Posted on 31 October 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



It’s rushed, it’s full of coincidences, I know that. But damn, this episode was surprisingly good here. I really want to praise the creators here, that even though they had to cut god knows how much from the manga in order to make this fit into just one episode, they still managed to make it work. This show is indeed visibly flawed, but it also avoids the single biggest pitfall for any rushed anime: the fact that the plot doesn’t come together.

This episode just kept building up its tension, right from the start, and within these 20 minutes, they really did lot here: they gave the doctor a good backstory, it fleshed the rest of the cast, especially Gotou tried to squeeze a bit of personality as much as he could without getting in the way of the story or the rest of the characters, we know a bit more about the new intern (who despite his whining is surprisingly useful), and most importantly: we now know who Yakumo’s father is. That certainly added a neat twist to this series.

The atmosphere was particularly wonderful in this episode. That’s where it really helps to be a Bee-Train series, because that soundtrack definitely kept me to the edge of my seat, and it worked great with the storytelling and the pacing of the series. This balance is probably the thing that makes this show works so well: the characters and story are very well balanced in each episode, and the creators make sure to give all of them equal time to show themselves off. Its definitely not the most solid series, but to me it does feel like everything comes together like it should.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, OVA Impressions



Now that we’re two hours in, it’s gotten time to start asking in what way Gundam Unicorn sets itself apart from the other Gundam series. Unfortunately, I’m hard-pressed to find that answer…

I guess that the closest that this episode came to standing on its own was the point at which it showed that random Zeon family. It of course already was established that the Zeon aren’t completely evil by the very first Gundam series thirty years ago, but this episode did give a bit more depth to that by showing the people that the Zeon are trying to protect.

But apart from that though… the main problem with Unicorn really is its completely generic story, setting and characters: it’s all just “been there, done that”. There’s yet another boy who through some loophole in the rules gets his hand on the most powerful mobile suit known to man, there is yet another romance with a girl from the enemy (and hey! she’s even a princess this time), there again are strings of mecha battles. It’s all just too safe.

This all could have been forgiven with the right characterization, but… the lead character. I mean, most Gundam leads do fairly well to stand as solid characters, but this guy is completely generic. It’s not really the fact that he’s able to pilot a really powerful mecha: there are tons of other anime who do that. Instead, he just feels so out of place. Here we have a serious story about the war between two big fractions, and right there in the middle there’s this brat who keeps whining because he just discovered that people die in a war. Because of him we had to listen to strings of cheesy morals, instead of focusing on the story.

The same happened to Char here: in Zeta Gundam he was pretty interesting, in the first Gundam he was an excellent villain, but here, he looks like he lost all his charms, relying just on his cool-factor. The action also was something I got bored with. It’s the exact same type of action that we’ve been seeing over and over again. It was indeed solid, but the only thing that set it apart from all of the other Gundams was its airbags and the way in which the lead character vomited in his suit. okay, that’s admirable, but that’s not something you want to advertise yourself with.

Gundam Unicorn is solid, I’m not going to deny that. I did like the parts that didn’t feature the male lead. Minerva thank god shows how to not be annoying as a teenager, and also all of the adults knew exactly in what kind of situation they’re in, and they stand behind their choices. There was this interesting bit of intrigue going on, and at least most of the adults here felt very natural.

But that’s the thing: it’s got such a solid base here, and it doesn’t use it. This is Gundam: it’s got a huge graphics budget here; its direction is very solid and thought out; it’s got all of the ingredients for at least a solid story, grounded in realism. It just feels like it put its ambition in the wrong places.

Of course, it wasn’t bad either. I really hope that this episode was simply building up, so that we can at least get to see something interesting in the final episodes. I first want to see that before I’ll buy that, though. My biggest hope right now resides on that box. If that gets to be more than just another McGuyver, then this could still get interesting.
OVA Episode Rating: 7,75/10

Posted on with categories: Star Driver




After watching all of the shows that debuted this autumn season, I’m really sure now: Star Driver has by far the best direction and animation, and it’s one of the few series that didn’t blow its biggest budget in its first episode, and actually kept a consistent quality throughout all its episodes. And the great thing is that the animation here really helps in bringing the cast alive: some of the inbetween animation in this episode was really smooth and detailed. At that level, it really adds something extra to the characters.

