Posted on 31 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




There is this undeniable charm of Windy Tales, or Fuujin Monogatari. It’s not just its unique art style here, but really the combination of everything, from the characters and the slice of life to the soundtrack and the dialogue. It really is a relaxing slice of life series with a wonderful execution.

And seriously: the direction by Junji Nishimura, supervision by Mamoru Oshii and a soundtrack by Kenji Kawai… if that isn’t a great combination then I don’t know anymore. The dialogues in this series are wonderfully subtle and down to earth, and they do a great job in fleshing out the characters. Kawai’s soundtrack does an excellent job of enhancing this feeling.

This is an episodic series, where every episode focuses on a different event or theme in the lead characters’ lives. I really liked how each episode was chosen with a particular purpose in mind, rather than just being plain random. They’re all very varied episodes, and they do a great job of taking whatever character they’re focusing on under the loop. Ranging from the main characters to the side ones, they’re all enjoyable to watch.

Character-development is an interesting issue of this series, as it really takes a back seat here. Most of it is basic, apart from the final episode, which goes into a very interesting, yet very natural direction. Instead, the series spends most of its time portraying its cast as realistic and natural as possible. And yeah, because of that this isn’t a series for everyone, because the pacing tends to get really, really slow at times. And that for a series with 13 episodes.

But yeah, it remains cool to see cats flying into the air with the unique visuals of this series. And beyond that, there really are a number of gorgeously animated scenes present in this series. It’s a visually experimental series through and through, and you can see the animators try out a lot of different stuff. Probably what I liked the most is how many different ways this series has of drawing ‘wind’. It’s really a major theme of the series, as it explores many different sides and subtle meanings behind wind. Even though the episodes are rather unconnected, it’s this that really ties everything in the series together.

But yeah, if you don’t like experimental graphics you’ll have a hard time getting into this series. It’s obviously not meant for everyone, and it certainly isn’t the most eventful series. It’s restrained on purpose. But the thing is, that I have hardly any complaints about how this series was executed here. They pretty much did everything right here, and I feel like any attempt on getting more character-development, or throwing in more action, a faster pacing or more overacting would just have taken away some of the qualities that this series has right now.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very realistic and yet very imaginative; excellent dialogue. It’s a bit slow, though.
Characters: 8/10 – likable and charming.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Excellent animation among its experimental graphics, and the soundtrack also kicks ass.
Setting: 9/10 – A very interesting premise was created, along with a very good portrayal of school life. A lot of thought was also put into the themes of wind here. Tons of symbolism.

Suggestions:
GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class
The Sky Crawlers
Kino no Tabi

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



Well… here’s a tough one to recommend.

Now don’t get me wrong here, Kimagure Orange Road is a very good series. The way in which it fleshes out its characters leaves most teen-aged romances far behind. Especially Madoka is amazing as the main female love interest. With 48 episodes, this series also excels in its character development. That’s all fine and dandy. However, this series also made me want to bash in the screen, multiple times per episode.

Kimagure Orange Road is a very, very annoying series. Basically, nearly the entire series is about teen-aged hormones running around. It’s not just one character that becomes unbearable because of this, there’s a whole bunch of them that makes this series a chore to watch.

Starting with the most obvious: the two horny classmates. Granted, these two have actual personalities and are more than just stereotypes, but that doesn’t make them more likable when they consistently drool over cute girls, trying to get into their panties. For one episode that might not have been too bad, but these guys are present throughout THE ENTIRE SERIES. That’s a lot of time to get on your nerves.

Beyond that, there’s the secondary love interest for the lead character, along with another guy who is secretly in love with her. The former is annoying especially in the beginning, before her character develops. She continues to spoon up to the lead character with the most annoying voice. The latter is annoying because he never develops: he just keeps screaming and acting like comedic fodder.

Then there is the lead character, who just isn’t the most likable guy around. The series basically turns into a love triangle, and even though it’s obvious from the beginning with which girl he’s going to end up with, he refuses to MAKE UP HIS MIND about which girl to go out with. And it’s not even realistic! Some of the things he does are just completely stupid, even for teen-aged standards. This does get more bearable in the second half as THANK GOD this guy develops, but good luck getting there.

