What I’ve Been Watching 08/23/14: Ghouls, Terrorists, and Idols Don’t Mix
What’s up, everyone! Ken here, aaaaaaaand…….
sorry, new article series, it’s always tough intro-ing…….
Anyways, here’s a new article series that I’ve whipped up. The title basically explains everything: I write down the stuff that I have been watching recently and unveil my thoughts on them in a few sentences. The anime that I will showcase won’t necessarily be all seasonal shows. Some would be anime I still haven’t watched from my backlog (which is a lot, btw).
Keep in mind that my opinion on the shows in question may not be final. Therefore, whatever I may say about a show may change as my judgement is very shallow at the moment due to the fact that I have not completed them yet. The number of episodes that I have completed will be placed right beside the title of the show. Also, there will be a section called “Enthralling Episode” where I pull up the episode that made the show for me as of the episode count.
Oh, and I can’t guarantee that there won’t be spoilers, so travel with caution.
What have I been watching?
1.) Terror in Resonance (Ep. 1-7)
Yeeaaaah, I knooow, I apologize for not having a First Impressions on this show, but I definitely HAVE to review this once its finished.
Terror in Resonance (or Zankyou no Terror for those of you who prefer the Japanese version of the title) follows the story of 2 teenage boys who are actually a 2-man terrorist group called Sphinx. These 2 young men, 9 (glasses guy) and 12 (yandere guy) proceed to terrorize Tokyo with heinous acts of…..terrorism, although their actual motives aren’t quite known yet. After a young teenage girl named Lisa witnesses the two in an act of fear mongering, she becomes entangled with the events that occur and is forced to become an accomplice of the young masterminds.
What’s good about this show? Well…..the characters are brilliantly done, the story is very interesting and enjoyable, the soundtrack is HEAVENLY, and there’s enough action, explosions, and mind games to go around…..soooo yeah, why the hell would I not watch this show?
Oh, and did I mention that Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno are in this one? (HINT: Watanabe and Kanno worked together in a little known anime called Cowboy Bebop, doing the directing and the soundtrack, respectively)
Enthralling Episode: Episode 1, “Falling”- It hooks you in and never lets you go.
2.) Tokyo Ghoul (Ep. 1-7)
WARNING: DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW AT NIGHT WHEN YOU’RE ALONE IN THE BASEMENT. ALSO, MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT EAT BEFORE WATCHING THIS SHOW.
Ken Kaneki (hehehehehehehehe, “KEN”, what kind of ridiculous name is that? LOL) is a college student (surprise) who meets, and later goes out with, a women named Rize Kamishiro. Things seemed perfect for Kaneki: he’s hanging out with a really pretty girl and she apparently likes him too……until she went into a murderous rampage in an attempt to devour his flesh. Turns out that Rize is a “ghoul”, a human-like creature who hunts and feeds on humans during the night (not the best first date).
Fortunately for Kaneki, Rize was killed by a falling platform before she could finish him off. Unfortunately for Kaneki, he is left in critical condition. Fortunately for Kaneki, the doctor was able to patch him up and replace his destroyed organs. Unfortunately for Kaneki, the organs he got were originally Rize’s merging with Kaneki’s body structure and turning him into a half-ghoul, half-human hybrid. He is then taken in by a friendly ghoul society, where he learns to deal with his half-ghoul self, interact with the rest of the ghoul factions, and try to keep his identity from the human world.
For me, what really hooked me into the show was its story and its themes, and how it delivers them through out the series so far. At the start of the story, viewers are introduced to Kaneki and his struggle to maintain his human side in the midst of all the…..uhm….”ghoulishness”. As the story progresses, we are introduced to even greater themes: do ghouls have the right to live? Should they be treated any differently than humans? How can the gap between humans and ghouls be bridged, and can it be ever be bridged? Spoilerific stuff, but you’ll get it once you’ve seen it, and I do recommend that you see it.
Enthralling Episode: Episode 8, “Circular”- The bigger, more philosophical themes are explored, all while an epic battle is taking place. Yep. This is how it should be done.
