Posted on 30 June 2008 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Well, the end of the month couldn’t have come at a better time, because it offered me a good opportunity to experiment a bit with my new rating system. What caught my attention is that the average score seems to be lower than usual, but that can also be because this spring-season overall has turned out to be slightly disappointing, compared to other spring-seasons.

#26 (new) – Ikkitousen Great Guardians – (5,5/10) – If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to punch any of the Ikkitousen-characters in the face for being so annoying, then I’d be a rich man.
#25 (23) – Allison to Lillia – (6,75/10) – Admittedly, the train arc is better than the Fiona-arc. But it still baffles me that Allison and Will just went along with the Major and shot a seemingly friendly craft without knowing what was going on.
#24 (16) – Vampire Knight – (7/10) – Well, my interest in Vampire Knight is dying more and more now that it’s decided to deal out cheesy plot twists as twins who are out to kill each other. I’ve got more problems with this series, but I need a full review in order to be able to list them all.
#23 (18) – Toshokan Sensou – (7,25/10) – Toshokan Sensou took a nosedive in its final episodes. The climax didn’t work for me at all, the angst was too forced, and the end result was half-baked.
#22 (new) – Chocolate Underground – (7,5/10) – This series is strange, but interestingly enough it’s not yet a total trainwreck. I’m really curious to see what this series can get out of only five-minute episodes.
#21 (21) – Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion – (7,5/10) – Aaaaaand the trainwreck has begun. It seems to have started rather early this season: R2 up till now wasn’t anything special, but at least it was solid enough. That all ended with the utter cheese that was episode 11 and 12.
#20 (10) – Itazura na Kiss – (7,75/10) – Itazura na Kiss has reached the point where the humour starts getting dull and the characters need to develop in order to make this series interesting again. Let’s hope that the creators can pull it off.
#19 (14) – Soul Eater – (8/10) – My biggest problem with Soul Eater is that I’m finding it incredibly hard to find something to recommend it for. Nothing really stands out: the fight scenes are okay, the characters also do their job, the story has potential, but it’s been twelve episodes and I still haven’t been impressed, other than by this series’ style.
#18 (9) – Kurenai – (8/10) – The ending was solid, but there was a surprising amount of writing errors, turning this into the least enjoyable month for Kurenai for me.
#17 (new) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,25/10) – There’s too much angst, but apart from that there’s a lot to like in this series: great music, nice slice-of-life, charming characters. Good stuff.
#16 (17) – Macross Frontier – (8,25/10) – Okay, so as it turns out, you do need to have watched the original Macross in order to understand this series, because otherwise some of the plot twists won’t make any sense at all. In any case, this series is showing some good signs in the direction of character development.
#15 (6) – Gintama – (8,25/10) – Gintama’s back to comedy again. Especially episode 62 was hilarious, and it’s pretty amazing that this series has managed to stay funny for 62 episodes.
#14 (19) – Wagaya no Oinarisama – (8,25/10) – It’s nothing special, but this series continues to surprise me when it turns much more enjoyable than I would have imagined.
#13 (13) – Junjo Romantica – (8,25/10) – The characters are way too quick to jump into bed with each other, but apart from that, this series delivers, whether it wants to be funny or serious.
#12 (20) – Blassreiter – (8,25/10) – Well, now that thingy and whatsit are dead, this series seems to go back on track, especially episode 12 was surprisingly good compared to the emo-fest of the earlier episodes, but I first want to know what the creators have been planning for the second season before getting excited about this series.
#11 (15) – Chi’s Sweet Home – (8,25/10) – This series was about to get dull, and then it came with the beyond awesome episode 41, which entirely changed my opinion of this series. I now understand Karura‘s fascination with large cats.

#10 (11) – Nijuu Mensou no Musume – (8,25/10)

Okay, so this was clearly a month of building up for Nijuu Mensou no Musume. Ken’s changes are rather questionable, but I’m really curious to see where this series is going to evolve to.

#9 (12) – Druaga no Tou – (8,5/10)

This month, Druaga showed its serious colours, and it worked. I didn’t expect this series to pull off a successful climax. Well, halfway-climax. Looking forward to the second season.

#8 (8) – RD Sennou Chousashitsu – (8,75/10)

RD continues to be as charming as it’s ever been. On top of that, this month has also started to give the major characters some more background

#7 (22) – Persona – Trinity Soul – (8,75/10)

Whoa?! How did this one suddenly turn good? I remember noting that this series wouldn’t be able to pull off a good climax… And as it turns out I was wrong.

#6 (2) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,75/10)

In June, Porfy stopped travelling for a little while in order to stay at Maximilian and his family. This resulted in the quietest month of Porfy ever since the earthquake. It was nice to watch, but nowhere near the highlights of this series.

#5 (7) – Crystal Blaze – (8,75/10)

That was a really strong and solid finish! Crystal Blaze has been wonderfully told from start to finish, without any signs of weakness. Okay, perhaps there’s Manami.

#4 (5) – xxxHolic – (9/10)

xxxHolic hit its all-time height and all-time low in the same month, interestingly enough. Kohane’s arc was dull, but Himawari’s arc was goooooood.

#3 (4) – Amatsuki – (9/10)

Amatsuki came together in a very strong finale. Now where’s that second season?

