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
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

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

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
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