It’s time for another Webtoon adaption. The God of Highschool got a ton of promotion back in the day. I dare say that from the 3 Crunchyroll productions they gave this one the most publicity by far. It’s a tournament with a ton of action so what’s not to love right? Well, after seeing it I can definitely say it’s a great title. I did have a bit of an issue with the art style but the animation itself was great without a doubt.
The show starts with some politicians making a deal only for the entire island to literally be slammed with a giant hand and those guys are murdered. With nobody left in the way, a tournament is announced called the God of High School. If you win this tournament then you will get whatever you wish for. Anyone can enter it as long as they’re in High School so people flock to the tournament from all over. Winning this will take skill but these characters are ready. Still, the whole situation is rather sketchy…is there more to this tournament than meets the eye?
The God of High School is a show that goes fast and doesn’t mess around so you really have to make sure you keep up. You can probably identify moments where there are scenes that would be skipped to make the pacing work better but you always get the key details. I haven’t read the Webtoon yet although I plan to do that shortly. So I can say with confidence that even without reading the source material you’ll be able to keep up.
The last few episodes are also the best ones in the season so this really ends on a high note. You’ll absolutely be hyped for season 2 by the time you’re done with this one. It almost feels like they would need to change the name soon though since it seems like it won’t really be relevant to the next season. I guess if you think of the title as being a title in universe as opposed to referring to the tournament then it works out pretty well though.
Since I mentioned the art style lets knock that out now. The thing I didn’t like is how everyone’s nose and ears are always shining bright red as if this is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I haven’t seen a show do that before. The closest I can think of is the permanent anime blush in shows like Accel World. I dislike that art style as well, I dunno it just doesn’t seem natural and it can be a bit distracting.
It takes away from the visuals in general. Interestingly, I quickly took a look at the original trailer for the show although I think it was a conceptual trailer since the animation studio looked totally different and it shows events from the complete first season which is an odd choice. There were no glowing noses/ears there so I don’t know why they were added here. Perhaps this is how the art looks in the Webtoon and they wanted to be accurate but it just doesn’t work. I do like the chibi scenes when they occur though. I think Chibi works really well for quick humor bursts. We see similar techniques used in Tower of God and Demon Slayer to great effect as well.
The animation is great though. There’s a lot of finetuned hand to hand combat here. It’s easy to see how this company would then go on to do Jujutsu Kaisen later on. That show took this one’s fundamentals and then improved the animation with a lot of great energy effects and even more wrestling type moves. In a way you could say the studio used this anime to train and then mastered it with Kaisen. There are definitely no complaints with the animation here, the fights are all very high energy and get you in the moment. The shading on the darker moments also helps show the intensity of a scene very well.
I enjoyed the soundtrack a lot as well. The theme song is great and the more you listen to it, the more into it you get. It’s got a lot of replay value that’s for sure. The images for it are also hype. Then you have several great themes in the show like the Young Tiger theme as well as Mujin Park’s music. Each one helps to build up the hype and as this is completely a battle story, it’s not surprising that the music would be geared that way.
Now lets talk about the characters here. The main character is Mori Jin. He loves fighting and is trained in the arts of Taekwondo. Mori is very confident in his abilities and believes he can take on anyone. Winning the tournament is prize enough for him so he has no real wishes to be granted. He’s a nice guy who sometimes projects sob stories onto others but always does his best to help his friends.
Mori’s a pretty charismatic guy and I was definitely a fan. He’s quick to jump into the arena when a match is going too far and that’s something I was glad to see. Mira loses some points for trying to constantly tell her teammates not to jump in. It’s just the right thing to do. It goes against the spirit of the tournament to be torturing your opponent and for Mori I imagine it was especially personal since the villain was using Taekwondo.
The show doesn’t go into it a whole lot but I do like how each of the different hand to hand fighters use unique fighting styles here. You’ve got Karate masters, self defense, sword style, etc. Mori never falters throughout the whole season so he was a great lead from start to finish.
Then we have Mira who is one of the first characters to appear in the show. She doesn’t crave battle the way that Mori does but her sole goal in life is to get the Moonlight sword back into the spotlight. She wants to prove that this style is good and it was her father’s last wish. She will do whatever it takes to make the sword popular again which is a good and bad thing. The good thing is that it gives her drive and something to fight for.
The bad thing is that it limits her. She seems to fight a lot better without the sword most of the time. Her enemies seem to be able to use it with more skill than she does. Additionally it also sidetracks her from her goals like when she was quick to jump into a wedding with someone she didn’t even know. That was the weakest part of her character arc to be sure. How do you marry a random celebrity when you’ve known him for 5 minutes?
Mira was quick to throw her friends away at this point too so it’s good that they beat up the guards and forced the issue. Mira also doesn’t believe in interrupting matches as I mentioned before so that ends up hurting two. From the 3 characters she had the shakiest resolve to be sure, but she can fight and tends to do well in battle. Eventually maybe she can catch up to the other two if she masters her sword.
