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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:10 pm 
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I don't think the girls in Konosuba really need the protagonist. They need somebody to balance out their personality flaws and keep them on track, but just about anybody would do a better job than the guy they've got.
I don't get the Dennis Reynolds comparison. A quick Google search seems to indicate he is good at being impaled with throwing darts.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:27 am 
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Cato wrote:
The "flaws" of the characters around him are there less to make them unappealing to the audience than they are to justify why they need this pathetic creep

I'm not sure how you can separate the flaws from the characters themselves. Take away Megumin's obsession with explosions and what do you have? A young mage that is culturally chuuni. Considering her people are all pretty much culturally chuuni mages, you lose a lot of her motivation, some of her conflict hooks, and turned her into yet another loli tsundere. I'm not saying she doesn't have tsundere aspects now, but if you take away the obsession, the tsundere traits get greater focus.
As for why they need Kazuma,
TPmanW wrote:
I don't think the girls in Konosuba really need the protagonist. They need somebody to balance out their personality flaws and keep them on track, but just about anybody would do a better job than the guy they've got.

Yes and no. Aqua cannot be trusted with money, or the ability to go into debt. Darkness cannot positively fight against opponents. Megumin can potentially end one battle per day, with massive collateral damage.
So you need someone who can control the finances with an iron fist, deal all the damage to enemies that are not taken care of in one explosion, and lead the mission critical/ majority of enemies into the path of an explosion. Why would such a person join a party of crippled specialists when they can join a more functional party? Or maybe just solo until they find a good party, since they have the combat ability for that. Only Kazuma is desperate enough to stick with them, lazy enough not to try and find something better, and lucky/smart enough to make the party work, while picking up skills to fill the gaps. That said, he doesn't really balance out the flaws of the girls exceptionally well, and has a decent amount of flaws himself.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:59 am 
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I mean, yes, the authors have painstakingly included in-universe justifications for why an arrogant, boring sexual predator has a bunch of hot girls completely and wholly dependent on him, but the reason the series is written that way in the first place is because a bunch of arrogant, boring sexual predators wanted to imagine having a bunch of hot girls be completely and wholly dependent on them, and the writers want those ABSPs to give them money.

Let's not pretend that the teenage boys who make up this show's target audience are like "hmmm, yeahhhhhh, I guess I could have a super hot goddess gf in the world's tiniest skirt who has to do everything I say because she's too irresponsible to live without me, but I mean, she has some personality quirks, so I think I'll pass."

The purpose of this show is wish fulfillment for the most insufferable people on the face of this planet.

I suppose I should list the scenes that made me quit the show 3 episodes in:

1: The panties stealing scene
The whole thing is just played for laughs, but like... he just did something sexual to someone without their consent and against their will. That's like, very very very illegal, but it's just played off as him being clever.

2: The cabbages scene with Darkness
This scene just made it crystal clear what the purpose of this show was, and it's not "to tell an entertaining and compelling story"

3: Just the general way the MC interacts with Aqua
Aqua always tell him that he's so smart and so good at everything and so useful and how she doesn't know what she'd do without him and...
As a general rule, if one character's relationship with another blurs the line between "love interest" and "dependent child", that's a nope.

4: The MC is just so obnoxious and arrogant and smug and disrespectful to everyone around him, but it's justified because he really IS smarter than everyone around him. He never gets any sort of punishment or comeuppance for his arrogance, and his disrespect towards his coworkers is justified again and again. When someone acts like an arrogant prick, I want to watch them either a) learn from it (e.g. Community) or b) have them get punished so I can laugh at them (e.g. Always Sunny). But this show does neither, it just rewards him and expects you to cheer him on. Yeah, bad things happen to him, but it's always something that's unfair or someone else's fault. There's never anything bad that happens to him because he's a dick.

So to summarize why I hate Konosuba, it's a show about an **** who's always right made for **** who think they're always right. And it's rapey.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:21 am 
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Let me start off my saying you are right to hate him. He is scum. That said, he does not command any where near that level of obedience out of Aqua. She pretty much always does what she wants, unless she is being chased by monsters, or is causing problems for innocent undead.

1) It's really not played off that way. That was purely his luck stat, and he never loses the reputation of being the kind of scum that steals panties. It's later brought up in a trial as one of the many evidences of his bad character.

2) It's a comedy. As long as it is entertaining, it does not have to be a great literary work to rival the classics. That said, I cannot blame you for being repulsed by blatant fanservice.

3) I'd have to watch the early episodes again, but Aqua in general tends to mock Kazuma, if not demanding he debase himself before her prior to using her powers. Because they are both prideful idiots, they both do that sort of thing when one has the upper hand. Of course, karma strikes immediately, and the prideful one has to run away and scream for help as the danger turns on them. Lastly, they never ever develop anything approaching being each other's love interest.

