Posted by psgels on 11 October 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews

Yeah, yeah. I’ve been blogging for nearly three years, I’ve written more than 300 reviews so far, and I still haven’t checked out the “big three” of anime: Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell SAC and Full Metal Alchemist. Well, at least I’ve got one of them down now. I finally managed to complete what could possibly be the most popular anime of the past decade.

Of course, I did try to watch this series at one time; twice, actually. But I kept getting stuck on that surprisingly boring first part. It didn’t make any sense. People were praising this series to heavens, and at the same time it was a pain to get through that first quarter of the series. It basically consists out of either flashbacks or a number of random stories, with the biggest problem being that the flashbacks were just boring, and the random stories never really worked. The creators just weren’t good at writing them.

The thing is, that this series played way too much with coincidences. Wherever Ed and Al came, there was some kind of Timmy who fell in some kind of Well, at exactly the right time for Ed to demonstrate his awesome child-prodigy powers. In whichever town they came, the creators would make sure that they’d coincidentally meet people who were related to some sort of gruesome secret behind this town. This especially returns ad nauseam in the first quarter, but the entire series is also plagued by this.

Thankfully, after that very dodgy start, the series picks back up when the big storyline starts for this series. Thankfully the creators prove that they’re good at writing a continuous storyline, and they slowly develop the story into a multi-layered mystery intrigue. You can see that a lot of thought was put behind it, and the series’ final quarter especially shines in the story-department. Much like Full Moon wo Sagashite, actually.

The characters are a very mixed bag, actually. Characters like Rose and Archer are incredibly shallow, and feel a bit too much like underdeveloped plot-devices. Other side-characters, however, absolutely shine when they’re standing in the spotlight. People like Scar, Sensei, Armstrong and the Humonculi really made this series for me, and showed that behind their simple look, they’ve got a complex and interesting story lying. Unfortunately, Hughes was overrated. Based on the things I’ve heard about his… spoiler, I expected something much grander, which he never really delivered.

That’s not the biggest problem here, though. Unfortunately, I never really could care about the main characters in this series: Ed and Al. Every time this series was exploring an interesting side-character, they’d take over again. In a way, this series suffers from the “bad main character”-syndrome. The two of them are developed, they’ve got more back-story than any other character in this series, but they’re just nowhere near as interesting as some of the other characters in this series, and their teenaged whining can become annoying at times.

Overall, Full Metal Alchemist shines through some of its side-characters and the messages it tries to convey. While the series is without a doubt very much a Christian series, it asks some interesting questions from its viewers, and shows various different beliefs on these questions. That’s why I handed this series a 10 in the setting-department: despite the flaws of the series, it’s an excellent and complex world for this series to play in that also makes you think. And I agree, it’s a very good series because of these things. However, it just isn’t the best thing since sliced bread. I just can’t call this series as superior to for example Gilgamesh, Rescue Wings or Ooedo Rocket. I liked it overall, but at the same time I do consider this one to be overrated, and it had some major problem that held back its potential.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 10/10

42 Responses

  1. choux says:

    My opinion is similar to yours, though I have to admit that I’m biased due to being a big fan of the manga.

  2. Marmoset says:

    I like a good traveling anime myself but after much stalling I basically gave up around episode 35. I appreciate that there’s a big story trying to be told here but it just keeps going round in circles and pointlessly delaying the main characters journey. I also wasn’t sold completely on the setting, it felt like every new place had a new theme like it was some kind of mediocre rpg where none of the locations had any kind of connection to each other (yes they shouldn’t all be the same but they’re all run by the same government)

  3. Inuhanyou says:

    Don’t get caught up in hype of popular series, it diminishes the series for you

  4. Ryan A says:

    I still consider it pretty solid, but it’s nowhere near Bebop imo. I agree that the main characters are not a good centerpiece, I didn’t really identify with them other than the fact they are siblings. Yes, most of the side characters made it memorable.

    I took FMA as more about statements than story of the main characters, they are just the method to explain various situations (mostly mixing morale and politics) in the setting.

    “People like Scar, Sensei, Armstrong and the Humonculi really made this series for me”


  5. BlueYoshi says:

    Since I started watching anime more than 2 years ago, I’ve been struggling to watch FMA. I’m so close to finishing now (up to Ep 48), and I can agree with the characters and the inconsistant storytelling.

  6. saris says:

    I agree with some of your points though , still I have to admit I’m a fan of this series, it’s one of the earliest dark anime I watch and is the one which kind of makes me interested in bloody and tragic shows. I admire how they don’t hesitate to kill their characters when the time comes and there are many plot twists to be following on throughout the series. And recently I read the manga, which is different from the anime vastly , and still found this series to be wonderful, guess it’s a personal preference then.

    Well, of all the big three you say, I can’t get myself to watch Cowboybepop , I drop it as soon as I watch ep.5. Although the characters look deep , I can’t bring myself to like them. Ghost in the shell too. Anyway, I think you shouldn’t compared FMA to something like Gilgamesh, that one is an undeniably great show but it will never draw some type of the audiences to watch it. FMA maybe the good example of dark anime which attracts many lighter anime watchers to be interested in the kind, I think that’s good thing about it.

  7. Kim says:

    I never knew that Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell SAC and Full Metal Alchemist were considered the big 3 of anime. I know they are all popular but I think there are some other series like Eva and Death Note that would fight for the most popular title as well (and this isn’t even taking into account the long running shounen titles)

    You also have to take into account that if something is playing on US TV it is going to be more popular because it hits a wider audience.

