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Sarex

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25 minutes ago, Sarex said:

What episode are you up to?

I think 12?

The pea**** general just got blown up. Simon already had his Shinji phase and met his waifu. RIP Kamina.

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"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"All right guys, I'm switching Strike Witches with Made in Abyss, if that isn't better than crotch shots of 13 year old girls wearing only underpants I'm going to make you lot watch a 10 hour loop of Nanoha's two minutes of lolicon content." - majestic

"I would prefer to deny KP the opportunity to put another of my posts in his signature" - Bartimaeus

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19 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

At least Utena didn't have fan service...I think. Does Nanami turning into a literal cow count as fan service? :p Also, you say "4 episode OVA", but there's also the two twelve episode sequels and the movie...

In theory, all of Anthy is fanservice, just not visual one. What two twelve episode seasons and a movie are you talking about? There's only that 4 piece OVA, and that wasn't so great... :p

15 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Escaflowne: The Movie.

Oh joy, I still have to watch that. Well, those screencaps look great, and good to hear that it focuses on the right things, instead of being boring. :x Should have expected something like that with HoonDing arguing in favor of watching the movie, huh? :p

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Finished Ergo Proxy.

 

The ending was full of revelations, biblical and otherwise 😁

A great story. I might have binge watched it a bit too much at times, so little details go lost. I think I've going to re-watch it from the beginning and use my knowledge of the background to pay more attention to the countless little details I missed along the way.

Like why some proxies destroyed their own domes, why did Romdeau nuke Mosk? What was that about humans somewhere in space, were they supposed to come back to Earth some day etc. Dozens upon dozens of little detail I hope to pick up during a second watching of the show.

 

Edit: don't get me started on clones and is there a connection between Monad Proxy and Re-l, between Proxy One and Ergo Proxy, so many questions...

Edit2: Looks like a decent explanation of the plot: https://cureclover.livejournal.com/759.html

 

Ergo Proxy Episode 23 Discussion (240 - ) - Forums - MyAnimeList.net

 

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39 minutes ago, Sarex said:

@Gorth Glad you liked it. Can I interest you in some good drama anime, or maybe something in a movie format.

I'll probably watch Ergo Proxy again first, but I bookmarked the links, so they are on my "check them out" list 👍

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Twelve Kingdoms, episode 1. Main character is an emotional stammerer that can't finish sentences and says "w-what?" and "b-but..." to just about everything said to her - ah, yes, my favorite kind of anime character. Given the type of show that this is, she will presumably improve over time, but holy crap is it annoying throughout this episode.

Main character ignores a bullied girl that tries to say hello to her, then a couple of scenes later lectures said girl about being sure to put in effort to make friends. What a jerk. Some monotone fantasy dude suddenly appears in the middle of her classroom talking about "the enemy" and "protecting her" in front of all her classmates and teacher, and then everyone besides those two starts getting whacked by some big bird that causes the windows and walls of her school to collapse merely by flying near them. The fantasy dude tells her that she has to fight the big bird, but obviously our main character has no idea how to use the sword handed to her, and the bullied girl (who happens to be nearby) asks him why he doesn't fight the thing himself...and he says he doesn't want to shed blood. So, let's recap: he swore to protect her, says she is his lord and he must get her back safely to "her world", but then refuses to protect her from an imminent threat and says she has to fight it herself? Look, I get this is the first episode and this stuff probably won't ultimately matter in the long run, but this kind of cloddy writing really gives off the impression that this was written by an imbecile. Anyways, while she's sitting there stammering, crying, and screaming about how she can't do anything, a magical force just takes control of her body and slays the bird for her. Um, okay. How...empowering - and resume crying. Nah man, you know what, I think I'm good.

However, if I were forced to pick between this and most any other anime, I would pick this. This first episode was like...maybe a 5/10 - pretty bad, but not disastrously bad like I would regard almost every other anime show you could throw at me, and it could certainly get better once some of the clumsy setup is out of the way and it finds its groove. But with about a hundred other pre-2000 shows on my "to check out" list that have a much better chance of appealing to me in style, writing, characters, and art, it doesn't really seem worth my time.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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37 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

if I were forced to pick between this and most any other anime

cq2r1jnkx4c31.jpg?auto=webp&s=184a72f0fc

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"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"All right guys, I'm switching Strike Witches with Made in Abyss, if that isn't better than crotch shots of 13 year old girls wearing only underpants I'm going to make you lot watch a 10 hour loop of Nanoha's two minutes of lolicon content." - majestic

"I would prefer to deny KP the opportunity to put another of my posts in his signature" - Bartimaeus

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5 minutes ago, KP wants Blue Velvet said:

cq2r1jnkx4c31.jpg?auto=webp&s=184a72f0fc

I would probably be more interested in giving JoJo another chance than resuming that, for the record. What that statement meant was more "if you took a collection of 100 random anime shows, I'd probably dislike somewhere between 95 and 98 of them more than Twelve Kingdoms, so yes, statistically speaking I guess I would rather keep watching Twelve Kingdoms than go with another random anime show".

