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
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will be on leave in a few weeks, that will give me time to re-assess hsiao hsiao tsiens work. Also I think you might like Pickpocket by Jia Zhangke.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even though I do like Korean cinema, I have the most fun with the balls to the wall old Chinese/Hong-kong action films, aswell as the Japanese noirs and historical dramas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Barking dogs put simply is one of those dry/dark comedies that jives with my sensibilities =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
For Bong, its a pity snowpiercer didn't go over well with some people. It improved on the comic it was based on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I'm not blind to oldboys twist and some setpieces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll admit I prefer Wooks lesser liked films, such as the thirst and cyborg . I've watched oldboy a few times and Mr Vengeance twice, lady vengeance once but no matter how hard I try I can't fully connect with them, end up feeling tired when watching. Handmaiden's story got my attention but I didn't find anything titilating about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I find Bongs works generally more fun, better satire aswell. But Kim-Jee-woon. Lee-chang-dong and kim-di-duk are my favourite Korean filmakers.
K-Off
everything from the creative cinematography to the plot points happening exactly where they need to happen. That's not what I feel Chan Wook's more honest work are. JSA, Old boy, Thirst, all have a comparatively less method approach to them, and they tackle stories and character relationships far more entangled thab Bong's works ever did.
K-Off
Some of Wook's recent work don't hold up very well, at least for the ones I've seen, and I'd agree that in creating masterpieces with brilliant social relevancy, Bong is that much better at it. But the styles are much more different than they appear I feel. For one, certainly everything in Bong's films are meticulously planned paintings, with
SuperMario
... Bong's works they are just inferior in terms of writing. Park is better at writting memorable characters thou
SuperMario
@K-Off: I personally believe these two are the greatest working Korean directors right now (despite my love for Hong Sang Soo's body of works). For Park, I LOVE his cinematography, every single shot feel like a painting for me. Although in terms of writing only Join Security Area and Oldboy are layered; other works writing feel so loose for me. Not that they are bad, but when you compare them to..
K-Off
Chan Wook is brilliant as well...Joint Security Area, Thirst, so fucking good. My favorite korean films are composed entirely of those two's works.
K-Off
Mother was amazing, definitely second after Memories. Both continue to amaze me every time I watch them and I feel like I pick up on something new every time I do. Not many murder-thrillers even come close to those two.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Mother floored me when I first watched it and it's my personal favorite film out of his. The only film I haven't watched from him was Barking Dogs, his debut. Was it great?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Bong continues to mix elements successfully but it can’t be in the same league as Memories, barking dogs and The host, I did like it more than mother however which I unfortunately found to be a kind of dull film (I need to see it again, as I watched it when I was new to Korean cinema).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It sells the viewer on the relationship between the girl and the animal successfully in away a cynical old man like me can like =P With the kid in mind, its not often enough we get tolerable child actors, she did a good job. It has that well executed sentimentalism the Koreans are good at.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While it does have some pretty clunky dialogue, ends conveniently and can get close to being too juvenile, having finished Okja, it generally comes off as a high level 90s kids flick that once it gets going keeps things rolling, you can watch it for Swinton and Gylennhall hamming/camping it up and there is an element of fun there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really is a great feeling being in an arthouse cinema surrounded by anime fans watching an anime film, the mood and vibe of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On piratebay. I've actually only seen the nightmare fuel scenes in Gen but shocking stuff. I'd probably go with silent voice perhaps for the simple reason I felt it more.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: man. Okja already available online? Really looking forward to that one
SuperMario
@Kaiser: great. I get the feeling that in term of scope, In this Corner is more akin to Barefoot Gen than Graves of Fireflies. So how would you compare it with A Slient Voice? Which one you prefer?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Currently downloading okja.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Basically I thought, especially since the manga was only three chapters long the movie could have benefited from a tighter runtime but made up for it by being emotionally involving.
I’m content with giving it three stars and its made me want to spend my weekend watching films multiple about Hiroshima.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: allowing them to deliver on the emotions promised because the film spends so much time on her daily life.
I liked how the voice acting didn’t really feel like anime voice acting. You sort of get used to the character designs eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: This film, early on had many slice of lifey moments that I felt mixed on, on one hand they border on a bit plodding/slight, yet the comedy bits they put in actually kind of amuses, despite them going on too long, it allows you to get attached to this woman for when the sad parts show up ,
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As I said recently , today would be the day I saw in this corner of the world, I just got back from it.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t feel its worthy of the 5 stars its receiving, nor would it hold up to Kuroi Ame by Imamura Shohei or Takahata’s grave of the fireflies.
