You may have noticed that I never talk about Xbox-exclusive games. It’s not that I don’t (didn’t, rather) enjoy the game’s exclusive titles. I used to be a big fan of Halo and Gears of War, and if you really plumb my archives (please don’t), you can even find a horrible post about the Halo 3 beta circa 2007.
I would love to play Xbox games—the problem is that the Xbox 360 is the worst console ever made, bar none. This is my story.
…especially compared to FMA Brotherhood, which had the best and most satisfying final arc I’ve seen in anime (just a bit better than Eureka Seven’s). But that’s hardly surprising, because Brotherhood is a vastly superior show in every regard; and that’s not surprising either, because that’s the whole reason it exists. I joked once that Brotherhood gave me an excuse to not finish the original show, but I never actually took it off of my on-hold list and, having waited until Brotherhood was far from my mind (over a year), I finally put the nails in that coffin.
Here’s information: I never finished FMA before watching Brotherhood, so I didn’t go into Brotherhood with the same feelings about the show that other fans did who already knew one version of the story. Instead, I went into finishing FMA that way. However, it’s not as though I’m experiencing FMA for the first time: I was a big fan of this show when it was airing on Adult Swim in 2005, and had seen the first half (26 episodes) back then. Unfortunately, my family moved before the second half began airing, and we couldn’t afford cable anymore, so I never saw any more of the show. Besides watching the first ten episodes in Japanese a couple of years ago, I didn’t ever watch more of it until Brotherhood. Now, I finally borrowed the DVDs from a friend and marathoned the show in the past two days. It’s worth mentioning that I was already spoiled to a lot of the plot points, but I didn’t know how all of it comes together or anything.
Appropriately titled I Hate Bee Train. If you like angry rants about terrible, terrible anime, this is a place to go. For those unaware of what Bee Train is, it’s the most terrible anime studio in history. Some of their worst shows include Madlax, Phantom, Avenger, and the bad segments of Halo Legends and Batman Gotham Knight, while some of their less-utterly-fucking-terrible shows include .hack//SIGN, El Cazador de la Bruja, Noir, and Murder Princess. (All of which are still bad.) I’ll be episodically blogging these shows and tearing them to shreds for sport.
So far, there’s only one post on the site (Fucking Madlax Episode 1), but if you want more rage over Bee Train, check out this post I did here a long time ago:
Am I exceptionally hard on shows like Katanagatari, or exceptionally easy on them? I’m leaning towards the later, because if Katanagatari wasn’t what it is, then I wouldn’t have picked it back up, having dropped it after the first episode. There were times during the series where I felt I might’ve been glad that I decided to finish it, but now that I’ve done so, there exists no such positive emotion. Very rarely do I finish a show with as much spite as I did this one.
No Name and I watched it together and found that a very difficult activity; but not, for the most part, an offensive one. Let it be known that while these days I give shows more of a chance than I used to, I still would never go on watching a show that I had no desire to watch. I’m not a masochist like ghostlightning, and I don’t feel like I owe it to myself or anyone to finish a show. No Name was pretty set on dropping the show after two episodes, but I talked him into a three-episode test, and both of us enjoyed the third episode enough to keep watching.
The fourth episode was less easy to finish, and No Name got particularly pissed at the troll fight (even though I’d warned him about it), but there was still enough good to persist. Episodes five and six were good enough. Episode seven was the high point of the show, and the point at which I thought “I’m glad we didn’t drop this.” Episode eight was less good. Nine and Ten were enough to restore my faith that the series could honestly end well. Eleven was lame, and twelve was complete and utter shit, leaving such a bad taste in both of our mouths that we were upset for some time afterwards. The first thing I said when the show was over was “well, that sucked.”
I’m breaking it down on this level for a reason. My disdain for this series is not a simple animal. I don’t always write posts about anime that I don’t like, and especially not serious ones, but the way in which I dislike Katanagatari is, I feel, important to my identity as a fan, especially because it’s so closely related to the stories I care about most (being based on the works of one of my favorite authors, NISIOISIN.)
My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. We did growing up, but none of us are Christians, so it didn’t make sense to keep it up once the kids were grown. Instead, we celebrated Festivus in 2008, The Feast of Winter’s Veil in 2009, and this year I invented my own winter holiday called Agarwood Day (details in future). Each time, I’ve made up a series of themed activities to participate in, and we have a lot of fun.
It’s common practice for an anime to feature a male lead whom the audience can easily relate to, and therefor usually holds to society’s moral compass. It’s also common practice for that male lead to have one or more female love interests, and not uncommon for one of those love interests to follow a conflicting moral compass. This creates a “Defrosting the Ice Queen” situation, wherein the lead tries to bring his love interest over to what he views as ‘the side of righteousness.’
Being as I’m at ends with society’s moral compass and have a deep hatred for self-righteous people, I’m always wary of this trope. However, surprisingly, I often find it to be justified. For example, take Revy, the Ice Queen from Black Lagoon. The male lead, Rock, tries to change Revy and create some sort of moral base within her, but he does so because her attitude and actions are self-destructive. He gradually admits that while he doesn’t approve of her criminal way of life, he understands it, and he makes it clear that he wants Revy to change for her own sake, so that she can find happiness instead of wasting her life.
“Complex rating systems just kill me. Maybe someday such a system can explain to me how much I love fucking Macross 7.”
– ghostlightning, in reply to this post
Shakugan no Shana sucks and I hate it — So why the fuck did I just move the episodes back to my computer? Why did I burn them to a fucking DVD in the first place? Why, after three years of hating the show, do I now feel the drive to watch it again? Sadly, I think the answer is love.
I’m falling behind on Finish or Fail posts. I still have to do them for Index, Utawarerumono, and Mononoke (spoiler: all finished) but I felt like writing about Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex real quick.
I will say upfront that I did not finish SAC season 1. After 8 episodes, I gave up and decided I would just watch the Laughing Man compilation OVA before moving on to season 2. I would have probably finished the season if I didn’t realize there was a compilation movie, so it’s not like I ragequitted the show. I just figured it would be easier to get through it in a more compact version. On to the rant…
I really like these multi-studio vignette productions. They always bring out some of the coolest anime studios to do some excellent short films with some of the highest budgets they will likely ever wield. As much as I liked The Animatrix and Batman Gotham Knight, Halo Legends really blows them both away. Explaining any clip too long would just be redundant, since you can watch them yourself, but here’s a once-over.