Monday, August 25, 2014

Attack on Titan Episodes 10 & 11 Recap

Right off the bat, let’s start with some disclaimers. THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, NOR THE SQUIMISH. I know, I know – you’re a paragon of steely resolve, your sinews are made from Wolverines cigar gristle and are Ford tough. Congratulations. HOWEVER, this is an anime that is brutal right out of the gate. That’s what makes it so interesting; this is a world where humanity is on its last leg and the audience is left on the edge of their seats hoping that SOMEBODY is going to survive.

Obviously major spoilers, we will be looking at the series in depth, poking at nooks and crannies and looking at characters and plot and why AoT has gained such insane popularity. There will be cursing, there will be blood. Some of the screen caps may be graphic (I will actually try to not and be too graphic with them, I don’t know who is looking at my blog).

Attack on Titan is a unique and phenomenal story which includes many elements; fantasy, mystery, politics, military campaigns, camaraderie, sacrifice and hope. If you can get past the brutal nature of the narrative its worth watching. All right, let’s get into it:

Attack on Titan Episode 10/11 Recap: Attack on Trost Pt. 6/7

I seem to have a vague recollection that AoT Episode 10 was one of the episodes where…nothing really happens (I believe there is one more episode where the ENTIRE thing is a recap even though usually recaps are for anime that are more than a 100 episodes long but who am I to judge?)

Eren is a Titan. Everyone is freaked. The commander orders the canons on the Trio and Eren says, ‘how did we come to be here?’ for the entire episode.

What you want to take away is that Armin finds his voice and self-respect within the Trio as the brains, and gains his little fairy wings of confidence.

Oh, and Pixis is a badass motherfucker who is going to save the world.

Right, so with the combined efforts of Armin’s courageous words and Pixis badassery the Trio survive and Eren goes, SURE, I’LL PLUG THE GIANT HOLE IN THE WALL WITH MY TITAN FORM.

Nothing can go wrong with that AT ALL.

I gotta admit that this episode is big with the plot meandering as well so this isn’t going to be long.

Well, this is a good point to bring up something with the revelation that Eren can change into a freaking Titan.

WHAT ARE THE TITANS!?!

This means that at least SOME of them retain intelligence while in that form. Were the Titans human? Were they created? When were they created, and for what purpose? If there are Titans who retain intelligence during the transformation that means that whoever these people are, they are willingly and maliciously singlehandedly annihilating what’s left of humanity.

WHY!?

Why are you committing self-genocide?! Why destroy your own race?! There will be no one left, if they continue to knock down walls and let the mindless Titans in.

So much mystery.

Right. Okay. There is some serious unrest going on, not just with the general public. The soldiers, having faced the enemy for the first time, are not happy campers.

Everybody is convinced that this is the end, we’re all gonna die, LET’S REVOLT!!

But LO! General Pixis to the badass rescue; everybody shuts up and takes heart listening to his speech, which is essentially We Are the Last Line of Defense.

So this is where Eren comes in. Remember that convenient boulder by the unfortunate Titan-spewing hole in the gate? Well, Eren is going to change into his Titan form, LIFT THE BOULDER and stop up the hole. Good plan.

The town/city (?) is already being overrun by Titans (and let us take a moment here to enjoy the fact that the animators/editors MUST have been having a good old time with design because LOOK AT THIS SEXY ASS MOFO TITAN!!! He’s being COY as he’s sucking down soldiers!! Funniest damn thing I’ve ever seen – almost as good as the Obviously Anime Titan, a few episodes back.)

Epic speech is Epic, even more so from a high place. People are now doubting Eren, and General Pixis is the grandmaster mother-fucking string-puller of all time as he manipulates EVERYBODY into doing his bidding. Damn he’s cool.

So there’s a bunch of waffling going on; Eren is making his last-chance talk with the Trio and is a complete and utter asshole to Mikasa.

There is some interesting psychology behind this, I think. Eren, again as you may recall me saying, is not a good person. Oh, he does right and has his own personal justice, but he’s not a good person.

