Sunday, December 30, 2012


I just finished watching K and all I can say is:  “How could they ruin a great series that way!!??!!”  Needless to say I was less than happy with the ending.  And once again had it confirmed that you can’t decide whether a series is any good until you see the ending.  Damn!

K has everything going for it – awesome, way cool characters, great music, a really unique plot.  It’s too short of course.  Only 13 episodes.  But besides that, it’s a wonderful series, right up until they kill main characters in the last episode.  Damn, I really hate when they do that.

So what’s it about?  It’s about color Kings.  A genius researcher named Adolf Weissmann discovers how to essentially give people super powers.  Each King has a different super power associated with a different color.  Weissmann himself is the first and original King, the Silver King, and he can manipulate gravity and is immortal. Central to the story are the Red King, Souh Mikoto, and the Blue King, Munakata Reishi.  The Kings, because of their powers, cause people around them who have the capacity to gain lesser powers like theirs.  So each King has a group of followers.  Mikoto’s follows are a yakuza-like gang called HOMRA.  Reishi’s followers are a paramilitary group called SCEPTOR 4.   

The story line revolves around three characters, 1) an apparently clueless, white-haired kid named Isana Yashiro, or Shirou for short, 2) a cat/girl named Neko who appears in girl form in the first two pictures in this blog and in cat form in  the last picture, and 3) a cool, powerful fighter named Yatogami Kurou, nicknamed the Black Dog.  At the beginning of the story a much beloved member of the HOMRA is murdered by the new Colorless King – a wildcard King with the ability to effect, and in this case take over, the other Kings.   Shirou is pegged as the murderer and spends much of the series fleeing various groups while occasionally showing seriously powerful abilities himself.  

A lot of confusion and twists ensue, but bottom line is that Shirou is actually Weissmann.  Weissmann has been switched into Shirou’s body by the colorless King, and eventually he remembers this and realizes the colorless King is inhabiting a friend of theirs, Kukuri.   The colorless King is also inciting the Red and Blue Kings to fight until they’re both weak enough for the colorless King to take them over.  Kurou and Neko swear allegiance to Shirou/Weissmann. In order to save Kukuri, Weismann reabsorbs the colorless King and traps him inside, then allows the Red King to kill them both, since only a King can kill a King.  The Blue King then kills the Red King to keep him from self destructing and destroying everything for miles around him.  End of story.

See?  Horrible ending.  Dead Kings!  Souh Mikoto, the red King, is definitely dead, as is the wacko colorless King.  Shirou may be but Kurou and Neko remember that Shirou/Weissmann/the Silver King has said he’s immortal, so they go looking for him.  It’s likely that he survived, although they do not show him alive in the series.  Still, I really liked Souh Mikoto and hate that they killed him off.

I also wish the series had been longer.  It’s a really cool series and there’s a lot that could have been done with it.  It's definitely worth watching.  Just brace yourself for the ending.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Another series that I’ve never blogged about which was one of the first I ever watched is Inuyasha.  The series is based on a manga by Takahashi Rumiko that went for 56 volumes.  The title character, Inuyasha, is a hanyou, a half-youkai (demon), half-human boy struggling to grow up in a feudal land which is over-run by youkai who prey on the humans attempting to live ordinary lives and who are less than sympathetic toward hanyou.  In the opening episode he is pinned to a tree and sealed there by the priestess he loves, and there he stays for 50 odd years.  Enter Kagome.  Kagome is your average middle school girl, except her family lives on and runs a local temple.  Kagome herself turns out to be a reincarnation of Inuyasha’s priestess lover, but that fact only becomes apparent later.  In the first episode Kagome is pulled into an old well on the temple grounds by a youkai who wants the object of power embedded in Kagome’s body, the Shikon no Tama.  The old well turns out to be a gateway between Kagome’s modern world and Inuyasha’s feudal one. 

Once dragged into the feudal world, Kagome is attacked by demons wanting the Shikon no Tama and to protect it she releases Inuyasha from his seal, only to discover that he wants the Shikon himself.  Inuyasha’s behavior is controlled by a rosary and he is mostly forced to work with Kagome.  In Inuyasha’s and Kagome’s struggles to keep the Shikon, Kagome accidentally hits it with an arrow and shatters it into millions of fragments which are scattered to the four winds.  From that point Inuyasha and Kagome begin to work together to collect the fragments to make the Shikon whole again, Kagome to prevent youkai from obtaining it and using it for evil and Inuyahsa to use its power to convert himself to a full demon.  The entire series is basically their continuous struggle to find and keep the Shikon no kakera (fragments of the Shikon no tama). 

