Ongoing Investigations: Case #223

hisui_icon_4040 Recently the Binbougami ga! manga came to an end. It was just a series we randomly decided to watch during the SWAT reviews on the off-chance it might be enjoyable. But since then it has become a staple of my comedy manga diet along with Hayate and Yamada and the 7 Witches. But it seems just as quickly as I found the series I discovered it was coming to an end. Overall 15 volumes is hardly a series cut short. But when you enjoy something like this it seems to come and go in the blink of an eye.

But in the end that might be for the best. 15 volumes distinctly lets the plot play out nicely with some mystery involving why Sakura has all the fortune energy she does. The pace let each story arc have a big reveal towards slowly but  surely building up Ikari and Kana’s story and then how it fits in the present. When Ikari is finally revealed he does not seem to be teased for too long but at the same time he does not just pop up out of nowhere.

The final storyline is fairly conclusive. All the major plot lines are tied up strongly while still leaving some things moving in the background. I was a little surprised that the ending had a distinct bittersweet quality to it but it is a wonderful send off to Sakura and Momiji’s awkward but delightful friendship. It was probably the best way for those characters to say goodbye to each other.

It is interesting that the story did become a bit of a fighting series by the end. When Ranmaru and Nadeshiko are really integrated into the storyline they tended to get an opponents they needed to fight at the end of every major story arc.  That really started with the Tanpopo story arc but in many ways the Tanpopo arc is not just a major turning point it is the official start of the middle of the manga.

I still think chapter 23, the photo booth story, was my favorite chapter. It was a simple one chapter story that perfectly encapsulates the main characters personalities and what makes them great.

If anything Sakura’s mother probably gets glossed over the most. Her father gets a whole storyline devoted to him so I assumed the same would happen for Sakura’s mother. But the closer to the end of the series I got the more I realized it was just not coming. Sakura’s mother clearly appears at the end of the manga but overall she just never got a chance to be in the series.

Just an odd observation.

Man. Binbougami ga! was a really fun ride. Sadly when the anime ended they never even got up to the point where Nadeshiko formally became a cast member and was not just some odd rich ninja girl who appeared in side segments. I really hope that now that the series is over they will go back and animate the rest of the series. Some of the later stories are just begging to be adapted. Also nothing else I am sure that Narutaki wants this and this. And we can all agree that is a good thing.

sep-manga

narutaki_icon_4040 Limit vols. 4-5 made me say both “AHA! I knew it!” and “OHO! I didn’t think it happened that way!”

The intensity really ratcheted up once one of the survivors died because everyone was already on edge and suspicious. The added new death just tore the already precarious truce apart. I of course enjoyed the added mystery element of this part of the story as well.

The next volume is the last. I’m very curious what kind of ending Limit will give us, will it get a tragedy or will rays of hope pierce through the gloom?

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.

Continue reading

Ongoing Investigations: Case #218

narutaki Thanks to Netflix I had a chance to sit down and watch Adventure Time S1. It is not as if I haven’t watched the show, I’ve just seen random episodes here and there, but I wanted to watch it in order from the beginning. Really there is no need to do this if the first season is any indication, but hey I like to do things in order when I can!

Things I took away from this season: LSP is the best princess with the best voice, George Tekai is always down for a laugh, the most over the kids’ heads joke was when they sack the nut castle, and Whywolves are creatures possessed by the spirit of inquiry . . . and bloodlust.

I really wish Netflix would add more seasons but it sounds like that won’t be happening for a long time. I will have to supplement myself with comics.

sep-cartoons

After a long break we get the return of The Venture Bros. in season five. I enjoyed season four but it just felt like it was one step below everything that came before it. Season four was good. I usually got several laughs every episode. Some of the stuff around the Revenge Society and S.P.H.I.N.X. was amazing. I did a whole post on Everybody Comes to Hank’s. It just was never as good as it was in the original three seasons. Something about the plots just felt like they were spinning their wheels despite a lot of things going on in each episode. It was fun but lacking that spark that made the earlier episodes more than just quotable pop culture romps.

Other than the recent Halloween special (which was more of a hype man for the new season than anything else) there has not been a regular episode since November 21, 2010. I did hear quite a bit of rumbling on the day that the new episode came out that people were not than enthusiastic about the return and perhaps they should have let the 4th season be the finale. And the last one hour episode would not have been the worst place to end things all things considered. But the Internet loves to be a group of snarky bastards who claim that everything is over or sycophantic fanboys who can’t see anything in front of them so it’s hard to it as any gauge of quality.

Maybe it is merely a case of absence making the heart grow fonder but I have been majorly grooving the first three episodes of the new season. In retrospect the Halloween special seemed like a strong return to form. But it is much harder to make a solid season than lead with a strong beginning and then never live up to that start. So far I don’t see that happening. I mean I might get a flood of comments about how the is the WORST … SEASON … EVER but that would require us to get comments. But so far I have not really heard hide nor hare about opinions of the new season. But I have been on Twitter much less lately so that might have a lot to do with that.

But I think the key to the new season is it feels fresh. As much as I said this season is a return to form in many ways by changing things up a little while still keeping things authentic it feels like some real progress. The main problem with season four is it felt that no matter what happened or what changed the whole things was just movement in place. A mile run in a circle still bring you back to the same place you started. The new season just has a different feeling of momentum. And it feels great.

Oh but really I want to see Dr. Orpheus this season. I love that guy. Something about his Doctor Strange melodrama turned up to c (because sometimes even 11 is just too small a number) just tickles my fancy.

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.

Continue reading

NY Comic Con 2011: Venture Bros.

I will be the first to admit while I think we here at Reverse Thieves do a fine job as press we are hardly big time when it comes to media outlets. This is doubly true when you leave the anime universe and go to something like the NYCC. So when I am allowed access to a real deal press panel I feel pretty good about the site and what we do especially when it involves a show I care about like the Venture Brothers. I was a bit surprised that Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick seemed to know several members of the press quite well. I suppose when you work the nerdy entertainment circuit long enough certain faces become commonplace but it was still something I had never seen before. I had originally planned to put up my audio of the press panel but I found this much nicer video on the Venture Brother Blog.

Continue reading