Archive for May, 2013

Anime Review: Noein

noeinGenre: Sci-fi Studio/Creator: Satelight/Kazuki Akane and Kenji Yasuda (directors) Distributor: Manga, streams on Hulu No of episodes: 24 My Rating: 10/10 Summary: The world of La’creyma is failing.  A group of warriors called the Dragon Knights have discovered that hope lies in the Dragon Torc, which exists in our world.  They find a girl named Haruka, who may be the solution to the impending crisis. Review: Hugh Everett’s Many Worlds Hypothesis is a concept that has always intrigued me.  The idea that your decisions create a whole new world every time is baffling.  And that’s what this story is all about. The story is set in Hakodate, a real Japanese port city on the island of Hokkaido.  It’s easy to see the animators spared no expense in their setting. The CG is awe-inspiring. Haruka is our “Macguffin girl.”  She is initially unaware of the role that destiny has given her.  She tries her best to be a good friend and it’s difficult not to like her. The fact that she’s pretty helps a lot, too. Yuu Goto is Haruka’s best friend. He’s your typical angsty teenager. But with the mother he has, it’s hard not to blame him.  She’s watching over him like a prison warden, not allowing him to do anything children should be doing (besides study, that is). He cares for Haruka a great deal, and this relationship is the centerpiece of the show.

Karasu is the leader of the Dragon Knights. His name is Japanese for “crow”, which explains his penchant for hanging from high places. He’s extrememly devoted to Haruka for reasons I won’t reveal.  This causes tension between him and Yuu, mostly because he doesn’t believe Yuu can protect Haruka. (Fun fact: all the Dragon Knights are named after birds.)

Tobi is the brains of the Dragon Knights.  She (or he depending on the version you’re watching) is the one who works out the technical aspects of the team.

To sum things up, I think this show is worth a look.  The story is evenly paced, and the writers and animators did amazing work.  If you want a show that won’t insult your intelligence, this is it.

Sub/Dub: I was only able to watch the dub. It’s hit or miss. Some people put out good performances (Crispin Freeman!).

Music/Score: Epic! The theme songs are excellent, and there’s some nice Gothic chanting.

Violence: (5/10) The Dragon Knights are bonded to La’creyma by a pipeline. If they are severed from the pipeline, they literally fall apart.

Language: (2/10)

Nudity: (0/10)

Sexuality: (2/10) In the special features, an outtake reel has some pretty crude language.

Religion: (0/10)

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I got an award nomination!

liebster
Thanks, <a href=”http://medievalotaku.wordpress.com/ Well here’s what I have to do next.

1)Post the Liebster award graphic on your site.
2) Thank the blogger who nominated the blog for a Liebster Award and link back to their blog.
3) The blogger then writes 11 facts about themselves so people who discover their blog through the Liebster post will learn more about them.
4) In addition to posting 11 fun facts about themselves, nominated bloggers should also answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated them.
5) The nominated blogger will in turn, nominate 9 other blogs with 200 or less followers (We’re guessing for our nominees) for a Liebster award by posting a comment on their blog and linking back to the Liebster post.
6) The nominated blogger will create 11 questions for their nominated blogs to answer in their Liebster post.

All right, facts about me:

1. Favorite writers include Mark Twain, CS Lewis, and JK Rowling.

2. I’m a Whovian. My favorite is Tom Baker.

3. I’m a Catholic and a Conservative. I know, boo!

4. My favorite band of all time is The B-52’s.

5. I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

6. Batman is my favorite superhero.

7. I hate FLCL

8. My favorite video game of all time is Final Fantasy 7.

9. My favorite painter is Salvador Dali.

10. My favorite biblical figure is St. Peter.

11. I watch the following web shows: Atop the Fourth Wall, What the F— is Wrong With You, Nostalgia Critic, ZoNation, Trifecta, Geek Crash Course, and the Angry Video Game Nerd.

I can’t nominate 11 blogs, since I don’t read many blogs.  I’ll just nominate the ones I do read.

And now what was asked of me:

  1. Who is your favorite novelist? CS Lewis
  2. What is your favorite literary genre? Sci-fi and Fantasy.
  3. What’s your favorite beer, if you have one? Barq’s Root Beer! (I know, it’s not alcoholic, but I don’t drink.
  4. What made you decide to turn to blogging? I started because I wanted to share my thoughts on anime with others, particularly Christians.  I wanted to show them that if they approach the medium with caution, it can be entertaining.
  5. What is your favorite holiday? Easter.
  6. Do you have a favorite anime? Do I have to choose? Well, then, .hack//sign is right up there.
  7. Which country would you most want to visit and why?  Either Japan or Australia. I saw Crocodile Dundee as a child and was awestruck by the beauty of the Land Down Under.
  8. What is your favorite epoch in American history? The 80’s were my childhood.
  9. Who is your favorite actor or actress in old movies (pre-1965)? Jimmy Stewart was pretty good.
  10. What is your favorite story from the Bible, if you have one? The Prodigal Son.

