Posted on 31 October 2007 with categories: Monthly Summaries

+ October Rankings +
The start of the Autumn 2007-season did show one thing: the amount of great series just isn’t as large as you’d expect. Still, I’m glad that at least a few series managed to stand out for me, and now all that’s left is to hope that they’ll unexpectedly turn out awesome in their second halfs. Another advantage of a small season is that series that originally have been ignored can suddenly hope for a bit more attention than usual.

Oh, and in case this is the first time you see this, the series are ranked from worst to best, the number between the ( and ) indicates the place where that series was on last month, the rating is out of 10, with average being a 6,0 (and yes, I’m using the decimal comma).

#44 (new) – Goshushou-sama Ninomiya-kun – (3,9/10) – Ehm… No. Fanservice does not equal a good anime.
#43 (new) – Koharu Biyori – (4/10) – Only for people with a maid-fetish. How come crap like this gets animated, while truly captivating premises are ignored?
#42 (new) – Prism Ark – (4,9/10) – Way too much aimed at teenagers for its own good.
#41 (new) – Myself; Yourself – (5,6/10) – I really don’t remember anything about this series. All I know is that it was rather boring, so I never checked out episode 2.
#40 (35) – Romeo x Juliet – (5,6/10) – Well, I admit that it’s interesting that [spoiler] the bad guy’s dead, two episodes before the end, but things are still looking grim with an utterly predictable finale in store.
#39 (new) – Da Capo II – (5,9/10) – Just has too many stereotypes.
#38 (new) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (5,9/10) – I couldn’t really get myself to continue this. In the end, it’s just too generic. Dropped.
#37 (new) – Rental Magica – (6/10) – This series just feels too generic for me to continue. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Shakugan no Shana II – (6,1/10) – Halfway through the second episode, I found myself thinking: “why the heck am I still watching this bore-fest?”, so I dropped this series. Something I should have done ages ago.
#35 (new) – Dragonaut the Resonance – (6,5/10) – I’m still not sure what to think of this series. The storytelling is obnoxious, especially the best friend is getting predictable and the outfits are just outrageous, but the potential’s there.
#34 (new) – Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro – (6,7/10) – Okay, I know that this one could become good later on, but my inner-mystery-fanboy is screaming because of the shallowness of the first few episodes. Dropped.
#33 (new) – Hero Tales – (6,7/10) – A lot of people seem to think that the mangaka of Full Metal Alchemist wrote this series. Well, she didn’t. She just worked on the art. It’s perhaps because of this that I stopped caring about the plot halfway through the third episode and dropped it.
#32 (new) – Sketchbook ~ Full Color’s – (6,8/10) – While episode 1 was nice enough, episode 2 was rather boring and much of the same, so I dropped it.
#31 (new) – Minami-ke – (7,1/10) – On second thoughts, I dropped this. The comedy isn’t that funny, and it gets old soon. It’s a shame, I would like to have continued this, but my time isn’t endless.
#30 (new) – Maple Story – (7,2/10) – Say what you want, but I like this series. It may be rather childish, stupid and without much depth, it also is a fun series to watch.
#29 (new) – Clannad – (7,3/10) – This surprises me. In two episodes, the main character feels more as a part of the series than the main character for Kanon did in all ten episodes that I lasted for that one. It’s a shame that star-girl, book-girl and fighting-girl feel too much like unrealistic stereotypes, because this could be the very first Kyoani-series that I actually like.
#28 (36) – Kodomo no Jikan – (7,4/10) – Well what do you know? This series actually turned out good enough to continue. It’s just like Umisho: the fanservice is horrible, but beyond that, we have in this case a touching story about children with problems at school, and inexperienced teachers, having to deal with it. Based on the rumours, I really expected this series to turn into some kind of spawn of Satan, and I’m pleasantly surprised that it didn’t.
#27 (new) – Night Wizard – (7,4/10) – The thing with RPG-adaptations is that they’re bound to have a few clichés here and there. The thing that they need to worry about is developing their characters well, and making their setting so that the viewer will get interested. A great example is the game Golden Sun. It couldn’t get more clichéd, with the lighthouses and the jewels and all, but the world and villains still kept me interested until the final boss-fight. Still, I’m missing this a bit with Night Wizard.
#26 (31) – Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha – (7,5/10) – I’m honestly disappointed in Nanoha, though I’ll go into more detail for that once the series finishes. I haven’t seen episode 26 yet, but I should get the chance in the next couple of days. Episode 25 made up for a few things, and it did manage to turn out a bit touching in the end, but at this time, I consider StrikerS to be the weakest of the Nanoha-franchise.
#25 (new) – ef – a Tale of Memories – (7,6/10) – The story of the girl with the eye-patch has turned out great. I wish I could say the same about the manga-writer, though. His story is way too standard, and it doesn’t seem to get anywhere.
#24 (new) – Little Princess Sara – (7,7/10) – From now on, I’m also going to include this series in the rankings, as it looks like it’s going to take a while before it finishes. The first episode showed some great potential for the future.
#23 (new) – Gundam 00 – (7,7/10) – Right now, Gundam 00 has been building up for a good base to work with. It’s nothing special yet, but neither are there signs for total failure.
#22 (new) – Mokke – (7,7/10) – So it’s predictable, and the animation… well… sucks. The storytelling makes up for it, and creates a nice and relaxing atmosphere.
#21 (32) – Sky Girls – (7,7/10) – Hah! It’s just as I hoped. While the series is still annoying at times, the characters are starting to get developed, and the overall quality has risen considerably, compared to the first half of the series.
#20 (new) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (7,8/10) – Okay, it’s not perfect, but it’s good and intriguing enough for now. But it’s too early to tell whether this will become a success or not.
#19 (18) – Perrine Monogatari – (7,9/10) – I was surprised to see a new member of the cast appear, in the form of a circus-boy. The messages about how wrong stealing is may have been a bit too emphasized, but overall it was a solid episode.
#18 (20) – Mushiuta – (7,9/10) – The ending created quite a bit of potential for the second season, with all the deaths and all. I must say, that while the series itself had its bumps here and there, I am looking forward to what the second half of this series has in store for us.
#17 (new) – Shugo Chara – (8/10) – While not the best beginning for a mahou shoujo out there, the potential is definitely there, and the past few episodes have been quite some fun to watch.
#16 (8) – Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – (8/10) – This month, Higurashi has been building up for the final arc. It’s definitely necessary, but not as exciting as the show used to be.
#15 (new) – Blue Drop – (8/10) – Blue Drop has been developing into a very nice series. The yuri is always welcome, and something tells me that the best of the series is still to come.
#14 (new) – Moyashimon – (8,2/10) – A well-scripted comedy with a unique premise. The different high-school anime really should take an example from this series.
#13 (new) – Bamboo Blade – (8,2/10) – Now this turned into a real surprise. Episode four was hilarious, and Tama is also shaping up to become a great character. The chemistry between the characters is just excellent.
#12 (new) – Ghost Hound – (8,2/10) – The Lain-influences are so noticeable, though the first two episodes have mostly been just building up. The potential’s there, though.
#11 (???) – Mononoke – (8,2/10) – Mononoke ended this month, and while the final arc wasn’t as good as the other arcs of the series, it was a worthy ending of such an interesting Noitamina-series.

