Posted on 31 January 2009 with categories: Monthly Summaries

It’s definitely been an interesting Winter-season so far. I know that I’ve ranted pretty often about the lack of new concepts this series, but when you look at the big picture, then this is promising to become an excellent season. There are many quality sequels airing right now, and especially a lot of great shows that are entering their second halves. I’m looking forward to see what the rest of this season is going to offer.

#33 (new) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (1,5/10) – A full first impression will follow as soon as I find another bunch of new Series and OVAs, but the gist of it is pretty much that this series is discrimination and it deserves to have been cancelled from TV-broadcasts. Every single country is being made fun of… apart from the Netherlands!? What have we ever done to Japan to deserve this!?
#32 (new) – Akikan – (2,5/10) – No. Just… No.
#31 (new) – Asu no Yoichi – (5,75/10) – If I had to summarize this show with one word, it’d be “generic”. It’s not utter crap, but at this point I’ve totally forgotten what happened in that first episode, other than a totally out-of-place boob-joke. There are so many better series this season, so why would you go for this one?
#30 (new) – Maria Holic – (6,75/10) – I’m going to need a looong break from Shinbo. Especially after watching Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei and Tsukuyomi Moonphase.
#29 (new) – Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo – (7/10) – I know that this is a parody and all, but right now I’ve had enough of the Sunrise Trainwrecks.
#28 (25) – Slayers Evolution-R – (7/10) – The first season was lucky that it aired in a season where I had lots of free time and there weren’t that many good shows. The second season is less lucky, so I’ve dropped this one in favour of more interesting premises.
#27 (new) – Viper’s Creed – (7,5/10) – Even though there’s hardly any originality here whatsoever, I like this series. Its mature look at busting up bad guys is a refreshing change from all those action heroes and teenagers who are fighting for the powers of love, or something similar.
#26 (new) – Major 5th Season – (7,75/10) – One day. One day, I’m going to watch this series. Just… Not now.
#25 (new) – Maria-Sama ga Miteru – (7,75/10) – One day. One day, I’m going to watch this series. Just… Not now.
#24 (new) – Kurokami The Animation – (7,75/10) – Despite the interesting premise, the characters are dull and annoying, and yet I somehow end up caring about the two lead characters when they get their ass kicked for the umpth time.
#23 (new) – Koukaku no Regios – (7,75/10) – I keep getting surprised at how good this is. On the outside it’s a mindless shonen-series about people fighting each other, and yet there seems to be much more behind it. If it can only make its characters a bit more likable through the course of its 24 episodes, then I’m in.
#22 (new) – Ride Back – (8/10) – My problem with this show is that it keeps tugging on my suspense of disbelief. For example, one episode, a character violently crashes and ends up in a hospital. The next episode she’s just fine. Sure, a few months must have passed since then, but it breaks flow nonetheless. The characters are excellent, but this series desperately misses something.
#21 (11) – Skip Beat – (8,25/10) – The thing with Skip Beat is that it gets way too soppy when it turns on the drama-switch, and the soppiness only increases as the series goes on. The comedy still is hilarious, but there’s too little of it, and the bitchfights that originally made me like this series have been painfully absent this month.
#20 (14) – Mobile Suit Gundam 00 – (8,25/10) – This series isn’t as good as some of the other shows I’m watching this series, but nevertheless the plot is heading in the right direction, and especially the coup d’etat of the past episodes is promising a lot of great stuff for this series’ finale.
#19 (27) – Minami-Ke – (8,25/10) – Okay, so it’s taken me more than a year, but I’m finally sold on this series. The second and third episode were quite hilarious.
#18 (new) – Kemono no Souja Erin – (8,25/10) – Despite the fact that this thing is being produced by Trans Arts, the creators are actually doing a pretty good job on it so far. The only bad part is the use of CG, but apart from that the art looks really stylish. However, I first want to see what this series is going to do once the drama starts building up.
#17 (9) – Druaga no Tou – (8,25/10) – The royal guards have become pretty pathetic in the second season, but apart from that I like the balance between humour and seriousness in the second season so far.
#16 (new) – Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai – (8,25/10) – Okay, so technically this show is cheating a bit, by using its animation from theOVAs, but that doesn’t prevent this series from looking totally sweet. Yumemi is a likable heroine with interesting friends. Right now, the creators need to spend time into developing the setting.
#15 (7) – Jigoku Shoujo – (8,25/10) – This month of Jigoku Shoujo has been charming, but there weren’t any highlights. Still, the series is getting more solid and consistent, and Yuzuki is also getting better and better, so there’s lots of potential left for this series in the future.
#14 (10) – Tytania – (8,5/10) – The characters are surprisingly fun to watch as they all try to outsmart each other. What I also really like about this series is how seemingly small actions continue to spiral out of control throughout the series.
#13 (16) – One Outs – (8,5/10) – The decline of this series was wonderfully prevented by the Coach’s big scene. It’s good to see that this series is focusing on character-development after all, but it’s going to have to put in some effort to prevent the final arc of this series from getting dull.
#12 (new) – White Album – (8,5/10) – Sure, we’ve seen it before: guy is surrounded by lots of girls. Still, I’m still surprised at how good the writing of White Album is. The creators really manage to nail the different feelings of the different characters. It’s going to be awesome if they can keep this up.
#11 (5) – Shikabane Hime – (8,5/10) – I’m not sure who exactly found it a good idea to increase the fanservice ten-fold in this series, but nonetheless, the characters really managed to save this series from its shounen roots. I feared that the character-development would come to a grinding halt with the arrival of the second season, but it’s still going strong.

