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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KTravlos
@SuperMario I need to finish this seasons first. Dark Matter, Turn, Virgin Soul, and RE:Creators.
SuperMario
@Vonter: I watched some episodes of Stars vs the Forces of Evil and found it was okay. Enjoyable but nothing too stand out. I'm also meant to watch Vixen the web series but still haven't had the time to.
Vonter
My youtube feed showed me there's a new Ducktales and Spiderman cartoons. I've been wondering what other newish cartoons are good. Has anyone seen Starr versus the Forces of Evil or the new Voltron. I'm just wondering since I hardly have gave them a chance.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: try some new shows this season Travlos. There's quite a lot to choose from and I am sure some of these will pique your interest.
KTravlos
I have a very bad feeling about the next RE:Creators episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a troll review or at least I hope its a troll review (because I don't want to believe it could be true) review on imdb from some Christian nutter who disliked it for religious reasons.
Lenlo
@Masky, yeah the portrayal of the church was very one dimensional in this. Probably a victim of the short run time, but possibly not.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am as a thirty year old man shamelessly shamelessly looking forward to Nanoha reflections when it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the film's from the guy who directed GitS SAC so yeah I will give it a watch if I have a chance
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do we care about this? : https://myanimelist.net/anime/33204/Hirune_Hime__Shiranai_Watashi_no_Monogatari its being screened over here next week I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I will read Crecy and plenatary then.
Masky
Anyhoo, I did like netflix Castlevania too, but I can't help but feel that Warren Ellis seems like sort of atheist who let's their opinion on christianity out in tract-y ways :D I mean, not that medieval catholic church wasn't corrupt, but that element isn't really from the games so it gotta come from him and it feels weakest aspect of the show.
Masky
@AidanAK47: Castlevania's story would make for good children's action show or cheesy action movie though :D Like, yeah, games are rather story thin(when they aren't melodramatic) but concept of Castlevania's story isn't that bad for a series.
AidanAK47
@Anon, with luck that new KonoSuba anime project is a third season. I didn't realize the Season 2 OVA just came out.
Anonymous1290766
Kono Suba ftw
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, there are some good moments even after the Shark jump but yeah, all downhill from here.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: it was a captivating jump, wasn't it?
Lenlo
I think I hit the shark jump in Kado.
reaLjustified
Koi to Uso....kind of as vanilla a romance story can get, and that premise doesn’t do anything for me after Sakura Sakura. Honestly the star-crossed love worked better with Nisekoi.
Lenlo
Well they were a good series of episodes, so guess it was a success
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Already has got one. Second season with 8 episodes is coming. Honestly makes me think that it's really the rest of season one and these four episodes were gauging the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it has been re-newed.
Lenlo
@Aidan, yeah. Its way better than I thought. The VA for some characters is just great, I actually liked Belmont alot. I really hope it gets a 2nd season, because Dracula was also great
AidanAK47
@Mario, Well you do write for STAR CROSSED anime blog. Maybe that's a factor.
SuperMario
@Aidan: "What is a man" huh? It's fun to listen to actually :)
SuperMario
I can't believe it myself... but I get sucked into the story of Koi to Uso. Yesterday was reading the manga until 2am (and I hd to wake up at 6.30 for work). SINCE WHEN FORCED CONTRIVED STAR-CROSSED ROMANCE BECOME MY THING? I blame those big eyes.
AidanAK47
I mean the best game in the series has dialogue like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMTizJemHO8
AidanAK47
@Masky, Castlevaina games are never played for their story. If anything the story is usually the weakest element. When I heard of this series before I thought it was ridiculous because the story of the games was too weak to make into a good story.
Masky
Better than any right to be? Like I know that video game adaptions usually suck, but surely that doesn't mean that being video game adaption itself is qualification for being bad? :p
AidanAK47
I will see if I can do a write up on Castlevaina tommarrow but yeah for a video game adaption it's better than it has any right to be. I think the reason for that is Warren Ellis.
Lenlo
Castlevania actually has good action scenes too. Very pretty.
Lenlo
The Netflix Castlevania series, one episode in so far, is actually pretty good. It does justice to the old series, more than any other videogame adaptation ive seen.
