[EXPRESSO] Ghost In The Shell -Stand Alone Complex 2045: Sustainable Warfare (2022) | Cyborg Cut

I’ve reviewed the first season of Stand Alone Complex 2045 before in detail, but as a refresher for season 2 finally arriving (2 years after the first one, dang) later this month, i’d figured i watch the film-like compilation cut of Season 1, titled Substainable Warfare, recently arrived on Netflix.

Btw, yes, this actually follows the continuity from the older Stand Alone Complex series, being set 11 years after the event of the movie Solid State Society, BUT, in typical GITS fashion, it’s also a separate entity that can be enjoyed on its own… even though in this case you really need to have some familiarity with the Stand Alone Complex series to get the most out of it.

As a very quick primer, GITS it’s about an unit of elite special agents, Section 9, led by Motoko Kusanagi abd working for the Japanese goverment, with its members having various degrees of cybernetic implants and specialized skills used to deal in terrorist attacks, infiltrations, hacking incident, and all that cyberpunk jazz.

Here we have the group mostly disbanded and acting as a mercenary unit in America, until the rise of the so-called “Post Humans” leds to Section 9 being re-formed to deal with the issue.

The recut itself it’s well done (though it does away completely with the “geezers bank heist” episode, shame), in terms of the material… well, it’s still better than Arise, though it tries a bit too hard to update/modernize the cyberpunk themes, and this first part/season ends on a cliffhanger when it starts getting good.

Then there’s the okay but kinda questionable choice of artstyle, going for a fairly good 3D CG that sadly doesn’t feel THAT much improved upon, 11 years after the same animation studio (Sola Digital Arts) curated Applesee Alpha in similar fashion.

[EXPRESSO] Pacific Rim: The Black (Season Two) (2022) | Kaiju Kult

Well, look’s who back, a series that i honestly even forgot existed, but they did announced this second (and final) season, guess that branding helped.

So yeah, while i didn’t hate the first season, Pacific Rim The Black was kinda the perfect example of “Netflix anime”, as in, it looks like anime, it’s produced by an anime company and japanese directors, but you could tell it’s written by non-japanese staff.

Which isn’t necessarily an issue, but you just can tell right away and it creates this slight disconnect, and due to that once again it’s hard to say for whom exactly this is made for exactly, given it’s still made in okayish but still janky 3D CG (and the specific “3D CG anime jank” of Polygon Pictures output), which is kinda offputting for most of the self-proclaimed “anime enthusiasts”.

But on the flipside, it’s not that bad, it’s honestly alright, it’s entertaining enough and this one picks from the point where the first season started having some interesting worldbuilding and character development, and manages to make the plot have some purpose (though it kinda has to, since this is the final season), introducing a death cult of Kaiju worshippers.

It’s an actual improvement over the first season, the writing it’s still nothing impressive, but it’s better, though despite being just another 7 episodes, i did wonder if it was ever supposed to be longer, as some resolutions and events happen very quickly, almost abruptly so.

Again, it’s alright, but as the idea of anime series based on Pacific Rim makes a lot of sense if you think about it, it kinda let you wish it had better animation and a slightly longer lenght.

Still, for a spin-off “western-ish anime” series that didn’t need to exist in the first place… it’s decent.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan PS4 [REVIEW] | Not Very Neat

Since i did mention the game in my impressions on the Babylon’s Fall demo, and there’s a huge compilation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games (most of the ones done by Konami) being released soon, i’d figured why not, let’s talk about this disappointing as heck turtle excretion, which pretty much killed any potential for more videogames based on beloved nostalgic cartoon series by Platinum Games, after their shortish but really good take on Transformers (the older ones, known as “Generation 1”, or “G-1”) with Transformers Devastation.

I mean, at least this one can still be found around in physical form, unlike other Turtles game, for example the TMNT: Out Of The Shadows one (don’t expect a review of that).

Or the similarly crappy Legend Of Korra game Platinum Games also developed, also deslisted after Activision didn’t wanna renew the license for, BUT i happen to have bought the PS3 version and i still have it, so that i might review, in order to proper understand how Platinum as a studio it’s capable of both incredible height and shitty lows that spoil the studio’s reputation, still.

Continua a leggere “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan PS4 [REVIEW] | Not Very Neat”

Where the on-rail shooter compilations at?

(A review of Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle is coming VERY soon, btw)

As the remake of the first House Of The Dead game is set to release soon on Switch (as a retail packaged release too), i’ve just realized how incredibly really no company before Sega with this remake has tried to bring on-rail shooters to the only current-gen (kinda) popular console that still retains Wii style pointers controls via the Joycons.

Given how the nostalgia market will only grow even larger in time, i’m surprised Namco didn’t dig from its huge backcatalog and pushed out a Point Blank or Time Crisis collection, or made compilations of some of the many others games of this kind that only existed as arcade cabinets.

I named Namco, but heck, even Konami and Sega were quite prolific back in the day, though Konami nowadays it’s better when they just licensed compilations-ports of their older titles to people who care (like Digital Eclipse, also handling the recently announced TMNT Cowabunga Collection), and Sega quite likely simply doesn’t care.