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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1 minute ago, Bartimaeus said:

I would probably be more interested in giving JoJo another chance than resuming that, for the record. What that statement meant was more "if you took a collection of 100 random anime shows, I'd probably dislike somewhere between 95 and 98 of them more than Twelve Kingdoms, so yes, I guess I would rather keep watching Twelve Kingdoms than go with another random anime show".

I just like posting the shocked high DIO tbh.

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"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"All right guys, I'm switching Strike Witches with Made in Abyss, if that isn't better than crotch shots of 13 year old girls wearing only underpants I'm going to make you lot watch a 10 hour loop of Nanoha's two minutes of lolicon content." - majestic

"I would prefer to deny KP the opportunity to put another of my posts in his signature" - Bartimaeus

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Princess Tutu, episode 5. It was the best one so far! Not sure if I'm getting more into it or if it just happened to be more of what I wanted out of this show.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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8 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Princess Tutu, episode 5. It was the best one so far! Not sure if I'm getting more into it or if it just happened to be more of what I wanted out of this show.

It's also an episode that can be used to showcase just how impenetrable the show sometimes is, unless you have studied certain aspects of art, (classical) music and culture. There's the easy part, the story about the prince who knew no woes in both past and future - that is clearly meant to be Mytho on his journey of self-discovery. With emotion comes comfort, as well as pain. The fire festival in the episode is either about what's nowadays Easter Fires in central Europe, lighting fires to chase away the darkness, or what eventually turned into the celebration of St. John's Eve. Thematically the former is more fitting, but dancing around the fire is more the latter, but she show itself also makes heavy use of central European (and Germanic) folklore, more than northern.

Very significant use of music by Richard Wagner too (the piece is related to Siegfried, itself based on the myth of Sigurd, which has Siegfried eventually reforge a broken sword to slay a dragon, hint hint).

Then there's the whole metaphor that begins in the opening scenes when Fakir (a case of meaningful name) stares into his mirror, and finished when later Mytho is found sleeping next to a lamp. The Mirror and the Lamp, a book by Meyer Howard Abrams.

Go all that while watching the episode? Yeah. Neither did I. The Mirror and the Lamp bit I stumbled upon while reading up on the episode. English examinations of literary criticisms aren't exactly my specialty. :p

Edited by majestic
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The End of Escaflowne: エスカフローネ

Simply "Escaflowne", not even a "the movie", and the why becomes clear the moment it begins.

Back when I first started to watch The Vision of Escaflowne, I took note of the director and some of the writing team, like I said, they've been involved in various other projects that we've watched in this thread in some form or another. Sailor Moon, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and some Cowboy Bebop. That the film was written by Ryōta Yamaguchi made me hopeful that it would be good. Ryōta Yamaguchi is a bit of a mixed bag though.

He's consistently inconsistent, sometimes writing both the best and the worst episodes of anything he's working on. For Sailor Moon, that meant writing what's probably the funniest straight comedy episode of the entire run, where a series of increasingly improbable events cause everyone to join Usagi at home to make a mockery of their Clark Kent disguises, the transformations and the series' dependency on its formula. On the other hand, he also wrote that episode where Ami suddenly finds herself cosplaying at a video  game convention and winning a fighting game tournament in spite of never having played before.

For Vision of Escaflowne, that meant writing the second episode, arguably the weakst of the entire show (or, at least, the second weakest). Episode nine is also from him, which is the runner up, although it's probably not as easily gauged as the quality of the second episode is as it just happens to be wedged in between a run of really, really great episodes, and also, while the Sailor Moon episode with Ami playing video games was arguably not good, these two episode in The Vision of Escaflowne were merely "just" solid compared to the other episodes.

On the other hand, he also wrote the introspective episodes where Hitomi saves Shinji Van from being merged with EVA Unit-01 Escaflowne and the absolutely amazing first part of the two episodes set in the ruins of Atlantis.

That said, I don't think Escaflowne is bad, even with all the Dr. Phil seizures it causes. Arguably, it's worse than that. It was a bad idea. Invariably, watching this film evokes the echoing voice of The Transcendent One, when he confronts The Nameless One over the corpses of his companions. "Are they dead? Yes. Unlike you, they had but one life. They wasted it for your sake." They had the talent, some development problem and the buget for one film, and it looks so great, and yet it is wasted for the sake of an unecessary dark fantasy retelling of an anime series that needed none.

