Ongoing Investigations: Case #073January 29, 2010
On the advice of Sheentaku I decided to give Baka to Test to Shokanju a chance since he said it seemed right up my alley. I can’t say that the Internet has utterly figured me out just yet. The premise is that after students take the entrance exam for Fumizuki Academy the score get get places them in classes A though F. The lower the class your are in the worse the facilitates are with the A class having the newest fanciest of everything and the F class has everything that is about to collapse. The classes can use an RPG battle system to defeat other classes and switch rooms with them. So the F class declares war on the rest of the school with the two main characters being their trump cards. Akihisa Yoshii, the main guy is a punching bag for Minami Shimada the tomboy is is clearly in love with him. Mizuki Himeji, the main girl is just sort of a genius Hyatt but not any more interesting than that. The trap, the pervert, and the rest of the school seemed standard character types. Yuuji Sakamoto looks like me might be interesting but I am sure they will under use him. Also Minami was way too violent for no reason for me to get into her character. I never disliked any part of the show unlike say The Familiar of Zero but it also never drew me in or made me laugh.
This past weekend with some friends in toe I went to the Tatsunoko VS. Capcom event being held at Nintendo World in NYC. Usually at these little gatherings you can get a copy of the game early, but not so this time around. Though you could win a copy by beating out everyone else in the game tournament. Of which there were tons, or atleast I think there were, maybe they were all just in line for the autograph and poster as seen above. In any case, talk about packed! Luckily we caught glimpses of the game as we were waiting in line. I am happy to report many people playing as Joe the Condor (as they should be!) who is basically the reason I want to play this game myself. Actually I was happy to see everyone really playing an array of the hefty cast. I did get to play for a minute at the end where I doubled up with Joe the Condor and Viewtiful Joe and promptly got trounced by Gold Lightan! Looking forward to this release so I can try again.
So begins the end of Umineko with the first part: End of the Golden Witch. I devoured this episode over the course of two days and loved every second of it. It picks up the ball from where it landed after the ultra dramatic end of part 4. With Battler initially sitting the game out we get the introduction of Erika Furudo as the new detective. She starts off as the text book definition of a Mary Sue. As the episode goes on we slowly learn that she is not the nice person she might first appear to be. She is a detective without love and sort of psycho at times. Any worries that she would become the new main character and sweep Battler to the side are utterly blow away by the end. I’m not exactly sure if she is supposed to be a tool to explore the story or if there is some deeper hints in her appearance in this stage of the game. I was a little surprised that I liked Dlanor A. Knox infinitely more than I initially thought I would. The Internet made her seem much crazier and more useless than she was in the actual visual novel. I hope to see more of her. Battler himself is utterly epic when he finally gets his head back in the game. I will say this new set of chapters seem to ramp up the meta commentary to the next level. The conversation about how a good relationship is like a good mystery novel and the use of Knox’s rules was so delightful.
I continue on with Yumeiro Patissiere with much glee, the series continues to be a very nice, energetic, and happy shojo series. And with the new element of the baking contest it has thrown in some shonen tournament style! Ichigo has the proper balance of self-doubt mixed with gusto. She doesn’t miraculously get better as a patisserie, she truly works hard. There was also a nice scene where she realizes that one of her seniors who is considered a genius is not just natural ability either as she puts in long hours in the kitchen after others have left for the day. The tournament is going to be a fun romp and I expect it will take up a good portion of the next maybe 10 episodes, maybe more. I’m really looking forward to see what kind of strides the team makes!
In preparation for Gundam Unicorn I decided to brave one of the more infamous Gundam series: Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ. I know people did not like the first part of because it changes the tone of the series from riveting war drama to slap stick mecha comedy but it really is a shift that has to be seen to be believed. Most everyone who survived Zeta from the Argama is back but now they are two hundred times more incompetent. It is best summed up by the fact that Yazan Gable, who is one of the deadliest characters in the Gundam series, is nothing more than a goofy comic relief villain who attacks a Gundam on a scooter with a metal pipe. Also they attack Bright with fruit. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Judau Ashta is a shady teenager who does salvage work. He is a likable energetic young chap in contrast to the previous Gundam antagonists but he is sort of dumb as a box of rocks. The rest of his crew is a decent band of nogoodniks but none of them stand out too much. Roux Louka is the shinning reason to watch the series. She was a breath of fresh air when she comes swooping in to save Judau. So far she is practically a magical girl because she has an amazing power that no one else has so far. She has common sense. I will say the Rainbow Bright stars on her outfits are sort of odd but I also find them cute because she is definitely my type of lady. I am going to stick with ZZ but I could see what would get people so upset at this series. It is almost a parody of Gundam at this point. And I have not gotten to the Moon Moon colony yet.
I sped through Swan 10-14, if I had anymore than that I would have kept going! But since 15 won’t land on my doorstep till next month, I’m out of luck. We some major hurdles overcome in these volumes from much of the cast, though also some heartbreaking down falls, it truly is an amazing rollercoaster ride look at a highly competitive field. Masumi really starts to stretch herself in the later books and as she makes a major move and starts to get a look at the world of modern ballet we really she her constitution toughen and her resolve set in. There are a couple of new love interests, one of which I really like, but I’m still anxious to see how Aoi will eventually fit into her life as is my fervent wish that he will. The drama never ends, and I don’t want it to! I have to talk about Swan as much as possible because it truly deserves it and is probably one of the best series currently being released in English.
If there is one reason to watch ZZ it is the lady right here: