Mornin'. Nice day for fishin', ain't it? Hu ha!

  • Epic NPC Man: Playlist of 182 (and more all the time) little skits from "The World of Sky-craft" aka "Aze-Rim". Some nail exactly what the MMO experience is like, frustrating and amusing at once, some are less so. But I watched most of these in the last 2 days, totally worth it. My brain has melted.
  • Baelin's Route: Movie of the silly fisherman with one line of dialogue, dragged off to adventure. The actor does a LOT with that one line and a fishing rod (that turns into a staff with a knob on the end during fights). If he earns a tiny bit of XP every time he fishes, and he's been fishing nonstop for 20 years since launch, he's probably the most powerful being in Azerim. I don't like the inevitable plot twist 2/3 thru, but fucking Witcher did it, why wouldn't these guys?
  • NPC Dungeons & Dragons: Playlist of the nerds playing D&D (5E, not at all my favorite edition and I dislike the kind of story-driven modules they're been funneled thru, but the play's the thing)

Makes heavy use of New Zealand's fantasy aesthetic and loudly plays celtic music like a certain set of movies set there. Their costumes, props, and film editing "magic" are simpler, but better than those movies. They do OK at getting diverse casting, it's not all honkies.

What I'm Watching: Jupiter's Legacy

Well, trying to watch it. It is supposedly based on a Mark Millar comic, so maybe there's something of value in here, but also they fired the showrunner partway thru and replaced him with a new guy, so clearly visions differ. Doing this live-action is stupid; it looks goofy at best, the CGI and greenscreens are hilariously ineffectual, the shitty color grading makes everything look like mud indoors or at "night" (all obviously shot day-for-night but then darkened digitally), it would be so much better as a cartoon. It makes CW superhero shows look competent.

At the start, there's preachy old-school Justice League ripoffs, with a "Code" of no killing, no leading, no going into politics. Which we know is nonsense, it doesn't work, because that much power in Human(-ish) hands corrupts absolutely. They claim the "new supervillains" are "going crazy" by killing, instead of just harmless bank robbery, but we see mundane bank robbers gunning people down at the start, so there's nothing new or supervillainy about it. Utopian, asshole Superman father, chastises his son Paragon for killing a supervillain who had just killed two heroes, and however many more in his inevitable escape from prison. Completely stiff, uncompromising, Christian supremacist. But I do not believe for a second that someone can be like that for 100 years without loosening up or becoming completely corrupt, so the whole premise is a fail so far.

The mother's also a superhero, but fairly ineffectual, she's like Edith Bunker with even less of a spine to stand up to her asshole husband (who, admittedly, could pull her spine out if she did more than talk back). The son's a whipped dog who does what daddy says. There's a mostly-absent daughter who doesn't pretend to fight "crime"; she's chased off when she does show up. The telepath uncle is maybe the only likeable character in the first few episodes.

Long sections are set in the 1920s, at the start of the Depression, and the father's origin as an asshole; but they seem so far to be completely irrelevant, a few throwaway lines would've told us as much.

The power sets are ridiculously cartoony. Most can fly just by wishing at the sky, Utopian has laser beam eyes of course, a few others have weak pew-pew-pew energy powers. They all seem to be made of steel, but the fighting sets don't reflect that, a couple bits of fake marble break but the bad CGI grass doesn't even dent when a superhero is smashed into it at mach speed. Zero effort on detail and realism.

Invincible, despite being a cartoon with intentionally cartoony physics including throwing baseballs around the planet at something like 1% light speed and then fighting aliens coming thru portals, is both physically and psychologically more realistic.

Now I'm down to fast-forwarding over anything with the family, unless Uncle Walt's involved.

Oh, finally end of E2/start of E3 we get to see some origin story, where the rich (or ex-rich, as Depression starts) get superpowers, the poor don't even get a pension. George in the 1920s story, and his son Hutch and his little gang of petty near-supers in the present, greatly improve the show. Like, this is an entirely different and better show when they're on screen, than the whiny, horrible Utopian family.

★★☆☆☆ with the Utopians on screen, ★★★½☆ with Hutch. Maybe the show will average out to ★★★☆☆.

What I'm Watching: Army of the Dead

This is a zombie flick, the most worn-out of genres, by Zack Snyder, the most worn-out edgelord filmmaker of the millennium. And it's vastly, vastly better than I would expect.

