The Silver Case: A Grasshopper’s Beginning

With the upcoming No More Heroes coming I decided that I want to take a further look into Grasshoppers Manufacture’s games. Now I was already going to get the Silver Case already before this decision, it just took a long time for me to get it… Either way I have the Silver Case and I went for a limited copy of it too, which is probably the reason it took some time. So for those who do not know about the Silver Case, this was the first title that Suda 51 made with his company, Grasshopper. Now the Kill the Past series does go back a bit with Suda’s works at Human Entertainment. There is Twilight Syndrome 1 and 2, but the real start of Kill the Past mostly starts at Moonlight Syndrome. Literally the beginning of the Silver Case has the surviving characters from Moonlight Syndrome. The concept of “Kill the Past” means that the past needs to be killed. A character has experience a horrible incident and while they moved on, they end up going back to it to finally kill it off. As the title says I will be starting with the Silver Case since I have no ways of playing the Syndrome series. Either way we start out with Suda’s first look into the idea of crime.

header

Suda has talked about his first look into the idea of crime. To be honest, future titles of his does go into this as well. Flower Sun and Rain brings up similar crime angles that Silver Case started and then Killer 7 and No More Heroes brings up assassins into the mix. So how did it all start? Suda has said that he wanted to look on how crime is born. Is it natural, does it come because of other events, or does something control it? The idea of crime has been done before like with the movie Scarface and no I am not referring to the one with Al Pacino, I am talking about the original film, but both are pretty nice films. Either way, the focus on crime is quite high in entertainment. I will say though considering this was game for the original Playstation it still feels quite original. One of the big perks is how Suda does his story telling, I will get further into it, but this man keeps finding ways to make his stories unique. I do not know how he did with the Syndrome series, but the Silver Case really has that style that made me find No More Heroes so entertaining. The crazy concepts being brought up quite early, the dialogue being strange and yet strong with strong sense of diction, and the general art style. This is before No More Heroes as the designs are a bit more toned down compared to other Grasshopper games. The art and character designs were done by Takashi Miyamoto and I adore his style. Takashi was a big fan of French art styles and he really brought that into a horror like style as well. He was also a fan of noir which really fits well with this type of story. His favorite types of stories heavily dark in tone stories so his work on the Silver Case feels quite natural.

The-Silver-Case-2

So with I mentioned so far The Silver Case is a noir styled drama with a mix of supernatural horror. It is easily a strange mixture for sure and that is how Grasshopper does things to this day. The motto “Punk’s not dead” simply means that Suda wants to make each work distinct. The company would rarely want the some product again and again. To this day the only franchise this company has is No More Heroes even though Suda wanted to continue Killer 7 and I found out that Silver Case does continue, but it was only on mobile in Japan so far as Suda says is The Silver Case still does well even today, he will release the sequel as well. So far both Silver Cases are the only visual novels the company has under their belt. I have been opening up to visual novels over the years thanks to Zero Escape and Ace Attorney. Now I will not lie the age of this title does show just like playing Ace Attorney in the past feels quite different from their titles on the 3DS. In the end though what brings people to visual novels are the stories and while Zero Escape and Ace Attorney are deep with puzzles, The Silver Case is quite lighter on that. This title is more like an interactive story. You do not have many options in what to do and change. You can waste time and that is all it is then. So reviewing this has a game is not that possible since it is just busy work. So if you are a Suda fan expecting gameplay from this title, you will be disappointed. If you can get around that though, I can highly recommend this title for Suda fans like myself because there are many beginnings here that someone like me loves to notice.

The-Silver-Case.png

The biggest aspect that is carried over from Suda’s works is that the story does have a rather interesting way of presenting itself. Suda is known for bringing art house quality to game and Silver Case was the start. It all starts out with your character on a job to take out a criminal, pretty simple. You start to find victims of the criminal and already the art came up to me as shocking. It was not the most grotesque art, but it really came off with this horror vibe and the soundtrack did great to build that up. When tracking down the criminal you start to do little puzzles that just require simple decryption with a machine you find. A majority of the said puzzles are basically busy work, but I had my fun time with them. I cannot really remember the last time I had a simple puzzle made me feel uncomfortable. The thug is taken down later on, but it was done by an officer that decides to call you Chinchilla, lovely. He starts to tell you and your allies why you are in the business and that is to clear this world of crime, shoot it until it has no face! The supernatural angle comes up as it appears crime can bring ghosts of criminals and yes it was the same one who was killed and you clearly get the big picture of what happened to this man. Crime in the Silver Case is like a virus and the officers need to stop it before it spreads. That is a majority of how The Silver Case feels, you will be going down one path and while the introduction had a big turn, the next couple of chapters have you figuring things out earlier on. The first case even starts the story off well thanks to the theming and what was introduced already, many elements from those moments come back into play later.

