Posted by psgels on 6 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



This review is going to be different from usual. Solaris has written up an in-depth essay about the themes and characters of the Rozen Maiden series. There are quite a few spoilers though, and near the end there are also some manga-spoilers, so be careful with that.

———————————————-

Alice Game and Rozen

Rozen and Alice roots were cleverly untold by the authors. We got only suppositions and random clues about them. That helps the reader immagination to build his own explanation about that matters like it happens in Haibane Renmei anime. Rozen and Alice are meant to support the anime’s topic which is the relation net between the dolls plus Jun. Rozen and Alice are only plot devices and not the central topic of the anime. So, everything works well even by lightly developing them.

Given that the personal relation among the dolls are fairly more interesting. They are coupled and for every couple one doll is given a thesis and the antagonist doll has got the antithesis.
Themes developed are ideal and imperfection with Shinku and Suigin Tou, Conflicting identity of the gardener twins, personal growth and delaying into childhood for Hina and Kanaria.
There’s also the theme of the imitation that longs for self awareness in the story of Barasuishou. Those themes are the real focal point of the show. There’s yet another doll to be developed, but her story came abruptly to an end due to manga being quit. Lucky enough they started another serie of Rozen Maiden. I hope to read more about it.

Manga has much less fillers than the animated serie and it comes out really more dramatic. Events flow better and there are many less humor breaks, that were added in the anime to lighten the mood. Indeed Rozen Maiden is Noir.

If you read the manga you’d catch many hints about Alice Game. They tell us in vol 2 each Rozen Maiden has a fragment of a single Roza Mystica. The goal of the Alice Game is to rebuild that Roza Mystica. The winning doll may be then achieve perfection, that is to say become Alice. It could literally mean the winning doll would be changed into a human girl, but I’d rather think that outcome is more symbolic. Alice Game is a metaphor of the life and its goal is death of the other dolls, that is, Alice is a trascendental simulacrum of transformation, or trepassing life into the realm of pure ideal. In other words if you just win the Alice game you die and become a happy angel. That is. Beware my dear Shinku, beware! :)

Furtermore there’s this enigmatic Rozen fellow. We have many hints about him, but his identity is yet undercover. He’s hidden, but watches the Alice Game from afar, not yelding any interference with his own presence. People associated him to a kind of godly figure for the dolls, but think about it: Doesn’it just resemble the setup of a kind of mystical experiment where Rozen is the master and the dolls are the specimens? An Occult scientist, an Alchemist.

As a matter of fact, in the 5th volume of the manga, they suggested Rozen could be the Count of Saint Germain. He was an enigmatic man, supposedly alchemist, surely a fake, but is told he really discovered the long life elixir. It’s also told he’s still alive today. Of course he’s a legendary figure right now, but there are some philosophical theories are inspired by him. Theosophia, is the science of manipulating natural phenomena by the study of the divine. It’s aim is to enhance human towards perfection. Uhm, doesn’t this sound a bell? Does Alice game resemble a Theophysic ritual doesn’t it?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the authors really took inspiration by this Count of Saint Germain to build up the Alice Game. That’s a really interesting mix of religion, alchemy and mystichal scence.

But that is not all. There’s another enigmatic character with uncovered whereabouts: Laplace Demon. He’s the controller of Alice Game. He interacts with the dolls or Jun, in the place of Rozen. The Demon has full power over the world dream and can open dimensional doors at will. His names comes from the Math Scientist Pierre Simon Laplace, the one who made up the well known Laplace Transform. Laplace was a determinist*, that is to say he believed science to be exact, or that you can calculate everything by the means of mathematical analysis. Given an infinite accurate representation of reality and an infinite amount of compute power, it is possible to calculate future and past by the laws of classical machanics. Laplace Demon is such an automaton who posses such capacity of calculus. Therefore he knows the past and can predict future, has the knowlege and power of destiny. It’s uncasual he’s the perfect arbiter for the game of the doll’s destiny: Alice Game.

Laplace Demon is clearly alike to Lewis Caroll’s White Rabbit. Lewis Caroll was another Math Scientist, and novel writer, as we already know him. Rozen Maiden took a lot from Lewis Caroll’s Alice fantasy story. N-Field or Dream World is the modern version of the wonderland, a place where physcal laws are bended and leave infinite possibilities (aka infinite destinies). The fact Laplace Demon used to speak by quizzes and his words are to be interpreted leaves no question: The dream world is the place where one can defeat his own destiny and long for an higher ideal of self, but also on the exact contrary, it is possible to loose oneself and be doomed to insanity. The issue is to choose the right door, the right possibility. Thus the Laplace demon will always present you with two alternatives. To wind or not to wind, your is the choice, as the Laplace Demon already knows the infinite implications of both choices.