#2 (3) – Himitsu ~The Revelation~ – (9,25/10)

I love how Himitsu is playing around with its mysteries and morality. I’m really curious as to what this series has in store for its second half.

#1 (1) – Kaiba – (9,25/10)

Urgh… The only bad thing about Kaiba is the fact that it keeps taking these bloody hiatuses. This is no way to treat the best series of the spring season.

Posted on with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume


To hijack this post for a bit, after a few days of using my new star-rating system, and quite a few problems have arisen (with many thanks to the commenters left their opinions):
– It’s too fuzzy
– It’s hard to relate the meaning of the scores, it’s unclear what the maximum number of stars is
– Some PCs can’t support unicode and instead only see a bunch of question-marks.

To conclude, it was a nice experiment, but the star-system sucks, and I’m going back to numbers out of 100 again. I’m going to keep rating, based on Storytelling, Characters, Production-Values and Setting. My biggest beef with my original rating system was indeed how it was inaccurate as hell. In the original system, I had basically ten categories for which I’d give out a rating, where the eventual rating would be their average. These categories always ended up overlapping each other.

With only four categories, this’ll mean that not every number will be utilized (the ratings will quite probably be 8o, 82,5, 85, 87,5, 90, etc. out of 100) but I hope it will make my reviews a bit clearer.

To continue hijacking this post, another thing that caught my attention about the reader survey was the relatively large amount of people who’d like to see the little summaries that I had a year ago back. Are there more who’re interested to see this return? Like, for example:

Short Synopsis: We learn a bit more about Haruka, and last week’s enemy continues to target Chiko
Good: Excellent change from light-hearted to dark throughout the episode
Bad: I’ve never been that big of a fan of brainwashing, and this is no exception. Auntie’s murder attempts keep getting more ridiculous.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

Very interesting, the way this episode started promised to be a strange beach-episode, but this series managed to add so much more that I’m surprised that it all fit into just 20 minutes. First of all, it is revealed that Haruka had a twin sister. She reveals this as her dead image keeps haunting her since the beach in this episode is the place where she died, and apparently Haruka blames herself for her death.

In the second half of the episode, our long-haired enemy returns again, and his/her weapon this time is brainwashing all those important to Chiko. Like mentioned above: I’m not too big of a fan of brainwashing, mostly those kinds that can be resisted easily. I mean, if you were a villain, using this technique, wouldn’t you make sure that the people you brainwash never get near the conditions to break out of this mind control? Here too: I’m still not sure why exactly Tome was the only one who broke free…

Still, apart from that, I was surprised at the sudden dark tone. When it wants to, this series takes no prisoners, and it immediately throws every one of Chiko’s friends against her. What were those pills supposed to do? I failed to pick that up. Were they just poison, or did they have another effect? Speaking of poison, I’m really not sure what Chiko’s aunt is thinking… before, she came with intricate plans to kill Chiko through poison, and now she has turned to throwing flower-pots at her head. Can’t she just hire a professional killer or something?

Posted on 28 June 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


It’s strange… the more I experiment with my new series rating-system, the more annoying the old system becomes…so that’s why I’ve decided to stop using this old system. In any case, the reason why the next old anime-review this time is partly because I had other things to do, and also because Hunter x Hunter has 62 episodes. And to think that after the series, I still need to watch three OVAs that came out after it, but those are for another time.

Hunter x Hunter starts out as a classic shounen-series. It takes a group of people with special powers (Bleach has shinigamis, Naruto has ninjas, Hunter x Hunter has… hunters), gives them a number of different powers and specializations, creates a number of large organizations and picks a generic young male to be the main character. Of course, with such a huge amount of episodes, I was redundant to check out this series, but ten episodes in, and I was hooked. This is everything a shounen-series should be.

Hunter x Hunter is basically divided into two halves, with an incredible difference between them. The first half feels like a huge game, where Gon (the main character) and his friends need to overcome a number of challenges in order to become hunters. It’s a standard shounen-plot, but its charms come from the cast of characters. It’s so much fun to watch not only the main characters, but also the side-ones as they try to become one of the hunters, and on top of that, the main villain stands miles above his counterparts in series as Naruto, Dragonball Z and Bleach.

This series only really sets itself apart from the rest of the genre with its second half, though. It starts out pretty bad, admittedly. The Zoaldyeck-arc is pretty much the worst arc of the entire series, only to be followed by yet another dull training-arc, but afterwards the series slowly unfolds into a story about the mafia, that for once isn’t about destroying/ruling the world. It’s here were Hunter x Hunter introduces real jobs, such as being a body-guard, and interesting ways for hunters to make money.

The problem with lengthy shounen (at least the ones I’ve seen), is that they get duller and duller as they go on, usually thanks to some kind of training-arc where the creators abuse their powers a bit too much in order to god-mode their main character beyond the point of believability. Gon indeed gets powered up a bit too much, but what I like about this series is that he still is nowhere near the power of the strong guys. Heck, even the main villains aren’t the strongest characters in this series. The creators also make use of the fact that Gon is just a child: it unconsciously lets his enemies spare his life, instead of killing him.

