Posted by AidanAK47 on 22 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:

After a strong first episode I come back to this show and find a rather middling second episode. There is some good content here, namely the Evangelion references, one of which was butchered by the crunchyroll translators.(Narumi and Hanako were arguing over who was best girl in Evangelion with notes over their head about whose team they were on. The order being Narumi on team Rei, Hanako on Team Asuka, Taro on team Mari and Hirotaka picking Unit 01 as best girl) But the anime original scenes which were a boon to the first episode have become rather problematic. Case in point, this episode starts with three minutes of Hirotaka waking up, going to the kitchen to play games, attempt to make coffee, realize he’s out of coffee and travels to work sleep deprived.

That scene was too long and while I can certainly relate to going to work sleep deprived due to late night gaming, nothing happens here. It’s more or less filler and I don’t understand why they are dragging out the runtime like this. It could be due to the short number of chapters that they are attempting to pad out the runtime which could be quite problematic. Seeing scenes of characters talking their preferences in manga and whatnot is fine as I enjoy the interaction but it more the other scenes that feel supplementary that bug me. The actual scenes from the manga where pretty good, I got a chuckle out of Hirotaka saying to Narumi that he shouldn’t have told her that he liked her only to realize that he didn’t actually tell her that when asking her out.

I do still quite enjoy the banter though at times it was trying a little too hard for comedy. The animation seems to have gotten rather bare as well and while a show like this doesn’t necessarily need godly animation, it is good for the subtle motion which give these characters life. What this episode basically established is that the other two coworkers also happen to be going out and are big otaku’s as well. Rather coincidental for them all to meet at the same workplace while happening to work in the same room but hey I will bite. Again the general scenes were fine but it felt there were too many moments of nothing happening on screen. I enjoy the characters enough for this episode to be fine instead of boring but going forward we need more content in here. At least so I have something to actually talk about on these episode reviews.

Posted by Lenlo on 20 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Steins;Gate 0

7 years. It has been almost 7 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. The story of the Okabe who failed, who doesn’t get a happy ending. And I could not be more excited.

Lets jump in! (more…)

Posted by AidanAK47 on 19 April 2018 with categories: Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political side of the story surfaced. However the remake here has managed to spice up the space battles with new effects and the presentation of the story is better. The first episode introduced us to only one side of the conflict, thus not overburdening the viewer by jumping around between two vastly different sides with a whole host of characters. Then the second episode introduced the other side which provided a nice transition between the differences in command and a solid introduction to our two leads with vastly different combat styles. I would berate this series for having stupid commanders who ignore their subordinates good suggestions and continue being utterly arrogant…but actual history does seem to have a recurring theme of having really stupid people in high positions screwing things up. I at least appreciate that the commander handed the reins over to Yang once he was taken out of the picture and acknowledged that he was the only man who could get them out of this. It shows that even if he was prideful and idiotic for ignoring Yangs suggestions, he still was a good person. I admit I found it quite humorous for Yang to turn the battle into a game of chasing tails only for Reinhard to retreat cause he hated how dumb the battle had become.

Our story here has a large scope but generally it jumps between two viewpoints. That of Reinhard and that of Yang. The third episode focused on Reinhard first and when watched the old series I found that I much prefer Yangs viewpoint over Reinhards. Mostly because the situation Yang was dealing with was more interesting and Yang overall was a far more interesting protagonist. Reinhard has his draw but I just didn’t quite find his personality as charming. So it really is a merit of the old series to get me to be engaged with parts of the story I once found my attention wander with. True this could be a product of foreknowledge and since I know what happens I have become more engaged in how the plot reaches that point. But I do feel like the presentation here is really working to keep people immersed. Of course that does not mean that this is top tier animation as during talking scenes it can be the bare essentials but even then we got subtle face movements. The animation of the old series was quite basic so from a animation standpoint there wasn’t much to look at. Here there is greater polish to the scenes which I feel really nails down getting the main points across to the viewer. By episodes end you know Reinhard’s ambition, why he wants to do it and his friendship with Kircheis. As well as the general social structure of the empire which to boil it down, would likely be the result if Hitler won WWII. The old series will always be relevant for having for details but I felt this new series could make for a good compromise for those not willing to watch 110 episodes of content. I even get a better sense for Kircheis’s and Reinhards friendship as in the old series I was never was quite sold on their friendship. To me it felt like more of a master and servant association which Kircheis put up with cause he wanted to bang Annerose. Not saying he doesn’t want the same thing here but at least you can get a sense that he is following Reinhard for more than just Annerose.

