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
I can recall enjoying a certain Jason Todd centered story called Batman:death in the family.
K-Off
Well, even when Damian does completely cross the line and become a villain, he's not even that interesting, i.e Injustice. Yup, Jason Todd already covered everything, but better.
AidanAK47
Problem is that he's an edge lord cocky piece of shit that just doesn't have enough likeable traits for this to be compelling. What really pushed him over the edge was mocking Nightwing over his parents deaths. That shit is not on.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the contrast that Batman refuses to cross the line and kill but Damian has crossed that line. As well as his potentail to become a villain. Tim and Dick didn't really have that though Jason sort of did. Damian's arc is more about teaching him the morality of a hero.
K-Off
@Aidan I'm not sure I like Damian's concept to begin with. The Bat-son dilemma's inherently addressed by the Robins for all intents and purposes. Damian just goes through the same motion, only difference being he's biologically related.
K-Off
Yup. Wonderwoman either doesn't need to have a love interest, or it needs to be with Steve Trevor, the two have a solid backstory that the movies unnecessarily removed.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I don't mind the Taila X batman pairing. Makes more sense than Batman and Batgirl. But if there's one pairing pushed in the new movies that I just find wrong is the Superman X wonder woman. I just don't get that one.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the concept of Damian as a character. But it's executed so badly.
Anonymous1105941
Teen titans needs one more season to wrap up all the loose ends. Such as what happens to Slade, and Blackfires revenge. The creators clearly wanted to explore those plot lines but got cut short.
K-Off
Teen Titans hasn't aged very well, but one thing I still do like about it is how contained and local the setting and cast were for the first half of that show. When godly superpowers are involved, that appeals to me. Much of the same reason why I like Logan and Raimi's Spiderman so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Very rarely watched teen titans when I was younger, I was vaguely interested in slade, stopped watching around when Terra appeared. I actively avoided comics where Damien appeared, never liked that Talia x Batman pairing much, I can only imagine how much worse it is to listen to Damien than read him.
K-Off
@Aidan, I like some aspects of those movies, but I'm not a big fan of the new continuity and art style in general...and yeah it doesn't help that Damian is irredeemably unlikable.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, There is also the DC animated Teen Titans movies like Teen Titans vs Justice Leage and Teen titans the Judus contract. Though it's not the same as the the TV series and Damian is such a dick.
K-Off
@Anon I don't think Teen Titans needs another season. The last season wasn't that good, but the movie ended the series on a high note and Young Justice pretty much rebooted everything, at least in terms of replacing people's want for a more mature DC cartoon about the Titans.
K-Off
Yeah it's become more of a hassel (for myself and my friends) to set aside time to go to a theater.
SuperMario
I guess in the end it all comes down to how easily it reaches the viewers. Give us a hard time and we don't give a damn to check the new movie/show out
SuperMario
... otherwise have to wait for a year, even more before it reaches Australia. But many companies will raise in the wake of Netflix and that will be where problems arise
SuperMario
This trend isn't happening within the anime industry, but it's happening in the movie world as well. In the past 2 years, Netflix starts to exclusively distribute many films, meaning that they won't have theatrical release, but straight to Video on Demand which caused quite a stir in the industry. Personally, I actually don't have much problem with it as now I will get a chance to see a film that
SuperMario
Dive!! , a series that will air next season on noitaminA slot will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Not that I'm eagerly looking forward to Dive, but that news again makes me frustrated. No one will watch it and then all the hypes it might have will die down eventually.
Anonymous1105394
Considering I didn't even expect a season 5 it's more than I could've evr wanted. Now if only if only Teen Titans could get the same chance.
Lenlo
Oh yeah, it turned out well. Didnt mean to say it didnt.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Considering that the ratio of great to alright episodes is 8 to 2 I say that it turned out pretty well.
Lenlo
I have to say, the Samurai Jack season started stronger than it ended imo
AidanAK47
So this is how Samurai Jack ends. 16 years in the making. Honestly considering how much needed to get wrapped up I knew the ending would be a bit flawed. Really think Gen should have givin it one more episode to flesh out the ending and then it wouldn't feel so rushed. Overall despite it's flaws, it's a decent ending. Not prefect by any means but it will do the job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol theres a surprise, seriously, Black Lagoons manga is updating again.
