Posted by psgels on 2 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei




The Noitamina time-slot surely rocked beyond belief this season. Alongside Sarai-ya Goyou aired the possibly even better Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei, the latest product of Masaaki Yuasa of Kaiba-fame. This time, he went for a ton-of-dialogue artsy character-study slash college life series, in which we follow the lead character as he explores a wide variety of different clubs and lifestyles during his years in college throughout many parallel dimensions. And it works out wonderfully.

At first sight, the way in which this series keeps resetting itself after every episode may seem weird at first, but it actually was a brilliant method to flesh out its different characters. Because of its very frequent resets, this stands out even more than series that did similar things in the past, like Higurashi and Umineko. Because of this, we get to see a ton of different sides of the characters that would never have been able to been shown without these resets, and the most important part is that we see Watashi develop in many different ways throughout each episode. The different side-characters all have their own parts to play in Watashi (the lead character)’s world and everything comes together wonderfully in the final episodes.

All of this is accompanied by some truly excellent dialogue. This series is based on an actual novel, rather than a manga or light novel, and it really shows. The dialogue is incredibly fast and you really need to pay attention to keep up with it, but as a narration it offers very detailed descriptions of the situations that Watashi finds himself in, which is nearly always very imaginative in the ways that it does so, with quite a number of witty remarks.

One potential pitfall could have been for the series to lose itself in either its dialogue and visuals, but neither happens. There are a ton of details stuffed into this series in order to make all episodes stand out, but in the same way the main message and characters remain deceptively simple on the outside. In comparison, while Kuchuu Buranko felt a bit like a loose cannon at times, every moment of Yojou-han is instead meant to bring colour to the life in which Watashi is living, and build up for the episodes that are still to come. Because the huge amount of building up, the first half of this series is decidedly less impressive than the second half, but the build-up is definitely worth it.

It’s a series that doesn’t try to provoke the biggest emotional response, but as a character-study it really stands out as a minor masterpiece here, in the way that it very subtly manages to flesh out and characterize its entire cast. Especially after the final episodes, it stands out as my favourite show of the series that premiered during the past spring season.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Fresh, and varied, skillfully combining repetition with new ideas to flesh itself out. Top notch narration.
Characters: 9/10 – The formula really allows the characters to come alive and show many different sides of themselves.
Production-Values: 9/10 – It’s Masaaki Yuasa. Do I need to say anything more?
Setting: 9/10 – Spoilerific to go in detail here but yeah: this one rocks too.

Suggestions:
Mind Game (another one of those movies that I’d review entirely different if I were to watch it today)
Amatsuki
Revolutionary Girl Utena

15 Responses

  1. Topspin says:

    Easily my favorite of the season as well. I’m glad they still make anime like this, when they could easily just sell childish dreck like Angel Beats or over-wrought nonsense like Bakemonogatari.

  2. AuroraFlame says:

    I love this show, it’s hilarious, but it’s a pain in the ass to watch. There’s dialogue spam, which I have to rewind for. But then I spent so much time looking at the dialogue that I didn’t get to see the artwork and backgrounds, so I rewind again. But by that time, I forgot what the dialogue was. It takes me almost an hour an episode…. maybe I have ADD.

    But from what I saw, this and Five Leaves were definitely the best this season.

  3. Puran says:

    Aurora, I think pausing this is a mistake. It tries to overwhelm you with visual/audio stimulation and dialogue, so you should let it do it to you. It also makes rewatching it very interesting :)

    It actually slows down a bit when something more important to the general plot happens, so you’re never lost.

  4. Michael says:

    Toppsin, I’ll take you further than that and say it’s easily the best anime of 2010.

  5. Machi says:

    Hm some notes about this show:…
    I think this show just confirms for the better that Masaki Yuuasa is definitely a director to watch out for. I think there is quite an agreement that he is great however I do notice that nobody every particularly mentions why. There are a few reasons at best, mostly in people impressed by his imaginative visuals and the way he ties in all episodes. However, I’d like to take a stab as to giving reasons why he’s a great director through this show.

