The last thing we watched, cartoon/animu edition

Bob_McMillan

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+1 for the "why are these characters so fucking dumb" sentiment for Edgerunners. It really, really took me out of the last few episodes. And this is probably a hot take, but all the Studio Trigger-isms in the climax didn't help with the serious and grim nature of what was happening. Davis is losing his mind and intent on basically killing himself, and yet we have cars flying about like in a Looney Toons episode.

The fight vs Adam Smasher felt really underwhelming. David did nothing at all to him. I guess that's one of the themes, that in Night City no one is really special. Man I refuse to believe that with all the ridiculous power at his fingertips, David couldn't even leave a scratch on Smasher. But David aside, the cyber skeleton was the MacGuffin driving the whole plot. I expected much, much more from it.

But, I still liked the show overall and it did actually make me wanna play the game. Which I probably won't until another few years sadly.
 
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Gordon_4

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+1 for the "why are these characters so fucking dumb" sentiment for Edgerunners. It really, really took me out of the last few episodes. And this is probably a hot take, but all the Studio Trigger-isms in the climax didn't help with the serious and grim nature of what was happening. Davis is losing his mind and intent on basically killing himself, and yet we have cars flying about like in a Looney Toons episode.

The fight vs Adam Smasher felt really underwhelming. David did nothing at all to him. I guess that's one of the themes, that in Night City no one is really special. Man I refuse to believe that with all the ridiculous power at his fingertips, David couldn't even leave a scratch on Smasher. But David aside, the cyber skeleton was the MacGuffin driving the whole plot. I expected much, much more from it.

But, I still liked the show overall and it did actually make me wanna play the game. Which I probably won't until another few years sadly.
For all David’s chrome like the Sandevistan, he’s still not in Adam Smasher’s league; like he is shocked that Smasher has a Sandevistan (a mod he lacks in the video game ironically) and Smasher is like “Yeah, of course I fucking do. It’s baseline shit for a job like mine”. Better and badder ‘Runners have tried and failed to flatline that mother fucker. Once he showed up, the fight was won and all David got to decide was how spitefully and gloriously he got to die.

Also the show is in canon to the 2077 game but is itself set in 2076 so nothing of any significance was going to happen to Smasher.
 
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Drathnoxis

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Probably didn't help that for the longest time a lot of dubbing companies basically had no original scripts or direction from the original creators to work with. Or, and I don't remember which anime it was, a story of just getting footage with no audio, and having to figure out wtf was happening.
Ghost Stories?
 

Bob_McMillan

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For all David’s chrome like the Sandevistan, he’s still not in Adam Smasher’s league. Better and badder ‘Runners have tried and failed to flatline that mother fucker. Once he showed up, the fight was won and all David got to decide was how spitefully and gloriously he got to die.

Also the show is in canon to the 2077 game but is itself set in 2076 so nothing of any significance was going to happen to Smasher.
I understand the Smasher is supposed to be basically the biggest bad ever, but having seen videos of people literally running circles around him while Alt F4ing him to death, I have a hard time taking him seriously. The show never particularly builds him up as a gigantic threat. We had one whole episode of David beating an entire fucking army on his own. Nothing Smasher did in his "fight" against David particularly made me think he could have done a better job. David can FLY. And yeah I get he was cyberpsycho-ing and out of suppressants... But that wasn't a particularly glorious death in my opinion.

I wasn't expecting him to come even close to beating Smasher, but even landing a single hit would have been nice. Smasher said he had fun with the fight, but why??? He killed David as easily as he killed Rebecca.
 

Gordon_4

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I understand the Smasher is supposed to be basically the biggest bad ever, but having seen videos of people literally running circles around him while Alt F4ing him to death, I have a hard time taking him seriously. The show never particularly builds him up as a gigantic threat. We had one whole episode of David beating an entire fucking army on his own. Nothing Smasher did in his "fight" against David particularly made me think he could have done a better job. David can FLY. And yeah I get he was cyberpsycho-ing and out of suppressants... But that wasn't a particularly glorious death in my opinion.

