Posted on 31 July 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Time for another classic. If you’re one of those people who has only seen “modern” anime of the past decade, and are interested to see what the medium was like before the arrival of Evangelion, in the seventies and eighties (and perhaps the early nineties), then my top recommendation isn’t Gundam (at least, not until I’ve seen Zeta Gundam), but instead the very charming series of Mobile Police Patlabor.

The biggest reason for this is that while Mobile Suit Gundam caters for a specific audience, Mobile Police Patlabor seems to have something for nearly everyone: only if you need your series to have harems or slice of life (or gory horror, I guess), then you won’t find what you’re looking for. This series has mecha, it’s got drama, comedy, action, and a bit of romance and horror here and there, all packaged together quite neatly into 47 episodes.

It’s one of those very few series that tries to find a realistic use of mechas: in this series, they’re mostly used for construction and the police only use the mecha in order to solve conflicts for when these mechas go out of control. I’m surprised why I haven’t seen any newer mecha-series taking over the same idea, because it makes perfect sense. The main characters also aren’t anyone special: they’re no heroes whatsoever; they’re just a bunch of policemen who are in charge of these mechas. The epic “saving the country”-themes of the movies don’t return at all in the series, and everything is purposefully kept nice and down-to-earth.

But what really sells this series is its lovable cast of characters. Especially Captain Goto is an incredibly likable and unique character, but the rest of the crew also gets enough opportunities to shine throughout the series. The hot-headed Ota may be a strange character, but you’ll get used to him in no time. Noa, the most central character in this series, is quite likely the most stereotypical of the bunch, with her love for mechas (or labors, as they’re called in this series), great driving skills and naive nature, but she does end up being the most fleshed out and developed character of the entire cast, so she makes up for that.

Patlabor is an episodic series: every episode the crew handles a case (or does something other labor-related), where the focus is more on the characters than on the actual action, though the action itself is also very impressive. You won’t see any overpowered god-mode beams in this series, and fights are almost always based on strategies, rather than senseless bashing (although some characters in the series seem to forget this at times ^^;). The interesting thing is that this series joins Ooedo Rocket on the very short list of series whose dramatic climax isn’t at the end of the series. Instead, there’s just one arc in the series that takes up more than two episodes, with interesting villains and a tense atmosphere, and once that arc is done, the series just continues with episodic stories, and the final episodes instead go for some subtle character-development, instead of trying to end the series with a bang (but then again, with three movies and two OVAs, why should it?)

There aren’t much flaws in this series, but I’d love to have seen a bit more about division one (the division that works right next to the division of the main characters). We see hardly anything about them, with the result that the last episode hastily introduces a vital member of the division from out of nowhere, and acts like he’s been there all along. That was rather confusing.

Nevertheless, if you have the time to watch nearly fifty episodes, and have yet to see the Patlabor Movies and the television series, then I recommend going for the television-series first. The movies had their own excellent points, but it’s the series that brought the cast to life, and the movies clearly assumed that the viewer had already seen the television-series. The highlight of this series is definitely its cast of characters: it works great during the more serious moments of the series, but at the same time some the comedy-episodes are absolutely priceless. The comedy isn’t of the in-your-face type, like most slapsticks, but instead it requires proper build-up to work best. Patlabor may be nearly 20 year old, but it’s smart and it still packs a punch.

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

The summer-season has always been the season of short and varied series, and in 2008, it’s no different. There’s a wide variety of genres in this relatively small season, only horror seems to be missing at first glance. So far, there are a number of potential classics lurking among them.

