Since it seems that no one is interested in licensing Michiko to Hatchin I decided to finally check it out especially after Sean Ryan mentioned it would have made a great addition to the fallen fans guide. It is a road trip movie in which the journey is far more important than the destination. In fact if anything my major complaint about the series is that the destination seems extremely anti-climatic after everything than comes before it. I feel in many ways this was hinted that it was going to be like this but it did not make it any less disappointing. That said they journey before then is filled with some grim parables, touching vignettes, and great action scenes. We see Michiko and Hatchin grow from interacting with each other and fundamentally shift how they look at the world. It is a touching and compelling journey that should be watched for the experiences you get along the way more than the prize at the end. The audience in a way experience exactly what the characters in the show do for better and for worse. But overall I think you will be glad you went on the trip.
There was no down time for Ichigo as Yumeiro Patissiere Professional started just a week or so after the original Yumeiro Patissiere finished its TV run. This is a couple of years in the future as Ichigo returns to Japan from studying abroad in France. We know very little about her time there beyond her learning more skills, but not losing her charming naiveté, and that something happened between her and Kashino. Things at the end of the first season were a little over the top in Henri’s plans but things just get crazier with this new series. Henri now seems to be some sort of eccentric, semi-diabolical pastry chef that pits the students in a competition of opening their own pastry shop in this playland of sweets he has created. After 4 episodes I can firmly say it is still plenty amusing and cute. So far we have seen the dispersion of Team Ichigo with the exception of Kashino, and the return of Lemon plus the new addition of incredible caricature, American Johnny. The competition is also a lot different from what was seen in the original as this goes into business and customers as well as creating that perfect dessert. As this series is slated to be much shorter than the original I’m curious where it will end up.
Did you ever play Jump Ultimate Stars and wish there were only One Piece characters so you did not have to play missions to get characters you don’t care about? If that was you wish then One Piece: Gigant Battle! was made for you. It is a fun little mission based 2D fighting game. The game is heavily biased towards the story past Thriller Bark. While there are characters and maps from before the Sabaody Archipelago they are distinctly inferior in representation. For instance Alabasta and Drum Island are combined into one map. The greatest draw back is some of the mission are incredibly FRUSTRATING. Making a mission channeling is one thing. Making it want to throw your DS is another. Some of the game like missions can be utterly frustrating especially when the deck is horrifically stacked against you. Despite this it is a fun little game perfectly suiting for a commute or killing some time as the missions are very short. This does make me wonder how long it will be before we see games with the time skip character designs (because you know they are coming.)
Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated is taking another month-long break now. Luckily episodes 12 and 13, while not difficult to solve, were very entertaining and added a major clue to the over arching mystery. We are introduced to rival authors H.P. Hatecraft and Harlan Ellison after Hatecraft’s latest creature Char Gar Gothakon starts terrorizing Crystal Cove. You can imagine all the references afoot in this episode, probably more than any episode yet. Harlan Ellison even voices himself. And in the final moments the kids are presented with a box containing the missing history of Crystal Cove, a really satisfying episode. I have to say that 13 really freaked me out as a giant cicada who wields many smaller cicada starts taking out guys who work for Destrodio a corporation that is polluting the environment. I also became even more suspicious of Fred’s dad the Mayor in this episode, though I can’t fully say why.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works starts off in a way that utterly rejects anyone who has no familiarity with the series. The first 7 minutes revolve around getting to where Fate and Unlimited Blade Works diverge in the plot as quickly as possibly with the sake of coherence utterly thrown out the window. They might have well held up a sign that said “Watch Fate/Stay Night episodes one and 2 and come back. We will wait for you.” The rest of the movie takes it’s cues from the infamous X the movie playbook. Visually stunning at points but also utterly incomprehensible to anyone who has not played Unlimited Blade Works. It is nothing more than fanservice for Fate/Stay Night fans that highlights all the important scenes like the fights and the dramatic points but assumes the viewer can fill in all the rest from their memory. While my roommate and I enjoyed the movie thoroughly (although in my roomate’s case the constant Zettai Ryouiki shots of Rin surely helped) I am sure mostly people watching may have enjoyed the eye candy but been bewildered as to what exactly was going on.
The more I watch of Bakuman the more I fall in love with it. In fact the second episode moved me on a surprising level and it has continued to be very endearing since. There has been less of the love connection going on, which I don’t mind too much, and there is enough to keep it in your mind. But I’m glad to see them so determined to create their comic. So far it has really been about denying dreams but finally letting yourself attempt them. It was great to see them going through his uncle’s studio and then taking it over for summer vacation to push through and truly create their first work. I also love that they have a rival, who they have never met or seen, but is who they want to catch up to. I’m really pleased with this show so far.
This week I will spotlight the Queen of Zettai Ryouiki and the female focus of Unlimited Blade Works: