Monday, August 3, 2015

Anime Bowl Toonami Podcast - Episode 15


It's our big wrap-up of Kill la Kill! We spend a long time on Kill la Kill this episode at the end, as I discuss its legacy and how important it was to me. There's also the usual fare early on, but nearly half the episode is spent on our dearly departed Kill la Kill.

Intro: 0:00
Dragonball Z Kai: 1:03
Michiko & Hatchin: 11:05
Sword Art Online II: 17:22
Naruto Shippuden: 25:43
One Piece: 30:40
Kill la Kill BIG FINISH: 35:32

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Kill la Kill 23-24: People are people! Clothes are clothes!

Kill la Kill episodes 23-24 review

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The dust has settled, and Kill la Kill winds to a conclusion. You can either take this thing seriously and find a deeper meaning to it, or you can come to the same realization as the characters: "People are people! Clothes are clothes!" And Kill la Kill was an excellent series.

The last two episodes weren't all that great; at least not when compared to the brilliance of the previous 12 episodes or so. There was also a lot of confusing stuff, much akin to the way Gurren Lagann's ending was so over the top that you couldn't figure out what exactly was going on. Nevertheless, it was a satisfying ending, giving fans all they would want, and also leaving the door open for a sequel.

The question now is what Kill la Kill's overall legacy will be. Obviously those who watched it subbed came up with this answer a long time ago, but I am in a unique position of having watched most of the episodes twice. Did the second time hold up as well as I'd thought? No, but that's mainly because all the big twists were already spoiled for me. You really have to judge it on how you felt the first time you saw it, and I absolutely loved it that first time around. Whether or not I was able to enjoy it so much the second time around is irrelevant.

I don't think I can move Kill la Kill past either Puella Magi Madoka Magica or Neon Genesis Evangelion, two masterpieces which can't be beat. But third place all-time? Yes, I can see that easily. And even with a rather average ending, I think Kill la Kill deserves that bronze medal as the third-best anime I've ever seen. The legacy is secure; Kill la Kill is one of the greatest.

Character of the episodes: Ryuko

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

Overall series rating (out of four stars): ****

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Kill la Kill Finale Liveblog

Live Blog Kill la Kill Finale Liveblog
I'm back! And better than ever, with big plans in store for the rest of the year! But for now, let's just savor Kill la Kill while it lasts.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A piece of business

My grandmother died last week, and I've been too emotional to post anything here. The podcast has been cancelled for the week, as have all reviews of last Saturday's Toonami. Currently I'm hoping to start up anew this Saturday, with a liveblog for the finale of Kill la Kill. I'll then review two episodes at one time for all 3 series. Please bear with me in this difficult time.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Anime Bowl Toonami Podcast - Episode 14


Drip drip drip... on goes the water torture. Or is that just Sword Art Online II? I'm not sure. In any case, we try to keep it a bit shorter this week, given the lack of interesting episodes amongst Michiko & Hatchin and SAO II.

Intro: 0:00
Dragonball Z Kai: 0:20
Kill la Kill: 5:16
Michiko & Hatchin: 14:41
Sword Art Online II: 21:41
Naruto Shippuden: 29:31
One Piece: 34:11

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

GB 20: Ranking the players


Time to rank the best players of the last 20 seasons for the Packers! Actually this is going to be more focused on my favorite players, rather than a definitive list on who the best players have been. I'm sure there's some stats maniac who could come up with a very strict list on the top 20 players of the last 20 years. Anyway, here are the ones I think are the best.

1. Brett Favre
For all his mistakes, and his acrimonious departure, he's the one who rescued Green Bay from 25 years of mediocrity. When he came to Green Bay, he changed everything. And of course, he set all sorts of records, some of which have been broken by stats-only Peyton Manning, but others that still stand, such as his remarkable ironman streak. No matter what is said about him, he put the Packers on the map to stay. Oh, and 3 straight MVP awards don't hurt.

2. Reggie White
Reggie White coming over in free agency was just as big of a boost as Favre joining the team via trade. White turned the defense into a juggernaut, one that rose to the top of the league in 1996. As an All-Pro, White's 3 sacks in Super Bowl XXXI and his Defensive Player of the Year award in 1998 were just a couple of his great achievements.

3. Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers isn't finished quite yet, but there's no way he could be ranked any lower. He holds Packers records for most yards in a game and most touchdown passes in a game (actually shared with Matt Flynn), and he's won a Super Bowl and earned MVP honors in that game. Also, he's won 2 MVPs so far in his career. He could easily surpass Favre by the time he's finished.

4. Antonio Freeman
Freeman's Monday Night catch was the highlight of his career, but none was more important than his 81-yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XXXI that put the Packers in front for good. He was easily the best receiver during the early Favre era, and he has so many great catches and runs that can't be counted.