#10 (15) – Gintama – (8,5/10)

This month’s best episode was without a doubt episode 99. Those were some of the best game parodies I’ve seen. Right now, the subs have reached the point where the show changed directors. Let’s see what the new director can do with this series, although it’s a shame to see the old director go. The guy was absolutely brilliant in the past 100 episodes.

#9 (new) – Genji Monogatari Sennenki – (8,5/10)

The visuals are downright gorgeous, and the creators are wasting no time to get on with the story. The romance in this show is pretty good, despite being a harem.

#8 (12) – Natsume Yuujinchou – (8,5/10)

The stories from Natsume Yuujinchou this month ranged from simply okay to downright adorable. It hasn’t been the best month for this series, but it’s good to see this series back again.

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

This series really managed to capture the essence of a group of people growing closer and closer together which is really prevalent in all of the Tales-games. I’m still really liking where this show is going.

#6 (new) – Hajime no Ippo – (8,5/10)

It took me only three episodes to get hooked on this show, and realize how bloody addictive it is. The plot is most likely not going to go anywhere, but the sheer intensity of the boxing matches really kept me on the edge of my seat.

#5 (3) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,75/10)

Overall, it’s a shame that this series didn’t get the proper amount of episodes that would have been necessary to get the best out of its story. The finale has been rushed a bit, yet nevertheless it’s been an awesome ride between climaxes, with some of the sweetest animation imaginable.

#4 (13) – Clannad – (8,75/10)

This definitely has been the best month for Clannad yet, and especially the birth-scene was for me the highlight of both the first and second season. Okay, sure Nagisa is pretty much an older rip-off of Air’s lead female, but nevertheless it was a wonderful scene.

#3 (4) – Michiko e Hatchin – (9/10)

I’ve become a huge fan of this show’s characters, from the downright lovable Hatchin to the excellent villain of Satoshi. This show has really proven to know what it’s doing in both the serious and fun scenes.

#2 (6) – Casshern Sins – (9/10)

We’re about to get to the real meat of the story, and I must say that it’s awesome to see the characters growing and the plot making more and more sense, while there still are plenty of questions left to be answered.

#1 (13) – Birdy the Mighty Decode – (9,5/10)

Talk about improvement! The second season is doing just about everything right, and has in four episodes already surpassed the entire first season in every single area. The new plot has become so much more interesting, and Natoru is such an awesome new character.

