Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jeanne d'Arc in Manga is less Gender Normative

So I already commented on how the Anime about Jeanne d’Arc I’ve seen has disappointed me when it comes to Jeanne’s gender bending potential.  Well now I’m familiar with some Manga that actually does better.

First is Puella Magi Tart Magica, a Madoka Magica spin off.

In this one Jeanne does have shorter hair, and once she begins her mission dresses fairly masculine in her normal form. And even her Magical Girl form has a bit of a Knight quality to it.

But I would say the most Bifauxnen character in the Tart manga is Riz.  Even though her hair is long, in her normal form she has an Italian Cavelier look, which makes me think of characters like Regina in Paul Feval’s Bel Demonio (which I’ve so far only read in an abridged form called Woman of Mystery), and Nisida in George Reynolds Wagner the Werewolf.

I think it’s possibly over all the best Madoka spinoff Manga, I recommend it.

I also recently took an interest in the Requiem for the Rose King Manga, loosely based on Shakespeare’s plays about the War of the Roses.  I have however only been able to read the first 6 chapters.  It does quite a few interesting things, and Jeanne d’Arc’s crossdressing is a plot point in it. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My 2017 Seasonal Anime Experience

This is not actually about all the anime I watched this year.  But my looking back at my first time spending an entire year watching at least some currently airing Seasonal Anime.

Technically I started the year finishing two 2016 shows I followed, Flip Flappers subbed and Izetta The Last Witch’s Simuldub.  Both I enjoyed immensely at the time, I’m not sure how they’ll fare looking back.

For the Winter Season I followed 3 shows to completion, all three of them Simuldubbed.

Dragon-Maid is a show of the year contender, it’s like the Sit-Coms I used to enjoy, but with kick @$$ Animation.  Apparently some people think the Dub downplayed the Yuri, the Dub I watched seemed pretty full on Yuri to me.

Tanya The Evil was incredible, I feel like it quickly surpassed Izetta as an Anime Alternate History World War premise.

ACCA I also really loved.  It’s different from what I usually watch in Anime but reminded me of some of what I used to enjoy in normal nerdy media.  A lot for the complaints I’ve seen from people who dropped the show early reminds a lot of the hate The Phantom Menace got “whah I don’t want taxation disputes and senate scenes in my Star Wars” which only assured me that their opinions don’t matter.

I think as a whole I might have enjoyed the Winter Season the most.  The amount of shows I completed never became less, and some shows I watched since may long term stick with me more.  But in terms of how it averages out I feel like I had the most fun that season.

Later in the year I watched all of Gabriel Dropout and wished I’d watched it when it aired.

The Spring Season is the only one where I watched more Subbed then I did Dubbed.  But it again totals three.

Twin Angel Break was the best show of the Spring season, it was a great fun little Magical Girl show that felt old school and fresh at the same time.  I highly recommend it to any Magical Girl fan.

Eromanga-Sensei was a fun guilty pleasure, it's best watched if you also watch Digi and Nate’s podcasts on each episode after viewing it.

The only Spring show I watched dubbed was Attack on Titan season 2.  I enjoyed it, but not as much as I did season 1.

For the Summer season I started a number of shows I wound up dropping.  But again finished three.

Fate/Apocrypha is two core, I’ve been following it subbed, but also now got to see the first core dubbed. I’ve enjoyed it.

I also followed subbed to completion Princess Principal, which is also a show of the year contender.  I recommend it to people who are into Steam Punk, or Pretty Little Liars, or the books published by BlackCoatPress and talked about on CoolFrenchComics.

I watched Dubbed In Another World With my Smartphone.  I also really loved it, it got me into Isekai.  I watched some stuff that qualified before, like Tanya above and maybe SAO, but this was my first introduction to the proper Isekai formula.

For the Fall Season, I probably won’t be finished with them by the time I post this.  Definitely with the Simuldubs, of which after dropping some I’m down to three, Anime Gataris, A Sister’s All You Need and Code:Realize, the last of which I also recommend to BCP fans.  I am enjoying all three of those shows.

Fate/Apocrypha’s finale might air on New Year’s Eve, but the fansubs might not be up before the year’s over.  No matter how much it’s ending might disappoint, it’s been a fun ride, only those into other Fate/ stuff are likely to get into it, but still a fun ride.  If I’m able to see the last episode before the year ends I’ll add an update at the bottom.

Yuki Yuna is a Hero’s prequel series was great.  And I’ve seen 3 out of six episodes of season 2 as of writing the first draft of this, it’s also good so far, but I’m on edge to see how it ends due to Madoka Rebellion related fears.  It turns out there is a break before the last episode so I definitely won’t be finishing Yuki Yuna before the year ends either.  Having seen episode 5, with only 1 episode left, it could still go either way.

It’s an experience I do not regret, and for the most part hasn’t interfered with my ability to also watch old shows, both ones I’d seen already and hadn’t.  Maybe when a new season is starting and I’m still watching some shows I wind up dropping later I might feel too busy.  But once things settle down I have plenty of time.

I also this year watched SAO for the first time, and Toradora and three Miyazaki films, to name a few.  I spent October watching some Halloween relevant Anime and November devoting some more time to magical girls.

And Smartphone again got me into a whole new Genre.  And from there I watched No Game No Life, Problem Children, Outbreak Company, the first season of The Familiar of Zero, and Overlord.  All of which I enjoyed.

And it was this year I started watching more Gundam then just the 00 series.

And that’s leaving out stuff I watched for the first time this year because it was this year the Dub dropped.  As well as re-watching stuff I already liked, if there is anything I found more time for it’s that, but I still did a decent amount.


Update December 31st 2017:

Well, I was able to watch the final episode of Fate/Apocrypha before the year ended.  It was a very enjoyable show, but I wouldn't recommend it to people who aren't already into Fate/.   I gave it an 8 on MAL.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

My final thoughts on Pretty Little Liars

For a while this may be my last post on the subject of PLL.  I have my doubts I'll bother with the Perfectionists.  So I want to give some final thoughts before the year ends.

I wasn't watching the show quite exactly from the beginning, but I did jump on before season 1A ended.  When I started the show I was still calling Buffy my favorite TV show of all time, but a more relevant context is that my favorite currently airing show at the time was The Vampire Diaries.

By the time unmAsked aired it had become my favorite current TV show.  It was during Season 4B, which I still consider the show's best half season, that it became my favorite TV show of all time.  And it's still my favorite western TV show, as well as favorite live action TV show.

Once Ali was made part of the regular cast, the show lost some of it's original mystique, but remained pretty entertaining for awhile.

For the first nearly 6 and a half seasons the show provided the best Lesbian representation on TV.  Then came Game Over Charles and the show's legacy within the LGBT community was tainted indefinitely.  It was real sad watching Heather Hogan's passion for the show deteriorate.

I still enjoyed plenty of the last season and a half, including the final episode.  But it wasn't what it once was.

In a lot of ways revealing CeCe to have been the second -A could have been perfect, if they just hadn't added the whole Charles narrative.  There is something about introducing her and using her as a red herring repeatedly, then seemingly explaining her role at the season 4/5 cliff hanger and besides a cameo or two mostly forgetting about her till the big reveal came, that worked perfectly.

And I could have been fine with the main villain of the show being a Transwoman if she hadn't been the only Trans representation the show had.  Charlotte is a great villain, but her being the only representation Transwomen have on the show is really problematic.

None of these issues with the show's final act were enough to destroy all the enjoyment I had and make it no longer my favorite American TV show.  But it is really unfortunate that it had to end that way.

My recommendation of the show to others shall always be that the first 4 seasons are perfect.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Sometimes looking back is part of moving forward

I've a done a post on Why I like Prequels, and one about how they've been part of Genre fiction as long as Sequels have been.

Today I want to address how sometimes the Anti-Prequel mentality is expressed in very Progressive terms, Progressive fans feeling that going backwards narrative;y is counter-intuitive to moving forward.  Like the BrosWatchPLLToo people in their opinions on Star Wars.

What they're forgetting is a lot of good liberal movies have been period pieces, the left looking back at our intellectual ancestors.  Showing how things have changed for the better and yet some problems still remain.

And sometimes societies do regress.  A Prequel is often the best opportunity to tell a cautionary tale of how that can happen.  And that's exactly what the Star Wars Prequels are.

So in the post about Prequels having always been around, I decided not to go further back then Alexandre Dumas, since that's where modern Nerdy Genre fiction is born in my view.  But for the purposes of this post I think it shall be necessary to go back to Shakespeare.

Shakespeare's history plays were not written in chronological order.  Eight of them can be viewed as a consecutive chronicle of English history from the rise of the House of Lancaster to the fall of the House of York.  Those eight plays are commonly divided into two Tetralogies.

However the Tetralogy about the history of the War of the Roses was written first, in fact Henry VI Part 1 is often considered the birth of the History genre, the few examples that do predate it are not Shakespeare.

Some question whether or not the plays within that Tetralogy were even written in order (the three Henry VI plays originally had different names, they weren't always numbered).  The way Henry VI Part 3 ends feels kind of like it's a Prequel to Richard III.  Though Richard III's negative reputation already existed by this time, and he was even the subject of one of those Pre-Shakespeare history plays I mentioned.  So the original viewers of the Henry VI trilogy might have viewed them as a Prequel to that play.

The point I'm going for here is that the very first play where Shakespeare dealt with the subject of Henry V was Henry VI Part 1, where Henry V is already dead when the play starts, but his legacy is constantly mentioned, he's viewed as symbolic of a lost golden age, a theme of the play is the death of Chivalry.

