1185 Better Angel.

The other day I was looking around on Amazon and it suggested a Transformer toy as something I might like. I thought to myself “Yeah, maybe, if I didn’t already have it.” Then I wondered where it was… Then I wondered if I actually did have it… Then I got weirded out. I have memories of buying the thing, messing with it, but nothing after that. I looked around and as far as I can tell I DON’T actually have the item in question. I can’t prove it for sure, because I would have got it around the time I moved my workstation. It’s possible I misplaced it, but as far as I can tell I never actually had this thing. The thing is though, where did the memories come from? Vivid memories of something I probably never did are in my head. Are they bits of a dream? I just don’t know. It’s not driving me crazy or anything, it just disturbs me that this little bit of erroneous data is bouncing around my brain…

I started watching Parks & Rec a while back. It didn’t grab me to be honest. It was okay, but seemed to be lacking something. In spite of this I went ahead and started watching season 2 on Netflix. It still wasn’t grabbing me. I was about to chalk the show up to just not being my thing, but at the very end of an episode there was a little moment that made me give it one last chance. The episodes that followed won me over. It was like they finally found the missing piece that made the show come alive. It’s really surprising that it got as far as it did though. Usually a show with such a slow start just fades into nothing and that’s all there is to it. Apparently they just filmed their 100th show, so I guess it pays to stick with things sometimes. Maybe someday I’ll find the thing that makes everyone realize my work is cyber awesome too.

I’ve decided to get back to reading One Piece again. Nobody around here carries it, so I’m just picking up the new volumes and the ones I missed as best I can. I’ve essentially written off Bleach at this point. It feels like it should have ended and now it’s just Dragonballing itself into mediocrity. Which is really a shame because it seemed so different when it started, like it had something to say. I’m hoping that Naruto wraps up before too long. The latest story has a feeling of being the end. I’m afraid if it goes on after that it’s going to end up like Bleach. I used to think that Japan’s comic industry was different from America’s, and it is, but not as much as I thought when I first started being interested in it. It seems like the people in charge are also reluctant to let a story end, even when it’s said everything it has to say, as long as people are still buying it. Which is fine and they have every right to do with their property what they will. I just hope they never fall prey to the zombification that happens with superhero books. Going on and on forever, never knowing the sweet embrace of finality.

I dunno. I don’t mind that people want to keep revisiting old ideas, but it seems like maybe they need to have a clean break after every resurrection. Or cleaner than they have been anyway.


I’m that way about classic Doctor Who DVDs. It got to the point where I put a list in my phone. “Ooo, story #81 is on sale. Do I have that one? [consult consult] Nope. But I do now! Bwah hah ha ha…”


It’s hard to buy some of them though because I know myself and I’ll get the special edition when it eventually comes out. And the limited Region 2 DVDs like “The Two Doctors” sold for $600 on Amazon last I checked. Almost certainly inflated, but that still means I can’t get my hands on it.

Easiest way to go about it is to separate your collection into multiple collections for each Doctor. For example, I finished 7, am almost done with 6, but I only have the latter half of 4 and need stories like “Brain of Morbius” and “Android Invasion”

Hopefully they’ll find the rest of the missing episodes soon and in a few years we can actually have complete collections. Wouldn’t that be nice?

The last few pages made me think Thomas could have easily become a villain in this comic.

I thought that Bleach should have ended a long time ago. That Fullbringer arc to me felt really forced and severely unnecessary. What was the point if Ichigo doesn’t even get to keep that power?

Did you go all the way to the end? Because it makes an impact on him. I’m not sure the depth of the full-bring’s impact though. It visibly made some impact but they don’t quantify how much even into the new manga arc.

And without Carol’s influence-very possibly would have. And charismatic people with damaged souls can make the best heroes and the worst (or most reviled ) villains.

I have to ask, considering your stance on Bleach and the like. What would be the point at which you felt that Between Failures hit that same kind of point, where it feels like they’re just making stuff up to justify making more episodes and printing more books?
Also, you’re cyber awesome to me, man. It’s to the point that I type in “b” into my url bar and both Firefox and my phone’s browser just automatically jump to Between Failures as the first option, because they know that’s where I’m at every MWF, even if I’m at someone else’s house when the next page drops.

Between failures will end when I feel like I’ve said everything I need to say with these characters. That said, I’ve written part of a story about Nina when she’s in her 80s. So I could be here a while. (Although I think that will be better as a book than a comic, but you never know.) There are a lot of stories I want to tell with all of them.

I’m glad I’m still writing a compelling enough story to earn your praise and dedication.
A million thanks to you!

Nina in her 80’s? Man. I can see her being the one who’s doing wheelchair races down the hallways of the nursing home with Jo right on her tail. :P

I’m pretty amazed by Castle-where the main characters with all the sexual tension get together and they still have a show. It’s usually the death knell for that type of program. I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re handling Thomas and Carol getting together and still being compelling very well. Congratulations.

