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.

KT here: This looks pretty though I am sure I will object to the way the history is presented.
KT here: Classicaloid Season 2 penultimate episode had a whole bunch of anime/game references including an Akuma one.
With Vinland, I think it was that it switched magazines, started as a shounen.
HYPE! HYPE! VINLAND HYPE! I really hope it's a 2-cour where they end with the "End of Prologue".
Wonder how Vinland will be. It's one of the very very very few long running series I still consider as good. Usually there is always a lot of stuff that annoys me once a series switches its tone or genre at some point.
I also wish Wixoss would die and I really loved the first series, even both seasons. But the lastest one without Okada was atrocious.
@Kaiser: that kind of distraction is just the internet's curse I know it as well. It kinda pisses me off because I was a pretty diligent worker once and created a lot of create new content even. Now I often get the urge to check the newest funny tweets/memes whatever.
Well played sir
In my headcanon I'm pretending the crowdfunding for a possible gunsmith cats anime will work.
This will be a good way to re-cap on older chapters of Vinland through the adaptation. I started reading it way back in 2007.
excellent news
So, vinland saga appears to have gotten picked up for an adaptation by WIT
I will watch Legend of Galactic Heroes. Probably give Golden Kamuy a chance.
I'll consider golden kamuy at least.
I'm too busy with galactic heroes original to watch the remake right now and you can bet for certain i am staying far far away from mahou shoujo site.
While I won't say anythong doreikus villain reveal pretty much killed it for me. I never really watched much of full metal panic due to not finding it funny.
Just let Wixoss, Sword art and tokyo ghoul die already , its beating the dead horse at this point.
Kaiser-Eoghan in the meantime you can all content yourself with that preview.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
@Anon, When it's done.
They actually take work you know, not as if I can just cough them up on a whim.
Spring Preview when?
I enjoy TONS of subtitled stuff, but I have to admit...sometimes to re-winding and pausing when the dialogue gets heavy or complex.
I know Aico has a shit dub but sometimes I find myself watching in English and feeling lazy because its easier to watch more now that way.
I used to be able to marathon stuff so easily but now I can't do the 12 episodes in one go thing like I used to.
Something goes off, even after 30 minutes to an hour "Shit....have to see if something NOW....can't stop myself"
I'm not the kind of person who messes with their phone in a cinema, but at home somehow theres this moments where I just get this distracting urge to keep checking some site, E-mail, snacking, going to the bathroom too often or lie down, look at someones doujin/smut art or write something all when I'm supposed to be doing something else.
What I mean is, I'll be reading/watching something and its not boring at all, maybe even interesting, but I can't stop pausing sometimes for...reasons and it takes me longer to get through something because of this.
I know this is pretty much an effect of living in this generation but, for those of you who experience this, how do you guys deal with "distraction." Sometimes this annoys me....
@Amagi: I'm evasive of "non-old man pubs" at night , particularly late at night, I don't want to come across any "characters" I'd prefer not to encounter.
Liquor goes great after copious amounts of beef and steak
@Amagi, Considering that I am here, you probably should have expected a Fate GO review.
Wow I didn't expect a FGO review here
Well it's the reason why I never drink alcohol at home. Even if I were depressed it wouldn't change my mood so it's pointless.
I can reach a point where I feel like dreaming but none of my character traits change. Guess it always varies depending on the person. Same with my best friend, he's just get tired when drunk, but nothing else ever happens.
@Kaiser: Same here. Often go to pubs with friends at night but not only do I not want to ever get my mind "altered" by alcohol, it doesn't even work it seems. Or maybe it's the will or that I am just not influenceable.
Ah, this is just me being in grumpyKaiser mode =)
I have been drunk, I do not like it. I do like being tipsy, but hate drunk. I generally like beer because it does not muck me up as bad as harder drinks (ouzo, raki, and I absolutely despise tequila). The first time in my life I celebrated Valentine's Day was this year. Have to say that it was not too bad.
Baccardi and Vodka were the only forms of alcohol I felt didn't especially taste "off" to me.
I also dislike Valentines day for the schmaltz, insincerity, fakeness around it and the idea there has to be "a day" for it and the captilization, commercialization of emotions.
In all my thirty one years I have never been drunk and never intend to, I dislike the idea of surrendering my mind to alcohol and feeling "altered". If anything you would be safer doing marijuana.
And Guinness is massively overrated.
@Anon: I care for neither really.
Alcohol culture in a nutshell: if you like to drink sweet alcohol that actually tastes good instead of liquor that tastes like gasoline and piss, you're a pussy.
I've no interest in Irelands drinking culture /festival days much.
