Posted on 31 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


What an excellent way to close off the year! Like with Christmas, I wanted to try something special for a movie to watch at the end of 2007, so I went with one that I absolutely knew nothing about, except for an interesting-sounding premise. After having watched it, I must say that even though it’s old, it’s got one of the most memorable storylines in a movie that I’ve ever seen. This is basically Toward the Terra, minus the epic feeling.

While Toward the Terra featured characters of many different ages, They Were Eleven takes place on a much smaller scale: it’s just about the entrance-exam of one of the most prestigious schools of the universe. The universe sounds similar to Toward the Terra as well, with an elite group that stands miles above the ordinary people, but there are changes; different races from humans, for example.

An cast that consists entirely out of aspiring elites has been used more often in anime, but never has the storyline made use of this fact so much. Because every character is elite, they’re well-educated, and they all have their own reason to pass the exam. The writers use this and create a very engaging mystery-storyline that will keep you on your toes. And that’s the great part of this movie.

The characters are also not your average ones, and are easy to like. There are a few stereotypes here and there, but every single character has one trait that makes them different from the all the other ones of their kind. Regarding the flaws of this movie: it loses a bit of its spark around the end. I’m a big fan of mystery-anime, but they’re always tricky to end well without being predictable. Another point of criticism is that two or three side-characters needed more development than they received.

Still, this is an excellent example of a well-developed old-school movie. The other characters are well-enough developed for the short time that the story has, and they all turned into a memorable cast. The few moments of comedy were also quite welcome. If you’re a fan of shoujo and science-fiction series, then this is a recommended movie.

Well, that’s it for 2007. For those who are already in 2008: Happy New Year! For those like me who still have a few hours left in 2007: Happy New Year in advance!

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews


After the Cockpit and 9 Love Stories, the obvious next step would be Robot Carnival: another collection of nine stories. Twenty years ago, some of the great names in anime came together, and were all assigned to create a short movie that has to do with robots. Basically, Robot Carnival is the Fantasia of anime, with only two movies that contain dialogue and a soundtrack that has been composed by Hisaishi Joe of Ghibli-fame. This movie shines in its diversity: every short is different from the other. Individually, the shorts may disappoint at times, but together they form quite an enjoyable ride.

Koji Morimoto (Magnetic Rose (Memories), Noiseman Sound Insect, Beyond (The Animatrix)) is up first, and he comes up with a strange, yet very entertaining short, though with the lack of any sort of plot with the short Franken’s Gears. Hidetoshi Omori (Dan Doh? O_o) is up next with Deprive, which is more like a standard action-movie, condensed into nine minutes. Yasuomi Umetsu (Kite, Mezzo Forte) then comes with one of the first highlights of the movie with his Prescence, a quiet thought-provoking romance.
Star Light Angel, well the title says it all. It’s a cheesy shoujo-love-story by Hiroyuki Kitazume (Moldiver), yet it somehow still works. Cloud, by Mao Lamdo will probably be the hardest short to like, as it’s basically nothing else than an animated piece of art, without any clear plot nor purpose. To make up for this, the next short, A Tale of Two Robots – Chapter 3: Foreign Invasion by Hiroyuki Kitakubo (Golden Boy, Roujin Z (note to self: check those out)) will have you rolling on the floor laughing with its parodies of ancient mecha- and samurai-shows. To close off, Takashi Naamura (Fantastic Children, A Tree of Palme) comes with a short that combines quirky characters with a lot of imagination. You wouldn’t suspect that Fantastic Children came from the same creator.

While most of the shorts fall short in the story-department, I like how a lot of them weren’t just created to tell a story, but also to pay homage to the different genres of anime at that time. Giant Robots, shoujo-dramas, action-flicks, thought-provoking dramas, samurais. All of them are either parodied or remembered. Hisaishi Joe manages to capture the feeling of every said show perfectly as well, making sure for a terrific, yet cheesy soundtrack. Overall, this is a very good way to watch at the end of the year, as the level of nostalgia is quite high.

Posted on with categories: Yearly Summaries

And so it’s finally time to say goodbye to 2007. It’s been another great year, and what way to close it off better than with the obligatory end-of-the-year-rankings and -awards. Like mentioned before, this post has turned out a lot bigger than last year now that I’ve had multiple days to work on it. Oh, and if this is the first time you’ve visited my blog: yes, I do have an unusual taste. There are no awards for Lucky Star nor Gurren Lagann. In fact, I’m actually surprised that Death Note also didn’t get any mention…

Best Anime of 2007: 20-11
This year, I decided to go for a top-20, instead of the usual top-10. Here are the first ten, you can find the rest down below, after the individual awards for this year. Overall, I must say that 2007 has been an excellent year for anime, and even though less series have come out in comparison to 2006, it somehow feels that the overall quality was higher instead.

#20: Master of Epic

I was probably one of the few people who actually stuck with this series, but still I consider Master of Epic to be the best parody-series of the entire year. No other series had so many parodies that hit the spot. It’s also one of the very few comedy-series that knows it’s a comedy-series: there’s no forced drama at the end, and instead the laughs just came rolling. Master of Epic gave me a lot of laughs in the early months of 2007, and for that I decided to include it at #20.

#19: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

While the finale was a bit too straightforward and predictable, this remains a memorable series. The animation and character-designs were excellent, and the soundtrack was smashing. One thing I realize now that I’m writing up this list is that the winter-season of the past year had a lot of shows with excellent historical backgrounds: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi, Chevalier and Les Miserables all provided great insights in the politics and culture of the Japan and France from a few ages ago.

#18: Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei

Of course, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei can’t be omitted on this list. I’ve always liked Shinbo’s original style of direction, and this could quite possibly his best work up till now. But the real strength of this series is that it’s critical on just about anything. It makes a fool out of many taboos on modern-day society.

