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
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
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