#30 (new) – Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – (4/10) – Sorry, but I have no intention to continue watching this stereotype-filled rubbish.
#29 (new) – Koihime Musou – (6/10) – Nice, but this series is way too silly for me, considering its setting. Dropped.
#28 (new) – World Destruction – (6/10) – I gave this series a chance and watched four episodes. My reward was a bunch of lame uninteresting stories about a bunch of lame uninteresting characters. Heck, I doubt that the world is going to get destroyed at the end of the series anyway. Production IG, you disappoint me. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo – (6/10) – I’ve mentioned this before: the “I have no life so I’ll just reveal my evil plans to every random person who happens to drop by”-villains were a major letdown for me. This series is too much Yakushiji Ryouko and too little Kaiki Jikenbo. Dropped.
#26 (25) – Allison to Lillia – (6,5/10) – The only reason why I kept going with this series is to check whether the Lillia-part of the story would be worthwhile, but now that that time finally arrived, it’s still filled with predictable storylines, way too obvious foreshadowing and I’ve got no inclination to care about the cast. Wake me up if the final episodes do turn out good, but for now I don’t want to waste my time with this thing anymore. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Sekirei – (7,25/10) – Sekirei is overplaying coincidences too much: the main character accidentally gets knocked over by a Sekirei, they then go and fly and crash into a house with more Sekirei, he goes to work, only to find more Sekirei. What, is the entire city populated by Sekirei or something? In any case, I have to admit, though: it’s nothing special, but the characters are enjoyable to watch for now. Let’s hope that they’re actually going to develop.
#24 (new) – Slayers Revolution – (7,5/10) – After watching four episodes, it’s not like I’m eager to watch the rest of the Slayers-franchise. In fact, Gintama is currently doing everything this series has done so far, and 10 times better.
#23 (21) – Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion – (7,5/10) – Code Geass’s strange overblown combination between brainless action and soap-opera antics continues. It’s enjoyable enough, although I do have to say that I’m really glad that Karen has been captured. It’s been really refreshing to watch all this airtime without her.
#22 (20) – Itazura na Kiss – (7,5/10) – The wedding came in way too fast, but episode sixteen was surprisingly enjoyable when compared to its previous episodes. Please keep this up for the rest of the series!
#21 (19) – Soul Eater – (7,5/10) – Ugh, it’s getting harder and harder for me to gather enthusiasm for this series. Come on, this is Bones! Make something interesting happen!
#20 (new) – Antique Bakery – (7,75/10) – Good to see that there’s finally a series about gay people that isn’t yaoi or yuri, and instead chooses to deal with the topic of how gays feel awkward in today’s society. Shirogumi (who also did Moyashimon) and Nippon Animation form an excellent combination for the Noitamina timeslot, and the cheese is hilarious as well.
#19 (new) – Birdy the Mighty Decode – (7,75/10) – I may have expected a bit too much from this series, considering the director and all. It’s interesting, but nothing amazing yet. I’ll withhold my judgment for now, though.
#18 (new) – Strike Witches – (7,75/10) – I’m not sure what’s going on here: the premise is obviously strange with the pants-less females, and yet it’s a strangely charming series that attempts to unify the European and Japanese cultures.
#17 (new) – Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora – (8/10) – I’ve no idea where that fourth episode went, but nevertheless it’s a calming slice-of-life series with a number of very strange plot-twists. (Crashing truck, anyone?)
#16 (11) – Chi’s Sweet Home – (8,25/10) – I’m not sure why I switched to the subs for this series (probably because it was easier to keep up with the huge amounts of episodes), but now that these have stalled, it’s getting a bit lonely without Chi, which is a shame because the subs stopped right at the point where this show became hilarious again.
#15 (6) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,25/10) – The past month of Porfy no Nagai Tabi has been kind-of weak. The Sicily-arc just didn’t live up to the rest of the series.
#14 (14) – Wagaya no Oinarisama – (8,25/10) – Wagaya no Oinarisama continues its tradition of “it’s not supposed to be good, and yet it is”. There’s nothing much else to say, really.
#13 (new) – Mission-E – (8,25/10) – Doesn’t try to be the best, but nevertheless it’s a very enjoyable and fun series that doesn’t deserve the negligence it’s getting right now.
#12 (new) – Ultraviolet: Code 044 – (8,25/10) – The movie may have sucked beyond belief, but the anime manages to fix its mistake by putting a good emphasis on characterizations. The atmosphere is dark, and the fact that there haven’t been any fillers yet whatsoever is also a large plus.
#11 (12) – Blassreiter – (8,5/10) – Well, it seems that the creators had no intention to be less dramatic for the second half, but make no mistake: the action is getting quite good right now, with the characters developing and all. All the prejudices of this show being typical Gonzo-crap are unfounded, and Blassreiter has unfolded into an engaging series now that the teenaged emo is gone.

