Posted by psgels on 25 June 2010 with categories: Angel Beats, Anime Reviews




For Angel Beats, Key decided to go into a completely different direction: no more visual novels but instead a straight-up anime production, instead of being a straight-up drama, it tosses in all kinds of different genres, it’s got a much more upbeat mood than any other Key work so far, but at the same time it still has some of the elements that made Air and Clannad so addictive. It’s definitely a great premise in theory.

It’s a comedy, adventure story, action series, drama, and sometimes also a romance and slice of life series, but at its core Angel Beats is a full fledged mystery-series. The characters are thrown into a setting they know nothing about, and gradually it unfolds its true nature. Really, the biggest reason why you’d want to watch this series is for the creativity, and the large amount of ideas that the creators tried to put into it. They really tried to create an original world with a lot of depth behind it, and the mystery itself is written quite skillfully to make optimal use of how it unfolds, resulting in a great climax.

The rest of the series would be best described as ‘chaos’, both in the good and in the bad ways. Over thirteen episodes, the pacing is really all over the place. It makes for a number of interesting episodes, but at times the series also just stops trying to make sense. A lot of scenes are just disjointed from each other, and this series hops from one plot twist to the other without much of a transition.

Unfortunately, Key just had way too many ideas that it wanted to put into just thirteen episodes. I think what suffers from this the most is the characterization: it’s often rushed and cheesy because of it, and while the cast as a whole is impressive and enjoyable to watch, nearly all of the characters are rushed through so that only two of them get some actual time to tell their story. The rest of the (for 13 episodes) HUGE cast has their moments in which they just don’t work or connect when they should.

These pacing and rushed issues really prevent this series from standing out, but nevertheless it has quite a bit to like, and its ideas will keep you busy as long as you don’t expect too much of it as a key series. While good, it didn’t have the “oomph” that I experienced with the Air and Clannad TV-series and movies.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Good mystery, very varied, but also rushed.
Characters: 7/10 – The cast shines as a whole, but most of the individual characters lack attention.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Excellent animation and visuals, especially the money shots.
Setting: 9/10 – Original settings. It may have a few plot-holes, but the creativity put into it more than makes up for it.

Suggestions:
Air
Haibane Renmei

33 Responses

  1. chounokoe says:

    I’m actually surprised how you could manage to give such a high rating for this series.
    I mean, even though DRRR didn’t make the best of it’s source material, does it really deserve to be put on the same level as Angel Beats?!

    Maybe we just got a different understanding of what a series should have. While you praised the fact how many things it tried to do, I found that very tiring after a while and it always kept the series from arriving anywhere.
    The finale was just pulled from a tophat along with a very flashy bunny to divert us from the fact that it does not make much sense.
    And as someone already pointed out on the comments for episode 13, the organ donor plot hole was even worse.

    Not only that, it featured an immense cast of which more than 50% stayed even below characterized. They were just there to deliver lines in certain scenes…

    I have to admit, I’m not a large fan of Key and I only really liked AIR. But even when I put my bias as much into the back as I can, this show is just sub-par in terms of planning and execution.
    It’s not that I don’t want you to like it, it’s just strange to see it so high up in the rating range.

  2. jcb says:

    Its story is sort of the Lost story, isn’t it?

    Pretty good series, except for some over the top comedy.

  3. Rockmanshii says:

    Actually I’m surprised too, even if I love this series, I thought your rating would be much more severe because of the repetition gags you didn’t enjoyed or the pacing issues.Hmmm I don’t know how to say it, I’m glad you said the “truth” that’s why I read your blog.

  4. GGGGG says:

    “It’s a comedy, adventure story, action series, drama, and sometimes also a romance and slice of life series, but at its core Angel Beats is a full fledged mystery-series.”

    Thank you for understanding that, psgels! Some writers can really lose focus when they try so many genres, but, in this case, they pulled all of those in a quite fluid way.

    And about the lack of characterization of the rest of the cast, @chounokoe, I don’t really see that as a flaw. IMO, considering the number of episodes, most of them were indeed put there just to deliver one-liners and for comedy value, but the fact that we got interested shows that even side characters doesn’t have to be 2D…

    Sad ending, btw…

  5. Bruce says:

    I think psgels gave this such a high rating because it was ambitious and tried to be creative, while DRRR chose to be on the safe side with its second half.

