Posted on 31 March 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This month… was crazy. It was completely different from any other month, there was just so much going on. It’s not just a month of one of the worst catastrophes to hit Japan since the Second World war. Also in terms of anime releases this month was just unique. It’s been a month of extremes for me, best explained through numbers.

First of all, this is the sixth March summary I’ve written on this site. Throughout all these six years, I don’t think I ever have watched as little as 15 series at the same time. This isn’t on purpose either: I just don’t think that there are any other TV-series that were worth my time this season, especially considering how bloody few series continued over from the past Autumn Season. This really turned out to be a series of quality over quantity: three series were completely amazing despite being really short, and they were the ones that made such a small season memorable.

And yet, despite these low numbers, AND having a job that keeps me busy for 36 hours each week, I have never been as active on this blog as I have been during the last month. With this post, I have just broken my own record of the biggest amount of posts made in one month: 86 of them. The movie spree I’ve been having and Supernatural had a big influence in this, but it’s not just that.

Even though there were few TV-series this month, I don’t think I have ever seen a month where so many OVAs and movies were released. Seriously, they just all kept coming, it’s like everyone and his dog released something here, even when not taking Supernatural into account. The quality of most of these OVAs and Movies also was really good. There was a lot of interesting stuff amongst them, both from one shots and from larger ones. It all culminated into one wonderful month of anime.

#15 (18) – Dragon Crisis – (5,5/10)

This final month was the worst we’ve seen so far here! I mean, the last three arcs were completely stupid and moronic. They made no sense whatsoever and their only purpose was to increase Ryuuji’s harem. Overall this was one huge waste of time.

#14 (14) – Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? – (6,25/10)

This entire month of Zombie was dedicated to the incredibly stupid drama around Hellscythe. It’s a shame, because if it focused on the creativity of the first half then it could have been very enjoyable.The nail in this one’s coffin was the abysmal episode 12, though. I’d like to thank this episode for leaving a really bad aftertaste for this series. Even worse than that multiple Deus ex Machina ending.

#13 (13) – Gosick – (6,5/10)

Gosick episodes have a spark of potential in them. Unfortunately, this spark was completely gone this month. Only two episodes aired, but those were completely unnecessary in this series.

#12 (16) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,75/10)

This is what the entire series should have been. I finally get the feeling that this series is actually moving somewhere again. It’s still not as good as the first season, but at the least I’m glad that this show did not annoy me in the slightest this month.

#11 (15) – Fractale – (7,75/10)

Fractale is an adventure series whose biggest problem is that it has no idea what it’s doing. As a light-hearted adventure series this would have worked nicely, but at the same time this series is also trying to sound deep. And that’s where it fails completely. As a whole, this series is enjoyable. It’s just that the individual ingredients don’t mesh together at all.

#10 (11) – Wolverine – (8/10)

Again, the lack of depth isn’t going to make Wolverine into anything amazing. But as a simple action series this month kicked ass. The finale really was fun and exciting and the creators threw a lot at Wolverine in order to keep things interesting. It did justice to all of the characters, as simple as they were and overall I had a lot of fun watching and blogging this.

#9 (8) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)

Overall, Bakuman is one of those shows where the pacing could have gone up a notch. Still I have to give the past episodes credit for making me think that they were moving kindof fast, while in fact they actually weren’t. It’s still a solid show about making a manga, though. The characters are continuing to grow as well.

#8 (12) – Kimi ni Todoke – (8,25/10)

Episode 9. That was the episode that by far stood out above all of the other Kimi ni Todoke episodes. FINALLY, after so much waiting, this show finally got down to business, and it was glorious.

#7 (7) – Yumekui Merry – (8,25/10)

Before I’ll get enthusiastic about this show again, I first want to see some kind of second season announcement. Yumekui Merry is amazingly written. Episode 13 just isn’t the right time to end it. Not with a villain like Mistletain.

