Posted on 31 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews

Ah, Bamboo Blade. You had the potential to become interesting when you started, though something went wrong. The flaws for this series are a bit more subtle than usual, and I’m still not 100% sure what it was that really caused the downfall for this series. If I had to guess, then it’s a combination of things. Bamboo Blade in the end had its moments, but remains overall boring.

Let’s take a look at the characters first. At the beginning of this series, they really caught my intention, and I admit having laughed quite a bit at their antics. They get a small share of development during the second half, so what went wrong? Well the characters may have been impressive at first sight, but looking back, the creators just took a bunch of stereotypes and gave them one or two original personality-traits. This leads to a quiet and small but uberpowerful girl who is obsessed with cheesy mecha-shows, a beauty who actually is quite sadistic but has a geek as boyfriend, that geek who has managed to score such a beautiful girl as girlfriend.

This is nice and all, but the characters didn’t feel dynamic at all. The creators were so busy, trying to step away from the stereotypes that they forgot that the silent girl still remained silent, the geek remained a geek, and the sadistic beauty remains a sadistic beauty. In the end, nearly every character couldn’t shake away his or her stereotype. The side-characters are off even worse: there’s the obsessive stalker-girl, the old hag, the rival and several of the opposing kendo-teams who are cookie-cutters at best. Because of this, the characters are funny and enjoyable when first introduced, but they just can’t remain interesting for a full course of 26 episodes.

Then there’s the story. It may be me, but it really felt like the creators were struggling to keep it moving forward. Basically, the show’s about a Kendo-club who fights in a number of tournaments. Every single group of opponents gets progressively duller for some strange reason. Especially the two final opponents feel artificial at best. Seriously, this show takes a real nose-dive as it nears its ending.

I really feel that this is one series that would have been best suited for 13 episodes. At least that way, the characters wouldn’t have had any time to get boring. I’ve praised the past Autumn and Winter-Season for featuring a lot of good shows, centring around high-schools, but this is unfortunately not one of them.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino

Before I start with the usual review, I’d like to point out that this is the 250th review I’ve written for my blog. Yay!

In any case, if you’ve watched the original Gunslinger Girl and plan to watch Il Teatrino, there’s one thing that you need to take into account: a lot of changes have been made. The soundtrack has changed, but most importantly the character-designs have been redrawn completely in a totally different style and the animation-budget has suffered a great loss. The bad news: the fight scenes will look fake, and there will be speed-lines. The good news: this is about the only thing that’s wrong with this series.

The change in art style is something you’ll either love or hate with passion. Not considering this though, they do look gorgeous, and even though the animations in the fights looks fake, the animators have tried to make up for it with some awesome fight-choreography. With this, fights are much more than just brainless gunfights, and are much more based on tactics.

In addition, the storyline has developed into something amazing. The most notable thing is that there is NO main character whatsoever. Even though the girls are the centre of this series, do not make the mistake into thinking that they’re the one with the most screen-time. The creators have made sure not to give any character special attention, and because of this, this is one of the very few series where the “good guys” are just as developed and fleshed out as the “bad guys”. And yes, I put the quotations there on purpose, because sometimes it really feels that the girls are the bad guys. Especially Rico can be really scary at times.

Gunslinger Girl is also one of these series that delivers with every single episode. Introductions, climaxes and aftermaths follow each other in a rapid succession, and there’s so much going on in each episode. The cast of characters may be amazing, but it’s the storyline that pushes them forwards. This is one series that knows how to wrap up all of its storylines at the end, and provides a very satisfying climax.

It may be that I just don’t care about the changes that were made, but Gunslinger Girl has turned into one of the best series to air during the past winter-season, along with Porfy’s Long Journey and Hakaba Kitarou. At first sight, the characters may look “moe-ified”, but this series cleverly shows that the girls are much more than just a bunch of cute angels. Really, the adults end up stealing the show in this series much more than they do.

Posted on with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino

Haha! I couldn’t have expected a better finale than this one! Seriously, it’s so great to see that this has been a series where everything went right, apart from the smaller budget, perhaps. This is really why it was such a good thing that the original mangaka had been assigned to do the Screenplay and Series Composition. Sure, some changes may be forced, but in this way you can be sure that the vision of the original writer will be translated perfectly. Seriously, more series should do this.

