Posted by SuperMario on 17 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

When people thinks about Hanebado, they tend to regard the excellent animation as its strongest point. While I partly agree on that, for me it’s the small character acting that makes this show sticks out for me. I do have a KyoAni vibe watching those relationships play out, especially in second episode with the recurring theme of Yu, the blonde girl, eating sausage after practice. There she meets the dropout senpai, she meets Nagisa in one of her rampant, and in the end she meets the senpai girls again with a newfound perspective. It’s the slow moments like this that Hanebado allows the settings and the characters sink in to our mind, and I much prefer this more than drama that relies on “shout until it works” moments.

In addition, both episodes follow a tricky formula. They flesh out the main characters through the perspective of side-casts. It works, for the most part, resulting that we have a feeling we learn about many characters within this badminton club. And for a show that is just in a beginning phase, it’s a remarkable feat. I have a reason to care for those characters, to support them from behind. This focus, however, has its shortcoming. Tachibana the male coach is a good character in his own right, but so far the show doesn’t know how to flesh him out to full potential. The reason being Hanebado wants these main characters to develop on their own, but at the same time wants him to have a positive influence for the team. Being stuck between two roles result in the unclear angle the show wants to develop him.

Although the last two episodes give a much-needed space to develop our main girls, I find those developments through the point of view of these side girls add up magnificently. It adds another emotional layer to these relationships. Take Yu, she’s in an inbetween phase of the club; as one of the few “survivors” after Nagisa lashed out because she loves the sport. We can also sees her having a crush (but subtly so) to one of the club member. Likewise, Elena’s observant is possibly the best element of episode 3. Not only it informs us about the trouble her friend Ayano is currently experienced, it tells us about their own relationship. Transforming from just a supportive no-face girl into a much more complex role, we see a whole whirlwind of her own feeling regarding her best friend, many contradicting emotions: from caring about her, wanted her friend to rely on her (in a very tasteful way using the dialogue from the movie she watched), to jealousy that her friend can devote herself into something she love. Ultimately, she’s the best friend if there’s ever one, simply because despite all the contradicting feelings, she comes out for all the better. She cares deeply for her friend and that will always remain true.

Nagisa’s development in episode 2 is more straightforward but not necessary less effective. She’s in a performance slump, and her slash-out attitude is sometimes unbearable. In one of the stand-out animation sequence (in a show with many stand-out animated pieces), we see her as a kid in a chalk-line art struggling with the way everyone regards her as “having advantage for being tall”. She works harder than anyone else but they fail to recognise that. Her performance stumbles when she’s too conscious of placing the shot right without follow through her smash. It’s more of a psychological issue more than anything else, because once Tachibana puts her struggling into words, once she regains her confidence, she manages to smash her way through. It’s a release from all the feeling bottomed up inside her since when she loses to Ayano that day.

As for Ayano, after 2 episodes I’m a bit worried that her passive, withdrawn personality can’t carry the show, but thankfully, when we get to her flashback this week it’s easy to see why she acts the way she is now. She’s a natural talent kid. And I’m not talking about her physical talent, but more about her love for badminton (on that note, Tachibana keeps pointing out that being lefty makes her some sort of a talent, in which I say NO, no way. Lefty is not that rare anymore and it doesn’t automatically qualifies anyone as better than the other. In fact, when you get to certain level there’s no real difference between a right-handed and left-handed players). Her Mom was a legendary badminton player and she transfers that love to her kid. She was her Mom’s golden choice until one day, after losing her Mom left and raised other kid into stardom instead. Okay, get pass the absurdity of it all, ‘cause we know there’s more than meet the eye here, what get me the most in her flashback is how Ayano’s determined to win her Mom attention back by keep on winning at all cost. You can see in her eyes that it becomes something as an obsession more than a joy to play. It takes its toll after she learns that all she was doing would amount for nothing. Like how Elena points out, her love for badminton and her mommy issues are two separate matters, she can pretty much enjoy playing badminton without caring about her Mom. Based on the OP, it’s going to be her issues all the way and I’d love to see Hanebado address it again in the tournament stage.

Not that every character in Hanebado is a success. That twintails pink hair girl is an eyesore both for her larger than life personality (“I love myself!!!!”), but her role so far is squarely Ayano’s destined rival and boys, these types stand out in a bad way. For a show that relies greatly on subtle personal development like this, having an eccentric, loud character like her doesn’t add any flavor to this story. It’s like a spicy chili ice-cream that can’t help but stick out too much.

Posted by SuperMario on 17 July 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

The misadventures of Chio-chan on her way to school continues with some extra flavour. As of now, Chio-chan splits its segments neatly in two halves, the first deals with Chio encounters the absurd events on her way to school, and the latter details her relationship with her friends. One highlights the adventure spirits of this title, the other provides more heart and depth. I don’t mind at all with this formula, since it’s done right so far, but I figure Chio-chan will eventually mix things up a bit in future episodes. The key that ties both segment together, is Chio herself. So far, she’s super relatable character, both due to her commitment to do her best not to stand out, but always find herself standing out in more ways than one, and due to her social anxiety that makes her both charming and real. The best weapon is her monologue, helped by her wild imagination (I say games help her much in that department), and it’s fun to see her stream of thought runs in free form and how she eventually makes her head-stretching decision. Being said that, the bit that I have mixed feeling about is Chio-chan’s OP, which play up the fan-service I normally avoid: jiggling boobs for one, long tongue for another, even nudist!!?

In the first segment, our Chio finds herself in a bind, quite literally, between herself, the blonde yakuza dude (he’s voiced by the seiyuu who voiced Nitta last season. Coincidence? I think not), his motorbike and a random bald salaryman. This is the motorbiker with an unzip pant in the OP (he zipped this time, I checked), but from the bike alone you can pretty tell that… he’s a delightfully weird dude. Pink motorcycle? And that weird seat? The situation where that salaryman and Chio have to walk quietly on the side is both hilarious and relatable, but there’s one nippick regarding that. Chio-chan gave an accurate explanation of the exhaust pipe, but it leaves more than a mark and a scream out of it. I’ve experienced it before and I’m pretty sure kids growing up in a motorbike culture experienced at least one in their lives. It’s second-degree burn for Christ sake so having Chio acts like nothing happened with her leg afterward is a huge slip of reality.

If I would point out a theme for this segment, it’s that these characters carry the persona that don’t match their appearances. That “salaryman” turns out just a guy who is about to interview for part-time job (haha), and Chio, especially, embraces her “Bloody Butterfly” persona so effectively she fools the blonde biker. That persona might be a fake, but her reasons are strangely convincing (it has to do with the games she plays, but well…). While yes, it’s hilarious all the way to see how she manages to change the yakuza’s mind and STILL manages to stand out in front of her peers despite trying best to be “a normal high school girl”, I feel that the way she does it isn’t that convincing. Like, does she knock the guy out of consciousness by that swing? It might be a part of the absurdist but I’d love for a more crazy version than this.

The second half though is where Chio-chan totally grabs me again. If there’s a variation of supporting characters that I enjoy, it’s a normal girl who use her meanie acts as a mean to justify her own frustration AKA a true brat (last season we have Mami from Hinamatsuri, this season we have the entire cast in Asobe Asobase). Manana fits this bill like a glove. The mutual understanding between her and Chio (that they consider each other a trash, yet they deserve each other) is surprisingly solid. And throughout this episode we can see how (small-minded) devilish this girl can become to step up her social ladder. We see her spreading rumors behind people’s back, we see her snipping around spying on people, we see her telling lies to get other’s approval… this is delicious, I tell ya. Especially when her own efforts to get close to Hosokawa fallen into pieces when it turns out the guy she was just bad-mouthing is Hosokawa’s running buddy, and a president if some company to boost. Right then, she feels the distance between her and Hosokawa just like the distance she leaves Chio behind.

