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”

    definitely.

  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;

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KTravlos
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I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its down to an idea have about vloggers/youtubers, that the videos will be full of unfunny quips and unrestrained fanboyism due to the guy doing the video can't keep himself in check.
Lenlo
Digibro isnt worth listening to imo
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never even really pursued listening to digibro. Although I probably should listen to eyepatchwolf apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should say the anime youtubers I've actually watched pertain to: Gigguk, one video by blackanimecritic, a few countdowns by Mistychronoxia and Animeman . I think I've watched maybe two of glass reflections reviews.
Anonymous2781300
I don't know, r/anime probably is also not the best sources; Youtube and Reddit are just the places I generally go to for large-scale anime discussion
Anonymous2781300
Oh my previous comment didn't post; basically I was saying that Anitube isn't super representative of audience popularity, at least as a whole, but it might offer some insight to at least a portion of it.
Anonymous2781300
*audience you're looking at: there's the Japanese audience and Western audience, but I feel like there's also like, another half of the world that most be people don't consider.
Anonymous2781300
It kind of depends which audience you
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't even watch gigguks videos anymore.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never really cared enough to overexplore any of those anime youtube critics for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If someone keeps talking about something, eventually it'll sometimes work out and get through, then I'll at least have to see some of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched it because you kept saying not enough people were watching it.
AidanAK47
@Masky, cause Mothers basement did a video on it? Well hopefully it gets it some attention. Don't really like MB though. I mean "Gurren Meets Earthbound"? Jesus Christ.
Masky
Hmm, seems like Planet With is slowly getting more attention to it
Lenlo
I know im Shonen trash, but Hero Aca continues to be fantastic.
Animosh
You know, one person ends up broken through no fault of her own, and then ends up hurting herself and/or others to protect the only happiness she knows. And so the cycle continues.
Animosh
I thought Shio's backstory was really sad too. But yeah, although the show (and many of its characters) can be silly a lot of the time, there's a beating heart behind all of the craziness. Its main characters all have believable - if misguided - motivations, and the show portrays the cyclical nature of trauma very well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I think the scene with satou breaking down near episodes end were the standout. I often laugh at this show for its overthetopness, then makes me feel like a jerk by pulling something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Escaflowne ended too soon and abruptly. I haven't seen rayearth but I have read the manga, so I don't know if the anime original content is as good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've noticed that the voice acting tends to be worse in reverse harems then regular harems.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Regarding otome, one of the worst cases though had to be hakuouki though, just a bag of complete wasted potential.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I didn't dislike Red river, I have the unpopular opinion of preferring Basara because I found the central relationship more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Yes that was babylonia no shishi.
Amagi
I wish we could get isekai like Rayearth, Now and Then or Escaflown again.
Amagi
Sadly these series usually fail elsewhere, with the typical problems shoujo and otome series tend to have
Amagi
@SuperMario: strangely enough this is somewhat typical for shoujo whereas generic isekai can't get off that fake-rpg spleen. There is also a shoujo in which feMC gets transported into some old turkish setting and one with babylonia (think the latter was done by that mangaka that also did Cantarella).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres also a shoujo manga called babylonia no shishi.
SuperMario
maybe it's one of the earliest example of isekai if you don't regard isekai setting as strictly fantasy world.
SuperMario
" Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan." -> actually they did just that. One of the old classic shoujo, Crest of the Royal Family, is about a girl transported into Egyptian royal family. https://myanimelist.net/manga/5284/Ouke_no_Monshou?q=Crest of the Royal Family
