The Quatermass All-Purpose Media Review Thread

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Quatermass

Sergeant-at-Arms
Dec 7, 2010
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145
2,950
REVIEW: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 16: Demon Lord Milim Attacks, Episode 17: The Gathering, Episode 18: Evil Creeps Closer, and Episode 19: Charybdis by Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, from the light novels by Fuse

TYPE: TV series

DETAILS: TTRS1.16-1.19, 4X25 minute episodes

So, here I am, once more watching the anime version of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. But how well would this adaptation of the third book do? Let’s find out…

The Jura-Tempest Federation may have been recognised as its own country, but Rimuru’s troubles are only just beginning. A number of Demon Lords were watching his clash with the Orc Lord, and one of them, Milim Nava the Destroyer, decides to pay Rimuru a visit. Rimuru’s quick thinking brings her around to becoming an ally, but when the forces of another Demon Lord, Carrion, make a scene, things go from bad to worse. The leader of this group, Phobio, makes the mistake of listening to the clown-like associates of Clayman, and chooses to merge with the monster Charybdis, all at a chance for revenge against Milim, no matter who gets hurt in the process…

These set of episodes did a fairly good job of adapting the third book. True, I felt more could have been done to characterise the four Demon Lords a little more, especially Milim, who is definitely smarter than she appears in the books. But overall, the right mix of emotion and humour is present.

Brittney Karbowski is fun as always as Rimuru, with the charm and humour of the character shining forth, and the Tempest regulars are also good. Of the Demon Lords, of note is Kristen McGuire as Milim, and John Burgmeier making his proper debut as the smarmy and manipulative Clayman. McGuire brings across Milim’s childish and yet confident qualities effortlessly, while Burgmeier’s performance, though different from Takehito Koyasu’s tones, nonetheless conveys the suave and canny tendencies of Clayman.

The production values, as before, are pretty damn good. True, I wish Milim was not as…exposed as she is in her light novel design, but there’s quite a few effective scenes. Plus, there’s some great animation while Rimuru takes on Charybdis, comparable to some of the stuff done for Nasuverse adaptations.

Overall, while not quite at the same level as previous episodes, these ones were pretty good. I can’t wait to watch more of them…

****
 

Quatermass

Sergeant-at-Arms
Dec 7, 2010
7,286
145
2,950
REVIEW: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Episode 1: The Friends of English Magic and Episode 2: How is Lady Pole? by Peter Harness, from the novel by Susannah Clarke


TYPE: TV series

DETAILS: JS&MN1-2, 2X60 minute episodes

Not so long ago, I read the fantasy novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. This rather whimsical yet dark alternate history book was a slog, and yet, it was rewarding afterwards. So, how well would the adaptation fare?

In England, magic has not been done for three centuries, or so the hidebound scholars who call themselves theoretical magicians claim. But the persistence of one of their number unearths a true magician, the reclusive Gilbert Norrell. Norrell tried to present his form of magic as respectable, opposing charlatans in the street, but his efforts lead him to a dangerous bargain with a fairy known as the Gentleman. Meanwhile, Jonathan Strange, who is seeking the affections of Arabella, seeks a respectable profession, only to find it in being a magician. The paths of these two men are set to intersect, but will it be for good or ill?

This adaptation, for the most part, is a pretty good one, pragmatically streamlining some elements, while adding some nuances that weren’t in the book. Some changes, like heightening Strange’s relationship with Arabella and making Norrell more sympathetic, are welcome, but others, like making the Gentleman more overtly malevolent and Vinculus seem more sinister, are not. Oddly enough, I feel that the narration at the beginning of the first episode could have continued, as it could have added a certain satirical air to the whole thing.

Of the cast, it is Eddie Marsan as Norrell and Marc Warren as the Gentleman who impressed me the most. Marsan does a good job of portraying the reclusive Norrell as a timid and reclusive soul under his misanthropy and antisocial behaviour, while Marc Warren embodies the Gentleman with relish. Charlotte Riley as Arabella, Alice Englert as Lady Pole, and Ariyon Bakare as Stephen Black also do pretty well. I have mixed feelings about Bertie Carvel as Strange, as while he does a good job, I feel he's hamming things up a hair too much at this point, instead of treating it seriously.

For the most part, the production values are brilliant, but the BBC have got making period dramas during the Regency and Victorian eras down pat. The production design is brilliant not just in Regency England, but also in Lost-Hope. I did feel that there were some times when the CGI looked a bit cheap (the Horse Sand sequence, while visually impressive, was a slight letdown in that regard), but these are minor complaints.

