AgentJ (Level 13)

Batman is Anime, and Zelda's an RPG. These are a few of the most dumbest (sic) things.
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Like a boss 
Like a boss 
It is rare that I come across a character that I completely despise. In this post-"Watchmen" world, it seems every villain is actually a good guy, becomes a good guy, or at least has a sympathetic reason for what they do. I get really close with some of those "rivals in love" in shows like Mongolian Chop Squad and Gankutsuou, and if you buy the idea that sports is a narrative, I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the Pittsburgh Stealers (SIC) as well as Clay Bennett (Owner of the Seattle Supersonics). But the bad guys are rarely evil enough or fleshed-out enough for me to despise them the way I do sports icons.  
 
I truly despise Mr. Shido. He is a manipulative asshole with no value for the lives of those around him, save if their own well-being is productive to his own. I'd like to keep in mind that I wrote all this BEFORE Rei's motivations for hating him came to light. So in the end, when he was simply kicked out, I was almost disappointed that our yakuza-boss friend didn't behead the guy himself. And since he's still alive, I imagine we will see him again.  
 
We only have a single episode remaining before the end of the season, as the world seems to be descending into a nuclear holocaust. (I won't be happy unless a zombie with a cowboy hat rides a bomb from the base of a plane). I'm interested to see whether this is something that will effect our heroes, or is just part of the broader picture, demonstrating the current state of the world. One thing is for sure though; bomb or not, HOTD the anime will not be wrapped up in the next 20 minutes, and I couldn't be happier. Time to stop eating, so I can save up for that surely gorgeous Blu-Ray set coming out this summer, to show its something that we want. I implore everyone else to do the same, regardless of compression ratios or dub quality or anything like that.
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The appearance of yet another new enemy! Who is the mysterious "hacker of the afterlife?!?" 
 
"You are toilet paper, wiping my ass and circling down the drain" 
"You are toilet paper, wiping my ass and circling down the drain" 
We finally seem to be heading toward the conclusion of Angel Beats! and I'm really enjoying how it is all beginning to tie together. We see that Tenshi (hence forth remembered as Kanade) isn't the only one that can play with the fabric of the world, and that fact seems to have her standing off out of the way looking into space while people nearby talk about her. We get the grand return of Yurippe to the forefront, as she reveals that Otonashi is awful at hiding things. (Like seriously, he is a "Naked Gun level secret-keeper.)  
 
And we are supplied with what in my opinion may be the most moving scene so far (certainly in the top three); showing each of the characters agonizing over whether they want to stay, or disappear, of course set to our beautiful ending theme.  Of course, we all deal with life-changing issues in our own way, and TK apparently copes by continuously break dancing. Seriously, one of the best characters ever. Seeing our pole ax-wielding friend looking at the picture of Yurippe while making his decision was very moving.
 
I'm really happy that Yuri outed Otonashi the way she did, because I don't think I could have accepted another episode of his charade. I suppose its a little upsetting that the didn't seem to be angry in the least, but it was pretty much the same reaction Otonashi had to the thief in the subway tunnels, so I can't be too angry. I'm curious to see if there's a parallel to be noted there. Otonashi also reacted well to being called out. He didn't deny it or run away from it, but simply explained his case the best he could. WHICH IS WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE FROM THE START! Still, I think finally, after nearly a dozen episodes, I can accept him as the main character. 
 
Going into these final episodes, I find it hard to believe that the hacker-bad guy could possibly be someone we haven't met yet. Even Naoi was introduced an episode before he started screwing with our heroes. But the only logical choice would then be our buddy "christ". He certainly has the god complex, the technical expertise, and he's had access to Kanade's software, but he just doesn't strike me as the kind of guy to go around stealing souls. 
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Okay, this show is just screwing with me at this point. WHERE ARE THE HIDDEN CAMERAS?!?  
 
Angel Beats loves to take the ones I love away from me. Maybe they know I have a thing for pink hair... 
Angel Beats loves to take the ones I love away from me. Maybe they know I have a thing for pink hair... 
As expected, the whole "I'm going to help everyone" bit felt wrong. It made me hurt on my insides. I'm sorry, but fulfilling someone's regrets just isn't that easy. A couple of German suplexes and some batting practice isn't going to wash away a life of misfortune, and it turns out that Yui certainly had that.  While still funny, it seemed this show had left behind its larger meaning for that stupid slice-of-life crap (no offense to Haruhi fans :P)
 
And yet, I couldn't hate this episode. I couldn't even dislike it, because our creators at Key got me again with one of their characters. i mentioned before that I liked Yui, and in this episode I connected with her. While I have never been paralyzed by Robert Downey Jr. (read: drunk driver) I do know a thing about feeling like I don't belong, never being good enough, and having so many things you want to do. Its a painful feeling, seeing all the possibilities but having to settle for just one, or in her case none at all, not knowing if the one you chose was really the right one, whether you took too much of a risk, or not big enough. Its a feeling that can haunt you, follow you around in your lively pursuit, or just pop up out of nowhere on a bad day. In those adorable little pink eyes of hers, I saw myself reflected back, and when she finally had her dream come true, I felt for her. 
 