There are also some inexplicable changes to the character designs, and I don't mean them looking differently, although that is of course true too. If the series was a hodgepodge of different anime series styles across different eras, this borrows from films of the 90ies. Hitomi and Yukari sometimes reminded me of, dare I say it, Perfect Blue. One of these changes is giving Merle the cat girl underwear. No, really, she went through the entirety of the series wearing nothing but a short dress, and it was visible several times that she doesn't wear anything else, and yet nothing in the series came close to this moment in the movie.

dXmOcEm.png
Why? For the same reason the princess wears a crop top and hot pants instead of something appropriate for a princess.

Admittedly, one does not often see scenes where adding clothes makes them sexually more charged. Quite a feat, all in all. Looking at this sceneshot also makes me wonder how she managed to put her underwear on. Ah well, it's probably a cat thing anyway. Allen and his gang look like a group of criminals from any post apocalyptic movie. The plot of the film is, well, can't even really call it even an abridged version of the series, can I?

So, what else could I possibly add? This film should not be part of the Escaflowne universe, even as an alternate reality retelling. In a way, this is Star Trek 2009 all over again, althoug in terms of being stupid and ridiculous, Star Trek 2009 has this one beat by a mile. If this wasn't called Escaflowne it at the very least wouldn't cause Dr. Phil seizures, even with the increased silly fanservice. There are certain themes in the film that aren't handled badly, and some of the scenes with Merle and Hitomi were actually quite nice.

The film is darker, gritter, more serious. Focused on some more action and loneliness, isolation and depression. It also does something else that's quite a feat, it's both more and less generic fantasy than the anime series. Sometimes, indeed, the films feels more like an Akira Kurosawa film than the sometimes fun, sometimes silly, but almost always really good fantasy romp that the anime series was. It's less generic European fantasy, even though it's still set on Gaea and makes much heavier use of Japanese aesthetics.

That leaves the point of making this film. Star Trek 2009 at least was trying to revive a well known intellectual property to squeeze some more money out of it, and oh boy did that work. Escaflowne wasn't the commercial hit in Japan it was original anticipated to be. Stronger abroad, but still a fair bit short of the mark. What was gained from setting this film in the Escaflowne universe? Nothing but alienating the fans of the series. Did this win new ones? Maybe, but those would go and check out the series and just drop it.

If it's not a cashgrab, has no meaningful ability to bring in and retain a new fanbase or expand the old one and has arguably nothing to add the the universe, the question becomes, then, as always with such things, the why? Why is this movie there? I have no answer, dear reader. None. However, to leave you slightly less disappointed, have a Lake of Tears song to tide you over:

 

Edited by majestic
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18 hours ago, majestic said:

The End of Escaflowne: エスカフローネ

Man, that's my thing, I can't believe I didn't think of it, :facepalm:.

18 hours ago, majestic said:

That said, I don't think Escaflowne is bad, even with all the Dr. Phil seizures it causes. Arguably, it's worse than that. It was a bad idea. Invariably, watching this film evokes the echoing voice of The Transcendent One, when he confronts The Nameless One over the corpses of his companions. "Are they dead? Yes. Unlike you, they had but one life. They wasted it for your sake." They had the talent, some development problem and the buget for one film, and it looks so great, and yet it is wasted for the sake of an unecessary dark fantasy retelling of an anime series that needed none.

Yeah, it's not exactly bad in a vacuum...but it is pretty bad as Escaflowne. As you said, who the hell is this made for? Certainly not fans of the original show, and people who didn't like the show might enjoy this...but if they didn't like the show, they probably wouldn't want to check this out anyways - even if they did, they're still not going to want to go back and watch the show. So what's the point?

18 hours ago, majestic said:

So, what else could I possibly add? This film should not be part of the Escaflowne universe, even as an alternate reality retelling. In a way, this is Star Trek 2009 all over again, althoug in terms of being stupid and ridiculous, Star Trek 2009 has this one beat by a mile. If this wasn't called Escaflowne it at the very least wouldn't cause Dr. Phil seizures, even with the increased silly fanservice. There are certain themes in the film that aren't handled badly, and some of the scenes with Merle and Hitomi were actually quite nice.

