Archive | Reviews

19 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

Anime Catch-Up Review: Psycho-Pass

psychopass1 Psycho-Pass is an original self-contained anime from 2012 that I missed during initial broadcast. I’m generally not a big cyberpunk dystopia fan, so I only came back when I kept hearing about it. This review covers the first series, which is stand-alone.

I’d never thought about how much different American TV storytelling is from Japanese until I watched Psycho-Pass and realized how western its presentation is. Character development, particularly for the supporting cast, feels paced out like I would expect on an American show, with small nuggets here and there that lead to an eventual payoff, and the world itself draws clear inspiration from Philip K. Dick (particularly Blade Runner and Minority Report).

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13 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods is a science fiction and fantasy novel from Harper Voyager, the premier novel by Nicky Drayden.

The book takes place in a future South Africa, where there are a lot of improvements for the future–everyone has a helper android to help make life easier, and the booming genetic engineering business in Port Elizabeth has revitalized the town.

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09 June 2017 ~ 1 Comment

REVIEW: Hugo Novelette Finalists

written by David Steffen Another category in the Hugo Award review series for this year, this is for the novelette category which covers fiction between 7500 words and 17,500 words. As mentioned before, this year marked several rule changes–including that there will be six nominees in every category, and the nomination tallying rules are different […]

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05 June 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

acca

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. is a slow burn, sometimes agonizingly slow, which is incredible considering that there are rumors of a coup with secrets all over the place and multiple characters who have no idea who can be trusted. Each episode feeds into the audience’s pool of knowledge and yet the truth feels frustratingly out of reach for half the show.

This isn’t necessary a bad thing, as it’s a ground zero view of the information most of the POV characters are working with, but ACCA plays its cards so close that the world seems made up of trees rather than a forest.

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29 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Sneetches: The Musical

I am a lifelong Dr. Seuss fan, so I was very excited to hear that Sneetches: The Musical. In case you haven’t heard of it, “The Sneetches” is a children’s story by children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss (the pen name of Theodor Geisel), published in the collection The Sneetches and Other Stories originally published in 1953 and still available in print.

The original Sneetches story was very short, but was one of Seuss’s most memorable pieces, about two groups of birds whose only distinguishing characteristics are that one group has green stars on their bellies and the other has none. The star-belly sneetches use this cosmetic difference as a reason to justify poor treatment of the poor-belly sneetches while the star-belly sneetches exclude plain-belly sneetches from all of their social events. This inequality continues unchanged until the shyster businessman Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town selling the use of a machine that will put stars on bellies, and then when the original star-belly sneetches complain about the injustice of it all he offers use of another machine that will remove stars from bellies, and the sneetches all run from one machine to another until all of the sneetches are bankrupt. McBean leaves town much richer than when he came, and the sneetches actually learn a lesson from the ordeal–all treating each other as equals.

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26 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Saga of Tanya the Evil

tanyatheevil

Saga of Tanya the Evil is one of the best military-oriented anime series I’ve watched. While a lot of shows feature characters who are part of a military unit and involve war-related storylines, Tanya the Evil is particularly well suited to military enthusiasts, the kind willing to argue whether the Schlieffen Plan actually could have worked.

That’s not to say that lay people can’t enjoy Saga of Tanya the Evil on it’s own, it’s fantastic watching our jerk protagonist scrabble out of situations that progressively get from bad to worse, but military history buffs will get an extra kick out of the show from its pseudo-historical setting and frequent basis in historical tactics and battles.

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23 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: River Of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

Did you know that in the early 20th century the United States Congress considered a bill to populate the Louisiana bayou with hippopotamuses to serve as a new source of meat during a meat shortage?  In River of Teeth, we get to see an alternate history where that law passed and some decades later there are hippo-riding “hoppers” which are something like cowboys.

River of Teeth is a new release and debut novel by Sarah Gailey and published by Tor Books.  It is sort of a an alt-history Western with the feel of a heist story, and also a revenge quest, the first of a two-part book series.

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19 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

Spring 2017 Anime First Impressions

Spring 2017 Anime First Impressions

Spring brings back a lot of anime with new seasons and spin-offs of older properties that I didn’t expect to be returning. My spring anime sampling is a bit incomplete though.

During the winter season I had mentioned that Amazon’s Anime Strike had entered the simulcasting game, but had too few exclusive titles. That is not true of spring, where Amazon has licensed a whopping 12 titles, just over a third of all new series this season.

alice&zorokuFor Amazon Prime members, it’s another $5/month, but if you don’t already subscribe to Prime, Anime Strike becomes fairly pricey. I may binge watch the Amazon exclusives later, but for now I’ll be sticking to the older streaming services; Crunchyroll, Funimation, and to a lesser degree Daisuki.

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10 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Lobster

written by David Steffen The Lobster is an internationally-produced 2015 dystopian black comedy film. In the near future, all adults in society is expected to be in a long-term relationship and violation of this expectation is illegal.  If you find yourself single you are required to go to a special hotel where you have forty […]

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05 May 2017 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Animaniacs Live

written by David Steffen Animaniacs was a comedy cartoon show produced by Steven Spielberg that ran from 1993 to 1998, first on Fox, and then on the WB. It was set up as a variety show with several short skits per episode starring different casts of characters–the most often recurring being the Warners: Yakko, Wakko, […]

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