Ongoing Investigations: Case #105

hisuiconAfter hearing several rave reviews Narutaki and I were interested in seeing the Sherlock preview at the New York Comic Con but since that was the weekend of missing out on things we never got the chance to watch it. When we did find it playing on public television we eagerly gave it a look. The show is modernization of the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries. While we have all the classic characters like Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft, and Moriarty but at the same time Sherlock has iPhone, Watson has just returned home from the Afghanistan conflict, and everyone has a web page. The cases themselves are loose reimaginings of  some of the original Shelrock Holmes mysteries. Sherlock himself has the right mix of genius, charisma, and full on prat that defines the character and makes him so iconic. At the same time Sherlock and Watson have a fun dynamic that sells the show (and would have people running to the Internet to complain about fan girl bait if this were an anime.) I did notice a bit of a vibe that I see in House which I found highly amusing because it means the influence may have come full circle. House was heavily influenced by the original Sherlock Holmes and now it seems that influence has come home to roost. Like many British TV shows the first season is extremely short with only 3 ninety minute episodes. The 2nd episode was the weakest of the three but they were all very entertaining and had a good mixture of action, comedy, and most importantly sleuthing. The only real downside in the first season ends on a cliff hanger so if you watch this you are just going to be on the edge of your seat for the conclusion.

I just can’t help myself, I really must talk about the BBC Masterpiece Mystery 3-part Sherlock (2010) series. This a modern telling of the classic detective unlike any done before, and wow did they set the bar high. The production quality is wonderful and well-crafted. Turning Sherlock and Watson into characters who live in the 21st century is a smooth transition in this series. Sherlock still relies on his incredible memory and capacity for noticing the smallest details but he does use some modern science once in a while. The reaction to him by the police is also a nice touch with most afraid of him or thinking he is a sociopath. As for Watson his war trauma and not feeling right in society is perfectly suited, and as my dad said “Watson always carried his gun.” Oh and I love that he has a blog about the cases. The dynamic between these two is comical at times but more comfortable than anything else despite them only meeting for the first time in part 1, in this I feel you can see the House influence the most. Watson is exasperated by Sherlock but also gripped by his insight and the mysteries. The first mystery is wholly gratifying in its puzzle, climax, and ending. Pretty much perfect. The second’s mystery is a little less solid but nevertheless good, and it was nice to see the solution be a bit unexpected. The final case is very intense because of the cat and mouse angle. And as everyone has already said, the cliffhanger is a major one (on par with that darned Twin Peaks first season cliffhanger!). It is excitement for the series that makes it devastating to wait a year for more of this brilliant rendition.

hisuiconSince it is only 20 dollars I decided to pick up a remake of the classic game Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. I have been always eager to pick up the game since I have fond memories of the original plus the remake has some added features and a much cleaner translational. It has been giving me a good flood of nostalgia while reminding me why I liked the original as well. It also reawakened by love of unlocking classes and abilities even if that means crazy amount of unnecessary grinding. But that also means I have gotten to the point were the random battle are now insanely hard and the story battles are cake. The new cut scenes are pretty stylish with cel shaded animation with cross hatching. It gives the scene a very unique feeling. It is a great way to go back and visit an awesome and timeless game.

Gurren Lagann Parallel Works 2. Once again I have to wonder if the directors don’t know what a music video is or if they just plain ignore it, as the first installment made me ponder, too. Big Building and My XXX is the Best in the World (seriously don’t know what this title had to do with the video) were music videos just not very memorable ones. Kittan Zero with plenty of action and comedy and The Sense of Wonder which felt like an anime music video of a series I’d want to watch stood out as the better pieces, but there was nothing very amazing in this collection.

hisuiconAs my very soul demanded I watched Gundam Unicorn 2. Overall I think it kept up the good feelings and momentum from the first episode despite the fact that I saw a bunch of tweets that seem to indicate that people’s feelings had cooled a bit. I think they wisely waited to show the Unicorn verses the Kshatriya fight for this episode because there was a bit more talking and less action in this episode. Of course we get to see Full Frontal in full three times as fast glory inside of his mecha and outside. This had to be done considering you could feel the Gundam fans need to see him from the second the first OAV started. I was happy to see a little more of what sort of person Audrey Burn is and we get the first big reveal about her. The federation officers clearly show that the more things change in the Universal Century the more they stay the same. Other than that is did a lot of setting up for the rest of the series as is the standard of the second act of any Gundam series. I listened to the dub on my second watch through. Everyone seemed pretty solid. No one stood out as amazing to me but I was happy with everyone’s performance.  I would go into more detail but Narutaki has to yet to see this episode so I can’t say anymore than I look forward to episode three. The trailer for that is already out.

