Week 1

Jul. 5th, 2014 08:18 pm
the24thkey: (Default)
[personal profile] the24thkey
Hello there, Internets! How's it going? Guess who's (almost) done with Uni? :DDDD Final exams are over, and as long as I didn't fail horribly, all that's left is the oral exam in September and then I'll get my Bachelor of Laws! Hopefully. <.<

While I wait for the results, I have the entirety of July off from work/classes, and aside from editing podfic and exercising, I want to use all this free time to watch A LL OF THE MOVIES and ALL OF THE TV SHOWS and read ALL OF THE MANGA. I made a list and everything. And then I figured, hey, might as well write up some of the stuff I do. So here it is, week 1 of the stuff I watched! (More like 1 and a half weeks, really.) (Whatever.) (Also I contemplated naming this series of posts 'Eternal Summer' b/c Free!, but in the end I didn't.) (Y'all should appreciate my restraint.) (Hah.)

First up, things I ended up revisiting.


Rurouni Kenshin:

This wasn't actually on my list. Or, well, rereading all 28 volumes of the manga wasn't, but the movie was, so let's start with that. I thought it was very well done, and I love, love, LOVE the guy they cast as Kenshin. What a cutie. The music in general was nice enough, but the piece I most enjoyed was the villain's theme, it was great. The story was...okay? I can tell why they decided to combine the story lines that they used, but then again throwing all these characters together so quickly didn't allow for a lot of character development. Not sure how well it would work for someone who isn't in it for the characters they already know and are attached to. Speaking of, my darling, my baby, my forever boy, Zanbatou no Sanosuke, was...kind of...well...I was kind of disappointed with how he was portrayed? Of course, making his hair style and his fighting style look cool in a more-or-less realistic movie isn't easy, but still. :/ He looks so much cooler in the manga.

As for Kaoru, I liked her actress, but spent the whole movie wishing she got more to do. This lead to me rereading the manga to find out if she really was a damsel-y as the movie made her look, or if my memory of her as a cool character held up. I last read the manga maybe 9 or 10 years ago, back when my sister collected it. As it turns out, I never actually read past the Kyoto arc, so the last few volumes were new to me. The first thing I noticed was that the art is still really, really gorgeous. Seriously. Also, I was surprised how good and vivid my memory of the series was. Sanosuke's introduction, for example, matched up perfectly with how I remembered it (and dear god, hello there, almost-forgotten crush on a super hot fictional character), and many other scenes gave me a very strong sense of 'yes, I know this scene, this exact image'. As for the story, up until the end of the Kyoto arc I enjoyed it immensely, but the final arc was kind of...eh, IDK. There were good parts to it, like Kenshin's past, but the Kyoto fights had a lot more impact on me. Also, while it made me cry, (SPOILER!) the part with Kaoru's death ended up feeling a bit silly.

That's quite a good description for the whole last arc, actually. It gave me strong emotional reactions, yet ended up feeling a bit cheap when compared to earlier parts of the story. I also spent the whole time getting more and more frustrated that Kaoru didn't get to do anything. I can understand her not getting some fights, even if I had liked to see that. But as the second most important character, how come she gets less development, less backstory and just plain zero chapters of her own when compared to Sanosuke and especially Yahiko, who is a) ten years old and b) her goddamn student? She deserved better. Anyway. The ending left me mostly satisfied. I was a bit disappointed that Yutaro never properly came back, only being mentioned as opposed to being 'on-screen'. Also I wanted Sanosuke to stay/return/be shown in the epilogue, but that's just me playing favourites. I mean, have you seen the way the boy is drawn? Hot damn. 
 
