Picked up Recently….

Yesterday: DVD’s 1 and 2 of Shakugan No Shana. I’ve got the full fansubs of it and the first time I watched it, I detested the ending. There were about three things wrong with it, one having to do with the some character motivations during the final arc. (I’m avoiding spoilers here, because there are quite a few twists and turns in this tale). After Steven remarked that he was watching it and had gotten hooked on the first DVD, I happened to be bored and looking for something to kind of “come down on” after watching Misaki Chronicles, so I queued up Shana and re-watched all 24 episodes. Lo and behold, I noticed something blindingly obvious that I’d missed a the first time through, and it completely changed one of the characters. In turn, that changed how I viewed that person’s actions, which impacted the last arc hugely, and in a positive fashion. (Some actions I’d thought were “wrong” for the character now made a lot more sense). I’d mentally given the series a C, maybe a C+, but it was worth a full letter upgrade. I’ll hold off doing a full review until sometime this summer (when the series is fully out) but it’s a worthwhile series, even if I still have a few problems with the ending. In part, they’re forced by (as usual) the fact that the manga is ongoing. In fact, there’s an OVA (released this month) and a movie (pending) that will continue the story of Yuuji and Shana.

Last week: Serial Experiments Lain, as a Xmas present. Haven’t begun to watch it yet; I’m saving it for after the new year.

Two weeks ago: Planetes. It may be #83 on some Top Anime list in Japan (it even got beaten out by Bobobobobobo-boob), but it’s not going on my list. Too close to home. Loaned it to DrH. and told him I’d pick it up next time I went to Dallas. Maybe I will.

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3 Responses to Picked up Recently….

  1. Nick says:

    I do hope you can give Planetes a second chance, as Hachimaki does go though a metamorphosis of his attitude (though not necessarily for the better, depending on your perspective). Then again, it does take till half-way through the series for this to become noticeable.

    Then again, this is a series that hits rather close to home and our modern political and social realities. If you are looking for an escape from reality, you’re not going to get too far in Planetes. And there’s a bit of a controversy in the anime in the episodes past 20. Many people read those episodes a certain way, and completely reject the series as a whole because of that.

    At the very least, check out the “Moon Ninja” episode (#6. First episode on the second DVD) for a bit of a laugh… ;)

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    I’ll let DrH be my gunia pig, since it’s in his hands now. I picked it up because I was looking for something that was hard science, as opposed to escapist. I didn’t realize it was “hard politics” and reality too. It’s not that I find Hachimaki revolting or even mildly unlikeable. It’s just that there’s too much empathy there… And listening to the discussion of how to raise “half-section’s” profits sounded too much like the yearly budget (though being governmental, it’s a bit different for me).

  3. Andrew F. says:

    I’m currently watching Shana for the first time via the R1 DVDs; would have checked out the fansubs, but I don’t do pre-licensed series. Through eight episodes it’s been pretty fun, though not an all-time favorite. If there are issues with the ending… well, I’ve learned to expect that after more than two years of watching anime. And I can definitely sympathize with missing something important on the first viewing of a series, having managed to skip an entire episode of Soukyuu no Fafner when I was watching the fansubs.

    The only thing I can say about Lain is to make sure you’re wide awake and alert while watching it; a cup or two of strong coffee may also help. For me, it felt like a show for people who thought the last two episodes of Evangelion were overly simplistic.

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