Posted on 31 January 2011 with categories: Level E




Oh my god. This episode was completely different from what I expected, and yet it continued this series’ streak of awesome episodes like it was nothing! Heck, there was very little comedy in this episode, and it really tried to tell a serious story, and it worked like an absolute charm here! Why the heck did this brilliant of a manga take this long to get animated?!

The thing that immediately sticks out: the graphics in this episode are absolutely amazing. The visual effects are incredibly imaginative and there are a ton of different ideas that looked absolutely gorgeous and that had had no intention at all to look conventional. I mean, holy crap: this is how you make a show with a tight budget! It’s also the contrast with the graphics of the previous three episodes that makes the graphics of this episode stand out.

Also, the story: from out of nowhere, it stars four random high school students with no hint whatsoever from the lead characters. That takes balls there, especially this early on in the series. What’s also great is that the creators pretty much created four distinctive and interesting male characters here: they feel unlike many of the other high school students that we’ve been seeing in anime and they’re completely away from any cliches. The dialogue and characterization is excellent and down to earth.

The episode basically revolves around those four guys as they witness an alien killing a young girl. The story of this alien was also really excellent and tragic: the case of an alien who eats the females in order to reproduce. It made for a really tense climax. All in all it was a brilliant episode…

And the irony is that that moronic prince came up with it! Oh, lord that anti-climax at the end just sealed the deal here. Usually whenever a character comes up with a story it’s pretty lame, but to create such a good scenario here… the creators really showed that this guy is a genius by not portraying him as a terrible storyteller.

I absolutely love David Production at this point. I mean, they continue to go right against the current trends, and they continue to animate stories that make you wonder why the heck nobody else had taken them before, and give them really worthwhile renditions. Ironically, they also don’t seem to care about the “pretty first episode”-syndrome in which creators put a lot of their efforts on the graphics of the first episode as a means to draw people in: first there was Bantorra with the ugly CG boat of episode 1, and now too: the first episode of Level E wasn’t really anything special in terms of graphics, but this episode looked utterly gorgeous.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: OVA Impressions




So, in the end Houkago no Pleiades consists out of four five-minute episodes. You can find the youtube links here. For those who don’t know, this is basically an anime, animated by Gainax and sponsored by car producer Subaru. I have no idea why Subaru found it a good idea to advertise its cars to otaku, but apparently they saw an unexplored market here.

In any case, Houkago no Pleiades pretty much is an experiment in visuals. Gainax gratefully took the budget that Subaru provided to them and just tried to create something interesting looking here, at the expense of inserting a bunch of strange car references here and there. And granted, the action scenes have some pretty visuals and animation. At this point it’s definitely mission succeeded.

In exchange though, the story and characters are all pretty bad. The creators really did not put any effort into them at all: the story is just there to show the interesting visuals and it makes no sense whatsoever, while the characters are all just shallow cardboard cut-outs. By far the worst part of this ova is the parts in which this OVA thinks that it can actually get some drama out of them.

So yeah, this is pretty much a one trick pony. Watch it if you’re looking for some nice eye candy. Otherwise you can give it a pass. I will say this, though: for a car commercial, it could have been much more blatant. The Subaru-references are all kept in the background and we don’t even see an actual car appear during these past 20 minutes. But seriously… brooms that make engine noises?
OVA Episode Rating: 7,25/10

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



The Break Blade Movies are slowly getting better. The emphasis still is on slowly, though. After this third installment, I’ve still seen too little to really recommend it, but it’s not like the other movies will be doomed to this as well, but at the same time it also introduced a few plot points that I really wonder whether they will work in the rest of the story.

The third movie is the first that actually uses the build-up that the previous movies created, and especially Cleo makes good use of it, with a large portion of this movie devoted to her. This movie overall was quite good in getting the viewer accustomed to most of the side-characters. At the same time though, it still didn’t really solve the problem of its male lead: he still is one of the least likable of the series. This movie just didn’t have as much of him as the previous two, and it was particularly interesting when he wasn’t involved.

The action scenes also were pretty good in this movie, but they weren’t as well animated: there were a few strangely placed still frames, and they did not look as polished as they were in the previous two movies, but the choreography made up for that.

