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.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous3437600
dragon ballsy
one piece
one piece
Kaiser-Eoghan
ahahahaha so that was it, she is voiced by Kana Hanazawa.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that came to mind when watching that quintuplets show, somehow the archetype I ended up going for was Ichika's character somehow. Never usually the case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know usually its fairly consistent, traits I notice/like/am attracted to most in a character's appearence and then there are those odd cases where I somehow end up finding a character attractive or something that I'd usually never.
AidanAK47
Search box is up there ^^
Anonymous3433242
overlord
Anonymous3433242
overlord
SuperMario
Glad to here you have brand new one coming up Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
New computer on its way now, 24 inch screen, wireless everything, 1000gb, got it for only 800 euro.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The current laptop I've got on loan I'm using is kind of a pain to use, makes doing anything including typing/posting/watching slow, its a ropey old windows millenium edition laptop that I'd stopped using years ago.
@Amagi: Also a sequel to legend of koizumi has been translated.
Amagi
@Kaiser: thanks for the links!
Amagi
Just bought the parts for a new gaming PC and assembled them. Love my old PC but modern shooters and HD rpgs are lagging too much as well as drawing programs. Welp.
Anonymous3430884
Get well soon, Kaiser’s CPU!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dammit, my main computer crashed suddenly, see you all in a few days to a week maybe =< borrowing someone elses laptop.
Anonymous3429052
Dororo or Durarara. That is the question
Vonter
The cutscenes in that game kinda look a bit off, like with the Dragon Prince show they look a bit choppy.
Anonymous3425269
Personally, I'm really hoping that Orange did them so they can gain more recognition working on a big franchise.
Anonymous3425269
I'm guessing Orange, Polygon or GEMBA did the CG cutscenes for the new Fire Emblem. They look too different from Echoes' CG cutscenes to come from Khara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was always the second Zelda game I never played, that one is frowned upon.
Vonter
I see Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time as two halves of a single whole. Ocarina had the standard story but expanded from what was set in A Link to the Past. Majora's Mask has more in common to Link's Awakening being more about the characters you meet, and even Link himself. I think one has what the other doesn't. Ocarina had better dungeons, but Majora had more involved and menaningful sidequest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The remastered ocarina of time soundtrack is some of my favourite videogame music out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also loved the freaky-ass whip arms final boss too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It seemed darker too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hold the unpopular opinion of liking majoras mask more than Ocarina, it was a harder game and it felt bigger, there was more side quest stuff to do aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Similarly, its be so very long since I played it, it was all the way back in 1993.
Vonter
I don't remember disliking it but I don't recall a lot of things. I mainly remember the ending, the animals and bit with a Goblin king that reminded me of The Hobbit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember loving the end theme music too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its not ranked among the best Zelda games, but links awakening was the first zelda game I played in the early 90s, I also remember they re-released a colour version of it too that allowed you to do extra stuff with the gameboy camera and printer.
Vonter
So Nintendo had a Direct. A sequel to Mario Maker, a remake to Link's Awakening, a Tetris Battle Royale game, a new game from Platinum games called Astral Chain, a school type Fire Emblem, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Also new Putin isekai chapter is out.
Vonter
