Posted by psgels on 19 February 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews





So, I watch a lot of anime. With this, I’m only two reviews away from my 700th review on this site, and I really try to watch as much anime as possible. So with that in mind, I do not make the following statement lightly: Gankutsuou is my favourite series of all of the anime I’ve watched during the past year and a half, and perhaps even longer. It’s often referred to as one of Gonzo’s masterpieces, and I wholeheartedly agree. This is everything that I look for in an anime, and then some.

Good Gonzo has always stood out with how damn innovating they kept trying to be. Gankutsuou is a fantastic example of this, but that’s far from everything about this series. Aside from being consistently experimental, it’s also extremely well executed.

I have not read the story of the original Count of Monte Cristo, but regardless, the creators did a fantastic job of converting it into a story that fits perfectly into 24 episodes. They took the entire setting and turned it into a futuristic setting that at the same time retained the atmosphere of France of more than two hundred years and the aristocratic culture of the days before the french revolution. It’s completely fiction and even through the weird graphics style, it feels strangely authentic. The setting here is really solid, and yet it’s the part of this show that impressed me the least.

Instead, we have some fantastic acting from the cast of characters that really brings them to life. There is a ton of character development in this series, and the creators even managed to make an often whining teenaged lead into a compelling character (though granted, before his development he does not stand out as the strongest member of this cast). The characters in this series all have a ton of flaws, and this series uses those brilliantly. The entire plot weaves together all of the different characters and their backstories, and just about everyone gets his or her moment to really show off his or her character.

And the way in which this is done was a really emotionally resonating one. This series knows exactly when to be subtle, and when to release all brakes and go over the top. The delivery in this is just perfect, with creative poses and animation in which a lot his happening at the same time, yet the story remains focused on what it wants to show. It’s really well shown with a lot of detail in how the characters are reacting to each other.

And as for the graphics… they’re some of the best you can get if you don’t mind the intrusive CG. This series is full of excellent visual ideas. I mean, just about every shot is absolutely gorgeous and it’s ridiculous how creative the visuals can get. The creators really tried to stuff a ton of ideas into the visuals here, as long as they all fitted into the story. The result is a show that looks absolutely unlike anything else. The animation itself isn’t the most consistent, but when it delivers, it really delivers some amazing and hard hitting inbetween animation that combines perfectly with the storytelling. Gankutusou really was a show in which Gonzo could show off what it was able to do with its CG, and while this show is obviously heavy on the CG, it doesn’t feel out of place. Instead, the graphics create this gorgeous whole.

Overall, I found this series one heck of a ride, and Gankutsuou is very likely going to end up in my top 20 favourite anime, somewhere between #15 and #20. I absolutely adore these kinds of series that can get a huge emotional response out of me. It’s obviously not a show for everyone (and I did hear that this anime changed a ton of stuff from the original novel), but to me, Gankutusou took a while to build up, but as soon as it hit its stride just about everything fitted together perfectly.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Wonderfully paced and balanced, just about every episode significantly advances the plot and comes with new developments that are delivered strongly, knowing exactly when to be subtle and when to be over the top, all culimnating into an amazing ending.
Characters: 9/10 – Excellent dialogue and acting with really dynamic characters. There are a few stereotypes like the angsty male lead, but even he is portrayed and developed wonderfully.
Production-Values: 10/10 – Unique. Stuffed with tons of visual ideas, both in terms of art and animation.
Setting: 9/10 – Takes France of centuries ago, and successfully transforms it into something futuristic and unique while still remaining authentic.

Suggestions:
Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette
Mahou Shoujotai
Casshern Sins

42 Responses

  1. Lol, with the number of screenshots you included we practically don’t need to read the review since it’s clear you loved the show. And isn’t this your second highest review or such, I can’t remember the last time I saw you give something a 95.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Aah, that with the images was a bit overkill yeah. I reduced it to only eight screenshots now. ^^;

    It’s indeed been a long while since I handed 95/100 to a series, the last time I did that was in 2009 with Strange Dawn and Birdy the Mighty Decode 02.

    I have handed this rating in the past to a few more series, though. Like Simoun, The Third, Bokurano, Kaiba and Utena.

  3. Vanilla says:

    You have no idea how happy this review made me. After I first watched it some months ago, I wondered why you hadn’t covered such an amazing anime, but I figured you would get to it. And I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!