Kingdom Hearts:

I watched cut scene compilations of Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance recently, and then ordered the HD Remastered version of Kingdom Hearts 1.5, including Chain of Memories and 358/2 Days, meaning I got the following: Wayfinder Trio feelings, Aqua-queen-of-my-heart-feelings, Axel feelings, Original Trio feelings, more Axel feelings, Sea Salt Trio feelings, Xion feelings, Roxas feelings, Axel/Roxas feelings, MORE AXEL FEELINGS. *flops over* It's just...more than I can handle tbh. My body is so not ready for the release of Kingdom Hearts 2.5, but OMG I want it now. Just let me cry over my bbs in HD.

Baccano:

I didn't mean to rewatch Baccano, but since I ordered the DVD set as part of my yay-I-survived-Uni celebration I ended up doing it anyway. This was the third (or maybe fourth?) time I've seen this show, and as always it was the greatest. THE GREATEST. The non-linear storytelling! The characters! The incredibly amazing music! Interestingly, every rewatch makes me pay attention to different things and different characters. It's fitting, really, since a big part of Baccano is the fact that there is no single main character. The first time I watched it, I remember being instantly attached to Firo. Now, my attention was much more drawn to Isaac and Miria, while my affection for Claire seems to grow steadily with each time I watch the show. Oh Claire, you crazy bastard. That said, my steady favourite may just be Luck. What can I say, he's really pretty. ;D 

Sword of the Stranger Soundtrack:

Sometime this month I will inevitably end up watching this movie again, because it is wonderful and gorgeous and one of my favourites. Not yet, though. However, I got my hands on the soundtrack the other day and have been listening to it more or less non-stop. The music was always a big part of why I loved the movie, but it also stands on its own really, really well. I highly recommend it.

On to the new-to-me stuff!

In the Flesh:

I started watching In the Flesh on the morning of my move back home and finished it that evening. My emotional and physical exhaustion might've played a tiny part in how much it affected me, but honestly? I think I would've cried just as much no matter when I watched it. And oh, did I ever cry. This show. THIS SHOW. Tumblr likes to refer to it as 'queer zombies', which is fitting, but also shouldn't deter anyone from watching. I don't like zombies, but this show is about so much more than that. Also there is only minimal brain-eating. Anyway. My new goal in life is to make everyone watch In the Flesh, because it blew my mind and broke my heart and then pieced everything back together and it is my new favourite thing. The characters. Oh god, I love all of them so much. Kieren, Amy, Jem, Simon, my babies. <3 Their development and their relationships are handled so, so well, it really is amazing. It also looks really good and creates a great atmosphere. And I may have made frankly alarming sobbing noises for the last ~10 minutes of both season finales, and it may have wrecked me emotionally. But it did it in a good, eventually satisfying way. Well. As long as we get a third season. 

Seriously though, it's only 9 episodes. Please, please give it a try. It's incredibly good and I need someone to come have feelings about this with me.

The Raid (+sequel):

I saw The Raid recommended as a great Martial Arts movie. I love Martial Arts. I've never seen any Martial Arts movies, though, and I think now I know why. If the Raid is at all representative, this is just not my genre. I can't exactly say I disliked the first movie, in the end I got surprisingly invested in the story. As soon as Andi got involved I got interested, and once everyone ran out of ammo I started actually paying attention to the action. The story, stripped down as it is, ends up compelling and made me care for the main character, Rama. However, I really wish I could've watched this with subtitles, because the English dub is ATROCIOUS. I've never heard anything quite on this level of badness, it's so weird.

Raid 2, meanwhile, could've benefited from a more stripped-down plot. After the prison release, almost every scene that is not focusing on Rama bored the hell out of me. I ended up skipping quite a few of them because I just couldn't have cared less. The final ~30 minutes (i.e. when shit starts going down) were pretty good, but I really wish the had condensed the middle part of the movie. Who cares about Uco and his daddy issues, anyway? Sure as hell not me. Alternatively, they could have given all his screen time to Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man. They were awesome. Oh, and I was also kind of disappointed from the get-go, because of what happens in the very first scene. I wish that character could've been part of the story.

