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
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

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Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

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Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

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

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

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

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

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

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

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

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

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