  8. Rita Skeeter says:

    You’d consider SAC to be one of the big three? Wow. Actually, I wouldn’t even consider FMA to be one of the big three. There are so many that were more popular and are still more popular to this day (thankfully FMA has sank down to nothing in Japan now). There are also plenty of series with better writing.

  9. Lika says:

    Once again, I’ve been completely spoiled by the manga. There’s pretty much no stupid side plots that doesn’t re-introduce the characters later on for a plot point and Rose doesn’t make me want to bitch slap her. I agree with pretty much most of what you’ve said (including the part about Hughes as in the manga, the spoiler with him happens around chapter 12 out of 88 so far, but I guess everyone loves a family man), including the part about Ed and Al.

    Manga Ed and Al are developed characters who DON’T whine all the time (pretty much every second episode, Ed gets a crying scene in the rain whereas in the manga, Ed cries once and only once – when he was undergoing surgery and was afraid that his brother hates him), and Al. OH AL. Anime Al starts to seriously bug me in the last 10 or so episodes where he loses most of his personality and is just… well. He just gets kidnapped and acts like a brat.

    I don’t know what the second season for FMA scheduled to come out will do to the series. If you’ve watched the movie (which is anime original ending for the series) there’s nothing left to tell whereas should they continue from the manga… seeing as they started branching off extremely (well they started messing around with the plot even as early as the Tucker episodes) around episodes 25 to 30, I have no idea how they plan on explaining things to the audience.

    A question, why do you feel it’s a “Christian series”? FMA never struck me as a series that deals with religion or preaching, but more of a fun, action/fantasy series that likes to mindfuck you every month when the new chapter comes out.

  10. psgels psgels says:

    The “big three” is just a term I came up with for series that seem widely praised and popular. ^^;

    As for the christian-bit: I thought that this series was full of those sorts of references, with the equal trade-messages, the alchemy-circles, Rose turning into Maria, the bit that God will punish you if you sin (try to revive a human soul), et cetera.

  11. LifeCarrier says:

    Looking forward to your review of GITS:SAC, I personally loved both seasons.

    I foresee you’ll like it, given how you´re a mystery fan. It is rare among anime, its adult oriented characters, themes and subtle humor are certainly a breeze of fresh air from the teenager lead stories that abound nowadays, you’re in for a treat…

  12. senerikfred says:

    I agree about the FMA anime being somewhat Chrsitian, and that Ed and Al are hard to like at all. And those fillers at the beginning are really lame. However, the FMA manga is the series that pulled me over into anime/manga fandom for good, and I really love the mangaka, so again with bias. :P
    As much as I respect Bones for coming up with their own way to carry out and finish an at the time very much incomplete story, I’ve also been trying to forgive them for doing it with this series for ages.

    And don’t bother with the movie. It’s plothole wonderland, and the best thing to come out of that was the parody. Jeezum crow, I have to find that parody again. Loved it.

  13. hi….toàn bộ trang này là phim hoạt hình hay sao thế???

  14. Grzi says:

    i don’t know, the problems you mentioned didn’t seem to bother me when i saw fma. you probably expected something different. imo fma is one of the top 5 animes ever, and it’s definitely in my top 3 (along with cowboy bebop), and i’m an old school mecha fan first and foremost. but hey, different people have different opinions.

    one can tell that you expected something different and that you should have watched the series sooner when reading the part about hughes. you shouldn’t have known what will happen to him. if you’ve known that prior to watching the show, there’s no way you can comprehend the impact that the event had on the people who didn’t know what will happen. you say you expected grander and he was overrated? that’s one part of the review i think is kinda stupid.
    i don’t know, to me fma is all about emotion, emotion expressed through a beautiful story, a story that’s not without it’s flaws, but that is not important. in that aspect, fma reminds me of matsumoto’s works. some things simply don’t need to be explained or explained logically, what’s important is the message and the emotions. since you’ve failed to connect with the characters i can see that the emotional impact was absent with you, so i understand your low grade(yes, fma deserves more if we take the objective approach). i also think that perhaps the huge ammounts of fanboyism involved around this series kinda ruined it for you.

  15. Kurisu says:

    Excuse me, I have nothing to say about FMA as I haven’t watched it so far. Anyway, Death Note one of the big three? It is merely 2 years old. Yes, ANN currently lists it in the top 10. It also lists CG R2 there… However, Cowboy Bebop is 10 years old and still there. The power of hype has much improved since 1998, the web, fansubs and anime in general have become much easier available. Still. if you look at the number of votes, that’s not much and certainly not representative in the first place. I for one have never voted anywhere for any anime despite watching for several years. I dare say such ratings mainly represent the number of fanatics (fans would be an understatement) for these series and not the overall popularity of the general audience. What I mean is, it only shows how many dedicated fanatics care to hype a series but I’m certain it’s far from the results you’d get from a representative sample. It is of course also a question of availability. FMA, Cowboy Bebop, EVA were even shown on (US) TV and dubbed. So it wouldn’t be fair to compare their popularity with something only available as DVDs or fansubs. Also I’m pretty sure few can resist the eye-candy of a well-produced modern series which means newer series will always have some (unfair) advantage.

    Another huge factor I see is that a lot of viewers today have lost any sense of moderation. They claim to judge the animation, sound, story and characters but in reality they are only talking about their enjoyment. All those perfect-10-in-all-regards reviews are pure rubbish, the all-9-out-of-10 are rarely any better. They should be ignored right away. I often rather disagree with psgels’ ratings but they are actually very transparent because we can see what he’s watched so far and how he judged those. Can’t really say I care that much about numbers unless they are so low that they piss me off. ;) What’s important is the explanatory part of the review and that’s also where you can tell idiots, fans and moderated people apart. This is missing in pure and anonymous ratings, making them far less useful. Just look how many – and widely different in all regards – series cluster around 7-8/10 at ANN, for example.

