DESCENDER: A MASTERPIECE OF TIN.

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I just finished reading Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars. It collects the first 6 issues of the currently running Image series written by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Essex Country), wih art by the amazing Dustin Nguyen (Li’l Gotham), and it was extraordinary. Merely 20 years ago you would be hard pressed to find an Image book which was considered a masterful work of fiction (excluding The Maxx, and mabye Spawn). But in recent years, when Image started moving away from 90’s superheroes (with pouches and belts galore) and started to focus on more interesting indie esque series, they became a comapny constantly ringing out 10s (ie. Invincible, East to West, and Paper Girls).

Alot of the appeal of Descender (at least for me) is the spectacular art by Dustin Nguyen. I’ve followed him for an incredibly long time, and he may very well be my favourtie current comic book artist. He can really bring the spectacular alien worlds, scenery, and characters to life using his incredibly interesting, and cartoon esque water colour paint style. The amount of white used in both the character designs of the UGC characters, and much of the background makes the use of color look even more stunning and stand out. This is one of the few comics where I actually stop to admire the art regularly, and that’s something special.

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Of course as we all know art is only half of a comic book, the writing is just as important. Jeff Lemire is one of my favourtie comic book writers ever, meaning that him and Dustin Nguyen teaming up for this book makes it an absolute dream for me. He has the profound ability to flesh out a world and it’s characters equally, and at the same time. Each of the few planets that we visit in Descender all feel intersting and origional. They all have their own destinct popuations, from one that only has robots left alive, to one popualted completely by robot hating pig esque alien things. The universe obviously has a deep hirstory and lore that I’m excited tofind out more about when I inevitabley buy  “Descender Volume 2: Machine Moon”.

Descender is interesting in the fact tha it is one of the few, truly great science fiction comics of the 2010s. Where as back in the 1950s and 60s so much of comics were space operas like Adam Strange, Star Wars, and Jak Kirby’s The Fourth World, but today we don’t have much of that. Of course we do have Thanos, Gaurdians of The Galaxy, and all of the Star Wars comics, but all of those are in an interconnected web which can, at best can kind of stand alone, and at worst are so bogged down in continuity that they drown under the weight of their own history. Descendeer isn’t like that, it’s new, fresh, and exremely exhilerating, the art is stunning, the writing is interesting, and the universe is spectaular. This comic is truly beautiful, and you should all go out and pick it up.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return, is seriously hilarious!

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Merely seven days ago the cult classic series MST3K got a brand new series on the streaming service Netflix. The series is 14 episodes long and is considered the eleventh season of the original series. Although in tone the series are very similar, the premise for this show is slightly different from the original 1980’s series. To quote the intro:

“In a not too distant future next Sunday AD. There was a guy named Jonah not too different from you or me. He worked at Gizmonic Institute just another mug in a yellow jumpsuit. A distress call came in for him at half-past noon. Now an evil organization trapped him on the dark side of the moon.” So now they make him watch cheesy old movies, and with the help of his robot friends, they make comedy commentaries on the aforementioned movies.

Even though the show is now backed by Netflix it doesn’t have huge production values. Only 6 million dollars for the whole 14 episode season. Because of this (relatively) low-budget, the show has a “hey kids lets put on a show” feel which is incredibly reminiscent of the original series.

Unfortunately, this season does not have any of the original actors, but it is helmed by Joel Hodgson (the original creator and host). The robots voices will take a bit for me to get used to, but they’re fine. The new host Jonah is pretty great though. Of course where this series truly shines is in the riffs. In the first episode (Reptilicus) there were quite a few gut laugh moments. But it gets turned up to eleven in episode two. There are hard laughs every few seconds, and sometimes the riffs get incredibly intricate.

But that’s really the joy of MST3K isn’t it? The feeling of sitting down with a few friends and watching a horribly amazing movie while cracking jokes, laughing and just having a grand old time. That’s truly what this show is about… I love it and I’m sure you will too.

MST3K is right here: http://www.club-mst3k.com/episodes/1-invaders-from-the-deep

Boku no Hero Academia Season 2 Episode 14 (First Reaction)

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Last year in the spring season an incredible show was released. This was one of the few new shounen series to really focus on the characters and their journey, not subverting shounen tropes (I.e. One Punch Man). This series was entitled Boku no Hero Academia, or as it’s known by most people, My Hero Academia. This season just under one year later the first episode of the second season was released.

I was HYPED for this new season of one of my favorite shows of last year. But oh boy, was this first episode a disappointment. the first ten minutes of this episode was expositional recap. But they were so incredibly lazy with it that they didn’t even make new animation cuts for this exposition. No, it was a One Piece style recap, way too long, and REALLY BORING. Although this section did have an important reveal. What appears to be the real name of All-Might (I don’t remember it right now).

