Good morning, afternoon or evening wherever you are in the world. It’s Sunday in my corner of the hinterlands, which means it’s time for another trip around the Otakusphere.
We did it! RahXephon will be the next series that we focus on for #Anitwitwatches. If you don’t know what that is, there is a group of people who regularly watch a show on Mondays. It’s an open group, so if you haven’t seen RahXephon, then this is your chance to watch it with us.
And if you have seen it, well, this is a great time to watch it again. If you want more information, here is the schedule and info from Jon Spencer Reviews. And here is a post from InfiniteZenith about the last show we watched —Astra: Lost in Space.
Oh, and to jam more links up in this top section, this post by Jack Scheibelein over at Animated Observations reminded me that AMVs are indeed cool. So I wanted to share my favorite RahXephon related AMV. (Minor spoilers, unfortunately.)
So now that we have that cued up, let’s get going and see what the rest of the Otakusphere has to offer this week.
I’m not sure how much I like using the word “discourse,” but it would be ridiculous to say that there isn’t any such thing as “the discourse.” Granted, it has the attention span of a gnat, the memory retention of a poodle and the focus on detail of a train enthusiast. So it’s shocking that no other show has captured the general imagination of anime viewers like Wonder Egg Priority.
First, people said it was great. Then, they got angry when someone said it was revolutionary. Then, they got mad because it was delayed. Then it was terrible.
This level of attention really makes me want to go watch it. Granted, that would mean I’m only throwing fuel on the fire.
Ashley Capes over at The Review Heap is the latest person to add an opinion about the show’s latest controversy — the evidently horrible OVA that finished the series because they weren’t able to.
Go and check it out.
But one show (or movie) that has failed to capture the public’s attention, even though it should, is Sword of the Stranger. BibloNyan is the latest person to sing the praises of the 2007 Studio Bones movie.
I actually watched it a couple years ago, and it’s definitely good. If you have a way to watch it, give it a shot. But like LeVar Burton used to say, “Don’t take my word for it.” Go read BibloNyan’s post about it.
Talking about Studio Bones, let’s take a second to talk about the original Fullmetal Alchemist.
The Otaku Exhibition put up this post defending the original FMA adaptation, which went wildly away from the source material in the later sections. This is, of course, because there was no source material. After the manga finished, the show was done a second time. This time as the much more faithful Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
So I have not been quiet about my opinion of the original FMA versus Brotherhood. But I will repeat them. Brotherhood is a competently told story that is soulless, toothless and just another shonen action show. I don’t fault people for liking it, but it avoids all of the exciting things that FMA did.
The original FMA’s plot is a mess, but, as a story, it has heart, tragedy and a willingness to tell a story about the dangers of colonialism and trusting too much in science. It’s the difference between watching a James Cameron movie and a Darren Aronofsky film.
Rant done. I may come back later to better explain myself.
Talking about shows with heavy themes, let’s stop and talk a second about 86.
I’ve expressed my opinion about 86 before. It’s a show I like. I wouldn’t say I love it, but I rarely come across an anime that talks about class and race divides as honestly as 86 does. I’m not sure if it does it well, but, at the very least, it gets me to think about it.
I understand why people wouldn’t like the show, but I’m definitely on board, and I’m looking forward to the second cour.
Well, Scott at Mechanical Anime Reviews also shared his thoughts about what the show is saying about justice. It’s worth checking out his ideas.
Now for the part of The Otakusphere where I feign ignorance because I haven’t seen the show we’re talking about.
Among the shows I keep having recommended to me because I enjoy Oregairu and Toradora is Classroom of the Elite. Judging by this review of the first volume of the light novel from OwningMatt over at The Backloggers, I’m not sure if I would like it in the same way.
That said, he makes it sound intriguing for entirely different reasons. You should check out the review for his thoughts.