So later when Shakespeare wrote the Henriad, it's interesting how he arguably deconstructed that very legacy as it was presented in his first History play.  Henry V is depicted as being a manipulative war criminal.  And that makes the Henriad just like the Star Wars Prequels, where the idealized memory of the Jedi is presented as being much more complicated, and even Yoda did not live by what he later taught Luke, that a Jedi should use his power only for defense, Yoda drew his Lightsaber first when he confronted Darth Sidious.

The Chronologically first of these eight plays was Richard II.  Most of Shakespeare's plays about monarchy really had no choice but to be written consistent with the Divine Right of Kings doctrine of Anglican England.  Thus bad Kings, whether outright evil or just incompetent, are usually usurpers, people who shouldn't have had the Throne in the first place.  From King John to Richard III to Macbeth to Claudius in Hamlet.  It is Richard II that is the odd one out, Richard II is depicted as a bad King even though there was dispute he was ever the rightful one.  But Henry IV taking the throne at the end doesn't solve things either, he quickly starts doing the same things.

So basically it is the Prequels of Shakespeare's history saga that allows them to read as possibly anti-Royalist, or as close being that as he would have been allowed to get away with.

George Bernard Shaw was not quite as hostile to Shakespeare as many make hims sound.  His preface to Caesar and Cleopatra includes a lot of praise.  That play is the only play Shaw wrote specifically with the idea of addressing Shakespeare.  Shaw was also someone much more progressive then Shakespeare could ever have been allowed to be.  So it's interesting that in his attempt to take a more liberal approach to a Shakespearean subject, he chose not to write a remake or a sequel, but something that would effectively serve as a Prequel to two of Shakespeare's plays, Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra.

Ya know, I think the most, intentionally or not, liberal book of The Chronicles of Narnia saga was A Horse and His Boy, a book written as a prequel, sort of.

One prequel I did briefly mention in my earlier post was Paul Feval's La Louve (The She Wolf) a prequel to his earlier Le Loup Blance (The White Wolf).  A novel that happens to be about the first female masked vigilante.

In the world of Anime, the most progressive, and praised by progressives, installment of the Lupin III franchise is The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, which was also a prequel, set in the 60s.

Season 1 of Agent Carter was a pretty feminist show, and it was both a Prequel and a Period Piece.

The reason Prequels don't work out so well for Star Trek is because there is too much continuity.  Yes you could argue Star Wars has just as much, but Star Wars is mainly a series of movies, so not that much of it actually matters.  Star Trek was a TV franchise first and foremost, which means continuity was being added to on a weekly basis.  So with Star Trek the best way to free itself of the continuity shakales should be to leap forward a century, that's the best way to get a relatively clean slate.

Much of what The Last Jedi did it couldn't have done without the Star Wars prequel trilogy having been told first.  It needs the Jedi's dramatized failure in order to work.  So it's an example of looking back being needed to move forward.

Though I still think the Prequels are the most progressive Star Wars movies, the new Disney films may have more diverse casting, but they also often remind me of in their own way the Rebellion was just as Fascist as the Empire in the OT.  Every Star Wars story that takes place after ROTS is ultimately a Pro-War story, and that hinders my enjoyment of them.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

I enjoyed Ordinal Scale

I watched it recently as the Dub finally became available.

A lot of Yuki Kajiura fans have felt her SAO stuff has been some of her weakest stuff.  But this movie had some tracks that blew me away, that's the Yuki Kajiura I know and love.

The climax of the movie a lot of Fanservice, which I mean (mostly) not in the perverted sense but in the Rogue One sense.  However I felt like it was earned and pretty awesome.

The thing that bugs me is purely a meta issue, that this wasn't adapted from one of the Light Novels but was a newly created in-between story.  They chose to save the next Light Novel for the next TV season of SAO.

I feel like a lot of Light Novel based Anime would be better served by being movies rather then TV shows.  Most TV Anime fit their serialized structure because they're adapted from a serialized source material like Manga, or were created for the TV format.

But most Light Novels are by that very definition not necessarily very large novels.  They may be telling a serialized story, but not in a a very episodic fashion.  With Haruhi for example I think Disappearance is the best Haruhi Anime, and the the 6 episodes based on the Melancholy Light Novel could have made a decent movie.

SAO is no different, much of the criticism of the first three arcs is predicated on how the stories feel dragged out in order to fill 12-14 episodes.

So getting a movie could have been a good chance to see if the film format would serve adapting them better, but instead we got an original story with no source material to compare it to at all.

However, given what I hear about the Light Novels, we might not have gotten so much Asuna if the movie had been based on one of them.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Alex Drake

This is going to be an awfully short post for one I'm so late in making.  But I should before this year is over talk more specifically about PLL's final twist.

I'd heard about the Twincer theory before, mainly from the BrosWatchPLLToo people bringing it up.  I never took it seriously, they already paid off the people who expected some sort of Twin reveal.

So as I was watching the finale episode.  We got to the point where Spencer woke up, and was looking at her "reflection" and I instantly thought "they're trolling the Twin theorists" because the finale had already done that kinda trolling a few times.  Then I noticed that the mirror had some little holes in it and was confused.

Then the hand dropped, and my brain just froze, I was stunned.

That reveal was pretty damn well executed, and Troian gave a great performance because she is the greatest actor of all time.

But it still feels cheap to me, to have the final Big Bad of the show be a character who effectively only existed during the last episode.

I also agree that it was dumb to have it be Toby rather then the liars who figured out which Spencer was real.

The last episode was fun but flawed.  Doesn't matter that much cause as I've said before it's about the journey not the destination.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Yuki Yuna is a Waifu

Well, I did not see this one coming.

The Shintoism is strong in this one.

My taste in Acting is different

I am a big fan of Anime Dubs, whether they're from FUNimation, Viz or Aniplex.  And I've talked about many aspects of that already.

Digibro is not like many others who dislike Dubs, there is no Purist argument.  He simply doesn't like the voice actors who are usually used.

I however not only am fine with them, I like them more then almost any other English Language voice acting I've heard.  In fact my love of the voices I was hearing was probably vital to my getting into Anime in the first place.  And so I kinda want to hear them doing other roles.

Explaining why this is involves some context.

First of all the context that even my taste in live action acting is not what's currently main stream.  I'm someone who kind of resents the influence of Marlon Brando, Brando himself I always seem to enjoy (my favorite Brando performances are Julius Caesar and Mutiny on the Bounty), but his influence seems to be a perception that his genius was mostly in how he was often understated.  Early talkies were largely just stage actors applying their craft in front of a camera, Brando broke with those conventions when it was necessary, but people forget how he was still often quite theatrical.

Now I am as I've said before relatively easy to please.  So this acting pet peeve of mine isn't constantly ruining my ability to enjoy post-Brando movies.  And I can appreciate an actor being very good at what they do even if it isn't my preference.  But my preferences can make a big difference in my deciding whether to give something a 9 or a 10, or an 8 or a 9.

One old classic that is a personal favorite of mine is Becket, staring Peter O'Tool and Richard Burton.  The DVD I have of it includes an audio commentary by Peter O'Tool and some guy who had nothing to do with making the movie.  In it O'Tool talks about how he hates modern whisper acting, that he doesn't get why people think that is more realistic, he doesn't know anyone who talks that quietly in real life.  And I went "Yes, someone else does feel this way".  I'm sick of watching a movie at home and constantly needing to turn the volume way up during talking scenes but then way back down when the explosions start.  And this quality of Becket overlaps with a lot of the old Hollywood Biblical and Historical epics I love.

So in SFDebris' review of the Sci-Fi Channel's Dune miniseries, when he complained about how because most of the actors were stage actors they didn't know that "you don't' have worry about making sure people in the back row can hear you", I felt rather annoyed.  I love that Mini-Series precisely because of it's theatrical acting.

George Lucas was also going for a similar older style of acting in the Star Wars movies.  They're often not the best examples of that kind of acting cause Lucas was trying to get it out of actors who weren't used to it, and because they weren't given the best dialogue to work with.  As a Prequel fan I keep pointing out that these same cringey acting moments were all over the OT as well.  Still part of why I like the Prequels more is because they had more theatrically trained actors and so much more of them do that style of acting justice.

However, what I want from Voice Acting in Animation is very different.

One example is that in Live Action I do not want it to look like it's obliviously Dubbed, I can tolerate that in campy stuff likes Dubs of most Godzilla movies or Italian Sword and Sandal films, otherwise it annoys me.  And so that's why with foreign projects I'm much more inclined to watch Subs if it's Live Action.  Which again returns me to Becket and that commentary, Peter O'Tool took great pride in how they made sure the audio came from what they performed on set as much as they could.  And the 2012 movie of the Les Miserables Musical did the same thing.

[[Since I've brought up Becket so much talking about Anime, I should mention it's a movie that Fujoshi and Fujonshi should check out.  I watched it to begin with because a Gay Man recommended it to me.]]

Animation is the opposite in this regard.  I think part of why I prefer Anime to western Animation is that in Japan they draw the animation first and apply the voice acting later, so the lip flaps often don't match even in the Japanese.  As Digi has said this is why even Anime inspired stuff like Avatar still obviously isn't actually like Anime.  I like that about Anime, I think it hinders the animation flow in the west when they're trying to animate it over the acting.  I generally think it turns out better to just not care that much about the lip flaps.

