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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CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need to actually watch that Leiji Matsumoto stuff some day.
Anonymous3316528
Also Galaxy Express 99 I think also treated that topic.
Anonymous3316528
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't that Gate?
Anonymous3316528
Just like how Gundam made one for the Vietnam War.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A proper story dealing with isekai and immigration crisis.
Anonymous3316528
I mean they could make an allegory of the Berlin Wall.
Anonymous3316528
So Papers Please the anime?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think a romance themed isekai involving borders and beraucracy getting in the way could work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked those czech Jules verne animations.
Anonymous3316528
I suppose the work for creating assets for new settings it's why they don't do it. Most Isekai seem like they can take a tree, or a house from previous works and just change them a little.
Anonymous3316528
On second thought, that was technically the Anastasia animated movie.
Anonymous3316528
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Yeah. Just take the roadmap Bloodborne put out. It's even the perfect setting for an antihero archetype, considering these settings are about the hunt, surviving and superstition. I'll also like the Russia setting, harsh weather, espionage, travelling through train, boat and land like Jules Verne's Ivan Strogoff
Kaiser-Eoghan
That time I got reincarnated in the Soviet union.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see an anime set in Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gothic horror or industrial if only for liking the genre. I still want my anime western.
Anonymous3316528
All in all as I always say. I want new settings, steampunk, western, egyptian, chinese, space, nuclear dystopian, castaway, underwater, skyworld, gothic horror. Or any other tired trope other than european medieval fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, with the nostalgia of old games undertale went for, but without the maudlin di7alogue.
Anonymous3316528
Or something like Mad Max or the RPG series it inspired Metal Max. Maybe another one inspired by Phantasy Star.
Anonymous3316528
I got it! What if someone makes an Isekai on the vein of Earthbound or Undertale. I mean most are influenced by the standard fantasy JRPG. So why not take from the less typical ones?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just for the novelty of it, I would like to see an anime about a relationship between un-traditional/un-usual couples that we never see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe that'd be cheesy or something but they manage to form new friendship/families which allow them to put behind what they lost.
Amagi
I like semi-episodical series that have an episodical plot and a golden thread at the same time, the latter usually being more subtile or like a subplot and each episodical adventure gives the audience a few new hints or informations about the setting, characters or main plot.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't even mind a drama driven otherworld story about a depressed person trying to move on and the new world actually helping them move past that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So how about my don-quixhote anime Japan =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time there's a bunch of serious stuff, but its not clashing with the lighthearted stuff badly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite type of adventure story though are the ones where its more about the journey and hangout, sometimes the story appears here and there. And its usually centred around three goofballs with alot of chemistry.
Amagi
Sadly there never is any culture clash or culture shock either, speaking of the LN/game mechanic isekai here. The isekai people are just like the people of nowadays Japan but with swords and magic, basically. Maybe a few rituals at best.
Amagi
An isekai should be like King of Thorns despite KoT not being an actual isekai. But awakening in another world, not understanding anything, exploring, mysteries and slowly piecing things together that make the MC understand the logic of that new world a bit better while trying to integrate into the foreign culture.
Amagi
@Kaiser/Anon: I feel like that too. I love explore and isekai would be perfect for exploration and yet it's always about the MC finding his place as soon as he got teleported, he finds his crew, friends, house, power and so on.
Amagi
@Anon: You're right I watched a few scenes, the dub actually fits pretty well to Nanbaka. The series itselfs is too insane for me I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lack of journey, focuses too much on harem/romcom bits.
Amagi
I have yet to watch Voltron. The animation looks somewhat weird to me but everything else I heard about it so far sounds pretty good.
Lenlo
I welcome the essays Kaiser! Sakaki is a much more complex character than I expected, and Animosh is right that it doesnt justify his actions. I didnt mean to imply that. I do think however that Sakaki is not wrong to be angry. He is just directing it at the wrong person.
Anonymous3316315
@Kaiser-Eoghan - In what sense? In that it isn't a journey? A quest? A series of trials? The hunt of ancient treasure? Or whatever dimension hoping happens in Milk Closet?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Well said about Sakaki's character and I agree with you on it. Saves me writing an essay response now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Tangent, but I want to say something, one of the most annoying things about LNs is when they do the isekai thing, the other world almost never feels like an adventure.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I honestly wouldn't complain if it was full blown yuri or shoujo-ai.
Anonymous3316315
@Kaiser-Eoghan - A lot of series have hard ship baiting. Voltron, She Ra, Seraph of the End, Korra (which at the last second they did it). I know sometimes is a stretch like Frodo and Sam in LotR or Venom and Eddie. But other times it's that relationship in everything but name.
Kaiser-Eoghan
People seem to play up the shoujo-ai thing in Euphonium.
Anonymous3316315
@Amagi - Nanbaka has a good English dub. They knew the delivery had to be as hammy as possible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm looking forward to those Gundam NT films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't finish violet evergarden nor did I watch tsurune. In the priors case, that was something I would have seen myself liking maybe 10 years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I liked Koe no kitachi aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We can call it Racing Lads.
Amagi
Okay thanks. I can deal with slow pacing as long as there is an atmosphere or good character story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Free and kaze cross over WHEN!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked how scaled back it was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think you were asking about the new kyoani movie earlier? I can't remember if I posted about it on here what I thought, but I actually liked it more than the main Euphonium series, it stood out in its adherence to using body language, silence and movements moreso than dialogue while giving me a coming of age movie I had been asking for. Though some won't like the glacial pacing
Amagi
KazeGa is pretty damn good. It kinda feels like it actually is what Kyoani is always trying to do when they produce sport series with a male cast that are half comedy half drama. But while I often like some aspects of Kyoani shows (like the setting and themes of VEG), I never like the execution, save from the looks of course that are awesome but don't help making the content any better.
Amagi
*above
Amagi
@SuperMario: IIRC mosts Steven Universe VAs are actual singers so they should be a level about typical VAs anyway. Not sure who's voice acting for RWBY.
Amagi
But since I watch everything seasonally subs are faster and I usually don't rewatch series, otherwise a rewatch could be a good reason to watch the dubs for the second time.
Amagi
At least eng dubs got way better in general over the yers. Probably because anime is more mainstream now. Maybe I would like many of them more if I started with the dub.
SuperMario
Maybe it’s a translation issue, by that I mean usually some nuance from the native language is lost in translation. That issue can be alright if it subs, but when saying it out loud it becomes unnatural?
Amagi
Japanese VAs also talk a lot about their characters and give interviews about them, including their own interpretations or head canon stuff. Not sure if western VAs of Japanese shows do that too.
Amagi
Instead when it's a foreign show there is nothing to do but to memorize the finished lines and everything is already set in stone, so you are 100% passive and can't really view it as your or your team's work.
Amagi
I often heard that western VAs thought up some ideas that were integrated into the script. Not sure if that's the case for most cartoons of if these were exceptions, but it could be a hint that VAs are way more involved into a show and the development of their characters when it is a native show, it's kinda logical.
Amagi
Yeah, native stuff is usually better.
SuperMario
Then again, I enjoy the English VA of western cartoon like RWBY or Steven Universe so I guess it’s just a matter of original intended language for me
SuperMario
Well, I’m not a fan of dubbing either. Not that much of a dub-hater but I remember watching Monster and Cowboy Bebop in english dub before I had to switch back to Japanese voice midway through
Amagi
Still living ones I mean. But as said actual movies are usually well dubbed, so I guess it depends on how much money something generates.
Amagi
I knew a bunch of old ones but they're all dead by now. Know maybe three or so with name and face (and often don't even recognize them in movies) and another 6-10 by name only.
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