Posted on 30 April 2007 with categories: Monthly Summaries

And April is nearly over already. The spring-season proved to already be quite good in its first month, with some series that you don’t want to miss. For this entry, I tried to experiment a bit more. The previous format may have been a bit too static, and it began to bore me.

+ Quick ranking of the Spring-season so far +
Okay, so one month after the spring-season started, how are the different shows doing so far? Well, fairly well if I say so myself. There are some really great series in the bunch, and there’s a lot of potential. But will it be able to turn out better than last year’s spring-season? Anyway, here’s a list with a small blurb of my opinion about them. Some of them were dropped after episode 1, while I managed to see more episodes from others.

#38: Overdrive – Deserves to get the title of “worst show of the season” because it was the only anime to have aired and nearly put me to sleep out of boredom.
#37: Saint Beast – Also came close to achieving this.
#36: Hayate the Combat Butler – Just isn’t funny, not to mention that it has too many non-sensical events and annoying characters.
#35: Keitai Shoujo – Two words: just pointless.
#34: Kaze no Stigma – Seriously needs some better scriptwriters.
#33: Kaibutsu Ojou – Boy gets to live in house full of bishoujo, where did I hear this before?
#32: Sola – Is just boring.
#31: Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo – On second thought, this series is bad. Period.
#30: Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica – Mediocrity, anyone?
#29: Nagasarete Airantou – Okay, it does have humour, but also one of the most annoying main characters ever.
#28: Idol Master Xenoglossia – I seriously forgot what this anime was about.
#27: Koutetsushin Jeeg – Someone, please tone down the testosterone-level of the scriptwriters.
#26: Blue Dragon – Could become good later on, but I don’t feel like finding out.
#25: Seto no Hanayome – Has its funny moments here and there, but there are definitely better comedies out there.
#24: Koutetsu Sangokushi – I know that I praised this one, but the second and third episode showed some horrible animation and scriptwriting.
#23: Gegege no Kitarou – On second thought, the cases just aren’t interesting enough.
#22: Kamichama Karin – Definitely not the best mahou shoujo out there. Filled with Deus ex Machina.
#21: Lovely Complex – I’ll perhaps watch this at a later time, when my Japanese level is high enough to pick up the hilarity of Kansai-ben.
#20: Ookiku Furikabutte – Perhaps I’ll watch this later when I have more time.
#19: Touka Gettan – Very confusing, will finish once summer holidays start due to busy schedule.
#18: Hitohira – I’ll also finish this one later, when the subs have picked up a bit.
#17: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – The third and fourth episodes weren’t as good as the first two. It also needs a bit of realism, don’t you just love how in this world, bullets never seem to run out?
#16: Darker than Black – I honestly can’t see why this series is praised so much. Sure, it has potential, but the first three episodes only featured lots of blood and gore and a guy who keeps hitting on girls in order to protect them.
#15: Heroic Age – The premise is good, but that’s the problem. The premise is the only thing worthwhile about this series so far.
#14: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Strikers – The first few episode were predictably not that good. I want to see that antagonist arrive!
#13: Lucky Star – Finally an actually watchable show from KyoAni, nice one.
#12: Murder Princess – A nice little show.
#11: Romeo x Juliet – Someone tell me how people can survive a jump in the water from a huge tower without any scratch, and how three specially trained palace guards can’t even defeat a sixteen-year old girl? The romance-elements are good, though.
#10: Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula – Okay, so the girl is the only one who can translate for the Gigantic, and she picked the boy. That’s good enough for now. What’s not good enough is how a little girl can be the head of the technical department.
#9: Wellber no Monogatari – Sure, it has a lot of bad points, but it’s fun, and the serious scenes definitely have potential.
#8: Engage Planet Kiss Dum – Quite good, I never expected this series to turn out the way it did.
#7: Claymore – So far, a solid start, but I want to see Terese
#6: El Cazador – The individual cases are pretty interesting, there’s lots of symbolism, lots of mystery, the plot doesn’t move awfully slow and Ellis is just too cute at times. What more could you want?
#5: Seirei no Moribito – Incredibly solid and detailed, episode 3 was a treat. Now let’s hope that the awesomeness won’t just limit itself to the climaxes.
#4: Ooedo Rocket – Hilarious and a good story? Definitely the biggest surprise for this season.
#3: Kaze no Shoujo Emily – A heart-warming story about so many conflicting interests. But yeah, it’ll never become popular.
#2: Bokura no – The huge cast of unique and different characters makes this anime so worthwhile.
#1: Towards the Terra – When talking about the overall best up till now, then for me it has to be Toward the Terra. With probably the best soundtrack of the season, great-looking character-designs and animation, a great setting and concept and very interesting characters, I really enjoyed this one.

