Posted on 30 November 2007 with categories: Monthly Summaries

+ November Rankings +
My general opinion of the current Autumn-Season is indeed that it isn’t as good as the previous Spring-season. There haven’t really come any epic series yet, like Bokura no, Towards the Terra or Kaze no Shoujo Emily, but instead of that, we’ve got quite a lot of well-executed, charming and intriguing series, so overall, I just can’t call it a failure. The Winter-season is also looking better than it’s ever had, with most of the shows of the current season who’ll be hitting their second halves and let’s not forget the amazing line-up of series that are going to start in January. So a slightly less exciting season isn’t really that bad.

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).

#30 (29) – Engage Planet Kiss Dum – (5,6/10) – Do note that most of the points this series is getting are because of the entertainment value. Only one episode was released, but it was so bad that it became hilarious. The animation was garbage, the plot couldn’t be more clichéd, and the only thing that was good was the scriptwriting, which made me laugh as well. Overall, this series is a failure, but it’s definitely a fun failure.
#29 (40) – Romeo x Juliet – (5,7/10) – So, yep. Like predicted, the two lovers must overcome one more angst-ridden obstacle before they can be together: the fact that both of them are whiny teenagers. It’s clear that Gonzo spent the best of its staff on Bokura no for the spring-season…
#28 (35) – Dragonaut The Resonance – (5,7/10) – Really, this is just getting silly. Someone over at the production-team has to realize that the melodrama only causes this series to become laughably bad. It’s a shame, the potential’s there, but right now Gonzo can be compared with a man, trying to walk out an overexcitable dog: the man wants to go to the park, while the dog wants to chase random cars, and in the end, they end up at the local garbage-dump.
#27 (new) – Yume da Maya Kidan – (7,2/10) – This doesn’t really warrant its own post, but I do want to say a few things about it. It’s a nice attempt and it’s got a great style, but it was a tad too short to make any real impact. Still, I like the idea of taking the ideas of amateurs, you’ll be surprised at some of the great ideas that some of them have.
#26 (38) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (7,5/10) – I originally dropped this, but I switched this with Night Wizard, which was getting really pointless with only 12 episodes to work with. Kimikiss surprised me, though, and offers quite a realistic view on high-school romances.
#25 (20) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (7,6/10) – Really, what is up with this series? On one hand, it manages to deliver interesting adventures, and the screenplay is terrific, and yet the stories themselves have plotholes and quite often delve into silliness, with of course the epitome being the giant robot which appeared from out of nowhere.
#24 (17) – Shugo Chara – (7,6/10) – Fun, cute, cool and spicy, but not really the best this season has to offer.
#23 (28) – Kodomo no Jikan – (7,7/10) – Rin’s past may have been a bit too dramatic, but apart from that this series has been going into the right direction. The fanservice is still annoying, but I admit that the characters are quite cute and interesting to watch.
#22 (23) – Gundam 00 – (7,8/10) – Well, Gundam has been solid up till now. Nothing groundbreaking has happened yet, but it set a solid base for itself to work with. Apart from the idiotic actions of Setsuna, of course. Really, some one needs to kill this guy fast.
#21 (new) – Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations – (7,9/10) – The first episode was mainly an introduction, both to the new story and the new art by Production IG, but something tells me that the real fun is going to start with the next two episodes.
#20 (13) – Bamboo Blade – (7,9/10) – Okay, it’ll never be among the best comedies, but it’s quite entertaining to see where the characters go. One thing that holds this series down is the predictability, though.
#19 (29) – Clannad – (8/10) – I’m really surprised with this series: it’s basically Kanon, with all the things I hated about it removed. Yuuichi was a horrible lead for Kanon, all he did was chase after cute girls who happened to be special, the scenes felt forced, there was no link between any of the different stories apart from Yuuichi, and the annoyingness of Ayu and Makoto didn’t make things easier. Clannad, however, doesn’t have these problems. The main character suddenly isn’t the only one who can solve the problem of the girl in question, the future stories flow well with each other, and the female lead works excellent with this. While it isn’t the best series in the season, for me, this is by far Kyoani’s best series up till now.
#18 (7) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (8,2/10) – It’s such a shame that I need fansubs for the complex comedies such as Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. It’s been almost a month since the last release. The episode was excellent as well, but I can hardly remember what it was about. Thankfully other subbing-groups have now started to pick up this series as well, to make sure that the first season ends before the start of the second season. I have yet to see episode 10, but I look forward to it. :)
#17 (15) – Blue Drop – (8,3/10) – The pacing has been slow, but because of this, Blue Drop has had the opportunity to flesh out the side-characters in this month, something which I really appreciate. The angst also doesn’t feel weird, and the characters are getting more touching with every episode. It’s going to be interesting to see where this series is going to go from now.
#16 (5) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,3/10) – This series has quite a few pacing-issues, but apart from that it remains a fascinating look on human nature. Not to mention the insanity of episode eight.
#15 (21) – Sky Girls – (8,4/10) – When Otoha’s childhood-friend that got sucked away by the worms appeared, I was convinced that this series would fall down the pit of predictability, but then it started to introduce quite an amount of new and interesting stuff that got me quite enthusiastic about this series, and it seems that the creators do know how to deliver a few surprises. Good job.
#14 (new) – Ahiru no Quack – (8,5/10) – Ah, this one brings back memories. It was probably the first anime I ever saw as a kid, though I never fully finished it because the clown in the OP scared me (no, seriously). This also is probably the only anime that gives an accurate portrayal of the Netherlands through the different ages. And really, for a kid’s show it’s got quite some heavy themes. I remember freaking out when I saw the ending of the second episode at the age of five or six. The soundtrack is also unique, and especially Herman van Veen has a unique voice, and uses it in an excellent way.
#13 (19) – Perrine Monogatari – (8,5/10) – This month featured a triple release, in which the first piece of serious drama appeared with the rivalling travelling photographers. I must say that I’ve gotten great respect for Perrine’s mother after this. While I feared that everything would end a bit preachy, the scenes were wonderfully written.
#12 (14) – Moyashimon – (8,5/10) – Really, the originality in this series continues to surprise me. Everything from the characters to the stories feels fresh and different, not to mention hilarious.
#11 (25) – ef – A Tale of Memories – (8,5/10) – One thing that surprised me for this season is how there are so many quality high-school romances out there, and this one probably is the best of the bunch. Both Clannad, Kimikiss and ef have gone way beyond the stereotypes that you usually see in romances, which inevitably become uninspired harems. Episode seven was really intense, and I really liked it, and the unique directing-style.

