Posted on 28 February 2011 with categories: Level E



Aah, finally! Finally we have an actually good parody of the romantic comedy. Even without the awesome twist at the end, I just loved what this episode did and how it poked fun at the genre and how it made everything look ridiculous with its ever-sharp wit. There also was a lot of building up in this episode, but in the end, it was totally worth it. This is really what an awesome comedy should be: don’t just show a bunch of random jokes, but have everything build up for each other and create a whole picture that’s larger than the sum of its parts.

The interesting thing is how this was written more than a decade ago, and the things it parodies still are incredibly overused, and it just showed how timeless this episode was. I also love how there finally is a series that acknowledges that love at first sight is pretty implausible, and how it takes this to the absurd by putting the fate of the world hanging on it. The inclusion of Kraft only made this better: his energy and sarcasm were awesome to watch during the building-up parts.

Not to mention the awesome excuse that the creators found in order to leave Ouji uninvolved in this episode. The different combinations of characters for each arc are really dynamic here and instead of overexposing the same characters, the creators really try to give all kinds of characters their own time to shine, going both for the main characters as the new ones that it introduces. And again, the characters in this arc are fairly simple, and make writing good characters look so easy.

The revelation that the lead guy was basically a lesbian was the highlight of this episode. It gave a completely different meaning to the episode, plus it also left a very interesting cliff-hanger for the next episode, which just has to be different from the previous. But then again, this series has shown before that it loves to toy with expectations.

Also, this all took place at a Ski Resort. Take that, hot spring beach school festival pool episodes!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?



oh boy, this was a disaster. It was an episode that was doomed to fail, simply because of the decision of the creators to include the new girl into the cast of major characters. I mean… what exactly do they hope to get out of someone with such a terrible backstory? This episode could at least have been enjoyable if it wasn’t for her utterly contrived reason to fall in love with the lead character. I mean, is she supposed to be another parody or something?

This pretty much was an episode that contained nothig but character building, oly to come with some drama at the final minute. So, after having to sit through some completely generic dating scenes, what do we get? The lead female gets kidnapped. Ooh, we’re original now. Seriously, what happened? The drama in this show used to be so good. Cliches like these could be excused in the introduction of a series, to get the plot started. Not when you’re nearly done!

The only enjoyment in this episode was in the small details, like surprisingly smooth animation, the hilariously named “Mask Donalds”, good poses and facil expressions and the surprisingly good food jokes ehre, even though cooking girls usually are beating the same dead horse over and over again. Like I said: it could have been an interesting episode, but when the creators have such a terrible premise for an episode, what can really be done with it?
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on with categories: Supernatural The Animation




Great to see that the third episode already tells about the background of the two lead characters. I mean, a dead mother is nothing new here, but usually when anime do that, they wait until very long before they come with the story that explained what happened to them. Doing this in the third episode really allows the series to go beyond that and use it in later episodes to its advantage.

And again: this episode mostly progressed like a normal ghost story, only for the climax to really get interesting. It’s a sign of great build-up, and if the creators are able to do this consistently shows that they know what they’re doing. Even when most of the episode is a standard ghost story, when you watch the episode back you can see the hints here and there that are all building up towards that climax.

This episode also showed the mysterious father of Dean and Sam for the first time. As a background, it’s definitely interesting. At this point it’s clear that something happened to that guy while his wife died. This episode seemed to suggest that she died by a mere poltergeist, but there’s probably more to it than just that. Oh, and I also liked that fortune teller.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

This month’s rankings of mine…. are nearly exactly the same as last month. Seriously, the only major surprise this month was that Fractale and Dragon Crsisis weren’t really good and that Kimi ni Todoke is finally going somewhere. Apart from that, every series pretty much continued on the same pace that it set a month ago. Come on, I’m expecting some good stuff here for March. Dare to evolve!

