Mononoke 10-12: Medicine Seller’s Last Bang

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In the final arc of Mononoke, the Medicine Seller involves himself in the murder of a young girl whose body is run over by a train in a metropolitan city. As the seven suspects involved in the murder find themselves in the train, in the same car, whisked away to a ghost world, the Medicine Seller pieces together the murder while the Mononoke picks off the travelers one by one.

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Another fascinating story and a decidedly good one to end the series with. The period setting threw me for a bit of a loop at first. Unlike previous stories which felt firmly planted in pre-industrialized Japan, this arc featured a metropolitan city, trains, telephones, and fashionable Western clothing. While it made sense to me that this arc could have taken place in a recently industrialized Tokyo, and other stories in the more antiquated countryside, I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere that this arc implies the Medicine seller existed over several decades, if not centuries.

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While I think the mannequin imagery was interesting, I couldn’t quite understand its purpose. Initially I thought it was simply an interesting way to highlight the main characters in crowd scenes. However, in the final episode there were several scenes where a main character would phase in and out of being a mannequin. Perhaps that was a way to show they were not entirely important to that flashback?

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This was the final episode of Mononoke, and while the Medicine Seller’s pronouncement at the end left the series vaguely open to a continuation, the fact that Mononoke is a spin-off from the Ayakashi series leaves me hopeful that more will be coming.

Gundam 00 ep 04 – manages with smart plot full of conflicts among all that blasphemy!

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[Editor’s note: going through some tough time and sorry about the 1 week late review]

USA! USA! USA!

Smart Tabila, pretending to breaking away from our great imperial US of A, ran by the great Bill Clinton (come, that guy looks nothing like Bush but much like Clinton…Oh, and we’ll have a woman for president. Eat you hearts out everywhere, male Otakus from other countries! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!).

But guess what? Awesome information work and good strategy backing away from our indestructible forces godly forces of USA! Nice move, CB faggots! Mwa hahahahahahhaha!

I’m still pissed that the rival of Setsuna ISN’T WEARING A MASK! Blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

His new suits got the mobility, and the weapons (he just needs to color his mobile suit red!) Give him a mask! The classic Gundam fan inside me is crying (like anyone gives a shit XD).

OK, seriously, though, this episode really tried to demonstrate why Gundam 00 is intelligent. But for me the verdict is still out.

Yes, the CB aren’t fooled by Taliban…I mean, Tabila after all. They pretended to go independent, and CB doesn’t buy that shit, and Tablia get their asses kicked. Fair enough. I guess they knew how to deal with that long ago.

I’m still wondering why they backed off from the US forces. With their powers they could easily pull off a Gundam Wing and destroy the US fleet…Oh wait, Bandai is trying to sell the anime in US, aren’t they? Mwa hahahahhahahahahahahahaha!!! Well, too bad, everyone else, they love us and want our market!

Again, seriously, I’m wondering why they decided not to attack the US forces. Perhaps they realized that it was a trick to capture them. If that’s the case than I don’t think they’re superiorly intelligent. I think they planted a mole in all the military powers in the world.

[Editor’s note: the rest of this review is based on what I remember. Still too busy to do anything]

There are still too many things going on and I’ve thought about how they can pull it all off. I think I’m just getting old because for classic Gundam and even modernized Gundam like Wing, Seed, and even Destiny, the characters were more memorable and easier for me to remember, and their names weren’t that confusing. But here, the names are hard to remember. To their credit, though, the issues involved here are far more complex than probably all the previous modern efforts to produce intelligent Gundam. In some ways not having gung ho men trying to fight for what they believe in or some young people simply wanting to live in peace and be in love (see Z Gundam) actually makes it more believable for a cynic like me who grew up in the 90’s USA. Boy I hated that era.

I love classic Gundam precisely because it became what it was in the 80’s and things were so much simpler then.

89% recommended.

Dragonaut 4– To the MOON!!!!

 killing him will solve your problemdrinking won’t make me hate you less.I just like seeing people punched

Dragonaut 4 is not full of clichés like last time which is good.   There were still some frustrating things in it but a well done episode overall.    There is more story telling in this episode which is a positive but then again the weak supporting characters and clichés could still end up making this series worse.

