“Doctor, I have a problem… no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the lower part of my body. It’s a different kind of a problem – if I wanted to briefly describe it – it’s like a constant never ending deja vu. Right now I’m feeling like we had this conversation, time and time again… it’s maddening, please help me Doc. There is a cure, really? What? There are also bad news? You’re buying yourself a new BMW? I’ happy for you but what has that got to do with… let me guess, I’ paying for it.”
My first encounter with “Detective Conan” (a.k.a. “Case Closed”)was the anime aired on a certain anime-friendly nazi channel, RTLII. Unfortunately, being anime-friendly also included pseudo-anime and those series with 100+ episodes. A mixed bag with “Detective Conan” and “One Piece” saving the day at the end.
Anyway, the summery:
Shinichi Kudo is a 17-year-old high school prodigy who frequently helps the police to solve cases. During an investigation, he is attacked by two criminals, codenamed Gin and Vodka, from the syndicate called the Black Organization. They force him to ingest an experimental poison, APTX 4869, which is supposed to kill him, and leave him to die. A rare side-effect of the poison, however, transforms Kudo’s body into that of a child instead of killing him.
Adopting the pseudonym Conan Edogawa, Kudo hides his identity to investigate the Black Organization. He intends to pretend to be a child until he can find enough evidence to apprehend the syndicate, after which he can then safely find and administer a cure for his current condition.
Now it’s time for some incoherent rambling, where do I start? Hmm, might as well go with the main problem this series experiences, mainly – IT CAN’T FUCKING END – it has been stretched beyond any boarders of reason and consistency (this isn’t a statement, it’s a fact).
“DC” has an episodic structure, like most criminal shows each episode (there are also a few multi-parters) represents a different case. Mostly murder but not only – thanks to this this anime gets not as much boring as repetitive somewhere around ep.300 and not ep.100. Furthermore, there is the story arc with the “Black Organization”.
Now let me tell you something about the story arc – it’s drown in so much filler that it could make a London Class Heavy Cruiser float without a problem. If you want to experience this phenomen in it’s purest form go read the manga, how long can you last before you start fast-forwarding all the murder cases to get to the only interesting stuff, that would be the Black Organization and the duels with Master Thief Kid.
Damn it, at first it was really fun to watch. The general concept of the mysteries was solid (to say the truth it still is but after seeing a similar case for the fifth hundred time there really is no excuse to not get tired of it), there was even some character development I can easily recall – like in that episode at the beginning where the ongoing motive was Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No. 14″ popularly known as the “Moonlight Sonata”. Unfortunately, such moments are covered under a pile of preaching instead some meaningful maturing of the main protagonist.
Anyway, the “Black Organization” – as the name suggests – is a “low profile” (read: secret) international crime syndicate dealing in everything that brings big bucks – assassination, blackmail, corporate espionage etc. Conan/Shinichi’s first meeting with them ends almost tragically for him as can be read in the summary. His second meeting (now in a body of a child) is a bit more subtle. Well, that depends if you can call a bomb on the famous Shinkansen a.k.a. Bullet-Train subtle.
Ok, lets check what the “How to be an Evil Secret Crime Organization 101″ has to say about this. The chapter we are looking for is… umm… here it is… How to keep your secret organization secret – when trying to kill a person make sure it doesn’t look like an assassination. Preferred scenario: car accident, heart failure, suicide. What you shouldn’t do under any circumstance is to try to use high-explosives in a public place. This will attract national and international attention. You will have every police asset looking for you and they will find you.
That’s one major shot-yourself-in-the-foot right there at the beginning. Funnily, this in not my main complain… at least not in this paragraph. My main complaint right now is about how much solid clues Conan/Shinichi finds out about the Organization through those scarce episodes that deal with the main story arc. That would be what? Code-names, a telephone number and a identity of a person that seem to be an Immortal. It’s fucking pathetic.
What is even more pathetic is the excuse Conan/Shinichi’s uses for not telling the police about his “condition” and it’s cause. It basically goes something like this: “I can’t tell the police about this because as soon as they start looking into it the “BO” will find out what really happened and they will kill me and those close to me”. It’s so stupid it’s not even funny.
