Sunday, December 12, 2004


Subject: Noir
I've watched a lot of stuff this past week and haven't quite cleared the fog in my brain enough to write about it. I guess I've been preoccupied with things like choosing kitchen cabinets and countertops and whatnot. But I'll give it a go!

"Hellsing" -- This has been showing up on the Encore Action network late at night; thanks to the Anime on TV list, I was able to remember to actually set my DVR to catch it from the beginning. I'm up to about episode 7 so far. It's a "fighting-vampires-with-vampires" story set in London (so the dub has a lot of fake British accents, but it's otherwise not too bad). An agency known as the "Hellsing Organization" has a "real" vampire helping it hunt down and "silence" a rash of humans-turned-vampire with some sort of implanted computer chip. A young woman police officer gets caught in the middle of one battle and winds up choosing to become a vampire and joining the organization herself, as the alternative to getting killed.

It's a pretty seriously cheesy premise, sure, but there's a glimmer of interest sustained through it, especially thanks to the characters and the dialog. No silly cliches is a bonus. Stylistically it's very comic-book dark and rather sparse, as is the humor. The soundtrack is pretty good. So while I probably wouldn't have bothered buying this one, it's definitely worth making the effort to DVR it and make time to watch it. Good popcorn entertainment.

"Master Keaton" disc 2 -- This is definitely still a charming show. If the DVD quality weren't so mediocre I'd probably just go ahead and buy it right now. As before, it's a number of individual stories with no real arc connecting them, and each story showcases a new talent of Keaton's -- the guy can do most anything it seems, and he's got a sort of dorky panache as he's doing it. There's nothing particularly outstanding about the design or animation, it's all competent and, well, average-to-cheap, but it's the stories and the characters that drive this one. I will continue renting.

"FLCL 3" -- Yes, I finally finished this batsh*t crazy romp through the media-saturated addled subconcious of Japanese anime & manga subculture. I know I didn't quite know what to make of it at first, but it really grew on me (even though it's only 6 episodes total). There's a lot of references I didn't get, but some of the ones I did surprised me. Yeah, there was an obvious "South Park" bit, but the John Woo stuff really got a laugh out of me (especially with the doves flying out of the TV after it got smashed). Anyway, this stuff comes at you so fast-n-furious that you've really got to just latch onto something and ride it for what it's worth. I think I'll be buying it after all, because I think a re-watching will help a lot.

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" discs 2 & 3 -- Okay, I made it through disc 2 just fine; I guess the last time I watched it I was irritable or something; this time I was way more tolerant of the more juvenile cliche aspects and was able to enjoy the other qualities of it. And there's definitely something deeper brewing in the story. So I'm glad I decided to go ahead and buy the "Platinum" edition. Disc 4 is due out in a couple of weeks and I've got it on order. Disc 5 probably won't show up until the beginning of February. I'm guessing there will be 7? I should look that up, but I think the box holds 7. So it'll be next summer before I finish it. Then there's the movie and all the other variations that I have to read more about to see if I want to bother with them.

Hmm, not much else, I guess (though that was a lot!). I tried "Full Metal Alchemist" for another episode, and while it seemed a little more interesting than the other Cartoon Network showings, I'm not going out of my way for it. Oh, except "Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" -- the English dub is pretty lousy, but it's worth casual watching at least. I'm going to DVR "Wolf's Rain" and "Witch Hunter Robin" to see if they're watchable.

I watched the Saiyaman raw for Meine Liebe 6, but there's no script yet, so I was pretty much lost. It's Issac's episode, though, and I suspect there's quite a bit of exposistion for what the plot may actually be about. And I'm guessing episode 5 hasn't been released yet because a of problem with the tracker Shi-Fa was using, so hold tight for that.

Enough for now!

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