the-silver-case-1280x720_8s93.640

After that case, you soon find yourself part of the Crime Division where you meet the usual cast of characters for the rest of this title. The man who called you Chinchilla is no other than Testugoro Kusabi, a man who got promoted to this division because of “The Silver Case” incident. His partner is a young man by the name of Sumio Kodai and while these two seem to be at each other’s throats, they are extremely great partners to each other. Sumio comes off as a potential main character, he just has a simple attitude that is inviting for people to be with. Sumio easily comes in as the best character because of what happens later on and he soon becomes a titular character of “Kill the Past” in general. We also got Morikawa an older gentleman just like Kusabi, but not as hot-headed. He does come off as arrogant though as his style of investigation is the best around. Chizuru is the cold and distant scientific one of the group as she is by the book. Kusabi hates her “ancient” style of work and later on Morikawa gets annoyed by her at one point. The overall cast of characters personally feel more alive than what some modern titles have brought. The dialogue can get a big dragged on and some lines really come out of nowhere, but that is usual how my conversations go. I talk a whole lot as you can probably tell by my writing style. I would even regularly be open how certain things with anyone, so to me the dialouge easily fits well. Even the characters can be a bit radical, but to me that is what gives them more distinct personality and what really puts them in a league of their own in terms of characters.

the-silver-case (1)

There are many other characters too as the deeper you get into the Silver Case, more players start to reveal themselves later on. There is a side story section where you play as a reporter who got involved in a case. Ever since then he has been going further into this case. He does become a freelance reporter as he is paid to find information on the man named Kamui, a legendary criminal. These sections of the game are their own story and at the same time act as cliff notes for the general story. I feel this is needed because there are times where I am thinking about too many possibilities. The writing was done by different people other than Suda and while I do love how unfiltered Suda is with his writing because of how far it goes. I will not lie and say actually learning the story is needed as well. Not saying that you cannot get any details from the main story, I can just easily see some being confused on certain events. If you just focus on the dialogue, you can get rather lost, but again the art really pops out so I do not see how someone can ignore it. The art really speaks out on its own at many times which to be honest this is the first visual novel where I actually have that. Either way, Tokio is also a rather calm collected man who just happens to have a tad attitude problem. Being involved with a Kamui case though, I do not blame him as the information he starts to uncover would stress anyone out. Tokio’s sections are rather repetitive, but what really gets the suspense going is what new information is brought up in those sections. I highly recommend playing his section as they are unlocked, the two stories go back and forth with each other.

CuUAfllXYAA1bIk

Overall, The Silver Case is a strong beginning to how Suda 51 starts to bring his unique style of story to gaming. While the game is just a bunch of busy work, I only got tired around the end of the game. The title always has this constant vibe of uneasiness that I was not bothered by the busy work. Also for a man anticipating for what “Kill the Past” has I was excited to find many beginnings of aspects and sound effects that would be used later on in future titles. I will have another post about The Silver Case and that will be rather spoiler heavy as I will bring up, “Kill the Past.” For my initial thoughts on The Silver Case though, it was an artsy crime drama that feels of its own product as the look on crime is rather deep. What makes a criminal?

TheSilverCaseFeatured

Advertisements

My Top 14 Episodes of Mr. Bean

I am easily changes things up a bit for my category of posts. I do say I am the man who looks into anything. Recently it has been tons of Japanese media and this is probably the most I have seen. I love playing video games from Japanese developers, watched tons of anime as a child and still go back to watch the older ones I missed out on, and then even got into Tokusatsu. With that though there is easily something different on my all time favorites list and that would be the British comedy hit, Mr. Bean. For those who do not know who Mr. Bean, he is a character played by one of my favorite actors, Rowan Atkinson. I grew up watching Mr.Bean at my grandparents house as they had a collection of the series on VHS tapes. My brother and I loved these episodes so much, we even taken home ourselves. Right now those tapes are still with my grandmother, but I can still watch Bean anytime I want thanks to DVD collections. Which is funny, back then my sister had a DVD collection as well and I borrowed that too. For the longest time I thought I still had it. Either way I adore Rowan and his idea of the man-child that is Mr. Bean. Not only does this show make me laugh it does remind me to adore the child that is in me as well. I feel like that is what Mr.Bean does the best. It has a cartoony way of presenting itself while in real life situations. Bean feels like a live action cartoon in many ways mostly because of our title character. Well I feel like talking about this show and all of its brilliant episodes as I do enjoy every episode of the show. Listing these off does come down to personal favorites at some point.

