The Last Wave Review

The Last Wave is certainly a strange film. It doesn’t mind lingering on a shot of the sky or an empty house for a little while. There’s always a mysterious humming tune playing and so this helps to keep you off balance the whole time as you don’t know exactly how this is going to play out. It’s all just a little too dragged out though which hurts the film’s momentum.

The movie starts with a powerful hail storm striking a school and knocking one of the kids for a loop. We then see a bunch of guys at a bar and things get out of control when one guy gets drunk and then ultimately drowns. The group at the scene of the crime are taken in on the charge of murder. This leads us to our tax expert named David who is picked as their lawyer for some reason. Seems kind of random but David never turns down an assignment. He tries to make a connection with the main guy named Chris but he’s super vague. Chris also brings in his mentor Charlie who is also quite mysterious.

These two are from a tribe with supernatural customs including a bone that you could point at someone to make them die instantly. David’s best chance is if he can prove that they murdered the guy in this supernatural fashion and since that would be considered tribal law, the group could get off as being innocent. Unfortunately proving tribal law will be difficult especially since Chris and the others won’t play ball for some reason. Why are they keeping so many secrets and why is David starting to have a lot of visions? The whole thing feels rather strange so he is going to have to find answers for that.

From there we get a lot of scenes with David thinking or wondering what’s going on. Naturally the people around him either start to think that he’s crazy or making a mistake. His wife isn’t thrilled about this as Charlie even appears outside of the house in the dead of night and really spooks her. She didn’t exactly sign up for this but props to David for confronting Charlie the next day.

Unfortunately he doesn’t really get any answers out of him. Charlie just spams the “Who are you?” card over and over again. David has a partner who also thinks this is insane and that David should stop trying so hard. The case looks open and shut so there might not be anything he can do, especially when his own clients refuse to help out and seem to be on some kind of order of silence. More tribal law perhaps?

Throughout the film weird things are happening with the weather too. You have black rain falling from the sky which people claim to be pollution but it seems weirder than that. For example, it only starts falling in a small area as opposed to falling everywhere. It’s a bit hard to explain that. One thing that also helps David start to believe that are his visions where he starts seeing things that he shouldn’t even know about.

There’s a court scene in the movie which is fun as David tries to present supernatural evidence. The court actually considers it far more than you would typically expect. It definitely makes for a surreal scene as is the rest of the movie. While I’m skeptical that things would play out like this…at all. It still made for a fun moment as I always like to get a court scene thrown in.

While the movie is mainly focused on being super strange and doesn’t jump into the realm of action too much, the climax suddenly gets a little intense. We get a little wrestling as David turns into Indiana Jones and really investigates the cave. The whole thing turns into a bit of a conspiracy you could say as the tunnels go throughout the city. This leads into a pretty solid ending. You can take the ending in a few different ways but I consider it to be “Game Over”. There’s no coming back from this and in a way the futility of David’s whole adventure hits him all at once here. It’s like he never stood a chance.

The most annoying character in the film has to be Chris though. David’s trying to help him and the guy remains cryptic and completely unhelpful for the entirety of the film. You’d think that he would step up at least once, but no he never does. Even by the end he just ditches the main character because it got too dangerous. Then you have Charlie who seems completely insane. That could make for a good villain but he’s not good at using his abilities at all and just appears to be completely ineffective in the climax. Surely with his abilities he could do much better than how he performed here.

The Last Wave does a good job of being strange but where it loses me is in how long it’s got to be. We’ll have a conversation with David and Chris that takes eons as they have to have a dramatic pause at the end of each word and then just stare waiting for the other person to slowly have a response. These artificial delays occur for every conversation in the film involving Chris and the other characters. A random scene like the bathtub overflowing will take several minutes as David slowly walks up the steps and ponders his life as he turns it off.

So that does bring the whole eerie feel of the movie across but it also means that the pacing is simply dreadful. The events take too long to happen which hurts the replay value and even the experience of making it to the end. If you cut out how long some of these scenes were then this would easily jump up a point or two. Maybe if the payoff was even bigger then this would have gotten another point that way as well. There’s a lot to interest you here but it just takes too long to get there.

Overall, The Last Wave is a film that’s right in the middle. It’s far too drawn out to be good but there’s enough interesting angles here where it’s not bad. If you want a film that’s very original and off the normal path then this is the one to check out. It is difficult to make a film this strange without being nonsensical or making big mistakes so the film deserves some credit there. The ending is also very memorable so you aren’t likely to forget it anytime soon.

Overall 5/10

The Mysterious Strangler Review

The Mysterious Strangler is a film that really goes by the books without trying any big twists. As soon as the main character starts to get very obsessive about his work you have a feeling where this is going. If only he could have stayed strong right? Well, that was never going to happen but it feels like the film almost forgot to start including the actual strangling. So we get a speed run near the end but most of the film was rather low key.

The film starts with a man named Styles being murdered for the crime of strangling a lot of people. He says that he didn’t do it even as they hang him. We then jump 20 years into the future where a writer named James wants to prove that the guy was innocent after all. There was no real evidence to support that Styles committed the crime aside from a lot of circumstantial evidence that kept on adding up. Superintendent Burk thinks that this is madness since it’s a 20 year old cast but lets James continue his investigation. Shortly afterwards the murders start up again though. Why would they start up again after 20 years like this? It is quite alarming and now the main characters must find the culprit right away.

With the murders back up you have to assume that either the original murderer is still out there or this is some kind of copycat. Either scenario would work well enough when you think about it but the timing next to James’ investigation is a big thing to note. If James had started doing this to try and help his theory that would have certainly been a crazy twist. Unfortunately the cops are often too late to stop the strangler from taking his victims down so there is a bit of a body count by the end.

The writing is solid enough. I liked the dialogue between the characters and it always has a very mature feel to it. The characters address each other respectively and know what is going on the whole time. They’re all professionals after all and even the corrupt security guard has a lot of bravado to him. James has nobody to blame but himself for expecting this guy to come in handy as a witness later on. Why would the cop ever admit to helping him break into a grave when that crime would put him out of a job? James definitely was lacking a bit of situational awareness there.

Randomly we see that the prison and asylum are both rather crazy. At prison they’re just casually beating everyone to death and in the Asylum they handle James very roughly and even force him to eat some porridge in the most disturbing scene in the film. The climax definitely goes from 0-100 really fast with the twists too so the film wasn’t really holding back to end things. The way one character jumps through a window is even unintentionally funny. There’s no real reason for all the urgency and running at this point but I suppose it just couldn’t be helped.

For the cast here, they are all okay at best. James is a very obsessive main character who absolutely wants to be right and is quick to go into threats You can’t really trust the guy all that much. He’s also so completely convinced that Styles is innocent without having any real evidence on hand so in a way isn’t he just the opposite extreme of everyone saying that Styles was guilty? James is also quick to break the law to further his own ambitions, so you definitely want to keep an eye on him.

As for Burk, he was my favorite character here. The guy may not have bought into the theory at all but when the murders started he did take the whole thing very seriously and jumped right on in. His ego didn’t stop him or anything like that, he was just determined to solve the mystery and put an end to all of this. He even did his best to try and convince James that he wasn’t crazy which was considerate of him. You couldn’t ask for much more from the superintendent.

There’s also a very mild subplot where James’ partner wants to marry James’ daughter. The main character really has no time to think about this but is upset that he was basically the last person to find out about this and wasn’t even told directly. That’s a pretty valid complaint I suppose since you’d think they would have mentioned it a bit sooner. Oh well, better late than never I suppose. I don’t think James would have taken it super well in any event.

There’s quite a few random dancing scenes in the movie as well. This all leads up to the dancers being the main victims of the Strangler and I’ve noticed that they seem to be the targets of the villain quite a bit. At least recently it seems like I’ve seen a few films where the villains head after the dancers. I suppose they figure that these are easy targets but the scenes can last a while where you feel like the plot is frozen. It would be better to skip the performances and we just see the Strangler running around.

While played seriously, there are two murders that almost appear to be part comedy. One is when a fire is started so the guard runs in and quickly gets taken out. You’d think he would have been a little more cautious considering where he was. Then you had one of the girls who was baking some bread and kept on singing so she never heard the Strangler until he approached. The cops had just arrived to check if he was there but she was super dismissive and knew that nobody had appeared.

Also, I should note that the Strangler only has one good arm. You’d think that this would make it a little easier for the victims to take him out but unfortunately they still end up getting crushed by every trick. I thought that was a little crazy, you mean to tell me that nobody thought to trip him up or do something? A one armed villain can’t do nearly as much as someone with two arms, that’s just basic addition right there. I know that this is an old horror film where the victims can’t do much of anything but I’d have liked to see some of them fight back.

Overall, The Mysterious Strangler is a fairly run of the mill film and compared to most titles in the genre it’s quite good. The mystery at least gives it a little more depth than the others even if the culprit is clear from the start. I mean as soon as you hear the summary and recognize the main actor you probably know something’s about to go down. That’s probably the issue with being so well known I suppose. The film stays classier than most Hammer productions though and never gets too violent. The movie’s also short and should keep your interest the whole time so I wouldn’t call it bad. Put simply, this isn’t a great film but it’s good enough to warrant a watch if you need to pass some time by.

Overall 6/10

Beyond A Reasonable Doubt Review

Time to look at a classic noir mystery film. This one has a pretty interesting plot about trying to fake a crime which is just as dangerous as it sounds. Probably not something you want to be doing on the regular but the reason behind it is interesting as well. The movie has its share of twists and turns as it comes to the ending and they all work pretty well. Definitely a must watch if you like noir.

