Tuesday, August 30, 2016

HxH 18: Don't hold your breath

Hunter x Hunter episode 18 review

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This episode gives us an incredibly lackluster conclusion to the enticing dilemma our heroes were left in. If you'll recall, Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio were all stuck in the cave with no way out; trying to leave would cause snakes to bite them. What ingenious plan would they come up with? Apparently none. Just Gon turning into a superhuman character in order to solve the problems.

This reminds me a lot of my Pokemon fanfics. Once upon a time, I used to write Pokemon fanfics. I'm not saying they were bad, but I seemed to always have a way of painting myself into a corner. I'd make a villainess or even a heroine (because they were always female) so powerful that she would have no way of being defeated. Thus I'd have to come up with some unknown power by her opponent in order to make up for it. I'm not saying it was deus ex machina, but maybe it was.

The same thing happens here. Gon just reaches in and grabs the antidote, which makes little sense. First of all, why didn't Gon get bitten? No explanation is given. Second, why did the guy even have an antidote? Didn't that defeat the purpose of being a snake charmer if he very conveniently had on him the remedy for the poison? Then Gon comes up with another superhuman skill, the ability to hold his breath beyond the amount any normal human can. By doing so, he is able to save everyone including Ponzu and escape the cave.

What happens next is just as bad. Gon, the same character who threw a temper tantrum because Hisoka just gave him his badge, goes ahead and grabs Ponzu's badge for Leorio even though Leorio did nothing to deserve it. Let's reason here: Gon thought it to be a bad thing that Hisoka just let him have his badge. But Gon now does the exact same thing Hisoka did, in order to help Leorio. He really seems to have changed his tune in a matter of days.

Finally, to top off the negativity for this episode, Ponzu does not pass the exam, leaving us still without a female character of note (unless you count Kurapika). Tonpa doesn't pass either, leaving us without a comic relief character. The rest of the episode is pointless, the only thing I took away from it was that Killua really has a crush on Gon. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Character of the episode: Ponzu
I refuse to give it to Gon, who has powers beyond the reasonable stretches of believability.

Episode rating (out of four stars): *½

Monday, August 29, 2016

OPM 7: Give it up

One-Punch Man episode 7 review

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One-Punch Man isn't as excellent as it started, but it's still awfully good. I was about to write an entire negative paragraph here. Then I rewatched the second half of the episode and took back what I was going to say. There's an excellent moment in this episode, and you know it when you see it.
Saitama goes and destroys a meteor that's about to wipe out a city. However, the force of the meteor's destruction still causes a whole lot of damage to the city. That's when two losers known as the "Tank Top Brothers" blame Saitama for causing the damage to the city and cause all the citizens of the city to get angry at him. They tell him to "give it up" on being a hero.
And that's when it happens. Everyone in sight starts chanting "Give it up! Give it up!" It's not quite as funny as "We want more! We want more!" from Kill la Kill's episode 11, or the greatest chant in movie history "His name is Robert Paulson" from Fight Club, but it is awfully funny. This scene alone redeems an episode that wasn't all that good on its own.
Eventually, the same old stuff happens; Saitama uses minimal effort to hurt the Tank Top Brothers, then manages to get away without anything else bad happening. It may not have been the greatest episode, but it did have its moments, and I'll give it that.
Episode rating (out of four stars): **½

Sunday, August 28, 2016

MSG:IBO 12: Resigns

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans episode 12 review

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This was not a bad episode by any means. However, due to the fact that I am simply wasting time and space "reviewing" these Gundam episodes, I have decided to "resign." Yes, just like in chess, I am knocking over my own king.

I don't enjoy this series one bit, I don't care for the characters one bit, and I have no idea what the heck is going on over there. Maybe that's a problem with my head - I can't fix that. In any case, I give up on Gundam. I will still watch it for the sake of the podcast - make sure to listen to it! But as far as the blog goes, I am quitting my reviews of it.

