Saturday, September 24, 2016

OPM 10: What does S-Rank stand for?

One-Punch Man episode 10 review

The title of this post is a joke. There's a Facebook page where a person rates girls on an A to F scale. Anytime someone says that a girl is "S-rank," there's a certain word used to describe that letter "S" that can't be repeated here.

And so it is with these S-rank heroes. They all gather together to face an opponent that is more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Lots of these guys seem very interesting as characters, but unfortunately most of them only get a couple of seconds of screen time. Saitama also shows up for the S-rank meeting and wants some tea.

The most interesting character is the Tornado character. She has some spunk and definitely seems like someone you don't want to mess with. It was interesting to actually see a female hero, which was sorely missing for some time.

Now Saitama and the other heroes have to face these aliens. What's probably going to happen is that the aliens will destroy lots of stuff, the other heroes will fail, Saitama will make a few jokes, then Saitama will defeat the aliens. I hope I'm wrong, though. It would be a shame for One-Punch Man to fall into the same old pattern.

In the meantime, One-Punch Man escapes this week with an ever-so-slightly above average episode that probably deserves 2.25 stars, but I don't do quarter-stars.

Episode rating (out of four stars): **½

Friday, September 23, 2016

#FlashbackFriday: Sailor Moon R episodes 53-54 review

Episode 53 is a half-hour of hijinx with Usagi and Mamoru trying to raise a baby whose mother got attacked by a monster. It's as funny as you'd think. Then the Monster of the Week shows up and uses babies as its shield. Sailor Mercury gets really angry and obtains a new power, but it's up to Moonlight Knight to show up and save the Sailor Guardians again. Despite the predictability of the battle, it's still quite a funny episode.

It's Rei's turn to shine in Episode 54, the episode from which the dub song "Oh Starry Night" came. She's bossy and b****y as ever in this episode. Then, once the Monster of the Week attacks, she gains a new power. Since Makoto seems to be featured in the next episode, it seems to be a pattern with each Sailor Guardian getting their own episode to be featured (Minako was last week). The episode was good, but I miss "Oh Starry Night."

Episode 53 rating (out of four stars): ***
Episode 54 rating (out of four stars): ***

Thursday, September 22, 2016

#ThrowbackThursday: Cardcaptor Sakura episodes 53-54 review

Episode 53 contains more info on the intriguing villain-to-be Eriol, who visits Sakura while she's sweeping her lawn. Then Sakura's bike goes crazy, and it's as the result of Sakura trying to turn all her cards from Clow Cards to Sakura Cards. In the end, Sakura's forced to use multiple cards to stop her bike from going wherever it wants. It turns out it was The Dash card which got "scared" from Sakura trying to change the cards.

Episode 54, however, is boring as heck. In fact, it's pretty safe to say that not much happened. Sakura finds a calendar with all of her family's birthdays marked on it by her now-deceased mother. Then Sakura's dad has a talk with Sakura's grandfather. And that's... pretty much about it. Probably the worst episode of the entire series, as there was not even a hint of any sort of card-capturing going on.

Episode 53 rating (out of four stars): **½
Episode 54 rating (out of four stars): no stars

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Back to Bleach: Bleach episodes 3-4 review

These Bleach reviews will not necessarily be on a certain day of the week. The first one came on a Saturday; this one comes on a Wednesday.

In any case, two more great episodes. First, Ichigo has to finish off fighting the Hollow who is actually Orihime's brother. Rukia has a demanding personality in these early episodes; she's the expert, and Ichigo is the disciple. She wants Ichigo to finish him off, but Ichigo can't do it because he doesn't want to hurt Orihime. Eventually, Orihime is able to talk to her real brother who is fighting the Hollow, and he is able to pass peacefully. Then some hilarious shenanigans ensue where Rukia uses an object to change Orihime's memories and make her come up with a ridiculous random story about pro wrestlers attacking her house. That was a nice touch that never gets seen later on in the story.

In episode 4, Rukia can't figure out how to work a juice box. While she's trying to make heads or tails of it, Chad brings along a parrot that can talk. The parrot, as Rukia will figure out, has a human soul inside. That parrot seems to be bringing some bad luck to Chad, who's getting beaten up. Then Karin ends up sick and tries to tell Ichigo how to help Chad. All the while, Rukia's battling a Hollow, but she lost her Soul Reaper powers so she's having trouble in the fight. And the episode ends with a cliffhanger...