Anonymous1218982
KT here: Next RE:Creators episode seems to be a gag episode. Not sure how I feel, though obviously the creators need a break.
SuperMario
yeah, usually 1 small arc = 2 to 3 episodes. We have 3 mini arc left so I would say about 6 episodes
AidanAK47
Actually from what I hear, there isn't enough material left in Owarimonogatari to make a full course. Seems like it's one volume with would equal 6 episodes at best.
AidanAK47
Like hell. There's about five more Monogataris to adapt. Anyway it's not that you are not getting it but rather instead of one cour it's going to be all aired within two days as specials. The runtime of the specials is up for debate but you are still getting it.
SuperMario
the loss of the FINAL one, you mean.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I wouldn't grin evilly about it but there's like over ten Monogatari animes. Kinda hard to be sad over the loss of one.
SuperMario
According to ANN, this new Owarimonogatari will be a special 2-day events, which honestly I don't know what that even means. Most of you might grin your evil grin right now but I'm crying inside with that news.
SuperMario
The LWA finale didn't do much for me sadly. Croi's roles as a main antagonist is just not good. And I feel like in the end I don't know much about Suzy or Lotte. I think the worse episode for me was the one right after the twist about why Akko can't perform magic, because it's as Aidan said
KT
Thus Little Witch Academia comes to an end. I will miss it. Despite the mistake IMHO of the Croix Arc, this was a good series, and the last episode went back to the very elements that made me love it at the start. It was a happy series, and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling in some hard times. I thank it for it. It could had been exceptional, but I guess they wanted to try something more.Ah well.
AidanAK47
Really glad they used that Scarborough fair song one last time before the finale. I really love that song.
Anonymous1215349
SukaSuka's finale was beautiful, a great way to end a great anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I guess the big question I have is, do the character interactions coupled with what assume will be some kind of tragedy element work together well enough to make the viewer care and invest in the characters?
AidanAK47
So that's the end of SukaSuka. Better than I thought it would be. Honestly didn't give it enough of a chance in my preview. As far as light novel adaptions go it's above average. Though it does still suffer from it's cliches. Nothing outstanding but a worthwhile watch nontheless.
Anonymous1214845
Have you seen Shonen Jump is making an international manga contest? https://medibang.com/jumpplus/entry/
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you know it when you see it. At first I didn't believe they jumped the shark, but based on the events after that twist, yep it has settled for something much cheaper imo.
Lenlo
For Bahamut, im still enjoying it and we have another cour to go. I think it, and the first Bahamut, are good shows. For Kado, im only on ep 4 so im very curious what shark gets jumped
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think given the pace I'll watch 1-2 or 2-3 episodes of re creators instead of once a week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end Bahamut suffered the same fate as the first one, I could never call it a bad show, I just never ended up feeling it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've given my thoughts on tsuki ga kirei before on here but I'll add by saying that I never expected it and uchouten 2 (despite the weak wrap up I liked the lead up) to be my favourite of the season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
About five years ago or so could have seen myself really having been in the mood for LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't as impressed with Uchoutens finale as Mario was,I found myself more annoyed by how clumsily done it all was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me kado jumped the shark with its latest direction and Aidans review along with flicking through this weeks episode kind of confirms I'm done with the show. A show I was initially unsure of but thought might become something.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Yeah....at least LWA's finale was pretty good and I think there's a possibility of a second season. With the Criox/Chariot plot line out of the way I say they could really bank on it's potential. Even if they don't, this series was still quite enjoyable.
Anonymous1211365
Man I couldn't agree more with Aidan about LWA and Kado. I still like and enjoy Kado but damn it could have been so much more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ntr trap appears to be a non-seinen/shounen yuri manga given its publication magazine.
Vonter
Not all people work as fast, but that's what companies expect nowadays. Which is why CGI is preferred over practical effects. Or even why anime has used more 3D that painted backgrounds, cars or other props that take time and work to be drawn.
Vonter
No. I get deadlines are tough. Companies and customers want everything made as fast as humanly possible, yet reality is that making things good takes time and money. I wouldn't be surprised that's why Berserk comes out every 6 months, the art is too detailed and the story is slow paced. Yet the anime was planned to be made in a year or two so it's evident either way, crunch is expected.
Lenlo
I think you misunderstood what he meant when he said the industry was a mess. Mangaka routinely work themselves into a hospital because of the demanding schedule
Vonter
Then there's the franchise appeal. Which inherently gains something because of persistence, awareness and name. It is hard when great visual effort is mainly put in things that are guaranteed to be a hit, because original stuff tend to make mistakes to find their own identity. Which in itself makes them very risky affairs.
