2. of those things that matter, how much time do you spend on them
or does it "matter"
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Topics - Verbatim
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- Dragon Ball FighterZ -
- Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition -
- Tekken 7 -
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U -
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- BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle -
- Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 -
- Injustice 2 -
« on: August 01, 2018, 10:43:41 PM »
going for maximum clickbait, but at the same time, everything must be 100% honest
The Phantom Menace is Actually Pretty Okay
Attack of the Clones: Why You Guys Were Almost Right For Once
Revenge of the Sith is Awesome, and You Don't Love it Enough
You Don't Like the Original Star Wars Movie as Much as You Think
The Empire Strikes Back: The Most Boringest One
Return of the Jedi is the Best of the OT; Fight Me
The Force Awakens is Literally Just A New Hope, but Good
People Who Didn't like The Last Jedi Are Fucking Idiots
« on: July 25, 2018, 12:02:39 AM »
society is so f***ed up man
My best friend outside of the Internet, who I have known for 16+ years, dropped out of college a few months ago, before completing his eighth semester. He was studying for a STEM degree. We both went to different universities—he to a slightly more prestigious one, myself to the cheaper lower-class one—and after four years, he decided he just couldn't handle it anymore.
Had he stuck it out for just one more year, he would've graduated, but the fact that he "fucking hated every single person there" was an important factor in his decision. It wasn't something I didn't see coming eventually—if anything, I was surprised he dropped out so late into the game. It wasn't that he was bullied, or anything—he was mostly just fed up with the culture, and he performed poorly and failed several of his courses.
Every time he'd come home for the summer, we'd always catch up, but the only stories he ever had to tell about college were about how fucking miserable he was there, for pretty much every waking moment of his life. Every single roommate he's ever had has been a piece of shit, or an irresponsible douchebag, and they always treated him like garbage. He's never had a single positive experience he thought was worth telling me about. Not one.
What you need to understand about this guy is that he's a bit of a headcase. I feel like I shouldn't go into details without his approval, but just know that he's not all there. He's nice, funny, hardworking—but he has issues. Many issues.
So many bad roommate stories. It's natural to assume that a lot of it was exaggeration, but literally, there would be times when he'd almost be on the verge of tears telling me these things—so even if he's stretching the truth, or not giving the complete story, or whatever, I know he's not outright lying to me about anything. He's not that kind of person anyway—and again, we're best friends.
Later, he told me he was gonna enroll at my university and transfer all his credits there. I told him that was a good idea, because it is—not only was he close as fuck to graduating anyway, he'll actually be able to do it in a place where he won't want to fucking kill himself every day, because people at my campus are generally nice and pleasant (as far as I know). The fact that his closest friend studies there is certainly a bonus—but it's not like we could dorm together, or anything. Not only are dormitories insanely fucking expensive, I also can't drive. I commute to school every day on a goddamn bus. The only way we'd be able to be roommates is if we got an apartment.
And that's exactly what he wants me to do. He asked me if I wanted to last week, and at first, I had to say no, but only because I knew I wouldn't be able to pay the rent with him. My parents don't pay me to work at the record shop—I'm paid in "room and board," to quote them. Which is fair and all, but that's my situation. I can't pay rent, and that's not fair to him, so I had to say no.
Couple days later, the subject comes up again, only my mother is in earshot. She brings up that I could pitch in with the overage from my financial aid, which is true—but only if I get a decent check. Sometimes it's a lot, sometimes it's not that much. If it's less than $200, that's not gonna help much. I never know what I'm gonna get, I don't understand how any of it works, and I'm not smart enough (or bothered enough, frankly) to figure it out. The "no" has changed to a "maybe," but my friend, naturally, wants a definitive answer. It's not like we have a lot of time before the next semester begins.
So he asked me again about it last night. I had more time to think about it, and I decided that I was being an ass. I probably should've just said "yes" to begin with—my overage has only vacillated in a serious way for one semester, where it dropped significantly because my parents' income rose that year, due to my father getting himself a better job. When your family's income rises, you get more financial aid—and if you're wondering what my family's income has to do with me, the way it works is that my name is tied to my parents' income until I'm 23, which I won't be until the semester has already begun. They really fuck you pretty hard in the ass on that one. Either way, my dad has since lost that job and is working some other place—so, as a result, my overage should be a little higher this semester. Maybe. Unless there are other factors I haven't taken into account.
In any case, the "maybe" has changed to a "yes." Having put my financial concerns to rest... I guess I'm officially moving out of this house now.
It was never really about that anyway, though. That was the excuse I gave, but it wasn't the excuse I felt in my heart—which is, simply, that I don't want to move out. At all. I've lived in this house for 20 years. I realize I have to move out at some point, all I can really think about is, "Why did it have to be right now?" I don't feel ready for it. I'm not ready for it. But I feel like my hand is being forced anyway.
It feels like I'm not making a decision based on what I want—I'm making a decision based on what my friend needs. And he does need me—if he has to room with anyone else, he's gonna be right back where he was. Hating his life, being his manically depressed self. I'm the only person he can have a good time with anymore. And if you're wondering why he doesn't just commute from home—ignoring the fact that he's trying, too, to be a self-respecting adult who doesn't live with his parents at 22, like me—he also fucking hates his parents, and his homelife is just as miserable. Getting an apartment is literally the only option for him (unless he grows to despise me, too).
There are reasons I don't particularly want to go through with this, too, that aren't just based on selfish trepidation. It kinda fucks everything up. I've been working at my parents' shop for a year, and they're working jobs of their own with pretty intense hours. So even though I'm not getting paid, I don't know what they're gonna do without me.
I just feel like he's asking me to make a huge life decision, without even considering for a moment just how much weight that drops on me. I said yes, because I'm morally obligated, but I'm literally up at 5 AM typing this because I'm stressing myself out so hard over it. Maybe I'm overreacting—but even if I am, I just needed to get off my chest.
My depressed friend wants me to move into an apartment with him because he hates everyone and has no one else in his life right now. I told him "yes" out of a sense of loyalty and moral obligation, but I still feel shitty and spineless, because, in my heart of hearts, I honestly have no interest in doing so. I'm very comfortable where I live right now + I have a job here. This was all very sudden, and I don't think my friend understands that. The cognitive dissonance I'm experiencing right now is driving me crazy and I needed to vent about it.
I wanna be a good friend, but I feel like having these thoughts makes me a shitty friend. Or I'm going insane. Or both.
I'm really gonna miss my parents.
if you're on mobile, stop being a peasant and get on your desktop instead
otherwise, this thread isn't gonna work for you
Why do you think it's okay to kill animals for food?
#1. Because they're just animals. We may be animals, too, but they're still below us on the food chain. You simply cannot compare a human with an animal, because we evolved to be superior to them.
Ah, the classic "speciesist" argument—the belief that humans are inherently "superior" to livestock, because a human is a human is a cow is a cow. Mindless bigotry combined with toxic "might makes right" philosophy. Anything that you can overpower is yours to overpower, and it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong, because they're not gonna be able to do anything about it anyway.
So, if an advanced alien race invaded us from the cosmos and decided to enslave and consume the entire human race, because they're stronger than us, and we have no chance of fighting back, we should just accept our fate. We can still try to fight them, but if we lose, we lose, and they'll have carte blanche over all humanity. That's what you'd be okay with.
#1a. I wouldn't be okay with that, actually. As a human, I want the human race to continue to survive, so if we were destroyed by aliens more powerful than us, there may not be anything we can do about it, but it still wouldn't be right.
Perhaps you should consider applying those morals to the lesser beings that you consume. If you don't see what makes it okay for an extraterrestrial race to consume humans, to not apply the same standard across the board would be a basic example of hypocrisy.
#1b. Yes, I would be okay with that.
Your sense of ethics is dogshit—borderline insane—but at least you're consistent.
#2. Because wild animals eat each other all the time. Some of them are carnivorous, and can't even survive unless they consume another animal's flesh. What makes it so different for us? It's just natural.
There are a lot of perfectly natural things about the world that are decidedly not good or okay. Disease is natural, so I guess we should just throw out all of our vaccines and all of our medicine, and just allow natural forces to destroy our bodies from the inside out. Don't try to stop it, it's just nature.
Or, we can say "fuck that," continue using medicine, continue wearing clothes, continue using technology, and continue using the reasoning brains we've been given to make the world a better and more rational place for life to exist in—not in the name of nature, but in spite of nature.
The one thing that separates humans from animals is that animals can't reason. We have a brain that we can consciously use for good, ethical, or altruistic purposes. Animals obviously don't, and while that may not make us superior to animals, in the sense that it gives us the right to exploit them—No, what it does is behoove us to be smart, responsible, and compassionate. Just because animals can't do that doesn't mean we can't, or that we should stoop to their level. That's retarded.
What you're basically suggesting for us to do is to regress, and reduce ourselves to the stupid, primitive animals that we evolved from, functioning solely on our most base and carnal desires. Why are you like this?
#2a. I just don't think it's right to assume you know better than nature.
"Nature" doesn't "know" anything. Nature is not a person. Nature is not a god. Nature is a deterministic force—it has no thoughts, it's just a perpetual yet seemingly inescapable influence on the physical world. Luckily for us, however, it does not have a total stranglehold on reality. Using our intelligence, we can influence the influencer, and practically bend it to our will, just like we've been doing for millennia. The fact that human beings, as weak and frail and fragile as we are, became the most "successful" species on the planet should be proof positive to you that nature does not completely own us. If it did, we wouldn't be ruling the world right now.
We can rule it, and we can also defy and reject it. We don't have to reduce ourselves to stupid animals. So let's not. That's, more or less, what our intelligence is for.
#3. Because I can. Humans are omnivores, after all.
The ability to do something, unfortunately, does not give you the right to do it. You're going to need more robust reasoning than that.
#3a. I don't care. I don't need to justify myself to you.
"Go fuck yourself" is the only appropriate response to anything resembling this. This applies to any subject.
#4. Some people need to eat meat. There are certain nutrients that can't easily be found in a plant-based diet, like vitamin B12.
Let's not play games—You don't get enough vitamins, you don't care about your health. And even if you do, you're not a dietitian, and you don't know shit about shit. This is just a lazy excuse.