So the movie starts with Tom accompanying his boss Austin to the latest execution. Austin wanted Tom to see this first hand to further explain why he was against capital punishment. The District Attorney has been bumping quite a few criminals off and Austin thinks it is so that he can make a play at being governor. The two certainly don’t like each other much which is understandable since it’s a big topic to disagree on. That is when Austin lets Tom in on his idea. He wants them to wait for a crime there there are no leads and then they will frame Tom for the crime. If he is convicted and sentenced to be murdered, then Austin will reveal that it was all a ruse and that might get the state to outlaw capital punishment. They’ll have photos and everything so this should be low risk.

Tom agrees to do it but quickly realizes that there will be a lot of complications here the whole time. For starters, this puts Tom’s engagement on the rocks because he is starting to act overly familiar with some other ladies as part of his cover. Tom probably should have just told Susan what was up from the start so this is all on him. Then with all of the fake evidence Tom’s position continues to look worse and worse. As long as Austin is ready as his safety net he should be good…but will that really work?

The writing here is very good which is absolutely critical since the dialogue is really what makes a film like this. I certainly didn’t see one of the final twists coming here. I also like how Tom’s very nonchalant about the whole court case until something happens later on. He doesn’t do anything to cause the judge to attack him or anything but Tom just doesn’t seem to care even though his life seems to be on the line. Since nobody else knows about his deal with Austin this makes sense and it makes for some fun moments.

As for the actual plan, I do think they took a decent amount of precautions here. The photos were definitely key and they should help answer a lot of questions. I think Tom took the “act” too far though. Like the scenes with him and the dancer where he is being quite aggressive were uncalled for there. He knew that the cops were around (presumably) but even so he should have tried to retain some class. I don’t blame Susan for being upset about the dinners either since there aren’t many explanations that would explain that.

Tom really didn’t do anything to make himself look good in her eyes. He has a lot of good banter with the cops and the DA but when it comes to his home life it definitely became a mess right away. So those scenes definitely hurt him and by the end he wasn’t one of the more solid characters. I’ll give Susan credit for handling things well though and not trying to make a scene. Clearly these events hurt her quite a lot but she never broke down. At the end of the film she also makes the right decision during crunch time too.

Then you have Austin who’s a solid character. His plan is a bold one but I do have to agree that it would strike a solid blow for his cause. It would really show why capital punishment is so dangerous and would have absolutely crushed the DA’s career. The DA was a solid character as well. He’s the antagonist but not a villain. The guy does think that he’s doing the right thing and the evidence was hard to overlook especially with how poorly Tom defended himself since he wasn’t taking things seriously.

It’s hard to blame the DA at all for going along the path that he did. As for the capital punishment debate, that will always be a tough one. On one hand, if you are falsely accused and die, you’re dead so that’s it. On the other hand it may be preferable to have a quick end than to rot in jail for 60 years before you finally get out when they find out you weren’t really guilty. In a lot of ways the first option just seems better and that’s before you even go into the logistics and all. Ultimately it’s for the best that we don’t have it but it will always remain as a tempting option as long as there are dangerous criminals who still exist.

Naturally a big part of why the film is so fun also comes down to the courtroom scenes. I always enjoy seeing those and this film has quite a lot of them. You get to see the DA make his case and Tom have to try and respond. While the heroes would take shots at how the DA was trying to win over the jury, I would say that he was just doing really well and they were sour grapes because they were so invested in this. I don’t blame them of course but it is without a doubt that I can say the DA did the best here and stole the show at least within the confines of the courts. That is his area of expertise after all.

The only weak parts of the film can be when Tom is under cover. As I said earlier he gets way too into the role if you ask me. Definitely seems like he’s having fun with it when he shouldn’t be. I also don’t even think we need some of the scenes there with the dancers performing or changing later on. Feels like the film added some unnecessary fanservice here when it could have been focusing more on the mystery. To an extent I imagine it was meant to show us their daily lives and how it was easy for the first one to be taken alone and murdered but if that’s the case then I’d like to see the management more and how they’re handling this. It seems like they’ve added 0 security since anyone like Tom can just walk right in through the front door.

Overall, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt is a solid film. It keeps you engaged from start to finish with a solid cast and good writing at the ready. The whole film really ends quickly and the pacing is never an issue. I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you are interested in the court room and debates on capital punishment. From the start you may figure that Tom should have just said no to even trying out this experiment which is valid but it does make for a good story.

Overall 7/10

Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note Review

It’s time for the next installment in the Fate franchise. While Zero may not have ended up hitting it out of the park for me, it set up a pretty solid framework with the Grail War and this title takes place after that. While you never really think that El-Melloi will be entering a Grail War since that would really end up being a completely different kind of series, it has enough connections to the main adventures to stay hype. Throw in some fun mysteries and this ended up being a great ride.

The series starts off with an episode 0 which is easily the weakest episode in the series so you may as well start with 1 tbh. It sets up the world to those unfamiliar with Fate. Magic is something that most people live with and manipulate nowadays. Those of the Clock Tower are especially familiar with magic as they tend to train the most skilled mages. The main character here is Waver although he has now taken on the title of El-Melloi II in part because he is being blackmailed by Reines but also in part to prove that he can handle the job as the previous El Melloi died during the Holy Grail War. With his loyal friend Gray at his side, Waver teaches classes of promising students in the ways of magic. Waver also hopes to enter the next Holy Grail War so that he can see Iskandar one more time and get some closure for being one of the only survivors of the whole event.

It’s hard to even call this the full premise of the show because there’s a lot to unpack but what you mainly need to focus on is that this is a case by case series. Waver will always be thrown into some kind of magical mystery and has to solve it fast before the various magical departments start to make a mess of things. There is always a whole lot of infighting among the different magical groups and in a world where any of them can curse you in an instant, you have to tread carefully. I wouldn’t say Waver is always super diplomatic but he tries to at least keep up the appearance of being calm and collected.

So in episode 0 a cat ends up dying and it turns out that this was to lay a lethal curse on Waver. He has to quickly team up with his two students Flat and Svin as well as Gray to track the culprit down before it’s too late. Unfortunately as in Fate/Zero Waver is still very weak and did not have enough ability to save the cat. The cat is able to help to an extent thanks to Gray being able to sense its presence so they track down the culprit but starting your show off with an animal dying like that’s a pretty bad idea. As I said, you should probably just skip episode 0. Fortunately the rest of the series was strong enough to get things back on track.

Right from the start it’s also fair to say that you can feel the high production values here. The animation is really great. There’s a lot of detail in every scene and the colors are always striking. It’s definitely got the same kind of style as the main Fate titles and we also do get some fight scenes which go all out. Now, I wouldn’t quite put them on par with the bigger fights that Fate has to offer but it’s makes for a satisfying watch all the same. The battles have a lot of weight to them even if there aren’t a lot of them.

The soundtrack is also master class here. You have a lot of great tunes which have the same level of drama as Fate/Zero. I also liked the opening here quite a bit. It’s not really an action packed one or anything but works well for the mysteries with how ominous it is. Usually the music will start playing after some kind of dramatic statement and the opening starts so this is styled well. There was no expense spared in this title’s production, that’s for sure.

As for the main cast, they’re solid. Waver is much better than he was in the Fate/Zero days so I was glad to see that. This is the kind of improvement that helps a character go a long way. It would be nice if he could fight more but he has helped to bridge this gap with the knowledge that he has acquired. He knows enough to be a teacher after all and his theories/knowledge allow him to crack the many cases here. He’s like a Sherlock Holmes of the magical world. I imagine that the magical setting here makes it a little easier for the writers since you can keep on adding new concepts though.

Waver rarely shows any fear or anything like that and is perceptive. He’s just a strong all around lead and also knows when to back off and just let Gray do the fighting. It would be nice to see him enter the Grail War but ultimately you can’t fault him if he wants to back out as well since there would be a lot to lose and not a whole lot to gain at this point. For the most part there are rarely casualties in the Grail War outside of the combatants so he should be safe in that case. Even if his title is temporary, Waver has also crafted a whole new life now so why throw it all away?

As for Gray, she’s still a bit of a mystery. We still don’t know the full story behind her. She looks like Saber and is said to always be close to death which came in handy during episode 0. She seems to be a type of Pseudo servant like Mash from Grand Order although she isn’t amped up with technology or anything like that. Instead she carries around a talking cube who seems to be a personality that she created to nerf her abilities. When she has to go all out a Sword Art Online type voice rings out saying that the false personality has been disengaged and then she is able to fight harder.

I don’t know exactly where that’s going but she makes for a very intriguing character. I’m also glad that there is at least one big fighter on the hero side since it inevitably means that we can have some strong villains as well. Her big fights against Faker are some of the highlights of the show after all. Gray’s a very earnest character as well who always feels out of time but takes everything in stride. It’s like seeing a What If for a servant who sticks around after the Grail War to help in everyday life. She could crush almost every character in the cast but doesn’t have to fight like that too often. In a way Waver has a top notch bodyguard at all times though.

Reines makes for a fun heroine and a good troll character throughout the show. As mentioned, she really forced Waver into this. While she claims that she wasn’t going to murder him, it certainly seemed like that at different points in the flashback so I can see why he was getting nervous. Now she mainly teases him while helping out from the background. She’s often a lot more helpful than she lets on. She has the ability to detect magic with her eyes which is handy at first glance but there are so many downsides that I would not want to have it.