#10 (24) – Little Princess Sara – (8,6/10)

Despite only being two episodes in, I already like this series a lot. It may be more than twenty years old, but the storytelling so far has been excellent.

#9 (14) – Kekkaishi – (8,6/10)

Finally Kekkaishi is back, and Yoroshiku released a double-release that concluded the current arc. While it suffered from the “I have yet to reveal my true powers!”-syndrome, it did break several shounen-clichés as well, so I’m happy, not to mention that the conclusion was amazing. Naruto should have taken an example of this series.

#8 (22) – Mokke – (8,8/10)

I finally realize what’s wrong with this series! A lot of people (including myself) have been hoping for this to become the next Mushishi, right from the start. But instead, this turned into a really charming tale between two sisters, and the people they grow up with. It really needs to grow on you for a few episodes, and in the past month, the episodes have been getting better and better and better.

#7 (16) – Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – (8,8/10)

Higurashi has been really solid for the past episodes. Something you wouldn’t expect after the first season. While part of me is still getting used to the extreme change of pace of the second season, the past few episodes have been flawless in terms of storytelling.

#6 (12) – Ghost Hound – (8,8/10)

Like Lain, Ghost Hound doesn’t feel episodic at all, and instead it continues to deliver one full story that’s carefully being built up. I like the amount of research the creators put into this to make the traumas that the different characters suffer from look as real and believable as possible.

#5 (8) – Shion no Ou – (8,8/10)

One thing that does irk me a small bit is how most series this season are quite slow-paced, and take their time in telling the story. But not Shion no Ou! Episode after episode, it keeps pushing the plot forward, and the unique and interesting cast of characters make this an excellent series.

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

Saiunkoku continues to carefully build up its many storylines, with a few excellent climaxes here and there. The new characters are coming together more and more, and if the previous arcs are any indicators, then this series is only going to end up better and better.

