Eureka Seven Part 4 – Episodes 34-50 (Finale)

Once again two weeks have passed, and with that it’s time for my last Eureka Seven writeup on here. Well, last as in posts I have a clear release date and rough idea what to put in for, since I feel this is the kind of show that rewards having it rest in your mind for a bit and think over for a while, so who knows, I might very well have more to say about it at a later point. On top of that comes that the final arc and especially the last 3 or so episodes were just incredibly dense, in a sense, so just coming off it from yesterday night, I haven’t really gotten the chance to order my thoughts into anything coherent yet. So, uh, expect this post to be more rambly than anything else…

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Eureka Seven Part 3 – Episodes 27-33

Alright, continuing with another arc of this show, and it’s been a rather short one this time. One which, honestly, I don’t think I’ll have a ton to say about. More than anything, it felt like a quiet before the storm, filling in gaps in world building and getting to know the big players and hard facts behind what we’ve dealt with so far. It makes sense, seeing as Renton is slowly moving past his oblivious teenage self towards becoming a more well-rounded person, aware of his actions and the goals he strives for, and the show is adapting to that. That isn’t to say there wasn’t still a bunch of interesting things going on this arc, but a lot of it is still unresolved, more setting up half thought through lines than resolving much, and I don’t trust myself to untangle all this just yet, let alone write about it in any coherent fashion.

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Eureka Seven Part 2 – Episodes 14-26

Oh man, this arc sure was one rollercoaster of emotions, opening with a bit of the usual episodic content, getting into some kind transitional chaos of hostility and confusion, and then pulling itself together in a bunch of Renton focused growth/road trip episodes that might just put the show up there for me. Eureka Seven is a strange show sometimes, but it’s high points are genuinely great, and even the lesser episodes are still easily on par or above most other anime in the genre.

Things are starting off in a state where, uh, things aren’t looking all that rosy. Renton has at least somewhat accepted the fact that the Gekko is not the perfect idealized group of heroes he’s been idolizing all this time, and he’s finally getting somewhat closer to Eureka, his initial reason for joining, but there’s still a lot of repressed emotions bubbling underneath. Not only his either. It’s been obvious throughout the first arc that Eureka’s inability to connect with the Nirvash has taken a toll on her self worth, and how it is straining Hollands patience.

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Eureka Seven Part 1 – Episodes 1-13

So, uh, I recently got a bit cocky and made a bet with Guy on Twitter that I could finish Eureka Seven, which we were both watching, before he did. As it turns out, getting into a marathon contest with the unequaled king of speedwatching was not a good idea. My progress through months was passed within in a mere two days, and since then he’s zoomed way out of sight and actually finished the show I’ve been sitting on for about quarter a year in a single week. Of course, my foolish pride couldn’t be left unpunished, and Guy promptly set me up do a writeup on each of the show’s four major story arcs, one every two weeks.

Now, thing is, I haven’t actually written anything coherent about a single anything in ages, at least nothing much longer than a paragraph, and I get the feeling that especially these first 13 episodes will be kind of tricky to find things to say about, so… don’t expect this to go anywhere much yet.

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12 Days of Anime – Day 6: The Tokyo Ghoul Root A Finale was Haunting

Tokyo Ghoul Root A was a mess. The show a huge clusterfuck of criminally underdeveloped characters, messy plotting, whole episodes that ultimate accomplished nothing, shaky production with the animation going completely going to pieces in parts… I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first season as it was, safe for some few stray highlights, but Root A was just bad. Bad to the point of being broken.

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This fact makes it all the more surprising that the finale ended up being one of my single favorite episodes of the year. It’s tightly paced, almost cinematic looking, immensely powerful. A crushing display of all the sorrow and bleakness of it’s world, of living, but avoiding the pitfalls that usually get associated with it, pitfalls that pulled this very series down for large stretches of it’s run, even. Basically, It’s the angsty emo anime done right.

The silent talk between old friends in the beginning, one of the most painful conversations you could imagine, the interplay of light and shadow in the ruined cityscape, the emphasis on long stretches of silence as snow settles on the aftermath of battle. There are no winners, no good guys, or bad guys, only sorrow and pain. It’s hard for me to really describe why I find something good, but this episode was outstanding through and through. The powerful expression of a sadness to the world I might not entirely identify with, but that’s able to send chills down my spine even now, just thinking about it.

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Seriously, do give the episode a watch if you haven’t yet, and it sounds like something you could appreciate. It can very well stand on its own, and it’d be shame to miss out on because it’s attached to such a mess of a show.

12 Days of Anime – Day 5: Pretty Background Art

It’s strange to see that I only started taking screenshots regularly about a year, partly due to me starting my blog and using them to kind of supplement my notes, and also because I found out how to allow my media player to take screencaps by just pressing one single button… Throgh all of 2014 I made a total of some over 400 caps, and it’s been almost 2000 in the last three months alone…

[Live-eviL]_Future_Boy_Conan_08_[BD-h264-720p]_[c3916adb].mkv_snapshot_25.31_[2015.11.10_11.47.17]Anyway, to celebrate this, I decided to show off some of my favorite scenery and backgronds I capped this year, because those can always do with some more love. I’ll also be includingt the backlog shows I’ve seen, because my collection of airing stuff has some larger gaps, me watching a lot of episodes from bed where I can’t be assed to take screencaps, and also being away traveling for severeal months. And with that, let’s go:

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12 Days of Anime – Day 4: Saying Goodbye to Ghibi

As you all probably know at this point, I’m a huge nut for Studio Ghibli. Always have been. Their movies are what first got me into anime, and I’ve gotten 50+ rewatches easily recorded on several of them, helping me get through some pretty tough times. Considering this, I guess you can imagine how sad the news of them closing down were to me. It didn’t really come as that big a surprise, or a huge “noooo” reactions, it was just one of those moments that really drove home how all things will eventually comes pass.