+ Top 10 Anime +
One thing I do have to say is that April was a tad disappointing. Sure, there were good series, but when compared to other months, there were less awesome and memorable series. I don’t blame the newly arrived series, as it’s only natural for them not to live up to their full potential after only one month, but it’s more the older series. The fall-season just was worse than usual, and while Bakumatsu, Ayakashi and Red Garden were very interesting to see, they just didn’t live up to material like Simoun or Noein of previous seasons. Now that it’s ended, this really becomes clear. My favourite month so far in my time of blogging remains July 2006, with so many awesome series hitting their peaks. I’m hoping that the current summer will be able to trump this month.

#10: Seirei no Moribito

Like mentioned above, this definitely is the most solid and detailed anime to air in the spring-season. The fight-scene in episode 3 also was a real treat.

#9: Ooedo Rocket

Definitely the funniest anime to air in the spring-season. I love the mystery, different characters and the style of it all.

#8: Kaze no Shoujo Emily

Characters that complement each other perfectly. The introduction is finished, now I’m hoping for the anime to get really started.

#7: Jigoku Shoujo

Jigoku Shoujo currently holds the record of most posts dedicated to one series, the series to be blogged by me for the longest time (ignoring the sporadic ones like Ayatsuri Sakon and Popolocrois) and one of the first series I started blogging in the first place. Heck, after Mahou Shoujotai, it was one of the more important reasons for me to start blogging. That said, I’m sad to see this one finally go.

#6: Death Note

Death Note has been a strange little fellow over the past month. While it definitely had its annoying moments, other moments were just awesome, in a strange sort of way.

#5: Bokura no

Definitely the best promise of the shows in the spring-season. The characters have already shown to be really interesting. And that with so many of them.

#4: Towards the Terra

Like I mentioned above, when looking at the total package, Toward the Terra is my favourite series of the spring-season.

#3: Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi

You know, in the final arc, Atl sortof sucked and was sortof unnatural, but everything else rocked! We can only wonder what this series would have done with its final 26 episodes.

#2: Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette

Especially episode 13 and 14 were really heart-warming. It’s interesting to see that the Thenardiers are gone now, though.

#1: Chevalier

Chevalier has become even better in this month. The past number of episodes has been a real treat, and I just love the final antagonist. I’m so glad that this anime turned out amazingly well.

+ Random Notes +
– Power Puff Girls Z 36 probably was the best episode of the series yet when it comes with its own interpretation of the octi-episode. I also loved the art-style.
– Gintama had probably one of the best recaps ever at episode 25.
– I wonder if The Amazing Lives of the Fast Food Grifters will ever be noticed enough to get subbed, and I’m also eagerly awaiting Toki wa Kakeru Shoujo’s subtitled version. I don’t know what it is, but I have more trouble than usual when following raw movies, so I decided to wait for the subbers to do their magic.
– Less than two weeks left for Dennou Coil, and less than two months left for Tales of Symphonia and Tetsuko no Tabi. Yay!
– Share seems to have problems downloading Futago Hime. I don’t know why, but with every single file, it just stops downloading when about half of the episode has been downloaded. I’m not liking this, rawr!
– I think someone needs to tell the raw-providers that Kekkaishi started again. There hasn’t been any new release on Tokyo Toshokan, even though it’s been two weeks since episode 19 aired.

+ Newly Announced Anime +
Goshusho-sama Ninomiya-kun
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Summary: “Next up is Goshuusho-sama Ninomiya-kun, which translates vaguely to “My Condolences, Ninomiya-kun.” Mamoru Ninomiya is the victim of his family, which includes two parents and four older sisters, all of whom are vagrants wandering around the globe – leaving poor Mamoru living all alone in a very large house. And what do you do with an empty house? Fill it – with a pair of sisters who find themselves in Mamoru’s debt. Wait a sec, why the condolences?” – (taken from animeonline)
Thoughts:Oh golly, what have we here? Talk about bad premises. It starts out great, though. Parents and their daughters who are wandering around the globe. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on these interesting characters, this anime decides to focus on the loser-son who stays home and gets to live with two beautiful girls. Seriously, when will these generic concepts stop?

Summary: “Moetan is a series of English language study aid published by SansaiBooks in Japan. Targeted at otaku, it attempted to teach English words using examples drawn from computer games and anime.” – (taken from Wikipedia)
Thoughts:Just when I thought that an anime-title couldn’t get any more obvious, this one comes around. It’ll be just an excuse to show some cute girls without substance to the otaku.

