A Collection of Capsules
It occurred to me that despite the number of draft posts cluttering up my dashboard, I haven’t added any real content to this blog since surviving THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. Since then, I have enjoyed a lot of media, some of which deserve longer reviews. While I percolate on those items however, I’ll be posting capsule reviews of those tales for whom my feelings can be summed up more neatly.
Something I’m watching: RWBY, Season 2
Dealing with jetlag a few days after I returned home from Japan, I decided to give RWBY a try. Red-Riding Hood-esque heroine cutting down hordes of monsters with a giant scythe-gun? Could be interesting. The show continues to pleasantly surprise with me with it’s consistent quality of writing, and the animation has improved from Season 1. It’s a ridiculously fun mashup of a Japanese magical girl-type show and a Western magical schoolchums-type story. Season 2 opens with the comic highlight of the series thus far: a drawn out foodfight in which all of the main cast unleash their signature fighting styles upon each other wielding…baguettes, among other comestible armaments.
Something I’ve just watched: Legend of Korra, Book 3: Change
Finally! We get an Avatar finale that doesn’t involve pulling something out of a hat at the last minute; everything was nicely set up and foreshadowed. Major points for Su Beifong, lavabending, water-limb-lady, Tenzin absolutely cutting loose on the baddies, and Mako being cool and not doing anything stupid. Super major points for the showdown at the end mirroring Aang vs. The Fire Lord, but with the roles reversed. That was cool! Minus points for Mako’s poor decisions the past two seasons*, Iroh and Zuko being bland—seriously, why introduce Zuko, riding a dragon no less, if you don’t intend to show him opening a can of fiery awesomesauce at some point?—, and making adult Toph, as far as I can tell, a demimonde. In other words, the creators don’t seem to know how to handle their original cast members when they bring them back.
Something I’m playing: Chrono Trigger (DS port from SNES/Super Famicom)
MY GOODNESS WHY DID I NOT PLAY THIS GAME SOONER?! I finally picked it up after I spotted it at GameStop selling for the exact price that Pokemon HeartGold was trading in for. I love the sprawling, time-traveling plot, the likable cast, and the great musical score. I also wish someone had introduced me to JRPGs with Active Time Battle systems earlier. Try as I might, I’ve never really enjoyed traditional turn-based combat systems, but ATB adds a lot of excitement to the proceedings (other JRPGs that turn turn-based combat on its head in fascinating ways are the intricate, opulent Knights in the Nightmare and the more humble Metal Walker).
Something I’m anticipating: Rebuild of Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo
Rebuild 1.11 was an okay compilation movie.** Rebuild 2.22 vastly improved on 1.11 and the original series, highlights including Asuka being
really cute actually likable instead of potentially likable; and newcomer Mari being really cute essentially a Gurren Lagann character in Evangelion, which means that, brilliantly, she still comes across as dysfunctional as all the other characters, therefore fitting perfectly into Evangelion; and Gendo being really cute oh zod why did I actually type that? What has been seen cannot be unseen!. 2.22 cruelly ends on a cliffhanger, but I love the direction they’re taking the new storyline. The Human Instrumentality Project looks to be more closely woven in with the “fight the Angel-of-the-week” plot instead of being tacked on awkwardly for the finale a la End of Evangelion.
Something I’m working on: “Can Catholics Watch Game of Thrones?”
Yes, say I. The show makes you root for the good in characters, rather than “the good characters”, which I think is a more Catholic way of thinking. At it’s extreme, the latter approach essentially turns into Calvinism (the REDWALL books, love them as I do, are often guilty of this).
*The poor writing Mako received in the first two seasons is my biggest problem with the series. Not only did it make a potentially awesome character kind of lame, but it also squandered Korra’s and Asami’s potentials as love interests, which, from a writer’s perspective, was a horrible waste.
To say nothing of the shipper’s perspective.
**My most trivial quibble with the film is that it redubbed the best line from the original English dub.