Posted on 30 November 2009 with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Ack! This is just what I feared. They decided to fill one of the last episodes of this series with this? Oh lord…

This episode… it really showed how the creators aren’t the best at telling a story. Out of all the possible uses this episode could have had to develop the characters, they chose such a far-fetched one that’s solely meant to make Anne look good and attempt (note to attempt) to develop only one single character: Tessa.

I say attempt, because this episode fell into the same trap as all of the other episodic episodes in this show. Way too one-sided and cheesy. I mean, this episode served no point or purpose whatsoever: Tessa already had enough depth. It’s the evil classmates that this series should be worrying about, and yet the creators hardly did anything to make them seem less one-sided than they already were. At this point, there are only four episodes left. This series really needed that time to flesh out the characters in the orphanage. Right now, the orphanage is one of the least interesting settings that this series has taken place in, after the school in Marysville.

And I also have to wonder: why is it that hard to find a subject for this episode? At times like these, I miss Porfy: it really made it seem so easy. It always had some inspiration for an episodic story with a wonderful feel to it. Konnichiwa Anne instead… throws in an abandoned baby. If it’s something that happens once in a while at the orphanage, okay. Then I can understand the need for the creators to address this problem. However, it was a totally unique case! It was just the story of one crazy father who abandoned his son. We never know anything about him. In the end, the creators threw in the baby, just to make Anne look good with her super baby-taking-care-of-skills. And not only that, it also made me aware of a rather nasty flaw of this series: its overglorified portrayal of babies. What happened to the screaming, yelling and whining that these kids keep doing that will even make grown adults pull out their hairs? In Anne of Green Gables, the way they showed that Anne was experienced in taking care of little kids.

Speaking of which… there are like, what? A few months left until the start of Anne of Green Gables? I had hopes for a while, but in the end, no. This girl IS NOT ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. In the end, she really is just a kid who looks like her. Anne has Tessa. There is no reason why she shouldn’t talk endlessly like usual to her. So why is she suddenly the quiet girl who doesn’t talk often?
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, this season stands out to me as average, but solid. There are a lot of well written shows, that at the moment just don’t seem to hit any real heights, and yet remain very enjoyable to watch. The exceptions are a number of true gems, though.

#22 (19) – Yumeiro Patissiere – (6,5/10) – I originally planned to continue watching this, due to its surprisingly good start, but unfortunately the past month revealed this series’ true colours. It just keeps introducing cheesy jealous bitches who are in love with the three male bishies that hang around the lead characters. The drama that comes of it is just terribly shallow. Dropped.
#21 (22) – Winter Sonata – (7,5/10) – Really hard to say anything about this series due to the slow subs. The only episode released this month was a bit cheesy, and it feels like entire scenes are missing, or something.
#20 (21) – Kobato – (7,5/10) – Right now, Kobato still is pretty dull, but at least you can see that the characters are getting fleshed out and explored. What the series needs to do is keep this up, and USE this in the second half to develop them.
#19 (24) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – I’m still struggling with Kimi ni Todoke, but there’s some definite potential. It’s pretty good when it doesn’t pretend to be anything: the dialogue is inspired and well written. However, the cheese during the dramatic parts is just way too overdone.
#18 (14) – Letter Bee – (7,75/10) – Still building up. You can see that it’s building up to something interesting, but it isn’t quite there yet. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying Nichi’s antics.
#17 (20) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8/10) – It’s a bit childish at times, not to mention that the lead character must have really angered the gods badly for her to run into THAT many ghosts, but the horror works surprisingly well. The quick horror stories all do their job of being creepy, and it’s always interesting to watch these episodes.
#16 (17) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (8,25/10) – I must say, that that second season of Hetalia has become much more balanced than the first one. It doesn’t endlessly keep hanging on the same jokes, and instead delivers varied and fun jokes. Very nice.
#15 (15) – 11eyes – (8,25/10) – This series is still going strong for me, although I do find Yuka a bit hard to swallow. Her characterization for me just doesn’t work, and it’s very annoying to watch her angsty romantic issues.
#14 (10) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8,25/10) – This really turned out to be surprisingly good. I especially love how this series doesn’t just have people, transforming into animals, but also animals transforming into people, with hilarious results as they try to make sense of humans. The story also is a bit more than just “monster of the week” as well. It’s obviously a bit of a stupid series, but for me it’s been very enjoyable.
#13 (9) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10) – This is very rare for a comedy sequel: it’s actually better than the original series. While the first Tentai Senshi Sunred had its share of weak episodes, the second season doesn’t, and every episode is a hit and cracks me up with its typical sense of humour, combining detailed realistic dialogue with incredible stupidity and Super Sentai Parodies.
#12 (3) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (8,25/10) – This month was mostly building up, and that’s where Full Metal Alchemist’s big weakness lies: it may be very exciting at times, but it does take quite a while to get there. At those points, it just loses out to other, better-paced shows. Do note that this score reflects on just the episodes that aired this month; NOT the entire series.
#11 (13) – Konnichiwa Anne – (8,25/10) – A very good month for Konnichiwa Anne. Not stellar, but Anne’s development has finally started tying this story to Anne of Green Gables. There are some animation errors, but so far this series has been able to avoid the biggest pitfalls. Now let’s hope that this series can pull off a good finale.
#10 (12) – Sasameki Koto – (8,25/10)

