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S01.E10: Supernova Symphony

Message added by tessaray,

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Not sure how I feel about Julia's heel turn. I had been kinda suspecting it coming for a few episodes, but her stated motives for turning on Spike were nonsense.

1. She was offended by the notion of Spike believing Vicious's words about her choosing Vicious. Seriously? You were willingly involved with Vicious for quite a while it seems, and appeared completely happy with the relationship. I don't think it was portrayed and being any kind if secret what Vicious did for The Syndicate. Now, just because you happen to see one instance of his violence in person, everyone should assume that there is no way you would willingly choose to be with him?


2. She's angry Spike didn't come back for her? Wtf? Ignoring the fact that it is completely plausible that she chose to be w/ Vicious, as stated above, Spike and her were romantically involved for... one day. Literally, one day.

So she's mad that a guy she hooked up w/ once didn't mount a suicide mission go rescue her from a relationship that he had every reason to give she was happily in? Anna even told Spike that Julia was happy when he asked about her.

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Well, I wasn´t a big fan of Julia in the original, and I liked her even less in this version. For which I guess I should be thankful: this allows me to freely dislike her. She´s clearly set up to be the big bad next season, and it should be interesting because it will be new territory at least for old fans. 

There are things I really liked, others I didn´t cared for (omg Vicious what have they done to you). The new tweaks didn´t bother me that much. I can´t be onjective about John Cho cause I've always liked him, but for years I dreamed about Keanu Reeves in this role so I'm conflicted. 

It´s been awhile since I've seen the anime, so I'm lenient on the more usual complaints (ie colour) but I wans´t really expeting the fight scenes to be as smooth on film either.

The tone is much lighter though, not so melancholic, but in a way I do appreaciate it. Episodes are from 40 to 60 minutes long (as opposed to the 25' in the anime) and I think they did have in mind people would binge watch this so it could get too dark and somber if it had been done with the original tone and ambiance. A lot of people did complaint about the jokes. 

Overall, I´ve missed this universe and its characters and I can´t deny it, I´m glad to have them back. I hope next season delivers.

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Holy uncanny valley Netflix! We finally get Ed and she is straight up terrifying with all that weird jerking and bouncing around, she's even scarier then Mad Pierrot. Its the final horrible culmination of the show trying way too hard to recreate the look of the anime even when what works in animation looks off putting and weird in live action. Its like I wished for Ed to show up at some point, but then my Monkey's Paw slowly put a finger down and I got what I wanted in the worst way possible. 

However, as much as the show has carbon copied a lot of aspects from the anime, including quite a lot of the iconic shots and dialogue from this episode, this ending is a wild departure. I guess the constant cutting back to Vicious and Julia was all to foreshadow that Julia is isn't just the sweet dream girl that Spike thinks of, she was the one who came up with the coup and she did try to have her (albeit horrible) husband killed, so it seems in character, but still, holy fuck. Are they trying to deconstruct Spike's obsession with Julia, that he was really just putting her on a pedestal and never really knew her. She's his Daisy Buchanan , but with even more murder. Still, its such a crazy change I really don't even know what to think, except Julia is a really unreasonable shithead as it turns out. Why wouldn't Spike think she wanted to stay with Vicious, they were already together, and it doesn't seem like he became abusive to her until they got married? They only slept together once, and going on the run from her crazy boyfriend seems like a rough prospect, I can easily see her preferring to live the mafia wife lifestyle instead of always being on the run and broke, especially with what we now know about her. And she knows that Spike would probably get killed if Vicious found out he was alive, its not that surprising he kept his distance. 

This was just generally a real downer of an ending, but I am guessing we will be getting a season two, but with the season ending this way I am really not sure what a season two would even be like. Having watched the whole show, I guess I can at least say it wasn't as bad as some early reviews made it out to be, it certainly wasn't as terrible as some anime adaptations I've seen, but it was still pretty lousy, especially as its an adaptation of one of the greatest, most influential anime's of all time. It weirdly managed to be both too much like the anime and not enough, it tried to copy the aesthetics of the original but also tried to do its own thing, but in ways that didn't make sense. One of the things I love so much about the original is its feeling of mystery, that we know some things about this world and its characters, but we don't know everything, we're missing some major pieces and have to fill in the blanks, it adds to its existential themes of tragedy that the show explores. The world itself is still pretty open to explore but they have told us so much about the characters, especially Spike, that all mystery is lost. The anime is rather episodic, usually about the bounty of the week with some reoccurring story and character arcs happening mostly in the background, but that allowed the show engage in a lot of world building, character growth, and homages to various film genres, one of the shows favorite things. Trying to serialize it so much just takes away from that, especially as the serialization is the boring subplot exploring Julia and Vicious, which takes away from both characters. Vicious in the anime is so creepy because we only see glimpses of him and Julia is interesting because we don't know much about her or her motivations, but now we know them so well they're boring and annoying. The whole plot feels useless, its the same things happening over and over, it only serves to take away from anything fun that might be happening with the main characters. So we hardly even get any film homages because we keep having to cut to a generic mob story and Vicious's terrible hair.  