I talked before about how a lot of my issues with the DC Animated movies are them hiring Movie and TV draws instead of people who's primary talent is Voice Acting.  Disney is generally better, which is why the Ghibli dubs I can enjoy in-spite of them generally not having the usual Dub actors.  When Disney does hire a name, they get them to understand how Voice Acting is different, Karen Gillian talked about how she had to adjust for her role in Princess Monoke.  And Theatrically trained actors, like Patrick Stewart or the Broadway stars they hire, are often the most adaptable.

Digi talks about how FUNimation mostly just hired people who lived in the area.  Thing is when you hire local actors they're often stage actors, since even a town as small and dying as mine has a local theater or two.  Kevin Conroy, everyone's favorite Batman voice, also came from the stage before he got that role, his first instinct was to compare the character to Hamlet.

This YouTube video confirms how in all likely hood any new up and coming Anime Dubbing studio will probably hire local theater talent.

And indeed as a bit of a Shakespeare buff, I'd love to hear how Shakespeare would be performed by my favorite Anime Dub Voice Actors.  Like hearing Crispan Freeman say "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war".

Basically I like "overacting", I like hearing hearing Crispan Freeman and Monica Rail give over the top performances.

Digi complains about the Cute Girls being voiced by obviously older actors.  Thing is "Moe" voices were never meant to be realistic, The Anime Man talks about how Maid Cafes are unpleasant cause the Maidtresses try to talk like Anime girls, and in real life it's annoying.  Now I rarely dislike the voice acting I hear when I do watch an Anime in Japanese.  But when I do it's usually girls having overly squeaky high pitched voices, Wixoss was unlistenable in Japanese to me.  I also find Yuno Gasai annoying in the Japanese, her Dub actress however gives a phenomenal performance.  And in other cases I'm far from inclined to be the most critical of the female actors, when she was still alive I was the only one defending Elizabeth Taylor's performance in Cleopatra.

Non Anime English voice acting also commonly takes advantage of how you don't need to cast actors who are the right age, Kelly Hu voiced a teenager on Phenius and Ferb and it sounded believable to me.  In live action the constantly casting 20-30 year olds to play Teenagers annoys me as I ranted about before.  But in Animation you don't need to look the part, you just need to sound it.  And for Cute Anime Girls you just need to sound Cute.  Rebecca Forstadt is still able to sound Cute even though she's in her 60s now, so I see no reason to complain.

Plenty of Anime Dub actors have more range then they get credit for.  Crispan Freeman proved he can do a more relaxed role by playing Kyon.  Noir is my favorite Anime, and is so largely for it's Dub.  For a long time I thought Mireille was the only one I was often hearing show up in other Anime (and I'm always happy to hear her voice), but then I checked the MAL pages for the others, and found my favorite character shared a voice with several characters I'd listened to and failed to notice.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I'm going to talk about Doki Doki Literature Club

First, I'm going to say do not read this post until you've played the game, or watched a Blind Let's Play of it.

If you want to know my opinion on it, I highly recommend it, if you're able to play Visual Novels at all you will enjoy it.  If not watch someone let's play it which is how I know the story.

This post will be all spoilers.

Visual Novels have a lot in common with Stage Plays

Another topic that comes up a lot in KyleKallgrenBHH's videos on Shakespeare is how suggestive Stage Plays are, especially of the Elizabethan era.  Just actors reciting dialogue and monologues in front of a backdrop that only slightly changes.

Visual Novels, which get accused of being pretty boring, are very similar.  The story is mostly told by just the text, which consists of dialogue and inner-monologues of the main character, and perhaps notes or such things the MC might read.  Visually the characters are represented by what look almost like Cardboard cut outs in front of a handful of stock background pictures.  But some key moments might have specially drawn images that get refereed to as CGs.

Because Visual Novels are one of the least respected mediums of story telling right now, my suggesting a parallel to one of the most respected can be written off as an attempt to defend them.  I personally have never played one yet, but I've spent a decent amount of time watching Let's Play footage of some.  Thing is, the Stage was not a respectable medium in Shakespeare's time, while he lived Shakespeare was probably viewed as the Zack Snyder of his day.

In my opinion Visual Novels ultimately shouldn't be classified as Video Games, they are their own medium of story telling that happens to typically use the same hardware as Video Games.  They have an interactive element, but still not exactly what I'd call a game.

There are however video games that incorporate Visual Novel elements, like the Neptunia games, as well as visual novels that are written with plot points to take advantage of the assumption that it's mostly gamers playing them.

Visual Novels sometimes have voice acting, it might be an optional feature that can be disabled.  But one factor that can tend to discourage that is if it wants the player to be able to name to the player character.

However because the art of Acting is sometimes there, the most important difference between a Visual Novel and a Stage Play is the interactive nature.  Including the multiple routes and endings.

And that is why my mind has started thinking about the prospect of adapting famous plays to the Visual Novel format.  A lot of Visual Novel stories are already about trying to prevent a tragic outcome, from Higurasi to Steins;Gate.  So why not take the Tragedies that have come to define what a Tragedy is and present players with the challenge of averting them?

The ideal Good Ending for King Lear would be to end with Cordelia on the Throne, which is how the original myth ended in Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Brute Tysilo.  But you can also add the potential to screw up and make things even worse.  How could Hamlet's ending be made even worse?  Imagine if Denmark didn't even have Fortinbras to provide stability in the end?  Oh, wait, most movies leave him out anyway leaving the impression Denmark now has no government at the end.  As far as giving Hamlet a good ending goes, it could again return to the original myth Shakespeare adapted to have Hamlet take the throne at the end, the original story was more of a traditional Hero's Journey.

Marlowe's Edward The Second would make a great Fujoshi Bait visual novel.  But a few Shakespeare plays have Yaoi potential as well.

From there my mind wanders to ideas that had already been in my head about adapting Shakespeare to Anime or other Otaku centric media.  Like re-imagining Richard III in the context of the Student Council of an all girls Japanese High School.  Whatever setting you give it however, Richard III is definitely the best model for a visual novel where the villain is the player character.

So, yeah, I think this is a pretty meaty parallel to make.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

I cannot relate to people who complain about CGI at all.

It's largely a generational thing in an odd sort of way.  There are definitely people my age and younger expressing frustration at CGI in films, but they are people who have their own reasons for revering a lot of old cinema, people who still put Star Wars and Indiana Jones on a pedastool.  The success of crap like Stranger Things shows we have a significant portion of Millennials who've bought into the overly pedaled narrative that the 80s was some kind of Golden Age.

Whenever I hear "looks like a Video Game" being used as an inherent criticism, like SFDebris in mentioning Attack of The Clones in his Star Trek Nemesis review, I instantly tune out.  I don't play truly advanced games much, but I've watched footage of them, YouTube videos that edit them into massive movies (often more like a miniseries) and sometimes Let's Plays.  Particularly when I watch the cinematic Cut Scenes in Final Fantasy XII or XIII I go "why can't movies look this awesome?  I want to see this on the Big Screen."

I keep hearing all this talk about "when it's practical effects there was something actually there" and I go "no there was not, you're looking at light reflected on a screen either way".  I feel like these people should stick to watching plays if they feel that it is so necessary to be truly authentic.  I don't say that to denigrate plays, I would go see a play live every month if I could afford it, and where I lived had more.  But what I want from movies, especially nerdy fantasy block busters, is to see things that are inherently unreal.

When I saw Rogue One, I was really impressed with what they did with Tarkin and Leia.  I know pretty much everyone who critiques films online for a living went on about "uncanny valley", but trust me the average film goer didn't notice anything wrong, the people in my theater went "Woah" when Tarkin's face appeared on screen.  Similarly with the use of CGi to de-age actors recently in Civil War and GOTG2.

And from that I honestly started thinking, why use this only for dead actors and de-aging old ones? Maybe we should just phase actual live acting out of live action films altogether, at least for Sci-Fi and Fantasy?  Since I'm tired of marketing campaigns trying to assure us that A-List celebrities do their own stunts when I know for a fact that insurance companies will not allow that.  Motion Capture tech can enable us to use the talent of actors without needing to have them in the right place or care that much if they look right for the part.

All that above is a post I've been wanting to make for awhile but putting off.  And I'm glad I delayed it because when I saw The Last Jedi yesterday, they played the Battle Angel Alita trailer.

I'd been hearing about this project for awhile, and even heard about the trailer recently.  People saying "they put Anime Eyes on a real human face and it looks creepy" and even I was skeptical, I who made posts on this blog about wanting Live Action movies to look like Anime, didn't think that sounded like a good idea.

But when I saw this trailer on that massive Ultra Screen I went "Wow, this is beautiful".  I've decided I want to not watch the Anime till I see this movie so I can view it on it's own terms.

There really is just about nothing we can't do now.  I know you're probably thinking, "aren't you just saying you'd prefer movies that aren't even Live Action?"  Most fully CG animated movies disappoint me, mostly because it's old school 2D Animation they're trying to complete with not Live Action.  What I'm advocating for is a further blurring of the line between Live Action and CGi.  That we quite revering what's real.  Once again I'm gonna recommend a KyleKallgrenBHH video Yes, Monster Factory is an Artistic Masterpiece.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Yuki Yuna is Sad

Guess it couldn't be avoided.

Not sad enouhg to dampen my post TLJ high.

