Ongoing Investigations: Case #186

So there have been a lot of talk about CBS’s Elementary ever since it was announced. There have even been some harsh warnings from BBC’s Sherlock staff on the concept of the show. Personally, I was looking forward to, at the very least, Lucy Liu as Watson. Finally, last night we were able to see for ourselves just how this NYC-based Holmes would fare.

This version of Sherlock is after all of his adventures across the pond and rehab; they were really able to sell me on this premise. He is still that aloof, detached observer but he can stop, pause, and realize people have feelings. That doesn’t restrict him once he is on a roll as things start clicking in his brain but he is also able to apologize.

Waston holds her own happily. At first she is understandably dragged along into Sherlock’s crazy but finds herself curious and capable of investigation. Her training as a doctor and a companion for recovering addicts allows her lots of insights. In fact, Sherlock and her go toe to toe rather well when analyzing each other.

One thing I’m curious to see is how well they can create a platonic friendship between these two. With the exception of their first meeting, I thought the first episode did an excellent job of it. But I also think this will be one of the harder aspects to keep up, it seems very difficult for television series to not add sexual tension between two good-looking people. But I earnestly hope they can do so here.

The first mystery is a murder, my (everyone’s?) favorite kind! It had good twists if slightly predictable ones at first. However the final conclusion was fantastic and Sherlock’s roundabout way of getting to the point made my jaw drop. I won’t take issue with the criminal admitting guilt to Sherlock privately out of confidence (a staple of the genre) as long as it doesn’t happen every time.

Random note, I was really impressed with that subway scene. That could not have been easy to film!

Natsuyuki Rendezvous was an interesting series in the fact that I think I saw just as many people proudly claim that they stopped watching the series as I saw enjoying the ending. Which is really a shame because it was a fine show that had a very refreshingly mature look at relationships, love, and selfishness and their interconnected nature. If anything I think a lot of the disconnect had to do with people Natsuyuki Rendezvous to be a different show. A show that it never wanted to be nor should have been.

First of all I am a little perplexed by people who were caught off guard by Atsushi being so prevalent in the series. I think Narutaki put it best when she said, “I can’t understand how anyone would hear the premise that the protagonists romantic interest is being haunted by her ex-husband that only he can see and NOT see how the ghost is going to be a prominent character.” In my opinion it is like being perplexed why they talk about the robots so much in Gundam. I don’t think Rokka and Ryosuke are ever ignored in the series. They just share the title of main character with Atsushi.

Second of all I am greatly perplexed by people who don’t seem to understand that selfishness and love are not mutually exclusive. On a certain level some of us wish to believe that absolute pure love means that you will always put the needs of those you love before your own. While this can be a noble sentiment reality shows us that first off the bat there are few people who are that are so buddha-like that they can shed their selfishness for another. You will be surprised how selfless you can be when you are in love but a selfish core remains within all of us.

I am also a little bit concerned by exactly how selfless they want Atsushi to be. It is not as if Rokka was cursing him on his deathbed. His attachment (no matter how selfish at times) to a woman he still loves and still loves him is perfectly understandable. Much like Kyoko Otonashi part of Rokka’s appeal is her devoted nature. It is only natural for Atsushi to somewhat greedily wish to have his own life back. It is not like a large portion of Atsushi does not wish to just see Rokka happy and free. But Atsushi is still human with all the frailties of such.

If you ask my opinion weighing in at only 11 episodes I don’t see any reason not to watch Natsuyuki Rendezvous unless you just dislike romantic dramas. It is a nice slightly supernatural love story for adults. It is a series that proves that letting go is an easy concept to embrace but a far harder concept to execute.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

I picked up a copy of the short Vertigo series My Faith in Frankie. It is this quirky comedic tale about love and religion.

Frankie ends up with her own personal God at a young age but now that she is 17 and looking for a boyfriend, things aren’t going so well. The comic alternates between the present with multiple perspectives from characters like Frankie to her best friend to the God Jeriven to boyfriend material. We also get super cartoony depictions of incidents from when Frankie was a child. The humor had me laughing out loud at points.

Jeriven’s past with his parents and his love for Frankie add little hints of truth about love and religion to sweeten the book ever so much.

It was a lot of fun and a quick read.

In the end while I enjoyed Hanasaku Iroha it was a very mixed bag when it came to the mix of good episode to less than enjoyable episodes. Thankfully Tari Tari avoids most of that. It mostly remains a warm and amusing show the entire time. And in that respect I enjoyed it far more. It is the story of a group of 5 kids coming together when they need each other the most while learning a lot about themselves.

