Mr. Phil Tippett is a legend. He's partly responsible for the visual effects in classics like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, RoboCop, and also movies like Starship Troopers. And even if he hadn't proven his talent on those films, Mad God is a surreal tour de force that proves he's a master in his field. Too bad it just didn't leave much of an impression on me!
Well it's been a minute, hasn't it? I left a lot of stuff unfinished when I took my hiatus back in January, and finishing up Centaurworld was pretty much the top of that list (mostly because I had a WIP of this post sitting in drafts for months). Well the time has come to wrap this up! Let's talk about the finale to Centaurworld, and probably the best episode overall.
Normally when I review a TV show, I watch a batch of episodes and write about them before continuing to the next batch. Sure, I may have seen the show before, but gives a feeling that I don't necessarily know exactly what's going to happen next. Well, that's not the case for Centaurworld's second season. It's a shorter one with only 8 episodes, but the last one is longer and wraps everything up. And I watched it before I could write my thoughts on the previous 7 episodes. So let me try to sum up my thoughts on the mysteries laid out with as few spoilers as possible, now that I know absolutely all the answers.
The world is--arguably--a more progressive place than it was in the past. People feel safer to be their true selves--although again, that varies from place to place, so just imagine that every positive statement in this opening comes with a little asterisk next to it. And that openness is reflected in media, with queer characters appearing more and more frequently, even in stuff for kids. Enter Luca, a story about coming out and the hostility one may face in living their life.
Happy New Year! There's probably one person out there right now going, "Hey! This isn't the start of the 'Festival Orchestrating' arc for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kai, AKA When They Cry: Kai!" Well that potential reader is right--I haven't finished up Kai, partly because my computer can't play Blu-ray discs so I'd have to watch it in the cold living room, but also because I'm lazy. But that doesn't mean that I haven't been watching things! I've got movies lined up, but not as many shows since so many are things I'd want to cover here. But during the holidays I checked out Centaurworld, a Netflix animated series that looked goofy as hell. And it is! But it also has a dark undercurrent that leads to a fight with an eldritch abomination. So made for me, really. Oh, and it's also a musical. There's a lot going on.
I think it's safe to say that I didn't like Bahum Bug. I thought it was lazy, bad, boring, and looked cheap. Also the ending had Bahum Bug repent his evil ways, so what was left for a sequel? I expected some shenanigans like his cousin comes and causes trouble, but oh no. No no no. Bahum Bug 2 decided to be lazier. And worse. Even more boring, and somehow cheaper.
I had a plan for January 2022. It wasn't good, but there was one. The idea was to watch as many movies by Mr. Ulli Lommel--a man I regard as the worst filmmaker I've ever seen, as I touched upon in Diary of a Cannibal--until my soul couldn't take any more or the month ended, whichever happened first. But that's being postponed for something else. Why bring this up? I was going to end December on some absolute garbage movies to get myself in the right headspace for the following month. For better or worse, that's the part of the plan that stuck. So let's talk about Bahum Bug, which is as ugly as it is bad.
Holy shit, there are like a thousand adaptations of Mr. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Who knows, maybe next year for December I'll spend the entire month only covering different versions of the classic tale... But until that possible future, I feel like I should touch upon at least one adaptation each December. Last year was the beloved The Muppet Christmas Carol, but this year I somehow found myself watching the 1997 A Christmas Carol direct-to-VHS, Saturday morning cartoon-esque, animated version that was... not good. I'd say an attempt was made, but I'm not convinced of that.
Now, it's completionally understandable that someone would look at a lack of a When They Cry: Kai episode summary over the weekend and the review of a short film on Monday--that went up late, damn it, because I didn't notice the upload time was set to 11PM and had to change that--would suggest that I've fallen behind on the blog. But that's absolutely... well, it's not incorrect, let's just say that. But The Backwater Gospel has always been something I wanted to cover, because while it's less than 10 minutes long, the look, feel, and story are top notch.
Normally when covering Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Kai, AKA When They Cry: Kai, I talk about an entire arc in one post. Well, Mass Slaughter is eight episodes long, so welcome to part two! Let's start with a brief recap of what happened in the first four episodes: Rika is aware she's stuck in a neverending time loop of the same days over and over until her eventual murder. After around a hundred years of this, morale is in the dumps. Doesn't help that her invisible friend, the horned Hanyu, is a pretty big fatalist as well. Moping about the inescapable nature of fate to Keiichi, Rika is surprised when the boy stands up and forcibly changes how things are supposed to happen. Bolstered by new hope, she rallies her friends to save Satoko, her best friend who is trapped with an abusive uncle. And that's basically where we start this second half of episodes.