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Otaku Evolution Episode 199 - Top 10 Otaku Evolution Videos

 

There's not a whole lot of commentary I can provide for this one... mostly because it IS commentary on other commentaries. It's turtles all the way down. And this won't be the only favorites list this year, either. You can say I've gotten lazy, but I've been working nonstop on the 200th video (so far it's over 40 minutes long).

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Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway Review

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SPOILER-FREE SYNOPSIS: It's Universal Century 105, 12 years after Char's Rebellion. The Federation continues to devour resources on the Earth, but are opposed by a group called Mafty that assassinates Federation leaders. Their leader is Mafty Navue Erin, who unbeknownst to most is really Hathaway Noa, the son of Federal Forces hero Bright Noa. After him is the Federal Force's Circe unit, led by Kenneth Sleg, a determined and tenacious officer dedicated to stomping out Mafty and its influence. Hathway must find a way to cloak his activities as he seeks to change the world.

Otaku Evolution Episode 198 - Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

I owe Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team for getting me into the Universal Century era of Gundam. If it weren't for it, I would never have got into watching the original series, or Zeta, or Char's Counterattack. I'd have stuck with the AUs like Wing or G forever. And while there's nothing necessarily wrong with the AUs (well, some of them), the Universal Century is the biggest tent at the Gundam circus. There are Gundam titles I like more than this OVA, but it's still one of my favorites.

 

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Otaku Evolution Episode 197 - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

In this video, I take a look at Hayao Miyazaki's second theatrical directorial foray, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, based on his own manga that ran in Animage magazine. Having read some of the manga (I really need to get back to it), I can tell you that there are some definite differences between the two (the movie was made when the manga was unfinished), but the movie is good enough to stand on its own... for the most part. It's not my favorite Miyazaki film, and certainly doesn't have my favorite Hisaishi music, but it's a damn good adventure worth watching.

 

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Otaku Evolution Episode 196 - Urusei Yatsura: Only You

I don't know a lot about Urusei Yatsura, to be honest. To prepare for this review, I watched the first couple of episodes, and I scanned the Wikipedia page on the series. It's not a franchise I've waded in before. But knowing how important it is to anime, and seeing that it has an English-dubbed version (which I had to retrieve in an interesting way), I thought I'd give it a shot. Besides, it's Mamoru Oshii, and Mamoru Oshii is a damn good director. Most of the time. Well, Urusei Yatsura: Only You isn't very Oshii-esque, but it was still early in his career.

 

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Otaku Evolution Episode 195 - Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie

Well, it's 80s Month again, which means I get to hype myself up by watching old 80s commercials and music videos to vibe with while I'm deciding which selections to make. Hey, did you know Domino's brought back the Noid? That's as 80s as Crocodile Mile, shoulder pads for women, and pretending NutraSweet was good for you. I keep waiting for Hi-C to bring back Ecto Cooler... again. But Space Adventure Cobra is more of a 70s throwback with its bizarre, even trippy imagery.

But is it worth watching? Well, I suppose. But it has its issues.

Otaku Evolution Episode 194 - Iria: Zeiram the Animation

I have to admit, I did not watch the two live-action Zeiram movies. I saw a clip or two (I used one of them) and read a summary on Wikipedia. Because of this, I approached Iria: Zeiram the Animation not as a prequel to the movies, but as a distillation of elements from the movies, an anime that stands on its own. But it's not a great anime on its own, or at all, really. It's not truly awful, but there are so many other anime out there worth your time more than this one. Some of the plot beats are head scratching, to say the least.

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Otaku Evolution Episode 193 - Lupin III: Farewell to Nostradamus

I love the Lupin III franchise, but there is a lot of crap in it. And the crappy parts range from dull and lifeless to actively painful, and all shades in between. Legend of the Gold of Babylon was interestingly bad, which may or may not fall on the spectrum of crap (it may just be an exception). Farewell to Nostradamus, on the other hand, is the kind of terrible that you can't really say that much about. It's just a very dull, inert movie that feels like Lupin III in automatic mode. There's nothing special about it whatsoever, aside from being a theatrical feature.

 

Otaku Evolution Episode 192 - Excel Saga

Excel Saga is the anime that I immediately think of when somebody says "anime comedy". It could've been FLCL, which I think is better, but FLCL isn't as gut-bustingly hilarious, so much as it is contemplative with a little zaniness baked in. Excel Saga is pure comedy, through and through, and I recall the hype around it on the original Otaku Revolution message board. I didn't see it until ADV licensed it, and I still have the DVD singles that I collected over time. Excel Saga may not be up there among my top 20 anime, but it's always a treat to revisit.

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