Is The Roku Surround Sound System A Good Purchase?

This is a very different review for me. For those of you awaiting for my return to movie reviews, I apologize because I have been caught up watching Hannibal for the first time. In the meantime though, I did want to review my new entertainment system, because I feel like this is something that will benefit many of you who either are looking for a good entertainment system or could possibly be swayed into making your home theatre experience better. 

A little bit of background though because there were two reasons why I finally decided to venture into surround sound. The first is the easiest and most obvious reason being that I want an awesome sound experience for when I’m watching movies. It’s amazing how much of a difference it really is compared to only having sound come from your television. The second reason is a bit of a competition thing. I live on the second floor of an apartment building and my neighbors below me have some kind of sound system because every time they watch a movie our floor vibrates. It gets a bit annoying at times because I can hear the booms and explosions, so to solve that issue I decided to invest in my own system to drown out theres and to get back at them…Okay that sounds a bit childish, but can you blame me?

With that said, I had to do some research into what system to invest into. I knew going in though that good sound systems are not cheap, but there are some brands out there that are affordable. You have to find the right balance though because you get what you pay for with a product like this. I also currently have a Roku TV in my living room which is where I would be setting up the system. I have used Roku devices for several years now and I love the OS more than Firestick and some others. I just prefer to use products that I am familiar with and have a good experience with, so I tend to stick with Roku whenever I can. 

This did bring me to the realization that Roku actually has a surround sound system on the market, something I was not aware of. This led me to researching their products to ensure that they are well equipped for the price point and quality. I read many reviews and watched many YouTube reviews to get a sense of whether it was going to work for me. The general opinion was that the price is great for the quality of sound that you get. The only hangup would be for someone that is an audiophile or prefers systems of upwards of over $1000. This immediately gave me the sense that this was the go to product line for your everyday surround system customer. I decided to give it a shot.

I will say right now that my Roku surround sound is 2/3rds complete, but I have seen and heard enough to be able to give a general review of what I think. I don’t see the final piece changing my opinion drastically from where I’m at now. To break down the system is pretty easy. The main piece that you will want to look for first is the Roku soundbar. The soundbar actually has a built in Roku OS making it even better if you don’t have a Roku TV. This allows you to run the Roku OS without having to purchase a separate Roku device like the streaming stick or the other boxes that Roku has out there. It’s an incredible addition to the soundbar making it available to anyone regardless of the type of TV you have unless it’s one of those old box TV’s I suppose. 

The second piece to this system is the wireless speakers, two of them. They can be connected to your Roku TV or your Roku soundbar giving you two additional speakers to place in your choice of room. In some cases I have seen people place them on each side of the soundbar, but for me personally I don’t see how that gives you that surround sound feel, so I placed them on my back wall on each side of my couch angled inwards towards the living room. Doing that gives me sound from the front and from each side of me, giving me a very bubble like feel that places me in the action. 

The final piece and the piece I don’t have yet is the wireless Roku subwoofer. Now the reason why I haven’t purchased this yet is because I need to wait until I get my next paycheck and because it’s used to enhance the bass. The Roku soundbar does have decent bass that can be adjusted through the options, so I’m not in a hurry for the subwoofer, but I will be getting it to complete my system. The bass can be placed on the floor and will give you the true experience of fantastic explosions and thunderous music. Optional I would say depending on how badly you want to enhance your bass.

With all three items laid out for you, I will go into explaining the setup and overall experience so far of the soundbar and speakers. The first notable thing to remember when purchasing them is that they don’t come with mounts in case you were wanting to hang them. You just have to purchase them separately like I did which wasn’t a huge issue. I now have the soundbar mounted below my TV and the speakers mounted higher in the corners where I had them placed. It does help, but it’s also a bit of a preference to do that. 

Also, while the speakers are “wireless” they are still wired for power, so you’ll have a cord hanging below them if you mount them. I’m working on a solution to hide them better. The soundbar has only a power cord and an HDMI cord for the TV hookup. Cords aren’t a huge issue for me since I also have a Playstation and Nintendo Switch that have cords so I’m just used to seeing them, but many people hate cords so that’s up to you on where you place everything. 

The hookup wasn’t entirely difficult, but not quite as simple as I was hoping. I believe it was due to the fact that I was trying to run everything through my Roku TV OS rather than the Roku soundbar OS. I also just want to say that I tried to research how exactly to set everything up through a Roku TV, and I really couldn’t find an exact and accurate answer, so if you try to do what I was trying to do, fear not for I have the answers. 

I had purchased the speakers first and had them set up through my Roku TV which was a simple process that took about 2 minutes. When I purchased the sound bar, I figured it would be the same process, but it isn’t. The soundbar doesn’t run as a wireless addition the same way the speakers do, rather through the HDMI hookup. Therefore, I couldn’t connect it the way I thought through the Roku TV which was irritating at the time because it seemed that I would only be able to use the soundbar through its own Roku OS. 

Fear not though, for I solved the issue after about an hour of testing different things. One of the issues was also that when I switched over to the soundbar Roku, the soundbar would have sound but not the wireless speakers. I realized that it was likely because they were hooked up through Roku TV. The solution is now simple, you go into the soundbar Roku OS and connect the wireless speakers to the soundbar. You then switch back to the Roku TV and it will automatically run sound through the sound bar which in turn will run sound through the wireless speakers. It seems so simple now, but at the time it was a bit frustrating. Thankfully though I was able to figure it out.

That being the hardest and most annoying part of the purchase is entirely fine now that I have had the chance to actually listen to them. The sound quality for myself is pretty great and I have no complaints. The voices are clear and the sound is not muffled at all or static like. I have heard some speakers and soundbars that have rough sound, but that issue doesn’t come up with either the soundbar or the speakers. I have no complaints whatsoever with the system up to this point. Once connected, there are no issues or odd hurdles to jump through to get everything to work.

Ultimately it comes down to the quality of sound and the actual price to determine whether this is right for you like it is for me. You can purchase all of these items through Amazon, Walmart, or Best Buy. It all depends on availability. I was able to get the speakers at Walmart and the soundbar at Best Buy. I have my own reasons for doing that like the fact that Amazon wasn’t going to be able to ship the soundbar until later in the week and I’m needy and wanted it the same day I decided to buy it, but Amazon is a great choice because the prices are all about the same. 