Posted on with categories: Birdy the Mighty Decode



Short Synopsis: The new enemies prove that they’re not so useless after all.
Episode Rating: 9/10 (Fantastic)
Jezus Christ! This show just keeps on getting better and better, and it was already among the best of the season! The first season is looking like one of the most generic series ever in comparison, for god’s sake. I’m so astounded as to what this series managed to do with only four freaking episodes.

In this episode, Birdy already finds out that something’s up with Natoru. It turns out that the two of them had to flee to earth because they were major suspects on a bombing of the headquarters of Birdy’s organization, while in fact one of their friends was behind it. That same friend who belongs to the group of aliens that Natoru has been killing off so systematically. I’m not exactly sure what they have to do with Ryunka, but they seem to be taking care of a new version of it.

And holy balls, this episode showed that they’re not as helpless as we originally believed, as they end up killing Natoru’s father in this episode (with the same brutal animation of the second season). To make matters even more disturbing, Natoru gets even more violent because of this, and brutally kills one of the frog-children of that group.

I must say that I had a lot of doubts about Kazuki Akane. Sure, it was a nice series and all, but it just didn’t live up to his previous works. Right now, I’m taking all of that back. The guy definitely hasn’t lost his touch yet, and he’s definitely my favourite director out there. It’s because of guys like him that I’m still watching anime.

Posted on 30 January 2009 with categories: Genji Monogatari Sennenki



Short Synopsis: Something goes wrong as Genji yet again switches over to a new woman.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
I’m amazed at how much this series has already done within only three episodes. Most series really need a bit of time to get fully steamed up, but with this series, every episode has delivered so far, and has been increasingly better. It would be awesome if this trend would continue throughout the rest of the series. My only gripe with this series is that at times, it’s rather hard to keep track of who is who. The extreme example is of course Genji in his younger days, but because of the series’ pacing it doesn’t have the time to properly introduce its characters.

Still, this definitely is one of the more unique harems I’ve seen, even though the story is 1000 years old by now. With Genji, you can see that the guy is a player, rather than a clueless harem lead. In the Tale of Genji, girls don’t flock to Genji, but Genji flocks to the girls, seduces them and then moves on again. This episode also showed that he really isn’t aware of the pain he brings to all of his victims. This whole love-thing is simply a game for him, and while he genuinely cares about the women he meets, he doesn’t try to take their own feelings into account at all. I think that that’s because he was raised as a prince and all. Japan’s emperors in ancient times have always had a reputation of being rather screwed in the head.

I’m not exactly sure what happened at the end of this episode. Was that ghost a vision that Genji had, causing him to cut up his newest love in confusion, or are there certain supernatural traits to this story, and was the ghost caused by the woman (I really have trouble remembering all of their names) of the last episode, who longs back to seeing Genji again?

Posted on with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Fan’s back and proposes a plan to get his own reward money.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
So this episode was quiet, mostly used for comic relief and building up for the next major story arc where Fan is going to face off against Zalish somehow. It’s interesting how this series really puts the emphasis on plans and strategy, rather than concentrating on the low-level details of it.

If I understood correctly, then Fan plans to turn himself in because the planet he’s on lies in a remote region of Tytania. He’s hoping to make use of the bad organization of the place to make his escape once the money is received. In this episode, he basically investigates to find the weaknesses in said security.

On the Tytania-front, I’m surprised that Jouslain still has whathisface as his assistant. After the coup, you’d think that he’d hire somebody else. In the meantime, I was also surprised on how eager Idris was to get his hands on Fan. It sounds like he’s finally got a rock-solid plan in order to get Fan in his custody, though Jouslain is more intent on taking out Zalish, it seems. This could prove to be interesting.