What will replace it? You'll just have to wait and see... I actually have a replacement anime to review starting in a couple weeks! Maybe you can even guess which one it is...

Episode rating (out of four stars): **

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Anime Bowl Toonami Podcast - Episode 59




My medals:
Gold: Hunter x Hunter
Silver: One Piece
Bronze: Dragon Ball Z Kai

Michael's medals:
Gold: One-Punch Man
Silver: One Piece
Bronze: Hunter x Hunter

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HxH 17: Discus Throw

Hunter x Hunter episode 17 review

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I didn't see the discus throw competition at the Olympics this year, though I saw pretty much everything else. In this episode, Killua tosses away a couple of badges just like the discus, after he amazingly manages to steal all 3 badges from a band of brothers. This part of the episode is rather boring; Killua sort of sucks as a character in my opinion, and his English dub voice doesn't help much. Why does Killua suck, you may ask? Simple, he's overpowered, with nothing interesting about him. Saitama may be overpowered, but he's got so many positive traits that it makes up for his overpoweredness.

As for the second half of the episode, it was amazing. Leorio and Kurapika hatch a plan to find Leorio's target, and Gon shows up to help them out. Leorio goes inside a cave, trying to find Ponzu, his target; but when he does, he ends up bitten by poisonous snakes brought there by the snake charmer Bourbon. Kurapika and Gon go in the cave to save him, but now the snakes are after them too. Kurapika offers to trade all their badges to Bourbon to let them go, but there's a catch: Bourbon is dead! So how are they going to get out and save Leorio's life? Some real excitement going on here on Hunter x Hunter.

Two themes I have noticed throughout my watching of Hunter x Hunter thus far: Killua's English dub voice, a voice actress I really like in Cristina Valenzuela, just doesn't work. He needed a male voice actor. Sorry, that's just how it is. The other thing? I think that I'm sexually attracted to Kurapika. He really needs to be a female so I don't feel bad about it. It must be his voice actress that makes me attracted to him. But in the end it doesn't matter, because I think by the end of this series, Leorio is going to end up with Kurapika (and not me).

Character of the episode: Kurapika

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

Monday, August 22, 2016

OPM 6: C-rank episode

One-Punch Man episode 6 review

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For the first time in One-Punch Man history, I failed to be entertained from start to finish in an episode. This episode started out strong, with the confrontation between Speed of Sound Sonic and Saitama, and the humor involved in it. But the rest of the episode was rather flat. It was as if we were supposed to be entertained by explosions. The jokes just didn't seem to connect, either.

I should make it clear - I rarely laugh at something I find funny during an episode. So when I say something is hilarious, I usually keep a straight face throughout. When do I laugh, then? Simple. When something is unintentionally humorous, that's when I bellow out my biggest laughs. Examples include Bleach's Renji saying "These guys keep coming and coming!" or pretty much anything in Dragon Ball Z Kai.

So, mediocre episode on what was a mediocre night for Toonami (One Piece pending, since I haven't seen it yet). Hopefully all the shows get it together after Labor Day.

Episode rating (out of four stars): **

Sunday, August 21, 2016

MSG:IBO 11: If you want to see some action...

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans episode 11 review

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We finally got some mecha action in this episode. Tekkadan finally did some fighting, and one of their members got hurt as a result. However, since the show has done such a poor job at building up the characters, I couldn't have cared less who got hurt and whether they'd get better.

And thus lies the problem with MSG:IBO. Aside from scenes about food, there isn't much real character development. When something actually does happen - as in this episode - I can't muster the amount of sympathy to care. Mind you, I do care about characters in shows that develop them well. In fact, I care about them so badly that I fight for them. I am currently on the front lines fighting the shipping war between IchiHime and IchiRuki (even though IchiHime won, IchiRukis are Al Gore-ing it up and refusing to admit defeat). But I will never fight a shipping war about MSG:IBO, that's for sure.

Episode rating (out of four stars): *½