Posted on 31 January 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

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There’s a certain pattern that some 13-episode series follow. It’s mostly apparent in Kemonozume. The first X episodes of the series rather goof off with random side-quests, funny fillers, etc. And then at one episode, a huge twist comes and the anime suddenly turns serious, starts working towards its major climax, and the overall atmosphere suddenly feels much tenser. Generally, I don’t like these, as they’re just way too forced and directed. Makai Senki Disgaea is one of the few series which actually did such a twist right up till now. And I’m glad to see that Niea Under 7 can be added to this small list.

This series starts out as a comedy-series. We’ve got this poor cram school student (Mayuko) who has a very annoying alien living in her closet. The fact that the two of them are almost polar opposites makes sure that the two of them keep bickering against each other whenever they meet. This provides some pretty funny and hilarious situations. But that’s not the thing that made me interested in this anime.

The best thing of this series really is Mayuko’s situation. Not only is she a cram school student, she also is incredibly poor, she can’t rely on her parents, she’s shy, and she has to work very hard. Her worries about her situation definitely made this show worth watching. The addition of comedy turned this into a very enjoyable watch. A huge focus is money-struggles. None of the characters appearing in this anime is a huge money-maker, and you can see that even at the places Mayuko works part-time at. This means that whenever a roof gets distroyed, it doesn’t magically fix itself in the next shot, like in most anime. No, here, this roof spends most of its time in the anime being broken, until it finally gets the chance to be fixed.

The style of the character art also is one you won’t see in the anime appearing currently anymore. It’s a pity, since I like the style and it’s by no means low-budget. It’s definitely a sign that anime is changing.

Still, there are a few bad points about NieA Under 7. It did a very good job in not taking any risks by not forcing too many conveniently-timed plot-twists, but because of this, it doesn’t take all the chances that are presented to it. It could have been more. Mayuko could have been better developed. We could have seen more of her struggles, though this anime decided to keep things simple.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

+ Top 5 Anime with one Episode Watched +
This section is getting smaller and smaller, due to the fact that I’m watching more and more shows raw. If this continues, I’m going to combine the two lists again.

#5: Angelique 2007

I wanted to like this series. I really did. But the concept is just garbage.

#4: Giant Robo

Before I’m going to really judge this anime, I need to see a high-quality version of the first episode. If I recall correctly, it’ll be released around the beginning of February. So far, the things I saw are interesting.

#3: Strike Witches

I expected this to be major garbage, though the use of classical music and the fact that it short actually made up for a lot.

#2: Soukou no Strain

Soukou no Strain seems to be in some kind of huge hiatus, seeing that only one episode got released this month. All that’s left now is to wait for its ending. As things look now, it can go anywhere.

#1: Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi

Why, oh why did this series have to air on the number-one prime-time spot for anime? Surely, it’s a great series, but it’ll never become popular. Because only popular shows are allowed at that timeslot, Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi got its original length of fifty episodes friggin’ halved. That’s another thing I have against popular series. They just give no chance against the lesser-known and most often better series.

+ Top 29 Anime with more than one Episode Watched +
One thing I realized after watching one month of the winter-season is that this season has a lot of mediocre series which just are good enough for me to keep watching them. A lot of series are mediocre with one or two very good points, which keep me interested.

#29: Shuffle! Memories

So, wait… this entire series is going to be one huge recap-series? What the heck? At least Wolf’s Rain had a good reason for it’s recap-arc. Dropped.

#28: Kyoushiro to Towa no Sora

I tried to watch this, but failed. Kuu is even more annoying than Himeko, and that has to say something. The laughable cheesiness soon turned into incredibly boring cheesiness. Dropped.

#27: Afro Samurai

Nice action, good animation, but the script. Holy god, the script. It’s a huge collection of clichés. And please teach the creators a bit of physics and the capabilities of the human body. Seriously.

#26: Getsumen to Heiki Mina

Fairly amusing, but way too much fanservice. Some of the jokes work really well, though, but it needs a bit more realism to succeed. Also, please kill all the characters with big lips in this show. Lips like these have never worked, and they never will.

#25: Nodame Cantabile

I still don’t know what to think of this show. It seems full of potential, everyone likes it, but I can’t see what’s so special about it. I’m going to continue to watch the subbed version in the hope it’ll turn better in the future.

#24: Yoshinaga-chi no Gargoyle

Ugh, dammit. The problem with this show is that it doesn’t realize where it’s brilliant at. At one time, it hit the nail, but instead of continuing to hammer this nail, it tries to hit everywhere. Even at the places which don’t make any sense.

#23: Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou

I’ve seen more shows which mess around a bit with their episode-order, placing a late episode as the first episode, in order to give a good first impression. Gintama and Power Puff Z, for example. The thing is, both Gintama and Power Puff Z had rather bad first episodes, and turned better with the following episodes. Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou, however, had an excellent first episode, but the second one was just boring. I hope this isn’t some kind of sign. Still, I must congratulate this series for being the first to include actual grunting in its OP. Now all that’s left is to pick a good song, but it’s a good step in the way of introducing Metal to anime (I’m a huge metal-fan, if you didn’t know already).

#22: Hidamari Sketch

This show certainly isn’t a horrible one, and it most definitely has its funny moments. Impz forced me to watch till episode three, and after watching them, I have to say that this show actually is quite nice. It’s got great direction, however I won’t continue to watch it, unfortunately. Not because the show is bad, but because a pure slice-of-life series isn’t just in my taste. I want something to happen to our main character. See them talk with each other and have fun may look interesting, it won’t make me care about them.

#21: Saint October

Great show, though it keeps milking a bit too much on the sadistic jokes at times, and I wish it’d take itself a bit more seriously at times. Still, I love the bad-guy parodies. You also have to give this series credit for the most original transformation sequence.

#20: Code Geass

This month showed some very interesting developments for Code Geass. Nice plot twists, though for some reason, I just can’t seem to care about its characters. It could be because they’re annoying, and they seem to lack something.

#19: Venus Versus Virus

I’m feeling a bit awkward about this one. It’s a great series, episode three also featured a great case, but it seems to be missing something. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I hope this anime finds it through the course of the series.

#18: Manabi Straight

I was seriously surprised at episode four. Here I was, expecting a rather energetic slice-of-life series, and then here it comes with its incredibly deep character-study of Mei. I never thought that the creators would go that way, but if it’s got more episodes like this, I’m in! Another thing I love about this anime is how its background music features a number of percussion-tunes. Great for giving it a chaotic feeling.

#17: Himawari!!

I know I commended this series after its first episode, but after seeing four episodes, I’m beginning to notice something troublesome. The monster-of-the-week theme is a bit too apparent, up to the point where it actually works annoying. It also seems to be focusing a bit too much on comedy, instead of character-development. It’s a pity, as the fights and antagonists are hilarious, and the character development that actually does get showcased is very interesting to see. I also freaked out when I realized that the ED for each episode is sung by a different voice-actress. Seriously, Himeji’s voice actress SO can’t sing. XD

#16: Demashita!! Power Puff Girls Z

We now turn to the really good series. First of all, Power Puff Z. Especially the Him-episode was really good. He still is the most evil villain of the series, but I’m so glad that the creators gave him a rather humorous side. The original series made the mistake of displaying him way to serious and evil, though this version of Him is just hilarious and scary at the same time. The episode with the carrot, selery and peppers who went to live on another planet was just brilliant.

