Otaku Evolution

Otaku Evolution Episode 170 - Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure

I thought I'd get back to the "storyline", or bookend material, this month, because the videos are pretty short. I know you probably just skip to the review portion (I'm glad anyone even bothers with that much), but I like doing this sort of thing now and then, because it allows me to play with more sprites. I love playing with my (and Rob's) sprites!
 
I have toyed with ideas I mentioned here about a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fanfic, but I feel like I'm getting a little too old to be writing anime fanfics. And yeah, I was going to do a separate video series, aside from Otaku Evolution, on the DC animated films that come out straight to DVD/Blu-Ray. I had a lot of things ready for it, too, like a rating system for each feature. I somehow just never got to it. Should I still do it? Eh.

Also, Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, folks. It's a Dragon Ball movie. With Arale in it!

 

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Otaku Evolution Episode 169 - Venus Wars

I love Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, but a lot of what he makes, in terms of direction, is a bit wonky. I suppose the Gundam The Origin OVA is an exception, but don't think that's because he made the manga, because he did that for Venus Wars, too. I guess he just improved over time, because Venus Wars, a bit like the Crusher Joe movie, is kind of a mess. No, Venus Wars is especially a mess, just a lopsided, but gorgeous-looking wreck of a film that I want desperately to love. It certainly has nostalgic value to it, as it was one of the first anime movies I ever saw, back when it aired on the Sci-Fi Channel's Anime Saturday block.

Otaku Evolution Episode 168 - Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01

I have to be honest, there's not a whole lot to say about Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01. It's a very short, very straight-forward mecha action feature. And my approach to it? Basically a good, old-fashioned blow-by-blow of the unusual events that unfold. But I felt like I needed something relaxing and untaxing in the middle of 80s Month. Also, the 80s was so mecha-oriented, I had to put something mecha-related in this month.

You know, to get hyped to do this month's videos I watched a lot of 80s commercials on YouTube. There's a YouTube channel called Dave's Archives that has tons of collections of old commercials that are worth checking out. It had me singing that damn Mac Tonight song for nearly a week.


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Otaku Evolution Episode 167 - They Were Eleven

It's 80s Month! I'm pretty fond of doing this theme month, even if this month's specific offerings aren't exactly the greatest anime of all time. Yeah, I kind of cornered myself by already having covered most of my favorite 80s anime previously (Bubblegum Crisis, Gundam 0080, Royal Space Force, Patlabor, Char's Counterattack, The Fuma Conspiracy, and Night on the Galactic Railroad). But hey, They Were Eleven is decent enough, and I get to put on my 80s aesthetics again! Bitchin'.

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Otaku Evolution 166 - Serial Experiments Lain

Ah, Serial Experiments Lain. I still don't 100% know what's going on at all times in this one, though several watches has me getting the gist of it, or enough to speak on it as a reviewer. It's a noodle-scratcher, that's for sure, and was especially potent when I was still new to any anime that was more complicated than, say, Dragon Ball Z. It holds up pretty well, too, it's not just one of those shows that seemed complicated at the time and is now quaint. It still has things to say that are relevant to today's society. I like that. And I recommend seeing it or revisiting it.


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Otaku Evolution Episode 164 - Outlaw Star

So, this is the first episode of Otaku Evolution with the brand new opening. The new opening tune is "Hyperdrive" (the instrumental version) by Sebastian Forslund. The new ending music is "The End of All Things" by Niklas Johansson. I found the tracks on Epidemic Sound, a resource available to Channel Frederator producers, which I'm still able to access, despite my YT channel being demonetized because I wasn't getting enough views or subscriptions. They're royalty-free, but of course I'll make sure to credit whenever I can. They're both great pieces.

As for Outlaw Star, it's a fun show. I wouldn't put it in my top 20 anime, because in the end, it's kind of just a fun space adventure and not much else. Sure, it's well-done, but nothing really comes across as brilliant. That Caster Gun is great, though.

 

Otaku Evolution Episode 163 - Black Jack OVA (Episodes 5-6)

I have to be honest. I don't really care for this crop of Black Jack episodes.  There are too many unnecessary moving parts in them that prevented them from being good. At least the "Owl of San Merida" had an interesting premise with the disappearing bullet holes, but adding the drama of the civil war and the old man just felt too extra. The sixth episode was a big waste of time, with a giant middle finger as an ending. I miss drug cacti.


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Otaku Evolution Episode 162 - Record of Lodoss War

Can you believe Record of Lodoss War was based on a bunch of D&D sessions? Personally, I couldn't really get into D&D, despite my geeky nature. Too many stats, dice, etc. I do like it as a storytelling engine, but the downsides outweigh the advantages to me. Meanwhile, RoLW seems like a heavily edited series of sessions, because there's no way things went this smoothly.

I did, actually, play some GURPS RPGs, at some point. I couldn't navigate that if you asked me now, I'd have to refamiliarize myself with it, but it was pretty fun. I even ran a superhero game once, though it was a hot mess. I kind of miss those days.


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Otaku Evolution Episode 161 - Stand By Me Doraemon

It's not often an anime gets me teary-eyed, and embarrassing as it is, this one did, and I wasn't expecting it. Sure, Doraemon as a franchise is family-friendly and leans heavily on the warmth of childhood fantasy, so you would expect Stand By Me Doraemon to try to tug at the heartstrings as shamelessly as possible. Well, it succeeded.

It's kind of weird that, even though this has an English dub, it was never released over here. I mean, it even features the likes of Johnny Yong Bosch, Mona Marshall, and Spike Sp--- Spike Spencer?! Well, no production is perfect. Anyway, it's a solid dub, Americanizations aside. They should really get this one out on Blu-Ray over here sometime.

 

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Otaku Evolution Episode 160 - Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Part 2)

I decided to, for whatever reason, do a "previously on" segment for this two-parter, partially in the style of Gundam Wing itself. I suppose it just pads the runtime, but then, so does my little Gundam Wing Theater bit (though I loved doing that).

What's up with all the grandiose speeches in Gundam Wing? I mean, you certainly get your fill of verbal onslaughts regardless of whether it's in the After Colony or Universal Century timelines, but Gundam Wing seems addicted to these odd philosophical bludgeonings. It gets annoying, mostly because it's usually a lot to say a little.


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