thymidinekinase: An internally illuminated pumpkin carved to resemble a Dalek (Default)
[personal profile] thymidinekinase
I'm just finishing up disc 2 of the first season of Stargate: Atlantis. So far, I am disappointed by the writing and (to a lesser extent) the acting. I just watched _Poisoning the Well_ and admired the sets, admired the matte paintings, admired the costumes, but I thought that the writing was so bad that I'd just wasted 42 minutes of my life. So... SGA fans, does it get any better? Or should I just cut my losses and move on to another show?

Date: 2007-09-04 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe it gets better, but not enough that I recommend sticking with it or jumping ahead. I am hoping the new season will be good enough to be worth recommending, but in the meantime, move on to another show.

Would you like some anime recommendations?

Date: 2007-09-04 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The last anime I watched was _Cowboy Bebop_ a couple of years ago. I liked it a lot. So, while I don't normally watch a lot of anime, I'm open to the idea. Sure, please give me some recs.

Date: 2007-09-05 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think my top rec would be Fullmetal Alchemist.

I am also very fond of the Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex series.

If you like cracktastic things, I suggest FLCL, which at six episodes (on 3 DVDs! grr!) is more like a movie than series in terms of length, and Revolutionary Girl Utena.

It's not to everyone's tastes, but I quite like Haibane Renmei, about people with wings and halos, with thematic elements inspired by Murakami's Hardboiled Wonderland (or something like that; I haven't read that book yet). The start of the series is light, but it gets surprisingly dark in places.

I quite like Gunslinger Girl, but I recommend skipping the second episode. If you visit a bookstore, you can check out the first volume of the manga to see if you like the setup.

If you like high school romantic comedy, Kare Kano is pretty good and surprisingly sweet. Unfortunately, it suffers from long recaps.

I'm not sure how to succinctly describe Fruits Basket. Again, you can check out the first volume of the manga to get a feel for the anime.

Date: 2007-09-05 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks. I'll look out for Fullmetal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell. Is the Standalone Complex truly standalone, or will I need to start with something else?

Date: 2007-09-05 11:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is standalone. It is not directly in the same timeline as the original movie.

For a non-anime suggestion, there is the first season of the new Doctor Who. I didn't like the second and third season so much. Partly, my expectations were too high, but I also think they messed up the interpersonal dynamics in the second season.

Date: 2007-09-06 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Marie and I were both into Fullmetal Alchemist, but it could still probably be very hit or miss with someone that doesn't really watch anime, since the characters do tend to have those obnoxious over-reacting silly face moments. Bebop didn't really have them, which I think is why it was very watchable by pretty much anyone.

If you can deal with the ^_^ factor in Full Metal Alchemist, then Trigun would probably be another safe bet. Space/Western theme again, but like Alchemist it has some more of the goofy anime stuff in it.

Ghost in the Shell has the same more "adult" feel that Bebop did - no characters eyes suddenly doubling in size or adopting catlike expressions or junk like that. Second Gig was also a great Ghost in the Shell series - same characters and everything, but a different storyline. It references the first season a couple times, but nothing that you would be lost in at all. Both series are quite political, not modern politics or anything just in that governmental politics play a big role in the show.

Another one much in the same vein as Bebop is Samurai Champloo, which is done by the same creators but instead of Space Cowboys it's hip-hop samurai. It is very blood-heavy, but carries a very similar feel to Bebop.

And FLCL is nuts. I can't really see enjoying it at all until you've seen several other anime series, since it completely smothers you with anime cliches, but in a very original presentation. It took me a couple trips through the series to really get it, but it becomes likable.

Oh, and regardless of where you head next, Netflix makes all of this much cheaper. Marie and I have started watching the Sopranos from Netflix, and with the 2-discs at a time plan, we have gone through four and a half seasons in about two months at a fraction of the cost of the actual discs. It's especially great for trying out new stuff, since you can rent out a disc or two and not have buyer's remorse if it sucks. Turn-around time seems to be about 4 days per disc round trip, which is really good considering that's 2 days there and 2 back, and it flies by with 2 discs at a time. They also have an amazing selection of movies and TV series.

Date: 2007-09-06 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good point on the chibi/super-deformed sequences. I'm used to it, but it definitely does put some people off anime.

I was not so crazy about Trigun -- except for the cat who appears in each episode.

I thought of Samurai Champloo, too. I liked it more than Bebop. It is not necessarily better than Bebop. Rather, for some reason Bebop did not work so well for me. I'm not exactly sure why.

I tend to watch anime subbed rather than dubbed. One exception is The Big O (when TiVo listed it as a suggestion for me, I assumed it was a program on Lifetime or WE about relationships and ignored it. I finally saw that it was on Cartoon Network and quite liked it, especially because of R Dorothy and the setting of an entire city of amnesiacs, but the battles can be somewhat repetitive), where I can't tell the Japanese voices apart. Another if FLCL, where the dubbed voicework is pretty good. I think FLCL could be enjoyable without knowing all the anime cliches (whereas I am not so sure about The Melanchoy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which put *me* off the first time I tried watching it because I didn't understand what was going on), but I'm not a good judge of that since I am familiar with many of the cliches.

Netflix is awesome. Turnaround time for me can be as low as 2 days -- one day each direction.

Date: 2007-09-06 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But the analogous Blockbuster service sounds pretty nifty, too, where you can trade in a watched DVD for another in the store. So you get good turnaround time, plus apparently when you trade it in, it triggers the next available DVD on your queue.

The website interface apparently is not as good as Netflix's, and I'm not sure it has a good recommendation service, like Netflix does.

Date: 2007-09-06 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, one warning about the first Ghost in the Shell season. Each episode is marked standalone or complex, meaning non-arc versus arc. Well, the arc really gets going, and then 2/3 or 3/4 of the way through, suddenly you have a whole run of standalone episodes. They were good, but I wanted further development of the arc.

Date: 2007-09-04 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The occasional clunker episode is one thing, but life is too short to watch consistently badly-written/acted television! As the answer to all of television's woes, I recommend Stephen Fry's quiz show QI. One of my f-list has archived them here. I think I'm hooked.

Date: 2007-09-05 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really must have a look. Thanks.

Date: 2007-09-05 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It gets worse.

If you haven't already seen all of Firefly and BSG, switch to those right away.

Date: 2007-09-05 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the warning. I adore Firefly, but haven't seen BSG yet.

Date: 2007-09-05 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The mini-series and first season of BSG are pretty good. The second season is problematic. I haven't seen the third yet.


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