Posted on 31 May 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



This episode did a great job of bringing the series together. It’s really interesting how different the build-up in this show is compared to its Anime no Chikara’s predecessor: there, everything was all over the place, fun and whimsical. Here the characterization
has been composed and mature. Aside from episode four, the creators have been carefully building everything that’s necessary to the plot and characters, while Sora no Oto’s pace felt much more random. It’s very interesting to see how different these shows can get, even though they’re both about impeding war.

A major theme of this episode was the following question: what’s more important to you, a loved one or your father land? Aoi here tried to get his loved one back, against all orders. These plots really need a lot of build-up in order for them not to get annoying, since it’s based on a very overused shounen stereotype. within this context however, it gets a totally different dimension here. It’s been constantly stressed that the stakes of this war are incredibly high. Heck, we actually see the Japanese portrayed as the bad guys in this series. At this point the characters are all performing delicate work that unlike earlier on at the series will have very big consequences on failure. Aoi trying to get his girlfriend back is totally different from an angsty teenager with superpowers who refuses to obey his superiors because he’s rebellious.

This episode was all about seeing your past back. Yukina’s brother also becomes a lot more dimensional here when we get a few hints about his intentions. It’s not like he’s immediately a good guy either, he has done enough morally objectionable things, however at the same time I’m getting the feeling that he’s acting out of fear. We still don’t exactly know how and when he learned of the atom bombs, but my guess is that he’s trying everything in his might to stop one from hitting Japan. Again coming back to that theme of choosing your country above your loved one: he consciously decided to sin, in an attempt to save a large amount of people with a plot that might not even work, above taking care of his family.

Oh, and added to that: the soundtrack really was amazing in this episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Milestone time: this is the fiftieth month in which I’ve written such a summary about the shows I’ve been watching. Woohoo!

Anyway, this month showed interesting developments: you can really see some shows delivering and becoming better and batter, while also an array of series just failed to live up to its expectations. The success of this season is really going to depend on how June turns out, though. Many series will then end, and many series have been promising a lot of potential for their finales.

#23 (26) – Hakuouki – (6,5/10) – Yeah, I dropped this one. The lead female just keeps getting rescued over and over, and instead of learning she just continues to go into dangerous situations. The plot behind it may have been interesting, but I couldn’t take her any more.
#22 (19) – Kaichou wa Maid-Sama – (7/10) – Ah, screw it, this one’s dropped as well. Episode nine was the final straw for me. For one thing: if you make a nonsensical filler episode: make it funny. This was just stupid, pointless and suggested to me that even the creators have given up on it. I’ve got many better things to do than keeping up with this thing.
#21 (23) – Marie&Gali – (7,5/10) – This series is still incredibly creative, but the thing with this sequel is that it’s now explaining science for the sake of explaining science. It lacks the spontaneity of the first season, and the new main character is also more annoying than she is funny. Such a shame!
#20 (18) – Hetalia World Series – (7,75/10) – Nothing much can be said about this one. It’s the same as ever: not the best, but solid entertainment.
#19 (10) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (7,75/10) – The past few episodes have been rather dull, but there is definitely potential here. The characters are interesting to watch, and I especially like the role of the kids in this series. A big problem is the new side-cast, though. They either need to develop or leave.
#18 (14) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – I do have to say that the creators often rely on the same gimmick: putting a creature in Japan that has no reason whatsoever of being there. I know it makes sense in the story, but something new has to happen. You can’t keep milking that forever.
#17 (17) – Kuruneko – (8/10) – Releases are very sporadic, but this still remains an enjoyable slice of life series. The different cats all have their different quirks and they remain fun to watch even after forty episodes.
#16 (20) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8/10) – Yeah, okay, I was wrong. This show is just too good to be dropped. It’s repetitive, but the bite-size chunks of horror work every time, and are surprisingly well told. It will have a lot more competition once the Summer season starts, though.
#15 (22) – Heroman – (8/10) – Props to Heroman, for actually delivering quite a solid saturday-morning-ish show. The plot has its clichés and overused tropes, but it has also been continuously moving with a lot of potential to develop into.
#14 (11) – B Gata H Kei – (8/10) – Not as good as during the first few episodes, but still very enjoyable. The big problem with this show is the huge amount of overused clichés, but the chemistry between the lead characters still manages to elevate this far beyond any other fan-service show for me. The two are hilarious together with the sexual tension that keeps sparking between the two of them, and the side-characters all do their jobs to support this despite their clichés.
#13 (13) – Durarara – (8,25/10) – Overall, this series has been good, but not as enjoyable as I would have expected. The whole conflict that is spiralling out of control is of course interesting, but to me it still feels like it’s missing something, and it doesn’t really help that this show keeps giving off hints to Baccano while it in fact is completely different. If the series would go on for more than 24 episodes, then I probably wouldn’t be complaining as much as I am now, but i just feel that the conclusion of this series just isn’t going to get the best out of the concept with so many novels still unanimated.
#12 (16) – Ichiban Ushiro no Damaou – (8,25/10) – I’m really surprised at how good this show has become, especially considering how it has so much pointless fan-service. The wit of especially the green-haired girl is delightful, and you can see that the creators are having a lot of fun pulling all kinds of weird twists into the plot. The serious parts aren’t the most interesting of this series, but they work well enough I guess.
#11 (8) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10) – It’s still a consistently enjoyable show with a ton of dialogue. The past episode again showed that it’s sufficiently varied to keep the audience’s attention, and as the show goes on I’m getting more and more faith in it. The dialogues are still excellent and interesting and the action again is short but sweet.
#10 (7) – Ookiku Furikabutte – (8,25/10)

