A Very Special Episode of The Click - November 8th - 14thby Brian Hanson, Nov 8th 2008
Hi, everyone! I'm back, recuperating nicely after my relatively wild Halloween festivities, and ready to start The Click anew.
As much as it sucks for me to have to say this, it's probably better to simply get it out in the open right here at the front; this will be the last Click column here at ANN. Business reasons aside, as I'm sure this final column will attest, a lot of things have happened upon the TV medium lately that has practically eroded whatever tiny niche anime on TV once had.
It's kind of sad, really; In these days of waning viewership amongst ALL TV networks, anime provides a pretty cost-effective way to diversify any lineup, as we've been seeing recently with smaller networks like ImaginAsian and IFC. Even a fairly mediocre anime show is typically likely to garner more viewers than a food-processor infomercial or reruns of Heroes. Instead, most of the bigger networks, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim mainly, have been thinning their hoard of anime as they've become much more demographic-obsessed and creatively bankrupt. Ah, well.
As for me? Well, I can always go back to what I was doing before Zac and Chris mistook my enthusiasm for anime for actual writing talent - scraping the gum off of movie theater seats in exchange for unwanted arcade tokens. Or prostitution.
Kidding, of course. This most likely won't be the last you hear or see from me on This Here Site. No doubt someone, somewhere, will miss my acerbic, jazzy style in the world of anime journalism. Right?!? Please say yes.
But that's enough of the morose stuff. Let's get The Click rolling, one last time!
Sunday November 9 1:00am - Episode 87
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit
Sunday November 9 1:30am - Episode 1 "Balsa, the Female Bodyguard"
Sunday November 9 2:00am - Episode 26 "The Day a Demon Awakens"
Sunday November 9 2:30am - Episode 48
Ah, Adult Swim. What other nonsensical scheduling chicanery will you get into when The Click is gone? Perhaps airing Tagalog-dubbed episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist interspersed with a documentary on flightless birds at 3:46 on Tuesday mornings? Moving premiere episodes of Bleach to a hollowed-out cave in the East Andies? Shucks. But, for once, this is a schedule that kinda sorta makes sense. They're obviously not about to give top billing to any of them, strangely, but it's nice to see the new season of Code Geass and the surprisingly engaging Moribito during at least somewhat viewable hours. And they brought back Shin-chan, instead of simply letting the rest of their episodes expire hastily on their website! Hot damn!
Not to worry, my wonderful, wonderful Canadian readers - I've got your back. You guys get the premiere of the first Bleach movie, which is great because it's actually a pretty good movie (as far as Shonen Jump movie adaptations go, at least), and something that is highly statistically unlikely to ever appear on US television, if not ever. So go ahead, gloat it up. You've earned it.
Saturday November 8 8:30pm - Episode 9 "The Sinister Sea"
After saving the small villa of Jibral, Shu and his newly-appointed gang of do-gooders set off to sea, sailing the brave ocean winds towards the evil Grand Kingdom. Except it's not a particularly grand kingdom, the Grand Kingdom. Because they're evil and stuff.
Ghost Slayers Ayashi
Wednesday November 12 10:00pm - Episode 15 "Woman on the Rashomon Riverbank" (Repeats Thu Nov 13 2:30am, 7:30pm)
Gruesome murders literally spook our feudal Ghost Slayers, who are of course dispatched to their chosen calling when it's discovered that a Youi, a fancy Japanese word for ghost I'd assume, is behind it all.
Tuesday November 11 8:00pm - Episode 7 "Cracked Mask" (Repeats Tue Nov 11 11:00pm, Fri Nov 14 11:30pm, Sat Nov 15 2:30am)
This week's Hell Girl has a distinctly "Mommie Dearest" vibe, as a talented but shattered orphan is adopted by an overbearingly perfectionist mother, determined to mold her affection-starved protoge into superstardom. And then the Hell Girl gets involved, which means lots of damnation and fire and brimstone and such.