I wasn't expecting him to come even close to beating Smasher, but even landing a single hit would have been nice. Smasher said he had fun with the fight, but why??? He killed David as easily as he killed Rebecca.
Most of my knowledge of him comes from the TTRPG, I’m really thinking that leaving him as vulnerable to hacks in the game was a huge oversight because he should be swimming in counter measures. And Smasher has fun with the fight because he got to kill people messily and mercilessly. He’s not about a good fight, but being able to cause as much carnage as possible. So Goomba stomping Rebecca so she turns into jam? Very much his idea of a good time. Plus there’s the simple fact that David chipped the suit which means he can use it, but he doesn’t truly understand it. And he’s still only a high street level ‘Runner. Smasher has been doing shit like this and getting Arasaka’s finest upgrades for like fifty years; fighting over-chromed and overconfident dickheads is basically his bread and butter.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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So, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury, huh

Only two episodes out so far, the prologue and first episode, and I'm hooked.

Prologue is classic Alternative Universe Gundam: our scrappy biomedical firm that specializes is space borne cybernetics is forced by buyouts and capitalism to use that knowledge to build really cool Gundams. The idea is that you can directly interface with the machine to control movement and remote weapons intuitively. Unfortunately, the strain it puts on the human body is risky and at higher levels is deadly. Rival corporation get involved, wetwork teams move in, some fantastic lesbians and scientists die, just classic Gundam Everybody Dies.

Episode one is after a time skip, where our plucky protagonist attends a highly rated technical school heavily populated by the progeny of mega corporation executives and workers. There she does some spoiler-tastic shenanigans, eats a real tomato for the first time, has a fantastically animated fight scene, and does an Utena

 
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Bob_McMillan

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Smasher has fun with the fight because he got to kill people messily and mercilessly. He’s not about a good fight, but being able to cause as much carnage as possible. So Goomba stomping Rebecca so she turns into jam? Very much his idea of a good time.
Him admitting he had fun fighting David is a callback to earlier in the episode where the Arasaka corpo tells Smasher that fighting the cyberskeleton should be fun, and Smasher replies that it's a waste of his time. Sure he's a fucking psycho who gets off on murder, but it's still implied he at least saw David as an above average opponent.
Plus there’s the simple fact that David chipped the suit which means he can use it, but he doesn’t truly understand it. And he’s still only a high street level ‘Runner. Smasher has been doing shit like this and getting Arasaka’s finest upgrades for like fifty years; fighting over-chromed and overconfident dickheads is basically his bread and butter.
That's fair, like I said, I knew David was going to be utterly smashed (heh) in the fight. But as a viewing experience and narratively, was not very satisfying. David doesn't get a cool moment, and neither does Smasher really. When rewatching the fight I was actually surprised how short it was. Mayhaps Trigger should have spent more of the budget on that instead of David fighting CGI cars.
 

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That's fair, like I said, I knew David was going to be utterly smashed (heh) in the fight. But as a viewing experience and narratively, was not very satisfying. David doesn't get a cool moment, and neither does Smasher really. When rewatching the fight I was actually surprised how short it was. Mayhaps Trigger should have spent more of the budget on that instead of David fighting CGI cars.
I think the shortness of the fight is the point. The whole time David thinks he's unique and special because he was able to handle 1 military grade upgrade without an issue, and the first few episodes people do tell him that he's unique and special and he completely buys into it. Then comes Adam Smasher, someone who is actually unique and special, chromed out head to toe in every kind of military grade equipment imaginable and David has absolutely no chance. The fight is over before it really has a chance to start, and that's the point.

David's been taking out jobbers the whole show but in reality he's only one step above them, whereas Smasher is an unreachable mountain.
 

Bob_McMillan

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I think the shortness of the fight is the point. The whole time David thinks he's unique and special because he was able to handle 1 military grade upgrade without an issue, and the first few episodes people do tell him that he's unique and special and he completely buys into it. Then comes Adam Smasher, someone who is actually unique and special, chromed out head to toe in every kind of military grade equipment imaginable and David has absolutely no chance. The fight is over before it really has a chance to start, and that's the point.