He obviously has a complex towards Mikasa. I don’t doubt his affection towards her but he also has a lot of resentment. After all, he’s supposed to be the Hero, supposed to be able to take care of himself and he can’t always do that (actually, he never does that. He DOES get damseled quite a bit in the series). Mikasa is the one who has to pull him out of danger, to protect him and I’m sure that rankles him something fierce.

So he’s nasty to her, constantly going SEE I TOLD YOU I COULD TAKE CARE OF MYSELF (no you can’t, Eren) and pretty much an immature ass, which is understandable as he’s not even out of his teens yet.

Okay, here we go. The Elite of the soldiers are there as backup for Eren (Mikasa included) as they reach the breached gate, and it’s up to Eren now.

He transforms all right but something isn’t quite right with Eren. Mikasa watches as he creepily pauses, then turns to look at her then- BOOM!! Eren lands a sucker punch towards her that takes out an entire building.

Ho, shit – what the hell was that? It’s my personal theory that he’s subconsciously carrying anger still towards Mikasa and in his Titan form decides to act upon it. So what do you suppose that means, don't Titan while angry? Till next time.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Watership Down Chapters 26 & 27 Recap

Chapter 26 Fiver Beyond

Beyond what? Space?

Weeell, in the prevoius chapter Hazel was a dumbnut and went and got himself killed, more or less. Holly has come back all beaten up and too tired to say anything so we'll get to that the next chapter.

Fiver is having more wacked out dreams following the 'death' of Hazel.

He's dreaming of man (or AN old man)jeering and saying how much they love to kill poor defenseless bunnies when he wakes up with Bluebell shaking him.

I guess the point of the dream is that Hazel is alive and it's up to the two of them to find him.

The blooooddyyyy hoooooolleeee, says Fiver. What? Nothing, just go with it.

Chapter 27 'You can't imagine it unless you've been there'

Sounds like some gas station bathrooms I've been in.

While we're waiting for Hazel's miraculous recovery let's have some story time from Holly.

The Taking of the Does didn't go so well, if you didn't guess it.

So they found the other warren and shit hit the fan very quickly; they were more or less rounded up and trotted before the Council (OF DOOOOOMMM) and told that they essentially belonged to that warren now, sans all free will.

See, like the Council and the Owsla leader, General Woundwort, are like the Stalin of rabbits, I take it.

That particular warren is overcrowded and run like a prison. I think I can see where this is going.

Soooo, bla bla bla oppression, bla bla bla concentration camp, bla bla bla Holly and the others devise a plan for escape.

Which they do, but barely, and then stumble back to Watership Down to learn Hazel is a dumbass and got himself killed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Manga Review: Inu- Yashiki

I know, I know I'm harping a lot on the anime/manga side of things and I swear I have three sci-fi/fantasy books I'm going through right now BUT I happened to click on this manga and....wow.

This is a very unusual manga. It's hyper realistic, it stays absolutely true to Japanese culture (whereas I know a great many anime/manga borrow from Western culture a lot) and it has a focus on an older, middle-aged man. Unheard of.

Inuyashiki has lived a rather, well, worthless life. He's only in his fifties but looks 95. His family hates him, the world is cruel and then he learns he has cancer. The only thing that will mourn him is his dog.

You think that's bad? Then he gets hit by an alien space machine, dies instantly but is rebuilt wearing his own skin.

This manga is exactly three chapters so far but it's interesting and different. I am very curious to see where this goes.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Attack on Titan Episode 9 Recap

Right off the bat, let’s start with some disclaimers. THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, NOR THE SQUIMISH. I know, I know – you’re a paragon of steely resolve, your sinews are made from Wolverines cigar gristle and are Ford tough. Congratulations. HOWEVER, this is an anime that is brutal right out of the gate. That’s what makes it so interesting; this is a world where humanity is on its last leg and the audience is left on the edge of their seats hoping that SOMEBODY is going to survive.

Obviously major spoilers, we will be looking at the series in depth, poking at nooks and crannies and looking at characters and plot and why AoT has gained such insane popularity. There will be cursing, there will be blood. Some of the screen caps may be graphic (I will actually try to not and be too graphic with them, I don’t know who is looking at my blog).