B12 can be supplemented easily. They're called... vitamin supplements. They're available everywhere, and if you truly cared at all about your health, you should probably be ingesting a bunch of these anyway, because no one is getting enough of their most essential vitamins.
Alternatively, you can look around for fortified foods that have B12 in them. It's not difficult, it's not hard. You just have to know and pay attention to what you're doing. You just don't want to because it requires you to put a little bit more effort into what you're buying at the grocery store, because you normally don't put any thought into it at all.
As for protein, there are numerous sources of protein in many plant-based foods. There's beans, nuts, legumes, lentils, mushrooms, and more. You can even substitute your precious meat for soy-based analogues that taste remotely similar, even if they're not perfect.
#4a. Yeah, but aren't those things all pretty expensive? I don't know if I can afford vegan products. Or find them, for that matter.
You can. Look harder.
If you truly can't, consider doing something about it. Move out. Go to stores you've never visited before. Find shit online. If you can't, but you're still wiling to, then at least your heart is in the right place, and I have nothing to spite you for, really.
Most of you can, but just aren't willing to.
#5. I don't.
this isn't complete, and i was planning on building upon it later
but then i noticed that someone already did it way better than me, oops
It's that time of the month.
1995 - AotY:
1996 - AotY: Spring & Chaos
1997 - AotY: Noiseman Sound Insect
Credit where credit is due—1998 was indeed a relatively good year for anime. This is the point in time when all the post-Evangelion original shows that began cropping up around 1996 started to reach critical mass. It's the year that gave us Cowboy Bebop, for instance—considered by many to not only be one of the best shows ever, but the ultimate starting point to getting yourself into the medium itself.
That being said, Cowboy Bebop did not make this list. I have it as an honorable mention, so it's not that I hate the show or anything—I just don't personally consider it list-worthy. Remember that these lists are geared towards people who are like me and don't particularly enjoy anime, and are looking for something that they could enjoy—and while I did mention that Cowboy Bebop is the go-to recommendation, it's not the sort of show you'd recommend to someone who has no intention of ever becoming an anime fan. And besides, what if you don't like space operas?
What I aim to recommend in these threads are shows and movies that I think everyone should try, regardless of whether you're into the genre, regardless of whether you become an anime fan at the end of the day. I don't even consider myself one, so I couldn't possibly care to "convert" anyone to any fandoms to which I, myself, have not even been indoctrinated. No, all I'm trying to do here with these threads is present you with pieces of art that I think anyone could enjoy or respect. It's not your typical anime fare—the things I select are not only personal favorites, and things that mean a lot to me on a personal level, but things that I want to pass along to everyone else, too.
Even if you wind up not liking anything I have to share, most if not all of them will still leave upon you a lasting impression or something you can take with you.
With all that shit out of the way, here's a big long list of all the shows, movies, OVAs, and specials from 1998 that I did NOT watch, either because they're too hard to find streams for on the Internet, or because it's part of a larger franchise that I've already given up on. The reason I do this is for the sake of transparency—I can't really claim to have seen every anime in existence, but I can claim to have seen the most important and readily-available ones. Nonetheless, it only makes sense for me to share all the stuff I wasn't able to catch.
Did not watch any of these
El Hazard: The Alternative World
Bakusou Kyoudai Let's & Go MAX
Gakkyuu Ou Yamazaki
Haruniwa Ie no 3 Nin-me
Lodoss-tou Senki: Eiyuu Kishi Den
Beast Wars Second Chou Seimeitai Transformers
Grander Musashi RV
Nessa no Haou Gandalla
YAT Anshin! Uchuu Ryokou 2
Himitsu no Akko-chan 3
Ginga Hyouryuu Vifam 13
Shadow Skill: Eigi
Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku
Hatsumei Boy Kanipan
Saber Marionette J to X
Yume de Aetara (TV)
Kaiketsu Jouki Tanteidan
Let's Nupu Nupu
Hanasaka Tenshi Tenten-kun
Yoshimoto Muchikko Monogatari
Only You: Viva! Cabaret Club
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden
Gekiganger 3: The Movie
GUNbare! Game Tengoku 2 the Movie
Golgo 13: Queen Bee
Jigoku Sensei Nube OVA
One Piece: Taose! Kaizoku Ganzack
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Memorial
Bannou Bunka Neko-Musume DASH!
Detective Conan: Let's Try a Curious Experiment!
Chou Kidou Densetsu DinaGiga
Efficus: Kono Omoi o Kimi ni...
Dennou Sentai Voogie's?Angel Gaiden: Susume! Super?Angels!
Glass no Kamen: Sen no Kamen wo Motsu Shoujo
DNA Sights 999.9
Twin Bee Paradise
Starlight Scramble Renai Kouhosei
Ganbare Goemon: Chikyuu Kyuushutsu Daisakusen
Toki no Daichi: Hana no Oukoku no Majo
Kuzuryuugawa to Shounen
Ginga Tetsudou 999: Eternal Fantasy
The?Doraemons: Mushimushi Pyonpyon Daisakusen!
Detective Conan Movie 02: The Fourteenth Target
Crayon Shin-chan Movie 06: Dengeki! Buta no Hizume Daisakusen
Maze?Bakunetsu Jikuu: Tenpen Kyoui no Giant
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz Movie
Kidou Senkan Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team - Miller's Report
Beast Wars Second Chou Seimeitai Transformers: Lio Convoy Kiki Ippatsu! Movie
Gakkyuu Ou Yamazaki Specials
Cowboy Bebop: Yose Atsume Blues
AIKa: Special Trial
Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoiyo!! Masaru-san Specials
Dr. Slump: Robot Taiketsu! Shukuteki Dr. Mashirito Toujou / Keen de Yuushou!? Penguin Grand Prix
Suteki desu wa, Sakura-chan! Tomoyo no Cardcaptor Sakura Katsuyaku Video Nikki!
Lupin III: Honoo no Kioku - Tokyo Crisis
Gundam: Mission to the Rise
The Impression of First Gundam
Seikimatsu Leader Gaiden Takeshi!
Otoko wa Tsurai yo: Torajirou Wasurenagusa
Rurouni Kenshin Special
Seihou Bukyou Outlaw Star Specials
Touch: Miss Lonely Yesterday - Are kara, Kimi wa...
Now, onto to the list. If you haven't heeded any of my recommendations before, now might be the time, because I have some pretty great ones lined up this time.
#2. Perfect Blue
パーフェクト・ブルー - Pāfekuto Burū
Perfect Blue is the directorial debut of the fabled Satoshi Kon (well, not counting that one JoJo's episode he did)—a man who's probably best known for Paprika, which you may or may not have seen, as well as Millenium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paranoia Agent, several of which I still need to see. He was considered one of the best directors in the industry until he sadly died of pancreatic cancer in 2010. If people today still argue about what his magnum opus is, I would be surprised if he made anything better than Perfect Blue.
The story is about a weary idol singer named Mima Kirigoe, who wishes to retire from the music industry to become an actor instead. In doing so, however, she proceeds to trigger a series of events that spiral not only her life, but her perception of reality, wildly out of control. And, as you'd expect from an intense psychological thriller, things get pretty fucking insane.
Beautifully animated, the film can be seen (at least, on the surface) as a scathing critique of the Japanese entertainment industry. The gross exploitation, commodification, and objectification of young women and their bodies has been a part of Japanese culture for a very long time, and this film gives us a clear lens for us to peer into that seedy, disgusting world for a little while. The psychological effects that treatment could have on a person—especially the loss of identity—are deeply explored in the most mind-bendingly harrowing ways.
You will be made to feel sickened or uncomfortable with this movie. There are scenes that will make you think, "Should I be watching this?" but you won't be able to stop. If you're not paying attention, you're probably going to get confused. And if you're like me, you might just miss the point and not even like it the first time, in spite of how smart and mature the subject matter is handled.
Satoshi Kon clearly had a lot to say about the treatment of women in the entertainment industry, which I'm sure hasn't gotten any better in the past 20 years. I'm surprised how rarely this film gets celebrated in feminist circles, because I'm almost prepared to hail Kon as a feminist hero of sorts, if only I could dispense with all the baggage that term has in modernity.
If you've ever seen the Darren Aronofsky film Black Swan, then the plot of this movie probably seems quite familiar to you. That's because Black Swan is, more or less, Aronofsky's interpretation of the film into a more contemporary live action setting—it's not exactly a straight rip-off, but Aronofsky was unabashedly inspired by Kon's work, and whether you want to believe he's a hack or not, I still think the two films are great in their own respective rights, and they complement each other very nicely. If you like one, you're practically guaranteed to like the other.
That said, I do have to make this clear—this is one of those movies that's had to grow on me over time. My initial reactions were indifferent at best, and could be summarized as, "It was okay, but Black Swan is pretty much the same movie, but better"—and while it is true that the two films are very thematically similar, I've come to the realization that that's not a good reason to dismiss the very film that Aronofsky drew so much inspiration from in the first place. And if anything, the fact that Black Swan is predated by Perfect Blue by a whole twelve years is a credit to the latter. Kon was just ahead of the curve.
Also, the graphic depiction of sexuality in this movie, admittedly, is another issue I used to have as well—I understood exactly what they were going for, but I was still so put off at the time by the starkness of the images and the fluidity of the animation. There's so much care and detail, I thought, that it was like the animators were getting off to the fucked up situations that they were illustrating.
This, too, is an emotional response that I've more or less reinterpreted. The fact that I was so disturbed by what I was seeing—that just means the movie was doing its job, and I regret ever having faulted the movie for that. I shouldn't be reading into the animator's intentions that hard, and even if I were right, it doesn't take from the film's message in any way.
Oh, and Junko Iwao's performance as Mima is probably my favorite VAing performance in all of anime, and is the first lady who actually made me start giving a fuck about voice actors' identities.
Anyways, I think I've typed enough. There's a lot more to parse and enjoy about this film than what I've discussed here—but in the interest of brevity (and not wanting to ruin the juicier bits for you), I'm gonna stop myself here.
Fucking watch this movie (preferably alone at night with no other distractions).