Also, this episode was weird. There was this school nurse who used her cybuddy to make herself as young as a teenaged girl again, but the weirdest thing was that she was a huge raving fangirl for bishies. It was quite ridiculous, but the creators actually managed to make it work. It again managed to make this nurse into a great character to follow, even though she would have been obnoxious in most other series with a sub-par direction.

Also, regarding the battle: this episode convinced me: they’re going to be great. So far, none of the battles really looked like the others. Takuto managed to win in every one of them, but again: him winning every battle he’s in is trivial in a series in which there’s so much else going on. I liked how the creators actually went with the twist in which she is defeated by her own fetish and carelessness.

On top of that, you can also see that the creators aren’t forgetting the rest of the cast here: while the first few episodes focused on these relatively minor characters, they were also busy fleshing out the main cast, and this episode was no exception. That’s the sign of a good episodic series. I’ve said this before, but I really don’t mind an episodic series when it’s done right. If they can use these stories to build up the series as a whole, it’s only going to make the series better.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure




This series really is unbelievable: it uses some cliches that have been beaten to death in the mahou shoujo genre by now, and yet it manages to avoid all of the pitfalls. Now that the power-up arc is finally over, I really have to say that I’m delighted with how it turned out: it was built up really well, the characters knew the disadvantages, and yet they also knew that in order to beat Dune, it really was a power they needed. In the past two episodes, Dune finally arrived close enough to earth to start sending his own monsters, and they’re a complete league apart from what they’ve faced so far.

And then there are the transformation scenes: this series just has so many different ones, and they’re all completely gorgeous in their own ways. This episode again was a visual orgasm: it may not have had the incredibly smooth framerate of Cure Sunshine’s transformation, but it was incredibly varied, especially for a transformation scene (usually they just have one theme and stick with it with really not a lot of creativity). There was so much going on in that scene, and it looked really gorgeous. If I had to give a criticism, it’s that CG hand of Blossom: it’s here where the CG stood out a bit.

As for Cure Blossom, the creators did a wonderful job on her, accepting her shy side. I really love the choice of having her take much longer than the others, because it made her character stand out even more, even though she had to do the same as everyone else. It’s the difference in which they all managed to accept their flaws that really made this a wonderful arc.

I’m so curious to that final quarter of this series now. I mean, when was the last time that we had a random story in this series? The past number of episodes have all had their purpose, so I really doubt that this show is going to close off by going back to the desatorians. What I really want to see here is 13 episodes of quality time, dedicated to fleshing out and developing Dune and the people from Sabaku. That really would be awesome.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Here’s the thing with this season: when you look at the top, it’s quite lonely: there are very few series that have the potential to become a classic. There’s perhaps one, maybe two, out of all the shows that debuted that really has the potential to become an amazing series. This season however shines with the rest of its series: for an autumn season, there really are very few series that are just crap or completely uninspired. The largest majority of the series here have their charms, do something right and are worth watching. Because of that I consider this to be an average Autumn Season: it’s better and more varied than Autumn 2007 and Autumn 2009, but it also gets nowhere near the standards set by Autumn 2005, 2006 and 2008.

