I did not review a single anime this month. Hurray! Now, don’t get me wrong, I was still actively posting. The Winter Games 2018 is pretty much a guaranteed review every week, and I was also busy with real life to really get into anime. This month has been interesting though, and I guess I’ll bulk up this wrap up by adding some non-anime venture. I posted one anime review though, but it’s actually a show I finished last January. I posted my review in February so it just carried over. This’ll be an interesting wrap up, I guess.
Trinity Seven – The Evil Witch
First of all, I urge you guys to read the manga. As weird as it sounds, the original source is paced like a light novel embodying the spirit of LN. It’s weird, but it also makes the anime strangely unique. Secondly, the first true boss fight of the anime featured one of my favorite battles. It featured the twin sister of that photographer girl, but she is more sexualized. That’s basically the moment we’re talking about here. The battle is sexed up with the dial up to eleven. She fought in lingerie, she was seducing everyone but she was still an aggressive main boss. She was able to defeat the one-on-six disadvantage, and she still had time to flirt with the main character. I do admit that the constant shift from serious to ecchi kinda ruined the anime overall, but it did worked for when they fought this witch. The action and the ecchi worked hand in hand to deliver a pretty unforgettable encounter.
I still remember how she steals your magic by licking you, and she eventually locked lips with the main character in a really dirty fashion. Despite her sexed up personality, I was really surprised how she matched with the other girls. They could not touch her in terms of strength, and it eventually took a really convoluted plan to take her down. The main character put a curse on his tongue, they frenched so the curse transferred to her mouth, and this was the work around to defeat her time stopping magic. Another downside of this anime is the constant exposition dump, and it did made the final moments of the encounter a tad convoluted, but I didn’t care. The character is awesome, the boss fight is fun to watch and it’s really one of the few great moments of the show.
Trinity Seven – Paladin
The world building of this anime is really hard to follow, but students are basically mages. Bad ones are called witches, and some of them can be candidate for the evil lord. The strongest mages are called Paladin, and they are apparently in a league of their own. During the first boss battle (the moment above), she also encountered a Paladin, the principal of the academy. He is portrayed as a goofball, and he never takes anything seriously. The witch wanted to battle with him though, because she wanted to defeat a Paladin. The moment happened fast, but she could not land one hit on the guy. Before this, she defeated the entire academy and the Trinity girls are below her level. Despite being better than everyone in the academy though, she realized she was no match for a Paladin and she actually ran away from him. He wasn’t really going to fight her, so you could argue the overpowered badass let the enemy go. It was actually the image of a giant dark door oozing with the aura of death that scared the girl away, and it gives you a beautiful idea how scary powerful Paladins are. I love this character, and I do wish he actually unleashed hell in the manga.
Trinity Seven – Ninja Girl
The anime kinda blossomed right around the final two episodes, and episode eleven actually featured the ninja girl just fighting one of the people attacking the academy. It’s at this point that you realize the “manga” aspect of the story is really in full effect. The main character did not appear in this episode, so it was solely just the ninja girl fighting a mage better than her. She went all out in the fight though, and we saw some cool sequences of power moves after power moves. The battle even had blood and talks of decapitation, so it was really so alien from the usual half naked girls and boob grabbing you’d come to expect from the show. No, this battle was seriously awesome. Even though you knew ninja girl wouldn’t really win, because there is still one more episode to go and the main character hasn’t shown up yet, I still love the back and forth displayed here. Ninja girl eventually lost, but it didn’t matter. The story has already matured into something really worth watching, and it’s a shame it took the entire f*cking series for the story to bloom. Again, the manga is awesome so I urge people to read it.
Regarding my lack of anime reviews this month, it was actually because I was waiting for a demo teaching and job interview. It’s for a public gig, therefore a government job, so it’s kinda a big deal. When the scheduled day kept approaching, I was slowly losing my mind in anticipation. I had two months to just wait, and my mind isn’t the type to just sit still. I kept over thinking and I feared the unknown. I had no idea how the process will go down, so I was just not in the mood to enjoy some anime. The big day was supposed to be on the 12th of February but it was moved to the 23rd, so that also ruined me. It ruined me hard. I want to apologize to Keiko for basically hearing me b*tch and moan last month. You’re a trooper.
