The Suggestion Box #63: Slashers, and Samurai, Superheroes, Oh My!

Wondering what to do with your upcoming free time? Good thing we have some suggestions for what you should be watching, playing, reading, listening to, etc.

Ben’s Anime Pick: To Your Eternity To Your Eternity has notably strong animation, writing, music, pretty much everything else you could want from an anime, and uses it all to excel in two particular areas: making you fall in love with its characters almost instantly, and producing tons of tears at the drop of a hat. Seriously, I cried twice in the first episode alone, and those were far from the only times I wept throughout the twenty-episode season. Each arc in Fushi’s (the protagonist) journey sees him meet and bond with a wide range of endearing people, and gain more insight into what it truly means to be alive. It’s a story that’s equally powerful, poignant, engrossing, and one that I ended up binging the vast majority of over the course of a day; I couldn’t help myself, I was just so enraptured by its vast world and delightful characters. The last anime that I was this emotionally invested in was A Silent Voice, which makes sense because both of them are Yoshitoki Ōima manga adaptations. I’m extremely excited to see where To Your Eternity goes in season 2, and will for sure watch whatever story Ōima decides to tell next if it gets an anime adaptation too.

Lauren’s Movie Pick: The Fear Street Trilogy – I’ll admit that I immediately wrote this Netflix trilogy off by assuming it would be another child friendly adaptation to R. L. Stine’s horror books, similar to the Jack Black Goosebumps films (which, in all fairness, could also be good; I never gave those a chance either), and I was very wrong to do so. This trilogy is legitimately fun horror, using the slasher genres of the past as inspiration to tell the tale of a town cursed to be plagued by serial killers following the hanging of a witch centuries ago. Seeing as I grew up on films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, Fear Street: Part 1 – 1994 hits in all the right 90s slasher ways to make it my favorite of the three, but Part 2 – 1978 (my least favorite thanks largely to this weird scoring that felt more appropriate to a Harry Potter film that kept taking me out of the movie, unfortunately) and Part 3 – 1666 (which brings into question everything we thought we knew about the evil witch in some true screw men and puritanical religions ways) are just as strong and integral in how they impact the overall story. I almost wish we’d gotten this as a miniseries so we could further explore the town’s other serial killers, but as it stands Leigh Janiak’s trilogy will probably end up being the biggest surprise of 2021 for me.

Lauren’s TV Pick: The BoysAfter being somewhat disappointed by the rather typical story from the recently animated Invincible (yes there are plenty of original story bits, but Mark is such a boring, cookie cutter high schooler that gets powers one day and struggles to date because lying is hard character), I thought maybe I’d finally watch Amazon’s other bloody superhero show The Boys to see if it is a little bit more original. What if superheroes are bad is another tried and true concept at this point, but The Boys is anything but same old same old as a group of normies try to take down the corporatized heroes who have become too selfish and above the common man after our lead’s girlfriend becomes one of the many victims labeled as “collateral damage” in the age of superpowered crime fighting, corruption, and injustice. This first act of violence had my jaw on the floor in how abrupt and gruesome it is, and the show never lets up from there, being just as shocking as it is comedic in its brutality. Some highlights include a weaponized baby, an unconventional Mr. Fantastic stretchy appendage, the constant failings of a sexual predator and his aquatic friends, and pretty much anything Antony Starr does during his phenomenal performance as the worst of the worst, Homelander. How he has not been nominated for an Emmy for this is beyond me. 

Ben’s Video Game Pick: Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut – This updated version of Sucker Punch’s 2020 hit doesn’t revolutionize the game, but it’s definitely worth picking up (and getting the PS5 upgrade for another $10) if you want to immerse yourself in the samurai epic even more. It includes an additional island to explore, Iki, and multiple unique skills and sets of cosmetic gear to unlock. Iki is also the setting of a new side story featuring an even more challenging faction of mongols to defeat, and gives players a deeper look into the origin of the Ghost himself, Jin Sakai. The visuals also get kicked up a notch, and if you’re lucky enough to have a Playstation 5, the dualsense support is outstanding. The adaptive triggers create tension as you pull your bowstring, and the level of detail in the controller’s vibrations is insane, expertly simulating the footsteps of Jin and his steed, the clashing of swords, or my personal favorite, the purring of a cat as it moves across “your” hands. Seriously, that last one is incredibly lifelike and almost worth the extra ten bucks alone.

So what do you think about these picks? What content did we miss over the past two weeks while we were spending time with these? Be sure to leave a comment below letting us know about everything (both current and simply new to you) you’ve been consuming lately!

And while you’re here, be sure to check some of the site’s other recent content:

  • A Middle of the Row: The Podcast episode about the recently released In the Heights.

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