#31 (new) – Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls – (4/10) – Without a doubt the worst show of the season. Everything about this series is just bad, save from the fact that they used a nice filter over the art style. The acting is terrible, the plot makes no sense, the action is badly written, the comedy is dull, the fanservice is pointless… stay away from this one. Dropped.
#30 (39) – To Love-Ru – (5/10) – Okay, so it’s not Xebec’s worst, but To Love-Ru still sucks. It’s shallow comedy, built completely around fanservice and nothing else. The characters are still paper thin and cliched. I really see no hope for this one. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Iron Man – (5,25/10) – I really hope that the other Marvel anime aren’t going to be of the same standard here. Iron Man is completely stupid and uninspired.
#28 (new) – Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai – (6/10) – I really tried here. I gave three episodes a chance, and I couldn’t get through all of them. Beyond the ridiculously un-subtle premise, the subject matter of this series is also milked completely dry: yeah, they’re otaku, yeah, they bitch and moan about their hobbies, yeah they have to visit Akihabara as soon as possible. I don’t care at all about it, nothing really feels fresh and nothing stands out. Dropped
#27 (23) – Hakuouki – (6,5/10) – Here I also tried, but ultimately this show is just so dull and boring that I just couldn’t take it anymore. This pretty much is Studio Deen with its bishies again, in one of the worst possible ways. Dropped
#26 (new) – You Are Umasou – (7/10) – Harmless yet ultimately uninteresting kiddie show. Dropped
#25 (31) – Sora no Otoshimono – (7,25/10) – My interest in this series died when we saw the stereotypical leader of the Synapse. This show started off funny, but the latest episodes didn’t even get a chuckle out of me. The episodes just consist out of Tomoki harassing a bunch of random girls, getting beaten up afterwards, and that gets old really fast. The gimmicky fanservice also has seen its expiration date by now. Overall, this series is wasting too much time; the back-story could have been good, but it spends way too little time on it. Dropped
#24 (20) – Super Robot Wars OG – (7,5/10) – This… is a soap opera. Or at least, that’s my impression without having watched the first season. It does have some interesting parts in its plot, but the drama is shallow and superficial.
#23 (27) – Arakawa Under the Bridge – (7,5/10) – I can understand how this is supposed to be a series about a bunch of nut-cases who all together hang out under a bridge. I actually like that, you can do some interesting things with that. My biggest issue with this series is just that I don’t find it funny. The humour is all just either predictable or downright cheesy. I guess I sort-of like the characters and all, but it’s this humour and delivery that makes it really hard for me to even sit through this series.
#22 (new) – MM! – (7,5/10) – What a surprise, this show actually takes itself seriously. Really, I completely expected this to be some shallow comedy based on a simple gimmick and fetish, but instead curing deep and heavy traumas turned out to be a major theme of this series. That’s not to say that this series is perfect, though: it’s way too dramatic and uses shallow plot devices to create its drama. The episode around the science girl also took way too many liberties.
#21 (new) – Yosuga no Sora – (7,75/10) – This show is smut; the fanservice is just… way too much and obvious here. But the thing is, that for once we have a teenaged romance that has some actual balls: it doesn’t shy around the fact that teenagers can have sex, it knows how to flesh out its characters and create a good cast. It definitely sets itself apart from all of the other shows of its genre, but it does so in both good and bad ways.
#20 (25) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,75/10) – The Orsola Aquinas arc isn’t the worst, but still below average for Index’s standards. Strange fanservice aside, its story just isn’t as interesting as some of the other Index arcs, despite the nice twists that it included.
#19 (new) – Togainu no Chi – (7,75/10) – It’s not the fact that the romance is gay here that turns me off, but it’s the way in which it’s so incredibly forced and awkward. Togainu no Chi suffers from bad acting, but the atmosphere itself is quite good.
#18 (new) – Fortune Arterial – (7,75/10) – Episode four really showed it: this series looks bloody generic, but the male lead stands miles apart the other harem leads in the way he managed the sports festival. Finally we have someone who isn’t a complete pussy or the most generic guy you can think of. This series still has its problems, like lots of cheap fanservice cliches (“oh! I tripped and landed with my breasts on you!”), and overall this definitely isn’t the most exciting show, but it holds potential. ‘
#17 (new) – Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt – (7,75/10) – Most of of Panty and Stocking failed to live up the action of the first episode: episodes 2, 3 and 4 were mostly dull comedies with outrageous fanservice jokes. Episode five really impressed me, though. It was completely disgusting, but I loved the animation of its second half. That really was not something I expected from this show. And to think that it was pretty much one big middle finger to all of the people who bitched about Gurren Lagann’s fourth episode, back in 2007.
#16 (new) – The World God Only Knows – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing: this series pales in comparison to some of the other shows this season. It’s far from the best parody and I don’t really see this paying off as a deconstruction yet. The series works as a character-study, but it’s far from the best this season as well, and Elcea doesn’t really help to make things better here.
#15 (new) – Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – (8/10)

Yeah, the lead characters’ voice acting is bad, the title screens are really annoying (hey, they’ve been in just about every Shaft Series for ages), but to be honest: this is my favourite Shaft series since Natsu no Arashi. It’s just an unambitious little slice of life series, without all of their usual pretension and instead they really focus on the characterization here. The chemistry between all of the different characters works, none of the characters really feels cheap or rushed. So yeah, I’m impressed. It’s really been ages since I’ve had this with a Shaft series.

#14 (22) – Yumeiro Patissiere – (8,25/10)

This show is a bit childish, but damn, when it wants to deliver it packs some good drama here. Setting up your own shop here and making it profitable, that’s something I really did not expect this show to have the balls to do and despite the obnoxious American stereotypes it’s working out well.

#13 (14) – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – (8,25/10)

It’s getting better! The past few episodes really showed an improvement for Denyuuden, with both the plot and characters becoming more interesting. The question now remains whether they can keep it that way.

