Posted by psgels on 24 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Umineko no Naku Koro ni



When it aired, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni really blew my mind with its mystery horror combination, so obviously I was looking forward to its spiritual successor: Umineko no Naku Koro ni. It really managed to take the Higurashi formula, and take it into a new, fresh and original direction with a really mind-blowing mystery-story.

Umineko at heart is a murder mystery-story with so many layers, so many red herrings and so many times at which the viewer is forced to look beyond the box for new clues as to the identity of the real killer. Higurashi already had me forming wild theories about what was going on, but this effect is even more noticeable in Umineko. It’s a really thought-provoking story that makes you think you have a clue as to what’s going on, only to throw a plot twist that renders all of your speculation useless. This mystery really is why you want to watch this series, because it really does this like no other.

It’s just a shame that the story’s incomplete. There’s no second season announced at this point, so at the end of the series, you’re not going to know what the heck happened throughout the majority of the series. This really is the thing that I hate the most about modern anime: that the shows with weak sales don’t get their much-needed sequels. Umineko is at the verge of becoming yet another one of them. NOTE TO SELF: delete this paragraph in the unlikely event that a second season does get announced.

Okay, so how about the execution? Unfortunately, it’s a bit rushed. Apparently, the creators tried to stuff 50 hours of visual novels into just 26 episodes, so a lot had to be cut. While the cuts were made skillfully so that the entire storyline is still intact, the direction feels rushed at times, and not as captivating as it could have been. The animation is rushed as well, but thankfully neither are bad enough to get in the way of what’s really important.

Because of that, I can say that I really enjoyed this series. It’s a thought-provoking series that really brings mystery to a whole new level. But where the heck is that second season?

Storytelling: 8/10 – Direction could have been better, but well paced which keeps your attention.
Characters: 9/10 – Large and varied cast of characters where nobody feels redundant.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Good music, rushed animation.
Setting: 10/10 – Incredibly thought-provoking. Brings mystery to new levels.

31 Responses

  1. chounokoe says:

    Thank you for thinking almost exactly what I thought about the anime. *laugh*
    After I decided to stay away from one particular community after the last episode aired, because the hate for the anime starts spoiling my enjoyment of the visual novel, it is very refreshing to read some reflected thoughts.

    Even though many VN-readers said that the anime was butchered beyond belief (something that I would say about Higurashi S1) I’m glad to see that people can actually enjoy the anime AND think about the mystery.

    Don’t let yourself be disscouraged, there was also no Higurashi S2 announced when S1 ended, so I think the best we can do is wait and see.
    I would be surprised if there really won’t be more, at least when the console remakes (which I’m sure will follow) start hitting the shelfs and some bigger game company starts financing them…
    I know it takes time…but well, we VN readers are also always waiting half a year for another Episode, so it’s bearable.

    So, well, Merry Christmas and thank you for your good work. Even though your taste is not always mine, I think you’ve got one of the most structured and wellwritten blogs out there…it’s almost like you actually don’t hate anime *laughs*
    I wish you nice holidays and well…there’s still Aoi Bungaku and Bantora for me this season, so see you in the comment section.

  2. Acylia says:

    @ psgels & chounokoe
    Same thoughts here. I’m glad we’re able to enjoy the anime as well, even though it’s really rushed. :) Let’s just hope Chiru/second season’s going to get animated (hopefully without one certain Kon Chiaki… but I guess that’s too much to ask. xD). Merry christmas to you all, I really enjoy reading this blog.

  3. Geekodot says:

    Well, what to say… this anime really got me interested in reading the visual novel, so I bought it and became a part of the Deen hating Umineko fanbase. I do think highly of this anime though, but there were some huge mistakes here and there and I really think they should’ve had some more episodes to work with the different games and especially the ending of episode 4.

    I am satisfied with the anime, but some of the feeling from the visual novel just isn’t there. I still hope there will be a second season so that anime-only watchers also may get some closure.