  16. Denizen says:

    Full Metal Alchemist was fairly unimpressive, to me. Even though it was one of the first anime I watched, I still felt it had lots of problems that plague many anime and stories in general.

    Filler episodes, an unimpressive ending, cookie cutter plot methods, and a frankly crap end-villain. It was by no means bad, but as you say, it’s really not so remarkable.

  17. Grzi says:

    unimpressive ending? wow, i always thought the ending of the fma tv series is so beautiful, one of the best ever, right next to the ending of chrno crusade (which isn’t a very good show, but has an amazing ending).

  18. kalandra says:

    Kurisu, after your long comment… I don’t really understand what are you talking bout. Are you ranting because psgels said FMA was a “big three of anime”? Thats a rather peculiar reason to rant about. I understand your disdain of mainstream anime, but to write such a long post describing the people who like are idiots… are a little unnecessary? Let them be, when they mature, they will know what they watched as little kids sucks.

  19. Kurisu says:

    What I mean is that some of the top ranked anime have achieved their top spot by quality and originality whereas others are the result of hype. An anime can be great but still not qualify for such a high rank. I’m just saying that I feel the hype factor gets worse in recent years. Considering FMA as one of the top-3 wasn’t psgels’ judgement and he showed that – yes, it’s a great – but it just doesn’t belong into the top-3. If everyone put at least half as much of thought into his ratings and votes, the figures at ANN etc. could actually be useful.

  20. Grzi says:

    well kurisu, he’s saying that it’s great but it doesn’t belong in the top 3, but at the end of the day it’s just his opinion, i can reason why i think it is among the top 3 even better but it would still be my opinion. as soon as he mentions not relating to the characters and for example doesn’t mention the beautiful soundtrack it makes his review more subjective than 90% of the reviews ot there. a completely objective review of something doesn’t exist, but i find the reviews made by the reviewers on ANN (the dvd reviews) much more objective than this. the only reason you’re supporting this review and putting it above others’ opinions is because it’s similar to your opinion, which is logical, but don’t talk about other people’s opinion like they are less worthy.
    i have probably seen more anime than any of you have and will in the next couple of years, i have seen matsumoto’s works, tezuka’s works, tomino’s works, all of the classics (i’m 22 so i think i’m a bit older than you, i could be wrong) and fma is still among my top 3. and no hype influenced it.
    i don’t know, as soon as someone mentions hype, i always remember a quote from the ANN shelf life review of fma: “I know there’s a stigma out there amongst some of the “cooler” anime fans out there that insinuates that watching popular series somehow makes you less vogue, but Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely a series that everyone should at least sample. It won’t make you less hip or more mainstream, and it won’t make your Sunset Rubdown t-shirt burst into flames, so give it a shot. The relationship between the two Elric brothers is beautiful to watch as it evolves during the series, and the life lessons that they learn are both heart-warming and complex. The action scenes are pretty sweet, too, and if you don’t come out of the series hoping to conjure a steel pillar every time you secretly clap in the bathroom, you must have missed an episode.”
    so yeah, a lot of people out there think that if they like fma it will make them less “hardcore” (i’m not necessarily saying it’s you kurisu) just because it’s a popular show and a lot of people like it. i think it’s just wrong, it’s an awesom series and it deserves all the praise it gets.
    the retelling that will follow the manga starts in april, so expect even more hype.

  21. psgels psgels says:

    Grzi: I’m okay that you like this series and all, but I want to ask you: what exactly is objective about that sentence:

    “I know there’s a stigma out there amongst some of the “cooler” anime fans out there that insinuates that watching popular series somehow makes you less vogue, but Fullmetal Alchemist is definitely a series that everyone should at least sample. It won’t make you less hip or more mainstream, and it won’t make your Sunset Rubdown t-shirt burst into flames, so give it a shot. The relationship between the two Elric brothers is beautiful to watch as it evolves during the series, and the life lessons that they learn are both heart-warming and complex. The action scenes are pretty sweet, too, and if you don’t come out of the series hoping to conjure a steel pillar every time you secretly clap in the bathroom, you must have missed an episode.”

    Everything about that is relating to the writer’s opinion of the series.

  22. Grzi says:

    well actually, i think only the last 2 sentences (which are written mostly as a joke) could be related to his personal opinion. the rest is a really accurate description of the things that have been happening among the fma viewers. i don’t know how much of the forum discussions about fma you’ve followed, but after some time has passed since it’s airing and newer anime fans began loving fma, and it became one of their favourite animes a lot of the older fans switched their opinion (plus there were people who didn’t even see it but suddenly got the same opinion) and started hating fma as a series for kids, saying it’s not serious enough. basically they were bashing a series just because of it’s universal appeal, or because it’s mainstream, if you prefer it being said that way. i’m not saying that you’re opinion is like that, don’t get me wrong, i’m just saying how people’s opinions can suck. and this has happened a lot, believe me.

  23. frog212 says:

    Cowboy Bebop is my favorite anime.

  24. Z.A. says:

    psgels I’ve been following ur blog site for about a year now and watched more than half of the anime titles listed under ur ‘finished series’. Even found some real GEMS thanks to your reviews here. (e.g the oscar worthy Mushishi).

