Ongoing Investigations: Case #068

Last Saturday morning I resurrected an old tradition, completely by accident, I started the day by watching some Pokemon. Though it wasn’t a brand new TV episode but rather the latest movie, Arceus and the Jewel of Life. The movie starts with a mini-montage to help if you aren’t familiar with the concept then it delves straight into legendary dragon Pokemon and the fate of the human race. A new, and very angry, Pokemon named Arceus appears looking for the Jewel of Life that was wrongfully kept from him hundreds of years prior. This sets off a chain of events as Ash and company are sent back in time to see just what had occurred and how to make things right. Thanks to this we get to see a very different and ancient world where Pokemon were more like slaves or servants than partners to humans. While the situation sounds dire, it isn’t always apparent in the film just how powerful Arceus actually is, it isn’t even very clear that he is supposed to be the creator of the universe. There are also little in the way of battles going on. However, there are all the other things one has come to expect, a share of cute moments, kid-friendly (but obvious) plot twists, and a climatic scene where Ash and Pikachu just scrape by. So while it was nothing spectacular it was still an entertaining jaunt!

I went to the Boom Boom Satellites show at the Santos Party House. It was a free show and I was interested in them after they did two different openings for Xam’d. There were two bands before them. The first was ultimately forgettable except for the fact that the bassist had the most inappropriate Tom Selleck mustache. The second guy seemed to be trying to accidentally invent hip hop except for the fact that will all know that Councilman 8 already did that. The show itself was about 4 songs with an encore which was a good sized set for a multi-band show. They did not play any of their anime songs as far as I could tell but it was not that sort of show. They have a heavy aggressive beat with heavy drums and Masayuki Nakano was playing with electron devices for music almost as much as he was playing the base. Their lyrics can be sort of repetitive but overall there songs were high energy, catchy, and enjoyable. Apparently my roommate and several other people were at the show but I never ran into anyone else.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #053

We had really been digging the Gundam Universal Century OAVs, the 08th MS Team and 0080 were excellent. They both had their flaws but overall they were really enjoyable. Then we came to Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, third time is obviously not the charm. This was a chore to get through. When the Federation creates a new Gundam prototype with nuclear capabilities an ace pilot from a Zeon remnant named Gato steals it. It is up to Kou to take the other Gundam prototype and capture Gato before he can unfurl a plan that merely begins with stealing a Gundam. It is not the most original Gundam plot but it is one that has worked  but this time it utterly failed. There was something generally wonky about the plot. I kept waiting for a  reveal that all the seemingly utterly horrible decisions made by the Federation were part of some elaborate plot but that is not the case. No one in this series makes anything close to normal human decisions. Kou and Nina Purpleton’s relationship was just so bizarre I could never even attempt to get into it. When you’re longing for the authentic relationships of Tomino you know something has gone horribly wrong. The worst part is this is the Gundam OAV that really ties into the main series since the events in Stardust Memory go on to majorly help create the Titans. This series has fans for two reasons that don’ really matter that much to me: great mobile suit designs and cameo appearance of some important Zeta Gundam players like Bask Om and Haman Karn. This was an utterly horrid Universal Century Gundam series and the sooner I moved on the better.

I like the opening for Stardust Memory, yup, I sure did like that opening. Oh right, now I have to talk about the rest of it. We start with a classic rivalry of rookie vs enemy ace, the robots are cool, the animation is pretty nice, but things just feel off. Why is there a faction of Zeon pirates? And where exactly did they get their uniforms? Cima is completely decked out with a cloak and tiger skinned rug on the floor while many of her henchmen wear shirts with no sleeves or completely open chested. And seeing them interact with regular officers is even more laughable as if they showed up for a costume party that no one knew about. Our female representative on the other side, Nina, is all kinds of contradictory and so ineffectual that one has to wonder how she got her job. Also the pilots on the side of Federation are super assholes minus Kou (but he gets no points because he likes Nina who is a dumb, dumb woman) and Keith (who also loses points for lamest helmet decal). Gato I guess is a pretty bad dude but even he isn’t very engaging. The entire cast is forgettable atleast in any good way. Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory doesn’t start off too badly, but it quickly goes down hill culminating in a nonsensical ending that had me saying “WHAT!? WAIT!” I suppose it should get a few props for really surprising me! I have heard mixed opinions of the series but mine is a definitive “poor.”

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