One major annoyance with this series (apart from the training arcs, that is), is that during the times of building-up, it’s got the “everyone who isn’t strong is an idiot”-mentality. Whenever Gon is facing weaker enemies than himself, they’re always portrayed as cocky idiots without any brains or tactical knowledge, and things like a one-in-ten-million talent are pulled out of the creators’ sleeve in an attempt to explain his superiority. Thankfully, there are enough characters with depth to them. Especially Kurapica is someone to watch out for, because the character-development he goes through is truly memorable.

Also, this series has avoided one more subtle pitfall of shounen-series: wounded characters remain hurt, and don’t get magically healed in the next episode. When characters get punched in the face, it remains swollen until it gets a logical reason to heal. The overall animation isn’t anything special, but I really appreciate details like that one. The soundtrack is also really effective for a shounen-series.

Overall, in terms of seriousness, Hunter x Hunter is definitely my favourite shounen-fighting-series. Overall, it still doesn’t match up to the humour and fights of the Law of Ueki, but it easily takes second place. The thing that worked against it the most was its main character: Gon. He does have a number of really memorable moments, but the creators waste way too much time in trying to make his power catch up to the strong people, and he often takes away the screen-time of the much more interesting characters. It’s a thing that unfortunately every series of its kind has. The rest of the cast is rock-solid, though, and especially the second and final quarter of the series deliver. I’m curious whether the three OVAs that came out afterwards will keep this same quality, or fall horribly like nearly every other show of its kind.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Telepathy Shoujo Ran


Ah, it’s good to see another good series about middle-schoolers. I’m not sure why, but in average, I tend to like these series much more than the series that focus on high-schools. Perhaps it’s the impulsive way that they try to solve their conflicts, or their innocence. Or how your average middle-schooler is much less annoying than your average high-schooler. In any case, this is going to be the first show I’ll be blogging this season.

Overall, Telepathy Shoujo ran is a great way to start the season, though it’s not perfect yet. It’s a tad heavy on the angst already, and it’s a shame that that masked guy didn’t reveal himself nor his intentions at the end of the episode, because now I have no way of knowing whether its mysteries will be stupid or not. At the moment, there still is a chance of this series ending up in the pits of cheese like Suteki Tantei Labyrinth or with a stupid plot like Allison and Lillia. One series with a dead body spiked on top of a radio-tower is enough.

Still, the potential’s there: the slice-of-life moments are nicely done and detailed enough to keep my interest. Ran also started out like an interesting main character, and even the romance is pretty cute. It’s talked about death already, so it’s not afraid to be a bit dark, despite the young age of its characters, which is a plus as well. After rewatching, I also realized that it’s also using a lot of foreshadowing. Always good for building up.

Another annoying thing is the overuse of CG for the psychic scenes. I liked the method Night Head Genesis used much better, but I guess that it does the job, and it’ll be easy to get used to. It’s in any case a huge contrast between the normal world and characters, which I think is what the creators had in mind with it.

Apart from that, the art looks excellent, despite its simplicity. Yoshihiro Ike also managed to deliver a great soundtrack and the OP and ED are both really good as well, so this series is solid on the production-values as well.

Posted on with categories: Amatsuki, Anime Reviews


I really like Studio Deen. Sure, they may screw up their series very often, but when they hit a classic, they really deliver an amazing series. Their newest series to add to that list is Amatsuki, with the interesting thing being that even after watching it I’m still not 100% sure why I liked it so much.

For starters, Amatsuki combines history, science fiction and fantasy with each other when the main character (Tokidoki) gets sucked into a virtual world, which ends up being the ayakashi-infested feudal Japan. At first sight, it’s not the most original premise, but it’s the execution that makes this series unique.

The dialogue in this anime is absolutely amazing. They’re really deep and detailed, and you can see that a lot of time has been put into them. It’s no wonder that this series shares a director with Le Chevalier d’Eon. These characters could start talking about watching paint dry and still make it come across as interesting.

On top of that, this series also has an excellent sense of storytelling. It carefully builds up everything that you need to know for this series (again with that excellent dialogue), and there have been so many subtle details added that makes this series come alive.

Then there’s also a very complex storyline. This series really likes to make the boundaries between good and evil as fuzzy and complex as possible: every character has some kind of secret agenda or own goal. Today’s friend may be tomorrow’s enemy, and vice versa. Because of this, this series is especially in its element when many characters are together at the sane place: there’s so much going on at the same time.

Obviously, this series’ main selling point is talking, so don’t even dare to come near this series if you’re expecting Naruto and Bleach-esque fights. Sure, there is some action in this series, but it often gets overshadowed by said dialogue. That’s not to say that the fights are bad, though. It’s quite the contrary: fights are brutal, they come out of nowhere in a light-hearted mood and progress to mercilessly beat down the characters, with large amount of blood.

This also isn’t a series that you can watch to relax. You need to constantly pay attention in order to catch all the subtle details and nuances to get the most out of this series, even though the overall pacing in this series is similar to that of .Hack//Sign (in other words: sloooow).

Whether or not you’ll like the graphics is a very personal thing. Studio Deen has always been a fan of brightly coloured and frilly character-designs. The same goes in Amatsuki: everything looks very stylish, but it’s just a matter of personal preferences. The soundtrack is an excellent one, though, although a few tracks may have been played a bit too much.

