Posted by psgels on 23 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Okay, so I finally managed to check out this movie. My big fear before I started watching it that, now that he’s almost reached his retirement, Hayao Miyazaki would have lost his touch by now, especially considering how his previous movie (Howl’s Moving Castle) was arguably his least impressive work. Nevertheless, these fears were ungrounded: Ponyo shows that the old master still has plenty of tricks left up his sleeve. And then some.

Miyazaki’s movies that he made for Ghibli can basically be divided into two categories: epic and down-to-earth. With Ponyo, he tries to combine the two by creating a charming little story about a five year old boy who meets a goldfish with magical powers, and yet creates enough opportunities to show off some amazingly creative visuals and animation that you wouldn’t expect in such a down to earth movie. The result really works and it’s become a movie that’s suitable for any age to enjoy.

The animation really shows how much work went into this movie. Even though CG is the norm in today’s anime, Ponyo is entirely drawn by hand, and contains a record number of 170000 hand drawn pictures. This series really shows how much you can do with just animation: in an industry of anime in which the norm is to cut corners, this movie is full of life with an amazing attention to detail in even the slightest moves, and there’s hardly any frame in which something isn’t moving. The amount of eye candy in this movie is also amazing, and even though the art style is simpler than in some of his previous works, the visuals still rank amongst his most impressive.

This movie also excels in its portrayal of five-year-olds. I read somewhere that Hayao Miyazaki lives right next to a kindergarten school or something similar, and so he’s had plenty of opportunities to fully study how little kids behave. Kosuke is a bit timid, but a very likable young lead. This series doesn’t have much character-development and background (only a few side-characters have a serious change of character), but considering the story and situations they were thrown in, they didn’t really need to: it was fun enough to watch them as they were and extra focus to get some character-development or background in would only have gotten in the way of what’s really important.

My problems with this series lies within some of its messages it attempts to teach to kids. With the environmentalist that Hayao Miyazaki is, I expected that he would show the bad implications of major floods. Instead, a flood in this series just appears, puts an entire landscape under water for a few hours and then disappears without ever leaving a trace. Oh, I’d wish that reality were this simple and convenient. Or how about people who’ve lost their ability to walk, and suddenly are rid of their problems due to magic. Yes kids! If you have some sort of incurable ailment, just hope that a person with magic will arrive and wave these problems away!

Anyway, it’s been more than a year now since I watched all of Miyazaki’s major movies. Looking back, his movie that turned out the most memorable for me was Porco Rosso, which probably was his most mature movie. Ponyo, his least mature movie, probably isn’t going to take that place, but yet it is a very charming movie to behold and definitely worth the watch unless you absolutely can’t stand childish stuff.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 10/10
Setting: 8/10

30 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Last weekend I went and saw Ponyo at my local multiplex and I absolutely loved the experience; I feel the only place to properly watch a Ghibli film is on a movie theater screen.

    I didn’t find there to be any problem with the flood covering everything then everything going back to normal afterwards. As Ponyo’s father points out, Ponyo’s drinking of Kosuke’s blood throws the magical world and the real world into chaos, and Ponyo must become human or turn into sea foam for order to be restored.

    The ability of the old people to walk again is only temporary, if you noticed that when Ponyo & Kosuke had to continue their journey on foot and as they’re about to enter the tunnel we see off to the left of the entrance a stone guardian. In previous Miyazaki films he’s used this device to symbolise the border between the real world and the realm of the Kami. In Spirited Away, Miyazaki also used the device of the tunnel and the stone markers to separate the real world and the realm of the spirits for Chihiro and her family. If you noticed that as Kosuke and Ponyo travelled through the tunnel Ponyo’s human transformation slowly faded; she was returning to her “natural” form in the spirit realm.

    But, once Kosuke and Ponyo prove their love for each other and Ponyo becomes a real human girl, Ponyo’s goddess mother and wizard father will withdraw from the mortal world and once again the two worlds will be separated again and everything will go back to normal. So, I assume that once everything goes back to normal and the two worlds are back in there proper places the old people will gradually revert to their aged forms.

  2. Theowne says:

    I feel like this one meandered a bit at times. Not near the top of the Ghibli list for me.

  3. Kalandra says:

    I think this is the first time that you gave a ten for production values.

