Posted on 30 September 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Of course, in the past number of years there have been quite a few small Winter and Summer Seasons. However, the big difference with previous years is that there always were plenty of interesting series that were carried over from previous seasons. That’s pretty much the biggest problem with the past summer season: too much of the spring season series stopped after just 11 to 13 episodes, leading to this seasons’ quantity problem.

Overall though, this was a very interesting month: some series really exceeded my expectations, while others failed to live up to them. There were fewer interesting series than usual, but the series that stood out really did stand out, and that’s why I see no reason to call it as dry as the past Winter season.

#19 (19) – Amagami SS – (4,25/10) – Just… make it stop. No more, I give up. The first two arcs still had their charms and all, but the shy girl arc has become downright unwatchable. I’ve been stuck at episode eleven because I couldn’t get myself to listen to her abysmal voice acting anymore, let alone the horrible scenario and character-development that the creators have given her. Dropped.
#18 (18) – Asobi ni Iku Yo – (7/10) – I went into this series, expecting entertainment. In the end, I didn’t really get a whole lot of this. The final twist to resolve the love triangle in this series was just completely stupid and out of left-field, especially how everyone just bought it. Way to negate all of the build-up you put into this, guys.
#17 (12) – Heroman – (7,25/10) – That one scene. The one in which Joey started glowing. It made no bloody sense at all, but it was damn cool to look at, and just about the only highlight of the finale of this series that I can remember. It tried to be way too epic for its own good, making the big bad guy way too strong, with all of the disastrous consequences. The whole finale never really used any of the build-up that the previous arcs tried to give it, and it really didn’t leave with a good aftertaste.
#16 (16) – Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi – (7,75/10) – It’s a bit of a weird choice for its final episodes, to have the climax at the semi-final episode, which ultimately didn’t really accomplish anything. It’s not been the strongest month for Ookami-san, but it still was pretty enjoyable, not to mention gorgeously animated.
#15 (11) – Mitsudomoe – (7,75/10) – I’m really worried about that second season. With the way that the creators have been repeating their jokes at this rate, that second season is bound to be not as good as the first season. Still, the repeated jokes still were within bounds this months, and I got a number of good laughs out of every episode.
#14 (15) – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – (7,75/10) – My main issue with this month for Denyuuden was that it spent a bit too much time trying to show how much the people with Alpha Stigma are suffering. We know that already, no need to shove it up our faces. Overall I’m still missing something with this series, though episode thirteen was a very interesting hint of more interesting things to come.
#13 (7) – Sengoku Basara – (7,75/10) – With the huge amounts of build-up that went into it, that final episode was not good enough to make up for it. It lacked the creativity of episode six, it skipped one fight completely and the creators overall should have tried harder. Nevertheless, it still was a short but sweet ending that was a lot of fun to watch. Just be sure to balance out your show next time, Production IG.
#12 (9) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (7,75/10) – Thirteen episodes in, and unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be able to compete with Studio Deen’s better works. It’s a nice adventure with a couple of pretty charming characters, but so far it’s nothing special, and it should really try in its second half to do something more.
#11 (17) – Sekirei – (8/10) – Overall, this series had quite a strong month, considering the main goal of the side-story that took most of its focus. There still needs to come some kind or third (or possibly even fourth) season to wrap everything up, though.
#10 (10) – Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10)

It’s a bit of a chaotic finale here, but that’s what made it a fun way to close off this series. The final bad guy was one incredible moron in the way that he went down, but with the stupidity of some of the characters through the series, I guess that that was meant to be his charms. The creators came with some neat twists and the characters could really show themselves off. Overall, I’m quite happy with how this series turned out.

#9 (14) – High School of the Dead – (8/10)

A surprisingly quiet end for what’s supposed to be a zombie bashing show, but I liked the charms that that had. It really allowed the characters to show a bit about themselves.This show just ends without any resolution, which did annoy me a bit, though.

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

This series should have ended with an anime original ending. The build up to the final episode was perfect for that, and it would have been able to close off this series perfectly instead of the half-assed deus ex machina ending that we ended up getting here. The ending for this one was probably the most disappointing ones of the season, but before “it” happened, this series really was incredibly solid.