#12 (new) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)

Solid. At the moment I don’t have a lot to say about this series, but it’s definitely interesting to watch the basics of the manga creating process.

#11 (12) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8,25/10)

I’m very intrigued in the way that the creators of the anime have managed to add so much content to the story of the manga without making it feel out of place at all. It really made the cast and plot a lot more solid this way.

#10 (new) – Otome Youkai Zakuro – (8,25/10)

Okay, so while I did not end up blogging this series, I do want to say that it’s got some excellent characters. The past number of episodes did a great job in giving some depth to them. The main reason I’m still a bit iffy about this series is the unambitious story, which really is much of the same: I don’t sense enough potential for this series to set itself apart from the others. It’s really good at what it does, though, make no mistake about that.

#9 (new) – Tantei Opera Milky Holmes – (8,25/10)

This show is killing me. Perhaps it’s not the most solid comedy, but it did make me laugh the hardest of all of the shows this season. It just keeps on coming with jokes and parodies of the moe and the kaitou-genre. It’s completely over the top in just about everything it does, but nearly all of the jokes are fresh and funny. Definitely the biggest surprise for me this season.

#8 (new) – Shinrei Tantei Yakumo – (8,25/10)

It’s not up to par with Bee-Train’s usual standards: it’s too rushed for that. Yet, this fast pacing of trying to stuff as much as possible within just 13 episodes does have its charms. The plot moves fast, and yet all of the stories do deliver when they need to. On top of that, the soundtrack is still excellent, the overall plot is intriguing as heck, so I’m quite happy with how this series turned out so far.

#7 (7) – Katanagatari – (8,5/10)

Now that we’re nearing the end, I have to say that everything is coming together quite nicely. Togame and Shichika developed into a great couple, the dialogue has my attention from beginning to end. I’m just a bit worried about how we don’t really know much about the final bosses, but apart from that, I’m glad I stuck with this series.

#6 (new) – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume – (8,5/10)

A very effective comedy: the jokes are fresh, varied and hilarious. Especially Squid Girl is a wonderful character in the way that she acts, is animated and delivers her antics with a great comedic timing. There are a few repeated jokes here and there, but apart from that this has been non-stop hilarity.

#5 (new) – Kuragehime – (8,5/10)

I’m really surprised at how well the chemistry between the different characters turned out here. The energy behind them is consistently addictive, and the creators are especially good in toying around with emotions.

#4 (4) – Shiki – (8,5/10)

We didn’t get to see much due to Noitamina’s bloody hiatuses, but what we saw was a completely desperate turn of events here that I really didn’t see coming.

#3 (new) – Star Driver – (8,5/10)

Hell yeah, this promises a lot as the spiritual successor of Utena. The characters are diverse and well fleshed out, and on top of that it’s one of the very few series that really comes with something new here. It’s flamboyant, of course, but that really gives it a unique charm.

#2 (5) – Letter Bee – (8,75/10)

Well, the first season really ended at the moment where Letter Bee got really good. Letter Bee has really gotten amazingly charming over the past month, with both top notch episodic stories and a main plot that gets more and more intriguing. Definitely one of the top shows of the Autumn Season

#1 (2) – Heartcatch Precure – (9/10)

Heartcatch Precure… actually surpassed itself yet again this month. Really, it’s based on a very flimsy premise, and yet no scene was wasted this month: it was chock full of character-development, and in between there was the school festival arc, which was wonderfully portrayed. Seriously, it’s been ages since a mahou shoujo took up my first place in these rankings, but this was one well deserved.

Posted on 30 October 2010 with categories: Letter Bee



This episode was definitely meant to thicken the plot here. At first it seemed like another delivery from Lag, in which he had to deliver another letter full of lies, but the creators cleverly used it as a device to introduce a couple of new characters. Who are pretty much immediately a delight to watch and a worth addition to this series’ cast.

Reverse really has something for collecting skilled ex-bees here. First Gauche, and now it also turns out that one of the most skilled Bees of thirteen years ago is working on his side. This episode also gives us the first real hint beyond the nature of the Akatsuki that the government is really pulling off stuff behind the scenes, but again in this episode we just got to see the side of the Reverse.

Either way though, as characters they’re really charming. Valentine as a veteran Bee works really well: he’s mature, has experienced a lot and forms a real contrast with Lag. His dingo meanwhile is one of those lovable tough guys who gets the formula right with a neat balance between charms and temper. I especially loved the scene between him and Wasiolka.

