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.

Suggestions:
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.

Suggestions:
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.

Suggestions:
Baccano
Michiko e Hatchin
Kaiba

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.

Suggestions:
Futakoi Alternative
Code-E
Sola

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.

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

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
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