#7 (13) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10)

I think the part about Katanagatari that I like the most is how it’s basically an exploration of all kinds of martial arts and swordplay. The double-length episodes really allow the creators to delve into these mechanics, much more than you usually see in series like this. The latest episode was down to earth, but worked exactly because of that, along with the wit that it sometimes shows (Shichika trying to learn sword fighting stances for example was hilarious) and the increasingly interesting chemistry between Togame and Shichika.

#6 (6) – Rainbow – (8,5/10)

I really liked the arcs the creators chose to close this series off with, exactly because they were by far the least depressing and overly epic arcs of the entire series. Instead, what we got here was a heart-warming closure that was really focused on the hopeful future. Most of the major conflicts were resolved already, and instead the series’ finale was fully focused on the future of the characters.

#5 (8) – Kuroshitsuji – (8,75/10)

This series really impressed me. The plot in the final episodes just kept the interesting twists coming, making optimal use of not just Alois and Claude, but also Ciel and Sebastian shined. I have a hate/love relationship with the ending, but I still really liked it.

#4 (5) – Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin – (8,75/10)

A few Deus ex Machina, but apart from that the final three episodes left a strong impression behind, and especially episode eleven was just amazing. It’s a shame that this series had its balancing issues, because it really could have been one of the best series of the year if managed to fix its biggest issues.

#3 (4) – Shiki – (8,75/10)

“Natsuno did something stupid”. That pretty much describes all my problems with this series. The rest is just absolutely delightful with its art and atmosphere, especially in the way that the past few episodes have used the build-up of the earlier episodes. The idea around which this series is based is nothing new, but it throws in more than enough to make this series worth watching.

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

A ton of plot and focus on Cure Moonlight this month, with some really adorable results. Like Cure Sunshine, she is completely different from Cure Blossom and Marin, and so the mood of this series this month also was bit more mature than usual and it’s great to see this series evolve like this.

#1 (1) – Giant Killing – (9,25/10)

A fantastic month for Giant Killing, the finale closed off the series perfectly, and yet it left enough room open for a second season. That final match was incredibly dynamic: it evolved with every single episode and it really used its teamwork to make it an awesome watch against the Osaka team, who were some worthy opponents.

Posted on 29 September 2010 with categories: OVA Impressions

Toriko is a story about a guy who travels all around the world in order to murder all kinds of exotic animals. Yeah, that’s a premise you don’t get to see every day…

In any case, this series reminds me a bit of hte Legend of Koizumi, in the way that it also tries to push GAR to the limits of what can be possible. In this case it’s baed around gathering exclusive wild ingredients for restaurants. Especially all of the designs of the different monsters and animals is pretty creative.

Apart from that, though, I’m a bit disappointed. For what’s supposed to be a comedy, it just failed to make me laugh, and after five minutes of the ridiculously over the top cook Toriko, I was pretty much bored with him. The comedic timing missed the mark in just about all of the jokes for me. This series has a nice gimmick, but it’s just enough to carry an OVA of fifteen minutes, not half an hour. I really don’t know whether the upcoming Toriko movie will be worth it, because its premise was just too shallow and bland for much more material.

The most annoying however, was that tiny side-kick that accompanied Toriko. His constant screaming and whining was sure to sap any of the comedic potential left in this series away. This entire OVA felt like it was trying too hard, but that guy really took the cake.
OVA Episode Rating: 6/10

Posted on 28 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Rainbow

Madhouse is at its best when it’s dealing with mature series, boasting a refined execution and storytelling. Rainbow is not that. It’s bloody intense to the point of melodrama, and it wants everyone to know about it as it tells about a group of youths as they spend time in prison.

And it’s indeed easy to look at Rainbow and get annoyed by its cheese and melodrama. Storytelling is a balance between trying to tug your emotions, and showing restraint. Rainbow instead just attempts to show the intense suffering in prisons with as much drama as possible by either being overly dramatic, overly sappy or overly cheesy. Having said that though, this show does pack an excellent plot and the characters are more than charming and developed enough to make up for it.

