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

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SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
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