#6 (4) – Star Driver – (8,25/10)

The thing with Star Driver at the moment is that with still one episode remaining, it’s currently balancing on the edge of a cliff. The build-up to the ending has been completely unconventional, and if it can make this work it’ll be brilliant. If it can’t though, this will mean a very rushed ending. Whether or not this month’s episodes were good is entirely dependent on that final episode, but at least the play episode was awesome.

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

Supernatural’s biggest problem turned out to be its acting. I don’t mean the voice acting, but instead the way that the creators manage to portray the characters on the screen. It feels stiff and undynamic, and does get in the way of making them believable, especially in Sam’s case. Apart from that though, it has some excellent stories to tell. The first twelve episodes have ranged a bit in quality, but there were some real gems among them. The graphics also look consistently excellent.

#4 (6) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

The Cabernet turned out to be a big weakness here. The creators just couldn’t do anything interesting with it in the end. As for the rest of the show though, I have to praise the creators for actually doing pretty good stuff with the characters here. This show actually received closure. Something rare amongst manga-based series where the manga hasn’t finished yet.

#3 (2) – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – (9/10)

Madoka Magica only aired two episodes but the episodes that it did air were amazing. The background story is deep, and continuing this series’ trend to deconstruct the mahou shoujo genre. Bring on that finale!

#2 (1) – Level E – (9/10)

So, in the end it did turn out to be impossible to reach the stellar heights of the first arc. Nevertheless, Level E has been an incredibly varied and interesting series that can both tell great stories and be side-splitting hilarious. Especially the baseball episode was an awesome mystery story, but just about every episode here was incredibly addictive, even when they weren’t funny. This series always has me on the edge of my seat.

#1 (3) – Hourou Musuko – (9/10)

Hourou Musuko ended magnificently It closed itself off perfectly, and yet the final episodes put in a massive amount of character development. Nitori’s development was just amazing, I just loved how the romance in this show worked out, and the introduction of Doi gave a completely different twist to this series. Just about every episode had something amazing, and some of the plot twists just blew my mind. This month did show 5 episodes as compared to Madoka Magica’s only having two, but BY GOD did it make use of them!

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Hourou Musuko




The past season had three series that really stood with head and shoulders above the rest. They were all genuinely good and took their genres into new and fresh directions. Hourou Musuko takes a look at cross dressers. Most of time when they’re portrayed in a medium, they’re portrayed for laughs or flamboyance. Hourou Musuko however is entirely built around showing the issues that boys who feel like they are girls (and vice versa) run into while growing up. And it does so brilliantly.

For starters, this is one of those series that has a slow pacing, yet somehow manages to make a ton of stuff happen in each episode. It’s full of subtlety, and because of this it can get a ton of genuine drama out of the characters using its limited time of only 11 episode excellently.

This show actually made quite a bold statement by not animating the first X volumes of the manga it’s based on, but instead starting somewhere in the middle. The great thing about this show is that despite this, it still doesn’t feel incomplete. Characters sometimes refer to things that have happened to them in the past, but it’s apparent enough to the viewers to figure out what happened. This method gave the characters both a rich past and future and it gives the impression that there really is much more to them than what we see in the series. It’s a terrific way of characterizing them, and the entire cast of this series pretty much feels incredibly genuine and believable. Oh, and finally we’ve found another show that takes a realistic look at romance, as opposed to the overly sappy view you see in nearly every anime.

It’s a series for which I’ve had hardly anything to criticize for. The story is perfectly balanced, the plot twists are amazing in their subtlety, the cast is amazing, the animation brings both the cast and setting come alive and there is hardly anything that this show does wrong. If I had to nitpick at something then it’s that the characters are portrayed a tad too mature for their age. But so what? This is a wonderful portrayal of growing up. The cross-dressing is only a tiny part of this series. There’s so much to this show, and it’s only 11 episodes long.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Wonderfully subtle, with some amazing plot twists.
Characters: 10/10 – Amazing portrayal of young teenagers growing up,and their issues dealing with it. Wonderful development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – This show is really good at far away shots, with restrained animation, still bringing its cast to life.
Setting: 8/10 – Excellent portrayal of a school in japan. This show knows how to ring its environments to life.

