Ongoing Investigations: Case #008

So I finally got around to watching Lucky Star. It is the God emperor of slice of life shows for otaku. It’s like a super sugary snack for the the otaku pallet. It has almost no substance and negligible nutritional value but my goodness does it taste sweet. I enjoy it but I have two major criticisms. The first is that Lucky Star tends to drag at points. It’s never boring (to me at least) but it’s never fast paced and the speed of it’s motion can vary from scene to scene. The other critique is that where as SS Astro might pander to the audience at points. . . Lucky Star is pure pander. To it’s credit it never pretends to be anything but 100% crystallized pander. It’s made for otaku and you better want otaku friendly comedy or it’s going to be hell. In fact I could easily see why people would despise this show let alone not enjoy it. Oh and I can hardly tell when the director of Lucky Star changed. Some people make it out like the first 4 episodes are one show and the rest feel like another show. I noticed subtle differences but I wouldn’t have if the whole affair not been so publicized. I don’t think the episode 4 divide will ever win over haters or turn away fans of the first 4 episodes. They are basically two different brands of tofu. Some people will have a noticeable preference but not many.

Just finished reading New Avengers TP 7, it was in my queue of stuff to buy from Amazon and I finally placed that order. Bendis doesn’t disappoint in this lead up to the Secret Invasion (an arc I have yet to read since I wait for TP). I enjoy the witty dialogue along with the looming suspicions of our heroes (and our readers) about who is a Skrull and just how far they have infiltrated. As expected Tony Stark is weighing heavily on everyone’s minds though I am inclined to believe the worst in him. Civil War created some strange bedfellows but I have to say I haven’t enjoyed superhero comics this much in ages.

Your and My Secret 2 continues the trend of being a guilty pleasure. Good enough that I look forward to the next one but horrible enough that I don’t run around saying how much I love it. Nanako and Senbongi are monsters, the jokes can be downright lewd and crude, and the situation is absurd. But it comes together in a way to make it fun as long as you are not too uptight. We all know characters can be horrible human beings and still funny. In fact, sometimes it is better that way.

Birdy the Mighty continues to go along as its average pace though we do start to see the beginnings of a bond between Tsutomu and Birdy, which was what I have been waiting for. It still seems to be just riding the bar as far as goodness goes but it is entertaining if nothing else. Just came up that Birdy is getting a second season so others must be watching as well!

I keep getting this slightly retro anime feel from Birdy the Mighty which I totally dig. It’s certainly not old school but it has the I-was-a-fun-90s-OAV-only-on-TV-in-2008 thing going on. I like the characters but the plots are not super original however they are fun. The animation seems a little weak at times but it’s nothing too distracting. I have heard that episode 7 has really great animation compared to the first 6 but I did not notice that much of a difference. Episode 7 was much darker than others by far though. Birdy is just a fun show that you sit back, turn off your brain, and just enjoy. Japan seems to like it enough that they are giving it a second season but I wonder if it will catch on in the U.S. It seems 90s enough that new U.S. anime fans might not like it but it also seems too modern for old schoolers to automatically back it. Then again many it has just the right blend to draw fans from both demographics. Does anyone who reads this blog know what American fans generally think of Decode? BTW having the villain be named Shyamalan is genius. Take that M. Night.

Zaregoto, I really wanted to like you. I loved NISIOISIN’s Another Note. I like quirky or eccentric detectives just fine. But for me this book suffers from too many eccentric people that mostly make no sense. Ii-chan and Kungisa’s dynamic doesn’t work as well as it could (like in Gosick). It could be the stilted dialogue and internal thoughts of Ii-chan. The mystery itself was pretty good, is also has some classic misdirection and genre tropes such as a locked room mystery and a mansion on a deserted island. The dialogue was all over the place being incredibly philosophical and vague in some places and then being overly simple a-la Blue’s Clues in others. It really suffers from needing a better editor. I may pick up the next book just to see if the writing cleans up.

I feel that Blade of the Immortal episode 3 is the litmus test of if you can handle Blade of the Immortal. Sabato Kuroi is the person they are trying to kill in this episode and he is one freaky dude. I think he is freaky enough to turn some people right off the series. However, he very clearly sets the tone for the rest of the show. People are messed up in Blade of the Immortal so you better get used to it. Also, Sabato Kuroi is a Black Sabbath reference I did not catch that but I guess that is because I am not that metal.

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2 thoughts on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #008

  1. Scott says:

    My problem with Lucky Star was the huge hype machine that was created for it only because it rides on the coattails of Haruhi Suzumiya. Lucky Star was funny at some moments, and when it hits, it hits pretty hard. But like you said, there are too many slow moments in the show, and I found this to result in too little LOL moments to justify the major hype behind it.

    I think I’m going to have to pick up Your and My Secret again. I read the first volume years ago from ADV manga, and I seem to remember liking it. Hearing about the “guilty pleasure” nature has convinced me to check out the Tokyopop release.

  2. reversethieves says:

    <p>>My problem with Lucky Star was the huge hype machine that was created for it only because it rides on the coattails of >Haruhi Suzumiya. Lucky Star was funny at some moments, and when it hits, it hits pretty hard. But like you said, there are >too many slow moments in the show, and I found this to result in too little LOL moments to justify the major hype behind it.</p>
    <p>Well I definitely think I enjoyed more because I waited until all the Lucky Star hype cooled down so it was no longer the second coming but merely some otaku 4 panel manga based anime. I think the Japanese loved it because Lucky Star is engineered to be loved by Japanese otaku. Konata Izumi is pretty girl that is close enough to a male otaku to be relateable but feminine enough to safely be lusted after. I almost have to salute Kagami Yoshimizu for being able to create such a well targeted character. </p>
    <p>If nothing else I really want Narutaki to watch one part in episode 6 with the Initial D scene. </p>
    <p>>I think I’m going to have to pick up Your and My Secret again. I read the first volume years ago from ADV manga, and I >seem to remember liking it. Hearing about the “guilty pleasure” nature has convinced me to check out the Tokyopop >release.</p>
    <p>Your and My Secret is hardly great but there is something about it that is just fun. Ai Morinaga is just an expert on a sort of perversely mean spirited humor. Sort of why I like Rumiko Takahashi. </p>
    <p>On a tangentially related note I wanted to do an article of the art of translation by examining the differences between the ADV, Tokyopop, and scanlation versions of Your and My Secret and Tactics. </p>
    <p>- Hisui</p>

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