Anyways, the big day came and I was a nervous rack. I actually came to the scheduled place at 8 AM, but I registered last so I was the last person to do my demo teaching. I applied for SPED (special education, for children with autism and such, that’s my expertise), and I was apparently lumped in with elementary teachers. I believe I was the only one to do a demo teaching for SPED, so I was an island in a group of people. My friend applied for secondary teaching, and she was doing her demo in a different group. I was basically left alone to my own nervous self. Throughout the day, I saw a bunch of really experienced teachers deliver their stuff. I was surprised to see a group of Grade 3 students hauled in for the demo. Ah, so that’s how it works. My lesson is for people that literally eats glue though, so the nervousness goes up. Oh my gawd, I can’t do a presentation on basic table setting to a group of children that already knows it. To make matters worse, I did not know the proper class procedures. Children greet teachers, teachers greet back and they ask the students to sit properly. My experience doesn’t cover “normal”, because I am usually greeted by crying, tantruming or depressingly suicidal students. They don’t properly greet me, so I knew I was out of place here.
To make matters worse, I had to watch the fifty or so applicants do their demo first. Some would make the children dance, some would make them sing and some would make them play games. I was getting all the more nervous. Should I have prepared a dance or a song? Ohmygawd, I did not know. I prepared a lesson for 13-25 year old SPED students. Should I have prepared one for 2-8 year olds? Wait, these Grade 3 students are too old for that kind of lesson. As I watch teacher after teacher nail their demo, my mind is just out of it. I already resigned myself to failure. I would fail, but I didn’t know how much. Now, at this point, it was almost lunchtime, so the panel took a break. Once break resumed, the panel came back and they hauled in Grade 6 students now. Ohmygawd, where are the Grade 3 students?! I was promised young children?! Nuuuuu!!!!!
My demo teaching came, and I greeted the students. Then I proceeded to introduce my lesson, but I forgot to make them sit down. Fail! TPAB, you suck! With that one mistake, my mind is gone. At that point, I just said, screw it. Let’s have fun. I presented my demo, and I basically did my demo in the most casual way. My voice my shaking, my hands were shaking and I was noticeably going too fast because of my nervousness. I just said “f*ck it” though, and I just kept talking and talking. Three minutes later, my demo was over. So, yeah, it was a fun day. I did better in my interview, since I kinda knew how to BS that one. It was really the demo that killed me. I was praised though, because I was interacting with the class. The panel gave their feedback, in front of the group, and they did single out teachers that made students dance without relating the activity to their lesson. They also commented on strict teachers, because some kids are traumatized by mean teachers. It felt good to be singled out for doing something right, but the entire thing still is still up in the air. I hope I did well. Only time will tell, really.
Non Anime (for real this time)
You should know my policy for movies. I do watch on theaters, but rarely. I also only do it for big ones, like Marvel releases or Disney ones, and it’s mostly because movie tickets are expensive. I am also located in the province, so the selection is limited to three movies. Two slots are often taken up by local films. I hate local films, because the Philippine cinema industry isn’t really good. They rely on popular actors, insultingly dumb premises and a lot of ham fisted concepts. I do know “the masses”, the true target audience, does eat up the releases. I do not, because I am critical with my movies. Acting must be on point above all else. This kind of movie really irritates me, but I know the formula works, so *sigh* it is what it is.
Anyways, I watch most of my movies on cable TV. Carrie Philby is a kind of movie that I would never watch, so I really enjoy just watching anything that comes on TV. It’s a rule of mine. As long as I catch the opening credits, then I will watch it. This movie follows the titular character, an eighteen year old girl that is trying to figure out life. She goes to therapy, and she was asked to follow a “to-do” list that will make her life better. The movie reeks of “book adaptation” and I love it. Bel Powley carried the movie by herself, and she brings the quirky Carrie Philby to life. The girl is a genius that graduated Harvard at a young age and she’s trying to deal with the hyper sexual and hypocritical nature of society. She kinda has some slight Asperger’s, so she reminds me of some of my students. Anyways, the movie mostly focuses on her love life, meeting three guys, and also dealing with the list that includes befriending people, taking care of a pet, and also dealing with his dad. I guess this movie appeals more to women, since Carrie is the kind of character certain people can relate with. People who consider themselves weird, yet obviously feels lonely, but is having a hard time understanding love and life in general. I kinda relate with the character too, and I guess that’s why I really enjoyed this movie. In the end, Carrie Philby did finish her list and her life is, indeed, better because of it.
I realized, after watching this movie, that I like Mary Sue characters in movies. Miss Sloane is a lobbyist, and she goes the extra mile for her cause. The movie is extremely political, and I mostly watched it because Jack McCoy is in it. Sam Waterston is one of my favorite actors, and he really chooses his roles. He mostly plays characters in heavily political shows or movies. I love his conviction, but I was surprised by the movie itself. It features the cutthroat nature of lobbying, and it highlights some juicy stuff like black mail and public pressure on public servants. Sloane is trying to push for a law to expand background checks for gun ownership. It’s an instant trigger topic, so I was immediately intrigued. Throughout the course of the movie, she used underhanded tactics, outsmarted her opposition and even used her staff to get ahead in points. Most of her actions are illegal though, so her karma eventually reached her. Or did it?!