    Keep up the good work.

  4. Firechick says:

    Whoa! 95/100!? I sure didn’t expect that! But we’re glad you liked it since practically everyone else does (forgive me since, alas, I have not watched it)! Now all that’s left for you to review is Futatsu no Spica (before you get to shows like Princess Tutu, Marco TV, Galactic Heroes, Rose of Versailles, etc.).

  5. Tsuki says:

    Gankutsuou has some really awesome characterization and a great story, so I had no doubt that psgels would like this series. A 95/100 though? I haven’t seen you give one of those out in ages o.o;

    Gonzo has it’s few great series. It’s series such as Gankutsuou, Last Exile, and Welcome to the NHK that make me glad that Gonzo is starting back up this summer with the new Last Exile series.

  6. Janette says:

    How I stumbled upon this series was I found the Genon release at my library. I checked it out to tease my sister, as she had just finished Count of Monte Cristo, and I expected it to be pretty bad.

    Boy was I wrong.

  7. brianwuzhere says:

    This is pretty close on my To Watch List, but now, I really have to watch this.

  8. Immelman says:

    Fantastic anime. I think it’s enough close from the book (I’m French), execpt the futurist setting obviously.
    The piano concert scene is engraved in my mind. That’s why gonzo stays as one of my top three studios.

  9. Phelps says:

    Gankutsuou made a lot of changes to the story, but it’s still more faithful to the book than most TV and movie adaptations I saw.

    The ending in particular is very different, but I think it fits the story better than the original ending.

  10. dm00 says:

    Yes, despite the liberties they took, the series is remarkably faithful to the book. Inspired by the anime, I read the book (despite its length, it is wonderful). Gankutsuou is a magnificent series, one of anime’s best.

  11. Chris says:

    Can’t believe you didn’t mention Haydee’s dress in the opera episode! That was one of the most beautiful CG scenes I’ve seen in like… anything.

  12. Loz says:

    Gankutsuou is an example of anime storytelling at its best, and why I regard it so highly too. Glad you enjoyed it, and as always looking forward to more of your reviews. :)

  13. Lia says:

    I love Gankutsuou! I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. I was wondering when you would get around to watching this show since it is fantastic. Once the show got past the first few episodes I was literally glued to my seat the whole way through the series.

  14. synkronized says:

    Glad you watched and enjoyed this series. This anime is arguably what made me see anime as something more than DBZ, Bleach and Naruto kids cartoons. The artwork, characters and story really show what anime is capable of.

  15. Judoh says:

    You can’t give Cowboy Bebop 90/100 and than give this 95. You’re crazy!

    This is a good show but no way is it better than Cowboy Bebop. I think you just got over excited because the latest anime seasons’ have been lacking in a mature/experimental show like this.

    • Rayan says:

      There are some anime which are a lot shorter than the legendary ones like Bebop, and are even underrated. Examples are ‘Steins Gate’ and ‘Shiki’, and this one too. You could also try Makoto Shinkai’s ‘Garden of Words’. They leave such an amazing impact that they tend to get higher scores based on the moment’s impression, and may not be able to keep up in the long run with legends like Bebop, FMAB, Bleach or FT, Naruto etc. But these in their own right are unique. Gankutsuou is one such anime. Kindly don’t compare it with the biggies.

  16. ultama121 says:

    Holy shit, you really did love it. That’s three people I know that have loved it so much. I gotta move this up higher on my list. :V

    Also, Judoh:
    I regret to inform you that Cowboy Bebop is not the invincible anime that cannot be beaten. Sorry.

  17. Janette says:

    Yes, yes it is better then Bebop. It does many things that although Bebop did well, it does better and with more maturity.

  18. Judoh says:

    @ultama121
    There is nothing invincible about Cowboy Bebop. I never said that, Although it’s influence is far superior and over reaching than Gankutsuou.

    Gankutsuou is an underrated classic but it’s never in the top 10/20 lists on AnimeNewsNetwork or in Newtype magazine( or anywhere really) which are popular anime forums.
    That is reserved for things like Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam ectera.

    Please don’t get nice visuals confused with a great anime. It’s the same as psgels giving Casshern Sins 90/100; the same as Bebop. That anime is terrible. Once again nice visuals, great first 12 episodes but then morphs into this tedious cliched viewing experience.

