Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dororon Enma-kun

When I saw the names Go Nagai and Yoshihiro Yonetani together, I figured they'd produce something absolutely batshit.
Was not disappointed.

I'd seen the recent Enma-kun OAV, which was a fairly disastrous attempt to gritty up the property; Yonetani, naturally, embraces Go Nagai's penchant for cringe-worthy humor with such gusto that I found it hard not to laugh, even when the heroine is doing a pee dance, or the old lady at the sento is swinging her tits around. And the monster of the week spawning a giant metal cock for Enma to sword fight is pretty much awesome by any standard.
Objectively, this is not at all a good show, but the unique energies of these two madmen seem to feed off each other fairly well; if the opening above gets you wet, then FUCK, watch it.

We also checked out the first episode of Tiger and Bunny, which was fun; let's hope they don't hit the workaholic dad has no time for his kid cliche too hard, because the corporate sponsored heroes working for points on a reality TV show premise is working for me better than I expected.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Media Diary, "Reminded of Better Shows" Edition

Not much I've seen lately excites me enough to muster a real post, but let's do a quick rundown to keep the blog from getting any dustier.

Peacock King (aka Spirit Warrior) is far duller than you'd expect from a show where Neo-Nazi black magic cultists discover they are actually robots with false memories of being human. Possibly because at least half of the first episode is wasted on tedious mumbo jumbo made up mysticism plot exposition, and then episode two slams through about 3-4 episodes' worth of plot and apparently ends with the hero sacrificing himself to restore world peace. You would wonder how there can possibly be another three episodes, and the answer is "by pretending the first two never happened and starting over, with a lower budget." Overall, I'd say any jones for watching Rintaro-directed magic dudes blowing shit up would be better satisfied by X, even the hilariously abridged movie version.

I was hoping STRAIN might be entertainingly bizarre thanks to the "vaguely based on A Little Princess" thing, but it ended up as yet another smoking wreck of wasted potential. All the ingredients for a decent show are here, but that show is called Gunbuster. I did think GB was a bit rushed at 6 episodes, but Strain spends most of its 13 just spinning its wheels; the situation and character dynamics are set into place fairly early on, and the show basically wraps up the way you think it will. On top of that, the nasty GONZOish CGI mecha ruined the fight scenes for me, and the interstellar telepathic hivemind of naked little girls makes me want to bang my face into a desk forever. It is also probably not a good idea to name your main antagonist "Ralph" if you want to give him any gravitas at all. I kind of respect the show's perverse commitment to making the heroine completely PTSD and unlikeable, and the blank-eyed doll constantly staring at her during the space battles is sort of hilariously creepy, but on the whole this is a very skippable series.

Geobreeders is sadly not as good as I remember it being. The characters are still pleasantly eccentric, but the run-and-gun-and-explode action is only OK (and they sort of forgot to put any in the sequel). Perhaps my bar for breakneck setpiece silliness has been raised since the '90s.

Evangelion is awesome as always, glad I waited to see 2.22 on blu-ray, blah blah blah. At this point there's just not much left to say about Eva that hasn't been rehashed over and over since 1995. I am a little annoyed that people are praising this movie as an unprecedented emotional lightening of the series and not remembering that its happy characters and awesome robot fights were pretty much all already in the TV episodes it's riffing on (admittedly with a lower budget, but still pretty great-looking), but that's nothing new either. I do wonder what Mari's deal is, but there's just not much to go on; she barely appears in the movie, and most of her scenes rehash things Asuka or Kaji did originally. I suspect she may be some kind of subtle taunt to the Shinji-haters, since she's pretty much his direct opposite but her hot-blooded piloting style fails completely (and in ways that directly reference two of Asuka's notable failures).

Actually, I probably can get a whole post out of Key the Metal Idol, I mainly just wanted to post these screengrabs while I still thought they were funny. It is a pleasing strain of David Lynchian crazy, even if JP Meyer hated it. Just watch out for all the talking in that first movie.