Posted on 28 February 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, this probably is the season in which I watched the least amount of series since Winter 2006 or something. Nevertheless, this season also has a very nice collection of interesting and engaging series. Especially the kids’ series and the series that put a lot of effort into their settings are doing well. The upcoming spring season seems to be one of opportunities:: there’s a ton of series with a great production-team and a generic premise, or generic production teams and a great premise.

#18 (14) – Hanamaru Youchien – (7,5/10) – Seriously… what happened? Here we have a nice series about a bunch of kids who have fun in a kindergarten… and suddenly this show decides that it also wants a brother complex drama. This series had such a simple formula… so why are the creators forgetting that?
#17 (16) – Ookami Kakushi – (7,75/10) – Yeah, now I’m convinced that this, like most other works of the director, is a wasted potential. The source this time is the “useless lead character”-syndrome: he’s the least interesting character of the entire cast, he never really does anything, his part in the story and especially his central role doesn’t make any sense, and most importantly: he gobbles up all of the precious airtime that could have been focused at the more interesting characters. Right now, the rest of the cast can’t show their best sides because of this guy and the plot events just happen without a lot of meaning to them.
#16 (15) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – The brother arc was nice, PROVIDED that the creators won’t stretch it any further than what they have now. It was a great way to develop these two characters, but I know that my patience is going to break if it gets stretched out any further. Oh, and seriously: is there any reason why Sawako and Kazehaya haven’t hooked up yet? Seriously.
#15 (12) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – There’s still lots and lots of talking in this series, but it’s still interesting and witty. The series does need to think about character-development if it wants to remain interesting for 10 more episodes, though.
#14 (9) – Gag Manga Biyori + – (8/10) – It’s a bit of a shame that out of all the episodes it decides to recap, it picks the dullest ones. Ah well, the original episodes, especially episode five, were just priceless. And I still can’t get enough of that ED.
#13 (8) – Letter Bee – (8/10) – ZOMG Second Season! That one announcement totally re-established my faith in this series. The episodes this month haven’t been among this series’ highlights, but they served their purpose as build-up well.
#12 (18) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – Last month I had my fears, but this series picked itself back up again, and is as enjoyable as ever. One thing that also really helps here is the great voice-acting for the lead characters: it’s inspired, fun and creative and continually makes the characters fun to watch.
#11 (13) – Cobra the Animation – (8/10) – This show knows exactly what it is: space adventures, and it delivers on this. The creativity in this series in my opinion beats that of Cobra 1982 by miles and despite the fact that Cobra kicks ass in just about every way imaginable, it’s consistently enjoyable.
#10 (10) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10)

Most comedies would have burned out at this point, but not Sunred: it still keeps fresh jokes coming, and it skilfully knows how long it should repeat certain jokes before they get stale. Or how long it should repeat certain jokes to turn them into running gags. After nearly fifty episodes, it’s still a fresh source of comedy.

#9 (11) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8,25/10)

It’s a kid’s show, yes. But I find myself enjoying this series more and more with every episode. The different horror stories are consistently well told and varied. I can always count on this series to give me a weekly fix of horror.

#8 (new) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,5/10)

Finally another good mahou shoujo appeared again. Heartcatch Precure is miles away from regular Precure series, it’s got a very strong direction, the characters’ expressions are very detailed and varied and the comedy itself is consistently funny as well. Not to mention the gorgeous Casshern-esque character-designs.

#7 (9) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10)

Noo! Episode 38 showed the beginning of the finale, meaning that this wonderful series is going to end soon. Such a shame, but at least it’s good to see that this series ends at the point where it’s at its height, rather than dying a slow death. And the finale itself also did not dent the quality in any way either: the creators have chosen a very appropriate story for this series.

#6 (6) – Kobato – (8,5/10)

I must praise the creators for how the developed Kobato: she’s gotten downright adorable at this point, and the rest of the cast also has so much charms. This is a simple series, but because of that it’s wonderful to see how well the development has become.

#5 (4) – Cross Game – (8,5/10)

Since the baseball matches never were Cross Game’s strong point, I wasn’t really looking forward to this point. But to my surprise, the characters did not lose their unique charms. In fact, while the series’ mood changed to less subtle, this show avoided jumping the shark and instead still is an utter joy to watch due to these developments.

#4 (7) – Sora no Oto – (8,75/10)

This series has really proven itself to be more than just moe. The characters are well written and down to earth, and yet it also proves that it can hit hard with episodes as episode 7. the direction knows when it needs to be subtle and when it needs to be powerful, I’m very impressed.