The title credits show the rise and fall of Las Vegas zombies with Elvis singing, you think "oh that character's totally surviving"… no mercy. Over the top but not quite into comedy range, tho I did laugh at some of the machine gun scenes.

So now years later, Vegas is walled off, the few surviving heroes are in dead-end jobs, or refugee camps. A fixer (Hiroyuki Sanada) hires ex-hero/fry cook Dave Bautista to gather a heist team to extract wealth from Vegas before the inevitable military solution.

The team's full of fun character actors, from Garrett Dillahunt (Francis from Deadwood, Ty from Justified) as the Carter Burke company man type, to Ella Purnell, one of the girls from Miss Peregrine's. And a lot of the crew are stunt performers. Samantha Win does a great job channelling Vasquez from Aliens, right down to the red bandana, tho there's no Lieutenant Gorman analogue in this.

The gunfights, knife fights, and brawls are quick and bloody, nice honest squibs it looks like in most shots, with a few cartoony but generally blurred-out CGI shots for machine-gun fire melting armies of the dead.

The crawler zombies are slow, dumb, and follow Night of the Living Dead tradition of just being extras in makeup, not too much effort. The ghouls, or "alpha zombies" as they call them, are heavily made up and sometimes CGI'd, especially their bright yellow eyes. There's some interesting zombie ecology/culture built up here, especially Valentine, and the showgirl, and Zeus.

I make a lot of comparisons to Aliens, because this is clearly like 50% Aliens + 25% original Dawn of the Dead + 25% Zack's Dawn of the Dead. Which is fine, Snyder needs a better template than just "dark superheroes brood and kill people", and here he's got one. This is shockingly superior to anything Zack's done since… Sucker Punch?

There's a spinoff TV series already in production, it seems, covering the zombie war, I'm definitely watching that.

★★★★★

What I'm Watching: Adventure Time: Distant Lands: Together Again

Third, following Obsidian, for Finn & Jake.

Well, Finn. Who's old, nearly dead in some dungeon, and goes through to Hell looking for his long-dead brother. Instead he finds a bunch of returning characters who are all dead, including Tiffany (sigh) as the main rival/annoyance.

The designs of the Hells, "Dead Worlds", are fantastic, except the crappy 1st one, but you don't get to spend long in each, there's no exploration or sense of wonder, just fancy backdrops for a few death angels & New Death chasing Finn who's chasing Jake. The cosmology is sort of Buddhist by way of Dante's Inferno; but it's never explained enough for that to be a major element, either. In the silly 12-minute episodes, they could do a long dreamlike song or mystical exploration, and then next ep be back to kicking butt. In these 46-minute movies, they don't really seem to do that.

It is nice having the brothers back together, having adventures.

But, BMO had a great setting, kind of a good story, but terrible characters other than BMO and the bugs. Obsidian had a boring setting, boring characters except P.B. and Marceline, no plot. This one has the best characters, a plot… but an unexamined setting. Are they doomed to just make sequels with different failures?

★★★½☆

What I'm Watching: Love Death Robots S2

Previously, part 1 and part 2.

A short set of S2, maybe not trying to flood us like S1 did. I will note, S1 had very little diversity; a couple girl MilSF authors, and the worst story of last season was by a woman who writes vamp-fucker books. S2 has zero, 0, none, not a fig: It is all white male honkie dudes. Probably all straight. A couple are English, Dutch, kinda imperialist. Look, I'm not saying "you can't use stories by honkie males", some honkie males are my friends and I pass for one, but I am saying in every video, they're fucking all honkie males?! I'm very disappointed in you, Netflix.

Anyway, the shorts:

  • Automated Customer Service, by John Scalzi: Too obviously a Scalzi piece, so it's trying to be super funny but instead at best gets a snicker or chortle, and then has a terrible ending because Scalzi can't write his way in or out of a plot. Accurately captures how I think Judgement Day will go: Stupid consumer electronics and overzealous marketing AI start terminating all the Humans. I dislike the weird stretchy big-head geriatric Humans, and the dog has creepy Human teeth which is NOT OK, but the robots are cute so it gets a better rating than the writing deserves. ★★★☆☆

  • Ice, by Rich Larson: short story has a much less kind tone than this video. The premise that you can't genetically engineer someone after birth is just false, a pre-CRISPR/mRNA view. I dislike the art style in this, shadow puppets with minimal detail. ★★★☆☆

  • Pop Squad, by Paolo Bacigalupi: Blatantly ripping off Blade Runner, from the grim cops in black murdering innocents, cars flying up above a grimy city, punching thru clouds to sunlight, Vangelis-lite ripoff music, fake geisha looking entitled rich wench. Zero subtlety or writing, just blunt: "not having kids seems a small price to pay for getting to live forever".

