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  • Log Horizon Season 2 Episode 1

    1 day ago

    CaButler

    Hello everybody and welcome to Season Two of Log Horizon. The show about a bunch of players getting stuck inside of a game and finding out quickly that it's not the game they remember it to be.

    In our last season, we focused on an Enchanter called Shiroe, finding himself stuck in the MMORPG "Elder Tales", along with tens of thousands of players and who knows how many across the world. While exploring the land he meets up with old allies like Naotsugu, a Guardian, and Nyan-ta, a Swashcukler, as well as new allies, like Akatsuki, the Assassin, and the twins Toya and Minori, a Samurai and Shrine Maiden. Through the trials and tribulations of this new world, Shiroe is able to bring some semblance of order to Akihabara, bringing together the various different guilds to form their own governing body for the city.

    But as with any governing body, they have to associate themselves with other governing bodies, like the League of Freedom Cities Eastal, made up of former NPCs called the People of the Land. After a very rough start, the two governments are able to establish a friendly relationship, which lead to Maihama's princess, Raynesia, coming to Akihabara as it's Ambassador.

    It's during this time that Shiroe learns the truth of this world. It's deep lore and history, as well as the kind of magic that would have brought the Adventurers to the world, which is called World Fraction, and had only been cast three times. It is thanks to this knowledge that Shiroe is able to create a new form of magic of his own, turning a Person of the Land, Rudy, into a full fledge Adventurer, changing the laws of the world once more.

    Thanks to this, Shiroe ends up meeting his opposite number, a Fox Tail Enchanter named Nureha, who is ever bit as smart and resourceful as Shiroe, only without his self-imposed limitations. And why did Nureha do all of this? Because she wants Shiroe by her side, and while the show doesn't outright say it, I think it was more to be her consort than a minion. He refuses, but knowing the new enemy, Shiroe is forced to make an important decision. IN the cliffhanger ending for the Season One finale, Shiroe makes the decision to leave Akihabara.

    What will this mean for the direction of the second season? What will change in Akihabara as a result of his decision? And will Shiroe give into temptation and join Nureha? Let's tune in and find out.

    -One thing to note real quick is that we're working with a different animation studio this season. For the first season, the animation studio was Satelight, who are doing the Spring 2017 adaption of the light novel SukaSuka. They've also done a lot of the recent Macross series, as well as Symphogear. For the second season, Studio Deen takes over, and they require no introduction, but in case you need it, they were responsible for the first Fate/Stay Night adaption, as well as responsible for the adaption of Konosuba. So we'll have to see what kind of animation changes we'll see here.

    -Anyway, enough of the background stuff, let's get into the series proper. We begin the episode with a giant, purple armored creature, roaring after kicking up a lot of dust in what appears to be a coliseum like room. One of the characters, who I think is William Massachusetts, says to keep going as we see Akatsuki and Soujiro dodging from an attack. She explains that getting a win and solving the problem aren't the same thing. And then we cut to an open field as... Kanami? So she did get stuck into the world after all. She goes head first into a batch of enemies, knocking them around. Did they ever say what her class was before? She looks to be a Monk here.

    -Then we return to Naotsugu, performing his Guardian duties, using his skill called Fortress Stance. He also appears to be decked out in grand new armor, looking forward to testing it all out. Soujiro, who is leading the front, tells everybody to pay attention and listen, for they must maintain an attitude of constant improvement, and never for a moment discount training you've received. Okay, we can tell the art is a bit different here as Soujiro looks off to me. He also looks really, really tired. That's what happens when you make your harem your guild, Soujiro!

    -Back with the first fight, William calls up Shiroe for a distraction, then we quickly cut to Kanami who is super excited, because five hundred guards means one heck of a treasure. She turns around, telling the others that he could never have this kind of fun in the real world. Also, I know she had quite the figure during season one, but did she modify her character in between seasons? Because she looks huge here. Sorry, I try not to point it out, but it's kind of hard to not notice when they're right there, in the middle of the screen. Anyway, we cut to Akatsuki, who appears to be in new armor, claiming she can see it out, as Shiroe is being dragged over to a different monster, asking for a little help from William. Then we cut to Kanami, getting prepared for a brawl against a bunch of monsters, looking forward to how good her dinner is going to be after she kicks all their butts, wink.

    -Well, that was quite a stinger. I suspect that we weren't see three events happening at the same time, but several different events that happened over the course of time. From what I can gather, it appears that Soujiro has taken over Shiroe's duties and is suffering from it, with Akatsuki choosing to serve him in Shiroe's absence. Naotsugu is off doing something as it appears that Shiroe has joined up with William, for some odd reason. And it appears that Kanami, who was a driving force for the Debauchery Tea Party from years prior, is going to be appearing in the series proper as a force to be dealt with. One wonders what this all means?

    -Anyway, time for the intro, and apparently Studio Deen decided that the previous intro song was good enough, so they'll keep it here. We start with a person, Shiroe, at a computer, as two of his avatars appear, one we saw in the first season and another with a different armor set, likely to appear in the second season. The camera pans back to a grid line before showing off the world, then the title, Log Horizon. It continues to pan until we get two figures, Shiroe and Akatsuki, dressed in real world outfits. Huh.

    -As the song begins to play we get a shower of gold coins, then the classic image of Shiroe and Log Horizon, the guild, appearing as shadowy figures, only instead of it being dark, they're in a snow storm. Though it looks like their numbers have increased a bit. Then we cut to this elf girl with Nureha in the background, before focusing on Shiroe, Akatsuki, then William. Suddenly, explosions as this elf girl sees other means of the Tea Party walk away from her, then a person staring at the moon in the real world, then we see Serara, Maryelle and Henrietta running, all in new outfits, then to Isuzu and... wait, is that Rudy? What happened to his hair? Sure, his hair was the lighter shade of blonde but he was still a blonde. Here he looks like he got quite a scare earlier.

    -Then we cut to Soujiro cutting at a ghost, but looking a little more psychotic than usual. Then we cut to our Merchant Guild members and... oh, oh Michitaka, what did they do to you? He just looks so wrong in comparison to his season one look. Also, we see Roderick here, along with three new characters who I don't recognize. Then we have Isaac, out of his armor, standing in front of a large army. Well, this can't be good at all, can it?

    -We then cut to William looking down on the ground, in tears, and Akatsuki in an alleyway, fallen in combat, before being covered in snow. Well, that's quite the image, isn't it? We then cut to a shot of the moon in the forest as Shiroe stands up from a snow drift, then him driving a cart with the junior members of Log Horizon, Toya, Rudy, Minori and Isuzu, along with another character, who I believe is Serara. Is she abandoning her duties with the Crescent Moon Alliance now?

    -Next, it's a concert! Minori is on stage with Serara, Isuzu and Toya, rocking out, as we get a bunch of different characters surrounding by monsters, Kanami among them, smiling for the fight. I guess this is her party now. Then we get another iconic image of Shiroe doing the Shiroe maneuver as the camera pans down a mountain side, showing off various different characters, before ending with Demikas suddenly appearing on the screen. As the chorus of the song plays, we see the armored monster from the teaser, following by a viking god and a dragon, then another character showing up mysteriously, who will likely be our antagonist for one of these arcs. Then we have Naotsugu and Regan with another character, with pink hair, who is apparently trying for a Jem cosplay here.