I like the opening of this series as it’s a rather different kind of opening from what we usually get, being a ballad instead of forgettable Jpop. But as the chorus of the song played I couldn’t help getting nostalgic as something sounded very similar. I had to rack my brain just to remember it but I finally found out why. The reason is that the chorus of this song is a blatant ripoff of the 1987 hit by Starship “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. I don’t know if it was intentional or purely coincidental but the two songs are near identail when it comes to the chorus. Truth be told I am not sure if I care though as the song sounds good, I just hope it’s more an intentional homage than lazy composition. Truly if I were to fault this series for something it would be the character designs and yes I believe this will be something I will harp on about throughout the series. Some of the designs I can get behind but I rather dislike how it makes everyone look so much younger. Even old characters feel like they have perfect skin and were varnished to a mirror sheen. The reason this is a big issue for me is that the greatest victim of these designs is Yang Wenli as in the old series he felt like a middle aged veteran and thus when he starts talking history or strategy, it felt like it was coming from someone experienced with life. With his HD makeover he still sounds smart but he lost an important characteristic of his manner. It could be just my fondness for his old design but I really did like the way that Yang was like a tired middle aged man who was sick of the worlds crap and just trying to make the best out of a rather terrible situation he was forced into.

Posted by SuperMario on 18 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Golden Kamuy

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which in some ways share many similarities in characteristics with Western genre. For me though, I still consider Golden Kamuy a Western one, and (so far) a good one at that. Treasure hunt is one of the most popular premise within the genre for one thing, and then we have its focus on the wilderness. The vast isolated landscape becomes a character on its own and Golden Kamuy certainly shares this. It has snowy mountain backdrop that sets in Hokkaido and the manga (remains a question mark for the anime) pays extremely careful details to Hokkaido places and the atmosphere. Social order and moral ambiguity also play important roles, so far Golden Kamuy carries many of those traits within Sugimoto character. Ex-solider, now becomes sort of nobody who looks for huge amount of money, and in the episode 2 we see his stance for his moral code: he isn’t a murderer, but if there is anyone going to kill him, he’ll kill them first without hesitation. Lastly, Western genre is famous for depicting minorities community, for better or for worse, and Golden Kamuy follows that tradition with a well-research presentation on the Anui people. On those fronts, Golden Kamuy is rather exceptional.

What I’m worried about this show, though, comes from its production. I watched Kokkoku last season and I feel the production of that show was only functionable, not exceptional or anything. It remains doubtful whether the new Geno Studio can do justice for this popular source. CGI bears aside*, the animation isn’t that consistent to be honest. There are many still frames that was a shot-by-shot with its manga source, so while it looks alright in stills, the lack of movement remains a concern. The characters look slightly off model in some scenes, and this is just second episode. I have my real worry that the production could fall apart as the series go one.

Get into the event of this second episode, this episode is jam-packed with actions and details and splits into three parts: 1) the pair gets into Otaru, the biggest city of Hokkaido and finds another tattooed prisoner there, 2) dinner, Ainu style (do they really eat the brain raw? Eew) and 3) another life and death situation – but hilariously so – with the third tattooed prisoner, an Escape Master. This episode also marks the end of the first volume of the manga, which for me the anime runs at a reasonable pace. We learn about a lot more enemies to our duo beside the bears. On one hand we have the whole 7th Hokkaido division, one of the strongest army unit involved to this gold hunting. The guy Sugimoto faces this time, Oogata is a threatening opponent. I like the way how, after he shoots the first prisoner death, he leaves the corpse there to pursuits the duo instead. Just show you how professional, and experienced this guy is. Kill all the hazards first, then skin the corpse. He manages to escape Sugimoto the Immortal and manages to survive himself, which means that now the army division will be actively involved in tracking Sugimoto and Aspira.

