176 of 176 chapters read
Following the story of Moritaka "Saikou" Mashiro and Akito "Shujin" Takagi, two boys who meet in middle school and strive to become successful mangaka in the world under the pen name "Ashirogi Muto", they strive against insurmountable odds to make their dreams come true, and in Mashiro's case, make a manga so good it becomes an anime so the girl of his dreams Miho Azuki can voice the heroine, and then marry her. There's nothing complex or challenging about it. The story, at its heart, is pure straightforward Jump ideology, rewarding perseverance and guts tenfold, but its the subtext behind Bakuman that really bring the story to its full potential.
Aside from its main goal-driven narrative of Ashirogi Muto becoming the best mangaka in Japan and Mashiro marrying Azuki. Bakuman is an unflinching critique of the manga industry that gives readers some serious glimpses into the pros and cons of publishing manga. Clashing with editors, dealing with copycat authors, the hectic schedules of weekly publishing, how much control the publisher has over how long you have to keep writing the same manga, and those ever important RANKINGS all get exposed. The point-of-view is generally positive, but still eye-opening for most casual fans of the medium. And even outside all that, many of the in-story manga, especially Classroom of Truth, have incredible and intriguing plots that beg to be turned into manga here in real life.
However, it is a Jump manga, so there is quite a bit of misogyny, especially early on. Female characters aren't portrayed strongly until well into the manga, and Miho especially comes off as a very sexist MacGuffin at the beginning. The series works hard in the back end of things to round out the female characters and give them ample time to shine, but it feels more like author Tsugumi Ohba gives them that growth half-heartedly. The male characters are given a far more vast range of characterization traits and personalities, many of which are memorable, especially bizarro genius Eiji and pessimistic slacker Hiramaru.
Forgiving the story for its misogynistic leanings though is incredibly easy when you get down to artist Takeshi Obata's share of the work. It starts off detailed as can be, but gets much simpler by the final chapters, but even that can be forgiven when one takes into account the multiple and numerous art shifts he single-handedly performs over the course of the series. We see no less than ten, if not closer to twenty different Jump manga from all different artists portrayed with varying art styles. It is astounding to see one man create multiple unique art styles for his characters, and most importantly, sell us on the authenticity. Reading Bakuman is worth it for that alone.
Don't get me wrong. This manga isn't without its weaknesses, but its strengths far outweigh them. With a decent straightforward main story, many ingenious in-story manga, characters that all grow in their own ways, and the underlying critique of the workings of the manga industry, Bakuman is a can't-miss manga for anyone who loves the medium.
Overall, I give Bakuman a 9/10. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
In many ways, I can easily see where Hanamaru could have succeeded with its characters alone. While Anzu, Hiiragi, and Koume are all the standard genki girl/smart girl/little wife archetypes, they are neither overpowering in their prescribed personalities nor are they entirely cliched. Their mannerism and attitudes still reflect a great deal of their childishness. This only disappears when they start talking about matters of love, which unfortunately is at the core of this series. While some innocent talk and "kids say the darndest things" conversation is to be expected, the series pushes it repeatedly until it eventually reaches the point that I question what their parents are exposing them to at such a young age, especially Anzu's mother who is so liberal when it comes to her daughter's crush I don't think she even realizes how her daughter is interpreting her messages.
Because of this, the story comes across very similar to the heavily controversial Kodomo no Jikan. However, because the little girls resemble blobs more than they do humans (how do they support their body on those twiggy legs?!), no viewer can really take it as seriously as KnJ's portrayal of the topic. This doesn't change the fact that this is a show about a kindergartener in love with her teacher. The story could have gone in one of two directions; follow Anzu and her friends on misadventures, or focus on Tsuchida and Yamamoto's relationship with some gentle humor provided by their students on their relationship. This series decided to do both and connected them in the most unsettling of ways. It's sad when you think what this show could have been and what it turned into in the end.
The art is bright, cheery, and adorable. I have no problem with Anzu and her class being moeblobs as it highlights a lot of their innocence and how much they have to grow both physically and mentally. I also love the design of the kindergarten itself. I think we all wish we had gone to a kindergarten is awesome-looking as this one was.