#15: Gintama

Whoa… this series can be pretty serious when it wants to. Not only that, it’s one of the few comedy-series which can actually pull this off and turn even better because of this.

#14: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

Luckily, my hunch that this series played all its major trump cards in its first four episodes was wrong. This month has been hilarious for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. I love how it’s such a hugely energetic and fast-paced comedy.

#13: Kekkaishi

Kekkaishi still remains strong, despite being a shounen-fighting series. One of the things that makes it great is that it’s got a cast of hilarious characters, which really brighten up the mood of the episodes. Because of this, it actually managed to make the main love interest a bit believable.

#12: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

This still remains an excellent series. There’s a huge amount of references to Japan’s history, I’d probably get dizzy if it wasn’t for w’s comments. Unfortunately, however, this series has been stuck inside a three-episode intermezzo this month. I’m glad the next episode will get back on track.

#11: Chevalier

Chevalier has just entered its second half, which means that it’s time for this show to prove itself. So far, it’s had some great time to build up. We’ve seen some very interesting scenes this month, there’s a great amount of politics and common sense in this anime, but it still is too early to call it amazing.

#10: Ghost Hunt

This month brought a huge wave of Ghost Hunt-releases. While the third arc may have been a bit too predictable, episode 11 was hilarious, while episode 12 and 13 featured a extremely touching tale about the ghost of a young boy. I can’t wait to find out what the second half of this anime has in store.

#9: Red Garden

Red Garden has been more interesting than ever. It’s been moving away from angst and character-driven episodes towards plot-driven episodes. Especially Hervé was awesome this month. I love his sadism towards Lise. ^^

#8: Night Head Genesis

This month, I managed to finish Night Head Genesis. It definitely was a very original ending. Okay, so it may have been just a prologue to some tv-series, the fact does remain that that was the point this anime ended for me. It’s a bit tricky to decide what exactly can be defined as an ending in this case. It’s just like with manga-based anime. Fruits Basked and xxxHolic, for example. There’s still lots of story, though the anime ended rather abrupt. Still, since I don’t read any manga or watch any Japanese drama, etc, I’m going to consider this as the ending of Night Head Genesis. And boy, was it a great one. :)

#7: Deltora Quest

Okay, when an anime comes with a bunch of puzzles and word games, you know it’s time to switch to the subs. Seriously, the fourth episode was just impossible to understand without proper knowledge of what’s happening. And I’m suspecting that the riddles will only get more difficult with each episode progressing. I don’t want to miss any second of this, so I’m going to be waiting for the subs.

#6: Master of Epic

This show is just brilliant. It’s just so full of hilarious parodies and sketches. Just too bad that of the fourth episode.

#5: Les Miserables

Les Miserables already has left a huge impression on me. Unless it’ll forget that it’s supposed to have 52 episodes, I can’t see a lot of things to mess up this story. So far, I love it. :)

#4: Saiunkoku Monogatari

Shuurei has been fairly surprising this week, when people actually start toying with her feelings. Still, the huge cast of characters was brilliant.

#3: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

With the start of December, Otogi Juushi Akazukin suddenly turned the quality up one gear. And ever since, it’s been dishing out one awesome episode after the other. Even now, this series is as awesome as ever. You just have to love Dark Shirayuki, the dwarves and Gretel, who’s finally going to stand up for herself. And Akazukin’s background just turned out Awesome. :)

#2: Death Note

Death Note is already into one of its major climaxes, and that with still so many episodes to go. The past few episodes have been full of juicy plot twists. I couldn’t help but love them.

#1: Jigoku Shoujo

I’m not sure if the subbers stopped subbing this series right before the awesome episodes came on purpose, but the fact remains that Jigoku Shoujo has been getting better and better. Some of the cases were just insane, while others featured some brilliant plot twists.

+ Newly Announced Anime +
Since there was no December-summary, these are the anime which were announced for the past two months. Ranked from least interesting to most interesting. There are some beauties among them, and, unfortunately, also some horrible-sounding ones. The new trends seem to be remakes of ancient anime and lots of mecha.

Nanatsuiro Drops
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“What if, when watching the stars outside the window… What if, when writing in your secret diary at the end if the day… …A mysterious light suddenly falls from the sky… Tsuwabuki Masaharu, or Haru as is friends like to call him, is your normal middle school student. Now in his second year, his friends push him to speak with his classmates whom he have yet to speak to, but this was still a difficult thing for Haru due to his clumsy nature. One afternoon, his life met with a 180° during a strange encounter in the hallways of Hoshigaoka School. During that fateful encounter, he accidentally drinks a magical potion which transforms him into a stuffed animal sheep during the night! Through later events, Haru learns that in order to return to his original self, he needs to collect “star droplets” that fall from the sky. However, being that his innards are now made of cotton, he will need the help of a “special person,” little did he know that special person was someone from his class. Living a double life between his day self and his sheep form “Yuki-chan”, page one of his story, her story, and the story of nanatsuiro drops begins~” – Ugh… darn it. Another hentai-game adaptation. They stayed away during the winter-season (not counting the abridged Shuffle!), though it looks like they’ll be coming back to haunt me.

Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo
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“This is a heartful school adventure at a high school on the isolated island. They are enjoying their life there, sometimes reacting against each other.” – (taken from Himeyashop) – “Sometimes”? “Sometimes”?! So most of the time, they’re just alone, sitting around like zombies doing nothing? How can characters like these just react “sometimes” with each other. Unless they’re emo, this can never become interesting. But since this is a hentai-game adaptation and it’s listed as a heartful school adventure, I’d say that the chance is very slim that this is going to be something interesting.

Touka Gettan
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No Summary Yet – The staff is going to be the same as with Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabi (note to self: watch it someday). While I haven’t seen it, I can say that this anime will make sure of some great eye-candy, since the genius behind Simoun’s character designs is working on it. Too bad we’re dealing with a hentai-game adaptation here. -_-

Prism Ark
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“Finally getting the acceptance notice, Hyaweh travels to the Isle of Rozenberg, which is holded by the Rozenberg Family, the most powerful family in Wind Land, second to the absence Royal Family. In there is the best school for knights wannabes, privately funded by Duke Kizarov Rozenberg, the number one Knight in Wind Land. However, as it turns out, Hyaweh is actually two whole weeks late and from there on spirals his wacky journey to knighthood in the midst of a devastating war taking place, which will hit home closer than what anyone could’ve imagine.” – (summary taken from Ayyo) – It’s a pity, I like the concept, the art looks interesting, though the fact does remain that we’ve got ourselves another hentai-game adaptation again. After the autumn-season, I really lost my hopes on this genre. I hope this one can at least prove me wrong, but for now, I’m suspecting that this one will fall just as hard as the others.