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the success is, if a series can distract you and still make you feel something, even if there should have been more to the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Beyond Arthur and Dino, who always came off to me as "the bad guys to be defeated", I think I might have been so into Ash that I didn't really pay as much attention to his character development as you and Mario did.
Animosh
Happy Sugar Life was pretty intense again. It's not subtle, but it's certainly effective. For me, anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*gamer
You could see that he probably enjoyed online games and knew his stuff, wheras it seemed in sword art the writer felt liking he was shitting on everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not much of a game and I know it was a fantasy show, but I guess log horizon is isekai, but in that one from what I saw, I thought the writer seemed to be making more of an effort.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But given how lazy isekai tends toward, while yes a scifi world would be a nice change up, the inherent genre laziness would probably holdback on properly building that world.
Anonymous2771364
Why Isekai are limited to the fantasy worlds? What about one with a creative retro futuristic setting (like Jetsons, John Carter or Flash Gordon). Maybe a western setting. Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan. Anything at this point will be genius if done right.
Anonymous2771364
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Didn't watch Gate but it wasn't kind of like that? Adapting an alien fantasy world to the real world?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a total tangent. Imagine an isekai that dealt with immigration issues ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Ash says a line in the manga at some point that he stopped counting the amount of times he was raped.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose I minor issue I have, is that Yut-lungs design feels somewhat out of place.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could say that there's fujoshi baiting in some of Ash/Eijis interactions, perhaps even n the recent episode. Very obvious, but I'm not complaining ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually glad that the series restrains from being too graphic regarding Goldzine's pedophilia actually , it could have been worse.
Animosh
Its previous attempts at character development (Ash's ridiculously tragic past, Golzine's pedophilia, Arthur's desire to get back at Ash) were a hit and miss at best, and often just had the effect of making the characters more black and white rather than more complex. But I don't know what was skipped, so who knows, maybe it would have made the characters better!
Animosh
And more generally, although most characters are a lot of fun to watch, they're not very deep. Ash and Eiji are both very tropish, and the villains aren't particularly interesting either (with the exception of Yut Lung, though he's rather clichéd too of course). So I'm not sure seeing them interact more would work in the show's favor.
Animosh
@Kaiser: thanks for the explanation! Not sure if I'd want to see more dialogue though personally. I like the Ash/Eiji moments and all, but they can also be a bit ... cheesy? Now I feel like there's a good balance between the various plot threads, but more emphasis on their blossoming love/friendship could easily have made it obnoxious for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know most probably didn't care about these, but I really get nostalgic over stuff like Rune soldier, Lodoss war. I also liked Denyuden and wished it had gotten another season. I never finished the utawerumono sequel, but it had nice character interactions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also kind of looking forward to Goblin slayer a bit because its a fantasy that isn't an isekai .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But not so much dicking around that it gets boring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know what I was thinking about there lately, with the saturation of so many isekai, part of me has a longing for a non-isekai fantasy, but some really REALLY cosy thing about a bunch of friends re-uniting/getting together, most of its banter and SOMETIMES they get into story shit.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Angel Eyes as an OVA would be amazing. Its the only part of Banana Fish I have actually read, to avoid spoilers.
Lenlo
@Mario, I think thats just a translation thing. Japanese language is a lot more formal than English so they have to choose. Go for precise translations, or modify it to attempt to fit it better.

