- Just for Fun
- Jun 9, 2014 4:02 AM
Alright so I'm in desperate need to sit down and talk about something fun so let's talk about my favourite sitcom of all time - Frasier.
For those who don't know, here's the skinny - Frasier is a late 90s sitcom that ran for 11 seasons that focuses on Frasier Crane, a radio pyschiatrist who is living with his ex-cop father Martin and his physiotherapest from England, Daphne as well his father's adorable dog, Eddie. Other characters in the show include Frasier's younger brother Niles and his show's producer, Roz. The series usually revolves around either the two brother's being culture snobs in some way and a failing miserably, or some emotional issue that Frasier or Niles helps with psychiatry or Martin helps with his sage advice. Hi-jinks and laughs abound.
Also it was a spin-off of the hit series, Cheers and usually features cameos of characters from tht appearing here and there with Fraiser's ex wife Lilith usually popping up once and season.
So why do I love this show so much? Well it is hilarious and while some elements have not dated well, the farcical nature of the show is still glorious. The show's humour is rooted strongly in the characters and how they percieve a situation or how they want to be percieved. This usually takes the form of a character making up a lie they must then go through hoops to maintain in order to save face. Nine times out of ten, honesty would solve the situation, but the characters own neuroses results in them doing everything they can to hide the problem. This could get tired, but the show hides it's formula well and uses it sometimes in really obvious ways - "Oh no! The kitchen staff of our new restaurant walked out on opening night, we'll have to stand in for them!" - and sometimes in really subtle ways - "Oh no! Dad broke up with his girlfriend because he's afraid of falling in love again!" and with framing device of psychiatry vs old time wisdom, you get a nice mix of resolution from episode to episode.
The performances of the cast are also excellent, with David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammar being excellent at both delivering witty put downs and old-style slapstick comedy. John Mahoney and Peri Gilpin do great on the other side of the fence as the more down-to-earth snarkers of the group, while Jane Leeves as Daphne is... interesting. Starting out as quite mad, Jane Leeves manages to slide into the more level-headed Daphne that we get later in the series which brings me to the part where I have to talk about the little things that don't quite stand up to scrutiny in Frasier but don't detract from it either. I'd go into them here, but this is meant to be a positive blog so I'll just say that the 90s had standard jokes that it liked to use a lot ("This character has a lot of sex!" "This guy is in love with this oblivious girl!") and Fraiser goes to that well but I'll say it does put it's own spin on them somewhat.
But that's enough about negatives. I still love this show. It's hilariously witty and has some of the best slapstick you'll ever see. The set ups are usually gold and the show takes advantage of all of them. It's a comedy that does a lot with very little (the show really only has five characters most of the time) and it has very few missteps in it's 11 seasons. If you haven't seen it, check it out and I hope you laugh as much as I do.
- Just for Fun
- May 24, 2014 7:29 PM
So my love for the Pokemon franchise is well documented, but I haven't talked very much about my love for it's supposedly lesser cousin, the Digimon franchise. Well seeings as I'm on something of a Digimon kick at the moment with just having bought the Third season on DVD, I thought I'd talk a little bit about my feelings on this particular monster franchise.
Except the thing about Digimon is that it's kind of a weird franchise to talk about, as throughout it's 6-8 seasons (it's complicated, I'll explain in a bit.) the franchise has shaken itself up a lot. The various seasons vary wildly in both tone and even series mythology, so I'm going do a quick run down of each series and what I think of them.
I'll keep it spoiler free but give opinions on these silly little kid's shows as we go along.
Season 1: Digimon Adventure
The series that started it all and honestly it still holds up pretty well. The story of 7 kids who get sucked into a mysterious world full of digital creatures is still endeering in a simple way and when the story ramps up into the Myotismon arc, it's still entertaining as hell. It's dumb in places (especially the wonderfully goofy dub) but I can't really get too critical of it. The worst crime it commits is having a fairly slap-dash story, but given the series went from a planned 13 episodes to 54, the fact they managed to get anything good out of it - and the Myotismon arc is great - is a testement all of itself. Not many cartoons from your childhood can hold up like this and even fewer you can introduce to newbies and they still enjoy it. So if you haven't seen it, check it out.
