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
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

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