    But i have to COMPLETELY DISAGREE on this one. FMA is one of the worst series i have sat through and finished ever since i started watching anime. The other is Neon Genesis Eva. For me it was one of those animes after finishing the series i realized that was a complete waste of all the hours i invested. I dont even know how i finished watching it if i hated it so much to be honest…

  25. milfa-eun says:

    im also a big fan of the anime. how come to think it has that boring part. its just an anime that needs much understanding and knowledge coz this anime had added some things that has pseudoscience on it but yeah a lot of flaws.

    action and killing makes sense though sometimes it not needed. i also thought of knowing if the philosopher stone existed. thats how iam indulge in the story.hehe. though alchemist is a branch of science but only known in the medieval times as turning some things into gold. but the anime got so much aside from that. it was aired here in my country shortly and i think it should be a 13 and up anime coz kids might not understand it and might be scared because of a the killings and actions here.

    though its a kind of anime that some people doesnt like. its just needed a lot of understanding, and a liking on the anime if you watched it from the first episode finish it until the last. so there are no regrets.

  26. apatentguy says:

    For me, this was the series that started my interest in anime, even before I knew what manga/anime were. It was being shown weekly in the U.S. with English dubs and I was surprised that I got hooked so easily. Before FMA, I could not have imagined myself waiting in anticipation for a subsequent episode of (what I perceived to be at the time) a cartoon. Having seen many anime series since, with some better and most worse than FMA, I still consider FMA the gold standard.

  27. Archaeon says:

    Nice review of FMA.

    One thing I thought I should mention is that the most prominent theme in the story is actually about obsession, and from the very beginning the majority of characters display this in many ways. For Ed, in particular, his obsession is for him to be a better alchemist than his father, but after the “accident”, his obsession switches to him returning Al to his original state. I use the word original as Ed’s obsession reaches it’s climax at the end of the series, or was I the only one who noticed that Al had reverted back to how he was on the night of the “accident”.

    Many of the other characters also display their obsessive behaviours quite prominently, indeed the theme of obsession is actually borne out by the simple fact that the homunculi are named for Dante’s seven sins – all of which are born from obsession.

    If you watch the show again, try and see for yourself how each character is obsessed with one thing or another.

    Any, that’s my two cents. Enjoy the rest of the show :)

  28. whitehorse says:

    Well, I really liked the anime of FMA when I first watched it. I guess I watched the whole 52 episodes in less than a week so, yes, one could say I was obsessed with this anime.
    Today, I have to admit, that there are some flaws in it, especially in the filler eps and the ending.
    But almost every single one of those flaws are anime-only.
    The manga developps every character really well, explains a lot mor and nothing, really nothing, that happens is just a coincidence! Every character that is introduced will have its return later in the story and will fullfill somethng important for the overall plot.

    e.g. I really disliked Rose in the anime, whereas in the manga she’s a really nice girl, which developps into a strong woman, lending her hand to others and finding new strength within herself.

    I really recommend to have acloser look into the manga, since it is really gorgeous.
    And I don’t say so as the fan I am, but as someone who was really impressed of how well the manga was thought through and how every little thing just sooner or later makes actually sense and leaves you with a whhoo-face when the story once again takes a breathtaking developpment you would never have expected – but just fits perfectly.

  29. milfa-eun says:

    i just watched the ending or the last episode of fma an hour ago and i think its that very good for me but the ending seems to have a missing part but it had been continued in its ova i love it.. its the conqueror of shambala wherein ed and al finally get to see each other. and the moment ed saw winry is for me the coolest part!. its just they missed each other too much.. i had also watched about another full metal alchemist ova, which is called the chibi party.. its cool and cute as the characters seem to be that “midget” ^^, i love fma as well as the fans who liked it. its good that we had the same sam ideas here and could share it with one another.

  30. Matej says:

    Hm don’t agree…

  31. Matej says:

    Ups. Sry for last comment – I didn’t know if it would be submitted so it was more like a test :).

  32. tomer says:

    FMA was and will always be the best anime,that deserves no less than 98/100.

  33. ceillo says:

    Heh, I guess it’s just a matter of taste. I’ve been watching anime almost daily since DBZ came out so I’ve watched my share of good and bad anime when I first watched Full Metal Alchemist. The first time I’ve watched this I didn’t know what to think, the sheer grimness, the seriousness of the story was unfamiliar to me, the blood, the murders, the bloodbath, the genocide, being showed shocked me, every time I watched an episode I always think to myself that I’m not going to watched it again but strangely I couldn’t help but become obsessed with it. The great thing about this show is that it didn’t hesitate to show the evil side of humanity, hence the existence of the humonculi, the loss of Ed’s limb, Al’s body are just example of the result of humanity’s flaws. I think that inspite the shounen animation, this anime could be considered seinen not shounen for the sensitive issues it touched.
    Also what added to the popularity of FMA was that inspite of the hopelessness of it all, there are still some signs of light in the darkness.

    So far, since FMA, I haven’t watched an anime that touched such sensitive human issues as brilliantly as FMA did.

  34. ceillo says:

    Also it did not deserved the 85 you gave it. It deserves to have 99/100. But then again it’s just a matter of taste. :D

  35. bj says:

    you are fucking nerds. just watch it and shut up and if you dont like it GO DO SOMETHING ELSE dont hate on it

  36. Taylor says:

    WIth me I always try to read the manga instead of watching the anime, because in my opinion the manga is always better. The manga was way more devloped and the characters were actually less annoying in the book then in the anime. The story also goes in a completly different direction. Besides all that ranting I agree with what your saying even though I love the series.

