Friday, June 28, 2013

Things No One Cares About:Jojo's Bizarre Adventure 2012

Jojo once held the distinction of being one of the longest running manga to not have a TV adaption,only having a thirteen episode travesty of an OVA series Last year changed that and we received the first part of this ambitious project to adapt the the whole series. This part cover the first two arcs of the series Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency. I'll talk a little more plot on BT as I already discussed PB a few weeks ago. Without further ado:Jojo's Bizarre Adventure...2012.

The first half is again Phantom Blood and covers episodes 1-9. The story is a straight adaption which hinders it on the character side as Johnathan Jostar is still not that interesting but makes up for it by basically having everyone ham it up. No one has an indoor voice and everyone just devours scenery. It's a sight to behold and makes the whole show enjoyable. Special mention goes to Takehito Koyasu as Dio who manages to steal every scene he is in and is a terrifying presence even when he's only a head. Along with Smoky in BT they have made Wang Chun a little less of a stereotype though it's still a little jarring. Overall this section works and we also get to see Dio taken out to Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart which is cool. Also be on the watch for episode three which is possibility the most manly thing to be put on TV. I might be pregnant now from the sheer testosterone pumping through the final scenes. A minor compliant is that if your not familiar with the original arc it will feel a little rushed but it's a pretty short arc anyway so it's not too bad.

The remaining episodes(10-26) cover the slightly longer Battle Tendency and we our introduced to the amazing Joesph Jostar The arc covers his battles with the beings that made the stone mask form PB. To me this is one of the best Shonen manga arcs I've ever read. It takes the concepts from PB and takes them to their logical extremes while exploring the source of Dio's power and having Jojo fight that. It has only about four or five major fights but each one is grandiose in it's own right. Overall like part one it's just having fun. Joesph is a fun character he's constantly thinking about how to outwit his opponents. He's the only man that can make running away look heroic He is also a world class bluffer,talking his enemies into giving him a month to train because he might be able to beat them. Tomokazu Sugita is obviously enjoying the role and fits Joesph to a T, pulling of the goofy engrish catch phrases with panache. The main trio of Joesph,Caesar and Lisa Lisa are all well rounded enough and I think we get a little more back story on our antagonists the Pillar Men here than in the manga. The only character I really don't care for is Suzie Q due to her and Joesph's romance coming out of nowhere. If I have any complainants about this part specifically is that near the end R.E.O Speedwagon's shtick of yelling exposition gets grating and the last few episodes seem to meander around waiting to get to the final one for the big epic battle.Overall it is a load of fun to watch and Joesph Jostar is a sexy charismatic stallion who,who dammit I forgot what I was saying. He's great is what I'm saying,(stupid sexy Joseph).

The storys in this world of ham work perfectly but the art catapults the series to greatness The authors signature sound effects are strewn through out the scenes and like everything else the art just oozes style. It's so over the top that the very act of walking around is made fun. The colors are very bright and the outfits are glam as hell with Caesar's outfit not looking out of place at a 80's club.

Unlike those abysmal 90's/00's OVAs this is how you adapt Jojo: with style and fun. I honestly can't wait to see the next season for Stardust Crusaders maybe I'll actually enjoy the arc this time. If you're looking for a good fighting show and haven't watched this then go ahead and do so, you won't regret it.

As Always Stay Positive.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Jojo,Schedules and a Hiatius

I've always written reviews for fun.A side project to pass the time and help me form my opinions Then these JoJo OVA's came along and I honestly could not sit through them. They are bad,they just are. I'm not giving them a full review because I can't finish them.Instead I'll use this post to sum up my thoughts on the ones I did watch and Startdust Crusaders as a whole.

I'll admit I really don't care for Startdust Crusaders for a few reasons.First is the pacing,there are too many fights and we're never given time to be breathe before hoping in to the next one.Despite that the arc still feels too long(clocking in at 17 volumes) and padded. Second Jotaro is just not that interesting a lead especially when you have his grandpa,Joseph,right there.Jotaro lacks the fun of Joesph which is ok I don't want another Joesph but give him something to make him likable.Outside of kicking Dio's ass because he pissed him off. Third outside of the two Jostars,I never got attached to the main group so when some of them die I didn't feel a thing. I about lost it when I though Dio killed Joesph but everyone else was a meh.

There are some good things,most of the fights are very well done the highlights being Joesph's fights with the Empress and Mariah Carey and while I don't care about the main group I did enjoy their dynamic Which these OVA's stripped the group of along with Joesph's sense of humor. These episodes take themselves too damn seriously and lack what makes the series great style and humor. The manga had him cracking jokes and fighting with his usual flair to probably cope with the dread he feels that his daughter might die. The OVA's have him almost as sullen as Jotaro,which defeats the point of him being here.Also for some reason Enya,the old witch can change into a young woman,no explanation given and the first time you see here she's in the young woman form.So honestly if I finished theses OVA's,you wouldn't see me for a while as I would be crying into my girlfriends shoulder for three weeks just to ease the hurt.

