Posted on 31 August 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

To be honest, I’m about to consider 2010 as the worst anime year since I started blogging. The summer season overall was held back by its quantity problem, which results in only a few series that I really consider memorable. Does that mean that I consider that anime is dying, though? Absolutely not. I’m very curious to see how it’s going to evolve in the future and in the upcoming years.

In this month, the surprises mostly came from the series that have been carried over from previous season, with a few notable exceptions. Overall it’s a better month than the previous one, and even the series that aren’t going to turn into anything memorable have their share of very enjoyable episodes.

#19 (20) – Amagami SS – (6,25/10) – I’m still watching this show, but it’s still just plain boring. The second arc was simply decent, it at least had some dynamic characters, but apart from that nothing stood out, and the conclusion yet again was too fast and rushed. The third arc however… by god. The portrayal of that shy girl was just abysmal.
#18 (19) – Asobi ni Iku Yo – (7,5/10) – Out of the huge onslaught of moe shows by AIC this season, this one turned out to be the best one. It’s self-conscious and knows that it’s just harmless fun, and the gunfights are enjoyable enough. The characters themselves are really cliched, but they could have been much more annoying. There’s good chemistry between them, which sortof makes up for the huge amount of flaws that this show has in its premise.
#17 (16) – Sekirei – (7,75/10) – The weak point of this series remains the scenes without drama: the voice actors just try too hard to sound cute, and those scenes are just annoying to watch. Still, the main story has been getting better now that the creators revealed the major background behind everything. The characters are definitely coming together now, despite the silly and fanservicey premise
#16 (18) – Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi – (7,75/10) – This one has gotten better. The animation still is consistently good, and it really has been thinking about arcs that give the main characters some depth, rather than the more silly adventures of the first few episodes. My problem with it still is the huge amount of references to otaku pop culture and overused anime cliches that just don’t interest me. Especially the boob jokes have to stop because this show has been overusing those beyond belief.
#15 (6) – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – (7,75/10) – This month for me wasn’t as good as the previous one, but that mostly had to do with expectations. It’s mostly been a building-up moth for Denyuuden, and nothing really special happened here.
#14 (10) – High School of the Dead – (7,75/10) – What sets High School of the Dead apart from all other fanservice shows this season is its atmosphere, which is really genuinely good. The action itself is also very entertaining. Beyond that it’s just gore an fanservice, but I’m enjoying it so far.
#13 (12) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – This is a bit of a strange series, but even though its episodes are twice as long as usual, I just don’t have a lot to say about it. Nothing really stands out, good or bad. I hope that the final episodes indeed are going to get more interesting so that I’ll at least have something to say about it.
#12 (15) – Heroman – (8/10) – This show is weird. I thought it was predictable, but in this month it made a bunch of really strange choices. That island arc was a completely pointless filler. I have no idea what it did in this series, it had no relation to the plot whatsoever, and overall was boring to get through. On top of that, ONLY now, after more than twenty episodes, did it suddenly decide to reveal the most crucial background information. I mean, especially the explanation of Psy’s leg should have been given right at the beginning. But yeah: the upside of this is that the past few episodes have been really character-centric, and actually did a lot of good stuff with them.
#11 (14) – Mitsudomoe – (8/10) – You know? Of all the moe shows this season, I’m enjoying this one the most. Sure, it has its mind in way, way deep into the gutter, and most of the series consists just out of utterly wrong toilet jokes, but the delivery is top-notch and actually gets better as the series goes on. I don’t want to laugh, yet I can’t help it here.
#10 (11) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10)

Now that the climax has started this show has definitely been delivering, and everything seems to be coming together now. I still believe that this could just as easily have been a 39 episoded series, but it’s been an entertaining month for Anymal Tantei Kiruminzoo.

#9 (7) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8/10)

Gyuki’s arc was quite good, even though it spent most of its time just building up for the rest of the series. Now that we finally got the introduction arcs done though, we should get to the interesting parts of the story, to which I’m looking forward to a lot. It’s perhaps not the most exciting series, but still a very solid one.