#16 (16) – Dragon Crisis – (6,75/10) – Alas, Dragon Crisis did seem genuine enough to get some good drama, but in the end it never really used this, and came with the most corny stories, one after the other. Any potential created by the good animation and dialogue ended up completely nullified by the bad acting and cheesy scenarios.
#17 (17) – Suite Precure – (7,25/10) – I appreciate that this series is trying to include stories that revolve around the main characters. Beyond that though, it’s a major step down from Heartcatch Precure. The execution and animation is nowhere as polished. The scenarios are dull, it lacks energy, the acting from the villains is horribly silly. At this point the characters still have the potential to become well developed in the second half, but I do not want to sit through 26 boring and badly written episodes to get there. This one is dangerously close to being dropped.
#16 (14) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,5/10) – I think this month really summarized my problems with this second season. The last two episodes are a pretty good thriller. But did we really have to sit through two whole episodes of random goofing off in order to get there? The thing is, that I’m not enjoying these characters at all. They didn’t change in the slightest from what they were at the end of the first season. This series spends so much time on random scenes, but in the end it doesn’t really do anything with them and they’re merely there for fanservice.
#15 (9) – Fractale – (7,75/10)

This is coming from the director of Kannagi, so I already was fearing this show to be unbalanced. And unfortunately these fears came true. The thing is that this show doesn’t know what it’s good at, and instead spends way too much time on its very annoying lead character. It’s only eleven episodes long, and yet it spends way too much of its time on random undirected goofing off.

#14 (15) – Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? – (7,75/10)

In this month, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka was either amazing, or a boring cliche-fest. Right now this all seems to even out, but I do hope that next month will focus much more on what this show is good at.

#13 (16) – Gosick – (8/10)

The Wolf-arc was the best arc so far. It’s a bit weird, but it used its red herrings well and especially Victorique emerged as a better character because of it. This show still has its problems, but this month was actually interesting enough to make up for it.

#12 (13) – Kimi ni Todoke – (8/10)

Finally! After thirty episodes, of this show not going anywhere, the romance between the lead couple has finally started moving. It’s still quite slow, but for once the characters are playing off each other, instead of simply refusing to develop. It still doesn’t excuse the first season, but at the very least this was by far the best month from Kimi ni Todoke so far.

#11 (12) – Wolverine – (8/10)

This month saw Wolverine balance between its fights and its exposition, and to be honest it’s doing quite a good job at it, keeping to the same philosophy as in January: be simple, but effective. The characters, both good and bad, all have something endearing, and the action is pretty decent. The stiff acting and simple characters and story will prevent this one from ever becoming something great, but as for entertainment, it’s doing a pretty good job here.

#10 (10) – Mitsudomoe – (8,25/10)

Yes: Mitsudomoe’s second season was clearly better than the first. The jokes were better, the ratio of bad jokes was smaller, it made sure not to milk its jokes out, and also put a lot of effort into portraying the characters as actual characters. The characterization also improved a lot, which also made this a bit of a nostalgic series that I found surprisingly easy to relate to at times.

#9 (11) – Showa Monogatari – (8,25/10)

Episodes 2 and 4 popped up at the beginning of this month, and they were quite good. What makes Showa Monogatari more than just another slice of life story about a random kid is that it also knows that it should pay attention to the rest of his family: all of them are interesting characters at this point, which is a good sign for the rest of the series, which will continue somewhere around the start of May.

#8 (8) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)

Well, it’s taken a while, but Bakuman is finally getting interesting here. The characters have plenty of development put into them by now, and they’re really playing off each other nicely. Even though the pacing is slow, you can still feel some of their energy. Especially the long dialogues between them are the highlights here.

#7 (7) – Yumekui Merry – (8,25/10)

The problem with this show is that that beach episode destroyed the flow this show was in a bit. In the end, it’s wonderfully executed, but doesn’t really have the most ambitious storyline to work with. This show can still deliver a great ending, but the creators really are going to have to try hard here.

#6 (6) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

It’s a bit of a shame, but this series could have taken more risks when it comes to wrapping up its main storyline. It’s all very solid, but not as amazing as this show once was. Whenever it focuses on the characters though, it’s at its best, and this month again was no exception.

#5 (new) – Supernatural The Animation – (8,5/10)

Okay, so it’s probably going to be an arduous task trying to blog this series, but it’s really worth it so far, especially the second episode was excellent and very well written. The graphics are also gorgeous, here’s one to look out for.

#4 (4) – Star Driver – (8,5/10)

The thing is that Star Driver spends a lot of time on the characters doing random things. Even now that the climax is so near, it still spends a lot of time on this school life. The balance it has struck with the actual plot and characters though, is excellent and I’m still enjoying these characters quite a bit, though it’s not going to be the classic I originally hoped it would be.