4) It's hard to argue against this point. I haven't watched either of those shows, so I can't really comment on the interpersonal justice going on there. I will say that "it just rewards him and expects you to cheer him on" isn't exactly right. More often, any achievement made is immediately followed by the bill for collateral damage or other such things, and Kazuma gets dragged into more dangerous events. If his life was a business, the profit margin would be pretty slim.

All that said, you would not like future episodes much better. I guess what I am trying to say, is that while the characters are bad humans, you don't have to be a bad human to enjoy it, much like most sitcoms.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:37 am 
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1) My weigh-in on KonoSuba... I enjoyed it even though I should have hated it. I wouldn't say Kazuma is usually justified (or hardly ever justified) and the show is at it's funniest when he's suffering. I sort of view it kind of like the anime adaptation of the webcomic "8-bit Theater". Though Kazuma is more cognate to Red Mage (with his awareness, even beyond/other than what would be genre savvy, of game mechanics), he plays out a lot like Black Mage's character: Probably smarter than his compatriots, certainly possessing less moral fiber, and the universe has it out for him so he typically gets his comeuppance in a funny way.

2) RIP Funimation titles on Crunchyroll. I found out that those shows (and there are quite a lot of them) were going away today when I wanted to keep watching Eden of the East and found that the episode videos had evaporated. I don't strictly mind going elsewhere, but I'm going to miss my psuedo one-stop-shop. That also punched a hole in my schedule that I think I'll fill with Neon Genesis Evangelion.

3) Watching Trinity Seven is like an abusive relationship. Most of the show thusfar (5/12) has been somewhere between uninspired and downright painful, but just when I'm getting ready to say "Okay, I'm dropping it" it does something just cool and/or clever enough that I want to see if it will actually pay off. Actually, I don't know if this is just getting used to the show's pattern or what, but I think it HAS been on an upward trend. Episodes 1 and 2 were... Yeah getting as far as I have is at least partially down to stubbornness.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:36 am 
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1) My weigh-in on KonoSuba... I enjoyed it even though I should have hated it.

Why?
Personally on KonoSuba I found it mediocre until the second season when the comedy started to hit home with me.

I didn't realize Tsurune was a KyoAni show but I enjoy it. Episode 2 in particular was really nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:25 pm 
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I think I explained the enjoyment fairly well with the 8-bit comparison, though maybe it's been long enough since that comic was a 'thing' that the touchstone doesn't make a lot of sense? I shouldn't have enjoyed it because I typically don't enjoy "jerk" comedies -- I've hated most of them that I've been introduced to. I think the difference is that KonoSuba's comedy is more about bad things happening to bad (or at least crazy) people than it is about bad people doing bad things. I'll agree that the second season was, on the whole, a step up.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:13 pm 
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A good observation. I don't enjoy a lot of Adam Sandler's films, but watching the Konosubans inflict well-deserved punishment on themselves got some real laughs out of me.

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*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Quick Thoughts on Neon Genesis Evangelion

So, thanks to TPman doing some digging I do have a nice DVD set of Evangelion (that, based on later comments may or may not be bootlegged? Whoops.) I'm not going to do an essay after each episode like I did for Darling in the Franxx, but I might provide some running commentary every episode or at least every episode that gives me something I think is worthwhile to say, as someone going into this show in 2018 with only minor spoilers.

Episode 1...
Okay, so Shinji seems like kind of a wimp? He certainly reminds me more of Yukiteru Amano (Mirai Nikki) than of more convicted heroes like Hiro (Franxx) or more professional types like Ledo (Gargantia) or Sagara (Full Metal Panic). His freakout is kind of reasonable, but I can't help but feeling that Shiny Glasses Dad may have gotten a better reception (at least from a fairly normal teen boy, time will tell if that includes Shinji) if his pitch summoning his estranged son had included "I want you to pilot a big robot and save the world", rather than telling him that by putting him face to face with a big robot that needed to launch yesterday. Yeah, state secrets, but you'd think a pilot candidate would be in the "needs to know" category.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Glad to here you got your DVDs. Sorry, but not really sorry- how was I supposed to know they were maybe but not for sure bootleg- that you might have bought bootleg product.
Are you watching with English or Japanese voices?
Yeah, Shinji's dad is maaaaybe not the best dad at dadding.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:19 pm 
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Japanese audio for me, I've gotten really used to subs in general.

Honestly, I don't exactly care about bootleg status at this point given that it's otherwise inaccessible? I have no regrets, in any case.