My favorite part of the whole episode, however, is when Chio and Manana spy on Hosokawa in hope for witnessing something lewd, but it backfires and they find themselves near-kiss each other instead (or is it officially their first kiss? They denied so, though). Both their reactions are pitch perfect (Manana ‘s blush, slowly touches her lip – Chio: snap out of that yuri-tone, Manana). It’s those off kilter moments like this that makes following Chio and her friends around such an amusing watch. They are equally mean, in addition, to point out that the guy’s a fake in front of Hosokawa. But it doesn’t matter, since the love for running is there. Based on the OP I would say that Hosokawa will have something more than her “perfect girl” status later on. Being both absurd and grounded, Chio-chan so far is going strong.

Note: I’m using Chio when I refer to the character and Chio-chan when I refer to the show. Hope you can recognize the distinction.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and cold. An odd aspect of this show which I found troublesome is that I was never quite sure how to evaluate it. For example, if you were to ask me if I enjoyed Darling in the Franxx I would have to say yes, week by week it certainly was an enjoyable watch at least up until it’s final four episodes. But at any point of this series if you asked me if I recommended it then that would be met with a solid “Hmm..I wonder”. Because this show is a mess. There are sudden tonal shifts as it jolts from lighthearted comedy to dead serious drama. At times it can be a grim as Evangelion and at others it can be as ludicrous as Kill La Kill. Sometimes it can have a great episode and other times it can have a trainwreck of an episode. Sometimes it decides to take it’s time and others it moves the plot along at lightspeed.

Developments can be forced and others can be decently thought out. Suddenly stakes are raised only to be negated on episode later. Interesting Ideas can be brought to the board only to be thrown aside. It even starts with joking double entendres with stupid fanservice while portraying a tale about child soldiers in a dystopian regime. This is a confused mess of a series that didn’t know where it was going nor what it was trying to accomplish which results in a storyline which feels like it’s reaching for the stars with the right hand while attaching weights with the left. Do I like Darling in the Franxx? Honestly with the bad taste the final few episodes left me which I would be inclined to say no but there was a point where I legitimately thought this series could turn itself around and become something to be remembered.

The story would be familiar to who’s familiar about the Mecha Genre as it is about a bunch of teenagers who pilot giant robots to fight off some unknown monsters. What made Franxx stand out initially was its focus on sexuality with the male and female pairings to control robots and on the dark insinuations of the dystopian society that these children lived in. However as the series continued it eventually scrapped all this and became a derivative of many a Trigger/Gainax anime before it. The characters can be enjoyable and likeable provided the plot doesn’t force them into a hateable position for the sake of drama with the titular character Zero Two acting as poster girl for the series. If there is one thing that likely carried the series in its weaker moments it’s likely this cast of characters as while not particularly deep, they still proved likeable and relatable enough to care about their circumstances.

The opening is alright with the general soundtrack being passable. Animation wise it could be quite impressive with the show forgoing CGI mecha and instead having 2D drawn mecha. The action set pieces can be a spectacle. Ultimately this is a show that some might enjoy up until it’s final few episodes wherein I would find it could leave them disappointed or disgruntled. It’s a series that shouts a lot but says nothing. One which is a rollercoaster of emotions that when it ends makes you question if you really had fun with it. A deeply flawed series which I cannot completely dismiss as garbage yet cannot praise as well. When all is said and done, Darling in the Franxx just left me empty, apathetic as the finale unfolded and I was left watching credits. I would say the best metaphor for this series is that it is like scoffing down junk food. While eating it’s tasty and satisfying but as you run out you find yourself sick of it and feeling the pains of your digestive system. Left wondering why you bothered eating it in the first place.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 July 2018 with categories: Planet With

“So they managed to defeat Torai huh. Well he was the weakest of us.”

“Actually he was the strongest.”

“Wait! Huh?”

Now that’s part of why I love you Satoshi, you lay out a shounen cliche and subvert the hell out of it. Even having Torai in the room about to leave the group only for the leader to say that he could still help them goes against the usual foil of someone getting expelled out of the organization after defeat. It’s been one episode and already love these Paladin guys, for considering they are supposed to be the villains(?) they all hang out like ordinary people. For they don’t think of themselves as villains and actually see themselves as heroes which by all accounts they could very well be. So here’s the rundown as it stands now, we have three factions, the Nebula sealing faction(The weird ass aliens) which seeks to stop humanities evolution due to fear they will take the wrong path, the Nebula Soldiers faction(Souya and cat sensei) who wish to watch over humanity passively without interfering and the Paladins whose goal isn’t quite certain yet. It could have something to do with what the maid mentioned about Humanity taking the evolution of Love or the evolution of power. The leader of the Paladins looked to nearly spill the beans as he looked over the city and declared his determination to defeat the Nebula soldiers…but then he was interrupted by his dad hitting on the secretary. Honestly laughed with him getting exasperated and shouting “Would you knock it the fu-”

So there is a bit of formula going here with another Alien showing up with another Hero getting an illusion shown to her followed by Souya and crew defeating her afterwards. But by all accounts the heroes made some smart moves here for one they got everyone to go home in pairs so Souya had to fight two of them and it seems they laid down an ambush where all the heroes trapped him by episodes end. Pretty clever, others should take notes that instead of letting someone whittle down your forces one by one, maybe just attack them with everyone from the start. As for the flashback within the Alien I actually kinda like these as they act as good spitfire ways of knocking out some development for the Paladins. With it we at least know Miu has a complex over strength and used to fight in Judo tournament with the shy Paladin she’s paired up with. It’s funny that the girl was trying to show her determination to break out of the illusion as something heroic by claiming she has real power now but that certainly seems like a flawed resolution. The Illusion was trying to convince that she doesn’t need to be strong and that it’s okay to be weak and she demissed that by running away to the supernatural power she has gained, one which was all too easily stripped away by episodes end.

Overall I say this show is getting more and more interesting, so it’s a shame that the negative factor would be the action of the show itself. The fight choreography is actually good with two people fight at once instead of having one standby. Even the dialogue and sound is on point. The only problem is that I wish this team could have stolen a mecha animator from the new season of Full Metal Panic or hell even someone from Ufotable because these mecha look bad and there movement is jank. It’s a shame because the action in this series could be so very good but with these CGI models you might as well be slaping plastic figurines together. The CGI actually detracts from the design of the mecha themselves as this is what they look like in the manga. I in particular don’t understand why they took away each mechs individual colour and just gave them all some rainbow energy stuff. The different colours helped them look more distinct. Well dodgy CGI aside this show is getting quite a bit interesting, I for one wonder why they insist on not feeding any meat to Souya. Hopefully the steady uprise of quality continues and this becomes something rather special.

Posted by Lenlo on 16 July 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Currently Watching:

This? Banana Fish? This right here? This is what 91 Days could have been. An intriguing crime drama, with interesting characters all around and the willingness to go all-in on its story. Lets jump in!

