13 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 144 – P O L I T I C S


Pariston is a dangerous fellow, but that much is obvious. The real question right now is exactly how dangerous does Pariston feel like being?

The best case scenario for all involved is that Pariston is just a bored politician who feels like mucking around with the political process for laughs. Maybe he doesn’t want to be the man at the top, but wants to see if he could get there, anyway. Maybe he just wants to say whatever he wants and lie through his teeth for kicks. Maybe he just wants to piss off his fellow members of the Zodiac. That would all be annoying and making a mockery of an election process proposed by Pariston himself that is ostensibly to be taken seriously, but the actual danger of that doesn’t amount to much.

The other extreme, though, seems much more likely at the moment.

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6 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders episode 21 – All Genies Are Jerks


Shinmaru: I think this genie was born from a Prince song.

Polnareff must not have read enough pulp fiction stories or watched enough Twilight Zone and/or Outer Limits as a kid; otherwise, he would have known right away that there’s no way a non-asshole genie would show up out of nowhere and grant him whatever wishes he wants. These types of genies are also the ones who will interpret your wishes in the most literal way possible and smugly tell you that they gave you what you wanted, and that it’s up to you to deal with the consequences of your wish. They’re teaching a lesson, sure, but they’re also being giant dickholes about it. That’s probably a result of hanging out in a magic lamp for thousands of years and getting bored. If I exhausted all potential entertainment long before anyone actually interacted with me, I might warp into a huge jerk, too.

So, yeah, don’t trust genies. For every nice one you find, there are going to be at least 100 who can’t wait to screw you over in the most malicious way possible.

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22 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Inushinde /

Hanamonogatari Review: I’ve Used Up All My Arm Puns


Out of every main Monogatari girl, Suruga’s always felt like the most neglected. I don’t mean in the sense that Hanekawa and Nadeko were neglected, in that their being inexplicably sidelined played a role in showing the pathos that dwelt beneath their unassuming exteriors. I mean that it genuinely feels like Monogatari forgets that Suruga’s also a key player, and not just a pervert off of whom Araragi bounces his own off-putting sentiments. It’s one of the few shortcomings that hasn’t been knowingly and delicately molded into an indirect strength.

And while this remains the case, it does a fucking great job at framing the narrative around the protagonist, matching both Suruga’s disposition and her actions, makes it stand out from the entries headed by Koyomi and his extremely verbose associates. Read More »

14 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 143 – Hisoka Gets Political


Well, we can at least be sure that Hisoka is smiling again.

OK, Hisoka doesn’t exactly get political. He just murders a politician. It’s not totally the same thing, because Hisoka kills Teradein due to Teradein being a big dope while begging for votes. “I’LL RELEASE THE NAME, FACE AND POWERS OF THIS GUY WHO TOTALLY SLAUGHTERED MANY GOOD HUNTERS SO Y’ALL CAN GET HIM IF YOU VOTE FOR ME!!!!! WHAT?? HIM COME AFTER ME??? THAT’S TOTALLY ABSURD!!!!!!” I feel bad for the guy (because, you know, he’s dead now), but that was a dumb as hell idea clearly driven by desperation.

Though man what kind of crap security does this place have if Hisoka can just waltz in and kill this dude while creating an artful murder scene with apparently nobody noticing? Unless he left a trail of bodies we just don’t see (or haven’t seen yet; maybe something will pop up in the next episode), there’s nobody watching this damn place. No wonder they need new leadership!

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21 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders episode 20 – Shit-Eating Grin


Shinmaru: “I just manipulated events so that a devil baby would eat his own shit. How are you doing?”

From a visual standpoint, this may have been my favorite episode of the series so far. The nightmare dreamscape is the perfect setting for this particular visual style. The super bright colors and weird, unnerving cartoony nonsense fit in so well. And when that rainbow filter is added in and the clouds swirl everywhere? That looks pretty damn cool to me. After so many episodes of being in desert and dilapidated cities and whatnot, it’s a real breath of fresh air for everyone to be in a place that looks real crazy and cool.

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15 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 142 – Needle Zombies


OK, I think of all the Nen powers we have seen so far, this would be the power for which I’d be most curious to see the development process. How did Tsubone decide that transforming into a kickin’ motorcycle would be her Nen ability (or one of them)? How did she go about testing if she could do this? What was the first transformation like? How did she convince someone to use their Nen to power her and get places?

I would absolutely watch an entire series dedicated to the origin stories of the most ridiculous Nen powers in Hunter x Hunter. There have to be many crazy stories to tell with these things.

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33 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Inushinde /

Zankyou no Terror Episode 5: They Changed It Now It Doesn’t Suck So Much


Zankyou no Terror is the one show from this season that I did not expect to like as much as I do. It takes too much stock in obscuring important details for the purpose of crafting mystique, without actually building it on a solid foundation. It has yet to give the characters human motivations, or any organic reason to do what they’re doing, opting instead for what I assume is the approach of letting vague actions vaguely dictate their vague aims, with the only comprehensible result being Oedipus cliff notes and abnormally superb cinematography.

While it still has yet to find anything remotely resembling substance, this episode does hint at a method to the ambiguous repetition by turning the “give a riddle for police to solve, police solve it” formula on its head in a novel way. It makes something that spent the last few episodes painfully grinding the show’s pacing to a near halt into a key component that actually works at concisely showing the extent to which Sphinx are deluded, and how contradictory their actions really are. It provides the show with its first instance of depth, and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. Read More »

13 CommentsJoJo's Bizarre Adventure / By Shinmaru /

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders episode 19 – Spider Eyes


Shinmaru: I remember having this dream once, except it was actual spiders and not eyeballs that grew a bunch of legs out of nowhere. I’m not sure which would be grosser. They both move around and have a lot of legs, but the eyes would probably be wet and slimy (let’s pretend they haven’t dried out due to exposure to air), but the spiders could bite you and spin webs in your mouth if they felt like it. Tough call.

We’re well into the part of the story where Araki got comfortable with the idea of Stands and went really wild with them. The true fun of Stands, in my mind, is that the freedom they grant — characters can have powers that are limited only by the scope of Araki’s imagination — translates into the individual stories going to vastly different directions while still sticking to a (relatively) cohesive whole. In a normal story, suddenly entering a dream world wouldn’t often make sense, unless the intent were to be jarring or whatever. In JoJo? You can just do that and people will by now assume it’s some sort of power on display. Chased by an evil car? Stand power. Shrinking to microscopic size and entering another person’s body? Stand power. The overall plot is so simple that the individual links of the chain can be made up of anything, and it will still make sense as long as it leads to the logical conclusion.

Now that’s my kind of shonen battle writing.

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