One such downside is that she gets intense pain spasms if the magical energy is too high. Considering that this is the case for all strong fighters, it gets to her quite a few times. She always has a cheerful disposition though and has some solid banter with the other elites at the Clock Tower. Reines can hold her own and once she is of age and gets the title formally, I’m sure she will do a great job. The anime has a lot of solid banter between many characters and she is certainly consistent in this.

Flat is one of Waver’s students and while he isn’t bad, he can be a bit boring. He’s a very by the books kind of kid who does well in class and takes everything seriously. As a result he’s seen as more responsible and does well but just doesn’t have much in the way of personality. Meanwhile Svin’s the go getter who is always trying his best. I like how he keeps trying to positively “curse” Waver by calling him things like “The Powerful Waver” or “The All Knowing Waver” since we learn in the first episodes that merely using titles next to someone’s name can actually cause good or bad things to happen to them.

So it was a nice way for Svin to try and help his teacher even if there was no effect. On the other hand, he’s got a big crush on Gray that’s so intense he is usually not able to talk to her much and gives her the impression that he doesn’t like her. There’s also some kind of berserk mode within him that causes him to lash out against Gray for some reason. This isn’t something that is delved into at all so it will remain a mystery. I guess it ties into his abilities and her near death state but it’s hard to say why there’s a connection. Waver is aware of it as he forbids Svin from being near Gray. It speaks badly of Svin’s willpower though.

With the opening episode out of the way, the next adventure is more of a flashback to see how Waver became El Melloi. He ended up getting kidnapped by a mage and met his future best friend Melvin as they had to team up and take the mage down. It was tough since neither one of them really have any powers but they were able to use evil spirits to get the guy by taking advantage of the temple. There was good strategy involved and it was a fun enough episode. Not really a mystery like some of the others but it was a good one shot.

Melvin also makes for a good character. He’s someone who is always on Waver’s side and he’s rich which is always handy. At the same time, it does seem like he will prioritize “fun” over everything else so even if it means that Waver will be in danger, he’ll take the risk. So you can trust Melvin to an extent but you probably don’t want to be around him or you could be in danger. He also seems to have some kind of terminal illness which pops up now and again.

We then get another quick mystery where someone has been murdered and there are a bunch of suspects in the estate. From research partners to family members and the maid, El Melloi has to figure out the true culprit quickly or the government will probably pick someone off at random. This is the first big appearance of Hishiri who will always be a thorn in Waver’s side. See, she’s from the Department of Policies and they just want results at all times. She makes this quite clear to Waver and so “Justice” will be served whether it is just or not. Often times she is basically used as a timer so Waver has to hurry. It was an interesting case and of course it does involve a lot of spellcasting and plotting in order to get the situation just right.

Hishiri is a fun villain. While she may help the heroes at times, I would consider her to be an antagonist because she will do whatever policies says no matter what. At the same time, if Waver will save her some time then she’ll help him out. It’s not like she’s actively malicious but to me she may as well be if she’s that calm about just grabbing innocent people. There’s even one case where she intentionally hides evidence which could have gone badly. It’s very rare where she is actually very helpful.

There’s also an episode about Waver finding out what happened to his favorite tea shop which closed down due to suspicious circumstances. It’s more of a low key episode although it is one of the few times we see his students fighting. Gray also gets an action scene of her own and I’m always up for that. They rarely let her go all out but when she powers up that’s really game over for these guys.

Now we get to the first big case. So there was this mage who created a bunch of lightning but was super sloppy and died. Now the strikes are getting more and more frequent which is putting the whole estate in. Waver is called in to help and find a way to dispel this while the holy grail is dangled in front of him like a carrot. If he helps out here then it will help his chances of being in the next Grail War. This one plays out like a classic mystery with the lightning slowly taking its victims and we have to see who is really responsible. Is someone actually causing these strikes to occur or is it just an accident? Hishiri certainly doesn’t think so and already believes she knows who is causing this but Waver has to be sure.

There are a lot of suspects as always and I think it’s fair to say that nobody really believes this is just random coincidence right from the start. That would have been really hard to buy. We get some action in the second half of this and the ending is definitely an interesting one. A character makes a very dicey decision involving a portal although….I don’t necessarily disagree with it. Honestly in that situation I would say it might even be the right move. There is also a bit of a cliffhanger leading into the Zeppelin arc.

Right before that arc though we get a filler slice of life episode with Gray, Reines, and Luvia hanging out. The three of them have fun at the mall until they are warped inside of a reality marble and have to get out. The thing is, who is targeting them and how do they get out of this? Luvia is a strong fighter but Reines can’t really fight and it’s risky on if Gray should show her true powers here. It’s a fun episode though, certainly a lighthearted one with low stakes but the dialogue is strong as always. The reveal on who the culprit was is also very unexpected and works as a solid twist.

Luvia doesn’t get a huge role in the show but at least she got one big episode here. Her hand to hand skills is refreshing to see as most humans in the series don’t seem to know how to fight all that well. Personally if I lived in a magical world like this I’d want to be able to defend myself but it doesn’t seem to be the highest priority for a lot of the mages.

Finally we have the 6 part Rail Zeppelin arc. Basically the Zeppelin is a train and on it is a big auction for magical eyes. You can buy and sell them at will here. Why does Waver care? Well, his piece of Iskandar’s cloak has been stolen and it will be impossible to summon him in the upcoming grail war if he does not have that. It’s imperative that he grabs this at all costs. Meanwhile someone is naturally murdered on the train so everyone is alert. Was it infighting between Spiritual Evocation and Policies? Was it the member of the Anti-Clock Tower faction who is on the train? One of the many sorcerers here? Waver will have to find out and quickly as the murderer may also be the thief that he is looking for.

We get quite a few new characters here of course although maybe not as many as you would think. It can be a little hard to choose who you think the suspect is at times because not all of the sorcerers really get a big role here. You have Leandra who is effectively the top member of the train. She makes sure things are going smoothly but perhaps wanted to shake things up a bit. She doesn’t do a lot in this but is around the whole time. There’s even a JoJo’s type summon which is part of the train itself and helps with transactions.

There is the ticketmaster Rodin who is always very ominous. As someone who’s always been around the train you can see how it would be easy for him to make a move. I liked his design for sure, you have to take him seriously after seeing the guy. Then you have Yvette who is one of Waver’s students but also likes teasing him to no end. She’s super rich and has many resources at her disposal. Naturally it wouldn’t be hard for her to have stolen his artifact if she really wanted too. I can’t say that she was one of the better characters though. Her teasing is more excessive and not quite as fun as Reines. Additionally there’s also not much more to her character than that.

Then there’s Olga and it’s fun to see her since her role in Grand Order was so small. At the same time because of that it’s hard to say that she’s ever truly a suspect since we know her future state. She isn’t quite as powerful now of course but she has a memorable role and helps out quite a bit. Things don’t go quite as well for her butler/assistant Trisha who doesn’t last very long here. Every train murder mystery needs its victim after all and this was her role.

Finally you have Karabo who is one of the Anti Clock Tower guys. The show doesn’t get into the whole factions part much but it’s probably self explanatory. The Cloc Tower is an elite group of sorcerers and training them for the Grail War. I’m sure many oppose the group on principle. Karabo wants to get rid of his eyes for reasons which are explained later on but the whole time you wonder if it’s worth it. Aside from the fact that losing your eyes is pretty bad, it seems like they won’t even give him normal ones in exchange so he’ll be blind.

It’s a magical world though so I’m sure he can buy new ones somewhere. The downside is he’ll lose his powers. His ability is that with his future eyes he is able to see events from the past by making contact with someone and of course can see his own past. The best part of the ability is that he can bring past attacks to the present. So for example if he throws a punch and misses, he can try to get you back to that spot later and then instantly resummon his old punch at any time. It means that the longer a fight goes on, the more he will be at an advantage.

The downside though is that he can’t control the eyes really well. Imagine having a painful experience or a sad memory and it will suddenly appear in front of you at any time. That’s not very easy to deal with, especially if it happens very often. The bad experiences will keep on piling up. It’s a unique downside to an ability as you don’t often see things like that. Karabo’s a fairly nuanced character as well and I liked him.

Then you have Faker who shows up as one of Iskandar’s allies from the distant past. Having a real servant here is a blast and she immediately leaves a big impact on the series. I can say that she single handily elevated the show up a star because along with her presence meant that we got some big fights between her and Gray. The show may not be a big action most of the time but having big fights for the climax is always a very good idea and the show made the most of it. I also liked Faker as a character quite a bit. She’s serious and knows how to fight but also has an honor code and won’t just be destroying people for no reason. She gives Gray a breather at one point when the heroine is clearly not doing so well and that does a lot for a character.

An honor code is huge for a villain because it separates the ones with no vision or who just won’t work for me from the big all stars. Faker’s also clearly stronger than Gray which makes sense since a servant should always beat a pseudo one. If she went all out from the beginning then the encounter would have been brief. Since she held back we got to have several fights which were all a blast. Then you have her summoner but as the arc is a mystery I won’t say who that is. He looks good though and clearly has a lot of plans at the ready. I see him being a big threat in the adventures to come, whenever we get the big continuation. Since I liked him here I’m definitely cool with that, it’ll be nice to see what he’s got up his sleeve.

Well, that brings us to the end of the adventure. It was definitely a great ride. It’s a title where you feel like they probably skipped some stories and adventures though. It’s hard to describe but it’s the little things like a supporting character appearing in back to back cases but it seems to be a big deal that he or she has returned. Things like that, but if it means getting to the big parts sooner then I can’t turn that down.