Darker than Black
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“Suddenly anomalous field impossible to analyze appears in Tokyo. As if they responded to the field named “Hell’s Gate”, people that have new powers and completely different from the current human begins appear. They have lost their minds and sometimes kill people cruelly. People call them “Contractor” with fear.” – (taken from AnimeNfo) – “The main character, Hei is some super top-class agent, at ‘The Organisation’. He’s one of the best in this group of people with supernatural powers, called “keiyakusha”. As such he’s an invaluable member of The Organisation. He seems to be a solitary guy who won’t allow others in his heart. Currently he is posing as a timid Chinese university student called Li Shun Sheng. The seemingly lead female, Yin is a support staff in Hei’s team. She seems normal but she’s got absolutely no emotions at all and is sometimes called “Doll”. She’s also blind, but her other senses have been honed to such a level that she can… instantaneously understand the physical situation around her for a radius of 50m.” – (Translated by wao) – I can’t really say I’m interested in the characters. The main character just sounds like Naru-chan with most of his personality removed (and of course he’s the strongest keiyakusha around), while a female character without any emotions won’t be getting a lot of development, will she?

Hayate the Combat Butler
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“With a debt of 1.5 million, 16-year old Hayate Ayasaki’s parents sell him to the yakuza to pay it off. Not wanting to be cut up and sold on the black market, Hayate escapes from the yakuza thugs, and finds a very rich girl by the name of Nagi wandering in a park at night. Deciding to kidnap the girl for ransom money, Hayate’s kidnapping speech was wrongly taken as a confession of love to Nagi. She finds out about the debt, and, feeling sorry for Hayate, pays it off, as long as Hayate will be her butler until he pays off the 1.5 million (which will take about 40 years).” – Just when I thought that the concepts couldn’t get any worse. Ah well, at least it isn’t a hentai-game adaptation.

Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula
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“The human race has recovered from the cataclysmic disaster now known as the “Equator Winter”. Now, each country begins to battle one another with robots to establish the new world order. A 13-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl operate Japan’s robot. Now begins their robot battle.” – (taken from AnimeNfo) – This is a very ambitious project. It’s got no less than fourteen different people behind its mecha designs. It seems like each person designed a different mecha. Still, I hope the creators aren’t serious with a project like this. I mean, they’ve got to find a very, very good reason to make these two brats pilot the mecha which can control the entire fate of Japan, especially when Adults can do the job much better.

Overdrive
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“The story centers around a boy who aims to become the number one bicyclist in the world.” – (taken from manganews) – This seems like your standard shounen-sports anime. I haven’t been a big fan of this genre. I’m not sure why, actually.

Kaze no Stigma
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“the Story is about the Guy, who got kicked out of his fire Clan because he had no talent. 4 years down the road he comes back to Japan and has power to manipulate the wind, and on his return to japan he is a Suspect in a murder.” – (summary by evil-samurai) – The art looks interesting. This is going to be a shounen-fantasy anime. It does have potential, though the production behind it is rather weak. The character design is done by someone who’s only done mediocre ones before, while the others have only been working on mediocre anime. They’ve got some nice voice-actors, though. The woman who did Yuuko is on it, just as Sakura’s and Karada’s voice actress (from Tsubasa Chronicle and Asatte no Houkou).

Princess Resurrection
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“The story centres on the character of school boy Hiro Hiyorimi who is struck by a car in an accident. Unbeknownst to him, his life is saved by a princess of darkness who feeds him her blood immediately after the incident.” – (taken from Anime News Service) – Based on a “gothic horror / dark comedy / heavy moe themed comic”. I like the goth horror, though the heavy-moe themes worry me a bit. Still, this can become interesting. If the creators somehow manage to make the love relationship between the two characters interesting.

Heroic Age
The only thing known about this anime is that Xebec is producing it, and the character designs are done by Hirai Hisashi. This guy has his own distinctive style, in my opinion, just look at Fafner, Gundam Seed Destiny and Gin-Iro no Olynsis. I’m suspecting we’re dealing with another mecha-anime. I wonder whether it’ll become great, or just turn into a plain old flop.

Potemayo
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Hmm, I haven’t managed to find a summary for this one, but it seems to involve normal schoolgirls who meet up with two strange chibi-witches/mahou shoujo. Some of the people who worked on Venus Versus Virus are also involved in this one, and I’m suspecting that this will be another one of those cute slice-of-life series.

Engage Planet Kiss Dum
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This seems to be some kind of epic mecha-anime, not much is known about it yet. The staff behind it also seems to have worked on Banner and Crest of the stars. I’ve heard that these were good anime, though I’ve yet to see them myself.

sola
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It’s been listed as fantasy, seinen and romance. Apart from that, we’ve got some character designs, and that’s it about the information known about this anime. It actually has me interested so far, but I’m fearing that this will turn into another one of those moe comedies.

Lovely Complex
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“Koizumi Risa, current height 170 cm. Her surname is translated to “small river”. A girl taller than most other girls her age. Otani Atsushi, current height 156 cm. His surname is translated to “big valley”. A guy way below the average height of a highschool boy. They’re both known all around school as the comedian duo for looking like nothing but funny while standing beside each other. Due to this fact, they’ve been on one another’s bad side ever since they first met. One day, a new transfer student shows up and he happens to be very tall! Koizumi immediately gets interested in this boy and Otani suddenly proposes a silly idea to Koizumi. The idea is that they are to help each other out to get their respective love interests by all means! Koizumi undoubtedly agrees to this but as in all other shoujo mangas, things never turn out the way people want it to.” – Ah, finally another shoujo anime to be announced. I’m not sure whether I’m going to like it, but a good point is that I can actually relate to the male main character, seeing as I’m very short myself. We’ll see how this turns out.

Skull Man
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“There are mass murders and catastrophes all over Japan, committed by a masked/caped psychic madman called the Skull Man, and his shape-shifting aide Garo (named after the manga ninja Garo created by Sanpei Shirato), who can turn into various powerful mutant monsters. The calamities caused by the Skull Man are investigated by the Tachiki Detective Agency, with the help of a young man named Tatsuo Kagura, the son of a yakuza in the Kagura Clan.” – (taken from Wikipedia) – Interesting, an anti-hero. Shows about anti-heroes are almost always worth watching, since they offer a nice twist to the usual heroes seen in anime.

Koutetsu Sangokushi
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Not much is known about this anime, but with the director of Master of Epic and the guy who did the script for Jigoku Shoujo, Deltora Quest and many more, I’ll be looking forward to it.

Cencoroll
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“For talented animation creators who want an opportunity to create and distribute an ”original work,” ”ANIME INNOVATION TOKYO” offers funds and equipments. Producers belonging to ”ANIME INNOVATION TOKYO” take care and advise selected creators to make pilot films. Production span is about six months to a year. Basically, the pilot films should be based on ”original plans” from the creators. Any form of animation is possible. We will accept any animation style if we feel that it brings out the best of the creator’s style, and we can offer equipments within each individual project budget. By the spring of 2008, we will select 20 creators, and team up with them to establish joint-venture groups (JV) with LLP, ”ANIME INNOVATION TOKYO” etc., to make pilot films together.” – (taken from Anime Innovation Tokyo main site) – Very interesting. I like what these guys are doing. They take small companies, and give them enough budget to create a new, innovative anime. I’m really hoping for some TV-series out of this, though it seems that they’ll be keeping themselves to films and movies. Anyway, Cencoroll is the first one to be selected. So far, a trailer has been released, and it looks quite interesting.

