Atlantis and His Anime

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Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:54 am

Let me blunt. I'm so fucking new to anime, it's not even funny. I mean, I kid around when I tell Admin and Aesoth, when we hang out irl, that High School of the Dead's OVA is best thing to happen to anime, but it doesn't take an expert to know that it's one of the many cancerous things to ever be sent out to the airwaves. I decided I was going to get into anime a little more, recently. For what ever reason, I decided on Black Lagoon and I need to talk about things that run through my head because that's how I've always been. I'll just use this thread to dump my reviews on each episode. Maybe I'll keep it up after I finish the series if I see fit. My write ups (which I wrote down for what ever reason) will be posted below:

Episode 1 Score: 6/10

The introduction of our main characters is a little lackluster. I'm hoping that they do some character development to tell us more about them. We know only one thing about the crew of the Black Lagoon: they're pirates. I suppose that would be all we need for the first episode. However, the art. Oh the art. Absolutely beautiful! The shadows and the depth, just in the face of a character with literally no need for existence aside from saying maybe half a line that did set up the first plot point. Looking forward to see what the series has to offer.

Episode 2 Score: 6.5/10

Alright. Not too bad, honestly. I'm a little disappointed that they solved the conflict so quickly, by literally jumping the shark, er, boat rather. The art is still absolutely fantastic, I just hope that there's more to it than pretty pictures and sharply drawn lines.

Episode 3 Score: 5/10

Art is the saving grace again. The attempt at shoveling symbolism down your throat is lost in the confusion as to what they're trying to say. I did like that they tried to show character development, but it was obvious filler. The conflict lasted all of about 30 seconds and then they went back to the slow pace that they seem to enjoy. On to the next.

Episode 4 Score: 3/10

Going to avoid talking about art style for the 4th episode in a row. NAZIS!? You want me to believe that NAZIS are the bad guys in this anime now? I get the main characters are pirates, but really? NAZIS!? The jumping between 1942 and present in the beginning was confusing. The plot point with the painting is some what interesting, as they explain how the painting got there, but the 'coincidence' that new age Nazis happen to be going to salvage the same day as the main characters is absurd.

Episode 5 Score: 6/10

Alright, I take it back. The Neo-Nazis weren't a terrible decision. Was it bad? Oh, with out a doubt, but they turned it into something interesting. The scene where the big tough soldier type starts blubbering only for the entire Nazi crew to break into song (no, seriously, watch this shit), that's where I was starting to question what the point was. I like that they aren't just a one-off group of antagonists though. On a personal level, I was a little uncomfortable with the atheism talk because of my Christian beliefs, but the monologue that Revy gives is a good one. Here's one question I have though, How do Benny and Dutch know that the guys trying to kill them are Nazis? All they see are the anti-tank missiles and hear some random song that you can't comprehend the words of. How do they know? Revy and 'Rock' would know because of having to actually shoot at them, but....ya know what? Just going to toss this one into the plot hole.

Episode 6 Part 1 Score: 2/10

First scene. I'm paused on the first scene to write this because I forgot to mention one thing and that is how they portray the Nazis are American. I'll leave that there. Also, Flight of the Valkyries is playing in this scene. Why? I don't know! Blah. Back to the show. Pausing again. They keep showing Revy from the back as she goes on this killing spree and all I can think of is, "How would I feel if a girl in a tight tankini thing and booty shorts was the last thing I saw?" Also, why is it these guys have automatic assault rifles yet keep running into close range combat against a dual-pistol wielding enemy? Oh, the bad guy tropes. They hurt my head sometimes. I'm not even halfway through. On ward! Pausing not even a minute later to say thank you to the blubbering-macho man from last episode for having the common sense to go grab a bigger gun, and for giving me a laugh when you realized she was behind you while you fumbled around trying to load the belt of ammo in with Revy behind you...only to have her shoot the grenade out of your hand! 9:25 in, and that's including the intro. Back to it, I suppose. Hold on. I'm back to writing. 20 seconds. I lasted 20 seconds before I needed to note that Dutch got off FIVE SHOTS WITH A SHOT GUN. Before FIVE DIFFERENT MEN COULD PULL THE TRIGGER ON THEIR PISTOLS. Dutch does conclude with mentioning that they are a joke and really only have the uniforms, "and that's about it." I guess I'll let it slide. Alright. I'm turning this into a 2 part review because of the sheer volume of WTF!? that the first half of this episode had. Revy fires 3 shots, and what happens to the guy that tells her he's not affiliated with the Nazis, just a hired sailor, as all the real sailors are? He has gunshot wound in one knee. One. Knee. When Dutch finally stops her, he asks her "What the hell" she's doing. She said when you boarded the ship she was going to kill anyone she wanted! Why are you surprised!? Look. I'm trying hard to like this series. I honestly want to. Why else would Toonami give it the nod? Here's hoping the second act is the saving grace.

Episode 6 Part 2 Score 7/10 (Total Episode Score: 7/10. Let's pretend the first act never happened.)

Alright, so we made it to the second scene before a pause. That's a nice change in pace, as opposed to the scene by scene I just gave. Revy puts simple when she states, "I'm just doing my job." Exactly! However, Dutch does give a nice counter when he says that a gunman (or woman, we're all equal here. Please don't kill me Revy.) but a shooter is someone who, "kills 'cause they got issues. I do not remember hiring Charles fucking Whitman." If you don't know who that is, read up on the shooting at the University of Texas at Austin. Dutch even tells her to climb a clock tower and start shooting college kids if she's going to act that way. Kind of chilling, both the real life story, and the analogy made. I do like that they point out that they both thought Dutch was going to kill her, but if the viewer fell for that, they gotta be pretty gullible. Back to the show. Alright. The scene between Revy and FRITZ STANFORD!!! is actually funny. The dude busts threw a door...to go off on how special his gun is. The entire time Revy is just reloading her gun. Honestly enjoyed it. Next! Okay. So the second act as actually rather good at the end.The exchange between Dutch and the guy who (PLOT TWIST) hired both both the Nazis and Black Lagoon is actually rather good. The old SS officer tosses a racial slur, met with a 'Cracker' comment from Dutch. Dutch demands payment, the old man shrugs, over the phone, and says he hopes that the blacks are wiped out. I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out why Revy doesn't want Rock in the crew, but I'm assuming that it will be explained in the rest of the series. Not bad, BL, not bad.

Episode 7 Score: 8.5/10

Sorry, I tried to promise to myself that I wouldn't do the play-by-play for an episode, but we went from a strip club with straight up frontal nudity, right into Black Lagoon's boss editing a porn tape. Rock's discomfort is obvious the entire time while Revy's only response to the porn tape is, "Is she taking it up the ass?" The boss's line at the end of the scene is perfectly timed comedy, and I honestly love when an anime can genuinely make me laugh over one of their jokes. Just thought I'd let you know how this episode is setting the pace. Onward! Why did they show the very first scene of the episode again? They started with it, went to a flashback, then went back to it. Is it really that necessary? Whatever. Next. Did...? No. But did sh-....not a chance. Nope the random parrot tied to the post outside confirmed it. Revy (who's real name is Rebecca?) called the nun a skank. Oh, then nun is a total bitch. Continue. Hold on, I made it through act one with only 2 pauses? Things looking up in this episode. Seems the character development between Revy and Rock that I wanted is coming this episode. I was hoping that wouldn't be the case, but I won't complain. The conversation between Sister Yolanda and Rock is enticing and fun to listen to. A good omen for the second act, I hope. Alright. Honestly, I hate where I paused it. I hate it. The monologue going on is glorious. I absolutely love it, but why are they showing underwater scenes and then a city scape? Bah. Not I'm pissed. And now even more so. The part with the chief is fantastic. No shame in admitting he's dirty, but we were told earlier in the series that the entirety of the town they're in full of lowlifes. What pisses me off is exactly what I was hoping wasn't going to happen, the suggestion that Rock and Revy have sexual tension. Look. Just let me have the hot girl handle the gun fights, let me have the misfit lead, but please, just for once, don't make them love interests. Still the best episode yet.

