Series Recap: BlazBlue, Alter Memory

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Because I abandoned the weekly recaps of BlazBlue, I did not watch it week to week.  This resulted in me watching several episodes, skipping it for a few weeks, then playing catch up.  At one point, upon sitting down to watch the final leg of this series, I became confused, and went back an episode, feeling that I was so lost by events I must have skipped one.

I didn’t.

And try as I might to come up with a better, more poetic metaphor, I honestly can’t top this story of what actually happened. It is the most informative description of this mess of a series.

This is the review I have been dreading most, hence why I have put it off until the last.  Galilei Donna and Unbreakable Machine Doll were easy reviews, their themes and what was bad about them were obvious and stemmed from simple bad writing and characterization.

These elements aren’t what makes BlazBlue a bad show…I WANT to talk about how there is weak characterization…but I don’t know if there IS. I can’t tell. The whole mess is moving so fast I can only pick up the streaks of color as plot points and characters fly by without seeing the detail lovingly engraved in their features, or the sloppy Chinese lead based paintjob to churn it out as quick as possible.  It could be either, but without ANY perspective, it is impossible to say one way or the other.

But, well, there are a couple obvious problems with this series, so let’s tackle those first.  As always, there are to be spoilers. So if you stumbled into this looking for a recommendation, well, I trust you have enough information by now to make an informed decision. Continue reading

Double Feature: BlazBlue 4-5

Behold…one of the most acclaimed fighting games of all time…

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So, TLDR, we’re done. BlazBlue will from now on be dropped from the normal reviews.

I will still be watching, and it WILL be included at the end of season recaps.  But the week to week nonsense will no longer be a priority for me.

I was mixed last week, on Episode 4.  I decided to wait for this week, and this is what we have.  Two weeks, and we have just now left one scene.  A scene where little was actually revealed to us to give us more impression of what was going on.

Kokonoe and Tager had some more development. We sort-of learned about the Sector, and how they want to counter the Grimoires and NOL.  That’s it. Congratulations for sitting through two weeks of this program. Continue reading

BlazBlue, Alter Memory: Episode 3

When 900 years you age, look as good you will not.

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So, this week was all over the map again.  Flashbacks, cut-aways, and various points of focus that really gave us little to no direction.

Really I could just cut and paste my review of Episode 1. It runs very much the same.  We had one sub-par fight, one decent fight.  Plot elements were left undescribed, and we cut around to people we, presumably, care about.

We don’t.

In short it was a lot of flashy images with little to hold your attention.

I was most entertained by the breasts this episode. Not the best accolade to a fighting series. Unless you’re Dead or Alive, I suppose. Continue reading

BlazBlue Alter Memory, Episode 2

See what happens when you try?

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Okay, so BlazBlue managed to reel me back in, admittedly only just.

I still don’t think anything will redeem the hellish experience of having to sit through Episode 1, but this week we, at least, drew ONE scene into focus.  And while we had numerous cut aways and flashbacks, it was all interwoven with the action taking place in the present.  Flashbacks didn’t serve as scene changes, they served as internal monologue.

In short, BlazBlue is finally acting like an anime. Better a late bloomer than never, I guess.

Most importantly, the fights got way, way better. They actually entertained, and in the case of Nu vs. Ragna, actually felt like it carried weight.

We still don’t have a fucking clue what is going on. But it managed to look pretty. And that is improvement, people.

Okay so, there is some clue, at least regarding what’s “important”.  We had a recap of the very first scene of the series, in full this time, but with a slightly different ending. Rachel cryptically appeared to tell us that there was a time loop, but it’s been broken now, not even she understands what will happen.  Okay, I’m good with that.  She then abandons Ragna to save the earth. Give lolitas a chance!

I still don’t completely understand this organization that’s been tailing Ragna. They seem to have some idea of the time loop, though.

I still don’t completely understand these robot girls (my girlfriend has an unhealthy obsession with Nu, so I’ve seen THAT scene a million times out of context xD), but they seem to be based on Ragna’s…sister? I only put the question because familial pronouns are more fluid in anime, they could be very old, very close friends.  But if they are designed to inherit Ragna’s powers it seems blood may connect them.

So there were a few answers dribbled out to us this week. And for a mystery, that’s really all we need. I am grateful to have them after last week.

This episode still confused me on the whole, but like I said, it was pretty to watch, and I didn’t regret watching this show this week.

BlazBlue: Alter Memory, Episode 1

This…this is going somewhere, right?

1381346101_animeland.su_leopard-raws-blazblue-alter-memory-01-raw-mx-1280x720-x264-aac.mp4_snapshot_01.40_2013.10.09_21.10.57 Well, like I said at the beginning of the season: I am new to BlazBlue. And as a result I was completely lost by…well…whatever the hell it is we just saw. I guess there is a word I can use to explain it all to you.

Clusterfuck.

Yes, you thought this was an upbeat blog. A non-judgmental blog that took every show on its own merits and praised them accordingly. You thought I was one of those pansy girl reviewers who gave everyone extra credit for trying.  Nope. I just happen to have that high of an opinion on what we’ve seen so far.