#10 (15) – Gintama – (8,5/10)

Gintama has been particularly funny this month, and especially episode 67 cracked me up, with its rather wrong parody of the “romantic interest walking in on an embarrassing situation”-trope that you usually find in harem series.

#9 (16) – Macross Frontier – (8,5/10)

Okay, it’s been a long wait, but the plot is finally catching up speed for the finale of Macross Frontier. Characters are starting to get developed, good, good.

#8 (new) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,5/10)

Shows the beginnings of a classic. It’s done everything right so far: detailed animation, and storytelling, an addictive pacing, an interesting world. I’m very curious to see where the creators plan to go with this series.

#7 (new) – Blade of the Immortal – (8,5/10)

Yes, I’m biased, but I don’t care! This series rocks! The soundtrack is excellent in my opinion, and the first two episodes showed the typical style of Beetrain-storytelling.

#6 (17) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,5/10)

You know, the more I watch this series, the more I like its adorable cast of characters. Sure, it may have its flaws, but Midori makes up for all of them.

#5 (new) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,75/10)

A really peaceful summer-like atmosphere and engaging stories to keep the viewer busy. My favourite of the summer season so far.

#4 (2) – Himitsu ~ The Revelation – (8,75/10)

The past few episodes of Himitsu have been either excellent or missed the mark. The series may have its lesser stories, but the good ones really make up for it.

#3 (10) – Nijuu Mensou no Musume – (9,25/10)

July has been a sensational month for Nijuu Mensou no Musume, with just about everything in this series hitting new heights. Whether this series can keep up the same quality for the rest of the episodes remains to wonder, but I’d love to find out.

#2 (8) – RD Sennou Chousashitsu – (9,25/10)

I’m trying to find a good way to describe the past few episodes of RD, but I can’t. Instead, I’ll just vaguely summarize it with one word: unique.

#1 (1) – Kaiba – (9,5/10)

My three favourite 12 or 13-episode series are without a doubt Haibane Renmei, Hi no Tori and Kaiba. I’m not quite sure in what order they go, but one thing is clear: Kaiba has been an amazing ride, from start to finish.

Posted on 30 July 2008 with categories: Bonen no Xamdou



Short Synopsis: Obligatory “I’m not going to cooperate with you”-episode.
Highlights: This was an obvious building-up episode, so nothing much stood out.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
Well, it had to happen sometimes. You can see this type of episode in many different series, where the main character, as stubborn as he is, yells at everyone in his new environment and wants to go home. It’s not the most exciting episode, but it is essential for proper build-up and character-building, which is why it’s used so often.

This episode did make use of its 20 minutes by giving a proper introduction to the crew of the postal service ship. It still remains a mystery why Nakiami is on board, or why they involve themselves with these huge battles, but at least the most important crewmembers were fleshed out. Meanwhile, at the camp of the antagonists, the major villain (or at least someone who looks like one) turns out to be some kind of war hero, who survived a huge war, 17 years ago. Their role in this story still seems a mystery, though.

What intrigues me is the high amount of attention to Akiyuki’s friends, who he left behind. If Akiyuki really is going to work for a postal ship, then that means that he’s not going to see them again, and yet they’re really well-fleshed out characters. What could the creators have in mind for them? Don’t tell me that that girl is going to follow the airship when she receives the letter that’s about to be sent to Akiyuki’s parents?

