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

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Total users: 24

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

Many of you might wonder why I decided to blog this show, despite the first episode spent two third of its time in one single aerial combat, which can be fascinating to watch but bring extremely little to talk about. While I agree that Kotobuki has its fair share of underwhelming aspects (which I will […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 04 [VS The Imaginator 1]

It starts with a girl jumping off the building. I’m always a sucker for this sort of opener (clue in to Lain and Satoshi Kon even though Kon never technically did that for opener), and it feels like a decent start for the next arc to come. It basically repeats the same formula as the […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my […]

Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as […]

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

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

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

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

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]