#3 (3) – Durarara – (8,75/10)

This series has proven to be excellent at weaving together so many different stories in the same episodes. It’s witty, funny, powerful, touching, engaging, well characterized, varied and the way that every episode is told through the perspective of a different character gives quite a unique dimension to everything.

#2 (2) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9/10)

The way in which this series really sets itself apart from others is its focus on finding allies:Ed and Al by far aren’t the only ones in the middle of this story; there are so many different characters who are trying to accomplish the same or similar goals to their own, and they all work together to get there. It also of course really helps that the execution is as solid as ever.

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

Even though this series has been among my favourites of the past five months, it still continues to impress with such a powerful and imaginative plot, along with strong themes and messages. I salute the two central characters that we saw for their beliefs.

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



This episode was all about the “Promised Day”: the day at which Father is planning to put that huge transmutation circle he’s been preparing to use. We now see the rest of the cast head to Central City, but the doesn’t forget to get developed either. Plus, the start of this episode was just priceless. It was a great way for Ed and Winry to see each other again without the usual melodramatic hugging and stuff.

Oh, and poor Al. In the past few episodes hes been doing fairly well, but in this episode he got captured when father sent Pride after him. Interestingly enough, Pride’s words seem to hint at how Al isn’t needed for the Promised day, but instead they require him for something after that. Could collecting Ed, All, Izumi and that other mysterious person actually be the next step in his plan? After all, their part is the only ones that weren’t hinted at in the Hohenheim flashback.

The end of this episode was also very stylishly done, but that again brings us to the Golden rule of anime: a character isn’t dead unless this is confirmed. I doubt whether a homunculus would die that easily anyway. Considering their regenerative power and all. It also showed what a large amount of people is on Ed and Roy’s side at this point: the amount of soldiers behind the Bradley assassination plan was just huge. On top of that, this episode revealed even more allies: the Ishbal survivors. While the overall story of this series has turned out to be very impressive, I believe that the thing that truly sets this story apart from all other stories is this quest for allies.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Letter Bee



Um… so yeah. Last week I said that I was going to drop this series. This was because I found out that there were only going to be 25 episodes in this series. With anime’s current trend, there was no way for a second season to be announced, considering the popularity. I mean: Guin Saga and Pandora Hearts were much more well known compared to this series, and yet they didn’t get a sequel. At that point I had completely lost any sort of confidence about studios, willing to spend more than 26 episodes to a franchise unless proven to be commercially successful.

So yeah. A second season just got announced. I’m baffled. Seriously, this is the last show that I expected that of. Forget about all of the stuff I’ve said about this series’ length; Studio Pierrot, THANKS for restoring my confidence in sequels. This show rocks! And I’m very curious about that second season, since it looks like it’s going to start at the point at which this series is really going to get interesting. But please, do keep the fillers there within a limit. Or at least good. Definitely the best news I’ve seen this month.

Anyway, about this episode, we’re back to the manga again (very easy to tell, because it deals with the past of some of the important characters, in this case Sunderland). Overall, I liked the story of the blind researcher, especially the chemistry between her and Sunderland. You can see how this guy used to be much tenser in the past, and I think that we can blame her for changing him.

Oh, and Gauche also makes an appearance. The story will be continued in the next episode. I wonder whether he’ll be more than just a straight man in this story.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure



I’ve tried watching a Precure before, but the furthest I got was with Fresh Precure (the one of last year), at around episode 6. The thing with that series is: there was just no conflict! The three main characters had no worries, flaws or anything negative. Especially Love, the lead one: she was just having fun every single day, ran around with a random idol, and because of that the battles felt as mundane as having lunch. Talk about contrast with Heart Catch.

This series surely wastes no time with the character-development, seriously. I expected this episode to be just a random monster one, and but instead the creators don’t intend to just waste these episodes and instead build further upon the chemistry between the two lead characters. The result was such an adorable episode, and I’m growing to like Tsubomi more and more.

That really begs the question: what ever could the creators have planned for the rest of this series? I mean, there still are what? 46 episodes left? Most mahou shoujo of this type generally use these first number of episodes to flesh out their cast, but this episode went much further than that. I see this as a hint for some very interesting plans for this series’ latter half.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 February 2010 with categories: Cobra The Animation



Well, this is just the last series I expected to just get better and better with every episode. Don’t ask me why, but even though this series started out as a guilty pleasure, I’m genuinely enjoying it now. This episode again: the characters were very simple, but the ideas and the storytelling, along with Yoshihiro Ike’s soundtrack again turned this into an enjoyable episode. I’m a big fan of adventure series, but I often find them lacking in the creativity department. This show has exactly that.