Apparently there's gonna be another iteration of Bem. With whole new character redesigns. I suppose at some point they felt they needed to update them, since 4 iterations looked very similar and may come off as too retro for today. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-02-11/twitter-user-compares-latest-yokai-ningen-bem-designs-to-previous-installments/.143177
Lenlo
I just hope they actually do something with the leg. Its been used as a cliffhanger 1 to many times for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was good seeing a more serious side to the twins and I think Haiji's leg issues will provide some good drama.
Anonymous3421320
lol I think it's more like an orthopedic check-up. That strain from the race must've gave him concern about if he's able to run the Ekiden or not under this condition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Ahem* excuse the gory joke =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh my God! Imagine if it like got cut and amputated off or something like that scene in gone with the wind! It'd be like....GONE with the run with the wind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like we're getting more on Haiji's leg again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess if I was asked why I did anything, including if it was some game/sport or if I was a runner I'd probably answer the question by saying I was in it for a laugh or for a genuine good time because it'd be something I'd be enjoying.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Dororo was awesome. This was a great week and arc. Mio is best girl.
Lenlo
Look, if the ending can make it work, I will forgive the CGI runners. But you have to admit, they don't look good
Anonymous3419991
@Lenlo But for now, you'll just have to grin and bear it when the next preliminary races prior to the Ekiden use CG for the background runners.
Anonymous3419991
I heard from a novel reader that the book is 10 chapters long, and this is currently adapting chapter 8. Chapter 10 covering the Ekiden is the longest part of the novel and will probably be covered in 3 episodes. Hope IG is saving all their resources on this finale judging by the CG used in previous episodes.
Anonymous3419991
It's also great to see how far Kurahana has come since the start. Even when confronting Sakaki being arrogant and all.
Anonymous3419991
And so this episode of Kaze ga is a breather episode, but we do get some more character development with the twins. It's nice to see Fujioka again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I would happily have watched two more episodes of this arc in dororo.
Lenlo
Well alright
Fuurophausiyuder
Speaking of loving hell fonts, I notice that the review body text, and this text here are both sans-serif; which sort of princess of variable typefaces is not present for this readability bit to land?
Fuurophausiyuder
Dororo is awesome for just the hell fonts. I kind of expect on-brand gazebos (the temple to the 10 demons) to sell well this summer at Lowe's, Restoration Hardware, RH, wherever it is actually okay stuff derives, etc. I was kind of hoping the transitional story would lift all transitional boats, but that storyline has gone to soil microbes in the USA diaspora (though you know, stay classy PR.)
Fuurophausiyuder
Kemurikusa is like Kemeko DX if all the chemicals were fentanyl and the promise of a plot muted by lingering death were only ever expected to be a possibility. What had anyone watching ep. 3...5? Clinical use?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also glad that tv anime like this is allowed to be so violent in this day and age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest it really is the only new show this season I currently especially care about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read the whole Dororo manga and I think this weeks episode was every bit as moving as the manga was while building on it. I think if adapted correctly dororo (the character)'s backstory, the stuff with Daigo's son will be a highlight. I do think they could get rid of shounen shark guy though later on and not bother including him.
Anonymous3415569
The other thing, is how both this and She Ra have the same premise of the main character changing from the villain to the heroic side. I don't know if that's a good pattern but it's and interesting way to build a female character in which the relationship with their old friends is a way to add pathos.
Anonymous3415569
It felt like a new version of inspector Gadget could be do like this. Considering how it frames the criminal organization (for kids). And also maybe a crossover could work?