#10 (29) – Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula – (8,4/10)

I’m glad I decided to stick with this series. I know I’ve been ranting against it, but the characters are starting to connect. Sure the plot is still hugely predictable, but the different characters are starting to make up for this.

#9 (16) – Shigurui – (8,5/10)

It’s been a while since an episode evoked more mixed feelings with episode twelve. The episode itself was absolutely stunning, then it became disgusting and then it had me wondering what the heck happened to the enormous plot-hole that was left open.

#8 (new) – Shion no Ou – (8,5/10)

Shion no Ou has turned out surprisingly good after episode three, and into the second-best of the new series that aired this season. Shion and her strong character are a delight to watch.

#7 (14) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (8,5/10)

Only one episode was released this month, but it was a hilarious one, about the class-president who doesn’t get noticed by anyone.

#6 (22) – Saiunkoku Monogatari – (8,6/10)

Now this is more like the Saiunkoku Monogatari I remembered. Most of the time is till spent on building up, but the upcoming arc sounds like it’s going to be an awesome one.

#5 (new) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,7/10)

For me, this is the best series of the Autumn-Season so far. It’s already after four episodes a fascinating look into human nature, and it’s one of the very few series which can be excellent, right from the beginning. Now let’s hope that it will keep up this level.

#4 (15) – Gintama – (8,9/10)

It was only a matter of time before Gintama went on to take the mick out of the censors, with hilarious results. I also remember complaining about how the endings of Ginrama-episodes are rather disappointing, but let me rephrase that: whenever an episode or half-episode of Gintama is entirely devoted to comedy, the ending turns out disappointing. With drama added, the endings are excellent, which is what the episodes that were released in this month proved.

