Princess Principal Episode 4 – Name Pending

Here we are entering episode four of this journey into cute spies doing devious things and I cannot overstate how solid the quality of this show has been through and through.  The team behind this seem to know exactly what they’re doing and the purposeful telling of this story out of order has us guessing at every turn what side the individuals in our main cast are on.  I’m so excited to see where this goes and after being burned last season, I am hoping against hope that the crew at Studio 3Hz keep this up.  It just seems too good to be true.  …Almost as if we’re being lied to- I’m sorry for the crappy joke.

While the last two episodes actually had case numbers that followed each other, we’re back to jumping around again, going from Case 2 over to Case 9 now, a few cases before the first episode’s Case 13.  While the jumping around has made me sad because we had such great origin stories for a few characters and the team as a whole, this episode actually touched on similar ideas a little on its own by putting a bit more focus on two characters we know little about:  Dorothy and Chise.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_06.19_[2017.08.06_22.52.45]

The latter being this dork on the right.

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My feelings on the Netflix situation.

Whoo boy, this one is gonna be opinionated.  These are just my own personal feelings on this, this isn’t representative of the whole Backloggers.  I just felt like sharing and one hundred forty characters didn’t feel like enough.

Look, first and foremost, I am not stating people should pirate anime.  Please, support the creators in any way you can and in every way available legally.  A quick look at the Animator Housing project or the median salary of people in the industry should be enough of a wake up call that the people who make anime are in deep shit and they need every ounce of help they can get.  

However, for those that are taking the high ground on this debacle with Netflix, let’s be completely realistic here:  Netflix has metaphorically taken the starter pistol on their first major foray into this and shot themselves in the leg.  The anime community in the western world has a several decades long history of piracy because it was simply the only option for a vast amount of shows.  It’s only recently that we’ve even blessedly had Crunchyroll among others popping up to give us an alternative to waiting for years for Funimation and Aniplex (or Heaven forbid 4Kids) to license something, if they ever choose to.

This is what Netflix should be fighting. This is what we are fighting who want legal alternatives that support the very industry that gives us this entertainment.  But the only way to fight piracy isn’t to say “Hey, we’re legal.  That’s what you care about, right?”  That doesn’t matter to people who just want to watch a show and it definitely doesn’t matter for the multiple people I work with that are casually watching Naruto and Attack on Titan and have me crying every day when I look over and they’re on KissAnime, watching the shittiest of quality streaming with “who knows who translated this” subs.  I mean, in the entirety of me watching Game of Thrones, I had a multitude of friends and family talking to me about the show and the only one among them I knew had an account was my dad.  I understand this is anecdotal but it’s pretty obvious that if people want content, regardless of if they’re “hardcore” or “casual”, they’ll find a way to watch it and the reaction from across Twitter, even from people who work for licensors and distributors echoes this same mentality.

What Netflix needs to be is competitive against this.  The only way to stop piracy is to make things easy, affordable, and more competitive than the alternative.  However, when you hold shows for over a year, it isn’t easy on the consumer, it isn’t affordable if we have nothing to pay for, and it’s the complete opposite of competitive when the pirates already have it up and ready to go day one.  Going back to the runner analogy above, it’s like Netflix finally got into the sprint at the Olympics and then intentionally broke their leg on the starting line.  Why did they even show up?  They stole that spot from some other runner (CR, Amazon, etc.) who would actually try to race.  Instead, we got them.

And that’s another issue here.  We finally have competitive answers against piracy that are doing great work out there.  CR is doing a great job of grabbing licenses and Amazon is definitely fumbling their way through this, but their actual content is amazing and readily available if you have the bank for it.  If Netflix never grabbed these shows in the first place, you can bet your ass CR, Amazon, or any of the newcomers would have snatched these and we’d be watching weekly.  Instead, Netflix sniped the shows and expects people to wait.

Yes, piracy is wrong and yes, with 100% certainty we need to support the industry because they’re barely supporting their own creators.  But the bottom line is that regardless of morality, people will absolutely be pirating these shows because Netflix refuses to work with the community and is putting their own policies over their consumer’s needs.  That is unacceptable.

It just sucks.  It sucks because the pirates are given validation, it sucks because CR and all the others are screwed out of a great licensing deal, it sucks for us because we now have to wait for possibly over a year to even watch shows like Kakegurui, and to top it all off, it sucks for the anime creators because all their hard work is put on the back-burner internationally.  They potentially won’t see a cent from us until a year after their show originally aired unless we decide to buy up merch for a show we’ve never seen.

So thanks, Netflix.