Then we have Daewi as the third member of the crew. He is fighting to save his friend who is currently dying. It’s a pretty rare condition so even the nanomachines that the GOH tourney providers have only may give him a chance. Daewi is the mature member of the 3 so he usually tries to calm the other two down or just stay out of the way so they don’t embarrass him. For the most part he’s a rather decent guy.
There is one point though where he loses it and very nearly becomes a villain. He beats up some random punks but they initiated so I don’t even count that to be honest. You can’t pretend to ignore them forever so take them out and that’s that. Now if he murdered them that’s different, but I didn’t necessarily get that impression. It’s hard to say though, I suppose they might have been dead.
Daewi even attacks Mira in rather savage fashion but I would say it’s in a completely different league than what Manseok did in the first episodes. Daewi didn’t torture her or anything, he landed a few solid blows and then she went down. Now, he was about to attack again before he was stopped which would have crossed the line but ultimately no extra hits were landed. Perhaps this is something where it’s more dragged out in the Webtoon but from the anime it doesn’t seem as shocking and savage as the characters acted.
I suppose you’d expect him to hold back more when fighting a friend and yet the characters always talk about how you better not hold back or they’ll take it personally. It might be an unspoken rule where you should still hold back I suppose. Regardless it wasn’t quite as crazy as you would expect so I didn’t lose a ton of respect for him the way I would if a character really turned traitor like that. It does mean he’ll likely never catch the top tiers of the series like Mori, Ilpyo, or Taek but he’s reasonably in the middle somewhere.
The resolution to the plot did feel a bit cheesy and perhaps unearned though. Mori was really mad at Daewi at first and then a few minutes later they’re back to being best friends. That part I will say felt rushed and it seems like they wouldn’t get along so easily like that. Additionally, I don’t see how Daewi was looking so good. Mori seemed to be way stronger but more on that later.
Ilpyo was easily the best character in the series though. I liked his confidence and he’s just a classy guy. Ilpyo felt like he would be the main character in another title. He has cool fire powers and even a nice super form that he can use at will. The guy’s hand to hand skills are completely out of almost every other character’s league. He misses the first half of the season but once he shows up at the end he gets a great role.
It’s clear that he would have beaten Mori if he wasn’t sandbagging to teach him the whole time and at full power I would have gone for him over Taek as well. That guy’s abilities are hard to deal with but the same is true for Ilpyo. I hope he gets a lot to do in season 2 as well because he’s just a blast to follow.
Then we have some of the various fighters from the tournament. First is Seungchul who likes to fight using intelligence and wit over brute strength. This makes him difficult to defeat although at the same time it doesn’t seem sustainable. At the end of the day you need pure power to back up your moves. Then there’s Gamdo who is a martial artist that likes fighting with honor.
Unfortunately he’s in the wrong tournament for that because these fighters are too desperate to win. They don’t have time for honor or things like that. I liked the guy but I feel like he may never appear again. Then you have Manseok who was surprisingly weak. Seriously the guy talks really tough and after getting embarrassed he breaks down into tears and never appears again.
I’m sure he will return but it’s going to be hard to take that guy seriously. He’s like a textbook bully who can take on weaker fighters no problem but ultimately gets outmatched by the stronger ones and doesn’t have the confidence to continue. I didn’t like that guy so I don’t mind him getting taken out. It was just really surprising.
Taek is one of the big villains of course so we have to talk about him. Now this is a villain I could get behind. He made for a great antagonist who kept on getting stronger and forced the heroes to keep up with him. Hi goals about wanting to be the strongest and proving that he wasn’t a loser was intense. The guy is whining a lot in a sense but he continues to get stronger on his own so at least he’s doing something about it.
His rivalry with Ilpyo just worked really well and was the best dynamic in the show. Whenever he was around you knew things were about to go down. The scene where he nearly took Mori down with a single strike was a very intense moment and was also good hype for Ilpyo. I also liked how he kept remembering how Ilpyo beat him up that one time. Shows why he wants revenge on everything. It’ll be hard to top him as the next arc villain.
Taejin is worth mentioning because he’ll clearly be getting a big role soon but this was not a very impressive start for him. He got beat up pretty quickly. Yes, he left big craters in the ground and looked strong but Mori could probably pull such things off by the end of the series with his impressive power ups. Taejin gets a ton of hype so to see him tied up and beaten so early on…it was surprising to say the least.
Then we have the tournament organizer Mujin. This guy’s pretty interesting right now. He’s clearly not a hero with how extreme his actions are at the moment. It’s strongly implied he’s the one who took out the island in episode 1 although we don’t know for sure. He’s searching for the Key and it doesn’t sound like this is for heroic reasons. Perhaps he is a hero who just seems shady at times but right now I see him being a very interesting third party character who keeps everyone at the ready.