A big part of what makes the show fun aside from the big action scenes and top notch animation/soundtrack is that the mysteries are handled well. I do like a solid mystery any day and these cases are all very sound. It’s also unique because they all use many different magical concepts within them. Half of it may be things that are made up just for Fate but the concepts are always explained so you can follow along. It means that you may rarely ever get ahead of Waver since you don’t even know the rules of engagement but the explanations are always satisfying.

A good mystery should keep you engaged throughout and the show pulls that off. The cast is also solid enough to the point where you can enjoy even just the talking scenes or the more low key moments in between cases. There are also a lot of cameos from other Fateverse characters so they’re always fun to point out. Of course I’d love to see Shirou and the gang show up at some point but I suppose they may end up stealing the show as a result if that were to happen.

Overall, I would definitely recommend checking this show out. The name may be a bit of a mouthful but I just think of it as the EL Melloi show and that works just as well. Really the only weak episode here is episode 0 so feel free to duck out of that one and you’re still good. Naturally if you’re a fan of Fate/Zero then you’ll have a lot of fun with this one but it also works well as a stand alone adventure. Of course there will be a lot of flashbacks to events that you didn’t get to see first hand but there’s a bunch of context thrown in as well as little clues you can figure out since Waver keeps having the same dreams and visions. Fate has certainly been able to branch out in many different ways and has done a pretty good job of this. We’ll see what the next adventure has in store for the team!

Overall 8/10

Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation Review

It’s really been a super long time since I’ve read the Muhyo & Roji books. I was certainly surprised when it got a show pretty much out of nowhere but I guess the fans must have been loyal here. It’s a very retro kind of title and I’d say you can even feel that from the character designs and such. I thought the manga was decently good although nowhere near the top of Jump and would be more mid-low tier compared to the average one there. the show is decent as well, not very good or anything but it makes for a good adventure watch.

The show starts by introducing us to Muhyo and Roji who have a supernatural agency where you can go in and tell them about your problems. They will help you overcome whatever supernatural menace is wrecking your life. It’s sort of like the Mob Psycho setup there. This is how the group gets to meet new characters and friends as their agency keeps on completing quests. Roji is really the assistant here as he has no talent with the supernatural and tends to get in the way. This is balanced out by his being the much more emotional one who really wants to help others. Muhyo tends to always be in a bad mood or just be sleepy. He’s one of the most skilled executors in the world so he can exorcise spirits with ease but doesn’t always find the energy to do so.

That’s effectively the pre arc here although it ends almost immediately so the show can skip right to the plot type elements. Pre arc’s fun and all but usually the story is where things get good so I can see why the show would do that. This way we get to see the main villain and a preview of things to come. Naturally as season 1 this won’t wrap up all of the plot threads but a good amount of things happen here and the heroes get their first true fight.

So first lets talk about some of the pre arc adventures and the characters that are introduced as a result of that. One of these cases involves a kid named Kenji who doesn’t buy into the supernatural. In fact his group of friends are doing a test of courage at a “haunted” temple. You just have to run up the steps and tag the house so he shows up to basically rub it in Muhyo and Roji’s face. Unfortunately they know that the danger is very real and show up to save him in the nick of time.

Kenji never quite stops being rebellious but at least now he knows about the supernatural. His role in the show is really pretty small after his opening appearance but he’s around. There’s one fun scene where we see how he broke into Muhyo and Roji’s office. As far as the kids go I didn’t really mind him.

Then you have Nana’s introduction case. She is a photographer but lately weird things are appearing in her photos like a hand or even a face that she doesn’t know. The fact that even a normal human* can see this is pretty concerning so Muhyo and Roji are on the case. It’s one of the more emotional cases here as the spook isn’t quite evil although I would say he did a very poor job of expressing that. It ties into Nana’s backstory where her father began taking fake pictures for money. This led to his eventual destruction and then as a spirit he wanted to watch out for her but eh….he just wasn’t very good at this.

Now, Muhyo mentions that as a spirit you start to lose your mind so I guess the father just couldn’t think of anything very well. The fact that he didn’t turn violent too quickly helps a bit but I don’t give him much points for willpower because it was definitely the bare minimum. Nana is a solid heroine. Unfortunately she doesn’t have any powers here so there’s not much she can do to support the characters. She’s around and is a nice person but in this kind of series I do feel like that puts you at a bit of a disadvantage right from the jump if you can’t fight at all. She also has to put up with sketchy types like Yoichi so you feel bad for her from the start.

There’s also a pre arc story with a girl whose friend fell in the train tracks and seemingly wants revenge. The friend was not a very good person from the start though as she got super jealous right from the start. I think both characters could have handled it better, but I really don’t put the fault on the main girl for trying to have a normal life. She wasn’t rude to the friend or anything but the other girl took it way too hard. At least we got a happy ending of sorts there…not super happy honestly but Muhyo does his best to make sure the punishments aren’t too bad.

I should explain about the punishments and the overall system now. So as an executor Muhyo is able to invoke different passages from his book which summon creatures to come and take down the evil spirits. These summons take up a lot of energy and if you aren’t strong enough then you will be absorbed as well. Only some have the talent to be executors which is why you don’t see everyone with books. There aren’t a whole lot of them based on what we see in season 1 and even less that are quite powerful.

Muhyo’s summon depends also in part on where he wants to send the creature. If it’s a total monster with no redeeming value then he’ll send it to hell or one of the more deadly places. If it’s a misunderstood creature that went down the wrong path then he may try to get it into purgatory or somewhere where there could be a happy ending. Beyond that the series doesn’t go very in depth with it but it’s really all that you need to know.

The only downside to this is that you can’t have very interesting action scenes in this way. The battle ends when Muhyo finishes his summon which is pretty much a one hit KO technique. There’s not much else to it so usually the action scene might be the villain blasting at him while Roji or one of the other characters block. The only true action scene I’d say is in the final episodes. That’s why I’d call this more of a supernatural adventure or case of the week kind of show. Action can be a bit misleading even though this is Shonen Jump but then you get into the arguments of chase scenes being action scenes and so all of these are action scenes. A better way to put this might be that there aren’t many fight scenes but still action scenes. All in all, I just wouldn’t use the term action to describe this one too much.

I’d prefer if the characters could fight physically since I think that would make the whole thing more engaging but I suppose it’s just not like that sometimes. As for the first main plot, well we have a brief adventure where Enchu makes his first move. He unleashes a curse that spreads through touch so everyone has a face growing on them and it’s spreading fast. Muhyo will have to hurry if he wants to solve this before the sickness goes too far. If that happens that it’s game over since the rest of the exorcist/executors aren’t very powerful.

It’s a solid adventure although one that’s over as soon as it has begun. It’s a particularly rough ride for Roji who just can’t compete at this point and slows the team down. Additionally, it’s the introduction of Yoichi who is easily the worst character in the series. All he does is harass Nana most of the time and remind the heroes why they should be beating him up. Turns out he was a childhood friend of Muhyo although they don’t really hang out anymore and I don’t blame Muhyo.

Yoichi’s a character I definitely would have liked to have seen toned down a bit here. He’s just such a bad character and I don’t think we’ve seen a character this pervy in quite a while, at least on the heroes side. If you think about it, the days of characters like Keigo, Roshi, and Jiraiya are pretty much gone. The modern Shonens don’t really go that route which is definitely a good thing and I suppose in another way that shows this title’s age a bit. So yeah the sooner Yoichi’s written out the better.

The show is fairly good about not including too much fanservice. Of course you have all the Yoichi moments of him being sketchy but beyond that there’s only one hot springs episode. It’s the worst episode in the whole bunch though because it ends with the characters actually encouraging this random guy to be a perv to finish his novels. Really? Also, Nana is okay with this and being the one watched but it’s still completely awful for every character involved. Ugh, it would have been nice if at least someone had said this was a bad idea!

The final arc is the longest one as the gang heads over to a mansion where the monsters are getting out of control. The heroes were requested to help by the young Biko who found out that one of his tags was removed. Without the tag, the spirits will get free and cause mayhem so Muhyo’s the guy for the job. The issue is that this is a whole mansion filled with evil spirits and it’s hard to exorcise more than 3 in a day without being completely drained. Making matters worse is that one of the demons is Sophie the face ripper, a being that can assume someone’s appearance after ripping their face off. Anyone in this mansion is now a suspect so they have to keep their guards up.

This is definitely the most intense arc in the season and certainly the most violent one as well. They don’t call Sophie the face ripper for no reason after all as she really goes all in on this. The show doesn’t hold back and the sound effects will probably seal the deal for you on this being a very intense moment. On the whole I wouldn’t say the show is super violent or anything but mixed in with the designs for the demons and the moments are quite striking. The series has some unique designs like the faces that appear on everyone and even chomp other people as they get close.

Sophie herself makes for a very imposing villain. Her abilities are the real deal although the only reason she wasn’t quickly sealed away is because Muhyo was busy beating up on the weaker ones first which zapped his energy. Otherwise she probably wouldn’t have lasted but you do have to use strategy to help out and so Sophie did a good job. She also took out a fair number of fighters on her own so she deserves some credit there.

We get some new characters here as well like Biko. I wasn’t a fan of Biko though. She’s one of those characters who cries quite a bit and talks tough but can’t back it up when it counts. She really gets in the heroes’ way most of the time and can’t even do much in the way of blocking. All she has are the seals which don’t always work but can’t use barriers or spells. That’s really not going to get you far here and she was just annoying most of the time.

Rio is the other big character to show up and she’s better than Biko although I can’t say that I’m a big fan either. She gets an origin story where we see how the town was awful to her. It does always make it hard to root for the city to be saved when you get an origin story like this though. Absolutely nobody defended her and that was disappointing. You’d think that there’d be someone to report this too or someone who could help out unless the city was truly corrupt all the way through like the Hidden Leaf Village. If that is the case…then yeah this place is pretty awful.

Rio went through a whole lot without a doubt but of course that can never be an excuse for going down the wrong path. What hurts Rio for now is that she’s not all in. I always say if you want to be a good villain or a good hero then you have to be all in. You can’t be on the fence or regretting your actions the whole time. Same when you make a hard call and destroy a villain or save a city instead of another one. I don’t want a scene with the character yelling in regret later or crying the whole time. You just have to own it and move on which Rio has not done yet. She is strong in a fight though so at least she will be ready for the adventures to come.

As for the other villains, Teeki gets to appear a bit but he doesn’t have any real fights yet. As Enchu’s right hand man you have to assume that his role will only get bigger. I can see why he was upset at Enchu for not letting him finish off Muhyo though. This was the perfect chance to get the heroes out of their hair once and for all but of course it wasn’t quite the right time for Enchu.

Enchu is the main villain of the series and certainly makes some moves in this season. We see that he was rather unbalanced from the start as the pressure to be the Executor was too much for him. His mother was super sick as well so he really needed the position to get higher up, more money, and more connections. Unfortunately for him it just wasn’t to be and so he basically went crazy. He went crazy so fast though that it does seem like he would have turned evil at some point. For now he’s not a great villain or anything as I’ll need to see some better motivations than a quick revenge here. I would argue that Rio’s backstory was a lot sadder than his at this point in time.

Finally we have the main characters. First up is Roji who isn’t very talented but tries his best. He’s a very earnest character who means well so he’s not bad. You wish he could improve a little quicker though as he spends most of the season getting in the way the whole time. He finally learns how to make some basic barriers in the climax though so that should follow him through into season 2. As a comic relief character Roji also works well. From the duo I much prefer Muhyo but Roji holds his own as the partner.

Finally there’s Muhyo and while his attacks may not have a lot of variety, they get the job done so it’s hard to argue with the results. When you need a demon/spirit taken down then you can always count on Muhyo to accomplish this. He may be grouchy a lot but that only serves to make the character more entertaining. His weakness of losing stamina so quickly is a big one but since it’s built into the universe it isn’t like that’s a weakness exclusive to him either. The duo have a good working relationship going with solid banter so that’s good.

In short, Muhyo & Roji’s a fun adventure. It doesn’t really feel like your average Shonen Jump adventure either since there’s less big fights and it’s more focused on the supernatural elements but that does help it stand out. The character cast isn’t great and like the manga there aren’t any super strong aspects of the series that would have me put it at the next level but it does enough to stay in the green.

The animation is good. It’s nothing particularly noteworthy but the animation is smooth and there’s a lot of good movement here. It’s the definition of average for me. You can tell that it’s a modern show and things get a little flashy during the climax so it serves its purpose. The designs look intense in motion and I like the effects for the summons (Although the recycled animation each time is a bit much) and barriers as well. The soundtrack didn’t have any real memorable themes though. The opening wasn’t great either but it’s not bad.

Overall, I guess that described a lot of the show. It’s certainly not bad but everything is just good enough to keep it that way without going further. We’ll see if season 2 is able to improve on this. Still, if you like the supernatural and dealing with spirits/demons then this is a show you could have some fun with. At the end of the day as long as you can have a fun time watching the show then it’s worth checking out. Especially since it’s only 1 cour for the season so it’s not like it’ll take you all that long to check out.

Overall 6/10

The Secret Garden Review

Time for the next film about a group of kids. In this case it’s just 3 of them as opposed to a whole classroom but I would say the movie still works well enough. The mystery angle even plays out like a horror movie initially although of course you have to assume it’s not something quite so sinister as it would initially appear to be. I also remembered a secret garden from Secret Window which was really bad so I got concerned but fortunately this film’s on point.

The movie starts with some guys heading into an abandoned village where everyone either died of a plague or fled the scene. The only survivor is a little girl named Mary who didn’t even realize what was going on. She was quite rich and so this will be a big adjustment to her since she will no longer have maids and the like. Fortunately she has one living relative in her uncle and he is rich. The change is that he’s not really a people person and won’t even see her when she first joins the manor. Mary also hears these awful shrieking noises throughout the night. What’s wrong with this manor and is she really safe in here?

While the mystery angle doesn’t last for too long, it is a good way to kick things off. After all, she doesn’t know her uncle and he has a pretty bad reputation to start with. It’s entirely reasonable for her to assume that something isn’t quite right here. Also, she is quite spoiled initially and the staff here won’t coddle her as much as the old ones would. For example she mentioned that they would dress her and do whatever she asked. This staff is nice enough but they do expect her to be self sufficient to an extent.

The maid even asks with a laugh how Mary doesn’t now how to do basic things like picking up after herself. The maid won me over early on with how she would laugh at everything. The maid has a good sense of humor and was always having fun doing her job. That’s the best way to approach any task as it’ll make the whole thing really fly by. The maid kept this same energy up throughout and the rest of the staff was good too. This really helped to get Mary to realize what the world was really like and to stop being so spoiled. After all, she is still very well off being in a rich place with everything that she could possibly need.

Her uncle never really gets away from his aloof kind of persona but he is certainly important to the plot as well. It takes him a while to change though so it’s fair to consider him an antagonist for most of the movie. He may think he’s doing everything for the best but it’s certainly not the right approach. I did find him to be sympathetic though, characters like this who end up going on the wrong path will at least get to me if they didn’t do anything crazy and they were at least trying to help.

Dickon would likely be the best character here. He’s the first character to really treat Mary like a totally normal person. No special treatment or anything like that, he would just hang out with her and do his best. You couldn’t ask for much more out of the kid and he even introduced her to the wildlife in the area. Dickon didn’t take anything personally and was someone who could always be counted on.

Then you have Colin who also has a big role here. He can’t walk anymore and has been in bed for a long time. He’s told that he might even die soon so the kid doesn’t have a whole lot of hope left. He’s also quite lonely so he spends his days just throwing tantrums all the time. As you can probably guess he isn’t my kind of character for those reasons alone. Fortunately he also gets a character arc here and by the end he has definitely improved.

Definitely with no help from the family doctor though. In the end that’s why you would always want to get an independent, third party opinion for these kind of things. Relying on one doctor exclusively will rarely end up being a good idea in the long run. It limits the options at your disposal and definitely increases the odds of being scammed. Suing for malpractice would probably be a very good idea here.

The movie certainly changes genres midway through once we find out about the garden and the mystery is over but I would say that it still worked out pretty well in the long run. The writing is good which is the important thing. I feel like a movie with this plot would only really work back in the day. The writing has to be very good otherwise a film about a secret garden and kids realizing that the world is such a big place could end up being a little dull. If the writing wasn’t on point then the kids could easily cross the line from being annoying to just being downright awful.

The movie is mainly able to avoid things ever going too far for either of them. The Uncle probably comes the closest with how unreasonable he is. I also think the maids could have easily been less memorable in most movies but with the way the main one was laughing, it left a great impression on me right from the jump. That’s absolutely the way to make a supporting character memorable and it also added to the atmosphere initially. Does the uncle rule with such an iron fist that everyone has to be laughing at all times? These things all have normal answers by the end of the adventure but at first it gives you things to think about.

Overall, The Secret Garden is a film that I can definitely recommend. Of course, I do think you should watch this for the plot and story rather than for the mystery. The mystery just doesn’t last so if you’re watching for that then you may end up being disappointed. The garden itself isn’t fantastic or mystical in any way but it’s a good way to really get the plots together. There’s also a very nice visual trick the movie uses whenever they enter the garden. It’s something I’ve only seen very rarely but it’s a powerful technique. It helps to really make the garden stand out and in the end that is what the film is named after so that was critical.

Overall 7/10

Picnic at Hanging Rock Review

Picnic at Hanging Rock takes the term “Slow Burner” to a whole new level. It feels like nothing is happening for the majority of the movie which does end up hurting the experience. Ultimately the biggest issue here is that the movie is quite boring for most of its run which is too bad since if it leaned more into the supernatural angle then this could have been a little more exciting. It doesn’t quite go in that direction though and the odd vibes the film gives off is not enough to keep it afloat.

The film starts off with the girls at a private school getting ready for their field trip. They are going to Hanging Rock this time and are instructed not to get too close or wander off from the group. Naturally they decide to go up there anyway or at least a group of them do. At first they make it fairly far up the mountain without an issue and are even dominating the mazes. One of them is complaining the whole time but the others pay no heed. Just as it’s almost time to go back, they appear to get brainwashed by some kind of supernatural entity which forces them up while one of the girls ends up running back home. There is no trace of the girls except for one who is found later on. What happened to them and how will the school stay running?

The film is definitely going for one of those unsolvable mystery type angles. Even as a concept I don’t think that will usually work out well for a film though. It pretty much guarantees that the film won’t have much of an ending which is concerning. It’s also going to rarely be very satisfying as is the case here. I wouldn’t say you’re necessarily too invested in the film as it is but it makes the whole thing feel even emptier. A huge part of the film is in trying to locate the missing girls and find out what happened but at the end of the day there were really no answers to be found here.

Of course I would say it was definitely supernatural and the mountain itself based on how it’s presented here. We get a lot of ominous shots with the mountain glaring at everyone and it explains why the girls suddenly got so dazed. There’s always a lot of ominous music as well which works well for the scenes. One thing I will say for the film is that it does a good job of making a lot of the scenes feel odd and sinister. That’s definitely pretty impressive of the film. The problem is that it’s hard to hold this kind of atmosphere for very long without something happening. The film pulls it off for the opening segments of the film but then that’s it. The rest of the film goes back into slice of life territory that just isn’t entertaining.

