Posted by psgels on 4 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood




Because the first season of Full Metal Alchemist went with its own story, it turned out to be one of the most famous anime of the decade, and the manga was finally about to finish, it maybe wasn’t much of a surprise that Bones ended up animating the story of the manga. And they really made sure to give it a top notch treatment here!

Especially in the past few years, the trend has grown in which series should consider themselves lucky if they can get 26 episodes, or even enough time to animate the entire story on which they’re based. Full Metal Alchemist is different, however: with 64 episodes, it received just the right length in order to tell the full story of the Full Metal Alchemist manga, and boy is it an awesome one!

The story here is completely different from the first season, but I ended up liking it a lot better with the different focus. It’s still focused on a ton of action-scenes, but the story around it is deep, well fleshed out and mature, especially for a series with many shounen elements. The world that the series is set in is well fleshed out, multi-layered and quite detailed.

Another huge focus of this series is the time it spent on characters preparing. With the epic nature of this series, a lot of time is actually spent on the lead characters, finding allies to help them. The cast of this series is huge, but everyone in this series has his or her own part to play in the large scheme of things. The length also allows the creators to really look at all of them and their motivations, backgrounds and purposes, in order to make all of them unique, with excellent results.

What you get is an epic action series with plenty of depth to come by, carefully paced and wrapped up in the end with a finale that’s full of adrenaline. However, you should note that the first fifteen episodes or so follow pretty much the same story as the first Full Metal Alchemist TV-series, and it’s clear that at that point, the creators try to get through these parts as fast as possible in order to get to the new material, compared to the very slowly paced first season.

It of course depends on how keen you’re into seeing the same things again, but there are some notable differences between the two. Brotherhood cuts some of the useless fluff of the first season away, like the moments that were just there to show contrived situations for the lead character to save the day, though it also cuts away a lot of the minor character-building scenes. Don’t worry though, because after 16 episodes, the series continues with a completely different story that in my eyes completely surpasses the original Full Metal Alchemist.

It’s a definite recommendation if you’re looking for something epic. Despite being 64 episodes, Bones keep a surprisingly good animation quality throughout the series, especially the action-scenes themselves look gorgeous for such a long series. The soundtrack also fully captures the grant atmosphere of the story, and will make sure for a show that will keep you entertained.

We here have a series that really made excellent use of its opportunity to finally show an epic story that goes beyond even 52 episodes, while always keeping on track and not losing itself somewhere in the middle. The creators had a really excellent manga to base themselves on, and even though they did not keep to the manga for 100%, the way they brought it to animation still deserves to be applauded.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well paced and varied in the long run, exciting and engaging in the short run.
Characters: 9/10 – A ton of different characters, most of them get their chance to show off themselves and get some depth. Plenty of character-development as well.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great animation from Bones, plus an excellent soundtrack.
Setting: 10/10 – Excellent in its depth and multiple layers, focusing both on the big picture as the individual details. Successfully brings many different stories together.

Suggestions:
Bounen no Xamdou
– Vision of Escaflowne
Nadia – The Secret of Blue Water

42 Responses

  1. Watcherzero says:

    Maybe im the odd one out then of prefering the original, now the series are identical for the first 25% or so (though second series covered events faster) but I though the anime writers did great work at guessing what direction the manga would take, and you have to admit they guessed a lot of what would happen correctly.

  2. Bruce says:

    I still have to finish this; still on episode 58.

    I thought the first series had much better drama, but not nearly as good of a plot (and that movie was just a dumb attempt to make money).

  3. Kim says:

    Fullmetal Alchemist is a very special series to me. It’s a series I followed for about 6 years and it’s probably the only long time series I have followed that has not let me down once. Brotherhood did not exactly live up to the manga for me (but with how I feel about the manga that was probably an impossible task). Still I am glad Brotherhood was created for people who don’t read manga who could discover this series as well.

    @ Watcherzero the first anime team did not guess. Arakawa told them her ending from the beginning and asked them that they make a different ending from hers. I am guessing they just kept some similar plot points. Still the themes and the way the characters developed are quite different in the two series and that is why I will always prefer the manga/Brotherhood. For me the manga was always about hope and pushing forward despite what happened in the past. It was also very much about the human spirit. That humanity might be weak but we don’t give up and we rely on others that is our strength.

