Last Saturday morning I resurrected an old tradition, completely by accident, I started the day by watching some Pokemon. Though it wasn’t a brand new TV episode but rather the latest movie, Arceus and the Jewel of Life. The movie starts with a mini-montage to help if you aren’t familiar with the concept then it delves straight into legendary dragon Pokemon and the fate of the human race. A new, and very angry, Pokemon named Arceus appears looking for the Jewel of Life that was wrongfully kept from him hundreds of years prior. This sets off a chain of events as Ash and company are sent back in time to see just what had occurred and how to make things right. Thanks to this we get to see a very different and ancient world where Pokemon were more like slaves or servants than partners to humans. While the situation sounds dire, it isn’t always apparent in the film just how powerful Arceus actually is, it isn’t even very clear that he is supposed to be the creator of the universe. There are also little in the way of battles going on. However, there are all the other things one has come to expect, a share of cute moments, kid-friendly (but obvious) plot twists, and a climatic scene where Ash and Pikachu just scrape by. So while it was nothing spectacular it was still an entertaining jaunt!
I went to the Boom Boom Satellites show at the Santos Party House. It was a free show and I was interested in them after they did two different openings for Xam’d. There were two bands before them. The first was ultimately forgettable except for the fact that the bassist had the most inappropriate Tom Selleck mustache. The second guy seemed to be trying to accidentally invent hip hop except for the fact that will all know that Councilman 8 already did that. The show itself was about 4 songs with an encore which was a good sized set for a multi-band show. They did not play any of their anime songs as far as I could tell but it was not that sort of show. They have a heavy aggressive beat with heavy drums and Masayuki Nakano was playing with electron devices for music almost as much as he was playing the base. Their lyrics can be sort of repetitive but overall there songs were high energy, catchy, and enjoyable. Apparently my roommate and several other people were at the show but I never ran into anyone else.
Finally got around to watching the Detective Conan VS. Lupin III special which was (as I had heard) more of a team-up than an actually head-to-head. This certainly makes it not nearly as exciting. The story is told in dual forming flipping back and forth between the two groups of characters till they meet. A princess (who looks almost exactly like Ran) losses both her brother and mother in a hunting “accident” placing her squarely in line for a throne she doesn’t want. The coronation crown of said princess is the latest prize Lupin and gang have their sights set on. So everything gets all crossed up as Conan tries to figure out just what happened in the hunting party, Lupin and crew are moving in a roundabout way to get the crown, and the princess has just up and left leaving Ran in her place! The show seemed too long and felt like it didn’t connect quickly enough. While a certain amount of spirit from each show is kept in tact, what sounds like a great combo comes off as pretty forgettable.
I finished off Higurashi no Naku Koro ni by watching the Rei series of OAVs. They are made up of two comedy episodes and one minor arc set after the main series that were originally on a bonus disk for the original game. The meat of the OAVs are in the three middle episodes called the Dice Killing Chapter. After Rika possibly dies in a car accident she is transported to a world where nothing bad has ever happened to any of the cast from Higurashi. Everyone’s favorite invisible friend tells Rika she can get back to her old world she just has to commit a horrible unforgivable slight in a seemingly sinless world. We mostly learn that Rika can be stone cold when she needs to be. How much this ties into the existence of the witch known as Bernkastel in Umineko has yet to be seen. The last episode is based on the Higurashi fighting game Daybreak and is just as silly as the game it is based on. I liked the first episode which I reviewed a while back a little more but overall it was amusing. The mahjong match was sort of the highlight of the episode. Overall, much like the fan-disk it was based on, Rei is a great treat for anyone who wanted a little more Higurashi without breaking the flow of the original series which wrapped up pretty tightly.
I have been playing Donkey Kong Country (originally for SNES) on the Wii Virtual Console. I must say that nostalgia in this case was not wrong, the game is still damn fun. The concept is simple, a platformer but with Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong collecting bananas, jumping through barrels, and tackling it all through various weather conditions and environments. It is just as I remembered it, in fact, I was surprised just how many secrets and tricks I was able to recall as the game went on. The crux of the game is about jumping so it’s all good fun, and frustration from time to time, as the game isn’t especially hard but not quite easy either. Also playing with a GameCube controller is not ideal as you have to hold Y to run which is rather uncomfortable. I will surely beat it in the next week and then probably download the second. Virutal Console is both a blessing and a curse!
We were both recently guests on the Ani-Gamers podcast in an episode were we talked about shojo anime that men can enjoy as much as women. It was a pretty fun episode. Narutaki talked about playing Professor Layton, I talked about Kimi ni Todoke, and Evan talked about Baccano! before the main part of the show started. We had a huge list of shows but Evan had us cut the list down so we did not turn his podcast into a two hour plus epic much like any given episode of Anime World Order. I love podcasts like that but I also don’t have to edit them. The show notes for the podcast come with some supplemental viewing from our extended list. If you have not already done so I hope you check out the show if for nothing else to hear Narutaki and I ramble on about Utena. Zettai Unmei Mokushiroku.
Pichu is speading some holiday cheer!