    -Then we have a panning shot of the various Akihabara ladies from the different guilds, as well as Raynesia and Dolce. This is in conjunction with a purple figure running along the screen, likely to be Akatsuki, then a quick shot of the monster and then to Krusty, who also looks terrible here, with his second, Misa, then the camera punning back to show off a blond character, likely another guild master. Then to a red-headed character fighting Nyan-ta, who then fights a samurai, then clones of Akatsuki attacking some ice monster. So many tiny ninjas.

    -We then cut to a shot of the RTC, all in uniform, which is then flanked by a bunch of other characters, which includes Nureha. Likely they're opposite numbers from Minami. We then cut to a forest where a familiar girl is dancing, following by a panning shot of her, Toya, Shiroe, Minori, Raynesia, and Akatsuki. We then cut to some fire going off with a banner held above, then a shot of the moon as Minori, and then Akatsuki, turn to face the camera, then we cut to our group shot of the characters in their new outfits, except for Nyan-ta, because his outfit grows in power with him, hence the power of Shaft Cat. We then finish up with an upward shot of a city, focusing on a pink moon. I mean, I know it's suppose to be a blood red moon, but to me, it looks pink.

    -...Oh god, this is going to be painful, isn't it? I noticed some weird animation cues from the teaser which looked off, but the opening, which is suppose to look great in comparison, doesn't. I mean, sure, the animation from the first season wasn't going to win any awards, but nothing ever really looked out of place unless it was done on purpose, like the character's more deadpan or silly expressions. Here? They just don't look right to me. And this isn't mean taking shots at Studio Deen, because I think they're fin as an animation company, but still. This is why you shouldn't change animation studios between seasons. Unless that second studio is Studio Trigger, then you can change studios.

    -I'll try not to rag on the animation too much unless I feel it's necessary to point it out. I'm not here for that! I'm here to watch a show I've never watched and express that to the people who read this. By the way, I apologize in advance if I drive you insane somehow, but I'm not responsible for your medical bills as a result. Moving on from that, our episode begins proper with a tug of war match. We must still be in the Libra Festival... or perhaps a different festival. Either way, Maryelle is likely responsible for this. Smash is nearby, telling them that they have their pumpkins over here as we learn that it's the Battle of the Guilds After Halloween field day! So this takes place in November, then? I wouldn't be surprised if Maryelle suggests their own version of Thanksgiving, even if that's primarily an American holiday.

    -We see the festival is in full swing as the crowd cheers on the competitors. Speaking of Maryelle, we see her being held back by Nyan-ta, anxious to play, as well. The smooth cat tells her that event organizers have to work. Play can be for later. Also, was Maryelle's hair always that green? I thought she was more of a blonde? Maryelle argues, however, saying she wants to play tug of war, dammit! And with all her energy, she'd probably win single handily, too.

    -Tonight's episode is titled Shiroe of the Northern Nation, which is also listed as Shiroe of the Northern Country. Same thing, really. I should also note that the background for the title card is different. Instead of a map of Japan, it's a map of what appears to be Akihabara. Back with the tent, Nyan-ta asks why they need to have an After Halloween event? Maryelle reminds him of the event they had for Halloween, right? Well, this is why he was asking, after all. After all, the game developers already have an event in mind for this time of year, which includes fighting giant plant monsters. The main event is that monsters drop pumpkins when they're beaten during the last three days of the month. Well, yeah, Maryelle says that's the point. They have a bunch of prize pumpkins right here, so why not have an event to find a way to give them away? I'm guessing the purpose of the pumpkins was for a different kind of reward, but thanks to the developers invoking their demon ritual, things have changed. Stupid deadlines.

    -And this is where Maryelle, the Party Strategist, comes in to make it work. Nyan-ta compliments her use of the Shiroe Maneuver without the required glasses. As we see the tug of war still going on, he says that, one thing's for sure, and that this city of theirs has become a smooth place to live. We see the Halloween declarations still about, including some characters wearing pumpkins for hats. We quickly flashback to the first season as Maryelle can't believe how fast this has happened. It just seems like yesterday they got trapped in this game and not a half-year like it really is. They show off all the key points from the first season, which I mentioned above. So, yeah, in a half-year they haven't tried to kill each other, which is progress in their books.

    -Nyan-ta is all compliments, especially to little Serara, who we see running with some other Adventurers. She's apparently involved in a bun eating contest as Smash tells them that they need to pay for every bun they drop out there. Serara is able to get a bun on her first attempt and quickly blazes past the other players, because she wants a pumpkin party with Nyan-ta, dammit! She is victorious as Maryelle and Nyan-ta look pleased with her progress. Also, what's with the wolf guy trying to play the air piano? That's just weird.

    -We cut to Minori cheering on toya, telling him that he can't do it with just attitude. Looks like they're doing a basket game, with Toya apparently sucking a bit at this. She tells him to anticipate where the phantom's are going. So this is less a town festival and more a school festival, by the looks of it. We even have a three legged race with Isuzu and Rudy as partners. Rudy, with his awesome ego, wonders if these wannabes could really hope to beat them? As he monologues about how great they are, the horn sounds, starting the match, leaving them in the back. How dare they not allow his monologue to finish? What uncultured barbarians!

    -We cut to Akatsuki in what appears to be an obstacle course, the likes of which none of the other players have seen, and of course, our tiny ninja is cleaning house. She'll do everything in her power that her guild, Log Horizon, takes home the grand prize. The junior members cheer her on, but instead of feeling joy, she appears to be disappointed. Now that's an interesting reaction to give. I'm guessing she's still feeling a bit sore about that whole love triangle thing from last season.

    -You may have noticed that Shiroe and Naotsugu are nowhere to be found. Mayrelle brings this up, and Nyan-ta agrees, but it turns out, they're kind of busy with negotiations. We cut to the Guild Hall, which is owned by Shiroe, then the Basement Corridor, were we see Naotsugu and Henrietta standing guard. They're looking nervous because this is where the Royal Guard Members stand at the ready, waiting to be called upon when required. They're nervous because, the armor is empty, but they won't move unless players pick a fight in the city. There is a player here cleaning the armor, and the camera is purposely avoiding his face as the two note that Shiroe is taking a while to get this done. Henrietta is concerned, with Naotsugu explaining that it's been kind of rough in there for our Enchanter. Apparently they've been here a number of times.

    -It looks like Shiroe is negotiating with a group called the Kunie Tribe, who Henrietta call tricky. Naotsugu says they have to be, for those NPCs are responsible for circulating all the world's currency. Henrietta reminds him that it isn't just banking, as they also maintain and reply the Royal Guard, along with the magical pathways that re spawn monsters and Adventurers, and it's their magic barriers that keep monsters out of the cities. Huh. Is this who Nureha convinced in Minami, or did she brute force her way into it?

    -We see Shiroe sitting across from a character named Kinjo, who is a level fifty Successor and is a member of the Kunie Tribe. He's got a serious expression and he appeared in our opening with those three boss creatures that would give our players a hard time. Unfortunately, it appears Shiroe has met his match as they cannot come to an agreement. Kinjo explains that to do so would break laws dating back to his ancestors. Yeah, sounds like Nureha brute forced her way into control.

