For once, I actually put Tivo to good use. I hate hate hate football, but I wanted to see the ads. After a single minute of watching the game, I couldn't take it anymore. So! Have Tivo pause it, watch an ep of something else, come back to the game and fast-forward through all the game, watch the ads. Once caught up, repeat! Pause, watch something good, return to it and fast-forward to the ads.
There really weren't any outstandingly great ads this year, I thought. I liked the IBM/Linux one (it was nice and simple), and one of the beer company ads was funny (the one where the ref was really good at ignoring coaches yelling at him because his wife nagged him so much), and I guess that Bud one with the donkey was okay, but for the most part it wasn't worth it to go through all the work to see them.
I was rather surprised to see that 12 year old girl who got sued by the recording industry in a Pepsi ad. I'm glad she got work and made money off the situation, but... something about it felt really wrong.
SURVIVOR IS NEXT! Survivor starts in only a couple minutes! I can't wait! I'm dying to see Richard Hatch (the winner of the first one) again. I worked with him on his websites for a couple months, and while he was... well, not the nicest fellow, I'm excited to see someone I know on TV again.
Kino no Tabi is a hard anime to watch. There's so much meaning and subtext to its stories, four or five times an ep I need to pause it, sit back, and put all the unspoken pieces together to try to grasp the whole message it's trying to put forth.
I just watched ep #3, which appears to be about religion, tradition, and what people will do based on those things. The ep had three parts:
The first was about a country which thought the world was ending. They had a book which a priest interpreted as saying the world would end on X day (which was tomorrow). Then (of course) the world didn't end, and some other priest stepped in and said that the first priest was wrong in his interpretations, and that the world would end in 30 years. The moral of the story was that religious-type things shouldn't be blindly trusted/believed.
In the second part, Kino goes to a new country and is welcomed by a bunch of people wearing cat ears. They do cat dances and make cat noises and throw a feast for her (it's part of their traditional way of welcoming people, they tell her). She leaves pretty quickly, and is flagged down by a scientist. He explains that he's studying that village, and that this "grand tradition of wearing cat ears" was actually something they made up on the spot -- they make up some new tradition for everyone who visits. He tells Kino that they threw out their king and all of their old traditions, and ever since then they've realized how much they need traditions as a part of their life...
The final part tells of a country where the king willingly brought sadness upon his people, and it ties with the first part of this ep. (I can't go into details without spoiling it.) But it's almost stomach-twistingly sad how clear the "people will hurt other people over religious beliefs, no matter how inaccurate those beliefs are" message was.
Unlike other series, I haven't been able to watch a lot of Kino eps in a row. I'm almost thankful the series is so short (20 eps, 7 translated so far), because I don't think I could watch too many eps of this. It could be called "dark", but only in the same way RL is dark. It's a too honest look at how people really are.
Despite that, I really recommend this series. (You can BT it from here: Link.) The art is nice, and the "music" is wonderful. (I almost can't call it music, it's more like... musical noises? Tones and notes drawn out, made sorrowful and beautiful -- within the eps, I mean. The opening and closing themes are really songs.)
Check it out if you can!