    Overall this series felt as if somebody created an utterly fantastic 26 episode series and had to truncate it into only 13 episodes. The result is that while the scope of this series is very large, the show really struggles to deliver on it.

  6. FlameStrike says:

    Wow I’m glad to see such a well rounded review. There are some people who focused in on the negative aspects of the show and ignored the positives, and others who ignored the negatives and just relished in the positives. I’m glad to see someone who takes both sides into account and gives his opinion. I agree with you in that it’s a good show overall and fun to watch, but it’s not nearly on the masterpiece level. Previous key works like Clannad had much more oomhp and etc, but for 13 eps I’d say AB did pretty well despite it’s numerous glaring flaws.

  7. m says:

    Angel Beats! was quite a project. You had a lot of music, with accompanying singles, animated musical performances, and whatnot. From that enterprise I got to enjoy the animation, “My Soul, Your Beats!” and “Brave Song.” The instrumental version of the latter is pretty nice.
    The anime itself has serious compression artifacts, and up until episode 9 it was repetitively missing the mark due to the humor whiplash. Episode 9 seems to be the high point for the show, but I think the episodes after that are OK, even if rushed. Even the jokes worked for me better after they stopped trying to cram them in. If they had invested more money for a longer series or tried to do less, the whole thing may have been a lot smoother.

    The show could use a reboot. I liked watching it, but their ambition was too big for their budget.

  8. Mizst says:

    It’s true that the action in Angel Beats is all over the place and that is somewhat of a liability, but each of those episodes tells us about the world works. The varied nature helps keep it from being repetitive while it does the explaining.

    On an unrelated note, I find that most criticisms of this anime out there stem from those critics’ desire to see every single detail explained LOTR-style – the story behind every character, thorough explanation for every plot point, even the story behind the creation of the world. This is an unrealistic expectation. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having dozens of characters and focusing on two or three, or not explaining every little detail about the plot and the world. For a 13-episode series, the story is remarkably complete.

    The enjoyment of this series also depends on the realistic expectation on the viewer’s part. This anime is really one of the most excellent animes out there.

  9. the arbiter says:

    I agree with OP. Angel Beats! hardly deserves to be put on the same pedestal as Durarara!.

  10. Rockmanshii says:

    Hmmm I like both a lot but I guess I like Durarara!! a little more.

  11. MsteaK says:

    DURARARA is certainly better, but whatever.

    My main gripe with Angel Beats was its relentless attempt at creating (or rather forcing) melodrama. How the hell should I care so much about these characters when they’re one-dimensional and the drama is all character-based?

  12. betawatcher says:

    The biggest mistake the creators made was that they didn’t make this series a 26-episode series. Nuffsaid.

  13. Abxes says:

    I liked Angel Beats!, it is one of the best things I have watched this season and nobody will change my opinion about that. But I still read the critics because I like to see what other people think. It’s true, the story is a little rushed, especially at the end, but it is still a good series. I have noticed that a lot of the negative opinions of the final episode, come from a misunderstanding of its plot.
    -SPOILERS AHEAD-

    Sure, the donor is contra intuitive, one could think, prima facie that it doesn’t make any sense. How could Kanade be there to thank Otonashi for the heart he gave to her if she arrived earlier? Well, if you think about it, it can be possible. Otonashi had no memories when he got to this afterlife, it is possible to think that his soul wandered for days, months, years of real world time before getting to the afterlife, remember that Otonashi wasn’t meant to be there in the first place. It was possible for Kanade to arrive first, maybe she died shortly after receiving Otanashi’s heart at went directly to the school. When that made sense, you can see that everything in the end did! Why didn’t Otonashi disappear when he fully regained his memories? Why Kanade wasn’t able to disappear? I think it was beautifully planned by the one who made this anime. Sure, it could have been better, it is rushed, it needed to be an 26 episodes, it tried to do too much for an anime that would be so short (because of this, some episodes felt rushed or were even incoherent). I think the characters where also thought to be developed, but you can’t do that in only 13 episodes. It would have been nice to have a episode 14 so we could see how everyone disappeared instead of just knowing they did and it would be even better to have a episode 15 to know what happenen to them after that, but it’s still good.
    As betawatcher said, the only mistake the creator made was that they didn’t make this series a 26-episodes one. Overall, I think Angel Beats deserves the 82,5 rating. It could have been better, it has more holes than a Swiss cheese, and it is still that good and had the potential to be even better. Personally, loved the show.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Durarara better than Angel Beats? Please. I don’t know what you guys are smoking, but I want some. Durarara was quite bad in its second half.

