Posted by psgels on 3 January 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Eheh. Okay. I now understand why Cowboy Bebop is held with such a high regard. I’m really impressed with what a ridiculously solid series it turned out to be. This show has a rock solid direction that makes the most out of its very impressive budget. This series is another major example of how a good episodic series can be.

Cowboy Bebop feels like a journey you go through, along with the characters. Throughout the series, the characters run into many different situations and get to know new characters, and because of the episodic nature of this series, every episode is also different: some episodes are tense thrillers, others are action-packed, others go into mystery, others are comedies, then others delve into the pasts of the different characters: it’s all wonderfully balanced, especially in the second half. Even the finale just takes up two episodes, and yet it delivers a short, but incredibly sweet and memorable ending.

What really sets this show apart is the acting, however. It completely subverts anime’s tradition of overacting: every single performance with one notable exception (Ed) is filled with subtlety, and yet the creators are able to convey a roller coaster of emotions. If you really need overacting in your anime, you won’t like this, because the characters constantly play off of each other’s subtlety, even during the silly and action-packed parts. The relative coldness between the characters may seem a bit off-putting during the first ten episodes and this may be a bit hard to really get into the series at first, but in the end this makes them even more memorable than usual because of how down to earth and believable the characters are. And as for Ed… she indeed has the worst voice actress of the entire series, but even her character ends up memorable in a way.

The characters in this series feel alive: they’re completely dynamic, and you feel that there is much more to their pasts than they tell you throughout the series. In fact, none of the lead characters are related at all: they’re just a bunch of people who wind together as bounty-hunters on the same ship. Only when it comes up, they talk about their pasts and there are many notable details about their characters and pasts that never get revealed. You could call that a flaw, but I consider it an excellent way to flesh them out, especially in the way that the series keeps reminding us that these people have had their own lives before the start of the series.

With this series I also understand why Youko Kanno became famous. There actually hardly is any soundtrack in Cowboy Bebop, and when it plays it mostly stays in the background. But the individual tracks are incredibly good and varied, and sound unlike any other soundtrack I’ve heard. Vocals that are used are in fluent English and sung by some great vocalists.

To close off, this show also had truly excellent visuals. Especially the art direction and the designs of this series are very likely to be the best of its time: every single frame is filled with all kinds of imaginative stuff and junk in the background. The architecture is exquisite and every single design just blooms with ideas and creativity. I can point out quite a number series that may have had better action than this series, or less still frames. I can however think of only a few other series that had more visual ideas than this one.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Top notch direction and storytelling, every episode is diverse and well paced. One flaw would be that characters like coincidences a bit too much and that characters sometimes just “happen” to know where to go in order to prevent the story from dragging.
Characters: 10/10 – Some of the best acting you can get: subtle, yet incredibly expressive. Great chemistry, the cast really feels alive as the series goes along.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great and fluent animation. Some of the most consistently good designs you can get.
Setting: 8/10 – Pretty much the only part of this series that got aged during the past thirteen years, in the way that it inspired many other interesting science fiction premises. It still has many interesting ideas, though.

Suggestions:
Michiko e Hatchin
Mushishi
RD Sennou Chousashitsu

37 Responses

  1. Snowolf says:

    Yes! I’m so glad you enjoyed this anime. A lot of people consider it to be overhyped, but I personally think it lives up to it’s name as one of the classic animes. I also think Cowboy Bepop is one of the few animes who’s dubbed version is as good as, if not better than the original Japanese version. I really liked the ending, as..unique as it was. I could also say that despite not delving into most of the other characters’ pasts, it really still did an excellent buildup and truly fleshed out the characters and their relationships with one another. Thanks for reviewing!

  2. Matt says:

    Ah, i believe the 2nd anime i ever bought and i still watch it ever few years. I remember when it came on TV, such an amazing anime. I love the music, each episode was great, the character development rocked, and the plausibility of the setting being what could happen in the near future. This still ranks in my top 10 of anime, though the visual’s get lowered each year, sorry but if they did a digital remaster of this series, keep the voice acting, updated the visuals it would be the best thing out there.

