Lost Village and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: Two Spring 2016 Anime with Intriguing Ideas That Could Have Been Better Executed

Lost Village

A boy and a girl walking through a tunnel at night, with a bus heading towards them. The title reads "Lost Village".
Image via Crunchyroll

Genre: Supernatural/Mystery

Synopsis: A bus tour filled with people wanting to leave their old lives behind heads for Nanaki Village, an urban legend that may not even exist. And even if it does, those who go there don’t come back. Everyone has their own reasons for traveling to this mysterious village, but no one knows what they’re going to find. A new place to live out their lives in peace? A fake story about a place that isn’t real? Or a mystery that pulls forth the characters’ motivations and forces them to confront who they are? Continue reading “Lost Village and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: Two Spring 2016 Anime with Intriguing Ideas That Could Have Been Better Executed”

Belated Pilot Reviews: Frequency and Falling Water

Frequency

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Image: CW

Genre: Mystery/Sci-fi

Synopsis: Detective Raimy Sullivan grew up knowing her father had been an undercover cop who went bad, and then got himself killed. Until his old ham radio in her garage somehow puts her in contact with the him from twenty years ago. Working together, the father-daughter duo have the opportunity to figure out what went wrong, and possibly save his life. If they can change the past, and deal with whatever consequences that brings. Continue reading “Belated Pilot Reviews: Frequency and Falling Water”

Stranger Things: A Pervasive Sense of Mystery, and the Desperation Behind Not Knowing What Went Wrong

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Image: Netflix via Screenrant

Genre: Mystery/Supernatural

Synopsis: A boy goes missing in a small town, leaving behind few clues as to what happened to him. As his family shoulders the weight his inexplicable disappearance, strange things start happening. His mother come across hints of something unbelievable. A runaway girl with a hidden power appears in town. Slowly, things come together, answering the show’s most pressing questions: Is the boy still alive? Can he be brought home? And what happened to him in the first place? Continue reading “Stranger Things: A Pervasive Sense of Mystery, and the Desperation Behind Not Knowing What Went Wrong”

Durarara!!: Intrigue, Adventure, and Urban Legends in the Streets of Ikebukuro

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Genre: Supernatural

Synopsis: In the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, the supernatural comes into contact with the mundane. A headless fairy spawns her own local urban legend as she rides through the streets on her motorcycle. A preternaturally strong man with a hair-trigger temper gets into fights with gangsters despite his dislike of violence. And an information broker pulls on everyone’s strings, maneuvering them into conflict with one another for his own amusement. Continue reading “Durarara!!: Intrigue, Adventure, and Urban Legends in the Streets of Ikebukuro”

The Magicians: A Turn for the Gross

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Image: Syfy

Genre: Supernatural/Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Quentin’s not living the life he wants, and something about the fictional world in his favorite fantasy series has captivated him all his life. Meanwhile, his best friend Julia is ready to immerse herself in the real world, in a graduate program at Yale. Then both of them mysteriously find themselves in another University, taking an admission exam that tests their magic. Quentin passes, and Julia fails. Continue reading “The Magicians: A Turn for the Gross”

TV Roundup: Cleverman, Preacher, and The Man in the High Castle

This week, I look at the beginnings of three new(ish) shows, talking about them in order of best to worst.

Cleverman

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Image: via Sundance TV

Genre: Dystopia/Sci-fi/Supernatural

Synopsis: A superhero take on Australian Aboriginal culture, the story follows two brothers as one of them takes on the mantle of the Cleverman. They must navigate society, including the turmoil between humans and hairies–a physically strong but oppressed people, confined to a containment zone. Between their personal issues and the country’s deep-seated prejudices, they have plenty of challenges ahead. Continue reading “TV Roundup: Cleverman, Preacher, and The Man in the High Castle”

Erased: Crafting a Mystery Story That’s Deeply Personal

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Image: via Crunchyroll

Genre: Mystery/Supernatural

Synopsis: When Satoru was a child, a kidnapper and killer went after several of his classmates. Those kids were never heard from again, and the case remained unsolved thereafter. Later, he learned he had an odd ability. Sometimes, something bad would happen, then he’d travel backwards in time just far enough that he could prevent it from happening. Then one day, something terrible happens. And he travels so far back in time, that he’s in elementary school again. Which can only mean one thing–whatever happens twenty years later can only be prevented if Satoru solves the mystery of his childhood, and saves his classmates. (Warning: This series has child abuse.) Continue reading “Erased: Crafting a Mystery Story That’s Deeply Personal”

The Originals: Klaus Being His Usual Divisive Self, and Fluctuating Representation

Borrowed from steamusercontent.com

Genre: Supernatural

Synopsis: A family of thousand year old vampires returns to their former home, New Orleans, becoming embroiled in the power struggles between vampires, witches, and werewolves. The head of the house is the paranoid, erratic, and controlling Klaus–a force to be reckoned with for his allies as well as his enemies, and a newly expecting father (poor kid). The rest of our protagonists have to navigate his moods while trying to protect their own, and bonds holding Klaus and his family together are tested to limit, often by his own actions in the pursuit of his goals. Continue reading “The Originals: Klaus Being His Usual Divisive Self, and Fluctuating Representation”

Crimson Peak: Evocative Characters, Harrowing Scenes

Borrowed from thecreativepartnership.co.uk

Genre: Horror/mystery

Synopsis: Edith is content focusing on her efforts to publish her stories and living with her father, when Thomas Sharpe from England enters her life, intent on winning her over. This culminates in him and his sister Lucille bringing her to their home, Crimson Peak, a place Edith realizes too late that she’s been warned against all her life–by ghosts, which she has the ability to see. And there are ghosts in Crimson Peak. Continue reading “Crimson Peak: Evocative Characters, Harrowing Scenes”

The Originals: Klaus Being Awful, Character Agency, and Diversity

Borrowed from hallels.com

Genre: Supernatural

Synopsis: A family of thousand year old vampires returns to their former home, New Orleans, becoming embroiled in the power struggles between vampires, witches, and werewolves. The head of the house is the paranoid, erratic, and controlling Klaus–a force to be reckoned with for his allies as well as his enemies. And the rest of our protagonists have to navigate his moods while trying to protect their own. Continue reading “The Originals: Klaus Being Awful, Character Agency, and Diversity”