In the end though, I’m still missing something at this point. It fails to stand out in what it’s trying to do and the result is a series of movies that do have some interesting portrayal of warfare in mechas, but too little to make it really worth watching for three hours so far.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Solid, but nothing really attention-grabbing. Should have tried harder.
Characters: 8/10 – The characters make progression in this movie.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid, but nothing special.
Setting: 8/10 – It’s simple and therefore well portrayed and relatively believable.

Suggestions:
Gasaraki
Yomigaeru Sora – Rescue Wings
Mobile Polkice Patlabor

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Before I start with this summary, I have an announcement to make. I already told this in the shoutbox, but tomorrow I’m finally going to say goodbye to my sutdent life and start my new job. What this means for this blog is that I’ll still be able to cover twelve series a week, but I won’t be as fast as I used to be. Especially expect entries on busy days to be released, because I can only make posts in the evening now. I’m also going to stop trying to give a post to every obscure OVA out there (along with DVD specials that I don’t have much to say about), so I’m just going to keep with the major ones that get released, like Black Lagoon and Gundam Unicorn. I will try to follow all of the major movie releases though, but again: expect delays there.

This season is a very interesting example of quality over quantity. It’s small, there are hardly any series that carried over from the previous season and there are six series that I really don’t want to waste my time on. What remains though, is pretty darn good. Especially the best of the season really surprised me here with a solid execution for just about every good series. There is a ton of potential in this season, only held back by the fact that there are way too many series about teenagers.

#23 (new) – Rio – Rainbow Gate – (4,5/10) – Rio is terrible, but it’s so bad that it’s good. The best was episode three, but after that the fun quickly died and got monotonous. Dropped.
#22 (new) – Oniichan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne – (5/10) – They’re brother and sister, but they’re not actually blood related. Ooh, we’re edgy now. At least the execution isn’t as ludicrously poor as KissXSis, but do we really need more series like it?
#21 (new) – IS ~Infinite Stratos~ – (6,25/10) – If there is anything I don’t like, then it’s a series that’s devoted to nothing but dull harem hi-jinks. I tried to keep watching for a bit longer, but I gave up at the point where the spoiled brat suddenly completely changed character and went from tsundere to just badly overplayed dere. Dropped.
#20 (new) – Beelzebub – (6,5/10) – Beelzebub is being adapted by someone who is notorious for his poor adaptations. I really don’t want to waste any time on this, and when it became clear that the second episode was just spamming the same jokes over and over again with poor acting and jokes that fell flat and weren’t built up properly, I tuned out. Dropped.
#19 (new) – Freezing – (6,75/10) – A pretty good start, but it couldn’t keep this up for me. A big part in this obviously is due to that male lead who is beyond clingy, but it’s pretty much the entire cast that doesn’t really seem to know where it wants to go. Dropped.
#18 (new) – Cardfight Vanguard – (6,75/10) – Granted, for a series that’s solely made to sell cards to kids, it’s not that bad. It’s incredibly cheesy, though. You can feed an orphanage for a week with the corn that it produces. Still, the monster designs are pretty decent. They could have done worse. Dropped.
#17 (new) – Dragon Crisis – (7,75/10) – The big problem with Dragon Crisis is that it’s ridiculously cliched. I’m willing to overlook this for now though, because the execution is pretty good. The characters are well portrayed and acted (albeit rather annoying at times), and the dialogue is nicely written. And the good soundtrack and animation of course also help.
#16 (new) – Gosick – (7,75/10) – With Gosick, I dislike the small picture, but I like what’s going on in the big picture. The different mysteries all feel like they are solved way too easily with pretty poor build-up, but when you connect them they seem to be hinting to something deeper. Another problem is that none of the characters really caught my attention so far yet, but we’ve still got 20 episodes left, so anything can happen at this point.
#15 (new) – Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – (7,75/10)

Hmm, the tricky thing with Zombie was that it had a very good first episode, and then episodes 2 and 3 failed to live up to that. There is still plenty of potential on this one left, though. Especially if it’s indeed true that the drama will be as good as the cliff-hanger of episode three suggested.

#14 (17) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,75/10)

Unfortunately, I did find the Croche di Pietro arc to be the worst Index arc so far. Especially the way in which it ended with that anti-climactic deus ex machina sealed the deal that the entire story had potential, but was just a complete mess in terms of execution. I liked the Venice arc, though. It was very short (why are all of the good arcs in Index II so short?), but it was well built up and a lot more solid than its predecessor.