Wednesday November 12 8:00pm - Episode 15 "A High School Girl Soars to the Heavens" (Repeats Thu Nov 13 1:30am, 6:00pm)
TERROR STRIKES the noble Fuko Academy, as a conflict between an armed battalion of heavily-armed soldiers and a superpowered and hormonally-challenged high-school-girl means that the entire student body as well as the school itself is in danger. Women, am I right? They totally can't control their proto-physical manfiestations of some deep-rooted power source explained by some techno-mythological mumbo-jumbo.
Saturday November 8 8:00pm - Episode 158 "Follow My Lead! The Great Survival Challenge"
Naruto gets his first glimpse of real, true ninja leadership as he leads the diminutive Konohamaru crew to retrieve a sacred scroll! Y'see, it's like the show is becoming all full-circle and whatnot. Oh, the jubilation across the nation when these fillers end...
Wednesday November 12 9:30pm - Episode 15 "In Her Case" (Repeats Thu Nov 13 2:00am, 7:00pm)
Romance blooms aboard the ISPV 7 space station, as the nebbish Hachimaki tries to be Mr. Smooth to crewmate Tanabe, while another crewmember's old sweetheart climbs aboard and starts all kinds of drama. The soapy kind.
Saturday November 8 9:30am - Episode 537 "Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu! Part 2"
Aw, and I'll never see Pokémon eclipse over 600 individual episodes, either! Now I'm just making myself sad. I need to turn this sadness into another emotion. Let's try; irrational anger. Here's another stupid episode of Pokémon, in case you're either twelve years old or attempting to become romantically involved with twelve year olds. It's about Ash and an old friend rescuing an endangered Riolu from Pokémon Poachers, except all Pokémon are technically "captured" anyway so the whole lesson is quite hypocritical.
Wednesday November 12 9:00pm - Episode 15 "Opera of Strength and Strategy" (Repeats Thu Nov 13 6:30pm)
The wayward world-destroying Princess hits yet another snag on her journey of self-discovery and underlying sorrow, when a troupe of powerful priests let loose with some equally powerful magic against Pacifica and her erstwhile traveling companions.
Saturday November 8 10:30am - Episode 9 "The Lockdown Duel, Part 1"
Yusei, hardened card-slinging badass that he is, is imprisoned FOR A CRIME HE DIDN'T COMMIT. Unless that crime is simply being too cool. Later, the cell block supervisor is curious about this rugged roughneck, and SHOCKINGLY challenges him to a card duel behind the cold, steel bars.
MOVIES / FEATURES
Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon
Saturday November 8 9:00pm
I believe I mentioned this when the second Naruto feature aired here only a few mere months ago, but it bears repeating; the third Naruto movie, this one up here, is probably the worst animated features I've ever seen. Well, at least the animation is surprisingly nice, at least; you won't be able to tell it from the dub, but all the Japanese voices were actually pre-recorded, with the finished animation matching up with accurate lip-sync. That's not something common in anime, aside from Akira and a few others, so obviously no expense was spared regarding the animation production.
The rest of the movie sucks in an incredibly bombastic and spectacular way. All of the terrific Naruto characters are reduced to shrieking one-dimensional archetypes, the plot follows two completely uninteresting original characters whose motivations are as ham-fisted as they are poorly developed, and every single scrap of contrivance you can possibly imagine is written in without reason. It's truly awful.
Tuesday November 11 4:00am
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society
Friday November 14 11:50am
Luckily! We have three of the best examples of the genre to round out this week's final foray into the now not-so-vast TV landscape. Paprika is pure ebullience, but with that usually deft emotional core that Satoshi Kon always pulls off so well; Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society is slick and handsome, but intelligent and dense as hell; Castle of Cagliostro is a bonafide classic of filmmaking at its purest and most exciting.
I suppose that's the best way I can think of to go out, here. Talking about the shows and cartoons and anime that I love, that you can and should watch on TV. Because, hey, you have one. Might as well use it. Or not.