Also, this episode again spoke of this mysterious “head bee”, but really: what do we exactly know about that? All we know is that it’s the best of the Letter Bees, but we’ve never seen it: neither Gauche or Valentine, despite being the most talented around due to rumours, didn’t manage to become one. So what does it take to make a head bee anyway? And who is the current head bee?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Bakuman



Next episode should promise to be interesting. This episode showed Akito and Moritaka create some sort of pilot, now they have to convince the manga publishing magazines that their work is good enough. That should really prove to be interesting. This episode established this series as a “hard work”-anime, which has definite potential. Moritaka is a perfectionist, and you can see that Akito is getting caught up in that.

I also like the story they came up with here, with the clones and all. It would be interesting if Bakuman would also end up talking not just about manga artists, but mangas themselves. Moritaka’s art… it looks a bit cliched, but at the same time it’s very detailed, and he’s definitely a talented artist.

The romance at this point feels like comedic relief, though. Normally I don’t think I would have minded so much, but I know the standards of Kenichi Kasai, and I know that it just pales in comparison to some of his other works. It’s not exactly bad, but it’s just… there. Not really interesting, and all I’m doing during those scenes is waiting for the focus to fall back on the manga creating process.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



This week, I would like to rant a bit. On the downright lazy job that Madhouse did on Iron Man. They’re usually known for their imaginative and well thought out series. They had the freedom to really go anywhere, and yet they chose this. There’s something wrong with just about every part of this series apart from the music. The soundtrack really is wasted on such a series.

Starting with the visuals. I know that it’s shallow, and I usually only dismiss character-designs when they’re too generic. But dammit, when your main character looks like a freaking GOAT, that’s where I draw the line here. Tony Stark, a suave businessman with a ton of experience, looks ridiculously stupid, and the rest of the cast also doesn’t look much better. It really looks like a cheap outsourced series where no real effort went into making this look good, where most of the action is simply CG because it’s easier to animate.

Not to mention that the action scenes themselves don’t make any sense. This episode took place in space. You know, an open world with nothing in the way. And yet this episode dared to pull off the fact that you can hide from the vision of your enemy. TWICE.

As for the plot, I usually don’t have anything against episodic series. Iron Man is a bad example, though: it’s just a string of random unrelated cases that Iron Man has to solve. Only one of them really dealt with Tony’s past, for the rest it was all filler: nothing showed anything new about the characters, nothing really fleshed them out, and nothing really built up to the rest of the series. If the stories themselves were good, then this could be forgiven, but… they’re crap.

This episode… what exactly where the bad guys thinking? They put in a huge amount of money and effort in order to launch a parasite satellite that somehow can manage to beam into people and have them cough up blue blood. Leaving aside how ridiculously impossible this is, what baffles me the most is what they want to achieve with this: people end up coughing blue blood, and yet when they’re brought to a hospital and rest for a while they turn out completely fine. I mean, if I were to design such a thing, I’d at least make some kind of beam that is… you know… deadly and stuff. On top of that, they didn’t even hit the guy they meant to hit, thanks to Stark’s radiation shield. I mean, there are the kinds of stupid villains who screw up during a shoplift, but wasting so much money on something completely pointless. That really takes the cake here.

We’re five episodes into the series now, and what do we really know? The reporter still is as annoying as ever, Tony likes to go after women and his assistant is perfect in her preparation. Oh, and that there are some guys after Tony’s life for some reason. There’s no depth, no effort at all is spent asking “why”: we’re just spoonfed everything without much of a coherence between anything. I mean, I can forgive a cheap budget, but you can write a good story with any kind of budget: there are no excuses for such a sloppy script.

And the worst thing is… that we haven’t even gotten started yet. Is it known at this point whether or not Wolverine, the X-Men and Blade will also have the same staff here? That would be pretty disastrous. And it’s not like series based on comic books are doomed to fail here, because there have been a number of good examples throughout the years: Ultraviolet, Batman and Witchblade put down very respectable anime that stood on their own, and even beyond that there are the Animatrix and Power Puff Girls, which also translated very well to anime. And yet, we first had Heroman, and now this. I’m not really sure what went wrong in 2010, but they all just feel so dumbed down and safe, taking so little risks. It’s a bloody shame.
Rating: — (Bad)

Posted on 29 October 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




It has really been a while since I watched a movie that had an introduction that was as good as King of Thorn’s. It is a movie with a ton of action, and yet the first 20 minutes have none of it whatsoever: this movie takes a great deal of effort to introduce its plot, build up the setting, and introduce its characters. Especially the latter, had my utmost attention, even though it’s not like we learn an awful lot about them. It’s just the build-up to the inevitable point in which all hell breaks loose that was perfectly executed, well timed, and had a top notch atmosphere. It really took its time to let everything progress naturally, and only afterwards it really went all out with its action.

