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)

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K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
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