Episode 8 Score: 5/10

Alright. So accidentally getting tied up in a kidnapping of the only son to a wealthy man is an interesting twist. The episode did a nice job of tying together that the maid is not what she seems at all. The 'eyes of a soldier' bit was well done, explaining that Roberta wasn't all she seemed to be. Blowing away a Colombian cartel family was a decent way to end the episode, but when they spend the time trying to make you think that Diego isn't actually from the Lovelace family, it's a bit misleading. If that was the intention, then why have the kid know the maid? The artists even made a point to cover his face with a glare from the lamp on the boss' desk. Major point reduction for an attempt at a bad plot twist. We already have Shyamalan doing it with movies, we don't need it in anime as well. At least I didn't have to pause the episode to hyperanalyze this one.

Episode 9 Score 7/10

I honestly like the opening of this one. The flashback to when Lagoon was on their way to the Yellow Flag was well done, Garcia and Rock built some chemistry (albeit a heluva lot faster than Rock and Revy), and I enjoyed it.The realization to Roberta being a killing machine is fantastic and realistic, despite the not so realistic fighting style via combat shotgun/umbrella and tommy gun suitcase. My one big problem is that Roberta is still intending to kill Lagoon, despite the head of the cartel saying that Lagoon was ignoring their contract by not delivering 'the package.' It was rather obvious they had no intentions to hurt Garcia, as Rock literally carried the kid out of the bar after being asked to get him out of there and away from the killing machine that was once his friend. Wouldn't she be able to tell that Garcia was in safe hands? Wouldn't she know that Lagoon was just keeping the kid safe? I'm not saying that this is where the points were docked, I'm saying that confusing the intent of a non-aggressive enemy is difficult for me to comprehend. She's a trained killer. Shouldn't she know the difference? The action is nice thought. The part where they show that Revy isn't invincible is nice. I like that they have her incapacitated with a concussion. After the Neo-Nazi arc it seemed they were trying to make the viewer believe she couldn't even get a scratch on her. All together, I do like this episode. The explosions are pretty par for the course as far as anime goes. The bit where suddenly Roberta is driving a car on top of a building had me scratching my head, for several reasons including the fact that they admitted that the car she had been chasing them in was no longer usable. We'll see where the next episode takes this one. I'm assuming this is coming to the end of a season as We're about to hit double digits, so we'll see where they leave us before season 2.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:22 pm

Episode 10 Score 5/10

Alright. So they make it seem like Roberta, or I guess The Bloodhound, and Revy have some type of history. They keep showing more and more of the same scene every couple of episodes, and they show the back of what is presumed to be Roberta standing with a gun over a blanket covered in blood. Yet, when Revy has the chance to kill her, lying on the ground exhausted from their gun fight, she waits just long enough to pull the trigger for Russian-boss-lady to show up (They've said her name once the entire series I think?). The action is good, the monologues that both Roberta and RBL give are well written, but when they just go, "Yeah! Bare-knuckle boxing match!" Guys. Stahp. You set up a fantastic shoot out, pace is perfectly, only to drop it entirely and pretend it never happened. Although, I do like that they give insight as to how RBL got her scars and what her history is. I just wish they would give some character development for Benny and Dutch. Rock gives his sob story of being a corporate lacky pretty much every episode, Revy's is nicely paced with tidbits in a couple of episodes. What do we know about the other two crew members of the Black Lagoon? Dutch is a black captain of a pirate ship. Benny is a Jewish tech guy for a pirate ship. That doesn't take points from the episode, I'm just ranting. Anyway, the episode is well paced right up to through the first act. The second act takes a dive and makes it seem like it was all rushed. The score is above. Next episode.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:53 pm

Episode 11 Score: 3/10

Promise no play-by-play on this one. Just going to thank the artist for a little bit of fan service with Revy in her underwear and tanktop to start the episode off. Back to the episode. Why do bad guys enjoy assault weapons so much? They don't hit anything with them. All you need is a hand gun or two to kill 'em. Worst of all, they walk up and stand in front of the guy, or Revy, and just stand there waiting to get shot. Second on my docket, is smoking suppose to be symbolic in this series? Everyone smokes in every episode. The Russian lady, the crew of the Black Lagoon, even the majority of the bad guys. Here's my other issue with this episode, the password. First of all, we didn't know the password until the scene after the Black Lagoon. Why? And they really went with a Star Wars reference? 'May the force be with you!' Great. And then they change it anyway so it's pointless to know in the first place. Although they did, somewhat, explain that it happened.We just never hear the new one. Is Atheism also a standing point in this series? Are we supposed to drop our religion based on this series and go for money? Or are they trying to say that atheists are all evil? Takanaka, the primary bad guy for this arc, is atheist and Revy is stout in here atheistic standpoint as well. Also, this episode was riddled with stereotypes. The Japanese guy asks Takanaka for a 'righta' the Irish get away driver is hungover, and the 'Tiwanese' lady has a thing for throwing knives and blades. Why was the one scene askew? Drama? I don't know. Obviously this episode left me with too many questions for me to enjoy it, thus the low score. The kidnapping of Rock makes things interesting. Honestly that's where all 3 points came from. I'll bite.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:08 pm

Episode 12 Score: 7/10

This episode. This. This is how you do an anime with a premise like this. Throw in an intense fight where all characters in the storyline are involved. Throw in an intense chase scene, explosions, a shoot out, and hot chick (or two in this case) and you got an on par episode. Throw in some inner turmoil for the bad guy and you make it interesting. Again, though, they have the guys with assault rifles stand there while they get blown away by Revy and cutlass (what she's named her guns). One of my big questions was why does 'Chinglesh,' as Revy calls her, have an obsession with cutting Revy's ass? The Irish guy, who's not even referred to by a nickname of some sort, gets stoned before Rock does later in the episode, and Rock sobers up faster? I'm no expert on marijuana, but does it really work that way? He didn't smoke more than once yet spent the entire episode hallucinating and screaming random things, I assume, for comedic relief. I like the pace that they are revealing Revy's past, with a mention about a precinct still looking for her back home, but it not being worth this officer's time to bring her in. The blatant racism towards 'Chinglesh' and the Japanese guy that made a reappearance was a little over the top. I'm confused as to how time progresses in the universe of this series, as the Japanese guy said he was going on a week long vacation and happens upon Takanaka in the airport after all of this goes down. Speaking of Takanaka, he states early in the episode that he's doing what he believes to be the right thing merely because he feels obligated to do so after all of these years. Yet he kills his partner because he feels it's futile? Lost me there, maybe they'll explain more? Overall, as I stated in the beginning, it was a well done episode, just nothing above average.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:47 pm