  37. panaghoy88 says:

    I’m watching Bebop right now and I tell you psgels the anime is awesome! Why can’t you find the time to watch the series? You’ve been posting reviews to some obscure animes, surely you can devote time to this series. If you can’t find a decent copy you can watch it at any anime streaming sites.

  38. stripes says:

    I actually agree with you in a lot of ways. The story telling was enormously inconsistent and the different lines were rather shoddily stacked. I’m the kind of person who loves reinforcing the “big picture” of things with the different details that are revealed, but it’s almost impossible to remember the origins of the details because they’re rarely even mentioned. I found myself having no idea what was going on all the time. I’m not a moron and I don’t have to be fed everything back to me all the time, but an episode recap every once in a while would have made me happier.

    The messages the anime attempted to convey were many, but not things that are enormously original or thought-provoking. I have no idea why you thought it presented Christian themes, however. I really don’t. I’m someone who’s gone to Church for my entire life, not that I’m exactly a Christian. xD The top 5 widely recognized morals? Sure.

    I think the characters were the saving grace of the anime. There were none that I truly disliked, something that’s extremely weird for me to say. There’s really not much more for me to talk about on that subject, or I’ll begin to ramble more than I already am. ^^’

    I guess I should mention that I came into FMA with high expectations, thinking that it was going to be some complex, profound, and thoroughly beautiful tale. It could have been, but the story-telling was just so BAD. Bones did a horrendous job adapting, I think. I’m watching Brotherhood right now and I can already tell that Bones butchered the plot in the first series…x_____x

  39. Envy says:

    Definitely NOT a Christian series. In the first two episodes Ed clearly states that he believes in science and logic, not religion at all.

  40. Ferdinand says:

    I finished watched this anime long time ago before look at this review, I am very disagree with your review, I dont know what’s your criteria are u using for reviewing, coz there are several animes that I watched following your ratings. tried phantom which you gave 9.25 rating, and I am very disappointed, its freaking sucks, That really got me bored and too unrealistic, cheesy dialog in main character. and then noein, yep its really good but 9.6??hell yeah I even choose beck, Gungrave,FMA, clannad after story, Kanon, honey and clover over and many other animes over that.

  41. Taiga says:

    FMA wuz amazing! i loved all of it! Ed is the best and Mustang too! there is alot of violence though, but it wuz very good :)

  42. Dee says:

    I just finished the series, including the movie, and I have to agree that it was very confusing at some parts, but it was such an excellent anime that after I’m done Brotherhood, I plan on watching it again. *Warning, spoiler*
    I didn’t like how many twists were in it though, especially the ending. I was really expecting for Ed and Al to stay in their world, and not in ours. I didn’t like how they were separated from their friend’s and family.
    I think Ed and Al were great characters, too.
    Some things in the anime really frustrated me, like on episode 50, the plot kind of dropped. What happened to Dante? And after the movie, Envy?
    I really feel bad for some of the characters, like Winry :( Unable to see Ed again? That’s just awful.
    If I could change anything about the anime, it would be that our world just never existed xD;

