Posted by psgels on 25 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Strange Dawn



There are some anime out there awesome… and then there are the series that go one step beyond. These are the series that just somehow go against all boundaries and expectations I could have had for it, and have something nearly impossible to describe. When I take a look at the series that I managed to rate at 95/100 and 94/100 through the nearly four years that I’ve been blogging, I keep getting surprised at how little of them look like the masterpieces that they are from the outside. I guess that such a list of personal favourites is incredibly personal, and different for everyone, but every time one of these appears, they truly remind me why I’m still blogging.

As for Strange Dawn, it too doesn’t look like anything special from the outside, however, I was completely proven wrong when I started watching it, about two years ago. Unfortunately, it was nearly unfindable for neither subs nor raws, but I finally managed to find a bunch of French subs for the entire series. It completely blew me away; Junichi Sato (who directed also Kaleido Star, Aria, Magic Users Club and Umi Monogatari) has done an absolutely fantastic job on this series.

Anyway, about Strange Dawn. Its basic premise has been done many times before: high-schoolers end up in some kind of parallel dimension and have some adventures. What sets itself apart from the others is a terrific execution. For starters, it breaks tons of stereotypes that these series have. Usually when a lead character crosses into a new world, he turns out to conveniently acquire some new superpower or something: either he becomes incredibly good at swordfighting, or has the magical Deus ex Machina beam, turns out to be royalty or gets saved by some sort of royalty. Yuko and Eri instead stay exactly the same. Instead, their importance to the story comes from the fact that they ended up in a country full of midgets, hence their natural strength when compared to all of these small people, and that becomes the major driving force of the story.

And there are more of these things: the creators take nothing for granted here, they explain the problems the two girls face when they have to deal with the strange world they ended up in; from eating and taking care of their clothes to sleeping and going to the bathroom (especially the latter is a running plot thread). In fact, the entire series has an incredible sense of detail: during the quiet parts in the series, whenever characters aren’t fighting or in the midst of dramatic climaxes, you can see them taking care of their own food, sharpening their weapons, caring for their horses (okay, flying snails), and doing all sorts of things that most anime nowadays take for granted or only show one or two scenes of.

The same amount of detail you can see in the animation: characters move realistically and relatively few corners are cut in comparison to your average anime. When characters move, they hardly ever look out of place and they’re always doing something meaningful that might not impact the story, but brings SO MUCH life to the setting and the world that the story plays in. For the past few years I’ve been a real advocate of series that manage to make the setting that they’re played in come alive, and this series really is the school example of how to do this right.

And as for the plot, we’ve got ourselves another case of wrong advertising here. The promo art might make you suspect that this is a fun and light-hearted fantasy adventure, mainly aimed at kids. It is not. In fact, don’t even dare to try and watch this series for the lighter parts, because Strange Dawn is dark. It’s not just dark in its atmosphere, but also in its themes. When people get cut up, blood appears without any hints of censorship; themes of war and death play a HUGE role in this series and heck, a certain episode even what can be qualified as an attempted rape in it. The amount of drama throughout the entire series is immense, but at the same time it consistently stays away from emo and melodrama, and stays genuine and never drags on.

Then there is the amazing voice acting cast. Especially the two lead characters are magnificently voiced, but the rest of the cast also shines throughout the series. They perfectly manage to capture the emotions of their characters, making the entire series an emotional roller-coaster along the way. And speaking of the audio, I also have to mention the amazing soundtrack that was compiled for this series. The tracks fit the atmosphere perfectly, and are a joy to listen to throughout the series.

Overall, there wasn’t one episode that didn’t have me clutched to the screen in near-tears, but the thing that blew me away the most was the ending. For the sake of spoilers I won’t say anything more, but the final episode was the single most emotional episode I have watched this year. Do not get fooled by the childish exterior, because inside Strange Dawn is a mature and intense roller-coaster ride. There are probably a lot of people who disagree with me on this, considering the abysmally low ratings on sites as Anidb, but I loved every minute of it.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10

52 Responses

  1. Dave Baranyi says:

    Folks – as an alternative view – let’s just say that there are very good reasons why the ratings for “Strange Yawn” are low. I watched it when it was first broadcast in Japan years ago, and it isn’t the sort of anime to improve with age. Beware, unless you have a very high tolerance for melodrama, plot holes and overacting.

