Critter tripper fripper!?

First, thanks to everyone who bought the various bits of crap I wanted to sell in order to raise money for the server migration. The move has more than been paid for, and I’ll be mailing out all the aforementioned crap over the next few days. In the meantime, let’s celebrate by declaring a moratorium on news articles consisting of stupid sales number comparisons for next-gen consoles. Because really, when one week you report that the Wii shipped in double the quantities of the PlayStation 3 and the next week your big story is that the Wii sold in double the quantities of the PS3, you’re not really doing anyone much good.

Speaking of Wii — and don’t we always, around these parts? — as of last night my Mii Parade cracked the 300 mark. I really have no idea what the upward limit on this thing is, but at the moment it takes nearly a full minute for the whole crew to march their way across my screen. (Even longer if widescreen is disabled.) That’s a lot of Hitlers, George Bushes and transvestite Luigis. In a surprising twist, my own Mii rendition of Solid Snake appeared in the parade after I had to delete him from the Plaza to make room for new arrivals. It was heartwarming. Even the studio audience was all like, “Aww.

My copy of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order #8 arrived. Yes, I know, the image up there is pre-Last Order. Whatever.

When last we visited Last Order, our esteemed webmaster was in a cranky mood. Volume 7 had just arrived and it seemed the plot had been hopelessly lost. Then found and taken back behind the shed and crammed through a wood chipper. Then the resulting mulch was used as fertilizer for skunk cabbage. It was a dark time indeed.

With volume 8, the plot has gone even more awry — and, weirdly, it works. Alita herself figures into about the first fifteen pages of the book, after which a lengthy flashback kicks in. By lengthy, I mean “it’s still going 160 pages later and will apparently continue next volume.” And by “flashback” I mean “500 years in the past to the fall of contemporary Earth civilization in the wake of an extinction-level event.” Not really what i expected to see coming right on the heels of Alita’s grand epiphany about her true involvement in the death of a whole heck of a lot of people two centuries prior.

“But wait,” you say. “If we go 500 years into the past, and Alita was only born 200 years before the events of the manga, who stars in the flashback?” Why, none other than ridiculously overpowered vampiress Caerula Sanguis — who resultantly develops into something more than your typical badass with a transparently Latin-derived name. She almost becomes, I dunno, likable. And you get a better sense of the series’ history. Not that we really need to know — the original series was just fine with nothing but vague hints of the backstory to go by — but it all comes together just fine simply because it the first time in ages that Last Order has really had that lovely Kishiro-ish-ness that made the early volumes so enjoyable.

Of course, at some point — probably a little ways into volume 9 — the series will inevitably turn its focus back to Alita and the excruciating Zenith Of Things Tournament. But hey, a little relief was all it took to convince me not to give up. Yet.

Also: Retronauts. It’s back.

Edit: The Mii Parade now stands at 325. I wish parading Miis credited their creators, because I want to give the person who created Trumpy a big hug.

21 thoughts on “Critter tripper fripper!?

  1. I am still absolutely waiting for the introduction of the four-armed blue karaoke loving cyborg from near the end of Martian Memory.

    Jeez, Kishiro. The Z.O.T.T. was like, four or five quicky mini-boss battles in the game. Why the hell did you need to make it take up five volumes of manga?

  2. I get the feeling with Last Order that Kishiro is just doing whatever the hell he wants and I’m having a blast but I think it would read better if it was all complete rather than reading one volume a year. I think that we might’ve seen the end of the Z.O.T. though since their involvement in it was just too create a diversion for the dive into the computer system. But who knows after this we might go into a six volume arc about Plutoian Ninjas who make Alita their princess.

    I just hope that Figure Four and Kaos show up again soon.

  3. Good to hear Alita:LO is at least doing *something* with plot this volume. Now I gotta go pick it up somewhere…

    Speaking of manga that alternates insane violence with intriguing back-story and pretty art, have you checked out “Eden” yet. Pretty good stuff mostly… though it keeps almost losing me with ridiculously gory battle sequences and then drawing me back in with new character developments.

    Also, since I’m feeling to lazy to do basic web research, someone remind me what platform Martian Memories is for?

  4. *sniffs* What about us poor souls who don’t have Internet access for the Wii? I’m starting to fear I’ll never see a proper Wii parade… not ’til Nintendo gets those cursed USB Ethernet adaptors to the stores ’round here, anyway.

  5. I’m reasonably sure that the mission statement for Last Order read something like this.

    1. Take the Battle Angel Mythology.

    2. Make it as complicated as possible. (I still have no fucking idea what was going on in Zion)

    3. Add Obvious John Swift references.

    4. Give Desty Nova a death so weak that it makes Randall Flagg’s look like Scarfaces.

  6. Come now EDJ, surely if you’ve learned nothing else from Battle Angle, it’s that Desty Nova *never* stays dead.

  7. “It’s called Evil, kid.”

    For some reason I’ve always thought of Pod People as one of the most ‘well-rounded’ MST3K’s. It’s not the most hysterical, but from start to finish everything just seems to ‘flow’ better, right down the the last “It stinks!”

  8. Theoretically, you can have up to 10,000 Mii’s in your Mii parade. That’s up to 100 Miis for each of your 100 Wii friends.

    Of course, there has to be some technical limitation set by Nintendo; 10,000 Miis would be amazing, though.

  9. I guess i’ll have to tell my brother, He’s the one who made Trumpy (and a host of other goddamn weird miis)

  10. My Mii parade is at 60 right now… I want to see how it would look with hundreds. Oh, to be Internet Popular like Jeremy Parish.

  11. I agree with everyone who voiced their disappointment on Last Order. Original BA was an ugly, beautiful little tale that revolved around a neat pseudo-Buddhist rebirth motif. It was full of brutal fights and melodrama, and at the end of (almost) every volume Alita/Gally/Yuki would be reduced to scrap metal and rebuilt for a different life. Even the ending worked, even though it was sorta delirious and visibly rushed: Alita finally reaches McGuffinland, rebuilt as capable of wreaking righteous vengeance upon everybody there – and then just sort of forgives them all instead, and as an indirect reward gets another, this time presumably non-violent life in a human body. It was good enough.

    LO, so far, has been little more than a completely pointless fight tournament and exposition on some background info that we didn’t really need to know in the first place. Even worse, unlike in the original series the fights are needlessly shounen’d up with named special moves, excruciatingly detailed explanations of them and childish gimmicks. It feels like Kishiro is trying to cash in on Naruto’s success or something instead of writing Alita.

    As far as I care, the real ending was the first one.

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