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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AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
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If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
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Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
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Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
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@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
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For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
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@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
afgm
(ok maybe a little fault should go to them lol)
afgm
@Friend: That sucks, but its definitely understandable. People can be pretty thoughtless at times (no fault to them of course).
afgm
tiger mask did make it into the upper quartile though, which is surprising
Friend
@afgm I don't have a large internet presence with my work exactly because I've had situations with theft on Pinterest. For work, I just carry USBs with my portfolio pieces in them :/
Friend
@Aramus Heya, thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately the fell image won't be available openly unless for commercial purposes, but otherwise feel free to contact me in my business email! :)
afgm
ah you know what? I read the title Time Bokan 24 and thought it had 24 votes x)
SuperMario
@afgm: Time Bokan receives 0 vote the last time I checked it. I'm more surprised that people love Haikyuu that much
SuperMario
Such a shame because I enjoy writing it a lot
SuperMario
2 more episodes on Thunderbolt Fantasy and I might break the sites' record (hall of shame really) for covering a show without any comment, haha.
afgm
Also what is Time Bokan and why does it have more votes than 95% of the other anime in the poll haha
afgm
well it's always iffy giving out images without the creator knowing. You can never know where its going to end up. I strongly suggest you contact Friend.
aramus1
@Afgm Sorry, I was the anon. The weird username thing is bugging out. And was going to send it to a friend, did she not want it out there?
afgm
@anon: you better not be thinking about refistributing the image without her consent. youre better off contacting her on her homepage...
AidanAK47
@Anon108797, In the comments he mentions that it's an April Fools joke. So there is hope for humanity yet.
Total users: 37

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