Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Animation Bliss!

I'm now a part of a YouTube channel called Animation Bliss. Animation Bliss was started up by Rabbitearsblog as a means of discussing all sorts of animation. The channel can be seen here.

Anyway, I did mean for my review series to be text-only, but with this new development, I plan to use my Animation Bliss membership as a platform for my reviews. The same grading rubric will be used. My first review for the channel will be a video remake of my Golden Time review.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Animation Recommendations: Welcome to the Machine

For this Animation Recommendations, I shall take a look at a little music video by Gerald Scarfe. Scarfe is a great creative mind who did several music videos for famed psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd. Here we have one of their most famous collaborations, "Welcome to the Machine".
This video has all the trappings of a Gerald Scarfe classic; it's got stunning 3D drawings, a dark, surreal tone, and quite a bit of scary charm. If you haven't guessed by now, I'm a huge fan of animation that takes advantage of the fact that it's as such and does things you couldn't do in live action, even with a big-ass Hollywood budget. Oh, and the song's bitchin', too.

Speaking of Pink Floyd, I really should watch The Wall at some point.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bitching about Mundane Crap

Okay, a fair warning: this post is mostly just a vent. It's about how I got screwed by cuntstomer service.

Okay, so I somehow got an automatic renewal for Norton 360, and I wind up having to pay $85 on my mother's old credit card, long since already expired. So naturally, I want a fuckin' refund I put down my info and got on a live chat, and this is the whole chat. You should click on it to get the whole image, though.
Anyway, I ask for a refund, and the bastard CUTS ME OFF!!!
...this Nostalgia Critic clip is pretty much my reaction. You don't cut a guy off when he's trying to get a fucking justified fucking refund! So I wind up having to pay $85 for a fucking anti-virus program even though I already have the free version of Avast!!

Raja C. of Norton, if you are reading this, allow me to just say these words...



...next post won't be as whiny. I promise.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shopping Bag: Walmart, 4/8/2014

Welcome to a new feature on this blog called Shopping Bag! This is where I, like a total whore, how off whatever I've gotten through monetary purchases, either through brick-and-mortar stores or Amazon and the live.

Today, I walked over to my local Walmart and picked up four DVD sets First up is The Ren and Stimpy Show, Season Five and Some More of Four.
Now, if you want full details on the original show, Ian Lueck, a.k.a. Classic Speedy, is your guy. Anyway, I hear that the quality really nosedives in this set, but hey, I'm a completist.

The next two sets are DuckTales Volumes 1 and 2.
This show is one I remember a lot, since I used to watch Toon Disney religiously at a young age. So now I finally have it in my collection. I may collect more Disney cartoons later, but anyway, the last of the four. Drumroll, please!

Yesiree, it's that all time anime classic, Ranma 1/2! Admittedly, I've never seen this, but surprise, I found it at Walmart!

And that's all for now. Join me next time when I get more cartoons!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ToonZone April Fools Threads

Here's some threads I've started for the shits-and-giggles celebration of April Fools Day over at the ToonZone forums:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Golden Time - Not Golden, But Still Good

No, this is not my review series. This is just where I wrap up my thoughts on a series I just finished watching for the first time from start to finish on TV or online. My opinion may change from time to time, but it's just to provide closure anyway...

UPDATE 4/22/14: I lied. This really is the start of my text review series. So count this as my first "official" review.
Golden Time finished today in Japan. The show, based on the series of light novels by the author of Toradora (note to self: try to watch that sometime) and directed by Chiaki Kon by JC Staff, airing for two cours starting in October. The anime was pretty hit or miss, but I enjoyed it overall.

The story revolves around college student Banri Tada. He lost his memories one night after confessing his feelings for Linda, his high school classmate, being knocked off a bridge and having to spend a year at the hospital as a result. The story starts as Banri heads to law school for the first time. There he gets acquainted with Mitsuo Yanagisawa, who he immediately befriends. Unfortunately for Mistuo, his childhood friend Koko Kaga has chosen to attend the same university as the two, despite having been set to go to a private college. She immediately makes her mark as an obsessive self-proclaimed love interest even Lola Bunny from The Looney Tunes Show would call loco. When looking to join clubs, the two guys, plus classmate Chinami Oka, have a trial at the film club. But the tea club is being held at the exact same place. By the way, love the tea club girls. Best characters on the show. Anyway, the drunks capture Banri, and he gets acquainted with another guy they manged to capture, Takaya Sato, a.k.a. 2D. Later, another student invites Banri, a lonely Koko, and 2D to come to her club meeting. Turns out, it's a freakin' cult. Banri and Koko barely escape, and the two exchange tidbits of themselves: Koko discusses her crush on Mitsuo and how she handles it, while Banri discusses his amnesia. Eventually Linda, who came to the same university unaware of the fact that the guy who confessed to her also applied to the same school. Later still, Mitsuo decides to talk with Chinami, causing Koko to head on into full on bitch mode and go apeshit on the poor girl, the final straw that pushes Mitsuo to tell her off and break it off with her. Koko takes it rather hard at first, but she soon accepts it and joins Linda's festival club with Banri. Okay, this is getting a little long. Just Google a plot synopsis, because if I just continued, this would take forever.

When the first episode aired, many people I knew were ready to write it off, claiming Koko to be too unlikable and Banri to be too boring. But it turned out better than most people thought it would be by the end. The characters are serviceable, and manage decent relationships. What I also enjoy is that it tends to avoid a lot of the usual romcom cliches. Now, I don't have much experience with the genre, but any American with at least a fraction of a brain like myself are aware of the inevitable tropes. Thankfully, Golden Time tends to not most of them. No forced misunderstandings, the love triangles are downplayed immensly, no shitty pop songs-well, except for the second opening. Oh sweet cocksucking Christ, the second opening. And of all things, I actually kinda liked the Ghost Banri thing as well, as it did act as a decent storytelling element, though his appearance at the end, which I'll cover later, didn't really work for me.

That said, the series does have a fair bit of flaws. First of all, the storyline is all over the place. One moment the characters are discussing their pasts, the next they're at a nightclub, then they go to the beach, and then Banri dresses like a woman. I'm not kidding; that actually fucking happens. Also, sometimes there's several moments that come off as really corny, especially whenever Banri and Koko affirm their love.

I think my biggest problem with the series, however, was its handling of its moral. Don't get me wrong, it's a great moral with a great setup. When Banri's memories start coming back at random, at the same time risking the new Banri, he's forced to find ways to prepare for his complete change. Koko even breaks up with him, and he finds ways to make sure none of his friends forget him, even if he forgets them (except Linda, of course). This lead to our moral, one about how while some memories will be lost, the best thing to do is to move on and make new ones. Even if you lose friends, you can find new ones without having to completely forget about the old ones. That's absolutely brilliant! That would really be a great note to leave off on. It's a bittersweet note that proves that life goes on, and while the past shouldn't be forgotten, the future is just as important. Unfortunately, there's one little problem: remember how I said I liked Ghost Banri as a viewpoint? He also worked as a hallucination of Banri's, foreshadowing his returning memories. Well, as it turns out, he's goddamn real. And Banri never really moves forward, he just sticks to his old friends! He gets a cheap "get back the girl" ending, Linda never really cares about her own confessed love for Banri, and everything gets a reset button. What the fuck!? That's not giving us a good moral, that's just a moral committing suicide! That's right, the moral fucking kills itself!
Okay, all in all, despite a bad ending that fucked up its own message and a host of other problems, Golden Time falls in to the "good" pile. It's not a great show by any means, but aside from the finale, I never felt like I was really wasting my time on it. My score would probably be a Thumbs Up.