14. Mind the Baby Mr.Bean

bean1

Episode nine of the series has an extremely great idea of Mr.Bean at a fun fair and the chaos can already be imagined I bet with his track record at this point. Fate gives him something to be mind of though, a baby that he accidentally gets because of his car. Bean does his best to keep the baby safe and happy, but that does not mean he is aiming for fun himself. I put this episode at last place because I feel like more could have been done with the idea of Bean being with baby. The episode though does get a bit lazy and just put the baby in a little car ride for about 1/4 of the episode. Even when the baby is around then there are some jokes that do not need the baby. Now there are some great moments in this episode as Bean cheats at these games. Pretending to hit the cards with darts and try hitting  machine to get coins. It also does have one of my personal favorite moments as a kid when Bean had to keep a fish alive in his mouth. Also the episodes ends on a strong note with the baby returning to his mother safely even if Mr Bean is going to miss the kid.

13. Mr. Bean in Room 426

giphy

This was a rare episode in the series as this whole episode is shot in one location (the first one). Usually Mr. Bean is traveling around and while things were funny, I personally love the aspect of Bean traveling around causing chaos. I guess this is another reason I am not that fond of the previous episode mentioned because both of these feels a bit restricted. Now there will be an episode where this idea is done stronger so I feel like episode eight and nine were precursors for what was coming up later for the show. Bean does a good job of making havoc in this hotel though and while some never noticed. I do enjoy the beginning for the most part as Bean is racing someone to their rooms, decorating his room, playing with his television, and getting into someone’s bath. Sadly this episode does actually repeat a joke and while I do find the second time to be better because of the circumstance given, I was not a fan of the first time it was done. Mr. Bean stuck behind an old lady while on stairs. He goes to insane lengths to get around her, but at some point he just gives up, the Bean I know would so not give up. The ending for the episode was strong as well with the title card saying “Mr. Bean was in Room 426.” Overall a fun episode, but just like Mind the Baby, it just feels a bit restricted. This episode does do more with the hotel concept though.

12. Good Night Mr. Bean

bean2

Overall this episode is a really good one. Bean has an injury or some kind at the hospital and does not want to wait for too long. So he starts to steal other tickets from patients, but things just get worse for him. There is even the skit where he messes with a royal guard so he can have a nice souvenir picture. I have to say big props to the actor who was the guard or maybe they  got a real guard to do this (nah looked it on IMDB). Either way I am surprised he did not bust out laughing, maybe I should try looking for behind the scenes stuff on this. They even explore the concept of Bean simply going to bed and him with Teddy is always a delight. Bean loves his little friend and puts him to sleep and gives him his own little bed. Then comes how he turns out the lights, Bean has a gun! Hold the phone here, why does this man have a gun? I do not know gun laws in that country, but this still comes to a complete surprise. Bean simply just shoots the lightbulb with the gun, but I am still bothered that he has a gun. To be honest it is one of the biggest surprises I have with the show. Then we get to Bean just trying to sleep which to be honest to me was the weakest ending until the end. So many things are being done off-screen as we just focus on Bean which is good in its own way since Rowan does a great job performing. It is just hearing stock sound effects does get trying. Overall a weaker ending compared to what transpired in this episode.

11. Mr. Bean Goes to Town

bean0402

This episode to me has a weak beginning compared to what transpires to everything else. Mr. Bean simply has television troubles and while getting naked to solve it is quite ridiculous it ends as you assume it will. Later on, Bean runs into a thief and you do not mess with him. He literally gets a trash can on the man and starts poking him with his sharp pencils. This guy is just lucky this was episode four, if it was later Bean would have his gun. Then even to find out who the thief was at the police line up, he recreates the scene to hear the thief’s scream of pain. Then we get to the night club where Bean ruins a magician’s act and as he goes into the dance floor there is a crazy magician with a sword after Bean. I always love that idea that this magician is possibly out for blood. During this whole time Bean was on a date with the most reoccurring character of the show. She ends up getting interested in another man though and Bean does not take that well. To be honest I hated when she did this because it took less than a couple of minutes to forget Bean. He is the reason why you are here, sheesh have some respect woman! I am not even that fond of the ending as Bean leaves the dance club and turns on the power for his revenge. While funny in the end Bean lost and that magician is still at large.

