The Speakeasy #086: Fire Emblem Heroes, Voltron S2, Comiket, Wrestle Kingdom

Ongoing Investigations: Fire Emblem Heroes from Intelligent Systems, Granblue Fantasy the Animation ep. 1 from A-1 Pictures, Voltron: Legendary Defender S2.

Song: “Rainmaker” by Yonosuke Kitamura (Kazuchika Okada’s theme)

Food for Thought: What Japanese event would you plan a trip around?

Topics: We talk with Patz Prime about his recent trip to Japan.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #236

narutaki_icon_4040 The story in the Mushishi Special of a girl who can’t go into the sun and the eclipse which takes a toll on her family and her town, and her selfish wish for the sun to never to return, fit perfectly in the world of Mushishi.

I rather enjoyed the beginning sequence of little stories and tidbits about the upcoming eclipse being talked about by various people. Various people that don’t include Ginko, though he is mentioned but not by name. There was a feeling of anticipation for him to show up on the screen. It has been so long since last we met our wanderer that I felt my heart swell as he stepped into view.

The Mushishi Special does the trick of making one very excited for the upcoming new ongoing anime. This double episode filled me with good feelings but, as Al pointed out to me, made me forget the melancholy that generally underlies much of the series.

hisui_icon_4040 The Mushishi Special is sort of herald for the new Mushishi anime. The original anime covered lots of the manga but at the same time it also left a decent amount uncovered. But Mushishi is really episodic. There is not really a beginning, a middle, or an end. There are no real story arcs or many connecting threads. It is mostly just Ginko going around Japan and helping people with their spirit problems while researching said spirits at the same time. There are some reoccurring characters but no one who need more than a breif introduction.  So it is a story that can always be restarted with minimal fuss and ended with little sense of abruptness.

The special starts during a Solar Eclipse. The Mushishi are on high alert as the spirts are extremely active during a large natural event like an eclipse. In fact some of them can only act on such a day. In one town a huge Mushi uses the darkness to block out the sun in the area permanently.  While Ginko tries to free the town from endless darkness there are two girls in town who might have a solution but little desire to tell anyone about it.

I was a little shocked that overall this was not that melancholy a story. It really felt like it could easily go down the road to a sad or bittersweet ending. Mushishi as a whole like to go that way. But surprisingly everyone gets what they want it this episode. It is certainly not the way the originally wanted it but in the end they might have actually gotten more of what they needed than what they wanted. (And not at some horrible price.) I sort of figured they would go for the gut punch with this one. Color me surprised.

Overall it was more Mushishi. It was slow but pretty. Thoughtful but not overly ponderous.  Subdued but not comatose or completely morose. It is not an episode that would win anyone over who was not already predisposed to the series but a nice treat to its established fan base. I am sure they are just itching for the new season on the way.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching, reading, or playing outside of our main blog posts. We each pick three things without much rhyme or reason; they are just the most interesting things since the last OI.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #220

narutaki_icon_4040 I finished up  Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones much more quickly than the first GBA game. I can attribute it to a couple of things, loving the character relationships more and finally getting a handle on how the game is played. Plus, the first was 30 chapters while this was only 20.

But I actually think the game was easier than the first, too. I don’t think I have gotten that much better, and yet I was able to beat many chapters in just one go.

I loved that I was able to build up Eirika as a badass fighter who was not overshadowed in the story by her warrior brother. And of course she marries General Seth in the end.

I was disappointed that some of the relationships I worked on building up to A rank did not result in the characters getting a combined ending.

sep-anime

hisui_icon_4040 With our new SWAT Reviews already started this season I decided to make all my Ongoing Investigations about series that just finished up this week. Now the one person who regularly reads this to figure out what to watch from last season will have a better idea of what to do.

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet was a solid show. It was nice to see an original science fiction setting with mecha that generally made everyone happy. I think there were a good deal of people who were hoping for more or something grander. But making everyone generally happy as opposed to ecstatic is a fairly admirable and seemingly unobtainable accomlishment. The pacing in the middle could have been stronger. I know that two episodes that were mostly slice of life with fan service scenes in them hardly did anything to win over people who wanted more robot action, world building, or character growth. Well those episodes had a bit of the last two things but Belly Dancing Amy made some people forget that. In their defense it did seem a little gratuitous despite having a strong emotional pay off at the end.

People were expected a Tomino level bloodbath but overall other than a one major death it seems like we don’t loose anyone that important. I guess that shows that the Urobutcher was really only involved with the first and last episodes. Or maybe just maybe writers can do things outside of what the fandom expects them to do. But that is just crazy talk.

I think the most common complaint was “When the fudge did they decide to make the Pirate Queen Lukkage a plot important character?” She went from a one-off villain to important side character really out of nowhere. This is not One Piece and she is not Buggy the Clown.  I did not have a major problem with her but she did seem to come back to prominence for no real reason other than her two flotation devices (and I’m not talking about the ones attached to her Lobster Yunboro.)

The question a lot of people seem to be asking is should there be more Gargantia? It has a distinct ending that has no major or dire cliff hangers. But at the same time there are a good deal of elements that could be developed into news shows if they wanted them to be. In a way that is probably the best way to end a series you want to continue. It makes people excited when they hear about a new series but not bitter until that announcement. So I hope to see more of this setting but I am satisfied it that is all there is to this tale.

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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