Posted on 31 August 2007 with categories: Ayatsuri Sakon

Yes! Yes! This arc is progressing perfectly! I couldn’t have expected it to get any better, by the standards that have been set with the rest of the series. There’s a strong and consistent emotional strength throughout the entire episode, the mystery progresses perfectly, and it’s great to see Sakon as the centre of attention, without any increase of cheesiness.

The interesting thing is that this is another one of those arcs where we know who did it, before the final episode: the Shinozakis. If the creators are confident enough that they give out these hints, they must have got something very interesting in store for the conclusion. With other words: Shinozaki’s reasons should be quite juicy.

Come on, Sakon! There’s only one episode left! You’ve only got one more chance to prove yourself and your unique character. Please, make your end a memorable one!

Posted on with categories: Ayatsuri Sakon

So, apparently there is no Baccano-release this week. To make up for it, we get treated to a double-release of Ayatsuri Sakon. We’re finally ready to start the final arc, and it’s exactly as I hoped: the final arc is going to be all about Sakon, as it centres on his succession of his the puppetry-school that has been lead by his father for ages. If I had to say so, this episode was the best opening to an arc since the first one, which benefited most from the fact that I had no idea what to expect from this series.

Lots of side-characters also return for this arc. Shiho from the fourth ac is back, Shinozaki from arc I returns, and our regular side-characters of Kaoru and Zenkichi are also present. Like I mentioned above: Sakon’s famous grandfather finally decides to hand over his title as the head of the house, after suffering from a heart-attack on stage. The successor will be Sakon. I nearly forgot that this grandfather is also Kaoru’s father, by the way. His other child, Sakon’s father, committed suicide when Sakon was only ten years old.

The fact is that people obviously disagree with Sakon being the next head. The most obvious suspect would be Sakon’s grandfather’s brother, but he also coughs up blood at the end of the episode. The big question is now: was Sakon’s grandfather’s heart-attack a real one, or was it created by a human? If it was, I’m putting my money on the guy who takes care of the clothing, due to a hint that was given around the middle of the episode. There are still lots of questions that remain, though. Why did the criminal set a garbage-can on fire? Is Sakon’s father’s suicide related to this?

I’ve got high hopes for this arc. This is probably going to have more emotional strength than most other arcs, due to the fact that it focuses on characters who are already fleshed out, and with a bit of luck, it’ll be able to finally top the seventh episode. Come on, Ayatsuri Sakon! You’ve only got one arc left, so make it an arc to remember!

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

+ August 2007 Rankings +
Okay, last time the ratings were a bit confusing so let me explain them for a bit. They’re out of 10, just like the school-system. 6,0 is average, and you really shouldn’t look for likable series below it. Anything above 9,0 is awesome, hence definitely recommended. After the place-numbers, you’ll see another number between brackets. That’s the place that anime was on last month. If it says “???”, then that anime wasn’t in last month’s ranking, and if it says “new”, that show has started this month. I hope it’s a bit clear now.

(Oh, and before I start: this is still on for one more day. Exactly 24 hours from now, I’ll close the poll. If no more votes come in, then it looks like Gundam 00 will be blogged by me once it starts. If you want to change this, you’ve only got 24 hours left!)

