Posted by psgels on 9 November 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



I actually watched this movie once before. It was about five years ago, I think. I just had discovered the wonders of the online anime community, and therefore was also keen on trying out the supposed “best anime ever”. It’s a movie that always gets listed among the most famous pieces of anime, alongside Ghost in the Shell and Hayao Miyazaki’s works. I didn’t like it, though. It bored me, it went on for too long and eventually I quit the movie about two-thirds in because I was bored out of my skull.

I finally gave in now. I figured that I might as well try it out a second time, especially considering how my taste has changed a lot during the past five years. And indeed, it made a totally different impression on me. I hated it once, but it’s actually a very well constructed movie. It’s not the saddest movie I’ve seen, but at the same time I can understand why this is regarded by some people as a masterpiece.

Grave of the Fireflies has a few things that set itself apart from most other WWII movies. Unlike most of them, it doesn’t start off with slice of life: it immediately throws the characters in darkness even though we hardly know anything about them at that point. After that, it’s basically the two lead characters as they try to survive after the horrible things that happened to them. Most lead characters in such a situation are written to be likable. This however is one heck of an exception. I won’t exactly go into the how and why for the sake of spoilers, but there aren’t a lot of lead characters that are more flawed than he is. And that’s what makes this movie so great.

The second point at which Grave of the Fireflies stands out is the realism. It was directed by Isao Takahata. I’ve often called this guy the king of realism, and this movie only reaffirms this. WWII-anime are already often realistic, but Grave of the Fireflies adds a whole new layer of realism with all sorts of small details and subtle touches that you can’t find in any other movie. Takahata really is one of the greatest anime directors out there: setting aside Pom Poko, there are absolutely no other series or movies that are more realistic than the works he directed.

I can’t call this a true masterpiece, though. This movie falls a bit short at fleshing out its characters. At the end of the movie, I still don’t really have the feeling that I truly know the two lead characters. While I originally dropped this movie for being too long-winded and boring, I now feel in retrospect that it easily could have been half an hour longer, so that the characters could get the time they need to properly get fleshed out.

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

23 Responses

  1. Taxy says:

    I can’t agree with you here. This movie isn’t supposed to portrait characters in ww2, imho it’s supposed to portrait the cruelty of war. It’s true, that it would be more effective, if the characters were fleshed out more, but I think this isn’t what the movie wants. It portraits war and what happens while and after war. With this point of view it’s just a great movie – don’t know, what really makes a “masterpiece”, but just for making anime more popular to the western world, I think this really could be called a masterpiece.

  2. Felipe says:

    Only 85?!

    As the person above me said, the film focus on war (IT IS a movie about war), and not on characters.

    I myself ain’t sentimental and almost never feel sad watching a movie(especially anime), but this one struck me hard.

  3. Kim says:

    This is one of my favorite anime films and I am glad you gave it another change. I think what makes the film even sadder is it is somewhat based on a true story (The “Seita” in reality survives and wrote the book on which the anime is based to get over some of his guilt).

    Still I think people who blame Seita for what happened don’t realize that in reality more teens might act like Seita instead of the heroes we are often shown in anime. I also think the cruelty Seita & Setsuko faced also shows the reality of how war changes normally good people.

  4. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    Now this is astonishing! And it seemed to be your kind of film too…

    I saw it for the first time a year ago, and remember that it completely disabled me for the rest of the day. I am not a big fan of Takahata, but this is a genuine masterpiece.

  5. anon says:

    well, those japs deserved it. us should’ve nuked their whole country. they are a bunch of motherfuckers.

  6. Wyrdwad says:

    “Takahata really is one of the greatest anime directors out there: setting aside Pom Poko, there are absolutely no other series or movies that are more realistic than the works he directed.”

    What, you didn’t think Pom Poko was realistic? Why, those events happened to me just last week! ;)

    -Tom

  7. WatcherZero says:

    I think its incredibly powerful when you realise its semi autobiographical, the writer was the boy and his sister died but he did actually survive in real life.

  8. Machi says:

    I think the lack of character portrait does have something to do with the war. In that if one opts to interpret it, as it seems I’m not alone in it, what IS left of the characters after the cruelty of war? Very little as you say which is why I do laud the film on its depiction of war, another great war film I’d heartily recommend is Ivan’s Childhood (though its not anime), in that what the characters once had that would’ve defined them is gone. In this case it would be a semblance of their identity during more peaceful days, or as you ask for a portrait of the characters.

    On a sidenote it would be nice for people to refrain from ill remarks regarding the topic of WWII. And if you do have the guts to make such a remark own up to your remark rather than remain anonymous =/

  9. Chris K. says:

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with your review and say I agree with Taxy and Felipe. The real villain in this film is War itself, and it doesn’t matter a damn who started the war or if the main character is likable or flawed because they would suffer regardless.

