Posted on 30 November 2008 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: Ptolemy launches into space again.
Highlights: Mostly build-up, but solid build-up.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
And so the Ptolemy is back into space again. Most of this episode was spent on building up, and a few small fight, like Tieria vs Ali al Sarshes. What especially striked me was that Tieria is turning from the most mature member of the four Gundam-pilots into he least mature one. At this point, he’s the only one who is still being driven by negative emotions as revenge: Setsuna grew up, Allelujah got rid of Hallelujah and met Marie, and Neil got replaced by Lyle, who was even more mature than himself.

On other news, my fears got confirmed in this episode by showing the male version of Nena (ugh… guys with pink hair should NEVER be allowed in anime). My guess is that there are eight innovators in total, where the final two are the new pilot recruited by A-Laws and the mysterious man or woman in the preview are the final two. The question still remains where they came from. With the original Gundam-series, this was explained by a simple genetic trait that only pops up very rarely, but with every innovator having a male and female version, you have to wonder whether Nena’s brothers were her genuine brothers, or that she simply was adopted. It’s also interesting that unlike newtypes, innovators don’t have improved physical abilities, but instead have “The Third”-like powers, of being able to hack into any machinery you’d like.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

I must say that the current Autumn-season has been a really good one so far. There are lots of promising and charming titles, with a wide variety of different styles.

#25 (32) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,5/10) – I originally dropped this series, but after I found out that it was going to be 25 episodes, I figured that I may have quit it a bit too easily, so I gave it a second chance. Two episodes later and I dropped it again. This just isn’t a series for me, I just can’t get to like the fights. The animation is used in the wrong way: lots of flashy graphics, but when it comes to the people involved it’s very inaccurate (when a character receives a cut, he doesn’t even flinch), and characters blurt out their life stories at the slightest opportunity they get.
#24 (23) – Junjo Romantica – (7,5/10) – The story between Misaki and Usami is going really nowhere. What the heck is up with all these implausible love triangles? This should be a series about being in a relationship, not a male harem for Misaki. The other stories have been painfully absent so far, so I fear that the second season isn’t going to be as good as the first one.
#23 (24) – Kannagi – (7,75/10) – This series sometimes is brilliant, but at others it just drowns in its own fanbase. The series’ fandom is simply annoying (getting angry because a character may not be a virgin… these people need to go outside more often), and there’s just too much fanservice. I can understand how to a fan of the series, seeing Nagi into these poses is like ‘da bomb’, but I’m not a fan yet. I’m just trying to casually enjoy this series, and the creators sometimes make it rather hard for me to do that.
#22 (6) – Gintama – (7,75/10) – Lack of subs have left me in desp… wait, wrong show. In any case, it’s been so long since the last episode that I can’t really remember what it was about, hence the low score.
#21 (16) – Tytania – (8,25/10) – It’s nothing special yet, but still Tytania has been a solid series with some nice focus on politics.
#20 (12) – ef ~ a tale of melodies – (8,25/10) – I want to thank Coalguys for giving me another reason to avoid fansubs and go with raws instead. Anyway, it’s starting to look like melodies isn’t going to be as good as memories. Everything just feels too extreme, the subtlety is lost. Why didn’t anyone call the police in Yuuko’s story? Shaft seems to be trying too hard on this series, but it can still redeem itself in its final third.
#19 (17) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,25/10) – I don’t think that there are many series where the characters are actually developed during the filler-parts. In any case, in a way I’m glad that in this month, the creators seemed to have decided to forsake the original novels completely and just went with their own stories. The mystery-stories may be a bit less complex, but the banter is consistently hilarious.
#18 (20) – Ga-Rei Zero – (8,25/10) – Well, I can now understand why the creators decided to put the climax of this series in the first two episodes, because otherwise the start of this series would have been so dull so that nobody would have stuck with it. Right now, this series is shaping up a very solid storyline, so let’s hope that in its final third, it can make the promises that it’s made in these first two episodes true.
#17 (10) – Mobile Suit Gundam 00 – (8,25/10) – The only really annoying thing about this series is Saji. Apart from that, it’s building up pretty nicely with some nice action scenes. We’ll need to wait a bit longer to see whether it actually knows what it’s doing, but so far I remain positive.
#16 (9) – Nodame Cantabile – (8,5/10) – The second season is nice and all, but comparing it to its stellar predecessor is inevitable in this case. Right now, I feel that it’s missing the magic that made the first season so much fun to watch. It’s still an enjoyable series, but it doesn’t live up to the first 23 episodes.
#15 (2) – Jigoku Shoujo – (8,5/10) – Something tells me that the creators of this series are having loads of fun, trying to come up with all the different kinds of stories. The new series isn’t as varied as the older ones, but it’s a very entertaining and thought-provoking one nonetheless.
#14 (14) – Kurozuka – (8,5/10) – Kurozuka so far has been a very solid action series without any obvious flaws. So the story could have been a bit more complex, but the air of mystery and horror keeps the series going smoothly.
#13 (8) – One Outs – (8,5/10) – After Omo’s wise words I changed the way I looked at this series. One Outs is really perfect for baseball noobs, who don’t have the patience to sit through one entire game. The pacing is much faster than I expected. And to be honest, it’s not really the baseball that has sold me on this series. I’m happy enough to see Tokuchi pwn everyone in the entire series, regardless of the content.
#12 (5) – Blade of the Immortal – (8,5/10) – Not the best month for this series, but nevertheless the Makie-arc was a great one, and especially very nicely artistically directed.
#11 (21) – Clannad – (8,5/10) – I really hope Planetarian is going to be considerably different from Key’s other works (after all, with their lack of trying out new things, there is now way that Kyoani aren’t going to adopt it at some point), because my only criticism so far is that some of the stories here seem strangely familiar: sick girl, animal turned human, etc. Nevertheless the second season has been very well told and very enjoyable.

