Random other things watched during the Winter 2017/2018 season

Despite being an anime weabo, I also watch other things. In fact, I’ve watched a lot of live action stuff given how meh the last anime season was. Here’s some notes on those things.

 

Voltron Legendary Defender Season 5 (I think- whatever the most recent one is)- fine. The Netflix model of releasing this in half season blocks is really stuffing this show over in my opinion. The first half of the last two blocks of episodes have been kind of wasted reminding everyone what the situation is. Can’t say I like the trajectory of quality since… Season 2? Season 1 maybe?

Sopranos S1+ *some of* S2- is fine. I think I’ve watched too much great TV from post-Sopranos that makes it seem less good/revolutionary. In undeniably great but it just hasn’t grabbed me. May come back to it later, may check out The Wire first.

Star Wars Rogue One- not as good as I remembered from cinema but still quite good. Probably my favourite of the recent movies.

Star Wars II- Attack of the Clones- WAY better than I remembered. It used to be my most hated of the Star Wars movies but it jumped a few ranks for me. Having lived through the awkward, dumb and painful reality of teenage love; the Anakin-Padme love story was much better than I recalled (not saying that was George Lucas’ intention though)

Hateful Eight- good but very long. Also seeing the Weinstein Logo at the start kind of puts the whole film in a bad vibe.

Ready Player One- somehow worse and more disappointing than the very average book. Talk about not understanding female characters. What happened to Spielberg’s magic?

Pacific Rim 2- fine. The first one was fine and didn’t really need/deserve a sequel. This sequel didn’t really jusitfy it’s existence.

A Clockwork Orange- a clear case of “Akira-itis”: clearly revolutionary for it’s time but with the hindsight of the modern world it was quite tame and perhaps even bland.

Survivor (US) S36 great! It’s all the drama of politics with one of the consequences of the wrong people winning XD.

Bachelor in Paradise (Australia)- what the hell, how is this so entertaining?! I can’t believe how many episodes have been pumped out or that I’ve consumed them all.

Star Trek Discovery- really good, Mostly. Got a bit twist happy towards the middle third with writers appearing to try and 1-up the previous episode. And I’m surprised at how they ended it. But compared to the first season of TOS/TNG/Voyager/DS9 it’s much much better than any of those in my opinion.

Black Mirror S4- very tired. The edge of S1 and S2 has been lost. There seems to basically be 2-3 ‘stories’ in Black Mirror and each episode is just a  re-skin of one of those stories. Going for a shared universe has really hamstrung it’s ability to do some unexpected and ‘deep’ commentary on society.

Lethal Weapon S2- pretty fun. Although the old lady character who’s been intorduced to play off Riggs just shits me to no end. Also the release shcueld of this show s weird- only one epsiode in the last two months.

Star Wars Rebels S4- having not finished The Clone Wars, I still feel Rebels never quite managed to reach the heights Clone Wars did. And they did have to deal with the inevitable plot issue of ‘where did these Jedi go before A New Hope when Luke was the last Jedi’. But it was fine. Perhaps even good. Probably equals with Rogue One as the peak of the Disney-era Star Wars for me. Which probably says a lot about the rest of Disney era star wars.

Night of the Living Dead- clearly a cutting edge horror in its day. Now a cutting edge comedy. Highlight was when my friend, myself and two random girls sitting in front of us were yelled at by some random dude for laughing too much.

Game of Thrones S1- a comedy podcast I listen to has a spin off show about videogames. That show has just started a spinoff about rewatching Game of Thrones in the lead up to the final season next year. Having read the books years ago (they’re ok) and thus been a snob too good to watch the TV shows, this seemed like a good chance/excuse to catch up. Is a really good show. Looking forward to it becoming great, excellent and then shithouse as the seasons progress and overtake the books.

Black Panther- fine. A friend described it as ‘Pax Americana sans America’ which was pretty accurate. A good movie but I’ve definitely checked out of the Marvel movie stuff.

Coco- good fun. But I left it too late and people oversold it’s greatness. There is a kids-level twist in it which was fairly obvious from about 10 minutes in. But yeah, good fun

Three Billboard near Epping- for some reason, I thought this would be an In Bruges style dark comedy. it wasn’t. Was still pretty good. I guess. as like halfway through an international plane flight so my measure of it may be way off in any direction.

What We Do In the Shadows- so funny. Have watched it a couple times now and every time I do I see something new. Excellent movie.

Winter 2017/2018 wrap up

What a season. So many shows that I’ve watched with one eye while writing emails and doing other admin paperwork. Thank *deity* that I’ve been pretty sick the last week and thus at reduced mental capacity and  able to tolerate some of the shows I persisted in watch.

Here’s my category by category breakdown. Definitely the same categories I used for previous seasons.

Good:

Death March- so bland and inoffensive yet it somehow was the only show I actually looked forward to watching. 8/10

3-gatsu no Lion- the emotional roller coaster that is this show is indescribale. Watch it. 10/10

Yuru Camp- so relaxing. A great show to watch which downing an alcoholic beverage just before going to sleep. 9/10

Kokkoku- is fine. Interesting setting, characters and plot. End was a bit convenient though. 7/10

Disappointing sequel that only coasted by on the tailcoats of S1

Overlord S2- my god what a wasted season. The first third of the show is an arc about stupid lizard people any reasonable viewer gives no shit about. The g-rated sex scene between two lizards was an unnecessary disappointment in multiple ways. The rest is just a big build up to about 1/3 of an episode worth of interesting fights and otherwise is setting up for the inevitable S3. Which hopefully delivers on this protracted set up.