Attack on Titan is a unique and phenomenal story which includes many elements; fantasy, mystery, politics, military campaigns, camaraderie, sacrifice and hope. If you can get past the brutal nature of the narrative its worth watching. All right, let’s get into it:

Attack on Titan Episode 9 Recap: What Happened to His Arm?/ Attack on Trost Part 5

Okay, again, slight warning for this episode; it is a little graphic and I don’t know people’s thresh hold for these kinds of things.

With that said and done – Eren. Titan. Whut. The greatest WTF in the history of anime.

But the episode isn’t going to start right there, we are going to start with an important little tidbit to the story. That morning the Elite of the Scouting Regiment just so happened to have left for maneuvers. COINCIDENCE?! I wonder.

We’re coming back to Levi, one of the commanders in the Scout Regiment (which, also has a 30% death rate, if you’re crazy enough to join them.)

Levi is….well, Levi. One badass midget mofo with a serious dislike of being dirty. (OCD?)

You want to know how badass the Scout Regiment is? Badass enough to be shouting insults at a Titan WHILE IT’S EATING HIM. Lo’ here comes Levi to save the day, sort of – the soldier dies anyway but it’s a good intro for the badass-ness of Levi.

Here’s the other character we will being seeing a lot of pretty soon: Hanji. She’s badass AND batshit crazy.

Fun mix.

Commander Erwin realizes something is up, as the Titans are all of a sudden heading towards Trost and says, let’s skedaddle.

This seems like a good time for a slight flashback. Eren. Eren as he is being eaten. Eren inside a Titan’s ‘stomach’ giving a whole new meaning to the word ‘nightmare’ as he is being digested (kind of) alive, surrounded by the dead and dying corpses of his comrades.

Yow.

Eren is understandably in shock and denial. It’s a suckey way to die.

Here’s where the full Shounen factor kicks in though. Eren is dying, seeing the image of his mother before him and HERE COMES THE RAGE.

ONLY in Shounen would the Power of Rage allow the protagonist to transform into a rage beast of amazing destructive power.

I think I’m going to start calling him Crazy Pants.

Thus Eren’s rage beast is born in the form of a Titan. How? Why? When? What? Who the hell knows, he’s a Titan now and full of RAAAGEEEE!!!!

We know how that ends; he kicks ten kinds of shit out of the invading Titans of Trost and pops out of his Titan body like a demented daisy.

We end this little flash back with Eren still in a dream state as he murmurs almost lovingly that he’s going to ‘kill them all’.

Now fully awake he sees he is not alone; Armin is holding him up with a freaked out expression, having no idea what Eren is talking about. They are completely surrounded by terrified soldiers and one commander.

Oh dear, this looks bad. How do you explain something like Eren?

And - oh crap, see the commander threatened Eren and that pisses Mikasa off. Bad move, commander.

Mikasa is ready to rend some limbs herself as Eren is freaking out about being a Titan – he doesn’t remember how it happened (convenient plot point)

Again, he has a flashback with his father screaming, THE BAAASEEMMEEENT, GET TO THE BASEMEEENNTT!!

Jackass commander orders the canons on the Trio and OH CRAP, Eren better act quick!

POOOWERRR……UP!!!

Eren pops out half his Titan form and stops the canon ball.

Maybe I should start calling him….Freaky Pants?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crap

Didn't sleep last night, went to bed around five this morning so I'm running late on a lot of things. Try and have Watership Down up by tonight

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tokyo ESP Anime Review

Tokyo ESP is actually a manga I read a long time ago; it only updates rarely so it wasn’t hard to read through the fifty or so chapters in a short time that I found it.

I have to say I freaking LOVE the manga.

A short summary: Rinka is a hard working, straight forward Japanese school girl who also happens to have the strength of ten men. She lives in a rundown little apartment with her herculean ex-cop father and works several jobs just to make ends meet.

One day something a little strange happens. She sees a penguin fly through the sky and shortly after was followed by glowing, swimming fish. One of those fish swam right through her and POOF! Now she has superpowers. She can now move through inanimate objects.