The episodes are mainly spent on standalone events that happen around the characters. Most of the times, there is some misunderstanding, some character who does something stupid, or the lead character’s telepathic powers (yes, the lead character is an esper) doing something to cause trouble. The episodes are pretty disjointed, and there are a number of continuity errors. It’s all very much forced in order to spice up the relationship between the lead characters as much as possible.

All of this makes this a very difficult series to rate. I mean, despite all of this, Madoka really was one of the best female love interests in a teen-aged shounen romance here; her portrayal throughout the series is really outstanding. Was her development worth sitting through so many episodes of annoyance? I’m still not sure, really. I mean, there definitely have been romances before that have had their incredibly annoying parts, and yet turned out to be very memorable to me (for example White Album and Bokura ga Ita), but even compared to those… Kimagure Orange Road was a bit much. It also doesn’t help that this series popularized episodic tropes that would later, especially in the past ten years, become milked to death cliches.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Good slice of life, decent but forced episodic stories.
Characters: 8/10 – The character-development is really excellent here, let that be clear. Some of the characters however make it an incredible chore to watch.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Pretty good for its time, the animation does what it’s supposed to do.
Setting: 8/10 – There are some continuity errors, but overall the creators did a pretty good job in portraying the city that the series takes place in.

Suggestions:
Maison Ikkoku
Aoi Hana
White Album

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

This isn’t a season as dry as the past Winter season:there are a number of excellent series, the mediocre series could have been much worse and there are a number of series with a lot of potential… just not a lot of them. This season heavily lacks in quantity, especially since a lot of the best shows ended last month. Instead, there are a ton of moe series this season again. They’re nothing special, but they could have been much worse.

#27 (new) – Tono to Issho – (1,75/10) – This is just unbelievably blatant. A recap of an OVA I already hated. One of the worst series in recent memory? I’d like to believe so.
#26 (26) – Stitch! – (4,5/10) – Being a kids’ show is no excuse for being bad. I’d just wish that series like this would realize that. It’s got an interesting premise and all, but this just has too many lazy plot-holes, stupid villains and uninspired scenarios.
#25 (new) – Shukufuku no Campanella – (5/10) – This series is just beyond rescue. It’s just an endless string of pointless discussions between a huge group of cute girls. This show is really about nothing other than how pretty the lead cast is…
#24 (new) – Digimon Xros Wars – (6,5/10) – This series… unfortunately turned into a disappointment. I would have loved to see another good Digimon series, but this is just a silly kiddie show with brainless action that might be nice for one episode, but not an entire series.
#23 (new) – Seitokai Yakuindomo – (6,75/10) – Gohands put a ton of budget into the animation. So why not in the jokes? I mean, this series just keeps repeating the same jokes over and over again, and most of the time they’re not even good ones. I just don’t feel like finding out whether or not there’s going to come a point in which they stop doing this. Dropped.
#22 (21) – Hetalia World Series – (7/10) – Enough with the Romano already! Seriously though, I’m now going to drop this series. Expanding the series to the entire world could have given this series the potential to become fresh again, but instead it just keeps repeating the same unfunny jokes and just sticks with the same bloody characters. This isn’t the “World Series” of Hetalia, but instead it’s the “Europe Series with Japan”. I know that the manga doesn’t have many other characters beyond that either, but that is no excuse: the creators of the anime could easily have come up with new characters to represent more countries. They could have easily picked out the best parts of the manga and animated them. This is just a show that has gone on for too long.
#21 (23) – Strike Witches – (7/10) – Out of all the sequels this season, this probably is the series that needed it the least, leaving aside marketing stuff. The episodes so far have been quite dull, and they strangely all have been episodes that belonged in the first season, including a very blatant training arc that had no point being there.
#20 (new) – Amagami SS – (7,25/10) – My issue with Amagami SS isn’t necessarily its set-up or fanservice. The lead character is annoying, but he also isn’t my main gripe with this show. It’s actually decent, although not very entertaining, with its slice of life. But the character-development is just terrible so far. It’s all very poorly built up, the first arc’s climax was incredibly rushed and it’s clear that the creators try to stuff way too much into too little.
#19 (new) – Asobi ni Iku Yo – (7,5/10) – My mind is very much split on this series. On one hand, it’s everything a bad harem series is: the ridiculously convenient amount of girls that ends up living together with the lead character, the incredibly bland character of this lead character, along with the hopelessly energetic lead female. It’s all there. On the other hand however, there’s more to this series than just that. The action part is brainless, but surprisingly entertaining.
#18 (new) – Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi – (7,5/10) – There are some characters in this series that I like. The president for example, and Ookami herself isn’t that bad either. Still, this series relies way too much on tropes from otaku pop culture for my tastes. The popularity contests, maids, breast obsessions, battles with nameless punks and yuri hints… they all fall flat for me.
#17 (36) – Kuroshitsuji – (7,75/10) – The first episode was just awesome. The second episode was just terrible. The rest of the episodes were somewhere in-between that spectrum. I admit that it’s a nice mystery series, and I’m enjoying both the new characters and this mystery, even though I haven’t seen the original Kuroshitsuji. It’s just… the random filler stories really need more work. They’re all shallow and very uninspired.
#16 (22) – Sekirei – (7,75/10) – The thing with this series… is that its plot remains pretty good. The second season continues to build further upon that and aside from some really weird gender changes it’s pretty decent to watch. The problems of course include the HUGE amounts of fan-service, the bad comedy, and Musubi as the lead female completely lacks development compared to the rest of the cast.
#15 (19) – Heroman – (7,75/10) – The problem with Heroman really lies in its cliches. While it’s great to see that the creators went with an actual continuing story, the series still feels limited by the huge amount of cliches that have been put into it. On the bright side though, Joey has matured quite nicely, and the plot has also developed quite well. Still, this show just doesn’t live up to Bones’ standards.
#14 (new) – Mitsudomoe – (7,75/10) – This series tries really hard in order to be funny. There’s a lot of dirty humour here, but hey: some kids at that age really have a dirty mind. Either way though, the problem with this series is that when a joke falls flat, it really falls flat and becomes just painful to watch. The jokes that work however are pretty funny, and I admit that this series has made me laugh quite a few times.
#13 (20) – Marie&Gali – (8/10) – I’m beginning to like this series again, but for a completely different reason than before. It still lacks the magic of the first season, but its scenarios are just so utterly bizarre that they’re starting to become hilarious in their own ways, despite the annoying new character.
#12 (15) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – It’s a bit of a shame that the budget wasn’t that good for such an important episode in the series, but it still was a very good episode here, that I definitely didn’t expect at this point in the series.
#11 (13) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – Looking back, now that we’re about to get to the climax of this series, I do believe that the creators could have made a better use of their time. Throughout the series, there were a few too many episodes that were just repeats of previous episodes, or silly stories that didn’t really add anything (for example the recent monkey burglar episode). I expected a little more guts from this series, especially considering how it has 52 episodes.
#10 (new) – High School of the Dead – (8/10)

