The 2nd Dimension

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter trailer

Tales of the Black Freighter was a "comic within a comic" in the original Watchmen graphic novel. In the book, a boy hangs out at a news stand reading this comic and talking to the stand's owner; all while the world is pretty much falling apart in the background.

That part is going to be left out of the Watchmen movie, but the DVD (when it comes out) will incorporate this animated version into the movie in the same way it was in the original book. But if you can't wait for that, the standalone DVD version of the anime will be released March 6 -- two weeks before the movie is in theatres. You can see the trailer below:

(Source: MTV)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Viewing Journal: Bleach (episodes 75 - 97)

Series Overview
TV Broadcast Info
DVD Info

Overall= D
Story = D
Video = C
Audio = C-

The soul-sucking Bounts put their plan of vengeance into action as they begin an all-out assault on the Soul Society. It's up to Ichigo and his crew, as well as the whole of the 13 Court Soul Reaper Squads, to stop them.

At this point the story is well embroiled in the Bount-revenge arc, and I hate to say it but I am no more impressed with this "filler" material than I was when it first began. It isn't just because the main story has been put on hold or because the personalities and fighting abilities of the main cast seem inconsistent. It's because even the new characters and storyline itself are underdeveloped and redundant to the point where it feels like filler-within-filler.

The one thing that I liked about the soul reapers' battles (back when they were still any good) was that they would uncover new, more powerful fighting techniques and thus make the fights increasingly more intense. But the Bounts' fighting techniques never change. Even when they claim they are getting stronger, we never see any hard evidence of this because they still fight the same way. So one battle is no more interesting or intense than the next.

And even that would be fine if the battles actually advanced the plot or developed the Bounts' characters or even had a decisive victor. But no one ever wins or looses because the Bounts always run out before the battle is over. Then Ichigo and the gang go back to Urahara's place to recoup, and eventually go out to look for the Bounts again and so the cycle continues. That's what I mean by this seeming like filler-within-filler: you could probably miss entire episodes without missing anything crucial to the plot.

At times, it seems as though the series' writers are trying to do anything necessary to kill time while maintaining the viewer's interest. They'll even have the characters arbitrarily use their most powerful techniques for no apparent reason at all. The worst of it came with one battle when Ichigo was fighting Koga (the guy with that metal spider sphere-throwing doll). Ichigo is on the edge of defeat when suddenly his hollow-side appears and starts kicking Koga's butt. But before a decisive conclusion can be reached, the hollow-side goes back into hiding and Koga runs off. It's a major anti-climax.

My only consolation is that this arc seems to be coming to a resolution. I heard that this story wraps up around episode 110, so I'm just counting down the weeks until we can get back to the main storyline. I only pray that it ends up being as good as I remember.

On a bit of a separate note, I'll add that having made it this far in the series makes this officially the longest running anime I have ever watched, passing Rurouni Kenshin by two episodes. Yay! I'm a geek!

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