Doctor Who Reviews | Series 3

Hey guys! I’m sorry for my apparent Rose-bashing in the last series, I didn’t intend on being so harsh on a fan favourite, but a lot of things kinda wasn’t right for me, just wanted to address that, before I air more grievances about the topic.

Today, I’m reviewing the third modern era series of Doctor Who. This is gonna be a bumpy ride.


Smith and Jones

This episode introduces the newest companion, Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman, who also played her cousin Adeola in Army of Ghosts from last series. She’s a medical student, in a hospital that gets taken to the moon, and then the Judoon platoon arrive. I’ve read that the “Judoon platoon upon the Moon” line was a production inside joke that was aimed at David Tennant, as he has difficulty speaking the “-oon” suffixed words in an English accent.

The one thing that really annoys me about the episode is the goddamned companion kiss trope, because even though it is there for plot convenience, it sets up Martha’s ‘doting on the Doctor’ character development that just winds me up for the rest of the series. I mean he’s cute, but still…overall, it’s a good episode, hits all the right first-episode-of-the-new-companion story notes for me.

It’s also establishes the Harold Saxon plot point, but more on him later!


The Shakespeare Code

I know I kinda bashed on the notion of reading select William Shakespeare texts at school in a previous post, but here’s an episode dedicated to the Bard himself.

I really do like this episode, a lot more than I give it credit for. The Carrionites are interesting enemies, using word-based science as well as the architecture of the Globe Theatre (I love me some architecture and literature, so a winning combination!). The right words in the right places – cannot relate!

As much as I love this episode, I hate this episode for drawing out the ‘Doctor pining for Rose’ storyline, especially brushing off Martha with a ‘eh, Rose would know what to do, you’re just a hitchiker’, like no, bitch treat Martha with some respect! She saved his life, and came up with the right word to defeat the Carrionites (fucking “Expelliarmus”, by the way), but oh Roooooose. Nu-uh.

It also turns out that Queen Elizabeth I hates the Doctor, and it’s not really explained for a good few years yet…

Overall, a solid episode for getting used to the notion of a new companion, mishaps aside.


Gridlock

And we’re back on New Earth again. How original. And Martha puts it well, referring to herself as a rebound. I mean, it’s accurate.

I gotta say though, it’s a new angle on New Earth, and I went into it remembering that I didn’t like Gridlock all that much. However, on rewatching, I enjoyed it a lot more than I remembered. Martha gets kidnapped by a young couple so that they have enough adult passengers in their car to go into the fast lane – fun fact, Cheen is played by Lenora Crichlow, who also played Victoria Skillane in the Black Mirror episode White Bear (cue link to that review).

I think the fact that there was an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia with the emissions, as well as there being no way out of the Motorway, and people are stuck on there for years, literally having kittens. It’s nice to see

The ending with the Face of Boe is ominous and sad, with his “you are not alone” message. It definitely prompts Martha to be upfront and not take any of the Doctor’s shit. Good for you Martha.


Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks

On the flip-side to Gridlock, I remember liking this a bit more than I do now. I don’t feel any attachment to any of the other characters, and Tallulah’s lover Lazslo gets turned into a pig, not unlike the ones from the Aliens of London episode. Are they related? I don’t know, and I frankly don’t really care. They’re a throwaway thing at this point for me, a hybrid experiment for a Dalek to take on a more humanoid form later.

I think it’s Dalek Sec’s appendages in his humanoid form that make it feel disjointed. He also has more humane sentiments in this new form, which makes sense considering the second-half’s story with the Doctor’s DNA embedding itself into the hybrids…it gets messy, especially as I feel that the ending is rushed and there’s so much build-up for little pay-off.

On the surface, it’s fine, but it would have been nice to not have a Dalek-focused episode, especially one like this.


The Lazarus Experiment

I mean, this is alright I suppose. It really begins the Harold Saxon arc in full force, and Martha’s mum, Francine, thinks the Doctor is hella sus. The weird creature that Lazarus turns into is more frightening than the immortal scorpion from Serious Sam 3 (this is why you don’t pirate, kids!).

I always forget the resolution of this episode, the ending itself feels really forgettable, and I always look back and think that it ended at the lab rather than at the cathedral. Please don’t ask why, that’s just what I keep remembering of it.


42

Honestly this is the worst episode of the series. I just felt that it was a worse mimic of the Ood/Beast two-parter from last season.

A common characteristic with Martha is definitely her adoration for the Doctor, and this is despite getting the chance to smooch Riley.

The only benefit this episode added was the scenes with Francine and her phone being tapped for information to give to Harold Saxon. So it’s basically more of a filler episode than most in this series.


Human Nature / The Family of Blood

You’d be forgiven for not liking this particular two-parter purely for the character of John Smith, because that was my first thought going into these episodes initially. It’s mainly because the Doctor has had to become human to escape The Family, and that rewrote literally everything, although bits and pieces of memories resurface.

As time goes on and I keep rewatching the episodes, it’s easy to sympathise with John Smith. All that he’s known was a human life, and is basically scared of the identity of the Doctor. You feel for him and Joan, and Martha especially. It’s a very bittersweet ending though, and those ninjas decided to make a visit to cut some onions while I watched the Rememberance Day scene.


Blink

After the last Doctor-lite episode (Love and Monsters) wasn’t a big hit, it was interesting that they decided to make another one in the form of Blink. However, this is my favourite episode of the series. We can all agree that it gave Carey Mulligan a great starting platform as Sally Sparrow, the main character of this episode.

This was definitely scary on first viewing, and now that we’ve had more episodes of the Weeping Angels, it’s lost its appeal somewhat. But I like the core introduction of them, especially with the people in Sally’s life disappearing, like Kathy and Billy, both having lived full lives in the past.

The whole ending sequence is pretty terrifying, and definitely worthy of a horror genre, as well as the wibbly wobbly timey wimey…stuff.


Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords

This is a strange set of episodes, because it ends up becoming a three-parter. Captain Jack makes a return (and is not impressed with the Doctor for ditching him in the middle of nowhere), and his immortal ass glomps the TARDIS. I quite like this episode, and initially thought it’d be standalone when on first watching, but something was amiss. A lot of little plot conveniences such as the Doctor’s chopped-off hand and the fob watch from previous episodes makes its way to Professor Yana, who’s a bit more than a little bit insane, and trying to launch the rocket to get all of the humans to Utopia.

So yeah, turns out Yana is the Master. Who’d have thunk it?

It leads onto what would have otherwise been the two-part finale (and makes it a three-parter), and it seems like the Master has a penchant for double lives, going by the previously-alluded-to Harold Saxon, who is now the Prime Minister. I’ve had Voodoo Child in my head for the longest time after watching The Sound of Drums, and this was a great dystopian episode set that I like so much (completely the opposite of the Utopia from the first of this three).

