Anime Club: Baccano!

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

BACCANO!

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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.

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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!

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Anime Club: Psycho-Pass 2

Hello everybody! For this week’s anime club, we watch the second series for Psycho-Pass, Psycho-Pass 2. You can check out our review of the first series here Psycho-Pass.

PSYCHO-PASS 2

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CREATED BY: Naoyoshi Shiotani, Kiyotaka Suzuki

GENRE: Crime, Cyberpunk, Dystopian

NO. OF EPISODES: 11

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: Japan

In season two, Akane, now the leader of a restored Unit One including rookie inspector Mika Shimotsuki, Ginoza, who is demoted to an enforcer, Yayoi and two new enforcers, Sakuya Togane and Sho Hinakawa, face a new threat in the form of Kirito Kamui, another criminal mastermind who, just like Shogo, intends to bring down the Sybil System by exploiting its flaws instead of just wreaking havoc. Skilled in avoiding all forms of detection and capable of helping his supporters to keep their Crime Coefficients low, only a very few believe that he actually exists, including Akane.

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First off, I have to say that as one of Funimation first attempts at simulcast in English and Japanese, they did one hell of a job. The voice acting cast was superb just like in the first series, as well as crisp animation. Nothing too derivative other than that from the original series, as the creators obviously wanted to make it clear this was a second series. The majority of the characters were still phenomenal, with Ginoza being moved to an enforcer. This gives an interesting character who has been on both sides of the law.psycho-pass-enforcers

Believe it or not, I actually didn’t think that Psycho-Pass was going to receive a second series. It was definitely not what I expected. I felt that this go around was way too similar to the latter half of the first series, as the last four episodes lost the mysterious aspect that the entire first season of Psycho-Pass 1 had. While I liked the main antagonist Kirito Kumei, I thought they could have done so much better with him. Especially since the antagonist behind the strings is even worse.

PROS:

  • English simulcast.
  • Crisp animation.
  • Superb voice acting.
  • Enforcer Ginoza.

CONS:

  • Way too similar to second half of first series.
  • Villain behind the scenes.
  • New characters are boring.

SCORE: 7.8 / 10

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

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

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: Complicated Heists

Hello everybody! For this week’s movie club we have an interesting gangster comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

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DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie

STARRING: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham,
Steven Mackintosh, Vinnie Jones, Sting

GENRE: Crime, Comedy, Thriller

YEAR: 1998

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

Eddy has been known as a cardsharp since he was young. So he and his three friends Soap, Tom and Bacon all decide to chip in £25,000 each to allow him to play in an illegal high-roller game run by one of the local villains, Hatchet Harry. However, Eddy didn’t realize the game was crooked and he ends up owing Harry £500,000 with dire threats about losing his fingers one at a time if he doesn’t pay within a week! Eddy and his friends discuss various completely illegal schemes to obtain the money and eventually decide to rip-off the gang of thieves next door who themselves are planning to raid a clandestine drug growing operation which keeps all of its money in shoe boxes where they grow the cannabis plants. The scheme is simple enough but the best laid plans of mice and men always seems to go awry as does this one. As extreme chaos breaks loose the violence and associated body count spiral out of control, Eddy and his friends realize that they are out of their depth and desperately try to find a way out before they too find themselves among the casualties!

lock-stockA myriad of colourful characters quickly and often unwittingly become embroiled in an ever-escalating, increasingly intricate, always irreverent series of events. Drug dealers, hired goons, thieves and more than enough hard guys than would usually be required to change a lightbulb all descend upon the four in ways that are circuitous, coincidental and convenient.

The body count grows steadily, though for a long while most of the violence occurs offscreen, but as the stakes are raised and the number of participants grows it is inevitable that so many guys waving guns about will eventually bring casualties, many of which fall in quick succession.

ls-stathamDespite this Lock, Stock is hardly a ‘video nasty’ akin to Hostel and the Saw films, but a wildly entertaining and creative Cops n Robbers tale sans the Cops that shows good plotting and well crafted dialogue can elevate a film above the pack.

With so many characters, you can imagine how complex the plot could get—and it gets even more complex than that. I considered trying to summarize it, but really it’s something you have to see to believe. Part of the experience of watching the movie is trying to follow how much each character knows of what’s going on, and whether they’re walking straight into a terrible situation. I recommend turning on the English subtitles if you’re not used to British accents so you can more easily follow the plot and appreciate the expertly written dialogue.

PROS:

  • Wildly entertaining.
  • Cops and Robbers with no Cops
  • Main cast performances.
  • Supporting cast performances

CONS:

  • Too many characters!
  • Overly complex plot

SCORE: 7.9 / 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.