Still, even in this harsh, “the strong alive the weak die” world, there’s always time for more food porn. I get the intent that Golden Kamuy wants to delve deeper to Anui culture – and indeed, so far the show has shown its appreciation and respect to the Anui people – but the tone whiplash here is too severe. When these two characters have that chibi style and fluffy reactions (especially during Sugimoto exclaims(!!!) “This is so good”, I have a feeling someone padding me in my back and telling me I’m a good boy – the amount of self-indulgence is unBEARable. Other than that, the attitude towards Anui culture is overall positively portrayed in the show. Take a scene where the Escape King mocking Sugimoto about Aspira in which she sets aside and said “I’m used to it”, it just speaks volume here. The way Sugimoto feels about the insult isn’t subtle but it’s the right kind of attitude towards those kind race discrimination.

The last segment turns this capturing and chasing game into some odd whimsical enemy-turn-comrade situation, but for the show as grim and dark as this, a little light tone is more than welcome (just don’t go for food). Again, the setting of winter Hokkaido becomes its own character, it’s a force of nature for our characters to overcome. We learn more about the Leader of this prisoner gangs, who was a Samurai before and a scary figure that our duo need to be mindful of. I like this Escape King character and I figure we will see him back again soon. Overall, we have s busy episode where we got introduced to many major characters. The gold is nowhere in sight, the myth keeps getting more mysterious and heads certainly will roll and skins certainly will get ripped off. It’s a marvellous ride, now let’s all see if the production can keep up with it.

* I think the world has complained more than enough about those bears in the first episode that it isn’t worth beating that dead CGI bear dead horse at this point – although I can offer the reason why the director Nanba Hitoshi thinks it was a good idea. In one of the interview, he remarked that “[] bear have a special status for the Ainu, so I think the way to show them is different from other animals.” TAKE THAT.

Posted by SuperMario on 18 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hinamatsuri

Welcome to THE comedy gold of the season. Before I get into anything specific, let’s me discuss about what make this little show about a psychic girl and a yakuza hilarious in the first place. The main source of humor in Hinamatsuri largely comes from situation-based weirdness. Putting these characters out of their comfort zones and see how they react. It helps that Hinamatsuri always gets straight to business – there’s no beating around the bush here. Like in the first episode, it doesn’t take long before Hina appears out of the blues inside that metal egg and gives Nitta one heck of a time. The comedic timing is largely sharp and when it’s time for a more heartfelt scene, Hinamatsuri nails it without succumb into soapiness. The show also has a rich cast in which they all have great presence and bound off each other very well. So far, our lead duo Nitta and Hina more than carry the show with their odd-buddy but surprisingly grounded chemistry.

Coming to this second episode, I’m more than happy to report that this second one is even better than the first, both expand that world with more awesome characters, and still put the central development between Hina and Nitta into forefront. In the first half, there’s this little girl with crazy power appears and wreaks havoc – Anzu, a more eccentric counterpart of our Hina. What makes her character stand out is how well contrast her appearance and personality compared to the oblivious Hina, yet in the end the two kids are still… little brats who need love, attention and FOOD (on that notes, thank GOD that Hinamatsuri never sexualizes those girls when they’re nude). The comedy gold hits right off the bat within the first few seconds, with Anzu miraculously gets herself out of that metallic egg. I have the same sentiments with her regarding the egg’s structural design flaw. What the use of any of it if the person inside can’t get themselves out? To raise the bar of hilariously ridiculousness even higher, Anzu then wipes off the entire gang in one whoop and steals the boss’ uniform in a process. The comedy is really on point again when all her victims say nothing but “Ouch”, in turns.

The man of the moment in this segment, however, is Nitta. Realize the same vibe this new kid has, he follows her in the most obvious way possible: camouflage himself as a tree in a middle of the freaking city. Yeah, genius. There are couple of good gags before he decides to bring Hina along for the “ultimate battle” – psychic style, chief among them involve the homeless man who thought that Nitta gang will do bad things with the girl (boy, dark humor here), and how Nitta reflects that he might save the world without knowing it (on that, imagine what kind of misadventures Nitta will experience – and what kind of series we will have – if Anzu were the one dropping into his house instead of Hina). So, the girls have to fight since this was Anzu’s goal all along. In order to protect the lives of possibly entire Japanese population, Nitta alters the rules, while continuously manipulating Hina-side with ikura (red caviar), since manipulation is obviously how yakuza works. The fight, I must say, remains one of the most refreshing and downright hilarious fight I have seen in a while, and the animation and deadpan “facial reactions” – if I can call them that – are dead-on. I won’t go into details about this duel since I believe it’s something you need to watch for yourself. Needless to say, the emotional core hits me again when Hina offers Anzu to spend the evening together – just hanging out and playing like normal harmless kids, because as crazy overpowered as they are, they still remain kids.

