Posted on 30 June 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

I think what mostly set this month apart was a lack of disappointments: all of the series I’ve been following were interesting and enjoyable, and actually none of the series that I watched (22 of them) felt like a waste of time for me. Series that once were annoying redeemed themselves, and even the shows I liked to bitch about has plenty of good stuff to like.

Overall, This season was average: it wasn’t among the best seasons I’ve seen, but also not among the worst. It set itself apart with well thought-out settings, which was definitely what I liked about this season overall the best. The worst about this season was that there are just too many series that were too short. But that’s a dead horse that I think is already beaten enough.

#22 (new) – Sekirei – (7,5/10) – The first episode pretty much was what the first season was, only with even worse comedy. Yeah, I know it’s a fanservice show and all, but it’s among the better ones. The only reason you’d want to watch this if you’re not horny is the plot, but still, it’s pretty decent and solid for its genre.
#21 (20) – Hetalia World Series – (7,5/10) – The biggest problem with this series is its balancing issues. Yes, we know that Prussia is an evil bastard, can we finally move on now? The thing is, that this is called Hetalia WORLD SERIES, but it has only been focusing on European politics of three hundred years ago.
#20 (21) – Marie&Gali – (7,75/10) – I’m getting used to the new main character. I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to be a good thing for one to get used to a mosquito buzzing around your ears for a week and a half, but the fact remains: the creators have not lost one ounce of their creativity. Even with annoying presence of ‘her’, they still focus on making explaining science fun.
#19 (15) – Heroman – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing with this series: its initial premise really was riddled with cliches, staple characters, and plain idiocy. But really, the creators took this concept, and actually developed it quite well. Most of the major characters have grown by now, the plot is completely different from what it was ten episodes before, and while the government people are sometimes portrayed a bit too stereotypical, it definitely makes for an interesting intrigue plot.
#18 (19) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (7,75/10) – There are a lot of faults in this series I like to bitch about. But really: at its core it’s a solid series. Characters are solid in their interactions and build-up, the atmosphere is very good, I like how it uses its CG. There are a number of plot-holes, but nothing major.
#17 (16) – Kaidan Restaurant – (7,75/10) – A rather abrupt ending, but it remained as enjoyable light horror until the end. The final episode was a good way to close off, albeit a bit forced.
#16 (12) – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – (8/10) – Well, this series did what it was supposed to do: make a very entertaining finale that was consistently fun to watch. Sure, it made no sense at times, but that was nowhere where the appeal of this series lay for me. The action-scenes were fun, the characters themselves did their job, and didn’t become boring or tedious to watch at all. I also liked some of the crazier plot twists it pulled. I know it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but I personally enjoyed it a lot. Shouldn’t that be enough?
#15 (11) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – This month’s episode wasn’t the best, but nevertheless very solid. Making use of a well known trope didn’t hurt the overall dialogue at all.
#14 (17) – Kuruneko – (8/10) – I’ll review this one as soon as I can find the final three episodes, but seriously, they’re almost impossible to track down. It’s a bloody shame that Akitaro Daichi’s series are so incredibly underrated, because Kuruneko has been consistently enjoyable from start to finish.
#13 (18) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – I’m pleasantly surprised here. The series still consist of random episodes, but you can really see things develop very, very slowly. Characters are starting to think about what they can do themselves, Riko got some surprisingly touching moments that made her quite a colourful character, and the humour still ranges from cute to hilarious.
#12 (8) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10) – I’ve said this before: I’d rather watch a series with a ton of hiccups, but a ton of interesting ideas and concepts, than a series that might not have any holes in its plot, but also doesn’t take any risks at all, has no originality and doesn’t attempt to think outside of the box. Angel Beats was chaos, but it was fun, enjoyable, and varied in the way that it actually succeeded pretty well with all kinds of different genres. The climax did not live up to Key’s usual standards, but nevertheless it stood out in its ideas. That is for me enough to make up for the lesser parts of the series.
#11 (14) – B Gata H Kei – (8,25/10) – I really thought that at the halfway point this series would just go downhill and not match the fun of the first episodes. And then it turns out that the creators saved some of their best jokes for last. A number of priceless scenes, along with some actually surprisingly solid development of the lead characters ended this series on a very good note for me. It has definitely become my favourite fanservice comedy (and it’s ABOUT TIME an actually good one showed up).
#10 (13) – Durarara – (8,25/10)

This is a bit of a response to the criticisms I have received for my review of this series, most notably “how come show X (in this case Daimaou and Angel Beats) is rated as high as Durarara?” Now first of all: why are you comparing a show as Daimaou with Durarara? They have completely different purposes, I rated the former the way because it succeeded as entertainment that kept me engaged from start to finish. I rated the latter this way because for a show with substance, it could have done better and was a bit overshadowed by other series with substance, including its own first half. In fact, I still really like the character-development, and if a Durarara sequel will pop up, there is no doubt that I’m going to rate it higher. But the past arc just wasn’t the right one to quit the series with.

