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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Ongoing Investigations: Case #165

My roommate bought the hideously expensive Fate/Zero Season 1 box set. For this I am very grateful as there is no way I could afford that. So we sat down to watch the special features the first of which is the Please! Einzbern Consultation Room. I was super excited because these were written by Kinoko Nasu himself just for the box set.

We were in for a rude awakening when we discovered that the $369.98 box set did not bother to sub the Consultation Room episodes. That was certainly aggravating. But eventually we were able to find some subs of the skits but those REALLY should have been included for the price the set went for.

That bit of anger aside the Please! Einzbern Consultation Room is a pleasant little distraction along the lines of the science lessons from Gunbuster. Irisviel and her amnesiac student Zeccchan (who clever people just might recognize as a younger version of someone they know) go over little details about the Holy Grail War that fill in details that might not have been clear in the TV series proper as well as expand on some ideas only hinted at in the show. The Consultation Room proper only starts in the third episode were they talk to Assassin and get a bit of back story on him while they “help” him with his psychological issues.

The part where the two consultants circle around Assassin like in the infamous scene where Risei and Tokiomi stroll in a circle around Kirei was priceless.

The end of the third episode clearly indicated that the next box set would have more consultation sessions with the Servants to die in the next half as well.

Overall it was a fun trio of omake episodes. It was really only for the hardcore fan who wants all the little details but that is why you put episodes like this on the collectors edition box sets. Still Irisviel is filled with a warm charming grace so the more we see of her the better. I cannot wait to step into the consultation room again. It is just a shame that I had to go to less than legitimate means to experience that fun.

The eagerly awaited second season of Game of Thrones has finally started.

The first episode starts with a seemingly huge recap of the previous events proving just how much happened in ten episodes. Our story restarts closely to the end of the last, everyone reeling from upsets in power and the arrivals of a handful of self-proclaimed kings. The introductions of Stannis, Davos, and Melisandre The Red Witch are welcome. But I find the actress of┬áMelisandre is not what I pictured at all and she doesn’t exude the intensity of the character.

With new characters also came new pieces of the opening map which is brilliant every single time you watch.

The first episode is brief in showing some of the most interesting pieces of the story, sadly, like Jon on the Wall, Arya traveling the road, and Daenerys seeking out for land. There is plenty of Tyrion though which is nothing to be sad about.

The story starts to change in episode two, I can really see a lot of decisions being made to make the epic more linear for ease being brought in. The second episode was full of surprises thanks to it. Sansa hasn’t appeared much which is a blessing since she spends most of this book being beaten down. They also seemed to have reined in Arya a bit on her violent tendencies, not sure how I feel about that.

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