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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Orange Dropped:

This show fizzled for me from the very beginning, but I stuck with it out of respect for its fame.  Unfortunately, a combination of bad plot and boring characters meant no amount of time could save this story from itself.  The idea that a person armed with time travel as an ally could still fail to fix a problem from the past is absurd.  All she ever had to do is follow the instructions laid out for her and she'd have easily solved all her problems, but she somehow mystifyingly can't even do this and thus ends up on a bad timeline anyway.  Even dogs can obey instructions but apparently she can't.  I also find it extremely rude to her current husband that she wants to travel back in time and switch mates, which is quite obviously adultery no matter how you dress it up, which should be punishable by death in any sane society.  She's sitting there with a husband and child who depend on her, and she's like, nope, I'm going to go back in time and make sure this never happens, because I want to sleep with another guy.  Is adultery okay so long as you simultaneously destroy the entire universe wherein your original husband resides?  Apparently.  Female logic!

Furthermore, all of the side characters come off as just annoying and stale with no internal lives or serious thoughts about anything.  They're just there to 'flesh' out our main couple and move the story along by prompting the main characters to do x or y as the story demands.  Rarely have I seen side characters so used or abused solely for the sake of the mains.  Nor do I get in the least how this girl fell in love with this transfer student after about two days of interactions with him.  It just sounds so shallow.  I see this over and over with shoujo comics.  In shonen stories, like Naruto or Fairy Tail, men build up a rapport with women over years of friendship and finally turn to love once their adventuring days are behind them.  It feels so organic and genuine how they grow closer to each other across the entirety of the story.  But in shoujo comics they just see a guy smile on the first day at school and *swoon*.  The end.  That's the romance.  From there on it's all about trying to bag the guy.  It's dizzying.

If you want to see a shoujo comic relationship done right, look at Card Captor Sakura.  Originally she has the hots for this older guy and treats Li as a hindrance or opponent.  But she gradually grows to respect Shaoron due to the competence he shows on the battlefield and even trust him due to the good advice he gives her.  By the end of the story, she realizes that the person she truly loves and cares and thinks about most is Li, the boy right by her side, and not the older man she hardly knows or talks to about anything important.  Sakura and Shaoron's love for each other is so epic that it spans multiple different comic series and is still going strong in its current iteration, the clear card hen.  That's when you know that you've really done something right.

Meanwhile, a new Saki spinoff manga, Toki, has begun.  Saki's many iterations now add up to over 300 chapters and counting.  There's a reason this franchise is my 7th favorite in manga-dom.  Onjouji Toki is the winner of the Saimoe Contest and has a huge fan following, so this will be a treat for any genuine fan of the original series.

Meanwhile, Batman vs. Superman Ultimate Edition came out, and it sucked.  Neither Batman nor Superman acted in an even remotely reasonable or realistic manner.  They were like two idiotic psychopaths, both easily manipulated by others and completely incapable of controlling their own impulses.  They made so many strategic and tactical errors it's hard to count them all.  Why did Superman wield the Kryptonite spear?  Wouldn't Wonder Woman have been the more reasonable option?  Why did Superman attack Batman hand-to-hand when he saw he was loading his kryptonite gun?  Shouldn't he have instead melted the gun with his laser eyes and thus permanently neutralized the threat?  Why did Superman give in to blackmail and let Lex Luthor order him around just because his mom was taken hostage?  He should have just written his mother off as a loss and done the right thing by taking down Luthor right then and there.  Realistically, once a hostage is taken, there's no way to save them so all you can do is deter people from taking hostages by making it clear it won't benefit them any because you do not respond to blackmail.

Also, why did the hostage takers not kill Martha the moment Batman started attacking them, and thus go through with their promise to kill her if Superman didn't properly obey Luthor's commands?  They had endless time to punish this rule-breaking behavior by killing the hostage but they just let her go and thus forfeited their one and only trump card.  Utterly unrealistic behavior by the captors.

Why was Batman going around branding criminals?  I've never heard of anything like that in the comics.  It's nonsense.  In addition, why on Earth would criminals conspire to kill other criminals branded by Batman?  Aren't criminals anti-Batman?  Why are they Batman's enforcers all of a sudden?  And why on Earth does Superman blame Batman for what these crazy criminals do, when Batman never asked them to do that?

Everything felt so contrived and phony.  The reasons Batman and Superman came into conflict were so ludicrously unrealistic that even after hours of setting the conflict up it still didn't make any sense.  What on Earth were those stupid nightmares about?  Totally random and pointless.  Is Batman just insane?  Again, he's not in the comics, so why is he suddenly insane in the movie?  For what reason?  How is this even Batman anymore?

When a movie is so full of plot holes it's impossible to retain immersion and you just feel totally disconnected from what's playing out in front of your eyes.  How did the editors not bring up these issues while they were filming and demand Snyder change everything into a more sensible story?  How was this awful script ever approved?  Doesn't anyone over there even know who Batman and Superman are?  Or how people with even a modicum of common sense would act?

Also, don't pretend to kill off a character and make a big deal out of it when everyone knows you'd never really go through with it, making it such a hollow gesture and total waste of everyone's time.  Did anyone really believe Superman would die?  And of course by the end of the movie it turns out he hasn't.  Whaddya know.  Do these filmmakers really think they can wring false emotions out of us via false scenes, just like how Big Hero 6 tried to fake us out with its AI dying when really it didn't?  I saw through that farce immediately too.  A series establishes early on through its realism and tone whether it has the balls to actually kill off a main character, and neither of those films ever earned that trust, so the scenes which were meant to be oh so sad were just offensive jokes.  Akame ga Kill! can make you sad over someone dying, because characters in Akame ga Kill! really do put their lives on the line and when they die they don't magically get revived afterwards.  Until you've reached that level don't even bother with pretending to kill off anyone, it's just manipulative and rude to the audience and I'm utterly sick of this overused narrative device.  The fake out false death narrative device should simply be banned from storytelling and anyone who tries to use it should just be jailed for fraud.  They tried to defraud the audience by lying to them and manipulate their emotions so to hell with them, they should face the same consequences as any other con artist.

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