  2. ancalyme says:

    I was searching for this about half a year ago, but I only ever found the first three episodes (subbed OR raw). Wow, your google-fu must be amazing :0

  3. Tracer says:

    Psgels, how is the Japanese in this anime like? Is it mostly simple phrases and words or does it have slightly more complicated phrases?

    For example, something like Aoi Hana or Darker than Black?

  4. Howling-kun says:

    So I guess you’re enjoying a lot Junichi Sato’s works…

    Watch Aria. Under your standards I’d rate it 100/100, the final season at least, that got me in tears and is my favorite anime ever (as of this post, having watched about 200 titles).

    I’m quite interested in watching this RAW or in french (that I know as much as of japanese lol), so I second Tracer’s question.

    • cobra34 says:

      >Under your standards I’d rate it 100/100

      Under his standards, 100/100 is absolute perfection so it doesn’t exist in this world, nor it ever will.
      I REALLY hate this rating system since you are practically rating series against a highly idealistic abstract concept that doesn’t exist, which makes the whole thing worthless. How do you know what’s bad if you don’t know what’s good?

  5. Senna says:

    Interesting. Apparently there was a U.S. release by Urban Vision, but I can’t find records of whether or not it was released in full (only the first two DVDs show up in my searches). Actually, my college library had the first DVD of this series in their collection, but I never bothered to watch it since it looked like a kiddie show. But, now you have me curious.

  6. DmonHiro says:

    Dude, I’m sorry, but it’s your own fault for reading ratings on AniDB. That rating system is about as accurate as an AK-47 used for sniping.

  7. senerikfred says:

    DAMMIT

    I LOVE JUNICHI SATO

    I’VE BEEN TRYING TO FIND THIS SINCE FOREVER

    WHY COULDN’T THERE AT LEAST BE A SPANISH VERSION?

    In other news, go watch Princess Tutu already. I doubt it’ll be nearly as dark/detailed as Strange Dawn, but it’s no kiddy series and happens to be my favorite anime, ever.

  8. Kim says:

    I second the Princess Tutu recommendation. It’s an amazing series.

  9. c160 says:

    There should be an English ver somewhere cause I clearly remember this being one of my first anime ever(after Dragonball and Doraemon) along with AlHazard,Gatekeepers and Niea7(all shown on AXN channel when they still have anime).But damn,I can’t remember the ending!What happened in the end,psgels?

  10. Machi says:

    Princess Tutu :wub: I think the biggest shock of Princess Tutu was the villain. Seriously I don’t think ANYONE would ever think of a certain character as the villain, which did bump the show up for me for creativity. While I don’t think it would be a masterpiece it definitely ranks high as one of the better series I’ve watched, thanks mostly to its originality.

  11. psgels psgels says:

    For those who are interested in the subs I found:

    http://www.power-anime.fr/download/fiche/2092-strange_dawn_vf_vostfr.html

    There is a lot of dialogue, but I guess that it’s of the same level as Aoi Hana.

  12. Machi says:

    I watched this when I was a kid… To be exact a few months or so after it was finished I think, not sure, the anime station of my country showed this. I would take a daresay here but there is a chance that those that watched this show as well were kids as well that time, after all back then there wasn’t much places to watch anime and this one is definitely an oddity. So my guess for the low ratings on ANN could be due to vague recollections of old viewers, I recall not being all too impressed watching this as a kid but from the looks of it this does deserve a second look with age now. Seeing you do some of the so called retro stuff of the 1997’s and above makes me feel old XD I can’t believe how long it has been.

    • cobra34 says:

      No, it just that ANN is complete and utter garbage. Seriously, the reviewers and regular users of that site are worst than 4chan.

  13. Solaris says:

    This anime is licensed in Italy.
    It may look cartoonish with those toyish weird characters, but it’s not a kid’s anime at all. The story is a kind of dark fantasy.
    So maybe it’s why who watched it as a kid wasn’t that impressed at that time.

    • cobra34 says:

      This series IT’S A KIDS ANIME. It was made, aired and promoted as such. The thing is that what’s considered for children in Japan is completely different than the rest of the world. As simple as that.

  14. Autonomous Monster says:

    Dammit, psgels. My worst subject in school was French. >:|

  15. Solaris says:

    And what about Italian? :P

  16. specracer says:

    I hope I can engrish my way through the show =\

  17. Gustavo says:

    Machi, you son of a bi***!!! WTH putting those fuc**** spoilers without even warning, you piece of sh***!!!!

