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
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
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