Fringe was such a fucked up piece of shit. It was the less successful project of the guy who made Lost while he was still a massive deal. The depths, the depths this show goes to… Basically its a crime drama that tries to pander to conspiracy nuts. The show starts by the female, blond mc taking out this generic mad scientist from a mental institution to try and solve the first of an endless series, and downward spiral of supernatural crimes connected to multiple, competing conspiracies. The coocky scientist constantly talks about gibberish and the writers try so painfully hard to make him endearing. He'll ask the black Harvard student assistant whose name he can't remember to get him pudding-pops and fanta soda or some shit constantly. That's another thing, he refuses to work out of any lab except for the one he used to use when he taught at Harvard. His grandson is a genius, but he's a super special genius because he forged his MIT certificate. He's not just one of the sheeple. Even though he's just some bland guy the show talks about him like he's really shifty and Machiavellian. The lead actress has no personality, she's as bland as it gets.
Every episode has the same formula where some supernatural thing will happen, the scientist will pull a solution out of his ass, that he apparently made fifty years ago, and the day is saved. This show is, "science fiction", by the way. The sheer amount of pseudo-science is ridiculous and the show tries to explain it by saying that the laws of physics are being bent because a parallel universe is slowly colliding with ours or some shit. From that point on the ongoing, "plot", is endless twists and turns and loopty loops and dumb chess analogies. At one point the female lead's partner gets replaced with a robot copy from the parallel universe after her first partner turns into slime or something. Also, she has the dead partner's memories because she entered his brain before he died or something by going into a sensory deprivation chamber and sticking some metal wires into her neck. And then at one point, she is switched with her parallel universe counterpart, and it's treated like a rape analogy. She doesn't know that she was replaced because her memories were flipped.
At several points in the show, they make it seem like everything is going to change and the whole dynamic is going to flipped on its head, before changing their mind, and going back to the status-quo. At one point, the mc gets teleported by getting hit by a car or something. The team gets disbanded, but weird crimes start happening again, so they make a new team with a mexican female lead this time. The next episode they just think of some way to get rid of the character that they literally just introduced and bring back the original mc out of nowhere. The grandson later saves the world and it feels like the show is going to end, but it doesn't. The grandson didn't sacrifice himself, he got teleported to an alternative future by the dooms-day device he stopped. The show makes you think it's going to be in the future, but the very next episode he somehow gets transported back, but he's invisible and nobody remembers him.
He then becomes real again or some shit, and even though he doesn't know if the mc is his mc or not, he tries to start a relationship with her, and somehow this makes her get fake memories that are like the real memories because the mc has special powers by the way. This show doesn't directly say that 9/11 was a conspiracy, but they do make the parallel world still have the twin towers. The height of retardation is when the scientist's old friend is dying, so they try to go into his mind to put him in a computer. The whole episode is shot in terrible cgi where they just run around looking for the mc inside of this guy's mind. And then imaginary zombies attack them for some reason, and they ride in a blimp to escape from them. Their plan doesn't work though so the guy dies.
But, wait, before he died he put a, "soul beacon" inside of the mc, so he possess her. It's like the writers had a competition to see who could make the show as stupid as possible. It has to be seen to be believed where this fucking thing goes.
Are you the same guy that wrote the rant on the 4400? If so, i'm really loving these wacky TV show rants.
Yep. I also wrote a The 100 review on imdb which makes less attempts at humor and is actually a bit analytical:
The 100 is probably one of the most frustrating shows that I have ever watched. The only reason why I sat through all of it is because I am a masochist. What makes it so frustrating is its phenomenal premise coupled with its terrible execution. It's not good sci-fi. This is for all of the obvious reasons(bad science, illogical decisions, etc.), but it's also because the show is totally void of one of the most important aspects of sci-fi, how technology affects humans. Despite being stuck on a gloomy, gray space ship with a draconian, oligarchical system of government, and no smart phones or any form of social media for their entire lives, all of the 100 act exactly like any typical, modern millennial that you could find on the street. The way they speak and act and think doesn't seem to have been affected by the environment that they grew up in at all(with the exception of a little bit of class resentment that is almost immediately forgotten about). There doesn't seem to have been any physiological repercussions from being stuck in a place that's so far removed from where humanity started. Not even Octavia, who has spent her entire life in one room and around the same two people, seems to be anything but a typical 21st century teenager. No social anxiety, no nothing; it's ridiculous.