This movie is fantastic. Again, Miss Sloane is a disgusting Mary Sue but the movie made it work. The political red tapes, the tactics to convince Senators to back the anti-gun bill, the constant double turns and reveals of moles and dirty politicians, and it also has an understated performance by Mark Strong. The movie works on a lot of levels, but it’s really Jessica Chastain’s performance that will really keep you engaged. You can tell she really devoted herself to the role, and I respond to wonderful effort like that. This is the kind of movie I would love re-watching non-stop.
Birdman (Or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
I knew this movie was good, but I wasn’t really buying into the hype. It came on TV though, so I buckled down. The camera work will be the first thing that’ll draw your attention, since it’s done in a very complicated “one shot” style where the camera just moves around hallways and corners to tell the story. Sometimes, time skips are done by just the camera moving from one place to another. I’m not sure if it’s all one take, but the gimmick looks great. It’s kinda artsy and quirky in a way. The second thing you’d love about this movie is Batman, I mean Birdman. Micheal Keaton plays a washed up actor trying to do a theater play, but certain circumstances make for an interesting progress to that play. I love the parallels of Micheal Keaton’s time as Batman mirrored by Birdman. We also have Edward Norton playing a stuck up actor, so he’s basically playing himself. There’s a reason why Mark Ruffalo is the Hulk and not Norton. Though it’s not really his fault. I knew nothing about this movie, so I was also pleasantly surprised to see Zack Galifianakis playing a serious character. He kinda enjoyed playing that a**hole from The Hangover so much that it was basically his entire career. I’m kinda glad he’s a more straight laced character here, barely recognizable since he also lost weight. And hey, this movie had Emma Stone. I didn’t know that. She played Keaton’s daughter, recently released from rehab and has a thing with Norton’s character.
The movie is artsy, in a weird sense, and it also covers a lot of plot points. There’s one about bleeding for your art, there’s one about Birdman being insane yet the audience is never let in on the joke, and there’s this broad one about life or facing up to the harsh realities of life. The director admitted that the movie is meant to be ambiguous, and I think that’s the right move. It’s a brilliant movie, and I love how it turned a sharp right turn at the end. The ending also reaffirms the title. When Emma Stone looks up at the sky, we never really know what exactly happens but that’s kinda the point. We’re forced to accept the ending and understand that there is value in ignorance. Knowing what truly happens will just disappoint us, and I love that strong message of the movie.
Rules Don’t Apply
I was excited to see this movie. The commercial hyped me up, because it featured Lily Collins singing this cynical yet oddly charming song. This movie is a mess, but it has potential to be good. It kinda forced two stories into one, and the result is the mess it turned out to be. The movie follows an aspiring actress falling in love with her driver, but it also featured the eccentric Howard Hughes impregnating the girl and the latter half of the movie is a biopic about him. I do not really know much about Howard Hughes. I was a 90s baby, so his notoriety kinda faded during my time. In the 90s, it was Nixon, Bush’s sex scandal and grunge that was mostly talked about. Hughes’ eccentric life is more a conversation topic at that point. I do believe a Howard Hughes’ biopic would be amazing. Have Tom Hanks play the character, and I guarantee it’d win an Oscar. Tom Hanks can do no wrong at this point, and the old people at the Oscars kinda default enjoy him. Hughes’ life is fascinating though, and I would to see a movie exclusively about it. He was a pilot, a film director and he did turn eccentric towards the back half of his life. He is such an interesting person, and he didn’t really need to be in this love story about two people with a strict Catholic upbringing. Maybe if there was a character inspired by him, then that’s fine. But his life story overtaking the love story is just an awful decision.
I initially love the love story. I mean, I enjoy Lily Collins in anything she does. She also has some decent chemistry with Alden Ehrenreich. They keep resisting their love because the guy has a girlfriend back home, and the girl believes that she is a virgin because she wants the person to marry her to take it. It’s a wonderful premise, especially since it was set in the 60’s Hollywood. This is a time where children had to go to Sunday school, their parents beat them with a stick, and the religiously sects do view Hollywood as a sinful city. This was a time where bikinis are mostly just less clothes, but the moral outrage is strong. It is such a rich setting for two strictly religious people falling in love, and it’s a shame nothing good really came of it. Howard Hughes ruined everything. This movie does make me want to watch more of Lily Collins. She played that anorexic girl in that other film, so I wanna check that out next. Also, it is nice to see Matthew Broderick in a film. I think the time is right to reboot Ferris Bueller and have him cameo as the dad or something.
– – – – –
Anyways, I hope I do get to watch more anime this month. I’ll do my best, but real life is still knocking. I do hope everything works out OK. Once my mind settles, then I will do my best to consume as much anime as I can. Thank you for reading.