    -Or it could be something else. We have an RTC meeting where one of the members, Eins, asks if the Kunie could give them a loan? Shiroe says not to bet on it, saying that the guild building, which includes all the local banking, the Cathedral, and the Trace Center, are among the resources they purchased. They did that to place them under the control of the RTC. He wanted to be sure that no one else was able to use them as their own. I'm guessing they were bought up recently thanks to Nureha revealing how much she controls. However, there is a small problem with the maintenance costs, which, in Michitaka's own words, are nuts. All those buildings are taking ten million in gold out of their accounts every month. Soujiro points out that the guild building was purchased for five million gold at the time, with one other member, Woodstock, commenting that they're paying double that to hang on to them every month? What absurd inflation is that?

    -As a result of this, the RTC is going to go bankrupt before too long, which means no more parties and festivals, but Eins says that this isn't the issue they have at hand. Woodstock asks if this has gone public yet, but luckily, it hasn't. Shiroe says that it wouldn't be wise to make this information public, not with unwelcome ears out there, like a certain Fox Tail that has been trying to seduce a certain Enchanter for quite some time. Though Shiroe has told them all about Nureha, as Michitaka brings up Minami. And it appears the people are already talking about Plant Hwyaden. We see some comments being made, and the opinions appear to be mixed, though mostly it's seen as negative because it's basically a dictatorship.

    -Shiroe points out that not all dictators hurt their people, but you know how they can be at times. Soujiro is kind of wishing that Krusty and Issac guilds were back, leaving them significantly short handed. Shiroe explains in a voice over that fate dealt them a pretty big blow when the game server kicked off the "Return of the Goblin King" event, which lead to the Goblin Army stampeding all over the land. After the victory in the Raid of Zantleaf, the Akihabara Adventurers began to invade the Goblin Army's stronghold in Seventh Fall. Krusty and Issac server as the generals, with Karashin and Akaneya helping out with logistics. Luckily, the battle guilds have it covered, but still, they are at a significant disadvantage should another incident like the Libra Festival happens once more. That party went crazy at the end there.

    -Still, Eins believes that Minami won't be a threat to them in the near future, leading them to wonder what they should do now about their money issue? The shops alone won't be enough, and it appears Nureha doesn't have this issue, but as she basically took over an entire country, she has access to all those funds, too. I feel like I've been bringing her up a lot, but at the same time, she is a key player at the moment.

    -But enough depressing thoughts, it's time for a party! We see a bunch of tables lined up with various different foods as Serara tells them that they'll find a little hint of pumpkin in many of the items on the menu tonight. Well, with so many pumpkins, might as well use them for food. While Toya agrees the it's tasty, it appears that he and Rudy is already sick of it and gets the feeling there's pumpkin in everything tonight. They turn to Nyan-ta and asks if he made anything without pumpkin, but our Chef tells the young boys that there are many nutrients in pumpkin, as well as it being able to keep them warm at night. Also, you're participating in a pumpkin feast, do you think there would be anything else her that didn't include pumpkin? So don't you dare disrespect the pumpkin, little man. Wow, I think that's the first time Nyan-ta actually berated somebody, even if he didn't change the tone of his voice. But that's why Nyan-ta treats the kitchen as his kingdom, so don't you dare try to hint that his skills aren't up to the challenge.

    -While the boys do apologize to the chef, Toya would still rather have meat. Instead, they have pumpkins. In terms of the guild contests, Log Horizon came in tenth while D.D.D. came in first. And the Black Sword Knights took second. Isuzu, you aren't helping. Minori tries, though, saying tenth place is pretty good for them, but Akatsuki is still in a sour mood. Moving on from the depressed ninja, Isuzu asks Minori what she has in her hands. It's some weird looking horned monster that is mooing strangely. No, really, the captions actually have "Strange mooing" there. Minori explains that some weird old guy walked up to her and said it was their prize for tenth place. We get a shot of the old guy, who I don't recognize, but Isuzu is more than a little freaked out by this strange creature.

    -Toya, however, recognizes it as a stuffed fuzzy goat slime. Rudy wants to see and asks if that's one of those disgustingly cute items he's been hearing everyone talk about? Nyan-ta and Serara are nearby, but our young druid comments on how boys are so crazy about things that are all grody. And this is her reason for pining for Nyan-ta, as he's such an adult and not immature like those other boys. Oh, this girl has it so bad. I sure Nyan-ta is working on a way to put her down gently, but for now, he'll enjoy the attention for a little longer.

    -Nearyby, Mayrelle is getting an update from Henrietta and Naotsugu. No go on the negotiations. Though Shiroe himself hasn't appeared at all, causing some to question where he is. Minori, the dutiful apprentice, says that he's catching up on his work again, hence why he missed this party again. Naotsugu is worried, wondering if Shiroe's bad habit is catching up with him again? We check in on Shiroe, staring at a gold coin, saying that, while he doesn't like it, it looks like it'll be the only way to get it done. Got to keep a certain Fox Tail Enchanter from doing something in her quest for love.

    -We see the party is still going on, with Rudy suggesting to present the gloriously slimy trophy to Shiroe, but the Isuzu overrules them. However, he does appear, and while he gets some compliments, Akatsuki, looking to do anything to please Shiroe, runs up and presents the Fuzzy Goat Slime. Unfortunately it doesn't work quite so well on him. Minori appears with a cup in hand and is happy to see him out with other people. Akatsuki is immediately on the defense of her rival as Minori makes small talk with her master. While that's happening, the Fuzzy Goat Slime melts in Akatuski's hand, giving a disappointed moo. But the reason he's out there is that he needs to tell them all something important.

    -Inside the Log Horizon guild building, the trusted members of Log Horizon, along with Maryelle, Henrietta, and Serara, stand, waiting for an answer. Shiroe hesitates a bit, but quickly says that he's going to have to leave the city for a while. Probably. While we focus on Akatsuki and Minori, shocked at the answer,r is Maryelle that pulls out the lover's answer of "No, you can't leave," much to their own surprise. Her reason is not quite like that, but on an emotional level, it's the same. At least, to her, because we see her holding up a sign, indicating how many days until Christmas. It says around thirty, but if this is after Halloween, then it would be close to fifty-four to fifty-five days. Unless she's planning a month long festival, and she should know the guild is hurting for money at the moment. As Maryelle celebrates her supposed victory, Naotsugu is the one to bring her down, saying that such an excuse isn't going to work.

    -For our eyecatch, it's Chibi Shiroe, joined by Chibis Naotsugu and Akatsuki. The founding members of Log Horizon. Too bad the group is going to suffer a massive set back when their leader leaves.

    -When we return, we're at the Tear Stone Mountains, located in the Japan Sever at Oou. It's a field, so monsters are present. PvP is permitted, as well as all skills, with no restrictions to entry or exiting the field. Here we have a cabin lit up and find that Shiroe is there, reading a confidential report. He has a map on the ground as somebody enters in. Without looking up he asks the person how it looks out there. It's Naotsugu and he says it's fine. There's only a little snow and a bit of a breeze, so they're fine. Shiroe thanks him for that update as he goes back into his plan. I'm assuming some time has passed since the initial meeting, and it's Naotsugu who decided to go with Shiroe, to keep the Villain in Glasses out of trouble. Somebody has to, after all.

    -After a moment, Naotsugu provides Shiroe with a drink, and after he prepares his own drink, asks the Enchanter if he plans to hell him what's going on or if he's just going to keep grunting? It's been ten days since the meeting, leading to a flashback as the guild members ask why he's leaving? While Shiroe understands he's been secretive, he still won't tell them much except that the city is in a lot of trouble. Interestingly enough, while this is almost after Shiroe makes his declaration, we see that Naotsugu, who was standing with the group before, is now sitting on a nearby couch. Looks like he's got that offscreen teleportation skill down pat.

