[Warning: This shit could take a minute to load. Also it's uh, yeah.]
(Sorry Lain ep 5 is late, it’ll be out on Monday.)
Usually, the phrase “deliberate pacing” is used as a compliment. It’s a way of saying, “this series is slow, but it’s slow on purpose to create a certain atmosphere.” To name a show that I’d compliment as deliberately paced, Texhnolyze is the first that comes to mind. I do think that .hack//SIGN is deliberately paced, but I don’t think that this is a good thing.
Yesterday snuck up on me—until now, I’d watched all of and written about most of these episodes long before the posts went up, so now that I’ve slacked until it caught up with me, I’m late. Good thing I don’t have anything to say about this episode.
[Note: This post contains presentations that may not be visible in RSS feed readers.]
I don’t know why I’m surprised, but .hack//SIGN is already going down the shitter as of episode three. The art quality has taken a dive, the plot has screeched to a halt, and a whole lot of my time is being wasted.
—What is your name?
—First year in junior high? Second?
—Is school fun?
[Note: I've finally gotten through all of the posts that I wrote while I was in the Philippines (about a month and a half ago)! Note that I watched episode eight and wrote the opening paragraphs at that time, but the rest of this post is fresh, so if there's a change in voice, that would be why.]
I have to admit, I was worried for a minute there. What if Madlax suddenly turned out to be a good show? What if EVERY Bee Train show turned out to be good after a rough beginning?! All the work on this site would be for naught! Alas, my fears were needless, as episode eight of Madlax is a huge pile of shit.
[Sorry for this post being a week and an hour late. Turns out coordinating people to do videos is really difficult. Next week's ep will be out as scheduled.]
I won’t lie, .hack//SIGN has gotten off to good start. If I were watching it without pretext, I wouldn’t have dropped it after these two episodes. My only real trouble with the series continues to be its verisimilitude.
It has been some time since rumors of the existence of a processor called “Psyche” first surfaced. First mentioned in news groups then eventually throughout the web, its name was whispered among tech-otaku, with employees of shops in Akihabara and Nihonbashi at the core.
While it’s true that every episode so far has focused squarely on Lain, this episode does so in a way that speaks more than it hides for once. Lain’s multiple identities are brought up many times, and I find no reason to question that they’re the same person. Lain never denies any accusations, and rather her actions toward the end of the episode in Cyberia suggest admittance to the idea that “Lain of the Wired” and Iwakura Lain are one and the same. My suspicions that Lain is up to something also feel confirmed, if only by the elementary-school tech wizard Taro’s similar suspicion towards Lain. (I love that I’m suspicious of the main character, by the way.)
I’m writing this post ahead (6 months) of the fact, but by the time you read this, I am now twenty years old. This is not something I’m happy about. When I turned eighteen, I had to face the nightmare of being a legal “adult,” but at least I could still call myself a “teenager.” Twenty doesn’t leave any ambiguity: I’m now an adult, period. This sucks.
[If you use an RSS feed reader, you may have read this post already. It was accidentally published five days early, then rescheduled.]
In an unexpectedly pleasant twist of fate, Madlax episode seven is really good. This is great because being able to talk about why the episode is successful can heighten my points about why the rest of the show is so godawful. It sells home the fact that there’s a lot of potential lying under this series, being squandered by the lackluster presentation.
There are still some really stupid moments, which I’ll be sure to point out, but most of it reflected the excellent writing and pacing counterbalancing a low-budget production that made Mashimo Kouichi’s Eat-Man so good.