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    I'm glad that Hataraku Saibou episode 6 deliberately tries to vary its formula. Child Red Blood Cell is very cute.

    Watched Muhyo to Rouji episode 2. Since this episode consists of two stories, it moves a bit faster and is therefore a bit more fun to watch than the first episode.

    Watched Sunohara-sou no Kanrinin-san episode 6.

    Watched the first Kemono Friends: Welcome to Japari Park ONA. Is that a different Serval?

    Watched Hugtto Precure episode 27.

    I can academically recognize that Hanebad episode 7 is trying to make Serigaya a sympathetic character, but characters with unrelentingly, unapologetically sh*tty attitudes just don't garner empathy. Trying hard is respectable, but villains try hard too. So just putting in a lot of practice time doesn't automatically turn a character into one that viewers feel pity for. Furthermore, the entire show seems to be steadily developing the theme that mastering badminton turns players into a**holes. The casual players and the players who haven't won championships exhibit compassion and sportsmanship. Every single championship level active player in the show is a snotty, self-absorbed, condescending elitist.

    Watched the rather slow paced Gintama episode 359.

    High Score Girl episode 5 is getting quite bittersweet.

    Planet With episode 6 is just a super episode: exciting and emotionally resonant.

    Probably because I knew exactly what I was facing, I think I watched Hotaru no Haka again with a somewhat detached, objective & cynical perspective which resulted in me only crying a little bit rather than choking up. Watching the film more objectively is fascinating because I can now see aspects of the film that I didn't recognize or consider when I first watched it twenty years ago. Particularly, now I wonder exactly how much Seita's relatively privileged upbringing affected his decision making. I'm also more conflicted over his characterization now when I recognize that he's literally a devoted brother to a fault, specifically to a mortal fault. Since I forgot to attend the GhibliFest screening of Porco Rosso earlier this summer, if we include Nausicaa, I think I've now seen theatrical presentations of 17 of the 21 theatrical Ghibli movies. The figure might be 18 because I honestly can't remember whether I saw Kokuriko-zaka Kara theatrically or on home video.

    Watched Baki episode 8.

    Yama no Susume 3 episode 7 is a pleasant one, but I'm disappointed that Hikari and Aoi together can't cover a mesely 28 yen in sales tax as a favor.

    Comment


      Watched Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2 episode 6.

      I'm aware that Overlord has a large scale story, so a slower pace and introduction of numerous characters is necessary, but season 3 episode 6 is another episode that makes me wonder whether the pace and numerous characters actually amount to anything. The series has previously introduced many characters that have never re-appeared or had any significance. I wonder how much this is legitimate world building versus how much is just pointless padding.

      Watched Jashin-chan Dropkick episode 6.

      Especially the robot segment of Asobi Asobase episode 6 was highly amusing.

      Went to FUNimation's subtitled theatrical screening of the Cowboy Bebop movie. Somewhat ironically, it launched with a lengthy reunion interview with the English dub cast. Reaffirming why I reject dubs, particularly Wendee Lee repeated multiple times that she essentially disregarded Keiko Nobumoto's original script and Megumi Hayashibara's original vocal performance in favor of writing her own dialogue for her vision of Faye Valentine. And despite the entire cast repeatedly proclaiming their respect for the series' characters, not one of the actors even a single time expressed any respect or appreciation for the original Japanese creators of those characters. The movie itself has never been quite as stylish as the earlier television series, but seeing the film again on a big screen vivified my awareness of the movie's exceptional exploitation of the full cinematic screen. Shot composition throughout the film is brilliant. The movie frequently, deliberately draws the eye all the way across the entire frame. I also had two tangential impressions of the movie. Spike has always been partly inspired by Lupin III. But I distinctly realized during this viewing that with relatively few and minor changes, the Cowboy Bebop movie could be remade as a Lupin the III movie. Moreover, I wonder if and how much inspiration Christopher Nolan took from this film when writing and directing The Dark Knight. If one places stock in Patton Oswalt's Joker theory, this summary describes both the 2001 Cowboy Bebop movie and the 2008 Dark Knight: the villain is a mentally broken, trenchcoat-wearing, automatic knife carrying, former soldier who turns terrorist bomber just to create chaos. His self-appointed antagonist is a vigilante martial artist detective who pilots a one-seat armed vehicle. The final battle between the hero and villain is a fight in an open air tower that ends with the villain's finger on a detonator switch and him looming over the seemingly defeated hero.