Its really just a day off or an excuse for 13 year olds to get drunk.
He was Welsh aswell and there weren't exactly that much snakes in Ireland to begin with.
@Mario: Its technically St Patricks day now yes. Not that I personally care for it, I got going to the parade out of my system over a decade ago, never liked the oirishness and cliches/commercialisim around it, in the end it just makes it impossible to get around the city, plus the weather is so poor its pointless going out anyway.
I saw some Irish flags around my area. Is it St Patrick day today?
I did listen to some of aico's dub, I don't think any of these people are experienced or professional voice actors.
Anon: B the beginning was too much of an awkward genre mix. I was content to just ignore aico because I'm not a fan of Bones as a studio but you're the second person to say it reminds them of some old ova.
@Anon: I enjoyed the combination of old and new with devilman, it even being able to eclipse the ovas, aswell as the experimental visual style and transgression, and as you said, the surprising emotional involvement.
So i finish, B the Beginning, Aico, Devilman( What a feel's ride). and I must say that they're far from perfect, but they remaind me of 90, early 2000 anime, that i loved so much and that is a big plus. Today's anime doesnt feel quite the same in my opinion, what are your thoughts.. Now im getting excited to watch SWORD GAI!.
While obvious an anime series, After the rain often feels like a live action film.
@Mario: Actually that does remind me, I never saw Pola X by Carax.
Miike is extremely hit or miss, but I loved how Audition minipulated the viewer with its slower first half before really taking off, most of Ichi the killer is just a perversely funny black comedy to me.
Chang-dong-Lee is refreshingly less melodramatic then other Korean directors.
Benh Zeitlin is one I'm not familiar with, but it turns out he did beasts of southern wild and I enjoy magical realism.
@Mario: I wasn't aware Carax was still alive, some sgements of holy motors work, others don't , lovers on the bridge was a more accessible film I recall.
@Fluca: okay. Kinda fixed it. I don't think we have a spoiler code so I just changed your spoiler into white color
@Kaiser: I'm checking movies from indie auteur directors that could come out this year, interested Benh Zeitlin's second movie, Lee Chang Dong's and Leos Carax's one
Would love to see Our Little Sister in anime form, actually
Although Miike directs like at least 40 feature films, I only remember his Audition and Ichi the Killer the most, both of which I have extremely mixed feeling about
Every time I here the title Aico, it makes me think its some kind of eco/environmental thing, which I know it isn't.
The fate/extra Alice character (I looked her up) looks like she belongs in rozen maiden.
The modern Japanese directors can be prolific Miike and Sono pump out more than one film a year.
And it shows, that Our little sister adaptation, that live action adaptations CAN sometimes work.
Quick fact, that action crime josei anime, Bananna fish, coming out in April is based on a manga by the writer of Our little sister's manga.
@Mario: The interest being, how he would handle something so removed from his usual style.
@Mario: Actually re-checking, its next week, The third murder , which seems very different, a courtroom drama with some philosophy in it.
I really enjoy Our Little Sister, but I think mainly because the film is entirely within my comfort zone (Slice of life manga material, about the life of these girls)
@Kaiser: Which one will you see? He now directs one movie per year so it's hard to keep track some times. I really like his style and I reckon people who like slice-of-life will enjoy his movies
@Mario: Hirokazu Koreeda has a new film out, seeing it on Friday, I've only seen Our little sister by him.
@Anon: I essentially deleted the rest of the episodes off my computer after struggling through the first, like most, maybe moreso I got very turned off by the genre mixing. Thats not to say that I'm against genre mixes though, but they have to be weird, I mean really weird.
I am not a fan of breather episodes, something most modern anime are pretty keen to insert. I hate breaking of climaxes in order to show three SoL-, fanservice- or formularic monster of the week episodes before the main plot progresses further. When I want SoL I go watch a full fleshed SoL. Aico is pretty straight forward and kinda easy to watch in one go in that regard. Nothing really new though.
Just finished Aico. Had a few downsides like most series but I enjoyed it. Felt like a classic scifi anime you'd see in the 90s.
@Anon, I watched it. Though it was mixed but a decent enough watch. It really felt like two shows hastily combined into one. Been thinking of writing a review for it and Aico once I finish Aico.
*Have you watch
Have toy watch, B The Beginning?
I would call it somewhat lightweight however, but I won't complain/level too much against it, as it is afterall, a family film.
*in my memory
Nice animation showcase aswell though I don't know how long this will really stay i my memory, though it was nice.
Although it relies on being fairly convenient, linear and simplistic, that Mary witch flower anime movie is at its strongest when visually drawing the viewer into its world and wherever it shows spectacle. I'd say its adequately charming. Fair enough.