I have a feeling that like with Fate/Apocrypha there is a lot I won't fully understand till I can see it Dubbed.  Hopefully it gets a Dub.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but The Last Jedi might be on par with The Prequels

It's a mind blowing film, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Clannad and Twilight

As someone who when I was into the Vampire craze a few years ago kinda, sorta, defended Twilight.  What bugged me most from the Twilight haters was when they'd say "Bella gave up her family and friends for her boyfriend".

Bella's family was broken and her friends were fake.  The biggest problem the movies have is Anna Kendrick made her character to likeable.  Bella gained a family by joining the Cullens.

I'm someone who very much appreciates fiction that carries the message that family isn't just about Blood.  There is no personal reason for me to relate to it so much, I wasn't adopted and I'm not planning to adopt.  But I do.  It has a lot to do it being important to my Faith, a key New Testament theme is Gentile believers being adopted into the family of Abraham.

So it bugs me when these Twilight haters think they're being Feminist by saying that.  Conditioned to think it's always problematic for a female character to chose her boyfriend over anything.  Yeah it fits patriarchal norms when it's the woman leaving her original family and joining a new one via marriage.  Thing is though all the Cullens were adopted.

As I've been watching more Clannad lately, and looking at Tomoya's relationship with his own as well as Nagisa's parents, it's kind of the gender reversal of Twilight's situation.  Tomoya has no Mom and his dad is a drunken degenerate.  But he very much becomes part of Nagisa's family, it's all quite touching.  Nagisa's parents are the coolest parents in Anime.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Yuki Yuna gets a Christmas Episode

I didn't feel like repeating the "Is Sad" title joke a third time, not yet anyway.

It was a nice episode, mostly I think build up for what'll happen next week.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Another post on Fate/Apocrypha

I am firmly enjoying this show, it's not the masterpiece Fate/Zero or the original Stay Night are, but it's a darn fun show.

A couple week ago the Dub for the first 12 episodes dropped.  I held off on watching it a bit, and wound up watching all of it between episodes 20 and 21, it was an interesting experience.

I like all the Dub voice actors, my only issue with how it's dubbed is "translating" Paladin as Hero in reference to Astolfo.

It further confirms what I already knew, that sometimes I just can't avoid missing things I shouldn't when I have to watch Subbed.  I appreciate the story as a whole much more now thanks to what I got easily in the Dub that flew by me watching it Subbed.

So it's a dub I recommend, check it out.

Now below shall be spoilers.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Yuki Yuna is Dope

Well, episode two was a fast most adventure, I loved it.

But I'm annoyed at the Subs now calling the Taisha the Amnesty.  WTF???

Now for something I should have said week.

This is how should do a Sequel when you did a Prequel in-between.  Bring together the original cast with elements distinctive to the Prequel.

The Force Awakens had small references to the Prequel Trilogy.  And as a Prequel fan who wants to be optimistic about the New Star Wars films because I don't want to become like those whov'e made me miserably for the last 15 years. I eat every one of those up. 

Abrams has said Episode IX will be bring closure to all three Trilogies.  So I'm optimistic about that.

But back on topic.  Yuki Yuna is awesome and Miragephan is wrong.

I want to recommend Princess Principal to Tales of The Shadowmen fans

It was an Anime that aired during the Summer 2017 season.  I loved it.  And it reminded me of my time spent reading BlackCoatPress and Rocambole books quite a bit.

It's set in a Steam Punk alternate history London.  Now maybe it's only because I've read more 19th Century French popular fictions and English that it reminds me of French stuff more.  But there are some obvious French Revolution references, and the Dukes mentioned sound like French Dukedoms.

Like a lot of Anime, it is very Rocambolesque.

For the current season Code:Realize is explicitly referencing most French novels yet with a London setting.  So perhaps that's just how Anime currently does it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I want Anime to be Anime

It annoys me how so many of the Anime critics on Wordpress and YouTube predicate their praise of certain shows on how they're doing so much unlike how Anime usually does it.  I like Anime because I like what Anime usually does.

Back before I'd gotten really into Anime that was kinda how I sounded talking about the Western Nerdy media I liked.  But then I started watching more Anime then just the super mainstream stuff, and I quickly fell deeply in love.  Anime was doing what I was wanting all along, and I feel stupid that it took me so long to discover it.  I'm someone who wanted to make the Live Action Lucky Star before I knew Lucky Star existed.  I was also a Yuri Shipper before I knew what Yuri was.

I just started getting into Isekai, while the popular trend now among YouTubers is to talk like it's a garbage trend that needs to die.  It reminds me of when I was into the Vampire craze, accept this time I actually like most of what I've watched.

I'm also tried of hearing people rant about how they want more Anime about adults and less about High School.  When I've always gotten most of my enjoyment from Teen Dramas and was annoyed that only two channels made them on American TV and now even they're not anymore.  I'm over 30 and have come to believe people over 30 shouldn't be allowed to vote.  I love that Anime gives me an abundance of what I enjoy.

So after getting 5 episodes into MMO Junkie via it's Dub and only really enjoying it when it's in the Game.  Hearing the Neotaku podcasters praise how it just abandons the game around Episode 6 made me pull the trigger on dropping it.

Nothing is perfect, but what I want to change about Anime is it going even further with what is weird and distinctive about it.  Like Harems actually going for a truly Non-Monogamous resolution, which Isekai Smartphone has given us, but I now want to see that with more progressive gender dynamics.

And I also want more Yuri and Yaoi to become fully Canon. But that doesn't mean I want the nature of the relationships to become like a typical romance.  I want Konata and Kagami to be how they usually are, just shagging between scenes.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Yuki Yuna is Back B!tc#e$

Season 2 jsut started, it was a good start.




Spoiler Warning.




I repeat, there will be Spoilers.




The rest of this post will be Spoilers.




So at first I didn't think much of Togo not being there, then the comment about normally cutting the Cake in 5 pieces happens and it hit me, their memories have been messed with.

See Sonoko with the original cast way fun.  And now we've got a plot brewing right away.  I wonder what will happen?

Isekai went from being about Girls to being about Boys

I find it interesting how the development of the Isekai genre has kind of went in the opposite direction of a lot of other genre fiction.  We're recently finally getting an upsurge of female lead Superhero and Space Opera films.  Isekai has gone the reserve of that.

Isekai used to be primarily about young Girls from the real world being transported to a fantasy one, from Alice in Wonderland to Dorthy in Oz. Then the Narnia books were relatively gender even.  But also with it's development in Anime, 90s and very early 2000s Isekai shows were typically Shoujo, from Magic Knight Rayearth, to Escaflowne to The Twelve Kingdoms (I just watched it's first episode).

But it seems they became more male oriented as the genre was taken over by Light Novels and became increasingly Otaku oriented.

As someone who's developed a great appreciation for modern Isekai, starting with In Another World with my Smartphone, then No Game No Life(it's about a brother and sister, but still geared towards the male perspective), and then Outbreak Company.  I would like to see that kind of story with a female lead.  I'd love to see Smartphone's going all in with a true non monogamous resolution to it's Harem be applied to a Yuri Harem or a Reverse Harem, or a female lead with multiple lovers of multiple genders.

And beyond that.  Once again what I love is how unapologetic wish fulfillment they are, and I think the world needs equally unapologetic wish fulfillment fantasies for girls, since they are far more often the ones shamed for their fantasies.

But shows like Twelve Kingdoms predated that being an Anime norm, it's instead really dark in how it gets our heroine to her new world.  The wish fulfillment is there, but it's desperately trying to justify itself.  A young woman getting to go on a traditional Hero's Journey is also something I know we need more of.  But in the mindset I'm in now, I need pure Escapism much more, and I'm sure plenty of young women feel the same.

 Basically, old Isekai Anime are like Batman V Superman, while this new trend is like the MCU.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Washio Sumi gets a Recap Episode

A recap of Season 1 of Yuki Yuna.  It was a good recap, if you want to see a half hour summery to prep you for season 2, check it out.

The Justice League movie was a Ten out of Ten

I know I don't exactly have a reputation as someone who's praise for DCEU films means much.  But I did have conflicted feeling towards MOS and BvS.  That conflict is gone here.

They finally got Superman right.

Wonder WOman was still awesome.

Batman was dope as usual

The Flash was used pretty well, since I gave up on the TV show, Ezra is my Barry Allen now.

Aquaman and Cyborg weren't bad either.

Stay thorough the credits, DC finally did a full all the way after the Credits scene.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fall 2017 Simuldub Three Episode Test

There are five shows I decided to give the three episode test to via their Funimation simuldubs.  I'm afraid I don't feel like I have any super extreme opinions on any of them yet.  I may of course try more shows later.

Code:Realize

A Reverse Harem Visual Novel adaptation that also appeals to my Tales of The Shadowmen related interests.  It was the one I was most guaranteed to check out.

The show is not possible to imagine as compatible with the original literary canons of the characters.  But it has been fun so far, and so I will definitely watch episode 4 tomorrow.

Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World

My knowledge of the original Kino's Journey Anime is mostly only via watching SFDebris reviews of it.  I learned about the Gender Ambiguity of Kino's character when I read Vrai's piece on the pilot back when only it's Sub was available, so I knew the plot of episode 1 going in.

I have enjoyed all three episodes, and it may please Vrai to know that the Dub has not used any Gendered pronouns of Kino so far.  Still, I generally don't think this is my kind of show, so I have my doubts I'll stick with it.

Anime Gataris.

This is the least likely show I'll drop, it's not on par with Lucky Star but it's still a pretty fun Anime about talking about Anime show.  If Lucky Star and Yuru Yuri are the main kind of Anime you like, this is your show for this season.

