Posted on 31 March 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Ah, it’s finally spring. It’s a season of lots and lots of rain that eventually turns into nice weather. Seriously though, the reason I’m looking forward to it because this time it really is a season of opportunities: Noitamina is growing, and besides that there is a ton series that either have a great staff with a dull premise, or a great premise with a dull staff. It really can go anywhere, and that’s why I’m looking forward it to it a lot, despite that it may not be as full as compared to the spring seasons of previous years.

As for this season, I’m actually glad that there were rather few series worth watching, because my schedule has become much busier over the past two months, which really allowed me to get used to it. It’s not my favourite season by far, but it did excel in terms of comedies and kids’ shows. The best company of this season was Toei: they didn’t just come with one great series, they had three of them. Four if you also count One Piece, but I’m not watching that series (WAY too long and intimidating).

As for this month’s rankings, aside from my favourites, my rankings got completely jumbled up in comparison to last month. This mostly is due to some excellent series with disappointing finales, and series that I considered to be only decent suddenly turning awesome.

#22 (new) – KissXSis – (3/10) – This is just.. awful. Nothing but an excuse for porn, with hardly anything else. I don’t think that anyone is going to watch this show for something other than the nude girls here. For me, it’s already the worst of the new season even though only four shows have aired yet.
#21 (new) – Koihime Musou – (3,5/10) – It’s exactly the same as it’s ever been: incredibly stupid moe humor. Bored me to death. Dropped.
#20 (new) – Ikkitousen – (4,5/10) – Here’s the thing: for Ikkitousen, it wasn’t that bad of an episode. If I’m not mistaken, the appeal of this show is fighting + fanservice, and that’s pretty much what that episode delivered on, compared to the godawful Dragon Destiny and Great Guardians. Still, with regular standards the show still is pretty cheesy and full of stupid and stereotypical characters.
#19 (new) – Working!! – (5/10) – I’ve been looking forward to this series, but alas. It’s sense of humour is completely different from mine, and as a result I only was annoyed by the countless teenaged antics that the creators kept trying to push forward. Dropped.
#18 (17) – Ookami Kakushi – (6,5/10) – Well, everything pretty much derailed for this show. While it looked like it was actually trying in the beginning, the ending was just terrible thanks to the useless male lead and the really cheesy villain. The adults all started acting like complete morons, and nothing really got solved in the end. The final gag episode also was a pain to sit through.
#17 (16) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – Granted, this finale was definitely more bearable than the rest of this series, but it never really solved anything. All we got was a message that said that if you ‘liked the story, you should check out the manga and a second season might be made’. Gee, how subtle.
#16 (11) – Cobra The Animation – (7,75/10) – Not the strongest month for Cobra, as I liked it best when it was episodic. The final arc took up four episodes, and it could have been condensed a bit as it dragged a bit for too long. Nevertheless, it was entertaining and kept me busy.
#15 (4) – Sora no Oto – (7,75/10) – The first two thirds of this series were truly excellent. However, I just can’t say the same of what Sora no Oto showed us the past month. It tried to do way too much in way too little time, and it wanted to be way too epic, forgetting that it was supposed to be a slice of life series. The final episode was way too rushed and pulled way too many convenient plot twists. The best that this month has shown was probably the German.
#14 (10) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10) – The final episodes weren’t among the highlights of Sunred’s second season, but I still got a good laugh out of them. It’s sad to see this show go, as it’s been one of those rare comedy sequels to actually surpass its original.
#13 (7) – Marie & Gali – (8,25/10) – So the finale took up this month’s airtime for Marie & Gali, so it wasn’t exactly amongst the series’ highlights. However, it was nowhere near bad. I love how the finale, instead of creating a cheesy climax that had nothing to do with the rest of the series, instead forced Marika to think for herself. That’s of course the perfect ending for a series that’s about exploring the wonders of science.
#12 (5) – Cross Game – (8,25/10) – One thing that I didn’t like about Cross Game this month was that most of its time was spent on its rather boring baseball match in the finale of the regional championships. It was the thing I had been fearing for twenty episodes now, and it indeed was nowhere as good as the truly excellent slice of life of this series. Nevertheless, the actual ending closed off the series really well.
#11 (15) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10) – Episode 3 was heaps better than the first two episodes: an interesting scenario, an interesting villain, the dialogue was much more focused and the fight again was short and sweet. It’s definitely an interesting series to watch like this.
#10 (12) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8,25/10)

Episode 25 started this series mid-way climax. And it was… unusual. Completely different from the laid-back nature of the rest of the series. I’m actually quite curious what the creators are planning for the second half of this series.