KTravlos
worst recap ever for me? Gangsta. That was a stupid recap episode. Really like a Public Announcement. Useless, stupid, and ruining atmosphere. Utter stupidity. There I got it our of me :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Unfortunately too far behind in the sequel manga to catch up, I did take a look at THAT in the latest chapter though.
Masky
Huh, for some reason thought Tokyo Ghoul was under shonen when its seinen. Welp now that makes more sense, I was thinking story about cannibalism would be kinda absurd for shonen.
Spike
They serve no purpose except to fill airtime when production gets fucked up. They have 2 bad choices - run a recap or run an unfinished episode. Recap is generally the less dogshit choice. I've seen a few anime that ran the episodes with unfinished animations and still frames.... the backlash was about 100x what a recap is.
SuperMario
I'm about to say that to you as well Kaiser, maybe watch the recap and then continue on. The only thing I kind of take from the recap episode is the editting: how they chop off the fat of 6 episodes to still give you important developments. But as a way to catch up/ to reintroduce the series, it's freaking useless
Anonymous1104087
I don't think anyone should start from the recap episode. Unless there was a long hiatus, a recap in between episodes is unnecessary for new viewers and old
Lenlo
I mean, aside from whatever happens with Mugaro.
Lenlo
Next episode seems early, out of 24 episodes, for Nina to learn the Prince is Chris, yet that seems to be what the confrontation is leading towards, and then she freaks out and he learns shes the dragon. Becomes the conflict for the rest of the season?
Lenlo
Seems I was right, Azazel didnt predict that Nina might not be so easily riled up as she once was. To bad so sad Azazel, she has someone she loves now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How useful are these recap episodes anyway/actually? Hypothetically lets say I was feeling lazy and decided to watch tsuki ga kirei starting from the recap episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="https://www.anirena.com/?s=blame

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
SuperMario
@Spike: I was like... "tsuki ga kirei has a recap episode, so let's move on to Kado"... another recap. Tsuki ga kirei I'm not too worry as it confirmed that it'll have 12 episodes, but I'm not confident on Kado
SuperMario
@lenlo: in a sense you have to suffer it all alone. No worries thou as I intend to binge watch it when this season's over
Spike
Kado team crumbled under the pressure. Recap this week.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, im happy I dont have to compete with anyone to cover Berserk :P Got it all to myself to whine about, though its been ever so slowly improving.
Anonymous1100725
Ranka is ranka in any verse.
Anonymous1100725
Bahmut no spoilers. Ranka Lee. She just doesn't get it so everyone dies. As she stands around wondering.
SuperMario
In fact, Okja will play in the Sydney film festival next month, but seeing that it will stream in Netflix at the end of June I think it's best to wait until then
SuperMario
@Kaiser: great, I'm super hyped to watch Okja. Always enjoy Boon's movies. The critic's reviews from Cannes on Okja should come up soon I believe.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Lain many times over as well but I'm sure that I didn't pick up everything. That show required multiple-viewing anyways.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Good news, netflix will stream Okja at the end of this June.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its not often that I rewatch things, but years ago I've seen Lain at least three times, its also one of those few anime series where I felt to look up deeper analysis into it. It had a tremendous atmosphere and was ahead of its time.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: watching Ghost Hound made me want to revisit Serial Experiment Lain and give my episodic thoughts on that. Not gonna happen soon as I have my hand full right now but I swear I'll get to that one day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I actually am planning to rewatch ghost hound soon, so I'll give you my new thoughts on it then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always avoided Altair mostly based on it being a shounen action series. Kakeguruis premise involves gambling games, which I don't find interesting.
KTravlos
Kakegurui is on my list. I thought it would be crap (terrible setting etc), but the manga won me over. Princess Principal will be given a chance, so will Shoukouko no Altair.and perhaps Reflection. We shall see. Also Twilight Axis Gundam, as I love the manga team.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Recap episodes exist because of production troubles. Sometimes shit happens when you make an anime.
You are being a bit overally argressive but I do agree with the statement that Ntr is pathetic power fantasy. It really is.
