The last thing we watched, cartoon/animu edition

meiam

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Patlabor 2 is a fucking sit though, holy shit. Especially when you think you're in for some grounded mech action, which the trailer totally made it seem like. Oshii is good, but he's also dryer and harder to like than a bucket of kitty litter (when he's not doing Urusei Yatsura).
Yeah its quite different than the first movie and the first time I saw it I didn't quite like it, but re watching it, it really grew on me. I'll agree that it's dry, but it's also directed in a way that I really like it. I love the jet scene for example and really like that no actual action happens.

 

Casual Shinji

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Yeah its quite different than the first movie and the first time I saw it I didn't quite like it, but re watching it, it really grew on me. I'll agree that it's dry, but it's also directed in a way that I really like it. I love the jet scene for example and really like that no actual action happens.

There is a sort of lava lamp-esque vibe to his movies, but Patlabor 2 can push it a bit. Scenes in that movie can be so slow and murky that it's hard to know sometimes that there's been a scene transition at all. Ghost in the Shell strikes more of a balance, but Beautiful Dreamers and Angel's Egg have the most "texture" while still sporting that very apparent style.
 
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Bartholen

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Finished the last 3 episodes of Legend of Vox Machina season 2. Yep, it's fuckkkkkkin' great, absolutely stomps all over the already great first season in every way. The animation and pacing are way better, there's a stronger character focus, the level of variety in just about everything is just staggering, and visually it's just a feast for the eyes. My perspective is obviously biased, but I honestly can't think of much wrong with it, aside from maybe Scanlan's cowardice and unwillingness to commit to a team effort being perhaps repeated a smidge.

And it genuinely seems that my dreams of a revolution of adult aimed western animation are coming at least partially true, seeing as Invincible has a second season this year, Arcane's is obviously in the works, we got that Dragon Age miniseries on Netflix. Even if this trend stopped this year, I'd already be satisfied that for a brief moment we got all these great animated series. But seeing as Vox Machina has already been confirmed for season 3, and we're getting a Mighty Nein series as well, it seems that at least Critical Role is poised to keep this train going for a good while.
 
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Finished the last 3 episodes of Legend of Vox Machina season 2. Yep, it's fuckkkkkkin' great, absolutely stomps all over the already great first season in every way. The animation and pacing are way better, there's a stronger character focus, the level of variety in just about everything is just staggering, and visually it's just a feast for the eyes. My perspective is obviously biased, but I honestly can't think of much wrong with it, aside from maybe Scanlan's cowardice and unwillingness to commit to a team effort being perhaps repeated a smidge.

And it genuinely seems that my dreams of a revolution of adult aimed western animation are coming at least partially true, seeing as Invincible has a second season this year, Arcane's is obviously in the works, we got that Dragon Age miniseries on Netflix. Even if this trend stopped this year, I'd already be satisfied that for a brief moment we got all these great animated series. But seeing as Vox Machina has already been confirmed for season 3, and we're getting a Mighty Nein series as well, it seems that at least Critical Role is poised to keep this train going for a good while.
I just caught up with it today and I apparently lost track of the episode count because I kept thinking there were more to come and wondering "They're spending a lot of time on Umbyssal....umblical cord(?), but there's like 3 more to go" and then I realized they're saving them for next season and I'm fine with that. It was a great season and I'm glad to see everyone get more character development.

I think I fingered what I like about this show. It's like watching a D&D game that's been condensed down to the good stuff about D&D, Banter, going on cool adventures, loot, cool boss fights, character building while skipping over shit like dice rolling and following dead ends that don't serve the story. There's also the vibe of watching players who are keeping in character but at the same time, are there to have fun and don't mind dropping a couple f-bombs or some silly jokes in there every so often to keep the mood lively.

Arguably it's nice to see the progression from a group of total losers who got banned from every bar in the kingdom at the beginning(and only got hired because everyone better was dead or out of action) to something approaching fucking demi-gods with magical WMDs who have 2 massive dragon kills to their name by this point.

Also, I just realize the woman who plays Pike is the same woman who plays Ellie in The Last of Us games, which is awesome. It was also nice to hear Lance Reddick get to ham it up for once as the head dragon. Yeah, I know he always plays "The boss" but at least this time it sounded like he was having a bit more fun at it.
 