The big match of this season has finally started, and again this series sets itself apart with a huge attention to detail in its matches. Consistently enjoyable so far,though I noticed that the creators are using quite a bit more comedy than that they did in the first season. It works, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

#9 (12) – Rainbow – (8,25/10)

Yeah, the acting can be pretty bad at times, but the overall scenario, pacing, plot and story really are excellent here. When you can stomach the overacting you’ll be rewarded with a great story with excellent characters who all help each other survive the harsh prison they’re in. Especially the past few episodes have to be praised for how far they actually went.

#8 (9) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10)

It really has had its ups and downs, but Angel Beats really looks like it’s heading towards a very solid conclusion. The past few episodes have become really good and the characters are more and more coming together. I had my doubts at first, but the creators now actually have a good chance of pulling this one off.

#7 (15) – Senkou no Night Raid – (8,5/10)

Episode seven sold me on this series. It really was amazing how well the creators handled such a touchy subject, and I really admire their balls balls to actually go through with such an episode. Overall, this show has really grown on me despite the slow start, and it’s especially getting interesting now that the episodic stuff is dropped and it’s moved to a continuous story. The characters all have been fleshed out quite well and they become more and more interesting to watch. If it continues like this, it’s really going to surpass Sora no Oto for me.

#6 (6) – Gag Manga Biyori – (8,5/10)

It’s still absolutely hilarious, pulling parodies from all kinds of genres. My favourite was the spaceship episode. I’m not going to spoil what it was about, I just want to say that… it really had a point there. :P

#5 (5) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,75/10)

This series really has been amazing for the past month. Whether the episodes were about a random story or the main plot, they all kicked ass. We’re not even halfway yet, and it’s already a heart-warming series with utterly gorgeous graphics. Only episode 17 was a bit shallow in comparison, though.

#4 (4) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)

I love what the creators have been doing with this series. They brought in a ton of foreigners (who all spoke in their native tongue, rather than Japanese), the tension just keeps increasing because Tatsumi still hasn’t turned the tables for his team and they still kept up with everything that made the earlier episodes so enjoyable: the fans, press, player, staff, rival coaches, everyone here is important, gets his own characterization and stands apart from the others. Because of this attention to detail I’m really enjoying this series and more than willing to forgive a bit of unrealistic soccer play.