  3. Guigas says:

    Ah Cowboy Bebop is really an awesome show, the OST is epic,(I started to like Jazz and Blues after this show and i have the complete OST on my Cellphone) and the stories are original and fun. This is one of the few shows that deserves all the hype and the title of classic (most of the overhyped series nowadays are just…not that good/overrated). For me CowBe is the 2nd best episodic series i’ve seen (Mushishi is my favorite) XD

  4. Lightning says:

    Glad you’ve also now enjoyed the greatness that is Bebop and it’s characters. :)

    “I also think Cowboy Bepop is one of the few animes who’s dubbed version is as good as, if not better than the original Japanese version.”

    Agreed it was one of the first shows that made me a dub fan, I’m also guessing the complaint about Ed’s acting was from the original Japanese as I felt she was a ton more endearing in the dub despite being just as “out there”, but again this show has probably one of the most iconic dubs out there since virtually every character’s voice just happens to fit crazy good :)

    I think the scifi western-bounty-hunter setting and the lack of “anime behavior” while still containing all the strengths of anime are things that really helped the series break out and as you said really makes the cast stand out even more than usual due to how they are acted throughout the series and how they play off each other and how naturally everything just happens from drama, to mystery to comedy episodes. It’s still fantastic how naturally all of the different genres just totally fit so smoothly.

    True Matt, the show still looks great and it’s amazingly remarkable how well it can still hold it’s own in both art and fluid animation given it’s age as a TV series not even a movie plus the Knocking on Heaven’s Door movie is a great vision of it with even newer animation as it is really the only part of the show that ages so a further remaster would be cool. :)

    Oh man the soundtrack…sooo good. A lot of it is still on the playlist even all these years later.

  5. kagura says:

    Cowboy Bebop is among the very first anime series I watched (it had a major role in dragging me into anime in the first place)and it’ll probably always have a solid place in my top 10. I’m glad you liked it this much, as I was afraid you might be of the opinion that it indeed is overhyped or something… though, after stalking your blog for quite some time now, I should’ve had more faith in your ability to recognize a good anime when you see one ;)

    Anyway yeah, for me it’s one hell of an amazing series with a bunch of memorable characters, great action and humor, some unforgettable scenes and probably the most impressive and mind-blowing soundtrack out there. Thank you for a great review :)

  6. Guitar says:

    I’m glad you’ve seen this awesome series, psgels. I myself watched this only in 2009. Episodes 5 and 20 were particularly awesome. Cowboy Bebop is one of my top 10 anime.

  7. Solaris says:

    Just notice how much is easier to rate 90 this old classic than many recent “good” shows. Does it mean something at all?

  8. Loz says:

    Shows like Cowboy Bebop are the reason why I love anime. They may really be far and few between, but isnt it great when you finish such a great show and are left feeling so satisfied.

  9. gandalf8 says:

    Finally! I’m glad you’ve finished this anime masterpiece. I think it fully deserves its status as an anime classic. Its animation, characters, setting, and soundtrack were all top notch, and it is also one of the first anime series that I totally loved the english dub(In fact I watched the first episode in both languages, and liked the english dub so much that I just finished it all with the english dub).

    Hope you’ll review the movie (Knockin on Heaven’s Door) soon.

  10. blah says:

    Please bear with me, this might be long.

    I’ve been waiting a long time (since mushishi) for psgels to review this anime and I have to say i’m somewhat disheartened at the lack of sheer fanboyism! Obviously every one has that one anime that they really love and want others to love as well. This was that anime for me.

    When I first saw this anime, I was obsessed with it. I would even say its the single most important piece of entertainment i’ve experienced. Cowboy Bebop is a hell of an anime to see as your first. Amazing music and just about all the style you can fit into an anime make this series something truly special. (especially apparent with the last 2 years of recent anime)

    Some of my favorite moments :)

    Ed’s dad beating up spike.

    Jet and Spike’s talk before he goes off to face Vicous.

    Ed and Ein off into the sunset.

    The first fight in the first episode set to Rush by The Seatbelts. The fight and supporting music is one of the most skillfully directed things i’ve seen. Everything about it is spot on.

    Episode 5. Ballad of Fallen Angels. Specifically Walk in the Rain to Green Bird.
    I truly have yet to see a more beautiful or affecting episode.

  11. Otaku Surf says:

    Cowboy Bebop is the show that pushed me into English dubbed anime. For the most part before I watched this show (and even now), I watched mostly anime subbed. It wasn’t until I saw Cowboy Bebop on Cartoon Network one day that I started to watch a few more dubbed anime and enjoy them. It’s one of a few shows that feels natural in English.

  12. jcb says:

    My most memorable moment is when Spike gets shot, he wakes up on his back and the first thing he does is light up a cigarette.

