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)

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Kaiser Eoghan
I'll try neverland. Although it being in shounen jump is suspect.
Kaiser Eoghan
I was quite effected by flippflappers episode 10s last couple of moments.
SuperMario
yeah, she's checking her pulse while completely in control of the situation. Such badass. I wonder with the stakes so impossibly high how could they resolve all this? Not to mention they have other shits to face after escaping that orphanage. Good read. I love the three mains so far as well.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Yep. I actually didn't get into it until the end of the first chapter and then it's just got my full attention. Up to date and so far it hasn't let me down. Miss Mom is pretty damn unnerving. That one point near the beginning where she just holds the main girls head and stares at her like shes examining an object would scare the hell out of me if I was her.
SuperMario
This The Promised Neverland manga is awesome. I'm at chap 4 right now and it just getting better and better
Topgavin
Currently looking forward to Flip Flappers, Keijo and To Be Hero. Needa catch up on Girlish Number and Drifters but haven't had the time.
SuperMario
Oh, and that Zaragoto OVA which I think not a lot of people care to watch, at least not right now.
SuperMario
Now I consider catching up a part of this job haha
SuperMario
I'm more of a slice of life guy so my watch for this season are: natsume, Yuri on ice, girlish number, drifters, Fune wo amu, Saiki and I'm behind on Keijo, Magical Girl raising project, occultic;nine, buranki, Bungo stray dogs. Have a lot to catch up it seems
Lenlo
This season im watching Yuri, Drifters, and Flip Flappers. When I get the time I also try to watch some Bakumon
AidanAK47
Besides what I am blogging, I am also watching Jojo, Flip Flappers, Girlish number and Keijo.
AidanAK47
I guess you want to know what everyone's watching in the current season?
Anonymous533091
This is a mess
Anonymous532773
So the what out there y'all
Anonymous532773
And so number one out there
Anonymous532773
And some new anime
Anonymous532773
So what's new anime y'all seen
Anonymous532773
That's what. I think
AidanAK47
@Anon530022, I am not going to deny being arrogant. That's just my nature. But you are going to have to explain how wanting a show to have a genuine gay romance is homophobic? Kinda missing the logical steps on that jump. Anyway you being gay is irrelevant as I have a bisexual friend who says the romance isn't realistic in the slightest.
Anonymous530636
real interaction which makes everything feel fake. (sorry about the test walls)
Anonymous530636
I love basically any sports/romance anime so Yuri should be straight up my alley, but instead it just fails at both, mainly the sports part since it does try to focus on fanservice of the relationship between Victor and Yuri. I don't feel like the relationship between the two of them is real whether it's romantic or not. They keep having characters voice their thoughts about each other but no
Anonymous530636
Hi random long-time psgels reader, personally I think Yuri on Ice has kind of lost on trying to be a real romance and a real sports anime. It's characters are pretty weak and combing from someone that actually reads BL manga, I agree that their overt level of fanservice like focusing on the two of their lips and the rings, etc doesn't match their level of outright talking about shit.
Anonymous530138
I like a good dickin
Lenlo
tl;dr, chill its an anime.
Lenlo
Age gap isnt that big, and its not homophobic or arrogant to say a show isnt selling an aspect of itself well in his opinion. Lastly, romance for every person is different, so dont expect him to share your experiences/views on it.
Anonymous529997
Also, how Viktor's choice to become Yuuri's coach might have been initiated by not just Yuuri's skating, but Yuuri himself.
Anonymous529997
@Mario: I agree on the strip dance. Like, holy crap. But overall, I really like how episode 10 reframed the series from Viktor's perspective. Like, at first the whole commemorative photo thing made him seem like a jerk, but now we get to see that he had actually had a great time with Yuuri and was probably being genuine about it...
Anonymous530076
What happened to angry german kid
Anonymous530022
You just want them to identify themselves. You feel as if it's your right to know that they are gay. Well it isn't. It is their life, their story. You are being homophobic. You are being close minded. You are being arrogant. You are, indeed, very arrogant.
Anonymous530022
It is a mixture of admiration and lust and because it is hard to distinguish between the two it is difficult to express your feelings directly or even admit it to yourself.
Anonymous530022
As a gay man I attest that this is how romance works, ESPECIALLY when there is an age and experience gap.
Anonymous530022
This shows romance is actually reaistic, but you are still rejecting it. Yuri literally said he had found love. He said neither way who it's directed towards yet you are SO INSISTENT that it is towards skating. in the episode Victor even expressed admiration to Yuri's own dispositions beyond skating. He clearly was 'watching' him.