Do I consider this series to be better than Kurozuka? Nah, Kurozuka was way better than this. Still, High School of the Dead has its charms with its solid production-values and atmosphere. It’s got a good atmosphere, the characters are all likeable and it’s solid entertainment, though not much more.

#9 (18) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (8,25/10)

I must say, I’m impressed by this series, and how good its characters have become. This month really was dedicated to giving depth to the cast. This really prevented it from becoming yet another one of those bishie series.

#8 (20) – Sengoku Basara – (8,25/10)

A massive improvement over the first season. Finally this series is able to bring justice to its premise with a passionate execution. It really manages to bring the different aspects of this series (the surprisingly well animated action scenes, the politics, the characters and the setting itself) together, not to mention the epic soundtrack.

#7 (new) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8,25/10)

It’s a bit childish, and has a number of shounen cliches here and there, but I like the series. It has great designs, a pretty good atmosphere, and the drama so far has been pretty good, even though it has just been building up.

#6 (new) – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – (8,5/10)

Yeah. If you plan to give this series a chance: wait till episode three before forming your conclusion. This definitely was my biggest surprise of the season. It’s got huge mood-whiplashes, the back-story is surprisingly good and most of its characters are pretty interesting.

#5 (new) – Shiki – (8,5/10)

So far, the first four episodes have been worthy of the Noitamina-timeslot. The mystery is built up quite well, but especially the atmosphere here works with a great use of background music and the unique visuals here. The character-designs take a bit getting used to, but heck: we’ve got the first Noitamina series since Nodame Cantabile that goes beyond 12 episodes. I’ve got high expectations from this one.