The soundtrack, playing with a lot of xylophone and percussion was pretty cute, though I don't know how I felt about needing a new ED every week. They peaked rather early with the epic second ED and after that they ranged from okay to bad to just plain inappropriate for a series of this nature. Kei Shindou as Anzu was a welcome treat. So often she plays brats so to hear her as a happy genki girl was a treat. Of course, only Erino Hazuki could pull off Yamamoto's effervescent brand of happiness with a shred of possibility of it being believable. Anyone else would have made that role unbearable, so kudos to her for her handling of an incredibly difficult role to make acceptable to the audience.
Despite all of Hanamaru's many bright points, there's too much weighing it down to give this anything higher than a 7. This is a cute and fluffy show, but it's a cute and fluffy show about a kindergartener in love with her teacher. The fact that they try to make it as cute and innocent as they can despite Anzu being very set in her ways makes it just that much more unsettling. Kodomo no Jikan worked because there were psychological issues at hand that played well into the unsettling aspect of it, but Hanamaru has nothing to defend why a 5-year-old wants so desperately to marry her teacher. I could have done with a show about a kindergarten teacher who falls for his colleague, and I would have adored a show about kindergarteners being kindergarteners like a moeblob version of Rugrats, but this form of execution is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
Overall, I give Hanamaru Kindergarten a 7 out of 10. read more
25 of 25 episodes seen
Oh who am I kidding. THEY CANCELLED SHUGO CHARA!!!! T____T
I knew the very moment I was asked if I was "shugo-genki" that hell had found one of my favorite magical girl series to date and placed its icy grip around its throat mercilessly. I watched in horror as the main character was reduced to an obligatory stand-in. I watched as Ikuto disappeared entirely. I watched as the Guardians followed in suit. I watched as those hellish cosplaying twits sucked up the airtime. And I watched as Pucchi Puchi became what I looked forward to more than the actual series. I knew Shugo Chara, and this was not Shugo Chara.
Laying blame will do no good, as we all know by now that blame deserves to go to a variety of sources. The existence of Rikka and Hikaru is most notable and seems a good launch point. Obviously, Shugo Chara is a show for children, but one of the show's biggest strengths was that none of the characters seemed to pander toward children. They tackled age-appropriate issues with a surprising amount of respect and understanding, and most notably without any condescension or beating the moral into the audience. Rikka and Hikaru did everything in their power to subvert this into oblivion. Cliched as they were at the start, they wasted no time beating the lesson of the day into us every week, were childish to the point of pandering, and just overall irritances who seldom grew as characters. This would not be so bad if the cast I had grown to adore was there to pull me through it, but they were all systematically removed and never heard of again. By the end, there were episodes that only had Amu, her Shugo Chara, Rikka and Hikaru. I weep.
The story... what story? This was pure filler and not even good filler like the Lulu arc in Doki!... yes I liked the Lulu arc. It dragged, but I've seen much worse. Case in point, Rikka and Hikaru. This wasn't so much a story arc as it was just episodic nonsense, often covering ground that the series had already covered, just with younger and more irritating characters. This was offset by the somewhat enjoyable Pucchi Puchi segments. Miki's Laboratory and Shugo Bomber were two recurring stories in Pucchi Puchi I was always happy to see. Shugo Bomber especially, if solely for the Commissioner, which single-handedly made Su my favorite of the charas. But I digress.
What held this sloppy execution together was the young girl singing troupe, Shugo Chara Egg, and make no exaggeration when I say this is the go-to con point for anyone who suggests live-action and anime can coexist in the same series. The four girls are annoying, uninteresting, and Spade at times looks like she's thinking she's made a terrible life decision. Newsflash, honey. You did.
Shortcuts in art appeared incredibly early when opening sequences turned into clip shows. Frozen imagery moved around like Satelight had suddenly inherited the budget of an early Shinbo Akiyuki show. The vibrant world of the series became increasingly dull to the point that they just couldn't hide it by the end. A shame, really.
The soundtrack was still enjoyable, but I had grown to love the songs throughout the series. Even the Guardians 4 OPs in Doki!, but by the end everything felt painfully generic to the point of terrible, Nana Mizuki's last song, while pretty, was not the Utau we had come to know, and Buono! is pretty much gone outside the final ED for each episode.