First of all, I understand the effort to operate in the shadows when you are outnumbered and outgunned. The problem here is that your opponent is also covered by the shadows. Engaging them on their turf and in similar conditions is not a good tactic. Why? Because you are not facing an equal opponent.
This another thing that baffles me about Conan/Shinichi. For someone as righteous, he doesn’t understand that by not being aggressive enough towards “BO” people die. The more time passes the more people perish because one “smart” detective can’t find enough ruthlessness to directly engage scum who kill without a second thought. Furthermore, apparently he is also oblivious to the stakes he himself bet on this game, by stakes I mean the lives of his parents, friends and lover.
Dude! The moment you fuck up it’s over and not only for you! So pull your head out of your ass and let the fools that stand before you be destroyed! (Ahem, sorry. Been recapping “Slayers” lately). Don’t know how to start? How about pulling them out of the shadows they relay so much on? How? Get proof that they exist. Oh yeah, right, they don’t leave any evidence besides a trail of bodies. Hmm, that could actually be what people call poetic justice… kill them.
That’s right, neutralize them, plant “evidence” of who they are. After that call that Inspector you are friends with, give him a few other “pointers”. If the cops are really thick go along with the “anonymous tip”. You’re smart, you will think of something. Not to mention as more “BO” operatives come into town and opportunities arise.
One other thing that I wanted to say. What motivated me enough to write all this was not the anime or manga alone. It normally would just lay there in the “not giving enough shit to rant about” if… if not for the 13th movie – “The Raven Chaser”. It’s like somebody wanted to deliberately troll the audience by taking the “DC” to the EXTREME, will at the same time locking the setting in the basement. The highlight of the movie was probably the moment when four “BO” agents appeared in something that looked like a bastard child of a AH-64 and CH-54 (What, the Ruskis suddenly stopped their year-round sale of military hardware? Buy yourself a fucking Mi-24!) and started gunning down one of the highest structures in the city. Because this is what secret crime syndicates do, they use an attack-chopper to kill one dude. Fucking showoffs.
Trivia – there are currently 608 eps. of “Detective Conan”, lets assume that a case (episode) occurs every three days, simple calculation – 608*3=1824/365,25=5. That’s FIVE fucking years. Don’t you think someone is leaving himself too much time? If Kudo won’t hurry the fuck up he won’t need that cure to grow up. Or will he? It seems the time in this universe doesn’t flow, or it flows very, very slowly.
God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all anime were full of emo. So God looked at the cause, and behold, “Neon Genesis Evangelion” was the root of the corruption. “REPENT!” – said he, pointing at a certain animation studio – “AND SHOULD IT NOT ROCK I WILL CAST YOU INTO OBLIVION!”. And so GAINAX proceeded to make their flagship-anime of this millennium.
Continuing GAINAX’s proud tradition of “full speed ahead and damn the source material” we get “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann”, the (literally):
- most epic
- most awesome
- most amazing
- most manly
- most soul and mind gripping
…anime experience you can imagine. I guarantee, the things that you will witness will make you cry… real manly tears.
In the distant future, people build their homes and raise domestic animals in subterranean caverns called “pits”. This way of life has persisted for hundreds of years, and yet, the people are still powerless against the earthquakes and cave-ins which occasionally devastate their villages. Jeeha is one such village…
One day, while digging tunnels to expand Jeeha’s edges, a boy named Simon happens to find a small, shiny drill. Meanwhile, Kamina — Simon’s soon-to-be “bro” — insists that there is another land above the village and tries to break through the ceiling in order to leave the cavern. He fails; however, an earthquake suddenly occurs, the ceiling collapses, and a gigantic robot — a “Ganmen” — crashes to the cave floor!