#3 (5) – Hourou Musuko – (8,5/10)

Two months in, and Hourou Musuko is still doing what it really does well: bringing life to large amounts of characters. The characterization is still excellent and subtly detailed, and the characters all balance their maturity and their childishness wonderfully, leading to some great characters.

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

This series is still continuing its string of excellent episodes. Jut about every episode here delivers and adds new depth to the characters; it’s a 13-episode series that fully knows how to use its time.

#1 (1) – Level E – (9/10)

This month for Level E was weaker than in January, but only by a small bit. It’s still my favourite series of the season due to its creative and sometimes outright mean scenarios and an awesome sense of humour. It’s always completely unpredictable and even though it’s composed of random stories, the acting, creativity and scenario all come together wonderfully and make this one of the best comedy anime I’ve seen.

Posted on 27 February 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




So, time for me to review another installment of the World Masterpiece Theatre. Little Princedss Sara tells about about a young, really rich girl who joins a boarding school in London. What happens after that though… let’s just say that I’ve rarely seen so much suffering in just one series. If you’re planning to watch this series, be prepared for a gruelling journey.

It’s hard to talk about this series withuot spoilers, but let me just say that Little Princess Sara has very strong messages against poverty and the hypocricy to which people look at it. It’s a long series, 46 episodes. In this time it delivers a haunting and very in-depth portrayal of poverty and neglect on children. Beyond that, ti also has strong morals and values that are delivered with heart, instead of cheese.

The scenario really helps by being wonderfully realistic. Seriously, a ton of time in this series is spent on very mundane tasks and nothing else. The creators strike an excellent balance between this and character development, leading to an entire cast of characters with a lot of depth and development, miles away from your usual stereotypes.

Like all good WMTs, it also really knows how to build up. It’s a very one-sided series, but the final climax is without a doubt a highlight of the entire series in which everything it built up to comes together. This show definitely knows how to do drama well, and even if the animation is dated at this point, it still manages to bring the characters to life with more detail than most series nowadays can.

I’ve got lot of praises for this series, but at the same time I also want to say that I do not consider this series amongst the best of the World Masterpiece Theatre. I’m going to be nitpicking a bit here, but the standard of this franchise is just so damn high. My issue with this series was that at times, it was a bit too “shoujo”, if that makes any sense. Some twists were delivered with a sense of shoujo-ific melodrama that definitely could have been done more subtle, and some characters spend a long time as cliched and boring rivals who do exactly what you predict them to do, and there is one twist near the end that is just… way too convenient. Sara herself is also way too pure. It’s like she could have been the love child of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa, or in that direction. All of this does not create characters as realistic, as some of the other WMT series, plus the one-sidedness of the plot also doesn’t create them as dynamic as the others.

At this point I’vwe managed to finish 10 WMT-series, so here I present an updated ranking of my favourite WMT-series to close off this reivew (the ones that I fully finished, at least), in the order of the ones I liked the least to the ones I liked the most. Little Princess Sara ranks fifth. It’s a wonderful series with amazing and unique characters, despite my above criticisms I really recommend it if you like the kind of children series that really try to tell an excellent story that takes both itself and its target audience seriously.
10. My Daddy Long Legs
9. Konnichiwa Anne
8. Tom Sawyer
7. Ie Naki Ko Remi
6. Romeo’s Blue Skies
5. Little Princess Sara
4. Anne of Green Gables
3. Porfy no Nagai Tabi
2. Perrine Monogatari
1. Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette

Storytelling: 8/10 – Realistic, detailed and down to earth, though a bit one-sided and melodramatic at times.
Characters: 9/10 – Realistic and full of depth and development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Dated, but very detailed. The soundtrack is a bit disappointing, though.
Setting: 9/10 – Excellent social commentary, themes and messages. Plus a wonderful portrayal of London of more than a century ago.

Suggestions:
Perrine Monogatari
Anne of Green Gables

Posted on with categories: Star Driver



This just dawned on me while I watched this episode, but… am I the only one who gets the feeling that the creators are planning the kiss scene at the drama to happen around the climax of this series? I mean, especially after the cliffhanger of this episode suddenly showed Wako volunteering to be on the receiving end of Takuto’s kiss, this has to point at something that the creators are planning for that finale. It’s a nice twist, though: Wako finally accepted here that she’s into Takuto here. This episode was definitely a nice way to take care of one of the love triangles in this series.