Princess Principal Episode 1 – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t psyched

When I sat down to watch Princess Principal, I couldn’t tell you what I thought it would be, but damn if I wasn’t surprised.  I guess I expected some kind of “cute girls doing edgy spy things” and, to some extent, that’s sort of the zoomed out view of things.  However, it’s so much more.  As The Afictionado put it when we were talking on Twitter earlier, this show is more of “a steampunk fantasy full of spy intrigue and reminiscent of Baccano!

And that’s freaking sick.

Take a steampunk setting in turn of the century London, split London with the idea of post-WWII Berlin (including the wall), add in a helping of fun pseudo-science, pour in a cast of charming characters, and then top the whole thing off with a great soundtrack and you’ve got yourself what I’m watching this season.  This dish was delish, and if this rest of the series is anything like the first episode, then I’ll be craving more and more over the next few weeks.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 01 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_10.54_[2017.07.11_00.05.14]

Damn, if this setting isn’t awesome looking.

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SukaSuka Episode 11 – A Rapid Ride to the End

The penultimate for the series and boy is it worth that haughty title.  What starts with a innocent, though a bit existential, discussion about “happiness” steadily divulges into an all out struggle for survival as every character down on the surface finds themselves at the end of the line, finally leading us back to just before where the series all began with that beautiful opening piece that sold me on picking up this series eleven weeks ago.

What started as a gentle slope to the finish last episode has turned into an eighty degree angle slide into the finale.  The is the episode we finally, finally, get a lot of the answers that we were looking for… and then a few more questions.  While I had wished more of this information had been spread out or at least hinted at more in other parts of the series, I felt its delivery was excellent and the revelations interesting.  Plus, given some of the information explained, it made sense for the show to wait until the very end before revealing its hand.

This episode definitely wants us to know we’re finally here at the end of it all and the allusions to the first episode are abound, particularly the constant various versions of the show’s opening motif played in every style imaginable throughout each scene.  There was also of note the opening discussion about happiness that was interesting to hear as it seemed to be a direct allusion to the first few lines of the show, a monologue about how Ctholly had found her happiness finally before she tumbles off the ship and down to the surface below.

[HorribleSubs] Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasuka Isogashii Desuka Sukutte Moratte Ii Desuka - 11 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_01.21_[2017.06.29_01.08.05]

Welcome to AniBlogging, Ctholly.  We have words.

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Psycho-Pass – Infectious Misinformation

Where I live in America, there’s​ a decent amount of stigma about mental health that’s held some people up on the subject.  I always seem to see those satirical skits and comics online comparing the responses people with a debilitating mental issue get with someone telling a guy with no legs to “walk it off”.  So, given that those had to have been in answer to something, I assume this is a widespread issue in various parts of Western civilization.  It seems most people don’t realize that mental health is just as important as physical health.  It’s getting better, though, and I’ve received way less stigma from others for attempting to find a psychologist in my area for a general check up on things. Though, that still doesn’t mean there’s full acceptance of it.

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SukaSuka Episode 8 – A Gut Punch To Make Me Miss The Air

Whoo, boy.  This one’s gonna be a doozy.

If nothing else, I will say SukaSuka has been a ride, though not for all the right reasons. First and foremost, let me state that this show continues to impress me because when it hits, it hits solidly. I revel in the genuine and beautiful moments that this show has to offer and I love when this anime goes out of its way to cleverly layer exposition in very natural conversation.  For what faults we’ve seen up to now, this show has just as many great ideas and scenes.  However, the issue is that this show is not just its high moments, and that becomes the unexpected downfall that I’ve found while watching this episode.

[HorribleSubs] Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasuka Isogashii Desuka Sukutte Moratte Ii Desuka - 08 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_08.51_[2017.06.02_01.04.35]

You don’t know the half of it, Willem.

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SukaSuka Episode 5 – Promises Not Kept

We’ve been talking for several episodes about how much we applaud this series for being very clever with its pacing and intentional lack of action, allowing us to explore the characters and their setting on a bit deeper scale because of this.  It’s an interesting idea to make a light novel adaptation with almost no action in a genre that relies heavily on it.  For fantasy, action, specifically battles and violence, is the driving force for most stories and it makes sense.  These are dangerous worlds in which rules surrounding people whipping out swords and going to town don’t always apply.  Fantasy is such a high form of fiction that a story can easily show epic battles or intense magical creatures that tantalize and gives us incredible escapism, answering our thirst for a world where we all can have kickass powers.  I mean, it’s just so dang fun to watch people sling spells and arrows around like there was a sale on projectiles.  However, SukaSuka doesn’t really do this and, to be honest, that’s kinda what’s made it so great so far.

However, give me an opening like this with an epic battle… I mean, I’m not gonna complain.

[HorribleSubs] Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasuka Isogashii Desuka Sukutte Moratte Ii Desuka - 05 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_00.04_[2017.05.14_13.03.43]

For a sec, I thought I accidentally started watching Youjo Senki again.

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