#9 (7) – Senkou no Night Raid – (8,25/10)

The thing I loved about this series is how thought provoking it ended up to be, combined with its characters who, while bland at first sight, had this air of maturity and lack of overacting that made them a very solid cast to watch. The big problem is a number of plotholes and characters changing sides a little too easily, but despite that it’s been a very solid finale.

#8 (9) – Rainbow – (8,5/10)

It’s impossible to talk about Rainbow this month without mentioning spoilers, but I do want to say that I absolutely love that SPOILER, and not only that, but also SPOILER. With 13 episodes lift, this opens the door to so much character-development!

#7 (6) – Gag Manga Biyori – (8,5/10)

The best of this month was the manga artist episode. It’s brilliant how the creators carried on that one single joke, and instead they built further upon it rather than dragging it out. It’s really sad to see this show go now, though. It’s definitely been my favourite comedy of the past two seasons, and I can’t imagine anything surpassing it as my favourite comedy of 2010.

#6 (10) – Ookiku Furikabutte – (8,75/10)

Definitely the best month of the second season. It was rushed, sure, but even under these circumstances the creators delivered an awesome match. The animation was consistently excellent throughout and the creators really showed the ins and outs of baseball.

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

We’re about to get to some turning points, but in the meantime this series continues its delightful trend of heart-warming stories along with its incredibly addictive and engaging main cast. The animation really allows the creators to show a ton of different emotions and really make them dynamic characters.

#4 (4) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)

This month was nearly all about one big football match. This really allowed the creators to get the best out of the involved character, and make it a real turning-point for the series. Not just for the players, but everyone round it: the supporters, the coaches, the managers, the press. Everyone is important in this series. The only downside is the strange includes of recaps at the beginning of each episode.

#3 (1) – Sarai-ya Goyou – (8,75/10)

My favourite parts of this series still are located in the middle, but the past month has also had a number of very impressive episodes. Especially Yaichi’s background is handled really well.

#2 (2) – Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei – (9,25/10)

Deciding my number one for this month was a very tough decision. In the end, I decided to put Yojou-han second, mostly because we haven’t seen the end yet. It’s already a masterpiece, but that ending could even make it surpass itself even more than that it did this month. The way the creators developed Watashi, putting everything around him into context was just masterful. Masaaki Yuasa definitely did it again. I can only imagine how amazing that conclusion must be.

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

The climax of this series was amazing. Everything came together wonderfully, the action was epic, and the characters showed their best sides. I love how nearly everyone helped in their own ways. It’s awesome to see that this everything that this series has been building up for during the past five seasons has come together.

Posted on with categories: Rainbow



Recap. I didn’t really feel like watching it entirely so I just glossed through it, but it did not have any new content aside from some monologues of Mario that didn’t really say anything new. This was really meant as a break for this series.

Either way, it came at a rather annoying moment, just when the series is really getting interesting. Oh, if the creators play their cards right this is going to make for a VERY interesting second half.
Rating: — (Recap)

Posted on 29 June 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



Last season I accidentally posted a review of this series before it had actually ended. No worries, though, because this just give me another excuse to try and hype the hell out of this series. With thirteen extra episodes, I have no doubt that this is going to end up as my favourite comedy of 2010. I know that this series has a really obscure reputation, but really: it’s absolutely hilarious.

The formula of the fourth season is 50 percent recap, and 50% original episodes. This makes it an excellent way to get introduced to the series for even those who haven’t watched it, and the thirteen new episodes are as hilarious as ever. In fact, from what I’ve seen of the series, it’s actually gotten better by time.

The thing that really sets this series apart from all other comedies is its energy. Seriously, you will not find a series that is more hyperactive than this. Even the Excel Saga, Sexy Commando Gaiden and Gintama feel slow. The dialogue leaves absolutely no time to catch your breath. The voice actors are all excellent in the way that they keep the energy going, finding a great combination between overacting and deadpan tones.

The subject matter of this series varies widely, but episodes can generally be divided into two types: the historical parodies and the anime parodies. My personal favourites were the latter, but that’s mostly because I have more affinity with it, compared to the surprisingly obscure yet important historical figures that the former addresses.