One of the other most important aspects of sci-fi is world building. The premise of The 100 is so good because it allows the writers to have all the freedom in the world. Literally anything could have been on Earth. Anything. They could have easily justified anything that they could think of with radiation or whatever. So what do the people of the Ark find when they finally get to see the Earth after 97 years of waiting? A bunch of generic, avatar-esque tribal people who are all exactly the same… How much of a difference is there between the ice people and the tree people? They don't think differently, they don't act differently, they don't have a different religion and they don't even dress that differently(the ice people wear white and the tree people wear brown). Yeah, there's the mountain men and reapers(the same thing as grounders, but uglier), but those all die so we end up being just left with the same boring barbarians.
The grounders(barbarians) don't seem to have any notion of high culture and for whatever reason, they have no access to any books or any sort of information based on how they act and think. Guns survived the fallout, but an entire medium of entertainment that has existed for hundreds of years seems to have been totally eradicated. We never find out what happens outside of a very limited area. I still wonder where Lincoln was planning on running away to before deciding not to(because of some girl he met like a week ago). I hope it wasn't that weird island where the only non-violent people live. Was Lincoln really content to just spend the rest of his life on some tiny rock in the middle of the sea? I kept thinking to myself, what's going on everywhere else? Does Asia still exist? We'll never know.
A lot of people praised this show for the way it portrays women, not the way it portrays characters. Never mind the fact that they only introduced the more progressive parts of the show in the second season to pander and bolster ratings. The show doesn't actually explore sex roles and how they would be different in a post-apocalyptic setting, it just makes all of the most powerful characters female, which makes no sense. Despite what a lot of reviewers have said(some think The 100 is actually republican propaganda), the show is not actively trying to push any kind of political agenda, it only shows what it thinks will get ratings. There seems to be two waves of negative reviews. The first wave is mainly from 2014. These just say that the show is terrible and that getting past the first episode is impossible. The second wave comes from after the third season. These are made by the people who were drawn to this show for its progressiveness, but got offended by the token minority characters suffering a lot. This is despite all of the suffering being meant to further demonize the type of people that liberals hate. The former type is correct. This show was always terrible and that wouldn't change regardless of how many minority characters there are or how many of those characters got killed off.
Most people seem to think The 100 is bad because of its surface traits(bad acting, bad science, illogical decisions, super-model characters, teen drama), but the problems go so much deeper than that. If this show had every single one of the 100 be minority women and had fifty of them be mauled to death by super bears one after another, I would still give it a 10/10 if it was actually good, which it isn't and never has been. At least Lost can say that it had a good start.
I'm surprised you have to patience to sit through all that shit. I barely stand watching shitty 24 minute anime episodes if I need to criticize them, but standing your ground for an hour? Damn.
>>18149>watching shitty 24 minute anime episodes
Not to go off-topic but there are some anime like Hand Shakers that are so bad and generic its kinda good in it's own fucked up way.
>>18150>"Hand Shakers" takes place in Osaka in "AD20XX". The story revolves around Tazuna Takatsuki, a high-school student with a knack for mechanics, who accepts a certain repair request and visits a university research facility.
Hmm, hmm, nothing wrong with that. Yeah. Plausible.>There, he meets Koyori Akutagawa, a lone girl asleep on a bed.
Something smells spoiled already.>As though being led by something, Tazuna touches her fingertips – and a voice flows into him from a place unknown. Tazuna is left bewildered as a new world, Ziggurat, lies before him. Now together as Hand Shakers, the duo must fight to earn the right to confront God, where they will be able to make a wish. With "Nimrods", powers born from one's psyche after holding hands, the many groups of Hand Shakers must battle to defeat God.
Lost Rant: This one has been a very, very long time coming. I still have nightmares about this show. I consider myself lucky for not having to endure watching this dumpster-fire of unparalleled magnitude in real time. The ability to get through this show quickly, is a privilege.
In some ways, Lost is better than Fringe, in some ways it is horribly worse. Unlike Lost, you are never given the impression that Fringe might actually be decent. Fringe also has a very clear status quo and formula that somewhat lessens the impact of its ceaseless, irrepressible stupidity. Lost on the other hand, starts off on a very high note. I would go as far as to say that the first few episodes are comparable with Breaking Bad's level of quality. Engaging characters, intrigue. It all seemed so simple and wonderful at first. A bunch of people stuck on a strange Island. How could a premise like that, executed by professionals, be any worse than simply mediocre? Lost goes above and beyond to answer that question.