Overall, I recommend Amatsuki to those with patience. It’s a wonderfully written first half of a series that’ll be continued… some day. It’s very stylish, with a unique sense of storytelling and a complex storyline. Another outstanding series by Studio Deen.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Amatsuki


Haha! Now I know for sure that the second season is only a matter of time. There is NO way that the creators planned this to be the final episodes. There were TONS of hints for a continuation.

The fox-story could have just been resolved and everyone could have just happily returned home. Instead, the fox-thing was resolved within five minutes, and in the rest of the episode we saw Princess Summoning Teiten, challenging it and getting killed by it, causing Amatsuki to go haywire. The ending credits showed a bunch of characters who haven’t even been introduced yet. If I had to guess, then the second season will arrive around spring 2009, just like the continuation of Druaga no Tou, I suppose.

On top of that, this episode also was as good as ever: it was both hilarious at one time and tense at the next. It really seems like Bonten isn’t the main villain here, and I still like how, despite his tough-look, he was trying to get his subordinate back all this time. I love how he just laughed at Tsuyukusa’s actions as if they were some kind of usual antics of the guy. There were lots of different nuances in this episode that are hard to describe, but make this series stand above most other anime.

This episode also showed how easily enemies can turn into friends and especially the other way around: Tokidoki is still affiliated with the princess, and the princess has a lot of enemies, as shown in this episode. A lot of allies may have been formed when trying to stop the fox, but now that she’s gone, I really wonder what will happen?

In any case, I am really looking forward to that second season. Especially since Gon is going to play a bigger role again. He’s been awfully absent here, being unconscious for three entire episodes and all…

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews


Nearly all of the Noitamina-series have been either horror or post high-school slice-of-life dramas. So when I found out that the next instalment planned to focus on politics and action, I was thrilled to see how Production IG would tackle this series. Unfortunately, I got my hopes up too high and Toshokan Sensou ended up being my least favourite Noitamina-series since Jyu Oh Sei. Such a shame.

There was really some potential behind the concept: in the near future, books will become heavily censored by an evil organization, and this series follows a library corps who have been given the authority to use military actions in order to protect the books. It was an interesting opportunity to watch a war-series that was heavily bound by political rules for its battles. You don’t see that often in anime where most wars are just of the nature of “shoot the enemy before they shoot you”.

Unfortunately, the downfall of this series was its short length. In the end, this series feels just like a fired shotgun shell: this series wants to stuff way too much in just twelve episodes: there’s action, there’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s romance, there’s stealth, there’s a coming of age-theme, there are both large and small-scale politics, there is philosophy (the role of books in today’s society), there’s angst, there’s political intrigue, there’s sensation… there is no way to fit that in just one season.

As a result, everything ends up just half-baked, since this series tries to focus on every single one of these themes. Therefore, it has no chance to go in-depth into any of these things. The two elements that ended up best in the end were the action and the romance: whenever the focus is on one of these, this series delivers. However, when things turn to angst, sensation or politics, prepare to roll your eyes: they’re incomplete as hell, pointless and without them, this series would have been so much better.

Thankfully, this remains Production IG, so at least the production-values are pretty good. The art style is pretty interesting, where the line-art differs in thickness whenever a character is featured in a close-up. Everything is bright and colourful, and the soundtrack is pretty solid as well.

It seems that whenever I have major expectations from a Noitamina-series, it ends up disappointing somehow, so for the next instalment (Antique Bakery), I’m not going to expect anything, even though it’s going to be animated by the godly Nippon Animation. It’s going to be a dull yaoi-show aimed at fangirls, period. Toshokan Sensou would have been so much better if the plot actually went anywhere, but in the end it’s just a half-baked series. It’s without a doubt a varied series: if you’re bored during one episode, you don’t need to worry because the next episode will deal with something entirely different, but it never really tries to be anything of substance. This is one of the reasons why I usually prefer 24-episode series over 12-episode ones.

Storytelling: 6/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on 27 June 2008 with categories: Macross Frontier


Well… yeah… at least I never saw this coming… it’s not every day where you can see an idol who cancels her first concert, crosses a galaxy and tames hordes of huge bloodthirsty soldiers just by singing. The sudden serious nature of this episode really caught me by surprise, but the most baffling was of course the way that it went from seriousness to silliness when Ranka arrived.

I’m obviously not that big of a fan of those Zentradi who all forgot about fighting and dumped their weapons, just because Ranka showed up. In fact, I’m wondering how they’ve even heard of Ranka. I can understand how she’s known in the Frontier-fleet, but I think that the entire universe is a bit too early to think about when she hasn’t even done her first live concert. Either that, or I hardly know anything about the Japanese idol-scene. I suspect it’s the latter…

One interesting detail is that Sheryl finally seems to realize that she isn’t going to get Alto that easily. In the last episode, she knew the date of Ranka’s first live concert, and one of the reasons she invited him to come along was probably so that he would miss said concert. Now that that plan failed, she became sick and Ranka found a device that crosses time and space in an instant (that may have required a bit more build-up, but whatever), I can see some nice character-development coming for the second half of this series. :)

Also, here’s a question to those who saw the original Macross: the “Macross” that Alto and Ranka ran into at the end of the episode, is that some kind of mecha that appeared in an earlier series?

