The Week in Review #3

There is not much this week in new anime for myself, but I did rewatch some older favorites of mine. First, we have the new stuff. (I do not have Zegapain and Hagure on my current computer, so no screenies!)

Zegapain

This anime is a huge bag of mixed feelings for me. I enjoyed watching it and I cared about what was going on; however, in both cases it was only marginally so. I was only barely interested in seeing the ending. Overall, I only just cared about this show enough for me to finish it. I do not consider it memorable at all.

The show is not very original or complex, but rather it takes already existing, well-known ideas and puts an interesting spin on them. For instance, I consider this show to be the Matrix in reverse: rather than live in the real world and enter the Matrix, they live in the Matrix and enter the real world. It is somewhat clever, but the explanation makes no sense to me (it involves quantum computing and technology and science and quantum computing and servers and…). To be fair, I was somewhat impressed at some of the ideas that the producers developed for the series and I was surprised at a plot twist or two.

Towards the end, Zegapain really, really reminded me of Evangelion. While it was entertaining, I felt that Evangelion struck a chord with me. While Zegapain did devote more episodes to the ending than Evangelion, it still felt rushed: the enemy mastermind’s motivation and character was fudged into a half episode and then he was forgotten. Why was he doing any of this? Oh right, he was forcing the evolution of mankind (whatever the heck that means)… why? Perhaps he went mad. I don’t know. The show said it somewhere, but it was lost in technobabble and quantum computers, I think. I did, however, love the incursion into Maihama. At least we didn’t have 20 minutes of a shark crying, like in Blue Submarine No. 6.

Lastly, I hate the mecha. I hate it. I do not like the designs, I do not like the attacks, the abilities, the controls, the SFX, anything. I hate every single thing about them. Had the mecha not been in this show so much, I might have enjoyed it to such a degree that any other problems would be insignificant. Nope, that is not the case. The mecha is lame and the action is boring.

Hagure Yuusha no Estetica

This show sucks. I was watching it when it originally aired, but I didn’t finish the last two episodes for whatever reason. Well, after watching them I can say for sure that this show ain’t worth my time. The animation is piss-poor, the action is boring, I do not care for the soundtrack, and I do not care for the story.

This anime has two things going for it, however. First, Marina Inoue is in it. Second, I like the fanservice involving the Vice President (Marina Inoue’s character).

This show is pretty terrible.

Cat Soup

I rewatched this. Everything I like about it is still there: it’s grotesque, it does whatever it wants, the animation is decent, and the music is appropriate. Cat Soup is not great, but I think it can be a decent introduction to avant-garde anime (excuse the pretentious wording there). It is good for a viewing every so often, but I don’t watch it beyond that.

Future War 198X

The animation sucks, the music is OK, the video quality stinks (those screenshots are eyesores), the production values reek low-budget early 1990s, but the narrator is so awesome. The English narration is perhaps the best part of this movie.

Interestingly, I think the English release opted for complete narration in lieu of proper dialogue. Throughout the movie, the characters appear to be speaking but the only voice is the narrator. As the Japanese release is not available anywhere (I was damn lucky to find it in English!), I am left to assume that the Japanese release featured dialogue.

I like to think of this movie as a lame-ass and low budget version of Orpheus of the Stars that portrays the USSR and USA going to war (the only good thing about Orpheus of the Stars is the narrator, although Future War 198X is nowhere near as boring). The execution of the war is somewhat believable, though, so it’s not like the movie is bad. Or perhaps it is most accurately said, this movie is so bad that it’s good.

Also: if you are the one that posted this movie onto the internet, I thank you. It’s amazing what one can find sometimes.

Code Geass

When I first saw this, I thought the animation was amazing. Holy bonkers. The animation sucks; I noticed it when the Lancelot started zipping around the battlefield. It just looks sloppy. Then I started noticing everything else. For 2007, this was pretty good, though, and it’s not like it’s terribly done. The problem stems from two things: 1) I remember it being better than it was; and, 2) animation quality in general has improved phenomenally in six years.  If I remember correctly, Code Geass R2 has much, much better animation.

As for Akito the Exiled, I stopped watching when I saw CGI mecha. They were just horribly done.

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