In one episode of Party!, Amu told Utau that doing something different could be good. If Party is any indication, Amu lied. Party took the formula of the series, tried and true through two seasons, and ruined it with live-action and horrendous filler. The only redeeming point here is Pucchi Puchi, and only then, mostly for Shugo Bomber. Why I'm giving this the rating I'm giving it is both because of Pucchi Puchi and out of respect for the series I loved and the characters it mercilessly tossed to the wolves. Only the diehards will make it through this, and then, only they will be the ones to weep for the commercialization and utter mistreatment of such a wonderful little show about growing up and being yourself.
Why, Shugo Chara? Why did you unlock my heart only to rip it out of my chest, throw it to the ground, and tap dance on it?
Overall, Shugo Chara Party! gets a 5 out of 10. read more
51 of 51 episodes seen
Kaleido Star is the story of our dreams. How they all start from tiny things. Memories from days gone by that we think are insignificant, but at the same time, have really touched us and inspired us to become who we are today. Our dreams are not easy though. There will always be detours and obstacles in our way, and no dream can be reached without putting our own inner selves to the ultimate test, but if we can overcome these obstacles, befriend our enemies, and see the good in everyone's dreams that they aspire for as well, then your dream can come true.
Despite the formulaic way Kaleido Star goes about fulfilling the dreams of the characters, it works splendidly because of how sincere each and every character is about wanting their special dream to come true, and how the series treats the sincerity of each character with a great deal of respect to the point that the formulaic contrivances such as the cliched "special training" and running away only to come back having "found yourself" feel like genuine happenings.
Likewise, this series as it is couldn't be anything without its characters. The main focal point of the series is seeing the growth and struggle of all the members of Kaleido Stage from the primadonna to the lowly stagehands, and oh how they grow, and oh how they struggle. I credit this series immensely with how it puts each and every character through their own personal wringer, good guys and "bad guys" alike. It never lets them take the easy way out. Each and every accomplishment any character achieves is 100% earned. There are no gimmes.
And oh the accomplishments! I can't go into detail because of spoilers but this is where the technical aspects really shine! For as much as people seem to tease GONZO for being GONZO, this is arguably their opus. A setting such as Kaleido Stage requires dazzling animation to fully bring out the Cirque du Soleil atmosphere of the stage, and the animation astounds every time, especially the climaxes of both halves of the series. They are so gorgeous, that don't be surprised if you forget to breathe for a moment.
The soundtrack is also quite lovely with lots of wonderful performances, especially Ryou Hirohashi as Sora, who brings the same radiance and energy that Sora herself embodies.
With outstandingly gorgeous animation, heartwarming performances, characters that make you believe that everyone in this world, no matter how heartless or cruel they may be, are all good people inside, and a story that invokes you to believe your dreams, no matter how great or small, can all come true. Kaleido Star is one of the best anime I have ever seen. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and inspiring to all. This is the stuff true dreams are made of.
Overall, I happily give Kaleido Star a 10 out of 10. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
This is saying a lot because for the most part, I can turn my nose up to Index if I want to. It certainly wasn't a bad show, but as I said in my review of it, it was disposable eye candy. Nothing particularly memorable. For the most part, Railgun would have been the same if it hadn't made up where Index failed.
The character interactions alone make this series worth the watch. I love a good "four girls doing nothing" anime when the four girls all have their own different ways of interacting with each other and when none of the girls are stereotypical archetypes. Even though Kuroko is batshit lesbo for Misaka, that's only one side of her personality and we see many different forms of interaction with the other girls. With Uiharu, she plays a capable mentor to her lack of confidence, and so long as she's not around Misaka, she's as normal as any of the other girls. Likewise, Misaka goes totally tsundere when Touma makes a cameo, but she is not ruled by her tsundere qualities. She has a strong sense of justice that makes her narrow-minded in certain situations, and she keeps a lot of her personal preferences guarded from the others. As a "four girls doing nothing" series, it works, but it doesn't stop there.
Once in a while, Railgun decides it wants to have a plot, and when it does, it goes into it heart and soul. This is even more fascinating because the final stretch is 100% filler and yet it brings all the character growth and final revelations to the table that one expects from a solid conclusion. If no one had told me I was watching filler, I would have believed this was canon material. It is just that good, so good that in fact I'd say it makes up for the consecutive standalone fanservice filler that preceded it.