Episode 13 Score: 4/10

What. What. What. What. What. What. What. What. Guys. Nope. Nope. Guys. What did I just watch? First of all, the beginning of this episode is well done. The air of creepiness when the two kids are talking about cannibalism and whether it was Edgar Allen Poe or Richard Matheson who said, "The ultimate love is cannibalism." Secondly I have no idea what language it is that they're speaking in, but they call each other Big Sister or Big Brother in it. Next, why is incest so rampant in anime? Why? They make it obvious that these two are practicing it, with the sound of them kissing at one point and the constant holding of hands. As well as 'Sora Mea' (big sister) telling the brother they should go 'take a bath.' Mr. Chang is currently my favorite side character. His ease when speaking about the murders of the rash of murders in the four major crime syndicates (the Chinese Triad, Hotel Moscow, Italian mafia, and Cuban mafia) has won me over. The crime bosses say that, in total, they have lost 9 men, yet the brother and sister say they've only killed 8. Math is not my strong point, but come on writers, literally adding 1+1 is pretty simple. There's a reference to The Punisher from the comic book series (let's pretend the movie didn't happen) and Rock enlightens us that the term 'punisher' means "one who gives punishment." Thanks Rock. I wouldn't have known. (Insert sarcastic look here) I like when a series refers to previous episodes, as they do when they mention the 'Lovelace maid' not being everything that met the eye. I'm not sure why it's necessary, but they list off a number of bounty hunters that we've never met. Why? Why is it necessary to just toss names around? It doesn't add anything, it just throws names in. When they stated that outside hunters were coming, that's all they needed to say. They make another movie reference, which had been one of Rock's key things throughout the series. They talk about how these twins (Again. Incest is unnecessary) are something out of The Shining. The gun that the girl uses is literally her size. It probably weighs more than her. Without a doubt. Vallanlanka (again, I'm not sure on the name since they pronounce it differently pretty much any time they say it) is written as a heartless soldier. Yet she almost breaks into tears when talking about putting men in the ground from these murders. They make a point to say that these twins are not working on their own, but for someone in the city. I guess that's better? I don't know. Pretty subpar episode that I did not enjoy very much.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:17 am

Episode 14 Score: 6/10

Alright. That intro was fantastic. It honestly gave me chills. The growling dogs, merely upset by the presence of the kids and have the twins shoot them, presumably dead, is fantastic. I'm just confused. Why do the twins decide they're going to switch genders and pretend to be the other? Does that serve some type of purpose? They don't say in this episode. I suppose I should wait to decide on whether it's a reasonable thing or not, but I'm docking the point anyway. At least they do explain that they are "from the land of Dracula," or, as the Hotel Moscow 2nd in command explains further, Romanian. He even gets upset that he couldn't remember, which is very realistic, but, seeing as how they just brush it off as him being older now, it was not played out so well. The fact that they find the two kids in a 'kiddie porn' video thanks to terrorizing a porn shop/strip club owner is a bit of a reach, but I'll take it. What really annoys me, and it is really a minor thing, is that the twins were called Hansel and Gretel, two German names, but were Romanian. I suppose this is to show how little they were actually cared for? They do not really explain, aside from a side comment about being 'illegitimate children of a dictator.' They do go a bit deeper, explaining that the films the twins were in were primarily snuff films, and the cinematographers made the twins kill the other children, causing the blood lust we see in the two. Fucking. Mister. Chang. The man, the myth, the legend. I just love this character. His non-chalantness in every situation is perfect and timed extremely well. He does, however, hit a nerve with me by literally stating the name of the episode when he says that the twins are 'Some type of dark fairytale.' I hate, hate, hate when anything I am reading/watching literally states the title of that chapter and/or episode. The writers make a nice recovery, however, when they have Balalainka (yes, I figured out how to spell her name finally) call Chang "Baby" and he tells her to knock it off because he does not like it when she does. One of the things I see pretty often in something like this is the use of a code that is literally explained in the next line. It's just stupid. It does not add to the mood to say this secret code, so just tell us what you are trying to tell the person that explains to the viewer what it means. I like that they make the Italian mob the bad guys here. Ignore the stereotyping of how the mafia is the bad guy, and enjoy that the writers were creative enough to insert a nice plot twist. Next, I have harped on hand guns versus assault rifles several times throughout this series, but now they are showing us a battle ax (the brother, or sister in this case....I think, uses it as his primary weapon) taking down up to 7 (that's what I counted when the panned across the room) grown men with firearms. Really? That's how it works? C'mon now. I don't understand why they had to give the dirty police chief a bad tip to make him leave. Just hand him some cash and tell him to go home. It'll be quicker and you'll avoid having to deal with him later. In a later scene, we see a freaking RPG shot at a car, which some how had it's description sent out, yet the twins were never shown in any vehicle what so ever, and the car merely flips over. The twins have a two second feeling of guilt over the death of the orphan occupant in the car and then just shrug it off with, "Let's go kill!" No, seriously, that's the line. At the end, they say that Revy is Chinese. Yeah. No reason, no call for it, they just say, "That Chinese chick from Black Lagoon," or something along those lines. Alright. Finally, when Balalainka and her next-in-command are talking about Revy, the 'Ivan Chick,' as she is referred to by anyone against Hotel Moscow (what kind of mob name is that anyway?) calls her, just tells her men to kill Revy if she interferes with the plan to kill the twins. Why? She always talks to her like she respects her, like she sees her as an asset. Why would she kill someone that he obviously respects? Life goes on, I suppose, and so does the series!
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:06 am

