Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bleach 353: Ichigo has to go POOP

Bleach episode 353 review

Just kidding, this isn't an episode review. There's nothing to report on when it comes to the ultra-boring Bleach. It's no wonder the show was put out of its misery. All I can remember from this one is Ichigo making constipated sounds as he tried helplessly to fight.

Character of the episode: Chad
Just because.

Episode rating (out of four stars): ½

Saturday, July 26, 2014

AoT/Bleach/Blue Exorcist July 26 Liveblog


Uh, did you know that Blue Exorcist is NOT a hundred-episode series like Bleach or InuYasha? And that tonight's episode is the THIRD-TO-LAST EPISODE?! So somehow I get the feeling a ton of stuff is going to be unresolved when this series wraps up on the night of the PGA Championship. Oh, and we are set for a crash collision of Bleach and Attack on Titan both ending in late October/early November within a week or two of each other. Serious stuff is going down here. Heck, we may even be in for a Gainax ending in at least one of these three series. For now, I've got to figure out how I can come up with 3 new titles for posts based off Katy Perry songs - but only if I'm "Wide Awake" tonight.

Blue Exorcist 22: Dark Horse

Blue Exorcist episode 22 review

"Are you ready for (ready for), a perfect storm (perfect storm)..."

All the storylines converge at once as Rin Okumura is in big trouble with the Vatican. The Okumuras' grandfather, now known as Pope Ernst, isn't going around in the Popemobile waving to everyone. No, he's got bigger plans - to unleash something known as the "Messiah" on the world and destroy all demons. Yukio goes along with his plan because he promises to make Rin human. Sounds great, right?
But while Rin's pals start to feel guilty about killing all these demons, and Rin joins in, Yukio just keeps on killing. He even turns his gun towards poor Kuro. We now realize Yukio's full demon powers, as he even takes down flaming-blue Rin.

And suddenly the entire series is thrown into moral chaos as Rin is taken off to prison, where Mephisto is also imprisoned. He shows off some Rukia-esque paintings, then escapes. I can't figure out whether Mephisto is evil or not. Nor can I figure out (at least at this point in the episode) whether Yukio is evil or not. I'm pretty sure Satan is evil, but I can't quite be certain.

So now Rin Okumura is going to be executed up on a high place. Where does this look familiar? Oh yeah, Bleach's Sokyoku Hill. But in this case, there's no Ichigo to save him, he really is getting fried. And while the Pope enjoys Rin's "sacrifice," Rin's pals hope to be Ichigo to him. They can't get anywhere close, however, and it's up to Shura to rescue them.

And by the end of the episode, Rin is nowhere to be seen, Yukio has turned into a full-fledged demon, the Pope has opened the "gate," and Blue Exorcist has gone completely bonkers.

Character of the episode: Yukio Okumura
I think he's still a good guy?

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

AoT 11: Roar

Attack on Titan episode 11 review

No, "Roar" isn't a knock-off that other awful song - it's actually good. Sara Barailles sucks.

Let me get this straight: the whole goal of the humans is to plug up some hole with a boulder, and the only way to do that is by Eren's Titan power. So let me get this straight: the Titans have found a way to destroy everything in sight, but if some hole is plugged up, it'll solve everything? Okay then.
There's a lot of tomfoolery in this episode. A lot. Soldiers yelling at each other for no reason at all. The bald guy who's supposedly all that, drinking some alcohol. A few soldiers screaming at Eren that PEOPLE... ARE... DYING because of him. ("Would you please shut down the system?") So as usual, we've got stuff wasting time in this episode that stops it from being better than it could be.

We also have an extremely long speech by the bald guy, while Eren stands by with his hand on his heart and the other behind him. It's apparently the salute of respect for whatever country those guys are in. (Which is the opposite of how the current president always refuses to put his hand on his heart or even hold his head up during the playing of the national anthem.) It's all about how plugging up some hole is going to save humanity, or at least be the first step toward doing so. I seriously doubt it, but that's what they want to think.

Mikasa, who has a stalker-esque obsession with Eren, wants to follow him wherever he goes. (Maybe "Kirito-esque" is a stronger term for that.) Mikasa came into this series as a character I thought I'd like, but she's really losing all her luster to me.

And Eren's going to turn into a Titan and lift up that boulder with all his willpower, and it'll be his "I Think I Can" attitude that pulls it all off. Right? Well, not if the Titan takes over his mind and he goes nuts. In other words, he's just like Rin Okumura. Anyone think this trope is getting overused?

Character of the episode: Armin
The Arminian gets it not because he was any good, but because like several other episodes, there were absolutely no characters I liked, and he was the only tolerable one. (It's not fair to pick Annie even though she reminds me of Temari so much.)

Episode rating (out of four stars): **

Thursday, July 17, 2014

AoT 10: The longest 20 seconds ever

Attack on Titan episode 10 review

As Eren's Titan crumbles and the dust begins to settle, the three pals try to figure out what to do. Eren knows he's got to figure out what his father had been hiding for the last 5 years. Mikasa wants to be a Misty and go wherever Eren goes (until the next generation, of course). And Armin is self-loathing all the time.

Eren figures they've got about 20 seconds, before Captain Caveman raises his arm in the slowest fashion humanly possible, and then calls for the cannon to shoot them all once more. So he asks Armin if he can come up with some sort of speech that will save their skins. If not, Eren's going to have to turn Titan again.

