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Topic: What are you watching?

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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)

RR529

Star Wars: the Cone Wars season 2 (Disney+).

Pretty solid, about the same quality wise as season 1, though I noticed there was less erratic continuity jumping around (there was still some, but it seemed more willing to commit to full 3-4 episode long arcs). Oh, and after being a pretty common side character in season 1, it looks like they've already jettisoned Jar Jar, lol (he may have had one appearance, but I may be thinking of a season 1 episode).

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

LtSarge

@ralphdibny Started watching DC Legends of Tomorrow on Netflix again and to my surprise, I'm actually enjoying it this time around. I'm also watching The Haunting of Bly Manor so having a more cheerful show like Legends on the side balances things out quite nicely. I'm currently on season 5 and it's great, although I'm kinda out of the loop since I couldn't watch the Crisis crossovers and apparently a lot of stuff happened that has affected the main show. But yeah, I'm really liking the chill tone of this show now as a contrast to a horror show.

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge ahh sweet, yeah it's a fun show! I seem to remember the season 5 finale being absolutely bonkers! I'm such a huge fan of all the characters, I just can't get enough of it

That Loki show is out in a couple of weeks on Disney plus. I think it has Owen Wilson in it which is a pleasant surprise. Hopefully should be decent

ralphdibny

RR529

Cutie Honey Universe (HiDive via VRV) - Reboot of a classic Go Nagai (Mazinger Z, Devilman) property, that follows Honey Kusaragi, a seemingly average high school student who is really the magical girl superhero Cutie Honey (and can take on other forms as well, such as the biker persona Hurricane Honey), who battles a terror group of female beast people called Panther Claw.

It was okay, but I wasn't terribly enthralled by it. Though it did have some cool action scenes, in general it had a feeling of cheapness about it, I didn't care for the general enemy design, and most of it's attempts at humour didn't click for me. That, and you'd have to have a unique taste in fanservice (the standard transformation & bathing scenes are one thing, but it also has a bit of a masochistic bent with female characters often getting their clothes torn off by whip, including leaving marks, if not by that episode's villain, than by the surprisingly harsh teachers at the school).

Invincible season 1 (Amazon Prime Video) - Mark is your average high schooler, except that his dad is Omni-Man (the "Superman" like figure in this world of superheroes), and when he finally develops his own powers he's eager to get his start in on the family business, however pops' mission on Earth is quickly revealed (to the audience) to be not so benevolent, and there's only one other person on Earth who, might, be able to go toe to toe with him.

This was actually pretty good. Much of the character design screams "Justice League" knockoff, but that's pretty obviously intentional, but the show is varied by it's intense action sequences (which are often very gory), and the unravelling drama of Omni-Man's family & co-workers slowly discovering his secret. There's also some personal romance drama centered around Mark that's not as interesting.

the Sacred Blacksmith (Funimation) - Medieval fantasy series that focuses on young knight Cecily Campbell & how she gets mixed up in the affairs of the blacksmith Luke, the only one in town who can forge Katanas (blades much superior to what people usually carry around). However he has a chip on his shoulder & refuses to make any more, and Cecily gets dragged into a decades long struggle involving demons, magical demon swords, & more.

I remember watching this a long time ago back when I was still watching anime via unofficial means and really liking it, and I still really enjoyed it. It's generally animated quite well with a few fantastic action sequences, I liked the character design overall, and it has the right mix of light hearted humor, surprisingly dark moments, and light fanservice that I think would go over well with fans of shows like Is it Wrong to try & Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? Unfortunately it clearly didn't hit it's mark back when it aired & it only has one season, with plenty of plot threads left dangling.

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

LtSarge

Finished watching Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness on Netflix. This was a great show! Although I don't see why they couldn't just have made it one entire movie because it's pretty much a movie chopped up into four episodes. But yeah, I really liked the story and seeing classic characters like Leon and Claire in modern RE media is just so cool. To be honest, I would've preferred Capcom to use the plot for this game towards making a game instead of a TV show. While I was watching it, I thought about how it would look like if this were a game that I was playing, lol.

Regardless, I hope they make more RE shows in the future or even games with Leon and Claire. Watching this made me realise that Resident Evil is all about the iconic characters and the recent games severely lack in that department. Ethan just isn't iconic, but I guess that's why he's used in the first-person RE titles as you never see what he looks like. That would explain why they gave the remakes of RE2 and RE3 a third-person view, even if the original games had a top-down view, since you'd want to see Leon, Claire and Jill. So we'll probably won't see them in a mainline entry again. Here's hoping that Capcom makes Revelations 3 then so that we can play as characters such as Leon once again.

LtSarge

Link41x

Just finished watching AEW Dynamite, that coffin match was crazy

PSN ID: Linkx41

Xbox Gamertag: Linkx41

Tasuki

I started Seven Deadly Sins the other day. It's a medieval fantasy setting that takes place in Britain about a Ragtag group of knights that are wanted for something they didn't do.

It's quite enjoyable and has some great fight scenes. The character development is good as well. I finished the first season last night and started the second season as well. Definitely worth a watch if you enjoy anime and have Netflix.

RetiredPush Square Moderator and all around retro gamer.

My Backlog

LtSarge

@ralphdibny I don't know if you've kept up with the posts in the TV show thread over at Push Square, but we started discussing HBO there and I've gotta say, this service has TONS of interesting superhero shows that I haven't even heard about. Especially DC shows, I didn't even know DC was making that many shows, lol. Stuff like Doom Patrol, Stargirl, Krypton, Batwoman and so on all look very interesting. I don't know anything about them, so it could turn out that these are terrible shows, lol. But they seem promising at the very least! I also discovered that Supergirl is on HBO, and that's the only CW superhero show besides Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and The Flash that I haven't watched yet because it isn't on Netflix, so that was a nice surprise. There are also some Marvel shows like Cloak & Dagger, Inhumans and Runaways. Again, they could also be awful shows but at least there's a lot of new superhero shows to watch on HBO compared to Netflix.