Suggestions:
Aoi Hana
Asatte no Houkou
Sasameki Koto

Posted on with categories: Hourou Musuko



Okay, so this was supposed to be episode 12, even though it was labelled everywhere in the episode as episode 11. It contained no recycled material whatsoever however, so I guess it’s safe to assume that it was really episode twelve. I’m not the only one who is a bit confused, right?

In any case, this was an excellent closure to an excellent series. Even with an episode cut out, Hourou Musuko felt like it had no weaknesses whatsoever to me. It consistently engaging, from start to finish. This episode really ended at the perfect point, with Nitori’s voice changing. It denotes the start of a huge change for him. The time where his body starts changing has finally arrived, and within a few years, he’s going to make the decision whether or not to get surgery.

And yet there was so much more that happened in this episode that developed so many other characters: Doi, Chiba, Takatsuki, Anna: this show took its chance to give all of them even more development than they already had.

Overall, Hourou Musuko understood what it means to be a Noitamina series: you only get 11 or 12 episodes, and that’s the length that you have to work with. They took an excellent part of the manga and made it feel like a complete story: characters have lives that continue on both before and after this show takes place, and yet the series feels complete. I especially loved that talk that Nitori and Anna had, right before the play started.

I’m looking forward to next year’s Noitamina. C is bound to be awesome. Even Kuchuu Buranko, Kenji Nakamura’s least impressive work, was really enjoyable and interesting. Anohana meanwhile is one of those shows that doesn’t seem to belong in Noitamina at first sight. Along with Hana Saku Iroha, it’ll have to take Hourou Musuko’s place as the serious teenaged slice of drama of the season. If they’ll end up as well balanced and written as Hourou Musuko, we’re really in for a treat here.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: OVA Impressions



Yeah, this is pretty much Junjo Romantica 3. It doesn’t even try to hide this: the character designs are very similar, albeit a bit more detailed, the set-up is the same, the style is the same, and the way that the characters interact with each other is the same. I know that this is all from the same creators and all, but couldn’t they at least have tried to look a bit different?

In any case though, the irony is that Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi has a good chance of becoming the best show of Studio Deen so far this year. I mean it’s not like Chiaki Kon is a bad director or anything. It’s not original at all or anything, and the whole set-up is… contrived to say the least, but like Junjo Romantica , at the very least it has a good dialogue and chemistry between the lead characters. It also avoids a bunch of gay show tropes, like acknowledging that females actually EXIST.

But yeah, that set-up. It was definitely trying way too hard here. We have this guy who finds out that he’s been stalked by one of his underclassmen and confessed to. It’s someone who he did not know before. So, what’s his first reaction? Yeah. “Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s have some sex”. I know that later in the episode he says that he has huge family problems and all, but that makes this show even more emo.

Based on just this episode, I don’t think that I’ll keep watching it. Like Junjo Romantica, it knows when to be funny and especially the inner monologues are pretty nice here. I just don’t feel like watching something I was lukewarm about a second time.
OVA Episode Rating: 7,5/10

Posted on 30 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke




Each year, before the start of each Autumn Season, I hold a little poll in which you can all force me to blog a series I wouldn’t normally even consider to cover. The only time at which I could not complete such a series was in 2009, with Kimi ni Todoke’s first season. It had very solid production values; Production IG made sure of that. However, as a romance it just had no idea what it wanted to do. Any scene that focused on Sawako’s (the lead character) growth as a character was overshadowed by its romantic drivel that refused to go anywhere.

It really was the classic syndrome of romance shows, where the creators just refuse to let relationships play out normally, in favour of forced and artificial cheese and drama. It’s because of this that I wasn’t looking forward to its second season. But lo and behold: it actually redeemed itself a bit. The biggest surprises of this season definitely lie in its sequels.