The speakers come in around $149.99 before tax, the soundbar is about $179.99 before tax and the subwoofer is also about $179.99 before tax. These are all based off of current Amazon prices. I do know that you can get the subwoofer at Walmart for about $50.00 cheaper which is nice. The Walmart devices are labeled the ONN brand but they are also still labeled Roku. Still the same device so go whichever route you prefer. Depending on the prices you are able to come across, you can get the whole system for under $500 which is quite good. 

It comes down to your preference of brand and amount that you wish to spend, but for the price and quality, I have nothing as of yet to complain about the Roku brand system. It looks great and sounds great and I am very pleased as a whole. This is definitely a great choice if it is in your price range, but the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to purchase it all at once. Everything works great solo until you are able to get the other parts of the system. 
If you have this surround sound system or are thinking about it and you have comments or questions, feel free to comment below or send and email to and be sure to follow us @TowerCityMedia

New Mutants is an Experience We’ve Been Waiting for A Long Time (a Review)

New Mutants is an experience so many of us have been waiting for, even if you don’t care about the movie, because it’s a return to the cinema. That is, on top of a movie that has been in delayed and development for years, even after being completed. That makes it all the more exciting and terrifying to see how if it lives up to any sort of hype.

Following Danny Moonstar, a girl whose reservation is destroyed in a tornado, she awakens in a strange facility and learns she’s a mutant. She’s allowed to work on training her still mysterious powers, and meet with the four other mutants at the facility in hopes of leaving to join a second school. Unfortunately her appearance at the facility has coincided with strange visions and haunting dreams arresting the patients sanity. Now these new mutants must find the source of the nightmares and find out who is truly running the facility in order to be free.

The film is strongly compelling. Not necessarily in any bad ways, but more in how it feels like a movie that was supposed to be realessed years ago. A movie late to a trend that it should have rode to great success but now is stuck in this limbo state as Marvel and Disney come up with plans for the X-Men in the MCU.

New Mutants is much more of a hang-out, talk-it-out mood piece with horror elements than it is a horror film, or action film. This works to its benefit in setting up the cast. Each of the five mutants feels very distinct and accurate to their comic counterpart. That accuracy does not make it good, but shows the team mining material already there to give a more grounded spin. This results in a film that focuses on the real trauma people would have when they find out their mutants. The damage, dread, and regret that is only ever hinted at in the pages of the more mainstream books is brought fully out and on display. They’re all tragic figures trying to work out their deal and be better. That is all present and feels X-Men.

The particulars of that, and how a story like this: one more comfortable having characters hold conversations about how damaged they feel and why they may or may not be able to movie on, deals when it has to end with a big climax and have twists to reveal is less than satisfying. Without giving anything away, the source of the monsters is revealed just as the true purpose of the facility is exposed to them. This leads to a climax where the group must come together and finally use their powers to help save their friend. It ends well enough and is resonate with the theme of understanding and patience over force but is lacking.

It reminds me in some ways of Project Power. The difference is that Project Power needed a climax and came up with a boring solution. This film felt like I should have had a climax, or, if it did, it should have been something far more subdued. Instead the film feels like it was forced to find a way to have a big action scene at the end and did their best with it.

All of this makes it a compelling movie now, but should have been a better movie at release. The more grounded, character driven, slow burn origins were all the rage. Heck they tried and failed to do that with Power Rangers, but this one had a chance. These characters do honestly come alive as their guarded personalities fall to reveal their true selfs and they bond to form a team. It feels purposeful, with the horror only used to accentuate and manifest what the characters are feeling. Turning the abstract in the physical. It works at that, but does feel compromised to get it there.

Also, despite the long production time for the film, none of that time was used to clean up the effects. Some, like spoilers for X-men fans I won’t give away, look good. Others are very bad and hinder the horror when it looks far more cartoony than scary.

This movie wanted to be Buffy. I don’t mean that in the sense that most things want to copy what Whedon and his ilk did with their respective shows. I mean Buffy, literally. They play it all the time in the background and it is distracting (because I’d rather watch that. It’s season 4 if you’re interested). It makes diagetic sense, but also is used as foreshadowing. The issue is that Buffy, though dealing with the same general theme, is far more focused on building a threat to fit the story and arc, not the other way around. Buffy doesn’t spend its time talking until a monster shows it. It’s about the monster in all of us. New Mutants is about that too, but doesn’t hit the mark.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Should Movie Theaters Even Open?

We live in a capitalist society, captalism means expansion through the use of money. We want movies and experience them on big screens, movie studios want money so they’ll put them on big screen. There is no ethical consumption under capitalism, so yes, based purely on an economic perspective they need to be open. They’re a major employer across the world after all.

But that’s not what that questions means, is it? That question isn’t asking if they should open because we want money/spend money and to watch the moving pictures that have stories in them. Because the answer is obviously yes. It’s one of the reasons movie theaters and pizza joints done close in a recession. We need that escape. Anyway, no, that’s not what the question is asking. It’s asking if it is safe to go into a theater. Frustratingly enough, the answer to that is not as easy.

The pandemic is still around, and though it ended up not being nearly as deadly as feared it can still be crippling to those who get it, even the generally healthy. It’s stealthy nature for those who could be infected but are fine is also a terrible, and real concern. This makes the any gathering dangerous at least. It’s clear to see with the opening up of schools. So many, no matter how impossibly careful they are, still have massive outbreaks that crippled any chance of normalcy returning to an ever mundane place as a school.

That alone, along with the toll it puts on the employees of not just theaters, but all places of employment, alone should confirm that we should not open up. It might be easy to counter with examples of the flu and things alike, but recall how diseases from the common cold to the flu can often tear through a place of employment and leave workers crippled for day. Keep in mind those are diseases our bodies have encountered before. This disease is new. Even if we can shake off a mild case of it, we are unaware of its lasting impacts on our systems.

I will cop to being a far more cautious person, even as I partake in my journalistic integrity to review New Mutants. I thankfully live in a safer scenario then most as far as personally, and have an independent theater that doesn’t get busy even for big movies. But that doesn’t take away the danger everyone is put in.

