Posted by Lenlo on 18 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kokkoku

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in!

To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect people. From the hikikomori Uncle/Brother to the laid off father, these are people with problems. Emotional issues that, hopefully, will get resolved or at least get started down that path. For instance the Uncle is already starting an arc. He is first introduced as a game-focused otaku, upset when his game is turned off before he can save. But when unplugged, clearly cares for his family, he just doesn’t know what to do or where to go with his life. The father that when danger came to his family, however foolishly, resolved to only put himself in danger by going alone. I am hoping that throughout this series we see him, and others, grow more and more. Even if, technically, this entire series takes place in a single frame.

(more…)

Posted by SuperMario on 17 January 2018 with categories: A Place Further than the Universe, Currently Watching:

“I could just die right now”

That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used as their TRUMP card (bad pun, I know). Tsuhiki Ararararag  Yuzuki is an idol/ child actress/celebrity, so naturally the Expedition Team wanted to use her image as a promotion for the Antarctica trip, in which she feels zero enthusiasm to go. First, I must note about the voice acting of these main girls. While they’re even louder this week (I swear those voice actresses had such a BLAST time recording this), they share a natural forth-and-back dynamic that feel so pleasant. It comes as no surprise, that three of them, Kana Hanazawa – voicing Shirase, the one that need no introduction anymore, Yuka Iguchi (voicing Hinata) and Saori Hayami (voicing Yuzuki) all worked together before in the Monogatari Series (dubbing Nadeko, Tsuhiki, Yotsugi respectively). The other voice actress, Inori Minase, is no slouch either. She played Meteora in Re:Creators (AKA that one character who had to spill all the expositions), Rem in Re:Zero (that captured thousands of boys’ hearts) and most impressively for me, Chito in Girls’ Last Tour last season. These voice actresses clearly have fun playing those characters and so far, the acting elevates the chemistry shared between these girls whenever they interacting to each other.

Yuzuki, our new addition, is as different from the other girls as it could get, especially compare to Hinata last week. While Hinata stops school because she doesn’t feel belong to the big group, it’s the acceptance of friendship and the thrust to live a normal life with her “friends” are what Yuzuki yearns for. So far, Universe has been successful on creating very relatable issues from those girls. Yuzuki’s personal struggle, for instance, is something I can feel attached to. She hates the idea of going to Antarctica, and for good reasons (well, except “cold”). The idea of being pushed around, doing whatever her Manager/ Mommy thinks are the best for her is just plain… frustrating (#Mamaknowsbest). I have a feeling Universe glosses over some serious Mommy issues here. Yuzuki wants to spend more time to study so that she can go to school properly AND make friends properly, since she doesn’t have any friend due to her constant touring. I like the way the shot composition makes sure Yuzuki always situated at either end of the frame, looking out in order to highlight her being trapped in her own situation. That moment where she confesses her struggle, following immediately by Mari hugging her is goddamn effective and touching, another case of simple but sweet. When she realizes that these girls are far from best friends, that they just barely know each other but all heading for the same destination, it hits her that having the same goals, and sharing these experiences along the way together, might be what makes friend “friend”. I’d prefer if “the dream sequence” were true instead, since I feel Universe copped out at the end. Making it a dream sequence has its merits, mind you, given that Yuzuki now realizes that she wants to spend more time with the girls as her buddy; but it would’ve given me much more personal impact if these girls climb up the stairs for real instead.

In term of the big picture, well, after their plan failed last week, I feel that the girls find another solution almost too convenient. Another high school girl will join the Expedition Team, right after they refused a high school girl who is more equipped and willing to go? And that said girl comes up to meet the group no less. I let that slide for now because the girls still have to work hard for the approval, and changing an idol’s mind sure isn’t easy. Apart from successfully introducing the last member of the quartet, what makes Universe clicks the most this week is the delightful interactions between our girls together. Shirase really goes wild this week, in a quirky adorable way. “I’m gradually starting to understand how this girls work” is probably my favorite line of the week. It’s character writing right there. Finally, Universe gives some time to flesh out the relationship between Shirase and Hinata (remember, before that there’s always Mari stands between them) and they spark off some nice chemistry with some thoughtful wise advice from Hinata over Shirase’s charging on to the Antarctica trip at all cost. Those girls so far are a total delight and the coming trip promised to be a whole lotta fun, and lots more obstacles as well. This trip to the place further than the universe is now in sight.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite as easy to resolve. Junji Ito’s work has always faced problems regarding his work getting adapted, much in the same way that Stephen King’s work has had a lineup of failed adaptions. The big issue with Ito’s work is that the quality of it isn’t so much in the characters and writing but rather the idea and artistic value. Ito knows how to think up disturbing and strange horror concepts and work to illustrate and panel them to become massively unnerving. However when you strip away his artstyle, the apparent silliness of his ideas becomes more visible. Much like how Ufotables adaption of Gyo turned out, which was an admirable effort but sadly didn’t quite succeed. The live action efforts are marred by bad CGI and other factors, though the Tomie movies seem to have succeeded to a degree. Now Deen are taking a stab at it and their take appears to be sacrificing movement for detail. This has been a double edged sword as while this anime may be the closest to Ito’s style, the lack of movement makes it very much like a slideshow of the manga at times.

Our first story brings to front Ito’s style of using unconventional and sometimes humorously strange monsterities. It features a horrifically monstrous model whom a college film crew decide to include in their movie. Without Ito’s signature style this story could very easily fall flat on its face but it actually succeeds in being rather creepy here. I like it for being a bit of the subversion of the heart of gold trope in that usually in anime and media, a monstrously ugly person actually turns out to be nice and misunderstood. However in this episode we have a monstrous looking woman whom everyone gives the benefit of the doubt but really turns out to be just as horrific a monster as she appears. For judging book by its cover is bad but that doesn’t mean that someone can’t have an ugly appearance and an ugly personality as well. It also shows the deep discomfort of having caught the undivided attention of someone whom you don’t find attractive or the torment of being stalked. The main character has caught the attention of this monstrous creature and it’s quite disturbing to think that this woman won’t so much rip him apart with her fangs but instead…ugh…eat him in another sense. If i had a problem with the stories presentation it would be that the ending was rather abrupt and parts of the original story showing how the main distorted the women’s image in his head was missing but otherwise it was strongly shown how uncomfortable the situation was.

