The last thing we watched, cartoon/animu edition

BrawlMan

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The Cuphead Show!, Season 3 - Every new season keeps getting better than the last one. The Devil actually gets more focus in the first quarter of this season. After that, it's two Christmas episodes, and the last 4 episodes have Chalice as the main focus. We even get to see an origin episode on how Chalice made a deal with the Devil after her untimely death.

@Dalisclock, have you seen this season yet? They shadowed dropped it about 4 weeks ago.
 
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Dalisclock

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The Cuphead Show!, Season 3 - Every new season keeps getting better than the last one. The Devil actually gets more focus in the first quarter of this season. After that, it's two Christmas episodes, and the last 4 episodes have Chalice as the main focus. We even get to see an origin episode on how Chalice made a deal with the Devil after her untimely death.

@Dalisclock, have you seen this season yet? They shadowed dropped it about 4 weeks ago.
Not yet. I need to check it out. Thanks for the update
 
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Sonic Prime - Man of Action did a great job with the show. It feels so good to have action based Sonic show again after so long. Sonic Boom is funny, but there is not much action, and the animation is stiff in areas. My only gripe with the show is that there's only 8 (lengthy) episodes, and ends on an abrupt cliffhanger/season hook. Sonic Prime is Sonic: Into The Shatter-Verse. Do recommend, but hopefully the next season is a few episodes longer and doesn't have an abrupt ending.

 

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Dragon Age Abolution EP 1-3

It's pretty entertaining so far though man this show has no mercy for people who haven't played the game. The first episode alone drops so many references and fanservice that anyone just watching this off the street is gonna be wondering what the fuck everyone is talking about.

Also gonna say Legend of Vox Machina felt like it did this particular vibe better, though I am enjoying it regardless. As someone else mentioned, the only thing that I find kinda annoying is that nobody in Tevinter seems to give a shit that there's a Qunari in the group with them. A nation currently in a grinding war with the Qunari and everyone just kind of doesn't even seem to register her presence and it's fucking weird. Don't get me wrong, I like the character but she doesn't have the contractual "I get to do what I want" status the Warden and the Inquisitor did for being non-human and I think the word "Qunari" has been mentioned all of fucking once in this show.

Bonus points for Cassandra and Leliana getting a cameo in the first episode.

EP 4-6

So overall pretty entertaining but felt like it needed more time to breathe, like another few episodes. This basically felt like a DLC's or maybe a main quest worth of content from one of the games but there's not much that's actually meaty as far as worldbuilding goes. With one exception, at the end.

So Knight Commander Meredith, who was last seen turning into a Red Lyrium Statue, is now a REALLY BIG cluster of Red Lyrium somewhere under Kirkwall and not only is she apparently still lucid in there, she's also leading the Red Templars from DAI. And I have no idea what's going on with that

On a lesser note I think Qwydion was pretty wasted. They got a Qunari character(yeah, not technically) who goes totally against type in being light-hearted comic relief and a mage to boot, they got Ashley Burch to voice her and.....she doesn't get to do or say much. In fact, she probably has the least amount of dialogue for the main character and....why did you bother even having her there if she's mostly in the background for the whole thing? Hell, why bother hiring Ashley Burch if you aren't gonna let her say much?
 
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Chimpzy

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Chimpzy watches Ghost in the Shell - Stand Alone Complex (Part 19)

Season 1, Episode 20 & 21: RE-VIEW & ERASER

About time I continue this, and just in time too, because we’re finally back to the Laughing Man story after a pretty long string of stand-alone episodes. Though some of those prove not entirely unconnected after all, and a lot of setups are starting to pay off in general, particularly the events of episode 11. Using The Catcher in the Rye as a guide, Togusa learns of the existence of a list of recipients for a vaccine against cyberbrain sclerosis which was officially rejected in favor of (ineffective) nanomachine therapy, but secretly administered to the wealthy and powerful. He tracks the list to an NGO, but so have the government officials covering up the vaccine corruption, sending in a dirty narcotics squad to silence everyone. Honestly, they should’ve gone public by putting the list on the net the moment they got it, but I suppose hindsight is 20/20. Also weird Togusa didn’t just immediately call for backup the moment shit hit the fan, but maybe he just wanted to keep things low key or something. He does escape the raid, but is shot in the process.