Anonymous3415569
I watched the Carmen SanDiego Netflix series. It was ok. I did like the simple visual style and Saturday morning vibe. It's clearly more for a younger audience, yet it wasn't that boring. Still all I could think about while watching it were 2 things:
SuperMario
Kaiser, make sure to check your inbox
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bothanons: Issues on both sides of the spectrum.
@Wooper: Its the politest take you could get on that premise.
@Mario: I think the anime skipped some stuff from the after the rain manga, I should probably read the manga.
Anonymous3412482
Edgy 14 year olds everywhere
Anonymous3413183
moralfags everywhere
SuperWooper
I heard that show was about a teenage girl's crush on an older man. Sounds pretty problematic to me. I'm with the rest of the Internet on this one.
SuperMario
Apparantly the other side of anime fandom (the internet) doesn’t watch Koi wa Ameagari
Lenlo
The reddit anime awards are done! I did it! I was on stream! Oh joy. Can talk about this now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I have decided to adopt the same approach for the new True detective season also.
niello
@Eoghan: Exactly my thought three episodes in. I wish I realise it before I picked up the show, because I definitely need to watch those three episodes again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to watch new boogiepop at some point, but I'm just hoping it ends so I can just marathon the show, it'd be too confusing to watch once a week, instead of straight through in one go.
Amagi
Oh I just realize it's the same team as HnK well that explains that.
Amagi
@Aidan: Unsure too about the trailer but it reminds me more of Houseki, qualitywise, and less of all the other bad CGI shows. I have hope. Same with Vinland. Trailer had some CGI and Thorkell's design feels a bit different but aside from that it was good.
Anonymous3402245
sangatsu
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The selection isn’t out until April. Heck, they haven’t annouced the head jury yet
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should really watch Shirobako one of these days and on the manga end, read Kurozuka as I remember the bit I did read was quite different from the anime (which I loved).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I don't know if the film selection for Cannes this year is out yet. Though it'll be a while before I get to see them.
SuperWooper
Noice.
SuperMario
Is it OK to brag here? I’ve just got the acrreditation to Cannes Film Fest this year baby. Will look forward for that one
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched it years ago and thought even though the first half was poor it picked up in the second. Maybe if I rewatched it my thoughts would change.
Anonymous3400512
Majestic prince is really bad man
Anonymous3399383
kemurikusa
SuperMario
Damn, just looked at the teaser of Beastars and I’m hooked. I’m hyped for the show
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Beastars is a good choice for them yes, as was Houseki no kuni, Majestic prince which they co-made was really underated back when it aired.
niello
I like how Orange Studio seems to have good eyes for manga. And it looks as if they are trying to go for stories that lets them avoid animating normal humans. So, ones that are more compatible with their CG visual. It'd be nice if this lead to some manga adaptation that won't happen otherwise.
Vonter
I think people get too worked up on Shield Hero. While not a great show, I have found it entertaining. I suppose the underdog aspect also got meta. With that said, I think if instead of the heroine reapplying the slave contract they should have made a contract or something like that, that felt one-sided.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually have more confidence in the cgi if its done by the houseki team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: When I talked to amagi about Beastars I don't think I ever heard your views on it. Also from what I recall you haven't read Vinland?
AidanAK47
Yep, full CGI for Beastars. I am somewhat half and half on it as the clip isn;t bad but I am a bit too used to the style of the manga.
https://youtu.be/S6H1qskbEIg
Lenlo
I dont expect the CGI to be bad. WIT has experience because of AoT now, and the boat/open ocean can profit from it a lot more than character models.