I’m aware I made the claim at the start that they need to open for purely capitalist endeavors, but if the only form of economics can be so thoroughly crippled by one disease, then maybe it is time to rethink the systems we have. I may not be able to say what that is, but I know it’s a dangerous path we walk, but hey, movies are coming back! I’m so glad I can continue my hobby of reviewing movies in the hopes of… I actually don’t know what the end goal is. I just know it doesn’t involve getting other sick cause I wanted to enjoy a movie about whatever New Mutants is about. I haven’t watched a trailer with sound on for it, honestly. But either way no one should fear for seeing a movie of all things.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Hot 100 Review: Laugh Now Cry Later (feat Lil Durk)


I want to like Drake, and I guess I do in the way I like any artist who has a song I like. I moreso mean that I want to like him more consistently. He’s a strong force in music. His songs can set precedents moving forward, so when he wastes his Billboard spot on forgettable nonsense that’s what can pollute it. That takes us to now, where, he’s actually released a real song and not just a drown out reel of dull tones and mouth sounds

“Laugh Now Cry Later” is a hard song to quantify. It has a great beat with synthetic instruments like trumpets to add a flare, but has a completely normal beat atop it. That helped the song stand out, but really stood out is its desperation and strong lyrics that remind me of “Mr. Brightside” of all things (and if you’re playing Hot 100 bingo make sure to mark you free space and bringing up a mid-2000s alt rock song in a modern rap song review. Also, how did you get that bingo sheet, they’re not done being made) in its themes and tone.

“Laugh Now Cry Later” is all the pent up frustration, regret, and jealous nature of a break up made into a song that conveys itself in the least conventional way. Not that it doesn’t have structure, it does. But instead it’s lyrics, though some are great, feel like they’re filler that gets lost in the general flow.

The first chorus alone has one of my favorite lines in the whole song, “Where do these n[ot saying that word] be at when they say they doin all this and that?” The line is so simple, but is such an understandable feeling. The feeling of being left out. You hear all these great stories and are lost on when or where they were even able to do them. It relates to the idea of a failed relationship based on its previous line “We took a trip, now we on your block and it’s a ghost town.” These combined give the sense they were lying or gave unreal expectations

Drake’s first verse is gets into the self-destructive nature of a breakup along with rhetoric used to try and make the person feel better. Lines like “Been wakin up in cribs and sometimes and sometimes I don’t know where I’m at,” leads into the self-destruction either by talking about drinking too much or going to someone else’s crib (got that’s a weird word. Only can think about a baby crib). That is contrasted with “Anytime that I ran into somebody, it must be a victory lap, ayy,” where they’re trying to play at being confident and showing you’re fine even when you’re not. That all ends with the very clever “Distance between us is not like a store, this isn’t a closeable gap, ayy,” to tie in wordplay to how he feels about the relationship.

The prechorus is the best example of why I feel this is an extension of “Mr. Brightside.” The lines “I know that they at the crib going crazy, down bad. What they had didn’t last…” That feels like the extension of the chorus in Mr. Brightside. You just have the feeling something is happening and it’s crippling to you, but with the additional information of how it wasn’t successful for them in the end.

Ths chorus comes around again, and there is another interesting line in “I took half, she took the whole thing…” where it’s a line that’s reminiscent of “when the heart breaks it doesn’t break even.” It is not clear what the half or whole thing actually is, but heart is easy to read

When Lil Durk, who I never heard of before, comes in he has two interesting lines. One, “Can you not play that lil boy in the Club? We don’t listen to rats,” is a call back to a line in Drake’s verse about not listening to someone’s music in a club. This connection to a rat indicates that the artist is probably connected to the breakup, if that’s what happened. The sparce details mean anything, but the pre-chorus does feel completely of a romantic situation. The other line is just a fun twist on hanging with Drake and having drinks said in a way to make Drake’s sound like drinks.

Drake’s final verse puts the confusion of it’s a musical betrayal or romantic betrayal into more confusion as his first line “When he tell the story, that’s not how it went/ Know they be lying hundred percent,” makes it seem like a personal betrayal by a man, but could be business. This is compounded with the lines near the end “Pillow talk with ‘em, she spillin the tea/ and Shawty come back and say she didn’t mean it/ it’s hard to believe it,” paints it closer to a romantic one. It’s possible it’s both. A fellow artist and his partner cheated on him. But it’s not emphasized that’s what it is enough.

The music video is just a Nike ad. You know Nike, the company that still uses questionable labor practices in making their products. Anyway, that might sound exaggerated, but it’s Drake at the Nike HQ messing around with his crew. It feels like it’s played more for parody considering it has multiple skits throughout. They work well enough by themselves but ruins the song. The one thing the video does is make the main chorus lyric “Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry,” make more sense by being a tagline for Nike than anything else.

In spite of my long time listening to not just this song, but this kind of rap music in general, I can’t tell if it’s a bug or feature that so much of the song feels like filler or wasted potential. Maybe it’s the meme-ie way songs are cut up now to only focus on key lyrics and be used ads for brands, but that doesn’t make good songs. It makes good lines, but not songs. This works in spite of that. It’s a collection of good lines with enough of a throughline to work. But it could have more, and want it to have more.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Avatar: The Impossible Followup – a look at The Legend of Korra Season 2

The real struggle I, and many fans, of Korra had about is its wasting of what could be interesting stories. It is no longer the epic tale of a century long war. Instead it is what the Avatar was always supposed to do— help create the peace and balance of the rather mystical world they inhabit. Season two tries to get the series there.

Season two, right off the bat, and even as the story goes on, feels like it was responding to some of the criticism of the first season. It is thanks to its segmented nature that allowed it to turn around and address some important moments and character growth that it needed without being tied down to a set quest. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Korra book two sees The New Team Avatar unsure of their future. Bolin is lost with a new Pro-Bending team, Asami’s company is in the pits, Mako is working as a police officer, and Korra feels ready as Avatar, but on a trip back to the Southern Water Tribe for a spirit festival she realizes she’s far from ready when rampaging spirits attack. She goes to her uncle, Unalaq, to learn the truth of spiritual balance only to find out his plans seek war between the tribes. It is not New Team Avatar’s job to stop it, but that will be harder than thought as Varrick, an eccentric inventor and producer, has his own plans at work. To win Korra must truly be one with the Avatar’s of yor in order to bring balance.