This majorly pisses off the rest of the crew, particularly Batou cuz they all buddy buddy, urging them to get involved. For some reason Aramaki decides to notify the DEA chief that Togusa was at the raid, presumably so they’d overplay their hand. From here on it turns into a tense race between Section 9 and the narcotics squad to a man named Imakurusu, the chairman of the board that denied the vaccine out of petty jealousy and a vested financial interest in nanomachine therapy, despite being a recipient of the vaccine, the malingering git. They successfully track him down, employing some pretty Big Brother methods in the process. But the DEA is hot on their heels, turning into probably the most extensive action sequence thus far. The mooks go down easy, but the armored suit proves more formidable, with the Major losing an arm and nearly getting her head squished in a sequence that rather obviously references the third act battle of the movie.

Section 9 prevails, though we do see the Major lose her cool for the first time, getting some pretty brutal payback. To no avail, since Imakurusu gets assassinated anyway. You’d think they’d keep eyes on the dude at all times, but no, just let him wander off to get sieved. A rather uncharacteristic snafu, and if it weren’t for Laughing Man showing up in person to hand Batou the physical proof they need to take action against the DEA before absconding by hacking Batou’s eyes, they’d have been shit out of luck. Also, Batou’s eyes. Hacked. Again. Seriously, that’s how many times now? Meanwhile, government people even higher up the chain are preparing a counterattack against Section 9, but that’s for another time.

It’s at this point in the series that I feel it really sinks in how good it actually is. The way all the puzzle pieces are starting to fit together, revealing the full picture. The way seemingly unrelated events pay dividends, like the politician whose kidnapped daughter the crew saved tipping off Aramaki about the DEA’s dirty dealings. It’s kind of like prestige tv but much faster paced, very little time is wasted. Things are really moving along, and a ton of shit is thrown at you, but assuming you paid attention previously, it never becomes difficult to parse all the events happening. It also never feels pretentious imo. There’s other anime that try the morally layered and intricate plotlines, but so many of them tend to end up gazing up their asses instead.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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Chainsaw Man (First Season)

Wildly popular anime, adapted from a wildly popular manga, following the adventures of deadbeat Denji who starts of working as a hired gun hunting devils (that, in this word, embody human fears) in a small town. Doing that, he ends up being saved from death by merging with his pet devil Pochita, granting him the ability to turn into Chainsaw Man. His superpower is having chainsaws all over his body. That in turn leads to him getting scouted by seductive femme fatale Makima who's in charge of an official devil hunting outfit that he ends up joining. All leading up to a quest to slay the powerful Gun Devil by recovering individual body parts of his.

It's not exactly the most inventive premise in the world. Straight up, it took me a while to understand even remotely what the appeal of this is supposed to be. Mind you, Chainsaw Man does have almost absurdly high quality animation, close to movie quality, I'd say, and the action choreography and creature designs are all quite good but it was well into the second half where it somewhat started to click for me.

Chainsaw Man's strength is almost entirely in how it depicts what are almost entirely broken or at least very damaged characters doing work that, so is the implication, no sane person would ever choose to do. Its aim appears to be to provide sort of a revisionist take on shonen action anime, which means that even, if not especially, the heroes of the story are almost all afflicted with PTSD and numb to death and violence, if not outright psychotic. It sometimes comes off like an urban fantasy version of Dirty Dozen.

It's a bit like if Sam Peckinpah had directed an anime series, only with vastly less misogyny. If anything, Chainsaw Man has a weird preoccupation with women violating men, but I don't judge. Either way, there is certainly a great effort made to depict bad, or at the very least extremely morally compromised, people in an empathetic way. That empathy really is what makes Chainsaw Man compelling, much moreso than it's glib movie references, abundant gore and awkward attitude towards sexuality do.