The last episode is basically why I really like Martha as a companion. She’s just so badass in this episode, and I’m glad that even though everything got reversed, the ‘eye of the storm’ means that she still keeps all of that character development, then leaves the TARDIS after confessing her love for the Doctor.

Also props to the Master for using I Can’t Decide, which was definitely one of my favourite songs from the Ta-Dah album.


Voyage of the Damned

Here we have the traditional Christmas episode, having had the Titanic crash into the Titanic.

Remember when Astrid was rumoured to be so important because her name was an anagram of TARDIS? Yeah, turns out absolutely not, she’s just a regular humanoid character. Think it would have been expensive to keep Kylie Minogue on as a regular companion, although it’s the same Doctor romance trope that I’m now tired of.

It’s a shame though, because Astrid was a breath of fresh air, and it would have been nice for the Doctor to travel with a humanoid companion that’s not from Earth (we do get that later with Nardole, but that’s much later).

I think it’s a tad cheesy this episode, but it’s for Christmas, so it’s always going to get that cheese factor in there.


Overall it’s been a good series of episodes. I think a lot of people see Martha as a rebound companion but she holds her own really well, her only major character flaw being besotted with the Doctor. I mean, given that it’s David Tennant, I’m not surprised.

She’s a better companion that a lot of people give her credit for, and she’s capable of a lot more, I reckon. It definitely won’t be the last we see of Martha, which is what we’re here for.


Next time, we’re going into series 4, and that’s a fun ride!

Doctor Who Review | Series 2

Hey guys! We’re well into this now, so why not carry on? Here’s my thoughts on series 2 of Doctor Who!


New Earth

New Earth is a good starting point for series 2. It involves time-travel to the future after The End of the World, and serves to feature more prophetic stuff from the Face of Boe, who is apparently dying, but more on that later!

The episode has amazing prosthesis, even this early on, in the form of the Sisters of Plenitude, which are Catkind nuns that want to help the sick, but have created a new species of human clones with every known disease. Cassandra makes a great comeback as well! And yes, I know it’s Cassandra doing it, but it does set a precedent when she kisses the Doctor, although it’s hilarious when he’s like ‘Yep…still got it!’ in a daze.

This episode serves as a sequel to The End of the World, and is sequelled next series.


Tooth and Claw

Tooth and Claw is a pretty cool episode, that while I’m not a huge fan of the werewolf aspect, it is really important to set up Torchwood’s origins, as that becomes important later. The monks are hella strange though.

I mean, it’s just werewolves and Scottish accents, innit? The irony of David Tennant playing an Englishman pretending to be a Scotsman always makes me laugh though.

Eh, I wasn’t exactly amused, until Queen Victoria said that she was not amused.


School Reunion

Just like last series’s Dalek episode, this is also a great nostalgia-bait, as we see the return of Sarah Jane Smith, as well as K9, the robot dog that was featured in older stories. We also see the whole subtle inside joke of chips coming full circle, and this makes me crave chips on a whole new level. Of course, Sarah Jane is offended by the idea of her being seamlessly replaced, and the Doctor not giving her a second thought, while Rose is being, well…Rose, and taking digs at the whole situation. I mean, I suppose it’s been the elephant in the room, and it really puts into perspective the longevity of the Doctor’s companions.

It’s always a pleasure seeing Anthony Head on the screen though, and this episode makes me want to rewatch Buffy. It’s a fun little episode, not to be taken entirely seriously. It also creates the opportunity for Sarah Jane Smith having her own CBBC series later on in The Sarah Jane Adventures. I have a lot to say about this episode, clearly, but it’s a great episode nonetheless.

Except when Rose is having a meltdown about her precious Doctor having previous companions, and that dirty look she gave when Mickey got to travel in the TARDIS oh boy.


The Girl in the Fireplace

“I’m the Doctor. And I just snogged madam de Pompadour!” Why does this line always send me? Same as the drunken act. There are so many iconic lines in this episode that make it very fun to watch, even if you don’t like the fancy-pants French stuff. He ends up finding a horse who he names Arthur, and tells Rose that she’s allowed to keep Mickey as her pet. Note to self: always take a banana to a party.

The ending is really sad though, but I suppose it was inevitable. Overall it’s one of my favourite episodes for dialogue and tension-breaking humour alone.

The best thing is that they literally covered the answer to the riddle with the TARDIS, and that it’s literally a ship named for Reinette.


Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel

This is just what we like to see, a parallel world scenario. Like that hasn’t been done to death. Notice that’s dripping in sarcasm. However, I like the way that this episode is going. Instead of being curious, the Doctor is overly-cautious, and rightly so. It’s clear just how easily swayed Rose is to anything that concerns her dad, even if he isn’t her dad. I’m pretty sure Rose the dog is less needy than Rose herself. And that says a lot, because if you know dogs…

Hey, at least we get the Cybermen, right? Like we couldn’t see that one coming, y’know…with the title…

Alas, Mickey knows where his place is in Rose’s life (non-existent, despite her crying to keep him around) and stays in the alternate Earth to carry on Ricky’s work and to look after his grandmother. I find it funny that Mickey was called “Ricky” by the Ninth Doctor, yet here’s a parallel Mickey called “Ricky”.

Oh I didn’t realise that it was Roger Lloyd Pack who played Lumic, and also played Owen in The Vicar of Dibley and Barty Crouch in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I wondered why I thought he was familiar, I’d started rewatching the former on Netflix! Lumic’s insane as heck!

It’s a great reintroduction to the Cybermen, and this was actually aired 40 years after the debut of the Cybermen, which also links in to Jackie Tyler turning 40- I mean 39!


The Idiot’s Lantern

When I was a bit younger, I enjoyed this episode. It was probably something to do with the setting (London in 1953), but oh boy, there are elements that make me cringe now. The Wire, the antagonist of the story, is just so cringeworthy with her “feeeeed meeeeee” dialogue, which reminds me too much of Little Shop of Horrors. Looking at the characters with fresh eyes after trauma, Eddie Connolly rubs me hugely the wrong way, concerned more about his authority and appearances. I’m just glad he got put in his place at the end of the story, with his son Tommy helping the Doctor. Narcissism isn’t cute.

The faceless people, as a result of The Wire, are just creepy as hell, especially when Rose becomes one of them after doing some investigating.

I just wanna have a street party though…


The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit

This is the first attempt at a simplistic format, and it works. The format is basically that the Doctor and a companion of some kind is stuck on a space station, and there’s something coming for them. And that is literally the Devil itself.

Both the Doctor and Rose laugh at the idea of leaving after landing, which we can definitely feel. But hey, the TARDIS lets lost to the planet, and the normally-docile Ood start on a rampage thanks to the Beast.

Everyone hails this as the best set of episodes in this series, at the very least, and I find it hard to disagree with them. It’s some scary stuff, and it sets up an ominous premonition for Rose’s fate later on.


Love and Monsters

I’ve already reviewed this episode last year, and I didn’t want to review it again for the sake of this piece, so here’s the review that I did, alongside a possible rewrite that I came up with that could have been better for the episode.


