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Topic: What are you watching?

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ralphdibny

@LtSarge ahhh it's hard to say whether someone else would like it at the best of times haha let alone if they don't watch movies normally. It is a sequel to Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman. I don't think any of the sequels or spin offs have topped Man of Steel though, it's my favourite movie in the series. The only other DC movie since MoS that I've thought is as good or is better was Joker and that's not in the same continuity so not a sequel or spin off.

It's on Sky Cinema/NowTV over here, for once they've done quite a good job in getting a worldwide rollout onto streaming services people might actually be subscribed to so I'd do a quick search on Google "Justice League Snyder cut + (your country) stream" if you are interested.

I was tempted by Riverdale but didn't have time in the end, I doubt I'll get into it now. I probably will watch that Sabrina show when I have a rainy day come up. I'm not in any hurry though because it's a "Netflix original" over here so I doubt it's leaving any time soon. Even if they don't make the shows they will call a show a Netflix original in the UK if they've bought the exclusive rights to it. Titans and Black Lightning are both Netflix originals in the UK even though they were DCU and CW exclusives respectively in the US.

Edit: ah lame, I did just Google Sweden and it says you have HBO Max over there so I'm guessing it will be on that. It's probably a bit of a niche service to subscribe to

Edited on by ralphdibny

ralphdibny

LtSarge

@ralphdibny Ahh, that's too bad then. Maybe they'll add it later in the future if it ever leaves HBO.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is really good as well! It's one of those shows that gets better and better each season. It's too bad though that they cancelled it, it was one of the few shows that I still followed on Netflix, on top of other ones like Stranger Things. Netflix is honestly becoming less appealing to me as times goes on. Shows like Orange is the New Black, Sense8, House of Cards etc. have ended and they aren't starting up any ambitious ones like those anymore. Although I just browsed through Netflix and it seems like they've released a lot of new Originals, but most of them haven't really blown up in popularity. Maybe I just need to try watching these and hopefully find some hidden gems. I have been out of the loop in terms of Netflix releases for the past year or two, so I might have missed out on some great shows.

Speaking of which, is Black Lightning worth watching?

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge haha you probably know what I'm going to say, I love Black Lightning. The stakes feel higher because they are more personal, generally the show feels more grounded than the rest of the Arrowverse. The first season is solid, it's a bit up and down from there. My friend thinks it's cheesy as hell but he doesn't have the rest of the Arrowverse to compare it to. I think it's the least cheesy of the lot, it's played straight most of the way through and it works. Anything that isn't played straight is done with tongue firmly in cheek. There's lots of family moments and community aspects, I'd say there's a fair bit of action but it's been a while since I watched it and the soundtrack is just excellent.

I used to watch the old Sabrina sitcom when I was a kid and loved it a lot. I know this one is different and is more of a horror focused drama but it still looks really good. It is hard to choose on Netflix sometimes for sure! I barely have any time to watch anything that's not superhero related these days though unfortunately.

If I do, I normally choose something that has an actor or actors in it that I like, or something that's made by a filmmaker I am familiar with or part of a series I've watched before. Sometimes I walk in on my family watching something on Netflix and get engrossed so that's normally my gateway into shows that don't hook me with their title and icon on the app.

ralphdibny

urrutiap

stuff Im watching this weekend

for DVD
Mel Gibson's Fatman movie
the new Wrong Turn reboot
original Prom Night
Prom Night 2 Hello Mary Lou

on Netflix
some of Season 7 of Star Trek Next Generation
Season 2 of Star Trek Deep Space Nine

urrutiap

RR529

YashaHime: Princess Half Demon Season 1 (Hulu). Nostalgia feuled sequel of InuYasha, it reframes Sesshomaru as the central character from the original series and follows Towa Higurashi & Setsuna, the twin half demon daughters borne between Sesshomaru and Rin (the little girl he was charged with protecting in the original series, probably for the better it doesn't bother to explain how the connection between the two became romantic as she got older). The twins, seperated at a young age and both raised by adoptive families, meet up again as teenagers where it's learned that Setsuna has no memories of before the split & is "cursed" to never sleep. The two journey to recover Setsuna's missing memories, and along the way join up with Moroha, the daughter of InuYasha & Kagome, who likewise doesn't have her parents in her life.