Regarding the action and the rest of the visuals: it’s a very stylish movie; especially the landscapes are gorgeous, but the action too is well paced and keeps you to the edge of your seat. The only problem was that Sunrise lacked the budget to fully animate them, so at times they randomly switch to cell shaded CG; yes, even for the characters. Let’s just say that it looks out of place.

If this was a movie that was only carried by its action, I really could recommend a ton of other ones that did a better job. But really: King of Thorn does have an excellent story that keeps it together, and really makes it much more interesting than your average movie. Usually with these kinds of movies, they try to stuff too much into their story, or fail to stuff in anything at all. King of Thorn however is an hour and fifty minutes long, and fits this exactly. The plot is neither too big or too small: there are plenty of interesting plot twists, it has a detailed and imaginative concept, yet this concept isn’t so big that it shoots itself in the foot. Everything really gets the chance to play out naturally, with the help of perhaps a bunch of plot devices here and there to keep things on track.

The characters really made the first twenty minutes my favourite parts of the movie, but even during the rest of the airtime they remain interesting. This movie doesn’t really take its time to give them a lot of sides, or make them feel realistic, but it does develop the main cast effectively. Especially the ending: it’s a really good one, especially for a movie and I liked it a lot.

The movie does have a number of cliches, that’s something it doesn’t escape from. However, for every cliche that this movie uses, it also comes with a very neat idea. But really: this is how an action movie should be done: a plot that prevents it just from turning into a string of boring fight scenes, a cast who can carry that plot, enough scenes without any action in them whatsoever that don’t feel like mere time filler. Oh, and a stunning soundtrack. That also really helped here.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Excellent build-up, decent action, well paced and never gets boring, excellent ending.
Characters: 8/10 – Spectacular they are not, but they are solid and developed enough to carry the movie.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Again, movie standards: it had its gorgeous frames, but the action are sometimes done in 3D cell shaded CG. The soundtrack is great, though.
Setting: 9/10 – Creative, and just the right complexity for a movie of two hours.

Suggestions:
Mobile Police Patlabor – WXIII
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
First Squad

Posted on with categories: Armored Trooper Votoms - Phantom Arc, OVA Impressions



I must say, that I’m really impressed with how this OVA turned out. This isn’t just there for its storytelling or action. Instead, it’s all about its plot. It’s very unlike what we’re expected from Ryousuke Takahashi at this point, yet it has the elements that are so typically his style, like the large focus on religious mumbo jumbo.

As expected, this episode went to Quent, or at least Quent’s twin planet. And finally we get a bit more of an idea what this OVA was meant to be about: the so-called Child of God. A kid who is supposed to be Wiseman’s successor. It’s interesting that it’s going to take the place of Chirico, who somehow was chosen by Wiseman himself as the new ruler. Could it be that Wiseman knew about his demise and the new birth of the child of god, so he at least tried to pick his own successor?

In any case, with this I can really see enough material for the upcoming three Votoms Movies. The Gen-ei arc and the Pailsen files were really meant to tie everything together: the Pailsen files filled in the missing details of Chirico’s past, while Gen-ei hen prepared for the real conclusions of the franchise: the three upcoming movies. On top of that, it really feels like an omnibus, which contains a bit of everything that we’ve seen so far: mecha action, the comic relief, the religious focus, the politics and of course the way that each of the episodes revisited the four arcs of the TV-series.

Either way, it’s great to see so many great series-based OVAs this year: we’ve had Darker than Black, xxxHolic Rou, Black Lagoon, Yozakura Quartet and all of them really had the guts to be different and go with their own direction and focus.
OVA Episode Rating: 8,5/10

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AidanAK47
Yamishibai really has gone downhill since it's excellent first season. Second season was alright. Third season was ruined by them relying on visual horror drawings that were more silly than scary. Fourth season is being ruined by the way that the stories don't seem to have a punchline. All the endings have been just let downs.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never expected this but, there's going to be an animated adaptation of Castlevania of all things.
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
Total users: 21

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Little Witch Academia – 06[The Fountain of Polaris]

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