Kamina is now certain that there is a world above their tiny pit-village. Encouraged, he begins to fight recklessly against the robot, until he encounters another person who has arrived from the land above. She is a beautiful girl by the name of Youko, who has come from a neighbouring village with a rifle in hand. She has been hunting the robot, but her shots only seem to irritate it. Desperately trying to escape its attacks, Simon brings Kamina and Yoko to what he had previously found: A mysterious robot with a head for a body.
And so begins the “epic” adventure…
To best describe this TTGL – it’s like watching a great anime while being totally stoned with the best weed you can get. GAINAX reached the top with this one, I doubt they will be able to go any higher… then again, with enough will you can pierce the heavens.
“Please Judge! I swear it wasn’t my intention to assault this title. It was a total accident that we even met. I only saw the first 20min and already reached for the shotgun… What? The Swissknife? Well, after noticing that the lock in the closet in which I keep all my firearms has jammed I reach for the next best thing.”
Ok, for those who may not know – “Appleseed: Ex Machina” (2007) is the 2nd movie after “Appleseed” (2004) which was based on a manga under the same name created by Masamune Shirow (yeah, the GiTS dude – *I am not worthy**I am not worthy**I am not worthy*).
So about he first movie, the CGI was – I guess – so-so for 2004, it didn’t really aged well. Besides that “Appleseed” was good… not great, but good. The fight scenes choreography was done well, the female lead actually felt human, story wasn’t too transparent, the writers concentrated on the tensions between Humans and Bioroids… as they should have. It also felt a bit cyberpunkish. There was also the soundtrack – this plays during the opening credits and a few minutes later this.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a second movie out… for something like four years. Oh goody – I thought – something entertaining to watch for the evening. Here is a number of thoughts that past through my head while watching the first 20min of “Appleseed: Ex Machina” (that’s how long I watched it before hitting STOP):
1. *Two troop transports fly between the buildings* Late XVIII buildings in an post-apocalyptic utopian future? ESWAT changed their awesome tiltrotor planes to flying eggs? Ok, so they changed the setting a bit, this is not necessary a bad thing – my gut was telling me something different but I ignored it. How naive of me.
2. *Troops in the transport are getting ready* The ESWAT is engaging cyborgs without any Landmate (Battle-Armor) support? Yeah, I understand this is a hostage situation in an enclosed space but not even a few of them in case that the situation goes belly up… like it usually does? Besides, cyborgs are no pushovers as far as I remember from the first movie.
3. *Opening Credits: Produced by John Woo* Wow, you mean THE John Woo?
4. *Deunan uses a sleek move to get to the roof and eliminate the sentry at the same time* This is strange. Did she shoot that guy in the head? What I saw is a close up of our protagonist and some fragments flying from off-screen. Hmm, if they actually showed the dude bitting the bullet it would be three time as cool. They did exactly that a movie earlier, glorious slow-mo included.
5. *The most pathetic excuse for a fire-fight ensues after which you will wish Woo would be directing this* Wow, just wow.
6. *Poseidon emissary arrives* Wait, was Athena ever that hot? – Of course not. Nike was the hot one, Athena was just old.
7. *Deunan confronts the Construction Landmate* Wait, why is she still trying to stop that mecha, the ESWAT has already arrived… and they have guns. Just ask the guy to surrender, that’s all – You know what is worse then stupid bravado? Pointless bravado.
8. *A Bioroid is cloned from Briareos DNA. Deunan is ordered to become his partner to “bring out his full potential”*
Ok, let’s stop here and think about this for a moment. We have two lovers from which, one lost his body and had to became a cyborg to survive, the second one still a full fledge human. Now let’s add to this equivalent a third person, a clone of the lover who is now the cyborg. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in human psychology to know that this will not end well.
And yes, I understand Bioroids had their emotions suppressed and may not exactly understand what this love triangle will result in (envy, lust, hate, guilt, grief etc). Then again you don’t have to understand how exactly a 82mm mortar shell works to know that tossing it into the fire WILL NOT END WELL.
A hell, fuck the moral issue. What about the legal issue? Don’t they have any laws in this society against this type of shit? If this would be the GiTS universe Section 9 would be going ballistic on Olympus ass.