Posted on with categories: RD Sennou Chousashitsu



Short Synopsis: Okay, so last week’s preview was lying: this episode wasn’t about Souta and Holon at all. Instead, it’s about Minamo’s family.
Highlights: What could not be awesome about Minamo’s divided family coming back together?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
What a charming episode! Minamo and Souta’s parents and grandparents have always been vaguely mentioned here and there, but they never really took the central focus in this series, apart from perhaps that one episode that was dedicated to Souta’s father. In this episode, Minamo’s grandmother AND mother come to visit their offspring for one night, and enjoy a rare family reunion where all five members of the family are together.

I guess that this too is a commentary to today’s Japanese society, which through its workaholic attitude has many families that are separated from each other, and I can imagine that sixty years into the future, where transport has evolved even more, this wouldn’t be any different, and like Minamo’s parents, couples often live apart from each other because of their jobs.

And at the same time, this episode fleshed out Miamo and Souta even more, by showing what their parents look like. And damn, Minamo’s grandmother looks so different from what I expected. I can’t remember whether we actually saw a shot of her in the second episode, but I was really expecting some thin old lady with grey hair and all, and instead she turns out to be a much more similar to Minamo, and much younger-looking than I imagined her to be. At the same time, the creators also manage to sneak in a reference about Kushima having a sister. Am I the only one curious about her, and what she’d look like?

And damn, the preview for the next episode intrigues me. There’s some kind of deserted ruins in some jungle that suddenly started operating again. Could this go further on the Eliza-subplot of a few episodes back?

Posted on 29 July 2008 with categories: Mission-E



Short Synopsis: It’s character-building time when Chinami and Maori pay a visit to the research facility where Kotarou works.
Highlights: A Cow?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Fun episode. It’s nice to see Kotarou back in detail, and at the same time this episode also showed the difference between Chinami and Maori in the ways that they grew up. It’s very much like Telepathy Shoujo Ran: Chinami had an understanding family, who supported her through her problems, while Maori probably had much less luck, and had to endure strange looks from her classmates by herself. Chinami always tried to stay in the background (probably also transferred schools here and there), while Maori’s powers became infamous through the entire school.

It’s interesting how Chinami is pretty much an airhead, both in Code-E and Mission-E, while Maori has a much more down-to-business personality, even though they were just as shy when they first appeared. Kotarou seems pretty much the same as he ever was, perhaps a bit maturer than what we saw of him in Code-E. He really does form a cute couple with Chinami, even though they’re apart very often. In any case, I’m glad that the creators made no attempts at creating another love-triangle with Maori. There was enough love-tension in Code-E, and I’m glad to see that Mission-E’s focus is about something entirely different, and knows it.

The new bad guy Kiriku in this episode was… interesting. His biggest purpose was most likely to flesh out the yellow-haired bad guy whose name I forgot at the moment. The latter has a sense of business, and doesn’t like to act when there’s nothing to gain for him, while the former likes to eliminate any potential threats for the future by force. In a way, this series likes to play with different characters who are put in the same situations: there’s Chinami and Yuma, Chinami and Maori, Kiriku and the other guy and the Brinberg-siblings in a way too.

Speaking of which, Adol (at least, I think that was her name) appeared this episode in a coma. I remember how in the first season, they were a great source of comic relief while trying to overcome all the cultural differences, and I’m really interested to find out what she’ll be like when she wakes up from this coma, especially since she lost her brother just like that in the first season.

Posted on with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou



Short Synopsis: A haunted building-episode.
Highlights: Natsume’s relation to his classmates continues to develop.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Seriously, this series gets better and better with every episode, and I already considered it as one of the highlights of the summer-season. I’m really not sure how the creators did it, but their sense of characterization is amazing. But then again, this was to be expected, considering the director: both Baccano and Jigoku Shoujo had a huge cast of characters, with nearly every one of them having its own identity and likable from the start. So, what happens when you assign a director who is excellent at characterizations on a story that lives because of its characters?