#3 (1) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9/10)

To be honest, this hasn’t been Full Metal Alchemist’s best month. It however still kicks ass beyond belief, and it’s been a consistently excellent action series to watch for the past month and the story has delivered quite a few interesting plot twists. The animation has been in a dip through he past number of episodes, though. Considering the budget that this series used to have, it is a bit unnerving.

#2 (2) – Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei – (9/10)

You’ve got to love the presentation of this series. After six episodes Watashi has gotten really fleshed out now, despite every episode resetting. The episodes are all unique and well written, and I don’t just mean the dialogue by that. The scenario, choreography, storyboard, everything about the script in this show excels beyond belief here.

#1 (3) – Sarai-ya Goyou – (9,25/10)

Utterly amazing; the characterization in this series is incredibly well executed. Every line, every scene is meant to flesh these guys out and add more meaning to them. The characters are poignant, deep and fascinating as they make their decisions. The plot has really been mature and even though the pacing is slow, the creators have really made use of every second to get their message across.

Posted on 30 May 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



Yeah… tons of fanservice in this episode. It’s annoying when moe shows do this, but with the bishies it’s just as bad. Especially during that bathing scene I’m surprised that sparkles didn’t start flying off the characters. You could also really see that Yuki used to be a girl when he started making necklaces for everyone.

So yeah, this was another laid back episode meant to flesh out the characters. It did its job well, we got to know a bit more about zess (he finally doesn’t feel like a one-dimensional paper bag anymore, though he still looked like an idiot when he brought Yuki to school). It’s nice and all, but this episode did remain boring. It’s not a chore sitting through it, but that also pretty much everything positive you can say about it.

The first and foremost priority of the creators is avoiding to pull another 07-Ghost here. These past two episodes are one thing, but the show shouldn’t stick too much inside its own fillers. Whether these came from the manga or not shouldn’t matter. The manga should also have tried to make these chapters more interesting.

Having said that though, the background art in this episode was quite good.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



I know that this is an anime blog, however that doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to talk about anything else. Japan certainly isn’t the only country that can produce great works of animation. I’ve reviewed Korean and Chinese movies, so why not? This Oscar nominated co-production between Ireland, France and Belgium is certainly worth a look, and I also believe that modern anime can learn a lot from it.

The graphics of this movie are very impressive. At first the character-designs may seem simple, especially the lead character Brendon. However, the animation itself totally makes up for it, as it is incredibly smooth. What steals the show is the artistic direction, though. Gorgeous, imaginative and varied, this is a feast for the senses. The soundtrack is also excellent; it’s a great composition that combines traditional instruments with a modern soundtrack feeling.

The story looks a lot like a family movie, but make no mistake that this is based on Irish folklore. On one hand you have some often used tropes of a boy who wanders into a forest and meets a cute mysterious girl spirit. On the other hand, this movie is also about the Viking invasion of Ireland. It’s got a surprisingly elaborate story to go through in just seventy minutes, on top of building up its characters. There’s also plenty of character-development, the characters are all likable, and the most important ones are well fleshed out.

The creators may have been a bit too ambitious with this, though. Trying to stuff as much as they did in this movie lead to a number of strange leaps in logic, or plot twists that lack poor build-up. The ending for example is based on a bunch of great ideas, but the creators reserved too little time to make it flow naturally, reducing impact from what it could have been.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A bit rushed, but well told, nice humour, excellent scenario.
Characters: 9/10 – Engaging characters in Irish folklore.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Excellent artistic direction. Very fluid animation.
Setting: 8/10 – Great portrayal of the old Ireland, though the Vikings and other monsters don’t get a lot of depth.

Suggestions:
Comedy
Arete Hime
Night on the Galactic Railroad

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



The Tales of-franchise stands out because every game gets to be adapted by a different production company and a total different staff. This leads to a wide variety of different adaptations with all their own focuses, interpretations and things at which they stand out. With Tales of Vesperia, it’s Production IG’s turn, and they went with the movie format. And holy crap, is it good. This is everything an RPG adaptation should be.

