salinea: (Default)
Just caught up with Killjoys.

Very nice show, starts good with a bit of cheese and builds up to pretty damn good quite quickly. Great world-building especially, with a very evocative tone of noir and pulp built with the recurrent supportive cast. Definitely makes you want to see more of them and of the back-story.

The main cast is good - three characters only, the main one a woman of color with a mysterious past of being trained as an assassin who is extremely badass, and two brother, one a former soldier also with a past, and the second the tech guy / heart of the group. I'm not quite in love, except for the female character being awesome, but they're fun enough.

Plotting's decent, and fairly efficient in term of the story moving fast.

Definitely scratches a farscape / firefly / cowboy bebop / shadowrun IN SPACE itch that I'd been missing for a while!!
salinea: (Default)
The last third of 2012, I spent watching a lot of anime with [personal profile] runespoor. A lot of those were rewatches for me, and I don't have much to say besides that I still love Utena and Princess Tutu to death, that the lack of Michiko e Hatchin fics is criminal, and that I can't help but love Code Geass to death despite a lot of flaws, also Kaleido Stars was even better than I remembered and I should go seriously hunt for fics some day. And Dark than Black is good. And so's Skip Beat! but it doesn't go far enough into the manga.

But there was also some new to me stuff:

Puella Magica Madoka
A deconstructive and dark take on Magical Girls, in a very Faustian way. Read more... )

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Magical Girl meets Science Fiction seinen, with friending everyone for greater justice and also overwhelming weaponry.
Read more... )

Sailor Moon S1
With a skip-the-filler rec list. I was a little bit bored with it at the beginning although it was cute and funny; but it really gets into its groove by the second arc and then you get really attached to the characters and the story and the emotional moment and you realise why it's so iconic a series for so many people.
Both [personal profile] runespoor and I turned into very big fan of Zoisite.

Oban Star Racer
Actually a French cartoon, albeit one with a lot of anime like visual style and genre convention ;)
A Science Fiction racing pod series about a young girl who wants to connect back with her abandoning asshole of a father who gets thrust as a result into the big racing game that will determine the geopolitical balance of the whole Galaxy for the next 10,000 years and thus could save the earth from the evil aliens who'd like to conquer it.
Read more... )

On my own I watched:
Chihayafuru: An anime series of this year, about a girl trying to found a club for the obscure Japanese card game of Karita that's she's passionate about, along with her unlucky childhood friend.
Read more... )

The House of the Eliotts S1 & a good 2/3 of S2
So somewhere on failfandom_anon I saw someone saying they couldn't get into Downton Abbey because they kept hoping for it to be House of the Eliotts. Since my own watching of Downton Abbey I kept hoping for it to be something else, I thought perhaps I could enjoy this more.
And it is very good. It's certainly much less sentimental than Downton Abbey (which is what I hate most about that series), and while it is still pretty soappy at times, it doesn't feel like it goes completely unbelievable (yet).
It's a Brittish series from the '90s. The story is set in the '20s, and focusses on two upper middle class young women as their controlling and overly forbidding father has just died and they have to find out how to live on their own, and finally enjoy their freedom, and set up a fashion house. It's really great in term of development of female characters and their relationships.
I don't think they handle class issues any better than Downton Abbey does, though, and possibly worse; though they get more into that in the second season and I'm curious to see where it'll lead.

Terriers
An American buddy private detective show set in San Diego. Excellently well done, a shame it only had one season before cancellation. One of the main character is a recovering Alcoholic who lost his job as a cop and had his marriage broken by his addiction; the other is a former thief.
Read more... )

X-Men Evolution S4
And I finally finished the last season. Had some difficulty with that because I was really getting sick of the bad characterisation of some characters and mishandling of the X-Men themes by the end. Not only did they mess up with Magneto, Pietro, Wanda, Storm and Mystique, but they also managed to fuck up with Gabby and Legion at which point there is just no forgiveness.
The second season will remain my favourite part of the series.

And for the anime series I watched this Autumn season:
Kami-sama Kiss: A very cute romcom about a young highschool girl who just lost her home due to eviction who becomes the new God of the Land (despite being human) at a local shrine, and then has to deal with her new temple familiar, a bad tempered, acidic tongued wild fox.
Read more... )

K (may have a second season somewhere down the line): A urban fantasy series revolving around two magical groups skirmiching against one another - one is a gang, the other are rules-bound and uniforms-clad - the mysterious young happy-go-lucky student who may or may not be evil (spoiler alert: he turns out to be a Nazi scientist, but a nice one. Bet you didn't see that coming. Yeah, I'm spoiling you guys because I don't think people want to watch series where the protagonist turns out to be a Nazi scientist, surprise!, especially a nice one) and the samurai who is looking for him in order to kill him (if he is evil).
Read more... )