Out of curiosity, are you subscribed to HBO or have any interest in using that service in the future? I've pretty much fully converted to HBO now from Netflix, lol. It's so much more promising, I'm watching Game of Thrones for the first time and it's really good. Can't wait to discover other shows as well.

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge we don't get HBO in the UK! Most of the original HBO programming ends up on Sky over here and by extension NowTV which is like sky for cheap-os like me. Those shows you've mentioned have originated in different places but either ended up on HBO US/Worldwide through network changes or global distribution deals.

Doom Patrol was originally on that DC Universe comics/streaming service, now on HBO US I believe. Over here in the UK it's on something called StarzPlay which you pay extra for on top of an Amazon Prime subscription. So a load of BS basically so I just torrent it as it's not worth the hassle.

Absolutely love that show though, it's probably the best and my favourite DC show that's ever been made.

Same with Stargirl - DCU original moved to either the CW or HBO, not sure. Haven't seen this one but I love the look of it so I'll be giving it a go at some point.

I think Krypton was on terrestrial TV over here, like channel 4. I can't stand adverts and don't watch live TV so I never got into it. I think it was sort of supposed to be linked to Man of Steel but then sort of wasn't in the end. It was cancelled before I even considered downloading it.

Batwoman is an Arrowverse show that was again on terrestrial TV over here (channel 4 still!). They took months to air it so I ended up torrenting it so I could watch it as it's part of the crisis on infinite earth's crossover.

I've generally soured on Arrowverse because of their treatment of Ralph Dibny 😂😥. I'm definitely going to continue with Legends of Tomorrow and the final season of Black Lightning but tbh, Flash and Supergirl just really aren't that good anyway. I'll probably watch them all still but I'm not in any great hurry to do so. I think Supergirl is on its final season now anyway so I'll probably just polish that off at some point. I wish they'd just finish Flash as well and get on with their new shows. Superman and Lois looks really good but I haven't seen it yet.

I've been avoiding the TV thread over on PS because I'm not up to date on my shows (as you can probably tell!) And don't want to get any spoilers. I haven't seen that Marvel What If? Series yet either. Hopefully I'll get some time for it next week!

Cloak and Dagger and Runaways are great. Runaways is actually probably my favourite Marvel TV show. I just love the theme tune to it so it really gets me in the mood for the show itself. Inhumans is decent, way better than you might think. It got a lot of flak for being like a cheap and poorly designed show but I think it was worth a watch as part of the larger MCU. The only MCU-TV universe show(s) I haven't watched yet are Helstrom, Jessica Jones Season 3 and Agents of Shield season 6+7. Just haven't managed to get around to them yet!

ralphdibny

LtSarge

@ralphdibny Ah right, I believe Johnny over at Push Square mentioned that to me but I just forgot, my bad! Didn't know it was such a hassle to watch these shows in the UK, but it shouldn't come as a surprise to me that you've already seen all of them considering how much you love superhero shows! Anyway, glad to hear that most of them are good, will definitely have to watch all of them eventually. Hopefully you'll get HBO soon in the UK as it's a very good service from what I've seen.

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge haha yeah it's a bit of a Mish mash but frankly I don't want any more streaming services over here. It's already expensive and confusing as it is. The rest of the world can keep HBO 😅.

We also have to pay a TV license if we watch/stream live TV or use iPlayer which is the BBCs streaming service. But it's like a law so it's not as simple as subbing or unsubscribing from like Netflix or something. The BBC hire private contractors from a company called Capita that come around and check if you are watching live TV. There's various rules and regulations with regards to what these private contractors can do but it seems like they frequently try to force entry through intimidation and/or false information, official-looking documentation and threats. It sounds like they will make a lot of stuff up and will report back on "circumstance" i.e. assumption rather than actual evidence. You can fight it in the courts but I believe that most people just don't bother. They either pay the TV license because they think they have to, they see the value in the service or they just can't be bothered with all the hassle that comes from not paying it. I fall into the latter camp.

Edited on by ralphdibny

ralphdibny

RR529

Kandagawa Jet Girls (HiDive via VRV) - A sickly sweet, and extremely fanservicy, anime about groups of high school girls who race in slightly sci-fi jet ski races.

A tie in to the game of the same name (or vice versa), and created by the Senran Kagura guy, so you can kinda guess what to expect. Pure fluff, but can be fun in a very guilty pleasure kind of way.

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

RR529

the Right Stuff (Disney+) - inbetween all the Star Wars, Marvel, & general family fare on offer I found this drama focusing on the Mercury space program as NASA was trying to get a man into space before the Soviets. It was actually a pretty solid watch and hopefully not a one off for these kinds of originals on D+.

Momokyun Sword (HiDive via VRV) - A twist on the classic Japanese fable of Momotaro, with the hero being gender swapped into Momoko (a well endowed heroine, because anime). It's pretty much fluff & doesn't take itself too seriously (the heroes & villains are just as likely to put their differences aside for a beach day as they are to try & kill each other), but worth a look if you don't mind a fanservicy guilty pleasure (though, while it is very fanservicy it does stop short of actual nudity).

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

IceCreamKody

Power Rangers Dino Fury (Neflix)-The latest season of Power Rangers. I'm a huge fan so of course I had to check out the 11 episodes of season 1 that have been put on Netflix so far. Hasbro's been doing a really good job with the franchise since they purchased it from Saban.

IceCreamKody

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