#3 (11) – Dennou Coil – (9,1/10)

This month has been an astonishing month for Dennou Coil, showcasing some of the best episodes of the entire series. It’s been one hit after the other.

#2 (6) – Baccano! – (9,3/10)

Baccano! has turned out awesome. Now that everything is coming together, you can see the incredible quality of the scriptwriting even more.

#1 (9) – Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette – (9,6/10)

With this month, I know for sure: Les Miserables is one of the best series of the entire year. The episodes that were aired this month were absolutely incredible.

+ Top 5 Episodes +
#5: Baccano! – 12
Now that’s what I call an action-scene! Fun, exciting and extremely well-written.

#4: Dennou Coil – 20
This was an excellent climax to the Haraken-storyline. Dennou Coil has really turned out into an excellent series.

#3: Ayatsuri Sakon – 26
I LOVE it when the final episode of a series turns out to be the best of the entire series. It couldn’t have been a better conclusion for the series.

#2: Les Miserables – 43
Now this is what you can do with some good build-up. There should be no doubt whether Les Miserables is worth of the title World Masterpiece Theatre

#1: Les Miserables – 41
This episode wins. Period.

Posted on 30 October 2007 with categories: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji

Wow… just wow…

I was already under the impression that the previous episode showed a worst-case scenario. And then this episode comes along…. seriously, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei has some serious competition! Basically, Kaiji gets the idea to buy up all of the Rocks, because the papers were lowest of all. It then seems that others were attempting the same thing, though they realized first that they weren’t the only ones with that plan. Now they have bought up all of the papters, and Kaiji is in despair.

Still, I wonder… that isn’t necessarily a as bad thing as this episode made it out to be. I mean, the other group has only paper… how the heck are they going to lose it, when nearly everyone else possesses scissors? Basically, Kaiji holds most of the rocks now, and they basically need his rocks to get rid of their paper and keep winning. Also, if Kaiji wasn’t so caught in despair, he would have noticed that the situation he ran in was actually quite favourable. All he needed to do was find people himself, instead of being picked out. In that case, his chances of winning increased dramatically.

That again brings me to the question of why these people bought up all of the papers. It just doesn’t make any sense. But then again, I think that that’s the true meaning behind the thing that the organizer of the tournament said: it’s all just one big illusion. Kaiji and his group and the other group of people will basically ruin themselves by trying to beat the system. One explanation of their action I have is that they also felt despair when they found out that they weren’t the only one who planned to buy up all the rocks, and went with something that they didn’t think that much through. Otherwise, why else would he show himself to Kaiji if it wasn’t out of jealousy?

By the way, could it be that the same animation-team as Death Note is behind this series? This episode clearly gave me Death-Note vibes.

Posted on with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00

This series has some very strange insert songs… first the ED, which gave me a near-headache the first time I heard it, and now at the end of the episode, there’s yet another very strange song for such a series.

Apart from this, I liked this episode, though. It exactly avoids the mistake that Code Geass made by relying too much on sensation, and goes for a more thought-provoking direction. I like how all kinds of different parties all end up waiting and exploring the true intentions of the Celestial Beings. One country in former South-America tries to be smart by declaring war against the union, in the hope to get support from the Celestial Beings. This plan backfires when the Gundams attack their own forces, even though no shot has actually been fired yet.

The blond guy from the union gets to be the next person to try and defeat Setsuna, though the latter escaped in the ocean. This does provide possibilities: all the guy has to do is attack a Gundam on land, and Setsuna might actually get in trouble against the modified mobile suit. I guess these suits aren’t in mass production because they’re expensive as hell, though I think that the long brown-haired companion and his teacher (I need to learn their names) will figure out how to produce them cheaply at one point.

Meanwhile, in a country in the Middle East (Azadeistan), the princess of the country (Marina Ishmael) and her assistant are observing what is happening as well, after confirming that indeed the fossil fuels have run out, hence another reason why the propulsions of the Gundams are so potentially interesting. The human-reform league meanwhile declared war to the Celestial Beings, and assigned the guy from the previous episode with the scar to capture one of them.

I do have some major issues with this episode, though. Japan remains a xenophobic country, and it shows. Taribia lies around the place that’s currently called Suriname. I know quite a few people from that country, and they aren’t exactly white-skinned. I know anime in general refuses to show people with black skins, but with a setting like this one, it’s way more obvious and painful than with, say, Shugo Chara.