Hakata sounds like Gangasta. A series I enjoyed, despite its massive flaws
thanks guys. I will probably give it a try. I am also watching the Castlevania anime finally. Not really worth it for me. Also I watched the first episode of Garo Vanishing Line. I can a say it was fun.
Hi guys, anyone here played Sea Bed VN? Just wondering...
@Anon1880687 - I watched a couple of episodes. Feels like a foreign series. Since it doesn't feel like an anime made in Japan. I did like the group of revengers seem to have more personality than the main leads which insinuate chemistry but doesn't go deep into it. I don't remember if they explain why one of the leads chooses to dress like a girl. Though at least they give him/her a male voice.
@KTravlos: me. Not impressed. First few eps were alright with a set of bold characters, but later the lot just goes around in circle for these characters acting cool and cool rules the day. I dropped it after episode 6
KT here. Has anybody watched Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens? Impressions?
@Vonter: It gets more serious later although I agree it's better starting this without any knowledge about the series, like I did. I just loved the tragicomical jokes and the obsessive nostalgia Bojack suffered from and neither needed nor expected any drama but it was pretty good when it happened nonetheless.
@Anon, Not really. They just wanted to find some justification for the trashy aspects for a show they liked rather than accept it.
And while I understand how obnoxious it can be, there are times when people complain about a show doesn't explain itself and then get pissed off when you try to give an explanation.
ProZD nails it on the head yet again The people who continue to make excuses for kill la kill's fan service are the same ones fapping to episodes of the show to this day
@Vonter: From what I hear, while it does have comedy, by the second season not only does it improve, but its more of a drama.
I've been watching Bojack Horseman. It's good, yet watching certain clips before the actual series made me expect a darker show. I know it's a cartoon, but some jokes reduced the impact of certain events. Though I suppose it's meant to be uplifting and not just mean spirited. It gave me some Nier and Aku no Hana vibes.
We watched the first three episodes of B the Beginning. I must say I enjoyed it. We will see how the rest goes.
*whole franchise bar Macross delta
Despite loving the mans work since I got started on anime when I was younger, I still haven't seen Kawamori's most recent Macross series despite seeing the whole franchise.
I think devilman set me up for the idea that netflix would be putting out more transgressive anime.
If i were to rank the three netflix original shows that have released so far in descending order, it would be devilman crybaby, AICO, and then B: the beginning
so i just finished binge watching AICO...give it a watch if you guys have time, it's pretty good
@Mario: A good dose of reality in that episode though.
@Mario: Well I guess I called it completely wrong on who Chihiro was lol
@Amagi: Steins gate spent far too much time on a jokey first half.
Not that I'm trashing polemical writing, I find stuff by Jean-Luc-Godard fucking funny.
Doing a giant mood piece isn't pretentious, because it probably doesn't have a concrete meaning any way.
While still keeping it with enough sophistication .
For example, doing a rant of a film will only communicate to your intellectual friends and people already in the know, the working class guy you want to inform with your societal/political/religious ideas , was probably watching a western back in the 60s/70s, just incorporate the themes into that while not sacrificing the films appeal
With regards to pretension, I think that comes into play when you have a director trying to communicate ideas but ends up becoming ridiculously, overly polemical, its better to communicate thought provoking ideas through something straight, while also remaining some distance.
I think it often happens when authors create things on the fly, at least with manga. You can see terrible forms of comedy/SoL -> drama/scifi switches among webcomics, which are usually done by "amateurs", some of them being pretty young. It's always good when a series hints or blatantly shows what it is during its first episodes/chapters. Not talking about mysteries but genres.
Usually for dramatic comedy to work I feel it needs to let the viewer know early on that the story will feature both....the sudden drama thing generally is a result where a funny film needs an ending and a story needs to be fabricated hastily.
Melodrama is like genre mixes. If it does work it can be something special, but it's really hard to write and most directors just lack the talent to do so. It's like a comedy that turns serious at some point. It CAN work, but there aren't many cases where that happens. Usually they're just alienating their comedy fans and the drama fans weren't there to begin with.
Same here
I think some really old Euro movies, latin ones especially get away with melodrama well because the acting was different and more theatrical .
If the mekodramatics can properly cast a spell on a viewer, I am open to it if the writers strong enough but in general, when I'm watching something, the best stories are the ones where the atmosphere is so assure I forget I'm watching fiction.
I know they just want to make their audience feel good but I think it's a terrible moral or idea. Especially since most people know at least one person they loved that died from such illnesses. No matter what they did or tried to do to overcome it.
Yeah exactly. Honestly most cancer movies are terrible I think. I also hate these series in which the main character, I don't know, wins a match for his cancer-ridden love and then s/he recovers.