  Continue reading Dragonaut 4– To the MOON!!!!

Ringtone from Genshiken S2 – Gundam Seed Cliche music done OK.

Well, this song is rather normal listened on its own, but if you laughed as hard as I watched the OP sequence of Genshiken S2 you may like it.

ef~a tale of memories 4–The Praise of Others

We all need a place to begin…

Why do we create? Why do we begin anything worthwhile? For many of us, myself included, the prod to begin was when someone we cared about–a teacher, a friend–saw what we were doing and said: “this is good.” Or, for the characters in this show: “you’re a genius.” Which is another way of saying, “you’re worthwhile.” So this episode, which had a few shaky moments, explores.

Continue reading ef~a tale of memories 4–The Praise of Others

Dragonaut 3–cliches WHOAAA

Dragons > Missilesugh drawn out transformationsissy gets punched by a naked man

A different take on something already reviewed.

It seems this series is still trying to find itself. For an episode that starts with a fight, it is a little slow. The fighting seems to be pretty ineffective on all sides. Although it does beg the question: what weapons would work against dragons? The military seems to be full of people with no clue what to do. They work to cross purposes that only create more problems. Continue reading Dragonaut 3–cliches WHOAAA

The Ministry of Agriculture is not in charge of Gundam….

…the Ministry of Defense is! From Anime News Network:

The Technical Research and Development Institute in Japan’s Ministry of Defense has posted on its website the program for its Heisei 19 Research Paper Presentation: Defense Technology Symposium 2007 on October 29, and the November 7-8 symposium’s schedule includes a ground equipment exhibit titled: “Towards the Realization of Gundam (Advanced Personal Equipment System).” The exhibit runs alongside another one for a “Miniature Robot (for Reconnaissance and Data Gathering).”

Mike’s take: LOLOLOLOL so life really does imitate art sometimes! My guess though that this is the Japanese equivalent of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the US, the Pentagon subagency that gave us the Internet, Total Information Awareness complete with a creepy Illuminati logo, and is currently looking into autonomous robots themselves right now (they have a robotics competition every year). They even once had a head who was literally called Poindexter! The US army is also working on personal exoskeletons for soldiers too. But this is robot-mad Japan. If anyone can do it, or think it, it would be them first. They have so many models, plamos, and garage kits to work from after all. And a very willing population in Akihabara to help them.

To the Japanese Ministry of Defense I wish them a successful Gundam ikimasu! May you recruit dozens of angsty young teenage boys to work for their researcher fathers soon and reconsider the meaning of war and violence.

Baccano 3– BAM and the boring search for the brother

and a broken nose for you.playing with fireTantrum

The third episode is more about being off the train then being on it. We learn about Eve looking for her brother. Oh, and her brother is being hunted by mafia. He plays no real part in the series yet. Eve visits some information brokers but none are willing to help her with her search. This is a silly chase where everywhere they go, no one has heard of where her brother is located. No point to the story and overly long. Continue reading Baccano 3– BAM and the boring search for the brother

Shion no Ou 1-2–The Game’s Afoot

Good luck trying to impress me, the critic!

I am taking over the blogging for this show, plus I promised to post first impressions about it sometime anyway….so here are my somewhat more positive impressions of this somewhat different blend of mystery and game/sports anime. It’s not quite what I was hoping for but it was still rather intriguing. (Spoilers below.)

Continue reading Shion no Ou 1-2–The Game’s Afoot

ef~a tale of memories 3–A Moment, A Memento

 Time……and sight.

This is quickly shaping up to be not only the most original, but also the most ambitious show of the season. Shinbo is definitely going to be heavily represented in the Originality Awards at the end of this year…and, if the emotional promise that this show makes is delivered, it just might be one of the more meaningful and affecting ones too.

Continue reading ef~a tale of memories 3–A Moment, A Memento

Minami-ke 3–The Pleasant Surprise

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I remember feeling a little “meh” in my first impressions of Minami-ke and predicting that I probably wouldn’t have anything significant to say about it. What a pleasant surprise, then, to discover a show that really does make me laugh out loud, has very likable characters, and has lots of great slapstick to boot.

Continue reading Minami-ke 3–The Pleasant Surprise