What are you watching? (television thread)

Aazealh

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Can you imagine how much momentum would be lost if Guts would fight Wyald and win just a few episodes before we got to the Eclipse? The insanity, shock and danger of the finale would deflate significantly. Do we need Casca to go through the same shit, but worse? Who cares if we need to see that Guts can kill an apostle? We've been witnessing countless times how his strength is beyond any human.

I disagree. I think it lulls the reader into a false sense of security before slamming them even harder in the face. And I think the ordeal of that fight, where Guts gives everything he's got and barely manages to almost-but-not-quite-win, serves as an important step for him becoming the Black Swordsman while also underlining how insanely desperate their situation is during the Eclipse.

You say we don't need to see this or that, but it's not like we're riding the bus to get to a specific station and every stop in-between is a waste of our time. It's all about the journey. Otherwise reading a one paragraph summary is enough. Not to mention that if there wasn't any clear progression in Guts' abilities before he becomes the Black Swordsman, people would rightfully call it an abrupt transition.

And I don't want to get into a protracted discussion because I'm not looking to convince you, but those scenes are also chock full of little bits of character development between Guts, Casca, Griffith, and even Judo and Pippin. This stuff is all great to me, it's top notch Berserk. It expands the world and makes you love those characters more. Even Wyald is great as the basest, vilest possible villain you can find. Completely grotesque and undignified, literally a horny monkey that embodies the loser apostles so that Zodd or Locus can be the cool ones.

Of course, if you're approaching this from the perspective that the anime's ending comes as a big shock, it's another matter entirely. As an advertisement for the manga, it worked great the way it was done. But if you compare the two "versions" of the story, there's absolutely no contest at all between them as far as I'm concerned.

But of course if they had a big budget and more time they would've adapted it closer to the source material, but that doesn't always mean it's a good thing, there's a myriad of examples of that when translating to different media.

The varying merits of adaptations is its own topic. In this case, the 97 anime certainly achieved its goal with great success at the time it was made. Despite its low budget and the difficulty of adapting the source material, it managed to be compelling, respectful and, through its almost revolting cliffhanger of an ending, drove people to the manga. Far from me the idea of denying that. But it was also a product of its time, and I don't think it's unreasonable to say that a better adaptation could be produced for Berserk today if someone were willing to invest the appropriate budget and talent. Anyway, for what it's worth, I personally don't feel a need for more Berserk adaptations.
 
The only thing the anime has that the Manga doesn't is those two filler episodes with Adon, which I do enjoy just for the sake of showing off more examples of the Falcons' military prowess, as well as getting to see more of Adon's antics (which I'm partial to because his English voice actor is Mike Pollock, voice actor of Dr. Eggman in the Sonic games). I'd hardly argue those episodes add anything though; if anything, they strip any threatening aura Adon might've had in his first canon appearance.

I don't begrudge the anime for leaving stuff like Wyald or the Bakiraka out though. Wyald was probably too hot for TV, and the anime leaves out a lot of things that have future significance post the Eclipse (such as Skull Knight) probably as a ploy to get people to buy the Manga to kearn how Guts survived, which is the point of a lot of 90's/2000's anime.

I guess one thing I genuinely do prefer in the anime is how Guts' time with Godo is shown in chronological order, rather than being flashed back to later. It creates some breathing room between Guts leaving the Falcons and rejoining them, which I feel happens a bit too quickly in the Manga. That's a ymmv thing though.
 
Been watching some game-inspired shows recently:

Tekken: Bloodline - Not a good show by any means, but it was a nice nostalgia trip. Saw characters I haven't thought about for a very long time. Heihachi, Kazuya, Jin, King, Nina, Yoshimitsu, Paul Phoenix, etc. I relived my adolescence for the brief span of 6 episodes. I enjoyed the combat scenes, which were faithful to the games; you can do the same scenes you see in the game. Pretty cool. I made the mistake of watching it in English though, and it's like they used AI to voice everybody. Just awful. Anyway, it should be fun for Tekken fans.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners - That was a lot better than I was expecting it to be going in. It certainly helped the game get players back and sell more copies. I love how the city is the same in both the game and the show; you can visit the locations you see featured in the episodes. Good animation, great action scenes, interesting characters, and an unexpectedly emotional story. I kind of wish these writers wrote the game instead. The show got me craving the game, which I suppose means it fulfilled its purpose. Recommended for anyone who had a passing interest in Cyberpunk 2077.