This second season really shows that the creators took a good look at what happened to the first season, with the intention to fix its major flaws. They put aside the romantic nonsense and simply constructed a series with the sole purpose of resolving the romantic relationship between the two lead characters. It’s an in-depth look at how the relationship between the two lead characters grows. It’s no longer another simple “will they won’t they”-story, but instead the series changes into a “when, how and why will they hook up”. A much more interesting premise, and to make matters even better: the creators also figured out how to use slow pacing. Instead of using it for stalling, they use it to slowly build up everything they need, deliver one hell of a climax, and afterwards carefully wrap up everything that needed to be wrapped up. It’s a massive improvement over the first season.

At the same time though, I wouldn’t say that this is the second coming of White Album. The fact remains that the first season just left a lot to be desired, and it didn’t even seem to build up for this second season. The second season does make use of some of the things that happened throughout the first season, but it mostly feels like the creators went “oh crap, we actually need to develop these people”. Kimi ni Todoke still is an overly pure portrayal of teenaged romance: great to swoon away, but at the same time it’s not like the story behind it is really deep and thoughtful. The characters remain one-sighted teenagers who only seem to think about romance and the drama still is based entirely around the fact that they refuse to talk to each other. They’re just much better written and portrayed than in the first season.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Has exactly what the first season lacked: focus. Carefully builds up its simple but effective romance.
Characters: 8/10 – They refused to develop in the first season. In the second season however, they do, and IT’S ABOUT BLOODY TIME.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Production IG is solid as expected, though there are too many distorted faces.
Setting: 8/10 – Nothing special nor nothing bad here aside from an overly idyllic portrayal of teenaged life. But then again, something tells me that was very much intentional.

Suggestions:
Bokura ga Ita
Aoi Hana
True Tears

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?




That’s it. With this I’m done giving these generic looking moe shows a benefit of doubt. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka is not as bad as Dragon Crisis. In fact, it has a few parts that are actually good, especially in its first half. It lead me to believe that, in fact, we might get a very enjoyable fanservice show here. Unfortunately though, this show then proceeded to run all of my hopes into the ground.

Let me start with the good stuff: this show is quite creative when it wants to be. When it wants to, it can use its cliched ingredients, insert some good chemistry between the characters, throw in some crazy plot twists and create an excellent tension. There really are a few excellent episodes in this series, especially the first and the one about the slasher. It’s just that there’s just so much crap in the rest of this show.

Zombie is at its best when the chemistry around its characters is dynamic. It’s got well written banter that works well with its nonchalant zombie main character. It’s quite enjoyable when it doesn’t take its own cliches seriously and instead tries to put them into a creative scenario. Most of the time though, it just forgets this and devolves into dull moe hi-jinks. Eventually, it just gives up trying to be interesting and just opts for lazy slice of life that’s just there to fill up time. The characters in this show are nowhere near well written enough to remain enjoyable when they’re not funny.

The big nail in this one’s coffin though is that it has no bloody clue how to tell a good story. The drama in the first half can actually get quite good when the show still is a collection of random episodes about the important characters, but it completely falls apart when it tries to build up for some overall storyline. The drama gets incredibly cheesy, and the worst part is that the creators don’t even realize this, so they just keep stretching the cheese ad nauseum.

The entire second half of this series is based around complete stupidity from one character that ends with one heck of a Deus ex Machina (several of them, actually). And then, when the climax is over and you thought that things couldn’t get any worse… episode 12 will destroy any good memories that were still left with one giant middle finger to both its audience and cast of characters.

Studio Deen. Please put some people who can actually tell a story on your next series. I mean, you’ve showed in the past that you can make genuinely good moe shows with Touka Gettan and YamiBoushi. Why so much laziness?

Storytelling: 7/10 – When it wants to, it can be very enjoyable and dynamic, but this doesn’t happen often enough and gets ruined by some terrible episodes and drama.
Characters: 6/10 – Try to be serious, but fail. Try to be enjoyable, but fail as well. Only when they try to be themselves they work well.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Pretty decent animation. Certainly not the worst.
Setting: 7/10 – Has nice ideas, but doesn’t use them often enough.