Episode 15 3/10

My head hurts. I have even more to talk about than last episode. Let's go.
First scene, and they have Eda, the sister from the church a few episodes back who's working with Revy to collect the reward on the twins, literally stand still and not get hit by a machine gun and an assault rifle (maybe two?). Then, they end the scene with the twins kissing, and not the normal brother/sister awkward kiss, and telling each other that they love each other. They split up to 'cause confusion.' Hotel Moscow takes the same approach to 'confuse' the twins, and then again they mention it in same scene. At this point in the episode, we haven't seen Black Lagoon, aside from Revy's non-important appearances she's made, varying throughout the episode. The frenemies relationship that Eda and Revy have (or as I wrote in my notes that I use to prevent a play-by-play 'Frenemies 4 Lyfe). When Eda asks Sora Mea (or Sora Meu I guess) what the point of killing Balalainka is, after they've already killed the people who hired them to kill her, he...she...them...uh....the response is "Because we want to." That's fucking chilling coming from a kid. Then they ruin it with the kid groping Eda. So yeah, high to low real quick. They drop another Buddha symbolic scene on us, and I still don't see the point. Sora Mea dressed as her brother finally confronts Balalainka and brags about killing her soldier, describing how he clung to life and called out for Balalainka right to the end. Again, that's pretty fucking chilling coming from a kid. They just kind of end the confrontation two sniper shots, one to the knee and another to blow off the hand that was holding the battle ax, and just let the kid slowly die there in the park. It's confusing, yet well written when they show Sora Mea lose her ability to hold on to the persona of her brother, jumping between the voices. She gives a speech on how the two believe their killings are their key to immortality, which is responded to by Balalainka with, "That's a strange religion." Thanks. Thanks for that insightful input. Then she gives an out of place Oingo Boingo reference, and the kid dies. The second act opens with Sora Mea/Meu singing a song that they had heard on television. It's some how supposed to deepen the character, but I'm still confused. Rock is still portrayed as the innocent one of the crew, which is fine, that's his characteristic and I like that.They hint that Hotel Moscow and Black Lagoon (yes, the key characters were out of action for an episode and a half), but nothing comes of it accept two more random names that are thrown at us when they are trying to decide where to take the kid. Sora Meu/Mea talks about growing up in a government run orphanage in Sicily (I thought they were Romanian?) and Rock, of all people, goes into the back story of the kids and explains, a little more, about "the dictator." Sora Meu/Mea's explanation starts suddenly and doesn't particularly blend well, but gives the last few details about the twins and, again, we hear about how they can't die because they've killed too many people to do so, and we get to see Sora Meu take off the wig and assume his normal persona. Rock ends up breaking down, after hearing how the twins have decided their purpose in life is to kill people, to which Sora Meu, back in his Sora Mea persona, responds by dropping his pants and offering Rock sex (talk about an awkward moment). Rock snaps and heads topside while Revy punches the kid and swears to kill him/her should they upset Rock again. Benny, out of all the characters on the Black Lagoon, gives Rock a speech about how the world isn't fair and stands as the voice of reason for the scene. Sora Meu/Mea finally gets off at a dock where "Elroy," one of the names thrown around in the earlier scene, proceeds to kill them. Elroy quits, gives a speech about mortality, and we're treated to a chorus singing the song that Sora Meu/Mea sang earlier while the credits play. I. Hate. This. Episode. Plain and simple. Hate it. There's some good moments where they talk about mortality, and the speech on the unfair world is well written, just not given by the right character, as Benny has shown little interest in Rock. I would have preferred Dutch for that scene, personally. What can you do.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:23 am

Episode 16 4/10

So here we go on another short arch. The intro of the bad guy was a little cliche, showing his strong arm demeanor and a short fuse. He ends up killing the guy that his 'employee' literally states that she needs, so that whatever job they're working on can get done. We see a quick escape attempt followed by the reuse of a scene from one of the first couple of episodes, when Rock was still getting acquainted with the city. We learn, via Eda, that the time has now progressed to near a year since Rock joined the crew of the Black Lagoon, followed by the obvious question that viewers would be having at this point, "What's the nature of Rock and Revy's relationship?" Eda actually questions Revy if she's 'sampled the goods yet.' Eda is written as a nun...who doesn't seem to take God very seriously in the majority of her demeanor, dialogue, or actions, yet she quotes the Bible and specifically says that she is working for God, several times throughout this episode. There's a, rather pointless, gun "fight" at the church. I put fight in quotation marks because it's literally Eda, the head nun, and Revy shooting thousands of rounds at the bad guys. On top of that, we see the head nun fire her PISTOL once, and a freaking car blows up? How does that work? How many rounds does a hand gun hold, anyway? Even I know that something wasn't right with it. After the gunfire stops, the camera pans to the new Black Lagoon (presumably) client, who was hiding literally right in front of where the gun fire was coming from, but didn't get hit once. How does that work? We move into a hospital scene where see the boss of the new antagonists who is bed ridden. He wasn't hit! The literally showed him perfectly fine and yelling at the three shooters out of a car window as they drove away from the church. Is the Yellow Flag supposed to mean something? Is this more symbolism that I keep missing? It's a key piece in numerous bits of conflict. At least this time we didn't get the owner yelling at Revy about her 'friends' destroying the place (Which has already happened at least twice in the past 15 episodes, once where it was literally blown up). "Chinglesh," whose name, we learn, is Shen Wa (not sure on the spelling there). They make a point of actually introducing new names, as opposed to just throwing them around. We meet one whose specialty is chopping people up, and I'm excited to see what they do with her. She gets an interesting introduction where she 'speaks' with an electrolarynx (look that up), but the introduction ends up tainted with added comments of characters we never see. They're building up for an interesting story, they just didn't deliver on the opening.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Fri May 01, 2015 6:56 pm

Episode 17 5/10

Alright, so this is a pretty average episode. They bring back the noose symbolism from early in the series when Rock is describing Roanapur. Why? I suppose to segway into the description about the type of people that come to Roanapur, but it is pretty vague. There's a long scene with a shaking camera, and my stomach is still churning from it; made me feel like I was on a boat in high seas. Revy makes a point of pointing out the fact that Eda's plan to get Jane, the counterfeiter from last episode, to find the car that the two of them and Rock are in. Either Eda doesn't care or doesn't account for this plan leading the bounty hunters right to them. I got a bit excited when they throw Brett Favre's name into the episode when talking about how easy it is to lead Jane to the car, despite them mispronouncing it. (It's Farv. Not Farvruh.) Chinglesh, or Shen Wa I suppose, makes a badass monologue about how things work in Roanapur, and how respected The Lagoon Company is. As a side note, they force in a Jim Beam placement after telling Eda that she was either going to drink a beer or nothing since all the liquor belonged to Dutch. Not a fan of that. There is a quick exchange between 'Lobo,' the guy paying the Bounty Hunters to hunt down Jane, and Dutch about how Lobo doesn't want the hunters to confront the Black Lagoon, but they wouldn't listen. Is this a long way of saying there's no honor among thieves? I digress. I've mentioned time and again how moronic the whole 'automatic rifles versus hand guns' bit is to me. I hate it. But they raise the bar in this episode. The dude has a Gatling gun and is stopped by two bullets from Eda's pistol. Seriously? Again, I digress. There is a quick mention of how the car had just been repaired after the arch with the Lovelace maid, but we saw 5 episodes, FIVE, before the vampire twins arch wherein we saw the use of the car. When was the car damaged in that arch in the first place? They literally sat outside the car while Revy and Roberta had their showdown! I...digress. Electrolarynx is back and uses her chainsaw to cut the back door open in less than two seconds, but then stands there menacingly with it raised above her head long enough for her primary target to get up and run outside. Why does this bad guy trope find its way into just about anything with action? The "Nice Guy" bounty hunter, one of the two new ones that were introduced in the previous episode has a freaking flame thrower for a lighter, and then, literally the next scene we see him, he has a regular flame thrower strapped to his back. What's the point of that? He sets the back door on fire, and then vanishes. Now we have an overly used henchmen trope, and I hate when, not only is it a bad trope, but it leaves a plot hole open. Another quick note, Eda pulls a grenade launcher out of a random crate that just happens to be where next to Jane after she dives back inside from avoiding the flame thrower/lighter guy (can't even call that Deus ex machina because it was never introduced until now) and literally says "You only live once, right?" Way to say YOLO without saying YOLO. There is a quick bit where Shen Wa throws one of her weapons throw a wall and we see a LOT of blood droplets fly through the air, yet Revy isn't neither cut nor complaining of being hurt. The episode ends with Jane yelling, repeatedly, at Rock about how he needs to come up with a plan. His only response, every time, is "I'm thinking about it!" and that's where the episode ends. Yeah. It had problems, but I still like that they are making the action exciting. It was nothing special, but it was pretty on par for the series.