While it’s always debatable whether it’s worse to be boring or to be bad, everyone can agree that a film wants to avoid both of those options. If this movie had just been more entertaining that could have helped a lot. Mrs. Applewood is probably the most entertaining character because of how she is so transparent in how she only cares for the school. If there is any human antagonist in the film, it would have to be her. She’s even saddened when they find one of the girls because she thinks this will mean even more bad publicity. You don’t get a villain more obvious than that here but she really goes all in on the role. There’s never any doubt.

A lot of the characters here are the main kids who are hardly that entertaining. Albert is a kid who’s a bad influence to Michael and is just around to cause trouble. He just lazes about and doesn’t do anything except watch the girls. Michael may not do much for a while but at least once they disappear he does his best to find them. He even has a trippy dream of sorts and never loses hope that he will find them someday. I’ll give him credit there since that’s more effort than most of the characters were putting into this.

In general the town did their best though. We get quite a few scenes of the townsfolk all launching searches and investigations into what is happening and to find the girls. While none of them is successful you can’t fault those guys for a lack of trying. There were quite a few investigations but when the supernatural is at work it’s not like any of that ever could succeed. Even the girls who do return are hardly much help since they don’t seem to remember much of anything.

Edith for example is still complaining when the grownups bring her back up the mountain to try and describe what’s happening. It’s why Edith has to be my least favorite character here. Lives are at stake and she’s complaining about being tired and sleepy. That’s just super selfish on her part. She doesn’t seem to have any sympathy towards the other kids who are missing which is a shame.

Then you have Irma is found and she really seems to be in a daze the whole time too. She doesn’t know much of what happened and is really quiet even during her goodbye scene until the class tackle her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s traumatized after the events on the mountain and has a much better reason to be stunned than Edith that’s for sure. Still, it would have been nice if she could have remembered more and clued the characters in. That would have at least given us something to go on.

Miss. Lumley is probably the only really nice character around. She does her best to instruct the kids and manage everyone’s sorrow. There’s only so much she can do in such a place though. With everyone being shifty and kids vanishing, it’s not exactly an easy environment to make the kids feel welcome in. I applaud her for her efforts but don’t blame her at all for leaving. There’s just no reason to stay in a place like this.

Overall, Picnic at Hanging Rock is a very dreary kind of film. It’s never really sunny over there and at all times the film feels rather grim. Even the ending is super dark and without a conclusion to the case the characters never had much hope. If the film had any hope, the ending would have destroyed it but it was already doomed by then. Nothing really happens for the whole middle act of the film which holds it back further. Throwing in some light hearted scenes or something would have helped a great deal. Instead the film just doesn’t move forward and the weirdness of it all isn’t enough to recommend it. This is one mystery you’ll want to stay far away from.

Overall 3/10

In/Spectre Review

I know what you’re thinking. Inspector Gadget finally got his own anime right? Well, not this time but this is still a mystery type show. It’s a very unique kind of approach to it though as the cases revolve around finding an explanation but not necessarily the correct one. I’ll explain what I mean in a moment but it’s a nice way to change things up. Ultimately this is a show you will remember quite well after watching it and I’ll be interested to see what cases season 2 covers.

So the series starts off by introducing us to Iwanaga. She was kidnapped as a child and when she was found, Iwanaga was missing a leg and an eye. In exchange she has now gained the ability to see yokai and helps them out as the goddess of wisdom. There is still some mystery regarding what exactly happened to her but the outside world is unlikely to ever know the full truth here. Well, Iwanaga has been solving mysteries for a while now but her top goal is getting Kuro to fall in love with her. Now that he has broken up with the girl he was dating for the last 2 years, it’s time to make her move!

Okay that’s the plot for the first episode and after that we get the cases. The first episode is important though because it sets the stage for the rest of the series and the dynamic between Kuro and Iwanaga. Also, I would say the first episode is the best episode in the series. Not a diss to the rest of the show but I didn’t feel like it ever quite matches up to the first adventure.

The first episode really has a similar vibe to Death Note. We know there’s something odd about Kuro but it’s hard to say exactly what. Iwanaga is odd in her own way too so who is the hero and who’s the villain here? Kuro gives a story about how his girlfriend Saki broke up with him because a Kappa appeared and Kuro was too scared to help out. Iwanaga counters that this is unlikely and we get an interesting dynamic there. There’s a lot of verbal battles as they compare theories. Finally the episode ends with a massive cliffhanger as Kuro seemingly outs himself as a villain and walks away.

From the first episode you almost get a Death Note meets Carmen Sandiego feeling as Kuro will keep avoiding Iwanaga while she chases him. Things don’t quite go in that direction though as Iwanaga is not scared of his abilities and is still in love with him anyway. From there they end up forming a very reluctant team as they are “dating” and Kuro has to protect her at all times since the world of Yokai is a dangerous one. It’s a different dynamic compared to the first episode but still a good path. That first episode just really leaves a strong impact.

The first case is a fairly small one. So a body was found inside the lake of the Great Snake and so he summons Iwanaga to ask what happened. If the answer is not satisfactory then he will create a giant storm and cause a lot of destruction. Throughout the two episodes Iwanaga poses several theories and explanations on what has happened. This is really the meat of what makes the series interesting. So in most detective shows/movies you will have the main character explain everything as we get flashbacks as to exactly what happened and then we call it a day.

Well we get the explanation and the flashback but then the Snake starts poking a lot of holes in the theory. So Iwanaga switches her story up and you quickly realize that she was completely bluffing the first time. It’s a fun subversion because you are used to the main character being correct the first time around, not having to backtrack and try again. I can’t think of the last time I saw something like that. It happens over and over again as the Snake keeps dismissing the theories until he accepts the last one. Thing is, we don’t know if it’s actually correct. Iwanaga ultimately admits to Kuro that it’s still a guess since it’s not like she was actually there.

Although she did have her mystic Yokai informants to fill in some of the holes but ultimately she doesn’t know if this is the truth. Iwanaga points out that it’s close enough though and works as an “Alternative Truth” which is a main theme of the show. As long as you get to the correct outcome, the details themselves don’t matter and can therefore be made up. Iwanaga’s job is to make everything make sense, not to necessarily uncover the truth behind these mysteries. You can see how that’s a very different perspective from what you may be used to. It makes for a fun watch and becomes a bigger debate/point of emphasis in the upcoming arc. The snake adventure was a good way to kick things off as we see different flashbacks which keeps contradicting themselves as the story goes on. I’ll give the Snake props for shooting down so many theories initially though.

Now we enter the final arc. You may be thinking that this was awful quick but the final arc is quite long which is why it shows up immediately like this. So there is a rumor going around about “Steel Lady Nanase” which is believed to be the undead spirit of Nanase that is going around and murdering people. Nanase was crushed when a giant construction beam broke and fell on her. The circumstances of her death were very suspicious though. Why was she alone in the middle of the night at an abandoned construction area? She was a very well known voice actress of world renown who should not have been there at the time. Additionally, the way she died makes it appear that she didn’t react to the beam falling down at all as if she was already knocked out or put to sleep. Thing is there are no other injuries to be found or any traces of a drug. Naturally Iwanaga is called into action.

With almost 10 episodes for this arc it’s quite a long one as you can expect with quite a few twists and alternative truths mixed in. We also meet a new villain and several new characters. This is a good place to talk about Kuro’s abilities since they will play a big role in this title. So Kuro ate part of a mermaid at some point which is part of his origin story and so he is immortal. Any fatal wound he receives will quickly heal up at all times. Additionally, while he is dead, Kuro has the ability to grab onto the literal strings of fate to determine what path he takes.

This isn’t an invincible ability where he can change the future though as it has some limitations. First, he can only see some branches into the future and can’t follow them along too far before his healing factor kicks in and he regenerates. Additionally, if the future is something very strong then he can’t change it. For example, if a villain is attacking someone, it’s probably too late to change their fate to spare the victim because the action is already in progress. Another wrinkle to the equation is that he’s not the only one with fate altering abilities so if the other user is more powerful than he is, then Kuro will be blocked out.

A side effect of Kuro’s abilities is that his blood is poisonous to monsters/yokai now. So most avoid him by default. Mix that in with his immortality and getting eaten intentionally is an actual battle tactic for him since he can walk away from that while the monster will blow up. So that wraps up Kuro’s abilities and it makes him a very valuable asset to have. Iwanaga always wants him to help out but unfortunately for her he isn’t a great team player and tends to vanish a lot. Ultimately he will show up to help out in each arc though.

It does also feel like the show jumps around a lot. It feels like there is a significant jump between the giant snake case and then Steel Lady Nanase. Personally I’m thinking the show may have skipped some stories to get to the big Nanase case or something but it may just be a normal jump. Either way the duo have really grown comfortable with each other by this case and Kuro no longer denies being her girlfriend. The two of them are just partners in for the long haul at this point although if Kuro’s immortality includes his age then that could be tricky for Iwanaga eventually.

Back to the arc though, here’s a bit more of the details. So of course Yokai exist in this world and the Steel Lady Nanase is very real. The trouble is that spirits grow stronger based on how many people believe in them. Initially there weren’t a lot of people who believed in Nanase, but a certain website has helped her become big through its active forums. It turns out that Rikka, Kuro’s cousin is at the helm and she appears to be using this as some kind of experiment. That makes the case extra personal for Kuro. The problem is that it’s not so easy to figure out how to beat Nanase since Rikka keeps using fate alteration to prevent her defeat.

