Posted on 31 May 2009 with categories: Guin Saga



Aah! This show so badly deserves better animation! Having Satelight as the animation production company is both a bliss and a curse: the graphics sure look imposing. The designs for this series are absolutely beautiful, but the animation is just incredibly messy and full of cut corners and very obviously rushed. What a bloody shame, because this series really deserves to look beautiful.

As for the rest of this episode: Guin Saga yet again showed that it excels at detailing and describing all sorts of different cultures and people. This episode gives a proper introduction to the giant people that Guin went after, and again a lot of imagination went into designing these people. Standalone, they’re a bit stereotypical, but when put in context with the rest of the series they fit so well. With such a huge cast, this series has already shown that it isn’t the best at characterization: for Guin Saga it’s really the bigger picture that makes it stand out.

This episode also shows Istvan’s part of Guin’s plan come to fruition as he successfully manages to kill off one of the major generals from the Mongols. It’s also interesting how he never seemed to take his mission personally, and actually came to like Marius before he killed him off. It’s good to run into a series that doesn’t have the “I can’t kill him! He’s my friend”-mentality.

Rating: * (Good)
Sub-par animation, but that’s not stopping this series from delivering a fantasy-epic.

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



Yeah, this episode proves it: the creators really were trying to rush through the first bunch of chapters for the sake of those who already watched the first series. This episode was much slower paced than the previous eight episodes, and it allowed for a lot of time to flesh out the characters. For once we have an episode without action that instead focuses on characters, and although quite a few parts of this episode did return in the anime at one point, it was an enjoyable episode.

The comedy was a bit overkill, though. It was definitely funny, but some of the jokes missed the mark; especially the ones in which Ed started yelling. Energetic jokes don’t suit this series: its humour is at its best when it’s subtle, not when the characters are jumping around and yelling like a bunch of overexcitable teenagers.

One big issue that was solved pretty fast was Al’s doubts about Ed’s intentions. If I recall correctly, in the original series it took him tens of episodes of emo-ing before he spoke up his mind, though here they managed to set their differences within an episode. It’s two different approaches which both make sense in their context. My only complaint about the way it was handled in the original series was that Al’s development wasn’t really moving in the time he was wondering whether he was brainwashed by Ed.

There was also a nice Easter-egg when Izumi and Sig Curtis walked past in the train station. That’s the second time that we see familiar faces at a train station, so perhaps it’s going to be used in the future again.

Another big difference with the first season is that the Humonculi don’t seem to want anyone to find out about the philosopher’s stone. They seemed to be using Lior in order to track down the idiots who were searching for it, kept track on them and whenever they’d get too close they seem to be destroying the evidence that was left. Their motive in the original series was to become human, but I don’t think that that’s their intention here.

Rating: (Enjoyable)
While the comedy didn’t always work, the new parts of this episode were pretty good.

Posted on with categories: Cross Game



Oh, I must say that after watching the first season of Major, it’s so delightfully refreshing to watch another baseball match in which the lead pitcher isn’t god-moded beyond belief. This episode showed the very first baseball match of this season (a practice match between the good team and the bad team), and I must say that I’m very surprised.

I really was convinced that Kou was hiding some sort of superhuman abilities, but at this point he’s actually worse than Aoba. The thing with him is that he’s got a lot of uncontrolled power, and he lacks a lot of experience when compared to Aoba, who really knows every single detail about the sport (and also shows this in this episode, detailing exactly what the weaknesses are for every player in the opposing team. This power does make him a very good hitter, though, but even with that I may be wrong, since all he did was hitting a home-run off Senda. He has yet to prove himself in front of a real pitcher.

I also love how Senda actually proved to be useful in this episode. From the outside he looks a lot like your typical idiot, but unlike most series who just use characters like him for comedy, he does have his points where he’s useful, and is actually a pretty good short stop. In terms of tactics, this series really pays very detailed attention to every character’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s very ironic how this series looks so childish and simple, and yet it yet again establishes itself as the smartest series of the season.