Either way though, this series may be known as random, but that also does a bit of injustice to its premise. Sure, the characters here are all morons, but very often you can see episodes build up to some kind of punch-line, some of which are just brilliant in the tropes that they make fun of. In fact, these are the best episodes of the entire series, with my personal favourite being the spaceship episode.

I know that Humour is something personal that’s different for everyone, but if you’re looking for hyperactive humour, then you really can’t get more hyperactive than this. I know that I keep teasing everyone during my monthly summaries with my huge praises of this series, but I really want to give it as much exposure as possible, in the hope that it’ll eventually get noticed by a fansub group who want to pick it up. This is an awesome addition to the comedy genre in anime, it doesn’t deserve to get forgotten like this!

Storytelling: 9/10 – Insane pacing. Never fails to keeps the balls in the air and deliver great jokes with an unrivalled hyperactivity.
Characters: 8/10 – A bit hard to judge in this context, but there are surprisingly few cliched characters in this series. Most characters only have up to five minutes of airtime, but they still manage to be hilarious. Well written in its own way.
Production-Values: 8/10 – A rating of 8 here obviously doesn’t mean eye candy, but the animation is solid, and never gets in the way of the humour. In fact, the simple graphics are refreshing for the anime medium that way too often goes for moe and bishies.
Setting: 9/10 – Clearly spent a lot of time thinking up ideas for tropes that it was going to parody. Great finds, and references to surprisingly underrated historical figures.

Suggestions:
– Excel Saga
– The other Gag Manga Biyori Seasons
Kodomo no Omocha
Sexy Commando Gaiden

Posted on with categories: Random Posts

So yeah, I made it to the quarterfinals of the Aniblog Tourney. Thanks everyone for voting so far.

This time I’m up against Impz and his posse. Be sure to check it out before voting, but chances are that you already know about it.

Anyway, for the THAT groupies who have come to check out this site: welcome to Star Crossed. I’ve been blogging series weekly for about four and a half years now. I also write series reviews and first impression, all of which you can find in the sidebar below.

Posted on 28 June 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Senkou no Night Raid




The fact that a series is slowly subbed doesn’t mean that it can’t be excellent. Really, with Yojou-han immediately subbed, this was by far the hardest one to translate by fansubbers, and therefore it didn’t get the coverage and attention that it should have gotten. Night Raid is a special series, and much more series should share the utter guts that it displayed. Be sure to support it when it eventually does come out in English!

But first and foremost, let me respond to the naysayers out there: no, Night Raid does not rape history. As a series about a group of Japanese people in China, in the 1930s. This could have been the most historically insensitive series out there. The problem is that, if I understood things correctly, there is this habit of the Japanese to really ignore anything they did around the second world war, and instead of accepting that they did a lot of things wrong and move on, there seems to be this air of not wanting to talk about it and learn from it at all.

This series, it seems to me, wanted to be a response to statements like this. While we follow a group of Japanese spies in the middle of China, it makes sure to cause no misunderstanding: the Japanese did some horrible things, and they consciously chose to do these things. In fact, a huge part of this series is about them, making these decisions, considering the alternatives, and act based on what they believe is right. Self-righteousness is a huge theme in this series, and the way this series explores them makes it a very thought-provoking series. Sure, some of the tropes it uses have been used a number of times before, but never in this context.

Now, as for the actual execution, this one could have been a bit more solid at times. The result is a number of plot-holes that are there to just keep the plot from going further. With thirteen episodes, it also doesn’t exactly have the time to give the characters a lot of background, though it definitely does try.

The acting department is a bit of a mixed bag. Some characters put down very convincing performances, like Yukina and Airi. Others, like Aoi, sound a bit too immature and unrefined. Especially in the first few episodes does this get tedious to watch.

Which is especially annoying because the first half really exist to just set everything right. It’s episodic in the way that it introduces all of the concepts, and fleshes out the setting. I think the most notable here is the infamous fourth episode, which is only dedicated to fleshing out the characters and nothing else.

If you’re interested in this series however, I do urge you to watch until episode seven before passing judgment, because it’s there where the series shows its true feathers. The thing with Night Raid is that on the small picture, it is indeed a bit inferior to its predecessor Sora no Oto. In the big picture however, I really believe that it surpasses it.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Knows its priorities, knows how to build up and most importantly: knows how to be subtle with its drama.
Characters: 8/10 – Good depth for the short length of only 13 episodes, some are well acted, others could have been done better.
Production-Values: 8/10 – A-1’s best artists were at Ookiku Furikabutte this season, but nevertheless solid enough, plus a very good soundtrack also helps.
Setting: 9/10 – The guts it has with its subject material as a medium of anime surpasses even Zipang. Very daring and thought-provoking.