Banana Fish did a much better job of holding my attention compared to last week. With all the characters established, it was just on GO the whole episode. So many things happening, one after another. I loved it. Banana Fish is dedicated to its location and this crime/gang drama story. Everything just feels… different, set in a modern day New York City compared to a Japanese High-school/Tokyo. What I find most interesting though is how the story has been updated. The original manga was written back in the 80’s, and was based after the Vietnam War. I’m curious what sort of changes, if any, MAPPA will have to make to account for the time switch. Whatever they do though, I am excited, because just 2 episodes in and they are not pulling any punches. From Marvin and Ash, to Skip. There’s just so many great scenes.

(more…)

Posted by SuperMario on 16 July 2018 with categories: About

With this seemingly never-ending stream of new shows finally comes to an end, it’s time again for the announcement of our seasonal coverage. While I agree with the sentiments that this season is lackluster in general, especially compared to the previous season with only one true hit Banana Fish, there are many under-the-radar, sleeper hits from wide range across many genres. This season might turn out to be more exciting than I thought it would be.

Here’s our schedule for the 2018 Summer Season:

Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi

Mario: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight, Hanebado!

Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0 (carry-over), BANANA FISH

Once again, Lenlo handles another critical hit of the season. Aidan covers two shows where the main characters suffer amnesia (God bless him!) and I go back to my usual territory, cute high-school girls shows, albeit this time they’re a bit unusual: cute girls doing sport (that’s a first for me), cute girls on their way to school and cute girls fighting in a surreal stage play.

Let’s all enjoy this Summer season of anime, hopefully with a glass of beer and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!

Posted by SuperWooper on 16 July 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Shoujo ☆ Kageki Revue Starlight

Short Synopsis: Students at a girls’ music academy compete for a top spot in a surreal stage play.

Wooper’s review

Kinema Citrus saves anime yet again. Last year they produced our AOTY Made in Abyss, and now they’ve tapped Ikuhara devotee Tomohiro Furukawa to helm what may go down as the best idol series of the decade. It’s not actually about idols – the show is set at an all-girls music academy that emphasizes contemporary theater – but it *does* have a big cast of cute girls who dance to music. That’s where the similarities to the genre end, however, as this show is highly symbolic, beautifully scored, and lavishly produced. Just listen to the orchestra that plays as the students enter the dance studio around the three minute mark. There’s a gentle air of mystery to it, as though the show is inviting you to consider what’s truly transpiring at this school, even as the characters act cute and say their usual Good Mornings. Before that, there’s a beautifully staged intro that gives way to an image of eight girls lying on a flight of stairs, with a blood red curtain that connects them and foreshadows conflict (and perhaps even death). Things get overtly Ikuhara-esque around the halfway mark, with dream sequences, yuri undertones, and talking animals all making their mandatory appearances. This weirdness culminates in some of the best fight/dance sequences I’ve seen since the “Both of You, Dance Like You Want to Win” episode of Evangelion. To provide too many details would spoil the experience, since the last scene is such a departure from what comes before, but I’ll just say this: if you think you’ve got a handle on anime transformation sequences, Revue Starlight will turn your perception on its head. The only real shortcoming of this series is the same-faced character designs, but even that works to create a familiar sensation that is shattered by the episode’s end. This is the kind of anime that everybody should check out, at least for the premiere – if you’re on its wavelength, you’re in for a hell of a time.

Potential: 95%

Mario’s review:

Well, what a second half this one was. Initially, when I watched the first half, I took it as a above-average idol show and thinking to myself “the rest would have blown me up in order to not drop this” and that was exactly how I felt, totally blew away. This show (especially the magnificent Starlight fight) has a clear Utena-vibe, which come as no surprise since the director Tomohiro Furukawa was an apprentice of Ikuhara himself. What’s more impressive is that the whole fight at the end justifies all the things come before that. Not only it’s weird in a delightful way (talking giraffe!!), it’s inspirational and just downright expressive like those Utena’s duels. You can also pretty much take these fights as a dream, or the performance, or the audition and it all makes sense. In fact, now thinking back it’s more that these girls won’t work together like idol shows, but will have to fight against each other for the main spot. I’m thrilled on that. The characters, however, are on the underdeveloped side, but I’m sure when these “stage performances” start we will start to learn more about them. Personally, I’m excited to see how this story is gonna pan out.

Potential: 70%

Aidan’s review:

Well this one completely blind sighted me. I originally wrote this one off completely, but then watched the trailer and thought there might be more to it but still wrote it off again. As it was the case there was in fact more more to this one but allow me to be the contrarian to contrast the two excited ducks above. Take note that the thing that makes this show stand out is the very clear inspirations from Ikuhara, in particular Utena. The director it seems has worked with Ikuhara’s previous works and learned some tricks. But let me make clear, I am not a fan of Ikuhara. I find Utena fascinating but to me Ikuhara’s works is style promoting the illusion of substance. If this new guy can take Ikuhara’s style and give it genuine substance then he will have sold me on this particular show. But the other hurdle is that this episode was ⅓ Utena and ⅔ love live. Outside of the surprise wammy this series was a above average idol anime and it’s going to need more in order to prove itself. This series has managed to grab my attention by playing it’s strongest hand but now that the surprise is out it’s going to have to measure up to those which inspired it. What I am basically saying is, less idol training, more character development and girls getting pushed off of tokyo tower. (I really liked that scene.)

Potential: 50%

 

Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger

Short Synopsis: A group of vampire hunters enter Tokyo to hunt their enemies.

Aidan’s review:

On a production level, aside from some awkward CGI, this series is top of the line. Fantastic animated action with great backgrounds and a nice setting. However story wise this feels far too familiar with the squad hunting supernatural creatures. There are plenty with that premise, even Blood + did that with vampires. I even got some Blade vibes from how the series opened. I give credit to the cast for having an Irishman but I can’t say anyone in the cast stands out. I will say it’s not as if the story has bad writing or it’s done poorly as in both cases this is done quite well. The problem more lies in the fact that it all feels done before. But if that aspect does not bother you then I am sure you will enjoy this one for the fight scenes and general production values. The story won’t wow you but get past that and this is an enjoyable watch.

Potential: 60%

Lenlo’s Review:

Aidan is right about one thing, Jaeger is certainly one of the best looking/produced anime of this season. Everything, CGI aside, just looks good. I disagree on the story aspect though. Unlike similar anime this season like Phantom however, where our cast just… stumbles together, it feels like things are actually happening in Jaeger. It probably has to do with our cast being the aggressors, the ones acting, where as in Phantom they are just reacting. It made me much more interested in what was going on. Sure, the monster hunting story has been done before. But that doesn’t matter to me, so long as its done well. Just look at the plethora of fantasy novels about young chosen ones rising up to defeat the great evil. Originality is less important than general quality. And Jaeger has, so far, a lot of quality.

Potential: 75%

 

High Score Girl

Short Synopsis: A boy has a rivalry with a girl who plays games at the arcade.

Aidan’s review:

Though fully CGI, I found it rather bareable though that might be because the episode was mainly focused on video game screens. This does feel like a series that was better suited to a short format as this episode contains three separate stories between these two. The positives is that this story has a lot of factoids about various video game techniques which is quite interesting and the nostalgia is heavy with this one if you are a nineties kid. But the bad side of this is that the comedy is very much the “Shout till it’s funny” variety or focuses on our protagonist getting beaten up by the girl. I don’t find this show all that funny but I do like the featured games and learning about glitches and tricks used in them. Overall I find this show just alright and it is rather a shame that because Netflix has acquired the licence that to follow it I would have to rely on fansubs of questionable quality.