These 20 seconds that I'm mentioning? They don't end until about the 20-minute mark of the episode, when Armin finally comes out and starts rambling on with an incoherent rant about why Captain Caveman should trust Eren. Captain Caveman doesn't fall for it, even with his subordinates begging for him to listen to reason. Finally a creepy old man comes out and stops Captain Caveman from going any more nuts. ("I'll even throw in this creepy old man button!" - big bonus points if you can remember what event from this blog that quote came from)

The creepy old man talks with Eren a bunch, and then commands him to control his Titan skills on his way to try to plug up a hole. Mikasa sits by completely uselessly, as she has been for much of this series outside of battle (and even in battle). And Eren gets that typical determined look in his face.

What's weirdest of all is that despite all my snark, I actually liked this episode. Please don't change the opening theme, ever.

Character of the episode: Armin
The Arminian isn't all useless, you know. He's got some positive traits.

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blue Exorcist 21: There's a secret garden she hides

Blue Exorcist episode 21 review

I was listening to some Bruce Springsteen before this episode, including the song "Secret Garden." I was then surprised to find that to be the name of this episode, which was the big one for the Greenmen.

Yukio meets his grandfather, who invites him to rule the galaxy together as grandfather and son. He also tells him about the corruption in the Vatican. Doesn't that sound familiar?

Meanwhile, the Fuhrer turns out to be a Disney villain. He was really good all along, he had good intentions, he meant well. So now we have to come up with a different nickname for him, because he's sure to be around for a long time.

Oh, and his wife? She looks nearly exactly like the blonde guy from the Knights of the Blood Oath. At least that's what I kept hearing every time they said "Knights of the..." Thus my confusion from the last episode.

Anyway, there are about four different plotlines which all collide with Michelle (his wife) attacking Shiemi in the secret garden full of Greenmen. When four different plotlines would collide in Seinfeld, it would often end in absolutely hilarious results (for example, "The Pez Dispenser"). Here it just seems forced. There's the Vatican and its corrupt forces along with Michelle and the Fuhrer along with Shiemi and her garden along with Rin being the shonen hero. After a whole lot of pointless squabbling and battling, Michelle and the Fuhrer decide to die in the secret garden together, while the Vatican's forces take off. Pretty hard for me to get emotional about their deaths.

It was an entertaining episode, though the conflict very conveniently solved. (Not quite as conveniently solved as in Frozen, though.) Besides the little rock-paper-scissors battle where Shura > Rin > the blonde guy > Shura, everything was solved by an "alert" and Michelle choosing to die.

For next episode, we see that Yukio's grandfather is taking over the Vatican. Does that make him Pope? I really want the Pope to appear because the papal puns would flow so easy. I wouldn't have to resort to Springsteen lyrics for post titles.

Character of the episode: Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!
Something I found out recently: Nii-chan is voiced by Cassandra Lee Morris (Kyubey). Nice parallel there, given birthday girl Christine Marie Cabanos voices Shiemi.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

World Cup of Anime - Championship

Welcome to the World Cup of Anime Final! It's Puella Magi Madoka Magica vs. Attack on Titan for all the marbles! And off we go!

Puella Magi Madoka Magica vs. Attack on Titan

1st half

The first half starts with a furious attack by Madoka Magica. Madoka gets the ball to Homura, and she puts it in for an early 1-0 lead in only the 9th minute. However, Eren has the moves like Jaeger, and he jukes his way through the opposing defense to set up a pass to Mikasa. Her shot goes off the crossbar and in, and it's tied up 1-1 in the 42th minute. The score remains tied going into the half.

2nd half

Both teams go into an absolute lull in the 2nd half. Neither is able to come up with a goal, and the game heads to extra time.

Extra time

Very much like the Argentina vs. Netherlands semifinal, neither team seems to even want to score in the extra 30 minutes. Thus the game goes into penalty kicks, tied up at 1-1.

Penalty kicks

Madoka will take the first shot for her squad, up against goaltender Captain Levi. And her shot goes in! Madoka leads, 1-0!

Jaeger's going to try to knot things up for his team, as Kyubey hopes to make the save. And he does! His shot is in the right side of the net, and it's 1-1!

Sayaka comes up, trying to give her team back the lead... and yes! It's in! 2-1 Madoka!

Mikasa will attempt to tie it up for Attack on Titan. Her shot is... in! Kyubey can't stop it, and it's 2-2!

So now it's time for Mami to shoot. Her shot goes... in! A 3-2 lead for Madoka!

Armin trudges up to the spot, going to take his shot. He shoots... and Kyubey makes the diving save! Madoka holds on to the lead at 3-2!

Kyoko can give Madoka a strangehold of a lead if she makes this one... and she does! It's 4-2, Madoka!

Annie walks up to the spot, she knows she must make this one in order to keep her team alive. She kicks it... into the top left corner of the net! She pulls her team within one!

So it all comes down to Homura Akemi. If she makes it, Puella Magi Madoka Magica wins the World Cup of Anime. If she misses...

Oh, come on. You know there's no way she misses.

Homura steps up to the spot stoically, then puts the ball right past Captain Levi without any emotion. It's easy as pie. 5-3, and it's all over!

Puella Magi Madoka Magica wins the World Cup of Anime!

Congratulations to our champion, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and thanks for joining in on this exciting contest! See you in 4 years!