Blog Archive

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Eiga Precure Dream Stars Available:

The good people of [anon] have subbed a 1080p blu-ray copy of Eiga Precure Dream Stars, the latest crossover Precure movie.  So be sure to grab it while it's hot.

Looking Forward:

There are four newbie shows that still have the potential to make my top anime rankings airing:  Gamers!, Tenshi no 3p, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits and Princess Principal.

Gamers! and Tenshi no 3p have the advantage of being from established respected authors.  At the same time, this is a disadvantage though.  Unless these shows prove that they have some value unique to themselves and aren't just a rehash of older, already ranked material, I have no incentive to add them to my 'must-see' top 200.  If Tenshi no 3p were a new idea, it would already be in, but since Ro-Kyu-Bu! already exists I don't see much point to Tenshi's existence.

Princess Principal is amazing in terms of music and visuals, but the plot is still suspect.  I just can't wrap my head around the bizarre setting, or whether the story really can be great just by showing what a badass Ange is for the next ten episodes.  Is that really enough to be must see?

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is the show with the most potential to achieve greatness.  Every episode so far has been fantastic, with a great mix of humor and sentiment.  My only worry is this show is such a dark horse that I really can't tell where it will go next or if the quality so far has just been a fluke.  This is an anime original project.  They envisioned it first as an anime and were well into the production cycle before a manga adaption was released just a week before the anime started.  Which means no one has any clue what this show is doing or how it managed to be so good.

There's nothing famous about the people making this show.  The director isn't famous.  The company animating the project isn't famous.  The voice actors aren't famous.  There's no reason why this show should be so good, except that it is.

I'm leery of awarding a show like that greatness until I'm absolutely sure -- like with Kemono Friends, I couldn't believe my own eyes until around episode eight.

The drama of the summer season continues until I decide if these four shows are great or good, and until I decide which out-of-contention shows are good or just mediocre.  But these are just minor details.  It's actually more interesting to look ahead to the fall season from here.

After watching the comicon trailers for the CW shows, I'm more convinced than ever that Flash and Supergirl are no longer watchable.  However, Arrow looked exciting and Legends of Tomorrow looked fun, so I'm looking forward to those two starting this October.

The fall anime season will also be interesting.  UQ Holder!, Yuuki Yuuna, Love Live Sunshine 2, Wake Up, Girls! Shin Sho, and Fate/Apocrypha will of course be good.  Dieas Irae, Mahoutsukai no Yome, Imouto Sae Ireba and Idolm@ster Side M might be good.  And then there are always dark horses like this season's Action Heroine Cheer Fruits.

In August, Netflix's Defenders series will be released.  It's possible Punisher will be released this fall.

Utawarerumono 3 comes out this September, not long now.  Little Busters! comes even sooner, the English version is slated for release this August.  Manga Gamer has finished both translating and editing Imouto Paradise 2, so it should be out soon too.

Megaman 9 and 10, the only Megamen I haven't played, come out for PS4 August 8th.  On August 13th, Owarimonogatari Ge, the conclusion of the stellar Bakemonogatari series, will air.

For all my desire to rush to 2018 where I can watch Fairy Tail again, there's still plenty to look forward to in 2017.  Three video games, two visual novels, a new anime season, the current anime season, superhero tv, football, etc, etc.

There's 1/3 of the year remaining, so we just have to make the best of this Fairy Tail-less world.

Ultimate Video Game Music Playlist Requires WoW:

I've played WoW for so long, it's taken years of real playtime.  Like, years of my life are invested in my level 110 World of Warcraft characters.  I have no regrets, it was time well spent.  The game is cheap and extremely fun, and I enjoy all the different classes and races.  I have friends and family on WoW and it's fun hanging out with them.  But what it did mean is that I've heard all the music from these games so many times that I felt no need to listen to the songs ever again.

As such, even as I built up an enormous video game music playlist canvassing all sorts of games, from Mario to Zelda, I never touched the music from World of Warcraft.  However, having been away from the game for over a year, I think it's safe to take another look at this game's music from an objective point of view.