Because as overdramatic as they are, the heavy scenes in this series make one hell of an impact. This series shies away from nothing to prove its point, and this can be seen as early as episode two. As overblown as some of the scenes are, prisons in the years following the second world war were a pure hell, and the creators really succeeded in getting this effect. One guard in particular is just a complete and over the top nutcase that is both easy to hate and love, especially as this guy develops.

Speaking of development: the biggest reason why this series is so memorable is because of the huge amount of time it spends on showing the characters growing up. The entire second half takes place a year after the lead characters leave prison, and try to pick up their lives again. We get to see their troubles fitting into society, chasing after their dreams, and dealing with the pasts they grew up in. Whereas the first half of the series is dark, depressing and hopeless, the second half is bright, heart-warming and hopeful. Throughout both, the themes of friendship remain a red thread throughout the entire series, and together the two halves, as different as they may be, form an excellent whole, leaving behind a very well developed cast.

Whether or not you’ll be able to enjoy this series depends entirely on how you’ll be able to stomach the overly sappy and dramatic nature of this series. Especially psycho guard (as I’d like to call him anyway) will be… hard to swallow at times. It’s never going to be a masterpiece, and Madhouse has certainly done much better in the past. Nevertheless, for those who don’t mind there is a lovable and heart-warming cast, well thought out and planned plot and a great soundtrack.

Storytelling: 8/10 – The plot itself is really excellent: perfectly paced, makes optimal use of its 26 episodes, throws in plenty of twists and turns. It’s just the delivery that will tug your suspense of disbelief with how over the top it is.
Characters: 9/10 – Wonderfully developed, each character has his own strengths and flaws.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Average for Madhouse standards. Lots of still frames that do look quite pretty at times. The soundtrack is excellent, though.
Setting: 9/10 – A very interesting twist on “old versus young”, this series shines in portraying the lead characters’ attempts to fit into society, and the darker sides of the period after the second world war.

Death Note
Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji
Red Garden

Posted on with categories: Rainbow

Aww. What a heart-warming way to close off this series and the past half year of anime. Really, the creators resisted the urge to force in some last-minute overly ambitious climax, and instead chose a wonderful little story that brings perfect closure to this series. In one way it’s a bit of a shame that Heitai didn’t get the time to show off his arc, but Mario undergoing surgery in order to go back to boxing, it fits exactly with the sappy nature of the series, and at the same time it was the perfect excuse to bring the focus back to An-chan. And we actually got to meet his mother, that was a very pleasant surprise!

The thirty percent success of the surgery of course did not matter in terms of plot: the surgery would be successful. The creators indeed wisely decided not to create any fake tension by dragging out the surgery scene. Mario just enters the surgery room, and then we cut to a boxing match. That’s not rushed, that’s perfectly paced, and I love the guts of the creators to actually do that. Instead, the thirty percent was mostly meant to show Mario’s resolve to continue with An-chan’s dreams: even if it would have been one percent, he would have gone with that chance if it meant a chance to continue An-chan’s dreams.

Overall, yes the second half of this series was sappy. But at the same time it was just incredibly heart-warming. It’s in the same way that the first half was melodramatic, yet incredibly intense. It’s the combination of the two that really made this series memorable, though. The direction for this series is flawed, but by god, the story is so well rounded that it perfectly makes up for this.

This show really got me thinking on how to evaluate first impressions, because I nearly didn’t blog this show… in favor of Kaichou wa Maid Sama (yeah). After the first episode, I remember not seeing any future in this series because of the hopeless overacting of this series. That overacting of this series was indeed the reason why this show never had the chance to become a masterpiece, but in the end it brought enough to the table to make up for this. That’s something I’ve got to remember when doing the upcoming first impressions of the new Autumn Season.

I can blog seven new series, and yet there are ten shows that I’m really interested in covering. There’s only one show that I’m guaranteed to blog (Letter Bee), plus the series that you’re going to force me to blog (only two days left on that one, by the way!), leaving me to choose five series out of eight potentially very interesting ones, which makes choosing the ones that will be the most fun to blog, rather than failing to see potential between flaws.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

Boku wa Imouto ni Koi Suru, KissxSis, Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne—!!

