Posted on 30 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Natsume Yuujin-Chou


Strange how the best series for me this season end last. Anyway, Natsume Yuujin-chou is a perfect summer-series. As Brains Base’s latest production, it tells about a boy named Natsume, as he tries to deal with his ability to see spirits. Sure, it’s a thing that’s been done many times before. But never this subtle.

While not the most subtle series of the past season (it’s near-impossible to beat Natsu no Sora in that, after all), Natsume Yuujin-chou shines in the dream-like atmosphere it manages to create. This is a real series that you can relax at as it progresses with its heart-warming stories. Throughout the series, it manages to create a really interesting setting of Youkai versus humans, and especially the focus on niceness makes a lot of impact. Youkai are beings that spend a lot of time alone, and so a very simple action of gratitude or kindness can mean the world to them, even though they may seem like unimportant to human eyes.

Added to that comes an excellent sense of characterization. Especially Nyanko-sensei is an awesome character, but the rest of the cast is also filled with a number of very enjoyable and deep characters. The characters feel natural, and away from the stereotypes.

The result is an episodic series where nearly all of the stories turn out heart-warming, some a bit more than others, and there are a few utterly stunning episodes amongst them, despite the limited time this series has to build up. Just be aware that the best episodes aren’t necessarily located near the end of the series. Overall, Brains Base has done it again. They really are a studio that constantly tries to deliver unique and innovating series, and they pretty much succeeded here again.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou



Short Synopsis: It’s time for the local shrine festival and Ponta gets kidnapped by a manipulative woman.
Highlights: Someone hired different animators?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
What an awesome way to conclude the first season of Natsume Yuujin-chou. The different stories weren’t that connected to each other, but this episode instead of introducing new characters, brings back some of the older ones, and develops all of them a bit. It’s an excellent way to close off the past season, and at the same time introduce the second season, because this means that now, the characters are going to be a tad different from what we’ve seen up till now.

The biggest development is of course that Kaname finally knows that Natsume can see spirits, due to some slip-ups from Nyanko’s side, which made the two of them finally get a bit closer to each other, rather than being two people that happen to know each other and occasionally bump into each other. The rest of the cameos this episode was also very appreciated: the adorable fox returns, and Natori also makes his appearance, to do something that will probably be explained three months from now, with the start of the second season. Hinoe also made a short but nice appearance.

But really, this probably was the strangest time possible to suddenly switch animation styles. The background art was much more colourful, and the character-art was much messier than usual, especially in the first half of the episode. It looked pretty interesting, but… why now?

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, I don’t think I’m ever going to label the past half year as the best that anime can give. Instead, the past season stood out with its large amount of series that at first sight don’t seem to stand a chance, and yet turn out to be surprisingly solid and enjoyable. My top 10 series for this month is also filled with randomness again, with some shows having very disappointing finales, while others managed to close off very strongly.