Potential: 30%

Mario’s review:

This 90s arcade rom-com manga was a hit back when it first run, throughout many disputes regarding legal issues of using all these games’ characters, now it becomes a full CG show licensed by Netflix. Which mean, not many people gonna watch this based on these conditions alone. My very first impression after watching this is that the CG looks “cheap”. Characters on games look on point, but our characters move way too stiff, and the art in general in uninspired. The series’ first episode runs several small encounters where those two main meets at the arcade and play game, but based on what I heard there will be an arc and the story deepens later on. So basically this episode introduces these two kids and gives us a “feel” of the year 1991, both of which I regard it as barely succeed. There’s some odd pacing at the beginning, which take me awhile to realize what’s going on. Haruo is the protagonist that is easy to follow, mostly because he has a keen sense of his world. Oono, too, with the way she behaves hint at her pressure at home and the two has a strange bond of sharing the same hobby. Story-wise I can get behind but I’m more worried about the production, which can become more unbearable as it continues.

Potential: 30%

Posted by SuperWooper on 15 July 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki

Short Synopsis: The ruler of an island hires some death row prisoners to protect her island from Mongolian invasion.

Aidan’s review:

A pretty strong first episode but you can tell this isn’t going to be historically accurate. This is certainly very shounenfied history with strongmen who can break manicales and a cast with their own heighted superhuman aspects. I mean a ninja assassin managed to jump ludicrously high into the air and land on his boat so if anything we might as well consider this history told by a storytelling exaggerating the details. The story certainly wants to look like it was painted on scrolls as the full episode has a filter place over it, one which I feel distracts more than it enhances. It’s fine for still shots but when the camera starts panning that filter just sticks out far too much. Other than that this makes for a rather enjoyable watch, not particular deep or outstanding but interesting enough so far with fairly decent characters. I was surprised by how many voice actors I was able to recognise as well, hello there Tora. If you are a fan of shounen anime this could very well be for you and even if not it proves to be a good watch so far.

Potential: 70%

Mario’s review:

Looks like we got a solid historical thriller dose of the season. I was mildly intrigued by the settings – where Mongol invades Nippon (just a historical trivia here but Mongolian Empire was extremely powerful in the early era), but I didn’t expect it to be this strong. The production, in particular, has extra grainy filter which add to the seediness of the era, and I particularly like the raining filter that looks just like a moving painting. The fights have some dynamic choreography there. We also have a strong male lead that worth investing to, a hero type who has his dark past. I’d have preferred the princess of this island stays cruel like she first appeared, given when she displays her weak side, it treads the well trodden path. The story is what I’m a bit worried about. We still don’t know for sure how much of disbelief we need to suspend regarding the cast’s combat skills. I mean, we have a guy who literally parkour roll 20 meters away from where he fights to his ship, which for me is just comically ridiculous. The story establishes its main concept, however how they execute it so that they can keep our interest is hard. This show reminds me a bit of Shoukoku no Altair: rich history context but too crammed with plot progressions and many layers of side characters. The leaner it gets the better. We shall see on this then.

Potential: 60%

 

Shinya! Tensai Bakabon

Short Synopsis: The cast of a 70s anime struggles to find a new look for the modern era.

Wooper’s review:

This is a postmodern reboot of a 50 year old manga by Fujio Akatsuka, author of Osomatsu-kun from the same time period. That series was the basis for the Osomatsu-san anime from three years ago, which saw Studio Pierrot use well-loved characters to provide irreverent commentary on current trends in anime and Japanese culture in general. If you liked what Pierrot did with that show, you’ll probably like this one, especially since it features a gag where Bakabon undergoes surgery to become a set of sextuplets. The surgeon is none other than Black Jack, who appears briefly to turn Bakabon’s dad into a woman (while preserving his new voice, courtesy of Jun Fukuyama), and if you’re with me so far, you’ve probably arrived at the conclusion that this anime is totally bonkers. The premiere spent most of its time taking the “things sure have changed” sentiment to ridiculous extremes, dealing with its need for a new coat of paint by trying every shade at five different stores. While that’s a theme that non-Japanese viewers can grasp, there were at least a dozen references to personalities and cultural practices that sailed over my head. This was less of a problem in Osomatsu-san, which focused intently on the antics of its characters without worrying about what year it was. Hopefully the new and improved(?) Bakabon leaves its identity crisis behind after another episode or two – if it does, the show might be worth your time each week this summer.

Potential: 60% if you liked Osomatsu-san, 20% otherwise

Mario’s review:

So, this one goes for Osomatsu-san route. When adapting a beloved classic manga, it always raises an issue of how relevant it is for the new audience today. And that’s exactly the topic this first episode addresses. This new version of Bakabon is a whacky take on the length these characters would go to adapt themselves and appeal to the new market. If you’re big on meta-jokes you’ll find a lot to love here. Fans of the recent Osomatsu would find themselves at home as well, although in that regard I don’t find the humor as fresh as it was with Osomatsu-san. The real story will begin next week, and you can expect it has all the bawdy humor (and the same artstyle) that made Osomatsu-san a hit in recent years. Not a bad way to approach this classic material, but it feels like an inferior Osomatsu-san at best.

Potential: 30%

 

Lord of Vermilion: Guren no Ou

Short Synopsis: When Tokyo is surrounded by a red mist, cut off from the outside world, it is up to the young few with blood awakened by the mist to gather together and discover what has happened to Tokyo, or die trying.

Mario’s review:

I give it points for not outrightly terrible, but it’s ultimately a forgettable title. There’s two main issues with Vermilion, that it takes its premise a tad too seriously, and that both the characters and the story aren’t that interesting to hold any interest. The show starts right at the end (or maybe not?), when it’s clear that our hero team members fight each others to death, accompanied by generic lines (“that’s the only way I could come up to kill you, sister”. Oh hell I care) and some ridiculous deaths. Then the show goes back to the present and introduces characters that way too bland with not even one memorable characteristic (Main guy especially receives the “prefect” status). The plot itself has many holes (like why many of them dissolved into thin air, while others don’t; why this red wall of Berlin cut off the supply but leaves the food alone? What happened to the people that dissolve into dust?), and based from the flashforward it looks like the cast will try the special power from the red mist and pays their own price for that. I’m not particularly interested to see it play out at all.

Potential: 10%

Lenlo’s Review:

So, I know I referenced Kekkai Sensen in a previous first impression, but Vermillion really is a wanna-be version of it. City cut off by otherworldly mist/barrier? Check. Otherworldly monsters.inhabitants? Check. Blood based superpowers? Another check. However unlike Kekkai Sensen, which revels in its absurdity and just has fun with itself, Vermillion takes itself far to seriously. Like it’s trying to be some kind of fantastical drama. I just couldn’t get into it. If your ok with some good natured fun getting sprinkled across your fantastical drama, something that doesn’t take itself to seriously while still having a story to tell, go watch Kekkai Sensen instead of this. It’s just better.

Potential: 0%

Posted by SuperWooper on 15 July 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Grand Blue

Short Synopsis: A guy who just entered college is pushed to join a diving club.

Aidan’s review:

You know an anime is going to be good when the first thing you see is a giant warning saying “For the love of god don’t imitate anything in this show!” Anyway I will say that the beginning of Grand Blue is the weakest part and things really get rolling once the cast is introduced and hijinks ensue. There were some odd changed to this adaption and jokes removed but otherwise I would deem it passable. Comedy is subjective though and I found this not quite as funny as the manga which I cannot determine if it was because I already knew the jokes or if the comedic timing was off. The production certainly isn’t quite up to the standard I would like. Grand Blue is getting put to animation and unlike Backstreet Girls, it’s at least being animated. But this is very much a cheap production with a fair amount of still frames. For the most part the manga’s comedy is getting transferred without considering how it should be presented in a new medium. What’s here is still fun and for first time watchers I think it will still work. But again you mileage may vary.