Suggestions:
Touka Gettan
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito

Posted on 29 March 2011 with categories: Level E



Awesome to see the entire main cast together again for the finale of this series. I mean, these are the kinds of characters who are awesome to watch, no matter what they do. Having an entire arc focus on them was exactly what this show needed to close off well.

Also, I finally spotted an overused cliche in this series: the seemingly helpless girl who manages to hit a home-run against all expectations. But then again, as an alien it makes perfect sense, and this episode even poked fun at the “walking into the shower”-scene that baffles me of why it was the first one to do that.

Overall, it’s true that the first arc of Level E was without a doubt its best: it had the element of surprise and used it utterly brilliantly. What happened after that is very interesting, though. Instead of joining the bandwagon of trying to make more episodes in the same vein, the rest of the episodes continued to experiment with all kinds of different stories and characters surrounding aliens on earth. Standalone it’s indeed easy to just compare the to the first three episodes and label this as a show that goes downhill, but nevertheless I find the way in which this series paints together a complete picture, making use of its momentum and constantly changing its focus and characters, to be quite brilliant and the single most enjoyable show of this season.

The thing is that I rarely give very high ratings to comedies, even though it’s a huge genre in anime. Level E has opened my eyes on how good the genre can be when it has some actually interesting stories to tell. This way, it can also be good whenever it’s not funny. Call it the X-Factor of comedies. With most comedies I’m just disappointed when they’re not funny, because besides being funny they fall apart without their humour. For Level E though, I think that it also would have worked as a series if it didn’t have its humour. It’d obviously be less awesome, but I can imagine that it would still keep my attention.

What’s more: a lot of comedies seem to be trying to solve this by going all serious in the final two episodes. I’ve only seen very few of them that actually pulled off such a good climax, though (Hyakko being one of those rare examples). This series however showed that you can just as easily tell serious stories that fit in 1 to 3 episodes that can work just as well as long arcs if they all succeed in coming together and form a whole and creating its own universe.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, OVA Impressions



The adults in Gundam Unicorn… are actually portrayed really well. Their maturity works quite well. And like I said before: the execution here is incredibly solid and if this wasn’t bound by Gundam cliches, I definitely would have liked it even more than I am now. There are plenty of characters here who take themselves seriously, are intelligent and make for a great war drama.

What annoys me about Gundam Unicorn is something that annoys me about a lot of other Gundams as well. They’re certain ideas and tropes that just continue to run throughout all kinds of Gundam Series that I just can’t get behind, and seeing those repeated over and over… I have to admit that those are killing my enjoyment of this series a bit.

To take this episode:
– The main character is the vehicle for a lot of “war is bad” drama.He inherently believes that killing is evil… and yet he flies around in a giant killing machine.
– There also is that mentality of “oh, us adults are old and fail. Let us sacrifice ourselves so that the youth can shine” that I just can’t get behind, even though the adults are portrayed as far more useful and reliable.
– Then it also suddenly brought up the skilled minor bad guy who does nothing but frantic yelling. Especially Gundam 00 abused this one heavily.
– Oh, and let’s not forget the lead character unlocking his hidden powers once he sees one of his friends killed. Realistic warfare? Hah.

Nevertheless, this all could have been much, much worse. You can see that Char actually is aware of all these tropes around the lead characters, and has constructed a pretty solid plan around them with much more details than you usually see. Meanwhile, while the main character isn’t the best advertisement for “war is bad”, his romantic interest is actually trying to resolve conflicts using diplomacy as the “Relena” of this series. That’s one cliche that I don’t have any qualms about: it’s good to have a voice of reason in Gundam series: someone who doesn’t constantly think about fighting.