Tokyo appears to be under the influence of these ‘fish’ as numerous random people are given supernatural powers. This predictably causes all kinds of trouble. Some people are decent enough BUT plenty don’t mind using their new strength to terrorize, steal and cause havoc.

Rinka teams up with a fellow high school ESPer to take down these bad guys and along the way we meet plenty of goofy characters, terrifying villains and strange occurrences.

I was stoked to see it had made it into anime form, I knew this manga had amazing potential. Yet, I’m a little put off by the anime.

I’m really actually kind of pissed off how they handled the first episode – they decided to go ahead and start at the end of the first arc as a plot device. I can see this working if you did a very brief introduction – Tokyo is under siege with powers beyond man, how did it end up like this?

BUT they did the ENTIRE FREAKING episode, they introduced characters that the manga didn’t introduce until like, forty chapters in, they have the plot all turned around. They kept on referring to Rinka as though she was dead, and even though this is her story she was the last to be introduced. Very frustrating.

I feel as though they aren’t spending much time on the plot; within one or two episodes they move through like a bunch of manga chapters – it feels very rushed. Asides from those points the anime is nice to watch; clean style, nice action, easy to watch. If action, ESP, and supernatural fighting anime’s are your thing Tokyo ESP is worth watching.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Attack on Titan Episode 8 Recap

Right off the bat, let’s start with some disclaimers. THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, NOR THE SQUIMISH. I know, I know – you’re a paragon of steely resolve, your sinews are made from Wolverines cigar gristle and are Ford tough. Congratulations. HOWEVER, this is an anime that is brutal right out of the gate. That’s what makes it so interesting; this is a world where humanity is on its last leg and the audience is left on the edge of their seats hoping that SOMEBODY is going to survive.

Obviously major spoilers, we will be looking at the series in depth, poking at nooks and crannies and looking at characters and plot and why AoT has gained such insane popularity. There will be cursing, there will be blood. Some of the screen caps may be graphic (I will actually try to not and be too graphic with them, I don’t know who is looking at my blog).

Attack on Titan is a unique and phenomenal story which includes many elements; fantasy, mystery, politics, military campaigns, camaraderie, sacrifice and hope. If you can get past the brutal nature of the narrative its worth watching. All right, let’s get into it:

Attack on Titan Episode 8 Recap: I Hear His Heartbeat/Attack on Trost Pt. 4

Previously, Eren’s dead, Armin is traumatized, Mikasa finds her will to live and then there was the Rampage Titan.

Things are looking pretty grim for our Mains; the majority have been ate, HQ is overrun and getting back and wading through the throng of Titans is looking like a suicide mission.

Armin is awash with massive guilt, still convinced that it’s his fault his entire squad is dead but still manages to use his brain – they can use the Rampage Titan to cut a path to HQ.

Jean is watching his fallen comrades be devoured and faces similar doubts but snaps out of it – now is the time to make a run for and perhaps their sacrifice will be worth it. So what’s left of the Main’s make a mad dash for HQ, screaming at them to move their asses.

Marco expresses gratitude and says, y’know you really aren’t a bad leader. Aaaand,

They make it!

Except,

Maybe Not!

This show has one of the worst Will They Won’t They back and forth I’ve ever seen. Now they’re back to the brink of death, staring Titans in the face when –

BOOM!

Rampage Titan says oh, no you didn’t! Now they will survive. I guess.

Connie, Armin and Mikasa catch up JUST as the gas tank runs out and are all, ‘Whuttup, look we what we found!’

Rampage Titan is doing a good job rampaging.

Well, they aren’t out of the woods yet; the supply station has been overrun with some of the smaller types of Titan’s and it’s time for Armin to use his giant brain again.

The best they can come up with is an old supply of guns, which honestly would normally do squat to a Titan BUT it will serve as a distraction – long enough for some of the more gifted soldiers to get behind the Titans and kill them before they have a chance to eat anyone else.

Ready!?

Gun’s out and

ATTACK!

Gas tanks are refilled and it’s time to get the hell out of dodge. But what’s going on outside with the Rampage Titan?

It seems to have finally been over taken by a number of other Titans who are currently cannibalizing it but what’s this-!?

