tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
Tiger & Bunny is a really good anime. I was gonna say "TV show" but I need to get over this weird misconception of mine that "I don't like anime" (I like several animes! Lupin III, Baccano!, Cowboy Bebop, most recently I fell completely in love with Space Dandy, the list goes on). I've been binge watching Tiger & Bunny this last week; I laughed, I cried (a lot), I fell completely in love with the universe and the characters.

A superhero buddy comedy/drama? Hey, I love superheroes! And I love superhero buddies!

Furthermore I love superhero stories that aren't just pale imitations of the DC and Marvel universes. Still, when I try to explain Tiger & Bunny to others I keep comparing it to those universes because hey, these are tropes I'm familiar with ("It's a bit like X-Men, people develop powers, but they use sponsorships sorta like Booster Gold, and the drama is quite like Infinite Crisis, except, well, it's actually competently told").

First, I fell in love with the concept -- superheroes are sort of like reality TV stars, and their sleek mechanical armours are covered with logos to earn those sweet sponsorships. Second, I fell in love with the protagonist Kotetsu, a.k.a Wild Tiger -- a middle-aged deadbeat single dad with a waning superhero career (he's been in the business so long he still wears a cape!), he's a complete loser and yet so sympathetic. All of Kotetsu's superpowered friends are great in their own way (not to mention his foil, Barnaby a.k.a Bunny), and most of them get spotlight episodes that are surprisingly non-annoying amidst the major plot developments.

tumblr_nb290q4D0a1qbfdx1o1_500

The thing about Tiger & Bunny as a show though -- and I'm surprised I didn't know about this considering this show was all over both LJ and other social sites when it premiered three years ago -- is that it's all fun and games with mostly self-contained episodes until the season is about halfway done, then plot threads you hardly noticed in the earlier episodes come together and it get's DARK and HEART-BREAKINGLY EARNEST. The change of direction was definitely thoroughly planned and elegantly executed, but it was quite a surprise.

In summary, Tiger & Bunny is a really good anime.
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Me and my friend Rune went to the Game of Thrones exhibition! (There are no spoilers in this entry, by the way).

It's one of the eternal mysteries of the world why on earth the GoT exhibition should stop in Oslo, in the only Scandinavian country on the tour. Oslo is small fry compared to Stockholm and Copenhagen, but nevertheless it was there, it was free, and me and Rune queued for two and a half hours in the freezing cold to get a peep at these things (Rune was appalled by the wait, me I was expecting it to take longer, like four hours or something).

The exhibition was great! Me, I'm a costume geek so I ran straight for the dresses (I have so little interest in dresses in my day-to-day life but make something for a TV show or movie and I'm there salivating) and armours and things. My favourite costume on the show (Daenerys' blue dress with the shawl) was there, and Brienne's costume was worn and weathered just right, Joffrey's embroidered tunic (I think from the wedding?) was so beautiful, and the detail in Tyrion's leather vest was so intricate! I'm a little sad it didn't have any of those beautiful costumes of Littlefinger's, and there was just one Cersei dress, but I had a ball staring at the craftsmanship of all of them.

There were weapons too -- the Mountain's sword was easily as tall as me, and I'm pretty tall! Joffrey's velvety crossbow was easily the most beautiful thing there. And there were banners, and jewelry, and plot items.

Rune hasn't yet begun watching the newest season, so I was really worried either the exhibition or one of the guests would spoil something for him. Innocence like that needs to be protected, sheltered -- he really hasn't a clue about the shit's that's gone down so far this season. ("Ugh, this character -- he's probably gonna live forever, isn't he?" SCREAMS INTERNALLY). But it was all safe -- even the SUPER IMPORTANT PLOT ITEMS from season four were labeled just as vaguely as other little knick-knacks. Rune is going to freak when he recognizes them on TV!

We'd heard SO LITTLE about this exhibition in the press (which focused mostly on how long the queues were) so we really didn't know what to expect. One thing we hadn't heard about at all was an Oculus Rift (Virtual Reality) experience of scaling the Wall. You stood alone in this phone-booth sort of room, with the little screen thing over your eyes, and headphones on, and the floor even rumbled as you were pulled up in the little lift. Rune complained about the resolution of the images, but I had to take off my glasses to experience it so it looked pretty good (a.k.a. blurry) to me.