  4. I loved this movie. Especially the fact that it was drawn entirely by hand, and was still more breathtaking than many other animated films.

    I don’t get why no one seems to like Howl’s Moving Castle. I’ve heard a couple people say that it wasn’t his best, but I think that it was actually one of his better films.

    Miyazaki can do no wrong in my eyes it seems.

  5. Shirachi says:

    What’s with all the hate on Howl? That’s by far my favorite Ghibi movie.

    I’d personally rate Ponyo very low on the list; it’s nowhere near as good as his normal films. It’s childish to a sickly fault(yet I could fully enjoy Totoro), the story is all but absent, and the “test of love” was ridiculous – especially when you take into account that they’re five.

    The only thing that made the movie was the characters – well, Ponyo’s father, who’s adorably awesome – and the animation.

  6. Kim says:

    I actually saw this movie last night and while I enjoyed it to an extent: loved the animation and how innocent & charming it was. I did think it was lacking in plot. As someone else said Totoro was also fairly simple but I felt it wasn’t as corny. I guess because it didn’t have the save the world with the power of love sub plot.

    And while I did enjoy the spunky senior citizens. I also felt the fact that everyone called run around at the end was pretty cheap. Even in a kid’s movie I don’t think everything needs to be solved so easily. In some ways I think the story would have been better if Ponyo had to stay in the sea.

  7. Wyrdwad says:

    Yay! I just saw this one recently myself, and absolutely loved it. I’m glad you did too – and I’m also glad I’m not the only person who considers Porco Rosso his best work.

    -Tom

  8. Haruka says:

    I just saw Ponyo yesterday. I thought it was fantastic and I liked the more old-school water coloured art. And I couldn’t agree more on Miyazaki’s portrayal of young children – it was spot on ^^.

  9. evolstar says:

    I find it interesting to read what Miyazaki film people like best. I’ve heard Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and now Porco Russo as favorites. If there is so much debate over which one is his best, it just goes to show that Miyazaki is a brilliant director who has such a plethora of amazing films.

    As for this movie, I haven’t seen the english dub version yet but I thought the movie was cute and the visuals outstanding. As for magic miraculously allowing the elderly to run, how about in Princess Mononoke when the forest god cured Ashitaka’s bullet wound? Oh yeah, that’s realistic. THIS IS A KID MOVIE, why can’t magic and love cure all? Disney does it all the time!

    I guess I’m not one who looks for realism in a kid’s movie. Realism is not something that should be looked for Miyazaki’s movies. A major reason why he’s so loved is his out of the box, original, fantastic characters and plots.

    Sorry for the ranting but I love Miyazaki (if you hadn’t noticed already :) ) he is one of the reasons why I started watching anime in the first place. Spirited Away was one of the first animes I ever saw so it holds a special place in my heart.

  10. Kim says:

    Why can’t magic and love cure all? Disney does it all the time

    Because it is horribly cliche and I don’t like it when Disney does it either. Children are smart they don’t need stories where everything is solved so easily.

    I love Miyazaki but that doesn’t mean he is above criticism.

  11. Theowne says:

    On the topic of Miyazaki in general, I’d say his best films are Mononoke -> Porco Rosso -> Totoro -> Laputa and then etc. Howl’s is his worst in my opinion. But curiously I consider the best Studio Ghibli works to be two non-Miyazaki films.

  12. Wyrdwad says:

    I’m gonna actually go out on a limb here, and say that my least-favorite Miyazaki work, aside from Nausicaa (which I honestly don’t like at all), is probably Spirited Away. I truly don’t understand all the love that movie receives… it felt like it was trying too hard to be too many things, and never spending enough time being any one of them. I like it when Miyazaki focuses – when he’s all over the place, it just doesn’t work as well IMHO.

    Castle in the Sky is one I keep forgetting about, too… I love Castle in the Sky. Probably my second- or third-favorite of his works.

    -Tom

  13. Theowne says:

    While Spirited Away isn’t my least favourite film, I also felt like it was a bit “all over” and I didn’t think it was nearly as cohesive as something like Laputa or Mononoke. I feel like it is very much overrated but only in regards to Miyazaki’s other works. As a standalone film, it is still fantastic.

