review

Otaku Evolution Episode 162 - Record of Lodoss War

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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 160 - Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Part 2)

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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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Otaku Evolution Episode 159 - Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (Part 1)

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Welcome back to Otaku Evolution!

This session is the first part in a two-part Gundam Wing review. Why two parts? Because of a few reasons. One, it gives me more time to gather all my thoughts and feelings about this 49-episode TV show. Second, so I can concentrate on the good things about it in this first part and the bad things in the next. I even have some additional pixel elements for my presentation next time, so I need time to work on that, too. So it's not just laziness on my part.

I thought I'd start the video with a bit of a refresher of the "universe" I review in, too, and in the style of Gundam Wing itself.

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Otaku Evolution Episode 158 - Year End English Dub Review VI

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Once again, I'm evaluating all the English dubs from the anime I've reviewed in the second half of the year. It's a pretty good variety of dubs, in terms of studios. The only two titles that share the same one are Eden of the East and Lupin III: Island of Assassins. And the quality is likewise varied, with the troublesome Mewtwo Strikes Back dub from 4Kids, the just kind of "there" of X TV, despite it's excellent cast, and the highs of FLCL's classic masterpiece of a dub. Lots of shades in the spaces between, too.

Otaku Evolution Episode 156 - The Sky Crawlers

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Mamoru Oshii hasn't made a major anime film in a long time, has he? It's been 11 years! And the last one was 2008's The Sky Crawlers, based on a series of novels by Hiroshi Mori (fuck you, Mori, I'll write it how I want). It takes place in an alternate history where war is between private corporations, the technology level is all over the place, and apparently there are kids that never age that fight our battles for us. The main character is one such kid and he's on the verge of an identity crisis. But not as badly as his commanding officer. The question is, does Mamoru Oshii still have the pizazz that made him so popular a director in the past? Ehhhh, not really. But he's not bad.

 

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Otaku Evolution Episode 155 - Lupin III: Island of Assassins

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Island of Assassins is one of my favorite Lupin III features. It's often said to be the best, and I certainly agree it's one of them, but I found a few things to criticize, nevertheless. It seems like I've made a habit of reviewing two Lupin features per year, and I guess I'll keep to that into next year, too, unless I either don't have the space to do more than one, or I find more than two I want to review. There are plenty of others to review, after all, and more are being dubbed as we speak, it seems. But after reviewing a movie I thought was pretty bad earlier this year, I thought I'd do one that's really good now.

Otaku Evolution Episode 153 - Eden of the East

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Eden of the East marks the second Kenji Kamiyama anime I've reviewed this year, after Moribito. Unlike that one (based on novels), this is a completely original story by him. He's an interesting director who follows in the footsteps of his mentor, Mamoru Oshii. Even if this series isn't nearly as successful or as fulfilling as his directed Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, it has a lot going for it and gives you a good idea as to his mindset and philosophy. Let's hope next year's new entry into Stand Alone Complex is more like the previous ones and less like, for instance, 009 Re:Cyborg. What a dud that was.

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Otaku Evolution Episode 152 - Cromartie High School

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It's been a while since I used the Bancho Truth character, and I probably should have utilized him in that Megazone 23 Part II review. It's just hard to find delinquent/bōsōzoku-related anime that's been both dubbed and is tolerable enough to review. If only I'd created the character before I reviewed Wild 7, I could have had him in that. Ah well. I just don't know when it would next be appropriate to use him. But I guess he's just a gimmick I can do without.

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