    What impresses me greatly about him is simply put his conciseness. I don’t think much people realize this about him since the first thing that does come to mind about him from his successful works that he directed, Mind Game, Kaiba, and now I would say Youjou-han unknown but definitely needs attention Vampiyan Kids, and even less successful venture, Kemonozume is that its brimming with details so much so that it is highly advisable to replay the show. However, as Yojou-han shows he knows how say things with the least amount of efforts and frames. Just take for instance his decision at the last episode at how to convey the idea of an end of a journey (Watashi realizing things) and a start (how Watashi will live now that he’s gotten a new outlook on life). What he does is he reverses the OP and ED, a device many are familiar with to start and end the show, not in order to build up emotion or nostalgia (like say Full Metal Alchemist episode 63 did by playing the OP at the ending to heighten the emotion at the life of Hohenheim) but precisely to emphasize the end and the beginning, all this without having to create a scene or dialogue to bring the point home. Another great example from Yojou-han would be episode 10 itself acting as three things in one episode a summary, commentary, and new episode itself (I don’t think any anime director could pull that off!) I even suspect to some degree that after the first episode he may have decided to pull back from adapting too much dialogue from the novel, since the first episode the visuals and dialogue did compete however at the proceeding episodes it found a way to work together.

    Of course as I speak of his conciseness I would also praise him for the replay value of his shows. There are as people would easily notice a ton of detail in his episode that you’d probably miss out. I don’t think I want to talk about those details which bring so much life to the show but I would like to focus on another sort of detail. The way the entire episode becomes a significant detail itself in the grand scheme of things. Again I focus on Yojou-han to emphasize this point. As Psgels said the first half of the series, mainly the campus clubs, may not be as strong as the latter half but nevertheless are build ups that pays off in the second half. They are the strength precisely because they are one huge detail on itself that act what I think details are often forgotten to be, backbones. The episodes act as the skeleton that supports the entire show, which is why it’s quite clear why each episode never feels as if it were a waste, each episode counts. One cannot appreciate Watashi’s realization without first watching even his most nonsensical failure, the proxy war, or even more importantly skipping out the tennis episode. Heck the I think the strongest episode is the episode that relishes on using the previous episodes as details, namely episode 10.

    Another strength of Yuuasa shines through with Yojou-han. As we see him visualizing that which is abstract, parallel worlds. The repeat of each episode, the subtle changes, along with that which is constant we do see that each world is same yet at the same time different. Each world is expansive yet claustrophobic. The way Yuuasa handled such abstract ideas and paradoxes is I feel brilliant, it never feels contrived or overworked as you understand it smoothly. I feel he does so through such simple details in visuals, namely color (as viewers should pay attention to) which one should understand in better after the 10th episode (which after watching that episode I replayed all the rest). His introduction of such a detail of visuals speaks well of how to inject ones own style, after all if he left to just adapting the material by itself he’d be content to just show details narrated by the book (or to be more precise by Watashi) instead he realizes what he could add himself.

    On the other hand as I praise Yojou-han I do rank it a notch below Kaiba and Mind Game and the reason why is I feel is not because of Yuuasa’s weakness but rather because of his strength as a director. I think what bogged down Yojou-han was that as imaginative as it was in experimenting with the narratives of college life not because of the dejavu episodes (though I will get on this point latter) but rather how easily identifiable the narrative is. Ease in identifying the narrative in that you’ll find yourself realizing early on what Watashi’s epiphany will be. This fault I feel is not something an imaginative visualization could avoid, let’s face it this narrative feels very exhausted with the rise in interest in college life that would also come to the same conclusion. Even more so when the show is a slice of life that we all recognize, we all have to grab opportunity when it dangles in front of us and we all have one way or another our own vision of what out rose colored life would be, so that its so easy to see what path Watashi would take and needs to take (after all his name is only really mentioned once at the end otherwise Watashi as he refers to himself in person is I in other words you yourself). I find this to be a fault in that Masaki Yuuasa looking at a previous work Kaiba has such strong narratives because of we never really see what path needs to be taken or what path will be taken. In Kaiba we start out as lost and as disoriented as the main character, in fact we’re immersed even more strongly as being in the same position as the character himself as for most part he’s mute and simply passive observers much like ourselves). We question the actions taken by the people around him and the world, we may or may not agree with Kaiba. In Yojou-han Watashi we can easily see is a greenhorn still new to the world. We know what path he needs to take and even and even come to that realization much earlier than him, only to be validated later on at his realizations in the second half. The fault of this as I said lies in the strength of Yuuasa, as one recalls another strong difference of Kaiba and Yojou-han. Namely that Yuuasa’s strength lies strongly in expressing the abstract, intangible, and philosophical that which goes beyond the banal. Yojou-han despite all its imaginative setting and visuals is still very much grounded in reality, as its slice of life lessons shine through.

