Posted by psgels on 2 December 2016 with categories: Monthly Summaries

And that was November. The month without a beginning or end, most series are using this time to build up their setting and characters for added depth. Some shows got better, some started to show kinks. These are my impressions, in order from least liked to best liked, about all the episodes that came out in November, so some of the new episodes aren’t counted yet. As usual: there be spoilers. And I’m not sure whether I’m going to include ratings in these lists. For now I’m refraining though. Just note that #2 is way above #3 and #1 is miles above #2 again. #1 in particular just restored my faith in anime again.

Oh and I unfortunately had to drop 3-Gatsu no Lion. Not for a really particular reason other than time. I had to drop one, and it became that series. Was I right in dropping it? Dunno.

#9: Bernard Jou Iwaku (05-08)

Granted, the only reason I’m still watching this is because every episode is over within 3,5 minutes, but it says something that out of the entire onslaught of mini-shows this season, this is the only one I kept. This is what I expect when I watch one of these series: due to the dialogue it never loses my interest, it remains fresh, it makes me chuckle once in a while and it knows what it’s about: name-dropping famous novels.

I like how it’s both poking fun at the literary imbeciles as the snobs. This dynamic has been good for 8 episodes of fun, and I can pretty much see this show finish its run without too much difficulties at this pace. It’s interesting, fun and short. Nothing special of course, but short series should look here for how it’s done. They really need that because the amount of really bad shows really is getting out of hand.

#8: Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (05-08)

Oh boy, this series. This was not a good month for Udon no Kuni. I will continue watching it, but this month the show headed into a really questionable direction that… I both don’t like it and I don’t get it to be honest. Over the past month I’ve been watching this guy slowly losing his mind by a shapeshifting tanuki. And if that was an actual plot point then I’d love that, but I’m getting more and more convinced that the creators are playing this straight: that the series really is going to end with Souta and Poco living happily ever after as a family…

In a normal series that would be fine and all, but at times this show seems to forget that we’re dealing with a tanuki here… Souta never seems to question where he came from, his origins, he doesn’t seem to find it weird that he basically is treating his pet like his son. He gave up his entire life in the city, not through careful consideration, but because Poco liked it there better, which takes away a lot of the power of the first episode.

It also doesn’t help that Poco is getting really annoying now. His antics… they’re a bit too blown up. He’s trying sooo hard to sound like a kid, and I get that he’s a tanuki and all, but it’s also the responsibility of the creators to create a fun series and all. Episode nine was especially cringe-worthy when he got lost in the most clichéd way possible. No meaning behind it whatsoever, just to get some development out of Souta. I also really dislike Souta’s coworker, especially now that the creators seem to have decided they want him back as a regular character.

They’re going to really have to step up their game for the finale here. And what happened to the Udon? I mean they eat it here and there and all, but this is supposed to be one of the major themes of this series. We don’t call Cross Game Napolitan Game for a reason.

#7: Cheating Craft (05-08)

Usually in a comedy, when the big rival is introduced it’s the moment the series goes south. I do not know why so many comedies want to be taken seriously all of a sudden, but you need good characters for that, and most comedies depend on stereotypes or gimmicks. Cheating Craft is basically one gigantic gimmick, so I was dreading this moment, and yet something really weird happened: the show actually got better.

The crowning moment definitely was episode 6, which just said “screw it” to linear storytelling and delivered a really weird mish-mash of scenes right intertwined with each other, held together in a theater play. That one episode succeeded in trying to sound like it was taking itself so seriously, yet it kept trying to get away with more and more ludicrous scenes. And it was fully aware of that by the way. It was magic!

After that followed two episodes of training arc parodies. A bit more conventional, but they worked. It had a bunch of neat ideas, it was fun, it made me laugh. I’m impressed in the way that the story of the show is actually progressing, and yet it does not forget that it’s supposed to make the audience laugh. This is the middle month in which series like this usually lull into a period of nothing really happening, and here Cheating Craft comes with a pacing that really is just fine.

#6: To Be Hero (05-08)

This series continues to be an excellent example of how comedy should be done. The fast pace makes sure that the jokes just keep coming and coming, the half episode length makes sure that it doesn’t drag, and in terms of inspiration it hasn’t slowed down in the slightest since it started, and it still feels fresh. It still manages to surprise me with how politically uncorrect it can get and every episode finds a new way to weird me out. It’s one of those rare shows where I just know that I’m going to laugh through the entire episode.

What also helps is that there are no bad characters. Sure, the characters are terrible people and all, but every characters has a point and purpose, and actually made me laugh. Even Gintama (or Excel Saga for a more concise comparison) had characters that got on my nerves and I wanted to just go away. Every character is also their own epitome of black humour. Some characters may have some annoying moments, but these are so rare compared to what I feared this show would turn into.

Endings are the bane of comedy’s existance, but with Nabeshin at the helm I actually have confidence that he can pull it off. The key is have a climax while still being funny, and using that climax for extra tension for the jokes. 90% of all comedies make the mistake of just completely scrapping the jokes, or putting the jokes on second place for the sake of wrapping up the story. That’s bad! Ideally, you’d use your entire series to one gigantic joke of a climax at the end, and there are very few series that understand that. Is this series one of those that do? Find out next month!

#5: Shuumatsu no Izetta (06-09)

This show, it’s got a lot of major things right, and a lot of minor things wrong. So overall, I’m happy. My biggest praise is how well the creators thought about the plot. There are no really big cop-outs, the tone is consistent, the setting is very solid. A good story just writes itself, and that’s exactly what happened here. This month we saw the war between the two main nations here evolve further, and with what it was given, it makes sense for things to have happened the way they did. Characters are no morons, Eylstad did what they could in order to hold out as long as possible, while Germania took its time to find a way to deal with the white witch: a powerful weapon, yet ultimately too fragile to win an entire war with.

And I realize how rare this is now that there is a series that actually doesn’t do that: but the deaths actually surprised me. I’ve seen so many series that copped out at the last minute: pretending to kill off characters only to find some way to revive them again, or pulling completely ludicrous leaps in logic to prevent certain characters from dying. Not here: when it felt logical for them to die, they actually did. They underestimated the situations they were in and paid for it. I love that! These deaths have meaning, it’s not like this is a trigger-happy show that just kills for the sake of killing. Hats off!

Now the bad: first of all the fanservice. An sich I don’t mind that (hell, there are some series this season where there is far, far more), but it’s the context in which it’s used. This is a series that takes itself very seriously, the light-hearted moments are very limited, and there are nearly no jokes. The only jokes are the really bad boob jokes that you see in every single series. THAT’s is what I take offense to: if you’re gonna do fanservice: make it flow well into the storyline. Don’t come across like the only way you know to flesh out characters is grabbing each other by the boob. I’m sick and tired of that.

Now, episode 09 finally brought in the second witch. It was a major episode, and I loved what it lead to… except the new witch herself feels kinda iffy. The revelation that she was cloned feels… a bit out of place in the setting. For the first time in the entire series. It was built up, but still it felt a bit weird. But okay, it’s their series, if they want a setting reminiscent of the first world war with a few details changed here and there, like witches and cloning, I can buy it. But then the witch started talking….

Look, what also made this series so good is the believable characters. There were a few things here and there, but most of all the characters here: you can believe that these people all fit, and their acting was all down to earth and business. There was a lot of cold and serious acting, but Izetta and Fyne balanced that out by also showing the human side of the cast, and when they did they also knew their place. And then that new witch came and started acting like a supervillain in an action flick. It was… jarring…

#4: Natsume Yuujinchou (05-08 + special)

I’m not entirely sure what to think right now. On one hand, episode 08 was the best episode involving Natori and Matoba so far. The other episodes have been really excellent as well. But that Nyanko-sensei special was the single worst episode of Natsume Yuujinchou, ever. It’s really rare how consistent Natsume Yuujinchou is, so any episode that isn’t up to its standards immediately stands out, to the point where the episode was just hard to watch.

Let’s talk a bit about brevity in storytelling. Ideally, a story should progress at a logical pace, and it should end at a place where it fits best. This is not an attack on filler episodes, because these can serve a very good purpose in fleshing out characters and getting to know them, however we are already more than 50 episodes in right now. Series should not try to pad out their length and go on as long as possible, because that will eventually just diminish the impact. Telling a story is a delicate balance between taking your time at the right moments and hitting hard and fast at the right moments. The timing of that special felt completely out of place, and the creators knew it so they aired it as a special outside of the main series, so I’m not really sure whether to hold this against the series or not. I mean most specials are either just for background information, or some silly side-story… however specials always air when a show is finished. Not when you’re right in the middle of a story.

Because it seems that this series is addressing my concerns I voiced right at the beginning of this series: there’s been lots of character development of the major side characters this month. Whereas season four was all about Natsume and his family, this is about his friends and Natori, Matoba and Reiko. Since for these episodes, the series depends on something other than the powerful closures of the episodic stories, so it took a while to build up, but with episode 08 it all came together quite nicely.

Now ideally, there should come one more season after this. ONE. Entirely dedicated to wrapping up the story and closing off all threads that the series laid out. I really think that any longer than that will be too long for Natsume Yuujinchou By then it will have been able to say everything that it wanted to say.

#3: Yuri!! on Ice (05-09)

Well then. Sayo Yamamoto’s series have always been incredibly sexual, all in their own unique way. Her masterpiece Michiko e Hatchin seamlessly blended the sexiness in Brazilian culture with its plot and characters, while Lupin the Third… I’m still surprised that they managed to get away with everything they did. Now Yuri on Ice is here for the Yaoi fans. The thing with fanservice is this: there will always be people who will not be attracted to what you’re showing. So, if you focus too long on that, or make it incredibly stupid you will alienate people. This is a rule that a lot of anime fail to understand. Yuri on Ice was awfully close to that line this month though. Especially on the orgasm skater I was like… “do I really want to watch this?” And yeah, the first episodes still were a bit ambiguous, but this month made no mistake: Victor is gay and Yuri is bisexual, and we’re getting a romance here. It feels forced. I don’t buy it. I have that with most romances though, but it’s a shame that the romance in this show does not form an exception.

