Friday, January 30, 2009

RideBack Episode 3

Tamayo wins, Rin crashes out due to a blown engine!

Ogata Rin is the Japanese Lewis Hamilton!

The day of the race has come and our girls have encountered different fortunes coming in. Tamayo, the defending champion was in top form and blew away the competition right from the qualifying stage up until the finish line. Rin, on the other hand, wasn’t able to use Fuego because of regulations, and was forced to use a less-powerful RideBack named Balon. She had trouble controlling the new RideBack but after its cumbersome ACS system was unplugged, she managed to control it easily. From 17th place, Rin zoomed into 4th by recklessly passing other riders, but her “Lewis Hamilton-like” style of riding was too much for Balon that she blew its engine. Meanwhile, the political establishment is taking notice of RideBack terrorists.

Once again, an excellent episode. I applaud the producers for not pulling any punches for this series. Some bits of character and plot development here and there, but the episode is mostly about racing. Rin’s competitive nature was a given but it is Tamayo’s that was developed. We saw flashes of it last week, and it was fleshed out in this episode. Also notable was her sportsmanship towards Rin. Two incidents indicated it. First, when she let the mechanic unplug the ACS system to make Balon competitive and second, by not considering the race as their battle, since Rin crashed out. I think she’s gonna wait for a clean, fair race.

The lesbo club member was quite forced though. I mean, who the heck gets drunk from the smell of alcohol. Well, anyway Tamayo won this time. Everything’s fine in the RideBack world… for now.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Paranoia Agent Review

Rating: A-

Plot review:

As with Satoshi Kon's other works, Paranoia Agent examines the psyche of both the individual and that of society as a whole. His vehicle, the so called "shounen bat" provides an avenue for him to lob some social commentary while giving reasons for his characters' behavior. These commentaries range from those concerning paranoia, alienation from an intellectual product, the faddish attitude of commercialism and even gossip. The story itself is not merely a linear narrative of a serial assault case, but a multilateral examination of its cause and the subsequent effects of the case on humans, strangers and involved alike.

Though inventive, such criticism is hardly new. Kon is a one-trick pony. His works "Perfect Blue" and "Paprika" explore the very same things Paranoia Agent does, albeit to a lesser extent. It's always a critique of the human psyche.

Technical review:

The animation is sharp and is of higher quality than lesser shows, the colors are vivid and the art form changes according to the scenario. Though it may be suspected that the shift to superflat in the last episodes was more of a budget-related issue rather than an artistic one. Both the English and Japanese tracks are satisfactory, but the former seems overdone. Sometimes, you also need a little naivete in the voice of characters like Tsukiko.

Final Remarks:

Try this. You may not get it during the first time you watch this series, but a closer and deeper look may do a lot more good than you expect.

Monday, January 26, 2009

White Album episode 4

A Cookie for the Nookie!

Episode 4 was quite the episode that seemed annoying for the first 15 or so minutes but ends with a nosebleed... Touya acts like a loser again, standing up two girls in a single day. It was a good thing the girls weren't bitches to whine and whack him on the head... NO! In fact, Yuki was happy and horny at the same time. I just hope they used protection.

It is still unknown if Rina was toning down or upping the ante. Her "help" is getting more visible, and this could be taken both ways. Maybe she really wanted to "steal" Touya, maybe not. Her intentions aren't clear yet. I don't know. I'm too focused on the nookie at the end.

Overall, I consider the last 5 minutes to be more meaningful than the rest. Aside from the character development (for all 3), we get to see some backstory by way of some flashbacks, and of course, the most anticipated nookie. Damn I hate this genre. If only the male leads were much more assertive and had a spine for fucks sake.

Touya must be singing "Nookie" by Limp Bizkit. It really suits him. But props to him for staying strong with Yuki.

Stay tuned!