Posted by psgels on 25 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Phantom



Okay, time for me to review my favourite anime of the past Spring and Summer Season: Phantom, or Requiem from the Phantom. It’s based on a visual novel by Nitroplus, and while it starts off as a Noir clone at first, it develops into something much more. It shows a story about a couple of assassins inside the modern American mafia.

It sets itself apart with an amazing cast of characters. Especially Ein and Zwei develop into a bunch of strong and sympathetic characters, but also most of the side-characters are memorable. They’re all incredibly well acted; the voice actors really managed to capture their characters, and there’s always a lot of subtlety in their actions and development.

This is all accompanied by a terrific execution. Dialogues between people often move slow, but a lot of things are said in-between the lines. The creators have a great sense of build-up, and know exactly how to deliver the plot twists with as much of an impact as possible. Despite the subtlety, the action-scenes also pack a punch. This show knows that gunfights between excellent marksmen can last very short, and they made excellent use of this in their build-up.

Since this is a Bee-Train series, the music is without a doubt excellent, but at the same time you can see that they’re trying out a few new things here and there. The use of music throughout the series is downright excellent, but what amazed me the most is the incredible size and versatility of the different background tunes. Hikaru Nanase, who also did the soundtrack of Noein and Zone of the Enders, created an incredibly versatile set of tracks for this series. The drawings are also continuously crisp, without hardly any distorted frames, and the animation itself is also pretty decent.

A bit of a lesser point of this series is that there are sometimes strange leaps in logic. One character may have escaped death a bit too narrowly, and this series also forces you to assume that with the right training, a bunch of teenagers can become much better at handling guns than any adult out there.

Nevertheless though, I personally loved this series. It’s a show that’s constantly evolving, even within its distinct three arcs. The major theme of this series, in which the best course of action doesn’t always get taken due to a sad combination of circumstances, is excellently explored by the cast. The characters in this series are deep and complex, and often you find them saying things while in reality they actually believe in something completely different. With an ending that you’ll either love or hate, this is a great recommendation if you like dark yet slow-paced series and don’t mind teenagers in your anime.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

21 Responses

  1. supertauren says:

    Besides the whole kid-being-better-than-adult problem which this series suffers from, like all anime, this series has been awesome!

  2. Camario says:

    For the last time, the historical record demands making it completely clear that the visual novel came out before Noir even existed. Why do you think Kirika looks like Ein? =P

    In all seriousness…I tend to agree with this review. I’ve actually come to appreciate that major theme, as bittersweet as it is, but even then I won’t deny it’s always a hard thing to accept. I can understand why some people have had negative knee-jerk reactions to Reiji’s actions and omissions.

    In my opinion not all of the gunfights were what I’d consider good, at least not in terms of action, but even then the show tried to make up for it in other ways.

    It’s definitely a dark story with a well developed core cast of characters, all in all, and I ultimately think this adaptation managed to stay true to both the spirit and the letter of the visual novel without being a complete copy, but it’s clear that the anime staff made some decisions that will probably be unpopular with the average viewer and that even I had to sit down to think about before understanding them.

  3. Shinn says:

    This how was awesome, I’m sad to see that it’s over!

  4. i-k says:

    Nice review, I’ll finally get around to watching it soon

  5. Arseni says:

    This anime reminded me a lot of Gungrave…. and both were awesome.

    For those who have seen Gungrave, who do you think would win in a fight – Brandon Heat or Azuma Reiji?