#40 (new): Bokusatsu Tenchi Dokuro-Chan – (4,2/10) – Ugh… when you thought the first season was bad, the second one comes along to smack you in the face. How long will they continue to milk this concept?
#39 (43): School Days – (5,3/10) – Things actually went well enough, until the third AND fourth girl confessed their love for Makoto… where the heck did that come from!? I doubt that the endings will save this series as well. The events feel so incredibly forced, not to mention that the three main characters are still idiots. I also don’t understand the people who claim that this is such a realistic series. Sure, I can see Makoto in real life, there are enough idiots like him around, but what part of the fact that every girl who sees him also falls in love with him is realistic? Is he the most attractive guy in school or something (poor school, by the way)? Is he a walking bag of pheromones?
#38 (38): Romeo x Juliet – (5,5/10) – You know…. we have yet to see any confirmations about Juliet’s mother, have we? At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if she actually had a secret love-affair with Romeo’s father at one point, making the two of them half-siblings. Such a twist would feel perfectly at home in this series, and that’s not a good sign. It’s also ironic that the only enjoyable character is Willy himself, and don’t you also love how there isn’t a single good bowman in the Capulet’s army?
#37 (39): Lucky Star – (6/10) – Really, when I watch this show, it’s like I’ve already seen 75% of the scenes before. 15% is incredibly predictable (Kagami’s admirer, anyone?), leaving only 10% of actually enjoyable stuff, which in most cases are the cultural references, which have nothing to do with the characters. Oh, and the tantrum thrown by the Lucky Channel-guy (apparently, there are only two male characters in the entire series) was fun too.
#36 (???): Hellsing OVA – (6,2/10) – And with the third instalment, the Hellsing OVA has fallen apart. Finally, the story gets to be something entirely different from the anime, but if this is exactly according to the manga, then I can understand why Gonzo changed it. This isn’t entertainment; this is pure and senseless slaughter. If these extra months of delay were created, just to give each human soldier 10 extra galleons of blood in his body, something has to be drastically wrong. The only thing I liked was the humour, though. Seras was awesome in her non-serious state.
#35 (36): Sky Girls – (6,7/10) – Ugh… you know a series is going the wrong way when the characters start comparing breast sizes. I’m feeling it’s trying the same that Nanoha is currently doing: first half of the series building up, while the real meat of the series will arrive with the second half.
#34 (34): Kenkou Senrakei Sueibu Umisho – (7,1/10) – Please… cut down on the huge amounts of fanservice. The characters are enjoyable enough without it, and it only ruins this series! Episode nine showed that it’s perfectly capable of creating a funny episode without any useless fanservice
#33 (35): Nanatsuiro Drops – (7,2/10) – I’m still not sure how this series can manage to be both annoying and yet watchable. I think it’s because the male characters: they all somewhat refreshing, when compared to the usual series, and I like how they all end up supporting the main character.
#32 (16): Shigurui – (7,3/10) – I want to praise this series, I really do, but the past few episodes have been delving more and more in the absurd. I know there’s lots of detail, and the gore is a good way to create a mood, but these utterly bizarre rituals like cutting off a woman’s nipple and raping her are going way too far.
#31 (29): Potemayo – (7,4/10) – I’m still not sure what to think of this series. The initial shock wears off with the first two episodes, and now the jokes still feel refreshing, but not as hilarious as I hoped. There are a few good moments though, like Potemayo chasing the bread-truck.
#30 (23): Mushiuta – (7,4/10) – This series could have gone in so many directions, and yet it headed into the wrong way by making each major female fall in love with the male lead. Ladybird really ruins this series.
#29 (17): Gintama – (7,4/10) – Gintama is the only show where an episode can be extended into the next one. It was a rather strange episode as well.
#28 (30): Murder Princess – (7,5/10) – Actually, episode five was quite good. It explained quite a few interesting things about the setting, and was a pretty nice calm-before-the-storm episode. The question now remains: will this finish well?
#27 (37): Heroic Age – (7,6/10) – Interesting enough, this series is starting to get better when themes as genocide suddenly appear, and the two idiots are mercilessly killed off. This series would have been perfectly fine if it just showed the war between the Iron and the Silver Tribe, but Age and Dianeira ruined the entire show. I still can’t understand why Dianeira is considered such a good leader anyway.
#26 (8): Saiunkoku Monogatari – (7,6/10) – Well, nothing much can be said. Only one episode aired this month, and that was an aftermath. It was a great aftermath, but the fact remains that I’m not happy with the sudden delays.
#25 (25): Shoujo Jang Geum no Yume – (7,8/10) – Okay, it may not be the most realistic series, but it’s fun to watch! I like Jang Geum’s cheery character, and how she’s getting the support she needs from others.
#24 (21): Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – (7,8/10) – This series went so well… and then Yoko returned. -_- She really is the worst member of the cast in this anime, and it was refreshing when she didn’t have much to do. Not only is her return full of clichés, she also has the corniest sense of humour. I mean, does she really expect the school-references to work? O_o Episode 22 wasn’t much better either; sure, it had nice action, but the entire thing felt like one big anti-climax when the moon suddenly turned out to be one giant Ganmen. Gainax, at least do something special for the ending!!!
#23 (28): Tetsuko no Tabi – (7,9/10) – I’m actually interested in what the mangaka thinks of this adaptation. She’s probably one of the very few people to be featured in an actual anime. I still like her character, by the way. She’s witty, and I love her sarcastic remarks throughout the series, even though it’s much of the same. I originally thought that Shigurui had the best OP for the season, but I was wrong; the best OP for the summer-season belongs to Tetsuko no Tabi.
#22 (19): Kekkaishi – (8/10) – And finally the antagonists get serious. It’s now time for Kekkaishi that it’s more than just an ordinary shounen-series, because it can still go down at this point.
#21 (???): ICE – (8/10) – I like the storytelling in this OVA. It may be strange, but it works quite well. It’s obviously not for everyone, though.
#20 (???): Power Puff Z – (8/10) – It’s interesting how Himeko’s sister took over Princess’s role in the original series. While the past few episodes haven’t been as brilliant as some of the episodes in the 30-40 range, they were definitely fun to watch.
#19 (20): Reideen – (8/10) – Finally Roxell is back again. I’m wondering what the creators have in store for the final two episodes. Things are looking pretty straightforward, but I wonder whether the creators can manage to throw in a twist.
#18 (18): Zombie Loan – (8,2/10) – I like how the episodes seem to focus more at the shoujo-roots of the story than the shounen-ones. The banter between the characters is great to watch, and at the same time it’s still able to provide powerful character-studies.
#17 (12): Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (8,3/10) – Episode five may have had a tad too much fanservice, but episode four was utterly brilliant. It seems like about 50% of the episodes are okay, while the other 50% are absolutely hilarious. I can live with that. ^_^
#16 (4): Dennou Coil – (8,3/10) – Nothing much can be said. Only one episode got released, and while it was an incredibly cute one, the plot hasn’t really been moving forward. Let’s hope that the next episode will fix this.
#15 (7): Mononoke – (8,3/10) – While it’s still awesome, this month I failed to understand Mononoke’s dialogues. The stories are surprisingly deep, and my level of Japanese just couldn’t handle it.
#14 (22): Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha – (8,3/10) – Finally this series is getting really fired off. Episode 17 was excellent, and I hope that this pace will continue!!
#13 (14): Claymore – (8,3/10) – I never could have imagined the current arc to turn out the way it did. So many Claymores together equals awesomeness. It’s just too bad that Raki took a turn for the worse. I just hope my worries about the ending of this series aren’t necessary.
#12 (???): Deltora Quest – (8,4/10) – It’s such a shame that some of the good series suffer from chronic lack of subs. Deltora Quest really is unique amongst the fantasy-adventures, and I want to see how it continues. :(
#11 (9): Darker than Black – (8,6/10) – I’ve seen this get mentioned by at least three people already, but it’s the truth: while they were good, episodes 17-20 weren’t as awesome as episodes 13-16. I liked how they all seemed to focus on running away, though. I’ve got hopes for the finale, as this is one series that completely understands its setting.