#3 (4) – Gintama – (8,9/10)

In this month, the comedy took a step back to allow for Kagura’s backstory. Had I already mentioned that this is one of the few comedy-series that can turn dramatic and still be awesome?

#2 (1) – Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette – (9,2/10)

Javert really has been one of the best villains of the year. It’s a shame that the creators changed certain parts of the book, but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this series. It’s really a shame that people are chosing series as Ninomiya-kun above this gem.

#1 (3) – Dennou Coil – (9,3/10)

It’s all about Isako this month, and boy, it surprises me how a series can keep up such a consistent high quality episode after episode. It’s a shame that this series is nearly over.

Posted on 29 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


In contradiction to most other anime-fans (at least, that’s what I suspect), I’m not necessarily a Japanophile, and I don’t really regard the Japanese culture as the “best culture ever”; it’s just that these guys are so damn good at storytelling. That’s why I love it when an anime takes place in a country other than Japan. Because of this, I love the fact that for this movie, Hayao took up his roots of when he was still working for Nippon Animation, and combined this with his love for airplanes and his huge imagination.

The result is a beautiful depiction of southern Italy around the ages of World War One, and possibly the most unique out of all Ghibli-movies and it’s got a combination of drama and comedy that puts My Neighbour the Yamadas and Pom Poko to shame. While the amount of details that went into this movie isn’t as impressive as, say, My Neibour Totoro or Kiki’s Delivery-service, it makes up for this with some addictive storytelling and some awesome side-characters. You just can’t help but love the pirates and their antics.

Also, for once I’m glad that the main character doesn’t ruin the movie. Porco himself may not be the best character of the bunch, but yet he’s fresh and original, and a major leap away from the usual protagonists you see in anime, being a war veteran that turned into a pig and all. The real problem with Porco Rosso is that it’s got a few clichés here and there, though, that serve to keep the movie on track. A notable exception, however, is the ending.

With my reviews of the Ghibli-movies, I’ve often paid little to no attention to the production-values. Heck they’re awesome, what else did you expect? Still, I do want to mention that Porco Rosso has probably the best soundtrack of all Ghibli-movies. Like no other in Hisaishi Joe’s repertoire, it sets the mood for the Italian setting perfectly.

As I’ve now seen all of the major Ghibli-movies, I just don’t think I can really label one as the best of the bunch. My Neighbour Totoro was really nostalgic, Kiki’s Delivery-Service and Spirited Away were wonderful tales of growing up, and The Cat Returns and Porco Rosso combined great, intriguing and very different stories with a quirky nature and excellent characterizations. All I can say is that these five stood out for me as the most memorable, and they should be a definite recommendation to any anime-fan.

Posted on 28 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Most of Ghibli’s works are for all ages, but there’s always one demographic that stands out for each movie, often related to the ages of the protagonists: Kiki’s Delivery-Service, for example, is for middle-schoolers, Princess Mononoke and Ocean Waves are for high-schoolers, while Only Yesterday is for the adults. My Neighbour Totoro completes this picture by being aimed at little children, and really, it’s one of Ghibli’s finest productions.

Even if you’re not a chid of ten years old, you’ll love the nostalgic feeling that this movie creates. A lot of screen-time is spent on the two main characters (two sisters of about four and ten years old), just playing with each other and having fun, just like all children are supposed to. A major theme also is children’s fantasies, and I’m sure that everyone would have loved to meet the strange creatures portrayed in this movie when they were young.

The reason why I like My Neighbour Totoro so much is that out of all the Ghibli-movies I’ve seen, this one’s the most perfectly paced so far. Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s delivery-service and Nausicaa, for example, were great in their own ways, but their climaxes were rushed; Takahata’s movies went on for too long and Spirited Away’s second half didn’t live up to the first one, but not with My Neighbour Totoro! The first half of the movie builds the characters and setting up perfectly, and once we got to know them, the second half kicks in and the fun begins as Totoro himself comes in action. The climax itself doesn’t feel forced at all, and yet I couldn’t help but shed a tear at what happened, and the movie ends at just the right time.

