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Saturn



Joined: 08 Aug 2002
Posts: 513
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:30 pm Reply with quote
Brack wrote:
My impression of Hetalia season 2 was that it lost sight of what made it good, and focussed instead on what made it popular. Which aren't always the same thing. It's a common enough occurrence in TV, for a western example take the last season of Psych. Just as 80s pop culture references became its crutch, then innuendo became Hetalia's.

What I've seen of season 3 shows some improvement, at least in the episodes where the focus shifts to different countries than the usual suspects, as it gets back to its strength of ludicrously specific historical and geopolitical references. When it gets that specific it feels a lot more sincere, than mechanically going through the fan-pleasing gags.


Even considering myself a huge Hetalia fan, I can't argue with you there (actually, I think most Hetalia fans will agree that the anime is lacking many of the charming points of the webcomic).

Season 3 is an improvement though, and season 4 is (so far) probably the best next to the first season. Well, most of the time it is, at least. And then there are the "punchlines to use when you can't come up with one" segments ._.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:37 am Reply with quote
I'm teetering on whether to get The Third or not ~ either $30 for the thickpak from RIghtstuf or $32 for the thinkpak from Amazon ~ but I was certainly happy that I rented it from Netflix. And even if the big reveal was not quite up to its build up, the fight between the tank and the helicopter was choice.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:51 am Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
I'm also glad to read a fairly positive review of The Third, since that's something I've been interested in for a while and keep meaning to check out.


Um, most of our reviews of the individual volumes were quite positive, too. (See them on the Encyclopedia page entry for the series.)

On The Third: The narration and the couple of episodes that are badly off-model are two things that I also complained about when I reviewed the series, and I will agree that the story arcs are a bit inconsistent in quality. However, I was completely won over by the contemplative style (this is one of the rare series which actually concentrates on finding the beauty in a wasteland and the sharp contrast that beauty has against its dangers) and by Honoka, who is now one of my all-time favorite anime heroines. There's a very interesting and likable balance of character traits to be found there.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3810
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:34 am Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
Quote:
But never mind that, the real problem with this show is the hideously cheesy voiceover. It's worse than the narration in the original cut of Blade Runner. The narrator needlessly dictates Honoka's thoughts and/or the situation at hand, and it's horribly distracting and unnecessary. I know it's hard to work background detail about an expansive sci-fi world into a show, but this narrator's expository dialog is cringe-worthy and utterly superfluous. Fortunately there's less narration as the show goes on.


That was basically my only complaint. Otherwise, as simple and cliched as The Third may be, as I watched it I felt that everything about it worked and made it a charming, character-driven sci-fi series. And if I remember correctly, this is the very last Right Stuf-licensed series they ever did with a dub before they moved on to sub-only, as well as the last series they released by single volumes (all of which I've collected in an artbox with all its booklet goodies). If so, this series kind of marked the end of a time period for Right Stuf, which I think helps make this title a bit more special in a way.


Agreed, I really enjoyed this show and it's scifi world, the narration was also really the only distraction for me too aside from the couple of episodes that oddly took rather big hits on the animation since the majority of it looked really good. I was especially disappointed that it effected her spoiler[duel with herself as that should have been a visual spectacle given how gorgeously I thought most of her sword "dancer" moves were animated and choreographed.] I also loved the addition of the headset and the use of it for coordination with Bogie (loved their interaction and voices in both the dub and sub Smile), and thought it meshed nicely with her character design too. I'm surprised by the review's dislike of Honoka's character design as I loved it, and also thought it fit her character quite well.

It's hard to describe but I think a notable little thing that got me right in was little bits connecting the character to the environment and not a character on a background. Like in the first episode where she's sneaking through the desert for recon shuffling and sliding through the sand and along the dunes with the rather catchy sneaking music, not that it's overly rare but I do think it's been underused sometimes (though that may be due to the frequency of school settings lately) and the extra bit of environmental interactivity added nicely to feel of Honoka being part of her environment most of the time.

Key mentioned something that I was not expecting at all going into the series, I was very pleasantly surprised by how it displayed rather interesting contrasts of the desert, and that starry night sky is still stunning.
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Asuron



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:09 am Reply with quote
To be fair, only one of the four could really hit Eneru, the other three wouldn't be able to because of his Logia fruit
Would have been cool though
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Shichimi



Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:36 am Reply with quote
Can't argue with the assessment of Hetalia; some shows are just not made to be marathoned! I'll throw this question out to you, Erin, out of curiosity: when you're not reviewing stuff, do you marathon stuff anyway? Has being a reviewer changed your viewing habits in this regard?
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erinfinnegan
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Joined: 31 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
spoiler[I'm...pretty sure that's not how grounding works, given that Robin's arms are still a part of her body. If she tried to channel the lightning down to the ground through them, she'd still just wind up electrocuted. And given that Eneru is a Logia Devil's Fruit user, his body is quite literally made of electricity, so Robin's usual physical attacks won't do a thing to him. As the series notes, Luffy's pretty much the only one who's able to fight him, by virtue of his own particular Devil's Fruit.]

