Posted by psgels on 12 July 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


The second half of Glass Mask is easy to review: a plot-hole here and there, but nonetheless evolving characters keep your attention till the end that comes way too abrupt. Nonetheless, standalone it remains an enjoyable though somewhat dramatic look at the career of a young theatre actress. So… why the abysmally low score? Well, you can blame that on the first half…

Because Glass Mask starts out downright terrible. It’s not the case of a series like NHK ni Youkoso, where the first half goofs off, after which a much stronger second half takes over. Glass Mask’s first half was much, much worse, an insult to theatre plays. At episode 13, I was ready to label this one amongst the worst series that I’ve managed to finish. Here’s why:

The first thing that will immediately catch your attention is the ridiculously overblown melodrama that would make Kannadzuki no Miko and Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora cheerful. Of course, a bit of angst is always healthy, but even during the smallest snide remark, everyone suddenly behaves like a Christian who just discovered that the pope is pregnant. Especially when the Mc Guffin play “The Crimson Goddess” gets mentioned, the melodrama gets blown to ridiculous proportions.

Then there’s the horrible botched-up storytelling of the first few episodes. There’s a reason why all stories have their light moments. They’re not only meant to give the audience a breather, but also to flesh out the characters, and show what they’re like when they’re not risking their lives/ trying their best/whatever. Glass Mask doesn’t think that these things are worthy of itself, and so it starts behaving like a soap-opera, diving from one disaster into the other. Honestly, the first half features obviously a number of plays that our lead character (Maya) has to act out, and only the last one had everything going smoothly. At the others, there was always someone or something with ill-intentions who tried to ruin the play somehow. Along with the melodrama… the result was a predictable mess.

And there’s more. I’ve always rather criticized those anime where the lead character finds his/her love a bit too easily, but all of that falls into nothing when compared to the sloppy excuse of romance that the creators try to showcase here. Maya’s boyfriend comes from absolutely nowhere. He’s just… there, without any explanation of how the bugger fell in love with her, or why he even got to know her for that matter!

But the thing that got under my nails the most was the following: this is supposed to be an anime about the rise of a talented actress, but the way she is presented shows all the signs that the staff behind this series didn’t know anything about good acting. Every time that Maya was on the stage, she caught the awes of her audience, where everyone comments and admires how good her acting is. All I saw, however, was a hopelessly overacting teenager without any sense of subtlety. One particularly bad scene showed Maya as an unimportant extra in a small movie. The result was a hospital-patient who had the time of her life while trying to climb a pair of stairs. How would you feel if you were watching a movie, and suddenly a close-up followed of some random dude who stands out way too much? What I watched wasn’t a immensely talented actress, it was a blatant Mary Sue with way too little experience to make any impact. This can also partly be blamed to Maya’s voice-actress. Who the heck in his right mind would cast someone who can’t act as the voice of a talented actress?

To my relief, the second half gives a notable attempt to fix these flaws, when the creators suddenly realize that a good story needs build-up and characters with weaknesses. The romance smartly turns into a romance with no future and the characters learn from their mistakes. The melodrama’s still there, but at least it’s better than before. Still, the question remains whether or not you want to sit through the pain for the better second half, and it’s not even that good anyway.

I’ve been wondering what makes a series really bad. I mean, I may have disliked series as To Love-Ru, but I can see how other can enjoy the light entertainment. Still, a series that fails to understand its own themes like Glass Mask… I don’t think that you can get much worse than that. I agree how the eighties brought a lot of good stuff to the world of anime, but this one was definitely not a part of it. The second half is just not worth it, because of that God-awful first half.

Storytelling: 3/10
Characters: 6/10
Production-Values: 6/10
Setting: 3/10

24 Responses

  1. Denizen says:

    “The second half is just NOW worth it, because of that God-awful first half.”
    Just a small mistake you may not have noticed :)

    Anyways, what was it that suddenly got you watching this show? If it wasn’t a good show then how could you have possibly picked it out from somewhere.

  2. Endz says:

    Have you read the manga?

    I haven’t watched the anime. The low rating of this manga masterpiece gave me interested in clicking the link from animenano.

    The manga was very inspiring. Is the anime really that bad?

