Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hanzai Shokogun season 2

Oh my freaking stars and garters, the season 2 of Hanzai Shokogun is actually pretty good. Thanks to nanimono for recommending it. Otherwise, I might not have kept watching. Not only is it very good, its so good that finally there is a police jdorama to join the likes holy trinity of Gaiji Keisatsu, Gonzo and Rinjo in the Jdrama hall of excellence.

From the beginning of the first episode when we finally find out Tanihara Shosuke's past, season 2 of Hanzai Shokogun is full of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Well, maybe one too many twists but its get quite a few scenes where I'm just holding my breath thinking how happy be actors must be doing such great dialogue.

I love all the characters in season 2 because everyone believes in what they are doing and will do anything to achieve their goals. Every character has pathos and there is no over acting in sight! I don't want to spoil anything but we've seen plenty of doramas about juvenile crime and revenge but never wrapped up in a package that is as exciting and thought provoking as this.

Season 2 is not just better storyline wise although to be fair to season 1, it does set up a lot of season 2 but the WOWOW direction just makes season 2 look so much better. It just looks so much grittier and movie like compared to the meh season 1. Its funny how having different directors can make the acting look very different. If only WOWOW did season 1 as well. Oh, what could have been.

My only complaint is the unnecessary revelation about Watabe Atsuro's character near the end. The storyline and the ending did not need to have it and it just came out of left field and nearly derailed the ending for me.

In the beginning of the year, I was hoping that there would be one more jdorama this year that would be as good as Quartet and season 2 of Hanzai Shokogun is it. I might do a spoiler review later when I have had time to process the four episodes but Hanzai Shokogun absolutely is a must watch and deserves to be subbed.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blame! review

I have not read the Blame! manga before. I do know that its by the same mangaka as Knights of Sidonia which I enjoyed until it turned into a harem anime. I've considered reading the manga but I read somewhere that the ending is crap so I didn't.

Since I already payed for Netflix to watch Ouja, I decided to give Blame! a go. The movie starts out very confusing and it took a while to wrap my head around what was happening and who the characters were. It doesn't help that Blame! has the Sidonia artstyle where everyone looks the same. I guess its better than a high school animal featuring 20 girls with the same face but different coloured hair.

Blame! is basically your post apocalyptic movie about a village struggling to survive against zombies machines and our lone hero who helps them out. While the story and characters are nothing to write about, I really enjoyed the world building of the movie. There's nothing we've never seen before but Blame! has got its own aesthetics and flavour. I was less concerned with the characters and more interested in the lore of this world.

Blame! the movie feels like the first two hour episode to an epic story and it certainly did its job making me want to read the manga. If you are after more mature anime, Blame! will certainly scratch that itch and I hope Netflix will continue to pump more money into the mature anime genre. Watchable.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Hanzai Shokugun Season 1 Episodes 1-3

Hanzai Shokugun feels like an evil that men do type of series, sort of the distant cousin of Na mo Nai Doku and Petero no Souretsu. The problem I have with the show is that the main character played by Tamayama tetsuji is that he is an ex cop who quit the force because he feels bad about wanting to kill the bastard who murdered his sister.

Yes, you read it right. The main character feels that going into a murderous rage against his sister's killer disqualifies him from being a cop and feels burdened by it. I think anyone would be bothered if he did not fly into a murderous rage instead. Does anyone feel sympathy for such a weak-ass character trait? Is this lame excuse of guilt suppose to build pathos?

Main character aside, I rather like the story of Mimura's character; the unwitting accomplice to a kidnapping scheme cause her character really has pathos unlike the main character who I couldn't give a crap about.

I don't really hate Hanzai Shokugun but I couldn't really finish watching episode 4 about someone switching/fake identities. Maybe I'll come back to it later or maybe I'd just rewatch Na mo Nai Doku. Meh.

I'm losing my jdorama motivation. Need something really good asap. Season 2 is by WOWOW. Maybe I should jump to that instead.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Okja review

I was really looking forward Bong Joon Ho, director of The Host and Snowpiercer's newest movie Okja that I paid for a netflix subcription. The host was a great satire movie about the ineffectiveness of government in dealing with emergencies wrapped up in a family monster movie and I loved it. The reviews for Okja were all glowing and I went into the movie with great expectations.

However, Okja had a huge problem for me because it felt like a satire movie about evil corporations, genetic modified foods and greenies that was way too self aware about itself. This self awareness manifests itself in things like the way certain characters talk, as if they are proclaiming 'Hey, I am here to make fun and parody this instead of being an actual character in a story'. This is made worse by the hanzawa Naoki level of overacting.

Parody movies like Robocop, Starship Troopers and The Host work because the satire is buried under a decent story and doesn't take it over. These movies don't try to constantly remind you of that they are making fun of current issues. Okja feels like a well intentioned movie wanting to deal with many issues but forgot that movies should be entertaining first before being educational.

If you want the best movie about a kid and an animal from 2017, I recommend you play The Last Guardian. Very meh from me and I don't get why people are so enamored with it.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hyakuman en no onna tachi Episodes 10+11

EDIT: Ooops. I assumed there was no episode 12 because there was no preview at the end for the next episode but bframe just informed me there's one more and I should not get my hopes up for it. Its probably going to be a week before it shows up on streaming sites.
And so it ends not with a bang but a whimper. We finally found out who the mastermind is and my only reaction is... eh? There is no finality, no aha or omfg moments. I was sitting there thinking, "That's it? After all that build up?"

It so disappointing to see a show with interesting characters and story possibilities end with nothing. Hyakkuman en no onna tachi kept me on my toes through the series but a mystery show is as good as its ending and this was a let down. A big meh from me. I wonder if the original manga has a better ending?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kenja no Ai Eng subs out at d-addicts!

Kenja no Ai was one of the best shows of 2016 and the English subs have finally surfaced on d-addicts, freed from the chains of private livejournal groups. I bloody recommend it cause its just so good. The torrents at nyaa don't seem to have seeds but you can get it from avistaz or doramax265 if the links still work. If you like jdoramas, you have to watch this and not knowing Japanese can no longer be a reason.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chiisana Kyojin Episodes 1-5

Chiisana Kyojin is basically the cop version of Hanzawa Naoki, which means overabundance of stirring music, overacting villains and unnecessary posing and shouting. In other words, its a good cop vs bad cop show where the word subtlety does not exist.

It doesn't mean that Chiisana Kyojin is all bad though. What kept me watching throughout the five episodes were the actors involved, especially Yasuda Ken although the overacting did grate on me somewhat.

Playing my 3DS which watching also helped me though the cringeworthy parts. I did enjoy the first story which was about Hasegawa Hiroki trying to uncover the police mole, shades of Infernal Affairs except its not half as good.

Chiisana Kyojin is what it is. Those who liked Hanzawa Naoki will enjoy it the colourful villains who have a neon sign above their head saying 'I'm a bad guy' and those who have Hanzawa Naoki will find this to be a tolerable version.