    On the other hand another fault I find as I mentioned with the dejavu is not so much in the dejavu but I as feel in the source material itself. I can’t say I am entirely familiar with the book the anime was adapted from but I do think while Masaki Yuuasa’s injected his style the style of the sources author is still very much present. A style which I think is incredibly verbose, compared to Yuuasa whom I feel speaks volumes in his visuals. I do feel it bogs him down as he can’t necessarily spread his visuals as much as he could, for if he did we’d have something more conflicting in the balance of visuals and dialogue. Yuuasa managed to find quite a great balance of visuals and dialogue after the first episode, at that same time however his visuals could never explode the way it did in Kaiba as it constantly portrayed something beyond our imagination (as one can clearly see just how imaginative Yuuasa is). I’m not saying the source isn’t imaginative, it certainly is, but that Yuuasa is such an incredibly imaginative man that you know he can achieve more. Nevertheless, Yojou-han is indeed a masterpiece that showcases the strengths of Yuuasa, and as such is my reason in saying he is a great director.

  6. Puran says:

    Machi, wow that was a long post… :P

    I thin Yuasa’s imagination really shined in Yojou-han though. The setting was realistic so he had much less room to experiment visually (compared to say kaiba, where he could practically show us anything he wanted, since we didn’t have any set expectations from the setting).

    Yojou-han was filled with visual tricks that actually complemented the story (maybe Yuasa should give some advice to Shinbo sometime… :P ). I think you are focusing too much on the visual side, expecting more crazy stuff too happen, while Yojou-han was always a more or less, down to earth story. I think it fit Yuasa perfectly, he is trying new things, you can’t expect every one of his series to have the imaginative setting of Kaiba, or the craziness of Mind Game. Yuasa has a strong imagination but that’s not his only good quality and this series let him show that.

  7. Machi says:

    Oh I’m aware his imagination isn’t his only strong point. His imagination does shine through as we see that injected well into the narrative, at times even bursting over. We do see it well in this series as he transform the mundane to something fantastic. However, I do feel that with this he did have to pare himself down, which is a double edged sword, but did so nicely. What my quibble was that Yojou-han despite being transformed into the fantastic is still very down to earth, what I found to be Yuuasa’s strength is that he could handle very abstract concepts (such as memory) that most people would shrike or overwork that I do feel allows him to shine more. The source is abstract no doubt but very much still mundane. Yet, this show DOES show his good qualities no argument there.

  8. Machi says:

    God I wish this thing had edit… In the end Puran I would say that Yojou-han is undoubtedly a masterpiece.

    As for whether to really rate it higher or lower than Kaiba. I would say it doesn’t matter as that is a matter of preference, that’s why I emphasized that the very long post is purely my own opinion on certain matters. In my case I have more of an inclination to the wilder and more abstract topic (I love the topic of memory some of my favorite films are about memory La Jetee & the Resnais films from Night and Fog to Muriel). Others will easily find beauty more in how pared down but still highly imaginative this down to earth but fantastic series is. In fact I would easily now say that Yojou-han is better way to introduce oneself to Yuuasa, precisely because its a great showcase of what Yuuasa has to offer at his best but at the same time not to jarringly radical as the earlier works (which I do have trouble getting friends to watch because they can’t swallow the animation style, this I think would be easier to get them to watch.)