5. Charles Woodson
If Rodgers was the MVP, then Woodson was a close runner-up in importance in getting the Packers to Super Bowl XLV. His outstanding big plays on defense won quite a few games for the Packers over the years, and he was such a strong leader who made the rest of the team great around him.

6. Donald Driver
Here's a guy who worked harder than anyone else throughout his career, and who finally got to the top of the league despite an injury in Super Bowl XLV. The most memorable moment for Driver has to be his long catch-and-run in a game against San Francisco in 2010, where he fought off many defenders on his way to the end zone.

7. Ahman Green
Green was the starting running back of the early 2000s, and in 2003 he came close to 2,000 yards as well as having a 98-yard touchdown run in the year's final game. He was extremely important in the playoff pushes of those years.

8. Mark Chmura
The Packers have had a lot of great tight ends over the years, but none better than Chmura, who caught a ton of Favre's passes over the years. Chmura's 2-point conversion catch in Super Bowl XXXI was just one of his many great plays.

9. LeRoy Butler
The guy who invented the Lambeau Leap has to be on here. LeRoy Butler was an outstanding safety, and he deserves a lot of credit for helping the Packers go from mediocrity to Super Bowl champions.

10. Clay Matthews
It's still early for Matthews, but he forced a fumble in Super Bowl XLV which will be remembered forever. He's had a ton of sacks over the years, and he's a main reason why the Packers' 3-4 defense has been successful.

11. Robert Brooks
Brooks helped the Packers a lot in Favre's early years. He was one of the main Lambeau Leapers in the mid 90's. While he suffered an injury in 1996 that derailed his season, no one can question how much he meant to this team.

12. Gilbert Brown
The "Gravedigger," as he was called, was such an imposing force on the defensive line that he often took two offensive lineman to block him. He was an outstanding lineman who really helped the push for Super Bowl XXXI.

13. Desmond Howard
Only in Green Bay for a short time, Howard won Super Bowl XXXI MVP honors for his kick returning. And what a kick returner he was; his 99-yard kickoff return in that Super Bowl was a record at the time.

14. Dorsey Levens
Levens was such an instrumental part of the success of the 90s teams. He and Edgar Bennett formed a dynamic duo in the backfield.

15. Edgar Bennett
I can't forget Bennett, can I? It's hard to separate him from Levens, given how good those two were in the late 90s.

16. Frank Winters
Winters was one of the "Three Amigos" along with Chmura and Favre, and as a center he helped make that offensive line great. He started for the team in Super Bowl XXXI.

17. Greg Jennings
He would be higher if he had stayed longer, but even while he was here, Jennings was quite an amazing player. He had lots of big catches over his career with Green Bay, including some big ones in Super Bowl XLV.

18. Jordy Nelson
Nelson will move up this list as his career progresses. He's become one of the best receivers in the league, with both big plays and clutch catches.

19. Chad Clifton
As a tackle, Clifton provided an anchor to the offensive line, particularly in Super Bowl XLV for Rodgers. His importance to the team cannot be overstated.

20. William Henderson
There has to be a fullback on this list! Henderson was the starting fullback back in the days when teams still used fullbacks! In the mid 90s, he was a great blocker, rusher and even receiver.

So I'm sure I missed one or two players, but these are my picks for the top 20 players over the last 20 years. Join me in the upcoming weeks as I have more "top 20" lists for the Packers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SAO 15: The Quest For Stuff

Sword Art Online II episode 15 review

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SAO has gone the way of Michiko & Hatchin: not stupidly terrible (like the last two episodes), but interesting. All of Kirito's friends join him on some mission to save the queen of who knows what. If the first episode of an arc is supposed to be the "hook" like in fishing, then this episode has neither the hook nor the bait required to catch me.

I know I seem to be picking on SAO as well as Michiko & Hatchin, but truth be told, there was a lot more interesting stuff on Toonami last Saturday night. Naruto was excellent. One Piece was good even though I'm still learning the characters' names. Even Dragonball Z was worthwhile. But SAO has not lived up to the hype, and now it's gotten boring. There wasn't anything in this episode to make me think it'll turn it around after the last arc.

I was pleased to see that the minor characters such as Leafa/Suguha, Liz and Silica all got some significant screen time in this episode. Unfortunately, they are joining Kirito to do something that was both convoluted and boring. Not to mention that the scene of the queen going on and on about what Kirito needed to do, well, it was a sleep-inducing scene. And if you're going to have a super-long monologue, you better make it worthwhile.

The only good thing about SAO being this boring was that there was no time for any stupidity like we saw in the last episode. Instead of a bunch of things for me to make fun of; like George, "I got nothing to say."

Character of the episode: Leafa

Episode rating (out of four stars): *