Thus said isn’t Alice game really a setup for a kind of mystical experiment where the stage is the Dreamworld, Rozen is the observer, Laplace is the controller and the dolls are the specimens?

Btw read the articles about St Germain Count (and Theosophya) and about Laplace on Wikipedia.

Dolls Stories

The dolls always repeat that it is possible to meet their father after the completion of the game. But what does it mean to end the game? In a Christian world that means to die and be granted to eternal life in the glory of God. So Alice game is the game where you long for death to transcend ones self towards an immaterial ideal of perfection. Brrr scary!
You really can’t ask a novel more than character development. It’s too easy to build up unchangeable and static chars. On the other hand it’s hard to make chars so dynamic they look alive. I said before the dolls come in pairs, so here’s how.

But let’s leave the game for now. How do the dolls face their deadly destiny? They spend most of their time in daily life, completely disregarding the game and its implications. Most of the dolls are just happy playing with each others and fear the game the most. The real meaning of the Game is uncovered only at the end of the second series, with the occasion of the fake final. Jun, that is the external spectator of the sad play suffers and is mad about all the death those pityful beings had to suffer. What was it for? What was the meaning of that? And Rozen’s answer was that was not the only way. The answer is not in death, but rather in life. At the end the real meaning of the alice game may be not to play, or play another life, but eventually play a life. Cause playing means to live to a doll, an artifact made for playing. That’s a positive meaning I suppose people didn’t think about. Everybody is mad cause the authors never said much about Alice Game and we fan are fantasizing over it, but that game is really an unimportant aspect of the show. What is really important are the personal stories of the dolls.

Shinku vs Suigin Tou

Rozen and his game are only a stage for the doll’s play. Some play to become a complete being, being pushed by a great sense of inferiority. On the other hand some other fights for making sure of her superiority, which is everything but a simulacrum of ones solitude. Shinku is doomed to be the best of the five dolls, thus not knowing what exactly means to be the best. So she continues to fight and look everybody with despise and superiority. Shinku and Suigin Tou are two opposite entities like images in the mirror that cannot understand each other and thus they hate.
But this is only the incipit. The development comes rather unexpected by pairing the two dolls with their nemesis: Jun is a rather unperfect human. By interacting with him she will find her place and her family. On the other hand Suigin Tou watches all the other dolls being completed and happy. She suffers from that and despises everybody. By being paired with a ill girl she will learn she’s not the only suffering soul in the world and will grow.
This will maybe lead to a reconciliation of the two archenemies.

The story of the mirror twins

With respect to Shinku and Suigin Tou, who are in open contrast being two complete opposite, the twins are built alike. But that’s the only surface. The twins girls resemble the faces of a coin, alike but different, sister yet deadly enemies. Every aspect of a doll is projected in the mirror on the other one. Yet they cannot be separated, they seem to share the same life, the same power. Their power is also complementary. The Gardener Scissors are useless without the Magic Watering Can and viceversa. They’re doomed to be together forever, but yet to fight cause of the Alice Game.

In Rozen Maiden the natural harmony between the two images at the mirror can’t be left unperturbed. The alice Game, which is the natural destructive aim to perfection, is also matter of the twins. How do an absolute command like fight is related to the complementary twins? How can one twin kill the other without self destructing herself? Action and reaction. The two faces of the mirror still reflect two opposite choices about that. One, taking over the couple’s armony above all, refused to fight, but the other, responding to the absolute command, longs for the fight. But that’s fake, cause the real desire moving Sousei Seki is to break from the chain of the twin life in search of self awareness.
Sousei seki and Suisei seki also appear different at the start of the story. Sousei Seki appears righteous and fair, the true strong one of the twins who protects her sister twin. Suisei seki appears wicked, spoiled and pretty evil. She’s mischievous and appears weaker than the sister. But that’s still a wrong image, like a fake mirage you see above cold lakes in north winter lakes. The image appears high in the sky and upside down (Morgan Fairy effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage)). Twins image is really “puidedown”! Jun is a catalyst that let the dolls discover their true self and feelings.
And so, beyond the fake righteous and selfsacrifice tendencies of Souseiseki you find a soul that struggle to let her inner self prevail. She’s burning for love and hate toward her sister’s unconditioned and overwelming love. Suiseiseki, on the other hand is the true strong pair of the twins couple. She’s not evil, but sweet loyal and strong! And it’s all thank to Jun if she could awaken this side of her char. She loves her sister so much she sacrificed the ideal of Alice that is her (and any doll’s) imperative categorical.