Leave a Reply

I've no interest in Irelands drinking culture /festival days much.
Its really just a day off or an excuse for 13 year olds to get drunk.
He was Welsh aswell and there weren't exactly that much snakes in Ireland to begin with.
@Mario: Its technically St Patricks day now yes. Not that I personally care for it, I got going to the parade out of my system over a decade ago, never liked the oirishness and cliches/commercialisim around it, in the end it just makes it impossible to get around the city, plus the weather is so poor its pointless going out anyway.
I saw some Irish flags around my area. Is it St Patrick day today?
I did listen to some of aico's dub, I don't think any of these people are experienced or professional voice actors.
Anon: B the beginning was too much of an awkward genre mix. I was content to just ignore aico because I'm not a fan of Bones as a studio but you're the second person to say it reminds them of some old ova.
@Anon: I enjoyed the combination of old and new with devilman, it even being able to eclipse the ovas, aswell as the experimental visual style and transgression, and as you said, the surprising emotional involvement.
So i finish, B the Beginning, Aico, Devilman( What a feel's ride). and I must say that they're far from perfect, but they remaind me of 90, early 2000 anime, that i loved so much and that is a big plus. Today's anime doesnt feel quite the same in my opinion, what are your thoughts.. Now im getting excited to watch SWORD GAI!.
While obvious an anime series, After the rain often feels like a live action film.
@Mario: Actually that does remind me, I never saw Pola X by Carax.
Miike is extremely hit or miss, but I loved how Audition minipulated the viewer with its slower first half before really taking off, most of Ichi the killer is just a perversely funny black comedy to me.
Chang-dong-Lee is refreshingly less melodramatic then other Korean directors.
Benh Zeitlin is one I'm not familiar with, but it turns out he did beasts of southern wild and I enjoy magical realism.
@Mario: I wasn't aware Carax was still alive, some sgements of holy motors work, others don't , lovers on the bridge was a more accessible film I recall.
@Fluca: okay. Kinda fixed it. I don't think we have a spoiler code so I just changed your spoiler into white color
@Kaiser: I'm checking movies from indie auteur directors that could come out this year, interested Benh Zeitlin's second movie, Lee Chang Dong's and Leos Carax's one
Would love to see Our Little Sister in anime form, actually
Although Miike directs like at least 40 feature films, I only remember his Audition and Ichi the Killer the most, both of which I have extremely mixed feeling about
Every time I here the title Aico, it makes me think its some kind of eco/environmental thing, which I know it isn't.
The fate/extra Alice character (I looked her up) looks like she belongs in rozen maiden.
The modern Japanese directors can be prolific Miike and Sono pump out more than one film a year.
And it shows, that Our little sister adaptation, that live action adaptations CAN sometimes work.
Quick fact, that action crime josei anime, Bananna fish, coming out in April is based on a manga by the writer of Our little sister's manga.
@Mario: The interest being, how he would handle something so removed from his usual style.
@Mario: Actually re-checking, its next week, The third murder , which seems very different, a courtroom drama with some philosophy in it.
I really enjoy Our Little Sister, but I think mainly because the film is entirely within my comfort zone (Slice of life manga material, about the life of these girls)
@Kaiser: Which one will you see? He now directs one movie per year so it's hard to keep track some times. I really like his style and I reckon people who like slice-of-life will enjoy his movies
@Mario: Hirokazu Koreeda has a new film out, seeing it on Friday, I've only seen Our little sister by him.
@Anon: I essentially deleted the rest of the episodes off my computer after struggling through the first, like most, maybe moreso I got very turned off by the genre mixing. Thats not to say that I'm against genre mixes though, but they have to be weird, I mean really weird.
I am not a fan of breather episodes, something most modern anime are pretty keen to insert. I hate breaking of climaxes in order to show three SoL-, fanservice- or formularic monster of the week episodes before the main plot progresses further. When I want SoL I go watch a full fleshed SoL. Aico is pretty straight forward and kinda easy to watch in one go in that regard. Nothing really new though.
Just finished Aico. Had a few downsides like most series but I enjoyed it. Felt like a classic scifi anime you'd see in the 90s.
@Anon, I watched it. Though it was mixed but a decent enough watch. It really felt like two shows hastily combined into one. Been thinking of writing a review for it and Aico once I finish Aico.
*Have you watch
Have toy watch, B The Beginning?
I would call it somewhat lightweight however, but I won't complain/level too much against it, as it is afterall, a family film.
*in my memory
Nice animation showcase aswell though I don't know how long this will really stay i my memory, though it was nice.
Although it relies on being fairly convenient, linear and simplistic, that Mary witch flower anime movie is at its strongest when visually drawing the viewer into its world and wherever it shows spectacle. I'd say its adequately charming. Fair enough.
Hakata sounds like Gangasta. A series I enjoyed, despite its massive flaws
thanks guys. I will probably give it a try. I am also watching the Castlevania anime finally. Not really worth it for me. Also I watched the first episode of Garo Vanishing Line. I can a say it was fun.
Hi guys, anyone here played Sea Bed VN? Just wondering...
@Anon1880687 - I watched a couple of episodes. Feels like a foreign series. Since it doesn't feel like an anime made in Japan. I did like the group of revengers seem to have more personality than the main leads which insinuate chemistry but doesn't go deep into it. I don't remember if they explain why one of the leads chooses to dress like a girl. Though at least they give him/her a male voice.
@KTravlos: me. Not impressed. First few eps were alright with a set of bold characters, but later the lot just goes around in circle for these characters acting cool and cool rules the day. I dropped it after episode 6
KT here. Has anybody watched Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens? Impressions?
@Vonter: It gets more serious later although I agree it's better starting this without any knowledge about the series, like I did. I just loved the tragicomical jokes and the obsessive nostalgia Bojack suffered from and neither needed nor expected any drama but it was pretty good when it happened nonetheless.
@Anon, Not really. They just wanted to find some justification for the trashy aspects for a show they liked rather than accept it.
And while I understand how obnoxious it can be, there are times when people complain about a show doesn't explain itself and then get pissed off when you try to give an explanation.
ProZD nails it on the head yet again The people who continue to make excuses for kill la kill's fan service are the same ones fapping to episodes of the show to this day
@Vonter: From what I hear, while it does have comedy, by the second season not only does it improve, but its more of a drama.