This season follows in the footsteps of the previous season by focusing on a different aspect of the world in order to find fresh conflict for the main cast. In this case it is diving deeper into the spiritual elements that Avatar only teased at. This does come at the cost of introducing new information we should have known about by now. The biggest element, the history of the first Avatar, will get its own segment, but that’s not all. The biggest is the deeply spiritual nature of the Water Tribes, especially the Southern Water Tribe.

The fact the Southern Water Tribe has festivals to celebrate the spirits but was never shown makes sense because the whole tribe was reduced to one village, and we don’t spend time there to get the know the culture. That’s fine. It just seems odd that Katara or Bato never mentioned it. This is doubly worse when they reach the Northern Water Tribe. They, too, don’t seem all that spiritual. They have a single spiritual place that seems more religious than an actual realm to celebrate spirits, but again we saw it during a war so that can slide. Just the fact it’s never mentioned seems odd.

It’s also odd that Spirit Bending – for lack of another word – wasn’t mentioned. Unalaq says that the spirits are mad. Part of that is him playing his game, but it is shown that spirits can do physical harm and become enraged, so learning that style of bending seems important and is odd that it never came up.

None of those break the season, and the enraged spirits can be related to the villain plot, but it’s systemic of much else in the season. The closest comparison is how a president is electect to a city (which makes no sense mostly because it’s not clear if Republic City is the capital of the World Government, or just a metropolitan city like New York) and democracy just exists despite that not seeming to exist in the world at all until now. Maybe if part of the plot related to the election and why it is important, just like how finding balance with spirits is important, that could work.

Speaking of the story. It’s better overall than last season. It still plays for time a little too much, but ultimately feels more focused on its main theme and Korra’s arc. It’s still not perfect, or Avatar level quality though. But, backing up, it starts far better than season one. The first four episodes in fact feel incredibly tight, refreshing, and like a strong direction for the series. They make quick work of setting up the new status quo, threat, and stakes easily. Unfortunately the story hinges on New Team Avatar not being together for most of the season and does everything it can to break them up for their own arcs of varying quality. Mako’s feels the weakest. He’s an officer trying to investigate terrorist attacks done by Northern Water Tribe members but is dismissed for no good reason, and ultimately proven right. Asami is just there to worry about her company and be a sounding board to everyone else. Bolin’s is probably the best. He’s unsure of what to do in his life, meets Varrick who gives him a chance to star in movers, their version of movies, to gain support for the Southern Water Tribe. This has him touch fame and arrgoantness only to realize he’s closer to the actor he plays than anyone else. He manages to keep his charm despite having to be a jerk thanks fo his general simple-mindedness. Korra’s arc is a little more complicated. For one it’s an extension of season one’s. In that she felt no connection to her past lives and duty as Avatar. Now that she’s unlocked that part of her life she does what she’s always done, jump headlong into the first problem she sees. In this case it is overcompensating for her lack of spirituality by learning everything she can about bending them and bringing balance. There is also a similar focus on how she overuses her Avatar-state powers to save the day and must learn how to use her other skills. This does create the reoccurring problem that the only way this season can create tension is by taking away her Avatar-ness.

There is also more on the love triangle beteeen Korra, Mako, and Asami. It’s not really development, it more just focuses on Korra and Mako’s relationship with Asami being a total champ about the whole thing. Not being catty, mean, or disruptive, just patient. Instead, the real meat is saying how Mako and Korra don’t work. It just says that in the worst way possible: by making Korra unreasonable. I think she’s supposed to be seen as unreasonable. Like she doesn’t know what she wants and takes it out on Mako, but that is communicated. Instead they bicker about work, break up, Korra forgets cause of Avatar shenanigans and it only comes up at the end when she remembers. There is no tension to it. Instead it feels like the team didn’t actually want them together and tried to find a way to break them up. The odd thing is that they’re right. They shouldn’t be together because they have no chemistry. In other words, they’re a boring couple.

Disappointingly much of this story is let down by Unalaq, his plan, and the framing the show used to express that plan. The writers learned from the first season and decided to give Unalaq validity. His idea, that modernization has cut people off from the spirts so the spirits should be with the humans, is one that is supported throughout the season. Not so much the use of technology, but ability to coexist. They are both seen as aggressors and helpers who needed someone to guide them into unison, not seperate them. The reason he is ultimately proven wrong and made a villain is that he sides himself with the literal source of chaos and evil to do it, because now Avatar has physical representations of good and evil… in a series that tries to give its villains more fleshed our motivations.

Breaking this down, we find out about the Raava and Vaatu (is it odd that I think they need apostrophes in their name after the first “a.” I usually hate those, but those names would benefit from the broken vowel sound). Raava being the spirit of good and Vaatu being a spirit of chaos and darkness, both battle each other for a nonexistent dominance. The first Avatar seperated them through an acccident and sealed Vaatu away during a harmonic convergence of the spirit and human world (shown through the planets aligning cause this was written in the 90s apparently). Now he seeks freedom to cast his darkness over the world, totally abolishing any point Unalaq had. Just like Amon, it didn’t have to be that way. This time it’s not a misreading of the economic and political situation of a city, but in framing of the spiritual battle.

Raava and Vaatu are framed as a God and Devil of their world (I would say only real, but I mean in the physical sense of that word). I am not a religious studies major, but it seems like the divide between the two is always that the Devil tempts with self-interest while God is focused on the interest of others, and that divide is what should have carried over. Avatar Wan, Aang, and Korra were all selected because of their selfless nature. Meanwhile, Vaatu’s precense often brought out the self-interest in the spirits it was around. That would mean that they were not corrupt, but instead shown the ways of only helping themselves. Carrying that forward to the Unalaq. Instead of bringing darkness (which is not always evil-Dark Magician from Yugioh is an obvious example). Unalaq would bring about selfishness. He would bring about the drive to look only after yourself and no one else. Actually, that sounds like anarchy so I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. The point, if Unalaq was to be taken seriously he needed a motivation that wasn’t trumped by Vaatu. That is unless he was tricked but that doesn’t seem to be in the show, just a theory. Instead it should be selfishness that leads to spirits taking over, a total over correction. But it’s still a kids show so it has to be generic evil, leaving the villains only useful ideas at the beginning.

