Posted on 30 April 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Before this season started, I called it the “season of opportunities”, and it turned out to be exactly that. There is a ton of potential, there are a lot of series about adults and only a very tiny percentage is the usual crap we get at the start of each season. Provided that all of the show grab the potential that’s handed out for them, we’re dealing with an excellent season here.

#31 (new) – Metal Fight Beyblade – (2/10) – Ridiculously badly produced. Seriously, the creators put no effort into this whatsoever. The forget about a huge crowd in the background and make even less inspired than the most standard of shounen fare. Dropped.
#30 (new) – SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors – (3/10) – Sunrise… just… why? Why did you even think of this, and why does it have such a good soundtrack and background artist? They’re completely wasted on such a silly script. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Jewel Pet – (4/10) – Again this is just another terrible kids’ show with ridiculously obnoxious animal sidekicks. There’s no creativity, nothing. Just the same regurgitated over and over. Dropped.
#28 (new) – Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri – (7/10) – The first episode was wonderfully cheesy. If the rest of the episodes would have continued this I would have kept watching it, however after that it quickly fell into a dull formula of repetition, and the jokes quickly became unfunny and annoying. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Arakawa Under the Bridge – (7/10) – It’s really much of the same for Shinbo; we have a hyperactive lead character who keeps ranting, who is surrounded by a bunch of side-characters who are all a bit weird. I’ve gotten tired of this a long time ago. Dropped.
#26 (new) – Hakuouki – (7,25/10) – Very cheesy, with a ton of out-of-place bishies, but at least the dialogue is good. It can go either way at this point, but it’s definitely nowhere near Studio Deen’s better works.
#25 (new) – Mayoi Neko Overrun – (7,5/10) – Enjoyable enough, I especially like how each episode has its own director. The problem however is the horribly obnoxious female cast. Dropped
#24 (new) – K-On – (7,5/10) – I mostly dropped this due to time constraints: while the first episode of K-On!! had its charms, there are just too many series that are more interesting. The animation was very good though. Dropped.
#23 (13) – Marie&Gali – (7,5/10) – What? Noooo! The second season is much worse than the first. Instead of letting everything flow naturally, episodes are just full with stereotypical overacting. It’s not just that the new lead character sucks, the rest of the cast aside from Marika are all trying way too hard to be funny now. What a shame!
#22 (new) – Heroman – (7,5/10) – The big flaw of this series is its characters: lifeless clichés that you see everywhere. However, in terms of the alien invasion the creators did a pretty nice job. Finally we have a bunch of invading aliens who know what they want, instead of the pansies that heroes usually have to fight.
#21 (new) – Saikyou Busho-den Sangoku Engi – (7,75/10) – I mostly dropped this series because of personal bias: with anime’s history of raping the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novels, I just can’t take it seriously any more. I do have to say though, that that animation was really good.
#20 (9) – Kaidan Restaurant – (7,75/10) – It’s been fun, but I do think that I’m going to drop this series now. Why? There’s no progress whatsoever. Every episode is the same, there’s no development, nothing. I’d rather drop this while it’s still remotely fun before seeing it burn out and becoming too repetitive.
#19 (new) – Kaichou wa Maid-sama – (7,75/10) – I was hoping that Hiroaki Sakurai could breathe life into this premise, but at the moment it’s just not as good as some of his other series. The problem mostly lies with the premise: it just tries way too hard to make us as an audience feel sorry for the lead character. The scenarios it comes up with aren’t that creative. I’m mostly watching for the characterization, which did turn out to be pretty good.
#18 (new) – Hetalia World Series – (7,75/10) – It’s still pretty much the same old Hetalia, only with more countries. Granted, I do like it more now that it’s also focusing on the other lesser known countries, but the balance between their screen-time is a bit weird.
#17 (new) – Kuruneko – (7,75/10) – Finally caught up with this one again, and it’s proven to be a gentle slice of life series about a woman and her cats. Some of the episodes are quite funny, but that’s not what this series is about. Even when episodes aren’t funny, it’s still very enjoyable to watch the bond she has with her cats.
#16 (new) – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – (7,75/10) – Artland is strange. They’ve got this talent of making their harem shows look as cheap as possible, but when you come down to it they’re actually kind-of good. The jokes work surprisingly well, and it isn’t afraid to try out new ideas. There’s a nice combination between creativity and cheesiness here.
#15 (new) – Senkou no Night Raid – (8/10) – So while the spies in this series are more James Bond than real spies, it’s a show that definitely has its charms. It’s well produced and the characters are likeable, and it’s very good at building up tension and pacing an episode. I would have liked to see some bolder and more realistic ideas, though.
#14 (10) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – So far, this series has been quite refreshing, and this month only added to that. The problems here were all down to earth and when it did go over the top it did so with subtlety. Because of this, now that we’re getting a bit more dramatic, the drama so far has felt natural and not forced. It’s going to be interesting if the creators can keep this up.
#13 (3) – Durarara – (8/10) – I’m a bit iffy on the pacing of this series during this month. I’m not sure what it is, but it didn’t seem too balanced, and while there were highlights (like what happened to Anri), it just wasn’t as good as it used to be.
#12 (new) – Rainbow – (8/10) – Well, let’s face it: this show is flawed. The acting is just way over the top at times. And yet, I consider this to be the most intense and captivating show of the new season, just because of the full force that it throws at you as a viewer. Maintaining this balance is very difficult: start dragging or repeating and my suspense of disbelief will probably be broken very easily, but so far it’s got enough to make up for the bad acting.
#11 (new) – B Gata H Kei – (8,25/10) – The only thing I do not like about this series is the love rival. That’s just too much of a cliché. Otherwise however, I really can’t deny that I’m enjoying this series more than any other fan-service comedy that I’ve seen. The chemistry and sexual tension between the two lead characters is still fresh after 5 episodes, and I love how the creators keep playing with them. This isn’t a series about a girl who wants to have sex with 100 guys. This is just about a girl who thinks that she wants to have sex with 100 guys.
#10 (new) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (8,25/10)