David's been taking out jobbers the whole show but in reality he's only one step above them, whereas Smasher is an unreachable mountain.
Like I said, I get what they're going for, but I don't think it was very entertaining in practice. If they wanted to show just how much better Smasher is, then David should have unleashed the full capabilities of his suit only for Smasher to just shrug it off. They didn't need an episode long fight or anything, it could have been a few seconds really. Just enough spectacle to make me believe that David never had a chance. Instead we're told a few episode before that this guy is TOTALLY badass, and that's why David lost. Show, don't tell and all that.
 

Drathnoxis

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Dunno what that is, but I’m pretty confident that’s what happened to bring the Samurai Pizza Cats into existence.
From the Ghost Stories Wikipedia page:

Aniplex, who owned the series' western distribution rights, approached ADV Films to produce an English dub. Aniplex gave the ADV Films staff very few constraints when writing the new version, the only rules were "don't change the character names (including the ghosts); don't change the way the ghosts are slain (a reference to Japanese folklore) and, finally, don't change the core meaning of each episode".

The English dub deviates significantly from the original script. While preserving the basic plot structure and storyline the new script revolved around topical pop-culture references, politically incorrect gags, and fourth wall breaking jokes about the original show's low animation quality, anime cliches, and poor lip-sync.

The English script was written by Steven Foster and Lucan Duran and allowed for ad-lib by the English voice actors. According to Foster, whoever showed up to the recording studio first for any given episode could improvise anything they wanted, those that came later had to build upon the tone and jokes established earlier.
 
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Asita

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Dunno what that is, but I’m pretty confident that’s what happened to bring the Samurai Pizza Cats into existence.
Well let me spin you a yarn then. In 2000, "School Ghost Stories" released in Japan. And it was exactly what it sounded like. A bunch of kids dealing with spooky shit, because surprise! Their school is haunted! And it turns out that the now-deceased mother of one of our protagonists was a bit of an expert on the subject and sealed away various ghosts and demons who were haunting the town. Problem is...urbanization is now destroying those seals, so they're all getting loose again. Thankfully, this lady left behind a detailed journal about how to handle these ghosts...

Now, supposedly, the writers were not at all convinced that the story would sell well overseas (whether due to poor reception domestically or cultural baggage assumptions varies by the telling), so when the English dub got greenlit, they gave the new team the green light to do whatever they wanted to make it work for their audience. Whatever they wanted. The result was a gleefully crass gag dub that...kinda has to be seen to be believed. Here's a quick sampling.


Those clips aren't amateur internet edits. That's from the official English dub.
 

Gordon_4

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Well let me spin you a yarn then. In 2000, "School Ghost Stories" released in Japan. And it was exactly what it sounded like. A bunch of kids dealing with spooky shit, because surprise! Their school is haunted! And it turns out that the now-deceased mother of one of our protagonists was a bit of an expert on the subject and sealed away various ghosts and demons who were haunting the town. Problem is...urbanization is now destroying those seals, so they're all getting loose again. Thankfully, this lady left behind a detailed journal about how to handle these ghosts...

Now, supposedly, the writers were not at all convinced that the story would sell well overseas (whether due to poor reception domestically or cultural baggage assumptions varies by the telling), so when the English dub got greenlit, they gave the new team the green light to do whatever they wanted to make it work for their audience. Whatever they wanted. The result was a gleefully crass gag dub that...kinda has to be seen to be believed. Here's a quick sampling.


Those clips aren't amateur internet edits. That's from the official English dub.
Jesus H. Christ what the fuck were the smoking? I mean it’s amazing in how blatantly outrageous It is. But holy fuck.
 

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Jesus H. Christ what the fuck were the smoking? I mean it’s amazing in how blatantly outrageous It is. But holy fuck.
While there are some parts of the dub that have not aged well, I can't help but laugh. The first time I ever saw or heard of Ghost Stories was in 2007. I had never laughed so hard in my life.
 

