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
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a troll review or at least I hope its a troll review (because I don't want to believe it could be true) review on imdb from some Christian nutter who disliked it for religious reasons.
Lenlo
@Masky, yeah the portrayal of the church was very one dimensional in this. Probably a victim of the short run time, but possibly not.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am as a thirty year old man shamelessly shamelessly looking forward to Nanoha reflections when it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the film's from the guy who directed GitS SAC so yeah I will give it a watch if I have a chance
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do we care about this? : https://myanimelist.net/anime/33204/Hirune_Hime__Shiranai_Watashi_no_Monogatari its being screened over here next week I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I will read Crecy and plenatary then.
Masky
Anyhoo, I did like netflix Castlevania too, but I can't help but feel that Warren Ellis seems like sort of atheist who let's their opinion on christianity out in tract-y ways :D I mean, not that medieval catholic church wasn't corrupt, but that element isn't really from the games so it gotta come from him and it feels weakest aspect of the show.
Masky
@AidanAK47: Castlevania's story would make for good children's action show or cheesy action movie though :D Like, yeah, games are rather story thin(when they aren't melodramatic) but concept of Castlevania's story isn't that bad for a series.
AidanAK47
@Anon, with luck that new KonoSuba anime project is a third season. I didn't realize the Season 2 OVA just came out.
Anonymous1290766
Kono Suba ftw
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, there are some good moments even after the Shark jump but yeah, all downhill from here.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: it was a captivating jump, wasn't it?
Lenlo
I think I hit the shark jump in Kado.
reaLjustified
Koi to Uso....kind of as vanilla a romance story can get, and that premise doesn’t do anything for me after Sakura Sakura. Honestly the star-crossed love worked better with Nisekoi.
Lenlo
Well they were a good series of episodes, so guess it was a success
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Already has got one. Second season with 8 episodes is coming. Honestly makes me think that it's really the rest of season one and these four episodes were gauging the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it has been re-newed.
Lenlo
@Aidan, yeah. Its way better than I thought. The VA for some characters is just great, I actually liked Belmont alot. I really hope it gets a 2nd season, because Dracula was also great
AidanAK47
@Mario, Well you do write for STAR CROSSED anime blog. Maybe that's a factor.
SuperMario
@Aidan: "What is a man" huh? It's fun to listen to actually :)
SuperMario
I can't believe it myself... but I get sucked into the story of Koi to Uso. Yesterday was reading the manga until 2am (and I hd to wake up at 6.30 for work). SINCE WHEN FORCED CONTRIVED STAR-CROSSED ROMANCE BECOME MY THING? I blame those big eyes.
AidanAK47
I mean the best game in the series has dialogue like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMTizJemHO8
AidanAK47
@Masky, Castlevaina games are never played for their story. If anything the story is usually the weakest element. When I heard of this series before I thought it was ridiculous because the story of the games was too weak to make into a good story.
Masky
Better than any right to be? Like I know that video game adaptions usually suck, but surely that doesn't mean that being video game adaption itself is qualification for being bad? :p
AidanAK47
I will see if I can do a write up on Castlevaina tommarrow but yeah for a video game adaption it's better than it has any right to be. I think the reason for that is Warren Ellis.
Lenlo
Castlevania actually has good action scenes too. Very pretty.
Lenlo
The Netflix Castlevania series, one episode in so far, is actually pretty good. It does justice to the old series, more than any other videogame adaptation ive seen.
SuperMario
And I know this is way off the mark but whenever I hear Baltimore I'm thinking of Beach House band
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I feel you that the action scenes feel no weight.
Lenlo
Three degrees of Nazi. We always get there somehow
Lenlo
The story seems setting up to repeat to me as well, with the mutant/normie racial problems. Hopefully the Reflection event/mystery over takes that though.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Vatican's mysteries have gotten to a ridiculous level. This week throws up sexual abuse, drug use, corruption and somehow Nazis are involved as well. It's just too much for me
Lenlo
They could have kept the comic book feel though by doing what Ping Pong did, with the panel layouts. I feel the low framerate did nothing but hurt it. Had the action scenes been done differently it could have worked, but it was a traditional fight scene so it didnt work.
SuperMario
Speaking of 18if, I still consider that show an experiment wreck, but a fascinating wreck it will
SuperMario
I don't really mind the low frame rate in the Reflection. I think the choice is deliberated to resemble the comic motion. I'm more worried about the story as they have some random fights that I feel even more dreamy than 18if
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I quite liked the Reflections art but the animation, or lack thereof, held it back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Once again my anime taste falls in with Marios =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you can only imagine if shinbo or Yuasa were to work on 18...if.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I do think 18..if is exactly what I need right now, I am not certain it will top flipflappers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The premise for ballroom is of no interest to me.
I’m hearing Vatican is quite silly in a campy horror way
which appeals to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While visually the show seemed to improve with episode 3, I wasn’t all that emotionally invested with that story.
I would take this protagonist over IdiotMCx100 any day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
18..if is the most interesting thing I’ve looked into so far, largely due to it being the most un-conventional/abnormal, the concept interests me and poor as the animation is , the worlds it shows/creates, the imagination of the show gets close to forgiving that, as it was the most macabre, episode 2 has been my favourite so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I’ve begun (at last)checking out some of the series airing this season.
The reflections style is complete push away/turn off for me. I feel made in abyss could grow into something and I’d like it to actually properly get going/start, the buildup is slightly dull.
K-Off
@Vonter Graces is nothing compared to the pandering mess that Symphonia 2 was. Just embarrassing.
SuperMario
"There's a white house waiting for us in Casablanca" haha, can't help but laugh at its wordplay
Lenlo
Im planning on mentioning it, but yeah. Alot of the combat didnt really have an 'impact' to them. There are other shows, like Ping Pong, that I think do this sort of style better, if alittle differently.
Anonymous1283104
I think the main issue was the animation being kind of simple, the scenes didnt have 'motion'
Lenlo
@Anon, yeah The Reflection moved at the pace of a glacier. The art style was unique and should have lead to good looking fights, but instead it moved at the pace of a glacier. Ill have a write up on it later today
KTravlos
very nice episode of Virgin Soul. Really liked seeing Favoro look like Favoro again.
Vonter
Tales of Graces sadly might have the most childish, and pandering story of the series.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - Tales of Graces worked around having to both attack and defend to continue attacking. If just attacked you made less and weaker attacks. It was a way of cooldown that was more reliant on the player thinking about the attacks it used. Later games followed a more typical cooldown and combined special attacks with the regular ones.
Anonymous1282493
Reflection was kinda painful to watch, I didn't expect anything in the first place and was disappointed nonetheless.
Lenlo
I cant snowboard or ski at all so its ok.
SuperMario
I did hit my head on the ground (for the first time) but I was lucky that I was wearing helmet. I curse S turn
SuperMario
@lenlo: it's fun but it's a lot of pain as well.
Lenlo
Sounds like fun
SuperMario
I'm literally covered in snow right now with my butt numbed. Will get back home in few hours to catch up on 18if
Lenlo
Havnt had the chance to watch it yet, but Reflection apparently looks like a comic book but has weird fight scenes? Ill get that write up tomorrow once I watch it tonight.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*hear
Jesus Christ what happened to my spelling
AidanAK47
That's one of the things that mainly turned me off. The battle system is essentially button mashing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The regular complaint I here from Tales of naysayers is a dislike of the battle mechanics/system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I avoided the anime adaptations of the tales games mostly because I assumed they presumed previous knowledge of the games. I actually only saw Phantasia due to having been familiar with the games story when I was younger.
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
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