Anime Club: Baccano!

Hello everyone! For today’s anime club we have the multi-story awesome character driven Baccano!

BACCANO!

JesuOtaku-BaccanoReviewTGWTG849

CREATOR: Takahiro Omori

GENRE: Black comedy, Crime, Fantasy,Romance

NO. OF EPISODES: 16

YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY: Japan

Aboard the ship Advenna Avis in 1711, a group of alchemists summon a demon in the hopes of gaining eternal life. The demon gives them an elixir of immortality and the method of ending their existence, by “devouring” one another, and grants the summoner Maiza Avaro the formula of the elixir. Maiza and most of the alchemists decide that no one else must become immortal; only Szilard Quates opposes. That night, the alchemists begin to disappear, devoured by Szilard. Realizing the threat posed by staying together, they scatter across the globe.

Baccano22

I initially watched Baccano! as a recommendation from my day job as a freelancer over at Watchmojo.com. Lets just say I wasn’t disappointed. I absolutely loved this series, and I would recommend it to anyone. There is a nice balance of interesting story as well as plenty of gore (a kid is murdered at least three times, but don’t worry he’s immortal). There is a massive amount of characters, but this is okay as there are plenty of moments for all the characters to expand and grow. I am not even going to mention the comedy. I was laughing constantly.

hqdefaultBaccano! is incredibly underrated for how awesome the series really is. Despite this, I still have plenty of gripes about it. I initially was confused by the sheer amount of characters, as like I stated above, each one of them get plenty of screen time to develop as full characters. In order to fit all of their stories into a short 12 episodes, they constantly jump between multiple years and can get very difficult to keep track of. This does result in multiple scenes being shown multiple times from different viewpoints.

PROS:

  •  Characters.
  • Multi-branching story.
  • Animation style.
  • Gore.

CONS:

  •  Confusing jumps between time.
  • Recaps of multiple scenes.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Birdman: Washed Up Actors Excel at Being Washed Up

Hello everybody! For this week’s new movie show we watch Birdman.

BIRDMAN

birdman

DIRECTED: Alejandro González Iñárritu

STARRING: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

GENRE: Black Comedy

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night performance. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it past opening night?

birdman_a

Birdman definitely wasn’t what I expected. Maybe that is because when  first saw the trailer/ heard about the film, I thought it was actually a documentary and not a comedy. The one thing that I absolutely loved about Birdman is the editing and camera work. It is done so well, edited so closely together that it makes the film look like it was shot in one continuous take. I can understand that this was to give the illusion that our main character was being followed by paparazzi. Lastly, I want to point out that Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton are all great in their roles. Superb, ladies and gents.

birdman (1)

There isn’t much I didn’t like about Birdman. The pacing was relatively slow, as at some points I wish it would stop dragging. That feeling quickly passed me by, as yet another episode with the Birdman was going to occur. I did not like Zach Galifinakis in his role as friend and producer. I do want to acknowledge that you performed decently, especially since it is such a far role change from his more drunken comedic roles. I just wouldn’t have cast him in this film. Not this time.

PROS:

  • Editing.
  • Camerawork.
  • Main cast performances.

CONS:

  • Pacing.
  • Zach Galifinakis casting.

SCORE: 8.8 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

Anime Club: Black Lagoon

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club we join the Lagoon Company in Black Lagoon.

BLACK LAGOON

blla

DIRECTOR: Sunao Katabuchi

NO. OF EPISODES: 29 episodes

GENRE: Crime, Action, Black Comedy

YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY:  Japan

The story follows a team of pirate mercenaries known as Lagoon Company, that smuggles goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia in the early to mid 1990s. Their base of operations is located in the fictional harbor city of Roanapur in southeast Thailand (somewhere in the Amphoe Mueang Trat district, likely on the mainland north/northeast of the Ko Chang island or on the island itself). The island is home to the Yakuza, the Triad, Cuban and French cartels, and a wide assortment of pickpockets, thugs, mercenaries, thieves, prostitutes, assassins, and Gunmen of all sorts. They transport goods in the 80-foot (24 m) Elco-type PT boat Black Lagoon. Lagoon Company does business with various clients, but has a particularly friendly relationship with the Russian crime syndicate Hotel Moscow. The team takes on a variety of missions—which may involve violent firefights, hand-to-hand combat, and nautical battles—in various Southeast Asian locations, even going as far as Phu Quoc island of Vietnam and when not doing much, the members of the Lagoon Company spend much of their down time at The Yellow Flag, a bar in Roanapur which is often destroyed in firefights.

Black_Lagoon_C

Over the course of the show, Rock serves as the viewer’s guide into the bloody part of the world Lagoon is set in, and manages to befriend his crew mates at Lagoon Company: Dutch, the cool-headed leader; Revy, the short-tempered gunslinger; and Benny, the comparably pacifist tech wiz. Lagoon Company faces off against the Russian Mafia, the South American Cartels, the Yakuza, Neo-Nazis, a weapon smuggling church and many other law-abiding citizens in the city of Roanapur. Black Lagoon ran for two seasons, the latter of which is aptly named “Second Barrage”. In addition to this, a 5-episode sidequel OVA was produced, titled “Roberta’s Blood Trail”.

Black Lagoon is a fantastically well-produced anime. The visuals are stunning: fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, characters display emotion without looking goofy, settings and backgrounds are beautiful, and the animation is fluid. Sound design and mixing are done fantastically: guns are loud without drowning out dialogue, fights are hectic, and the acting in BOTH the English Dub and Original Japanese are phenomenal. Writing and scripting are handled very well with this series, and each major character gets enough screen time and character development to make them lively and loveable. What really sets Lagoon apart from similar anime is that the character development is well-balanced with the action, and the pacing of the anime never suffers any sudden jolts or lulls.

Black_Lagoon_e6

The antagonists are really hit and miss in how little depth some of them have when they seem. One in particular involves an army of Aryan neo-nazis that seem more like just fodder characters that don’t get a lot of profound characterization that, while I can forgive it, given how it’s portrayed in an action show, it would’ve been more than what it already was. For the one that does hit the mark is oddly enough a Roberta maid who is given some context for her intentions on being who she is and the show handles it very well despite her strange terminator-like persona that wasn’t given much explanation, but then again the show is nutty enough to let it pass as just another Black Lagoon style of logic put in for good measure.

PROS:

  •  Main characters.
  • Foul language.
  • Animation style.

CONS:

  •  Antagonists.
  • Some characters lack development.

SCORE: 9.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.