Fear Her

This is the episode that everyone thinks is the worst, but actually isn’t (in my opinion) – I actually did a Twitter poll for this. Fear Her is this kind of episode that is terrible anyway. The main focus is on the Isolus, an alien with a huge family (we’re talking billions), which crashed onto Earth and found Chloe Webber. That’s when children start to go missing through drawings, in an attempt to rebuild its family. However, I just wasn’t sold on the child acting. It just came off as too wooden with little flexibility, especially when the Isolus was talking through her. It just took me out.

The biggest takeaway from this is its discussion of child abuse and its impact, via Chloe’s father who passed away and has now gained new life as a demonic drawing in her closet. You want monsters in your closet…I’m still disappointed that David Tennant didn’t carry the actual Olympic torch for us in 2012, that was a missed opportunity there. What about that “caaancil” worker though?

All in all, this feels like The Idiot’s Lantern but worse, mixed in with The Impossible Planet two-parter in terms of a demonic final enemy.

I will always be Rose Tyler approaching and petting cats and complimenting them.


Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

“This is how I died. Sike!” Is what they planned, because hey, Rose’s death is upon us! Bringing the Daleks and Cybermen together was pretty fun, and clock the one Cyberman that falls off the balcony. This whole scene is just supremely good, and it’s probably the highlight of the entire two-parter. Or maybe just this parody instead

I love how this wraps up the Torchwood story-arc, in a way that they ended up being the cause of the fuckery that’s going on in these episodes. Good work, Torchwood…

Other than that, there’s the casual hopping to and from the parallel world, allowing Pete to ‘reunite’ with Jackie, leading to tears and a bit of humour. Why is Jackie Tyler so funny?

Of course, it’s sad that Rose leaves, but I feel more sorry for Mickey, as Rose confesses her love to the Doctor as he was right there, before he disappears with a “Rose Tyler” that has become somewhat of a meme. I cried when I first watched it, and a few times before, but I’ve become desensitised because I see just how problematic Rose really was in terms of her attitude. And the romantic jealousy only gets worse next series, but that’s for next time.


The Runaway Bride

We get our first glimpse of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, and she’s brilliant! I really don’t know why people dislike her, because she gives me the no-nonsense attitude that we need, as well as a non-romantic companion (even though she isn’t one right now). But imagine getting teleported to the TARDIS on your wedding day? Could not be me!

I really don’t like how they re-used the killer Santas though, it feels like it lost the element of fear for that one. But the Racnoss Empress was really interesting, if not distracting by what sounded like constantly sucking back saliva.

Donna gives me serotonin, nuff said.


Next time, we’re looking at series 3 (because that’s kinda how it goes, doesn’t make any sense if it’s all in the wrong order).

Fairy Tail Reviews 2

Hey guys! We’re starting to get stuck into the meat of the plot of Fairy Tail, with the Sub-Zero Emperor Lyon arc, otherwise known as the Galuna Island arc. Dunno why the name changed, it just doesn’t suit now. But we’ll do it anyway!


We’re treated to the previous Snow Fairy opening, and also Sense of Wonder to go with the upcoming arc!

Once again, this arc is comprised of ten episodes, with eight being canon, one omake adaptation and a filler episode. It follows on from episode 10, where Natsu, Lucy and Happy take an S-Class mission without permission. Technically the latter half of episode 10 counts as being part of the arc. We also get the advisory from Natsu to keep the room brightly lit and sit away from the screen, which…meh. Nobody pays attention to that, right?

Altogether I struggle getting through this arc, and I think it’s more to do with exploring Gray’s back-story more than anything. To make that more clear, I’d have to go through pretty much the entire series, as well as omakes and openings. So that may be a post for another time. But it is an unpopular opinion of mine that Gray is the least inspiring Fairy Tail character and is pretty one-note, even with all of the layers of possibility he has.

Galuna Island is pretty interesting as a concept, with the idea that it’s a cursed island since the moon turned purple, and their wish is to destroy the moon to stop them from turning into demons. But even worse is a big-ass demon, Deliora, and Gray is shaken. Back-story time!

I like the introduction of the antagonists though – Lyon Vastia is the head honcho of the Moon Drip Plan, making it so that the power of the moon can dispel the Iced Shell that Deliora is trapped in. Lyon was an old friend of Gray that trained under Ur, another ice wielder, but then Deliora attacked and she used Iced Shell and sacrificed herself. Pretty standard stuff, really.

Lyon’s lackeys, Sherry, Yuka and Toby seem to be kinda one-note, but there is comic relief with Toby, at the very least. Actually, looking back, I think Fairy Tail as a series has a huge problem with one-note characters. And Zalty is just…there.

Hey, look, it’s time for the first instance of Gray Casts Iced Shell! And then gets stopped by Natsu. Because there are multiple instances of this, we’re gonna add a counter now!

Deliora was super-anticlimactic, with it just reawakening, only to just fall apart, qutie literally. And it turns out that the villagers on the island are actually demons that just happen to turn into humans because of the Moon Drip Plan’s side effect, which was to cover the island in dark energy that broke when Erza aimed to destroy the moon. The villagers just thought they were originally human, so how the turntables. Of course, Erza turns down the monetary part of the reward, but accepts the Golden Gate Key, Sagittarius, so really only Lucy benefits from the mission. Also, it turns out Zalty isn’t Zalty, but is Ultear, who’s on the council and was there to revive Deliora and control it.


It’s quite funny really – there’s this huge looming cloud over their heads concerning the ‘punishment’ that Natsu, Lucy and Gray will face for going on the S-Class mission without permission, but then you know it amounts to nothing, especially with the filler Changeling! and the omake Natsu and the Dragon Egg! Of course, the events from the Phantom Lord arc play out in the manga, but for now it’s filler time!

Changeling! is a strange episode with the idea being based around a body-swap. Of course, this trope has been done to death now, and there aren’t many take-aways from this that we can try and apply to canon. It does link into the canon at the start, leading from the last canon episode to make it seemless. That’s the good thing about this anime, admittedly. It knows how to link canon and filler. Back to the topic at hand, it’s still funny to see Loke being shit-scared of Lucy (for some reason), it just seems over-the-top at this point, and it’s even funnier after the body-swap! Thank the heavens for Levy being a precious bean, who even can’t figure it out but there’s some humour in that! I’m still unsure as to how Levy can concentrate with her cheerleaders…

Natsu and the Dragon Egg! may be classified as combination filler by the Filler List, but it features the origin of Happy, which is great to see why Happy is there. But we’ll get onto Happy’s full story later. Meanwhile, Lucy takes a dig at Natsu and he has some flashback which makes him super-offended. It’s mainly because of the back-story that we’re getting. Basically, Natsu finds a dragon’s egg, and raises it with Lisanna, and it hatches into Happy. It’s a pretty sweet story, seeing them all as children. Natsu and Lisanna build a little hut and become ‘parents’ to the egg, and it’s just like every kid’s fantasy! It’s definitely a way to ship two characters that totally get shipping development later in the series, definitely!


