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No horses were harmed in the drawing of this comic. Well, cartoon horses were harmed, I guess.

I saw Annihilation, and it’s a bit of a head trip. If you can find it in theaters, it’s absolutely worth it if you like cerebral scifi and don’t mind a dab of body horror/gore. Although the movie’s rather vague as to the actual concrete facts of what the heck is going on, which led me to question quite a few plot points. But it’s hard to call out plot holes because the story’s open ended enough that it’s easy to surmise potential counterpoints to plug any holes. The visuals are unique and it’s not a common scifi premise, which is refreshing. Also, it stars Padme Amidala and Poe Dameron, how weird is that?

I also finally watched the third live action Kenshin movie, as I had the trilogy on bluray from before the big Watsuki scandal. It’s kind of a frustrating film, because it’s eschews from the original story in quite a few places that don’t really help it dramatically. Also some of my favorite story beats from the Kyoto arc are excised completely, namely the entirety of the defense of the Aoiya Inn. If that sequence had been included, it would’ve given a chance for the lesser Juppongatana to be in the film, as well as given Yahiko and Kaoru something to do, as they literally just stand behind a fence during the big fight scenes and serve no purpose in the story at all.  There’s a span of time spent on Kenshin being hunted as a fugitive, and going back to Tokyo to meet with Megumi for no good reason, which all could’ve been time spent with Kaoru and Yahiko at the Aoiya Inn, it’s a bummer.

The final fight with Shishio also turns into an unfortunately comical brawl, with Shishio fighting Sano, Kenshin, Saito, and Aoishi all at once. If they’d just cut that out and followed the structure of the fight in the manga, with Kenshin incapacitated and the others just stalling for time until he could recover, it would’ve worked much better. I still enjoy the live action films thanks to great casting, cinematography, and fight choreography, but they fall frustratingly short of greatness due to some weird tonal shifts, too eclectic soundtrack, and frustrating story decisions.

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  • Leandro Toniut

    For a moment I actually thought that was Maru. I guess his Indigo fashion is catching on.

    Honou is quite pretentious to believe he can end Masuhiro so easily. His only chance really would be to be a woman, and even then she would need to get rid of the armor ASAP.

    • Leandro Toniut

      Upon closer inspection I see that is a bit more blue-ish than our resident badass leader of farmers, but yeah.

      • Ocean Burning.

        I was able to recognize Genchu only because of the hair. Also, I just discovered that there is in fact an archive of character tags if you go into each character’s individual page from the characters page. Which is really fortunate for me, having discovered this comic so far into the story when there are tons of people to keep track of…

    • clogboy

      Not just me then :)

    • Kid Chaos

      Ha-ha, so true! 😍

  • clogboy

    I might as well rebrand myself Mr. Off-Topic… I don’t watch everything on Netflix, and Annihilation is a hard pass for me. The trailer just seems boring, and Portman was also a turn-off after the blasted prequels and Black Swan.
    I did however enjoy the Japanese live-action show Erased (which started as a manga that already has an anime adaptation). It’s good! Everything with kids in it is quickly compared to Stranger Things, and it definitely banks on the bonds of young friendship, but that’s only half of the show (and also where the show really shines). The other half is a clever whodunnit and cat-and-mouse game. It all starts when an unlikely hero who gets pulled back in time (usually less than a day or even just a minute) to prevent accidents in his neighbourhood, finds himself returning back to his childhood after his mother gets killed. Worth looking into.

  • Turul

    Tsk! Premature gloating is always bad luck. Don’t you read any action comics, Honou-ko?

    • clogboy

      Yeah, take an interest in Dragon Ball, and you’ll see that it takes at least four episodes of powering up and 2 episodes of unnecessary dialog, before you get to turn the tides.

      • Major Tom

        And then five more episodes before anything resembling a winner emerges.

        • Xinef

          And then after the loser is annihilated… just you wait until they are resurrected even more powerful.

          • Major Tom

            Or are connected to somebody even higher up the sorting algorithm of villain threat.

          • Purphoros

            And of course you have to recap the last five or ten episodes at the beginning of every episode, put in as many overextended reaction shots and filler of any kind, to stretch 3 minutes of material over the whole twenty minutes of episode.

            That should really be a word.

            dragonballing [fig] : to withhold meaningful content of a story from the audience. Derived from blueballing.

          • clogboy

            It’s already on UD with definition: “making a bad movie good by telling yourself that it will be the worst movie ever before seeing the movie”

          • Purphoros

            Poor use of a good reference. Can’t see how Dragon Ball would be iconic for hype. Yep, that’s the actual word. Hype.