#1. Serial Experiments Lain
シリアルエクスペリメンツレイン - Shiriaru Ekusuperimentsu Rein
The sophomore production of Ryūtarō Nakamura in collaboration with Chiaki J. Konaka, one of my new favorite writers, I am proud to say that Serial Experiments Lain has found itself not only at the top of my 1998 list, but currently sits as my second favorite anime of all time, just under Devilman, just above Grave of the Fireflies—and if you recall how excited I was when I found those two, you already know how ecstatic I am to talk about this show. I'll try to keep things simple without gushing too hard.
This is a show about technology—and that's the most straightforward thing I can say about it. Technology, machinery, communication, reality, humanity, and the relationships that exist between them. It's a very serious, very mature, very dark, and very confusing show—in fact, a lot of people like to claim that it takes at least four or five viewings to "completely" understand all the themes it has. Personally, I haven't found that to be all that necessary. I've only seen the show all the way through twice, but even after watching the first episode for the first time, I knew I was in for something special—but it's not going to sound very special if I describe the premise to you like normal.
The show follows a quiet, weird, and socially awkward little schoolgirl called Lain—I realize the red flags are probably waving like crazy right now, but once again, I ask you to bear with me. She acquires from her father a special device that allows her to browse a dark and mysterious place called "the Internet" (well, actually, they just call it "the Wired" in this show, but it's basically the Internet), wherein she's able to find comfort, communicate with others, and unlock the door to her true self—or so it would seem.
The series begins with the suicide of a girl named Chiso Yomoda, after which everyone in the school receives an e-mail in her name. Most of the student body brushes off as some kind of prank, but Lain is the only one who takes the e-mail seriously. Through this, she learns that Chiso didn't really kill herself—she was just disposing of her body to become one with the Wired. This inspires Lain to investigate the meaning behind that, and the rest of the story kicks off from there.
This is a very deep show, and the premise alone doesn't do it justice—hell, the episodes are called "layers," which should tell you a whole lot—but at the same time, I really don't want to make it seem like you, to be fair, have to have a very high IQ to understand it, or anything like that. You probably don't, as long as you're an attentive viewer. But it's still a very cerebral, challenging, and at times patience-testing show if you aren't prepared or in the mood for it. Philosophically, this show is everything I wanted from Ghost in the Shell but never got. It doesn't really require an astute mind as much as it requires an open one, and it probably helps if you're into cyberpunk themes as well.
I cannot begin to describe just how many meaningful things I was able to take away from this show, which is sort of one of its themes in and of itself—the overload of information on the Internet, and our daily struggle to mindlessly consume it all. It also explores the idea of friends, and whether it's really possible to have a "friend" over the Internet, why we care so much about our physical presence in the world, whether our bodies really have a purpose, and if there's any discernible, meaningful difference between the you that exists on the Internet vs. the you that exists in the real world—and much, much more.
As someone who values his presence on the Internet more than he values his presence in the "real world" (which I believe are one in the same—another concept that the series explores), you can probably see why this show resonates so much with me. That being said, I still feel as though I only have a surface level understanding of what this show has to offer, and I'm sure it's amazing for reasons I haven't even been able to figure out yet—based purely on the hundreds of long-form analysis videos I've seen on YouTube discussing it.
Like Ghost in the Shell, the show presents all these ideas and doesn't really give you any clear answers. Everything is very much up to interpretation and what you personally value. I initially faulted Ghost for doing this, but the reason it works in Lain is because the themes are explored in much more intellectually stimulating ways that don't involve parading a pretty naked lady around—which brings me to my next point.
This is probably the least anime-like anime I've ever seen, at least in terms of typical tropes and cliches. It still looks the part, but I never detected a single dumb annoying anime trope in the entire 13-episode series. On one hand, I'm pissed, because this would've been the perfect anime to recommend to me ten years ago, and I'm only really discovering it now. On the other, meh whatever, who cares. I'm aware of it now, and I'm delighted that it exists.
Another important thing to keep in mind that, in 1998, computers and the Internet were just beginning to become commonplace in households across the industrialized world. You wouldn't think anyone would have any idea how much the Internet would evolve in the future, let alone alter the fabric of our society—I'm sure a lot of people might've thought it would be a passing fad. This really goes to show you how ahead of its time this show really was, as our lives have pretty much been, for better or worse, collectively consumed by this technology.
I really feel like I'm underselling this show, but I'm also scared of overselling it. I don't feel as though I've perfectly captured what makes this show so great, especially on a personal level, but I'm afraid that if I go in too deep, it'll just look like gushing and people will lose interest. I don't know how to sell this show to you—all I can really say is, if you're even remotely interested, please check it out. And be patient with it. It's kinda slow, odd, not very action-packed, and you might come out hating it if you aren't prepared for something extremely heady and out there. But don't think of it as impenetrable, either. Just watch it, parse what you can from it, and enjoy. It's my second favorite anime for a reason.
And apparently, liking this show brings me one step closer to my destiny.
some other things you might be interested in
Cowboy Bebop - It has to be mentioned. Look, by all means—if you haven't seen this show, and you like space operas, go and watch it. It's a classic. I don't think it's list-worthy, but everyone in the universe thinks it's the bees' knees, so go try it out for yourself. You'll probably end up liking it just like everyone else, unless you're Flee.
Blue Submarine No. 6 - This is a short and sweet romp with some dated CG, but I actually thought it was enjoyable, and not one I've ever see people talk about. The art and character designs are great, but the story is fairly standard apocalypse-type stuff, only its set in the maritime. I don't know, I thought it was fun. Only 4 episodes, too.
Gasaraki - Looks like a shitty Evangelion ripoff at first, but it's actually kind of an original mecha series with smart, grounded, and realistic mecha designs (and if you know anime, you know how rare that is). I personally don't give that much of a fuck about mecha as a genre, but if you do, maybe check this one out.
His and Her Circumstances - I have this listed as an honorable mention, but to be honest with you, I barely remember anything about it, lmao. All it says in my notes is that it was directed by Hideaki Anno (of Evangelion) and that it was the only romance that didn't make me want to kill myself in frustration. I guess that's a plus.
Ninja Resurrection - This is a pretty cool film that has nothing to do with Ninja Scroll, but apparently was advertised as a sequel, despite having nothing to do with it—hence why it has a relatively low MAL score. Good stuff if you like stylish, ultraviolent romps, but not much else to offer if that's not your bag.
Super Milk-chan - This is a good show if you like really retarded shit like me, ironically. Otherwise, avoid at all costs.
« on: June 16, 2018, 03:19:32 AM »
this may or may not be common knowledge at this point, but i'd still like to draw more attention to it because of how cool it is—there's a lovely little detail added to the dungeon music in breath of the wild that you might have missed
this is the music that plays when you lurk inside the body of the divine beast Vah Ruta, who, in the game's plot, is essentially a war machine designed to protect hyrule from evil, along with three other divine beasts located in each of the game's four major regions—but the beasts wind up becoming corrupted and possessed by ganon, eventually causing the great calamity, so, of course, it's up to link to basically secure and liberate them from ganon's influence
the beasts have to be liberated from the inside out, so they essentially function as the game's dungeons
the music that plays in vah ruta's dungeon is beautiful on its own, but listen closely at the very beginning—repeatedly, you'll hear three short tones, followed by three longer tones, followed by three shorter tones
that's an "S.O.S." in morse code
no, seriously, listen for yourself
that's right—because the dungeons are more or less sentient warships, they actually integrated a distress call into the dungeon music, which is pretty chilling, given the right context, as it subconsciously adds another layer of urgency to the already grim situation
some people have claimed to hear other morse code messages as well, like "SAD" (... .- -..), but i don't know if i hear that myself—others have speculated that there could also be messages in wabun code, which is the japanese variant of morse, but i haven't looked into that as much
good games are good and all, but it's little things like this which separate the games i love from the games i cherish
« on: May 23, 2018, 02:01:21 AM »
kendrick is my man, but this made me lose a lot of respect for him
if you don't like white people using that word, okay that's fine
but how the fuck are you gonna invite a white person to rap with you on stage if you genuinely believe in your heart of hearts that they have no business saying the words you fucking wrote yourself in ANY CONTEXT, no matter how harmless or benign, and then fucking embarrass them in front of literally THOUSANDS of people, when they mistakenly believe in a moment of sheer serendipity that they've been given the temporary approval to do so
how are you going to do someone like that
the sheer amount of layers to the stupidity of this shit is so difficult for me to fathom and i just felt the need to post about it
« on: May 11, 2018, 08:30:59 PM »
no kid stuff allowed
anyway just got really wasted and fucked my wife twice, ama
Hopefully we know the drill by the now.
1995 - AotY: Golden Boy
1996 - AotY: Spring & Chaos
1997 was interesting. Similar to '96, there was a LOT of utter schlock to wade through, and I probably gave the same number of 1/10s and 2/10s overall, if not slightly more. But at the same time, I was able to scrounge up a decent amount (relatively speaking) of things worth watching, thanks to 1995 sort of opening the floodgates for more experimental artistry. These don't always turn out great, but they're always better to watch than yet another generic fucking mahou shoujo series, or a piece of shit mecha series.
Here's everything I didn't watch. If I don't watch something, it's either because I couldn't find a stream for it anywhere on the Internet (so it's PROBABLY not worth watching anyway), or because it's part of a larger franchise that I've already given up on. I'm not gonna watch Dragon Ball GT when I still haven't even finished DBZ, you dig?
Shin Tenchi Muyou!
Kyuumei Senshi Nanosaver
Kyuuketsuhime Miyu (TV)
Elf wo Karu Mono-tachi II
Master Mosquiton '99
Next Senki Ehrgeiz
Shinkai Densetsu Meremanoid
Sakura Momoko Gekijou: Coji-Coji
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
El Hazard 2: The Magnificent World
Kyokujitsu no Kantai
Shinkai no Kantai: Submarine 707
Rouge: Lady's Comic Video
Kougyou Aika Volley Boys
Fushigi Yuugi OVA 2
JaJa Uma! Quartet
B'T X Neo
Shin Shounan Bakusouzoku Arakure Knight
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Macross Dynamite 7
Saber Marionette J Again
Elf-ban Kakyuusei: Anata dake wo Mitsumete...
Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call
Hana yori Dango (Movie)
Jigoku Sensei Nube: Gozen 0 toki Nube Shisu!
Gegege no Kitarou: Obake Nighter
Detective Conan Movie 01: The Timed Skyscraper
Crayon Shin-chan Movie 05: Ankoku Tamatama Daitsuiseki
Tenchi Muyou! Manatsu no Eve
Cutey Honey Flash: The Movie
Jungle Taitei Movie (1997)
Jigoku Sensei Nube: Kyoufu no Natsu Yasumi! Asashi no Uni no Gensetsu
Bakusou Kyoudai Let's & Go!! WGP Bousou Mini Yonku Daitsuiseki
Gegege no Kitarou: Youkai Tokkyuu! Maboroshi no Kisha
Eikou e no Spur: Igaya Chiharu Monogatari
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Ishinshishi e no Chinkonka
Chikyuu ga Ugoita Hi
Dragon Ball GT: Gokuu Gaiden! Yuuki no Akashi wa Suushinchuu
Rurouni Kenshin: Review Special
Shin Tenchi Muyou! Specials
Bonobono (TV) Specials
City Hunter: Goodbye My Sweetheart
Ie Naki Ko Remy Specials
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo: Shinigami Byouin Satsujin Jiken
Rurouni Kenshin Recap
Lupin III: Walther P-38
Rurouni Kenshin: Special Techniques
With those formalities out of the way, let's move onto the list itself.
Noiseman Sound Insect
音響生命体ノイズマン - Onkyo Seimeitai Noiseman
No number, since this is the only item on the entire "list," so calling it "#1" would be redundant. I had two items for 1995 and zero items for 1996, though, so I guess it balances out.
Noiseman Sound Insect is a short film by Kōji Morimoto—the same Kōji Morimoto who helped animate Akira and directed Magnetic Rose, which made my 1995 list. Suffice to say, he's definitely one of my new favorite anime directors, and despite having given Magnetic Rose the runner-up spot on that list under Golden Boy, I've actually been having second thoughts about that, because it's finally beginning to sink in just how talented this man is.
In general, Studio 4°C was killing it in 1997. The same year, Morimoto dropped a twenty-eight minute film called Eikyuu Kazoku (Eternal Family), which I didn't think was quite good enough to put on this list, but its strange combination of ideas from The Matrix and The Truman Show become all the more interesting when you realize that it actually predates both of those films. You also had Katsuhiro Otomo (the Akira guy) dropping some fucking weird shit like Gondora under this studio.
I don't even know what to make of this.
Given the studio's track record of producing these borderline shitpost art films that may not always say something profound, but are still wild, fun, and infectiously creative in their own right, it's very unfortunate that I only discovered Noiseman Sound Insect towards the tail-end of my trek through 1997, especially when it was animated by none other than Masaaki Yuasa (Devilman Crybaby, The Tatami Galaxy), who is my all-time favorite person working in the entire industry.
The story is pretty simple, albeit a little absurd. In the distant future, a mad scientist vies to steal ALL the world's music and then transmogrify it into a crystalline form to reduce all what we can hear to unmusical noise, just to deprive society of that basic pleasure. He creates the titular, triangular, and squeaky-voiced monster, the Noiseman (pictured above), to help enact his designs. The rest of the film follows Noiseman as it runs amok, sucking up music, causing all kinds of commotion, as a group of biker punks try to stop it.
If that doesn't sound interesting to you, don't worry—the story isn't really the primary appeal of this cartoon. Where the short truly strides is in its ability to inject a potent firestorm of sensory input directly into your ears and eyeballs. The colorful and gorgeous imagery combined with animation so crisp and fluid all add up to a visual rollercoaster. I've always been impressed by movies that always have something going on in every frame. On top of this, the hectic and cacophonous soundtrack by Yoko Kanno (of Cowboy Bebop fame) rather perfectly complements the overall theme of the movie, being the relationship between music vs. uncontrolled noise.
The city featured in this short is called Cahmpon, and that's pretty much all we know about it—other than that it's in a state of beautiful decadence. The short fifteen minute runtime lends us no time to ponder questions like "Where are we?" or "How did the world get like this?" which aren't really questions that the film is trying to answer anyway, so I wouldn't even worry about any of that stuff. The mystery and intrigue of the city is what keeps you wondering about it, and if any more information about it was revealed, it wouldn't have been as memorable for me.
Its short runtime also makes it easy to recommend to just about anyone, and though I usually leave just a small clip for you to watch to gauge interest, I see no harm in linking the entire thing here. It certainly left an impression on me, so I hope you'll be able to take something away from it as well.
That would be the end of the thread if I wasn't about to bring up some honorable mentions, and we actually have a pretty respectable number of them coming up—the first of which is very special to me, so let's dive into it.
~The Most Honorable of Mentions~
Why do you exist?
Everything is just a shape—so what are you?
あああああああああああああああ - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I am ecstatic. This is the most floored I've been after watching an anime since Devilman Crybaby, and for that sort of thing to happen twice in a year for me is unprecedented across all media. This is some good fucking shit.
Before I even begin talking about this movie, I feel like I have to talk about the first time I watched Neon Genesis Evangelion. Or, no—back up—I should probably talk a little bit about what Evangelion is in the first place for the two people who don't know anything about it.
I'll keep it simple: NGE or EVA is the seminal mecha series made by Hideaki Anno in 1995. Part super robot, part psychological thriller, the show was unique for the time, because it deconstructed all the typical tropes you'd find in the prevailing mecha shows of the era. It starts out like a typical anime, and the basic premise itself is probably the least interesting thing about the series. Kids pilot giant robots to fight off giant aliens, sure whatever. It's more about the extremely intense and dark ways in which things begin to fall apart for the characters over the course of the series, the ways it subverts expectations and tired anime tropes, and for all the crazy gut punches it starts throwing towards the third act. The show proceeded to turn the industry on its head, redefining what a lot of people look for in their cartoons (for better or for worse), and is now considered by many to be the most important show of the '90s, if not ever.
I've known about this show for about as long as I've been on the Internet, and it was perhaps the first anime I've ever been exposed to that wasn't Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, or any of the other typical fare of the late '90s. It was through an old (now copyright claimed) video where someone re-edited the opening of Super Smash Bros. Melee to make it look like the OP for NGE, and I remember being very impressed by it.
The video is no more, which is kind of sad, because it's what exposed me to one of the coolest openings for anything that I had ever seen—whatever an "Evangelion" is—and still today, I do consider it to be the greatest anime OP of all time.
But even then, it would still be about ten years until I actually sat down to watch the show.
Just over a year ago, after I begun this whole anime thing, it was finally recommended to me by Ian, who gave me his express permission to shit all over it—making me assume that he hates the show and wanted me to validate him or something. So by the time I finished it, that's exactly what I did. Initially, I genuinely wasn't impressed—so much so that I decided to skip all of the supplemental material, even though I was specifically told not to. I just figured, since Ian wanted me to hate the show anyway, there's no real sense in bothering. I proceeded to exaggerate a lot of what I considered to be some of the show's biggest problems at the time to give him exactly what he wanted.
But it wasn't honest; not 100%, anyway. I was kinda just playing the role of that angry guy who hates anime indiscriminately, when the truth was, I didn't really think the show was as bad as I was making it out to be. I think I originally dropped a 4/10 on it, which is usually my "caution" rating—it's the rating I give to shows that I understand have a lot of good qualities about them, but for whatever reason, just never really clicked with me. In other words, I don't personally like them, but I can easily understand why it's considered good by others.
I wouldn't be surprised if Ian could probably tell that my given thoughts on the show were half-assed and reaching, because it wasn't until later that I found out that he doesn't hate the show at all. It's actually his favorite. I think he said that he only wanted me to shit on it so that he could finesse for himself new ways to enjoy it—which is unfortunate, because it only wound up coloring my perception of the show during my first viewing, causing me to destroy the experience for myself. If I were watching the show for any other reason than looking for reasons to hate it, I probably would've loved it right away. I realize I have a colossal fucking hate boner for anime and all, but I really do prefer to enjoy things, so it always sucks to have your expectations played around with.
I eventually gave the show a rewatch a few months ago while compiling my 1995 list, and I did so with the intention of opening my mind to it a lot more, while trying my best to wipe the initial viewing out from my memory.
Needless to say, it kinda worked.
There's a lot to unpack here. I'm going to avoid being exhaustive, but one of the bigger problems I had with the show at first that I honed in on—the fact that NONE of the characters are likable in any way, especially the main character Shinji—wound up becoming one of my favorite aspects of the story, because it suddenly occurred to me that I was looking at them the wrong way. It wasn't that the characters themselves are inherently unlikable; it's that their character flaws are so readily apparent that it makes me dislike them as people, as if they were real. That's actually a good thing. That's good writing, because it makes them feel real, which in turn causes them to become likable in their unlikableness. It's something that anime never does, and something I've wanted anime to do for ages.
They only become easy targets to criticize when you're looking at the characters from a lens of looking for things to hate, but then, of course, you'd be missing part of the point of the show.
The deconstruction of terrible super robot tropes are also fun and well-executed, and the philosophical themes—which I initially waved off as silly and pretentious nonsense, and nothing more than evidence of Hideaki Anno smelling his own farts—are actually not only incredibly poignant and thoughtful, but extremely relevant to somebody like me, who is not only able to sympathize A LOT with Shinji's general outlook of life, but whose teenage experiences parallel uncannily with his. I gave him a lot of flak for being whiny, for example, but I was a huge fucking whiner as a teenager, too (and in a lot of ways, I still am—just over more "mature" subjects, I guess). I also made fun of the religious symbolism and the general arthouse style of the last half of the show, but I'm someone who normally LOVES that shit, so that was just me reaching once again.
I can definitely own up to being a shithead about these aspects of the show. There are several other misgivings I had about the show that were corrected on my second watch, but I did say I was going to avoid being exhaustive.
