights and the color and instantly thought to myself, "Faye Valentine" and I have a picture of Faye hanging off my mirror.  My bandmates always comment on the Faye picture whenever I'm driving, so maybe one day I'll get 'em to watch Cowboy Bebop too. 

I might have to re-watch Outlaw Star once I get my hands on that series (be it rental or keeper) since I've been thinking about it as well lately.  It seems the artist for that was also the artist for Thousand Arms and I didn't realize that. 
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