Posted on 31 December 2006 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Okay, it’s time to list my favourites of 2006. My 2006 Summary is going to be a bit different from my usual montly summaries, seeing as it just consists out of a bunch of awards and one top-10. Still, seeing as it’s been a very good year this time, I’ve got lots of awards, and I had a really tough time deciding for some. Here’s hoping that 2007 will be even better. To those who already are in 2007: Happy New Year! For those (like me) who still need a few hours to go: Happy New Year In Advance!

Funniest Anime: The Law of Ueki

The series, entirely devoted to comedy like Muteki Kanbanmusume and Magikano may have been hilarious, none cracked me up like Ueki did. It’s hilarious cast of characters combined with their special powers just cracked me up majorly during some of the better fights in the series. Special credit goes to the guy with the sewing-talent and the badass punk guy who could change his sacred treasures into cute and fluffy animals. ^_^

Most Pleasant Surprise: Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror

After the first episode, I expected NOTHING of this show. Just another dull anime about medieval Japan in which some bloody things happened. Then the second episode came. Boy, did it blow me away with all its brutal killings, murders and people going crazy. And if I even knew at that time how amazing the third arc ended up to be.

Best Music: .Hack//Roots

I actually had a tough time choosing between .Hack//Roots, Noein and Night Head Genesis. Night Head Genesis has some brilliant atmospheric music, while Noein just blasts out of the speakers at times, while at other times it produced some extremely sad tunes. Still, in the end, I dediced to go with .Hack//Roots, seeing as the ALU Project really knew what they were doing. The music also was one of the reasons the final few episodes turned good again.

Best Not Really a 2006-Anime: Popolocrois 1998 and 2003

Yeah, even though these anime never really appeared in 2006, only now they started to get subbed. Still, that doesn’t means that I don’t love both series. The 1998 series had some incredibly funny moments and action scenes, while 2003 especially turned awesome with its second half. Both series have some great characters and character developments. At this point, I can’t choose which one of these is the better. I’ll do that as soon as the entire series have been subbed. I hope that happens fast, as there haven’t been any subs appearing at all lately.

Best Old Anime I Happened To See This Year: Revolutionary Girl Utena

I blogged this series, even though it aired eight years ago, for a reason. It’s got some of the best character development and studies ever, and especially the latest episodes were insanely good. Honorable Mention: Hi no Tori.

Best Thought-Provoking Anime: Ergo Proxy

There’s some heavy contending with Mushishi here. While Mushishi asks questions about life itself, and how to spend it, Ergo Proxy keeps toying with the minds of its viewers over and over again with some very interesting cases. While the later part of the anime may have become a bit stale, the first two thirds were excellent in this.

Best-Looking Graphics: Noein

There’ve been some anime with interesting graphical approaches in the past year. Kenomonozume, with its messy art, for example, or Good Witch of the West with its beautiful approach to both character designs and backgrounds, or xxxHolic, with its rather simple character designs, which in the end did turn out great. Still, none of them managed to beat Noein. Its great blend of CG and messy character designs immediately had me captured from its first episode.

Best Drama: Mushishi

This was a very tough choice between Simoun, Mushishi and Asatte no Houkou. Still, in the end, I went with Mushishi, seeing as most of its stories truly are unrivalled. The extremely serious approach to the stories, some of which are hopeless cases, while others can be cured, though each of them affect the lives of the people involved tremendously.

