review

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.

Otaku Evolution Episode 151 - X (TV)

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Please excuse the poor Japanese in the opening bit. I wanted to explore that Pen Pen has taken on a variety of different students from different parts of the globe, Katsuro among them. I always liked the onmyoji as a trope, stemming mostly from Subaru Sumeragi from Tokyo Babylon (and X, natch) and Sakura Yamazaki from Blue Seed. I'm sure the speech is too clunky and awkward, and I used a text-to-speech feature I found online for Katsuro's voice.

Otaku Evolution Episode 150 - Pokémon: The First Movie (Mewtwo Strikes Back)

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I had this one in the works for a while. In fact, I had the scaled-down Pokémon version of my Penguinopolis bedroom done years ago, just in case I ever covered something from the franchise. I didn't do anything as fancy as, say, do customized battle screens or anything, but let's put that on a back burner, should I ever return to Pokémon in the future. For now, enjoy my 150th (!!!) video, on Mewtwo Strikes Back!

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Otaku Evolution Episode 148 - Princess Mononoke

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Bear with me, because currently my Twitter is suspended for a completely bullshit reason, so it'll be harder to get out notices that these videos are finished and ready to be watched.

Just a short video this time, didn't want to overdo it, made my point and ended it. Princess Mononoke is a gorgeous film and has some great characterization and development. I think it's my second or third favorite Miyazaki movie (Spirited Away and Castle of Cagliostro are in that mix, and I've already reviewed those).

My next video is a bit more ambitious.

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Otaku Evolution Episode 147 - Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack

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Ah yes, Char's Counterattack, a movie full of oddities that nevertheless always impresses me. Perhaps it's the production values, but I've always felt a sense of gravity to the proceedings, like I was watching a colossal, momentous event. Is it legitimately that, though, or is it that only in the sense that it's forced into it by circumstance? It occurs to me that the feature might be great in spite of itself and it's little Tomino quirks. Then again, I like some of those quirks, too.

Even Quess, to a degree. A small degree. A very small degree. (But not Hathaway, fuck him.)

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