But yeah, My Neighbour Totoro shares the same flaw as Kiki’s Delivery-service: the pacing may feel perfect, but I feel that there’s so much more potential left in the concept. It’s a shame that only a movie of an hour and a half could be made out of it, and this movie could have easily been extended to a 13-episode television-series, there are so many characters that could have been fleshed out and delved into. But then again, one of the charms of this movie is how it’s so simple, yet effective.

Obviously, if you expected an action-movie like Mononoke or Laputa then you should stay away from this movie. My Neighbour Totoro feels much more like the non-Miyazaki-movies of Studio Ghibli, but with a perfect integration between the realistic and the fantasy-elements. As usual, the graphics and music are excellent, but you wouldn’t expect any different from a Hayao Miyazaki-movie. Anyway, with this, I’ve seen nearly all of the major Ghibli’s movies. There’s only one of them left, and I’ve got some high expectations of it.

Posted on with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


This series continues to baffle me like no other. There were some really good parts in this episode, and it’s basically one huge dialogue, portraying the bond between Mayuki and his music-teacher in an excellent way. You can see that the creators spent a lot of time to this dialogue, and it really works.

But seriously… WHY the tea?! Why does tea form the solution to every single mystery that Mayuki runs across?! Also, where did the virtual reality come from? More importantly, these glasses look quite heavy. Don’t people realize that they’re wearing the glasses in the first place? This series really has the potential, but these utterly ridiculous plot-twists really hold it down so much.

For the past few episodes, I’ve also been screaming for some development from Mayuki, and this episode finally listened to these requests, but not really in the way I expected. Mayuki was either incredibly serious or incredibly silly. While it felt a bit out of place, I do have to say that this was the first episode where he didn’t get on my nerves, so the guy is getting better.

And then we have the ending of the episode… where I really have no idea what to say. Mayuki’s teacher has had enough development, and while I couldn’t understand most of the dialogue, I could see why she killed the teacher, and it was interesting to see how her friendship with Mayuki was actually genuine, instead of an act. When her plan is revealed by Mayuki, she clearly is in despair and reflects upon her actions…

… only for Byakko, who suddenly appeared from out of nowhere to brainwash the woman with a violin and her red-glowing eyes so she goes berserk. Seiran then comes and his two assistants kill the teacher. Yes, kill her. This begs the question as to what exactly happened to her and why Seiran doesn’t get arrested… a murder is a murder, right? And really, where is this series trying to go? Right now, we’ve got some psychic kid and a homicidal bodyguard who have to stay out of the clutches of those who want to either abuse or eliminate the powers of said kid. While it is among the more original premises of the season, it still remains hard to swallow…

Ah well, this series does win the award of “most eccentric series of the season” easily.

Posted on 27 November 2007 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00


I admit: the political roots of this series have been quite interesting, and they’re a good reason to watch this series, but the creators do need to put more effort into the characters. As usual, my main problem is with Setsuna again: he yet again surpassed his stupidity with this episode, when he runs into the queen of Azadistan and basically tells her that he’s the Meister of the Gundam Exia and working for the Celestial Beings, and only to confirm it, we see him hold a small demonstration of his piloting-skills right above the plane that said princess is boarding.

Why…. for god’s sake, why?!

One thing that would also make this series a bit better is if we were actually showed the intention behind the terrorists, like Bokura no and Simoun did. Right now, I’m not feeling any sympathy for the random victims that get killed by the Celestial beings. They just don’t feel like humans. One thing I’m glad for is that the terrorists actually tried out some tactics that show signs of complexity. If the creators can keep increasing this complexity, things can get quite interesting in the future.

One thing I did appreciate was the bit of development for Lockon. Apparently, his family was killed in terrorist attacks, leaving him as the sole survivor among tens of dead bodies. He was really meaner than usual this time. One thing I like about this series is how everyone reacts differently to the actions of the celestial beings. Some countries decide to use them, others hate them, and others have to deal with the victim of this hate.

Posted on 25 November 2007 with categories: Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette


Well, ignoring the fact that the animation basically went south (such a shame that the animation-budget ran out, right before the ending of this series), this was a really solid aftermath, that basically did everything it needed to do to provide enough closure to the youngsters of this series. Jean and Shushu reunite Gavroche with his two younger brothers, and the three of them come to live along with Jean and Cosette. Later in the episode, they’re also admitted to a school, so that they can study properly.

