Posted by psgels on 10 August 2009 with categories: Shangri-La



Hehe, and here I thought that the creators were going to save the bombing of Tokyo for the grand finale of this series. It seems that there’s still much more that’s going to happen after it: there are still so many problems that are left to be solved, not to mention that the creators still don’t seem to have played all of their trumps for this series!

The way this episode was executed was also something I really didn’t expect. With the entire city of Tokyo burning down, you’d expect them to create a huge action-packed spectacle out of it, but instead this episode had a much more melancholic atmosphere. It’s something completely different from what we’ve seen of this series so far, and it really works. That’s yet another reason why I’ve grown to be such a fan of this series: you’re never going to know what to expect.

This episode was surprisingly slow paced for this series, but because of that the impact on Kuniko, having to burn down the place she grew up in really made an impact. Her emotions were handled very subtly here: she didn’t break down crying, or she didn’t refuse to drop the bomb at the last possible moment like your average anime lead. She knew very well what she had to do to save the ones around her, because otherwise they’d just be overthrown by the Daedalus. This episode portrayed that feeling of saying goodbye really well. Kuniko might seem like nothing special at first sight, but you don’t often see a main character who has to serve as a leader like her.

Oh, and the eye candy! While not as gorgeous as episode 13, the visuals were nevertheless gorgeous as they showed Duomo going up in flames. You could see that especially the background artists were on fire in this episode (not literally of course), but also the CG looked really good during the fiery bits.

Now, the question is going to be: how are the creators planning on filling up the final quarter of this series. The Daedalus hasn’t fully disappeared: it’s still inside Atlas because that’s a part that can’t exactly be burned down. At the same time, the end of this episode shows Medusa finally losing control of itself, after Karin pushed him too far in her attempts to take advantage of the huge carbon emissions from the forest fires. and to think that for a moment she was like the richest person in the world. She was bound to overstep her borders at one point, but I still wonder what the creators plan to do with Medusa going out of control: is she simply going to lose Medusa, or is her entire fortune coming along with it?

It’s very interesting: for most series at this point, you’re going to have a good idea what its finale is going to be about: what the main goal is going to be to overcome. With Shangri-la, I have no bloody clue. Sure, there is busting Ryoko from Atlas, people are going to have to rebuild their homes, Karin is going to have to cope with Medusa, but which one is going to be taking the main focus? What is Ryouko going to do now after cooperating with Kuniko? There are still so many questions left open.

At this point, there are five episodes left. That’s enough for this series to wrap up everything with a conclusion, and let’s hope that everything isn’t going to end up rushed!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

14 Responses

  1. Guitar says:

    Wow, a lot of variety in those screenshots. They certainly caught my attention though.

  2. Shounen A says:

    It should be obvious what the main goal is: a Digma inherits ATLAS. (I’m betting on four Digmas jointly inheriting ATLAS.) Now if we just knew what that meant … ^_^;;

  3. chounokoe says:

    After the legend of Izanami and Izanagi came in this episode I think we’re looking forward to another little twist here…maybe the Digma are the ‘children of the Gods’ and Hiruko was a failed first experiment.
    Just curious because names were already thrown around if Nagiko (Nagi-Ko) would have a real reason for her name…well I’m starting to get worried that they maybe throw too much into the twist at the end….but well

  4. haha says:

    This show sucks (I only watch it for laughs), but it was worth it to see that idiotic Duomo place go up in flames. What a bunch of morons, no wonder they’d have a megafool like Kuniko as their leader.

  5. Robhiengler says:

    I completely agree haha, bunch of complete idiots! They should figured something out when she failed on their assault of Atlas. Now she personally blew up Duomo.

    Small nitpick bombs are released before the target due to horizontal motion inferred from the aircraft, that would have missed Duomo but anyway. Guess what this all could have been avoided it they used a defoliant (herbicide).

    What the F was that with the burning sugar over the cup of tea!? No-one does that!? The only time you might see that happen if you’re getting absinthe incorrectly made for you. More horse-dung nonsense.

    The hilarious thing is if people started fires this would result in the collapse of the “carbon market”, who would invest in such a fragile market in the first place? One which could collapse at a mere forest fire – entirely ridiculous.