The second story is Ito at his best as while not really scary in the usual sense but the very idea of it is deeply unsettling. Detailing a story about a hospital patient who is experiencing long dreams, dreaming in which he spends large amounts of time stuck in and growing longer by the day. While time passes normally for everyone else, the patient goes to sleep and lives through 8 years in his dream. This is contrast by another woman whom has a massive fear of death and believes she will die soon. One is scared of their time getting cut short while another is terrified that their dream will continue for eternity. It’s a pity that the anime cut out a few panels with the patient describing his dreams such as 10 years as a soldier wandering a jungle, 6 years cramming for student tests and 8 years with a full bladder searching for a toilet that doesn’t exist. Made worse when his body begins to adjust to the time he spends in dreams and age prematurely, eventually transforming into a macabre husk. Leaving only dust and strange crystals behind. The last scene make for an interesting twist as the doctor treating him administers the crystals to the woman which in turn gives her long dreams as well. The doctor rationalises this that a eternal nightmare is better than the void of nothingness that death could very well be. Personally I find the idea of being trapped in my own mind for a century in a single night to be a atrocious alternative to death. But well if you can get the internet in there, maybe I would think about it. The presentation falls a bit shorter in this story but luckily the story itself is enough to carry it.

Posted by Lenlo on 16 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in!

To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good and the actual animation part is mostly just reused shots from the 1st cour. Initially I thought this was a placeholder, but episode 14 proved that wasn’t the case. Disappointing, considering the quality of the 1st OP. As far as animation and art goes everywhere else, it all looks good. There are some interesting bits like episode 14’s ending scene with Joel and Chise’s creation of the Fairy Ointment. Mahoutsukai continues to make the magic and lore surrounding it the most interesting part of its story. More so even than the characters or the non-existent overarching plot. From the looks of things though, the latter is starting to change.

(more…)

Posted by SuperMario on 16 January 2018 with categories: A Place Further than the Universe, Currently Watching:

I’m glad that this second episode addresses straight out all my worries from the first episode: the actual implementation to make that trip a reality, because boy, it’s no simple matter. Universe apparently does its research, telling us exactly places they need to go, the initial trip ahead and the amount of money they need to raise. Even me who is living in Australia has absolutely no idea that Freemantle is a place to gather the expeditions to board to the South Pole, so that bit is very informative. After all, the concept is about a bunch of 16 year old girls travelling to the place as bizarre as Antarctica, thus if Universe takes it lightly, it will start to lose its sparkle very quickly. But thankfully, the show depicts the girls’ plans and their struggles quite thoughtfully and believably.

Shirase has been on and on about her plan, and with the knowledge about the Antarctica that she has, it’s reasonable for Mari to trust her. Except that knowledgeable and desperate as Shirashe is, she’s still a naive high school girl, and her plan starts to crumble apart in our very eyes. Kudos for Universe for suggesting her inexperience early on (with a sketchy job advertisement), and then as the show continues it’s apparent that she takes the role too big for her to fill in. Mari worries if the civilian Antarctic expedition really allows them to join in, which angers Shirase because she herself knows how tough it is to get in. Her half-baked plan reaches its own breaking point when the plan of getting in the expedition team is to “seduce” male members, something none of the girls is mentally equipped enough to carry out. They failed, of course, but it’s still worth trying.

While I enjoy the chemistry between Mari and Shirase, I’m not that keen on their personalities alone. They serve the story right and they have relatable issues, but they never stand out as particularly interesting or deep characters. Thankfully, with the introduction of the third member, Hinata, she’s more than make up for what the two girls lack. Both bright in her own charisma and she fits the team like a glove, it’s an improvement in terms of characters for me. I like the fact that she has her own route when she declares that she doesn’t go to school because she doesn’t need to. That I can root behind, albeit the reason behind that sounds superfluous for me (that she doesn’t feel she blends in with normal crowd – not that working full time in a convenience store would solve that problem, girl). What sold me about her character, however, is despite her cheerful and outgoing traits, she’s surprisingly observant and she caught on with the girls’ plan even before she met them. You had me at “Are you going to… Antarctica”, girl (and despite accusing the other girls for being too loud, she’s the loudest one here). Moreover, right at the end where Shirase failed, she releases Shirase from leader role, an action to release the heavy load Shirase has been taking all along.

But the best part of this episode is when the girls run away from the Expedition team members, for a reason both us, and the girls don’t even know. The story might be about the girls going to the Antarctic, but the underlying theme has always been enjoying the youth to the fullest. Mari runs and smiles because she realizes that her youth “is in motion” makes so much sense. It’s the joyous, the feeling of actually doing and experiencing that counts. At this moment, the girls might be in their dead end, but with the involvement of the fourth girl, whose mother could very well be a famous person/ main sponsor for the civilian Antarctic expedition team, things will turn for the better. I’m eager to see how she meets up with the three girls.

Posted by SuperMario on 16 January 2018 with categories: About

It’s this time again. After painfully * sat through almost all the first episodes this Winter 2018 has to offer. Here’s what our team decide to blog for this coming season:

Aidan: DARLING in the FRANXX, Fate/Extra Last Encore, Itou Junji Collection, Dies Irae (carry-over)

Mario: Violet Evergarden, After the Rain, A Place Further than the Universe

Lenlo: Kokkoku, Mahoutsukai no Yome (carry-over)

Wooper: 3-gatsu no Lion 2 (carry-over)

Helghast Killzone: TBA

As for Devilman Crybaby, we decided it’s for the best that one of us will do a full review on it.

