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?

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Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
AidanAK47
Ah Samurai Jack. Wonder how that Adult swim revival is going? Batman the Animated Series as well didn't need Batman to crack off jokes every minute to be great.
Lenlo
Agreed. Samurai Jack was one of my favorite cartoons for that very reason. It ran the gamut of genres, each episode being something different.
Also I used Nichijou cause it was the first to come to my mind as a "Kids Show", though Love-Ru works as well
AidanAK47
One thing I think Cartoons could do to move away from the stigma of being for kids is having more genres than Comedy and Action adventure. Or at least stop putting comedy in everything.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Every fanbase has it's fanatics. There are idiots everywhere.
@Lenlo, I thought this might come up though I was expecting more of "placing Berserk and To Love-Ru in the same category" thing. Honestly I don't have a rebuttal for that. What is an isn't anime is really a matter of what anime is to you.
Lenlo
Now Aidan, you say putting Berserk and Scoopy doo in the same category is wrong, but what about Berserk and say.. Nichijou? A similar problem comes up and I think thats more to do with Berserk being a pretty major outlier (And I love it for being so. Have all the original Dark Horse volumes on my shelf)
Lenlo
Really though, reading Reddit arguments about it is so much fun.
Lenlo
I do think that recently, a number of shows have been trying to move cartoon, and animation in general in the west, away from meaning "For Kids".
Lenlo
Im not sure sure about that Anon, look at the Steven Universe and MLP fanbases.
Anonymous840067
Aidan, that isn't true... Anime has a 'special' name because it's fan base is a lot more fanatical than the cartoon fan base.
AidanAK47
Though I think the whole "Its not for kids" is the main push. Looking at my anime collection the majority is rated 15 with a few 12s. It's like the way you have Young Adult and mature, Comic books and graphic novels, or Visual novels and Eroge. They are essentially the same thing but appeal to different audiences.
AidanAK47
Though I think what really pushes this argument is that the term anime at least has a badge of honor. You don't see people demanding a show to be called a cartoon.
AidanAK47
Honestly the term anime is just a distinction to separate it from the more kiddy stuff. The term cartoon in the western world is too ingrained with the likes of Hanna Barbera or loony toons. No matter how you put it, putting Scooby Doo and Berserk in the same category is just wrong.
SuperMario
Then would you consider Korean, Chinese anime-influenced shows as anime? (I would) and those anime that aimed for Western audience (like Animatrix) as anime? (I would too)
SuperMario
But then we have something like Thunderbolt Fantasy lasy year which if I go for this defination (style) then it isn't anime at all, yet I would categorize it as anime
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