#26 (new) – Hakushaku to Yousei – (6,75/10) – The first show of the new season, and unfortunately I’m not impressed. Too many bishies, too little substance. The only good point is its concept of fairies, so let’s hope that the rest of the series goes in-depth to them, instead of the male characters that just look too much like each other.
#25 (25) – Slayers Revolution – (7/10) – This series ended less than a week ago, and I already have trouble to remember what it was about. It’s been a really generic month for Slayers Revolution, much like the rest of the series.
#24 (23) – Sekirei – (7,25/10) – Okay, so the ending was crap. I at least enjoyed the rest of this month, making it not an entire failure. Thankfully the characters remained charming until the end.
#23 (20) – Strike Witches – (7,5/10) – Not the best month for Strike Witches, but enjoyable enough nonetheless. It just feels that those final bad guys were a bit superficial, and strayed away from what made the series enjoyable.
#22 (15) – Macross Frontier – (7,5/10) – The more I think back, the less exciting the ending becomes, unfortunately. I’m especially unhappy about the way that the creators tried to deal with the love triangle. Sure, I can understand how they want to save that for the final movie, but that’s no excuse to increase the cheese-level and bring everything back to square one.
#21 (10) – Nijuu Mensou no Musume – (7,5/10) – The biggest disappointment this season. Everything went so well, but this series’ finale didn’t stand out anywhere. It was too predictable, formulaic and ridiculous. It’s a real shame, considering the potential that this series had.
#20 (26) – Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion – (7,5/10) – Okay, granted. That final episode could have gone much worse, and it provided a fitting closure for the series. Was it just me, or did that finale give out strange Bee-Train vibes? During the final episodes of this series, the soundtrack suddenly played much more on the foreground, and suddenly choirs and flutes (which are very popular in Bee-Train series) popped up. If only the rest of the series was as calm as the final episode. Ah well, at least the series provided entertainment, but I’m so glad that it’s over now.
#19 (17) – Mission-E – (7,75/10) – Mission-E’s best episode was without a doubt episode 11, where the plot took a step back and instead put the focus back on the characters. The finale was decent: it could have gone better, but also worse.
#18 (21) – Detroit Metal City – (8/10) – Still a solid comedy-series. 12 episodes seems to be the perfect length for this series, but let’s hope that it doesn’t run out of jokes before that time comes.
#17 (22) – Soul Eater – (8/10) – I absolutely loved episode 23. Now THAT was an amazing fight. Unfortunately, the series quickly dulled in again afterwards. The ratio of awesome versus mundane episodes had better be a bit bigger for that second half.
#16 (19) – Chi’s Sweet Home – (8,25/10) – Ah of course, the ending is near so even Chi’s Sweet Home needs to work towards a climax. Still, so far the creators got away with it pretty nicely. The whole pet regulation in the apartments has lurked over the entire series, and now that it finally pops up for real, it becomes pretty charming.
#15 (9) – Antique Bakery – (8,5/10) – I’m probably one of the few in this, but I actually liked the ending of Antique Bakery a lot. It was all about moving on, instead of getting held back by your past. It was a bit rushed, but I really felt that it not solving the cake-mystery was the right choice of the creators.
#14 (24) – Itazura na Kiss – (8,5/10) – So, the college arc was pretty awful, but I’m really glad to see that the creators managed to crawl back up and delivered an excellent finale for this series. Especially episode 24 was everything it needed to be.
#13 (16) – Birdy the Mighty Decode – (8,5/10) – Senkawa did cause a bit of trouble here and there, but overall it was a very good finale for the first half of Birdy the Mighty Decode. Obviously it doesn’t live up to Noein or Escaflowne, but I think I’ve said that too many times now already.
#12 (1) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,5/10) – Overall, Natsume Yuujin-Chou wasn’t as good as in August. Nevertheless, It’s still a heart-warming series and I’m looking forward to that second season.
#11 (14) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,5/10) – A surprisingly genuine month for this series, and it’s been really enjoyable so far. I only hope that this remains through the second half.

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

What I really like about this series is the way that Bee-Train presented everything. There’s always something interesting going on, and the climaxes of each episode really pack a punch.

#9 (7) – Ultraviolet: Code 044 – (8,5/10)

I don’t think anyone’s going to remember this series, but I enjoyed it until the last minute, and it landed an ending that ranks amongst my favourites of the past season. It did exactly what it was supposed to do, with a few extra twists added. Consider me an Osamu Dezaki-fan after this.

#8 (8) – Blassreiter – (8,5/10)

Overall, a very solid finale, with a number of excellent fight scenes. Many people died, but nearly all those deaths were satisfying.

#7 (18) – Wagaya no Oinarisama – (8,5/10)

Ooh, exciting: the two final episodes are going to be a standalone climax. I always like these sorts of endings. In any case, Wagaya no Oinarisama has been better than ever, both in its light-hearted and serious stories.

#6 (12) – RD Sennou Chousashitsu – (8,75/10)

Agh, it’s hard to judge the finale of RD Sennou Chousashitsu without having seen the final episode. For now, I’m not going to judge it until I actually see what it’s been building up for.

#5 (5) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,75/10)

This month: episodic travel arcs. They ranged from enjoyable to awesome. They were thought-provoking at times, and really varied. Excellent month for Porfy.

#4 (6) – Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~ – (8,75/10)

Natsu no Sora ended with an excellent finale that really stood apart as the best parts of the series. Especially episode 10 was just heart-breaking, and the ending was wonderfully subtle.

#3 (4) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,75/10)

I’m beginning to love this series more and more. Every single character here has his or her own identity and stands apart from the others. I’m really looking forward to see what it has in store for its second half.

#2 (11) – Gintama – (9/10)

I really thought that the best of Gintama this month came from the Yagyuu-arc: it was both incredibly hilarious and heart-warming. Then episode 83 came along, which most likely ranks amongst the funniest episodes of this series yet. Even for Gintama’s standards, that episode was extreme. The past September really has been one of the best months for Gintama yet!