Wait, another thought just occurred to me – If Briareos and Deunan work in ESWAT on the same terms why did they go with the first one if they wanted the superior soldier material? I think it’s pointless to argue which one of them was faster, smarter, stronger to still have an organic body.
Ugh my head hurts, I’m thinking too much about this, let’s get back to the numbers.
9. *Deunan acts like a hyperactive mentally handicapped (read: retarded) prepubescent girl every time she does or says something (point 5, 7, 8 and a few less important moments)* Isn’t this like the opposite of what she was in the first movie? – all of this was accompanied by a strangely familiar feeling, a familiarity I couldn’t put a finger on… yet.
10. *Hitomi’s birthday party* Good god, every male participant looks like a fucking fag, wonder what kind of a dress Deunan will have? Probably something red and… :headdesk: WHAT THE FUCK!?! What the fuck is that get-up? She looks like a fucking nun! And why are all those faggots gasping, she lost any sexappel she ever… wait… “faggots”, that’s it… SWEET POT SMOKING JESUS!
It all became clear at that moment. The familiar feeling was the one I got when watching a really shitty JRPG cutscens. In short – characters don’t make sense, the story also… and nobody has any taste in clothing. Beautiful, a JRPG writer wannabe doing a script for a movie. What could go wrong?
All in all, to totally fuck up a movie in the first twenty minutes, it has to be a new record. This of course aroused my curiosity so I did some serious research (I checked wikipedia). There are four things I wanted to underline:
- the first “Appleseed” was rated “R”, this one on the other hand got the “PG-13″ tag (I think I got my answer for point 4). Now, folks. You don’t have to be a film critic to understand that when a sequel gets a lower MPAA (or whatever the fuck they call it) rating, something is clearly afloat. Ever heard the term “kiddy-friendly”?
- (now this came as a surprise) both movies were directed by the same dude. Taking into account how different they are you have to think – either this guy is not cut out to be a director or he spend his whole time drinking sake and scratching his balls… and the writers were let loose on a rampage.
- about the writers (dudes responsible for the screenplay in this case). There were two responsible for the first movie – Haruka Handa and Tsutomu Kamishiro. The second movie had one – Kiyoto Takeuchi. Now, if you check them out, their work I mean. You will probably come to the same conclusion and the answer why Ex Machina is what it is.
- and last (this one actually made me fell out of my chair) concerning that horrible dress Deunan wore. It was actually designed, designed by Miuccia Prada… you know, one of those professional fashion people. The person who came up with this idea (to employ Prada) should be taken behind a barn and shot in the back of the head. Seriously, do I have to explain everything here? For a dress to be hot it has to fulfill one of the two basic requirements: it has to have a cleavage or be tight around certain parts. This isn’t fucking rocket science people.
The conclusion of this rant is that “Appleseed: Ex Machina” did everything wrong what “Appleseed” did right. And it’s bad, no wonder that I never heard about it. Who would want to speak about this piece of shit.
Anybody here? Hello? Good god, the dust has already covered most of the font. I knew that I was away for a long time but come on.
- Looks like I finally managed to finish “Sengoku Rance Let’s Play” down at the RPGCodex forum. A lot of LULZ had been had… not to mention all the porn. If you are wondering, no, “Sengoku Rance” or “Rance VII” is not so-bod-it’s-good. Quite the opposite really, it’s a truly great game.
- It also looks like I finally managed to come down from my Bad Book Trip (state in which you can’t stop reading). Luckily for me, or unluckily – depending how you look at it – I pretty much managed to read everything Military-SciFi/Space Opera that was worth reading… and some stuff that wasn’t (I’m looking at you Horse-Lady and you Dancing-With-The-Sheep).
Anyway, I’m going back to watching/reading anime/manga again. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there was a sudden incline in quality during my absence – no surprise there. Well, I still have some older shows on my to-watch-list.
Once upon a time, there was a wolf. People used to call him WhiskeyWolf because… well, just because. The wolf once confessed that he hated (for a reason) a certain type of manga. It was the dreaded shoujo (Josei, hehe right).