The big disadvantage of this series is its lack of originality. However, it’s a pretty solid series so far. The acting is pretty good, there is angst, but it doesn’t go over the top, and the lead character himself may be a wimp, but he’s a wimp who can take responsibility. Oh, and the soundtrack only gets better and better with every episode.

#9 (new) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10)

So far I love the amount of creativity that has been put into this series. It’s completely chaotic because of its characters, but these flaws make the huge cast quite charming. It’s got its flaws, and at times the pacing is just off and it’s unbalanced as heck, but it’s definitely a fun, interesting and varied watch.

#8 (11) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10)

The fourth episode was quite surprising, and overall this series has proven to be quite enjoyable with its nearly endless dialogues. It’s very good at building up for its short-but-sweet action scenes.

#7 (new) – Ookiku Furikabutte – (8,25/10)

An excellent series once more. The amount of detail in even the smaller matches really stands out. In this month the lead characters took a step back to focus on the side-characters, so I’m very interested in the results of this.

#6 (7) – Gag Manga Biyori – (8,5/10)

Seriously, aside from the best episodes of Gintama and the Law of Ueki, I don’t think I’ve laughed this consistently hard at an anime as here. I’m really glad to see that this series has gone past 13 episodes, because it deserves to be amongst the best comedies of the year.

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

Heartcatch Precure continues to have an excellent balance between episodes dedicated to the main characters, and to random people. All of them are well written instead of the usual cheese that you see with these episodic series. It doesn’t try to do things that wouldn’t make sense for their characters, while still remaining fun and touching.

#4 (new) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)

For me, this was the biggest surprise this series. Giant Killing stands out in its chemistry; the cast is excellent, it’s varied, flawed, charming, and the creators love to try and get the maximal amount of potential out of them. Te tension is really well built up, and the background music is simple but very effective. A very fun and addictive series to watch.

#3 (new) – Sarai-ya Goyou – (8,75/10)

The characterization of this series is truly excellent: characters are really brought to life with Manglobe’s excellent animation. It’s a very relaxing series that at the same time has plenty of serious issues to deal with, confronting the lead character with heavy decisions and forcing him to crawl out of his shell a bit. I’m sold.

#2 (new) – Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei – (8,75/10)

Oh, it’s awesome to see Masaaki Yuasa back again, and I just love the concept behind this series. It’s told with wit, and a ton of creativity has gone into making this as interesting as possible. Watashi is a very interesting lead despite his clichés, and the incredibly fast talking definitely has its charms when you get used to it.

#1 (2) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9,25/10)

This show just continues being awesome. Every episode this month has delivered, combining excellent action-sequences with powerful drama. With excellent pacing and characters who only continue to develop, I’m very impressed with how this series turned out.

Posted on with categories: Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




Oh, I love this. This season, I’ve paid a lot of attention to good acting. That’s also why I ended up blogging the most solid series. However, then this series comes along to prove that originality isn’t dead. I love it when a series comes along that is in no way afraid of trying out new things, and avoiding the safe, tried and true.