If I do have any major complaint it is that the two male members of the cast do sort of get the short shrift as opposed to the girls in the club. They are the last to join and while Wien gets his own major subplot Taichi mostly just gets plot nods as opposed to his own major story. And even then Wien storyline is shorter than any of the girls. But I suppose cute is what sells. Still it was nice to get a “sentai storyline.”

If anything is going to turn anyone off it will be the crying girls part of the series. To prove that Wakana is the spirtual sucessor to Minko in more than just appearance we have to see that Wakana’s body is composed of 60% angst. So she spends the first half of the series being moody and depressed. Eventually she has a breakthrough and officially joins the club but you have to deal with a lot of super sad Wakana until then.

That would be fine but they follow it up immediately with Sawa’s sad girl arc. I think that sort of ticked me off partially because it came off of Wakana’s angst party and partially because I liked that Sawa was the sensible one. She was a good medium between Konatsu’s hyper genki mode and Wakana’s practicality. Thankfully they don’t spend too long on her story of sadness. Otherwise the show would have spent far too long reveling in plight of the female cast members.

I will say Sawa Okita’s  “DAD! I am so mad at you that I will throw my shirt at you!” will be forever remembered by me as the silliest piece of supposedly stealth fan service. (Not that I super-duper MINDED her taking off her shirt. It was just very silly.)

A new series from Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, has debuted its first 20 pages online.

What we know so far: the science club may lose their funding to the cheerleading squad; Charlie just got dumped by the head (evil?) cheerleader; Nate is going to attempt to run for class president to save their funding; and the science club is building a robot.

The artwork is wonderful and expressive with its heavy lines. Everyone has a distinct look and their personalities come through well.

I’m not sure where it is all going but the energy of these pages makes me ready to find out!

And so ends the not very subtle lesbian innuendo robot show known most commonly as Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne. I know that robot show fans really like to complain that there is not enough mecha actions in show. But with second season of  Lagrange the Vox battles really seemed to taper off. It is not that they did not happen. It just really seems like they took a back seat to the adventures of the Jersey Club.

It looks like someone was looking over the numbers and decided that people liked the robots but they loved the implied Madoka, Lan, and Muginami love triangle. So it was time to play up one and keep the other on the back burner. But as Narutaki said best, “I’m not sure why they cut back on the robots. They guys would have watched either way so they might as well have kept the robots for a broader appeal.” If I look back at times it felt like there was no robot action and other times it was decently balanced. I’m not saying it has to be all mecha all the time but they could have thrown a bit more in there and I think it would have made the show stronger.

As a side note while I liked Lan a lot they really needed her to drop than “wan” catchphrase as soon as she learned show silly it was. She is normally a cute character but darn if that was just sort of awkward.

That said I enjoyed the show. It was silly at times but I think the show generally wanted a lighthearted touch with a few key moments of drama. I can’t say any of the plot twists are super surprising. Anyone who did not see that Moid was the big villain clearly needs their villains to dress like Snidely Whiplash for them to spot them. Everything gets sorted out fairly neatly at the end. The whole last episode is mostly just falling action and wrap up. But with a sedate show like this it is fairly unsurprising.

I do wonder if this is the main problem with robot shows with mainly female pilots. Do they feel they have to cater to the cute girls doing cute stuff crowd to keep people interested? I felt like Madoka was a fairly spunky girl. They did not have to make it the hot-blooded story of Kouji Kabuto with tits but they could have played the fighting a bit more.

It certainly did not get a maru but I think it did well enough to get a check mark. In the end that girl wearing a jersey has something about her.

2 thoughts on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #186

  1. vichussmith says:

    I don’t know what that sentence means.

    “Natsuyuki Rendezvous was an interesting series in the fact that I think I saw just proudly claim that they stopped watching the series as I saw enjoy”

    Are you interested at all in “Last Resort”? For an anime tie-in (not that you need one), this comparison was made http://www.animenation.net/blog/2012/08/31/ask-john-is-last-resort-a-silent-service-rip-off/comment-page-1/#comment-18596

    I like Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu, so It’s definitely worth a look. I wish all the network shows were available on Hulu, not just shows from three of them.

    • reversethieves says:

      We also watched the first episode of Last Resort. I know about Silent Service and thought about that series when I heard Last Resort first announced. It was a pretty good first episode but I thought some of the characters were a little ehhh. But I’m curious enough to watch more.

      -Narutaki

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