Watched Episode 2 today. Caretaker Lady seems like she's not the most competent guardian for a kid (Beer and TV dinners all around), but also like she cares and is trying, which Shinji probably needs right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:09 am 
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I asked about the audio because I heard that part of the reason Japanese audiences like Shini more than Westerners do is that he sounds less whiny in the Japanese dub.
Caretaker lady is better at dad than dad is at dad. She might be my favourite character. Next to the penguin.

As for things I'm actually watching, those would be Golden Kamuy, JoJo pt5 and a little Goblin Slayer on the side. And I don't want to admit it, but I watched some Senran Kagura. Pretend I didn't say that.

Golden Kamuy - It's the hunt for hidden gold in Japan's frozen north. And the treasure map is broken up among the tattoos of escaped prisoners. You get lots of cool Ainu culture stuff and tidbits of survivalist knowledge. But perhaps the real draw are the many daring feats of the many tough cool dudes (and one girl). I've seen a man leap into a bear's den to throw of pursuers. I've seen a man tied to a chair beat up two other guys, and when one came back for revenge his killed him and used his guts to convince his captors he needed to be rushed to the hospital so he could escape. Then I got to see the man who Sherlocked out the previous guy's scheme give chase only to have his horse shot out from under him and hit the ground running. And all (ok most, but give it time) of those tough cool dudes doing daring cool things have decent characterization too! It's the best of both worlds, just with occasional bad CG!
There is this weird bit where the show seems to indicate a romantic link between protagonist man and girl of unspecified-but-young age. Mostly it seems to be treated as a joke. There's a good chance it's a play on anime cliches, but, well this is an anime...

JoJo - Still JoJo. Still good. This season hasn't really blown me away yet, but I am liking it. I'm a little disappointed that they didn't fix a plot hole from the manga. It would have been so easy too. Just add an, "I heard from somebody...", or "I've seen it done the one way, but it's possible that..." and it would have been all sewn up.
Anybody else get a real James Bond vibe from the OP?

Goblin Slayer - The action, while... hmm, not over the top, but perhaps edgy, is pretty solid. I don't mind fan service in of itself, but this show's fan service often feels cheap or... edgy. The bits about how goblins live and how they are best slain are pretty interesting. Those bits do clash with the shows more JRPG elements though. Maybe people looking for a send up of a stale genre are looking for that. I just find it incongruous. Goblins are portrayed as a real, ecologically-thought out species, but then morons from the adventurers guild have the impression they act like something out of a lazy JRPG?

Senran Kagura - Fan service the show. Just straight up soft core pornography. I'm shocked and kind of offended that you can watch it uncensored on Crunchyroll. In theory I don't think sexy things should be ostracized, but SK just feels so dirty. Not dirty, as in lewd things are dirty, but dirty as in this lewd thing has been tainted. The fan service is so forced, so blatant, and uninspired that it feels dirtied. If my sensibilities were just slightly tweaked I could watch it as comedy and it would be great.

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*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:24 pm 
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None of those appealed to me, but I might have to look into Golden Kamuy.

Evangelion episode 3... Shinji is messed up.
It's been occurring to me just how foundational Evangelion really was, watching it. Like, I've seen most of these characters before, because I've seen characters that are obviously inspired by/homages to/ripoffs of the Evangelion characters, like Caretaker Lady pretty much being recreated as Mao from Full Metal Panic.
Also, the angel in this episode is supposed to be #4, appearing three weeks after #3 (from the opener) which was 15 years after, presumably, #2, which happened at the same time as the Second Impact we learned about in class (assuming it's not that it WAS the Second Impact). #1 is, in my mind, missing -- unless we hear about a first impact sometime, we have three angels accounted for out of four humanity has supposedly encountered. Filing this for later.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:52 pm 
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Evangelion 4 & 5

OK, so a lot of the tropes in Evangelion I'm letting slide because if they're anime tropes, Evangelion probably popularized them, or even created them, but the five-minute attempted retirement of the hero? That's older than print, and they devote a full episode to it. Granted, it's not terribly used, but I still don't have much to say about it, it's the 5-minute retirement beat that's in freeking everything. The other topic is Rei and... I will still maintain that I'm basically unspoiled on most of Evangelion, but there are some things, especially production history and reaction, that I can't help but know. Call it Plato's Cave Evangelion: I'm coming in only understanding the show by what elements get talked about without spoiler warnings. So I know that most people seem to hold a generally negative opinion of Shinji, and a positive one of Rei but... I'm feeling kind of the opposite? I mean, I'm going to say jury's still out on Shinji: he's kind of a wimp and not a lot of fun to watch, but on the other hand his fear is a very natural reaction for a 14-year-old kid being hurled with basically zero psychological conditioning into lethal combat against otherworldly monsters so I think he's got lots of room for good exploration. Rei, though is... not my cup of tea. She's got a lot of imitators/clones in later animes and I've basically never liked them. And OK, this is pretty much the first episode where we meet her, and she is the original, so maybe there's a reason she's so dang popular other than appealing to a certain subset of population who want an almost but not quite emotionless love interest; she's going to need to do worlds better than Angel (Angel Beats) or any other tight-lipped unemotive leading ladies if she wants to impress me.