That’s it, folks. Will see ya’ll real soon.

*a good kind of pain, mind you!

Posted by AidanAK47 on 16 January 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Short Synopsis: Several hitmen begin new careers and form new alliances in a city full of crime and corruption.

Mario’s review

A promising start for Hakata. Part-Cowboy Bebop (most notably its jazzy score) and part-Durarara, fans of both series will have a lot to admire. It’s “cool” written all over it, and the plot so far is interwoven by many thread plots with dozen characters that will make more sense the more it pans out (I hope). In this crime city where 3% of the population is hitmen, of course crimes, corruption, violence are presented in every corner and so far the huge cast with different personalities and roles is the show’s best quality. Each of them has their own voice, their own mannerism and they contribute differently to this big story and I’m eager to see how everything fits together in the end. One particular issue with Hakata, however, is that the place Hakata never feels that distinctive, which for me is crucial because we need to sense the specialness of the place that contains all those crazy, over the top characters. The production is right at par, meaning not impressive but not lackluster either. Overall, it’s the narrative and the colorfulness of characters that drive this show so as long as everything comes together in a satisfying way, I’ll be happy to stay on board.

Potential: 60%

Wooper’s review

Satelight is a studio I’m not too familiar with, barring their work on several Macross series. Perhaps it’s unreasonable of me to expect visual presentation on a level with one of anime’s biggest franchises, but this premiere was messy and pedestrian-looking, and way too bright. Every exterior daytime scene had needless sunrays obscuring the frame, and a good deal of the action at night was bathed in lights of all colors, as if the director lacked any knowledge of how to handle darker shots. Character animation isn’t stellar either, but at least the show didn’t blow a bunch of time and effort making its first episode look totally different from what’s to come. As for the characters themselves, it’s their occupations and the opportunities for conflict they create that make them interesting. The show ping-pongs between eccentric hitmen, corrupt politicians, bed-headed detectives, and buff ramen chefs, but does it slowly enough to keep you interested in how their stories will eventually connect. The two “main characters,” if the show even has such things, meet right at the episode’s end, and their relationship gets off to a promising, if volatile, start. They’re the main reason I’m even a little interested in what happens next, so while I don’t think this show should be mentioned in the same breath as you-know-what above, it’s good for at least one more try.

Potential: 50%

 

BEATLESS

Short Synopsis: A boy becomes the owner of the state of the art FIghting robot girl

Aidan’s review

Is it a greater crime to be mediocre than it is to be bad? Well here comes beatless to test this statement as this show is aggressively mediocre. This is a story with not a single original idea, nor any twist to make these idea’s somewhat interesting. A future society with humanlike robots only viewed as soulless tools despite human characteristics and independent thought? Well that’s an idea only explored in the Animatrix, blade runner,  A.I, Astro Boy and a heavy catalog of Sci-fi going way back. Even the idea of the protagonists becoming the master of a female robot was done not too long ago with Clockwork Planet.(Though Beatless was before Clockwork planet but I am certain there are plenty of Boy owning hot fighting girl anime. Like Sekirei for example.) The characters are bland and derivative with not a single one being remotely interesting. Only real standout is the character designs of the robots which was done by the character designer of Guilty Crown.(Terrible show but the character artwork is quite impressive) The best I can say about this show is that it’s watchable. You can watch it, it’s inoffensive and harmless. Though it’s like chewing tasteless gum. Gives you something to chew on but has no lasting impact nor impression. Only thing I can really say is this robot girl is more than unreasonable in how she called the main character a coward for running away instead of fighting when she only needed him to accept T&C just so he would be held liable if someone accidently died during her attack. Man…what a bitch.

Potential: 35%

Mario’s review

To tell you the truth, I’m a sucker for Beatless art designs. Those characters, despite clearly anime-influence, are just gorgeous to look at. The world building I can get behind as well, exploring the near future world where the humanoid can live as a part of human society, and from the first episode the discrimination angle is explored here. After watching the opening episode, well, the arts are still stunning, but it is held back significantly by the bland story and weak characters. The main guy, for example, is your typical dull lead, the robot girls don’t have anything to stand out except for their designs and his sister, in particular, is annoying to watch. The story doesn’t fare much better as again, we have a talented girl come up to the guy for asking him to be her “boss”, without him doing anything. The concept and its intriguing sci-fi worldbuilding alone makes me hooked, hence this 40% potential here, and I still plan on following it to see how it all pans out. But I won’t be surprised if the story gets dull fast later on, it’s already kind of dull to begin with.

Potential: 40%

 

Killing Bites

Short Synopsis: Rich people bet money on matches between animal human hybrids

Aidan’s review

In the anime preview I started that this series starts mediocre and goes downhill from there. Allow me to correct that statement. This series starts trash and only becomes worse trash. Sorry it’s just that sometimes I read the sources upon announcement of an anime adaption which is months before hand, and in this case I guess my mind blocked out just how badly this show starts. So random rapists, the weird element of anime in which there appears to be rapists patrolling the night streets of Japan looking for alone high school girls. I have severe doubts that this is actually a thing in Japan but even then it’s some tasteless introduction for our lead heroine. Not to mention the male protagonists is driving the rapists van. To which I say, wow. Mate what did you think was going to happen when they told you to slowly move beside the girl and speed off when they grabbed her? As for the rest, yep of course male half beast hybrid transform into beasts while female hybrids only grow fur and animal ears while keeping the important bits. The lead protagonist is pathetic, the lead female is psychopathic and fetish fuel and this really is just a trashy show both in it’s presentation and general story ripped off from the game Bloody Roar. Pass on this.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review

This show opens with one of the most uncomfy sequence I’ve witness since Imouto sae Ireba Ii, a gang rape scene. And not with any merit. That sequence serves to show you how badass the girl is (well, she’s safe in the end so all’s well that ends well, right? NOOO), and establishes how she meets our main guy; but frankly they can do that better without the gang-rape bullshit. This show is your answer to the cute-girls trend: a full-on sex & violence & rock & roll without any shame. The girl in most of her screen time walks, talks and fights in her underwear outfits, the bland main guy who has no personality except being a crybaby “happens” to touch her boobs several times, and then blood-splashing, gut-spilling and you have a perfect title for campy mindless crap. I don’t feel the fight that good-looking either, and the story is so thin you can see through its hole miles away. Not that this change people’s mind as long as blood still splashing and girls are in nude, huh? I know this is not for me but if you’re in for mindless popcorn entertainment (minus the attempted rape sequence. It’s just distasteful), be my guest.