Yes, I really dislike how incest is handled in anime. Even leaving the above-mentioned series aside, it feels like you’re less likely to find a brother and sister in anime who aren’t in love with each other and in eight out of ten cases, it’s completely pointless and shallow and handled with absolutely no taste at all. There are exceptions, though, and Koi Kaze is just about the most notable out of all of them.

It really has built up a reputation over the years, and after watching it, I can really understand why. Right from the start, it treats is characters seriously, portraying them as actual people, rather than stereotypes. The protagonist is just a regular guy with a regular job, and the series portrays him as he falls in love with his underaged sister, without pointing fingers or trying to appeal to any kinds of fetishes or fanservice. Throughout its entire airtime, this series remains focused on just the development of the lead characters.

I was pretty surprised at how well this series made use of its time. Its premise is simple, and because of this it really could use its thirteen episodes optimally to flesh out and develop its cast. The story is slow-paced, but there are few really wasted moments. The dialogue is also down to earth and makes sure that the characters are able to really express themselves properly. Heck, even if it wasn’t for the controversial source material, this would have been an excellent romance.

It’s not exactly the material that will blow you away; what it is is a consistently well written romance that despite its slow pace and controversial topic is actually very accessible and easy to watch due to its short length. My main gripe with it was that the most dramatic scenes were a bit too angsty, lacking something to counter-balance them, and no matter how badly the upcoming “Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai” and “Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne” anime end up butchering the themes around the relationships between brothers and sisters, this series can definitely hold its head high with the wonderful way in which it portrayed its characters.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Doesn’t mess around, and instead is fully focused on telling its story, with a slow yet calculated pacing.
Characters: 9/10 – The best at portraying incest. And even without the incest, this is a wonderfully developed romance.
Production-Values: 8/10 – There is one single episode that really has some incredibly detailed and inspired animation. The rest of the series is rather inconsistent, but does justice to the characters.
Setting: 8/10 – Solid, especially in exploring how the characters think that their actions will fit in, though apart from that it really remains in the background.

True Tears
White Album
Asatte no Houkou

Posted on with categories: Nurarihyon no Mago

Recap. Dammit, this show is one huge tease. Every time it promises to get better, it finds some excuse to delay this to next week. Of course this is making me hungry to find out in what way this series is going to end up becoming awesome, but this is getting rather annoying…

Nurarihyon no Mago was the series that was looking forward to the most for the past summer season, and in that way it ended up disappointing me a bit. I’m a huge fan of its director, Junji Nishimura, but in order for him to really shine, he really needs to be working on an original series in which he really can let his creativity loose, and not being bound by some sort of source material.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 27 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

The past summer really had its quantity problem, but there still were three series that really stood out to me as a breath of fresh air that may have significant flaws, but also have a delightful execution. These series are Shiki, Kuroshitsuji II and Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin. While Shiki had an incredibly solid execution and Kuroshitsuji got better and better as it went on, Occult Gakuin instead was just all over the place, which had both its advantages and disadvantages.

This series promised to be a fast-paced adventure series through the occult with its excellent and very witty first episode, but instead it turns out that it’s built around several two-episode arcs instead, focusing more on its characters while developing its plot only in the background. In Occult Academy, no episode really is like the other, with the result that you might be expecting a fast-paced action episode, only to get a bunch of episodes that focus more on the quiet type of storytelling.

On the bright side though, you’ll never know what this series will focus on next, and the episodes in which this series really goes all out were without a doubt the best episodes I watched during the entire summer season. The producers got some of the most amazing staff to write for some of the episodes, ranging from the director of Michiko e Hatchin, the director of Mouryou no Hako and Aoi Bungaku’s Hashire Melos to the writer of Noein and Birdy the Mighty Decode. There are thre episodes in this series that are so well written, portrayed and animated, that simply their presence makes this entire series worth watching.

