Saturday, January 17, 2015

Short First Impressions: Rolling Girls Episode 1 and 2 - So What's the Point?

Rolling Girls is big and wild. The gorgeous visuals pulse with manic energy. It's crazy, it's mad and its scope is huge. Yet, with so much happening on a visceral level, how is it that, really, nothing happens at all?

For the introductory episodes, Rolling Girls doesn't set anything up that's worthwhile. I understand what the show has set up, but I don't understand what the PURPOSE of it all is. The world exploration isn't so much an exploration. Rather, it's jerked along by directionless loosely-strung vignettes. Scenes bounce to scenes without much impact because a narrative is never fleshed out to drive it.

This lack of a core identity leads to some frustrating tonal shifts. The dramatic developments are bad enough as is because they sort of "come and go" with the mistaken notion that these sporadic moments work to characterize the girls rather than actually establishing motivations and personality. Worse, Rolling Girls treats these dramatic developments as a separate trait from its quirky craziness resulting in a muddled "oil in water" mess of a definitive purpose. They feel like a completely different story. One that doesn't belong with all the colorful explosions and the flashy vibrant fights. 

A lot of people compare Rolling Girls to FLCL and Kill la Kill, which is a big disservice to two fantastic shows that set up direction and a purpose right from the get go. Every scene transitions with narrative propulsion and impact(the actual merits of a scene are debatable and of a completely different matter). Sure, Rolling Girls is crazy in the sense that so many bombastic scenarios are thrown out into the open, but it works solely as an aesthetic and one that's neither clever or unique. FLCL and Kill la Kill's craziness are motivated and thoughtful. Ideas are thrown at the walls and themes are addressed and tackled with  compelling characters and dramatic correnspondence. 

Ultimately, what makes FLCL and Kill la Kill work is because they have a voice. Rolling Girls does not.

Additional Updates:

Though college and work have seriously cut down my free time, I'd be lying with you if I said laziness didn't factor into my recent lack of posts. I got a bunch of stuff started up that never went anywhere and the only thing to blame is my lack of self-motivation. So with the old year gone and the new year kicking in, my resolution is to get back to posting regularly, at least once every two weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is a Poorly Directed Anime

Really loving Bahamut this season, but if there's honestly one anime that's really been running through my mind the most, it's KimiUso (or Your Lie in April). I know while I watched the series, that I always felt uncomfortable and perturbed by what I thought the series conveyed. Then I noticed that many manga readers, fans who were familiar and initially fine with the story, stating that, they too, were also feeling conflicted with the adaptation. I wanted to dig into why this was and so, with my animu blogger and buddy, Frog-kun, we wrote an editorial on the matter that y'all should all read over here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Grisaia's Cinematography vs. Amagi's

Real surprised that people are praising Grisaia for the beautiful cinematography. If anything, it's the worst looking first episode I've seen so far. Even Terraformars' shoddy cinematography just struck me as complete laziness and lacking any basic knowledge of how a shot works. Here, the creators obviously have some understanding of cinematography from a surface level, they just don't how it all connects on a deeper level.

I hope any readers won't find this article too "nit-pick-y", since most pay heed to the writing and the general surface level of direction. However, for someone who's passionate about the visual arts, I want to argue that, as stated in an answer, cinematography is similar to the prose to a book. You can have something interesting to say, but it means jack shit if you don't know how to say it.

Cinema is a language and, like any language, it's not something you understand overnight. I'm no Stanley Kubrick or David Fincher, but over the years I've been striving to learn everything about cinemaitc language so I can become like them. Over the years, I feel like I know enough to try to give you readers a taste of why this language means so much to me and why Grisaia's cinematic language is only of a beginner's.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gone Girl - Movie Review

Gone Girl is David Fincher's "Finchiest" film yet and the most fun he's had since his 1999, Fight Club. It's also much nastier than Fight Club. Sheer off all the nihilistic, cynical muck from that film and at its core you'll find that it's a well-meaning tale about one man's loneliness and his desperation to connect with other people. Gone Girl's core is black and shriveled. It's pure concentrated nastiness; the trashiest of trash. But, oh, is it glorious fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Individual Details vs. The Big Picture

Should we be able to heavily criticize a story for plot holes and implausible logic when it succeeds in hitting home its major themes? And what about series that become too calculating to the point that it doesn't even propose a big picture? Flawfinder and I discuss matters with regular attendee, Bobduh (Wrong Every Time), returning guest, Appropriant (Perpetual Morning), and first-timer, Lemur (Generally Critical)

MP3 Download:


00:21 – Hooked on a Feeling (Blue Swede)
01:09 – Introductions
02:24 – Terror in Resonance
17:56 – Tokyo ESP
25:26 – Aldnoah.Zero
37:18 – Stardust Crusaders
48:38 – Tokyo Ghoul
52:54 – Outros
53:43 – Garden of Love (Meet the Feebles)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Seasonal Anime Podcast - Summer First Impressions

Finally back with another podcast. Flawfinder and I are the only regular attendees of this podcast as Landon had his birthday and Bobduh was on vacation. Joining us are returning guests, Appropriant (Perpetual Morning), BokuSatchii (SatchiiKoma) and Sorrows Neptune (AnimeisDead) along with first-timer Guy (Geekorner-Geekulture)

MP3 Download:

00:19 - Terror of Resonance OP
01:25 - Introductions
02:30- Tokyo Ghoul
06:37 - Terror of Resonance
13:35 - Barakamon
18:27 - Nozaki-kun
22:22 - Sabagebu
25:21 - Sword Art Online 2
33:06 -
39:49 - Akame ga Kill
45:20 - Sailor Moon Crystal
50:34 - Nozaki-kun ED

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Late Summer First Impressions - Part 2

Tokyo ESP

When you utilize “In media res”, you’re starting your story in the middle, or often the climax. You’re throwing the viewer right into the action, giving them a quick taste of what’s to come in hopes of hooking their attention and, like all forms of techniques to bait the audience, can often be a successful way of doing so. For example, Chuck Palahniuk puts this method to use quite often in his novels as a clever way of keeping the reader wondering just how point A results to what we saw of point B.