  4. JBM says:

    Both the first and the second series had their good and weak points. The drama is much more emotional and heart wrenching in the first series but everything as a whole was more cohesive in the second series. And just like what psgels has pointed out, the series was very good at producing a stunning climax after a good amount of build up unlike the first series which IMO fell flat in the end after what I believed was still an amazing build up and the follow up movie just made it worse. Anyway, it was one hell of an amazing series. The comparisons will now come in threes: the first series, the second series and the manga. It all ends up with a matter of taste. I prefer the second series and in some aspects and chapters, I prefer the anime version over the manga counterpart. But all in all, the FMA franchise is amazing.

  5. Patrick says:

    As JBM pointed the first series (should not be called 1st season) was MUCH more “emotionally engaging”, and for me that’s what made FMA, at least for me. In the second series I watched 15 ep or so and found I felt nothing so I dropped it.

  6. Denizen says:

    The first series was not “emotionally engaging” in so much as it was just melodramatic, forcing soapy drama in places it didn’t even need to happen. Here’s a flashback, this is serious, omg how sad, etc.

    The second series was dramatic too, but it usually applied it in more striking and upbeat ways – for example, my absolute favourite scene in Episode 19, where Mustang kills Lust, was done in a way to make it as impressive and simply badass as possible. No depth, no heartbreaking last wishes, just an awesome climax.

    The first series probably would have tried to make it into some emotionally charged scene about “Lust’s last regrets” or something like that, when it just didn’t fit.
    FMA was always intended to be a homage of sorts to B-Movies, so it always had cheese to balance the more serious storytelling – the first series didn’t have this, so by using Arakawa’s setting it always ended up not quite working. The new series just worked much better.

    Also, wtf, dropping a series just after its started going in its own direction? That’s so dumb.

  7. Patrick says:

    Denizen It’s your opinion and I respect it (not your way of doing it) but I feel otherwise. I just felt nothing watching second series I don’t know how to explain it better.

  8. kagura says:

    @Patrick
    Have you actually read the whole review? ‘Cause psgels states pretty clearly that the first fifteen episodes cover the same material as the half of the first anime did, and that the creators probably wanted to get through those episodes as fast as possible, in order to get to the real meat of the story. So yeah, no wonder that the emotional impact of the first anime would be lost (although I agree with Denizen that it was too melodramatic for its own good). I think you should give Brotherhood a second chance before passing such a definite judgement.

    And psgels, this is really an excellent review, so all I can say is “thank you” :)

  9. Hana says:

    @ Patrick: You shouldn’t have dropped it after 15 episodes. That’s when it started to actually get good.

  10. jimao says:

    bunch of guys beating up a boss who wants to take over the world, and with no sacrifices on the good guys’ side (hell even mustang’s eyes were healed)…

    I understand everyone has different taste but this is ridiculous that no one here is standing up for FMA-2003.

  11. jimao says:

    @patrick: good decision. Brotherhood starts off as shounen, and quickly degerenates into even more shounenish cheese. I defy anyone to tell me the difference between brotherhood and yuyu hakusho, if there is any.

  12. MarieLuise says:

    The 1st series was a mess and full of plot holes but there was something incredible touching and intriguing about it. I felt so much for the characters. I remember Ed dying at the end, it was heart breaking. Even though I never really enjoyed the additional movie, there was bitterness in it which I really liked. It made me think, guess what it was all about. Maybe I just had this feeling BECAUSE the whole story Bones came up with made no sense, but it was extremly exciting to watch.