Vonter
It's also a heavy flaw of the internet, having mainly binary opinions of good or bad. Which makes it hard to tell if you'll like something in the 7s like Nier or Alien 3 (might not be a 7 but opinions make it sound like it is). Divisive products that may or not may suit one's tastes.
Vonter
Personally I think the issue has become what suits your tastes, what are you willing to give a chance and what hits beyond the medium it is presented.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 "Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess". - I mean, movies, games, and other entertainment have the same issue, since everyone has a big slice of the pie, yet there are like a million things competing for one's attention.
SuperMario
On that note, apart from the 3 shows I'n currently covering (Eccentric Family, Tsuki ga Kirei and ID-0), I will give a full review on Grimoire of Zero, a show that I feel rather difficult to pinpoint exactly on its quality.
SuperMario
Can't believe we approaching the final week of this current season. Gonna be a busy week of blogging with the usual weekly posts plus the final impressions.
SuperMario
@Anon1206174: I agree with you on both counts. And Sakura Quest has never been bad, but it could have been deeper and less messy. If you plan to watch ID-0 (I suggest you do), don't get your expectation too high because it works much better when you expect nothing of it. Like each episode I was genuinely surprised how good ID-0 actually is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember one of Aidan's visual novel posts where he said theres potentially hundreds of VNs un-translated and LNs too, makes me wonder just how much un-translated manga we are missing out on.
Anonymous1206174
The ID-o posts sound pretty interesting, I am really thinking of dropping Sakura and watching this instead. Really loved the beginnign of Sakura and that abandoned town atmosphere it had, but I am not feeling it anymore. The recent episode about Shiori was great again though..
Kaiser-Eoghan
*looking
Then again he's an extremely forgetable person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Godammit, looing back over my comments I meant to say Souta not Setsuna, I suck at remembering non-English names.
Anonymous1205999
Meh - I really like this season but I already have my first cases of 'good-show-disappointing-ending/second half'
Anonymous1206022
KT Here:RE:Creators , we need to know more about the rules for Altair to see if that works. It might, and it might not. With what they know they have a good plan. But I was thinking why not just do a Super Smash Bros type game with the characters? I am sure that would generate enough stuff in order to lock her.
SuperMario
On Re:Creators, I find a better solution instead of going all cross-media like the show suggests. Someone could just make some fan-fiction on Altair that purposely show her weakness (like get busted when expose to the sun, or the magic word that render her skills useless). Less efforts, more effective
SuperMario
Man, I agree wholeheartedly with what KT said here: mass media actually sells, so it keeps the industry to a more stable position; then the art-house/more adult oriented anime can have some freedom to do what they like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its more that I have to read it all at the same time as expecting action to come , it might change my mind if I watched it in English.
Anonymous1205580
KT here: I accept the mass media because it raises the funds for the less mainstream stuff I like. That is how I make my peace.

On RE:Creators. I get what you guys say. But for some reason I do not find the exposition heavy in this series. Every person has his own limit I guess
Alonaria
@Kaiser: Yep, that sounds about right, lol. I take my Sheldon in concentrated doses. I might give the Young Sheldon spin off an episode or two because it's highly exaggerated but still somewhat relatable to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel big bang theory is a show for people who know nothing about nerds/nerd culture to find funny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then theres this thing about Sheldon being some kind of autism spectrum thing , which is kind of annoying to hear when I am on the spectrum myself and never really found the character all that amusing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably not the strongest reason to go off a show but, it was people around me going on and on about big bang theory that eventually put me off it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol is it any surprise Miura and the hunter x hunter guy take so many breaks =P
Alonaria
*Sheldon
Alonaria
I pick and choose Big Bang episodes that I enjoy. Shelden in the ball pit never ceases to amuse me. Still, it's definitely overrated haha.
Lenlo
IT Crowd > Modern Big Bang. Early Big Bang was good.

And yes, the work conditions in the Manga Industry are terrible. Oda, One Piece Mangaka, works stupid hours. He requests his assistances be "Willing to die for One Piece" because of the amount of work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And hell yeah"! someone else thats hates on big bang theory.
IT crowd > big bang.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more safer
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yet now here I am at same time, I think it might be kind of a shame that I can't see the value and fun anymore in some less safer offerings.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I thinking I might go insane if I looked up comments defending the visuals in occultic; nine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hate to say it but sometimes opinions, mainstream ones are actually wrong. Its a fact that superhero films have bad action scenes and cinematography and Hardboiled, a chinese action film is better filmed in terms of choreography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As dickish as this is to say, I really do recoil when ssomeone says something like the Notebook or fifty shades is the best film of all time/their favourite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See theres also factoring in the people whos favourite film or anime of all is the most recent they finished.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember mentioning recently that I was re-watching the twilight zone, the response I got was "I thought that you were talking about twilight"
Kaiser-Eoghan
See thats whats so great about being able to talk about more niche stuff online, theres an easier to find common ground.