Anonymous1099236
Ntr is a pathetic power fantasy for pathetic people
Anonymous1099236
Why the hell do recap episodes exist. Do they think we're that autistic
SuperMario
I honestly don't even what NTR is so I had to look it up. Interesting
SuperMario
Just a quick remaider that Tsuki ga Kirei has a recap episode this week. And yep, after watching this week's Sakura Quest I think I'm gonna stick with it
SuperMario
Flipping through the list, I'm also pretty know what I'm interested in, most of them are original anime, which is a plus
SuperMario
@Aidan: I'm still amazed that us never have to fight over covering shows, except for that one time with Flip Flappers. Always thought that crappy tastes are the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Those two comments were refering to NTR trap
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would really genuinely like to see some of these smut manga actually functionally use fanservice and romantic sex scenes rather than just cheap titilattion
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Poorly done ragey drama with bad comedy bits , I've reached a point with it where I no longer want my time wasted by it.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I admit to having passing interest in Princess Principal but not enough to fight you over it.
And Tsurezure Children is actually really really good. Really fluffy love stories with great comedy.
SuperMario
haha, even me who love slice-of-life won't fall for Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Aidan: Princess Principal
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The character designs on Centaur kind of weirds me out though
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Ugh...that one. Imagine a discount scums wish and you get the general idea.
AidanAK47
Mate if you are talking about Fate then let me say there is no way in hell I am not covering that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
NTR as the title of an anime? How shameless.
AidanAK47
@Mario,....Tsurezure Children?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by centaur no nanami's manga. Actually cares about its setting and genuinely charming characters.
SuperMario
@Aidan: and this time there is 1 show we might both want to cover ^^
AidanAK47
I will have to start writing up that preview for this. I think it's pretty obvious what I am looking forward the most to watching.
AidanAK47
Links generally work with text if you place them at the end of it. Like so:
http://anichart.net/Summer-2017
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://anichart.net/Summer-2017
I....I"] might at least try the Vatican kiseki one and centaur no nanami...
AidanAK47
@Anon, Don't believe Clickbait. This is all based on a quote from the author thanking the animation studio and hoping for an opportunity to work with them in the future. What this confirms is that there is no plans for a season 3...yet. Could very well happen in the future. What this confirms is that it ain't happening any time soon.
Puran
Natsume is killing it this season.
Anonymous1094513
RIP Konosuba. Season 3 confirmed to not happen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PvOmsKjcJU.
Lenlo
Im not sure what they are even saying.
Anonymous1092432
lmao Anon 250 got rekt
AidanAK47
Normally I would delete openly offensive posts but seeing as these don't make enough sense to be offensive I will give them a free pass.
AidanAK47
No idea who this Adnan guy is but if he watches gay porn then so what?
Anonymous1092250
adnan watches gay porn
Anonymous1092250
people who watch one piece are just watching gay porn
Anonymous1092250
one piece of shit
SuperMario
Hey, do you guys know about wanna cry ransomware? how's the heck that I just aware of its existence today? Scary@@
Lenlo
Haha will do, but im not gonna compete outside a local, maybe regional level, not anymore. I mostly want to get back into my old shape after 2 years of letting it lapse.
SuperMario
Oh, congrats. Used to play sport in competitive level myself (tennis), but now I feel like an old big fat geezer now haha. Keep me updated on your Fencing as it might motivate me to join sooner ^^
Lenlo
Dont even have to work out to do Fencing, you can just go for fun once a week. Im just trying to get back into competitive shape now that I have my degree
SuperMario
I'm not really big on workin out though; my housemate just keeps asking to join gyming but I always back out, haha. Although I'm okay with running and I'm doing yoga like 4 times a week
Lenlo
Cool. And definitely, give Fencing a try, find your local gym.
SuperMario
When you feel sore it just means it's working, so all good haha. I'm still pretty much interested in try Fencing one day btw. About Uchouten, it's about a bunch of tanuki in human shape wander around and having fun (I'm not serious btw). I think the forst episode of the first season can tell you exactly the tone of the show, so you can watch that episode to see if it's your thing
Lenlo
I both love and hate the post-workout aches. Its what I get for trying to get back into Fencing shape.

Whats Uchouten about?