    Secondly why isn’t Daedaelus spread all over Japan? Are the only forests in Tokyo?

    Thirdly Karin what you’re doing is insider trading or market manipulation – highly illegal. Secondly the UN pass an anti-MEDUSA law in minutes, yeah right.

    Unfortunately chounokoe this really has little to do with the legend of Izanami and Izanagi. As I recall Izanami had “died” already and was in Yomi so exactly how Atlas could be related to Onogoro (which btw Motoori Norinaga asserts is one of the islands near Awajishima not Tokyo)which was formed before Japan’s 8 great islands who were formed from their offspring, when clearly this is based after all that.

    The Leech child Hiruko as well was a HE not a SHE and became Ebisu mirthful and auspicious “The Laughing God” not some bound up weirdo with sharp teeth. Ebisu was also the God of fishermen, good luck, and workingmen, as well as the guardian of the health of small children. Note the last part, at what point does possessing small girls as a vessel denote protectorship or good health at all? IF they decide to butcher Greek Mythology, why bother to get their own Japanese mythology right – am I right!

    * – barely watchable – only because we get to see Doumo burn!

  6. chounokoe says:

    You really do not like interpretations, do you?
    If you would try to look behind what certain things are trying to represent in the context of the story it would be easier to accept Hiruko’s role within it, at least that is what I think.

    Hiruko is only a she, because the miko that are given to him as a vessel are female…you could also through a donkey into the ritual, then Hiruko would be an animal.

    And Hiruko did not BECOME Ebisu, it is merely assumed that ancient sects close to the ocean revered Hiruko, but that his name was changed to an alternate reading and therefore became close to another kami, namely Ebisu. They are not the same entity, they fused into one deity over a period of time.
    The Hiruko within the context of the Japanese creation myth was lost when he was cast away from Onogoro and it was disputed wether he was actually never mentioned again or if every chapter dealing with him was removed from the texts over time.

    Changing Atlas into a recreation of Onogoro WAS one of the major flaws of the anime’s finale, I would agree there.
    In the novel it is a recreation of the mythical Ame no Mihashira, planned by the novel’s antagonist, who is different from the anime’s antagonist, too.

    Still the death of Izanami and her confinement to Yomi in the legend does not contradict the creation of Atlas within the story…I do not exactly see you’re point there. But maybe that will clear up once you move on in the series.

  7. Robhiengler says:

    Hiruko DID BECOME Ebisu – The fact is that is one account and NOT ASSUMED – also no accounts to the contrary to actually say what became of him. Whether it is a fusion of deities is beside the point, that IS the prevailing mythology.

    Either way Hiruko and Ebisu aren’t fucked-up little kids with sharp teeth who require human sacrifices – SO YOUR POINT WAS?

    In addition when the child becomes possessed their body changes to that of “Hiruko” IF you chucked in a donkey it would change to look like “Hiruko” otherwise when they threw in Miko we didn’t get a fat man did we.

    Here are my sources:

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kojiki.htm

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dZQ4zqV88V4C&pg=PA97&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=IL7JS9upJZTw-QaR77nxBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Hiruko&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=XqHWAAAAMAAJ&q=Hiruko&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=Pr7JS67cH8LS-Qb-mMX6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAjgK

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jEcpkWjYOZQC&pg=PA220&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=Pr7JS67cH8LS-Qb-mMX6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=Hiruko&f=false

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TGtLVJWKlCYC&pg=RA1-PA60&dq=Hiruko&hl=en&ei=Pr7JS67cH8LS-Qb-mMX6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDcQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=Hiruko&f=false

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/266885/Hiruko

    Where are yours chounokoe which says Hiruko was an evil fucked-up kid who possesses the body of little girls and fortune tells the future? Its not even close to any of the versions in mythology.

    “if every chapter dealing with him was removed from the texts over time. ”

    What now there was a conspiracy that every reference was removed. Come on if you can’t see that is actually an utterly impossible conspiracy.

