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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The dub of Trigun Stampede showed up on CR, and, gotta say, I liked it. A lot. I’d have been disappointed if it was just the exact same story again, or if it was a sequel, but this is enough of a remix that I’m really interested.
I usually do a big review dump but I just can't this season due to all the other things I have on my plate (enjoy the Top 50 Adventure Movies thread!) but having only watched the first episode, I'm sort of in between everyone. I like the animation, the action is very good and I like that it's getting plot points that are already known out of the way to be a different thing. But I also feel like the first episode doesn't have enough "Vash is a dork" (great in the climax but it's a little too serious for stretches in that first episode when I prefer some of that be a turn) and wished it put the fun side of the character first before a lot of the tragic worldbuilding. Also, I'm hoping the plan is for De Nero to die tragically to up the stakes, then Milly happens because no Milly is by far the show's biggest miscalculation.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Well, regardless of overall quality of this, they have to leave something behind in order to make sure there’s still reason to watch the original.

If Milly is only in that, then there’s debate as to which is the best one
 
I remember FFU being pretty good and ahead of its time. It's unfortunate it got the reception it did, but that's Gamers for you.

I watched the first episode of "Lupin Zero" - which is a prequel Lupin III show that nobody wanted or asked for. If you think watching a Middle School delinquent/brat Lupin run around with a Middle School delinquent/brat Jigen sounds like a good time, it probably will be. The show is ok, but it's also supremely uninteresting to me. Lupin III is kind of like The Joker - where he works better as this unknowable, enigma of a man who is more akin to being a walking natural disaster than a real person who had an origin as a regular dude once upon a time. It's wild to me that people don't understand that appeal, and continually try to make origin stories for both. I'm only one episode in, but I feel like the whole point of this show was to prep audiences for swapping out Lupin's VA again. Anyways, show is fine. Looks pretty good for a Lupin-thing too. And the OP/ED reuse the original show's so that's fun.

Vinland Saga's 2nd season is good so far. It's visually a big step down from teh first season, but that first season went hard and it's not surprising that they'd reign things in budgetarily for "Farmland Saga".
 

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
Well yeah it's VINland Saga, not Axeland saga. Get some vineyards going.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Roughly through half of Star Blazers 2199: Space Battleship Yamato (the remake, not the original), and it's really great. It's a grim show, and goes into pretty heavy stuff. And while it is very close to the original, it does update the story a bit (like how Earth wasn't without fault in starting the war, but also showing us more sides of the enemies).

Enjoying my time with it a lot, but will need something lighter afterwards.

Also, I love the intro.
 
Too many shows that I want to watch that I'm falling behind. Nier, Trails of Cold Steel, and Trigun are going to have to wait until I finish up with the ones I'm currently watching. I also want to binge Trigun with the English dub, just for old times sake.

The only show that I've added in is Don't Toy with me Nagatoro: Second Attack. The first season left me with mixed feelings, but this second season is better at establishing that Senpei is a bit creepy for not thinking things through or being in his head too much but that Nagatoro does have a crush on him but doesn't have the maturity to express it in a way that is not teasing. Her older sister and friends are around to call the two out and that just makes me giggle.

I watched the first episode of The Misfit of Demon Academy season 2 and realized I did not give a single care for any of the characters. Hell, other than vaguely remember Anus Anos I have no clue how anyone is. Into the bin pile it goes!
 
If you would have told me ten years ago that you'd get a new Trigun show (that's actually really good) and a Vinland Saga anime in the same season, and that the thing I'd look forward to the most from a week-to-week basis was a high school romance show, I'd have laughed in your face.
 
I will follow up and say I don't know if I can or would want to recommend this show to anyone. It's not particularly clever or good looking. It's almost cloyingly hetero, and it's a a touch too horny. But to me it's entertaining romcom comfort food, and relatively wholesome. I like the character dynamics/the cast is pretty likable, the gags are amusing, and the title character Tomo is a lot of fun watching her beat the crap out of everyone, especially the guy she's crushing on.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
I have started Trigun. I'm making a dedicated effort to not treat it as an exercise in hate watching but fuck it's not making it easy.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
The first episode mostly just made me tired and sad.

I made it halfway through the second before tapping out because I wanted to stop watching TV and walk around outside. It was better than the first so far.