#17: Gintama

Gintama is still on-going, but that doesn’t stop me from adding this series to this list. It may have had a few episodes where it lost its spark a bit, but in the episodes in which it delivered it was absolutely hilarious. Gintama has a brilliant sense of humour that doesn’t seem to tire, even after forty episodes. Added to that comes the fact that it’s one of the few comedies that actually get improved when the occasional drama is added. This is one series that will have you cry manly tears, either because of laughter, or because of sadness.

#16: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

The finish was weak, but apart from that Otogi Juushi Akazukin has been an awesome fairy-tale experience with a lot of memorable characters. This series was incredibly cute, from start to finish, and the characters made sure to keep this one engaging.

#15: Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori

I can’t deny that Jigoku Shoujo is repetitive. Still, it’s the same as with Revolutionary Girl Utena: the repeated scenes and themes give the series some kind of ritualistic feeling. It also helped a lot that the storytelling for some of the stories was incredibly strong, and especially the best stories were truly memorable. An in-depth look into revenge and what causes people to throw their souls away, just to get rid of one person.

#14: El Cazador de la Bruja

Those who’ve been visiting my blog regularly probably know by now that I’m a Bee-Train fan. Their slow style of storytelling is easy to hate, but I couldn’t help but love the character-development between Ellis and Nadie. The two of them, along with the amazing talents of Kajiura Yuki turned El Cazador into a huge success for me.

#13: Flag

It’s a real shame that the subs for the second season still haven’t come out. I watched the series raw, back in March, and it was even better than the first one. If you’re tired of all those idealistic and unrealistic war-stories, then this is the series you should check out. Never have I seen a war-anime that was as realistic as this one. The decision to make a bunch of photographers into the main characters was an excellent one. The only downfall you should be aware of is that it takes quite a long time to build up.

#12: Saiunkoku Monogatari

Saiunkoku Monogatari is definitely not a fast-paced series. Nearly seventy episodes have passed now, and the end of the series isn’t even in sight. But because of this, the characters have gotten a huge amount of attention, to the point where none of them feels two-dimensional. The writers spent a lot of time on them, to flesh out all of them. The result can be seen in the climaxes, which were absolutely amazing.

#11: Red Garden

This was basically one huge character-study of the four heroines, with all of them having their own problems. It was quite angsty, yes, but the second half really developed the characters into a memorable cast for me. For me, this was the first proof that Gonzo can be good if they want to. One thing I also found out after watching is that this series followed Mahou Shoujotai’s example of recording the voice-acting first, before producing the animation. This is the reason why the dialogue for this series felt so intense and genuine.

2007 Individual Awards:
Biggest Disappointment:

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

At one point, this series had so much potential. But it ruined itself with its too many coincidences, and instead of political intrigue, it went towards a harem- and emo-fest. Things like these sell, yes. But they’re not my idea of good storytelling. The second place is the Hellsing OVA. The first and second episodes were nice, but with the third episode, I understood why Gonzo originally diverted from the manga at that point. Pure genocide isn’t exactly my definition of entertainment.

Worst Series:

Shining Tears X Wind

Of course, I can’t speak for the series I didn’t finish. Goshushou-sama Ninomiya-kun would have had a fair chance to win this title as well, but on the other hand, even that series has to try really hard to surpass the pain that was Shining Tears Episode 12. I still recall how I fell off my chair out of agony when I watched it.

Worst First Episode:

Buzzer Beater

While I of course didn’t have the chance to watch every series, I did get the chance to watch the first episode of the majority of series that aired this year. There was a lot of bad stuff among them, like Goshushou-Sama Ninomiya-kun or Koharu Biyori, which were just fanservice-fests. Still, the worst has to be that episode of the 2007-remake of Buzzer Beater. The main character was even more annoying than Makoto from School Days, for goodness’ sake!

The this-anime-seems-to-have-gone-up-in-smoke-award:

Dead Girls

Seriously… what happened? The OVA for Red Garden was supposed to come out in August, but no subs have come out at all. Did it really ruin the series so much?

Most Pleasant Surprise:

Le Chevalier d’Eon

Due to the slow subs, I was only leisurely watching the first half of this season. That’s probably why I never saw the huge increase in quality coming, once this series hit its second half, and after that, it remained one of my favourites of the time until the end.

Best Animation:

Seirei no Mobirito

2007 was a very good year in terms of animation. Dennou Coil featured simple, but consistently detailed animation. FLAG was shown for its entirety through the lens of various cameras and photos, and Baccano!’s art, while incredibly messy, never gave off the feeling that any still frames were used. Still, none of them can compare to the amazing details of Seirei no Moribito.

Funniest Series:

Gintama

2007 was also another excellent year in terms of comedies. From the more popular series as Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei to the obscure ones of Power Puff Girls Z and Master of Epic, a lot of them were hilarious. Of course, there were disappointments. Potemayo and Lucky star just didn’t cut it and got stale fast, but thankfully Gintama more than made up for this. It has along with the Law of Ueki and Excel Saga the most awesome sense of humour I’ve ever seen in a comedy, and cracked me up many times after each other. It may take a few episodes to get into, but Gintama is a perfect recommendation if you’re looking for laughs.

Best OP:

Uninstall – Bokura no
(Why yes, I was a bit too lazy to take screenshots)
Most opening themes look like each other, with the cheesy J-pop and J-rock and all. But there were some great songs this year among them. Especially the OVAs came with a great selection (especially Tales of Symphonia and FREEDOM) and Wellber no Monogatari, with its textless song formed an excellent introduction to the series. But still, Chiaki Ishikawa, member of See-saw delivered an excellent song, which combined with the excellent visuals for Bokura no to my favourite OP of the year.