    Actually the legend does contradict the creation of Atlas: if Atlas in the series was meant to connect heaven to earth as I’ve said the pillar of heaven was merely part of Izanagi and Izanami’s mating ritual – nothing more.

  8. chounokoe says:

    @Rob: May I quote from the source you have given?
    “Our Leech Child [Hiruko], however, does not return. No further mention is made of him in either the Kojiki or Nihonshoki.” (p.96)

    or

    “It is interesting to remark how some Japanese scholars have interpreted the image of Hiruko. One said he must be an evil spirit, while another has taken the opposite view that he is a great god who would give the whole of Japan a new orientation.”(p.97)

    Concerning his fusing with Ebisu:
    “The identification of Hiruko with Ebisu is mentioned in the literature as early as the twelfth century, but it is hard to say exactly when and how it occured.”(p.99)

    I have dealt with Kawai Hayao (the author of the book) to a great deal in university and he is generally someone who approves the flexibility of cultural and mythological heritage.

    I honestly forgot the fact that Miiko’s body changes when he is possessed by Hiruko…well okay, this is something the anime definitely did on their own.
    But still the represantation of Hiruko as a child, when interpreted as an evil deity, is quite common and the sharp teeth were used to show his deformity.

    The possession of a vessel is also quite common in ancient Shinto rituals and is not considered ‘possession’ in a judeo-christian sense, but is needed for a kami to actually manifest within our world.
    I don’t quite remember wether the priest in the anime also used a Shinto spell to call the spirit of Hiruko into the vessel. But it is actually a ritual that existed at one point.
    From a certain point on the use of humans as yorishiro (which mostly involved drug use) was forbidden, but there are still prominent examples of such ‘vessels’ around.

    The Hiruko here is also not meant to be a represantion of his godly qualities (which do not exist in textual form, because he never showed them), but he is representing the smybol of an enraged child, who was cast out of his home, because he did not fit into it.

    Hiruko (in Shangri La) is not actually driving the project forward, but trying to reach a point so he could take revenge on the gods (by fighting their representative Jimmu) for being cast out of the pantheon.

  9. Robhiengler says:

    chounokoe oh really have you dealt with Kawai Hayao? So if he is approves the flexibility of cultural and mythological heritage then he would support Hiruko = Ebisu as it is generally accepted. The fact that he doesn’t re-appear in Kojiki or Nihonshoki is beside the point as they are NOT the only source of Japanese Mythology.

    You ALSO failed to make the full quote again cherry picking for your own argument:

    “It is interesting to remark how some Japanese scholars have interpreted the image of Hiruko. One said he must be an evil spirit, while another has taken the opposite view that he is a great god who would give the whole of Japan a new orientation.”

    The bit YOU PURPOSEFULLY MISSED OUT

    “These projected images are particularly applicable insofar as they both express aspects of Hiruko. He appears evil from the standpoint of the Moon God.”

    (pg97)

    Therefore Hiruko is only evil from the Moon God’s perspective. Therefore not EVIL per se. Answer why do you disregard the other sources which categorically state: Hiruko=Ebisu?

    Also would YOU validate WITH SOURCES:

    “But still the represantation of Hiruko as a child, when interpreted as an evil deity, is quite common and the sharp teeth were used to show his deformity.”

    Never seen that at all to represent Hiruko. How does sharp teeth indicate his deformity is that he’s crippled with no bones? It doesn’t – Grasping straws here aren’t you.

    How is the possession of a yorimashi that different than that of the Judeo-Christian concept? Clearly in the anime they weren’t yorimashi and I would say the anime was more to the latter as the posession was forced and permanant resulting in the displacement of the original person. If it was yorimashi then why were vessels consumed as sacrifices? There wasn’t really a ritual apart from paper sigils and certainly Miiko was just pushed in.

    http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=296

    Again you STILL haven’t explained:

    HOW Hiruko was in Atlas in the first place?
    HOW or EVEN WHY he was stopping the oscillations? If he didn’t then Atlas would crumble and Jimmu would perish – the story would end.
    HOW he could fortune tell if he had no powers?

  10. chounokoe says:

    Okay you were not insulting here, so I’ll answer.