The technical qualities are still as good as Index, with the voice acting being even better. The voices were unique and done well enough that they felt like genuine performances and not just throwaway roles, especially Uiharu's from Aki Toyosaki, a seiyuu who I am genuinely starting to warm up to despite a rocky introduction to her work. But I digress.
Railgun isn't the best anime. It doesn't have the best anything for that matter, but it does have a lot of heart. It cares about seeing the relationships of the four girls grow. It cares about having a plot that's always there, though not always the focus, and tying up all the loose ends rather than saying "LOL WAIT FOR SEASON 2" at the end. But above all, it asks for nothing more than to be enjoyed and it does so without excessive pandering. Given how much anime is tailor-made these days to certain fetishes and archetypes, that is nothing short of wonderful.
Overall, I give To Aru Kagaku no Railgun an 8 out of 10. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
Capitalizing off its successor, “Isshoni Sleeping” continues with its nonexistence of a fourth wall. Hinako has returned in continuity of the first, saying it’s nice to see you again upon our first glance at her still very-well-endowed and very-loosely-dressed self, hanging spaghetti straps and all. This time, we start by going to sleep, and Hinako has agreed to go to sleep with us. At this point, I’d like to remind you all this is a 45 minute long anime and we’re only two minutes in. Anime being a visual and audible medium, to think we are going to sleep is ridiculous. The director and staff agree and what follows both scares and amazes me.
To begin with the scary part, anyone with previous knowledge of “Isshoni Training” went into this knowing there would be fanservice galore, and the next 40 minutes certainly does not skimp. 99% of the following frames are nothing but cheesecake shots. There are close-ups on Hinako’s cleavage, her camel toe, dragging the camera up and down her body and sometimes just focusing on her breasts, underwear, or lips for a good minute before moving to another just as degrading shot. In short, it is voyeurism and I don’t blame anyone who feels uncomfortable watching it… and yet at the same time, I don’t blame anyone who feels comfortable watching it either. Allow me to explain.
Part of pandering is rooting into what makes otaku tick and catering exclusively to that. But there’s always the problem of the fourth wall. Otaku are almost always kept out of the action, away from it all, and it tempts them so far that they end up bringing 3D items into their lives with depictions of these girls (see; dakimakura). Now here we have an anime of a young well-endowed girl who acts like a five-year-old and makes the audible mouth gestures of a two-year-old. Moe GOLD, and this is where the lack of a fourth wall is most beneficial to it. Because there is no fourth wall, there is nothing separating this 2D girl from her audience other than the screen. Hinako looks at you, blushes at you, sings to you, and dreams of you. Despite being animated, Hinako has been made to love you, thus rooting into the hopes and dreams of many lonely otaku. Though it can and probably will be used as ecchi material, there is a well-placed aspect of comfort to the audience that, as a marketing device, is hard not to be impressed with. The OVA knows its audience and wants the audience to be satisfied, and really you can’t fault this production for that.
Is the audience being used by the first-person gimmick? Absolutely. Is it true they’ll probably have another moe idol in a week? Wouldn’t be surprised. Yet, “Isshoni Sleeping” fulfills everything otaku look for in an anime and more. As fanservice, there’s better out there that’s both more revealing and far less shameful to watch, but as a detached look into the otaku psyche and a marketing approach, it’s rather stunning work. It is lucrative and enlightening, shameful and pure, and it will surely be polarizing, but it’s always honest about its motives, the good ones and the bad ones.
Overall, I give Isshoni Training a 5 out of 10. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
Is it all bad? No, not really. The animation is still top-notch work with appealing and interesting character designs. The OP/ED combination is also a lot catchier this time around, an improvement on the first season, but the voice acting seems to have gotten much more stale. No one here feels like they're attempting to do anything beyond reading what is on the script which really hurts it in the long run.
But as many of my review readers have come to know about me, I think technical details mean squat on the whole, and this is certainly no exception. The subtitle of the second season "purezza" is Italian for "pure", a word that I would in no way use to convey this series. It's sullied right down to the core. For starters, the titular "himitsu" no longer exists. Oh yes, Haruka still watches anime. Her current interest is Nocutre Girls School Lacrosse Club with lead character Haruna voiced by Amiko Noto.