And here I thought that this episode would primarily be about the fight between Pinocchio and Triela. Sure, it takes up a large part, but yet again Franca came and stole the show’s best moments. She and Franco originally came to rescue Pinocchio, and yet they only managed to rescue Christiano, while leaving Pinocchio behind. Very impressively, they manage to pass two of the girls, though Franca has been hurt too much, and drives off a cliff, taking Christiano and Franco with her.

Looking back, I must say that this series made best out of its limited budget. On one hand you can say that it does look cheap at times (this episode again featured some speed-lines), but if there’s no budged there’s not much you can do. From that viewpoint, I’d much rather see a series that at least tries to showcase some great fights with some great coordination, than a series that just chooses the easy way around with lots of still frames and no animation at all. Shion no Ou really has been the series to show this: the show clearly received a small budget, and yet the animation-department went all out.

That line of Pinocchio was also right on the spot: “who’s the monster now?” Especially since afterwards, we saw Rico mercilessly banging the head of a guy against the window of a car. She and Jan were most definitely the closest things resembling monsters in this series, and that’s the beauty of it, because at the same time Rico is also the most cheerful member of the cast.

Thankfully, there are still two DVD-only episodes left. I wonder what they’ll be about, though I’d guess that they’ll develop the girls some more. I’ll be blogging them when they show up, though for now I consider this series finished. Let’s hope for a third season to get announced soon, because this is one manga that deserves to be fully animated!

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

And with this, the season is nearly over. There are still a few series left to finish, but they should close off in a few days from now. Overall, I must say that it’s been an interesting half year, and nothing like the spring-season that preceded it. It feels like there were less ground-breaking series than usual, but at the same time it feels like there were much less mediocre series. Either that, or my taste has just gotten broader over the past year. The winter-season has also been the best since years, although there weren’t many popular series that emerged.

#30 (28) – Dragonaut the Resonance – (5,9/10) – Wait… Kazuki just turned good that easily? For Christ’s sake. The final episodes lost any spark of potential that was still left in this series, unfortunately.
#29 (???) – Kimi ga Nozomu Eien ~ Next Season – (7,2/10) – Well, this episode basically recapped the television-series, so it wasn’t that exciting, but at least I now know why Mitsuki left.
#28 (24) – Bamboo Blade – (7,3/10) – The one climax was great and all, but afterwards everything dulled out again. It’s a shame, Bamboo Blade had the potential to become an entertaining series, but it ended up being just mediocre.
#27 (26) – Mnemosyne – Musume-tachi – (7,4/10) – This series needs to start to deliver soon, or I’ll lose interest. This episode was nice and all, but it wasn’t anything special
#26 (27) – Hatenkou Yuugi – (7,4/10) – Episode nine was actually pretty good! Really, that one showed that the manga behind this series had really potential, which makes it such a shame that the anime creators screwed up this series so much. Seriously, I expected much better from the director of Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club.
#25 (new) – Bus Gamer – (7,6/10) – This could have been more interesting, though due to its short length it’s a nice series to watch if you need to burn an hour.
#24 (9) – Kekkaishi – (7,8/10) – Okay, so the final episodes aren’t exactly without their problems. There also were some strange animation-problems in the final one, where the creators suddenly changed style. It’s exactly for this reason that Shounen-series shouldn’t play with superpowers. Sure, it looks flashy, but it also eliminates any sense of tactics.
#23 (10) – Darker than Black – (7,9/10) – The DVD-only episode finally got released. Like expected, it did nothing to wrap up any of the plot-holes it left behind, but at least it was funny. I laughed quite a bit at the silliness.
#22 (36) – Hellsing OVA – (7,9/10) – Well, at least it was a bit better than the previous episode, but am I the only one who considers the TV-series to be better than the OVA?
#21 (18) – Gintama – (8,1/10) – Another standard month for Gintama. I laughed, but there were other comedies that were better.
#20 (13) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (8,2/10) – The school festival was nice and all, but I don’t feel that his month has been the best month for Kimikiss. It was just a bit of delaying the inevitable, and nothing that we didn’t knew already appeared.
#19 (17) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,3/10) – Episode 21 and 22 were incredibly intense, while 23 and 24 were nothing but building up. I really want to praise this series, but if so little happens during one episode, it’s getting really hard!
#18 (14) – Ahiru no Quack – (8,4/10) – The quality of the soundtrack still surprises me. Herman van Veen is one of the very few Dutch singers who can get away with it. Seriously, if you thought that some of the J-Pop was crap, just wait till you hear some of the artists we have. -_-
#17 (23) – Persona – Trinity Soul – (8,4/10) – Whoa, I never expected this series to be so focused at mystery. I like it, though the creators do need to think about their continuity. More than once, I found myself thinking “where the heck did that come from”?
#16 (7) – Wellber no Monogatari ~ Sisters of Wellber – (8,5/10) – Ugh, I’m not happy. This is why a satisfying ending is so important for a series, because that’ll be one of the major things you’ll remember when thinking back. Wellber no Monogatari may have had an amazing finale, but the aftermath was just one bad idea after the other.
#15 (12) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (8,5/10) – If only for the epic revelation of episode 22, this series deserves points. Sure, it’s for the wrong reasons, but you can’t deny that the cheesiness hasn’t been entertaining.
#14 (10) – Shigofumi – (8,6/10) – Fumika’s story came together quite nicely. I can’t say for sure that this has been the best of Shigofumi, but this remains a great series nonetheless.
#13 (11) – True Tears – (8,7/10) – The final month wasn’t necessarily the best of this series, but nevertheless it closed off this anime pretty nicely.
#12 (20) – Saiunkoku Monogatari – (8,7/10) – And it’s finally over. Thankfully, the final episode left the series on a good note, though god knows when the third season will finally be animated.
#11 (15) – Clannad – (8,7/10) – That final episode turned out better than I could have imagined. Heck, I actually cried for Nagisa.

