Monday, July 18, 2011

Random Thoughts: Transformers 3 , Sacred Blacksmith, Kaze No Stigma

Transformers 3
Recently saw this and I have to say--better than the second one. About as fun as the first. Entertaining, overall. Wasn't really expecting any more than that.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaced Megan Fox as Shia LeBeouf's new love interest and did a decent job. Although shame on Hollywood for making her run around in high heels during action sequences. C'mon, Hollywood. Make with the reality check.

Then again, I'm talking about Hollywood here, right?

And we all know: Hollywood + reality = does not compute.

Nice to see Peter Cullen back as the voice of Optimus.

And kudos to bringing in Leonard Nimoy as the voice of Sentinel Prime. Looks like Nimoy tips a hat to his previous Transformers appearance (the 1986 animated movie; he played Galvatron).

Was it planned? Hmm. Can't tell. Not sure how much of a geek Michael Bay is.

The Sacred Blacksmith
LadyAce suggested this 12-episode anime to me after she'd just watched it on Netflix streaming. Good fantasy series.

I could've done without the gratuitous boob jokes, tho. Yeah, they were giggle-worthy for the first ep. Maybe the second. But when you're on the fourth and fifth and they're still cracking boob jokes? C'mon. Enough already.

And Cecily, despite wanting to be a Knight Guard, shows the heart but not the follow-through. Several times in the early episodes, she hesitates in battle and Luke ends up saving her ass.

Yeah, she eventually comes into her own but I wanted to see more fighting spirit in action rather than in words. More pluckiness and still getting beat down rather than shying away and getting beat down.

I recommend it.

Kaze No Stigma
Started this one after finishing Blacksmith. It's like Avatar: The Last Airbender but set in present day Tokyo and the airbender air magic user isn't bald with arrow tattoos. Different families control and manipulate the elemental powers.

Pretty good.

Cherami Leigh, who voiced Cecily Campbell in Blacksmith, returns here as Ayano Kannagi and does an excellent job. I noticed, though, that Ayano seems to be prone to "'Khaaaan!' a la Captain Kirk" outcries. Usually directed at Kazuma, our male protagonist.

Thankfully the boob jokes are gone. But there seems to be a pervasive penchant for panty shots here. Not a lot. But I noticed several over three successive episodes.

There's also a nice little romantic subplot involving Ayano and Kazuma, including subtle-but-not-so-subtle attempts by Jugo Kannagi, Ayano's father, to hook up the two crazy kids. The amusement park episode is hilarious.

Also, Ayano's classmates Yukari and Nanase are a hoot.

There is a rather disturbing turn of events in episode 10. Made me flinch a bit. You'll see when you watch.

Finished Part One, which covered the first 12 episodes. Now watching Part Two. Part Two introduces Catherine McDonald, an American firebender fire magic user who comes to Japan to challenge Ayano in fire magic supremacy. And according to the anime's creators, American women dress like 1800s frontier women? 'Cuz Catherine's outfit reminds me of a woman out of an old Western show like Gunsmoke or Bonanza.

Okie dokie.

Overall, another recommended series.

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