Potential: 65%

Lenlo’s Review:

You know, Grand Blue had me concerned when one of the opening gags was the classic undressing girl shot. But the moment after, of hyper manly men, and our lead just noping on out of there? That got me. I’m still expecting the fan-service, its a show on a beach, but atleast its equal opportunity fan-service with a healthy dash of ridiculous comedy thrown in. Unlike Aidan, I have not read the manga, so going in completely blind I had no expectations for Grand Blue’s comedy. The extended comedy segments didn’t work to well sadly, but the facial expressions and sudden comedic jumps from 0 to 10 worked the best for me. I also quite enjoyed pretty much our entire main cast, especially the two diving club dude-bro’s. Their care-free shenanigans were easily my favorite part of the episode and I see most of the comedy coming from them. So long as Grand Blue continues to not take itself to seriously and revel in its absurdist comedy, I see no problem recommending it.

Potential: 75%

 

Happy Sugar Life

Short Synopsis: A girl finds love for the first time and goes to any means to protect it.

Aidan’s review:

What cute fluffy fun. This is a story about nice loving yuri relationship which is filled to the brim with happiness. Something to help warm people’s hearts after a hard days work. The age gap is a little worrisome but hey nothing gets in the way of true love….that’s right…nothing…nOtHing..nothingnothingnothingnothingnothingnothingnothingnothingnothingnothingnothing…WOAH! Um sorry lost my trail of thought there. Anyway the direction is spot on despite concerns over the staff and this first episode certainly builds intrigue for what is to come next. I am rather concerned about the start of the episode which appears to be a flashforward hinting at an anime original ending. But otherwise this is damn strong first episode which highlights Happy Sugar Lifes appeal. Watch if you are also a person looking for a happy sugar life.

Potential: I give it a 80% so please don’t stab me Satou-san.

Wooper’s review:

You know what I love? Anime tropes. I love it when I can recognize a character’s personality as belonging to a narrow, otaku-baiting category, because that makes it easier to remember them. The bigger and more obvious the trope, the better. Take “tsundere,” for instance. If I really like girls whose attraction to some potato-faced moron runs hot and cold, I can just seek out anime with “tsundere” characters, and I’ll be good to go. In Happy Sugar Life, there’s another one of those personality types that I really love, since it’s totally hilarious and easy to remember. It’s the one where they seem to be normal on the outside, but in reality they’re so obsessed with somebody else that they’ll even kill people to be with their beloved! Isn’t that crazy? Okay, so I’m trying to remember the term for this kind of character. It’s on the tip of my tongue, I swear! Oh man, the pink haired girl in this episode was such a good example of one, too! She was totally cute and fun with her friend from work, but toootally insane when protecting the primary school-aged child on whom she’s hilariously fixated. I know she’s insane because her eyes turned red and the still frame on screen jiggled around a little bit at a couple points. Almost like the camera was shaking! It was sooo good – wait, I remember it now! This is gonna blow your mind, guys and gals. As soon as I name the hysterical trope featured in this “““horror””” anime, you won’t be able to stop yourselves from subscribing to Amazon Prime so you can watch it every week, no, every day! Are you sure you’re prepared for this bombshell? Okay, here goes… The main character in this anime is… a YANDERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Potential: There is a yandere in this anime

 

Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san

Short Synopsis: A boy who can see ghosts moves into a boarding house with a hot spring and a bunch of supernatural cute girls.

Aidan’s review:

This episode is the most amount of plot this story is going to have. Well of course later there will be plenty of “PLOT” but yeah it’s amusing to see how this show started out with some semblance of telling a story. So the main draw here is that is your traditional harem with all the bells and whistles. I would say watch this if you are looking for boobies but well this is the censored edition and an uncensored edition ain’t coming till the blu-rays are out. Taking that into account I wonder what is even the point of watching this censored edition at all unless you actually happen to be invested in the story which will no doubt disappear really fast. I feel like those looking for this kind of show will most likely wait for the uncensored version while for the rest of us it doesn’t have much to offer.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:

This show feels like an anime that be made 20 years ago, which its old-fashioned concept and its harem plus ecchi edge. Nothing wrong with that though, given for what it’s worth it’s a decent watch from start to finish. Even at the end, there’s hint for some emotional conflicts of putting that ghost girl to the afterlife once she learns about her roots of unhappiness. It reminds me of the old charm of watching these similar shows when I was a kid (to Love-Ru, Love Hina), where guy “accidentally” grabs big boobs and all girls are fawned over him. In fact, it follows that harem’s formula to the T that I embrace all the cliche that genre has (girls who live under the same house with different personality and boobs size), the main leads sleep together, so on and so forth. Hence, watch this show only if you miss that old flavor because it offers relatively little beyond that.

Potential: 20%

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

Phantom in the Twilight

Short Synopsis: A girl accidentally comes across a cafe full of supernatural beings and learns that she’s the chosen one

Lenlo’s Review:

From this episode, I can’t see anything wrong per se with Phantom. The two biggest things I can think of are the stiffness, the genericness of our characters (excluding the heroine) and the stupidity of the lead girl. Seriously, she sees them batting monsters around like nothing, and tells them to run? That aside, the premise itself looks like fun. Reminds me of Kekkai Sensen in a way. A normal person thrust into a magical city (London here), who stumbles into a super powered group. If Phantom avoids the monster of the week trope and actually explores its setting, magic in modern day, what happened to the girls Great-Grandmother, etc, then it stands a chance. I’m always willing to give something outside the Isekai/Japanese Highschool pit that most anime fall into a try.

Potential: 45%

Mario’s review:

We have a first supernatural thriller original of this season (the second will be Tenrou), and as far as supernatural thriller original goes it fares well. The “pretty boys” (subjectivity here) serving in a restaurant have me worried for a second there, mostly because I worked part-time in a restaurant years ago and I know it takes much more than 3 people to run the thing. But soon the main heroine appears the show goes into a much better territory. The main improvement is Ton herself. She has a strong personality and she’s the easy protagonist to get behind. Normally, girls within that genre is a blank who get dragged into problems and found themselves out of depth in most these situations. Ton, on the other hand, adapts herself to the situation quickly. Being say all that, the cast so far is still too generic. The supernatural dash in a London settings is welcomed, although again it pushes the story into formulic fashion. We all know she will become a regular in the restaurant despite they wash away her memory at the end. Overall, while the first episode doesn’t wow me, I can see its ambition. The production is on the brighter side and the story has some potential to be deeper, whether or not they can reach that potential remains to be seen.

Potential: 50%

 

Jashin-chan Dropkick

Short Synopsis: A bunch of anime tropes sit around a table, eat hot pot, and kill each other.

Wooper’s review

This entire premiere was a complete misfire. Jashin-chan wants to be a crude and violent gag comedy, but its desperate attempts to satisfy naked monster girl fans and goth loli-obsessed otaku dull its murderous edge. It also wants to maintain a cute atmosphere during those moments where its characters aren’t attempting to kill each other, but the mood is shattered by the snake girl’s rotten personality every thirty seconds. The only asset the show has is passable animation, which gives it flexibility when deciding how to portray Jashin-chan’s next mutilation (and subsequent regeneration). You read that correctly – the best aspect of this series is one that gives it the freedom to be as stupid and shitty as its tiny brain can manage. The only way Jashin-chan Dropkick could possibly be worth your time is if you’re an unemployed, uneducated whackjob who has to watch every seasonal anime to completion or else you’ll spontaneously combust.

Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:

Dropkick is a comedy show that only has two things on its mind: being a slice-of-life cozy show about cute monster girls spending time together, and being an ultraviolence slapstick show whenever the titular strikes an opportunity to kill her human friend, but she gets beaten in a gruesome way. It doesn’t do justice for either if them, given the characters lack the warmth, or depth. The simple character arts might remind you of anime product from twenty years ago, even its slapstick humor feels dated as well. I don’t mind the extreme gruesome, by the way, but its jokes weaken fast every time it repeats itself, and by the end we can only see several variations of the same joke. There are some meta jokes as well, which I find it mildly amusing. Make no mistake, Dropkick’s appeal is its commitment to the several gorefest ways our heroine will endure (and she deserves it), if that exactly what you’re looking for then by all means continue, because otherwise it doesn’t have many other things to offer.

Potential: 10%

 

Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes

Short Synopsis: two teenagers work in an antique store who also solve mysteries.

Lenlo’s Review:

Holmes is an odd one. I really like the actual antique aspects of it. The analyzing, descriptions and explanations for them. I also like Holmes as a character, this impersonable, out of touch sort of character. Reminds me of anime like Fune wo Amu in a way, a sleeper hit for me of 2016. But the actual drama/character interactions, like the counterfeit plot, just seem so ham-fisted. There’s no nuance to them. And while I like the deductions, they could be better. Look to the RDJ Sherlock Holmes movies for instance, where specific details are pointed out and built on. Here, some of it strains credulity. For the main story, for once I feel Holmes would be better suited to a weekly sort of story format. Like each week we see a new antique and hear its story. Similar in a way to Mushishi. Use it to teach history. I liked the ending Monk story more than the counterfeit story afterall.  If Holmes dodges/downplays the underground counterfeiting ring storyline I suspect is coming, it could be a treat for those like me. I’m not hopeful though.

Potential: 35%

Mario’s review:

Holmes of Kyoto’s debut episode has fair shares of good and bad. This premiere both builds up the relationship between our two main leads, and sell the appeal of antique appraisal, as well as Holmes’ amazing deduction skills. On a good side, the antique appraisal part is really solid. It comes from the appreciation of this work of arts, and like any famous painting it takes skills, and knowledge behind it to fully value the works. Second, the relationship between him and her grow naturally, and while his deduction strain some credulity, overall it sells his character well. On the negative side, the counterfeit case is extremely hammy, especially the bad guy image is just too on the nose. Consider that the counterfeit thread will become the central plot in the future, I have some reservations. Furthermore, the drama isn’t quite good. The drama of the lead girl for example, is too underwhelmed, emotionally distant and resolve too quickly that I don’t feel anything at all. I will give this show 3 episodes to see if it’s worth following all the way.