For Beastars, if its the Houseki no Kuni team, I wouldn't worry until we see a PV
Vonter
Maybe CGI wouldn not be as distracting if characters aren't humans? I mean the Star Fox Zero short was very good looking and it was full CGI.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Full cgi I think for beastars adaptation, although done by the people who did houseki no kuni so there could be exceptions made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't expect them to try and cover his post childhood. They will probably stop at the farm arc. There will be cg, I hope it won't be intrusive.
Lenlo
Ey Vinland pv is out! Looks good! I cant wait
Animosh
@Kaiser: I'm pretty sure Yuki's family issues will be addressed later on, this just wasn't the time for it. So far the show has always followed up on the character arcs it has introduced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that feels very different about huge detailed art aswell on the other end more simpler styles, in comparison to alot of the generic moe style we mostly see now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while I am on different artstyles, I bloody love Ryoichi ikegami and Suehiro murao also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Complete different art too, cartoony even.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Years ago I read almost of Yoshihiro's stuff, although I never got around to finishing a drifting life by him, I also read that Mizuki guy manga i mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been wondering about this for a bit, is anyone on here familiar with the Gekiga period/wave of manga from the 50s and 60s to very early 70s? Such as stuff the by Yoshihiro Tatsumi and also Shigeru Mizuki's Onward toward noble death?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was right in there with them waiting to hear the results.
Anonymous3391737
They took the words I was about to say right out of my mouth.
Anonymous3391737
Late to the party, but man this was a good episode, iffy CG runners aside (though I hope that'll be addressed in the BDs). I'm so glad they were able to qualify.
Lenlo
Hmmm I cant wait to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
This cast has grown on me. Also while I would appreciate followup on Yuki's family, I actually don't mind if the show didn't, because this series manages to say much by saying little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm glad that even though it showed then in a top ten list, they weren't up the top of it. Its more believable that way. Also who'd of though a race would be so tense?
Animosh
Also happy to see that the twins will get some spotlight next week. Aside from Musa they've had the least development so far, so they can use the attention. I also like that someone's finally raising the question what the point of it all is. If you have no chance of winning, why compete? It's a valid question, and I'm looking forward to hearing Haiji's answer.
Animosh
Haiji's injury was less of an issue than I expected: he even finished as "best of the rest" (excluding the leading group). Looks like it'll keep simmering under the surface for now. The fact that it was highlighted again probably means it is going to play a big role in the story eventually though.
Animosh
Anyhow, you can't always get everything you want, so whatever. It's still a very good adaptation overall, with some of the most impressive animation out there, and with some luck the cuts were just a one time thing and the rest of the season will be consistently well-paced. And if not ... well, the Claw arc is less "deep" anyway, so cuts will be less of an issue there I think.
Animosh
And just to be clear, I also agree that the episode elevated the source material in many ways: the aspect ratio nonsense aside, the episode looked incredible, no question. But my complaint is not with the animation, but with the storytelling, which - although by no means awful - could have been a hell of a lot better.
Animosh
@Anon: I agree the two chapter rule isn't perfect, and when there's a lot of fighting a faster pace is often preferable. So maybe an additional episode would have been too much - again, I don't remember how much was cut exactly. And of course, in the end pacing is a matter of preference. I loved this arc in the manga, and I'm probably more negative about cuts than you guys just because of that.
Anonymous3390450
@animosh Ill always remember this episode and laud it for it was able to accomplish. There are so many things it did to elevate the source material. Everything it covered from the source material was elevated in animation; the only issue was that shit got cut, and it's a bit unfortunate because i think it could have been easily avoided. Like lenlo said: a part of our gripe comes from our manga exp
Anonymous3390450
@animosh as a product of the previous season and episodes leading up to this, but it would have been even better if we got to share the experience mob had in mogami's would. The dread and isolation mob was meant to feel was communicated artfully; but that third element; the experience; that was what was needed to complete the trifecta and cement this episode as THE perfect adaptation.
Anonymous3390450
@animosh influences mob, we are missing one more element that would have completely sealed the deal. By BONES cutting out what they did, they took away from the viewer the EXPERIENCE mob went through. Losing that aspect, watching mob's journey through mogami's illusion, slightly hampers the overall impact his breakdown and his use of his powers against people. Most of the impact is still there
Anonymous3390450
@animosh despite my criticisms, i thought this episode was fucking great. I think the directing captures the dread and haunting oppressiveness mogami's illusions were meant to have on mob quite well. The adaptation communicates well what mob went through and why it broke him. What my criticisms amount to is that while the direction communicates well how mogami's macabre thinking eventually
Anonymous3390450
@Animosh that 2-3 chapters pace is not really a reliable rule, because that standard is completely dependent on how much content is in a particular chapter. The second half of this Mob psycho episode adapted like 3 or 4 chapters without feeling rushed; why? because those chapters the second half of the episode adapted were all action scenes, which when animated, take up less runtime
Animosh
Maybe I've just been spoiled by that other big Bones adaptation, My Hero Academia, which not only has great pacing but even adds high-quality filler to improve on the source material. Compared to that ... this was rather disappointing. But as Lenlo said, the episode did still do a lot of things right, so I didn't hate it or anything. It's just that it could have been much better still.
Animosh
@Anon: maybe that would have been enough (it would certainly have been an improvement). It's been so long since I read the manga that I don't know how much was cut exactly. But in general 2-3 chapters per episode is the pace adaptations should aim for, but these two episodes covered a whopping 8 chapters. That's just too much, especially for an arc where build-up is so important.
Lenlo
I think a longer episode, cut the OP, squeeze out every minute, would be better than a whole nother full episode.