Best Thought-Provoking Anime:

Bokura no

Especially when thinking back, the two series that stand out for me as the most thought-provoking of 2007 are Kaiji and Bokura no; both ask deep questions about human nature. Kaiji delves into the darkest corners of the human-mind, while Bokura no shows us how the different characters all deal with the dark situations that they’re put into, and especially how every characters reacts differently.

Best Studio:

Production IG

For me, there were four big animation-studios in 2007: Gonzo, Studio Deen, Madhouse and Production IG. All four of them delivered multiple excellent anime. Gonzo and Studio Deen, however, also were behind some of the crappiest series of the year, and with Madhouse you’ll never know when their series turn out excellent or just mediocre. Still, Production IG only messed up with Reideen. All their other series this year were of a huge quality. Seirei no Moribito and Chevalier were brilliant, Wellber no Monogatari was very entertaining and Ghost Hound is also shaping up to be an excellent series. Here’s to hoping that they’ll be able to continue this trend for 2008!

Best Drama:

Kaze no Shoujo Emily

This was quite a hard award to give away, simply because most of the shows I watched could be considered drama in some sort of way. Still, in the end I decided to go for Kaze no Shoujo, as the interaction between Emily and the people around her is exactly what drama should be.

Best Movie 2006/2007:

Tekkon Kinkreet

This year premiered a lot of interesting movies, but for me the two best ones turned out to be Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo and Tekkon Kinkreet. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo was exactly how a high-school drama should be and the lead character was really likable. Still, the clear winner for me was the sad tale of two orphans that grow up on the streets of Tekkon Kinkreet. Studio 4C has shown yet again that they know exactly what they’re doing.

Best Music:

El Cazador de la Bruja

This was an easy category for me. Yuki Kajiura shines with the work she’s done for El Cazador, and especially the main tune is among her best works yet. As for runner-ups: that honour belongs to Toward the Terra and Seirei no Moribito this year. Two soundtracks which fit the series they’re made for perfectly.

Best Action:

Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

I won’t deny that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had good action; for me it takes up the third place in this department for 2007. On the second place comes Seirei no Moribito. It may not have had many action series, but the choreography of the ones that were there was amazing. Still, the swordfights from Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto did remain to be the best action-sequences. It had the combination of the quality of Seirei no Moribito with the quantity of Gurren Lagann, with very exciting results.

Best ED:

FREEDOM
No question possible here. Ike Yoshihiro smashes all competition with the incredible song he composed here. The only others who can come close to the ending for this series are both the endings of Bokura no, yet again two excellent songs to close off the series.

Best Romance:

Saiunkoku Monogatari

Okay, romance indeed isn’t my preferred genre, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like it when it’s done well. The best of this year in terms of romance definitely comes from Saiunkoku Monogatari. Every single couple of the series is awesome and well-developed, so it’s an award well-earned. As runner-ups, there is the later half of El Cazador (which was yuri, though) and the final episodes of Kaze no Shoujo Emily.

Best-Looking Graphics:

Bokura no

Unlike with the Best Animation-award, I’m not looking for detail here. Things just have to look good. For me, Red Garden, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei, Toward the Terra and Wellber no Monogatari all looked gorgeous. Still, I decided to go with Bokura no. I really like Mohiro Kitoh’s character-designs. They’re simple, yet effective and they work perfectly when combined with Gonzo’s graphics.

Best Non-2006/2007 Movie:

Tokyo Godfathers

Those who’ve been reading my blog for the past year know that I’ve been checking out all kinds of older movies for the past months. While I saw a lot of good stuff from Studio Ghibli, the best were two movies called Metropolis and Tokyo Godfathers, two productions which shined in nearly every department. Because Metropolis had a few predictability-issues, I decided to give the award to Tokyo Godfathers. The perfect Christmas-movie.

Best Mystery:

Dennou Coil

2007 has been a disappointing year for mystery when compared to 2006, something which I, as a mystery-fan, didn’t really like. Series like Darker than Black and Baccano may have been good in their own ways, but the mystery just wasn’t as good as some of the mystery-series that 2006 brought us. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni also stopped being a mystery-series with its second season, and that only leaves Dennou Coil to stand on the top, with definitely the best mystery of the entire year.

Best Old Series I happened to See This Year:

Haibane Renmei

While the second half of 2007 kept me busy checking out different movies, in the first half I was watching various thirteen-episode series. The best of the bunch definitely were Figure 17 and Haibane Renmei; two fantastic character-studies. Haibane Renmei ended up winning because of the brilliant scriptwriting that was showcased in the final episodes.

Best Script:

Baccano!

It hardly comes as a surprise that Baccano! walks away with this award. Three timelines happen all at once, the cast of characters is enormous for a thirteen-episode series, and still everything comes together like a charm in the end, leaving every character with a well-defined role, fleshed out and at least with a tiny bit of development.

Best Story:

Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette

The two big series for this category are Toward the Terra and Les Miserables. Les Miserables managed to win because of the immense attention it put into both building-up and wrapping up its storyline. Here’s one series that makes perfect use of its 52 episodes.

Most Promising Studio:

Ufo-Table

There’s one reason why I give this award to Ufo-Table. Before 2007, they were just a measly studio with only the bad titles of Ninnin ga Shinobuden and Coyote Ragtime Show behind their name. Then they started the year with Manabi Straight, and continued on with Tales of Symphonia. While both may not be the best titles, they’re a huge improvement of what the studio showcased before, and they’re now also promising to do a great job for Kara no Kyoukai, which airs in 2008. These guys are really working to improve themselves, and it would be lovely if this could continue.