Sorry if this runs on a bit (and a lot of names/terms won't make since if you're not acquainted with the OG series), but as a huge fan of the original series, there is a lot here for me to unpack, especially the issues I have with it, so please bear with me:

1. The "Rainbow Pearls". The new magical mcguffins introduced for the series, they effectively act like mini Shikon Jewels (the mcguffin of the OG series), and as we learn near the end of the season they were in fact created by the Shikon Jewel itself (via a wish by one of the main antagonists). My problem with these is that they're effectively like the "Black Star Dragon Balls" in Dragon Ball GT, in that their existence predates the events of the OG series and no in-universe explanation is given as to why they went completely unnoticed during the previous series' events. Furthermore, after all the hooplah surrounding them, when one of the main antagonists gathers them all near the end of the season, she gets one shotted (back to the DB comparisons, the Pearls, of which there are 7, scatter across the land in a nearly identical fashion to the Dragon Balls in the final episode).
2. The writers know that the old fans are here to find out what happened to the original cast, but the girls just don't seem to care about their parents (particularly Sesshomaru's daughters). In the first half of the season it's full of references & Easter eggs to draw in fans of the original series, but the whereabouts of the OG cast just isn't that high on the list of stuff the girls care about. About 15 or so episodes in the writers do away with the ruse and legit dedicate an episode to one of the villains breaking the 4th wall and expositioning the fate of the OG cast via a flashback directly to the audience, an event completely unrelated to the girls. Making things even worse is that the girls are surrounded by a supporting cast that's been around since the OG series (Kaede, Myoga, Kohaku, etc.) and none of them seem at all interested in discussing the fate of the parents who they haven't seen in over 14 years, which is more bizarre & out of character than anything.
3. Between the 3 girls Towa is the lead, & she's terrible:
A. Via a convoluted means it's she who is whisked away to the future & raised by Kagome's family as their granddaughter (hence the Higurashi surname despite being Sesshomaru & Rin's daughter), and the show can't decide whether or not it wants her to be a "Mary Sue" or incompetent. On one hand it gives her 3 big powerups in the first 6 or so episodes (with some abilities only being tangentially related to Sesshomaru, if at all, such as her ability to absorb demon energy, which seems to be a departure from the original series inferring that half demons only inherent lesser versions of their demon parent's abilities), and despite living a cushy life she often gets the kill over her sister & cousin who are shown to be much more seasoned warriors, sometimes one shotting enemies they struggled with (as a comparison with the OG series, Kagome couldn't properly hold a bow for the first 15 or so episodes).
B. On the other hand she's more naive about the past than Kagome ever was. During her first ordeal in the past, when faced with a demon who has literally ripped peoples' skeletons out in front of her to eat them, she suggests that they try to work things out peacefully so no one has to die. She seemingly learns her lesson about the harsh realities of the time period, only to have to learn the same lesson again and again, starting at square one every other episode (even as far as episode 18 when first confronted with the big bad, she nicely asks him if he would please stop antagonizing them). A few times she's even written to be incomprehensibly stupid as well. About 12-13 episodes in they deal with a demon who has kidnapped a 13 year old girl as he is obsessed with making her "his woman" (to the point of burning men alive if they happen to see her), and Towa's response is to straight faced say she understands his obsession as it mirrors her addiction to her smartphone. At the end of the episode the lesson she learns is that she needs to learn to let go of the past (or future in this case) and put away her phone (despite the fact it has a number of practical uses as a recording & note taking device). Making this asinine concept even worse however is that this smartphone that she was supposedly addicted to had never even appeared in a single frame of animation in any of the preceding 11-12 episodes.
4. The show seems to have a thing for taking a dump on InuYasha & Kagome in particular:
A. First off it's revealed that they waited the better part of a decade to have a kid for no other reason than to make sure the loli was old enough to have Sesshomaru's kids at the same time (and in fact they made the point to show that Rin gave birth at least a month before Kagome, so our previous leads were the last to have children). Secondly, it's revealed that when Moroha was still an infant Sesshomaru sealed away InuKag inside the tomb of Inu No Taisho (InuYasha & Sesshomaru's father). While this was done to protect them, it means they were completely shut out of raising their own daughter (or even watching her growth), and effectively writes them out of the series (assuming only Sesshomaru can open the seal, he probably won't free them until the show's climax).