I heard someone describe it as a "gaidan" (alternative/side story) film in the vein of (coincidentally) The End of Evangelion, because apparently those kinds of films were popular around that time period. So not exactly a retelling nor a continuation - only thing is, The End of Evangelion was...um, you know, a little more true to NGE than Escaflowne was to TVoE (and also, while The End of Evangelion doesn't continue from the end of the show, it does at least serve as a direct ending to the show as an alternative to episodes 25 and 26). The Hitomi/Merle scenes (and there weren't very many) were about the only part of the movie that I liked. The art style was pretty out there - lots of influences, and I can see what you mean by saying it looked a little Perfect Blue-ish.

18 hours ago, majestic said:

Admittedly, one does not often see scenes where adding clothes makes them sexually more charged. Quite a feat, all in all. Looking at this sceneshot also makes me wonder how she managed to put her underwear on. Ah well, it's probably a cat thing anyway. Allen and his gang look like a group of criminals from any post apocalyptic movie. The plot of the film is, well, can't even really call it even an abridged version of the series, can I?

I'd be willing to forgive it if the movie was better...but instead, it just becomes part of a long laundry list of Picard facepalm-worthy inexplicabilities in the decision-making for this film. Ergh.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

Man, that's my thing, I can't believe I didn't think of it, :facepalm:.

Well, maybe next time. :p

Spoiler

Doubly strange seeing how you were the one who requested that I use "The End of Nanoha" as a title to talk about that final Nanoha film. 

 

1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

Yeah, it's not exactly bad in a vacuum...but it is pretty bad as Escaflowne. As you said, who the hell is this made for? Certainly not fans of the original show, and people who didn't like the show might enjoy this...but if they didn't like the show, they probably wouldn't want to check this out anyways - even if they did, they're still not going to want to go back and watch the show. So what's the point?

In a vacuum, if such a viewing would be possible at all, it would be an all right samurai fantasy action film with an appropriate amount of thematic exploration regarding isolation and loneliness when it comes to Hitomi's depression and Van feeling like he has to shoulder the weight of the world on his own, doing it in the only way he can: By fighting for what is by all accounts a lost cause. Not particularily something I would turn on because I want to see it, because there are other films to choose from that would be better watches overall (not necessarily more enjoyable, but this is an area where watching Japanese live action films clearly yields better results), but equally nothing I'd turn off immediately either.

As Escaflowne, indeed, this is just terrible. It's character assassination of the worst sort, removes everything that made the original lovable and arguable unique and replaces it with an equal amount of serious, gritty and bleak.

1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

I heard someone describe it as a "gaidan" (alternative/side story) film in the vein of (coincidentally) The End of Evangelion, because apparently those kinds of films were popular around that time period. So not exactly a retelling nor a continuation - only thing is, The End of Evangelion was...um, you know, a little more true to NGE than Escaflowne was to TVoE (and also, while The End of Evangelion doesn't continue from the end of the show, it does at least serve as a direct ending to the show as an alternative to episodes 25 and 26).

外伝 (side story, sometimes used to mean spin-off, but literally more like outside legend, 外 is the same kanji used to spell the somewhat pejorative word for outsider/foreigner gaijin - 外人) stuff is pretty popular for a whole lot of things. I'm not sure, but the ones I encountered at least all had the sense to not be retellings set in the same universe using the same characters, but rather perhaps using the same characters in different settings or making actual side story in a similar or the same universe. One of my most favorite Gameboy games is one of those, Final Fantasy Adventure. It became the basis of the Secret of Mana series.

Anyway, The End of Evangelion is more like an actual narrative ending to the series. It works as a replacement for the last two episode, it arguably works in tandem and/or parallel with the last two episodes of the show, I'm not sure I'd call it a traditional side story, and I also really don't think Escaflowne counts either, but hey, if people want to label it like that that's fine with me. It's still a bad Escaflowne film and would improve immensely by letting the characters - and the film - stand on its own.

1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

The Hitomi/Merle scenes (and there weren't very many) were about the only part of the movie that I liked. The art style was pretty out there - lots of influences, and I can see what you mean by saying it looked a little Perfect Blue-ish.

It might be that Perfect Blue looks like something else or was inspired by some other film, for that I don't know enough about anime films in general, it's mostly Hitomi's character design and animation, that did remind me of Mima a bit. It's not entirely fitting because the eyes are drawn rather differently, but everything else fits. As for many of the scenes and influences, if you want take a look at the scenes from The Seven Samurai. While that's live action, does that remind you of something? :)

edit: I mean some of the action setpieces and general looks, not necessarily the plot or anything else. Escaflowne is still a fantasy piece with a bit of a sci-fi bend, all in all.

1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

I'd be willing to forgive it if the movie was better...but instead, it just becomes part of a long laundry list of Picard facepalm-worthy inexplicabilities in the decision-making for this film. Ergh.

Pretty much.