  6. Perrin4869 says:

    This anime is probably my biggest disappointment of 2009. While there are series like Pandora Hearts which I could hardly stand also, thinking back Pandora Hearts never delivered for me, while Phantom did. And while Pandora Hearts could be thought as more a personal dislike of the genre, in my opinion Phantom is an example of fiction done wrong. The first arc, while it started slow, ended up being awesome, and the second arc started very strong as well. But around episode 15 everything started to fall apart in my opinion. Here’s my little summary on the flaws I found unacceptable in Phantom (of course, spoilers follow):
    The first of all is of course the inconsistencies. Here they went as far as showing flashbacks of people acting a certain way, and a minute afterwards we see them doing something that negates the way they acted in the flashback completely. The 2 examples I remember are Shiga being shown as the most loyal person to his aniki, always standing by him, just to see him killing him a minute later, and the second is a flashback in which we see Lizzie joining Inferno with Claudia to support her in her revenge, and 2 minutes later, she goes ahead and kills her, presumably because she felt betrayed… That’s why I thought in the end Claudia would come back, that her death was just faked, but in the end I was proved wrong. While they didn’t go for another Ein, they dug themselves a huge hole, because either way her death is just wrong.
    The other thing I found intolerable is how Ein was portrayed. At the beginning she seems like a rational person who doesn’t show any emotions. She kept this way all throughout the first arc, even when Reiji escaped with her. It almost seemed like she just tagged along for no reason at all, and when the moment came for separating with Reiji, she had no problem at it. She went as far as stopping a bullet with her body for her master. And at the end of the second arc, when her master sends her on a suicide mission, she suddenly decides that because Reiji didn’t kill her she should give an annoying speech about him being her other self, and some other crap that hurt my ears, and then started crying! And of course, she ends up running away with him. What caused this change in her personality, I guess we’ll never know.
    And then they decided it would be a great idea to turn the setting to a high school. I sincerely believed up until that point that this was a story about adults. But no, the creators proved me wrong by showing Reiji and Ein turn from cold blooded killers to high school students. To make matters worse, the reason they gave for it was because in the high school there was a girl they could use as leverage in case things went awry. Sure, because you must get to know the people you plan to kidnap before doing so. Oh, and they also made this girl fall in love with Reiji so much, that even after finding out that he’s an assassin, she couldn’t care. And the cheesy romance… But really, why did it have to be a high school, for God’s sake? If they wanted to have normal lives, anything could have worked, there was no reason for the creators to go for a high school. It’s just sad.
    Close to the end we have Reiji thinking to himself about how much he doesn’t want people around him to get hurt anymore. What’s his solution to it? Go and kill the person whose life he ruined. Is that fitting of someone who doesn’t want anyone to get hurt? Of course not, someone like that would have made a deal with Cal, like making her promise to stop the killings after she’s done with him! But, of course, this anime goes for the biggest impact, so they had Reiji kill Cal…
    And in the finale, we have SM’s masterpieces, the results of his long research, his improvements on the faulty prototypes he previously trained being killed like rats by his prototypes. I mean, he must have learned his lessons, and improved on the mistakes he did while training Reiji and Helen. There’s no way they could have ended up killed so easily by the prototypes! And then he accepted getting killed by Ein, even though the last time he stood before Reiji pointing a gun at him, he ran like a dog. What a lame villain!
    In short, even after hearing people try to explain why all this is happened the way it did, nothing takes away the feeling of how artificial it all feels. None of the characters feel one bit genuine, they all act the way the creators want whenever they want, more or less the way it was in Code Geass. As good as the first arc was, and as good as the second arc started, and as sophisticated as the twist at the end of the second arc was with the whole conspiration Claudia planned, it was all dragged down by the points I just mentioned.

  7. someguy says:

    “Close to the end we have Reiji thinking to himself about how much he doesn’t want people around him to get hurt anymore. What’s his solution to it? Go and kill the person whose life he ruined. Is that fitting of someone who doesn’t want anyone to get hurt?”

    Spot on here. They showed Reiji was a Intelligent person who cared for Cal.. and this is the result..

    I agree with Mio as well. they didn’t need to include her and have her ‘in love’ with Reiji, now that was lame. She didn’t do anything in the end. Though I didn’t think it was a bad plot point, it was pointless when they were developing her character, over say ellen.

    The school setting while Poor.. wasn’t so bad as some of the story points.. like Reiji just staying in School while knowing that Ellen is there and most likey is going after Cal.. which could either get Ellen, Cal or Mio killed. Yet what does Reiji Do.. Nothing.. Smart Guy.

    But really, I cant understand some of your thoughts about Ellen. It had been shown she was being ‘mind controlled’ by SM so what did you expect? For her to just ‘get over it’

    With Lizze though, it was shown she held ‘moral principle ‘Mafia Code’ over anything else. So that why she killed Cald. But then it makes her Death cheap.. when Lizze doesn’t end up killing Cal.. as she is getting ‘tried’ of this. To Bad for Claudia she didn’t feel this way before she was shot -_-

    The Production Vaules made people Overlook some problems (imo) I agree there were a few inconsistencies. But it still in the end was a Decent show.

  8. Fluca says:

    For me, this series would’ve been perfect if only they had removed zwei and the school bit from the story. Without it, I’d give it a 10/10 (the ending was awesome, btw). With it 7/10 at best.

  9. Fluca says:

    For me, this series would’ve been perfect if only they had removed zwei and the school bit from the story. Without it, I’d give it a 10/10 (the ending was awesome, btw). With it 7/10 at best.