Again, maybe the team considered that but lost time because season the series is now serialized and needs to create a fuller supporting cast, most of which are great new editions. Tenzin’s brother and sister, Bumi and Kya, are a very interesting trio Bumi, Aang’s first born, is benderless and lives up to his namesake by being utterly ridiculous in a fun way. Eccentric but has great luck and thinks on his feet. Kya is both the flower child and clear leader when they were kids. She’s the only levelheaded one, is perceptive, and clearly written to be the cool aunt who used to be a vagabond of some kind. They have a great dynamic that is reminiscent of the original trio from Avatar, the fact they meet Zhou in the Spirit World and he freaks out supports this (yeah he sees Tenzin as old Aang, but then you see a water bender and a benderless tactican and it all comes together).

The next is Varrick. Varrick, the most eccentric and wacky character ever made is a highlight of the show. He’s bold, whimsical, and a ruthless capitalist. The fact that ones his plans are foiled and he says all the good he did by being bad, that spells out my argument from last season. All true power in a society is based on money. He manipulated New Team Avatar, the Southern Water Tribe, and the intergangs of Republic City while having only quick wits and money. He also has a personal assistant that is reminds me of Mercy, Lex Luthor’s assisstant, in the shows.

The final duo I don’t need to spend as much time on. Unalaq has twins. Both of them are moody pragmatists. The only reason they stand out is Eska, the female, falls in love with Bolin and is voiced by Aubrey Plaza, the only person who could do that roll without coming off as edgy.

Except that’s not all. Tenzin’s daughter Jinora has an expanded roll in the story. Jinora, the (actually i don’t know where she falls in the age of the children. I think middle. She says Ikki is bossy so that would make sense, but she’s taller so i don’t know) possibly middle child of Tenzin, is revealed to be spiritually aware unlike many others. This leads her to take an affinity to the world we she and Korra visit to try and stop Unalaq. She also has the ability to, I guess, help Korra stop the big bad at the end. It’s not clear how she does this. The writer reasoning is probably to make Team Avatar Jr’s hunt for her matter more. They find her so she can help Korra, but the helping isn’t given. The idea, might be, that she is pure of spirit like Raava that she can help reignite her, but that’s speculation

This season also brings back characters from the past series into the fold. This is probably the most contentious because, even more than anything else, if someone thinks it works for them, then it does. For instance, I like that Zhou is still around somewhere. I thought we saw a different fate for him in Avatar, but decades have passed so it’s easy enough to believe he ended up in the most prison. Then we get the Ghibli Owl, Wan Shi Tong, he too makes sense to be in the world, and supports the idea that Unalaq’s real goal would be spiritual dominance over humans. But his appearance is so brief that it’s easy to also skip over. Then you get the big one, Uncle Iroh. Now, it makes total sense that the chillest man in the whole world would peace out to the Spirit World over dying. Him making a house and living pretty much totally normally feels right. However, bringing him back to play mentor to Korra and Team Avatar Jr, feels too easy. They could have introduced a new character, but instead reused him as an audience short cut.

Finally, the animation has gone down hill since the last season. This might be the most controversial bit of whole piece, but it’s true. If you watch season one the show is incredibly expressive. Everyone moves their hands, and changes facial expressions a dozen times over. It just has a deep energy. Season two, though does look pretty, is more stilted. There’s far more closeups than last season, and static shots. The piece of evidence I’ll go to his when characters cover their mouth. Characters doing that is easy shorthand to not animate the mouth. Last season they did it, only you could still see the mouth and jaw move. This time you cannot. They cover their mouth and it’s normal anime nonsense. That’s not saying it’s bad, just pointing out the changes.

This season, unlike the previous had the best episodes of the whole series. The rug I’m pulling out from under you (Shane, totally not dead co-king) is that it’s not the Beginnings two-parter, but the Civil War two-parter. Beginnings, despite being pretty and an interesting if morally simple explanation for the Avatar and spirits, doesn’t have a strong theme to it. It’s just information Korra needs for the finale. Maybe part of it is supposed to be that Wan, despite being well meaning, made mistakes (there is a lot to like about Wan that I didn’t have a place to put in this, but he’s what I imagine a young Superman would be. All that power and right heart but no idea of how to be useful), that-like so much- wasn’t communicated well. Yet, Civil War was. Civil War, the two parter where Unalaq reveals his plan to forcibly unite the Water Trubes under a more spiritually focused bent, and abused his own family to do it is paired with Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi looking for Jinora and bickering. That subplot comes to the conclusion that you can’t pick your family, but they mean well. That is contrasted with Unalaq showing no regard to that and warring with his family. See, the Civil War is not (just) the war between tribes, but the war between their family. That is what Korra can be at its best. A series with focus on what it wants to say and can say it well. It could make some of the best television… if it got to stay on television.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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The Best Way to Revive Avatar the Last Airbender

Avatar has been getting a lot of buzz since the announcement of a live action revival in the work. That buzz exploded when it came out that the creators of Avatar left the project (which doesn’t mean it’ll be bad or like the writers will miss the point of the series. I mean the same creators made Korra and that’s not as good, so it doesn’t mean anything). But the question plaguing me is why they are decided to go in a live action direction. They tired that before with a movie and everyone knows how successful that was.

Though I have not watched it, I am aware that the live action Last Airbender movie had a lot of problems, not least of which was pacing. Pacing being one of the elements Avatar handled perfectly the first time with its balance of goofier episodes to the more serious or contemplative episodes. A live action series has the ability to have the same kind of pacing but will lose some of the goofier elements because of the change in medium, animation to live action. It would still, at the end of the day, be an adaption of a series, not a revival.

There is a way to revive the series however, and it’s simple. What it seems like the reason people want a new version is because what they have feels outdated, and it does. The first episodes look really rough. Due to how it was animated it also cannot be upscaled to match the best possible visual quality. It’s trapped, but doesn’t have to be. If you see where I’m going, good but hold off a second, because…

Make an updated version of the series using the Legend of Korra team!

Korra, for all its flaws and victories is exceedingly pretty, and looks good on just about every video quality I have watched it on. Not even getting into the fight scenes, but the regular character animation is far more fluid and expressive than Avatar was.