Thing is, I think we are only a bit disappointed because we were manga readers. For anime only, this probably still hit all the right notes. And really, the entire episode is just straight fire animation wise
Anonymous3390290
@Animosh Nah; i don't think giving it 1 more episode would have been the answer, all it would have done is drag things out. What this episode needed to tape into its full potential was to be an extended episode; a 27 min ep that cut both the op and ed. If mediocre shows like re:zero can get 26 min eps commissioned out the wazoo then why can't a great show like mob psycho get that shit?
Animosh
I did still enjoy the episode as a collection of well-animated action set-pieces, but as a story arc just one more episode could have made it so much better imo.
Animosh
To use your example: no, an episode filled with suffering wouldn't have been fun. But now we barely got a glimpse of what Mob went through. The boy went through hell, and he was stuck there for six (!) months. Even so, he decided to forgive Minori, and his positive emotions beat Mogami's negative ones. In the manga that felt like a triumph, here not so much.
Animosh
But as a viewer (and a manga reader who's a fan of this arc), I thought it was somewhat disappointing. Yes, without the cuts the episodes may have been a bit less engaging, but I think that would have been fine all things considered. Build-up episodes are always less fun than the dramatic highlights, but they're necessary to make them land.
Animosh
@Lenlo: I understand why Bones did it this way, and I agree it would have been harder to make each episode engaging, get them to end at good points etc otherwise. It's also very possible they were contracted for a certain number of episodes, and if they want to get to the end of the Claw arc in 12 episodes some short cuts were inevitable.
Lenlo
Theres more, but I need to sleep and save some of it for the post
Lenlo
Both of them sacrificed their bodies for others. Her to make money for the kids, but willingly. Hyakkimaru for his family and clans prosperity, but unwillingly.
Lenlo
I think it would have made a fine cliffhanger, but not as good as this. Because this is a fantastic parallel I am writing about for the Dororo post.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Would that have made for a good cliffhanger
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: What would you think if the episode had ended with the shot of dororo's reaction and the scene with the girl and samurai was reserved for the start of next weeks episode?
Lenlo
Also, fun fact, the episode ending? The part involving Hyakkimaru? Anime original.
Lenlo
Great episode
Lenlo
She also covers herself up when Dororo mentions Hyakki can see the color of peoples souls. More foreshadowing. I loved it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A yes, re-winding and paying more attention to her expression at the episodes start after finishing the episode and then going back to it I see the foreshadowing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Ah what better eyes you have for things than I do =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Perhaps yes it did show everything openly but I think it did it in a bleak, grim, non-exploitative, non-minipulative, non -overdramatic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Shows how shitty it was too for women back then too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: But this is another great example of how gritty this can be and not holding back in terms of the setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Also that we see it through the most innocent characters eyes. I wonder if the manga or old series had that in there.
Lenlo
Yeah. I suspected it from the start, seeing her washing herself in the river, but it was very... blatant. Nothing to the imagination
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I was rather surprised at the frankness of the final scene.
Lenlo
Dororo so sad this week ;_; I love it
Lenlo
@Animosh, I was pretty happy with this weeks Mob really. I understand the pacing concern, but I don't see how they could have adapted it without having a single episode full of just suffering. It works for a webcomic, but not for a weekly animation I dont think. I plan on rewatching it in a bit and will see if my feelings change, but I enjoyed it. Still mulling it over narratively though
AidanAK47
@Firechick, New Anime reviews are automatically added to the review index on the header.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The choice to draw the characters as animals makes for something different to, with the character designs.
Animosh
@Kaiser: that sounds pretty great! I'll be looking forward to the anime then. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Dororo this week, that him getting his hearing back would actually be initially something he'd have to get used to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I actually only very recently saw zootopia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I initially mistook beastars as being a slice of life school series that had bits of comedy and that the animal thing would be just a gimmick. Ended up getting a gritty drama with well realized characters and world building and an addictive pace.
Animosh
The designs weren't as good as they could have been either (from the rather unimaginative ghost designs and sparkly eyes Mob to the dull background environment), and the action was a bit hard to follow at times (which wasn't the case in the manga). It was my favorite manga arc back when I read it, but it certainly won't be my favorite arc from the anime.
Animosh
Still not a fan of how Bones adapted this arc. The pacing was way too fast again, and the emotional climaxes didn't really land for me as a result. And although the animation was excellent as expected, I really didn't like the change in aspect ratio. The intention was probably to make the experience more cinematic, but the main result was that everything looked smaller, and therefore less intense.
Animosh
That's the manga series you and Amagi were talking about a while ago, right? Is it good? The plot description reminds me a bit of Zootopia.
Total users: 17