Rental Magica
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Summary: “In the story, Isuki is a high school student who inherits a magicians’ employment agency from his missing father.” – (taken from Anime News Network)
Thoughts:I admit, it does have potential. If the cases that have to be solved with the rental service are serious and imaginative enough, this could turn out interesting. But why do I feel that this is going to turn into one of those usual moe-series?

Sketchbook ~full colors~
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Summary: “Based on a 4-panel manga. Like its 4-koma-into-anime predecessors Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star, Sketchbook appears to follow a group of female high school students. However, this time the central character is the shy Sora Kajiwara, who is unsure of what club to join…until she gets dragged into the wacky art club, of course.”
Thoughts:If I had to guess, then this anime will combine Hidamari Sketch, Hitohira and Lucky Star. The shy girl could be interesting, but school-based anime have never really been my thing.

Druaga no Tou
Summary: “Players take control of Prince Gilgamesh on his quest to rescue his love, Ki, from the vicious Druaga.” – (taken from IGN)
Thoughts:Very interesting, Druaga no Tou, or the tower of Druaga is actually an old game-classic. Gonzo has decided to turn this into an anime, and I really wonder what they’re going to do with this concept, simply because of the lack of story in the original game. Really, how can you turn a game in which you have to travel through mazes in a strange tower to save your girlfriend into a fully fledged anime? Something tells me Gonzo’s going to pull another Romeo x Juliet on this one.

Ride Back

Summary: “After the United Nations dismantling and a large earthquake disaster happening in Tokyo, etc, the counter government motion by japanese students students again becomes active in 2020. One girl entered in the Musashino liberal arts university which is one of the bases base for the student movement. Her name is Ogata Rin. The “Rin” which has the talent of the dance which becomes type rare encounters with the human type bicycle robot ride back entrance first day. That, the opportunity which reforms the world is with, everyone’s one person there was no reason which is known….” – (taken from babelfish and edited a bit, though some sentences were impossible to transform to correct English)
Thoughts:Ride Back is another manga-adaptation from the Ikki-magazine. Quite frankly, I really enjoyed the various adaptations from that magazine, Narutaru was great, Bokura no is promising to become amazing and Tetsuko no Tabi, which is coming in June, is also looking to be quite interesting. Because of that, I’m quite looking forward to this one, though the concept seems a bit generic, featuring a girl piloting a small mecha in a dystopian Japan, 13 years into the future. Ah well, I’ve got hope for this one, we’ll see where this one goes.

Miyori no Mori
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Summary: “The series follows Miyori, a girl who daydreams of escaping her tough everyday life. When Miyori enters the woods, she experiences many mysterious phenomena, including the discovery that the woods are also home to spirits and ghosts.” – (taken from Anime News Network
Thoughts:Yes! Yes! Another mystery-series got announced. With mystery being one of my favourite genres, I’ll definitely be anticipating this series.

+ Top 5 Episodes +
Deltora Quest – 07
Now that I think back on it, I keep getting more and more convinced how good that fight against Thaegan was. Short but sweet definitely is fitted for it. This episode definitely was one to remember if you combine it with the backgrounds of the different characters, abducted by the witch.

Seirei no Moribito – 03
Probably one of the most detailed fight-scenes ever. I’ve yet to see anyone to actually dislike this episode, and with good reason.

Jigoku Shoujo – 52
The end of the series I’ve been blogging for the longest period of time, and what an ending it is.

Saiunkoku Monogatari – 39
This has to be one of the most nostalgic episodes I’ve ever seen. This episode was basically enough to release the inner-fanboy within me.

Chevalier – 19
I won’t spoil what happened in here, but it was BEAUTIFUL.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

Le Chevalier d’Eon tells the brilliant story of the years before the French Revolution, during the reign of Louis XV in a setting with fantasy-elements. It follows d’Eon de Beaumont, a chevalier in service of the king (hence the title), who suddenly discovers the death of his famous sister, whom he admired.

If you’re interested in politics, realism, cross-dressers, historical anime, battle tactics or compassionate characters, then look no further as Chevalier brings a compelling combination of these elements. The storyline is incredibly detailed. Characters act because of complex reasons, and in most of the cases these reasons are explained as well. Through the course of the anime, the countries of France, England and Russia show a bit of their political system they used during the timeline in which the series takes place. And some of the characters get fleshed out incredibly well.

The second half of this series is a pure delight because of this. Starting from episode 15, there isn’t even one bad episode, and each one delivers, with four or five absolutely amazing episodes. Unfortunately, though, the first half is just too slow at times, and it spends perhaps a bit too long on building up. There are a few climaxes, but they weren’t really that special when compared to the second half, and I can imagine that they cost this anime quite an amount of viewers because of it.