SuperMario
My love is blind, Kaiser. When I love a show I tend to go overboard with it ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
I’d forgotten how fun these characters are, although some of the novelty, charm, humour has worn off, it is still there and I’m beginning to re-remember while watching.
I do hope though that they’ll do more with Kaisei and Bonten however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Annnnd thank you Mario again for your reviews tempting me to watch a show.
I was hesitant sitting down to watch season 2 of Uchouten Kazoku because it had been so long since I saw the original.
I caught up, Nidaime and Tenyama got my attention most, standout scenes were the shogi match and the second half of episode inside the painting, the bits between Yaichiro and that girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I could never do the sleeping on the back thing, thats largely because I heard that it increases the risk of sleep paralysis/apnea.
SuperMario
WHY PROTECTING THEM THEN?
SuperMario
You know that human is the only mammal/race that sleep on their back?
KTravlos
hahaha
Lenlo
Is his wall being built with Mexicans? Are they inside the wall, AoT style?
Kaiser-Eoghan
MAKE TITAN GREAT AGAIN =<
Yes that is true aim of Donald Trump's wall, he's actually in the know, trying to keep out Titans.
AidanAK47
WE SHALL KILL ALL OF THE ANONS.
....Wheres my 3D gear?
KTravlos
they all are anonymous and thus enemies of the human race :p
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, Just to clarify but the guy who wrote " idk wtf " and the guy writing the paragraphs are clearly two different people.
KTravlos
I also dislike anonimity on the net. If you are not in danger of being killed or purged because of your name, you should offer it. It is the right thing to do.
KTravlos
done by a lesser director. Simply put and to end it on my part: Exaggeration is the core of art. You can exaggerate the mundane , but exaggeration it still is.
KTravlos
They focus on it and make it the centerpiece. All motion picture does this, and anime does this very well in my humble opinion. There are things that are "easier" to do in live action. But make no mistake, it all comes down to the director and his team. Despite the fact that Monster is very grounded , some of its most evocative scenes would not work if done live action. Or would had not worked if
KTravlos
Look I was sharp because I do not like the whole idk etf culture thing. Should tell you my age.

What I meant with my words can be made more accessible with this analogy. Do you find yourself moved by paintings? Photos? None of this give the immediacy of the whole picture a moving image gives. And yet we are moved by them. This is because they take a element of reality and exaggerate it....
Anonymous1091057
Anyways, I should stop lol. I just ranted like less than 24 hours ago. Gotta go to uni soon anyways
Anonymous1091057
Whoops, I meant to say, ... or even stuff like Baccano could work in western live action.
Anonymous1091057
Also, I feel like shows that have some western context already infused in them, like most sports shows (i.e. Kuroko no Basket for example), or even stuff like Baccano, but once again it'd be hard to pull of the craziness and coolness of the shows, because a lot of it comes from the shows animation and style.
Anonymous1091057
But also, those shows might just be too weird for western live action.
Anonymous1091057
I don't see shows like One Piece or JJBA for example working in western live action well, at least for a long time till the CGI becomes much, much better so to not to completely destroy our suspension of disbelief.
Anonymous1091057
Those sort of works have a cross-potential for working both in anime and western live action. Then I feel slowly you can start littering in some of the more sci-fi esque ones like Steins;gate, or supernatural horror ones like Death Note.
Anonymous1091057
That's why I feel like the best hope for adapting anime into live action movies and TV shows (TV probably would be better for adapting anime tho), is to start with the more grounded, like Monster or even something like LoGH which has a sci-fi element but still maintains a sort of realism.
Anonymous1091057
There are good western movies and TV shows that are strange, but not bizarre; weird, but not the same kind of say JJBA.
Anonymous1091057
I feel like this difference between the 2 mediums makes it hard to adapt anime into live action, particularly western movies. Most anime are closer to the extreme of creative and zany than the extreme of grounded which movies are better at pulling off.
Anonymous1091057
Or another example is Steins;gate. No other medium could have a plot about bananas, time machines, cell phones, world war 3, and make it work pretty well everything said and done.
Anonymous1091057
Or how in the world could JoJo's Bizarre Adventure ever work out, with its complete craziness, except in anime. I know they're making a movie from the first arc of DiU, but they inevitably have to strip away some of the weirdness that makes the series great.