3.) Love Live! School Idol Project (Ep. 1)
……………stop looking at me like that.
Yes, I know this show looks girly as hell.
No, I was not forced to watch this tied up to a chair.
Transitioning from blood-thirsty flesh-eaters, explosions, gore, and terrorism, we have the happy, sunny, sing-y, cute-sy, super kawaii desu desu moeblob, Love Live School Idol Project, which follows the story of second-year high-school student Honoka Kousaka and her friends, as they aspire to become a popular school idol group in order to prevent their beloved school from closing down (due to the lack of students).
To be honest, I had no real intention of watching this show at all. It didn’t seem to be a show that I would get into, and I didn’t want to risk bashing it into the cold concrete floor just because I didn’t like it. But after going “what the hell” and trying out the first episode anyway, I’ve reconsidered my decisions greatly. Now, you may ask, “But Ken, you awesome anime scientist, with such a simple premise, how can the first episode engage you so much?”. Well, I’ll tell you: it’s in the execution.
The first episode was surprisingly filled with all the necessary parts of the premise; no large subplot is included, no wishy-washy, just the plot. This is an excellent way to promote the show; everything you need to know in one package. This makes it really easy to watch, because there is already an understanding of what can happen. What’s even more impressive is how the story is layered with light-heartedness and sprinkled with just a little bit of drama. This execution allows us to actually sympathize with the characters by the end of the episode without the drama being too oversaturated.
Damn…..never thought I’d have a lot to say about this episode alone……
Enthralling Episode: Episode 1, “May Our Dream Come True!”– Please refer to my uber long explanation of episode 1 for my reasoning.
4.) Black Lagoon (Ep. 1-2)
Goodie, now we’re back to manliness and stuff (if you felt an overload of estrogen from watching love live, then I highly recommend watching this right after).
The story follows Okajima Rokuro, a Japanese businessman who lives the same monotonous life of a working man in the labour force. He finally gets something out of his job when he is assigned to deliver a special disk through Eastern China. Unfortunately, he got more thrills than he bargained for and his boat gets hijacked by a group of mercenaries who were hired to take the disc, after which Okajima’s boss write’s him off as dead. Tired of his old life, he decides to join the mercenaries, who are called “Black Lagoon”, under his new alias: “Rock”. After that, EXPLOSIONS, GUNFIGHTS, AND PIRACY ABOUUUNNDD MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!
Now, this is a show that I believe ANY action-genre fan can get into. It has all the elements of classic action movies and tv shows, and then pumps them all up, spicing them up with LOTS of swearing, and…..well, generally it’s bombastic and crazy and INSANE. You’ll know what I mean when you’ve watched it. I’m not ready to explain how crazy awesome this show is. All I can say is that you’re bound to have a good time watching this show, preferably in dub, as it is masterfully dubbed.
Enthralling Episode: Episode 1, “The Black Lagoon”- It introduces you to the setting sooo well and the characterizations are…..ah who am I kidding, it has guns and swearing and explosions and guns and bullets and swearing and Michael Bay would love this show.
I am actually watching quite a few more anime, but these four are the ones that I feel are worth discussing about. If you’d like to see more of the stuff I’m currently watching, please check out my Hummingbird account at http://hummingbird.me/users/prince_kouhii.
Black Lagoon, Tokyo Ghoul, and Terror in Resonance are all available for legal streaming at Funimation‘s website, with premium membership required for the dubs and for the newest seasonal episodes, while Love Live is available at Crunchyroll, where all the episodes are currently free and you don’t need a subscription to follow up on it.
Lastly, I procured this poll for you guys to help me decide which show I should review next, as there are a number of shows that I can’t choose from and making a poll seemed like a good idea. Please take the time to choose one down belooooow.
As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this concept or on the shows discussed here, or if you have any suggestions for anything. And, speaking of liking, give the article a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it.
With that, I bid you all adieu. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen, this has been Ken, and I’ll see you guys in the future.