In the meantime, check out my NEW new website, now located at thingofthings.net because my old hosting service was complete crap.
Before I go, I would honestly love to thank everybody that has helped me get The Click off and running over these past three years. It's been an incredible experience to do something like this for the first time, and I certainly wouldn't have gotten there without Mike Toole, for giving me my first crack at anime writing over at Anime Jump!, Zac Bertschy and Chris Macdonald of course for giving me this chance and putting up with all my nonsense, the wonderful and terrific Jesse Betteridge for keeping me up to date on everything going on up in Canada, and OF COURSE: all you beautiful, wonderful, terrific readers. I obviously spend a lot of time on the internet, and your comments are seriously the most civil, thoughtful, and downright nice feedback I've ever seen for any regular web column. You've called me out when I've screwed up, but never out of hatred or spite, and you all get my jokes and the general vibe I was trying to cultivate with this thing. I hope to give you fine folks something else nice to enjoy reading real soon, here.
Best wishes and much love and joy and rainbows and peace and centaurs smoking cigarettes with rocket-launching gnomes and flesh-eating bacteria,
Bakugan Battle Brawlers
-Sat Nov 8 11:00am - Episode 37 "You Say You Want an Evolution"
-Mon Nov 10 6:30am - Episode 16 "No Guts - No Glory"
-Tue Nov 11 6:30am - Episode 17 "B.F.F. - Best Friends Forever"
-Wed Nov 12 6:30am - Episode 18 "Evolution Revolution"
-Thu Nov 13 6:30am - Episode 19 "Julie Plays 'Hard Brawl'"
-Fri Nov 14 6:30am - Episode 20 "A Little Help From My Friends"
-Sun Nov 9 5:00am - Episode 14 "Roger the Wanderer"
-Mon Nov 10 3:40am - Episode 2 "Mangrove Heaven"
-Wed Nov 12 3:35am - Episode 1 "The Black Lagoon"
-Thu Nov 13 7:00am - Episode 3 "Ring-Ding Ship Chase"
-Sun Nov 9 4:30am - Episode 1 "Asteroid Blues"
-Sun Nov 9 3:30am - Episode 1 "Rebirth"
-Sat Nov 8 6:30pm - Episode 215 "Marcus' Inner Strength"
-Sun Nov 9 6:30am - Episode 216 "The Return of Thomas!" (R Sun Nov 9 6:30pm)
-Mon Nov 10 6:30am - Episode 223 "Curse This Curse: Marcus' Bad Day"
-Tue Nov 11 6:30am - Episode 224 "The Vile of VIlemon!"
-Wed Nov 12 6:30am - Episode 225 "The Digi-Egg That Fell to Earth"
-Thu Nov 13 6:30am - Episode 226 "The Rise of RizeGreymon!"
-Thu Nov 13 8:00am - Episode 218 "Digital World, Here We Come!"
-Thu Nov 13 8:30am - Episode 219 "The Ultimate Team No More?"
-Thu Nov 13 9:00am - Episode 220 "A Birthday Kristy Will Never Forget!"
-Fri Nov 14 6:30am - Episode 227 "The Wild Boy of the Digital World"
-Sat Nov 15 6:30am - Episode 217 "The New Team of Marcus and Thomas!"
-Mon Nov 10 7:30am - Episode 10 "Downtown Runaround"
-Mon Nov 10 5:20am - Episode 1 (R Wed Nov 12 3:20am)
-Wed Nov 12 4:50am - Episode 2
-Sun Nov 9 3:00am - Episode 1 "Fooly Cooly"
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
-Sun Nov 9 4:00am - Episode 1 "Section 9"
-Sun Nov 9 5:30am - Episode 1 "The Girl Who Overcame Time, and the Boy Who Was Just Overcome"
-Mon Nov 10 5:00am - Episode 101 "The Snow From Seven Years Past"
-Mon Nov 10 5:30am - Episode 102 "Assault on the Wolf Demon Tribe!"