  10. Fluca says:

    Dang. I’ve gotta brush up on my German. lol. When I said Zwei I meant Drei (Cal).

  11. DLP says:

    Great series, with a perfect ending.

    The change in setting to high school was brilliant and worked perfectly. Great characterization, direction, and music.

    The only flaws in the series were the three-times use of “oh, I think they’re dead – no they aren’t.” It should have only been used once, with Cal, not with Ein, Cal *and* Reiji.

    Mio’s character wasn’t pointless. She was Reiji’s victory. By refusing to stay with her, and drag her down into darkness, he showed he’d learned from what happened with Cal. And also made it clear that he chose Ellen.

  12. Chosenone says:

    Reiji didn’t ‘chose Ellen’ He was never in the position that he had to choose to save Ellen over Cal or Mio. Reiji was simply trying his best the situation he was in while keeping the promises he could keep. And So while he did kill Cal.. it wasn’t because he choose ellen over Cal. Cal was only ever Cold towards Reiji and said she hated him.. will kill him.. make him suffer.. ect (Cal was Broken.. partly due to her past and this phantom life) so for all Reiji knows Cal doesn’t care about him at all anymore and had enjoyed this phantom lifestyle.. though it might of brought her some pain and sadness. Reiji thought there was only one way to settle it. Reiji made the desion to kill Cal. Not for ‘ellen’ (he could of teamed up with ellen to make sure that Cal does die and no harm come to ellen if he looses) because he was the one who made Cal like this (in his mind) and she was out of control and there was only one way he could take action.(Unbelievably Stupid of him.. but.. It seemed Reiji did get more stupid in this Arc) If the words that Cal said to Reiji after he shot her.. where said before the Showdown. Reiji would of never shot her to kill. He didn’t realize untill Cal final words that Cal still loved him and in the end all she wanted was Reiji love and she wasn’t really enjoying this phantom lifestyle (Though Cal does enjoy being an assasin and being able to Protect herself she doesn’t enjoy the life she was living as a puppet of Inferno in hate/despair) And didn’t want to make him suffer. Reiji does have Good intentions towards the people her cares for.

    Reiji was just friends with Mio, he didn’t want to get her hurt, but then again he doesn’t want to get anyone hurt. (apart from Inferno and the like) he didn’t ‘refuse’ to stay with her. He never had any decsion to make to stay with ‘her’ or leave. He had no promise with Mio and wasn’t her girlfriend or anything.

    Just to Note: Reiji did! drag Mio into the mess. While he wasn’t the one who thought up the plan. That goes to Ellen. He accepted the plan and went ahead with it, which makes him just as bad in the end. As he could of just left Mio alone.. and not used her to escape. But that what he did ‘use her’ Just like Reiji has said he had Used people, played people all for the sake of living.

    The ending is interesting because.. It in no way shows that Reiji and ellen are closer together. In the end after the failed ‘normal life in japan’ ‘dream life’ and after Cal’s death.. all Reiji wanted was to fufill a Promise to Ellen. It wasn’t really about living a life with! her.

    Reiji guilt is so massive that once he has done what he promises others, death awaits him.

    There was one key scene.. (After he meets with ellen after he thinks Cal had Died)

    “Cal.. you’ll have to wait a bit for me, there is still something I have to do (fullfill the promise yo ellen)”

    Though promblems arise.. Reiji did get ‘caught up’ in his ‘Dream’ The 6 months he was in Japan.. he forgot his past and was living normally. So he wasn’t able to full fill the promise to ellen.

    There wasn’t one Girl that Reiji favored over anyone in the end. The show was simply a drama with complex relationships. They Cut-out parts of ellen true path from this ending for a reason! If they wanted to a pairing to be ‘final’ they could of done it. While it might look like an ellen ending to some people. In the end it wasn’t. A couple of key scenes removed and the death added was to make sure this, And in the end it makes this a ending for the anime, and not just a copy of the VN.

    The title, really tells the story of the show. Requiem for the Phantom.

  13. iwashere says:

    is it just me, but is anyone else botehred by Cal`s body change? i mean, last time we saw her, she was still a lil flatchested kid, but then, BAM! she became big-boobed and all in just, say, 2 years? o__________o”

  14. Ferdinand says:

    I watch this anime immediately after seen this review. I finished watching in 2 days, and I gotta say I am very disappointed with this anime and also your review. First I find zwei’s voice is annoying, it just not fit with assassin cold blooded character, second too many illogical things in this anime, like it feels it is so easy to become great assassin, most of the time they only practice shooting, knife really?? every gangster do that also all of the plot twist are predictable, i didn’t have any feeling of surprise while watching this. then, cal’s body change really2 not make sense, I didnt get what the creators think about, it should just said 4 years later or more. The changing plot to Japanese Highschool stuff make it even worse and unrealistic, overall i gave it 7 and psgels, I dont know what your taste is but i found your review just not right. its your opinion but giving this better score than gungrave, full metal alchemist original, clannad after story even Kimi ga nozomu eien?? you really have a bad taste..