    I think that Takahata’s whole message is that war is evil, those kids did nothing other than being born to deserve the suffering inflicted upon them. I, being a former military guy think that the portrayal of how war affects children and civilians to be quite accurate; no big ass robots, no teens fighting off hordes of adult soldiers. What really happens when kids and civilians end up in the wrong place at the wrong time is that they end up suffering or dead.

    This film is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and it really says something when film critics who don’t watch much anime place this film in the same standing as films like Sophie’s Choice, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion.

  10. olivia says:

    out of pure curiosity, what is the saddest thing you’ve ever watched (and forgive me if this is already said in your posts or comments)

  11. psgels psgels says:

    Olivia: the three movies I consider the saddest are Oseam, Tekkon Kinkreet and The Dog of Flanders. Especially the last one stands out for me as one of the best movies I’ve seen.

  12. Jim says:

    The villain is the aunt who wouldn’t take care of them. Not much food? Find, kick the teen out but keep the little girl.

  13. Jim says:

    Spoilers: two abandoned kids, the little sister dying, that would be a tear jerker in any situation. Why did their aunt turn them out?

  14. anon2 says:

    yeah I agree with anon1 ESPECIALLY with the fact the Japs havent apologized to the rest of the asian world for, invading, and taking their women and raping them all up and down china and other asian countries, I watched the movie, and all that I could really see along with all the other Japanese movies is the oh woe is us (the japanese) we had to suffer through this horrible event despite us being the cause of it and inflicting ten times more pain on the rest of the asian-pacific world.

    I like anime, its fun but seriously, as a non Japanese asian, I say f**k this movie and f**k the japs…also f**k anyone who gets their panties in a bunch and wants to bitch about me stating my opinion, the japs did HORRIBLE shit that they can even say *We are sorry* for and yet everybody wants to feel sorry for them? f**k that shit.

  15. Chris says:

    All I will say to some commenters is don’t blame an entire race of people (most who I’m sure are aware of war atrocities and feel for victims) for the awful acts of soldiers in a different time. I do feel the Japanese government should issue a formal apology and hopefully the new party in power who are more liberal will do just that.

    And even though the atom bomb was necessary the victims did not deserve that, did you know many didn’t support the war?

    It’s like if Christians were to say Jews deserved the Holocaust because of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It’s a horrible thing to say and very hurtful to the victims and their families.

  16. Chris says:

    psgels I can see your opinion isn’t very popular about the movie, while in my opinion I’d give it an A, I think people should lighten up on your review. I guess it’s all part of being a blogger.

    And I agree Dog of Flanders is the most powerfully emotional anime film, or at least in the top 5.

  17. fireryone says:

    This was one of the first anime movies I watched.
    I understand your point of view psgels, but like the others, respectfully disagree.
    This is a masterpiece. It was long, but I was in awe of the touching details.

  18. windy says:

    I’ve heard a lot about that one! Maybe I’ll give it a try even if I’m mostly into anime series, all the anime movies I watched so far , ” supposedly being the best of the best!” were all a huge disappointment and totally boring ( people usually say ” after this, you won’t be able to watch the series ” yeah, right, well, it’s the opposite for me ” after watching those movies I can appreciate even more the quality , the entertainment values and the character-development in animated series) , giving the feeling of losing time for nothing!!!

  19. cad says:

    I can’t agree with the criticisms here; GotF is an anime about war, but more than anything, it is about the people who go through it all. So if one feels the characters weren’t fleshed out enough, this is a very major flaw.

  20. Shippoyasha says:

    Psgels, the reason why the characters don’t feel ‘fleshed out’ is because the point of the story was to show the reality of the war, not for characters to go through the motions of a backplot or intriguing twists and turns in the story. It’s like in real life in all its lack of drama and sudden twists of fate.

    This movie most definitely is a classic. I can’t really say otherwise.

  21. anon says:

    Ok you jerks who think the “japs” deserved the atomic bombing, you OBVIOUSLY are just idiotic teens who are obsessed with violent and stupid video games. Well here’s a newsflash:People dont “respawn” in real life! Murder is a horrible, cruel, unimmagenable thing. For a person to take another person’s life, it’s just horrible. You dont know what it’s like to lose someone you love. And the “japs” are people like us too. They have loved ones. They can feel and hurt, love and hate, just as we can. What we did to them was far worse than pear harbor. Instead of loving our neighbors as ourselves, we did “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” which made us as dirty and down-right villianous as the Japanese where for attacking pear harbor, if not worse. If you say that they deserved the A-bomb, then I can say that America deserved 9/11. No person deserves such a horrible and painful death as the Japanese suffered. You try being fried alive and see how it feels. You try being exposed to that much radiation, to see people melt before your eyes, and see how you like it, you heartless freak!

