"See you, Space Cowboy!"
It's dripping with "cool". "Hip". Homages of everything from blaxploitation flicks to space operas. A diverse and often surprising soundtrack. And an attention to the little background details that really communicate a lot about the universe they inhabit without needing to go into a lot of backstory.
I said before that I would probably rank it a distant #4, but I think I can confidently say that it's now a tighter #4 instead. I'm holding out on buying it just yet, though. Supposedly there's a version totally remixed in 5.1 sound being released in Asia. If that's coming to the US, then I want it. I've got the "Best Sessions" disc, which has a DTS 5.1 Japanese soundtrack, and it's absolutely excellent (especially with the Denon 3910 doing the decoding).
So I'll probably still just rent the remaining discs to find out what happens (yes, I've already heard the big spoiler, but I don't know how it happens), and then keep my eyes peeled for any further rumors. If it's a no-go, then I'll just buy what's available now. It'd still be worth it.
In other watching news; I'm rewatching .hack//SIGN (though not in a marathon; just a disc at a time). I think I discovered which character I like best: Mimiru. Yeah, I was surprised too. She seems annoying at first, but there's this wonderful spark behind her eyes at times that I find enchanting.
I'm definitely dropping Mai Hime. I really wanted to find it funny, but frankly it's a juvenile quagmire from which no redeeming qualities can escape.
I'll hang on to Beck just a little bit longer, but it's all pretty much slice-of-life teen angst with a garage-band soundtrack, and completely lacking in any compelling drama or characterization that I have any desire to get aquainted with. I'll give it a little longer to develop something.
I caught up with eps 26 and 27 of Monster. This is a slow-paced show too, but it's a lot more compelling and interesting. It makes for good watchin'. But like I've said before, I'm not clinging to every download waiting for it to come out. I'll watch it when I feel like it.