When we last left Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, AKA When They Cry, three of the five main characters were dead. Keiichi murdered Rena and Mion in self-defense, but the drug they injected him with made him rip out his own throat, eventually dying from blood loss. So... what now? Do we continue the story with the survivors, Rika and Satoko? Does detective Oishi take a main role in investigating the strange and possibly supernatural happenings at Hinamizawa? Nope! We're going to pretend the first arc never happened! Let's get weird and homicidal (again) as we look at the second story arc, Cotton Drifting.
It's the premiere of a new Disney+ Marvel show! The first in this new chapter of tie-ins to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which I'm currently covering with MCU March, in case the daily posts somehow passed you by) was WandaVision, a quirky mystery involving magic, family, and grief. That is absolutely not what The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is about. This is an action show that could very easily become a political thriller, depending on how the episodes shape up. But enough preamble, let's dive right in!
One of the problems the Marvel Cinematic Universe has is the music. Like a lot of modern blockbusters, the soundtrack is samey and easily forgettable. Sure, you could probably identify the Avengers theme, but could you identify Doctor Strange's main theme? Did that movie actually have one? It did, and it sounds like a more action-orientated piece from a Harry Potter movie, but the point still stands. The exception to this are the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, full of recognizable songs to go with the standard background music. But I think Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ups the soundtrack game compared to its predecessor. Welcome back to MCU March! Yeah, I'm going to talk about the music a lot today!
Everything is better when you add magic. Got a medieval-ish story? Throw in some wizards and necromancers and let's have fun. Grim and gritty urban noir setting? Add an asshole detective who can cast spells and it's automatically a hundred times better. Have one of the most successful film franchises in history? Let's add Doctor Strange to the mix. MUC March is continuing on, now talking about the magical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This is a movie about division. An argument springs up that splits a group in two, pitting them against each other in a fight neither side can truly win. I'm talking of course about how my husband and I absolutely disagree about who was "right" in Captain America: Civil War, and it causes a lengthy discussion every time this movie gets brought up. Welcome back to MCU March! We're in the endgame towards Avengers: Endgame as the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially entered Phase Three.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe really tries to cover as many genres as it can, all while still sticking with a superhero aesthetic. For example, Captain America: The First Avenger is a war drama, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a political thriller, and Guardians of the Galaxy is a space comedy. So really, it's not that big a surprise that Ant-Man would be a heist movie. And despite some behind the scenes shakeups, this is a comedy that has that that Mr. Edgar Wright humor all over it.
MCU March is still going strong! With Avengers: Age of Ultron we're just about at the halfway point of the franchise (thus far) and the end of Phase 2. I say "just about" because the actual mid-point (thus far) AND the actual end of Phase 2 both happen to be Ant-Man, but we'll get to that tomorrow. Today we watch Tony Stark continue to make the worst decisions possible!
Let's try something a little different. Disney+'s release schedule for new shows is pretty tight, with episodes releasing weekly followed by a making-of documentary and kicking off with a new series the week after. For the time being I'm going to skip the Star Wars shows, but that still means that the majority of these Saturday posts will be tied up with the MCU, not leaving much time for anything else. Well, I'm instituting a new policy for the blog: when I'm in the middle of reviewing the latest MCU show on Saturdays, a completely different show's posts will go up as a bonus on Sundays. Does this mean that the last half of the month will have a post every single day thanks to MCU March? Yup! Will I regret this? Probably! But enough of that, let's talk about child murder.
The previous film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, saw trust betrayed when it was revealed that Hydra had been a part of SHIELD all along, leading to SHIELD's dissolution and changing the landscape for all Earth-based heroes. But enough of that serious shit, let's have wacky space adventures! Welcome back to MCU March; let's talk about Guardians of the Galaxy.
I know I basically said that Thor: The Dark World was a turning point for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that's more a collection of little details. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, however? This is a huge moment in the franchise, splitting everything into "films before" and "films after." It's also the first MCU film by the directors of several episodes of Community, Mr. Joe and Mr. Anthony Russo. Oh yeah, they both directed the pilot and Joe also directed Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, A Fistfull of Paintballs, and For a Few Paintballs More. That probably explains why Abed was working for SHIELD... They also directed Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, so that's probably more relevant to MCU March.