Ongoing Investigations: Case #069

So I decided to go a little crazy and try to put together a perfect grade RX-78-2 Gundam aka original Gundam kit a while back. I really wanted to either get a master grade RX-78-2 Gundam or a master grade RX-93 Nu Gundam. But when I saw the perfect grade RX-78-2 at AnimeNext I knew I had to have it. I also decided to splurge and get the extra weapons kit. I mean it comes with a Gundam Hammer on a real metal chain. What more could you ask for? When I initially opened up the box and saw pieces in sheets labeled from A to Z I was quite daunted by the task. But when I got into the swing of things I mostly found my previous Gunpla skills did not make it that much harder than anything else I had put together. When it came together it looks really nice. I would definitely not casually buy another perfect grade kit but I thought it was worth the extra money and effort.

The latest episode of Anime3000 features this very blog and the Otaku Diaries as its main topic of discussion! It was a bit unexpected but I think we did alright and it made us feel special. The podcast is a little more insight into the whole project and what our future plans are if you’re curious. There is a also a bonus segment where you can hear us go on and on about what shows we are sticking with from the new season and we even manage to throw Cross Game in as well.

After a random conversation I was inspired to go and watch some Exo-Squad on Hulu which quickly turned into me marathoning the whole series.  I mostly bring up the series because of it’s origin as a American cartoon specifically designed as a response to anime. It is an interesting show for a wide variety of reasons. Exo-Squad takes place in a future where Earth has colonized Venus and Mars, people work and fight commonly in powered armor called Exo-Frames, and there is a genetically engineered species of humans called neosapiens. When the Neospaiens revolt and enslave humanity the characters who are a part of humanities space fleet have to liberate humanity. The influence of The Super Dimension Fortress Macross is unmistakable. While hardly a clone the use of mecha, the themes of culture clash, the one fleet that has to save humanity, and even some of the sub plots can be seen as homages to Macross. The fact that is had such a sprawling plot that demanded you watch every episode was uncommon enough at the time as well. Also the attempt to capture the more “mature” storytelling in anime was clear. The protagonists in Exo-squad which often flawed characters who had vices and flaws that were ongoing problems. The show not only dealt with issues like alcoholism and  prejudice but had main heroic characters have these problems as well. Both minor and major characters characters died with an unusual regularity for American kids cartoon. It did feel like an American cartoon. It did not want to be a American anime but an American cartoon that took the strengths of anime and added it to the strengths of American cartoons. The characters designs were really ugly in my opinion but the story telling was top notch. It is an interesting artifact and definitely worth checking out if you never saw it when you were younger.

After watching three episodes of Animal Detectives Kiruminzoo I still don’t know what I think of it. The art style is rather odd, the story is rather odd, the whole is just plain odd, okay? It seemed like it was going to be a magical girl show, but it hasn’t really sprouted legs in that respect. A lot more people who can transform into animals have shown up, but they don’t seem to need the lockets like our main heroines. But I feel curious enough about what is going on. I also rather like Kanon who is a transfer student, who can transform of course, and is just strange. She also had a conversation with her mother about finding a husband. I am glad to report that the show seems on the level and not creepy. This series is also getting a manga adaption in Ribon.

Since this is the post about things I have been meaning to talk about in an Ongoing Investigation but never got around to, I will share my thoughts on the Kannagi OAV. Set during an indeterminate time during the TV series Takako finds a bunch of money and decides that the art club should make a movie using the main cast. This can be nothing else but a nudge and a wink to another series Yutaka Yamamoto worked on. Even the plot of the movie and the horrible acting is clearly supposed to invoke another movie about a combat waitress from the future. Other than, a rainstorm provides a reason for the cast to get soaked and have to play video games in bathing suits. Nothing major happens but it is a bonus episode that was thrown on the last DVD of the series so what do you really expect. I thought the epic quest to return the overdue DVD at the end was cute and delightfully over dramatic. It brought a smile to my face and that is all I ask of Kannagi.

Cross Game episodes 29-36 were seriously lacking in baseball, well except the last episode. Of course there were developments on other fronts like the appearance of Akane, which was done in a nicely jarring way. The main problem with a new love rival appearing this late in the game, and since they have stayed away from it becoming an annoying love triangle, is there is no real tension as the audience. However, Akane may prove more important as she could help people move on and accept some things. Finally, at 36 we get some decent baseball along with a good cliffhanger ending. Though I heard that was ruined by the preview, why do the Japanese like to do that?

In honor (or dishonor depending on who you ask) of Amuro and the first Gundam I present to you a line up of cute Gundam girls:


5 thoughts on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #069

    • reversethieves says:

      @ Sean Russell
      I do not think you will regret it. It is an amazing show. Adachi makes a great manga with excellent drama and excellent baseball. The adaptation really brings that to like well.

      – Hisui

  1. Chris says:

    Description of Kiruminzoo was a bit vague but its piqued my interest enough all the same. One thing I noticed early on was that the opening theme song is really cool and incredibly catchy.

    Its interesting to note, in the later episodes of Cross Game, the entire Aoba-tries-out for national level and plays for all girls team Arc, none of that was in the manga. It was added specifically for the anime, possibly to encourage a stronger female viewership.

    My only complaint with Cross Game is that, Adachi has to go so far as to introduce a female character that has not just the looks, but the EXACTLY the same personality as Wakaba. To me, it breaks the magic of Cross Game a little by being a little hard to swallow. It steps into the territory of ‘Plot Device’ too much.

    Thx for the write up.

  2. Lothos says:

    I vaguely remember watching exo-squad when I was a kid, I think I had a couple of the toys too…but I can’t for the life of me remember a single character’s name, what any of them looked like, or really anything about the series except that they had the power frames. I don’t think it was a show I watched regularly, since I can still remember specific info about those (thunder cats, gi joe, david the gnome, the little price, etc).

    @ TheDigitalBug

    Oh hell yes Gargoyles was awesome!

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