  13. sadakups says:

    This is the show that makes you wonder why Sunrise can’t make something this good anymore.

  14. synkronized says:

    By the time I had seen this series I had seen some anime. But my god this is what sold me on the genre.

    I know a lot of friends that don’t like anime at all but enjoy this series. That’s a testament to how it transcends being just another anime series. Other series may be more solid in specific areas but Cowboy Bebop is one of the few that really hits all the right chords. That’s why I’d hype it.

  15. Vanilla says:

    It’s weird. I was just watching this yesterday and thinking how I’ve never seen a review of it from you. What a great surprise! I’ve yet to finish it, but I’m loving it to pieces already. Great review as always.

  16. cubeman says:

    First comment I’ve ever left. I have to agree wholeheartedly with the guys promoting the English dub. I watch almost every anime in Japanese, this is the only one where I think the English is far superior. (And I have watched the whole thing through in Japanese just to check!)

    Love your site!

  17. Watcherzero says:

    While im really not a dub fan, I acknowledge this as one of the few good ones. I watched the series as it aired back in 99 and it stands the test of time even if theres some real anachronisms even then! (sure they were more popular in Japan but would people really still be using Betamax in 2022!!!).

    I guess we will have to wait and see what Keanu Reeves does with the live action remake.

  18. RollingCamel says:

    Excellent 2D, Zero CG–>WIN!!

  19. Roldan says:

    So are you gonna do the movie now, Psgels?

  20. psgels psgels says:

    Roldan: not now; later. I’m not sure exactly when, though.

    Rollingcamel: actually, there were a few bits of CG here and there, though. Most notably inside the gates.

    Solaris: I’m not sure what you’re talking about here. I really liked this show, but I can say the same things about shows as Yojou-han and Sarai-ya goyou.

  21. Solaris says:

    I’m saying that this Cowboy Bebop is indeed one rare unmatched reference for a lot of newer shows and should be used indeed as a reference for comparison.
    I’m also saying that lately few animes can be rated so high, even from the best ones. It looks like today’s standards are by far lower than when they made Cowboy Bebop.

  22. Thomas says:

    You didnt write why Ed ended up as a girl despite other mannerisms. They planned for Ed to be a boy (black haired one)- his model can be seen somewhere in first Ed episode on Earth. When the series was airied back in 1998, at the same time was also aired some hentai movie about 3 guys and girl traveling in spaceship. The similarities were striking, so they decided to change gender of Ed in last moment to even out the crew.

  23. psgels psgels says:

    Solaris: what are you talking about? Out of the season in which Cowboy Bebop aired, it also was the only show that I’d consider rating 90/100.

    http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?type=2&show=animelist&do.search=Search&airdate1=01.06.1998&airdate0=01.03.1998

    Beyond that there of course were other series that I really liked, like Sentimental Journey, Trigun and DT Eightron, but that’s pretty much like any other major season that we’ve had for the past years.

    Thomas: interesting trivia that I didn’t know about it. Even if I did know, though, I doubt that it would have been really appropriate to write in a relatively short review. ;)

  24. RollingCamel says:

    @ Psgels: Now you mentioned you are right, but thankfully it was trivial, I skipped the gates scenes and the start of ep 20 had CG buildings. However, all the vehicles were 2D superb-animation something I appreciate after watching Black Lagoon, Requiem of the Phantom (though the Ferrari was well detailed and animated), Blood+, Darker than black and loads of other good shows with badly detailed and textured CG vehicles.

    If they are using the same model through out the series then they should put some effort!

    Gasaraki had some sweet 2D animation too.

  25. Hunter-Wolf says:

    Glad you finally got to watch that classic .. always will be one of my top fav animes and also one of the very first animes i ever watched (after years of watching nothing but repeated episodes of Mazinger Z and Captain Tsubasa) … and i have to agree with everyone here .. the English Dub is just excellent (if not the best English dub for a jap anime i ever heard)… oh … Trigun English dub was quite good too.

    If you want to watch another marvelous classic Psgels i recommend Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex and 2ndGIG TV series .. both are stunning series (only flaw is the complex dialog in some episodes) .. but if you don’t watch it you are missing a lot (specially if you are a Sci-Fi/action fan .. and want to see another great episodic series).

