Archive | July, 2012

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Being a Better Geek: Evangelion 9-13 (End of First Half)

Posted on 28 July 2012 by VinnieAve

This is going to be a little terse so I’m sorry about that ahead of time. I am writing this in this Hilton lobby at Otakon. Find me if you wish.

Both of You, Dance Like you Want to Win!

So now Asuka has moved in with Shinji and Misato. Get ready for wacky hijinks and nonsense. Actually, Asuka is a pain in the ass for everyone involved. This week’s angel splits into two and each half must be defeat separately. This is done though DANCE! This might be one of the my favorite mecha battles of all time. I think the coordinated animation is great and the music is just so impressive. Continue Reading

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Otakon Events

Posted on 25 July 2012 by VinnieAve

Otakon Events
I’m not going to be doing Vin’s Picks this week since there is a ton of stuff I still need to do for Otakon. Instead I am posting a list of events I intend to attend. I hope to see you there.
Friday
10 AM Anime News Network Panel 1
11:30 Video Games as Literature: Towards a New Criticism Panel 2
12:30 Crunchyroll Industry Panel 1
12:30 Gen Unobuchi Q&A Panel 3
1:45 Viz Media Animation Panel 1
4:15 Blood and Honor: Story of the Samurai in Japanese Cinema Panel 4
5:30 New Anime for Older Fans Panel 1
6:45 Funimation Sneak Peeks Panel 3
11:30 The Perverted Genius of Go Nagai Panel 2
12:30 Anime’s Craziest Deaths Panel 3
Saturday
9 NIS America Anime Panel 2
9 Fandom and Criticism: The Art of Active Viewing Panel 5
10:30 Satelight: An Introduction Panel 5
10:30 Anime and Manga Studies: Three Decades In
2 Aniplex of Anime Industry Panel 1
3:15 Maruyama & MAPPA Q&A Panel 4
4:30 Gundam Offical Panel Presented by Sunrise Panel 1
4:30 Funimation Industry Panel Panel 3
4:30 The Worst Anime of All Time Panel 5
5:30 Anime Archive Project – Preseving the Good and Bad of US Anime Fandom Panel 6
11:15 Dubs that Time Forgot Panel 4
11:30 Lupin the Third: 40+ Years of Heists and Hijinks
11:30 The “Art” of Fanservice
1 Navigating LGBT/Queer Identities and Issues within Japanese Media and Cultural Appreciation Panel 1
Sunday
9:30 Geneon, a Funimation Retrospective Panel 3
10:30 The Gundam Experience 2012 Panel 6
10:45 Sentai Filmworks Industry Panel 1
12 Legal Fansubbing on Viki Panel 1
1 Vertical 2012 Panel 4
2 Closing Ceremonies and Con Feedback Session Panel 3

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Podcast: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Posted on 23 July 2012 by VinnieAve

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Being a Better Geek: Neon Genesis Evangelion Episodes 3-8

Posted on 21 July 2012 by DM

This week we watch episodes 3 through 8 and get some more characters and a bit more back story.

 

DM’s Take:

Episode 3: Man could Shinji be any more flat? I actually enjoy that his trauma is making him suffer mentally but for the sake of interest, I hope that he gets over it abnormally quickly.  School was interesting and an interesting way to give us a brief history of the present.  I suppose school will make things more interesting but I worry that we will have to suffer through too many clichés.  Oh and yea for Toji to give a nice clobber to Shinji.  I cannot help but think he needs one, even if they do become friends (ahhh-trope-choo).

Episode 4: Are they just trying to get all their clichés done right away? Will the rest of the show have new and unique storytelling? Time will tell I suppose.  In the meantime Shinjo has run away, whatever will we do?! Find him with over armed security guards of course.  I know they whole 14 year olds piloting the robot units is a bit mystery but do they have to sniff around it without ever telling us anything? In any case it was of course the biggest of surprises when Toji and Shinjo became friends.  I am not sure who could have predicted that.
All negativity aside I find it interesting that there’s more drama in this show that robot fights.  Its fairly refreshing and I can forgive a great deal because of it.