Because damn, the characterization in this show is so good! This month this series had the challenge of blowing through two major matches, each showing 6 contestants performing two routines. Usually a series would then focus on the main character and one rival, degrading the other characters to a bunch of cardboard boxes who are just there for filler, but not this show! Because so much time of these episodes is focused on showing actual ice skating performances, every single one of the characters gets his own personality, story, background, antionality. And with the exception of the above-mentioned orgasm skater they were all incredibly well done for how little time they got. You remember them, they’re all fun, they all drew me right into their performances. They made for four really riveting episodes that just sparkled with personality.

However, one big problem remains: Yuri on Ice really is about its characters, and therefore it really is putting logic a bit on the second place. The world of ice skating is huge, and Yuri just basically reached the world finals in a best of six tournament, even though he finished fourth and second once. I get why they do it: the creators really does everything it can to spice up this show, and for the characters it works! For the story though… do not watch this for the story.

#2: Classicaloid (05-08)

Can I also give a shout-out to the producers of this series? Every single episode features a new awesome cover of classical music, used both in the climax as the ED. And don’t forget we’re dealing with 24 episodes here! This is something you have to consciously decide to go after, certainly with how good all these songs are. And on top of that there is the “Pain! Pain!”-song of episode nine, which too was just incredible in its own way.

I’m not sure how much on the radar this show is, but I love everything about it. Seriously, I have nothing to really criticize here. Perhaps only really minor nit-picks like jerky animation here, and some coincidences there, but that’s nothing. This is my idea of a sitcom. Every single character here is completely adorable, and their chemistry is just amazing. These guys can be incredibly annoying, but every time they do something that gets on your nerves, it also gets on just about every other character’s nerves, and that all just continues to build up, to the point at which I just can’t stay angry at these guys. The most notable example of this is episode 07: on paper this episode is terrible. It’s a gimmick that spelled the downfall of so many series yet. And yet at the end the only reaction I could muster was the same that Kanae, the female lead had: just shake your head and give up.

The plot moves slowly, but it does move. And the way it does move! It’s always either in ways you don’t expect, or the most obvious way imaginable. Things happen and characters act like it’s the most normal thing in the world, so it takes a while to really digest what happened. Or in the incredibly obvious cases it takes a while that yes, they really are going that way. There are very few series I had as much fun with as this series. This is no longer just a comedy, this is just a show with awesome characters.

#1: Fune wo Amu (04-07)

Fune wo Amu is my favourite series this season, but even that isn’t indicative of just how good this show is. This is just a completely different level, it blows just everything away with its execution, and it would stand at the top of nearly every season this decade. That’s how incredible this show is!

And it didn’t do so with the biggest story, the most epic setting, dramatic conflicts. Instead it’s so simple, yet everything it does is perfect. Aside from throw more budget so that some drawings can be more high-resolution (not even better animated, just give the artists a bit more time to animate everything in the right resolution) I would not change anything so far about how these episodes have played out. The way this series manages to breathe life to its characters with such a simple story of writing a dictionary. And sure, there is drama. But it’s everyday drama: corporate issues of management that’s looking for ways to have their way, cocky professors. It all just feels so real, like you can touch these characters.

And the romance! Holy crap the romance! Let me tell you that this show has the best romance out of any series where romance isn’t the main focus. Like I can’t even think of any show that tops it. Especially episode six, it hit me like a truck, that’s how well built up and acted it was, and it has been many years since an anime hit me as much as that single episode, even many years before my writer’s block started.

Like finally a show comes in and does everything right. Majime is socially awkward, and yet. No silly drama, no characters behaving illogically for the sake of creating drama. No bad overreactions, no misunderstandings that create terrible drama because characters refuse to talk to each other, no main character who is too scared to even confess, no generic forced resolutions. Nope. Majime just needs a few episodes to gather courage, but the bugger actually goes ahead and does it! And not just that, Nishioka himself kicks ass too. He has a stable relationship, and while this has its ups and downs, these ups and downs are realistic: they’re about the small things. I absolutely adored how subtle the end of episode 07 was. Where in every other series there would be a huge drama, the very small gesture of him planning a date was so much more powerful.

And I know, these are so simple. And that makes it al the weirder that this series is the first to actually get everything right. THIS is the romance I want to see: scrap the bullshit, the whiny drama about nothing, the refusal to communicate, giving such a skewed portrayal of reality. THIS should be the standard!

Posted by SuperMario on 2 December 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sound! Euphonium 2

Two-third of this Fall season have passed and usually this is the time for our shows to reach to their full potential. Sound Eupho, comfortably delivers one of its best episode of this second season. As you can probably tell by the self-titled nature of this episode, our Eupho players are given as the centerpiece and what better way to end this week than a euphonium solo piece? Yes, this is the kind of development I want to see from Sound Eupho. I don’t want heightened drama when things resolve too quickly and seem to be forgotten soon afterward. I want this. In the end of this episode, things don’t really change at all. Asuka is still miserable and we haven’t deal with Asuka’s mother yet and there is no emotional breakdown, no tears. Just smile. We saw Asuka smiles as a mask to hide her true feeling from the start of the show, and in the end of this episode again we see her smiles, but this time it has changed. We get out of this episode feeling that we learn a lot better from these characters. Now, I have a glimpse of Asuka’s real thoughts, of Kumiko’s growing right before my eyes and of the great chemistry they share and those are honestly all I could ask for.

Let get to know Asuka a bit more after this episode. There’s two things about this girl that makes one of the most layered characters out of this series and the first is she knows exactly what she wants. Unlike the bandmates who keep practicing for golds and competition, she pretty much has her own hidden agenda. Starting Euphonium from a gift from her estranged father, she wants to play the instrument and no amount of efforts from her Mom can keep her away from it. After finding out that her father will be a judge for the National Competition, she wants to get her father hear her play so she cuts all the unnecessary band drama bullshit and pushes hard to reach the National stage. It’s a very selfish way of doing things when everything she does is for her own benefits, even at a cost of sacrifice something else (her friend Nozomi) but in a way she’s one of the purist band players out there: She plays Eupho because she really wants to play. She wants to play because she has something to express, be it her reach for freedom or her cry out for recognition from her father.

But there is another thing that made her role so compelling. Despite her carefree, uplifting attitude and her seemingly ignorant of her surrounding, she actually notices and cares about people surrounding her. The scene when Kaori tie up her shoes really highlights that quality of her: on one hand, the dark visual close shot of Asuka (something come straight from horror) indicates very well that personally Asuka don’t take it very well when others meddling to her own affair, but on the other hand she also aware about Kaori’s sincere intention of helping her out, hence the out of nowhere comment: “Kaori is cute, isn’t she” (because in Asuka’s mind that’s what cute girls do: trying their best to help her friend out). Even with her own relationship with her Mom, Asuka disagrees with many of her Mom’s decisions but “Once a Mom, always a Mom” – she knows that her Mom raised her up so she respects her all the same. This week she notices something about Kumiko that she knows that she could talk honestly to Kumiko. After all, sharing is caring so it’s nice to see Asuka open up her issues to Kumiko (the best part here have to be how Kumiko declared that she loves to hear Asuka’ sound… well, that special thing about Kumiko)

Kumiko just getting better and better at carrying her own weight lately. Like I mentioned before we follow every action through her perspective, we see what she sees (that shot where she nervously peeks through her senpai in a locker room really demonstrates it), so far she appears as plain as possible (kudos to both her voice acting and her passive personality) to not distract us so much from the main storyline. But in this episode the show suddenly gives her a spotlight for her to shine. I said “suddenly” because it’s kind of abrupted if you ask me since out of the blue, there were 3 different people complement Kumiko’s quality this week. First we have Natsuki, then Reina (My favorite part really!) and finally Asuka. So everyone been saying that our main Kumiko has an ability to understand people, doesn’t seem to notice things but actually do and has the right words at the right time. REALLY? Because I fail to see any of her characteristics here and I feel the show’s really stretching this part too thin, repeatedly remind us how “special” Kumiko is (There’s something about… Kumiko – that’s an alternative episode title) but I have to say I enjoy all those parts so I’m happy to overlook this silly little details this time.

And the bond between our euphonist is excellent. I love that even a strong-minded skilled person like Asuka can actually be insecure sometimes, the way she feels that she isn’t good at euphonium and admires Kumiko as the true Eupho-girl, while at the same times we already know how Kumiko always look up to her with admiration. So Asuka is a human, after all, huh? The euphonium music that Asuka played at the end is anime-original piece written directly for the show and it was played almost perfectly in that scene. I’m completely speechless just to hear her playing: The sad music, the sceneries, Kumiko’s silently listening, all are flawless. It brings the masterclass in music performance (something we witnessed before when the band played their entire piece in Kansai region), while at the same time grounded by strong emotionally charge. This sequence will likely be remembered as one of the best moments in Sound’s Euphonium’s, period, and for good reasons.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 29 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Magical Girl Raising Project

Calamity Mary dying was pretty expected and the death that followed was equally something that was bound to happen. Though having a third death was not quite what I expected. Considering the small line in one of the halfway blurbs about Nana having some other intentions I thought she might have more to her than one would think. Sadly it turns out she was as boring as she appears when she commits suicide after Weiss’s death. I admit that I didn’t notice that she used Weiss’s scarf as a noose, that as a nice detail. Word of mouth say that the anime changed how the other two died a bit as Mary wasn’t supposed to get a shuriken to the head. In the light novel it seems that Ripple through a window at her which Mary shot up. However thanks to Ripples ability, the shards of glass kept flying towards Mary, turning her into a human pincushion. I don’t really get just way this was changed as it seems like a far more interesting end to the fight.

