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Louie

It sure is good to have Louie back. And that’s all I need to say, really.

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Through the Never

I liked Metallica back in the day – mostly around the time of And Justice for All – and I still have some love for those old songs. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this thing, since at first I thought it was going to be half movie with some performances thrown in, but instead was rather happy that it ended up being pretty much just a concert film, with a few “cut scenes” mixed in. Sure, a lot of the stuff you see is pretty cheesy, and I still can’t stand that fucking piece-of-shit ballad they do (I don’t even remember what it’s called), but whenever they played stuff from And Justice for All or before that (like “Master of Puppets”), I was in.

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Fargo

A TV show based on – or inspired by – the movie Fargo should not be as good as it is turning out to be. I’m finding a lot to love so far (a couple of episodes in) from the fantastic cast, to the dark happenings we’re experiencing throughout – if the first half of the first episode was a bit dull, that sure changed by the end. I’m quite happy that this has nothing to do with the original film – other than the setting and general vibe – and it looks like we’re in for an interesting ride.

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Captain Harlock

I should start by saying that as a kid, Captain Harlock – or Albator, as I knew him in French – was my absolute favorite series. I loved that show so much, and my obsession with LEGO blocks was to constantly be building massive Arcadia-style ships, one after the other. So I was of course excited to see a CG animated version of it, and I must say, this film is stunning to look at. They really did an amazing job with the animation, and found the right balance between realism and the original look of the world and characters. In terms of the story, I honestly can’t remember if it’s similar to the series I watched as a kid (which would have been the one that aired in the early eighties), but it was fine, if not particularly special. I won’t lie, most of my enjoyment from watching this was for the visuals, and to see all of these characters in action, and the giant ship battles – although I wouldn’t have minded having a few more of those. I don’t know if it was a financial success, but I sure hope they continue to make more.

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Knights of Sidonia

The other new anime series I’ve been watching (also 4 episodes in) is Knights of Sidonia. While I described the animation inĀ Ping Pong as being crude and ugly, here it’s the absolute opposite. Truly some of the nicest animation I’ve seen in an anime in ages. I’m also really digging the setting – humans (and hey, there’s now a 3rd sex) are living on a floating station, defending themselves against the occasional appearance of insane galactic monstrosities. They do so fighting in mechs – of course – and so far there’s been a lot of great space battles, and enough intrigue – how is it this guy, out of nowhere, is so good – to keep me interested. It feels like it’s been quite a while since I’ve enjoyed a good sci-fi epic, so I’m hoping that this continues to be as interesting as it’s been over the first few episodes.

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Ping Pong The Animation

Last month marked the start of a new season for anime, and the series I was most excited to check out was a new animated adaptation of Taiyo Matsumoto’s Ping Pong. So far, 4 episodes in, I’m truly enjoying it. I should mention that it’s not the prettiest show out there – the animation style is actually crude and fairly ugly, which I get is a nod to Matsumoto’s illustration style, but as we saw with the Tekkon Kinkreet film, it can be done to look more beautiful. But what shines here is the construction of the scenes – brilliantly directed by Masaaki Yuasa – and the characters. It’s been a while since I’ve watched an anime series in which I really can’t wait to watch the next episode.