Marius meanwhile wakes up, and has to face the hard truth: out of all of Les Amis, he’s the only one left. I loved how mature Cosette was in this episode, taking care of both the injured Gavroche and providing the right support to Marius. The two of them really are a couple, and I love the realistic way in which they’re portrayed.

The thing is, though: there are five episodes left with this, and this episode alone would already have been enough to provide closure for this series. There’s still something that’s about to happen, but what? I can imagine how Thenardier is going to return for a final time, and it would be awesome if Javert, Thenardiére and Azelma got some more screen-time as well. I seriously have no idea what the creators have left in store for the final part of this series, but let’s hope that the animators will get themselves back together and finish this series off with a bang.

Posted on with categories: Dennou Coil


Haha! That was some major plot-twist at the end of the episode! I’m not going to say what it is, though. I’ll leave that up to the next and final episode of this series. There’s just so much potential for it!

In any case, Mayumi turned out to be a small character in the end, whose purpose was to show Yasako where she had to go to find the other side. Mayumi just still hates Yasako, because Yasako basically did nothing to stop rumours about her and Michiko-san from spreading, while she had enough chances to do so. It’s like Mayumi said, Yasako tries to be nice to everyone, but when it really matters, she won’t do anything. That’s why Mayumi felt betrayed, and their fight began.

The reason Haraken was on the move in the previous episode was not because he still longed for Kanna. Instead, he somehow found out that Yasako was trying to get to the other side, and wanted to stop her. Tamako catches him easily enough, though they both end up collaborating in trying to get Yasako back. They’re too late, though, and end up sending a Sacchi to the other side. This Sacchi has a few modifications, though: it can fly!

(Thank god for wao’s summaries) And we finally know why Nekome does what he does: his case is quite similar to that of Takano’s in Higurashi: his father was a researcher as well, and when he finally discovered something major (I think he was the one who originally developed the Imago-function), this was taken away from him by Megamas. So he teamed up with Michiko-san to cause some kind of major scandal for Megamass, by making Michiko cause every kid with Imago to faint… so I guess that that means that the real reason why he allowed Isako to try and get her body back was for Michiko to take over Isako’s body. But still, did he have to go for such a complex way? Couldn’t he just have lured people inside the keyholes and make the v2.0s destroy them? That would have caused a scandal for Megamass as well, wouldn’t it?

I also wonder… where did Michiko originally come from? Did she just appear out of nowhere, or is she like the humanoid illegals, who in the end turned out to be products of Yasako’s grandfather that went out of control? Was she originally created by Yasako’s grandfather, but did something entirely different from what he had in mind? In this episode, she looked awfully human-like, apart from her eyes, perhaps.

Posted on 24 November 2007 with categories: Shion no Ou


Alongside series such as Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Saiunkoku Monogatari and Kaiji, which all have plenty of time to build up, Shion no Ou forms an excellent addition, simply because the time it has to work with is quite limited, so it has to keep up quite a fast pacing to finish in time. Unlike the series above, you just know that every episode will be interesting and push the storyline a considerable amount further. This effect becomes even more apparent when the characters are just so addictive as in this series. I could care less about the Shougi at this point, the characters themselves make this series worthwhile enough to keep watching.

This episode probably forms the end of the small intermezzo, where Satoru gets fleshed out even more, and where we see two matches: one between Saori and Shion, and one between Ayumi and Satoru. All of them were interesting, and quite important for the storyline. After the first one, Saori finally starts to consider Shion as a worthy opponent, instead of a cute girl who happens to be good at shougi, after Shion makes quite a few smart moves in a quick match. Satoru on the other hand, loses to Ayumi on purpose, in order to test the guy/girl out. His motivations are still quite fuzzy at the moment, but I think that we’ll find these out quite soon.

I’m also quite surprised at how often the reporter-guy passes by. The guy gets featured in the OP, but is he something more than just a bystander, or will he too play some kind of more important role in the future? In the later part of the episode, we also see Shion and Ayumi, going to a local fast-food-restaurant, and the two of them were SO cute at the time. I’m really surprised at how the usually stoic Ayumi talked in such a gentle way to Shion.