    Done exponentially better in Ad Vitam despite its many flaws; yes, that's 6 hours instead of 15 minutes, but this had more money in it.

    I'd be more impressed with the sets if they were anything but stock "grimy cyberpunk city" and "house inexplicably next to ruins", probably bought directly from the Unity store. Ends with a direct ripoff of the Roy Baty "tears in rain" scene. This is so preachy, obvious, and trite, it's like every trashy non-SF writer's condescending opinion of SF was true. And I fucking hate Blade Runner ripoffs. ★☆☆☆☆

  • Snow in the Desert, by Neal Asher: An old survivor, albino (but incorrectly blue-eyed, not pink; I think an error by the filmmakers, but I don't remember the Asher story well) and full of weird surprises, tries to stay ahead of bounty hunters. Very nice modelling, the desert and scrapyard bartertown are spartan enough you don't really hit uncanny valley, and the not-always-Human people don't look cartoony. Plot's kind of trivial, the reveals aren't surprising if you know anything about Neal's Polity series, but it's all well-done, never stupid. ★★★★½

  • The Tall Grass, by Joe Lansdale: Fantastic oil-paint art style. HP Lovecraft-looking protagonist gets off a train and wanders into the grass. This is a very very dumb idea, but we have the advantage of having seen Children of the Corn. I'm extremely unimpressed by what's out there, the mood is great until they're revealed and then it's just "oh for fuck's sake". Ending is moody again, it's just the whole middle bit that needed a rethink. ★★★½☆

    Notably this is vastly superior to Stephen King & Joe Hill's In the Tall Grass.

  • All Through the House, by Joachim Heijndermans: It's Xmas in May! Brats sneak up on Santa and find out why you should stay in bed and be good. This was just delightful, and doesn't overstay its welcome. Every child should be shown this one, in between Frosty the Snowman and episodes of The Cinnamon Bear. ★★★★★

  • Life Hutch, by Harlan Ellison: So far there hadn't been any dumb Call of Duty videos. Well, here it is. After attempting to murder aliens in space, space murderer crash-lands on a planet, finds an automated survival shelter, and then the systems don't like him much. Which sentiment I share. Possibly unfair. The short story was Harlan's second published, and it fits in an arc of a Human-alien war with a little more question about "why", and the robot isn't self-motivated like in this video. BUT. It's still a dumb piece. ★★☆☆☆

  • The Drowned Giant, by J.G. Ballard: A long, talky, introspective story by Ballard turns into a long, talky voiceover video over a dead giant on the beach. Bored out of my skull by this. Narrator does nothing, learns nothing. Purpose and origin of the giant is unknown. Almost literally anyone else visible in this video would be more interesting to follow. ★☆☆☆☆

What I'm Not Watching: Mare of Easttown

Kate Winslet is no longer a Heavenly Creature, nor a Titanic starlet, but a disappointed middle-aged detective in the rust belt with a broken family and a cold case she can't really cope with. She starts dating a writer passing through, played by Guy Pearce (Shotgun Ed in L.A. Confidential). A local girl with another broken home is murdered, and a much, much younger, fetus-like even, detective played by Evan Peters (a bunch of American Horror Story series) joins her to investigate.

I bother mentioning the actors here because that's often the only entertainment. The plot is glacial, not helped by HoboMax releasing these one a week like some old-timey 20th C TV series. I don't care about "Mare" or her family, she's a sullen, bad-tempered, constantly-vaping wench who supposedly made a basketball shot 25 years ago. Kate's made no attempt to control her ever-expanding hips and ass, which, I'm not judging her much on that, but it makes her role less plausible. She's about in shape for a 60-year-old near retirement, not a 45-year-old active-duty cop.

The family stuff is really dire, ex-husband is remarrying, and Kate shows up to annoy him or accuse him of various crimes. Cousin is a priest, and so he's dirty in some way. Her mother-in-law is just the worst. The victim's ex-boyfriend, father, and friends are all awful, she's better off out of the script.

On ep 3, and I'm not making it thru this. I watch an ep and feel like someone living in the rust belt, like life is pointless and ugly. Is there any payoff possible that'd make it worth going on? This is what happens when someone decides they need an Oscar, so they make some misery porn for a few hours and hope the tired old men of the Academy remember when she wasn't old.