Posted on 29 January 2009 with categories: Michiko e Hatchin



Short Synopsis: Satoshi sends a bunch of hit-men after Michiko.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
The best moments in this episode were definitely the ones involving Satoshi. Really, the guy is one of the best villains I’ve seen in a while; he just screams “charisma”, even though we hardly know anything about him. You know this guy is dangerous, and surrounded by a cast of awesome characters as in this series, I can’t wait to see the guy fully back in action again.

The rest of this episode was typical Manglobe. Their series really have a tendency to include a game element at non-filler points, even though these seem quite illogical at the time, and especially Ergo Proxy loved pulling them. This the second episode of Michiko e Hatchin in which Michiko’s enemies start playing a cat and mouse game with their victims, and I must say that they’re just as fun, and much more balanced than the ones in Ergo Proxy, which lost track of its plot a bit as it went along.

Satoshi this time hires two assassins: one of them is a drug addict at the end of his road, who desperately needs the money in order to get back to his girlfriend, and the other is a once awesome assassin who now is retired. Apparently, he’s good buddies with Satoshi, so he agreed to lend out his skills again, though the guy does make use of the opportunity to play a little game with his opponent. This all goes well until the other assassin rages into Michiko, apparently having heard her location from Satoshi who heard her location from the old guy.

Posted on with categories: Shikabane Hime



Short Synopsis: Sougi takes care of his old friend, while the Seven Stars pull a particularly nasty trick on Makina.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (8,5/10 for the first half)
Ah, who cares about the stupid fanservice! The second season rocks!

I’m really surprised. When the fanservice started coming with buckets at the time, I really thought that the series had hit its height in the first season, and the second season was just meant to cash in a bit more on the DVD sales. Still, Sougi and Itsuki’s past was rock-solid, and the definite proof that the creators haven’t lost their touch yet. Especially the conclusion to their story was fantastic. It’s impressive how easily Sougi was able to kill his once best friend. The guy has really grown from the teenager he once was.

Their arc really signified the message in this show, that Shikabane aren’t the same as people. Even though they’re a bunch of cute girls, they remain a bunch of non-rotting corpses. At the end, where Itsuki also started looking more like a zombie, and asked Sougi how she did her job, Sougi was able to face her with a straight face and told her that she did well, and he was able to do this because he didn’t see her as an ordinary cute girl.

In the second half of this episode, Makina and Ouri finally have the chance to talk and sort out their differences. It turns out that Makina killed Keisei in the end, to prevent his body from turning into a Shikabane, and that’s why she refused to take Ouri as his replacement. The next episode with the fight against the army of Keisei’s should also prove to be interesting, as it’ll finally show Ouri and Makina fighting together.

The question now remains where this show will go from now. will it, despite my praises turn into standard shounen fare now that Ouri and Makina have settled their differences, or will the creators be able to keep this level of character-development up. I’m just a bit worried about “boob”-san, who has just arrived at the mountains. She was one of the more annoying characters in the first season, without any real point to her, so I guess that the creators were saving her for the second season. But what could she possibly add?

Posted on with categories: Bonen no Xamdou



Short Synopsis: Akiyuki vs. the Hiruken Emperor
Episode Rating (that “overall entertainment value” was beginning to sound cheesy…): 8/10 (Excellent)
So far, an excellent finale, if only because the animation surpassed itself this episode yet again. That fight scene between Akiyuki and the Hiruken Emperor was downright beautiful. This episode also worked really well on the emotional level. The big question is obviously going to be: can everything in this series come together in that final episode? We’ve already seen that this series is great at building up, but is it also good at a conclusion?

Now that the series has reached nearly its ending, it’s time to start looking at the overall picture. I think that the big flaw of this series is that there wasn’t enough time put into all the different kinds of ideas that the creators put into the setting. While the creators focused a lot on the setting in terms of the effects that war can have, even the battles that look small on a large scale will have people losing their lives. Though the whole deal with the Xam’d and Hiruken Emperor could have been more fleshed out. Ideally, this should have been a series with 39 episodes. Because of that, this episode had quite a few random powers being pulled out of thin air, most notably Sannova’s plans to solve everything. In the end, this isn’t the next Seirei no Moribito, though it’s one of the closest I’ve seen to it.