10. Mr. Bean

bean3

The first episode makes it right at number ten and it is a good start for Bean. First off the beginning is still rare since Bean is taking an exam and it is pretty high level of math. Bean is surprisingly pretty good at math I guess. He ends up freaking out though since he does not know the answers. Again a fun idea with how Bean tries to cheat and this does show how far his mind will go to do things. The second parts tops the first part with how Bean tries to changes his clothes for the beach while someone is right behind him. The end of this skit always gets a laugh out of me. Then the third part is the best as Bean is trying to survive church and this does bring up one of the best moments of Bean. When he sleeps, he can fall onto the floor and get complete balance on his forehead. This comes up many times in shorts and movies as this one time situation always stays in many minds. The first episode also brings up Bean’s true rival of the series, the driver in the blue car. This poor person is just in Bean’s way at the wrong times and I always love seeing this car in the early episodes. So the first episode shows off what Bean was going to be and it was a strong beginning since it has many aspect that people remember.

9. The Return of Mr. Bean

hqdefault

Next is the second episode of the series. While this episode has one of my absolute favorite skits in the series. The other two parts do not hold up. The restaurant skit is near perfect in a comedy piece. The first part is simply Bean shopping and soon getting his hand stuck into someone’s pocket and I will admit the ending was incredible though. Everything else was pretty simple though. Then the third part of the episode is too much build up, but yet again the punchline was well done. The idea of the Queen getting a headbutt is always funny. Now the resturant skit which is the second part of the episode is just way too amazing for this episode. It really just beats the other two skits up which this is also the reason why I put this episode at number nine. The whole episode should feel strong and while there are good jokes still being done, the one skit really stands out for the most part. Bean orders some food at a resturant and he personally hates what he bought. The man does whatever he can do to get rid of this food. My favorite part is just spitting some of it out into a performer’s pants. That part is so unexpected and the idea of having that in your pants just seems uncomfortable. Then even the ending part of the skit is genius where Bean cannot escape his fate this time. Overall the second episode has one amazing skit that just blows the other two out.

8. The Trouble With Mr. Bean

05

The fifth episode really does well with pretty much everything. The beginning is quite strange as Bean as interesting set ups for his alarm in the morning. They are so strange and yet still do not work and are solved in simple manners which really has this odd match up making this sequence quite silly. Then we get to Bean changing while driving his car, just wow what an idea. It is amazing to see each step of this process and to see that nothing terrible happens is astonishing. My favorite part is when he gets to the circle and just keeps going in a loop for like four rotations. We even hit more gold with the dentist. Bean just screws around with the equipment and it soon leads to the dentist getting his leg paralyzed and nearly crushed by his own machinery. This is the chaos that I love in Mr. Bean, you got a normal person doing their normal job, but that is all thrown out the window thanks to Bean. Then we get to see how he has his own mayhem by himself. At the picnic he fights a bee over a cupcake and we all have that desire in ourselves to kill those tiny little insects that dare to touch our food. Bean just takes that concept to a high extreme and thankfully Bean gets out of this with no stings. It is quite an interesting episode in its pacing as it starts extreme with nothing bad happening, to a simple profession going wrong, and then even a simple picnic alone goes wrong. This just shows you that what is simply mundane can be quite as dangerous.

7. The Curse of Mr. Bean

mrbean

The Curse of Mr. Bean really works with the simple and mundane aspects of normal day life. Again since Bean is really more of a child he acts like a complete fool in many situations. The pool scene starts that off well by showing Bean trying to slide down on the elephant slides. Bean starts to get ballsy then and aims for the big jumps where he quickly finds himself falling off and losing his trunks. We all have that fear of being naked in the wrong place or at least we all had it before (hey if you want to be naked that is fine by me, but not for many others). Then we move to a simple scene where Bean tries to get out of a parking garage without paying and the end result is great. Quite terrifying too I must say as Bean goes Fast and the Furious on his rival in the blue car just to get out. My favorite skit though is Bean making a sandwich by cutting bread with scissors, knocking fish out, and crushing his pepper with his shoe. There are many more steps to his process, but the best part about the skit is that he carries everything in his coat. It reminds me of the pen joke in the first episode where Bean would just have pen after pen and you have no idea when it would end. In the end his sandwhich plan goes wrong and the person sitting next to him decides to give him a half of his own sandwhich. That ending really made this skit for me because usually people would just see Bean as a freak and just run away or do something against him. This man had the kindness to give Bean a sandwhich and even though he looked afraid to do it, it was still a kind act in the end. The horror skit was okay then. It is relatable because we all get that feeling that we will love something and then just end up hating something like a horror film when it actually starts. Overall it is the sandwhich skit that makes this episode for me, but the other skits work well with each other too.