Zetsuen no Tempest (still on going): This one revolves around two highschool student who are childhood friend, one is a reckless, selfish hotheaded, and the other - our viewpoint character - is more levelheaded and somewhat manipulative; as they get involved into a big epic magical showdown that involves Lovecraftian fruits turning whole cities' populations into metal and a Magical Princess exiled on a desert island communicating with out protagonist with a "voodoo" doll. Also there was the hotheaded's sister who died a year ago, and his resulting quest for vengeance, and our protagonist hiding a key fact to him about his relationship with the sister. Oh, and, also, there are a lot of Shaekspeare quotes. Especially Hamlet and the Tempest (at some point our protagonist actually muses that he's trying to shift the story from being Hamlet into being The Tempest, with a happy ending).
Read more... )

Psycho Pass (still on going): A distopic cyberpunk series about cops in a society where everyone's Psychological status is constantly monitored for the sake of determining if they're a potential criminal (or, for that matter, to determine what's the best life for them), with a fresh new cop who is a young, idealist, supposedly very smart woman, and one of her subaltern, belonging to the group of the Potential Criminals who do the actual investigation in cases.
Read more... )

From the New World (still on going): Another distopic SF story, this one about the society a thousand years from current days, that exist in a world where humans develop telekinetic power. It follows a group of children as they are educated and socialised in a very agricultural and seemingly peaceful world, but where they are taught to fear all sorts of creatures on the outside, as well as the possibility to turn into demons. As they grow up, they find out a lot more about their world and the terrible secrets it hides.
Read more... )
salinea: Emma Frost, sitting comfortably (chill)
Heroic Legend of Arslan

This is an oldish anime OAV series, military historical fantasy in a setting inspired by Persia, with lots of bishounen (and a couple of bishoujo) and gorgeous backdrops and lovely direction. Very good overall except that it has no ending. See [personal profile] shimizu_hitomi's picspam for it (which is what made me want to watch it) and her project of translating the light novels it was adapted from.


Homeland S1

This is a spy drama about a marines coming back home after years of captivity in the middle-east, and the CIA analyst persuaded that he's been turned and is now preparing a terrorist plot. I had a very weird reaction to this one. I really loved the texture of it, the acting (it has Clare Danes and Morena Baccarin in it), the direction and cinematography, the jazz soundtrack, the overall paranoid atmosphere; and it has a few absolutely brilliant scenes along those lines (every scene of interrogation are marvelously well done for example) and it has a lot of very interesting subtleties. And it totally lost me in term of the long term storytelling and plotting, about which I found the story deeply unconvincing and kind of really annoying to the point that I don't want to watch the second season at all.


Sanctuary S1

Some time ago I asked for recs of engrossing TV shows, and [personal profile] st_aurafina suggested Sanctuary and even kindly provided a list of episodes to watch to get into without seeing less good episodes. I'm not entirely sure what I think of it. The pilote was mostly crap - as expected - and i wasn't crazy about the finale either; but otherwise the episodes were overall mostly good. The direction/writing especially shines in huis clot episodes, which they are able to do with a lot of tension; but on a long term level, the show hasn't really earned my trust that they are tell an interesting story. Character wise the biggest draw (and the biggest draw of the story overall) is Helen Magnus, the boss of Sanctuary, brilliant scientist and stonecold badass (who I have a hard time not to think of as the daughter of Charles & Erik >_>;) who will be the most awesome middle aged female character to grace your screen since Roslyn. Also she's kind of creepy pretty often - and I mean that as a compliment. The rest of the cast is not quite to part. Our mandatory white male protagonist who serves a PoV character and is Helen Magnus' protégée (yup, female mentor & male protégée. How often do you see that?) isn't too bad if a little bit bland, but sympathetic enough - he's pretty low key and analytical in a way I dig. There is also action girl and daughter of Helen Ashley, whom I took a weird instant dislike to (I think it's the hair. She has really terrible hair). And then there's a couple of guys who have not a lot of personality or at least charisma so far; Errr, there was a Black guy in the pilot who was killed in the next episode I watched which, asides from the race fail is sad because he was the only male character I found attractive. There's a handful of more charismatic recurring characters, who feel very League extraordinary gentlemen in a way that, at this point, I find more tiresome than anything but in themselves are pretty interesting characters besides the fact that they kind of feel like Helen's reverse harem from her Victorian shoujo manga days or something.

The big weak point of the show however is the lack of attention paid to worldbuilding. The premise is simple enough : there are weird creatures out there, and the Sanctuary's goal is to study them - and provide a haven for them, or a prison, depending on their threat level. The execution though is really not convincing so far. The Sanctuary is this ridiculously huge, gothic, baroque, building apparently in the middle of a big city (not sure which one) and yet nobody knows about it. And the lack of forethought for me is emphasized in the way in the first episode Helen primly corrects the PoV character (who had a name, I just don't remember it :p) when he says "monsters" by saying they prefer to call them "abnormals", as if "abnormal" isn't a term as a pejorative and othering if not more as "monster" is.

So I'm still not sure if I want to watch more or not. It's definitly not bad; but I have a hard time motivating myself. Does it get better?

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