    And FMA Brotherhood? The story is much better – no doubt about that. And Bones did a better job I ever expected. But seriously: what should we learn at the end? What was it all about? I especially think about Ed fighting with father after Al went to the gate to give Ed back his arm. There was so much hatred in this scene (Ed extremly angry, the soldiers started to cry out loud: destroy him! Destroy him!), so again: what was it all about? David fighting against Goliath, killing him and dancing over his head? I know Arakawa put a lot of thouhgts in her story (Panteism etc.), but yeah.. in the end it was just about fighting, killing, winning, standing up and so on. It felt emotionally empty for me. Not to mention that I found it hard to understand and feel sympaty for characters like Mustang and Hawkeye. How many people did they kill in Ishbal? You can argue that was one of the good (and mature) points of the story (no black-white characters), but for me the whole series was full of strange morals. Not to mention that I got the impression Arakawa glorified the army the way she was portraying Olivier and her soldiers. Yeah, and Mustangs goal always was to became Führer (When I hear this word I always think about Hitler. He was the “Führer”). Why don’t decinde for a democracy and not a country leaded by the army? Well, maybe I’m just missing here something great. And maybe all of this was discussed before. In that case I appologize for my pointless post ;-)

  13. kaei says:

    @jimao: If you need someone to tell you the difference between Yuyu Hakusho and FMA, even if someone does tell you you probably won’t be able to grasp it. But whatever, I’ll give it a shot. For one thing, Yuyu Hakusho is a long running generic shounen manga with a never-ending list of enemies that degenerates quickly into a tournament style slugfest and fight of the week. FMA has a beginning, climax and end, and each fight had purpose and the author didn’t introduce new enemy after new enemy and infinite power-ups. FMA treated its female characters with respect; YYH’s females were just window dressing.

    Also, some sacrifices on the good guy’s side – Hohenheim, namely – doesn’t even get to see his grandchildren even though he finally wants to live. This is manga-only, but Havoc doesn’t get magically healed by the Philosopher’s stone – there is a picture of him undergoing physical therapy. Ed never gets his leg back. Good friends who died during the final fight stay dead. Hughes stays dead. Nina stays dead. Trisha stays dead. All the people killed in the making of Philosopher’s stones stay dead. Winry’s parents stay dead. These people have ALL sacrificed a lot, and the ending is about them picking themselves up and moving on and walking on their own two feet.

    OR did you want the ending to be a dismal hopeless slaughterfest with all the leads dead and the ones remaining crying before you consider it a good story?

  14. kaei says:

    @MarieLuise: You bring up good points on how you think the ending could have been better, eg. the democracy, decreasing the importance of the army, etc. but the only thing I can say is if you want that kind of story where those things happen, you’ll have to look elsewhere (and I agree with you that Mustang and Hawkeye et al. have committed war crimes, the army has too much importance etc.) Those things that you think should go, other people might appreciate them, and if the author changed it, it wouldn’t be Fullmetal Alchemist anymore.

    You may think you missed “something great” but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – some stories just resonate better with some people than others =)

  15. Kim says:

    I am sorry but if the only thing that you can get out of the story is let’s kill the bad guys then you have serious comprehension issues. But I get it only things that end with angst, sacrifice, and suffering are deep. Don’t make me laugh.

    The brothers sacrificing themselves in the first series was not deep at all. It showed they learned absolutely NOTHING. What was the whole thing during the first Scar fight when Al told Ed not to waste his life. To live if you have a chance and maybe find a way to save poor girls like Nina.

    The characters in Brotherhood actually do something POSITIVE with their lives in the end. From Ed and Al traveling the world to thank all the people that helped them, to Al and Ed doing research to help people who were hurt by alchemy, to Roy working to overhaul the Ishval policy, to Scar trying to help the Ishval people not lose their culture. The manga is full of positive messages and hope about the future.

    And when Ed gave up alchemy (and didn’t sacrifice his life) he showed that he understands it is okay to not rely on this special power. He is okay with being a normal human being and relying on his friends (it was his reliance on his friends not alchemy that helped him win in the first place). This shows that Ed in Brotherhood actually developed and learned something through his experiences. This was the opposite of Father who wanted to be above everyone. Father’s arrogance is what caused him to lose.

  16. Kim says:

    Also yes Roy being healed by the Philosopher Stone might seem easy but in a sense it was the Ishvalans that were given him a second chance and he is using that chance to change the policy on Ishval.

    What do I mean the stone Marcoh gave him was made up of Ishvalans. The stone was then used by Kimbley to kill Ishvalans. The stone eventually falls into Al’s hands and he uses this to defeat Kimbley, and now Marcoh gives it to Roy (who also participated in the Ishval massacre) to change the Ishval policy. Thus the whole thing comes full circle.