AidanAK47
In general when it comes to mass popular opinion it's the tried and true safe stuff that ends up selling. The highest selling Mario games are the New Super Mario ones. The same generic Light novel and harems keep selling. There are plenty of examples but majority opinion tends to gravitate to the safe and familiar.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, most (offline) people (and or teenagers)who aren't really all that interested in film or don't look into it that much will turn out for things like fifty shades, transformers or twilight, thats why those are popular. Most people aren't going to watch something made more than a few years ago or subtitled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh...lol fuck thats a blunder...yes I meant Re:creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But by all means, people are fully entitled to like what they like. But there is a reason why so much rubbish gets popular.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Re:Creators.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As someone who would actually consider themselves creative and interested in things being imaginative I really do hate the whole anti-creativity /anti-art, anti-intelligence movement and way of thinking that allows un-deservedly popular things like what Aidan mentioned to fester.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes Re:zero's poor pacing and leaden dialogue is becoming too dominant and there should be more action, its good Setsuna opened up, but I still don't particularly like him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine the magazines/editors probably consider themselves the writers sometimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty sure I only read nisekoi because I was keeping up with conversations about it, then dropped it before the Chitoge doublie showed up, just stopped reading.
AidanAK47
On the matter of Re:Creators, I feel the same as the Anon said. I find the exposition to just drone on far too much.
AidanAK47
On the matter of the manga industry being shit...it is. Manga in general is great but Jesus Christ the industry is a mess. Work conditions are utterly abhorrent and it's even worse that most series live or die based on a magazine popularity poll.
Because just because something is popular, does not mean it is quality. Example: Transformers, Twilight, Fifty shades, Sword Art Online, Big Bang theory
AidanAK47
@Anon, Still not getting your logic here. I mean if I have a problem with it after trying it then why am I not allowed to complain about it? Anyway it is only popular for the pandering. Even those who like Nisekoi admit that it's a mediocre harem and they mainly enjoy the waifu wars on the internet.
SuperMario
and now we will resort to illegal streaming sites for this one. "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem", this f*cking true
SuperMario
Huh? Welcome to the Ballroom Anime Gets Amazon Prime-Only Streaming Inside and Outside Japan. Now that just unbearable
SuperMario
Don't know about this new Re:Creators episode since I haven't watched it, but I don't really mind Meteora. Her dialogues scream "exposition" but she still fits well to the story. The fights are good, I agree, but why didn't they go all the way with the world's collapse last episode?
Anonymous1202407
Whether Nisekoi is pandering or not, it is not enough proof for you to suggest that manga industry is shit. If u want good mainstream then its not that hard to find. Also for every success like Nisekoi which u claim to be pandering, there are dozen like it that failed to be popular. Why? Because it clearly is popular for a reason other than just simple pandering.
SuperMario
Ha, Ping Pong. I need that kind of show again in my life.
Lenlo
Also, Ping Pong is amazing.
Lenlo
Theres a difference between pandering to a large audience, and an anime/manga with a quality story that everyone ends up liking. Ive always found moe shows and things like Nisekoi to be the former.
Anonymous1202407
If you have a problem with it after trying it just dont read it. Its that simple. Also what a surprise that a show like nisekoi that appeals to a large demographic is popular. U want the mangaka to apologize it's not some art house story like Ping Pong?
Lenlo
Meteora is pretty hit or miss with her dialogue imo. Sometimes its great, othertimes its not. I can say though I enjoy most of the fights.
Anonymous1202113
I really want to like Re:Creators. To be honest though, I'm getting tired of the dialogue. It has its high points, but it sometimes just seems to drone on and on, especially with all of Meteora's "hypotheses."
KT
Both Bahamut and RE:Creators had great episodes. But I was indeed mentally screaming Super Smash Bros at RE:Creators. You will get the point when you watch the episode.
AidanAK47
Taken on it's own, Nisekoi is harmless. But it is undeniably proof that you need not be creative or innovative to succeed in the industry. In fact declaring creative bankruptcy could turn more fruitful than genuine effort.
AidanAK47
And I said how can you decide you don't like something if you haven't read it?
Of course you are likely mean that if you don't like something then give up on reading it further which of course does not mean that someone cannot complain about it regardless.
Anonymous1198985
No, Im said if you dont like nisekoi dont read it
AidanAK47
@Anon, How do you know you don't like it if you don't read it?