  18. Patrick says:

    I found the episodes subbed on emule about 1 year ago (with 2 or 3 seeds). They were in french too. Good series but I didn’t find it nearly as amazing as psgels.

  19. Wyrdwad says:

    Another one I’m really glad to see you review! I’ve only seen the first half of this series, since that’s all that was ever released on DVD in the U.S. (Senna: I can confirm there were only ever two volumes, after which point Urban Vision dropped it), and have been looking for the latter half for quite a while now. As I recall, it was actually broadcast on TV in England, in full, but the English dub is *awful*. Still makes me wonder if there might be a PAL DVD version of it floating about somewhere, though…

    Anyway, I really, really loved this show when I first saw it, and got totally obsessed with it for a while. It’s intense, well-written, and just shockingly high-quality, with a lot more depth than you almost ever see from something like this. Gonna have to track down the end sometime, if it’s as good as you say.

    -Tom

  20. AKI says:

    Oh! I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one. I watched this show English dubbed way back 2001 (cable: AXN). It may turn off conventional anime watchers due to the cartoonish and kiddielike art but the story itself was dark and thought provoking. It was shown alongside with Now and Then, Here and There, thus it was thoroughly overshadowed by the former.

  21. Taxy says:

    psgels, isn’t that link only to subs/dubs in french? Since it looks like the series was licenced in US, but never was completely released there, is there a way to watch this series without french or japanese language skills?

    You made me very curious about this series, but I can give up looking for subs or something anymore, if it had to be french or japanese…

  22. Machi says:

    @Gustavo: I’d appreciate you to think before you type. What spoilers did I give away I’m pretty sure I worded it so vaguely that you wouldn’t be able to guess it lest you already know it before hand. And in this case I don’t think the wording unexpected villain spoils anything, because the key word is UNEXPECTED (so unless you’re some type of genius or have spoiled yourself) I doubt you’d figure it out.

    So I call you out right now in HOW in the world can you figure out a key event with the post

    Princess Tutu :wub: I think the biggest shock of Princess Tutu was the villain. Seriously I don’t think ANYONE would ever think of a certain character as the villain, which did bump the show up for me for creativity.

  23. dm says:

    I offer another echo on the Princess Tutu recommendations.

    I saw the early episodes of Strange Dawn when it was released here. It was, indeed, a wonderful series. I believe the entire series may have been released, with the second volume titled Strange … something other than dawn, but I never tracked it down.

    Many in the Touka Gettan thread are recommending that series’ soundtrack, Strange Dawn is another series with a very nice soundtrack.

  24. TAKO says:

    I found the raw, but there’s no subs to it..
    which is a bit of disappointing.
    However, see to it as the raw is ridiculously hard to find, I guess this is an accomplishment! :D
    Is there anyone who’s willing to sub it??
    xoxo

  25. Firechick says:

    I might plan on watching this in the future based on your review, but I have other anime I need to finish up before school starts.

    By the way, I also found another case of false advertising. There’s an old anime movie from the 70’s called Ringing Bell (aka Chirin no Suzu) which starts off lightly, but gets extremely dark after the first 10-15 minutes. There is a Japanese version, but it’s EXTREMELY hard to find (I managed to get myself a bootleg DVD with a Japanese option! Yes!), but the English dub is available on YouTube. I personally recommend it.

  26. webphi says:

    *Might be spoiler*

    Ok I just watched this anime after reading the review (I am French so could find subs). I understand the theme of the anime, speaking of war, religion, stupidity of men and all that but…. I am not sure I really understood the end.
    Is it only a depressing “we give up without even trying and to hell with everybody” or I missed something? They came without wanting it, and left without doing anything (not that there is any hope for 2 young girls to change anything in a fucked up setting like that even if they were willing:p)?
    Why were they summoned to begin with, and what were these “ghosts”? their unconscious?
    If someone more analytic than me could give some answers… =)

  27. Firechick says:

    Yeah, psgels! I also echo the Princess Tutu recommendation! I’m on episode 17 (that princeling narcissist guy in that episode annoys the spit out of me!…along with pint-sized Edel) so far! I love it to bits! It’s beautiful! I commandeth you to watch it…if the upcoming summer season isn’t exactly good. Hehehehe!