Potential: 0%

 

Darling in the Franxx

Short Synopsis: A boy becomes a horned girls partner to pilot a giant robot

Aidan’s review

As described below by Helghast, this appears to be a passion project by the director and while that does give me hope for this series, I admit to not being too impressed with what I seen here. Studio trigger have been a studio to take the old and make it feel new again. WIth Gurren Lagann(Yes that was Gainax but those who made it went on to form Trigger) was a nod to old school mecha anime. Kill La Kill was a nod to old school shounen anime. And now we have Darling in the franxx which appears to be a nod to 90s anime which followed the evangelion template. Thus my faults with this first episode is mainly due to if following a formula about 25 years old now. So what is brought to the table to make it stand out? Well…sex symbolism. Lots and lots of sex symbolism. Well it’s not the first time mecha and copulation have been related but they sure are putting it on think here. Robots are operated with boy and girl pairings to which their relationship is treated similar to sexual relations. The female pilots are names after a flowers sexual organs. And if the manga says anything the pilots seat for these two is the guy sitting down with the girl bent over doggy style in front of him. But perhaps my degenerate mind is to blame for misinterpreting scenes like a robot plunging it’s hard spear into a monster only to pump white liquid into it to make it explode, covering the feminine like robot in viscous bodily fluid. The two mains here have me concerned as one is a bland plank with little personality while the other has already been thrown on screen fully naked. I still stand by my general assumption that an anime that throws out it’s main heroine naked in the first episode is generally not a good sign. Despite my negatively through this episode was at least decently entertaining and has some degree of intrigue with its setting and themes. Not to mention some excellent animation and to be frank, in a season so full to the brim of slice of life easy going anime, I will take anything that is a break from that.

Potential: 65%

Helghast’s Review

From what I have researched about this show, this isn’t your standard joint-production as A-1 Pictures and Studio Trigger have their own very unique culture creating a show. Instead, this is the culmination of Atsushi Nishigori’s (Director) dream to direct his very own show and cashing in on the connections he has forged throughout his career in the anime industry. Having been a part of Gainax, the end result is a show that feels a well-executed mashup of Kill la Kill, Evangelion with some elements of Rahxephon thrown in. Unlike Violet Evergarden, where it fails to convince me of its core relationship, Darling in the Franxx makes a strong case for Hiro and 002 with its strong sexual overtones while dropping cryptic acronyms for future episodes to dive into. Having already explored sexuality in clothing, I guess it time to circle back into the mecha genre by having a symbiotic/parasitic bond within its pilots ranks. While the its tropes and recycled visual motifs might be too predictable for us long-time anime viewers, the creative team behind this project certainly have proven that they can put a new spin on old ideas. At the very least, Studio Trigger and A-1 Pictures knows how to put on a good show with their alluring characters and frantic action sequences in one of more visually exciting shows of the season.

Potential: 80%

Posted by SuperMario on 15 January 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Short Synopsis: A young highschool student falls for her middle-aged, single father manager.

Lenlo’s Review:

I am rarely a fan of romance anime, generally preferring a good romantic tragedy. Koi wa Ameagari no You ni however has managed to claw its way into my heart, with its premise of forbidden love. A 45 year old man with a son, and a highschool student? Most would call that illegal at the least. Ameagari is going to live or die by its characters and so far, I love them. The klutzy but lovable manager Kondo and the love-struck Tachibana play off of each other well. They way they are presented is great as well, the subtle hints of Tachibana’s past with the track and her apparent injury to the strained relationship between Kondo and his son. I love it, and it wraps it all up in a well animated/beautiful looking package to boot. My one worry is the questionable aspect of the relationship and how that will play out. On one hand the classic romance could work well from a female perspective. On the other, these kinds of relationships are often doomed to tragedy from the start, and I love a good tragedy. Guess we will have to wait and see.

Potential: 85%

Mario’s review

After the Rain, or to translate literally from the original, “Love is Like After the Rain” (boy, how I love this title) is a romance anime that I can totally get behind, even with such questionable premise behind the crush of a 17-year-old girl to the boss who is old enough to be her father. Because the main focus isn’t about the alluring of such problematic romance, but more about the coming of age story where pursuing her crush marks the new chapter in her life. I was impressed by the show’s visual storytelling that manage to underline Akira’s current life with their attention to details, sharp direction, and a quiet but thoughtful key moments of rain and encounters. Akira isn’t the most expressive type, neither is the manager, for example you can sense a torrent of emotions hidden within her feeling about the track team, but she manages to hide it too well. The production as a whole is equally impressive with beautiful scene settings and terrific direction. This one is a keeper.

Potential: 80%

 

Miira no Kaikata

Short Synopsis: A young man lives with and gets to know the smallest, cutest mummy in the world.

Mario’s review

How the heck that with a season full of cute girls, endearing kids, adorable toddlers, the sweetest character EVER is a little pet mummy? I admit it sounds creepy in concept, A PET PETITE MUMMY, really? In fact, how do you find this little pet as charming or not will pretty much tell you how much you like this show. Aside from the chemistry between him and the main guy, the show is lackluster in any other department. The production value is nothing special, the art background is bland and unimpressive and the story is just about the two of them getting to know each other. It’s good-natured, it’s sweet and it will make you wanna hug your pets tightly, but with the season that chokeful with too much cuteness, it doesn’t have much else to stand out.