Now, as for the rest of the series, it does have some balancing issues, and some other episodes fail to entice any excitement, and could have been cut from the series easily. The series itself spends a bit too much of its focus on developing Maya as a character, that it forgets about the other parts of the series. Because of this, some parts are rushed while others just take too long, on top of their lack of creativity compared to the better moments of the series.

Despite the balance issues, the plot does come together quite nicely in the end, though. All of the major questions get answers quite nicely and used to bring in some very interesting twists near the end. And really, amidst the countless of series that don’t seem to have any ambition, Occult Academy really tried to create something interesting, creative and diverse. It’s set up pretty much guarantees that you’ll be disappointed in one way or the other due to the lesser episodes, but for me it had enough to make up for it. I have quite a few issues with this series, but really: if those issues were fixed then this would have been a serious contender for the best series of the year and it will be awesome if more series would try to follow in this series’ footsteps.

Storytelling: 9/10 – The writing ranges from average at worst to absolutely fantastic at best. When it wants to, this series can be truly excellent at building up, but there are times in which it doesn’t have enough creativity in its script.
Characters: 8/10 – A very solid cast, but considering the premise of this series, the creators could have eliminated some overused cliches, and they could have done more with Maya’s character considering the amount of time that was put in her development.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous and creative animation that really brings the characters to life.
Setting: 8/10 – Explores the occult from all over the world. Very interesting as a kaleidoscope throughout the supernatural, though never really goes in-depth.

Michiko e Hatchin

Posted on with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

Okay, so this turned out to be an ending that I both loved and hated. Let’s just get the bad part over with first:

– Okay you discovered that the real Nostradamus Key was a dimensional time-rift created by Bunmei meeting his former self. The most logical step is now to get Bunmei out of that time-line as fast as possible in order to make the chance of him running into his child version as small as possible, NOT to just wait a day, invite younger Bunmei INTO THE SCHOOL, and just hope that everything goes well.
– Everything seems lost, the aliens have arrived, the world is about to go to hell, and here Bunmei comes, grabs younger Bunmei’s spoon, suddenly gets his powers back and blasts the aliens back to their own time-line. Where the hell did that come from?

Those are the only complaints I have about this final episodes, but dammit they’re pretty big ones. The entire story was rounded off so well before especially the second point comes, and here this series decides to end with a Deus ex Machina… I’m really wondering why the creators went with that plot, out of all possible things.

Nevertheless though, I also loved this episode as a final episode of this series. I love the entire irony behind Bunmei’s part in the series, and how he actually didn’t get to have a happy ending. You’d expect something over the top, after we just learned that that witch of the previous episode was not the Key of Nostradamus, and yet this episode was incredibly quiet with an actual climax of just one minute long (with some pretty neat animation, by the way). Throughout the entire airtime, there was this slight atmosphere of panic about what was about to happen and what was about to end. This series has already proven that it’s excellent at building up, and this episode proved that once again when it built up to the point in which Bunmei would meet his younger self.

I also liked how at the end, we saw the focus shift back to Maya’s father, which was really a charming way to close off this series. Despite the weird choices made, I do consider this episode to e in my top three final episodes that we got to see this season, alongside Kuroshitsuji II and Giant Killing: all of them tried to do something very interesting in order to close themselves off, and came with interesting twists and unorthodox pacing.

Overall, even though things could have gone better for this series, it did solidify me as a fan of A-1 pictures. This series looked consistently beautiful, and a few of the episodes were really masterfully written and laid out. Like all of the previous Anime no Chikara series, it had its flaws: Sora no Oto couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, Senkou no Night Raid’s lead characters needed acting lessons and Occult Academy had its balance issues. Nevertheless, really appreciate all three of them and what they tried to do, and Occult Academy is my favourite so far. I’m not looking forward to the next installment due to Shinbo and all, but I really hope that this timeslot isn’t going to end there because there definitely is potential.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

Sekirei… has its problems. Most notably revolving around the well endowed bosoms of all the females that gather themselves around Minato, the male lead. It’s obvious that its premise is partly there for the boobs, but alongside that it does pull off something that just about every fanservice show is missing: an actually interesting plot.