#8 (17) – Kuroshitsuji – (8,25/10)

Now that Alois is in the picture again this show has become a whole lot more interesting. His insanity is just so interesting to watch, and I love all of the interesting plot twists the creators try to put into this. However, it would suck if the sole purpose of this series was just going to be a plot device to get Ciel and Sebastian to happily coexist together.

#7 (8) – Sengoku Basara – (8,25/10)

Building up, building up, building up. Really, this month has been either building up to the finale (which had better be damn awesome with all this hyping) and one particularly crazy action episode that blew all my expectations. I expected this to be just one string of action-scenes, but instead this series went for just a couple of them, while trying to make THOSE as epic as possible. Well, I must say that so far they’re doing a good job because episode 18 (or 6) had without a doubt the best action I have seen this month, but this is all going to depend on these final episodes.

#6 (4) – Rainbow – (8,5/10)

This month we got various mini-arcs that were meant to develop and explore the characters as they move on with their lives, and I’m really liking this show more and more. Some characters can be a bi stereotypical at times(specially the thugs), but it’s still both fun and exciting.

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

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin took on a completely different direction from expected this month, by taking on a much quieter and controlled pacing. I still consider it to be the series with the most solid execution of the Summer Season, though. The episodes ranged from really well executed (episode 06) to a bit disappointing (episode 08), but overall they were all focused on developing the lead character Maya. Whether it’s going to work depends on the final third of this series.

#4 (5) – Shiki – (8,75/10)

An excellent atmosphere that just continues to get better. This show is very good at building up, and that really starts to show at this point, not to mention that the soundtrack also just gets better with every episode.

#3 (9) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (8,75/10)

I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere the creators suddenly decided to flick the awesome-switch here. This series improved beyond belief during the past month, with a number of awesome episodes in which all of the build-up of earlier on in the series is coming together. The music especially has exceeded all my expectations here.

#2 (2) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,75/10)

You can really see the show evolving now that Cure Sunshine has appeared, and it has possibly made this show even better. Some of the fights have become a bit beam-spamming, but the individual stories for each episode have been incredibly charming.

#1 (1) – Giant Killing – (9/10)

I love this show! Especially now near the end now that everything is coming together, the entire cast is just one chunk of personality. The opposing team is just awesome, not to mention the huge amounts of Dutch that the creators managed to insert. Every single character still stands apart as individual despite the huge cast, and not to mention how great the creators are with the build-up of the past arc.

Posted on with categories: Nurarihyon no Mago



Well, it was a bit of a wait, but this episode definitely delivered. Gyuki’s climax definitely was worth the wait, and this episode really changed the course of this series now that Rikuo stopped running away from his demon side, while at the same time not abandoning his human side as Gyuki suggested. It’s great to already see character-development at this stage in the series.

I also see why the previous episode was so necessary, as it really explained the loyalty behind Gyuki’s actions, added to Gyuki’s pride as a youkai. In either case, it’s great to see that the people in this series are willing to grab their own responsibilities instead of running away. I guess that that was the entire point of these introduction arcs.

I do hope that either Rikuo’s classmates will develop like this, or that the story is indeed going to move away from them, as the youkai part of this series is looking to be a lot more interesting than the human part. I understand why they were necessary, though.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 30 August 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin




It’s episode nine. We’re about to hit the climax with five episodes left. And so this episode comes with a seemingly unrelated arc that ends with a cliff-hanger that will continue into the next episode. I’m really interested in the creators’ intentions here.

Don’t get me wrong here, this episode was excellent as usual. I still consider this to be the best executed series of the season. But I’m fearing that this series will go down the road of Sora no Oto and wait too long with its ending, resulting in a bit of a cop-out. If this episode wasn’t what it looked like and actually was already slightly hinting at that climax then it’s fine, but I don’t want the same thing that happened with Sora no Oto’s ending to happen here.