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Bartholen

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Also, I just realize the woman who plays Pike is the same woman who plays Ellie in The Last of Us games, which is awesome.
On that thought, the entire voice cast of the show are all over The Last of Us: Laura Bailey, ie. Abby from TLoU 2 is Vex, Travis Willingham, Liam O'Brien and Matt Mercer play a ton of unnamed NPCs in the games (for example, Travis Willingham is the big Rattler whom Ellie shoots), and Troy Baker joined the second season as Vex and Vax's father Syldor. In other famous voice performers, Grey Griffin, aka Azula from Last Airbender played Delilah Briarwood in the first season. The entire show is like a who's who of the voice acting world.

There's even a Critical Role quasi-easter egg in TLoU 2 in one of Abby's segments. If you know the voice cast, you definitely recognize all of them in this scene:

 
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TheMysteriousGX

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Trying to stave off Witch From Mercury withdrawals I ended up rewatching G Gundam. Fantastic, stupid series, I love it to death. Started rewatching Gundam Wing too, also a very stupid but fantastic series. Everything and everyone is so fucking dramatic all of the time, it's great. Heero Yui tries to kill himself and/or his Gundam like, twice an episode early on for Secret Mission reasons, it's hilarious.

At an inverse, also watched through Zeta Gundam and started the OG series too. It's kinda fun knowing how I view those now vs how some parts I currently appreciate would've caused me to chew my own arm off in frustration when I was an angsty teen. Battles are often stalemates or minor victories/losses, with forces not able to complete most if any of their objectives before running out of fuel, ammo, or momentum. Constant physiological drain and exhaustion are compelling instead of tedious. The children are fun diversions instead of pointless annoyances. Relationships are still bonkers, but I appreciate space opera more now than I did then. The constant jockeying really makes the times where your favorite blorbos have to get stuck in that much more tense and dreadful.

Speaking of Witch from Mercury, Crunchyroll kinda stealth dropped it's dub for it and...okay, a lot of people seem to like it. I just...I dunno. I've got a hard time articulating why I don't like it because it's really just a bunch of really small things. Stuff barely worth mentioning on their own. I dunno if it's just the audio balancing or what, but it sounds like line reads instead of dialogue, if that makes sense. Like it was recorded at home (on a good set up) and not in a studio. Not stilted really, but off somehow. I dunno, somehow too loud and clear. It's weird, I've never had a problem with articulating a dub issue like this. With the schedule and all, it almost feels like it was rushed, like nobody predicted a new Gundam show would to this well, so it's...unpolished maybe?
 

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Yeah its quite different than the first movie and the first time I saw it I didn't quite like it, but re watching it, it really grew on me. I'll agree that it's dry, but it's also directed in a way that I really like it. I love the jet scene for example and really like that no actual action happens.

I don't really know the context but that was nicely executed there. Nice sense of tension.
 
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wings012

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Patlabor 2 is a fucking sit though, holy shit. Especially when you think you're in for some grounded mech action, which the trailer totally made it seem like. Oshii is good, but he's also dryer and harder to like than a bucket of kitty litter (when he's not doing Urusei Yatsura).
I think I still prefer the Patlabor TV series rather than the movies. I don't think I was ever very compatible with Oshii's stuff though I've watched a fair amount of it. The Patlabor movies, GITs, Jin-Roh, Sky Crawlers. There's something I like yet I'm really mixed about it at the end.

Anyway because of all that Oshii talk I felt like bringing this up:


I did try watching this, something I thought was very uncharacteristic of him to be directing. I also had a hard time getting through it, I think I got about halfway through and kinda stopped. But despite what it looks like, it does do a lot of weird shit.


Yes this is an actual cut of the anime. I'd usually expect SHAFT(at least when during the Zetsubou Sensei era) to be pulling this on me.

Trying to stave off Witch From Mercury withdrawals I ended up rewatching G Gundam. Fantastic, stupid series, I love it to death.
I love G Gundam, as silly as it is. I remember there were a bunch of silly people complaining about how G-Witch wasn't very "Gundam-like" and here I was thinking - these absolute newbie slags, haven't watched G Gundam.