The second half of the episode consisted of weird, fast-paced jokes and was almost consistently was set in one classroom. Eventually, they left and All Might told Izuku about a FUCKING SPORTS TOURNAMENT! Now back when I thought it was a battle tournament I was excited about that but know that I know what it really is, I’m not that excited anymore. Of course, I’m hoping that the writing still shines but I don’t know. Now that I’m guessing it’ll be more focused on the fights and the powers, not the characters.

Overall, the art is still just as spectacular and the writing is… fine. Even if most of it was summarizing the past season. I’m not going to be dropping yet it but if it stays at this quality consistently I’m going to be jumping ship. Well if you enjoyed this post please check out some of my other posts and if you have any comments or criticism leave it in the comments. I’ll see you in the next one.

Spider-man Season 1

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In 2012 Marvel had an idea to take some of their most popular characters (and Ant-man) and give them the Batman: Year One Treatment (the Year One line is trademark DC Comics). Edit: They decided to give them the season one of a TV show treatment (doesn’t sound as good but whatever). So of course with Spider-man being their most popular character they decided to give him one of these graphic novels, and it’s pretty mediocre.

Most of this graphic novel adapts Amazing Fantasy #15 (The Wall Crawler’s first appearance) but the remaining amount of the graphic novel adapts Amazing Spider-man #2(the first appearance of The Vulture). For some reason, they decided to skip issue 1 of The Amazing Spider-man which introduced the reoccurring character The Chameleon. Being a graphic novel the artist had more time to work on it and as such. Unfortunately, the writer DID NOT take this time to work on perfecting the script.

Spiderman Season One turns Uncle Ben (the almost mythical, inspirational character of Peter’s past) into a get-rich-quick scheme concocting old fool, much like Phoney Bone. Even though he is incredibly kind and is still the reason why Peter begins his quest on crime (that makes him sound like Batman but whatever). In fact, I would say ALL of the characterization in this book is off, other than Aunt May. The art is good, but not GOD TIER (of course, my god-tier when it comes to comic art is Alex Ross so…).

Neither Mary Jane or Gwen Stacey appear, instead, Peter Parkers love interest (for one dream sequence) is Sally Arvil, a character who is one again NOT characterised properly, being best friends with Flash Thompson, when in actuality she should be Peter’s friend. It takes half of the graphic novel for Uncle Ben to die and that makes the pacing of this comic so slow, especially when it only has around 160 pages to tell its story. Ultimate Spider-man was able to get away with this because it was an ongoing series. The only really worthwhile part of this graphic novel is when they do the “where are they now?” section and they show off issue one of the spectacular Avenging Spider-man, which is very sad.

overall score: 53/100

Hidamari Sketch Review

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Hidamari Sketch is, for lack of a better word, stylish. This show is just seeping with style from its core.But being a Shaft show, of course, that would be the case. But don’t let that intro trick you, Hidamari Sketch not only is full of style but also full of substance! The premise of this series centers around four girls living in the Hidamari Apartment building while attending an Art School just across the street. I know it’s a pretty simple premise but a lot of fun comes out of it.

Hidamari Sketch has some of the most likable characters of any anime I have ever seen. The four main girls in the series are probably the best characters (other than the principle). These four girls being Sae, Miyako, Yuno, and Hiro. I’ll start with Sae because she’s my favorite. She is a 16-year-old upper classman to Yuno and Miyako, as well as an established author. She is a workaholic, who is always up to the wire on finishing the chapters of her novel, through this she has a lot of really funny moments and her relationship with Hiro is amazing to watch. Hiro is 16-year-old and is Sae’s best friend and (possibly), girlfriend.She is obsessed with her weight and is on a different diet in every episode of the show. She is a constant supporter of Sae and is the one who helps her through her writing problems.

Miyako is a 15-year-old classmate to Yuno (the main character). She is an incredibly poor student who came from a family where they couldn’t afford much (hence why she lives in a completely run-down apartment). She has a really eccentric personality and is very silly always making a fool of herself. She is great at impressions as we see when she try to impersonate the principle. Yuno (or Yunocchi) is the main character of Hidamari Sketch. She is a 15-year-old playful girl who loves to have fun. She wishes to one day be a great artist and loves to be around her friends. She considers herself to be a painter and sculptor more than anything else.

