Anime, Cartoons, Comics! Plight Vol. 2 No. 2: La Connexion Française

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Quick little thing to get out of the way. I was initially going to have this thing entirely in French. Hence the title. After barely getting through the first topic... I decided that wasn't going to work since my French is just so goddamn rusty. And, none of you would understand what I'm saying anyways. So, I'll save that for something else that I haven't planned yet, but rest assured it will happen.

Anyways, I still kept the theme around, sort of (I'm really stretching it with my 2nd inclusion of Pokémon here), so at least it still kind of qualifies. And besides, that's the important thing, right?

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Featured comic: Maliki

I have no idea how I found this. I think it was at random, but I don't remember. What I do know, is that this web comic is done in sort of "slice of life" type deal, dealing with events that quite possibly have happened (or similar) to what the author lived. It's kind of meta as well, since the main character does a lot of drawings, and well... it's a web comic... you get the idea. I do find that knowing the French language is almost a necessity for this. Almost. I'm sure there is a way to get the gist of what's going on, or some approximation.

Many of the events tend to include the main character's cats fairly often enough. And the fact that one of them is kind of... "braindead" only makes it a bit entertaining. The other is just your average house cat, and yet isn't nearly as popular as Féanor.

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Maliki also has this "alter ego" she's made for herself. I haven't seen the character appear all to often, but from what I gather, it's kind of like a superhero type thing. Again, meta stuff, web comic, about an artist who has their own alter ego from it. I dunno why, but I really like that sort of thing.

Also, the author actually shows himself in the actual comic dressed as the main character... so there's that. So yeah, it's an amusing gender reversal going on and it actually works.

I don't know if the anime style is intentional or not, but it works surprisingly well for the events that unfold.

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Featured cartoon: Skyland

I had another one decided for this, but unfortunately, since it's been quite some time since I bothered watching it... I sort of forgot the gist of what the cartoon was about. So, instead, I chose this one.

This was one of those shows about 8 years ago that was surprisingly hyped on Teletoon, several previews where shown, and a short 30 second clips were used to advertise what you assumed it would be. The more prominent one featured one of the main characters playing basketball, then halfway through stopped the ball in mid-air and then started moving it around a lot with what I assumed to be telekinesis... well, I wasn't completely off.

So, general idea of the plot goes that these 2 kids, Lena, and Mahad, have their mother taken from them due to being a fugitive from this dictatorship that controls Skyland called, "The Sphere". She's a fugitive for 2 reasons, the first being that she married one of the rebels trying to overthrow them, and the second being that she's what is called a 'Sagen'. So, I was kind of right, they do have Psychokinetic powers. Catch is, they only work in sunlight (important plot detail, as it turns out).

As it turns out, Lena, the daughter, is also one of these Sagen's (she's the one they had for those preview clips, by the way). And she still doesn't quite know how to use her powers all that well. Her brother, Mahad, doesn't have powers, but is instead an excellent pilot, like their father. And he unintentionally inherits his ship, the Hyperion.

Their mother sends them off, before being captured, and they meet up with the rebels, and the story pretty much has them trying to uncover the location of where the Sphere took their mother. And they get to learn all kinds of neat little details, secrets and other cool stuff about Skyland itself.

It went for about 26 episodes (I haven't finished it, but I'm working on it), though I kind of wish they made another season to sort of wrap up a few loose ends (at least to me). But, it's one of the Teletoon originals from way back in 2005-6 that I really enjoyed. It's funny, Di-Gata Defenders got a second season, and yet I thought they wrapped up pretty well, but this series doesn't, and I swear they could have done more. Oh well.

Also, I find it interesting that this series uses an artstyle very similar to a few other animated series done in France. Seems to be a recurring trend. That said, I'd definitely recommend you guys checking it out. Assuming you can find it. Which isn't too terribly easy to do.

Here's the Intro...

And here's the French one... which actually shows some of it in action...


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Featured anime: Pokemon the series XY

...Okay, so the only relevance it has is that Kalos is based off of France. I really don't know of any animes produced in France off the top of my head... or in French for that matter.

So, around the time that the first little bits of information regarding this instalment of the anime were coming to light... was at the tail end of Best Wishes (Unova saga/5th gen). Now, to put this bluntly, Best Wishes shot itself in the foot surprisingly early on, and though it tried desperately to fix things, it all just sort jumbled up and kind didn't really do as good a job as it could have. Right now, I'm actually forcing myself to watch it rather than actually enjoying it. XY: The series, on the other hand...

I don't know what it is, I don't know why it is, but somehow they've managed to fix quite a few little quibbles I've had with the series for a while with this, regardless of how early it currently is. Maybe it'll find someway to fall just past the 20th episode mark, like Best Wishes did, but I feel that if they do things just right, that shouldn't happen.

Okay, I think I"ll at least try and figure out why it's an improvement. For one thing, the animation quality is arguably the best it's ever been (traditional purists might disagree, but oh well, '"c'est la vie"), and considering this show is mainly know for the battles, that's an important detail. Another would be that the characters aren't trying to overshadow Ash, yet they still have their own quirks. And they went back to having the game protagonist along for the ride (which was completely ditched last series). There's also this subplot between Ash and Serena... which is kind of a first for the series in which someone actually knows him from before. Finally, Team Rocket are back to being less serious... and Wobbuffet is back!

If anything, I feel this could become a nice mix between the Hoenn and Sinnoh sagas, which is where they started to tweak and make the series legitimately interesting (although, the less we can say about the Team Aqua/Magma plot, the better).

And for once, I'm going to say, watch it in either dubbed or subbed, doesn't bother me. Just watch it. However, did I mention the dub intro is a throwback to the season 1 intro? No? Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ0zRvNqDYk

Really, I think you should check it out. You may like it, you may not, but hey, things happen.

And... well... that about does it. Think I should re-consider how I do these things from now on... putting a theme around this when I don't have a lot of time to do it just doesn't quite mesh as well as one would assume. That said, thanks for your time, and I hope this shows you a few new things.

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