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

I’m also pretty amazed at how well this series is doing in terms of popularity and audience numbers, and it pretty much deserves it. I can very much imagine that kids are loving this little horror series, and it’s still delivering simple but fun and varied horror stories that are consistently scary.

#8 (18) – Hanamaru Youchien – (8,25/10)

I’m a bit sad about that open ending. I mean, if there’s one series that could have easily made up its own ending, it would have been this one, and it would have been much more satisfying than what we got to see right now, which basically was a build-up for nothing. Ignoring that however, then Hanamaru Youchien has gotten significantly better in its final third. The characters came together, the comedy became funnier, the characters developed a bit. Overall a very enjoyable finale.

#7 (14) – Gag Manga Biyori + – (8,5/10)

Absolutely hilarious. Especially the Wolf-man episode was beyond funny, but the other new episodes were also classics.

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

It’s great to see that this series is currently working diligently to introduce all of the major characters, rather than wallowing away too much in random stories. It’s exactly what this show should be doing at this point.

#5 (13) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

You know, I was just going to casually enjoy the rest of this series and wait for the second season to really start off the plot. But damn… that final episode. The final ten minutes of this show single-handedly increased my opinion of this series significantly. It’s a huge cliff-hanger, but at the same time it was a wonderful way to end the first season with.

#4 (3) – Durarara – (8,75/10)

This month Durarara really managed to elevate itself to a higher level, and became something unique. The dialogue has been really well written in order to get the best out of the characters, and it’s really been working so far. More and more characters are shedding the seemingly stereotypical look that they had in the beginning.

#3 (6) – Kobato – (8,75/10)

Kobato really surpassed itself this month, with a very solid and heart-wrenching conclusion that really made use of its time. For me, it’s had the best ending of the season.

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

We’re really moving to the climax now, as this series has been ramping up the action while still developing the plot at a steady pace. Exciting is an understatement to describe this series.

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

The big problem with this show right now is that it should have been 35 episodes long, instead of 27. So yeah, it’s a bit rushed, but seriously, that still doesn’t make it any less awesome than that it already was. I’m still enjoying this show more than any other at the moment and despite the rushed plot the creators did manage to capture the essences of the final chapters of the story. Because of that it’s awesome to see everything finally coming together.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke



Romances often are annoying, which can often be attributed to characters acting completely irrational, illogical and against their own feelings. I’ve watched quite a few series that created a well developed cast this way, like with Bokura ga Ita and White Album. Kimi ni Todoke however… just… didn’t work for me.

The first half of this series really was a pain for me to try and sit through. The premise is simple: a very shy and socially inept girl (Sawako) and a popular, good-looking guy (Kazehaya) fall in love with each other. Fair enough, but the execution left a lot to be desired, especially when the creators started focusing on the love triangles. Hordes of girls turn out to be in love with Kazehaya as well, and the drama that results out of it is horribly dragged out for way longer than it should have, and the creators treat it like some kind of blasphemy if any of the two lead characters even dares to talk to someone of the other gender.

For a series that’s about the high school years of a bunch of people, Sawako and Kazehaya don’t really feel like interesting characters at all. Sawako is way too pure: whenever someone tries to take advantage of her feelings (by making her jealous for example), her incredible naivety just feels incredibly unnatural and it quickly turns into a bit of a lame gimmick. Kazehaya on the other hand is just so bland as a male romantic interest. He’s just… there, with hardly any personality about him other than some guy who just keeps smiling.

What also did not help was this series’ facial expressions, especially the chibi-distortions that you see in most of those other shoujo series as well. Usually they’re used with stylistic purposes; you know, colour each character with these seemingly over the top reactions. Here however, they felt more like “Okay, you can laugh now”-signs. They’re often badly animated in contrast to the rest of this series’ beautiful looks, are forced and hardly ever are actually used in funny situations. This show just continuously tried to be subtle, while it ultimately just wasn’t.

The only subtle part that I actually found about this series was its character-development. THANKFULLY, this show gets better in its second half as soon as the main love rival is put on a bus away from the main plot. From there on the characters change ever so slightly: Sawako learns how to appreciate life more and Kazehaya becomes less bland, but it’s not that the creators try to shove this development down your throat like they did with the love triangles. it really helps for a series if its final arc is the best one, and that pretty much was the case here.