I don’t think it had to due with animation constraints as they still ended up using the glass anyway and this series has not been shy with showing gore either. It does make me wonder if the lack of impact these deaths have is related to minor changes on the studio’s part. The second change was Top Speeds death as while she was killed the same way both times, in the light novel she was helping Ripple up when she got attacked. Which certainly makes more sense as I really don’t see h0w Ripple didn’t spot Swim Swim behind Top Speed. I am not certain as to how i feel about this particular death as it is rather tasteless. Top speed was one of the more likable characters in the group and the big twist of her being pregnant being used for shock factor doesn’t sit well with me. It’s like a dead baby joke, morally outrageous and shocking but immature and cheap.

Made all the more cruel when you consider that if Swim Swim knew about Nana’s suicide, she wouldn’t have attacked Top Speed. As Swim is the logical type she would see it would be not worth it. Fav fixes this soon enough by going “tee hee, turns out you lot are using more magic than expected so the number is now four instead of eight”. At this point Fav is not hiding his intentions whatsoever, it’s clear he wants the killing game to continue. With this new rule three more girls have to drop out of the running and I doubt both Cranberry and Swim Swim are making it out of this. Swim seems to be making Cranberry her next target and considering her ability she would make for a formidable foe. One thing I found odd this episode was just how little an effect killing Mary had on Top Speed and Ripple.

Mary was hardly a saint but I would have expected the fact that Ripple killed a person would have a more somber effect than “Woohoo! Good job!” But I do see potential in a battle between Swim Swim and Ripple. After all she’s bound to come after her with a vengeance but what will happen when she kills Swim and finds a little girl lying dead in front of her. I think congratulations would be far from her mind then. Though Snow White taking down Swim would be far more devastating, that is of course if she can fight her. This episode did show that her mind reading power has other uses besides finding people in danger. It did reveal that Tama believes she’s in over her head so she could be a potential ally in the future. Though for now it looks like the remaining angel has found out how to kill Alice.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 29 November 2016 with categories: Aquarion Evol, Currently Watching:, Drifters

It looks to be a trend of drifters to follow a high action episode with a cooling down period. Though it does leave me with little to comment on. Scipio meeting Kanno and neither being able to understand each other lead to what may be one of the few jokes that actually hit with this series. Albeit one of the jokes that requires some knowledge of world war II to get. It certainly got a big smile from me though Kanno seems like the type of character who is perpetually pissed off. Meanwhile Hannibal has gone senile without Scipio around to keep him focused which makes me wonder why Murasaki didn’t pick him up from a earlier time in his life. Though considering how he reacts to Toyohisa it could be that his senile status is a just an act though for what purpose I couldn’t tell. The dwarves look to be next on this liberation campaign and I really wonder when it became commonplace that elves live in forests using bows and that Dwarfs are underground and are great metalworkers. In some ways Tolkien cursed the fantasy genre by giving it a standard template.

Abe no seimei brings up a certain concern I had regarding the drifters in that none of them seem to really care about the effect they are having in this world. I don’t quite agree on his assessment that Hitler was trying to help in his own way but considering that Hitler was after his time it safe to assume that Abe doesn’t know just what Hitler has done. Oda’s clearly lays out that he has plans that go beyond just beating the ends and Abe more or less has to go along with it as there really isn’t a better way to defeat the ends. However it’s clear that the Drifters and ends are altering this world beyond repair. The ends have followed with the old saying that if life gives you lemons….kill everything. Meanwhile the Drifters are introducing concepts much earlier than intended, with Hitler creating a second WWII germany and Oda pushing to create modern firearms which would throw the power scale all out of whack. Though we do have the issue that just because Butch and Sundance use guns, that does not mean they know how to make them.

They seem to be getting there though as Oda is making gunpowder and it seems the transvestite count will help with creating the primer later down the line. But man, Oda’s reaction when the cowboys started telling him about modern firearms and how he knew it would change everything about war. So both the heroes and the villains don’t actually care what happens to the world  and for that matter I am thinking that Murasaki and EASY don’t care much either. We don’t actually know why they started this game in the first place but considering the overly familiar approach EASY takes with Murasaki it could be that this game is just a matter of passing time for them. In truth perhaps the Ends are not the actual endgame of this series but instead the final bosses are these two. Who treat humans as mere playthings to entertain themselves.

Posted by SuperMario on 27 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Flip Flappers

Yay, I’ve reached 100th post here at this site, and if you can probably tell from my still-clumsy writing this is also my first 100 blogging ever. This isn’t much to be completely frank but it’s a milestone for me nonetheless, as there had been a fair amount of commitment for the last 8 months back from my first post. I’d like to give my special gratitude to Aidan who figuratively pick me up from the street and let me run loose here. I’ve enjoyed writing these so far and don’t plan to give it up anytime soon (meaning ya’all still stuck with me for a long, long time) so here’s hoping the curses of RL commitment and anime burn out won’t get to me soon. Thanks for having me here guys.

Alright, sentimental time is over (after all, sentimentality is only for farewell), and let get to what you actually come here for: Flip Flappers. This week, our girls were sucked from a swimming PE class (I think it’s an excuse for the girls to wear swimsuits the entire episode) to the metropolis Pure Illusion world which again is striking and impressive on its own settings. Again, what do we have in this Pure Illusion world this week? A metropolis city, was built entirely by one man (Totalitarianism?), no citizen actually living there except for those birds that shoot laser. The man himself is half the size of normal human (haha, totally randomness) but these buildings are in their actual sizes. Then those birds and the giant robots come literally from the sky to cause havoc to the city (they are created by the fragments by the way. What really are those fragments anyway?); and of course; mecha-robots. The metropolis setting allows the extensive use of neon light, pink colors that I never get tired of (while at it, check out the cartoon Moonbeam City which have that exact aesthetic neon retro style, but unfortunately bugged down by their dumb story). Well, the setting alone is on par with the show’s most imaginative worlds for that alone this episode is already worth checking out.

Damn, Flip Flappers. In the very beginning we billed you as a magical girl show with some sort of fairy tale-inspired, and what did you give us this week? A metropolis city with some random mecha robots fighting? I am giving up to even guess what you would do next. Not only the show had fun to spend extra details to those battles: the fighting looks gorgeous and carries a lot of energy; they also have extra fun when it comes to designing and naming those level-up robots: PapinaKing, Yapico Boy, Great Pacoya. Stay true to the term “adventure”, the show freely hops from one genre to another each episode. So far, we’ve encountered them experiencing with dark children fantasy, action, horror, psychological and now mecha genre. That free style allows this show to bend the rules and bring a lot of refreshing ideas and creativity to the table, and while I consider this episode an outsider from the rest of Flip Flappers episodes in terms of theme (there’s no identity theme this week, but the coming-of-age theme is still going strong), this episode still fits into the show’s canon of exploring those self-contained worlds while tackling multiple genres the show come across.

Yayaka obviously become the true star in this episode and her motive becomes more and more in favors for the wellbeing of Cocona (I’m hesitant to put Papika here, as she and Papika get along so well just like water and oil). For all of her coldness tsundere appearance, she deeply cares for the girls and this episode forced her to be honest with her feeling. I don’t mind she joining up with the two girls at all (Man. That Great Pacoya is ridiculously awesome) and next episode it seems like we will have a little bit of flashback between Cocona and Yayaka which I can’t wait for it. Not only Yayaka, but Cocona also grows a lot this episode. She’s always afraid that her actions could bring consequences to the real world. But by reflecting through the old man’s frustration that he would lose himself if he loses what is precious to him, Cocona’s now willing to take actions to protect her precious things as well.

Under the effect of fragment, Papika again mutters the name “Mimi”. I was overlooked last week, but it seems more likely now that name is a connection to “Shard of Mimi” AKA the fragments. So we might after all have the long lost search for love from Dr Salt, and that Mimi is somehow shattered into amorphous fragments so Dr Salt had to collect them again? Speculation aside, I am more sure now that Mimi and Cocona’s dream have some connections to each other. But no, I’m not going to put more thoughts on that because a) I know the show will mind-screwing all my expectation somehow and b) I enjoy the show simply because it brings me something different each week, so as long as the show pleases me on that front I’d die a happy man.

Posted by SuperMario on 26 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Sound! Euphonium 2

This week, the show delivers one of my favorite Eupho moments: as Kumiko and Reina quietly listen to the Euphonium CD, enjoying that little moments when the music is playing with drama or conflict yet to come. This little moment and the firework sequence back in the first episode are Sound Eupho at their best. They always excel at portraying characters’ little gestures and expressive reactions and those scenes allow our characters to sit back and breathe and let the atmosphere washes over them. While I don’t necessary disagree with their choice to focus on heighten drama and more in-depth characters this season, because we do need to know them a little deeper after 2 seasons, I do miss those little moments that the first season achieved so effortlessly.

So the big elephant in the room has finally addressed, as Mamiko told her parents that she wanted to quit college because she wants to be a beautician. She blames her parents for putting up pressure that eventually she had to study what she didn’t want to, moreover she was forced to quit the music band and now she just needs a break to all that. The way her strict father deals with the problems meaning that he won’t take no for an answer in everything he wants her to do; which is kind of suck. He does make a point when he said that it’s her who decided to take college so don’t put a blame game back to him, but that again is too harsh on his eldest daughter. But that family drama eventually points to the very relationship between Mamiko and Kumiko. If you notice carefully, this is the very first time that the passive Kumiko actually raises her voice to someone, because she freaking cares about her sister. Of course Kumiko doesn’t really understand her sister’s struggle, but it comes the other way as well: Mamiko doesn’t understand why her sister got so irritated at her decision like that. As this episode shows us many intimate moments when Kumiko were young, her sister was her inspiration to get into music in the first place and all Kumiko want is to play music with her sister. It’s only slightly hinted this week, but I can see that after her sister quitted the music band, it killed the joy to play music out of Kumiko (remember that in the beginning of season 1, Kumiko doesn’t want anything to do with music again) until she got swept up by the inspiration of Taki-sensei.

