Blog 8-26-15 Attack on Titan Live Action movie review

Here I go again! I am hoping to write a semi-daily blog. To get the ball rolling I want to discuss the new live action “Attack on Titan” movie. I got to see it just the other day. And boy was I confused. I don’t know if it is supposed to be a live-action version. Or is just going its own way. I get the feeling that it is going its own way. Having read as much of the manga I can get my hands on, plus seeing the anime series, this movie was very confusing. I may have to see it again with no expectations. I just figured that it was going to be a retelling of the original story. But I am wrong.

For the live-action film, the screenwriter(s) have taken some of the more obvious elements from the animated series and woven them into a separate but equal story line. This film has to be taken on its own. But the problem I have is that I have seen the animated series and read the manga. So I have a preconceived idea what is going to happen or what I expect to happen. So I made the bold move of watching the film again. It didn’t make any more sense the second time as the first. The beautiful of the manga/animated series is that it is very tight in character development. The live action just has everyone running around screaming. Is it fair to compare the live-action to the animation? No, but it is hard not to. My biggest problem with the movie is that it doesn’t follow the manga story line all the time. It follows sometimes and other times it goes its own way. I would have preferred if for the live-action, Attack on Titan had been completely re-imagined.

Now for the items that are from the manga/animated series. First the best scene of the movie is when the Colossus Titan is looking over the wall. Seeing it in a live action setting really impresses one with its size. And I understand now why the Japanese like their Godzilla. The west doesn’t really go for the gigantic monsters. Its appearance was quite spectacular. The titans that ravage the town were just so so. They were kind of underwhelming. Sure there is a lot of blood and guts when they chow down, but I found it very uninteresting. The Vertical Maneuvering Equipment which isn’t seen till final third of the movie is nicely done. Overall the special effects are okay. The scenes with the titan are dark and gritty, the scenes in the beginning in the fields is light and pretty. Am I watching the same movie?

And one more problem item is the music for the live-action movie. Shiro Sagisu has worked on some of my favorite anime series/movies (Neon Genesis: Evangelion, His and Her Circumstances and Berserk: Golden Age Arc). He really missed the mark here.

Overall even without the manga/animation comparison, this movie fails to deliver. There is a second live-action movie promised. Will the second one wrap up the story line? How can it? It would have to go off canon to do that, even more than it all ready has.

2014-2015 Winter Anime Season Wrap Up Part 3

I wrote that I would discuss Rolling Girls and Yoru no Yatterman.
With Rolling Girls I made it to episode 5. Why did I not finish this series? The last episode I watched just didn’t call me back to watch another one. I like the character designs in the beginning. I even enjoyed the story line, in the beginning. But when they got to the Big City (Always Comina) something happened to the series. I like the idea of the two gangs fighting each other. Another plus for the series is that it was produced by Wit Studio. In the past I have enjoyed what they have put out. So what happened with this title? They gave us Attack on Titan, Hozuki no Reitetsu and for this 2015 Spring Anime season favorite Seraph of the End. The director for the series Kotomi Deai has worked on previous titles that I have enjoyed. But this is their second turn as series director. This series looks like it was an original story for anime with the manga coming later. After writing this blog would I consider going back and finishing the remaining episodes? No. Will I regret this decision? Probably not, life is too short to regret animes a person doesn’t finish.
Now on to another title that I didn’t finish, though I did get further with this one. And that one would be Yoru no Yatterman. With this title I got through eight of the twelve episodes. I was so close to the end. Why didn’t I finish? Because I didn’t think it was going end well. As it was planned for twelve episodes, after the first five episodes it seemed that the series was going to fall off the rails. The story line wasn’t advancing. Plus the series was starting to remind me a lot of Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda in its art and story line. And I didn’t know if I wanted to go there again. Okay I’ll be honest. The title started to bore me. It didn’t call me back to watch what was going to happen next. The story line was just going in circles. If it looked like our heroes were advancing just a little I would have watched till the end. The problem I had with this title was that there wasn’t going to be an end to the series. Though I have to say that I really like the character design. There was something really pleasing about it. That was the same reason I stuck with Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda till the end (and was disappointed). Maybe that is why I didn’t feel the desire to finish Yoru no Yatterman.

So this concludes my discussion about what I bailed on. Tomorrow I’ll write start writing about the titles that I really like from the Winter season. Again, I hope you enjoy my ruminations.

2014-2015 Winter Anime Season Wrap Up Part 2

First let me tackle Tokyo Ghoul the second season. I really loved the first season. I know there were people out there saying that it wasn’t as good as the manga. But I haven’t read the manga so I was going in as a newbie to the title. And that first season kicked ass. The second season not so much. The second season seemed to loose the fire the first season had. I got the impression the creative team behind it didn’t know what they wanted to say in the second season. Did the anime stray from the manga story line? The first season was so clear in what it wanted to say and where it wanted to go. What happened to the Rize Kamishiro and Ken Kaneki story line. Without her there is no story. It seems that the creative promised more than it could deliver in twelve episodes. The world of Tokyo Ghoul is much bigger than the 24 episodes we got. What we got was the Owl’s back story. Really, where did that come from. Kaneki has some part in the second season but not as much as I would have hoped. Plus he is still so wimpy. I guess you can make a guy a half ghoul and much stronger but at his core he is still a wimp. This is one of the titles this season that I kind of lost interest in. There was a point when it got really confusing. I lost track of who was who. There were too many characters that were never fleshed (pardon the pun) out. Sure the girls got their episode to explain who they were/are. But that is the last we see of them. I did like the opening and closing animation. With the problems listed up above I gradually lost interest in what was going to happen next. The second season was just one long fight scene. No one moved forward. Okay, Touka opened a new coffee shop and seemed to move on. But we still have a Tokyo with a lot of ghouls running around. If there were a third season, would I watch? Probably. I guess hope springs eternal. My hope being that the creative team got it right this time.