    *Manga Spoilers*

    Like for example in that walking down the stairs as a disabled person. The focus of that story isn’t how wonderful she acted as a disabled person walking down the stairs. It is how the main character of that play realizes how “light” she has been taking on about acting. While the main character(forgot her name but the main character of the manga and not the play this time) endlessly seriously tried to play the extra role no matter how insignificant it was. It was very inspiring…

    */end manga spoiler*

    From what you were ranting about. It seems really different from the manga. In the manga when she just got her first boyfriend. She was exploring and wonder those new feelings. Nothing was really “sudden”.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Denizen: I watched the first episode after a certain someone wrongly labelled the first episode of “Glass no Kantai” as “Glass Mask”, and that first episode interested me, though things went downhill very fast afterwards.

    Endz: that indeed sounds totally different from what I have seen. During the stairs-scene, the creators made no attempt to focus at the main character of that play, and she just runs away crying and disappears, and the creators made it seem like she was jealous of Maya’s talent instead, portraying Maya as some kind of Mary Sue at the same time. Let alone the ridiculously overblown way of which the directors of that movie decided to film her acting.

  4. Joline says:

    I haven’t seen the anime, but I follow the manga scanlations. I think the story is typical of old-school shoujo series (like Candy Candy or Oniisama E). So you can blame the melodrama on the fact that it’s an old series.

    Although the story is totally unrealistic, I still think it’s a fun read (or watch). And in defense of the overacting, someone once asked the movie critic Roger Ebert why Japanese actors overact in Seven Samurai. Ebert said that it’s because Japanese film has roots in Kabuki theater, where overacting is a large element. So different countries, different styles I guess.

  5. Joline says:

    By the way, psgels, I’m surprised you picked up such an old shoujo series. How do you decide which series to watch? There doesn’t seem to be a particular trend.

  6. psgels psgels says:

    There isn’t really a trend. I just have a big list of shows I still need to see, and randomly pick some of the ones that sound the least exciting.

  7. Wyrdwad says:

    I still don’t know why you disliked the first half of NHK ni Youkoso so much… I was hooked on that show from episode one, and felt that the first and second halves were equally good, featuring outstanding character development from start to finish, and wonderful pacing. In fact, some of my favorite episodes are from the first half, like Sato going to the game designer school, or Sato discovering internet porn. (:

    -Tom

  8. Sapphire says:

    I’m a fan of old (specially 80’s) shoujo series, so Glass Mask is on my “must see” list. A friend of mine recommended it because I really enjoyed The Rose of Versailles and Georgie and he said that Glass Mask had the same “vibe”. But after reading your review, I’m not so sure.

    Anyway, there is a 2005 version of Glass Mask and I heard it’s better.

  9. hashihime says:

    Thanks for the review, but I disagree with just about everything you wrote. I’m sorry you couldn’t accept this show’s style, which is firmly based in the manga. I just hate it when people pull out the words “emo” or “melodrama” to denigrate shows with actual emotion in them. In my opinion, Kobayashi Sanae was outstanding in this anime. I rate this show either an 8 or a 9.

  10. hashihime says:

    Whoops! I’m sorry! You were reviewing the 1980s version, which I haven’t seen. Have you seen the great 2005 version, with Kobayashi Sanae and Yajima Akiko? Apologies for my mistake. That’s the show I rate so highly. Perhaps it got remade because of dissatisfaction with the first version. It has been subbed up to around halfway, but only raw and Chinese-subbed versions are around for the rest.

  11. psgels psgels says:

    Hashihime: I can see your point. Acting with emotion can indeed be a beautiful thing, but my problem with this is that it can be taken way too far, and the characters act way too emotional for the situations they’re in. This is what I noticed in Glass Mask, hence why I called it melodrama.

    edit: sorry, I didn’t read your second post. Sorry about the misunderstanding, but my beef is indeed with the original series aired in 1984. They indeed probably remade it because of the dissatisfaction of the first season, especially since it seems to have 51 episodes.

  12. Archer says:

    when i entered today on the blog and saw the this review i thought you watched Rose of Versailles but only for a second,probably because both are anime from around the same period and have similar old-shoujo art ….. guess Rose of Versailles sound more exciting and you choose the old anime that sound not so exciting :) (as u said)

  13. Paj says:

    I read the manga first before I dipped into the 1984 anime series. . .and I can understand why people were dis-satisfied. .. but the 2005 version made it up. I would suggest you watch the 2005 re-make. But again since the manga never got completed; I don’t think the ending for any of the Glass mask anime series will be satisfactory enough. The drama that was made had to wrap it up with their own version. But i heard that Vol. 42 will be complete at the end of July. . .Not sure if the manga-ka will continue and finish it off. . .

    But my high rating is because of the manga and the 2005 sries. .. the 1984 version left too many plot holes and the seiyuus were not to my liking.