Anyway, about the episode, when you ignore the time-limit of this show, it was a very good one in its build up. The creators are continuing to develop Maya, using her relationship with her father, and the next episode especially seems designed to push her character in a new direction. Meanwhile this episode was excellent with its facial expressions, especially Maya’s, but JK also shined here.

It’s interesting how the case was seemingly solved before the end of the episode: the spirit’s father accidentally killed her due to neglect, now all that’s seemingly left is to bring this ghost to that father, have a bit of dialogue and things should get finished. That shouldn’t be enough to fill an entire episode. Still, with all that build-up it had better be building up to something awesome. It’s quite like Sengoku Basara Two this season: they’re both spending quite a bit of build up hyping up their own climax, so at this point I still can’t say anything about how good they are going to end up becoming in terms of the big picture, unlike, say, High School of the Dead where you know exactly what to expect.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews




I was really starting to fear that Symphony in August would meet the same fate as Furusato, Japan (as in, arriving to the west three years late and flying completely by people’s attention even though it’s really good), but thank god this didn’t turn out to be true. I really urge someone who likes the realistic kind of movie to somehow sub this thing, because it really doesn’t deserve to fade into obscurity.

Symphony in August turned out to be an incredibly uplifting movie, but the interesting thing is that it’s completely non-fiction: it’s based on the autobiography of the singer and songwriter Ai Kawashima, and takes place seven and eight years ago as she tried to find the recognition for her singing skills. She she even voiced the songs throughout the movie.

After watching,I can really understand why people wanted to make a movie about her life, since it is a very inspiring and slightly unusual road through which Ai worked herself up, and eventually ended up singing the theme song of the Place Promised in Our Early Days (that part isn’t shown in this movie though, it’s solely about her rise to fame), starting out as a street performer. The creators did a wonderful job of portraying her as a character. She grows like a real character, acts very genuinely on the hardest moments of her life, and the people around her who support her are also portrayed as wonderfully restrained.

The director, Akio Nishizawa really has a knack for these kinds of movies: realistic, down to earth and honouring the Japanese cultural heritage of music. In this movie though, I did notice one of the very few points at which he missed the mark: the ending. For who knows what kind of reason, the producers just couldn’t get the right funding to fully animate it, so parts are shown in CG. To make matters worse, at this point the movie abuses its sentimentalism a bit too much and shows a few too many people with tears in their eyes, and this goes on for too long. Apart from that I consider Symphony in August to be just as good as Furusato Japan, but the ending is where the latter is just much better.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Realistic, down to earth and well paced. Only the ending could have used more subtlety.
Characters: 9/10 – Non-fiction, and it shows. A very realistic portrayal of the characters, and they’re charming as hell.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Detailed and well drawn movements, with some unfortunate CG abuse at the end.
Setting: 8/10 – Good portrayal of the modern singing business.

Suggestions:
Furusato, Japan
Fancy Lala
Piano no Mori

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews




Bungaku Shoujo is a project consisting out of four OVAs and a movie. I remember not really being impressed by the first OVAs, which didn’t really give me the motivation to check out the other parts of the OVA, so I just decided to go with the movie instead. Which, as it turns out, is completely different.

Before I continue however, I do want to say the following: with most of my series and movie reviews, I try to not include any spoilers. With this movie however, it’s impossible to really talk about my impression of this movie without discussing some of them, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to skip the rest of the paragraphs of this review.

I say this of course because Bungaku Shoujo marketed itself as some cheesy romance in which the lead character gets to date a cute girl who eats books. The prologue of the movie reinforces this completely when it throws cliche after cliche when introducing its characters. And in the end, this turned out to be a huge red herring for the real subject matter of this series: dealing with a mentally insane childhood friend.