And I have to praise this series: it’s one of the few ones that you can see has a ton of fun, making its own stuff up. Rugball was one of the highlights of Cobra 1982, and here it again comes with a great premise: in a free fall of 30000 feet, participants have to assemble their own vehicles, just in time before plummeting to their death and finish a race at high speed. I love the idea behind it.

One thing that I also appreciate is that ever since that first arc, the entire mentality of this series has changed. While at first, it had the “Cobra and the girl get a happy end”-mentality, instead, the series changed to the “only Cobra is awesome enough to have the happy end”. This makes the females in this series much less useless than they once were. Instead, they’re often the main villains, rather than damsels in distress. In this episode I again feared for Panela to fall into the same trap, but guess what? She died!

But seriously though, there’s no denying that this series is flawed, but nevertheless this series knows exactly what it is, and it’s been using that to its advantage and made this an excellent adaptation. Compare that to Hanamaru Youchien, for example, where the creators can’t seem to realize that they’re animating a show about a kindergarten. Or Letter Bee, in which the creators were building up to a great story that they never had the plans for to animate. In my view, there were too many series this season that failed to capture their essences. Cobra The Animation, however, succeeded in that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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



What an amazing conclusion to this arc. This series has really been delivering from start to finish, and I can only hope that the entire story can get animated within the next four episodes.

At this point, all of the characters on the outer side of the moral spectrum are dead now: on one side we have Volken’s immense belief in justice, and Noloty’s endless kindness, and on the other we have the power-hungry leader of an evil organization who wants to change the world. The way this series has portrayed them is nowhere near overused, though. Kachua has been a great villain throughout the series: he always had this air of mystery around him, and it’s not like he started out as someone who wanted to destroy the world: it was only his final trump as the Church neared extinction. But I especially applaud Noloty: she really showed that naivety and innocence in an action-series aren’t overrated.

Sure, there are tons of series with lead characters who refuse to kill and all, but it’s Noloty who takes this a step further. Her kind of love for everyone goes far beyond “thou shalt not kill”, but rather tries to look behind it, in her attempts to infect the world with her kindness; kindof the opposite that Kachua has been doing in the past arc. And I guess that that shallowness of his approach was also symbolized in how easy the infected people turned back to normal: in order to truly change something, you need to change its core, like what Noloty has been doing. Brainwashing is just a temporarily solution.

In any case: now what? The main focus of this series is now going to be this “heaven”. People seem obsessed with entering it. Hamyuts in this episode revealed that she indeed wants to die, but do so gloriously. My guess is that that would be her attempt to become a true man and enter this heaven. That mysterious killer guy who killed Vizac and Noloty has his own ways of doing it, by simply betraying the armed librarians. My guess is that Mokkania also tried it at some point, but locked himself away when he realized what he was doing (since this episode did show that he killed quite a number of innocent people as well).

Speaking of which: what happened to Kachua’s book? Will that one still play a role, since he died as a seemingly true man, after all?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 26 February 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



Those who have been reading this blog for a while now probably know that I’m a big fan of those compilation-movies: the ones that challenge all kinds of different artists and storytellers to produce a short animation film of 10 to 20 minutes, and combine them all together into one. The fact that Halo Legends is based upon an American franchise makes it even better, giving these films an international flavour, combining east and west.

Overall, even though I’ve played none of the games, I was very pleasantly surprised by Halo Legends, there are some true gems among these stories. Here are some individual comments on all of them:

Origins – I – Just a background story of the world the games are set in. It’s a standard post-apocalyptic story, but well paced. It’s got a great soundtrack all-round, and the art looks pretty nice. The animation however… not so much.

Prototype – I went into this without any background story whatsoever, so I did miss who these characters were, but that was the beauty of this episode: it possesses enough characterization and background to make them stand apart anyway, and the holes in their background added to their mysterious characters. This one produced a great feel of the battlefields that the Hal-games envisioned.

The Babysitter – This one starts out mundane and boring, but ends as the best one yet. Despite the weak set-up it continues to push the right buttons and even gets some development into the short time-frame. The graphics also move from rather ugly to utterly gorgeous, and you can really see that the guys from Studio 4C are trying out a ton of different animation techniques.

The Package – Entirely rendered in CG – yes, even the characters’ faces. It looks great, but this episode tries to be a bit too much like a game, and the formula hurts a lot. Game adaptations are great, just because out of all possible adaptations they require the most input from the creators of the adaptations, in order to really work (there’s no way to animate game-over screens, after all), and this one took too little liberties, and just went for the eye-candy. I like eye-candy, but not when I don’t care about the rest of the story.

Homecoming – Whoa! Another excellent example of how much you can do in just fifteen minutes. Instead of showing a random story, the creators succeeded in showing a character here, one with actual depth that gets explored perfectly in such a short time-frame. Oh, and best soundtrack yet, and the backgrounds are also gorgeously detailed. The characters’ faces were a bit too much of plastic, though.

Odd One Out – And now for something completely different. Odd one out has no depth, it’s got a basic story, premise and lacks any sort of intelligence. What it is, however is a fun ten-minute shounen episode with lots of loud people fighting. Nothing special, but the characters all have their charms, and that’s what I think the creators of this one tried to achieve.

Origins – II – Oh, the graphics in this short kick so much ass! No frame feels the same, every frame is full of imagination and incredibly varied. This one is again back-story, and the slide-show it presents while the central character has her story does wonders to illustrate her narration. This drew me in far more than the first Origins, and smartly uses the build-up provided by the former.

The Duel – This one also is done entirely in CG, but with a really weird filter put on top of it. It’s… intrusive to say the least. In any case, what sets this one apart is the classic Japanese style of storytelling: here the creators took an evil alien race, and turned it into a Japanese-esque tribe of pride and stubbornness. The characters are pretty static, though, and the scenario was a bit too predictable at times.

If I’d have to rank these eight from least favourite to most, it’d be the following:
8. The Package
7. Odd One Out
6. Origins – I
5. The Duel
4. Prototype
3. Origins – II
2. Homecoming
1. The Babysitter

The top four were a bit of a weird experiment. For those who were looking forward to Mamoru Oshii’s involvement: don’t. He only worked on The Duel, and while it was an interesting attempt to show that animation is more than just 2D and 3D CG and Japanese or American, it was 1) too Japanese for that to really work, and 2) you could clearly see that it was just 3D CG with a random filter. Anyone with a video editing tool could do that.

The bottom four however, were definitely worth it, and Bones, Bee-Train and Studio 4C did an amazing job bringing these short stories to life. I especially loved Homecoming and the Babysitter: even though the characters looked a bit weird in the beginning, they made up with it with some amazing eye candy and a ton of personality. It’s very difficult to get sympathetic characters out of just 15 minutes, but these two more than did it.

The best in terms of graphics came from Studio 4C; while just about every episode aside from the Duel looked great, Origins and The Babysitter push good looking even further by not focusing on extreme detail, but instead on creativity. Their shorts are a visual feast, mostly because they throw in so many different artworks that are varied, bold and all kick ass. The music… hell, do I need to even say it? While the music was excellent for every short, Homecoming had by far the best soundtrack.

All I can say is: Studio 4C, Production IG, Bones, Bee Train, and just about every other anime studio who’s ever participated in these kinds of projects: please keep doing them! The beauty of these projects is that with so much diversity, there are so many interesting and different stories to tell. Sure, there will be some disappointing episodes, but even then the nice ones are bound to make up for them.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Prototype, Origins II, Homecoming and The Babysitter make excellent use of their short time-frame and put forth a truly engaging story.
Characters: 8/10 – A bit held back by the cardboard characters of Odd One Out and The Package.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous and varied graphics, though at times the animation itself could be better.
Setting: 8/10 – I’ve never seen Halo, and I’m impressed at how they portrayed such a seemingly cliched back-story.
Posted on with categories: Durarara



One of the many reasons why this series rocks is the following: even though every episode is dedicated to one particular character (in this case Celty), it never forgets that it has a huge cast, and also shows some of the lives of the other characters that don’t have anything to do with the episode’s main focus, beyond mere cameos. This is especially important early on in the series, and a lot of series seem to forget the entire rest of the cast when they decide to dedicate an episode to one or two particular characters. This is a great way to breathe life into all of your characters, rather than just one or two.

I also have to say, that this show is very good at red herrings. We finally get to see Celty’s real head confirmed. I could have sworn that it was captured by that scientist woman, but no! It was the girl with the scar after all! In any case, it’s great to finally see an episode from Celty’s perspective. This episode was mostly slice of life, but very enjoyable slice of life nonetheless. We got to see her worries and how much finding her head back means to her, and this episode managed to get much more into her character than in the Shinra-episode, at which she first was properly introduced.