  22. billish says:

    I had put off this movie ever since.. well, I heard of it. Mainly because i knew it would be very slow and ultimately tragic. Thus, I really just didn’t like it. Sorry to say, but i just really couldn’t find it in me to care for these characters. It probably has much to do with my personal study of history, over about 5 years, in which I have already rationalized WWII and other great conflicts.
    Moving on, this, Psgels, is probably one of your only critiques that I completely agree on, though personally I didnt like the movie. I can TOTALLY see how this could be regarded as a masterpiece. You pretty much hit on every point, in my opinion.
    Last, I believe someone already stated it, but ultimately this movie is more about Seita’s experience with the effects of strife than the lesson’s of war itself. Considering it’s nature as an adaptation of a true story, the plot feels as if an apology to his sister; really, an apology for everything, within or without his control. I find, thinking about that, gives this movie great strenght.
    I would recommend this definately, but I would warn before about its slow and tragic nature.

  23. MaaxP says:

    Grave of the Fireflies is realistic, perhaps too realistic to be entertaining. The realism was as sad as you get from a tragic autobiography or memoir. Personally, I go to the news for reality and fiction for entertainment. Maybe, this is the dividing line some people have when it comes to stories – they expect something more than realism, such as hope.

    From a storytelling perspective I felt that the beginning deflated the ending. The slow decline within the story was devoid of hope, redemption, or a meaningful climax. Yes, war brings suffering – especially to the innocent who must endure hardship and cruelty from heartless family members and greedy neighbors. I get that. It’s just not something I find entertaining. I agree with the review.

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo! Only one more episode of steins gate 0 and we're free!
Amagi
Man, Beastars is pretty damn good so far, I only wanted to check out the first chapter and now I am at ch. 30. I like how it adresses a bunch of different social issues by using an anthro-animal setting and how real it suddently gets at certain plot points.
SuperMario
@Niello: I watched Aguu first episode. While it has some really neat ideas (including the ritual that is creepy and awesome at the same time), it's the lackluster visual and the stiff character acting that kill my desire to check any more episode of it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think starlight can be too abrupt though at times and could focus longer on certain things, then again it is only 12 episodes.
Niello
I wish I can edit those grammar mistakes...well whatever.
Niello
From that point on, the show is more of a family drama with problem sparked from supernatural shounen shenanigans, and this is where the show really shines. It turns into one of those story where it constantly change your perspective of the characters as you know more about them.
Niello
The interesting bit is how the first couple episodes give you the impression that it would be a more episodic story with enemy of the week. However, after the initial set up and they went to Hong Kong, it has been focus on one single arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I suppose there will always be a show I missed or didn't notice on the seasonalcharts.
Niello
That's coming from someone who hate the premise. I went in thinking it would be absolute shit. It's still not great, but I'm impress that it has something that still make it worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I don't think I know what that is.
Niello
Aguu really surprised me this season. It has tons of flaws, but of all things I didn't expect to see great character developments and dynamics. It's definitely appreciable for how the characters were handled feel different from most anime. The twists are well done as well. It didn't go in the direction I initially expected it to at all. Over all, I think it's actually worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it her name, Hikari, i think it means light.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*like it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked it when a show surprises me like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Mahiru probably had the most backstory to her. Glad you agreed on how they handled the rivalry between Tendou and Claudine (aka Croissant-chan)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I noticed that and I think it could have been followed up on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really do love that shot though, it really shows and symbolizes and goes with "how she's lost everything". Actually I liked how the symbolism in this show was clearer at times than expected.
SuperMario
My best girl is Banana. Try to protect all the girls by rewinding the time, Madoka-style? Count me in
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Hikari is best girl, flat is justice never forget *hides*
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hope we see more of that shot from episode 11, the one on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for covering the show. Probably wouldn't have seen it otherwise.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i've never heard of the prequel manga. It's still about Karen and Hikari, I suppose?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Theres a prequel manga for shoujo kageki, I haven't read it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Odd hearing French spoken in an anime series too, I wonder how accurate it is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to the ending this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thought the animation could have been a bit better! The English dub is okayish to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised how endeared I ended up getting into this show.
Even though I liked the central relationship I wish it had more screentime, but I liked what I got and the expanded focus on the other girls was something I enjoyed aswell so I don’t mind so much.
I do want a bit more followup on that “betrayal” moment though, but Mario as you say, this show does hit its emotional moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
different enough as not to become stale, the ones that come to mind best for me was the doubles duel and particularly that really goofy one in episode 6.
Eventually even though the show can be a bit vague/meandering, the character interactions had more point than I thought and they grew on me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a second go through and now that I’ve caught up with it, the standout for me are definitely all the weird stuff with the stage battles and Giraffe guy, regarding the duels, even though the format of this show is repetitive, the duels themselves feel that they are
Kaiser-Eoghan
I initially put off watching shoujo kageki starlight, mostly down to feeling it was one of those “wait and see” shows, based on the first two episodes. I also at first thought the character interactions were meandering and asinine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
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