#1 (3) – Himitsu ~The Revelation~ – (9,5/10)

It’s a pity that the final episode hasn’t aired yet, but basically Himitsu’s finale has been blowing away every other finale so far. This show indeed has its problems at times, but boy, the past number of episodes have been beyond awesome.

Posted on 29 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews



Next up in the category “so bad that it’s good”: if I see you in my dreams. Another very short series, with only 16 episodes of 7 minutes long, it tells about a love triangle between three people in their early twenties. Basically, it’s a kaleidoscope of what not to do when you’re dating someone. Both if you’re the one dating, and also if you’re writing such a character.

In a strange way, it’s pretty amazing: the episodes are only 7 minutes long, and yet the creators always managed to find some sort of excuse to stuff in some sort of Deus ex Machina and some sort of opportunity to show fanservice in nearly every single one of them. It’s pretty hilarious, how you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen in the big plot twist, and the series makes no attempt whatsoever to hide it.

But the strange thing is that the characters are all pretty enjoyable to watch. For such a love triangle, they’re all surprisingly genuine. Their reactions to the above-mentioned Deus ex Machina are also really cute at times, even though we’re dealing with fully grown adults. It still doesn’t excuse the very badly written plot, but it’s good to see that not everything about this series is terrible.

But what actually baffled me in this series was that final episode: Yume de Aetara actually closes off with a really sweet ending. This ending was really well written, and actually made the character-development come together in the end. For such a mediocre series to end on such a good note. It doesn’t happen often. But then again… I guess that that’s going to happen if you’re crazy enough to put Hiroshi Watanabe behind the series supervision.

Storytelling: 5/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Telepathy Shoujo Ran



Short Synopsis: Ran, Rui, Rin and Midori now have to solve the mystery that lies behind the family curse.
Highlights: A bit of a questionable climax, but an impressive plot nonetheless.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
oh, this definitely was the best arc of Telepathy Shoujo Ran yet. The story was pretty imaginative and more complex than what you’d expect from such a children’s series. So, if I understood things correctly, the red-haired woman and the first victim’s employer were behind the whole thing. The red mask on your elbow originally was a curse, that would kill a daughter of the family, but this time, they created a fake one, and instead poisoned the poor girl. If guessed this correctly, this basically was a bit of an extreme way to get their hands on the family’s money.

It was a bit anticlimactic when the bad guy appeared, parading around with Rui and Midori tied up in ropes. It’s times like here when the censorship gets a bit out of hand, and it would have fitted much better if they were actually carrying some kind of gun. Or a knife, which was used earlier in the episode. I don’t understand these censorship-laws anyway. Guns are bad, but starting a huge fire in a house doesn’t get censored. At least be a bit consistent in this.

The ending also was a bit of an anticlimax, but it did fit. The big problem with detective children is that it’s very hard for these children to outsmart and overpower adults. So the plot device of having telepathic powers gives these children a bit of extra help to solve these mysteries, and it keeps the series going. In a way, it’s the lesser of two evils. After all, think of the plotholes that this series would need to introduce otherwise.

In other news, I’m glad that Midori’s gawking over Rin still isn’t getting old, even though we’ve passed the halfway-mark of this series. The creators also can’t use the same dividing-joke again, since they’ve now really run out of options, so they’re going to have to come up with something new.

Posted on 28 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


When Blassreiter first started, it was met with a lot of doubts, which is of course natural after Gonzo’s escapades with the infamous Dragonaut. Blassreiter looked like it would be the same bloody thing again. But as it turns out, the creators pretty much managed to nail down a very entertaining action-series. I am very picky when it comes to action-scenes, but the ones from Blassreiter left me very impressed.

You do need to get used to the fact that the fights are entirely done in 3D CG. If you’re one of those people that hate CG with passion, then you’re not going to like this series. However, because the fights make optimal use of this CG, the creators are able to do things that would never be possible with just 2D animation. CG means that there are no still frames, constant and smooth movement, and complex camera movement. Blassreiter takes this, and produces some of the best 3D fight scenes of the entire year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up labelling it as the best action-series of 2008. The camera-movements, combined with the character-movements result into a number of absolutely beautiful fight scenes.