    While the Nihonshoki and Kojiki are not the only sources of mythology they are the oldest passed on documents of Japanese mythology.
    Everything that came after that is most likely interpretation of those sources.

    I did not further quote this part, because it did not seem important to the actual question.
    Wasn’t he just interpreted as evil towards the Moon Deity, because Hiruko was the original representation of the sun and was still cast out?
    It is still questionable what happened to the actual mythological figure of Hiruko and it is not fully unlikely, that he would hold a grudge against the gods for casting him out.

    I did not disregard the sources which claim Hiruko to be Ebisu, as they only state that over time they fused into one deity.
    Ebisu, being one of the seven gods of fortune, brought to Japan was revered in locations near the ocean, where shrines for Hiruko were thought to be, how and why exactly they became one is still not proven.

    They were yorishiro (or yorimashi) in the anime, as they were miko (priestesses) used to give the spirit of Hiruko a form within this world.
    Kami are often without an actuall body and need a vessel to speak to the people revering them. Often the body would be weakened and driven to it’s limits through those rituals, as it was considered to be hard on the body to contain a spirit (while in reality they were most likely infused with heavy drugs and poisons).
    The sigils that attached to the body were part of the ritual, being prayers that called upon a certain god. But yes, this is more mysticism than actuall religion…but within Shinto the boarders started to blur heavily over time.

    Hiruko was in Atlas because he appeared before the priests who served the head of Atlas. Addmitedly, the anime did rather poor in explaining their function.
    The oscillation was stopped due to the ritual in which sacrifices were made at 4 important places in the 4 heavenly directions…this was also touched upon in the anime. It was their interpretation of Hiruko’s gibberish.
    He did not exactly tell fortune, he just guided the people of Atlas along to make it possible to get revenge on the gods. He never actually told something exact but just gave them general ideas that they would interpret in their own way.
    ‘Sun and moon will meet and one will rule the earth’ is a rather broad statement…there is actually nothing refering to a certain person in it.

    It was the point that the gods had no actual power to make anything better, they just drove their own plans forward and used humanity as pawns to reach their goal.

  11. Robhiengler says:

    See you haven’t stopped being condescending though chounokoe.

    Now I know regarding Nihonshoki and Kojiki that your statement:

    “Everything that came after that is most likely interpretation of those sources.”

    is utterly ridiculous. Considering the fact remains that the Japanese have imported at deities from foreign countries such as China – Hotei, Jurōjin, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Daikokuten, Ebisu. Note the last one hey.

    The fact they are imported doesn’t they’re any less valid. If people have decided that Hiruko became Ebisu, its not exactly going against what is written in the Nihonshoki and Kojiki nor is it rewriting anything.

    In addition the last part of the quote was important, as you made out Hiruko was evil to suit the agenda of Shangri-La, when in fact he was only considered evil from one god’s perspective. In addition if Hiruko doesn’t become Ebisu; as he is not mentioned again, we don’t hear of him dying do we, why would he still be a child?

    As for yorimashi & kami the point is your body doesn’t change you merely becoming the conduit rather like a psychic medium – it is also temporary not permanent.

    Ok so the novel says its yorishiro – I’ll accept that, its a minor point:

    1)How then did Hiruko appear to the priests in Atlas in the first place without a yorimashi?

    I presume you are saying Hiruko had nothing to do with stopping the oscillations? In that case I’m sure why the Shinto priests would want him to be manifested? What benefit is he? What role does he play apart from his own revenge?

    2) In the anime it says Atlas connects heaven & earth (Episode 20 9:30) because of the special ley lines focus of earth-chi. Built Atlas, found it oscillated for some reason.

    why did it oscillate in the book?

    also that’s why they were sacrificing the little girls to Hiruko (Episode 17 3:30) & (Episode 20 10:50). Nothing about

    “sacrifices were made at 4 important places in the 4 heavenly directions”

    BUT I presume you refer to Hitobashira which usually only requires one sacrifice, besides is this even a religious Shinto element? Certainly no precedent in Japanese mythology.

    http://pinktentacle.com/2010/03/human-pillars/

    It also Begs the question WHO or what were they sacrificing to?