Episode 18 7/10

Alright. You're going to read through 99% of this review and wonder why the score is so high, but the end explains everything. We get a strange confirmation on Revy and Eda's frenemies relationship when Revy hands Eda's gun, which we never saw her drop, and simply tells her "Don't die," as she runs off to save Jane and Rock. Meh. They could have done better, the pace and even the awkwardness made it too awkward and it felt misplaced. Electrolarynx literally says "I've got you now." The antagonist who needs the help of an electrolarynx says they've got you now. Where have I seen that before? I'm having visions of a large explosions in space and sphere with a hole in the side. Not sure. Cowboy tosses in a random Burning Man reference when he gets upset that BBQ guy set the building on fire, which, while I enjoyed the fact that there was another reference to American culture, it was, again, misplaced. The fact that we jump back to the roof and "Spooky Chick" actually uses her electrolarynx to laugh...yeah. That happened. When the random barrels, that were never mentioned before, explode and Spooky Chick drops her electrolarynx (yes I'm annoyed typing it as much as you are reading over and over) and has an emotional break down is so random that I couldn't tell if she was crying or melting. Seriously. Those were the two options that jumped to mind during the scene.Wizard pretty much establishes himself as the goofy antagonist that isn't going to be very productive when he makes an introduction that would make any blockbuster antagonist question what it meant to be evil. Revy shoots him just a few words in and ends it. (Eh..comic relief?) The end of act one is literally Dutch watching the Lagoon's dock collapse and simply saying "Damn. The whole thing's destroyed." No. I did not miss an exclamation point. That's how he said it. Baritone voice, monotone attitude. Meh, what's a few thousand dollars to rebuild? Wizard and Chinglesh open the second act and reveal that their alive. Chinglesh makes some comment about not being in shape for "Crazy-monkey-dance," which I'm assuming is sex. Instead of laughing, I questioned what I was doing with my life. The spend the rest of the scene hitting on each other, only for Chinglesh to say, in not so many words, "Oh yeah, I'm dying." So Wizard takes her and Electrolarynx (last time for this review I promise) to a hospital, possibly establishing a new antagonist group. The boss of the mob makes a reappearance and starts yelling at Lobos (yes, I got the guy's name wrong in the last review, go figure, and just the one guy goes by the Spanish name for 'Wolves') for not wanting to deal with Black Lagoon. He flashes a gun under his coat after leaving the hospital room and it is only hinted that he is going to shoot the boss several scenes later by Revy. There is a bit of good comic relief with some gunmen who got onto the Black Lagoon boat itself, and I did actually enjoy that. Janet, forgoing Rock's name, just decides to be racist for no reason and tells "Mr. Japanese" to go get her bag. There's a short argument about how he did not have it which sets up Benny to do Janet's work for her, cracking into the code that her programmer had set up so they could work. "Fatty," or the nice guy as I've referred to him in the last review, goes off on some random, long winded, awkward monologue about how he burned his wife alive and how good Revy's skin would smell when he did the same to her. Revy gets Dutch to drive erratically, knocking Fatty off balance and she lets him know that he's now "Rocket Man," shooting the canisters strapped to his back for his flamethrower, he flies away (because that's how that works) and explodes. We jump back to where Benny actually cracks the programmer's code and this turns Janet on. No, seriously. She literally says that watching him did that turned her on and they start hooking up with Rock awkwardly standing there. Now. The part that skyrocketed the score of this review because it was done exceptionally well. We get a rather deep look into Eda's past with Cowboy recognizing her. We learn that she worked for a senator in DC and was brought in to bang out negotiations over signing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and how members of the Organization of American States (OAS) were unsure about signing. She tries to convince Cowboy that she was born in Alabama, only to admit, after telling him the truth, that she is from Langley, Virginia. To which Cowboy yells, "You're CIA!" We here a gunshot and Eda climbs out of the engine room with a cowboy hat that with a hole in the front. It's not much, but I honestly enjoyed every part of it, minus the strange choice in background music that they use for this kind of scene throughout the series. I am excited to see where this carries us through the last 10 episodes of the series!
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Fri May 01, 2015 7:35 pm

Episode 19 1/10

I comptemplated a zero, but figured I'd give some type of score for Rock's back story and the character development between him and Revy. They start off with a quick monologue by Rock that seems to be cut off rather than finished. I enjoyed it up until then. Rock and Revy just kind of go to Japan for Balalaika as a translator (Rock) and, I think, emotional support (Revy?). Rock's translating during the exchange between Balalaika and the Yakuza head makes is extremely distracting and takes a lot away from what is being said. It gets weird when the cab driver that Rock and Revy have and a food merchant at a town fair both speak English after the Yakuza head needed Rock to translate. Revy, rather randomly, turns into a bleeding heart and talks Rock into trying to contact his family. I like that they actually put some more effort into developing Rock and Revy's relationship in this episode, but that's the only real highlight of the episode. Rock and "Yukiko," a girl similar to Rock in ideals, get along in an awkwardly paced scene where the two of them, Revy, and "Ginji," the former apprentice to Yukiko's father, are drinking sweet sake together. Ginji makes a comment about Revy having the eyes of a rabid dog, as opposed to a human's and the scene ends. We find out that Ginji is the underling of a new(er) Yakuza boss, who happens to be the same boss we met in the meet up with Hotel Moscow. Ginji and the boss keep mention "The Old Man" who, it appears, was the former head of this Yakuza family. The boss tries convincing, to no avail, Ginji to pick up the "white scabard" again. In the final scene, we see Revy interacting with some kids who were pretending to shoot each other. She teaches them how to die properly because the way they did it was "the kind you only see in the movies." Revy and Rock have another quick exchange, and the episode ends. Extremely subpar, even for this series.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Mon May 04, 2015 8:31 pm

Point A) Yes, Neb, replies are welcome if not encouraged.

Point B) Read through my reviews and holy shit I'm sorry for all the typos. I write this while on a nicotine buzz, normally, so I just kind of spray things on the page.

Point C) As per Neb's request I'll start making an effort to put line breaks into the reviews.

That is all. Thanks for what ever traffic to this thread that I've been receiving.

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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  NebulaGregarZX on Tue May 05, 2015 5:33 am

Ahhhh, FINALLY! Kind of awkward, not being allowed to talk. Thanks for clearing that up, dude. ...This topic was only started a little over a month ago? For some reason, it feels like longer.

So, green when it comes to anime, huh? Well, I mean, I'd have recommended something else to start with, but I know nothing of Black Lagoon anyway. While I'm at it, what WOULD I recommend...? Something relatively short and not-crazy-stupid, and not something I've got nostalgia goggles for... Oh, hm. Maybe Durarara? Augh, so many factors to take into account, like preference for English-dubbed anime or subtitles, and what kind of show you'd like... Maybe I should get back to you on that.

Pirates are good. The animation is really good. And- OH GOOD GOD. I hate it when they shove symbolism down your throat. A little is fine, and even if the symbolism is dumb, I can handle a little of it, but overloading something with symbolism is just... ugh.

Oh, Nazis. That's... yep. Oh, SINGING Nazis. That's better. And Japan isn't known for their comprehension of Christianity. Just look at Neon Genesis Evangelion for ten minutes, you'll see what I mean. Better yet, save yourself the headaches and depression and don't.

