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
Anonymous2040262
its almost like he could be an antagonist
SuperMario
For me I don't mind if I have to pay to watch the series/ films, but damn it don't restrict me to access it. Entertainment medium is meant to be an exposure (for the lack of better terms), it's supposed to be available to the mass and nobody care for a series that isn't available for streaming. We have way too many other options out there
SuperMario
"Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem". Someone said that and I couldn't say it better
SuperMario
@Amagi: which part of Firework that you stopped? It's the movie that make less and less sense as the story goes on so I feel you on that
Amagi
I really wonder what's up with this guy. Considering the hype and VN screens he gets he seems to be more than just random side-protagonist. Looking forward to the rest of this series.
Anonymous2039704
One of my favorite OPs this season
Amagi
Now I textwalled again and feel bad.
Amagi
In short: be it indie-products or official series or papers, just upload everything on a virtual plattform and you'll get a bigger audience, many of them even willing to pay as long as they get what they want in high quality.
Amagi
Something might only become popular 4 weeks later but it doesn't matter because it's still there and people can watch it whenever they want and the other series don't matter since it isn't a classical rivalry as we know it from tv.
Amagi
"Less people watched the first episode than the 1000th iteration of [insert some "classic" movie old people watch for the sake if it]. With streaming plattforms like Netflix and others series just get dumped and are always accesible.
Amagi
Another reason for why I prefer streams and stuff: TV and quotes are a horror. They often cancelled series after one or two episodes because the quotes didn't live up to what they wanted. Instead of giving a new series some time. It needs time to get a fanbase and people often need weeks to even know about a new series, but nope.
Amagi
In the end such things are usually screened in ~3 places around the country for a day or two. So if you aren't living nearby or have work to do on that day: good luck.
Amagi
Sometimes it isn't their fault though, like when there is an anime or some indie guy from my country is making a movie - and nobody wants to show them.
Amagi
Same here. I really want to give small companies or indie/artists a chance, but it's not always easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What baffled me was the British film institute blocking Irish users using their legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Believe it or not I actually WANT to support.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I do pirate alot, in cases where an obscure film actually gets a cinema release I make sure to pay to see it at the cinema, I support all the rare anime screenings too.
Amagi
There is so much stuff I had to pirate or I would have had to relinquish it completely. Even with non-fiction books for my university studies.
Amagi
lmao. But I 100% agree. Maybe you're lucky if you live in the US but otherwise you are often enough f*ed. Bad marketing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Point I was trying to make is that, region blocking is only encouraging piracy more.
Amagi
narf~ couldn't manage to finish that Firework movie, do I miss much? It seems like something that might have a bunch of good ideas for the later part but the first half just bored me and I couldn't get into it for some reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release your damn indie project on a reputable site or at least offer a paypal option and if its something off-colour in content, send the bloody thing digitally and not as a dvd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh look, funimation releases eng dub trailer...think I'll...wat....oh wait this video is not available in your region"
Kaiser-Eoghan
"This video cannot be streamed outside of"
"Sorry we do not deliver to Ireland"
"Sorry this film from less than a decade is out of print"
Yeah, fuck legal streaming, just for that I'm pirating you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Truly you have become the most super of Marios.
SuperMario
Finally pulling those reviews out. Guys, if you're expecting for Hinamatsuri and Masotan posts, the former will be done tomorrow and if I have more time I will do the second one too. Enjoy for now
Anonymous2037529
LWA academia is probably the only trigger project i've truly cared about. I haven't watched KlK to completion or luluco for that matter(i got to get around to that) but ive seen everything else and i just don't give a damn about any of em
Amagi
But to say something positive - I liked the second episode of Kamuy way better than the first one. Budget seems to be really bad but the rest makes up for it it seems.
Amagi
I think Luluco was the only one I enjoyed after KlK which already had a bunch of problems - but overall it was far too entertaining for me to seriously care about those.
Amagi
Guess the last 1/3 might be more interesting when they start with the actual world building for once, although they could probably slam the love stuff even more in our faces but who knows. Not fond of any of the latest Trigger anime to be honest.
Amagi
Also they're really overdoing it with all that obvious message stuff and the "love superpower" trope I always hated anyway. Still watching I mean at least it has a plot and tries.
Amagi
I still can't care about anyone or anything in this series I think it's really not made for me. I might have liked Goro but he's too unimportant and the sauros revelation was kind of a letdown since it's the most common twist for these kinds of things.
AidanAK47
Alright Franxx, you are forgiven for episode 14.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do you ever go to those surprise horror/thriller preview screenings? Where they don't tell you what film it is until it starts?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*worrying about
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its saying something, when I haven't seen eternal sunshine since it came out, but even by re-watching the trailer, the feelings, the whole film comes back. At that point I'd grown out of Jim Carey's comedy, so seeing him play against type was refreshing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, I'm more forgiving then, I'm likely to give higher points for sheer imagination that I'm not as bothered by worry about the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Any negative argument against mood indigo by him can be countered by the fact it has Audrey Tatou in it.
Anonymous2035464
jhonrhean
SuperMario
and I just watched A Quiet Place. A solid indie horror one. It builds on atmosphere and it does the family chemistry right
SuperMario
I don't like The Science of Sleep to be honest. Tons of interesting ideas and visually creativeness but the story itself is a mess
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Gondry needs to avoid making any more commercial comedies, he also needs to start working with Kaufman again, they brought out the best in each other, although on his own, he can be playful and inventive with his films, such as mood indigo and science of sleep.
SuperMario
But check out his other movie Eternal sunshine of Spotless Mind. It has an inventive mind control/ mind altering concept in there
SuperMario
Jim Carrey is kind of mind controller himself. I couldn't take my eyes off him
SuperMario
@anon2028818: it was indeed season 5. SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE :)
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
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Featured Posts

Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii – 02[Are We Now Dating?]

After a strong first episode I come back to this show and find a rather middling second episode. There is some good content here, namely the Evangelion references, one of which was butchered by the crunchyroll translators.(Narumi and Hanako were arguing over who was best girl in Evangelion with notes over their head about whose […]

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Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

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Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

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Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

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Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

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A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

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