Ongoing Investigations: Case #133

In my Tsukihime round-up I finally got around to the Tsukihime PLUS+DISC. Mostly a few little stories added to promote previous releases of Tsukihime and Kagetsu Tohya. The Alliance of Illusionary Eyes is the main meat of the content of the disc and is mostly from the point of view of Akira Seo and her first meeting with Tohno Shiki. Her appearances in Kagetsu Tohya make much more sense after reading this. The other three stories are much sillier but sometimes enlightening. Geccha 1 and 2 are little behind the scenes looks at unanswered questions, plot holes, and unused material in a Type-Moon told in a comedic manner. I wonder how many people ship Arcueid and Ciel as they fight like pair that would surely be hooked up in yaoi fanfiction. Sad Birthday Girl fans can see unused Satsuki’s path material. There is also the utterly weird Kinoko’s Masterpiece Experimental Theater. This is mostly weird to be weird. There is no hidden material here. Just uncle Nrvnqsr Chaos. There is nothing vital here other the Alliance but there is a lot to enjoy. Plus I can attest that you can read all of this in just one lunch break if you put your mind to it.

I was so pleased to find Trigun: Badlands Rumble showing at Otakon this year. The movie plays out like an extended TV episode. This is one last hurrah for the fans really so as such it isn’t the place to start for the unfamiliar. Badlands Rumble features Vash’s legendary good-nature as he tries to protect Amelia who is looking for revenge against notorious bandit Gasback who is rumored to be heading for Macca City. Meryl and Milly are dispatched to keep an eye on things since their insurance company has insured a statue in the city for $$5,000,000,00. Wolfwood gets in on the action too, but I won’t say exactly how. I must say it was wonderful to hear the cheers and claps when Wolfwood appeared for the first time. Everything comes together in a spectacular action-packed end. Beyond new animation, there is nothing to say this wasn’t just a part of the show. I saw it dubbed and it didn’t quite have enough force behind it so I’ll be curious to watch it again on DVD. Trigun: Badlands Rumble is good fun with characters that you love.

As I get closer to catching up with the monster that is Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure I just finished  Part 5: Vento Aureo. This is certainly a tighter story than the last part. Diamond is Unbreakable was really fun but it seemed to wander around at points until the main antagonist is revealed and even then it would still go off the rails on occasion. Vento Aureo seems much more focused all together. It is all about Giorno Giovanna quest to overthrow the evil head of the Passione group and become a proper Gangster Star. Giorno Giovanna just happens to be the son of Dio Brando who obviously is an apple that fell pretty darn far from that tree. Giorno quickly teams up with Bruno Buccellati and his gang to find and eliminate the evil head of the Passione group. Of course in proper Jojo’s tradition is starts with Bruno trying to kill Giorno but then they form an unshakable bond of manly friendship. For about 90% of the manga Bruno is the head of their little gang whereas the protagonist is usually the alpha dog in any group. But Bruno is often just as important as Giorno making him a very strong (and awesome) co-protagonist although Giorno is give many a chance to shine and show his true potential. But the powers and the fights are as cool as always and now Hirohiko Araki has a good idea of what to do with material past Stardust Crusaders. This part also has a good deal of cameos from characters from previous parts. Some of them are clearly more effective than others and some people get off much lighter than others.

Bunraku got its East Coast premiere at Otakon and truly I had no idea what to expect other than a role played by Gackt. In the world of Bunraku, the future is ruled by the sword as guns have been banned. The streets are controlled by The Woodcutter and his gang of Killers so needless to say they’ve made a few enemies through the years. One fateful day, Drifter and Yoshi’s paths cross as they set out for revenge. I was pleasantly surprised from Ron Pearlman as the villain to the graphic styling of the whole film. It seems like more and more movies are trying to be gritty in their action. Bunraku does the complete opposite, it is over the top, colorful, and evokes the feeling of a stage play without trying to hide it. The storyline is familiar, simple really, but it felt right. There were some too short plot threads however like Alexandra’s past and they speed through the Killers (who are numbered) too quickly when they would have done better to just have fewer overall. In spite of that, I had a great time watching this movie plus the way it is filmed might be reason alone to see it.

It was nice to revisit the HeartCatch PreCure! story line by watching the movie. It was an excellent little interlude story that fits seamlessly into the timeline without being required watching. It reenforces all the themes and feel of the TV series that thankfully help it from feeling like a waste of time. Plus being set in on a trip to Paris helps give it a theatrical feel. Baron Salamander is a good one-off villain who feels solid enough to make the movie engaging while still explaining why to only gets an off-handed mention in the TV series. If anything else it is best to think of it as a super high budget filler episode that is lots of fun. We also get to see generations of Pretty Cures and Desert Apostles which made it feel epic. Olivier is a good addition to the movie and his interactions with Tsubomi are adorable. You can watch the movie anytime after episode 38 but I watched it after the TV series at it was fine. It reminds me that Suite Pretty Cure is just not as awesome as HeartCatch but that is more because HeartCatch is just that amazing.

I got off track with the schedule, but I finally got to finish up Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated S1. It was full of surprises in an ending that did not disappoint one bit. In 24 we see the reappearance of a previous villain so this is when things start to reveal themselves. And in 25, we meet who we might call the foe of the series who is from the past and knows about the original Mystery Incorporated. I had some of it figured out, but at the same time the show did a great job of making me doubt my deductions. Also certain reveals were just not there for us to deduce, instead we hear it from the mouth of the villain creating plot threads for the next season. We do finally learn the secrets of Crystal Cove, sort of, but there is plenty of mysteries still left half answered. I can’t wait for S2!


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