OK, I don't know that much about electricity, but couldn't Robin just spoiler[grab something with one of her hands and ground herself]? Maybe that's not really a spoiler...

Furthermore, Luffy has blood, and as established in the spoiler[fight with Crocodile] his blood has water in it, or water-like properties. His blood isn't made of rubber, so why doesn't it conduct electricity? (I know this is nerdy nit-picking and intend it at least partially in jest.)

Shichimi wrote:
Erin, out of curiosity: when you're not reviewing stuff, do you marathon stuff anyway? Has being a reviewer changed your viewing habits in this regard?

Ha HAH this assumes there's anime I watch not for review purposes, which is pretty rare nowadays (mostly feature films). Before I was a reviewer I'd only marathon stuff on special occasions, like 3-day weekends or at a party. This was particularly the case when I had roommates with an HDTV and they'd leave town on the weekends. Noah and I would take those opportunities to marathon longer shows, like Naruto. Otherwise, we typically watch anime in two to four episode blocks for each show, and only watch two or three series at a time. We used to only watch it on Friday and/or Saturday night. There was also a time when I'd watch Marmalade Boy or some shojo series while I ate breakfast, but that was when I was under-employed.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:08 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:
OK, I don't know that much about electricity, but couldn't Robin just spoiler[grab something with one of her hands and ground herself]? Maybe that's not really a spoiler...
Lightning strikes people because they are grounded. A lot of whether or not it kills you is whether the electricity traverses the heart in its path from the point of the strike to the point of the contact with the ground.

Speculating, I guess maybe if you were holding onto something that grounded you with your right hand, and were lucky that you were struck on the right side, you might avoid cardiac arrest, but you'd still be stunned, since our nervous system is not built for that kind of voltage either.
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:39 pm Reply with quote
tl;dr version: Lightning-using superheroes and magic users and weapons, and defenses against them, basically have to run on pure Rule of Cool. Physics hates them.

spoiler[Actual lightning works by converting the "insulating" air to a conducting ion plasma (see "dielectric strength" and "breakdown voltage"). Humans conduct better because, while our skin is a moderately good insulator, the wet soup inside it is a great conductor. (You can test a 9V battery by touching it to your tongue, but you won't get zapped by grabbing the terminals of a 12V car battery, unless you've got cuts in both hands.) Lightning would rather flow through a human (or a tree) since it takes much less energy to do that than to ionize another 6+ feet of air.

Even you survive a strike, you're not just going to stand up and keep fighting. Thunder is the sound of air cooking... even if your nervous system survives and your heart keeps going, you've still got 3rd degree internal burns where the lightning temporarily boiled your insides on whatever path it took.

Being able to "throw lightning" isn't just a matter of having a surplus (or lack) of electrons inside yourself, you need some magic/psychic way of deciding which path through the air your bolt will take, and mentally ionize that air, instead of the "obvious" path of straight down from your outstretched hand to the ground under you (or back through your own clothing). Once someone can do that, things like grounding yourself or jumping in the air won't help, because they've Rule of Cool'ed away the "electricity follows the path of least resistance" rule.

Being "made of rubber" wouldn't help a whole lot, either; rubber's dielectric strength is only about 5 times what dry air's is. (You'd be better off being made of distilled water; it's about 10x air.) Throw lightning through plasticman, and he'll melt and burn just fine.

And you can't be "made of lightning", since lightning is the flow of something, not a "something" itself... it's like saying someone can be "made of wind" without being "made of air". The closest you'd get would be to be made of highly-charged plasma surrounded by an outside-the-realms-of-physics force field to hold yourself together. But then your nigh-invulnerability comes from the magic force field, not from being "made of electricity".]
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:41 pm Reply with quote
Mikeski wrote:
spoiler[ ... even if your nervous system survives and your heart keeps going, you've still got 3rd degree internal burns where the lightning temporarily boiled your insides on whatever path it took.]
Seems like Wolverine-like extraordinarily fast recuperative powers are the go ~ get struck, get knocked down, play possum and catch the lightning thrower unawares because they think they already fried you. {BTW, Why was this a spoiler? It doesn't seem like it would actually spoil any plot points, since its about how things actually work, rather than how they work in anime where lightning wielding occurs.}

On the throwing lightning, the way that it is typically drawn as being a bit out of control at the end reminds us that you only have to establish the channel far enough that the target is the natural line of least resistance from that point on.