Overall, the arc is…pretty hard to get through personally.


Next arc is the Phantom Lord arc! So we’re getting a lot more action this time around!

Fairy Tail Reviews 1

Hey guys! I know it’s a trope that the anime series Fairy Tail is built entirely on the ‘Friendship is Magic’ aspect, but I wanted to look back and see if it was really that bad. I first started watching this in 2013, and two hiatuses, several OVAs and a continuation later, and Fairy Tail is still going strong, despite the divisivity.

I did actually toy with the idea of making a WTF Moments-style series going through each episode, that I’d have called ‘Fairy Fails’. That may still happen in the future, watch this space!

So we’ll look at the anime series and see how well it holds up. Today we’re combining the Macao, Daybreak and Eisenwald arcs.


It actually shocked me to discover that these three arcs covered ten episodes. Yes. 10. I suppose this is what sets Fairy Tail aside from the other shounen series – the arcs are all relatively bite-size, and even the largest arc is only 53 episodes long! It makes it easier to digest, especially with the low filler percentage all around. Even a lot of the categorised fillers are actually based on omakes, and are thus normally considered canon anyway. The opening theme, Snow Fairy, makes a lot of grown men cry. Not me. While I do feel nostalgia, it’s not enough for me to want to reach for the tissues.


You get straight in with some immediate comic relief, making light of Natsu’s motion-sickness and Happy being, well, Happy. Then there’s Lucy looking for a cheap deal for Plue, a direct nod to Rave Master, another of Hiro Mashima’s works. Actually, there’s a lot of Rave references in Fairy Tail, but noting them down would take too much time. Probably another reason to make “Fairy Fails”?

Lucy’s literally the ultimate Fairy Tail fangirl, and I find it funny looking back, she’s gushing about Fairy Tail when she’s sat right there with Natsu and Happy, who are both in Fairy Tail. She gushed about Salamander, and ended up being freed from Bora’s love spell when she lays eyes on Natsu – foreshadowing, perhaps? It’s a fun introduction to the series, and kinda sets up some of the characterisations that end up developing better as the story progresses. It’s even more fun to see the guild in action during their barfight, and Makarov making his introduction by delivering a heartfelt speech and that soundtrack holy crap that gets me pumped every time.

Honestly with the Macao Arc, I wouldn’t even call it the Macao Arc, considering he’s very much a side-character that is only relevant for one episode. I’d have called it the Introduction Arc or even the Welcome to Fairy Tail Arc, which the latter is a lot more fitting, giving it the whole family feel, especially with the focal character, Lucy, joining the guild. The arc comprises of two episodes, so it doesn’t make sense to have an arc named after a character that’s in one of two episodes, of which he was a perverted Vulcan in most of that episode.

I always forget that they have an introduction sequence in the first several episodes, introducing the concept of mages and guilds. This gets phased out after a while, once we know enough of the story to not need that introduction.


The Daybreak arc is also made of two episodes, that focus around a mission to destroy a book. It’s a pretty simple concept, and the arc itself is pretty simple. Everlue, the dude in the mansion, has weird expectations of beauty, but I mean, it could be a lot worse? At least the concept is simple, and the resolution is emotional. Not to the levels that we’ll see later, but it’s emotional to say the least.


The Eisenwald arc (often known as ‘Lullaby arc’) is made up of the six other episodes here, with one of the episodes based on an omake, as is the case for a lot of classified filler episodes. The focal antagonists are Erigor (I literally watched this arc two hours ago and forgot his name already) and Kageyama, the latter of which is a budget Shikamaru Nara, right down to the hairstyle and shadow abilities. I’m not the only one to have made that connection. It’s not the only instance of this either, but we’ll get to that later on in the series!

It’s strange to look this far back now and think that Natsu and Happy were antagonising Lucy a lot, but my warped sense of shade makes me uneasy. It just seems near-constant with little-to-no consideration.


The end of the arc features an omake called Natsu Eats A Village and that sounds like a shit early Simpsons episode. Honestly, it’s not necessary to watch. We go back to canon with Natsu vs. Erza, where they fight…but then Erza is arrested because of the Eisenwald destruction stuff (the usual ‘Fairy Tail causes wreckages’ spiel) as a formality, and sets up the antagonistic relationship between her and Siegrain, yet another Rave Master reference. It also introduces some other key characters, such as Laxus (who’s a bit of a dick) and the mysterious Mystogan. This is an enjoyable episode though, and it leads so seamlessly into the next arc!


Overall this is a great introductory arc, introducing the initial cast of pivotal characters that we’ll be following for the rest of the series. I am so happy that the anime in general keeps its arcs relatively short, even the longer ones. It’s so that there isn’t as much fluff. We’ll see later that the anime has gone under two separate hiatuses due to catching up with the manga, and I’m not sure if we are getting an adaptation of the 100 Years Quest manga, but I doubt it will happen for a while yet.

However, I think all of these episodes could have been condensed into one arc, rather than be split across three mini-arcs. That’s the big takeaway. I also never realised that Zeref was referenced this early in the series, which is astounding, all things considered, but more on that later!


Instead of fortnightly, these reviews are happening every Friday. This is due to the shorter arcs that Fairy Tail has in general. So next week is the Sub-Zero Emperor Lyon arc (I swear that was called Galuna Island arc but never mind)! At least it’s another short arc!

Doctor Who Review | Series 1

Hey guys! I was writing some WIP work and I basically wanted to rewatch Doctor Who, and see if it really does decline the further we go (kinda like The Simpsons). So here we go, starting from the first series of the revival. While I would love to go back and review everything, a lot of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton episodes are partially or completely missing. However, I may go back later and cover some of the complete episodes.


It’s important to note that the 2005 revival allowed a lot of us to experience Doctor Who for the first time – myself included. While my mum had been raised on Tom Baker-era Who (best Doctor in my opinion), I was born after the initial run ended. I will admit I had no real interest initially, but alas, here we are!

I do feel that Christopher Ecclestone was the perfect Doctor to bring the revivial forward, and while I think a lot of people were questioning Billie Piper’s capability as a main character, the casting was spot on, and I usually forget that Billie Piper ever sung music. So as I was writing this, I decided to listen to Because We Want To – because why not?


Rose

What a way to start off the series by blowing up a shop! For real, this is an intense episode that sets us in 2005, which is very dated now (me just realising that 2005 was 16 years ago), and while some of the graphics were a bit shit, you can’t deny that they looked good compared to the ones from the original run, especially back in the day. The episode introduces Rose and the Doctor in a London setting (because why not) and Rose goes on an information hunt about the Doctor. It culminates in a tussle against the Nestene Consciousness, which is responsible for the shop mannequins coming to life as Autons.

