krpalmer: (anime)
The unexpected buildup of its third series, from "I suppose it's playing to its strengths" to "did it just leave a part of its familiar setting behind?", did a lot to revitalize my interest in the computer-animated, "anime-esque" RWBY. I wound up buying its Blu-Rays and watching through them with a full awareness of where they were headed, perhaps still helped along by the thought it was "an indie production" but getting past "it's something it was done at all." (This might reflect a bit on how I did just stop watching the slightly connected "Red vs. Blue" without making a big deal of it.) As the fourth series got under way, I was pleased to see it available on Crunchyroll, even if this might bring to mind "it's perhaps even an all too comfortable way to convince myself I'm not just watching anime."

In any case, as the fourth series got under way the characters did remain scattered and in new places, and that pushed from my mind the wondering I'd done right at the end of the third series of if things might be put too much together again. That did, though, connect to how it might be all too easy to pile up a list of anime series where the characters have fantastic adventures but never have to go very far from the safe base of their high school, although when I think a little bit more about that not all of them can be called "recent" in the way just perhaps used by some for who every "fannish" diversion is forever falling from the heights they started at. Noting the different ways "family" got involved in the plot threads, I stayed interested all the way through. It was only thinking back that I did wonder a bit about the story having taken its time dwelling on large and staggering things having happened, but that might have been inspired by one comment from someone else I did look just a bit for, which may only have reminded me of all those suspicions that to delve too much into the opinions of others for reassurance your own opinions are valid can feel like a zero-sum game. In any case, I'm wondering where things might go next, even with new episodes of Voltron: Legendary Defender available to keep taking that trifling step away from outright anime. (Some of the first episodes in its own new series, though, seem, without having made a big, showy deal of it, to have stepped away from "this is a cartoon; nobody ever dies in a cartoon.")
krpalmer: (anime)
Several months back, when I was looking to buy a null modem cable to try and hook up my family's old TRS-80 Model 100 to a more modern computer for the first time in over a decade, I needed to fill out the online order to the free shipping threshold. At that point, I happened to think back to how the third series of the computer-animated RWBY had sort of snuck up on me and impressed me, and got around to ordering the Blu-Ray of its first series. A while after that, I saw the Blu-Ray of its second series in a local video store for what seemed a very reasonable price, and bought it as well. It didn't seem that much later that I saw the third series was now available on Blu-Ray as well in the same place. Then, with the impression it wouldn't be much longer until a fourth season began to pick up where things had left off, I got around to watching the show over again.

I'd at least been curious about something "anime-esque" in some way associated with "Red vs. Blue," a comedy series voicing over in-game recordings from usually rather sedate Halo matches. Watching RWBY's first trailers had impressed me, and perhaps I'd even started thinking this might be the very best medicine for those dwelling on quite well rehearsed complaints that anime itself "these days" depended entirely on being tailored to a handful of outright creeps over in Japan. Since those first moments, though, I do have to admit to, by the end of the second series, becoming uneasy about impressions of negative comments overheard and the feeling the series couldn't coast on "having been made on a shoestring" forever. Now, however, with the sense the series had gone somewhere, things seemed to fit together better; I was able to recognise as well that in the waits between each group of short instalments some details had faded so that some things might have missed me altogether. Even the second series seemed more interesting now. (It might not have hurt either that I'd noticed that where most of the background characters in the first series had been simple blacked-in silhouettes, work had been done after it to computer-model those bystanders in detail.) I can still suppose each "series finale" might have depended to some degree on sudden appearances, and it's an open question as to where things might go and how accepting I can be (not to mention whether the series will be available for viewing on Crunchyroll), but I can at least look forward both to what's to come and to getting back to the commentaries and other bonus features.
krpalmer: Charlie Brown and Patty in the rain; Charlie Brown wears a fedora and trench coat (charlie brown)
A few weeks into its fall season, Crunchyroll added the third series of the computer-animated RWBY. This was just when I had dropped one of the few new anime series I had so much as taken a chance on that season, so I had the time to start watching this more "domestic" production and the readiness to see it as softening the added blow to not playing the game so many others seem to these days of gulping down great quantities of up-to-date anime. However, it was possible that one small advantage of watching RWBY was that it was just a bit easier to avoid the comments of others about it lest they grind down whatever positivity I could manage the way they sometimes do with anime series themselves.

That the people making RWBY were able to continue after the much too early death of the series creator Monty Oum was something, but I still might have been aware that while things hadn't ended with the creeping feeling in the second series that the story weren't moving forward too much and the comment "that it's done at all" was starting to feel sort of inadequate in the face of the criticisms I had seen, those points were still there to start with. When the latest series led off with a "tournament," however, I did sort of have the feeling this could play to a strength. Just as in certain anime series themselves, it could be seen as a good excuse to get to the action without needing a lot of setup or serious consequences. Over the length of the nearly weekly episodes (and the episodes did seem to be getting longer, almost to the length of "regular" "half-hour" television episodes, without dragging too much), though, the perpetual ominous setup that had been kept out of sight of the main characters started to affect larger things, and this built to a pretty serious finale, one that might even have challenged the comfortable safety of the sort of "cartoons" some of those who watch anime might yet dismiss.

From where things left off, I do have the hope some things will be put back together. If everything is "put back together," that might wind up a bit less impressive than they seem as of this moment (a moment I still haven't risked against the opinions of anyone else, anyway...) Still, it was something that could yet be "living up to a legacy."
krpalmer: (anime)
I've spent slices of this year just sort of reflecting on having watched anime for quite a while, and made a proper anniversary of it by watching several series from "decades past." Looking the other way, though, could trouble me a little. I kept having trouble finding new series streaming online (on the limited number of streaming services I do subscribe to) that sounded interesting to me; for some reason, I'm not as eager as some to play the modern game of just starting to watch everything available and pruning my viewing list mere weeks later with a shrug. With all the series I've bought over the years (and sometimes for slim enough reasons) I never lacked for things to watch anyway, but I can think that at some point the series I'm not watching now will be what's for sale.
Starting off: Your Lie in April, Another, and Mazinger Z )
Some effort made: Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans )
Moving along: Hidamari Sketch Honeycomb and Angelic Layer )
Finishing off: Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Bodacious Space Pirates, and Wagnaria )
krpalmer: (anime)
People did seem to like Avatar: The Last Airbender, but when I bought its DVD sets I was also aware Dave Filoni had worked on that series before taking charge of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. More than that, hearing the series also cross-pollinated anime and "western" animation certainly didn't hurt either, even if this did continue to point out how I didn't quite seem to be watching even as many animated series done in at least some part on this side of the Pacific as I used to. It had been a while since Megas XLR, Teen Titans Go, and even The Boondocks, as varied as those experiences had been.
People also seemed to... )

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