Tuesday, February 1, 2000

I was back at work today, but I left early to pick up a few packages that the postal serivce was good enough to not bother to deliver (I guess they feared bands of thieves roaming the countryside in the middle of a blizzard; who knows). I then spent the evening watching the anime that was contained inside those packages.

I caught the first five episodes of Bubblegum Crisis, a respectable action/adventure series set in a cyberpunk-ish year of 2032. The first few episodes offer little in the way of originality, though they have their moments. It’s epsiodes four and onward that really start getting interesting; plotting gets to be much better than average. I’m looking forward to watching the rest of it.

I then watched Tenchi Forever, the third Tenchi Muyo! movie, the acknowledged sequel to Tenchi Muyo! in Love — in fact, the title “Tenchi Forever” is only the American one; the Japanese title is Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2 — and “officially” the end of the Tenchi universe (though rumors have been flying about other series being in the works).

In any event, Tenchi Forever feels quite a bit different than the rest of the Tenchi series. As Shidoshi puts it in his (excellent) review, “Tenchi Forever! pushes the Tenchi mythos into a new level of maturity.” This film is serious, and deals with its characters seriously. Every characterization is nailed perfectly, but these are characters who are dealing with a drawn-out, stressful experience; namely, Tenchi disappearing six months before the story proper takes place.

Besides that, the animation and artwork in TF are beautiful. Just about every frame of this film is a work of art. I treasure the time that I spent just looking at this film, much less enjoying the story and character interactions. How many other films can you say that about?

Well, enough about Tenchi for now. I also watched the first few episodes of Record of Lodoss War, which is essentially a long, transcribed D&D campaign. Just about every cliche is there, from elves to dragons to evil witches. Still, even though I have a major gripe about orginality, I can’t really fault this series; it’s cliched medieval fantasy, done the way it should be. Lodoss War has cool spells, blood-pumping action scenes, mysterious elves, and everything else you’d expect. It’s fun entertainment.

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