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Anime Review: Violet Evergarden


(Source: Kyoto Animation)

Violet Evergarden could be considered a fantasy-themed slice-of-life story with a slow burn. You’re not getting all the story in just a few episodes. As such, I’m going to avoid the entire explanation and just give you the first impression as you start watching it.

The war has ended and Violet, who served as a weapon for the Major, has to find her place in this new world. Her prosthetic arms and her military mind seem ill prepared for times of peace. Hodgins, a former Colonel, takes her in and gives her a job in his company.

She is soon drawn to the profession of writing for other people who can’t as an Auto Memory Doll. With her mechanical arms and disciplined mind she seems qualified except for one thing… She doesn’t know how to express her emotions. There’s more, of course, but I’ll end the description here as further explanation just spoils the discovery.

Slow burn? Yes, indeed! The characters are introduced slowly as Violet takes her first steps into a larger world, a world that has its own unique challenges for a creature like her. As she connects with more people and her world expands, so must Violet evolve.

A uniquely slow and rich world with a minimalistic approach to steampunk and subtle touches of a hero’s journey in the background. Highly recommended if you are willing to dive in with a cup of tea in a slow afternoon. That being said, there might be a few surprises coming up that I haven’t seen yet.

Violet Evergarden is the anime adaptation of the novels by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase. The anime was directed by Taichi Ichidate and written by Reiko Yoshida. Kyoto Animation both published the novels and was the studio behind the production of the anime. Netflix streams the series worldwide.

That will do for now.


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Things To Come: No more Superhero Weekly? More Transformers features?

Well, the sentiment has been certainly brewing for a while. I’m less and less interested in doing a weekly review of the CW’s superhero shows. It’s not a given, but I feel less motivated to do it. Also, I’ve been reviewing the stats. Superhero weekly barely gets a view. People are more inclined to find my Fantasia movie reviews or the cosplay galleries for the Montreal ComicCon or the Otakuthon.

Yes, the new Black Lightning is certainly a refreshing but sour take on the superhero mythos. I say that, because although things seem more serious and at stake in the not-so-fictional city of Freeland, it really drives home the point on how little the conscious but average citizen can do against both the criminal forces and misguided law enforcement at the same time. It can feel too depressing at times.

On the other hand, the week-to-week same flavored shows of The Flash and Arrow lack enough substance to maintain interest. Supergirl has slighty more to offer but sometimes feels like it panders too much to a certain political view. Don’t misunderstand, it often matches a lot of my political views but that doesn’t make the plots better. The show needs more shades of grey. I think Legends of Tomorrow gets closer to doing that, despite the convoluted plots and the recycled villains from other shows.

2018-03-13 22.19.33

I’ve also returned to comics in a very roundabout way. After being out of the loop for a long time, I got back into Transformers toys from a collector’s perspective last year. I don’t how how long this trend will last, but I’ve been quite enthralled with masterpiece versions, including some third party offerings.

I’m also reading the current Lost Light, Optimus Prime and Till All Are One comic book series in digital form. I don’t necessarily want to write a weekly comic review (or perhaps I’ll change my mind) but I think I do want to try some essays on my favorite characters. Perhaps it’s just nostalgia, but any motivation is welcome.

On a short note, a couple of people discovered my Hogwarts detective fanfic, The Filch Factor and read it the whole way through. That was surprising! Makes me feel like writing again. If you want to read something of mine more recent, try the scary Dance With A Spider original story on Reddit. If you liked it, check out my tidbits on the story.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly: March 7, 2018

Spoilers as we’re going for another format change this week.


(Source: The CW)

I believe I’m starting to suffer from superhero fatigue again. Black Lightning showed us yet another shade of Peter Gambi, the start of Anissa’s path as a superhero in training and possibly Black Lightning’s hero status being compromised in the eyes of the public. With the death of Lady Eve, things are starting to roll downhill a lot faster. Some key scenes were amazing, some were good and a few did border on repeated stuff but overall this show still edges out in front to the rest of the CW lineup.

The Flash went for the gut giving us a scenario in which Jesse Quick and Jay Garrick must join forces with Barry. The enemy this time was not DeVoe but a nuclear explosion. It was good, but why I didn’t quite find it that… moving… is another question. Yes, fine performances by all, but still a good episode not a great series make. Also, time-traveling girl is back as Jitters’ barista.

I also revisited Arrow this week. Katie Cassidy is playing Black Siren quite nicely, but the heartstrings tug comes via Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance and his desperate act of saving a dream that seems hopeless. I can’t help but think this was the inner struggle that I appreciated much more than the growing animosity between Team Arrow and the Ex-Team.

Finally, a little time traveling with Legends of Tomorrow gives us a much heroic but naive Ray Palmer in an almost comedic kidnapping-turn-alliance with the Dahrks. Same as in Arrow, there are episodes where Damien is as evil as they come and there are episodes in which he’s just cartoonishly evil to the point of almost being endearing. Unfortunately, I believe in the end he feels either a) bipolar b) very badly written or c) both, sometimes in the same episode. Also, Wally West! Couldn’t he grab Amaya’s Spirit Totem too? Still, it was so cool to see Wally again. And of course, Rip Hunter could not depart without a little mystery… What is the truth about Ava?

That will do for now.

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