That's right, I'm beginning to miss the wonderful music from Warcraft.  It's been long enough, that I'm no longer revolted by it, I actually find it wistfully beautiful again.

I assume I'll start playing WoW again once the next expansion comes out.  I still have a few months of free playing time saved up.  But until that happens, I don't mind being accompanied by the music again in its lieu.

As such, I downloaded 557 songs from WoW, and am starting to judge them one by one, starting from the very beginning classic soundtrack, onwards to Burning Crusade, and so on.  This is going to be the biggest nostalgia trip on Earth.

I suspect a lot of these songs are going to end up in my hall of fame.  Which means my hall of fame which previously sat at 9 days of continuous music is probably headed for 10 days or even more by the end of this.  But an 'ultimate' video game music collection that leaves out the best video game of all time's music?  That makes no sense.  Especially when the music is genuinely amazing, as you'd expect from anything ranked #1.

A perfect musical Hall of Fame collection is ridiculous without the music from WoW, which has some of the best music of all time.  It also has the deepest personal connection to my life, even more so than Final Fantasy.  It's also music that, very likely, more people around the world have listened to, for longer, than any other songs on Earth.  The Beatles have nothing on this game.  20 million players listened to this music continuously for an average of five years each.  It's unimaginable what could be a more important foundation for any music hall of fame than that.

In hindsight, it seems sort of silly how desperately I avoided including this music for so long, but after being immersed in WoW for so long sometimes you really do just want to get away.  Now that I've had my sabbatical, it's time to give WoW the credit its due, and create a true ultimate video game playlist and downstream of that a true music Hall of Fame which really does have all the best music the world has to offer.

If 2016 was the year of sports, 2017 was the year of music.  I've spent this entire year gathering and curating music from all fields of life.  It feels like once I finish with Warcraft, there won't be anything left to gather, though.  I may finally be able to sit back on my throne and relax.  With ten days of music to randomize between, I can't imagine getting tired of hearing any of these songs by coming across them too often in a row.  My music Hall of Fame will be a permanent asset in the future, which I can listen to until my dying day.  And as new music bubbles forth from all the various venues I've been collecting it so far, the list will only grow in size and quality.  I see nothing but roses and rainbows from here on out.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My music Hall of Fame gets some reinforcements:

I've been chipping away at my hall of fame music list, taking out remixes and bad songs one by one.  At the same time though, I've also been adding in songs that merit inclusion but were somehow overlooked up until now.

A couple come from Kiki's Delivery Service.  But the rest come from western movies and tv shows -- the Jurassic Park theme, the Indiana Jones theme, the James Bond theme, the Game of Thrones theme, the Mortal Kombat theme, the Hobbit theme, the Top Gun theme, the Harry Potter theme, the Terminator 2 theme, and the soundtrack to the movie Gettysburg.  It's obvious how good this music is, but for some reason I've just never made the connection that it's music I should be listening to independently from the films/tv show.

Overall the number of songs isn't noticeably changing.  It's just the quality is rising with each new edit.  This is meant to be the ultimate musical playlist, so I can't afford to leave a single iconic song out.  Gotta catch 'em all!

36/191 top anime still have additional content coming.  But 8/10 of the top ten series have more content coming.  The rich keep getting richer.  It's almost inevitable SAO will get a 3rd season announced at some point.  If it does, that would mean 11/13 of the top 13 shows all have more content coming.  It's also almost inevitable a new season of Index will be announced.  If it does, it would shoot up the rankings to 14th, and then 12/14 of the top 14 will be receiving new content.  If enough Full Metal Panic! is adapted, it could easily rise to being in the top 15 as well, which would mean 13/15 of the top 15 anime is all receiving new content.

Subtract 8 from 36, and 10 from 191, and you get an accurate picture of all the have-nots.  28/181, or 15%, are receiving additional content.  Meanwhile 80% of the top 10 have sequels promised.  Or if you prefer my hypothetical scenario, a full 87% of the top 15.