#10 (26): Baccano! – (8,8/10)

Don’t ask me how they did it, but all the characters are actually coming together, in a pretty excellent storyline. I’ve got high hopes for this.

#9 (10): Code-E – (8,8/10)

While the past few episodes had me worried a bit with the love-triangle, episode 9 showed that this series knows what it’s doing when everything comes together. The thing I love about this series is how, at the climaxes, the overall quality seems to increase tenfold.

#8 (11): Ooedo Rocket – (8,8/10)

Ooedo’s biggest problem: the characters are so fun to watch, it’s a pity to see them getting serious for the climaxes. It’s perfect at building up, but the climaxes themselves seem to lack something. Still, do NOT miss episode 21 and 22. ^_^

#7 (1): Toward the Terra – (9/10)

This month, this series spent its time in a “calm-before-the-storm”, to set all the chess-pieces right for the big finale. While the series has been better, it still was awesome.

#6 (27): Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – (9,1/10)

This is the Higurashi I fell in love with. The Minagoroshi-hen has finally started, and it’s already an awesome ride. I can’t believe the huge focus that is placed on trusting each other.

#5 (15): El Cazador de la Bruja – (9,2/10)

Ellis + Nadie + LA = awesomeness. I don’t care about the flaws anymore, as long as I can see the three of them together, I’m happy. Bee-Train really knows how to flesh out its characters. :)

#4 (2): Bokura no – (9,2/10)

You know, many people complain that Gonzo always screws up adaptations by adding their own storylines, but they’re currently doing a mighty fine job for Bokura no. The twists that came with it were awesome!

#3 (6): Les Miserables – (9,3/10)

This month was all about developing the different romances, and I’m developing a sortof obsession for Eponine myself. God, her character is awesome.

#2 (5): Seirei no Moribito – (9,4/10)

It’s very hard to judge the past few episodes of Seirei no Moribito, since it’s so delightfully different from most other anime. There really is no other anime that feels more like a novel than this one, and it’s awesome to see that the story is nearing its conclusion.

#1 (3): Kaze no Shoujo Emily – (9,4/10)

I’m probably the only one who still watches this series, but I don’t care! Emily is awesome, and as a bonus the past month has increased the focus about the characters, living towards their own dreams. The result is magnificent. :)

+ Top 5 Episodes +
#5: Ooedo Rocket – 22
One of the highlights of the series in terms of comedic value, and it still finds enough time for some great character-development. A cast as crazy as Ooedo Rocket’s really was given the time to shine.

#4: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – 34
It’s episodes like these where the characters shine. Especially Rika was awesome to watch.

#3: Claymore – 20
The top-3 of this month is all about characters, learning lessons. This episode of Claymore truly shined as an aftermath and introduction with its deep character-developments. I couldn’t help but love Deneve, Undine and Helen and the unnamed Claymore.

#2: Kaze no Shoujo Emily – 19
What would you do if you were asked to do something for a dead person, where the only thing you know about him is that he lived an incredibly boring life? This question worked so incredibly well with Emily, and it was a definite highlight in the series.

#1: Seirei no Moribito – 19
If anyone still doesn’t believe that Barsa can’t be a good parent, this episode should change this thought.

Posted on 30 August 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Makoto Shinkai is a very strange director. With this, I’ve seen all of his major works now, She and her Cat included, but only The Place Promised in our Early Days gave me enough inspiration to write a review about it. It doesn’t happen often, but some movies just aren’t fit for my review-system, and She and Her Cat, Byousoku 5cm/second and Voices of a Distant Star are examples of this. I could be nitpicky, and pick out lots of flaws, like where did these aliens come from, or the lack of a proper aftermath, but that’s not what this movie’s about. All Makoto Shinkai is interested in is pretty graphics and romance, and he definitely delivers on these points.