Honestly though, Mickey is just not the kind of boyfriend I’d want, and if I had someone like that and I was offered a trip in a TARDIS, I’d take the sodding trip! And that’s not even talking about the Auton version of Mickey. I mean, Mickey gets eaten by a bin that burps…also how did Mickey get out of the bin and into the Nestene lair? Auton bin men? I dunno…

As for the Doctor, there’s a lot of ambiguity concerning his regeneration from the Paul McGann incarnation – no regeneration sequence was filmed, and not much was explained about how it came to be. We wouldn’t actually get that closure until 2013, where it all gets tied together at least.

Then we get Jackie, Rose’s mum, telling her to go get a job literally the day after her last job literally blew up like Jesus woman, Rose went through trauma, give her a week! Also poor Clive – trying to find as much information on the Doctor as possible and ends up getting killed by an Auton. And then Rose literally just ups and leaves Mickey, dissing him in the process, and not even giving her mum a goodbye.

Overall, a solid first episode that introduces the revival really well to new audiences, while still keeping the interest of the original audience.


The End of the World

This is an episode that focuses on the natural death of the world, before the other apocalyptic episodes that we’ll inevitably get later.

Zoe Wanamaker was brilliant in the role of Cassandra, being nothing more than a trampoline made from human skin. I will admit they missed an opportunity to play one of Billie Piper’s songs, and instead opted for the “classical” Tainted Love and the “traditional ballad” Toxic, which was fitting considering the present day, and the fact it was played on a massive jukebox called an ‘iPod’.

This episode was mostly to focus on the introduction of the concept of alien species, and introducing the Face of Boe as well. We also got the first reference to the overarching Bad Wolf arc.

The episode also introduces a bit more to the Last Great Time War, now asserting The Doctor as the last of the Time Lords, which for the main new viewer isn’t a big deal, but it’s a huge deal for the older viewers that had seen the older series. The tension there is broken up by chips, which yeah, makes sense, and gives us more need for that lost period information.

Overall I really like this episode. It’s a strong episode that doesn’t rely on too much fanfare, and isn’t overly-complicated either. The make-up department is spot-on, and will always will be.


The Unquiet Dead

This was actually my first Doctor Who episode, and I kinda watched it but didn’t really pay full attention. It takes us back into the 19th Century with the focal historical figure being Charles Dickens.

There’s never really much for me to talk about for this one, but I liked the interactions with Charles Dickens, and the ‘biggest fan’ exchange always makes me smile. I think the whole Gelth possessing dead bodies for ‘recycling’ purposes is a bit creepy, and I’m not a huge fan of that. Overall though the Gelth are pretty forgettable in the grand scheme of things.

I did feel for Gwyneth, she was a great character, and also references Bad Wolf in Rose’s present-day.

Overall this is a great episode that sets up the concept of the Rift in time and space in Cardiff, which kinda gave them an in-story reason for filming a lot of the stuff in Cardiff, I suppose.


Aliens of London / World War Three

These are the first episodes that I properly watched, and back in my teen years I’d be humoured by the Slitheen farting. As an adult it’s a bit weird now, a bit grotesque, but there are some funny moments to these episodes that don’t involve farts. A portion of the story focuses on how Rose has been declared missing for twelve months instead of twelve hours, and then a spaceship crashes into Big Ben. I feel so bad for Mickey,

We also get the very iconic Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North (yes, we know who she is), and Jackie’s iconic line ‘It’s him! It’s the thing! It’s the Slickeen!‘, mispronouncing the Slitheen just gives us the proper comic relief that we needed, rather than the farting.

Overall though, these are solid episodes, toying with the idea of a secret invasion with the aliens disguising themselves as Members of Parliament and other humans of high authority, such as Margaret Blaine. The mutated pig kinda gets swept under the rug, even though it’s basically a decoy.

Try saying the Slitheen family’s home planet, Raxacoricofallapatorius. I dare you!


Dalek

This is the first episode that I ended up properly watching, knowing that the Dalek is the enemy to watch for Doctor Who. It’s the episode that made me want to watch more of the show in the first place, and looking back it’s definitely not my favourite of the series, but it’s by no means a good episode.

Henry van Statten serves as a kind of antagonist in some aspects, collecting alien artefacts and claiming to be owning the internet. He has a Dalek that he has one of his employees torture to speak. In the meantime we also get to see the Doctor stripped to the waist and chained up (imagine if this was the David Tennant era, oof).

The introduction of Adam Mitchell lends itself to romantic tension between him and Rose (no wonder Mickey has issues, if Rose is like this). It’s funny really, apparently at the time of broadcast the episode got criticised over van Statten’s use of the word “spoon”, which was possibly in a sexual context, which was really strange to think of.

Overall, it’s a great way to reintroduce the terror of the Daleks, even if it’s only just one Dalek (that admittedly killed a lot of people) but wanted to see the sun. The most memorable and haunting feature was that the Dalek could levitate, after everyone thought it couldn’t. This isn’t the first instance in which a Dalek could levitate to climb stairs – this honour goes to the Seventh Doctor serial Remembrance of the Daleks, where a Dalek was seen levitating up a staircase on-screen.


The Long Game

They definitely played the ‘long game’ with this title, and it takes a few more episodes to realise why. It seems like a filler episode at first, but of course it isn’t really, not in the long run. Satellite 5 is a space station serving the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire, which is a bit of a mouthful – could have been Human Empire IV. The workers on Satellite 5 act as processors for the overall computer system which broadcasts news to keep humanity docile. The ambition for these workers was to get to Floor 500 as a promotion. Of course, all of this is not without its caveats, as you have the Jagrafess and The Editor (nice Simon Pegg casting there) working underneath.

The initial romantic tension between Rose and Adam still makes me cringe, considering Rose is still with Mickey. And as it turns out, Adam Mitchell turns into a bit of a dick after this episode (in the comics, anyway). Nice work, Rose!

I think that if the episode wasn’t sequelled later on, I’d class it as dismissable filler.


Father’s Day

This episode makes me sad every time, and it features the only instance of the Reaper actually cleansing the paradox – sadly it’s not utilised after this episode, but the main focus is on Rose saving her dad Pete’s life when he should have died. Of course, the change in the course of history angers the Doctor, because time and paradox stuff. It can’t be helped, he literally just kicked out Adam in the previous episode for messing around with time travel.

This whole episode is basically paradox and emotions, and I was there for the emotional rollercoaster. I almost always cry at this episode, and even with the simplicity of the setting and solution, it remains my favourite of the series. Plus I always forget we get a Rickroll here in this episode too!


The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances

Fun fact: World War II was my favourite History topic at school! Plus kids can be creepy as heck, which is why this two-parter is right up my alley. I feel for the homeless children in this, having to scavenge for food during the Blitz, while being terrorised by a kid in a gas mask and repeating “are you my mummy?” over and over. The “are you my mummy?” phrase does get brought up later on in David Tennant’s era, which I find a great callback.