One thing that I’ve been wondering: how come the police couldn’t find anything through fingerprint analysis? The murderer basically placed the king of shougi on the board after he killed Shion’s parents. He wasn’t wearing gloves, as Shion recognized how the fingers of the guy were pretty… so why hasn’t fingerprint analysis pointed out the victim? Or could this be because the murderer has never been in contact with the police before?

Posted on with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni


Aaaand the building-up continues yet again. My patience is getting tested quite a bit for this series, and it really looks like the final arc of this series will be around nine episodes of building up, with the climax taking up only two of them. I’m still not sure whether this was a right decision to make. I mean, the climax has to be really good in order to make up for the episodes that it kept us hungry for any actual development. Can the creators really pull it off, without going through the obvious routes in which Takano dies and the others live happily ever after?

In this episode, Rika teams up with both the major children and adult-characters, and they come up with the plan to fake Rika’s death to cause confusion to Takano. Tomitake goes into hiding, and meanwhile investigates on Takano, discovering what we knew already, Akasaka remains in Rika’s house to make people believe that the house is still being inhabited by people, while Rika, Satoko and Hanyuu hide, Irie continues to keep an eye out, and basically forms Akasaka’s link to the outside world, since his phone will probably be tapped and Oishi is going to be the one to spread Rika’s faked death.

Meanwhile, the woman we saw with Takano turns out to be someone who’d like to see Takano’s antagonists fall too, which explains the support she gives to her. The next episode will probably consist out of everyone getting ready for the major plan. Episode 48 will then probably deal with the start of the plan, while the real climax will take place in episodes 49 and 50. Let’s hope the creators know what they’re doing.

Posted on with categories: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji


Holy flipping heck! I know I’ve been complaining about Kaiji for the past few episodes… but seriously… this episode was just plain crazy, and I mean that in a good way! If there was anything this series needed, it was betrayal, and this episode features lots of it. I love episodes like these, where everything comes together like that.

So in the end, there was no Mr. X. I should have guessed this: the guy who flushed his cards down the toilet threw away three scissors. He probably ended up with a wrong hand and fell in despair. The matter is, though, that these cards weren’t counted off the scoreboard. Because of assuming this, Funai ended up being the final person with a card, along with Kaiji and the others. Because of that, he just had to throw away five of his nine stars just to survive. The thing is that because he’s a repeater, he needed to have four stars to survive. Because of this, he still has a debt of 4 million yen after this, because he was stupid enough to borrow the maximum limit and he can’t sell any of his stars.

The second half of the episode is dedicated to another problem: because said three cards have been flushed, there is no way for Kaiji and the others to cancel out each other’s cards. Kaiji then sacrifices himself to the other room, where the final pieces of the puzzle come together. The old man indeed has been tricked by a repeater, and now he’s been abandoned while said repeater is celebrating happily in the winner’s room. Then there’s another character (Okabayashi) who gets introduced, and I really like this guy for his realistic view on life. Both the old man and Okabayashi have been working for their partners. Which makes me wonder, where did Okabayashi’s partner go? I recall that Furuhata and Andou were the only ones with more than two stars left.

Which brings me to the next point: Andou is about to betray Kaiji! It is logical if you look at it one way. There’s a huge trust between Kaiji and Furuhata: they knew each other before going on the ship, Furuhata feels extremely guilty for what he did to Kaiji and Kaiji has been way too moralistic to doubt him. Andou is a different case, however. He was basically saved by Kaiji because he happened to have two stars. Kaiji made a temporarily impression on him, though apart from that, he doesn’t know anything about the guy. There are people who trust easily and there are people who are always afraid to make friends and always keep an emotional distance from people. Apparently, Andou belongs to the later part.