Blue Dragon
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Blue Dragon follows Shu and his friends as they find themselves capable of manifesting their actions through surprisingly powerful shadows. Not long after, the main cast sets off on a grand adventure that, in true RPG fashion, determines the fate of the world.” (summary by Mr. Sephiroth) – Very interesting, an RPG-adaptation. I’m getting Popolocrois-vibes out of this one, which is always a good thing. I also really like the cast of voice actors. Nearly all of the main characters are voiced by people who have had a lot of different roles, and have a huge amount of experience in the business. It should prove to be very interesting, but Akira Toriyama behind the character design!? What are they, nuts!?

To Terra… (Chikyuu e…)
“Light-years from Earth, where every aspect of life is controlled by the great master computer, if you are a Psychic (called a MU) you’re dead. Hunted tirelessly, the MU have been hiding for centuries from the general populace.” – (taken from Anime News Network) – Sometimes, the more mysterious an anime is, the more interesting it sounds. That’s definitely the case for To Terra. I know almost nothing about this one, but somehow I’m really looking forward to watching this. It’s supposed to be a remake of a 1980-series (the description above also comes from the original series). The staff also sounds very interesting, seeing as it features the people behind episode 18 of Mushishi (which was one of the best one of the entire series) and the character design is done by the same guy who did the character designs for Paradise Kiss and Escaflowne.

Baccano!
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“Baccano features an immortal alchemist, married thieves, Mafia siblings, demons and vampires set in 1930s America.” – (by Sonhex) – And that’s about all that’s known about this anime. This seems to be the first anime the original creator is involved with, so perhaps it’ll feature some new, interesting elements. I have to say that I’m quite interested in the concept. The art also looks gorgeous.

Kaze no Shoujo Emily
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“Emily Starr is sent to live at New Moon Farm on Prince Edward Island with her aunts Elizabeth and Laura Murray. She makes friends with Ilse Burnley, Teddy Kent, and Perry Miller, the hired boy, who Aunt Elizabeth looks down upon because he was born in ‘Stovepipe Town’, a poorer district. Each of the children have special gifts. Emily was born to be a writer, Teddy is a gifted artist, Ilse is a talented elocutionist, and Perry has the makings of a great politician. They also each have a few problems with their families. Emily has a hard time getting along with Aunt Elizabeth, who doesn’t understand her need to write. Ilse’s father, Dr. Burnley, ignores Ilse most of the time because of a dreadful secret concerning Ilse’s mother. Teddy’s mother is jealous of her son’s talents and friends, fearing that his love for them will eclipse his love for her. As a result, she hates Emily, Teddy’s drawings, and even his pets. Perry isn’t as well off as the other three, so his Aunt Tom once tries to make Emily promise to marry Perry when they grow up, threatening that unless Emily does so, she won’t pay for Perry’s schooling.” – (taken from Wikipedia) – Okay, I’ve just fallen in love with another concept. The cases of these four children sound extremely interesting. I can’t wait for this one to air. ^^

El Cazador de la Bruja
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“It’s about a girl named Elis, who finds herself on the run from the so called Hunters of the underground society due to being a suspect of a murder. She meets up with a bounty hunter named Nadi who offers her help and guidance to pursue the truth of her past. For some reason the Hunters are now after her as well.” – (summary by Monir) – When I looked at the list of shows the director worked on, I immediately knew he had to be my hero. He did .Hack//Sign, .Hack//Roots, Noir, Tsubasa Chronicle, and even Popolocrois. With a director like that, I’m really looking forward to this. I’m also getting some heavy Noir-vibes from this one. Should promise to be great. And if things couldn’t get any better, Yuki Kajiura, the genius behind the soundtrack of Noir and .Hack//Sign is going to do the music!

+ Top 5 episodes +
#5: Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette – 03
The climax grabbed me surprisingly tight. I knew that Thenadier would be mean against Cosette, but I almost couldn’t bear to watch the things she did to Cosette, even though most of the action happened outside of the screen.

#4: Death Note – 15
Extremely touching and full of juicy plot twist. That’s how I like Death Note best. I almost couldn’t believe the things that happened to Misa.

#3: Saiunkoku Monogatari – 24
Saiunkoku Monogatari dished out a lot of goodness this month, and I feel that this episode showcased the best of it. The best point, in my opinion was Ensei’s lecture towards Kokujun, though Shuurei herself also was awesome. Oh, and let’s not forget the beautiful drawing that was made of Ensei. ^^

#2: Jigoku Shoujo – 37
The thing I loved about this episode is that you probably won’t get its real meaning until you start thinking about it, or look at some kind of blog post about it. That’s what made this episode so awesome.

#1: Otogi Juushi Akazukin – 30
Akazukin’s past is better than I ever imagined. Episodes like these make this already awesome anime even more enjoyable.

Posted on 29 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Short Synopsis: Finally: Akazukin’s background!
Good: Better than I ever imagined. This seriously was an awesome episode!
Bad: The beginning had awkward animation, despite this being a major episode.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10

Seriously, that was AWESOME! Ever since I started with rating the episodes, I never had to give an episode such a high rating. And this episode definitely deserves it! This episode definitely was one of the ones where everything comes together. Those who’ve been reading my other entries about this show know that I’ve been heavily speculating about and anticipating both the background of Akazukin and Baru, since nothing really has been said about them, which means that they had to hide something, didn’t they?

That question got answered in this episode. The reason Akazukin never talked about her childhood was because it’s a rather sad one. Her birth village now lies in ruins. It’s not because of Cendrion’s army, however. Her village was raided by the wolves. They killed her parents, her best friend at that time and his mother. The survivors abandoned the village, and moved to a nearby one. At that point, Akazukin also met Baru, if I’m correct. If I had to guess, she then moved to the same place Hameln was staying, after which she went to the school we saw in episode 10 or eleven.

One of the things that made this episode so awesome was the fact that it built up perfectly. It already started when they didn’t even reach the village, when Souta noticed that Akazukin tried to be awfully happy. Randagio, meanwhile, introduces Jedo-sama in quite a funny way. Still, despite the jokes used, the heavy atmosphere kindof stays.

Still, the best thing about the episode was Kain, Akazukin’s childhood friend. (On a side-note: I almost exploded because of the cuteness of small Akazukin. Seriously, when I thought that things couldn’t get any cuter after Chibi-Shirayuki) The two of them were extremely cute when they were young, and it seems that Akazukin keeps saying “Zukkyun” because of him. Still, the thing is that this “Kain” looks an awful lot like Jedo-sama. It’s a fairly standard plot twist. Your former best friend now is a bad guy because of some reason. At least, that’s what I thought.