Edited by majestic
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Princess Tutu, episodes 6 and 7. We're back to shrug city, folks. It's just not quite there for me in terms of characters and how it's trying to tell its story.

9 hours ago, majestic said:

In a vacuum, if such a viewing would be possible at all, it would be an all right samurai fantasy action film with an appropriate amount of thematic exploration regarding isolation and loneliness when it comes to Hitomi's depression and Van feeling like he has to shoulder the weight of the world on his own, doing it in the only way he can: By fighting for what is by all accounts a lost cause. Not particularily something I would turn on because I want to see it, because there are other films to choose from that would be better watches overall (not necessarily more enjoyable, but this is an area where watching Japanese live action films clearly yields better results), but equally nothing I'd turn off immediately either.

As Escaflowne, indeed, this is just terrible. It's character assassination of the worst sort, removes everything that made the original lovable and arguable unique and replaces it with an equal amount of serious, gritty and bleak.

In a vacuum, it probably would've earned...maybe a 6/10 from me - it did not have the things that I require for something to be "good" to me, but it did do enough right to be more interesting and visually enjoyable than most all the other dreck. As it is, it's feeling more like a 3/10...I might be more charitable later when I start comparing it to the Rebuild films, although their situations are not totally dissimilar for me, really. Characters, plot, and themes were all neatly gathered up and dumped into the nearest garbage bin. At least Escaflowne didn't literally give me headaches because of its horrific animation, unlike Rebuild and its stupendously bad action scenes...but on the other hand, I think there were more parts in the Rebuild films that were good, even if it was conversely drowned out by even more that was terrible.

9 hours ago, majestic said:

It might be that Perfect Blue looks like something else or was inspired by some other film, for that I don't know enough about anime films in general, it's mostly Hitomi's character design and animation, that did remind me of Mima a bit. It's not entirely fitting because the eyes are drawn rather differently, but everything else fits. As for many of the scenes and influences, if you want take a look at the scenes from The Seven Samurai. While that's live action, does that remind you of something? :)

edit: I mean some of the action setpieces and general looks, not necessarily the plot or anything else. Escaflowne is still a fantasy piece with a bit of a sci-fi bend, all in all.

Haven't seen The Seven Samurai, and I get zero feeling for what you mean by looking at a bunch of random screenshots of it, :p .

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2 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Haven't seen The Seven Samurai, and I get zero feeling for what you mean by looking at a bunch of random screenshots of it, :p .

Yeah, maybe I'm also just alone in getting Kurosawa vibes from Escaflowne. Some of his films are of major film-historical interest, and they were very influential, to say the least. The Magnificent Seven is basically a Westernized (in more than one way, oh ho ho ho ho) The Seven Samurai remake and his oddball goofy film The Hidden Fortress served as an inspiration for Star Wars. As for whether or not to recommend watching the films based on that, now that's something... else. I guess you know that already, anyway.

There's a certain melancholy to Kurosawa's movies that is also very present in Escaflowne.

2 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

In a vacuum, it probably would've earned...maybe a 6/10 from me - it did not have the things that I require for something to be "good" to me, but it did do enough right to be more interesting and visually enjoyable than most all the other dreck.

Somewhere between 6 and 7/10 seems legit. Perhaps not enough to reach 7/10, there were some things in the film that made preciously little sense and even less if detached from prior knowledge of the series, there certainly was an odd shortcut or two taken in writing. Hard to blame the film for it, as it apparently struggled with funding, and it's fairly easy to see where all the money went - if nothing else, the film is a visual feast that unlike it's late 80ies and early 90ies counterparts holds up much better. I guess, in part, also due to it being more than just visually interesting. Squint a little and one can see that with an extra half an hour of runtime and some changes there'd be a genuinely good film in there.

Spoiler

Mostly centered around Van's change of heart. I feel like the film could have dropped some of its more 'out there' elements like Van suddenly sprouting wings (only understandable when coming from the series) and them being able to cast magic for no reason (that was pretty wizard). Take that and add some extra runtime with Van and Hitomi growing a little closer, and everything suddenly improves. At the expense of some action, but really, the film's final fight is already someone stabbing Falken in the back - proverbially, not literally, although even that almost - so it is fairly anti-climactic anyway.

Anyway...

3 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

As it is, it's feeling more like a 3/10...I might be more charitable later when I start comparing it to the Rebuild films, although their situations are not totally dissimilar for me, really. Characters, plot, and themes were all neatly gathered up and dumped into the nearest garbage bin. At least Escaflowne didn't literally give me headaches because of its horrific animation, unlike Rebuild and its stupendously bad action scenes...but on the other hand, I think there were more parts in the Rebuild films that were good, even if it was conversely drowned out by even more that was terrible.