The point is, my opinion improved. As a result, I decided to bump the score up to a 6/10, which is my way of saying "I like this," and after watching the Death & Rebirth cut, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't beginning to feel a 7/10 well up within the cockles of my heart. Because at this point, the show totally clicked with me. I'm no longer hesitant to admit that I genuinely and thoroughly enjoy it. It's still not perfect, and there's still several of these little niggling things about it that are holding me back from putting it up there with my all-time favorites—but when it comes to the things that I do love about it? It is an intense, burning love, on par with or stronger than what I feel for my top two.
So, after all that, I finally decided I was ready to watch the movie I've been neglecting to watch all this time: The End of Evangelion. The setup is over—I'm finally going to start talking about this movie now, thanks for bearing with me.
For those of you who aren't in the know about what this movie is, or why it exists, I'll try to wrap it up for you succinctly and without spoiling anything. If I get any of my facts wrong, I'm sure the weebs will be able to correct me.
The original 26-episode series ends on what could potentially be described as an artistically challenging note, and (as far as I'm aware) only really happened because the studio ran out of money and had no hope of creating something more immediately coherent or satisfying. I, for one, thought it was immediately coherent and satisfying, but regardless, fans of the show were not happy with it—and evidently, neither was Hideaki Anno—so with this movie, they intended to give it a "proper" ending, taking an approach that was less "confusing as hell" and more "absolutely fucking insane." It was completed about a year later, and...
Holy fucking shit. I cannot adequately express just how monumental of a mistake skipping this movie was.
This is it. This is the final piece of the puzzle I was looking for. I could stop watching anime RIGHT NOW, because I can now officially point to three different things—Devilman, Texhnolyze, and now this—as being tailor-made for me specifically, and I am so fucking thrilled about it. Where do I even begin? Well, I won't begin with spoilers, so that narrows it down. But I will be have to delve into some spoilers later, so I guess I'll warn you when that happens. Describing this film's appeal without discussing important plot details will be a challenge, but it'll be fun.
So what's the deal with this movie?
There are words in my vocabulary that I try to use sparingly, especially when I review things. The less you use a particular word, the more impact it has when you're finally able to find the right moment to use it. Whatever it is, it just gives the word a greater sense of value, power, meaning, and gravitas. Overuse a word, and it tends to lose all of those things. Among the words I try to avoid using, lest I deteriorate its value, is "beauty."
As many of you know, there's very little in the world that I would consider beautiful. On the contrary, everything is kind of horrible and disgusting to me. That's why I love art, because the power of art is that it represents the capacity for humans to inject meaning into the most dreadful aspects of life, allowing us to safely look upon it from a distance, shape perspectives, learn lessons, develop morals, and ponder. Feel. Experience. Enrich our lives with a small piece of something that we never really could, never really wanted to, or is otherwise too fantastic or absurd to really happen. Therefore, the most beautiful art to me is that which enriches my "soul" the highest degree. Something that makes me feel alive by stimulating the core of my being, or something the Romantics may have called "the sublime." That's beauty, and that's what I'm after when I consume art.
The End of Evangelion is a beautiful film. I'm fairly confident in declaring it Hideaki Anno's masterpiece, even though I haven't seen any of his other works—which I suppose I'll have to start catching up on now.
There comes a point during EVA's run where the basic plot kinda gets thrown out the window, and you realize as a viewer that you're no longer watching an ordinary mecha show. For me, this was practically instantaneous, because I already knew of all the show's intentions going into it. But shit didn't really start to feel like it was going in some weird place until the second half, during which it shifts from being a relatively standard mecha to become a much more heady, disturbing, and philosophical mind trip.
The darkness and tension compounds further and further and FURTHER, and End of Eva is where it finally reaches critical mass. Everything shatters all at once, as loudly and intensely as fucking possible. It is an experience that will rend your soul into a million glistening pieces with its visuals, both animation-wise and imagery-wise, and it will almost certainly make you feel extraordinary discomfort, and, depending on your disposition, existential depression in the same way that Devilman's ending would.
Final thing before I get into spoilers: the best part of all has to be the direction. My mouth was literally agape at some of the things I was seeing, and I'm struggling to think of a time where I've been as engrossed with an anime.
All right, spoiler time. Rather than use tags, I'm going to change the color of the text to red, because I don't want the tags to break my flow. Just don't read the red text if you want to avoid getting spoiled.
Anyone who thought the last two episodes of EVA sucked or were too confusing were definitely shown up in a big way with this movie. It's hard to know what people were expecting in those days, but I like to think they were expecting a relatively fanservice-y movie where everything comes together and resolves itself in a satisfying, if mildly bittersweet fashion. They probably weren't expecting the Third Impact to actually commence, or for it to result in a complete and utter mind fuck where virtually NONE of the characters made it out okay.
Shinji's crumbling mental state is at the forefront of the movie with the infamous first scene, where he's shown having pleasured himself to the naked body of his comatose friend, because he just wants to know what it's like to feel pleasure again. It's incredibly unsettling to watch a character, who we thought was actually starting to mature a little, regress to the absolute nadir of his existence. There's a lot of fucked up and depraved shit in this movie, but that scene will always be the most fucked up part of the entire thing for me, and people continue to meme about it to this day.
Beyond that, the film in general firmly establishes just how fucking psychotic each and every character really is. They all have reasons for it, but none of them are treated as excuses. Part of the film's theme is to scare otherwise weak-willed people into taking responsibility and initiative with their life choices, because in spite of how hard you try to justify your actions, everyone is secretly a self-serving piece of shit on the inside. The film plays with and explores the psychology of this depressing truism, and attempts to find a silver lining, which is ultimately left for the individual to decide for themselves. Life may be hell, people may be shit, but you can still try your best to make things better. Or you can run away; it's your life. But loneliness can be just as harmful to you psychologically as getting hurt by others.
And then there's the Impact itself. The moment the Third Impact finally commences, on top of being a visual feast and a prime example of spectacular filmmaking, is what really helps me cap off my love for this movie, and you can probably guess why if you've seen it already: This is my fucking dream apocalypse. It is everything that I want and everything that we deserve. Everyone in the world dies a relatively peaceful death (except for the ones who died scared or violently). In their final moments, they're embraced by the figment of a person they loved before they "return to nothingness," until the entire world is reduced to nothing more than primordial soup, from which they may return if they so choose. The moment Shinji decides to come back to give life another shot is excellent, because it's not like he's forcing anyone to come back—he gives them the choice, which is precisely how it should be. I've never seen a more properly executed end of the world scenario and I probably never will. You can only imagine how delighted I was.
That about scrapes the surface of how much I appreciated this, I think. I could go on and on.
So now, you might be wondering, "Well, if you love the movie so much, why isn't it on your list? Why is it just an honorable mention?" and I do have several reasons for that. For one thing, it's a movie that essentially requires you to watch 24 episodes of the original series, which is approximately nine hours of content. That's a lot for me to ask people to sit through, and I'm a guy who generally prefers movies to be able to stand up on their own. EoE does not. So if you find yourself in a position where you can't enjoy NGE for whatever reason, then you're probably never going to make it up to this movie, which is a major issue.
Another reason is that I'm trying my hardest not to be biased. As I said, this movie was practically tailor-made for me. It's as if Anno himself knew that I would eventually come across some day. So for me to give it a universal recommendation would be similar to buying you a pair of shoes without any regard for your preferred color, lace type, or even your size. The appeal of the movie is just heavily personalized, and I'm just trying to recognize that. Not everyone is going to enjoy a movie as soul-crushing as this, even if they're willing to watch the entire EVA series, so I'm not going to list something just because I found it so riveting.
If you want to try Eva yourself, and you don't like anime, I would only ask for you to be patient with it. It's not going to be apparent to you why I like the show so much until later, unless you're extremely attentive. Whatever the case may be, you're in for a real trip, so be sure to strap in.
Here's the other batch of honorable mentions for '97. I had to put EoE in its own section, because the rest of these kinda pale in comparison to it, but they're still decent enough to try if you're desperate for more recommendations.
Princess Mononoke - Classic Miyazaki movie that failed to leave a lasting impression on me, but everyone else seems to love the shit out of it, so perhaps you will, too. I gave it a second watch while compiling this list, and I did end up enjoying it slightly more, but just not enough to put on the list. Perhaps my mind will change in the future. It's definitely one of the stronger contenders.
Revolutionary Girl Utena - Considered the Eva of the magical girl genre. Though I'm able to appreciate the deconstruction elements, I ultimately just don't care for it as much. Doesn't quite have the same effect on me, and visually, I think it's quite ugly. It's pretty popular, though.
The Dog of Flanders - The movie, not the series. It's decent, albeit very sad. I'm not really sure if you need to watch the series in order to enjoy the film more, but I didn't because it was 52 episodes and made in the '70s. Maybe that was my mistake.
A Chinese Ghost Story - Technically, this shouldn't even count as an anime, as it was made in Hong Kong. It's still listed on MyAnimeList, though, so if they count it, then I suppose I might as well. It comes across as poor man's Disney, but it's still decently entertaining, and it's a fun way to learn a little bit about Chinese mythology.
Pokémon - Gotta shout-out to the first anime I've ever seen. Obviously a huge part of my childhood, the first season is all I would "recommend," but even then, I can't fully recommend it because it's objectively understood to be a substandard show, all things considered. I still think it's fun, though, and I've been planning on making a thread where I review and rank every single Pokémon movie, of which there are twenty (which is why it's been taking awhile).
This beer commercial - is awesome.
Don't drink, though.
1998 is looking like it's gonna be a pretty exciting year. I'm already seeing tons of stuff that I might like.
2018 - N/A
2017 - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2016 - N/A
2015 - N/A
2014 - N/A
2013 - N/A
2012 - Spec Ops: The Line
2011 - Dark Souls MAYBE
2010 - N/A
2009 - Infamous or Borderlands (need to replay both)
2008 - LittleBigPlanet
2007 - Portal
2006 - Bully
2005 - Guitar Hero
2004 - Half-Life 2 (shout-outs to Paper Mario: TTYD, though)
2003 - Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
2002 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
2001 - Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (shout-outs to Melee, though)
2000 - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
1999 - Super Smash Bros.