      Angolmois episode 6 is a fine episode somewhat marred by some scenes with sub-par art design.

      Watched Lupin III Part V episode 19.

      Regrettably, Tsukumogami Kashimasu episode 4 is a rather distasteful episode. In the prior three episodes, Seiji & Oko have secretly utilized their tsukumogami upon request to assist clients. However, in episode 4 Seiji is aggressively rude to a client based on unfounded rumors he's heard. Moreover, transitioning from just rude to outright immoral, he exploits the tsukumogami to his own ends to spy on a romantic rival. I'm sure that creator Megumi Hatakenaka perceived the story as sweet and harmless male jealousy, but at the same time it's illustration of Seiji just behaving like a thoughtless and crude a**hole.

      Watched Isekai Izakaya Nobu episodes 19 & 20.

      Sadly, as usual, Shichinin no Subaru episode 7 is intended to be dramatic, but most of its plot twists are actually just dumb because once their implications and details are considered, the plot points make no sense.

      Watched Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro episode 7.

      I was pleasantly surprised that Wakaokami wa Shougakusei episode 12 developed more unpredictably than I'd expected. Also watched episode 13.

      Satsuriku no Tenshi episode 7 is a tedious episode that reeks of video game fetch mechanics.

      Watched Harukana Receive episode 7.

      Hataraku Saibou episode 7 feels misplaced, as it feels like it should have been a series' ending episode given that its conclusion could only have ended in extremes of one way or the other. I do appreciate the way the episode remained objective. Even if a destructive cell is just a cell doing what comes natural, it's still destructive.

      Read some comics. The first issue of the 2018 Nancy in Hell reboot is exactly what I hoped and expected it to be. It feels quite a bit like a female-lead hybrid of Army of Darkness and Highway to Hell (1991). Ninja-K issue 9 is an exciting and momentous issue featuring exceptional penciling artwork by Juan José Ryp. Issue 10 is technically relevant to the ongoing story but feels like a disposable placeholder. Gideon Falls issue 6 again feels a bit unsatisfying. Despite being the most overt and revealing issue so far, and despite it concluding with a climactic revelation, it still feels a bit abstract and moreover unsatisfying. The first issue of writer Brian Michael Bendis' new yakuza action thriller Pearl appears to be another modern incarnation of the Romeo & Juliet archetype. In both writing and illustration the first issue is entirely adequate but not exceptional. Read Mage III issue 11. The final seventh and eighth issues of Malefic wrap up the story adequately while continuing to escalate the series' twisted, provocative, kinky madness. Having now finished reading the series, I still think that the most apt description of it is to call it a less pretentious and slightly less grotesque cousin to Quinn & Vigil's Faust: Love of the Damned comic series. The first issue of writer Warren Ellis' new mini-series Cemetery Beach is actually strikingly reminiscent of the first issue of the current Barbarella comic series. But the similarity is coincidental because the story setting isn't highly original. The first issue is energetic and briskly paced but particularly for that reason not tremendously substantial. For better or worse, illustrator Jason Howard's art enhances the action spectacle side of the story but does very little to enhance the darker, more oppressive and threatening tone of the story and setting. I don't watch contemporary children's cartoons, so my comparison may be lacking when I describe the first issue of Bully Wars as evocative of a Dexter's Laboratory or Spongebob Squarepants style of post-Ren & Stimpy self-aware but still child-oriented satirical cynicism. The first issue both looks and reads like a dynamic, cinematic children's cartoon. So it earns credit in that respect, but I'm definitely not the audience demographic for this type of storytelling. Read a preview copy of Cold Spots issue 1 and didn't like it. The protagonist is a raging jerk. Seems like there's a typo on the next to last page because I don't understand what, "Someone why doesn't," means. And no offense intended to illustrator Mark Torres, but the art looks like a bad imitation of Mike Mignola's. In many panels people's faces look deformed.