“I used to think that Japan’s comic industry was different from America’s, and it is, but not as much as I thought when I first started being interested in it.”

Yeah, I had the same realization. I believe the misconception was largely due to the choice of material that was localized back when I got into it. Most of it had real high quality art and shorter, complete stories. (i.e. Shirow’s stuff, Grey, Battle Angel Alita, etc.) Then, the higher quality serials started to appear (Ranma 1/2, Oh My Goddess, etc) and they became the backbone of US sales. Now, most of the truly great Mangas have already been localized and publishers have to make due with the lesser material. This was the reason Toren Smith (founder of the translation house Studio Proteus and one of the people largely responsible for popularizing Manga in North America) left the industry.

You were just the victim of Amazon’s new brainwashing memory-insertion advertising. Nothing strange or unusual about that. It’s a lead-in to impulse buys when they have the half-hour delivery drones up and running.

Speaking of zombification, Tite Kubo started his career with Zombie Powder. As far as I know he only got four books in, but they also have a lot of little projects he started, and it’s an interesting read I wish he’d go back to working on others might like to check out. :)

I think this is the first time I have commented here. Love your work, can’t even remember how I found it but I’m glad I did.

Parks and Recreation seems to be pretty decent. It was described to me as sometimes funny. Like you, I didn’t find it all that interesting until season 2.

Regarding Bleach and other Manga going on too long, it is a problem in all media. Some of those CSI type series trail on forever, it seems. Some characters in books just refuse to die.

Regarding Bleach itself, I felt like it could have ended

*SPOILERS people, but seriously go read it if you haven’t already*

when Ichigo defeated Aizen and lost his powers. That moment when he says goodbye to Rukia as she slowly fades away from his vision would have been the perfect end to the series. There was a finality to it all, loose ends were wrapped up and even Ichigo was perfectly okay with it all.


As for Naruto, I had to drop the anime years ago because of all the filler. I later picked up the manga and started from the beginning. Naruto has become quite predictable and to me feels like it’s gone far away from awesome ninja battles and into Dragonball Z territory. I’ll be quite glad when it’s all finished. Sometimes an ending is just what is needed.

Amazon is evil. They like to charm you into buying things you already have. Of course, when you get to my age, that isn’t hard. I take it that She Who Must be Entertained isn’t interested in Transformers?

I noticed One Piece as an anime on Cartoon Network years ago. It must have been on just before or just after Inu Yasha, which itself was a big enough hit with my brother and me that we bought some of the DVDs. The adventures of the rubber-man pirate were mildly interesting, but it didn’t hold our interest the way, say Full Metal Alchemist did. Maybe it was the ‘brothers’ dynamic…

It seems a lot of shows outlive their audience interest and they start doing weird stuff to regain share. It’s called “Jumping the Shark” (from a Happy Days episode filmed after the show had exhausted its story lines) and a lot of shows do it. Bones comes to mind (anyone still watch it? Anyone?), especially when they decided Dr. Brennan had to have a baby.

I just started Bones on Netflix actually. The whole random baby thing was a spoiler I accidentally saw yesterday… *obligatory thanks, internet* When do you think Bones became unwatchable?

I don’t consider Bones unwatchable, it still has its moments (either of the Deschanel sisters are watchable, even moreso Michaela Conlin) and it will suit as ‘TV to Cook Dinner by’, especially on a night of reruns. When your choice is Bones, reruns of Pawn Stars or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, It’ll do.

Unwatchable, for me, evokes House. Yes, that will tick off a number of folks, particularly on this forum, but I watched every episode faithfully for the first four years. I gave up in disgust when it became Scooby Doo, M.D., with Special Guest Star: Disease of the Week. The show started using the same plot over and over. A pseudo-sympathetic patient comes into the clinic. Nobody can correctly diagnose their illness. “People lie.” House kvetches about his leg and his love life, takes drugs, fights with Drs. Cuddy and Wilson, berates his inferiors and superiors. Meanwhile, the patient gets sicker (oops, that one died!). In the last ten minutes, House comes in, Deus ex Machina, with the correct diagnosis and the cure, pulls the fake hood off the creeper and exposes him as the nasty old man down the street. “I would have made it, too, but for those meddling kids!” Did I miss anything? The best episodes were the ones with R. Lee Ermey as House’s father.

Good to know about Bones. I tend to watch it when nothing else sounds interesting. Considering I’m only a few episodes in, the characters are still a mystery and that draws me in. The death of the week/solving murders part is the boring bits.

I have to agree with you on House M.D. I watched most of the series but missed about a season or two of episodes, some from season 2, 3, etc. The characters were interesting, the “scooby doo” plot was usually uninteresting unless House failed to solve the mystery. I stopped watching the series when he


Came back from jail. Supposedly reformed but not really. It was then that I realized whatever character growth he went through with the series was quickly written out of the story. They wanted to keep him confined to the same shtick. I went and read the synopsis of the last episode and was kind of glad I didn’t finish the series.