Potential: 20%

Lenlo’s Review:

As Mario said, the keyword for Miira no Kaikata is bland. Everything about this show screams mediocrity. Dull backgrounds, bog standard designs, and aside from the mummy, recycled characters. The only source of entertainment to be derived from Miira no Kaikata is the mummy, who will no doubt get old quickly. Heck, I got tired of the dynamic by the end of this first episode. I wish I could say more, but there’s just nothing going for it. My verdict? Pass it up.

Potential: 0%

 

Hakumei to Mikochi

Short Synopsis: Two tiny forest-dwellers hunt for a mythical bird and visit a portside market.

Mario’s review

And I thought I’m already done with slice of life cute girls this season, come two tiny girls that again hit the jackpot. The show’s aesthetic is presented like a storybook with panels and soft but bright color backgrounds, which I totally feel appropriate given this type of story. The miniature people and their habitat feel just right at home with many bedtime stories you always listen to as a kid, right? Indeed, the two small stories of this first episode give off the same vibe. Full of life (just look at the port-market’s houses, I swear I wanna live there),whimsical, gorgeous with light-heart and warm plots – a kind of laid-back anime that also have fun introducing its unique world. Hakumei and Mikochi, each has their own personalities and they play up each other well, although don’t expect any character’s development from them. I guess it’s the Winter cold that make everyone want a little warm from those titles like this, hence the avalanche of cute girls shows this season, but this one has an all-age appeal and with its rich world and bright atmosphere. I’m in.   

Potential: 50%

Wooper’s review

A slice of life series about miniature people who live in the forest? That premise is right up my alley, but I might need to check out the manga on this one, because the anime didn’t meet my expectations. Actually, I sort of feel as though I’ve already sampled the manga, because Hakumei to Mikochi’s habit of placing rectangular panels on top of ongoing scenes gives it a similar air. This is a directorial technique that I recognized from last year’s Kuzu no Honkai, and sure enough, both series are from the same studio and director. Though I wasn’t a fan of Scum’s Wish, that show managed to squeeze at least a drop of artistry from the floating panel trick, but here it felt like a mere cost-cutting measure. It’s clear that a lot of care went into Hakumei to Mikochi’s art, and its characters blend quite nicely into its storybook backgrounds, but the number of still and panning shots in this premiere nearly put me to sleep. The show is cute, and has some charming dialogue about everyday problems (being unable to fit a piece of furniture through the front door, for instance), but I doubt that such a comfy vibe will be sustainable with production values this low.

Potential: 25%

 

Hakyuu Houshin Engi

Short Synopsis: A dumb shounen protagonist is given a list of enemies to defeat.

Wooper’s review

My god, this show has one of the worst opening songs I’ve ever heard. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas have never sounded so screechy as they do on this track, and all the OP offers on the visual side of things is a slideshow of heroes and villains in ~kakkoii~ poses. The meat and potatoes of the actual episode aren’t any better, either. Hakyuu Houshin Engi is based on a 90’s shounen manga, and Studio Deen created an anime version in 1999, but I don’t need to see either of those to label this premiere as the worst of the three. This episode condensed a manga volume’s worth of content into 20-something minutes, most likely in an effort to skip to a section more ripe for adaptation. The damn thing could have been animated in PowerPoint and remained just as entertaining, with the added benefit of making more sense. Names of supernatural classes, various realms, combat techniques, and weapons are thrown at you for over half the show’s runtime, and the script is forced to play catch-up with itself as a result. Taikobo, the series’ ostensible hero, literally exclaims the function of his weapon right after receiving it. Afterwards, when he reads the first name on the list of enemies he has to defeat, his magical flying pet Supushan blurts out a bunch of facts about the guy, who appears behind them less than five seconds later. The resulting fight is a masterclass in anticlimax that would put even the worst episodes of Dragon Ball to shame. Everything about this premiere is bad. I wouldn’t even recommend it for fans of the manga, as you’ll be pissed at what 2018 has in store for this franchise. Don’t watch this.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review

Welcome to 90s anime remake. Engi looks outdated and feels outdated, from its character designs, to its way of storytelling, to its characters’ tropes – everything that reminded me of a little brother of Dragon Ball. But what terrible isn’t the old-looking feeling, people still like products in the past because they remind them of the spirits of particular era that we don’t have anymore, it lies in its awkward pacing. This first episode feels like a recap of the introduction phase so they can focus on the real meat of the story, but when the groundwork isn’t that carefully laid out, it crumbles on its own weight. Already in this first episode we have the main guy goes for his mission, encounters his “destined rival” (by him literally appeared in front of our main guy. Handy!), challenging the boss, loss, hiding and going on a journey again.What?? The content worths at least 3 to 4 episodes here, so naturally everything else, especially characters, are taking short-straws here. The main dude is bland and share no chemistry with his spiritual animal, and he also has an awkward flashback that feel way off. This is a bad adaptation of a not-so-significant manga to begin with, which makes my job here fairly easy. Skip.

Potential: 0%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 14 January 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Violet Evergarden

Short Synopsis: An emotionless girl copes with new life after the war ends.

Mario’s review

By far the most anticipated title of this Winter season, I came out of the first episode of Violet Evergarden feeling a little underwhelmed. On the one hand, we have one of the most impressive technical production of TV format in recent years. Just look at the amount of actual movements this episode produced. Everything looks crisp and pretty. Even down to the facial expressions and characters’ small movements, and they blend CG mechanical hands seamlessly with its 2D character model. On the other hand, I’m worried about its characters and its narrative. Our main character, Violet, is a blank state by design in terms of emotions, and the series at its essence is about her learning and developing her own emotions through ghostwriting letters for those in need. I get the intend and I’m sure it will be a rewarding character’s journey, BUT I can’t help but feel the show tackles it a bit heavily. I can feel the show dictates my emotional response for Violet, “elevating” by their melodramatic score and her obsession with Major Gilbert. The latter especially is my biggest issue with the show so far. They repeat her blind love for the dead guy for way too many times and this Gilbert guy isn’t a real character, as he obviously serves as an emotional trigger for Violet. Then again, this episode alone has many wonderful moments that it’s easy to see why it’s hyped over the sky. A character-study at heart, with a god-send production values, this show is a “can’t miss” title of this season.