I’m surprised: this series is still going strong. The characters are very genuine, which really helps the seemingly formulaic premise. Especially the relationship between the lead characters is fleshed out really well

#9 (1) – Umineko no Naku Koro ni – (8,25/10)

A bit of a step back when compared to the previous month, but again, you can see that this show is building up. Ange herself isn’t the most interesting character, but let’s see whether all of the build-up can pay off in the end. Again, this relatively low score is just for the episodes of this month. I’d rate the entire series higher, depending on how good the final parts of this series are going to be.

#8 (8) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10)

The only thing I dislike is the constant hiatuses that this show keeps taking. Apart from that, I’m amazed that it still hasn’t run out of creativity in the slightest. Every episode is a hit, that keeps putting in new ideas.

#7 (11) – Kuchuu Buranko – (8,5/10)

This show has really gotten better and better: the cases have become more complex, interesting and funny, plus, all of the references to past episodes really work.

#6 (7) – Cross Game – (8,5/10)

Great month for Cross Game. Akane really brought in a new spark that influenced nearly every single character in the series, which really brought the spark back in this series’ slice of life.

#5 (18) – White Album – (8,5/10)

You know. Call me crazy, but I like this show again. It’s just unique; first of all it’s School Days but actually well written, but also the writing really gets the best out of the characters, and unlike the first season it allows for very emotional scenes without the usual soap opera cheese that accompanies them. But yeah, Touya still is an incredible asshole. :P

#4 (5) – Kemono no Souja Erin – (8,75/10)

Even though the end is near, Kemono no Souja Erin still continues with its quiet and focused pacing, and that in no way prevented the plot twists that arrived in this month from creating impact. Very fitted for a prelude to the finale.

#3 (6) – Darker than Black – Ryuusei no Gemini – (8,75/10)

The major thing that my three favourites this season all have in common is a very strong direction. Darker than Black knows exactly how to deliver its story and make it exciting. It also takes care to develop its characters and really makes use of its limited airtime this way.

#2 (4) – Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra – (9,25/10)

What a breath of fresh air. The direction of Armed Librarians is bold and daring, and I just love the way in which this series keeps tying seemingly unrelated plot threads to each other in the end. Here’s one series that continues to defy my expectations of it.

#1 (2) – Aoi Bungaku – (9,25/10)

There should be more series like this, seriously. Every story so far has been unique and different, and all of them have been made based on great ideas. In the Woods… was an awesome mind-screw, Kokoro was a terrific character-study told in two different perspectives, while Hashire Melos is beautifully animated and directed.

Posted on 29 November 2009 with categories: Aoi Bungaku



This is it: THE chance for the director of Mouyou no Hako to show that he’s not just a one-trick-pony, but instead an incredible director. And oh my god, he really showed the latter. Madhouse have truly truck gold when they found this guy, because this episode was one of the best episodes of Aoi Bungaku yet!

You can really see his style from Mouryou no Hako flow through into Hashire Melos, the work he’s adapting. The sakura trees are there, the heavy use of lighting, and the protagonists also are quite similar in appearance, and both novel authors. Heck, it even has the same soundtrack as Mouryou no Hako. This episode satisfied my inner Mouryou no Hako-fanboy, while delivering its own strong story that aside from these things, doesn’t rip it off in the slightest and stands strong as a gripping episode.