The latter half, while focuses on the main dynamic between our duo, Hina’s classmate Hitomi becomes my install favorite character out of this rich cast. Imagine this, a good girl Hitomi was tagging along with Hina to tail Nitta (for the reason as obscure as “because the TV says it’s better with two”), left behind by her friend in the adult bar, encountered the drunkard old man who demands her to make an alcoholic drink and already excelled at bartending when we meet her again. She had me at “Daiquiri-desu”, my friends. Meanwhile, the more heartfelt conversation between Hina and the real bartender Utako carries the show distinctive quirks as Hina literally floats on while listening to Umeko ‘s adivce. That moment is so Hinamatsuri-esque that I am in awe of a show that understands so well about its own personality. The later moment when Hina finally speaks her mind, and Nitta agrees to hang out with her, and the rest of the gang, including Hitomi is a nice resolve to their little conflict. I could say more but I’m at risk of just recapping the whole episode with my squeaky over-excited voice, so let’s just enjoy this episode with a glass of champagne and kanpai for the Super Illusion.

Posted by SuperMario on 17 April 2018 with categories: About

The Spring First Impression period has finally come to an end, which personally I regard it as a mixed bag.  This season has one of the most crowded titles in terms of quantity, having around 50 plus airing anime of all kinds and we previewed about 34 new shows . This huge amount doesn’t necessarily translate into better quality, however. We have handful of solid shows, a sea of mediocre and trashy shows and little to no middle ground. I gave 0% potential more than any previous seasons (do I become too harsh on anime or was anime a mistake?). In addition, as most of you already knew, we’re trying something new this season by gathering together and making the first (and hopefully not the only) podcast since the five of us, current writers, came into this site.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s our schedule for the 2018 Spring Season:

Aidan: Legend of Galactic Heroes – Die Neue These, Full Metal Panic Invisible Story, Wotakoi, Darling in the FranXX (carry-over)

Mario: Golden Kamuy, Hisone to Misotan, Hinamatsuri
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Megalo Box

I’m also here to bring you one sad news. From this season onwards, Wooper will step down as a site writer. This is a great loss for us (and you’ll be missed, Wooper), but expect him to be around the chatbox as well as (hopefully) helping us out with the first impression.

With this, let’s the 2018 Spring Season truly begins.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly what was happening and just how easily it could have been avoided. If either Hiro o Zero Two tried to explain the situation and what happened in the past then things wouldn’t have got this bad. If both Hiro and Zero Two hadn’t gone to see each other at the exact same time. But most importantly, if somebody could have stopped Ichigo from going too far. Oh boy if there is a serious casualty in this whole mess, it’s Ichigo. I haven’t seen a fanbase turn on a character so fast but hey Zorome wasn’t cared for that much in the beginning either and now he’s actually rather endearing. So could Ichigo turn this around? In a way she is a victim of the writing as they needed someone to put a rift between Zero Two and Hiro so Ichigo turned out to be the tool to make that possible. Looking at the situation from her perspective it’s actually understandable why she took measures to separate Zero Two and Hiro.

It’s just that under the present circumstances, that was the worst thing she could have done. For she was reenacting exactly what happened in their past to tear them apart and wound up Zero Two to the point that Hiro would see her at her lowest moment. Made all the worst by Ichigo forcefully stopping Hiro from running after Zero Two with her forced confession. Which really was in bad taste as it spits on Goro’s confession to her. Yes, she is under no obligation to love Goro just because he confessed to her but I just find it heartless to disregard his feelings entirely and chase after a doomed crush. You can tell she started things out of concern for Hiro but then her own emotions started pushing things too far that even the team was uncomfortable with how she was handling the situation. You cannot say there wasn’t any spite in how she ostracised Zero Two, particularly in trying to force her out of the next operation. This episode has Ichigo be selfish and ignorant which earned the venomous reception of the internet. For she is the single thing preventing the scene viewers wish to see between Hiro and Zero Two with the action being made all the more hateable by it being born of good intentions amplified with selfish desire.

