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August 2016
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Something to Watch: Discs

Movies have the live action version of The Jungle Book hits the shelves this week, bringing home the latest incarnation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story. TV’s Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two really ramps up the action in the animated battle for the fate of the galaxy.

Anime did better this week with When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace: Complete Collection getting my vote for best title. A variation on Magical Girls, the one boy in the school club with powers is pretty unimpressive. Doamayger-D is a tip of the hat to old-school Mecha shows from the 70s and 80s, right down to the animation style. The episodes are very short, weighing in at 3 minutes or so each, and the premise is a bit goofy; the giant Mecha fights the monsters by creating elaborate deserts. When the monsters eat the deserts they turn back into human beings. Beelzebub Part 1 is the first 30 episodes of this 2011 series which has not been previously released in the US as far as I can tell. It is about a delinquent who finds a mystical baby who makes his life difficult by doing things like throwing lightning bolts around.

The Balconies

The Balconies are a Canadian Alt Rock band (emphasis on the Rock) operating out of Toronto these days. Their first album was released in 2014, and they have put out quite a few good songs in a fairly short span of time. The first track was posted a few weeks ago, Money Money, the second is War from last April, the 3rd is 2014′s Boys and Girls. And yes, you can pick these up at the usual places.

Arrival Trailer #1

Arrival hits theaters November 11, and watching this trailer it looks like it could be a winner. Mankind is on the edge of global war thanks to the aliens prodding, forcing the team to race against time for answers to how to stop the war and greet their visitors. Amy Adams plays expert linguist Louise Banks, and this appears to be her vehicle; I will enjoy finding out where she drives it.

Earth-Size Planet in Habitable Zone of Nearest Star!

The headline says it all, because the news is we really do have a Rocky Planet (as opposed to a Gas Giant) that is only a touch more than 4 light years away, according to the ESO who made the discovery, the ESA, and NASA. It is in the Goldilocks Zone of its star Proxima Centauri, and about 1.3 times the mass of Earth. The size and mass of the planet as well as the age of the star it orbits means it at least started out with the majority of the same elements that make up the Earth. The Goldilocks Zone orbit means water would be a liquid at most places on its surface, although the fact that Proxima Centauri is a Red Dwarf makes it likely that any near-Earth planet that close would be in tidal lock-down, with a single side always facing the star. That kind of thing tends to boil off an atmosphere on the hot side, and have it fall as snow on the cold side, not terribly conductive to life (or keeping your atmosphere). The good news is Proxima Centauri is the smallest and most distanced member of a triple star system known as Alpha Centauri; since the planet is not orbiting the central duo of the set, it runs a much smaller risk of being pulled apart into an asteroid belt over the next few eons.

So yes, this is one of those good news/bad news kind of things. The good news is that our nearest stellar neighbor has a planet which could evolve life, if all the other details work out. The bad news is that the odds are good it doesn’t have life more complex than viruses because of the orbital mechanics. The REALLY good news is the implication this discovery makes obvious; for us to find a planet in the Goldilocks Zone of our nearest stellar neighbor, such combinations must be a lot more likely than we ever thought possible. Just to keep me from jumping off the deep edge, let’s take a look at what SETI had to say about what we might find there just last November…

The Animated Adventures of Firefly Teaser

I am going to be seriously disappointed if this one never gets made, if only for the excellent cartoon versions of each of the characters Stephen Byrne managed to create. That can’t be too much of a surprise, since he is one of the artists actually doing the Serenity comic book with Joss Whedon. I don’t seem to be alone in that opinion; as Grasshopper said in the YouTube comments: If this isn’t real so help me I will hunt you down and MAKE YOU MAKE IT!!! Another good clue might be that Nathan Fillion immediately started following him when this video was posted; we might actually get some new stories out of this!

Hillywood Does Sherlock Parody

This awesome little Sherlock parody was done by The Hillywood Show, see how many original episodes you can name from the scenes. You should at least be able to recognize each of them if you are a fan of the series, even if the name escapes you. They also did a great job with the music and lyrics, turning this into an excellent music video. It was only posted three days ago, and already has over 800,000 views. They parody a lot of other shows and movies, and manage to attend a number of cons, so I will be looking for them as I book any events I will be making.

Something to Do: Movies

The only genre offering this week is a zombie movie called Daylight’s End, so I would rather go with Mechanic: Resurrection with Jason Statham and Jessica Alba. I enjoyed the original movie, and when Jason did the remake it was even better, so I can’t wait to see what they do with this one.

Something to Watch: Discs

Movies bring us The Huntsman: Winter’s War, part two of the story begun in Snow White and the Huntsman. This series is nicely done Fantasy which has already been nominated for a number of awards. Game based Ratchet and Clank has our heroes fighting to save every planet in the Galaxy, with more than a little humor along the way. While not genre, The Man Who Knew Infinity is the true story of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan’s time at Trinity College. TV has Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete First Season and The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season, which seems slightly redundant somehow.

In Anime, Hakuoki: Warrior Spirit of the Blue Sky is finally getting a North American release for those in need of more Samurai vs. Demon/Vampire action. Cross Ange Collection 2 contains the next dozen episodes about the princess who’s throne was stolen, and the fight to get it back puts the fate of two worlds in alternate timelines at risk. The final battle between man, dragons, and machines will decide it all. The Heroic Legend of Arslan also has an heir to the throne fighting to get it back, but don’t think this is a copy cat. This one is crafted by the team who did Full Metal Alchemist, and is full of the same kind of complex politics, situations, and characters as you know from their earlier works. Finally, two of the Ikki Tousen story lines are being released in S.A.V.E editions; Great Guardians and Xtreme Xectuor. If you have been waiting to pick them up when the price came down, now is the time!

Chu’s Day Again!

Chu’s Day have put out several new kick ass tunes since the last time I blogged about them, and I had to share a few of the latest. The first track is Hip Hip Hooray posted on August 12th, the second is Hot Girl from July 16th, and both of them are from their new album Glitter, which was released on August 10th. And because that just wasn’t enough, a slightly older track from 2015; Glory Days!

Something to Stream: Qualidea Code

High school combat using special powers against alien invaders is a favorite theme in Japan, and Qualidea Code is solidly in that category. They have a small group of core characters, about 10 at this point (I am only on the second episode of the 6 so far aired; I should be all caught up by next weekend), and they have the usual pairing off. What is different about them is the fact that only one couple actually gets along with each other, and about no couples gets along with any of the others. The aliens in this case seem to be transdimensional rather than extraplanetary, and the powers the kids developed are all caused by spending several dream filled decades in cold sleep. I am enjoying it, and I look forward to seeing if it is even better by the time I get to the last episode.