#10 (19) – Chaos;Head – (8,5/10)

My big fear of this series would be that the harem roots would take over too much. Well, as it turns out they did. Nevertheless I’m really enjoying this series and its paranoid aspects, and it’s good for those who are looking for some convolution in their anime.

#9 (13) – Hyakko – (8,5/10)

Call me a guy with a strange taste, but I’m really enjoying this series so far. Its sense of humour is hilarious, and at the same time the few serious moments haven’t felt dull so far. There are lots of characters in this series, and the creators made optimal use of this by really making an entire classroom come alive, rather than just a group of four or five friends.

#8 (22) – Tales of the Abyss – (8,5/10)

The storyline’s getting pretty interesting at this point, and I’m starting to see what people meant by Luke and his character-development. Let’s hope it can keep this up.

#7 (18) – Shikabane Hime – (8,75/10)

Shikabane Hime has been a really entertaining series so far, with lots of exciting fights and a male lead who somehow doesn’t suck. The series has a great sense of characterization and that makes it a very engaging anime.

#6 (3) – Skip Beat – (8,75/10)

The bitch-fights of the past few episodes were nothing short of awesome. The characters continue to develop, they’re deep and well defined. This could very well be the best shoujo series of the year.

#5 (7) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (9/10)

Okay, so I don’t think anyone could have predicted that huge twist in the plot and the focus of this series at the start of the finale. The realism’s gone now, but it’s promising to really take the best out of the characters so far. But the definite highlight of this month was obviously the awesome Alecia-episode.

#4 (1) – Mouryou no Hako – (9/10)

This series really took a unique turn in the past month, with two entire episodes dedicated to nothing but people sitting in one room and talking. Still, I like shows like this that decide to take a little risk like that, and the series still is really solid and very intriguing, and it’s remained one of my favourites of the Autumn Season.

#3 (11) – Bonen no Xamdou – (9/10)

The hiatus was most definitely annoying, but ever since this series returned, it’s been more solid than ever.

#2 (15) – Michiko e Hatchin – (9/10)

Ignoring the very strange broadcasting policy, this series is pure gold. Both Michiko and Hatchin are wonderful characters with their own past and problems, and the situations they end up in are nothing short of a delight to watch.

#1 (4) – Casshern Sins – (9,25/10)

Okay, so this isn’t a series for those who hate fillers with passion, but nevertheless it’s turned into one of my favourite series of the past series, simply due to the huge quality of the scriptwriters. They never waste a single second in an episode and the writing in every episode is simply amazing.

Posted on 29 November 2008 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A girl who believes she can use Kokkuri-san takes this obsession to the extreme.
Highlights: Interesting take on bullying…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Okay, so this was one of the most disturbing episodes of the third season so far. The sheer level of stupidity in this episode is truly unrivalled, and yet it somehow remains down to earth in a very creepy way, and it shows what can happen if a teenager secludes herself too much from others, and suddenly gets the power to kill people.

Unlike what most anime try to teach you, most teenagers who are given these powers aren’t going to end up using them for the forces of good, but raher for their own personal gain, including getting rid of annoying teachers, or just having fun by bullying the weak who are too afraid to stand up to themselves, which has pretty much been the general message this series has been trying to convey.

This episode takes the whole concept of this show even further, by making the lead character of the episode send someone to hell that she barely even knows. With people you’ve got a direct grudge against, it’s somewhat understandable, but sending someone to hell in a desparate attempt to become popular, while you don’t know anything about that guy.

There’s one thing I’m missing in this show, though. Because it’s set at a school, it’s got much less variety. Of course, there are enough idiotic adults walking around there, and I’d love to also see a few episodes dedicated to that. And again, the finale of the second season did have enough of them, not to mention the number of very disturbing episodes in the first season.

Speaking of that first season, do you reckon that Hell Boy is going to make his comeback somewhere in this series?

Posted on with categories: Telepathy Shoujo Ran



Short Synopsis: Ran gets called by a wooden statue who turns out to contain the spirit of an ancient Japanese dude.
Highlights: What was up with these strange fantasies of Midori?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
Well, so this was one of the more nonsensical stories of this series. From out of nowhere, Ran gets called in the library by a strange statue. This turns out to be the spirit of a guy who once left his war struck country in order to search for a princess fit to rule his country. The episode eventually ends with the past coming alive again, and the guy saving everyone by labelling Ran as said princess. So, yeah…

Still, the banter was as awesome as ever, so I’m not the one to complain here. For some reason, Midori’s sudden mood fluctuations whenever Rin gets mentioned remain hilarious. It was also nice to see some breaking of the fourth wall, when the spirit contacted Ran, and Midori went “oh, here we go again”.

It’s interesting how the creators decided to end the series with short stories, instead of two-episode arcs. I originally thought that the final four episodes of this series would be spent on the final two novel volumes, but it actually looks like the creators are going for an anime-original ending. Either that, or the series will end with a bunch of forest animals rampaging…

Posted on 28 November 2008 with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Zalish is sent out to destroy the rebels.
Highlights: Finally Lydia gets something to do!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
Well, so this series continues its path of solidly building up. This arc was really meant to show a bit of the side of the rebels other than Miranda, and how despite having lost the battle against Fan Hulic, the Tytania family is definitely something to watch out for. Zalish completely wiped out the pirates in this episode without any bit of effort. Fan Hulic meanwhile, seems to finally feel a bit like fighting again, so who knows where this series might take us.