Season 2: Digimon Adventure 02
The return of the Digidestined is marred by the fact that it only features the real return of it's two least interesting characters - Kari and TK - and replaces the rest with the bland brigade. Zero Two is not awful, but only because the character arc of the so-called Digimon Emporer is well done and engaging. Weirdly enough, Zero Two has the same issue of a plot that's cobbled together, despite the fact the writers clearly did have ideas and plans in place. From what I hear it's an issue of too many cooks spoiling the broth and different writers throwing in different ideas, but the result is bland and doesn't hold up. It feels like the throwaway kids show the first season could've been. Just don't bother with this, Adventure is satisfying enough on it's own.
Also the Epilogue is the second most rage inducing thing for a Digimon fan.
Season 3: Digimon Tamers
What happens when you get the guy who did Serial Experiments Lain to write a kid's show, you get one of my all time favourite anime. With a smaller cast, Tamers is able to create layered characters that exceed anything the series had before. The black and white morality of the previous seasons is thrown aside for a more grey take with lots of ethical questions about the Digimon franchise itself brought up. They even managed to tie in the commerical plugs in a neat and clever little way. Then there's the sheer brass balls of the last third of the series that decides to take it into darker places that probably traumatised a looooot of kiddies. This season also had my favourite Digimon, Lopmon, so there's that. Honestly I cannot express how much I love this series, it's just a masterpiece in my eyes.
Season 4: Digimon Frontier
Digimon goes Sentai! After a season largely taking place in the real world, Frontier restricts itself to the Digital World and really creates a rich mythology this time around, which is something I really liked. I did miss the Human/Digimon bonding from Tamers and in all honesty the characters were pretty bland, but as a silly little distraction, Frontier is above average. I could happily watch it again, though it really does fizzle out towards the end. Probably the most middle of the road season for me. Good, not great, but not bad either.
Season 5: Digimon Savers
I think Bandai had worked out their original audience had gotten older and for some reaosn went with a series with an older set of characters (ranging from 14-18) with tones of fanservice... that's still very much a kid's show at heart. Imagine if you mixed Gurren Lagaan with Digimon and that's Savers. This is a series where the main character routinely punches out Digimon about 20 times his size. It's silly and obnoxious and seems to desperately claw for attention with it's over-the-top action, fanservice and fan shout outs to bigger concepts in the franchise. And I can't hate it. It's one of the dumbest things I have ever seen but I enjoy it for the same reason I love Jason X, because sometimes you can pile up the dumb into brilliance. Savers does that for me but I totally get why some people really hate it.
Season 6/7: Digimon Xros Wars
Okay so... Digimon Xros Wars is technically two/three series depending on how you count it, but Digimon Xros Wars and Digimon Xros Wars: The Evil Death Generals and the Seven Kingdoms (oy, that title) cover one big arc and I suspect are just one season cut into two parts. The third Xros Wars series... is a new story and very much seperate from the first two. I'm saying this because I actually kinda like Xros Wars and counting the third one would... taint that. Xros Wars is very much a return to the ideas of Adventure, except now they threw out the evolving for basically merging the Digimon like Voltron (not a entirely new concept for the series) and while I'm not a huge fan, it's very much enjoyable for the goofy action you expect from this franchise. Like Frontier, I can watch this happily while I work and not be annoyed by it but never really get into that much (except the finale, oh lord the finale) so about that third series...
Season 8Season 7.5: Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time.
Oh look, it's Rogo Rage o'clock.
Young Hunters is a naked, effortless cash grab. The main hook of this series is that it features the return of the protagonists from al previous seasons, teaming up to take down a great evil. Except they obviously couldn't afford many of the old seiyuu for those roles for too long, so they all barely appear outside of brief glimpses here and there, and one half of an episode that desperately tries to be big a triumphant, but fails miserably. Beside that, this series follows a character who looks like a bad fan character wandering around fighting whatever Digimon is
marketablecausing mischief that week. It's like they intended to make it a celebration of the franchise by combining all the best elements for previous series, but ended up getting all the crap instead. I'm only talking about it here because I have to. Blegh.
So that's the Digimon Franchise and I do think it has a lot going for it. I actually think that it has more potential than Pokemon in some ways, as Tamers has proven quite nicely. Yeah it's a silly kid's anime, but it's a worthwhile one in my opinion that I have a lot of nostalgia for. It's fun, creative and I recommend checking out most seasons ('cept Young Hunters, obviously.) as nearly all of them try something new. And I have to respect a franchise that changes things up instead of doing the same thing over and over again.
Ahaha... I'm not even sorry.
