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
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser"I'd love to see an anime take of film noir."
What do you call Cowboy bebop?
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