I decided to rewatch Avatar: The Last Airbender S1 which I saw during its original TV run, but through circumstances never was able to catch the rest of the series. Since that was so long ago I thought I would refresh my memory before tackling the rest. I stay impressed by what I remembered from it, there is a good flow in the pacing from episode to episode and the weaving of the story is done thoughtfully. Aang, Katara, and Sokka play off each other using their strengths from natural ability to caution making the journey memorable and deeply felt. I also really enjoyed how they were able to give you backstories within an episode without taking you out of the moment, this happens most notable when Zuko’s uncle tells the story of Zuko’s past to his crew which also cemented him as my favorite, my soft spot for redemption seeking characters continues. Speaking of Uncle, the cast of antagonists are well realized, easily becoming some of the more complex on canvas, creating a large world scope but never forgetting to stay true to the main heroes. The balance of action, danger, mystery, and humor solidifies why this show is addictive. And the ending of the season is magnificent, closing out the first part with enough to feel satisfied but make you desperate to see where it will all lead.
This week is a week of me finishing of some decent length titles. Slayers Evolution- R is really just the 2nd half of Slayer Revolution. This is obvious in the fact that it keeps the alphabetical naming scheme that the last season did. The season begins right were they left of still trying to revive Pokota’s kingdom which requires them to find the Hellmaster’s jar with Rezo’s soul. The first few episodes have them find a woman whose soul is living suit of armor with amnesia named Nama. She is obviously supposed to be Naga the Serpent but they keep up the running gag of never having Naga meet any of the regular Slayers cast. We have the end of Zuuma’s plot line, the resurrection of Rezo, and a rematch between Lina and Ruby Eye Shabranigdu. Overall it kept up the same good will that the last season did. It still was never a good as the first two seasons but I did enjoy myself immensely. I found it interesting that both Revolution and Evolution- R go back and tweak stories from the novels that the last seasons of Slayers skipped for one reason or another. I wonder how well these two season did because there is still some novels that have yet to be adapted so I would be tickled pink to see some of the later books be adapted into anime as well.
I read Erica Sakurazawa’s Angel which is a series of interconnected stories about people who need help and as luck would have it, an angel appears to give them some guidance; a girl who wants to commit suicide and a little girl whose mother is neglecting her. The exception is the guy she always comes back to, who sprouts wings every time they kiss. This piece of the story is never really resolved unfortunately. Even though the subjects are harsh, they don’t seem extremely dark and end hopefully.The artwork is loose, too, which adds a touch of whimsy. A calm piece, but I would have liked to come to see what was going on with the guy who sprouted wings more than anything else.
I finished Candy Candy with episodes 100-115. They really picked up the pace like they never did before in the series. Most of the arcs are 25 episodes long but this section has two arcs in 16 episodes. I am curious if this increase of speed is a reflection of the manga or a change of pace to adapt the remaining manga in the time they had left. Mr. Albert gets hit by a car, Candy gets shipped off to a rough and tumble mining town, Stear goes off to war, and Neil tries to force Candy into marrying him all in the course of the last few episodes. In the end we lose another beloved character which sort of elevates Kyoko Mizuki to Kill ‘Em All Tomino levels. In the end a great deal is resolved and yet a great deal is left open-ended. We learn who both Grand Father William and the Prince on the Hill are and Candy gets out of having to marry Neil. But Candy’s love life is still firmly up in the end by the end of the series. I was also surprised that in a realistic manner Eliza goes completely unpunished. Still when the series ends you are happy but still want more. It is a classic shoujo manga for a reason and worth at least sampling to see how it effected the genre for generations to come.
Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated’s ninth installment revolves around two very large monsters that fight each other leaving a path of destruction. They reminded me greatly of the Hulk! There isn’t too much to this episode, though we do see the struggle between Velma and Scooby for Shaggy’s attention escalates. Frankly, it is getting a little tedious, but hopefully some growth will occur soon.
Shion no Oh is like Hikaru no Go but instead of a friendly ghost as your mentor you have a psychopathic murderer. I was intrigued by Narutaki watching the series a while back and saying it was very good but way too disturbing for her to finish. I have to say that Natutaki should have pushed on as this is a very enjoyable series. The strongest aspect of the series is that mystery aspect is well executed. I have consumed enough mystery material that I had figured out who the killer was pretty early on but they keep you guessing until the end. The cast is strong and easy to get behind. At first I was worried that Shion might end up being a flat character with the show cheating us out of character development with Shion being mute. But we get a good deal of her inner monologue and her facial expressions tell you volumes so that is not a problem. The games were fairly intense with the main characters losing as much as they would win so there was usually some element of suspense as to how games would turn out. As a side note I normally don’t really care about voice actors but I was happy to see Ayako Kawasumi and Romi Park on the cast together. Shion no Oh is an offbeat but interesting show worth a look especially if you like if you like game based anime with some bite to it. The story is very tight at 22 episode so the story never drags but also never feels rushed.
With so much fandom surrounding it, it wasn’t hard to find a good Last Airbender pic!