AidanAK47
If they planned to take such a hands off approach to romance then it would be better if they just focused on the skating. But well then the fujoshi's wouldn't be buying the Blu-rays now would they?
Lenlo
I can understand that, thats a problem I have with alot of modern romance's. Im just not seeing the backing off that happens in those romances. They just seem to raise it more and more in Yuri, without ever crossing the line, rather than toeing it then backing off.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, To me I find it aggravating. They go so far to portray them as gay yet when it comes to the final say they keep backing off. Hey I want to be more that friends...just kidding! Hey I love you...just kidding! Hey lets get married...just kidding! It like how harems constantly tease the main getting together with each girl when by shows end you know he's not going to get with anyone.
SuperMario
@lenl: agree. I'm still enjoying the hell of the show. A bit out of the blues thou when it comes to the strip dance (they shoulve planted that before), but it's a joy to watch every week
Lenlo
Eh. As I said, I think its above bait below romance. Either way im enjoying it and thats the important part.
SuperMario
For me they're just too much at the moments but unless they confirm it, nothing changes.
Kaiser Eoghan
Y'know I kind of wish Rorico would just come out and directly say he feels too old for most anime, its not really surprising a man in his 60s would be so cranky when it comes to this stuff.
SuperMario
@lenlo: I think it's more about statements. Yes, we understand the context of rings and engagements but unless they confirm it, nothing set in stones. And "hinting" is what they love to do, you can see just by the 2 shows I've coverage myself: Sound Eupho (Reina & Kumiko), Flip Flappers (Papika & Cocona) and people saying those same underlining context things.
Lenlo
I think its beyond baiting, below full blown romance at this point myself.
Lenlo
Does a show have to confirm and say "They kissed" to make it true? Seems along the same lines as "Fade to black" for sex. Then theres the ED which also made the start of the show much more interesting, as with this ED not its Victor that was jilted at the airport, when Yuri ran away.
Lenlo
See, I dont understand why they have to come out and say "We are gay" for you to accept its an actual romance. I dont see how this is baiting anymore either, as the rings and the "Engagement" seem pretty clear to me. Also, without knowing the current climate on the matter in Japan, this could be the clearest they are allowed to make it, while still fully intending for it to be a real romance.
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Agreed. I said before that I would like to be proven wrong on this but this series doesn't seem to have done that yet. I really will admit I am wrong to Anon2 if it does provide proof but it would need to be far more substantial than this.
@Anon2, Girl, boy, whatever.
Anonymous529668
I'm not a girl.
Anonymous529660
Even that is just grasping at straws though, haha.
Anonymous529660
@Aidan: I think the only thing from that scene that hints at actual romance would be where Viktor says something along the lines of a lot of other people got their L words from Yuuri, which he had earlier stated are "Love" and "Life." Honestly, even this is pushing it though, but the fact that he said it like that suggests that both he and Yuri got "those words" from Yuuri.
AidanAK47
Way I saw that scene was the guy saying "Fuck you, you think Yuri is so great. Well I am gonna be better than Yuri. Just you wait and see" and then Victor remarking on how Yuri awoke his competitive spirit. Aka his love for Skating.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Although I like both, I always prefer impressionism better. Expressionism for me tend to be a bit overwhelming and a bit subjectively. But mind you Flip Flappers still has moments of Expressionist as well (Episode 6: Irochan's parents)
AidanAK47
@Anon, I got the context you saw fine. About him getting mad over the "Good luck charm". You are being baited girl, hook, line and sinker.
Anonymous529618
You are missing context. You don't know anything. You don't even know why Yuri was mad do you? Why the fuck would he be mad about loving skating.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I bring up the impressionism vs expressionism thing because I feel that the impressionistic aspects of say a Tarkovsky film, Malick film and flippflappers feel superior to me over expressionistic style because its more emotionally satisfying while ALSO being athmospheric, Whereas expressinistic visuals are ONLY atmospheric.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Flippflappers has now reached a level where I feel the impressionism has gone beyond simply visual immersive in a way that makes us part of its world and has become more emotional.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: You mention impressionism in your review of flipflappers, in general do you feel on a visual level you respond more strongly to expressionism or impressionism?
SuperMario
I watched the whole thing so I know that in this episode, except the time they're giving rings to each other (in the name of "good luck charm") and Victor somewhat pump Yuri up for the Gold medal by Not Denying it; they still haven't admitted anything.
AidanAK47
Perhaps I am not the one who is in denial.
AidanAK47
Oh I think I see it now. Yeah this is nothing mate. The conversation was about skating from begining to end and Victor mentioned that he wasn't the only one to get his "L words" from Yuri. Pretty clear he means how Yuri helped Yurio awaken a love for Skating. Romantic love doesn't really make sense within the context. But yeah, they admitted nothing.