Okay, listen, dude. There's this thing that people tend to apply to TV shows, and it works with most anime, too. It's called the Three-Episode Challenge. Simply put, you watch the first three episodes to decide whether you want to keep watching, since the first episode, and even the second, can be deceptive, and after the third you almost always know whether you want to continue or not. If I'd known I could speak before, I'd probably have advised you to try something else and quit this one back at episode 6, but since you're already so far along, you might just regret not finishing the series when you're so far in.

As for realism, if you need something to break you in on suspension of disbelief, I would like to direct you to Gurren Lagann. After that, you'll have no problem with highly-improbable, realistically-impossible stuff. (But not really, since the setting of Black Lagoon sounds like it's trying to be gritty and while part-realistic, it's still insane. It pretends that it makes sense, basically.)

Seasons in anime tend to be around 12-14 episodes, depending, and a lot of series are 26 episodes long, or very close to that number.

...Maybe I'm just a little disillusioned from the realization that the guy who writes for BlazBlue and Guilty Gear is clearly not the most competent man for the job, but I don't think I'd watch this anime. It could be your opinion is coloring it so that it sounds unappealing to everyone, ever, but... I think I'll avoid this one.

My conclusion is that the point is that morality is super-gray, and basically everyone has issues. I'll stick to something that deals with the idea that everyone has their own personal problems and has a lighter tone, thanks.

It's late, and the text is still dense in the second half of what you've written, so I'm gonna call it a night for now. But yeah, I already dislike this anime, and I don't have the benefit of pretty art to distract me from that.

As for that recommendation you didn't ask for, I'm gonna throw these out there, just sort of as guesses as to what you might watch.

Gurren Lagann, for the ridiculous premise. It's a mecha anime, so there's giant robots. It's a good one, I think, though if you've got low tolerance for insanity, I'd choose something else. It's mostly positive, and pretty optimistic for the most part, so it's not a massive downer all the time. It's been a while, though, and I think it's one of the things I demonize in my memory, so I think I'm remembering it as less awesome than it actually is.

Durarara, for weaving a web of neat characters, keeping a calm, cool pacing, and while it sticks to realism sometimes, there is some supernatural stuff, and there's some typical shenanigans like a guy becoming super-strong without magical powers or training to be a heavyweight champion. But it's been a while, and I haven't actually seen it all the way through, so my knowledge is limited.

Persona 4 The Animation. I mean, c'mon, it's an adaptation of Persona 4, and they do some good stuff with it. If you like it, you'll adore the episodes they focus on Social Links, especially the two-episode thing they do in the summer. Oh, but if you're not really familiar, Persona 4 is pretty supernatural, kind of psychological, and very much social. Just don't accidentally watch The Golden instead, that's not meant to be seen without already knowing how the original's plot goes.

Tiger & Bunny. Abso-fucking-lutely, dude, this is probably my favorite anime. FAVORITE. And I don't pick favorites easily. It's about sponsored superheroes, has a nice cast that gets (mostly) even development, superb animation (including good use of CG), and an excellent plot. This is the anime that I would most strongly recommend to you. Y'know, if you're not tired of reading this already.


Those are all suggestions I'm confident about, but there's no accounting for taste; you might not like ANY of them. Still, think about trying one of them out when you're done with Black Lagoon.

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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Tue May 05, 2015 1:55 pm

Haha I appreciate the criticism, Neb. But yeah, I don't know why it took me so long to figure out the 3 episode plot. Green. I'll just leave it at that. Also, Either episode 12 or episode 15 could be season finales....so yeah haha. I pretty much decided that I was into the second season somewhere along there though.

New review posting soon. Had it written but didn't like how I just rewrote the plot (practically scene by scene) so I took the day to cool off and come back. Will be up ASAP


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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Tue May 05, 2015 2:53 pm

Episode 20 6/10

So. Accord to Black Lagoon Spetsnaz-esque warfare goes as follows: Men in full combat gear go undetected in the middle of one of the most populated cities in the world (we're in Tokyo) to storm a building, to charge into one room, and unload entire clips of ammunition on (again) a SINGLE ROOM OF MOBSTERS.

Look. I get you're trying to take over the Japanese/Yakuza mob scene here, but really? Is this how you fought in Afghanistan? (Did I forget to mention that's where Balalaika earned the respect of her men?) Fuck man. I've written how much of this review and I'm already fired up.

We go to where they are continuing negotiations of how to do things, and, again, Rock's translating is like a mosquito in my ear as I try to listen to the dialogue. Balalaika, who is quickly turning into one of my least favorite characters of the series, just kind goes, "We're going to kidnap somebody 'cuz death." Good thing she's only the head of one of the most frigging powerful mobs in the world. No biggie. They don't even specify who they're going to kidnap. They just say that it's what they're going to do, so shut up. The Yakuza head, of all people, is the voice of reason here and tells her she's insane (understatement of any anime ever). Balalaika just shrugs and goes, "And?" Good. Glad you're only in charge of a mob made entirely out of former Russian soldiers from Desert Storm. Good. Great. Fantastic. Fuck you, Black Lagoon, fuck you.

We jump to where Yukio is reading Heidegger's Holzwege as "light reading." Oh. So then...ya know what, I don't want to know what her idea of heavy reading is. I don't. I'm too much of a jock to event attempt to comprehend the areas of study that Heidegger was even into with is philosophical works. I don't need my brain imploding. Anyway! Yukio's friend Maki shows up, asks her Yukio for some light reading material then, literally directly following the question, just goes, "Ya know what? Never mind." Thanks. That was necessary. So the two continue talking about authors and Maki asks Yukio about dark, scary works. Yukio's response is fucking gorgeous. "I don't like the ones that make you imagine the night...I'm afraid I'll be swallowed by it." I honestly love that line! Too bad her ability to speak eloquently and poetically is overused in this episode and, looking back, I now hate her, too. Lots of hate for characters in this series. This episode alone.

Enter Doucher McGofuckyourself, or, as he's called by everyone who is NOT me, Chaka. Chaka is a member of the Yakuza family that Hotel Moscow is helping to take over Tokyo. He's loud, obnoxious, and, at this point, has served no purpose. Why bring him up? Because he hits on Revy. Oh yeah. And it went as good as you're assuming. Her exact words were, "Your breath smells like you've been sucking c*ck." To which he beats the piss out of Rock for, because Rock told Mr. D McG that he should probably just leave Revy alone. Revy stands there and let's it happen. Rock sees it justified though, noting that they guy had his hand on his gun the entire time (which they literally show, and seem to enlarge, in the middle of screen as he's kicking Rock's ribs in). Revy says something about how noticing that some how shows that Rock has grown in the business, I can't really explain that, and the first act ends. Yeah. That was all act 1.

So the 2nd act starts with Rock and Yukio, some how, bumping into each other by chance at a train station where Rock is sending something to Benny and asking for Benny to send him Cutlass for Revy. Stupid. Moving on.

We find out that Yukio is the rightful heir (is that even the right word to use here?) of the Washimine family, which happens to be the Yakuza family that Hotel Moscow is helping/secretly plotting to overthrow and take control of Tokyo for themselves. Yep. It took an episode and a half to confirm what we already knew. Thanks, Black Lagoon. Again though, Yukio has a fantastic line. She quotes Jean-Paul Sartre saying, "People are like dice, and, like dice, we can throw ourselves in any direction. And that's why we're condemned to be free. Everyone's starting point is different. At the very least you can still throw yourself. In the end, you can't blame fate." Now, I did look up the quote to make sure I was spelling the guy's name right, and, as to be expected of English dubbed anime that is quoting a French philosopher, that's not the quote word for word, but, for an anime that just kind of goes, "Yeah, the world sucks. Get over it." That's some deep shit.