★☆☆☆☆ This just sucks.

What I'm Watching: Invincible

I'd read a couple years of Invincible when it came out, and some of Robert Kirkman's other comics (The Walking Dead, Tech Jacket, etc); he was throwing things at the wall until one stuck. And now Kirkman's adapted this into an animated series (it would be insane to do live-action), and like TWD taken it mostly down the comic's plot, but there are some differences already; I hope it doesn't become a walking dead series like TWD, 'zon's already renewed it for S2 & S3.

Invincible takes a very slightly variant Superman (no laser eyes or X-ray vision or blowing ice breath), gives him a happy family with a teenage son (voiced by Steven Yeun, Glenn from TWD) just getting his powers, a Justice League (including blatant Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Martian Manhunter ripoffs) he's not exactly part of, a secret agency that monitors superheroes. That all ends abruptly, and very bloodily.

The fight scenes in this are fantastic, very fast-moving, active camera for the most part, and incredibly violent. More violent than you think. You're going to see a lot of internal organs, and often just red everywhere. Superheroes and the things they fight are massive natural disasters that kill thousands or millions of people, up close, and failure is always an option. If that's a problem for you, don't watch this, it only gets more so later.

The character designs are nice and distinctive, the writing and voice acting for everyone… varies from ones they obviously cared about, to wannabes. With some weirdly over-cast, over-written NPCs like the simple tailor (not Garak, but Mark Hamill).

Superman's an equally terrible problem in DC, and the Zak Snyder movies address it, but there's always been at least one villain/hero/President (Lex Luthor) who recognized that and had the tools to fight the alien. There were constraints on his powers. There's no such constraints on Omni-Man, as you soon learn. And there won't be any limits on Invincible, either, when they face him or alternate versions of him.

I know it's a trope, but the inability of anyone to recognize superheroes is incredibly dumb; Invincible, Rexplode, and Eve at least wear trivial little masks, but Omni-Man's face is fully exposed, there's no reason anyone wouldn't instantly recognize him in person or, say, on the dust cover photos in his books. So when characters figure out who Invincible is, it's less "wow they're smart/genre aware/know him really well", and more "how did you not see that 4 episodes ago?!"

There's also a lot of monologue speechifyin', often from trivial NPCs you'll never see again, and I could not care less. The teen romance drama is tedious, but that's sort of plot-related so I can ignore it. Often a good 25% of each episode is fat that could be cut.

The Mars storyline is nonsense, even for superhero space adventures; in the show it's less than 2 weeks there and back. In reality, it takes 9 months to reach Mars, 9 months back, because that's how Hohmann Transfer Orbits work. If Earth was shown having a fancy fusion drive torch, sure, weeks there and back. But they have a long-haul orbit cycler, which you may remember from The Martian (book, not the silly movie).

The college sidequest (that turns out to be more relevant later) has a Justin Roiland cameo. You know, when you see missing posters in a horror or superhero world (same thing), you should pay attention because something bad is happening.

The comic relief is generally good. The Beta Ray Bill stand-in (Seth Rogen) who checks up on Earth, and the Hellboy detective rip-off (Clancy "The Kurgan" Brown!) are amusing. They got Kevin Michael Richardson to play the Mauler clones and Monster Girl's monster voice, and he's funny, but they really should've got Armie Hammer, who played the Winklevii in The Social Network.

It's not the most creative show ever, just Kirkman shitposting on 50 years of DC plot holes, but it's fun enough, if you're into kinda grimdark fun at the expense of people who wear spandex to fly around and punch each other. Vastly, vastly, and I cannot emphasize this enough, vastly better than the live-action misadaptation of The Boys (the comic is still my favorite superhero thing ever, read it all!).

★★★★☆

What I'm Watching: Tenet

A bit of Robert Heinlein's All You Zombies, a bit of Doctor Who, a lot of every buddy caper flick. Not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. Or I've just read too many competent time travel stories to tolerate most of what ends up on film.

The first half does its best to never tell you what's going on, and at the point where you'd get an infodump, the scene just switches away. Obnoxious writing trick to avoid having to think some of it out.

I don't much like the brown-on-brown film coloring for much of the footage, but it's not constantly cyan-and-orange, so I guess I'll let it pass.