At first it might seem like your average fantasy story: alas, the protagonists are young. One of them appears to have a princess as girlfriend, there are more cute girls, meant to act as the voice of reason when the lead males go out of control again, blah blah blah. But make no mistake: for every cliche that this show uses, it subverts two of them. While this is a fantasy movie, it for once does not require the leads to travel across the world and have all kinds of adventures. No, these guys are part of a town guard: they simply belong to a unit, responsible for protecting a bunch of people. There’s nothing like saving the world in here. Aside from the initial cliches, there’s no attempt made to make these characters seem any bigger than they are: they merely follow the orders of their captain when they fight a battle.

Also, this is animated by Production IG, and it really does live up to their name. The battles here are incredibly well animated: in duels, there are no still frames or convenient cuts; a lot of focus has been put on the sword skills, team work (and not just a team of four warriors or something, they often fight battles with a small squadron in which everyone knows his place). Fights aren’t a matter of whacking a sword long enough until the other party goes down, instead they’re calculated, realistic and believable. Because of this, the magic system can also be fleshed out a lot more: the spells here are a lot more interesting, logical and believable than you usually see in fantasy series.

There is a lot of drama in this movie, most of it centred around the coming of age of the two lead characters. The two of them are flawed, and a lot of the focus of this movie is about fleshing these two out, and developing them. Especially in the first half of the movie these two like to cause trouble, which can be annoying to watch at times, but it’s all with a purpose: to get the best out of their development. They really both develop into great characters in the end. What also helps throughout the first movie is a great sense of humour: it’s got a very good comedic timing.

The fact that the characters for once are simple town guards also has another advantage: you really can get a good feel of the people who live in this town, and this movie takes optimal advantage of that: it chooses a few random townspeople and gives them a convincible personality and character, which all do a great job of bringing the town to life.

I do have a few question marks about the ending credits, though. I’m not sure whether it’s meant to be an advertisement about the games, or a sequel, but it showed many of the cliches that this movie avoided so well. In any case though, this movie is yet another excellent example of how good RPG adaptations can be when some actual effort is put into them. Despite some initial cliches, it’s got excellent characters, a believable scenario, excellent animation really manages to bring its setting to life.

Storytelling: 9/10 – It’s got a ton of fantasy and action, but brings this realistic and believable. Well paces, nice ideas and good attention to detail.
Characters: 9/10 – There are cliches, but makes up for this with excellent character-development and great chemistry between the characters.
Production-Values: 9/10 – What you’d expect of a movie: no cut corners, well portrayed battles that find a very nice balance between believability and action.
Setting: 8/10 – Inspired and lively, though loses points because of how young some of the characters are.

Suggestions:
– Tales of the Abyss, Eternia, Symphonia, Phantasia.
Strange Dawn
Popolocrois.

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure



Yay, more Cure Moonlight. This really was a build-up episode, meant to develop the relationship between her, Tsubomi and Erika. From now on we should probably see her more often.

The Desatorian of this episode was a bit less compared to the other episodes, though. He lacked the time due to this focus also on Cure Moonlight, and the conclusion was overly simplistic. This series is set up in such a way that being turned into a desatorian shouldn’t make you see the light, however the way in which the guy in this episode immediately realized what he had done wrong felt forced.

But ah well, there’s always next time. The parts that focused on Cure Moonlight rocked as ever, and even though the drawings of the baking family lacked a bit of inspiration, just about everything else in this episode looked again beautiful.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Giant Killing



So we’ve already had English, Dutch and French, and now this episode also throws in a bunch of Brazilians. Awesome. Their portrayal is a tad stereotypical, but they did well in contrasting with the rather uptight Japanese players. And who knows, something’s telling me that the next episode will add a lot more colour to them. One of the reasons this show is so awesome is because of its huge and incredibly diverse cast, and with this episode it became even more diverse.

This episode had no soccer matches, but for a series like this that’s no problem at all: it again showed that this isn’t just a series about football, it’s a show about everything that involves football, from the players to the fast to the press and the coaches and all of the other staff members behind a team who all have their own functions. With so many details, I can more than forgive the few unrealistic parts about the soccer.