  15. Denizen says:

    Whilst I liked this show, I thought it read more like a rough draft or short story – this wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that there were lots of great characters, interesting concepts and opportunity for something deeper within the setting.

    I liked it, but it’s one of many anime recently that have this potential and never give themselves the chance to really make the most of it. I would have liked to know more about the side-characters, see some more interesting antagonistic qualities, and generally just see the AB world’s interesting qualities much more.

  16. Aaeru says:

    Reading through Animesuki was generally bad. But it was actually visiting nihonreview forums that was a total nightmare. Those people say the most disgusting things regarding Angel Beats. They treated it like trash – like dirt to be spat on. I am not even looking for someone to agree with me. I just want people to see the show from a level-headed perspective, see the good and the bad, then appreciate it for what it is.

    If only some of these people would take a look at some of the stupid things that most Japanese people laugh at, or some of their most popular shows. Perhaps then, they might finally take Angel Beats too in perspective.

    source
    http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=82070
    http://www.nihonreview.com/forum/index.php?topic=1380.0

  17. Roldan says:

    It was pretty good except for the fact that the anime couldn’t build up anything >_>.. except for the final twist with Ootanashi and Kanade, which was a pretty good twist indeed :D.. it could’ve have been close to 90 if it had been over 20+ episodes.

  18. Solaris says:

    Otonashi arrived after Kanade, as she’s still (half)alive. She’s like Shigofumi: a soul that departed from her body because of an illness. She’s an Ikiryou.
    Thes kind of ghosts are pretty common in anime, but they’re hardly understood by western fandom as they’re peculiar to japanese only miths. Other Ikiryou are Clannad’s Fuko Ibuki and Kanon’s Ayu Tsukimiya. These shows are also Key’s production by any chance :)

    And while the show isn’t terrible, it really suffered by little developement and lack of pacing and direction. I hope they’ll redo from scratch like they did it for Kanon, as Angel Beats was rather promising.

  19. Hogart says:

    Angel Beats was a simple premise that was poorly fleshed-out and even more poorly executed. It felt like they had a core story long enough for a 4-6 episode OVA, but had to fill out 13 episodes. Then they overshot that mark and designed something meant for 24+ episodes. They sure didn’t have a clue what to do with it, as they’re always jumping around hoping we’ll be distracted by some pointless new distraction.

    I can’t be kind about it. Angel Beats is a total mess. It’s rife with awful writing and bland characters. It only gets by because of it’s over-reliance on writing cliche. It has Maeda’s trademark ridiculous hyperdrama, and a ton of superfluous expy-like characters without a purpose. It’s Hollywood hack writing in anime form, and if it’s success is any indication we’re destined for more of it.

    But you know what? People clearly don’t care. And frankly, neither do I. I’ve given Maeda enough of my attention, ditto PA Works. Since neither of them can create an anime that isn’t mediocre, this just gives me two names to avoid when picking up series in the future (unless PA Works gets back to just animating anime for other studios).

  20. Vir says:

    Honestly this is one of The best animes I have ever watched, I really wish it would have just kept going on. Hopefully sometime in the future they can come up with another cast and story line and make a second angel beats

  21. Justwon says:

    I liked Angel Beats! even though the episodes didn’t make coherent sense sometimes (most of the time), to me I was only really paying attention to Yuri, Kanade, and Yuzuru anyway. From the beginning I could tell that it was going to center on those three, and to me the rest of the characters were just extras when they were by themselves. I did feel a few pangs in my chest when I was watching their individual stories (the ones I got to watch, instead of all those who just magically disappeared with no camera time), so that was a plus for me.