  4. Acylia says:

    Geekodot, please…
    Don’t hate DEEN. Hate Kon Chiaki instead. I really liked those Rurouni Kenshin OVA’s… >.

  5. Marion says:

    The anime is definietly rushed. Hopefully a second season is announced though, and hopefully not done by DEEN. If it is done by DEEN then at least get a better director than Chikai Kon.

    But an announcement will not come as quickly as an announcement for a second season of Higurashi came. You have to remember that when Higurashi became an anime the VN was already done with both question and answer arcs. So when Higurashi Kai was announced to be done in a year they had all the source material they needed.

    But Umineko is still a story in progress – the 2nd answer arc (Dawn of the Golden Witch) is only coming out on December 30th. So even if they do announce an anime they can’t really start producing one because the answer arcs aren’t even completed yet.

  6. Kanao says:

    “But where the heck is that second season?”

    You’ve said this so many times but you must know they can’t simply announce a second anime season before they have enough content to adapt. Higurashi and Umineko are popular. Of course Umineko’s going to get another season. Perhaps they’ll wait till Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru is fully released in Visual Novel format before beginning planning. If you’re lucky maybe the second season will be based on just Episodes 5 and 6.

  7. Happy says:

    There’s still some Umineko to look forward to this year.

    The translation for Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru EP5: End of the Golden Witch is most certainly gonna be released in the next 3-4 days~!

    \(^_^)/

  8. PL says:

    well what can I say. I’ve ranted about VN readers enough, and how much better a format anime is, so I’m not going to repeat myself. This series was the one I enjoyed and looked forward to the most during 2009. There were shows with deeper themes, stronger characters and more moving storylines, but in my opinion Umineko had more entertainment value than any of them. It was intelligent, complex and left me thinking every single episode. Sure, it was a bit rushed, and the reasons for that have all been layed out here before. But ultimately, that did little to detract from my enjoyment of Umineko. I recognize that there are fans of the VN unsatisfied with Umineko the Anime, but they seem to be the only ones. Most anime-only fans have had mostly positive things to say about this series. An adaptation is always going to have choices to make about what to change, what to leave the same, how to conduct the pacing, etc. A fan of the original can always find things to complain about in an adaptation (except in a few rare adaptations that have source material which seems to be written with adaptation in mind, making the pacing perfect for a normal length series). And ultimately, an adaptation has to stand or fall on its own merits, and the director of that adaptation has no obligation to the source material, beyond creating an adaptation that satisfies as an independent entity. Umineko has accomplished this, because as I’ve pointed out, to those of us who havent read the VN, this series was extremely enjoyable. How it compares to the source material is ultimately entirely irrelevant, and if that disturbs you, then quit watching adaptations and leave them for those of us who can appreciate them as they stand.

    Of course, this is all moot if a second series is never created. Umineko is only half of a story, and the cliff-hanger at the end makes that clear. There was certainly a climax to the major plot strands but this climax actually resolved nothing beyond some temporary tensions. If the second season comes along, and satisfyingly concludes the series with the same level of quality and entertainment value the first season did, I could easily rate the series a 95. If there isn’t a second season, I don’t feel like I could rate this series at all.

  9. Sanity says:

    Armed with only the image of the promo poster and a short synopsis, I disappointed myself slightly by thinking it would be a “whodunnit” type of series when half of the time they’re not deducing anything concrete.

    But I agree, for an anime-only viewer this series has been interesting. I just hope that I can remember half of what happened in Umineko if a second season rolls out.

  10. Deus says:

    As Umineko is known for its trolling, it might be good to show a short eyecatch at the very end of the episode that was omitted from the latest sub:

    http://feb.2chan.net/dec/18/src/1261587303681.jpg

    “See you again. have a nice day!”

    Now, this might not actually mean anything… or it just might. :D

  11. Geekodot says:

    @PL
    You have a very good point and it would work on any other series, but not for Umineko. This is because ANYTHING even down to the smallest detail in the VNs might be hints to the mystery and the red text is extremely vital. Without it, there won’t be a mystery because it won’t be solveable for the fanbase.