Boy, was I wrong. I never expected BARU, OF ALL PEOPLE to be Kain! Seriously, that is so AWESOME! It perfectly explains why he stays with her. To make things even better, Jedo-sama seems to be his brother. That’s why nothing was said about his father. He probably separated from his wife, took Jedo with him, and started living with the Lycan. I’m suspecting that his father was a Lycan, while his mother was a normal person. That’s what made the two of them special. Seriously, with this, this series turned even better. Was this the best of Otogi Juushi Akazukin, or are there even more awesome episodes waiting? I can’t wait to find out. :D

Posted on with categories: Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette

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Short Synopsis: Cosette finally finds out that her mother has been sending her letters. The only problem: she can’t read.
Good: For now, it seems that this anime realizes its huge length, and makes excellent use of this by developing Cosette into a great character. This episode was no exception.
Bad: Let’s hope that the newly introduced boy doesn’t turn into a bad love interest.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

It seems that this episode skipped another year, since Shushu seems to have grown up into a large dog. In the end, Cosette got to keep him. ^^ I’m really liking how much the creators are developing her in this anime. This episode, she makes her first steps into learning to read and write from the local priest. I can’t wait till she finds out exactly what her mother wrote to her, since the moment when she was able to read her own name into her mother’s letter alone already was awesome.

Meanwhile, in the city nothing much happened. It feels like the entire episode has been building up for Jean, Javert, Fantine and the old man who appeared during this episode for the first time. We see the latter get into an accident at the end of the episode, with Aran in the neighbourhood. I’m suspecting that his role is to give Aran a bit of development. Javert, meanwhile, shows how devoted he is to upholding the law. I’m also wondering what’ll happen to Fantine, and when exactly it will happen.

Still, despite this episode being as good as usual, I’m worrying about the newly introduced young boy (Toron?). I’m really hoping for him to be more than just a love-triangle-inducing character for Cosette. This often forms a pitfall for most anime, I hope it won’t be the same for this anime as well. Also, you have to love the attempts of the poor voice-actors trying to talk French, or Furenchi, in this case. ^^;

Posted on with categories: Master of Epic

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Short Synopsis: An eccentric fashion designer; Warage Black is missing!
Good: The introduction-sketch; The main character gets more screentime than ever (as in, 10 seconds ^^;); I LOVE the smilies.
Bad: This episode wasn’t as good as the previous ones, unfortunately; this show deserves better animation.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 6.5/10

Aw, too bad. While this episode definitely was funny, it wasn’t as outright hilarious as the past few episodes. Especially Waragecha used a rather overused joke, and too many of the jokes centred around people getting beat up. While it is funny once in a while, you don’t want to repeat this too much.

Still, the episode definitely was memorable. Mostly because of one particularly wrong sketch, in which we saw a Pandemos who dressed himself up as a fashion-designer. He also got angry whenever someone dared to call him a male. He really gave a totally new meaning to the word “trap”. And when you think things couldn’t get even wronger, the episode ends in a very strange, and very, VERY wrong way.

I also loved the end of the introduction, where the male Elmony started to chase the Cognite with a giant club. ^^ The main character also actually spoke more than one sentence. We see more of her with every episode progressing.

Posted on 28 January 2007 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo

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Short Synopsis: A guy has lost his wife and son in a truck accident five years ago, and his daughter has been in coma ever since. But why would he want to access Jigoku Tsuushin?
Good: Lots of Ai-airtime this time. Nice ending.
Bad: This episode just doesn’t match up to the quality of the previous episodes.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10

Dammit. Here I was expecting a huge episode, and then it comes with such a usual one. We have this guy who has this grudge against a number of idiots who tried to be on television while his wife just died. Right now, he’s feeling that his time is coming, and he at least wants the idiots to die before he does. In the end, he can’t kill the last of the idiots, so he lets Ai do it for him.

Still, I do feel that this episode featured a turning point. No major one, but Ai and Kikuri were exceptionally present in this episode. Especially Kikuri was finally more than the annoying brat of the past episodes. She finally shows a bit of what she can do, and the effect this has on the different cases. I’m suspecting that the following episodes will continue to delve deeper in this. Ai also actually contributed to the research. Either that, or she wanted to try out being a waitress. I’m not sure what that purpose was, same with her, eating a snack at the Oden. Okay, it was amusing, and she looked REALLY cute, but the point…?

Still, the ending was surprisingly good. Okay, his daughter waking up was unavoidable, though the creators actually found a good reason for her to wake up at that exact time. I also like how this episode put emphasis on the punishment of hell and the punishment of killing someone. The guy now has to live his life with two punishments: seeing his daughter find out that he’s a murderer, and if that wasn’t good enough, he’d have a nice and cosy hell for him as soon as he dies, which probably won’t take long.

I’ve also been wondering… will Hell Boy return? And what about Hajime and Tsugumi? The fact remains that the final few episodes of this series will bring some kind of conclusion to this series. Though so far, we’ve got no clue as to what this might be, in contrary to the first season, which clearly focused on Hajime’s struggle against Ai. I’m suspecting Kikuri and the spider will be playing a huge role in this. Especially the spider. He’s been getting an awful little amount of development, though. I want to see more of him… err.. it.

Posted on with categories: Jigoku Shoujo

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Short Synopsis: Wanyuudo hitchhikes with a truck driver, who seems to have a grudge against an old man.
Good: I love this show; Even though nothing really happened, this episode was amazing!
Bad: How long must Kikuri (not Kirika) continue to ruin the incredible mood this anime sets?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

Seriously, the past few episodes of Jigoku Shoujo have been one hit after another. And then to think that we’ve still got fourteen episodes to go, and something tells me that the creators are planning to save the best for last. This episode also was a special one. Not only is it a rare Wanyuudo-episode, it also is the first episode to hint about his past, when he was still a human. He seems to come from medieval Japan, probably after Ai’s time. In there, he once lead a carriage, carrying an important princess. This carriage then falls off the same cliff we see during this episode. It’s probably after this that either the spider or Ai found him, and recruited him, though we don’t get to see that part.

The case this time focused a lot on atmosphere this time. I’m not sure what it is, but seeing two people talk, while driving a truck on a lonesome road works really well, and the first half of the episode really takes its time introducing the case. It’s was almost like Mushishi. Then, with the second half of the episode, this anime gets its Jigoku Shoujo-vibes back when Enma Ai appears in front of the truck-driver, whose little brother died in a car accident on a dangerous part of the road because an old man refused to move somewhere else, forcing the road to be built dangerously around his house.

The old man, like usual, can’t really be called evil. He’s just an old man, who puts a huge value in his own principles. He’s been living inside his house for ages, it’s logical for him to not want to live somewhere else. Especially since he lost all of his family-members and is all alone, he just kept clinging on his house, which reminded him of his former loved ones. Even though he knew quite well about the dangers his decision caused.

The episode ends quite interestingly. The old man dies from a heart attack, before the truck driver could reach him. Before he dies, he gives Hone Onna the message that he gives all his possessions to the boy who died, aka the truck driver’s younger brother. This was his way of repenting for the sin he committed in order to live in peace for his last few years.

