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
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
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Featured Posts

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Dies Irae – 08[Promise]

Netflix has funded thirty anime which will air in 2018 and this has brought concerns over whether Anime as a whole could be westernised in order to cater to an overseas demographic. I find the chances of this unlikely and the more likely result is a more diverse lineup of anime for both Japanese and […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 9 [None so deaf as those who will not hear]

Hello and welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai! Lets hop right into it. First and foremost, let’s talk about Chise. As the main heroine of the show, naturally it’s going to focus on her a lot. This week zooms in on her relationship with Elias and what it actually is. Characters and situations comment on […]

Juuni Taisen – 10 [A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin]

Juuni Taisen again expands a huge flashback in the middle of the current story, but this one hits all the right notes because naturally its heart is in the right place. It’s episode like this that I am glad I’m still sticking with Juuni Taisen and regain my faith to the overall quality of this […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 09[Various Countries]

I will likely be spending most of this post talking about one segment of this episode as just as the title suggests, these are a series of stories involving different countries. But before I get into that I must truly question why these particular stories were chosen. I have stated before that I love Kino […]

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The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

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Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

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