    -While Shiroe can't go into details in why the city is in trouble, he explains that he has to do this because it's the only way to handle it. The accept this, because Shiroe hasn't steered them wrong yet, but Isuzu asks where he'll be going? Nope, that's also classified. Rudy stats in his own tone that he wishes the guild master could trust them more, but accepts it. Minori, however, thinks Shiroe has a good reason, thinking that there might be a spy from Minami somewhere in the city. I wonder how much of the Nureha story is known among the people? Did they know she tried to seduce Shiroe or did he conveniently leave that part out? I imagine if Akatsuki knew that, she'd be on her way to Minami, planning to put her Assassin class to good use.

    -Though it seems like Minori says the last part out loud, about leaks, which the rest agree with. If they don't know, they can't say anything. Henrietta asks if Shiroe has informed the RTC about his sudden departure. The people who need to know, like Krusty, Soujiro, and Isaac, the combat guild leaders. Well, that explains why Soujiro looks so tired in the teaser. Nyan-ta, however, is nothing but confident in Shiroe's ability to solve this problem, whatever it is. Okay, so with that settled, he turns to Naotsugu, but before he can say anything, the Guardian quickly stops him, giving him an answer of "no." He must like being able to interrupt other people instead of being interrupted all the time.

    -Naotsugu explains that pictures need their catchers, and an Enchanter needs his Guardian, so no, Shiroe, he will not take temporary command of Log Horizon. Also, that line creates a thousand more slash fics, but knowing Naotsugu, I wouldn't be surprise if he said it on purpose, though it is a good analogy. Shiroe can't say no to that, and when Akatsuki is looking to go herself, Shiroe says no to that. He needs her to stay behind, and while she's heartbroken by this, he explains that he has a special task that only she is capable of completing.

    -After that scene, Naotsugu, who has now been told of the mission since he can't leak it to anybody here, asks Shiroe why they're in the snow looking for cash? Well, to get what they need, it can't be done by slaying monsters or completing the known quests. It would take too long and they don't have the time to do it. Anyway, they need a massive amount of money to protect Akihabara, which totals to... eighty trillion. A toccata and fugue plays as Naotsugu tries to wrap his head around that number. I'm with you, because while it's a number that can get passed around pretty often, it's still a rather large number. Shiroe, doing his due diligence, did the math, and even if they took all the money from the other Adventurers in the world, they still wouldn't have enough. Seriously, who is setting the prices for the maintenance costs?

    -Naotsugu asks if they need that much to keep everything they have under their control, but Shiroe doesn't provide an answer. I suspect that he's planned it out for a couple of years, given or take. That's when Regan appears, telling Shiroe that his guest has arrived. I suspect Naotsugu was introduced to the Mage of Mirror Lake, but then asks why he's creeping around like that? Anyway, the guest happens to be Kinjo of the Kunie Tribe. Shiroe introduces him to Regan and his title. And I suddenly have a better opinion of Naotsugu, as he agrees with me in how Regan looks like a creepy, untrustworthy character he is.

    -On to business. Kinjo states that he serves as the liaison officer for the Kunie tribe and introduces himself properly to the Mage of Mirror Lake. But Kinjo is more excited to meet with Shiroe, the Master Strategist of the Adventurers, as well as having Regan there. He thinks his ancestors would be impressed by such a gathering. Regan is thankful that Kinjo joined them, and that by agreeing to these meetings show the gravity of the situation. Regan continues to compliment the Kunie tribe, their power, as well as the arts and spells of the magic user's civilization, his heart swells with anticipation. Kinjo questions this, but Regan points to Shiroe and says that not even he can contain his giddiness of this meeting. Kinjo thinks it's a bit much, leaving Shiroe in a bind. Poor Shiroe, he's starting to feel like he's out of his element here.

    -Moving on to the real reason Shiroe asked Kinjo here. It's a continuation of their meeting in Akihabara, about getting a loan from the Kunie tribe. Kinjo is fascinated by Shiroe wanting to come all the way up here to negotiate, but it was a play on Shiroe's part, to show that he knew where the Kunie tribe was. Shiroe admits that Regan assisted with that, which goes to show that such a location is in the records at Mirror Lake. Well, not exactly, but with his help Shiroe was able to decide that the Kunie Tribe's village is near the Tear Stone Mountains. Which is, again, a card he played to give himself a bit of an advantage. Still, for such a threat, it's pretty cliche, and he's above such petty things like making threats like that. Instead, if he really wanted to make a point, he'd burn down half the village and make it look like an accident until he subtly hints that it wasn't.

    -Despite that, Kinjo would love to help, but a loan is simply not possible, but this is something Shiroe already knows. Given his response, the Enchanter apparently doesn't know, so Kinjo explains that it would violate edicts laid down by his ancestors. Shiroe sighs, but this was in his research, explains that, regardless of whether its for a loan or an investment, the banks here don't contribute to increasing the money supply. The banks are just that, banks to hold stuff and nothing more. Money lending isn't a practice in this world, so if you want money, you have to be in the business of destroying monsters. Which means there is one job and one way to get paid for it. And hey, we see Kanami's group, with what appears to be a lizard man and a maid. What an unusual party.

    -Since asking for a loan is out, Shiroe goes about it a different way. He asks Kinjo if the only way to earn gold is to defeat monsters? Kinjo confirms, so Shiroe continues. Occasionally they can go on a dungeon quest and get hundreds of gold pieces that way? Though I need to point out that, for the subtitles, which are going via closed captions, have it as "dungeon question". The translators are slacking off again. Anyway, yeah, they can quest for money, right? That is also correct, but man, are you guys brave for doing that. So if the Kunie Tribe is unwilling to give them a loan, he'll need to consider another option. He'll just take the gold from its central distribution point. Not the same as extortion, but still, it delivers quite the message.

    -Kinjo doesn't like this threat as Regan goes form surprise to realization. Naotsugu, not being in completely on the plan, calls Shiroe out on it. We get to enter Naotsugu's head, but don't worry, we're not going the far in, as he explains the mechanics. They beat up a monster and gold appears, practically out of nowhere. And we get a shot of the real world Naotsugu and see that he looks somewhat similar to his real world counterpart, only without the spiky hair and wide eyes. But with this meeting, he thinks Shiroe thinks there's a link with all of the monsters that come back to life and the gold that comes with them. Still, this is a massive risk, even for him, as he's probably the only one who thinks that such a link exists.

    -Kinjo seems to be going with the same line, asking Shiroe if he thinks that the way it works. Regan takes over, explaining the spiritual theory is used for how monsters come back to life, but why are they reincarnated with the same amount of riches? Of course such a mechanism would be in place! It's the only thing that makes sense! And Regan's studies not only found such a mechanism, but there was someone behind it to make it possible. As such, thanks to this, he found the Kunie. So they're the ones responsible for respawning the monsters? That just asks so many questions.

    -Regan continues, saying that in the lowest layer of the Depths of Palm, his text said there is a gigantic whirlpool of gold that dazzles the eye. And this was sealed away by a Mage of Mirror Lake fifteen generations ago. No man should control so much wealth. We travel to Palm and see Shiroe, Naotsugu, and Regan traveling it, finding a giant door blocking their way. This Shiroe uses to confirm it's existence and location, and cracking it shouldn't be that hard. Kinjo is rather impressed by Shiroe's research, which was to acquire a whirlpool of gold. And then he makes an interesting statement, that, according to Shiroe, all this gold belongs to the Kunie. Shiroe also confirms this, which is Kinjo's way of noting that Shiroe plans to steal the gold from them.