Best Character-Development:

Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette

There are a lot of strong contenders for this year, which is why I decided to include this award. We have Chevalier with Durrant, Toward the Terra with Jomie and Keith and Red Garden with its four main characters. Still, the champion in the character-development for this year is Les Miserables, where the entire cast underwent some kind of memorable development, with the highlight being Eponine, who underwent so many changes from her initial spoiled brattiness.

Best Anime of 2007: 10-1
#10: Ooedo Rocket

A series that went mostly under the radar during the spring-season, which rather surprised me as it was being directed by the same guy who directed Full Metal Alchemist. Still, it featured a memorable cast of hilarious characters. It was so much fun to just see them interact with each other. I also admire the guts this series had for its final episodes, but I’d rather not spoil this.

#9: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

It took me a while to get used to the completely new pacing of the second season, when compared to the chaos of the first one. But still, the second season made Higurashi feel a lot more complete due to the huge amounts of attention it paid to the storyline and setting.

#8: Le Chevalier d’Eon

This was a real surprise for me. I was just casually watching this series, until it suddenly turned to much better than I could have imagined. I keep a list of rankings on this blog at the end of each month, and Chevalier was one of the only two series to be my favourite series for two consecutive months. The incredibly deep characters and the well-developed setting in France during the reign of Louis XV are the ones to thank for that.

#7: Seirei no Moribito

And with that, we come to another Production IG-series: Seirei no Moribito. No single series can even dream to come close to the amazing production-values of this series. Everything, absolutely everything has been incredibly detailed to perfection. This made for a few awkward and boring moments, but boy, did it deliver in the end!

#6: Dennou Coil

The spring-season had an incredibly strong line-up, and yet, Dennou Coil was my most anticipated series, and with a good reason. The setting has been incredibly imaginative. Mitsuo Iso went much further than just “creating a cyberspace that can be viewed with special glasses”. Dennou Coil has been an excellent example of science-fiction that’s different from all the space- and mecha-battles, and it was blessed with an incredibly strong cast.

#5: Baccano!

I don’t think I can add anything to what has already been said about this series. Baccano came and delivered in 13 episodes something that takes ordinary series twice as much time. No single frame or scene was wasted. And even though there were a huge amount of stories going on at the same time, everything came together like a charm, resulting in one of the most well-written series of the year.

#4: Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette

To be honest, the Top-4 of this year is incredibly close. Last year, I had no difficulties selecting the order for my top-series of the year. Mahou Shoujotai, Noein, The Third, Simoun and Mushishi all made some special impact on me, they clearly stood above the rest of the series for 2006, and ranking them was quite easy. Though with 2007, choosing my favourite series was incredibly difficult. I know that the series I ranked in my top-4 are the highlight of the year for me, but there’s hardly a difference in quality between them. They all were awesome in their own way. Les Miserables is the only series this year that can boast to have a better-developed storyline than Seirei no Moribito. On top of that, the characters have been amazing, and the entire series has been wrapped up very carefully. This is one series that deserves to get subbed.

#3: Toward the Terra

Space-operas at its best. You won’t find any cheesy giant robot-battles here. Toward the Terra is the story about the Myu, who are searching for just a place to live. The multiple time-skips made sure that this series featured some of the best character-development of the entire year. Outstanding in every way, Toward the Terra is my biggest recommendation for the series that aired in 2007.

#2: Kaze no Shoujo Emily

Without a doubt the most underrated series of the year, even when compared to Les Miserables. Kaze no Shoujo Emily had an amazing combination between slice-of-life and gut-wrenching drama, and seeing Emily and her friends grow up was a true delight. For me, this has been one of the most consistently good series of the year, hence the high placement. The feeling of working towards your dreams proved to be excellent material for this series to work with.

#1: Bokura no

The perfect example of why changing from the original manga can be a good thing at times. The concept for Bokura no already was amazing, and the director used this concept perfectly to provide an amazing storyline for the characters to work with. Bokura no wasn’t about the characters freaking out, but about how they all individually chose to deal with the situation that was forced upon them, despite a few coincidences in the storyline, but I couldn’t care less about those.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews


Kawaguchi Kaiji’s 9 Love Stories, well, I think you hardly need to know anything more to guess what this one will be about. Kawaguchi Kaiji is the same guy who wrote the original story for a Spirit of the Sun, and his nine love stories are basically what you get after you cross Human Crossing with Sentimental Journey and put the result in a 90-minute movie. If you liked any of the two, or even Seraphim Call or Rumic Theatre for that matter, then you’ll like this one.

This movie basically features nine ten-minute stories about nine different, unrelated adults and the person they love. Five or six of them work: they’re touching tales about their characters, with some nice twists at the end. Three or four of the stories feel predictable, though. They just don’t have the spark that the others have.

Still, this movie is quite a nice recommendation if you like romance, and especially if you’re sick of all the standard high-school romances like me. Even though this movie dates back from 1993, the best stories still feel fresh. The graphics will take a bit of time to get used to, though. There are a lot of broad chins and the girls aren’t busty moe-stereotypes like you usually see. Instead of coming up with an original soundtrack, the creators went with a few classic songs from artists like the Beatles. It’s a bit cheap, but it fits, and it works.

Posted on with categories: Shugo Chara

I think that the end of 2007 will be the best time for this, so yeah, I’m going to drop Shugo Chara so that I won’t take it along into 2008. I’ll still continue watching it, but I don’t feel like blogging it anymore, for a variety of reasons:

– First and foremost: the 51 episodes. I don’t mind covering long series, (heck I did blog Jigoku Shoujo and Les Miserables with no problems whatsoever), but this length is just way too long for a series like this.
– I also have to admit that Shugo Chara didn’t turn out as interesting as I hoped it would be. I expected deep characters, what I got was random shoujo-fluff.
– While it was nice enough to cover it during the not-so-spectacular Autumn-season, there are enough excellent series that will be starting with the winter-season, and you can expect a lot of series that I’m going to end up blogging, and I feel that blogging Shugo Chara will feel more and more like a chore, so I’m going to drop it while it still feels enjoyable.