  14. Wyrdwad says:

    Oh, I completely agree. The only Miyazaki movie (and indeed, the only Studio Ghibli movie) I legitimately DISlike is Nausicaa. I’ve found every other one I’ve seen – which is most of them – to be, on some level, brilliant.

    Even Tales From Earthsea is spectacular, IMHO, and probably ranks among my favorite Studio Ghibli movies.

    -Tom

  15. Konstantinos Travlos says:

    Sorry. I li9ke Nausicaa Manga and Anime. But I saw the anime before reading the manga so it may help me like the movie more then others. I like all his epic movies. Can’t say something about his more children oriented ones, since I have only seen Spirited Away which I enjoyed. But I do want an new epic one from him. Howl was fun but not epic enough.

  16. kabli says:

    not wanna be rude to you dude but your review annoys the shit out of me. There are so many things wrong with it that makes me wanna punch everyone in the face.

  17. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    I always enjoy a good Miyazaki debate, mainly because you get the full spectrum of opinions. For his best film is Howl’s Moving Castle, followed by Spirited Away, Naussica, Totoro and Porco Rosso. Ponyo probably comes right after, though I am not sure.

    I find it strange that you consider Porco Rosso to be his most mature film, as I always thought of it as his most simple, straightforward story, with nothing really on the side. Just great characters and an incredible atmosphere (which always reminds me Casablanca for a reason unknown). But certainly, his most “mature” film is Howl’s Moving Castle, which is also his most intelligent, imaginative and dense films he has ever made. You can take 10 min. of that film, and there is enough concepts, character development, emotional arcs, intellectual ideas and sheer magic and atmosphere to fill up an entire movie, without it being a stretch [the same is true for Spirited Away and Naussica, though to a lesser extent]. To all who dislike Howl, give the film another shot. It may be too dense for a lot of people to get into the first time through, but trust me, it’s worth it. Having seen it 6 times, I am still finding new elements in it (and I’m not talking minor detail).

    As for the flood not being dangerous… how can I respond to that? I mean, what do you want? Teach kids cynicism? Rather than show the sea as something to be afraid of (which he partially does; remember the kid walking out on the beach?) he makes the sea something magical and beautiful, something that you fall in love with and want to protect and cherish. I find that to be a far better message than “nature is dangerous and is out to destroy everything around you”. As for the healing of the elderly, as someone already pointed out, that was temporary. Besides, as a medical student, I can tell you that far more “miraculous” things can happen than what is shown in the film, if you can just activate the proper associations in the patient, and put him/her in the proper state of mind. patients who not only are seemingly physically incapable of walking, but have forgotten how to do so, may get up and dance with a little bit of luck. Surely magic can do better than we humble slaves of biochemistry?

  18. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    Oh, and @Kim;
    Miyazaki can be criticized, but not successfully :-)

  19. Nat says:

    Agreed. Porco Rosso is probably my favorite of his movies. And it manages to be BOTH epic and down to earth.

    I tried to watch Ponyo the way a five year old would watch it, and got much better results that way than if I were to analyze whether of not the tidal wave was insensitive, or whether Kosuke’s dad is out fishing for whales, haha. Lots of married to the sea jokes. I am still not sure what role Ponyo’s dad had to play in the story, and what this movie says about parenting. Moms > Dads, mybe. I loved Lisa btw.

  20. Mark says:

    @ Kalandra

    PSGels has given one or two other series/shows/etc,a TEN for production values.

    http://psgels.net/category/finished-series/casshern-sins/

    I saw it in the the theatre,and LOVED it.The Englsih dub in genereal was good,but the one cast for Ponyo herself was annoying….And why the hell did they mess with the ORIGINAL music !???!

    Oh…psgels…why did you refer to this movie as a series ? “My problems with this series lies within” Really ? So when is the next ‘episode’
    of Ponyo airing !?? ^.^

    Oh,and out of all the R1 releases by Disney,on behalf of Ghibli (which I own,all of on dvd) Howl,is in my top 5.Spirited Away makes my top
    ten.Porco,Princess Mononoke,Naussica,and Castle in the Sky,are my top 4.

    “Tales of….” for me and my Wife,was utter garbage.Goro should find another line of work….
    No I am dead serious ! What a HUGE,massive,and completely unforgivable waste of precious Ghibli resources.No wonder father and son had a falling out over it.Its an embarrasement to the studio and Miyazaki Sr.The usually fantastic animation of course,then we are greeted with a horrible,broken plot,iffy va’ing in both langs,and simply terrible direction overall.I want my 38.98 back that I spent on the R2 dvd.