Cutest Anime: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

Seriously, the characters turned out so incredibly CUTE. This goes for both the male and the female ones. Akazukin, Shirayuki, Ibara, and the others just have the greatest character designs, while the males, like Souta, Hansel and especially Baru are extremely cute in their behaviours. Especially Baru has to have it hard, being surrounded by people such as Shirayuki and Ringo. ^_^

Best RPG-adaptation: Tales of Phantasia

I have no idea what people have against RPG-based anime. Okay, Final Fantasy Unlimited may have been garbage, and Star Ocean EX’s final episodes may have been the king and queen of Deus ex Machina, but when it’s done right, it really works. Just look at Popolocrois, Ragnarok the Animation and Makai Senki Disgaea. In any case, the best one in this year definitely came from Tales of Phantasia. It’s a great four-episode OVA adaptation of the game, Especially Arche, Klarth and Suzu were awesome. :)

The this-anime-seems-to-have-gone-up-in-smoke-award: Hime-Sama Goyoujin

Remember this one? It only got one episode subbed, and that’s all. After that, nobody talked about it, or said anything about it. It’s a shame, seeing as the first episode was rather funny. It actually was a tough choice, along with Shoujo Chang Geum no Yume, though the latter managed to save itself from this award when its second episode got subbed. Still, I liked both series, and hope to see more of them.

Biggest Disappointment: Ouran High School Host Club

It’s a shame. It started out so good and funny, though because it kept milking the same jokes over and over, it sort of ruined itself. It’s a pity, as it really had a great concept. I almost wanted to put Haruhi Suzumiya here, seeing as it went from an excellent first episode to just a mediocre show, till I dropped it at episode 4, though I feel that because I only beared the first few episodes, I had no way of knowing whether the later episodes would turn out good or not. Not that I expect them to, or something.

Top 10 Anime 2006
Okay, these are my favourite series of 2006. This definitely has been a great year for anime. :)

#10: xxxHolic

When it comes to Watanuki’s antics, no one can beat him. He’s been a great character through the course of the show. The situations he was thrown at, the decisions he made, his annoyances at both Yuuko, Domeki and Mokona turned this into a great series. The cases of each week also were extremely interesting to see. From a woman who lost herself over her internet-obsession to a pipe fox who eats evil spirits.

#9: Saiunkoku Monogatari

When it comes to strong female characters, Shuurei definitely has to be mentioned. I love how much thought has been put into this series to provide a nice political drama about a woman, rising into a male-dominated society. The antics of the different side-characters also helped this series a lot. I really hope to see more of this in 2007.

#8: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Okay, it may have had it’s bad moments. The animation when characters went berserk did look fake, and the fifth arc was a hell to get through. But when this series turned good, it really turned GOOD. It successfully managed to combine horror, touching characters and a plot full of mysteries, mysteries and even more mysteries. I’m a fan of all three of these parts, so that means that I really enjoyed this anime.

#7: Eureka 7

A surprise hit for me, seeing as it only started getting good after ten episodes. Still, after that point, this series turned out extremely touching, and even more disturbing. The final episodes also turned this show also into one of the few anime that made me cry about its characters.

#6: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

I’m surprised to see such lack of interest about this show, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love this one. I really love well-executed fantasy-stories, cute character and a good dose of mystery, and that’s exactly what this show has to offer. Each of the characters are a joy to see, and I really look forward to each week’s instalment.

#5: Mushishi

We now turn to the anime that made a huge impression on me this year. The first one being Mushishi. Nothing much happened during the episodes, there wasn’t any action of some sort. But the stories, holy god, the stories. Whether sad or happy, they blew me away, especially the better ones.

#4: Simoun

Simoun created a large cast of amazing characters for its setting. Through the course of the anime, we got to know them, love them, hate them and feel along with them. That resulted in some truly magnificent scenes. The ending, although unorthodox, was a great way to end this series.

#3: The Third

Ah, Honoka. What an amazing character you’ve been. You definitely were the best female character of 2006. When you combine that with some other absolutely great characters, great action scenes and a great story, the result becomes amazing. When it still aired, I really loved this series.

#2: Noein

The only negative thing I can say about Noein was that the subs were coming out rather slow. Apart from that, it really has been one amazing ride, from start to finish. It’s huge number of plot twist, incredibly touching characters and amazing story turned this anime into one of the definite highlights of the past year.

