[personal profile] jtniehof
Mardock Scramble, Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia, Rewrite, Qualidea Code, Berserk, Amanchu!, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, The Morose Mononokean, New Game!, Heavy Object, Buffy season 3, Energy: The Subtle Concept, The Meaning of It All, Containment

Mardock Scramble (first movie): There's something cool in the premise---they managed to take "unfortunate waif turns into badass killing machine" and make it interesting again---but so little time goes into that and so much into (surprisingly boring) gunfights and squicky bad guys, so we really didn't care to go on.

Hybrid x Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia (1 ep):I was hoping this might be so-bad-it's-funny, and some moments were preposterous enough for a laugh, but it was mostly insufficiently self-aware and just bad. I facepalmed hard at expositional internal monologues. Not Even Trying.

Rewrite: Got halfway through the (long) first episode and was just bored.

Qualidea Code (1/2 ep): I don't find arrogant unapproachable undefeatable jerks to be interesting anymore.

Berserk (1.5 ep): Despite some interesting hooks to this iteration, the execution was so off-putting (most notably, but not exclusively, the hideous CG) that it was just hard to sit through. The visual style made the gorefest laughable.

Amanchu! (2 ep): Could be nice slice of life, but turns into more "ditzy girl".

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (8 eps): I should like this...among other things, it clearly has a budget and a sense that the adapters believed in the source material. But I just got bored, and stayed bored. Partly I can't figure out the situation: it's far too relaxed for being purely on the run, but there doesn't seem to be structure or plan to Balsa's movements.

The Morose Mononokean (2.5ep): The premise is interesting enough, and there's some occasionally funny character banter, but it's paced really slow, without a compensating richness.

New Game! (2.5ep): Clearly otaku bait, cute girls designing computer games. Occasionally funny but there's no substance.

Heavy Object: Great example of military sci-fi by way of the hapless buddy movie, with a serious dose of competence porn. Mostly short 2-3 episode arcs taken from the novels, with a final (anime-original) twofer that tries to tie it up. We really enjoyed it, clever and funny without being comic, although arguably a little thin in the overall plot. I hope the novels make it over.

Buffy Season 3: We had sort of fizzled out watching this halfway through and were surprised at how good it got right around the point we picked it back up. Knowing where things go, there's a bit of a turn towards maturity here. The SFX, however, wow, dated.

Energy: The Subtle Concept (Jennifer Coopersmith): In many ways a book I wanted to write. After tripping over the relevant history in preparing a lecture. I thought it would expand out nicely to a book. Yet even at 300-odd pages, this is more of an overview: the number of twists and turns in the history of classical mechanics is amazing. Every couple of pages I was feeling the need to bookmark and review other sources for in-depth physics or history . That's not a strike against the book: it's highly readable, clear, funny, and does a great job of teasing order out of a very messy development.

The Meaning of It All (Richard Feynman): Classic Feynman in style, but a bit more substance than his popular books. Most of his thoughts on the science/society interface are still applicable, as well as his concerns about anti-science, anti-expert, and anti-intellectual trends.

Containment: Post-apoc conspiracy theory, I was totally ready to enjoy it, but just so laughably bad, really stupid biohazard protocol, non-ending. Totally a miss.

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March 2017

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