Ongoing Investigations: Case #151

I am making my way through Twilight of the Golden Witch, the final chapter of Umineko no Naku Koro ni. As I am still not done I will save my final review for the chapter and the series as a whole for a later date but I do think there is one major fact about the game worth mentioning. When this game was first released the reaction was divisive to say the least. Going mostly on spoilers it seems that there was a very vocal community of people who felt that Ryukishi07 shot the pooch with the ending. I may or not be related but it has taken quite awhile for the English patch of the game to come out. Purposefully or not this might be for the best. It has given people (including myself) sometime to distance themselves from that initial reaction and judge the ending on its own merits outside of the initial hype for the ending and then the backlash when the ending was finally revealed. So far I am enjoying it with some time to divorce myself from the initial reactions. A prime example is the Professor Layton style puzzle section is nowhere near as horrible as it first sounded. It has some of the most powerful scenes if you get the puzzles right. It gives a little insight into how everyone in the family was still a human despite the many horrible things they had done. That is thematically important given how I think they are building up this ending. It does not shy away from the terrible things they have done but if you think anyone there is a complete monster than it makes the ending somewhat disingenuous. I look forward to reading the ending and weighing on the series as a whole now. I think I would have been far more brutal if I did not have some time away from the series. This really shows the benefit of some time away from the gut reaction of a community.

After talking about Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% in my year in review, I decided I’d better watch some more! I watched up through episode 7 which is a good half way point before everyone goes to idol summer camp (oh yes!) and decides on their partners for their final exams. Each episode has focused on one of the guys who through Haruka’s positive attitude helps each feel more confident/find his voice/etc. Of course she isn’t able to melt the frozen heart of Tokiya upon first try but we do learn quite a bit about him and a few secrets are revealed. He gets a lot more attention for the obvious reason that he is the “true path” more than likely in the original game. It continues to be a far-fetched fantasy that knows it. Also the headmaster may appear infrequent but remains entertaining as Norio Wakamoto lends his voice to the bizarre antics. I’m hoping that perhaps they will focus on Haruka’s roommate in an episode but that may be unlikely in a show like this.

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5 Series We’re Surprised Aren’t Licensed

hisuiconI’m not going to lie to you. This post is mostly an easy post we are doing to recover from the madness and non stop posts that came from our Otakon 2010 coverage. But just because it is easy post doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining. These are all series that we feel have the ability to do really well if they were licensed and translated into English but for one reason or another have not been picked up for the U.S. There might be licensing issues behinds the scenes, the price might be insanely high, there might be a bidding war going on, or dozens of other reasons that are keeping these shows from being picked up. But the #1 cure to such problems is enough customer demand. So what do you think? Are we being delusional about the series we picked? Did we leave anything out that you think is a sure fire success?

Honestly, I find it fun to speculate what would make a good license and why going beyond my own personal desire for a series. There are about a million shows and books that I’d like to own for myself in English but a lot of that is wishful thinking (Legend of the Galactic Heroes will surely be picked up, right? RIGHT?) but with this post it is more about a business stand point or atleast the thinking that these series would do well enough to earn a little bit for the companies releasing them. That being said, I don’t work in the anime and manga business and I only have a vague knowledge of certain aspects of it.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #067

Having never seen the second season of Haruhi I have yet to be embittered by the franchise. Therefore I have happily gone and picked up the The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya novel. It’s hardly brand spanking new territory for those who watched the TV series but it does go in depth into the creation of the movie that makes up episode 0 of the original TV series. It does shed a good deal of light on events that occur during episode 0 if you were not already aware of them such as why occasionally people are busting out powers during the filming of the movie and why Kyon’s cat talks only in episode 0. Other than that there are no major plot revelations or character development. It tells the story you already mostly know but gives you the behind the scenes details into how that movie was made. It is mostly a fun little romp with Haruhi as the Japanese Ed Wood. I think the novel is a good cure for those who still want to like the Haruhi series but were burnt out by Endless Eight.

The latest Detective Conan Movie, the 13th one to be exact, titled The Raven Chaser was a really enjoyable addition to the Conan library. This one involves a rather clever serial killer who leaves Mahjong tiles at the scenes of his victims and that is only the beginning of the string of clues our boy detective must unravel! This movie did plenty of things right while keeping it just grounded enough. You can follow Conan’s logic even if you can’t figure things out a head of time, which is a plus. Also this story throws in a lot of favorite characters including Heiji and Kazuha, plus the addition of the Black Organization makes the movie a well plotted trip. The final confrontation is a high adrenaline sequence involving Tokyo Tower that isn’t to be missed. Also no surprise but the movie looks great. Highly recommended!

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