Up next, the final season of Castlevania. I've put this off for long enough and the games I played recently re-ignited my interest. So I look forward to finishing the show!
 
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Griffith

With the streak of a tear, Like morning dew
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners - That was a lot better than I was expecting it to be going in.

Well, if it's anything like this, I'm IN.


I haven't really been able to watch anything lately but Daniel Tiger and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse since those are the two shows that temporarily pacify both my children. With one exception...

Neon Genesis Evangelian! - I put it on Netflix as a joke, but my daughter loved the opening theme song and then I ended up watching the first three episodes again. Quite nostalgic, but I saw the series and the weird movie like everyone else back in the late 90s/early 2000s, so I'm not going to watch it all again, but it did remind me they did those remake/reboot alternative movies that ended just recently and I'm intrigued by their apparently trying to land this plane for a third time a quarter century later. That would actually be a novel way to re-experience the series than watching it all over again (and I hear it's better to have experienced the original first anyway, sort of like FF7 Remake).

So, after a couple of aborted attempts I fired it up today and was surprised how closely it follows the original, like shot for shot in many cases with the old music too (which I'm not mad at, I was actually scared of what they'd replace it with =). It looks ok, smoother and shinier as these things are; I prefer the harder, flatter style of the original of course. I'm sure it's going to deviate more and more for the sake of time and because, knowing the original and how it and movie went, I'm sure this will end up spiraling down an insane path as it goes along, whatever their intentions at making it more accessible/sensible are (the film's subheadings alone tell me that =). Let's see if I still find this shit compelling as a middle-aged man; if nothing else it's a good excuse to do the Ikari reflective glasses pose again. :badbone:

Oh yeah, speaking of reimaginings...

 
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As for Evangelion, last year I did my first full rewatch of the series after seeing it the first time back in like 2017 or 2018, and to my surprise I had a phenomenal experience with the original series and End of Evangelion (which I happened to see in theaters as well, it was awesome). I suppose that so many things didn't make sense to me in my early 20s still at my first anime / manga experiences, but everything clicked perfectly and I could relate a whole lot with the characters psychological struggles... and honestly the old school animation and style still holds up so well for me.
Sadly I can't say many compliments on the remake / alternate retelling of the Rebuilds, they're just as good as I'd expect from a random Hollywood remake of a masterful work of a different culture, except it was the same creator of the original that completely lost touch with his own work and message, the last film was particularly painful to watch.

Up to a separate and more positive contribution, I just finished watching Mindhunter, Season 2. I'm very satisfied with this, on some aspects more than S1, even though I think it felt a little less balanced than that. I read that this season had a troubled production (the original showrunner was fired, all the scripts were rewritten and the budget was very as expected of a work from Fincher) so I'm not really complaining too much. I was shocked to see how the big case that occupies the second half of the season developed and how it was closed. It's also terrible to hear about cases like this happening in hear life.
It's such a pity there's no word for a Season 3, this is such a competent and well-produced series, so rare to find from Netflix.
 
In the middle of The Watchers (Netflix), Solar Opposites (Hulu), Abbott Elementary (Hulu, weekly drop), Rings of Power (Amazon), Say Yes To The Dress (S20, so I have some catching up to do) and some more non-Horror centric shows I can't recall.
 

Walter

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Staff member
I watched the first episode the The Last of Us adaptation on HBO. It's a show that features a lot of polish and attention to detail, but at its core feels absolutely needless. It followed the game point-by-point, to the extent that anyone who has played it will get virtually nothing from it. It's a great example for when an adaptation stays too close to the source material, rendering the whole process of adapting it to a different medium feel pointless. I also think it's possible that people overrate the actual story in The Last of Us, because there's really not much to it. There's some setup in the first hour, then they pile it on at the very end. Other than that? It's a lot of exploring, looting vacant buildings (for bricks), and bricking people in the head. I don't know how much meat there really is for a show like this to chew on for a whole season, but I'm sure they've come up with some way to pull it off.

