Parasyte – Episodes 8-9

Double-header this week, which gave the show enough time to weave in about half a dozen small conflicts. I thought the show over-told a fair amount during these episodes, but the stuff it was conveying was actually really interesting, so I couldn’t muster too much annoyance at that. It’s kind of unusual for a Madhouse production, but this show is really leaning heavily into the strength of the source material – the execution isn’t elevating it, it’s just a perfectly reasonable articulation of a very good story. I guess that means it’s not as strong as it “could have been,” but the show’s still quite good, so eh.


Fall 2014 – Week 8 in Review

Anime got pretty heavy this week, you guys. Between Shirobako and KimiUso, things were altogether a little too real in the land of Japanese cartoons. That’s how I like it, though – the sharp stuff is what I watch media for, and you can’t depict earnest triumph if you’re not willing to accept the possibility of failure. Pretty much everything else is holding steady, but my favorites are actively climbing at the moment, and it feels pretty goddamn great. Here’s hoping they both turn out to be as good as this week would promise.

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Ask Bobduh: Storytelling and Videogames, Part One

Management: I mentioned back in… uh, May or something that I was planning on compiling/archiving some of my more worthwhile answers into miniposts on Wrong Every Time. I’ve been distracted by a variety of things since then, but have finally gotten a few together that seem worth keeping, and so here’s the first of them. Enjoy!

Maybe you’ve already answered something like this, but what’s your favorite example of video game storytelling?

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Sword Art Online II – Episode 20

Sword Art Online chugs merrily along. I think the best way to describe this episode would be “inoffensive,” and, well, I guess I’m okay with that. This new conflict is pleasant enough, it’s nice to have some time away from Kirito, and the show isn’t doing anything to actively shoot itself in the foot. I’m approaching the point where I no longer have to actively concentrate to stumble across the finish line of my time with SAO – with only four episodes to go, from here on out, I can hopefully enter a controlled fall and just tumble my way to victory. I’m gonna make it. I’m almost home.

Oh fuck goddamnit Kirito what are you doi

Sword Art Online

Log Horizon II – Episode 8

Akatsuki’s Akihabara Adventure came to an end this week, with a final fight that I honestly found kinda underwhelming. It’s not like Log Horizon is usually that visually impressive, but they’ve been hyping this conflict all friggin’ season! It sucks to see even the most dramatic moments reduced to still frames and speed lines, particularly since the episode three weeks ago seemed to demonstrate that this new show staff actually can pull together an aesthetically compelling production when they want to. Ah well. Bring on the Shiroe raid, I suppose.

Log Horizon

Plots Twists and Other Parlor Tricks

Look at this rabbit in my hand. See the rabbit? Surprise! It’s actually a turtle.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Alright, maybe that one didn’t work on you. How about this one. Look at this character – she’s just a mild-mannered high school student, right? Surprise! She’s actually an evil wizard.

Still nothing? Hm.

Okay, one more. Look at this upbeat, slice of life story. Got a good picture of it? Surprise! It’s actually a dystopian sci-fi drama.

Alright, you get the picture. Let’s talk about plot twists.

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Parasyte – Episode 7

Shinichi found some new friends this week, and then set off to murder an old one. Parasyte’s pretty much just a smart thriller with very high-quality ingredients at the moment – its ideas are always simmering, but the base dynamics of its narrative and the way it keeps intelligently introducing new variables are what keep it engaging episode to episode. It’s a fine thing to see.


Fall 2014 – Week 7 in Review

There was no Rage of Bahamut this week, but everything else kept up the year-saving tempo. KimiUso exchanged last week’s animation showcase for a more subdued but equally impressive character-focused episode, Shirobako gave us moe animation tsunderes, and Amagi pulled off another Haruhi-style triumph. But the real surprise this week was Sword Art Online – following on the heels of a fairly pointless filler arc and tedious exposition episode, SAO pulled out what was quite possibly its best episode of all time, and almost definitely its best fight of all time. Even if you don’t watch SAO, I might still recommend just checking out the second half of that episode if you enjoy fight scenes – the direction and animation were all kinds of impressive this time. You did good, Sword Art.

Anyway. Let’s run down the week!

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Sword Art Online II – Episode 19

So this episode was one part reasonable character drama in the real world, one part possibly the best fight scene SAO’s ever had. I figured last week’s exposition-fest meant the show was holding back, but damn. The show’s already inherently better when it’s not revolving around Kirito, but this episode really did bring its own strengths to the table – for once, I have basically nothing bad to say about it. I know the good times never really last, but I wouldn’t be watching friggin’ SAO if I weren’t eternally optimistic. Please hold together, Mother’s Rosario!

Sword Art Online

Log Horizon II – Episode 7

Training montage time! We’re still on the Akatsuki/Lenessia narrative, which is finally kicking into character-development overdrive. I felt Akatsuki’s stuff was a little overplayed this episode, but really liked the Lenessia bits… but this is me, so you really shouldn’t trust anything I say about Lenessia and Log Horizon. What with all the narrative-tidying the flavor text reveal managed this week, it’s looking like all the pieces are in place to wrap this story up next time. Bring on the fight scenes!

In other news, this guy’s shirt:

Log Horizon