The music is good, but forgettable. The graphics however, shine. Not literally, but characters are drawn incredibly detailed, and they’re greatly animated. Battle-scenes also are greatly choreographed as well. But the thing that really made this anime was its cast of characters. I probably won’t be able to forget the charming Durand soon, or the naive Robin, or the knightly Teillagory. Each of them was so worth to watch. It’s a shame you don’t hear so much about this anime, as it’s really the highlight of last year’s summer-season.

Posted on with categories: Bokura no

Short Synopsis: It’s Masaru’s father, and only now the concept of Bokura no really becomes clear.
Good: Wow… just wow…
Bad: Certain characters didn’t get any lines at all.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Oh boy… I may have misunderstood this part, so correct me if I’m wrong, but in this episode, it becomes clear that whoever pilots Zearth, will definitely die. Seriously, I knew that characters would die quite often, but I never expected it to be an actual RULE to this game. That’s why Kokopeli never appeared again, he wasn’t controlling everything from behind the scenes at all, he just died after he demonstrated how to pilot Zearth! The reason Takashi died also was because of this, and Jun had to take the blame.

This time, it’s Masaru’s turn. And really, his case was so good. His brother (whom I previously mistook for his father) hates his father, but Masaru loves him. It’s a typical case in which a parent favours one of his children above the others. Usually in anime, the focus is on the neglected one, but this time, it’s the total opposite. The reason Masaru has turned so cold was because of his father, who doesn’t seem to have any mercy as well. It seems that the only one he’s nice to is Masaru himself, who in turn loves him as well. Notice the chair he uses in Zearth isn’t his own chair, but his father’s.

During his turn in piloting, he indeed demonstrates that he’s rather merciless, when he doesn’t care what kinds of homes he’ll destroy or people he’ll kill. Because of this, he accidentally kills his own father when he falls down, due to carelessness. He goes berserk after that, which ends up killing the enemy mecha, and himself as well.

This definitely was a Masaru-episode. The others didn’t get much development, aside from knowing that they’re all going to die. Because of this, I’m looking forward to the next episode a LOT. Especially the one who’s going to pilot next time will be interesting, now that he or she knows that fighting means dying.

Posted on 29 April 2007 with categories: Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette

Short Synopsis: Javell finally finds Jean’s location, resulting in Jean and Cosette, fleeing from Paris.
Good: Javell
Bad: Strange that Javell didn’t take the window at the side of the house into account.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

This episode is more among the exciting ones in this series, compared to the heart-warming ones of the previous episodes. It was only a matter of time for Jean’s location to be found, and that time was about half into the episode. I loved duo of Jean vs Javell, during this episode. Javell, instead of using his subordinates to spy on Jean, is so determined to catch the guy that he does this himself. I liked this. A lot.

The escape-scene also was a great one, since Jean doesn’t only have to think about himself, but he’s also carrying a little girl with him. His past turned out actually good for once, as because of the trials he had to endure, he’s able to easily outrun Javert and a couple of trained policemen. Even when he’s carrying Cosette, they still have trouble catching up to him.

Cosette was really more of a side-character this time. We see her having a bit of fun, and finally meeting other children, but this definitely was a Jean and Javert-episode. One thing I liked about the first season, by the way, was that the Thenardiers made sure of a constant source of conflict. This is quite a bit different from the current season, which really has more recognizable conflicts. Still, something tells me it’s building up, just like the first one did. It’ll be very interesting to see where this one goes.

Posted on 28 April 2007 with categories: Toward the Terra

Short Synopsis: In order to calm down the rampaging Jomie, Blue shows him memories of his own past.
Good: Omg @ those memories.
Bad: What was the meaning of that death-card, shown at the beginning of the episode?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10

Holy god, that was good. This time it’s really Toward the Terra’s turn to shine, as this episode was amazing, with as height Blue’s history. I knew that the Myu had a sad past, but I never knew that their past was this extreme. It all started when Blue went rampant, just like Jomie. After that, he got locked up, alongside other Myu. At one point, he couldn’t take it anymore, and blew up the planet, trying to escape along with the other Myu. Physis also seems to be a childhood friend of his, as we see the two together in their younger years.

Jomie will no become quite interesting, now that he seems to understand why he’s needed to guide the other Myu to earth. I’m not yet sure whether he has fully accepted this, though I believe the next episode will solve this. I also do wonder, who was the one who couldn’t manage to hold on to that final person who fell off the ship, back in Blue’s memories? I don’t recall I’ve seen the guy, and he seems a bit too old to be the antagonist for this series.

