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)

Customize
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
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