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
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
AidanAK47
I am in some ways both relieved and disappointed.
AidanAK47
Well I got the day off work and the only thing that happened was that it was a bit windy. Wasn't really a big deal to be honest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats the word on your end Aidan with regards to the Hurricane?
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course raging bull, a rare case where I watched a film twice.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I've always, apart from Creed, ignored the Rocky sequels despite enjoying the first one, not really into watching a billion followups to a film. Films about fighters seem to connect with me, I got alot out of warrior, southpaw and Rocky.
KTravlos
I was surprised by how well Ancient Magus Bride was able to sell to me the naturalness of Elia's skull head, and the falseness of his conjured human head. Well done.
Lenlo
I do love a good boxing anime. Both Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo are great, though for different reasons.
Vonter
Simply put, unlike Hajime no Ippo. Ashita no Joe, also was mainly about Joe, living in a poor rural town, struggling to make a living, and boxing came out as something that gave him meaning. Instead of the typical shounen of "becoming the best".
Vonter
I think it's bold when someone announced they want to make something like "the next Rocky". Since that's apparently what I get from this announcement. https://manga.tokyo/news/original-anime-megalo-box-inspired-by-ashita-no-joe-announced-for-spring-2018/
CJayTiii
Just watched Heaven's Feel Part 1 at the movie theater last night. DEAR LORD the animation was flawless. I honestly thought they nailed the calmer scenes a lot better than UBW as well. The wait for part 2 is gonna be brutal...
Amagi
Isekai isn't even bad, it's just that it became the worst case of formularic wish fulfillment masturbation nowadays. I actually wish we would get more proper isekai anime again, especially if it's some scifi or time travel stuff for once
AidanAK47
You know thinking about it, Muv Luv Alternative could be considered a deconstruction of Isekai before Isekai was even a thing. After all it actually has the elements of of Isekai.
AidanAK47
Gonna do up a review of the trilogy. Though first I need to post that Subahibi review I have had sitting in my Google docs. Twas waiting till we got the impressions done with.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I remember checking out Muv Luv and not being too impressed about it. When i cheeked out Alternative years ago I was blown away by how good it was. Usually VNs have moments of downtime where it can get boring no matter how good they are. But Alternative just had you from start to finish.
Amagi
@Aidan: Muv Luv Alt is one of the best VNs I've read. I am happy I always avoided spoilers before. The only thing I knew was that it gets heavy around chapter 6 or 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for letting me know before I bothered booking for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the plot doesn't make sense. As the story progresses, it gets weirder, the visual goes wilder and the ending doesn't wrap up much. I might need to watch the live-action version
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: See you rated fireworks 3 1/2, what did you think of it?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I suppose, same to you, hopefully you'll be alright.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was designed by Marta Akermann : https://friendist.deviantart.com/
Anonymous1482176
Can I get where the banner is from?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know there were 18 deaths back in the mid eighties when a storm struck here back then.
Total users: 42

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