Action-scenes are one thing, but I personally can’t enjoy a good action scene unless I care about the characters. That’s where Gonzo screwed up with Afro Samurai, because the characters and plot were utterly retarded. Thankfully, they avoid the same mistake here. The first half of the series has a very creative storyline, which goes away from the tried and true formula. The second half is more straightforward, but to make up for it the characters develop, and you’ll end up caring about them in a strange manly genuine fashion. The two complement each other pretty interestingly.

Blassreiter is not without its major flaws, though. Especially in the first half, it tends to be a bit too melodramatic for its own good, to the point of a few scenes that are just way too emo. Especially bullying subplot is just too extreme to be taken serious. This series is just too emo while trying to build up. The results are pretty awesome, but I can imagine how you’d not want to watch an angsting teen over and over.

There’s also the fact that the 3D-scenes don’t try at all to blend in with the 2D art, which will take some time to get used to. Overall, it’s been an interesting series, despite its questionable start. I recommend it if you’re looking for an action-series. This series has the three ingredients for awesome fight scenes: excellent choreography, sympathetic characters and a great soundtrack. I can’t recall having seen any series that made as much of an optimal use of the capabilities of 3D animation.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews


Well, so it’s finally time for me to review this thing. Since I didn’t get the chance to review the first season, this review is about both seasons together. Code Geass is your typical Sunrise Mecha Trainwreck. It can be compared to the bastard child of Death Note and Gundam 00 gone horribly wrong, and the typical case of “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”. I personally consider it the most overrated series of both 2007 and 2008, but admittedly, it’s not an entirely bad series.

The big problem with this series is that it wants to create a sensation a little too badly, up to the point where it uses bad writing, just to create an as big shock as possible. The series starts out nicely enough, though. It builds up properly, but very quickly, the plotholes start popping up, one after the other. Too often to characters just “run into each other”, or happen to be at the wrong place and wrong time. A few instances of these plotholes would of course be okay, but this series just keeps using them, over and over.

The series could have made up for it in terms of characters, but even there things went wrong once they started “developing”, or at least, when they’re supposed to. More often than not, the characters suddenly start acting completely out of character, whatever happens to be convenient for the story, rather then what would be the most natural thing to do. People don’t switch sides because of complex political reasons, but more because the creators want them to.

To add to that, the creators also have a very nasty habit with killing off their characters. If you see an important character kicking the bucket, you can be 75% sure that he or she is somehow going to magically reappear again, later in the series. It becomes rather anticlimactic, when you just know that a character that dies is going to come back anyway (pretty much the dragonball-syndrome).

Then there’s an issue with the setting of this series, which mostly pops up in the first half of this series, in the form of its incredibly nationalistic messages: Japan is being oppressed by the evil Brits and Americans, and it’s up to the main character to vanquish the oppression. The second season also happily continues this tradition by portraying the Chinese as a bunch of fascistic pigs. It’s full of unnecessary stereotypes that make no sense.

So, with all of this criticism, why do you want to watch this series in the first place? Simple: the entertainment factor. The climaxes, badly written as they may be, do try their best to make a huge spectacle with what they can do. This is a typical series that you want to watch if you want some brainless action, and nothing deep or well written. You can mock the ridiculous plotholes and cheese and at the same time enjoy the action scenes for what they are.

But yeah, that doesn’t excuse the fact that Code Geass is a whole mess in terms of storytelling, and wants too much too fast. The character-development is ridiculous, it’s full of plotholes and unable to really create something memorable (not in a good way, at least). I’ve read somewhere that even the director thought that this series has turned crappy, so I hope that he learned from his mistakes and that his next series will be a “bit” more solid.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10
Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Nijuu Mensou no Musume


A major theme of the past half year was fooling the viewer, and the uncrowned king (or queen in this case) of this theme definitely is Nijuu Mensou no Musume. In this series, Studio Bones tells about a twelve-year old girl, who gets adopted by a glamorous and world-famous thief, in the period of right after the second world war. That leads you to expect that this is going to be some sort of thief-series, where Chiko and Nijuu Mensou (the girl and the thief) spend most of its time to steal a number of precious artefacts. Well, no.

I refuse to spoil what’s exactly going to happen, but expect a lot of points where the storyline in this series will just take 180 degree turns as the series progresses. This is really one series that keeps you guessing, and wondering where the characters will go next. And that’s the charm of this series for me.