It’s a joy for me to be able to see Aoi back again this season, even with just a passing sequence like this one. Truth be told but I always found Aoi’s situation back in the first season the most resonant to me. I had briefly discussed this before but if I were Taki-sensei, I would think really carefully before pushing the music band to competition-focus. For me, it always seems too convenient for him to just let the band decided for themselves, then he just proceed to push the goal and cut all other craps. I know he wouldn’t mind if the band choose to just have fun playing music, but my main issues remain this: he should assist them to know all the consequences, all the pros and cons of these options are, because eventually if he pushes the band squarely into one direction, someone will eventually be pulled further away from that wheel. And that someone was Aoi because she can’t afford to have more commitment to music, but what get me the most was her comment later on to Kumiko that she never really regretted leaving the band. It all comes down to the decision we made and I know she made a right choice in her situation. But what is wrong with joining the band just for the sake of enjoying it as a spare time? Her role in the story, plus Azusa’s (the girl who plays in marching band in other school) gives Sound Eupho much more depth, because it adds another dimension to those who chase different pathways from our music band.

Although not actually appearing this week, Asuka’s mother air still lingers around this episode. Asuka has been kept things to herself so that her issue won’t be a bother to the band; but I’m still waiting, patiently, for herself to crack. She’s performing that happy persona so damn well that others don’t know if they should be happy or worry. She invites Kumiko over her house, which is a very abnormal sign, but that night might be the night that we understand her conflict in full extend. The show has been implied many times this week and it further confirms what I picked up last week: It seems like Asuka’s father is an Eupho professional named Masakazu Shindo (the girls even confirmed that it sounds like Asuka’s) and judging by Asuka’s attitude (the band comes first, cut the drama bullshit. But then again she seems happy just to play the instrument and doesn’t care much about the band drama), it seems that Asuka got inspired by her father. The reason I bought it up is because if that’s the case there is an equivalence between Asuka’s story and Kumiko’s own family drama: as both Asuka and Kumiko starting to play music as an admiration to someone, and then keep hanging on to the music even though that inspirations are gone. The strictness between the two families who pressure Asuka and Kumiko’s sister to quit the band to focus on what they think is better for their own child is another point of reference. Anyways, I’m pretty sure next week we will follow Kumiko to Asuka’s house to witness a rematch between Asuka and her mother and I hope this time we can really see what that girl is truly thinking about.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 25 November 2016 with categories: Game Reviews

The Disgaea series has been one that has caught my interest from time to time when shifting between games. It’s artstyle is certainly its most distinctive feature at a glance but for someone like myself the real draw of the series was it’s similarities to one of the most shining yet overlooked gems of the Final Fantasy franchise. That being of course, Final Fantasy Tactics. Disgaea however promised more, more levels, more customization, more content, more of absolutely everything. But with more comes the thing which is likely to keep many from trying it, game length. My entire playtime with Disgaea clocked in at 42 hours and I was focusing on only the main story. Taking into account the series rather famous post game content and extra features you could spend double, if not triple the time I spent on it. Disgaea is certainly a game that gives you your money’s worth and if made today perhaps it would have as much ridiculous DLC and collector’s editions as Watchdogs 2 has. Oh yes the days when you could have extra content in a game and not have to fork over a fiver. Anyway for this review I will be covering the Steam PC release of Disgaea opposed of its Playstation 2, DS and PSP counterparts. Now the PC version had a rocky start as on release the port had dozens of problems. Graphical glitches, crashes, frame drops, Lack of resolution settings…honestly it was a bit of a mess. However in recent times the port has been fixed up and as least on my rig it ran with no real problems. Only real problem I encountered was the game crashing if you tried to start it when the monitor was connected via HDMI to a TV but in recent patches that issue has been resolved. To avoid this for Disgaea 2 being released in January of next year they are currently Beta testing it by giving out free copies for testing purposes.(Sadly the submission date to be a Beta tester has passed so I will have to buy it instead) Considering that I think Disgaea 2 should have a much more favorable reception. But well moving on to the review.

Getting into Disgaea I had a feeling I wouldn’t be playing the games for the story and from word on forums apparently this game has the best story of the franchise. If this is the best story the series has to offer I say it’s truly not impressive. It’s not bad but the focus is mostly on humor with some small attempts to tug heartstrings from time to time. It’s a passable JRPG story but not a very memorable one. Part of the reason is that Disgaea holds a kind of anime episodic format which even has the female sidekick narrating next episode previews which are pretty much complete lies endorsing her as the main Heroine. As such the story is divided up into episodes which generally have three to four battles in them a piece. The plot deals with the demon son of the Overlord of the underworld attempting to take his position on the throne while fighting off opposition for the throne. You would think this would be the end goal of the game but halfway through he pretty much achieves this end and instead humans are introduced in the form of three heroes invading hell. These characters are fine though the main gimmick of the guy being a Flash Gordan parody gets tiresome quickly. This wouldn’t be all that bad but the second half of the story almost exclusively focuses on these humans and a war between Netherworld and Earth. Then in the last episode angels take center stage as the final boss. In a sense we have three main story arcs with some small episodic side stories in between. The main theme seems to be about a trainee angel Flonne helping to teach the overlord’s son Laharl to love which yeah is trit and cliche. Best moment of the story really was this angel Trainee being sent down to assassinate Laharl but failing hard because she was too polite and kind. Hearing her say “Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m an Assassin.” to Laharl did make me chuckle.

Let us talk about the meat of the game, the gameplay and boy, I knew going into this that this would be a grind heavy game but they really were not kidding. Gameplay in Disgaea plays much like a Fire Emblem game, with a grid like level layout where you direct up to 14 characters to move and attack enemies. It’s fairly light strategy wise as most battles are decided depending on the levels and it really just becomes a matter of using the skill best suited to hitting the most enemies. Out of the 42 hours I spent on this I could be fairly certain on saying that 30 of those hours were spent grinding. In Disgaea you can level up everything, and I do mean everything. Par for the course you can level up characters but use spells and you level those up, use skills and you level those up, you can level up weapon mastery, you can level up weapons, you level up specialists, you can level your weapons and items using item world, you can level up you standing in the dark assembly, you can level up shops if you buy from them and quite frankly anything that can be leveled, will be leveled. I said in my fairy Fencer review that if you have too many systems in place for getting strong, it becomes harder to balance the game for a good challenge and boy does Disgaea suffer from the same problem. Let me be blunt and say in Disgaea you are either underpowered or overpowered with rare times of ever being in between. The biggest challenge you can get can be from how geo panels(Places which grant bonuses to the player/enemy standing on them) which can really give you some painful levels to get through. There is even a level where everywhere is filled with panels that make people invincible so the only way to win is the lead/throw enemies to the one panel that doesn’t have the invincibility effect. I made a particular mistake one time were I accidentally made the entire field of play invincible, hereby making my characters and the enemy impossible to beat. That was certainly a facepalm moment.

The grind is the name of the game but if there is a major failing of Disgaea it’s just how poor a job it does with teaching you it’s systems. The overall interface is fairly clumsy seeing as you can’t actually view how close a character is to a level up or even how much experience they have.(You can see total experience in a separate status window but that doesn’t mention how close to a level up.) Some of the most important options are hidden under it’s awkward menus and the game really only tells you the barest minimum to get through it. Now you are informed that you can finish DIsgaea with minimal knowledge and this is true, but doing so will leave you oblivious to the game’s finer points with its mechanics as well as missing out on features which could make your life a whole lot easier. I find it rather annoying that so much detail was given on the nature of Geo panels and how to cause a chain attack with them when you will most certainly never actually use it. Yet you are given barely any info on how the Dark Assembly works or the nature of Specialists. There is info present with an NPC throwing out answers to how they work but this is akin to learning English by reading a dictionary. Just try reading over these lines several times it just won’t hit home how it all works until you fiddle with it yourself. To figure out how a number of things work I had to jump to the Disgaea wiki just to get my bearings. Even then I only came to realise about Specialists when I reached near the end of the game. Basically you would find weapons have weird names attached to them like Firefighter, teacher, gladiator and for the majority of the game i had no idea what these things even were. Only late into the game did I find out that all these things were essentially code for passive stat bonuses and by using item world you can double these stat bonuses and even move them between weapons.

What makes these so important is that there is a specialist which can double or even triple the amount of exp a character gets from enemies. In a game about grinding, that aspect is critical. Another thing it fails to tell you about is the master and servant system which is briefly mentioned but chances are that you will have no idea how it works. This is likely the best aspect of Disgaea as it gives a ridiculous level of customization to your characters. Here’s how it works, using your characters you can create other characters which are those characters servants. masters and servants don’t really differ all that much except in one aspect. The master can use and learn all the skills of the servant if placed beside them. So as an example, let’s say you have a zombie character whom you want to give healing spells. Well you use the dark assembly to create a priest using that zombie character. You level up the priest gain most of the healing spells and then you place that priest beside your zombie in combat. Then the zombie can use all the healing spells the priest has learned and if the zombie uses a healing spell enough times to level up, that healing spell is permanently added to that zombies skills. Meaning that regardless of whether priest is around or not, that zombie can cast healing spells on anyone. So making use of this system you can have Priests with martial arts abilities, dragons who can cast spells, mages who can use swords. Almost anything is possible and it certainly is fun mixing and matching to give a character the skills you want. The downside is that to power up the character you want, you need to create and level up another character whom you don’t care about. Which is troublesome when you want a mage who can use all types of magic and find that fire, wind, ice and star magic is split up between four characters.

So what’s Item world you may ask? Well in Disgaea each item, be it weapon, armour or usage, can be leveled up to be more powerful. To do this you go to Item world which is similar to a gauntlet of battles. Think of being at the top of a tower with several floors filled with enemies and the only way to progress down a floor is to either kill the enemies on that floor or find the stairs. Thus we have a pretty big source of most of your grinding as well as the most tedious aspect of Disgaea as a whole. Grinding isn’t exactly a praiseworthy aspect of gaming, mainly because it is used as a means to pad out gametime. However depending on how it’s done it doesn’t have to be a unpleasant experience. Keep it speedy and relatively easy with generous pace of reward and grinding can even be a fun aspect of a game. But here is where item world flatters. Item world is slow, time consuming and can be a massive pain at times. Reasons as to why is in part due to the randomly generated terrain of the floors which doesn’t always make the level player friendly. Nothing is unbeatable but it can make some levels that force you to throw characters all about the place just to reach the stairs. There were times I groaned when the game spawned the exit in such an awkward place and put a specialist on a platform to far to throw to or attack. To make matters worse, you cannot leave item world until you at least get ten floors down(Or use a genji’s exit which can only be obtained by going ten floors down in a item.) and it takes at least thirty to forty minutes to get down that far.