*spoilers end*

I agree with you that Bleach has gone on way too long but I think Naruto is even worse in this aspect. At least Bleach still had some historical mysteries (like Ichigo’s dad and where Ichigo got his enormous power reserves) While Naruto is just basically the same the entire time with power-up after power-up. I agree with GG that the moment where Ichigo said goodbye to Rukia was the perfect moment to stop the series.

I think One piece is one of the greatest mangas I’ve read because of the crazy humor that is part of the overall story and the funny way the characters interact with each other. Also the story is very extensive (we don’t even know half of everything i think).

to summarize with Bleach and Naruto I’m hoping for the end and with One piece i’m looking forward to it

I don’t comment on the webcomics I follow very often, but I’d like to voice my opinion on manga continuation here.

It does suck when a beloved series starts dragging itself out with tired plotlines and predictable episodes merely for the sake of continuation, but when something ends we still often hate to see it go.

Rather than see characters reused eternally, I like it when a plotline ends and the creators move on to explore a different part of the vast worlds they’ve assembled over the course of their story. It doesn’t matter if they keep their characters or move on to new people, so long as there’s unexplored material there’s always somewhere to go with a series.

I’d like to see more of that. Like maybe a witch’s life being hunted by reapers in the Souleater universe, or some of what happened after the treaty- how they cope with no longer being enemies. That wouldn’t be so bad, and I don’t think it would tire out their purpose as much as trying to show what the main cast themselves were doing after their significant stories ended.

I prefer the series that either have a clear goal and reach it, ending the series strong after a few seasons or something that ends quite shortly, such as an anime like Ergo Proxy.

I haven’t seen that one yet, but the title makes me giddy. Come to think of it, a lot of things make me giddy. Google, we must find this Ergo Proxy! AWAY!

It’s totally obscure and stuff. It wasn’t a super popular anime. It is one of my favorites though and sadly it is really difficult to acquire on DVD, especially if you are looking for the better boxed set that came out a year after the initial release. Definitely worth buying though.

Crave, it looks like you’re venturing out into a slight change in your art style. You are drawing your characters in angles we don’t see very much of. I first noticed it with Nina. First, I thought she looked kind of strange. Then, I realized it was a new view of her which reveals that she may have a slight overbite. Her face appears slightly rounder from a profile than I had previously thought.

I used to watch Bleach, but being poor folk, I just took to watching it on Toonami, enjoying it as a sort of weekly reward for surviving another seven days of tandem.
It was good at first, but you said it perfectly it Dragonball’d itself. I got to episode 180-something, something about being in the Los Nachos fighting Tacos Grandes… I remember he beat some guy-turned-furry that my furry friend was foaming at the mouth over, and it was getting exciting-ish. I was well past the halfway point on the downward slope of interest. Next week rolled by and…. Toonami decided it was time to restart the WHOLE SERIES back to EPISODE FLIPPIN ONE! Like so many Toonami anime before it, I said screw it, I wasn’t going to wait another 180 episodes to see something new (especially considering this wasn’t the first time Toonami restarted the series throughout my watching the show). So time went on for a while, and I happened onto Toonami’s anime night (before, bleach was the only thing “new” that I had any interest in watching, goodness knows that I can only take so many reruns of Cowboy Bebop, which is a good show, but reruns can kill that quick)… ANYWAY I happen on Toonami and realized they were RIGHT where I had left off, and this is how the narrator described the scene, or as well as I could remember, mind I may be paraphrasing a bit:

“Last time on Bleach, Ichigo just defeated Grimmjau Jaggerjach in the Los Nachos to save Orihime….. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THAT!! Here’s a plot about some obnoxious princess character that has no connection to the prior plot or any before it!!”

I was…. well, I was more impressed than angry. It was so comical that I just had to laugh. It was like they wrote themselves into a corner, InuYasha-style (another show like DBZ that just got more and more over the top, without ending).

I actually really liked Yu Yu Hakusho. It did start to turn DBZ on me, but it ended it the season that it was getting really bad.

I saw the first season of Squid Girl on Netflix. I was very surprised at how much I liked it. I think the end of the season could have been a little… …different. I think I liked the direction they were starting to go with it. In the end, I suspect they chose to continue shooting for their target demographic.

I did also see Soul Eater on Netflix. I was amazed at how well they juggled plotlines when things really heated up in that show. I am glad it ended after four seasons. I really liked it.

Fade to Black also had one season on there. I decided it was somewhat in the same vein as Ghost in the Shell: SAC. Obviously, there are huge differences. I think the comparison is not too far off as far as the flavor of the show goes.

I really haven’t seen very much of Toonami, or other TV (other than Netflix) since about 2004. There was a brief window in 2006 where I caught some TV, but I was at work and it was pretty much just on to help keep me awake. (It didn’t always succeed.) I think I started watching Animal Planet more than anything else at work.

I remembered getting something at an auction-went to use it-couldn’t find it. Finally convinced myself that I hadn’t actually gotten one-just seen one somewhere-so planned to get one. Felt kind of strange when I found it later.

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