The first season was plagued by having to actually set up its partially awful premise, but in the second season things come a lot more together. This series still pulls a few deus ex machina, the most notable being them suddenly changing the freaking gender of one of the characters and the pointlessly moronic antics of the main villain, but the overall storyline does get better and better, and especially the last arcs succeed quite well in their attempts to tug at your heartstrings. For all its faults, this is a series that does know how to develop its cast of characters.

It’s also interesting how Seven Arcs managed to significantly improve the animation budget for the second season. Especially the second half of this sequel has quite a few beautifully animated fight scenes. I mean, the entire series has really improved throughout its run so far.

Even at this point, the story is still nowhere near finished, but at this point I can’t say whether or not a third season is going to come in two years to wrap up the story. This second season mostly finishes the introduction of all of the characters, it rounds off the basic back-story behind the entire premise and it concludes a number of side-stories. It really made the franchise a lot more solid, but a third season really is necessary to delve into the essence of this story because regarding the core of the series, all we got was a bunch of vague hints here and there. I’m not going to recommend this series until it becomes clear whether or not that third season is going to come, but either way this was a pleasant surprise.

Storytelling: 7/10 – The excessive focus on fanservice and a few Deus ex Machina hold this one back, but overall it’s a lot more solid than the first season.
Characters: 8/10 – If you get part the premise of all of the characters, they’re actually pretty good and well developed here.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Surprisingly well animated fight scenes here, the rest of the animation is also pretty solid.
Setting: 8/10 – The biggest improvement over the first season. A lot of time was spent on making the foundation of the series more solid, and it works quite well.

Futakoi Alternative

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Sengoku Basara

This season’s prime time series was Sengoku Basara’s second season. And… it’s quite an interesting action series.

At the start, I suspected that this series would consist out of a string of action-oriented episodes. Instead, this series has only four or five episodes that are really focused on action. The rest of the episodes all put their priorities on dialogue and build up. Instead of containing a long string of epic action-scenes, this series aims to only contain a select few of them, and attempts to make those as epic as possible.

And partially, this worked. Episode six contains without a doubt the single best action I have seen during the past three months. The rest of the action episodes are also completely over the top, but a lot of fun to watch due to their contrast with the more quiet but very manly build-up episodes. This balance is far from perfect, though, because especially the second half spends too much time building up and too little on the actual substance, and the build-up itself also isn’t perfect. In the end, the action itself isn’t worth it to sit through so much build-up and this series could easily have been cut down to ten episodes in length.

However, this sequel is a much needed improvement after the rather lackluster first season. Events are a lot more interesting to watch, and the action scenes themselves are much better portrayed now. The story this time is a lot more focused, and there are a lot less annoying characters. It also helps that the characters made good use of 24 episodes in order to flesh themselves out, and so even the rest of the cast is a lot more interesting to watch. It’s still a series that’s completely over the top, but that has really become part of its charm without ending up cheesy.

It remains a really well produced series: the animation is consistently smooth and detailed for a television-series, especially with Production IG’s trademark style of character-designs. Albeit unbalanced, the dialogue itself is very well written, the music can be really awesome when it wants to. It’s not the next Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, but nevertheless I really enjoyed this series.

Storytelling: 8/10 – When it wants to be, the action really is epic and really well delivered. There’s too much build-up though.
Characters: 8/10 – Much better compared to the first season; the entire cast consists out of bulky and manly men, but they’re used well within the action and dialogue.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Especially the money shots are a sight to behold with great poses and combat animation. Consistently smooth and detailed graphics overall.
Setting: 7/10 – Makes absolutely no physical or historical sense. Even though it’s “loosely” based on the sengoku era, it could have used this better.

Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
Seirei no Moribito
Jubei-chan’s Second Season

With the fourth episode, Vivid Strike seems to have crossed an invisible line that makes it more like the original Nanoha shows rather than Vivid. The kind of brutal beatdown delivered by the co-protagonist and the build up to it is something quite alien to a normal SoL/Sports anime show.
Ep. 4 of Tiger Mask was a lot better than the last 3, quite a hyped fight that was a full 6mins long. Will continue watching in hope of an awesomely long final fight.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
Going back to the fanservice topic, its very easy to complain about it in anything but then something actually comes along that actually does it for you. I mean I always say that I don't watch a show/movie for its fanservice elements and stick with pictures on image boards, but then I ended up seeing a film where I actually got something out of the fanservice while watching the film its.
Kaiser Eoghan
The oujia prequel was competent genre fare, the director cared about the characters and every now and the built up a decent mood. Although jump Scares are there . And I always appreciate a horror film having a mean spirited ending. One of the rare cases where the young actors do well in a horror film. The pace is a bit uneven, rushed and a bit laggy .
Kaiser Eoghan
In the sense of how messed up/especially bleak those two episodes were.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was the sense too with both those episodes of "Jesus...I wasn't ready for that...."
Kaiser Eoghan
Though the first episode of the first season and the third episode of season 3 are very hard to beat. Adding to what I thought of s3 ep3 I felt that one hit me on the same level as s1 ep1 did so.
Though in previous seasons I generally only really liked 2 out of the 3.
@Kaiser, though the previous seasons where only 3 episodes long and you enjoyed 3 out of 6 in this season. So yo essentially get the same amount of enjoyment as previous seasons.
Kaiser Eoghan
Based on my comments, it looks like I had a mixed reaction to the third season. Three out of six, but the great was was great and forgives it but I still feel that there was more of a consistentancy in quality in the other seasons. I enjoyed every story in seasons 1 and 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
The final episode felt like a movie all on its own, I'd have gladly watched another thirty minutes of it, ending was a nice punch in the gut.
Just finished black mirror season 3. I hear people basically complaining that it's not as strong as the previous two season but I disagree. I really enjoyed this and this is a show that deserves much more episodes. Personal favorite is between shut up and dance and hated in the nation. Worst I thought was San Junipero. Overall thought each episode was interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
On the upside I loved black mirrors fifth episode, I'm a sucker for war/action-dramas and I particularly liked the tech in this one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah this is impossible for me to sit through, the romance part is also rather dull.
Kaiser Eoghan
Eh, this fourth episode is plodding and trite, feels like a bad, poorly dated 90s film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Third episode also instilled a great sense of paranoia.
@Kaiser: thanks for that mate. I have too much to say for Flipflappers but to put them all in coherent flow is goddamn hard. And like I said I still fell I left many details out: that gung-ho potato or Yayaka and the twins
@Friend: jugding from the last convention I went to, people loved Re:Zero customs (Emilia and Rem, Ram were highlights. Or you could try RWBY characters (I for once love to see someone cosplay Pirrha Nikos or Velvet Scarlatina)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Didn't care much for new black mirrors second episode, then again I'm not really the target for that story. The third episode while a bit heavyhanded and predictable was suspenseful, nasty/mean and I liked that about it, did in 50 minutes what some thrillers fail to achieve in two hours.
Holo is a good one :0
Materials aren't a problem at all for the most part, except for anything too crazy like working in brass. I'd prefer it to be characters I'm familiar with.
Does it matter to you that they're from shows that you like, or are you just in it for the challenge?
@Friend Aidan has some good ones there. I'd also give the cast of Akame ga Kiru a shot, I don't like the series but it has a lot of neat character designs.
I was thinking simple as I didn't know what kind of materials you got on hand. I was also thinking of Holo from spice and wolf or Kino from Kinos journey either.
Mm, Tatsumaki might be not challenging enough to design for. Doesn't Shiki simply wear either a coat or Japanese kimono? I do work in set design and not in character prop design, but I'd love to try something that would let me reasonably challenge myself.
@Friend, Spit balling here but Tatsumaki from One Punch Man? I know the costume for that one would be simple enough. Or maybe Shiki from Kara No Kyoukai?
*I don't want to do anything too complex for my first try, but I also don't want to do anything boring. Boring would be a character like Rukia or Celty. Any ideas?