      Watched the Jets/Redskins pre-season week 2 game and the Radiers/Rams and Bucs/Titans week 3 games.

      Comment


        Watched Planet With episode 7 and the very interesting episode 8.

        Watched Hugtto Precure 28.

        As of episode 9, Baki is starting to become a bit tedious because the home field boys still insist on fighting with rules and techniques against practically inhuman monsters who fight with the intention of inflicting permanent injury or death. It's kind of like the amateur leagues trying to fight the pros. Also watched episode 10.

        Watched Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2 episodes 7 & 8.

        After several episodes lacking substantial action and gratification, Overlord III episode 7 finally served up a little bit of fun. Episode 8 is the best episode of the series in ages because it's unpredictable and finally depicts Ains actually behaving like the sinister monster he's supposed to be.

        I especially appreciated the Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Unicorn sight gags in Jashin-chan Dropkick episode 7. Also watched episode 8.

        Went to the theatrical screening of Night is Short, Walk On Girl. Despite the film being only 90 minutes, it still feels long because it's so dialogue heavy. But I enjoyed the movie even more the second time because I went into it this time with more awareness of the relationships of the large cast and the various interwoven plot threads.

        Watched High Score Girl episodes 6 & 7.

        Glad to see that Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu episode 8 fulfills the promise made by the prior episode.

        The forced drama in Hanebad episode 8 is thick enough to cut with a knife. Episode 9 is also schizophrenic, but at least it takes some time to establish context.

        Watched Yama no Susume 3 episodes 8 & 9.

        A bit unexpectedly, Tenrou episode 6 actually isn't too bad. Episode 7, however, is back to normal.

        None of the episode of Satsuriku no Tenshi have been good, but episode 8 is especially weak.

        Banana Fish episodes 7 & 8 are terrible soap opera.

        Even if Shichisei no Subaru has been laying the groundwork for its revelation from the beginning, now that episode 8 has revealed the revelation, it's so implausible and ridiculous, because the show hasn't actually adequately laid proper groundwork to make the scenario believable, that the show now feels like a terrible joke.

        I fully anticipated that Shinya Tensai Bakabon would eventually parody animation quality (again). Episode 6 did so fairly well.

        Watched Harukana Receive episode 8.

        At the somewhat local theatrical screening of the first two Donten ni Warau Gaiden short movies, I was one of only two people in the theater. The two hour-long movies are exactly what one would expect. They're slightly above average animation quality and heavily angsty bishounen melodrama with just enough action to keep them from being purely talking heads. Actually, the second film does contain a moderate amount of action. And both films feel distinctly intended for well-versed fans of the franchise because both films make plentiful unexplained references to the larger story.

        Watched Asobi Asobase episode 7. Episode 8 may be the most uproariously hilarious episode of the series so far. Good God, "I caught it in my phone!" made me laugh out loud.

        I'm conflicted over the fifth episode of Starlight. The show repeatedly emphasizes the scenario concept that Seisho Music Academy and its elite students are strictly the most talented and most highly motivated, yet repeatedly the show undermines its own scenario. This episode depicts Mahiru as a weak-willed, easily distracted hanger-on. Certainly the girls will have differences in skill and talent, but when multiple girls including Mahiru and Karen are depicted as so hesitant, uncommitted, or inferior, the viewer has to wonder how these girls even got accepted to this prestigious academy in the first place. Episode 6 is fine. Episode 7 reveals a surprise plot twist that actually doesn't entirely feel surprising given the groundwork that the show has laid previously.

        The “Super Duper Cut” is the definitive edit of Deadpool 2. Much of the additional 15 minutes of footage is heavily front loaded, but additional footage and reworked dialogue appear throughout the film. More importantly, the extended cut of the movie feels better paced, more cohesive, and more coherent. The extra running time gives the film time to breath and feel more like a linear story than a choppy series of sequential events. Some additional violence and additional jokes also flesh out the film and make the film feel more complete and substantial.