A Sister's All You Need

Now if my blog has any followers, you may recall me explicitly telling people NOT to watch this show in my post titled It's Americans who don't know what real Teenager look like.  That was advice for normies, I'm not a normie, I watched all of Eromanga-Sensei and found some value in it, though I couldn't make it three episodes into Oreimo.  So I did decide to give this show three episodes to see what I think.

So far, I'm still unsure about much of it.  Nothing has been on par with the opening fantasy in over the top creepiness.  I like the MC's two females friends and their interactions.  What really confuses me is the MC's younger sibling.  The plot description says they're female, they have a female voice actor.  But all the MC's friends seem to think they're a boy.  If all this dodging is leading to is a generic "Samus is a Girl" moment, I'll be fairly annoyed.  But I can't help but suspect it's that rather then any attempt to really explore Gender Identity with the character.

Recovery of an MMO Junkie

This show is interesting, I have no particular thoughts yet.

Off Topic Post Script


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Cinemanarrative Dissonance and Anti-War films.

So this is my second post on Cinemanarrative Dissonance, a term I didn't coin but want to help popularize.

In the first post I talked about how this related to the Male Gaze, which was the context of the example provided in the Folding Ideas Video I got the term from.  Anti-War films didn't come up in that video but did in the comments section.

I discussed the issues that Anti-Wars films often have in my post about Kong Skull Island.  That was my knew jerk reaction to express my general enjoyment of that film, so I may have gone over board, it too has ways you could interpret it as being Pro "the right kind of War", via the Island needing Kong to defend it from the ugly less human looking lizard monsters.  Still, I definitely stand by the Gundam franchise being the best Anti-War genre fiction.

It basically comes down to how much the need for the violence to be entertaining, undermines the objective of making it horrific.  Again, this too is perhaps easier to do allegorically with some Sci-Fi or Fantasy horrificness.  When it's Lovecraftian Elderich Abominations or Giant Robots destroying buildings and lives, our subconscious is less likely to decide that looking cool makes it good in real life cause we know it presumably can't happen in real life.  Examples of this can go from how the original Gojira works as an allegory for Nuclear War, to how good Miyazaki is at making things look unnaturally ugly in films like Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke.

Still, the main suggestion I want to make today, is that if you really want to have a completely realistic Anti-War film.  Maybe the solution is not to go the Gritty front line horror route.  But rather to, and this will offend the-fanboy-perspective blog endlessly, not seek an R rating.

When you're depicting the people on the front lines, you're depicting the people who even the most already inclined to be Anti-War viewers are naturally likely to sympathize with.  There is a desire to view the brave warrior on the front line as worthy of respect, maybe as a victim rather then a hero, but still worthy of respect.  And I think that really lies at the heart of how Anti-War films unintentionally undermine themselves, even if it doesn't directly seem like the main reason.

Maybe it's better to focus more on the people who aren't on the front lines, the people who aren't directly risking their lives as much, yet are much more the reason the Wars happen to begin with.  The politicians and really high ranking generals.  Show their cold detachment.  Much of Lawrence of Arabia does this, which is why I like that film so much. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cinemanarrative Dissonance, the Male Gaze, Megan Fox and Anime

The Folding Ideas YouTube Channel did a video a few months ago on Ludonarrative Dissonance.

In it he references an earlier video that coined the term Cinemanarrative Dissonance with the intent of mocking the idea of talking about Ludonarrative Dissonance.  But he does so going on to say he thinks Cinemanarrative Dissonance is a thing that should be talked about, even if the examples are in general less common then in games.

He cited Megan Fox's character in the Transformers movie as a good example.  The character is a well written not very stereotyped character, who has a solid arch, and is well performed by Megan Fox.  But the camera treated her like a piece of meat, and that is how fans, both casual and even more savvy ones, saw her.

He's not the only person to observe this, it came up in a recent article on The Mary Sue.  I haven't seen the Transformers films myself yet, but I can say as someone who was on Internet Forums like IMDB back then, the perception of the character and of Fox herself was what Folding Ideas says the Cinematography presented.

Now, why is Anime in the title of this post?

Because a lot of female Anime characters have kind of been given the same Cinemanarrative Dissonate treatment.  Characters who are well written, have agency, and depth, and are relate-able.  Yet the animation constantly objectifies them with a lot of the Anime Style Fanservice that I dislike.

The difference I've observed is which way of viewing the female character in question prevails in the general perception of viewers.  With the Anime I'm thinking of this use of fan-service is criticized, but it does not control how the characters are perceived.

Highschool of The Dead is a good example, reportedly most of it's fans are women.  What's empowering about the characters' managed to not be completely drowned out by all the uncomfortable panty shoots and ridiculous boob physics.

But with Transformers, both Megan Fox's character and the actress herself were slut shamed by society, including Feminists, with websites like TheMarySue not feeling the need to stick up for her till fairly recently.  People somehow saw it as her fault that Bay objectified her.

Now in some Anime this contrast is intentional with a feminist commentary in mind, like The Woman Called Fujiko Mine or as I've been told Kill La Kill.  Those I would not compare to Transformers.  But their Live Action Hollywood counterparts do seem to have more trouble obtaining artistic respectability, like Jenifer's Body (another Megan Fox film) and Sucker Punch.

Why is the general viewer reaction to this contrast so different?  Shouldn't it be easier to see the humanity of the character when it's a flesh and blood human being?  Is it harder to view the actress herself as culpable when she's not physically there?  Is it related to how Anime is inherently more abstract?

Maybe it's because the audience for Anime is more Niche, and so a larger percentage of viewers are inclined to read deeper. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Washio Sum is Mimori Togo

As a final verdict, I feel this Yuki Yuki prequel story is good.  But not like the Star Wars Prequels or Fate/Zero in that I'd recommend watching them in chronological order.  The major reveal is comparatively quite underwhelming in it's execution in the Prequel.

Next week, Yuki Yuna season 2 should begin.  Hopefully that will wild new ride.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Washio Sumi is still Sad

Last week ended with a Knife to the Gut.  This episode was about twisting it.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 2017 may wind up being Magical Girl month for me

The Fall Simuldubs have started, I may post something on them once I've finished the Three Episode test.

I'm hoping on Thanksgiving to continue a tradition watching Nanoha seasons 1 and 2 for it every year.  It happened to be that day I watched them for the first time last year, and I quickly decided I'd like to make that a personal Thanksgiving Tradition out of it, but family obligations could make doing that complicated.  Maybe it's more important I watch A's that day and watch season 1 before.

The Viz Dub of Season 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal just dropped, and I still need to finish the Viz Dub for Sailor Moon S.

And my Isekai research may lead to me checking out Magic Knight Rayearth.

Between those and my continuing to follow Yuki Yuna season 2, that's a lot of Magical Action action this month. I could throw in some PreCure time, and watch more of Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne.  And hopefully the 3rd Nanoha movie and the Prisma Illya movie will go online sometime before November's over.  And that could make this a pretty Magical Girl filled month.

Which is a good time to remind people how strongly I recommend Twin Angel break from the Spring Season.  It's also about time I finished the earlier installments of that franchise.

And I also want to read some more Madoka Mangas, Maybe I'll find Tart being sold somewhere, it has a legal release but I can't find it online.

I want to make a Zelda related post for Zelda month.  But I'll need to get some inspiration first.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Washio Sumi is Sad

And this is the episode we're reminded this is part of the so called "Sad Magical Girl" genre.

It's a good episode.

Hopefully I'll have more to say as the Prequel wraps up over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Jeanne d'Arc in Anime is too Gender Normative

I can accept that it's unreasonable for me to want every Anime featuring her to follow the theory she was a Lesbian that I favor, or others that she was Trans or Non Binary.

But there is no dispute that she did dress like a man, and cut her hair short to fit that.  Whether or not that was motivated by anything more then what she said it was we'll probably never know for sure.

Jeanne appears a lot in Anime and Manga.  But I haven't seen any reference to her cross dressing, in fact she tends to be the most feminine woman in the show.  And it's not like this is alien to Anime, there is a long tradition of female Anime characters who look and dress rather boyish, the Bifauxnen.

It's like Japan simply didn't get the memo on this part of Jeanne's story, they just think female saint equals perfect embodiment of Christian Femininity.

In Fate/Apocrypha it could have created a nice contrast with Astolfo, a guy dressed as a girl, especially since they seem to be being set up as romantic rivals.  And are both French.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Halloween Anime viewing Update

At the start of the month I gave a top 5 Halloween Anime recommendations based on what I’d already seen.  Here I’m gonna talk about what I’ve been watching.

I will talk more about Fate/Apocrypha at the bottom, after a spoiler warning.  The other stuff I’ll talk about here I’ll try to keep Spoiler free.

I’m not watching Code:Realize yet since I’m waiting for it’s Simuldub.  But it’s worth noting that it also has characters from both the Dracula and Frankenstein novels.

First I watched the Netflix Castlevania series as I said I would, even though it’s not technically Anime.  The four episodes up now are basically an extended prologue, but they were fun.  And Gaius Frakking Baltar is voicing Alucard, that should be a treat.

I watched Kyoufu Kaiki! Frankenstein (also known as Monster of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Legend of Terror).  An Anime movie from 1981 based on Frankenstein.  I watched the Dub that was made in 1984, so one of the older Dubs out there.  I gave it a 7, it’s the subject of my first My Anime List review.