Unfortunately, 2007 has been a horrible year for Mahou Shoujo. I hoped that Shugo Chara would change this, but unfortunately it didn’t. Nothing about the series has stood out so far, and I don’t feel like blogging about 30 more episodes of fluff to get to the good parts.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews


I must applaud The Cockpit for actually taking place during World War II. It’s the same here in The Netherlands: there are lots of novels and stories about our Golden Age in the seventeenth century, there are lots of stories about World War II, where we were basically the victims of the Third Reich, but you’ll never hear anything about what we did in Indonesia, where we were the bastards. The same goes for anime: there are quite a lot of series about the Japanese ages of glory, the time of the samurais. And there are very few anime about the Second World War, where the Japanese were the bastards. If only for that, this series deserves credit.

Apart from this, The Cockpit is a collection of stories about three people, fighting for Japan in the war. Slipstream is a beautiful tale about a war-veteran and a certain mission he accepts. It may not be historically accurate at times, but its message is wonderful and makes a lot of impact. It’s also got a subtle feeling of loneliness that doesn’t feel out of place in a Makoto Shinkai-movie, and it’s the definite highlight of The Cockpit for me.

Sonic Boom Squadron then comes and tackles a taboo in anime: suicide bombers. We get to look into the mind of one of them, and the ones who will accompany him in his final moments, and it works. While I would have liked to see a bit more about his background, the guy shows us something different from the stereotype that surrounded the suicide-bombers. The ending is also a great one, held back from being underdeveloped and coming from rather nowhere.

Knight of the Iron Dragon is a disappointing finale, though. It doesn’t take itself serious enough, and the themes have been overplayed a bit too much, with a low-ranked war-veteran taking care of a rookie. It has the potential, but the execution just fails.

I must admit that I didn’t think much of the Matsumoto Leiji-universe up till now, but that’s probably because the only thing I had seen from the guy was Gun Frontier, which was just bad. With The Cockpit, though I begin to see the guy’s talent: realistic war-settings about thought-provoking heroes. If his other works are more similar to The Cockpit than to Gun Frontier, then I’m willing to check out more of it somewhere in the future.

Posted on 30 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Oh my, this is a rare occurrence: quite a lot of series suffer from an underdeveloped villain, out there to destroy the world for a weak or shallow reason. This isn’t the case for Please Save my Earth, though. Heck, the major villain is actually the best-developed character of the entire series!

Please Save my Earth is one of those rare six-episode OVAs that prefers to focus on the story and the major villain, instead of the usual characters. The setting is also a memorable one, with a few similarities to Fantastic Children, and it makes sure that the villain has a good reason for his grudges.

Unfortunately, the good guys do have their problems. Don’t get me wrong, they’re deep, they’re developed, but unfortunately they haven’t been fleshed out well enough. Please Save my Earth seems to be another manga-adaptation, and in the end six episodes turned to be too small for this story. At times, the characters also keep angsting while it would have been better to see more of their sides. Especially the background story: it has so much potential, but we hardly see anything of it.

Still, for an OVA, this is definitely an above-average one. It starts out really annoying, but soon a twist will make you see that this is more than just an ordinary high-school drama. The animation may be a bit dated (this is fifteen years old), the music has been composed by Yoko Kanno in her early days, and it shines. Combine this with deep characters and you have quite a good way to spend three hours.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette


And finally, the behemoth of the series that is known as Les Miserables -Shoujo Cosette has ended. For the revival of the World Masterpiece Theatre, the classic novel by Victor Hugo was chosen to get an adaptation, and the result has become terrific; a masterpiece in terms of story and characters. Sure, the series is aimed at children, but don’t think that children will be the only ones to enjoy this, because Les Miserables is an epic for every age.

The series consists out of five arcs, where every arc is different from the other. Indeed, the first arc focuses on how a small girl called Cosette has to live under the evil Thenardiers. The fourth arc, however, deals with a bunch of men that fight for their beliefs in a revolution, and Cosette herself actually plays a very small role in this. There is indeed a lot of building-up, but because of this, every character can be fleshed out and developed. Every bit of storyline can be explained and carried further, and every single climax works, and takes the best out of the characters and the story, with the definite highlight being the fourth arc.

Les Miserables definitely isn’t your standard anime. There are no cheesy villains that are out there to destroy the world. No teenagers that can pilot giant robots. What we have here is a story that manages to remain realistic and yet exciting. Every character fits his or her role exactly and there is hardly any character that doesn’t develop somehow. There’s just one downside, though. The book was quite dark, and most of the dark elements did remain in the series. Unfortunately, the heaviest themes as prostitution and suicide had to be scrapped though. The ending also ends up being much lighter than that of the book, but that doesn’t mean that it’s less developed. Les Miserables remains an excellently written series, from beginning to end.

Overall, if you liked Studio Ghibli’s non-action movies then you’ll definitely like this one. It’s such a shame that the subs have only reached up till episode 6. If there ever was a series that deserves to be subbed, it’d be this one, because for me it had the best story and character-development of the entire year of 2007. Let’s hope that Porfy’s Long Journey doesn’t get the same negligence.

Posted on with categories: Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette


What an awesome way to end such an awesome series! Even though there was nothing of Thenardiére and Azelma, we get something that’s even better: the death of Jean Valjean. I didn’t believe that this series would be able to make me cry after the revolution ended, and thankfully I was so wrong about this. Jean’s end was incredibly well-done, and is it me or did the graphics look better than ever in this episode?