Layer 1: The Island
The Island is where everything, including the problems, begin. The tropical Island is very quickly established to be somewhat abnormal. Within the first few episodes, the 5 main characters encounter and kill a polar bear. This is the first of a line of endless questions and enigmas, 50% of which are actually answered by the conclusion of the show. The next abnormal thing that is encountered is a sentient black puff of smoke with murderous intent. The actual appearance of this smoke is kept very secret, practically until the writers had no choice but to reveal what it actually is. Similar to the ship in firefly, the Island in Lost is one of the main characters. It is later revealed that the Island itself is a deity of some kind with its own will and powerful influence over the world. The power level and significance of the Island is emphasized more and more over the course of the show. The Island is god and all revolves around it. It is the centerpiece.
Layer 2: The characters
Around 100 people actually landed on the Island, but about five of them get 99% of the screen time. Every other character is literally completely useless and irrelevant. This is problem that was apparent very early on. This was practically acknowledged by the show itself with multiple randdys asking why they never get to do anything. Periodically, the show will give a few side characters a bit of screen time so they can have their own sub-plot, and the actual main characters do change with new ones being introduced, deaths, revivals, fake deaths, copy cats, and resurrections. The worst case of this is when two characters just randomly become super important for three episodes before being killed off in the most convoluted way possible. They had some money stealing thing going on which is revealed through a bunch of flashbacks, but their plan gets screwed up somehow and both end up being paralyzed by a scorpion and accidentally buried alive. Flashbacks by the way are one of this shows favorite ways of giving exposition about a character's back story. It is a cheap gimmick that is stretched to levels that have never been seen before, which i'll get into later. Curly, who was one of my favorite characters at first for seeming to have no tragic backstory or any sort of chip on his shoulder, is ruined in season 2 when his own flashbacks start.
Layer 3: Season 2 and the Hatch
Season 2 is where shit really hits the fan. Season 1 introduced the Hatch. The very first in an endless line of, "game-changing", things. The moment that what is inside of the hatch is revealed, is the moment this show jumps the shark by launching a rocket to go around it and back again. The discovery of the Hatch 1. Introduces another character and 2. Changes the dynamic. Within the hatch is a timer that supposedly does something when it runs out. The only way to prevent the timer from reaching zero is by entering a password before it can.
The opening of the Hatch was a gimmick to strengthen audience interest by waving something shiny and new in front of their face. The hatch itself was already established and it seems to progress things in a natural way, but this tactic will be used over and over again with each time it being significantly worse. The hatch also adds to the incredibly blatant, meaningless religious symbolism with characters giving long speeches and having long debates about having faith in the significance of the Timer and the necessity of preventing it from running out. Let me save you 70 hours of your life and just tell you what it does. It turns on a really big magnet and makes the Hatch guy who was there all along start sporadically going back in time. Yes this show has time travel, I'll talk about it later. The reason why the plane crash happened in the first place is because Hatch guy let the timer run out for a couple of minutes while trying to escape the island.
Layer 4: Shit on Shit
After the Hatch, the show does pretty much everything imaginable to uphold viewer interest without any work. Plot threads are introduced and dropped at the drop of a dime, narrative threads are tangled up and unwind-ed and pulled apart and ripped to pieces and glued back together over and over again. The, "antagonists", of the series are the best example of this. The first antagonists are a group of people that seem to have been on the island for a long time. They are mysterious, but have resources. I don't even fucking remember what they wanted or what their problem was. They're just sort of crazy. Their leader is a guy named Ben who's kind of creepy looking. So, some shit happens to them with the black smoke thing and they get wiped out except for Ben. The token black guy betrayed the other main characters so they would take him back to the mainland. The imprisonment of the main characters serve as a way to see into the world of the others and their weird Jurassic Park-esque community in season 3. With their break down, another group is introduced and another and another and one had a thing against the black smoke thing, but they all get killed. They also killed Ben's daughter after he refused to negotiate with them. Another one is from the mainland and is a bunch of guys who tried to cover up the plane crash having survivors, but a few of them get stranded and become main characters, but they also die at some point. The show just shines new shiny shit in your face every episode to keep your attention.
The writers were apparently making everything up as they went and even took ideas from online forums. The mess can only be comprehended by people who watched it. A summary does not do it justice. The history of the Island and the scientists who inhabited it and what the Black smoke actually is are ultimately just told to audience in entire episodes dedicated to showing their origins, making all the prior mystery and build up completely pointless and maddeningly frustrating.