It could be argued that the characters and themes weren't put in the garbage bin* as much as they were replaced by a more serious, darker version of something similar. The primary impetus for the resolution of the plot in both the series and the film is Hitomi's arrival changing Van's outlook on fighting. The way they go about it is just completely different, with the film having the two of them fast-forward through depression in an unbelievable manner due to the limited runtime.

Rebuild, on the other hand, is just a dumpster fire. If I had to choose, I'd rather rewatch Escaflowne than Rebuild, and that includes the first one, which is arguably the least bad of the bunch, and elements of the last one that were fine for a while - but yeah, in terms of judging Rebuild, I was the meanie zucchini here. I guess I still am. :p

*That may or may not be a garbage bin depending on one's own outlook and interests. It's certainly not wrong to say the film took a giant dump on everything the show was. To me, though, the Escaflowne film still feels less wrong than this Rebuild garbage, but perhaps that's because I already went through the painful process of watching these four dumpster fires, and at least Escaflowne didn't waste my time like Rebuild and it's accumulated total of what feels like twenty hours of screentime.

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I don't think it's fair to compare anything to Kurosawa 🤔

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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30 minutes ago, Gorth said:

I don't think it's fair to compare anything to Kurosawa 🤔

Why? Watch the Escaflowne film and tell me that doesn't remind you a little of his work. The film would also probably be more your thing than the series. :)

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Supēsu Kobura / Space Cobra
Episode XIX:  "Naruka!? Gyakuten Hōmu Ran" aka "Will It Happen?! A Grand Slam From Behind"

We get the second half of the Rug Ball game.

Spoiler

We start at halftime, with the players talking about their chances.  The team owner calls for Joe/Cobra and promptly berates him for playing to hard with his Team 1 team.  He then offers him a bunch of money to throw the game and preserve the reputation of Team 1.  Team Z's pitcher eavesdrops and hears to offer and believes that Cobra has taken the deal.  When he returns to the locker room, the other players confront him.  Big the Big stands up for Cobra, knowing that while he may be a pirate, he doesn't betray allies.  Cobra confirms this as he heads out to the field.

cobraphilosophy.png.a978f6fd7768590fc95f42c9b6e08f1f.png

Cobra will, however, entertain all offers from women.

The owner tells the players to go after Cobra since he refused the deal.  Team 1 gets a man on 1st, then Brad signals for the fix.  Another hit goes straight to Joe, but the second player doesn't move, staying behind to double team Cobra.

cobradoubleteam.png.7b623451178f64f372ad3931f3b06627.png

Dragon does, however, jump kick.

Cobra takes the blows from the two baserunners and falls.  Appearing to be unconscious, he is taken off the field.  But this is actually part of Cobra's plan.  He knew the owner would go after him, and escaping from the infirmary was the only way he could track down the drug routes.  The Team Z players all think Cobra is really injured and vow to play on.  Cobra mentally hopes they hold on until he gets back, and escapes the infirmary to look for the information on the drugs.

Thankfully, all of security is busy watching the game.

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"I guess I didn't need my super-stealth speedo after all!"

Cobra finds the computer with the data about the drugs and downloads it to a memory stick.  Meanwhile in the game, Serombo gets hit and breaks a few ribs but vows to stay in the game.  With the data downloaded, Cobra heads back to rejoin the game. 

Cobra returns to the game in time to get the second out at home, and then with the help of Big the Big, gets the final out on the runner heading around 3rd, letting the team change sides.

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You're out! 

Meanwhile during the change over, the distracted guards realize someone broke into the data center and inform the team owner that Joe has stolen the drug data.  The team owner tells Brad to kill Cobra legally during the game, and if he fails, he'll have snipers do it from the stands.  As the snipers fall into place, Dominique realizes that the injury was a ruse and Cobra has to have the information she sent him for.

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Will they still validate my parking...?

Dominque tries to contact the Galactic Patrol, but since they don't have the evidence yet, they can't move on the stadium (it being outside their jurisdiction unless they have evidence of a crime).  They do say they'll remain just above the stadium outside of its jurisdiction until the data is retrieved.

Meanwhile, at the game, Sanda gets on base using a bunt and his superior speed.  The Team Z pitcher Leo comes up and vows to give Cobra a shot at winning the game before time runs out, partially in response to having doubted him earlier.  To that end, he moves into a pitch, insuring that he gets hit and seemingly killed (but not before telling Cobra to win the game).  Gaira, Sanda's brother takes his place, putting their two fastest players on base with Cobra at bat.