Chimpzy

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Chimpzy watches Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex (Part 4)

Season 1, Episode 4: Intercepter

I thought what I’d do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. Yeah, we’re finally getting to the Laughing Man storyline, the main arc of the season, the meat and potatoes, so to speak. The Laughing Man himself is apparently loosely based on the Glico-Morinaga case, which has similarly and famously remained unsolved. A former colleague and friend of Togusa contacts the latter and tells him some corrupt shit is going down in the police force involving officers working the Laughing Man case, because of course there is. Sadly, he gets cyber-murdered, but his wife slips Togusa some naughty pictures. At first, there doesn’t seem anything unusual about the pics, aside from the fact there is no camera in any of them, because they were all taken from the cops’ point of view, literally.

Yeah, the police brass colluded with a surveillance tech company to illegally bug their own detectives for reasons that aren’t adequately revealed. Section 9 leaks it to the press, the case blows up, a middle management dude gets scapegoated, and the bigwigs cover their own asses. All’s well that ends well. Except Togusa’s buddy, whose murder doesn’t get solved, and iirc, it never will. But wait! The Laughing Man returns, hacking the cyberbrain of a police officer, promising to “remove” the police chief if the truth behind the corruption is now revealed.

Ok, that was a change of gear. We’ve gone from relatively small-scale stuff involving one or only a few people to government corruption, corporate terrorism, conflicts of interest, blackmail. The scale is larger, the stakes bigger. As an aside, I also enjoyed the Blade Runner reference. It’s also probably the most resonant episode so far, the most true to life. Not in a real sense, there is more than likely no need to worry about getting microscopic cameras installed in your eyes when you visit the doctor, allowing spooks to see everything you do, as horrendously invasive as that may be. But there’s plenty of people who do believe it is real. You can guess where I’m going with this. 5G cell towers. Nanobots in vaccines. Mere conspiracies, but watching this, I was immediately reminded of them. Imagine we lived in a world where injecting spyware is actually a thing, they’d go fucking nuts.
 
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meiam

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Chimpzy watches Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex (Part 4)

Season 1, Episode 4: Intercepter

I thought what I’d do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. Yeah, we’re finally getting to the Laughing Man storyline, the main arc of the season, the meat and potatoes, so to speak. The Laughing Man himself is apparently loosely based on the Glico-Morinaga case, which has similarly and famously remained unsolved. A former colleague and friend of Togusa contacts the latter and tells him some corrupt shit is going down in the police force involving officers working the Laughing Man case, because of course there is. Sadly, he gets cyber-murdered, but his wife slips Togusa some naughty pictures. At first, there doesn’t seem anything unusual about the pics, aside from the fact there is no camera in any of them, because they were all taken from the cops’ point of view, literally.

Yeah, the police brass colluded with a surveillance tech company to illegally bug their own detectives for reasons that aren’t adequately revealed. Section 9 leaks it to the press, the case blows up, a middle management dude gets scapegoated, and the bigwigs cover their own asses. All’s well that ends well. Except Togusa’s buddy, whose murder doesn’t get solved, and iirc, it never will. But wait! The Laughing Man returns, hacking the cyberbrain of a police officer, promising to “remove” the police chief if the truth behind the corruption is now revealed.

Ok, that was a change of gear. We’ve gone from relatively small-scale stuff involving one or only a few people to government corruption, corporate terrorism, conflicts of interest, blackmail. The scale is larger, the stakes bigger. As an aside, I also enjoyed the Blade Runner reference. It’s also probably the most resonant episode so far, the most true to life. Not in a real sense, there is more than likely no need to worry about getting microscopic cameras installed in your eyes when you visit the doctor, allowing spooks to see everything you do, as horrendously invasive as that may be. But there’s plenty of people who do believe it is real. You can guess where I’m going with this. 5G cell towers. Nanobots in vaccines. Mere conspiracies, but watching this, I was immediately reminded of them. Imagine we lived in a world where injecting spyware is actually a thing, they’d go fucking nuts.
My guess is that if it was real to inject spy stuff, they'd move on to something else that was crazier (sky is a dome or w/e). I think what they enjoy is being outcast that have nonsense belief, if it suddenly became widely accepted they wouldn't get that anymore.

