So, I watched quite a few things in the later two-thirds of 2019 :Attack on Titan
, season 3 : Hell yeah ! I had been waiting for that one for a long while and it didn't disappoint, as it was one of my favorite parts (especially the second half) of the manga for a number of reasons.
S3 spoilers below:
- I like the fact that every time the Survey Corps ventured beyond the walls, its losses have been ranging from heavy to catastrophic. I mean, at the end of that arc, there's like 9 people left out of the entire expeditionary force, and probably not many more members back home.
- IIRC, that's also the part of the story where the addressed the tech stagnation issue. Waaaay back after watching season 1 and long before I started reading the manga, I noted that the story only worked with the limited yet somewhat advanced tech level of this society. Things like hot-air balloons would have made the Survey Corps' mission much easier, and fighting the titans would be far easier with a handful of advances in weaponry, like more accurate cannons, or high explosives (I didn't think of rockets back then).
- Following up on that, seeing the titans being beaten up with humans rather than Titan!Eren was pretty cool.
- Armin was always the bravest of them all
(too bad they didn't have the balls to make it stick). Plus, it was awesome to see Mikasa seemingly ready to go up against Levi over his life. I always thought that while much was made of her relationship with Eren, she would love Armin nearly as much (being childhood friends and survivors of the initial attack & all that) - she just doesn't get as many opportunities to show it since Armin doesn't get in harms way as often as Eren does.
- The stuff in the basement.
- Poor Reiner, s1 & 2 -> helps burst the wall open, gets Eren nearly captured twice and is generally very difficult to deal with thanks to his thick armor (though Titan!Eren does manage to get the upper hand in hand-to-hand combat once). s3 -> manages to get blown up twice and gets nearly killed/captured, saved mostly by plot armor.
Which ties into: *Post-season 3 spoilers
- s'4' Reiner : gets blown up (again), and generally get thrashed in some way every time a fight happens.Chernobyl
I really like how season 3 foreshadowed (among other things) the logical conclusion of technology not actually stagnating: Titans are mostly obsolete already, and will likely be irrelevant in the next war anyway, meaning that the mission of the Marleyian warriors was ... mostly pointless really.
I'm really eager to see how they're gonna do the Reiner-Eren confrontation, as this type of moment has always been highlights of the anime.
: Not much to add to what I already said in the relevant thread, aside that this is one of 2019's highlight.7 Seeds
: A nice long-after-the-end anime, where groups of people try to start over humanity from scratch on an Earth that has moved on from humanity. It's got a nice balance between optimism and cynicism. I really like how most people try
to cooperate despite having a heap of reasons to distrust one another. Plus it fits in withe bazillion survival video games that popped up in the past decade
I hope they continue the story (I think it's adapted from a light novel?)
, as the season ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Would recommend.Rick & Morty
, season 4 : It's pretty cool so far.Travelers
: A nice riff on the "set right what went wrong
" theme, mixed in with body-snatching, I found it rather enjoyable. It explores its themes and morality quite thoroughly, and has some fun with that.
It has its ups & downs, but I would still recommend it overall.Another Life
: A science fiction story about people traveling to
the edge of the Solar System(that was Nightflyers)
another Solar System to make first contact with an alien species after some alien structures appear on earth, with Katee Sackhoff in the lead role. It is absolute garbage, poor Starbuck is the only element of quality in it (visuals are OK though)
Now, I'm no stranger to first contact stories, Nightflyers
earlier this year tackled a similar journey, I watched 2016's Arrival
a few months earlier, I watched Cube
ages ago, I read Blindsight
a few times, plus some more minor works here & there. This is possibly the ****tiest variation I have seen on it. They've managed the rather impressive job of making the awe-inspiring, inherently perilous journey through the unknown of space, where the heroes have to survive with their wit and resourcefulness just so they can decipher an unknowable enigma, look like ... I don't know, some teen slasher movie maybe? You know the one, where people get killed or screwed over more due to their own stupidity rather than any external danger. I don't know, maybe it's just me but I expect that when we make contact with intelligent alien life, we'll send an Elite crack team of experts, trained to face the perils of their journey, rather than a bunch of unstable frat-boys and sisterhood-girls that either flip the moment they hit some minor snag or behave like ****ing space tourists.
I managed to sit through 3 and a half episodes, but it was just too awful. Would most definitely *not
* recommend.His Dark Materials
: An adaptation of Philip Pullman's series of novels. This is not the first time it got adapted, but I purposefully stayed away from 2007's Golden Compass film, as back then I suspected that A) it was probably just Harry-Potter-sploitation and B) there was no way in hell they could put the more controversial aspects of the books in a family movie - meaning I was quite intrigued by this. Times have changed since the mid-2000s, book now finally get adapted in series instead of being compressed into films, and our standards for quality television has arguably never been higher, so seeing a new adaptation, that included some quality actors (some of which are apparently quite familiar with the books)
, such as Dafne Keen (X-23 from Logan) in the lead role.
Note: I am currently half-way through. I have mixed feelings about it, I love the esthetics, I like how they've adapted the story while staying pretty darn close to the books, but I think I expected more, something feels off in the performance across the board and I have a few nitpicks here & there, and I don't whether it's an actual failing of the series, or just me having unusually high standards.
Has any one else given it a shot ?The Expanse
season 4 is as beautiful and engaging as ever, and leaves you wanting more. The world feels as vibrant as ever, despite the switch over to amazon.
Last, but not least is Dark Crystal : Age of Resistance
: Wow, I did not expect to like this as much as I did. This is a prequel to the 1982 all-puppet film Dark Crystal
, and I'll say that with the batch of 80s-ploitation films & series we've seen over the past decade, all of which have been rather hit or miss, I was rather skeptical going in. I mean with all the excellent CG & more we've had in recent years, how the hell would old school puppets hold up ? The last time I saw puppets was on Farscape from the previous decade (would highly recommend, btw). And the series would be focused on stiff-faced gelflings ?
Well, it turns out I was wrong on pretty much everything. The puppets, the set, everything looks absolutely gorgeous
, the story's good, the characters are good, the only things that look off are a handful of blatant all-CG shots, and a couple of shots where some puppets couldn't be animated. And they really went the extra mile, after watching a few behind the scenes things, it turns out there's way less CG in there than I thought.
Even if you don't care about the story & all, I think the craftsmanship alone make it worth a watch.
This is one of 2019's highlight, would highly recommend.