Ongoing Investigations: Case #214May 10, 2013
I started reading the new Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin comic The Private Eye (issues 1-2). The distribution of this comic is worth talking about. It is released digitally as a download of either PDF, CBR or CBZ. And it is a pay-what-you-want pricing model.
I love that the art takes into account that screens are vertical and not horizontal like a book. So when you look at a page at maximum size it literally fills the entire screen.
The setting of Private Eye caught my attention, it is a post-internet future but not a post-apocalyptic dealie. Technology has advanced in different areas while the internet has died out after “the cloud” spewed out every bit of everyone’s information into the world for all to see 60 years prior. The aesthetic is futuristic such as changing your appearance with the push of a button but mixed with things like rotary phones. The world is such that identity can be very malleable.
P.I. is hired to dig into his client’s past to see if he can unearth all the dirt she tried to bury, but before he can even start she gets murdered. Her sister, a former client, ropes him into finding her killer. A simple mystery setup with all the peripherals make it engaging.
I’m going to pretend that we have a huge dedicated audience that constantly asks us to do things because they love us so much. (As opposed to a small audience that only occasionally asks us to do things as horrible jokes.) I’m then going to pretend that this fictitious vocal fan base asks for my Ongoing Investigations entries to have a consistent theme to all the items I talk about. And since I’m making this up whole cloth they have also asked for a week were I talk about nothing but non pornographic Type-Moon doujinshi.
Since everyone asked for it (no one) here it is.
If anyone has been around in Type-Moon fandom long enough they know there is one simple phrase that can spark such fierce arguments that it has reached divine meme status. That phrase is “Shiki Can Kill Servants.” The comic that has inspired this phrase more than anything else is the ongoing doujinshi series T-Moon Complex X. I finally sat down and read the current seven books that have been released as it seemed like something I should do.
T-Moon Complex X is the classic Japanese Vs. formula. You take two series and mix them together, have the heroes meet and clash, then introduce a big bad guy they both fight so they have to put aside their differences. In that respect it follows the formula to the tee. Team Shiki clashes with Team Shiro but they have to stop their bickering when they discover that a certain dead apostle has tapped into to a resurrected Holy Grail.
And that also means it goes into full on fan fiction mode. Who would win in a fight between Shiki and Shiro? What if crazy powerful magic circuited Ciel were a Master? Could Saber defeat Nrvnqsr Chaos? What sort of food would kid Gilgamesh buy everyone for dinner? Would Bazett instantly fall in love with Shiki if they ever met?
I did notice that team Fate/Stay Night sort of gets the short end of the stick as opposed to the powerhouses that are Team Tsukihime. Shiki kills Berserker like Hercules was a jobber in professional wrestling. And most of the important villains are Tsukihime characters who slap around Fate characters for the most part. Hell a bunch of Fate/Zero characters mostly show up so they can die a few pages later. But so is the preference of the author. At least everyone get a little chance to shine on both sides.
The major question with this series is do you consider an evening of browsing fanfiction.net a fun diversion or a prison sentence for a minor vandalism charge. Because this is what it reads like. It is a good piece of fan fiction but it reads like fan fiction none the less. It is sort of wish-fulfillment with a plot to hold it all together. If you can handle that then it is all fun.
The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.
I read part 3 of the Burn Notice webcomic which tells us the story of how Michael and Fiona first met. This takes place while Michael is under fire from a guy that Fi and him pissed off back in Ireland.
I really enjoyed finally getting that whole story, it works for them. It was interesting to see Michael so emotional invested at the beginning of their relationship, it was a nice surprise. Michael has always had a different demeanor when it comes to Fiona, but this was him really pursuing her and trying to fix the mess he made.
Nice little story to tide me over until the next season starts.
Sword Dancers is a strange beast indeed. There is Sword Dancers 1 and 2 and they are like night and day. The main connecting factor is the presence of Archer-ko who is a female version of Archer. It turns out she is Illyasviel von Einzbern from an alternate timeline when she becomes a Counter-Counter-Guardian (which just sounds very silly.)
Sword Dancers One is mostly a battle between Saber and Archer-ko over some stolen Häagen-Dazs. As Saber is not one to let a grudge over food go unavenged it turns into a serious fight but ends with a comedic ending. Also apparently Archer-ko is fairly middle of the road on the Kinsey scale.It is a fun little story but completely and utterly fluffy.
On the other hand Sword Dancers Two is all serious business with fighting, cursed girls, and angst burgers with a thick and tangy angst sauce. It seems to take place in its own little universe were the 5th Holy Grail war has some serious business going on. It is mostly an excuse for fights and sad monologues.
It is certainly an interesting little project. I could do without the mega melodrama in part 2 but it is a nice little series to look at. If nothing else Archer-ko seems to have her own little fan following which is fairly strong for a doujin character.
Finally got around to watching the Kuroko’s Basketball OVA 22.5 which features Kise being recruited as a starter at Teiko Middle School and how to gets to know Kuroko.
This is really just a bonus episode with minimal amount of effort put in sadly. The animation is generally horrendous.
It is a nice enough sotry, but I was disappointed that there wasn’t much about Kise, who we don’t know very well. Instead it was more about him learning about Kuroko. We know Kuroko and his shtick already so it wasn’t that revealing.
I can’t wait for the second season to start though!
Maid-san wa Majo is an unusual little doujinshi by Nasu and Takeuchi after they made after Tsukihime when they still did projects under the Bamboo Broom title. It shows very clearly that Takeuchi is clearly infatuated with maids at this point in his career. This is something that would clearly never go away.
The story is about a super powerful witch named the Blue Witch (a name that would appear again) who was cured by the gods to wear a maid outfit and serve a milquetoast master. But the maid outfit makes her act like the “stereotypical” maid causing quite a bit of trouble and some romance.
The story is sort of making fun of and paying tribute to moe maids while the whole maid boom was just starting. (Never say that Takeuchi is not one to capitalize on a trend. It is only a matter of time before we get Idol Singer Saber like he joked about.) It is also a little love story an its center but that almost seems like a maid joke delivery system.
Much like the Valkyria series I talked about last week Maid-san wa Majo mostly seems like a chance for Takeuchi to play around with an idea that is fun. Unlike Valkyria this is a far more flimsy idea that works well as a one shot as opposed the sprawling epic that Valkyria could have been.
We also see a little tribute to Hisui in the back as the maid of maids. It is just little production sketches and original scribbles for the stoic house servant. They are a nice little added bonus. The fact that the Blue Witch looks much like a flashy Hisui is possibly part of the reason for her inclusion as well.
It is a fun little read that gives you a little glimpse into the silliness that the Bamboo Broom site used to have. It is worth flipping through if you are a fan of Type-Moon and how their art has evolved over the years.