Again on a side-note: if the screenshots don’t show up: let me know

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Not this crap again. The old "Anime isn't as good as it used to be", how many times have I heard that over the years, and each and every time it proves more untrue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One point I'm trying to get at is, I don't get throwing the word bad taste around when I know I was probably in the same position as that other fan years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another thing, for shows we talk up and obviously I've been just as guilty of this, how many of these am I going to be able to recite off by heart years down the line?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like Madoka but thats a good example of a modern classic that'll keep in peoples minds, people still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*its a
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The reason I want to see a new show become a modern classic is because I'm tired of this "fleeting masterpiece" way of thinking, where I a show is super popular during the season and gets talked up as if it'll stick in the mind years on, then weeks later it disappears from memory.
Anonymous1819907
And anime watchers tend to be attracted to series that are just plain boring. The Fate franchise is case and point. The same thing over and over again. It really is a disgrace, to be honest--in my opinion. The first series was great, and I look forward to the movie. But everything in between is trash. But they still get the views, since people are sheep.
Anonymous1819907
The shonen-jump canon, shows like bebop and eva were huge in their time. The industry is just not the same--it's really dying. There isn't the same desire to blow shows up like there used to be. Shonen jump is still at it, but those shows are rarely worth watching, even if they're popular
Anonymous1819907
its a good anime, but it doesn't have the same staying power since it was not an entire industry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for the long post, I want to get people talking again here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would love for this to happen with, say, made in Abyss, that becoming a show that we remember decades from now and still talk about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something else I want to bring up, what shows do you all REALLY believe will still be talked about in the future . Bebop and Eva still come up regularly to this day, what new shows do you think will become big classics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To base taste on things you watched ages ago doesn't really work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up because I remember a comment somewhere I read that said, the people who trashed guilty crown, forget geass was 10 years ago and if guilty crown had came out back then instead of geass they would have embraced it instead at the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the bad taste thing, I could easily say Mahouka or sword art are terrible, but back when I watched and loved code geass people where probably bashing it as overhyped shit in the same way people like to do with sword art/mahouka now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I sure years ago I would have been all over violet evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For example most anime/manga melodrama has lost its effect on me, I hate Clannad and Kanon now and I won't watch the new code geass season because I want to crop it and death note both up to a teenage error and mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And in some cases it only takes five or so years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If not that, it’s the show no one gave a shit about that you loved or it’s a recent gem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And it hit me, the stuff you often end up loving, becoming a measure of your true taste, in my case at least are the re-discoveries, the show you HATED or didn’t get the first time round, maybe you watched it again soon after or years later, but then it does something for you that tops anything you watched in your early days.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then I remember theres a huge amount of big shounens I never cared for and popular writers that I never liked or if I did found somewhat overated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Given that I’m in my thirties and have been watching anime, reading manga since I was 11, that’s led to a very very large re-watch list, something things I will NEVER get the time to go back to re-assess , for all I know they could actually be terrible series. Then there’s when I DO go back on shows and let’s face it most DON’T hold up (of course its good when they do hold up).
Kaiser-Eoghan
This has been on my back/mind for a bit now, to where I’m actually somewhat confused by this “tastes” thing in relation to myself.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Out of nowhere comment don't you think? Besides it ain't that I have perfect taste. It's just that my taste is the only one that matters.
Anonymous1819624
@Aidan you don't need to keep pretending you have perfect taste in anime. we are all aware your taste is often questionable, as all of ours are at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its kind of a pity because there were moments where I saw potential in it and thought maybe this would be some kind of exception.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But to more calmly review this, I do think its possible to present topics like this, though in a more accessible way, I think even someone more versed in this would be bothered by this presentation, in addition to this manga never flowing properly, the dialogue just feels it was ripped directly from an article or book.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose in all fairness, its right to say I never studied any of these subjects in much detail that it brings up and never did anything sciencey for more than two years at school so I was probably doomed from the start.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know the expected response to what I said there is "why do you read/continue to read things you know you won't like" but if I don't come out of my comfort zone theres no chance of me being surprised.
AidanAK47