One thing that I really hope now is to see Aoba in action again. She really showed her experience in this episode despite being so young, and it’d be a real shame if from now on she’d just watch behind the sidelines to see Kou pitch, improve himself and get his power under control. It’s in these cases a huge shame that there also isn’t a girl’s team at the high school.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
First match of the series, and it delivers.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

My opinion on this season? Awesome. It really is one of the best seasons we’ve had in years, and especially the series I’ve been blogging haven’t disappointed at all so far. This season is especially excels in characters: there are lots of series with excellent characterizations and that make use of lots of quiet moment in order to flesh out their cast. A lot of the series this season are slow paced, but there are also some roller-coaster rides among them and overall, I’m very satisfied. I’m not sure whether this correlates to an almost complete lack of series from the mecha-genre (apart from two shows, but those are either so delightfully different from all of the mecha-series that we’ve been seeing for the past years, and/or know that they’re not supposed to be taken 100% seriously).

Rankings, like last month are a bit strange again, I basically tried to generate the rankings for each show, compared to the others that are currently airing. Say, for example that Show A has a really good setting, and there are only a few other shows with a better setting, it’s going to rank higher than if there are many shows with excellent settings, and vice versa. I know that it’s a bit weird, but for some reason it does more accurately reflect my feelings about the shows this season.