  26. olivia says:

    aww… how can you hate anything about Ed? Esp the voice? I just love how incongruently put-together this character is. She’s just a huge mumble-jumble for comedic purposes (which is probably why the director decided that she needs to go before the big finale). But this series would have been way too somber if things about Ed were to-the-eye.

    The extreme subtleties, as you nicely put in your post, really differentiates this series from any other. Not to say that it is alone in doing so, but I wish more series would do the same. As you stated, It may get hard at first, “The relative coldness between the characters may seem a bit off-putting during the first ten episodes,” but coldness is always a good start to character building. Usually, it’s when the cold characters open up or sacrifice themselves that I become totally entrapped in the drama. Why won’t more series do this!!!???

  27. Alec says:

    I thought psgels already watched this masterpiece before he created this blog

  28. Gunslinger says:

    Wow you finaaly watched cowbow bebop, not just monster’s left :)

  29. Cosmin says:

    Since I began watching this blog for new titles I also assumed that you’ve got though the classics. Cowboy Bebop was until some time ago probably my favorite anime however since I watched Legend of the Galactic Heroes, this went to number 2. If you can enjoy a old anime with a fantastic story as much as a new one with flashy graphics I recommend everyone gives this a try. Here is a link to animenfo.com regarding this show. (http://animenfo.com/animetitle,644,uinshf,legend_of_the_g.html).
    Best wishes,
    Cosmin

  30. yupitis says:

    Long time lurker and big fan of the blog here. I just gotta comment on this review and well, Cowboy Bebop in general. Simply put, it’s still probably (if i had to choose one) my favorite Anime of all time and the first I really watched.

    I still remember one day overhearing someone in class talking “oh man did you hear they are going to be running uncut stuff on Cartoon Network? They even got Cowboy Bebop!” For some reason hearing they were playing bloody uncut anything on TV kindled my 14 year old interest and I tuned in a couple weeks later when the show started. I was blown away from episode 1. It wasn’t like that DBZ or Sailor Moon stuff my friend down the street used to watch when I was over. It was just so so cleaver, so entertaining, so full of style and variety yet able to show restraint and ambiguity. It was my gateway to a new world and will always hold a special place in my heart.

    I try to watch it every year and still get drawn in every time.

  31. Shingo says:

    CowBe? Epic!

  32. Nicole says:

    Great review, I’m happy you feel the same as I do! I never made the plunge to buy any DVD’s so instead I watch episodes I found on DISHonline.com while testing out the site for my job at DISH Network. I keep hearing things about an upcoming live-action movie, but I’m still looking for more solid evidence…

  33. EDs voice in the Japanese version is soo much better, and Did you know, Vicious was voiced by none other than Emporor Wakamoto! hahaha

  34. Fuu says:

    Agree with pretty much everything here except for one tiny little statement. Are you referring to Ed’s English or Japanese VA? I watched it in the latter language and think she did a fantastic job. No complaints there.

  35. Kurisu says:

    While the English dub of Cowboy Bebop is relatively well-done – which doesn’t tell much considering how awful most dubs of anime series are, I don’t think it is up to par with the Japanese original at all. I’ve only compared a few scenes and the characters felt very different. A dub is always an additional trade-off between lip-sync and adherence to the original line. In my opinion, the characters lose a lot of subtlety and come off too bold. Their English may sound more idiomatic, more American and therefore may be more welcome by an American audience. However, despite the numerous Western elements and references – most obviously starting with title “Cowboy” – the original is still made with a Japanese perspective and I can’t stand the effect of shifting the viewpoint in the English dub.

  36. Firechick says:

    My local anime club at college forced me to watch two episodes of this. I can see why people like it, but I didn’t like it. It felt too fast and weird for me.