6. Mr. Bean Rides Again

bean4

This episode does hold one of my all time favorite moments of all Bean, but the overall episode is not worthy of the top five. The first one is surprisingly a darker toned joke for the series. A man has a heart attack and Bean just happens to be around because of his car. Bean tries his best to save the man and I have a feeling he could make it and then the end of the skit happened. While still quite funny there is no doubt that Bean pretty much killed someone, which can make it funnier if you love that humor. The post card stuff was pretty basic and not to special to be honest. Bean just lost his stamp and did whatever he could to make sure his letter would be sent. Now we get to the traveling sections of the episode where Bean tries to pack up. He has a small case so he tries cutting down what he has, literally. This joke really plays well with if you are in a rush you can tend to forget things while packing which we all have had some quick packing to do before. The train section is when Bean just wants to read his book in peace and then his buddy in the same cart will just not stop laughing. Bean does finally get his peace thanks to some gum and the aftermath is some of the best, one quick reflex and I am laughing like the annoying guy in the skit. Then we get to the plane skit where Bean helps a young boy while on the trip. He tries whatever he can and many of these moments appear in the two movies Bean has had. Cutting out bits of a magazine and putting them on his eyes and tongue. Then we get to the paper bag gag. Bean tries to make a loud noise with the little bags he had, but unfortunately the kid had one big paper bag ready for Bean. The cut away to black where Bean was so ecstatic to pop this bag just kills me so much. I remember the first time I saw this I would rewind the tape so many time to experience that again and again. Personally, it is one of the best cut away gags I have seen. The airplane skit also does work really well with the inner child because Bean is helping out a kid enjoy his plane ride.

5. Hair by Mr.Bean of London

bean5

The last episode of the series and what a note to leave on I must say. Even though movies and many shorts do come out afterwards, this was the end of the television series. The first skit is Bean trying to cut hair to get some money out of it. At first he just plays along, but when money got involved he wanted to do it some more. He first starts out with a kid and does actually pretty good with the simple bowl cut style. One mess up though leads to one big one! Things just get worse from there, he cuts off someone’s pony tail and even takes off most of someone’s hair and tries to cover it up with shreds of hair. The level of chaos was great in this episode and then the chaos turns around a bit at another fair. Things start out simple where Bean is just being a dirty cheat and then we get to where Bean is just throwing sponges at someone. It leads to him finding more things to throw and that poor man is seeing death straight in the face. The best part is that Bean tries to throw a chair at the end of that moment, oh god this episode is after the one where he had the gun, that old man has every right to be afraid. Then we get to the pet show which is just delightful to watch where Bean uses Teddy in the competition. Even though the adults did not enjoy it, I loved that the kids had a blast seeing Bean and Teddy compete. It really shows that childish joy of Mr. Bean that works so well in the overall comedic idea of the character. All things good have to come to an end though and Bean just causes mayhem anyways, a good way to do it too just throw the big juicy bone in front of other dogs. The final skit is amazing though. Bean simply wants to take the train and cannot afford a ticket. This leads Bean crawling around in a mail bag which really reminds me of the times I would cover myself with a blanket or sleeping bag. I love it when Bean thought he had won and just falls onto the tracks. Then he accidentally gets shipped all the way to Moscow and that is the end. What an ending! We will not see Bean anymore for sometime because he is literally in Russia. This episode just had pretty much everything for Bean, the chaos, the good nature, and even the personal destruction that Bean can do.

4. Do it Yourself Mr. Bean

Rowan Atkinson

This episode probably hold the biggest iconic moment of all Mr. Bean. We will get to that moment, but we have to start out at the beginning. It is New Year’s Eve and Bean tries to have a party with two friends of his. The problem is, he sticks to how they did it back then and he did not have many snacks to offer. I will say his two “friends” were quite the dicks as they trick Bean and not just tell them something else or just being honest. At least one of them gets what is coming to him. After a disappointing New Year’s Eve, Bean goes shopping and gets way too much in his car. This leads the man to set up a way where he could be on top of a chair on top of his car and still drive it. How insane is this man?! The image of Bean doing this is crazy enough to make it stand out. When it was Bean’s anniversary they recreate this moment as Bean drives to around the city and soon gets a bunch of gifts to celebrate the character’s birthday. The final part is also a big moment in the series where even Mythbusters brought this episode up. Bean wants to do some renovating for his room as he cuts out parts of his wall that had pictures and a phone on it. Him trying to paint as he uses Teddy to do this and just gives up and blows up the paint can! While Bean was out of the room that “friend” of his tried to get his hat back and he got hit by a crap ton of paint, serves him right! While the episode starts out on a sad note, it does have Bean jump right back into his usual self. Bean found a way to cope and had fun doing what many can find to be a complete bore.

3. Tee Off Mr. Bean

5e86a874590969e8be3aab8267c2e3dc

The twelfth episode of the series may not start out as my personal favorite, but the skit is still rather good. Bean is just a launderette and loses his pants again. This does lead Bean wearing a long skirt and while the guy was being a dick to him in the beginning. When Bean was wearing something else, the guy started to be well a bit flirtatious. I am quite sure he was just doing this to be a prick still and yet I am not one hundred percent sure, maybe he has a thing for guys in skirts. The ending is quite great though as everything Bean had ends up in a wreck, even poor Teddy shrunk to where he can fit in his front coat pocket. The big part of the episode is when Bean goes mini-golfing and I love myself some mini golf so as a kid I loved this episode a whole lot. Looking back this skit was amazing. It starts out showing that Bean is really good at mini golf, but then one mistakes leads to too many. Bean explores all over town just to get this ball and even destroys someone’s groceries to do so. The exploration angle of this skit just shows you how far Bean’s mayhem can go and it has no mercy. The best part has to come when Bean runs into his rival in the blue car. They bring back that joke for so long and whoever is in that car did want to help Bean, but he just refuses it. Who is that man in the car? I have been wondering for so long and that episode almost had it, it actually gets me a little angry at times and then I start to laugh because some mysteries are left untold. This episode had a really nice end credits scene where Bean gets back to the golf course to finish his rounds. The overall mini golf skit is one of the best because of how far Bean goes around town and the gags that come from it are both silly and quite evil at the same time.

2. Back to School Mr. Bean

bean6

This is another time where the whole episode takes place in one area. Bean goes to a school as they are having some sort of open house for adults. Again even if this episode is in one area there were really no boundaries to be had for this episode. It is quite random on what happens and Bean even loses his pants again! It starts out with Bean messing with army men, to him annoying a man while looking at some art, to messing with stamps, calligraphy, and even static electricity. The best parts come in part two of the episode where Bean blows up a chemistry lab and tries to partake in some art himself. He starts to draw some bananas and then he was easily not expecting the next thing to come up. I did say this school was for more adult purposes. We then get to Bean learning some martial arts and the best ones are in the arts of cowardice. This then to leads to Bean losing his pants and this is the best one where he literally goes to the bathroom and pulls them off of the man while doing his business. The ending is even quite random for this episode and while it is a bit sad, Bean finds his way of happiness again. This overall episode is just out of control and I love it. This episode really shown off that the writers really found a way to do the one area concept better. It really stands out and the other characters partaking in this episode were quite amazing. The art teacher really stays in my head as she got really into her love for the arts a bit too much. I even feel the soundtrack for this episode was done well as I love the track where Bean is looking for his pants. Overall it is quite a crazy episode with even crazy people who make Bean look normal

1. Merry Christmas Mr. Bean

hqdefault (1)

Out of all the holiday special there are, this is the one I always love the most. Not only is this a good Christmas special, to me it is the best Mr. Bean has to offer. The chaos that is Bean during the holidays is amazing. First he is testing out to see which mall Santa have real beards, bouncing decorations on the floor to test them out, and even plugging out lights and Christmas tress for his personal benefit. The stand out moment for me though has to be when messes around with a baby Jesus set up. He just starts to bring the characters to life by giving them little sounds and he starts to bring marching bands, sheep, robots, dinosaurs, and tanks in the mix. This would be so me messing around with my toys and making anything up in my head. I just love that whole presentation since the sound effects Bean bring to that scene are so delightful. We even see an awesome moment of him performing as the conductor of a band. Again this is one of those moments where Bean’s childish joys can actually bring happiness to the people. I also enjoy when Bean is in his apartment getting everything set up for the holidays. He gives himself cards just like he did in episode three, he even has stockings for Teddy and a neighboring mouse. As we continue, Bean literally wears a turkey and has dinner with the reoccurring female character. She first appeared telling Bean she wanted a big fancy ring and she tried her hardest to point to it, but we all know Mr. Bean at this point. Again Bean has a man-child really speaks out here as he avoids kisses for gifts and is completely oblivious to everything. While ending on a bit on a somber note, the episode ended on bang still literally has Bean really bulked up a fire cracker. There is a lot to love in this episode and this was the first episode I saw of Mr. Bean. A wonderful Christmas special that always gets me laughing.