#10 (8) – Hakaba Kitarou – (8,7/10)

What I liked about this month is the consistency. This series has been consistently entertaining. I think that the scriptwriters are to thank for that. They really knew how to keep this series interesting.

#9 (14) – Gundam 00 – (8,7/10)

That final battle featured some really interesting twists for the second season to work with. I especially liked that final episode.

#8 (16) – Spice and Wolf – (8,8/10)

Boy, those final three episodes rocked! It’s great to see that this series has come together.

#7 (19) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (9/10)

The big flaw of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei is that it refuses to develop its characters. Sure, the show develops, but the characters never change. Thankfully, the rest of the series more than makes up for this flaw, and especially episode 7 was wonderful.

#6 (2) – Ghost Hound – (9/10)

The highlight of this month was of course Makoto’s story coming together. This series has been as solid as ever.

#5 (16) – Power Puff Girls Z – (9,1/10)

Episode 51 was sensational! It really deserves to be up there along with the manga-artist as the best episode of this series. This month has been an awesome month for this series.

#4 (5) – Mokke – (9,1/10)

The final episodes rocked! Especially episode 24 was without a doubt the best of the entire series, and it was a real tear-jerker. Mokke, you’ve been one of my top picks for the Autumn-season for a good reason.

#3 (4) – Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino – (9,1/10)

Another very consistent series. Every episode delivers, and is really well written. Please someone announce the third season!

#2 (3) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (9,3/10)

Well, I think episode 13 says it all. Everything that this series has built up for has come together. It’s so heart-wrenchingly sad, though Porfy is without a doubt the best series of the winter-season, and I say that considering the amazing line-up of some of the other series that aired.

#1 (1) – Shion no Ou – (9,5/10)

Talk about a sensational month for Shion no Ou! The final four episodes closed off the series perfectly, and the animation-department was on fire as well. It’s so sad to see this brilliant series gone now.

Posted on 30 March 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi

Oh my god. I knew what was going to happen! I freaking knew that Christopher and Aneke were about to die! And yet this episode was so gut-wrenchingly sad. Seriously, this episode was absolutely incredible, and Porfy no Nagai Tabi has without a doubt become the best series of the season, even though we’ve only finished the first quarter of this anime.

Anyway, onto the summary. The earthquake happens really quickly, and it’s over after just thirty seconds. Porfy was standing right next to the church when it happened, but thankfully it had been built well and didn’t collapse. The same can’t be said about the rest of the village, though. Porfy rushes to the village, while passing Corrina’s house, which has been completely destroyed. Any sign of life is Corrina’s doll.

