Posts Tagged ‘late to the party reviews’

My wife and I just finished this anime series last night and we both enjoyed it quite a bit.  This sci-fi anime caught us up in the story pretty fast, but didn’t spoon feed us the story which I like.  Each episode left you with questions, kept the mystery rolling, so that you wanted to watch more to find out what was going on.

I don’t want to give away too much, but the basic premise of the story revolves around a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in domes with android companions.  The spread of some sort of virus causes the andriods to deviate from their programming, something that most humans see as a threat to society.

The series follows a woman named Re-l Mayer and a man named Vincent Law, as they seek the truth behind events involving beings called proxys.  They are joined by an infected android, known in the show as AutoReivs, named Pino, a child-like companion model.

You can find out much more info on the story if you want, but I don’t want to ruin anything with spoilers, so I’ll leave it up to you to seek more if you want to know.  The show was entertaining for sure, with great animation (both 2D digital cels and 3D computer modeling), sound, and voice acting.  The story was solid for me, keeping me interested, and asking questions right up til the end, which is good.  I tend to have most stories figured out quite early on.  I would recommend the series to anyone who likes anime, especially sci-fi and/or suspense series.

The 23 episode series is produced by Manglobe, and directed by Shuko Murase with screenplay by Dai Sato.

I know I’m probably going to get flamed for this, but I’m going to say right up front, I HATE LOST!  I’m not going to try to be a critic, break down the show’s nuances, try to explain…yah I don’t even think a trained critic could do that and if they do they are just talking out of their backside.  Everything that follows is my opinion, based solely on what I know about writing stories, and what I felt as I watched some of this show.  You may like Lost, that’s cool.  I don’t understand how, but hey, there’s something out there for everyone.

So, let’s begin.  If you haven’t seen this show…great, don’t.  Run for your life.  Do not believe what anyone says, this show is not the best show ever, it is not full of mystery, or drama, or any of that garbage.  If you have seen it, I’m sorry.

I’m going to sort of start from the end here and jump around a bit, because my own ‘experience’ (even hitting yourself in the face with a 2×4 would qualify as an experience) with this show was a bit disjointed.  Recently my wife watched the last season of the show on Netflix.  I think she sat through the entire last season in just a day, but could be mistaken.  I watched as she, like a zombie, absorbed every minute of it, and at the end of each episode she would grumble, sigh, or make some other sign of frustration before hitting the button for the next episode.  I was sitting with her, because I wanted to spend time with her, so I got caught up on some comic books that I had neglected while she watched her show.  You can’t help but follow along a bit, and after a couple episodes I began to grasp what was going on, the whole bouncing back between the mainland and the island, the people’s memories gone, some remembered, etc.

I watched, in utter astonishment as people did illogical things.  Taking the hard route, instead of using what was right in front of them to solve problems.  Watched as human beings violated human nature just to present needlessly complex non-solutions to problems.  Over the years I’ve watched some of this show when my wife would watch it (can proudly say I never did, nor did I feel the need to watch this show on my own) and it’s full of so many glaring plot holes and unfinished story arcs that I just shake my head in wonder.  How did the man that gave us Alias, or Star Trek, manage to churn out this show, and keep it going.  How do shows like Firefly get canceled, but millions tuned in every week to see an island that time travels and who’s primary antagonist is an invincible smoke monster?  Watching my wife watch this show gave me the answer.

Frustration.  I don’t honestly believe anyone liked the show, they just got hooked, and were left so frustrated with unanswered questions and fabricated mystery at the end of each episode that they had to watch the next one, hoping beyond hope that their questions would be answered.  I may have found the writing of the show to be disjointed, glaringly unplanned, and unnecessarily convoluted, but Abrams did do one thing right and I have to give him props for that.  He managed to string millions of people along for 6 seasons, and deliver the most spectacularly cliche ending since Dallas.

Show’s like this and Flash Forward (another of Abram’s bombs that had potential in my opinion) were so obviously contrived.  One can almost see the brainstorming session where ideas were thrown out with the premise of making something no one’s ever made before.  That’s a great premise to start with but when it looks something like:  “Hey, how about these people crash on an island and find out that there’s a bunker that could blow it up…and a smoke monster…oh and other people trapped too…oh and how about we give the island a soul held in by a stone DRAIN PLUG!…”  A STONE DRAIN PLUG!  Come on people!  It was so obvious that nothing was planned out from the beginning, they just mashed up ideas and the writers sat down to try and explain it.  “Oh oh oh, let’s throw in a bunker with some dude in it hitting a button every few hours.”  “Well, how do we explain that, why is it there?”  “I don’t know, let’s just make something up cause that bunker’s a sweet idea.”

Not to mention all the times I looked at my wife and asked, “Why didn’t they just do that instead of this?”  I’m pulling from the last season, but I remember so many instances where taking the easy and obviously productive route was overruled by taking the hard way, or simply the way that didn’t make sense.  Or how about all time times I looked at a glaring solution that no one even thought of.  Take the sonic fence tripod stand things.  Yah, those ostrich eggs on stands that create an invisible barrier that people, and the smoke monster, can’t cross.  They are on flipping tripods!  One can assume, because of how they are set up, each one is needed in place to make the sonic dog fence, so kick one of the tripod legs out from under and and voila!  How about that damn button, the source of my ire with that show for so many years.  Jack, the pragmatic doctor and scientist, is presented with two options.  One says not pushing the button will kill everyone on the island.  The other says pushing the button will do nothing at all except reset the timer.  I don’t care if my wife was trying to convince me that pushing the button was pointless, that’s too obvious of a choice!  Push the frakin button!  Either way, no matter who’s right, NOTHING HAPPENS!  You would really take the chance against blowing up the island if the alternative was…duh duh duh (dramatic bass sound) NOTHING HAPPENS!?

I could go on for days and days about how much I dislike this show.  If you like it, that’s fine.  I know a lot of people that like it, and I don’t think any less of them.  Abrams is good at what he does, and what he doesn’t isn’t always write and direct a good show.  Sometimes he just gets tons of people hooked on a bad one.  Despite this, and other failures on his resume, I still look forward to some of his other projects.  I liked Super 8, Star Trek, and Alias.  I’m really looking forward to Revolution, and hope he delivers a post-apocalyptic show along the lines of Falling Skies and The Walking Dead.  I’ll be keeping my guard up though.  I don’t have tons of time to watch TV, so when I do it has to be good.  I’m not going to waste my time on another Lost, Alcatraz, or Flash Forward.