    95 is too close to 100. Which as psgels said is the perfect anime, which he is yet to encouter. Gankutsuou is not at all close to the perfect anime.

  19. Vanilla says:

    @Judoh:
    Then I think you’re under-estimating Gankutsuou. Just because it hasn’t been ranked high in popular anime magazines and forums doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily a good or better anime than some of the more popular series out there. And this is WAY more than just great visuals. If that’s all you can take away from this, then I really don’t think you were paying much attention to the series at all.

    I don’t see how you got a “tedious cliched viewing experience,” when this is in no way cliched. It has a very compelling plot and it handles its story extremely well. It’s very different than most anime you see, and while some of the characters themselves and their backgrounds may be predictable or done before, it’s they way that this show carries them with such grace that makes it close to a “perfect anime.”

    Do I think it’s the best? Out of everything that I’ve seen (and I haven’t seen as much as Psgels, who as watched a good deal of anime)–yes, it’s the best. Does that make it perfect? No. Nothing can ever be “perfect”, but it can come darn well close.

    So I think the rating is appropriate. :P

  20. Souther says:

    But psgels does have his own personal way of grading series and not all of us have to agree with all of his ratings or arguments. That should be clear by now. We certainly don’t have to share the same form of thinking among ourselves either.

    For example, just because I do love Gankutsuou myself that doesn’t mean it is flawless in terms of storytelling. I would give it a 9 in that category.

    The ending has a lot of positives and the epilogue is very good, to be sure, but I found that it stopped short of greatness because of a certain annoying loose thread or two. Honestly, I was a little underwhelmed in a sense, since the ending of the book had a different bent.

    So you could say I thought the best part of the show, outside of the unique art style, was the core story and its wonderful antagonist (which, of course, isn’t original at all).

    Naturally, this is an excellent adaptation with a fair amount of worthwhile experimentation, to be truthful, but there is a lot of room for discussing the finer details.

  21. Judoh says:

    @Vanilla
    I meant Casshern was tedious not Gankutsuou. Although I loved Casshern Sins it just wasn’t meant to be…

    It seems because Gankutsuou is considered the best anime you have seen you must be looking at it through ‘rose-tinted glasses’. The reason It’s not on those lists is because it got recognized for what it was. Naturally Evangelion could have been in the same situation but the more people that saw Evangelion, the more praise it received. Where as Gankutsuou just couldn’t take off in the same way.

    I’m not under-estimating it either. I already said it was an underrated classic. Did you even read my comment?

    ~”It’s very different than most anime you see,”
    So is Le Chevalier D’Eon but that doesn’t mean it gets a 95/100.

    Anyway in conclusion if this is your favorite anime… thats fine. It is good. Although you really should watch more anime if you think it is the best. But isn’t ‘best’ just another way of saying it’s your favorite? The meaning/distinction is gone between them
    “It’s my favorite anime”…
    “It’s the best anime”…

  22. Amy says:

    Lol, Judoh. I think psgels has watched enough anime to claim what he thinks is good 8D. He never did describe it as the best, but a top 20 favourite, so hold your horses

  23. Amy says:

    My comment got cut short, why D8? But yeah, psgels. Glad you enjoyed a beaut of anime o3o!

  24. Judoh says:

    @Amy
    Your comment got cut short because it wasn’t worthy of the debate :P

    It doesn’t matter how much anime you watch. Just because an editor at rollingstone.com has to review every pop record from Lady Gaga to Greenday doesn’t mean his opinion on music is anymore educated than the general music lover.
    John over at animenation.com has been watching anime for 30 years and he has seen way more than psgels but that doesn’t mean his opinion is any more important than mine or psgels.
    All I said is that IN MY OPINION, the score of 95 was not an ideal score for this show. Once again just as 95 is psgel’s opinion my opinion was that I don’t think it’s worth a 95.

    Anyways I’m done now. This area is swarming with fiends a.k.a Master Trolls. I can see them gathering underneath a bridge holding copies of Gankutsuou…..XD

  25. Vanilla says:

    @Judoh:
    Heh. x) No offense with my earlier comment. Just felt I had to throw in my two cents.