The thing that makes this episode problematic is that while the characters actions make sense, the situation is just so utterly contrived. It’s clear the writer wanted drama and to tease out the reunion between Hiro and Zero Two. This series of unfortunate events just to create a conflict to force Zero Two away from the team is frustrating to behold and makes all the characters look bad for it. Which makes it more painful when you consider that it will take more than one episode to resolve this stupid misunderstanding between the characters. If they are smart about it, this development could be fixed fast as I am sure not many are a fan of it. But I fear we are in for episodes of Zero Two brooding over Hiro, Hiro brooding over Zero Two and Ichigo trying to sandwich herself in Hiro’s broken heart while Goro looks over it with depressed resignation. And boy, that certainly doesn’t sound fun. Oh and as a final note it is rather humorous for Mitsuru completely brush off Hiro remembering his promise despite him obsessing over it in a previous episode. Not sure if he was just playing it cool or if Kokoro helped him get over it.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 April 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii

Short Synopsis: Two childhood friends-turned-coworkers decide to start dating after bonding over their nerdy hobbies.

Aidan’s review

Well they added more original scenes to the manga but it fit and helped the story flow better and while this could be considered pandering to my demographic, I ultimately enjoyed the hell out of it. I stated before that 3D Kanojo was the idealisation of love while Wotaku is the more realistic version and that certainly is still true. The dialogue of this show feels real and the characters talk like people talk. Sure there is comedic posturing and some exaggeration but damn do the conversations just flow naturally. No beating around the bush either as our two mains get together by episodes end in what may be considered spontaneous and a bit too businesslike. I found it actually better that way. There is no bombastic orchestra nor emotional crying or doves flying in the air with dramatic lighting while flowers fall on the stage. The male lead lays down how he could make for a good boyfriend and the two decide to try it out. Which is fine, as the two do get along fantastic together and that could very easily blossom into love. The comedy was on point, the cast is good and it’s generally fluffy. Of course being an adult nearing his thirties who is a Anime and Game Otaku and works in a office space could be influencing my opinion somewhat.

Potential: 75%

 

Wooper’s review

I’ve seen a lot of talk about this show pandering to a specific subculture, what with the “otaku and fujoshi together 4ever” romance at its core. As a result, I went into this thing with the mildest of expectations, and found that they were unnecessarily low. Wotakoi obviously has its sights set on a niche audience, but it isn’t insulting about it. There are no women tripping over themselves to get with the male lead, and the show doesn’t glamorize or excuse pop culture obsession – rather, it’s a source of shame for the female MC. She’s pretty, a little ditzy, and cheerily superficial, which is refreshing for a woman in anime. Her blossoming friendship with her cosplaying boss gives me some hope that she’ll learn to be more accepting, both of herself and others, without needing to be educated or tamed by her new boyfriend. As a matter of fact, I’m much more interested in how her mindset will change than I am in her relationship with The Most Dapper Otaku in the World. The scene where those two get together is the main source of my disappointment in this premiere – the show looks decent, and I like the characters well enough, but the dispassionate way they decide to start dating left me with no interest in their romance. It happened right at the tail end of the episode, so it might be some kind of fake out, but given that Wotakoi is billed as a romcom, I doubt that’ll be the case. The show seems good enough to follow week by week, but if no legitimate sense of attraction surfaces within a few episodes, I might have to bail.

Potential: 50%

 

Hisone to Maso-tan

Short Synopsis: A woman is chosen to pilot a living Dragon

Aidan’s review

I wasn’t quite sure what I would get when I started this show but it certainly was a lot more comedic than I was expecting. So far any potential dark aspects are nowhere to be seen  and it’s a fairly lighthearted show to match it’s cutesy visuals. I quite like the main character and her general talkativeness as I am reminded of my own inner thoughts when pushed into a project haphazardly at work. We got a kooky cast of characters and the general premise of a transforming dragon in the army is a good one. It’s still up in the air as to what the actually plot will be but for so far it’s looking quite strong.