    Also the Amestris world might eventually become a Democracy but that will take time.

  17. Meep says:

    Very well said, Kim~

  18. MarieLuise says:

    @kaei: thank you for your nice post :-)

    @kim: It seems it really is all about different tastes. You didn’t tell me something I didn’t know before and of course my opinion about the ending of the series didn’t change. I don’t need a sappy ending with lots of pointless drama to appreciate a story, but I do like some bitterness. I do like brothers who maybe don’t learn that much and maybe don’t get all of their goals (because I think that’s more “real” than such a overall happy ending). But at the same time I’m well aware that Arakawa always had such an happy ending in her mind, it is/was her way of storyteling. And if you like the whole story you have to like the ending too. I really think so, but I just fail on that.

    I will say it again: the end of FMA brotherhood was all about fighting, killing etc. You can use nicer words and say it was about getting your goals, fighting for your future, for the people you love, for friendship etc. I just felt the urge to kill and win at the end of the series and a toooo long battle with no real emotions in it (the scenes with Greed were ridiclous and incredible cheezy). And when Ed was calling Hohenheim “father” – I just knew he would do that, because I have seen such moments hundred million times before in movies, books etc.

    What you said about Roy and the stone: I don’t want to add something to that. It is a good example for the “strange morals” I talked about. It has to do with forgivness and getting the chance to do some good things (which was also a major theme of the series regarding the Ishbal massacre) but it made a strange aftertase in my mouth ;-)

    But don’t get me wrong. FMA is in my top 5 of favorite anime. And I was back then the first one who tried to convince psgels to blog this series.

    @psgels: I enjoyed your blogging about FMA very much. Thank you for that :-)

  19. Kim says:

    @Marie Luise,

    Although I don’t agree with everything you said my comment was not directed at you (well maybe the 2nd one about Roy but not the first one).

    This is an action/adventure series so yes there are fights. However people seem to forget there were fights in the first series too. If I recall in the final episode (or 2nd to last episode) it was Envy VS Ed. There were plenty of fights in the movie too. But there is still plenty of symbolism and message beyond the fights. And as for the fights I enjoyed the fact that EVERYONE was fighting together from the children to adults. That is something you don’t see in most stories.

    As for not getting what you want and not learning anything being more “real” no I don’t agree with that. It might be true in some cases but it certainly doesn’t have to be true. In fact that it is a very negative outlook on life.

    It’s also fine to enjoy a more bitter story. I usually prefer bitter sweet endings myself. I am just making a point that an ending does not have to be bitter to have depth.

  20. Ebod says:

    I never read/watched FMA for its DEEP SYMBOLIC MEANING, because while it had some, that really wasn’t its aim.

    FMA manga and brotherhood = awesome entertainment with good plot, amazing characters, and humor.

    FMA first anime = wangst wangst wangst plus even more. Not only was it a mood whiplash from the first half of the series following the manga, the ending, exactly as Kim said, showed that Ed and Al both learned NOTHING. Not having a happy ending =/= automatically equal AMAZING DEPTH. Each to their own, but I prefer it when my characters do a little more than just stand in the rain moping about their life. Also, Al had almost no personality left by the end of the first FMA anime.

  21. Deschain says:

    I have been following this blog since the first episode of Brotherhood (and since I never read the manga), I waited to throw in my two cents until it was over . This series was excellent plot driven series, but the first one was an excellent character driven story. I prefer character driven stories over plot ones, although I can enjoy both

    The first FMA did have an aim and it told it well. The first series was all about Alchemy and the process of how it works. Alchemy is a huge part of their world and everyone could use it with the proper training, it is an intricate part of their world. While Ed and Al believed alchemy could be used for good, positive goals, they quickly realized that the world doesn’t see it that way. The Homunculus were a clear example of the negative aspect of Alchemy. Pride, Lust, Envy, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Gluttony weren’t just characters, there were themes, sins that were present all throughout the anime. Seeing the Elric brothers confront these things and holding on to their beliefs shows resolve, not an inability to learn. To me the first series reflects our world as much as the one of Amestris and the goals of both the heroes and the villains, felt like something we all can relate to. To me they are both different animes. We already had the one that focused on the philosophy and their world. This one was sorely needed, especially for someone like me in order to get a full perspective on the FMA universe.