        Watched Mr. Plinkett’s review of The Last Jedi. Sadly, it’s not either especially funny or especially insightful. It’s mostly just an hour of complaining that Last Jedi isn’t an Empire Strikes Back remake.

        Watched the Baltimore/Indinapolis, Philadelphia/Cleveland, Tampa/Detroit, Pittsburgh/Tennessee, New Orleans/Los Angeles, Cincinnati/Buffalo, and Arizona/Dallas pre-season games. I think NBC's new "green zone" visual highlighting is unnecessary.

        Comment


          Watched Hugtto Precure episode 29.

          Watched Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu episode 9.

          Watched Gintama 360-362.

          Watched Isekai Izakaya Nobu episodes 21 & 22.

          Watched Shinya Tensai Bakabon episode 7.

          Watched Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro episodes 8 & 9.

          Watched Lupin Part V episode 21. The episode is interesting because it's unpredictable and escalates a previous interesting concept to higher degree.

          Watched Angolmois episodes 7 & 8.

          Watched Emiya-san Chi no Kyou no Gohan episode 9.

          The problem with the cliffhanger climax of Harukana Receive episode 9 is that viewers can already predict how the next match will turn out. The entire series has been building up to a certain reunion, so it virtually has to happen.

          The climax of High Score Girl episode 8 is exceptional and really pays off the anticipation.

          Viewed in isolation, Planet With episode 9 is exciting, but as the culmination of its previous episodes, episode 9 is fantastic.

          Watched Hataraku Saibou episode 8-9.

          Watched Asobi Asobase episode 9.

          Finally, in Baki episode 11 the home team begins to assert itself.

          Despite not being helmed by either the Tiger & Bunny TV series director or films director, the Tiger & Bunny conceptual spin-off series Double Decker still manages to feel distinctly reminiscent of Tiger & Bunny. Unfortunately, it also happens to feel so reminiscent of numerous other past anime that it practically has no identity or uniqueness of its own. Despite having character designs by Masakazu Katsura, in both physical design and color design the characters all bear a striking resemblance to Yasuomi Umetsu's signature style. In fact, the Seven-O police team is highly reminiscent of the cast of Yasuomi Umetsu's Wizard Barristers. Doug Billingham's bullet concoction machine is straight out of a sentai hero show while his use of special bullets looks and feels remarkably similar to Amon from Witch Hunter Robin. The cop/detective/hero opposed to freakish superhuman criminals feels like a hybrid of Tiger & Bunny and Dimension W while the seeming protagonist being incompetent and largely an observer also recollects The Reflection. I was not especially enthused by either Tiger & Bunny or The Reflection. This show feels very heavily indebted to both, which probably explains my lack of enthusiasm for it.

          Watched the first episode of Kamisama Minarai Himitsu no Cocotama: Natsu da! Oohashagi Special because it's one of the current season shows I still hadn't sampled. I can tell easily why the Cocotama franchise has been so popular. This second series first episode has a pleasant, simple charm that would be very appealing to young children. The first episode also briefly introduces the new mini-goddess Ribon, who is very amusingly stupid.

          Watched Jashin-chan Dropkick episode 9.

          Kyoto Holmes episode 6 is another rather dumb one because it demands an impossible degree of suspension of disbelief to propose that such an elaborate multi-step hoax got pulled off flawlessly within literal seconds. Furthermore, beginning with episode 6, the inclusion of Rikyu feels most like an editor insisted that the story include more characters because Rikyuu adds nothing of substance to the show. Episode 7 rather bluntly reveals the careless weaknesses of this series. It's bad enough that Aoi is able to accurately judge the authenticity of antiques without touching them or examining them closely. And the show furthermore makes no effort to explain any of her reasoning or judgments. But it gets worse when it proposes that even a professional antiques appraiser works strictly by memory and gut instinct, without any tools, any science, any investigation, or any research. Determining that an antique is counterfeit strictly by announcing, “It doesn't feel authentic to me,” is not professional credibility. As a result, this show about antiques appraising seems as if it was written by someone who had less than average common knowledge about antiques appraising. Also watched episodes 8 & 9.

          Overlord III episode 9 is pretty interesting.