'Boss,' as Ginji calls him, finds that he's being tailed after leaving Yukio's home. While talking on the phone to an underling, he says "Prepare for trouble." I'll leave that there, you know what my first thought was. Don't lie to yourself.

Boss resigns to his fate, taking an umbrella and meeting with Balalaika. Before he gets to the meeting, his underling begs him not to go, both of them knowing what is about to happen to him. Boss merely takes his watch off, tosses it to the other guy and says, "You find Ginji. You ask him what to do next...I guess this is goodbye. It's been quite the ride." Fuck man, I have the feels for a character that means next to nothing to the plot, aside from asking Ginji to "pick up the white scabbard again."

We enter the next scene in a dream sequence/flashback wherein we learn the fate of Boss. Rock stands there in horror, watching what is going on, only to have Revy wake him up from his drunken sleep and being told that shit is hitting the fan.

Ginji and Yukio talk, again, and, again, we're met with philosophical speech that has run it's course and then some from Yukio when she says, "If I choose to walk a path in the sun, the rest of you will be forced to wander in the darkness." The intervention music plays (again, it does NOT capture the mood correctly at all) and Yukio accepts her role as leader of the Washimine family. Ginji then proceeds to pledge his protection through his seven incarnations. I'm not sure if this is part of the Japanese Six Realms of Existence through the Cycle of Samsara, but that's the closest thing I could find. Unless he's buddhist? I mean, with the amount of times they've shown the Buddha statue that sits in the harbor outside of Roanapur, it very well could be.

So that's episode 20 of Black Lagoon. There's 9 more, and they've set up a fantastic conflict for this arch. The episode itself was just below average for me, but I'm hoping the conclusion of the arch is amazing.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  XGeass on Tue May 05, 2015 4:46 pm

NebulaGregarZX wrote:

As for realism, if you need something to break you in on suspension of disbelief

If one wants realism anime is literally going to be the last place you would find it.

NebulaGregarZX wrote:Well, I mean, I'd have recommended something else to start with

Honestly, I would say the exact opposite. Aside from the gore and almost the entirety of the Twins arc Black Lagoon is honestly one of the best places to start in anime aside form typical battle adventure Shonen. Mostly since it tries to pass its self off as something realistic, helps ease people in to how bat**** crazy it could get.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  NebulaGregarZX on Wed May 06, 2015 3:21 am

...I KNOW anime is unrealistic. Why did you think I recommended something that would break him in on how unrealistic anime is?

And it seems like they're really building up this 'white scabbard' as something big.

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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  khfreak358 on Wed May 06, 2015 4:08 am

I'd chime in here, but I'm fairly green in the realm of anime myself. There are plenty that I like, mind you, but I don't know the medium well enough to really give my two cents. Now, if the topic of discussion was comic books, I could definitely give out a few recommendations. If anyone's looking to get into that, feel free to ask.

Also, Geass, when did you start living again?

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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Wed May 06, 2015 6:03 am

Alright, I should rephrase. I understand that there are elements of surrealism in anime, that's why it's so interesting. It's just that there are things that are portrayed as being 'realistic-ish' that aren't even close.

And Neb, the next review talks about it a bit, actually. I decided that the best way to do this is to watch an episode and review it the next day, as opposed to how I was and ending up with a scene by scene recap.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  XGeass on Wed May 06, 2015 6:18 am

I have been lurking on and off for a while now.

Also Atlantis when you finish Black Lagoon will you watch Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail?
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Wed May 06, 2015 7:21 am

Episode 21 8/10

Balalaika the Olympian. Just thinking that has me confused as to how I feel about it, but, seriously, she wanted to grow up and participate in the Olympics. What event? The only hints we get are when she's talking to her uncle outside a ballet school and then when they show that she didn't participate and she is watching the medalists of the rifle competition on the podium via cable television. There's a weird bit in there, I suppose for background that was actually somewhat necessary, where we actually see her and her men fighting in Afghanistan for the Soviet Union. (The scene takes place in the mid-80's during Desert Storm, so at least they have historical accuracy going for them.) We learn, in the scene with the television, that herself and all her men were stripped of their military awards, ranks, and anything else that came with being in the Soviet army after the USSR fell. Balalaika is struggling, in this scene, to come to terms with the fact that they fought, and lost brothers all for naught. There's a random line where she just says something like, "My second in command died for dirty money." That's not the exact words, but the timing was just as awkward. She shows up to his funeral and just kind of goes, "Alright! We're fighting again. Why? Because!" And thus, Hotel Moscow was born! Wanna know the best part of the funeral scene? The fact that the weird song about accepting death from the twins arch is back and playing right up to when Balalaika screams, "Comrades!" No joke. That's the first word out of her mouth. If only her and her men had Russian accents as opposed to the American ones that she (and literally every single other character in this series) has.

We jump to the present where Balalaika says that Yukio is a sacrificial lamb, and that's the last we see of her for the rest of the episode, minus a short speech on the KGB agent, but that's later in this review. We get some back story, her thought process, and then deuces. The pacing of this series is that of play written by a 5th grader.

We see Yukio leaving the library with Maki. As they leave the entirity, not just one car, oh no, the ENTIRE WASHIMNE YAKUZA FAMILY SHOWS UP AT THE SCHOOL! I get it. There's a war coming. I get. This is the new head of your crime family. But wouldn't 9 cars of the same make, model, and color all traveling in a convoy look suspicious? Wouldn't that make someone, especially someone who is hunting for you, go "Hmm, that's kind of weird, guess I better figure out what that is!" No wonder this a bottom of the totem pole family. However, for once, I do see and understand the symbolism here. Yukio tells Maki to treat her mother well, says goodbye, and leaves. I'm assuming, with all of my English lit intelligence-s that this is to show that Yukio is leaving the world of a high school girl. Before they caravan shows up, she even says that the night is beautiful, which even scars Maki. We see a quick snippet of a meeting, that had taken place the night before, to establish Yukio as the true head of the family. I'm sure there was a lot of loss poetry in the translation, but the speech given by the bodyguard on how the family needs to stand behind Yukio, after she just gave up her normal life to try and save them, is actually pretty well written. The scene ends and there's a weird transition sound that made me think of firecrackers. That's the only time I've heard them the entire series. I'm assuming this was the end of the First Act, as the usual transition shot for the series was actually never shown throughout this episode.

The KGB agent from the beginning of this arch is back. He's trying to hunt down Balalaika because he's convinced he can take her out. His soldier, underling guy tells him that he can't seem to make contact with Hotel Moscow, so Mr. KGB stabs the guy in the hand. That's rational. I mean, he IS KGB. He IS Russian. But that's still a bit of a leap from simply getting sent to voicemail. I would hate to have him as a parent, is all I'm saying.

Then, the moment that has been built up for two episodes comes along. The white scabbard. You want blood? There's a lot of it in this scene. The problem with the scene? How about an entire room of KGB that all have hand guns that stand there shaking while this Ginji guts them all like fish. Can someone explain to me what the point of giving bad guys guns is, anymore? They don't seem to like to use them unless they are playing target practice with anything but the protagonist. The scene ends, alluding that Ginji has decapitated the KGB agent, only to show two scenes later that, in fact, Ginji decapitated the KGB agent. Subtle like a bull, this one. This is where, as I mentioned earlier, Balalaika admits to framing the agent to take the fall and simply says that the successor should already be taking control of his role.

