Fletcher had eye surgery today in order to attempt to get his right eye open. He has a ptosis that keeps him from opening his eye very far and so he mostly keeps it closed. He's had this surgery once before with the final results being a scar and nothing more. Bright and early this morning we headed to Children's Hospital to try once again. This time, in the recovery room, we could see more of his eye as he awoke. It's hard to tell yet since there is some swelling and things need to settle a little whether or not this one will work but it is looking good so far.
I had to leave early to take care of some stolen check business but NeeNee said that everything went well on the trip back and that she left him at the Children's Center on the verge of lala land.
Volume five of Burst Angel starts to pick up the overall pace of things and the story arc concerning the glowing brains. This DVD contains four episodes - episodes 17 through 20 and episode 17 has commentary on it with the English director, Monica Rial and Colleen Clinkenbeard.
The mystery of Jo deepens in Dueling Angels when she meets the pilot of another cybot face to face. The Immortal Classmate is a side step into a filler episode featuring Kyohei - who otherwise has no purpose in this anime so far. 24-Hour Strategy features the return of Takane Katsu from Osaka and deals with another mysterious brain that controls people through transmitted signals - including Takane. RAPT cruisers go wild in the episode Highway Genocide providing more clues to the glowing brains for the gang.
This DVD provides plenty of action and a lot less fan service that the previous volume. I am glad to see that a little is being done to further the story plot. I am a little leery as to whether or not there will be a satisfying ending to it since nothing much has been done to make me care about the characters so far. The mysterious super-girl (or other amnesiac plug-in) thing has been so many times it's getting old. Perhaps there will be big surprises in store - we'll see in the last volume.
Volume four of the Burst Angel series contains four episodes. The first episode is the finale of the three part Osaka ordeal. The second episode is a flashback episode which shows us to the first time that Jo and Meg meet. It is apparent that there is more to Jo than meets the eye but, since she has amnesia, who knows... The third episode is an excuse for fan service galore with the gang vacationing at a new swim retreat. The final episode on this DVD is the beginning of another story arc which sees Jo on the run. She winds up in an abandoned village ready to battle the metal demon...
Things are getting a little better story wise as we're seeing a building story arc here. The fan service, as mentioned above, is going a little over the top. I don't mind a little but the amount this shows is mostly embarrassing.
The third book in the Second Foundation series ends with a fizzle. I don't really know what I was thinking about how these books should end. I especially didn't think that we would get a sermon on how every one must be alike in order to survive as a species. Regardless of whether or not the author truly believes this, the fundamental idea behind this is bad. I have to walk away from this series with the idea that humanity has been manipulated so much by Daneel and the robots that they can no longer take care of themselves as a whole. If they were left alone in the beginning, and no brain fever or chaos plagues (which in itself is ridiculous) would have manifested and humans would have grown on their own and at a much better pace. This is a disappointing story which accomplishes nothing other than to show just how fragile psychohistory is (compared to the original concept) and how dependant it is on human ignorance and pliability. Perhaps this is what Isaac Asimov had intended with his original stories. I don't know - I haven't read them since Junior High (some 25+ years ago) and after reading these don't really want to go back and re-read them either. They were worth the read but just not what I expected. They didn't match the greatness I remember from the original Foundation trilogy.
Volume 3 of the Burst Angel series (East Meets West) contains episodes 9 through 12. The first two episodes are stand alone stories and the second two are the first two parts of a three part story arc taking place in Osaka.
Pretty much the same ol' for these episodes but we get to see a little bit more about Amy and Kyohei in Uncharted Cyberspace. The fan service kicks up a notch in these episodes.
I have to admit that I liked the episodes in Osaka where all of the characters talk in a "Texan" accent. As I understand it, the Osakan dialect in Japan is considered about the same as the Southern dialect in the US. I usually don't like this idea in dubs because not too many voice actors do a convincing Southern or Texan drawl. The inside joke these episode display (I assume that's what this can only be) is what I find funny - and yes, the accents are over-the-top and horrible.
Maddie's lost her second tooth last night. It has been loose for a while and she kept asking me to pull it yesterday. Each time it was just a little too tight to come out. Finally I told her I'd try once more before she went to sleep. When we tried then, it popped right out. Of course pulling a tooth just before bedtime isn't the best idea if you want your kid to go to sleep right away. Maddie was pretty excited and Mommy had to take pictures of everything. Finally we settled down and Maddie put her tooth under her pillow and faded off to sleep. This morning Maddie found a "gold dollar" under her pillow and was excited that she now has two "one hundred cents" for her two teeth.
Volume two of Burst Angel is entitled New Tokyo. This DVD contains episodes 5 through 8.
Things don't get a whole lot better here. There are two story arcs told in two episodes each. Apparently there is something to this glowing brain thing that the creature from the school and the flying bird both have in common. Apart from Jo noticing it, there isn't a whole lot more expanded upon in this area. I looks like these mysterious mutations will be the binding theme for the series but development is very slow at this point. It's still uncertain exactly what these girls are doing and why. I'm still a little unsure of what Kyohei's role is to be after such a fuss was made over him in the first episode.
The characters still are a little bland except for Meg who's ditsy-ness is shown more. I like the background music used in these episodes but I hate the opening theme.
Volume 1 of Burst Angel (Death's Angel) introduces us to Kyohei Tachibana, a culinary student who wants to earn money so he can study in France to be a pastry chef. He responds to a flier for a job and discovers that there is more to his prospective employers that meets the eye. The four girls who hire him are Meg, Jo, Sei and Amy. They are freelance operatives who have taken on the task of righting wrongs in New Tokyo where everyone wields firearms. They will take on corruption both in the underground and within RAPT - the police force.
So far in this volume we see very little besides the a brief glimpse of each character's personality and a lot of somewhat mundane action. Kyohei is the typical weak and naive male character surrounded by several girls seen in a lot of harem anime (although there is no "romance" as of yet other than their love for his cooking). Sei seems to be the leader of the group since she drives the truck and gives orders. Amy is the brains of the outfit and can do almost anything with a computer. Jo is the brawn - she's quiet and tough and pilots the cybot. Meg is the ditsy one who always gets into trouble and has to be rescued.
At this point the stories are rather bland. I was hoping for a little more umph to start out the series but, as of now, I have little hope that it will be good. The artwork is okay and I do like the voice actors for the girls. I cannot stand the voice for Kyohei though. It sounds a lot like Spike Spencer but is done by Greg Ayers. It sounds completely different from his work on Spiral.
Rating for now is 2 out of 5. Hopefully this will improve...