I have yet to see anything justifying the terrible new designs, Robert fucking sucks and I hate how they took Meryl, the frazzled but determined and in control leader of her two-woman-team, and turned her into Meryl, wannabe reporter who gets getting bossed around by the guy that fucking sucks. That's a HUGE fucking downgrade.

The 3D keeps trying to justify itself with big camera pans and tracking shots you could never do in 2D and I'll admit it, they're cool. That said, the character models feel weird and off to me, and the way that they keep the framerate on the humans low to emulate the style of 2d Cartoons is really off-putting to me. It feels like everything is moving too much and too little at the same time. Sets off some weird alarms in my brain.

Also they're wringing as much emotion as they can out of those new designs, and the effort is laudable, but the lack of Vash, weirdest little fucker alive feels WRONG.

6obQolw.gif


No less than 3 separate stupid asshole randos have flooded my twitter mentions to tell me I JUST DON'T GET THEY SHOULDN'T DO WEIRD FUCKER VASH BECAUSE THEY'RE ADAPTING THE MANGA WHICH HAS A DARKER TONE! No you fucking morons! That's not true! They're NOT adapting the manga! They made a big deal about how they're not doing that! And I know! BECAUSE I FUCKING LOVE THE MANGA! And while it definitely has a darker tone, IT ALSO HAS WEIRD FUCKER VASH ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE.

Anyway yeah it's not a complete failure but also fuck it and fuck anyone who tries to UM ACTUALLY me about anything underneath this post seriously I'm not in the fucking mood.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Still WAY behind on shows but finally caught the last three first episodes of shows I was planning on watching.

The tale of outcasts (all lower case for some reason) is... I'm mixed on it. I find it interesting but it's a show that toys with being fraught. The big climax begins with our heroine threatened with sexual violence and torture (and accidentally diffuses it with two goofy-ass decisions) but it isn't really reading as the creators trying to titillate to me (it doesn't go into a lot of specifics and doesn't linger very long on stuff). I like the caring relationship between the two leads. But I'm less a fan of the implication (nothing ever overtly stated) that it also might be romantic because the female protagonist reads as pretty young and the very old demon is drawn to look like a 20 something (in human form). I'm going to give it a chance but I'm hoping it backs off on the stuff I didn't like and goes with "a demon learns to care".

Much better is Ippon Again, a sweet little sports anime about a girls judo club. The art is fairly nice and I really like the lead character.

The best, though, was The Fire Hunter, which looks really promising. It has the kind of world building I find interesting. Not "this is where our superpowers come from" but "OK, we learned that everyone on Earth is now super combustible. How do we live in this society." It's already juggling a lot and looks like it is going to feature two narratives that might take a bit to dovetail but it doesn't feel overwhelming and it's mysteries don't feel like they are being super coy or pointed. Really interested to see this one goes.
 
The best, though, was The Fire Hunter, which looks really promising.
Fun fact: this show is being written by Mamoru Oshii (yes that Mamoru Oshii) and directed by one of his life-long friends/collaborators who he worked closely with on a lot of stuff, going all the way back to their Time Bokan/Urusei Yatsura days.
 
I was expecting Handyman Saitou in Another World to just be a fun, lightweight show not the curveball that it became. It's not a bad curveball mind you, just unexpected.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Has the Pluto adaptation been mentioned? The backgrounds and character art seemed to clash in places, and it looks like it is emphasizing action sequences, so I don't know...
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
SO I'VE BEEN WATCHING TRIGUN AND READING TRIGUN. I've finished 3 Episodes, and I'm midway through Maximum volume 1!

One of them I've been enjoying very much!

The other one... certainly exists.

I will say one unabashedly positive thing about it. I really REALLY like what they did with the Nebraskas.

VxYTtsI.png


I wasn't wild about them going from "walking landmass and man who is literally a gun" to "Big guy and small guy" but I do genuinely like what the story did with them. The spin on them, while still extremely cartoony, added a great deal of depth to both of them, and made them genuinely compelling characters instead of a momentary obstacle. That's a GOOD CHANGE and I applaud it!

I do not have anything nice to say about the other changes, so this post will just abruptly end here.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I've been enjoying this iteration of Trigun for the most part. I think it's decently written, and is trying to do something interesting with previously minor characters. I wish we had more Nebraskas, in fact.