#1: Mahou Shoujotai

Yes, I know that this technically isn’t a 2006-series, but seeing as its final two episodes got subbed January 1st, I do consider this as a part of 2006. Besides, this anime is too awesome to leave out of this list, seeing as it’s one of my favourite shows of all time. Too little people really know about this hidden gem, and it definitely needs more love than it’s getting right now.

Posted on with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Boy, that was AWESOME! I didn’t understand 25% of the episode, but who cares! The things that I did understand turned this episode into a great one. This definitely was the best episode of Bakumatsu so far!

So many things happened during this episode, I don’t know where to start. Let’s begin with Kanna, as we finally see some of his history as well. He indeed grew up in England, along with some woman (his mother, nanny?). Then, at one point this woman was taken away from him against her will by some selfish guy. If I understood things correctly, he sees this woman’s reflection in Kakunojou. Parkes also introduces four new characters this episode. Code-named Knight, Queen, Luke and Bishop. If I understood things correctly, they’re some kind of elite of the English forces.

Then the play. If I got things right, then the troupe always uses its last performance of a certain play to add something extra. With the previous one, it was the image of Nakaiya Juubei. This time, it’s a bit more extravagant: a plan to catch Nakaiya Juubei. Of course, all is a clever plan of Soutetsu. This is what I understood. He hid the lord’s head at a place near the newly set-up theatre of the troupe. Under some docks, to be exact. He then lures Juubei to that place, right at the same time of the troupe’s performance, and in the middle of the play, Akizuki suddenly comes, destroys the curtain and reveals the threesome of Kanna, Juubei and Soutetsu, who are talking at that time. That’s where the awesomeness started. I have to say that I was as surprised as the crowd when Akizuki suddenly did his thing.

What I didn’t understand was why Soutetsu just let Juubei escape with the Lord’s Head. It may be because he counted on Akizuki and the others to stop him, of was it because of something he said or thought? Another thing I didn’t understand was Parkes’s role in all this. For some reasons, he ordered his minions to fire a cannon at the docs. Where did he hear that things like these were going to happen? Kanna?

Still, it doesn’t matter if I didn’t understand these things, as the things that followed were brilliant. Nakaiya tries to escape, though the cannons are rather bothersome to him. Akizuki and Kakunojou end up in a boat chasing after him, though they’re almost hit by a cannon, and they fall down. Kanna, who happens to be near and sees this suddenly has a flashback from his past, in which he sees Akizuki as the guy who took away the woman he looked up to. This episode didn’t do anything regarding this, though I suspect that the future episodes will. ^_^

Meanwhile, everyone’s chasing after Juubei and fighting each other. Then, Ebisu actually manages to capture him, and god damn it, the English actually manage to hit both of them, killing both Nakaiya and Ebisu off at the same time! I love it when a character is killed off unexpectedly with an impact, and Ebisu’s death truly was memorable.

Akizuki, meanwhile, attempts to slay the Lord’s Head and fails. This causes the lord’s head to escape and take over Emimoto, the one introduced during the previous episode. And with this, I really mean take over, as in it goes inside of Emimoto’s head. He orders the retreat of the English forces, and Soutetsu smiles very suspiciously. I’m not sure what’s behind that, but we’ll probably find out soon.

Overall, if you were wondering whether Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto would turn out to be worthwile, well, so far it has! With the second half of this anime about to begin, I’m expecting some great things from this one. :)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

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Black Lagoon is a perfect example of a series which starts out magnificent, but gets rather ruined later on by such small elements. It’s a real shame. It’s an action series, featuring a salaryman who ends up delivering a package for his company, somewhere in the Asian side of the Pacific Ocean, gets attacked by modern-day pirates, abandoned by the company he works for and in the end, joining the same pirates that attacked and kidnapped him.

