Well, this is M again, been only a little bit since my last Korra review, but this was a simple one. For my 30 review I wanted to do something interesting and review an animated movie that I had intended to watch before I was even a review and never got to, this being Kara no Kyoukai: Overlooking View the first (in terms of release) of the Kara no Kyoukai series. Years ago I heard the soft melody from this series and become very much infatuated with the soundtrack. From there I put it on my list for so long setting it aside for more relevant things in my life. Well I waited so long to see Kara no Kyouhai but before I can tell you if it’s good let me tell you what it is.
Billed straight from the start as a philosophical mystery movie Kyouhai seems to be on paper perfect for me as a whole, This specific movie deals with multiple suicides off a building in what I assume was Tokyo, the main character is a emotionless..woman? Shiki Ryougi as for everything else in the story it is…vague. Historically “philosophy” in anime is often confused with “Vagueness” I know normally I wait with my criticism, but I feel like this is an important thing to discuss, I consider myself somewhat versed in philosophy, I’ve spent time reading works from Plato to Descartes, from Aristotle to Musashi Miyamoto with that background I feel comfortable saying I know what philosophical discussion is and just being vague and overly complex over nonsense does not make for meaningful exploration into the nature of the human soul it makes for vague and asinine discussion.
Already I’m starting off with a bad taste in my mouth, Kyouhai is a failure in terms of a mystery, In my Another review, I discussed my terms for what makes a mystery, Kyouhai’s first movie has no establishment of rules and no contextual clues as to why and how this world works why characters are even doing anything their doing, I’m not a huge fan of endless exposition or hours of establishing shots, but this movie has no real exposition, or sense of progression, no answers as to what and why mostly because everything can be left unexplained because “f@#k you magic” and that’s not good enough, Another has a spiritual things in it but it has rules and establishment to give it some focus and understanding. The philosophical pandering is rather irritating to say the very least, I’ve never heard so much talking yet nothing being actually said, even when its relevant its often obvious and uninteresting metaphor, metaphors being the laziest of all philosophy.
My strong distaste for the plot really colors this movie for me but it doesn’t destroy what brought me here in the first place, the score is still beautiful and is even more so in context to the story it presented and while the plot was practically hiding from me it’s not unlikeable and more so the style is quiet enjoyable in terms of a visual experience, its art is dark yes, but not empty, and the quality is extremely high. It’s great in almost all other accessory facets. In a way it’s a fantastic anime movie just its core is hollowed out and empty like a massive creator in a beautiful forest.
All in All Kyouhai is a complete disappointment it’s not spectacularly bad, and hopefully the future movies which I do intend to see will be of a much improved story telling style. I still see a lot of potential in Kyouhai but it’s still empty without more to the core I feel like I’m being too harsh because there is a lot I like about the first Kyouhai movie but until I see it I’m giving it a high 2.5 doll arms out of 5.
Korra, Korra, Korra… Alright I’m just going to admit it, I have a shockingly uncharacteristic anime crush on that woman, I mean just…damn, but as M I must put that aside to review season one of Avatar the Legend of Korra and review it just as harshly as I would anything else. So let’s, my vice friends, move past my rather embarrassing feelings for the fictional character she and get this started.
Let me make this clear, Avatar: The Legend of Korra is a sequel to Avatar: The Last Air bender and for this to be enjoyed to its fullest it is to be seen as such and expects you the viewer to have seen the Last air bender. Which as you can read here is actually fantastic so if you haven’t seen it first don’t start with Korra, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice, but to those that don’t know it follow the adventures of Korra the new avatar over 70 years after aang as she masters air bending in the 1910s themed republic city all while under the threat of Amon an anti-bender.
A while ago I wrote a blog post to speak to my feelings on the first few episodes of Korra before the series ended, the heart of it all was that I was very worried about if and when the series was going to go anywhere and in short it’s ironic to say that it did literally the episode past my impressions, almost jarringly so shit gets very real very fast in very little time and only gets realer and realer. Legend of Korra, if you have not read my blog, bests its predecessor in a few very noticeable ways, the most noticeable one is with Korra herself, she is by her nature a much better and more interesting character then Aang, she is arguably the best character in the show which is almost never true with a main protagonist, more so the show succeeds in its maturity, Avatar the last airbender has a sort of fame for acknowledging death and then having death within the show, Avatar the legend of Korra goes further with politics concepts of law and equality, moral grey with your enemy and even suicide. Korra was made for us the teenagers that watched avatar, the world and the characters are all older to reflect this. These seem like the most logical improvements one can make to Avatar as a whole, even minor things like natural conversation and a more mature take on humor show a growth, as a whole the parts of Korra are superior then Aangs story so much so it’s worth noticing. Oh and visually its cleaner and more well produced having a easily larger budget then the first season of avatar the last air bender.
I think it’s important to note the difference in story Legend of Korra and the Last air bender. The Legend of Korra is like a single novel with a set beginning and end and as such performs a story excellently. The last air bender was a three book long Epic (literal sense) and as such has a lot more time to flush out the world and the story, the stakes are simply higher in a 100 year war built up over three seasons then a conflict that can be started and ended in one. I do feel that simply nothing (mild spoiler for last air bender) can match the intensity as the final match between Zuko and Azula or Aang and the Firelord. The simple build up just makes for a more meaningful show in the end, however comparatively I feel stronger about Korra then any one season of Last Air bender. This does not however make Korra without flaw. The nature of it forces a rush that’s a bit undeserved the characters change their feelings and build relationships in a almost jarringly forced way that makes you so aware that Korra was assumed to only have one season (now new seasons will be made) The 1910s theme is poor in my taste as is the terrible recreation of New York in republic city, the setting of New York is overused and bored to begin with. The cultural homogenization as well as the bending homogenization is meant to symbolize the unity of the four peoples but really just robs them of their uniqueness, and while the old benders do not most of the new ones just use I kid you not boxing over the unique and culturally link martial arts that was painstakingly real and well choreographed. Most distasteful of all bending has for the most part been made near moot point so much so lightning bending the ultimate one hit kill for anyone in the series is now no more powerful the a solid punch to the chest, no joke a character gets hit with it and gets up and walks away like not 30 seconds later with no healing involved.