Another thing that surprises me is how desperate people are over the solar power. Four hundred years have passed, and it’s not like solar power is the only power-source left after the fossil fuels run out. I can imagine how the larger countries will be dependant on the towers, but can’t the smaller countries build water-centrals, windmills and nuclear plants? Especially the latter one would have been a great option if the countries are desperate enough.

Also, Setsuna needs some serious development as soon as possible. He’s probably one of the worst members of the cast, simply because he doesn’t seem to have a mind of his own. I also hate the way he talks. I know he’s in for some development, otherwise the student couple wouldn’t need to exist, but I hope the creators hurry with it. I also dislike the pink-haired girl that showed up in this episode, but that’s more because of her character-design.

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

Oh my god… I knew what was going to happen. The writers kept dropping hints for it. And yet, this episode turned out absolutely incredible. Now this is what I call a death with a perfect build-up, something which many writers can learn a lot from. I again ended up crying at what happened, Les Miserables is a true masterpiece.

The first half of the episode was mostly building-up. Anjoras tries to shoot a police-officer as he’s preparing for the next fight, though Jean beats him by shooting his helmet off. The thing also is that the officer was dangerously close to his own age, and could have been one of his comrades if he didn’t choose to enlist to the military. He then gets replaced by an officer who’s much older, and the attack is launched. Jean again manages to save Les Amis by using his strength to close off the barricade, which currently has a hole in it, buying them some time to regroup.

Gavroche is still as motivated as others, and for the first time he seems to mention Cosette again, in an attempt to convince Marius to take him seriously. Javert meanwhile gets pissed because Jean is right in front of his nose and can’t do anything about it. Cosette meanwhile makes things even better when she goes out to find Jean and Marius on her own!

She first moves to the church, where basically every family member of the ones who are fighting is praying for their safety (I loved this detail, by the way. It just shows even more how the people who are fighting are just ordinary humans. Something that only very few other anime do as well). Jean obviously isn’t there, but Cosette does get information about the only two barricades left.

Back at the barricade, the police started their attack again, and Gavroche still can’t get himself a gun. Les Amis are on the frontlines, while everyone else provides them with fresh guns and bullets and Jean takes care of the injured. There is a problem, however: the bullets are running out. This gives Gavroche an idea to finally be helpful: in all the gun-smoke, nobody will be able to see him, so he goes to the bodies of the fallen policemen to collect the bullets they had left. It’s brave, but the guy just has way too much self-confidence.

Marius tries to call him back, but Gavroche is way too happy that he’s finally found himself something to do that can protect others. He again remembers Cosette, and starts singing the song Cosette taught him. The policemen then notice him, and start firing, though Gavroche manages to avoid the gunshots until he can throw the bag of bullets he collected to Marius. Then he lets his guard down, and gets shot in the heart! Shushu notices this, leaves the two brothers and tries to get Gavroche away from the battlefield. He succeeds, and then runs into Cosette, who finally sees Gavroche again in the final seconds of his life.

Seriously, that was absolutely amazing. I’m so hoping that the creators will continue with another World Masterpiece Series for next year, because the format works just so incredibly well.

Posted on 28 October 2007 with categories: Shion no Ou

Hey, this episode was really good! I’m beginning to understand what Kiseki gurl meant with Shion’s strong character, as she’s really one of the most likable characters to appear this season, along with Kaiji. The episode started off a little buggy, though. So much publicity for just Shougi seems a bit unrealistic. It could be that Shougi is the most popular “sports” of the city, and the city is relatively small, though, but the horde of reporters still may have been a bit too much.

Shion then ends up fainting, the day before her rematch with Ayumi, after thinking back to the murder-event again. While it was nice enough to watch, it wasn’t anything special yet, but I was actually surprised how afterwards, the police managed to track down the creepy stalker, and Shion kept pushing herself to make it to the match once she woke up. Basically, Shion’s a heavily traumatized girl with a huge mental will to keep going. If the scriptwriters continue to develop this through the next nine episodes, we might have ourselves a very special anime here.

The episode also ends with the match between Shion and Ayumi, and Shion was basically crying as she started playing. Still, something tells me that she’s not going to give up at all in the next episode. Also regarding the creepy stalker, in the end he just was a creepy stalker and doesn’t seem to be the guy who killed Shion’s parents. The question remains, though: why did the guy decide to stalk Shion, and if he didn’t kill her parents, who did?