Enough about me whining lets talk about every ones's favorite thing:schedules. I'll still be doing the 2012 Jojo anime this week so no back out on that.After that Things no One Cares about will be taking a semi-hiatus for a few months.I'll still do them and Mistress Fortune may be on schedule.This is because I want to start a short project I may actually finish and that is a case by case review of the Phoenix Wright games.

This is going to be a look at every cases of the original 3 games,picking apart the plot,the characters and various other things.It's like a mini version of Arcwords except not called that. I am not going to cover Apollo Justice or Investigations(for now). These will start next week and since they are pretty short I'll be putting two out a week on Monday and Friday. I may slip in a regular review on occasion but no promises.
Also so people know I'm saving Case 1-5 Rise from the Ashes  for the week I cover case 3-5 Bridge to the Turnabout  to give the week an epic feel.See you Wednesday for decidedly less whining and next week for some Legal goodness.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Things No one Cares about:Futari To Futrari

Ok,I'll straight up say it:I have been a bad girl.I have not watched anymore of the Jojo OVA's and therefore can't speak on them yet. My only excuse is that I finally got together with a friend of mine and our relationship is taking up most of my time.That's not me complaining,I am pretty happy about this.This in tandem with my upcoming weekend trip has sort of screwed up my reviewing schedule. To avoid even more schedule slip,next week I'll be shooting to put out the OVA review by Tuesday and have the new anime project review by the following day.

To sort of make it up to you and in the spirit of love here is a re post from my short time reviewing on My Anime list.It's like watching old Cinema Snob episodes except with less anger and decidedly less talent.

Futari to Futari or Two and Two is a Shojo-Ai story about two couples and their very odd relationship.
The story is ok; it’s interesting enough to see the younger girls struggle with their feeling for each other and their older lovers. It moves at a nice clip but it’s really nothing profound. Luckily enough while the story is focused heavily on sex, there is never a feeling of shoehorning in the sex. It flows naturally and is usually pretty tame when it is. The drama is played well and never becomes overly angsty. Despite the odd nature of the four girls relationship, it is never really demonized and just shown in a way that the reader can make their own judgment.

The art is nothing spectacular, a typical art style for Shojo-ai. The characters are distant enough to not be confusing and backgrounds are nice. Also no nipples are on full blast here and the sex scenes are PG-13 at best. There are scenes of the girls teasing their lover and the aftermath but the actual act is rarely shown. My only problem is the water on the skin bugs me somehow; I can’t put my finger on it.

Finally the characters, there are only four of them and they’re semi-developed. Sayako and Ayumi are both in middle school and take a dominant and submissive role with their respective lovers, Keiko and Asumi. But this switches when they start sleeping with each other though Sayako still has some dominant tendencies. This being a shorter series no one gets particularly developed that much. Ayumi is scatter brained and Sayako is serious while their girlfriends are the opposite of them. We get a little back story on Asumi and Keiko near the end that sheds some light on their own relationship. So while not terrible character development, it could have used some more.

In the end is this manga worth your time?If girl/girl or abnormal relationships disgust you then kindly skip this and go read something else. However if you like girl/girl then I'd say yes because it’s a short read and it is enjoyable. Be warned it will leave you wanting more.

Well that was fun,probably should not do this again but hey you read my reasons up above so stick with me and let's end Jojo month with a bang.

If for some reason your interested in my other MAL reviews or want to see things I've watched then here is a link to my profile: 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things No One Cares About:Spyro 2:Ripto's Rage

I never did really get that something could actually be painful to watch but well the Jojo OVAs have made me believe in the concept. So due to it's awfulness and healthy doses of real life I'll need and extra week to slog though that show. Also to keep with the schedule,I'm going to skip the Jojo game and just do the OVAs and 2012 anime.

This week we'll look at something I did actually make it through, Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage. Also known as Gateway to Glimmer if your European and snooty. Developed by Insomniac in the far flung past of 1999 for the Playstation as a sequel to the decent Spyro the Dragon. It has more of a sense of direction than the first game and delivers a much tighter game. Adding more characters with a little more personality. So enough stealing from wikipedia,let's dive right in.

The story and characters are nothing really to write home about. It has the stranded plot for a collect them all platformer. There is an evil jerk who wants to rule the land and you as the hero must stop him by collecting weird doodads. Spyro is your dude with a 'tude hero and does get a few funny lines here and there. The other four main NPCs are ok with Hunter being probably the biggest jerk in history rivaled only by Moneybags the bear. The villain Ripto and his little entourage are nothing special either. Though he is well liked enough to come back in the abysmal Enter the Dragonfly and a few of the GBA Spyros. It's not all bad,the little mini plots within each level are funny and are fun to go through.

Speaking of levels,the designs is really good for them each level being linear enough that you won't get lost but open enough that it rewards a little exploration. Each level follows the template of talk to guy with punny name,do some simple task with increasing difficulty(usually with either ramming or flaming something) then talk to first guy's pal for a doodad. It's a solid formula that starts to drag around the second hub world(Autumn Plains). It doesn't help that Autumn Plains is a long world with a bulk of the levels and they begin to run out of decent ideas halfway. I think they were saving the better levels for the last hub because it contains two of the best levels in the game,Robotica Farms and Metropolis. Sadly,the other two levels in that hub are meh.