B. Moroha has been given the worst childhood of the 3 girls. InuKag had her spirited away to Koga (an OG series recurring character) for safety moments before they were sealed away, but apparently he couldn't be arsed to do the job as he pawned her care off to a new character, who has a gambling problem & literally pawned Moroha off to pay for her gambling debts. Moroha starts the series off taking bounty hunter jobs for the guy who effectively owns her, so she can buy back her freedom. Making matters worse she's largely treated as the comic relief of the cast, with the jokes centering on her missing out on the episode's big fight or the target's body completely being destroyed, so she has no proof to bring back for a reward (this has been admitted by the showrunners, who said the twins were originally planned to be the only mains until they realized they didn't play off each other well enough to carry the show, so they upgraded Moroha's involvement for "personality" reasons). No explanation is given as to why Koga doesn't try & check up on her at least once every other year or hasn't busted her out (knowing his character from the OG series this just doesn't make sense).
C. In comparison, while Sesshomaru & Rin also didn't get to raise their daughters (and Rin herself is sealed away inside the Sacred Tree, which only had specific importance to the love triangle between InuYasha, Kagome, & Kikyo in the original series, co-opted to now be a place of importance to Sesshomaru & Rin), Towa got the cushy life of being raised in the modern era by Kagome's family, it's revealed that Setsuna had a tight knit adopted family that took care of her, and aloof as he is, it's revealed that Sesshomaru does watch over them from the shadows & intervienes directly or indirectly when he needs to (an opportunity fully denied to either InuYasha or Kagome on Moroha's behalf).
D. Miroku & Sango are largely uninvolved in the story (other than Miroku putting a seal on Setsuna's demonic powers in the past), but it's clearly inferred that they were able to safely raise their children (and despite Miroku temporarily being estranged from his son) they all still have a relationship with their parents (they're all off doing their own thing, but it's because they're all pushing 20 and leaving the nest). A bit of a relief for sure, but for the life of me I can't understand why InuYasha & Kagome's ending wasn't afforded the same respect, given they were the leads of the past series.
5. The Plot Holes:
A. In a flashback to a point at least 500 years ago, Inu No Taisho is shown to have the Tessaiga, Tenseiga, and uses Tessaiga to use a mastered "Meido Zangetsuha" attack. This contradicts the original series, which states the Tessaiga was created to protect InuYasha's human mother (who wouldn't be born yet during this flashback), and that Inu No Taisho was never able to master "Meido Zangetsuha" (the Tenseiga was splintered off of Tessaiga, with "Meido Zangetsuha" inside of it so Sesshomaru could master it and then return it to Tessaiga & InuYasha. Since Inu No Taisho has Tenseiga in the flashback as well, "Meido Zangetsuha" should have been linked to that sword & not Tessaiga, which he uses).
B. When they first meet, Moroha instantly knows that Towa & Setsuna are Sesshomaru's children based on their scent. As the series continues it becomes quite apparent Moroha has never met Sesshomaru (and has never spent time with her own parents either), so she should have no basis with which to recognize their scent (other than that they should be related to her in some unspecified manner).
C. In the original series it's stated that all half demons have a period of weakness once a month where they become fully human. The writers BS all sorts of reasons as to why only Towa is subject to this weakness, and only becomes subject to it upon the start of their adventure. Moroha is immune to it as she's only Quarter Demon (which really doesn't make sense, if anything she should become fully human for a longer period of time), Setsuna is immune to it because of the "curse" that keeps her from sleeping (this not only doesn't make sense, but it's starting to become clear why I'm putting "curse" in parentheses. In addition to immunization to this weakness, the "curse" also makes her immune to sleeping potions/powder/spells, the lack of sleep isn't shown to hamper her fighting ability, and the only thing she's lost are the memories of her first 4 years of life). Towa meanwhile has been immune to it until now because residing in the future negated it for unexplained reasons. The plot hole in particular comes in when Setsuna is completely shocked when Towa turns human, acting as if this is the first time she has ran into the phenomenon. While it is true that she herself hasn't experienced the weakness, it's later revealed she was raised in a village consisting of no one but half demons, and their lives were once endangered during the moment the village protector lost her demon powers, so she should be fully aware this is something that happens.