This episode shows the most hostile Ayakashi so far, who kidnaps every one of Natsume’s classmates when they go and explore a strange abandoned building. He doesn’t even care about getting his name back, and is acting all out of some sort of grudge (if I understood correctly, it’s some kind of hate for people). But what caught my attention the most is another one of Natsume’s classmates. We don’t see the black-haired guy in this episode, but there’s a girl who has discovered that he can see spirits, because she noticed how he keeps talking to people from out of nowhere

On a side-note: this series is without a doubt the hardest to understand from the new season, simply because those Ayakashi keep speaking in some strange ancient dialect that doesn’t show up in the dictionary that I’m using. Japanese already is hard enough to understand without some random dialect thrown into it.

Posted on 28 July 2008 with categories: Blade of the Immortal



Short Synopsis: A girl whose parents were murdered asks Manji to help her with her revenge.
Highlights: If you weren’t already convinced that this was a Bee-Train series, then this episode will.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Okay, so I think that it was pretty obvious that I’d end up blogging this series. After years, I’m still not sure what’s so appealing about their distinctive style, and yet I absolutely love it. I haven’t read one page of the manga so far, though I might read it once this series is finished. I believe that there were some changes made here and there that made the manga-readers overall disappointed, but for now, I won’t care about that.

In any case, it turns out that the frantic pacing of the first episode was just used by means of an introduction. I should have known: Bee-Train really likes to kick off its series as mysteriously as possible, only to go for a slow pacing with episode two. We’ve seen it in El Cazador, .Hack//Sign, Tsubasa Chronicle, and probably some more that I forgot about now. Still, a slow pacing is really what fits Bee-Train the best. It really allows the story to take its time and the characters to develop properly.
I also keep getting impressed by the music, and it’s surprisingly varied. One track bears a clear reference to Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi, while the next is a spunky modern jazzy piece of music, the next is a quiet harp song, the next gives off horror-vibes. Kou Outani really was given a lot of freedom for this series. I must say that I really like the vocals that were used. Call it wailing, but I think that whoever is singing it has a great voice.

Also, what’s up with the episode count for this series? MyAnimeList is the only site which has this series listed at 13 episodes, and yet neither AniDB nor Animenewsnetwork, which strike me as the more reliable, have anything about the total amount of episodes. And yet, there’s also talk going on about a second season. In any case, next week there’s another hiatus, but after that, the releases seem to continue weekly instead of semi-weekly.

Posted on 27 July 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kaiba


Welcome and say hello to one of the best anime of 2008, and along with Haibane Renmei and Hi no Tori, my favourite anime of only 12 or 13 episodes long. Kaiba is the product of director Masaaki Yuasa, who was the one behind Kemonozume, Cat Soup and Mind Game and it shows the result of when an already excellent director learns from his mistakes.

Kaiba is very much an experimental anime, which tries to be different from the stuff you usually see. The character-designs may look childish and simple, but make no mistake: this storyline isn’t afraid to show adult themes at all, and the perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. It’s about a futuristic world with the fascinating concept in which people’s memories can be stored in chips and placed from one body to the other. The series smartly spends its first half fleshing out and playing with this concept, so that the viewer feels at home inside the setting, only for the second half to kick in with the real meat of the series, where the storyline keeps spiralling to the point of going out of control. The final episode is indeed one of chaos.

The setting may be already an incredibly imaginative one, what really won me over for this series is its sense of storytelling. It’s hard to explain, but if there ever was some kind of x-factor for anime, then Kaiba would have it. This is one series that knows exactly how to progress a mystery-storyline: lots of random flashbacks, in order to flesh out both the storyline and characters, a back-story that goes way beyond the “person x killed person y in the past” and lots of different hints to keep you guessing.

This also really helps fleshing out the characters, and the interesting twist that they keep changing bodies (made possible because of the setting) puts them in interesting different spotlights. The romance can be incredibly sweet when it’s in its element and even the villains get their own piece of development.