Potential: 75%

HelghastKillzone’s review

For a show that been hyped up to no end by the anime community, featured on biggest streaming sites like Netflix and having its source material be only winner of the grand prize in the novel category in the history of the Kyoto Animation’s Awards, Violet Evergarden falls flat in its opening debut. No amount of jaw-dropping visuals, soaring orchestral score and attractive character designs can cover up the ham-fisted introduction into Violet’s journey of discovery. I haven’t read the light novel itself (I plan to read it in the near future), but I do know that the anime make liberal changes when compared to its source and takes place in the latter chapters of the book. That in itself is fine but it could have taken a que from shows like Unlimited Blade Works by having an extended introduction to really flesh out the backstory of Violet and the unhealthy bond between her and Major Gilbert. Instead, all we only see are the disjointed aspects of Violet’s emptiness as a single-minded killing machine and repeats of the scene where the Major dies which ends up robbing the severity of  emotional impact it is intended to convey. While KyoAni trademark of small and cute moments continues to be extremely well done, the execution of this overall bold new direction is something left to be desired. Nevertheless, this is only the first episode and it has all the time in the world to dive into all the PTSD flashbacks of Violet and overcome them through the magic of the Auto Memories Dolls and become the show that I hyped up in my mind.

Note: From all the PVs, I thought that Violet was a robot but it turns out that she is just a former child soldier with prosthetic metal arms.

Potential: 70%

 

Märchen Mädchen

Short Synopsis: A girl celebrates getting Isekaied to another world by streaking

Aidan’s review

I am somewhat reminded of Familiar of Zero though it’s significantly less entertaining. I would like to be respectful considering that the author is no longer in this world but this is really not a good show. Some may enjoy it for yuri and what not but in my experience, first episodes with nudity in them don’t result in a good series.There are exceptions of course(Spice and Wolf) but I don’t see this being one of them. Mostly because in this case the main protagonist spends the second half of the episode streaking through another world for some pretty flimsy circumstances.(Why did the principal of the school offer her a bath, steal her clothes and proceed to ignore one of her students trying to commit open murder?) I do see some effort being put into the story as it’s not taken from a template but the writing really isn’t the best.For one our main protagonist decides that while searching for a magic portal that she will recount her history with her mother for no particular reason. And having a flashback to what just happened in the very same episode is generally bad padding. There is a possibly of this turning into a guilty pleasure but quite frankly I don’t see it being anything higher than that.

Potential: 15%

Mario’s review

Well, welcome to a cute girls/ isekai/ fantasy high-school LNs, all these elements that plague the anime industry in the last few years. Despite the narration tries hard to differentiate the main girl with other typical LNs lead; she is a boring bland typical LNs lead. All she does is run, with clothes or otherwise, and her only significant traits are her shyness and her love for books. Her interaction with basically everyone is annoying to watch and at the end of the day, her personally issues of not getting along with anyone and retreating herself to her own world are solved by her literally step in a whole new fantasy world, running naked?? Then despite she has no knowledge of the new world, apparently she’s awesome enough to already has her “Original”, an item of more advanced mage? No, this is a by-the-book fantasy fulfilling crap with a boring lead (and we have to follow her every step of the way) and so far generic cast. NOPE.

Potential: 10%

 

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku

Short Synopsis: A game programmer finds himself within the game he’s debugging

Aidan’s review

Well, I’m bored. I will admit that Death March isn’t the worst Isekai I ever seen but it certainly embodied a lot of the problems that plague the genre. Such as throwing in video game elements because that means you don’t need to write interesting ways of showing the protagonists growing strength when you can flash up a stats screen every now and again. No need to design enemies with motivations or character either nor any kind of story structure at all. Instead you can just write it like a lets play of an RPG. The wish fulfillment is just disgustingly apparent. Get transported to another world with unfair advantages from the get go. Giving your teenage looks back despite being 29 years old. Get bumped from level 1 to level 320 in an instant.(That’s some terrible game design) And for the cherry on top here’s your waifu delivered by episodes end. Harem incoming as well so have fun you overworked programmer you. Look there’s nothing interesting about seeing someone get everything handed to them on a silver platter and already the story doesn’t seem to really have any direction to go. The main character just isn’t interesting enough to carry the series and the world is lazily thought out with poor CGI. Again I say this isn’t offensively bad but it’s just so bland that I can’t feel any strong emotions about it.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review

You know something is wrong when you enjoyed its prologue section way more than the main storyline. At least in his mundane, busy, shit life he has to work for it. In the new world he’s already overpowered (the show isn’t shy from addressing it), a harem team that sure will appear in next episodes waiting for his approval. This is not much of how he gains the power, but more about how he manages it through gameplay console that feels just weird given he’s already in the fantasy world. Have to remind us he transports into his games, huh? The plot is generic, the main character is generic, the world building isn’t that special. “Generic” is pretty much what Death March is, and to put it frankly it’s just not good enough. Try harder guys.

Potential: 10%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 12 January 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Short Synopsis: A boy tries to find ways to prank the girl that’s always making fun of him.

Aidan’s review

100% Certified fluff. Takagi-san is that show that make you believe that the world isn’t completely trash and fills you with that positive optimism that brushes away negativity until you see a news report or internet shitpost. Though it is true that this season is certainly not lacking when it comes to feel good anime, I would say it’s far too abundant, this is definitely one of the higher tier titles on the list. If you liked Tsurezure Children or Tonari no Seki-kun then this is most certainly up your alley. The big problem with this series is that it’s only got one gimmick and that’s all we are going to get for the rest of the series. So if you are fine with the content in this episode and don’t mind if it doesn’t develop beyond this then watch away. But if you are expecting more romantic development then I say you just aren’t going to get it.