This episode starts with a time-skip of what I’d guess are a few months. Gavroche and his two brothers are settled into their school, and especially Gavroche is making a lot of progression. Cosette and Marius have just moved out, into Courfeyrac’s old apartment. It’s at that point where they get a letter from Jean, and with that they finally manage to find him back.

The guy has indeed wilted away, and has become sick in the months that he was away from Cosette. It also seems that he stopped using fake names, and he’s known to the people as just “Jean Valjean”. He also stopped hiding the chandeliers from everyone, and he actually grew a small beard. When Cosette and Marius meet him, he finally has the courage to tell Cosette about his own life, and of the times he served in jail (it was awesome to see Jean in his twenties, by the way). After he finishes telling, it seems that he’s finally content enough to stop caring about his own life, and dies.

In the aftermath, we see Javert again as well, when he comes to give a quick visit to Jean’s grave. The anime ends with a few flashbacks and shots of the different characters passing out food and clothes to the poor, and the final scene goes three or four years into the future, where Marius and Cosette along with their daughter, a very reminiscent scene for the first episode when Cosette had her final moments with her mother.

To close off, I would like to thank Irene, angedemystere, Tania, Dookers and R for keeping the comments coming. Out of all the shows I’ve been blogging, Les Miserables has had the most discussion going on in the comments, and it was a lot of fun to read them for every week. I’m not sure if you’re going to watch Porfy’s Long Journey as well, but I’m definitely going to follow it. :)

Posted on with categories: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji


Okay, so the current is going to be predictable. Kaiji just has to survive; otherwise the show would just run out of main character. Still, that didn’t prevent this episode from being among the best that this series has had to offer. At the moment, I only see one annoyance in this series: this is one of the worst series to take screenshots for: all the best shots have subtitles in them.

In the Espoir-arc, death was more symbolic, but for the Starside-arc, it’s gotten much, much closer. I loved how, now that there is no more competition, the ten remaining contestants feel much closer together, now that they won’t have to betray to stay alive. Very refreshing for this series. Instead of that, a new threat has appeared: plain old fear and I loved how this episode showed how easily this can go out of control if your life is at stake. Take that, action-movies!

Tonegawa is also shaping up to be one of my favourite characters of this series. Unlike all the contestants, he’s not limited by predictability and after the previous episode I wouldn’t have thought that he’d actually enjoy events like this, seeing the scum of society suffer so much.

One thing that would make Kaii’s survival more credible is that he by far the most emotionally involved with the others. In this episode, you can see that he’s too busy with worrying about the others’ survival to realize that he too is on the verge of death. I also predict that Ishida will play a big role in the next episode, because he keeps relying on Kaiji so much. The two of them will probably use this to get to the other side, while Sahara will use his competitive spirit against Kaiji. It’s a shame that the other characters didn’t receive enough development like this, and they’ll probably all end up dying as well. Perhaps with the exception of the guy in the red shirt.