Denzel's kid John David Washington is OK, he's slightly snarky or unserious when he should be serious, but competent enough. Robert Pattinson is a mess, his fake accent is weird, and he has zero affect, either a robot or a sociopath, as has previously been noted: He was perfect as the vapid lead in Cosmopolis but anything else is asking too much of him. My Cocaine Michael Caine has a somewhat pointless but fun little cameo. Kenneth Brannagh's beard looks super weird and artificial, I'm distracted from his generally superb scenery chewing by that weird growth on his face. Elizabeth Debicki is leggy and sleek, but totally extraneous.

SPOILER

















So, the trick is you can reverse time flow on an object or person, by just walking through a big iron turnstile; zero special effects budget, literally all they ever use is running some film backwards.

If you reverse bullets, a forward-time observer sees them pulled out of the target. All the Protagonist can think to do with that is a few parlor tricks, go "whoa" like Keanu, and does occasionally avoid standing in front of bullet holes. There's a lot of interesting things you could do with this, the film never does. Shoot a bullet now, pull it out "later" (by one perspective or another), it's the best sniper kill. Nobody else pays attention to bullet holes, damaged cars, etc. until it's too late, which is probably supposed to be suspenseful but it leaves me in contempt of these idiots.

There's a point where they clearly just brain-farted: A reversed driver car chases the Protagonist… driving backwards, in front of them. No. The car isn't reversed, the driver just sees the world going the wrong way around. The entire bomb caper is weird, often confused, but that was the weirdest.

And while it's not a major plot point, suppressed pistols are not silent. It's not "thwip", dead, it's more like a gunshot down the block instead of in your ears. The locked doors all over are weirdly inadequate, they have both keypad and tumbler lock; most such are very low-grade security, where you want fast access but a key in case you lose power. The good keypad locks are keyless, or a high-security tumbler that can't be bumped like Protagonist is shown doing. This is kind of a major plot point, and I don't believe the villain would use such shitty locks to protect his doomsday machine.

Very quickly they jump to spending long periods of time reversed, mostly hiding in cargo containers or ships with sealed air, so they can go back and fix their previous screwups. Their "temporal pincer attacks" don't make any sense, the people in reverse just end up fighting people in reverse because they're moving back before go-time. Protagonist does eventually figure out how to do things right: See the aftermath of something, wait for the event, follow it back to the cause. But he does it very badly, continuously gets beaten up and rescued.

The entire plot of the arms dealer's wife is extraneous to the 2.5 hour film, and adds about half an hour to it; it should've been the first thing cut. The only thing I liked in that entire bit was the diving woman.

And turning the entire thing into "oh, there's nine Horcruxes and we have to stop Voldemort from assembling them" is just silly.

The finale is just a big messy gunfight in a California gravel quarry, no better than classic Doctor Who but wasting millions of times more money. I'd rather watch Jon Pertwee spinning out his jalopy than this.

And of course the All You Zombies twist: There's never been any other mastermind. But where do all you zombies come from?

This movie makes me greatly miss the Netflix series Travelers[sic], which made intelligent use of knowledge from the future.

★★★½☆ — there's a better movie buried somewhere under the flab and stupid characters, but this ain't it.

What I'm Watching: Infinity Train

Short Youtube/Adult Swim pieces are now on HoboMax, so I've binged the entire run in the last week.

In Season 1, a teen girl Tulip wants to go to game dev camp; briefly we see the screen and game, a PyGame starter project, on the blandest fake-Windows XP screen possible, but that's probably how the Kids Today™ start in games, instead of typing in Super Star Trek. Disappointed by divorced parents, she runs away, hops on a train… and is in a magic train, hurtling through a wasteland pocket universe. Her entire purpose is to get back home, get to game dev camp, and she's as rational and proactive as a teen can be; a little robotic sometimes.

Every "car" of the Infinity Train is a separate puzzle or weird environment. You find the door, do something to get it open, cross a catwalk to the next car. Sometimes there's ways to go up and around, sometimes not. Passengers get a glowing number on their hand, like Logan's Run in reverse, roughly according to how fucked up they are, and it goes down as they "learn lessons". They pick up native "denizen" friends and enemies along the way. When the number hits 0, they get to leave. Sometimes.

S1's companions are hilarious without being annoying, One-One is a ball robot very very similar to Wheatley from Portal 2, with two personalities. Atticus is king of the talking corgis (and is Ernie Hudson!). A high note is The Cat (Kate Mulgrew), your treacherous fixer frenemy type; a white Persian cat. Aside from eyerolling at teen angst sometimes (I went thru worse parental problems, and I'm… a giant mess. Hm. Where's my Infinity Train?!), this is a great story.


