Archive | Reviews

28 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

TV Review: True Blood Season 7

True Blood was an HBO horror/mystery/romance series based on the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris.

The series as a whole follows Sookie Stackhouse starting shortly after the major world event of vampires “coming out of the coffin”. Where, after a Japanese company perfects the production of synthetic blood branded Tru Blood, vampires reveal themselves to be real and begin to integrate with mainstream society. Sookie has always had mind-reading abilities which has made it difficult to keep a human relationship, so she is immediately drawn to the vampires which she can’t mindread.

True Blood Season 6 ended with a world-changing event, the release of the bio-engineered Hepatitis V virus. Based on a mutation of the Hep-D virus, which only weakens a vampire for a time, Hep V is a much more contagious and much more deadly strain. Humans who contract the virus show no symptoms, but any vampire that drinks their blood will also catch the virus which causes extreme weakening and eventually the true death. It was originally spread using tainted Tru Blood so not only are vampires in danger from the virus, they also have lost their synthetic food source.

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25 November 2016 ~ 1 Comment

Anime Review: Orange

Orange is a romance/high school drama with a speculative twist. Sixteen-year-old Naho Takamiya discovers a letter from herself from ten years into that future that tells her to watch for a new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, who will become one of her friends. Though happiness has not eluded future Naho, she has many regrets over things that she wishes her younger self had done differently.

As predicted, Kakeru joins her class that same day, and he’s quickly absorbed into Naho’s circle of friends (both male and female). Though she knows from her letter that Kakeru will not live to see the end of the school year, teenage Naho can’t help falling in love with him.

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18 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Fall 2016 Anime First Impressions

Fall 2016 Anime First Impressions

Fall is well under way and the new anime debuted in October. As usual I watched the first episode of each to decide which series I would like to follow this season.

Because of the new streaming partnership between Funimation and Crunchyroll, this fall is unusual in that everything I watch is now on Crunchyroll since I prefer subtitles. Those who prefer dubs can still find those streaming on Funimation, if a dubbed version exists, but neither site has an exclusive on a particular show anymore now that they’re sharing all new simulcast licenses acquired by either company.

bloodivoresI’m still amazed that such a thing as simulcast dubbing exists. Funimation’s schedule runs about 2-3 weeks behind the Japanese broadcast.

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14 November 2016 ~ 0 Comments

GAME REVIEW: Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight is an 8-bit styled platformer action game published by Yacht Club Games in 2014.

The playable character of the game is the eponymous Shovel Knight who is as you might expect, a knight who uses a shovel as his weapon instead of a sword or other more typical period weapon. Until very recently he has always worked as a team with the also-appropriately named Shield Knight. Their partnership came to an end on an excursion into the Tower of Fate, wherein a cursed amulet wrought a terrible (but only vaguely mentioned) fate–when Shovel Knight awakes he finds that he has been expelled from the now-sealed tower, and Shield Knight is nowhere to be found. His spirit broken by this loss, Shovel Knight retires and becomes a hermit, only returning to combat when the defenseless land is seized by the Evil Enchantress and her Order of No Quarter, a league of evil knights. Shovel Knight returns to battle to combat these new villains.

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24 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Town by Blake Crouch

The Last Town is a… I guess I’d call it an SF/horror thriller… the final book in a trilogy written by Blake Crouch and published in 2014 by Thomas & Mercer. There’s no way to discuss the events of this book without major spoilers for the first two books, so if you don’t want to know anything about book 1 and book 2, stop here. I have reviewed book 1 and book 2 already.

It is nearly two thousand years in the future, and pollution of the environment has caused humanity to mutate into vicious animals with only a minor resemblance to the human species we know today. In the late twentieth century rich the scientist David Pilcher predicted this and prepared to save as much of humanity as he could–he perfected the technology of cryogenic sleep, and took 1000 people into sleep with him. This group of people included both a staff of volunteers who came willingly, and those who were abducted without their knowledge under the guise of car accidents and other incidents. After waking up in almost two millennia later, Pilcher discovered that his prediction was correct, and the world was overrun with what he called aberrations or “abbies” for short, humanoid vicious predators who had replaced our species of humanity. He rebuilt the town of Wayward Pines in the mountains of Idaho. Those who had been abducted were woken to live in this town, the nature of the world kept a secret from them and living under the constant threat of capital punishment for breaking a long list of oppressive rules. No one was allowed to leave, though none of the residents know that there is nowhere safe to leave to. Pilcher’s volunteers kept surveillance over the town from a base in the mountains.