Porfy then reaches the local inn, where the three guys that he saw in the last episode hae survived the ordeal, due to the fact that they were sitting outside, so they weren’t below an entire house that fell down. One of them says that it’s the first time since he witnessed an earthquake this big. Porfy says that when he was at the church, he could see smoke coming from the village, after which the three guys get even more worried about the possibility that fires occurred. The three say that they must hurry as fast as possible, and one of them tells Porfy that he’s better get to his own house as fast as possible.

Porfy runs away, and as he passes Zaimis’s house, he sees that that one too has been completely demolished. He then runs into one of the goats, and it seems to be doing fine. As he arrives at Patagos Grand Station, it’s been turned into a wreck, and even the gas pump is destroyed. One of the other goats was also unfortunate enough to be caught under the rubble, and perished.

The real tragedy, however, begins when Porfy arrives at his own house, as there’s nothing left standing. His wooden carved angel somehow made it outside, but there’s no sign of Christopher, Aneke or Mina. He tries his best to remove the rubble, and he does find Aneke’s scarf, though he remains a young boy. His energy soon disappears and he passes out. We just see Barnes arrive at the scene. The Americans have felt the earthquake as well, and he probably rushed over to Porfy’s as quickly as he could.

We then switch to a small camp that has been set up because of the earthquake, where the survivors and victims have been brought to. Porfy wakes up, and tries to think of what happened, and where he is, as he sees the people around him, all hurt in some way. Medics are carrying someone around who looks like Christopher, though it turns out to be somebody else. Porfy runs around a bit, trying to find someone among the bodies who he knows, as a nearby nun notices him.

She tries to comfort him, and asks whether he’s hurt or not. Porfy says that he isn’t hurt, and asks where they are. The nun answers that they’re at a wrecked church (probably a different one than before), where the wounded have been brought. The nun asks for Porfy’s name, and he answers how he’s Porfy, and how his father runs a car repair station in Simitra. He asks where his parents and Mina are, though the nun doesn’t know. She says that she will look into it for him.

The nun then gets called for something else, and then finally someone recognizes him. It’s one of the women from the village: Louisa. Porfy asks her what happened in the village, and she says that there’s been an earthquake, and lots of people died. Louise’s mother was one of the people who died, and she’s now all alone left with her son. She then brings the news that the village chief’s family has died as well, INCLUDING Corrina! Louisa asks whether Porfy has heard anything of his own family, though there’s still no news, and she hopes that they’re all safe. Her son then says how he’s hungry, so she leaves.

The nun then arrives, looking in a hurry. She then takes Porfy to another tent with injured, and there Mina lies. She’s been beaten up, her forehead is wrapped in bandages, though she’s fine. Porfy freaks out by the fact that she’s asleep, though the nun says that she’ll be fine. He then asks where his mother and father are, but before the nun can answer, Barnes appears. Porfy runs to him. Barnes asks whether Porfy and Mina are fine, and Porfy answers that both of them will be all right. Mina just needs to wake up. Though he still hasn’t heard anything about his parents.

Barnes then takes Porfy outside, where the dead bodies have been placed. He then asks him to come to the sea. Barnes says that even though all the terrible things have happened here, the ocean still remains the same. Porfy then says he’d rather return and stay by Mina’s side, and search for his parents. Barnes tells him to wait, and that he was the one who brought Christopher and Aneke to the camp. He tells Porfy to listen carefully: Christopher and Aneke couldn’t be saved. Porfy first can’t believe it. Barnes says that it’s tough, but the truth. When he arrived in Simitra, he rushed over to Porfy’s house, and found him unconscious. Mina was also found quite quickly, though the same can’t be said for Chirstopher and Aneke.

Porfy still has trouble to believe it, and says how Christopher said that he’d protect his family, and he’s probably still searching for him. Barnes, however, says that it’s true, even though it’s painful. He then hands Porfy Aneke’s watch, and says it’s okay to cry. From now on, Porfy and Mina are going to have to live together, and Porfy will be the only one who can protect Mina, that’s why it’s okay to cry now. Instead, Porfy goes back to Mina, in case she wakes up when he’s gone.