The shows animation is really spectacular and is incredibly experimental. They will randomly use clipart in the place of food and have one of the most unique  Super Deformed styles (when they use it). They use harsh shading and incredibly sudden palette swaps to give it a very eerie feel, that I’m a big fan of. This (as far as I know) is because of the directorial work of Akiyuki Shinbou. Shinbou is a director who has an incredibly unique visual style, he once said that he dos what he does so the audience will have a good time visually, and holy hell does this deliver. The backgrounds are very isometric, and the character designs are so unique and absolutely spectacular.

I was incredibly surprised that I wasn’t bored during this show because I hardly ever complete these 4-girls shows. The comedy is frantic and incredibly funny, and the writing is never less than interesting. I love this show and the reason why I love this show is because you get to experience the conversations of friends. Conversations between friends are one of the most amazing things to witness, with all the weird places they can go, and Hidamari Sketch exemplifies it.

Final Rating 10/10

 

 

Lupin III (2015) Review.

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I’m a huge Lupin III fan having consumed most of the franchise (other than part III) and am one of the few people to have gone through the trouble of tracking down the Tokyo Pop volumes of the manga. As such when I heard that there would be a new Lupin anime I was absolutely ecstatic… and I didn’t watch it until two years later.

Like always Lupin has a new jacket color, this time he is donning the color blue. Up until watching this series I never really though that any of the jackets worked well other than green. The red looked kind of weird and the pink was an absolute monstrosity, but the blue really fits.

All of your favorite Lupin characters have returned for this series. Like always Zenigata is absolutely hilarious, but we also get a taste of the rarely seen serious Zenigata, which is always amazing (although it was only in one episode). Lupin is just as great as ever, chasing Fujiko and stealing treasure. But this time Lupin also takes up more of a hero role than he has in the previous series with him taking down an “evil” team rocket esque organization and a clone of Leonardo Davinci.

Goemon is in this series a little less than normal which is kind of unfortunate, but whenever he appears is an absolute joy. Fujiko is here again and like always is being a total dick to Lupin. Jiggen takes a bigger role in the series as a whole yet he is unfortunately overshadowed by a brand new character. This character is Rebecca, Lupin’s wife. yes you heard me right Lupin has a wife now, well kind of, she never handed in the documentation to the judge.She takes a front seat in the series, having multiple arcs and episodes devoted to her, but she feels like a rehash of Fujiko, as she is also a rival thief. It seems like she’s going to become a part of the normal cast so I hope she gets expanded on in the future.

This is by far the best looking, and the best-animated thing in the Lupin III franchise, other than the film “Castle of Cagliostro”. Like most Lupin III series most of the animation is focused on subtle character movements with small spurts of sakuga that look ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, such as the Nix fight in the second half. There are a few episodes where the animation suffers, but the show overall flows beautifully.

Lupin III (2015) is beautiful to look at. It has a rough sketchy style which makes the sakuga moments look even better. The back round looks hand painted (I’m not sure if it is) and that makes it look absolutely amazing. The series is completely seeping with that classic Lupin III style and combines it with the sketchiness of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine making it look so distinct and stand out.

The story in Lupin III (2015) is incredibly basic, or at least the story throughout most of the series is. The show has two major two episode arcs, those being the DaVinci arc and the MI6 arc. The MI6 arc is by far the better of the two, with it making a bit more sense than the DaVinci arc but it’s still pretty weird. The best episodes of the show are by far the one-offs, which luckily take up most of it. these episodes follow the normal Lupin formula but that formula and the characters are the reason why people love Lupin III.

Overall Score= 9.74/10

 

The Best (And Worst) Anime of 2016!

animu-2016So since today is one of the first days of the new year I’ve decided that I ‘m going to go back through the last year and tell you my top 7 best and top 7 worst anime of the year. Now, I would like you to realize that this list is in no way objective this is an ONE HUNDRED PERCENT subjective list so, now that that’s out of the way let’s get going.

The Best:

1: Fune Wo Amu (The Great Passage)

  • An amazing drama series where we get to see adults, who act, look and talk like adults trying to make a dictionary. This was quite the nice refreshing series after experiencing a year filled up mostly with pretty mediocre light novel and shounen adaptations.

2: Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume

  • Planetarian is an incredibly feels filled anime which is only five episodes long! Each episode is a different length, making the show only as long as it needs to be (which is something I really wish One Piece would implement.)

3: KonoSuba

  • Konosuba is a comedy making fun of the stupid shit that stuff like SAO and the dot hack series popularized, shitty MMO RPG anime series! The way that the MC gets into the fantasy world is so funny that it had me laughing the whole rest of the episode. Unfortunately, it’s only 10 episodes but a new season is coming out this upcoming season.