11. Who was your hero when you were growing up? Batman. Still is.

and now to send 11 questions to them:

1. Who are your favorite writers?

2. What TV shows do you watch, if any?

3. Favorite actor/actress?

4. Favorite video game, if any?

5. Blogs you follow?

6. If you could meet any fictional character who would it be and why?

7. If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

8. What anime do you just loathe?

9. Are you happy Bleach has ended?

10. Favorite color?

11. What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? (I’m a Monty Python fan after all.)

I hope they see this!

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Anime Review: Neon Genesis Evangelion

nge

Genre: Sci-fi/Mecha

Creator/Studio: Hideaki Anno/Gainax

Distributor: ADV

No of Episodes: 26 (note: The Platinum version contains some “director’s cut” episodes)

Suggested Age: 17+

My Rating: 9/10

Summary: Shinji Ikari believes he is an ordinary boy. One day, his whole life changes. His father, Gendo Ikari, the head of NERV, has drafted him in a war against gigantic angels using exo-suits called EVA units. He fights alongside two female pilots: the enigmatic and seemingly emotionless Rei and the temperamental Asuka.

Review: There’s an anime and video game reviewer I follow named Bennet the Sage (I recommend checking him out. His website is located here. (Warning: Must have absurdly strong stomach. He’s reviewed quite a few gorefests.) When he covered the Evangelion movies, he began by saying “Inevitability, thy name is Evangelion.” By this, he meant that if you’re going to review anime, you will eventually have to cover Evangelion. It is that influential.

The animation in Evangelion  is like nothing I’ve seen before.  The mech suits are sleek and have more human-like movement, very fluid.  They aren’t bulky like Gundam or slow like Big O.

Shinji Ikari is a hero I sympathize with.  He does not wish to fight.  He has been literally dragged kicking and screaming into a hopeless war by a man he barely knows. What’s worse, Gendo seems not to care at all whether he lives or dies, nor does he show one sign of encouragement that a father would be expected to show.

The other pilots are just as unsympathetic as Gendo.  Rei seems to have no emotions at all and has a flat voice.  Asuka has two modes–one moment she may seem to at least tolerate Shinji, the next she can’t stand him.  To be honest, I understand their methods of coping.  In a way, I feel sorry for Asuka. She seems to keep everyone at a distance for fear of betrayal.

Misato, who becomes the guardian of all three pilots (as they are underage), is a complex woman. Most of the time she seems sympathetic and consoling. Other times, however, she’s practically slapping Shinji around and treating him like a drill sergeant berating subordinates. It also doesn’t help that she’s an alcoholic. As with the other characters I’ve spotlighted, she exhibits Evangelion‘s greatest strength: not one character is 100% good or evil, rather, they are various shades of gray.

I think the real theme of Evangelion is the arrogance of man.  Man often mocks and defies the supernatural. Gendo is the ultimate in arrogance for thinking he actually has a chance against his enemy and he knows this.

To sum things up, Neon Genesis Evangelion is not for the squeamish or the easily-offended.  If you’re going to watch it, you must have an open mind and put aside all your expectations and arguments for your beliefs. It is a landmark anime that is still discussed to this day, especially with the reboots having been released by FUNimation (why they haven’t picked up the original series is anyone’s guess. With the folding of ADV, I assume it’s up for grabs).

Sub/Dub: Both versions are pretty good.

Music/Score: The score is just epic.  I think the opening is one of the best themes ever.

Violence: (8/10) This has to be one of the most graphic anime I have ever watched.  There is blood and the fights are intense.

Language: (4/10) Misato and Asuka are heavy in their curses.

Nudity: (6/10) I saw a few shower scenes and two sex scenes. (one very surreal)

Sexuality: (6/10) There’s two sex scenes, the second being very surreal with “do you wish to become one with me?” repeated throughout by naked images of  Asuka, Rei, and Misato.

Religion: (9/10) This is borderline blasphemous in its treatment of Christianity. However, I must emphasize: It is not meant to be an attack.  As I stated above, it is actually a commentary on arrogance.

Related Media: There is a manga that I’ve heard is somewhat different from the events in the anime. There is also a series of reboots that rewrite the events. I have yet to view these, so I cannot comment at this time.

 

 

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