When Porfy gets back to Mina, the nun is also with her. She then wakes up, and asks what happened, and where she is. Porfy immediately embraces her, thankful that at least she’s alright. Mina still hurts, though, so he quickly lets go. The nun introduces herself as Helena, and she and Porfy explain where she is. Mina then remembers the earthquake that happened, and how the house was collapsing. Christopher said to run, though Mina couldn’t move her legs. She then asks where Christopher and Aneke are, so Porfy quickly changes the subject by asking whether she’s hungry. She isn’t, she just wants to see her father and mother again.

Porfy, however, is just too scared to bring her the bad news, so Mina goes out to search on her own. Helena tries to stop her and tells her to rest, though Mina says she’s fine. As she tries to look around the bondaged people that are sleeping, calling out for her parents, Porfy stops her, saying how she shouldn’t wake up everyone. She then retorts that she’s doing this because Porfy doesn’t want to say anything. Porfy then finally says that Aneke and Chistopher aren’t there, so Mina asks where they went. Porfy then shows her Aneke’s broken watch, and tells her to hold onto it. Mina then gets even more upset, saying that it’s a precious possession of her mother. It’s too early for her to get it. Porfy can’t think of a good excuse, so he just tells her to hold on to it.

Mina then gets scared of her brother’s strange behaviour, and calls out to her mother again. Porfy then finally yells that their father and mother have died. Helena then comes between them, and brings Mina back to her bed, after which she falls asleep. A bit later, Helena tells him that the dinner has been prepared, though Porfy doesn’t want any. She then asks whether he has any relatives, though Porfy hasn’t. His family just consisted out of his parents and Mina. Helena then says that God will protect him, which may not have been the right word to say to him at that moment, since that “God” just killed off his parents.

That evening, Porfy still can’t sleep, so he heads outside. He then sees Damon again, who only seems to have hurt his hand. Damon is also glad that Porfy is okay, and says that God must have been watching over him. Pofty yells that he doesn’t need God. If there was a god, then why did Christopher and Aneke have to die? They didn’t do anything wrong. He then returns the picture of christ, saying he doesn’t need it anymore.

Porfy and Damon then say a few things I couldn’t understand, though Damon closes with the message that as long as he remains alive, something good will happen to Porfy, and he hands back the picture of Christ. We then switch to the next day, when Porfy wakes up, to find Mina gone. She’s outside, looking at Zaimis. His mother isn’t doing well, though because of different reasons than the earthquake: she’s about to give birth to her baby! Helena tells Porfy not to worry.

However, Zaimis did lose his father. He’s also grieved to hear that Christopher and Aneke are gone too, and prays to god for his mother and her baby, which really make Porfy think about the things he said that evening. A while later, Zaimis is all worried, though then the cries of a baby appear. Helena then arrives, with the message that the girl is healthy. And so the episode ends with at least one joyful moment after the tragedy.

On a side-note: from now on, I’m going to shorten my summaries. They’ll still be detailed, but I feel that I won’t be able to keep up with such an extensive one as I’m doing right now. There was another time where I also wrote very detailed summaries for the shows I watched (just check back on some of the older Higurashi, Simoun or Ergo Proxy-entries), but I just couldn’t keep it up to write so much.

But really, this episode was awesome, and the exact reason why I’ve come to love the World Masterpiece Theatre. They may be slow at times, but they never waste their slow moments, and use them to flesh out their characters. Because of this, when the drama appears, you can be sure that the characters are all dynamic.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Gundam 00 has been one of the most ambitious series of the past Autumn-season. It basically tried to show us a view on the world politics 400 years from now, combined with Gundam’s trademark mecha-action. Usually, this comes along with a great risk of screwing up and delving into an emo-fest, though fortunately the director of Ooedo Rocket and Full Metal Alchemist managed to avoid this pitfall, and delivered quite an interesting series. It may be rather rough around the edges, but there’s a lot to like about this series.

A group of four guys with ultra powerful mecha who use them to solve all armed conflicts in the world. This obviously sounds like an incredibly gullible idea to achieve world peace, but the thing is that the characters are well aware that the thing they’re doing is naive. This series never claims one side to be morally right or wrong. It just presents us several different views on the world.