          Watched all but the final five minutes of the Jacksonville/Tampa pre-season week 4 game. When the result of the game was obvious, I switched to watching the Broncos/Cardinals game.

          Comment


            I think that possibly viewers were supposed to feel some empathy and even pity during Satsuriku no Tenshi episode 9, but the episode is just a chore to watch because it alternates between dull and stupid. In a community of heartless killers, a murderer who accuses Rachel of being immorally narcissistic is so hypocritical that it would be laughable if the show didn't present the scenario with such deadpan seriousness. As a result, the scene is just dumb. Seemingly the episode wants to milk even more pity for Zac, but he's never been a sympathetic character because he has no sense of responsibility or remorse. He's not a nice guy hiding underneath a psychopathic exterior. He's a remorseless killer with only a fractured, inconsistent sense of gratitude. He's aggressively, willfully stupid and one disposable exception lacking context doesn't suddenly shine a new light on his entire personality.

            I'm conflicted over Lupin Part V episode 22. After a very smart episode 21, I appreciate what this episode is trying to do, but it works in a very hamfisted way.

            Watched Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai 2 episode 9.

            Tenrou episode 8 isn't great, but at unlike the average, it's not bad.

            Watched Yama no Susume 3 episode 10.

            Super Dragon Ball Heroes episode 3 is rather disappointing because Super Saiyajin Blue Vegetto seems uncharacteristically weak.

            Went to the Fathom Events theatrical screening of Perfect Blue. Seeing the film again for the first time in years reminds me of what a masterpiece the movie is.

            I'm a bit disappointed by Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu episode 10. The first of the two surprises in the plot was sadly a bit predictable. But it's not out of character for the style of the show. However, the secondary plot twist is far more unsettling because it contradicts several episodes' worth of prior context. So it feels like a cheap, arbitrary twist rather than a thoughtful and organic natural plot progression.

            Watched Hugtto Precure episode 30.

            Watched Harukana Receive episode 10.

            On the whole, Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro episode 10 isn't an exceptional episode, but it does contain a few exceptional gags.

            Baki as of episode 12 is really starting to get a bit tedious. It's starting to feel redundant because the antagonists behave like robots, and the lead characters refuse to either learn from their mistakes or fully commit to their own principles.

            Overlord III episode 10 is another transitional episode without much meat.

            As of issue 4, writer Garth Ennis' horror comic series A Walk Through Hell can be summarized loosely as two people are trapped in a haunted house, so one tells a ghost story to the other. The ghost story may or may not be related to the haunted house the couple are presently within. The comic is made confusing by several factors. The series started out with a heavy focus on social media and xenophobia. But after the story's first two or three pages, that undercurrent appears to have been abandoned. The story gradually increases its focus on the flashback, so the reader becomes confused by the jarring shifts in narrative focus. And the writing strives to emulate natural speech, so the dialogue is often fractured and incomplete, forcing readers to piece together what's going on from context and intuition. The fifth issue of Isola continues to suffer from a similar problem. The writing wants to be mysterious but is actually so opaque that readers lack a strong connection and empathy for the story and characters. Being mysterious is one thing, but events just happening over and over again for seemingly no reason, and all of them seemingly leading to no resolution just feels unsatisfying. Issue 5 describes itself as the end of a chapter, but rather little seems to have occurred, and the end of the issue lacks any sort of closure or climax. I've tried to appreciate this series, but since it's now taking a several month hiatus, I may quit myself of it now that it's reached an arbitrary stopping point. From a strict perspective the Silencer Annual issue 1 isn't necessary. It's a flashback that literally illustrates details the core story has already described. But literally seeing the flashback rather than having it narrated provides some gratification. On a side note, increasingly I wonder why this series struggles so much to deliberately avoid using the proper names of mainstream DC characters including Superman, Batman, and Ra's al Ghul. For example, the issue refers to Batman as “Detective” eight times and as either “He” or “Him” a whopping twenty-one times but only drops the name “Batman” once. Silencer is a Batman universe character, so I don't understand why the comic is so eager to play up the Batman connection yet simultaneously so hesitant to actually say the name “Batman.” The first issue of Image Comics' new crime/action series Dead Rabbit feels a bit like a less pretentious cousin to the earlier Renato Jones 1% series. The first episode was, I'll concede, a bit better than I expected, but my expectations were minimal. The first issue is fine, although not unique or creative enough to make me curious about reading further. Read Cavewoman: Raptorella's Revenge 2 and Nancy in Hell (2018) issue 2.