The scenes in the theatre were a very nice twist: basically this episode told two stories: one story about the author of a novel and his best friend, an actor, and one story, which he’s currently writing. Interestingly enough, Masato Sakai who has been voicing all of the leads of Aoi Bungaku so far, ends up voicing Melos: the lead character of the play. I love how in this way, the creators are playing around with the concepts of “lead characters”.

But yeah, what makes this episode stand out is its sense of dialogue. It’s passionate, detailed and brings out the best of the characters. There’s so much emotion put into it, yet none of the lines are delivered cheesily.

And then the animation! It’s by far the best animation of Aoi Bungaku yet, and that in an already excellently animated series. This episode doesn’t have the best eye-candy, that’s for In the Forest. Instead, the characters move SO incredibly fluently. when they move, their entire bodies move, rather than just a limb, or some very minimal movement during just a short scene. The animation here is detailed and really brings the cast of characters to life.

There was one scene though in which this didn’t apply. I’m not exactly sure what happened there, but the part in which the lead characters’ friend comes crawling from under the bed lacks this detail, and therefore ends up a bit weird.

I’m not sure whether I understood everything in this episode, but the main storyline seems to talk about two friends who live together: one is a scriptwriter, the other is an actor. The scriptwriter is seen writing the story of Melos, the lead character of the play. At a certain point, his friend suggests to go to Tokyo, because his father would not allow him to continue acting. When the lead character is boarding the train, however, he is betrayed. The episode ended a bit too soon for me to actually make out how and why, but I expect the next episode to delve into that one.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



I wonder, after seeing Ed pay with a coin in this episode: how does money work in the Full Metal Alchemist universe? I mean, any alchemist could just gather some copper and nickel and make a fortune.

Anyway, this episode mostly consisted out of building up, although that introduction scene of Sloth rocked. The guy is pretty stereotypical (at least the “sloth” of the first season was a bit of a creative take on this trope), but the action scene was as good as usual. Heck, Sloth might be even tougher than Greed, who is supposed to be the strongest shield.

My guess would be that either Sloth or Gluttony was the first homunculus to be created. From the homunculi whose backstory we already know by now, you can see somewhat of a pattern, in which father experiments with various techniques to create homunculi, so naturally this would mean that his creations would keep getting better and better (see Wrath, who does stand out as the most skilled and emotionally stable homunculus so far). Gluttony and Sloth look like early prototypes: they have interesting powers, but tend to be too stupid or lazy to really be left on their own.

I do wonder, though. Father’s plan has always been one of secrecy, and silencing those who know about the alchemists. Why then does he send Sloth on such a mission, in which he’s bound to attract attention to himself. I mean, if he was looking for someone or something, he could have easily used Envy to infiltrate the base.

This episode was very much about getting Olivier to trust Ed and Al, which is of course a bit tricky considering how they can’t tell her exactly what they’re after, due to Winry. Still, I think she got the message at the end. The creators did well in portraying her as a hard-to-impress character.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Cross Game



Ah, the valentine episode. Thankfully, the creators use it well with a pretty romantic episode with quite a few new developments. It’s episodes like this that really show the chemistry of the entire cast of characters of this series, and not just the main ones.

This episode shed quite a bit of light of how Kou and Aoba genuinely feel about each other. Aoba is clearly into Kou, but lacks confidence because of the arrival of Akane. Kou on the other hand is just clueless. Unfortunately, he falls into a staple that many other anime leads fall into, but his relationship with Akane makes up for it. You can see that she finally makes him think about his own love-life.

But yeah, the great thing about Akane isn’t just that she sparks up tensions between Kou and Aoba, but because everyone in the series aside from Azuma knew Wakaba well, she also has this effect on just about everyone in the series, and even Azuma is indirectly influenced by her. Speaking of which, he was surprisingly direct when he claimed that that the only girl he’d want to date is Aoba. For a usually subtle series, this really came out of nowhere, but I think that the reason he was able to say it was because he believes that he doesn’t stand a chance against Kou. Give this a few episodes, and let’s see how this affects Aoba.