  26. Tan-Tan says:

    Meh, it’s not my type of show ~_~

  27. psgels psgels says:

    Whoa, that’s a lot of comments. I do want to clarify something about my rating system, though:

    When I rate an anime, I’m not asking myself “how flawless is this?” Instead, it’s more like “how good is this?” and “how well does this series do the things it does well?”. Heck, the series I have rated the highest out of all my reviews is Mahou Shoujotai, and that series also has its flaws. It’s because of this reason that I stopped submitting my reviews to sites like Anidb and Myanimelist: because I don’t agree with their rating systems.

    My reviews are indeed very personal, so it’s obvious that some people will disagree with them. That’s fine, of course, because I don’t think that there exists a way to objectively determine the best anime ever anyway. It’s in the same way that I don’t really agree with Gundam being in the Top 10 of Animenation, for example.

    NB. And yeah, obviously my opinion isn’t any more important than someone who just watched his first anime. ;)

  28. shirokiryuu says:

    One of my favorite series of all time. I haven’t finished the original novel, but it does seem like people are saying, it’s a lot more faithful than other adaptations. The visuals were beautiful and I really did have an emotional response to this series… it’s such a shame Gonzo has this much potential, but has been in trouble lately…

  29. Guigas says:

    WOW a 95/100 i didn’t see that coming.

    I read the book 1st so I was a bit disappointed with this anime because it wasn’t that faithful to the book (the book is a real masterpiece, this anime watered down many excelent aspects of the book, i can’t forgive GONZO for this!). But i do agree this anime made a great adaption of the book (i don’t think its easy to gather all the info from the book and adapt it into 24 epis only), but those who read the book before the anime will notice that some things could have been handled better.

    Overral, I think a 87,5/100 or 90/100 would be just fine for this one.
    I think a 95/100 for me is Mushishi, Monster, Tsuiokuhen, etc.

    PS: Albert reminded me of Shinji from NGE(both are whiny as hell).
    For those who haven’t read the book yet, watch the anime 1st (you’ll enjoy it more), then read the book.

  30. Zetatrain says:

    Glad that you enjoyed it, its really a shame that this anime does not get more recognition in the anime world.

    Despite the fact that there are quite a few things that were different from the book, this is IMO the best adaption of the book out there.

  31. ManuOtaku says:

    I just need to say thay i agree with your review, waiting for noir though, and the fact we need more anime like this, specially on the graphics and visual style done in this anime, i know there is a bad gonzo,but because i see some people mentioned in some blogs, but all the animes i watched from this company are rock solid, and yet i didnt watched anything that i can call bad (NHK, Ninja Basilisk, Solty rei, Gankatsuou, Last Exile, Samuray Seven, My bride is a mermaid, etc.. so gonzo please emply this technique(visual art/grapchis) on your future projects please

  32. ManuOtaku says:

    “so gonzo please emply this technique(visual art/grapchis) on your future projects please”
    I meant Apply instead of emply, sorry english is not my first language 8D

  33. Ethereal says:

    This was a great watch, though I must say that it didn’t live up to the book for me. Anyone whose only exposure to Monte Cristo is an adaptation (of any kind) is really missing out. I was particularly dissapointed that the series skipped the parts of the book concerned with the imprisonment. These chapters served to put the reader in Edmond’s shoes and empathize with his motivations.

    All of the supernatural (and sci-fi) bits felt really out of place too and undermined the overall maturity of the material for me. Though I suppose the series would be even less well-known than it is if it was more down-to-earth (pun intended).

  34. Guigas says:

    SPOILERS AHEAD

    @Ethereal
    Completely agree with you. Gankutsuou was an awesome anime, but it would have been a masterpiece for me if they have used all the info from the book (it could have been longer, like 30 episodes long or something like that).

    Here are my issues:
    1)Albert was never supposed to be the protagonist (God, he is sooooo annoying/naive).
    2)Where is the part when Edmond escapes from the Chateau d’If (the prison)? It was one of the best parts of the entire book! And they didn’t animated that =(.
    3)Abbé Faria, a great support character from the book (prisoner of the Château d’If, helped Edmond to escape from prison), isn’t here ¬¬.
    4)The last 5 or 6 eps are fillers (though they were really good to see).
    5)Gankutsuou’s nature is poorly explained on the anime, while the book explains to us with details how and why Edmond became “Gankutsuou”; and, of course,explains Gankutsuou’s nature as well.
    6)The supernatural stuff was really out of place.