I’m also wondering whether I should change the title to “Sion no Ou”. If you look carefully at the sign on S(h)ion’s bedroom, it reads “Sion”, instead of “Shion”. Still, for now I’m going to blame it on bad katakana and romanji, since there’s no difference between “si” and “shi” in Japanese, and there never has been a universal form of romanji anyway.

(On a side-note: there’ve been quite a few anime this season where children have been traumatized because of the murder of their loved ones, haven’t there? Shion with her parents, Mari from Blue Drop with all 800 inhabitants of the island and Tarou from Ghost Hound with his sister, and I probably missed a few. It’s interesting how all these series give their own meaning to the incidents, and the characters who suffer from the traumas).

Posted on 27 October 2007 with categories: Dennou Coil

That first half of the episode was just amazing. The dialogue between Yasako and Isako was just right, and I actually cried when Isako started to break down. Yasako really tried to comfort Isako in the way she would speak to Kyoko, whenever she’s scared. When Kyoko arrived, and asked Isako to save Densuke, she only made things even better.

The rest of the episode built up for the final few episodes of this series. We get a few confirmations of things that the observant ones among us probably already figured out: Nekome and Takeru are brothers, Takeru is the owner of the pink cat with ears, and he basically betrayed Isako out of jealousy towards his brother. I’ve also been reading a few posts from animesuki, and it seems that the reason why Nekome has access to the stronger versions of the Sacchis is because he works for the government, and can basically use them as he pleases.

Also, Densuke indeed is no ordinary dog. I couldn’t catch the details due to my lack of Japanese, but there actually is a chance for both Yasako’s grandfather as 4423’s brother to be alive. Yasako’s grandfather also seemed to know about 4423 before both of them disappeared. The final parts of the episode basically consist out of a chase for Densuke, after Nekome found out that he’s important somehow I must say that it was awesome to see Daiichi in action again. From what I understood is that Densuke is the key to access Coil’s domain, which is what I suspect to be the place where the humanoid illegals live. Hence why both Yasako and Kyoko encountered them.

What’s also interesting is how Nekome refers to Yasako as “sensei”, and how a password to some of the guy’s secret stuff is located inside Nekome’s database. Does this mean that Yasako’s grandfather used to work for the same company that Nekome is working for?

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari

This episode was mostly build-up. The animation-quality was lower than usual, and it mostly consisted of Shuurei, trying to bring some structure into the other low-ranked officials, after she gets annoyed that they don’t even try to save their own job. Oh, and Seiran finds out what Suou said about porn-magazines, which was quite hilarious, if you ask me. The silver-haired guy seems to be called Seiga, and it seems that he’s one of the few people who actually do something, and he ends up helping Shuurei. I wonder how he ended up in such a low spot in the government, though.

The Sakujun-lookalike called Ryo Anjyu also introduces himself to Shuurei in quite an eccentric way. He basically lets her peal a peach, and eats it in front of her, leaving afterwards. We also learn that Suou’s father still has some kind of role to play, and Suou has been giving him some onigiri he learned to make through Shuurei every single day. I originally thought that he couldn’t care less about his father, but this episode showed that there definitely is a bond between the two. It just seems that his father didn’t learn his lesson just yet, as he’s been inviting strange people to visit him as well.

What surprises me, though is that there hasn’t been any focus on Shouka as of late. As a matter of fact, I actually don’t recall having seen the guy AT ALL since the start of this arc, apart from just one small scene in this episode. Has he been away or something? This episode, there’s also a shot of the library, where we see none other than small Riou again, but then again, he’d probably pick a time to pick up some books when Shouka’s gone from the library.

There’s also surprisingly nothing about Shuuei in this episode, but I guess that he spent most of his time travelling to his three brothers.

Posted on with categories: Shugo Chara

Hmm, this episode wasn’t as fun as the previous ones. It also alerted me of one major flaw in this series: why the heck is Amu the only one who can transform?! In this episode, we saw another kid’s evil egg hatching, though Amu is the only one who tries to stop it, despite the fact that the student council has many chances to do so before she gets there. Why didn’t they transform to their powerful form, just like Amu does?

This episode also introduces the main villain for this series, who cleverly disguises himself as a clumsy teacher, in order to get as much access to down-hearted children as possible. Makes sense. The girl for this episode was someone who was about to be transferred to America, and got scared because of this. Because of this, her evil egg hatched and a strange black Shugo Chara started attacking everyone with very, very, very bad Engrish.

It’s not really the best of all stories, and it felt rather mundane to me, though I guess it serves as a nice build-up. One thing I did like was the scene between Amu and Neko-guy, when he tried to pay her back for the cake he smashed in the previous episode. There’s some funny chemistry between the two of them.