Though honestly, all the AUs are pretty different. If you have a V-Finned main mecha and the story goes into space, it's probably Gundam enough already. Used to think maybe Gundam should stick to 'human affairs' but then 00 has already opened the gates to aliens, and I wonder if try it again. One of my friends has basically denounced 00 because of Awakening of the Trailblazer.
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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I love G Gundam, as silly as it is. I remember there were a bunch of silly people complaining about how G-Witch wasn't very "Gundam-like" and here I was thinking - these absolute newbie slags, haven't watched G Gundam.
Watching '79 and Zeta and it's kinda weird how much it rhymes with G-witch. The doc in the prologue and the doc working on Four is basically the same person
 

09philj

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(Copied from the review I left on MyAnimeList)

Eureka Seven is first and foremost a coming of age story, but more broadly it's about how everyone can and should adapt as their circumstances change. It's also about mecha on flying surfboards, the horrors of war, the power of love, fascism, counterculture, Gaia Theory, the importance of family no matter its form, how you shouldn't meet your heroes, some really out there sci fi worldbuilding, and finding your first love. Even at a stout fifty episodes it's positively overstuffed with ideas, which does mean some have to be run through at a million miles an hour and arguably don't get the screentime that they should, and people coming in with an explicit desire to see a *lot* of mecha action may leave disappointed. However, all of the ideas clearly belong together and play off of each other to create the texture of the story. It's a very post-Evangelion series in much of its ideas and iconography, but is also a repudiation of the former show's crushing nihilism. The animation itself is not necessarily awe inspiring, although it is consistently good, but the designs are visually interesting and there's a very considered use of colour that means things that need to stand out, like lasers and the trapar waves which allow flight, do. The first part of the story is a bit slowly paced, but patient viewers will be rewarded with a cavalcade of "oh blimey" moments, in various forms: shocking plot twists, scenes of visceral horror, and moments of punch-the-air triumph. It is a wild and uneven rollercoaster ride that will leave viewers with a preference for more tightly constructed plots behind, but I absolutely loved it.
 
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(Copied from the review I left on MyAnimeList)

Eureka Seven is first and foremost a coming of age story, but more broadly it's about how everyone can and should adapt as their circumstances change. It's also about mecha on flying surfboards, the horrors of war, the power of love, fascism, counterculture, Gaia Theory, the importance of family no matter its form, how you shouldn't meet your heroes, some really out there sci fi worldbuilding, and finding your first love. Even at a stout fifty episodes it's positively overstuffed with ideas, which does mean some have to be run through at a million miles an hour and arguably don't get the screentime that they should, and people coming in with an explicit desire to see a *lot* of mecha action may leave disappointed. However, all of the ideas clearly belong together and play off of each other to create the texture of the story. It's a very post-Evangelion series in much of its ideas and iconography, but is also a repudiation of the former show's crushing nihilism. The animation itself is not necessarily awe inspiring, although it is consistently good, but the designs are visually interesting and there's a very considered use of colour that means things that need to stand out, like lasers and the trapar waves which allow flight, do. The first part of the story is a bit slowly paced, but patient viewers will be rewarded with a cavalcade of "oh blimey" moments, in various forms: shocking plot twists, scenes of visceral horror, and moments of punch-the-air triumph. It is a wild and uneven rollercoaster ride that will leave viewers with a preference for more tightly constructed plots behind, but I absolutely loved it.
I always hated most of the characters in that show. I am mainly referring to the Gekko State and how they treated Renton for a good quarter of the show. Especially Holland, and he can fuck off. Never watching it again.
 

meiam

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I always hated most of the characters in that show. I am mainly referring to the Gekko State and how they treated Renton for a good quarter of the show. Especially Holland, and he can fuck off. Never watching it again.
I have a similar feeling to it, loved the visual and world building and amazing soundtrack, but I really didn't like most of the character, exception fro Ray and Charles who may be my favourite character in anime.

But that soundtrack to!
 
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BrawlMan

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exception fro Ray and Charles who may be my favourite character in anime.
I remember liking Ray and Charles, but not much else about them. I haven't seen this show since it first aired on adult_swim.
But that soundtrack to!
I don't remember a damn thing about the soundtrack.
 
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Drathnoxis

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I'm watching Cardcaptor Sakura in it's original Japanese for the first time. I'm 8 episodes in and I'm enjoying it a lot. This is a show that I liked a lot when I was a kid, but it's quite different in the original form. That much is obvious just by looking at the episode list. Seriously, they only adapted like half the episodes, and what they did adapt they cut apart and stitched back together.

Watching the show gives me a fuzzy nostalgic feeling, but it's also a brand new experience. This is probably the best thing about growing up watching anime in the 90s. The dubs altered the shows so much that I get to see something I enjoyed again, but in a new way and better. It's just really cool and I had no concept of what I was missing when I was a kid. It's not always as drastic as something like Yugioh, where the first anime series was never adapted and is way darker than anything we got over here, but even in Pokemon, where the episodes are largely the same, it's still fun to hear which Pokemon's names were changed in localization and find out why Ash dresses up as a cow in that one gag, or see that Kangaskhan kid ask to suck on everybody's breasts. The things you didn't know you were missing!
 