4: Space Patrol Luluco

  • This show to put it frankly, is Trigger. It’s what you get if you combine the comedy of Trigger’s most insane shows and shorts (eg. Sex and Violence With Machspeed), and the absolute insanity of Kill La Kill, or Gurren Lagann. This show wasn’t the only Trigger series this year, but the other (Kiznaiver) is the opposite of this, making it kind of weird for fans of Trigger like myself. So if you want a real Trigger experience this year, check out Luluco, it’s amazing.

5: Boku no Hero Academia

  • This show is one of the few NEW current shounen anime that does not use a subversion of shounen tropes as part of it’s premise. It has strong animation (because Bones) and amazing character designs by Yoshihiko Umakoshi, the man behind the amazing Casshern Sins and Heart Catch PreCure. Unfortunately, it does stop right when the show gets going, but… THE NEXT SEASON IS A TOURNAMENT ARC, OH YES!

6: Mob Psycho 100

  • Mob Psycho 100 was the greatest animation showcase since Space Dany. It features one of the most likable protagonists this year and had the best ed of the year. The action scenes are spectacular and the HYPE TRAIN that was the ending was a great ride.

7: Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou

  • This series is super fun. It features an absurd premise about a boy who works at a Tonkatsu restaurant who realizes that the skills for making that dish are the same as for DJing. NO JOKE this is what the show is about. Agetarou goes through a nice arc in this series and I still constantly think back to it’s funniest moments. While I realize that this show is not THAT popular I still loved it.

 

The Worst:

1: Masou Gakuen HxH

  • Oh boy, a brand new ecchi harem show with a cool sounding plot mabey it’s g- oh no nevermind it sucks. I’ve been waiting so L-O-N-G for an ecchi series that isn’t terrible in the last few years but I have not got one. This show was a generic, otaku pandering piece of literal SHIT and the insane censor white bars do not help it at all.

2: Berserk (2016)

  • Hey Berserk fans remember when we left you hanging at the end of the last show from the 90s? Well here’s a new show just for y- oh no, wait it sucks. So this series is filled with really bad CGI and character designs that make the Berserk Sega Saturn game blush. But you should be able to overlook this in a Berserk show because the manga really shines in the writing. But no, they fucked that up too. There is literally NO substance in this show.

3: Mahou Shoujo? Naria☆Girls

  • This show may look like an unassuming magical girl show from the premise and the art they show off on MAL. But when you turn it on you discover a CGI show with worse animation than Berserk, trying to be an improv show like Rick and Morty. But while the later shines because of actual talent behind the show, Naria Girls has nothing, there is no substance and no story in this show. And you know what? It makes less sense than Teeykuu.

4: Hagane Orchestra

  • The first episode of this show was good, it’s a comedy about some girls from some m0bile game trying to promote it inside the world of the game. But this is the joke in every episode, and it gets stale FAST. The art direction show is weird and I thought it was actually pretty ugly. The animation is pretty bad, and it constantly reuses the same jokes, bringing nothing new to the table.

5: Nazotokine

  • This is a show about a girl who needs to solve puzzles. No, I’m not kidding. This anime is based on a game, so that’s probably why it’s so bad. The story is bland and makes no sense, it feels insulting and pandering and the music is awful. The animation is sub-par and the series in obviously just a commercial, but with no heart.

6: Sousei no Onmyouji (Twin Star Exorcist)

  • This is a bland and boring show. The whole show feels ripped from other series. The plot is uninspired and just incredibly stupid. As well as this the “romance” in the show is average at best, and only something emotionally stunted man-children can take seriously. The animation starts out fine, but eventually completely falls off, into a JoJo level of movement, but without the coolness.

7: Flying Witch Petit

  • These short ONAs are something no one cared about, which is good to hear considering that they are an absolute insult to the original series. Flying which is an amazing iyashikei anime but the petit version is an incredibly boring and pandering series. They ruin the beautiful character designs in the show with it’s CGI chibi art style. In fact so few people watched this show that there are no reviews for it on MAL.

IN CONCLUSION:

This year was pretty okay for anime, although not amazing. It had some great shows, but some real shit to.It was definitely no 2007, but no other year has reached the heights that one did. So I’m looking forward to next season and I hope you are to, KonoSuba S2 here I come!

 

Scott Pilgrim vol 1 Review.

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I’m sure no one would argue that Scott Pilgrim is absolutely amazing.Well unless you’re a total dick who doesn’t know how to enjoy anything. Our story features a 23-year-old guy named Scott Pilgrim, who lives with a gay roommate, is the bassist in a terrible band called “Sex Bob-Omb”, is currently between jobs, and is dating a high schooler. So his life is pretty sweet. Until he meets a girl named Ramona Flowers in his dream and becomes obsessed. So now Scott needs to defeat Ramona’s “six or seven” evil ex-boyfriends. So now his life is not that sweet.