Grow or not grow

Hina and Kanaria are the last couple of dolls having antagonist feeling about something. This something is life and growth in their situation. Look how the two dolls are introduced. Hina is a selfish doll eager to play to death. Her behaviour is that of a little girl who doesn’t know anybody else to play and when she found one she attached herself to him/her in an obsessive manner. Hina is completely closed into herself and fears the world outside her own box. She’s also doesn’t trust humans and fear abandon. She has a reason to fear it, as she was abandoned by her former handler, maybe cause of the WWII. We know that from the manga, where we also meet a descendant of Hina’s former handler who claims possession over her! After Shinku defeated Hina, she was forced to live with jun’s family. Hina never appreciated this life. She was a scared crybaby, but being forced out of her own shell let her grow up as an individual. Hina comes to like (or love) Jun as well and undestands she has to grow stronger for her and those who love’s sake. There’s a very nice filler episode that shows up this: In an episode Hina wants to send a love letter to jun. She has to move out of the house in the world that she doesn’t know and fears. She will gain strength and walk outside and deliver the letter. That was a touching episode, narrated from the point of view of the child Hina. So a normal walk outside becomes a real adventure for this childish doll. A first walk in life outside the boundaries of one’s know world.
On the other hand Kanaria is extremely scared of the Alice game. She knows she has to fight, but she’s so unwillingly doing it. All of her behaviour is a game that shows insecurity and fear. She’s so nice when she attemped to inflitrate Jun’s house without much convinction and always finds herself scared away :). Once again she’ll find security and stength in Jun’s group. So, the theme of these two dolls is clear: they represent the fear to grow and to relate oneself toward the others. Hina represents the positive path in life: fight and struggle to grow rather than Kanaria indulges herself into childness and play.
BEWARE HUGE MANGA SPOILER: She will be forced to grow when she will remain the last doll fighting on Juns side against the dreadful Kirakishou.

Barasuishou and Kirakishou. (MANY SPOILERS)

These two last dolls are the “last bosses” of the anime second serie and of the manga. Kirakishou is depicted as a white goddess of death. She has no body but an astral body. She lives in the NField and she’s very powerful. Barasuishou is the fake doll who fights to prove herself a doll better than the original Rozen Maidens. The theme is stil perfection here, but it’s seen in a different way than in the case of Shinku and suigin tou. Barasuishou longs to surpass the perfect bodies of the rozen maiden, while kirakishou is the perfect rozen maiden herself. Barasuishou would be the Kirakishou she could never be! Kirakishou is a perfect ideal of the Rozen Maiden, but she has got no soul nor body. If you put it with the alice game, Kirakishou has the power to wipe out all of the Rozen Maiden and become Alice, but somehow she winning the game doesn’t look right. Kirakishou is complete evilness and has no emotions. How can she be the perfect Alice being? She lacks something that all of the other dolls acquired by living: feelings. Kirakishou has never lived herself other than in the Dream Field. She hasn’t lived any experience. Even Suigin Tou has grown up with experiences, thus should be more suited as a potential Alice than Kirakishou. But this cold hearted doll is going to win it all at the end of the manga! What it will be of the alice game is yet to be told. Hope the sequel of the story by Peach Pit will be published some day.

———————————————-

As for my own comments, I’d probably rate Traumend around 85/100. The depth of the cast of characters is really something that you don’t find in many series, but it does suffer from some pacing issues: the first season was perfectly paced and kept you on the edge of your seat. Traumend instead has one relative light part with lots of slice of life that takes up about eight episodes, which is then followed by a really dark part. It could have been mixed a bit more, although I also see that the fillers are also crucial to the dolls, showing them as they try to play and resist the Alice Games.

3 Responses

  1. JuJu says:

    w0w nice review out there solaris ;P. Easy to read , linear nad LONG XD.

  2. tealovertoma says:

    This is why I

  3. Solaris says:

    Thank all those who were enough patient to read it all and to Psgels who decided to publish the notes.
    Those were indeed just some notes i wrote for Psgels to point out some topics i found relevant.
    Feel free to comment/discuss at will

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
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