That said, it very much is still an action flick and the plot, as far as this first season goes, hasn't gone anywhere too exciting. It's all very much the sort of thing you expect from the genre, just with a very cynical, almost fatalistic, attitude about it all. I don't want to lean too hard into this criticism, because this is pretty clearly the start of what's meant to be a long running series and even by the end feels like it's barely done setting up the basics.

It hasn't exactly enthralled me on some profound level, but by the end I felt it had enough to offer that I'm at least mildly interested in where it's going. It doesn't exactly deconstruct and lay bare the beating hard of the shonen action genre, it just offers an uncommonly gritty and surprisingly emotionally grounded take on it. And I get how that appeals to a lot of people.
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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Penultimate episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury was last week and they managed to pull Hiroyuki Okiura to do some TV work in one of the most fluid action sequences ever seen in TV anime. Like, this guy usually does key animation for movies and OVAs and they gave him the frame rate to show why. Notably did the key animation for: Akira, the first and second Patlabor movies, Ghost in the Shell 1&2, and Paprika, among others. The relationship angst from last episode comes to a head in a very satisfying way, corporate machinations between Prospera and Delling gave me a fucking swerve (the fuck are they up to?), and the protagonists of a second anti-capitalist yuri Gundam show arrive to play some Hardspace Shipbreaker

A575CAB6-7F11-4588-9369-72713768916D.jpeg
And a trailer for the mid-season finale. Spoilers, obviously

They've also started removing the region lock on the YouTube episodes at the rate on one a week if you don't like piracy or Crunchyrol, so the Prologue and Episode 1 are currently available

Next up is Lee's Detective Agency, a *surprisingly* well animated Arknights spin off about a batch of furry menaces getting into misadventures as their detective agency gets hired to do everything besides detective work (as detective work is a police matter)

Fun times, short episode lengths make them quick and snappy, and some surprisingly effective gags make it an easy watch. Free on the Crunchyroll Collection's YouTube channel


 

Bartholen

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I watched the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood after snagging the entire series for pretty cheap on DVD. I previously watched it about a decade ago, so this should be interesting. I remember enjoying it very much, though it was seriously held back by its... anime-ness. Meaning the usual overly comedic chibi antics that often seriously hampered the dramatic tension and my ability to take it seriously. There were only a few moments of it in the first episode though, so we'll see how it goes from there. Seeing it now all these years later, with what I remember of the show there's actually some pretty effective foreshadowing right out of the gate: Bradley's clearly something more than a typical anime badass, the country's experiencing some serious dissent from what they did in the past, and something greater is brewing behind the scenes which our characters aren't let in on.

I tried watching it a bit with the english dub, because I've heard so much of Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey since last time that it would be funny. But man, I guess this style of writing just requires that language barrier and cultural distance to not come across as incredibly corny. The voicework itself is fine, I just have a much harder time accepting that characters will just stop in the middle of a fight to exposit about characters, or start spouting about how awesome they are, when they're speaking a language I actually understand.
 
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Casual Shinji

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But man, I guess this style of writing just requires that language barrier and cultural distance to not come across as incredibly corny.
I think you just captured the core issue of dubbed anime. Though I've come to a point where the storytelling has become too corny even with the original japanese dub.
 

Bartholen

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I think you just captured the core issue of dubbed anime. Though I've come to a point where the storytelling has become too corny even with the original japanese dub.
Well, the core issue in anime that are written like that anyway. Redline IMO works a million times better with the english dub, but that's a bit of an outlier. And don't get me wrong: that writing style feels ridiculous in any language. The cultural and linguistic distance of the original VO just manage to keep it at tolerable levels.
 
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BrawlMan

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I tried watching it a bit with the english dub, because I've heard so much of Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey since last time that it would be funny. But man, I guess this style of writing just requires that language barrier and cultural distance to not come across as incredibly corny. The voicework itself is fine, I just have a much harder time accepting that characters will just stop in the middle of a fight to exposit about characters, or start spouting about how awesome they are, when they're speaking a language I actually understand.
I think you just captured the core issue of dubbed anime. Though I've come to a point where the storytelling has become too corny even with the original japanese dub.
That's usually the problem with lots of Shonen writing. FMA Brotherhood is one of the few that's the least bad with this. I still praise the English dub, and a majority of the returning voice actors improved their craft after FMA 2003. It's one of things, you either used to, not used to it, or only tolerate it to an extent depending on the show or genre in question.

