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
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

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The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

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