If you have the patience of a god you can go down up to hundred floors if you wish to give the item a serious boost in power but I never saw it as worth it. This mode is one of the best ways of powering up your characters but the complete slog of it just made me avoid using it until absolutely necessary. But then let’s talk about something that really bugs me about this game and it’s how you level. Unlike regular RPGs experience isn’t given out evenly among the team when you complete a battle. Instead exp is given to whomever happens to land the last blow to an enemy. This is a big problem for three reasons. For one, leveling up healing units is a massive pain as they have to kill units to gain higher level healing spells. Another is that you end up relying on certain units a lot which makes them a much higher level than the rest of the team. Ultimately the stronger units get all the experience when the weaker units get jack which leads to grinding your weaker units up to an acceptable level as you progress through the game. Lastly you end up using your stronger units to weaken higher level enemies just so your weaker units can land the last blow and it is all too easy to accidently kill the enemy. Personally I would prefer if Disgaea took on a system like Suikoden where experience is divided evenly and allows weaker units to catch up quickly with stronger ones. It’s just one of the things that could make the grind of Disgaea a little less inconvenient.

Disgaea to me is a prototype for a much better game. Within it’s clunky systems and tedious aspects lies the groundwork for a fantastic strategy RPG. I know a lot of this review was essentially me complaining about various parts of it’s systems (I didn’t even get into things throwing enemies into other enemies to double their levels or the mostly useless bonus gauge.) but I did have fun with this game. It’s just that this fun comes with a big if attached to it. I am hesitant to recommend this game as you can have fun with it if you are willing to put up with it’s rough edges. It is my hope that with it’s sequel it could polish up it’s lesser aspects and cut down the tedium of grinding to present an immensely fun experience. From word of mouth it looks like that’s exactly what it’s going to do and certainly am most interested in seeing that. What’s better is that there isn’t any real connection storywise to this game it seems so people can jump into what could be a much more friendly gaming interface. I hope they bring more of the series to PC so I can see this system evolve and potentially produce an excellent title. As for this title alone I say if you are interested I would say to make sure you know what you are getting into and whether you have to patience to deal with it’s blemishes. If you can look past it’s faults you certainly will have something to keep you busy for quite a while.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 23 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Magical Girl Raising Project

Blessed be the peacemaker, for she ups the body count. I don’t think it’s a surprise that Winterprison ended up dying while protecting Nana. But it is surprising that she managed to take down one of the twin angels before getting taken out. All the more surprising considering that the angels didn’t get a flashback so hurray for unpredictability! Though considering that I don’t really care much about them for it to hold any emotional weight it was more just nice to have one of the annoying characters get taken out of the show. Swim Swim is someone I care about and it was fascinating how she went about this. Ultimately she was following Rulers advice in that the leader does the absolute minimum and leaves the majority of the work to a subordinate. It’s no doubt that Ruler was an incompetent leader with a superiority complex but it is fascinating in how Swim Swim holds her in such reverence and uses her image to become a better yet crueler leader than Ruler ever was. Really what is wrong with this girl, after all she wasn’t sad that one of the twin angels died, instead she was disappointed in herself because she thought that Ruler would have done it better.

It was a good plan but they didn’t quite count on Weiss not getting taken out immediately. There is the question of why the peaky angel didn’t transform to escape Weiss’s grasp, especially when Weiss was specifically telling her that if she transformed into Nana again she wouldn’t be able to hurt her even if she knew she was fake. But I think they can’t transform as long as someone is touching them. Evidence of this being how when the angels stabbed Weiss and she pulled out the knife and threw it into the air before she transformed back. Fear as well could be a factor. But if I was to question anyones actions here I would question Weiss’s. Taking into account her ability I think she could have killed all the team by using her wall ability to crush them against the ceiling.

Koyuki seems to see that Hardgore Alice isn’t her enemy though she doesn’t quite like her all the same. Calamity Mary on the other hand has gone full psycho. With both Weiss and the angel out that means we only have two more eliminations to end the battle royale. Judging by current circumstances I doubt Mary is going to come out of this alive. We have seen that Mary was an abusive housewife looking to bully the weak and Fav jumped to give her power straight away the demonic little monster that he is. I do quite like when he drops the cutesy act and his tone goes more malevolent. Mary’s background is pretty typical but it does make her reaction to Alice a little more interesting. Mary likes to bully those weaker than her and while she can overpower Alice, she cannot kill her. So this pretty much makes Alice unbullyable and something Mary cannot stand. This would give their next confrontation some real emotional weight that has been missing from all the fights up to now.

Watching this really makes me appreciate just how well Fate/Zero set up it’s own Battle Royale as it truly was a well structured plotline. With fight scenes in a story you generally have a few ways to go about it. One way is to go with spectacle and make a fight visually dynamic say like Drifters did with it’s action scenes this week. However Raising project just doesn’t have the kind of animation and artstyle to really deliver on a spectacle. Another method is to give a fight an emotional weight. In Fate/Zero the first episode was the worst but it did the groundwork of clearing up all the masters motivations and how they contrasted the other players. The very first fight of the series setup dynamics between the servant. Like Gilgamesh wanting to take down berserker, Berserker wanting to fight Saber, Saber needing to fight Lancer…each character had a counterpoint that made the fights compelling, be it through principles or personality. Raising project doesn’t have that. For the most part all the battles are random skirmishes between opponents who don’t actually know each other. Dues to our lack of information on their characters these fight just feel rather empty and ineffectual.

However we do have counterpoints forming within the cast. Nana has reason to fight Swim Swim, the peaky angel will likely want to attack Nana in revenge for her sister, Mary wants to get back at Alice, Koyuki will want to fight Cranberry after finding out she’s responsible for Souta’s death…these could make the battles more interesting but even then I think this shows big mistake was having such a massive cast of characters. The best battle royales make it a point to get you to care for the characters before killing them off. I am far too apathetic about the plight of these girls to get invested in the conflict. Of course this doesn’t mean we need more flashbacks as they are the lazy tool for character development. Instead having more meaningful character interaction and grown would be a better option. Ripple and Top Speeds relationship is a good example. Speaking of which, I really worry for top speed. We have got the full extent of her backstory which means that she is a prime target to be killed off.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 23 November 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

Considering this is the first clash the Drifters had with the ends things went rather smoothly. They managed to take one down and send the other one packing. This really is what Drifters is best act, balls to the wall action and insanity. Admittedly I wish the animation is better as it does rely on closeups to cut down on the animation needed. But I wholeheartedly admit that Ufotable may have spoiled me in regards to fight animation. This was indeed a spectacle of badassery and with the leader of the Octobrists bringing in the rest of the Drifter I think we could have some interesting interaction and culture clash as they bounce off each other. One thing I particularly loved was when Butch and Sundance brought out the Gatling Gun. The look on Oda’s face when he saw that gun was priceless. As a guy who heavily pushed firearms in Japan during his time, I most certainly think he will be interested in that beast of a weapon. Big problem is that upon gunning down Giles they did mention that they used up the last clip and i think it would be a major problem figuring out how to reproduce the bullets.

As for the battle itself, Toyohisa once more working with suicidal charges, Yoichi shoots arrows and Oda hangs back to lead the elves. If it’s one thing this episode pointed out it’s that the ends really do have a massive advantage in this battle. If they are all as hard to kill as Giles then they happen to have superpowers along with heavy invulnerability. Though the difference could be like Toyohisa said, the ends are now exactly professionals when it comes to combat. At least what I heard of Joan of Arc she wasn’t exactly famous for being a great fighter and Anastasia certainly has no real combat experience. That does seem to be the turning point in this battle, Easy is choosing tragic figures who have reason to hate the world while Murasaki is choosing Military commanders and strategists. The only thing that really give the ends the edge is there supernatural tendencies so Murasaki may be onto something here.

So Joan of Arc is defeated by our resident Samurai and upon confirming she is a woman, he refuses to kill her. Allow me to ask the loaded question. Does that make Toyohisa sexist? Well looking at the actions presented here the answer to that question would be yes and yet calling Toyohisa sexist just doesn’t sound right to me. After all he did thank the octobrist girl for helping to save his life and trusted her to help him in battle. I believe this does present a certainly nauce often overlooked by more overzealous types that attempt to label every person, word, action and home appliance as sexist in some nature. In my personal opinion I would deem that Toyohisa is not sexist but is instead following the traditions and beliefs of his clan which have been pounded into him from birth. Those traditions are indeed a product of a time less kind to woman but to Toyohisa these very things are his reality.

Imagine if you will that you walked into an alternate reality where fish swim in the sky instead of the sea. Wouldn’t that feel wrong? After all fish swim in the sea, it’s what makes sense, it’s what you have been taught from the beginning. Same goes for Toyohisa, in his world woman stay off the battlefield. That’s just his reality. If he came from a world which woman fought on the front lines it’s likely Toyohisa wouldn’t have any real problem with Joan being on the battlefield and would have beheaded her. So is Toyohisa in the wrong here, I say no. The only thing wrong here is that Toyohisa let a very dangerous individual live to fight another day when he could end her then and there. Otherwise Toyohisa was simply living up to his character as someone deeply entrenched in his beliefs. The only thing I find immensely weird here is that Toyohisa was confused over Joans gender and yet Yoichi he recognized as a man immediately? How very odd.

Posted by SuperMario on 22 November 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, World Animation

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight the very spirit of World Animation- take you around the world to check out a diverse set of animation techniques in wide ranges of genres. As I mentioned before the very purpose of this column is to recommend you readers to check out those movies as an alternative to anime and mainstream animated movies, so don’t feel discouraged to read on the review if you haven’t seen these movies. There will be mild spoilers on the theme of the movies, but I don’t see it as an issue should you guys decide to check out these films later.