Anyway, as you reach the top of the Wall and really feel like you're teetering on the edge of this impossibly tall structure, the technician (who kindly instructed you as you went in) ACTUALLY PUSHES YOU IN REAL LIFE. I screamed. I never scream when I get scared but I did this time. (The most sadistic of the technicians looked so much like Littlefinger it was a little eerie). I've never tried Oculus Rift before, it was really immersive and cool.

And that was my day out and I had a lot of fun , and afterwards I ate chocolate, it was also good.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
So what did I do this year? I moved. I spent the summer all alone painting the family cabin. Got hooked on gardening. Got hooked on knitting (again). I was best man in a friend's wedding.

To be honest just about everything else about 2013 was pretty dismal. Depression, unemployment, insomnia, more visits to the emergency room than ever. At least 2014 can only get better.

Here are some more good things about this past year:

I watched 175 films through the year (not counting rewatches, documentaries and short films). I think my favourite movie experiences this year was watching Le Petite Monde de Don Camillo, and Cleopatra on the big screen -- which is why there's been a lot of Taylor/Burton films this year. There's also been a lot of George Sanders, and DC animated films.

175 films is admittedly pretty weak. My excuse is that I started knitting, and when I knit I've found I prefer to watch TV shows, because chances are I won't miss as much information if I glance away from the screen for a moment. I went from hardly watching TV at all to bingewatching all of Breaking Bad, Community, and Downton Abbey.

I also stuck to my last New Year's resolution: Finish at least one drawing every month! So here's one of those "my art year in summary" things:

Superheroes mostly )

So that's 2013 for me. Happy new year!
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
I've finished this aboslutely amazing animated TV series (haha look at me still uncomfortable with the term "anime") called Baccano! and it was so wonderful and perfect and good. I haven't been this excited about storytelling in a TV format since The Wire. Aaaah, the plot, the characters, the setting (1930s America!), the music (OH GOD THE MUSIC), I loved every minute of it!

If you'd told me "hey watch this anime about gangsters fighting over a wine that gives immortality to the one who drinks it" I'd probably be all "uh, maybe later?" but I just went for it because I thought the art style looked cool and then it turned out to be fabulous.

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And perfectly contained in 14 episodes, Baccano! was so good I really don't want them to ever bring it back or revive it. I'm gonna rewatch it at some point though, definitely!
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
I remember catching a few episodes of Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network when I was younger but beyond thinking "Who the heck is Hawkgirl anyway" (and "wooo boy does that CGI intro look terrible!") it didn't register on my radar. Now though, I've got this hole left behind by Batman: The Brave and the Bold that I desperately need to fill, so Justice League it is.

Of course, I didn't watch the original dubs as a child, so hearing all these familiar voices are entertaining as hell. Only a few episodes in I've already recognized Rene Auberjonois (they even gave him a line about "deflector shields", haha) and Eric Roberts. But then I had a look at a larger cast list and had a a bit of a screaming fit:



EEEEEEEE. How much do I love Mister Miracle? So much so I've taken a breather from the EXTREME JUSTICE comics to read Kirby's New Gods saga. How much do I love Ioan Gruffudd? So much so I know how to spell his name (not to mention sitting through both Fantastic Four movies, good God). Who cares if it might just be a teeny tiny cameo, I'm so on this!
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Oh gosh, watching the finale of the new Lupin series was one of the last things I did before I moved out of my rooms in Bergen and I've been busy so I've sort of had a week and a half to overthink it (and partially forgetting I was going to do another entry about it, oops) and wow my grammar is shot to hell right now.

But yes, the first Lupin TV series to run since the eighties has just finished and now I'm back to having watched every. single. bit of Lupin anime (apart from a recent OVA titled Lupin Family All-Stars, plus some silent sketches from the Mankatsu TV show), boo.