    -But this is why they're having this meeting. They don't want to stand on antagonistic terms with the Kunie Tribe, and that taking from the source would be a absolute last resort. Kinjo then has a question for Shiroe. He knows what his tribe does with the whirlpool, but what will Shiroe and his ilk do with it? There is a long moment of silence before Shiroe answers. If he tells Kinjo, will it change in any way whether or not he will help them? After a moment, he answers with no. You know how ancient laws are. Looks like we're going to have an Ocean's Eleven situation here. Time for a montage!

    -After a fade to black, we cut to later. Shiroe is sulking outside as Regan asks why he would bother discussing this with Kinjo and letting them know of their own plans? After all, instead of tipping their hand like this they could have gone ahead and started stealing the gold. Naotsugu explains that, sure, Shiroe will take on his villain role when required, but not when he can make a friend instead. And becoming friends with the Kunie Tribe would really help them out. Naotsugu explains that honesty is important to him and tiptoeing around the truth like that would have been a lie. To him, Shiroe is honest to a fault. He'd make a terrible president.

    -Naotsugu explains that all he had to do was sit there and watch them talk, but they both keep secrets. He explains that when you make a new business contact with someone, you got to drop some of that nonsense and learn about what makes the other guy tick, and then be up front about it. We see Real World Naotsugu in a contract negotiation with somebody, showing the kind of job he's in. Naotsugu then explains that you do have to make compromises, but when you're on the level, you usually get what you want. And that explains why politics are such a mess.

    -Of course, Naotsugu is explaining this to Regan, which prompts the mage to ask if he was a merchant in a previous life. He doesn't deny it, responding instead that he can take care of business. With this, it appears that Naotsugu has decided that he needs to speak with Shiroe one more time. He goes to join him outside and waits for Shiroe to talk. When he does, it's to ask his opinion on what Kinjo meant with his own words earlier. Or to be precise, when the meeting ended and he said they would meet at the Meandering River and Forgotten Underground Garden. This is the point at which the gold coins that appear from the void, return to the void. This prompts some confusion from Shiroe as the liaison officer suggests that they bring some friends, as they'll most certainly be needing them. He says that it won't be easy getting down to the bottom of the fountain. They'll monitor the their groups performance, and if their response to the challenge is satisfactory, they will consider the RTC's request for a loan. Man, why is there so much red tape to negotiate?

    -Back in the present, Shiroe is inside with Naotsugu and Regan. He understands the implication in those lines. It's basically be a raid. Better get Krusty and Isaac back for that. He explains that the Depths of Palm has a raid zone at the bottom, and if they don't clear it, they don't get the gold. And we see the purple armored monster, with Kinjo superimposed on it. Shiroe doesn't expect it to be an easy battle. Naotsugu agrees with his assessment. However, given it's hush, hush status, they can't call upon the RTC. Looks like Shiroe is going full black ops here for this mission, though his bigger concern is Minami finding out about it. Given that, who do they call for help? Luckily, Shiroe has somebody in mind. And based on the teaser, it'll be the jerk who rejected the RTC.

    -As the camera lingers on the moon, it dissolves to the same shot, only in Akihabara, as Aktasuki watches from atop the rooftops of the Adventurer city. She wishes the best for Shiroe, hoping that his mission succeeds. Even when they are away, she can think only of him.

    -After a fade, we cut to... Christmas? Did we do a time skip? Though this doesn't appear to be Akihabara. The streets are covered with snow as there are Christmas decorations everywhere. In narration, Shiroe says he blew it, that he didn't account for all the variables. We see him, or at least, a shadowy version of himself, reflecting in a Santa Claus statue, and then a cut to him at a park. Also, dude, aren't you a little cold to be wearing shorts and sitting on a bench like that? He says that he didn't trust everyone to get their parts done. And then we cue to a wave washing over the image before finding ourselves in... okay, where the hell are we?

    -In this otherworldly zone, we see Shiroe and Akatsuki, dressed in their outfits from the opening, with the Enchanter asking Akatsuki if she died. She confirms it and says he didn't make it, either. Wait, what? As they look up at the planet above them, Akatsuki explains that, all things considered, it was a pretty crazy Christmas Eve. Wait, what? What's going on here? Why are we suddenly looking into the future? WHY IS EVERYTHING SO CONFUSING! AND WHY ARE YOU CUEING THE CREDITS NOW!?

    -Looks like Akatsuki remains our singer here, but instead of a day on the town, it's her appearing on screen, having just woken up, but then falling back to sleep. She's in the Log Horizon guild hall, using the Fuzzy Goat Slime as a pillow. So it had a use after all! Rudy and Isuzu appear, smiling, then fading away. Nyan-ta and Serara then appear, looking on the sleeping ninja before fading away. Then we have Maryelle and Henrietta looking on, and the bard is probably on her best behavior to leave the sleeping ninja alone, though Akatsuki can't help but get this strange feeling in lingering doom above her head.

    -After adjusting herself, Akatsuki is then watched over by Soujiro and Nazuna, who are then replaced by Raynesia and three other characters I don't recognize, but were prominent in the opening. In this, Akatsuki has a dream of eating buns with Serara, Raynesia, and our three new characters. The best dreams. After that, we have a new character, and Akatsuki has completely dropped the Fuzzy Goat Slime pillow. She regained it, or got help, from Minori and Toya, but she has a dream of Minori getting the upper hand on her once more. Poor girl.

    -Next is Naotsugu with the pink haired girl. For now I'll just call her Pop Idol Magical Girl until we get a proper name for her. In this case, Akatsuki has a dream where she kicks, not knees, Naotsugu in the back of his head as Pop Idol Magical Girl watches on. And apparently it wasn't much of a dream as our next shot has Naotsugu on the ground with Pop Idol Magical Girl looking confused and worried. After a long moment, we have more motion as Shiroe walks into the scene, then a panning shot of Akatsuki's sleeping form, where she then opens her eyes and sees Shiroe looking down on her. She quickly get back into her kneeling position as Shiroe only smiles, prompting an expression of joy as she joins Shiroe in whatever adventure he has planned for them.

    -In our next episode preview, Akatsuki says that "they" have descended upon the northern land. I'm guessing she means Shiroe, Naotsugu, and Regan. There, they find a man, William Massachusetts, guild master of a proud raid-guild. This man told Shiroe he wasn't interested in protecting Akihabara, but there is one other man. His name is Demicas. Shiroe took his life once (technically it was a group effort). All this and more in our next episode, The Outlaw and Mythril Eyes. Shiroe says to stand up one more time, even in the face of Armageddon.

    One thing to note. Yes, we have the same opening track, though the ending track is different this time. We also have a semi-new track for the next episode previews. While season one had a bit more of a classical sound to it, in season two we have more of a hard rock track to go with it.

    So lets talk voice actors. For today, our voice actor for Kinjo was Adam Gibbs, who's other major role includes Sanetoshi from Penguindrum. So many veteran voice actors. And it explains why Kinjo gave me such a chilly vibe.

