Ongoing Investigations: Case #197

This might be a slightly controversial analogy but I would say that  The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke is to Zettai Karen Children as Legends of the Dark King is to Fist of the North Star. They are both prequels that show how an overpowered villain came to be the head of his own army before he started clashing with the heroes. But the thing is Zettai Karen Children is hardly Fist of the North Star therefore the mass murder of soldiers by the protagonist of The Unlimited is a bit of a shift in tone from the normally comedic series.

The best way to think about The Unlimited is as if it were one of those silly OVAs from the 90s. It has lots of action and killing but it does not have the gore and tits you would find in an 80s OVA. Hyoubu Kyousuke has always been very much a dark reflection of Koichi Minamoto but his darker activities are usually alluded to in the main series more than seen. Here we see him in his full Magneto mode.

The story of the first episode is pretty simple. Kyousuke purposely gets captured so he can break someone out of a prison for psychics. While on the inside he meets a seemingly powerless psychic (who of course is hiding a super powerful ability) and they team up to stop the evil wardens who are killing prisoners to use their bodies to make super soldiers. Kyousuke defeats everyone almost effortlessly and then nukes the facility with his powers.

He also saves a pre-teen girl because this is still a prequel to Zettai Karen Children. No amount of bloodshed gets a leopard to change its spots.

The real question is if fans of Zettai Karen Children are going to like this series and vice versa. I’m going to say that Zettai Karen Children readers are more likely to be happy with The Unlimited than people who new to the series via the Unlimited are going to get into the main series. While there are some harder themes and action in Zettai Karen Children for the most part it is a goofball comedy. It shares many of the themes of the X-men but not nearly as much action. So I see people being a bit bored with the antics that make up 70% of Zettai Karen Children. One the other hand Kyousuke is popular enough that I see more (but not all) Zettai Karen Children fans wanting to see an action series that is the same universe is more likely. Some fans are going to check out of any series without the Children or the light feeling they bring without a doubt. But I feel like anything with Black Phantom has eased Zettai Karen Children into some darker stories.

Still a fun little series if a bit trashy. I think it is worth a look if you like a popcorn action series.

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Barrage came to an end before its time. I thought it had a lot of fun elements. Also there was a space whale!

But anyway, things were wrapped up with ch. 16. Everything after they defeat the rock bandit takes place in a town that was supposed to be under military rule but has been corrupted and taken over by the aliens. There aren’t a lot of humans left, and those that are either end up underground or as slaves. Astro and Tiamat meet the heavily armed Tiko who is out to take down the aliens one at a time.

I could tell that Astro, Tiamat, and Tiko would have had a good dynamic were the series to go on. I was really pleased that Tiko was had a lot to offer in the end and she plays a role in the major town battle and even gets her revenge.

I thought they were able to get a lot in, reveal the most important mysteries (and surprise me!), and have an enjoyable final confrontation. So even though it was clearly supposed to be longer, it wrapped up in a satisfying way.

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.

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I am at the half way mark of Heavy Metal L-Gaim (episodes 2-27). I’m still a little weirded out by this series’ oddly conflicting tone that makes even the more manic depressive Tomino shows seem outright stable. It is still an entertaining show but the show still feels like it is constantly in this weird place that even Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ did not go.

The first thing you quickly realize with Heavy Metal L-Gaim is that Tomino made Tenchi Muyo! a decade before Tenchi Muyo! existed. Daba Myroad in your Tenchi, Fanneria Amu is Ryoko, Gaw Ha Leccee is Ayeka, and Lillith Fuau is Sasami. If you have never seen L-Gaim this seems like a crazy analogy but if you watch the antics going on this will full make sense. At least once an episode Amu and Leccee have some sort of “I love Daba more than you” fight. So it seems that Tomino might also be the father of the lame harem show as well as the real robot genre.

But beyond that the series goes though an slightly more subtle change in tone as well. When the series starts Daba and Kyao want to join the military and they mostly fight Amu’s old bandit gang. Daba goes out of his way not to kill people (although a bunch of them die anyway.) But when they discover the rebellion when they are searching for Amandara Kamandara (which sounds like if one of my exes became the head of a military junta) and all of a sudden they are fighting the man. And Daba has a dark past as the son of a fallen empire. And he is now killing people like it ain’t no thang. It is a little more organic then I’m making it seem but it there is a stark contrast when you say compare episode 3 to episode 25.