  15. totoum says:

    ferdinand: some of your complaints were actually pointed out by psgels

    “A bit of a lesser point of this series is that there are sometimes strange leaps in logic. One character may have escaped death a bit too narrowly, and this series also forces you to assume that with the right training, a bunch of teenagers can become much better at handling guns than any adult out there.”

    I guess the difference between you two is that you consider these crutial while psges finds them trivial.

    ” i didn’t have any feeling of surprise while watching this. ”

    not even at the very last scene of the last episode?

    “The changing plot to Japanese Highschool stuff make it even worse and unrealistic,”

    How so,he needs to get out of the US , he’s japanese , he’s a teenager,makes perfect sense to me.

  16. Ferdinand says:

    totoum: yeah I admit the last scene was a little bit surprising but still it doesn’t help cover up all of the weaknesses in these series, not mention most people hate this ending, personally I like it.

    The changing plot is unrealistic for me, it doesn’t show how they got to japan, eren doesn’t have passport and how do they apply for highschool, I am not sure but u need like a citizenship, student permit and they act like they were brother and sisters probably u need a family card not sure though, but certainly you need some requirements for that.

    yeah I am talking bout reality here, I know its anime, at least they shown their fake ids. it would be more realistic if they run far away like village areas, mountain, etc. many choices why highschool ?? if they want to keep that girl mio, they can just watch her, not need to be highschool student, that what professional assassin supposed to do.

    yeah I find these crucial, probably because I watched movie like Bourne Ultimatum and Taken, that’s why I found these one feel unrealistic.

  17. Ferdinand says:

    totoum: yeah I admit the last scene was a little bit surprising but still it doesn’t help cover up all of the weaknesses in these series, not mention most people hate this ending, personally I like it.

    The changing plot is unrealistic for me, it doesn’t show how they got to japan, eren doesn’t have passport and how do they apply for highschool, I am not sure but u need like a citizenship, student permit and they act like they were brother and sisters probably u need a family card not sure though, but certainly you need some requirements for that.

    yeah I am talking bout reality here, I know its anime, at least they shown their fake ids. it would be more realistic if they run far away like village areas, mountain, etc. many choices why highschool ?? if they want to keep that girl mio, they can just watch her, not need to be highschool student, that what professional assassin supposed to do.

    yeah I find these crucial, probably because I watched movie like Bourne Ultimatum and Taken, that’s why I found these one feel unrealistic.

  18. windy says:

    I’ve found this series amazing despite the coincidences and some little wrong twists( it just shows that the characters may have commited some actions on the spur of the moment but those affected them and proved to have a consequence on their later actions ( Lizzie)) it could have made, it was a brilliant, excellent and awesome series!!! But agree, the way Reiji killed Cal, it was a deeply tensed moment that played on our emotions, for that the creators did manage to achieve that point in the most amazing way, but I also felt it could have been avoided ( and Claudia’s death too, I guess, but is there any good ending for her? She ends up tragically or sadly no matter the ways her life turn).

  19. Antalk says:

    Here is my two cents: Phantom is by far the best I have watched…so far. The opening theme sets the tone for each episode (’til they changed it) and the story lines were deep and the ending, NEVER SAW IT COMING! I recommend you devote your time to this series.

  20. Lord Haw says:

    I was blown away by this series. Found the plot to be quite detailed and it caught me by surprise a few times. The most jarring change was the Japan arc though. Last you saw they were heading to Mexico and then suddenly they are in high school in Japan. Had to look twice to make sure I was still watching Phantom! The change was that much different. But it did work from a plot perspective. A well done suspensefull anime overall in my opinion.

  21. TimeMask says:

    When I saw your review title was just called Phantom I wasn’t sure if this was a Phantom of Inferno review.

    I watched this anime a while back but I’m planning on reviewing it on my blog.

    I agree with your rating as this was a great anime but the ending felt odd for him to be killed in such a way as he seemed to almost have superhuman abilities. However he is still just human so he couldn’t sense the bullet from behind.

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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
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