    The anime states that it was the spear TOO that stopped the oscillations (episode 23 12:00).

    See my point? The anime cannot make up its mind what is going on here nor give a concise explanation.

    I have to disagree on that last point. the god’s had power they just chose not to use it to benefit mankind. i.e. telekenesis, super strength, agility, speed, time-freeze etc.

  12. chounokoe says:

    Of course them being imported does not lessen their impact on history and evolution of the Japanese myth, I never tried to say that.
    What I wanted to express is that there is no written record that states that the mythological character Hiruko became the mythological character Ebisu. It was just an evolution within mythological perception that came about during the centuries.
    Like through the centuries and translations many angels were removed from christian lore or had duties of other angels assigned to them, they did not change into another character they were merely rewritten…you could call it a plothole within myths.

    The Ebisu that is revered in those Shinto shrines along the coast has no further connection towards the Hiruko from the creation myth apart from the writing of his name. It is merely the character that was imported from China, showing in writing how originally another god had been enshrined there.

    Hiruko being evil is not only a question of this one paragraph, but also questioned concerning his further fate after he was shipped away from Onogoro. It is not only Shangri La which had displayed him in the role of an angry god over time.

    Concerning Yorimashi, it is questionable in how far being possessed changes the appearance of a person.
    Sure, the anime was a little bit hard to believe, with every character actually changing into the exact same form. I think they were rather going for an effect similar to several accounts of possession, describing the person gaining inhuman features.

    1) After Nagiko found the remains of the ancient Yamato culture, they used whatever they found there to restore Nippon’s glory.
    Hiruko was the one they summoned and because he gave them what they asked for (or gave them the idea that he did) they made him into an important part of the project.

    In the novel he was also described as the CEO in charge of the development of ATLAS. They consulted him every time they were about to execute something important. So they were trapped in ancient methods, trying to go into the past and the future simultaneously.

    2) The anime sure was a bit undecisive about Atlas possible function. Maybe they planned to make it run longer and they ran out of money, or maybe they just messed up at putting all the information in there.
    Atlas was supported by the power of the 4 heavenly directions and sacrifices had to be made to support it.
    It was also build on human pillars.

    How far human pillars were actually a part of Shinto religion is highly discussed, because originally human sacrifices were a taboo (being impure and all). Still they were used to keep important buildings safe from floods and earthquakes…so it is probably a bigger part of mysticism than it is an actual part of religion.

    They sacrificed not to a certain god, but just as a way to ballance out the spiritual forces that kept Atlas floating until the heir of Yamato and the Ame no Nuboko was found.

    By the ‘sacrifices’ to Hiruko, I think you are referring to the miko who act as the yorimashi, right?
    They were just a constant way to keep his spirit within Atlas. His spirit was too strong for a simple human body to support over a long period, so they had to have a miko ready in case the old body expired and died.

    I agree that, concerning the mythology behind Atlas, the anime seems to have made some more mistakes than I actually remembered.
    The only really big flaw was letting the Ame no Nuboko be in Atlas already, as it destroyed one important plot of the story and also made the sacrifices unneccessary.
    I highly assume they planned for the anime to run for more than it’s 24 episodes but ran out of money as is the case with many adaptions these days.

    And concerning the gods. Let’s say they had abilities, but no actual power as was promised in myths. In the end they were as unable to create a paradise as humanity itself.

  13. Robhiengler says:

    “no written record that states that the mythological character Hiruko became the mythological character Ebisu.”

    See this is exactly what I mean when I refer to condescending and NOT READING ANYTHING I’ve WRITTEN. Again YOU ARE WRONG and I Shall prove it!

    Ask your good friend “Hayao Kawai” (as you claim – problem is he’s dead but you didn’t know that so I suspect you entirely fabricated this university story as clearly you have failed to read HIS book) about what he wrote on page 99 of his book because HE EXPLICITLY WRITES:

    “The identification of Hiruko with Ebisu is mentioned in the literature as early as the twelfth century but it is hard to say when and how this occurred.”