Mind, the least physics upsetting lightning wielder would form it over the targets hear rather than slinging it from their hands, but slinging the power from your hands is a lot more satisfying for a juvenile power fantasy.
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MetatronM



Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 281
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:49 pm Reply with quote
erinfinnegan wrote:
Top Gun wrote:
spoiler[I'm...pretty sure that's not how grounding works, given that Robin's arms are still a part of her body. If she tried to channel the lightning down to the ground through them, she'd still just wind up electrocuted. And given that Eneru is a Logia Devil's Fruit user, his body is quite literally made of electricity, so Robin's usual physical attacks won't do a thing to him. As the series notes, Luffy's pretty much the only one who's able to fight him, by virtue of his own particular Devil's Fruit.]

OK, I don't know that much about electricity, but couldn't Robin just spoiler[grab something with one of her hands and ground herself]? Maybe that's not really a spoiler...

Furthermore, Luffy has blood, and as established in the spoiler[fight with Crocodile] his blood has water in it, or water-like properties. His blood isn't made of rubber, so why doesn't it conduct electricity? (I know this is nerdy nit-picking and intend it at least partially in jest.)

1) Even if she was grounded in that way, it still means electricity would pass through her body to whatever it is she's holding. It would be counterproductive and invite massive electrical damage to her person. Being grounded does not really protect you from external sources of electricity, it only provides someplace for it to go once it passes through you. The only protection it offers in this regard is that it can, depending on the circumstances, divert the electrical current away from vital organs and prevent an extremely painful and damaging surge of electricity from being a fatal one. Even that is largely a matter of chance, though. What it does really do, though, is keep YOU from transmitting electricity to SOMETHING ELSE, hence why you should ground yourself (or at least discharge your static electricity) before touching computer parts, for example. Not because it's going to electrocute you but because you might electrocute it.

2) Luffy is 100% rubber. While his blood may contain water, his blood vessels are essentially rubber hoses, his internal organs basically rubber sacks, his flesh entirely elasticized rubber. (Yes, this is specifically stated canon.) As such, spoiler[he is completely insulated inside and out]. Of course, as has been pointed out, "rubber" in the real world is only going to help you so much, but this is One Piece physics we're going by, which are by necessity extremely different from real world physics. Very Happy

At least I don't think anyone has quite developed a model for how a creature created entirely out of rubber thinks or breathes or salivates or digests or maintains shape most of the time, let alone what happens when you hit it with lightning.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:05 pm Reply with quote
Mikeski wrote:
spoiler[And you can't be "made of lightning", since lightning is the flow of something, not a "something" itself... it's like saying someone can be "made of wind" without being "made of air". The closest you'd get would be to be made of highly-charged plasma surrounded by an outside-the-realms-of-physics force field to hold yourself together. But then your nigh-invulnerability comes from the magic force field, not from being "made of electricity".]

spoiler[Well no, of course you couldn't in any realistic sense, but One Piece is a series where certain individuals are quite literally constructed of fire, smoke, ice, sand, magma, and light itself. Being made of pure electricity fits right in. Razz]
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
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Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:56 pm Reply with quote
Saturn wrote:
And then there are the "punchlines to use when you can't come up with one" segments ._.

Deen has reused so much animation/footage it's not even funny ._. Remember the island? That thing appeared more often than some nations. It became a character in and of itself. And then there was the movie, wherein a great chunk was just clips from the series.

/mini rant

That, other than some of the animation and art, is definitely one of my biggest complaints about the anime.
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Mikeski



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 608
Location: Minneapolis, MN
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:27 pm Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
{BTW, Why was this a spoiler? It doesn't seem like it would actually spoil any plot points, since its about how things actually work, rather than how they work in anime where lightning wielding occurs.}
Because I've not watched any One Piece, so I wouldn't know how much discussion of the characters' natures would be spoily. Earlier folks were spoilering the discussion, so I continued. Better safe than sorry.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 2707
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:59 pm Reply with quote
I thought Luffy's rubber state was mentioned in the fight by one of the spectators. I second Metatron.
Yeah, Luffy is pretty messed up so one could argue the electricity COULD go in thru an open gash & fry all his blood, but then we'd need a new hero, so that's one of the things we put down to One Piece science.

I mean, hell, the whole cast would be dead many times over if this wasn't magic science.
Maybe people from down below aren't affected as much? Sanji & Usopp survive getting fried also.
I don't sweat it. This title's too much fun.
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