(On a side-note, I’m really looking forward to the thirteenth episode right now, seeing as most anime try to put in some spectacle at this point of the series. Especially with a concept like Jigoku Shoujo, it’s really easy to plan this. The first season already showed this when it featured an episode which focused at a guy, fifty years after he cursed someone).

Posted on 27 January 2007 with categories: Death Note

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Short Synopsis: Before Light gets the chance to kill L, L makes his move. Let’s just say that Misa didn’t like this.
Good: Death Note is getting more exiting by the minute! This episode had some awesome plot twists.
Bad: L’s timing may have been a bit too perfect.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Ah, of course. L can’t just die in front of everyone from a heart attack, since if that’s the case, Light will be getting all the blame. Instead, he had to set up a scene. L, however, managed to beat Light to it. Indeed, if the two Kira’s have teamed up, it means big trouble for L. Especially if Light happens to be Kira.

After the introduction, things start out very light, when Light runs into L, and Misa runs into the two of them later. L then starts behaving like an idiot. It’s pretty funny, but then the episode suddenly turns extremely serious, since he probably knew that Misa was going to be arrested beforehand. Because of this, he snatched her mobile phone, just before she was arrested, since he happened to be a bit in the neighbourhood (It’s like I said above. Death Note is an awesome series, but the timing seems to be a bit too perfect at times).

In the end, it seems that Misa remained an idiot, who couldn’t clean up after her. This caused her downfall. Since she’s the second Kira, L doesn’t want to hold back to torture her. She was so sad when she begged for her Rem to kill her, but the really good stuff happened afterwards. Rem made Misa give up the ownership of her Death Note. When she did this, Rem accidentally moved Misa’s hair which would have been very unnatural if there wasn’t a shinigami near her, and L happened to see that. There is NO WAY he’s not going to use that somehow.

To make things even better, however, Light has lost his opportunity of acquiring L’s real name (So he does have one. This makes me think about his parents again) and Rem also will kill him if he doesn’t save Misa. It seems, however, that Light already has a plan for this, which involves getting rid of his original Death Note, while keeping Rem’s. At least, that’s what is implied. If it will really go that way, then what will happen to Ryuk and his second Death Note? Something is telling me that the next episode is going to be one to remember. :)

Posted on with categories: Ghost Hunt

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Short Synopsis: It’s now Mai’s turn to be possessed by Kenji. But what happened to his body?
Good: Excellent mystery; The Ending
Bad: Why weren’t Matsuzaki and Masato involved in the case? Did they spend their entire time in the church baking cake?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10

After the previous episode, I began to wonder how such an arc could be made interesting. Still, the creators did it. This episode wasn’t good in the way of episode 5, but more of a heart-warming sort-of good. Kenji’s ghost is just too adorable. You almost want him to go to heaven. Especially after what that meanie of a Rin said to him. ^^

I also must congratulate this arc of Ghost Hunt for being the first arc with a really good ending. The previous arcs may have been interesting, their endings have always been nothing special. Still, I really have to say that the moment where Kenji’s body was found had a huge impact. He really did hide in an impossible place: behind one of the statues, high above the doors of the church. There’s indeed nobody who’d even think of looking there. Especially since he dropped his flute in a totally different place (he probably lost it when he was searching for a good place to hide). The scene afterwards, where he finally could go to heaven was beautiful, probably because of this.

This episode had some interesting main characters. Since the usual main characters was out-cold for the major part of the episode, we see the story from the perspective of Bou-san. It’s interesting for a change. Too bad we don’t get to know his thoughts, like with Mai.

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari

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Short Synopsis: After the eventfulness of the previous episode, all the different characters prepare themselves for the upcoming events.
Good: Altered OP; Kourin; only now Sakujun’s impact on Shuurei becomes clear.
Bad: Sakujun may be a bit too perfect. I want to see some challenges for him as well. :)
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10

Ah, the aftermath. The chess pieces are preparing themselves to be moved. Quite a lot of things happened, though, since there are so many characters who have a role in this arc. First of all, Sho Taishi seems to have arrived in Kinka. That’s pretty fast of him, considering everyone else took months to reach it. He considers giving the ring to three possible parties: the two governors, Tei Yuushun or Eiki. It also gets revealed that Sa Taiho did some pretty bloody things in order to get the lead over the Sa Clan in the past.

We also see a few glimpses of Tei Yuushun in this episode. I’m not sure what exactly his role is in this anime, but it seems to be a very important one, in order to be nominated for getting the ring. In any case, he’s now been locked up for half a year by none other than Sa Sakujun. Who this guy named Eiki might be… I have no idea. I’m suspecting we’ll learn more about him in the future episodes.

Still, the most important focus of the episode was Shuurei. Only now, it becomes clear how much Sakujun has made an impact on her. The guy is a bastard, though because he seduced Shuurei, she doesn’t see it that way. She hasn’t thrown away the instrument he bought for her. She never tied her hair up again. She never spoke of Sakujun’s real name. I’m wondering where this will go.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
That caught my attention, some kind of suspense manga set in world war II, for obvious reasons you don't often see manga/anime set in that time often enough so thats interesting at least.
Anonymous1124748
KTravlos here: On RE-Creators Saouto. Remember we are talking about a 14? year old kid who believed made his girlfriend commit suicide. I get the point and frustration, but do keep that in mind.
Lenlo
@Mario, for Hero Academia, just wait. The hype is real for Shouto vs Midoriya.
SuperMario
This is one of Saekano's biggest issue: while there are 5 main casts, the show seems to care to develop 3 of them. When that rival-guy begs Tomoya to continue the circle, and stresses that "Don't lose Eriri and Utaha". I just feel... dishearten. No recognition for Kato and Michiru then
SuperMario
Another 2 shows that I want to mention this week: My Hero Academia's last episode fight between Ecchan and Urarawa is my favorite match out of this Tournament arc. Saekano's last episode actually frustrated me. When it's obvious that this is the time for Kato's conflict, the show still spends too much time on Eriri and Utaha.
SuperMario
KTravlos: based on the content I thought it's you as well. I actually enjoyed Virgin Soul. It's an important episode actually, where all of out mains are locked up/ imprisioned. Yep, Re:Creators was great as well. But hell, Souta... his character's annoying. The creations, on the other hand, are developing quite nicely
Anonymous1123421
KTravlos here. Hmm wordpress has cast me out :p
Anonymous1123392
what a great RE:Creators episode. I do not know how Mamika will end up. But manly tears shall be shed. A great character.