Again, two outstanding episodes. That's kind of going to be the theme here. These early episodes were great. They're the reason why I fell in love with Bleach.

Episode 3 rating (out of four stars): ***½
Episode 4 rating (out of four stars): ***½

Anime Bowl Toonami Podcast - Episode 63

My medals:
Gold: Hunter x Hunter
Silver: One Piece
Bronze: One-Punch Man

Michael's medals:
Gold: Hunter x Hunter
Silver: One Piece
Bronze: Dragon Ball Z Kai

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

1999: Brett Favre :: 2015 : Aaron Rodgers???

This is still technically a Packers blog, so I'm going to get in my complaints about the Packers here. 1999 for the Green Bay Packers was an awful year on paper by comparison to the glory years of the nineties. The Packers won only 8 games for the first time since 1991, when they last had a losing record. Yet that 8-8 record was full of excitement. Brett Favre led last-minute touchdown drives in 3 of the first 4 games of the season, and they were thrilling drives.

First came Oakland. Favre somehow overcame 3 interceptions with his 4th touchdown pass in a last-second victory over the Raiders. (He always saved up his best performances for the Raiders.) Then came Minnesota. On a 4th-and-1 play with the clock running under 30 seconds to play and no timeouts, Favre called the play at the line of scrimmage, stepped up and hit Corey Bradford for the game-winning points. On to Sunday night against Tampa, where Favre got hurt, yet led the team to one more game-winning TD to beat the Buccaneers. He was, as one friend of mine said, "fantastic."

But the good start quickly evaporated as the Packers lost 3 in a row after their 4-2 start. They recovered with 3 straight wins, then lost another 3 straight games. They won the finale to finish 7th in the NFC, one Cowboys loss shy of a playoff berth. And Favre was all over the place. Sometimes he was brilliant, but most of the time, Packers fans were left scratching their heads. He turned into a turnover machine.

Favre (and, by virtue, the Packers) was never the same. While he did have amazing years in 2007 (and 2009, with the Vikings), he wasn't the MVP he had been in the late nineties. He was "the gunslinger," someone who took too many chances and often killed his team with his bad decisions.

But no one remembered Favre's failures that year. Everyone pointed to the last-second comebacks as part of his legend. Indeed, those are all that I remember from that season. He was a legend, and that was just unassailable.

Fast forward to 2015. Aaron Rodgers threw three Hail Marys during the season, all complete, and only was eliminated from the playoffs because of a leaky defense (again). Everyone points to the Hail Mary in Detroit as part of his legend, although I think his drive against Arizona was even greater, even though the team lost thanks to a defense that just refused to cover Larry Fitzgerald.

Yet during the year, Rodgers struggled mightily. It was his worst year since his first year as a starter in 2008. His numbers were way down across the board. He no longer looked like the MVP he had been in 2011 and 2014.

Rodgers' failures were masked, however. Everyone looked at the Hail Marys (including me) and failed to see his shortcomings.

Now we're looking at the same mediocre Rodgers from 2015. Is this, perhaps, the sign of a declining Rodgers, just like the declining Favre from 1999? Will he never be the same, with the exception of a few flashes of brilliance? Will the Packers devolve into an 8-8 mediocre team and never challenge for a Super Bowl again under Rodgers? These are questions that need to be asked. Right now, I can't be sure if Rodgers is in a steep decline, or just a temporary one. One thing's for sure, I sure hope the Packers aren't at 7-8 (or worse) going into Week 17, like they were in 1999. If that happens, then we know there's a real problem on our hands.

Monday, September 19, 2016

OPM 9: Give me back that Filet-o-Fish

One-Punch Man episode 9 review


Genos tries fighting off the Sea King, only to get utterly destroyed by the acid of the monster. Then it's up to the "cyclist for justice" to save the day. He gets embarrassed too. All that buildup leads to Saitama showing up and lowering the hammer on the Sea King and ending his reign of terror.

Then it's fan mail time! However, the fan mail Saitama gets isn't very nice. Rather, it calls him a "faker." There happened to be a guy in the crowd who thought that Saitama was a "faker," and he tries to convince the other people of this fact. Saitama does get one letter that's positive, and that's it, which seems a lot like my life.

The Hero Association is up to something sinister, and there's another Monster of the Week coming next week. Adult Swim is going all-out to promote One-Punch Man, going as far as eliminating their PSAs to provide us with episode previews. As cheesy as the PSAs are, though, I think I prefer them to getting spoiled.

Episode rating (out of four stars): **½