As it turns out: this series pulls an even more extreme version of Higurashi: every episode rests and tarts right from the start of Watashi’s entry at university, where he just joins different clubs. This time: the movie club. The similarities and differences are fascinating. While in the Tennis club, he was a complete loser who just liked to destroy others’ relationships. Here however, he actually does something: aside from playing as a punching-bag, he also made his own array of weird and stupid films along with Ozu, who is still with him. Akashi is also present.

Central in this episode are again that promise that Watashi made to Akashi, but instead he isn’t jealous of other couples, but rather the weird and fetishist captain of the movie club. In this episode, rather than causing trouble for everyone, he brings this guy’s weird habits to light. Again he blames Ozu, but even more than last episode it’s something he did on his own. The cake also returns, but plays a completely different role. Oh, and what’s up with those straps? Am I the only one who is reminded of Maromi from Paranoia Agent?

Also, the animation is truly excellent again. I could hardly spot any still frames. A ton of stuff was moving, and while it may not have been as smooth and detailed as with Sarai-ya Goyou, the other visual effects definitely made up for that. Masaaki Yuasa’s typical simple characters may seem a bit strange at first, but he really uses them in order to be able to animate them better. I also don’t think that there was any CG here, and if it was there it was really well used. It really has some excellent visuals.

And on a side-note: I loved that poster that showed Ozu as some sort of weird monster.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Ookiku Furikabutte



And so the first match that did not have Mihashi at the centre has ended, and even though it’s mostly been used as building and warming up, it still was a fun and interesting game to start off the second season with. Mihashi works surprisingly well as a side-character (which I guess is a trait that a lot of lead characters have: refreshing when they aren’t the ones in the spotlights), as the entire team works hard to get a called game.

Looking back, the opposing team probably has the least amount of depth out of all the teams that the lead characters have faced so far, but they still have their charms, and they’re much, much better than what you’d usually see with those unimportant matches. The one thing that was interesting though was that it did very much break a stereotype that you often see in baseball series: the fact that awesome hitters are solely responsible for victory. This episode showed that even though you have probably one of the best hitters out there, you can still lose without scoring a point on a called game.

It’s interesting: I’m a big fan of baseball series, but before, I never watched them because of their baseball. I loved Cross Game for its slice of life, Touch rocked due to the character-development, One Outs kicked ass because of the mind games and Princess Nine had its atmosphere. Ookiku Furikabutte is really the first that really is awesome because of how much time it puts into its baseball.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 April 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



What a wonderful episode. The danger with these slice of life series is to have them too much about nothing, or to not put any creativity in the scenarios that the characters find themselves in. This however was an episode that confronted Masa deeply, and it as well mirrored Yaichi’s past (at least, I assume that he’s the kid in the flashbacks, right?). The creators have chosen two wildly different ways to flesh out the two of them: Masa gets explored because we get to see exactly who he is: what motivates him, in what way he’s such a loser, et cetera. Yaichi on the other hand is being portrayed as dark and mysterious: the guy with a dark past who turned into a confident criminal, who mainly gets fleshed out by his words, instead of his actions. And who knows what can lie behind those words? Unlike Masa, this guy hides plenty of things.

I’m wondering about Matsu’s role in all of this. The side-characters all have their own great and subtle characterization. The thing is however that they’re probably going to have to make way in terms of development, in order to let Masa and Yaichi fully shine. The length is probably going to be the biggest issue for this series: did the creators put enough thought into making the best out of the length of this series? I’m having faith in Tomomi Mochizuki, however. He has experience with changing stories from their source-material, in order to make them fit the anime format perfectly (just look at Touka Gettan and Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, and I also refuse to believe that Porfy no Nagai Tabi was 100% faithful to its novels), and I’m really counting on him to put the same skills to work here.

In any case though, this episode was really well animated. It’s really series like this that use their animation to get the best out of the characters, bringing them to life. I’m in love with the saturated colours here, and especially that flashback looked beautiful.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Durarara



After the previous episode, I remember noting how this series hasn’t exactly delivered yet in its second episode. It’s like it was missing something. But yeah, after this episode I realize that it was just building up. This episode was much more like it. It’s here where the creators really start playing with what they’ve built up.

My guess was that the previous episodes were mostly trying to shed the remaining Baccano-roots that had somewhat grown after the first half. While you can very much tell that the first half of Durarara comes from the same creators as Baccano, with the second half you really can’t.