Virgin Soul had a so-so to disappointing tonning down episode. Expected. Still they are smart to put Favoro there as a "sorry for that mates".
AoT, knowing what I know from the manga, made this episode all that more striking.
Anonymous1123296
Woah, Alice n' Zokuro has some of the most amazing writing I've seen this decade!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And because of the negative space in the picture and guy in the background, it might also emphasize distance.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: This was an obvious shot choice (come on, because they KISSED), but the one I liked the most was the top right one. The characters aren't in the center of focus, and a bit too close to the screen tell us how much Chinatsu wanted to get close to Kotarou, at the same time we feel a bit uncomfortable just like him (too close). Smart visual telling there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should start giving attention to shots in anime as I do in art films. You've chosen a good one for tsuki ga kirei on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Speaking of shots....some of the static photography is Tsai ming liangs Goodbye dragon in is stunning. I saw an Ozu film where the framing was absolutely masterful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The eyeball scene in the restaurant OMO, scenes like that had very good way of creeping up on the viewer.
SuperMario
... and the fireworks in the end. Emotionally satisfied for that bleak film
SuperMario
Thanks Kaiser. Still think Black Coal is a very stylish and well-done neo-noir. One shot in particular still stick with me is the one long, unbroken shot that combine the past with the present.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*reviewing
It was your review that got me interested in the film mario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I know that feeling, having to get out all my thoughts immediately. I also stream of consciousness what I write whether it be a poem or review then go back to edit, shows the passion a person has for what they're review.
SuperMario
It was just 3 years ago. I think I MUST review everything as soon as I finish, otherwise I will forget. Getting old now. Dang it
SuperMario
It was a great review, Kaiser. I also feel comparing Black Coal to Memories of Murders don't do this film justice too (although to be hinest I don't see the comparison). Your review just reminds me that I did review that film on Letterboxd, thou for the life of me, when I read ny own review I had no clue that i did write it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Constantine was really the only reason I would have considered seeing the film, as I enjoyed some of the comics he appeared in.
Lenlo
Yaaay! Favaro is back!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, now I remember, I stopped watching ghost hound at around episode 14 or 15 years ago.
K-Off
Justice League Dark ended up being one of the weakest among the recent animated dc films. The opening was intriguing but it drops the ball as soon as it focuses on Zatanna and Constantine...The demonic manipulation of people isn't tied well enough to the villain, so that premise ends up feeling pointless, everything is inconsequential by the end. Why was this even made?
SuperMario
And for once, I feel that developing the characters isn't a appropriate choice for this type of show. The main cast need to develop, yes, but most of the supporting cast was presented as ambiguous and mysterious, thus making them change in the end feel just wrong
SuperMario
The main kidnapping was never addressed thoroughly, and it should be the main overarching arc, instead of this ending.
SuperMario
So... I've just binged through Ghost Hound. It starts as a compelling psychological mystery series, and ends up being... thriller of sort? The first half, building up stage was its best, and then unfortunately it run out of steam
KTravlos
Hey Favoro is like a good whiskey. You gotta drink it slow and enjoy it :)