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, xxxHolic


xxxHolic Kei is the second season of the anime-adaptation of Clamp’s manga about modern Japanese folklore. In contrast to its predecessor, there are only 13 episodes, but to make up for it, the creators have put into these episodes the rumoured best chapters in the manga. The result is a second season that surpasses its first season in quite a few areas; not only in terms of manga, but also the anime staff learned some new tricks.

Without a doubt, the highlights of the second season are the first three and the final three episodes. Both contain rock-solid chapters, where the main characters Watanuki, Doumeki and Himawari (who have already been fleshed out really well by the first 24 episodes of the first season) really come together and get some major character development. The final episode is surprisingly light-hearted, but it does provide a perfect closure for the series.

The rest of the series is filled with stories, more reminiscent of the first season. They range from Yuuko, teasing Watanuki for the umpth time to some really effective standalone horror-stories. What’s interesting is how compared to the first season, the creators make use of much, much more foreshadowing. The stories in the first season always didn’t feel like a part of a whole, and this is fixed really nicely by the second season, which constantly drops hints and characters of stories that are still to come, which brings an interesting sort of unity to a series that consists out of random stories.

The animation has also improved a lot. You can see that the creators got a bigger budget for the second season, which makes especially Watanuki’s ramblings into some great visual comedy. Unfortunately, the animation dulls a bit in the less important episodes. The creators made good use of their CG to support the supernatural aspects of this series, and also the sound department is better than ever, although some tracks may have been played a few too many times.

Unfortunately, I can’t call the second season better than the first season. There’s something that holds it back from doing this, and it’s not just the length. In the second half of the series, there’s one particular multi-episode arc that breaks the flow of this series: the Kohane-arc. The only purpose of this arc is to show a mistreated little girl, and nothing else. Nothing really new gets introduced, and the way this girl gets abused despite her awesome powers have a good chance of breaking your suspense of disbelief. Especially for a 13 episode-series, if two episodes disappoint, it will be much more noticeable than if there were 24 episodes.

Still, xxxHolic Kei definitely carries the highlights of xxxHolic. It’s less consistent than the first season, due to the disappointing Kohane-arc, but to make up for that, it features the Spider Queen and Himawari-arc, along with a number of successful standalone episodes. The art has become better, and the characters also make use of the time that was spent on fleshing them out, so this series has been just as enjoyable as the first season for me.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: xxxHolic


Aww, such a sweet episode to close off this series. The decision to make the final parts of xxxHolic focus on the heart-warming, rather than the tension was a great one, as it’s provided a wonderful closure to the series. It’s clear that this is the end of the xxxHolic anime, and I’m glad to see that it left on such a positive note.

In this episode, it feels like every character who’s made an appearance in multiple stories returns, and along with that, we sometimes see characters from the stories in the first season return as random by-passers. On top of that, the animation was really good, and the best tracks of the soundtrack were played throughout the episode. Overall, the anime staff did an excellent job for the second season.