It’s a shame he had to play defense for the whole season though as we couldn’t see what he could really do yet. The fact that he was able to put up barriers to block the giant summon from the villains was impressive though. The guy’s tough without a doubt but I want to see him in the ring. He has a bunch of members in his organization who are powerful as well but most don’t get to do a whole lot yet.
I expect we’ll see them all fight more soon. They beat up on the random monsters but anyone could do that. Q gets the biggest role as he shows a lot more emotion than the others. He gets upset when one of his comrades dies and even confronts Mujin. There’s a lot of life to this guy and he disregards procedure if it gets in the way. It costs him a lot of money each time but he doesn’t back down.
There are other characters running around here of course like in the tournament and assassins from the mysterious organization that is also trying to find the key. I won’t go into those guys because they haven’t done a whole lot yet. You’ll want to watch the show to see what they’re doing. I am pretty interested in how that will play out since it seems like that will be more of a focus in season 2.
While the tournament was the main plot there were definitely times where the outside world was more interesting. There’s just so much happening out there and I love tournaments but the other parts were so appealing too. It’ll be fun to see how the heroes contribute since in theory most of them are still weaker than the grown ups. Mori is probably an exception to that though.
The Power levels in the show could be rather suspect at times though. From the start Mori is portrayed as being so much stronger than Daewi and Mira that you can’t believe it when he is having an even fight with Daewi. Particularly since given the circumstances Mori shouldn’t be holding back and is going in hot to make Daewi regret attacking Mira. Somehow Daewi is not only holding his own but even winning at times. That didn’t make a lot of sense.
Then you have the celebrity who had his own Charyeok manifestation and yet he got knocked out in one blow. How? This guy is a part of a dangerous organization and had a lot of abilities. That didn’t make a lot of sense. Granted, in general Charyeok seems like a pretty vague power scaling system. Effectively you borrow power from some kind of legendary figure and turn that into power. One character uses Lu Bu for example while another one has Jaws. (Or just a random Shark) Then you have Mori who doesn’t need to borrow anything since there are other factors at play here. Way I understand it is Mori is the legendary figure, I won’t say who for now. It’s a pretty good way to explain why he is so strong.
Charyeok has a lot of different manifestations so the best way to think of it is just as a form of Ki and then you get any kind of special ability. I don’t see how you can lose with it so quickly though. Power levels aside, I do like how the characters just launch into the fights. A benefit of the fast pacing here is there’s no time for chitchat so often times the fighters just start swinging their fists and don’t stop. The opponents have to figure out each other’s abilities in silence. Nobody stops until one person is on the ground.
The God of High School may start out fairly realistic but it jumps up into superhero world by the end. The last episode or 2 in particular suddenly turn this into something like DBZ and I’m all up for that. It was a pretty powerful match-up at the end and the designs were really good for the powered up modes on the hero and villain.
Overall, The God of High School is a great anime that I would recommend. You won’t be disappointed here. It’s really over in a flash at only around 12-13 episodes but each one covers a lot. You’ll likely end the show with a ton of questions since it doesn’t mind opening up a lot of plot elements that don’t go anywhere yet. It’s why you just have to wait until it’s continued or check out the written version. You’ll get introduced to a lot of characters but I dare say you’ll actually remember most of them. They’re all fairly unique and have their own personalities. It may take a little while to fully learn the names but that will come in time. My only real gripe here is that I wish they would take away the Rudolph nose part of the art style. It just doesn’t fit so maybe in season 2 it’ll be cut. With this review done I’d say it’s a good time to check out the Webtoon and see how the adventure continues.
Suggested by iKnowledge It’s time for a battle of close quarter fighters. Neither one of these guys gets nervous about having to enter the ring, but Anaconda is guaranteed to have a bad time here. He is completely outmatched by Baki’s sheer ability. These two are in different weight classes without a doubt. Anaconda would go down after a punch or two. Baki Hanma wins.
Suggested by iKnowledge It’s time for a double debut here. Jarlaxle is a skilled sword fighter who also has a lot of magic at his disposal. It’s a rather simple matter for him to take most opponents on in a 1 v 1 setting. That said, Gothmog isn’t just any old opponent. He has a considerable amount of power to the point where most Balrogs could not keep up with him in the slightest. His fire axe/sword would immediately cut through all of Jarlaxle’s defenses and clinch the win. Gothmog wins.
Suggested by iKnowledge Lili is an exceptional hand to hand fighter but the Herald has super strength at his disposal as well as a lot of gadgets. Those will keep him firmly in the lead here as Lili just won’t be able to keep up. Her attacks have a lot of power to them and yet, they won’t be breaking through his defenses quick enough. Meanwhile he has enough energy weapons to seal him the win. Herald wins.
It’s time to finally check out the Wixoss manga which shows Kiyoi’s journey across the seasons. In the anime she was typically just a supporting character until season 4 where she would effectively take the lead route. So this manga really details what was happening with her through the first 2 seasons and pretty much ends before her mission in season 3. It’s a fun spinoff and I like that it adds a lot of details to her journey. Kiyoi certainly ended up with one of the more confusing story arcs with how many times she body swapped.