While this isn’t going to be a fully fledged review, I do want to grab this chance to say a few things about it. Makoto Shinkai is a master in creating subtle feelings, mostly about loneliness, and being away from your loved one. All his works share this similarity. The setting he places it in often doesn’t really matter, and often only is used as a means of creating this feeling.

The Place Promised in our Early Days is, in my opinion, his weakest production. I think that this is because 1) it was too long, 2) it tried too much to be a standard movie and 3) the ending was his only happy end, in which everything was unrealistically resolved in the end (this is because of 2) as well).

My main gripe with Makoto is the following. It’s not really a problem, it’s not really a flaw, but it seems that he’s only good at one specific style. Am I the only one who noticed that his male leads are practically the same everywhere? Okay, the cat may be different, but the male leads in Voices, Place and Byousoku could very well have been the exact same person. Nevertheless, his particular style can be watched over and over, and I’m looking forward to his next movie. He’s also going to be involved in ef in the next Season, isn’t he? Is this as the writer, or is he just going to do the backgrounds?

Posted on with categories: Ooedo Rocket

Now THAT was an awesome episode! I thought that the previous episode could very hardly be toped, but I think the creators actually did it! It’s almost like everything about this episode is perfect: both Genzo and Tetsuju get a minute to be as hilarious as usual, Sora and Seikichi weren’t the focus of the episode, but they were incredibly fun to watch, the windows and Youtube-parodies were utterly brilliant, the love potion was hilarious and most of all: Shunpei and Onui were so awesome together!

Basically, the main plot is about Shunpei, accidentally using another one of Hiraga’s inventions: a love potion. Any woman who sees him, falls in love with him. This leads to hilarious results, as O-Ise calling him “Onii-chan”, Tenten trying to dress him up into various outfits, and Kagiya, trying to woo him with a pair of trousers. ^^;

This, however, was just a way to develop his relation with Onui, since she’s the only one who isn’t affected by the potion, being a dog and all. Even Sora falls for it in the end. I like how this anime already assumes that the viewer has understood that Onui is a dog. Anyway, we also finally get to see the reason why she turned into a human: she used to often play with Shunpei, hence her crush on him. To make things even better, it seemed that Shunpei had already figured out that that dog and Onui were the same person.

I just wonder… why the heck did Tetsuju recognize Onui when she was in her dog-form, trying to save Shumpei from his fate?

And regarding the main plot, Genzo discovers that the building-time of the rocket might take a bit longer than expected, and that at this rate, it’ll only get finished when Seikichi and Sora have become way too old. For that, Hiraga assembles an army of cats to help them. In the meantime, there is still no sign of Akai anywhere, so I’m really wondering what that guy has been up to.

I wish that episodes like these could continue forever, but I’m afraid that the plot is about to kick in again. I really wonder what the creators have in mind for the climax, as they must want to try and surpass the climax in episode 20. The best thing would be to not lse the humour in the process. There haven’t been many comedies with a good ending, and even though Ooedo Rocket spent more time than average on its plot-development, the fact still remains that it’s much more fun to see the characters just interacting.

Oh, and about the download link for this episode: it’ll come up soon, but Megaupload is currently being a bitch and refuses to upload it.

Posted on with categories: Claymore

I’ve got mixed feelings about this episode. It’s all about one plot-twist that is loved by all kinds of shounen-series as an easy plot device. A character is about to be killed, everything sounds hopeless, but then, at the last possible moment, a character (usually the main one) unlocks some hidden powers to kick the bad guy’s ass. Especially Dragonball Z loved using them.

But on the other hand, at least Claire made sense when she awakened. The sudden power didn’t come from nowhere, and the fight that lead to it was a gripping one. But then again, this fight could have easily been moved into half an episode and it did drag on at times.

In the same way, Raki was a lot less annoying in this episode, and he was actually nice to watch. But then again, I just can’t help but think that the next episode will be incredibly predictable. Claire has finished off Rigardo with her new powers, and Raki arrives just at the right moment to pull her back from being completely awakened.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to think of Claymore at the moment. Sure, the fight was great, but I keep fearing that there won’t be a second season, and that a huge amount of questions and plot-holes will be left unanswered. I mean, there is no way for the creators to stuff enough development about Alicia, Beth, and the three dwellers of the deep in the final four episodes.

There’s one thing about this episode that I’ve been wondering about, though: what the heck happened to everyone? All Rigardo did was kill the four weakest captains. There should be enough other Claymore left without them, besides, Claire, Deneve, Helen and Miria. Why didn’t we even see one single flash of them? Have they fled the battlefield? And if they did, where did they flee to? It’s a bit disappointing, as i actually hoped to see some of the unknown Claymores to stand up and help as well, but it seems that the creators had the intention to let the final end up between the major characters. I admit that I expected something better, with the huge hype that surrounded this arc.