Overall, I must say that xxxHolic Kei has done a pretty good job in living up to my expectations. Obviously, my expectations for the second season have been a bit too high, which made the lesser points of this series stand out much more than usual. Despite this, though, the spider queen arc and Himawari-arc were especially worth it.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
That was an interesting comparison. Cool to see how far anime has come.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui tonight to answer those questions Kazier!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Someone has done a comparison video for Dororo for a scene in the new one, comparing it with the old one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j38anJY3BtA
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe some people found the flashback scenes too dramatic, but I didn't mind, they worked for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:One thing that has come to mind, how would it go if he encountered the coach again, but in the present?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:I also liked how the flashback was done in a grainy looking style.
If I found someone who was finding it hard to get into this show, I think that this episode would win them over and it’s the episode I found myself feeling the most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Episode 13 of Kaze ga tsuyoku is the fitting and perfect culmination of what has come before it and all is now essentially out on the table dramatically and all the better for it because of how well this series has built itself up.
Animosh
In essence it is still a battle shounen though: even if the fights always have narrative weight (it's not just fighting for the sake of fighting), the characters are to a significant extent developed through fights. So if that's not your thing it might be a hard sell even with its amazing animation and sympathetic cast.
Animosh
@Lenlo/Kaiser: the problem with Mob though is that its first two episodes are by far the worst of the series. So if you give it a try you should watch at least until the third episode, and possibly even episode 4/5 (since it's the first really good arc of the series imo).
Animosh
Yeah, it must be tough to blog three shows in the span of two days, especially with how long your posts tend to be. I find it hard enough already just to keep up with everything!
Lenlo
Ugh. Didnt get to Kaze Fui tonight. A shame. This whole Dororo/MobPsycho then Kaze Fui air schedule is gonna be a pain. You can expect Kaze Fui's maybe... Thurs? Not sure yet. Busy night
Kaiser-Eoghan
*newer not old
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some additional things I always notice in certain things, sometimes in these old medieval films or shows, in the American ones the characters occassionally don't look earthy enough.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koyomi from clannad i mean
Kaiser-Eoghan
Somewhere in my head Koyomi is this weird anime take on an autist.
Amagi
All she did what stupid, but everyone was saying that she was a genius that would probably soon develope the theory of eversthing so it must be real even if she's only ever smart when the plots needs her to do some sudden computer hack or something.
Amagi
Smart characters can only be written by smart writers. So sometimes writers just tell that the characters are smart but you don't actually witness it. It's either shown by using such wise one liners or just because someone else is telling the audience they're smart. Reminds me of that one Kyoani genius girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Can't do the walk, don't do the talk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can buy it more for a tough old dude.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On more thought, alot of it has to do with who is saying them. Men who look like children with no charisma.
Amagi
I absolutely hate these one liners too. Especially when you can already hear them in the trailer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate it when scripts coverup for awful characters by spamming quips at you.
Amagi
It's why I dislike so much stuff that gets released today. All these run-of-the-mills, copies, clones, alternative universes, sequels and so on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But, beyond cgi, its the modern take wise-ass stuff that drives me nuts.
Amagi
Even if you're just drawing a landscape you need creativity. Where are the shadows, the lighting, what atmosphere should it trigger and so on. Maybe even a hidden motif.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ANARCHY KINO-MACHE!
Amagi
Yeah creativity is, well, should be among the most important things out there. I mean movies, anime, etc are actual art, art is meaningless without creativity. At least the narrating type of art.
Amagi
Kinda miss these anime. They're rare to begin with but I can't imagine anyone creating such a thing nowadays. Like Blame/Ergo/Texhno, even Lain. They never sold though, so I can even kind of understand it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ergo worked for me up until the ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think clever is too often a miused word by people when they describe things. They reduce it to being "Just a smart storyline", when really it is more suited a word to something in tune with its creative side.
Amagi
Ergo Proxy even had a dense/heavy plot that was developing while you're busy figuring the setting out. And many things were shown indirectly. It was one of the rare anime I had to watch twice to get it. Texhnolyze is also such a thing but more bizarre in my opinion, less logical than Ergo, but still great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its really really nice knowing that I can talk to someone like you about this on my level .
Amagi
It's why I love series with strong settings so much. See Blame for example. Even Made in Abyss. You never know what kind of landscape you will see next and in Blame everything is fucked to behin with.
Amagi
Yeah. Well we do watch movies to feel excitement, and you can't really feel that if you can guess what happens next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now obviously these types of things can end up a coin toss of it either works or it doesn't, but I appreciate the risk taken.
Amagi
I tolerate it for games because whereas I still don't like it there, at least the game as an additional value which is the gameplay. So even with weak atmosphere I am still enjoying it for being a good game. But when I watch a movie I want get sucked in to some degree instead of being aware that I am just the audience (or the player).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like that feeling of I don't know whats going to happen next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like the idea of a madman getting to do a movie and running with his imagination.
Amagi
It's like dreaming and suddently hearing your real life cat meowing and realising that it's just a dream, you're in the bed and about to wake up. And yes this is exactly why I dislike CGI
Kaiser-Eoghan
But sometimes people cry pretentious wrongly, when there wasn't really any intended thing to get.
Amagi
It's why I am so easily angered over little errors or writing problems. Because they destroy the atmosphere more than anything else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I do like themes, characters etc, but my favourite experience is nightmare/dreamscapes.
Amagi
If the atmosphere is missing it doesn't matter what story you are telling, everything feels kinda hollow. Doesn't mean that show with weak atmo and great plot is bad, but it would be ten times better with the proper atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate this modern idea of "It HAS to be coherent or mean something or follow some kind of linear or logical thing or some kind of rules"
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah it's why I often say that atmosphere is the most important part of a story, actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With cgi I am constantly reminded I am watching a film.
Amagi
Don't know all of the titles you mentioned, will probably look into a few of those I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What I love about these old slavic art films, is no longer being aware of the world around me when I watch them. They use actual crafted cinematography so they can still feel like you're living it, despite being so unreal.
Amagi
Technobabylon and Gemini Rue are my favorites. These games capture this fucked up feeling of noir-punk and dark cyberpunk perfectly and have a bunch of great twists and character arcs.
Amagi
I like this type of darkness somehow, as well as trash punk and noir stuff. I do enjoy the Wadjet Eyes games for that reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Naturally I loved both
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to be God and On the silver globe are insane, there's this sense of what the utter hell am I watching? But you feel like you've been transported someone else entirely.
Amagi
"We" (Мы) is also a Russian dystopia novel, it shared a bunch of similarities with 1984 but was written long before Orwell had had even started with 1984.