The manga starts out by introducing Kiyoi as a rather happy kid. She was brimming with hope and everything so you know something bad is going to happen since in the shows she was never particularly happy. Sure enough she is betrayed by her childhood friends and bullied relentlessly. She has carried this trauma with her even into high school and is unable to believe Sakaguchi when the girl attempts to be her friend.
Sakaguchi ends up being hit by a car as she throws Kiyoi out of the way and enters a deep coma. She is seemingly going to die at any point now. The only way to save her is for Kiyoi to risk her soul and join the Wixoss game. Her LRig “Remember” tells her that if they win enough matches Kiyoi’s wish will be granted and all will be well. If Kiyoi loses….well, Remember figures they don’t need to worry about that because they won’t lose of course. They will just keep on winning.
The manga is able to go into a little more detail on exactly how the wishes work which I liked. So here’s the general gist of it. If you win a certain amount of games as well as unlocking your own personal condition (This depends on the heart of the user) then you will be able to become an Eternal Girl and get your wish granted. Not all wishes are possible though as an LRig can only grant something within their power. Keep in mind that they are only human (Outside of special cases like Tama) so you can’t wish to gain super powers or bring back the dead.
That said, the wording of your wish is important. Your LRig can still go through with the contract if they believe that they are completing your wish or that they can do so. So if you wish to be rich, they can still complete the contract because they’re probably confident that they can pull it off. If they are unable to meet the conditions, then the LRig will vanish and the whole thing becomes void. That is the winning condition.
When losing, your wish reverses itself. So if you wished to be rich and lose, you will then become poor. This reversal is decreed by Mayu, the goddess of Wixoss and so her ability has no limits. She can warp reality itself so this is a very important thing to keep in mind. While wishes have limits, punishments do not. If you lose 3 times, then your wish will be reversed.
Then there’s the whole concept of the franchise as well which is the truth about the Eternal Girls. When you win, you body swap with your LRig and the LRig will live out the rest of your life. It’s why you have to be careful with your wishes and even then, you can never truly enjoy the results of your wish. Clearly there is quite a lot to think about here.
This manga is two volumes and it goes by really quickly. The dynamic also changes right off the bat since Kiyoi’s quest to save Sakaguchi ends in a few chapters. See, Remember is an LRig and a rather devious one at that. She ends up fulfilling Kiyoi’s wish to “save’ Sakaguchi in her own way. It’s one of those literal word fulfillments that will have you feeling rather dubious about how it can be allowed. Nevertheless, this leads to Kiyoi’s quest for revenge. The bulk of this manga is about Kiyoi trying to find a way to murder Remember but it’s tough since she is currently stuck as an LRig and cannot affect the real world. She needs to get a human body again, but is it worth it if she has to trick someone else through the same path?
While in the anime it seemed like you would be punished if you mention the trick about winning and the hidden truths of the game, the manga makes it explicit that you can actually do whatever you like. LRigs just don’t tend to tell their owners this because deep down they want to be human again and doing so would lower the chances of that which does make sense.
Wixoss is always about testing your own morality and seeing how far you would go on your personal dreams. Each match is a clash of ideals as the only way to get closer to your goal is to knock someone farther from theirs. Additionally, when you defeat someone and it’s their third loss, then you’ve just doomed them. The very first chapter deals with that as an opponent begs Kiyoi to throw the match. It does come off as a desperate ploy to get Kiyoi to lower her guard though since that’s not something you just tell the opponent like that.
The cast is fairly small so we’ve mostly just got the core members here. Mayu is still around as the ruler of this establishment of course, but I’ve never been a big fan of hers. She really likes to throw a lot of tantrums when things don’t go her way. She has a lot of power but tends to lose control of the situation a lot as well. Ultimately that just doesn’t make her look very strong.
Aki shows up for a bit since she owned Kiyoi at one point. She was always a very fun character in the show so it was nice to see her here. She was quite powerful back in her day and we see her defeat several opponents in her brief screen time. Aki really knows how to make the most of Kiyoi’s special ability to see the wishes of her opponents. Nobody in the series was better at mind games than she was.
Sakaguchi doesn’t appear a whole lot for obvious reasons but she was a nice character. She did her best to help get Kiyoi out of her shell and never gave up. It’s a shame that things didn’t work out for her. Then you have Amika who is very similar personality wise and to Kiyoi’s shock she looks absolutely identical. You’d think that the two of them had to be twins without a doubt.
Amika has her own reasons for entering the Wixoss fight which was to save her mother who is in critical condition. It’s a story that hits pretty close to home for Kiyoi which makes their partnership rather rocky since Kiyoi is hiding a lot from her. Ultimately Amika proves to be a really selfless individual and always tries her hardest to do the right thing. Kiyoi couldn’t ask for a better partner.
then you have the main character Kiyoi who is a lot of fun. She is not one of the more emotional main characters so it can be quite different to see how she was back in the day before all of the betrayals. It’s hard to get over something like that so it’s easy to see why she acts the way that she does. Kiyoi starts to lose herself the more that these tragedies add up until eventually she meets up with Amika. Kiyoi’s plan near the end of the series was brilliant and cements her as one of the smartest characters in the series.