The pirates appear to have a sortof delivering company. The first thirteen episodes showcase some random jobs who have to be accomplished, with some of these jobs attracting quite some dangerous people. I really have to say that these episodes were amazing to see. I loved how they sketched a realistic picture of the hell Rock (the new name of our main character) ended up in. This first season also managed to create some of the scariest antagonists ever. Especially keep an eye out for the maid with glasses. I also really liked the cast of main characters. Rock, Revy, Dutch and Benny formed an excellent combination when they were with the four of them, with each one of them having their own unique personality.

Then the second season came. It started out quite nicely, with a great tragedy about two siblings who give the term “killer loli” a whole new meaning. But that’s also where this series starts getting off-track. While the first season featured random jobs, the second season places our main characters into situations, just because Revy is looking for a fight. What the second season also does is place Dutch and Benny into the role of mere “side-characters”, even though they were a large reason why the first season turned out so good.

To make matters even worse, the second arc of the second season also contained way too much useless action and way too little substance. Sure, the fights were nice, the aftermaths for the side-characters were interesting, but during the fights, I kept wondering what their meaning was. The third and final arc could have saved this, and indeed, it had an interesting story, but I was too much bothered by the horrible use of Engrish in the beginning. The creators tried to find a way to show a good conversation between characters who only speak English and the characters who only speak Japanese, but that didn’t work at all, seeing that we’ve seen the English characters speak Japanese for ages.

It’s such a pity. This could have become one of the major series of 2006, but because of these small elements, it just didn’t make it. Still, I definitely recommend Black Lagoon, if it only was because of its first season.

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Yeah, I know Futago Hime isn’t exactly a 2006 anime, but I wanted to wrap up the quick first impressions before the end of the year and the start of the winter-season, and I needed one more show. Besides, I just had to say something about it. ^^;

Baldr Force Exe
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Watching the OP didn’t really make me enthusiastic about this show. It looked like this anime was going to stand in the footsteps of Ar Tonelico and Demon Bane, with a cute girl who somehow keeps clinging to some loser-like guy. Still, I was pleasantly surprised by this. Okay, it does feature a bunch of harem-stereotypes, who are all probably going to surround our main character, but the main character actually has an interesting personality. His best friend has just been killed, so he joins the organization responsible for this, hoping to find the killer. When he sees one of his former friends who did the same, though just seems to think that all of this is a game, we see some interesting scenes. Still, the concept is a bit vague. People get plugged into some kind of virtual world, and when you die in this world, you’ll die for real as well. But wouldn’t the designers of this would try to find some security-system in order to solve this problem? Like, block the amount of brainwaves when it becomes too high? Also, I’m not too happy with the cliff-hanger of this episode, seeing as the main characters suddenly runs into a sleeping beautiful girl, who wakes up and calls him onii-chan. That is not a good sign.

Winter Garden
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Ow… I’ve been fearing this for a bit. Winter Garden indeed turned out into a slice-of-life romance. Not exactly my preferred genre. Of course, when certain elements are added, even slice of life shows can become interesting, though this show doesn’t even bother. It’s relying way too much on random collisions between our main character and her love interest. Pachiko (that was her name, right?) didn’t help much either. Even though she has a quirky personality, this show was just way too boring for me. Still, if you’re fan of Digi-Charat and like slice-of-life series, you might want to check this one out.

Fushigiboshi no Futago Hime
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It’s strange how tastes change. I remember that I watched the first episode of this, back in the mid-2005, and it was really boring to me. However, after watching it right now, 1,5 years later, I totally loved it. This is another proof of how great Mahou Shoujo can be, and at the same time, how unloved. I actually had to use Youtube in order to track down the first episode, seeing as most of the torrents have stopped working. In any case, I really liked the quirky character and the seemingly inexhaustible amounts of energy of the two main characters, and not to mention that the characters were extremely CUTE! That only leaves the problem that this anime consists out of two series, with both 52 episodes. God knows how long it’ll take to catch up with that. there may be a chance I’ll blog every 13 episodes, if the remaining episodes turn out to be really good. Still, from the sample that Moetron posted on his site and which got me interested in this show again, things indeed look like they’ll be of the same quality for the rest of the episodes.

