These aren't actually reviews, but opinions and rants and so on.
If you are unfamiliar with the series being reviewed, please look at the
Anime links page
Whenever I do a review, I make sure to add a link to a site for the show.
There may be links above for shows I have not reviewed though.
Spoilers are a risk here.
If it's a really long review (like for a series), there might be a separate page for that review- just follow the link.
This is sort of an Andy Rooney meets Anime meets Siskel & Ebert thing.
Yes I know he's dead but it's still 'Siskel & Ebert,' it's still 'GTE,' and it's still the 'Tyler Mall.'
The point is most of the stuff i've written here is cynical / nitpicking / etc..
The links above are for balance- if you want more information on one of the shows or you think i'm being too down on one of them, well that's what the links are for.
As a note to Video Burn in general and Mr. President in particular, i'm thankful for getting to see all these animes.
Even when i'm ripping on wuss-boy, it's not a matter of 'i'd rather not be watching Evangelion,' it's a matter of me being really old (29) and liking to complain about everything.
One other thing I think i've noticed about writing these reviews.
If I write them when it's very late or i've had a bad day or whatever, i'm pretty unforgiving with any reviews I write that evening.
When it's been a long day at work, I don't come home and kick the dog (I wouldn't even if I had one); I rip on wuss-boy (Shinji of Evangelion) or Yui of Fushigi Yugi.
On another rambling note, regarding the images at the top of this page.
As extremely grumpy as I may be at times, there is the other side of things for me.
The above images being a good example- they pretty much send me into conniptions of laughter.
Yes, I know it's a girl- she's in His And Her Circumstances.
No, I am not a girl.
No, I am not implying gayness or anything on my part.
It's just that expression...
This, as of August 18, 2000, appears to be the latest dubbed tape out in stores ($8 at Target).
Episodes 118, 119, and 120.
Dr. Gero wakes up 17 & 18.
They kill him.
They wake up 16.
18 and Vegeta fight.
Vegeta's losing; get's his arm dislocated or broken (not sure which or both) at the end of episode 120.
16 seems nice enough, kind of like a more pleasant, nicer version of Reccomb.
17, looking at the cover of the tape, is of undetermined gender.
From what Vegeta says and from 17's voice, it's clearly male (unlike some frosty individuals I could mention).
This is the first time i've seen a girl on DragonballZ participate in any kind of combat.
Before it's always seemed like they're pretty much only there as a source of comic relief, so it's nice to see 18 roughing up Vegeta.
I know in the original series of Dragonball, Chi-chi participates in one of the tournaments as a fighter just like everyone else, but I haven't seen that part of the series.
I also understand that eventually 18 will marry Krillin.
I just hope she doesn't end up being essentially domesticated the way Chi-chi appears to have been, that she (18) continues to be a main character/combatant.
I know Vegeta is and has always been a kind of over-the-top character with lots of ego and arrogance and so on, but he just seemed more nuts than usual on this tape.
When he was fighting Freeza he seemed to eventually realize he was beaten, but he hasn't shown any sign of that so far.
Of course, this was all before his arm got popped.
"Tis but a scratch."
Your arm's off."
"No it isn't."
"Well, what's that then?"
"I've had worse."
"You're a loony."
Gun Smith Cats
I understand the whole point of the series is girls and guns.
Fine with me, but I still have the same questions regarding this series and how it would/will be received in the U.S..
No, what would make more sense is that this series ought to go over well with the conservative, NRA types and not at all well with the gun control people.
I wonder how Gun Smith Cats tapes would sell at the Great Western Show?
The ATF guy uses extortion to get the assistance of the Cats.
The Cats are strong and capable accept when they're dealing with the ATF guy, but then they're weak and vulnerable.
Also, they know enough to be in the gun business, but they don't even know about one of the key permits they lack and they don't know how to deal with the government.
They should have known to go to the ATF guy's superior (the fact that he ends up being one of the bad guys aside).
Point being, they show ignorance, but only at selected points that aren't consistent with the story.
Certainly is a nicely drawn Cobra, but it's a bit expensive for them if that one shop is all they have, isn't it?
A hook- a huge hook for moving cargo crates- swing past Rally, brushing against her chest, and rips off the front of her blouse, exposing her still bra-covered self.
And it does this without really knocking her back or injuring/scuffing her at all.
Not that i'm against a bit of T&A, but it was a scene worthy of a Gunbuster pilot.
Hey, this must be that fan service thing.
And another lesson, for good or ill, about society:
Big, ugly, militia-type bad guy- McVeigh-esque psycho who must be brought to justice (metaphorically here).
Cute, young, occasionally half-naked gun & bomb girls- Our Heroines!
The press conference with Assemblyman Edward Haints seems like a good example of a Japanese perception of American culture.
"I don't think anyone believes the American way of life has to include this dangerous menace...I'm just doing what any red-blooded American would do" says Haints.
The problem I have here is "American way of life" and "red-blooded American" sound like the sort of expression a gun rights advocate would use, not a gun control advocate.
It just doesn't feel right- Haints' rederic is off.
The Russian agent girl, just having shot the two ATF agents in the control room, is told "put down your gun" by the two agents down the hall who have their weapons ready and aimed at her.
She then turns- nice and slow- and raises an automatic, pointing it toward and firing on the two agents.
The agents, who have already shot her twice in the shoulder, don't fire even though they can plainly see they're about to be shot.
That's just not how someone would react.
And how come whenever there's a horde of ATF/cops/whoever there never seem to be news vans or helicopters or anything?
Waaait a second...Natasha Radinov...as in Natasha Badinov?...
Patlabor The Motion Picture
There wasn't really anything sufficiently cool to be a 'wow.'
Seemed kind of slow and not terribly exciting.
The tape I saw was letterboxed, which was nice.