Amagi
STALKER has also made me check out a bunch of Russian/Ukrainian novels. I love their ideas. Their dystopias and everything.
Amagi
Slavs are doing good games right now. Looking forward playing this Russia Fallout clone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't remember the name of the Soviet animation with the robot that keeps on working after everyone's dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But crappy puns aside. Dead mans letters, letters never sent, Ivan's child hood, Andreii Rublev, Cranes are flying and I am Cuba have amazing cinematography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wanna b a Potemkin master....
....like no-one ever was =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dead mans letters is up there with Threads as being one of the best apocalypse films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*evangelion
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or would that be Nyguen genesis Evagelion =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You'll always be my ho chi main man minh Mario =)
SuperMario
I love Soviet cinema. Yeah the Mirror has that monochrome part. And they aren’t that big as they used to be but Soviet animation has great history
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stalker is an excellent science fiction film and not neccesarily because of need to anaylze it, but because it works of a visual-psychic level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Zerkalo/mirror is a great example of this, just a stream of the directors thoughts, all visual impressionism, there might be a scene where I couldn't tell you the why or the what, but it'd make me feel something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Basically where to understand, is simply to feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its always fascinating that some filmakers have the ability to just let the film wash over you and move you with intricately crafted arthouse visuals. That they can do that, without character arcs/intellectual message/monologues.
Amagi
Speaking of soviet stuff I kinda want another movie or maybe even a cartoon like some of these old soviet movies that were partly monochrome and partly colored during important scenes. Didn't solaris have that too? - I know the monochrome parts were done to save money, but it was kinda impressive seeing colorless movies turning colorful ones during emotional scenes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Definately something that would appeal to me in terms of alternate style of animation. I'm actually quite a fan of different, out there animation styles.
Lenlo
Heres the ED
Lenlo
Yup, paint on glass. The entire ED for the first season was done in that style. Mob loves to use obscure or generally unusual art styles to sell the other worldlyness of its spirits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That sounds pretty cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Excuse me....paint on glass effects in Mob? There was a Soviet animator that used that style.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Again you psychically read my mind =P I was just thinking that about Farnese arlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think I've accepted there are some manga I need to wait until they're finished before go back to them either due to slow scans or because they've gone on so long or go on hiatus.
Amagi
I think the later half as well as the hiatus killed it for me. Can't deal with that two chapters per year policy.
Lenlo
I, however, am still a rabid Berserk fanboy. :D
Amagi
I am also never a fan of characters completely changing personalities once they're redeemed. Farnese was an interesting villain and while I agree that she needed to overcome her trauma the current Farnese is just some soulless helpful big sister type. She only exists to care for Cjaskar and at some point even Cjaskar's eternal problem was starting to get on my nerves.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Same opinion on Berserk again. The arc before that with the inquisition tower was one of the highpoints of the manga, everything went downhill once Schierke had joined which is kinda sad since it was one of my favorite series before that.
Lenlo
Mob is much more character focused than OPM. OPM riffs on Shounen, while Mob is a much more character driven drama kinda series, with shounen elements. I would give it a shot for an episode or two.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Berserk started losing me when he started travelling around with those kids.
@Amagi/Animosh: Do you believe that Mob has better choreography than onepunch?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi:I will give exceptions to magical elements if a show can produce an adventure narrative worthwhile or if it’s a magical girl show.
If magic is featured in an occult horror fashion or in an exploitative way, I will also lean toward allowing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I very much doubt Mob would be my thing, given how I generally felt indifferent to onepunch man and bias against shounen action, yes the art for Mob, when elevated by an anime adaptation lends itself to something unique looking and I can praise that.
Lenlo
I think ONE's style fits Mob better, and Murata's style fits OPM better. So yeah, Bones chose well on that front
Amagi
Not only are overdesigned characters really bad for movement which is actually needed to make a series and their characters feel alive but they also often look really bad in my opinion and there is a limit on how overdesigned a character can be until I stop taking them seriously at all.
Amagi
Yeah. I also honestly think that many anime are suffering from overdesigning.
Animosh
And I like Mob's artstyle a lot as well. It gives the series a unique look, and it gives the animators all the freedom they could wish for to play around with the characters (and basically everything else) as they see fit. Add Bones to the mix, and you have one of the best-looking series out there.
Animosh
I prefer the full ONE experience too. It's part of the reason why I slightly prefer Mob Psycho. OPM looks great and all, but there's way too much meaningless fighting going on in the manga lately. I prefer the tighter and more consistently subversive storytelling of the webcomic, although I still enjoy the manga a lot as well (and the story climaxes in particular tend to look freaking amazing).
Amagi
Different example since this is actual fantasy but I also prefered the early Berserk series over the later parts. When the supernatural horror stuff was more of a hidden thing appearing around Guts and otherwise just on special occasions, while most people didn't even believe such things exist. I prefer that over the high (dark) fantasy we have now although I get what Miura is aiming at.
Amagi
I guess I just have a thing for this secret-club mentality. I prefer it over worlds with blatan magical powers everyone uses and knows about.
Amagi
It's weird but I almost always hate anime with and about magic, the more fantasy it is the less I like it (usually, not always), but then again occult stuff is always totally my thing.
Amagi
I am quite happy they stick with the original Mob Psycho designs from ONE for this series. The OPM manga is probably one of the best looking things out there but ONE's artstyle has a lot of charme and makes characters more unique, especially if looks as polished as in the anime adaption.
Lenlo
Mmm cant wait to watch it. Kaze Fui, still great
Anonymous3309336
I really like how Kurahana admitted that he let his emotions get to him when he threw that punch at the coach back then. Now he feels remorseful about that day and how he made enemies from his former teammates.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, looks like the next episode will focus on Prince again and his attempts to further improve his time.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, his new teammates understand the pain he's been going through and want him to move on from that. Definitely as some of the best writing of this season.
Anonymous3309336
That punch he threw at the coach was certainly well-deserved, but I can see why the other teammates including Sakaki would come to despise him.
Anonymous3309336
This episode of Kaze ga... was great as always, as we see more of Kurahana's past and how his awful coach made Sakaki and the rest of his former team turn on him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't have minded reading several volumes of seeing Satou on the run.
Animosh
Thanks! That's good to know. An alternate ending could have been fun, but I suppose the ending of the anime was fitting, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Amagi
Looks like it's going to end. I guess it ends the same but we can't say for sure yet.
Animosh
For those of you still reading Happy Sugar Life: is the manga continuing past the anime? Or does it look like it's going to end in the same way? If it takes a different path it might be worth checking it out.
Anonymous3307077
children of the whales
Lenlo
Holy crap. Mob Psycho 100 is the best thing since sliced bread. BONES thank you.