Still, I don’t think that this show is the same as White Album, in which an excellent second half made up for an incredibly annoying first half. In the end I still see Kimi ni Todoke as a bit of a half-baked series with characters that never really stand out at anything. It’s overall something that will keep you busy on a rainy day with not much else to do, but there are a lot of better series out there.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Lacks subtlety, drags on for way too long.
Characters: 8/10 – Decent enough in its focus at being in love, with slight development that at least makes the final parts of the series interesting enough.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great visuals, as expected from Production IG, but the chibi-drawings annoy.
Setting: 7/10 – Pretty much your standard high school setting Nothing that really stands out.

Suggestions:
Bokura ga Ita
True Tears
Kimikiss – Pure Rouge

Posted on 30 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



BY FAR the most underwatched and underrated series of the past winter-season was Gag Manga Biyori’s fourth season. There were no subs, the first season was already very much unknown, and its random and unimpressive promo-art that lacked any moe whatsoever lead to only few people to give it a chance. On top of that, it also didn’t help that half of this season was a recap: only the odd numbered episoded episodes were new, while the even ones were just episodes taken from previous seasons.

But here’s the thing: never since the best episodes of Gintama have I laughed as hard at an anime as with this series. This isn’t just a case of a series that’s ‘decent despite its popularity’, no. Gag Manga Biyori+ is one of the funniest things I’ve seen since ages. Besides that, it has nothing: there’s no plot, no characters, the graphics suck. But the new episodes were so awesome to watch that I just don’t care. Even the first season wasn’t as good as the episodes here.

Of course, its sense of humour is not for everyone. If you’re into moe humour then you don’t want to watch this series. However, if you’re looking for hyperactivity, then you really can’t get anything more hyperactive than this. This show elevates energetic to completely new levels, the pacing is absolutely through the roof. It never waits for its audience to catch a bit of breath, it just keeps bombarding it with joke after joke after joke, all of them over the top. With episodes of five minutes, it’s also no commitment at all to try and watch this season. My advice is that if you want something energetic to laugh at and happen to know some Japanese, then give this show a shot. If you don’t know Japanese, then you can at least check out the first season, which did come fully subbed.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Absolutely hilarious. I haven’t laughed this hard in ages.
Characters: 8/10 – Um, yeah. Random characters for every episodes. But they don’t really need to be anything more.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Smooth animation, but simple art style and a lot of still frames. But it doesn’t really need to be anything better.
Setting: 8/10 – Um, yeah. It’s knowledgeable about the things it parodies, I guess.

(So yeah, this is pretty much an incredibly subjective review: I’m only rating it this high because I found it so incredibly funny ^^;)
– Excel Saga
– The other Gag Manga Biyori Seasons
Kodomo no Omocha
Sexy Commando Gaiden

Posted on 29 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




The Animax Grand Prix is something like a contest for amateur writers: submit your story, and the winner gets his story animated in a 20-minute OVA. Up till now, the results have been mostly simple kids stories: Yume da Maya Kidan for example was about a girl’s relationship with her brother who got kidnapped by an angry demon, while Takane no Jitensha was about a boy’s relationship with his younger sister. Shoka however, is completely different.

From the screenshots you can pretty much see its unusual art style, and ultimately Shoka is an action OVA: its animation is truly gorgeous. The animation is messy, but detailed and very imaginative. And for once, you can actually see that the animators have put some attention in the lip movement of characters: their mouths don’t just simply move up and down whenever they’re speaking, but you can actually see their mouths form the syllables that they’re trying to say.

The action and animation is really why you should want to watch this little OVA, because apart from that it doesn’t have much else. The story is just there to show the action, and the characters too are pretty simple. The dialogue is also nothing special, as shown in the minute of cheesy comedy that is tacked at the end.

So yeah at the end this OVA knows how to build up tension, and how to write excellent action. But the thing is that these things can all be attributed to the adaptation staff. For once I’d like to see an actually great short story being picked up by the Animax Grand Prix. There are enough amateur writers who are capable of such a thing.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Nice action.
Characters: 6/10 – Just serve as tools for the action; cheesy dialogue.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous and detailed animation.
Setting: 7/10 – Nice idea of calligraphers, but 20 minutes is way too short to really explore it to its fullest

Suggestions:
Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi
Kai Doh Maru
– Manie Manie

Posted on 28 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hanamaru Youchien




Here’s a slice of life series that’s slightly different from what you usually see. The lead character is really a typical lead character, but he’s an actual adult. The series takes place not at a high school, but a kindergarten. Add a whole dose of role-play to that, and you pretty much get the formula of Hanamaru Youchien. A fun and relaxing series. And as an added bonus, the characters are well written as well.

Hanamaru Youchien basically spends its time either role playing, or fleshing out the characters. The former is just fun: we get to see inside the imagination of a bunch of five-year olds and their crazy ideas, and all of the adventures that they go on are consistently enjoyable, carrying an air of homage and parody that the creators (both Gainax and its director Seiji Mizushima) are famous for. The latter actually succeeds in making all of the adults into actual characters rather than stereotypes and paper bags.

Especially Tsuchida, the lead character, is one of those rare examples of a typical male lead done right. While he can be a loser at times, he also has enough things that he’s good at, his character is dynamic enough to allow him to evolve, rather than staying in the same one-sided stereotypes. The side-cat is also excellent in their support to the main cast. We get to know the backgrounds and motivations of everyone, and why they become involved as kindergarten teachers. In the end, the adults in this series get fleshed out so well that they actually manage to trump the adventures of the different kids in the series.

The biggest problem with this series however is that it doesn’t know whether it wants to also have romance or not. The ingredients are there: the lead character has someone he’s in love with. she’s just ridiculously clueless and at the end they’re still not together. I mean, if you’re going to set up some romance, at least have the decency to not build a brick wall between the lead characters.

There’s also a bit of an annoying sister, but she only appears in two episodes or so. The rest of this series is light-hearted and down to earth, but still has this sense of maturity that contrasts really well with the younger kids. The drama that’s there is short and focused, and doesn’t come across forced or too dramatic at all, so this series both ended up delivering in its serious and funny parts. On top of that, you also have to love what this series has done with its EDs: every episode has a completely different one, with a completely different style, genre and soundtrack.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Varied, fun and adorable.
Characters: 8/10 – This show confirms why I keep advocating adults in anime.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid animation and cute graphics.
Setting: 8/10 – Not the most creative series out there, but creative enough to fill 12 episodes, and the kindergarten itself and the world around it is also well portrayed.

Similar Series:
Ristorante Paradiso
Yume de Aetara
– Bottle Fairy

Posted on with categories: Hanamaru Youchien



So… for the ones who were hoping for a conclusion: there is none. As it turns out, the creators just decided to animate a bunch of chapters and just stopped when the episodes ran out. Seriously, it’s a bit of a bummer to see Tsuchida and Yamamoto still not together. In the end, Yamamoto’s cluelessness was really one of my two major annoyances about this series. The other was Tsuchida’s sister.

Nevertheless, when you view this as a random episode, rather than an ending, it was pretty good and well written. Anzu’s dream was a bit weird (especially since it contained the ONLY KISS in this series…), but the random character cameos were definitely interesting. The second half, while not wrapping anything up, did show a lot of new things about the characters (including on how Anzu’s parents ended up married), and Anzu also gave up on Tsuchida as well. But yeah, it’s a bit pointless to do all this build-up for an ending that’s never going to be there.

Still, I’ve been very much surprised by this series. I really started blogging it on a whim. The only reason for it was because the rest of the season was so incredibly dry. But it’s been fun. It’s certainly not the most enjoyable series out there, and the director has done a far better job at Ooedo Rocket in terms of light-heartedness. But for what it was, it was a very nice and enjoyable series.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure



I really love this: the creators could decide to go lazy and instead animate a bunch of random stories. Instead, it’s focusing its first quarter at establishing every major character. This time, it’s the turn of Erika’s sister, building further upon the third episode in which we learned about how jealous Erika is of her sister.

Again, this episode didn’t claim to fix everything. The Desatorian was created through Momoka’s stress, just at a time at which she happened to be feeling down. It’s not like Momoka needed the help of the Precures to know how to fix her problems. In fact, the reason that these desatorians help is by alerting the people around it about the person’s problems; it’s all about communication.

So, while this episode wasn’t as enjoyable as some of the others of this show, I’m happy enough with it due to its build-up. With every of these episodes I’m getting more and more curious as to what the creators are planning to do with the rest of this series.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Cross Game




It’s easy to dismiss Cross Game as a baseball series, but make no mistake. This is much more a slice of life series about characters who just happen to play a lot of baseball. Cross Game is much more a tale of growing up, with a healthy dose of humour along the way. And it does this oh so well.

Seriously, in terms of slice of life, you can hardly get any better than this. The seemingly endless amount of wit with which the writers spice up the daily lives is incredible, and they love to play with this. Whenever you see a character do something seemingly out-of-character, there’s always some sort of very logical explanation behind this.Think about a character making an important confession at first sight, only to reveal that he’s talking about something completely different. The entire series is chock-ful of these moments that have a ton of fun playing with the characters in this way.

Obviously this gives the show an awesome cast to work with. We see them grow up through the series, from when they’re still small children to their third year in high school. As a viewer we really get to know who they are, and because of that the slice of life works so well: these characters rock right from the first episode of this series, so it becomes a really enjoyable ride to just see what they’re doing in their everyday lives.

The problem with this series is, in fact, the baseball, for multiple reasons. First of all, the slice of life is just that good. Every time a baseball match started, I felt like something was missing, and just kept hoping that they would wrap up as soon as possible in order to get more of the quiet moments in this series. That, and the baseball matches aren’t that good anyway. Especially when you compare them to other series, they’re poorly built up, hand together with cliches and the teams that our lead characters match against are hardly ever fleshed out properly. There’s no tension in them, and all you’re doing is waiting for them to finish.

Cross Game is based on a manga by Mitsuru Adachi, who pretty much can only write one type of series, but he can do that incredibly well. Cross Game is the same, and although I do prefer Touch (due to its longer length and because it did have excellent baseball matches, despite its lack of wit in the slice of life department), Cross Game nevertheless is excellent and its execution is one of a kind.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Wonderfully witty in its portrayal of the characters’ daily lives. Baseball matches suck, though.
Characters: 10/10 – Take perhaps a bit long to develop, but a lot of the cast members end up well rounded at the end of the series.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special, asice from a good soundtrack perhaps.
Setting: 8/10 – Not a fan of the way it portrayed baseball, but did a good job of the high school setting.
Posted on with categories: Cross Game



Awww, what a lovable end. I was a bit afraid that 10 minutes would be too little for the big finale (yes, I do not consider that baseball match to be the finale of this series), but the creators ended up making something nice out of it. Ideally of course, this series should have screwed the Olympics and just have gone for 51 episodes, but even these 10 minutes reminded me exactly why I fell in love with this series.

It’s such a shame to see this series go, though. I mean, I could totally see a series in which we follow the lives of the characters after Koushien, which would rock even more. Still, this has really been a wonderful series.

The baseball series of the upcoming season also promises to be interesting, because it proves to be good at exactly the thing that Cross Game was worst at: the baseball matches. And on the other hand of course, there’s no way that the slice of life of Ookiku Furikabutte is going to be as good as in Cross Game. At least, the conclusion of this baseball match was a lot more enjoyable than the previous two episodes, because it turned Kou into a mere mortal again.

And yeah. Kou and Aoba holding hands together. That was totally worth the wait of these 2,5 episodes of baseball.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



Okay, so we may not have Roy Mustang in action for about twenty episodes or so, same with the people around him, but I loved how in this episode it becomes clear how much he managed to prepare in the time he was away from the spotlights and how many allies he managed to gather. And even Ross and Havoc, who disappeared for even longer, have been carrying out their own agenda in an attempt to assist him. And while they pretty much slaughter the army in this episode, the creators did take care to give every one of these soldiers their own identity with this subtle characterization, rather than just packing a clone army of mindless slaves or something.

The second half of this episode was more about the stealth, as Ed and his father try to get to Father. In the meantime, we have also three homunculi who are trying to do the same (Envy is nearly at Father, Pride will get rescued by Sloth any minute now, and Wrath also should show up somewhere in the next few episodes). Truly promises to be an action-packed finale. Especially considering how at the end of this episode the clones were activated. I really have to give credit to Bones: that was one creepy scene.

In the next episode we should also see the new and final OP, if the creators indeed planned to have a new OP at the start of every season. I wonder whether it can beat the current one, though. It’s been by far the best OP of Full Metal Alchemist yet for me (including the first season, of course). But damn, this really means that at this point the total amount of Full Metal Alchemist Episodes is already in the three digits. The thing I really hope for this season is for its success to inspire more series to just go with the right amount of episodes that their story requires, rather than just stick to 26.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
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