Archive for the ‘Anime’ Category

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Lupin the 3rd: Jigen’s Gravestone—Bury My Heart in East Doroa

May 4, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 It really seems like there has been a Lupin renaissance lately. Lupin has always been popular. That is not in question. It has become staple of the anime landscape. Much like Doraemon or Sazae-san it is institution that always has some sort of yearly presence. The Castle of Cagliostro is still considered to be part of the essential part of the anime canon, the three Lupin TV series are fondly remembered classics (Lupin Part III less so), and the movies have been getting some extras heavy releases from Discotek Media. At the same time Lupin was increasingly been seen as a property whose best days were behind it. While old school fans had a distinct fondness for the series it was almost all nostalgia. The recent crop of TV specials are generally considered mediocre and Green vs. Red is almost universally reviled. Lupin seemed to be moving forward mostly thanks to momentum more than anything else.

Then came Lupin the 3rd: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. It was smart, sexy, challenging, and unpredictable. (Much like Fujiko herself.) It took the characters and reintroduced them in a manner closer to the original Monkey Punch manga while updating the overall style and storytelling. Not everyone loved The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Some people did not like the ending, other people felt they changed Zenigata too much, whereas others felt the feminist message was a bit muddled. But the thing is people were talking again. Lupin was an active part of the English-speaking otaku conversation. It was no longer a museum piece or a Japanese oddity like Kochikame. When the new TV series was announced to come out this year it was anticipated like it was hot new property.

In between The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and the 2015 series was the film, Lupin the 3rd: Jigen’s Gravestone. It is not a full sequel to The Woman Called Fujiko Mine but more of a side story set in the same timeline that just happens to be set after the TV series. As it just started streaming on Hulu we decided to see if this is a worthy follow-up to Fujik or if it is something you should ignore until the full adventures of the blue jacket Lupin is unveiled.

narutaki_icon_4040 Truth be told, I like Lupin the 3rd but I haven’t seen a whole ton of the catalog. I am familiar with the big stuff like The Castle of Cagliostro and I have seen a few specials and TV episodes over the years. I’ve also watched the Lupin the 3rd VS. Detective Conan installments because of course! And I fell in love with The Woman Named Fujiko Mine. I just dip my toe into the Lupin franchise now and again and usually enjoy myself.

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #017 – Boot to the Head

May 3, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 This is when we get to the good part. Now that we got through all the slower parts of the path everything from this point on is only escalating fights and action. I feel like this episode is just a taste of the great things yet to come. No more characters being saved by the good graces of plot convenience. There are some distinct Big Damn Heroes moments later on but they always feels earned past this fight. When someone pops out to save a character you feel it was set up in advance. Reversals seem earned and escapes seem less arbitrary. Plus THE SONG is coming and it will be glorious.

Until then just enjoy the majesty that is Bajiquan fighting Rin. The only time she gets any sexier is when she is becomes Bayonetta.

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The April 2015 Line-Up (If I Had $1000000)

April 30, 2015

narutaki_icon_4040 The licenses have really been piling up this year!

hisui_icon_4040 I still wonder if anyone will get Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth. Maybe I’m the only person who actually likes that movie.

The Line-Up is a monthly rundown of new anime, manga, light novel, artbook licenses, streaming/broadcasting announcements, crowdfunding projects, anime/manga projects, and live-action anime/manga adaptions.

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Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #016 – Another Spin

April 26, 2015

hisui_icon_4040 I think this is the part of the story that won over a lot of people to the side of Unlimited Blade Works in the visual novel whether they realized it or not. They may cite the cool fight scenes, the big reversals, or Rin’s appeal but I think those are all secondary to the fact that this is the first time the story seriously criticizes Shiro’s actions and worldview. Shiro has always been one of the biggest sticking points for people who have only watched the original anime (and even for a decent number of people who have explored more of the franchise.) Shiro is often seen as sexist, naive, and thick-headed. To see him concede a lot of points to Rin about him being wrong and then give her a large amount of authority in their partnership won over a lot of people even if they can’t specifically point this moment as the reason why. He has not totally abandoned his original philosophy like he will in Heaven’s Feel but this is still a major leap forward.

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