I've been watching Bojack Horseman. It's good, yet watching certain clips before the actual series made me expect a darker show. I know it's a cartoon, but some jokes reduced the impact of certain events. Though I suppose it's meant to be uplifting and not just mean spirited. It gave me some Nier and Aku no Hana vibes.
We watched the first three episodes of B the Beginning. I must say I enjoyed it. We will see how the rest goes.
*whole franchise bar Macross delta
Despite loving the mans work since I got started on anime when I was younger, I still haven't seen Kawamori's most recent Macross series despite seeing the whole franchise.
I think devilman set me up for the idea that netflix would be putting out more transgressive anime.
If i were to rank the three netflix original shows that have released so far in descending order, it would be devilman crybaby, AICO, and then B: the beginning
so i just finished binge watching AICO...give it a watch if you guys have time, it's pretty good
@Mario: A good dose of reality in that episode though.
@Mario: Well I guess I called it completely wrong on who Chihiro was lol
@Amagi: Steins gate spent far too much time on a jokey first half.
Not that I'm trashing polemical writing, I find stuff by Jean-Luc-Godard fucking funny.
Doing a giant mood piece isn't pretentious, because it probably doesn't have a concrete meaning any way.
While still keeping it with enough sophistication .
For example, doing a rant of a film will only communicate to your intellectual friends and people already in the know, the working class guy you want to inform with your societal/political/religious ideas , was probably watching a western back in the 60s/70s, just incorporate the themes into that while not sacrificing the films appeal
With regards to pretension, I think that comes into play when you have a director trying to communicate ideas but ends up becoming ridiculously, overly polemical, its better to communicate thought provoking ideas through something straight, while also remaining some distance.
I think it often happens when authors create things on the fly, at least with manga. You can see terrible forms of comedy/SoL -> drama/scifi switches among webcomics, which are usually done by "amateurs", some of them being pretty young. It's always good when a series hints or blatantly shows what it is during its first episodes/chapters. Not talking about mysteries but genres.
Usually for dramatic comedy to work I feel it needs to let the viewer know early on that the story will feature both....the sudden drama thing generally is a result where a funny film needs an ending and a story needs to be fabricated hastily.
Melodrama is like genre mixes. If it does work it can be something special, but it's really hard to write and most directors just lack the talent to do so. It's like a comedy that turns serious at some point. It CAN work, but there aren't many cases where that happens. Usually they're just alienating their comedy fans and the drama fans weren't there to begin with.
Same here
I think some really old Euro movies, latin ones especially get away with melodrama well because the acting was different and more theatrical .
If the mekodramatics can properly cast a spell on a viewer, I am open to it if the writers strong enough but in general, when I'm watching something, the best stories are the ones where the atmosphere is so assure I forget I'm watching fiction.
I know they just want to make their audience feel good but I think it's a terrible moral or idea. Especially since most people know at least one person they loved that died from such illnesses. No matter what they did or tried to do to overcome it.
Yeah exactly. Honestly most cancer movies are terrible I think. I also hate these series in which the main character, I don't know, wins a match for his cancer-ridden love and then s/he recovers.
@Amagi: Too silly for me, the psycho faces.
@Kaiser: Not using music can be a great method to illustrate serious moments I think.
I've spoken to my father about this, who recovered from cancer years ago, those kind of phrases irritate him, hr said " don't battle, fight cancer, you fucking suffer through it, then if your lucky you get through it"
I mean, again, I loved Madoka but I see how this method they used is kinda cheap. It's still better than many other series of that type. I am aready looking forward to see how terrible Magical Girl Site is, the trailer looks like a psycho face trash fest.
The really annoying thing is when some of these docs and dramas use phrases like "her battle, her FIGHT, her BRAVE fight against cancer.
I enjoyed Madoka but I know what you mean. I think I will never rewatch Madoka but I love to see certain Tutu- and Sailor Moon scenes from time to time. I think Madoka is kinda similar to netflix shows or code geass in that regard. It always ends with some evil cliffhanger to hype you up for the next episode and it throws in one shocking revelation after another for the same reason.
@Amagi: On the music thing, some documentaries do this. What I loved about Shoah and night and fog is that the directors showed the landscapes/buildings where it happened and never used music.
I mean I know how bad ww2 and other things were. I really don't need rain, sad music and lots of actor tears to realize that. It reminds me of the laughing tracks sitcoms have that tell you when you have to laugh. And newer movies have exaggerated effects as well, not a fan of that. I rather see well thought-out content than a bomb-show. Not to mention that I hate sensory overload.
Its also kind of why I can NEVER look at hentai of something I enjoyed when I was young.
Which I admit is bias and a crap opinion lol
I grew up with Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailormoon and looking into lighthearted mahou shoujo , I don't mind nanoha and tutu, but there was always the feeling madoka was corrupting something.
On dark moe, I've stopped with lol edgy when criticizing Madoka, I realize that its the equivalent to Batman porn to me, the idea of that level of a slant on a genre I went for when I was a kid.
I agree. I was interested in Schindler's List when I was ~12 or so because it was something new for me. Nowadays I realize it's not really my thing, there are many western war shows that come of as too "pathetic" to me, they feel too much like, well, Hollywood blockbusters (which is what they actually are) than a serious commetary on war or so.
@Amagi: Thats the trouble I have with Hollywood , a film about Autism like Rain man or a mental illness movie like I am Sam, these American movies never seem real and the depictions feel so hammy and inaccurate.
On the dark moe trope, rather than throwing out words on it, its the tonal inconsistency that gets to me.
Yeah the opposite is bad as well. A show can have good intentions, even lots of good ideas but still have a bad execution.
Schindler's list is a great example of this, personally I think popcorn drama/oscar baiting the holocaust is somewhat distasteful and the film comes off as comparitively ingenuinely when I've seen a couple of eastern war films by people who actually lived during the war.
And "egdy" is very much about the tone a series has and not so much the actual content. Therefore it has to be explained as well, a dark series, even one with lots of blood, isn't necessarily edgy, it depends on the stance the autor has, whom we're supposed to root for and why, how characters and scenes are depicted and the overall tone, moral and so on.
On another note, to go back to "critic proof", this is a terrible practice because it allows people to take an easy topic for a story and it become forbidden to give a bad review.