    Of course, anime viewers can enjoy it for the story, and I think they did this aspect of the franchise pretty well, but it is not a mystery in the same sense as the Visual Novel (or Sound Novel in this case) because of the omissions in hints.

  12. Anon says:

    @PL

    No, “most” anime watchers were NOT satisfied with it, sorry. A lot of people liked it, but just as many people didn’t. Tons of the people who were following it dropped it because it was so bad as a standalone anime. I myself started out an anime-only watcher, but eventually had to switch over to the VN because I knew something had gone very wrong.

    If you like the anime, that’s great for you. But don’t assume that everyone who says it’s bad is comparing it to the source material.

  13. Howling-kun says:

    I had a lot of fun with Umineko, but probably not the way it was meant to… I laughed my ass off all the way due to bad animation, and many “lol what?” moments, even if it made me think more than all of Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

    It is extremely entertaining!

  14. Azule says:

    I find this anime to be brilliant in itself. What it sets out to do- make half a mystery with witches and magic. It does that. The characters are nicely done in the end, and it still leaves you guessing.

    Though I had the theory about Kinzo/Person X at the third arc. It got realllly obvious to me there.

    Obviously, without a second series, this anime will be really bad. Its a lot of building-up, making way for a second series to come.

  15. Troyen says:

    I pretty much agree with your assessment – both here and for ep 26. As an anime-only viewer, I had a lot of fun watching, especially the first and third games. I wish they had juggled around some snippets – a few episodes just dragged on (especially in game 4, and especially the second part of ep 25), while others didn’t seem to last long enough (the ending!).

    When someone posted that remark from the art director saying another season was unlikely, I was a little worried that they’d completely abandon the story and come up with an original ending, though fortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. Here’s to hoping we see a continuation in a couple of years!

  16. PL says:

    Actually Anon, I’m not making assumptions. I’ve actually kept track of comments on Umineko from a variety of sources and overwhelmingly Anime-only viewers said positive things about the show, while VN readers did the majority of the complaining. Of course this is far from scientific, and I realize that there were anime-only fans who were confused, bored or otherwise unhappy with the show. Also, there were plenty of VN reader/players who did like it. But, on average it tended to break down how I described.

    Geekodot, I am sure the director knows which clues are vital and which ones are red herrings, and has simply cut down on the red herrings. If anything, I would imagine that this has simplified things for the anime-viewer. I could be seriously wrong, but I can’t imagine anyone thinking they could just pick and choose what to take out without knowing the ultimate direction the end is taking and the vital points to get there.

    The main problem I’ve noticed from comments made by anime-only viewers that WERE negative are two-fold: First, the characterizations are not always done well, and sometimes done badly. This I agree, and I agree that this is also a place where the VN readers have a good point about stuff left out. But, this series wasn’t about deep character studies to begin with. It’s about testing the powers of logic, and creating an extremely layered mystery. The series is essentially a game for the viewer, and as such, the characters are ultimately just chess pieces in that game. I certainly don’t watch Umineko to get all weepy about Beato’s betrayal in EP3, for instance. The plot twist itself, however, which was pulled off beautifully in the anime, even if the characterization wasn’t that well done, was kick ass.

    Two, the Meta-World, the game board, and the game rules were confusing in the anime for many. This was a legitimate complaint. I figured it out quickly, and I didn’t have any problem with suspending my disbelief because once again, I could view it as a game more than as a story. But, I can imagine how frustrated I’d have been if I watched an episode or two after the meta-world stuff started and I still didn’t get it. I probably would have dropped it, or done what Anon did and started reading the game. They could have cleared all this up really easily too, so it was a dumb mistake on the part of the direction. But, on the other hand, one of the best things about this series, is that the thinking is never done for the viewer, and you don’t know more than Battler on most occassions. So, if you had the brains to keep watching and figure out how it works for yourself, it was very rewarding and satisfying intellectually. Still, they could definitely have made what the meta-world was clearer to the viewer without connecting the dots for them. Of course, maybe it DID make more sense in the original Japanese, and some of that information was lost in translation. I couldn’t say. But, I do sympathize with and understand this point of view. Of course now there are plenty of explanations of the Meta-world on the internet, so if you stopped watching early on for that reason, do a little reading and give it another shot.

  17. Geekodot says:

    @PL
    I thought the same about the red herrings being cut to make room for the real hints until the 4th game. They had way too much cut in red and continuation errors because of the red towards the end of that arc and I therefore doubt that they ever knew what to cut and what to keep.

    I do however think that it is a great anime despite all that, but it makes theorizing alot harder for the anime only viewers. In the beginning, I myself was only watching the anime and I was making theories based on that… Of course, they were denied in the VN, but those theories I had for the first game is not yet denied in the anime. They didn’t even remove the most obvious solution to the game which is what made Battler start making atrocious theories in the first place.

    Bottom line is: The anime is good, but it is hard to make theories from. Umineko is alot more detailed than ordinary mystery novels and requires to convey alot more information to allow proper theorizing.

  18. Anon says:

    @PL

    Like I said, most of the people who hated the anime dropped it. So looking at comments on current episodes isn’t going to give you the full range of opinions on it, because the people who thought it sucked stopped watching it awhile ago.

  19. 4saken says:

    @Anon:
    But that applies to every anime, not just Umineko.
    Because the anime that noone hates and drops doesn’t exist.

  20. Reltair says:

    The last episode felt extremely rushed for me with no real resolution. There needs to be a second season!

  21. spoofle says:

    @chounokoe Definitely passable as an anime, I agree. Not only is the base story great (it’s near impossible to mess up something basic like that) but most of the flaws that did pop up in the adaptation process were flaws that most anime have in some form. Most “unpicky” anime-only viewers could probably enjoy it without issue. Now for those who are more picky I can definitely see why they’d not continue very far past the first episode – or even want to pick up the VN after seeing it. (and there were a lot of potential viewers who dropped it at the first episode or after the first Episode/chapter, hence the apparent lack of heavy critics PL pointed out. And most of the aniblog “masochists” who watch bad anime throughout for the lulz weren’t interested in Umineko in the first place.)

    As an adaptation yeah it’s pretty dismal. It’s even almost kind of sad it how much it average-ifies an exceptionally well-written novel. Anime viewers may hate on the VN readers for disliking the anime – haha that’s kind of a silly wording but it’s a silly thing anyways XD – but sometimes you really don’t know what you’re missing.

    But it really is a hard-to-adapt series in retrospect, and it’s good that people are getting to enjoy the story without having to devote hours of their time to reading. When I think about the overall issues with it, there are just really two: 1) They could’ve directed the characters’ reactions better with little or no loss of time. 2) Instead of picking between speeding up the story to focus on the characters or slowing down the story to make it clearer, they did an odd muddy mix that often balanced to the wrong side at the wrong time. The adaptation probably wouldn’t be so universally disliked among VN readers had they picked a clearer path.

    Which boils down to what people on both sides are saying – sloppy direction was an issue.

    …As for the comparison to Higurashi S1, Higu was definitely a much worse adaptation, seeing as entire chunks of the story were just 100% omitted. Although I’d argue that it has its own merits that make it a better standalone anime.

  22. reverse says:

    the show itself pretty enjoyable before angel show up. there are a lot of mystery happening, but by adding her in to a mix, it kinda useless, went it end like this

    I take back my word if it get second season, until now i would say the direction for this show is lacking, the show should be more compact ,and they shouldn’t animate any fight in this show ( it wasn’t that good ) and focus more on the story.

    some of the gore, I thought it just plain terrible ( what the message “people died went they got kill?” )
    well directed show use less gore with more impact