            Iron Fist season 2 has been praised for having improved fight choreography. Within the season's first three episodes I see evidence of the fight choreography making more use of surrounding props, but the fight choreography otherwise still doesn't look appreciably different or superior than the first season. In my eyes too much of it still looks like street brawling rather than formal, precise kung fu or trained martial arts. To its credit, the second season does pick up the pace, but it doesn't feel any smarter than the weak first season did. Notably, Joy's frustration seems dubiously misplaced. Her father and brother lied to her for years. Danny kept the secret for only a few weeks, yet she blames Danny exclusively. Moreover, she accuses Danny of being manipulative and shrewd. The show actually suggests that Danny isn't thoughtful enough to be manipulative. He's too simple-minded (read: dumb) to be devious. The early episodes also emphasize Colleen's practically obsessive efforts to track down clues about her mother despite the fact that her characterization has already firmly established that she had little connection to her family and little reason to care as much as she suddenly seemingly does.

            Watched most of the Eagles' opening day win over the Falcons, the Bucs rack up an impressive victory over the Saints, the Panthers defeat the Cowboys, and the Packers pull a surprise comeback against the Bears. Also watched the Jets humiliate the Lions, and watched the Raiders lose to the Rams because QB Derek Carr played so terribly.

            Comment


              By episode 10, I'm not sure what Hanebad is trying to do and not even certain that the show itself knows. Co-protagonist Ayano started out sympathetic, but especially in this episode she's an outright villain. However, the show suggests that it wants to redeem her, but the way in which such redemption would come contradicts the entire point of the effort.

              Watched Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2 episode 10.

              Watched Sunohara-sou no Kanrinin-san episode 7.

              Hugtto Precure episode 31 is quite a nice episode.

              I'm a bit disappointed by Angolmois episode 9 because after episode 8 set up a tense situation, episode 9 ignores the set-up in order to create a sensationalistic, cinematic conflict instead of a logical one that makes sense in relation to the scenario. Episode 10 is a transitional episode lacking much action.

              On one hand Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu episode 11 is the most intense episode of the series, but even as it tries very hard to explain its plot twist, the explanation still isn't convincing to me.

              Planet With episode 10 is a fun, neat episode.

              Watched Wakaokami wa Shougakusei episodes 14-16.

              High Score Girl episode 9 is again a sweet episode because the show has spent so much time setting up its character relationships. Also watched episode 10.

              Asobi Asobase episode 10 is fun and includes a few exceptionally funny gags.

              Finished off Izakaya Nobu episodes 23 & 24, which definitely feel like the end of the series.

              Watched Hataraku Saibou episode 10.

              Watched Overlord III episode 11.

              To varying degrees of effort and success, Predator, Predator 2, and Predators aimed to be suspenseful, harrowing action films. They were films about humans being stalked by unseen hunters. Shane Black's The Predator, on the other hand, is not a sci-fi rendition of “The Most Dangerous Game” nor is does it even attempt to be a taut, frightening film. The Predator is barely restrained lunacy. It's a hyperbolic comic book on screen, filled with guns, explosions, gore, juvenile jokes, and a menagerie of exaggerated one-note G.I. Joe rejects as characters. The characters in this film, both human and alien, aren't individuals; they're distinctive personality quirks with bodies. They may as well have code-names instead of proper names. Ironically, while the film does actually have some substantial plot revelations – roughly on par with the first and third films – the emphasis is distinctly on creating a boyhood fantasy. Despite the film having a consistent narrative backbone, everything seems to occur spontaneously, as if director Shane Black was imaginatively creating the story with action figures in a sandbox. Despite referencing the prior movies, The Predator feels most like a version of Paul Anderson's Aliens vs Predator that doesn't suck quite so much. It's not a serious film whatsoever. It's a goofy grindhouse fantasy far more in the vein of ridiculous action pictures like Punisher: War Zone, Crank, True Lies, and Big Trouble in Little China, or a Predator film with the larger-than-life attitude of a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. From a rational, objective, adult perspective, the film is not good. From the perspective of a twelve-year-old boy who only cares whether the film is “cool,” it's a complete success because it's batsh_t f_cking crazy.

