I continued my journey with Detective Conan in watching the 4th Movie, Captured in Her Eyes. This one clearly makes Ran the focus of the movie but by giving her amnesia after she witnesses a police woman being shot in front of her as part of a series of attacks against police officers. So most of the movie is Conan trying to get her to get her memories back so she can remember the shooting while trying to simultaneously to solve the case. I got a better insight into every one’s relationships as they tried to explain to Ran who they were. The story is weaker the the last movie but I still found it enjoyable. The story starts off strong with some action and murder and sort of coasts in the middle. The end gets exciting again and has some great chase sequences with a solid finale. Everyone role in this movie was more organic integrated than the last movie which was nice to see. Not the first Detective Conan movie you should see but definitely not one you should skip over either.
Captured in Her Eyes is strangely able to show Ran at her weakest and show her kicking ass in a properly dramatic scene. At first you may think, Ran sees murders all the time as does anyone involved with Conan! However, this time around she was close to death and what’s more, she has seen the killer’s face. There is a much more personal element in this movie, even in the mystery itself as one of the officers targeted is a recurring character. This movie also showcases a little of Ran and Kudo’s connection, not that it isn’t obvious, but it’s not always central and in this case there is a desperation on Conan’s part. For better or for worse, those are the best parts of movie. The mystery itself is enticing for sure but the figuring of it out isn’t as intriguing. Though this is all saved by some really incredible animation sequences including one of Conan skateboarding down this giant ice slide thing and then almost immediately after a nice boat chase scene! Enjoyable of course, but Capture in Her Eyes is more memorable for the animation than anything else.
Ever since Leina got kidnapped by Neo Zeon it seems that Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ has taken a turn toward the more serious like a regular Gundam series. As I understand it ends with the same grim demeanor of Zeta but as of now it is a solid war story with action, drama, and humor but has not become utterly dark. The section with the Moon Moon colony and it’s Amish ninjas was not nearly as horrific as I thought it would be but that might have been due in part to the fact that I had lowered my expectations enough. I do find it amusing that other than Judau it seems Elle and Roux are the most competent pilots and very competent people. So far neither of them have being utterly undermined as well. Has Tomino finally realized women are people too or will he be back to his own tricks soon? Then again he also has Elpeo Puru is a loli character before it was “cool” to have loli characters. By the way I don’t see why there is the fan following for Haman Karn that there is. She is a creepy and dangerous even when sexy but she is supposed to have a vibe like that. So people in the fan community worshiping “Haman-sama” is just odd to me. Maybe if I read Char’s Deleted Affair I would grow to care for her like everyone else but until then she just gives me the heebie jeebies.
Got a copy of Rampage 1 from CMX a week or so ago. The first thing anyone will notice about this title if they see it is that it’s a larger trim size and it has a explicit content sticker on the front. This applies to the graphic violence and nudity held inside though I am clearly so desensitized that this particular manga seemed like child’s play. Rampage takes place in ancient China where war is in full swing. We meet wanderer Zhang Fei who for no real reason decides to join a volunteer army that he runs across. This army is headed by well-known general and tactician Lui Bei and seconded by the fierce Guan Yu. Zhang’s not particularly skilled or courageous but he has an attitude for sure and after an incident ends up with an immortal, but possessed, body which makes him a kick-ass warrior. That all sounds well and good, but the most attractive part of this manga is the violence and the promise of more violence as each new person who appears is the “strongest warrior, etc.” But there were a lot of names getting thrown around in this first volume making it hard to really connect with anyone right off.
After reading Rampage, Narutaki asked me to read it as well and give my opinion. The first thing I noticed that he was unaware that it’s set during the Romance of the Three Kingdoms which I think explains quite a bit. Being a classic of Eastern literature and a staple of anime, manga, and video games the author clearly assumes that you know all the important characters because it is just something “everyone” knows. Unfortunately, this means that it is easy to be lost in this series unless you have read the original novel (or have a brother who owns every Dynasty Warriors game). The main problem is the author leans on the text when throwing out historical characters and does little to develop them outside of this fact. And the original takes on the classic characters are just not that interesting. Yunosuke Yoshinaga clearly wants Zhang Fei to be inherently good and noble guy with a realistic amount of cowardliness and selfishness but his characterization comes off as more slapdash than nuanced. He will be noble and brave in one part and then turn on a dime to be selfish and cowardly in the next section to move the story along. I was also amused that Lui Bei is apparently the Baroness with her ability to hide quite an ample rack around hundreds of soldiers. The art is solid and the action is fluid but the story that ties it together is just bland and unremarkable. It’s not a bad manga it ‘s just nothing that makes me want to read more.
I watched the first Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku OVA, I’m not exactly sure how many are in the works. This is a BL story about rough but shy Chiga ends up as vice president to Kokusai who is equally shy but also a rather oblivious guy. Chiga is a tall blond with glasses while Kokusai is a brunette with a more feminine frame. The story in this first episode mostly consists of Kokusai getting molested by creeps and Chiga getting him out of trouble and comforting him. Which results in an interesting almost-rape/dream sequence. The one nice thing about this OVA, thus far anyway, is that Chiga is as uncertain about his feelings as Kokusai is oblivious, so there isn’t an air of over dominance between them. Overall not really too exciting and of course the animation is only serviceable.
For this movie the only appropriate picture is one of Ran and Conan.