Anonymous1091057
But then on the other hand, I'm not the biggest fan of modern western superhero shows, particularly because I feel like it's better suited to anime. I'll take One Piece, FMA, or Hunter x Hunter (just to name a few) over 90% of superhero movies today.
Anonymous1091057
*movies aren't a great example of this as a whole, there's a scene from the last Hobbit movie which kinda shows how live action captures the tiny tics and "boringness" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIaJb6RY0TQ
Anonymous1091057
Or like, just the way a character breathes; while the movies aren
Anonymous1091057
I feel live action is better able to capture the minute, "boring", or slow parts of life. For example you don't see too many slow shots in the animated medium (maybe movies being an exception), but they're common in live action (not as much in modern movies, but still).
Anonymous1091057
I agree its a matter of personal preference, and I didn't mean to imply that I thought anime was inferior to TV or vice-versa, but just that they offer different types of experiences. I feel anime excels at the imaginative, crazy, and bizarre, while live action succeeds at the grounded, mundane, and "boringness" of living.
KTravlos
I do not care if you do not know what I am talking about. There we are.
Anonymous1091060
@travlos idk wtf you're talking about
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm open to realistic stories and sad ones also but above all I'm more interested in imagination.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Given that Bam isn't here, can I rely on you to review Blame! this weekend? Its out on netflix on Saturday.
KTravlos
Animation has the ability to distill emotions to there core. It is why some would say it exaggerates (And there are shows that do so), but what it really does is provide the "core" of emotions. Live action can do this, but requires great actors, or good buildup.
AidanAK47
Oh god the typos in that rant. For some reason my spellcheck has ceased to work on this thing.
AidanAK47
For a cliff notes, TV and Anime are not inferior to one another. Both have plus's and minus's to them and how invested one gets depends on personal preference
AidanAK47
@Anon2, Not even close to my point.
Anonymous1090816
Animation is more realistic 'cuz its fully imaginary. Ya dig?
AidanAK47
Honestly when it comes to me, the closer a show resembles reality, the less interest I have in it. Hence why I am not watching Tsuki ga Kirei this season.
AidanAK47
When you get down to it this is pretty much a matter of personal perference. There are those who cannot connect with animation as strongly because it's animated. Likewise there are those that connect stronger because it's animated. One cannot nessaily be deemed better than the other. both have their pros and cons.
AidanAK47
Animation I feel allows for more room to bend the rules. A story like dragonball is utterly ridiclous in live action but it works within art. There are emotional high points in anime which would just fall completly flat in a live action adaption. It's not really fair to deem those things as inferior because it's not realistic. It can hit those high notes because it isn't realistic.
AidanAK47
One thing you mention is the unnatural exgrattion of emotion or experences and I do argee with that. There is a layer of artificiality to anime interactions. However this exists in TV shows as well. One thing that always bugged me about TV shows that I have seen is the dialogue. i always felt that people don't talk natural in these shows, all there lines are focused on being snappy and memorable.
AidanAK47
There is also a level of ambigity within "Nauce" as it can be interpted as many thing by the watcher. For one it could be just people looking too much into what is essentailly "Stare blankly". It's funny you mention Naoki as he does this exact same thing. Character says something, other character stare intently. Actually the diagolue in his stories is similer to that of tv drama's as well.
AidanAK47
While animated emotion can be considered more simplistic than that of live action, i would consider this a strength rather than a weakness. Anime characters can express emotion more clearly than that of live action actors. The naunce of a anime character is easy to notice because they can get the exact reaction needed for a scene. Meanwhile to do the same in live action takes one hell of an actor
AidanAK47
@Anon, On this shoutbox you an rant away and let me start by saying that i disargee. I will admit that there are certain things that live action Tv shows can do that Anime simply cannot but I disargee with the notion that animation cannot connect to the human experence. If anything I would argue that anime can even exceed it.
Kaiser
I will say this though about live action films is that i find that its easier to create a more successful atmosphere through them, making you forget your watching fiction.
Kaiser
Urasawa can be uneven, his work can jump between maddeningly slow and nail biting suspense sometimes in the same series.
Kaiser
I stuck with breaking bad , The bborgias and eventually hannibal all the way through. Always sunny is still funny .
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Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]