Posted on 26 October 2007 with categories: Random Posts

After Ayatsuri Sakon finished, nearly two years after I originally started blogging it, I’ve been searching for another anime to blog once every month or so. In the end, I decided to support Live-eviL, C1-Anime and Minor ja Nai in their attempt to revive interest for the World Masterpiece Theatre-production Little Princess Sara. Les Miserables has been turning into a true masterpiece by now, and the few episodes I’ve seen of Perrine Monogatari have been really good as well.

Little Princess Sara is also special, in the way that it’s based on the same story that Soukou no Strain was based on, though obviously the writers of the latter took a lot of artistic liberties by placing a story that originally happened in England, about a century and a half ago into a science-fiction setting. It’s also notable that Sara’s original last name is now Crewe, instead of the Werec, which later changes into Crewe in Soukou no Strain. Ralph also isn’t her brother, but her father, surprisingly. I also don’t think that Ralph is going to kill Sara’s precious friends in this one. ^^;

The thing that did remain the same, though is Sara’s huge respect for Ralph, but that’s naturally obvious, since her mother died when she was four, and he’s been taking care of her ever since. He’s also incredibly rich, and he’s been giving her whatever she wanted, hence the title of this series: Little Princess. Because of that, the Sara of Little Princess is rather spoiled, but I wouldn’t call her arrogant. She doesn’t fit in the stereotype that has been set by anime that the rich kids have to be the cocky bastards who look down on everyone at all. Instead, she’s incredibly innocent. Her father probably has been protecting her from everything harmful, but yet she tries to please everyone, and she looks incredibly naive as well. I’m not sure whether we’re supposed to hate her or like her at this point, but that probably will become clearer in the next episode.

This first episode was actually quite similar to the first episode of Les Miserables as well, if you ignore the fact that Fantine was incredibly poor and Ralph is incredibly rich. Ralph has been coming from India, and he’s about to get back, leaving his daughter in a local prestigious school in the middle of London. The rest of the episode basically focused on Sara, spending her last few moments with her father. Another interesting detail is that in the next episode, Sara will be purchasing Emily, making another link to both Soukou no Strain and Les Miserables.

Posted on with categories: Tales of Symphonia

Okay, the creators are NEVER going to finish this one in just four episodes. They haven’t even reached the Tower of Salvation yet, for goodness’ sake. Still, this gives me hope for some kind of second OVA, to cover the things that happen in Tethe’alla, so that some quality-time can be devoted to the case of Regal and Presea. The next episode will probably end with the death of Remiel.

That said, the creators did a good job with this episode. There were a few things I didn’t like, though. The hot tea, for example, was done better in the game. But then again, Collette was a real airhead there, so it was easy for Lloyd to fool her. Sheena’s performance in Luin also was disappointing, especially how Lloyd and the others turned up at the last possible moment to save the day. Furthermore, why didn’t Sheena use her final summon at that time? It would have been the perfect opportunity. The game did this a lot better when Lloyd basically arrived when she was mourning over the village. What also bugs me is how the creators didn’t even mention why the Desians attacked the village in the first place. The little girl was a nice touch, though.

Still, the creators thankfully did well on the parts that really mattered: Collette, losing everything and Lloyd, finding out that he’s been fighting with the thing that killed his mother. I would have liked a bit more emphasis on the Expheres and the monsters in the building up for it, but it can’t be helped, with the length of this series and all. I must say, Collette felt really annoying in the game, and Ufotable did a good job of making her relationship with Lloyd quite touching. The two of them are much closer together, and it works perfectly.

I seriously hope for a second series of OVA’s, though. Basically, the only characters that got any depth in the first half of the game were Lloyd and Collette, while the others got this with the second half. I just want to see Raine’s mother, and how the two got abandoned. I want to see Presea, and the horrible things that were done to both her and her sister. So far, the creators have been giving a few hints that the fourth episode won’t be the end of this: they showed glimpses of both Zelos, and the last two Desian Cardinals, neither of them had any big role in the first half.

@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.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose I'm slightly envious of professional critics somewhat.
Sometimes you're just meant to experience the ride you know. I don't watch those explained video anymore because after all it's just one guy's opinions.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
And I mean people who art professionals or students.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I'm just unsure of something, how many people watching "arty" stuff are able to pick it up on their own. By looking up an "explained video" or "explained essay" to get it, am I copping out?
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