Layer 5: What the fuck is going on
At one point, the main characters all actually go back to the mainland and the show makes a big point out of showing that their lives haven't actually improved that much. The show's attempts at being melancholic and deep completely fall flat. One of the characters who I actually liked was killed off at this point. He was about to be kill himself because his legs stopped working again after leaving the island(they were fixed while on it), but he's stopped by Ben who insists that he should go back to fulfill his purpose. Locke agrees and decides not to kill himself. He reveals something to Ben without thinking twice about it and Ben actually kills him right then and there with the belt that Locke was planning on using to kill himself. I'm not joking. The black smoke thing used to be able to transform into any dead person, but for some reason it got stuck after turning into locke. This point in the, "story", is really just an excuse to get rid of all of the side characters still alive in one fell swoop. All of the main characters are then just dragged back onto the island.
Layer 6: Flash Forwards, Flash Backs, Flash Parallels
The show started by revealing character backstories through flash backs, which was fine, albeit a bit lazy, but that's not all this type of thing gets used for. When time travel is introduced, the show regularly switched between the past which the Hatch guy was in and the present. When the Hatch guy gets stuck in the present again, things kind of become a bit easier to follow again, but then it starts happening to more characters, and he starts going back to the past to, but not even in one continuous session, he'll go back and forth. So now you have to keep track of back flashes and flashes to the past. At one point, all of the characters start time traveling at the same time because some gear on the island got dislodged and the literal gears of time started spinning out of control. They went back and forth and had to impersonate the scientists who were on the island before Ben killed all of them. One guy actually becomes the leader of Ben's group around this point, but that never has any significance and is immediately forgotten about.
Towards the end of the show, parallel flashes to a parallel world are thrown into the mix. In these Locke is a school teacher and still has messed up legs. Locke's father was a con man who abandoned him upon birth and tricked him into giving him one of his kidneys before cutting off contact with him. Locke later gets shoved through a high window by his dad and loses the ability to walk. The hatch guy is going around in these trying to get people to remember about the island(the parallel world is actually limbo). In his attempts to do so, my favorite part of the show happens. He runs over Locke on purpose to try and get him to get leg surgery. Something about a guy in a wheel chair being run over and flying out of his seat was hilarious to me the first time I watched it. https://youtu.be/CRzfd7IqaQU
Layer 7: Religious Shit
This show tries really hard to convince you that it has some deeper meaning. The Island is god, the black smoke is the devil and the island master guy is the Jesus allegory. Curly ends up taking the Island master position after the black smoke finds a loop hole to kill the Jesus guy through Ben. The last season is taken up mostly by the characters' exploits in limbo and the whole show ends on them passing on to the after life with the exception of Curly. Many episodes and plot threads are dedicated to shoving the themes of having faith and believing that you have your own special role to fill down the viewer's throat. Its comparable to the Manuscript of an insane cultist.
Layer 8: Make it stop
This fuckin show. The boats, the smoke, the weird hieroglyphs, the Black guy. The cancer guy, the orange smiley face. I don't know. It has to be seen to be believed.
Always a pleasure to see someone bash the hell out of that stupid show. God damn, what a pretentious bore it was.
The fundamental problem with Fringe, Lost, and pretty much any kind of contemporary entertainment media is quite simple - it goes on for too damn long. Everything expands, collapses and drags, all the time. It's not TV unless it has 10 seasons, it's not a book unless it's one in a series of 3 or more.
Entertainment just can't accept that there's value in brevity.
Anon these are fucking great, I was hooked one these sort of shows when I was younger but you've really put it into words how dumb a lot of them were. Though on a less critical note, what TV shows do you like? Anime can count if you're really struggling.