09philj

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I'm watching Cardcaptor Sakura in it's original Japanese for the first time. I'm 8 episodes in and I'm enjoying it a lot. This is a show that I liked a lot when I was a kid, but it's quite different in the original form. That much is obvious just by looking at the episode list. Seriously, they only adapted like half the episodes, and what they did adapt they cut apart and stitched back together.
I've just gotten to the second half of this. It's just a nice episodic magical girl story (albeit one with a lot of gay subtext.)
 

TheMysteriousGX

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I've just gotten to the second half of this. It's just a nice episodic magical girl story (albeit one with a lot of gay subtext.)
I mean, I don't think I've ever seen a magical girl story without loads of gay subtext. Even the ones where there's also gay text.

Speaking of, all of Sailor Moon is legally available on YouTube through official channels
 

meiam

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I'm watching Cardcaptor Sakura in it's original Japanese for the first time. I'm 8 episodes in and I'm enjoying it a lot. This is a show that I liked a lot when I was a kid, but it's quite different in the original form. That much is obvious just by looking at the episode list. Seriously, they only adapted like half the episodes, and what they did adapt they cut apart and stitched back together.

Watching the show gives me a fuzzy nostalgic feeling, but it's also a brand new experience. This is probably the best thing about growing up watching anime in the 90s. The dubs altered the shows so much that I get to see something I enjoyed again, but in a new way and better. It's just really cool and I had no concept of what I was missing when I was a kid. It's not always as drastic as something like Yugioh, where the first anime series was never adapted and is way darker than anything we got over here, but even in Pokemon, where the episodes are largely the same, it's still fun to hear which Pokemon's names were changed in localization and find out why Ash dresses up as a cow in that one gag, or see that Kangaskhan kid ask to suck on everybody's breasts. The things you didn't know you were missing!
I've tried re watching it a few years ago, I was really impressed by the visual, but story wise I was shocked at how little happens in most episode, couple with the fact that the events that happens are pretty repetitive and I ended up dropping it about 1/4 trough. I think it would have made a really solid 26 episodes show, but 70 is wayyyyyyy too much.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Started watching Trigun Stampede.

It's beautifully animated, but everything else just seems kind of worse than the original. The pacing and characterization in particular is pretty strange.

The original 1998 show took 20 episodes to get to reveals that are shown in the first episode of the new show. It's almost like the show runners decided that everyone who would be interested in Trigun Stampede would have seen the original, and so decided not to waste everyone's time retreading old ground. The thing is, that original anime is 25 years old at this point, and a lot of the people who would watch the new show weren't even born when it came out. It also doesn't have the large cultural following to make the reveals in the original show common knowledge. The new show also isn't a prequel, or a sequel to the original, it's a new show, so I'm not really sure why they decided to kind of rush through things.

They've also made significant changes to a lot of the characters. Meryl is a totally different character. In the original show she was the a seasoned insurance agent traveling with her subordinate, Millie. In the new show she's a rookie reporter traveling with a hard drinking seasoned veteran. She's gone from cool and collected seasoned traveler to idealistic and cocksure newbie, and I'm not sure that it's a change for the better. The Nebraska family also end up just being kind of goofy dolts instead of threatening. Knives looks totally different and has completely different abilities, ones that seem so powerful it makes me question why he would need the Gung-Ho-Guns (and maybe he doesn't in this version, I haven't watched far enough to see if the Gung-Ho-Guns make an appearance). Rem's sacrifice seems to be completely pointless in this version of events as well (in the original she stayed on the ship to try and save as many people as possible, and succeeds while dying in the process, in the new version she seems to die in an explosion immediately after loading Vash and Knives into the escape pod, thus making her decision to stay behind futile).

Overall, the whole production feels like fanfiction written by people who didn't "get" the original. I'm not saying that the original show didn't have any room for improvement, it definitely did. I happened to rewatch it a few months ago, and it doesn't hold up quite as well as I had hoped (the english voice-acting oftentimes isn't great, and there's definitely some pacing issues and episodes that drag), but the new show isn't an improvement.

Also, and this is just a random nit-pick, but they changed the caliber of Vash's gun. In the original anime his revolver shot .45 Long Colt ammo, but in the new show it shoots .22 rimfire. It's a change that kind of makes sense thematically for Vash's character (using a small underpowered cartridge would make it easier to wound people rather than killing them), but it makes his gigantic revolver look silly given that .22 long rifle already has basically no recoil.