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
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
Anonymous3065780
What Zombieland does have that Ore doesn't is better animation and Miyano hamming it up. But that's all it has going for it at the moment.
Anonymous3065780
You have a few "ha ha look at this" moments scattered here and there like how Ore episode 5 was basically one big middle finger to the nature of anime production, or Zombieland's Tae Yamada. But the parody value from the first two episodes is all but gone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its in part my own fault , I jumped the gun in the first half of episode one then all goodwill I had for it died after the first couple of minutes.
Anonymous3065780
@Kaiser Same here. Very disappointed that Zombieland is going down the same route that Mahou Shoujo Ore went down: basically becoming what it purported to parody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every isekai that pops up in recent seasons, I simply just ignore it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On another note, surely I'm not the only one who dropped zombieland saga? I'm not alone am I?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I've never seen an episode of konosuba or rezero and refuse to , no game no life is a series of two halves, I barely watched any of gate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the only one I can say I care about is Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I think I've done a fairly good job at avoiding the modern isekai thing, I've never actually cared enough to sit through one fully beyond the first season of log horizon, 4 seasons of zero no tsukaima. Other than that I've seen maybe 7 episodes of sword art . Never seen a single episode of overlord and won't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm also glad their mentioning stuff like the peoples will, the historical assassination of the Russian emperor. I enjoy the tidbits of historical reference for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I don't think the animation is as good as it should be in the anime adaptation and its not as violent as the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I am up to date on the manga, the post first scene chapters that have caught my attention most have been Edogai, the big scenes in the prison and that bonnie and clyde duo.
Anonymous3065196
@SuperMario Are you watching GK s2? Any thoughts on it since you aren't covering this weekly?
Anonymous3065196
I think I laughed more from this than most of the comedies airing right now thanks to these bizarre situations and characters they're introducing.
Anonymous3065196
The anime is now covering the parts in the manga where things get a lot more dramatic, and a lot more weird and oddly hilarious.
Anonymous3065196
Wonder if anyone is still watching Golden Kamuy? We're way past the embarrassing CG bear.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A polar bear isekai exists.
AidanAK47
@Anon, it will be after in another world but a polar bear but before the gyarus in another world Isekai.
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Nobody could care about world building not really making sense or being inconsistent if it didn't have the grimderp parts that cause internet flame wars
MaskyAtPublicComputer
So it goes back to what I said: GS at its core is about (at least seemingly) about cool gorey tactical action with some character study of what its like to be broken person like GS is, but rape stuff just kinda ruins it for most people and it doesn't handle subject well
MaskyAtPublicComputer
gear doesn't rust and break down
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Anyhoo, I might remember wrong, but didn't GS purposedly use lower quality gear that has danger of breaking down in middle of combat? Thats kinda what I meant with "apparently using average quality gear is too dangerous", especially since its kinda hard to believe goblins could repurpose armor used by humans for themselves. I'm completely okay with him not using magical gear since D&D wise magical
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Like, you can't be like "Aha, characters think they are in JRPG, but its actually tabletop rpg oh wait no, it still follows realistic logic instead of tabletop rpg rules"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
See, barbarians in D&D don't wear armor because they are stronger without it, sure they have lower AC, but they have lot of health so they can tank a hit. So showing barbarian adventure dying in one hit because they were stupid enough to not wear armor just comes across as "So wait, is this supposed to be realistic, tabletop rpg or JRPG or what?"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
@AidanAK47: That IS actually part of reason why I said GS' author isn't thinking it through with world building. See, I actually think world being gods' D&D campaign does actually explain lot of details about how things don't make sense and it does fit with GS being D&D inspired, but that is another example of how GS is inconsistent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps not the strongest episode of honda-san, but the golden kamuy and Brazilian guy bit made up for it.
Lenlo
I might give it a watch after Kaze Fui finishes and write that up, just for you then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime kind of feels a bit live actiony, which I know sounds confusing to hear, what I mean is the character designs.
Anonymous3060338
I'm very interested in doing a comparison between the anime adaptation and the live-action adaptation of Kaze ga once the series concludes next year just because these are two different mediums adapting the same novel. I would really like to know what they had to change or cut to get it down to 2 hours, compared to this two-cour series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*storytelling
Kaiser-Eoghan
Old films are particularly a coin toss with the huge build up model style of story, the writer needs to be really good to connect all the dots in the last act.
Lenlo
To me, delayed plot points like that are the best, but also dangerous. If it sets it up and pays it off well, its fantastic. However if it falls short, then its a long promise that failed to get fulfilled and it stings.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not a fan of these exposition last minute backstory then the character dies just afterwards "development".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kaze has created a mood and rhythm thats justified its slow burn, by gradually unveiling rather than one giant infodump, the series seems more natural for it.
Anonymous3060338
A pity that some folks are going to drop Kaze ga just because they're not getting immediate catharsis from seeing Haiji getting what he deserves according to them. We're still likely going to get reasons for his actions eventually, but it will take a while especially when we haven't seen the consequences from the rest of the team. Patience is a virtue.
Anonymous3060338
However, I doubt this sentiment will be shared with most anime viewers who are too used to expecting immediate payoffs because of the episode amount leading to a need to rush through developments.
Anonymous3060338
You know, with most adaptations being required to move quickly to adapt source material from the manga/LNs just to fit in 12/24 episodes, seeing a show like Kaze ga take its time with the episodes it has as a novel adaptation is kind of refreshing.