    Anyway, this is more of a world building episode but here we see that the money doesn't come from nowhere. No, it comes from a magical whirlpool that creates the money and gives it to the monsters when they respawn, explaining why they always have loot on them. Yeah, I'm not sure I like that as an explanation, but anything to move the plot along. And we also learn that there are a tribe of people who are completely responsible for the circulation of money, the magical channels involving the respawning, as well as the managers of the banks in the Adventurer cities.

    And we know why this is such a major crisis for the Akihabara group. With Minami making themselves a clear threat, they know that protecting these buildings are important, even if it means incurring an unpayable debt. But to lose out of their homes and the alliances the made, they're will to incur that. Though I honestly do wonder if Shiroe told them everything or left out certain, more personal statements that were said there.

    So then, I guess I should talk about the animation then. Nothing seemed too bad during the episode proper, but the teaser, as well as the opening, had some weird animation stuff. Granted there wasn't a lot of long action sequences in the first season, but things moved pretty naturally. Maybe it is the use of a different studio that makes these changes more noticeable. What is certainly noticeable is the hair coloring, with Maryelle being the obvious example. She had more of a blonde-greenish color to her in the first season, which was more blonde than green, but here, she's almost all green. And her hair doesn't look as wavy, looking more flat and messy.

    Thinking on it, I think it's the color palette in general that bothers me. I can understand that Studio Deen can't match Satelight and there are going to be differences in design, but one would think they'd at least try to match up the colors a bit better. But for the moment, that's my only gripe. I try not to bag on animation studios because poor animation doesn't mean a poor show, but from one season to another it can be jarring. I'll try to avoid making complaints like that in the future.

    With that, the show doesn't waste any time in getting back to the swing of things. We have a massive arc happening, and Shiroe is in a bind. He needs to get the money for Akihabara or risk losing those buildings to Minami, and while it may be possible the RTC doesn't know the real reason, Shiroe would probably like to not be forced into being a consort for a crazy, possibly murderous, Adventurer. While Shiroe succeed in convincing William to assist him and Akihabara? Will he rely on a man he had to kill before? Will Akatsuki finally realize that Minori isn't her real love rival? Tune in next time to find out.

    Until next time, remember, when holding important business negotiations, always hold them in a wooden shack in the middle of nowhere. That way your contact would never think that you plan to murder them and get what you want anyway.

  • Roadtrip Timelapse RTX 2016

    1 day ago

    lamerperle Miss Witch

    So last year I got a GoPro session before heading down to Austin for RTX so! Decided to have a little fun with it and try doing a timelapse. So after a year of putting it off and then trying to find a way for my computer to handle the whole thing, I finally managed to throw something together!


  • Top 150 Film Recommendations

    2 days ago

    Tigressaurus

    This is a list of films which I would personally recommend to nearly any mature adult. They aren't movies meant to be watched once just for a singular experience or to understand pop culture references, these are movies I endorse because they have lasting appeal for a variety of reasons. The simplest description is that they're movies worth finding time to watch... twice.




    Criteria

    • Story
      This is easily the most important element of a great motion picture. Everything else suffers if a film lacks purpose, realistic character developments, or themes. In my opinion, the "best" films have approachable plots with deeper meanings. There are many movies on this list which are far from being masterpieces, but they still should be watched because they seamlessly combine relevant allegory with an engaging story. Most of them provide a visceral experience, prompt serious contemplation, and/or blur the lines between good and evil. Great movies should be resonating and insightful but still leave room for interpretation. Admittedly, there are some movies here that don't have groundbreaking stories but they've compensated by excelling in other criteria.
    • Presentation
      This obviously includes the basics such as the quality of the audial and visual stimuli but perhaps even more important--for the purposes of this list--is pacing. Whether it's a fault of the writing or the editing, a poorly paced film can be unwatchable... there needs to be a clear rhythm, comfortable progression, and some climax. Not every movie on this list features incredible imagery or iconic soundtracks but they all carry a tempo that is both appropriate to their stories and comfortable for modern adults. Some of them do feel like they run a bit long but there's a distinct difference between intentionally slow pacing to build tension (2001: A Space Odyssey, There Will Be Blood, Deer Hunter, Seven Samurai) and aimless, raw sluggishness which adds little to the story (The Pledge, Dances with Wolves, Seabiscuit). This stipulation has resulted in the exclusion of some truly great films which simply haven't aged to fit current expectations despite their timeless narratives or historical, cultural, and cinematographic importance (Rope, Rififi, Citizen Kane).
    • Performances
      Good acting is very important to the success of a movie, but the hard truth is that even a great actor or actress cannot compensate for other major inadequacies (The Help, Aeon Flux, Harsh Times, I Robot, Seven Pounds, I Am Legend (seriously Will Smith... find help)). Punctilious casting and a single powerful performance can elevate an already promising movie (Taxi Driver, Matchstick Men, The Conversation) while an ensemble cast firing on all cylinders can create truly transcendent experiences (GoodFellas, Platoon, The Godfather). Movies are like puzzles in that if they're missing a few pieces they may still present a pretty picture... but the puzzle remains frustratingly incomplete. My selections for this list primarily include great dramatic performances or spectacular physical presentations, with a few lacking in either but outweighed by other particularly puissant puzzle pieces.
    • Rewatchability
      Not every movie begs for a rewatch--either intentionally by design or because it just lacks quality. Flat acting, implausible characters, poor direction, silly endings, and boring writing can turn a second viewing into torture. On the far other end of the spectrum, there are certain dramas which absolutely deserve recognition, but are so brutally exhausting and scarring that you really only need to see them once in your life (Schindler's List, 12 Years a Slave, American History X). You stand to gain comparatively little from repeated viewings and doing so diminishes the emotionally draining experiences that they were meant to be... but they're still excellent movies that every adult should watch once. This ranking is specifically tailored toward films that are memorable yet rewatchable, though, not necessarily in immediate succession.


    Exclusions

    For the sake of rational comparisons, this is a specialized list which primarily includes certain types of Action, Drama, Thriller, Horror, and Science Fiction films. In my opinion, these are the most consistently harmonious genres and their relationships don't need an explanation, but below are hopefully thorough explanations for the genres which I decided to exclude. To be clear, I thoroughly enjoy all of the following film formats--they've facilitated some of my favorite movies of all time--but they posed certain logistical complications when ranking them with other types of motion pictures. They may be excluded from these rankings but it's only because they deserve their own dedicated lists that would properly compare them to each other.


    • No Comedies
      Almost all standard action, martial arts, war dramas, crime dramas, and science fiction movies have brief moments of humor. The juxtaposition of observational humor during a bleak situation can humanize an entire film. But there's a difference between an action flick with comedic relief and a comedy which uses action as a medium, though, it's difficult to explain where that line is drawn. It'll always be a subtle distinction, but for me it comes down to the plot and how well the story would weather without witty writing. Pulp Fiction and Fargo are clearly black comedies, yet, without the clever dialogue they would still have engaging crime narratives. The same cannot be said of Get Shorty, Rush Hour, Beverly Hills Cop, or nearly any other buddy cop film made after the first Lethal Weapon. It's my opinion that these are simply vehicles to make jokes about the differences between characters; excellent for what they are, but lacking the substance to compare them to broader genres.