We go back to Revy and Rock (just now realizing we haven't seen Dutch or Benny in 3 episodes) who are riding in a cab to meet with Balalaika after picking up Revy's guns. We hear a short debate on the differences between Roanapur and Tokyo, and then Revy decides that she's merely a hired gun for this job, so she might as well hand over control of what they did to Rock. Which sends us to Yukio's home.

Yukio is just now arriving, with her bodyguard, at her home. Doucher McG is there, only to reveal that he's going to kidnap Yukio and sell her to the Russian's because "the family doesn't have enough money for my services." Good thing we're supposed to hate this guy. I suppose that makes him a well written character? Or maybe they just went, "Hey! Kid! What's your older brother like when he's around women?" I don't know. It's well done either. ANYway. Turns out that D McGofuckyourself has his own crew. Yukio runs into one of the members when her bodyguard yells at her to run, before he ends up shot in the head...and then has the last 3 shots of the revolver unloaded into him. The gangster/Japanese wannabe just starts yelling, "That hurt!" and punches her in the face. Oh. So we're trying to portray this dude as a hardass with a short fuse. Good thing they slipped in that panty shot as Yukio shot across the room. No, seriously. That's not a joke. As she flips backwards, they actually make a point to have her skirt flip up so we get to see her panties. And people talk about how fan service is only in certain anime. Ha! Even when women are being beaten, laughed at, and called a slut are we given panty shots in this series! So take that!

However, as I easily predicted while watching this scene unfold (and question why they even bothered with the panty shot in the first place) Chaka (or Mr McG as you may now know him) tells the dude that he never told him to hurt Yukio and proceeds to beat the piss out of him. This dude likes to kick the shit out of people for no reason. I'm sure his plan to sell Yukio to the Russians will in no way what-so-ever backfire. We don't find out this episode! Nope! Instead we find out, after Ginji, Revy and Rock all show up at Yukio's house and Ginji nearly takes Revy's head off, that Chaka and his crew have taken Yukio to a bowling alley...because apparently Ginji is telepathic? I don't know. They don't actually explain how he knows where the gang is.

Revy hotwires a car, starts cussing about the talk shows that she can't understand because she doesn't speak Japanese (that must be a brain buster when watching the series in Japanese). She finds a band who's name has something to do with guitars (no, seriously, it was like Guitar Warriors or something like that) and just yells "This ain't no fucking J-Pop!" I loved it. I really did. It was true to her character, and I actually laughed...and then the zoomed out and made sure to get the Volkswagon product placement. Why would I be compelled to buy a vehicle that I watched easily get hotwired? How would that make me want to buy the car? Logic.

We show up at the bowling alley where we find out that Chaka is playing strip bowling! But only when he knocks down a pin, he picks what to take off of Yukio. At this point she's only in her panties (Does this count as a second panty shot?) and a jacket. The guys all make some lewd comments about what's going to happen once Chaka finishes this frame, and we jump outside to find that the other three have made it to the bowling alley. Ginji and Revy decide to take the front, and send Rock to the back to cover them....without a weapon. DO THE WRITERS HAVE LOGIC AND/OR COMMON SENSE!?!

Honestly though. This was an extremely well done episode. I know that I ripped it pretty hard, but it really is a good one, I promise. I'm assuming 1 or 2 more episodes in this arch before we hit the home stretch of the series. Here's hoping this ball keeps rolling and we end on a high note!
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Wed May 06, 2015 7:24 am

I think that's why there's 29 episodes on watchcartoononline.com, honestly. So I probably will. It's a good starter anime. I was thinking that earlier before I read your comment. So it felt good to actually have the same opinion as someone whom, I assume, is somewhat rounded in the anime world.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  XGeass on Wed May 06, 2015 2:25 pm

she can't understand because she doesn't speak Japanese (that must be a brain buster when watching the series in Japanese)

They try to highlight this by having Revy break out into "engrish" every now and then in the subs for this arc.

It is honestly pretty freaking hilarious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoEiU2KAs9E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR87bCZ0zCU

There is one other one but it involves the nest episode.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Mon May 11, 2015 3:33 pm

So. Here's where I stand. I'm at the last 3 episodes of the series. This whole Yakuza war arch is the conclusion of the series, and, looking at descriptions of the episodes, I'm excited.

I'm trying to decide if I will watch the OVA series (it's another 5 episodes), but I'm going to leave that decision to when I feel it is necessary. I'm not particularly sure that I actually want to watch it, being that this series is wearing on me (I took almost a month off from it during the twins arch). I'll let it play out and see where I find myself.

I'll take some suggestions as to what to review next. Feel like it would be kind of cool to have a record of where my anime fandom growth goes. My current feelings are that I may start Space Dandy over and go through it, as a review process. I'm already almost through that without a review and I absolutely love it, and I would love to be able to review something I actually like, as opposed to sitting here forcing myself through a series like Black Lagoon where everything is rushed, subpar, and art is the saving grace.

Decisions I'll have to make I suppose. New review is in the works.
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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  XGeass on Wed May 13, 2015 6:31 pm

I would give Blood Trail a shot at the very least. it was my personal favorite arc in Black Lagoon.

If you are still looking for suggestions:

Hellsing Ultimate:After seeing you go through Black Lagoon I really want to see you give Hellsing a shot. It is pretty gory so if that isn't your thing then fine, but since you made it through Black Lagoon finding more most of your issues with everything other then the gore you shouldn't be to much of an issue. The VA to the main character summed up the series pretty well "Quentin Tarantino with vampires." Don't confuse Hellsing Ultimate( The OVA series) with the Television series which is just bad.

Baccano- Made by the same guy who made Durarara. If you want to try Durarara, which Neb recommended earlier, I suggest starting here first since it gives you a taste on how the author does things,the anime is a bit shorter than Durarara's and it's considered the better of the two by most. It is set in ,mostly, 1920's New York

Death Parade: The anime recently ended earlier this year and the dub is already out. it is a bit of a slow burn with about half of the series being fairly episodic but it was a pretty fun watch. It pretty much sets up a game between to dead people to see which is worthy of going off to either heaven or hell.

Magi- This show is longer then the others I recommended (two seasons split into 25 episodes each) But it is a genuinely a fun ride with what is easily one of of the best protagonists out there due to how funny he is. It is a fantasy series set in an Arabian setting.

Fate/Zero: A prequel to Fate/StayNight, but is a decent enough place for people new to the series to start. It's premise is that 7 mages summon 7 Heroic Spirits from history and legends to do battle for the Holy Grail so that they and their Servant may have their wish granted.


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Re: Atlantis and His Anime

Post  Atlantis_Rising on Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:58 am

So yeah, I haven't even attempted to finish Black Lagoon. However, I've picked up Wagnaria!! and I'm going to review that as a whole, as I'm already 3/4 through the second season, however, I'm going to be posting a review of the anime "Is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon?" as I have completed the (hopefully) first season. That will become coming shortly; I'm sure those of you who have been responding will be waiting with baited breath. (Or not, that's fine, too.)
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