Don't worry. I wasn't expecting you to laugh. Hell, I don't expect you to laugh at all at what this series has been degenerated to, given it is nothing but cheap ecchi sight gags and this terrible tongue-in-cheek referencing. Much of the plot is entirely inconsequential, mostly because Haruka and Yuuto have become one of the most indecisive couples imaginable. What committed couple after months goes on a date blushing furiously like they're sinning against God?! Grow up, you two!
But they aren't the only infuriating ones. New one-line personality characters have been added (shy loli who can only speak one word, Rie Kugimiya Stereotype #592 and idol singer whose existence breaks the fourth wall) that add nothing to the plot and are incredibly inconsequential as well. How did a series I championed for having well-utilized characters turn out a second season where they do absolutely nothing interesting!
I don't really know what to say in the end other than I'm incredibly disappointed. If you're a fan of the original Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu for whatever reason, you'd be best off avoiding this. The characters meander, the comedy has been turned down to the lowest denominator, and it would rather promote itself than go anywhere useful. There are few generally likeable shonen romances these days. Watching one shoot itself in the foot is a sad thing indeed.
Overall, I give Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza a 4 out of 10. read more
26 of 26 episodes seen
We were dead f*cking wrong.
This is anime at its most disgustingly deceptive, dragging you through 26 episodes of "mystery" and I cannot stress those quotation marks enough because half the time the mystery doesn't even exist. Hell I could hardly tell what was the meta-world, the real world, the alternative world, THERE IS NO PERSPECTIVE! None! I don't even know where I am half the f*cking time so how the hell would I be expected to know what's going on?!
The characters are a mess. We're rivaling Geass and Nanoha levels here in characters, and as such signifies, half of them have no personalities. Hell, you see them all die so many times over and over again that you just come to accept that's their purpose in all of this. In fact, there are some characters so f*cking annoying you cheer when its their turn to take the grotesque spill, but it's not even half as enjoyable as it could be because this anime is spammed with so much violence that it makes it seem uninteresting. I have never seen senseless violence become so BORING!
The art is laughable. Studio Deen has clearly learned nothing from Higurashi, kept the same production values and amped up the facial distortions to a saturation point that makes them entirely unremarkable. Fortunately they kept the original music of the games which is quite good in some case if you can hear it over blood splattering and insane laughter. Oh, and another rare prop to this series for Sayaka Oohara's performance. I wonder if she got drunk before coming in on days to voice Umineko. I hope so. She at least made it halfway entertaining.
But the real kicker is we aren't even close to solving any of the mysteries by the end of this and it ends with WAIT FOR SEASON 2 LOL. Now some of you may say "Hey Splitter! You gave Higurashi's first season a 9 and it did the same thing!" Yes it did, but it also got closer to the truth every episode and eventually made the big reveal that puts the whole series into focus while Umineko didn't do anything even remotely close to that. I've heard the games are better (more times than should be heard) but this adaptation does nothing to make me want to invest days on end into playing them and the adaptation certainly doesn't make me want to stick around for 24-26 more episodes as I care nothing about anyone in it and could care less if they all stay trapped in this game for all eternity. In fact, put Chiaki Kon and her staff in this game for all eternity with the characters. That's a suitable punishment for making this grotesque travesty of a "murder mystery". Seriously, all you've got is a good OST, a solid backstory with Maria and Ange (F*CK WHAT THEY DID WITH ANGE), and Beatrice's seiyuu performance. After that you have 22 eps of inane shit and characters you just want to see permanently shut up.
Overall, I give Umineko no Naku Koro ni a 4 out of 10.
14 of 14 chapters read
I'll be honest, I don't read manga a lot, and when I do, this is generally what I try to avoid. I was actually pretty tempted to drop it after the first chapter, but what really pulled me through was Yukino. It feels weird that I liked her, because I generally don't like girls led along by sexual harassment. Yukino is different though. She's her own person and she doesn't just allow Ryuu to take advantage of her. If she does, it's because she wants to allow him to take advantage of her. Even when he's on top of her, grabbing her wrists so she can't struggle, I never really felt like she was being abused. More that this is what she wanted, but she couldn't express it. I understand entirely how utterly creepy what I just said was but there really isn't a better way to put it, but as the manga progresses, you come to understand that's what it was, as Yukino's experience makes it easier for her to tell Ryuu what she wants of him and what she doesn't; something she was too shy to do at the start.