#25 (31) – Higepiyo – (6,75/10) – I dropped this show after episode six or something. It’s a shame that the only gimmick this show really had was the moustache. Apart from that it’s just been reusing its jokes over and over again.
#24 (20) – Koukaku no Regios – (7,5/10) – Okay, so the finale has finally started. This is the point where everything is supposed to come together, and sure enough: the characters are developing quite nicely… If only the plot knew where it wanted to go. For some reason the filth monsters have suddenly become incredibly weak, characters are conveniently zapped from one place to the other without much explanation, there are lots of pacing issues and with all the build-up of the rest of the series, it still feels like things haven’t been built up and introduced well enough. I hope that the finale can prevent this series from becoming a true disappointment, but things aren’t looking good.
#23 (11) – Kurokami the Animation – (7/10) – Aah! Sunrise, what are you doing?! There was a lot of potential going for this series once it hit its second half, but this month completely raped any potential this series had left. The way Keita came back to life without any explanation whatsoever, combined with a truckload full of other badly planned Deus ex Machina completely destroyed all the credibility this series had going for it. The final nail in the coffin for this thing was Reishin’s comeback, including his complete loss of any kind of personality whatsoever. Reishin’s background and the explanation why he became the bad guy was also laughable at best.
#22 (25) – Saki – (7,75/10) – You know, this series would have been much better if the creators actually knew a DAMN THING about Mah-jong. Right now, the matches are all “ooh look at how incredibly strong she is!” and “wow she’s even stronger”. There’s too much moe, there’s too much fanservice, but I have yet to drop this series because the characters do remain charming.
#21 (18) – Valkyria Chronicles – (7,5/10) – I’m still looking for a reason to continue watching this series, because it’s getting duller and duller now that some sort of generic ancient civilization of the Valkyrians has been introduced. Seriously, Guin Saga is currently doing just about everything better than this series is.
#20 (13) – Sengoku Basara – (7,75/10) – I want to like this series, but something is stopping me from it. My impression is that it’s in a bit of an identity crisis: it keeps hopping back and forth between GAR and epic manliness and historical politically correct warfare, but it doesn’t succeed in bringing out the best in either of them and they seem to be working against each other, rather than complementing.This really isn’t the best GAR series this season, and for historical warfare in feudal Japan we have Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto which has done a much better job at that, so I’m running out of things to recommend this series for.
#19 (19) – Chi’s New Address – (8,25/10) – There’s a really big difference with the first season now that Chi no longer has to stay in the house, but it’s still a really funny comedy. Right now the creators are introducing all sorts of interesting characters (I especially loved the return of the pet shop saleswoman) and Chi really is as lovable as ever.
#18 (new) – Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – (8/10) – Well, it’s pretty much what I remember it to be: whenever Haruhi opened her mouth I wanted to punch the screen, but as soon as that annoyance left and the focus returned back to Kyon, Mikuru and Yuki it suddenly got a lot more interesting. I’m glad to see that this show hasn’t lost its wit yet. Now if only the fan-base would get less annoying and overwhelming.
#17 (22) – Gintama – (8,25/10) – Now this is more like it! I’m not sure what exactly happened, but this month Gintama showed that it most definitely can continue on with its new director, and that the guy can actually be funny and compelling. While still nowhere as good as it once was, the past few episodes released on fansubs have been a large step into the right direction.
#16 (16) – Shin Mazinger Shougenki! Z-Hen – (8,5/10) – Now this is pure entertainment! I really have a weakness for that retro cheese, but the new Mazinger is shaping up to be a really enjoyable series that tries just about everything to make an as big spectacle as possible, without falling into the same pitfalls as the likes of Code Geass by sacrificing solid storytelling for entertainment. I especially like how the creators seem to realize that mecha-battles alone are boring, so they made sure that most of the action happens outside of Mazinger, while they still keep Mazinger central to the plot by simply making him god-like whenever he gets the chance (not often) to show his awesome powers.
#15 (10) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (8,5/10) – There really is just one word needed to describe this series: brilliant. I especially love it when this series starts messing with cultural differences (especially the “in heaven” and “in hell”-songs were priceless), and I still find it a bloody shame that the Netherlands isn’t a character that’s made fun of.
#14 (12) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10) – Oh, this series doesn’t make one iota of sense, but I like it so much. Every episode, there’s just so much weirdness going on, and I absolutely love the huge amount of creativity that the creators have. I’m glad to see that this show doesn’t seem to be ending after only thirteen episodes, because that’s just too little in order to show everything about this very strange setting in which Marie Curie bakes radioactive cookies and Newton is in love with apples.
#13 (14) – 07-Ghost – (8,25/10) – 07-Ghost has been a very strange beast. Unlike some other shows this season, it doesn’t have something it stands out in particular. It’s not the most ambitious series, its setting is on purpose kept very small, fillers are used to flesh out the characters. But what it does, it does very well. The characters are very enjoyable to watch and especially the fights and battles are very well coordinated and written, with just enough dialogue and just enough action without any of the two getting in the other’s way.
#12 (21) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (8,5/10) – In eight episodes, this show did what the original series took more than 21. Still, I already like it much better than the original series: the comedy and action mix well, there’s always something going on and the characterization is just so much better. Now that the two series are finally about to diverge from each other, I’m interested to see where the creators can take this.
#11 (5) – Guin Saga – (8,5/10) – Now that this series has also included medieval warfare between large armies, it really has caught my attention. About the only downside to this show is the really inconsistent animation (which really needs to be top-notch with this kind of series), but the whole setting, Guin, the enemy Mongols. Everything is compelling to watch further, despite the slow pacing.

#10 (3) – Pandora Hearts – (8,5/10)

Not as good as the previous month, but still an excellent series with great chemistry between the three lead characters. It’s obviously building up right now, so I’m eagerly waiting what it’s planning to do with the rest of the series, considering the creativity that it has already shown us. I just hope that the bit of the cheese shown in a few episodes between Oz and Raven isn’t going to return.

#9 (8) – Basquash! – (8,5/10)

Ah, Basquash. I’m still amazed at how behind the childish characters, weird fanservice and weird plot, there’s a surprisingly deep story lying. The characters are very well written and enjoyable to watch, though the fanservice can become a bit too overwhelming at times.

#8 (7) – Ristorante Paradiso – (8,5/10)

It’s interesting how all of the characters seem to have their own issues in the past, and yet this remains such a charming and quiet slice of life series. At the moment, the characters are getting fleshed out really well, and it’s enough to just watch this series for the characters and their daily lives, spiced up with a bit of their pasts. I felt like I really got to know these people.