Posted on 30 December 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews

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And here we have the other of the two anime, being produced in fully cell-shaded CG. While FREEDOM consists out of a few episodes, Catblue Dynamyte is a standalone movie of about 40 episodes. Another interesting thing to note is that this one is entirely in English, with Japanese subtitles. It reminded me again of one of the reasons why I hate dubs: the American accent just doesn’t work. Still, when compared to other English dubs, this wasn’t really bad to listen to. The only annoying part was that Blue’s voice actress didn’t match her character too well.

When I first found out about this anime, I suspected that this anime would be all eye-candy with zero substance. And indeed, we have lots of eye-candy. When compared to FREEDOM, the characters move a lot smoother, especially during the fight scenes. Blue’s character indeed is very cute, seeing as she once was a cat. Everything looked quite well. The only thing is that the costumes of the goons looked rather hilarious when I first saw them.

About the substance… well, let’s say that it turned out better than I expected. The concept of a cat, turning into a person by drinking its master’s blood and being able to see and talk to ghosts is interesting, Bill was interesting with his doubts of Blue and her “talking to ghosts”, this was resolved quite nicely and Robbert and his idea to take care of things were nice to see. He also was good for a narrator, with a serious tone with your occasional sarcastic remark. I also liked the way that this anime omits some things that are taken to be obvious.

Still, the fact does remain that this anime follows the Hollywood action-movie format, which means that it goes from one action scene to another with your occasional focus on characters. While the action scenes are nice to see, they don’t really add much other value to the whole picture. While this OVA was interesting to watch, it’s definitely nothing amazing. It’s got an interesting art style, if you like experimental art styles in anime, it might be worth checking this one out, though if you’re more into your casual art style, stay far awaaay from this.

Posted on with categories: Night Head Genesis

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Okay, so what if Naoto awakened again without a good reason? This episode was damn awesome! This is one of the reasons I love shows with lots of mystery. There are just so many things you don’t know, and if they’re revealed in a good way, the results can become awesome. When a show combines good mystery with good character development like Night Head Genesis does, the results become even more awesome!

One of the reasons this episode was so good was because it deeply delved into the minds of its characters. Both Naoto, Naoya, Mikumo and Sakie. Naoto truly had become pitiful in the past few episodes. His power just was one source of destruction, and he was more and more running after Naoya than the opposite. This continued, until Mikumo made him crazy and he died. Then, for a while it seemed that Naoya would indeed take care of Mikumo, and we indeed see him actually go crazy when Naoya doesn’t do what he thinks he’ll do, and he goes berserk. But even then, he executes his plan and takes Sakie away, who just saw her sister with a knife through her stomach, causing the entire neighbourhood in a radius of 25km to delve into chaos.

But then, Naoto actually wakes up and takes care of the guy like it’s nothing. It may have been a one-sided battle, though these kinds of battles can also be great if they’re timed well, just like this one. Okuhara played a role in this as well, when she suddenly realized that Naoto indeed has become a wild element and goes crazy.

Also, the driver with an actual personality was greatly appreciated. You hardly see any goons who don’t look like each other. Most just are bunch of clones with different haircuts, while all they do is follow orders. They’re perfect employees, though not really interesting and realistic. Though making this guy actually comment on the things that have happened, the creators put him aside from all of these other goons.

So, in the end, Mikumo is killed. And before he dies, he has his moment of weakness where he tells about his past. A bit directed, but greatly appreciated. I love it when we see the histories of the different good and bad guys. It gives them so much more perspective.