I remember talking about this with Emma/Kaiser before, but has anyone here gone cosplaying at an expo before? I thought it would be neat to try designing my own costume and try something else beside drawing on a computer.
@Kaiser, I am up to episode 4. 3 has been the best one so far.Though in all these episodes I pretty much figured out the twist from the get go. Still this shows always tends to get you thinking.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think the roles/identity thing with flipflappers, at least with the protaganist does fit in well with adolescence.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I've only seen the first episode so far. I felt the acting was intentional and reflected the satire Brooker was going for on the shallow nature of society. Bleak as ever but gloriously grotesque.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario:Good in depth reviewing there Mario of flipflappers episode three.
Good god this first episode of black mirror is hard to watch. I know exactly how it's going to turn out but it's just so damn painful to watch.
Well, tbh up to where I've seen there's not much explicit yaoi in yuri on ice, only a lot of fujoshi fuel.
@Kaiser. thanks for the torrent. Gonna blaze through this today.
@Topgavin, as someone who watches a metric ton of anime I am rather surprised at that estimate that 90% of it contains Yuri.
My god those gay scenes in Yuri on Ice are hard to watch for me. Wonder if this is how it feels to be a girl watching 90% of normal anime nowadays.
okay, Flip Flappers episodic review was up. This is my lengthiest weekly review so far and I still feel I missed a lot of points. Damn you Flip Flappers
Kaiser Eoghan
You have seen the light, not needing to know everything thats happening to enjoy something ^_^
Kaiser Eoghan
I've given some consideration to reviewing that oujia film followup.
Whether you see one or the other is entirely up to your preferences, so it makes no difference to me which is worse. I have gotten very tired of generic character types, but again that's just because of the things I decide to regularly follow.
I will say if it must come down to either unnatural dialogue or unnatural character types, at leas the character type is speaking their own words and not the words of the script writer.
Or was that a black and white fallacy? Maybe it was a little of both.
@Realjustified, K-Off wasn't agreeing with me. That's a Moving the Goal Posts logical Fallacy but well I will answer regardless. Honestly it's preferable to have neither. The big mistake you are making here is that you are putting down a condiction that a show must have one or the other. But both cartoons and anime can have both. I just think it's a lot more prominent in cartoons than anime.
Like, having read hundreds of harem manga over the years, a majority of the ultimate love interest always happens to be the first girl the protagonist meets.
Wait wait wait wait. Aidan and K-Off. I get that dialogue in cartoon can seem like it was written by a script writer, but at the same time, lots of anime have characters whose sole purpose is entirely scripted. The whole spectrum of "deres" and everything. What do you think is worse? Unnatural dialogue, or unnatural character types?
You guys should really go fuck yourself, it's a solution and it's nothing short of great!
You guys should really watch the first 4 episodes of Bungo, it's a prequel and it was nothing short of great!
omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
@Aidan I'm good, I'll stick with Working.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose I'm slightly envious of professional critics somewhat.
Sometimes you're just meant to experience the ride you know. I don't watch those explained video anymore because after all it's just one guy's opinions.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
And I mean people who art professionals or students.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I'm just unsure of something, how many people watching "arty" stuff are able to pick it up on their own. By looking up an "explained video" or "explained essay" to get it, am I copping out?
Kaiser Eoghan
I feel like I've begun getting on board with the european art stuff but am really only scratching the surface with the Chinese and that stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
And find myself missing whats going on sometimes.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll admit I do find it frustrating, that even though I can like art films, emotionally connect at times, appreciate the visual techniques and admire them for being so different without looking up analysis by people far smarter than myself I honestly feel lost sometimes as to the meaning.
@Kaiser: Apichatphong Weerseethakul's films are so otherworldly and spiritual that I wouldn't dare to call them "dreams" anymore. Check out his "Uncle Boonmie", "Syndromes and a Century", "Cemetery of Splendors". he has such singular vision that just watch and experience his films are rewarding enough
@afgm: well, if we really go over-analyze it, bunnies can represent desire for example ^^
like eating sweet snow is so randomness for me
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