#7 (15) – Hajime no Ippo – (8,75/10)

Now this is more like it. The Brian Hawk-arc took a long while to build up, but it’s been SO intense so far. Especially after the fighting started, I just can’t wait until that next episode gets released.

#6 (6) – Natsu no Arashi – (8,75/10)

This show has really proven a great execution, with a very nice combination between comedy episodes and serious ones, which both deliver in their own way to the main storyline. The comedy-episodes are really hilarious (thanks to Jun), and really: at the beginning of the show, did anyone expect to see the characters standing amidst a sea of fire in the midst of World War II?

#5 (1) – Eden of the East – (8,75/10)

Well, so while this show isn’t the best of the season anymore, it still is rock-solid with believable and likable characters. This month was mostly used for building up, though my one gripe is that it’s going to be such a long wait until the movie is going to come with all of the answers.

#4 (17) – Shangri-La – (8,75/10)

At first sight it’s stupid, silly and very incoherent, but as it turns out Shangri-la has much, much more to offer than just that. It’s a clever, compelling and confronting series with a lot of creativity in the story-writing. Every one or two episodes, the mood, themes and atmosphere completely change when the focus falls on something different, while the series still remains strong as a whole. Definitely one of the dark horses of the season.

#3 (2) – Cross Game – (9/10)

Possibly the smartest series of the entire season. This series has wit, but more importantly it has such a lovable cast of characters. Everyone is simply compelling in their actions, antics and development, and this series is just a must-watch for any slice of life fans, even those who have nothing with baseball.

#2 (4) – Phantom – (9,25/10)

What a fantastically subtle characterization of the lead couple. This series without a doubt stands among the top of this season and is definitely recommended if you’re looking for deep and well developed characters (and it’s only been nine episodes so far). This has a really good chance of becoming Bee-Train’s best series after .Hack//Sign.

#1 (9) – Konnichiwa Anne – (9,25/10)

After the first two episodes, I never expected that right now this series would already have been as good as it has shown now. You’d expect that in these first few months, this series would be quiet and nothing much would happen, but instead EVERY SINGLE episode has been awesome this month, ranging from Elisa leaving the house to childbirth to Ben’s drinking problems. There’s always something to make something special out of this series. And what a bittersweet series it has turned into!

Posted on 29 May 2009 with categories: Phantom



With this episode, Phantom yet again proves that it’s one of the top shows this season. It’s much quieter than the previous episode, and yet there was so much growth in Ein an Zwei’s character(or should I say, Reiji and Helen’s). Especially the conversations between Reiji and Helen were utterly astonishing. The creators have got such a great feeling for their characters.

Helen, who has so far only worked for Scythe, and only lived for the guy finally realizes that there is someone else who cares for her. It must have been a complete shock for her to learn how far Reiji is willing to go for her, even to the point of throwing his entire past away. It turns out that the only reason she appeared so strong in front of Reiji was because Scythe ordered her to.

I was also really surprised at how early Scythe managed to find Helen, and how easily Inferno tracked down Reiji and that they showed hardly any mercy to them. Reiji got punched over and over in order to get information out of him, while who knows what happened to Helen after Scythe found her. The next episode should prove to be yet another treat. There’s no doubt that Reiji is going to succeed in killing Scythe, but just imagine what kind of effect that would have on Helen. I can’t wait!

Rating: ** (Excellent)
A very quiet episode, but Reiji and Helen made it worth every single second.

Posted on with categories: Basquash!



This series is weird. Really weird. This episode again: it’s one of these episodes that’s not supposed to be good… and yet it is.

To give a quick summary: this episode had a hot spring sequence, including the girls comparing each other’ breast sizes. The three idols turn out to be able to play basketball. They challenge Team Basquash for a match. Then one of the idols accidentally bumps into Dan and the two fall in love, while one of the other idols falls in love with Iceman. Later this episode, our little princess (still pretending to be a guy) professes herself as one of the idol group’s top fans and starts singing while the rest plays basketball. I have truly lost count of the amount of fanservice clichés that this episode used.