This is a fact: Lillith Fuau is the most useful member of the team. Bar none. She pulls Daba’s bacon out of the fire several times and she is just a little fairy. Amu and Leccee seems to flip a coin and the start of any episode if they are going to be in anyway useful and Kyao is like a canoe with a hole in the bottom. The three of them also switch sides enough to have Beecha and Mondo whisper that they might have loyalty issues.

I could say more about this series but I will save that for the Cockpit episode with Patz. I mean I could do a whole post just on Gavlet Gablae. But sufficed to say while I am enjoying the show I see how a perfectionist like Mamoru Nagano would be pulling his hair out the whole time while working on L-Gaim.

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I was really pleased with the ending for the Kamisama Kiss anime, more-so than the other two shojo series from the fall season. They were in no way bad, but they were mere stopping points while Kamisama Kiss had a satisfying conclusion.

I really enjoyed that beyond the romance, Kamisama Kiss tackles Nanami’s emergence as a God.

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Your going to think this is the BBC Radio 4 because this discussion of  Hayate the Combat Butler chapter 390 is all about the shipping report!

Chapter 390 is important for two reason. The first is that Nagi totally mentions her throw down bet with Ruka. There is no hemming and hawing. She is going to beat Ruka and they are going back to the mansion together. It is a refreshing bit of directness. Plus it is nice to see Nagi not having any real animosity toward Ruka. She recognizes that Ruka’s feelings are real and valid. She also does not give a fig and is going to beat her into the ground. I think I cheered a little when I read this chapter and with good reason. It was a bit electrifying.

At the same time their casual banter in this episode was quite charming. It is the quiet little moments between them that are the most enchanting. It really brings out what I like the best about them. Also Nagi’s line with the hot chocolate reminded me that we need the Rose of Versailles on DVD yesterday. By the way look at Nagi’s shirt. When you realize what it says I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

The other important thing is this chapter might be a clue to when Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You takes place. That series might actually be able to be canon. If Nagi regains the Sanzenin mansion but still owns the Violet Mansion apartments in the future then Can’t Take My Eyes Off You would not be is some odd place in time that never existed. Athena’s absence from the story would be slightly unusual but not totally unexplainable. Plus we don’t know what happens between now and what happens in Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

But yeah the main point is that Nagi haters can go get bent. If the ending of the series was not more clear in this chapter than it would require neon signs and fireworks.

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I continued watching Fullmetal Alchemist (eps. 15-30) and have no gotten past to anything I’d seen and remembered. Revelations keep blowing my mind, every corner has something else! These two brothers and their pasts are much more complicated that earlier imagined.

There have already been some tears from me and I have little doubt there will be more.

Winry, Ed and Al’s childhood friend, has come into the cast a bit more, she hasn’t really grown on me yet. For the most part, I kind of keep wishing her gone but I hope that will change.

I’m at a critical point now as Ed and Al spend some time with their mentor, another huge reveal is on the horizon!

One thought on “Ongoing Investigations: Case #197

  1. Hums says:

    “Lillith Fuau is the most useful member of the team. Bar none.”

    Behold the superior Tomino Fairy! Lillith is probably my favorite character in the show. Which is funny because she starts off almost mute and little by little grows in her interaction with other characters. Also if you think she’s useful now you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    While I agree that L.Gaim is very much a proto-harem show there are a few key differences. Daiba being the main one, he is himself L.Gaim’s Char. He’s fairly charismatically written with plenty of personality it’s easy to see people gathering around him. Another kind of spoilery one is that unlike the girls in Tenchi both Amu and Leccee eventually come into their own motivations for why they do the things they do. Motivations that while initiated by their attraction to Daiba are separate from him. Again trying not to get to spoilery Amu at lest is much like Fraw Bow in terms of a character arc. Fraw stayed on the Whitebase and entered the one year war proper because of Amuro but as the show went on she realized the war wasn’t just something she could ignore.

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