What do we see!?

It’s that freak Titan that sprang out of the air like a wind-up frog and snatched a red-shirt right out of the air in front of Eren some episodes back.

Our Rampage Titan goes fucking BESERK and hmmmm, is this….FORESHADOWING I sense?

Yeah, he downs that bastard and throws in a couple more Titans for the hell of it.

Okay, NOW Rampage Titan is out of gas. Show’s over folks, move along, nothing to see-

But WAIT!? What…WHAT IS THIS!?!

As the Titan body falls apart, disintegrating in front of Mikasa and the other’s there appears to be…a form.

Holy shit, is that EREN!?!

It IS, in what can be called one of the greatest anime WTF moments of history EREN appears to have been the Rampage Titan which just opens up a plethora of questions.

Dude, what, how, why, HOW!?

Mikasa ain’t complaining though – how often do you get back the ones you have lost? Never, so yea I’d sob like a baby too. Armin is also like WTF?! But ain’t complaining either, as he was sure he killed Eren.

So. Eren. Rampaging Titan. Till next time.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Watership Down Chapters 24 and 25 Recap

Chapter 24 Nuthanger Farm

Holly has taken off to make contact with the other warren (for totally legit diplomatic reasons, like stealing their does) and Hazel decides he cannot be outshone. So what the hell, why not hop on over to the farm nearby and steal THEIR does?

Sounds legit.

Hazel bullies/coerces Pipkin, the weakest of the rabbits, into coming with him to make contact with the pet rabbits that are kept in a hutch with the promise that 'it's totally safe, bro'

He finds the farm, complete with dog and cats and cows, and makes contact with the mothership hutch rabbits.

Whuttup, wanna join my warren? Hazel then says, 'we don't want to steal your doe's' but actually he totally does. Hutch Rabbits are dumb and say OKAY.

Chapter 25 The Raid

Yeah, nothing at all can go wrong with this plan.

He returns and Fiver is like all, 'dumbass' and Hazel is all 'WHUT, I WANT THE DOE'S OKAY!?'

Fiver says, 'don't do it bro' and Hazel is all whatevs, I'm totally going.

Everybody else is down with the plan, Bigwig is totally looking forward to kicking the crap out of some cats and they all take off to free the Hutch Rabbits.

Bigwig gets his wish, and kitty runs for the hills because RABBITS. Everybody else works on the latch on the cage.

THEY'RE FREEE!! FREEE RABBITS!! and they don't take it well, at all.

Whilst escaping only two hutch rabbits follow the rest, while the other two freeze like deer in the headlights in the middle of the farmyard.

Hazel goes back to see if he can persuade them to move it, but Man has Awakened and starts capturing escapee bunnies. As Hazel and the doe make a run for it, Man for Reasons, shoots Hazel, grazing his foot. He crawls into a bush, presumably to die.

IS THIS THE END OF HAZEL!?! Find out next week.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Attack on Titan Episode 7 Recap

Right off the bat, let’s start with some disclaimers. THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN, NOR THE SQUIMISH. I know, I know – you’re a paragon of steely resolve, your sinews are made from Wolverines cigar gristle and are Ford tough. Congratulations. HOWEVER, this is an anime that is brutal right out of the gate. That’s what makes it so interesting; this is a world where humanity is on its last leg and the audience is left on the edge of their seats hoping that SOMEBODY is going to survive.

Obviously major spoilers, we will be looking at the series in depth, poking at nooks and crannies and looking at characters and plot and why AoT has gained such insane popularity. There will be cursing, there will be blood. Some of the screen caps may be graphic (I will actually try to not and be too graphic with them, I don’t know who is looking at my blog).

Attack on Titan is a unique and phenomenal story which includes many elements; fantasy, mystery, politics, military campaigns, camaraderie, sacrifice and hope. If you can get past the brutal nature of the narrative its worth watching. All right, let’s get into it:

Attack of Titan Episode 7 Recap: The Tiniest of Blades/ Attack on Trost Part 3

Previously, everybody died. Nearly. Mikasa has her Tragic Back Story told and we ended the episode with her rushing off to discover Eren’s fate. Oh snap, here we go.