Also, Aoba finally tried out for the girls’ team. Again, this brings us back to the baseball. I really wonder what the final quarter of this series is going to be like (assuming that there are going to be 52 episodes). The baseball is obviously going to return there, but I really hope that the creators will put away enough time for the slice of life.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: White Album



Aah, I’ve seen too many shallow anime. I really thought that Mana would break down in this episode, while in reality what got into her was just a short emotional outburst. This doesn’t turn out to be the case in which a bit of talking simply solves everything and magically develops characters in the right direction. Ah, I should have known!

But yeah, this was likely the best episode of White Album so far. Instead of a major climax for Mana, we get to see a major episode for Haruka, which really surprised me: paste that scene of her in any other series, and it would have ended up incredibly cheesy. Suddenly coming out of the shower naked in a desperate attempt… that’s so hard to prevent from turning into soap opera material, it needs lots and lots of build-up. But I think that White Album actually pulled it off. I feared for a moment, because Haruka’s earlier emotion breakdown made no sense whatsoever.

This episode really shed light into her character. Her scene was daring, but still subtle and nowhere over the top, and again it was more like an emotional outburst: after that she behaved completely normal again, rather than some angsty teen that refuses to listen to anybody. Then there’s also the matter of Touya, of course, who really doesn’t seem to know when to quit.

Also, what on earth could Menou be up to? How did she find out about Misaki, and why does she intend to make her seem like a slut? I know she’s rebellious and all, but to do that just to protect Touya seems a bit unnecessary.

With only four episodes left now, we’re about to get to the point where everything goes to hell. I really wonder how the creators are planning to end this. I mean, at this point they can indeed show what they’ve been promising us ever since Touya started screwing Yayoi, or they could play the gigantic troll that laughs over us by having a very mundane ending…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Letter Bee



Well, Lag is a bee now.With a bit of luck, the introduction should now be over and the real story should start. It was a bit embarrassing to hear him claim to want to become the best Bee ever. While I guess that he has been majorly influenced by Gauche and all, but all I could think of when I heard that was Naruto and Ash Ketchum. And that’s a direction I definitely don’t want him to go into. O.o

A majority of ths episode was spent on a really long flashback, that didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t know already. At least, nothing major. It did raise a few subtle questions: why did Gauche change guns? Why did he want Lag to have his old gun? Where did he get such an expensive and unique gun? And why was all important information that would explain all of these questions conveniently left out of the flashback, even though those fragments are meant to be from his soul? Oh, and there seems to be some sort of organization that plans to overthrow the goverment, but yeah: every show has those.

Also, more crying! Sylvette reveals why Gauche became friendly with Lag: Lag reminded him of Sylvette. These two should enter crying competitions, seriously. I also feel that this series is using its soundtrack a bit too much. What I mean by this is the following: in this episode, it yet again wastes a bunch of beautiful tracks during relatively unimportant scenes. If the soundtrack for this series is big, then there’s no problem, however I fear that those tracks are going to lose their impact when they’re played too often.

I may be overly negative right now, but this wasn’t that disappointing of an episode. Uneventful is a better word. Unlike many other series, I really feel that Letter Bee has potential, but there’s no way for me to know for sure whether it’ll be able to deliver in the end.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 28 November 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



This is why 50-episode series rock. They can easily take an episode and solely dedicate it to really show the effects of character-development. This episode would have been impossible in a 13-episode series: it would have broken the flow completely in a series that already has so little time.

So yeah, even for a calm before the storm, this episode was quiet. It was solely dedicated to Erin and Ialu, with perhaps a minute of Damya and Kirik. You can really see that this episode was solely meant to develop Ialu. This actually reminds me of another show from the director: Sisters of Wellber. While its pacing was definitely faster, that one also had these kinds of episodes that were just totally devoted to character-development. In theory, they were very nice ideas, but in the end the scriptwriting was just too cheesy and soap-operaish.

In that view, I’m glad to see that he’s learned a lot since then. Sure, it may have been done well in the book, but correctly portraying this in an animation doesn’t happen automatically. The slow pace of this episode formed a good build-up to finally Erin’s attempts to talk Ialu out of fighting.

This is now half the job. Now use this development well!
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



This series just continues to defy my expectations. Here I thought that for its formula would consist out of mostly four-episode arcs, and here this episode comes and instead of starting a new arc, it gives a ton of extra depth to the previous arc. Most notably, we learn a lot more about Ganbanzel. Seriously, I thought that he was going to be one of the major villains!