I much later watched the 1980 Tomb of Dracula Anime (based on the 70s Marvel comic book series), which I can’t really recommend.  The Music was cool, but it felt like a decade of comics storylines crammed into 90 minutes.  And as someone notoriously easy on Dubs, it’s Dub was one of the worst.

Then I watched the first three episodes of Dusk Maiden Amnesia.  Which were kinda fun.

I watched the Fate/Grand Order: First Order OVA Dub as I said I was going to.  It was pretty fun, and for Halloween relevance, there is a sort of homage to certain classic Christopher Lee film.

I’m also revisiting some of what I already recommended. 

Back in September I watched the first 2 episodes of the Dub of Testament of Sister New Devil.  The rest of the Dub will drop on October 31st, but I probably won’t be able to get to them till after.

Fate/Apocrypha Spoiler Warning

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Waship Sumi is a Fascist

Well, I've just seen episode 3 of Washio of Sumi.

Again, I knew what to expect.  I should be made more uncomfortable by how far they go with Washio's Nationalism, given the escalation that has happened in my country since I saw the movie version.

But the fun Slice of Slice comedy and Yuri Bait makes for it pretty well.  It's a fun episode.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I enjoyed the new Mummy movie.

I want to say that upfront since I'm going to express some frustrations here.  It was enjoyable, trying to be less Indiana Jones then the 99 film, but still more Popcorn fun then the original.  As the launch of a Shared Cinematic Universe, I like it more then Iron Man or Godzilla 2014.

And to people complaining about making these movies action movies at all.  The 40s Universal Monster Mash films were even for the time definitely more Pulpy adventure films then true Horror. And they had self parody moments as well, especially in Bride of Frankenstein.

There will be Spoilers by the way.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The second episode of Washio Sumi

I have a concern my ability to comment on these episodes will be disappointing for the Washio Sumi ones.  Maybe I should have just talked about the movies while they were fresher in my mind.

If you didn't see the movies, these TV episodes well be the preferable way to experience the story.  The movie experiment I think would have been better if they made one full length movie.

This episode is still establishing our characters.

Next episode will I think not even include a battle, it'll be a mostly comedy episode. 

So yeah, I don't have much to say besides, it's still pretty good.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Temptation of Frankenstein

My desire to spend this month watching a lot more Horror Anime lead me to watching Kyoufu Densetsu Kaiki! Frankenstein, which I wrote a review of for MyAnimeList.  That movie felt very inspired by the Universal Frankenstein films, so I felt like watching a few of those again.  And I just re-watched Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman.

A movie that arguably marks the birth of the first Shared Cinematic Universe.  And with Universal now seeking to launch a new MCU style shared universe reviving their old monsters.  It definitely put thoughts in my head.

If there was any type of overarching plot thread to the old Monster Mash saga.  It was the idea of other Scientists being tempted by Frankenstein's secrets when an opportunity to follow in his footsteps is provided, like it's an irresistible forbidden fruit to them.

Even Henry's actual children in Son Of and Ghost Of resist it at first but give in, with Ygor serving as their Serpent.  But this movie marks the beginning of other, sometimes at first perfectly normal, doctors following this arc.

But of course like many of the interesting things about these early films, it's not quite explored as in depth as it could be.  So that's something I'd like to see revisited.  Don't find some excuse to make Victor just as immortal as his Creation the way a lot of recent works have done, like Penny Dreadful.  Let it be other scientists playing that role each film after somehow stumbling upon Frankenstein's records and/or the Monster.

I know some might complain about the idea of repeating the same arc over and over again.  But just like how the One Ring's temptation of different people is different depending on that individual's personality, there are a lot of different characterizations this premise could explore.

Take Dr. Manning in this movie for example.  What's interesting about him is starting out as a normal medical doctor.  His decision at the end might have seemed less inexplicable if they actually verbalized more the subtext that he was basically being pressured into violating the Hippocratic Oath.  Talbot very explicitly wants to die, so that could have been easy to accept, but The Monster is basically a child who doesn't understand what's going on.

Anyalizing this movie as Hollywood's earliest example of a film that is a sequel to two originally separates films continuity wise is also interesting.

As a Sequel to The Wolfman it works great.  As a Frankenstein movie though, it has unavoidable continuity issues from being torn between two different approaches.  There clearly was a draft of the script that tried pretty hard to work as a sequel to Ghost of Frankenstein, Lugosi's monster even spoke originally.  Yet there are also moments that just want to treat it as if this old castle was where the Monster was originally created.

Of all it's connections to Ghost.  The easiest to miss yet most important is that the man who's reputation lead Maleva to bring Talbot to this town was Ludwig Frankenstein's from before Ghost's story started, as someone who'd helped people.  She did not think "the guy who made a monster from dead bodies ought to know how to deal with a Werewolf", though that's what a viewer who watches the movie out of the context of the saga is inclined to think.  So that other scenes of the film seem to forget Ludwig existed, makes that confusion even worse.

Now people complaining about the new Shared Universe trend like to emphasize how it's more important for a film to work on it's own then tie in with other movies.  That's all well and good.  But this movie's inability to decide if it wants to be a sequel to Ghost or some unflimed Frankenstein reboot, made it inconsistent with itself.  And that causes the main flaws of an otherwise pretty good movie.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Last Jedi trailer was very RED

I'd commented briefly on how the red dust in the Teaser had me thinking of KyleKallgrenBHH talking about Kurosawa's use of Color in his latter film, in the video on RAN.  In the new Trailer it was more then just a little, the sue of Red in this Trailer was very striking.  It's like a Live Action Miyazaki film.

The trailer feels designed to miss lead.  Still I do think Leia was always gonna be killed off, they just acted like her involvement in Episode IX was an issue so no one would figure that out.

I don't think Rey is gonna turn to the Darkside.  I have a feeling by the end of this film Rey and Kylo will both be left sort of abandoned.

So the Porgs suggest to me that maybe Pokemon could work in Live Action.

It's Americans who don't know what Teenagers actually look like.


A lot of Anime does a lot of creepy stuff that is designed to appeal to Ephebophiles, Hebephiles and even Pedophiles.  This post is not my attempt to deny that.

What grinds my gears however is this accusation that Anime constantly makes High School and even Collage aged female characters look younger then they should, "infantalizing" them.

The reason a lot of American Anime critics are saying this, is because American television has given American society a distorted idea of what High Schoolers look like by spending decades having the characters on Teen Dramas constantly played by actors in their 20s, frequently late 20s, even well into their 30s sometimes.

I make a habit of noting when an actress on some show I'm watching turns out to have been born the same year I was, 1985.  And there have been actresses born in 1985 playing High Schoolers all through the time I've been watching television.  But only 1 got to do so while we were actually High School aged.  Michelle Trachtenberg actually was supposed to be playing her own age on seasons 5-7 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  But both the script and fans constantly treated her like she was an infant compared to the other characters, because she practically was to the other actors.

The thing is, I have noted this fact, and complained about it, since long before I got particularly into Anime.  If i recall correctly I'd reblogged posts on Tumblr about how damaging it is to American teenagers that the people representing them on TV look so much more mature and developed then them.
phantasticphil-know-whats-real-f---ed-every
"Know what’s real f---ed? Every other age group has the correct aged actors representing them except teenagers. Adults play adults - children play children; but teenagers are played by more adults. Why? Because apparently our body changes from puberty are too ugly for TV. So what happens? We go through those years looking at the perfect “teenagers” and wondering why we don’t look like that."
And that's part of why I started really falling in love with Anime once I started watching more then just the obvious nerdy stuff.  I started watching High School Anime and went "wow, fiction where Teenagers don't look like fully grown adults".

It's easy to forget what real Teenagers look like.  We all were them at one point, but memories are not as reliable as you think, when I remember my teen years, I always recall myself looking how I do now.  So many people wind up just depending on all the TV they watch to get a reference point on how Teenagers should look.

Fortunately my extended family keeps reproducing, so there have always been current teenagers around.  So I can tell you that Anime teenagers look like teenagers.  They still often have the problem of looking too flawless, but compared to western TV, yes they absolutely look their age.  Likewise in what I've seen of Live Action Japanese media, the Teenagers look younger compared to American TV, because they are cast closer to their age.  Even Canada is better on this, some crossover stars graduate from playing High Schoolers on Canadian TV to start High School on American TV.

So when I then saw that it was really common for American Anime critics to complain that Teenagers in Anime look too young.  I was enraged, but for whatever reason held off ranting about it on this blog till today.

Now, the recently started airing Anime A Sister's All You need, is from the looks of the pilot another creepy Imouto Anime, I would not recommend anyone watch it.  But what set me off to finally write this post was one review describing two 18-20 year old female characters as "looking like they're 12".  Here is a Screencap taken from that very review.
(The Context of the Subs is a homophobic comment being made, which makes me cringe.  So again, don't watch it.)

These girls are not short, and they have fully developed breasts. What in the world looks 12 about them?  Is it just the big eyes?  All Anime characters have big eyes because of a design choice Osamu Tezuka stole from Walt Disney, seriously look at the Dwarves in Show White, they have total Moe Eyes.  So thank you Walt for cursing all Anime Girls to be eternally accused of looking like children no matter what.

Also since this criticism is also couched in gendered terms, saying it's mostly women this is done to.  Would any unbiased observer not assume all three of those characters are the same age?  They clearly look the same age, the dude just has a more severe expression, cause he's another Stoic Light Novel protagonist so he's required by law to try and out brood Kirito.