So apparently the military ain’t all it cracked up to be because EVERYBODY is flipping their shit over the oncoming invasion which makes me wonder… wtf did you think you were training for in the first place?

Is this the result of the complacency of humanity? They just though they would never, ever run into a Titan?

Well anyhow, at HQ everybody is all ABANDON SHIP AND ALL HOPE.

One particular scene makes me feel as though this entire…saga – Attack on Trost, is just… a wee bit overblown and dramatic for no other purpose than the dramas. A squad is holed up behind some overturned desks as a Titan peeks through the window. Everyone is crying and terrorized and one soldier cheerfully preps his gun before he blows his brains out.

I just feel as though too much of this particular part of the story is like the only ones who keep their heads and come out all right is our Main Heros and that doesn’t jive with reality. Soldiers are fucking TRAINED to respond, to fight, I just can’t believe that 95% would piss their pants and give up on the spot.

At any rate – HQ is about to be overrun by Titans.

Which doesn’t bode well for our Mains, who are still out in the city, trying their best NOT to be eaten and need HQ to be functional so they have backup equipment, like fuel for their tanks.

They have more or less congregated on a rooftop in a sodden heap of despair.

Jean (John, goddammnit, Jean?!) is facing the very likely chance that they are about to die.

Which seriously, this should be on a t-shirt somewhere.

Connie and Sasha are trying to regain morale, cajole people into prying themselves off the roof tiles to actually DO something but it isn’t working.

Armin has reverted back to his near comatose-like state when- Mikasa appears!

He doesn’t know how to tell her – can’t tell her, that because of him (so he thinks) Eren is dead. One look at his face and Mikasa realizes the truth and her reaction is…interesting.

She doesn’t scream, flip out, really even react. She takes Armin’s hand and yanks him to his feet and tells him to calm down as this isn’t the time to freak out (the light has gone out of her eyes)

Mikasa then delivers one of the worst morale speeches EVAH. First she makes the very good point that if they make it to HQ, they can resupply their tanks and make it over the wall and out of the Titans reach (everyone else goes, ddduhhhhh OH YEA)

Then she basically tells everyone that’s she’s freaking amazing and they all suck and they can sit on their asses and get eaten but she’s going after HQ. Then takes off.

This kind of snaps everybody out of it - Jean (John, jean GODDAMMIT) steps up into a leadership role and sort of pushes everybody up after her.

Armin, our smart little Armin, realizes that Mikasa doesn’t have enough gas left in her tank to get anywhere near HQ and he’s right – she goes down.

The truth behind her actions become apparent; without Eren she feels as though she has nothing left to live for. Hers was a suicide mission, flying straight into the ranks of Titans to die. She asks herself, does she have to live through the pain again? Will she have to put together her life, just to watch it fall apart over and over and over.

It’s a heartbreaking thing to watch and absolutely realistic – this is where the line is drawn between life and death.

Behind her, people are dying and Jean realizes the truth of leadership; your actions will kill people, and he doubts himself.

Mikasa prepares to die thinking the world is very cruel, but very beautiful. She kneels on the ground and closes her eyes when-

Just as the Titans hand reaches for her she moves away, taking off its fingers. Each strike of the Titan misses, her body is moving itself as she asks why?

Eren’s voice still echoes in her memories: FIGHT.

And she regains the will to live.

Now here’s where it gets interesting.

She’s facing two titans, one on each side, she has a broken sword and no gas in her tank to get high up but she’s going to fight. Just as she prepares – BOOM

Random angry Titan bursts out of nowhere and lays the smackdown on one Titan. Rando Titan squashes to the other into the pavement.

Mikasa goes WTF?

Armin catches up and gets her up to the rooftop as Rando Titan takes out the other Titan.

Armin goes WTF?

Rando Titan completely ignores them and takes up a freaking defensive position as Connie catches up.

Connie goes WTF?

Mikasa comes to another realization that because of her people went to their doom, she took off without really leading them, being stuck in her own mind. Armin switches tanks with her and tells them to go but Mikasa, will renewed, says hell no.

They watch the Rando Titan as it rampages.