I think tv has always had this problem, but with books, authors probably feel that if they can manage to attract any audience in an environment where their medium is on a decline, they have to milk it for all its worth. In the past, book sequels were always just an additional thing that was optional for the reader, and not necessary for them to get a complete experience. Now cliff hangers and other such shit are the norm. Ever since the fifties, there seems to have been an upward trend of entertainment being cheapened and commercialized more and more. Just look at any soap opera for two seconds to see the worst of this. Everything is a means to an end now and it is sad. Any horror franchise is a prime example of this in film.>>18351
There's tons of people who talk about movies, but there's a massive gap in the land of shitty tv when it comes to critique. It's like nobody has the patience to sit down and really pick apart why these shows are terrible. The difference in presentational quality alone between tv shows and movies is insane. You don't need a million dollar budget to do a little more than shot reverse shot constantly. The only tv show that I can really say I enjoyed whole-heartedly is Breaking Bad and to a lesser extend Better Call Saul. The acting, the directing, the non-clusterfuck plot. It just worked well. Whoever made it had a strong, solid vision and knew how to keep things going without restorting to vomiting out a nonsense script on a week to week basis. Jericho was also pretty decent. It impressed me with its basic competency and it had a few great moments. I haven't watched that much tv, but that's the best I can think of. Anime is a whole separate thing. Atmosphere is what is most important to me personally about any show. Lost at it's very beginning had that down to a tea before it threw it to the way side for the sake of keeping things going for as long as possible. I haven't watched it becuase i'm not really into Zombie shows, but I've heard that the first season of The Walking Dead, before the director was replaced with some hack, was good.
Generation Y nerds die hard. It has been 10+ years and I still run into people that try to make me give a fuck about Firefly. What will us Millenials rant about to the boredom of posterity? The Oblongs?
Do you mean Milquetoast? Because I don't know what that means, either
Milk-toast is a pretty common colloquialism.
<5 minutes on Wikipedia has enlightened me.
We do not have such things in the Detroit Wasteland. Looks tasty, though.
But now I also know why the puckish cockroach from Bloom County was named Milquetoast, a reference to an earlier funny page character. Caspar Milquetoast, "the man who speaks softly and gets hit with a big stick", that's good stuff. He's like Virgin 70 years before the meme.
Did the Syfy channel ever not suck dick? God was this bad.
Cyberchase Review: Cyberchase is a pretty large part of my childhood. Growing up without cable meant re-watching the same re-runs of this show over and over again. When I look back to it though, I just see it this weird, bitter light. Is that all there was? Was there really nothing else to it? Did I totally waste my time? Could I have spent it enjoying something actually good? I write this with the hope that it'll give me some peace of mind.
The Math: The math part of Cyberchase is what makes it, "edutainment". Edutainment has arisen as a very common method of slowly squeezing out children's' will to live. I can tell you as somebody who was subjected to it, it doesn't work, or at least it didn't for me. The problem is that people, and especially children, have different modes. When you sit down on your couch after school or work, you're in your relaxing mode, not your learning mode. You just can't actually commit yourself to really learning and retaining something when you aren't in the right frame of mind. "Passive learning", is practically useless when it comes to skills that need to be practiced like math and reading. I didn't learn one fucking thing from this show. Every math skill I have was put into me in a classroom. These kinds of shows being some kid's only choice is pretty sad if you ask me. It's like nurturing creativity and appreciation for good narratives is just not a priority in the slightest. There always has to be some twist or it's automatically unhealthy or, "brain-rotting". Besides whatever societal problems I want to ramble on about, the math part of Cyberchase actively detracts from the others. It takes up time, shatters the pacing with painfully long sequences that I started zoning out during upon the tenth viewing of the same episode, and makes the characters act stilted and stupid constantly. What I mean by that last bit is that every episode it seems like the character's ability to problem solve gets reset so they have to go through another long, arduous process of trial and error to figure out another concept so the plot can finally go somewhere. The episode is therefore reduced to a formulaic and slow crawl to a goal that the audience doesn't care about. Barely anything happens in a 20+ minute episode because so much of it is spent on fucking around with numbers. If you look at the highest complexity of the math in this show, that gives a pretty good idea of its age demographic, which i'd say is around 4th-5th grade. Keep this in mind. For the sake of the rest of this review, just imagine I waved a magic wand and all the math disappeared. No excuses.
Characters/Story: The three main characters are flatter than a marble slab. They can easily be defined by a handful of surface traits. They have no internal conflicts. Basics stuff like needs vs wants? Nope. N/A. The beginning of the show does attempt to have some kind of narrative. The main antagonist, Hacker(ha) wants to take over the cyber world or something and tries collecting a bunch of stuff to build a cyber weapon. You're supposed to care about this despite it not being directly related characters in any way or the consequences of him winning being made entirely clear because…you're just supposed to. Hacker himself is terrible at math and it doesn't make any sense, but whatever. More stuff gets thrown in like a missing father subplot(for a character we barely see and don't care about) and some other shit. There's also sort of, "arcs". This show is episodic rather than serialized, but also tries to tell a continuous narrative. That's fine, it can be done well. the biggest issuer though is that there is no character development. We also never get to see the protagonists just hanging around in the real world. We never see their parents or day to day life or anything. It's cold. It feels sterile.