  22. Charred Knight says:

    @Jimao I defy you to tell me the difference between the first Fullmetal Alchemist and a funeral. Mizushima confused characters crying, talking about how depressing your life is, and characters dying useless deaths for actual drama. He completely misunderstood what the series was about. Also is comparing something to Yuu Yuu Hakusho supposed to be an insult? Once you grow up maybe we can debate some anime instead of hearing about how angst = art.

  23. Deschain says:

    This is the kind of crap I hate from people. Simplifying an anime like FMA and FMA Brotherhood is the pure sign of stupidity. FMA Brotherhood is not like Yu Yu Hakusho. Does it share the same aspects? Sure, but a lot if not all anime share certain traits that adhere to formula. That is just one side to FMA Brotherhood not the whole.

    As for the Mizushima statement. Wow, this person looked at the manga and noticed a principle, a law of equivalency and crafted a story that stimulates emotion and thought. If you didn’t catch that then that’s sad. And FMA was not angst in the way you are describing it. FMA was about seeing the world for what it truly was, a place filled with individuals who posses the knowledge and ability to help others and instead use it to further their own agendas. Having you principles and beliefs questioned and challenged is an intense experience. If you failed to see that aspect then fine that’s you, but don’t simplify it to angst alone. He wasn’t trying to follow the same kind feeling in the manga, he focused on a human story and it was good

  24. Kim says:

    @ Deschain

    When I said I felt Ed and Al didn’t learn anything in the first series I was talking specifically about the scene when they both sacrificed themselves for each other. This scene was a disappointment for me. And in general the development of Ed and Al was a disappointment for me. However I can’t say they learned absolutely nothing in the course of the series. I believe they learned the world is not perfect, bad things can be done with alchemy, and you can’t get everything you want in the end. I am not too fond of the themes in the first series but these themes were presented well.

    However Ed and Al in Brotherhood and the manga stuck to their beliefs too: To not use others in their quest to get their bodies back (this is why Ed refused to use Hohenheim’s last soul or the P.Stone but instead came up with his own way to get Al back). So you see Ed and Al not only hold on to their beliefs in the manga storyline but also succeed because of what they learned through their experiences (that they did not succeed by alchemy but through the help of others).

    Learning something and sticking to your beliefs is not mutually exclusive.

  25. Deschain says:

    @Kim
    So basically what you are saying is that the ending was bad. I can see how that can happen, but sacrificing themselves and not using others was presented in the first series as well. Ed didn’t use the prisoners to transmute them into a philosopher’s stone. When Al realized that Wrath had Ed’s limbs he was going to “rip” them off, but he refrained from that. When Al became a Philosopher’s Stone, Ed refused to use his powers out of fear it may destroy Al; which is the exact same thing with Hohenheim wanting to use his life for Al in Brotherhood. Granted I do like Brotherhood’s solution better, but in the first series, Ed realized that he can’t have it all. Saving his brother’s life and restoring his body was much more important than receiving his limbs. Once again that was demonstrated in Brotherhood when Al sacrificed himself. So in general both shows exhibited the same ideas, but they both stuck to their own themes. In the end of the first series it wasn’t about simply restoring a limb or a body, it was to restore life. A life for a life is equivalent exchange which was the whole theme of the the first series, but instead of Ed receiving death, he was given the chance to live on and find a way back to his brother again.

  26. Watcherzero says:

    I think a good metaphor is how its so easy to tell the difference between CGI and film, CGI is too perfect, theirs too few defects, dirt, cracks or imperfections and so the eye can always tell which is the better more realistic version.

    In the same way the first series had this, people died pointlessly, people didnt learn from their mistakes, charachters had to wing it when their plans didnt always work. This was much more reflective of real life than the second series where everyone was perfect, every death was a noble and meaningful sacrifice, people always learned from their mistakes and everything always went to plan.

    To me the first series was film, the second was CGI.

  27. Kim says:

    I am sorry but just because a character grows and learns something from their experience does not make it fake. That’s called character development and good writing.