Overall, while not as great as it could’ve been, this is still a good adaptation. Fans of the book will find something, at least…


****
 

Quatermass

Sergeant-at-Arms
Dec 7, 2010
7,286
145
2,950
REVIEW: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 20: Yuuki Kagurazaka, Episode 21: Shizu-san’s Students, Episode 22: Conquering the Labyrinth, and Episode 23: Saved Souls by Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, from the light novels by Fuse

TYPE: TV series

DETAILS: TTRS1.20-1.23, 4X25 minute episodes

So, here I am with four more episodes of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime under my belt. But how would these episodes, pretty much the last story arc of the season, go? Let’s find out…

Haunted by dreams of Shizue, Rimuru resolves to track down the students she was trying to help. To that end, he meets with Yuuki Kagurazaka, another Japanese who ended up on this world. But there’s a problem with the children: the sheer amount of power they gained on being summoned will eventually kill them. Rimuru not only has to win this quintet of brats’ respect, but find a way to save their lives. So hey, no pressure…

This set of episodes adapted probably one of the weaker volumes of the novels, in my opinion. It’s not that it’s truly bad, but after the more high-stakes parts of the story previously, it feels like a letdown. It doesn’t help that the creation of the golem Beretta is relegated to a sidenote. There’s still quite a few good points, but honestly, it feels like the season ended on a relatively anticlimactic note, not helped by almost half the final episode being basically a clip show of the season.

Brittney Karbowski is still on fine form as Rimuru. The same can’t really be said about the five kids, though this is due to their characters rather than the actors. Still, Jad Saxton makes a good debut as the mischievous, ditzy but strangely solemn at times Ramiris, while Clifford Chaplin is pretty good as Yuuki.

In terms of production values, I have really nothing to complain about. The animation is up to a high standard, with some beautifully done scenes. I just wish the rest of the episodes were up to par.

Overall, these episodes were a decent, but still disappointing, finish to the first season of this series. A shame, really…

***½
 

Quatermass

Sergeant-at-Arms
Dec 7, 2010
7,286
145
2,950
REVIEW: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Episode 1: The Man Possessed by an Evil Spirit, Episode 2: Who Will Judge!?, and Episode 3: The Curse of DIO by Yasuko Kobayashi, from the manga series by Hirohiko Araki

TYPE: TV series

DETAILS: JJBA2.1-2.3, 3X25 minute episodes

While I haven’t finished watching the first series of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, specifically the Battle Tendency arc, I thought I’d give the Stardust Crusaders arc a go. This was, after all, where some of the more famous elements of the series, like the concepts of Stands, showed up. But how well would it go down?

Jotaro Kujo, the belligerent delinquent grandson of Joseph Joestar, is in a police holding cell for assault. Despite being bailed out, he refuses to leave, citing that he is possessed by a spirit he can barely control. But his grandfather Joseph and his associate Mohammed Avdol reveal the truth, that the spirit is actually a Stand, a manifestation of Jotaro’s fighting power. But Joseph has more to reveal to Jotaro: their family’s old nemesis, the vampire Dio Brando, has been freed from his slumber at the bottom of the ocean, and he has set his sights on the Joestar line and their allies. Facing off against the brainwashed Stand user Kakyoin may be overcome easily, but Dio’s influence is not easily overcome…

Although this story arc in the manga would pretty much devolve into a ‘monster of the week’ format down the track, these initial episodes do a good job of setting up the premise. It may be still ridiculously OTT in style, and it doesn’t have much that is deep and meaningful, but it hits all the notes in the right way. It certainly does the job as a riveting yarn.

Matthew Mercer is perfectly cast as the belligerent but ultimately decent Jotaro Kujo. So too is Richard Epcar as an older version of Joseph Joestar. Patrick Seitz oozes menace in his brief appearances as Dio, while Chris Tergliafera is good as Avdol.

David Production show why they are great at animating the franchise, with some of the best production values I have seen in an anime. There’s some impressive battle scenes, particularly that between Jotaro and Avdol in the first episode. Plus, the music is on high form, and one of the best opening sequences appears at the start, to the tune of the exciting Stand Proud.

Overall, while not stellar, these were great episodes to begin the most famous arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Here’s hoping that the next lot make up for what the manga went through…


****
 

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