What I ___ Today: Oct. 27, 2014 + A General Update

Posted: October 31, 2014 in What I ___ Today
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ok, first thing’s first. I just want to put a general update about the current state of this blog, as much for my own accountability as for anyone reading this. So, if you’ve been paying attention to things here for the past two weeks or so, you may have noticed that I’ve fallen significantly behind and even gone some days without posting at all. Simply put, I’ve had a rough patch at my regular job scheduling-wise requiring me to completely upend my typical sleep patterns. It’s not a very good excuse, I know, but that’s the truth of the situation. I’m back on a more typical work schedule in the coming week, so things should be getting back to normal here…hopefully.

Getting more specific, I will say that everything that is currently on the schedule or will be placed on the schedule, will be coming, it’s just likely to continue coming late for some time longer. For the immediate future, I’m going to have to prioritize my new release/Nerds Unchained reviews over my backlog reviews (which are presently the Hellblazer reviews). As I said, it’s all coming, just for now things are going to be a bit late and probably a bit out of order.

What I Watched Today: Akame ga Kill (episode 17)

AkameGaKill

Good news! We don’t have to deal with the tension and anticipation of waiting for the next significant death on this series anymore! It’s here! Ok…so, maybe that’s not totally a good thing. On the one hand, it is something of a relief to have that tension lifted off my shoulders (not that I think by any means this was the last death on the show). On the other hand, Akame ga Kill does a fantastic job of making sure we care about a character or at least empathize with them before they kill them off. Adds to the the pain just a little bit.

And on the subject of causing their viewers pain, the team behind Akame ga Kill was definitely at the top of their game this week. Not once, not twice, but three times in this episode they made quite certain to show us aspects of characters backgrounds in an effort to give us a reason to care about them before crushing us with their deaths. Granted, one of these instances turned out to be a swerve, but that didn’t make the moment of “death” itself any less impactful. And while I’m giving the series credit for how effectively they pull off that little emotional trap, I have to also give them extra credit for even managing it with the villains as well. The first of the two actual deaths in the episode was a “villain” (notice I’m doing my best to dance around the names as to not spoil anything) and it brought me very close to tears. That’s a pretty impressive feat.

While it wasn’t the all-out bloodbath that I’ve been anticipating for weeks now, this may actually have been even more effective. Having only one or two deaths at a given time carries far more weight than if it had been a half dozen in one episode. The final images of the episode were particularly stirring and are certain to add fuel to the fire of the conflict between Night Raid and the Jaegers over the coming weeks.

AkameGaKillEpisode17

What I Read Today: Attack on Titan, vol. 13

AttackOnTitan13

Finally! I am all caught up on the Attack on Titan manga…well, at least what’s been published in English anyway, I’m aware that what appears to be the next two volume’s worth of content has already come out in Japan, but for my language capabilities, I’m exactly where I want to be. Seriously though, things are starting to get really weird…and the series has finally gone to that creepy place (I mean other than the giant, malformed humanoids that eat people).

Alright, we’ve got to talk about Krista Lenz, or I suppose it’s Historia Reiss now. As I’ve been saying talking about the last couple volumes, she has become a very important character in this series, which is something you’d probably never guess after watching season one of the anime or reading the first nine or ten volumes of the manga. I’d even say that she’s is the most important character there is in this particular volume. This was easily the most in depth look we’ve ever gotten into Historia’s history, and it was a little bit disturbing and a whole lot uncomfortable. First, let’s talk about her relationship with her parents, such as it was. Her only words her mother ever said to her revolved around wishing that she didn’t exist, and her father was completely absent until the day that she watches her mother get murdered, is sent away and forced to change her name. So yeah, she’s got a lovely family. No wonder the girl is a little off. Speaking of a little off, then there’s the scene with Historia and her “sister.” This was one of the more odd and out of place scenes in the entire series in my opinion. It’s a flashback sequence and for the most part it’s fine, until the end, when her “sister” leaves and Historia completely forgets about the sequence and her “sister” until the moment in the present day from which she’s remembering it.  All very, very strange.

And then, I can’t not talk about the first time (to my recollection) that this series has gone to that ol’ creepy sex place. It starts with “Eren” and “Historia” being kidnapped (speaking of, can we stop having Eren be kidnapped, it’s getting old), though it’s actually Jean and Armin in disguise. While in captivity, Armin, who sadly for him has an unfortunate resemblance to Historia, gets to deal with all kinds of bad touch. Frankly it’s a little strange (and frankly even more worrying) that the kidnapper who is molesting him never actually realizes he’s a male. That fact just makes the scene all the more creepy. The one redeeming factor for the whole sequence is that it provides the always welcome opportunity for Mikasa to be awesome (seen in part below). Now, I’ve just got to wait a few more days until volume 14 hits Amazon so I can see what happens next.

AttackOnTitan13_capture

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