Once again, we see Rose flirting with the newly-introduced Captain Jack Harkness, and I mean come on, she implies that she has a boyfriend but is “very available”, I find it harder and harder to sympathise with Rose through all of this man drama. Reminds me of the girls back from school, eyeing up the next conquests.

I like the idea of the nanogenes not necessarily being an enemy, but more confused than anything else. They just created the masked zombies because they didn’t know better, and just went off on the idea that that was how humans looked, and soon ended up converting other humans into masked creatures. I kinda want to insert an anti-mask jibe here for the present day, but I’ll let it slide for now.

The reunion of Nancy and Jamie, the Empty Child, was heartwarming and bittersweet, owing to the taboo of having an illegitimate child at such a young age. Plus you also get the idea of the Doctor ‘dancing’ as a metaphor for sex, because of course it is – yet people had issues with the word “spoon” and its meaning earlier on in the series, I don’t get it.


Boom Town

I always forgot this episode existed, and it serves as a sequel to Aliens of London and World War Three. Margaret the Slitheen is now the Mayor of Cardiff, and going ahead with a plan to build a nuclear power plant, dubbed “Blaidd Drwg”, or “Bad Wolf”, which is now more prominent considering the Doctor has observed in his adventures with Rose.

The majority of the episode focuses around Margaret, or Blon as her (say it with me) Raxacoricofallapatorian name is, and her plan to basically mess up the entire planet just to escape and also to kill the Doctor, who casually brushes off the assassination attempts.

I call this a filler episode purely because it doesn’t really lend itself to much. Rose and Mickey’s argument about their relationship, and their ‘separation’ and Mickey’s dating another woman doesn’t really get brought up again. Heck, he even leaves before Rose could find him again in this episode, and that doesn’t really get brought up. Can we once again bring up just why we’re meant to sympathise with Rose here, when she flirted with both Adam and Jack, and then expects Mickey to come crawling. Mickey’s better off without, clearly!

It’s not the best filler, it’s skippable at best. The only thing worth taking away is the acknowledgmenet of the Rift, as well as the extrapolator that’s used as a plot device later in multiple instances.


Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways

In the last two-parter of the series, we come to find out why The Long Game wasn’t classed as a filler earlier in my review. You can tell how dated this series is, with callbacks to Big Brother, The Weakest Link and What Not To Wear, three iconic shows that we used to watch, but don’t anymore. I wonder if this episode was made now, would we have RuPaul’s Drag Race where the contestants literally have to lip sync for their lives? Or The Chase, where the Chasers chase you down and kill you? I don’t know, and the morbid curiosity in me wants to find out. But looking back, we are filled with pure nostalgia, even though Big Brother did end a couple of years or so ago now, its initial several seasons were its peak.

Of course the Game Station is run by Bad Wolf Corporation, because what else would it be called in the run-up to the end of this series? We also got the first mention of Torchwood at least, which will come to the forefront next series.

Rose, do you really have to give Lynda the stink-eye because she’s a woman that gets along with the Doctor? Sod it, I could have shipped the Doctor and Lynda out of pure spite at this point. I don’t care. In all honesty, I would have loved to have seen Lynda as a companion.

Okay, I gotta say that even with all of the Bad Wolf stuff going on, the Doctor didn’t even need to kiss Rose. I mean, he could have done some mind stuff, but I suppose it’s a way to shoe-horn in some ship material before David Tennant landed.


The Christmas Invasion

We get the first Christmas special, and the first episode with David Tennant, and it kinda serves as a semi-Doctor-lite episode in this regard, with the Doctor still going through regeneration, to the point where he ends up regrowing his hand after losing it to the Sycorax attack. It also seems that this current Doctor also has a better relationship with Jackie and Mickey from the off, with Mickey actually being called Mickey (instead of Ricky), and Jackie taking to him better than she did the Ninth.

I like the use of the blood as a control mechanism, and it makes it seem more dangerous than it turned out. But damn, imagine waking up on Christmas morning to find your husband/wife/lover was being controlled by aliens, damn.

Rose saying that her Doctor’s gone…oh my God, he’s literally right there, just…not well, clearly. But I have strong feelings about Rose that I may or may not address later in a different post.


Overall, it’s a great series to start off with. But I had to stop myself from getting heated every once in a while with Rose’s behaviour. It’s easy to write Mickey off as the possessive boyfriend, but actually I do feel bad for him more than anything after this rewatch. We also have the first instance of the Doctor kissing his companions, which more often than not doesn’t even need to happen.

The Bad Wolf Easter Egg trick was played well, with some instances being a ‘blink and you miss it’, while others stare you in the face. It’s not the end of the Bad Wolf though, as we’ll find out later!

Top 5 Black Mirror Episodes

Hey guys! I’ve been talking about every Black Mirror episode at length for a long while now, and now that’s over, I might as well go over my top 5 Black Mirror episodes. And because these are pretty much interchangeable, this is a list in no particular order!

I will say that it was so difficult to narrow it down to five episodes, and the honourable mentions were The Entire History of You, Arkangel and Fifteen Million Merits.


White Bear

White Bear was a wild ride, that’s for certain. It also inspired one of my short stories that I wrote back in November 2019, and is now reworked to become its own thing. Anyway, I like that you’re supporting this woman and pretty much on her side, until you find out that she’s actually undergoing daily psychological torture because she was part of a brutal killing of a girl she kidnapped. The “White Bear Justice Park” is open to visitors that can record her suffering, and then the memories of that day are wiped for her and she goes through it all again. I think that’s hugely impactful, but it also raises some moral questions and doubts, especially when it comes to the enjoyment of the torture. Does it make the general public as bad as her? Remains to be seen, I suppose.


San Junipero

San Junipero is the token ‘happy ending’ of Black Mirror, where it’s actually more bittersweet than happy, for me anyway. The episode is full of 80s nostalgia that I felt so hard despite actually being born in 1992. That said, having been brought up on 80s culture helped a lot to feel more connected to the episode, and that kind of theme does carry on with Bandersnatch too, I suppose.

I still need to get some artsy posters for my home!


Nosedive

Nosedive, the episode that spawned a board game! Nosedive is practically tied for first place, with its visuals and dystopian setting being the focus. As you’re viewing the episode from the point of view of Lacie, it seems very aspirational, but it’s what China has, with a similar Social Credit System in place, so that the better score you have, the more perks you enjoy. I just love Lacie’s descent into madness, and the soundtrack for this episode is amazing!


White Christmas

White Christmas is a standout for many reasons. It did the anthology thing, with three different stories in this Christmas special, but in a special way, they link together really well. Matt’s role as a guide to help men pick up women feeds into the end of the episode, as does Joe falling into the power of the in-real-life blocking feature. The cookie feature does get used again in future episodes, but it’s at its peak here, with Joe’s artificial consciousness being tortured by the real-world effects of the cookie. It’s a very dark ending overall, though, and it’s not the usual fare you’d put on over the Christmas period, but it works for me!