Potential: 60%

Mario’s review

There’s one word to describe this show: “charming” and Takagi deserves to be crowned tiara-ed as the princess of moe girls in a season handful of cute girls. Not only is she smart that always one, two steps ahead of poor Nishikata, all her actions highly indicate her interest to the boy as well, making all their schemes funny and warming at the same time. The two mains share the most natural and dynamic chemistry of any pair this season and that chemistry certainly drives the show’s story. In addition, the show sure knows how to frame the girl in a classy and mysterious manner (she’s ALWAYS in the centre of focus, visually speaking). Her trollings never feel any ill will, but more that she teases him because she enjoys his company. I feel the magic in all the three skits from this premiere, although its issue still remains. With such a simple and predictable concept, how will the show stay interesting without repeating and patting its story too thin? I’m not okay with variations of the same concept because it will get dull fast, so I hope the show better have more tricks under its sleeve or more hearts under its trolling shenanigans. As for this episode alone, it totally win me over. ♪ You keep me under your spell (3x) ♪

Potential: 60%

 

Ryuuou no Oshigoto!

Short Synopsis: A little girl runs away from home to become a teenager Shogi players disciple

Aidan’s review

So, was anyone watching 3-gatsu no Lion and thought “This anime is good but it would be so much better if it had loli’s!” Well? Yes of course you didn’t but here you go anyway. I really hate that light novels have this reputation for being poor wish fulfillment tripe when there are notable examples of great works but it’s much more hateful that there is a large pool of works that justify this assumption. This is no exception. The only thing that really interests me here is the shogi(Where the undersides of Shogi boards actually used to catch blood from punishing misconduct?) and the rest is just really distasteful light novel cliche. Typical power fantasy with the main character being famous and getting girls without trying. Not to mention with loli fanservice and what looks like more lolis incoming. Comedy is just not funny, because I seen these jokes before. The minute the sister showed up at the door while the loli was showering I knew exactly what was going to happen and it happened exactly as I thought it would. Oh hey the loli is a yandere even though she hasn’t hit puberty yet, hahaha. Look, you want a anime about Shogi with drama? Watch 3-gatsu no Lion. You want cute girls playing a board game? Watch Saki. You even want something like Shogi with murder mystery? Watch Shion no Ou. Just don’t watch this.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review

We have another product from popular Light Novel. As soon as I learn that this show is about a prodigee shogi teenager who eventually becomes a master of even more talented nine-year-old girl who only learned shogi for 3 months, I have a strong feeling that I – a pitiful commoner – would never get its appeal. Indeed. All the characters introduced are over the top right at the bat, which also mean they don’t feel like characters you can relate to. The shogi remains its most interesting part, but when we have a more powerful and thoughtful shogi alternative out there (3-gatsu), this one looks bland in comparison. Characters act absolutely ridiculous and flashy in a bad way as they shout at each other and sprout nonsense. The main protagonist is your typical Light novel main character, already talented and having a flock of chicks who keep making sheep’s eyes at him without having to lift his monkey paw (all those are Zodiac’s animal references, btw). And I haven’t mentioned the cringe-worthy moment involving the nude loli girl because that’s how they sell so well, I suppose? I keep defending for many years now, against all odds, that Light Novels are art/ not trashy but I’m shaking real hard with those poorly written and full of cliche LNs. Please save me from this miserable life God of Eloquent Light Novels.

Potential: 10%

 

Dame x Prince ANIME CARAVAN

Short Synopsis: A princess attends a treaty-signing ceremony and meets lots of cute princes.

Mario’s review

We have an otome adaptation and this opening episode tries its hardest to cram up as many male characters who act like rock stars as possible, while introducing its thinnn premise so the story could go somewhere. For its credits, it has two beneficial factors that I can give. First, I like the slightly feminist view over its female characters, as the main heroine is aware full well of the absurdity those Princes and other boys behave, and her witty comments clearly show that she wouldn’t care less. The depiction of how her kingdom works: papa is a muscle and mama is a brain, gets a thumbs-up from me. Second, this show breaks down all hot boys’ archetypes, making them utterly ridiculous by tuning up their tropes to 11. Being said all that I can comfortably say that this show just isn’t for me. Reverse-harem story doesn’t appeal to me much and introducing roughly about 7, 8 hot males (and more to come) results in too much of boys doing weird poses and talks lame lines than actual plot development. Still not worth your time is my final verdict.

Potential: 20%

Wooper’s review

Dame x Princess strikes me as the work of a creative team that watched Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun in 2014, and figured that sort of humor can be successfully applied to any production, no matter the level of effort that goes into it. Unfortunately for DamePri, its many faults pollute the stab it takes at comedy, to the point that “Comedy” isn’t even listed as one of its genres on any of the major anime databases. Studio Flad does try their hand at making people laugh with their debut work, though – there’s a prince who’s a total airhead (lol), a prince who loudly and repeatedly assumes that the heroine is in awe of him (heh), a prince who strikes funny poses (haha), and a laughably shallow setup for conflict between three neighboring kingdoms that serves as the series’ plot (hahaha!). That last one probably wasn’t supposed to be funny, but on the off-chance that this entire show is some meta-commentary on otome adaptations, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. “Jokes” aside, Dame x Princess’s premiere was boring and bland-looking, though it earns a point for featuring a protagonist who doesn’t act like a lovesick puppy from the word go. Recommended for former fans of the bishounen genre who want to see its tropes mocked, but also still kind of love it enough to overlook drab visuals and a silly plot.

