Ongoing Investigations: Case #095

hisuiconThe Tatami Galaxy was a quirky show all the way through but also an entertaining show all the way through. It might take a few episodes to get used to the sometimes light speed pace of the narrator’s dialog or the Groundhog’s Day time loop but if you can make it past 3 episodes and want a 4th you are probably home free. The thing I found most interesting was that about half way through I knew exactly how the series would end. I predicted how the series would end and it played out pretty much exactly how I thought it would. But I took this as a positive more than a negative. It was clear that the series had themes and messages they were being built-in the series and the reached a climax and resolution that tied everything together in a charming fashion. I think the series appeals to anyone who wonders what their life would be like if they just changed one thing. It shows how it is not the little decisions that you should agonized over having made but grabbing the opportunities in front of you. The Tatami Galaxy is going to be a show that pops up on people’s I can’t believe you have not seen this lists for years to come. It will never be anything close to a mainstream success but it will be remembered by those who enjoy it.  It is a great anime for anyone who wants something with an art house vibe but with an upbeat and comedic attitude.

I caught up to (though I’m still not sure how I fell behind) Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated this week with episodes 5 and 6. The fifth installment is a quirky and fun episode involving the “spookifying” of kids throughout Crystal Cove by a mysterious figure of legend called Que Horrifico. Parents are leaving town left and right and we are once again introduced to the tourist attraction concept of letting the mystery go unsolved. I was glad to see the revival of the gang disguising themselves to catch the culprit. The ending chase sequence is really well stylized and quite scary. The less scary but more plot heavy episode 6 was a real treat. It is prom time and there is a ghost girl on the loose whisking off unwitting teenage boys. At the same time a new girl called Alice arrives in town and instantly develops an attachment to Fred. No surprise to see more relationship stuff in this episode, but Velma’s overbearing girlfriend act is starting to be more grating than amusing. I was glad to see Daphne, who is probably my favorite character at this point, taking the initiative in seeking out more information on Mr. E’s clues. And the random appearance of one of her sisters who is in the military was hilarious. The ghost girl culprit is tied to a past case, and by past I mean original Scooby Doo past, references to which hadn’t really been brought up since the first episode. There is also a mysterious twist at the end and we meet a henchman of Mr. E. This episode really adds a lot of information to the overarching case that Mr. E is leading them to. Episode 6 was really stand out and shows what this show can do.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #085

hisuicon In the Reverse Thieves time-honored tradition we watched Detective Conan Movie 1: The Time-Bombed Skyscraper out of order. Actually we were going to watch the 5th movie but then about 10 minuets into it realized that it was making reference to the first movie. In a somewhat Encyclopedia Brown-style moment the movie begins with Conan solving a case unrelated to the main story. After this intro we soon discover that a good deal of explosives were stolen recently and several acts of arson have been committed. The person behind both crimes tries to contact Shinichi to challenge him to find the bombs he has placed around the city. This felt like a standard episode that was forced to be a movie’s length. The whole affair with the criminal giving Conan clues to where the bombs are mostly seemed there just to stretch the length of the premise. It was an entertaining movie but so far the weakest of the movies we have seen.

The first Detective Conan movie feels like the first. You can tell they don’t quite know what to spend the hour and a half on, the pacing is a bit off, there aren’t enough suspects, and the climatic action happens after the culprit is caught. I find this only a little odd because they had produced very good one hour specials prior to this feature. Though I did find the ending scenes in the skyscraper with Ran and Shinichi (Conan behind a wall using his bowtie voice changer) properly tense and sweet. Since we accidentally knew the identity of the bomber thanks to starting the 5th movie, it is hard to assess whether this mystery was properly difficult to solve. But I think it is one of the few that you can really grasp who it is as well as their motive long before Conan cracks it. There are still a few twists like how the bomber knows Shinichi and what he learns about him and uses in his scheme. This movie isn’t bad by any means but it isn’t especially memorable.

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