Now some Anime characters are within the story meant to look young for their age.  (Which can happen, I spent most of my 20s being constantly mistaken for a middle schooler.)  Those characters generally look notably shorter then everyone else, and if female are always flat chested.

I could also add that  a lot of what's called High School Anime is really Middle School, Yuru Yuri is Middle School, in which context I think some of them look rather old.  So yes, some characters in what you see called High School Anime are pretty close to being 12.

Anime has always, even Miyazaki style Anime, tended to use Height as the default way to communicate age differences.  So kids always look way smaller then their parents, even if the kid in question is 18 and so about as tall as they'll get.  So that also complicates this issue a bit.

So we Americans should fix our own issues about how Teenagers look on television before we complain about Japan's.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou Episode 1

I plan to post on each episode of the new Yuki Yuna season.  I can't guarantee they'll be very good posts.  At any-rate Yuki Yuna will be a regular presence on this Blog for the next 3 months.

For the Prequel half, I'm re-watching since I saw the movie.  I have to say it's not proving as re-watchable as the original Yuki Yuna Anime.  Though it may simply be that I enjoy the Dub voice actors more.

I wasn't super-impressed with the movies to begin with.  Perhaps It's good to show I'm not always blindly thrilled by Prequels.  They were by no means bad, only a sequel would ruin Yuki Yuna and so that's what I'll be more on edge about.

I was again reminded of how I feel the Vertexes are kind of like the Angels from Evangelion.  I know some people really get offended every time someone alleges an Eva influence on something.

This first episode is still a perfectly adequate set up for our three Heroines.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Generational perspectives and Star Wars

In my ongoing war with Star Wars Prequel haters, I respond to all the "they ruined my childhood" nonsense by explaining that the Prequels are my childhood memories.  The Phantom Menace is to me everything A New Hope was to those people who fell in love with it in 1977.  When I re-watch it now it's one of the few things that makes me tear up.

And I'm not alone, the Prequels have plenty of fans on Tumblr and Wordpress.  And Facebook groups dedicated to them. 

And when saying this on a message board, I inevitably get a response from someone saying they were a youth in 1999 and they hated that movie too.  As if that proves something.

My mother was of the same generation as the original Star Wars fans, being a late Baby Boomer.  She's told me about how she and a boyfriend went to see it in 1977 and walked out of the theater.  The movie also got a fair share of less then glowing reviews at the time. 

But there is a difference between failing to fall in love with a movie that is an established franchise and one that isn't.  The people for whom A New Hope wasn't their thing weren't invested in it, they just moved on, when it became a big thing later then went "huh", but felt no emotional need to be offended by people who liked it.

But for people who kept hearing about Star Wars all the time, who were told it was a classic before they had the chance to make up their own minds on it.  When the movie made for your generation doesn't appeal to you, you may become unwilling to consider that it was simply not your thing.

Digibro, an Anime YouTuber, got into trouble once for complaining about boring tastes in 3x3s, for questioning if there really are so many people who's personal favorites happened to be all these "Elitist" Anime.  And I think for a lot of people of my generation or younger, movies like the original Star Wars trilogy, or the first two Godfathers, are in the same boat.  A lot of people convince themselves they like them because they feel they have to.

Am I saying anyone born in the 80s who didn't love TPM wasn't meant to be a Star Wars fan?  Not necessarily, there are plenty of differences between them to explain why one would appeal to you and not the other.  For me, the OT has a limited appeal, I appreciate them same as I do Evangleion as an Anime fan, but they don't speak to me.

Digibro said in a podcast once that he thought he simply didn't like Space Operas because he didn't enjoy TPM.  But then played Mass Effect and loved that, and then watched the RLM review and "realized' TPM was simply a bad movie.  Well a youtuber named SaganFan1983 has a video totally destroying Plinkett's TPM review.  Meanwhile Mass Effect may also be a Space Opera, but it's basic appeal is still massively different from Star Wars.  Based on Digi's taste in Anime, Star Wars simply isn't for him, after all he said in the Kill La Kill video he hates orchestral scores.

Digi isn't quite my "Generation" in the sense I mean here though anyway.  Five years younger might not seem like a separate generation at first, but in the context of how quickly Hollywood and Anime trends have shifted in the New Millennium, they are a world apart.

I was 13 when TPM came out.  For awhile I'd been making the argument I summarized in the first paragraph of this post thinking of myself as the oldest end of the generation the Prequels were made for.  That it's odd to say I grew on it when I was already a Teen.  But lately, I've noticed how in most old footage I see of people in 1977 gushing about the original film just after leaving the theater, they were mostly Teens and early 20s, I see no real little kids.  So I now realize that I am rather the youngest of the Prequel generation.

So Digibro and EndlessJess and the other PCP members, like the other rising stars of YouTube right now have a much younger perspective then I do on fiction.  The time when people my age would have been the core of YouTube, was a time when the Internet assumed only negative reviews were marketable.

People of Digibro's age have stuff from 1999 they are Nostalgic for, but those are shows and movies that were aimed at a much younger audience.  I was into Pokemon at the time they were super popular, but it's that fandom I was definitely arguably too old for.  It caught my attention because I was a Nintendo freak who'd spent 5 years being into Mario and Zelda already.  I think many Nintendo fans my age resent Pokemon for so quickly becoming equal to them.  I fortunately have always been pretty accepting of new stuff.

We have on YouTube now a generation that grew up at a time when the Internet was ruled by those Nostalgic for the OT.  And for whom Star Wars films made for them didn't start till 2015.  No one denies TFA was a BO success, even though financially it really didn't do any better then TPM.

It used to be you wouldn't really get to be a famous reviewer until your personal golden age was already over.  But people born in the 90s have had the opportunity to become famous praising their favorite shows while they still aired.  If more people my age had that opportunity during the Prequel era, things might be different.

However I still believe it's only a loud Minority.  Plenty of Prequel defenders exist in every generation of Star Wars fans.

But the Internet is still somewhat a place where negativity trends more, as much as things may have improved. So the first YouTube videos to come up on a google search for them, are often saying "not THAT bad" at best.  Because that's what trends.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

My plans for The Fall Anime season.

First of all I'm continuing Fate/Apocrypha, it's second Core started with episode 13, which was pretty fun.  As well as the Simuldub of In Another World with my Smartphone, which has a few episodes left.

I will be watching season 2 of Yuki Yuna is a Hero.  I'm planning to cover all 12 episodes on this blog, even though the first 6 are repeating the movies I already saw.

After that, I will probably wait till the Simuldubs start to add more shows to the list.  That doesn't mean it'll only be shows getting simuldubbed, just that I want to wait.

The only other show I already knew I would try, is one I now already know is getting a Simuldub, Code:Realize.  Which is another addition to the Anime legacy of Arsene Lupin.

Now for Summer what my plans originally were got completely derailed.  If Digi and Nate do another Podcast on something I'll probably watch it too.

But for now, this is the plan.

Since I'm pretty sure none of the Simuldubs will start till November.  That gives me plenty of spare time to in October to watch old Anime, both rewatching and trying new stuff.  I'll try to give priority to stuff that has a Horror or Gothic slant, to then perhaps make a follow up to my Halloween recommendations before the month is over.

Update October 13th:

Well it turns out the Simuldubs are starting before Ocotber ends.  I may wait till November to start them anyway.

 For the Winder Season I started watching the shows I did when the Dubs already had 4 episodes up.   I didn't premeditate that, I really wasn't interested to trying to follow currently airing shows yet.  But it was nice to get the 3 episodes test out of the way as soon as I started.

Monday, October 2, 2017

You can Westernize Anime adaptations without actually Westernizing them.

What I mean by that is, you can change the setting of one that was originally set in Japan to America or Canada or Europe or wherever, without changing the storytelling sensibilities from Japanese ones to American ones.

For one thing lots of Anime are set outside Japan, or at least include lots of Non-Japanese characters, to begin with.  As I've said before I wish those would get the priority in terms of making Hollywood or other Western adaptations of Anime.

But I am also all for re-imagining stories, and retelling them in different settings.  I like when Anime gives a distinctly Japanese twist on a popular story of the Western Tradition.  And so I think it's valid to also do the reverse.

The basic themes and questions dealt with by Death Note were perfectly universal in my opinion, so I felt you could retell that story in America without needing to change it's social commentary to something more American.  Mother's Basement in his video on the Netflix Death Note movie says the original Death Note Manga and Anime was a commentary on "Japan's harsh stance on Crime".  As if the attitude of being harsh on crime is somehow uniquely Japanese.  Even California still has the Death Penalty.

Death Note is a story that had a pretty broad reach in America because it is frankly an ideological critique of the very impulses that Death Wish appeals to, and that makes my parents cheer on Rorschach when he says "you're trapped in here with me".

If they wanted to use an Anime adaptation to talk about American interventionism, plenty of Anime is already at least partly about that.  They could have done Canaan for example.

Basically I'm saying a lot of Anime is as naturally adaptable and culturally universal as Shakespeare, where many adaptations change the period and setting often without even changing the script or dialogue at all.  But even an adaptation that isn't going to be retelling the exact same story, even more so needs to keep in mind why people like Anime to start with.  Taking that away won't make it more appealing to broader audiences, what we've seen with Comic Book Superhero movies is that if the target audience doesn't like an adaptation, the general public won't even care.

And even plenty of Otaku Centric Anime are among those in my view.  American Otaku call themselves that because of how much they identify with that Japanese subculture.  Because we feel just as out of place in our society as they do in Japan.  The American version of Lucky Star has been in my head for awhile now, I just need to get myself in a position to pitch it.

