Animation IN-IZ
The Incredibles (Movie)
(Pixar) Lawsuits over collateral damage have put super-heroes out of business. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible are trying to live a normal life and they are miserable. Then one of their old enemies returns and Mr. Incredible has to go back to his old job. He gets trapped and the rest of his family along with one of his old colleagues have to rescue him. An amusing film but that is about all.

Infinite Stratos

A school for the pilots of battle robots. Only girls can pilot them until one boy is discovered and is admitted. Amazingly sexist. All the girls fawn over him and seem to want nothing more than to cook dinner for him. When things get slow they toss in a few ecchi shots. It also suffers from Naruto Disease. A great premise with average execution and substandard writing.

Innocent Venus
Two guys and a young girl are on the run from a horrible military government. Along the way the meet allies, are betrayed, rescued, and such. It has all the right parts, good animation, interesting storyline, well developed characters, Mechs called Gladiators. It should be good, but the best I can say is that it isn’t terrible. Somehow it feels manipulative. I could almost hear the producers pulling the strings in the background. It was that marionette quality that kept it from generating much joy or fear or anything. Gora, the comedy relief is a bit too annoying and mercenary. When Jin changes sides it feels strange but when Sana’s memory changes and she realizes that it was Jo that rescued her after all and not Jin it seemed too convenient. One day a character is a pirate with a sunk ship and then in the next episode he has a fleet. Plot twists don’t make sense with the characters previous actions. Sana developing telepathic abilities out of nowhere so the finale felt contrived. It’s a good idea that got eaten by corporate writing.

Inside Out
Inside the head of each of us are several emotional characters. Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger and they run things. This is the story of an eleven year old girl who grew up in Minnesota. Suddenly her parents move to San Francisco. This is her story of coping, and having an emotional meltdown as she deals with all the changes. Inside her head she loses her core memories and emotional structure. The more her emotions tries to hold it all together the worse it gets. There is a big message: all of the feelings are important. You can’t just suppress things like sadness, without causing bigger problems. I did find it odd that so many of the reviews said that the concept of anthropomorphized emotions was new. Doesn’t anyone remember Herman’s Head? Quite enjoyable.

A good premise. A girl who gave up a leg and an eye to become the Godess of Wisdom for supernatural creatures. A guy who has supernatural abilities. They end up teaming up to solve supernatural problems. The problem is the writing is really lousy Kotoko is annoyingly jealous for random things. Kuro is taciturn to an extreme. Worst of all the show is way to talky. Kotoko will explain what she’s going to do, and then explain it again, then explain what she’s doing while she’s doing it. At the end I honestly felt like they had eight episodes worth of story, and padded it with talk talk talk out to twelve. Even the finale felt clumsy because they kept stopping to explain every little thing twice.

An alien space ship makes a touch and go on Earth. In doing so it changes an old man and a teenager into cyborgs. The old man responds by trying to be a hero. The teenager becomes a psychopath. This is the story of their journey dealing with the changes and the old man trying to stop the young one. Well written and animated. Unfortunately the overall feel is just too dark, surreal, and cynical for me. All the young people are self centred nihilists. Middle aged people just don’t care about anyone. And the old guy is an old person written by a young one. He’s too infirm even after his transformation.

Another sorcery and samurai series. This one is better than some. The first few episodes did a good job of filling out the characters and explaining their motivation. After that it became a bit formulaic. The first season was definitely the best. The first few episodes explain where everything came from and why the characters are the way they are. Kagome is also much stronger at first. As they play up the romance between her and Inuyasha she gets weaker and frankly dumber. Inuyasha also changes subtly from just arrogant and self serving, though he will do the right thing in the end, to significantly abusive especially toward Kagome. I just finally got fed up with Inuyasha being such a jerk and Kagome being such an airhead.

Inu-Yasha The Movie 3; Swords of an Honourable Ruler (Movie)
Much better than the series. Actually, vastly better than the series. Better writing, deeper character development. Darker and more menacing. Serious graphic violence, gore, and more adult content. The story has surprising twists and meaning. It is not just a longer version of the regular show. It is actually quite good.

Inuyasha the Movie 4; Fire on the Mystic Island(Movie)
Inuyasha, Kagome, and the rest are drawn to an island where four hugely powerful daemons keep a group of humans and daemons imprisoned as food. Kagome is stronger and more responsible, Inuyasha is more heroic. A nicely written story. Not as good as the third film, but it is still much better than the series.

Iriya No Sora, UFO No Natsu
An amusing story of first love. He’s a teenager, she’s an unusual girl in his class who’s hiding something. He’s part of a group of kids investigating a ‘secret’ military base. She’s secretly a pilot from that base. There is a war in the background but we don’t see any of that. Actually for a show that has UFO in the name and amazing aircraft in the title sequence, it’s amazingly pedestrian. Mostly it’s the story of their attachment and her mental breakdown. Sweet and forgettable.

Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
A naive adventurer explores a dungeon with the help of his friends and his Goddess. Poor writing, bad sitcom plot lines, “surprise” twists you could see coming a mile off, make this a lousy series. The “Goddesses” are identifiable because they are shallow airheads and their boobs are hanging out. It’s a very sexist series. The regular women in the town dress like maids. It’s a very snobby series. Too much ecchi, too many dumb twists, too little actual adventuring. I bailed before halfway through. It’s just too mediocre to recommend.

© 2020 Douglas Aalseth Productions