Redline IMO works a million times better with the english dub, but that's a bit of an outlier.
Damn straight.
 

Specter Von Baren

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Chainsaw Man (First Season)

Wildly popular anime, adapted from a wildly popular manga, following the adventures of deadbeat Denji who starts of working as a hired gun hunting devils (that, in this word, embody human fears) in a small town. Doing that, he ends up being saved from death by merging with his pet devil Pochita, granting him the ability to turn into Chainsaw Man. His superpower is having chainsaws all over his body. That in turn leads to him getting scouted by seductive femme fatale Makima who's in charge of an official devil hunting outfit that he ends up joining. All leading up to a quest to slay the powerful Gun Devil by recovering individual body parts of his.

It's not exactly the most inventive premise in the world. Straight up, it took me a while to understand even remotely what the appeal of this is supposed to be. Mind you, Chainsaw Man does have almost absurdly high quality animation, close to movie quality, I'd say, and the action choreography and creature designs are all quite good but it was well into the second half where it somewhat started to click for me.

Chainsaw Man's strength is almost entirely in how it depicts what are almost entirely broken or at least very damaged characters doing work that, so is the implication, no sane person would ever choose to do. Its aim appears to be to provide sort of a revisionist take on shonen action anime, which means that even, if not especially, the heroes of the story are almost all afflicted with PTSD and numb to death and violence, if not outright psychotic. It sometimes comes off like an urban fantasy version of Dirty Dozen.

It's a bit like if Sam Peckinpah had directed an anime series, only with vastly less misogyny. If anything, Chainsaw Man has a weird preoccupation with women violating men, but I don't judge. Either way, there is certainly a great effort made to depict bad, or at the very least extremely morally compromised, people in an empathetic way. That empathy really is what makes Chainsaw Man compelling, much moreso than it's glib movie references, abundant gore and awkward attitude towards sexuality do.

That said, it very much is still an action flick and the plot, as far as this first season goes, hasn't gone anywhere too exciting. It's all very much the sort of thing you expect from the genre, just with a very cynical, almost fatalistic, attitude about it all. I don't want to lean too hard into this criticism, because this is pretty clearly the start of what's meant to be a long running series and even by the end feels like it's barely done setting up the basics.

It hasn't exactly enthralled me on some profound level, but by the end I felt it had enough to offer that I'm at least mildly interested in where it's going. It doesn't exactly deconstruct and lay bare the beating hard of the shonen action genre, it just offers an uncommonly gritty and surprisingly emotionally grounded take on it. And I get how that appeals to a lot of people.
Wait until season 2...
 

Specter Von Baren

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Chainsaw Man (First Season)

Wildly popular anime, adapted from a wildly popular manga, following the adventures of deadbeat Denji who starts of working as a hired gun hunting devils (that, in this word, embody human fears) in a small town. Doing that, he ends up being saved from death by merging with his pet devil Pochita, granting him the ability to turn into Chainsaw Man. His superpower is having chainsaws all over his body. That in turn leads to him getting scouted by seductive femme fatale Makima who's in charge of an official devil hunting outfit that he ends up joining. All leading up to a quest to slay the powerful Gun Devil by recovering individual body parts of his.

It's not exactly the most inventive premise in the world. Straight up, it took me a while to understand even remotely what the appeal of this is supposed to be. Mind you, Chainsaw Man does have almost absurdly high quality animation, close to movie quality, I'd say, and the action choreography and creature designs are all quite good but it was well into the second half where it somewhat started to click for me.

Chainsaw Man's strength is almost entirely in how it depicts what are almost entirely broken or at least very damaged characters doing work that, so is the implication, no sane person would ever choose to do. Its aim appears to be to provide sort of a revisionist take on shonen action anime, which means that even, if not especially, the heroes of the story are almost all afflicted with PTSD and numb to death and violence, if not outright psychotic. It sometimes comes off like an urban fantasy version of Dirty Dozen.

