Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Archive for the ‘ Commentary ’ Category

Here it is, my review of Eureka seveN, which is a wonderfully obnoxious 2,000 words. (The MAL mirror is here.) The short version is that I didn’t like the series very much though it did have a lot of technical merits. As usual, the review is spoiler-free, but today, there shall be additional, spoilerific rambling in the rest of this entry, followed by some kind of epic fanboy/fanrage showdown in the comments because ghostlightning thinks there’s love to remember in Eureka seveN. How about that!

Eureka seveN

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I was out most of  today, but when I came back, I had a slew of Anime Expo-related tweets waiting for me. Some of the most interesting ones were centered around the OEL manga panel, which apparently offered some very harsh/blunt words on both the business side of things and the artist side of things.Dramacon is the only OEL title that anyone buys.

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I was really hoping that this would be some kind of joke, but it apparently isn’t.

There’s already been a live action adaptation of Death Note. Two of them, in fact, since the story isn’t easily told in one. I might be in the few as far as thinking that they were both fantastic movies and worked wonderfully as adaptations (I swear I’ll get around to reviewing them both), but the fact remains that it’s already been done, not to mention that L spinoff movie, which I’ve yet to see. All three of those movies have been licensed and released Stateside, so why do we need Hollywood to make another one?

Of course, Hollywood re-making Japanese (and other Asian) films is nothing new, and there are many instances where those re-makes are wildly popular and subsequently profitable. The Ring comes to mind, but I’ve seen neither that nor Ringu, from which it was based. Even so, there’s at least one adaptation that I found to be successful (The Departed, based on a Hong Kong film). But Death Note is not a J-horror and Death Note is not an action drama. And from what I can understand, Warner Brothers will not be basing their movie off of the existing movies, so Death Note isn’t even a movie.

Death Note is a superntural, psychological, suspense thriller manga, and I have little faith that a Hollywood adaptation will 1) make any money, 2) treat the source material right, 3) be a decent movie on any kind of level. Well, at least it isn’t Fox, right?

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Apparently, FUNimation announced at Sakura-Con that they’ll begin streaming some of their videos on ANN. Earlier this month, they added a bunch of stuff to Veoh. There was also the recent announcement that they’d be adding a bunch of old TOEI properties to the their own video site and that they’d be adding a bunch of shows from their rival, Viz, to their broadcasting station. And of course, they already have a YouTube channel and Hulu channel with a ton of stuff on both. Oh, and their Playstation Store is now up too, the latest of their various Download-to-Own platforms (the others being their own site, Xbox Live, iTunes, and Amazon Unbox). I might have missed some. Is it just me or is this a bit much?

On one hand, I’m always happy to see FUNimation take the initive and find new ways to get their products to their fans and their customers. On the other hand, it’s starting to feel kind of disorganized. Many of the titles are available across most of the streaming sources — YouTube, Hulu, FUNimation Video, and now ANN — but there still seem to be a number of series that are only available in one place or another; I think the FUNi video site has the most titles, which makes sense, but then I kind of wonder why they bother with everything else? Most video sites are pretty much the same to me; Hulu might have the best quality of the aforementioned, but I find myself using the FUNi site more than anything else because I perceive it to be more beneficial to them.

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Finally saw the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood tonight. As I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t that eager to see it, but then my RSS feeds started getting cluttered with other bloggers posting about it and I spent the week feeling a little impatient. It’s always annoying having to avoid reading things ’cause you’re not up-to-date, but I guess that’s something I’ll just have to deal with since I’m going to be adamant about supporting FUNimation’s stream on this one. I’m actually pretty disappointed that so many people seem to have downloaded fansubs anyway since I think a vast majority of anibloggers reside in countries that are getting a simulcast in one form or another. (Sorry, Europe!)

That said, I was surprised to find that I had ton of issues getting the video to work right for the stream. I’d previously seen all of Ouran Host Club and some of Mushishi on FUNi’s video site and never had any issues, so I’m not sure what was up — the video wouldn’t load at all in Firefox, so after several attempts, I took it into Chrome. There, it loaded… but very slowly. Like, absurdly slowly. It kept stopping to buffer, so I decided to just let it sit to load the whole thing before playing. It took like two hours to load the whole episode. Unbelievable. I’m sure there was a lot more traffic on the site than usual today, but still… I sure hope it isn’t like this every week. :|

The video quality was great once it did load though. The subtitling is consistent with the other subs FUNi offers, and that’s pretty damn good, I’d say. I would have liked to see a translation to the opening and ending themes, but that’s not a huge deal. It did bug me a little that they used “sneaked” instead of “snuck” twice in the episode; even though the former is actually more correct than the latter, “snuck” has become so much more common these days. Oh, well. All words are created equal, but some are more equal than others!

