Posted on 9 November 2013 with categories: Galilei Donna

Oh… the fail. The huge, incredible fail. I was already flexing my muscles when I found out that this episode would be set in the Netherlands… but I didn’t expect that the creators got almost nothing right.

The only thing the creators got right was the names, and they spelled “voor” right.

Questionable but correct was the fact that it snowed. Heck, apparently it’s around January or February when the series takes place. We have periods in which the entire country is covered in snow. Way to go against the stereotypes, I like that. Although I do find it a bit weird that it suddenly out of nowhere started snowing. We’re not particularly colder than the rest of the world here and usually the snow just lasts two months, and even then it’s only a few days at a time. There’s also the way in which everyone just understood each other, but that’s something that all international fiction suffers from. Let’s just assume that everyone’s talking English.

And now for the gross inaccuracies. Let’s start with the architecutre: in the Netherlands, houses can basically be divided into two kinds: old and new. Old is basically the traditional style of housing, while the new is the calculated and well planned home, often built with reddish brick. None of the buildings shown in this episode fall anywhere close to that. I guess they were going for the old look, but they made one crucial mistake here:

Let me tell you, most cities in the Netherlands were built on swamp lands. When homes needed to be built, people would drive huge wooden pillars into the ground for the houses to rest on, because otherwise everything would just collapse on itself. This also meant that most homes couldn’t be built very large unless they have some very solid foundation, wihch is what most people couldn’t afford. Especially combined with the fact that it’s a country with a really high population density: especially in the cities there is not much room. Houses as huge as what we saw there: we only have that in the suburbs, and almost always they are built in a modern architectural style, not some oldish one that you see here. Even the largest houses in the old style are large because they are long. Not wide. When I go on a holiday to a foreign country, I’m always stunned by how big every building is.

Also, the church:churches in the Netherlands are mostly built in an old gothic style. All very old-fashioned, and a typical element of them is that the windows are slightly small. Not huge, like that giant stained glass window we saw here, nor do we have much churches in which the iron beams are plainly visible. Having huge open doors is also just a big no.

Then, the street view: our lanterns nowadays are much more modern: the old style you only see in historical centers like Amsterdam. Also, the creators cleverly managed to mask this with the snow and all, but Dutch streets are nearly always designed to be save: lots of traffic lights, very well defined pavements, lots of opportunities for bikes. I saw no hints of that whatsoever.

And here’s the big one: WHERE THE HECK DID THESE MOUNTAINS COME FROM!? Seriously? We don’t have those in the Netherlands. The single biggest hill we have is about 300 meters above sea level, and that’s in the southernmost part of the country. The other 11 provinces are pretty damn flat here. ESPECIALLY near the sea, which apparently this episode takes place in. Those fancy rocks you see at that beach? Yeah, the rocks we do have are really tiny. Nearly all of our beaches are sandy beaches, follwed by a few sand dunes.

All of this really made me wonder: why am I still watching this? Why am I still going for these kinds of series, when they’re so stupid that they can’t even manage the most basic of research. I mean, Kyousogiga and Samurai Flamenco: I can think of plenty of reasons to watch them. But this…. everything is just average. The drama is all pretty stupid. And I don’t just mean this series, but I’m starting to wonder this about every slightly “good” series. What makes them worth watching if the writers always put so little effort and thought into them?

I want to watch things that can challenge me, however I’m getting more and more the feeling that a lot of the writers are just idiots. Anime has over the past number of years made great strides in terms of animation, but in terms of writing… I’m afraid to say it but things have gotten downhill. There are only a few writers now who can deliver original screenplays, most adaptations are just done lazily. What really is good enough to really be worth your time and attention?
Rating: 2/8 (Awful)

Posted on 24 October 2013 with categories: Galilei Donna

A building up episode with a bit of action, neither the best nor the worst of its kind, but it did flesh out the characters, and it did so well and quite believably. What struck me here is that this show has very clearly defined the talents of the three main characters, up to the point where two of them were just completely useless now that nothing’s happening aside from some mecha battles, one of them in particular.

Hozuki basically deals with the science and mumbo jumbo in this series: her innocence combined with exploring the supernatural, and she handles the mecha battles. Hazuki meanwhile as the law student handles all of the diplomacy and is the most sensible in that area, keeping everyone together as well. Kazuki meanwhile just seems to excel at hand to hand combat, which there wasn’t anything of in this episode. So she had plenty of time to worry about the unneccessary stuff. It’s quite believably done, don’t get me wrong, but she also needs to get her time to shine after this, in the same way that the creators need to give Hozuki some flaws. Or at least something that doesn’t make her a god-moded teenager here who can do anything.

That’s the one thing that has me rather puzzled: this series went so out of its way to create a diverse cast, and here it has put one in a coma, one doesn’t want to go on an adventure, and one is missing in action for who knows how many episodes. There are two possible reasons for this: building up for later when all hell breaks loose, cleverly holding its cards back, or just making the girls as special as possible.

So yeah, the key is variety. But really: what are they going to do after this? That will be the key. Make things interesting!
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

Posted on 18 October 2013 with categories: Galilei Donna

In order to be able to watch Galilei Donna, you need to be able to accept the fact that a middle schooler spent three years, cramped up in a basement, constructing a big goldfish airship and mecha including artillery, fancy interface and weapons. This stands out. A lot. Beyond that it’s an excellent thriller though.

Heck, we need more shows with a varied cast like this with lots of different ages together. What I really like is that the family has an entire history behind them already. They’ve basically fallen apart over the years, due to the divorce, the pushy mother and the diverging interests of the three daughters. That’s actually a pretty cool backdrop to start the series with, especially with so much going on here.

The end of this episode really did stress though that this series is about the girls, and not their parents, however I do hope that father and mother are going to be more than just damsels in distress. It’s been so long since we’ve had a series that had divorced parents, but it works so well. Just look at what Noein and Bounen no Xamdou managed to do with them. Here too, they deserve to be actual characters, rather than plot devices who are only important in the beginning.

So far though, I’m excited. There are plenty of series with action this season, but this series clearly stands out with its scope and ambition. It really aims to be a fast-paced and varied thriller, it goes for the epic, and in a good way. I feel that epic is way often abused, just to create some fake tension. It’s easy to give someone enough power to destroy the world. Blah, boring. This show fast-pacedly introduced a story that dates back centuries, it puts the protagonists against an organization that controls the police. The villains feel like a real threat, and the destruction that happens feels real, thanks to the talk about suing these buggers for destruction charges. Galilei Donna understood that, which is a great sign for the future.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

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