It's a bit like if Sam Peckinpah had directed an anime series, only with vastly less misogyny. If anything, Chainsaw Man has a weird preoccupation with women violating men, but I don't judge. Either way, there is certainly a great effort made to depict bad, or at the very least extremely morally compromised, people in an empathetic way. That empathy really is what makes Chainsaw Man compelling, much moreso than it's glib movie references, abundant gore and awkward attitude towards sexuality do.

That said, it very much is still an action flick and the plot, as far as this first season goes, hasn't gone anywhere too exciting. It's all very much the sort of thing you expect from the genre, just with a very cynical, almost fatalistic, attitude about it all. I don't want to lean too hard into this criticism, because this is pretty clearly the start of what's meant to be a long running series and even by the end feels like it's barely done setting up the basics.

It hasn't exactly enthralled me on some profound level, but by the end I felt it had enough to offer that I'm at least mildly interested in where it's going. It doesn't exactly deconstruct and lay bare the beating hard of the shonen action genre, it just offers an uncommonly gritty and surprisingly emotionally grounded take on it. And I get how that appeals to a lot of people.
Ok, actually, let me elaborate. I haven't read or watched Chainsaw Man but I think it is entirely possible for people to get a good read on a series, or at least the fans of it, by looking at the kind of content they produce in reaction to it. There's a lot of cool and beautiful fanart of the series and it's clear to me from the fanart that a character that's going to be introduced in season 2 left a big impression on a lot of people (You get a tease of the character in the last episode) and so I'm very interested to see the reaction to that arc and the central character of it.
 
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Piscian

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Chainsaw Man (First Season)

it just offers an uncommonly gritty and surprisingly emotionally grounded take on it. And I get how that appeals to a lot of people.
I think that's what I find most engrossing about the show. I can't enjoy anime anymore because they've gotten to this point where characters are literally cartoons and talk like ADHD tropes rather than people. This reminds me a lot more of stuff like GITS or bebop or what have you where there's really cut down dialog. Characters in CM are much more subdued and thoughtful. There's an effort being made here to make them more three dimensional. I can actually "feel" for these characters consistently. You can watch a character thinking and go "yeah I understand whats being conveyed hear without needing a narrator.".
 

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Pretty heartbroken that Mob Psycho has ended. I didn't even know that the manga had concluded as well.
Better end, than go overly long with not much to show for it. Sometimes it's best to end things at the right time or early. Going 15-20+ years is overrated.

I think that's what I find most engrossing about the show. I can't enjoy anime anymore because they've gotten to this point where characters are literally cartoons and talk like ADHD tropes rather than people.
Depends on where you look. I still watch anime, but I only go to what interests me. No different from you. The only difference is the amount I watch is nowhere near close to what it was during my childhood, teenage years, and early college days.
 

Bartholen

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South Park, episodes 1&2 of season 6: Jared has Aides and Asspen.

I think there was legit something special about seasons 4-11 that the show hasn't been able to capture since. I've watched only sporadically after season 16 or so, and the show just feels and looks so different, and sadly also weaker. The writing on these episodes feels really tight, no jokes overstay their welcome (to my taste at least), the boys don't feel like just vehicles for social commentary, and there's just delightful bits of complete nonsense sprinkled in (Jared literally beating a dead horse, the random farmer who exposits about the mountain). The artstyle is also on point: everything looks perfectly consistent. In the 2010s South Park IMO just got lost in the sauce with their artstyle. Now they have so many angles of every character, so much more poses and so much more detail in the backgrounds that it just looks jarring to me. One of the funniest gags in the earlier seasons was using real life photographs for no reason occasionally, and it was funny because they were so jarring. I don't think that gag would work anymore, since there's already so much detail in everything, and therefore way less contrast.
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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So that last G Witch episode was supposed to be released on Christmas, continuing a valuable Gundam Christmas tradition of making things terrible for everyone

I'm excited. The post credits sequence hits like a jump scare