As for the game play,it's your typical 3-D platformer affair,you jump around ,kill foes and collect trinkets. They throw in some gliding sections and a few shooter sections that play like an unofficial sequel to Panzer Dragoon. You spend the first two worlds collecting Talisman's and maybe some optional orbs then have to go back and collect some more orbs to fight the final boss. The difficulty tends to be all over the map. The main missions themselves are piss easy and so are some of the orb challenges. However some of those challenges go straight into frustrating,if you can hear the phrase "Trouble with the Trolly,eh" and not fall into rage fits then your either much better at this game than I am or have never played it. It makes 100% this game a right pain in the rear.

The graphics have aged well and look good for a PS1 game, most of the models are smooth and the worlds look cool. The character designs are nice and it is much lighter than it's predecessor . That's all I have to say about the look.

Playing through it again, I was still having fun but I do recognize this for what it is, a really fun kids game. So if your wanting to relive some nostalgia or give your kid something to do to keep them from pillaging the neighborhood then go ahead and find/dust off this one Just be prepared for them to learn some new curse words.
Till next time,Stay Positive.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Things No One Cares About: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Phanatom Blood

I decided to change this review to Things No One Cares About. I'll save the long winded explanation and just say real life and leave it at that.

Phantom Blood is the first part in the Shonen epic that is Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. When you hear Jojo most people either think of this arc or part three,Stardust Crusaders. Though if your a decent human being you should at least also remember Battle Tendency because it's where Joesph Jostar is originally  from and inspired a few Street Fighter characters. This and to an extent Battle Tendency tend to be old shame for the author and can best be described as Fist of The North Star if it was glam. So lets look see if this actually worth it or do I need to start drinking bleach to forget(though I might do that later when I'm bored).

The story here is pretty simple being divided into three parts each ending with some one biting it and manly tears being shed. The in between times are filled with hamminess  and diabolical plans. It is a pretty standard good vs evil plot with no real twists outside of the villain's refusal to just die. The fighting technique is the Ripple which again not to unique as it is just punching people while shouting silly things. It doesn't get much creative use as it will in the next arc outside of wine darts.

Once we get to the final part the plot gets silly ,events just sort of start happening and I'm not quite sure why. There is also this malarkey about vampires that is dropped after this part of the manga. It's there to justify people following Dio,instead of just raw charisma like later story arcs. Three new characters show up to join Jojo and barley contribute to the plot. Hell one has a bigger part in Battle Tendency and he hardly did anything in this story. Back in the eighties maybe this was fine but now it just feels run of the mill.

So what saves this manga from the ignore list,that is style. The book just oozes it from every pore and everyone is hammy. The guys are manly,their fighting styles flashy,and it's just having a good time. Everything is done in big broad strokes and it takes the substandard elements and makes them tolerable. It's also fairly short and I mean that in the nicest way possible. The pacing is very tight and none of the fights get drawn out. The bulk of which happens in the last part letting the first two sections build up Dio and Jojo's relationship.

There is something to be said for the Johnathon(JoJo)/Dio relationship and that is that it is pretty good. They are polar opposites in every way and their schoolboy rivalry evolves into respect/loathing for each other. However Jojo is a gentleman of the highest caliber and that's about it. You still feel for Jojo but he's just not that interesting outside of his archeology major which serves more as a plot mover than anything else. He did start the trend of the Jostars being incredibly bright people,having that noble spirit,which would later add to the leads rather than define them. He also is responsible for Joesph,who I do not have a crush on,in that Joesph's personality is meant to be as far from Johnathan’s as possible

Dio is a little more tragic in a way. He essentially created his own rival in Jojo and is so blinded by power that he doesn't realize that he's become like or even worse than his despised father. He could make a good argument for either side of the nature vs nurture argument. Was he evil from birth or did his poor upbringing ruin any chance of a good life even after he begins living with the Jostars. It adds some depth to the character that Johnathon lacks.

The rest of the cast is mostly manly men being manly except for Erina who gets to be the medic to Jojo's heavy and has a really great supporting role. She doesn't do much but is still enjoyable. Also there is Robert E.O Speedwagon who is a fun example of captain obvious because I imagine his just shouting all of his lines. Plus he gets a sweet hat from Jojo's mentor to replace his already pretty cool razor blade hat.While not getting much to do here,his eventual fortune is a constant help to the Jostars.

Moving on to some talk about art: it's okay. This was my second time reading this and really the art is not as bad as I remember. Everyone has bodies chiseled in the image of the gods and all the men are huge. It's very dark to look at which adds to the atmosphere and the gore is fairly intense though nothing worse than something from Fist of The North Star. We do get the authors love for SFX words as they litter every page but not in a way that clutters it up.

In the end this is really not that bad a manga,it just hasn't aged that well and is weak compared to some later parts of the series.Though if you need to grow a beard read this, you'll be hairier than a bear in no time. It's still better than Stardust Crusaders and that has to count for something. Till next time: Stay Positive.

Next Week:Stardust Crusaders OVA's