Also apparently it takes a while for Asuka to show up. She's pretty much always mentioned in the same breath as Shinji and Rei in terms of main characters, so that's kind of surprising.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:19 pm 
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I'm with you on Rei. They at least play it up as weird and creepy sometimes. They just don't do it often enough. A lot of the time she's just kind of there occupying space and screen time.

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*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:12 pm 
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Finished Trinity Seven. I'm... not going to really recommend it, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Show very much does not put its best foot forward. When it actually gets into the second half, the ecchi humor that's kind of hard to swallow is still there, but it shows itself actually capable of doing some good, emotional moments as well, and none of the characters are really godawful like I'd feared on first meeting Arin and Yui.

Evangelion Episodes 6 & 7
Maybe it is the english VA that makes him a hated character, because I think I like where Shinji is going. Granted, he's got to actually keep moving forward, he can't afford to be or become a static character even now. Also, he and dad finally have something in common as of the end of Episode 6 I guess. Part of me wants to see them interact (or Shinji to try to) but I think they're saving any of that for after Shinji has grown even more. Episode 7 felt kind of filler-y, but it did help grow Shinji and Misato in an interesting way so much like the mid-show "filler" in Franxx I actually think it's a good use of an episode. And it's nice to know what kind of jerkwad Dad Ikari is, since it's clearly implied that he set up the disaster and 'miraculous' save, ruining a competitor through underhanded means for no good reason and endangering gods know how many people to play politics a little harder.

Also, one of my previous comments was addressed: the Second Impact (Why second? whatever.) was an exploding Angel, namely the first. That means it was the second that was fought properly 15 years before episode 1 (presumably), leading to the timeline for 3 & 4 we were given in episode 3. At least, that's what we're told now, which does allow everything to add up for the moment.

Pen2 (PenPen? That would fit based on how I've seen people use 'squared' in written pet names) has the best reactions.

Oh, the next episode preview includes a certain feisty redhead! Actually, as much of the preview as I saw (I don't tend to watch them) featured pretty much nothing but her, mostly looking particularly feisty. I've been looking forward to her, since I've pretty much always enjoyed the heck out of characters people tell me owe a lot to her.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:42 pm 
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Evangelion Episode 8.

We meet Asuka, and she's about as great as I was led to believe. Fiery, competitive, rule-breaking, confident, powerful...


In all seriousness, she has made a good first impression, which is good because she's got a lot of hype to live up to, at least for me. As for the overall content of the episode... it was a good angel fight, a kind of interesting window into how EVAs are controlled, and Boss Ikari is up to something involving, apparently, the preserved embryo (huh?) of the first human, Adam. You know, the symbolism of Evangelion gets talked up a lot, but between this (which makes me think "evangelion" is meant to evoke "eve"), cross shaped explosions, "angels"... it's not exactly subtle. Not bad, but not subtle.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:48 pm 
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i watched a few episodes of that anime where the girl is a bunny

it was kind of cute and overall pretty good but it didn't blow me away

also evangelion is relevant to my interests

asuka is best girl

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:23 pm 
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I'd been thinking about giving Bunny Girl a watch, since it seemed weird and maybe interesting, good to hear its at least alright.

Evangelion episodes 9&10

OK, everybody talks about how this show is deep or meaningful or powerful... a dramatic masterpiece. Nobody ever mentioned that it can be really pretty funny when it tries to be. These last two episodes have had some great dramatic, emotional, or action moments, but they've also had a good helping of comedy (Thanks, Asuka). The EVAs identically head-down in holes in and the DDR synch to victory in episode 9, the vacation bait-and-switch and horrible plug suit in 10... there were a lot of lighter moments here.

I really like that, and it's something that dramatic anime seems able to do in general better than western media, that even if something is a dramatic work it doesn't need to be all dramatic all the time (The Christopher Nolan Problem, if you will.) It feels good, and helps you connect with the characters, if both the audience and characters get a chance to smile, or can take a breath that's not emphasizing how important and significant everything is. Some of the best western dramatic works I can think of are the ones, like Lord of the Rings, that *don't* fall prey to that trap, that know how to have and use levity. Anime avoids the trap significantly more often, and Evangelion has, mercifully, escaped it as well.

I'm feeling really good about this show.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:16 am 
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I have similar frustration with the humour problem. People just undervalue humour in our culture. Everyone must be serious all the time. And that brings me to one of my all time favourite Youtube videos.

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