Anyway, I was also just starting to watch Rick and Morty last month and then all this drama hit.
 
I watched the first episode the The Last of Us adaptation on HBO. It's a show that features a lot of polish and attention to detail, but at its core feels absolutely needless. It followed the game point-by-point, to the extent that anyone who has played it will get virtually nothing from it. It's a great example for when an adaptation stays too close to the source material, rendering the whole process of adapting it to a different medium feel pointless. I also think it's possible that people overrate the actual story in The Last of Us, because there's really not much to it. There's some setup in the first hour, then they pile it on at the very end. Other than that? It's a lot of exploring, looting vacant buildings (for bricks), and bricking people in the head. I don't know how much meat there really is for a show like this to chew on for a whole season, but I'm sure they've come up with some way to pull it off.
I hear you, but I never played the game (and I probably never will) and yet I've heard so much about it over the years that I welcome this show as a way of getting a sense of what all the fuzz was about, particularly if it continues to stay as close to the game as possible.

I wonder what percentage of the people watching have played or will play the game at some point...
 

Aazealh

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Staff member
I hear you, but I never played the game (and I probably never will) and yet I've heard so much about it over the years that I welcome this show as a way of getting a sense of what all the fuzz was about, particularly if it continues to stay as close to the game as possible.

It's taking everything I have to not spoil it to you. :SK:
 
@Walter Well I think they are definitely fleshing parts out when they can, for example like the first episode with Joel's daughter I found it to be pretty good, instead of all the chaos happening instantly they built it up a bit more. But yeah it's basically the last of us story in a different medium for those that didn't play the game, and in that way it's not needless for them because it's new. it's also cool for fans seeing it in live action. My only problem so far is If I remember correctly they didn't really go into detail about the origin of the virus in the game or have a flashback, I wasn't a fan of that scene in episode 2 with the scientist, it actually takes away from the mystery of the virus and I don't think they need to get too detailed in some areas and let people figure things out in the current world. And they are already changing things to make it more cinematic like in episode 2 when she sacrifices herself in the original it's just guys that shoot her but for the show they had a swarm of infected which was another good addition, I'm definitely thinking there is going to be a lot less thugs and bandits about
 

Walter

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Staff member
it's also cool for fans seeing it in live action
This is a really short sentence that is addressing what I was arguing against originally. I don’t see what it does at all for people who have already played the game. Maybe it’s comfort food, in a way?

If The Last of Us weren’t already extremely effective at being cinematic and possessing great acting, I’d say differently. But as it is, this is at its core the same story told twice by different actors.
 
Recently I managed to watch all three volumes of the Netflix anthology animated series Love, Death+Robots and I really enjoyed it a whole lot! My favourite single episode probably is David Fincher's Bad Travelling which is just above all in directing and writing imo, but really the majority of its content is excellent in quality. At this point I've developing a particular interest in this format since starting to dig up some 80s and 90s anthology OVAs in order to watch some more obscure Katsuhiro Otomo and Yoshiaki Kawajiri anime works. There really is a lot of potential and expression to be found in this format (with the constant pain of knowing that most of these never get expanded in any form!). Still, I look forward to Volume 4 of Love, Death+Robots and wish to most of these creators to find their way towards larger and feature length projects to show their creativity in Western entertainment media.

Speaking of which, one idea that is fashinating me is if it could be possible to make a Berserk-inspired anthology of short films. One segment that serves itself quite well to this format would be the Spring Flower of Days Long Passed episodes imo, but maybe some other ones could work as well even if out of context of the larger narrative, such as Griffith meeting the Idea of Evil, a flashback of Gaiserich's empire, Guts' first encounter with Zodd, etc.
I have to admit that a while ago I had interest in pursuing an education in filmmaking and I had the goal stuck in my mind to try to bring something Berserk-related in live action (directly or heavily inspired from), even in short film format... but for now life has other plans.
 
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