The National Anthem

I can understand that this is a very controversial choice, but I felt that it was perhaps the best introduction to the Black Mirror series. The fact remains that while it may have been a little farfetched, the focus for me isn’t on the Prime Minister being forced to fuck a pig live on TV, it’s the reactions of the general public, hungry for controversy, going as far as to watch the viewing despite them being encouraged not to watch it. This combined with its present-day setting allows us to immerse ourselves further as it could be something that happens in our reality. I wouldn’t want to watch Boris Johnson doing that, let’s just leave it at that!


Black Mirror – Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too Review

Hey guys! This is (for now) the last Black Mirror review post! Thank you all for putting up with this series, while I managed an actual solid schedule (for once in my life!). Today, we’re looking at Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too!


There are several plot elements to this story – we have Ashley O, who is a huge pop star that is creatively restricted by her management, specifically her aunt, Catherine. Rachel and Jack are sisters that are practically polar opposites – Rachel is obsessed with pop music, and a huge fan of Ashley O, while Jack doesn’t really give a shit about that, and is into rock music – so the whole opposite sisters trope, I get it. It works in this story, I suppose. Both sisters are struggling with the recent loss of their mother, and Ashley O struggles with her image and the inability to create music that she fully believes in.

Rachel get a new AI robot named Ashley Too, which is based on the persona of Ashley O. Rachel confides in the toy, and is convinced to dance to ‘On a Roll’ at the talent contest, but chokes. Ashley Too is hidden away by Jack.

Ashley O stops taking the medication that Catherine gives her, so Catherine laces her food with a large dose of the medicine, which results in a coma that is later publically blamed on shellfish. After a while, Ashley Too is reactivated, hears of the real-self’s coma. The AI malfunctions, and the girls fix her and unknowingly removes a limiter mechanism that opens up the entire inner workings of Ashley O’s mind, which includes her real personality. There’s some espionage involved with the girls actually going to Ashley O’s house, waking up the real Ashley in a coma, they all escape and head to a venue. Catherine had been presenting Ashley Eternal, which would be a holographic replacement that would be able to go on tour and release new music, courtesy of the technology that was used to extract music from real Ashley’s dreams and turning them into pop songs.

Later on, Ashley is rebranded as ‘Ashley Fuckn O’ and performs alt rock with Jack as her bassist. Turnabout is fair play, considering Jack never liked Ashley O as a pop artist in the first place.

Overall, like with Striking Vipers, this episode could have gone a lot darker. The second half was compared to a Disney Channel film rather than that of a Black Mirror episode. The technology used to extract music from dreams is interesting, and I kinda want some of that technology for story ideas, because I oftentimes get ideas from dreams. Ashley Eternal could have been popularised, Ashley O could have stayed in her coma, the entire world would have been taken over by Ashley O fever, much like a more exaggerated version of Bieber Fever, or K-Pop stans (Disclaimer: I have no problems with K-Pop stans, I meant as in hugely exaggerated, like literally taking over the world kind of exaggerating).

This episode could have been better, and I feel that the first half of the episode was actually the better portion of season five. It does feel that there were so many ideas that they wanted to implement in one episode, but

The rewrites of Nine Inch Nails songs Head Like A Hole to On a Roll, and Right Where It Belongs to Right Where I Belong were interesting, and a good take on how such rock and metal songs can be rewritten to suit the music industry’s desire for bubblegum pop music. On a Roll was popularised with a music video to go along with it. It’s ironic that the release of that video and the popularity of the song encompassed the meaning of the episode without having to watch the episode itself.

I do have to give credit to Miley Cyrus though, especially for the cover of Head Like a Hole at the episode’s close. I’ve never really been a fan of hers based on the actual songs she’s released, but after hearing Head Like a Hole I’m convinced she should start making alt rock music, especially when she performed Zombie last year. Choosing Head Like a Hole to perform at the end provides the turnaround compared to its pop counterpart, On a Roll. Her performance as Ashley O and Ashley Too was the highlight of the episode.

Overall, I wanted the episode to focus a lot more on the impact of the music industry and the labels on its artists, as well as the potential for holographic musicians. I wasn’t particularly interested in the affairs of one family, if that makes sense?


Next week…actually, I don’t know what to review next…

Black Mirror – Smithereens Review

Hey guys! It’s also my birthday, but today’s post isn’t about that! We’re still continuing with our Black Mirror reviews series, which is coming to an end as of next week (until we get more episodes)!

Today, we’re discussing Smithereens. Trigger warnings involving suicide.


We’re back in the British-based setting for this episode, which is a welcome change from the American-set episodes that we’ve seen for the most part recently. I don’t have a problem with the American episode style, I just really like going back to the roots just a little bit.

The episode starts off intreresting, with a guy called Chris being this rideshare driver, and picks up Jaden, who is a new employee for Smithereen, which is a large social media company. Chris abducts him at gunpoint, resulting in a huge hostage standoff with police involved. Chris wants to speak to Billy Bauer, the CEO of Smithereen, and ends up doing so after some back-and-forth. It turns out Chris’s fiancee was killed by a drunk driver three years earlier. Turns out Chris had been checking his Smithereen notification at the time, thus blames himself for the death, and (only now) has lashed out at the company itself. The issue was that Smithereen was designed to be as addictive as possible, and both Billy and Chris agree to that sentiment. Chris wants to kill himself. Then there’s a cliffhanger where the snipers fire into the car.

I feel that the subplot with Hayley just added to some of the confusion for me, and it didn’t feel entirely relevant. If Chris hadn’t had the Strong Woohoo with her, it’d be inevitable that her exposure on the episode was worthless. It didn’t add to the urgency for me, and slowed it down. It’s why I didn’t add it to my quick summary here. It just didn’t feel worth adding.

I just feel that Billy Bauer’s scenes just didn’t feel like they connected well, and they took me right out of the episode. I also don’t feel it’s entirely realistic that a CEO of a company would jump into the fray for an employee that had only started the week before. I’ve known people that have worked at companies for years, decades even, and the CEOs wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire. I’m positive most CEOs, at the sign of trouble like in this episode, would hide away further and let their PAs handle the situation, or just ignore it completely. I think they wanted to make Billy appear more approachable and respectable, but it doesn’t feel that it connects properly with Chris’s view of Smithereen and social media in general.

I feel that the themes of social accountability and software addiction were done much better in The National Anthem and Arkangel respectively.


The amount of times I typed out ‘Christ’ instead of ‘Chris’ is disgusting. Overall there just wasn’t a lot that I wanted to discuss, really. I know a lot of people enjoyed it, but it didn’t hit the mark at all. I even think now, looking back, that it’s functionally worse than Metalhead, which doesn’t say a lot because I appreciate Metalhead a lot more now.

Next time, the final episode (for now), Raclen, Jack and Ashley Too!