One thing I really love about this series is its ability to take any character, and give this character a complete, imaginative and detailed backstory and motivation. The same with Ganbanzel: this episode really showed a different side of his. He originally was a victim of one of the attacks from Hamyuts Meseta (or Hamy, as she’s aptly nicknamed in this episode) of all people.

It’s probably this what inspired him to join the church. We still don’t know why he so interested in Enlike, and even though he’s dead now his book still remains. My guess would be that this gets explained somewhere later in the series. The big mysteries right now are the bearded guy, and the half-invisible guy right now. While the Church is a bit of an obvious enemy, these two don’t seem to belong in any party and are hovering somewhere in the middle, it seems.

I also wonder. It’s now established that one regularly can’t obtain more than one power. And yet we see Hamy with at least three: her sensory threads, the stone slinging and the super-strength. She doesn’t seem to be another book eater, because she isn’t spamming random powers like Zatoh did, but there definitely seems to be more to her than meets the eye.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 November 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Oh, the soundtrack for this series rocks. I consider it to be even better than the one from the first season. What I only noticed right now however is that Yoko Kanno didn’t write it this time. Instead, it seems to have been composed by a voice-actor, of all people. It’s the guy who voiced Hamdo in Now and Then, Here and There and Shou Taishi in Saiunkoku Monogatari, among many others. I’m really not sure where he got the idea of composing a soundtrack from, but he did a bloody brilliant job at it.

In any case, this episode yet again showed off this series’ wonderful style of storytelling, which is brutally direct, and also creative and very exciting during the action-scenes, even though the action itself is in no way over the top. In Darker than Black, fights rarely end with everyone retreating with minor wounds. In this series, battles are fought with the intent to kill. Take that, shounen-series!

But seriously though, I didn’t quite think that even Tanya was no exception to this rule. Here I thought that the creators were saving her for the big climax in which Suou manages to settle their differences, despite being contractors… and here this episode just unceremoniously kills them off. Her death wasn’t in vain, though: it was a great opportunity to show that teenaged contractors indeed have bugs inside of them. This series has mentioned it before, and it’s an interesting concept that in the world of contractors, there also still exist contractors that need to grow up. it also fits really well in the development between Hei and Suou, and you can see that the creators spend some time into this.

On top of that, the mystery has also thickened. What the heck was Shion doing there? I this some kind of double red herring? That their father needed Suou the most so he pretended that Shion was the most important one so that she wouldn’t catch suspension? Heh, some father.

Also, why does Misaki have a portrait of a black cat hanging on her wall?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
Total users: 29

Star Crossed Anime Blog

5 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 03

DISCLAIMER: this is an original review of an original show from one of our own reviewers. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! At there episodes mark, Kemurikusa’s strengths weaknesses are more in clear view now. In a positive side, the […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 14 [You’re Not Alone]

Welcome all to another episode of Kaze Fui, Best Boy Simulator 2019. This week we have some more qualified times, lots of wholesome bonding and a hint mystery. Lets dive in! Starting of light and happy, I loved Kaze Fui’s attention to detail this week. All of our boys, aside from Yuki and Prince, tanning […]

Dororo – 3 [The Story of Jukai]

Airing at the same time as Mob Psycho, completely independently, Dororo also managed a somber, character driven episode. This week we learn more about Junkai the prosthetic doctor, Hyakkimaru’s past, and the world at large. Let’s dive in! Dororo started off in a very dark place this episode, which contrasted oddly with the beautiful sunset […]

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 3 [One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~]

Another week, another episode of Mob Psycho, though this week is a little different. Last time was all action and comedy. This time, Mob Psycho takes a more somber, character driven tone, and I love it. So that said, let’s dive in! Like I said, this week Mob Psycho was much more subdued than previous […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

Many of you might wonder why I decided to blog this show, despite the first episode spent two third of its time in one single aerial combat, which can be fascinating to watch but bring extremely little to talk about. While I agree that Kotobuki has its fair share of underwhelming aspects (which I will […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 04 [VS The Imaginator 1]

It starts with a girl jumping off the building. I’m always a sucker for this sort of opener (clue in to Lain and Satoshi Kon even though Kon never technically did that for opener), and it feels like a decent start for the next arc to come. It basically repeats the same formula as the […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my […]

Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]