AidanAK47
Quite frankly if they don't have the balls to admit they are gay by this point they are just not going to.
AidanAK47
Time stamp means the point in the episode he actually said it. Like 18 minutes 20 seconds in or something. You should be able to get one. But maybe you can't find it either. Only thing I found Was about yuri teaching victor through his life and love but that's ambiguous enough to refer to his love for skating.
Anonymous529435
Don't have time stamp
Anonymous529435
Episode is narrated by Victor
Anonymous529435
At the end Victor admits he's in love and mentions the other person is also
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can you give me the timestamp on the episode? Scanning through it I don't see anything that suggests that.
Anonymous529150
Not joked
Anonymous529150
They admitted
Anonymous529150
No those were both me it's just the chat doesn't show it immediately so I posted again
AidanAK47
@Masky, He's denied it before but it's pretty obvious he's trying to make it seem like someone's agreeing with him.
AidanAK47
@Anon, admitted or joked?
Masky
So wait, is that same anon repeating himself or two different anons where second one copy pasted part of first one's post
Anonymous528870
They literally admitted a love triangle between the three main characters. You're in denial.
Anonymous528815
Are you kidding? This episode they outright admitted a love triangle between the three main characters. You're in denial.
AidanAK47
I actually was going to admit that I was wrong when I heard about the "Kiss" and gladly do so. But when I watched the scene in question it's clear what I said is still correct. They will dance around it, sure. But never outright confirm it.
AidanAK47
@Anon, discussed this before when the "Kiss" happened. Despite the series hinting it, and hinting it hard, it still hasn't outright confirmed it. While I am sure it is head canon to the watchers, the series itself is just queer baiting.
SuperMario
Okay... Just watched this week's Yuri on Ice. Haha things got weird again... and they so nailed Barcelona here, I recognized most of the places.
SuperMario
@anon527634: actually about that, I am a bit let down that after that "supposed kiss" in episode 7, no one in the series mentioned it again. Just like that "kiss" never happened.
Anonymous527534
So when is Aidan going to publicly admit he was wrong about the Yuri romance?
Lenlo
I loved the special ED so much.
Lenlo
Alright... Yuri this week was interesting in so many ways.
SuperMario
I'm also planning to catch BBK/BRK before the year end soon. I'm also find that series entertaining despite its obvious flaws
Kaiser Eoghan
But come to think of it, I do know what its like to enjoy something admittedly flawed, the first season of utawerumono was like that for me, I have nothing but criticism of it in all aspects but yet ended up being one of those things I somehow enjoyed watching.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, only flippflappers, natsume, drifters on my end.
AidanAK47
I wonder if anyone here is still watching Bubuki Buranki? It's weird but despite how deeply flawed it is I find it fairly enjoyable. Though that fantastic soundtrack certainly helps.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh they announced a Sonic movie too. Apparently it's a mix of live action and animation.
Anonymous525559
I am suprised SEGA didn't announce an Sonic movie and went with games like Altered Beast and Crazy Taxi, they probably could have just ripped off one story from the Archie Sonic comics and make an movie based on that, preferably the story where Sonic travels in the multiverse to fight an super powerful Sigma alongside Classic Megaman and Megaman X,Steet Fighter cast,Breath of Fire 3 cast and more
AidanAK47
@Anon, A parody Grindhouse film actually could work. I consider Overkill the best of House of the dead. Thing is there actually is already a house of the dead movie so this would be their second attempt. The first attempt...lets just say it didn't work out.
Anonymous523336
And House Of The Dead: Overkill is probably the best game in the franchise to adapt, i mean, it has Isaac Washington in it and dude's awesome.
Anonymous523336
None of those games have much of a story, but at least House Of The Dead could make for an entertaining silly movie, i mean House Of The Dead: Overkill is freaking awesome and has silly cutscenes at the start and end of every level.
Kaiser Eoghan
At most moonbeam city seems sylistically interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
Archer I simply lost track of and it ended up getting to long to catch up on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Relatively old news, although I've been joking with friends about what if scenarios for a streets of rage film. I know there is a cg/live action hybrid sonic film in the works. I kind of want to think a shinobi or streets of rage film could work if they went full on 70s style action film.
AidanAK47
None of these games are played for the story. You would be better off just making a new game for them instead of a movie.
AidanAK47
I haven't even seen Archer. On another note SEGA is planning a bunch of live action movies of their franchises and boy do they all sound like a horrible idea. Shinobi, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter, The House of the Dead, Crazy Taxi, Streets of rage and Altered Beast.