And as for the rest of this episode, the creators did create a pretty good climax here for the characters who were introduced so relatively late in the series. The two new girls have been quite strange villains: they didn’t seem to care at all about being correct villains, and instead seemed like just adrenaline junkies who kept seeking for thrills. A way to go to phase 3,5 that combines you with your Cybody is an interesting way to say goodbye to them.

Takashi returning meanwhile had it coming, but I ‘m glad that the creators indeed went there. Again, it shows promise and brings the Adult Bank back into the picture, with someone who can actually apprivoise. This also explains the relatively large amount of time that the creators spent on building up this guy, even though at first he seemed like a very insignificant character.

And on a side-note: why didn’t Head sign the paintings of Takuto’s mother with his usual “R”?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



Now, I am writing this review as a fan of the Votoms Franchise. If this movie had not been part of it, I probably would have rated it higher, but only slightly.

The reason I’m saying this is because of the following: I became a fan of Votoms because of the alternative it provided to your average cheesy and angsty giant robot series. Where series like Gundam and its ilk were full of angst and cheesy morals, it provided a mature storytelling that took both itself and its characters seriously, going beyond characters screaming and yelling melodramatically. And really, I’m all for going into different directions with your franchise, but Case;Irvine does everything that Votoms avoided so well.

In Votoms, the fact that people die in a war was taken for granted. That’s what allowed it to pull so much interesting drama. Case;Irvine meanwhile is all about “war is bad”, “thou shalt not kill”, “oh, I’m the villain so I kill people for no reason at all muaha” and “ooh, I killed many innocent people in the past. I’m very angsty now! And this just goes on and on. You remember that little girl in the promo art? Her entire point in this movie is to angst and remind the lead character of how he shouldn’t fight. This is not Votoms at all. Heck, it’s even too cheesy to be like Gundam.

I’m also am not kidding about that villain, by the way. Case;Irvine could have been at least a decent angst movie if it wasn’t for this guy. While the lead character still had his scenes in which he doesn’t angst, this guy absolutely doesn’t. He’s consistently yelling, sprouting cheesy morals and looking for a fight with the lead character. This guy is completely overacting for the sake of overacting. To make matters even worse, Votoms also stood out in the way that it didn’t have any custom built mechas besides slight upgrades or colour changes. This guy then comes out of nowhere and mounts these gigantic hands to his own mecha, making it look completely silly in the more realistic setting of Votoms. The entire final battle (which takes up a lot of the time of this movie) is reduced to this really boring angst-fest in which the umpth strange robot has to be taken care of.

The sole salvation of this movie is the music. It’s perfect, and really atmospheric and does a truly excellent job of building up the atmosphere. But seriously. Please let Finder and Koei Futatabi not be so ridiculously angsty. Or heck. This wasn’t even angst, this was downright emo.

Storytelling: 6/10 – It’s definitely different from the usual Votoms. However, instead of experimenting with a unique new style, it got turned into a generic super robot movie.
Characters: 5/10 – Pathetic villain, way too much angst and none of the characters make any impact at all.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Awesome soundtrack. The animation is there… but not really remarkable in any way.
Setting: 5/10 – Destroys some of the the core aspects of Votoms. Not good.

Suggestions:
Mobile Police Patlabor WXIII (an example of how to correctly get a movie to take on new characters and a new direction).
The Wings of Honneamise
Jin Roh – The Wolf Brigade

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



In 1977, the people from Sanrio came together and determined that kids’ movies overall were a bit too happy and cheerful. So, with some excellent writers and one heck of a catchy theme song, they created Chirin no Suzu. A story that does exactly the opposite of what the cover seems to suggest.

Believe me, this movie is dark. It’s still aimed at children, but unlike the vast majority of the other movies of this genre, it refuses to dumb itself down for its audience. It starts out as your general lamb versus wolf story, but quickly steps away from all other stories that follow the same trope. It’s packed with mature life lessons and morals that other kids’ movies usually just gloss over, or refuse to even mention.