#4 (8) – Rainbow – (8,5/10)

I have gotten annoyed over the overacting in this series in the past, but the recent developments in this series have totally made up for it. Talk about character-development, the second half of this series really is different from the first with some terrific results.

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

Perhaps not the best month, because it spent a ton of time to carefully introduce the third main character, but this definitely has been a month of promise. Cure Sunshine is awesome, and she’s bound to give a new dynamic to the second half of this series.

#2 (new) – Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin – (8,5/10)

Now here’s an excellently produced series. It’s got a great cast of characters, an imaginative scenario, detailed animation and an awesome sense of humour. The only downside is the lead male, who is too much of an idiot. His antics alone are one thing, but he gets way too much screen-time that could be used to develop the other, more interesting characters.

#1 (4) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)

The current arc is again completely different from the previous ones, and it again centres around completely different characters. I love how many things this series is able to do at the same time, and it’s this attention to detail in fleshing out its characters that really made this into one of my favourite series of the currently airing anime.

Posted on 30 July 2010 with categories: Shiki



You can see that this series is using most of its time to build up at this point, but it still has quite an excellent atmosphere. The horror is already quite good, and even though this seemingly wasn’t a major episode at first sight, the episode did end with one heck of a cliff-hanger.

At this point, I think it’s clear now that we’re dealing with Vampires here, and they seem to be more similar to the classic vampires compared to what vampires have evolved into in modern pop culture. It’s true that we’ve seen none of the potential vampires appear at daylight, right? The older stories about vampires have also talked about how Vampires first need to get invited, before they can claim their victim. This is why they’ve tried to get friendly with everyone here.

Natsuno’s delusions are something I haven’t figured out yet. If the OP hints at anything, this show seems to be developing its own army of dead people turned into vampires, but I’m not yet sure whether the end of this episode actually happened, or whether this stayed in Natsuno’s head. We know that that cat guy is trying to get into Toru’s house, but why he decided to bring Megumi along is a bit of a mystery to me.

In the meantime, the animators. I can understand that they can’t make all of the drawings as detailed as in the manga, but you can see that they’re having fun with the visuals here. Like the church scene for example, that looked really good, but the visual effects they pulled on the climax of this episode also looked quite interesting here.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 July 2010 with categories: Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu



The mood-whiplashes in this series… I’m really beginning to like them. This show moves from light-hearted and outright silly comedy to serious politics, it’s already busy with character-development and in the meantime continues building its world, along with its characters. I love that when characters are introduced, they immediately tell their basic background.

The humour may not be as good as the humour of Occult Academy, but it still has its moments in which it’s really hilarious. The bickering between Raina and Ferris is of course one thing, but the two of them also toy with fantasy cliches surprisingly often (like in this episode where Ferris was able to enter a library because she was a cute girl). Ferris’ sister however may have been a bit too much, as a lot of her airtime consisted just out of screaming and yelling, rather than witty remarks.

This series also likes to play with things that aren’t as they seem. The blue haired guy in this episode for example. He was most definitely evil, but yet he didn’t end up as an enemy, and instead he ended up offering his services as a killer. Shion on his turn seemed like a righteous ruler so far, however that line from him at the end was quite a cliff-hanger. It just shows already how he’s changing as a ruler, and is willing to order this guy to kill his father, in order to make sure his services are genuine, in order to accomplish his ambitions.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



Now this is more like it. I was really beginning to get tired of these half-assed build-up episodes, and this episode was a huge improvement as it returned back to the main story of this sequel. Finally, we get to see Alois return. The thing with Alois is that he may not be developed yet, but he’s such an enigmatic character. He’s so unashamedly full of himself here, and his presence is for me just enough to keep watching this series.

On top of that, though, the mystery is finally getting interesting. The previous three episodes were deliberately kept so seemingly out of continuity, and this episode finally gave a bunch of hints about what happened. Sebastian explained it as “amnesia”, and apparently he asked some of Ciel’s friends to keep this a secret, and pretend nothing happened.

So, for some really strange reason here… Sebastian actually revived Ciel, along with those three servants (who also died at the end of the first season, right? At this point, I really fail to see the point of a demon who makes a contract with some human, just to be able to eat his soul… only to revive him again. I hope that the eventual reason behind this is going to be more than just a McGuffin. With these kinds of things, you can just define a bunch of magic rules that explain everything. The question is going to be how well these fit, but we’ll see.