Then, the final part of the episode features Okuhara, contacting Naoto and Naoya, who are about to wake Sakie. She finally reveals why she did the things she did, and if I had to say so myself, it’s a better reason than you usually see. At least she wants to improve the world, instead of your usual power-hungry guy on crack. Then we se the scene in which a person raises his/her finger into the air again, and some rather unexplained events begin. Okuhara mentions a Great Consciousness, and Naoto and Naoya also have stopped being wild elements in her prophecies. We then switch back to reality, and see a scene which does suggest that Okuhara has died. If I had to guess what happened, then she finally saw a true prophecy about the two brothers, which possibly has to do something with the sparkling ball up in the air. This prophecy had made such an impact to her, that she didn’t mind taking it to the grave. So what exactly did she see?

Also, there’s one more thing I’ve been wondering.

What the heck happened to Shoko?!

Posted on with categories: Death Note

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When I first saw Misa, I doubted whether she could be a large challenge to Light, though after watching this episode, I have to say that it’ll definitely be interesting to see how Light will deal with such a huge idiot. She actually mentioned the existence of the eyes and shinigami on a tape which got sent to the police. L also reacted quite strangely when he heard about the shinigami, this does suggest that there’s some kind of connection between him and the death gods, which suggests that there will be a point in which his childhood will be shown. :)

I also keep wondering the meanings of Ryuk’s maniacal laughter. Like shown before, he laughed when Naomi gave a false name. Was there also a reason why he laughed when L asked Kira to play Kira, or did he just laugh because of the irony? He’s smarter than he looks, after all, he did trick the king of the shinigami-world to give him a second Death Note. In any case, it’s good for light that he was at the scene when L watched the tape, otherwise, L would have pulled his own conclusions. This episode showed that L does listen to Light’s words.

Posted on with categories: Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club

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Ah, so they went back to episode thirteen, where the five girls had to conjure up a flower, though this time, it’s a bit more extreme, when it’s Kanbu who has to be calmed. Unfortunately, my lack of japanese didn’t manage to pick up what role Kanbu actually plays, unfortunately, and why he’s so imprtant to the story. Still, the things I did understand were a nice watch as usual.

The major episode basically focuses on giving some life back to Kanbu. Sasami, Misao and the others hold hands like before, which causes them to be able to communicate with each other through thoughts. Like before, they ahve to make their minds one in order to properly functionate, though this time Misao disrupts things a bit, or rather Anri, Tsukasa and Makoto’s annoyance with her. It’s a nice discussion. Especially Tsukasa surprised me, seeing as she showed a more serious side than she ever has.

At the end of the episode, we also learn who’s going to be the final enemy in this anime. The head priestess seems to have unsealed the other Aamitabu. I’m still not sure why she did that *kicks lack of Japanese*. In any case, Amitabu’s look, at the end of the episode when Sasami brings him some food was priceless. ^_^

Still, I’m afraid to say it, though this anime seems to have lost its spark a bit. The height definitely was from eps 5 till 17. At those episodes, the characters were the most touching and funny. Though now, it’s trying to make a good finish.

Posted on with categories: Random Posts

Whoa, I just got some stable internet again, and the first thing I see is my shoutbox, in which Impz congratulated me for being accepted in the 9Rules-community. It’s something I didn’t really expect, seeing as when the first rounds of submissions featured such high-quality sites, I rather gave up hope of ever being accepted. Guess I was wrong. ^_^

And on top of that, this also seems to be my 700th post. Great, only 300 more till I hit the milestone of 1k posts.This also seems a good moment for a few statistics, seeing as I hit a rather large amount of other milestone in the past few weeks.

