Maid To Thrill II: Maid To Win

The power of Black Lagoon does compel me.

This is what you get when you smash a maid between the top of a car and the side of a cargo container

To no surprise, I expected nothing less. After seeing what I saw from episode nine it was a tough order to fill out, and the folks from Madhouse did a wonderful, although less-than-perfect job.

Maybe the best way to do this rant is to show, tell, and wrap it up with just how badass these two episodes have been for me.

Here are two good cuts:

Despite the fuzz filter, you can see all the details well shaded on the flag and on their uniforms

Notice the mechanical detail and lighting

Two OK ones:

Look at the gun and then Roberta's sash. And what happened to her boobs?!

Notice Levi's facial details and top of her hair

And two “you can do better:”

Totally dropping the detail on the foreground; bad reuse of BG

It's not that bad, really.

Today’s anime is generally made by a group of teams, each team responsible for a section of material. There is an overseeing person/persons to ensure quality consistency and actual animation consistency. Often however that kind of supervision leaves holes when push comes to shove in today’s busy animation scheduling. It’s hard work and it’s usually what drops the bomb when you see a dip in animation quality mid-season.

It’s not to say any of that happened to Black Lagoon (or if it did, I haven’t really noticed it enough to call it a “dip). But it probably explains the difference between some of the sequences in terms of quality in shading, in the CGing, as well as the use of the background. I mean, you can probably see for yourself.

And it is really with a fine-tooth comb that I’m critizing animation quality of TV anime–something that is just not really worth doing for more than 90% of the time. TV anime is crap compared to animation that is well-funded and produced with good scheduling. I think it’s praise enough that I can even do this reasonably to a show, that there are some good scenes worth looking closer in contrast to its not-as-good scenes.

To wrap it up: I’m certainly satisfied. I was treated with something good. It’s not the greatest and the smartest and the most awesome fight scenes, but it’s funny, charming mercenary drama with something edifying at the end of the day. I’m an easy customer when I like what I see, still.

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