  23. Meep says:

    Well, I was also really looking forward to this show after enjoying the Higurashi anime so much. It didn’t compare to my excitement and enjoyment for Higurashi, but I feel more inclined to check out the Umineko VN. In fact I will, lol. The characters managed to grow on me a bit, and now I find myself wanting more. ^^

  24. Anonymouse says:

    Comparing this to Higurashi, I’d say Umineko – Higurashi without the killer Loli.
    Back in Crunchyroll I post in the forums about higurashi being all gore and blood which is something to definitely watch; I’d probably do the same for Umineko. The same blood and gore is carried here but I have to disagree with one thing; Except for the first episode set, the viewers(us) is no longer looking for the killer; I mean we all know that bitch whose mood jumps among tsun/dere/psycho is killing them. All that we needed was a convenient logical explanation. The gore was good however, I’ve already watched Higurashi back then and still sleep deprived after watching Mnemosyne(Gore with 18+) a few days ago thus the gore has less impact.

  25. Lloyd says:

    You know, if it weren’t for you Psgels, I would have had to give up on this anime as I don’t know anyone else who was watching it. Rushing through the anime on a thursday afternoon, then rushing to your blog to see your theories was certainly the highlight of my week.

    Hell, I even had to stream the final episode over 2 hours to Ghana just so I could rush over here and see what the buzz was all about without ruining the ‘action’ for me.

    So, once again P-man, I’d just like to say thank you for the amazing ride through. If there isn’t a 2nd season, I’ll just have to try and find somewhere that does the visual novels.

    Looking forward to see what you review next! You just made a fan!

  26. Firechick says:

    Apparently, there are rumors that a second season is announced, but they’re not confirmed yet.

    http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=91419

  27. Jo says:

    I’m one of those VN readers that aren’t really satisfied with the anime. I’ll admit that I’m a bit biased against the anime, but that’s only because it turned something that was good into something more….mediocre. Not even so bad it’s good, just mediocre.

    I don’t really blame DEEN here, though I do think they could have put in more effort and been more tasteful in certain parts (boob jiggling in inappropriate scenes/ stakes hair always being messed up/ REACTIONS, REACTIONS TO DEAAATH GUYS comes to mind) .

    It the director really. It irks me because she shows she can do a good job (episode I-III or the entirety of Episode III for instance) but just decides to screw the whole thing anyway. It’s. Infuriating.

    I agree that Higurashi’s adaption was shit, but as a standalone it was interesting to watch. That was the main point. I understand that there’s less you can cut in Umineko seeing the two are completely different and gosh Umineko is much harder to adapt and so they had to squeeeeze, but really. At least get the characterization RIGHT. ;_; You can cut out all the not too important character development scenes, but GOD. Don’t screw the characters themselves. Battler, Jessica and Natsuhi come to mind. ESPECIALLY Jessica.

    I do think that it has it’s good points, and it honestly carried the story across fairly well. But really, isn’t it a bit difficult to care for a story with characters you cant really care much about? ;_;

  28. Tsukeru says:

    I dont think there will ever be a season 2.
    Ever.
    I mean, its been what, a year since the first season ENDED?D=

  29. Nayrael says:

    Umineko no Naku Koro Ni VN’s have to end first before they animate the 2nd season.
    Also, a year ain’t much.

  30. Ian says:

    I read the visual novel, but to be honest, I don’t mind how the anime turned out. I can see that, on it’s own, it’s a good watch. If it weren’t for the mystery, Umineko just wouldn’t be Umineko. For that, I can honestly say that the anime doesn’t deserve to end on this note. Since DEEN started it, they had might as well finish it.

    People can’t just easily transition from the end of the anime season directly into the beginning of EP5 of the visual novel. They instead have to read the visual novel from EP1, and that may reduce their overall opinion of the anime, thus decreasing demand for a second season. Fans who may never be able to get their hands on the visual novel (regardless of how easy or hard it is to do) will be cheated out of the ultimate ending.

    Poor sales or not, the anime deserves to be finished. It’s not supposed to end at EP4.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

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Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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The Reflection Review – 45/100

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Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

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