The best part about this episode was Deneve, though. I love her internal struggles, and the fact that she wasn’t able to do anything about Undine’s death, after speaking so confident towards her that they’ll protect each other. Now she also has been badly injured, which will probably take a while to regenerate. I’d actually love it if she ends up saving Claire in the next episode.

Posted on 29 August 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

This movie was recommended to me by Cos, also more than a year ago. Finally we see another anime that shows that mecha have more uses than warfare. Engineers and construction-workers also love to use them in the setting for this movie, as it follows local policemen on mechas. The key part of the story is the operating system they run on. Their creator left a nice-farewell-present with it, before killing himself.

There are three major plusses in this movie. First of all: the mystery. It’s fun to gradually learn what the creator of these operating systems was up to, and some of the revelations make quite a nice impact. Even though the guy is dead, he turned into one of the most interesting characters of the movie because of this.

The second good point: it’s refreshing. While the movie has the basic ingredients of a regular thriller, it manages to add enough extra to improve the realism of it all. Especially the female lead profits from this, as she manages to avoid the pitfall that strikes almost all other similar characters. While she starts out as an ordinary support character, just there as a plot-device to develop the main lead, she changes drastically as the climax approaches, and in the end, she really has her time to shine. It’s also not like our main characters are the only ones in the world who realize the complot. Other parties also take actions to solve it once in a while. This realism sets Patlabor apart from all those other mecha and police-shows out there.

The third good point is the interaction between the characters. They’re not 100% serious all the time, and need a break once in a while, their conversations are quite realistic, they know exactly when to use comedy and some of their banter is quite fun to watch. Especially the chief of the police-unit was interesting, with his stoic yet involved attitude.

So, the bad points? Some side-characters aren’t fleshed out well enough, and only a few of the characters are lucky enough to have a bit of background. It’s a pity, because the characters could have worked out even better if we knew something about them, but this movie doesn’t even attempt to bother with it. One of the reasons why the creator of the operating system turned into one of the best characters was because he is the only one with a well-fleshed out background.

The climax also raises one plot-hole that it never answers. I won’t mention it, for the sake of spoilers (I already feel I used a bit too many of them for this review), but you should be able to recognize it for yourself. The ending also is good, due to an added twist, but the aftermath is a bit lazy and too short. Still, if you’re looking for a more realistic and down-to-earth movie that’s more than just flashy-action scenes and still involves mechas and conflict, this is a pretty good choice.

Posted on with categories: Bokura no

Whoa, plot twists! Before I start with them, I must say that I finally realized how incredibly versatile the second half of this anime had been. It started out as a case-based series, then, with Kirie and Maki it turned into science-fiction, then with Takami and Aiko, the political undertones of this series suddenly got lots of attention, and the past two episodes have yet again changed the main focus, as they start to explain all of the mysteries in the series. It’s hard to name a series where the difference is so noticeable.

Anyway, this episode: Yoko’s background. It seems that her original world has been visited by a Koemushi-like creature as well. Yoko wasn’t part of the pilots, but her brother was. He already was a huge brat at that time, but it seems that the group of children had also decided to battle until their deaths. Then, if I understood things correctly, the gray Koemushi came with a revelation when Yoko’s brother was the final pilot left: if he were to travel to different worlds, enlisting people for the very same game, he’d be allowed to live. With this news, he became overjoyed, and gladly accepted this for the chance to keep living. Yoko, while she didn’t like this, still decided to accompany her brother.

They then travelled through countless other worlds, where their robot always ended up defeated at one point. Then they reached Kokopelli’s world, where they met him. Things were a bit different in that world, as Yoko entered a class as a transfer-student in order to get them to sign up, and she became friends with them. Kokopelli’s daughter was among that class, and Kokopelli was their teacher. He was the one who nudged his daughter to enlist.

Kokopelli became like Tanaka when he found out the true nature. I guess he felt responsible for it, and offered his life, in exchange for others (aka, his daughter). Obviously, with Koemushi, this didn’t turn out as planned. In the end, only he and his daughter remained alive. I think that it’s then when they knew about the final pilot being the one to remain alive. Kokopelli offered himself, to keep his daughter alive, though Koemushi had different plans, and chose the daughter instead. When Kokopelli’s wife tried to commit suicide along with him afterwards, he suddenly was begging for his life. After that, he went on to help Koemushi and Yoko.

At least, that explanation makes the most sense. There are quite a few details in this episode I didn’t get, like why didn’t Kokopelli turn into a Koemushi as well? And why did he so easily throw his life away in the first episode? Why didn’t we see the last fight of Kokopelli?