It's also like you're just being teased the entire time. Cliff hanger after cliff hanger. Countless promises that there will be some kind of pay-off that never comes. I eventually wanted Hacker to win just so something would finally happen and it can be over with. They could at least have the decency to kill Hacker off or finally defeat him or give some kind of conclusion. It's like the show was going for low-hanging fruit when trying to keep kids invested, rather than putting in the effort to make a real story. Children of this age have had far better made for them. If they just want to teach math, they shouldn't have put on the facade of narrative. I think they eventually give up trying to make any kind of investment, but they still don't give it a conclusion. Few children's shows have the luxury of such a long run-time, but they just squander it.
Animation/Art:It's ugly in every way. The main cast is in a very uncomfortable limbo between the basic shape, highly exaggerated cartoon style, and being more realistically proportioned, so their designs just look ugly as sin. The weird size disparity between their eyes makes them look like they have a medical condition. Everybody else just looks bad. Motherboard looks like a cgi-nightmare. The actual color pallet of the show is flat and boring. There was no effort put into making this travesty visually appealing. The worst character designs have to be the math based ones. The animation went from being what I think is bad flash, to even worse cgi that they try to make look 2-d. It's hideous. One episode I think looked like it was animated by hand for some reason and it was kind of nice except for the terrible character designs.
Conclusion: Thinking about Cyberchase just makes me feel empty inside. When you spent so many hours watching a soulless, passionless mess made with some shitty ulterior-motive, you can't look back fondly on that time in your life.
Wonder how much they had to pay Gilbert Gottfried to voice act the animal/robot sidekick thing.
Whatever it is, it could have been spent on better animation. He only thought he would be on once or twice.
Plastic Memories Review: Plastic Memories pissed me off. Even though I could clearly see straight through it, it still put me in a shitty mood. À la Clannad, it's designed on a fundamental level to make people feel bad, so I guess it achieved its goal in a way, but it's still worth tearing into.
Characters: Two dimensional archetypes. That's really all there is to say. The MC is every MC. The love interest is a kuundere. Both red heads are tsundere. Whatever. This obviously makes it harder to be invested in any romances between them. Plastic Memories circumvents this through emotional manipulation. I'll go more into the difference between a story working to get investment, and cheating its way into it later, but basically, you wouldn't care about the giftia(replicant) who's dying if they looked like a middle aged man because they're bland as fuck. Tofu bland. There's just nothing there.
Art: It's boring, but serviceable. Plastic Memories cannot be distinguished from the fifty billion other shows it look like. Besides the actual artstyle, the world is incredibly uninteresting. It feels empty and artificial, like a doll house. There's vague sci-fi elements here and there that don't do anything for me.
Emotional Manipulation: In some ways, Plastic Memories is worse than Clannad because it imitates something it's not. It invents a sci-fi concept(lifts it) like speculative fiction does, but instead of doing so to SPECULATE on the implications of that concept, it does it to manufacture sadness. Part of the problem is how the functionality and limitations of the giftias relate to the themes(or don't), namely the limited lifespan.
How it could have been better:
1.Just explaining how things work in more depth. The explanation doesn't have to be extremely scientifically accurate or get into too much detail, that's not the problem with how giftias are presented. There just needs to be a believable enough groundwork and internal logic to justify things and solidify them so they don't feel like gimmicks. Alarm bells immediately went off in my head as soon as, "manufactured souls", were mentioned in passing. You have to address the questions people will have.
2.Just don't give all the giftias a finite life span Think about this: what does giving the giftias(replicants) a finite, definite lifespan actually contribute narratively and thematically in Plastic Memories? What is the point? Based on premise alone, this show appears to explore themes related to human and giftia relationships. How would people perceive giftias and how close would they get to them? Giving all gifitias a limited lifespan is not necessary to explore these themes. Bladerunner dabbles in this area, but it is not its core focus. The lifespan of replicants directly ties into its themes. What makes a human human, is it our right to play god, etc., etc. Plastic Memories is firstly, a romance at its core, and secondly, focuses very little on the negative implications of near humanoid slaves. This design flaw only serves to clutter a show with a very limited amount of time to tell its story, but still manages to find the time for constant filler. If the show wanted to focus on the concepts of loss and death of loves ones, it could have just made Isla defective or a prototype . As long as the reason for her dying makes sense within an established framework, it really doesn't matter. This type of solution would both make the show make more sense, and allow for a sad ending. Hell, Isla could have just been a human co-worker with an incurable disease. Check mark check mark, Utsuge.
