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.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
niello
@Animosh Tbf that was her in middle school, so a few years ago. I'd imagine she's more comfortable with it now. Unless it said she started the bunny thing in middle school and I miss it.
Animosh
@Amagi: going by the preview it'll be about the kickass kouhai. I'm also surprised this arc ended so soon, but I'm kind of happy they didn't drag it out. Memory loss arcs can be really dull if taken too seriously.
Animosh
@Kaiser: yeah, strangely enough the whole bunny girl thing feels really out of place. I mean, Mai quit being an actress (for the time being anyway) because her mother forced her into a swimsuit shoot, but she's okay with walking around in a bunny suit? Seems out of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone has uploaded all the chapters of Opus by Satoshi Kon: https://manganelo.com/manga/sw917587
Kaiser-Eoghan
Such lies though, she was only a bunny girl in the first episode =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would like them to develop on this adolescence syndrome thing further too.
SuperMario
*haganai
SuperMario
But I do have a strong urge to rewatch OreGairu or watch Hanagai after watching Bunny Girl... maybe I will watch them again
SuperMario
@Amagi: it's typical for a LN series. I guess the next arc will be about another girl with the same phenomenal. She might likely have a feeling with our protagonist as well, but he has his eyes on Bunny girl senpai so he doesn't accept her feeling. You know, the usual stuffs
Amagi
In general I mean.
Amagi
I didn't even know it would get resolved before the end of the series. So it isn't just about the initial problem but this youth phenomenon as well. I wonder what the next arc will be about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some are saying material is being rushed through though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm surprised that bunnygirls first ark is already done though, this felt like some kind of end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ ore ga suki imouto's animation is unbelievably awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well, thats certainly quite the confession isn't it? @bunnygirl ep 3.
Vonter
@Niello - That's 'cause Miayano isn't Pepe Macias: https://youtu.be/nCL6e5TmVG8?t=34
Lenlo
Personally I like this Miyano voice, but only because it sounds like Old Okabe before 0 ruined him
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Wouldn't go that far. But as I've said this show did not click with me at all on most levels.
Niello
Am I the only one who think Miyano sounds annoying in Zombieland Saga? It was the same in Tadakoi too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
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Featured Posts

Planetes – 2 [Like a Dream] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to week 2 of Throwback Thursday, as we continue our dive into Planetes! This week we have a focused character story, some fun humor and lots of beautiful scenery. Lets jump in! So starting off, Planetes continues to look fantastic. From the motion of the characters, to the colors and details in every scene. […]

Kaze Ga Tsukyoku Fuiteiru – 3 [A Single Flower]

Hello and welcome to week 3 of Kaze Fui! This time our boys start running, Kurahara meets someone from his past and poor Akane ups and dies. Lets jump in! So general stuff first, Kaze Fui continues to look just beautiful. The running animation really is nice, and its unique for each runner. From Kurahara’s […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 02 [Restoration]

Me blogging a Trigger show? Well, I’ll be damned myself but life does take some strange turn. Not that I’m a Trigger naysayer but if I’ll be honest, Trigger shows tend to rub me in a wrong way. The studio is seen as the successor of Gainax for one thing, and the overhyped reactions from […]

Goblin Slayer – 02[Goblin Slayer]

The opening to this series is surprisingly more melancholic than I would have expected. When the shows opening started I was waiting for it to break into heavy metal but it stayed low and actually does match the rather dark nature of the series itself. After all this is a series about a PTSD madman […]

Zombieland Saga – 02[I ♡ HIP HOP SAGA]

Zombieland Saga is madness. Pure insanity that could be complete genius or absolute idiocy. So for those who haven’t heard this anime is not the zombie apocalypse show that was initially thought, as a matter of fact the zombie apocalypse footage in the trailer was in fact a video the producer showed the girls to […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 02 [I Can’t Stand Magic]

It’s always neat to see a work that feels every inch a P.A Works production. When you think about the studio, you’d immediately associate them with their original shows, chief among them ‘Mature women in workplace’ unofficial trilogy, and The Eccentric Family (I consider the latter their pinnacle work). For the last 5,6 years the […]

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san – 2 [Let Me Introduce My Crazy Colleagues in This Bookstore!]

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone in between, I welcome you to the 2nd episode of Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San, the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Lets jump in! Considering Honda-San’s material, I am not even going to bother with spoilers. It’s a comedy short, deal with it. These posts will also be a […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 02 [The Stolen Sorcerous Blades]

Fun fact, I had just been to Taiwan and while in their local old bookstores and DVDs, I saw a section of puppetry animation dvds in the corner of the store (should’ve bought one now that I think about it). Apparently wuxia puppetry has a niche market in Taiwan, and so I’m glad that me, […]

Banana Fish – 14 [Tender is the Night]

Welcome to an all new episode of Banana Fish! This time with a new OP, ED and progressed plot points. Lets jump in! So before I get into spoilers, let’s talk about the new OP and ED. The OP is Freedom by Blue Encount, while the ED is Red by Survive Said The Prophet. Personally, […]

Latest Reviews

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) – 84/100

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A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]

Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]