I read Bunny Drop vol. 2 and it continues to play me like a fiddle, I absolutely adore it. At the end of the first volume we saw Daikichi going through his grandfather’s house hoping to turn up some clues about Rin’s mother. That continues here and we even meet the woman, but I have to say who she is surprises me and it felt a little wacky and out of sync, but that might have just been my expectations. I also took an immediate dislike to her. I’m not actually sure how she will fit into the story just yet as it feels a little premature. It was nice to see Daikichi’s parents getting involved in Rin’s life and not treating her like a curse, too. Daikichi grows as a parent in this book quite a bit as Rin gets ready to start elementary school and you can see him transitioning from feeling sorry for her to truly loving her. As for Rin, she is making friends and coming out of her shell bit by bit but you can also see her trying to act more like a “big girl” and how that is affecting her relationship with Dai. So far the book has stayed rather positive, even with the monumental underlying issues at hand. I’m not sure where this journey will take Rin and Daikichi but I really hope he gets to stay by her side.

hisuiconI had to dig through some truly awful Milky Holmes pictures to find this but it was worth it.


3 thoughts on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #105

  1. Lothos says:

    FFT:TWotL is the whole reason I bought a PSP. It’s my favorite game of all time, and it’s one I’ve played through multiple times, wasting countless hours on. The PSP version is superior to the original as far as the translation, and the new cut scenes were nicely done. Fixed several game bugs too, such as the instant 9999 JP glitch and item duplication glitch. Also fixed blade grasp so it’s not so ridiculously powerful in the fact that it makes a high brave character immune to virtually any physical attack. It was never intended to work against ranged attacks, but for some reason it did.

    The two new jobs were meh…one’s super powerful and the other was disappointing in my opinion. Then again, only way to get the onion knight gear is through the player vs. player battles which I never did so maybe they’re good with that…but what makes so much of the game for me is trying skill combos and the OK can’t use ANY skills.

    Though I do miss some of the classic translations, such as how they changed Delita’s “Don’t blame us. Blame yourself, or God.” That’s my favorite line from the whole damn game, and I know is one many people remember. They changed it to something like “Tis your birth and faith that wrong you. Not I.” which while still a nice line, just doesn’t have quite the same panache as the old one. Delita and Ramza as a whole in the newer translation sound much more noble and proper than before, which while probably a more accurate translation, grinds on me based on my old memories of their dialog.

    I could go on about FFT for several more pages, so I’ll stop here :)

    The new Sherlock Holmes series sounds interesting, and I’ve recently been enjoying some of the BBC’s offerings such as marathoning all of the new Dr. Who and Robin Hood series. I’ve also been recently reading some of the original Holme’s stories and watching some of the older BBC offerings of said stories. I think I’ll have to check out this new series.

    • reversethieves says:

      Well the straw the broke the camel’s back for me on the PSP was Fate/Unlimited Codes but …. that is hardly surprising.

      I don’t remember the particulars of the translation myself. My brother was infamous for trading games with his friends as soon as we beat them. So the second I finished our copy was out the door and switched with something else. So I have not played it since it came out oh so many years ago. So the high and lows of the plot are still in my head but the details are mostly fuzzy.

      The trying to find combos in the skills is the classic sign of the table top RPG player (even if you never played a table top RGP.)

      I remember listening the I think the Retronauts podcast where they were talking about how as clunky as some of the old translations were it was their clunkiness that made them stick in your memory. Will anyone forget, “You spoony bard”? They may have been gravely off at times. Heck they coined the term Daravonese becuase of it. But sometimes those old translations had a distinct flair to them when they might have been lacking in the accuracy department.

      Sherlock is only 3 episodes and not that hard to find through legitimate and illegitimate methods so I would make it a priority to check it out. It has a great modern flair while capturing that strengths of the original.

      – Hisui

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