S2 has continuity! A denizen MT follows in Tulip's footsteps, with a new passenger and denizen friend. Since MT is punk and actually does things, I like this the most; there's real moral choices, chances of failure, recurring antagonists, and there's actual horrible or good consequences. You could quite happily stop here.

S3 unfortunately follows a racist cult dirtbag, the enabler leader of said cult, a small child, and a denizen tuba gorilla. I loathe both of these protagonists, and children crying annoy me. The tuba gorilla is OK, but we don't really get any detail on her sad backstory. Even a racist's comeuppance doesn't make it better. They never show back up, so we don't know what progress is being made.

S4 brings in two asian kids from BC trying to start a chiptune/rock band, namedropping YMO as an influence, tho later performances are more like Anamanaguchi. One is the good obedient kid, the other's a rocker with no discipline, they get pulled in and scored together (mostly). The problem is the denizen is a magic flying desk bell who waffles between flirty and almost interesting, and the most annoying fake personality like a Melissa McCarthy (but it's Minty Lewis, from The Regular Show), and antagonists are very weird and whiny for no reason, no real lessons are learned. There's a couple fun short songs, I like little chip synths.

The first two seasons deal a lot with the infrastructure of the train, who's running things, and what it's for. This is awesome, right up my wheelhouse. S3 & S4 mostly annoyed me, and do almost nothing with the management of the train; we get some of it to the middle-end of S3.

★★★★★ S1
★★★★☆ S2
★★☆☆☆ S3 — only gets that high because of Amelia
★★★☆☆ S4

They're still trying to get more seasons made, and maybe movies and comics (which I think would fit the story better? And allow them to go more adult, which this is clearly trying to do but being kiddified a bit), so go give HBO Max some viewership.

What I'm Watching: Yuru Camp △ S2, Kuma3 Bear

  • Yuru Camp △ S2: Following up on S1, S2 goes more into Shimarin's backstory, Nadeshiko does some solo camping, the original club try a cold winter camp and endanger themselves, and then there's a very long arc of a road trip, not entirely "camping". The first parts held my interest and were the kind of relaxing with a few "Ooh, is there danger? There is not!" climaxes that I liked in S1.

The road trip got tedious very quickly, nothing happened except shopping, sightseeing. The background art is lovely, but there's nothing developed or done in any of it. Edit that trip down to 2 eps and wrap some more casual camping at the end, and it'd be a much better season.

★★★★☆

  • Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear: Was recommended as another light, low-conflict show. Isekai but that's almost totally irrelevant to the story. A 15-year-old girl financial wizard Yuna gets sucked into VR MMORPG, with the most ridiculously banal name possible: "World Fantasy Online". That is some grade-A horseshit naming. The claim that this is the "first VR MMORPG" is arrogant, it should be accepted that this is like #25 and they all kill or suck in some players, standard disclaimer in TOS.

Doesn't matter, she gets picked (doesn't even die, or get "hacked" or anything) by Kami-Sama to go to a real fantasy world… with some uber-powerful "bear set" gear, bear pajamas like Lain's but she can shoot fireballs, summon giant bear mounts/combat pets, and gets more and more powers by just grinding low-level "wolf" & "goblin" enemies. In most real MMOs that won't get you past Level 10.

FWO has the totally generic "adventurer's guild" setup, we rarely see what adventurers are capable of but none are on her power level, so it's like Overlord without the goth, pathos, and complex plots. The aristocrats are all vaguely honest; Yuna at first thinks they're going to be tyrants (like anyone who inherits power is IRL), but no. Most monsters are dispatched with a single blast, the few big bad monsters do require a little problem-solving and fight, but there's only a few minutes of that. The few adversaries who show up are never given any backstory, you never see them do any evil work before (there's like one dream-like sequence about one villain… it doesn't matter), you're just told "this is the bad guy!" and it's usually a short fat dude with a moustache. They're then rounded up without any effort.

All Yuna cares about is finding ways to recreate Earth's food, instead of enjoying what they make; making silly bear-shaped houses; and picking up younger girls to mack on. The younger girls squeal at a pitch designed to make me and dogs howl, do not like.

The art's often nice, background music & characters when it's not a small squealing girl. They could have made a good show, instead it's the blandest formula possible.

★★☆☆☆