The title this week: Strange Frame- Love & Sax sold me based on its premise alone. This is an …hold your breath here… indie musical psychedelic lesbian-themed sci-fi film using cut-out animation and upon reading this I know I have to check it out already. As the box office now is dominated by family-oriented animated movies with themes like “you’re different, but be yourself (Shrek, Ratatouile, Wreck-it Ralph…) or “we family will support each other forever” (the Croods, the Incredibles), something as weird and adult-oriented as this is certainly welcomed. So how the film itself fare, let’s get down to it.

The story of how this film got made is already a curious one. The story was written 10 years prior to its release by Shelley Doty and GB Hajim (and was directed by the latter) with their mutual love for sci-fi, especially works from John Valey and believe it or not, Shinichiro Watanabe. GB Hajim then continued the project by using his local Hawaii community (high school students no less) instead of going to big studio and it took them 7 years to finish the project. The story (if I could call that) follow the love story between Parker and Naia (a slave) and they form a band together. But then stuffs happen and Parker found out that she had been kicked out of the band, while Naia is under controlled by a ruthless record producer. Parker’s now lovesick and she attempts to save her lover from danger.

The settings are one of the real highlight of the film, it’s inviting enough to let us sweep up to its worldbuilding, but also ambiguous enough to still hint on the seedy parts laying underground of this world. Set in the 28th century after humanity has abandoned the polluted Earth and settled on several of Jupiter’s moons, humans then have to adapt to the new environment and as a result the physical appearance has been genetically modified as mutants. This allows the film to go wild on character designs, and they really go all out to create a chaotic and gritty world (with influenced a lot by Blade Runner and Cowboy Bebop). In this world, race, gender and sexual orientation seem to be non-issues and for me that is one of the most distinct and refreshing take on the future I have seen for a long time. At least we have probably one of the very first lesbian leads (someone please correct me if I’m wrong here) and those mutants people are all colored-people, which I personally happy to see that this film has balls to go that far.

Another unique thing about this feature is the technique they engaged. They use cut-out animation (think of the style of South Park) so that the visual animation sets itself out from 3D animation, while at the same time the technique supports the limited animation as they don’t have to animate every single frame. The best example for you to check out this technique is when the band playing their music, their heads are shaking while their bodies don’t move… For the most part I say the technique was used appropriately and moreover it carries certain charms that you can’t find it elsewhere. The music in the film, which is a mixture of jazz and rock, is phenomenal. I really love all the music played by the band, and the score, while goes overboard sometimes, is still solid and engaging.

The story is sadly the film’s weakest part. It always feels like the story is a patch-up of many unrelated stories, and really fall apart when you step back and think about it. As much as I like the chemistry between Parker and Naia, they both brought down by lousy dialogues, meaningless voice overs and the pacing is all over the place. Now that when I recall the actual plot, I can’t fill it pass three sentences because there’s not much into it. The love quest has been done thousand times before and unfortunately this story adds nothing new to the table, at the same time goes through as much genre cliché as possible. The story eventually comes together a bit at the end, but by then who really care for any development whatsoever?

But to be fair, nobody come to watch Strange Fame expecting for a good plot. What they are looking for is the trippiness and LCD-filled plot and boy did it deliver. There are many scenes where the movie just goes full wacko, and they keep going wilder and more bizarre as the story progresses. It also helps that the film’s visuals support that acid trip very well. The sequence where the leads are in drug, for example, contains full of weird and arresting visuals (really a love it or hate it moments I would add) and that high feeling is the feeling you can’t get out of after watching this.

Strange Fame proves to be an experience. Although the plot is as cliché and disjointed as possible, the dark, acid aesthetic, plus its innovative cut-out animation and its unbashed look on race and gender issues make it a movie that you all need to experience at least once. Just like a dream, in about a year time you will most likely forget about the plot of the film, but also like a dream you will never forget about the experience you encounter in your dream. Call this film a nightmare if you like.

Next one (probably next week), let head to South Korea where our comrade K-Off is heading for a world that slowly being eaten away by zombies. Stay tune.