Potential: 30%

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperWooper
Can't believe that guy is still going.
Amagi
I have to admit that I enjoy reading Tenka*eiha whenever I hate an anime.
SuperWooper
>discussing anime with other people
Absolutely disgusting
AidanAK47
Hey! Want to join an exciting desert where you can count the tumbleweeds. Check out the Star Crossed anime Blog Discord. You will likely regret it!
Amagi
Iennar should watch anime instead of being a bot
Iennar
Hey! Want to join an exciting fast growing anime forum/discord. Check out anime.sh you won't regret it!
Amagi
I love the ED song for Tonegawa
Lenlo
I recommend it. Its the best gambling anime out there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will watch Kaiji someday...someday...just keep forgetting to get around to it.
Anonymous2419710
@Kaiser-Eoghan He's working on a new anime film, not sure when it's coming out
Anonymous2419539
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji
Anonymous2417730
Can't say that I'm interested in a Jin-Roh remake with the plot transplanted to a near future Korea instead of the 1950s alternate history setting of the original.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still need to see his patlabor show and the first Patlabor film he did.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Need to rewatch the original. I recently did a rewatch of Oshii's works. They benefit from second viewings...and sometimes it better to just to run with some of them/let them wash over you largely because he isn't a particularly accessible director, wish he would return to making animated films though.
SuperMario
So Netflixe acquires a korean reanke of Jinroh huh? I guess it's just a matter of time
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dvd of the new, 6th Gundam origin ova came out last Friday but I can't find it on nya =<
Amagi
It's ongoing, two volumes out in Japan. Mangadex seems to be pretty fast with scanlations.
Masky
Ye have any idea whether its already finished one that hasn't been translated or on going series? Like I said, it seems macabre in fun way so would be disappointing to know it didn't do well
Amagi
@Masky: I found this Marry Grave manga coincidentally while browsing a board. It's really oldschoolish but in an entertaining way. It seems to be weekly or biweekly, but not sure.
Amagi
The idea of how this story is told is completely fresh and unused although I don't wanna spoil anything for people who don't know anything about it. And as if the whole mainstory wasn't nice enough there was a little hint at the end of the game that was a quite shocking reveal. Some people even missed this since the hint was pretty inconspicuous and not directly related to the main plot/character.
Amagi
It's real. Wow. This could easily become the best drama anime of the year if done right. The game was (IMO) fantastic despite being a pixelish RPG maker style game.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Holy shit really? To the Moon?
Amagi
Speaking of Urasawa there was announcement of a Pluto adaption last year, I guess they're still working on it. A good choice IMO, Pluto was not only my favorite Urasawa aside from 20thCB so far, it's one of the few that might be easier to adapt and it isn't too long.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Haven't read Chicago yet, maybe I will look into it. Kinda curious what series this mangaka will do next, same with Urasawa.
Masky
Huh? Found weird manga named Marry Grave. It feels like older manga but I'm not sure what its release date is.. Has rather interesting art and premise though first chapter is bit clunky on exposition
Kaiser-Eoghan
slightly disappointed to see happy sugar life not being covered =<
Lenlo
Oh man, 57? Franxx must have really gone down hill, because you seemed pretty into halfway through or so Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
<Crazy aunt in happy sugar life will have Belldandy's voice actress
<Terror the terror OMO
Kaiser-Eoghan
How do I save Chi no Wadachi's protagonist =< Manga giving me post traumatic stress ;M ;
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And that game, to the moon is getting an adaptation. I haven't played it nor know anything about it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It seems you were onto something when you said in your satsuriku no tenshi impressions/posts that other freeware games might see a chance at an adaptation. I recall you talking about a game called To the moon on here a few years back.
Vonter
I did like how they decided to use a Halo aesthetic for the lack of a better term. Bases and alien ships have this Halo like design and color schemes to them. Also when I though a harem could only be depicted in one way, this series proves me wrong.
Vonter
But after season 2. Oh boy, the series becomes a really intriguing and exciting sci fantasy journey, with lots of motivations, hillturns and mystery.
Vonter
I catch up to the Voltron series in Netflix and man. It might the best anime-like series I've watched all year. I was having doubt after season one because while not awful at the start, it's very typical Voltron good versus evil and the like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Chicago was one of the first Manga I read when I was 11, by the same author as 7 seeds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A 7 seeds adaptation would be preferable, its the more mature of the two. My favourite parts of that manga is everything relating to Hana and also the flashbacks to Ango's team's past, also that flashback side arc which was set in that shelter centered on that guy who had nothing to do with the cast.
AidanAK47
For Mahou, I just wanna see the first VN translated.
Amagi
We will never see the Mahou sequel VN either
Amagi
Theoretically ufotable but I think they'd prefer to wait for the updated story of the new VN sooo never ever
AidanAK47
Op was pretty good for an anime that didn't exist. Honestly wonder what would come first. The remake of the VN or an anime adaption by Ufotable.
Amagi
Just as the Tsukihime anime doesn't exist (liked the OP of that nonexisting anime though)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: The original Basara anime doesn't exist, only the manga does.
Amagi
@Lenlo: I really loved it and as far as I know most people who didn't read it refused it due to its drawing style not the content. The style could get an improvement as anime and I think the story is something most people would enjoy. The side characters were all awesome and pretty diverse too, which is kinda worthy of mention because the series had a ton of them.
Amagi
Arisa might get a decent fanbase as well considering it's some sort of mystery-thriller shoujo despite it's appearance.
Lenlo
Oooh Basara would be one I would want to see
Amagi
@Kaiser: I wish we'd get an actual Basara or 7 Seeds adaption some day. But guess it's impossible in the age of 12-episode series.
Lenlo
Yeah, the Marvin reveal was done in as tasteful a way as I could see it being done. It was just creepy enough without being voyeur
Kaiser-Eoghan
**Done
Kaiser-Eoghan
*superficially
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I have never read this, LetDai is sometimes compared superficial to banana fish.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More fantasy/horror shoujo/josei manga, old ones, not otomeshit or school lifeshit could be adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And wasn't the reveal regarding Marvin down in a tasteful/restrained enough way while still getting the point across?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akimi Yoshida is actually quite diverse, aside from banana fish, she also wrote Our little sister.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!" Thank fuck we still have the slender ones then lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the looks of it Sugar life's only getting 12 episodes, which means it'll stop just before it really gets going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I think 2 volumes of the manga have been covered so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: "However its spelt" and there I am, realizing how rubbish I am with names and remembering/spelling them.
Lenlo
Oh man, Banana Fish is 24 episodes? Oh awesome. All the time in the world
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: In small doese, small doses he would be tolerable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
An anime about all of us would be fucking magnificent and I will hear nothing to the contrary of this fact.
Lenlo
However that name is spelt
Lenlo
Hmm, Steins;Gate 0 Okabe, or what? Cause Hyoin Kyoma would drive me up a wall.
Lenlo
Oh Grand Blue has some great reaction faces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not slice of life, but outside of all the dark stuff, I'd probably think Okabe Rintaro would be a fun guy to be around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that brings up something, in all of the slice of life dramas/comedies out there, a good measure for how worthwhile some of them are could be "Which ones would I actually like to hang out with the characters in"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember when Free! aired, joking with another guy on here who would be who.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could probably get great reaction faces of the manga/show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I could keep up with the drunkening though.
Lenlo
Wait, ive been psychic robbed? When? How?
Lenlo
Ive known people like them before, though less cartoonishly dude-bro. They are fun in bursts. Made for some good experiences. Luckily the ones I knew, also knew when I was at my socializing limit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jokingly we'd all be blond otaku-t-shirt guy though =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I have committed un-intentional psychic theft of your thoughts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mario has to be the skinny dark haired Asian guy because it fits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As funny as these characters are, I probably wouldn't hang out with then if they were real, I'd probably be iritated by them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually hadn't thought it as far as the personalities .
AidanAK47
For I am the one that trolls
AidanAK47
@Kaiser/Lenlo, Wait then whose who in that screenshot. Cause looks wise I would likely be Iori but personality wise I would be closer to the burly dudes.
Lenlo
As for the updated setting, I think it will work out. Keeps it sorta relevant for modern audiences. I'm curious if the changes will be obvious or not, but the story should still work
Lenlo
As for Banana Fish, after this episode, Im not to worried about the fetishizing of homosexual relationships. Unlike alot of Shoujo/Yaoi-lite/bait stuff, it actually seems to condemn some aspects of the trope in manga.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I had the exact same thought for that screenshot and the writers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol Now imagine each of the characters in the screenshot representing a writer on this blog =P
SuperMario
Fixed
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I posted using my phone so that was the best I could do
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to state, regarding banana fish, for those avoiding it because of shounen-ai vibes or because its aimed at women, even though its listed as shoujo, its really the female equivalent to a seinen manga, it also created, even in Japan a massive crossover audience that also included heterosexual males.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whew lad, might want to center/neat-en up the screenshot on the latest post =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
See lenlo, while I love the adaptation, I'm still worried about the updated setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga had something about American foreign policy and the Mafia boss having to do with anti-communism, I wonder will the anime commit to that.
Lenlo
So far, Banana Fish is ony of my favorites. Im gonna make it very clear why tomorrow when I post on it, but boy I wasnt expecting it to commit so fully.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, my ranking so far of the premieres: -Angels of death
-Happy sugar life
-Banana fish
-Grand blue
Shichisei and planet with are dropped, will only watch sirius until I get bored. Don't like shounen action so I'm not continuing Angolmeh.
SuperMario
I know he's a good writer, hence I was looking forward to Dog eat dog. That film made me think he passed his prime
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Raging bull and mishima also he wrote those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Nicholas Cage is awful and so was Dog eat dog I can agree to that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its alot better than that I can tell you. Also he wrote the affliction, taxi driver and hardcore, all great films.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you mean First Reformed? I watched Schraders' previous work Dog Eat Dog and absolutely hated it. Hated it with a passion
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't even know that until you pointed out
Kaiser-Eoghan
*movie blog
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How amusing, you uses "red blood moon" on your movie blood as a section for bad anime, and have the AKA abbreviation right next to it and that has the same spelling as the Japanese word for Red.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've got a feeling you might be a fan of Paul Schraders new film, its a mashup of Ordet, Winter light, diary of a country priest and Taxi driver. It is speechy, but it has alot to say and Ethan Hawke is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think i'd be able to stop myself pulling an animal ears girl's ears if they were real. I'd have to know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think I needed to watch it, just so I could have the feeling of getting away from the world while not needing to think.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that's basically the appeal of Cgdct shows. They're hardy deep or even have that much conflict, but they're adorable and fluffy. Good enough for me ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
The filter/visual style angolmis was going for initially completely took my concentration away from the show.
SuperWooper
(which includes a review of the inevitable AOTS) :^)
SuperWooper
Only one more First Impressions post to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Grand blue is funny but like with wotaku I'm not sure there'll be an incentive to watch every episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Maybe every season or so I will try to fit in a cute girls doing cute things show. I watched Konohana Kitan yesterday and while hardly essential, it was actually sort of adorable.
Amagi
A bit new info about the next When they Cry. Guess the release date will be the winter comiket. Really wonder how it will be, I have to admit I enjoyed the endless arguments in the Umineko VN a lot. Also it seems it will get the same music composers again.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That airs on July 22.
Anonymous2394727
were is attack on titan 3???
SuperMario
I'll still write a post once the first impressions' over, along with my general thoughts on this season.
SuperMario
Meanwhile, we already decided which shows to blog for this season. The coverage is as follows:
Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi
Mario: Chio-chan, Shoujo Kageki, Hanebado
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish
SuperMario
Just an update to you, dear readers. We're working on finishing these 1st impressions posts and try to finish it in few days time (3 more posts).
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Harry not Eddie
**Gundam F91
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have the blurays of 08th ms team downloading now to re-watch. Never seen Gundam F91 one . Really looking forward to the final origin ova and whenever more of Thunderbolt is coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eddie was a bit crap though, especially when you stand him up against other Char-esque characters and some of the other characters aren't quite as compelling. Loved the old American style setting though, crazypants main baddy was fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I finally finished/rewatched Turn A Gundam lately. It delivers strongly on its spectacle Heim and Soleil were great and my favourite gundam girls , the artstyle grows on you and because of that art style, it gets away with being one of the weirder phase gundamns, where G Gundam wasn't so lucky in that regard.
Amagi
Highscore Girl is way more annoying than I exptected it to be.
Amagi
Haven't played it (yet) but AFAIK they stay there and only move from floor to floor, I guess it's why they shortly mentioned these murders on the different floors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Does the entirety of satsuriku no tenshi stay in the building? I could seen the sense of claustropohbia for the audience disappearing if they left it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back on that comment, I should say, I have not read grand blues manga, so its entirely possible why the animes presentation made me laugh a bit because I've no comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, that blonde muscular guy in Grand blue made me laugh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like how we have very little idea of the buildings layout in satsuriku no tenshi.
Amagi
Not really looking forward to Gridman as I see the typical warning signs I noticed for Kiznaiver and Franxx as well here. The only positive thing is that the series seems to have an actual villain for once. The lack of that was one of the problems that bothered me with Franxx (not counting literal faceless aliens as "actual villain").
Amagi
I hope next actual Imaishi anime will be a good Trigger again. Honestly didn't really like any of their series done by other directors, Promare would be the first series done by the TTGL team again after KlK and Luluco. My only fear is that it might be a TTGL clone but it's too early to for that.
AidanAK47
I am gunning for Kyohime Lancer and Mordred Rider. Thankfully I don't really care about the five starts so my odds are not quite as bad.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes I am happy I got her with just one ticket since I am saving for the upcoming rate ups as well, especially Summer. Hell I need Martha.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Had a few moments like that which were not related to Fate go. Anyhoo I didn't bother rolling Da Vinchi as I got no real interest in him/her(Hard to decide when their reason for genderbending has more to do with beauty rather than gender.) Instead saving my Quartz for either the summer servants for the Knights of the round.
Amagi
Not lying but I had I dream yesterday about getting FGO's Da Vinci with one ticket, woke up, spent one ticket and got her (Yes. "Her"). I am so far into that anime stuff guess I am now developing esp powers just for that.
Amagi
Finally new Sirius subs I hope they are tolerable.
Amagi
Chio-chan is relatable
SuperMario
She's one of the actress I'm really fond of. But of course given how big a status she is
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If voices could be married I'd marry hers =P
SuperMario
Other 2 shows are Cells at Work and Phantom in the Twilight
SuperMario
Kana Hanazawa's extremely busy this season. She's also voicing for 2 other shows. Give me a minute so I can check up these other shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent I've heard Kana Hanazawa's voice was in 3-gatsu no lion where she voiced Hina, hearing her voice psychochick from happy sugar life makes it all the eerier =P Also watching this feels like less of a slog than reading the early chapters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scanners/photocopier machines however are the greater satan.
Amagi
What kind of cosmic rule forbids printers to ever work properly?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that satsuriku no tenshi's manga adaptation apparently is paced better and more effective at immersing the reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my time with shichisei subaru stops here, the cliffhangers just feel liked bad bait and while I hate jumping to buzzwords, this was just really generic and hamfisted. Its like I'm watching a crap adaptation of a bad moe datesim visual novel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah this is also a pretty stilted translation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I ended up watching it with mediocre subtitles also.
Amagi
Wait is Sirius subbed? Nonmeme subs I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Banana fish succeeds in making itself work as an action series all the more stronger, because it allows itself to have a good emotional backing. I'd forgotten how much of prick that one cop was in that scene in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you want a reasonably quick boredom killer thats gorier than some modern anime allows you could probably do worse than Sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, regarding Happy sugar lifes manga, Late volume 6-volume 8, we're kind of getting somewhere, especially with one particular flashback relating to Shio.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I too am not even impervious to cute and huggable things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*mikocchi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do plan on watch sorayori, konohana kitan and hakumei no mocchi someday.
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 02/03 [Meat’s the Best After a Workout!/ She Was Perfect]