The cast really is huge, probably the largest of the entire season, but nearly all of the characters here stand as individuals. Take the supporters for example: you have the loyal fans, then there are the fans with the most status who rally everyone on to cheer as hard as possible, and then there also are the older fans who long for the nostalgia of the old Tatsumi.

I also loved Tatsumi in this episode, you can really see that he knows that he’s not going to win easily, and even he has to motivate himself a bit after such a losing streak of five matches. I think that for a lot of people, they’re into a test of endurance: how long can they keep up with the team’s abysmal performance? How long will it be before Tatsumi will live up to his name and brings a victory to the team? Seriously, out of all of the sports series I have seen so far, this one feels by far the most unique.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



We’re really nearing the climax for this series now, you can really see that the focus is getting more and more back to the lead characters and especially the lead villains. The next episode should be all about Father, trying to do whatever he needs to do in order to execute that plan of his. After that there are going to be three more episodes to wrap everything up. Should be enough.

Thumbs up for especially Al in this episode: he actually refused to go back to his body, because he knew that it would be impossible to be useful with that kind of a posture. That was actually very well built up: ever since he got stuffed in that box and Pride got hold of him, he’s had a lot of trouble being useful, having to play the part of damsel in distress a few times, along with just being too far away to help out in the early battles of Central City.

This episode made a ton of promises for interesting fights: it’s not just the question of “Will Al be able to redeem himself?”, but also, “how will Roy kick ass now that his eyes are gone?”, and “what will Mai Chang’s role be if the creators went through the trouble of putting her amongst the most central characters of the story at the most crucial time?”, to a fight between Scar and Mustang that will continue into the next episode. And then there’s Ed: as the lead character but nowhere near the best fighter, what is his role going to be?

The animation was quite inconsistent in this episode: some parts were animated quite smoothly, and you can really see that the animators really like animating the fights that involve Bradley with great detail, but there also were a few speedlines, unrefined faces and still frames. The big question for that is obviously going to be whether or not the creators saved enough budget for those final episodes, especially since they’ve been teasing us over and over with that ED.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 May 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




I did not like the first Rebuild of Evangelion because, well… it was a recap. I’ve got a big problem with movies that do nothing other than follow the exact same scenario as their predecessor, it should be a format for trying out new things, experimenting and just going all out with wild ideas.

Anyway, the second movie however follows its own scenario, which makes it a lot more enjoyable to watch. It combines the build-up of the first movie, a few things here from the TV-series and a bunch of other things that are completely new. A lot of the “monster of the week” angels of the TV-series were dropped, and instead the action focuses much more on the three lead characters. At the same time, we get an array of new characters, and the new twists that this movie pulls are definitely interesting. The final two movies do have a bit of work to do to cover up for the seeming techno- and myth-babble of this episode, but at this point there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do that.

The thing I liked most about this movie was the artistic direction during the action-scenes, which was with no doubt fantastic. The action, the use of colours, the soundtrack. Everything was a feast for the senses. This is just one of those movies with unique and awesome graphics. I also liked how the creators discovered that you can get pretty neat effects when you play a piece of soundtrack for a scene that at first sight doesn’t fit it at all. At the same time though, surprisingly little has been done to blend in the CG with the traditional animation outside of the action-scenes.

My biggest issue with this movie was the characterization, though. It’s just unrefined and rushed. Asuka’s development is just way too quick and sudden, and the quiet moments in the movies, which should be used to build characters, make use of too many shallow cliches. You know, the cliches that you see in dozens of high school shows already. The focus on cooking has been done to death by now, Shinji’s friends have degenerated into these typical high school “best friends”. Characters also really like to describe themselves with cliched one-liners, and these small things just keep piling up.