Granted, there are things about the series I do like, or at the very least found amusing.

  • For example the first episode is largely a shot for shot adaptation of the special epilogue mangaka Rumiko Takahashi herself published back in 2011 to cap off the original series (published after the franchise's last anime adaptation ended). Treated as a flashback, it's altered slightly to be a jumping off point for whatever story they're trying to tell in YashaHime proper, but it's one nice last bit of traditional InuYasha.
  • The girls do spend some time in the modern era during episodes 2, 3, & 4, and it's an absolute treasure seeing Moroha interact with Kagome's family, especially as they quickly figure out she's their biological relative (playing her up for comedy purposes works best here, as it's more about her fascination with all sorts of modern era junk). It's a shame that Towa's forced connection to them kinda takes time away from genuine family bonding, but it is what it is.
  • The battle in the final episode goes all DBZ with a couple of the girls (one of them actually being Moroha, after going nearly all season long neglecting her) achieving new transformations against the big bad, ending up in outer space somehow & eviscerating moons. It's completely trippy, doesn't make much since, and feels completely removed from InuYasha in scope & vibe, but it was at least a fun segment if nothing else.
  • Something they kept forshadowing throughout the season is the existence of the Grim Comet. Stupid name aside, it passes by once every 500 years or so and a chunk falls to Earth. If this chunk makes landfall it's said that it begets a calamity, with the last impact starting the age of demons. This information & some extra visual clues hint that demon origins may be extraterrestrial... which yes is insanely stupid, but more importantly the comet is closing near to Earth in the modern era. Bringing threats from the past into the modern era was a theme lightly touched on in the original InuYasha, but Takahashi largely dropped it after a few stories early on, so I'm all for YashaHime going into new territory & more involving the modern era, asinine origins for feudal era Japanese demons aside.
  • And hey, at least it's getting a second season, so it has a chance to fix some of it's issues.

All in all it still fills a bit too much like a SessRin fanfic got greenlit more than a genuine sequel though.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Tasuki

Just wrapped up a series called The Lost Pirate Kingdom on Netflix. It's a docuseries depicting the Golden Age of Pirates. It combines recreated scenes with historians discussing key subject material.

It covers the careers of such pirates as Blackbeard, Benjamin Hornigold, Anne Bonnie, and such on how each one was influential in creating a Pirate Nation in the Caribbean.

I found it interesting and the way it was presented didn't make boring at all. The recreation scenes were done good while the historian would set the scene by explaining on what was going on.

There is a fair amount of gore, mostly limbs being shot off and a few decapitations but it's expected to be given what the show is about. There is a few sex scenes as well as well as a bit of nudity but again it makes sense with the subject at hand.

Overall if you are interested in pirates or the time period it covers I highly recommend watching it.

RetiredPush Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

RR529

the Mandalorian season 1 (Disney+)

A little late to getting to this, but I really enjoyed it. The last 2 episodes of the season in particular were cracking, but there were good moments peppered throughout, such as the episode that paid homage to "Seven Samurai". Of course the production values were absolutely top notch (genuinely felt movie quality), and I can see how "the child" took the internet by storm.

Content Guide:

Language (Average) - Typical PG-13 type fare.

Violence (Average) - tons of (laser blasting) gunfights & a bit of space ship combat, but it's mostly bloodless. Characters do die.

Nudity/Sex (None) - Dude won't even take his helmet off, lol.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

With YashaHime in the rearview mirror & nothing else there I really want to watch, I decided to drop Hulu for the time being, and am trying out HiDive.