This giant middle finger of a series will be getting the middle finger right back. Continue reading

Fall 2013 Roster

Greetings! So, here we are, September. The Autumn season will be upon us soon as the Summer series wrap themselves up over the next 2-3 weeks.  So in preparation let me share the series I will be reviewing here, and you can expect to see over the next few months. Most of these will be premiering the first week of October.

7722 BlazBlue: Alter Memory: Based on the video game series of the same name, Alter Memory will follow the main cast of BlazBlue as they pursue Ragna, a terrorist with a huge bounty on his head.

Admittedly, I am not a player of the BlazBlue series, but my fiance is, so I will be watching this anyway.  As such, expect my opinion of the show to be that of someone who is using the anime as a first-exposure to the BlazBlue franchise, and not a long-time fan of the games.  I have some pretty high hopes for it, though. As a fighting series it should prove entertaining visually, and I am assured the characters have been developed well, and hopefully that translates well to the small screen.  I suspect Rachel will be my favorite….but that’s only an educated guess. ^_^

(Studio: Hoods Entertainment)

Galilei DonnaGalilei Donna: “The story is about three moons in the form of three of Italian astronomer Galileo’s female descendants who are on international wanted lists.”

That’s all we’ve got to work with, this one is being held pretty tight under wraps being an original series. The casting list also implies a group of space pirates and some strange DaVinci Code-esque antics revolving around Galileo.  Still, cute girls who are wanted fugitives is sure to provide some form of entertainment, be it comedy or action. I have high hopes that this series will be unique and interesting.  The secrecy involved only makes it more intriguing. A-1 Pictures is also the studio behind Black Butler, Shinsekai Yori, and Sword Art Online, so, that makes it all that more promising.

(Studio: A-1 Pictures)

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Unbreakable Machine Doll: Set in the not-so-distant future, magic and technology have been fused to create special circuits that give life to objects. Akabane Raishin, with his weaponized doll Yaya, plans to climb his way to the top of Royal Academy, though his test scores are the lowest in the school, but fighting prowess second to none.

This seems to be a more science-fictiony version of Baka to Test. The moral, judging by the protagonist’s description, may very well be the same: That there’s more to life than test scores.  Or, just as likely, he will learn to be a good student and reach his full potential.  Either way, it catches my interest, admittedly only just.  I don’t particularly have high hopes for the series, but will be disappointed if it lacks any substance (it IS tagged ecchi, which can run the gambit).

(Studio: Lerche)

W380KILL la KILL: On a campus ruled by force of arms, the scissor-sword wielding Ryuuko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuuin are the two main rivals.

This series is one I have the highest hopes for.  More than any other series, I want this one to excel. Perhaps it is the possibility of yuri-romance, or perhaps the fact I generally give the benefit of the doubt to original series (perhaps a combination of both).  Either way, this is something I look forward to.  Like Galilei Donna, being an original work this series is very hush hush, so we’ll see where it goes. This will be Trigger’s very first original series, so for their sake I’m rooting for them, too!

(Studio: Trigger)

7715Strike The Blood: The government-controlled Lion organization has decided to strike down the world’s strongest vampire, known as the Fourth Primogenitor and his phantom lackeys.  They have selected a young “sword shaman”, Himegari Yukina, to be their operative, and sent her to the “demon district”. How will she deal with the Fourth Primogenitor, Akatsuki Kojou?

A good old fashioned vampire-extermination should be quite interesting.  Coming from a Western frame of reference, Japan always does interesting things with the vampire mythos, blending their own traditions with the deeply rooted Stoker mythology. This show appears to be no different, and I’m looking forward to it. It promises winds of conspiracy and grey-morality, and I can’t say no to that.

(Studio: Silver Link)

Outbreak CompanyOutbreak Company: Kanou Shinichi is an otaku through and through.  Sadly, he is deficient in any area except his trivia regarding everything “moe”. One day, he finds himself transported to a fantasy world, with dragons and castles and magic. His quest: Not to slay demons, but to become “moe ambassador” to the world of fantasy.

This series is our “odd man out”, I do like to keep my views broad.  This series makes the cut for two reasons: One, it should prove to be fourth-wall breaking as FUCK. Which could be incredibly funny.  Two, the series promos have been explicit that while it is going to be a comedy vehicle, it will shift into more adult themes later on.  Political intrigue and social issues, those are things I can get on board with no matter the show. That being said, expect this to be the most likely candidate to just get dropped this season.

(Studio: Feel)

Other Series: As I mentioned, I do not plan to review everything I am watching, some shows I just want to do for fun or don’t feel I could possibly get involved with enough to do a proper review. So, here is a brief list of stuff I will probably/maybe be keeping up with, and if they turn out to be super-spectacular, expect to see them here. But I won’t be hounding them week to week, so I might be slow on the uptake when it becomes obvious that they are special ^.^;

-Tokyo Ravens

-Neppuu Kairiku Bushi Road

-Gingitsune

-Log Horizon

-Walkure Romanze (very tentative)

-Coppelion

So there’s our line-up.  Things will probably be very quiet here until October, I will probably come back at the end of September, just to double-check this post, and add a day-by-day schedule.