Cobra uses the moment to pull a swap, swapping the ball that hit Leo with a ball that contains the data stick.  The next ball the Team 1 pitcher tries to hit Cobra, but Cobra dodges.  With his fake ball coming up, Cobra calls for a homerun.

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*cue the main theme from THE NATURAL*

Cobra hits the ball out of the park.  Dominique, still in parking retrieves the ball realizing that's how Cobra planned to get the data out.  Uploading it to the Galactic Patrol, they are now able to act.  When Cobra finishes his home run walk, he is confronted by the team owner.  The Galactic Patrol shows up, and the owner tries to kill Cobra but is stopped by Brad who Cobra has earned the respect of.  This finishes the team owner, and Cobra's mission.

cobrarugballend.png.4abb30d8caea87e5fa891953a6685e56.png

And everyone lived happily ever after.  Well except the team owner.  And the people Red Saxons Team 1 would kill in later games because, lets face it, while they may have had respect for game skills, they were still murderous bastards.

This seems to be the end of the Rug Ball story arc; I really thought they'd continue following drugs to their source, but I guess that's really a job for the Galactic Patrol, not Cobra.

****

Not sure if it counts for here, but I also watched Lupin III and the Raiders of the South American Space Ark the inelegantly titled CGI animated move Lupin III: The First.

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Its a pretty fun family comedy-adventure film.  The CGI blends Monkey Punch's original manga designs with the feel of the animated cartoons but all rendered in CGI.  If you like some of the other Lupin films, you'll probably enjoy this.  Also its a period piece (which I didn't expect) set in the 60s (when the original manga came out) and involves ex-Nazi's trying to get their hands on an archeological secret to resurrect the Third Reich.  All the usual players get some good highlight scenes (Fujiko, Jigen, Goemon, Inspector Zenegata).  Probably the weak link is the somewhat underdeveloped female lead's dramatic story arc, but its serviceable for what it needs to do in context of the greater story.

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3 hours ago, Amentep said:

Probably the weak link is the somewhat underdeveloped female lead's dramatic story arc, but its serviceable for what it needs to do in context of the greater story.

That was the worst part in the one Lupin-related thing I've seen as well, The Castle of Cagliostro - the girl felt pathetically underdeveloped and like she was there just to be "the girl". I'll check it out. I can't decide if I like or hate the 3D character models and animation from stills, so I suppose the only way to know for sure is to watch it. I appreciate that they're not just amorphous blobs like so much of Disney and Pixar, at least, and the influence of the old style still looks to be there.

3 hours ago, Amentep said:

Cobra will, however, entertain all offers from women.

Yeah, I had a huge snort of derision from reading the subtitle - that's how he got into this mess in the first place! :p Sounds like a pretty solid ending to the adventure.

6 hours ago, Gorth said:

I don't think it's fair to compare anything to Kurosawa

Eh, I think stylistic comparisons are always valid, even if it's between something that's good and something that's bad. Doesn't have too much bearing on how novel or well-executed it was, :).

7 hours ago, majestic said:

Yeah, maybe I'm also just alone in getting Kurosawa vibes from Escaflowne. Some of his films are of major film-historical interest, and they were very influential, to say the least. The Magnificent Seven is basically a Westernized (in more than one way, oh ho ho ho ho) The Seven Samurai remake and his oddball goofy film The Hidden Fortress served as an inspiration for Star Wars. As for whether or not to recommend watching the films based on that, now that's something... else. I guess you know that already, anyway.

There's a certain melancholy to Kurosawa's movies that is also very present in Escaflowne.

I'll watch one or a few someday and get back to you on Escaflowne, except that I'll have completely voided any memories of the Escaflowne movie by then. Honestly, my brain has already forgotten a lot of it, just like I did with Rebuild immediately. Oh well.

7 hours ago, majestic said:

It could be argued that the characters and themes weren't put in the garbage bin* as much as they were replaced by a more serious, darker version of something similar. The primary impetus for the resolution of the plot in both the series and the film is Hitomi's arrival changing Van's outlook on fighting. The way they go about it is just completely different, with the film having the two of them fast-forward through depression in an unbelievable manner due to the limited runtime.

Rebuild, on the other hand, is just a dumpster fire. If I had to choose, I'd rather rewatch Escaflowne than Rebuild, and that includes the first one, which is arguably the least bad of the bunch, and elements of the last one that were fine for a while - but yeah, in terms of judging Rebuild, I was the meanie zucchini here. I guess I still am. :p

*That may or may not be a garbage bin depending on one's own outlook and interests. It's certainly not wrong to say the film took a giant dump on everything the show was. To me, though, the Escaflowne film still feels less wrong than this Rebuild garbage, but perhaps that's because I already went through the painful process of watching these four dumpster fires, and at least Escaflowne didn't waste my time like Rebuild and it's accumulated total of what feels like twenty hours of screentime.