Well that is a pretty big look into the British comedy hit. Maybe I could look into the movies later on even if they are not as good as the series. Still I enjoy Mr. Bean so much, I can still watch them and get tons of childish delight from it. Bean holds much nostalgia for me as Rowan Atkinson really shows why he is a comedic legend in this short television series. I would also recommend finding his other works like his stand up performance, shows like Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line, and of course the many shorts that continue the legend of Mr. Bean.

p02632m9

Kamen Rider Kiva: Potentially Better

Kamen Rider Kiva was my first Kamen Rider series. I remember hearing when Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was coming and I knew I heard that name somewhere before. I remembered about Saban’s Masked Rider and I did some research finding out that Kamen meant Masked in Japanese. So that got me curious because why did an American show need to use a Japanese word in their title. Then I found the Kamen Rider series and soon later on the Super Sentai series with Go-onger being my first. I still do enjoy both shows, but I can agree that Kiva has many faults. To be honest though Kiva is a show I see tons of potential in though. There are many concepts that I enjoyed in the show, but many of them never reach fruition. A huge reason was how the show wasted time in the beginning and even in the later episodes made some bad decisions with time travel. Still the idea of a race trying to be dominant and the humans simply fighting back with some love triangles mixed in can actually work. Love stories with warring sides is not original, but there is tons of things you can do with that.

KRKi-Rat_Fangire

As I said before a big problem with the show was the beginning half where it felt like it stalled for time. Even for me some episodes got a bit harder to watch as the years kept passing by. I understand the significance of some of the episodes with Wataru needing to open up with others. Who knows this could have led to him actually revealing his secret to the others and not just having dumb luck doing it. Even if with this idea in the beginning the show still could have shown off big players. Rook was introduced fairly well into the show so why not introduce the rest of the Checkmate Four around the same time? Show the hierarchy that the heroes would have to deal with. The better part would be to only show their monster forms so they can blend in with even the audience not knowing who is who. Taiga easily could have been around in the show being a good friend towards Wataru and again could have been a great way to help him open up with others thanks to an old childhood friend. This could have even started the love between Mio and Wataru as they simply start out as friends along with Taiga being around. Developing the bond between the three early on would be nice. You can even have comedic parts slapped in too which Kiva had a little too much of that as well.

wpid-kiva-taiga-miu-wataru1

Reminding me of comedy, one of the biggest jokes in the series was the Azora Organization. They barely had any members and got their asses handed to them even years after their first confrontations with the Fangire. A nice sense of an upgrade would have been nice to see which we got with IXA a bit later on, but man this organization was still a joke. If IXA got powered up, why not a smaller troops of the powered down IXA? I know that is suit budget then and could have been a problem on its own, but I’m sorry the little gun blades barely did anything. At least give the troops with no armor a powerful weapon like the IXA Knuckle. Along with that line of thinking, IXA was a troubling rider. Nago started out as a crazy man with a button fetish, but later on I actually enjoyed him as a character. He started to learn his faults and tried to improve himself not only as a fighter, but also a person. I feel like this could have still been in, but they really made it over the top in the show. Just make Nago serious about taking down Kiva because of what the past events were. Nago was stubborn so I can see him having fights with Kiva way more than usual. Maybe having someone like Kamen Rider Saga show up earlier could get Nago to see what is really going on. Saga would be seen as another Kiva because he essentially is, or just scrap Saga and just get Dark Kiva in. Nago could have learned to work with Kiva even without him knowing it was Wataru. Later on Kengo becomes a member of the organization and I think it would have been better if he never became IXA, but was close to. Kengo could have been a solider quickly climbing up the ranks and get rid of the soldier personality and keep his up beat attitude. Nago would have seen many things about himself through Kengo again not only as a warrior, but also a person. It would have been a nice friendly rivalry as Kengo almost becoming IXA would strive Nago to be stronger and kinder.