I’m also glad to see that Lydia finally gets to do something, rather than hang around in a random garden. As a naive princess, she offers herself as a hostage to prevent Tytania from taking some vital resources that can be found on her planet, and basically labelling her country as bankrupt. The impact she’s going to make on these Tytania-guys must be quite severe, for her character to be such a major character in this series.

Posted on 27 November 2008 with categories: Shikabane Hime



Short Synopsis: A couple of high schoolers explore an abandoned building.
Highlights: The cat! (I shouldn’t be reminded of when saying that…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
A more quiet episode, but those are needed too. This one is especially useful, as it gives Ouri some development, sheds some light on the cat, and contributes a bit to the world that this series is set on. It’s a small detail, but very useful: with people shooting with machine guns at zombies, it was only a matter of time before people would start stalking Makina.

So as it turns out, Ouri isn’t Keisei’s real brother after all, but I guess that probably explains why the guy moved out of the house so early. While I shouldn’t be surprised at this point about this, he turns out to be adopted, and was leading god knows what sort of life before that. He arrived at Keisei’s house with complete memory loss, and took ages before learning everything. He finally got motivated once he made friends with a little kitten he picked up.

At one point, the cat died, though something strange went on with its spirit, and it returned as a ghost that only Ouri could see. Or talk to anyway, since this episode reveals that Makina can see it as well. Thanks to the support of this cat, I think that Ouri was able to fully recover from his trauma and lead a good life. And I guess that because of the cat, he’s been treating Makina and Minai as real people. Makes sense.

The slapstick was really weird in this episode, but what surprised me even more that I found myself laughing at those boob-jokes and horny classmates. It was cute, and didn’t feel annoying at all, even though similar attempts in other series have made me edge to ALT-F4 more often than not.

Posted on with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Casshern arrives at a robot graveyard.
Highlights: Nico was awesome.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10 (Fantastic)
Oh my god. This was without a doubt the best episode of Casshern Sins yet, and with such a series, that really has to say something. I can’t believe how easy these writers make it seem to just create such wonderful stories, episode after episode. This episode not only evolved the storyline, but it also created one of the most awesome characters of the series: Nico.

There were lots of different characters with prominent roles in this episode, and it was much, much more than just another episode of Casshern the “chick magnet”. Nico was kind to everyone she ran into, not just Casshern. The most notable of this was of course the male robot (there really needs to be some sort of general term for them): finally one of them gets a bit of depth, and the results are wonderful. As a robot, he doesn’t feel pain like normal humans, so if he loses a bunch of limbs, all he can just do is sit at one place and wait for the destruction to kill him completely. He’s also the first of his kind to see that Dio was wrong, and have a change of heart.

Of course, I could write pages about how incredibly awesome this episode was, but you really need to see it for yourself. At this point, the creators have really established themselves as masterful storywriters, who really try to make the best out of each of their episodes and take nothing for granted. I’m really glad to have given this series a second chance after its lacklustre first episode and decided to blog this.

Posted on 26 November 2008 with categories: Bonen no Xamdou



Short Synopsis: Nakiami and Yango continue to travel together.
Highlights: Even when building up, this show delivers.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, my suspicions came true with the arrival of the second half. This series is getting really good now, even in episodes like this one where hardly anything happens apart from building up. It’s especially a delight when the crew of the Zanbani shows up again: for the past episodes these guys have been the epitomes of doing nothing, and yet those short scenes between them have a huge power to them.

The majority of the episode talked about one of the white haired kids that the military managed to secure in the previous episode and the relationship between Yungo and Nakiami. Regarding the former, he shed a lot of light into what these people can do, they even can communicate through large distances. They also seem to be picky about the ones they want to turn into the Xam’d: the guy never even bothered giving his powers to the military guys, and yet he seems strangely interested in Haru (through the tips of Nazuma).

About the latter, there were some things that struck me above the bond that these two develop. Their journey made it clear that there’s a lot more stuff going on than just the main storylines of this series. It’s been a typical episode to bring a bit of life to the world that the series is set in, something you really don’t see often. More often with travel series, I notice that the life purpose of the unimportant side characters seems to be waiting for the travelling main character to arrive and solve his/her problems. But instead, the people that Nakiami and Yungo met had definitely their own problems, and just happened to meet the two. Especially the two kids, who Yungo talked to for a bit were very natural-sounding. Another series where I’ve noticed this effect was Porfy no Nagai Tabi, during its shortest arcs.

Artistically, this was also a beautiful episode. This really is a series that needs to be watched in HD.

Posted on with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Kiba continues to collect clues, and finally all of the four main characters are together.
Highlights: It was a long wait, but finally the developments continue.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
The biggest reason why I like this series so much is that even though its story is very confusing and complex, it never forget its subtlety and great characterization. The complex story combined with the down to earth storytelling is really why I consider this series to be among the best of the season. Some shows with lots of talking tend to get lost into meaningless exposition (I really need to stop using Soul Eater as a bad example for this…), but Mouryou no Hako manages to avoid this completely.

Thankfully this episode was also a bit easier to understand, although there were still plenty of tricky parts. It starts with Yoriko, as she continues to resent everyone around her, from classmates to her mother. None live up to her expectations set by Kanako. The next scene is about Sekiguchi, as he thinks back of the novel he read by Kubo Shunko, which I think inspired him to get more interested in the case of the boxed murders. He’s on his way to visit a certain doctor. When we reach the place, we make a time skip to later that day, when Kiba also got the idea to visit him.