  21. Moo? says:

    That’s great, so far you’re the only one who agrees, Everyone I asked thought Howl’s Moving Castle was a “Great” movie, like mindless creatures only agreeing because others do. All of Miyazaki’s movies always left me with a feeling of wanting More, you know… like you can visualize a sequel in your mind or something, never wanting it to end, However Howl’s was the only one that did not make me feel this way. Yea it was an interesting movie, but… it was just lacking…
    I was reluctant to even watching this movie because of his last work, but based on your review, I’m downloading it right now :D.

  22. Jason says:

    Ponyo does not contain the word “end.” Instead, at the start of the film, Miyazaki gives us the caption: The Beginning. At first I thought this was a subtle joke by Miyazaki, considering that this is the man who has announced his retirement after his last three films, but soon realized that the film is about new beginnings, and the experience of watching it is akin to a rebirth. Miyazaki has crafted a piece of art that is so pure and innocent that while I was watching Ponyo every malevolent thought and action in my life was evaporated and all that remained was the pure optimism and hope of a beginning.

    Read my full review at http://cfilmc.com/ponyo/

  23. Deb says:

    I just saw Ponyo the other night. I won’t say it was bad, but I didn’t feel it was one of Miyazaki’s best. I had to take some time to think about why that was because, in general, I like all of his movies. I think it was a little too childish and bland for my taste. I relate better to his movies when they have more adult characters in them, like Howl’s Moving Castle or Princess Monoke. I don’t know how to put this exactly, but I was a little weirded out by the fact that Ponyo was a “love” story between two kindergarten aged kids?

  24. Solaris says:

    Deb, Ponyo is indeed a children’s story. Theorethically speaking, all of Miyazaki’s anime are intended for youngsters. As an example, Sen to Chihiro was aimed at 10 years old girls, but it had such a strong symbolism that it was more suitable to an older general audience instead.
    Further more, yes it was a story of friendship and love betwen kids. Love is intended as affection and not an adult way of loving, of course. Given that it’s not that weird, i suppose.

  25. mds says:

    I remembered that psgels has given the 10 in production values for about 4 times.
    This one,Bounen no Xamdou,Casshern Sins,and Batman : Gotham Knight.

  26. Tommy says:

    Watched Ponyo last night and enjoyed it. I thought it was ok, not one of his best. For me the ranking is Naussica, Spirited away for first, Castle in the sky, and Mononoke.

  27. fool says:

    I loved Howl’s Moving Castle, and I still do. Why? Because it has probably the most cathartic ending out of any Miyazaki movie.

  28. cheesesticks says:

    uhh, wasn’t his name sousuke? anyway, the animation was amazing, especially the fish-like waves, but yeah like the others, I didn’t get the trial of love thing either—they’re five! and the thing about them turning into seafoam reminded me of the little mermaid (the novel I mean) O.O

    this isn’t his best imo, I liked Spirited Away and Totoro better.

  29. cheesesticks says:

    uhh, wasn’t his name sousuke? anyway, the animation was amazing, especially the fish-like waves, but yeah like the others, I didn’t get the trial of love thing either—they’re five! and the thing about them turning into seafoam reminded me of the little mermaid (the novel I mean) O.O

    this isn’t his best imo, I liked Spirited Away and Totoro better.

  30. Ytinasni says:

    While I can’t say that it was his best, and trying to rate any of his movies in order is a challenge for me, what I can say is the Myazaki is a brilliant storyteller and the works that come out of ghibli are outstanding.

    I’m not sure why people are trying to find the one the liked the least, although I would say Tales from Earthsea was…flat? I don’t know, it didn’t stick out for me in terms of visual appeal like all of the other ones (but it was still spectacularly beautiful).