      Many parodies and homage films also fall under this umbrella exclusion. I really like Cabin in the Woods. I've watched it numerous times and look forward to watching it again... but without the witty deconstruction of horror films and genre cliches it would have just been another caricatured slasher with the occasional dig at reality television. It's a very good movie, but it wouldn't succeed without the audience having a preexisting appreciation of classic horror movies. You will, however, find Starship Troopers on this list. Despite also being an homage to a niche genre--science fiction B movies--Starship Troopers manages to properly satirize propaganda, totalitarianism, and militarism so thoroughly that you won't mind being manipulated into cheering for the humans. Even without the parodied jingoism, it remains a refreshingly-tragic action movie with some of the most visually stunning aliens in the industry. Cabin in the Woods also has some phenomenally designed monsters but its plot inherently removes their expositions and the isolated atmospheres required to make them truly frightening.

      So, where to draw the line? I appreciate films which successfully weave comedy into unsuspecting scenarios and I equally appreciate comedies which pull from certain genres to propel their story, but one of those two categories is unfit for this particular list. Ghostbusters, Shaolin Soccer, Hot Fuzz, True Lies, and Tropic Thunder are undeniably well-crafted films but the humor is fundamental to the movie. Without the comedy they would be tragic stories or just adhere to the generic formulas which make their genres appealing. In contrast, the underlying themes and plot developments presented in The Truman Show, The Fifth Element, or Good Morning Vietnam are all substantially more important than their respective comedy elements. At the end of the day, humor is subjective and every audience member will have a slightly different experience with a film so I've tried to make selections where the moments of humor exist comfortably within their context rather than employing a constant barrage of hit-or-miss one-liners.
    • No Superheroes
      The exclusion of superhero movies and comic book/graphic novel adaptations is not a slight against the quality of the films, it's just recognizing that their narratives don't consistently fall within the normal frameworks of action, thriller, or drama films. That's not a bad thing... it just means it would be too difficult for me to compare them to other genres. The Dark Knight, Unbreakable, and Guardians of the Galaxy are excellent films which exemplify action, drama, and science fiction, respectively, but they--like almost all other superhero films--construct circumstances that are impossible for most people to completely relate. Their universes, though entertaining, are either uninspired alternate realities or utilize dystopian themes without presenting context for their societal shifts. Those that do provide brief explanations, like V for Vendetta or Watchmen, don't have the enduring depth of the Blade Runner/Alien or Mad Max universes. They're not objectively worse, they're just different because they had different goals.

      Martial arts films depict heroes--not superheroes, though, that distinction can become less apparent depending on which films are being compared. Martial arts heroes are typically presented in an unaltered world, rather than parallel/alternate histories, and aim to eliminate threats analogous to real-world establishments instead of supervillains or organizations constructed specifically in response to the presence of superheroes. In my opinion, that contradistinction drives the division in approachability between the two subgenres. Anyone can relate to an individual who uses their trained abilities to protect their own livelihood or liberate a town from thugs, but it's objectively more difficult to relate to an individual who uses their supreme intellect and boundless wealth to construct a suit of armor to eliminate similarly fitted foes on a global scale. Iron Man is a good movie but it's not one that I would recommend to any and all adults.
    • No Romances
      This exclusion applies specifically to films whose romance is inextricably linked to their drama, comedy, or suspense. The movies I've excluded rely on romance and passion to drive the entirety of their narratives (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, There's Something About Mary, Titanic, Harold and Maude). Common romance themes make for a polarizing film whose value is too dependent on mood to be consistently suitable for this particular aggregation. Admittedly, many of the films ranked below do have some element of romance or depict intimate relations, however, their romances are presented independent to the purpose or implications of their overarching stories.

      The plot of Die Hard may hinge on the fact that John McClane was only at Nakatomi Plaza in an attempt to reconcile his marriage, but character development throughout the movie demonstrates that he would have attempted to thwart the heist even if his wife had been absent. Forrest Gump tells a love story but the film ultimately presents the juxtaposition between the successes of a simple man without aim and the failures of ambitious individuals struggling to meet their own aspirations. The impassioned reunion at the end wasn't just a sappy culmination to a love story, it was another instance of Forrest achieving bliss in contrast to the shattered expectations of his mother, Jenny, Bubba, and Lieutenant Dan.
    • No Sports
      The sports genre undeniably contains some of the most inspirational films of all time. However, that distinction doesn't make them automatically ideal for this list because not everyone appreciates sports settings. I consider a sports movie to be any film which follows the experiences of a team or individual as they prepare for and participate in a staged event. By that definition, Whiplash, Rush, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and Karate Kid are all sports films. Additionally, I've observed two kinds of sports movies: stories about sports, and stories which use sports as a backdrop. Both types can produce remarkable films but they both consistently lack qualities which preclude them from fair consideration in this ranking.

      Movies about specific sports events are exhilarating... for people interested in sports biopics. In my experience, a great science-fiction or horror film can engage any adult despite their preferences, but a person who doesn't care about basketball will likely watch Hoosiers unenthusiastically and won't become emotionally invested in any presented characters or their accomplishments. Sports movies are usually biographical which gives a willing audience great insight into their athletic atmospheres. Incredible, true stories like Raging Bull, Miracle, Moneyball, or Bhaag Milkha Bhaag capture the industrial contexts which made the events so significant, however, those values may be ignored by someone uninterested in either the specific activity or the general competitive nature of athleticism.

      On the other end of the genre's spectrum are movies which merely use sports as a medium to present more potent themes. Remember the Titans, Million Dollar Baby, Rudy, A League of their Own, The Hurricane, and The Fighter present characters, situations, and societal circumstances which transcend their individual sports and pursue more ubiquitous subject matter. They're certainly great movies but their narratives are inevitably diffused by their attached activities, the specifics of which are often ignored or modified to provide greater dramatic or comedic effect. They may make sports more digestible for wider audiences but rarely do they have the emotional impact of a war drama or the intensity of a crime thriller. They've been intentionally excluded from this ranking because it would be unsporting to draw those comparisons in a single list.

    • No Documentaries
      Filtering out documentaries was the most straightforward exclusion for the purposes of this particular exercise. Unfortunately, not every adult has the patience to sit through a documentary even if it has universal themes (Hoop Dreams, Hearts and Minds, Shoah, Life Itself) ... let alone those with even slightly polarizing topics or biased productions (Earthlings, Inside Job, Zeitgeist, Taxi to the Dark Side, Loose Change, Blackfish, The Act of Killing). I love documentaries, but I'm rejecting them from this ranking based on their format, not necessarily their content. For many of these topics, a well-made dramatization of the events would likely be more accessible but considerably less potent.
    • No Children's Movies
      The movies I've chosen are meant to be appreciated by mature individuals with open minds. Kid's movies, coming-of-age stories, and family friendly films have all been largely excluded because they generally contain overly simplified themes and transparent morals. Most movies in this category are entertaining--even to adults--but it's because their objectives remain relatively simple. Almost any children's movie can be boiled down to emphasize the importance of: friendship, overcoming obstacles, exploration, emotional & physical reciprocation with others, or budding independence. These subjects are repeatedly used because they appeal to basic, innate emotions like fear and loneliness which begin development when we're very young.

      For example, kid's movies constantly present situations in which fostering friendships will result in the most desired outcome. Iron Giant, The Sandlot, The Goonies, and Finding Nemo are all outstanding films but they all contain clear emotional manipulation designed to appeal to younger audiences. They always retreat back to these genre tropes no matter how unique their plots (Toy Story, Stand By Me, Matilda, Jumanji, Neverending Story). Untimely death, torture, crime, and corruption are rarely depicted in children's movies, but when it does occur it's invariably the consequence of evil. Moral ambiguity and situational ethics are essential in making the plots of "mature" films more engaging to adults. Family films are good at what they're intended to do... but because of those self-imposed limits it would be unfair to compare them to movies with unrestrained character developments, plot twists, and ethical dilemmas.