I’m not exactly sure what the doctor is to the whole case, but Kiba too seems to have linked the boxed murder case with the disappearance of Kanako. The doctor was probably in charge of the autopsy of the girl who was found inside the boxes. He mentions that she wasn’t chopped up to be killed, but instead killed in order to be chopped up, suggesting that the killer had indeed been planning to box her right from the start, instead of thinking that it would be a strange way to cover up for his crime. The doctor seems to link this back to human experimentation again. A soldier that can’t die. We then switch to some flashbacks of Kiriko, claiming that Kanako can’t die, which I suspect have some disturbing truth in them.

The doctor then says that Sekiguchi also paid him a visit that morning, and Kiba is very surprised to see Sekiguchi investigating. He then shows him a few notes about the files that Sekiguchi was carrying, which prompt Kiba to pay Sekiguchi a visit. At the train station, Kiba recapitulates what happened back at the research institute.

The next half of the episode shows that Enokizu somehow has made contact with Akihiko. Toriguchi meanwhile has uncovered some new information about the box maker. A strange guy (probably a talented student) told him that he got a request for quite a large amount of boxes from the box maker. He seems to lead the same strange depression as Sekiguchi is (never noticed that, by the way). Toriguchi then shows an old-fashioned tape recorder. Toriguchi seems to have gotten it from his boss. The tape shows an ominous preaching by the box maker, but it seems to be faked. Next up Toriguchi shows a blueprint of the box maker’s dojo.

Enokizu then announces that he and Sekiguchi will be going to check up on a girl named Yoriko Kusumoto, Kusumoto Kimie’s daughter. Kimie, however, seems to stand in the box maker’s cult’s registry file. This isn’t something Akihiko surprised. Enokizu then comes with a surprising revelation: Yuuko isn’t Kanako’s aunt, but her mother. She got a baby on a very young age, and to avoid any scandals on her acting career at that time, it was just pretended that her mother had another baby. Wow…

Kiba then shows up from out of nowhere. I guess that he went to Sekiguchi’s house, only to find out from his wife/girlfriend that he was at Akihiko’s. He’s quite angry, but Akihiko cuts him off, wanting to hear his own story before that.

We then switch to Yoriko, as she seems to have met the mysterious man again in front of a painting store. He’s talking about eternal life. At first he seems a bit weird, but Yoriko is doubting whether to trust him or not. Sekiguchi and Enokizu then pop up. They don’t get much out of her, and she just leaves them to meet up with the mysterious man again. He invites her then in a room full of boxes… and the rest is left up to our imagination…

So the culprit is finally identified, it was indeed the mysterious man. The question now of course is where this guy ties in with the box maker and Kanako. Is he a member of the cult, and if he did push Kanako off the tracks as Yoriko said, then what did he want to accomplish with that? How did he get her out of the research institute?

I also have to say that I’m surprised that more and more anime are willing to use the Second World War as one of their themes. Last season, it was Nijuu Mensou no Musume; and okay, even though that one went wrong a bit, it’s good to see that some Japanese are willing to write stories about their darker parts in history. In the same way, you can see a lot of American-made games that do take place in this second world war, just as a lot of Dutch stories take place in our Golden Age, and you never get to hear anything about what “we” did in Indonesia. While an anime about Pearl Harbour is of course never going to happen, it’s good to see that there are at least some attempts to point at it.

The animation was a bit strange at times in this episode, but thankfully it was only the smoothness that suffered. The vivid expressions that make this series’ characters come to life are fortunately still there.

Posted on with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kuro suddenly finds himself approached by a strange old man.
Highlights: Now this is psychological horror!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Best episode of the show so far since the first episode. It’s taken a while for this series to arrive at its real meat, but now it’s finally about time to work towards the series’ finale and this episode really showed the building up come together.

What especially made this episode work well were the bad guys. They were no longer strange caped dudes who kill lots of people, but instead had real personalities. I felt like they were people, rather than a bunch of literal killing machines, and it’s good to see this series spend some effort in its weakest area: the characterization.

I especially like that lizard man, who uses illusions to get rid of his enemies. This episode starts out at a point that doesn’t make any sense at all, where Kuro suddenly finds himself in the middle of a huge city, while in fact it turns out to be one huge illusion by this guy. It really increases the subtle paranoid level of this series: as long as the lizardman is around, you won’t know what’s real or not.

Ooh, and Kuromitsu showed herself, but she immediately leaves again after she saves Kuro. Her own agenda still remains a huge mystery at this point, but I think Kuro is somehow very much needed in it, so she wanted to make sure that he’d survive. How she knew where he was… the only explanation for that is that she’s been monitoring him from the beginning with the strange time stopping power of hers. It also turns out that she knows Sanniwa, suggesting that either Sanniwa was very old, or she and Kuro split ways more than just that time.

It’s also interesting that the story of the anime seems to diverge from the manga. I have no idea by how much this has happened since I’ve not read the manga, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as the creators know what they’re doing. This will of course only become clear in the final episodes, when everything in this series is supposed to come together. What the creators must make sure of is that they need to shed light on every mystery in that episode, and at the same time pull off a satisfying climax. Bringing back the godly animation of the first episode helps too.