The Wachoskis are the most notable when it comes to Hollywood directors influenced by Anime.  The specific Anime they draw on is rather out of date compared to what the current generation of Otaku would like to see brought to American Cinemas.  But still they are an example of making things thought to only work in Anime work in Hollywood.

I think their best movie is Speed Racer, the only one adapted from a specific Anime.  Speed Racer keeps getting overlooked when people act like there are no good Live Action Anime adaptations.  The movie flopped when it came out but has become the very definition of vindicated by History.  But it was also an adaptation of Speed Racer's Dub.  But even that Dub was still distinctly Anime, and this movie arguably is even more Anime.  The way it's non-linear at times, the way the tone shifts, the way the visuals go all out.  The way it'd bold and unapologetic about what is is.

It failed at the time it came out because it was ahead of it's time.  If it came out now when the MCU rather then Nolan is dominating the Superhero film market, the story may have been different.

Digibro has expressed support for Abrams doing Your Name. I haven't seen Your Name, and my opinions on Abrams films are complicated.  His main argument is Abrams is a more accomplished director then most making Anime adaptations.  That reminds me of my suggesting Zach Snyder for making some Anime adaptations.  Digi had also compared Zach Snyder to the director of Death Note and Attack on Titan, I think Attack on Titan would be more Snyder's style.

Now for objections to Westernizing Your Name, I can understand being concerned with the Shintoism in it, though plenty of similar ideas exist in other religious traditions.  However what annoys me is when people say you can't westernize Your Name because Your Name is about "the cultural divide between Rural and Urban Japan".  That is literally the most universal cultural divide there is, it's certainly here in America, it's a divide that pops up in my life constantly.  And it sure as hell effects our elections every four years.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mithrandir’s Halloween Anime Recommendations.

I’m by no means the first Otaku to provide some Halloween season Anime recommendations in October.  So why care about mine?

October 31st happens to be my Birthday.  So even though I’ve defined myself as not a Horror fan in the strictest sense (in that I’m not looking to be scared by any fiction I watch) I have other reasons for enjoying a lot of stuff in the Horror and Gothic genres.  And I have a lot of memories of enjoying such fiction during the Halloween season.  

I love the classic Universal Monster movies, I’ve also enjoyed many Hammer films.  And other more obscure horror movies, like those Public Domain ones you sometimes find in DVD box sets selling 50 for only $10.  Slasher films I’ve tended to not be fond of, but I do enjoy Halloween 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.  And some of my favorite episodes of Western live Action television have been Halloween specials, from NCIS episodes like Witch Hunt to Pretty Little Liars‘ epic trilogy of Halloween specials.  Plus I love the first two Ghostbusters movies, and I don’t hate the reboot.

Since I’ve become mainly a Anime watcher over the last couple of years.  It’s overdue that I make some Anime Halloween recommendations.  Though I feel kinda like I haven’t watched enough Horror centric Anime.

I listened to about like an hour of the Podcast that Mother’s Basement did with Digibro, Gigguk and BestGuyEver about their Halloween recommendations.  And really none sound like they fit what I look for this time of year, but they might for others.

One thing Gigguk said that rubbed me the wrong way, was that he doesn’t like how Anime Horror is too “aesthetically pleasing”.  I don’t like how western horror in recent years is so obsessed with being Aesthetically ugly.  I like the first two Saw movies as Mysteries, and that’s about it from the Torture Porn genre.  And I like none of those movies that revolve chicks crawling out of caves all slimy and muddy and dirty.  Classic Horror, like Universal and Hammer gave us, was very Aesthetically pleasing, it was simply a Gothic Aesthetic.

These recommendations are largely for people relatively new to Anime in general, if you have a respectable MAL already you’ve probably at least tasted all or most of these.  If however you consider yourself a hardcore Otaku and you’ve missed any one of these, you need to reconcile that immediately.

Why give Halloween themed recommendations to Newbies?  Maybe Horror or Gothic romance simply is your favorite genre and so Halloween fitting Anime would be the best entry point possible.  Or maybe now simply is the time you decided to finally give Japanimation a shot.  Or maybe you’re already at phase 2 or 3 of burrowing down the Otaku rabbit hole and are looking for new routes to dig into.  Perhaps specifically saving the Horror Route for October.

One more note before I start.  I haven’t watched the Castlevania series on Netflix yet.  I’ve decided to wait till during this Halloween season (and thus after I’ve already posted this) to watch it.  Then I might talk about it somewhere if I feel compelled to.  (Turns out it’s not actually Anime.)  I don’t want to include in this list something that hasn’t already stood the test of time somewhat anyway.  And it gives me something new for the season to enjoy myself.  It annoys me that the Godzilla Anime doesn’t drop till November.

  1. I’ve already declared When They Cry/Higurashi the ideal Horror Anime.  If you haven’t seen it yet, don't read that post past the Spoiler Warning.  In summary what I’ll say here is it has very much the Japanese equivalent of a Gothic Aesthetic.  And it makes an engaging mystery, with well done shocking moments.  And never abuses the Jump Scare.  

    But one thing I forgot to mention in that post was the Score, the Music in this show is perfect at setting an eerie mood.  If you can find the music on it’s own, it’d be excellent for a Haunted House.  

    Another note before moving on, for the numbered entries here I’m not recommending entire franchises but single series that might be part of larger franchises but still have a distinct entry on MAL or most Streaming sites.  For Higurashi it’s really only season 1 I’m recommending for October viewing.  Season 2 is perhaps better for early November, when you’re kinda still in a Halloween mood, but want to phase yourself out of it before Christmas.  (Don’t expect Christmas recommendations BTW.)

  2. Vampire Princess Miyu, the 4 episode 80s OVA.  This would be best if you want something shorter to get your feet wet.  It’s probably the only pre-2000 Anime I’ll recommend here.  It similarly has the Japanese equivalent to a Gothic Aesthetic.  And I really like it’s use of sound effects.  I also like the 90s TV series, but that’s better watched in the context of how to make a darker Magical Girl show.

  3. School Live I now consider the best Zombie Anime.  Highschool of The Dead still has value, but if you’re gonna watch only one watch School Live.  Don’t let the cuteness fool you, it gets pretty scary.  And it isn’t filled with tasteless fanservice.

  4. Witch Hunter Robin.  I can’t believe I haven’t talked about this on this blog more yet, since it’s about as ancient as the BeeTrain trilogy in my development as an Anime Fan.  It’s use of its horror elements is pretty interesting.  It's also got intrigue.  And is one of the best examples of why I love the 26 episode structure.

  5. Hellsing, (the original Anime not Ultimate).  Is a satisfying Anime spin off to the legacy of Bram Stoker’s novel.  While all of the above 4 have Dubs, and the Dub is what I watched, this is the only one I feel confident in calling a top tier Dub, after all Alucard is Crispin Freeman.  Though I will say for Miyu not to write off the OVA’s dub on how the 90s show’s gets called one of the worst of all time, it’s a very different kind of Dub.

The only honorable mention I shall provide is the Fate/ franchise as a whole, it has Horror elements but that is not quite it’s main appeal.   But since the mythology/folklore is a large part of why I’m into Horror in the first place, it does overlap well with part of why I like Fate/ so much.  From the quasi Lovecraftian quality of Fate/Zero’s Caster, to the Fate/Stay Night:Unlimited Blade Works Caster’s berserk button being when she’s called a Witch.   Those are as I’ve explained before the best entry points to Fate/.  

Heck, Rin Tosaka is pretty much always dresses like it’s Halloween.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, is the worst entry point only appealing at all if you're really into the niche it’s made for.  I am, so I enjoy even it’s much maligned Dub.  But as the ultimately least dark version of the Fate/ universe, it still has some solid Halloween season material.

The Grand Order OVA’s Dub becomes available this October, so I’ll also be watching that before the month is over, I can’t comment on it before then.  But on the subject of single episode OVAs, Fate/Prototype can be a spooky quick Halloween viewing experience.

But another reason I couldn’t leave Fate/ out of this post is that Fate/Apocrypha is a currently airing show that includes the characters of Vlad The Impaler and Frankenstein’s Monster, and also Jack The Ripper.  So if any currently airing TV Anime this October needs to be mentioned it’s that one.  The tone however doesn’t fit Halloween as well as the other shows from what I’ve seen so far, unfortunately.  Maybe they’re saving the scarier bits for the Fall, either way it is again not a good entry point for Fate/.

As of episodes 8 and 9, Vlad and Frank’s characters are finally getting some good exploration.  And as of episode 11 I’m very into it.

Normally a list like this doesn’t end on the honorable mention.  But I organized this from the top down anyway.

It turns out this year’s October 31st will be the last day the legal streaming site www.Daisuki.Net operates, it’s being shut down.  So this month is your last chance to watch any Anime there.  But it has none of what I’ve recommended so that’s not actually helpful here.

Vampire Princess Miyu and Witch Hunter Robin had past legal western releases, but I can’t find them currently legally streaming anywhere.

School Live, Hellsing and Fate/ should be easy enough to find legally, between Crunchyroll, Funimation’s Website and Netflix.

Higurashi I was having trouble finding on any legal site, but then I found HIDIVE.  You can watch stuff free with ads, but need a paying subscription to view the Dubs it has.  For Higurashi the Dub isn’t that well received anyway, I was okay with it mostly but I can see why others wouldn’t be.  School Live is also on that site.  And it has some Fate/ stuff as well.