    In real life people DO learn from their mistakes, they DON’T always die needless deaths, and people DO get happy endings. I don’t think the ending of the 2nd series is perfect I find it hopeful & positive. That doesn’t make it any less poignant and real than the first series with all its forced emotion and needless melodrama.

  28. Kim says:

    I should add I don’t think there is anything wrong with preferring the more dramatic/darker first series to the more hopeful/lighter 2nd series. But when you say one is film the other is CGI or one is art the other is trash. That is what I have an issue with because it is complete nonsense.

  29. psgels psgels says:

    Whoa there, there’s no need to look at this in such a black and white way. In real life, it’s not like people either learn from all their experiences or the other way around, instead they learn from some cases, while at others they don’t.

    Personally my biggest gripe against the first season wasn’t this overacting. There are plenty of other shows that have that and where it works. I wouldn’t say that it’s not understanding the manga, instead it’s just a completely different interpretation. Nothing wrong with that.

    Instead, I did not like how the first season had so many forced plot points. The first half suffered because it tried too hard to make Ed like a hero by making him run into situations in which he conveniently save the day in half-assed stories. In the second half, it was the tendency of the creators to bring back characters who had no business being there. These characters were in most cases completely shallow (the biggest example I can think of right now being Rose) and took time and focus away from the characters that really mattered.

  30. Kim says:

    Whoa there, there’s no need to look at this in such a black and white way. In real life, it’s not like people either learn from all their experiences or the other way around, instead they learn from some cases, while at others they don’t.

    To clarify I wasn’t trying to say that things always work out for people in real life either. Sometimes they don’t but at the same time sometimes they do. And neither situation is more realistic than the other. So I agree with you. :)

  31. Reltair says:

    Awesome series that are also long are so rare these days…

  32. Scytheslash says:

    I get a bad feeling the movie is going to be an intersection of the previous FMA characters and Brotherhood characters…….. maybe Dante will make an appearance again? Revisiting Ishvaal seems pointless, after it has been resolved in the show

  33. Bobby says:

    i am a little confused as to what exactly the brotherhood movie can cover. i mean, after defeating a guy who was essentially a god, what kind of decent bad guy can they create that ISN’T a total (KITTEN) by comparison (lol)

    the review and grade is pretty spot on IMHO

  34. Ive says:

    I will say it again: the end of FMA brotherhood was all about fighting, killing etc.

    Thank God. I’m tired of series where people try to stay away from fighting and killing the enemy because of their idiotic morals. I was fine with Ed saving Pride, but if he and the rest of the soldiers weren’t cheering for Father’s death, something would be terribly lacking.

    I’m not saying that peace isn’t a good thing, and that morals are always idiotic; not at all. I’m just… so tired of good guys not killing the main, evil bad guys. If a person like Father, or Kimblee (who I actually really like as a character) is in my grasp, that is it: I would take their life and never think twice about it. They are evil, and they must be stopped. That in and of itself can be a moral, too, I suppose.

    I also really like the Ishbalan Massacre and its implications on the soldiers in general. They were ‘only following orders’, but since they were still human, they had deal with their obediance. It was really… rather nice, in its own way.

    Oh, I loved all the FMA series. I liked this series more then the First Series by a long shot, though I’d consider the Manga tied with Brotherhood.

    The biggest problems with this series, and I know there are a few of them, that I can think off top hand are the start of the series (but that was inevitable, unforunately), the ‘last minute save’ (this one irritates me in all forms of media, though), and the lack of good characters dying. I don’t want it to be a total death-march, but…

  35. Ibrahim Peasnell says:

    I decided to drop this series around episode thirty when the plot became more complicated and characters reappearing in this series. One element of this series I dislike is the character designs and art director of this series compared to the previous series of FMA. I did watch the last couple of episodes just for interest sake, and I can say that the ending of FMA:Brotherhood is a bit better then the previous series of FMA, though the music was better in the first series of FMA then FMA:Brotherhood. Overall, I would say that FMA:Brotherhood is a nice addition to the FMA franshise though prefer the first series of FMA over the second due to that I prefear good music and character designs over a better plot of FMA:Brotherhood.