  14. Tess says:

    I’ve read about 16 volumes of the manga, and saw the 2005 series which was very good and a lot closer to the manga. In the case of the manga I feel there are some ridiculous parts… however I feel they adapted the 2005 series very will by subtracting most mistakes of the original and not being as.. “bad” as the 1984 version. It’s actually amazing how different they are in quality…

  15. killbethy says:

    Actually, this show is very reviewed very well as is the manga. It is one of the few shows to get outstanding ratings (the 2005 version) on almost all anime review sites.

    I know I’m a bit late in responding to this…

    But for fans of the show and manga, it has been announced that the manga-ka (the author of the manga) will begin continuing the story where it left off (after volume 42 or so I believe) in the September 2008 issue of Hana to Yume. The story isn’t finished!

  16. jeanny says:

    Could anyone tell me where to download the Glass mask series. I have been watch the manga long time ago. I havent seen the anime yet.. thx.

  17. Uber_cast says:

    I am so sorry this is the first impression of glass mask you had to see, but in reality both the manga and the 2005 TV series are very well done. If you are not really into older shojo then stay away from the manga, but if you want to read one of the highest ranked shojo series in Japan then I would certainly recommend this. I guess I am lucky because the first thing from glass mask I ever saw was the 2005 series, which is very good. Don’t let this one bad show ruin the whole thing for you ^_^.

  18. Actually I think you really need to see the 2005 version. When I were saw the TV show, I was so impressed by Maya’s ardor on melodrama, and Maya and purple rose man’s love story. This amine is my most favorite anime ever!!

  19. Gei says:

    THE DRAMA IS BETTER. ESPECIALLY THAT PEDO。。。。。。。。。。

  20. BadChase says:

    This may sound like an excuse but frankly this Anime “sucks”.. It skips parts of dialogue from the manga, it skips characters intentions/experiences and everything from the manga. Basically when compared to the source material is a gooey mess.

    In the manga, everything that you didn’t like about is is quite thoroghly explored. And some things that was changed from manga to anime is outrageously bad. Like when she was eating in a scene of the TV drama she got, in the anime it’s spices that is the problem while in the manga It’s freakin’ glass in the food!

    Basically they should have explored the source material and used it better instead of jumping through everything. That would have made an awesome anime.

  21. Lanelle says:

    And this is probably why I don’t watch anime.

    I must say that I disagree with this post in many ways. If you’ve read the manga, then you’ll notice that the story is actually quite genuine and mesmerizing. It’s not melodramatic if you understand Maya’s true character and her thirst and desire for becoming an actress. There are a lot of symbolism in the story and it reveals much of the real world aspects and themes like true talent/personality vs. reality/judgment of the world, the elites vs. the struggles of the underground workers, etc. Yes, it does incorporate old classic tales and such, and yes, it may seem like a ‘shallow’ story on the surface, but when you read it, you can understand that deep down, there’s true beauty and love in this story. Glass Mask is one of a kind, and it definitely has a reason why it has continued on for so long. It’s loved by the public not because it’s a ‘generic shojo story’ about a girl and a boy, but it reveals the harshness of reality, but also finding dreams and your place in the cruel world that can be beautiful at the same time when you reach for the impossible.

  22. psgels psgels says:

    Lanelle: I totally agree with you. I really loved the 2005 adaptation fo Glass Mask as well. However, this isn’t a review about the manga, it’s about the 1984 adaptation of it, which was outright poor in just about every way. It completely missed the points of the manga, skips key scenes and turns into a complete overacted melodrama. That’s why I rated it so low. Obviously the story is awesome when adapted in the right way, this was just the wrong way. ;)

    • Firechick says:

      There’s actually another anime adaptation of Glass Mask, a 3-episode OVA from 1998-1999. It only tells the very beginning of the story, but the animation and storytelling is still MUCH better than the trainwreck 1984 version, and has MUCH better, more capable voice acting, both on stage and off.

  23. SerikSAN says:

    Порою жестокое, порою веселое, а порой хочется выключить и забыть …
    Смотреть? Ответ – да!

