What I ___ Today: Oct. 30, 2014

Posted: November 4, 2014 in What I ___ Today
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What I Watched Today: Arrow (season 3 episode 4)


I kind of hate to say this, but I think this was my least favorite episode of Arrow in recent memory. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but it all just felt somewhat pointless. The entire episode seemed to be predicated on the idea of angry people arguing, making bad decisions and participating in an ever-escalating conflict. It did lead to a pretty good three-way dance fight scene between Malcolm, Nyssa and Oliver, so there was that.

Part of the problem stems from Felicity being absent for about 99% of the episode (so Arrow and Flash take place simultaneously, that’s now confirmed), but I think the bigger problem was Nyssa. Now, generally speaking my only problem with her as a character is that she isn’t Talia and that makes  me care about her just a little bit less. Talking more specifically about her in this episode though, she’s just completely unreasonable. I get that she’s supposed to be angry, heartbroken and grieving here, but she’s also supposed to be a professional killer trained by the League of Assassins. The idea that she is either incapable or unwilling (or both) to you know, fact check, follow the evidence, or anything like that to confirm that the person she’s hunting (in this case Malcolm Merlyn) is actually responsible for what she’s accusing him of. But hey, if she did that, like 50-75% of the conflict in this episode could have been avoided, so couldn’t have that.

What I did like about this episode was the flashback timeline. It’s good obviously that Oliver is continuing to fight back against Amanda Waller’s control, but what I really appreciate was them tying China White into Oliver’s history. I do have to point out though that there was no reference to that when she appeared on the series previously, which is kind of weird. Also, I think (I may be mistaken) this episode was our first confirmation that the wife of Oliver’s handler in Hong Kong is Katana (who I believe is supposed to show up on the show properly at some point, thougth i may be mistaken about that as well), so that’s cool. Finally I have to be a little fanboy complaining about Ra’s al’Ghul’s terrible beard, which is mostly terrible because it’s not a horribly stereotypical, vaguely fu-man-chu goatee, and that greatly disappoints me.


What I Read Today: Yu-Gi-Oh! Vol. 3


I talked a little while ago about Yu-Gi-Oh! and how it was the first anime that I really loved and how I was going to start watching a fan-subbed version of the japanese anime (rather than the 4Kids Entertainment english dub). Admittedly, I haven’t gone forward with that as much as I would have liked as I just haven’t had the time since watching the first couple episodes. What I have had some time for (since it’s easier to read during my breaks at work than it is to watch subbed anime) is read some of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. I read the first couple volumes a few years ago, so I’m jumping in here with volume 3.

Now, just so we’re clear, this is the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, not Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist which I believe is what the first 4Kids anime is based on (I specify the first 4Kids anime since I’m pretty sure Yu-Gi-Oh! R got an anime as well, it was just never dubbed). My understanding, though i haven’t gone through it all yet obviously, is that the entirety of this series takes place before Duelist Kingdom and the first season of the aforementioned anime. At the very least, this volume is definitely pre-Duelist Kingdom, in fact Duel Monsters isn’t in this volume at all. The bulk of the book (i.e. roughly the first half) focuses on a conflict between Yugi and Shadi over the fact that Yugi possess the Millennium Puzzle. The premis is basically that Shadi is testing Yugi’s worth to possess the item. And it’s these tests that remind us all just how extreme and ridiculous the premise behind this franchise is. Forgetting for a moment the reason behind what Shadi is doing, his “tests” essentially amount to “I’m going to make you play a game and if you lose you and your friends will die.” Take a moment to absorb how insane that is for a franchise that is best known as a “children’s card game.”

It’s not just the Yugi vs. Shadi battle that involves this kind of ridiculous insanity though. Elsewhere in the volume Yugi nearly sets a group of bullies on fire by forcing them through a maze of flames he made using spray paint and Mokuba Kaiba and his friends/followers (who are all pre-teen age I believe) kidnap Yugi with knives and guns and force him to play a game of capsule monster chess (which was totally made into a video game). This was Mokuba’s attempt at revenge on Yugi for beating his brother Seto at Duel Monsters in volume 2 (one of only I think two events so far in the manga I can relate to the first 4Kids anime). As nuts as it is though, I do enjoy and I will be reading much more of it in the future.



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