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
@Anon, I actually liked that aspect. It made the history of the world feel real.
Anonymous1409027
It's compressible, as there are many episodes of buildup, but that's where so many of the interesting details and depth of planning become evident. Some of those episodes read like a history textbook though, so we'll see how the new adaptation handles them,
Anonymous1409027
*pleasantly
KTravlos
Tytania was ok.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the Amakusa Shiro reference in the fate review, I've seen a film about him from the 50s , theres also an old josei manga where the protagonist ends up becoming essentially regarded as him.
KTravlos
Hi Kaiser. Supposedly this is a re-imagining of the original story. Thus independent of the OVAs (old serieis). What exactly re-imagining means is something I and you do not know. We shall see. But it does mean that you do not need to watch the old series to enjoy this one. The OVA was definetly more expansive than the novels. So my guess is they will stick to the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's another anime, called Tytania based on his novels but I haven't seen that series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in condensable in the way nothing much is lost? I assume there are fillers in the original?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm indifferent to the aesthetics of the new version. What I'm hoping for is that it will be accessible to newcomers and that I'll be able to jump on to the old series where the new one leaves off. I've seen very little of the original and it was a long time ago, is there any way the story is condensable?
KTravlos
The fact that they stayed away from the disgusting new manga is great. I am not too keen on the CGI ships, but they also did not rankle. It looks like it will honor the spirit of the old series, and I cannot ask for more. I am a massive LOGH fan. And the new video out gives me hope of revisiting one of the greatest sci-fi/historical settings out there. I am happy.
AidanAK47
I hope they are using the old anime as a base and not the new Manga adaption. As that Manga adaption is seriously lacking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I like that they blinged up the space battles which is good because those things could get tiresome. But I really hate the design of Yang Wenli. They made him look so much younger and bishi. I don't think i could take this guy seriously if he started one of Wenli's signature hypothesis.
Anonymous1408919
Thoughts on that new LOGH PV? My expectations were low, so I'm presently surprised. Obviously they made everybody pretty boys, and Mamoro Miyano is voicing Reinhard I believe. But art and animation actually looks pretty decent overall. It's a PV, and LOGH's best quality is it's story and characters, so we'll have to see if they remain faithful or not. But it's nice to see it get a visual overhaul.
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Lenlo
No other sentence has made me want to watch Made in Abyss more
HelghastKillzone
I guess we're finally at the point where Made in Abyss goes all Dark Souls/Bloodborne.
Amagi
Apo's Jack the Ripper had at least a nice idea behind it, it's just the clothes that are a bad choice. But there are just too many lolis for the sake of fanservice in that game. I accept it if there is at least a reason for this but it's usually just random.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. I was never a fan of genderbendings and turning historical people into lolis. The first one I can accept with people like Arthuria because it added a lot to her character, but most of them are just plain and generic. I just see no reason why pirates, grown up men or Blavatsky would ever appear as little girls. Especially since popular beliefs should influence their appearance.
SuperMario
On Altair, one commenter did an excellent job of poiting out the appeal of that show; and frankly the show is wearing on me now.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I'm glad you enjoy Princess Principal. I'm quite surprised myself that in the latter half the show slowed its pace down which mean the focus is switched from action to more characters interactions; which I greatly enjoy
KTravlos
Well I binge watched Princess Principal. That is a very good show. I was surprised. Good animation, good music, the art is good, hell I even did not mind the protagonist art. But what I really like is the stories. All the episode were pretty solid and interesting.
AidanAK47
Just won a fight by the skin of my teeth thanks to my Lancer, Cu Chulainn. You the man Cu!
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Been playing Grand Order myself. It's rather fun. There are some good original character in it but I notice with Quantity certain figures designs were pretty terrible. I thought Assassins of black was the worst but some Grand Order servents manage to top it in terrible. Why all the bikini's?
Amagi
Fate/GO has quite some interesting original characters there. Wish we'd see them in some actual manga or anime series with more backstory someday. - I also like that we finally have an overpowered, interesting and competent Hassan with King Hassan for once. His design is metal AF too.
KTravlos
Binge watched Altair. The pacing of the show is a problem, but in general the raw material is good. Altair is sympathetic, and the world is interesting. But I do feel this is the kind of show that would had gained by a Monster or LOGH type treatment. Also, man it is scary how accurate they got some of the traits of Greeks (Phoenicians in the show). I am a Greek, I should know! :p
KTravlos
forgot to mention. I saw the 91 Days special. Three side stories that give some depth to the events in the main anime, but nothing that goes beyond it's end. Still they were in general ok to good.
SuperWooper
It's got Jude Law playing "this kind of huge robot butler called Charles, who is also a rocket ship." What could possibly go wrong?
AidanAK47
Anime with Jaden Smith? Um..I don't know about this.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: one of the good thing about SoL shows like Centaur and even 18if is that their episodes are self-contained, so you can just jump right in to watch the good ones and ignore the rest
SuperMario
I just love Chise's presence so I might enjoy the last episode more than anyone else. But yeah I'm quite satisfied with Princess Principal right now
AidanAK47
Actually I am quite surprised Princess Principal hasn't gone off the rails yet. Might even turn out to be a fun show in the end. If the man can make it to the finish line without a misstep.
AidanAK47
Hey I am having fun with my Shows. Made in Abyss is still quite excellent and Fate/Apoc is picking up. Even started playing Fate/Grand Order.
Lenlo
Man, sounds like I was the only one to have a good week with their show. Reflection really stepped it up this week in pretty much every category. Not sure it will last, but hey. Ill take one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm so disappointed in 18...if. Perfect opportunity to capitalize on something with a dreamlike feel to it and be creative only it ends up getting held back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I see Vonter and Mario are seducing me into watching Centaur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*can't
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can'y see myself giving re creators a second chance, and from skimming these conversations, why should the show only get going at the end? It just sounds like too little too late.
AidanAK47
Honestly that's what Re:Creators biggest issue is. It builds up these great interesting idea's and then refuses to capitalize on them.
AidanAK47
Then it would be a battle to win over the audience and he who entertains them the most would get the most power. Just think of how many interesting ways that would take the fight. Like Altair could lose power and have to win over the crowd with her backstory and theatrics. A hero could purposefully get beaten to hell just so they can get a powerup from saying a boastful speech about kicking ass.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Exactly. Now there is an interesting fighting element. Imagine if both Altair and the heroes had to fight with the limitation of keeping the audience entertained. Altair couldn't pull out overpowered nonsense because the audience wouldn't approve and her power would drop. Same goes for the heroes.
Anonymous1378112
On the other hand I am not a fan of this whole final arc. It's just not believable to me to gather such a big audience who will do nothing but watch and accept everything you show them. Not to mention that the show is technically live acting to them. Considering how much anime fanbases already hate the DN movie and stuff I doubt many would sit there and accept that
Anonymous1378112
@Aidan: This made me pretty angry. like, they wasted a ton of screentime with these boring info dumps and now they're just irrelevant and the enemy just fucks over it
AidanAK47
Actually the last development was actually a screw the rules moment as well. So the only way to beat Altair is to just chuck aside the rules established with the last 20 episodes.
AidanAK47
You don't need to give Altair a creator in order to to limit her. You just need her to obey the rules the entire series has spent time setting up. Altairs actions are just handwaved with "Screw the rules! I am a OC" audence acceptance doesn't seem to make a difference.
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, The creators have incredibly limited power as while they can introduce anything, it won't be effective unless the audience approves of it. Altair can pull whatever she wants without limit. If anything I don't understand why the audence isn't shouting for her to get nerfed seeing as some random indie character is wrecking fan favourite characters.
Vonter212
@SuperMario - Centaur Worries is the equivalent of Every Flavour Beans. You don't know what you're gonna get, bad, good, cringe, cool, deep, superficial, etc. While the gore isn't that graphic, it is still violent for this kind of show and the alien part has some disturbing body horror, for this show. The shock is mainly because of how light hearted everything else is.
SuperMario
I just watched Centaur, it was heavy as hell, but really poetic in tying these 2 half episodes together. God, it's excellent. And I don't mid the show's constant tonal shifts at all
KTravlos
@Aidan I have to disagree with you. Altair's overpowering does not bother me too much. a) If you think about it, it is their only choice, as creators also have immense power. There only other option would be to give Altair her own Creator, but that would turn this to just a Fate copy. So I am ok with what they have done. b) they do explain it world-wise so it does not come out of the blue
KTravlos
A nice overview of the alternative history genre, but more importantly the work of Kawaguchi http://www.animenewsnetwork.cc/the-mike-toole-show/2017-09-04/.120893
SuperMario
@Vonter: the manga has gore and alien? Really? Now that's interesting
SuperMario
... genre often does. For me its unfocusness works for its benefit. We don't know for sure what we gets each time and that's the main reason I still looking forwards to it every week
SuperMario
@Vonter: I haven't caught up with Centaur's this week but I heard it tackles Holocaust so I'm all in. It's not something cute girl
Vonter
Wow, Centaur Worries, took some really heavy themes this episode. The softy in me, found them powerful, but the cynic in me thinks it might have been a touch manipulative, since this show has interesting ideas, but lacks focus. One episode is cute, another progressive, another ecchi, and another the holocaust. Makes me wonder if they'll show the gore and the aliens from the manga.
Total users: 21