The rest of the episode also was quite a treat to see, that battle between the human forces and the Myu ship was really intense, and add that to Blue, nearly collapsing to his death, and the ever-awesome music, and you’ve got yourself a great episode. If this can continue for the rest of the anime, we’re in for something really special. :)

Posted on with categories: Kaze no Shoujo Emily

Short Synopsis: Teddy’s mother is very protective of her child, while Emily and Ilse keep trying to get her to let him play outside. Perry meanwhile, has never really learned to write
Good: Teddy and Perry.
Bad: Emily’s voice actress sounded a bit different in the beginning of the episode.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

This episode marks the end of the introduction of this anime, and it ends quite fitting with the positive part of the premise for the future episodes: Emily dreams of writing for her profession, Teddy wants to be an artist, Perry aims to become a politician and Ilse fancies to become an elocutionist (or a public speaker), and all four of them are already quite good at their desired professions.

I expected this episode to be about Teddy, but Perry gets fleshed out as well. During the first half of this episode, he gets his hands on one of Emily’s books, after making fun of her fantasizing. He came from a poor family, so his literate skills aren’t too good. He seems to be able to read, but he’s never learned to writ. That’s why he keeps practicing writing Emily’s name, which she wrote at the last page of the book. Because of this, he’s really getting respect for Emily, who already is able to write so well, and he apologizes to her, which already shows that the guy can take responsibility.

Still, the largest part of the episode was dedicated to Teddy, since it’s the first time we really see him. And I have to say that his case is another beauty. During the entire episode, we see no signs of his father, which suggests that he either disappeared, or died at a certain point of time. Because of that, Teddy is the only thing his mother has left, and she’s become overprotective of him over the years. She blatantly refuses to let him play along with Ilse and Emily, and Teddy catches her crying at night.

Obviously, Emily doesn’t just listen to her quietly, so she starts yelling at the woman for not letting Teddy do what he wants. I think it’s here where Ilse realizes that she wants to do the same thing. Unlike Perry, she decides that it’s better to just ignore Emily, and closes the door right in front of her face, running away from things. Luckily, Teddy isn’t stupid, and he manages to convince his mother to let him go (great scene, by the way).

Emily also got a small bit of airtime, when she attempts to read a book and Elizabeth takes it away from her. This’ll probably be quite a problem for the future, as Elisabeth can’t see why Emily would read for her own entertainment while she could study.

Overall, I love this anime so far. Each single character has his or her own problems, and so many people have different morals and views that they complement each other perfectly. It’s a shame that this series isn’t getting any attention (or heck, fansubs), as it’s definitely one of the best series to have aired this fall. :)

Posted on with categories: Seirei no Moribito

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Short Synopsis: Inside Tanda’s house, Barsa recovers, while the old woman we saw in the OP makes her appearance.
Good: As detailed as ever.
Bad: Just doesn’t live up to the previous episode, but what did you expect? ^^;
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10

After the huge events of the previous episode, this one takes a step back in the pacing, to make sure for Barsa to recover properly, while it also takes its time to introduce a couple of new characters. We finally see the king himself (at least, I think that’s him), and the first prince of the country as well. They weren’t what I expected them to be, and they didn’t really look that evil. If I had to guess, then the major antagonist will be the long-bearded priest.

Another new character is Torogaishi (at least, I think that’s her name. Please correct me if I’m wrong). She seems to be some kind of witch or magic user, who somehow ended up on the bad side of Seidoushi, as the warriors who come to kill her at the beginning of the episode demonstrate. She’s quite skilled; notice how she started collecting sand to make some kind of fake body once she noticed their presence. The dialogue was as difficult as usual, but I did pick up that she’s involved herself into finding the egg of the water spirit, and knows quite a lot about it.

Chaggumu, meanwhile, finally has the time to relax a bit, and just like Rita, he has to get accustomed to the habits of the common people. I do wonder what’ll be happening next to him. If I had to guess, then the following episodes will try to remove the egg from his body and turn him into a normal boy. Like Rita, he’ll also end up cutting his hair (see the OP and ED).

Posted on 26 April 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi was supposed to take over from Blood+ on the Saturday 18:00 timeslot, the number-one prime-time spot for anime, which also housed series as Full Metal Alchemist and Gundam Seed Destiny. For this, it had to live up to some great expectations, and it came with a story about Youma-hunters, during the Tenpou era of Japan.

If I had to say so myself, then Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi definitely lived up to these expectations, but it’s so not suitable for the prime-time spot. Timeslots like these are meant for popular shows with lots of fanboy-pleasing action, not an intelligent show like this one. Because of this, the series’ original length of 52 episodes was cut in half, leaving only 26 episodes for this anime to work with. This, in fact, is the only really bad point of this series.