However, it does have the misfortune in trying to reinvent itself casting off some of the stuff I love. Yes, Milly but that's symptomatic of my issue. The original series starts silly but then uncovers a deep well of sadness in the lead character, one that the villains only pick at more and more. In this one, he's wearing his heart on his sleeve but there's no time for him to enjoy his life, which is what makes such a good counterpoint to the character's sadness.

I still think the series is quite good, especially on it's own terms, but I hope the direction the show is going is Vash finds his smile. I hope the show learns that, too.

In other news, Kaina of the Snow Sea is a nice and original series. After so many basic-ass fantasy series that's basically "this is a Western medieval kingdom but magic", this feels like an old fashioned sci-fi/fantasy adventure an interesting setting.

Best series of the season is easily season 2 of Vinland Saga. It's weird to have a series that changes gears to slow down a bit a couple years after it originally aired. Not a strike against it though, drama about characters living as slaves trying to buy back their freedom by making a farm is as exactly as compelling as the Viking action and political manipulations of the first season. The characters are still as strong as before and after a season of Thorfinn being a lead-by-the-nose murder brat, he is finally developing into a character who we can root for (really the star of season one is Askeladd), though his new friend Einer is doing a lot of the heavy lifting there, no pun intended.

Also enjoying Blue Lock, a show I find really addictive. It's pure dumb popcorn sports entertainment and despite not actually featuring death, is the first "death game" series in forever that I can unabashedly recommend.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
In other news, Kaina of the Snow Sea is a nice and original series. After so many basic-ass fantasy series that's basically "this is a Western medieval kingdom but magic", this feels like an old fashioned sci-fi/fantasy adventure an interesting setting.

It's got a lot in common with popular sci-fi from the 70s and 80s, where a common structure was to contrast high technology with the rigors of settlement by constructing a historical-fantasy setting in an alien world. And it's pretty well executed too, and extremely Tsutomu Nihei.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
Discotek has my (creaky old) number. Saint Tail and 50+ eps of UY (1980s) coming out soon. I never thought I'd see the day that I'd have three Dezaki series on disc, but thanks to them (and Nozomi/RightStuf), I do.
 
Trigun Stampede continues to be really friggin' good. This interpretation of the story, and how they've filled out Knives' and Vash's whole backstory is very well done and compelling. It's really nailing the dramatic themes of Trigun and I dare say potentially surpassing some aspects of the older stuff.

Also, really dig this new key art:
1pn1krrflqla1.jpg
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
I barely follow, let alone actively watch current anime but there's a huge concentration of adaptations of like, all my favourite ongoing stuff coming up this year. Without knowing anything about how the animated treatments will turn out, mark your calendars for Skip and Loafer on April 4th, Yuri Is My Job! on April 6th, and Frieren: Beyond Journey's End sometime in the autumn.
 

BEAT

LOUDSKULL
(DUDE/BRO)
FUCK IT SIX EPS IN LET'S FUCKIN WRITE SOME WORDS.

Here's what I think of the first six episodes of Trigun Stampede, and how the BIG MOMENTS they wanted to recreate stack up to their source material, which I have also been rereading.

EPISODE 01: PILOT SHIT AND SPEEDRUNNING LORE.
It jumped franticly between "oh god we need to frontload EVERYTHING" and "Oh shit this needs to be an episode god dammit." Vash as an utterly unprepared rube that went into the big duel without bullets made him look foolish instead of silly. That said, I did like how everyone already knew and liked Vash at the bar, and him effortlessly wiggling out of the ropes was extremely in character.

MANGA MOMENTS ADAPTED

There weren't any. Moving along.

EPISODE 02: MY LARGE ADULT SON.
Everybody in town realizes Vash is worth a fortune, and decides to shoot him. Then the Nebraskas show up and decide to shoot him more. Then everybody forgets what they're doing and have a party.

MANGA MOMENTS ADAPTED:

TOWN OF GUNS:
Pretty much hit the same basic notes, but having Vash flee the town and then come back 10 minutes later was... kinda clunky. On the whole it wasn't better or worse. VALUE NEUTRAL.