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1127552
We don't get anime set in world war II because they don't want to remember how evil their country was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That caught my attention, some kind of suspense manga set in world war II, for obvious reasons you don't often see manga/anime set in that time often enough so thats interesting at least.
Anonymous1124748
KTravlos here: On RE-Creators Saouto. Remember we are talking about a 14? year old kid who believed made his girlfriend commit suicide. I get the point and frustration, but do keep that in mind.
Lenlo
@Mario, for Hero Academia, just wait. The hype is real for Shouto vs Midoriya.
SuperMario
This is one of Saekano's biggest issue: while there are 5 main casts, the show seems to care to develop 3 of them. When that rival-guy begs Tomoya to continue the circle, and stresses that "Don't lose Eriri and Utaha". I just feel... dishearten. No recognition for Kato and Michiru then
SuperMario
Another 2 shows that I want to mention this week: My Hero Academia's last episode fight between Ecchan and Urarawa is my favorite match out of this Tournament arc. Saekano's last episode actually frustrated me. When it's obvious that this is the time for Kato's conflict, the show still spends too much time on Eriri and Utaha.
SuperMario
KTravlos: based on the content I thought it's you as well. I actually enjoyed Virgin Soul. It's an important episode actually, where all of out mains are locked up/ imprisioned. Yep, Re:Creators was great as well. But hell, Souta... his character's annoying. The creations, on the other hand, are developing quite nicely
Anonymous1123421
KTravlos here. Hmm wordpress has cast me out :p
Anonymous1123392
what a great RE:Creators episode. I do not know how Mamika will end up. But manly tears shall be shed. A great character.

Virgin Soul had a so-so to disappointing tonning down episode. Expected. Still they are smart to put Favoro there as a "sorry for that mates".
AoT, knowing what I know from the manga, made this episode all that more striking.
Anonymous1123296
Woah, Alice n' Zokuro has some of the most amazing writing I've seen this decade!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And because of the negative space in the picture and guy in the background, it might also emphasize distance.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: This was an obvious shot choice (come on, because they KISSED), but the one I liked the most was the top right one. The characters aren't in the center of focus, and a bit too close to the screen tell us how much Chinatsu wanted to get close to Kotarou, at the same time we feel a bit uncomfortable just like him (too close). Smart visual telling there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should start giving attention to shots in anime as I do in art films. You've chosen a good one for tsuki ga kirei on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Speaking of shots....some of the static photography is Tsai ming liangs Goodbye dragon in is stunning. I saw an Ozu film where the framing was absolutely masterful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The eyeball scene in the restaurant OMO, scenes like that had very good way of creeping up on the viewer.
SuperMario
... and the fireworks in the end. Emotionally satisfied for that bleak film
SuperMario
Thanks Kaiser. Still think Black Coal is a very stylish and well-done neo-noir. One shot in particular still stick with me is the one long, unbroken shot that combine the past with the present.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*reviewing
It was your review that got me interested in the film mario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I know that feeling, having to get out all my thoughts immediately. I also stream of consciousness what I write whether it be a poem or review then go back to edit, shows the passion a person has for what they're review.
SuperMario
It was just 3 years ago. I think I MUST review everything as soon as I finish, otherwise I will forget. Getting old now. Dang it
SuperMario
It was a great review, Kaiser. I also feel comparing Black Coal to Memories of Murders don't do this film justice too (although to be hinest I don't see the comparison). Your review just reminds me that I did review that film on Letterboxd, thou for the life of me, when I read ny own review I had no clue that i did write it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Constantine was really the only reason I would have considered seeing the film, as I enjoyed some of the comics he appeared in.
Lenlo
Yaaay! Favaro is back!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, now I remember, I stopped watching ghost hound at around episode 14 or 15 years ago.
K-Off
Justice League Dark ended up being one of the weakest among the recent animated dc films. The opening was intriguing but it drops the ball as soon as it focuses on Zatanna and Constantine...The demonic manipulation of people isn't tied well enough to the villain, so that premise ends up feeling pointless, everything is inconsequential by the end. Why was this even made?
SuperMario
And for once, I feel that developing the characters isn't a appropriate choice for this type of show. The main cast need to develop, yes, but most of the supporting cast was presented as ambiguous and mysterious, thus making them change in the end feel just wrong
SuperMario
The main kidnapping was never addressed thoroughly, and it should be the main overarching arc, instead of this ending.
SuperMario
So... I've just binged through Ghost Hound. It starts as a compelling psychological mystery series, and ends up being... thriller of sort? The first half, building up stage was its best, and then unfortunately it run out of steam
KTravlos
Hey Favoro is like a good whiskey. You gotta drink it slow and enjoy it :)