Yeah, "badly written" for example doesn't mean anything unless you're gonna illustrate how it is badly written by showing and analyzing examples from the show and explain why the writing for these scenes is weak
Thats why I like here, people actually talk about a show in some detail, even the reviewers.
An non-backed up opinion when I'm looking for a show to follow doesn't tell me anything, how am I meant to know to watch something based on a single word or sentence?
I suppose its less of a case of buzzwords and more how people don't explain anything . The reason I say I have to do a 300 word review or long opinion on something is because I feel buzzwords and one word/one sentence opinions are un-helpful.
@Amagi: And I think thats certainly an issue, the lines being bkurred between shitposting/trolling and genuine critique .
I mean there are a lot of badly written shows out there or shows that are too tryhard, but people often use these phrases as buzzwords for everything and don't state reasons for using these terms for a specific show. I see tons of "egdy" posts as soon as a series is a bit darker than the usual harem and it's hard to distinguish these pieces from actual shitposts or trolls.
It sounds better to say that I don't like something because it's too egdy, too stupid and pure pandering (when it's about moe) or "badly written" than saying that I can't relate to certain settings, characters and so one or that I've seen a certain idea too often.
@Kaiser: I think many people just don't want to admit that disliking a series is usually a subjective thing. They rather want to credit their own intelligence for not liking it.
New Boogiepop anime announced for 2018 o/
Alita, eden endless world , ghost in the shell, Lain , blame, biomega , the Japanese perfected a genre America started.
@Vonter: Well deserved oscar for the visuals definately, Deakins got his overdue reward.
Tetsuo , bubblegum crisis, cyber city oedo are other good ones as was goku midnight eye.
@Vonter: It was the rebellion bit that got me worried if they were planning some sort of follow up.
I, robot eh? I remember that one, I don't mind Will Smith but he's not convincing in a serious role.
The replicants preparing for war, took me out of the movie, since it was delivered like a footnote for your action blockbuster, kinda like how they ripped apart I, Robot.
Still I got reminded why it inspired manga and anime like Akira, Cowboy Bebop and many others. There's a lot of atmosphere, and like I said, the visual storytelling is very strong. Since there were a lot of double meanings to several shots early in in the film. The egomaniac Jesus wannabe villain felt very odd, especially his speechifying.
But I'll have to see it again with that extended cut when I'm less the victim of hype.
Theres a certain idea of....they made an OKAY blade runner sequel, it wasn't allowed to be bad or great.
@Vonter: Its a case really of, you had a four star film! Then turned it into a three star!
Then again I am interested when Denis will be going back to his arthouse films instead.
I hope they aren't going for a sequel though.
It does add to the humanity of the replicants but I felt the ending cruel on Goslings character.
Jowie was a bit fanservicey.
And it was kinetic aswell.
What I'm hoping for is that in the extended cut it'll iron and smooth out the film and improve it.
@Vonter: The last act I thought was overstuffed .
@Vonter: But I felt the villain undercooked and its impossible to match up to Roy Batty from the first one.
@Vonter: I felt it was some of Rodger Deakins stronger work on the visual front and Ryan Goslings acting style suited playing a replicant, it invokes the atmosphere better than the first and I loved the idea of the replicants being able to give birth.
I watched Bladerunner 2049 yesterday. I liked 3/4 of it. I don't get why the last fourth was added, it really felt like they put another half hour to make the movie longer. I mean the first half is full of quiet and visual storytelling and the last part adds a lot of things that aren't even solved. I did like the production design stuck to the original.
@Aidan: When I'm review a film, as a general rule, if I can't get 200-300 words at least, there just doesn't seem any point in writing it.
Oh indeed they can, but I feel they can come off as lazy go to words.
But I do understand the frustration with lazy criticism.
Admittedly we all, myself included do fall back on lazy buzzwords but
Edgy and too melodramatic can be legitimate criticisms. Though both are ways of saying trying too hard
And its just plain lazy opinion giving/feedback usually.
Things end up becoming critic proof because of this.
I just hate how when it comes to complaining about pandering and tokenism or a bad film about something important falls into some idiot retorting with ad homminem shouting "U don liek dis coz u racist"
Or people who don't understand that something doesn't have to have answers, coherency or a traditional narrative.
You have eyes and its a visual medium, use them.
complaining about there not being enough exposition is also a worthless criticism.
And "edgy" or "too melodramatic".
One sentence/one-word criticism such as "too long ", "slow and boring" , "Too old" , "Its in black and white", "pretentious", "masterpiece", "Too thematic over character/story", "last film I saw is the best film ever", "It has subtitles" and of course saying something is racist or misogynistic to the point where those words don't mean what they mean anymore.
I know this is complaining for the sake of it, but I find myself tired of seeing buzz-phrases for criticism.
I kind of don't care to even really watch either show, its a case of couldn't be bother based on a glance, neither jump out at me and I was never really hyped for either nor heard/followed much discussion on them.
Bloody hell I haven't even finished watching B yet and Netflix has out another anime. Have not heard much on this one besides the advice to avoid the dub like the plague. Seems like a really bad dub.
Thankfully didn't miss any important scenes .
Y'know, its nice to know there are decent skins/people out there, was catching We were never really there at the arthouse cinema but ended up getting ill, staff noticed and brought me out for a free drink and we talked about the movie so far while I got better over a few minutes.
Watched it and B: The Beginning. Found both of them pretty nice. Like not great, but good or okay
AICO is released on netflix now too
At least officially they said before they don't plan stop supporting 3DS. Lot of people are speculating that they are gonna do that since Switch is pretty much a handheld, but who knows, maybe they actually plan considering Switch homeconsole and have handheld alongside it? If nothing else, I guess Switch can't do the two screens thing.
AidanAK47 - They'll put games on the 3DS until Switch catches up to it. I think.
@Anon, and the highlight of the event. What looks to be a brand new smash bros.
Ports are good for the Switch but I don't really see the reasoning behind porting Luigi's mansion to the 3DS. Honestly I don't really get why they are still putting out games for it.
It's the most surprising how few GC games are rereleased. I mean apart from the Zeldas and now Luigi's Mansion.
So hey. There was a Nintendo Direct. Tons of ports for both 3DS and Switch. I suppose if one missed something it might be a good thing to try to get it now.
I wish there was an edit button.
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