According to JOSS FUCKING WHEDON,  “Scott Pilgrim is the best book ever. It is the chronicle of our time. With Kung Fu, so, yeah: perfect”. And I could not agree more. Bryan Lee O’Malley is one of my favorite artists. He has an incredibly simplified style, which I think makes the graphic novel much more fun to read. Now I read the black and white version of the books but from what I’ve seen of the colored version it looks even better (which is a HUGE accomplishment). The author’s art style is so amazingly beautiful, he really knows how to draw action and dynamic poses, which is, unfortunately, something I don’t see a lot of these days.

The story is interesting but it doesn’t really get going until the last quarter of the graphic novel, with the rest being all set up. The “big climax” of this is book is actually a huge letdown, with the battle between Scott, and evil boyfriend #1 only taking 20 pages, and half of those are two-page spreads. Although all problems I have with it are basically fixed in vol 2. The humor in this book is also absolutely hilarious, but may be kind of inaccessible for non-nerds.

So taking that all into account, I’m going to throw all objectivity out of the window and give Scott Pilgrim an, 11 out of 10. You’re welcome.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Episode 1 first reaction.

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I love Douglas Adams’ work, so when I was on Netflix earlier today and saw a brand new Dirk Gently series on the featured spot I needed to watch it. So here I am an hour later writing a blog post about the collection of hilarious coincidence, great cinematography, and loveable characters that is Dirk Gently’s Hostile Detective Agency. And my god, do I lo love this show.

Okay, you may be thinking to yourself, “how can you love a show before you’ve even seen more than one episode?” Well because I’ve never seen a TV show that started on a good episode, and didn’t stay good (see Digibro’s “How to Recognize a Great Anime (In Just One Episode)” part one and two, for more information on the topic).

Since I am a  big fan of the books (and The Hobbit put a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to adaptations), I, of course, had zero expectations going into it. But I was happily surprised! Dirk himself is an incredibly humorous character, with his outlook on life being incredibly interesting. His whole “everything is interconnected” philosophy is incredibly interesting. Todd (Dirks unwilling sidekick) is a really nice change from the average companion of the brilliant MC you normally find on the BBC. Todd’s sister, Amanda is also incredibly interesting. She has some sort of nerve condition here you see things that aren’t real but, they are normally really painful.

The story was quite interesting. It started out really strong in this episode, introducing all of our main characters, as well as already having Todd already being a suspect in 2 different cases of homicide. It introduced 3 different plots, all of which appear to be interconnected. There’s an assassin who kidnapped some random guy, and is out on a quest to kill Dirk. There’s a homicide that Dirk is investigating, and Todd gets wrapped up in it. Our final plot is that the FBI, and two other dudes are trailing Dirk, and Todd respectively while also investigating a kidnapping. Because of the amount of plots and contrivances gives me a very Baccano feel.

So yeah I give it an 8.

Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho “The Movie” review

maxresdefaultYuu Yuu Hakusho the movie is not good, plain and simple. But I suppose for a review I need to go into more detail then that, so to give a bit of a history on this. I found out of the movie directly after watching the entire Yuu Yuu Hakusho anime series, and it is one of my favorite anime ever. So that being said, that made this incredibly disappointing.

First of all, the animation is sub par. Remember in the Dark Tournament saga when every episode was filled with a ton of amazing sakuga fights? Yeah? So do I. This movie does not have that. Instead, it has looped two framed chibi animation in the case of one of the villans, and one instance of good animation. That lasted approx. 45 seconds. It’s very depressing that a made for tv anime looks better than a theatrical film.

Another complaint I have with this film is that the dub is awful. Everyone loves the Yuu Yuu Hakusho tv dub as far as I know. It has great characterization, amazing actors, and probably the most consistently great character voices of any anime other than Cowboy Bebop. This movie does not have this. Gone is the fun, raspy-voiced  Kuwabara, and instead they have a normal voiced serious ass hole. it does the same thing to almost any other character.

As well as this the movie is terribly paced and the story is garbage. This feels like a filler episode (because it is), but not a good one. In fact its a pretty bad one. The story has a last second twist with its villain, who doesn’t have a motivation, although the original villain who we found out wasn’t the actual villain had a really dumb motivation which I won’t spoil here (I don’t want to). The movie jumps right into the story with no build up and has no breathing room. It also features two major characters relegated to emotionless, shells of themselves.

So yeah it was pretty bad, I give it a 6 out of 10.