      Coming-of-age films ideally contain those ethical dilemmas and the character development lacking in motion pictures made specifically for younger children, but their perspectives are often too narrow to attain universal relevance in an entirely adult audience. Stand By Me, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Boyz n the Hood, Girl Interrupted, and Donnie Darko uniquely present familial and societal themes that could resonate with many adults, but, their impacts would have been far greater if they had been seen when the viewer was still within the intended age range. Slumdog Millionaire and City of God contain coming-of-age elements, but they've been included here because their primary intentions were to explore deep, contemplative subjects that aren't immediately dependent on the experiences of the audience. The purpose of this list was to make recommendations for films that may be appreciated by any adult, not just adults of particular social classes who are interested in reflecting on their own adolescence.


    The List

    I opted to choose only one movie per franchise to keep the list varied... a particularly difficult decision for certain series which have numerous installments of exceptional quality (James Bond, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Mad Max, Indiana Jones, Police Story). In reviewing my selections, I recognize that my biases are rather obvious...


    I believe the martial arts provide extremely captivating action, war settings present unrivaled emotional depths, and that the 1990s and early 2000s were a cradle of excellency in cinematography. This is the era of film I grew up on, established intense appreciation for, and developed nostalgia of. It's no surprise to me that about a third of the entries are from a single decade, but I personally stand by those choices and make the following recommendations to any adult:


    1. Pulp Fiction
    2. Shawshank Redemption
    3. The Silence of the Lambs
    4. Apocalypse Now
    5. Alien
    6. Kill Bill: Volume 1
    7. Full Metal Jacket
    8. Terminator 2
    9. Forrest Gump
    10. The Departed
    11. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    12. Die Hard
    13. Unforgiven
    14. The Shining
    15. Blade Runner
    16. Good Will Hunting
    17. Platoon
    18. The Matrix
    19. John Wick
    20. 2001: A Space Odyssey
    21. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
    22. Children of Men
    23. Starship Troopers
    24. Total Recall (1990)
    25. The Usual Suspects
    26. Seven Samurai
    27. Talk Radio
    28. City of God
    29. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
    30. Mad Max: Fury Road
    31. GoodFellas
    32. Fargo
    33. The Conversation
    34. The Godfather: Part 2
    35. The French Connection
    36. Killing Fields
    37. The Green Mile
    38. Primer
    39. The Killer
    40. There Will Be Blood
    41. The Fifth Element
    42. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    43. Jackie Brown
    44. American Psycho
    45. Saving Private Ryan
    46. Fist of Fury
    47. Blow Out
    48. The Truman Show
    49. Richard III (1995)
    50. Gladiator
    51. Near Dark
    52. The Fugitive
    53. They Live
    54. Hard Boiled
    55. Taxi Driver
    56. Deliverance
    57. Seven
    58. Righting Wrongs / Above the Law
    59. The King's Speech
    60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    61. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    62. The Right Stuff
    63. Serpico
    64. Heat
    65. Deer Hunter
    66. Misery
    67. Jurassic Park
    68. Matchstick Men
    69. No Country for Old Men
    70. From Russia with Love
    71. Malcom X
    72. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    73. Munich
    74. Requiem for a Dream
    75. Dirty Harry
    76. The Hurt Locker
    77. The Raid: Redemption
    78. Way of the Dragon
    79. Casino
    80. Glory
    81. The Sweet Hereafter
    82. Pan's Labyrinth
    83. A Clockwork Orange
    84. Good Morning, Vietnam
    85. Psycho
    86. Speed
    87. Trainspotting
    88. Face/Off
    89. Carrie
    90. Three Kings
    91. Badlands
    92. Jaws
    93. L.A. Confidential
    94. The Last King of Scotland
    95. Point Break (1991)
    96. The Sixth Sense
    97. Master and Commander
    98. Donnie Brasco
    99. Slumdog Millionaire
    100. Apollo 13
    101. Ip Man
    102. One Hour Photo
    103. Moon
    104. District 9
    105. Frost/Nixon
    106. JFK
    107. Mystic River
    108. A Beautiful Mind
    109. Carlito's Way
    110. Tombstone
    111. Black Hawk Down
    112. The Crying Game
    113. Bullet in the Head
    114. Fight Club
    115. The Evil Dead
    116. Twelve Monkeys
    117. Planet of the Apes (1968)
    118. Kickboxer
    119. Bullitt
    120. Reservoir Dogs
    121. Fist of Legend
    122. The Rock
    123. Philadelphia
    124. Memento
    125. American Gangster
    126. Lethal Weapon
    127. Frailty
    128. Training Day
    129. Snatch
    130. 28 Days Later
    131. The Babadook
    132. Collateral
    133. Braveheart
    134. Minority Report
    135. Scarface
    136. Inglorious Bastards
    137. The Host (2006)
    138. Untouchables
    139. Bourne Supremacy
    140. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
    141. The Game
    142. Bloodsport
    143. Gattaca
    144. The Prestige
    145. Police Story
    146. [REC]
    147. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
    148. Shutter Island
    149. Man on Fire
    150. Gangs of New York




    Are there any great movies that I may have missed?

    Were my exclusions unreasonable?

    Do I have bad taste?

    Let me know in a comment below!

  • RT Radio Friday: Week 162

    1 day ago

    MauriceV

    Thats a wrap! Many thanks to @mrcmh93 and @GlassyCans for DJing tonight and thank you all for joining! If you missed anything or if you simply want to listen to tonight's tracklist again, you can catch up via the Spotify and YouTube playlists. We're out!

    Spotify

    YouTube

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  • Post-Demo Relaxation

    13 hours ago

    Letan Drink Coffee, Make Games

    0N6WaUl.gif

    Demoed off the first dungeon, boss fight, trinkets, and new enemy locally this week, which went really well! Got some good feedback and a bit of validation on some ideas I had that wasn't sure if people thought would be cool or not. For now, I'm taking a bit of time off from Cursed Seasons to clear out some errands and get some contract work done during the week, but in that time I'm thinking of what I'd like to work on next. I've got a scattered list of things, but I might sit down and plan it out a bit more to be concrete with it.


    ZED0GcC.png


    Meanwhile, I think it's finally time for me to retire Destiny until Destiny 2 comes out. Finally killed Aksis, ventured into the Vault of Glass, and repeatedly did my almost-weekly ritual of killing Crota. I'm still debating if I'd like to do King's Fall sometime, but with randoms it's such a long haul that I'm just not sure I'll have the time for. Maybe if I luck out and find a sherpa group like I did for WotM, but I can happily end my Destiny 1 experience on this note.


    enGfzyg.png

  • New community segment

    14 hours ago

    gi_goku Keeper of Tacos

    I am thinking of starting weekly segment called "Did you know?" (Title is a work in progress though) With a premise where I talk about topics asked about by the community and give a short summary and my thoughts on the topic. I will have my first segment next Friday. (I am debating on weather to use youtube or just text)


    So in the comments below I ask for some topics that you people in the community want to hear about? 


    I will be taking suggestions up until the Tuesday of every week.

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