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.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
@Niello - That's 'cause Miayano isn't Pepe Macias: https://youtu.be/nCL6e5TmVG8?t=34
Lenlo
Personally I like this Miyano voice, but only because it sounds like Old Okabe before 0 ruined him
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Wouldn't go that far. But as I've said this show did not click with me at all on most levels.
Niello
Am I the only one who think Miyano sounds annoying in Zombieland Saga? It was the same in Tadakoi too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
Masky
Anyhoo, yeah, made already comment about it on the blog, but I really feel like trashy parts of Goblin Slayer clash with what it is about
Masky
Oh yeah, that was surprisingly hilarious. Mostly because English was surprisingly good
Lenlo
I should not like Honda-San as much as I do. But I love it.
Masky
Like, lot of writers, game developers, comic artists, etc, they clearly base their works on stuff they were fan of. Lot of people get inspired by stuff they enjoyed during their childhood for example. There is no real difference between "Being inspired to do same type of thing you liked" and "You copied something popular" besides the level of half assedness
Masky
@SuperWooper: What I feel like is that there is nothing new under the sun. Whenever something feels like original, its mostly that you yourself just haven't seen it before or the execution feels fresh or the cliches and tropes haven't been used in a while
Amagi
I really don't like the highschool boy suddently getting super power and mega robot-kind of trope so they better add some more original stuff to make up for this.
Amagi
I might still enjoy this series though depending on the ideas the writers might have. As usual, much of my enjoyment depends on the antagonist. If this should really be nothing than a typical toku show with evil villain I will probably drop it too.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I only watch sub, I kinda feel like the first half was good dialoguewise but I know what Aidan and Lenlo mean, I generally didn't like the second half of the episode.
SuperWooper
Being a writer for an anime blog, I'm not really qualified to say.
AidanAK47
@Wooper, what is originality?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although personally I won't be watching gridman due to not being a fan of trigger.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In Goblin slayer I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just glad that the protaganist is a guy in his 20s for a change.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you all watch gridman in English or Japanese? I ask because, perhaps the dialogue might have been an issue with the dub or something?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, it seems I wasn't really paying much attention to the animation in Goblin slayer, I was having too much fun with it.
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Featured Posts

Kaze Ga Tsukyoku Fuiteiru – 3 [A Single Flower]

Hello and welcome to week 3 of Kaze Fui! This time our boys start running, Kurahara meets someone from his past and poor Akane ups and dies. Lets jump in! So general stuff first, Kaze Fui continues to look just beautiful. The running animation really is nice, and its unique for each runner. From Kurahara’s […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 02 [Restoration]

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Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 02 [The Stolen Sorcerous Blades]

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Banana Fish – 14 [Tender is the Night]

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Planetes – 1 [Outside the Atmosphere] – Throwback Thursday

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