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
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
AidanAK47
I am in some ways both relieved and disappointed.
AidanAK47
Well I got the day off work and the only thing that happened was that it was a bit windy. Wasn't really a big deal to be honest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats the word on your end Aidan with regards to the Hurricane?
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course raging bull, a rare case where I watched a film twice.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I've always, apart from Creed, ignored the Rocky sequels despite enjoying the first one, not really into watching a billion followups to a film. Films about fighters seem to connect with me, I got alot out of warrior, southpaw and Rocky.
KTravlos
I was surprised by how well Ancient Magus Bride was able to sell to me the naturalness of Elia's skull head, and the falseness of his conjured human head. Well done.
Lenlo
I do love a good boxing anime. Both Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo are great, though for different reasons.
Vonter
Simply put, unlike Hajime no Ippo. Ashita no Joe, also was mainly about Joe, living in a poor rural town, struggling to make a living, and boxing came out as something that gave him meaning. Instead of the typical shounen of "becoming the best".
Vonter
I think it's bold when someone announced they want to make something like "the next Rocky". Since that's apparently what I get from this announcement. https://manga.tokyo/news/original-anime-megalo-box-inspired-by-ashita-no-joe-announced-for-spring-2018/
CJayTiii
Just watched Heaven's Feel Part 1 at the movie theater last night. DEAR LORD the animation was flawless. I honestly thought they nailed the calmer scenes a lot better than UBW as well. The wait for part 2 is gonna be brutal...
Amagi
Isekai isn't even bad, it's just that it became the worst case of formularic wish fulfillment masturbation nowadays. I actually wish we would get more proper isekai anime again, especially if it's some scifi or time travel stuff for once
AidanAK47
You know thinking about it, Muv Luv Alternative could be considered a deconstruction of Isekai before Isekai was even a thing. After all it actually has the elements of of Isekai.
AidanAK47
Gonna do up a review of the trilogy. Though first I need to post that Subahibi review I have had sitting in my Google docs. Twas waiting till we got the impressions done with.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I remember checking out Muv Luv and not being too impressed about it. When i cheeked out Alternative years ago I was blown away by how good it was. Usually VNs have moments of downtime where it can get boring no matter how good they are. But Alternative just had you from start to finish.
Amagi
@Aidan: Muv Luv Alt is one of the best VNs I've read. I am happy I always avoided spoilers before. The only thing I knew was that it gets heavy around chapter 6 or 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for letting me know before I bothered booking for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the plot doesn't make sense. As the story progresses, it gets weirder, the visual goes wilder and the ending doesn't wrap up much. I might need to watch the live-action version
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: See you rated fireworks 3 1/2, what did you think of it?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I suppose, same to you, hopefully you'll be alright.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was designed by Marta Akermann : https://friendist.deviantart.com/
Anonymous1482176
Can I get where the banner is from?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know there were 18 deaths back in the mid eighties when a storm struck here back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Seems that it will be at its worst in the west, that said I'm living in Dublin in the east so I'll probably get away with a power cut for a while. Thankfully I'm not back in work until Thursday and I won't be going anywhere tomorrow.
AidanAK47
Also Careful Kaiser, I hear we got a hurricane heading our way tomorrow.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Can't say I do. I got into anime around the time it was getting put on the internet. And I only started buying anime when I got a job. Now I got a whole bookcase of Blu-rays.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Remember back in the 90s when we didn't have all region dvd players and everything got released on region 1?
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I checked though. Seems the screenings are strictly US for Heavens Feel. Sort of like how Grand Order isn't released for Europe either. Also took goddamn ages to get the Blu-Rays of UBW too. Aniplex just seems to hate us for some reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dublin city university has/had an anime club.
Kaiser-Eoghan
These are all one time only things though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Eh....on rare occasions the Eye cinema in Galway and the Lighthouse in Dublin do screenings . Eiretakon has re-formed as J-con in Dublin and they do screenings.
AidanAK47
Playing Muv Luv Alternative and I just made it pass a certain infamous scene. Honestly...I thought seeing as I knew it was coming that it wouldn't hit that hard. But even after all these years...it still gives me chills.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Could be worse. There are no screenings in Ireland so the wait is a hell of a lot longer for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll likely be checking out Lu over the wall in early December.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to that new movie from the Tekkonkinkreet guy and Heaven's Feel but both screenings only happen in February so this will sadly still take a while.
