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
Amagi
I would have prefered it if the magical beings were weird looking instead of all of them being beautiful sameface humans. Also the special role of Chise and how everyone gets alured by her give me strong otome vibes and I am really not a fan of this gerne
Amagi
@Lenlo/KT same here. It's just that AMB can't come even close to Inu, Shuumatsu or Houseki. I am no a fan of the pacing and the rest is basically just fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was worried there for a moment thinking sangatsu no lion was ending next week, turns out season 2 is 22 episodes afterall.
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
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Featured Posts

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