THE NEBRASKAS:
So I was definitely not digging their far less ridiculous redesigns, and the shift from "Vash can't possibly dodge this" to "Vash dodges this easily and effortlessly" wasn't great. Also the ending party no longer makes any sense, because none of the town's problems have been solved. THAT SAID, the new Nebraska family are actual characters! By the end of the episode I genuinely liked them both, and was happy that they were done being dicks. That's a great shift from their original purpose as joke enemies. ACTUALLY BETTER!

EPISODE 03: HELLO I AM THE BAD GUY.

EG Mine shows up and makes a bunch of kabooms. Then Knives shows up, gives us cameos of future villains. He looks like a fucking fish. Loads of people die in massive sprays of gore. Knives shows off his super powers. Everyone is sad and/or dead.

MANGA MOMENTS ADAPTED:

EG MINE:
The original Eg Mine was a joke in the manga. The fight lasted less than four pages, and was just there to show that Vash was not putting up with his bullshit. Here he's got an impossible car and superbombs that fuck everything up, I hate his new design, but I do like how the thing that beats him is the fact that he's a coward. NOT BETTER OR WORSE.

KNIVES BIG INTRO:
UHGGGHGHGHGHGHGH.

Okay.

In the manga Knives big debut is not just about how he's powerful and scary. It's also about how VASH is powerful and scary. So instead of wrecking shit himself, he takes control of Vash's plant powers and forces him form a giant fuckoff cannon to destroy the entire city. Vash responds by ripping his human arm out of his plant body, and shooting Knives through his own leg. Knives crumples, Vash redirects his magic arm at the moon, the city still gets fucked up, but nowhere near as bad as it would have been.

This tells us a LOT about both characters! We get a first look at their insane super powers, how they work and why Vash doesn't use them. We get a demonstration of how far Vash will go to resolve a situation without murder, and how much raw determination he's got when the cards are down. Finally we also learn Knives secret weakness: He doesn't like pain. Both he and Vash get shot the exact same amount, but Knives falls to the ground screaming while Vash doesn't even blink. It's a great sequence that organically tells us lots of things we need to know!

In Stampede, knives murders some people in giant sprays of gore. He gives us an early introduction to some of his quirky minibosses, then uses his own powers to steal the town's plants and fuck the town up. Vash yells at him to stop. Knives does not stop. The survivors are sad and yell at Vash to go away, which he does.

I GUESS how his redesigned powers could turn into a giant circular saw were kinda cool? Kinda? Not THAT cool, but better than nothing I suppose? MASSIVE LETDOWN.

EPISODE 04: DID YOU SEE DUNE IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD MOVIE.

Wolfwood is introduced, and everyone gets eaten by a big worm. Wolfwood's cross now has a death star laser. This episode was honestly kind of boring.

MANGA MOMENTS ADAPTED:

Nothing really springs to mind, other than Wolfwood and Zazie showing up. That's a good thing! There should be completely original sequences in here! Just not this one. Because it bored me.

EPISODE 05: VAAAAASH THE STAMPEEEEED VAAAAASH THE STAMPEEEEED VAAAAASH THE STAMPEEEEED VAAAAASH THE STAMPEEEEED.
The Monev the Gale episode. WITH A TWIIIIIIST!!!!!!!

MANGA MOMENTS ADAPTED:

VASH VS MONEV: So they changed this one up a lot and it just doesn't work for me. I feel like a lot of it comes from the lack of TENSION. In the Manga, the Monev fight is the first time you're like oh shit OH SHIT how's he gonna survive this one? Vash starts the fight handcuffed in a jail cell, in a crowded town. He has to immediately bust out his secret last ditch weapon just to survive the first few seconds, loses an entire arm almost instantly, and barely ekes out a win with a last ditch charge. Shit is INTENSE.

Here, the town comes pre-abandoned. For plot reasons that I'll bring up when I talk about how I think they translated the characters, Monev doesn't seem to posses higher thought. There are multiple times when Vash and Wolfwood lightly jog away from Monev to sit down take a breather and have a chat. The intensity from the earlier version is just... GONE.

To put the whole thing in perspective, Vash LOST the new version of the fight, but somehow he never felt like he was in as much danger as old Vash was when he won. IT'S NOT AWESOME.