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dZQ4zqV88V4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Dreams,+Myths+and+Fairy+Tales+in+Japan&source=bl&ots=LEAuO2C935&sig=uMlsO_at1OZcFUsQ1-EpHoQwaf0&hl=en&ei=CQvLS8vNGYmnsAat1NiGAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    SO IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN DOWN! and its is not a interpretation of Nihonshoki and Kojiki but a CONTINUATION.

    So the question is WHY ARE YOU LYING!? Besides even if it was oral tradition does that make it any less valid? In fact like Shangri-La you have exhibited the very characteristics I dislike:

    -Superficial understanding
    -Condescending attitude
    -Outright fabrications

    As for Angels being reassigned or rewritten that is a strawman argument right there. Plus provide EVIDENCE or at least state an example of which ones – something YOU HAVE FAILED TO DO TIME & TIME AGAIN.

    Specifically Hiruko from the creation myths grows up into Ebisu. HUGE DIFFERENCE, this isn’t some reassignment of qualities or replacement. For example the reassignment of Hermes/Mercury = Archangel Gabriel regardless of the mythological differences in background.

    The difference is Hiruko SPECIFICALLY returns overcomes his disability grows up and becomes Ebisu. Understand!? That is a CONTIGUOUS NARRATIVE that is more than one God replacing another – this is a POPULAR and accepted story. Also I stand corrected ALL BUT Ebisu in the 7 lucky gods originate from China. Ebisu originates solely from Japan.

    Angry vs. Evil is very different. Jehova in the Old Testament is seen to be a Wrathful god, are you saying he’s evil? Another strawman you’ve provided. Who else has portrayed Hiruko as EVIL!? SOURCES PLEASE!

    ———————————————–

    1:

    What did they ask Hiruko for exactly?

    If he was CEO of Atlas why did they need Zeus if he was giving them what they want?

    Why didn’t he just occupy Jimmu’s position? Presumably if the Jimmu’s vessel could hold his spirit then it could hold Hiruko’s instead plus he could fufill his revenge?

    ———————————————–

    2:

    If we’re talking about the “Shitenno” here regarding the “4 heavenly directions”. This originates from Buddhism: they are also fighters of evil: therefore the evil perpetrated by the sacrifices would have made things worse. In addition there is no precedent in oriental mythology for human sacrifice regarding this. So another utter fabrication of the authors.

    I would go as far to say that is libel and utter misrepresentation of Buddhism.

    ———————————————-

    3: I think there were some serious flaws beyond just the heavenly tower being already present as I mentioned before.

    I also wouldn’t regard that they expected it would run more than 24 episodes as an excuse for very very poor narrative.

    Were the initial episodes following the book precisely? If they were then them expecting more than 24 episodes is valid. However this raises questions about the original source material being poor as the first 4 episodes jumped everywhere.

    Was utopia ever mentioned by the god’s in Nihonshoki and Kojiki? I think it was the failure of humanity to harness the god’s power not the failure of the god’s themselves. which is to say humanity even with great power would still fail to create utopia – not a very positive message.

  14. chounokoe says:

    It’s interesting how you immediatly feel condescended as soon as I don’t agree with you.
    To level with you for a minute: Take a chill pill, dude.

    I never said I knew Kawai Hayao, I said I’ve dealt with him in university…meaning I’ve dealt his book doing research on the connection between the Japanese and their myths. So sorry, English is not my first language.

    Concerning Ebisu and Hiruko, I looked it up again. In his book 神話と日本人の心 he wrote, that there are folk tales along the coastal areas of Japan, that Hiruko was washed ashore and secretly ‘rebirthed himself’ into the kami Ebisu.
    Still the only hint to those tales is the fact, that many areas around that coast line have places called 蛭子町 (which would normally be read Hiruko-Chou) bis is read エビス町 (Ebisu-Chou).
    (p.325, 第12章 日本神話の構造と課題)

    What I wanted to say is, that the rebirth of Hiruko into Ebisu is no part of the Japanese creation myth. Automatically additions to it are a step below that original myth, as there are many variations to each particular myth to each region of Japan.
    Of course it is a contiguous narrative, but also because it is a branch-narrative it may be popular but not accepted as part of the main-narrative in all regions of Japan.