The advantage of remaking the series frame by frame in this way also keeps the quality writing, characters, and pacing the show already had. Everything would remain as it was, but it would just get a HD remake like many classic video games get. This is also not a new thing, maybe for a whole animated series, but many of the classic Disney movies have been converted into HD, and many old TV shows from Star Trek TOS to X-Files all had scenes touched up and crisped up to look good on modern displays. It can even be argued that the elements FMA and FMA Brotherhood have in common, about the first 15 episodes in total, are the same thing. There is a history of this being done so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Also, it being on Netflix would also give it an extra draw because, as Netflix makes perfectly clear time and time again, shows they don’t own often leave or rotate in and out of circulation for no reason. Having this updated version of the show always available is great because it would keep that series always alive, and looking better, but would also allow people who are nostalgic for the old look to go back and watch the original run if it’s available.

There are certainly fallbacks to this. Dialogue and some sound effects might be restricted to staying the same. Not least of which being that some actors aged out of being able to voice characters, Aang’s Zachary Taylor being a prime example, but you also have actors who already had to be replaced like with Iroh and his original voice actor Mako. Also, it is easy to say that a frame by frame remake would keep the pacing, but any change in art style and timing does ultimately have a larger impact than assumed. Make Aang’s face a little more or less expressive could change the whole tone of a scene.

It baffles me that people, even now, still think live action is the pinnacle of TV. Cartoons, when first created, were for people of all ages. They were true family entertainment. Think about why series like The Flinstones or Jetsons were just prime time sitcoms of the era. It was mass market entertainment, not just kiddie stuff. Avatar, the original, already proved that if you make a good thing in any medium people will watch it. Therefore, seeing them chasing after the live action bandwagon feels like the people already missed the point of the series the first time. It’s great the way it was, but it’s look can defiantly be upgraded for modern audiences.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Teenage Bounty Hunters Arrested Me (a Review)

It feels honestly refreshing when Netflix lives up to its brand and creates another amazing first season of television that you could not get anywhere else. This also feels like a strange end cap for the trilogy of female-led stories that are usually male-centric starting with Warrior Nun (interested in what Season 2 will be like), Cursed (that will be true if we get a season 2), and now Teenage Bounty Hunters.

The title is pretty direct about what the show is. It follows fraternal twin sisters Sterling and Blair, affluent Southerns who go to a private Christian school. After they both meet with their perspective boyfriends they get into a car accident with their father’s borrowed truck. However they just so happen to ram into a skip, someone who skipped out on their bail, they catch the guy just in time for Bowser, a bounty hunter to arrive. Through some shenanigans Bowser agrees to work with the girls and train them while using the frozen yogurt shop he owns as cover. Unfortunately teen life and drama doesn’t stop just because they hunt skips. Family mysteries, school rivalries, and a balanced life are just some of the issues the teens face being bounty hunters.

Saying this show is good feels like an understatement that can only compare to saying Cursed is bad. It’s missing the whole dang forest and trees. But, since this is not a full on analysis it is easier to say that the show more just snuck up on me and surprised me with being excellent rather than expecting good things like Unbrella Academy season two.

It’s immediately striking not only how good the performances of the two leads are, but of what amazing chemistry they have. Despite not being actual sisters it’s hard to tell. They feel just so drawn. They both start as stereotypes. Sterling the do gooder saint with Blair being the more rebellious one. But their dynamic is so engrained that it is broken so easily as to be the first scene in the show, and that feels important. It’s important to see that the show knows convention and can break it so easily but still feel real. In this case the sweet one has premarital sex while the rebel doesn’t.

That is not where the surprises end, though. For this aims higher and, like Righteous Gemstones before it, seeks to be a satire of upper class southern church going. Republicans. It does not go far enough, ultimately with their take down, settling for a morally correct view of being a Christian- being a loving person- but still upholds their natural place and doesn’t question it. That makes sense for the twins. They understand the right to have and use guns and thinks it’s okay, and that God and Chruch is good, but are open enough to see racial injustice where it is at, and how the older generations are out of touch in some ways.

Connected to that is the comedy, because it is a very funny show. There are so many incredible lines and side characters that feel at once all too real, while being just satirical enough to be a joke. In the bounty hunting realm it is Terrance Coin, a YouTuber famous for recording his exploits. Instead of being the braggadocious type, they trade him out for being a real sweet man who can turn it on for the camera and sees it all as a business. At the school it is Ellen, the… it’s not clear. It seems like just a programs and religious studies coordinator, but she’s never given a title. She is closer to her stereotype: a think-she’s-hip woman who is utterly nice and totally oblivious.

Finally, the plotting. The start of the show feels incredibly satisfying because it feels like the teen drama mixed with action every CW show wants to do. Think Riverdale (I assume) but good… Buffy or good Spider-Man comics. The bounty hunting is used to help build characters to make choices in their personal life. This leads to some very good pay offs at the end. It’s the middle where it falters like most Netflix shows do. That’s by forgoing much of the premise for drama. Even the best of Netflix, like Daredevil season one (I mean imaging have a show about a blind lawyer superhero but only have one courtroom scene. Still annoys me), has this problem. It focuses on drama that’s caused by events relating to the premise, but isn’t the premise. Again, this works at the end as a culmination, unfortunately the end has its own problems. I won’t go into spoilers, but the final episode, specifically the skip hunt, feels too far. In the shows defense it sets up a good counter to our sisters, but pushes it all too far.

I keep coming back to just how honest the twins feel. Their bond, banter, and heartfelt moments about love and growing up hits me in a place. They are just so likable that It makes every feel good. Even in the midst of tedious high school drama the actresses play it so well that I feel for them. It’s truly remarkable. I won’t swear to it, but I have hope for a potential second season. Jenji Kohan of Orange is the New Black fame is on the staff. OITNB has its myriad of problems (mostly a sense of nothing happening and stretching the hell out of a premise. The book it was based on was only a couple hundred pages, not The Stand or Game of Thrones. Also, Piper sucked and made it insufferable), but staying real to characters and plotting was rarely one. I have hope my girls will do good in another season. I want more of them!

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Movie Theaters Return! Back To Normalcy?