Featured Posts

Fate/Apocrypha – 12[The Holy Man Returns Triumphant]

If Fate/Apocrypha can keep up this level of quality till the end, I may just change my overall opinion on it. I don’t think it would match the works of Fate/Zero or Unlimited Blade Works but it could beat out the 2006 Fate/Stay Night, Prisma Illya and Fate/Grand Order. It’s a decently respectable position in […]

The Reflection – 9 [Downtown L.A.]

This week The Reflection continues on towards its finale. Finally all of our characters are in one place and raring for a fight. Reflection starts off right back with the Idol group, being unable to decide between beef or fish. Apparently an episode named for the dilemma wasn’t enough. Reflection quickly cuts back to Elen […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu – 12 [Battle of Hakodate]

Welcome to the penultimate episode of Ranbu! Unable to end with a small, personal story, Ranbu prepares for the largest battle yet! Lets jump in. Ranbu opens up right were last week left off. Kane’s sword falling, to strike Horikawa. Instead, it cuts into the dirt at his feet, moved aside at the final moments. […]

Princess Principal – 11 [Case 23 Humble Double]

Hmmm, something doesn’t ring true here. As this episode ends, we can assume that the Princess and Ange have a big break-up, Princess plays the role of Ange under the Princess’s disguise, and Ange has gone to Casablanca to live in a casa blanca for good. To be frank, I never really buy all that. […]

18if – 11 [The Thorn Cross Association]

Hum, never know that Eve is a ginger and has wings like an angel and wears that cool dress. I’ve always thought she’s always naked. hmmm Finally, 18if provides an overarching double length plot to wrap everything up. We have an episode that splits half of the time as a recap of what previously happened […]

Shoukoku no Altair – 10 [Dance of the Moonlit Beauty]

This was the busiest episode of Altair yet, with a script that pinballed between Turkiye’s four stratocracies, introduced a handful of new characters, and chronicled the formation of both alliances and rebellious plots. To try and recap everything that happened this week would require hundreds more words than I’m willing to expend, so let’s assume […]

Ballroom e Youkoso – 10 [Voltage]

When I was a kid, my friends and I included my brother in our games, but only reluctantly. He was younger, smaller, and slower than all the other players, whether the contest was bike racing or tag or touch football. If I were a team captain, I’d be sure to pick him for my side, […]

Classroom of the Elite – 10 [Every Man has in Himself the Most Dangerous Traitor of All]

A chronology of events from class-D where nothing seems to happen, but there’s a seed of doubt buried down underneath and now waiting for its chance to crawl out of the surface? It sounds so thought-provoking like a Michael Haneke’s film if I put it that way, except in this show, all the build-up is […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 11[Eternal Radiance]

We have a hat-trick as Apocrypha pulls out it’s third good episode but admittedly the reason for that is because we are still in the middle of a pretty massive action scene. Perhaps this is why earlier fights were so lacking as they needed to save the effort for an action set piece as big […]

Latest Reviews

Castlevania Season 1 Review – 70/100

Upon hearing that Castlevania would be getting an animated TV series my first reaction was that of unpleasant surprise. Part of the reason was because of the video games infamous history with adapting their stories to other mediums but my main reason was that being familiar with the Castlevania games, I knew the story was […]

Tsuki ga Kirei (Spring 2017) Review – 88/100

It’s hard for me not to go overboard on Tsuki ga Kirei: out of all the show I’ve followed this season, I resonated the most to this one; but even when I’m judging this show objectively, Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the most perfect one, in a way that it achieved exactly what it […]

Seikaisuru Kado Review 51/100

Seikaisuru Kado was a title which caught my attention for a number of reasons. For one it’s visuals showed not a single teenager in sight and a cast mainly consisting of working adults. Another is that it deals with a premise not often tackled in anime, Philosophical Science Fiction. The story features an alien being […]

ID-0 (Spring 2017) Review – 81/100

Here comes one of the most under-appreciated anime of this Spring season. ID-0 has many hassles that keeps viewers away from watching it: Netflix exclusive, full CG animation and a plot that just plain weird and a bit incomprehensive at first view. I originally took it as nothing more than fun spooky little-seen show until […]

Grimoire of Zero (Spring 2017) Review – 77/100

I remember, back in our first impression of this series, Aidan remarked that Grimoire of Zero isn’t your typical LN-adaptations, but he didn’t know what to make of it. To be honest, after watching an entire cour, I’m still unsure what to make of it myself. This show has some serious flaws, yet despite all […]

Uchoten Kazoku Review – 94/100

(Note: Since psgels didn’t give his final review to the first season, this review is for the entirety of Eccentric Family. If I had to grade the second season alone, it’s 90/100). Doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Eccentric Family is a unique show, in a way it feels and tastes like no […]

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this […]

Window Horses (2016) Movie Review – 87/100

In Window Horses, or its full name Window Horses – The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, many characters keep asking the main protagonist, a Stick Girl in an otherwise fully formed character designs, why is she wearing a chador, in which she’s unable to reply. It’s her first trip to go overseas, so she […]

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]