Episode 5 & 6: Bullshit! Shinji saying that made my episode.  I could not begin to tell you why.  I’m happy that Rei is being introduced more fully.  Shinji as the only pilot seems to be a plan for destruction.  Although, I will say the scene where they are introduced in her apartment in this episode is ridiculous.  Poor Shinji and his getting into horridly impossible situations.  I do think its an interesting strategy to allow Rei’s silence to bring out more of Shinji’s thoughts.  And this is a very weird take on a love triangle.  A familial love triangle. I also love the way Rei is portrayed. Not only her design but her English voice actor is just fantastic.  There is a deadness in her voice that pulls at you.  In other news, how long do you think Misato had been waiting to fire that gun? I get the feeling that this was a life’s dream fulfilled, even if she does not get to fire it herself.  The fact that Shinji has never fired a sniper rifle seems incidental to the plan. In fact, they seem to snap at him whenever he points that out.  Sigh, I am not impressed with the leadership of Tokyo 3.

Episode 7: “Acts of men are better than acts of God”    OK now that Shinji is becoming more open hes starting to grow on me. His little cat fights with Misato are fun. This episode adds some interesting background to NERV the UN and the general political climate on Earth.  We also get human made giant robot on giant robot.  Admittedly not a lot of that but still some of it.  We learn a little bit more about what’s going on with the Angels but I want more.

Episode 8: I still cannot get over the fact that their giant robot has a plug in cable.  The second pilot is a bit much to handle, but I am looking forward to having some new and different character interaction.  Also, why does no one seem to realize that NERV is actually doing things to save the planet? Instead, they are treated like the worlds red-headed stepchild.

Vinnie’s Take

A Transfer

So now we’ve seen the Evangelion in action and Shinji has gotten used to his home life (somewhat) we start to see him at school. Here he’s either the point of much interest (since they just had this giant robot appear and save them) or hatred since one of our new supporting characters’ sister had been injured in the battle. By the end of the episode it seems that Shinji is getting used to having friends and people who care about him around. It has some nice pieces of character development about Shini.

Hedgehog’s Dilemma

In a somewhat follow-up to the last episode we find that Shinji decides to run away from it all after fighting two angels, which was more intense than the average 14 year old can take. It might be a little early in the series for this kind of thing honestly but they’ve made a good effort to show that he’s under intense stress but the ending makes it pretty clear that all he needs is affection and he’ll be fine

Rei I

So after a few episodes of focusing on Shinji we deal with Rei a little more for these and see that Gendo can have emotions and that there is something significantly different about this girl. Slowly the mysteries are revealed

Rei II

This time around we get to find out more about Rei and we get an angel fight. This one is the first that I think breaks some of the mold of what we think of a giant monster (for the best version of this fight watch Evangelion 1.0). This best part of this episode was the end when Shinji perfectly mirrors Gendo’s actions from the beginning of the previous episode. That was a nice touch that worked to humanize Gendo a little.

A Human Work

This episode was a bit of a breather there from the angel fights and we get to see a bit of other attempts to beat the angels. There are some moments of finding out a bit of the world. This episode almost feels skippable.

Asuka Strikes

So we’ve got our next character to join the troop, the 2nd Child Asuka Langley Soryu. She comes off totally as a piece of work. We also meet Kaji this time around. Really the best part of this episode was having Misato and Kaji interact.

 

And because we had some Rei episodes behold the creepiness of Japan:

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Vin’s Picks Week of 7/16/2012

Posted on 19 July 2012 by VinnieAve

This week is pretty scant but I am not sorry about that if you want more books mentioned the best bet might be to suggest me some books so I can reject them (or maybe pick them)

Concrete: Three Uneasy Pieces – I haven’t read anything else that is part of Paul Chadwick’s Concrete. This is another week when there is a collection, which means I will probably pick them up since I like the idea of these but this week it wasn’t more or less terrible. Admittedly there was only one story that I enjoyed which was the end story about Concrete using hugs to capture criminals. If this is way out of character this please tell me so I can know to hate it.

