Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Miscellaneous collected anime observations

Subject: Noir
...that is to say -- More roundup.

Because "El Cazador" episode 13 was quite good (finally!), and the preview for episdoe 14 looked like there would be a lot of important backstory in the dialogue, I was tempted to resist watching the raw untranslated version for once. But, I couldn't resist!

And I was right about how important the dialogue obviously is, and I'm very anxious to see the translation. But I can safely say that it was another good episode. It was a lot more sedate, and maybe a bit more "personal" than any of the episodes to date. In fact, it pretty much focuses entirely on Ellis' backstory and excludes all of the other major players (who have always made a token appearance in every episode in some fashion) except for the late Dr. Schnieder and that evil f*er Rosenberg. An assesment which, even visually, is reinforced to a great extent in the episode.

And did I mention that episode 13 was really good? Okay then.

I rented disc one of "Black Lagoon" over the weekend. I had seen the first two episodes raw, and decided it was a "wait for rental" kind of series, and didn't really think of it again until I noticed it on Netflix. Overall it's not too bad, and kind of fun otherwise. The animation and design has it's plusses and minuses, but there's some decent attention to detail. Having a hawt gunslingin' action-babe who is most definitely not all "moe" is a big plus. The somewhat absurd "salaryman becomes South Seas pirate" scenario is kind of dopey but tolerable. Everything else seems to just be typical action-movie homage with all the trappings. And explosions! So it's fun, and I'll keep renting to see if it goes anywhere.

I watched a little more of the old-skool Mashimo hidden classic "Eat Man", and it continues to be as insane as it started. There's a lot of attention paid to the women characters that Bolt encounters (all whom invariably fall for him for some inexplicable reason), and the old-skool touches and the Hand of Mashimo doing his magic keep it entertaining. If "El Cazador" were able to keep more of this kind of style and attitude consistently through the episodes, I'd like it a lot better. Though I'd fear that most everybody else in the world would be like "WTF?!?" Ah well.

Both seasons of "Victorian Romance Emma" have been licensed! TRSI will be coming out with two $50 boxsets, no dubs. It seems a shame not to spend the attention to cast and employ a mix of British (and Indian and German) voices to reinforce for a Western audience the various social stratifications being illustrated, but it's alright. I know one way or another I'm going to have to rent the rest of season 2 so I can find out just what the heck happens now that William has proposed to Emma. After that I'll decide if I want to actually own it, if at least to say "more like this, please."

"Romeo x Juliet" notches along with the transition from a sweetly innocent "honeymoon" (no, really, it was handled with excellent restraint) to a situation where they are forced to leave that behind. I.e., they're captured. That can't be good. Otherwise, nothing new to say about it, and I'm hoping they keep up the consistency in storytelling and it doesn't fall apart under the weight of it's own pretentions.

There's been a lack of timely HDTV releases of "Denno Coil", and I'm getting tempted to just watch the normal AVI release, but that added resolution adds just that much more delight to it. When I buy it (definitely a "when"), I think I'll go for whatever HD disc format it comes out on. Pity on me if it's the opposite format that ADV eventually releases "Noir" on... *sigh*

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