I liked Predators.
Spike
8 episodes in we finally get to see who we were all waiting for in Bahamut! ...for 2 seconds.
Vonter
I did watch the version with the alien coming out of the ox. I haven't watched Predators, AVP1 was ok, like the newer movies its just the human element that has consistently gotten worse and unmemorable. I think that element in particular made me enjoy watching Alien 3 now, than if I had watched it in order, considering how it begins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thankfully the franchise can never fall as low as the predator reboot or alien vs predator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Be sure you're watching the extended version.
Vonter
I liked 3/4s of this film, as the plans to kill the alien got more cumbersome the film got more tiring. And I think it was obligated to annihilate the cast considering they take the time to take out a whole bunch of them. I also think it's very noticeable the tiring production this had, and while people praise practical effects now, this movie sadly didn't integrate well the alien puppet.
Vonter
I've just watched Alien 3, the only Alien movie I hadn't seen do to the diviseness towards it. I think I went with the best expectations considering now on hindsight newer movies have made it look more competent, having more weight. This movie has characters, integrates the religious motiffs better, the Alien more than a closet monster is a formidable force of nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....It just dawn on me looking through my letterboxd account...I have never seen afro samurai...
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm on hold with SukaSuka as well after 5 episodes. Ejoyable so far but its LN's tendencies hurt the show
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, like I said in one of my weekly post, Tsuki ga Kirei is simple, but isn't easily obtained. At this point, I'm truly invested in these kids that it makes me tense just to see how they keep up with their relationship, haha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have yet to catch up with sukasuka and don't care about bahamut all that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel its sweet and sensitive approach has a rhythm to it that I started going along with.
It’s obviously slow but I began not noticing the time go by as I watched more.
The art makes me think of Shimura Takako’s and makes me wonder what the series might have been like if she wrote it.
The dub is mediocre so after 3 episodes I switched to subs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The relative quietness and how scaled back in comparison to other anime romances is welcome and it never becomes dramatically or comedically obnoxious which I think is in its favour.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to catch up on tsuki ga kirei. We said this before, but that scene where he meets the publisher about his writing is a stand out one.
For the show overall so far itself, above all I see it as something simple, un-demanding to watch, its good a break from all those old/art films I have to concentrate on harder to follow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe Goth would count but its more o a mystery manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not familiar with shibito or sugar life. May as well recommend everything by Kazuo Umezu and Junji ito. 6000 ended disappointingly, I fell behind in dead tube. Does sugar dark count?
Lenlo
I am a Hero is a personal favorite of mine
AidanAK47
@Anon: Uzumaki, Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi, Happy Suger Life, 6000 and Dead Tube. I suppose.
Anonymous1116992
What is some good horror manga
K-Off
@Mario I also noticed that korean thrillers are way too obnoxious with shakycam.
Lenlo
@Mario, about LWA, that was how I felt. Its just not as magical, as special, as the original OVA was to me. I suppose thats to much to ask for a 25 ep series, but it turned me off
AidanAK47
@Mario, TV Diana has some charm points but I think OVA Diana provided a better dynamic. I mean sure, She was essentially female Draco Malfoy but her attitude made reveals like her being a secret Chariot fan more impactful. Plus her tsundere act torwards Akko was rather adorable.
SuperMario
about LWA again, unlike Aidan I actually enjoy this version of Diana. I know she's one note, too perfect but she's charming. Too charming haha which serves well as a contrast to Akko
SuperMario
...just pop one random film from him. His films are not without its bad side thou, in particular I find the dialogues shapeless and dragging. But well it does add to the naturalness of his films
KTravlos
on LWA I would also recommended it. It is a fluffy show, with a sense of wonder. Some episodes are better, some are more flat, and the over-arching storyline leaves me bored. But it does have that sense of childlike wonder, which I had missed among all the "grim" shows.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a bit of problems with Korean movies lately as now they're heavily thriller style-over-substance films, so films that have very simple style like Hong-Sang-Soo's joints are the welcome change of air. One thing about his films thou, If you watched one of his film, you've watched them all. They're so similar in tones and concepts that I reckon if you feel like watching his films...
SuperMario
So I say it's still worth finishing. It's good but I don't feel the sparks that made it so great from the OVAs anymore
SuperMario
@Lenlo: about LWA. Plus side: Those hijinks. I mean the show is fun and magical. Negative side: I wish the show's storytelling is a bit tighter, each episode feels so loose it doesn't add up much and more like different variations of Akko + one member of the cast's hijink. Doesn't help either that the other casts just disappeared until they have an episode for 2 for themselves
SuperMario
@Anon1113829: I "enjoyed" Beyond the Boundary, but that show was a mess. The episode 10 was stand out for me, and the ending was kinda... a wreck. Certainly interesting but quality-wise I wouldn't reccommend it
Anonymous1113829
@SuperMario KyoAni fan? What did you think of Kyoukai no Kanata? I really wanted to like it, I thought it had some potential, but IMO nothing worked right.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It's good. Fun to watch certainly. Though sadly it falls short of being great.
Lenlo
So question: Is Little Witch Academia worth finishing atm? I started it last season, but for some reason it just fell off my radar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thankfully, while not entirely satisfying, day he arrives is just the Korean film I've been looking for, refreshingly more low key, quieter and I enjoyed the new wavy combined with raw style, making it all feel very natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Well then, thanks for the rec on Hong-sang-so, I looked at The day he arrives. Y'know the reason I sometimes dread going into films featuring romance is because I'm conditioned from seeing the bad ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I may actually read this, the last time I read a manga steeped in politics was Sanctuary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle:_The_Making_of_an_Asian-American_President
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I actually have very limited experience with Ellis as a comic book writer, only read Transmetropolitan, I know he's writing the Castlevania adaptation.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I heard the same thing; can't help being a completist though so I'll eventually get to them
AidanAK47
@Mario, From what I heard, it doesn't get better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that scene from the 1st episode of Phantom world lost me... but even then I'm willing to give the show another chance. That's how far I would go ^^ https://mobile.twitter.com/aaapodcast/status/687148875052892160/photo/2
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Looks like they are putting some real effort into it. May actually turn out pretty good after all.
@K-Off, Under the Red hood is a damn fine movie. Likely one of the best of the DC animated universe. Though try Superman vs the elite out. It's pretty good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even phantom world Mario...even phantom world ? =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just the teaser trailer, not much to go on, but heres a short preview of that netflix castlevania thing that got mentioned on here a while back, up the quality to 360p:
SuperMario
At this stage, I'm pretty much KyoAni fanboy now so with every new material, I'll hype it up to the sky ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did follow it up with The spy who loved me though to cheer myself up =P Given that Rodger Moore just died =)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just looked through what Short Men Behind the Sun is about: "human experiments carried out by Japanese army during WW2?" Already sound grim and too real. Then "a graphic depiction of the human experiments" haha no wonder you felt unsettled Kaiser
VyseLegendaire
My favorite Exploitation Flick is An Inconvenient Truth 2.0
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Long story short men behind the sun is finally the exploitation flick that defeated me and actually made me unsettled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I remember you talking about how Salo really affected you as an exploitation film, generally exploitation films don't shock or disturb me, but I just watched the cantonese dubbed version of Men behind the sun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the worst thing about beyond the boundry and phantom world, it discolours my opinion of kyoani as a whole, making me negatively reflect on older work they did .
AidanAK47
Yep, that's the new KyoAni one. Like Puran I don't have any expectations of it. The premise certainly seems like the closest they have come to breaking out of there usual format but I am sure they will find a way to shove in Moe antics. Though based on what is seen so far it looks like they are trying to emulate Key.
Puran
Is that a new KyoAni anime?.. I have lost faith in them a long time ago. Last Anime from them that I cared about was probably Hyouka
SuperMario
Bring you some news, Violet Evergarden will be aired as an anime TV. Though many sources saying it gonna air this year, it has a better possibility to air next year
SuperMario
Well, aesthetically, he's pretty much on par with Yang and Wong. It's just that his films are often emotionally distant, feel more like watching the paint dry hahaa
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I connect more emotionally with Yang and Wong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I went in expecting Edward Yang and Kar-wong-wai levels of quality, which may have been quite unfair standards to put him up against.
SuperMario
I myself find his films difficult to watch, but when the films end they usually hold up very very well. Both The Assassin and 3 Times in particular are my favorite of the year
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I completely understand your reaction because his films are demanding as hell. I remembered watching The Assassin in big screen, 3 people next to me fall asleep, one of them snoring and the other one fall asleep within the first 10 mins. That Hou Hsiao's movies for you
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its such a shame because he makes gorgeous cinema and City of sadness is actually pretty informative account of the times....I just can't jive with him and I actually like "slow cinema" but watching his work is insanity inducingly boring for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I'm really sorry, I don't mind long slow even spiritual, talky, non-narrative, old, complex,meditative , art films but I'm really really finding it hard to watch Hou Hsiao's work, I've tried time to live and the Assassin and I just bailed after 2 out of 3 hours on city of sadness.
KTravlos
I have to say Akko is developing nicely as a character in LWA. Also Magane in Re:Creators reminds me of Hannibal as palyed by Mads Mikkelsen. There is that same est for life married to sociopath that is a bit charming :) Mamika's character is also just cool. Beyond that AofT and Bahamut both delivered competent episodes, with Bahamut a good mix between comedy and tragedy.
K-Off
@Aidan Assault on Arkham was fantastic. Between that and Under the Red Hood, a classic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a lot to say in this week's Eccentric Family. Review will come up later tonight when I get back home from work.
AidanAK47
Seen Assault on Arkham or what it should be called, The animated Suicide Squad movie. Thinking of checking out Dark.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Have you seen assault on Arkham or the justice league dark film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It isn't so much because its Talia x Batman, moreso that it feels odd shipping Batman with anyone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While kind of amusing, initially I wasn't too into Uchouten this week, the hot spring part got me groaning, but then someway through dramatically it really picked up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From reading comics a few years back, I still feel that they adapt better to animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And I say this as someone who was able to defend Alien 3 and Ressurection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Covenent felt like an Infantilized version of Alien.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call either John Wick film or free fire amazing or anything but they had great fight scenes that were actually visually coherent , of course they weren't given a proper release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not watching/paying for anymore of these reboots/remakes/shakey cam pg rated action films anymore. I'll stick with my balls to the wall Hong-Kong/Chinese ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It also had really uneven pacing aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: ....The dialogue is so embarassing, they don't do enough with this backstory, they just keep teasing, none of the new characters have the same charisma , the editting in the action scenes shakes all overtheplace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I gave Covenent a fair chance, I thought it would be an exception to the reboot thing. I'll admit theres the sets, the atmosphere, Fassbenders performance , the idea to expand on the franchises mythos is cool but....
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really really hurts as a film fan, trying to find older, genuinely quality foreign films , finding that no-one is seeding them and theres no proper/in print dvd release anymore. Then finding some awful shakey cam modern American superhero film with billions of seeds and a bluray release.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I don't know. Todd was more the imperfect son always aiming for batmans approval. Damian is more an assasin wondering why the hell he can't just kill his enemies. I hear that Comic Damian works better than Animated Damian. I do think that if given a personality he could work but as he is currently you are right that he's essentially a mishmash of past robins.
Vonter
I watched Alien Covenant and I don't know if it improves by being more dumb and less pretentious or if it os the final nail in the Alien franchise coffin. Not since the StarWats prequels there has been a retcon that changes your view of the original movies.
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
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