Pacific Rim:

Finally! I watched Pacific Rim! I've been meaning to since it came out, yet somehow, I never did. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's just a lot of fun to watch! The CGI looks great, as does the film in general. Honestly though - I knew people would die, I've been absorbing plot points through fannish osmosis for a year already, but...how come noone told me how sad it would make me? I didn't expect all that crying! D: Also, I wish we could've gotten to know the Russian and Chinese Jaeger teams. Maybe in the newly announced animated series? They seemed like cool characters. Anyway. Mako is the best, Raleigh being a Mako fanboy is also the best, I have no idea what the sequel will be about but I'm sure as hell looking forward to it. 

Haikyuu!!:

So this is kind of cheating, Haikyuu doesn't really belong here. It's been running for a while now and I've been watching it regularly, it didn't go on my list. However, Haikyuu is my favourite ongoing anime at the moment, and probably my favourite sports anime out of all the ones I've seen. Except maybe Chihayafuru, if you count that as a sports anime. Anyway. Haikyuu is about volleyball, which I've always despised because I suck at it (no really, words can't describe how bad I am at volleyball), but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the hell out of this story. It's a lot more realistic than, say, Kuroko no Basuke, probably on a realism level with Ookiku furikabutte. The characters are THE BEST, and I love all of them, and they get lots of development - lots of which has left me crying because I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. As in, happy/excited crying, not sad crying. <.<

I'd also recommend reading the manga, because it's lovely and funny and awesome, and the anime can't pick up every single scene. However, the anime does a great job of showcasing the (many, many) instances of physical humour and making them shine. The amount of hilarious gifs that come out of a single episode is ridiculous. Interestingly, while I wasn't very impressed with the OP/ED songs at first, over time they really grew on me, probably because of my emotional attachment to the anime itself. The full version of the ED, Tenchi Gaeshi, is especially happy-chills-inducing.

Tumblr has gotten me rather obsessed with Mama Suga & Papa Daichi, but there are just so many great characters - Hinata & Kageyama! Kiyoko and Yachi! Nishinoya and Asahi! Kuroo and Kenma! Ukai and Take-chan! There are a lot of awesome duos. XD (Poor Tanaka, forever alone~)

Radio dramas:

I went on a surprise downloading spree for various drama CDs and radio dramas the other day. Since my Japanese isn't good enough yet, I never really had any use for dramas aside from reading translations of them. A while ago I came across a lot of Project K dramas, though, and Yata and Fushimi fighting is hilarious even when I can't understand most of what they're saying. I listened to them a lot and was surprised at how much I was able to pick up after a few times, so I decided to ~branch out~, so to speak. CLAMP's Shiritsu Horitsuba Gakuen crossover dramas are surprisingly easy to follow and really funny. Meanwhile, all the xxxholic ones I found seem to be a bit beyond me. My new proficiency goal is getting good enough at Japanese to understand Doumeki's part of the xxxholic Kei drama CD, because from what I can tell it's about Watanuki dreaming (?) and talking to both Doumeki and Haruka-san, among other things about what type of girl they like. It get the feeling it's pretty hilarious. :D

I also found some Weiss Kreuz Dramas, which are really well done (I guess that's to be expected from a series that started out with dramas). Sadly, I couldn't find even half of the ones that exist - seems like I'm a few years to late for that. Or maybe my google-fu is failing me. Either way, it's a shame. There's one I'd like to listen to in particular, because from what I can tell it's sort of an omake? Or at least something funny, as opposed of the other, serious case stories. Man, this has given me some serious Weiss Kreuz nostalgia. Maybe I'll watch the anime again sometime.

Date: 2014-07-08 10:19 am (UTC)
sylvaine: Riza Hawk pointing a gun at the viewer with a fierce expression on her face. ([anime:FMA] Riza is badass)
From: [personal profile] sylvaine
*chinhands* Media post! eeeee

(aaaand yep, I don't have much else to say XD just that I enjoyed reading your thoughts ^^)

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