As for how they did it, I assume they poisoned his Secretary with the drug. They have Senators and such in on it afterall
Lenlo
If the gang war is done right, I think I will enjoy this next arc. I really liked that last ending scene on the train and if thats how this war is going to play out, lots of subtle street violence to avoid the cops, then I am all for it
Lenlo
Im quite happy with Banana Fish personally. I do think Ash is a bit to proficient at everything, like I think I mentioned in one post how I dont like him being a computer whiz and all that.
SuperMario
Then we have many of half-baked subplots. For example, "to think you'd kill the next presidential candidate". No one talks like that. How did papa Dino plan to do it again? Sometimes I don't feel the clear pasage of time in Banana fish. Like in the prison arc, you'd see Max switch in and out between Ash's cell without much explain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I remember the last time I actually cried.
SuperMario
And have a sensitive side at heart. I love this kid but sometimes the show just reminds me time and again how implausible his character trait, and many actions, are
SuperMario
@anon: I'm not too enthusiasm on Banana Fish as a whole. While I must say I still enjoy the ride every week, the main offender for me is how they glamor Ash so much. This kid has been through some serious shit, again and again, and again, yet he has immerse talent of basically everything (gun skill, acrobatic skill as we saw last episode, elegant enough to tell the wine brand with just sniffing...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like this upcoming arc too much because it felt like just a street thugs vs street thugs thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I hope they do the Angel eyes side story as an ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'll never spoiler this show, but if the final arc is done properly and the anime elevates it, its going to really impact.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will be very very angry if they change the ending to suit/pander modern audiences.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One thing the anime is avoiding is the anti-communist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh by the way, Dino is in with alot of people, including the French foreign legion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Nearly went too close to haphazard exploitation route than cool exploitation route.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Previous episode had some animation/art issues, Abraham and Arthur are a bit cartoony, while the mansion episodes and the one where Ash meets his dad, the drama, while tense and interesting very almost skirted with being overboard.
Anonymous2765784
Hope the trend continues
Anonymous2765784
But seriously just loving the anime; most of my favorite anime are old, but recently some quality stuff has popped up like this, Rakugo, (Mushishi half counts)
Anonymous2765784
Yeah, I think I can tell that it's almost as if we're switching arcs now, so it's going to take a while to build back to that extreme heightened tension of the past few episodes.
Anonymous2765784
Also, what are some criticisms you guys have about Banana Fish anime so far? Just curious to see what other people think. I'm just enjoying the ride, whether it's speeding through a burning mansion or cruising around a 9 million condo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say it a second time round, the bits before this is where the manga peaked for a while, then it took me a few volumes to get back into.
Anonymous2765784
I'm actually also interested on what's left on Banana FIsh's cutting board. As an anime-only, it feels like the pacing can be a bit fast recently, but overall it seems fine. In fact, I felt this episode slowed down a bit as we transition between arcs and giving us a chance to breathe.
Lenlo
And I understand not having words for Steins;Gate 0. I have to write it every week.
Lenlo
Shh, im gonna watch it soon
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually this episode was slow compared to previous ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, for episode 11 of Banana fish, I enjoyed this, specifically I liked seeing Dinoget kind of btfo'd near episodes end. But the highlight for me, is the Eiji/Ash interactions, i like these because they add a human aspect to the show, humanize Ash and flesh out the twos relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a scene in the manga where Ash crossdressed. But honestly what I mean is, the manga felt alot talkier with its dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I don't have words for steins; gate 0 anymore. Too hard to say anything else now, run out of them. =<
Animosh
What kind of stuff does the anime generally leave out? Slice of life scenes? Scenes with minor characters? World-building? Something else?
Animosh
Not sure what was skipped, but as an anime-only I thought it was another good episode. Some sweet character moments, some nice set-up for the conflicts with Arthur and Golzino ... I didn't really feel like anything major was missing.
Lenlo
Ah, did it suffer this week? Shame. Looking forward to watching it though
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think banana fishes sped up pacing is definitely starting to show, but as much as I like the manga, it is the kind of thing that needs to be cutdown for the sake of better flow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall watching Raxephon as a teenager, but it never really went anywhere from what I saw.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bokurano which I enjoyed for its nihilism, had a second half that didn't live up to the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did years years later eventually come round a bit on Evangelion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gasaraki I also remember watching, which was ambitious but flawed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nadesico worked for me, probably because I watched it over 20 years ago and it was a pisstake on the genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding mecha, outside of Gundam and one or two mazinger things, I can't say I feel as strongly about other stuff in the genre. No interest in watching darling in the frannx , aldonoah zero, regret watching and enjoying code geass years ago. Never got the appeal of gurren lagann and didn't finish eureka 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And with mizukami satoshi in mind, I've never read spirit circle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to be specific, I don't hate planet with by any means.
Lenlo
As is, atleast something actually happens every episode. The pacing is a bit fast, but it all still feels good
Lenlo
It could. Sadly, the 12 episode cours has sorta killed the non-standard episode count though
SuperMario
Whereas in banana Fish they have to burn through 19 volume for only 24 episodes, and it causes the show moving with no brake. Banana Fish could benefit much better if it has, say, 40 episodes
SuperMario
I agree with Animosh. It's true Planet With crams too many plot threads together but I believe its best format is 1-cour. Or to be more specific the creator makes Planet With with 1-cour in mind and it shows. It's one of the few shows where it could stop at any given episode and we still have a wholly satisfying closure. It's like a pancake on top of the others
Animosh
The visuals and soundtrack are really mediocre though. They're serviceable, but pretty forgettable. A better studio may have been able to turn this script into something great.
Animosh
I also quite like how Mizukami often puts a new spin on some old ideas. The show is filled with tropes, but it somehow still feels quite fresh. I'll never be a big fan of mecha shows, but this is much better than most.
Animosh
As for Planet With, I actually really enjoy its fast pacing. It's kind of similar to Banana Fish with how it manages to do a lot in very little time without making its climaxes feel forced or its characters superficial. And because of its fast pacing there's never a dull moment.
Animosh
@Kaiser: that's understandable, Steins;Gate has been pretty forgettable lately after all. ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the not though
Finally going to catch up with shoujo kageki somtime this week.
Lenlo
So, Steins;Gate wasnt bad this week. It tried. It didn't necessarily work, but it tried and had good ideas. If the setup to it hadnt sucked, this could have really worked
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Benika's flashback and though green haired maid girl was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Show had me half rooting for The sealing faction guys. I think another strength of the show is that, even though it feels too condensed and every episode feels like a resolve, it still stays understandable and keeps manages to keep coming out with more.
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Planet With – 10/11[Karellen and Rashaverak/Azrabarakura]

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Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

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Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

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Banana Fish – 10 [Babylon Revisited]

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