My Bride Is A Mermaid
I'm amusing myself with the anime series "My Bride is a Mermaid" on Netflix. At first, the plot seems sort of similar to "The Little Mermaid." it's is the story of Nagasumi, a high school boy, who nearly drowns during summer vacation but is saved by a mermaid, Sun. Then shit gets crazy. As it turns out, Suns father is head of an underwater Yakuza clan sworn to destroy any mortal who even catches a glimpse of them. So Nagasumi must agree to marry or face being wiped from the face of the Earth along with his entire family. The series Nagasumi as he tries to deal with the difficulties being of being a mermaids groom: aside from struggling with trying to keep his fiancés secret from his curious friends, he must also battle rival suitors...as well as the hitmen constantly trying to kill him.
There is plenty of action, and some cute romance, too. But the shows main strengths are it's characters and its humor. Everyone in this show, right down to the supporting cast of crazies, is distinct from everyone else and immensely likeable. The shows nonstop gags always result in a giggle or a laugh, and ensure that every single episode is fun from start to finish. There are more jokes then I can keep up with-I may have to watch it again to enjoy them all! "My Bride is a Mermaid" is an excellent series, and its cute romanticism provides just the kind of break I need from the type of overrated doom and gloom dramas that have taken over television.
Thanks to my brother, gifting me with access to his Netflix, I finally got around to watching Naruto, which seems to be about a ninja who wears a bright orange jump suit and a shiny metal plate on his head that lets everyone in a hundred yard radius know that "I R DOWNS SYNDROME NINJA!" The most annoying and obnoxious character in all anime... BELIEVE IT! *Never finished watching this.*
Dragon Ball Z Kai
Commenced seriously watching DBZ Kai, a sort of re-release of Dragon Ball Z. Kai has its faults, but it vastly improves upon its predecessor in one respect (aside from the higher quality animation.)
My only issue with the original series was the ridiculously overly dramatic and extended time period that combatants had to power up before they could do any real fighting. Often, the fighters would waste an entire episode grunting and groaning in a way that sounded not entirely unlike a person taking a shit, making the ground shake with their awesome power. And when they weren't making silly noises at each other, they would waste precious minutes staring each other down, or bragging about how easy they would each defeat each other. It tried to hard to manufacture tension, and as a consequence the plot advanced very slowly. In a program that only lasts 20 minutes, you need to capture your audiences interest fast, and the original Dragon Ball Z often failed to do this.
DBZ Kai does not make the same mistake. In the remake, build-ups for fights that consumed an entire episode in the original now only take a few minutes. The show keeps the fights intact, but takes away all the overstated drama. The end result is a fast moving plot that actually keeps you engaged for the entire duration of every episode, with no "filler" episodes to disappoint you. In one day of watching , I managed to almost reach the end of the Frieza Saga. And I was not once tempted to skip anything.
In my mind, nothing will ever compare to the original DBZ, (if only for nostalgic reasons) but the new version of the show is still very worth the watch, if you're interested but haven't yet seen the show. And if you've never seen any DBZ at all, your life simply just isn't complete.
THE SIMPSONS: "Bart Gets An F"
This is my favorite episode of The Simpsons:
This is such an unashamed morality play that if it were less good it might be annoying. But the moral message of the importance of studying and working hard is driven home with such a skill and thorough characterization that it remains entertaining throughout even as it delivers an insightful and poignant lesson.
Bart is falling further and further behind at school and is threatened with having to repeat the fourth grade. This threat is enough to scare him into action and he enlists Martin's help in studying.
Unable to concentrate on revision, Bart slaps himself around the face, muttering: "You wanna be held back a grade? Concentrate, man!" There is a sudden jump cut to the next day, as the class are handing in their completed test papers - and Bart is still slapping himself. Even in cartoon form the sight of Bart slapping himself to try and force himself to focus is a really effective character moment. He is clearly trying his hardest to succeed and when his tears of failure come they are understandable and sad.
By the start of the second series, of which this was the first episode, Bart had become something of a counter-culture hero. But rather than capitalize on the character's punk reputation, the show's writers decided to show that, deep down, he was scared of failure.
At every single step the writing focuses clearly and absolutely on Bart's situation and state of mind. Every avenue and possibility is explored to build up Bart's state of desperation. This was, and still is, a bold and daring moral for a cartoon show, and the emotional payoff and the relevancy of this hard lesson (Even when you try hardest, it still might not be enough-and it's okay!) are why this episode represents the very best The Simpsons has to offer.
Favorite Moment: (Bart has just given a poor book report on Treasure Island.)
Mrs. Krabappel: Bart, did you read the book?
Bart: , I am insulted. Is this a book report or a witch hunt?
Mrs. Krabappel: Then perhaps you'd like to tell us the name of the pirate.
Bart's Brain: Blackbeard. Captain Nemo. Captain Hook. Long John Silver. Peg Leg Pete. Bluebeard.