Admittedly only got it for the plethora of uncensored fanservice anime it hosts (so feel free to judge, lol), but it's also cheaper than Hulu, so there's that.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

urrutiap

been watching Feast 1 earlier tonight. Its not a bad horror movie but its kind of stupid at the same time.

urrutiap

sib

Finished watching Sex Education, which was enjoyable to the end. Then watched Love Sick, which started well but fizzled out and became a little repetitive. Now watching Fargo (the Netflix series).

"If Anything Happens I Love You" (also Netflix) is only 12mins long, but one of the best animations I've seen in a long while. Would be interested to hear other people's take on this!

sib

RR529

A couple of shows I've recently finished:

Photon: the Idiot Adventures (Amazon Prime Video) - 90's sci-fi anime OVA series that follows Photon Earth, a simple boy with immsense strength (think Goku from early Dragon Ball, though with a much less energetic personality) living on the Sandy Planet (a desert world that's seemingly Japanese in culture, it appears to actually be Earth from space shots). When Aun, the village chief's daughter & Photon's childhood friend, leaves the village in search of a handsome boyfriend, Photon is dispatched to bring her home, as she has the power to freeze time when she's upset which can cause untold problems & only Photon is immune to the effect. A few shenanigans later & Photon awakens Keyne Aqua, a fleeing rebel from the Galactic Empire, and due to completely silly reasons she considers herself the boy's wife, and he finds himself protecting her from the empire's agents (alongside an increasingly jealous Aun) as she looks for something her grandfather supposedly left hidden on the planet that can challenge the Empire's rule (and just may have something to do with Photon & Aun's abilities).

In terms of tone & aesthetic it reminds me immensely of the early Tenchi Muyo! series' (to the point that I had considered the possibility that it may have been one of the numerous Tenchi related spin-offs, though I don't think that's the case as it doesn't seem to share any lore). That in itself should be enough to tell you whether or not the series is for you. Of course it's not as good as the classic Tenchi stuff, but better than many of it's spinoffs. Due to it's short runtime of 6 episodes, there's a lot of technobabble that gets thrown around (particularly in the last episode) that's never fully explained.

Content Guide:

Language (Average) - Mostly PG-13 type stuff.

Violence (Average) - Most of the blood is played for laughs (like when a character is so angered blood starts to spout from their bulging veins), though things do get genuinely bloody in the final episode when things get serious.

Nudity/Sex (High) - Being Tenchi influenced it should come as no surprise that there's plenty of topless female nudity. There's also one quick scene in which a villain briefly gropes Keyne. Otherwise there's some nudity on the part of Photon in the same vein as early Dragon Ball Goku.

WandaVision (Disney+) - The first in a series of MCU related miniseries hitting Disney+, it follows Avengers Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) & the Vision after the events of Avengers: Endgame in which the duo are trapped in a reality where the world exists as a classic sitcom centered around their daily life as husband & wife.

Absolutely gripping. The first two episodes were a bit slow (though unique for the franchise), but when things started to slowly fall apart (and when they started to reference sitcoms I grew up watching, like Malcolm in the Middle), I was absolutely hooked. I don't usually binge shows in a short period of time, but I chew through this over a single weekend. I did find it amusing that they portrayed their powers with the kind of low fi effects seen in classic sitcoms like Bewitched in the early episodes, and the Easter Egg involving a returning character, I believe Pietro was played by the actor from the X-Men movies?

Content Guide:

Language (Average) - PG-13 type stuff again.

Violence (Average) - Typical PG-13 superhero action.

Nudity/Sex (None) - Nothing to note here.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Shows I've finished recently (going to drop the "Content Guide" bit as I should be able to adequately express such things in the write ups themselves).

the Mandalorian season 2 (Disney+) - After the events of last season the Mandalorian is tasked with returning the infant to it's people, but in order to get a lead he's going to have to track down his own, scattered across the galaxy after last season's big finale.

The show continues to be excellent, now with the inclusion of a few familiar faces from elsewhere in the franchise, and the same movie quality budget that brought the first season to life. Can't wait for the spin-off teased at the end of the season.