And thanks Kaiser!
Amagi
well we have a döner kebab ship at least.
Amagi
I am from Frankfurt, another one of the biggest German cities but there isn't much to see here aside from skyscrapers and banks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*had **taught
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hah had some notion that the Japanese didn't really know English or it wasn't well thought over there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo's taste continues to be impeccably based.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol I thought coolass47 was covering Kaguya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Germany, both Koln and Berlin, especially Koln felt like a home to me and felt the less alienating/foreign.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....probably embarassing but, I think I'd be put off sleeping on the floor in a futon or using one of those weird Japanese toilets.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Truly I am the Kaiser Eoghan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond that I've been to Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never been outside of Europe. I didn't have problems getting around Germany though when I went because my then girlfriend was from there and I knew enough to cope on a Holiday.
Amagi
also no matter which country I visited till now people were always friendly
Amagi
Yeah, now thinking about it, I could even find everything in Iran so I guess Japan should work too. Most people knew enough random English or German words to somehow lead you to the place and you want to visit unless it's some really weird relief or a small town that's difficult to reach but tourists usually stick with the big stuff.
SuperMario
... years ago and Japan is pretty safe and the signs are easy to follow in general. Even the locals who don’t speak English they are pretty friendly and help you the best they can. You don’t need to be worry on that front
SuperMario
I did it alone few
Amagi
Not sure how he did it (he went completely alone too) but it seems to be possible somehow. Not sure if I would make it though.
Amagi
Someone I know managed it alone and he isn't even that good in English.
Lenlo
I think I can manage. Lots of English signage in places like the rail systems and such. That plus the small amount I am learning in preparation and how much english they teach them over there, I should be ok
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Do you feel you'd be able to get by in Japan? As far as I know you don't speak any Japanese.
Animosh
Mob was great again too. The adaptation is really knocking it out of the park. And looks like we'll be getting one of my favorite side stories next week.
Animosh
I love how upbeat Slime continues to be. If only all wars were resolved like this. And then he goes on to improve everyone's lives by building homes, infrastructure, and coalitions based on common interests? Rimuru for president!
Anonymous3303364
I retired from the force in middle school enjoying my retirement, I still see the faces of the comrades we lost when we defeated the big bad and saved the world, I haven't seen my cute marketable mascot in 3 years, but I like this new life I'm living, I thought I found peace but the battlefield always calls out to me, why? Because war never changes.
Anonymous3303364
I love this comment since it's more well put on what this dark magical girls show really is:
Vonter
Perhaps in ten years when the next trope comes. I wonder if some will look back to the tropes from now with different eyes. Like they say, you don't know what you have until you lose it.
Vonter
Yeah, maybe I could watch some of that schlock. In a way some of it has become more endearing over time. Since times have changed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Vampire wars was fantastic though, used shitfuck as a word from what I remember.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes! Finally they're saying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watching a compiliation of dub cursings for angel cop, not enough F-bombs yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always wish some of these old ovas got to go on for longer, especially AD police and bubblegum crisis. I'd have loved a full gunsmith cats or riding bean show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to watch Angel cop some day I really do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think vonter, if magical girl ops can't achieve the exploi angle then it has failed all the further. We'll have to see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I was disappointed when I saw the more modern anime! Because it didn't have the art I liked in the ovas.
Vonter
I do remember now. Did you watched the Birdy The Mighty OVA (not the series, the OVA). That one I remember liking because it was cheesy, visceral, had IMO better designs for the aliens than the ones in the TV series and I digged the dynamic of the two leads. However it was cut short. Perhaps it was too derivative for the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I can actually take ridiculousness much better when its a live action exploitation thing if it happens to fail in animated form. That Jeanne d'arc anime and maybe magical girl spec ops would have made hilarious 60s/70s Eurotrash films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the only modern anime to do the exploitation angle right was Freezing.
Vonter
I want to believe there's something like that already out. But I'm blocked. I can only mention that I now want to rewatch some of Devilman Lady. It does have a female lead battling monsters with an 80s sci fi horror vibe, I don't know it reminds me for some reason to movies like Godzilla 1985 or King Kong Lives.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Or go mental.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Thats one I still need to get around to. If I have to have a darker magical thing, it either has to be camp and goofy enough while taking itself dead seriously or keep some of the fun .
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - If you haven't check a couple of episodes of Lady Devilman. Despite being formulaic, the monsters on that anime are really well made and feel creative, morbid and creepy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: lol Damn, now I want to see Go Nagai's take of Magical girl ops.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I love how some old ovas would sometimes take place in America, but in this IDEA of it, getting it wrong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I love how they added in those stupid curse words every few minutes aswell, wonderfully incompotent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Mad bull 34 was lovingly perverse , like a Japanese equivalent to those wonderful Italian police things.
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