I can’t go see Tenet, New Mutants, or any new movies coming out right now. It’s a shame because I have been looking forward to Tenet ever since it was announced. Nolan movies are always a great pleasure of mine to go see. I originally planned on going to IMAX to see it, but now I can’t even go to a small town one screen theatre to watch it. The problem is that I live in North Carolina, which you may know is still in Phase 2 where our Governor is mandating theatres be closed. I understand the situation of course with COVID and everything, but the painful part is that every state around me will be open. 

Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina. All of them will be open, and I guess you could say that I could simply travel to one of those other states to go see it. Yeah I could, except I live close to the middle of North Carolina which makes me not particularly close to any open theatres across state lines. I believe the closest one after doing hours of research is about 2 ½ hours away. Ultimately I just can’t justify the time spent driving, and gas usage to go that far just for a movie. 

It puts me in a crappy situation. I would prefer to use a different word, but I’m going to keep it PG here. It’s such a first world problem though, and makes me also think about whether I even should if I could. Just because we can, does it mean that we actually should. I don’t like to get into politics because it’s messy and everyone is always right about everything. Rather I just want to put forth the question of whether we should go to theatres with them being open. 

I understand the need for them to open so that they don’t go bankrupt from being closed for so long, that makes sense. I also understand that Nolan doesn’t want to put Tenet on VOD or push it to next year. He wants to be the big blockbuster to help get everyone back in theatres, and I understand that, but are we really in a position to say that it’s safe to go back? I don’t have the answer and I don’t think anyone does. Maybe if North Carolina had theatres open, I wouldn’t even be asking this question, but then again I should be. 

Having a baby on the way puts a lot of things in perspective. Whether it be the fact that my fiance is a teacher or that we really don’t understand fully what the effect of COVID on pregnant women and newborns are right now, it has made me more aware of the situation we are in. Now again, I’m not on here to speculate about the virus because I am no scientist, but it really does make me wonder if I should even go if I was actually capable of doing so. 

It’s a question that I understand many of us are taking into account as things seem to be returning to normal. I am just as excited to get back to the theatre as I’m sure we all are, but we also need to be vigilant in making sure that we are still doing our best to protect ourselves and others. Theatres seem to be doing the right thing as far as making the capacity for each theatre limited to give everyone the choice of distancing themselves while watching a movie. I’m not sure if anything has been said about concessions yet, but that is another thing that we should be aware of. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that for those of you that are venturing out to the theatres as they begin to open up, you need to be aware of your surroundings to keep yourselves safe as well as the people close to you. These are different times and while I am glad that theatres are opening back up, I am also low key upset that I’m not among you. At least for now. We are in uncharted waters, so we need to be prepared for the possibility of the theatres closing down again, but I also respect those of you that are going back to help support the theatres. 

There are movies like Mulan and many others that are going direct to home video through streaming services or VOD platforms, but that doesn’t make it right. Mulan as well as Tenet for myself both seem to be movies that are needed to be watched in a theatre. Because of everything going on, we are now in a situation where it seems not all movies will do so. I want to stress the importance of the actual theatre as being a reason why we get many of the movies we do.

While I myself am unable to go to a theatre right now, I do thank all of you who will be going. I thank you for supporting theatres as they begin to reopen. The important thing though is to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Always be aware of the situation you’re putting yourself in and be safe. I eagerly await the time where I can finally get back to the theatre, but for now I have to wait. Yes, I am upset, but also I am happy for those of you that can go. Let’s all enjoy this slow return to normalcy in hopes of this pandemic lifestyle being behind us. 

Be on the lookout for reviews of The New Mutants and Tenet in the coming weeks as Connor will be able to go. If you have the opportunity to go see either of these movies, please comment on the reviews and let us know what you think. Let’s build back this excitement for going to the theatres. And again, let’s all be safe!
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Deathstroke: Knights and Dragons is Taken 2 (a Review)

Deathstroke as a character was one of the first villains/anti-heroes to get his own spin-off comic series. Though popular culture seems to have forgotten that, they hadn’t forgotten that he was the standout character in the Teen Titans show, and just a cool design with more of a backstory than most anti-heroes. It makes him ripe for movie potential, and is sad that his Marvel counterparts, Venom and Deadpool, got to cinemas first. Though he still doesn’t have a live action movie (apparently the Raid director was signed on to do one… that would have been amazing), he finally got a direct to video animated feature.

After an extended prologue that goes over Slade’s backstory, a former soldier, turned mercenary with enhanced powers. He tries to lead a double life, but when his son Joseph is kidnapped he saves him, but Joseph ends up mute in the process. Slade, racked with guilt goes solo. That is until he is contacted by HIVE, the group that kidnapped his son, to say that they have succeeded this time. Only Joseph is not the helpless boy he was. Instead he is gaining psychic powers. Now Slade must use his identity as Deathstroke to find his son with the help of his ex-wife before HIVE uses his powers for their own gain.

Making Deathstroke into a dad-bro action hero, a la Liam Neeson or Bruce Willis, is a unique direction to take him in. Michael Chiklas does a great job getting him to it though. He gives him a warm tone that you could see easily turn incredibly kind or scorchingly evil. Both of which happens. The rest of the cast fits their roles well enough.

The new animation and art style is also an interesting departure from the anime-lite style the old New 52 universe had. This has a fresh look to it. A mix of classic 60s-80s comic art and fairy tale inspired designs lead to some striking images but not the most constantly fluid animation. The fights do work for the most part in conveying the weight, damage, and bloodiness of them. Unfortunately there are no totally insane fights. The most is a quick underwater shootout with sharks swarming them. It’s briefness hampering the fun of it all.

Unfortunately the rest of the movie is fine. Even after the twist is revealed and the true point is made totally clear it feels strange to have a medieval setup but not go anywhere with that since this is just a dad-bro action movie. It decides to lean into the absentee dad angle to hypothetically good effect. The movie understands what it’s trying to get across, but has a problem with reusing animation at inopertune moments, making them jarring. It also has the same problem The Old Guard had, of misusing exposition and overexplaing elements that did not need it. These factors lead to the idea of a knight slaying dragons to being window dressing at most and a waste of time at worst. I think it’s supposed to be saying Deathstroke is a knight slaying the corrupt dragons of our world but that’s not emphasized nearly enough to be effective.