- Just for Fun
- May 1, 2014 5:48 AM
So I had a pretty cruddy weekend and as such I feel like I wanna reflect on a few of my favourite things like I'm a nun trying to calm down scared children. As such, here are a list of ten of my favourite things. No particular order or theme, just ten things that I love and enjoy on a regular basis. Let's go!
I dunno if I really subscribe to the idea that they're are 'cat people' and 'dog people' because I love both, but if I had to pick I am definitely a cat person. Their fur is softer, their affectionate nuzzling is adorable rather than akin to being headbutted and I just find cats a whole lot more adorable than dogs generally. Nothing will turn me into a pile of mewling mush faster than a picture of an adorable kitten. Yes, yes, I know 'cats only care about you because you feed them' well you know what, good! I'm down with conditional love over unconditional love, means I know where I stand with a cat!
But seriously they're adorable.
Not sure why I went from cats to deranged kills but okay. So I really love the hell out of slasher movies. You take a bunch of characters and stick in a remote location with a killer and I'm in heaven. Even the really terrible ones. Okay, especially the really terrible ones. It's a love that's hard to describe without sounding sick and deranged (THANK YOU 80S) but the really good slasher movies will create characters you want to see survive, so you're invested when they die and happy when they overcome the killer. The really bad slasher movies create characters you want to see die and this being a slasher movie, you're almost guaranteed to see it. There's also the fact that as a genre they aren't overly serious and some of my favourites in the genre are very, very silly. I mean... my favourite Sasher franchise is Friday the 13th and... well Jason has fought psychics, been turned into a little boy by toxic waste and gone into space... like I said, pretty silly.
This is a love I've only really rediscovered in the past few months thanks to the excellent Lego Movie but it's a love that was always there, I just took a hiatus due to getting older and thinking 'well I'm too old for that now'. But these days I'm back on the Lego bandwagon and I find it very soothing every time. I'm definitely someone who follows the instructions on these things and there's something about going step by step through them to create this cool little toy that's very relaxing to me. Also Lego is friggin' awesome right now. Seriously for like £10 you can get a car, a baddie and a goodie to play with, that's just awesome!
I kinda combined these two because they're similar enough to cause schoolyard arguements, plus my love of Pokemon is well documented so I don't feel like I have to say anything else about it here other than, yeah I love Pokemon. I also love Digimon, which is a franchise that I want to see do well but with it's most recent contributions being a subpar MMO and a truely awful recent anime season, I fear this is a franchise I won't get to enjoy as much these days (especially with Digimon World Redigitize only being available in Japan, WHAT THE HELL?!) but it's one with so much story potential I hope it has a resurgance. I mean this is a series that's done by an 'adventures in wonderland' storyline and something that kind of resembles Serial Experiments Lain so it has a lot of room for stories that Pokemon just doesn't have. Either way, both franchises will put a big smile on my face.
This is probably the thing I watch the most. Partly because it's easily digestable and I don't have to pay attention to it while I work, but also because some of my favourites are just so entertaining I want to rewatch them over and over. For those of you who don't know, internet reviewers are usually just someone going through a movie are riffing/analysing it, with my preference usually leaning towards riffing. My favourite of these is and always will be the Cinema Snob, who handles some rougher material (He's done most of the video nasties and introduced me to 4 ET pornos) but has great comedic timing and is just very, very funny. Nothing more to say than it's nice to see funny people being funny on the internet. For some reason I identify with that.
I was tempted to put just 'anime' here but I thought that'd be lazy and unspecific and I didn't want to get into my thoughts on anime here, so instead I'm just gonna talk about anime openings. Holy crap, Anime Openings are amazing. Not just the visuals either, some of my favourite songs to listen to are anime openings, to the point where that's pretty much all I have on my iPod. A good anime opening can make you feel pumped and energetic and ready to take on the world,and combine that with the super dramatic visuals they usually have, and you have a recipe for pure undiluted awesome that may not be suitable for those with allergies to epic. That sentance got away from me but regardles, anime openings are (usually) pretty badass.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Yeah, yeah I know everyone loves these movies and it's probably just hype but it's my list so screw off. These movies are awesome and while they've had missteps (Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World and Incredible Hulk) none of these movies are terrible and I'd be hard pressed to say they weren't entertaining to watch. What I love about these movies is that the studio seems to have a tight control over how they're made and that they apparently are planned meticulously how everything is coming together. Yes, it's probably going to be convoluted and a silly but they're comic book movies, I want them to be convoluted and silly (in a fun way) and so far the Marvel Cinematic Universe is knocking out of the park. In a time where superhero movies are either desperately trying not to be super hero movies (Dark Knight Rises), are desperate cash grabs (Amazing Spider-man 2) or are just made by awful, awful people (X-men), the Marvel movies stand out to me as some of the most fun I've had in the cinema over the past few years. They have my faith and love and I hope they continue to rock on into awesomeness forever more.