And holy god, I suddenly realize how similar Yoko and Koemushi are to Jun and Kana! With Kanji being the next pilot, And after that only Seki and Jun are left, and it really seems like Koemushi is trying to make Jun into the next Koemushi, due to Kana being there. There’s also a thing I’ve been wondering for the past few episodes: the final pilot. Now that Kirie killed two, and Tanaka died, there should be no need for it. But according to THAT Anime Blog‘s entry of episode 17, the line-up that Koemushi mentioned consisted out of all the pilots (Komoda – Jun – Seki – Tanaka – Kanji). This has confused me for quite a few episodes already.

Anyway, next episode should be awesome: Kanji is going to pilot! (at least, I hope ^^;)

Posted on 28 August 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Oh my god… this one’s a real tear-jerker. Anga was the one, who recommended this movie to me, more than a year ago, and I finally had the chance to watch it, and I’m SO glad that I gave this one a chance. This movie is THE proof that the Koreans can do more than just produce pretty graphics á la Wonderful Days.

Basically, any slice-of-life fan will enjoy this. It tells the story of two orphans: a blind girl and her younger brother. There are other characters as well, like a couple of monks, who end up taking care of the pair of them, but they’re nowhere as interesting as the two main characters. The boy was only one year old when their mother died in a fire, and they’ve been taking care of each other ever since.

And boy, does it end up awesome. The creators were really successful in creating a sad story which left me crying for many times in a row. The two main characters are fleshed out into really likable characters, and you’ll really end up feeling sorry for the things both of them had to endure, and the beauty of all is that it manages to stay realistic while doing so.

I’ve got only two complaints for this movie. The two children may be fleshed out, and they’ve got background, but I would have liked to see a bit more of it, like how the girl was able to take care of her brother after becoming blind, and how the two of them managed to survive until they reached the Buddhist Monastery. The second point of critique is the ending: it’s an anticlimax. The mood is built up perfectly, and the boy reaches a really pitiful state, and then the suddenly introduces supernatural elements from out of nowhere. It’s here where the religious undertones of the movie went completely out of control.

Still, don’t let that flaw ruin this excellent production. It’s obviously not for those who need action, but this is a great example of a successful slice-of-life movie. Be warned, though: the boy might be a bit annoying with his antics in the beginning, but he quickly becomes too adorable for this to really matter. If you’re looking for something to make you cry, this is a pretty good suggestion.

P.S. For those who are interested: Guriguri has translated an interview with the movie’s director into English. Quite insightful.

Posted on with categories: El Cazador de la Bruja

And the finale has started!

And boy, it’s promising to be awesome. I wouldn’t have guessed this during the majority of the series, but El Cazador is really becoming one of my favourite series at the time, and this episode proves it. It may have had its lesser points, but the past couple of episodes have been amazing due to Ellis and Nadie’s great characters. Seriously, only Les Miserables and Kaze no Shoujo Emily have at the moment an even more likable character than Ellis and Nadie: Eponine and Emily, respectively.

And OMG: Plot twist! Rozenberg has been the one who controlled LA all along! It makes so much sense, he had him captured for a while, and didn’t worry about the guy escaping. Of course he wouldn’t mind; he messed with is bracelet to control the guy!! That’s why he went to his laptop in the past few episodes: to remotely activate the bracelet. That’s why Ricardo and Lilio were fired: because he now has a more useful servant than the two of them.

But the most exciting event of the episode was obviously Ellis, reaching her place of destination. We now see why Rozenberg had no intention to stop her from reaching her goal, since he intended this to happen from the start. In the next episode, we should see the guy, getting back into action, and we see him fly from the United States, back to Mexico at the end of the episode.

There are now four episodes left, and I’m really curious about how the finale will take place. Rozenberg is now really going to have to prove himself, since he had little to do for most of the series. But then again, the final bad-guy from Noir had even less of a role, and when compared to her, he’s actually quite active, with his little trip to the desert to control LA. At the moment, I actually consider El Cazador a bigger success than Noir, though Noir had the strength that it nearly had no flaws, apart from being slightly annoying when the True Noir showed up again. El Cazador is quite different in that, with some of its rather questionable plot events of Ricardo and Lilio suddenly following the same path that Ellis and Nadie go, and the fact that the blue guys have stopped going after our twosome, even during the night.

Oh, and to close off this post: it’s quite surprising that Nadie actually got hurt quite badly. I wonder how this is going to affect the climax. The next episode is promising to be awesome in any case.

