Games of 2015
Really the feature is what made me want to continue the list and recognize the things other than those video games I enjoyed in 2015.
Most Memorable Original Track: Sins of the Father by Donna Burke
The Metal Gear Solid soundtrack is one of my most listened to soundtracks this year both in the game, and in the real world. Most of all the one track I kept playing on repeat was Sins of the Father One of the reasons The reason I like it so much is its dramatic somber build up in the introduction, followed by the powerful evocative chorus. It’s a great song that fits with the theme of Metal Gear Solid V : The Phantom Pain and is a great song with powerful lyrics even outside the context of the game.
Movies & TV Shows of the Year
Honorable Mention: The Imitation Game
This movie came out in 2014, but only this past year did I see the Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch. I am a fan of him from the Sherlock TV series. With a as famous of actor as Benedict Cumberbatch it is easy for the actor pedigree to override the role he or she is suppose to be portraying. Especially when the actor is suppose to be portraying a significant real historical figure However, Cumberbatch is able to hold a captivating and convincing performance playing as Alan Turing. He is able to convincingly portray the hardships and adversity of Turing. The filmography is superb in this movie as it feels modern while believable recreating Bletchley Park. In the 1950’s. It captures the drama and intensity of the endeavour that was to crack the German Enigma Cipher. Understandably it mostly glosses over the technical parts of codebreaking but it still respects the craft as a technical feat by presenting the human drama of just how difficult breaking the enigma is, and captures the brilliance of Turing and people at Bletchley Park. Turing’s tragic life is brilliantly depicted with a great cast of familiar English actors / actresses. Keira Knightley (as the equally renowned Joan Clarke), Rory Kinnear, and Charles Dance.
Most Fun Movie: Furious 7
Even with Paul Walker’s unfortunate passing, Fast and Furious 7 was an incredibly fun and entertaining film. It was a great heartfelt send off by the cast and crew for Paul Walker. It wrapped up the continuity of the series and we finally have a resolution to the events after Tokyo Drift. Yes I am one of those people who were deeply invested in the story in Fast and Furious. With so many nods and easter eggs to fans of the series it is a great conclusion to the series. Even with talk of an 8th film by Vin Diesel, I still feel that Furious 7 was the movie I wanted ever since Tokyo Drift. While I still believe Fast Five is the marquee of the series, I got the crazy ride I was looking for in Furious 7.
Anticipated Movie That Did Not Disappoint: Star Wars The Force Awakens
JJ Abrams did a great job rebooting the Star Trek Universe (with the first movie) so I was confident that Star Wars The Force Awakens would not disappoint. It feels good to have that confidence assured after I saw the film. Since the film is still relatively new and the best parts are spoilery, I will not go into the plot details I really liked. However, I really like the new characters, and am excited in the direction the film is headed with this cast. The movie respected the original films, a fanservice film to Star Wars as well as boldly establishes the new canon and continuity.
TV Show Moment
Series 9 of Doctor Who has been one of the most fun and emotional season for Doctor Who since Matt Smith regenerated into the 12th (13th?) Doctor. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman both shine in series 9 with such a memorable two part series finale with Heaven Sent, and Hell Bent. In particular, in my opinion one of the best performances by Peter Capaldi this year is the anti-war speech he gives during the climax of Episode 8: The Zygon Inversion. The transcription of the speech can be found here. Not only is the script spectacular but Peter Capaldi absolutely nails the performance.
The speech is first delivered with such finesse that it is playfully, then strong, and all the well with a tone of seriousness. The message is one that should resonate even outside the context of the show.
Check out the scene below:
Anime of the Year
Favorite Series: Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans
It has been a while since I watched a proper Gundam anime since Gundam 00. I did not care much for the series that followed 00. For a while I had Gundam Build Fighters to tide me over while I waited for a proper Gundam series. Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans not only returns to sensible art style but it has plot and a style to it that sets apart most recent gundam stories. The story is about Tekkadan, group of child soldiers initially set on Mars whose mission is to escort Princess a diplomatic figure Kudelia Aina Bernstein to Earth such that she advocate for the independence of Mars and free many of the citizens who are just used as colonial labour. The story deals with gritty and mature subject matter but for the most part handles it tastefully. Surprisingly, from the 13 episodes I have seen thus far the story focuses less on the sheer Gundam battles and more episodes are spent developing the main characters. Although when the Mobile Suits do battle it is exceptionally animated and well choreographed.
Other than Gundam I did not think I would get into another Anime series. However, One Punch Man was one of the biggest and best anime surprises for me of 2015. The satire and parody of the Shonen style of anime that I grew up on is great. One Punch Man has so many great moments but probably my favorite this year is scene with Saitama and Sonic. I am of course speaking about the scene where Sonic relentlessly barrages Saitama with a fury of special ninja attacks, only to have his attack end abruptly as Saitama lifting his arm up causes Sonic’s crotch to run into Saitama’s fist.
Check out the scene below: