Jill ran a 5K yesterday, and she’s made two trips to Sparkle Skirts this weekend. So while she’s been running around, I’ve been catching up on my to-do list … which included a bunch of things I’ve been meaning to watch.

Brynhildr in the Darkness. Nessa recommended this thirteen-episode anime series. It’s got a great premise: a high-school girl has an implant behind her neck which gives her magical powers. She escaped from the mysterious group who was performing nasty experiments on her, but she needs to take a pill every thirty hours or she dissolves into goo and dies – and she’s almost out of pills. She’s helped by a boy who thinks he knows her, and she meets up with several other escapees who may or may not be on her side … but then several episodes feature the girls playing in a sauna and comparing boob sizes (with all naughty bits hidden, of course), and finally the denouement is sprung and resolved way too quickly, and two characters who die tragic deaths inexplicably appear good-as-new in the end credits shots. I see a lot of people saying you can’t adapt a 153-chapter manga into 13 half-hour episodes, and now I see why.

Gatchaman 2013. This is the Japanese live-action version of the 1970s anime better known in English as “Battle of the Planets.” I finally found a copy of it with decent English subtitles, but that didn’t help it make much more sense. I would file this one under “trying too hard.”

The Hero’s Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell. This is an hour-long documentary featuring Campbell talking about his life’s work. Really meaty stuff here: it talks about mythology being the lens through which we make sense of the world, and about artists bringing the outer (real) world together with the inner (imagined) world. Important stuff for any storyteller to understand.

The Phone Call. Winner of the 2015 Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action. A young woman at a crisis help center takes a call from a man crying that “it’s too late now.” The short is only twenty minutes long but it’s more powerful than most feature-length films.

Next up, this evening I might put on Fantastic Mr. Fox, that we have on DVD but I’ve never seen. I’ve never thought too much of it, but recently I’ve heard a lot of praise for it, so I may as well put it on.


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