Ongoing Investigations: Case #203

I have been waiting for a while to finally experience the end of the Please! Einzbern Consultation Room specials. I already complained about the lack of subtitles with the first Aniplex box set so I won’t reiterate that whole rant. The problem was the delay to get a translation was far greater than it was with the first batch of episodes. But we got all the episodes and that is what matters.

The therapy sessions continue as Irisviel and Zecchan continue to try to console the Servants who have died in the Holy Grail War. It seems that most of them are in some form of denial about their life that Irisviel snaps them out of. But as the sessions go on Zecchan seems to notice that Irisviel seems less concerned about consoling these lost souls and more about pushing them to the harshest realizations about their life.

Coupled with her increasingly disturbing dream Zecchan eventually realizes that something is wrong with the Consultation Room. After a bit darker turn everything starts to fall apart and the heart of the story is finally revealed. In the end we get a bit of a bitter-sweet ending but it can’t be totally dark because Taiga is not that sort of character. But it can’t end supper happily because Irisviel is not that sort of character as well.

Of course the King of Conquerors was far too awesome to have to participate in all of this depressing rigmarole. But that is just the sort of hero that Rider is.

Caster’s episode was fairly amusing as we get to see him about a subdued as we will ever see him. If nothing else it means much more Joan of Arc which will surely please her growing fan base. Seeing him with normal looking eyes is pretty odd but amusing.

Lancer on the other hand might as well be a river in Egypt for the sheer amount he is suppressing in his episode. It also seems to be the episode were they clearly acknowledge all the 4th-wall material about the fan base. Lancer’s strong female fan following and the rampant Lancer/Saber shipping is clearly acknowledged.

Berserker actually get more lines in this omake then he does on all of the TV series. But such is the way of being a Berserker. The original Berserker only really gets dialog in Fate/Tiger Colosseum so I suppose that is a step up. They do use the episode to fill in a lot of the blanks that were in the original Fate/Zero light novel but were cut in the anime for time. This gives the audience a better insight into Lancelot’s motivations.

In many way the most important piece of this story is as a conclusion of Irisviel’s story. She pretty much disappears as a character after she is kidnapped by Berserker in the main story. This gives a bit of resolution to the darker and more resentful parts of her character that never fully get explored by her abrupt passing. That is a lot of weight for what is mostly a comedy omake but it pulls it off well.

But all of it accumulates it the creation of the most important part of Fate/Stay Night so everything was worth it. It was touching to see Taiga carry on the legacy of the person she respected so much. Although it did meant she was destined to fall into the orbit of additional members of the Emiya family who would eventually have tragic ends around her.

@#$% Chicken Grill.

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I checked out Dragon Ball (full-color) which had a short preview in WSJ USA. It is of course the same story with the novelty of digital coloring. It was not all that impressive. The coloring job is competent but bland making the interior seem more like coloring book pages than anything else. Also there is some amateur looking fades.

This is where a printed book could make a big difference depending on the paper used. If they go with something that has a bit of tooth and a more mild white, it might be nice. But if they go with a high gloss white, it will end up looking cheap like this online version.

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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Thankfully in Nanatsu no Taizai chapter 2 through 17 the series has gone in the direction I had hoped it would go in. So far it seems like they are sticking to the Jojo’s school of shonen fighting philosophy which is always a good thing in my humble opinion. You start of f with the characters fairly high level so they don’t have to go through countless training montages to obtain their low and medium level powers. That means the fighting is more centered around the heroes figuring out how their new opponent’s gimmick works and then using their established ability to defeat them creatively. It is not quite up to full Jojo’s level but in many way that is the pinnacle of the formula so even getting very close is often more than sufficient.

That is not to say that Nanatsu no Taizai won’t fall into the shonen power creep trap. When you are having a hard time thinking up a new villain or pressed for time with deadlines a simple power up arc with a simple fight can be a life saver. But if they are used too often they make any progress the characters have seem nowhere near a novel. But I have never read anything by Nakaba Suzuki before so I don’t know how good he is at keeping his series fresh. But so far the fights have been clever so I am happy. I’m sure that Diamond Delinquent would be a good insight into his story telling style but I don’t have any experience that series.

It is nice to see Diane is a useful character right off the bat. Considering two (maybe three) of the Seven Deadly Sins are female so I hoped that they would be competent overall. Considering Elizabeth is mostly a noncombat character they could easily make the women the low tier party members as is the formula with shonen fighting. Thankfully Diane has been show to hold her own which is a very encouraging sign. Even though Elizabeth is mostly an escort character (which is epidemic with girls in shonen) at least she is beginning to show she can contribute in some capacity more than cheerleader and eye candy.  Hopefully her part in helping defeat Ruin will be the rule and not the exception.

I hope that Nanatsu no Taizai can keep up this level of quality. It is nice to have a light fantasy manga in my reading repertoire.

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I watched more Inferno Cop (eps. 2-7) because why not??? I love that Inferno Cop is always in the same pose, even on the operating table. It must be difficult to operate on guy with a flaming head.

There is a random reporter who is clearly an homage to April O’Neil that reports on the zombie weather fronts plaguing the world.

Also, dinosaurs.

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Since we recently finished Twin Peaks our little TV watching circle decided that we would watch Firefly with Narutaki. My roommate and I liked the series so I had no problem watching it again with her especially considering how short the series is all together. I admit part of the reason I wanted to watch it again was to see her reaction to the show. First of all Joss Whedon is such a polarizing figure in the geek community. It is not to hard to find people with extreme opinions on him. I know a lot of people who are middle of the road on his work like I am but it seems that all you hear are the fanatics either for or against him. Also Firefly and its Browncoats are still a bit crazy for this show in particular despite being canceled over a decade ago. I’m curious where she would fall in her opinion.

Watching the show made me reflect on why exactly I enjoyed the show. I know a common criticism of Joss Whedon is that all the characters are too clever in their banter. Apparently that takes some people out of his shows because it makes everyone sound too artificial. I always enjoyed such things especially with a series like this which is a bit of high adventure. It is sort of the sci-fi equivalent swashbuckling fiction. Therefore the characters need to be snappy. It is part of the gestalt of the genre.

“Mal” is pretty much my favorite character in the show. He seems like grumpy and completely practical character but the show goes on to prove while that is 90% true there is a more complex character underneath all of that. Plus it is hard not to love him after the kicks someone into an engine after giving a cliche “I will hunt you to the ends of the Earth” speech.

It shall be fun to see what her reaction to the end of the series is. Unlike Twin Peaks this show at least has the ability to tie up at least some of its loose ends. But no matter what it will not convince Narutaki to watch give Buffy a shot. No matter what anyone says. There is NOTHING that good to make her watch vampire shows.

I started watching cult favorite, Firefly (eps. 1-5). I was hooked after its double-length premiere episode. Then I fell in love after the train heist. So, yes, internet, you were right! I admit it!

The characters and dialogue grabbed me. I’m a fan of banter, it makes conversations just that much more fun to listen to. Everyone on the ship has some kind of charm. Kaylee’s attitude quickly endeared her to me making her my favorite. I love her attachment to the ship and Mal. Inara comes in a close second, she is a mystery but very intelligent.

It seems nearly impossible not to love Mal. I like him best when he is punching Simon.

I don’t know how much we will get to learn about the world. I’m guessing not that much, but we’ll see. I’m most curious about how Chinese culture and language became universally adopted.

I guess I’m now a Joss Whedon fan.

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