In live action movies, Salt tops the list this week, in a twisted flic fully worthy of Philip K. Dick. I was a bit surprised when I first found out he didn’t write this one, as he has written so many like it. Also released for the younger crowd, Missy and the Maxinator is a live action kid-as-superhero film in which the teachers are out to take over the world.
There is only one live action TV entry this week, but it is an important one: Caprica: Season 1.5. This series was more like reading Sci-Fi than watching it, something you constantly had to think about and extrapolate from in order to understand. It dealt with some of the most important issues our current technology raises today, and did not sugar coat them or spoon feed the audience with a preprocessed answer. Unfortunately, most of the American audience wanted to be entertained, not educated, and the same non-Sci-Fi aware powers at the Sci-Fi Channel who brought you the WWE made sure to kill it without even letting all the episodes air. I am still waiting for an explanation of what mindless muscle boys beating on each other has to do with science fiction when it occurs outside of a Mad Max franchise.
For western animation this week we have the return of Futurama: Season 5, and I just want to say I am very glad that Comedy Central decided this program was worth financing for another round. If anything, this season was more outrageous than any previous, since they didn’t have to strictly follow broadcast television guidelines. I am hoping for many more seasons like this one.
The one new anime offering this week is the Bleach – Season 7 Uncut Box Set, Bringing us up to episodes 122 through 133 of this spirit world combat sequence. To put that in perspective episode 300 just aired on Crunchyroll and in Tokyo last week. That means there is a gap of years between what you can add to your collection here and what the actual current episode is. I am going to use this as a contrast and compare opportunity; If I watch the seventh season and follow it with the current season and do not feel like I am missing anything in between, that would be a good indication that the writing has gotten stale and the storyline is static. If I am missing some names of people and spirit realms but the action and structure of the two seasons are consistent with each other, that would indicate they settled on a formulaic structure and are only plugging in the villein du jour for the story arc and telling us the same tale over and over. If, on the other hand, it becomes obvious I am missing something fundamental in the relationships of the characters and the nature of the struggle they are involved in, that tells me they continue to evolve the underlying concepts and personalities, and perhaps this series could be worth continuing to follow and support. One thing is undeniable whatever the verdict; this anime has had some of the best J-Rock music of any series, and I will post on that soon.
The other anime release this week is a re-release in a cost effective package; Tenchi Muyo! GXP- The Complete Series [Viridian Collection], which will run you less than $30 for all 26 episode. This is one of a fistful of Tenchi series (and Tenchi isn’t even the main protagonist in this one, but all the other details are there), and for the most part they involve our hero being an unlucky klutz who gets dragged into serving on the galactic police by mistake, usually as bait in a trap. Except for the series of time-travel movies in which he was an unlucky klutz, or the sequence of Magical Girl tales in which he was an unlucky klutz, or the… you get the idea. The other detail which is always true is there are four (sometimes 5) girls doing the Romantic Interest part, and one of them is always a galactic police officer, and one is always the dread pirate Ryoko. If you are looking for something profound and beautiful, look elsewhere; this one is just silly fun, but it is very GOOD silly fun.