#13 (17) – Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season – (7,75/10)

Ack! It’s frustrating to see that there actually is potential for a good romance here, but the characters just refuse to develop themselves! Every time you think that they finally are going to get some progress in their relationship, they come with some sort of anti-climax. I really hope that that new character is going to be able to finally get things moving between the lead couple.

#12 (new) – Wolverine – (8/10)

It’s much, much better than Iron Man. Wolverine knows what it is, and delivers on that: simple but effective action. It’s got a good atmosphere and the action moves around enough to prevent this from getting boring. I’m enjoying the results right now, even though the acting is stiff and a bit hammy at times.

#11 (15) – Mitsudomoe – (8/10)

Something very rare happened here: a comedy sequel is actually turning out to be better than the original. There still are the bad parts, but they are really outweighed by the hilarious parts that are even funnier than the first season. Plus, the amount of misunderstandings has been toned down significantly.

#10 (new) – Showa Monogatari – (8/10)

The way in which it aired its first two episodes three months in advance is a bit strange, but Showa Monogatari is a good series with a down to earth portrayal of a normal family around the 1960s. It’s certainly good to see that the creators are attempting series like this again.

#9 (new) – Fractale – (8/10)

Fractale made the decision to flesh its characters out with rather annoying and moe antics. That makes some parts of it a bit hard to sit through, but it is worth it in the end. The story is definitely intriguing and I like how this show isn’t afraid to get really dark at times. Three episodes so far, and this show has to screw up pretty badly if I’m going to end up liking Kannagi more.

#8 (15) – Bakuman – (8/10)

Bakuman still is slow but solid, but things are definitely starting to happen right now. The characters have gotten more enjoyable to watch, we’ve gotten more in-depth with the manga writing business now that Moritaka and Nizzuma Eiji actually got to meet each other, and it finally looks like things are getting interesting.

#7 (new) – Yumekui Merry – (8,25/10)

Gorgeous artwork and direction, and I’m also enjoying the characters a lot. The main flaw of this series is that the main characters don’t have the most amounts of background or other thing that sets them apart, but it’s well built up and executed.

#6 (3) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

This month didn’t show the best side of Letter Bee, but it still was really good here, especially Gauche versus Lag was wonderful to watch.

#5 (new) – Hourou Musuko – (8,5/10)

A very solid character study. Hourou Musuko is the kind of slice of life series where the pacing is slow, yet a lot of stuff happens thanks to its huge cast. I especially like how the creators put life in the entire school and backgrounds, and the main characters themselves are also well portrayed and interesting.

#4 (8) – Star Driver – (8,5/10)

This is really getting solid here. The past episodes have continued to shift the themes and purposes of this series back and forth and gave a totally new spin to the cast of characters. We’ve nearly gotten to the parts I’ve been looking forward to the most.

#3 (new) – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – (8,75/10)

Well, you can definitely see that Shaft is working with a different writer this time. Madoka Magica turned out to be a great deconstruction of the mahou shoujo genre with a good script, a great style that at the same time doesn’t overtake the entire series, and some excellent twists along the way. Four episodes in, and this already is my favourite Shaft series since ef – a tale of memories.

#2 (2) – Heartcatch Precure – (9/10)

Heartcatch Precure had an excellent finale, and as usual it followed some tropes, wile averting others. It really worked out wonderfully in the end though, and it really is a shame to see this one go.

#1 (new) – Level E – (9,25/10)

I love this show. It’s looking out to be the best comedy I have seen in years. The comedic timing is top-notch, and the characters are all just lovable in their quirks, and at the same time they’re all away from the usual cliches that you see with alien stories. It’s absolutely hilarious and contains twists that turns around entire characters, time and time again.

Posted on 30 January 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Heartcatch Precure




In the first year after I started this blog, I personally was a big fan of the mahou shoujo genre (heck, my favourite series is one). Over the years though, this fandom became less and less. This mostly had to do with the genre stagnating: the mahou shoujo that got released lacked creativity, were all just poorly executed and never really took advantage of their formula to show some great characters. Heartcatch Precure broke this trend, and how! From the outside, it looks like just another Sailor Moon Clone, but within its premise, it does just about everything right here.

To start off with the production values: this show has better fights that most shounen series out there. The battles in this series are consistently dynamic and despite a huge amount of transformation scenes they never get boring or repetitive. This show excels both in hand to hand and long-range combat, and it looks ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS in the process. The animation in this series is consistently of a high quality, and always interesting to look at. Combine this with an awesome soundtrack, and you’ve got a feast for the senses.

