What are you Watching?

Discuss anime, especially but not limited to 1950's~1990's series, and related sub-topics
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

Post by llj »

Catching up on some DIscotek releases lately. Plus, finally going to sit down and watch Kill la Kill via the Aniplex blu-ray set! (the only Aniplex I've ever bought)

Project A-Ko--For those who never thought they'd see the day where we'd see Project A-Ko this pristine and clear, I have to think seeing the opening scenes of the new blu-ray will get more than a few old schoolers at least a BIT choked up. This is how Project A-Ko should be seen! I spotted a few visual gags I never saw before when you could only see this in the old crummy sourced-from-a-laserdisc transfers. Thank you Robert Woodhead!

Kill la Kill--Aniplex prices are generally still out of my league. Thankfully Kill la Kill's set is at least SOMEWHAT reasonably priced (well, if going by early 2000s standards where 26 episode sets might set you back $150 sometimes). I had multiple chances to watch this before, but never found the time or I didn't like the idea of watching it through my PC (my home HDTV is an older one--doesn't get internet). Watching the first episode, I have to say there's something to be said about Aniplex's high bitrates for their blu-rays. It's definitely a step above any other blu-ray release from Funimation or Sentai. Though watching it in conjunction with Project A-Ko strangely makes me see quite a few similarities! Will report again after I've finished it.

Angel Cop--The new HD remaster looks great! I have very dim memories of this only (I might have only seen 2 episodes back in the day) so most of this will play out fresh for me. It's all very offensive of course (not even talking about the swearing and violence), but the action and detail is on point. I dare any anime animator today try to animate these designs!

Orguss--Been working my way through this over the past several months. I'm enjoying it. It's tamer than some of the other mecha anime during its time period, but the design work is charming and I feel like it preserved the Mikimoto design essence better than other anime that he worked on (Macross never really translated the Mikimoto look very well after the first 6 or so episodes. Macross II was the series that best preserved the Mikimoto look during the animation process fwiw).
George W
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Re: What are you Watching?

Post by George W »

I've been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion. It certainly was interesting with the really weird looking "Angels" who were attacking.

A bit too much youth drama for my liking, but I got through the whole show.

I think I liked Cowboy BeBop (Live Action) better.
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

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Evangelion is mostly notable for being one of the purer forms of self expression of anime broadcast on TV. I feel like fans often get caught up in all the extraneous stuff about the show (basically, the plot lol) when it was the emotional honesty (Anno was basically spilling his guts out for the viewer) was what really made it the hit it was. Of course, it's been commercialized to death in the subsequent decades so the original appeal has been basically buried under all the merchandise and marketing. The new "more mainstream friendly" Rebuild movies only underscore that trend.

Anyway, I finally got around to picking up the Discotek disc of Urusei Yatsura Beautiful Dreamer. I was amazed how much I still remembered about it after all these years. Must be because I watched this movie about 20 times back in the late 90s. While it's a good release, I feel like compared to some of DIscotek's other releases of other anime classics, there's still more that could be done here (a 4:3 version would've been nice), and the extras are a bit sparse for such an iconic film, so I can't call it the "definitive" Beautiful Dreamer release like I would Discotek's Project A-ko. That being said, it's still the best version we've got up to now, but hopefully a later release down the road will push it into definitive territory.
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

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Finished KILL la KILL. Essentially, this is a battle shounen anime with a female protagonist, albeit one that is extremely well executed. Ryuko is a great reverse-gender shounen heroine, though at times she threatens to be usurped of her heroine status by the smarter and mentally stronger character Satsuki. Trigger is at its best with its slapstick animations calling back to old school comedy anime and Looney Tunes shorts. Personally, I kind of wish Trigger did more comedy anime as most anime comedies are low budget affairs that aren't taken seriously by anime studios. Trigger actually cares about comedy animation though. As far as I know, officially the only straight comedy anime they've done is Space Patrol Luluco but even then I would exactly call it complete comedy. (One might also consider Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt an unofficial Trigger show too, I guess)
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

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Black Rock Shooter--It started off very intriguing, with a slow psychological build that kept me guessing as to where it was going. Was this a horror anime? Psychological thriller? For about 5 episodes it genuinely felt like it could go almost anywhere. Unfortunately, it ended on a fairly generic "everybody let's be friends" note which fell flat for me.
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Re: What are you Watching?