So Nora over at It’s Your Fault That I’m Not Popular raises a really compelling question. Do you avoid shows because there is a same-sex couple, and should you? Now I don’t think anyone should watch something they don’t want to, but just avoiding something because it has the hint of a same-sex couple is just as bad.
It’s not something that I’ve run into enough. It’s worth checking out Nora’s post.
Now, let’s talk about running a show into the ground.
So Caspar over at Reasons to Anime raised the question of how much is too much? At what point is a director stretched too thin? When should a series be left to finish? The post seems to say that once the magic is gone, it’s better to stop.
Of course, it’s hard to know when the magic is gone. You have to assume everyone believes they’re doing a good job or, at least, the best job they can do.
Eventually, all productions run up against diminishing returns, but it’s hard to say when that starts.
But one show that should never be overestimated is the amazing Dino King.
I mean, not really. Fiddletwix over at Anime Madhouse has watched four episodes of the strange monster battler show. Reading him talking about episode 4 was pure joy, even if it didn’t seem fun for him.
Personally, I never thought I would see anything Dino King-related after I saw the opening as part of K’s worst anime openings of all time project.
Speaking of K.
He is back, and this time with Jon Spencer and Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews as more heroes challenge Goku, the bully. I won’t spoil the outcome. Just go watch it.
This next one was an interesting idea from DeathBy1kSlimes to talk about what characters they associate with. There is a lovely infographic about it.
Personally, I associate myself with Dr. Tenma. Not really the part about being a remarkably talented neurosurgeon. More the part about being kind of confused, slightly paranoid and generally feeling tired.
Let’s wrap up the anime portion of this post by talking about the tanuki. I really liked these Hotsui Maturi posts from We be bloggin’. This one is no different. I didn’t realize that the tanuki was an actual critter. I just thought it was a legend that they borrowed for Super Mario 3.
It’s worth checking out.
So I’m always interested in people’s favorite video games. Games, like books, are an intimate medium in a way that I don’t think that television and movies are. Not to say that those other things aren’t good, just that they aren’t the same as something that you interact with.
Well, Jonah over at Jonah’s Daily Rants talked about his favorite game, Psychonauts, on the eve of the sequel’s release. I’ve heard a lot about Psychonauts, but I haven’t ever played it. I do have it downloaded, and after this write-up, I’ll probably give it a chance.
As a bonus, I grabbed this post from NerdRambles about books that are similar to Psychonauts. Just in case you need some more Psychonauts-related material.
Now, I’m not really older than dirt, but I am old enough to remember shoveling quarters into brawlers in the hopes of advancing just one more level.
Matt Doyle Media took a look at the greatest licensed brawlers. Most of them are from the late 80s and early 90s when I was in middle and high school. One of my favorites from this list was the old X-Men game. I remember looking at that and thinking that it seemed so close to the cartoon that was on Fox.
On the subject of nostalgia, I have two posts that touch on it.
One is this post from Buffalo Retro pointing out that Rockstar may be in the process of updating decades-old games in an attempt to sell them back to us. In this case, it’s GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas.
To be honest, I’ve tried to get into both GTA and Red Dead games, but I just have a hard time with them. I managed to get through the beginning of Red Dead 2, but as soon as I started getting hit by every single system, it began to be a little too much for me.
Maybe I’ll go back to it.
Along the same line, Tyler DeWriter took a look back at the original Space Jam. As I mentioned before, I’m old enough to remember when Space Jam came out in the theaters. I was also not the target age for it.
My take on it at the time was that it was silly. It was Who Framed Roger Rabbit? but without any of the neat 1930s hard-boiled detective trappings.
It’s interesting to see that from the other side.
Finally, I wanted to wrap up with these two write-ups from Otakon. With COVID once again making headlines, it’s interesting to look at what people have to say about how successful Otakon was.
And that is all that I have for this week. Please, if you see something here that interests you, click on the link and check it out. It would mean a lot to me.
Until next week, remember to be good, be careful and learn a lot, not necessarily in that order.
And, as always, thanks for reading.