-Tue Nov 11 5:30am - Episode 103 "The Band of Seven, Resurrected!"
-Wed Nov 12 5:30am - Episode 104 "The Stealthy Poison Master, Mukotsu"
-Thu Nov 13 5:30am - Episode 105 "The Ghastly Steel Machine"
-Fri Nov 14 5:30am - Episode 106 "Kagome, Miroku, and Sango: Desperate Situation!"
-Sat Nov 15 5:30am - Episode 107 "Inuyasha Shows His Tears for the First Time"
-Sun Nov 9 2:00am - Episode 19 "The Origin of the World"
-Sun Nov 9 3:30am - Episode 7 "Treacherous Like Toros"
-Mon Nov 10 2:00am - Episode 20 "Secret Like Sul"
-Mon Nov 10 3:30am - Episode 8 "Agile Like Aikka"
-Tue Nov 11 2:00am - Episode 21 "Ominous Like O"
-Tue Nov 11 3:30am - Episode 9 "Surprising Like Super-Racer"
-Wed Nov 12 2:00am - Episode 22 "Revelations"
-Wed Nov 12 3:30am - Episode 10 "Resistant Like Rush"
-Thu Nov 13 2:00am - Episode 23 "Cruel Like Kross"
-Thu Nov 13 3:30am - Episode 11 "Silent Like Spirit"
-Fri Nov 14 2:00am - Episode 24 "Canaletto's Revenge"
-Fri Nov 14 3:30am - Episode 12 "The Will to Win"
-Sat Nov 15 2:00am - Episode 25 "The Moment of Truth"
-Sat Nov 15 3:30am - Episode 13 "Make Way!"
-Wed Nov 12 1:00pm - Episode 427 "Tactics Theatrics!"
-Wed Nov 12 1:30pm - Episode 428 "Reversing the Charges!"
-Thu Nov 13 1:00pm - Episode 429 "Green Guardian!"
-Thu Nov 13 1:30pm - Episode 430 "From Cradle to Save!"
-Fri Nov 14 1:00pm - Episode 431 "Time-Warp Heals All Wounds!"
-Fri Nov 14 1:30pm - Episode 432 "Queen of the Serpentine!"
-Mon Nov 10 8:00am - Episode 425 "Weekend Warrior!"
-Mon Nov 10 3:30pm - Episode 505 "Steamboat Willies"
-Tue Nov 11 8:00am - Episode 426 "On Olden Pond!"
-Tue Nov 11 3:30pm - Episode 506 "Top-Down Training"
-Wed Nov 12 8:00am - Episode 427 "Tactics Theatrics!"
-Wed Nov 12 3:30pm - Episode 507 "A Stand Up Sit Down!"
-Thu Nov 13 8:00am - Episode 428 "Reversing the Charges!"
-Thu Nov 13 3:30pm - Episode 508 "The Electrike Company"
-Fri Nov 14 8:00am - Episode 429 "Green Guardian!"
-Fri Nov 14 3:30pm - Episode 509 "Malice in Wonderland!"
-Thu Nov 13 8:30pm - Episode 19 "The Mutiny"
-Tue Nov 11 4:00am - Episode 5 "Kiri"
-Wed Nov 12 4:00am - Episode 6 "Battling Daku"
-Thu Nov 13 4:00am - Episode 7 "Into the Jungle"
-Fri Nov 14 4:00am - Episode 8 "Reptiles"
-Sat Nov 15 4:00am - Episode 9 "Gyasa"
-Sat Nov 8 10:30am - Episode 21 "Velocity" (R Fri Nov 14 6:00am)
-Mon Nov 10 6:00am - Episode 17 "The Elite Guard"
-Tue Nov 11 6:00am - Episode 18 "The Return of the Headmaster"
-Wed Nov 12 6:00am - Episode 19 "Mission Accomplished"
-Thu Nov 13 6:00am - Episode 20 "Garbage In, Garbage Out"
-Thu Nov 13 7:30am - Episode 151 "The Power Within, Part 1"
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