  36. Tan-Tan says:

    The fact that a lot of people are arguing about FMA:Brotherhood means it’s an awesome series :D A lot of you seem to argue about the battle in the end. I understand we view this as “barbarism” but do you really know the meaning of the final battle? A struggle between forces?

    @jimao: World domination was never the goal of Father. By saying that, I already know you didn’t understand the story. Father wants to learn more of the world and to be the “perfect being”. He already thinks he is above humans and simply wishes to “be more”.

    People consider Brotherhood having a happy ending. And apparently, they don’t like the fact that none of the main characters die because of the “lack of sacrifice” and probably pissed of (@jimao again) that Roy got his eyes back.

    Yes, well, we do enjoy misery more than happy endings :P We seem to be unable to accept happiness happening totally.

  37. israel8491 says:

    I think this is a very good grade. FMA Brotherhood was an amazing anime, but it was not without flaws.
    I got introduced to the manga first. I fell head over heels in love, and from there I went to the anime. I watched the first episode of the first anime before calling it quits. I hated the art. It was just bad. I read the new plot line on various sites and from there I’ve gotten a good idea of how the anime-verse works. I think it has some interesting ideas, but it can’t hold a candle to the manga-verse.
    Brotherhood I really loved. I wasn’t very pleased when it deviated from the manga, but I understood. The only thing I disliked was the first episode (what’s with that, both animes have sucky first episodes?) but after that it got great. I really liked the art, especially in comparison to the first anime’s.
    In the end, Brotherhood was a great anime and I’m so glad it got to run for as long as it did.
    To everyone who wanted more people to die, *ahem*: Nina, Alexander, Tucker, Hughes, Lust, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Wrath, Greed, Father, Hohenheim, Buccaneer, Fu, about ten thousand Ishvalans, who knows how many soldiers, Trisha, Barry, Slicer, everyone from the Devil’s Nest, Cornello….
    Really? You want more? I’m amazed at how many people survived.
    And after all the stuff they’ve been through, I think the characters have earned their happy ending.

  38. Mr. Derrrrp says:

    Fullmetal Alchemist is GOD. plain and simple.
    The english dub is excellent as well.
    Now go to your room!

  39. gedata says:

    I guess I’m the only one who was legitimatley amazed by what both series did

  40. ArmourBB says:

    I need to say that I love that extra jab the manga take at the 2003 anime when Riza said:
    ‘Is Ed going to sacrifice himself to bring Al back?’
    and Roy answered: ‘No, because he knows the pain of being left alone and he wouldn’t put Al through that.’

    This. So much.

    TAKE THAT fma2003

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Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think starlight can be too abrupt though at times and could focus longer on certain things, then again it is only 12 episodes.
Niello
I wish I can edit those grammar mistakes...well whatever.
Niello
From that point on, the show is more of a family drama with problem sparked from supernatural shounen shenanigans, and this is where the show really shines. It turns into one of those story where it constantly change your perspective of the characters as you know more about them.
Niello
The interesting bit is how the first couple episodes give you the impression that it would be a more episodic story with enemy of the week. However, after the initial set up and they went to Hong Kong, it has been focus on one single arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I suppose there will always be a show I missed or didn't notice on the seasonalcharts.
Niello
That's coming from someone who hate the premise. I went in thinking it would be absolute shit. It's still not great, but I'm impress that it has something that still make it worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I don't think I know what that is.
Niello
Aguu really surprised me this season. It has tons of flaws, but of all things I didn't expect to see great character developments and dynamics. It's definitely appreciable for how the characters were handled feel different from most anime. The twists are well done as well. It didn't go in the direction I initially expected it to at all. Over all, I think it's actually worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it her name, Hikari, i think it means light.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*like it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked it when a show surprises me like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Mahiru probably had the most backstory to her. Glad you agreed on how they handled the rivalry between Tendou and Claudine (aka Croissant-chan)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I noticed that and I think it could have been followed up on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really do love that shot though, it really shows and symbolizes and goes with "how she's lost everything". Actually I liked how the symbolism in this show was clearer at times than expected.
SuperMario
My best girl is Banana. Try to protect all the girls by rewinding the time, Madoka-style? Count me in
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Hikari is best girl, flat is justice never forget *hides*
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hope we see more of that shot from episode 11, the one on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for covering the show. Probably wouldn't have seen it otherwise.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i've never heard of the prequel manga. It's still about Karen and Hikari, I suppose?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Theres a prequel manga for shoujo kageki, I haven't read it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Odd hearing French spoken in an anime series too, I wonder how accurate it is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to the ending this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thought the animation could have been a bit better! The English dub is okayish to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised how endeared I ended up getting into this show.
Even though I liked the central relationship I wish it had more screentime, but I liked what I got and the expanded focus on the other girls was something I enjoyed aswell so I don’t mind so much.
I do want a bit more followup on that “betrayal” moment though, but Mario as you say, this show does hit its emotional moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
different enough as not to become stale, the ones that come to mind best for me was the doubles duel and particularly that really goofy one in episode 6.
Eventually even though the show can be a bit vague/meandering, the character interactions had more point than I thought and they grew on me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a second go through and now that I’ve caught up with it, the standout for me are definitely all the weird stuff with the stage battles and Giraffe guy, regarding the duels, even though the format of this show is repetitive, the duels themselves feel that they are
Kaiser-Eoghan
I initially put off watching shoujo kageki starlight, mostly down to feeling it was one of those “wait and see” shows, based on the first two episodes. I also at first thought the character interactions were meandering and asinine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
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Hanebado! – 12 [Step Forward Already!]