    Ponyo however, put me into a state where I felt like a kid again, I just sat there and enjoyed the visual feast.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Kaiser Eoghan
Admittedly yes the premise is not for everyone, but if you stick with it, the flashback arc had some good character work in there.
CATski
Rakugo has a season 2? I watched ep 1 - 3 of season 1 then promptly deleted it. The loud "yankee" dude was annoying. And the anime was boring.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh man, I've been thinking lately of trying to start some kind of youtube channel. I did a few trial run videos. Its much much harder than it looks, didn't realize how nervy being in front of a video camera was.
Kaiser Eoghan
*a declining art and rakygo halls are closing down
Total users: 29

Featured Posts

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 15

It was inevitable that Yotaro’s past with the Yakuza would come back to haunt him but boy did it really bite him in the ass. I was wondering as to how the show would work with Yotaro and give him conflict but then this episode comes along and gives him plenty to worry about. He’s […]

Little Witch Academia – 02[Pappiliodya]

I may regret choosing to cover this series as what makes it great is a quality that cannot really be held up to professional scrutiny. Much like Triggers other works, it’s not what’s being presented that matter but rather how it’s presented. You can make the argument that Trigger doesn’t necessarily innovative but rather take […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 13 [Black River (part 2) – Beyond the Door]

This week we have 2 disjoined chapters, which are different in tones and more importantly in their point of view. We go through the first section from Smith-san perspective detailing his own thoughts towards the match against Gotou, and the latter part Rei took the stage, being on his way to challenge Gotou in next […]

Saga of Tanya the Evil – 02[Prologue]

As I initially thought, this series becomes a whole lot better when you can see the disparity between the main protagonists thoughts and how those around her view them. The first episode jumped ahead in the story to where Tanya had established herself somewhat and I believe the intent was to mislead the audience with […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2, Chaos;Child, Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang and Scums Wish

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 Short Synopsis: Kazama stands trial after accidentally blowing up a lord’s manor while saving the town. This show certainly hasn’t lost it’s charm. I had the biggest smile on my face while watching and it even managed to get me laughing out loud at points. I will admit […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Onihei, Gabriel DropOut and ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Onihei Short Synopsis: A captured thief joins the police to hunt down his old leader. For a studio’s first work this is quite a solid offering. The beginning reminded me of samurai champloo though this seems more a traditional samurai story. Animation isn’t anything too impressive but it does the job and there is some […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Hand Shakers, Kemono Friends and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Hand Shakers Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death. GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Little Witch Academia, Idol Jihen and elDLIVE

Little Witch Academia Short Synopsis: A normal girl goes to attend a academy for witches You know if the remaining 24 episodes are as great as this one this anime may end up on of my all time favorites list. Animation is great and full of personality, story is simple but fun and I had […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Spiritpact, Demi-chan wa Kataritai and Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Spiritpact Short Synopsis: A boy is killed by a truck and finds himself teamed up with an exorcist as a ghost. Sorry China, by all means keep trying but this isn’t going to top Japanese animation any time soon. So what’s wrong? Well the animation is fairly basic, the characters are annoying and the comedy […]

Latest Reviews

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]

Fune wo Amu (Fall 2016) Review – 81/100

This series is, in retrospect, a really appropriate title that speaks to the very spirit of noitaminA block: an adult drama slice of life about the making of dictionary that surely don’t try to target the young audiences. Sound as dry as it is, Fune wo Amu’s actually one of the strongest noitaminA show come […]

Your name. (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

As of this writing, Kimi no Na wa, or Your name. has enjoyed a phenomenal commercial and critical success. It becomes the highest grossing film of the year in Japan, and broke many records elsewhere in Thailand, China, America… you name it. Even in the local theatre where I went to, we got a full […]

Occultic;Nine Review – 0/100

I am certain this may seem like an extreme rating for some but the number scale always has been something I only carried over as part of psgels format. But this rating exemplifies my feelings about this show in its entirety. This show is awful, terrible, rage inducing, illogical, nonsensical garbage. Watching this show was […]

Magical Girl Raising Project Review – 65/100

In the success of Madoka there have been plenty who have tried to capitalize on turning the Magical girl genre dark. Few have actually succeeded and while Magical Girl Raising Project doesn’t quite succeed, it is still a much more competent attempt than many others. The story is about a phone app which promises to […]

Yuri!!! on Ice (Fall 2016) Review – 83/100

“Can you hear my heartbeat? Tired of feeling never enough. I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true” That’s exactly what Yuri on Ice offers, a heart-pumping ride to the sport of figure skating. Yuri on Ice’s current success and mainstream breakout is something that no one could have guessed before it aired; but here […]

Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]