SuperMario
@Anon522497: hmm, I found Moonbeam City underwhelmed and for Archer up until their last season I actually got a bit tired of the cast (couldn't finish that season 7)
Anonymous522497
If i wanted Archer i would just watch Archer or Moonbeam City like everyone else.
Anonymous522338
Bloodivores
SuperMario
Anyone here watching Pacific Heat? It's an Aussie Archer-ripoff aired in Netflix last week. I actually enjoyed the 1st episode, not that great but everyone panned it like a plague.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Who?
Anonymous521123
#StephanieJaworowiczIsBeautiful
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That'd be the compiliation film. I watched that based on hearing that the film version trimmed back on the shows weaker moments.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: was it the compilation film or the series itself? That scene is the highlight of that first season. I'm always a fan of KyoAni so it's very natural that I enjoy this series a whole lot.
Kaiser Eoghan
I watched the first season of sound euphonium, not much to say for it other than I liked the teacher guy and the scene where the black haired girl tells the main character that she thinks shes hiding behind a mask. Animation was as expected of kyoani good. All of those emotion shots though and some of the melodrama...
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, it does stop if you make an account.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hmmm there we go again, it delayed sending my message for longer than it should have.
Kaiser Eoghan
Anyone notice today and last night that the site has had some loading issues? I kept getting an error page for a while and it was also loading a bit more slowly. A server issue?
Lenlo
Have to say, Flip Flappers ep 5 was pretty good. I love atmospheric settings like that.
Lenlo
Looks like an Epee. The large bell guard, the fact that they are focusing on thrusting attacks instead of slashing (mostly). Fencing is alot of fun. Be prepared for some bruises though, as some people put their full body weight behind their thrusts.
SuperMario
I have one last dumb question, Can you tell what types of blade of Juri in Utena? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGsVSSUv_i0
SuperMario
@Lenlo: the more you described the more I found fencing interesting. I might take a look around my town to see if we have Fencing here (the curse of living in a small town).
Lenlo
Blades are slightly different, yes, but mostly just in their guard and how much they bend. Sabers bend easily, Epee's not so much. Surprisingly Epee is the slowest, because people tend to be more careful. Saber is actually the most aggressive of the blades, atleast at my skill level
AidanAK47
That's all they had to do. Just stay inside and let it pass. But for some weird reason they just keep panicking over nothing.
As far as time/alternate world stuff goes this was ridiculously underwhelming. Just finished another movie called triangle and now that's how you do Time travel mindfuckery.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I am not fond of movies where people make stupid decisions for no good reason. For example:
"We should just stay inside"
"No, staying inside isn't realistic"
WHY IN THE HOLY HELL ISN'T IT REALISTIC.
SuperMario
Showed that movie to a bunch of friends last year and I remembered one of the girl just shut off the movie after 15'
SuperMario
@Aidan: too bad. I found Cohenrent really funny and entertaining. Some of their twists are stupid but I was actually invested in much of their characters. Maybe because I always love movies about a bunch of characters in an isolated setting
SuperMario
@Lenlo: sounds like Epee is the most "all-out-attack" and aggressive one. Their blades are different as well I assume?
AidanAK47
Just watched a movie called coherence and man, what a bunch a pseudo-intellectual garbage that was.
Lenlo
For Right of Way, its basically Person A attacks, Person B parries, Person A hits, Person B hits, Person B gets the point because they took right of way with the parry. Saber and Foil both have that, but Epee does not. Epee is simply "Whoever hits the opponent first, doesnt matter where, whole body is target area"
Lenlo
Theres Saber, Foil and Epee. The main difference is this thing called right of way, but there are other smaller ones like how Saber can hit with the edge and Epee is allowed to hit the entire body, instead of just the chest like Foil
SuperMario
For news, Blood Blockade Battlefront getting second season next year. As it was one of my favorite last year I'm really lokking forward to this second season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: that sounds great. From what I know from fencing there are 3 different types of blade right? So what are the differences between them? (Fencing 101 here)
Kaiser Eoghan
Although a fantasy sports thing could also generate interest, such as combining sports together to create something totally new.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, Fencing was great. Favorite sport ever and it helped me stay in shape in College. I find Epee to be the best blade, mostly cause I fenced it, but its a very intense 3 minutes. Unlike sports like Soccer and such which is alot of sustained running, Fencing is 3 minutes of Dont-Stop-Moving then wait till next match. Gets really fun once you figure out your own style.
SuperMario
haha, I wouldn't mind either if each episode focus on a single sport/ character/ country. Or even the positive aspects like role models, sports inspirations and stuffs
Lenlo
That Olympic anime sounds great.