I liked Predators.
Spike
8 episodes in we finally get to see who we were all waiting for in Bahamut! ...for 2 seconds.
Vonter
I did watch the version with the alien coming out of the ox. I haven't watched Predators, AVP1 was ok, like the newer movies its just the human element that has consistently gotten worse and unmemorable. I think that element in particular made me enjoy watching Alien 3 now, than if I had watched it in order, considering how it begins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thankfully the franchise can never fall as low as the predator reboot or alien vs predator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Be sure you're watching the extended version.
Vonter
I liked 3/4s of this film, as the plans to kill the alien got more cumbersome the film got more tiring. And I think it was obligated to annihilate the cast considering they take the time to take out a whole bunch of them. I also think it's very noticeable the tiring production this had, and while people praise practical effects now, this movie sadly didn't integrate well the alien puppet.
Vonter
I've just watched Alien 3, the only Alien movie I hadn't seen do to the diviseness towards it. I think I went with the best expectations considering now on hindsight newer movies have made it look more competent, having more weight. This movie has characters, integrates the religious motiffs better, the Alien more than a closet monster is a formidable force of nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....It just dawn on me looking through my letterboxd account...I have never seen afro samurai...
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm on hold with SukaSuka as well after 5 episodes. Ejoyable so far but its LN's tendencies hurt the show
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, like I said in one of my weekly post, Tsuki ga Kirei is simple, but isn't easily obtained. At this point, I'm truly invested in these kids that it makes me tense just to see how they keep up with their relationship, haha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have yet to catch up with sukasuka and don't care about bahamut all that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel its sweet and sensitive approach has a rhythm to it that I started going along with.
It’s obviously slow but I began not noticing the time go by as I watched more.
The art makes me think of Shimura Takako’s and makes me wonder what the series might have been like if she wrote it.
The dub is mediocre so after 3 episodes I switched to subs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The relative quietness and how scaled back in comparison to other anime romances is welcome and it never becomes dramatically or comedically obnoxious which I think is in its favour.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to catch up on tsuki ga kirei. We said this before, but that scene where he meets the publisher about his writing is a stand out one.
For the show overall so far itself, above all I see it as something simple, un-demanding to watch, its good a break from all those old/art films I have to concentrate on harder to follow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe Goth would count but its more o a mystery manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not familiar with shibito or sugar life. May as well recommend everything by Kazuo Umezu and Junji ito. 6000 ended disappointingly, I fell behind in dead tube. Does sugar dark count?
Lenlo
I am a Hero is a personal favorite of mine
AidanAK47
@Anon: Uzumaki, Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi, Happy Suger Life, 6000 and Dead Tube. I suppose.
Anonymous1116992
What is some good horror manga
K-Off
@Mario I also noticed that korean thrillers are way too obnoxious with shakycam.
Lenlo
@Mario, about LWA, that was how I felt. Its just not as magical, as special, as the original OVA was to me. I suppose thats to much to ask for a 25 ep series, but it turned me off
AidanAK47
@Mario, TV Diana has some charm points but I think OVA Diana provided a better dynamic. I mean sure, She was essentially female Draco Malfoy but her attitude made reveals like her being a secret Chariot fan more impactful. Plus her tsundere act torwards Akko was rather adorable.
SuperMario
about LWA again, unlike Aidan I actually enjoy this version of Diana. I know she's one note, too perfect but she's charming. Too charming haha which serves well as a contrast to Akko
SuperMario
...just pop one random film from him. His films are not without its bad side thou, in particular I find the dialogues shapeless and dragging. But well it does add to the naturalness of his films
KTravlos
on LWA I would also recommended it. It is a fluffy show, with a sense of wonder. Some episodes are better, some are more flat, and the over-arching storyline leaves me bored. But it does have that sense of childlike wonder, which I had missed among all the "grim" shows.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a bit of problems with Korean movies lately as now they're heavily thriller style-over-substance films, so films that have very simple style like Hong-Sang-Soo's joints are the welcome change of air. One thing about his films thou, If you watched one of his film, you've watched them all. They're so similar in tones and concepts that I reckon if you feel like watching his films...
SuperMario
So I say it's still worth finishing. It's good but I don't feel the sparks that made it so great from the OVAs anymore
SuperMario
@Lenlo: about LWA. Plus side: Those hijinks. I mean the show is fun and magical. Negative side: I wish the show's storytelling is a bit tighter, each episode feels so loose it doesn't add up much and more like different variations of Akko + one member of the cast's hijink. Doesn't help either that the other casts just disappeared until they have an episode for 2 for themselves
SuperMario
@Anon1113829: I "enjoyed" Beyond the Boundary, but that show was a mess. The episode 10 was stand out for me, and the ending was kinda... a wreck. Certainly interesting but quality-wise I wouldn't reccommend it
Anonymous1113829
@SuperMario KyoAni fan? What did you think of Kyoukai no Kanata? I really wanted to like it, I thought it had some potential, but IMO nothing worked right.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It's good. Fun to watch certainly. Though sadly it falls short of being great.
Lenlo
So question: Is Little Witch Academia worth finishing atm? I started it last season, but for some reason it just fell off my radar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thankfully, while not entirely satisfying, day he arrives is just the Korean film I've been looking for, refreshingly more low key, quieter and I enjoyed the new wavy combined with raw style, making it all feel very natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Well then, thanks for the rec on Hong-sang-so, I looked at The day he arrives. Y'know the reason I sometimes dread going into films featuring romance is because I'm conditioned from seeing the bad ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I may actually read this, the last time I read a manga steeped in politics was Sanctuary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle:_The_Making_of_an_Asian-American_President
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I actually have very limited experience with Ellis as a comic book writer, only read Transmetropolitan, I know he's writing the Castlevania adaptation.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I heard the same thing; can't help being a completist though so I'll eventually get to them
AidanAK47