Lenlo
@Anon, I havnt seen this weeks episode yet, but I am hoping the same. Haiji needs a bit of a reality check. I like him, but he has been very manipulative so far
Lenlo
Yup! I am a fool who keeps covering long shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond Kakeru's story, I think I'm invested in Kings one aswell. Due to how easily relatable it would be for most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't aware Kaze ga was a two cour series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't read the light night novels, only some of the manga adaptations, is the "its a game of the Gods" thing ever followed up/developed on later in the light novels?
Anonymous3059830
And perhaps show some vulnerability from Haiji, since it seems like other people are getting the impression that we have to sympathize with a manipulative liar and con artist. Granted, I don't think Haiji is exactly that. It's stupid to pidgeonhole Kaze ga's characters under sweeping generalizations.
Anonymous3059830
I'm kinda hoping that during Kaze ga's next episode, that most of the team ends up underperforming during the track meet aside from Haiji and Kakeru. It would show just how unready the team is for the marathon.
AidanAK47
If we are really gonna dig deep into how the GS world functions the big question is how the hell they manage names if everyone is named after their class.
AidanAK47
On another note Masky, part of the game like nature of the world of Goblin slayer is because it literally is a D&D campaign between the gods.
AidanAK47
And I told you lot that it was going to be popular right? Why are you surprised?
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's not the reason he uses lower quality gear. With the amount of goblins he's killing any higher quality weapon would be rendered useless and he doesn't require anything fancy to kill goblins.
Lenlo
Exactly! I loved both of those series as well. I love series where tactics are involved, instead of just yelling louder and getting stronger. Some old Naruto fights had this to, though that fell apart in Shippuden.
Anonymous3059351
@Lenlo - Something like Yuyu Hakusho or Hunter x Hunter were they made a plan for attack through the episode and then do it?
Lenlo
For me, the appeal of GS was, excluding the rape, the attempted realism of the combat. I was hoping for a sort of guerrilla warfare against the goblins esq series. Where a protagonist wins via tactics and knowledge, instead of typical shonen raw power. Sadly that has fallen off a bit since episode 1.
Masky
Thats kinda what I meant though, it wouldnt' be as notable if GS didn't try to be "realistic" aka you know how whole first episode is about how longswords suck in narrow caverns and such. It kinda draws attention to stuff that doesnt' make sense
Anonymous3059351
Even Mirai Nikki was at least bat shit insane on how it played fast and loose with its shock value just for the sake of having a twist.
Anonymous3059351
Still aside from the shock value and the memes I don't get the appeal of this particular series. And I'm saying that as someone who liked Hellsing and Elfen Lied and the shocking parts of Evangelion. And to me I think this isn't as blatant, manipulative or even that edgy. Might just think the intend is perverse but it just hasn't build an atmosphere as let's say Attack on Titan.
Anonymous3059351
I agree there's something off when one puts more thought in what the author intends than what the story does. Because like sexualization and violence is all about how you frame it. The manga I think has more male gaze towards the situation than what the anime has shown, because on one the depiction is centered on the victim and the other at least cuts more towards the attacker.
Anonymous3059351
@Masky - If you think about it. Monsters in fantasy setting rarely are put in depth. How does their populations work? Why several live in dungeons? Beasts, animals and spirits are usually put in the same group.
Masky
Like, Goblin Slayer's wholse speculation about goblin hatred for everyone else being cycle of revenge thing kinda becomes weird when you realize "wait a sec, they can't breed on their own, so even if adventurers never attacked them, wouldn't they still attack villages?"
Masky
Like, if you check the interviews with authors, it seems like only reason he actually chose to include goblin rape was to make checklist of things that make them really horrible/horrifying :P So without really thinking about "is this good idea to include", which kinda pops up lot in the work where author really didn't think "does this make sense"
Masky
t and realize its really dumb logic to increase your chances of dying because you don't want goblins to take average quality gear :P
Masky
Thats my point though, the whole goblin rape thing makes it harder to suspend disbelief because 1) it really clashes with actual tone of the work 2) there are other logical problems with GS. Such as Goblin Slayer's logic of "I use poor quality gear because I know I will one day fightnig goblins so I want to avoid giving them good quality gear" is type of thing that sounds cool until you think a bi
Anonymous3059208
Willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe something surreal; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.
Masky
Heck on point 3, why the frick side characters treat the world like it is jrpg world. Like, why is there armorless shirtless barbarian character in setting where they can die from one spear to the chest, it doesn't make setting world building wise for that character to have survived to be high ranking adventurer in first place
Masky
I mean, let's face it, in world where goblins like that exist 1) why the heck would they have reputation as harmless pests, they wipe out entire villages 2) what kind of governing body would either let villages be destroyed by "pests" or let villages they can't guard be established 3) why the heck wouldn't all adventures use helmets in world that doesn't follow jrpg logic?
Masky
Anyhoo, my opinion on GS is that it really should have avoided goblin rape thing because it makes people take the show more "seriously" which makes it hard to justify it being popcorn movie level world building.
Masky
Do note though, that over use of rape IS one of things bad about Berserk :P
Anonymous3059052
@Lenlo - Yeah according to Crunchyroll Goblin Slayer has been seen across several places. Being the only unanimous anime I've seen in their infographics. https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/11/05/crunchyroll-reveals-fall-2018s-most-popular-anime-by-region
Lenlo
I also don't care that much. I read Berserk. Rape Horse is a meme in that community. Really, Berserk's trolls did it first. The only reason no one got upset with Berserk's trolls in the anime adaptation is because no one was still watching when it got to that point
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