Yeah, This weeks Flip Flappers disappointed me. Maybe because there was no Pure illusion this week.
@lenlo: Flip Flappers is one the most original anime out of this season, in both good and bad terms. You could try the first episode to see if it's your thing.
@anon381106: I actually found this week's Flip Flappers to be my least favorite episode so far.
How is flip flappers? Only things ive really started watching this season are Yuri!!! on Ice and Drifers
Flip Flappers episode 4 was just lovely.
Also real dickish that she has an attack in her last form that specifically counters shields. Maybe the whole problem is that I just picked the wrong kind of style for the fight but Zeiwhander and shield has never failed me before.
However any time I got trapped in the corner it was because she was just constantly attacking without pulling back. Rolling was dodgy as you could be easily caught in her next attack. Blocking does no real good either as she's still draining your stamina, health and pushing you back.
@Lenlo, yeah I started aiming for him to get through it but then I was still getting blindsided by her. My build is strength based and I was using a zeiwhander and shield. I couldn't wail on the big guy hard or else I would be in a attack animation when the girl lays down the ice.
See, I never had a problem with the second form because the large guy is so easy to hit and will simply miss you if you stay close to him. I think the one gripe I have with the fight is the heal, because with 2 bosses, you cant stop it alot of the time. I would argue that not getting trapped in a corner though is a skill you cultivate and is more the players fault than the bosses.
Though I actually was happy when they went invisible as that's when I can shave off a heavy chunk of their HP. Still if you happen to miss the small sign of where they jumped then you are screwed on that.
Healing, huge area of effect attacks, grab moves with barely any windup, freeze weapon effects that slow down attack animations, three goddamn forms, can turn invisible, long ass combos leaving little counterattack room and having to fight two bosses at the same time. Honestly, my victory here really depended in them not using certain attacks.
@Lenlo, I liked the visual design and the idea of it. However they gave it far too many cheap attacks. The second form is way to chaotic and depending on how they attack can put you in a position where you really can't do anything. Like when one breaths fire while the other starts healing, then you can't stop it. The final form as well, the minute they get you into a corner, you are done.
Whaaat? I loved that last boss.
Took me 2 and half hours to see everything in the DLC. Took me another 3 hours to beat the boss. Damn that boss had me in the zone. I think its was a serious bullshit artifical difficultly boss but man...beating that bullshit boss solo...felt good.
@Mario, starting to think I didn't need my help after all. I hope they make something worthwhile.
On a unrelated note the Dark Souls 3 DLC boss is serious bullshit.
Hey Aidan, thqt Kickstarter project Mecha-ude has passed its goal (nearly double now with 10 more days to go). Seems like people getting real hype for it
Wonder if Bam has played the new Dark Souls DLC. Found it rather lacking when compared to previous DLC from the last games.
@Anon, it's just a video of a still image of anime girls in bikini's with a red circle around one of their chests. Seeing as this thing has no views or subscribers my guess is someones is fishing for views. To which i say...what really is the point of making videos if this is the only way you can get people to watch them?
[link src="
I"] hate this crap that they corrupt anime with (crappy video that insults anime)
So RWBY's back. I actually miss the whole RWBY team. Still prefer Ruby's old custom more. Nora looks cool.
With the fourth episode, Vivid Strike seems to have crossed an invisible line that makes it more like the original Nanoha shows rather than Vivid. The kind of brutal beatdown delivered by the co-protagonist and the build up to it is something quite alien to a normal SoL/Sports anime show.
Ep. 4 of Tiger Mask was a lot better than the last 3, quite a hyped fight that was a full 6mins long. Will continue watching in hope of an awesomely long final fight.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
Going back to the fanservice topic, its very easy to complain about it in anything but then something actually comes along that actually does it for you. I mean I always say that I don't watch a show/movie for its fanservice elements and stick with pictures on image boards, but then I ended up seeing a film where I actually got something out of the fanservice while watching the film its.
Kaiser Eoghan
The oujia prequel was competent genre fare, the director cared about the characters and every now and the built up a decent mood. Although jump Scares are there . And I always appreciate a horror film having a mean spirited ending. One of the rare cases where the young actors do well in a horror film. The pace is a bit uneven, rushed and a bit laggy .
Kaiser Eoghan
In the sense of how messed up/especially bleak those two episodes were.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was the sense too with both those episodes of "Jesus...I wasn't ready for that...."
Kaiser Eoghan
Though the first episode of the first season and the third episode of season 3 are very hard to beat. Adding to what I thought of s3 ep3 I felt that one hit me on the same level as s1 ep1 did so.
Though in previous seasons I generally only really liked 2 out of the 3.
@Kaiser, though the previous seasons where only 3 episodes long and you enjoyed 3 out of 6 in this season. So yo essentially get the same amount of enjoyment as previous seasons.
Kaiser Eoghan
Based on my comments, it looks like I had a mixed reaction to the third season. Three out of six, but the great was was great and forgives it but I still feel that there was more of a consistentancy in quality in the other seasons. I enjoyed every story in seasons 1 and 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
The final episode felt like a movie all on its own, I'd have gladly watched another thirty minutes of it, ending was a nice punch in the gut.
Just finished black mirror season 3. I hear people basically complaining that it's not as strong as the previous two season but I disagree. I really enjoyed this and this is a show that deserves much more episodes. Personal favorite is between shut up and dance and hated in the nation. Worst I thought was San Junipero. Overall thought each episode was interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
