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

See, I never had a problem with the second form because the large guy is so easy to hit and will simply miss you if you stay close to him. I think the one gripe I have with the fight is the heal, because with 2 bosses, you cant stop it alot of the time. I would argue that not getting trapped in a corner though is a skill you cultivate and is more the players fault than the bosses.
Though I actually was happy when they went invisible as that's when I can shave off a heavy chunk of their HP. Still if you happen to miss the small sign of where they jumped then you are screwed on that.
Healing, huge area of effect attacks, grab moves with barely any windup, freeze weapon effects that slow down attack animations, three goddamn forms, can turn invisible, long ass combos leaving little counterattack room and having to fight two bosses at the same time. Honestly, my victory here really depended in them not using certain attacks.
@Lenlo, I liked the visual design and the idea of it. However they gave it far too many cheap attacks. The second form is way to chaotic and depending on how they attack can put you in a position where you really can't do anything. Like when one breaths fire while the other starts healing, then you can't stop it. The final form as well, the minute they get you into a corner, you are done.
Whaaat? I loved that last boss.
Took me 2 and half hours to see everything in the DLC. Took me another 3 hours to beat the boss. Damn that boss had me in the zone. I think its was a serious bullshit artifical difficultly boss but man...beating that bullshit boss solo...felt good.
@Mario, starting to think I didn't need my help after all. I hope they make something worthwhile.
On a unrelated note the Dark Souls 3 DLC boss is serious bullshit.
Hey Aidan, thqt Kickstarter project Mecha-ude has passed its goal (nearly double now with 10 more days to go). Seems like people getting real hype for it
Wonder if Bam has played the new Dark Souls DLC. Found it rather lacking when compared to previous DLC from the last games.
@Anon, it's just a video of a still image of anime girls in bikini's with a red circle around one of their chests. Seeing as this thing has no views or subscribers my guess is someones is fishing for views. To which i say...what really is the point of making videos if this is the only way you can get people to watch them?
[link src="
I"] hate this crap that they corrupt anime with (crappy video that insults anime)
So RWBY's back. I actually miss the whole RWBY team. Still prefer Ruby's old custom more. Nora looks cool.
With the fourth episode, Vivid Strike seems to have crossed an invisible line that makes it more like the original Nanoha shows rather than Vivid. The kind of brutal beatdown delivered by the co-protagonist and the build up to it is something quite alien to a normal SoL/Sports anime show.
Ep. 4 of Tiger Mask was a lot better than the last 3, quite a hyped fight that was a full 6mins long. Will continue watching in hope of an awesomely long final fight.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
Going back to the fanservice topic, its very easy to complain about it in anything but then something actually comes along that actually does it for you. I mean I always say that I don't watch a show/movie for its fanservice elements and stick with pictures on image boards, but then I ended up seeing a film where I actually got something out of the fanservice while watching the film its.
Kaiser Eoghan
The oujia prequel was competent genre fare, the director cared about the characters and every now and the built up a decent mood. Although jump Scares are there . And I always appreciate a horror film having a mean spirited ending. One of the rare cases where the young actors do well in a horror film. The pace is a bit uneven, rushed and a bit laggy .
Kaiser Eoghan
In the sense of how messed up/especially bleak those two episodes were.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was the sense too with both those episodes of "Jesus...I wasn't ready for that...."
Kaiser Eoghan
Though the first episode of the first season and the third episode of season 3 are very hard to beat. Adding to what I thought of s3 ep3 I felt that one hit me on the same level as s1 ep1 did so.
Though in previous seasons I generally only really liked 2 out of the 3.
@Kaiser, though the previous seasons where only 3 episodes long and you enjoyed 3 out of 6 in this season. So yo essentially get the same amount of enjoyment as previous seasons.
Kaiser Eoghan
Based on my comments, it looks like I had a mixed reaction to the third season. Three out of six, but the great was was great and forgives it but I still feel that there was more of a consistentancy in quality in the other seasons. I enjoyed every story in seasons 1 and 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
The final episode felt like a movie all on its own, I'd have gladly watched another thirty minutes of it, ending was a nice punch in the gut.
Just finished black mirror season 3. I hear people basically complaining that it's not as strong as the previous two season but I disagree. I really enjoyed this and this is a show that deserves much more episodes. Personal favorite is between shut up and dance and hated in the nation. Worst I thought was San Junipero. Overall thought each episode was interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
On the upside I loved black mirrors fifth episode, I'm a sucker for war/action-dramas and I particularly liked the tech in this one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah this is impossible for me to sit through, the romance part is also rather dull.
Kaiser Eoghan
Eh, this fourth episode is plodding and trite, feels like a bad, poorly dated 90s film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Third episode also instilled a great sense of paranoia.
