Its that time again, my weekly (or thereabouts) roundup of Anime that I’ve watched. This time, I have only two that I’ve seen. I blame Stacy for not giving me more stuff to watch.
On with the show!
Neon Genesis Evangelion – I received the last two DVDs (6 episode altogether) from Walmart (finally!). It was all good up until the final two episodes. All I can say about that is: “Wha? WTF? Is that it? Wha?”. Up until the end, NGE was really picking up steam, the tension was very high and the stakes were life threatening. I was expecting a more, conventional, ending. What I got was an exercise in existentialism. In fact, it felt like Monty Python was involved, becaused they pushed it to see how far they could go before people got annoyed. Kinda like the MP Traffic Lights song. So, I can understand why the fans of the show were upset. It ended, but didn’t really resolve anything. Or did it? I think it did, although the way the show wraps things up is subtle. In fact, the last two episodes reminded me a lot of the indoctrination film used in The Parallax View. The hints to what happens are quickly inter cut with the major character’s struggles to come to grips with themselves. From what I’ve read, the two movies to NGE don’t really resolve the story either. The first movie is a re-hash of the TV series with a different, but still nebulous, ending. The second is supposedly a giant “Screw You!” from the creator of the show to all the fans who were criticizing the ending. I have the first one coming via NetFlix, while I can’t find the second for rent.
As for the show itself, I found the technical aspects (animation, scene staging, camera angles, etc) to be competent. Its the story and characters, both complex and intriguing, to be the best part of the series. From mid-way through up to the last two episodes, NGE is an incredibly riveting show. I can see why its considered to be the best TV anime ever. By many people anyway. I’d still have to recommend NGE on the strength of the middle to end episodes. Gripping and entertaining, just make up your own ending.
Cowboy Bebop – I received the second DVD of Cowboy Bebop from Walmart and it contains episodes 6 – 10. What can I say about CB? Wow. While no where near as ‘meaty’ as NGE, it is still an entertaining series. There is little overarching plot, although there is one, its just not brought out, the characters are interesting and quirky and the stories in each episode are interesting and fun. Technically, CB maintains a superb rating throughout, with some shots being outstanding. Being set in space, at least for some parts, gives the animators the freedom to use creative camera angles and settings. And they do. Want a giant space truck race through the interior of an unstable asteroid? Got it. Want a ‘Las Vegas’ style habitat in space shaped like a spinning roulette wheel? Its just really good. Not to mention the music, which is a bluesy/jazz fusion, fits extremely well with the show. I really like this one a lot. I’m even considering buying this one on DVD its that good. Highly recommended.