Ryuu, the second part of the main couple, is a jerk. I'm sorry, any fangirls this series may have but I just don't like him. I admire he loves Yukino enough that he won't bang her right off the bat... but in the end, that's exactly his goal; to bang her! He doesn't even try to hide it, private or public. To me, he's the stereotypically "perfect bishounen" in every way, and my god the lengths this manga goes to beat into me how perfect he is. The manga tries way too hard to make him perfect, but as the story progressed, I began to think that was the point. When he's alone with Yukino, free of his perfection, there's something human there; selfish, but human. And really, Yukino's just as selfish as he is, so its clear to see how they gravitate to one another constantly despite how they clash.
As a story of Yukino learning to love Ryuu, it works. I can't explain it but it does. It has just the right amount of sincerity to both characters that I can believe they have chemistry rather than Yukino having Stockholm syndrome. The whole business aspect was boring and distracting, I thought, and I didn't much care for some parts near the end such as the cultural festival that felt more like padding in an otherwise well-paced short love story.
So I don't really have too strong feelings one way or another for characters or story, but the art definitely needs some work. The early chapters looked rather spotty and I never really got used to Ryuu's character design. Hell, those lips made me think he was always wearing lipstick. It's just too brash a style to work for guys. On the contrary, I thought it worked pretty well for Yukino's character design, but because it's from Yukino's perspective, and the manga constantly wants me to look at Ryuu, it has to be in the lower end of the spectrum. Learn to draw guys' lips, Mitsuki Kako!
On the whole though, I kind of liked this. It may be that I don't read stuff like this much, but there was a genuine enjoyment to be had to seeing Yukino grow in her romance. Don't get me wrong, this is still trashy shoujo, but it's decent, bordering on good trashy shoujo.
Overall, I give Kiss/Hug a 6 out of 10. read more
1 of 1 episodes seen
"Summer Wars" already gets a notch off because it really is a complete rehashing of "Bokura no War Game". From the growth of the Love Machine to the countdown to Natsuki's 'digivolution' powered by millions of other users, it shows in every facet of the story. Where it breaks off is outside the internet. As exhilirating as the fights with the Love Machine are, Summer Wars shines much more than "War Game" in the addition of a large, sprawling family known as the Jinnouchis; all very full of life and vigor. The main character Kenji's sudden immersion into this family is nicely executed and while relationship ties are generic at best, there is a cohesion to it all that adds a solid layer to the storyline in how this online threat tightly brings together the large family that started with only loose connections to one another.
With a large sprawling family comes a great deal of characters, and this being an original movie, it's hard to remember 25 characters you'll only know for the course of an hour and a half. Naturally, the movie doesn't focus on all of them equally and mostly you only really get to know about 5 of those 25, with the other 20 getting relatively generic personalities and motives. What is notable is not a single one of the 25 characters disappear completely. Because family unity is the message of the movie, they all appear throughout contributing in one way or another until the very end where all their efforts become one.
This relatively simple story is told on two levels; the real world and the online world, and both show off the best of Mamoru Hosada's stylings as well as elevate it to a grander level. In the real world, the animation is very reminiscent of Hosoda's last work, "Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo", with unexaggerated Miyazaki-esque character designs and detailed but muted backdrops. In the online world, Hosoda goes to town with a vast and psychedelic backdrop that ultimately marks how much he has evolved as a director from "Bokura no War Game". Both styles work well together, and though they do clash a few times, both do a fantastic job of absorbing you into the movie.
"Summer Wars" also supports a relatively good score, though I didn't much care for the ending theme. Vocals shine with a wide variety of unique and interesting performances from many seiyuu that don't often work in anime. Their fresh takes on cliche characterization in anime gives the movie a strong ensemble performance on the whole.
Overall, "Summer Wars" is not the game-changer others have made it out to be, especially since its essentially a rehash of one of Hosoda's earlier works, but it is a rehash that has dramatically improved both its good and bad points, becoming a full-fledged film that is exhiliarating, funny, sad, dramatic, and enjoyable; all the things a good movie should be. This is both Hosoda showing the world how far he's come and what he's capable of doing in the future. After seeing this, I'm sure many people will want to come along for whatever future rides he has to take us on. read more