            I bet it has less than 10 or so votes, because the guy who posted it thought it up himself after he was disappointed by the movie and asked all his friends to click…

          • clogboy

            I did actually submit your version if ou don’t mind, but they have yet to approve it.

          • Purphoros

            Haha, thank you. Probably won’t take off either, though. After all, it’s just a word I made up after being disappointed by a rewatch of the series. ;D

  • Ocean Burning.

    That feeling when the camera cuts from one epic showdown to another epic showdown. Gotta say I’m a little more excited for Ken vs Nataku, but this fight is interesting as well… although what I’m really hoping for is to see Yori and Ina confront Eijiro…

  • Nos Rin aka CTCO

    I enjoyed the LA kenshin trilogy, but I’ll definetly admit they had a lot of flaws. Like how, uhm, the guy with the two short blades, Aoshi? wasn’t even IN the first film and he was Kind of a big part of that one.

    As for the 3 on 1 fight, eh, I enjoyed it. 😛
    I actually would like to get a proper combo pack for those films. maybe once I’m through school.

  • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

    Have we really seen Honou-ko do anything aside from threaten an loom imposingly in the past? I’m very interested to see how he earned his place in the DoS. This is getting GOOD XD

    • Xinef
      Pages 185, 415, 557 show some actual Honou-ko killing ninjas, soldiers and fighting Genchu respectively, but 414-436 has some hallucinated one in action too.

      • Ocean Burning.

        Thanks for digging these up. Honou-ko is the last of the Demons of Sorrow, right? Do I have my Demons of Sorrow deaths and who killed them in order?
        Ryoushi – by Genchu
        Ryoku — Yori
        Uso — Yori w/ Ina
        Tadashii — seppuku/Genchu

        • KungFuKlobber

          Yup, that’s it.

      • clogboy

        Genchu fought four of them at the same time. And got his ass kicked, actually. It’s interesting. The Demons didn’t make a good team. Inbetween Uso’s smokebombs and Genchu midget-tossing him against Uso, they haven’t been as helpful to eachother as even Goku and Frieza in the DBS conclusion.

        But now, watching Honou-Ko in his element, I hope it will be clear that he’s not just hiding behind his heavy armour and his fancy swords. Then again, if Genchu falls here, Yori would have an excuse to disobey Ina and we’d have an excuse to see some good dual wielding action.

        • Ocean Burning.

          Do we even know anything about who Honou-ko, like, is? Just re-read pretty much the whole comic and I’m still confused on this point.

          • Tim “Azur3flame” Eldred

            Really all we seem to know as of yet, is that he’s supposed to be a monster in battle. Looks like he’s willing to kill anyone/anything in the way of his goals, and we’ve seen him get annoyed when someone doesn’t take a kill shot. But I do wonder, it seems like he relies a bit on theatrics (scary armor and angry/shouty voice).

  • TheGorram Batguy

    The horse in panel three says:
    “You think you have beaten me? I say to you: Nay!”

  • foducool

    didn’t dig Annihilation at all
    there were some good ideas thrown in the lot but the ending was a total letdown for me ^^

    • Kid Chaos

      I liked it! I thought it was trippy. 😵

      • foducool

        to me, the story starts from nothing, goes nowhere and ends with more questions than answers, I just hate that ^^

        • Kid Chaos

          So, you’re more of a “Pacific Rim” fan? 😎

          • foducool

            yes, I suppose, even though I think they should stop reviving people when they’re sacrificing themselves XD

    • Yasmin Mazur

      it was an OK movie – nice graphics, that bear/boar thingy is nightmare material, and the ending was a bit – so now what happens…
      the premise kinda reminds me of the Ender’s Game universe – the desacolada virus working in similar ways like that thing.
      Mostly I liked the POV of the characters – haven’t seen that many movies representing different views like this one. I liked the point at the end regarding what that thing was doing.
      Still – it’s a nice take, not one of my fav sci-fi movies.

      • foducool

        the bear thing was pretty good
        got a good “ed…ward?” vibe from it, in more murderous XD

  • LordBolanderFace

    Panel 2: “My samurai sense is tingling!”

  • Jordan Hiller

    I thought Annihilation was fantastic. Not sure about the ending, but everything up to that was very good. The scene with the bear was particularly good, if a little nightmare inducing.

  • Ladon

    So ends Honou Ko

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