In part, good series merit sequels because they're popular, so it just turns out this way naturally.  But the darker side of it is many series could have been as good as the top ten, if only they'd received the level of support the top ten have.  Between them, the top ten shows have 2,706 episodes/movies and rising by the day.  That's practically a third of the entire content of my entire rankings.  How do you compete with that?  If you're, say, Hanayamata, with 12 episodes in length, what on Earth can you do?

The average top ten show is 23 times longer than you and still rising.  So yes, my top ten is horribly slanted towards the mainstream, popular, immortal shows, but that's why I have a separate apples to apples rankings, which I encourage everyone to consult, also included in my top rankings posts, which gives series with similar circumstances the chance to only compete with one another.

In that apples to apples world, there are six different ranking ladders, and PapaKiki is as much #1 as Fairy Tail.  There's even a wishlist rankings, where I detail who would be most improved and is most deserving of new content being given to them, where Bleach is #1, as is Negima, Freezing and others.  So there's a lot of different ways to look at things, and the basic 'who's best?' ranking system only tells part of the story.  My full rankings tells the full story.

A lot of the 36 shows receiving new content are slated for 2018.  Fairy Tail especially.  It's getting to the point where I wish 2017 would just end already so we could move on to all this delicious new material.  Not only will we have the Winter Olympics, the World Cup hosted by Russia (what a stick in the neocon/liberal eye!), the ending to Game of Thrones, tons of new superhero films, and the return of Fairy Tail -- there's going to be Code Geass, Fate/Heaven's Feel, Nanoha movies, Full Metal Panic! S4, Girls und Panzer's final season, and watching the Democrats get drubbed yet again in the 2018 midterms.

So yes, I think we can definitively say 2018 > 2017.  Not every year can be the best, and this was pretty much a lull in the storm.  I can't wait to see the apple drop and the new year chime in.  I am so ready for the new Fairy Tail anime to begin.  I can't wait to see its new opening, what its new theme song will be; it's going to be an emotion like no other.  (As though Zero's opening wasn't good enough!)

Hibike! Euphonium S2 available in blu-ray:

Thanks to [pls], all of Hibike! S2 is available in 1080p fansubbed blu-ray.  Catch it while it's still seeded.  This show has been on a roll.  It's one of the few shows made in the last few years that actually ranks highly (#44), and it's not even done yet.  There's still two more movies in the works, and who knows what will happen after that.

Since S2 came out just last fall, there's no point rewatching this series just yet.  But it's nice to have stored away for the future.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Shoukoku no Altair Dropped:

This show never had much potential, but all hope went down the drain when the protagonist gave in to a hostage taking.  Anyone who can be blackmailed, anyone who stands down when a hostage is taken, isn't worth my time.  I have zero interest in a 'hero' who fails this most basic of morality tests.  If you give in to terror, it just encourages more terror, and the terrorists win.  Only by making sure terror doesn't pay do you defeat terrorist tactics, and the only way to do that is to willingly sacrifice anything they threaten and just hit them back twice as hard in response.

Though Mahmut himself found his way clear of the hostage scenario by relying on a flock of hawks to free the hostages, that still doesn't excuse him, because he sanctioned and endorsed the actions of his friend who really did just totally surrender and give way to a hostage crisis.  Since he applauded his friend for doing the right thing by surrendering to blackmail, he may as well have done it himself, and therefore he's just as worthless as the guy he condoned.

This is like statecraft 101.  Morality 101.  Philosophy 101.  No adult should still be telling any stories where heroes give in to blackmail or hostage taking.  This is never acceptable, it's stupendously stupid, it's pathetic, and it's a trope that's been overused so many times in so many shows it makes me vomit every time it appears again.  How?  Why are we still addressing this issue in stories even though the answer has been found ages ago, and it's completely uninteresting to ever see the question come up again?

Made in Abyss is also teetering on the brink, but I figure I can give it one more ep and see how it goes.  For now, the summer season is down to 16 shows.

Fairy Tail's long awaited final chapter has been released.  But Fairy Tail doesn't end here.  The movie, Dragon Cry, still hasn't been released to the outside world via its blu-ray.  The tv anime 'final season' only begins in 2018, and who knows how long it will last.  Finally, there's still a volume of Raigo Issen and Blue Mistral that haven't been translated yet.

