Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring 2009: The Losers

The 2009 spring anime to watch is (so far) a toss-up between Phantom and Eden of the East. (More on those later.)

What got left behind? Basquash and Fullmetal Alchemist 2.

I know that Basquash will find an audience, but most of it has driven me in the opposite direction. Between a character named Iceman Hottie, a girl who gets sexual pleasure from losing, and Dan's CONSTANT SHOUTING OF EVERYTHING, I'm out. Oh, Dan also sees a woman at the end of episode 3 and says that she has something called a "lunar bust." Lo and behold, the woman in question has breasts the size of beach balls and they bounce all over the place with every breath she takes. It all makes me wonder if there really is a key demographic that thrives on this.

It's a shame, too. Out of the two, Basquash boasted the best animation and the most lovingly-detailed world.

I'm almost in shock from adding Alchemist to this list. Of all the anime debuting, it was the one I was looking forward to the most. Instead of a blistering, big-budget remake, it has gotten off to an incredibly shaky start.

The emotional punch that sucked me into both the anime and the manga has been dulled beyond belief. I am willing to admit that perhaps it is because I am seeing the story for a third time. Even so, all of the dramatic build-up involving the sacrifice of two boys attempting to revive their dead mother is missing.

The way they free the people of Lior from Cornello's cult of god was ruined, as well. Rose's constant pleading with Cornello to bring back her dead lover, her devotion to the church, and her unshakable beliefs in god are all brushed over. Instead, viewers got a 30 second sequence where Ed interrupts her prayer session.

The pacing is rushed, almost as if Studio BONES is intent on blowing past the stories they've already told. It's a shame, too, because the first 10 episodes are essential to laying the foundation of the story. Maybe they should have simply re-aired the original first season and then picked up where the original strayed from the manga's still-unfolding story.

The "new" comedic bits feel forced and break up what should be some very heavy, serious scenes. And episode 3's split-screen technique was used at least 4 times in a single, 20 minute period. Bad call.

At least I got to see Lust skewer Don Cornello's skull on her razor-sharp finger. That moment never gets any less awesome.

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