Archive | Reviews

22 June 2018 ~ 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2 is a superhero family action/comedy animated feature from Pixar, released in June 2018.  It’s the sequel to The Incredibles, the first in the series, released way back in 2004.  The Incredibles 2 picks up where the first one left off, after the superhero family has had their first big win together thwarting Syndrome’s plan to set up superheroes for failure, and with the emergence of the Underminer’s big drilling machine from under the city.

The family joins together again to save the city from the Underminer, and soon after Elastigirl aka Helen Parr, Mr. Incredible aka Bob Parr, and Frozone aka Lucius Best are approached by rich superhero-sympathist brother-and-sister business partners Winston Deavor and Evelyn Deavor, who want to start a new campaign to make superheroes legal again, starting with financing Elastigirl to fight crime and improve the public image of supers.  Bob and Helen talk it through and decide that she should do it, in part to make a more accepting future for their children Dash and Violet.  Bob stays home to watch the kids while Helen goes out on this mission, and their baby Jack-Jack begins manifesting superpowers.  Soon a new supervillain rises, Screenslaver, who uses hypnosis to turn others into his minions.

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20 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens

Anime Review: Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens

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Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens has a ridiculous premise, but once you buy into it, it’s a lot of fun. Hakata City, within the Fukuoka Prefecture, is city so populated with hitmen and other criminal elements that they’ve essentially organized into businesses. Not public facing, mind, but this is the kind of show where in the first episode a hitman finds out someone else has already killed his target, because, well, hitmen are just that easy to hire. (I imagine people with enemies don’t last long in Hakata City.)

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13 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Dead in the Family is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2010, the tenth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

At the end of the last book, Dead and Gone, Sookie was tortured at the hands of two fairies that were part of the opposing faction of the short-lived but brutal fairy war.  As this book starts, she is still recovering from both the physical and psychological aftermath of this horrific treatment, with the help of her friends and her boyfriend the vampire Eric Northman.  Things begin to get very complicated when Eric’s maker, the ancient Roman vampire Appius Livius Ocella, shows up with another vampire he has made–Alexei Romanov, the last son of the last Czar of Russia who witnessed his entire family slaughtered and is still suffering from emotional imbalances even these decades later.  Sookie is asked to babysit the child of her (dead) cousin Hadley, who is also telepathic, and she helps him deal with social situations.  Meanwhile, Bill is still ill from the silver poisoning he got during the fairy war.  If his maker were still alive, she might be able to heal him, but the only chance is another vampire made by his maker–and Bill doesn’t want to contact her.

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11 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Kokkoku

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I really wanted to like Kokkoku. I really did.

The setup in the very first episode has a lot of promise. Juri Yukawa is a young woman, newly graduated from college, and she’s from a middle class family that has fallen on hard times. Her mother is still working, but her father has been laid off. Her grandfather is retired, her older brother is unemployed, and her older sister is a single mother with a child she had with a man who has since exited her life.

All four generations of the Yukawas live in the same house and Juri feels like she needs to get out of town before she ends up going nowhere like almost every other adult in her family. She knows she’s not that special. None of her job interviews locally have resulted in any offers.

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08 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris

Dead and Gone is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2009, the ninth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

Before the series of books, the vampires of the world had publicly revealed their existence, but since then Sookie has learned of many other supernatural beings living among us as humans.  Among them are the shapeshifters, including werewolves and wereanimals of other types.  Now that they’ve had time to observe how the vampire revelation has gone, the shapeshifters have finally decided to make their big public reveal, outing themselves to the public both in a general sense and with individual members of communities revealing themselves at once.  The reveal in Bon Temps seems to go pretty well, until Sookie’s werepanther sister-in-law is found crucified outside Merlotte’s where she works.

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06 June 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Spring 2018 Anime First Impressions

Spring 2018 Anime First Impressions

caligulaA lot has changed since last year. Amazon’s Anime Strike service has been shut down and everything previously streaming on it has been rolled into its baseline Amazon Prime service. While this does not help fans without Amazon Prime, American fans are no longer being charged a few extra dollars for the same content their Canadian counterparts have been getting as part of their baseline service.

Additionally, HIDIVE is coming into its own as an alternate streaming service with its own exclusive licenses. It doesn’t have a free streaming alternative, but the monthly subscription is affordable and their library is deep with several exclusives.

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28 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty is a science fiction mystery, one of the finalists for the Hugo Award for the Best Novel category of 2017.

In the future, cloning is commonplace, but its use is strictly limited by law to ensure that it’s only used for longevity of a person rather than multiplication.  Every clone makes regular mindmaps of their memories and after they die, a new youthful body is cloned from their DNA and the mindmap copied into it.  Many clones have hundreds of years worth of memories they carry with them as though they have lived a single long life.  The practice of cloning is not accepted by everyone, especially religious groups, many of which consider clones to be soulless abominations, and there have been violent conflicts about cloning practices.

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25 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Juni Taisen: Zodiac War

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I didn’t expect to like Juni Taisen: Zodiac War as much as I did, but that said, it’s not going to be like that for everyone. The show is a throwback to the more violent anime of the 1990s in that there are lots of blood and guts, with possibly one of the most creative and disgusting ways I’ve ever seen to hide a corpse, but at the same time the series is very talky and ultimately depressing.

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21 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

REVIEW: Hugo Novella Finalists

The Hugo Awards Best Novella category covers stories between 17,500 and 40,000 words.  See here for a full list of the nominees this year.  I enjoyed all of the novellas this year, I’m glad that the Hugos use instant-runoff voting so I can give some kind of vote for them all instead of just having to pick one!

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14 May 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Code:Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~

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Code:Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is the story of a young woman, Cardia Beckford, who is left alone in a mansion by her father. He tells she cannot leave and that she must never know love because she is a monster. Her touch is a corrosive poison that melts anything she comes into contact with save the specially designed sheets and clothing her father crafted for her. One day, her father is supposed to come back for her, but before that happens, Queen Victoria’s soldiers arrive to take her away.

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