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.

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

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will listen to the podcast more in full later. But I was surprised after asking/suggesting it on the discord, that it came so soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am thinking of re-watching gasaraki and ai yori aoshi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Perhaps after a while of watch the anime I will simply jump on to the manga.
Vonter
I watched Resident Evil: Vendetta yesterday. It's incredible dumb but kind of fun. I do wonder if in terms of entertainment are like the best videogame based movies. Since it plays like a videogame, it's based on a videogame and is more or less in line with the tone the series has had for a while.
niello
It's such a shame that Golden Kamuy art direction is such a train wreck.
KTravlos
and for the sake of Clausewitz there is clinical term for what Reinhard did. It is called "defeat in detail". Napoleon was a master of it. Proper way to defeat it , is to order the threatened force to retreat to a point where other allied forces are converging. The enemy will either have to retreat, or fight at a disadvantage. The 1813 and 1814 campaigns against Napoleon are examples of that.
KTravlos
Episode 2 of LOGGH: Der Neue Thesis was much better than the first. The music is still an issue, but Yang was well portrayed. I do think there is lack of the directors in showing the cruelty of war, like the first one did. We will see.
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 2 [Epigraph of the Closed Curve -Closed Epigraph-]

9 years. It has been almost 9 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 2/3[The Battle of Astarte/An Indomitable Prodigy]

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political […]

Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which […]

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Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

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Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

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Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

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Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered […]

Darling in the Franxx – 10-12[The City of Eternity/Partner Shuffle/The Garden Where It All Began]

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. […]

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Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

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