I will certainly watch another season, but I cant help but feel really disappointed in this. It had a lot that I really did like, I thought that Ein was as adorable as I wanted him to be, some of the world building and music still worked, it had some glimpses of the brilliance of the original, but it really fell short both as an adaptation and as a stand alone work. I missed the melancholic tone, some of the new jokes worked but a lot seemed too crude and too Netflix-y, and while some of the casting was good, I think John Cho was miscast, as much as I normally love him. Like the adaptation itself, he had his moments, but he seemed kind of bored throughout. I really would recommend people watch the anime, even if your not normally a big anime person. It really is great and is available on Netflix, I would absolutely encourage you to give it a watch even if you didn't like this. Especially if you didn't like this. Still, I cant deny that I loved seeing this world and these characters again, I just love it so much I will take it in just about any form.

Edited by tennisgurl
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IMO the biggest problem with this live-action remake is that they can't seem to decide what it is. From the costuming, to the sometimes over-the-top character reprisals (Vicious, Ed), they seem to want to trade in on the nostalgia of the original. Which is fine, but commit to it. Re-do the episodes as they were, or at least as near as possible given the (fairly obvious) cost-cutting involved (ie, remove most space sequences, most swordfish and red tail sequences, etc.). Don't add new and extraneous characters, characterizations, etc. 

However, if you are looking for something new, building off the premise of the original, then commit to that. Let the characters live in the world they are inhabiting: let them wear different clothes, instead of acting like cosplayers and wearing the same thing week to week (honestly, the conceit of a "costume" for characters is a necessary element in cartoons and comics, because you don't have actual living, breathing people you can distinguish from panel to panel, but it has little place in a live-action remake that doesn't actually involve people wearing costumes/uniforms, ie, superheroes). Let these seem like real people: ex. Ed could easily have been a girl with short hair rather than this Bozo-the-Clown fright wig they have her in.

Put some deliberate thought into the world-building and make the sets believable and purposeful; don't just shoot things with a yellow filter and call it "space outpost." Let the storylines play out and be true to the characters you're writing. Ex. Jet's sense of betrayal by Spike could have played off of his recent revelations about his old partner without needing the addition of his daughter.

Firefly was able to make a living, breathing world 20 years ago, with probably a smaller (or at least similar) budget and two decades old technology. Surely the team working on this adaptation could have accomplished at least as much.

This was a better series than I was expecting, and it had some good moments with its cast, but overall the pacing, the staging, and the tempo really could have been better. I hope they do a better job with a season 2, if they get it.

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Well, that was an ending!

I went in hearing that there was some changes in the finale that got mixed reactions and I'm not surprised to see that it mainly consists of Julia's heel turn, which I guess is a departure from the original series.  I guess the signs were always there, but it still felt flimsy and I really wish there was more build up to it.  I really can't see why Spike/Fearless should have just assumed that Julia was being held against her will this entire time, because they only had one night together and it would have been easy to believe that he had changed her mind or was just playing him the entire time (especially since she had Vicious were a happy couple until his sudden outburst.)  But, whatever: so I guess she will be the potential main antagonist going forward.  At least Elena Satine seem to be having fun playing half-crazed Julia.  But you just know that her keeping Vicious alive; even chained up; will end up biting her in the ass.

All in all, kind of a downer ending with the Bebop team split off.  I thought the season was going to end with them being an official team now, but that wasn't the case.  This feels more like an ending for a show that has already had a season or two under its belt and would have had more of an impact.  But it feels like I barely got a chance to enjoy any of the interplay between the characters.

I'm guessing annoying kid at the end will be another major player going forward, but that doesn't change the fact that she's still a, well, annoying kid.  At least Ein returns!

All in all, certainly not the worst I've seen and I'll be back for a potential second season if it happens, but it was definitely underwhelming on a lot of levels.  Just not a lot of development or world building, the Vicious/Julia subplot was jarring and dull, and; outside of the flashback episode where he was basically playing a different character; John Cho never quite worked out as Spike despite his talents.  Found myself way more invested in Jet and Faye and both Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda were much stronger here.  I don't know: mainly it's one of the shows that needs more than ten episodes to work itself out, but it won't be an easy road.

Still, if nothing else, I do want to check out the anime to compare and contrast it, so that's pretty much a win, right?

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I haven't watched the anime, so I am viewing this cold. I liked it, but knowing where they wanted to go, I think they needed to give us more of Vicious abusing Julia in the earlier episodes. Not that I particularly want to watch that, but I think we need to understand that time's moved forward for Julia, too, and in ways that broke her from who she could have been.

I do buy the resentment of Spike because pain and trauma is not logical. Julia suffered. Spike could have saved her from that. That equation is what matters for emotions far more than that it was reasonable for Spike to believe Vicious. 

Julia's heel turn had some foreshadowing, but I think could have had a little more. It would have been good to have some indication of what her motives were... if she's used to the comforts of wealth that the Syndicate brings or if she wants the power or exactly why she's staying in a dangerous situation. The actress does better with evil Julia than with meek Julia. It's stupid to leave Vicious alive, but presumably that's a contrivance for the next season.

Radical Ed had Ein, which is weird since we last saw Ein abandoned. I don't know how the character needs to be, but this was not the best introduction to her for us non-anime viewers. She seems like she's going to grate. I hope she's dialed down when she has more screentime and plot significance.

I feel for Jet, who is just a sweet person who got massively screwed by life. I wanted him to go with Faye at the end. I don't think it's good for him to be by himself, all sad.

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