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 06

The treasurer of the student council, Ishigami Yuu, finally got a proper introduction this week. I’d say this episode was his time to shine, but it’s actually the opposite – he’s so preoccupied with Kaguya’s apparent hatred of him (as well as his own social faux pas) that it was actually his time to mope. […]

Paranoia Agent – 4 [A Man’s Path] – Throwback Thursday

This week, once again, Paranoia Agent takes another interesting turn. This time we follow the cop who caught Shounen Bat, see a bit into organized crime and watch a man fall apart at the seams. Lets go! So in general, while this episode was interesting and explored some more aspects of society, I wasn’t big […]

Mid-Season Review of Kakegurui××

For all of you who are disappointed that we didn’t cover the sequel to the show that even Elon Musk watches, I felt that this season of Kakegurui would benefit more from an periodic overview rather than following it week from week. Kakegurui was never about the mechanics nor tense stakes as it relies on […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 17 [Searching for the Answer]

Welcome to the feel good relaxation week of Kaze Fui! This time the Twins confront Haiji, they see the track and Sakaki continues to be a dick. Lets jump in! Starting off, this episode was a very subdued one. Similar to Mob, Kaze Fui slowed down this week. Giving the characters room to breathe again […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 6 [Poor, Lonely, Whitey]

Welcome to a very poignant episode of Mob Psycho 100. This week Mob shows us his growth, Reigen his lack-there-of and things start to fall apart. Lets jump in! Starting off, almost anything would look inferior when compared to last week. Almost as if knowing this, Mob Psycho decided to be very light on animation […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 4-5

We are reaching towards midway of this season where shows start to settle down and we have a firm ideas of which shows we wanna follow till the end. As for me, I decided to skip both Asuka and Domestic Girlfriend for now. I’m still mildly curious about then, but in the season where I […]

Dororo – 6 [The Story of the Moriko Song, Part 2]

Hello and welcome to Dororo, your weekly dose of suffering for the season. This time Hyakkimaru get’s revenge, Mio proves herself Best Girl and Tahomaru gets some development. Lets dive in! Starting off, this episode looked fantastic. Dororo is often very subdued with its animation. Either reducing details or going slow. This week however proved, […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 04/05 [Elite Stronghold/ The Splendid Aleshma]

It has been fun over the last two weeks of Kotobuki, where we get to learn more about two members of the squad and some more fun times with them fighting against air pirates. One thing first, I still greatly enjoy the tongue-in-cheek conversations Kotobuki employs. It’s fast-paced, it’s irrelevance, it’s silly but Kotobuki is […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 06-07 [VS The Imaginator 3-4]

Boogiepop thickens its narrative considerably this past 2 weeks. Instead of peeling the skins to its already complex narrative, it feels as if Boogiepop adds more layers to it, each layer matters differently to the big picture. While I feel the first arc Boogiepop and Others suffers from rushing too much (it scraps many side […]

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 […]