  37. Comeatmebro says:

    While it’s a pretty good show it’s overhyped. There, I said it.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
Masky
Anyhoo, yeah, made already comment about it on the blog, but I really feel like trashy parts of Goblin Slayer clash with what it is about
Masky
Oh yeah, that was surprisingly hilarious. Mostly because English was surprisingly good
Lenlo
I should not like Honda-San as much as I do. But I love it.
Masky
Like, lot of writers, game developers, comic artists, etc, they clearly base their works on stuff they were fan of. Lot of people get inspired by stuff they enjoyed during their childhood for example. There is no real difference between "Being inspired to do same type of thing you liked" and "You copied something popular" besides the level of half assedness
Masky
@SuperWooper: What I feel like is that there is nothing new under the sun. Whenever something feels like original, its mostly that you yourself just haven't seen it before or the execution feels fresh or the cliches and tropes haven't been used in a while
Amagi
I really don't like the highschool boy suddently getting super power and mega robot-kind of trope so they better add some more original stuff to make up for this.
Amagi
I might still enjoy this series though depending on the ideas the writers might have. As usual, much of my enjoyment depends on the antagonist. If this should really be nothing than a typical toku show with evil villain I will probably drop it too.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I only watch sub, I kinda feel like the first half was good dialoguewise but I know what Aidan and Lenlo mean, I generally didn't like the second half of the episode.
SuperWooper
Being a writer for an anime blog, I'm not really qualified to say.
AidanAK47
@Wooper, what is originality?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although personally I won't be watching gridman due to not being a fan of trigger.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In Goblin slayer I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just glad that the protaganist is a guy in his 20s for a change.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you all watch gridman in English or Japanese? I ask because, perhaps the dialogue might have been an issue with the dub or something?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, it seems I wasn't really paying much attention to the animation in Goblin slayer, I was having too much fun with it.
SuperWooper
But how do you feel about originality?
Masky
Hmm, originalness is always bit weird to me. Like, I don't care if show isn't original if execution is good or as long it doesn't feel too cliche as if whoever made it didn't even enjoy making it
AidanAK47
@Niello, and we heavily disagree on that dialogue.
Lenlo
show*
Lenlo
I fear you may be disappointed in our opinions on Gridman. I did appreciate some of its directional choices, it tried to be interesting, but its really just an animated Super Sentai sow
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Featured Posts

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 02 [Restoration]

Me blogging a Trigger show? Well, I’ll be damned myself but life does take some strange turn. Not that I’m a Trigger naysayer but if I’ll be honest, Trigger shows tend to rub me in a wrong way. The studio is seen as the successor of Gainax for one thing, and the overhyped reactions from […]

Goblin Slayer – 02[Goblin Slayer]

The opening to this series is surprisingly more melancholic than I would have expected. When the shows opening started I was waiting for it to break into heavy metal but it stayed low and actually does match the rather dark nature of the series itself. After all this is a series about a PTSD madman […]

Zombieland Saga – 02[I ♡ HIP HOP SAGA]

Zombieland Saga is madness. Pure insanity that could be complete genius or absolute idiocy. So for those who haven’t heard this anime is not the zombie apocalypse show that was initially thought, as a matter of fact the zombie apocalypse footage in the trailer was in fact a video the producer showed the girls to […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 02 [I Can’t Stand Magic]

It’s always neat to see a work that feels every inch a P.A Works production. When you think about the studio, you’d immediately associate them with their original shows, chief among them ‘Mature women in workplace’ unofficial trilogy, and The Eccentric Family (I consider the latter their pinnacle work). For the last 5,6 years the […]

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san – 2 [Let Me Introduce My Crazy Colleagues in This Bookstore!]

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone in between, I welcome you to the 2nd episode of Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San, the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Lets jump in! Considering Honda-San’s material, I am not even going to bother with spoilers. It’s a comedy short, deal with it. These posts will also be a […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 02 [The Stolen Sorcerous Blades]

Fun fact, I had just been to Taiwan and while in their local old bookstores and DVDs, I saw a section of puppetry animation dvds in the corner of the store (should’ve bought one now that I think about it). Apparently wuxia puppetry has a niche market in Taiwan, and so I’m glad that me, […]

Banana Fish – 14 [Tender is the Night]

Welcome to an all new episode of Banana Fish! This time with a new OP, ED and progressed plot points. Lets jump in! So before I get into spoilers, let’s talk about the new OP and ED. The OP is Freedom by Blue Encount, while the ED is Red by Survive Said The Prophet. Personally, […]

Planetes – 1 [Outside the Atmosphere] – Throwback Thursday

Hello and welcome to the start of a new series I am calling Throwback Thursday. Basically, each season or so I will be selecting an older anime. One that might have passed under people’s radar, and blogging it as I would any normal seasonal series. The hope is to give some older anime the recognition […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 2 [The Ogre’s Arrival]

Welcome one and all to the Fall 2018 season. For the rare few new ones, I am Lenlo, and one of the shows I will be covering this time will be Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru or Run With The Wind. Lets jump in! So some general things I didn’t mention in the first impressions. Just […]

Latest Reviews

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) – 84/100

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and […]

A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]

Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]