Triage X (HiDive via VRV) - Anime series (from the creator of High School of the Dead) that chronicles the exploits of "Black Label", a covert vigilante outfit consisting of employees of Mochizuki Hospital (and students of an affiliated high school, 'cause anime), that operates under the idea that organized crime is a "cancer" on society & they must surgically remove "cysts & tumors" (i.e. the crime bosses who are nearly untouchable by law enforcement due to government connections) as part of society's treatment regimen.

It's definitely OTT in terms of "mature content" (the female character design would fit right into Senran Kagura, with plenty of nudity to go along with it, and depictions of Yakuza groping female hostages. Also, while toned down in explicitness from the manga, of which I've read a few volumes, the violence levels are still quite high), but it's still a relatively competent action series that narratively rises above your typical "fanservice" show. While it follows the events of the manga pretty closely, some of the nuance is lost (each case they get involved with has some sort of deep personal connection to one of the members of "Black Label", but this is glossed over in the anime) & it ends without a definitive conclusion (with it's chances at a season 2 pretty much shot seeing as how it's several years old at this point). Still, depending on your tolerance for fanservice it's a solid watch.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

urrutiap

Movies im watching this week and tv shows for next week also

Prom Night II Hello Mary Lou
Let Him Go
Greenland
X-Files Seasons 2-3
The Croods 2

urrutiap

RR529

Senran Kagura (Funimation) - Anime adaptation of the (in)famous gaming franchise of the same name, following the misadventures of a group of female ninja students.

Season one, "Ninja Flash", is an apt adaptation of the main series games. It has a surprising level of quality that you wouldn't expect of a franchise of this nature, with the animation quality hitting highs I'm not quite used to seeing in fanservice focused fare, and it does a good job of following the narrative of the first game pretty closely (only with some of the personal character dynamics glossed over due to the short 12 episode run time). Of course being Senran Kagura it is consistently lewd & full of innuendo, so it's definitely an acquired taste, but it does seem to have some level of restraint as it stops just short of full on nudity (even during bathing scenes there's always a conveniently placed gathering of steam or some such), and it even brings the girls' male teacher in on the innuendo (though admittedly only two instances from memory).

Season two, "Shinovi Versus", takes a pretty big dip in quality however. Animation quality takes quite a noticeable hit, and any sense of restraint or "witty" innuendo is completely thrown out in favor of almost constant wall to wall nudity (nudity in and of itself probably isn't a con if you're watching a Senran Kagura anime in the first place, but the problem is that it's so constant that it's depiction is just as cheaply animated as every other aspect of the show. I mean, fanservice shows generally know where to spend their animation points in this regard, but here? I swear there was a moment where a nipple wasn't lined up right, partially floating in mid-air). Narratively it seems to jump ahead several games as well, with the girls (and presumably the audience) already acquainted with the girls of Gessen academy, the new group of Hebijo students, & a group of Shrine Maiden (as well as the existence of Yoma, demonic enteties at odds with the ninja). It does try to take an emotional turn with the story by the end, but the constant silliness of the first half along with the bloated cast keeps it from really being effective.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Star Wars: the Clone Wars season 1 (Disney+) - with the Mandalorian & WandaVision behind me & the Falcon & Winter soldier not yet fully available I was looking for something on Disney+ to stream & gave this a shot after hearing some good things.

I always used to overlook this show back when it was airing on Cartoon Network due to the blocky character design & the fact that it usually displaced an anime in whatever action block was airing, but after giving it an honest to goodness shot I quite liked it.

The character design wasn't nearly as off putting as I had feared, and while it does feature some trappings of typical kids' action fare (though I can't blame the writers for having the big villains always escape at the last minute every time, due to the fact that their fates have been pre-determined in the preceding live action films), I was surprised at how much it felt like a genuine Star Wars adventure, just animated (while never bloody, it certainly never shied away from acknowledging & featuring death, for example).