@Amagi: Too silly for me, the psycho faces.
@Kaiser: Not using music can be a great method to illustrate serious moments I think.
I've spoken to my father about this, who recovered from cancer years ago, those kind of phrases irritate him, hr said " don't battle, fight cancer, you fucking suffer through it, then if your lucky you get through it"
I mean, again, I loved Madoka but I see how this method they used is kinda cheap. It's still better than many other series of that type. I am aready looking forward to see how terrible Magical Girl Site is, the trailer looks like a psycho face trash fest.
The really annoying thing is when some of these docs and dramas use phrases like "her battle, her FIGHT, her BRAVE fight against cancer.
I enjoyed Madoka but I know what you mean. I think I will never rewatch Madoka but I love to see certain Tutu- and Sailor Moon scenes from time to time. I think Madoka is kinda similar to netflix shows or code geass in that regard. It always ends with some evil cliffhanger to hype you up for the next episode and it throws in one shocking revelation after another for the same reason.
@Amagi: On the music thing, some documentaries do this. What I loved about Shoah and night and fog is that the directors showed the landscapes/buildings where it happened and never used music.
I mean I know how bad ww2 and other things were. I really don't need rain, sad music and lots of actor tears to realize that. It reminds me of the laughing tracks sitcoms have that tell you when you have to laugh. And newer movies have exaggerated effects as well, not a fan of that. I rather see well thought-out content than a bomb-show. Not to mention that I hate sensory overload.
Its also kind of why I can NEVER look at hentai of something I enjoyed when I was young.
Which I admit is bias and a crap opinion lol
I grew up with Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailormoon and looking into lighthearted mahou shoujo , I don't mind nanoha and tutu, but there was always the feeling madoka was corrupting something.
On dark moe, I've stopped with lol edgy when criticizing Madoka, I realize that its the equivalent to Batman porn to me, the idea of that level of a slant on a genre I went for when I was a kid.
I agree. I was interested in Schindler's List when I was ~12 or so because it was something new for me. Nowadays I realize it's not really my thing, there are many western war shows that come of as too "pathetic" to me, they feel too much like, well, Hollywood blockbusters (which is what they actually are) than a serious commetary on war or so.
@Amagi: Thats the trouble I have with Hollywood , a film about Autism like Rain man or a mental illness movie like I am Sam, these American movies never seem real and the depictions feel so hammy and inaccurate.
On the dark moe trope, rather than throwing out words on it, its the tonal inconsistency that gets to me.
Yeah the opposite is bad as well. A show can have good intentions, even lots of good ideas but still have a bad execution.
Schindler's list is a great example of this, personally I think popcorn drama/oscar baiting the holocaust is somewhat distasteful and the film comes off as comparitively ingenuinely when I've seen a couple of eastern war films by people who actually lived during the war.
And "egdy" is very much about the tone a series has and not so much the actual content. Therefore it has to be explained as well, a dark series, even one with lots of blood, isn't necessarily edgy, it depends on the stance the autor has, whom we're supposed to root for and why, how characters and scenes are depicted and the overall tone, moral and so on.
On another note, to go back to "critic proof", this is a terrible practice because it allows people to take an easy topic for a story and it become forbidden to give a bad review.
Yeah, "badly written" for example doesn't mean anything unless you're gonna illustrate how it is badly written by showing and analyzing examples from the show and explain why the writing for these scenes is weak
Thats why I like here, people actually talk about a show in some detail, even the reviewers.
An non-backed up opinion when I'm looking for a show to follow doesn't tell me anything, how am I meant to know to watch something based on a single word or sentence?
I suppose its less of a case of buzzwords and more how people don't explain anything . The reason I say I have to do a 300 word review or long opinion on something is because I feel buzzwords and one word/one sentence opinions are un-helpful.
@Amagi: And I think thats certainly an issue, the lines being bkurred between shitposting/trolling and genuine critique .
I mean there are a lot of badly written shows out there or shows that are too tryhard, but people often use these phrases as buzzwords for everything and don't state reasons for using these terms for a specific show. I see tons of "egdy" posts as soon as a series is a bit darker than the usual harem and it's hard to distinguish these pieces from actual shitposts or trolls.
It sounds better to say that I don't like something because it's too egdy, too stupid and pure pandering (when it's about moe) or "badly written" than saying that I can't relate to certain settings, characters and so one or that I've seen a certain idea too often.
@Kaiser: I think many people just don't want to admit that disliking a series is usually a subjective thing. They rather want to credit their own intelligence for not liking it.
New Boogiepop anime announced for 2018 o/
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