I think the episode is pretty nice because its both self contained but also start the longer arc, although iirc the nanobot are never really justified.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Now, supposedly, the writers were not at all convinced that the story would sell well overseas (whether due to poor reception domestically or cultural baggage assumptions varies by the telling), so when the English dub got greenlit, they gave the new team the green light to do whatever they wanted to make it work for their audience. Whatever they wanted. The result was a gleefully crass gag dub that...kinda has to be seen to be believed. Here's a quick sampling.
It's even better then that. What happened with Ghost stories is that ADV had to purchase it to get a bigger series they really wanted. But the anime studio they got it from didn't care about it, which is unusual, usually at least someone cares about any anime that is sold to the west, the studio, the manga creator, someone, but for Ghost Stories, no one gave a shit, so ADV had very few notes about what they could or couldn't do. I think it really just came down to not being able to change how the ghosts were defeated and the general meaning of an episode, but otherwise they could go nuts with the characters and setting, and they did.
 
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Chimpzy

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My guess is that if it was real to inject spy stuff, they'd move on to something else that was crazier (sky is a dome or w/e). I think what they enjoy is being outcast that have nonsense belief, if it suddenly became widely accepted they wouldn't get that anymore.
Probably,the various varieties of truther and conspiracy theorists do tend to have bad cases of "I want to be the special"
I think the episode is pretty nice because its both self contained but also start the longer arc, although iirc the nanobot are never really justified.
Oh, but iirc, there is a 'justification' for why the detectives investigating the Laughing Man case were bugged. It has to do with the "suspicious internal activity" in the police higher ups that Togusa's buddy phoned Togusa about before he got killed, tho iirc, we're still a fair few episodes away from getting the full explanation.
 
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Chimpzy

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Chimpzy watches Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex (Part 5)

Season 1, Episode 5: DECOY & 6: MEME

Episode 5 directly leads into 6, so I’m just gonna do them both together. After Section 9 caused the story of illegal police surveillance to break in the previous episode, and the Laughing Man ,in an impressive display of hacking, subsequently handed his ultimatum to bring out the full truth or the bigwig superintendent dies. The hunt is now on to find whoever issued the threat before they can act on it. The cops are investigating a man named Nanao, but Section 9 suspect he’s just a stool pigeon. So Batou and Togusa stake out both Nanao and the cops already surveilling him. The Major visits some friends and recounts the events of the original Laughing Man incident. I very much like this scene even though it is largely just exposition of info we’ve kind of already gotten in the last episode. It’s not explicitly stated, but perhaps in a nod the manga Major’s bisexuality, these women are friends with benefits. Or at least in my headcanon they are.

Well, Nanao is indeed a decoy, a hacker convinced to play the role of Laughing Man because he wants to be famous. I’d call that dumb, but I’ve been on the internet long enough to know about way dumber people doing way more pathetic stuff for their 15 minutes of fleeting fame. Nanao uploads a virus, causing one of the police bigwigs bodyguards to go haywire and attack him. Honestly, that’s probably the most frightening aspect of the setting: that someone can just reprogram you against your will, and while seemingly fully conscious of it too, you just can’t do anything about it. At least Nanao got rewarded for his efforts. Boom, headshot, you glory seeking simpleton.

Meanwhile, suddenly a regular cop tries to kill the superintendent. And some random other people. All in all, dozens of people, completely unrelated to either Nanao, the virus or Laughing Man try to get at the superintendent. All inspired by the Laughing Man’s threat, imitating his style and behavior. Guess he struck a nerve, becoming a cultural phenomenon, a meme, in the true original meaning of the word. Section 9 wonders why, and they’re going to find out, starting an independent investigation, musically accompanied by “Velveteen”, my favorite track on the already seriously good soundtrack.

Thus ends a solid two-parter. Despite the two episode length, not that much actually happens, but a lot of important information is divulged and a number of hooks are set up like who killed Nanao, and exactly why. To shut him up? But he was already so keen and willing to play the decoy role, and didn’t strike me as enough in the loop to actually be dangerous. Or who was keeping tabs on Section 9 during the assassination attempts. Laughing Man? Someone else. And of course, what’s up with the meme situation. And a few more subplots. I mean, I actually sort of know the answers, but on rewatching the series I’m a bit impressed by how early some breadcrumbs are being laid out, some of which won’t pay off until near the very end.