The mystery in this series is definitely interesting: it’s the kind that keeps huge secrets about its lead characters: it only drops a few hints here and there, but Mikado’s involvement with the Dollars was a complete surprise. Just as how even though we’ve known Anri for sixteen episodes now, we never knew that she could pull a freaking sword out of her arm!

The twist that everyone in the city is getting turned into a bunch of zombies is perhaps a bit lame, but I guess that it is an interesting twist for the series’ setting: it’s previously been established that Ikebukuro is full of life, and here this old spirit comes and turns everyone into a bunch of obedient and lifeless zombies.

It’s all going to depend on how the rest of the series will use this, because this episode was pretty damn tense with the way that the red eyed people made their appearance, answering a ton of questions about the plot in the progress, and fully explaining the point of the previous episode, and why the guy in the trench-coat was featured in the first place.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



If you managed to watch the TV-series of Patlabor, I really urge you to also check out the Second OVa. It’s very much a direct sequel to the TV-series, and it’s got all of the charms that made it so memorable and timeless; all condensed in just 16 episodes, it’s in no way inferior to its already excellent predecessor.

It’s got the same formula: one really big arc, and a whole number of episodic stories. What stands out the most are these episodic stories, though. Especially because they’re everything that episodic stories should be. Instead of having dull and uninspired slice of life scenarios that have been done for ages, it always builds its episodes around a certain idea or concept that really tries to be fresh and original.

The result is a number of classic episodes that are up to par to the best episodes of the TV-series; my personal favourite being the episode about the serial-bomber, with the “driving-home”-episode on the second place. Every episode is well built up, and what makes them even better is how grounded in realism they are: some crazy and wacky stuff happens here, but the creators never forget to base it on its realistic characters and scenarios, rather than just being wacky and over the top all of the time. There are those rare series out there who should serve as an eample of how to do things right at their genre. Patlabor without a doubt belongs to them.

On top of that, it still has the classic element that makes any Patlabor installment worth watching: the cast. After finishing this OVA, I’ve now seen everything from the Patlabor franchise, which amounts to 70 episodes and 3 movies in total. After so much time, the cast has really grown into a lovable and memorable bunch of people.

Watching this OVA, I really have to say that it’s a shame that Mamoru Oshii doesn’t do TV-series and long OVAs anymore, because he really is brilliant at bringing these characters to life. It’s a bit of a shame that for the past years he’s gotten stuck at things like Musashi, because he really is a one-of-a-kind director.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Wonderfully built up, nice ideas, very varied.
Characters: 10/10 – Incredibly charming characterization that’s in no way inferior to the previous Patlabor installments.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Good and detailed, though not the best Patlabor has to offer.
Setting: 9/10 – One of the best mecha settings of the pre-Evangelion age: realistic, creative and believable, despite the strange scenarios that pop up once in a while.

Suggestions:
Patlabor – The Second Movie. The conclusion to the Patlabor-franchise. Do note that if I were to watch it today, that review would look completely different.
Ooedo Rocket
Rumiko Takahashi’s Rumic Theater

Posted on 27 April 2010 with categories: Rainbow



Watching this series is seriously making me think again about what makes a good anime. I mean, especially now that I dropped Hakuouki, this series features the worst acting out of all the shows that I’m blogging at the moment. It’s way over the top, way too early, and full of cheese. And yet, I just can’t deny that out of every show that premiered this season, it’s actually the most intense to watch by far.

With these kinds of shows that have very obvious major flaws, it’s always a matter of trade-offs: how much you’ll enjoy these kinds of series depends on how much of the flaws you can stand, and the way in which the series in question actually makes up for it. It’s very similar to series as Shangri-La. It’s obvious that this series is no Sarai-ya Goyou or Yojou-han, but still. Out of all the series that feature bad or sub-par acting this season, this show makes up for it the most. The key to this series’ success in the long term is that it needs to continue to keep the balls in the air. As soon as the show starts dragging, my suspense of disbelief will break and it’ll turn into just another dull series.

This episode however, continued episode 2’s pacing and delivered yet again one heck of an atmosphere. Baremoto’s entrance in the sea of fire was cheesy, but despite that it had something really cool about him. This episode was all about teamwork, and the manly bonds between the group of lead characters.

Because seriously, despite the fact that this just isn’t Madhouse’s best staff at work, you can really see the strength of the manga author shine through. One by one, the characters are shedding their stereotypes. Mario at first was portrayed as your typical punk. Yet, the previous episode showed that he’s just a softie. Baremoto, at first introduced as your typical bookworm instead also has shed his stereotypical skin in this episode. I also wonder how Psycho Guard was in the manga: how much of that ridiculously overblown scumbag was present in the manga, and how much of it did the anime creators just make up to increase the tension?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Ah, the spy genre. Where our lead characters have to take care of dangerous threats, international bombings, diplomatic turbulence… and obese felines who steal photographs.