Kaiser Eoghan
And it would be a good excuse to have characters of multiple backgrounds included too.
Kaiser Eoghan
Could be an 13 episode ova series with 48 minute episodes, and if its to be an ensemble character drama you could have 10 minutes to a each character (the ones being focused on in that episode) in each episode.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah yes, aswell as cheating it could also get into "stage parenting", "abuse", "Disabilities" and also the general politics of sports, the backroom stuff.
SuperMario
I'll be the first in line if that olympic anime ever come out. Could be interesting to see the interactions between athletes in different sports, and then fans/athletes/coaches relationship, then the gold rush, doping... So much to talk around to
Kaiser Eoghan
I don't think theres ever been a manga about hurling either. Hey heres an idea, someone do an ensemble drama anime that deals with the olympics, fit in multiple sports that way.
SuperMario
Personally I find Australian football much more exciting than rugby. Or crickets.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: ha! Interesting that you mentioned Gaelic football, because in Aus we have AFL (Australian Football League), that really similars to Gealic Football to the point sometimes we have the 2 national teams compete each other with modified rules
Kaiser Eoghan
Hmm, lets see, sport under-represented in anime? Fencing, golf , Gaelic football, bowling, boat racing.
SuperMario
Hey, fencing is actually really cool. How did you like it Lenlo?
SuperMario
You have your point there Topgavin, as I clearly remember many instances where players' legs, backs or even necks got snapped during rugby's tackles. But in regards to Rugby I never really care about it. That and car racing
Lenlo
Its mostly the type of injuries you get that differ I think. Football you get concussions and broken bones and such, while in Rugby you probably get alot of bruises and cuts. Granted I have played neither, I was a Soccer man in highschool and fencing in College
Lenlo
American football has alot of rules, and really is just a bunch of millionaires running around chasing a ball. Rugby however, as Topgavin said, has no pads so when you get hit you get hit HARD
AidanAK47
I never ceases to surprise me just how high and mighty visual novel fans can be over Mosaics present in localized games. I mean they are literally complaining about not seeing genitalia yet the way they phrase it, it's like they are fighting against great injustice. If these VNs were Nukige they might have a point but in most cases the sex scenes in question are pointless and shoehorned in.
Topgavin
@Mario Rugby is more extreme *because* it has no protective gear. No hiding behind helmets and cushioned shoulder pads when ya get bowled over.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'm no expert but isn't American football a variation of Rugby? And I believe american football is more extreme, considering they have to wear helmets, protection gears and all that
Lenlo
I dont think theres alot of manga about it because its simply not that popular outside the US. As far as it being a battlefield, eeeeh? Not really? You want a battlefield watch Rugby.
SuperMario
I can think of other cool sports that could be interesting to see in anime: Kick Volleyball (Sepak takraw), Bossaball (combined soccer, volleyball in a trampoline), or in the same vein of skate figures this season, why not pole dancing competition???
Anonymous504493
What other sport is cool and popular that remains original to write about by now? There isn't a lot of manga about it compared to anything else.
Anonymous504493
American football looks like a battlefield with a visible battleline and everything. Id like it if there wasnt so many darn commercials.
Lenlo
I mean, its a sport. Far cry from best, but its definitely a sport.
SuperMario
@Vonter: or maybe because american football IS the best sports ever?
Kaiser Eoghan
@Vonter: Most likely due to the middle section of the original anime being the most popular bit.
Vonter
Can someone explain me how Cobra, is apparently getting an anime around some sort of space american football? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54kNWPr43zE
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Its not safe enough a film for me to properly recommend. Even to exploitation fans, they might find it too slow others would be too sensitive to it. Really una vita violenca, mamma roma, accatone, hawks and sparrows are what Pasolini is really about.
SuperMario
Now that you watched Salo, would you recommend the film to other people? I personally think it's a masterpiece but it's one of the title that I think people would break up with me if I show them this movie
SuperMario
@Kaiser: even him as a director, both Braveheart and Apocalypto don't do much to me, will see if Hacksaw Ridge going to change my mind (but I'm not to fond with war movies in general). La Notte is in my sooon-to-watch list for years, haha
Total users: 23

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The title of this game rather says everything you need to know about my initial reaction, and I’m still all around puzzled at the mixed bag that this turned out to be – it IS just a standard mashup while having a bit of fun with some experimentation, but the game itself is actually a […]

Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu-hen (2016) Movie Review – 85/100

Just a quick note that I originally intended this week’s review to be about Miss Hokusai. But because of the DVD release of this Kizumonogatari (with good subtitle to boost), I decided to bump this up and review it instead. Monogatari series has been among one of my favorite series, and certainly the one that […]