Granted, it was extremely ham-handed in its presentation. We get nearly no foreshadowing save for a few little wrestling bouts, and suddenly we're supposed to believe they're close enough that they want to get married? I thought they'd at least need to have a ceremony. But damn it, that snippet of their future, or imagination, or whatever it was, where they meet, get to know each other, and fall in love, only stitched my heart together to tear it in half again, like a sadistic surgeon. So while I want to hate this poorly-executed episode, I can't bring myself to do it. 
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As bad-ass as an Otaku will ever look 
As bad-ass as an Otaku will ever look 
AHA! I knew that creepy Mr. Shido would be back! And it seems he has done a number on his students since we last saw him. I'm watching a censored version, so I'm not sure what those girls were doing at his behest, but suffice to say it wasn't in their best interests. Even his little spy buddy (did he sneak in, or was he among the survivors that were let in? I imagine sneaking would be impossible, though he was still acting suspicious in front of a bunch of what I assume are Yakuza...) 
  
Takagi finally gets her moment in this episode, though it isn't nearly as grand as Rei's or Saeko's. She really appears to be getting the shaft as far as screen time or perceived usefulness goes, and while she seems to be rallying the troops, she almost becomes redundant in the presence of Takashi. She hasn't had enough opportunities to use her brain, especially since the first few episodes. And I don't really consider whiny spoiled brat a necessity in a survival situation (though you could make an argument that such a character archetype is necessary when making a zombie show). Sure, maybe her powerful-as-all-getout parents could have found a way to save her. I see the logic in that. But everyone is in a similar situation. 
 
As usual, the resident fatty steals the show, though I don't really understand what he was mad about in the first place. Swords are inefficient. Okay. Nothing to get your shit-stained whitey -tighties in a bunch over. As I was thinking about how odd his anger was, I realized this wasn't the first time in an anime that a character's anger confounded me. I can't think of another situation off the top of my head, but anime figures tend to get bent out of shape over nothing, don't they? Do you remember any such situations? 
 
There's only two episodes left, but everything seems far from resolved. Someone tell me there's a season two in the works! I mean, the manga is on-going, right? I'm definitely not going to be satisfied, regardless of the ending.  
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Oooh, Otonashi, you almost had me there, you wolf in sheep's clothing.  
 
"Heart: Check. Lungs: Check. Testicles.........." 
"Heart: Check. Lungs: Check. Testicles.........." 
You had me on the precipice of not just accepting you as a true main character (I have) but also being one that I could actually value. One I could even... like. We see your final moments, we see the results of your newfound determination, and how it saved the lives of those in your same plight.  After doing something awful to Tenshi, you wait by her bedside for her to wake up, holding onto a seemingly random 1% chance that she won't stab you as soon as she wakes up.
 
But then, in the final moments of the episode you've got to fuck everything up by manipulating the only friends you have. How do you know its really her? What if your friends are truly happier where they are? YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM WHEN THEY ARE FULFILLED! Seriously, he is a selfish brat of the worst order. "I'm going to help everyone". That sort of thinking is great if you're studying for the entrance exam of a school offering existential doctorates, but otherwise keep your grubby little mitts of my existence! I'm not sure whether I expect or simply hope that it will bite him in the ass. Thankfully, with only three episodes left to go, I suppose I'll know pretty soon. I was pretty high on this show until this episode. Lets see if it can get back in my good graces.   
 
Interesting time for me to watch this episode, though it would have been even more "interesting" three weeks ago. An earthquake causes a collapse in Japan... Glad to see this scenario wasn't played out on the trains in Japan during their tragedy. I suppose all the mass transit outside of the biggest cities are above ground, but the idea of being trapped like that is... unnerving. Makes me want to learn some advanced first-aid techniques just in case such a situation were to occur. 
 
Also, I hope/expect that the guy who died while being treated by Otonashi turns up at some point in this world. It just seems fitting for some reason.
 
By the way, that whole 1% thing REALLY gets on my nerves. On what basis is that calculated? How in the world do you know what the chances of a character waking up from a previously unheard-of condition are? It makes me want to... HULK SMASH! 
 
  BTW, to read past episode blogs or check in on High School of the Dead, just click over to my profile.
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