Let me tell you what makes this such a great movie, though: it’s a movie entirely dedicated to character development. It’s a character study, and a wonderful one. The movie is only forty minutes long, but it’s entirely dedicated to the lead character, Chirin, learning new things and changing significantly because of this.

It does have some flaws though. The only available version seems to be an English dub. Most of the voices are very good (especially the voice of the wolf is awesome), though the voice for the little lead sheep can be very hammy. This does lead to a number of very melodramatic scenes that really could have been done more subtle.

Now, the character designs are very simple. At first sight they may not look like much, but the inbetween animation is actually very good here. It’s very smooth, especially for an anime. Overall, if you don’t mind the melodrama and are looking for an old, yet different movie, this is a very interesting one to watch.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Dark and very violent for a kids’ movie, but packs a great story with many morals and life lessons. At times it’s overdramatic, though.
Characters: 9/10 – Great character development that is really well used.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Okay, so it looks dated, but the inbetween animation still is very good and the soundtrack is excellent as well.
Setting: 8/10 – Not the main focus of this movie at all, but doesn’t get in the way of what’s important.

Suggestions:
A Tree of Palme
The Dog of Flanders
Oseam

Posted on 26 February 2011 with categories: Mitsudomoe



Okay, so the next episode is supposed to be not part of the second season, but instead it’s something like “the deleted scenes of season one”. I’m really not sure what the creators meant by that, but it looks like it’s going to be new content. Because of that I’m going to wait till reviewing this series until next week.

In any case, for the official last episode, this was an excellent one to close off the series with. Perhaps it wasn’t the funniest, but I almost have no complaints about it either. There was just one minute that didn’t work, the rest of this episode left a great aftertaste behind. I really enjoyed this series much more than I originally thought I would.

The first sketch interestingly actually fixed one of the annoying subplots of the first season: the endless misunderstandings between Hitoha and Yabecchi about the Gachi rangers, which was one of the most dragged out jokes of the entire first season. Finally Hitoha actually cleared up this misunderstanding.

Sketch two was pure comedy gold. It again made use of a lot of different characters in its jokes as the characters practiced for and participated in the relay race at their sports festival. Even here the creators still combined some of the things we already knew about the characters with new jokes. Chiba especially was on fire in this part.

Sketch three suddenly brought in a new character: a sweet potato seller. This also was quite fun, especially in the way that Hitoha mind-screwed him. It did go on for a bit too long, though. The sketch should have ended when the kids left. There was no need to get this guy to ask the ages of two more teachers. Especially since the latter gave the annoying female teacher more screentime. She by far was the worst character of the entire season.

Finally, the final part of this series wasn’t meant to be funny, but instead showed how the triplets and their father changed from when they were still four years old. A really great way to technically end this series with.

As for next week, I think that it’s all going to depend on what exactly got cut during the first season, and whether or not it was written in the production of the first season or the second season. Like, did they animate a bunch of sketches and were they redeemed inappropriate, or are they some manga chapters that were originally left unanimated? I mean, the series changed significantly between the two seasons, so it all depends on whether it’s going to be like the first season, or the much more balanced second season.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Letter Bee



“Don’t bother chasing him. He’ll have no chance of getting in our way.”

Dude… no. Just no.

Overall, this episode was quite solid, but I feel that the creators could have taken more risks. The result is a lot of cliches that you usually see when a story is nearly over: once morally ambiguous villains turn evil, good guys who were tempted by the dark side turn good again and due to the absence of any sort of development from the government itself… it has turned into a good versus evil story. Bummer.

Now, it’s not like this episode was bad or anything. I mean, Cabernet versus the capital, this has been built up for an entire season now, so it was going to be obvious that the climax would focus on this. Lawrence’s decision to sacrifice the ones who didn’t become a spirit also has a perfect explanation when you look at the way he’s willing to sacrifice in order to get to his goals, even though he originally probably didn’t intend to sacrifice them. I’d just wish that he didn’t make it so easy for Gauche to choose which side to join.

And as for the lack of any info on the capital, it’s an interesting twist in any case. The fact that we don’t know anything about them is definitely left up to the imagination of the viewer. We can sort-of imagine why they made the decisions they made, but I like how it’s still anyone’s guess as to who they exactly are. So yeah; last episode: don’t ruin that by turning them into stereotypical evil overlords or something.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
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