Now what to say about Durarara!! v2? This is a series I really want to like. The problem I have with it is that there is so much cross talking and fast talking. It is hard to keep up with what is being said. I wish there was more Celty in this season. I don’t think this season moved the narrative forward. And at the end of this season it was announced that there will another season this July, 2015. Am I ready for another season of confusion. I love the art work and character designs for this series. The big problem is the character interaction. See my comments about Tokyo Ghoul season 2, too many character that I don’t understand their relationship with the other characters. Boy that was a long sentence to say that I needed a score card to keep track of everyone. Sometimes the writers try to be too clever and just end up confusing the viewer. Though it is probably easier to understand if you speak Japanese. Then you just follow along and enjoy the ride. But for me, the series at times wore me out!.I remember my joy when the new season started. It was like seeing old friends again. Then as the episodes went along I remembered why I stopped hanging out with them. I love the Celty/Shinra Kishitani relationship. I would watch a side story of just their day to day life. Shizuo Heiwajima is another favorite that was ignored this second season. And Izaya Orihara the man you might love to hate. Then final episode ends with Izaya in some kind of trouble. Am I looking forward to the third season of Durarara!!? Of course I am. I hope the creative team puts forth a better story. Perhaps the second season will be the forgotten step child of the title. Maybe season two is a perfect set up for the third season. When it is all done then when you binge watch the title the whole thing will make sense. Did I like season 2? Yes, but that is a qualified yes.

Tomorrow I’ll write about Rolling Girls with a little Yoru no Yatterman thrown in. Again, I hope you enjoy my ruminations.

2014-2015 Winter Anime Season Wrap Up Part 1

We’re back! I took some time off, but during that time I never stopped watching the Winter 2015 Anime season. I have to say that I was sorry to see some of the titles come to an end. Among my favorites from last season were “The Seven Deadly Sins” (I am currently reading the manga!), Aldnoah.Zero 2, Junketsu no Maria, Akatsuki no Yona, Kamisama Hajimemashita, Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bounei, Kantai Collection: Kan Colle, Gundam Reconguista, Koufuku Grafiti, Tokyo Ghoul VA, Bonjou Koiaji Patisserie, Garo, Death Parade, Durarara!! v2. There were also a lot of titles that I tried to start and lost interest. And others that I really wasn’t interested in.

Which ones did I really look forward to? That would be Death Parade, Koufuku Grafiti, Kantai Collection: Kan Colle, Junketsu no Maria and Kamisama Hajimemashita. I liked these titles because they never disappointed me. And not matter what was going on, I made sure I saw the episode every week and was disappointed when an episode was late.
There were a few that I finished because I had invested so much of my time and I was mildly interested in how the title finished up. Aldnoah Zero 2, Tokyo Ghoul VA and Durarara!! v2 fell into this category.
Rolling Girls, Yoru no Yatterman and Absolute Duo were titles that I started, hung around for a few episodes and didn’t feel the need to come back to it. In the case of Yoru no Yatterman I lasted 8 episodes of a 12 episode series. I almost made it to the end. But there was something that didn’t grab me. Those titles that I just listed did not give me a reason to tune in every week. With Rolling Girls and Yoru no Yatterman, I really like the character designs and where the stories were going. Just not enough I guess.
Aldnoah Zero 2 kept me going until the very end. Would it have ended differently if they had a few more episodes? I don’t know. Over all it was a satisfying. Everyone survived till the end. I don’t have a problem with that. I liked all the main characters. It was unfortunate that some of the minor characters were not fleshed out. This was a title that did not lose sight of the end game. Unlike some other titles from the 2014 Winter Anime season, it had a beginning, middle and end. If there were another season to see the main characters grown up, I won’t be unhappy. With this title being an A-1 title, the production values were a pleasure to watch. The only unfortunate aspect of the title is that none of the main characters are allowed to die. Don’t get me wrong. I would have been very unhappy to see Inaho Kaizuka, Slaine Troyard or Asseylum Vers Allusia killed off. The Vers Empire took the brunt of the deaths in the title. Was Inaho Kaizuka too smart, too clever? Not in my opinion. I like a character can figure it all out, is not clouded with emotion. Slaine Troyard was the same way. In the second season, Asseylum Vers Allusia didn’t have much to do. If you haven’t seen this title, I don’t want to spoil the end for you. Inaho and Slaine were characters who knew what they wanted. They were very clear eyed to what they wanted to happen.

Tomorrow I’ll write about Tokyo Ghoul’s second season and Durarara!! season 2. And maybe Rolling Girls with a little Yoru no Yatterman thrown in. I hope you enjoy my ruminations.

Anime episode video reviews for 11-26-14

Wid fills us in on Anime she is watching this week including:

Bonjour Koiaji Patisserie
Gugure! Kokkuri-san
Mushishi – Sea of Otherworldly Stars
Ookami Shouji to Kuro Ouji (Wolf Girl and Black Prince)
Shingeki Rage of Bahamut Genesis
Amagi Brilliant Park
World Trigger
Terra Formars
Gundam Reconguista in G

And now the details …

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