This show also sets itself apart with characters that just are good, right from the start. Tsubomi and Erika are immediately very likable characters, and the entire series just focuses on portraying them as down to earth girls whenever they’re not busy fighting monsters. The characters that join and meet them are also wonderfully written and subtly developed throughout the series. Just about every recurring character has his or her chance to shine in this series.

You should note that this series does follow the classic mahou shoujo format. There will be a lot of episodes that are just dedicated to the characters running into people who have a problem, or are worrying about someone. Even here this series delivers though, because it consistently manages to portray these characters well and makes their problems easily relatable. Hardly ever does this show go for cheap ways to solve these issues, and here too things are kept wonderfully down to earth.

The main flaw of this series is that in the end, it does follow a pretty predictable formula, so expect to see the surprises in this show more in the fine details than in the overall plot. Having said that though, this show proves that you can do amazing things with that formula, and for every mahou shoujo trope that this series adheres to, it also subverts another one.

Another thing that might get on your nerves here is that this series really likes to use a lot of transformation scenes. Most episodes have around two to three minutes of them in total. The good thing though is that these are the best transformation scenes that I have seen since Utena. The animation in the series is already good, but in these scenes it’s five times better. Some of them are a true visual orgasm.

Still, what it boils down to is this: if you have yet to see the classic shoujo oriented mahou shoujo, but are interested in why people are raving about them, there are two series that I recommend: Cardcaptor Sakura and this one. Heartcatch Precure was exactly what the mahou shoujo genre needed and it shows the great things that simply an excellent execution and cast of characters can do to such a simple premise.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Dynamic, fun, childish but consistently enjoyable.
Characters: 9/10 – Both the recurring and the minor characters are all wonderfully fleshed out.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous production values and soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – Simple, but well fleshed out.

Suggestions:
– Cardcaptor Sakura
Mahou Shoujotai
Otogi Juushi Akazukin (Note that I would rate this one a bit lower if I were to watch it now).

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure




Ah, of course: this episode still had the final moment of our bad guy left: the point at which he increases in size and… holy crap is he huge!

In terms of physics it obviously made no sense whatsoever, but it really looked cool here. The finale mostly stands out in its eye candy, in terms of what actually happens, it pretty much ends like you think it would, including a bit of a deus ex machina that allows the four precures to grow huge enough themselves in order to be able to beat it. Not really a great ending, but it still was a very good one, simply due to the execution and the aftermath that followed afterwards, wrapping up the rest of the story quite nicely, plus we actually got to see Tsubomi’s new sister. I would have liked to see how Cobraja and Sarosina ended up as, but this episode gave enough hints that the two of them also ended up fine.

Now, Suite Precure. This episode indeed ended with a preview. One thing is for sure at this point: it is not going to be the visual orgasm that Heartcatch Precure was. To start, you should know the following:
– Heartcatch Precure’s characters were designed by the guy who also did the character designs of Casshern Sins.
– Suite Precure’s characters were designed by the guy who also did the character designs of Kaidan Restaurant. And this guy is also going to be the chief animation director!

Get what I mean? The result is…. ugh. The animation also doesn’t look as polished as Heartcatch Precure either, nor does the editing look any good.

The only thing we can hope for now is that the mysterious series composition guy actually knows what he’s doing, and that the director is up to the job. He did direct the One Piece Strong World Movie, but I have no clue whether he’d also work for a long series as Suite Precure. He was the episode director of three Heartcatch Precure episodes before, which were all pretty good and especially in the way that they focused on the characters. I really hope that he’s going to take that over to Suite Precure, because there still is some potential.

In any case, to get back to Heartcatch, it has definitely been fun following this series for the past year. It ahd a lot of mahou shoujo tropes, but had such a solid execution that those didn’t matter at all.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Star Driver



A beach episode? Of course, things wouldn’t be so simple. This episode was about 40% beach, and the other 60 percent answered a ton of questions, along with changing the entire set-up of this show, yet again.

Interestingly, this episode revealed that all of the seals had to be broken in a particular order. Interestingly, that makes a lot of the battles early on in the series much more like long-term preparations by the crux brigade: they were basically killing time while they were trying to find out where the heck the fourth maiden went. Wako getting captured in the first episode was nothing more than one of the members of the brigade acting for herself.