There's no T&A, bounce, or anything like that.
The biggest complaint I have about Patlabor is that the movie is mostly about people talking about and investigating labor issues.
The movie has fairly little to do with the labors themselves.
The only time the labors are actually doing anything much is the very end of the movie.
"You are two of the brightest stars in the field, aren't you?"
Yeah, Right Line:
"We wouldn't have marketed the H.O. system if it wasn't safe."
Nitpick / Snide Comment 1:
The H.O.S., 30% larger than the old O.S....A new, albeit bloated, operating system with a rash of bugs.
Should've gone for 40% and made it Microsoft.
No, I take that back- it would've had even more bugs.
Sound triggers the labors to go nuts.
But it seems to me that something like a software patch would stop the labor sensors from picking up the particular frequency that sets everything off.
I understand that Ohta's being 'gun-happy' is a comedic character device, but I still wonder about the different perceptions in Japanese v. American culture of gun use and ownership.
Here in the U.S. it seems like you're either a gun control type, in which case Ohta is a seriously dangerous and unstable person to have around, or you're a gun rights type, in which case...i'm not sure.
But it would seem like, for a gun rights type, Ohta is not a good character because he serves to give your opposition so much (no pun) ammo.
I guess gun issues are taken so seriously here in the U.S. that it's difficult to accept on some levels or for some people that Ohta is funny.
So...she has to stop...get out of the cockpit...and reload individual bullets...by hand.
Is it just me, or does this seem a touch inefficient?
Should have had some sort of quickload cartridge mounted on the labor- a cartridge thing that holds all 5 or 6 bullets at once with bullets already in place; hold the cartridge up to the cylinder, press the button, and all of the bullets slide in to place at the same time.
Quick, efficient, and she wouldn't have had to get out of the blasted labor to mess with it.
The Motion Picture
As i've said to Jason (Video Burn president, look at the links page), i'm still in the 'all anime is good' stage.
I don't know exactly what, for me, constitutes a bad anime but I think a pretty decent working standard is that i'd have to rather watch an equal amount of Scooby Doo than the anime.
While Patlabor II doesn't sink to that standard by a long shot, it's still pretty cruddy.
First, a couple of good things.
The Patlabor movies have wall-eye vision (ala Hotshots) as a comedic device when someone's yelling at someone else.
"It's war and it's going to be a long one.
Toilet paper is limited to 15cm..."
I'll refrain from sharing the details of my step-grandfather's lectures on how to do the job with a single square...
"That's fine against infantry, but what about TAAANKS?"
"Well, you'll just have to aim very carefully."
This movie struck me as similar to the Robin Hood movie with Kevin Costner in that pretty much the best effects are right at the opening of the show.
The labor's head turning to look at the reporter doesn't count.
The military labor standing up doesn't count.
Labors being shot by the helicopter or otherwise just sitting there don't count.
My main gripe with Patlabor II is that it has next to nothing to do with labors.
There are labors actually doing something for a grand total of (at most) 12 min.
The entire movie is 105 min long.
There is a gap, starting right after Ohta stabbing the target thing, of 85 min in which there is no labor activity whatsoever.
Boring, boring, boring.
While I still prefer it to Scooby Doo (or the Flintstones or the Jetsons), this is pretty well the worst anime i've ever seen.
Not that i'm not thankful for getting to see it, but maybe I ought to make a tape of Plan 9 From Outer Space with Japanese subtitles.
"I'm sorry- I forgot to feed you yesterday."
But i'm going to take a nap so I can forget to feed you today too.
Mima's never heard of the internet?
Oh, she has a Mac.
No wonder her life is going insane...Wait, it's a Mac and it's too complicated for her?
Next week- Mima and Minmei go head - to - head on Jeopardy!
Okay, so it looks like she has a stalker.
If she's such a big pop star, I would think either she would have had to deal with this sort of thing before, or her manager or someone else would have.
Oh, I get it- she's going to run around and be nuts without, oh, talking to the police?
Oh, that's what Rumi does- some sort of celebrity protection agency.
I still say it's the sort of thing Mima should have known to tell Rumi about.
The show Mima is an actress in- not Perfect Blue but the show within Perfect Blue- is filming a rape scene.
On those rare occasions when I have- purely accidentally- come across hentai, I always wonder what this thing the Japanese seem to have for rape stuff is?
Is this some sort of expression of the national unconcious of a nation of men who, because of the order their society imposes on them, feel they need to seek personal power in some other setting?
And while we're on the subject, what's with the tentacles?
Ah, so we do appear to be dealing with a lone stalker.
Granted, things are complicated by Mima apparently being insane.
"Nobody likes idols with tarnished reputations."
Mima sees illusions including other versions of herself.
I wonder if she and Lain would make good friends for each other?
There's a letter bomb.
Now the script's writer has been murdered.
But I won't bother to tell anyone about this web site or to go see the police or anything.
Now that I think of it, doesn't perv-boy look just a tad unusual?
As in, shouldn't someone have noticed him before?
Now she's noticed perv-boy and still she doesn't say anything about it.
For all Mima's insanity, it makes me think of Margot Kidder or Carrie Fisher (whichever was the one who went nuts).
Felt sorry for her when I heard about it.
So Rumi's nuts.
So...was it Rumi that did all the killing?
One thing that's nice or at least interesting to note is that the Japanese people appear to be just as susceptible as everyone else to the idea that fat or otherwise less attractive people are bad and thin, attractive people are good.
And people wonder how societies like these can produce people like Harris and Kliebold?
The main objection I have to these stories with multiple interlaced realities is that there isn't usually an externally logical reason for the way things end up.
They have all these realities, all these possibilities that are being juggled.
At the end of the show, they just pick one reality and say that's the one that's real.