I’m mostly curious to see where Alois fits in all of this: what was Sebastian doing in his mansion, and why that somehow ended up bringing Ciel back. Claude especially seems like more than just another butler who is harvesting souls. I also hope that this episode marks the end of the stupid adventures of the previous three episodes. I can see why they’re necessary to build up and all, but that’s no excuse for their poor execution.

Oh, the servants however… they were as annoying as ever. This episode also introduced a bunch of Indians (who have their own theme music, apparently), and they too are obnoxious. I really don’t want to know how often they appeared in the first season…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 27 July 2010 with categories: Rainbow




Awesome, it really looks like we’re going to get an arc about the future of each of the lead characters at this pace, if this episode was any hint at least. On top of that, the creators also put in a lot of effort to make all the different arcs flow into each other: this episode neatly wrapped up the main story between Mario and Setsuko, while it also showed some depth for Baremoto and Cabbage, before moving on to Joe’s future as a musician.

I love the way in which Setsuko’s marriage was wrapped up here: it’s clear that the two love each other, but at the same time the series didn’t chose the cheap way out by devolving in cheesy quest for love abandon her chance for real happiness with her new husband, who will be able to take better care of her compared to Mario, due to his background. Because of that, the romance in this episode was powerful, yet not drawn out or overblown. That smile of Mario, when he saw Setsuko at her wedding, pretty much said it all.

Baremoto meanwhile, in the really rare moments of comedy in this series, gets introduced by Suppon to some old hag in his quest to find some kind of woman. I’m not sure what was up with that, but it’s probably some sort of build-up. Either way though, it’s great to see that everyone is now building their own future here, which was even more symbolized by Mario leaving for Tokyo. I’m really interested in whether Cabbage will join him. He’s always been this simple, lovable type, and while he never really got an arc for himself, I still like the way he turned out.

Meanwhile, Joe. The creators really wanted to use the build-up of the earlier episodes here. And it’s a very strange plot twist here, for him to get into a situation where sleeping with some influential woman in order to make it big in the music industry. Usually a plot twist like that would get rejected immediately, but I’m not sure whether the creators intend this to symbolize how Joe should look at the bright sides of his past, whether he should simply accept what happened, or whether they meant to make some kind of point about how childrape victims can turn out. They already showed a different perspective in this with An-chan’s friend who committed suicide.

And god dammit what happened to his sister?! I mean, I know that he accepted that both of them went into different directions, and he probably has no idea where she is right now, but bloody Nora. She was adopted by someone who looked like a freaking mass rapist for god’s sake. Can’t we at least get a slight hint of what happened to her? Think of the character-development here!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto and its sequel Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora are two completely different series. Not only do they share no similar characters whatsoever, but their execution, focus, themes and atmosphere are completely different, with the only similarity being that they take place in the same setting. I can fully imagine people liking one of the series, but not the other, and vice versa. Personally I like Natsu no Sora better, due to its extra layer of realism and the subtlety in its characters, but the first series also has a lot to like.

For the ones who never saw any of those series: the Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto franchise takes place in a world in which certain people are able to use magic. It explores young mages in training as they are prepared to make a living for themselves. It’s very much a realistic approach to the question of “what if magic really exists?” Way more than Natsu no Sora, the first season looks at what it means to be a mage: are magical powers really that convenient and can you just use them in the way you want? It also addresses the impact that magic has on society: what the general opinion of mages is, and the trouble it can cause in the wrong hands.

The series is much more episodic than Natsu no Sora, and each episode takes one particular character under the loop (about half of the episodes are dedicated to the main cast, the other to random people), and tries to tell the story of this character. At the final episode, the creators do a pretty good job at bringing everything together. It’s not the most emotional series out there, but this series definitely has its points at which it’s heart-warming.

At this however, it perhaps is a bit too enthusiastic at times. The main flaw of this series is that the creators are a bit too keen to spread around death and accidents. I know it’s necessary for its drama and all, but when everyone and his dog lost someone precious to them in some kind of tragic event, it loses some of the tension.