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17 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Wayward by Blake Crouch

Wayward is a… I guess I’d call it a mystery SF thriller… the second of a trilogy written by Blake Crouch and published in 2012 by Thomas & Mercer.

If you follow reviews on this site regularly, and this one seems familiar, that’s because I’ve already posted a TV review of Wayward Pines Season 1 which is based on Blake Crouch’s trilogy of books and covers a similar set of events as the trilogy of books. And I recently posted a review of Pines, the first book in the trilogy. The first book relied a lot on big mysteries for a lot of its appeal and revealed many of those mysteries at the end. I can’t talk about book 2 without talking about those mysteries, so if you want to be surprised go read the first book.

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10 October 2016 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Pines by Blake Crouch

Pines is a… I guess I’d call it a mystery fantasy/SF thriller… the first of a trilogy written franchise tie-in novel written by Blake Crouch and published in 2012 by Thomas & Mercer.

If you follow reviews on this site regularly, and this one seems familiar, that’s because I’ve already posted a TV review of Wayward Pines Season 1 which is based on Blake Crouch’s trilogy of books and covers a similar set of events as the trilogy of books.

The story begins as U.S. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke travels to Wayward Pines, Idaho to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents who were last heard from as they approached the mysterious little town. After a car accident en route, Ethan wakes up in the Wayward Pines hospital, unable to contact anyone and unable to leave. In many ways it seems like a stereotypical small town, but there are big warning signs that something is not right in this little town–the strange things that people say, the strict rules the town keeps about not talking about your past and not asking questions. He wants nothing more than to escape the small town and get back home to his wife and son, but every route out of town is blocked–the main road only loops back into town again. He finds one of the agents he was looking for (whom he had had an affair with in the past), but she seems to aged more than she should have. Everything is a mystery in this mysterious, ominous, little town.

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26 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Knights of Sidonia

Anime Catch-Up Review: Knights of Sidonia

knightsofsidonia

Knights of Sidonia is one of the few anime series in recent years that was brought over to the US, but never simulcast. While I heard the series was good, it missed a lot of the seasonal round-ups because no one could watch it during its original airing.

I finally had the opportunity see it and decided to give it a shot, even though I heard that the second half doesn’t hold up to the first.

If you like hard science fiction in your anime though, the first half will entertain you plenty, as a lot of things that go unaccounted for in other series (like the fact a combat pilot in a cockpit needs some way of urinating without ruining his spacesuit) are called out and accounted for.

The sheer grittiness of the characters’ situation calls to mind similarities to 2013’s hit Attack on Titan. Once again we follow the last known bastion of human civilization, fighting a relentless enemy that cannot be communicated or reasoned with. Characters are introduced and wiped out, and tough decisions are made between the lives of a few or the survival of humanity.

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23 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary horror comedy film which had a theatrical release in 2014. It was directed by Jemaine Clement (who you might know as half of New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk comedy duo Flight of the Conchords). The film is structured as a documentary following four vampires who are flatmates in New Zealand, chronicling their everyday lives including flatmate disputes, their feeding habits, their human familiar, their night life, and avoiding vampire hunters.

Vlago, Vladislav, and Deacon are several centuries old and have maintained their human appearances, though the necessity to avoid sunlight has left them very behind the times. The fourth vampire Petyr, who is around 8000 years old, has become more monstrous in appearance and also monstrous in behavior compared to the other three.

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19 September 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Movie Review: Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion

Anime Movie Review: Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion

digimon tri reunionI did not grow up with Digimon in that I had just graduated college when it started airing, but it was one of the last series I watched as a Saturday morning cartoon. People who haven’t seen it tend to dismiss it as a Pokemon knock-off, for featuring young children with monster buddies, but it did something that Pokemon did not. It allowed its protagonists to mature and grow up.

Digimon had always maintained in-universe that no matter how old you were, even if you became an adult, your partner digimon would always be there for you. Intelligent and able to speak, partner digimon are a pint-sized buddy that can be temporarily supercharged to grow into more powerful versions of themselves. No matter how badly their human screws up (and some of them do), the digimon are loyal for life.

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