@Mario, From what I heard, it doesn't get better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that scene from the 1st episode of Phantom world lost me... but even then I'm willing to give the show another chance. That's how far I would go ^^ https://mobile.twitter.com/aaapodcast/status/687148875052892160/photo/2
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Looks like they are putting some real effort into it. May actually turn out pretty good after all.
@K-Off, Under the Red hood is a damn fine movie. Likely one of the best of the DC animated universe. Though try Superman vs the elite out. It's pretty good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even phantom world Mario...even phantom world ? =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just the teaser trailer, not much to go on, but heres a short preview of that netflix castlevania thing that got mentioned on here a while back, up the quality to 360p:
SuperMario
At this stage, I'm pretty much KyoAni fanboy now so with every new material, I'll hype it up to the sky ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did follow it up with The spy who loved me though to cheer myself up =P Given that Rodger Moore just died =)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just looked through what Short Men Behind the Sun is about: "human experiments carried out by Japanese army during WW2?" Already sound grim and too real. Then "a graphic depiction of the human experiments" haha no wonder you felt unsettled Kaiser
VyseLegendaire
My favorite Exploitation Flick is An Inconvenient Truth 2.0
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Long story short men behind the sun is finally the exploitation flick that defeated me and actually made me unsettled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I remember you talking about how Salo really affected you as an exploitation film, generally exploitation films don't shock or disturb me, but I just watched the cantonese dubbed version of Men behind the sun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the worst thing about beyond the boundry and phantom world, it discolours my opinion of kyoani as a whole, making me negatively reflect on older work they did .
AidanAK47
Yep, that's the new KyoAni one. Like Puran I don't have any expectations of it. The premise certainly seems like the closest they have come to breaking out of there usual format but I am sure they will find a way to shove in Moe antics. Though based on what is seen so far it looks like they are trying to emulate Key.
Puran
Is that a new KyoAni anime?.. I have lost faith in them a long time ago. Last Anime from them that I cared about was probably Hyouka
SuperMario
Bring you some news, Violet Evergarden will be aired as an anime TV. Though many sources saying it gonna air this year, it has a better possibility to air next year
SuperMario
Well, aesthetically, he's pretty much on par with Yang and Wong. It's just that his films are often emotionally distant, feel more like watching the paint dry hahaa
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I connect more emotionally with Yang and Wong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I went in expecting Edward Yang and Kar-wong-wai levels of quality, which may have been quite unfair standards to put him up against.
SuperMario
I myself find his films difficult to watch, but when the films end they usually hold up very very well. Both The Assassin and 3 Times in particular are my favorite of the year
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I completely understand your reaction because his films are demanding as hell. I remembered watching The Assassin in big screen, 3 people next to me fall asleep, one of them snoring and the other one fall asleep within the first 10 mins. That Hou Hsiao's movies for you
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its such a shame because he makes gorgeous cinema and City of sadness is actually pretty informative account of the times....I just can't jive with him and I actually like "slow cinema" but watching his work is insanity inducingly boring for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I'm really sorry, I don't mind long slow even spiritual, talky, non-narrative, old, complex,meditative , art films but I'm really really finding it hard to watch Hou Hsiao's work, I've tried time to live and the Assassin and I just bailed after 2 out of 3 hours on city of sadness.
KTravlos
I have to say Akko is developing nicely as a character in LWA. Also Magane in Re:Creators reminds me of Hannibal as palyed by Mads Mikkelsen. There is that same est for life married to sociopath that is a bit charming :) Mamika's character is also just cool. Beyond that AofT and Bahamut both delivered competent episodes, with Bahamut a good mix between comedy and tragedy.
K-Off
@Aidan Assault on Arkham was fantastic. Between that and Under the Red Hood, a classic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a lot to say in this week's Eccentric Family. Review will come up later tonight when I get back home from work.
AidanAK47
Seen Assault on Arkham or what it should be called, The animated Suicide Squad movie. Thinking of checking out Dark.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Have you seen assault on Arkham or the justice league dark film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It isn't so much because its Talia x Batman, moreso that it feels odd shipping Batman with anyone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While kind of amusing, initially I wasn't too into Uchouten this week, the hot spring part got me groaning, but then someway through dramatically it really picked up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From reading comics a few years back, I still feel that they adapt better to animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And I say this as someone who was able to defend Alien 3 and Ressurection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Covenent felt like an Infantilized version of Alien.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call either John Wick film or free fire amazing or anything but they had great fight scenes that were actually visually coherent , of course they weren't given a proper release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not watching/paying for anymore of these reboots/remakes/shakey cam pg rated action films anymore. I'll stick with my balls to the wall Hong-Kong/Chinese ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It also had really uneven pacing aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: ....The dialogue is so embarassing, they don't do enough with this backstory, they just keep teasing, none of the new characters have the same charisma , the editting in the action scenes shakes all overtheplace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I gave Covenent a fair chance, I thought it would be an exception to the reboot thing. I'll admit theres the sets, the atmosphere, Fassbenders performance , the idea to expand on the franchises mythos is cool but....
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really really hurts as a film fan, trying to find older, genuinely quality foreign films , finding that no-one is seeding them and theres no proper/in print dvd release anymore. Then finding some awful shakey cam modern American superhero film with billions of seeds and a bluray release.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I don't know. Todd was more the imperfect son always aiming for batmans approval. Damian is more an assasin wondering why the hell he can't just kill his enemies. I hear that Comic Damian works better than Animated Damian. I do think that if given a personality he could work but as he is currently you are right that he's essentially a mishmash of past robins.
Vonter
