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
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that's good. I love a good mystery and hate it when it's ruined with magical wizard space ghosts.
Amagi
@Aidan: If people who know the original were telling the truth explanations will be rational and the series is rather an actual mystery instead of anything supernatural.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I haven't even watched the second episode of Apocrypha yet. Also behind on Re:Creators. Wonder if I will leave it. So far planning to get two more impressions out by end of day. Got one wrote up and just need to work on the other. Next up Tenshi no 3P...this is going to be painful.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, truly appreciate it. If Vatican can slow down it could really be something else. But I wonder how much of a supernatural element is going to be present in the series.
SuperMario
And now after I've watched all new shows save Gamers, I'll blog Princess Principal and 18if this season. I will watch second episode of Vatican and Centaur to decide the third choice, if I'm unconvinced by both I'll blog Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Amagi: Thanks, it's our pleasures. I like checking out new shows myself buy gosh it's time consuming. Have been behind on both Re:Creators, Virgin Soul because of this.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I also really hope that the pacing of the Vatican's series will slow down. Maybe they wanted to shove in as much as possible for episode 1 to attract more viewers. Love this dark and sacral atmosphere, it would be some wasted potential if they'd kill it by speeding through the story. Music is good as well.
Amagi
Don't blame yourself, your're doing this for free and there are a ton of new series. I also think that most people rather read impressions to know how others felt about the episodes and not in order to decide which series they should check out. You two are usually better at pointing out flaws than me, which is why I quite enjoy reading the reviews.
AidanAK47
Thing is that our impressions are usually late. Purely my fault of course as Mario does his write ups quickly. I am usually late with mine due to a lack of time to check shows out.
Amagi
I am usually fair and watch every first episode but sometimes I just stop after the fifth school series of the same anime season.
Amagi
I like how much Aidan's and Mario's first impressions match my own. This saves me quite some time since I don't even have to check the series that didn't look interesting to begin with.
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