I’m still not exactly sure why I didn’t hate this episode. Perhaps it was the fact that at this point you’d really expect crazy things like this from this series, Perhaps it was that point at which Pink Idol (I’m too lazy right now to look up their names) got hit by one of Iceman’s crazy Destroys, started crying like a little girl, and Dan completely forgot about his embarrassments and the game because it reminded him of Coco’s accident.

But yeah, I should have seen it coming that Dan would end up as a couple with Pink Idol, with Shoji Kawamori as the chief director and all. Still, in this case it’s a pretty fresh concept, since for once we don’t have a shounen lead falling in love with one of the lead females. But yeah, on the other side the inclusion of idols of course pretty much fits with the themes of this series: this is a series about fandom, and of course idols have their completely different fandom when compared to the basketball players like Dan.

Rating: (Enjoyable)
Fanservice, fanservice and more fanservice… and surprisingly fresh romance.

Posted on with categories: Pandora Hearts



I must say, I like Echo a lot with this episode. Her antics are really fun to watch.

This episode also sheds a bit more light on the mysterious Vincent Nightray, who seems to be central to the plot’s mysteries. The guy looks a lot like the one that was with Alice when she was young, and for some reason he’s very interested to see the potential in either her grown up version or Oz himself. I have reasons to believe that he was the one who sent Break after Oz in the first place. There seems to be a lot going on in that Nightray family that’s being kept secret of us.

In any case, the rest of this episode showed Oz a situation he can relate to very much: fathers. Because he grew up with such a terrible father he really wishes for nobody to go through the same things as he did (speaking of which, what happened to that bugger in the past ten years anyway?). And sure enough, this features a kid who is about to lose his father to a monster of the Abyss. Yet again it’s an episode that’s meant to enforce the bond between Oz on one side and Gilbert and Alice on the other side, who both never had a parent in the first place (or can’t remember them anyway) and can’t relate to how much Oz wanted to have respect from his father.

Rating: * (Good)
Building up, but this show is still going strong.

Posted on with categories: Eden of the East



Okay, this episode is probably the one that sets up the story for the final arc of this series. With three episodes left until the movie, I have to say that this show turned out to be quite a bit different than I imagined. With 12 Selecao, you’d expect each episode to focus on a different one of them to see how they decided to try and change the world, but the creators cleverly tried to stay out of that formula and instead are going to explore what lies below everything.

Having said that, this wasn’t the most exciting episode though. I really wonder how Akira knew that Shiratori had wings, and what is it with his dreams about “Johnnies”? The parts with Oosugi were also quite annoying, especially when he got jealous for Saki and all. I really don’t know what a pointless love triangle is going to add to this series, especially when there’s no doubt that Akira and Saki are going to end up together.

Still, I like Micchon a lot. Finally we see an actual believable programmer (seriously, most programmers you see in anime nowadays are nothing but l33t hax0rz instead of the software developers that you’d assume them to be, but that’s just me being the computer science student that I am) and that Pants-guy intrigues me, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they’re going to deal with the Selecao system.

Also, I’ve been wondering: what’s up with those squares on everyone’s faces? Are they meant to be subtle shadows or something?

Rating: * (Good)
Quiet building up episode.

Posted on 28 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Misleading previews are very misleading. Really, the first episodes showed the big climaxes of their next episode, and so with the way the next-episode previews are so forcefully inserted after the end of the episode, it really makes you create expectations for that next episode. So, let me ask why the heck the previews for the past few episodes were so incredibly misleading. I was believing that this episode would turn into a date between Nicoletta and Claudio, only for the majority of this episode to focus on Luciano and the date turned out to be an incredibly small thing meant for building up.

So yeah, this was a really good episode about the birthday party for Luciano’s grandson. And really, you can’t get more slice-of-life than this, and it was such a great way to look into Luciano’s character. It’s SO devoid of any sort of clichés, and it really was such a charming episode, seeing everyone prepare and celebrate Francesco’s birthday.