WOLFWOOD KILLS SOMEONE TO SAVE VASH:
So this is a pretty important moment in every version of Trigun. In the manga, which I am treating as my sole point of reference, Vash beats an opponent (Rai-Dai the Blade), lets him live and starts to leave. The opponent decides he's not done and prepares to attack Vash anew, but is shot in the head by Wolfwood before he reaches him. The following conversation makes their opposing philosophies very clear: Wolfwood is okay with killing a "bad guy" to save a "good guy", Vash is horrified that wolfwood is willing to reduce the world to that binary. In his own words "I would have just dodged! No matter how many times I'd have to! Better than killing him and taking away his chance to stop!"

In Stampede, the bad guy (New Monev) has Vash cold, but is hesitating to deliver the killing blow, because he doesn't really WANT to kill Vash. When wolfwood kills him he justifies it not by saying he was saving vash, but MERCY KILLING the bad guy, because team evil turned him into a fucked up monster. He then says it's Vash's fault he became a fucked up monster, because he knew the kid when he was young, but was not in town when the kid's mom handed him off to the fucked up monster maker guys. As such, it's less a clear cut demonstration of their opposing philosophies, and more a personal breakdown of what is supposed to be Vash's hypocrisy.

I... didn't buy it. Vash was doing everything he could for the kid, he had no way of knowing what the kid's mom was gonna do to him, and appeared to be sincere in his intention to return and help the kid however he could. The horrible fate that befell him isn't really Vash's fault.

It's not a bad idea, but I think the outcome is much murkier than the original, and if they're trying to illustrate the hypocrisy of Vash's philosophy, (Which absolutely exists and is a valid thing to interrogate!) they could have found a better thread to pick at than "You weren't in town on X evening." COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.

EPISODE 06: FUCK SAND I'M ON A BOAT MOTHERFUCKER.
Vash and Wolfwood get on the sandboat. Livio shows up WAAAAAY early. Wolfwood's tragic past is revealed via flashbacks, WAAAAAY early. Legato's here too I guess. The badlands gang is also here, but like, as a cliffhanger.

MANGA MOMENTS ADAPTED

This is all different enough to count as original. EDIT Actually no! there's a LOT being adapted here, they just pulled it from so far ahead in the manga my reread hadn't reached it yet! Which kinda points to a PRETTY BIG pacing problem, but that's a topic for Later.

CRYBABY LIVIO: So in the Manga, the Livio flashbacks are less about how Nicolas and Livio became friends, and more about how Livio became the semi-immortal monster man he is when they meet as adults. Less "look at these cute kids aw they're friends" and more "wait the one with white hair is kinda fucked up right? Like, has an evil personality named RAZLO that's looking for chances to do murder fucked up."

If I'm being totally honest I found stampede's version of the flashback kinda overlong, and was ready for it to end well before it did, but I don't think this version was bad, especially since at this point at least, there's no solid indication that RAZLO exists, which would be a pretty significant mixup! So for now I'm giving it a ranking of FINE.

That said, I'd bet good money that studio orange lacks the strength of conviction to stay the course on "Livio made his own choices." And if they do ANOTHER big flashback a few episodes later that shows that RAZLO is a thing, then this flashback will have been nothing but a waste of time, that didn't need to be so fucking long, and will be immediately rejudged as BORING AND NEEDLESS.

WOLFWOOD'S PAST MONTAGE:
The manga spent very little time on Wolfwood being trained by the eye of Michael. Two pages of montage, two pages of Operating table, and a few scattered pages of him looking at Chapel like "fuck you I'm going to kill you." The big mixup here is the implication that the Orphanage is actively recruiting for the Eye of Michael instead of being a pawn in their game, which could result in an interesting situation later, but frankly I'm more worried it'll just fuck up the BIG SCENE they would be idiots to not try to adapt way down the line.

Oh also New Legato is onhand now? And his power set is more powerful but less weird and strange? Like he's just a normal-ass psychic now? Fuck New Legato. Whatever. On the whole it's CLOSE ENOUGH.

WOLFWOOD VS LIVIO:
Will be covered in the next BIG STUPID POST because as of episode 6 it's ongoing.

Okay NOW we're good.
 
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Purple

(She/Her)
Digging these write-ups. Especially as someone who's read a little of the manga but is mostly familiar with the original show.
 
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