SuperMario
And I know this is way off the mark but whenever I hear Baltimore I'm thinking of Beach House band
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I feel you that the action scenes feel no weight.
Lenlo
Three degrees of Nazi. We always get there somehow
Lenlo
The story seems setting up to repeat to me as well, with the mutant/normie racial problems. Hopefully the Reflection event/mystery over takes that though.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Vatican's mysteries have gotten to a ridiculous level. This week throws up sexual abuse, drug use, corruption and somehow Nazis are involved as well. It's just too much for me
Lenlo
They could have kept the comic book feel though by doing what Ping Pong did, with the panel layouts. I feel the low framerate did nothing but hurt it. Had the action scenes been done differently it could have worked, but it was a traditional fight scene so it didnt work.
SuperMario
Speaking of 18if, I still consider that show an experiment wreck, but a fascinating wreck it will
SuperMario
I don't really mind the low frame rate in the Reflection. I think the choice is deliberated to resemble the comic motion. I'm more worried about the story as they have some random fights that I feel even more dreamy than 18if
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I quite liked the Reflections art but the animation, or lack thereof, held it back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Once again my anime taste falls in with Marios =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you can only imagine if shinbo or Yuasa were to work on 18...if.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I do think 18..if is exactly what I need right now, I am not certain it will top flipflappers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The premise for ballroom is of no interest to me.
I’m hearing Vatican is quite silly in a campy horror way
which appeals to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While visually the show seemed to improve with episode 3, I wasn’t all that emotionally invested with that story.
I would take this protagonist over IdiotMCx100 any day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
18..if is the most interesting thing I’ve looked into so far, largely due to it being the most un-conventional/abnormal, the concept interests me and poor as the animation is , the worlds it shows/creates, the imagination of the show gets close to forgiving that, as it was the most macabre, episode 2 has been my favourite so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I’ve begun (at last)checking out some of the series airing this season.
The reflections style is complete push away/turn off for me. I feel made in abyss could grow into something and I’d like it to actually properly get going/start, the buildup is slightly dull.
K-Off
@Vonter Graces is nothing compared to the pandering mess that Symphonia 2 was. Just embarrassing.
SuperMario
"There's a white house waiting for us in Casablanca" haha, can't help but laugh at its wordplay
Lenlo
Im planning on mentioning it, but yeah. Alot of the combat didnt really have an 'impact' to them. There are other shows, like Ping Pong, that I think do this sort of style better, if alittle differently.
Anonymous1283104
I think the main issue was the animation being kind of simple, the scenes didnt have 'motion'
Lenlo
@Anon, yeah The Reflection moved at the pace of a glacier. The art style was unique and should have lead to good looking fights, but instead it moved at the pace of a glacier. Ill have a write up on it later today
KTravlos
very nice episode of Virgin Soul. Really liked seeing Favoro look like Favoro again.
Vonter
Tales of Graces sadly might have the most childish, and pandering story of the series.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - Tales of Graces worked around having to both attack and defend to continue attacking. If just attacked you made less and weaker attacks. It was a way of cooldown that was more reliant on the player thinking about the attacks it used. Later games followed a more typical cooldown and combined special attacks with the regular ones.
Anonymous1282493
Reflection was kinda painful to watch, I didn't expect anything in the first place and was disappointed nonetheless.
Lenlo
I cant snowboard or ski at all so its ok.
SuperMario
I did hit my head on the ground (for the first time) but I was lucky that I was wearing helmet. I curse S turn
SuperMario
@lenlo: it's fun but it's a lot of pain as well.
Lenlo
Sounds like fun
SuperMario
I'm literally covered in snow right now with my butt numbed. Will get back home in few hours to catch up on 18if
Lenlo
Havnt had the chance to watch it yet, but Reflection apparently looks like a comic book but has weird fight scenes? Ill get that write up tomorrow once I watch it tonight.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*hear
Jesus Christ what happened to my spelling
AidanAK47
That's one of the things that mainly turned me off. The battle system is essentially button mashing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The regular complaint I here from Tales of naysayers is a dislike of the battle mechanics/system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I avoided the anime adaptations of the tales games mostly because I assumed they presumed previous knowledge of the games. I actually only saw Phantasia due to having been familiar with the games story when I was younger.
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
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