And yeah, it seems that Furuichi is really dead now, otherwise the creators would have at least shown some hints that the guy is still alive. I personally love it when creators pull these random deaths were it only becomes clear that the person in question is dead afterwards. Seriously, more people should play with the Golden Rule of Anime like that. Still, talking about deaths. I do hope that the creators aren’t killing just for the sake of it. This episode, yet another one goes down, but the meanings of each of those deaths are getting more and more insignificant. Especially since all the cute girls seem to be the ones who are going to survive in the end while most of the adults are getting killed off like flies.

Posted on with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Our cast arrives at the place where Luna supposedly was born.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Nothing short of an awesome episode. Not only does Leda finally get her development, turning her from a dull character into a great one, it also pushes the plot also gets pushed into an entirely new direction.

So, let me get this straight: Leda once was pregnant!? So Ouji’s research did succeed, apparently. If I understood things correctly, she entrusted her child to Luna, who would grow it in some sort of artificial womb (probably to guarantee the survival of the infant), but along the way something went wrong and her child died. It turns out that she was after some sort of secret that Luna left behind. I’m not yet sure for what kind of motive, but in this episode when she’s this close to attaining it, she simply loses control of herself. I’m beginning to think that Casshern and Leda’s emotional stability are inversely proportionate to each other: Casshern has calmed down a lot since the first few episodes (as noted by Luna and Ouji in this episode), while the only emotional support Leda received was from a power-hungry Dio.

In the end, this “secret” was hidden inside three child robots, that Luna left behind at her birthplace. At this point, we’re not sure what its purpose is, but Ouji is going to find out. For that, however, he was forced to break up with Ringo, which made for a really emotional break-up scene between the two. I also wonder: those children referred to Luna as their mother, but also talked about a father, who has long since died. I can’t imagine anyone who fits that bill, other than that the children somehow misheard about either Dune’s or Braiking Boss’ death or something. Also, that one comparison they made with Leda and Luna is also very interesting, hinting that there’s much more to Leda still.

Also, this part is what I’m a bit unsure about, but if I’m not mistaken those children also revealed something about the concept of immortality in this series: if you want to be immortal, you’ve got to know the meaning of “love”. If this is true, then it does explain a few things: Leda herself can’t understand that concept, so despite her wishes to be immortal that became apparent in this episode, she’s never going to attain her goal. Dio himself is stuck with such a woman, so the concept of love also shouldn’t occur with him. And now that I think about it, all of the robots feelings we’ve seen so far in the random stories were despair, admiration, obsession and fascination, but no romantic feelings. Luna herself somehow did understand the concept, and when Casshern “killed” Luna, he somehow understood this as well, fell in love with her and lost his memories because of it, or something similar.

Also, bad things are going to happen to Ringo, with this episode I’m sure, due to one particularly nasty case of foreshadowing where Ringo’s legs stopped working (does that mean that she really is a robot?). When this is going to happen again, Ouji won’t be there to cover up and fix it. At first sight, it’s a bit irresponsible of him to just leave her like that, but I think that the reason why he’s decided to say goodbye to her is to be able to find the solution to the destruction as soon as possible, because he knows that she’s about to suffer from it.

Posted on 28 January 2009 with categories: Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Short Synopsis: Yumemi’s friend and her new boyfriend try to cross a river.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
How awesome: the animation quality hasn’t decreased at all since the first episode: it’s still as solid as ever. This promises lots of nice things for the future of this series. Anyway, this episode finishes the introduction of this series, where Yumemi decides to help Munto. It seems that she just needed a bit of time to sort out her thoughts, and the creators made use of this time by showing why she ended up deciding to help an unknown elf-guy in a weird outfit in the first place. After all, it would have been weird if she immediately decided to help this guy without ever questioning where he came from.