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CHANGE USERNAME
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its down to an idea have about vloggers/youtubers, that the videos will be full of unfunny quips and unrestrained fanboyism due to the guy doing the video can't keep himself in check.
Lenlo
Digibro isnt worth listening to imo
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never even really pursued listening to digibro. Although I probably should listen to eyepatchwolf apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should say the anime youtubers I've actually watched pertain to: Gigguk, one video by blackanimecritic, a few countdowns by Mistychronoxia and Animeman . I think I've watched maybe two of glass reflections reviews.
Anonymous2781300
I don't know, r/anime probably is also not the best sources; Youtube and Reddit are just the places I generally go to for large-scale anime discussion
Anonymous2781300
Oh my previous comment didn't post; basically I was saying that Anitube isn't super representative of audience popularity, at least as a whole, but it might offer some insight to at least a portion of it.
Anonymous2781300
*audience you're looking at: there's the Japanese audience and Western audience, but I feel like there's also like, another half of the world that most be people don't consider.
Anonymous2781300
It kind of depends which audience you
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't even watch gigguks videos anymore.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never really cared enough to overexplore any of those anime youtube critics for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If someone keeps talking about something, eventually it'll sometimes work out and get through, then I'll at least have to see some of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched it because you kept saying not enough people were watching it.
AidanAK47
@Masky, cause Mothers basement did a video on it? Well hopefully it gets it some attention. Don't really like MB though. I mean "Gurren Meets Earthbound"? Jesus Christ.
Masky
Hmm, seems like Planet With is slowly getting more attention to it
Lenlo
I know im Shonen trash, but Hero Aca continues to be fantastic.
Animosh
You know, one person ends up broken through no fault of her own, and then ends up hurting herself and/or others to protect the only happiness she knows. And so the cycle continues.
Animosh
I thought Shio's backstory was really sad too. But yeah, although the show (and many of its characters) can be silly a lot of the time, there's a beating heart behind all of the craziness. Its main characters all have believable - if misguided - motivations, and the show portrays the cyclical nature of trauma very well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I think the scene with satou breaking down near episodes end were the standout. I often laugh at this show for its overthetopness, then makes me feel like a jerk by pulling something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Escaflowne ended too soon and abruptly. I haven't seen rayearth but I have read the manga, so I don't know if the anime original content is as good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've noticed that the voice acting tends to be worse in reverse harems then regular harems.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Regarding otome, one of the worst cases though had to be hakuouki though, just a bag of complete wasted potential.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I didn't dislike Red river, I have the unpopular opinion of preferring Basara because I found the central relationship more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Yes that was babylonia no shishi.
Amagi
I wish we could get isekai like Rayearth, Now and Then or Escaflown again.
Amagi
Sadly these series usually fail elsewhere, with the typical problems shoujo and otome series tend to have
Amagi
@SuperMario: strangely enough this is somewhat typical for shoujo whereas generic isekai can't get off that fake-rpg spleen. There is also a shoujo in which feMC gets transported into some old turkish setting and one with babylonia (think the latter was done by that mangaka that also did Cantarella).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres also a shoujo manga called babylonia no shishi.
SuperMario
maybe it's one of the earliest example of isekai if you don't regard isekai setting as strictly fantasy world.
SuperMario
" Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan." -> actually they did just that. One of the old classic shoujo, Crest of the Royal Family, is about a girl transported into Egyptian royal family. https://myanimelist.net/manga/5284/Ouke_no_Monshou?q=Crest of the Royal Family
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the success is, if a series can distract you and still make you feel something, even if there should have been more to the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Beyond Arthur and Dino, who always came off to me as "the bad guys to be defeated", I think I might have been so into Ash that I didn't really pay as much attention to his character development as you and Mario did.
Animosh
Happy Sugar Life was pretty intense again. It's not subtle, but it's certainly effective. For me, anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*gamer
You could see that he probably enjoyed online games and knew his stuff, wheras it seemed in sword art the writer felt liking he was shitting on everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not much of a game and I know it was a fantasy show, but I guess log horizon is isekai, but in that one from what I saw, I thought the writer seemed to be making more of an effort.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But given how lazy isekai tends toward, while yes a scifi world would be a nice change up, the inherent genre laziness would probably holdback on properly building that world.
Anonymous2771364
Why Isekai are limited to the fantasy worlds? What about one with a creative retro futuristic setting (like Jetsons, John Carter or Flash Gordon). Maybe a western setting. Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan. Anything at this point will be genius if done right.
Anonymous2771364
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Didn't watch Gate but it wasn't kind of like that? Adapting an alien fantasy world to the real world?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a total tangent. Imagine an isekai that dealt with immigration issues ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Ash says a line in the manga at some point that he stopped counting the amount of times he was raped.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose I minor issue I have, is that Yut-lungs design feels somewhat out of place.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could say that there's fujoshi baiting in some of Ash/Eijis interactions, perhaps even n the recent episode. Very obvious, but I'm not complaining ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually glad that the series restrains from being too graphic regarding Goldzine's pedophilia actually , it could have been worse.
Animosh
Its previous attempts at character development (Ash's ridiculously tragic past, Golzine's pedophilia, Arthur's desire to get back at Ash) were a hit and miss at best, and often just had the effect of making the characters more black and white rather than more complex. But I don't know what was skipped, so who knows, maybe it would have made the characters better!
Animosh
And more generally, although most characters are a lot of fun to watch, they're not very deep. Ash and Eiji are both very tropish, and the villains aren't particularly interesting either (with the exception of Yut Lung, though he's rather clichéd too of course). So I'm not sure seeing them interact more would work in the show's favor.
Animosh
@Kaiser: thanks for the explanation! Not sure if I'd want to see more dialogue though personally. I like the Ash/Eiji moments and all, but they can also be a bit ... cheesy? Now I feel like there's a good balance between the various plot threads, but more emphasis on their blossoming love/friendship could easily have made it obnoxious for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know most probably didn't care about these, but I really get nostalgic over stuff like Rune soldier, Lodoss war. I also liked Denyuden and wished it had gotten another season. I never finished the utawerumono sequel, but it had nice character interactions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also kind of looking forward to Goblin slayer a bit because its a fantasy that isn't an isekai .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But not so much dicking around that it gets boring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know what I was thinking about there lately, with the saturation of so many isekai, part of me has a longing for a non-isekai fantasy, but some really REALLY cosy thing about a bunch of friends re-uniting/getting together, most of its banter and SOMETIMES they get into story shit.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Angel Eyes as an OVA would be amazing. Its the only part of Banana Fish I have actually read, to avoid spoilers.
Lenlo
@Mario, I think thats just a translation thing. Japanese language is a lot more formal than English so they have to choose. Go for precise translations, or modify it to attempt to fit it better.