DC Universe Presents #11: Savage – This is not a strong book and the art is terrible as has been seen with the entirety of Savage but the story has been fun all along. Since this is the final part of the story you know that the action will be there. I thought the scripting of the art was something impressive though.

Saga Chapter 5 – I’ve often said that the biggest problem with A Game of Thrones Season 2 (and A Clash of Kings) is that there are too many character and it weakens the story overall. Saga is ripe to fall into this trap but it doesn’t. We’re following four different sets of characters that are pretty far apart but the story at no point. As always this book tops my list and has such great and unique character designs and wonderful story-telling that this is my favorite book getting published now. I think we’ve starting to move towards a major point.

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Best Spoilers From Comic Con International

Posted on 16 July 2012 by DM

Well Comic Con International (or SDCC as I will always remember it has come and gone with a lot of ups and downs. While I could not attend the event I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in about what came out of it anyways.

 

A great many fun things got mentioned in terms of the Marvel film franchise, not the least of which is a Guardians of the Galaxy film, but the most exciting one from my perspective is Captain America: Winter Soldier. Now if you know anything about the Captain America comics you had to be functionally retarded to not see this move coming, but it's still exciting as hell. The cast and story was great befor and this promises to be equally great. I suspect we may even see Black Widow in this one since she figures so much into Bucky's modern comic life. Maybe not though with them throwing her and Hawkeye together so hard in the films. Time will tell and I'm excited to hear that story.

 

I do have to mention that Ben Kingsley has been confirmed as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 and that RDJ continues to be the coolest person on the planet.

 

The director of recent film Chronicle, Josh Trank, has been tapped to do a Fantastic Four reboot. I am so torn about this. On one side I love super hero movies, but the last two movies to bear the name left a lot to be desired. My hope is that, much like the recent Amazing Spider-man movie, this film will give us a more ultimate comics take on the whole thing.

 

The Venture Bros. is returning for a fifth season and this is another one I am torn on. I love the show but I really feel like it has been slipping in quality and may be at the end of it's run. Here's hoping that the fifth season shatters all expectations.

 

Oz: The Great and Powerful trailer has been released and it looks fantastic. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film looks to tell the origin story of the great Wizard of Oz. Having only the trailer and the cast to base my thoughts on it so far, I predict that this will be a must see.

 

Neil Gaiman is set to do a Sandman prequel series. People (ahem fan girls) tell me this is big so I am mentioning it but I'm really not that excited. I never read the original stuff.

 

Big Disappointments?

So glad you asked!

IDW has announced a MLP: Friendship is Magic. That's all. No comments. I'm sure you can feel my pain from whatever device you're using to read this.

 

Over all I think that it continues to be a fantastic time to be a geek. We're making our voices heard and seeing the media that we want to see. Let's keep it up.

 

DM

All Geeks Considered

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Podcast: Noburo Ishiguro Tribute: Legend of the Galactic Heroes Movies

Posted on 16 July 2012 by VinnieAve

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Neon Genesis Evangelion Episodes 1-2

Posted on 13 July 2012 by VinnieAve

So with the completion of Farscape we move back to one of my choices and the time of punishment is upon us. The choice now is Neon Genesis Evangelion. I like to think of this choice as a follow-up to Mobile Suit Gundam.

 

DM’s Take

 

Just two episodes this week as I get used to the show. It definitely has a different feel than Mobile Suit Gundam but there are some obvious similarities as well. Time will tell if I grow to like the show or merely tolerate it.  (I know it’s not high praise but give me time)

 

Episode thoughts:

Angel Attack: Really, another anime where the fathers a douche and his kid is whiny as hell? And can someone tell me why we couldn’t come up with a better system than 14 year old pilots? It seems like if we could make giant robots, then we could come up with a better way to power them. Ok last complaint for this ep, why must I go through 3+ minutes of robot launch sequence? Surely we could use this time more wisely.