    You are right, Ebisu is the only out of the seven lucky gods who seems to not have been imported from outside of Japan.
    Still this does not prove him to be part of the Japanese national myth. The seven lucky gods are believed to be only incorporated into Japanese legends around the end of the Muromachi period (middle to end of the 16th century).

    1: Hiruko’s aim was to get revenge on the gods, therefore he controlled the people behind the Atlas project to carry out his plans. Without the rebirth of Jimmu he can’t act out his revenge.

    2: No, you misunderstood me. It is just the reveration of the 4 heavenly directions, modeled after the 4 holy animals in Chinese mythology (Suzaku, Genbu, Seiryuu and Byakko).
    It is a part of Onmyôdô, an occult method introduced to Japan during the Heian Period and largely based on Chinese principles.

    The fact that it is a warped principle (with human sacrifices) in Shangri La is voluntary, as Hiruko planned for the Atlas project to go into a wrong direction from the very start.

    3. The first episodes were following the book at least concerning content. They were jumping around in the range of the first 100 pages I would say…okay and almost everything about Ryôko was anime-only from the start.

    I wouldn’t say Shangri La’s message was negative. It is impossible to create a utopia and an ‘age of paradise’ is impossible to reach, even for gods.
    It is about doing the best with what you have and trying to make the world a good place in the present. Men have the power to live on their own and don’t need heavenly intervention to exist.

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"Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem". Someone said that and I couldn't say it better
SuperMario
@Amagi: which part of Firework that you stopped? It's the movie that make less and less sense as the story goes on so I feel you on that
Amagi
I really wonder what's up with this guy. Considering the hype and VN screens he gets he seems to be more than just random side-protagonist. Looking forward to the rest of this series.
Anonymous2039704
One of my favorite OPs this season
Amagi
Now I textwalled again and feel bad.
Amagi
In short: be it indie-products or official series or papers, just upload everything on a virtual plattform and you'll get a bigger audience, many of them even willing to pay as long as they get what they want in high quality.
Amagi
Something might only become popular 4 weeks later but it doesn't matter because it's still there and people can watch it whenever they want and the other series don't matter since it isn't a classical rivalry as we know it from tv.
Amagi
"Less people watched the first episode than the 1000th iteration of [insert some "classic" movie old people watch for the sake if it]. With streaming plattforms like Netflix and others series just get dumped and are always accesible.
Amagi
Another reason for why I prefer streams and stuff: TV and quotes are a horror. They often cancelled series after one or two episodes because the quotes didn't live up to what they wanted. Instead of giving a new series some time. It needs time to get a fanbase and people often need weeks to even know about a new series, but nope.
Amagi
In the end such things are usually screened in ~3 places around the country for a day or two. So if you aren't living nearby or have work to do on that day: good luck.
Amagi
Sometimes it isn't their fault though, like when there is an anime or some indie guy from my country is making a movie - and nobody wants to show them.
Amagi
Same here. I really want to give small companies or indie/artists a chance, but it's not always easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What baffled me was the British film institute blocking Irish users using their legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Believe it or not I actually WANT to support.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I do pirate alot, in cases where an obscure film actually gets a cinema release I make sure to pay to see it at the cinema, I support all the rare anime screenings too.
Amagi
There is so much stuff I had to pirate or I would have had to relinquish it completely. Even with non-fiction books for my university studies.
Amagi
lmao. But I 100% agree. Maybe you're lucky if you live in the US but otherwise you are often enough f*ed. Bad marketing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Point I was trying to make is that, region blocking is only encouraging piracy more.
Amagi
narf~ couldn't manage to finish that Firework movie, do I miss much? It seems like something that might have a bunch of good ideas for the later part but the first half just bored me and I couldn't get into it for some reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release your damn indie project on a reputable site or at least offer a paypal option and if its something off-colour in content, send the bloody thing digitally and not as a dvd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh look, funimation releases eng dub trailer...think I'll...wat....oh wait this video is not available in your region"
Kaiser-Eoghan
"This video cannot be streamed outside of"
"Sorry we do not deliver to Ireland"
"Sorry this film from less than a decade is out of print"
Yeah, fuck legal streaming, just for that I'm pirating you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Truly you have become the most super of Marios.
SuperMario
Finally pulling those reviews out. Guys, if you're expecting for Hinamatsuri and Masotan posts, the former will be done tomorrow and if I have more time I will do the second one too. Enjoy for now
Anonymous2037529
LWA academia is probably the only trigger project i've truly cared about. I haven't watched KlK to completion or luluco for that matter(i got to get around to that) but ive seen everything else and i just don't give a damn about any of em
Amagi
But to say something positive - I liked the second episode of Kamuy way better than the first one. Budget seems to be really bad but the rest makes up for it it seems.
Amagi
I think Luluco was the only one I enjoyed after KlK which already had a bunch of problems - but overall it was far too entertaining for me to seriously care about those.
Amagi
Guess the last 1/3 might be more interesting when they start with the actual world building for once, although they could probably slam the love stuff even more in our faces but who knows. Not fond of any of the latest Trigger anime to be honest.
Amagi
Also they're really overdoing it with all that obvious message stuff and the "love superpower" trope I always hated anyway. Still watching I mean at least it has a plot and tries.
Amagi
I still can't care about anyone or anything in this series I think it's really not made for me. I might have liked Goro but he's too unimportant and the sauros revelation was kind of a letdown since it's the most common twist for these kinds of things.
AidanAK47
Alright Franxx, you are forgiven for episode 14.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do you ever go to those surprise horror/thriller preview screenings? Where they don't tell you what film it is until it starts?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*worrying about
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its saying something, when I haven't seen eternal sunshine since it came out, but even by re-watching the trailer, the feelings, the whole film comes back. At that point I'd grown out of Jim Carey's comedy, so seeing him play against type was refreshing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, I'm more forgiving then, I'm likely to give higher points for sheer imagination that I'm not as bothered by worry about the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Any negative argument against mood indigo by him can be countered by the fact it has Audrey Tatou in it.
Anonymous2035464
jhonrhean
SuperMario
and I just watched A Quiet Place. A solid indie horror one. It builds on atmosphere and it does the family chemistry right
SuperMario
I don't like The Science of Sleep to be honest. Tons of interesting ideas and visually creativeness but the story itself is a mess
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Gondry needs to avoid making any more commercial comedies, he also needs to start working with Kaufman again, they brought out the best in each other, although on his own, he can be playful and inventive with his films, such as mood indigo and science of sleep.
SuperMario
But check out his other movie Eternal sunshine of Spotless Mind. It has an inventive mind control/ mind altering concept in there
SuperMario
Jim Carrey is kind of mind controller himself. I couldn't take my eyes off him
SuperMario
@anon2028818: it was indeed season 5. SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE :)
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
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Featured Posts