Total amount of comments: 1012 (Yay, more than 1k ^^;)
The top three commenters are the same as the previous time when I made this list (back when I made my 300th post), just a different order. Anga has made the most comments (54), then comes Cos (52) and Hopeless is still third (28, does anyone know what happened to him?).
Total amount of visitors: 104039 as I write this. Finally I managed to hit the 100k milestone, though I’m getting a bit worried seeing it took me 13 months, while others got their first 100k visitors in only three months ^^;
The largest amount pageviews in one day: 1554, back in April 30th, just before Blogsuki kicked me out.
Amount of series finished blogging: 16
Series with most posts: Jigoku Shoujo (30)
The largest amount of posts made on one day: still 12, during both my christmas updates 2005 and 2006
The longest episode-post I made was that for Higurashi 19, a massive 3973 words. I don’t think I’ll be topping that one soon. ^^;

Posted on 29 December 2006 with categories: Red Garden

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If you’ve been wondering where the heck I’ve been for the past few days… well, it’s like this. We’ve recently moved from one house to another, and upon arrival, I found out that our wireless didn’t work. My parents have bought a house in the centre of Amsterdam, and anyone who’s been there knows the typical 5/6-story houses that cover it. Nice houses, though the huge amount of floors isn’t good for setting up a wireless. Even as we speak, my connection’s still buggy as hell.

Anyway, back to the episode, and boy, that really was a great one. Probably one of the best of Red Garden yet. This is where the building up of the previous episodes really comes together, and how it does! Both Kate, Claire, Rose, Rachel, Herve, Paula, Luke, Kate’s Sister and her newly found boyfriend, Emilio receive a healthy dose of character development and attention this time. Some of these cases were just awesome to see. :)

Rose’s case was the least significant. Basically, she and her friend spend the episode scouting for different addresses and finding false leads. Though something’s telling me that she’ll find something interesting in the next number of episodes. Still, these travels are definitely making her a bit stronger than she already is. :)

Claire, meanwhile, finally gives in to her pride and heads back to the hamburger store she originally worked in. A really touching conversation follows, where the owner convinces Claire to come back working at his place. That really was one of the best parts of this episode.

Rachel, meanwhile, has a bit of troubles with her relationship with Luke, and this episode really delved into this. Deeply. For a while, it seems that the two made up with each other, though the annoying little butterflies put an end to that. In the end, Luke ends up doing what he accused Rachel of: making out with another girl. One of Rachel’s friends.

Paula also showed a very interesting side of herself. I kept wondering about her reason to support Kate so much, though this episode actually showed that she thinks very highly of Kate. Perhaps she’s even in love with her. This can be very interesting, especially since she can’t just ignore the rest of Grace forever.

Still, Kate actually was thinking of resigning from Grace herself, and probably with good reason. I originally thought that she was going to have struggles in the future, trying to keep up with the other Grace-members. Now it seems that Paula will keep dragging her, and pressuring her further, or something similar.

Also, why are the Animus Hervé’s enemies? After all, he created them himself, in a way. Why are they so dangerous? Does it have something to do with the strange power they’ve been given? (Remember Rachel leaping over the fence in episode 2?) Could that be the reason they he those zombified guys after them? In any case, he finally found a connection between him and one of the Animus (Kate): her sister’s boyfriend, Emilio. It seems that he’s also one of Hervé’s kind.

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AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
afgm
(ok maybe a little fault should go to them lol)
afgm
@Friend: That sucks, but its definitely understandable. People can be pretty thoughtless at times (no fault to them of course).
afgm
tiger mask did make it into the upper quartile though, which is surprising
Friend
@afgm I don't have a large internet presence with my work exactly because I've had situations with theft on Pinterest. For work, I just carry USBs with my portfolio pieces in them :/
Friend
@Aramus Heya, thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately the fell image won't be available openly unless for commercial purposes, but otherwise feel free to contact me in my business email! :)
afgm
ah you know what? I read the title Time Bokan 24 and thought it had 24 votes x)
SuperMario
@afgm: Time Bokan receives 0 vote the last time I checked it. I'm more surprised that people love Haikyuu that much
SuperMario
Such a shame because I enjoy writing it a lot
SuperMario
2 more episodes on Thunderbolt Fantasy and I might break the sites' record (hall of shame really) for covering a show without any comment, haha.
Total users: 45

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