  28. Onibaba says:

    Appreciate the links, but password doesn’t work. Help please?

  29. psgels psgels says:

    Argh, dammit. How about these? You’ll need to register to their forum first, though.

    http://forum.downparadise.ws/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=92692

  30. hejay says:

    The password works for the megaupload files. You just have to change the quotation marks to the default straight quotes. So copy and paste this: “Hideki-is-Strange”

  31. hejay says:

    Er, I guess there some kind of parsing thing going on. Just change the quotes manually.

  32. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    Please, lovers of anime, help me! GotWoot might be interested in translating STRANGE DAWN into English, but for that they need the raws. If anyone knows where to find them, tell me, or better still, tell them:
    http://www.gotwoot.net/2010/09/24/some-updates/#comments

    Come on now, someone MUST have them. Otherwise, how did the French translations come into being…

  33. Maceart says:

    Don’t worry, Doremi-fansubs picked up Strange Dawn. Expect all 13 episodes to be subbed within the next couple months.

  34. Ladholyman says:

    More like in one month.

  35. Ladholyman says:

    More like in one month.

  36. Mappy says:

    Always confounded me why this series was ignored by english subbers for so long. Glad to see Doremi working on it. A lot.

  37. Maceart says:

    And that’s it! Strange Dawn completed by Doremi-fansubs.

    The conclusion was kind of a let down though… was expecting something more solid. All in all, a decent hero’s journey/advenbure anime.

  38. blah says:

    Finally finished the series and I have to say it was really good.

    I thought the ending was great, the rock scene specifically. How often in anime do you get a scene where all your characters develop at one time and it’s earned! I loved Beret.

    On a side note, I HATED NATSUNO’S VOICE ACTOR….so much. I don’t think i’ve ever been annoyed by a character’s voice as much as with hers. Did nobody else have a problem with it?

  39. zork says:

    Saw the first episode quite many years ago and it left quite impression then and I ave always wanted to seethe entire series. Now when Doremi finally did the subbing I had the chance to see all of it at last. But it was somewhat disappointment. Like there wasn’t any plot at all. Just couple girls in parallel universe, some power struggle between local which I quite didn’t get, some emotions/drama between Shall and Reka and then the girls left. And I was left wondering, what the series was all about…

  40. PlywoodStick says:

    I enjoyed watching this one the whole way through! The ending was so abrupt, though… I left feeling like I didn’t fully understand the clashing cultures. Perhaps the viewer is supposed to feel that way… a sense of emptiness, as the two visitors also exhibited.

  41. Taxy says:

    Thanks to this review, there’s a german fansub available from today on! Thanks, psgels, for this great recommendation! :)

    Go to http://www.subs4u.de for more details about the german fansub. ^^

  42. [Currently thedoctorismysanta @ tumblr]

    just started watching this… For some reason this reminds me of Munto [Both the anime/movies/ovas] just more bloodier.

    • cobra34 says:

      The only thing this and Munto have in common is the parallel world thingy. NOTHING else is similar, for Goddamned sake.

  43. Perrin4869 says:

    Just finished watching this, and I got the same impression as webphi. I must add that I watched it raw, and so I missed most of the dynamics between the different factions here, I’d need a second watch to get that… But really, what was so moving about the ending? The whole meaning of the Majin and the two ghosts wasn’t explained… I ended up feeling quite empty… And it was headed in a very good direction to…
    If someone can shed light upon this, I’d be grateful!

  44. David says:

    hmm too high i would say , it’s only rated 6/10 …

  45. VyseLegendaire says:

    I finally got around to watching this show, and I thought it was pretty good, but could have been better. The show felt abruptly started and finished, many background details about world are glossed over or barely explained, the lives of the main characters at home skipped over, and I was at a loss about what the ‘theme’ might have been intended as. I feel like this series could have been an epic 100 ep Legend of Galactic Heroes type epic, considering how interesting the characters and plot really were. I guess everybody did sort of evolve a bit at the ending, however I couldn’t help but feel that much of the plot was contrived if the ending was just going to be so inconclusive.

  46. cobra34 says:

    >The promo art might make you suspect that this is a fun and light-hearted fantasy adventure, mainly aimed at kids.

    This anime is indeed AIMED at KIDS in Japan. It’s called cultural differences. Didn’t you bother to research even a little before making such ignorant statements?

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Total users: 37

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