Overall, Kaiba is definitely recommended if you’re into experimental, mystery or science fiction anime. The only bad thing about it is that the plot isn’t the most solid one, so don’t expect everything about the setting to be fully explained by the end. Nevertheless, Kaiba is an masterpiece that makes excellent use of its limited time of only twelve episodes, and it has been my top pick of the past spring season ever since it started.

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



Short Synopsis: Neiro tries to tell Kaiba his secret as Kaiba and Warp go out of control.
Highlights: Not all questions answered, but this series somehow gets away with it…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
And so it’s unfortunately over. It was to be expected that not every question would be answered (like, what’s up with the planet that Kaiba lives on? It turns out, only the memory of Popo got killed, but how did that happen? and in this episode Kaiba also pulls out a number of random powers that would have been better if they were introduced earlier, so I think that one extra episode would have been sufficient to answer these questions, but still this was a pretty awesome episode.

Masaaki Yuasa clearly intended this episode to go out of control and become something surreal, in a way, it’s in the same style of the ending of Kemonozume, which also came from out of nowhere. It was obviously not the best episode of Kaiba, but at the same time it was very much fun to watch. The surreal parts in this episode were definitely worth watching.

So, in the end, the thing that Neiro discovered about Kaiba was that his mother’s memory was stuffed in the ostrich, as a punishment. At the same time, probably the cutest thing about this episode was this unexpected romance between Hyohyo and the memory-guy. ^^;

At this point, I’m not sure which series to call better: this one or Shion no Ou. They were both absolutely fantastic in their own ways, and without a doubt the best series of 2008. They both had fantastic storytelling, while Shion no Ou had incredible characters, while Kaiba had an incredibly imaginative setting.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Genius Party


It’s back to the surreal with Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba, Kemonozume, Mind Game)’s addition to Genius Party. He probably wrote this before he started working on Kaiba, and it’s very apparent that he wrote this in a stage where his distinctive sense of style was maturing. Happy Machine can be very well seen as “Kaiba’s testing bed”, where Masaaki experimented a bit with different ideas and animation techniques (you can see his fascination with strange toilets here as well).

Happy Machine is the strangest addition to Genius Party so far, aside from perhaps the first movie Genius Party. It’s again a short story that knows its length and tries to play with it. What really stands out is the storytelling: it’s basically an adventure of a boy, of only two years old in a fantastic environment, and it’s very interesting to see the detailed ways that the creators come up with to keep this baby busy.

The problem with this movie is the titular character, because he doesn’t really feel like a two or three year old boy. He misses the feeling of loneliness and the hopelessness of being away from trusted people, even though throughout this short movie, he’s got more than enough reasons to feel lonely. Nevertheless, this movie has succeeded in creating an impact, which was exactly what I’m looking for with Genius Party’s short movies.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh well, there you go, Mario was quicker on the uptake and his post got through before mine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Kalandra: He maintains a background presence on the site, paying for it, lately he has gotten his groove back, he every so often comes back to make a comment here and there or post a monthly summary.
I vaguely remember you.
SuperMario
@Kalandra: He was burned out of anime for about 2 years, but now he's back for monthly summary where he reported what he was watching that month. In fact, you can come back tomorrow for his April summary.
Kalandra
Hi, old reader just checking up on this blog. I notice that the reviewer isn't psgels anymore. Is he still doing reviews?
SuperMario
@anon1058019: yep, and we'll get an original film no less. Welp, I don't mind for more Yuri but everything sounds vague for now. Let wait for more details coming
SuperMario
@Tatami: I'm only watch anime but I'm not a fan at all with the show so I can't really help you on that. In fact this season I couldn't get pass episode 2
Tatami
For guys who only watched AoT anime and not the manga, Im curious what do you think of the current season?
Tatami
The recent 2 epsiodes of AoT pretty much confirmed my guesses of who are the Armored and Colossus titans
Anonymous1058019
Yuri on ICE!!! movie has been announced. Prepare for incoming fangirls. :.D
Spike
Zestiria finale was pretty mediocre at best... Ufotable writers really fizzled at the end. :(
Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
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