As for how they did it, I assume they poisoned his Secretary with the drug. They have Senators and such in on it afterall
Lenlo
If the gang war is done right, I think I will enjoy this next arc. I really liked that last ending scene on the train and if thats how this war is going to play out, lots of subtle street violence to avoid the cops, then I am all for it
Lenlo
Im quite happy with Banana Fish personally. I do think Ash is a bit to proficient at everything, like I think I mentioned in one post how I dont like him being a computer whiz and all that.
SuperMario
Then we have many of half-baked subplots. For example, "to think you'd kill the next presidential candidate". No one talks like that. How did papa Dino plan to do it again? Sometimes I don't feel the clear pasage of time in Banana fish. Like in the prison arc, you'd see Max switch in and out between Ash's cell without much explain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I remember the last time I actually cried.
SuperMario
And have a sensitive side at heart. I love this kid but sometimes the show just reminds me time and again how implausible his character trait, and many actions, are
SuperMario
@anon: I'm not too enthusiasm on Banana Fish as a whole. While I must say I still enjoy the ride every week, the main offender for me is how they glamor Ash so much. This kid has been through some serious shit, again and again, and again, yet he has immerse talent of basically everything (gun skill, acrobatic skill as we saw last episode, elegant enough to tell the wine brand with just sniffing...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like this upcoming arc too much because it felt like just a street thugs vs street thugs thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I hope they do the Angel eyes side story as an ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'll never spoiler this show, but if the final arc is done properly and the anime elevates it, its going to really impact.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will be very very angry if they change the ending to suit/pander modern audiences.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One thing the anime is avoiding is the anti-communist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh by the way, Dino is in with alot of people, including the French foreign legion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Nearly went too close to haphazard exploitation route than cool exploitation route.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Previous episode had some animation/art issues, Abraham and Arthur are a bit cartoony, while the mansion episodes and the one where Ash meets his dad, the drama, while tense and interesting very almost skirted with being overboard.
Anonymous2765784
Hope the trend continues
Anonymous2765784
But seriously just loving the anime; most of my favorite anime are old, but recently some quality stuff has popped up like this, Rakugo, (Mushishi half counts)
Anonymous2765784
Yeah, I think I can tell that it's almost as if we're switching arcs now, so it's going to take a while to build back to that extreme heightened tension of the past few episodes.
Anonymous2765784
Also, what are some criticisms you guys have about Banana Fish anime so far? Just curious to see what other people think. I'm just enjoying the ride, whether it's speeding through a burning mansion or cruising around a 9 million condo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say it a second time round, the bits before this is where the manga peaked for a while, then it took me a few volumes to get back into.
Anonymous2765784
I'm actually also interested on what's left on Banana FIsh's cutting board. As an anime-only, it feels like the pacing can be a bit fast recently, but overall it seems fine. In fact, I felt this episode slowed down a bit as we transition between arcs and giving us a chance to breathe.
Lenlo
And I understand not having words for Steins;Gate 0. I have to write it every week.
Lenlo
Shh, im gonna watch it soon
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually this episode was slow compared to previous ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, for episode 11 of Banana fish, I enjoyed this, specifically I liked seeing Dinoget kind of btfo'd near episodes end. But the highlight for me, is the Eiji/Ash interactions, i like these because they add a human aspect to the show, humanize Ash and flesh out the twos relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a scene in the manga where Ash crossdressed. But honestly what I mean is, the manga felt alot talkier with its dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I don't have words for steins; gate 0 anymore. Too hard to say anything else now, run out of them. =<
Animosh
What kind of stuff does the anime generally leave out? Slice of life scenes? Scenes with minor characters? World-building? Something else?
Animosh