Rewriting The Danganronpa 3 Anime

Hey guys! This is a big thing that I wanted to work on. If you missed my announcement, I’m currently working on a collaborative Fanganronpa project that’s going to be in story format. However, today is slightly related. I know you guys click on my Danganronpa posts a lot (they actually make up three of my top five most viewed posts in 2020), so this is for you!

This one is based on theories that I had of the series as I was watching it, and needless to say I was disappointed in the overall outcome.


So I was heavily disappointed in the conclusion of the Danganronpa 3 anime series, so I wanted to rewrite it. I wanted to correct a few things:

  • Chiaki’s fate
  • The brainwashing aspect (for the most part)
  • The missing Branch 13 Director
  • The wrong participant count
  • Kyoko’s fate
  • The mastermind of the Final Killing Game
  • Yasuhiro’s involvement

So there, we already have seven different elements that we need to fix. Even though it is suggested to read the Future/Despair series incrementally, we’re doing this one chronologically, because then it’ll all make sense in terms of the story. We would also need to incorporate this as a double cour anime series over single cour, just to give us some time for character and plot development.


Despair Arc

So we start off with the Despair Arc, and everything relatively stays the same until Mikan is now serving under Junko. As before, Nagito and Chiaki investigate and find Junko, where Izuru subdues them. These two are probably the best fits to infect the rest of their classmates with despair, as despair itself is described as a disease, and considering Nagito is batshit insane and Chiaki is the class rep, they both have a foothold to be able to pull it off. This way, Chiaki survives, but also becomes heavily involved in Junko’s killing game.

Because Junko’s first killing game was a battle royale-style, Junko calls on Chiaki to help build a framework for a more structured killing game. This involves rules, deaths, a class trial and an execution. As the Ultimate Gamer, Chiaki would have no problem pulling all of this off. Ryota also becomes involved and seems to have become an Ultimate Despair, lending his hand to creating the execution visuals that you see in the canon. As before, everyone, one by one, becomes infected with despair, and rallies around to rile up the Reserve Course. A pre-made broadcast that Ryota put together beforehand shows Junko proclaiming the beginning of a new world, infecting the Reserve Course students with the despair monumental enough to [TRIGGER WARNING] kill themselves.

Chiaki is chosen to be the face of the Alter Ego in Danganronpa 2 because of her close connection to the Ultimate Despairs.


Future Arc / Hope Arc

Later on, it transpires that Chisa, Chiaki and Ryota all became branch directors in the Future Foundation. This fills the Branch 13 gap, as this is where Chiaki would be placed. Before Makoto’s trial, she asks Aoi to fill her place as she is ‘busy with duties’ – where Chiaki would be helping to assemble the Final Killing Game, with Tengan’s help. Therefore, Chiaki would be participating in the Final Killing Game as a hidden participant, with the amount of participants shown in the opening being correct, with 16 instead of the 15 we got. Place Yasuhiro in care of Byakuya instead of being outside the building and not actually participating, and that’s that, because Yasuhiro wasn’t an official participant. Even if the opening changed so that the naked grey guy shown in the Closing Argument segments in the games was shown in the opening instead of Chiaki initially, that would be interesting.

Everything goes as in the anime still, even with Aoi’s ketchup-death fake-out. The next major change comes in the form of Kyoko’s fate after the fourth time limit. Yes, she stays dead, let’s just get that out of the way. We needed one of the original Killing Game survivors to get bumped off this time around, so let’s give it to someone that would actually matter (sorry, but Makoto is Hope Lord, and Aoi already had a fake-out).

Once the Final Killing Game has been deactivated, Ryota’s phone goes off and he receives a video message from Tengan, instructing him to play the Hope Video, as in the original, in the hopes that he could use the Final Killing Game to force Ryota’s hand, as a test to see if Ryota is truly part of Ultimate Despair. Ryota does as he does in the anime.

The rest of Class 77-B comes in and attacks the brainwashed Future Foundation combatants – this time, instead of their Jabberwock Island outfits, they are in the outfits we saw them in in Future Arc episode 1. Class 77-B do as they originally do with Ryota. It’d be a bittersweet irony that a lynchpin of the Ultimate Despairs ends up broadcasting a Hope Video to eradicate the Ultimate Despair. They proclaim that they’re going to band together and save their Class Rep (cheesy, I know, but it works). They all manage to confront Chiaki, who is in the meeting room where the Final Killing Game started. Failing to revert her back to her old self, the rest of her class just tie her up and take her back to Jabberwork Island, claiming responsibility over her, and over the Final Killing Game.

This version ends as the anime does, except, y’know, Kyoko’s still dead, so it’s a bittersweet rather than a forced happy ending.


So there we have it! I just re-wrote an entire anime series! I’m happy with this, although it’d definitely need to be a longer series just to add to the development a bit more. The issue with the Danganronpa as anime format is that it’s always too short, and doesn’t allow time for world-building or story pacing.

Black Mirror – Striking Vipers Review

Hey guys! We’re finally into the fifth season of Black Mirror, and it’s gona back to the Channel 4 days where seasons used to be so short, before Netflix took the helm. But we got Striking Vipers to go through today!


The most common theme of this season is that the writers, for me, didn’t know where they wanted to take each episode, and the conclusions kinda felt disjointed. There’s always a mid-to-end-point that feels out of place for the epsiode, and I think Striking Vipers is the lesser of the three evils.

Striking Vipers is about a couple of friends that have an established connection with the game (you guessed it) Striking Vipers, which is similar to the likes of Mortal Kombat or Tekken, if you will. These two friends fall out of contact, as adults do, and they meet at a barbecue that Danny, the birthday man, hosts. Karl, the friend, gifts him Striking Vipers X and the VR kit. Now I love the idea of virtual reality, and I’ve dabbled before, but it’s just too costly right now.

But yeah, the whole episode’s storyline is that Danny and Karl end up attracted to each other as their characters, but not as themselves. The final resolution is that Danny and Theo, his wife, agree that once a year he can play Striking Vipers X with Karl, while Theo can hook up with a stranger.

Overall I was expecting more of an addiction to the VR technology to the point where they end up trapped and their bodies are comatose and/or dead, like in Sword Art Online. I could have expected a divorce, and both Danny and Karl looking a mess in their own homes, blanked out as they play the game and are addicted. They could have both died due to malnutrition from constantly playing the game and not looking after themselves, but this could be seen as too similar to USS Callister, so…

The episode definitely could have ended better, but I feel that they went for the best resolution that they could. It’s not a bad thing, but it didn’t feel truly like a Black Mirror conclusion. It definitely touched on homoeroticism between male friends, and it’s just something that happens. I feel like the awkwardness that men normally show in terms of affection towards each other is that fear that they could be perceived as gay. As a woman, it’s always awkward for me to see men being so awkward, but I suppose that’s just how they’re brought up.

The question it brought up was ‘is it really cheating?’, and it’s a bit of a grey area. It kinda had all the signs of infidelity, but it was different I suppose.


Next week we’ll talk about Smithereens, which…oh boy!