Review: Psycho-Pass

“This is the disease called serenity, a form of death that people have wished for.”
– Oryou Rikako, Psycho-Pass.

Psycho-Pass. Funimation, 2013. Streaming via Netflix.

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Wow. Being both a fan of Philip K. Dick and (generally) darker sci-fi, I was expecting a fun little romp with this anime. What I got was so, so much more. Not only did I get an anime that basically combined some of my favorite parts of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and sci-fi film Equilibrium, I got a fun, literary-laced anime filled with a dystopian society as well as interesting gender commentary. Continue reading

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Review: From the New World

“We have to change our way of thinking if we want to change the future.”
Saki Watanabe, From the New World.

From the New World. Sentai Filmworks, 2014. Blu Ray Collections 1 & 2.

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I first came across this anime in 2012. Based on a novel by Yusuke Kishi, it blew me out of the water as soon as I started. I was incredibly happy to find out there was a dub forthcoming; the blu ray quality is a treat to behold. However, this is NOT a show for kids. If I had to categorize it, it’d probably be science-fiction/horror.

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Updates! (of moderate importance!)

Sorry I haven’t posted any reviews lately.

I’ve actually been tackling two pretty heavy stories – Fate/Zero (both the light novels and anime) and Blood+ (another anime). Blood+ is at least 50 episodes, so it’s been taking a while longer than I envisioned originally. Manga coming up are Romeo x Juliet and Genshiken. I’ve wanted to read and review 2 other series I own – Ooku and A Bride’s Story, but they’re not completed yet. I’m interested to see if anyone who reads this believes I should only review completed series/works, or if WIP are game. If WIP is okay, my analyzing could be revisited at a later date. If not, I feel like it’d be more complete that way. any thoughts from the peanut gallery?

*cue tumbleweed*

Second order of business: I’d like to put out an open call for someone who’d be willing to do some podcasting with me. This person should have somewhat of a background/knowledge of gender studies – bonus points if you’re into fantasy/sf/anime. This will be the secondary part of my NSU contribution that I want to get off the ground. Interested parties should email me at shutupsaber@gmail.com. I would be doing most of the legwork/research, unless you’d be willing to.

Look forward to some heavy reviews coming soon! 🙂

Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Kindness begets naivety. Courage begets imprudence. Furthermore, there’s no reward for devotion/dedication of any kind. Those who can’t understand that are not fit to be Magical Girls. – Akemi Homura, Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Episode 5)

I have fairly exacting standards when it comes to viewing anime; needless to say, I consider this show to be one of the few good exports from Japan in recent years. Between writing, themes, characterization, and subverting standard tropes, Madoka is a fine example of what can be done with a simple concept and turning it on its head. Sadly, the series is pricey to get ahold of (to own) in America; I lucked out with a good ebay auction. However, to view it, there are several streaming services (Crunchyroll comes to mind).

In examining the anime through the lens of gender studies/roles, however, I was fairly… disturbed and disappointed by some of what I found. While it is an excellent show in terms of feminine empowerment, it presents a mostly negative front for masculine identity and role.

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So… many… video games…

So I finished the Last of Us DLC. Needless to say I was not disappointed, and I am so thankful that Naughty Dog is a studio that has their priorities (quality vs rushing out a product) straight. However, despite this respite, I still have the following games that need to be played:

Bravely Default
Xenoblade (not very far in)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gate to Infinity
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
New Super Mario Brothers 2
The Last Story
Ni No Kuni (not very far in XD) and
Kid Icarus (I sucked the first time I tried to play it)

Fortunately, I’m almost done with Pokemon X (while the rest of the internet plays it on Twitch) and about to start Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns. X/X2 Special Edition comes in next month too. I was hoping I could do my project with reviews here weekly but it looks like it’ll be more realistic to do it as a bi-weekly thing. Next thing coming is an anime, so we’ll see. I’m trying to rotate media to keep it better, and also getting a ton of literature from the library to help me put/keep the writing in the context of the media. Yay interlibrary loans!

Review: Bioshock Infinite (video game)

Booker, are you afraid of God? -Elizabeth
No, I’m afraid of you. – Booker DeWitt
(Bioshock Infinite opening)

The Bioshock games have remained one of my favorite series for several reasons; notably their intelligent themes, their nods to literary giants, as well as their unraveling of typical/over used tropes. Infinite is no different, circumventing the original ‘revelations’ of the original and its sequel. Infinite also plays around immensely with gender roles and expectations; my original expectations for the review game were very much turned on their head (in a good way).

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