Week in Review, 12/22 – 12/28

probably american


Not going to bother getting into the episodes I watched this week to close out series, as I covered series finished in another post and with anything additional I feel like explicating upon, well, series review posts haven’t happened yet. I will say that I sincerely hope that the folks who worked on Kyousogiga are allowed more opportunities to let their imaginations and talents run wild, as that was a seriously enthralled show.

Hikaru no Go, ep. 32 – 44

I tend to watch this in spurts; I can recognize that it’s good when I walk away from it, but I inevitably end up letting currently airing shows edge it out when it comes time for my small bit of leisure time. Once I start watching, though, I find myself repeatedly saying, “Ok, just one more episode.”, only to queue up the next episode anyway, making another empty promise to myself. Hikaru no Go is seriously addictive.

Hikaru and his friends participating in the professional test close out the gap between the prelims and the main test, spending some more time in go parlors. We get a somewhat uncomfortable episode involving a go parlor that is dominated by Korean immigrants – Isumi hesitates before going in while staring hard at the Korean on the sign, and I sighed inwardly a little. It turned out to actually not be terrible, but some of the bits in it remained a little discomfiting given Japan’s general attitude toward Koreans and immigrants more generally.

I have admittedly spent a decent amount of each episode skipping extraneous material, such as slow pans of the room and repetitive shots to every single character’s face as they stare hard at the go board they’re using. Even with the matches themselves I’ve been skipping a bit – watching an animated go board have stones placed on it isn’t terribly fascinating stuff. When it comes to making each match intriguing, I think Shion no Ou absolutely has the advantage over Hikaru no Go.

I can’t stand Ochi. On the one hand, that he gets so angry at Akira is completely understandable; on the other hand, Ochi’s pretty much a self-centered asshole to everyone he encounters, so its hard to feel much sympathy toward him even when he is being treated poorly. Meanwhile, Waya continues to offend all that is good, pure, and wonderful in the world with his hideous love for terrible camo-print clothing, from pants to shirts to horrid turtleneck-things with blue sleeves and stars. Willing to bet he beats out Isumi for final pro slot, though – Isumi definitely has the air of tragedy about him.

Macross 7, ep. 1 – 10

There is something amusing to me that the first iteration of the Macross franchise I’ve been able to actually get into is the one that seems to be a perennial punching bag. (I should try to give Do You Remember Love? another chance, though.) Macross has never really clicked with me like Gundam has, I suspect because I’m a bit hostile to shows involving idols off the bat (although I’m not totally opposed to them, clearly, as I truly enjoyed AKB0048, which is also a Shoji Kawamori baby). Macross 7 has a rock band, therefore it doesn’t force me to sit through the agonies of Space Bunny and My Boyfriend is a Pilot, etc., which makes a huge difference in terms of my viewing pleasure.

The two big criticisms of this show – “It’s really repetitive!” and “It’s really stupid!” – seem to have been vastly over-stated in fandom. While there is repetition to these episodes, it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to that of Sailor Moon and Pretty Cure, or stuff like the first season of Digimon or the earlier Pokemon seasons. And while there is certainly plenty of silliness to go around, I find it much less stupid than a lot of other giant robot fare. Basara is  a fair bit stupid, but ultimately he’s just quite weird. If anything, it seems kind of dumb that in a society that was saved by singing at aliens his own efforts to sing at aliens would be viewed as totally pointless.

Gamlin’s interest in Mylene feels creepy to me. He’s nineteen, an officer and military college graduate, and she’s in junior high (not that she seems to attend at all) and definitely behaves like a young teenager. Creepy. Put another way, consider that Mylene is meant to be two years younger than Ranka Lee.

I’m actually a bit disappointed so far. I’m enjoying it but was expecting a much more gleefully idiotic tale.

Someday’s Dreamers, ep. 1 – 2

This was one of those shows that fans who considered themselves a bit up the foodchain from your Naruto and Sailor Moon-loving lot went on about a lot early in the 2000’s. I somehow never got around to it despite it having been released in about a thousand different releases before Geneon imploded; it looked like it’d be up my alley, but I was buying other things at the time on my miniscule allowance, and the Chinese video rental store in my hometown didn’t stock bootlegs of it. So, here I am, about ten years later, having finally picked it up in a sale from Rightstuf.

Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a show with such wretched sound-mixing. I tried switching to a DVD player and TV from my laptop, but it made no difference whatsoever, nor did trying to watch the dub. This would seem to imply that the issue happened with either Sentai, or with Geneon, as Sentai is simply re-using their dub (and their subs, for that matter). Wherever the issue is, it makes the entire thing borderline unwatchable, as the characters’ voices are nearly impossible to hear over the BGM and background sounds.

Mind you, I’ve found the whole affair pretty lacklustre so far, anyway. The characters are archetypes, which makes the story boring since there’s no reason to care about what happens. Slice of life isn’t an excuse to have dully pleasant characters; if anything, in slice of life the characters must be more engaging than they’d have to be in any other show since the plot itself isn’t going to be much in the way of fireworks.

Anyway, the football game just started, and Someday’s Dreamers is boring, visually, plot-wise, character-wise, etc., so that’s that. I’ll probably give it another episode but I’m feeling pretty negative toward it.

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1 Response to Week in Review, 12/22 – 12/28

  1. Baphomet says:

    “Someday’s Dreamers” does one thing right: it explores its own setting. I perceived it as more about how magic is integrated into the world than about the characters and that I found really well done. Pretty much anything is covered, from the consequences of flaunting one’s abilities around over regulations and laws to completely going out of control with magic. The second installment, “Sora”, is focused on the characters more (they are still terrible).

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