When I think about how freaking long Rebuild was, that is certainly an inhibiting factor. I guess I'd probably rather watch a highly abridged version of Rebuild where I'm skipping all the crap I don't care about (75% of it all?) than watch a highly abridged Escaflowne because there's really nothing much for me to care about in Escaflowne in the first place, but from beginning to end, yeah, I suppose you're right.

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1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

That was the worst part in the one Lupin-related thing I've seen as well, The Castle of Cagliostro - the girl felt pathetically underdeveloped and like she was there just to be "the girl". I'll check it out. I can't decide if I like or hate the 3D character models and animation from stills, so I suppose the only way to know for sure is to watch it. I appreciate that they're not just amorphous blobs like so much of Disney and Pixar, at least, and the influence of the old style still looks to be there.

I'd argue that Clarisse, in Cagliostro really doesn't get enough time in the film to be a character; she propels the plot but she has no real control over the events unfolding to her and is, for the most part, a prize to be fought for by other characters (to rescue, for Lupin; to exploit, for the Count).  At least in The First, Laetitia actually has a role to play in the story and a character arc of her own, its just a shallow arc once it gets revealed in my opinion.  But her character arc is imbedded into the plot, and Laetitia is an active participant in the story who helps in the unfolding action, unlike Clarisse who is, to be fair, locked in a room for much of Cagliostro.

The animation is a real strong attempt to translate 2d anime into 3d, IMO.  From an animation perspective, it reminds me a bit of Genndy Tartakovsky's pulling in 2d US animation style in use of weight and motion into the first Hotel Translyvania film, but in this case for a certain type of anime style (sorry, less up on Japanese anime styles, so not sure I can articulate it better, but it seemed recognizably anime, even though it was 3d).  I thought it worked well, but YMMV.

I think Mystery of Mamo is going to get a bluray release soon here in the US (if it came out on that format before, I missed it), so that'll probably be next for me Lupin wise, as I'm not sure I have time yet to finish the original TV series.  These anime series to watch really stack up if you don't keep up with them! 😄

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1 hour ago, Amentep said:

I'd argue that Clarisse, in Cagliostro really doesn't get enough time in the film to be a character; she propels the plot but she has no real control over the events unfolding to her and is, for the most part, a prize to be fought for by other characters (to rescue, for Lupin; to exploit, for the Count).  At least in The First, Laetitia actually has a role to play in the story and a character arc of her own, its just a shallow arc once it gets revealed in my opinion.  But her character arc is imbedded into the plot, and Laetitia is an active participant in the story who helps in the unfolding action, unlike Clarisse who is, to be fair, locked in a room for much of Cagliostro.

Yeah, she's pretty much "the girl" for being "the girl"'s sake, which I do not generally view very positively. Perhaps not as bad as an actual terrible or annoying character I wish would be completely cut out of something (Mari from Rebuild who is both says hello!), but still not my cup of tea.

1 hour ago, Amentep said:

I think Mystery of Mamo is going to get a bluray release soon here in the US (if it came out on that format before, I missed it), so that'll probably be next for me Lupin wise, as I'm not sure I have time yet to finish the original TV series.  These anime series to watch really stack up if you don't keep up with them! 

I see that a Japanese BD was already released a few years ago, but no U.S. version. Although people already spliced together four different English dubs into the Japanese BD, which can be a bit of a time-consuming technical process to do with just one, never mind multiple (English dubs: "2003 Pioneer", "1996 Manga UK", "1995 Streamline", "1979 Toho", :huh:). I once considered trying out the Lupin show until I saw how many entries into the series there were, plus the second TV show is very long...

Don't think I've seen Hotel Transylvania, though I did hear at one point that my good man Tartakovsky worked on it...guess he's the director and everything. Hmm.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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On 4/16/2022 at 8:13 PM, Sarex said:

@Gorth Glad you liked it. Can I interest you in some good drama anime, or maybe something in a movie format.

Going to watch A Silent Voice next... 👍

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Gurren Lagann. It was good for the kind of show it is.

"To be fair, if I was married to Milla Jovovich, I would also be happy just making movies that show off her butt." - Hurlsnot

"All right guys, I'm switching Strike Witches with Made in Abyss, if that isn't better than crotch shots of 13 year old girls wearing only underpants I'm going to make you lot watch a 10 hour loop of Nanoha's two minutes of lolicon content." - majestic

"I would prefer to deny KP the opportunity to put another of my posts in his signature" - Bartimaeus

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