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Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 11 [We Are]

It makes sense that after 10 episodes of dueling and auditioning, this week takes time to focus on the central pair Karen and Hikari. As soon as she “betrays” Karen in the cliffhanger last week, it soon reveals that the reason she does it is to not steal anyone’s else brilliance (especially Karen’s), even at […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 12 [Just One Masterful Method/ Yuki-chan Bares It All]

As appropriate with Chio’s below-average personality, Chio-chan ends not with a bang but with two entertaining-but-unremarkable sketches. Many if the side-cast don’t make the cut in this finale (I kinda miss Andou and Momo), but we have Yuki at her most brilliant and Chio at her own worst enemy. Also, the way Chio-chan handles its […]

Banana Fish – 12 [To Have and Have Not]

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in! So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from […]

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This week Steins;Gate 0, once again, brutally reminded me of the potential it started with ~5 months ago and subsequently wasted. We have lab-member shenanigans, emotional heart-to-hearts and overdramatic time travel sequences. Let’s dive in! So in general, Steins;Gate 0 worked this episode. It really did. The emotions were on point and there was a […]

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

After the break last week (due to the Hokkaido earthquake), we are back with this final match between Ayano and Nagisa. While I can’t say I care too much about this match, Hanebado begins in a solid note. Having our two main characters flashback to their previous match, each questions the exact same concern: “what […]

Planet With – 10/11[Karellen and Rashaverak/Azrabarakura]

Forgive me for not covering this last week but believe me when I say it wasn’t due to lack of interest. Planet With still remains a show that just tops itself with every episode. Though I don’t have much to say about episode ten other than it being another episode which could have acted as […]

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 10 [The Show Must Go On]

The narrative beat of Revue Starlight has reached its new tempo with the end of the audition. All the things that Revue Starlight has been building up to begin to payoff this week. I must say though, it comes out a bit too predictable this week. We have the last stage audition with literally the […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 11 [Chio in the Middle of the Night/ Apocri!]

Well, no surprises here. Chio-chan flips back to its usual self. Chio-chan has always been a minimalist-set show, with mundane set up in which only a handful of characters carry the gag. It rings especially true this week, as Chio’s antic makes up the first half and Manana’s wild imagination drives the second. As per […]

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Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]

Legends of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These Anime Review – 80/100

This is a remake of a series made way back when which is one of the most highly acclaimed anime in the medium. It is of legendary status but you would be hard pressed to recommend it as to many the barrier of entry is too high to consider. A 110 episode OVA with dated […]

Hinamatsuri (2018 Spring) Review – 79/100

Comedy anime doesn’t always yell out confidence, so imagine our hype when there’s one that been on everyone’s lips since the manga come out, Hinamatsuri. The show starts with simple premise: a girl with supernatural power unexpectedly drops into the house of a yakuza, hilarity ensues. This concept sums up very well the source humors […]

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]