But yes, finale. And thoughts about the overall series. Mostly the latter.


Ep. 13: 'The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, part 2' )

Woo, finished! You survived! Here's your "I lived through Tilly's volatile reactions to the new Lupin TV series" medal!

Catch up!

Jun. 26th, 2012 08:20 pm
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Ah gosh, only one episode of the new Lupin TV series remaining. And I've been too busy to do the recap of the episodes I've been watching - but here's a quick run-through!

Ep. 8 - 11. Some spoilers. )

Which brings us up to date - the penultimate episode!

The One With the Fun Fair


A casual reminder that, yes, the villains are owl men. And that Lupin wears fabulous beatle boots.

Ep. 12: 'The Woman Called Mine Fujiko, part 1' )

So yeah, just one more episode to go - gosh, has it been thirteen weeks already? Sadly I'm not quite sure when I'll find the time to watch it, seeing as I'm pretty busy with moving this week... But man, it better be memorable, that's all I ask.
tilly_stratford: (Astaire: Wry smile)
Agh, finally managed to fall asleep sometime around five in the morning (in part because I couldn't stop myself from finishing the second season of Game of Thrones, fair enough), and at seven the construction workers across the street started with their pneumatic drills and angle grinders. I could just cry. There must be something about things like that in the Geneva Convention.

But Game of Thrones, oh my God. Quality television. 2013 can't come fast enough. I know there are quality books too, of course, but for once I'm reveling in the fact that I haven't a single clue how the story is going to unfold. Every death (I understand there are going to be a lot of those) comes as a complete surprise to me. I love stories where no one is safe, no matter how loveable.

And ooh that nigh-perfect marriage of actors (Peter Dinklage! Charles Dance! Michelle Fairley!) and editing, and sets, and ooooh costumes! Every episode I pray for more Littlefinger, because I'm a sucker for all his outfits. Seems like I'm not the only one. Daenarys has also been sporting some badass clothes lately, mmmm.

And obviously my desire to rear baby dragons is at an all-time high.


I want one.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Well, "Cuban". Featuring Che Guevara Fidel Castro "Philadel Kest".


Ep. 7: 'Music and Revolution' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
An actual Fujiko-centric episode in the Fujiko spinoff, by jove!

I'm left with more questions than ever. Except that all Catholic schoolgirls are lesbians, that's apparently a given.


Ep. 6: 'Prison of Love' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
A.K.A THE ONE WHERE LUPIN AND JIGEN FINALLY MEET. WOOOO.


Ep. 5: 'Bloody Triangle' )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Which got grating REALLY fast. But anyway: New Lupin III episode, introducing everybody's favourite descendant of that folk hero they boiled in oil.


I had the same reaction.

Ep. 3: 'The Lady and the Samurai' )

So okay, the first episode introduced Fujiko, Lupin and Zenigata, the second was a Jigen episode, the third one was a Goemon one. I have, officially, not a single clue what the next episode might be about, ooooh exciting!
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Whathisname. Fedora. Chinbeard. Can draw in 0.3 seconds flat (and that number totally got a mention in the episode, gosh!).


Episode 2: 'Magnum .357'. JIGEN EPISODE.

Cut for reaction and images and spoilers )

Visually it's a disappointment compared to the first episode, but less eyecandy means more plot which is a good thing except the things that felt kind of strange and new. Overall I'm still not sure if I liked it or not. A rewatch is in order.
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
I have finally FINALLY FINALLY figured out how to smoothly play 10bit HD on this dying computer (it involved a billion new codecs, a new player, a lot of scary reconfiguration, halting just about every non-essential process, setting the el-configuration to High Performance, and also physically balancing the computer between my knees so that it wouldn't get overheated quite so fast), which means there are a lot of episodes and movies I'm now actually able to watch!

So first thing, I rewatched the new Lupin episode. Obviously. Ohmansovisuallyalluringohmydearlord.

So although I know I spewed out a huge text post about my initial reaction, here's a more shallow one. With lots of images.

cut for disjointed CAPS LOCK )
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
You probably haven't the slightest idea of what's coming, do you. Like a squishy little earthworm cheerfully crossing a busy footpath.