Customize
Lenlo
Looks like an Epee. The large bell guard, the fact that they are focusing on thrusting attacks instead of slashing (mostly). Fencing is alot of fun. Be prepared for some bruises though, as some people put their full body weight behind their thrusts.
SuperMario
I have one last dumb question, Can you tell what types of blade of Juri in Utena? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGsVSSUv_i0
SuperMario
@Lenlo: the more you described the more I found fencing interesting. I might take a look around my town to see if we have Fencing here (the curse of living in a small town).
Lenlo
Blades are slightly different, yes, but mostly just in their guard and how much they bend. Sabers bend easily, Epee's not so much. Surprisingly Epee is the slowest, because people tend to be more careful. Saber is actually the most aggressive of the blades, atleast at my skill level
AidanAK47
That's all they had to do. Just stay inside and let it pass. But for some weird reason they just keep panicking over nothing.
As far as time/alternate world stuff goes this was ridiculously underwhelming. Just finished another movie called triangle and now that's how you do Time travel mindfuckery.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I am not fond of movies where people make stupid decisions for no good reason. For example:
"We should just stay inside"
"No, staying inside isn't realistic"
WHY IN THE HOLY HELL ISN'T IT REALISTIC.
SuperMario
Showed that movie to a bunch of friends last year and I remembered one of the girl just shut off the movie after 15'
SuperMario
@Aidan: too bad. I found Cohenrent really funny and entertaining. Some of their twists are stupid but I was actually invested in much of their characters. Maybe because I always love movies about a bunch of characters in an isolated setting
SuperMario
@Lenlo: sounds like Epee is the most "all-out-attack" and aggressive one. Their blades are different as well I assume?
AidanAK47
Just watched a movie called coherence and man, what a bunch a pseudo-intellectual garbage that was.
Lenlo
For Right of Way, its basically Person A attacks, Person B parries, Person A hits, Person B hits, Person B gets the point because they took right of way with the parry. Saber and Foil both have that, but Epee does not. Epee is simply "Whoever hits the opponent first, doesnt matter where, whole body is target area"
Lenlo
Theres Saber, Foil and Epee. The main difference is this thing called right of way, but there are other smaller ones like how Saber can hit with the edge and Epee is allowed to hit the entire body, instead of just the chest like Foil
SuperMario
For news, Blood Blockade Battlefront getting second season next year. As it was one of my favorite last year I'm really lokking forward to this second season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: that sounds great. From what I know from fencing there are 3 different types of blade right? So what are the differences between them? (Fencing 101 here)
Kaiser Eoghan
Although a fantasy sports thing could also generate interest, such as combining sports together to create something totally new.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, Fencing was great. Favorite sport ever and it helped me stay in shape in College. I find Epee to be the best blade, mostly cause I fenced it, but its a very intense 3 minutes. Unlike sports like Soccer and such which is alot of sustained running, Fencing is 3 minutes of Dont-Stop-Moving then wait till next match. Gets really fun once you figure out your own style.
SuperMario
haha, I wouldn't mind either if each episode focus on a single sport/ character/ country. Or even the positive aspects like role models, sports inspirations and stuffs
Lenlo
That Olympic anime sounds great.
Kaiser Eoghan
And it would be a good excuse to have characters of multiple backgrounds included too.
Kaiser Eoghan
Could be an 13 episode ova series with 48 minute episodes, and if its to be an ensemble character drama you could have 10 minutes to a each character (the ones being focused on in that episode) in each episode.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah yes, aswell as cheating it could also get into "stage parenting", "abuse", "Disabilities" and also the general politics of sports, the backroom stuff.
SuperMario
I'll be the first in line if that olympic anime ever come out. Could be interesting to see the interactions between athletes in different sports, and then fans/athletes/coaches relationship, then the gold rush, doping... So much to talk around to
Kaiser Eoghan
I don't think theres ever been a manga about hurling either. Hey heres an idea, someone do an ensemble drama anime that deals with the olympics, fit in multiple sports that way.
SuperMario
Personally I find Australian football much more exciting than rugby. Or crickets.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: ha! Interesting that you mentioned Gaelic football, because in Aus we have AFL (Australian Football League), that really similars to Gealic Football to the point sometimes we have the 2 national teams compete each other with modified rules
Kaiser Eoghan
Hmm, lets see, sport under-represented in anime? Fencing, golf , Gaelic football, bowling, boat racing.
SuperMario
Hey, fencing is actually really cool. How did you like it Lenlo?
SuperMario
You have your point there Topgavin, as I clearly remember many instances where players' legs, backs or even necks got snapped during rugby's tackles. But in regards to Rugby I never really care about it. That and car racing
Lenlo
Its mostly the type of injuries you get that differ I think. Football you get concussions and broken bones and such, while in Rugby you probably get alot of bruises and cuts. Granted I have played neither, I was a Soccer man in highschool and fencing in College
Lenlo
American football has alot of rules, and really is just a bunch of millionaires running around chasing a ball. Rugby however, as Topgavin said, has no pads so when you get hit you get hit HARD
AidanAK47
I never ceases to surprise me just how high and mighty visual novel fans can be over Mosaics present in localized games. I mean they are literally complaining about not seeing genitalia yet the way they phrase it, it's like they are fighting against great injustice. If these VNs were Nukige they might have a point but in most cases the sex scenes in question are pointless and shoehorned in.
Topgavin
@Mario Rugby is more extreme *because* it has no protective gear. No hiding behind helmets and cushioned shoulder pads when ya get bowled over.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm no expert but isn't American football a variation of Rugby? And I believe american football is more extreme, considering they have to wear helmets, protection gears and all that
Lenlo
I dont think theres alot of manga about it because its simply not that popular outside the US. As far as it being a battlefield, eeeeh? Not really? You want a battlefield watch Rugby.
SuperMario
I can think of other cool sports that could be interesting to see in anime: Kick Volleyball (Sepak takraw), Bossaball (combined soccer, volleyball in a trampoline), or in the same vein of skate figures this season, why not pole dancing competition???
Anonymous504493
What other sport is cool and popular that remains original to write about by now? There isn't a lot of manga about it compared to anything else.
Anonymous504493
American football looks like a battlefield with a visible battleline and everything. Id like it if there wasnt so many darn commercials.
Lenlo
I mean, its a sport. Far cry from best, but its definitely a sport.
SuperMario
@Vonter: or maybe because american football IS the best sports ever?
Kaiser Eoghan
@Vonter: Most likely due to the middle section of the original anime being the most popular bit.
Vonter
Can someone explain me how Cobra, is apparently getting an anime around some sort of space american football? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54kNWPr43zE
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Its not safe enough a film for me to properly recommend. Even to exploitation fans, they might find it too slow others would be too sensitive to it. Really una vita violenca, mamma roma, accatone, hawks and sparrows are what Pasolini is really about.
SuperMario
Now that you watched Salo, would you recommend the film to other people? I personally think it's a masterpiece but it's one of the title that I think people would break up with me if I show them this movie
SuperMario
@Kaiser: even him as a director, both Braveheart and Apocalypto don't do much to me, will see if Hacksaw Ridge going to change my mind (but I'm not to fond with war movies in general). La Notte is in my sooon-to-watch list for years, haha
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Mel Gibson as a director, not as an actor =)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Thats why I prefer the neo-realist/quasi-neo-realism stuff as it deals with the worse off in society. But Antonioni was the master of being able to do films about angsty well-off people, L'aventura, the passenger and La notte for example
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Its not so much that I dislike post 50s fellini moreso I feel that his throw everything at the screen and hope what sticks method can be hit or miss.
SuperMario
While I don't really mind his later stuffs because he was masterclass, I have a pretty hard time for Paolo Sorrentino's later works. The thing is I don't care much about the high class society so everything is just ridiculously over the top and glamour and I'm tired of it.
SuperMario
I haven't watched nights of cabiria but I did watch La Strada and boy, I was sad for few days after watching it. Fellini mentioned that he was inspired to make this movie when seeing a woman pushing a cart from behind. The film really carry that sense throughout its running
SuperMario
Michael Haneke put Salo in his top 10 films. Quite understandable when you think about it. Still for me one of the movie that affected me deeply.
SuperMario
I really admire Elle for its ability to maintain its sharpness because under other inexperienced directors it could easily becomes a mess. Mel Gibson, really? He's one of the few actors that I absolutely dislike
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The Red Turtle remains one of the the most refreshing time I had this year in cinema, but then again I haven't watched much films lately. Agree with you on Sonia's performance, and I still think they could cut out the first 20' of the film because it feels out of place compare to the rest of the film
Kaiser Eoghan
Debating whether to bother catching up on I am a hero or watching the film adaptation. I haven't read it since they got rid of that one female character.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I've a feeling you'll like nights of cabiria, Fellini was cranking out some solidly effective social-realist dramas in the 50s before he fell into self-indulgence.
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I have that sound euphonium compilation film downloaded, I should get to that sometime.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also finally watched Salo, I ended up meeting it pretty much halfway. Some parts still retain the ability to effect a modern viewer, having seen his other works though its crazy just how different Salo is to them.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Seeing I, daniel Blake tomorrow and rogue one in a few weeks.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I hope Mel Gibson and Isabelle huppert win at the next oscars.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I liked the red turtle for its visual style of storytelling and animation even if I didn't get as emotionally attached to it as others did. I also watched Aquarius nd was pretty much blown away by Sonia Braga's performance. Elle is now one of my favourite Verhoeven films and its a miracle he managed to maintain such a great balance successfully throughout the film.
SuperMario
I don't care for the sequel of Code Geass at all. Why Spice & Wolf still hasn't got season 3 though is what really bugged me. From what I know their manga and LNs are selling very well
Anonymous494677
I wonder why that is...
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, they were always milking code geass though what with those bajillion-million-billion manga spinoffs.
Kaiser Eoghan
Still say I was more fond of the character chemistry in spice and wolf as opposed to everything else.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll likely pass on the code geass sequel, the memory I have of it has already led to its appeal dimishing for me, I don't want to ruin things further watching an un-neccesary followup. Still avoiding utawerumono's second season for same reasons.
AidanAK47
After all there are things which need sequels and things which don't. And Code Geass never needed a sequel after R2's ending. Giving something a sequel can just ruin the conculsion of the orignal series. Case in point. Eureka Seven Ao. Remember that? Cause you shouldn't. Because it was terrible.
AidanAK47
Honestly I would have preferred Spice and Wolf Season 3.
AidanAK47
So...is anyone gonna mention that Code Geass is getting a sequel?
....Because Code Geass is getting a sequel.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am watching it as well. But I am a bit behind because I am watching the funimation broadcast dub. It's a very good guilty pleasure. I don't find it quite as funny anymore but it's still pure dumb fun.
SuperMario
@Anon487524: I'm still following it and it still remains a fun show to watch. I love the way they do the fan-servicey completely straight.
Topgavin
@anon I'll admit to watching it. While it is very simple and follows the sport anime formula religiously, it's still a blast to watch every week. This is also helped because you have no expectations for it before watching other than "oh god what's gonna happen this week".
Anonymous487524
Granted, nothing special, just one of those anime whose only worth is being fun to watch without being deep, but Keijo really is fun to watch, easily the best guilty pleasure anime in a long while to me.
Anonymous487524
I started watching it expecting an crappy fanservice anime with nothing of worth, but it ended up being actually pretty fun and awesome to watch.
Anonymous487524
Anyone here seeing Keijo?
SuperMario
What's up with 3-gatsu no Lion? Delayed for a week huh?
Kaiser Eoghan
Checked out Hedeki anno's godzilla re-boot earlier out of curiousity, its a bit plodding/dull at times but sometimes its high camp value played straight is kind of funny, having godzilla evolve during the film was a cool touch and I enjoyed every scene with him and making a Godzilla film today is still very relevant. Not a patch on the old ones though.
Anonymous482380
I think that movie was just so terrible that people made it into a meme. Stuff like "The Entire Bee Movie Except Evey Time They Say 'Bee' The Movie Speeds Up"
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm sorry lmao I had to, it seemed so appropriate a moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1GadTfGFvU
AidanAK47
Fun Fact: The whole Bees shouldn't be able to fly thing is a myth.
Badesh
I think that was just a dry realization...
AidanAK47
@Topgavin, It's a meme to post the entire script of the bee movie in random places?
....I don't get the joke.
Topgavin
For anyone wondering, I think anon just copy/pasted the entire script for the Bee movie. Memes are goin strong
Anonymous479946
According to all known laws
of aviation,


there is no way a bee
should be able to fly.


Its wings are too small to get
its fat little body off the ground.


The bee, of course, flies anyway


because bees don't care
what humans think is impossible.


Yellow, black. Yellow, black.
Yellow, black. Yellow, black.


Ooh, black and yellow!
Let's shake it up a little.