    I may be a bit harsh here, but this anime is still a must-see if you’re looking for something well written, exciting and different, but this isn’t a masterpiece IMO. Still this is my favorite GONZO work, side to side with Welcome to NHK.

  35. Pi says:

    I waited YEARS for you to post a review on Gankutsuou! I’m so glad you enjoyed the anime. I am completely in love with it and it’s one of my top favourite animes (along with Mushishi, Aoi Bungaku,Baccano!, and others)

    I love Chevalier D’Eon.

    That is all. 8U.

  36. Puran says:

    @Guigas : Oh come on, you can’t pin getting albert as the main character as a fault, I thought it got an interesting angle on the story, although it became more of a coming of age story as a result (hence all the angst, but I think it was handled nicely).

  37. yamapishy says:

    I thought you’ve watched this already!!!

    I’ve read the book years ago, but I almost forgot about it..but when i watched the anime, it’s like it’s all coming back to me…

    Wahh, it’s definitely one of the greatest animes in history. ^_^

  38. ali says:

    i cried. the intro song exemplified the the predominant theme of love and friendship with artistic beauty. them running on the beach with the chopped screenshots. one of the deepest and most touching anime’s i’ve ever seen. it dealt with strong theme of the morality of an aristocratic society, the meaning of life, and why forgiveness is essential in a short finite life. brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

    I was completely turned off by the animation at first, but came to understand and appreciate it once the plot began to unfold. this show is not for the simple minded. one has had to of experienced deep hardship, and have a cultivated mind to fully appreciate this show. understanding geopolitics, and how egotism can drive only a handful of men to cause war and extreme wealth inequality helps you understand the depth of this show, because it is alluded to very nicely. i completely agree with the review. i think the reason why it’s isn’t given the full credit due is because the anime culture consists largely of people who wouldn’t appreciate or understand these themes. many anime’s touch on these things, but count of monte cristo does it with out trying too hard, mixing them into the story like sugar in tea

  39. Randy says:

    Can you make a review for Air Gear, please?

  40. dreamyjohn says:

    I have just finished this show and find it worth a watch, but yea, 95/100 is a bit too… personal for an anime ranking.

    The graphics, despite being innovative and beautifully presented, hurt my eyes at some points. And yet for many reasons do this part serve the concept perfectly, something like, the extravagance of 19th century France (Pardon me but I can’t seem to ignore the fact that Haidee’s opera concert dress was a bit against her usual modesty).

    A 9/10 for characters is far too high, for the Count, Franz and Peppino should have taken more than a half of these points. Eugenie first showed up to be the strong type yet she became much of a damsel in distress throughout the rest of the series – while Valentine appeared to be so as from her very first debut before leaping into a looooong coma. They both didn’t even have enough chances to talk, as there is a serious lack of character development for Eugenie. The trailer version of Eugenie was a lesbian – shown kissing her piano teacher who seemed much like a genderbent Albert – and her initial design is later used for Andrea. Her character was rewritten to be an entirely different person with a different role during the making of the anime, hence the lack of depths and what a real let-down to consider into the overall ranking of this show.

    However, I do like the fact that many characters appear to be absolutely detestable at first and yet turned out to be much more dynamic and interesting towards the end of the anime. They’ve got reasons for every deed they were to commit, however those reasons themselves were pretty much based around one love triangle to another.

    The essential theme for this series to have been developed upon is perhaps the ungoverned desires of the human hearts fueled with dramatic power and futuristic technology. That is why despite being a good series, this show is not all that ‘mature’ and underrated as many might have thought of it. Being much more than just enjoyable, but completely not on the same league with series like Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop. A true classic needs more a sense of philosophical originality rather than just visual or emotional.

    And I am going to hate Albert forever because of Franz, my dear angel Franz ; ;

    Therefore a 85~87/100 would probably be good enough.

  41. Kami says:

    Nice Review mate. I am a huge fan of the novel and also enjoyed the movie and anime adaptation of it as well. Also the ending of the book is different from the anime if you haven’t read it.

    PS great LOGH, Monster and Mushishi review

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Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
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Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
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Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
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I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
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ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
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@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
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@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
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