The strength of this series is that it knows how to carefully build up. It’s got a huge plot and a huge setting that it needs to work with, and even though there are a few errors here and there, you can see that the creators have tried to explain as much as possible. The thing is also that the cast starts out as incredibly unlikable, and yet every single character develops, and at the end of the series has turned into something better and enjoyable. With a cast so large and diverse, you’re bound to have a few favourites.

The part in which Gundam 00 screws up the most is the dialogue, though. You can see that it’s one of the few parts that didn’t receive careful attention, and it just serves to develop the characters and the plot, though it does feel rather forced at times.

Gundam 00 is a series that continuously develops both its plot and characters, and things do come together in the end quite good. I won’t to spoil anything, but let me just say that the second season will be completely different from the first. It’s not the best series, but it turned out better than expected.

Posted on with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00

What the? Did these people hear my prayers or what?? Major spoilers coming up in the next paragraph, and I really mean MAJOR spoilers. This is really an episode where Gundam has really set itself apart from the major other Mecha-epics. This line is here to prevent spoilers to appear on the blog-aggregators like animeblogger antenna.

Great god! I remember making a number of predictions about how this episode would turn out, and none of them came true. Has there really been another series that had the guts to kill off its main cast halfway through? I don’t remember any. And that’s the great thing about this episode, because there were a lot of great characters who remained alive. The technician and Sumeragi are fine and will play a major role in the second season as well, Soma Pieres and Papa Bear also have survived against all odds. Allelujah may be dead, but Hallelujah still shows signs of surviving.

One big surprise was also Graham Acre dying and then getting revived again four years later, bearing the mask that seems to be some kind of trademark for Gundam-series, and the annoying Alehandro Corner kicked the bucket as well. While there was a lack of politics, this remains without a doubt my favourite episode of this series, simply because it shattered so many stereotypes I had about this series. And not to mention, the fights were actually really well done. In the end, it indeed turns out that Livonze will be the major bad guy for the second season.

And then there was the aftermath, and the introduction to the second season. At the moment, I really have no idea what direction it’ll go. The earth is united, there’s no need left for the Gundams, and yet new models have been constructed, along with the help of Nena, the only surviving throne. I remember that the professor once noted that the unison of the world wasn’t Aeolia Schenberg’s original goal, so what would it have been? It looks like Nena will play a whole different role in the second season than I could have imagined.

Saji has also started working on the solar generator, though thankfully four years have passed now, so he isn’t an angsty teenager anymore. Thank god for that. I also loved how Setsuna sent his final messages not to his comrades, but to Marina Ismael. The impact she had on him turned out to be much larger than I expected. I do wonder whether she managed to solve all the problems in her home-country, though.

Some small things: I was surprised to see that Patrick’s still alive. We only see a glimpse of him, but it really looked like Tieria killed him back then. Also note how we never get to see Ali al Sarshes’ eyes. Did something happen to them? And who was this Tieria-lookalike near Louise, and what was Louise doing with him in the first place? The second season will probably shed light into who Nena, Tieria and Livonze are. Livonze also turned out to have some clones with him, so why wouldn’t this be the case for Tieria as well? Although I’d shiver at the thought of an army of Nena’s.

To finish this entry, I just can’t resist another Code Geass reference. It’s just such a good series to show how things should not be done. And the thing I’m talking about here is the cliff-hanger of the first season. I mean, it’s just too predictable: you just know that both Lelouch and Suzaku will both magically survive, and it’s not a god thing to have to wait nine months to confirm that this indeed is the case. Thankfully, in the meantime Dragonaut has showed up and brought us an even cheesier rivalry between childhood friends, and it looks like even Code Geass will be better than that one. I think that the thing that Code Geass needs to do for its second season is to stop putting so much attention to Lelouch, and instead focus more on the side-characters.

Posted on 29 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, True Tears

Love triangles and myself don’t have the best relationship. They’re often predictable, usually get nowhere and really like to distract from the main point of a series. True Tears shows that things can be done differently, though. This series has really been built around a love-triangle, and somehow, it’s managed to avoid the pitfalls that has caused the demise of so many series.