On the upside I loved black mirrors fifth episode, I'm a sucker for war/action-dramas and I particularly liked the tech in this one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah this is impossible for me to sit through, the romance part is also rather dull.
Kaiser Eoghan
Eh, this fourth episode is plodding and trite, feels like a bad, poorly dated 90s film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Third episode also instilled a great sense of paranoia.
@Kaiser: thanks for that mate. I have too much to say for Flipflappers but to put them all in coherent flow is goddamn hard. And like I said I still fell I left many details out: that gung-ho potato or Yayaka and the twins
@Friend: jugding from the last convention I went to, people loved Re:Zero customs (Emilia and Rem, Ram were highlights. Or you could try RWBY characters (I for once love to see someone cosplay Pirrha Nikos or Velvet Scarlatina)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Didn't care much for new black mirrors second episode, then again I'm not really the target for that story. The third episode while a bit heavyhanded and predictable was suspenseful, nasty/mean and I liked that about it, did in 50 minutes what some thrillers fail to achieve in two hours.
Holo is a good one :0
Materials aren't a problem at all for the most part, except for anything too crazy like working in brass. I'd prefer it to be characters I'm familiar with.
Does it matter to you that they're from shows that you like, or are you just in it for the challenge?
@Friend Aidan has some good ones there. I'd also give the cast of Akame ga Kiru a shot, I don't like the series but it has a lot of neat character designs.
I was thinking simple as I didn't know what kind of materials you got on hand. I was also thinking of Holo from spice and wolf or Kino from Kinos journey either.
Mm, Tatsumaki might be not challenging enough to design for. Doesn't Shiki simply wear either a coat or Japanese kimono? I do work in set design and not in character prop design, but I'd love to try something that would let me reasonably challenge myself.
@Friend, Spit balling here but Tatsumaki from One Punch Man? I know the costume for that one would be simple enough. Or maybe Shiki from Kara No Kyoukai?
*I don't want to do anything too complex for my first try, but I also don't want to do anything boring. Boring would be a character like Rukia or Celty. Any ideas?
I remember talking about this with Emma/Kaiser before, but has anyone here gone cosplaying at an expo before? I thought it would be neat to try designing my own costume and try something else beside drawing on a computer.
@Kaiser, I am up to episode 4. 3 has been the best one so far.Though in all these episodes I pretty much figured out the twist from the get go. Still this shows always tends to get you thinking.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think the roles/identity thing with flipflappers, at least with the protaganist does fit in well with adolescence.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I've only seen the first episode so far. I felt the acting was intentional and reflected the satire Brooker was going for on the shallow nature of society. Bleak as ever but gloriously grotesque.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario:Good in depth reviewing there Mario of flipflappers episode three.
Good god this first episode of black mirror is hard to watch. I know exactly how it's going to turn out but it's just so damn painful to watch.
Well, tbh up to where I've seen there's not much explicit yaoi in yuri on ice, only a lot of fujoshi fuel.
@Kaiser. thanks for the torrent. Gonna blaze through this today.
@Topgavin, as someone who watches a metric ton of anime I am rather surprised at that estimate that 90% of it contains Yuri.
My god those gay scenes in Yuri on Ice are hard to watch for me. Wonder if this is how it feels to be a girl watching 90% of normal anime nowadays.
okay, Flip Flappers episodic review was up. This is my lengthiest weekly review so far and I still feel I missed a lot of points. Damn you Flip Flappers
Kaiser Eoghan
You have seen the light, not needing to know everything thats happening to enjoy something ^_^
Kaiser Eoghan
I've given some consideration to reviewing that oujia film followup.
Whether you see one or the other is entirely up to your preferences, so it makes no difference to me which is worse. I have gotten very tired of generic character types, but again that's just because of the things I decide to regularly follow.
I will say if it must come down to either unnatural dialogue or unnatural character types, at leas the character type is speaking their own words and not the words of the script writer.
Or was that a black and white fallacy? Maybe it was a little of both.
@Realjustified, K-Off wasn't agreeing with me. That's a Moving the Goal Posts logical Fallacy but well I will answer regardless. Honestly it's preferable to have neither. The big mistake you are making here is that you are putting down a condiction that a show must have one or the other. But both cartoons and anime can have both. I just think it's a lot more prominent in cartoons than anime.
Like, having read hundreds of harem manga over the years, a majority of the ultimate love interest always happens to be the first girl the protagonist meets.
Wait wait wait wait. Aidan and K-Off. I get that dialogue in cartoon can seem like it was written by a script writer, but at the same time, lots of anime have characters whose sole purpose is entirely scripted. The whole spectrum of "deres" and everything. What do you think is worse? Unnatural dialogue, or unnatural character types?
You guys should really go fuck yourself, it's a solution and it's nothing short of great!
You guys should really watch the first 4 episodes of Bungo, it's a prequel and it was nothing short of great!
omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
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.
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vlcsKizumonogatary 01b

Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu-hen (2016) Movie Review – 85/100

Just a quick note that I originally intended this week’s review to be about Miss Hokusai. But because of the DVD release of this Kizumonogatari (with good subtitle to boost), I decided to bump this up and review it instead. Monogatari series has been among one of my favorite series, and certainly the one that […]

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]


Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]