Like I suggested above, this series’ great strength is its storytelling. It consists out of small arcs, ranging from usually two or three episodes, which all centre on themes, deeply rooted in the history of Japan and its religions. I’ve almost never encountered an anime which did so much research for its stories. As a result, the individual tales just sparkle with creativity and originality, while they still hold a large amount of realism. To give a small indication, brothels have often appeared in historical anime (to name a few, Samurai Champloo, Peace Maker Kurogane, and quite some more), but never was this concept so fleshed out as in the three episodes Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi dedicated to the subject.

Because these stories have such a good base, the characters also can be really fleshed out. Every important character has at least one arc in which he or she stands in the spotlight, and even though the character-development is incomplete, because of the reduced anime-length, the development that we do see is truly fascinating. To add that, nearly each arc has one major climax, and perhaps with exception of the first arc, each of these climaxes turns out to be really captivating, and full of tension.

Even in the graphical and musical department this series delivers. The background music makes sure that the climaxes work even better, while the character-designs are really lifelike. I remember commenting about how these characters looked so standard when I first saw them, but the fact remains that every single character looks unique in this anime, instead of being a clone of character A with different hair and eye-colour (something which seems to plague other anime). Add in a couple of great special effects, and you’ve got yourself a visual treat.

Because of the reduced length, I can’t rate this 90% or higher, because I feel that this anime would have been even better if the remaining 26 episodes were added (and not to mention the rushed ending), but I definitely recommend giving Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi a try. It’s probably one of the few anime with a guy in his fourties as a main character, and this works perfectly. Just be aware that the dialogue can be quite intensive, so this isn’t an anime that you can just watch leisurely

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

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Satoshi Kon comes with another movie, called Paprika. This is the same person who directed Paranoia Agent, so I undoubtedly looked forward to it a lot. So, after having seen it, how did it turn out? Well, disappointing. It’s not bad or anything, but I expected something more.

Paprika comes with another psychological theme: dreams. About 50% in this movie happens in dreams, and they show what happens when humans start messing with them. Overall, it was quite interesting, but I’m surprised to say that the pacing was rather slow, compared to Paranoia Agent, which continuously kept the flow of events high. Paprika definitely is different, as it seems to more focus on its characters than paranoia itself. When you look at it this way, it turned out pretty good, with interesting choreography at times, and all accompanied by very unusual characters that you probably won’t see in any other anime.

Still, there are two rather bad points about this movie. It’s repetitive, and it doesn’t use its amazing soundtrack enough. Seriously, if you loved Paranoia Agent’s soundtrack, you’ll love the theme song. It’s a great song, but the rest of the anime is filled with rather mediocre background sounds or just plain silence. I kept longing to hear the opening track again, which unfortunately only happened when the ending credits rolled. Regarding the first point, it’s quite a few times that we see scenes that we’ve already seen before. I guess these scenes were meant to illustrate the changes in the anime, but when a strange parade passes the screen for the fifth time, its novelty has worn out.

Overall, if you’ve got some time to burn, you can check this out, as it’s quite a good watch, but there definitely are better movies out there.

Posted on with categories: Ooedo Rocket

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Short Synopsis: Sora’s naivety is proven when she nearly kills herself, Sekichi and Ginjiro in her enthusiasm to go to the moon.
Good: Sora, the ending, as hilarious as usual.
Bad: This show definitely needs more attention.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

I can’t believe what a great combination of comedy and drama Ooedo Rocket has. It’s definitely the funniest series to debut in the spring-season so far, and to top that, it’s got a captivating story. Especially the climax of this episode was great to see, when Sora gets a bit too enthusiastic and starts helping Sekichi a bit. It seems that her spaceship still has a bit of gunpowder left, so she mixes some of it with Sekichi’s usual mix of gunpowder.

I laughed when Sekichi tested this out, and sent a ceramic bowl high up in the sky. Later, he tries this on a larger scale, trying to send a local shrine into orbit. Sora, however, already believes that this will be enough to send her to space, so she hijacks the shrine. Luckily, Ginjiro and Sekichi can get her out just in time, as the thing flies about ten meters into the air, before exploding.

This does make me wonder… how is he going to do it when even Sora’s super-gunpowder isn’t enough? It’s also strange, this anime has a huge number of side-characters, but for some reason, they don’t feel out of place. The people from Sekichi’s neighbourhood definitely liven up things, and they make me believe that we’re really the city of Edo right now. I also wonder what the black alien is. He seems to have something against Sora, but for some reason he can’t take the form of a human, unlike Sora can.

I really hope, by the way, that Ooedo Rocket is going to take 26 episodes. I’d like to see how this would turn out if the plot really takes its time to develop, instead of trying to cram its story into thirteen episodes.

Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
@Aidan I'm good, I'll stick with Working.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose I'm slightly envious of professional critics somewhat.
Sometimes you're just meant to experience the ride you know. I don't watch those explained video anymore because after all it's just one guy's opinions.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
And I mean people who art professionals or students.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I'm just unsure of something, how many people watching "arty" stuff are able to pick it up on their own. By looking up an "explained video" or "explained essay" to get it, am I copping out?
Kaiser Eoghan
I feel like I've begun getting on board with the european art stuff but am really only scratching the surface with the Chinese and that stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
And find myself missing whats going on sometimes.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll admit I do find it frustrating, that even though I can like art films, emotionally connect at times, appreciate the visual techniques and admire them for being so different without looking up analysis by people far smarter than myself I honestly feel lost sometimes as to the meaning.
@Kaiser: Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are so otherworldly and spiritual that I wouldn't dare to call them "dreams" anymore. Check out his "Uncle Boonmie", "Syndromes and a Century", "Cemetery of Splendors". he has such singular vision that just watch and experience his films are rewarding enough
@afgm: well, if we really go over-analyze it, bunnies can represent desire for example ^^
like eating sweet snow is so randomness for me
@Badesh: the things you said might be something I might do in the future. After all I love dissecting symbolism. But for Flip Flappers I need to know more what are intentional and what are randomness first
So Papika is corrupting Cocona? That would make some sense I guess
I mean I guess bunnies represent purity? Maybe?
@Kaiser: I mean yeah I get that things can be beautiful just because they're beautiful. But the effort comes in trying to connect that beauty and symbolism to the story as a whole, which is something I honestly struggle to do with Flip Flappers. It just seems pretty gratuitous at this point.
I don't know I think flip flappers is probably deeper than people might give it credit for. I just don't have the time or energy to piece together the abstraction. Doesn't mean that the meaning doesn't exist, it's just hard (and possibly misguided) to uncover it on the first run through.
but i don't want to get into a "who is right" argument. it was just a wish of mine to get to know the persons view of the world and not just be part of his daily mood
yeah, but i could happen that you grow intelectual but not personal ;)
Kaiser Eoghan
But theres no shame in watching a heavily thematic arthouse thing, liking it then going "didn't quite get/catch that" then looking up what it means.
Kaiser Eoghan
But for going into things, analyzing them, I wasn't saying thats wrong, when I meant overanaylsis I meant people making shit up that isn't actually there.
Kaiser Eoghan
And going too deep into thinking about that image shows the person is failing to understand that they were supposed to interact with it on an emotionally or spiritually intellectual level.
Kaiser Eoghan
Rather than de-mystifying that image or losing its enigma.
Kaiser Eoghan
I just think sometimes people forget that things can be entirely impressionistic or expressionist, people sometimes forget that images don't necessarily need a giant essay behind them or meaning or analysis. What I mean is you can have a 15 minute stretch of gorgeous looking images but the point is that you feel that or see the imagination and creativity because its beautiful.
It requires an understanding and a concept of life of the reviewer that highlights the right things, the things that widens the readers perspective, based on the narrow popculture consicousness that we have, sorry to be that dramatic...
Yeah, i don't mean that kind of overanalyzing :) so i.e. that beautiful picture of flip flappers to the left is so much more than the "character floating through an imaginary world" if you start to go into that, what it does with the viewers heart, you can write an essay weather it was the creators intention or not. that's the kind of thing i dream about and care to read
Of course afterwards they will certainly claim that they planned everything from the colour of toothpaste used but I take that with a grain of salt.
Plus the basic idea that the creator of a materiel is a complete mastermind who has internally planned out a massive series of symbolic comparisons and intricate threads which the vast majority of viewers would completely fail to see. And quite frankly, people just ain't that smart and have no reason to put in such massive effort.
The problem with overanalyzling however is that it's usually down to a series of simplifed concepts held together by a flimsy logical foundation. Like the ring theory of star wars.
...which is only achieved through what you call overanalyzing - at least in the internet world where only words count.
I wish people would "overanalyze" more. For me it get's pretty boring pretty fast to read something along the lines of "this wasn't good/perfect because i have seen better" - that's interesting as long as i need anothers opinion to get a feel for the materia. once you are somewhat experienced in life you only care for this sort of things if you know that persons view of the world...