There's gonna be a new Lupin III TV series starting in April! The first one since 1985! There's gonna be a Lupin TV show in my lifetime!

So heads up; If it's absolutely awesome* that means I'll never stop squeeing about it, and if it's complete rubbish** I'll probably talk even more about it so I can pick it apart and use the pieces to mend my broken heart. Even if it is terrible in every way, I'll still watch all thirteen episodes the moment I can get my hands on them. Because at some point I became one of those fans, obviously; A forty year old franchise, and I'll be damned if I don't get to study ever little piece of it.

But you needn't worry, I'll use cuts. Because spoilers. And, uh, "sensuality" I guess.


*Takeshi Koike is in charge of character designs so there's every possibility it'll look stylish as hell.

**The series is going to be Fujiko-centric (the one whose main character trait is that she has enormous boobs, you remember) and the show is apparently going to be "sensual". Oy.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
Finishing The Wire made me hungry for more well-written TV dramas. I've recently started watching two:

One's a historical South Korean drama known as The Great Queen Seondeok - it's got all the things I like (strong female characters, lavish costumes, high-end politics, great leaders, camp villains, etc.) but I'm only a few episodes in so I might write more about it later.

The other's Game of Thrones, because it's my habit to only aknowledge pop culture when everybody else have moved on. I like it a lot. It does have a lot of fantasy clichés I'm getting kind of sick of, but overall, as someone who's never read anything George R.R. Martin, I'm intrigued.

Also it's got Aidan Gillen in a very becoming costume (and THERE, back to my shallow observations!). And I remember when I was watching The Wire it was so odd hearing Gillen speak with a Baltimore accent, and now, eventually, it's odd hearing him with a British one again. I lead a goldfish existence.

Still not watching Sherlock, though I've started to aknowledge how ridiulous my hang-up is. I'm more than willing to pay ready money to go watch the annoying Guy Ritchie action fests but not the award-winning contemporary BBC show with a bunch of actors I love, just because it isn't set in the Victorian Era? Silly hangup. I blame the Basil Rathbone movies, I think they made me apprehensive about any non-Victorian Holmes. Yeah yeah, I'll get on Sherlock one of these days...

Return'd

Jan. 6th, 2012 02:14 pm
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
Back in Bergen again - where I discovered a commode in the shower and the wires and bits of the water heater coiled up on the the bathroom floor. Not entirely certain what's going on there.

Now that I'm back to my regular life - and computer - again I feel like there've been so many things I've neglected to write about this December. Just look at all the things I've done:

- Finished all of The Wire, which I feel I should have written A WHOLE LOT about, because it is probably the best TV series I've ever watched. Top quality. It's this damn-nigh perfect entity - which is why I've never been able to write much about it, because I can't pick it apart and latch onto specific things to fangirl about, like I do with my other shows. All the characters are complex and flawed, ALL of them do both wonderful deeds and despicable ones, the stories are spellbinding but never gimmicky. The Wire is just... amazing television.

- Listened to Tiny's upcoming baby's heartbeat. Well it - she - is already a baby but she haven't made her world debut yet, you see. I accompanied Tiny to her check-up, and the doctor listened with one of those doppler things and I... spontaneously started crying. I mean - I know my sister's eight months pregnant and I've felt the baby kick and hiccup and everything, and I'm not a very sentimental person, but hearing those heartbeats I got shockingly emotional all of a sudden.

- Celebrated the most ethical and environmnentally friendly Christmas yet, by replacing the usual "I don't know what to give you so here's some silly knick-knack I found in a store two days ago that we both know you'll never use" with Fair Trade digestibles. Well Tiny did, and I latched on. Didn't recieve any complaints, and that vanilla fudge was excellent.

- Cut Linni's back claws all by myself. Linni, who'll lash out the moment anybody tries to hold her or otherwise contain her. Linni, who's perpetually nervous about anybody touching her paws. And yet I managed to do it all in one evening while we we're both lounging on mum's sofa, and she never hissed or bolted. So now Linni can walk on hardwood floors without that click-click-click noise.

