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
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
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Featured Posts

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Dies Irae – 08[Promise]

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Mahoutsukai no Yome – 9 [None so deaf as those who will not hear]

Hello and welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai! Lets hop right into it. First and foremost, let’s talk about Chise. As the main heroine of the show, naturally it’s going to focus on her a lot. This week zooms in on her relationship with Elias and what it actually is. Characters and situations comment on […]

Juuni Taisen – 10 [A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin]

Juuni Taisen again expands a huge flashback in the middle of the current story, but this one hits all the right notes because naturally its heart is in the right place. It’s episode like this that I am glad I’m still sticking with Juuni Taisen and regain my faith to the overall quality of this […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 09[Various Countries]

I will likely be spending most of this post talking about one segment of this episode as just as the title suggests, these are a series of stories involving different countries. But before I get into that I must truly question why these particular stories were chosen. I have stated before that I love Kino […]

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The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

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