Korra as a single entity I feel confident in saying is better than Last airbender if by nothing else because of Korra herself. I look forward to what else is to come and hopefully I can say that with more time and a tone change this is exactly the Avatar I wanted. Well all said and done I can give with comfort Avatar: The Legend of Korra 4.5 Polar-Bear Dogs out of 5.
Hello again fellow vice users, it is I, M, here to review complete left field chose of YuruYuri! I know what you’re thinking, M isn’t that a Yuri? That’s F’s territory, well seeing as F hasn’t been on in forever and I decided to do something in her memory, plus just because she reviewed doesn’t mean I wasn’t there watching it with my old buddy, so I consider myself pretty well versed in that niche territory. However unlike F, I’m twice as unforgiving.
So what is YuruYuri? In spirit just the fun adventure of 4 middle school girls all in the Amusement club a club for “no reason” and their exploits. Sometimes dragging the School council into it just because. The girls are a simple team, a protagonist whose biggest characteristic is her complete lack of being memorable, (yep that’s the joke) A lesbian Otaku who is filled with energy and insanity, a emotionless tomboy who is just there to be “the straight man” in terms of comedy and then a, pardon the French, A bitch obsessed with the tomboy. Light hearted in nature these adventures are of the more of the zany variety and I know that’s my mehh area but I’ll try to stay objective.
I got to say, from the start plain and simple I kind of don’t know how I feel about yuruyuri, normally when I write one of these while off the cuff but even so I just don’t know. I do know however that the first 5-7 episodes did bring me joy, I legitimately laughed and found myself liking the sense of comedy and character humor, but in the end it all just fizzes out, that’s the most disappointing part of this all, is I really liked it just episode by episode the score shifted starting off a nice 4.5 down bit by bit to the middling end score leaving me more confused at why it degrades so quickly then even upset.
A strong negative off the bat might give off the impression that this is a bad anime, First off Yuruyuri is not bad, not at all, in fact if I was to call it one thing it would be that, YuruYuri is not terrible. Starting off strong the series is funny and I will argue to the death that throughout I did “like” the characters, it feeds into a series of fun stories well and one weird but very apt compliment I can give is that YuruYuri manages to succeed where its brothers and sisters in the zany humor world consistently fail, Transitions. YuruYuri communicated the what why and where very well and while it is “zany” nonsense you always maintain a good sense of how this world works and what the hell is going on, and more so I do enjoy some of what they do with what little Yuri there is in the series (I.E. and episode placing people with their best match not there favorite) made for an interesting is very very irrelevant plot device
The negatives as I rethink it are very very connected to the one weakness YuruYuri has, it likes to beat the same drum till the end of time. Every character has a gimmick, and while most anime characters do have this most use characterization to move beyond that and develop secondary characteristics, No such luck to these girls more over their joke set while clever is always a play off their gimmick something that quickly begins to sound a lot like the same. More over this anime seems to actively drop any character work done usually forgetting one episode from another making you wonder if any of this was relevant to that world and the answer is in short no. Another prevalent issue is that for an anime named after yuri it actively trys to avoid any complexity in that, sure characters are lesbians but none ever really broach beyond the simple truth of that and for the most part affections are mostly just invisible and when the romance is touched on it is almost universally dropped, this complete lack of care from the writers leaves one wondering the simple question of why should we care? Once you realize that everything begins to fall apart.
I want to like YuruYuri, I really do. Yuri is such an interesting area of anime that is quickly dying out especially with its top tier anime often only touch on the subject it’s suppose to feature, but I’m not F I won’t baby mediocrity for the sake of promoting a really cool concept. It’s not bad but I won’t pretend it was worth my time. YuruYuri I begrudgingly give 3 drooling twins out of 5.
This is M wasting your time this evening with a fantastic new review from the critically acclaimed wonder known across the realm as THE BIG MAC, this mysterious delicacy comes from the open and loving arms of the clearly clean and trustworthy Mr. McDonalds which by no means was a poor decision. Long story short tonight for the first time I bite into this new food of phantasm. So my fellow vice dwellers what is the status of this big mac
My friends, I know this is an anime site...I know this is not relevant but I had to get the word out, this burger, this I think meat product is the end of all things. The horror is finished and now I know the end is neigh, I sit here with my friend playing Valkyria chronicles just to help the shakes subside in this dark world of mine. never before have I felt like my mouth was raped by what should be in theory a simple food stuffs. The meats taste and feels like the mashed bones of a pure innocent newborns the condiments slathered on to give zest and life to this undead monstrosity, from this all things must be evaluated, all evil in this world has won the moment buying this for just under 5 dollars was conceived, the one redeeming hope located in this burger of Satan is the mere fact that adding more bread allows a respite between the meat that even the darkest of hell hounds do not deserve it forced onto it. So much that if there is a merciful god in our world the golden arches will be struck down.
As M I have never been forced to to invoke my last reviews right, to hand the big mac one bread slice out of 5.... in these last moments remember M warned you the end is neigh...