(On a side-note: I really wish that I could rate this one higher, but unfortunately I can’t find an excuse for it. It unfortunately had a few too many faults, but the advantages really made up for it for me.)
Suggestions:
Zipang
The Cockpit
Mobile Suit Gundam – War in the Pocket

Posted on with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



My only real issue with this finale is that Kazura changed his opinion a bit too quickly too often. But really, this was a surprisingly good finale with a number of very interesting ideas put into it. On top of that, you could also see it play around with a number of very overused ending tropes.

The biggest surprise by far was the sudden death of Isao, but it’s also a brilliant move. There was no death speech, no overdramatic rise of tension before his death and most importantly: he died really fast here. It just shows how everyone can just die here, and that even though he was the main villain, his death doesn’t have to be over the top, or saved for the end.

Suddenly, the series turns into a rush operation to prevent the Japanese from getting their hands on the atomic bomb (how’s that for nationalism, huh?). Sakurai turns from this nice gentleman into someone desperate to get his own hands on that bomb, and to use it according to his own ideas. I actually loved it how the creators decided to solve that problem: with that blue-haired guy, who turned out to be a counter-spy. He had no backstory, but at the same time, there was a ton of spy activity at the time. It makes perfect sense for people to also have infiltrated the Japanese army. But really: his voice sounded just weird. Who was that voice actor?

In any case, the trope in which the villain dies, yet leaves some kind of projectile of doom behind that needs to be stopped. It’s been done before, but it’s the context here that makes the difference. Instead of a megablast of doom, we’ve got something very concrete that’s about to destroy a city: it’s something we can relate to much more than your average nuclear blast, because we know exactly what will happen if it goes off.

And there also is the ultimate cliche: our hero faces certain death after the climax finishes. It’s not certain whether he lived. The epilogue starts, and at the end we indeed see him back. This episode averted this in quite an interesting way by having first of all Kazura live, yet not show anything about him. Aoi meanwhile somehow failed to get out of the burning plane in the spur of the moment. I didn’t like how suddenly the creators made his powers extreme enough to be able to blast an atomic bomb into space (or at least hundreds of kilometers far into the sea), however, we never get to see him after that.

All we hear is a crappy violin, but that could have been anyone who was trying to cheer on the troops of soldiers, as they left for the upcoming war. Yes, this series decided to end with anything but a good ending. The war is still going to kill many people, and this series never got bigoted as to think that it could create a plot in which people wouldn’t end up suffering horribly throughout the next decade.

Overall this series would have benefited some more natural actors. However, the intention of the creators here was very good. It’s by far the most down to earth series in terms of character reactions: people cry when they lose a loved one, but there was hardly any overacting, and people remained surprisingly calm for anime, which tends to overreact even the slightest things. There were a number of very good voice actors, like Yukina for example. She pulled off a very convincing performance. Aoi meanwhile could have used more subtlety; his voice didn’t really suit the serious nature of the series. The Chinese girl is up for debate. Oh, she yelled, but girls her age who work at a restaurant… I can imagine them to need a loud voice.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 June 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



Yeah, so the result of the match was predictable. But like always with this series, it’s everything around it that made it memorable. The euphoria, the different reactions of everyone,. That made this really into a colourful episode. It’s really refreshing to see another sports series in which it doesn’t mean the end of the world if you lose: in this series, what matters is the long run.

It seemed like everyone had a different way to interpret the match: Murakoshi was simply glad to have another win again. The fans on the other hand were ecstatic that they finally won again, while that one fan of Tsubaki in particular got his old passion back. That Japanese forward meanwhile was immediately thinking how he destroyed himself during that match. The Nagoya coach was more looking into the future (which really fits his professional outlook), while Tsubaki was already seeing more and more opportunities to break through his defence. The football is one thing, but what really makes this series memorable is how it brings all of these different characters together.

Also, I like how the creators handled Tsubaki: he’s really meant to be this future talent who is still very rough around the edges, but yet he’s far from your average shounen hero. He’s really still a rookie and this series knows it. He has the ability to pull these crazy stunts, but that’s all exactly because he just loses himself in his soccer. This episode also stressed very much that football is a team sport by letting Gino score. Also, I loved the way he was at a loss for words when those Brazilians came up to him, and had to answer that interview.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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



Luka. He is so badass that even rose petals instantly want to commit suicide by his sword.

Seriously though, I know I often criticise this anime, but episodes like this one really show that it knows how to build up an atmosphere. I really have no complaints whatsoever about that, because this really was an engaging episode to watch. The creators made well use of the background music, characters and visuals to create a bit of a creepy atmosphere that I was able to take seriously, despite the angst and large amount of suicidal themes of this series.