The Beast: Is it bad that I laughed heartily when he fell on his face? I did not expect the big giant robot to get its ass kicked. The dialogue seems a bit more hokey than MSG. Also, man oh man is his dad an ass.  I don’t care if the fate of the world is on his shoulders, he should at least talk to the kid. So he gets to trade up on guardians to a partying, drinking seemingly, um ,promiscuous girl. Yea? Shinji’s characterization is odd for a main character. He seems like a very abused character (stupid dad) and they carry that out well. We didn’t have to wait very long to hit the nudity part of the show did we?my last thought is holy cow did that kid kick some ass against the Angel.  Hmm I wonder if we ever figure out what Angels are…

Vinnie’s Take

Angel Attack: The episode starts with the establishment of exactly how dangerous the Angels are. We also have our protagonist, Shinji Ikari, arriving to NERV while this happening. This is a good seemingly standard mecha first episode. Shinji’s father is the head of NERV, he has to pilot the robot, but there is something dark and sinister about their relationship. It’s normal in these shows to have the two be distant or even estranged but here they are hostile, not physically but emotionally, this show is great in the way it works with emotion.

 

The Beast: This one starts right where the last one ends, we get to see Shinji fail and then suddenly wake up in a hospital. There is some more cold interaction with Gendo. This episode goes to get more not just mecha tropes as we saw last episode but some general anime tropes, from goofy music to an animal mascot getting introduced. While nothing about the Evas is entirely revealed, there are hints to more about what the Evas are.

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Vin’s Picks Week of July 9, 2012

Posted on 13 July 2012 by VinnieAve

Sorry it’s late this week but to make it up I picked a lot of books this time around.

Batman # 11- I liked this better that last month’s Batman. This is pretty much a wrap-up of past year of Batman, so if you haven’t read it all, this book isn’t for you. It’s a decent end and I look forward what Scott Synder has coming up next.

Conan the Barbarian # 6 – Another conclusion this week with The Argos Deception wrapping up. This was a great action piece (however, not the best but wait for it).

Revival # 1 – Another great start from Image brings us to this book described as a rural noir. I’ll give it rural but it isn’t really noir. So there was one day when people came back from the dead but they aren’t acting any different. Pretty interesting take on a zombie world and one that I am actually willing to read.

Punk Rock Jesus # 1 of 6 – This one is the smartest book I’ve read in a long time. It is issue 1 so take whatever I say with a grain of salt. Humanity has figured out how to clone humans and the first person cloned is Jesus of Nazareth, with his life chronicled on TV. This could be a great book, I will keep you updated and give a full review of the 6-issue mini-series.

Venom #20 – This was a fun action book that is pretty much Venom beating up baddies and saving people who he cares about. The art was strong and the pacing was good. If you are a long time Marvel fan there you will enjoy the ending.

Avengers vs. X-men: VS #4 of 6: The Daredevil vs. Psylocke was a fun story that played with psychic powers and Daredevil’s senses. A nice story but Thor vs. Emma Frost was fantastic. The use of a classic style art was a great touch that made the story great to tell, there was a bit of a theme with this book with psychic powers and a non-human brain.

Wolverine and the X-men # 13 – With so much going on in the world of X-men, it gives a chance to look at some of the characters in different ways. This time around Warbird was character of choice, getting a brief look into her past and her training.

Space: Punisher #1 of 4: I’ve saved the best for last with Frank Tieri’s Space: Punisher. In the vein of Noir and 1602 comes Space: Punisher. The first thing to say about this book is that use of pulp art makes a great feel that permeates that entire book. There is some beautiful action pieces. If you like action scifi or Heavy Metal pick this up.

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Podcast: Ray Bradbury Tribute

Posted on 09 July 2012 by VinnieAve

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