Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood stops sucking after ~20 episodes

Way back in the distant past of 2009 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood starting airing and I watched it, sort of. I never really got very far because I kind of hated it. I hated the way it handled its terrible gags and how it couldn’t manage to take itself seriously for 5 consecutive minutes, following up dramatic moments with someone calling Ed short or whatever. This sort of thing happened in the first series as well, but this one seemed to lay it on a little thick to the point where it detracts from everything else. I was honestly never really sure why it bothered me so much. I mean, I’ve watched 205 episodes of One Piece, and that show is rife with this same kind of thing. But I guess I just expected something more from Fullmetal Alchemist.

But yeah, I’d been buying the Blu-rays once they started coming out, ’cause even as much as I hated this series I still like Fullmetal Alchemist so I bought it anyway. I never actually bothered to make a serious effort to watch them until recently, because I was bored and they were there. I still struggled to get through the early bits, both because of the terrible comedy and the fact that, through various media, I’d seen all the early stuff at least a dozen fucking times and I never want to see it ever again if at all possible.

Around ~20 episodes into the series the amount of comedy starts to drop off a bit, as the story starts to get more serious. The comedy still persists throughout the entire thing, but the sheer amount of it decreases dramatically. Characters are able to seriously discuss all the genocide and military corruption that the series revolves around without getting super-deformed, making dumb faces, or plastering Japanese text all over the screen. It’s a welcome change that makes the series much easier to sit through.

Of course, this all stems from the original manga. Obviously it had the same kind of comedy and to same extent as Brotherhood, but it never seemed as distracting there as it is here. In the manga the gags can be confined to a single panel and are essentially throw-away gags. The series takes those throwaway gags and elevates them, putting too much focus on them. It also probably doesn’t help that I was sick of Fullmetal Alchemist‘s repertoire of jokes in 2006, so an entire new series filled with them didn’t really have a fair chance.



Creative use of cels in Fist of the North Star Episode 23

I sat down to watch a disc of Fist of the North Star today, as I have been almost every day this week, when I came across something that seemed kind of neat. In episode 23, a group of bandits from the Fang Clan attack a village that Kenshiro and co. have just arrived at. After they are soundly thrashed and exploding, one bandit survives long enough to spout a few words and his death is given more attention than the rest of his gang’s. What’s interesting was the decision to (sort of) show his death from a first person perspective, and how that was accomplished. Since the dude’s head was convulsing and whatnot obviously it would distort his vision, and this is what it looked like:

Obviously it’d work better if you could see it moving, but how they chose to create the effect was simply by flapping the cel with Kenshiro on it up and down while capturing the image. ¬†It’s an interesting way to create the effect, likely done to save money by not actually having to animate it. Of course, there are some problems with it, namely the light reflecting on the cel, the background remaining completely static, and the cel being lifted off the background causes Kenshiro to cast a shadow on it, but it still struck me as interesting.

Anime Review: Eve No Jikan

Time of Eve, aka Eve no Jikan. Honestly, this review this week was almost the newest Final Fantasy game, but with all the time spent on the demo and still not managing to achieve everything, as well as some other events that ended up with me reading through the archives of another blog and stunbmling across a mention of Eve no Jikan, this reiew ended up being Eve no Jikan. If that confused you, you understand how my entire week has been. Consider yourself welcome.

Eve no Jikan is a show released by a rather small animation studio, hence the two month and above release times between episodes. If yu don’t recall having seen the show on tv, that would be because it was apparently netcast. I can better explain that by saying it was shown for free online instead of broadcast, which gives you an idea how big the budget of the show was.

The main story revolves at first around a boy and what seems to be his robot. To be more accurate, as it has a human form it would be an android. To be pedantic, as it has a female form, it would by a gynoid. It is never really clear if the robot is his directly, or a possession of his family.

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Oh right, I changed the site’s name didn’t I?

So yeah, last week or the week before or whatever I finally decided to change the site’s name. I’d been wanting to do so since last March when I took over but couldn’t really think of anything. So now I have one, shamlessly ripped off from Blog of the North Star. But yeah, when I decided to change the name I pretty much knew I’d be naming it after something from Berserk. It was just a matter of coming up with something. For a while I was considering using Holy Purple Rhino Blog, but since I put Guts in the header it seemed better to use one based on the Band of the Hawk¬†instead. Also ’cause I can’t imagine a lot of people even remember the Holy Purple Rhino Knights. They weren’t exactly a significant group in Berserk. Truthfully it would probably be better to use an image of Griffith in the header since it’s called Blog of the Hawk, but whatever.

Funimation July 2012 Releases

Funimation’s releases for July are up for pre-order on RightStuf. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is good I guess. And I liked what I’ve seen of Hetalia so far. So yeah, get those I guess. Don’t get Sacred Blacksmith though. It’s terrible.

July 3rd

Ergo Proxy Complete Series DVD (Anime Classics)
Hetalia Axis Powers Season 4 DVD
Hetalia Axis Powers Season 4 DVD Limited Edition

July 10th

El Cazador de la Bruja Complete Series DVD (S.A.V.E.)
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Complete Series DVD Limited Edition

July 17th

Fractale Complete Series DVD/Blu-ray Combo Limited Edition
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Collection 2 DVD
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Collection 2 Blu-ray
Girl’s Bravo Complete Series DVD (S.A.V.E.)

July 24th

Ai Yori Aoshi Complete Series DVD (Anime Classics)
Armitage III Movie Collection DVD

July 31st

Sacred Blacksmith Complete Series DVD
Strike Witches Complete Collection DVD/Blu-ray Combo