Pretty Little Liars Season 4

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What an action-packed season!

We finally got some decent answers – Ali really is alive, Mr. Fitz is the scumbag we all suspected he was, and some other shady characters were revealed to be even shadier than we already knew. What fun! It seems that every second season of Pretty Little Liars is heavy on action and answers, with the odd-numbered seasons being a bit lighter, and more one-sided with A getting at the girls.

The show doesn’t seem to be slowing down; I’m as excited about it as ever, but think it sucked that Mr. Fitz didn’t name A before the end. Bah! Can’t wait for season five!

Prisoners of the Japanese by Gavan Daws

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Author: Gavan Daws
Publisher: Scribe

ISBN: 978-1-9212-1591-9

Well, I sure learned a lot.

Before reading this book, all I knew about the war in the Pacific came from the 1970s TV show Spyforce (I knew a lot about the war in Europe, though). I didn’t know, for example, how close the Japanese came to Australia, taking over the likes of Indonesia and Vietnam. Sure, I knew a sub had made it into Sydney Harbour, and that Darwin had been bombed, but I thought those had been the Japanese flexing their muscles at great distances – I didn’t know they were just a couple of hours away!

What I suspected, and this book confirmed me, is how horribly monstrous the Japanese were to prisoners of war and romusha. I’d heard stories that I only half-believed, but the stuff in this book went even beyond that. This was the worst of human behaviour towards other humans. It is hard to conceive of people doing anything more atrocious to other human beings that the stuff outlined in this book. Oddly, though, Unit 731 only got about four paragraphs, most of which were about them not being prosecuted after the war, not much detail on the horrific stuff they actually did.

I quite enjoyed that all through the book the author went to pains to say how well-regarded Australians were by the other POWs, but I was dismayed to learn that after the war, we were pretty savage to the Japanese ourselves. I understand it, but don’t approve of it.

This book has me wanting to learn a lot more about the war that happened on my home turf – that I finished it the day before ANZAC Day is just a coincidence.

Dai Sentai Goggle-V The Movie

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The Movie
(The movie is set after episode six but before episode fourteen of the series.)

That was pretty awesome! The bad guys actually had a decent weapon, and used it to great effect. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it very tough – it took less to destroy it than it usually takes to defeat a single Madaraman! Such a shame. Deathdark aren’t wholly incompetent as villains but still, I doubt they will reproduce the weapon (with better defences).

The movie was pretty action-packed. We jumped from fight scene to fight scene, with only a couple of brief bits of character drama thrown in. I was quite impressed that Goggle Black was never convinced that Doctor Zazoriya had really turned against Deathdark, but he didn’t rub this in when he turned out to be right.

This film used a surprising amount of footage from the show, and not just the usual lifts like the mecha forming into the robo. It used footage of Deathtopia destroying an airport and of the Goggle Jet fighting Death Fighters (and causing them to crash into a mountain).

I quite enjoyed this – it was a little bit shinier than the TV series, but not so different that it was jarring.

Dai Sentai Goggle-V Episode 5

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Episode 5: “The Devil is a Lurking Legend”

Zazoriya and Iguana were just plain lazy this week. The robot was just a large version of the monster-of-the-week! I was quite enjoying the random Kongs – Hikari Kong from episode two was great!

I’m slightly perturbed that the team didn’t really do anything to take care of the poison gas; they just rolled the rock that had blocked the vent back over it and left it at that, meaning someone could come back along and move it again, poisoning everyone. I also wonder if the legend of the giant who created the lakes and mountains is real…

Dai Sentai Goggle-V Episode 4

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Episode 4: “Swelling Dark Land Mines”

This episode had a lot going for it.

Finally, some villains with brains. Not only does Desgiller come up with the idea that having Zazoriya and Iguana work together on a giant robot might work well (up until that point they each made their own robots, and would compete to have their robot be chosen to fight), but after Mazurka and Kumo Mozoo’s plan is foiled by the Goggle-V, they try the same plan again, realising it was a good plan that was only foiled by bad luck, not bad execution.

I loved the sass from the Computer Boys and Girls. When their competency was questioned they got all glum, but still bit back, suggesting that if they were so wrong, maybe they were also wrong about who they chose to be Goggle-V. It’s good to see that they have some attitude and aren’t just generic background characters.

I also liked that the monster-of-the-week targeted Goggle Pink without having to have a whole episode around it. He repeatedly attacked her and she fought back, but there was no deeper message. Often you need a whole episode dedicated to why one character is being targeted, etc., and it was refreshing to not need some complicated reason this time.

Fruits Basket Vol.1

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Mangaka: Takaya Natsuki
ISBN: 981-260-200-3

What fun! A family cursed to turn into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac when hugged by members of the opposite sex! As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

I love Kyo, the Cat, who is technically not part of the Chinese Zodiac but is subject to the same curse. Not only is he outrageously attractive, his temper tantrums are hilarious. I quite liked Yuki, the Rat, in the anime, but he hasn’t really won me over in the manga yet. Neither has Shigure (the Dog), really.

The manga moves quite slowly, but the volume cuts off at a good jumping off point – the story here is fairly self-contained. That said, I’m keen to read the next one just for more Kyo!

Dai Sentai Goggle-V Episode 3

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Episode 3: “Deathtopia Attacks”

There is so much to like about this episode. Pink’s hypnotic attack was great, making the cannon fodder feel feelings of love and happiness, only to then destroy them. I was also really impressed with Black’s shadow attacks – but how many attacks is this team going to have? They’ve barely used an attack twice! This episode even had a new pre-hissatsu attack, with them all using clubs.

What I really loved about the episode was how detailed the model landscapes are and how they were used. We very rarely get to see these used in any detail, but here their use was quite extensive, from an earthquake scene, to Deathtopia rising, to a tunnel being blown up. The mix between use of real locations and their model counterparts was really effective.

I’m really starting to love this series!