              After watching Iron Fist season 2 episodes 4-7 I realized that the show itself isn't especially dumb. It's just most of the characters who are stupid.

              Read Paper Girls issue 24. Head Lopper volume 3 issue 1 still has the problem present in volume 2. Occasionally the panel layout and art makes distinguishing exactly what's occurring confusing. But this issue does feel like a solid, interesting beginning to a fantasy adventure. I'm pleased and also a bit saddened that Mage III issue 12, now so close to the end of the series, is the first issue of "Hero Denied" that truly feels like a Mage comic to me.

              Watched the Bengals beat the Ravens. After Ryan Fitzpatrick did such a good job leading the Bucs to a win over the Eagles, I wonder if we actually need Winston back. Watched the Jaguars beat the Patriots. Watched the Bears beat the Seahawks.

              Comment


                Lupin Part V episode 23 is fun. I'm conflicted over episode 24. It contains a massive series altering revelation that's treated like a disposable gag because the production staff knew it wasn't a good idea but couldn't think of any other option. More importantly, the episode involves so many moving pieces that it feels just a bit rushed. I would have liked more context and establishment for the pieces being put in place before the final move. I also realized that I'd accidentally skipped over episode 20, so I went back and watched it.

                Because I'd never seen any of it and had an opportunity, I watched the first episode of Toei's 1988 shoujo drama Hello! Lady Lynn. The show has fairly good animation quality. Otherwise it's predictably similar in tone and style to other pre-adolescent shoujo dramas like Candy Candy, Futari no Lotte, Lady Georgie, and Minami no Niji no Lucy.

                Unfortunately instead of getting better as it unfolds, Shichisei no Subaru consistently goes in the opposite direction. Watched episode 9. The climax prior to the cliffhanger in episode 11 tries quite hard and would have actaully been emotionally resonant had the entire plot thread been introduced from the outset instead of introduced only one episode before. Episode 12 is unfortunately typical of the series. The most obvious and superficial conflict gets resolved, but none of the underlying larger plot points are even explained. As much as I want to like this show, it's just not very good.

                Satsuriku no Tenshi episode 10 was literally such a tedious chore to watch that I had to force myself to struggle through it. None of the story development is real, and there's no sense whatsoever in any attempt to take seriously the hypocritical self-serving claims of immoral scum who try to project their own weakness on someone else and claim that the victim is more evil than they are. Episode 11 isn't good, but thankfully it's not quite as toilsome as episode 10.

                The final episode of Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu is passable but sadly unexceptional.

                Watched the second Welcome to Japari Park short.

                Harukana Receive episodes 11 & 12 are a fine ending to a pleasant show, with the caveat that the show is only a first chapter of a story rather than a full story.

                Angolmois episode 11 is a non-stop action episode with a tremendous and impactful body count.

                Watched Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro episodes 11 & 12.

                Watched Yama no Susume 3 episodes 11 & 12.

                High Score Girl episode 11 had two particularly nice moments. And I'm surprised and impressed that it made a joke about the infamous loading times on the original single-speed Neo-Geo CD console.

                Still upsetting that Tenrou is ostensibly an action show, but it's so boring. Ryoko is really the only appealing character, and she's only a minor supporting character. Yuliy in particular is not an appealing protagonist because he never learns from his mistakes. He behaves on impulse, and whenever he tries to think about his actions, he makes the wrong choices. And good Lord, the climax of episode 10 is just plain dumb. Watched episodes 9 & 10.

                Watched Baki episode 13.

                The final three episodes of Iron Fist season 2 aren't brilliant, but at least they're eventful and lead into the promise of some rather laughably silly stuff.

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