To accompany the storyline, the series also has a number of very solid characters. Chiko works really well as a female lead: she’s smart and composed, although in the first few episodes, she does lean awfully close to a Mary-Sue. Thankfully, as the series progresses, she develops away from that trope. The side-characters are also excellent, though there are a few oddballs among them. Characters as Ken and Haruka never really can seem to find their place in this series.

Unfortunately, as this series enters its final third, its quality decreases dramatically. Up till that point, the series had been wonderfully unpredictable, and then it decides to close off with a drawn-out rip off of one of its earlier arcs, and a final antagonist who just lacks development for the big role he’s supposed to have, turning him into another one of those villains that are evil because they’re evil. The development in this arc pretty much stagnates, a few deus ex machina pop up here and there, it takes several episodes to do something that could just have been done in one, the final climax is a string of clichés, and overall it just took the potential this series had and threw it away.

Because of that, I just can’t label this as a great series, since it could have been so much better if a bit more time was spent to tweak that final arc. What could have been a masterpiece went rather downhill during its finale. Because of that, Nijuu Mensou no Musume still is a good series, but nowhere near the best of the season.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: The aftermath of Nijuu Mensou no Musume, where Chiko has moved to London, and the detective girls finally have the chance to solve one mission.
Highlights: Chiko’s growth.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Ah, thank goodness. The climax was disappointing to say the least, but at least the aftermath was excellent, as it showed what everyone’s been doing, two years after said climax. It’s interesting how Chiko chose her own way, and stopped getting herself involved with dangerous stuff, and instead just concentrated her time on studying. It’s also good to see that Ken got some proper development. He’s always been the odd character in this show, ever since the train incident, but at least he’s now able to move on, and not get held back by Chiko.

that masked murderer and ken really came from nowhere, but at least we got to see a nice fight to close off the series in this way. The lost boy also formed a nice way to conclude the series, pointing back to Chiko and Akechi’s lost nephew. Haruka also has grown up very nicely (and actually didn’t get married at her sixteenth ^^;), although her character-design felt a bit off. She had a bit of a “Kimikiss”-face, as in a face where the eyes are a bit too far apart from each other for their own good.

Overall, because I was able to blog more series than usual this series, I ended up blogging Nijuu Mensou no Musume on a whim, in an attempt to become a Bones-fanboy. Okay, so that attempt failed when both their contributions to the past spring-season ended up disappointing a bit. I still consider them a good production-company, which managed to nail a few very good series, but I still just can’t label it among my favourites. I had a lot of fun when this series was good and unpredictable, but the final parts were just too uninteresting for what it built up for.

Posted on 27 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Birdy the Mighty Decode



My three personal favourite series are the following: 1) Mahou Shoujotai, 2) Noein, 3) Visions of Escaflowne. Because Mahou Shoujotai wasn’t directed by just one guy, but a whole bunch of directors and the latter two were directed by the guy called Kazuki Akane, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s my favourite director. So, when he comes with a new series that plans to revive an old OVA from the nineties, then I obviously had to watch it. Overall, it doesn’t live up to his other work, but it’s an impressive series nonetheless.

Although it doesn’t always show this, this series knows how to build up. The first half of the series might goof off at first sight, but once the second half kicks in, everything slowly starts coming together, and the tension is very smoothly built up until the actual climax, and it becomes apparent that the first few episodes were definitely necessary, to flesh out the different characters and settings, and make them believable.

What impressed me the most, though, is the way that this series uses its production-values. There’s time enough for the story and characters to develop, with the second season and all, but both the graphics and music are very well done. The budget of this series is obviously limited, but the creators managed to save most of it in order to treat the viewer to a very small amount of beautifully animated fight scenes, which I’d classify as the best 2D-fight scenes of the past half year. When a character sprains his ankle, or gets his or her arm twisted, you see exactly the bones and muscles that move out of place, which is something most other anime tend to neglect.

There’s just one minor point about this series: it doesn’t have the most exciting main character to work with. Senkawa really is your typical fourteen year old brat, which love issues and impulsive tendencies thankfully the creators do manage to develop his character sufficiently, but he does whine a lot in the process.

Apart from that, I can’t really say much more about this series. It’s a typical series that’s meant to really take off in its second season, and for that it built up really well. There are some clichéd characters here and there, but the director has an excellent sense of timing, and knows what to say when, where and how to make the best out of them.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
CHANGE USERNAME
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.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
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