At this point, you can really consider me a fan of Mitsuko Kase, the director. After this series, I’m convinced that she(he?) has her own style: she doesn’t care being mainstream, and what she excels in is subtly fleshing out her characters, with that kind of subtlety that’s really hard to put into words, and yet I’ve noticed the same with both Saikano, Crystal Blaze and Ristorante Paradiso. Her biggest fault is that she tends to be a bit too emo at times (for which Rispara is of course a great way to get rid of that nasty habit). I have really enjoyed the characterization of her works so far (yeah, I don’t care whether I’m the only one who believes so, but Crystal Blaze rocked).

With this, there are only four episodes left. Two will be spent on the remaining members of the cast (Teo and Furio), while the final two will probably wrap up the story between Claudio and Nicoletta, and I wonder what kind of path the creators will go into. This series has already shown that it isn’t of the type “and they killed the dragon and lived happily ever after”. In fact, it doesn’t seem to follow any formula at all, and I really wish that the creators can keep this up, while doing something with the romantic tension between Nicoletta and Claudio at the same time.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
A Luciano episode, still as calm and fresh as ever.

Posted on 27 May 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



It’s probably no surprise that romantic comedies are among my least favourite genres in anime. The reason for that is that 90% of the bunch just looks way too damn much like each other, is too afraid to go beyond the usual genre tropes, and/or just plain lazy. Nevertheless, I definitely enjoy that remaining ten percent that manages to avoid these pitfalls. Full Metal Panic belongs to those 10%, and is another example of a Good Gonzo series.

Full Metal Panic is a story that combines this romantic comedy with futuristic military combat (mechas included), and it tells the story of a teen-aged army sergeant (Sousuke) who grew up as a child soldier that ends up protecting a not-so-regular high school girl (Chidori). These two really are the reason why you would want to watch this series: even though the series is seven years old by now, they’re still fresh and dynamic, and the relationship between the two of them really grows on you. Sousuke’s socially inept antics will delight any fan of deadpan humour, while Chidori herself quickly sets herself apart from all other overused tsunderes with her wit. The two shine in the comedic part with some fresh jokes, but they definitely impress the most when they get serious.

Overall, this series has made a good use of its airtime; it consists out of four arcs, which all serve their own purpose: the first arc serves as introduction, the second fleshes out, the third one provides background and in the fourth one everything comes together in a great climax. This series knows how to build up and finish off with an impact, though my one complaint is that the comedy and drama don’t try to mix at all: an episode is either focused at completely at comedy or completely at drama; there’s hardly any in between.

Full Metal Panic is a series that shines in the way it takes a bunch of cliches, and makes them actually believable. Mechas and romantic comedies have been done to death before, but in this series, it’s actually made plausible: the situations that the characters are thrusted in make quite a bit of sense. The military side of the story is fleshed out really well and the battles are pretty realistic for anime’s standards. And take the seemingly oddball character of Tessa: she’s a young girl who commands an entire crew of a hyper-modern submarine. Throughout the course of the season, you can and will be wondering why the heck she is at such a position. And yeah, while there is of course no way that this would ever happen, her actions at the end of the series will have you convinced that she at least deserved her position.

Unfortunately, there were cliches that even this series didn’t escape (I’m looking at you, walking-into-bathroom-naked) and the building up during the drama parts does take a bit of patience when everything is being set up because during these parts there isn’t a lot that is going to make you keep watching, but the climaxes will definitely deliver in the end. My biggest complaint is that the main villain lacks any sort of background whatsoever: he’s definitely one of he smarter vilains out there, but he could have become so much better if we actually KNEW WO HE WAS. There are a few annoying side-characters (I’m looking at you, Chidori’s classmates), but overall Full Metal Panic can boast a well developed main cast, and I’m interested to see what Kyoani could have added to their development when they took over the franchise.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
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.
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