Most people have been praising Made in Abyss since its finished airing and all of it is well deserved. To me this is a show that offers a very realistic take on what a fantasy story should be, never unflinching in its depictions of the fierce Abyss and its inhabitants. To offer us a touching story of friendship between Reg and Riko and those they meet along the way. Made in Abyss could easily be called one of my favourite shows in recent memory, easily capturing me and admitting me to a rollercoaster ride I was not prepared for and needed off to finally fall asleep. The last thing we leave off on is nothing short of an impressive 48 minute showing off everything this show does well. Many of the characters were terrific in this show, but there was one character that I felt was well executed and almost a masterclass in introducing a villain. How does Bondrewd work as an antagonist with merely one episode of relevance?
Hatred towards a character, usually the weasel type of character, is common. Most often this character creates hate watching much like one of the previous antagonists I made a post about this year, Iok Kujan from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. The weasel doesn’t necessarily need to garner a lot of hate, but often in a series it is quite easy to point to a singular point and say that they are the main cause of so many problems within it. Often these characters, because of a spike of emotional outrage over either a very daring (sometimes stupid) choice of the writer, make a decision that changes the landscape of the anime. Alessand from Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul is purely another example of this, but often the hatred of his character comes from both his actions and how people saw him being built up. This post isn’t to excuse Alessand for his actions nor for how he was used in Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul, but rather to offer another interpretation or viewpoint to just the blanket hate that pervades him now. To see Alessand as potentially one of the bigger missed opportunities in Virgin Soul because of the lack of focus on him.
This post will spoil a lot that happens in Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul. You have been warned.
Now for all my desire to watch movies, anime, and television shows, there has always been one constant in my watching habits every summer and the beginning of a new year. My “obsession” (as some would like to call it) with Big Brother goes full on! While I may not be on the cameras watching them 24/7 or even paying attention to Big Brother After Dark, I have never not once stopped watching the series. Now after finding myself drawn back in for season 19 and that season finally ending last night, something dawned on me. Why am I so caught up in this show to the point where I feel like I am watching a Hockey match for my favourite team or even the Olympics and cheering on Canada?
Neil Gaimon sure can make some of the weirdest content in any medium doesn’t he? I mean he creates things like Stardust, a fantasy adventure story about a boy and a humanoid star, and then comes out of nowhere and creates one of the weirdest television series I have seen so far. American Gods is a show that will pull no punches, leaves everything out in the open for whatever reason and will leave you often confused after an episode finishes. Much like everything of Gaimon’s I have come across I have been pleasantly surprised at how different each of his works feel. Yet they always maintain this feeling of mystique that never fails to delight, but it is almost always hard to tell how effective they are. The absurdity can be a bit too blinding and if you get lost in an episode/film chances are you might not be able to explain your reasoning. So with all that said, is American Gods a brilliant homerun for team Gaimon or is it a bit too incoherent to effectively engage us in the brilliant absurdity?
Castlevania is a classic series, one that was born from a love of all things gothic and mainly for a desire to give gamers the chance to fight the hordes of Dracula. Starting off as a simple game on the NES, the series quickly became an instant classic still adored to this day if you talk about everything but the newest additions. A series beloved by many with a family that has been immortalized much like Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Playing as the Belmont’s, as their allies and even as Dracula’s own son, these games have birthed a history that while it hasn’t been the most complex is still told through numerous installments. So after a long time we finally have ourselves a Castlevania television series released on Netflix of all things. Another video game adaptation, and potentially another missed mark in the long line of adaptation failures. Yet much like the family of Belmont, could it be the saviour we all have wanted to happen long ago?
The first of many looks at seasonal airing anime to come. The Spring 2017 season is something that grabbed my attention fast with a lot of unique shows. Shows that defied my expectation, ones that rekindled or ignited a feeling towards a series I never thought I would feel anything towards. Then there was this one. RokuAka or Akashic Records of a Bastard Magic Instructor is a show that falls on the shoulders of its lead, Glenn Radars. Another entry into the infamous magical school genre in anime, RokuAka serves as an interesting look at not only the reasons why the genre doesn’t work most times but also the potential it contains. With Glenn Radars being paraded around this season as one of the better characters, does he really bolster his series or is he more of a crutch the series tries to stand on?
Welcome back to another venture into the world of antagonists and this time we are taking a look at one of the most critically praised cartoons of all time, Avatar the Last Airbender. There is a lot one could do with this series, whether it’s debating the structure of the show and the influences of Buddhism upon it or discussing the messed up lineages of each nation over the course of both Aang and Korra’s stories. There is a plethora of material to cover, but the one thing I’ve always wanted to look deeper into is the Fire Nation royals. Zuko, Iroh, Azula, Ozai, all of these characters help to create one of the most divisive family dynasties I have seen in what could be considered a children’s show (even if it really doesn’t feel like one). Technicalities aside, each of these characters has their own imprint at the original story of Aang. Though when it comes down to it, the two siblings of Zuko and Azula are by far the more interesting characters to study because of how different their experiences with family are. I will save Zuko for another day, but Azula on the other hand I feel deserves her dues. Will she stand out more than her brother or will her fire merely be unruly and unrefined? Is she just a bland cold-hearted monster or a complex character worth sympathizing with?