I watched Alien Covenant and I don't know if it improves by being more dumb and less pretentious or if it os the final nail in the Alien franchise coffin. Not since the StarWats prequels there has been a retcon that changes your view of the original movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can recall enjoying a certain Jason Todd centered story called Batman:death in the family.
K-Off
Well, even when Damian does completely cross the line and become a villain, he's not even that interesting, i.e Injustice. Yup, Jason Todd already covered everything, but better.
AidanAK47
Problem is that he's an edge lord cocky piece of shit that just doesn't have enough likeable traits for this to be compelling. What really pushed him over the edge was mocking Nightwing over his parents deaths. That shit is not on.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the contrast that Batman refuses to cross the line and kill but Damian has crossed that line. As well as his potentail to become a villain. Tim and Dick didn't really have that though Jason sort of did. Damian's arc is more about teaching him the morality of a hero.
K-Off
@Aidan I'm not sure I like Damian's concept to begin with. The Bat-son dilemma's inherently addressed by the Robins for all intents and purposes. Damian just goes through the same motion, only difference being he's biologically related.
K-Off
Yup. Wonderwoman either doesn't need to have a love interest, or it needs to be with Steve Trevor, the two have a solid backstory that the movies unnecessarily removed.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I don't mind the Taila X batman pairing. Makes more sense than Batman and Batgirl. But if there's one pairing pushed in the new movies that I just find wrong is the Superman X wonder woman. I just don't get that one.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the concept of Damian as a character. But it's executed so badly.
Anonymous1105941
Teen titans needs one more season to wrap up all the loose ends. Such as what happens to Slade, and Blackfires revenge. The creators clearly wanted to explore those plot lines but got cut short.
K-Off
Teen Titans hasn't aged very well, but one thing I still do like about it is how contained and local the setting and cast were for the first half of that show. When godly superpowers are involved, that appeals to me. Much of the same reason why I like Logan and Raimi's Spiderman so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Very rarely watched teen titans when I was younger, I was vaguely interested in slade, stopped watching around when Terra appeared. I actively avoided comics where Damien appeared, never liked that Talia x Batman pairing much, I can only imagine how much worse it is to listen to Damien than read him.
K-Off
@Aidan, I like some aspects of those movies, but I'm not a big fan of the new continuity and art style in general...and yeah it doesn't help that Damian is irredeemably unlikable.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, There is also the DC animated Teen Titans movies like Teen Titans vs Justice Leage and Teen titans the Judus contract. Though it's not the same as the the TV series and Damian is such a dick.
K-Off
@Anon I don't think Teen Titans needs another season. The last season wasn't that good, but the movie ended the series on a high note and Young Justice pretty much rebooted everything, at least in terms of replacing people's want for a more mature DC cartoon about the Titans.
K-Off
Yeah it's become more of a hassel (for myself and my friends) to set aside time to go to a theater.
SuperMario
I guess in the end it all comes down to how easily it reaches the viewers. Give us a hard time and we don't give a damn to check the new movie/show out
SuperMario
... otherwise have to wait for a year, even more before it reaches Australia. But many companies will raise in the wake of Netflix and that will be where problems arise
SuperMario
This trend isn't happening within the anime industry, but it's happening in the movie world as well. In the past 2 years, Netflix starts to exclusively distribute many films, meaning that they won't have theatrical release, but straight to Video on Demand which caused quite a stir in the industry. Personally, I actually don't have much problem with it as now I will get a chance to see a film that
SuperMario
Dive!! , a series that will air next season on noitaminA slot will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Not that I'm eagerly looking forward to Dive, but that news again makes me frustrated. No one will watch it and then all the hypes it might have will die down eventually.
Anonymous1105394
Considering I didn't even expect a season 5 it's more than I could've evr wanted. Now if only if only Teen Titans could get the same chance.
Lenlo
Oh yeah, it turned out well. Didnt mean to say it didnt.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Considering that the ratio of great to alright episodes is 8 to 2 I say that it turned out pretty well.
Lenlo
I have to say, the Samurai Jack season started stronger than it ended imo
AidanAK47
So this is how Samurai Jack ends. 16 years in the making. Honestly considering how much needed to get wrapped up I knew the ending would be a bit flawed. Really think Gen should have givin it one more episode to flesh out the ending and then it wouldn't feel so rushed. Overall despite it's flaws, it's a decent ending. Not prefect by any means but it will do the job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol theres a surprise, seriously, Black Lagoons manga is updating again.
KTravlos
worst recap ever for me? Gangsta. That was a stupid recap episode. Really like a Public Announcement. Useless, stupid, and ruining atmosphere. Utter stupidity. There I got it our of me :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Unfortunately too far behind in the sequel manga to catch up, I did take a look at THAT in the latest chapter though.
Masky
Huh, for some reason thought Tokyo Ghoul was under shonen when its seinen. Welp now that makes more sense, I was thinking story about cannibalism would be kinda absurd for shonen.
Spike
They serve no purpose except to fill airtime when production gets fucked up. They have 2 bad choices - run a recap or run an unfinished episode. Recap is generally the less dogshit choice. I've seen a few anime that ran the episodes with unfinished animations and still frames.... the backlash was about 100x what a recap is.
SuperMario
I'm about to say that to you as well Kaiser, maybe watch the recap and then continue on. The only thing I kind of take from the recap episode is the editting: how they chop off the fat of 6 episodes to still give you important developments. But as a way to catch up/ to reintroduce the series, it's freaking useless
Anonymous1104087
I don't think anyone should start from the recap episode. Unless there was a long hiatus, a recap in between episodes is unnecessary for new viewers and old
Lenlo
I mean, aside from whatever happens with Mugaro.
Lenlo
Next episode seems early, out of 24 episodes, for Nina to learn the Prince is Chris, yet that seems to be what the confrontation is leading towards, and then she freaks out and he learns shes the dragon. Becomes the conflict for the rest of the season?
Lenlo
Seems I was right, Azazel didnt predict that Nina might not be so easily riled up as she once was. To bad so sad Azazel, she has someone she loves now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How useful are these recap episodes anyway/actually? Hypothetically lets say I was feeling lazy and decided to watch tsuki ga kirei starting from the recap episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="https://www.anirena.com/?s=blame

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
Total users: 20

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