In fact when we moved Linni to mum's place I was worried that facing mum's two resident cats would make Linni withdraw and hide like she did at the shelter, but once again my cat showed off how adaptable she really is. She respected Missi, the elderly no-nonsense cat, and vigorously played with Luna, the young off-the-wall mischevious one. Here's a photo Luna and Linni at a rare quiet moment:


Good holiday overall!
tilly_stratford: (DW: Jamie/Doctor - true wuv)
The universe is just overflowing with things that makes me happy these days!

There's the two previously-lost Doctor Who episodes from the sixties that have been discovered in Australia! I knew it! I knew the world wasn't so unfair that it'd leave us derived of Patrick Troughton in such a fabulous hat.


Delightful.

Secondly, and pretty much simultaneously, the newest Lupin TV special appeared online - with English subs! The plot's a mess, the tone is all over the place (a gory Miyazaki tribute??), but the new voice cast made a fair debut (though I'm reaaally hoping Kōichi Yamadera's gonna grow in the role of Zenigata), the heists were fun, and the animation and art really were surprisingly good.


Hey it had Green Jacket references and the SWAT team, I'll overlook the bad writing this time.

Thirdly, my pal Åsmund's lent me his copy of Red Dead Redemption and I'm loving the hell out of it so far. I know it's just Grand Theft Auto in the Wild West but that makes all the difference. I even love the minigames - the horseshoe tossing, shooting rabbits, breaking in wild horses - I'm having so much fun!

Aaand finally, today I bought my train ticket. Traveling over the mountains on Thursday, with Linni as well. It's gonna be great seeing everybody again (and eating some real food!).
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
For me, 2011 has been the Year of Learning To Appreciate Tea. After a lifetime of disappointment in the hot beverages department, this year I was finally introduced to one kind I didn't mind too much (Kentish apple loose leaf) and then I drank a cup every night until it had become an essential part of my daily routine.

It's taken some practice (tea is actually the most complicated drink I've yet to prepare for myself) and getting the timing right was an arduous process. Let's face it, I'm absentminded as hell. The only reason I eventually got the timing right was because I was watching an episode of Lupin III every night at the time, and I based my timing on that (start of episode; put infuser in - somewhere in the first scene; take infuser out; eyecatch appears - the temperature is now just right for consumption; final scene - finish tea).

When I'd finished the last season of that I found it worked nearly as well with Batman: The Brave and the Bold (it was harder figuring out the halfway point without a bumper/eyecatch). When I finished that, I started watching Doctor Who every night and made horrible tea as a result.

So these days I'm watching Trigun (helpful eyecatch again!). My first decision ever based on, yes, tea. Essentially.

Don't ask me why on earth Trigun happened to be the anime I chose, it's a complete mystery to me. At some point I remember thinking "Hey, what's that Western pastiche thing with the tall doofus in the red coat? I'll watch that". When did I get exposed to it, how did I know about it at all? It's also the most absurd and over-the-top TV show I've ever watched, so I might write more about it later.
tilly_stratford: (Trek: Spock bitchfit)
You lure me in again with intriguing characters, well-written and exciting stories, moving drama, and promises of an asexual Doctor, and then we move on to season six and forget all that and instead it's all just rubbish.

My God, we're reduced to pilfering plot elements from PotC: Dead Man's Chest now? And how exactly is the head writer in love with River Song an improvement to the head writer in love with Rose?

Argh, so disappointing! I just... I hate cheap shallow drama, I hate smugly written time paradox plotlines, I hate the "historical episode revealing that some mythological being is in fact an alien" formula, I... okay I don't hate River Song yet but I'm going to start very soon unless the quality of writing improves very very soon.

Is nu!Who just incapable of giving a Doctor a second season that isn't complete trash? Even with the oh-so-celebrated Moffat at the helm?

(I promise I'll eat my words if the remainder of season six turns out to be so amazing and breathtaking that every minute of it is like an eternal orgasm, but at this point I'll just keep watching to see what happens to the storyline the Doctor Rory).

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