Also, I have yet to see my to biggest annoyances of the Gundam franchise: the endless yelling and angsting, and the long strings of monotone battles that they tend to devolve in. If Gundam Unicorn can actually avoid these in its second half, then it can really get quite good. However, this episode already contained a hint to the former (that guy who just kept yelling). As for the second annoyance, though: those usually are the result of this series remaining too long in space, where there really isn’t much to do apparently. The end of this episode showed the characters descending to earth.

A descending scene that was really good, by the way. The song behind it was ridiculously cheesy, but somehow the direction made it all work all the characters finally taking a break between all the fighting in order to actually get through the atmosphere safely. That’s good build-up here, to end the episode with a completely different mood.
OVA Episode Rating: 8/10

Posted on 28 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Dragon Crisis




The past Winter Season was a dark season… for Studio Deen in any case. They came out with more series than any other series, and all of them were disappointing even despite my low expectations. I mean, I am a fan of them and all, but the reason for that is most definitely not their consistency!

I originally wanted to be a bit more generous with my rating for this series, but the more I thought about this show, the more I realized that it just doesn’t have anything redeemable. There’s no reason to watch this thing; everything it does has been done better a thousand times already. Dragon Crisis at heart is a boring cliche-fest that lacks any sort of ambition.

The structure of this series consists out of six two-episode arcs. This show somehow manages to do the impossible and become progressively worse with every successive arc. Seriously, just when you think that this show couldn’t get any worse, it manages to finds some way to prove you wrong until at the end, the creators just outright give up. Every arc is pretty much focused on adding someone to the lead guy’s harem. Yeah, that loses its charm really quickly.

Beyond that the writing is just outright stupid. This is the kind of show that was written by people who think that teenagers (its target audience) have the mental capacities of a lobotomized squirrel. Characters act solely on what’s convenient to the plot and make the most bizarre leaps in logic at times. Any attempts of this show to become genuine is overshadowed by their complete stupidity. Add that to a plot that is just chockful of plot evices, deus ex machinas and inconsequential techno-babble that too make no sense whatsoever. All of that really is not helped by a really annoying cast of cliches and stereotypes that are supposed to be characters in which hardly anyonee stands out.

One of the big eslling points of Dragon Crisis looked to be its animation, with Masashi Ishihama (the guy behind the gorgeously animated Read or Die and Welcome to the Space Show) as its animation director. But even factoring in the lower budget that this series received, the animation is surprisingly bland: it’s not used well, the characters are all carbon copies of each other with just different hairstyles and despite a relatively high framerate for Studio Deen’s standards, none of the visuals stand out as particularly impressive.

The reason why I still consider a series like Fractale to be good, despite the way in which it too has a lot of flaws, is because it still is a very enjoyable adventure. There is absolutely nothing enjoyable about Dragon Crisis. None of the drama works, its stories are completely void of any creativity, its characters are just there to get in the lead guy’s pants and it just had no intention of trying to do anything even remotely interesting.

Thats the big problem with Studio Deen: they’ve been losing their talent left and right and just aren’t trying hard enough most of the time. They need some incentive: something to really get them to produce the really good stuff again, because this… this just is a complete waste.

Storytelling: 4/10 – Completely unambitious, doesn’t know what it wants to do and therefore is full of deus ex machina and plot induced stupidity.
Characters: 5/10 – None stands out. It’s just one big harem with all the cliches in place.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Not as good as you’d expect, but doesn’t cause this show to get any worse than what it already is.
Setting: 5/10 – This show looks like it adctually has a complex background with its dragons and rare artifacts, but in the end it’s nothing but mere cliches and techno-babble.

Suggestions:
Dragonaut The Resonance (Yes, I’m actually recommending Dragonaut over this one. At least that one had some ambition!)
Fractale
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

Posted on 27 March 2011 with categories: Supernatural The Animation



Now this is more like it! Episode 12 was definitely the best episode of the second batch of Supernatural episodes. It not only showed a completely different perspective from usual, it also gave a lot of new depth to the overall story and on top of that, it was a terrific standalone story as well.

