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
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

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