nago-kun

A huge aspect of the show was the use of flashing back and forth between two different times. This introduced us to many other characters like Otoya, Yuri, and Jiro and his two allies. I feel the flashbacks were over saturated and sometimes were all not that needed just to show that a Fangire survived over the years. There are many important things that happen in the events of the past and there are two ways to still use it. The first one is to simply have dialogue explain what has happened and that is the easy way out. Again depending on how budget is, it could be the last resort. The other way is to simply limit the flashbacks and just have an episode focusing on the current time. This would also get rid of many glaring problems in the past. First is with Jiro, I really like this guy and his crew. They are surviving members of their race trying to well survive. They are also looking for mates and to be honest Jiro was close… until he became a rapist… Yea this is a good reason to limit the flashbacks to prevent issues like that! Just have them be good honest people trying to survive and hell even giving a lending hand to the organization like Jiro was. You can still have Otoya and Yuri fall in love, but do not make it so deep as the show did. It just went a little too far so when Otoya feel in love with Maya it felt like cheating. Another good thing that comes to limiting flashbacks means we can have some nice introductions earlier on. Like showing off King in the past and then having that cool realization that Taiga has some connections with him. Personally I really enjoyed King he was threatening as he was trying to exterminate other races. Pretty much I feel the show could have kept how Otoya tapped into Kiva’s powers and bloodline since I feel it was a high point for not only the character, but for the story as well. Just focusing on the signficant aspects of the past would easily put into stone of why the present is the way it is.

tumblr_l9lumaYzZy1qdodsno1_500

Aspects of the show I do heavily enjoy are the final arcs, but the build up to them were just weak which is thanks to not taking time with them. I enjoy the battles that Wataru had with Taiga and imagine if IXA actually could be more part of that too. Bishop is my favorite character of the show, he had a great actor and his part of the story was strong. Bishop wanted the current King to take the mantle and he feels things are ruining that so he does his own actions. Bishop even loses it and causes chaos which leads to the revival of the past king. Maybe having King being revived could have been much bigger than just being the final boss for the series. Make him into an actual character at this point because in the show was just a monster at the end. This is King, he wiped out many races so having him back should have shown that off. This could soon lead to Taiga and Mio being forced to fight under the past King. Mio tries to fight back which leads to her death by either King or Bishop. This both makes Wataru and Taiga have a crushing defeat, but together they get through it and fight the good battle. This gets rid of the silliness that was Wataru trying to kill himself by traveling into the past. An idea I brought up was if Jiro and his allies worked with the organization which could have led to a nice fight in the present. With Jiro helping out with IXA early on, the three do actually get to repopulate and with the time gap we have that is enough time to have the younger blood be in the battle of the present. Hell this would easily be a good way to give Kiva the three forms he gets. Wataru finding new allies by improving his social situation.

FangireBat

Now we get to the ideas of the form changes and to be honest Megumi can work with this. Megumi could actually be Wolfen since Jiro actually being a good person means he got to be with Yuri. Again this avoids the way too extreme rape plot point. Megumi was also the first person to get Wataru out of his house and then leading to her being a sort of power-up for Wataru would be a nice step forward. Now I know the reason why Kiva got the forms to begin with was because the three got changed into items. Still maybe you can have the offspring of the these three be the ones to give Wataru the weapons.The Emperor form can still be around in its entirety because it is the way Kiva gets to be like Dark Kiva. This was an aspect I thought of myself for Kiva and that when there is a new Kiva they start out as the base form and soon become their own version. With Kiva’s final form being called Emperor it does give off a lineage feel to it. Dark Kiva is just another form of Kiva, but it soon becomes the default for the King who uses it. Who knows we can simply have Taiga’s Kiva form be Saga because to be honest I feel that Saga was actually a pretty cool rider design and should have been used a bit more. This way we can keep Dark Kiva with King even when he is revived.

1f1654db2719a9fa8f172ed8fd630a00

Well that is pretty much all I have on my mind about Kiva and how I felt it could have played out. Now with the aspects of filler episodes they can stay, but just do not have the flashbacks be part of them. Having the flashbacks signifies when something important is coming up. If you have any thoughts about Kiva, tell me. I am always interested to how others see certain shows. If Kiva is your favorite show of the franchise that is great because I still do like the show myself in some regards. It is a strange feeling I got with the show, I like it so much that I think of changing things around. Kiva had some cool concepts and designs so they just keep me thinking about Kiva in the end.

KR_Kiva_Title_Card