At this point I’m still not sure whether the creators tried too hard with that character, but nevertheless my highlight of this movie was the interplay between her and the lead character as it really took its time to explore how both of them feel about each other. With excellent animation, I felt myself to really care about these two, and to be honest, the entire cast quickly loses the stereotypes associated with them at the introduction. There is a bit of overacting at times, but even there it feels subtle and restrained, to really give off the impressions of a natural cast. I’m definitely surprised by that.

My main problem with this movie was the conclusion. Basically, most of the major conflicts are solved with a cheesy speech that I feel was totally unnecessary. I would have really preferred it if the characters just talked to each other to sort out their differences. Or heck, went to a proper psychiatrist.

The animation for a movie’s standards is pretty good, but average. There are a few still frames and off models here, but characters are well animated. For movie’s standards it’s nothing extraordinary, though. The soundtrack itself is also nothing to write home about.

Nevertheless it’s a compelling teenaged drama with a lot of symbolism to novels (most notable Kenji Miyazawa’s Night on the Galactic Railroad). It’s not the best and the whole “demon eating books” turned out to be just a gimmick that could have easily been omitted without changing anything, but it definitely kept my attention throughout the movie.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Takes its time to tell the story, great sense of mystery.
Characters: 8/10 – The acting tries a little too hard at times, but nevertheless the cast is believable and charming.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid and detailed, but doesn’t stand out compared to other movies.
Setting: 8/10 – Aside from one gimmick that’s not used to its potential, it does its job of supporting the story, especially the book symbolism.

Suggestions:
Night on the Galactic Railroad (one of those movies that I got to appreciate more and more over time, so just ignore that rating).
Gedo Senki
Kappa to Coo to Natsuyasumi

Posted on with categories: OVA Impressions



Okay, so I’ve been a bit lazy for the past days so I’ve got a pretty big movie and OVA backlog right now. First up is a 10-minute OVA that I’m really really late with, Yondemasu, Azazel-san. Do give it a chance though if you’re looking for something funny. The episode is only 10 minutes long, but quite funny.

It’s an OVA that pokes fun at demon summoning. It’s a practice that’s usually very serious business, and you can see that this OVA has the time of its life making this look as ridiculous as possible. And it does so with an actual sense of humor. While turning fierce demons into cute animals is nothing new, this show does it with a number of awesome jokes, especially when the deadpan Moloch appears halfway through. The comedic timing and delivery is just awesome here.

Still, this remains an OVA that was shipped with manga volumes, so don’t expect any background or explanation behind everything. In fact, some of the things said at the beginning of the episode are only explained at the end of it. Nevertheless, if you want something short to laugh at, this does the job.
OVA Episode Rating: 8,25/10

Posted on with categories: High School of the Dead



Well, I guess we all knew what this episode was going to introduce: the LOVE TRIANGLE. Generally, I hate those things because A) they’re annoying, B) go nowhere and C) they way too often get in the way of the real plot. It was a good episode overall, but at this pace I do hope that the final four episodes will remember that this series is focused on horror and fanservice. The romance should just be there to get the best out of the characters.

Either way though, it’s episodes like this that make High School of the Dead into more than just a gore and boob fest, because Saeko did get quite a bit of attention, and we learned a lot more about her. And to be honest, I actually liked the way that Takeshi developed his crush for Saeko a lot more than his angsty side who can’t get over a childhood crush who dumped him years ago.

That’s not to say that it was actually good romance of course, as according to anime logic it seems that whenever a guy and a girl are together in a tight situation they are 100% sure to fall in love. But still, I never started to watch this series for its realism. One thing that I am very glad of is that this series doesn’t try to be funny. The creators could have easily turned Takeshi into a horny peeping pervert in this episode with a stupid grin on his face, but they didn’t. The creators could easily have made the most horrible puns and fanservice jokes throughout the series, but instead they knew that those jokes suck in 99% of the cases. Instead, the jokes they do make either work decently, or are harmless enough to ignore.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Giant Killing



Most of this episode was half-time, but it still was an awesome one. The creators really know how to create tension here, with 35 minutes of the match left and still nobody managed to score. The characters in the meantime are as fun as ever. It also helps that Tatsumi continues to hype his own game with his seemingly endless confidence.