3.Alternatively, the show could have gone in the opposite direction be emphasizing the consumerism of society. The limited lifespan could be analogous to how to planned obsolescence. If a company can only sell one or two of a product, that wouldn't be too profitable after all. Both Blade Runner and Chobits, especially Chobits explore these concepts. Maybe giftias could be seen as status symbols to show off and replace when a new model comes out? This would perfectly show the contrast between superficiality and humanity. It would, you know, get the viewer to rub their brain cells together? Maybe the retrieval program could exist because giftia parts are too valuable to just let go to waste or let the owner try to reset their giftia? Either of these ideas would work and give the limited lifespan some connection to what the show is supposed to be trying to express.
You might be thinking that it would be too fucked up for people to treat near human, sentient beings as objects and that this would break immersion, but the show could easily argue against this and keep you hooked in.
4. Making the giftia's cpu, or whatever, a close to exact replica of the human brain would easily explain many questions. Why do the robots run out of memory so quickly? Because it's not as good at storing information as the human brain. Why can't memories be transferred? Like human brains, giftias' are too complicated to just transfer information like that and it wouldn't even actually be the same being. Why can't the brain be transferred? It's too fragile and would suffer damage. Asimov did it, but it could be expanded upon.
Excuses: People can't suspend all of the disbelief because sci-fi is a genre inherently grounded in our sense of reality and logic. The whole point of the genre is to play with those senses and explore them, not pretend that them don't exist for a cheap reaction. Lot's of (stupid)people will think something is good because it gets a reaction out of them. What they fail to take into account is how something gets that reaction from them.
Before you try to justify the 9 year bullshit by telling me about real world memory storage, you're missing the point. Everything in a story should exist to help tell itself. How flash drives and neural networks actually work does not matter.
Tonal shifts: A lot of people point to jarring tonal shifts as one of Plastic Memories biggest weak points; they're only half right. Tonal shifts can immerse viewers if them feel natural. In life, people don't always feel the same emotion; there's a constant flow from one mood to another. Lots of western media seem to be ignorant of this. When something's emotional landscape is a dull, gray, monotone wasteland, that actually subtracts from a story's depth. That's why Breaking Bad is better than Ozark. what's really important is the overall atmosphere of a show that its varying moods help create. The lasting impression. Breaking Bad has comedic parts, but it is still taken seriously. Plastic Memories however, expects you to see it as a deep, heavy, tragic romantic drama, but most of it is comedy with sad parts sparingly sprinkled on top. At best it's misguided, at worst it's disingenuous and exploitive . Plastic Memories did not fool me.
Conclusion. Plastic Memories is perfectly described by its name, but not in the way it intended. What a shame.
Addition: Emotional manipulation in Plastic Memories is most apparent in what happens when to a giftia after its expiration date: turning into a violent, super strong zombie thing. This doesn't work on too many levels to count. It makes no logical sense that potentially deadly products would be given out to the public or that the government would allow for such a thing. It makes no sense that giftias would be designed this way in the first place. It also doesn't even make sense that giftias wouldn't just automatically shut off and that collectors wouldn't have to go out of their way to do so.
The biggest issue with this though is that this is not fantasy. Zombies and werewolves don't have to make sense becuase they are supernatural. Even zombies made by scientists could be explained by it being a weapon or something. Giftias are not supernatural. They are intelligently designed, so every part of them had to have been taken into account when making and testing them. This even includes the inexplicable eye color change after the transformation. Why would giftias even have the capability to change their eye color like that? Somebody had to have put that in there or it wouldn't be possible.
So why did they add this aspect to the show? To headfuck you. Of course it's sadder if giftias not only stop working, but turn into monsters too. This allows for oh so tragic scenes where a former loved one turns on people. Honestly, this just makes the lazy manipulation impossible to miss.
My experience: Everybody who would describe himself as having any amount of interest in anime has watched The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya(tmohs); if they didn't, they lied to you. It doesn't need an introduction. Going into my first viewing of season 1, I had low expectations, but ended up being pleasantly surprised and excited for more… Then I watched season 2. After that, I waited in anticipation for season 3… That anticipation eventually morphed into frustration… Now I see the whole show as a massive waste of potential. I don't feel the slightest inkling of desire to watch the pseudo sequel, spin-off thing. I just don't care.
The truth is, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya was always pretty bad, and here's why.