Hinamatsuri – 03 [Hobo Life 101]

Hinamatsuri week 3 plays like an extension to Anzu and Hitomi’s stories last week. It’s like two sides of a same coin where you can see these girls grow in a direction you don’t expect (NO innuendo here), albeit at the cost of the central chemistry between Nitta and Hina. Here’s the trick to why […]

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After a strong first episode I come back to this show and find a rather middling second episode. There is some good content here, namely the Evangelion references, one of which was butchered by the crunchyroll translators.(Narumi and Hanako were arguing over who was best girl in Evangelion with notes over their head about whose […]

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7 years. It has been almost 7 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 2/3[The Battle of Astarte/An Indomitable Prodigy]

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political […]

Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which […]

Hinamatsuri – 02 [This Is How You Have a ESP Battle!]

Welcome to THE comedy gold of the season. Before I get into anything specific, let’s me discuss about what make this little show about a psychic girl and a yakuza hilarious in the first place. The main source of humor in Hinamatsuri largely comes from situation-based weirdness. Putting these characters out of their comfort zones […]

Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly […]

Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in! With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from […]

Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

That was the best episode of Darling in the Franxx to date. Truly I am impressed with this though it may be perhaps because the fanservice aspects of the show were not present at all during this episode. Todays episode was spent entirely on the past of Hiro and Zero Two. When this episode is […]

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A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

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Kokkoku – 42.5/100

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Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

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I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

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