As for the graphics… this episode pretty much showed that we shouldn’t expect too much of the animation itself. The action scenes just consisted out of a bunch of still frames of wounds, and cut a lot of corners. The eye candy here really was in the visual effects, as the creators of this series may not be good animators, but they’re pretty good at CG and blending it in with the rest of the drawings.

Without the CG, this really feels like this kind of retro series that could have just as easily aired fifteen years ago. It’s definitely got its charms because of this.

But really… regarding Shuusei… how? Do we really not get any kind of explanation, other than that Yuki zapped him? I mean, what did the manga artist have in mind when he created him? Having an all powerful character with Yuki, who can apparently heal any kind of wound, while also being able to stop all kinds of powerful magic with his crosses. That’s really hard to balance out! At a certain point the tension will just completely vanish because there’s no reason to fear for any of the characters to die here. Luka with his extreme powers is one thing that still is within bounds, due to his flaws, but Yuki is about to go too far in this.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure



Ohohoho, things are getting really interesting now: there’s going to be a third main character. I have a really good suspicion on who it’s going to be, but whoever it’s going to be, new main characters who show up half-way often have a great effect in terms of character development. Both for themselves, but also for the ones around them.

I also want to praise the creators for not giving any shallow hints towards this in prior: it really was this episode that dropped the bomb on a new character, so that the first half of the series would really focus on Tsubomi and Erika, instead of it becoming a sort of waiting exercise for this third character to appear.

Also, Dune has a boss. This is even more of a hint that we’re going to get him taken under the loop somewhere along the line. It does introduce the show to the “bad guy behind the shadows” syndrome, however. You know, those series that might have well developed mid-bosses, but very stereotypically evil end bosses who don’t end up doing anything until the final episode. It’s going to be interesting if this series manages to avoid this.

The main story of this episode wasn’t the best, nor the worst. It clearly was cut a bit short in favour of the third critter that appeared. It’s a nice story about being able to take criticism, but lacked the depth of the previous episodes.

And on a side-note: Kumojacky and Cobraja need to do that ambush trick more often, as it worked surprisingly well.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



Aha, so the creators really reserved the 64th episode for the aftermath of the series. This really was meant to be the climax of Full Metal Alchemist. Interestingly,t he creators chose not to end it with a bang, but rather tone down the action in order to focus on the main characters. Father really was already defeated at the end of the previous episode. This episode was really meant to wrap everything up: show the end of Father, and resolve the plot thread of Ed and Al getting their body back.

As expected, the characters found some sort of loophole in order to get Al’s body back. This time, the loophole was the door. We learn that every character has a door of alchemy, and apparently Ed knew that he could trade that in, instead of offering another of his limbs to get back to Al.

As for the budget, well, the creators were lucky that a lot of this episode was about a bunch of simple shapes (Greed, Flask (as I’ll call him for now, as “The inhabitant of the Flask” is a bit too long), God), so they could really plan the best of their budget to the previous action-packed view. The final confrontation between Flask was a worthy climax for the series, even though he already had been defeated.

One thing I did not understand was Hohenheim, though. Why did he end up dying? Was it because Father sucked all of the philosopher’s stones out of him or something?

Overall though, this has been an awesome series. It’s not among my favourites, but it still was a wonderful ride. I really hope that Bones is going to adapt more manga in the same way in the future.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
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
Kaiser Eoghan
As the show continues to mention how "its declining art", that got me thinking of the modern day, how while things like tv and cinemas probably hurt attendances for rakugo performances, the internet has replaced theaters .
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, now I've watched it. It'll be interesting to see Yotaro's relation to sukeroku's daughter develop. By all intents he should be an irritating character and not as interesting a yakumo based on his personality, but I can't help but like him, example of a goofball character done right.
Anonymous654016
ElDlive is looking good
Kaiser Eoghan
I haven't gotten around to rakugo's second seasons first episode yet =<
Kaiser Eoghan
Just looking at masamunes female protaganist I want to punch her.
Kaiser Eoghan
Vapid would be how I'd describe it, I didn't care about Masamune no revenge but at least there was some life to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, suzuka I remember a friend telling me when I got halfway through the anime to literally run from it and not continue. I flicked through fuukas first two episodes and played count the cliches.
Kaiser Eoghan
While I definitely got something out of Yojo senki's manga, I found the first episode easier to get through than the manga, in terms of pace and exposition.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Fuuka chapter 135. Read and be amazed.
Total users: 46

Featured Posts

Saga of Tanya the Evil – 02[Prologue]

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Some Quick First Impressions: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2, Seiren and Urara Meirochou

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