    Now about the last episode… That fourth guy, the on that makes the jokes, should not have been there at all. As far as I’m concerned he should have vanished with the girl who filled in as lead singer when the original disappeared. When he came back the next episode, I was kinda feeling a bit of (a lot of) “WTF?”
    Other than that, I liked it a lot lol, could have been done better, but the whole series could have been done better. I don’t want to seem the copy-cat, but everyone else here is right, the studio was just too ambitious for the amount of episodes they were able to make, I think that the whole concept is great, but I hate those shows that just does things, half explains it, and then cuts them out of the rest of the story-line altogether (that half goes to Code Geass R2… LULU LIVES).

    If Key doesn’t remake this or doesn’t churn out 2+ very good OVA’s that actually explain in an easy to understand manner, I will be very disappointed.

  22. Alan says:

    the ending was sad. ;( lol i wish they had included more episodes. or maybe increase the storyline for a sequel or OVA or somethin!!! O___O
    for me, this anime just lacked the detailed description of the characters. >,…,

  23. Alan says:

    oh btw O.0 lmao the end was weird. thought something will happen b/w yuzuru and yuri. …..oh wait. meh >_> i guess i predicted too much just after seeing him say ‘why does she smell so nice O_O *blush* ‘

  24. SexyRexy says:

    I personally loved Angel Beats because the story felt unique. A world in the afterlife where you can’t die.(because they’re already dead) There is Yurippe who leads a group of people trying to fight against a God or whatever other great force there is out there that gave them an unfair life. A rather interesting goal that they had in mind.

    @JustWon Hinata(the blue hair guy) didn’t disappear because he had something he needed to finish up, which he says he wanted to help Otonashi in his quest to allow others to move on. I would consider that another one of Hinata’s regrets.

    I hear a lot of about how there needs to be more character development/deep story telling but remember that there are main characters and sub characters. Stories have a main focus on a certain person or certain people. In Angel Beats the story focused around Otanashi which is why he seemed to have the most indepth story telling of his memories before he died.

    There will be important characters and less important characters. If every single Battlefront member had their history told then they would start to become more of a main character. That isn’t possible because you will always have characters with more key roles than others.(Yurripe as leader for example) Developing many characters is nice but what’s the point of telling the history of a character when they’re rarely going to be used anyways. Take the band members for example. Why bother telling their story when they only show up when commencing operation tornado.

    Now I will say that although they can’t get all of the characters’ backgrounds told they could have gotten more in detail about Yurripe. They never explained how she died or what happened after that incident, how she made a living or acted at school.

    Also I don’t get what’s up with this and that about Clannad more “oomph”. Clannad was a notable series but in my eyes(yes we see the world of anime differently) it was just another anime about friends at school and 2 of them liking each other because they hung out so much.

  25. SexyRexy says:

    This is way late but I’ll also add in that it’s pretty stupid to compare Angel Beats to Clannad in the first place considering that they are 2 completely different series.

    They’re made from the same company but they’re not the same. Get it straight.

  26. Phaseus says:

    I loved this anime. Romance, action, friendships, guns, and comedy. What the hell isn’t there to like? One thing that really captured my attention was the fact that this has been the only tear jerker in my entire life (entertainment wise) But then I watched the ending so kinda fixed the mood.

  27. Phaseus says:

    I loved this anime. Romance, action, friendships, guns, and comedy. What the hell isn’t there to like? One thing that really captured my attention was the fact that this has been the only tear jerker in my entire life (entertainment wise) But then I watched the ending so kinda fixed the mood.

  28. Jono Funk says:

    I felt it was a great series, I don’t understand why everyone whines so much. No i don’t need every single character’s lifestory annoying flashed back to buffer the series length. (cough Naruto cough). For example I found that TK was a fun enjoyable character who only revealed how much he actually knew with his little one liners. I was happy with that and didn’t see the need to know about all the facts of his life. And he turned out to be one of my favorites. I’m glad that only the main characters got to explain their situation.

    If it had been 26 eps you people would be whining about repetition of the characters sob stories. Yes the plot progresses a little quickly, but it does so in a progressive manner (I never felt lost at any stage). I feel that is better than dragging it out more than necessary.