I'm actually a *little* behind on these books but the ones I've read I absolutely adore. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett are - in my opinion - the absolute best blend of comedy, fantasy and adventure that you will every read. The characters are unique and memorable, the world is clever and inventive and the stories are usually fantastic blends of originality and parody that draw you in with every word. My favourites in the series include; Feet of Clay, Carpe Juggelum and The Thief of Time all of which I think are fantastic and you should definitely check out. Also I'd be lying if I said some of the irreverent humour of the Discworld books hadn't rubbed off onto me a little bit when I started work on Gravston. Speaking of influences...
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Yes, Joss Whedon may be a flawed writer but his Buffy series will always stand up to me as some pretty amazing writing for it's time. The characters here are strong and well-defined and most importantly, are allowed to be flawd. Buffy is not the perfect hero and screws up constantly, and she's called out for it time and time again. Bare in mind, the idea of a 'strong female character' being perfect and badass with no flaws is an idea we still can't shake today and Buffy was letting it's heroes screw up on a regular basis way back in the 90s. That said, I do want to punch early seasons Xander in the dick every time he opens his mouth because... he's a 90s nice guy character and those were just all universally punchable (looking at you Ross from Friends). I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Angel as well, as that was a series I didn't watch as much but was pleasantly surprised by it's quality and I feel like some of it's arcs (the Jasmine arc in particular) surpassed Buffy in a lot of ways. If you haven't seen these series then I recommend them, if you have and you want more, I just started reading the Angel comics and they're fantastically fun (Angel has a dragon now, it's epic.)
Oh I've banged on about how much I love FullMetal Alchemist enough, you say? Don't care, I'm gonna rave about it here anyway. So yeah FullMetal Alchemist is my favourite thing ever. I love the stories (both anime and manga), I love the characters, I love the artwork and Hiromu Arakawa *is* the artist that I most admire. The woman is an inspiration and I strongly recommend reading up on her and some of her ideas when it comes to art. FMA was the first time I got involved in a fan community (actually now I think about it... ONLY time) and I can remember my excitement as I saw the early preview scans for upcoming chapters and my smile of satisfaction as the ending rolled around. I've read the entire series at least 6 times and I'm certain I'll read it over and over again in the future. It's great and has a special place in my heart.
Okay I think that's ten things. Hope you liked it and I guess I put it to you - YES YOU MELISSA - to write out your own lists of things you love. I'd be curious to see 'em.
- I live inUNITED KINGDOM
- I was born onFeb 23
MangaMagazine Community Manager
Hello everyone! The name's Rogo and apparently I'm witty and junk? I live in the UK and am a huge fan of anime and manga, and as such this of course means that I have decided to start my own manga - Gravston.
I'm something of a scatterbrain so if I don't reply to a comment right away please don't take offense, I'll get to it eventually I'm sure. I hope that people who check out Gravston enjoy it and keep coming back to more! I'm also open to constructive criticism so if I'm doing something wrong (like spelling mistakes *ahem*) then let me know :)
Gravston Volume 1
Content: 204 Pages - Contains Chapters 1-4 Plus EXTRAS!
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Book type: High Quality Perfect bound, Full Color Laminated Glossy Cover and Rear with 204 Premium Black and White Interior Pages.
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Hand-made Samuel's Skull Pendant
Hand-made Polymer Clay Replica of Samuel's Skull Pendant from Gravston
"Wanna feel like you're the Death Host from Gravston known as Samuel? Well the skull pendant he wears should be a good start!"
Check out more by the charm maker -http://vampirecupcake.storenvy.com/
*item shipped from US international so shipping times apply to UK purchases*$4.99 $6.99Add Hand-made Samuel's Skull Pendant by Rogo to Cart
Hand-made Mr Orange Charm
Hand-made Polymer Clay Charm Mr Orange from Gravston
"The man that will do things just to see what happens and never stops smiling, Mr. Orange"
Check out more by the charm maker -http://vampirecupcake.storenvy.com/
*item shipped from US international so shipping times apply to UK purchases*$4.99 $6.99Add Hand-made Mr Orange Charm by Rogo to Cart