Finish or Fail 12 – The Big O – I Came For Noir And Robots, and I Left With Chiaki God Damn Konaka

(Even though I’m still working on Finish or Fail 11, I wanted to get The Big O out of the way first. The GITS SAC rant will continue later. )

This ‘Finish or Fail’ series has been very interesting for me so far, because it has given me the opportunity for the first time to drop shows that I actually enjoyed to some extent. Most of the shows that I’ve dropped in the past were cut within the first couple of episodes just because they weren’t my thing to begin with. The FoF series consists entirely of shows that I have actually wanted to finish for a long time and already know that I enjoy. The shows that have ‘failed’ so far all made it for 8-10 episodes, meaning that, for one reason or another, I actually did enjoy them, but just couldn’t reconcile the things I didn’t like enough to finish.

It’s cool, but it’s also quite sad to do this, because I will often be hit with the biggest disappointment from a series that I really wanted to enjoy. I had thought that Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro might become a favorite on it’s characters and premise and wacky art style, but the episodes that kept getting more boring drove me to stop watching the show. I had similar feelings about The Big O, and this has been the most extreme example to date. Actually, I was pretty damn sure that I was going to drop The Big O after episode 15, but I liked the show so much that I kept trucking through and finally found myself dropping it halfway through episode 20. I will detail to you just what the hell went wrong.

Something has gone wrong all right... art by ug

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The Physical Pain of Watching Texhnolyze 1-4

It’s no surprise at all to find that many people cannot stomach Texhnoolyze, most commonly by the reasoning that it is ‘boring’. I can’t blame anyone for thinking so – it’s an incredibly slow and ruthlessly dense experience, and written by Chiaki J. Konaka who never seems interested in letting anyone watch his shows easily. I, however, do not find Texhnolyze boring at all. ‘Boring’ would imply a certain indifference and disinterest – ‘boring’ would mean that I didn’t care. Rather, I really enjoy Texhnolyze and find it wholly interesting, but I would describe watching it as ‘physically painful.’

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Finish or Fail 8 – Ghost Hound – You Can't Please All of the People All of the Time

I don’t think that there is anything inherently wrong with Ghost Hound. It is the kind of show that is only going to appeal to the most niche of niche audiences, and no one else. This is not surprising – the show was largely created by a veritable tour-de-force of cult favorite names, having been directed and storyboarded by Ryutaro Nakamura (REC, Serial Experiments Lain, Kino’s Journey) and written by the inimitable Chiaki J. Konaka (The Big O, Serial Experiments Lain, Mononoke, Texhnolyze, and some less weird stuff). But don’t get confused. I personally love every single show I just mentioned (half of them are favorites), but that does not necessarily mean that I fall into the same niche as people who like Ghost Hound. It’s a niche all it’s own.

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