My only real gripe is that the pacing was really odd in spots. For example in one episode they deal with a spy that endangers them to enemy attack, & while they catch the spy by episode's end, it's clearly setting up for a part two as it ends with them bracing for an all out attack with their own weapons reserves depleted thanks to the spy's actions, however upon the start of the next episode this plot is completely dropped and they're suddenly dealing with a virus on Naboo (ironically, while that storyline is seemingly tied up in a bow by episode's end, that's the one they decide to backtrack on & give a part two). There were a couple more moments like this, but nothing quite as jarring as that instance.

Still, it was a solid watch & I'll definitely watch further seasons whenever I find myself in this scenario again.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Is it Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (HiDive via VRV) - Anime set in a fantasy world where human adventures obtain blessings from the gods (who've decended to Earth to live amongst humanity in exchange for most of their divine abilities) in order to fight monsters, it follows the adventures of young Bell Crenel, a soft hearted adventurer who wants to be a hero and is the only member of the Familia of the goddess Hestia (a Familia being a group of humans blessed by the same god or goddess, a guild of sorts).

Based on the name I assumed it was going to be fanservicy schlock, and while it does feature some (as well as harem tropes), it's actually much tamer in that regard than I imagined it to be, and it ended up being a genuinely good fantasy series. The animation has a general high quality to it with some of the key fights having absolutely beautiful choreography, it has great character growth, can get surprisingly dark, and the politics/rivalries between the various Familia that were starting to be explored more in the second season were really interesting. I wasn't at first too big on the idea that the world essentially operates as a video game dungeon crawler (without being a video game), but the character arcs ended up being so good that I ultimately didn't care.

I only watched the first two seasons with their accompanying OVAs (light hearted affairs which are a bit heavier on the fanservice), but I know there's a third season, a spin-off, & a movie as well, so it's definitely a series I'll be returning to.

The Falcon & Winter Soldier (Disney+) - Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, it follows the titular pair as they get involved in a plot set forth by a group of international anti-government "terrorists", and it must be decided who (if anyone) should be next to take up the sheild of Captain America.

It's not revelatory, but solid enough. There are a handful of great action scenes, the narrative works in some topical elements and works in a grey area where they expect the viewer to ask which side is really in the just? It kind of falls apart late into the final episode though, where the writers either assume they didn't get their themes through well enough (or that the audience wouldn't understand them) and have they key character blatantly preach the themes they were trying to get at.

Sam's Captain America look is really cool though, so I'm interested in seeing where he pops up next.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

RR529

Kiddy Grade (Funimation) - Early 00's sci-fi anime that follows the exploits of Eclair & Lumiere, a pair of secret agents for the G.O.T.T. (Galactic Organization of Trade & Tariffs) who are sent out to settle disputes between planets, stifle violent uprisings, tackle organized crime syndicates, and all that good stuff. Eclair has superhuman strength & a multipurpose weapon disguised as lipstick (can be used as a whip/rope or an explosive agent), while Lumiere has the ability to naturally interface/hack into computer systems & carries weaponized wine bottles (hey, it's anime).

It's okay, but nothing spectacular. The first half of the series is probably it's high point, as while it's more episodic in nature (with only the occasional hint at something deeper) it's fun enough, however when it's revealed that the government organization they work for isn't as noble as first believed (surprise, surprise) & the pair finds themselves on the outs, the show can't seem to pick a lane & introduces some huge dynamic shifting twist every other episode that refocuses who the big bad is (and other smaller twists just for the heck of it, such as a surprise parentage twist in the second to last episode that has absolutely no bearing on the narrative) & involves clones, shape shifters, & new bodies for old characters just to make things seem deeper than they really are. It ultimately comes down to a huge space battle with a massive Macross style starship/giant robot hybrid where a bunch of characters pull off a bunch of fancy contrived abilities that aren't really explained, but it's a fun watch. Probably my favorite part of the show were the "commercial bumpers" that anime tend to have in the middle of the episode, in this case artwork of the characters in various different anime stylings that changed every episode.

No idea how Funimation labeled it as merely TV-PG though. It has (very light) fanservice throughout (including one random instance of nudity about halfway through) & it can get very bloody at times.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

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