Barry! Breakfast i
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually I think it was up to about episode ten or so I saw.
Kaiser Eoghan
From what I can recall I watched legend of the galactic heroes somewhere past the part with the Caligula guy.
AidanAK47
That is one thing I wonder about the remake. How are they going to make the space battles interesting? Cause for me theres only so many times you can watch tin boxes shoot lasers and explode.
AidanAK47
I didn't like LOGH until the third episode. That's when it started to catch my attention. It also helps that I have a interest in history as the plot of LOGH practically reads like genuine history.
AidanAK47
In my case the overhype didn't kill it for me as I generally try to avoid that. When I walked into LOGH I was under the impression that it would ahve merit but not be for me. After all I heard it was mostly politics and the politics of Gundam bore me to tears. Funny enough the opposite happened. The space battles bored me but the politics got me really interested.
AidanAK47
@Leahcimali, The problem is that the people who say that something is the best thing they ever seen don't actually mean it. Often it's just hyperbole. When talking we other people fans tend to blow certain things out of proportion unintentionally. Overrated is likely the wrong word but you get what I mean.
leahcimali
@AidankAK47 oh and are you going to write a review about it or because psngel already wrote a review of it you are not gonna write it ?
leahcimali
the problem is trying to rank art . Even comparing a comedy show and a story focus show is clearly impossible. @AidanAK47 do you think the overhype of some hardcore logh fan killed you enjoyment of the show ? Because sometimes when you expect nothing of something you can enjoy it more than when waiting for something incredible.
leahcimali
i hear the same thing from fan of lord of the ring, star wars and game of thrones, star trek ... etc. The hardcore fan of those says that they are the greatest things in history ... but saying there are overated is discrediting the quality of those. Nothing is perfect and again maintening equal quality in a longuer running show is impossible. But having a longer story create a more rich background
LookingForKeys
@Mario Kimi no Na ha is pretty damn good. Watched it while in Japan a couple weeks back. The story has well done surprises, and on the graphics side you can *really* see Production IG worked on it.
leahcimali
I don't think saying logh is overated is a good way to say it. All media with great aclaimed critics or even highly popular show suffer from the fan reaction. If fan claim that it is the best things that they have ever saw and you don't agree, it feels overated. But this is only pure subjectivity. Saying he is greastest thing in history is a way for fan to exprim there love
AidanAK47
However it has been placed on a unreasonable pedestal that nothing could live up to. Eva is sort of in the same boat. So yes it is overrated but that does not mean it isn't great.
AidanAK47
@Leahcimali, if anything is claimed to be the greatest thing in the history of mankind it is overrated. The basic idea that there is a single anime out there which is fundamental and universally better than all other anime regardless of genre or intent is inherently a flawed concept. I do certainly see why LOGH is so highly acclaimed and I believe it is well worth watching.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I didn't look into the details of the new LOGH remake. I was planning on doing that when I am doing an anime season preview for it whenever it's going to air next year. For a long anime it does rate highly but even then I am not certain it really needed all 110 of those episodes.
leahcimali
about your comment are you thinking the LOGH anime is overated ? i ask Because you said that there is plenty of anime you consided better .
Anonymous476875
about the remake won't it be a straight adaptation from the manga remake by the artist that made shiki ?
Anonymous476875
AidanAK47 personally i really loved legend of the galactic heroes and it is one of the anime that make one of the biggest impact on me. I found it the best "long" anime that i ever seen (more than 24 ep). But comparing it to anime with shorter format is a bit hard. you can make something that have perfect pacing in 1h30 but it is impossible with a 110 ep anime.
AidanAK47
Either way I am pretty certain that all other isn't crap to me now seeing as I have seen the so called pinnacle. In fact There are plenty of anime I consider better that LOGH.
AidanAK47
There are aspects of its story which wouldn't really work by today's standards.
AidanAK47
And I did it. I watched legend of the galactic heroes. I have slain the white whale of anime. It certainly was interesting to say the least but I think the remake coming is going to have trouble. I am in between giving it a 8 or a 9 but it's clear that LOGH is very much a product of its time.
Kaiser Eoghan
I didn't really care for this weeks flipflappers, the fanservice and also it was even more trigger than I could take.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Gavin@Mario: I'll get round to your name someday but I think this might be my last chance with shinkai.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: That disgaea review made me nostalgic because I remember my friends and I playing it back when it first came out. We found it difficult but were amused by it/liked the characters.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Are the manga posts exclusively for series with only a few chapters translated or series that came out in the past year or so? I've been reading gunka no balthazar and enjoying it enough and think it should get recommendation out there.
Topgavin
Just booked tickets to go see it on Sunday with my little sister. Was surprisingly reluctant but I know she'll like it, I've already seen it but pumped either way.
SuperMario
Your name movie has been showed theatrically here in Aus, I'm planning to rewatch it soon in theatre and then do a review on it. Is that alright with other admins?
SuperMario
so I guess the top 6 will advance to the final are: Otabek Altin (Kazakhstan), Giacometti (Switzerland), Yuri, Yurio, JJ and Phichit? Will be very cool final event haha
SuperMario
At the very least Yuri on Ice shows me how entertaining ice skating can be
SuperMario
@K-Off: have a good trip ahead K-Off. Well, it's still better than Japan (earthquake) I guess
K-Off
Well, heading to Korea tomorrow. What a time to go. In the middle of Korea's biggest financial scandal since the 80s.
Lenlo
Is it just me, or does the Yuri on Ice opening get more colorful and detailed every week?
SuperMario
Badesh, if you like to check out their other songs, give "Tunnels of Love" and "Romeo & Juliet" a listen. Though I just discovered Telegraph Road quite recently, those 2 songs are qmong my all time favorite
SuperMario
I prefer their ealier version when the band was still together (aLCHEMY 1983), but that Rome 2005 was magnificent too. Seriously with this band diifferent live versions feel like another experience... And that song is criminally under-heard in radio too, because of its running time. A crying shame
Badesh
uhh, found it in better quality. now, THAT is a fitting present for my dad :)
Badesh
well that commentator, that sounds like he's in a soccer match, will get on my nerves though...
Badesh
if you're talking about the rome 2005 version... hell, that's some sweet music. i'll inhale that for the rest of the evening, thanks for that
SuperMario
Anyone here listen to Dire Straits? I just in the mood for their music lately. Checked out the band playing Telegraph Road live the other day on youtube and I was completely stunned.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I considered Flip Flappers 3,5,6 to be its best so far so continue on to see if Flip Flappers is your cup of tea or not
SuperMario
For me I have a lot of stuffs to catch up on this time a year, both in terms of anime and in my RL. Time goes fast as hell
Lenlo
Started watching Flip Flappers. Thought I had it figured out, then we got Mad Max going on. I may start liking it more, cause the first 2 eps didnt do much
Lenlo
Its also nearing Thanksgiving in the states and end of semester for University, so those sorts will be busier than usual.
AidanAK47
You are far too young to be reminiscing. You can build a place for a community but you can't force one to come. I for one would think it would be easier to form one if people stopped using the Anon tag. You can change your name with the customize button you know.
Anonymous469664
I remember a time when people other than site admins were regular posters. Those were the days...
AidanAK47
But I suppose watching Westworld isn't exactly a waste of time.
AidanAK47
Downside is that I really don't have a lot of time these days. It's rather annoying. The day goes by and it doesn't really feel like you did anything.
AidanAK47
On the upside, I am nearly finished Legend of the galactic heroes. So when the Remake airs next year I will have a lot to say about it.
AidanAK47
Personally I have been rather busy lately and wanted to finish off a few things. Hence why my posts have been getting later.
AidanAK47
Anyway when there's nothing on the chat box to talk about then of course it dries up.
AidanAK47
You have unfortunate timing.
Anonymous469664
All the chat regulars have left house as well.
Anonymous469664
Four days since a single post.
K-Off
Damn, I don't know if it's the layout/algorithm/mods, but so many subreddits that I used to frequent have gotten watered down as hell. Between the influx of shills and changes to the upvote/downvote system (which doesn't properly convey controversial comments anymore, like 45 upvotes to 47 downvotes. Now it shows only a -2) it's hard to find reasonable debates or find important info
SuperMario
@K-off: and for that book the last time I checked it was $110 for you guys who live US plus free shipping. For us it's $150 not incluing the postage and few weeks delivery.
K-Off
Damn, I didn't realize that it could be that bad elsewhere. The worst experience I had was when I ordered a laser pointer from Switzerland over a forum, and the cunt didn't respond for nearly 4 weeks until I threatened to refund my $250 on PayPal.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Europe. That's the difference.
SuperMario
@Aidan: yeah I got a dispatch notice saying it's shipping now. I ordered it back in September as well so I don't know why the difference between us.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the days where I used to be relying on waiting for anime dvds to come out locally , looking back they were really overpriced, 35 euro for 4 or 5 episodes.
Kaiser Eoghan
My opinion on FMA alchemist ended up being all over the place because I must have watched 3 episodes every few months of it, then I stopped watching it for a year, got back into it for a few months, abandoned it for months then marathoned 20 episodes in one night to get it finished.
Kaiser Eoghan
See I've been thinking over FMA lately, if you join up the best episodes of brotherhood and the first adaptation you get the perfect show.
Kaiser Eoghan
And yet it would make sense to rewatch it. 2005/2006 were the days where I'd never marathon anything. I've seen the whole show obviously but with massive gaps in between.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, HEATHEN. Though I haven't seen the original fullmetal Alchemist in years. Watched it way back when I started anime. Would be good to pay it a revisit with this.
AidanAK47
@Mario, you actually got a dispatch notice? Cause mine is still waiting and I ordered back in September. Says it's going to dispatch next week but I have heard horror stories about peoples orders getting canceled due to lack of stock.
Kaiser Eoghan
And there I am, reminded that I haven't seen the first full metal alchemist since back in 2006.
SuperMario
Mine is shipping already, take about 2 weeks to get here. Can't wait haha
AidanAK47
Yep, I ordered that Spice and wolf book too...really hope I get one...
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Sound! Euphonium 2 – 08 [Rhapsody in Flu]

This week, the show delivers one of my favorite Eupho moments: as Kumiko and Reina quietly listen to the Euphonium CD, enjoying that little moments when the music is playing with drama or conflict yet to come. This little moment and the firework sequence back in the first episode are Sound Eupho at their best. […]

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Magical Girl Raising Project – 08[Sudden Event In Session!]

Blessed be the peacemaker, for she ups the body count. I don’t think it’s a surprise that Winterprison ended up dying while protecting Nana. But it is surprising that she managed to take down one of the twin angels before getting taken out. All the more surprising considering that the angels didn’t get a flashback […]

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Drifters – 07[Chaos Diver]

Considering this is the first clash the Drifters had with the ends things went rather smoothly. They managed to take one down and send the other one packing. This really is what Drifters is best act, balls to the wall action and insanity. Admittedly I wish the animation is better as it does rely on […]

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3-gatsu no Lion – 07 [Important Things. Important Matters – Teach Me How to Play Shogi]

Oh, the vitality of youth and first crush! It’s fun to see Hina’s under that crush spell and making a big fuss over Takahashi coming for dinner. As for Takahashi, he climbs up from being “an object of desire” from last few episode to a very straightforward and a bit serious boy now (anyone seen […]

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Flip Flappers – 07 [Pure Component]

And here I thought I know what to expect from this show, yet I would never anticipate a Flip Flappers episode that is a direct continuity to the event of last week. In addition, this episode serves as a nice contrast to last week thematically as well. It only makes sense that after the episode […]

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Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

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Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

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orange Review – 73/100

What would you do if you receive letters from your future-self saying that you can change your future? That’s exactly what Naho experienced as she obtains ones from herself 10 years later that urge her to look after her new friend and prevent him from committing suicide. The premise, I agree, is hardly anything groundbreaking, […]

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91 Days Review – 68/100

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Mob Psycho 100 Review – 80/100

After the explosive popularity of One Punch Man it really was a high bar that another work of the author ONE had to reach. While it didn’t quite manage that it still differentiated itself enough to allow it to be a worthy anime of it’s own right. But admittedly that will depend on whether this […]

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Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World Review – 91/100

I will be the first to admit that this is very much a biased review as I have come to love this series very dearly and will now proceed to devour every piece of entertainment related to it that I can find until the day a second season is confirmed. The story involves a boy […]

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The House in Fata Morgana Video Game Review – 83/100

Well I promised I would do a review of this visual novel quite a while ago and believe it or not I only just got around to finishing it. If the fellow who requested it is still here then here you go, I kept my word. Anyway it has been a while since my last […]

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Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Review – 65/100

The title of this game rather says everything you need to know about my initial reaction, and I’m still all around puzzled at the mixed bag that this turned out to be – it IS just a standard mashup while having a bit of fun with some experimentation, but the game itself is actually a […]

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Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu-hen (2016) Movie Review – 85/100

Just a quick note that I originally intended this week’s review to be about Miss Hokusai. But because of the DVD release of this Kizumonogatari (with good subtitle to boost), I decided to bump this up and review it instead. Monogatari series has been among one of my favorite series, and certainly the one that […]