Kiyoi is tough and that’s a very important character trait to have in a world as rough as Wixoss. You can’t exactly trust a whole lot of people here since they’re all fighting for their own wishes after all. It’s why talking just doesn’t help since lives are at stake. Two fighters can’t come to an agreement when they’re both trying to save family after all.
Finally you have the main villain, Remember. She certainly jumpstarts a lot of the issues that the characters all have. She does a good job of acting innocent initially and playing it off like she’s completely innocent. By all accounts, Remember is a very intelligent character as well since she is able to lead different fighters to victory. It doesn’t matter who it is, her fortune telling is always on point. The only time Kiyoi lost with her was when the girl decided to go against the predictions after all.
Remember is a very memorable villain and leaves an impact on the story. She certainly gets a lot of closure here as well. Her methods were as sinister as they get but I would say she was a good villain. Ultimately Remember had a mission/goal and took steps to achieve it. She was careful all the way through and never wavered. If not for Mayu trolling a lot it’s not like anyone would have figured out what she did either. Remember was always very careful to cover her tracks.
The art is very solid here. The character designs are on point and you can follow the action with ease. It’s fun seeing how all of the characters from the show look and the artist knew how to draw them on model. It all looks like it’s directly obtained from the anime which is good for consistency. We even had a cameo for the season 1 cast. Otherwise they miss out on Kiyoi’s adventures but that makes sense since they were busy. It’s part of why it’s fun to see Kiyoi’s scenario since you may have wondered what she was doing the entire time.
Overall, This is a great Wixoss spinoff. It really captures the essence of the game and tells a complete story. The ending is satisfying and it feels like a whole lot happens during the two volumes. Naturally it’d be nice if we got more volumes but I suppose at that point you would just be looking at a Wixoss sequel. Kiyoi had her story so now it’s time for the others to get theirs. We still don’t get almost any explanation on the Wixoss game itself. Don’t expect any rules to be explained or for the turns to even make a lot of sense. This manga is much more focused on the story outside of the game rather than on specific matches. So you can come into this as a Wixoss veteran or completely fresh and will still be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of this one.
Suspicion is a good reminder that you never want to take things too quickly. If you meet someone you probably shouldn’t get married the next week because you still don’t truly know the person. You have to give yourself some time or else you’ll be starring in your own Hitchcock thriller as you get stressed out at all times.
The movie starts with a drunk Johnnie getting on a train. Unfortunately he went to the first class section despite only having a third class ticket. He manages to save himself from disaster by snatching a stamp from the girl sitting across from him. Her name is Lina and while she wasn’t thrilled about this, she allows it to happen. She figures they’ll never meet again at least.
Unfortunately their paths do cross again. Johnnie convinces her to skip Church which shows what kind of example he is setting already and teases/insults her a bunch. She finds this charming though but then he vanishes again. She waits a while and eventually he turns up and asks her to marry him. She agrees…of course. Well, now things should be on the up and up but after they’re married he drops the biggest bombshell. He is broke without a penny to his name. He hopes they can live off of her inheritance but she explains that it still won’t be enough to afford this big house.
Their marriage continues to get bumpier and bumpier as she finds out that he has been lying about everything. He sells her chairs without permission, goes gambling and even steals some money. All of these acts add up but Lina decides to allow them because she’ll allow just about anything. The only issue is…she begins to think that he may be out to murder her. Can Lina escape this situation?
Suspicion does a good job of gradually raising the stakes throughout the film. At first Johnnie is just a playful bully who messes with her hair. Gradually he moves on to breaking and entering, but he does it in a charismatic way where it’s supposed to be quirky as opposed to dangerous. Then he starts lying constantly but each time it is seemingly to Lina’s benefit in the end or so he claims. Then we go to theft and that’s starting to get more serious. Even the cops may have to show up. Finally when you reach the murder tier, it looks insane that Lina is still around but because this all happened gradually, to her it never felt like a sudden rise.
As with many Hitchcock films there is also a lot that is left to your imagination here. You can really read the ending in a two main ways and a lot of sub paths from that branch. The first is that Johnnie is still lying. Certain incidents to which he should not have had a part in involving brandy and a sudden accident would have been his doings. If this is the path you believe happened then he is definitely an extremely dangerous character and Lina is not out of the woods.
If you’re on the second path and do think he was at least genuine at the end then that means Lina isn’t in danger and Johnnie at least had some lines he wouldn’t cross. I’m inclined to believe the second path is what happened, it at least feels that way but I dunno. I wouldn’t say it with a lot of confidence, it’s my pick but you could make rather strong cases for both. Naturally it would change the atmosphere of the ending. If Hitchcock wanted to make it obvious the final scene would be Johnnie offering Lina a glass of milk but that would be rather on the nose.
Suspicion’s greatest strength is how engaging the story is. The extra details also give it a good amount of replay value. There’s a lot to think about here. The writing is good as always and the movie is reasonably long so a lot of things get to happen during the run time. Nothing is rushed in the slightest and the ending is satisfying either way.
It’s a credit to the film that it succeeded despite my not liking either of the two protagonists. I didn’t like Lina because she gets pushed around way too easily. She fell in love with Johnnie right away but it’s hard to see how since both of her first impressions with him weren’t great. In the first he basically steals money from her and in the next he tricks her out of not going to Church and then tries to pull a fast one on her in the garden. He suckers her so many times and she doesn’t seem to care.
She even gets upset at Beaky despite his story making complete sense the whole time. I didn’t like the way she handled some of these moments that’s for sure. Then we have Johnnie as the lead. Well, there’s not much to like about him. He’s a playboy who’s apparently been in numerous affairs already. He is completely untrustworthy and you can’t have a true relationship without trust. It just doesn’t work and would always be doomed to fail.
The whole reason why Lina gets these suspicions about Johnnie is because she knows that she can’t trust him. He is directly responsible for every bad thing that happens in the film. There’s just no excusing the lying all the time. Selling the chairs without telling Lina was also really bad since she kept explaining that they were family heirlooms and could not be replaced. Then you have his whole stealing 2000 pounds from his employer. The list goes on and on and he gets rather terse with Lina for no good reason.
So in a way both main characters made quite the match here but I really didn’t like either one of them. The only good character here was Beaky. He added a lot of fun to the adventure and kept the characters on their toes. He was not smart in the slightest though considering his allergy to drinking. A single sip causes him to have seizures to the point where he nearly dies. In that case why does he continue to drink? You’d think that he would give it a rest then and not put himself in those situations. It’s a shame that he didn’t think things through.
Overall, Suspicion is definitely a very solid film. I would certainly recommend checking it out and see how you interpret the ending. There’s a lot to think about so pay attention to each detail as this goes through to the end. You may find it hard to like or sympathize with the two main characters but just hang in there until Beaky arrives and he shows them what’s up.
Time for a classic noir thriller. One of the key things to remember if you ever find yourself in a Noir type situation is that you shouldn’t drink. Getting drunk is absolutely without a doubt one of the biggest mistakes you could make here. It puts you in a bad spot right out of the gate and there is really no escape. The whole movie would play out a lot differently without that.
The movie starts with Norah getting ready to celebrate her birthday on her own. Her fiancée is still away at war so at least she can have a good time on her own. Unfortunately she gets a letter that he has decided to marry someone else instead. Broken and confused, Norah decides to go out with a local flirt and gets herself as drunk as possible. This leads to him driving her to his place and taking advantage of the situation. She fights back and when she wakes up he is dead.
Norah heads home hoping to put this behind her but it’s all over the news now. The cops badly want to find whoever murdered the criminal. They are slowly getting closer and Norah’s only hope may be reporter Casey. He claims that he will help protect her from the police and get her a reduced sentence but can she really trust a member of the media? Norah will have to decide quickly before time is up.
Getting drunk really does put you in a bind. It’s also why you don’t want to make any snap decisions when you’ve just had a bad day. Norah went on this date in large part just to try and get over her fiancé. Still not good to go with such a shady customer though. Now since Norah lost her memories of what happened after drinking she doesn’t know if she truly murdered him or not. It certainly appears to have played out that way but she can’t be sure.
On this note though, it is absolutely correct that she fought back. At one point when asking her roommates hypothetical questions about the situation one of them says you can’t just take down every guy who gets handsy. That seemed to be underestimating the situation quite a lot. Even if she ended up murdering him with the final strike, that was definitely in self defense so it’s not like she tried to destroy him. It was her or him at that point and she had to fight to survive.
Of course most of the film is really about Norah fighting her inner doubts. If she could at least remember what happened then she would feel a lot better about the whole thing. As it is, she is just very confused. I wouldn’t say she was a great main heroine but she’s okay. She doesn’t do the rest job of hiding what happened but granted, being in such a situation is pretty stressful so you can expect some slip ups.
As for the reporter Casey, he was a pretty fun character. He had some good banter with the local police as the chief called in during his attempts to find the identity of the murderer. It is quite brazen of him to be saying such things like trusting him over the cops in a public forum like that. He also underestimates how many people are keeping up with the case which ends up catching up to him. He was a charismatic guy though, same as the police chief. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of those guys.
The roommates don’t leave nearly as much of an impression though. I was expecting the big book fan to do a lot by the end but in a way her character never went anywhere. She’s knowledgeable about things as the smart member of the group but she never gets to use her intelligence for anything. The other one at least helps Norah out by the end and gives a good amount of moral support.
