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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And Nier might be the most unpredictable do to the director not conforming to typical storytelling. But also wacky gameplay design decisions like abrupt shifting from 3D to 2D. And being overall weird.
Vonter
Just asking but between Nier: Automata, Zelda: BotW and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Which one would you play first? Zelda sounds great with only the possibility of technical nitpicks hindering the Wii U version (or not). Horizon seems like a mixed bag, a graphically ambitious game with expected open world elements.
Lenlo
I began reading here back in 11/12, but never felt the need to post to much till now. Cant remember how I found it.
Topgavin
Googled "anime reviews" in 2013 and this was the first thing that came up. Didn't post until Kyoukai no Kanata's ending forced me to rant somewhere; that being here.
Kaiser Eoghan
I began visiting the site in 2009, though started posting sometime in 2010/11.
Topgavin
@Mario yenah don't worry, this website it one of my 6 or 7ish tabs that never closes. I'm sure many here are like this, but it'd feel wrong to stop reading a site you've been reading for a long time. I've only been here 3-4ish years myself, but I know there's some who've been here much longer.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sex sells baby.SEX SELLS (not sure if anyone biting it thou)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Putting nude screenshots into the Scum's wish posts I see to pull people into checking it out OwO.
SuperMario
@Topgavin: yeah the question is WHEN they will adapt all of these. Great that you're busy now with uni stuffs (always good to be busy) but make sure to check back in often. I don't want to loose the small number of regular viewers here so to speak :)
Topgavin
And yeah, been doing university stuff so haven't had much time at all to do own time stuff.
Topgavin
@Mario Apparently there's a decent amount of content left in the VN, and since it's the first show by the studio I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a second season. Pretty bad look if you neglect your flagship show
SuperMario
and haven't seen you around that often lately @Topgavin. Been busy this season??
SuperMario
For Tanya, there's either this type of episode that focused on war, action and Tanya being badass; or Tanya working her way up rank and fighting with God. While obviously I enjoy the latter much more, I think this was still a solid episode. My 2 main complaints would be I'd love for things go unexpected for once for Tanya and I don't think we have anything close to conclusion this season.
Topgavin
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy that got shot didn't actually die, and that he gets 'helped' by god to be Tanya's main opponent. Or we just continue like normal and that was just a show of Tanya being Tanya. Either way the show is going strong
Anonymous885442
What if Being X decides to help things along?
Lenlo
So I cant remember, whats the gang bosses relationship to Yakumo? I just cant place him.
Lenlo
If she does become a reasonable opponent, there needs to be some sort of time skip or buildup. Theres no way she goes from a little girl in America to a formidable opponent in afew months. Maybe once Tanya grows up some more? I think the Colonel that got killed though would have been fine had they not killed him off so anti-climatically.
HelghastKillzone
Much like how Sophie became the opposing witch for Izetta last season, although I hope to hell it won't suck as much.
HelghastKillzone
We're at latter stages of Vol. 2 LN for Youjo Senki and I think that there is the potential for Mary Sue to become a formidable opponent. She's the only one with any semblance of a motive for going after Tanya personally. Everyone else is either dead or under Tanya's command.
Lenlo
Agreed. My favorite part of the show was Tanya and her attitude/interactions with people. I know shes a badass, now show me where shes an evil monster worthy of being Gods foe.
AidanAK47
I do agree that Tanya hasn't really interacted with those around her. In that regard the shorts show more of that. I think we need to get into her head more as well. We haven't had much monologue these past two episodes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Deus lo vult. Admitly she's likely going to come into it at a later date but it is important to note that this story wasn't written to be chopped into anime seasons. We got 7 light novels and I hear the web novel has already been completed. My worry is that the majority of this season will be setting up a great conflict. This is going to become a world war after all.
Lenlo
But Aidan, we know nothing about her. Shes in America at the moment, so her getting to the war and becoming any kind of threat is ridiculous. He was much better setup to be an antagonist. He had history with the protagonist after all and was clearly skilled because of his position.

She just has no buildup as a major character that I care about in any way
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Agree on that. It's the drifters thing again, if the enemy doesn't make the main character sweat then there no real tension in the action.
Lenlo
We also dont get many character to character talks as you said. Its mostly just Tanya barking orders and chances for her to show off how smart she is. Aside from being a tad aggressive, nothing she has done has had any consequences, shes and the battalion are in no real danger since not even an unnamed member has died, and she has very few notable faults.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I disagree on that characters inclusion being pointless. I think it's setup for Tanya's antagonist. After all Tanya stole his gun, his gun which was a Christmas present from his Daughter and inscribed with his name. When someone sees that gun, they are gonna want some vengeance.
His daughters name is Mary Sue by the way. If she lives up to the name this will be most entertaining.
Lenlo
There was just very little character progress. Sure, the army and the war advanced, but it was just another battle scene with a named character who I thought was going to be reacurring and important, just get shut down immediatly. He didnt do anything. What was the point of his inclusion?