Anyway, on to the actual content of the episode…

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Okay. You know, now I’m just kind of confused.

We had our first look at the art of the DOGS OAV back in December. It was questionable, particularly for Badou and Haine’s designs, but I decided to be optimistic. This optimism seemed to have paid off, as the short trailer that surfaced last month looked brilliant. There actually aren’t many shots of Haine in the trailer, but Badou, at least, looked terrific. (Camoflague print is still missing from jacket, but I’ll live.)

Now, some character sketches seem to have surfaced, and it looks like we took three steps forward just to take ten steps back?

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I just finished watching the first episode of Dragonball Kai with my roommate. It was very… strange. It was nostalgic in many ways, but somehow, it also felt like a completely new experience. Dragonball Z, along with Sailor Moon, was one of the first series that really propelled me into anime on the whole. It wasn’t the first anime I’d seen or the first I’d loved (those would be My Neighbor Totoro and Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh), but I’m sure that I’m not the only one to have ever-sweet memories of coming home from school every day with Toonami to look forward to. I haven’t rewatched DBZ since it ended its initial run on the block years and years ago, and I never did dig up the Japanese original to take a gander at either.

In reality, it really hasn’t been that many years. DBZ’s original dub run ended in April 2003. Six years. That’s not that long… right?

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About a month ago, MyAnimeList revised its review system (this thread seems to have been damaged in the recent server problems; curiously, Xinil has chosen not to repost or fix it as he had done several other affected threads. I had to dig out this link from my browser history. Clicking the “last” post link on the page doesn’t work, though you can still manually navigate the thread up to page 8, after which it redirects you to page 1). This involved three major changes:

1) The hiding of the score breakdown for every review. Previously, every review on MAL showed not only the overall score, but the individual scores for story, character, animation, sound, and enjoyment. Reviews can still fill in the subscores… there’s just no way for readers to see them. (Later, Xinil conceeded and re-added the subscores, though users have to go through an extra click to get to them.)

2) The removal of BBCode support for all reviews. Reviews can no longer contain any kind of BBCode, including basic things like bold, italics, underline, and strikethrough.

3) The relocation of reviews on profile pages. Reviews are now to be accessed at the top of each user’s profile instead of from the side. Users can choose to favorite reviewers so that their newest reviews appear under a tab in their own profile.

A handful of people expressed their disapproval of change #3, but most of the dissenters were more concerned with changes #1 and #2, and I was among those ranks.

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I swear this will be my last Watchmen-related post, ahaha…

Even before I went to see the movie on Friday, I had heard the blasphemous whispers of a sequel. Or at least, I had heard that Zack Snyder is refusing to have anything to do with one, which is certainly reassuring. Watching the movie, I couldn’t help but notice Dr. Manhattan’s ominous line, “Nothing ever ends.” It seemed like it had less to do with his concept of time and more to do with Hollywood’s tendency to milk everything for all its worth. Except that a second Watchmen movie wouldn’t fly, even for non-fans. Seriously, what would you do? Just about everyone involved in the film is confused on that front. Who would want a sequel? Or even a prequel?

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On Wednesday, a friend of mine picked up the first of the two-issue release of Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, written by Neil Gaiman, penciled by Andy Kubert, and inked by Scott Williams. I love Batman, but I have a terrible time keeping up with recent releases because some storylines suck more than others, and the good ones tend to have multiple tie-ins across various series and titles. (Organizing and keeping up with both Final Crisis and Marvel’s Civil War sucked; I gave up.) Usually, I will just wait for compilation releases like The Long Halloween or pick up the superspecialawesome oneshots like Arkham Asylum. This is probably why I end up reading more manga than Western comics, or at least, mainstream Western comics.

But since my friend had it handy, I read the issue. It was fantastic: beautiful, well-drawn, and well-written. It was nostalgic. And sad. And it made me think about how different superhero comics are from all the manga I read because there isn’t just one creator. There are hundreds of people involved in the creative process and there are generations of stories because the titles last so long. People of different ages have different perceptions of Batman because different medias are popular at different times, but just about everyone knows who Batman is. The character is immortal in that way.

So how can they write character deaths like this? How can Batman die?

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