Hehe..well Kaiser, I don't remember saying it was good. I just said it was an insane ride. I found its concept interesting but the presentation was just terrible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for ranting but this makes my blood absolutely seethe and boil.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got to the last two chapters and just stopped caring, the info dumping, the multiple lives thing, especially the my own father/mother thing and magical girl part....fuck...
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yes I'm talking about Qualia....this...was....abject...punishing headwrecking agony to read.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay fuck it, just fuck it, I refuse, absolutely refuse to touch anything involving many worlds interpretation, time travel, shared memory,multiple runthroughs/loops ever again under any any circumstances, this is the worst form of storytelling I can possibly sit through from my perspective , I cannot finish this its impossible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've given away/sold/thrown out anime/manga before, including figures and posters while keeping others , can't remember off hand, but it was to free space.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Together we make....tiger and dragon....Toradora =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To be clearer, any interesting series/films they threw out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Anything else interesting they threw out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm year of the tiger, Aidan is year of the dragon.
SuperMario
And today is the Lunar New Year, happy new year guys! It's a year of the Dog so for those who is born in the year of the Dog... my condolenses since it is supposed to be your bad luck year
SuperMario
I think they move away so they just throw all their dvds there. There were other live action movies and series in there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Strange that if he truly didn't want it that he never decided to just sell it.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I tested it and all of the DVDs are playable. The package includes the whole show and the movie. Not a scratch either
Kaiser-Eoghan
pppftt, not leaving it in the trash and instead going out and getting the blurays instead =P
Lenlo
Ha, shouldnt be surprised you read it to
AidanAK47
Everytime I read a newly translated Re:Zero chapter I just hunger for a new anime season. The latest chapter would be fantastic animated
AidanAK47
@Mario, Maybe the discs got scratched and the don't work anymore? Otherwise this is blasphemy if the highest degree.
SuperMario
Don't know how should I feel about that :))
SuperMario
Can you believe it? Someone in my apartment just threw away the Cowboy Bebop boxset. Normally I don't pick up someone's trash but it's a crime NOT TO in this case. %$^&&
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will hearby read Murasakiro Qualia!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very good voice casting decision with hourou musuko, the voice actor for the protaganist was an actual 14 year old and sounds kind of androgynous anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it comes as no surprise for me if the mangaka of Housou Musuko is a lesbian, since the show has a honest feeling if someone who actually experience those issues
Kaiser-Eoghan
So that probably came after or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
None of those episodes 30 involved this ant-arc Aidan mentioned as I recall.
Bokusen
0_o What the heck...It must take a long while to get good then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
All I was told by a hunter x hunter fan on here was after I said I'd watched 30 episodes was "I wonder if the next arc will change your mind"
Bokusen
Does Hunter x Hunter really take 40 eps to get good? I've been thinking of watching it since I really liked YYH & it's the same mangaka. I got hooked on YYH by episode 7, but if HxH takes 40 eps to hook me I might get tired of it before then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And in some cases it can represent an temporary escape from the self.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an odd, maybe interesting relevant point, in some cases, well I think most a non-mtf , both a physical and psychological male, if they wear female clothing, the body reacts as if its like contact with a woman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Or for a very old manga on that theme: http://mangakakalot.com/chapter/claudine/chapter_0
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime worked suprisingly well despite the decision to start in the middle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As much as I absoslutely love hourou musuko I do need to raise some flaws with the manga, the ending is rushed and underveloped and it is true the characters are too precocious.
Anonymous1811397
Is very slow, and I did reach a point of feeling nothing was happening. I did like the anime pacing things faster. Also like with the anime Aoi Hana it did have a poignant line. In Aoi Hana was the response to the tomboy that wanted to reengage with the MC, and in Hourou Musuko was coming out with his girlfriend.
Anonymous1811397
@SuperMario - Yep, it's maybe the most innocent yet mature take on transgender themes I've seen on a manga. I like it also tackles both genders, since we see women can wear more masculine clothing and be fine with it, but a man doing it is still weird, and unfitting. Also I think it's also the first time I've seen someone going to a catholic church to pray in a japanese setting. However, the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I was reading Qualia as it was being translated then fell behind, something that needs to be read in one go probably.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*musuko
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I believe the author of hourou mysuko is a lesbian.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I believe that was discussed on here some years back between myself, you and wicked and how the manga could alienate readers with the sciencey dialogue.
AidanAK47
So I read a manga called Murasakiiro no Qualia. And boy, that was one insane ride.
SuperMario
it addresses such a touchy theme with so much grace
SuperMario
boy, just one episode into Housou Musuko and I already fall head over heels for it. Only one issue is the character designs are kinda similar, which took me quite a bit to follow the cast
SuperWooper
Hey, anon. ;)
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