Waste of Concept: Tmohs' concept is what hooked me in. One of the characters is literally god. The possibilities are endless. The sky is the limit. The idea just makes your imagination run wild. So what does reality-warping powers get used for? Pigeons. Bringing back an extinct species of pigeon is the most interesting thing Haruhi every pseudo-actively does within an episode. I'm not joking. Whenever she effects the world in whatever minor way it's like we're supposed to see it as a miracle rather than be disappointed and unimpressed. Yeah, she did make aliens, espers and time travelers real to some tiny scale, but that was before the series even started. I guess she's not into werewolves. There's also this contrived system where Haruhi has to be appeased or blue monsters will start destroying the world and espers have to fight them. Whatever. This barely comes into play and is just an excuse to justify why everybody goes along with what Haruhi wants. On an episode by episode basis, Haruhi's powers are squandered. My favorite episodes were the few were something interesting happens for five minutes, but these brief sparks of action are ridiculously sparse and thinly spread out. There is no episode to episode plot of formula. The show tricks you into thinking that there will be. It sets up the club and it establishes that the club offers paranormal investigative services. Great. So how much time do they actually spend on this plot thread? One episode, which was by far the best of the series. The chibi series actually had a bit where somebody walks into the club room to get help, but immediately changes their mind. A middle finger right to me. A guy goes missing, there's a thick, mysterious atmosphere, a monster gets fought. It was great. That's how the entire series should have been. After the start of the show, it's potential almost immediately crumbles to dust. Mid-way through the show, Haruhi just decides to almost delete the world, and it comes out of nowhere, and there's no lasting consequences. Just another episode wasted.
Tmohs had what I call Slice of Life syndrome. An excellent premise is conceived, but gets bogged down by mundane shit like playing baseball games or computer games rather than something being done with it. If they wanted to make a slice of life anime, that's fine, but there would be no need to bait people with a fantastical concept if the show could stand on its own without it. Haruhi being god shouldn't have been treated like a gimmick. Imagine if in Deathnote, Light was just an average student who uses it like twice to kill random murderers. The first episode kind of showed Light's transition into a megalomaniac for like 2 minutes. Imagine if that couple of day spam was the entire show. I don't get why people keep doing this shit. The sequel actually takes place in a world where the one thing that drew me to the original was gone. Fuck that.
Episode order: Tmohs originally aired out-of-order. Some people argue that watching it like this enhances the show's intrigue and gives it the illusion that it's building up to something. Even if these people were right, that just speaks poorly of the show. It shouldn't need a gimmick like that. The episodes being out-of-order has nothing to do with the actual show. Tmohs is not a mystery series, and it's not about problem solving. There's no relation. Tmohs doesn't even feel like it was made with the scrambled order in mind. The only thing this does it make the viewer have to piece together the chronology or a bunch of events that are at best loosely tied together in the first place. If that's what people think makes for an interesting show, I don't even know.
What they could have done: 1.Make the show actually deliver what it promises to. Give every episode a paranormal event caused by Haruhi that's resolved while hiding the extraordinary from her.
2.Consistently making weird shit happen. In one episode, Haruhi sends Kyon off to buy a heater while it's snowing. If Kyon for example, moved around in circles and twisting streets without being able to find his way back to the school in the because of Haruhi, that would have been pretty interesting. They could do literally anything.
3.Show more of the espers, aliens and time travelers. We get four. This entire show is just a cock tease in every sense.
Characters: Boring archetypes. Standard slice of life fare. Besides the main cast, there's some boring students I barely remember. The one other alien was actually my favorite for being the catalyst for the most interesting sequences. Forget about character development. Also, Haruhi is a cunt and nothing is done with that. She just is, and stays that way.
Art: I don't care. It looks nice, especially for 2006. The character designs are bland. Eye candy isn't a substitute for being good.
Season 2: Season 2 is where shit really hits the fan. It felt more like a dvd special than a full-fledged season. You have to wonder what they were thinking when they made it. I didn't even watch the entire thing because I gave that little of a shit about how the club made its dumb movie, BEFORE what I just watched. It felt too inconsequential to bare.
The movie: It was fine. Better than the show. It ultimately isn't actually consequential or changes the status-quo in any way.
Conclusion: Light novels are kind of like the Japanese equivalent of young adult fiction: cliche-ridden fluff with an interesting premise and zero real substance. Somehow though, something about this show has a grip on me. Something about the op still gives me goosebumps. I'd love to see the concept be given another shot.