Compared to most Noir films there isn’t a whole lot to talk about though since the story is so direct. There’s really only one plot twist here and there’s virtually no foreshadowing for it so it just sort of happens without a lot of time to piece it together on your own. The movie has quality writing and an engaging story which is really what you want to see early on. It helps keep the rest of the film interesting and the pacing tight.
I’d put it under the average Noir film though as it is just lacking that depth some of the others have. There isn’t much to theorize or discuss which is not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that this one won’t have the same staying power. I think I would have maybe added one more character, perhaps someone trying to throw some blackmail into the mix which would ultimately be a red herring. Just some kind of crazy twist, perhaps involving her Fiancé. Imagine he shows up and never told anyone that he didn’t even leave for war at all. Turns out the whole story was fake. At this point we’re discussing pure hypotheticals though.
Overall, The Blue Gardenia is a good movie. It has strong writing and an engaging plot. At the same time, there aren’t a whole lot of stand out characters here. I would have liked one of Norah’s friends to defend her here by reminding her it was in self defense or something like that. The guy who got murdered was also extra sleazy, would have been nice if he wasn’t quite so morally bankrupt. The movie has a satisfying ending so you’ll enjoy the ride. I’d certainly recommend it if you like Noir titles or just want something suspenseful.
It hasn’t been too long since I saw the newer Vice Versa so it was time to see how this one stacked up. It’s certainly a lot older but it has a very sophisticated feel to it with the script. The movie has a lot of fun with all of the characters using big words to the point where I’m fairly confident it was to parody the very nature of this to an extent.
The movie starts with Dick getting ready to go to school, only he doesn’t want to this time. He doesn’t really explain the reasons to his father Paul much so he just cries a lot and makes a scene. It’s certainly not the most effective way to get your point across, that’s for sure. Paul explains to Dick that school is a blast and he should enjoy it more. So Paul wishes on his magic stone that he could be a boy again while Dick does the opposite. Now that they have flipped roles, Dick forces Paul to go to school. Can Paul handle these tough kids? Will Dick be able to manage his father’s affairs? Also, what is that magical stone that I just mentioned?
Well, going back a bit, the corrupt Marmaduke got a hold of this magical stone. He then learned it was corrupt so naturally he brought it over to Paul so he could throw the bad luck at him instead. He didn’t realize it was a magical stone though. Unlike other versions of the movie, you only get 1 wish for each person this time. So no just wishing yourself back to normal right away.
From the two plots, Paul’s is a lot more interesting. On Dick’s side you have him flirting with the maid the whole time which gets old fast. You’d think he would be using his newfound power to do something a little more useful instead of just messing around. He’s rather sloppy as well and doesn’t help his father’s reputation in the slightest.
There’s one subplot where he has a duel with Marmaduke and it’s the only part of the movie that really dragged on. The duel just keeps on going and going and going. The joke was well played out by this point as everyone chased each other around the castle the whole time. We even got a court scene thrown in. That was at least the silver lining moment of this subplot since those scenes are always fun. We even got to have the audience all come together with music.
Now with Paul’s plot, we got to see him go up against Grimstone which was fun. Grimstone is a particularly tough teacher/principal who makes sure his students are not slacking. He doesn’t even allow them to have candy or anything like that. When they play soccer, they have to let him win or they’ll go into detention. Grimstone is without a doubt the best character in the film. He also has the most sophisticated vocabulary among the whole group. He is always talking like a rather regal figure.
He doesn’t exactly teach by the book but I also wouldn’t say he is too exaggerated. He makes for a much more interesting villain than Marmaduke. Marmaduke has big plans but at the end of the day he got outsmarted by Paul when he was still a kid and probably should have been more careful when talking about his big plan. He was practically begging to be defeated.
Then you have Fanny who is definitely playing the field the whole time. You’re not actually meant to like her either way since she’s another antagonist but why couldn’t they all be as solid as Grimstone? As for Paul, he’s a pretty enjoyable main character. He certainly did like school back in the day although he seems to have grown out of several aspects of it at this point. He complains a lot and gets the other children in trouble. He probably should have thought about that a little more before getting on their bad sides.
That’s one thing you will notice right away here. Paul and Dick keep forgetting they have switched bodies for the entirety of the film. Even right through the final scenes they keep on mixing up what’s going on and talking to people as if they know them. There’s no way you can forget that you’re in a different body considering that the way you see the world is so different. The height difference is absolutely crazy on that front. So part of you wants to think that this is just the film trying for some more parody moments but it’s hard to really get on board with that idea.
The movie doesn’t play this as a gag after all but totally straight. It’s a comedic scene of course as they both keep getting turned away but it doesn’t seem crazy that they forget nor is it addressed. It’s rather surreal and the only explanation here is that both characters really aren’t smart at all. I can’t think of any other reasons in-universe on how they could keep on doing that.