This movie is better than fine, but feels like the weakest of the WB animated films to come out. It’s not as bloody or viceral as the Mortal Kombat film, and it’s not as good a story as Justice League Dark. It’s just the animated equivalent of Taken 2. It’s better than a regular one of those movies, but still kind of dull and not as thoughtful as it thinks it is.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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Anime Zootopia (a Look at Beastars season one)

One of the many reasons I go to and enjoy anime is it’s ability to serialize and expand on some of my favorite film concepts, turning them into a fleshed out experience. The easiest to pinpoint is Psycho-Pass’s connection to movies like Blade Runner and Minority Report (before Minority Report got its own series). Though not a full on adaption, Psycho-Pass takes the themes, ideas, and general look to turn a movie I like into a longer experience I can go back too. One movie in that list that I always thought would make a great ongoing series was Disney’s Zootopia. Zootopia, an animated film set in a world where anthropomorphic creatures live together, carnivores and herbivores alike, and the struggle those two groups must go through via the eyes of a new police cadet rabbit and her unlikely partner, a fox. The film is masterful and feels perfectly open for more stories that don’t seem to be on the horizon. Thankfully anime has come to fill that void with the Netflix hit, Beastars

Despite not being an adaption of Zootopia, Beastars feels to be copying that stories homework quite a bit. Instead of a whole city, Beastars takes place at Cherryton High School (despite all appearances it is still an anime after all), a prestigious boarding school for the anthropomorphic animals of this world to attend. Unfortunately the delicate balance the school’s carnivores and herbivores had is thrown into wack when an alpaca student is devoured by a carnivorous classmate. In the backdrop of that climate Legoshi, a gray wolf, gets the scent of a dwarf rabbit. His instincts to eat her take over he must fight them to survive and prove that he is stronger than what his body wants him to be. Meanwhile the hunt for the next Beastar, a representative of the coalition between the two groups is underway, and a red deer, Louis (or Rouis depending) with his own angst fights for that.

It’s hard not to compare this and Zootopia endlessly. The fact they both have lion mayors is crazy enough, along with a rabbit main character, a crime family connected to the mystery, and the battle between what is natural and what is outdated programming we must fight are all shown in spades. The main difference that sets this apart from Zootopia, aside from the overall lack of comedy, is how this series focuses on the toll society has forced onto the main characters and how they fight to be who they want to be in it.

This theme of societal pressure and impact on how the characters see themselves runs deep through every character. The standouts are the leads, Legoshi, Haru the rabbit, and Louis. Legoshi, despite being a towering presence is retrained, quite, and timid. He had to force his baser instincts in order to stay sane, and only tries to use them in order to help others. This ends up making him a repressed individual in every possible way.

Haru was taught to see herself as weak and needed to find a way to make herself feel equal. The way that’s gone about, making her a slut, is an interesting choice. When that trope is used it’s never seen as literal. It’s always a mistake or misunderstanding, but pushing it to be true, and deal with the consequences of why someone would do that and the psychological impact that would have is powerful. Louis ( or Rouis. The dub makes it a L sound yet it’s spelled with an R… yay transitional impossiblities) wants to prove he is powerful despite being only a deer. He doesn’t want to be seen as weak or helpless, but a fighter to make a better world. Every character is so easy to go into detail, that’s how well it’s thought out. But the standout for minor characters is the mayor. Since carnivores are seen as monsters he went about getting plastic surgery to make himself look more like an herbivore in order to gain political power. Not many other series would go into that much detail.

That level of detail does not stop with the characters. The world also feels very fleshed out. On a design level it is nowhere close to unique as Zootopia’s inclusive utopia. Most animals in Beastars are mostly humanoid with vague animal features: claws, beaks, tails, etc. The most detail we get on that front are smaller doors, chairs, and seating areas for the smaller animals. No, instead what’s thought out is the diet of the animals that live in the world, and what sort of economies would exist because of that. Having a black market for meat, and people who sell their limbs for money is genius. Horrifying, but genius, and plays into that theme of societal pressures.

This series would, of course, not be nearly as impactful if not for the stellar direction and CGI model work gone into the show. It looks like no other anime out there. It’s fluid, expressive movements, creative camera work, editing, and staging all makes it feel incredibly artistic. The backgrounds suffer from being bland, again going back to how safe the anthropomorphic animals look, but the way the spaces are used is creative. When the spaces are used to their fullest for action or drama everything is made impact from how the characters move, how inner thoughts are expressed, and the symbolism of what it all means. The latter character monologues are sold hard by the great dub cast. Everyone brings a nice grounded performance that has just enough angst to feel genuine, but not too much that it feels Hot Topic levels of woah-is-me.

The series is not perfect however. It goes off the rails, not as literally as Zootopia does but does none the less, when it introduces a lion mafia that Legoshi fights through. That all feels too out there for the material. I would not say that the mafia existing is too far, but Legoshi being able to storm the building video game style, even with help, feels too far. One, maybe two predators would feel right, but a whole pride of lions is too far. The season also suffers from it only being the first season (of at least two planned) and small part of an ongoing manga series. That means some arcs have not wrapped up, and the inciting incident… the murder mystery is not even closed to being resolved. If a second season does come it will be interesting to see how it’s resolved, or I could just read the manga. It would probably be better.

In fact, I would be interested to read the manga mostly to see just how toned down the anime is. I’m not saying it is, but it feels less explicit despite the content of sex and violence shown and covered. Also, since I’m someone who’s been on the internet too long, seeing so much emphasis placed onto attractive animal characters does feel weird. I mean people like what they like, and they’re not real, but I can only imagine what sort of art exists out there for this show.

I often overthink the term “graphic novel” because I feel it’s misused. Just because a series of panels laid to create a narrative and placed into a book technically meets the criteria it does not make it a novel. Naruto, love it or hate it, is not a novel. It’s a fun ninja romp to be sure, but not a novel. Beastars feels like a novel. It’s also paced like one, but it’s total devotion to theme and character with minimal outstanding action feels fresh. It feels honest. It feels like a true story of what living in an oppressive society can be like, and that makes it more than anime Zootopia.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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