Potential: 1%

CHANGE USERNAME
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: Buses don't seem to be a thing in America, meanwhile over here, despite traffic, public transport is much more of a thing, couldn't imagine not getting a train or bus somewhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi. I must say you changed my positive view of the German education system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And yet Austria gets the far right party in power and Israel also has a far right apartheid leader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If any good came from it, her boss got banned from facebook .
Amagi
Two years ago the alt/new right hold a rally here since they're successful elsewhere with their anti-immigrant/PoC speeches. In the end it was 35 nazis vs 29.000 counter-demonstrators. The joke: when they had to leave with police protection they shouted "We are the people". Yes 35 hated bigots are surely the people, not the 29k. I laughed.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: That aunt story is pretty shit. I am kinda happy about smartphones nowadays, you can often make photos or record speech if you are witnessing something. Also, thank God the racists in my city are very rare since antifa and leftwingers took hold of it decades ago - now 70% of people are immigrants so racists don't even tend to show up anymore.
Nielllo
Great. I don't think most of what I wrote actually appeared in the chat.
Niello
what I'm going to do in the long run.
Niello
While Liberal art colleges are really good for developing writing and reading skills, the truth is in science classes you still don't do much of that. it's also limited by general lack of equipments that you get at bigger Uni. My college don't even have engineering.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Darn it, I hate it when racists try to justify their beliefs. That guy sounds like a major jerk!
Bokusen
@Niello Ah, yeah I think I might have preferred the UK system too if they give a month to study for exams! Wow...That sounds much nicer. Oh, and yeah, I wish the US had better public transport too... After seeing Japan's public transport system, I wish the US's could be more like it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlords love to kickout people through unfair prices a stick their friends in instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Since we're on careers, it reminds me, one of my aunts telling me what a bastard her boss was, guy was a racist, she complained about it then he got rid of all the evidence linking him to it and made it seem as if she was the rascist and humiliated her in front of her Arab friends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think we all end up getting this huge kick in the ass moment where we learn andget it together.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It gets better thankfully, grew up and am happy with this postal clerk job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The landlord story is a common one, they still think themselves feudal lords.
Amagi
And yeah, all this neet time. Although not moving out isn't that uncommon here anymore, considering how the rent increases, especially in my region (European bank city). And if I look at my friends it seems like they've the same problems. Even those who have found their dream jobs are otherwise living a nerdy life, going to pubs at night and so on. I think a part of us will always stay twenty.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This "career" was exactly the same for me. I am pretty sure I wasn't even capable of thinking about my future up until, as you said, mid-twenties. There were just so many other things that interested/bothered me, school wasn't even among my top 30s or so.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Oh how I regret not getting into novels, noe my concentration is too shit to read them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I don't think teenagers even really know who they themselves actually are .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youth is wasted on the young.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember wasting so many chances to properly appreciate and get into certain things when I was younger too, when I actually had the time. We have no idea how to use it at that age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The answer is down to the kid themselves wising up early and adults needing to find a way to REALLY motivate kids.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hated being in that position, leeching off my parents/the state.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember as a teenager thinking watching films/anime/playing videogames with my friends/brother would last forever, then getting a dose of reality that everyone just moved on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
and between short contracts you spend months as a neet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You just end up bouncing between go nowhere evening/day courses that are more about putting asses on seats than actually getting anyone anywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
and then you find out you dossed off so much in school you can't get to grips with university.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't recommend anyone doing what I did in my teens and early 20s, dossing off all the time, then finding out you have to wait five years to go to college as mature student, your school results are middling and not job/college useful, end up taking forever to get to the stage where you can start building up temporary job experience because no one will hire you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck, as a teenager I remember pretty much living in the moment, never even thought seriously about what I wanted to do, I don't think I even thought about that my adolescence would end, pretty much rushed through my homework and never studied, stayed up all night watching anime/reading manga and playing videogames allday.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I actually matured/grew up until I was in my mid twenties.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My school never did a career prep class.
Kaiser-Eoghan
in the end thats how I got to where I am now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I took a different path in life to working, doing temp and voluntary work over time to buildup experience all over the place and working out what I wanted to do that way.
K-Off
@Kaiser @Amagi Besides the characters, Emma would not work if not for the sheer passion for Victorian history that you see in every single frame. Reading Emma reminded me not to avoid historical manga entirely as I'd done before.
K-Off
Probably why Community College is one of the best things to ever happen to the United States' education system, since it catches those students who need some time to figure out what they want to study. I went through three years of it before transferring to University.
Total users: 36

Star Crossed Anime Blog

3 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 02 [Kabukicho Fremantle]

I’m glad that this second episode addresses straight out all my worries from the first episode: the actual implementation to make that trip a reality, because boy, it’s no simple matter. Universe apparently does its research, telling us exactly places they need to go, the initial trip ahead and the amount of money they need […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 33/34 [Where the Sun Shines…Light]

It’s been three weeks since my last 3-gatsu post, a gap owed in part to the break the show took around New Years’. Perhaps it’s because of all that time away from the series, or maybe it’s due to the massive difference between these two episodes, but I had a tough time connecting with the […]

Dies Irae – 10/11[Einherjar/Self-Destruction Factor]

Quite late in covering this one though out of the three shows I covered for the fall season my level of interest in this series has more or less evaporated. Truth be told, while this is a episode review of ten and eleven, i honestly cannot even remember what happened in episode ten. I think […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 12 [Better to ask the way than go astray]

Welcome to the end of Mahoutsukai’s first cour! Apologies for the lateness of this review. I had expected another to come out over Christmas and to simply do a double feature, but Mahoutsukai pulled on over on me! This week we finish up Chise’s wand, get to see Grandfather Nevin again and have an almost […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 24/25[The Holy Grail War/Apocrypha]

Forgive me for my lack of updates with the series I am blogging but as I am sure you all know, holidays tend to keep us busy for one thing or another. Believe it or not i only recently got around to finishing this series last two episodes and they didn’t really surprise me all […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]