While that part may be questionable, the actual writing in the film is still excellent. All of the dialogue will keep your full attention. That old school way of talking is always a blast and really gets you psyched. It’s just something you don’t see a lot of outside of that. It also makes the film flow by pretty quickly aside from the duel. In general Dick’s subplot was on the annoying side and you can’t possibly like the kid since the power went to his head immediately. If I’m Paul I’m definitely punishing him now that the adventure is over.
Overall, Vice Versa is a pretty good film. It makes for an enjoyable experience and you get to see what would happen if things were switched up like this. The whole magic stone plot was also pretty intense although the villain should have held onto it. I certainly wouldn’t just hand it off to someone without running some experiments. Imagine if it ended up making Paul rich instead? Marmaduke would regret it for the rest of his life.
The Shadow isn’t exactly a household name so if you have no idea who this guy is, that’s fine. All you need to know is that he is basically Batman and lives in a city like Gotham. I liked how close this whole movie felt to being an unofficial Batman movie and it made the most of this. The writing is strong and the action is good. It’s just a pretty solid all around title with a lot of replay value.
Lamont started out as a bit of a villain himself. He used his wealth to really become a villainous leader the likes of which his city had never seen. This would likely disrupt the status quo so some ninjas kidnap Lamont and give him a choice. He can become a crime fighting superhero or they’ll murder him. Lamont very reluctantly agrees to these terms after he’s roughed up. Many years later he returns to the city under his new superhero name..The Shadow.
By day Lamont just enjoys his money and keeps a low profile, but by night he terrorized villains. Unlike most heroes he also starts up a network of allies using the people he saves. Effectively they owe their lives to him now so he says he will collect on favors from time to time. He’ll call up one of these guys to ask for intel or even sometimes just for a ride. It’s in your best interests to stays on this guy’s good side so people don’t really complain.
Unfortunately the world is about to be shaken up because Genghis Khan’s descendent Shiwan has returned. Honestly I thought that was Genghis the whole time but apparently he’s a descendent according to Wikipedia. I suppose he may have mentioned that like once in the whole movie but there’s not much difference in how you would imagine their characters to be. Shiwan is creating a bomb so he can take out the pesky humans. He has been trained by the League of Assassins (Close enough at least) just like Lamont so this won’t be an easy fight. It may be time to call in for some backup.
Right from the jump, The Shadow looks like a solid hero. I like how he is always laughing hysterically when he chases the villains. That’s definitely a good way to put the fear into them. After all, when you’re one of the villains then it sounds like you’re being hounded by someone who’s truly insane. It was rather dark and foggy during the opening action scene as well so it’s hard to know what’s going on.
Then you have Lamont’s super powers. First, he can use telepathy to mess with your mind. It’s like the Jedi Mind Trick, if he tells you to believe something then you’re going to believe it. There’s really no discussion or debate here, what the Shadow says goes. Then he can effectively turn invisible. Now this is likely related to the mind tricks as well. He causes you to see what he wants you to see.
He calls it “Clouding their minds” whenever he talks about his abilities. It’s like having nonstop illusions so there’s no way any human can even come close to taking him on. He’s quite impressive and it’s nice to see a superhero who really can hold his own. Back in these days you’d usually expect the hero to take a lot of L’s.
Another reason why the Shadow is good is because he talks a good game. The guy isn’t afraid of anyone and even talks tough to Shiwan. The Shadow just doesn’t back down. He doesn’t have a perfect record here as he does nearly go to a watery grave against someone who wasn’t all that powerful but for the most part he looks rather good here.
Then you have the main heroine Margo. She has telepathic abilities as well which is a solid counter to The Shadow. Unlike his mental clouding abilities where he has to proactively activate it to trick people, she can see directly into other people’s thoughts. It’s a passive ability so effectively it’s always on. For a man with a secret identity that’s a very risky proposition. Margo was a solid heroine though. She does her best to help out and the fact that she has powers allows her to do this a lot easier than a normal person would have been able to.
Shiwan is not very impressive as the main villain though. I was seriously not impressed. We know that he can fight given how much training he has, but surprisingly we don’t really get to see this. I was surprised by that at the very least because usually we would get a big fight in the climax. So he talked tough but I felt like he couldn’t quite live up to it which hurts him as a character tremendously.
The music throughout the film is also great. Get ready for a lot of tunes that sound like something out of the Batman 90’s show. It’s all really authentic and adds to the mystery surrounding the Shadow. Seriously if you just change the name to Batman, I think a lot of people wouldn’t even notice and this could be treated as a What If for Batman. The effects have also aged pretty well. I like how they handled all of the shadow fight scenes. The hand to hand in general is good as always.
Overall, The Shadow was better than I thought it would be. It’s a very solid all around title and does a lot of things in a rather unique way which separates it from the pack. Seeing Lamont constantly laughing the whole time for example was a genius decision. I don’t know if he does that in the comics as well, but it’s a good way to differentiate himself from the other heroes. Additionally, it just seems like it would be really effective. If you haven’t seen this title yet then I definitely recommend changing that. Any comic book movie or action fan won’t want to miss this.