Overall, this series isn’t the best, and a few episodes and individual stories can be a tad shallow, but in terms of the big picture, it’s pretty impressive. It lacks the rock-solid execution of Natsu no Sora, and the drama can get a tad cheesy at times, but in the end I’d say that it has enough things that make it interesting, most notably the attention it has put into its themes, and how all of the characters relate to them.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A tad cheesy, but the stories are well told and come together well in the end.
Characters: 8/10 – Not as good as Natsu no Sora, but their issues and personalities are well portrayed.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The animation does what it needs to do, though not much more. The soundtrack is quite good, though.
Setting: 9/10 – Great themes, makes good use of its setting, puts a lot of emphasis on the morals of magic.

Suggestions:
Aria the Animation
Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora
Hataraki Man

Posted on 26 July 2010 with categories: Nurarihyon no Mago



I’m still not exactly sure why I like this series so much when it has just been building up. There’s also the amount of cliches and overused tropes here and having a kid as the lead character here also not the best for first impressions. Unlike Giant Killing, which started off immediately with a bang where it mixed often used tropes with very nice ideas, and immediately started to play with its characters, Nurarihyon no Mago has more shounen tropes against it and instead is clearly saving its trumps for later here.

The premise of this episode also was another kidnapping, which pretty much happens everywhere. I think it’s a combination of things that makes up for these cliches, which caused me to just mostly ignore them. The way in which the story is clearly promising to get more interesting is one thing, but on top of that I’m also really getting into the atmosphere here. The first half of this episode, for example was very good at that, and there definitely was this sense of urgency. The stories themselves are also well told and paced, and the characters are very good at conveying their emotions. I’m not sure whether this comes from the manga or the anime staff, but whoever is responsible is doing a very good job of putting everything into context.

My only real issue with this episode was that it devolved a bit into an “overkill fight”. You know, the part in which the good guys come with so much force at the bad guys that it works a bit as an an anti-climax. I know that it had its purpose in the story, but it also killed the tension that the rest of the episode had been building up to.

Now, something strange happened with the graphics in this episode. I’m not sure if it was there before (in that case I just didn’t notice), but there were some panels that were reduced to simple black and white lines. Now, I wonder whether the creators are going to use that more in the series. When they’re going to be consequent about it, it can lead to some neat effects. Speaking of the visuals here, that rat at the end of the episode looked really awesome. Kudos to the manga author for portraying such an interesting-looking transformation. If the rest of the manga has more of those scenes we’re in for some eye candy here.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin



Okay, so now Fumiaki has reached the point where he’s just gotten annoying. In the previous episode he was still cute, but for the creators to carry this through in even this episode… it’s starting to get on my nerves. Especially considering that he’s gobbling up time that could be spent on the real main character here: Maya, who is a much more interesting character.

Characters like Fumiaki are always a bit of a double edged sword. I can understand flaws and all, but this episode was trying a bit too hard to make him look like an idiot. We’ve got enough anime with idiots already, can’t this series just be about genuinely interesting characters? Heck, I’d much rather watch that strange-haired weirdo and his friend at this point. At this point, I can only hope that the creators know what they’re doing with this guy.

This episode still had some really good jokes, though. Generally, all of the parts that didn’t focus on Fumiaki were really quite interesting and enjoyable. I loved the joke the creators made, when that moth chased Maya and Fumiaki behind Smile and JK. We also get confirmed even more that Maya surely knows a lot about the occult.

Most series about the supernatural just look at one direction: it’s either Shinto, or Viking legends, the Greek gods, or Chinese mythology or any other kind of popular kind of folklore. Only a few combine two of them, so Occult Academy is actually quite rare to actually look beyond the individual legends, and rather examines patterns and similarities between all kinds of different folklore across the world, like with the giant tree in this episode.

Finally, another thing that has me rather worried is the following, but it might just be something about this episode, and not the rest of the series. In terms of mystery, this series is really excellent at building up. But this episode showed that when it comes to revelations behind its questions… it doesn’t pack a whole lot of punches. Fumiaki’s background is pretty much what we could have guessed when he first explained it and the missing girl also predictably was found here. I want to see this series play around more with revelations.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

CHANGE USERNAME
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
AidanAK47
Ah Samurai Jack. Wonder how that Adult swim revival is going? Batman the Animated Series as well didn't need Batman to crack off jokes every minute to be great.
Lenlo
Agreed. Samurai Jack was one of my favorite cartoons for that very reason. It ran the gamut of genres, each episode being something different.
Also I used Nichijou cause it was the first to come to my mind as a "Kids Show", though Love-Ru works as well
Total users: 21

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