1998 - Metal Gear Solid (still need to finish it though)
1997 - Street Fighter III
1996 - Pokémon Red & Green
1995 - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
1994 - Super Metroid
1993 - Sonic CD
1992 - Contra III: The Alien Wars
1991 - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
1990 - Super Mario World
1989 - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
1988 - Mega Man 2
1987 - Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
1986 - Castlevania (shout-outs to Zelda 1 & Metroid 1)
1985 - Super Mario Bros.
1984 - Tetris
1983 - Lode Runner
1982 - Joust
1981 - Frogger
1980 - Pac-Man
1979 - Asteroids
1978 - Space Invaders
1977 - Combat
1976 - Breakout
1975 - N/A
1974 - N/A
1973 - N/A
1972 - Pong
None of these are final, obviously.
Yeah, I have a lot of modern games to catch up on, because I haven't played SHIT over the past decade. I kinda hate modern games, though, so it'll probably be awhile before I'm all caught up.
« on: April 20, 2018, 06:14:47 PM »
except you can only choose two of those things
so, which ones
the one you don't choose will be corrupted into its logical opposite extreme:
if you're not good, you're terrible
if it doesn't make you money, then you'll struggle to survive
if you don't love it, you absolutely hate it
Breaking news: Anime is STILL the worst thing ever—and I'm one more year closer to proving it once and for all.
Just like I did for 1995 last month, I went ahead and tried every single anime, movie, and OVA released in the year 1996 that I could find a stream for on the Internet (not that I condone piracy or anything). I may not have been able to watch literally every little thing, however, because (believe it or not) there's some obscure shit out there that simply cannot be found anywhere on the Internet. I've still seen a good 90%, though, and that's gonna have to be good enough.
Why am I doing this? So that you, an intelligent person who doesn't like anime, don't ever have to. If you hate anime, but you have a friend who's really trying to get you into some stupid looking shit that you know you won't like, just come to me, and I'll be sure to let you know whether you should give it a try. That's the goal. 99% of the time, my answer will be "don't bother," but once in a thousand blue moons, there is an anime that transcends the medium, breaks all of its conventions, shits down the industry's throat, and is just, overall, a cut above the rest in terms of its artistic quality and is well worth your time.
Those are the anime that I'm endlessly searching for, and those are the shows I want to share with you. Lists like these will help facilitate that imperative.
Last time, for all of 1995, I was able to find two things worth watching—a single short film in an anthology of three, where two of the others weren't nearly as good, and a guilty pleasure ecchi comedy show that's only good because of its off-the-wall dub. That didn't bode well for the future, but I pressed on anyway.
So, across the entirety of the year 1996, what was produced in the anime industry that was actually worth a singular fuck?
That's right, I couldn't find a single goddamn thing for that entire year. Now, some of you might be thinking, "That doesn't make sense. Even if you hated all the shows, you could still just make a top 10 list of the least-worst ones."
True, but that's not how I like to do things. The thing is, "top 10s" are kind of arbitrary. If there were more than ten shows worth recommending to you, why would I not recommend to you ALL of those shows? Why limit myself to just ten? Furthermore, if there weren't ten shows I thought were good enough, why would I fill up the list with a bunch of horrible crap just to round out the list to the random and arbitrary number that is ten? That would be silly.
So, at the end of the year, if there wasn't anything that made the cut, I'm submitting a blank list.
Hell, here's a list of every single thing that I didn't watch, either because it was too obscure and I couldn't find it, or because it was part of a larger series that I've already given up on, like Dragon Ball.
Dragon Ball GT - 299,213
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars - 62,248
Slayers Next - 46,582
Kidou Shin Seiki Gundam X - 22,210
Saber Marionette J - 20,724
Taiho Shichau zo (TV) - 14,991
Kochira Katsushikaku Kameari Kouenmae Hashutsujo (TV) - 6,650
Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy (1996) - 4,297
Kiko-chan Smile - 460
Hajime Ningen Gon - 196
Shounen Santa no Daibouken! - 165
Bucket de Gohan - 159
Ijiwaru Baasan (1996) - 121
Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team - 43,310
Fushigi Yuugi OVA - 16,483
Slayers Special - 14,372
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Operation Meteor - 7,852
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars - Hero Club - 5,309
MD Geist II: Death Force - 5,116
Blue Seed 2 - 4,311
Bakuretsu Hunters OVA - 4,236
Ai Tenshi Densetsu Wedding Peach DX - 3,853
Shadow Skill (1996) - 3,633
Legend of Crystania OVA - 3,004
Variable Geo - 2,470
Ginga Ojousama Densetsu Yuna: Shin'en no Fairy - 1,579
Blue Seed 1.5 - 1,550
Houma Hunter Lime - 1,147
Gall Force: The Revolution - 876
Alice in Cyberland - 841
Haou Daikei Ryuu Knight: Adeu Legend Final - 513
Future GPX Cyber Formula: Early Days Renewal - 402
Ultraman: Chou Toushi Gekiden - Suisei Senjin Tsuifon Toujou - 234
Eiyuu Banka Koushi-den - 170
Itsuka no Main: Kaminari Shounen - Tenta Sanjou! - 139
Teppen - 139
Zoku Zoku Mura no Obaketachi - 105
Toppuku Kyousou Kyoku - 102
Hamuko Mairu! - 81
Shinran Shounin to Ousha-jou no Higeki - 46
Dragon Ball Movie 4: Saikyou e no Michi - 32,540
Tenchi Muyou! in Love - 16,175
Slayers Return - 14,365
Black Jack the Movie - 7,604
Lupin III: Dead or Alive - 5,520
Shin Kimagure Orange☆Road: Soshite, Ano Natsu no Hajimari - 5,120
Crayon Shin-chan Movie 04: Henderland no Daibouken - 2,143
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo - 2,034
Doraemon Movie 17: Nobita to Ginga Express - 1,912
Hamelin no Violin Hiki: The Movie - 1,747
Gokinjo Monogatari the Movie - 1,603
Jigoku Sensei Nube (Movie) - 1,416
Mahoujin Guru Guru Movie - 1,251
Alps no Shoujo Heidi: Alm no Yama-hen - 916
Alps no Shoujo Heidi: Heidi to Clara-hen - 909
Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshou - 769
Dorami & Doraemons: Robot School's Seven Mysteries - 740
Gegege no Kitarou: Daikaijuu - 441
Nintama Rantarou Movie - 327
Toilet no Hanako-san - 298
Futari no Oujisama - 127
Maya no Isshou - 127
Angel ga Tonda Hi - 118
Pipi Tobenai Hotaru - 108
Apo Apo World: Giant Baba 90-bun 1-hon Shoubu - 100
Lupin III: Twilight Gemini no Himitsu - 4,162
City Hunter: The Secret Service - 3,705
Shounen Sunday CM Gekijou: InuYasha-hen - 1,987
Mobile Suit Gundam: More Information on the Universal Century - 1,767
Fushigi Yuugi Special: Nakago Shikkari Shinasai! - 1,362
Yawara! Special: Zutto Kimi no Koto ga... . - 1,205
Bakusou Kyoudai Let's & Go Special - 488
For all I know, any of these could be absolute gold, and I'm completely missing out on it because of how I choose to consume this medium. So by all means, maybe check those out at your own risk, if you can even find them anywhere. In terms of them actually being good, though? I'd say the odds are against you, because 1996 was a dogshit year for a dogshit medium.
Mind you, my absolute bare minimum score to end up on one of my lists is a 7/10. That's me trying to be generous. Originally, I set it to 8/10 until I realized I wasn't going to have anything for the 1995 list, either. So I lowered it by a full point just so I could squeeze Magnetic Rose and Golden Boy in with a couple of asterisks. I can't even justify doing that with anything I've seen for 1996, because the highest score I gave was a 6/10.
I was dropping so many 1/10s that my mean score on MAL dipped below 3, giving me the "Less than three" achievement.
Even I don't know at this point.
So, I suppose in order to prevent this from being a total shitpost, I suppose I might as well pad it with... I don't know, something. I guess I could try to give you a bunch of stuff that might suit your fancy, if you have low standards. I don't know if I'd consider these honorable mentions—they're certainly a cut above the rest, but they're ultimately just typical anime garbage. So, I'm not formally recommending ANY of these to anybody. Watch them at your own discretion.
Pity Top 5 of 1997
Spring & Chaos - If you put a gun to my head and asked me to give an AotY award to something from 1996, I guess it would have to be this. Directed by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame, this is a touching little art film made to celebrate the Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa's 100th birthday (despite having been long dead since 1933). I think it's meant to be somewhat of an artistic retelling of the man's life or something. Everyone in the story is depicted by a cat, which is kind of weird until you realize it's a reference to another adaptation of one of Miyazawa's more famous stories, Night on the Galactic Railroad, where everyone is also a cat. Anyway, it's not fucking fantastic or anything—there's a couple of terrible scenes that use CG that are incredibly off-putting and pretty much ruin the whole thing for me, but if you were wondering what my 6/10 was for this year, this would have to be it. It's the best thing 1996 could muster.
Rurouni Kenshin - It's a fairly standard yet highly sterile shonen series with mature, likable characters, a decent if kinda dull at times plot, and most notably, is relatively low on the stereotypical shonen tropes that so many detractors of anime are sick of. It's not completely bereft of them, or anything, but with regards to female characters being portrayed like actual human fucking beings, this show manages to impress. But I find it a little bit too long and too boring to hold my attention. It's just not terribly interesting to me. This is probably the most successful show to come out of the year 1996, if that means anything to you at all. It doesn't to me, but there you go. It's a 5/10.
Martian Successor Nadesico - Another relatively popular show. It's not at all for me, but I can see some extremely nerdy Star Trek-watching loser just eating this show up. It's not particularly serious in tone—in fact, it almost comes across like a parody of the sci-fi genre at times—so if you want to have a lighthearted little space romp with annoying Japanese anime characters, I don't know, fucking go for it man.