    I found the distinct lack of explanations only added to the mystery, and I think the only reason everyone gave such negative comments is because it left us hungry for more. The ending was satisfying and since i did not expect the final twist it left me in a state of shock. Which is rare achievement for the entertainment industry these days.

  29. Drako says:

    Just finished watching this series. I didn’t expect much of it, but it has left such a huge impression on me.

    The humour in the anime was what kept me going in the first few episodes, with the timing of it done very well, and made me chuckle quite a bit.

    What was the most impacting thing of this series was the plot, and when the ending came and the entire thing unfolded before me, I was utterly satisfied. The anime is definitely like a mystery-series, and each plot twist was surprising.

    Most characters weren’t explored in detail at all, but I still enjoyed each one. Especially Yuri, who manages to be a strong leader even though she has gone through so much hardship.

    The ending was the most emotionally wrenching part though. I’m not going to spoil it, but when it was revealed, I was tempted to cry and was mind-blown at the same time.

    I normally find it hard to let go of an anime I find good, but when it comes to Angel Beats, it’s the most hardest anime I’ve ever found to let go of. The ending was satisfactory, yes, but the emotion I felt was something I find hard to let go. I almost wish there would be a season 2 even though I don’t see at all how the series could possibly continue. Guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with what I’ve seen.

  30. Digi says:

    i liked this series a lot and based on the reviews of this site , umm sorry -_- this site gives tar driver 80/100 , it was such a shit , a complete shit anime, n i do think some of your reviews sucks , simply

  31. TenshiVersionSix says:

    You gotta give Angel Beats some credit though. The makers of Durara had a manga and a light novel to work off of. This was completely original.

  32. Ra says:

    Roughly the first half: Enjoyed the comedy and animation and all. Great cast doing funny and unexpected stuff. An absolutely brilliant anime in this part.

    Second half: The fairly cool “villain” is no longer. The show gets way more serious and less light-hearted. A bunch of episodes fleshing out a few people, a lot of things that seem like important plot points started… but then immediately comes filler, next and everything is wrapped up with a mostly forced dramatic ending that really made little sense in so many ways (events, character relations, setting … all very contreived) – but it should have in a series that takes this serious tone. For all the second part of the series, only the final ceremony was actually working quite well, but given how the show got there, even that wasn’t quite as strong as it would have been otherwise.

    Indeed, a much longer series or having the second half cut entirely would probably have been better.

  33. Frankie says:

    My one and only issue was not knowing who da heck TK (i hope i got his name right..been a while for show) really was..beside that i loved it and cried like a little biatch at end and for quite a few other moments.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kalandra
@SuperMario
Thanks for the answer. I got burnt out of watching 3 - 4 years ago, I guess its good timing I am coming back to anime the same time as him.
Kalandra
@Kaiser Sorry I don't remember you. But thanks for the answer.
@
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh well, there you go, Mario was quicker on the uptake and his post got through before mine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Kalandra: He maintains a background presence on the site, paying for it, lately he has gotten his groove back, he every so often comes back to make a comment here and there or post a monthly summary.
I vaguely remember you.
SuperMario
@Kalandra: He was burned out of anime for about 2 years, but now he's back for monthly summary where he reported what he was watching that month. In fact, you can come back tomorrow for his April summary.
Kalandra
Hi, old reader just checking up on this blog. I notice that the reviewer isn't psgels anymore. Is he still doing reviews?
SuperMario
@anon1058019: yep, and we'll get an original film no less. Welp, I don't mind for more Yuri but everything sounds vague for now. Let wait for more details coming
SuperMario
@Tatami: I'm only watch anime but I'm not a fan at all with the show so I can't really help you on that. In fact this season I couldn't get pass episode 2
Tatami
For guys who only watched AoT anime and not the manga, Im curious what do you think of the current season?
Tatami
The recent 2 epsiodes of AoT pretty much confirmed my guesses of who are the Armored and Colossus titans
Anonymous1058019
Yuri on ICE!!! movie has been announced. Prepare for incoming fangirls. :.D
Spike
Zestiria finale was pretty mediocre at best... Ufotable writers really fizzled at the end. :(
Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
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