So the goal here is really for Iwanaga to convince people on the forums that Nanase isn’t real. Effectively she has to make the truth appear to be a lie and the lie appear to be truth. It’s interesting because we know that the villain in this case is telling the truth about Nanase being an evil spirit murdering everyone so in a way you’re hoping that the forum won’t fall for Iwanaga’s fake news. On the other hand, this is the only way to stop the spirit since if nobody believes in her then she will fade from existence.

We get a lot of rules about how this specifically works. The fact that everyone knows how Nanase looks and that someone drew an image of her also made the spirit more powerful since everyone would have the same illustration in their minds. It was really quite the impressive trick by Rikka. Rikka is quite fortunate that the forum was so supernatural though as on Reddit I can’t imagine a lot of people buying into this. They may ironically post about it but that’s really it.

It was a lot of fun to see the forums going though as Iwanaga and Rikka both infiltrated and pretended to be random users. We get multiple episodes of all these users interacting as Iwanaga provides story after story. Like with the giant snake she just keeps on throwing out constant theories until one sticks. I personally thought she should have used a different user name with each one to really split everyone up though. See, her goal isn’t to win everyone over at once but to gradually split up the group so that everyone is believing in different things at the same time. That would weaken the collective image and allow Kuro to take Nanase down.

After all, while Iwanaga is typing all of this, Kuro is fighting Nanase so that she can’t murder anyone else in the meantime. I did have major issues with this fight though. So Nanase isn’t super strong on her own, I mean she is decent but you can absolutely wrestle her to the ground. For someone like Kuro this should be easy right? Nanase’s only big weapon is her steel beam which murders Kuro several times. That’s fair, I accept those losses since the man seems to have 0 fighting instincts. There are 3-4 times in the fight where he throws her beam off of the stairs or she is separated from it.

In those cases he should absolutely be grabbing the beam right? No, each time he’ll just throw her back into the beam, just stand there with a stunned expression on his face, or he’ll destroy her but then she’ll regenerate and just pick up the beam again. Kuro’s win conditions aren’t too hard here. Just keep the steel beam out of reach since she can’t summon it remotely and then get her in a choke hold. He successfully did this and murdered her once but then ran off. Instead keep holding onto her as she regenerates and wait for Iwanaga to solve the case.

I feel like they made Kuro fight super poorly the whole time so that her solutions would work completely but it would have been more impressive if he was just holding her in place the whole time. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as visually interesting but then just keep the focus on the inside world with the texts and the virtual selves. I think that would have worked out quite well if you ask me. That fight just didn’t make sense the whole time and since the climax is so long, it just makes this impossible not to notice.

So lets talk about the characters. First off you have Kuro who works well as the main guy. You feel bad for him to an extent as he clearly doesn’t want to get back into a relationship but Iwanaga is quite persistent. Even now when they are together you feel like he’s just there to protect her but doesn’t really return her feelings just yet. They work better as just being friends but I think we know that’s likely off the table right away. Kuro is never quite as mysterious as he was in the first episode but you always get the sense that he could crack at any second.

He does have some character weaknesses though like how he runs off to take care of the Rikka element by himself and that ultimately comes back to bite him. The whole plot with Rikka does no favors for Kuro either. They are still cousins after all so I don’t care how big the family is, that means Kuro needs to stay out of that arena. At least he’s finally starting to get over that but in the meantime it does hold him back as a character.

As for Iwanaga, her detective skills are on point. When solving cases she is second to none and I do like how quickly she is able to pivot from one story to the next when they are proven to be incorrect. She’s quick on her feet in that respect and is also willing to jump into danger as needed. On the minus side, she can be rather crude at times. That’s almost her whole gimmick with how she obsessively chases after Kuro and tries to keep his ex Saki at a distance. Iwanaga is always calculating and that includes when she is talking to her friends. I’d like for her to be a little more dignified at times though. So like Kuro I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of her so far.

Saku is the ex girlfriend who gets a big role in the Nanase case. Her first appearance in that arc is quite good as she charges Nanase and tries to fight. Of course it doesn’t work since Nanase is a ghost but I did like her enthusiasm there. She really went for a big punch and since she is usually scared of the occult that was a big character moment. I was surprised when it happened but very much in a good way. You’ve probably noticed a trend with the characters so far though which is that they all have a weak point as well. Saki is no different and my issue is with how she ditched Kuro so easily.

Mainly the show points to the incident with the Kappa as why she ran off. When she noticed that the Kappa was scared and not Kuro, she had to dash out of there because it was all too scary. If she broke up with Kuro because he was emotionless I could buy into that. Or if he started acting evil and edgy, sure that makes sense. Running off because of that? I think that’s a real stretch and even in the present it doesn’t make much sense to me. Later on we see that she knew about his regeneration after witnessing it at one point so I don’t see why this was so much of a shock to her.

At the very least I would have expected them to sit down and talk about it a bit. So that really hurt her character since it makes her look bad. At least it looks like there won’t be a “Take Two” so they will just stay as friends now. One minor character who stole the show for me was Terada. He’s Saki’s superior in the office and while he doesn’t believe in the supernatural he keeps his mind open about it. I was glad that he was trying to crack the case and didn’t just say Saki was crazy or something like that. Unfortunately, going up against a spirit will usually be the end of you and that’s how things went here. At least he was a lot of fun while he was around and that’s how you develop a good one shot character.

Finally we have the villain Rikka. Eh, I’m not a fan of hers either although we don’t really know her full goals yet. It appears that ultimately she wants to die since immortality is a bit of a curse for her. So, perhaps by figuring out how to make spirits come to life, she is trying to find a way to reverse her own immortality. I don’t really know why she was trolling at the hospital for a few years though as with her immortality she seems to have been okay. When the hospital discharges her eventually she just walks off. Maybe she just liked scaring Saki. (Yeah Saki’s also scared of her which isn’t a great look) I’ll need to see what Rikka’s real motivations are but in the meantime she’s just not a very interesting villain. It is fun to picture her typing on the keyboard as the enemy troll in the final debates though.

I doubt she really knows what she wants to do at this point but it would be hard for the heroes to stop her if she got serious. Put it this way, there’s nothing stopping her from creating a lot of myths around the world and summoning more monsters. Maybe they wouldn’t be as powerful if she doesn’t get the circumstances just right but the heroes can’t be in more than one place. Just summon a bunch of them and watch the world burn. It’s not like the humans can do anything against Yokai so that’s game set and match. Her goal isn’t to destroy the world but if she needs the spirits for her goal…well that’s how you do it.

That about covers it for the characters. There are a bunch of random yokai running around too of course but they’re not quite big enough to go in depth on. As you can see I wasn’t the biggest fan of the cast but they hold their scenes well enough. You’ll still be entertained while going through it mainly because the detective angle is a blast. The series is at its best when the characters are debating viewpoints and trying to find flaws in each other’s arguments. Since Iwanaga is creating lies each time, it makes sense that there will usually be a hole to exploit somewhere.

It does have a bit of a fanservice issue in the final case with Nanase. The fanservice is effectively built into her reputation which is why it’s emphasized and mentioned so much but it’s not really needed. Kuro doesn’t miss a chance to tease Iwanaga on her appearance with this and they mess around a bit but it ultimately felt like a bit of an excuse to use Nanase for fanservice. The rest of the show is pretty much devoid of this so I like to think it won’t be an issue for season 2.

The opening song is very solid here. It’s quite catchy and I particularly like the guitar strum at the beginning. It’s the kind of opening you can listen to a whole lot. Within the show the ost isn’t quite as memorable but it’s hard to top that intro. As for the animation, it’s pretty solid. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly memorable but works well enough for a more mystery based show. The action scenes aren’t quite the focus after all and everything is still clear enough. There are good contrasts with the colors and you can’t mistake the fact that this is a newer anime.

As this is a mystery show you can also expect some of the backstories to be a little dark. Usually with murders that’s how things go but I would say the show never goes too dark with the backstories. At times things can get a little violent as the show exploits how Rikka and Kuro can keep regenerating anyway. Rikka keeps destroying herself to grab onto fate and I would say Kuro is sandbagging to an extent to keep grabbing fate as well. As a result they do die a lot and quite brutally in some ways. It certainly can be a bit much at times and they could tone down the violence in season 2 but for the most part it’s usually not excessive like that. Certainly none of the other cases aside from Nanase were that violent so I wouldn’t expect it to be a trend.

Overall, In/Spectre is definitely a fun show. It may not have gone the route I was expecting with the dynamic between Kuro and Iwanaga but ultimately down the road you always expect a two man show for the detectives. The one solving the cases and then the muscle to back the detective up. (Alternately the second person would be comic relief like with some variations of Watson) The show maintains really solid dialogue throughout with the cases and I like how unique the whole thing is. To get to the next level I’d like the characters to get a little more likable and then we’re really in business. If you’re looking for a good mystery show then this is one to check out. The first episode will almost certainly have you hooked.

Overall 7/10

Scoob! Review

Scoob got a lot of hype when it was first coming out as that big theatrical level Scooby Doo animated film. With the live action films not doing very well, this was the next chance to do something big. Well, it’s a pretty fun film I’d say. Ironically I would say the animated dvd films look significantly better visually but this movie is better than some of the more recent films. So all in all I was satisfied with this one. It’s not one of the best Scooby Doo films but it is easily not one of the weakest ones either.