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Would you say the Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are worth looking into as "dream" films, always wanted to get into his work but it seems....daunting.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'd imagine if you went looking you could probably find people who overanalyzed Eden of the east (as with anything) to where they saw something none of us could (or that they wanted to see). Something about young peopl in society was one look at it. But for me eden of the east was an undercooked thriller merged with a bad chick flick and the films ruined whatever good will I had for it.
I'm almost giddy with the possibility of this being the closest thing I get to Utena this decade (besides actual ikuhara works of course haha)
@ano327926: Boy, how true. agreed 100% with you here
"liberate pure illusion" is the new "revolutionize the world"
@mnei, that's hardly the only thing in Eden of the east that didn't make any sense. It was a great idea but boy...did the writing fail hard.
Anyone here watched Eden of East and got fucking confused as I do about why Akira had to wipe off his memories and ship NEETS to Dubai? He wasn't really deceived (in my opinion). He didn't have to send the NEETS anywhere either.
@Mario and from what I've heard, they skipped out a whoooole bunch of fanservicey training sessions that happened before the 1st episode. Dunno whether I'm happy or dissapointed with that
I swear Keijo's everyday training is much more intense than Saitama's
I goddamn love Drifters opening.
@Anon, the story improved in volume 3 but I don't think your issues with the show have really disappeared. So yes, it did get better but it still has it's issues.
Did RWBY get better in vol 3? I watched the first two and hated them but the designs of the girls are nice and the characters are even good, I just can't stand these graphics and that shitty plot or the comedy scenes in which it tries to copy anime humor. The "western" comedy is nice.
So RWBY volume 4 airs next week. Nice. I was actually going to write a review on RWBY and just never got around to it. Seeing as it's somewhat anime I say it's suitable for the site though honestly while it is anime styled, the writing is pure cartoon.
So that's Raising project, Drifters and Occult Nine for me.
@Topgavin, seeing as it was pretty much Top of the Preview poll(Besides Natsume but I am not the man to do Natsume.) I will do Occult Nine. I can at least have fun ripping it apart and comparing it to its contemporaries.
@Mario, for starters you can stop calling her a bitch. Flip Flappers is a classy lady so put you fapping aside and treat her good. So yep, it fine by me.
@Topgavin: He'll be fine.... I hope
Guess it'd be Raising project, Drifters and Keijo/Occult Nine..?
@Mario poor aidan, what shows are there left to cover?
@Friend: Ha! I'm really looking for RWBY 4 as well. At one time I was intended to blog RWBY 4 here but even for me (who tend to go off track), I know that covering RWBY would not be appropriate for this site. But I'll give each season a proper review in the World Animation section, I promise!
@Topgavin: I'm a bit underwhelmed with Izetta 2nd episode, but it's still a better-than-average show out there this season. Anw I'm now settled for Flip Flapers
@Vonter: Agreed with everything you said. I remember one of anime blog that I visited had that format: they break the episode down by time, and give their witty comments (sometime pics) alongside. I could see that format work very well for comedy, slice-of-life and shows with heavy symbolism...
So this season I'm blogging Sound Eupho 2, 3-gatsu no Lion and Flip Flappers
Aidan, having watched Flip Flappers, I'd say she's my bitch man. Not sure how to handle her yet but I promise I'll take good care of her ^^
...and you are banned for a day.
@psge1s usually fake names with capital i's work better than a 1
gettin' pussy foh days here
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn, sorry that flipflappers/sangatsu comment was meant to have an @Mario before it, my mistake.
I admit there isn't anything interesting to me this season. But! I'm really looking forward to RWBY! Volume 4 looks so great :D
@Mario could try covering Izetta, even if it might fall off later it might not. All Out/Keijo could work too, but they're quite simple so they'd be short reviews
Kaiser Eoghan
I could see keijo's trash value only working once though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think there were times where crying scenes had me anxious and I muted. But when it comes to pausing things I'm a demon for that moreso to make sure I didn't miss anything in the subs or because I liked the look of a certain shot.
Kaiser Eoghan
Watamote's a good example of one of those things where you laugh...and then think you should probably feel guilt for doing so, kind of like a Solondoz film.
Kaiser Eoghan
I was very happy with your early posts on sangatsu and flipflappers and based on that I'd like to see you blog them weekly.
I don't know, mainly because most series of this season seem that could either go north or south in terms of quality. As for Keijo maybe just suggesting, but maybe a list type of post could keep it brief and be funny. Since there are times in which some anime are more about moments than story.
Guys, if you want to recommend us some shows to cover you're welcome to. Anything but slice of life drama, as I already covering 2 this season. You don't want to see my soul crushed when I repeat the line 'quiet but beautiful' eveytime, do you?
I wouldn't reccomend it either as I think the jokes will run thin quickly. Anw, I'll give you my answer later today after watching the episode.
Hmmm...might not be a bad idea. I was thinking of jokingly blogging Keijo but I don't think I could keep the joke going for 13 episodes.
Girlish number seems to get people raved up as well, but I'm not that interested to blog it. You, Aidan?
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