When people thinks about Hanebado, they tend to regard the excellent animation as its strongest point. While I partly agree on that, for me it’s the small character acting that makes this show sticks out for me. I do have a KyoAni vibe watching those relationships play out, especially in second episode with the recurring […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 02 [Bloody Butterfly Effect / Manana and Ootoro and I / Bump of Slave]

The misadventures of Chio-chan on her way to school continues with some extra flavour. As of now, Chio-chan splits its segments neatly in two halves, the first deals with Chio encounters the absurd events on her way to school, and the latter details her relationship with her friends. One highlights the adventure spirits of this […]

Planet With – 02[Nebula Soldiers]

“So they managed to defeat Torai huh. Well he was the weakest of us.” “Actually he was the strongest.” “Wait! Huh?” Now that’s part of why I love you Satoshi, you lay out a shounen cliche and subvert the hell out of it. Even having Torai in the room about to leave the group only […]

Banana Fish – 2 [In Another Country]

This? Banana Fish? This right here? This is what 91 Days could have been. An intriguing crime drama, with interesting characters all around and the willingness to go all-in on its story. Lets jump in! Banana Fish did a much better job of holding my attention compared to last week. With all the characters established, […]

Satsuriku no Tenshi – 02[Your grave is not here]

This is a very strange show. I may regret choosing to blog this but with the second episode I still find it quite fascinating and I really want to see just where this leads. I will however say that it isn’t because of excellence that this show has caught my attention for at the moment […]

Darling in the Franxx – 24[Never Let Me Go]

And it’s time for Darling in the sorry I just can’t bring myself to care anymore Franxx. Well once again my previous assertions of what this episode was to be turned out half true and half false. For one they actually did show the final confrontation against VIRM and it was just as disappointing as […]

Hisone to Masotan – 12 [We Are Unstoppable]

And we come to a close of this Dragon Pilot show and I’m still indifferent on how this anime wraps up. It’s not a bad ending per se, it has a good emotional payoff and it does somewhat wrap up the story. The more it gets into the conclusion, however,  the more I see inconsistencies […]

Darling in the Franxx – 23[DARLING in the FRANXX]

The longer this series goes on, the faster my goodwill disappears as this episode was terrible on many fronts. At this point I think we can admit that this series has been on a downward spiral since episode 19 and has only worsened with each subsequent episode. Part of the problem was 19 spilling all […]

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory – 10[Onward, Onward]

Oh no. Well I suppose this was coming with all the news of this series troubles but it is disheartening to see it come to worst case scenario with the quality of this episode. This is the episode that announces without a doubt that this team is at the breaking point. Characters go off model […]

Latest Reviews

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]

Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]

Legends of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These Anime Review – 80/100

This is a remake of a series made way back when which is one of the most highly acclaimed anime in the medium. It is of legendary status but you would be hard pressed to recommend it as to many the barrier of entry is too high to consider. A 110 episode OVA with dated […]

Hinamatsuri (2018 Spring) Review – 79/100

Comedy anime doesn’t always yell out confidence, so imagine our hype when there’s one that been on everyone’s lips since the manga come out, Hinamatsuri. The show starts with simple premise: a girl with supernatural power unexpectedly drops into the house of a yakuza, hilarity ensues. This concept sums up very well the source humors […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep […]