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)

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K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
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