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Well, anyways, earlier this year I finally decided to watch their last three movies, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, When Marnie was There and The Wind Rises in a span of a mere two months, and well, they were probably the best things I’ve seen all year. They reminded me why I got into the medium in the first place, what power movies can still hold for me despite feeling on the brink of an anime burnout for a while now, and that good things can still be really just good. I still tear up rewatching the final scenes of each of those and just thinking about specific moments gives me chills. I still have a good bunch of their movies to catch up on, but knowing that there won’t be any more Ghibli after that (most likely) is making me sad . I’m sure the future will bring more new, and exciting, and good movies, but I will also cherish all the good times I’ve had with this specific studio’s output for a long time to come.

12 Days of Anime – Day 3: Garo Might Just be my Anime of the Year.

When I have a problem with an anime, most of the time it’s tied to my personal investment in it. I can forgive a ton of glaring flaws when a show really allows me to put myself into it’s world, and on the turnside, no matter how meaningful and well put together something might be, it’s likely to to be lost on me if I don’t have a strong hook to hold me there.

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And then there’s Garo, a show that doesn’t look special on paper, with all the big story beats and narrative turns something we’ve seen before a million times, talking about responsibility and legacy and duty as so many other anime do, but that knows exactly how to pull you in, how to make the events in it feel meaningul, how to work. Garo doesn’t aim for the stars or tries to pretend to be more than it actually is, rather the show knows exactly where and what it wants to be, and it does an incredible job at getting there.

Garo almost makes being an engaging dark fantasy show look easy, understanding the merits of its rock solid fundamentals and completely nailing the execution. Sure, the show had its fair share of sub par episodic adventures and whatnot, but even those were usually covering at least some thematic ground, and when an important story beat was on the line, the show did everything in it’s ability to make it stick.

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It’s almost silly how clear a line you can draw between peak Garo and the rest of the show. The lineart looks sharper, the framing becomes more purposeful, the animation goes off the hook, the direction doing it’s utmost to enhance the experience. The show knows where to put its weight, on a fight riding on a previous dozen or so episodes of prior engagement, a cathartic character revelation, or a moment of great tragedy, and that pulls everything else up with it. When it was on to the big stuff, you knew it was happening, and all of twitter (at least the parts that were still watching the show) was engrossed and talking about it.

Garo is just a really cool series that couldn’t be more comfortable with where it is. It shows just how far solid fundamentals and a stellar execution can get you, and it’s the best anime I have seen all year.

12 Days of Anime – Day 2: My Own Anime, Some Silly Musings.

Some while ago, I don’t even know when exactly, there was a question going around between my anitwitter peers on ask.fm that inquired what their anime series would look like of they ever were to make one. I didn’t get that question myself, but it made me think, and quite a bit of spare time this year was spent on pondering what this fantasy project of mine would look like.

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It would most certainly involve traveling. Or, Journeying, for a more fitting phrase. Never a clear a goal in mind, just moving forward, always towards the horizon. Only staying in a place for long enough to get an impression of life there, going through all kinds of lands, meeting all kinds of people, but also spending vast stretches of the journey in silent solitude.

The series would take a look through the eyes of a wanderer. Maybe he’d have a companion to play off with, maybe not. Maybe he’d go through the world on foot, maybe he’d mount a vehicle. It don’t even know, actually. What matters is that there’s always an acute sense of place. Of being there. Of this part of the world being a real place that exists, or could exist. But not more than that. Having it unclear what the world as a whole looks like, what exact period of it time it plays in, where a country ends and another begins, where the road stops and the land gives place to sea, would be important to me.

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Atmosphere is key. The show would portray a diverse range of impressions and moods, slowly shifting from one to another, implying some sens of continuity, of moving on, and never lingering somewhere for long enough to give you the impressionthat that you have fully grasped it yet.

The whole show would be one big, seemingly never ending meditation on how vast and elusive the world is. I don’t even know if the series would be good for a few episode long short or a full lenght muti-cour series, but it doesn’t matter, I’d just want to evoke this one specific mood.

Maybe it’d just be boring, maybe it could never really work the way I like to imagine, maybe it’s just a silly idea that’ll sound like nonsense when I think about it some time in the future. I have no idea, but I’d totally want to make this show if I were in a place to create cool stuff at this point in my life.

12 Days of Anime – Day 1: This year had some good OPs.

So yeah, I was thinking of participating in the 12 Days of Anime this year, partly because I wanted to put something on this blog again, and partly because I really just wanted to do some general english writing again. For those who don’t know, 12 Days of Anime is a thing any bloggers who want can participate in, and you’re basically writing short posts about your most memorable anime related moments of the year, one each day up until christmas. So yeah, let’s do this then.

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