  9. Topspin says:

    @Michael, yeah I’d say so far it’s the best of the year. And summer doesn’t look like it will given it any competition.

  10. Michael says:

    @Topspin
    Whenever I could write about a series and only that series for nearly three months, cry at its ending, and just love its characters, I know I’ve watched a series that just comes a few times during my lifetime.

    Tatami Galaxy is one of those series. I’ve never really written consistently on a series as consistently I did with Tatami Galaxy. It’s amazing.

  11. AuroraFlame says:

    @Puran
    I find that I get distracted wondering about what they said if I blatantly miss an entire line. But there is some discretion: I understand what the writers are trying to convey and, like you said, the big moments are easy to identify and much more difficult to ruin.

  12. thomas says:

    Enough stuff is repeated – especially the important stuff, I don’t think it’s necessary to rewind anything.

    I love the way Yuasa plays with symbolism; you can rewatch the entire show and you can see they planned everything perfectly from the start.

    Yuasa’s easily my favourite director, his quirkyness and experimentation and imagination is exactly what I love about anime.

    Best show of the year by far.

  13. thomas says:

    I think you could have added a bit of depth to this review by quickly analysing some of the key philosophies that Yuasa so beautifully expressed: Accept who you are. No matter what you do, you are you and everything you do will be a part of you. Accept who other people are, at first glance you may be quick to judge but there multiple sides to everyone. And last but not least: Have no regrets. No matter what you choose, your life will never be perfect, but that’s okay!

    It’s all incredibly optimistic and I personally would’ve been okay with a slightly more cynical conclusion, but let’s face it, we all wanted the romance thing to work out for Watashi.

  14. chounokoe says:

    The only thing I would like to add is, that I have slight problems with how everyone is labeling Yuasa the creative genius lately.

    Yes, he has definitely creative vision and his adaptions always add something to the original work, be it in content or visually.
    Nekojiru, Mind Game and Yojouhan were only rewritten by him and in case of Kemonozume and Kaiba he was only the director, not writer.

    Therefore, while I agree that he always adds his very own creative technique to an anime, I wouldn’t label him responsible for ‘the genius that is Yojouhan (for example)’.

    But I think that is also the only problem I have with your blog sometimes, psgels. Sometimes it seems like you deliberatly blind out the fact that something is an adaption.

  15. psgels psgels says:

    chonokoe: yeah, I agree that at times I tend to ignore this, yeah.

    However, you should note that Masaaki Yuasa not only directed Kemonozume, but also wrote its series composition and worked on as many parts of that series as possible. With Kaiba, he is also credited as the one who originally came up with its premsie (it also doesn’t seem to have a series composition).

    With Yojou-han, I indeed forgot to credit the mysterious Makoto Ueda:

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=85031

    But the problem is that there just doesn’t seem to be any information about this guy.

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Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Anonymous1014125
Aidan is providing the data for us.
Lenlo
You do know that for the scientific method, you make a hypothesis and then you run experiments to produce data to prove or disprove said hypothesis. It cant just sit in limbo and then you go "I was right". You have to provide data at some point. At this point, you have yet to provide any data to support what you say.
Sir Robin
You seem to have never heard of the scientific method then Aidan. You don't need proof before you formulate an hypothesis. Fortunately this most recent development of you being wrong supports it.
AidanAK47
I am sure Sir Robin would be delighted to hear this but I think I was wrong in my assessment of SukaSuka(Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka?) That insert song at the begining of the episode was masterful and a number of things have changed my mind about it. It may be more interesting than I first expected. First novel was still pretty boring though.
AidanAK47
Should have another impressions post up today. As for what I am covering that's Little Witch Academia, Attack on Titan and Sekaisuru Kado.
AidanAK47
At least we never have to fight tooth and nail to cover something as what we want to cover never clashes.
SuperMario
Which mean 2 PA Works, 2 original shows and 3 slice-of-life shows. Well done Mario for being predictable and consistently boring as ever
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