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Dance of the Puppets

Like a bat on a hot tin roof since August 2005

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New TV Anime update

Revisiting my list of new anime, I'm surprised to see how things have changed after six episodes.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou ("The Sun Penetrates the Illusions") turned into a Puella Magica Madoka Magi knock off almost immediately and suffers by comparison. I'm a couple of episodes behind now, and in no big hurry to catch up.

 Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku (Going Home Club Record, or Chronicles of the Going Home Club). Consistently entertaining and filling a niche I happen to enjoy. Throws in silliness and parody to great effect. I wasn't even aware that episode 2 was a Dragonball parody, but the material was so integrated that this meta aspect was unnecessary to my enjoyment.

Rozen Maiden Another one that I've slipped behind on. So far it's not really doing anything that I haven't seen before.

Fantasista Dolls:And another that lost my interest early on. I may catch up with it at some point, but I'm in no hurry.

Kiniro Mosaic: Hijinks are ensuing. Fun, but not really that special.

Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou AKA Dog and Scissors: Still mad as a fridge and on my Must Watch list.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of shows I didn't even list last time because the first episode didn't wow me enough to make me think I'd be watching them long enough for them to be worth mentioning, which have jumped to the top of my Must Watch list:

Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu: A school club devoted to survivalist games (like paintball but less messy). Takes on interesting dimensions as the shy protagonist grows in confidence over the first few episodes that the title sequence is subtly altered to match. And there's some interesting meta stuff going on with her too. A fairly lightweight and formulaic plot saved by distinct characterisations of each of the club members, making them more interesting and sympathetic than so many similar shows.

Danganronpa - The Animation: On first glance appears to be a variation on the now rather tired Battle Royale/Hunger games genre, with a hit list composed entirely of stereotypes, takes off when each time someone is murdered, the other characters are required to investigate and name the guilty party. The stereotypes become less applicable as the investigations reveal secrets about all of them.

I'm also watching the new series of Genshiken, but that's not a new show so I didn't include it in the list, even though it's excellent.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Hobbit Princess

A rather... loose adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit produced in 1966 for the sole purpose of fulfilling Rembrandt Films' licensing contract and retaining rights to the book.

I have to say I'm disappointed that the princess was cut from Thorin's band of adventurers in Peter Jackson's version. It makes the movie such a sausage fest.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Difference in Doctor Who

There are countless opinions on the difference between classic Doctor Who and new Doctor Who, but once you get past all the technical aspects, the period specific stuff, and the differences in the society it was created for, it seems to me that the main difference is that old Who was about people in crisis, with the Doctor acting as a catalyst to change the situation, where as new Who, specifically Moffat Who, is all about the Doctor.

I think it's fair to say that a lot of the time in the original series there was too little Doctor, with virtually no background given to the character until the series had been running for ten seasons, and the TARDIS, that wonderful place, often serving no function other than transporting the characters from story to story. But in Moffat Who it seems like everything is about the Doctor. The tedious season-long story arcs are all focussed on the Doctor, seemingly intent on probing mysteries to which nobody really wants to know the answer. There was even an episode that consisted of little more than characters wandering around the TARDIS, which, apart from a few nice moments, served to make it less interesting than it had been when it was all a mystery.

New Who has now reached the opposite extreme from the early days of old Who, when what would work so much better is a lot closer to the mid-point between the two. Neither a complete absence of Doctor stuff, nor a total fetishistic obsession with the character. I only hope that the next person who is put in charge of the show has some understanding of this.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Why are there never any ballet-dancing taxidermied mice on ebay when you want one?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Light show

I'd been under the impression that Doctor light had been dropped from current DC continuity, along with a number of characters who have more than two fans, but while that's likely true (and given current editorial attitudes I tend to think she's well out of it) it doesn't stop her turning up in Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen's excellent Lil' Gotham, which against explicit editorial mandate even managed to sneak a blonde Batgirl into one issue.

Thanks guys. It's nice to know Kimiyo still gets a little love.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Attack of the Sleestak cosplay girls


Sunday, July 07, 2013

New TV anime first episode mini-reviews

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou ("The Sun Penetrates the Illusions") starts off as a typical magical girl anime, then gets all weird and scary, and then turns back into a magical girl anime. Definitely watching episode 2.

 Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku (Going Home Club Record, or Chronicles of the Going Home Club). There seems to be a whole sub-genre now of anime about groups of schoolgirls who do absolutely nothing of any consequence, often under the excuse of a school club. As a legal fiction, the Going Home club is even more blatant than Yuru Yuri's Entertainment Club. At least Yuyushiki's Data Processing Club messed about with computers a bit. I can only hope this is as entertainingly plot-free.

Rozen Maiden appears to be a remake of the original Rozen Maiden series, in that it seems to be following the same plot, except that it gets through the action of something like the first five parts of the original in the opening episode, which suggests that they want to get the set up out of the way to get on with something new. We shall see.

Fantasista Dolls: kind of a magical girl version of Yu-Gi-Oh, but with enough entertaining idiosyncrasies to keep me interested for a while.

Kiniro Mosaic: Shinobo visits the distant, exotic country of England and stays with a family. Visually the depiction of my home country is spot on, although the entertainment value of all the British characters being voiced by people to whom American accented English is clearly a second language may be lost on the intended audience. Several years later, as Shinobo enters high school, she is surprised to find her British friend Alice has transferred to her class. Hijinks, no doubt, will ensue.

Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou AKA Dog and Scissors: an anime about books, obviously. Yes, it's as bonkers as you think it is.

I'm actually surprised how good these all were. I tried them randomly without even knowing what the titles meant in English, so I was expecting a few duds, but in fact my reactions have ranged from "interested enough to give it a couple of episodes to see where it's going" to "definitely added to the viewing schedule".