Still, you can see that after the despair of the previous episode, the defence is starting to get together. With 31 minutes however, the problem is indeed Natsuki. He indeed was a bit different from usual in this game, though I never really thought of why this was. The end of this episode however revealed that Tatsumi made quite a devastating comment about his determination. With that I completely understood why he had been running around like a chicken during the past episodes. I guess that Tatsumi wanted to motivate Natsuki, but here’s one thing that seemed to backfire. And interestingly, despite all of the build up of the previous episodes, we still didn’t get to see anything from Sera.

In any case, I’m still surprised at how well the chemistry turned out here. All of the attention that the series has put into the different characters is really paying off right now, and something tells me that the next few episodes will give the rest of the cast beyond the defenders their time to shine. It’s a shame though, I really don’t see huge DVD-sales for this series, so I really doubt that there’s going to be a second season.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 29 August 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



Holy crap, here is one series that suddenly became just better and better. Seriously, these past two episodes have far surpassed anything else this series had offered up to that point. And this episode ended with yet another cliffhanger, as if to say that it’s still nowhere near done yet. I keep wondering how many parts of the soundtrack the creators haven’t shown yet.

In a way though: I love these kinds of series: those who for their majority aren’t anything special aside from a few scenes here and there, and suddenly as they enter their final quarter flick the awesome switch and finish with one heck of a finale. Uragiri looks to be well on this path with only three episodes left, same with Kobato half a year ago. The disadvantage is of course that it’s impossible to pick these kinds of series out when they first start. I’m REALLY glad that I took the few hints of episode two and continued to blog this series, because I recall having laughed quite a bit at this series for how silly it looked at times.

One of the things I especially liked here was the way in which Reiga continues to set off hints to Yuki that Kanata was still out there, only to completely trash Yuki afterwards, telling him to get off his high horse. It’s a very interesting way of showing Yuki’s flaws, this naivety in which he keeps hoping for Kanata to magically return really adds to his character, and yet this doesn’t take his naivety over the top like what you see with most naive characters who too often degenerate into utter stupidity.

With three episodes left (according to ANN at least, don’t take my word on that because they still seem to believe that this show is only 13 episodes long), I do hope that the creators still have enough time to put girl Yuki’s background in it. Right now, that’s my biggest question mark along with the reason why Reiga protected Yuki in this episode. If the creators can pull that off, while making these three episodes as good as the past two, then I’ll be entirely happy.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Sengoku Basara



As much as I like the soundtrack of Shiki, I do not consider it to be the best of the Summer Season. The soundtrack for Sengoku Basara is just epic, especially after this episode showed that it can also hold its ground in the quiet and subtle scenes. I’m also not sure who that singer was who popped up in the middle, but she has a great voice.

Also, colour me surprised here. At the start of this series, I really thought that this was going to be an action series. As in: we get a bunch of exciting battles every episodes. As it turns out though, I was wrong: this series tries to be much more than just brainless action. This was the second episode in a row that didn’t spend any attention on any kind of action scenes, and instead it again focused on its character background and building up. The side characters may not have developed much, but there is actually quite a bit of character development amongst the main ones, especially Date Masamune and Yukimura, but also Toyotomi changed compared to the flashbacks we see him in in this episode.

The first season tried this too, but the key mistake it made was that it didn’t feel like it was building up to anything. The arcs were all seemingly unrelated, and not really that interesting. But yeah, at the same time I do have to agree: it did lay out the foundation for this second season to work with. Without that first season, this second season would not be as solid as it is now. I still blame it for being boring, though.

In any case, with so much build up, that final quarter had better be awesome. This series may not be the next Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, but I’m still enjoying it a lot. I expected to get bored when I realized that this episode again wouldn’t involve fighting, but this didn’t turn out to be the case.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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Kemurikusa – 03

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