The key is good scriptwriting. The series is originally based upon a visual novel, though the creators made the smart decision to just ignore the storyline and come up with their own. True Tears is a slow series, but because it’s slow, it’s able to really dive into the minds of its characters. The result delivers, because the characters in this series are deep.

This is one of these series where the characters and their intentions can’t be easily described in one sentence. A major theme of this series is sorting out your own feelings, and feelings like that aren’t that simple to describe. Shinichiro, our main male lead also keeps hopping from one girl to the other, making the viewer wonder about who he’ll end up choosing until the final episode. The side-characters also for once aren’t stereotypes. The best friend has an actual personality and his own problems, the main character’s father and mother play a big role in the series as well. There’s just one character whose role remains ambiguous throughout the series: Aiko. I’m still not sure what her purpose actually was.

The visuals are another reason to check out this series, because they look absolutely gorgeous. A lot of attention has been put in the animation, and you can see that this series has received a big budget to work with. Even though there are definitely better series, True Tears remains a worthy series of your time.

Posted on with categories: True Tears

And so it has ended. We finally know who Shinichiro ends up with, though I’ll refrain from mentioning her in the first paragraph in order to avoid spoilers showing up in the blog-aggregators. I can’t say that this was the best episode of the series, but that’s only natural. In the end, this series’ best moments were in the middle, while the final episodes were more like one huge aftermath, and much less tense.

So in the end, Hiromi has won. To be honest, I only saw it coming when Shinichiro openly said to Noe that he loved Hiromi. In the end, Noe helped him to take off, and he’s very grateful to her for that, though it’s someone else he loves. A hit on the head was also exactly what Noe needed, and it made her reflect the stupid things she did. It might have hurt a bit, but she’s now managed to put herself over Shinichiro. In the aftermath, we also see that she’s finally found herself a couple of good friends.

I must say that it’s definitely been an interesting experience, to blog a show I usually wouldn’t blog. In the end, the biggest reason for me to do it was that it was directed by the director of Simoun, and he’s really proven himself again with this series. Instead of mind-blowing, True Tears is subtle, and shines through its deep characters. It by no means has the right to call itself equal to Simoun, but nonetheless it does remain one of the best love-triangles I’ve seen. His next works will strangely enough be directing the third season of Kyo Kara Maoh, which gives me a strange sort of curiosity toward that series, but I guess that I’ll just wait till the second season of Code-E to see the guy’s work again. (really, something’s telling me that the upcoming summer-season will be awesome).

Posted on with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai

Ah, finally I had the chance to watch another episode. This episode can basically be called “Eva the Adventure”, as Alice basically didn’t make any appearance in it at all. Instead, it tells about the origin of the dragon-house, and why Sheila started living with Eva in the first place.

It was quite a surprise to find out that the dragon house originally belonged to Eva, and not Sheila. It started as a pet dragon she took care off, and during one incident it got hit by some kind of laser-beam and grew many times its size. Like the other episodes of this OVA, it was a bit rough around the edges, but I’ve long since understood that for Arusu the Adventure, it’s the big picture that matters, and not the small one, because this episode does give quite some interesting background to Eva.

And as it turns out, Sheila actually started living with Sheila for not that deep of a reason. She just wanted to be near Eva due to the fact that she got a flying dragon house from out of nowhere, and she saw the potential in Eva to grow. That also explains why she was so cold to Eva, even though they lived together. They weren’t good friends at all, and I can understand how Eva would grow on Sheila’s nerves because of her uncertainty.

Studio 4C seriously needs to start working on another tv-series. These guys are really talented at storytelling, though they spend most of their times on just short stories and movies. Mahou Shoujotai showed that they are very well able to deliver a full-length anime. Now that they’ve finished working on Tekkon Kinkreet, Arusu the Adventure and Genius Party, they should be already working on their next unannounced projects. Please let it be a tv-series!

@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.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose I'm slightly envious of professional critics somewhat.
Sometimes you're just meant to experience the ride you know. I don't watch those explained video anymore because after all it's just one guy's opinions.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
And I mean people who art professionals or students.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I'm just unsure of something, how many people watching "arty" stuff are able to pick it up on their own. By looking up an "explained video" or "explained essay" to get it, am I copping out?
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The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]


Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]