Jigokudou Reikai Tsuushin - This one, I'm only mentioning because I think it has really cool atmosphere and art design. It's a 30-minute horror-lite OVA with just one episode, so if you scare easily, maybe miss out on this one, but it shouldn't be that bad. I think it's made for kids. It's a hard one to find on Google, and I had to watch a version that didn't have subtitles—but the story was easy enough for me to follow that I honestly didn't even need them. If an anime is able to keep me entertained without even needing to understand what anyone is saying, that deserves props.
Remi, Nobody's Girl - A World Masterpiece Theater production. People seem to love those. If you don't even know what that is, skip it and watch Romeo and the Black Brothers instead. Or not. I would suggest that you just read the original stories, personally.
There's also Case Closed (AKA Detective Conan), Spooky Kitaro, The Vision of Escaflowne, Chocchan Monogatari, Kodocho, Baby and Me, and the X/1999 movie directed by Rintaro. I rated all of these between a 3 and 4/10, so I have no kind words to say about any of them, but they're all rated relatively high on MAL, so maybe they're worth giving a simple mention to.
That is all.
1997, you're next. I might do 2018, too.
« on: March 21, 2018, 09:20:11 AM »
stolen from reddit
By March 26, you won't be able to purchase any more points for the original Wii Shop, so here's a list of VC games that you can't get on the Wii U, 3DS, or Switch right now.
most of these games are either bad or not worth $5, but this is still probably going to be your last chance to legally emulate them on a modern game console (since Wii stuff can be transferred to the Wii U), so if anything on the list catches your eye, take your shot now
i'll probably get chrono trigger, because a physical copy of that shit is mad expensive
A Boy and His Blob: Trouble on Blobolonia
Adventures of Lolo 2
Aero the Acro-Bat
Aero the Acro-Bat 2
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars
Art of Fighting 2
Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior
Baseball Stars 2
Battle Lode Runner
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
Blades of Steel
Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure
Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Columns III: Revenge of Columns
Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine
Digital Champ: Battle Boxing
DoReMi Fantasy: Milon's DokiDoki Adventure
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
The Dynastic Hero
Earthworm Jim 2
Ecco: The Tides of Time
Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa
Fatal Fury 2
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory
Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
Fighter's History Dynamite
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Gate of Thunder
Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Golden Axe II
Golden Axe III
Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou
Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures
J.J. & Jeff
King of the Monsters
Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole
Last Ninja 2: Back with a Vengeance
Legend of Hero Tonma
Lords of Thunder
Magical Drop II
Magical Drop III
Metal Slug 2
Metal Slug 4
Milon's Secret Castle
Monster World IV
NES Play Action Football
Neo Turf Masters
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
Pokémon Puzzle League
Prince of Persia
Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom
Puyo Puyo 2
Real Bout Fatal Fury
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
Rolling Thunder 2
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown III
Secret of Mana
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
Shining Force II: Ancient Sealing
Shining in the Darkness
Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic 3D Blast
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Space Harrier II
Space Invaders: The Original Game
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition
Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
Streets of Rage 3
Summer Games II
Super Adventure Island
Super Adventure Island II
Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly-Paradise
Super Baseball 2020
Super Fantasy Zone
Super Smash Bros.
Super Star Wars
Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Super Thunder Blade
Sword of Vermilion
The King of Fighters '94
The King of Fighters '95
The King of Fighters '96
The King of Fighters '97
The Last Blade
The Last Blade 2
The Last Ninja
The Legend of Kage
The Revenge of Shinobi
The Tower of Druaga
ToeJam & Earl
ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy
Virtua Fighter 2
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
Wonder Boy in Monster Land
Wonder Boy in Monster World
World Class Baseball
World Heroes 2
World Heroes 2 Jet
Ys Book I & II
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
green = personal recommendation
Final Fantasy IV is listed as II.
Final Fantasy VI is listed as III.
Fighting Street is actually the original Street Fighter, but it's so shitty that there's no sense in buying it. It'll be included in the 30th anniversary collection that's coming soon anyway.
Tune in 3/8 at 2pm PT for a Nintendo Direct featuring upcoming #NintendoSwitch and Nintendo #3DS games, including new details on #MarioTennis Aces! http://bit.ly/2D8eOEw
prepare for fucking nothing
« on: March 05, 2018, 11:50:46 PM »
>just downloaded Knack and Rime
>and i get to keep them
>for march, we're getting the new r&c and bloodborne
like i knew you could just get games, but i didn't know you could KEEP them forever
that's the best shit i've ever seen
and people are STILL pretending PS+ is bad LMFAO what a fucking joke
Anime is the worst thing ever.
But at some point last year, I decided to finally start doing what I had been joking about doing for the past several years: watching every single anime ever created, just to take a steaming dump on the entire industry.
"Wait, if you hate anime, then why are you trying to watch all of it?"
Like bronies and furries, anime fans have this troublesome tendency of being completely unable to comprehend the idea that someone could hate anime. It's very common for them to say things like, "You can't hate anime, because anime isn't a genre, it's a medium! It's like saying you hate movies!" without realizing that, yes, believe it or not, some people do hate movies. Some people do hate music. All of it. The entire medium. They hate it. And you know what? It's perfectly fine if you're that person. Some art forms aren't for everybody. I'm personally not terribly impressed with photography as an art form. You wouldn't call someone closed-minded for not being into sculpture. Some people don't even read literature. It's not that big of a deal.
But to anime fans, it kinda does seem to be a big deal. They refuse to accept it. They'll ask you unrepentantly to justify why you hate anime, and when you give them a few perfectly valid reasons, they'll try to recommend you some shit like Cowboy Bebop, only for the show to end up containing everything you hate about the medium. I've seen it happen time and time again. And then when you tell them that the show sucks, they STILL won't fucking give up. They'll do anything in their power to try to convert you into some disgusting weeaboo. They'll say something like, "Unless you've seen every single anime, you can't say that you hate anime." This is their desperation move. Their final trump card. They say it with this faux confidence, because they know you're not actually crazy enough to try every single Japanese cartoon ever created, so they think you'll have no choice but concede their point.
They didn't count on me, though.
I'm that crazy guy they didn't expect to actually watch every single show, and while I still have quite a ways to go, I'm still well on my way, and I'm not gonna stop because I find this shit incredibly amusing. Imagine the look on some stupid weeb's face, the next time they try to pull that shit on me, and I drop my complete anime list on them. It'll be fucking glorious.
But it's also a little self-servicing, I noticed. And at some point, it became apparent to me that I didn't really have much of an endgame beyond being smug on the Internet. As a result, I thought I'd go ahead and spread some goodness while I'm on this crusade.
While, in the long term, my endgame is to eventually make liking anime a felony punishable by death, my short term goals are much more modest and easily attainable. I'm watching every anime so that nobody else who hates anime ever has to. Someone who hates anime, yet still wants to give one a try for the fuck of it, can come to me with the good promise that I'll be able to recommend you something you might enjoy based on your specified tastes.
What I can't promise is that you'll be guaranteed to enjoy it. As a disclaimer, there may well be nothing at all for you here. You know how weebs like to say there's a show out there for everybody? Sometimes, that's not true. And that's perfectly fine. Great, even. Your taste in media is pure. You are above everyone else who likes anime. Be proud.
That's the important difference between me and a shitty anime fan. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you, a person who already hates anime, to start watching anime. If you've already decided that anime is gay and retarded, you've already passed. You've already gotten that A+. I'm not gonna recommend anything to you. You've already won, and in some ways, I envy you. No anime fan is going to tell you any of this.
But for those of us cursed with the nagging ailment of open-mindedness, however, I'm here to provide you with a list of every single anime that is worth watching from the year 1995. Why that year? Because it's the year I was born, so it felt like a pretty good starting point. From here, I also plan to make a list for 1996, 1997, and so forth, until I've seen absolutely everything that presently exists. At some point, I might start going backwards, too, but I'm not sure when.
Before we begin, it should be noted that I wasn't actually able to watch literally everything ever released in '95, because not every show is available on Internet video streams. Sometimes, the only options are to either buy or download the show, which is something that I'm probably never going to do. Morally speaking, I do not condone piracy, and I realize I'm a big fat hypocrite, but watching illegal streams is the only way for me to feasibly complete this task, and I'm providing free advertising for some of these shows anyway, so maybe it's not such a big deal. The only things I'm really missing out on are shows like Bit the Cupid, and I don't think it's terribly important for me to have seen stuff like that to make this list.
Nonetheless, I put myself through a LOT OF STUPID SHIT to make this list, so I hope you'll appreciate that.
Oh, and one more thing, just to be clear: I rarely watch entire shows. If I think a show is good enough to watch all the way through, then I will. But if I don't like a show by the third episode, I'm most likely going to drop it, which was the case for 95% of the things I watched for the year 1995. Sometimes, I'd even drop a show on the first episode. As such, several of the shows I wound up dropping may very well have gotten much better after those early episodes. I'm just not insane enough to put myself through a 30 or 50-episode series just to wind up disliking it.
My personal philosophy has always been that, if you cannot instantly grab me with that first episode, then your show is fucking garbage regardless of how much better it gets. Is that totally fair? Maybe not, but I don't think anyone can blame me for taking up this philosophy. Maybe some way, when I'm thrown completely off the deep end, I'll start watching entire shows exclusively the moment people start saying "You can't say you hate this show until you've seen the entire thing!" but for my sanity's sake I'm probably just going to ignore comments like that.
On to the list.
#2. Magnetic Rose (from Memories*)
彼女の想いで - Kanojo no Omoide
Yeah, that's right, #2. I'm doing the YourMovieSucks thing, where I put "Top 10" in the title, but the list doesn't actually contain ten items. It doesn't make any sense to make an arbitrary list of ten things to recommend to people if there weren't even ten things worth trying in the entire fucking year. That said, if there were thirty shows worth recommending to you from this year, then this list would've been thirty items long. Unfortunately, in this case, I only found two things that are 100% worth your time, so this list is only going to be two items long.
And they both have asterisks, too, meaning that these are not even universal recommendations. Keep that in mind.
Based on a 1990 manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, Magnetic Rose is actually a short film in a series of three other short films, all put together in an anthology of sorts called Memories. It was directed by Kōji Morimoto (known for his work on The Animatrix) and, perhaps more notably, was written by Satoshi Kon of Paprika, Perfect Blue, and Tokyo Godfathers fame. It's the only short film that I am recommending in the entire anthology, hence the asterisk, for reasons I will go over later.