The movie starts off with a new origin story for Scooby Doo and the gang as we see how they meet up and stop their first criminal. From there we get to the present where the heroes want to go professional. Unfortunately their potential investor says that Scooby Doo and Shaggy are liabilities. The two of them storm off without actually getting to hear what the gang really thinks and then they get kidnapped outside of the bowling alley by the Blue Falcon and his crew. They explain that these two are crucial in the fight against against Dastardly as he tries to get some relics together for his plan of unspeakable evil. Shaggy and Scooby want to prove that they aren’t the weak links of the team and agree to help.

So we’ve got our adventure here but of course that does mean Fred, Velma, and Daphne are stuck in the subplot for most of the film. It’s an enjoyable one though and at least they were ready to help their pals from the start. They even confront the Blue Falcon’s squad without fear when they see how the team is belittling Shaggy. They were loyal friends despite the guilt trip from the bowling alley employee. Honestly that’s really on Shaggy and Scooby for just running out of there before the rest of the gang had a chance to do anything.

Still the portrayals for the 3 characters are on point. I’d have liked Fred to have gotten one really solid scene where he gets a good trap ready or something though as it felt like he got the biggest shaft from the crew. Velma is a lot better than usual here as they balanced her skepticism well with actually helping the crew out. She does a lot of detective work the whole time and contributes quite a lot. Hacking Dynomutt so easily may be a bit cheesy but that was a big contribution. Then Daphne does well in building up everyone’s morale and establishing a friendship with one of the enemy robots. That would end up being absolutely massive in the film.

For Shaggy and Scooby…well I’m still not big fans of them. I think Shaggy is definitely the weaker character here though. As a kid we see how he was really lonely and meeting Scooby really helped him get his life back on track. They have a great friendship but Shaggy gets jealous way too easily later on. I’m confident that if he told Scooby to keep the collar he would have done so. Scooby was just focused on saving the world while Shaggy wasn’t focused at all. He would just make passive aggressive comments at Scooby throughout the movie and it didn’t feel justified. Mix that in with Shaggy dashing out early and he was too emotional here.

He also needs to face the facts that he and Scooby are the weak links since they’re scared of everything and always running away. It’s why I like the idea of them trying to prove themselves here but you just know that it won’t stick and they’ll be back to running away. Unfortunately that’s just completely part of their characters now. At least Scooby tries to step up when he gets the super hero costume which is why I give him more points here. You can see some improvement.

As for the villains, well Dastardly is fun. He’s a classic kind of villain who is super confident and always has a trick ready to take the heroes out. He come sup with a lot of clever plans and outsmarts the Mystery gang on more than one occasion. His classic partner Muttley doesn’t get to appear much but he was a fun character. They definitely make for a good duo. The robotic minions were also fun and had a nice design and transformation feature going.

Then we have Blue Falcon who is definitely one of the highlights here. That guy’s a blast. He may not be a good hero yet but he doesn’t let that get him down. He has a lot of confidence in himself. The film goes out of its way to remind you that he’s not very strong or smart as it goes on but I like how genuine he is. The Blue Falcon is at least trying his best and that’s the important thing.

Then you have the two allies who are always taking shots at the Blue Falcon but I think deep down they look up to him. Dee Dee is the genius of the group so she finds out the villain plans and gets the tech ready. She can also fight with her equipment which is always very helpful. Then you have Dynomutt with all his features and the guy is constantly daring Blue Falcon to do better with how often he is breaking him down.

It’s fun to have all of these characters running around. It does mean that this is a very different kind of Scooby Doo film as there isn’t a true mystery this time around. I mean you have the whole Scooby Doo ties to the plan and what Dastardly is trying to do but it’s less of a mystery and more about just following him along. The Blue Falcon’s group also makes this feel more like a superhero film but that’s always fun. This works as a good change of pace for the series. It’s risky as the first title in this franchise to not be a traditional Mystery Inc adventure but I had a good time with it.

I think a very important thing here is that the writing is considerably better than some of the recent ones. The characters aren’t super exaggerated and the story is fun to follow. Those are exactly the kinds of story elements you need in order to make for a good movie. I wouldn’t say any of the jokes are laugh out loud funny but the movie has some funny scenes and lines. So all in all you’ve got a very strong all around film here. It’s nothing great that will change your life or anything but I wouldn’t say it has any true weaknesses either. The pacing is right, you’ve got a good cast and the film really goes by quickly. I’d be glad to see more adventures here.

Overall, Scoob! does a good job of setting up the future of the franchise for a new audience. I do think you could and should switch the animation style as it isn’t great but it works well enough. If you aren’t comparing it to the main series then it really works well enough to do the job. It’s just hard to beat classic hand drawn animation of course. If you’re looking for a fun film to watch and spend some time with, then this is definitely a solid option for you to check out. I’m looking forward to the sequel and seeing where they go with it. You can never have too much Scooby Doo! Hopefully Scrappy gets to show up next time though, now that would be fun.

Overall 7/10

Scooby-Doo! The Sword and the Scoob Review

The Scooby gang has returned for another mystery to solve. This time we get to see King Arthur and the knights which always makes for some good stories. I’m not sure about this rather sketchy portrayal of King Arthur but the film is trying something different so that’s always worth the attempt. Unfortunately I would consider this to be one of the weaker Scooby Doo films. The writing just isn’t as good as some of the others and the “twists” really don’t work….at all. A mystery is only as good as the execution after all.

The movie starts with Scooby Doo and the gang taking down another criminal as par for the course. The only question is….now what? Well, the gang heads over to England and visit a village where the town is talking about the good ole legends of King Arthur. Velma thinks this is all a bunch of hooey and the townfolk aren’t thrilled when they hear that Shaggy may be related to the royalty of a time long gone. Before the heroes can look into this, they are attacked by a witch and are teleported back in time to the days of King Arthur. Is it possible that time travel and witches are real?? Velma is convinced that this is all smoke and mirrors but even she may have to doubt this when magic starts to appear. Either way the main trial now is that they have to get Shaggy to become king like in the legends or their future will be wiped out forever! The stakes have never been higher.

Of course whether you even believe any of this will be a big factor here since Scooby Doo has really been avoiding the supernatural elements for a while now. It does seem like it would be hard to fake time travel though. That should be very hard in fact since there are so many old townsfolk and the whole kingdom looks different. Then for the magic, someone hits Fred with a spell that causes him to be unable to move. What science could explain that? Well, the film explains everything by the end. I won’t say whether this is real or not but I will say that the explanations are absolutely awful. Especially the Fred one which I don’t buy for a second. Come on, that’s just unbelievable. Same with the time travel explanation.

Merlin is the film’s little wink to the audience at the end but it’s not very satisfying. So…why is the film not too much fun compared to the others? For starters, most of the film doesn’t even have a mystery to be solved. It’s not like there are many suspects. The only two three real characters we saw were the mayor, his assistant, and the librarian. So one of them has to be the Witch if we assume that she has a true identity but this isn’t the focus of the film. Most of the film is instead about Shaggy trying to become king and a lot of shenanigans happening in the meantime. We get some comic relief events and some reasonably serious action scenes.

Daphne beating up on the king’s men is fun. You sort of see this coming as soon as she enters the arena because fighting is her thing, but it’s all handled well. I was glad to have some action here because the animation is sharp. So when the film brings its A game then you know to expect some good things. You could even mistake this for a DC film before the characters appear because it’s really got that look to it. If there’s one thing the films never disappoint with, it’s certainly the animation. You can’t do much better than this.

The soundtrack is mainly forgettable though so don’t expect anything much there. For the writing, well it’s classic Scooby Doo. They use the same gags in every film for the last 30+ years. Scooby and Shaggy are still scared of absolutely everything. Fred’s still not nearly as tough as he acts and his traps always fail. Velma is always super smug about not believing in the supernatural and is right in the end. Lately Daphne has a different gimmick in each film. For this one it is that she believes the world is a simulation and that nothing is real. Definitely random but we’ll see how she is in the next film.

The movie does have a little tribute to one of those old He Man type shows which is cool. The graphics have aged rather well and it looks like it would be a fun show now. The show itself ties in to the ending which is nice to see. It wasn’t just a random moment but ended up being important. We also do get a bit of an action packed climax. Low stakes but it was a good way to end things off with a lot of energy.

If The Sword and the Scoob was lacking something, it’s really that the explanations all could and should have been better. The explanations are really what will knock you out of the film right away. If they had just been better then I think you would enjoy the movie a lot more. King Arthur also should have looked way better than he actually did. We don’t need another coward in the film, we’ve already got two. King Arthur being a dignified king would have worked a lot better within the actual story as well and would have made the competition more fun. The humor doesn’t work as well when it’s all the same thing.

But I would say the film is still positive. While it’s one of the weakest Scooby Doo films, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. For starters, the film still flows by really quickly. I would say that the pacing is on point here. You won’t be bored even if you don’t find it all that funny. It’s always nice to see the old characters around and I wouldn’t say the film makes any big mistakes. The animation is solid as mentioned and while there isn’t really a big mystery this time around, we do get the quick fight scene with Daphne. So when you mix in the solid visuals with some action, you’ll at least be having a good time here.

Overall, The Sword and the Scoob should have been a lot better. I definitely won’t deny that, but if you’re looking for a fun Scooby Doo adventure to jump into then you can’t really go wrong here. I’m confident that you will have a good time and that’s the important part in the end. I do have higher hopes for the next one though. It all comes down to the explanations. As long as they line up and make sense then we should be in good hands here. In the meantime, I wouldn’t mind if they ever decide to make Shaggy and Scooby brave. You don’t have to go too far but just toning them down a little bit would go a long way. It may go against tradition, but trust me it would be a great move.

Overall 6/10