Potential: 80%

 

Mario’s review

As they say, save the best for last huh? This one literally was the last show I checked out during this First Impression period, with high expectation to boost, and it turned out even better than I had expected. There’s so much to like about this show. The style for example, is simple with clear and soft layout, but it works well in service for this show. Contrary to the simple designs, the characters are expressive and the animation is very consistent and dynamic. The concept of dragons being an airplane, with pilot is inside the dragon is a whimsical, if a bit nonsensical, premise and I am glad that in this first episode not only the show doesn’t take it too seriously, they sell well on the whole concept. The main girl, Hisone, is your typical Mari Osada’s creation here- meaning she has a tendency to say her mind a bit too much, but I do relate to her issues and hell, I already love the pairing between her and the dragon here. This one is, for my money, the best premiere of this Spring Season.

Potential: 90%

 

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory

Short Synopsis: The fourth season of the Full Metal Panic Series

Aidan’s review

Well baring a opening scene where the pacing felt a bit too fast, this was a strong return to form. The skipped volume 6 which is a shame as it had some good Tessa moments but otherwise the relationship between Chidori and Sousuke was great. Seeing them hold hands as they both walked to her apartment and be affectionite with each other felt it was a long time coming. Of course we do have some interesting developments in how Chidora has to accept that she really can’t live a normal life anymore as well as the fact that no matter how much of a goof Sousuke is, he really has killed people. Sousuke himself seems to be regretting the loss of his school life as well and Chidori’s newfound caution of him certainly could throw him off balance. Little in the way of action but the ending episode cliffhanger is certainly promising. Xebec certainly seems to be emulating the animation style of KyoAni’s while they were doing Second Raid and so far it looks good. Still up for debate if they can keep the quality for the full series and especially during  action sequences but we shall see. Lastly I find the Japanese voices hard to adjust to due to my first experience watching being in English dub. Basically if you are a Full Metal Panic Fan, check this out.

Potential: 80%

 

Dorei-ku The Animation

Short Synopsis: A girl finds out about a device that allow you to enslave anyone

Aidan’s review

I guess the big question is that if such a device existed, who in their right mind would use it? Sure it allows you to dominate someone else with the device but at the same time holds the risk of anyone subjecting you to eternal servitude. In that case it would be a hard sell because if a girl tried to convince me to stick in some weird device into my mouth my first and last instinct would be no. Of course since the characters in this show are naturally stupid, they stick the device in. All these characters are terrible and unlikable. The games themselves aren’t so much mind games cause the author isn’t smart enough to come up with genuine smart strategy. The animation is bear bones and while the anime cut out quite a bit of the stupid nasty stuff in the manga, it still can’t save what is already a fairly trash story. Avoid this one.

Potential: 0%

 

Mario’s review

The segment in the first few minutes pretty much sets an overall tone to this series: a silly card game where the girl loses, the guy then requests to have sex with her in which she has to obey. This is a show that is more interested to exploit the twisted desire of enslave someone (in a fetish form) than it has anything grounded to say. So for anyone who think this show is a depiction of BDSM fetish, there isn’t much about it at all, given it gives the same “descend to darkness through desire” vibe as Kakegurui and Liar Game, although with much lesser impact. Sexual assault, assholeness, misogyny pops up everywhere. The duel isn’t remotely exciting since only one of them aware of the SCM device, hence they obviously have an handicap over the opponent. The main leads, if we can call them that, are characters that we don’t care one iota for because they are unlikable, and their chemistry isn’t even functional. It might be just me but this kind of trashy pulpy show that tries hard to sound smart always turn me off the most. Avoid it.

Potential: 0%

Posted by HelghastKillzone on 16 April 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

For the first time in a very long while, the writers of Star Crossed Anime Blog have assembled together from over five different timezone and participate in a podcast that gives our first impressions of the Spring 2018 anime season.

The intro for this episode is from the intro theme for Ragnarok Online 2 by Yoko Kanno. The outro for this episode is Deja Vu by Dave Rodgers.

Anime Discussed In This First Impressions: Persona 5, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Wotakoi Love Is Hard For Otaku, Hisone to Maso-tan, Golden Kamuy, Magical Girl Site,  Hinamatsuri, Megalo Box, Steins Gate 0, My Hero Academia 3, Tokyo Ghoul re, Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online, Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory, Lupin III: Part V

Edited by HelghastKillzone

Posted by Lenlo on 15 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Megalo Box

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in!

