RWBY Review: V4E2- Remembrance

Hello and Welcome to the RWBY review. Today, we will be looking at the second episode of season 4, “Remembrance”.

Not much to talk about on an animation perspective (though I think animators can say otherwise). I found that the facial expressions to be a major improvement with their correspondence to emotion to be strong. Another point of note was the animation for the butler, Klain; he has some sort of multiple personality disorder and they did go through the effort of adding affectations to his movements for each one which is a nice touch.

In terms of story, they seem to be doing twofold this episode. The first is scenes with Weiss to establish her home life. It’s generic with a younger brother that seems to have some deeper resentment for Weiss and Winter and an demanding father that controls Weiss but it seems done well enough. Special mention goes to the father, Jacques, who conveys his personality through talks with Ironwood and Weiss: he’s a business man first and foremost who seems to be willing to control his daughter for the sake of his reputation and company as well as quick to anger given his talk to Ironwood and implied past talks with the wife.

We also have scenes with RNJR particularly around Jaune and Ruby. One thing I didn’t comment on during the first episode was the lack of real impact of Pyrrha’s death on the team. Ruby, despite seeing Pyrrha die, only laughed at Jaune’s bunny hoodie despite it being linked to the cereal that Pyrrha promoted. Ruby’s laughter made the scene awkward. Here, they seem to be trying to rectify the problem by making it clear how it impacted them. Jaune is seen practicing to an old video that Pyrrha made in the dead of night while Ruby had nightmares of Pyrrha’s death. It works to establish the  impact of Pyrrha’s death but seems like a whiplash compared to the first episode.

The show also seems to be trying to establish the impact of the Grimm as we get a scene where RNJR goes to a town that Jaune once went to with his family to find it decimated. There is a portion with a guard and the team trying to get help for him only for him to pass away. In addition, the village is burned and in ruin with bodies everywhere. The sense of death and dread associated with the Grimm is more powerful here than in any of the past volumes.

The tone isn’t completely dark though, there are some small elements of comedy in this show but, unlike the first three volumes, the comedy is less abundant and serves to be a prelude to tragedy in RNJR’s case or to show how Weiss’s life is like in the case of Klein’s personality shift.

All and all, the show is trying to establish a darker tone but still maintain a stronger character focus with some levity. The tone is much better executed and the events of the last volume have clear impact on the cast.

RWBY Review: V4E1- The Next Step

Hello and welcome to a new series of reviews for RWBY. Today, I will be reviewing Volume 4, episode 1 of RWBY: The Next Step.

First off: due to the shift to Maya, the shading, particle effects and lighting have improved to the point of approaching professional. There are moments where the touch up work should have been better and the depth of field at one point is off but in general, the rendering is an improvement. What is an issue is the animation; the character animation is better with no sign of “puppeting” but there are moments of dead models where the models suddenly stop with no transition and there is no moving background or camera to help dispel the illusion of stillness.

For character designs, they added three new villains to the roster but their design is too simple. They look like a stereotypical bruiser, psychopath and plotter/negotiator with unique traits or features that would distinguish themselves from their archetype. The new costume for Ruby makes little sense as she’s now designed to be “sexy” but she still maintains her immature personality and behavior. The new costumes for the remainder of JNPR do work as they are more natural evolutions of their original style.

As for basic story, it handled it’s tone a lot better with the humor and the drama better segmented. The humor itself is more RvB style fourth wall absurd humor; it’s delegated to non action moments and low points in action so it doesn’t disrupt combat. The drama though is undermined by the lack of tension with the villains as the villains are underdeveloped with no real presence established for even Cinder. To use an example, Makishima Shogo in Psycho Pass was developed over the course of 10 episodes before the 11th episode when the viewpoint lead meats him. Cinder and Salam don’t have anything approaching this development. One thing that annoyed me about this show was that there was a scene with a farm that was superfluous to the plot and was merely padding to extend the run time. Other then that segment, the plot introduced Ruby’s team in a basic fashion and leads into Weiss’s story in a fairly competent way.

The opening isn’t the best.  The visuals are standard foreshadowing and emotional music. the issue is the music for the opening. There is no range compared to “It’s Time to Say Goodbye” or the other openings, the tempo is slow and kind of dull, and the lyrics are trying to sell a bittersweet story with a happy end but there is no increase in the tempo or pitch of the song to correlate with that

RWBY volume 4, episode 1 leaves me apprehensive. The story seems to be trying to break from the issues of the last three volumes but I have concerns about the villains and the main girls.

 

Archive Post: Tengen Teppa Gurren Lagann (9/29/15)

Hello, and after a long hiatus, Welcome to another Anime Chop Block
Today, we will be looking at the anime that got Team Trigger famous before Kill la Kill: Tengen Teppa Gurren Lagann.

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A mecha show made by Gainax, it ran from April 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007. As we know, the team that made Gurren Lagann made Kill la Kill under studio Trigger so let’s see how their earlier work fares.

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Archive Post: High School DxD (3/15/15)

Hello and welcome to a very unusual Anime Chop Block

Why is it so odd? Well, today, I will be reviewing both seasons of High School DxD.

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High School DxD was originally a still ongoing light novel written by Ichiei Ishibumi and the first four novels have been adapted into two anime seasons running from January 6 to March 21 of 2012 and from July 7 to September 22 of 2013.

Yes, I’m well aware of my normal stance on fanservice and harems but I got prodded by a friend to watch it and the results are interesting to say the least.

Before I start, one major change; the character section is now going to be compressed into the writing section since they are essentially the same thing and I’m having a harder time keeping them apart.

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Archive Post: When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace (12/29/14)

Hello and Welcome to another Anime Chop Block

Today, after a hiatus, it’s time to review the first effort for Trigger’s adaptations of existing material: When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace

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Yet another light novel adaptation, this time from Kota Nozomi of Happy Death Day, it ran for 12 episodes from October 6 to December 22. This being a Trigger show, I didn’t know what to expect since the show didn’t look like it lent itself to the insane visuals and art of Kill La Kill and Inferno Cop. However, I was impressed by it and I will explain why here.

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