The badges meanwhile turned out to be fake emblems. Head probably used those at first, while he was trying to gather the ones with the real emblems. What does this mean for the ones who always used the fake emblems? I mean, in terms of combat ability they have become completely pointless now, despite how the entire series has been carefully building up their characters, and here they suddenly get swapped out by this horde of characters where far less attention went into.

One big mystery at this point is Sugata: I really feel like the creators are saving a ton of stuff for the last third of this series, and this king cybody has to be one of the major ones: this episode revealed that he also is completely useless now that the third phase is is activated. Plus, there still is the mystery of what makes Takuto so special: in the previous episodes he always miraculously was one phase above the others, but the new power he finds here is kindof vague. It’s in any case not the fourth phase, because then he’d permanently be a Galactic Pretty-Boy.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 January 2011 with categories: Mitsudomoe



And this episode is hilarious again. Seriously, this show is inconsistent, but that’s also part of the fun: this way you won’t know what to expect, which is definitely good for a comedy. This episode was mostly made out of random sketched, but the good thing about this episode was that all of them were pretty much different from each other. Again: unpredictability is great for a comedy.

And among these sketches were a number of great ones. My favourite was the one where Miku photoshopped a bunch of pictures of Mitsuba. There’s just so much wrong about that: the fact that Miku had been stalking and secretly taking pictures, to the way that she actually tried to make them into a ghost story. The best part was when it turned out that she ended up photoshopping Hitoha’s face on all these pictures. It was quite well built up and completely hilarious. I also like that the occult girl turned into a nice running gag here,similar to the ones that Gintama used.

The last sketch of the episode, the swimming pool one, was also a great one, especially when the creators kept toying with Hitoha’s death, accompanied by conveniently appearing violinists, only to be followed by a huge anti-climax when Futaba appeared. The ED that followed there was also priceless. It perhaps wasn’t as good as the custom ED of that one episode of the first season, but it’s still great to see the creators pulling this again, while not overdoing it with every single episode.

There also were a number of sketches that had their minds into the gutter, but I actually found them pretty funny this time. Especially the first one, which was wrong on many levels, but the fact that the same thing pretty much went on into the mind of all four of the girls made it hilarious.

And yet again: this episode avoided what was milked out the most in the first season: the misunderstandings. It did continue with Yuudai’s perverted techniques, but even there it built further upon it, instead of just repeating the same jokes. The worst part of this episode was for me the festival one: that was just the umpth time in which the creators tried to put some panties on Shinya, which has gotten really old by now.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Letter Bee



So apparently we’re now in anime original territory? Well, this episode didn’t feel as solid in the adventure department, but that may also be because if I got things right, the episode director of this episode was the director of Glass no Kantai… In any case, I’m glad that the creators are now already building up to their own ending, rather than doing this, say, during the final three episodes.

What I meant with that this episode wasn’t as solid as the others was that strange point of Aria fanservice that felt totally out of place for this series, or the way in which Nichi suddenly pulled another power out of nowhere(she can now even make wheelchairs), that conveniently located trap door for Nichi or that very badly animated horse carriage…

At the same time though, there was still plenty of good stuff here, most of it revolving around Gauche versus Lag. The scene in which Gauche pretty much tells him that he simply received a bunch of Lag’s memories is quite powerful, but at the same time we got confirmed that the letter bullet at least partially worked: if Gauche entirely spoke the truth in that scene, he would have been able to kill Lag easily.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Bakuman



This was another one of the very good episodes of Bakuman. The premise was simple: just stuff a bunch of mangaka into a room watch them for 20 minutes. It worked wonderfully and I loved how good they play off each other. Nizuma and Moritaka already were very different, but the creators add two more vastly different characters here, with varying amounts of experience.

This episode also touched upon the less than dreamy side of manga writing: if you can’t come up with interesting storylines or images you can very easily spend decades as an assistant. Granted, this is an anime so I guess that we are to assume that that 33-year-old guy is really old, but this episode did seem to suggest that most manga authors are fairly young. Is that a fair assumption, or are there also plenty of older mangaka around, beyond the successful ones?

I also like how this episode established that Niizuma wasn’t perfect either, and that he actually learns some things from the other characters. The dialogue in this episode felt quite natural, especially when Eiji went out of “airplane-mode” and started talking normally. This probably is the first shounen jump adaptation in ages that doesn’t have some sort of bad guy, and it really showed in this episode: nobody is really trying to be evil here, and instead they’re just being themselves.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
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.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

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