Continua a leggere “Where the on-rail shooter compilations at?”

Giant Monster March 2022 is GO!

Some things come and go, but giant monsters are forever!

Yeah, while i’m still keeping the bi-daily posting rate, starting tomorrow for this month every posting day when there’s not a new movie EXPRESSO review there will be a full lenght giant monster movie review. Simple as that, so see ya tomorrow for the first one of this year, hoping this will become a yearly institution! 🙂

Girls/Dolls Frontline (2022) TV ANIME [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

The gacha-age of anime it’s still going strong, since after the gag anime based on Girls/Dolls Frontline debutted on BiliBili… we’re now actually getting an adaptation of the strategy gacha game’s story, because why the fuck not? Why yes?

Doesn’t matter, it’s there anyway, so let’s take a look at the first 3 episodes, i did actually play this one a lot more than most of these “things turned anime girls” gacha game, since it was actually a strategy game that held some actual gameplay alongside trying to roll the best “gungirl”.

Yep, this time we have mass-produced humanoid robots virtually indistinguishable from humans called “Tactical dolls” (referred to as “T-Dolls” for brevity’s sake), named after a specific type and model of weaponry, and a very Terminatoresque plot set in the not-too-distant future of 2045, when World War III erupts and various PMCs send out their tactical dolls to fight.

Continua a leggere “Girls/Dolls Frontline (2022) TV ANIME [FIRST IMPRESSIONS]”

Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N

That time again, time to put on your robe and attend the ceremony with expectations so far out to make worshippers of the Old Gods looks like wannabe zealots!

Especially since all fair criticism of the company is dropped by most people (and publications) when a Direct happens. But again, this is sadly “business as usual”, let’s move on.

Continua a leggere “Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N”

Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW

Given my adoration for the ero-guro master that is Shintaro Kago, i was gonna jump immediatly at the chance of adding an artbook of his to my collection (which it’s quite extensive, if i say so myself)… and i did. Had to import it, since it was gonna be handled by french publisher The Mansion Press, instead of the many italian and international publishers who usually publish his works (including underground – and fellow italians – firms like the excellent Hollow Press).

Not that it mattered, since The Mansion Press ships worlwide, it’s an artbook, and it happens to be localized in english.

“Localized” in the sense the publishing credits and the few titles-thems of the pieces are translated in english. It’s absolutely 100 % import friendly, so worry not on this regard.

Continua a leggere “Shintaro Kago Artbook ARTBOOK REVIEW”

Iridion 3D STEAM [REVIEW] | Advance To Steam

Time for some picks from my embarassingly big Steam library, and why not one of the last things you expect to see on Steam, like…ports of Game Boy Advance games?

Yep, sometimes Steam being the de facto more used platform/store doesn’t just lead to lots of unfunny simulator crap trying to meme their way into profit, there’s clearly enough space for it to be used as a cheap, affordable and easy way for publishers to make some money back from their older catalogue, and it’s not really surprising, since the publisher in case it’s Majesco, a surprisingly resilient small publisher that published a lot of crap over the years, and… re-sell it, since they also brought over to Steam the infamous Drake Of The 99 Dragons, reviewed last year.

Though this case…well, cases are still odd, since Majesco basically ported both Iridion 3D and Iridion II from the Game Boy Advance to the PC, with the obvious expectations that come with it, since both games were made to play on a very small screen.

At least Majesco priced these very cheap, which is quite sensible to do, and they end up often on sale, so it’s easy to get the “Iridion Collection” bundle for three bucks.

Continua a leggere “Iridion 3D STEAM [REVIEW] | Advance To Steam”

[EXPRESSO] The Last Journey AKA Le Derniere Voyage (2020) | Majora’s Musk

Talk about a surprise release, since this 2020 french scifi movie only now has reached theathers in “The Boot”, and i’m willing to guess it never reached US theathers, since i didn’t even heard about it via social media.

Not even a mention, despite the original french title being similar to Luc Besson cult classic Le Dernier Combat, also a sci-fi movie with Jean Renò.

Regardless, the movie its set in a not too distant future (2050, in this case) where humanity it’s on the brink of extinction, with a red planetoid knows as the Red Moon is now coming so ever closer to Earth, bringing desertification, unliveable temperatures, animal extinctions and an energy crisis..

Only one man, Paul W.R., can save the day as he’s only one able to survive and pass through the magnetic field surrounding the planetoid, but mere days before the mission begins, Paul escapes to get away from his responsabilities, making the authorities start hunting him down, and he happens to meet a young girl called Elma, willing to follow him in his uncertain quest….

I’ll say that the cinematography it’s very good, some of the sequences are entertaining, there are some ideas, but the execution it’s just so confusing in many ways, as in the mesh of road movie and action scifi elements in a way that tries to kinda go for a more american-international feel or the themes and character motivations often feeling at odds, if not almost random.

Add a mediocre worldbuilding with some plot points never properly explained to make a simple plot kinda hard to follow, and you have a movie that’s perfectly watchable, has some good acting, but from beginning to end will have you more confused and annoyed than engaged at what’s going on and why exactly.

EUNGH.