There might be some specials or spinoffs or something in the future, too, you never know.  The point is, Fairy Tail isn't over.  It's just getting started.  I'm all fired up!

And even when all the Fairy Tail material is gone, it will live on in my heart forever, as the best story ever told, or if someday someone surpasses it, like Pretty Cure or One Piece or Sword Art Online or whoever, as one of the best stories ever told.  It's practically guaranteed a top ten slot no matter what happens from here on.

I'm fine with Natsu not having romantic feelings for Lucy -- yet.  Who knows what will happen over time?  Their adventures together have just begun, after all.  In a lot of ways, Natsu is still a kid, so just let him enjoy himself for now.  He's certainly earned it, after all the grief he's been through.  When he wants to settle down she'll be there.  Or Lisanna will be there.  ;).  Or Wendy.  ;).

The point is Natsu hasn't shown much attraction to women throughout the manga, so it would be weird if he suddenly turned on a dime and went all mushy for anyone.  That would take some actual development, and if Mashima doesn't feel the interest or ability to make that development believable, it's better to just let Natsu be Natsu and leave it at that.  I consider the final chapter of Fairy Tail to be flawless, just like the rest of the manga.  I wish he'd let people die in the series, but I guess that just goes against the happy-go-lucky mood he was shooting for, so, oh well.  Not every series has to be Akame ga Kill!

My hall of fame music has already narrowed down to 4060.  Progress!

Anime Rankings Adjusted:

So much has changed since the last time I modified my rankings, it was necessary to get back in there and shake things up again.

This was a massive overhaul that favored complete series over incomplete series, giving even more importance to a show reaching a satisfying ending compared to anything else.  I also loosened the definition of 'adequately adapted' to include any series that had reached a satisfying conclusion, regardless of whether it really covered all the source material or not.

Just to give an example of how this changes things, Hayate no Gotoku, previously ranked 30th, is now 57th.  Why?  Because it doesn't have an ending, and that's not as satisfying as 27 other shows that did have endings that were previously ranked below it.

Sword Art Online was ranked 3rd, but now its 11th, because the top ten anime of all time, at least, should all have proper endings.  (which they now do).

Thanks to the new Fairy Tail season, Fairy Tail does have a proper ending, and is therefore ranked #1.

Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball moved up to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, because their length plus having a proper ending is unrivaled.  Pretty Cure is 5th.  Precure has proper endings, and is very long, but the fact that it resets every 48 episodes means it's kind of cheating compared to the ones above it, who all managed to create one connected epic from start to finish.  That reset is what weakens Precure just enough to fall back down to 5th.

Fate/etc is an interesting decision at 9th.  By animating Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay night, Fate/unlimited blade works, and Fate/Heaven's Feel, it has created a continuous story from start to finish of gigantic length.  But is that really complete?  After all, Kaleid/Liner isn't totally adapted yet.  Nor is hollow ataraxia.  But I decided that since the core of the story, the original story, has now been fully adapted, that should be good enough to count, no matter which spinoffs are included/excluded.

There are a few series, by virtue of their great quality and enormous length, that have managed to stay high ranking despite lacking an ending.  SAO at #11, Nanoha at #12, Higurashi/Umineko at #14, Bleach at #16, Seikai no Senki at #18, Index/Railgun at #20, Full Metal Panic! at #21, Ranma 1/2 at #23, Major at #26 and Da Capo at #27.

After that, from #28 to #56, every series has an ending.  I've simply had enough of incomplete shows, they're the most frustrating existence in the galaxy and there needs to be some punishment meted down to them for all the torment they've put me through.

Shingeki no Kyojin moved up to #69 (previously #85) due to receiving a 3rd season.  Mononoke Hime and Spirited Away moved up because, as movies, they were complete stories.

12 Kingdoms moved down to last place, #191.  I decided the show was really unsalvageable as is and really just needs a complete remake, due to the two annoying filler characters the animators decided to insert into the story who disrupt everything.  Someday my rankings will reach 200, and then the next great show can kick 12 Kingdoms off my rankings entirely.  The source work of this anime is magnificent, but the anime really blew it.