SuperMario
Aah, I just missed the only screening of In the Corner of the World at my local cinema (it comes as part of a film festival, guess I will watch the pirated version then). Thankfully they screened Firework anime so I'm going to watch it. Now
SuperMario
I intend to still give Dies Irea another chance. don't know if it's worth it thou
SuperMario
Maybe those kidscheated half of the way because no one can WALK faster than me :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
The animation continues to be quite poor and its only getting 15 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I could definitely have seen my German Ex offended by it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never even cared enough to think that people would be this offended by Dies Irae, it would be like being offended by the Naziploitation elements in hellsing . I find both far too silly to be in anyway offensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, good that you keep up the exercise. I walk pretty much everywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Little fiends likely taking performance enhancing drugs, know to poison them next beforehand =P
SuperMario
Still finished in a first half but 35 minutes for 5km is something I wasn't to proud of. Damnit.
SuperMario
Well, just finished a running event. The race was just 5 kilometer so I was aiming to run all the way. Ended up walking 1/3 of the way and lose to some 12 year old kids... I'm getting old, really!
AidanAK47
@Anon, That was a stupid move on their part. Still I prefer to judge a game based on the quality of the product and not outside circumstances.
Anonymous1479322
yooka laylee is okay but i hate it because they removed jontrons voice
KTravlos
new Altair OP is better than old Altair OP. But old ED is better than new. Man I really am sad Altair cannot have the 100_ episodes of LOGH. Because of that they really have to rush the story to make the politics work, but at same time rushing it undermines the story integrity. Which is a pity. I really think if Altair had the LOGH treatment, it would be a stupendous tale of politics.
AidanAK47
I got that with Yooka Laylee which I thought was a decent fun game. However the internet has determined it to be a flaming trash pile of a game. I even have a friend who never played the game but bashes it purely because it's so hated.
KTravlos
While I understand the point, and have indeed watched stuff both psgel and the current writers have not given a high score too, generally speaking our tastes are complimentary. In a world of scarce time and quite a lot of stress over things like work or relationships, I will take the cognitive short-cuts I can for my hobbies, and FOMO be damned! :)
AidanAK47
That may actually be quite the common occurrence as internet opinion tends to veer to extremely positive or extremely negative. Something can't simply be good, it most be amazing. Somehting can't be passable either, it has to be garbage.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I agree with that. In truth you can only really judge something when you have seen it yourself. I will even admit that mine and likely the others reviews of Imouto are a bit of Hyperbole. It's really not the most terrible thing I have ever seen. Actually I would say Dynamic cord was worse.
Anonymous1478520
(i already found some nice things i would have neglected otherwise or deemed worthless based on reviews/seasonal previews etc)
Anonymous1478520
So i concluded that even if those people were writing good reviews and had somewhat compatible tastes with me, were nice and intelligent people overall in the end it did not mattered that much. while others' opinions are helpful, my own taste is the only thing i can really trust. so watching everything it is
Anonymous1478520
I used to chose my shows based on reviews from people i trust, this site included, but then i just started trying out everything and - shocking, i know - suddenly i liked things others did not. or vice versa, which were a possibility even before.
Lenlo
Thats why I only really watch/checked out things that piqued my interest. Was gonna do it anyways, so why not write about i
SuperWooper
Comprehensive sampling does have its benefits, though. Animegataris is a show I wouldn't have touched on my own, but it was quite watchable.
SuperWooper
@Kaiser, I agree that only the better-looking shows need to be previewed, but being a new recruit, I can't exactly influence the long-standing Star Crossed policy of giving everything a shot.
SuperMario
@anon1477190: that moment you mentioned about Kino losing her cool was good, but then they followed up on the obvious exposition about the couple which I felt was heavy-handed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up mainly because I don't want to see any of the writers getting burned out/demotivated/having their time wasted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Guys it must be incredibly time consuming to watch some of these obviously from the outset bottom of the barrel shows you know will be awful and you'll never cover, I doubt anyone would have complained if you didn't mention Imouto Ireba.
Lenlo
The ending was good, but leading up to it was sort of dull
Lenlo
Agreed on how Kino felt this week. What really got me though was how she held the gun. That bugged me in those pov shots
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I'm not keen to go over old material, I'll just watch the new Kino stories.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I get claustrophobic sometimes, so Haze by Tsukamoto Shinya was fucking un-comfortable =P
Total users: 25

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