The question-mark in this episode was that strange guy who blew himself up. I mean, what was up with that? We never saw him before, he just appears and then kills himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if Izaya was behind it, but still, that might seem a bit extreme even for him, to suddenly command an army of suicide terrorists…

And yeah, Walker and Erika were really cute together in this episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 February 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



With this third season, I’m completely sold on the Maria-Sama ga Miteru franchise. The first season took a while to get going, while the second dragged on a bit too much in its second half, but this series of OVAs is perfectly paced, making for five excellent double-length episodes.

This season is all about character-development. It’s always been a big part of the Maria-Sama ga Miteru series, and it’s something that just gets better and better here in this season. It advances the characters, and also does wonders in fleshing out how exactly the characters have changed from the beginning of the first season.

While at first sight yet another high school drama, Maria-Sama ga Miteru sets itself apart in so many different ways. The unique drama that results from the fact that it’s a very neat school, so much that even the tiniest misunderstanding can create genuine and powerful drama. The way in which each student chooses her own younger sister gives a unique twist to these characters, and really allows them to get the best character-development possible in such a setting. It’s a series that’s elegant and innocent, and this shines through the third season more than ever. Even though some of the most interesting characters of the first two seasons have left now, the remaining characters picked up the pace perfectly and created their own story. Yumi, while I once criticised her for sticking her nose into everything, has developed into a wonderful character at this point.

The OVA-format also means that there was no budget wasted on broadcasting costs, so the graphics also look better and more consistent than ever. This third season is well paced, with just the right balance between drama, slice of life and character-development. Overall, I’m very impressed.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Excellent balance and pacing that gets the best out of the characters.
Characters: 9/10 – At this point the characters all have some sort of interesting development behind them.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Very solid, as expected of the OVA-format.
Setting: 8/10 – Is set in a high school, yet feels unique.
Posted on 23 February 2010 with categories: Kobato



Oh, how I love Madhouse. Kobato has never been among their big-budgeted series, but in episodes like this they just go all out, and produce an absolutely gorgeous episode that has among the best eye-candy I’ve seen this season. The way they handle their CG is miles above most other animation companies.

And about this episode… I can only say how adorable it was. It was all about Kobato and Kiyokazu, and the development between the two was basic, but very heart-warming. Show this as a random episode and it’ll probably fall short. The reason why I enjoyed this episode so much was because of how the characters were already developed at this point. Kobato is the kind of series that doesn’t offer much in the short term, however it’s a gem on the long term.

Also, while he played just a very small part in this episode, I loved Ioryogi. He was just adorable, both in the way at which he kept reminding Kobato (who is more and more trying to avoid that matter) of the konpeito-bottle, and the way that he ended up celebrating Christmas. I really thought that that white creature didn’t want to talk to him anymore, but here this episode proved me wrong. This will offer even more opportunity for the creators to get the finale right. The main focus is going to be on two things:
– What will happen off the nursery?
– What will happen to Kobato?

The former will probably result in a good ending, but I don’t care about that: I’m only interested in the role that every single character will have in it. The latter however has been built up extremely well. It’s about the reverse of Chobits: in there the main storyline started off incredibly intriguing but became less and less interesting as the show went on. Here, I’m looking more and more forward to that ending. I blame Kobato: she’s become such an adorable character at this point.

(Not that I consider Chobits to be bad or anything, of course, but what made Chobits stand out was its collection of themes and subject matters, not the main characters).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Kaiser Eoghan
Admittedly yes the premise is not for everyone, but if you stick with it, the flashback arc had some good character work in there.
CATski
Rakugo has a season 2? I watched ep 1 - 3 of season 1 then promptly deleted it. The loud "yankee" dude was annoying. And the anime was boring.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh man, I've been thinking lately of trying to start some kind of youtube channel. I did a few trial run videos. Its much much harder than it looks, didn't realize how nervy being in front of a video camera was.
Kaiser Eoghan
*a declining art and rakygo halls are closing down
Kaiser Eoghan
As the show continues to mention how "its declining art", that got me thinking of the modern day, how while things like tv and cinemas probably hurt attendances for rakugo performances, the internet has replaced theaters .
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, now I've watched it. It'll be interesting to see Yotaro's relation to sukeroku's daughter develop. By all intents he should be an irritating character and not as interesting a yakumo based on his personality, but I can't help but like him, example of a goofball character done right.
Anonymous654016
ElDlive is looking good
Kaiser Eoghan
I haven't gotten around to rakugo's second seasons first episode yet =<
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Some Quick First Impressions: Spiritpact, Demi-chan wa Kataritai and Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

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Some Quick First Impressions: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2, Seiren and Urara Meirochou

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Some Quick First Impressions: Youjo Senki, Schoolgirl Strikers and Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

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