Post by George W »

I'm now half way through ANOTHER Evangelion movie on Amazon which apparently is the 4th.

It's in english (ugh - I'll take subtitled anyday) and seems to be some fresh material. I just say Rei explode by the way, head first. That's a new one.
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

Post by llj »

Yeah, they rebooted Evangelion a couple of years ago into 4 movies.

The original Evangelion series was the TV series and End of Evangelion movie.

The new movies are reboots. They are somewhat different in message and tone.
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

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Anyway, I watched a few anime that had been on my distant radar these past 15 years:

Ayane's High Kick--This anime has to be the most widely available "failure" of all the 90s OVA's that were released in the US. I've probably seen the CPM DVDs of this title in almost every used DVD shop I browsed over the years. It's often very cheap and very easy to find still today, which speaks to the low demand for it. I kind of held off on watching this for decades, but it's always been something I wanted to get around to after reading the Animerica review of it back in the day (it got a positive writeup).

It's a fun little OVA though. It has that very squishy 90s look (a la Saber Marionette). Ayane herself is a charismatic and charming character, and if she had been given a longer vehicle, she might be a better remembered character today. I could see a reboot doing pretty well for today's generation of anime fans. The OVA does end on a minor tease for more, as all short OVAs do, but alas.

Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple--I watched the first 26 episodes of this back in the late 2000s, so I had always wanted to get around to finishing it. It's definitely one of those series that you get hooked on despite a bunch of things going against it--sloppy design work, bad animation (except for the fights) and tons of weird and overly goofy comedy. Yet it manages to be a very fun show. The characters are fun, and the martial arts being *somewhat* based on real fundamentals gives the show a lot of style vs style battles that are entertaining to watch. The motivation for the main villain in this TV series kind of ends up a petty punchline, so the show doesn't take itself that seriously either. The manga apparently goes A LOT longer, but the anime ends on a satisfactory note.
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Re: What are you Watching?

Post by Drew_Sutton »

llj wrote: Ayane's High Kick
Oh wow, that's a name I've not heard in a long time. I've never seen it but man, do I remember seeing ads and reviews in Animerica for what felt like forever.
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llj
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Re: What are you Watching?

Post by llj »

Yeah, Ayane's High Kick was promoted a lot and seemed like it had a good DVD print run. Someone at CPM must have really liked it. Maybe I'm wrong and it did well, but my impression is that it didn't sell well...

Anyway, I've been watching a bunch of cycling related anime this week.

Yowamushi Pedal--This is basically your standard shounen sports title. The main character is an underdog but is ridiculously gifted and there are many scenes of nigh-superhuman feats in standard manga/anime form. It's obviously enjoyable but if you've seen most sports anime you know the beats.

Long Girls--One could say this is K-On! with bikes. The broadcast airing was apparently full of production issues, but overall I enjoyed what it was doing. It's probably the most realistic of all the cycling anime out there, with detailed depictions of cycling, expenses, and various equipment for the hardcore distance cyclist. I do own a beaten up old road bike, but have never cycled more than 50km in one ride, so I respect the fact that the main heroine spends about half the show with an expression bordering on collapsing on some of the distance rides this show depicts.

Minami Kimakura Cycling Club--I watched only 2 episodes of this but the narrative hand holding in the first episode is a little more extreme than I prefer. The lead character doesn't even know how to ride a bicycling in episode 1, which is vaguely patronizing to the intended audience. At least with Long Girls, the lead character there still knows how to ride a bike to start the show. She's just not a hardcore cyclist yet in episode 1.
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