Along the way, Inuyahsa and Kagome gain friends to help them with their quest, including a perverted monk named Miroku, a girl named Sango who is almost the last of a demon-slaying clan, and a small fox-demon named Shippou.  This group travels around obtaining the Kakera and fighting evil, mostly in the form of Naraku, an ultra-evil bad guy who not only wants the Shikon’s power, he wants to taint it to make it even more powerful.  He also wants badly to destroy Inuyasha-tachi.  Naraku has a penchant for creating evil minions using pieces of himself, and he also controls Sango’s brother, who works for him.

Two other people integral to the plot line include, Kikyou, the priestess who once loved Inuyasha and sealed him to the tree when she thought he had betrayed her, and Sesshoumaru, Inuyasha’s full-demon half-brother.  Kikyou is revived from the dead by a witch-woman using a piece of Kagome’s soul, and Kikyou then keeps herself alive using soul collectors to retrieve the souls of the newly dead as an energy source.  Kikyou is a continuous thorn in Kagome’s side, since Inuyasha still loves her and frequently chooses Kikyou over Kagome, despite the facts that she’s dead, she mostly hates him and she has her own agenda.  Sesshoumaru cannot stand the fact that he has a half-human half-brother and he periodically shows up to try to kill or torment Inuyasha, or steal the powerful sword that their father left to Inuyasha rather than Sesshoumaru.

This is the basic premise, and the original series went for 167 episodes of Inuyasha-tachi going around trying to gather the shards, fight Naraku and fend off Sesshoumaru.  There were also four Inuyasha movies made and a second series called The Final Act, which I blogged about back in April of 2010.  The series is entertaining, with good music, a good character style and a good plot line which has enough minor arcs running through it not to become too tedious.  I recommend this series if you haven’t seen it.    

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eureka Seven Ao

I have to say, I didn’t like Eureka Seven Ao anywhere near as much as I liked the original Eureka Seven.  The original series may have been a little long (50 episodes), but the series was good.  It had a pretty nice plot, not too straight-forward, but not ridiculously complex either.  It had great characters who grew and developed through the course of the series.   And it didn’t overplay the mecha aspect of the series.  The mecha was definitely there, but not the focus.

On the other hand Eureka Seven Ao didn’t really achieve any of that, other than not over-playing the mecha aspect.  The plot was COMPLEX.  And though I do like a plot that takes me a while to figure out, this one tended to irritate me more than intrigue me.  For example, the big question from the opening episode is why the main character, Ao, who is clearly the son of Eureka and Renton from the first series, why is he on earth (which was not the planet in the original series), why is he there alone, and why are the scub coral there?  Okay, that’s three questions, but you get the point.  The answers don’t come until the end of the series, and a lot of complexity happens in between.  For example, the earth scub coral has a weird ‘core’ that when used as a weapon changes the world to an alternate world, and things that have happened now have happened differently.  Plus the plot wavers back and forth between the scub coral being good and needing protection and being bad and needing destruction.

That’s probably the other thing that I didn’t like – there was a lot of back and forth guessing about who the good guys really were, always assuming that Ao is by default a “good guy”.  I think I like to be able to tell who I’m rooting for – maybe because I sometimes do root for the “bad guy” side. 

Bottom line plot, and there’s some big spoilers coming here so if you haven’t watched the series and plan to, you may want to stop reading here.

Renton and Eureka have child who dies because apparently a half human-half corellian child cannot live in a place where there are high trapar levels (their whole planet).  When Eureka gets pregnant again, they come to earth, where Ao is born.  Unfortunately they either bring scub coral with them or it follows them to earth.   So Renton uses the earth scub coral weird properties to go to earth’s past to try to eradicate the scub when it arrives, and Eureka is trapped in the alternate world timelines, leaving Ao to be raised by strangers and make his way alone.  In the end Eureka and Renton are reunited with each other and united with Ao, but Ao convinces them not to eradicate the scub coral because so many of his friends are infected by it and will die if it’s gone.  So they leave him there on earth, knowing that as the scub increases, and the trapar levels increase, Ao will eventually die.  End of story.

That’s the simple version of the plot and leaves out a LOT of detail, but I think you see why I liked it less than the original.  My feeling is that I should have just quit with watching the original Eureka Seven only.