The Orville premiered on September 10th, 2017. Initial reviews were not so great and I was a little worried. But my fears did not materialize. The show was worth watching, with a major caveat.« Continue »
Back in December of 2015, I wrote an article about Samurai Jack returning for a fifth season, as part of Toonami. Now it has finally started airing, and it was worth the wait.I have not finished watching the season yet. But I wanted to write about my initial thoughts on the season. The new season works to wrap up the prior seasons, so that we finally have the conclusion we have been waiting for. The Toonami block is the right place for this season. It is darker than the original. Even though Jack has been trapped in the future, he does not age. He has lost his sword, as well as his mind. Jack is also faced with a new problem, and it may tie into him losing his sword.
Up until season five, Jack has destroyed/killed a large number of machines. But he has never killed a human. This changes when the “Daughters of Aku” are sent to kill him. After fighting with them, he swings with a weapon, cutting one of the daughters’ throat. When her mask falls off, Jack realizes that he has killed another human. Jack manages to escape the daughters, but not without severe injury. While Jack is recovering, he thinks back to a time when he saw his father kill a group of attacking assassins. His father gives the assassins a chance, saying “you have chosen this path. Life works in strange ways. Your choices have clearly led you here, as have mine. I will give you a new choice: leave here now and live, or stay and face your destiny.” When the daughters find Jack, he gives them the same choice. Of course, the daughters refuse to leave, and a fight begins.
Before, I mentioned that there is at least one important reason why Jack had to lose his sword. Of course it makes defeating Aku more difficult, but he is the “final boss” anyway. The more immediate problem is the sword was a divine creation which cannot kill an innocent. It could be argued that the daughters of Aku are innocent. They were simply raised to believe that Jack must die. Therefore, fans could have argued that the sword should have been more or less useless against the daughters. Of course, the loss of the sword also fits in with the high degree of despair that Jack faces in general.
Voice of Aku
Besides the darker nature of the show, there is one other difference between Season 5 and past seasons. Aku has a new voice actor. Sadly the original voice actor, Mako Iwamatsu, passed away in 2006. The voice actor for the new season is Greg Baldwin, who also replaced Iwamatsu in a number of other roles, including Iroh on Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Supporting the Show
As I mentioned in “Toonami Lives,” original content is going to be necessary for Toonami to thrive. Ratings during the live broadcast, if high enough, will help a lot. However, content creators are also looking for long term support of their brands. This means purchasing related content, BDs, etc. Amazon does have every season, including season five, of Samurai Jack available for purchase in digital format, and will likely have a BD format available after the show is done airing. These sales are critical, and so one of the best ways to support original content from Toonami is to purchase the episodes and/or the BD, if/when it comes out.
Overall, I have liked the final season of Samurai Jack so far, and am hoping for more original content from Toonami. Such material is already in the works, as it has been announced that Toonami is working in collaboration with Production I.G. to produce a new season of FLCL. Honestly, I am a bit concerned, as the show was so great, that they will have to be very diligent just to match the quality of work of the original season.
I probably should have gotten around to writing a campaign review for MST3K earlier, but I honestly needed to give more attention to smaller campaigns, that while interesting, were not as sure to be successful. With those campaigns finished, I can finally discussion MST3K’s reboot campaign, with almost two weeks remaining.
Format: Digital, DVD, and Blu-ray
Estimated Delivery: November 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
First, really? I mean really? You’ve never watched MST3K? Alright. So then, what is MST3K anyway? MST3K or really Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a television show that ran from 1988 until 1999. The IMDB summary is a pretty good introduction to the “plot” of the show: “In the not-too-distant future, a man and his robots are trapped aboard the Satellite of Love, where mad scientists force them to sit through the worst movies ever made.” And at 197 episodes, by the end of the 11th season, it just goes to show that there is never a shortage of B movies.
What makes the show entertaining really isn’t the movies themselves. It’s the commentary, and endless riffs, by the characters who are forced to watch them.
Pledge Tiers: 30 tiers ranging from $10 – $25,000
End Date: Sat, Dec 12 2015 1:00 AM EST
Funding Type: Fixed
Probably one of the most interesting components of the campaign was the use of Meetups to help promote the campaign. For those who are not familiar with Meetup.com, it’s a social media site which focuses on creating groups that allow people to coordinate, local group meetups, as the name suggests.
This is really an amazing way to use social media in order to not only advertise a crowdfunding campaign, but to help ensure that the brand is well supported after the campaign ends. I could easily see this being used for gaming campaigns, where after the campaign ends, the same and the games arrive, there are already seeded meetups available to help set up gaming events. Or in the case of videos, like in the MST3K campaign, screenings.
Chances of success
Well, there really isn’t too much to write here in regard to campaign success. Even with the $2M price tag, the campaign has already long broken past its initial goal and is moving towards its next stretch goal: additional episodes. The only question then is whether or not the project itself will be successful.
There are certainly risks involved. The project itself is rather extensive. It can’t be easy to reboot a series, especially one that relies on buying rights to movies (one of the reasons why each episode is so expensive is because the show has to purchase the rights to screen the movie that they are commenting on). But the people involved are professionals, with plenty of experience in the industry, so that helps settle most of my concerns. That leaves whether or not the premier screening will be delayed, due to unforeseen snags, as my primary concern.