But because life is not black&white there will always be exceptions, “Midnight Secretary” is one of them. I remember that several times I read the summary of this manga but never got to check it out. Why?
For those who don’t understand, let me help you.
Imagine my surprise when I noticed that this is absolute fucking bullshit. There is a lot of fucking, true. But everything is consensual. Where the hell is the offence in that, people are just getting laid.
Oh yeah… the summery, I almost forgot:
Kaya thought she had found the perfect job when she became the private secretary of Kyouhei Touma–the director of a tableware company of the same name. Kyouhei is a capable director, but his arrogance and sluttish behaviour are almost legendary. Kaya is doing her best to prove that she is capable in her work, but one night, by accident, she discovers his secret… He is a vampire!
This is a pretty accurate description. Basically, we have a boss teasing his secretary… or maybe not. Probably the thing that distinguishes “Midnight Secretary” (yeah, I know it sound like a title of a porno movie) most from the rest of the shoujos is the female lead.
She’s smart, collected and takes the initiative. She is what 95% of other female leads in this genre are not. This should be the standard which other authors pursue… but that will never happen.
Hideo Kojima has once again confirmed his intentions to develop Zone of the Enders 3. While this sequel is planned for some time now, Kojima Productions has not been able to begin this project because of the three other games that are in development at the studio at the moment. However, Kojima promised that once these games were released, his team would start working on Zone of the Enders 3.
Asked by JeuxVideo about the rumor of a new installment in the Zone of the Enders series, Kojima replied that “Actually, this is not a rumor (laughs). My team and I want to develop a new Zone of the Enders, but it turns out that Kojima Productions has limited resources in terms of teams and directors. So at this stage we have not yet had time to work on Zone of the Enders 3, so therefore it has been postponed. However, I think after Metal Gears Solid: Rising, I will seriously look at Zone of the Enders.”
Zone of the Enders is a mech suit combat game set in the late 22nd century when Mars and the moons around Jupiter were colonized by humans. However, those remaining on Earth start to look down on the colonists, imposing unfair laws and taxes. A kind of civil war ensues and the player fills in the shoes of one of the mech pilots fighting for good or evil in this conflict.
Kojima mentioned in the interview that not only the two Metal Gear Solid titles, Rising and Snake Eater 3D, are taking up all his time, but also the third unannounced game he has been teasing for a while now. “We are working on three projects simultaneously: Metal Gear Solid: Rising, the port of the MGS franchise on 3DS and then another title that should be quite important and that I want to take care of the implementation and design.” He talked about this mysterious new project before as being one of the most important games he had ever worked on. He also said it would break many taboos and that if it failed, he would have to retreat from the industry.
From those that I tried I remember the titles of four, mainly for how dreadfully boring most of them were. One of those was “Ai Yori Aoshi”, now this turd deserves a special mention.
Normally, right about now I should be giving you the plot synopsis… but I won’t. The summaries I found on different sites are pretty fucking vague and leave out a chunk of mandatory details. Write my own summary? This title doesn’t deserve it.
The things you should know are:
- two wealthy/powerful families deicide a long time ago that their children will marry
- but somewhere along the way the boy decided to leave his family (which he came to hate) and now lives a modest life
- thus the marriage is cancelled… but the girl still loves the boy
So, why I choose to talk about this manga? Well, when I started reading the first chapter I experienced a sort of revelation of knowing the whole of it. If what I’m saying sounds a bit too mambo-jambo then let me paraphrase – if you have enough perception and some basic understanding of manga/anime you pretty much know what you will find in “Ai Yori Aoshi”. The beginning and ending is pretty much the only place plot related, the rest (there’s 17 volumes of it) is just dicking around which should be skipped because it’s fucking boring.
Of course there is other stuff worth ranting about. Like the main dude being totally disinterested at what is happening around him or the “villain” at the end being butthurt for the sake of being butthurt.
If you ask me this may as well be the the worst harem-manga in existence.