It really was a great idea to have an entire episode focused around Sam and Dean’s father: this episode was entirely devoid of those two, safe for one photograph. Their father (John) also makes for an excellent central character: he knows when to remain in the shadows and when to be useful and do something. This allowed the story of this episode to really shine.

I really liked the story of Grey and Lilly Baker. It’s also what really established the demons as a real threat here. They’ve got a tragic father-daughter relationship, but this episode was really genuine. For once the acting did not get in the way, and was amongst the best this series has shown so far.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Niello
@KTravlos My experience with Terror too.
KTravlos
The Terror ended weak for me. A great show up to episode 7 and parts of 8, 9 and 10 just went down the path of gore fest. It will work for many, but it soured for me the excellent first 8 ones.
Niello
And that's it for Franxx, an entire episode dedicated to lame world building. Expecting it to be mediocre was correct.
Lenlo
Well, Mikio's gear was upgrading to V5 we saw, so it may not be as easy as we think. That said, I just want Gear to be relevant. It really feels like just a gimmick to me so far and Mikio could maybe change that, since his is so important
AidanAK47
Oh and I got two card drops, both of which were Shanas.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still need to grind up the damage points. I am close and planning to get it before Rider day ends. But Banana Oni is the hardest challege this game has ever given. And fighting her is always a gamble.
Amagi
Yeah it was a good move. Really want to see how Mikio will fight without the advantage he had till now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
This weeks episode of megalobox gave an added importance to him being gearless .
Amagi
Now that I got the 300mio damage in FGO I finally get card drops that I don't need anymore
AidanAK47
@Masky, I believe I told you to watch Fate/Zero and apologize.
Masky
@AidanAK47 three days ago: Harsh words :D
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do echo the frustration though with shows you like not getting enough episodes. And then there are of course shows where I wonder, did they really need so many episodes/seasons.
Anonymous2142344
You an always watch the old 160 episode ova of Legend of Galactic Heroes. Differences to date are minor
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Follow up films coming though.
Anonymous2142275
Galactic Heroes, is starting to grow on me, is a shame, that's only 12 episodes so much potential being wasted. What happened to those times when long animes, could have at least 50 episodes ( Gundam Seed, Code Geass) and still be viable. feeling hopeless
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: A female director you could also look into is Moufida Tlatli , especially silences of the palace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On golden kamuy, from reading on in the manga, there will be a big reveal regarding Asirpa soon. Also I feel the prisoner guys are becoming monster of the week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm glad to be reviewing stuff again on letterboxd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I...actually momentarily forgot about the PM system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Watch Bombshell, secrets of a hollywood star or calling hedy lamarr, Bombshell is a recent documentary about Lamarr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Von Triers new film looks darkly funny though to a degree and I love the self-indulgent first per3son narration.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I have no idea how Stellan Skarsgard (who works alot with Von trier) produced Alexander Skarsgard, the latter is far too attractive to come from that. I feel the same about Asia Argento, I refuse to believe Dario could have produced such a fine creature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm rarely about morals or understanding as an importance when it comes to film, I care most about how it hits me on a visceral/emotional level, how daring it is in its imagination, visuals, madness , creativity.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: thanks, received it. God, Von Triers new film is entirely something else. Full-on provocation. And I already think his Nymphomaniac was too much
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Also I'm dying to see Von Trier and Chang-dongs new films, especially the priors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
Lenlo
That said, the key drama scenes were still great. Okabe's VA continues to make me happy. Im just not sure how much of this is nostalgia.
Lenlo
Steins;Gate is at its best in moments of character drama and character interaction. All of its value lies in its characters. Any action, with this muted style, is going to come off stiff and dull. A con of the art-style decision.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm glad you said that, because I felt visually it looked stiff this week and that brief scene in the beginning wasn't much to look at. But Okabes meeting with Baldyguy-san and the cliffhanger and after credits bit were good scenes.
Lenlo
So yeah, this was probably the weakest week of Steins;Gate so far. Its pretty clear its not an action series and that its style doesnt suit itself well to combat scenes
SuperMario
... watching and reading many shounen titles (Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Bleach and the likes), shounen isn't my cup of tea at all
SuperMario
While I grow up
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Shounen. BnHA is one of my favorites every season its on. Doesnt mean I like Black Clover though
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thank you for that anon, when I watched the episode earlier I wasn't aware there was a post credits scene.
Anonymous2141254
oh well, we still are early on in S;G 0 too. Plus, there seems to be a huge development at the end of the episode
Anonymous2141254
idk, i can't help but feel that besides the amadeus plotline, everything else feels "fillery"
Anonymous2141254
I must say though that I'm still waiting for it to get good, idk maybe my expectations are too high because the original was great after the first few episodes
Anonymous2141254
Don't forget to watch end credits fo Steins Gate 0
KTravlos
I like some shonen. I just think that they are popular enough as not to be worth reviewing ihmo.
Vonter
@Anon2140150 - I do. Though Shounen do have the issue of being derivative in certain aspects like power scales and several doing the FMA Brotherhood climax (of what I've watched). Also they're made to be endless. It can be intimidating jumping to one that has several seasons.
Anonymous2140150
Does everyone here don't like shonen anime?
Amagi
Really, if there is one piece of information (aside from otome maybe) that makes me ignore a series forever it's a LN about a LN author or illustrator. The selfinert wish fulfillment couldn't be more obvious.
Amagi
Another LN greenlit for an anime production and the synopsis starts with "* is a light novel illustrator and..".
Amagi
@KTravlos: I don't know why modern anime hate curly- and/or wild hair so much. The old hair style gave Reinhard a more royal look, whereas he looks like a normal highschool boy now. Not that I am complaining about the anime as a whole. Also, I like some of the new designs.
KTravlos
and a part of me things it is indeed the hair. It comes to low, giving Reinhard a slovenly, lazy feel. When Yang feels more energetic you know there was a mistake.
KTravlos
and yes, this Reinhard fares poorly in comparison to the OVA one. He is dull. I need more Yang :p
KTravlos
ai vay vay. The Castrop Rebellion remains waste of time. And this time it was worse. The older depiction was tacky but at least it showed Kircheis ability in a logical manner. This time I had no idea what the hell happened. It felt cheap.