Anonymous1196967
Don't like it don't read it.
AidanAK47
I went and read Double Arts. This really was a great manga with tons of potentail and truly didn't deserve the axe. It's so depressing that this was cut off so soon and the author went on to make the most generic Harem ever Nisekoi, and that got over 200 chapters.
Lenlo
All of the important dance scenes for Yuri were fantastic, its just some minor one off characters and some reused ones that were an issue, so no they are better than the CGI
Anonymous1190387
Is it worse than those CGI dance scenes in some anime?
AidanAK47
@Puran, It is pretty surprising how well that story turns out. I say IG might do the job even if there animation isn't the most consistent. The one thing I am worried about is those necks though. In the PV those things were ridiculously long.
Puran
Fair enough, recycling the animation was bad, agreed. But the animation itself was really good.
Lenlo
See, I found the repeated dances in Yuri one of the worse parts. Alot of it was recycled animation and certain characters were obviously rushed/not done. Some were amazing, cause they took their time, but others looked terrible.
Puran
I kinda wish Mappa was doing the anime though. Yuri on Ice had really nicely animated dances (and was more or less the only actually good quality of that show :P )
Puran
Reading the Ballroom e Youkoso manga has made me really excited about the Anime.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm particularly turned off by bully/bullying cliches these days. I've only read the first two volumes to see how awful she was but I ended up simply losing track of the series and stopped reading.
Kaiser_Eoghan
@Mario: Actually that has changed, I had to pick a different day to see it given changes in schedule, I've booked it for NEXT Wednesday now. I've watched Akira about four times.
AidanAK47
Oh, Rising of the Shield Hero is getting an anime adaption. Hmmm...honestly after finishing the series and looking over it as a whole I am not sure I even want that. Plus seeing Bitch Animated...would fill me with rage.
SuperMario
I intend to re-watch Akira soon, probably this weekend. It has been almost 10 years since my first watch and now I don't remember much about that one. Thought it was intriguing and complex but not as acclaimed as people hyped it to be (I'll pick Ghost in the Shell anytime). Wonder how I'd feel now after re-watching it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I remember you mentioned that you were going to watch In this Corner of the World today right? How was the movie Kaiser?
Lenlo
Oh cool, food wars is getting a 3rd season
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ballroom youkoso appears to be leading the polls.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Fumiko is a female mangaka yes. Also I found bokura no hentai worth reading.
SuperMario
yep, I finished that manga too and I have conflicted feeling about it. Yuri(!) part and fanservice are to blatant but they have a purpose. This mangaka (not sure but I think she's a girl) has some unique voice.
AidanAK47
....well I skimmed that manga. And it was weird
SuperMario
By all appearances,Sakura is normal,albeit sheltered junior high school girl who enjoy talking about love and walking home from school together.However,they also happen to inhabit a strange and supernatural world populated by mysterious,gigantic beings and unusual plant and animal life.Amid their peaceful lives,Sakura becomes very interested in something only alluded to exist in old books: dicks
SuperMario
Here's a synopsis of other manga from the same author, I think you'll have a better idea of his theme -
Sakura no Sono
AidanAK47
Pretty much what Masky said. I am not really praising it. Anyway I plan to read one or two more chapters to see where it's going. But if it's going in the direction I think it's going then I am dropping this one fast.
Kaiser_Eoghan
There is of course the underlying concern that it will go a very ugly route with that development or it could become edgy/horribly minipulative, but for now it is as mario said, a hook.
SuperMario
Well. overall I don't dislike what I read there. It has good hook and I'm intrigued to know more what the hell will happen. Good set-up for me. I'm in
SuperMario
@Masky: it's fine Masky, since I will chec itk out any way and see it for myself ^^
Masky
So since you guys started being interested, I checked it out and uh.. Yeah, not reading. I think ye guys misunderstood Aidans warnings since that was just fucked up and not in the interesting way.
Lenlo
@Aidan: Berserk will never again go more than 3-4 months without a hiatus.
SuperMario
Hmmm, that manga Cutie Mutie sounds good to me. I might check it out later today
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But had you not alluded to that scene, I may have seen the cover of that manga and skipped over it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I had a feeling, sort of, sad, I am intrigued to read more.
AidanAK47
Hyping and warning are not the same thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well with Aidan hyping up the horrors of cutie mutie I may as well glance at it to see what he' on about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three manga with the name rec.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am familiar with the artist for cutie mutie, she did that manga about the three kids dealing with gender/orientation issues.
AidanAK47
Oh look Berserk is on Haitus again....
.....the sad thing is that it comes as expected now.
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