This episode really succeeded in portraying the strong sense of community in Yumemi and the town in which she lives. It showed that the world in which she lives isn’t some empty cardboard world that’s only good as a plot-hole, but instead it’s about people who care about each other. Yumemi doesn’t want to lose this community, and this episode did well in convincing the viewer (well, me at least) how and why she feels that way.

I wonder about the length that this series is going to get. I think that the 24-episode format would really be best for this series, so that it can fully develop its setting, and there’s actually a pretty good chance that this is going to be the case. Anime News Network lists 13 episodes already, with the thirteenth episode airing at April 7th, which is quite a strange date to end your series.

So the story isn’t anything special yet, but the potential is definitely there. I also really like the show’s style of graphics: they’re a great combination of ten-year-old-styled character-designs and creative use of modern CG. The character-designs are also among the best I’ve seen from Kyoani: sure, the outfits are a bit silly at times, but especially the characters from Yumemi’s world are simplistic yet expressive, and for once they don’t try to be overly moe, like nearly every other Kyoani series (or at least: not as much).

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



Whoa. I really thought that I’d be handing a higher rating for this series when I first started watching it. I really liked the original Mobile Suit Gundam, and this one promised to be even better. With much more solid production-values, an epic plot and all the elements that the modern Gundam series have as well, I really thought that I’d love this series, but in the end I enjoyed this series a lot less than I thought I would.

But first things first: every Gundam-series I’ve seen so far has its own parts where it’s excellent at. For Zeta Gundam, it’s its sense of location. It takes place in a setting where vehicles have yet to be able to breach the speed of light, and so it takes a while for people to get from A to B. Battles are also highly dependant of their environment, and so battles in the middle of a bunch of mountains are going to be completely different from those that take place at sea, inside a city, in outer space, etcetera. Especially the first half of this series has many varied battles, that make you want to keep watching because of this.

The problems with this series stem from the fact that it too suffers from the flaws that plague every Gundam Series, only here they’re much, much worse and much, much more stubborn. The adult side characters of this series are pretty interesting, but the teenaged male lead Kamille just keeps on whining over and over: he keeps poking his nose in other people’s business, hardly ever stops preaching his cheesy ideals and yet he’s an awesome pilot and mecha designer due to the simple excuse of being a genius Newtype.

And even when the guy does shut up, the creators make sure to replace him with yet another impulsive teenager who ignores orders and refuses to listen to others. In the second half, this becomes so bad that the teenagers literally take over the show, and the plot nearly stops moving because too much airtime is focused on all the different teenagers in this series (what happened to the adults anyways?) getting angsty and emo over each other.

This series really doesn’t have much to offer otherwise, unlike other Gundam series. The politics are pretty basic. We’ve got a bunch of sides who oppose each other, but hardly any time is spent on fleshing out the different sides. The character Quattro, for example. He’s a pretty important character in this series (the most important non-teenager one, in fact), and his political views basically are that he wants to get people into outer space. After fifty episodes, however, I’m still not sure why the guy feels that way, and what made him support these views. We are hardly given any insight into his motivations, nor the situation of the people on earth.

As usual, the anti-war themes are also prevalent in this series, but unfortunately in the end, the message simply turns into “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”, without the creativity and complexity that I’ve been used from other Tomino works. The major themes in this series were already overdone at the time when the series aired, let alone right now.

I’m not really sure what happened here. While this series must have been “the bomb” when it first aired, I think it didn’t age too well, or I simply didn’t like it as much as other series. And this isn’t coming from someone who only likes anime from after 1995: I personally loved the original Mobile Suit Gundam, which looked much older than this one, and now that I’m looking back at it, the flaws I mentioned here when I reviewed it seem pretty insignificant right now, and it’s a great example of how a great mecha series should be done. It really captured the essence of the despair that you can feel on the battlefield, while Zeta Gundam… just features a bunch of people fighting for fifty episodes. It’s a good show; some of the adult characters are really nice to watch, but the series isn’t that good.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

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