So obviously this was a bit of a silly episode, but at least it gave us a bit of a chance to get to know the lead characters, which is also important. I would have preferred it if the creators just dumped that strange photograph subplot and just showed the characters as they are on their days off, but this episode had its charms.

On a side-note, at first I wasn’t that enthusiastic about it, but on second thought I’m beginning to like this series’ tour of the world with languages more and more. I now understand why it was impossible for the creators to find a good voice actor for the lead character: is there really someone who speaks fluent in Japanese, German, Chinese and Russian all at the same time? And who knows how many more languages are going to be featured? In any case, it shows that Shanghai is growing into the international metropolis that it is today. For the series’ faults, you can at least say that it’s not looking down on its setting. Or not in a way that I can see anyway.

Also, the animators choose the strangest places to use their budget at. Most of the times, filler episodes like this don’t receive much of a budget to play with. Take a look at how well that fat cat was animated; I’ve hardly ever seen cats animated this life-like in such a TV series. Also, the crowd shots in this episode are also really well done: you can see that the streets are alive with people, who may not all be moving, but all have their own designs. And then there also are these things as the food, and the camera that they used in this episode. All were really well drawn.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 25 April 2010 with categories: xxxHolic, xxxHolic Rou



Before watching this OVA, I had heard from people that xxxHolic Rou would be very confusing. But Bloody Nora, I never thought that it’d be this extreme! The non-manga readers who have yet to see this episode: STAY AWAY FROM THIS POST! MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.

Because of xxxHolic Shunmuki, I was expecting something Tsubasa-related as well. Instead, the Tsubasa-cast doesn’t make an appearance at all. Instead, we get a time-skip of who knows how many years, in which A TON has happened: Yuko is dead, and Watanuki has now taken her place. This episode asked a whole tidal wave of new questions: what the heck happened to Yuuko? What caused her to come back? Why did Doumeki’s name change? Why does it seem that Watanuki can’t leave the shop? And taht’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Even for xxxHolic’s standards, this episode was dark. Watanuki has changed a lot. The visual comedy around him and Doumeki is completely gone now. Instead, the jabs he takes to Watanuki are short and subtle. Also, this episode never left the shop: everything we see is from Watanuki’s perspective, who somehow doesn’t leave the shop. Doumeki also lost the wise-cracking part of him: he now really doesn’t fool with Watanuki anymore. He’s actually graduated university at this point.

I guess this episode was all about Yuuko’s… rebirth or something, but what got to me the most was that phone-call at the end of this episode. After all that build-up! After all that time that was spent on the relationship between Watanuki and Himawari to make them like the perfect couple… she actually ended up marrying someone different and the two have grown apart!

I must say, Clamp: you did it again. This episode really was amazing in its character-development. It’s such a stark contrast from what xxxHolic used to be. Including the time-skip was a brilliant idea.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



Whoa, the soundtrack for this series just continues to get better and better. that’s a very pleasant surprise for this series. Shougo Kaida seems to be very much a newbie composer, but something tells me that he’s someone to look out for.

The story so far has been a mix between cliches and interesting ideas, so it can still go anywhere. The biggest cliche in this episode was of course the lead character-deciding whether or not to join the organization of the other good guys. However, Yuki himself made up for it by showing that, while hey may be a bit of a wimp, that he does know how to take responsibility. In this episode he really showed that there’s no way that he would just go out on a flimsy adventure just for the sake of his family, and abandon the children around him. The creators also prepared a perfectly valid reason for him to change his mind in the next episode: the fact that he did not know that those monsters were after him. Compare that to 07-Ghost, in which the lead character at this point was randomly angsting and wandering around.

The big one-sided character for Uragiri meanwhile is Zess. This is the guy that needs the most work, and he’s going to need a lot of chemistry from the other characters to work out well, and his obsession is a bit overstated. Instead of talking things out, he instead just sends out blasts, and this guy seriously needs to grow a character.

This show is clearly no Night Head Genesis, I know that it lacks the many interesting ideas that that series had. Aside from Zess, the lack of originality right now is the series’ biggest flaw. But then again, who knows? So far the past three episodes have been solid, I’m hoping for the substance to come in the next number of episodes, as soon as we get to explore the characters.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
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.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
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