For those of you who found yourselves enjoying Cowboy Bebop, look no further than Magnetic Rose to find something that may have directly inspired it, at least in terms of setting. Whereas Bebop has always sort of been the go-to recommendation from anime fans as the #1 thing to watch in order to get yourself into anime, Rose predates it by three years and is, in my opinion, a much better thing to watch if that is your stated goal.
Set in deep space about a century into the future, the story follows a small group of astronauts on a mission aboard the freighter Corona to forage around for scraps and other space garbage that they can use or sell. After receiving
a distress signal from an abandoned station, Heintz, our main protagonist, is joined by his partner Miguel to investigate, and without getting into spoilers too early, they end up finding some weird shit.
Tense, low-key, and beautifully animated, Magnetic Rose excels at what a lot of other anime do not—creating a vibe and atmosphere that feels grounded and realistic without sacrificing theme and engagement. Realism is not necessarily a good thing in and of itself, but it works in this film's favor because of how it attempts to earn its pathos, which I think it does. As events unfold, and backstories are revealed, the film's gritty and grounded nature really helps to bring out some of its more emotionally provocative moments, and there's certainly a couple to be had here.
Its themes aren't very subtle, but you can tell it's not exactly trying to be, and it doesn't wind up becoming a huge problem. It plays around with the notion that our memories are simultaneously real and imaginary. Or are they? The things that haunt us from our past may always be with us, but so will our past triumphs. We all wish we could go back to a time in our lives when everything was happier, but if you had the opportunity to recreate such a world, would it be worth it? Courteously, the film doesn't really answer these questions, allowing us to have our own personal views, and the questions are laid out in a satisfyingly artistic fashion, with a lot of cool (if a bit on-the-noes) symbolism.
At a run time of 40 minutes, it's probably not going to make you cry or anything, but there's just enough characterization, and the pacing and overall direction feels so tight and perfect, that you'll probably end up feeling some kind of way as soon as shit starts getting real.
One of my favorite things about the film is how the music, a chilling operatic score composed by Yoko Kanno (who went on to make music for Cowboy Bebop, fittingly enough) is beautifully woven into the plot itself. It's not like other shows, where the music is just there by sheer necessity. This time, it's very purposeful and deliberate, while perhaps paying tribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey at the same time (maybe, maybe not).
I'd like to stress how much I appreciate the realism of these characters, though. The way they interact with not only each other, but also their environment, is meticulously crafted to feel as palpable as could be, and I had a blast looking around for little details that I hadn't caught earlier. There's a scene where a piano is played, and I tried to study whether the specific keys being pressed actually matched up with the tones that a real piano would play, and I might be tone deaf, but I think they actually do match up. It's little details like that that I'm always trying to look out for, because it shows that the director actually cared.
That doesn't mean it's perfect, though. There are certain things that could've been done better. For one, the film's short length doesn't lend much time for some of the other crew members to get any characterization. They get a little bit, but not quite enough for me to feel as though their characters fleshed out as much as they could've or should've been.
There's also a couple of awkward scenes that had me going, "Huh?" Like, there's a part where Miguel gets stuck in his space suit for a second, and the film makes it a point that you see how much he's struggling, but then Heintz is just like "it's okay, just pop it off!" and, you know, I was kind of expecting to see how he would pop it off. But later, the scene just cuts to him safely out of the suit. And I'm like, what, you're not gonna show us how he did that? What was the point of having the scene, then?
I can also see people watching this movie and considering it a little slow, boring, and kinda predictable. I would agree that the film tends to telegraph its punches a little bit, but it honestly didn't affect the overall quality for me. It's really more about the concepts being explored than how the events transpire, and if that's not what you're looking for, then this one probably isn't for you I guess.
Overall, Magnetic Rose is a pretty cool film that I was able to enjoy. It's no masterpiece; I'd give it a 7/10, which is my absolute cutoff point for things being put on any of my lists. I've always had a thing for exploring troubling philosophical messages and themes over some dark and gorgeous visuals that make you think for a little while, and this short falls rather neatly under that description. If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, then I'd check it out.
Oh, and before I forget: in case you were wondering about the other two short films from Memories, Stink Bomb and Cannon Fodder, I am not recommending either of them. They're just not as good. I suppose if you want to have the full Memories experience, you can go ahead and try them out, because there's supposedly a common thread that links all the stories together. One that I personally haven't been able to find for myself, so I don't view it as important to see the other two shorts. But if you do, and you wind up disliking them, don't come crying to me, 'cause I warned ya.
#1. Golden Boy**
ゴールデンボーイ - Gōruden Bōi
BEHOLD. The ultimate guilty pleasure show.
Now, if you know anything about my taste in anime, you're probably wondering why the fuck an ecchi anime (AKA softcore porn) is on this list.
The reason is simple: It's the very first anime to ever make me laugh. Out loud. Hysterically. In spite of everything I hate about this fucking show, it's still the funniest anime I've ever seen.
See that double asterisk, though? Yeah, that means it's going to be fucking impossible to recommend this show to almost anyone, but I will try my hardest to explain to you why I'm personally able to look past all the retarded shit that this show has, and just have a good time with it. Okay? Okay.
In a nutshell, I'm not one for perverted sexual humor. I'm just not. If you're going to have a show that is based primarily around that type of humor, it has to be done a certain kind of way. Golden Boy, in my opinion, does it in a way that I'm able to tolerate, but be extremely entertained by.
Based on a manga from 1992, Golden Boy is a short series of six OVAs released throughout the years 1995 and 1996. It follows the story of Kintaro, an unemployed "freeter" (unemployed Japanese guy) and horndog who drops out of college to travel the country in search of odd jobs so he can live life as a free spirit. He's an insufferable pervert, though, and gets horribly distracted by all the beautiful women he meets (and pisses off) along the way. Though he's never able to "score" with any of these women, he does end up winning them over emotionally with his good work ethic and capacity to fix all of the problems that he inevitably causes with his bumbling idiot tendencies.
For the love of GOD, if you're going to watch this show, you need to follow these rules:
1. Watch the dub.
2. No, seriously, watch the fucking dub.
3. Try to come at it with an open mind.
4. Don't take it seriously.
5. Watch the fucking dub.
Kintaro's English voice actor absolutely makes the entire show for me, and I couldn't tell you if the show would be worth watching without it. It's that fucking important. Doug Smith had so much fun shouting all these ridiculous lines in that stupid voice, it's extremely difficult for me not to crack a smile every single time I hear Kintaro speak.
It's not just the voice, though. The over-the-top nature of the show's comedy and pacing is sure to turn a lot of people away from it, but the reason I'm able to tolerate it is because it's clearly self-aware about it. It knows its stupid, it knows its retarded, and it's made all the funnier because of it.
Part of what helps me enjoy the show, too, is when I view it as an exaggerated parody of the male psyche. Kintaro is a hardworking guy with a good heart, but at the same time, all he can think about is sex, because he's a young twenty-something guy straight out of college. He just wants to get laid, but he's aware that there's more to life than just sex. He's not just your average bullshit self-insert fuckhead with NO personality, and who anyone can project themselves onto for the sake of facilitating wish fulfillment—he honestly just comes across as a good guy, only he's cursed with an overactive libido. Dare I say, he's the most complex ecchi protagonist of all time (not that I go out of my way to watch this shit).
In short, the difference between Golden Boy and every other ecchi series is that Golden Boy has characters. It has writing. The situations Kintaro finds himself in are not only hilarious, but are rather well-written for something of this genre. It's self-aware. It's not a cheap glorification of sex. It's lampooning male sexuality. There are times when the fanservice does go a little overboard, which is why I can't give it anything higher than a 7/10, but it's the more intelligent aspects of the show (and Doug Smith's amazing voice work) that kept me watching until the end.
That all being said, if you already hate anime, I can guarantee that you will probably hate this series too. So I'm not gonna recommend it to you. In particular, if your name is Flee, you should avoid this one like the plague. You will get absolutely nothing out of this show. But if sexual humor doesn't bother you at all, and you wanna try something a little bit different that challenges the notion of whether such perverted shows can still be funny, or at least cleverly written, I'd definitely check this one out.
If you end up thinking it's total abject garbage, don't worry. I completely understand and I don't blame you at all.
Sometimes I think back to this show, and all the stuff that happens in it, and I ask myself, "Wait, do I really like this? Do I seriously enjoy this show?" and as embarrassing as it is to say, I can't lie to myself. Here's the bottom line: It's a comedy, and comedies are supposed to make you laugh. And this show made me laugh. So, I guess that means it fulfilled its ultimate purpose, right?
...Boy, this is SO educational.
And now for a bunch of shows and movies that didn't quite make my list, but are still worth mentioning.
You might call these "honorable mentions."
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Often regarded as the greatest anime of all time. I just think it's okay. When I saw it for the first time, it was only after being essentially goaded by Ian to shit all over it, so I took that as a free pass to basically look for reasons to hate the show, coloring my perception. When I rewatched it with a more objective mindset, however, my opinion of it did indeed increase, but I'm still not totally in love with it. The best thing I can say is that it's an extremely groundbreaking and important show that inspired many of the anime that currently exist today. Does that in itself make it worth watching? I can't really decide that for you. It's a strange case.
Bonobono - Just a good wholesome kid's show with adorable characters and a cozy atmosphere. Maybe check it out if you're still in touch with your inner child, or something, or if you've ever been curious to see what kid's shows are like in Japan.
Romeo and the Black Brothers - Also known as Romeo's Blue Skies, this is a relatively popular World Masterpiece Theater production which is adapted from a famous German children's story called Die schwarzen Brüder. It's decent enough, I suppose, but nothing I would recommend to a non-anime fan.
Whisper of the Heart - It's a Studio Ghibli movie written in part by Hayao Miyazaki, and is one of the studio's lesser known films. I personally wasn't into it, but I think I've given you all the reasons you need to check it out for yourself.
No, Ghost in the Shell did not make either of the two lists. It's fucking garbage. Sorry.
Here's hoping 1996 isn't as shitty.