So yeah, this is pretty much a movie that kicks ass during the climaxes but is a bit tedious to watch during the quiet parts. This is one part of balance and characterization that the next two movies really have to get better if they really want the Rebuild of Evangelion to be remembered ten years from now.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A bit of myth-babble does not take away imaginative twists on the original Evangelion with clear attempts to make the story even more interesting in the next couple of movies.
Characters: 7/10 – Nice ideas, but the characterization is too shallow and there are too many cliches.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Magnificent during the action scenes. I would have given 10/10 here if it wasn’t for the obtrusive CG at times.
Setting: 8/10 – Nice potential, interesting ideas.

Suggestions:
Ghost in the Shell II: Innocence
Bonen no Xamdou
Princess Mononoke

Posted on with categories: Tales of Symphonia



Awesome. Nearly an entire episode dedicated to Regal and Presea, my two favourite characters of the game. It was a bit cheesy, sure, but I don’t care! This is the episode I’ve been anticipating ever since the Tales of Symphonia anime got announced. After more than four years of waiting this episode was SO worth it.

It’s awesome to see that in an adaptation of a game that shined because of its side characters, the creators indeed intend to give all of them ample time to show themselves, especially considering the limited time that this OVA has to deal with. The characters didn’t end up travelling to Ozette or Regal’s company, and the point about the rotting corpse of Presea’s father was also omitted, but instead Regal immediately recognized Presea, and didn’t keep his past secret, wanting to settle it immediately. That works too.

A bit surprise was also that Presea’s character is completely different from the game. In the game, when she recovered, she still remained quiet: she only said something when necessary, and she remained introvert. Here however, she’s much more outspoken. Her voice actress also gives a very different dimension to her character compared to her English voice actress from the game. I actually liked this difference quite a bit, to see such a different interpretation of her character like this.

Adapting a game is probably the most difficult kinds of adaptations that you can get. With mangas and light novels, you can pretty much copy and paste the scenario from start to finish. With games however, you can’t just do that: there are so many things that just can’t be translated to the animated medium: random battles, quick-saves, the battle system, having to slowly travel around the world and talk to random people. You really have to think outside the box to make these work. And again, I’ve got to applaud Ufo Table for actually pulling off a pretty good attempt here.

This episode did have its nitpicks again, though. The biggest wut of this episode came at the beginning, when Yggdrasil showed off a skill that not only he never had, but also introduces quite a bit of plotholes. When he has the ability to stop time, then how the heck can it be expected to beat him? In all the battles he can just stop time and kill everyone before they can do anything. In the games, he was just ridiculously strong and used that to beat everyone. He could have easily used that here too.

Also, the flashbacks. In the games, we never saw an actual flashback of the moment at which Lloyd’s father killed his mother, people only talked about it. It’s quite reasonable, since Lloyd shouldn’t remember anything about it. It was pretty much a big question mark at this point. In the anime however… yeah. Is there anyone who hasn’t played the games and does still now know what’s up with Lloyd’s father? Great subtlety, guys.

Overall, Lloyd and Collette were the least interesting characters of the games, and that again pretty much shows here. It’s very refreshing to see an entire episode without Collette, while Lloyd felt like he had a bad case of constipation in this episode. The rest of the cast was wonderful, though. Zelos’ jokes were a lot funnier than in the games, and the chemistry between him and Genius worked surprisingly well.

I expect the next episode to again kick a lot of ass. The final episode… well… in the games it was a standard climax. It definitely wasn’t among the best parts.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Kaiser Eoghan
Admittedly yes the premise is not for everyone, but if you stick with it, the flashback arc had some good character work in there.
CATski
Rakugo has a season 2? I watched ep 1 - 3 of season 1 then promptly deleted it. The loud "yankee" dude was annoying. And the anime was boring.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh man, I've been thinking lately of trying to start some kind of youtube channel. I did a few trial run videos. Its much much harder than it looks, didn't realize how nervy being in front of a video camera was.
Kaiser Eoghan
*a declining art and rakygo halls are closing down
Total users: 30

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“Can you hear my heartbeat? Tired of feeling never enough. I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true” That’s exactly what Yuri on Ice offers, a heart-pumping ride to the sport of figure skating. Yuri on Ice’s current success and mainstream breakout is something that no one could have guessed before it aired; but here […]

Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]