Anonymous884628
My question is what the end game of this anime is. The structure doesn't make it clear where the story will put a closure. And still there's not that many interactions between Tanya and her peers, the only character interactions that have felt meaningful have been with God.
Anonymous884628
Lenlo - So so. I mean I liked a proper mission that it's easier to see the impact to the enemy, taking a couple of railroads and advancing the infantry into enemy territory. Still on the other hand the character they killed makes his inclusion kinda pointless.
Lenlo
I found this weeks Tanya alittle weak. I was expecting something more after that week break
Anonymous884480
Mirror of Fate and LoS2 felt like they didn't know where to take the story they built on the first game. There's a lack of touch in regards to using Castlevania characters and in short they were a mess. The RE6 of Castlevania. Too big, too unfocused, too shallow.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - LoS 1 is decent. Evidently the developers wanted to make an original game that ended with the Castlevania game placed on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Apparently Lords of shadow ruined the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
That castlevania fighting game got stale quickly and Takeshi Obata's art wasn't suited to the characters.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've seen friends play the 3D ones, I remember some of the later ones including leveling up elements I think but those weren't so good.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - If you have a Wii or Wii U or a PSP, Rondo of Blood is good. In regards to the handhelds I think Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclessia are the best ones. The latter looking similar to what we've seen of Bloodstained.
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite my interest and enjoyment of Castlevania, I haven't played enough of the series as a should have back in the day. I played symphony of the night, legacy of darkness, dracula x, castlevania 4, bloodlines . I know the horrors of castlevania II.
Anonymous884275
At one moment Mighty No.09. Also seemed Megaman in everything but name. Both Yooka Laylee and Bloodstained are developed with a more modest budget than the former games. Also a key aspect is if they'll learn or stumble about the flaws the old games had. (Collecthaton and recycled enemy designs).
AidanAK47
Bloodstained is still about and that's castlevaina in everything but name
AidanAK47
Same on character design. Though I am worried they might pull out some adventure time character style.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's true about Ippo. It didn't really weaken as Ippo has a near perfect shounen formula. The problem is that it just stopped going anywhere. Still very enjoyable but plot progression is dead in the water. No ending aside it is likely the better anime. You can pretty much stop at the first season.
K-Off
I say Castlevania was fucked the moment it turned into a pachinko machine
Anonymous884097
I've heard Hajime no Ippo starts good and weakens the further you go into it. And I know Joe has an ending, I don't know if Ippo does.
Anonymous884097
AidanAK47 - I'm mainly worried about the western character design they'll use. Since it has the range of being like the new DC animated movies, or something like Korgoth of Barbaria. I think the castle is intended to not make sense given all the things it contains. Is more like a portal to another dimension.
AidanAK47
Looking at the poster image for the castlevainas animated series made me realise just how structurally unsound draculas castle is.
AidanAK47
@Mario, if your are starting something that long you might as well go for the better equalvent, Hajime no Ippo.
AidanAK47
That Castlevania animation has me worried. Fair enough if they are going to attempt it but the people working on it has me worried that they will try to turn it into a comedy. Adventure time Castlevania edition would make me very angry indeed.
Vonter
Like with the Rose of Versailles, or Remy (Le Naki Ko). It feels like witnessing the life of the main character. Since it also builds off the path to becoming a boxer. It's also in a way refreshing having a like-hate feeling for the protagonist, since he can be cool as well as being a total jerk.
Lenlo
Its the Hajime no Ippo predecessor and laid the foundation. Its pretty good imo.
Lenlo
Ashita no Joe is like, the original sports anime
SuperMario
wait... (looking at the details), so there're 79 episodes... well, I MIGHT give it a try but the long-run anime scare the hell out of me now
SuperMario
@Vonter: Really? If you like it that much then I'm gonna give it a try too
Vonter
Guys. I don't even recall how I ended watching this anime. But I'm enthralled with Ashita No Joe. Despite looking really really rough, despite having a rather easy to follow story. This anime feels with weight, it feels like reading a novel in best way.
SuperMario
...But I don't plan to watch anymore of it
SuperMario
@Spike: I watched the first 3 episodes of Akiba's Strip and I enjoy the show for its dynamic animation and its goofiness, after all I think Akiba's trip represents well the goods and bads of anime medium
SuperMario
This week has to be one of my personal favorite KonoSuba episode. Everything was hliarious from start to finish. I certainly didn't expect to enjoy Darkness that much. She's freaking amusing.
AidanAK47
Yamishibai really has gone downhill since it's excellent first season. Second season was alright. Third season was ruined by them relying on visual horror drawings that were more silly than scary. Fourth season is being ruined by the way that the stories don't seem to have a punchline. All the endings have been just let downs.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never expected this but, there's going to be an animated adaptation of Castlevania of all things.
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
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