@Kaiser: thanks for that mate. I have too much to say for Flipflappers but to put them all in coherent flow is goddamn hard. And like I said I still fell I left many details out: that gung-ho potato or Yayaka and the twins
@Friend: jugding from the last convention I went to, people loved Re:Zero customs (Emilia and Rem, Ram were highlights. Or you could try RWBY characters (I for once love to see someone cosplay Pirrha Nikos or Velvet Scarlatina)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Didn't care much for new black mirrors second episode, then again I'm not really the target for that story. The third episode while a bit heavyhanded and predictable was suspenseful, nasty/mean and I liked that about it, did in 50 minutes what some thrillers fail to achieve in two hours.
Holo is a good one :0
Materials aren't a problem at all for the most part, except for anything too crazy like working in brass. I'd prefer it to be characters I'm familiar with.
Does it matter to you that they're from shows that you like, or are you just in it for the challenge?
@Friend Aidan has some good ones there. I'd also give the cast of Akame ga Kiru a shot, I don't like the series but it has a lot of neat character designs.
I was thinking simple as I didn't know what kind of materials you got on hand. I was also thinking of Holo from spice and wolf or Kino from Kinos journey either.
Mm, Tatsumaki might be not challenging enough to design for. Doesn't Shiki simply wear either a coat or Japanese kimono? I do work in set design and not in character prop design, but I'd love to try something that would let me reasonably challenge myself.
@Friend, Spit balling here but Tatsumaki from One Punch Man? I know the costume for that one would be simple enough. Or maybe Shiki from Kara No Kyoukai?
*I don't want to do anything too complex for my first try, but I also don't want to do anything boring. Boring would be a character like Rukia or Celty. Any ideas?
I remember talking about this with Emma/Kaiser before, but has anyone here gone cosplaying at an expo before? I thought it would be neat to try designing my own costume and try something else beside drawing on a computer.
@Kaiser, I am up to episode 4. 3 has been the best one so far.Though in all these episodes I pretty much figured out the twist from the get go. Still this shows always tends to get you thinking.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think the roles/identity thing with flipflappers, at least with the protaganist does fit in well with adolescence.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I've only seen the first episode so far. I felt the acting was intentional and reflected the satire Brooker was going for on the shallow nature of society. Bleak as ever but gloriously grotesque.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario:Good in depth reviewing there Mario of flipflappers episode three.
Good god this first episode of black mirror is hard to watch. I know exactly how it's going to turn out but it's just so damn painful to watch.
Well, tbh up to where I've seen there's not much explicit yaoi in yuri on ice, only a lot of fujoshi fuel.
@Kaiser. thanks for the torrent. Gonna blaze through this today.
@Topgavin, as someone who watches a metric ton of anime I am rather surprised at that estimate that 90% of it contains Yuri.
My god those gay scenes in Yuri on Ice are hard to watch for me. Wonder if this is how it feels to be a girl watching 90% of normal anime nowadays.
okay, Flip Flappers episodic review was up. This is my lengthiest weekly review so far and I still feel I missed a lot of points. Damn you Flip Flappers
Kaiser Eoghan
You have seen the light, not needing to know everything thats happening to enjoy something ^_^
Kaiser Eoghan
I've given some consideration to reviewing that oujia film followup.
Whether you see one or the other is entirely up to your preferences, so it makes no difference to me which is worse. I have gotten very tired of generic character types, but again that's just because of the things I decide to regularly follow.
I will say if it must come down to either unnatural dialogue or unnatural character types, at leas the character type is speaking their own words and not the words of the script writer.
Or was that a black and white fallacy? Maybe it was a little of both.
@Realjustified, K-Off wasn't agreeing with me. That's a Moving the Goal Posts logical Fallacy but well I will answer regardless. Honestly it's preferable to have neither. The big mistake you are making here is that you are putting down a condiction that a show must have one or the other. But both cartoons and anime can have both. I just think it's a lot more prominent in cartoons than anime.
Like, having read hundreds of harem manga over the years, a majority of the ultimate love interest always happens to be the first girl the protagonist meets.
Wait wait wait wait. Aidan and K-Off. I get that dialogue in cartoon can seem like it was written by a script writer, but at the same time, lots of anime have characters whose sole purpose is entirely scripted. The whole spectrum of "deres" and everything. What do you think is worse? Unnatural dialogue, or unnatural character types?
You guys should really go fuck yourself, it's a solution and it's nothing short of great!
You guys should really watch the first 4 episodes of Bungo, it's a prequel and it was nothing short of great!
omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
@Aidan I'm good, I'll stick with Working.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
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