Seven Deadly Sins S2- this is a two-cour show and thus unfinished but my god is it taking it’s time doing stuff. Some things actually happening would be a good change. Hopefully it’s finished with the protracted set up and will start moving the plot along now. Also the constant recap and extended prologue at the beginning of each ep is pretty blatant filler. Hated that in S1 and hate it even more now.

Garo Vanishing Line- I dropped this at about episode 14 I was so bored. No BestDad from Season 1 makes this 3rd season about as bad as Season 2.

So bland it’s bad

Toji no Miko- high school girls (towards the older end of highschool so the revealing outfits are less creepy I guess) using cool swords and mech-armour suits to fight monsters. And other girls. How could you fuck this up? Well… somewhere along the line (ep8ish), after fleeing the overwhelming force of the evil people in control of the government, the main characters have an episode dedicated to going to a lantern festival. Or something. That’s how you fuck it up. The paperthin plot is too paperthin to maintain a semblance of interest in between incredibly unexciting sword fights. 3/10

Violet Evergarden- I get it, it’s pretty. But I’m stuck about 2/3 of the way through the season and am so uninterested in going forward becuase aside form beutificul aninimation there is not story or compelling character shit happening with any consistency. Even the obvious reveal of ‘the military guy gave his life to protect you but we hid that from you’ reveal it handled very uninterestingly. 3/10

Takunomi- I like alchohol as much as the next person but the absense of content that wasn’t a (hopefully paid for) advert for the *drink of the week* got a bit repetiive after a while. Even the charming country bumpkin attitue of the MC got pretty repeitive pretty fast. 4/10

Mitsuboshi Colours- what started out as a charming story of three kids running riot in a town quickly became a horror story about three kids running riot in a town. I don’t feel human emotion yet still felt anxious for half the adults forced to deal with these manic children as they just fucked things up for people. 4/10

Devilman Crybaby- was presumably cutting edge when the story was written in the 1950s (or sometime around then) but basically Evangelion did it better. Although the incidental, non-sexualised nudity in a very non-hentai style was intriguing and almost arousing at points… although that was quickly drowned out in the gory violence…

Doesn’t know how to handle women

Koi wa Ameagari no You no- romance story between a man and a girl young enough to be his daughter. Who is also him employee at his restaurant. Making the young girl the lead instigator of the romance doesn’t make it better Japan. is well animated I suppose. 5/10

Darling in the FranXX- it’s Trigger. What do you expect? Interesting world and robot fights but man can you get some female writing staff. I do prefer my women as more than simply objects I direct with my penis (almost literally what happens in this anime). Will still keep watching it though 7/10

Generically Bland

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens- a city of assassins assassinating each other. Is fine but nothing stands out about it. 4/10

Ryuuou no Oshigoto- The pitch for his show went something like this I assume: “Oh jeez this ‘3-gatsu no lion’ anime is super popular and well received, it’s obvious about shogi and nothing else so lets make another anime about shogi. But make the MC super OP and successful and also make the female leads all 10 years old.” 4/10

So horrible it’s great

Killing Bites- it’s oversexualisation of very unattractive characters is unintentionally brilliant. It’s uninventive take on the ‘Battle Royale’ tropes are somehow entertaining. The insane juxtapositioning of characters with themselves is amazing (for example- one character is is simultaneously a super ominous villain and played for comic relief within consecutive sentences of dialogue… and then randomly raped semi-on screen for no reason…). The twist upon twist upon twist, the way characters know things and act in ways that make no sense… everything about this show is great. 7/10

Still haven’t started yet

Cardcaptor Sakura- a friend asked around ep 8 if i was concerned about the lack of plot development. I told them I’m saving this show up for when it’s all out and I can be an emotional wreck (as my childhood is either vindicated or destroyed). 11/10

Fate Encore: eh whatever. It’s Fate. It’ll be fine probably. Or so terrible it’s great. 7/10

Re:Life S2- less a S2 and more like four bonus OVAs. Really liked the TV series and was pretty gutted that it ended unfinished. Am assuming these will wrap up the main storyline but from my knowledge of the general plot, ti’s a lot of material to cover in four OVAs so I’m a little worried. Is probably great. 7/10

Random things I’m partway through

Ancient Magus’ Bride- have downloaded a bunch of new(ish) episodes in the last couple weeks but not been bothered to watch any of them. Perhaps that’s telling? 5/10

Samurai Champloo- is quite good but isn’t holding up to the same level I remember. Am only about 6-7 eps in though so the main storyline is yet to really kick in. 7/10

Masamune-kun no Revenge- is fine. About 9 or 10 eps in. Enteaining enough that I’ll fininsh it one day but am in no rush to chase down the last couple eps.

Simply bad and not worth watching

Everything from the season I haven’t mentioned above because I obviously dropped it after three eps… and I didn’t drop some of the shows above which were pretty fucking terrible.