With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from a different age of anime, the time of Hajime no Ippo’s first series, Cowboy Bebop or Trigun. Even the story, so far, is Ashita no Joe with robot arms, with certain shots coming straight out of original 1970’s anime. In today’s anime landscape, Megalo Box is a breath of fresh air. Its thick, rough line work contrasting the all to clean and thin art we normally see. The vibrant color pallet that gives us bright greens, blues and oranges instead of muted browns and greys of regular highschool life. The only negative I can think of with Megalo Box is that, at least the Crunchyroll version, seems to have some resolution issues. Like it was upscaled to 1080p. Luckily with its style, Megalo Box doesn’t suffer for it much.

(more…)

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Anonymous2037529
LWA academia is probably the only trigger project i've truly cared about. I haven't watched KlK to completion or luluco for that matter(i got to get around to that) but ive seen everything else and i just don't give a damn about any of em
Amagi
But to say something positive - I liked the second episode of Kamuy way better than the first one. Budget seems to be really bad but the rest makes up for it it seems.
Amagi
I think Luluco was the only one I enjoyed after KlK which already had a bunch of problems - but overall it was far too entertaining for me to seriously care about those.
Amagi
Guess the last 1/3 might be more interesting when they start with the actual world building for once, although they could probably slam the love stuff even more in our faces but who knows. Not fond of any of the latest Trigger anime to be honest.
Amagi
Also they're really overdoing it with all that obvious message stuff and the "love superpower" trope I always hated anyway. Still watching I mean at least it has a plot and tries.
Amagi
I still can't care about anyone or anything in this series I think it's really not made for me. I might have liked Goro but he's too unimportant and the sauros revelation was kind of a letdown since it's the most common twist for these kinds of things.
AidanAK47
Alright Franxx, you are forgiven for episode 14.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do you ever go to those surprise horror/thriller preview screenings? Where they don't tell you what film it is until it starts?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*worrying about
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its saying something, when I haven't seen eternal sunshine since it came out, but even by re-watching the trailer, the feelings, the whole film comes back. At that point I'd grown out of Jim Carey's comedy, so seeing him play against type was refreshing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, I'm more forgiving then, I'm likely to give higher points for sheer imagination that I'm not as bothered by worry about the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Any negative argument against mood indigo by him can be countered by the fact it has Audrey Tatou in it.
Anonymous2035464
jhonrhean
SuperMario
and I just watched A Quiet Place. A solid indie horror one. It builds on atmosphere and it does the family chemistry right
SuperMario
I don't like The Science of Sleep to be honest. Tons of interesting ideas and visually creativeness but the story itself is a mess
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Gondry needs to avoid making any more commercial comedies, he also needs to start working with Kaufman again, they brought out the best in each other, although on his own, he can be playful and inventive with his films, such as mood indigo and science of sleep.
SuperMario
But check out his other movie Eternal sunshine of Spotless Mind. It has an inventive mind control/ mind altering concept in there
SuperMario
Jim Carrey is kind of mind controller himself. I couldn't take my eyes off him
SuperMario
@anon2028818: it was indeed season 5. SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE :)
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
niello
ugh democracy
KTravlos
@Kaiser ultimately LOGH for me was a decisive point in my political life, as I think it made the best defense of democracy in any form I have seen. And it worked partly because the opponent was presented in the best possible incarnation (Rienhard). Yang's continued adherence to democracy, despite recongising its flaws, helped me avoid a personal descent into authoritarian politics.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I am happy you had a good experience. I watched the prequels a while after the main show and I was happy because it was great getting back to those characters. The prequels were also great in fleshing the setting and the characters. So yes, take your time and a break. That way the prequels will be like visiting a place you liked again after a while.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@KTtravlos: I have some other stuff to get through before watching the galactic heroes prequel though =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
YES according to discord poster I'm not a millenial!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for overposting. I have always always being an incredibly verbose person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter; Not that I oppose captilistically made for a buck cinema, it can be entertaining yes, but I set a standard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: As open as I am to trash cinema, I consider the resident evil films, like the superhero ones, anti-art.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand why people don't like Villier, but he did I think work as a device to add extra tension.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel some release at finishing but at the same time sadness at saying goodbye to the show and its characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
, showing its age.
But for something of this length, it kept itself up far better than most long shows and I feel the length its somewhat justified.

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
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