Not sure what was skipped, but as an anime-only I thought it was another good episode. Some sweet character moments, some nice set-up for the conflicts with Arthur and Golzino ... I didn't really feel like anything major was missing.
Lenlo
Ah, did it suffer this week? Shame. Looking forward to watching it though
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think banana fishes sped up pacing is definitely starting to show, but as much as I like the manga, it is the kind of thing that needs to be cutdown for the sake of better flow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall watching Raxephon as a teenager, but it never really went anywhere from what I saw.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bokurano which I enjoyed for its nihilism, had a second half that didn't live up to the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did years years later eventually come round a bit on Evangelion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gasaraki I also remember watching, which was ambitious but flawed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nadesico worked for me, probably because I watched it over 20 years ago and it was a pisstake on the genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding mecha, outside of Gundam and one or two mazinger things, I can't say I feel as strongly about other stuff in the genre. No interest in watching darling in the frannx , aldonoah zero, regret watching and enjoying code geass years ago. Never got the appeal of gurren lagann and didn't finish eureka 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And with mizukami satoshi in mind, I've never read spirit circle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to be specific, I don't hate planet with by any means.
Lenlo
As is, atleast something actually happens every episode. The pacing is a bit fast, but it all still feels good
Lenlo
It could. Sadly, the 12 episode cours has sorta killed the non-standard episode count though
SuperMario
Whereas in banana Fish they have to burn through 19 volume for only 24 episodes, and it causes the show moving with no brake. Banana Fish could benefit much better if it has, say, 40 episodes
SuperMario
I agree with Animosh. It's true Planet With crams too many plot threads together but I believe its best format is 1-cour. Or to be more specific the creator makes Planet With with 1-cour in mind and it shows. It's one of the few shows where it could stop at any given episode and we still have a wholly satisfying closure. It's like a pancake on top of the others
Animosh
The visuals and soundtrack are really mediocre though. They're serviceable, but pretty forgettable. A better studio may have been able to turn this script into something great.
Animosh
I also quite like how Mizukami often puts a new spin on some old ideas. The show is filled with tropes, but it somehow still feels quite fresh. I'll never be a big fan of mecha shows, but this is much better than most.
Animosh
As for Planet With, I actually really enjoy its fast pacing. It's kind of similar to Banana Fish with how it manages to do a lot in very little time without making its climaxes feel forced or its characters superficial. And because of its fast pacing there's never a dull moment.
Animosh
@Kaiser: that's understandable, Steins;Gate has been pretty forgettable lately after all. ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the not though
Finally going to catch up with shoujo kageki somtime this week.
Lenlo
So, Steins;Gate wasnt bad this week. It tried. It didn't necessarily work, but it tried and had good ideas. If the setup to it hadnt sucked, this could have really worked
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Benika's flashback and though green haired maid girl was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Show had me half rooting for The sealing faction guys. I think another strength of the show is that, even though it feels too condensed and every episode feels like a resolve, it still stays understandable and keeps manages to keep coming out with more.
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

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Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

This week Steins;Gate 0 gave me, most, of what I wanted. It gave us a journey through the future, a Time Leap chain and the return of our favorite mad scientist. However, for all that I love it, its to little to late. Lets jump in! So, where to start. Leaving the big spoilers for […]

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 09 [On the Night of the Star Festival]

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Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 10 [Shinozuka-san, Sugar Content, and the Press Conference/ Thousand Spring/ Andou and George]

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Banana Fish – 10 [Babylon Revisited]

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