The rest of the episode was ok. Not completely sold on all the renditions of imp. admirals though I still love the uniforms.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*those
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hearing these , I find myself much more tolerant of anime voice acting even if the dub might only be okay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its actually less of a sync issue, as I'm talking about 60s dubs , alot of people think the voices in old anime English dubs from the 90s are dated, but the old sixties kungfu and western dubs are shocking, far worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't mind sometimes satirical dubbing like on tiger lily , dialectics break bricks and kung pow however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And those can be difficult to acquire sometimes in Italian or Chinese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Live action films, this is especially annoying sometimes because I love Spaghetti westerns and Chinese martial arts films and old Italian cop thrillers.
Anonymous2137430
@Kaiser-Eoghan Are you referring to foreign animated films of foreign live action films because dubbing live action is a different beast as I'm sure you're aware. The idiosyncratic nature of watching moves and facial expressions not properly match voices really pulls the viewer out of the experience
SuperWooper
LoGH is airing a special next week because of scheduling delays, so that's one less thing to do.
AidanAK47
Well to those whom it might concern, expect my posts to be later than usual this week. Work is hell at the moment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say, this is probably a bit hypocritical, but while I enjoy dubs of anime I really really can't stand dubs of foreign films.
Lenlo
Simo Hayha would make a pretty crazy Archer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine a fate strange fake adaptation will materialize eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But everyone seems to want that Finnish sniper as a Fate servant .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still no Mao, still mad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I have lost track of the historical characters in the fate lineup.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, to expand on that point the following historical figures are now female: Nero Claudius, Leonardo da Vinci, Frankenstein's Monster, Xuanzang, Jing Ke, Quetzalcoatl, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Miyamoto Musashi, Okita Souji and many more to come.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I find it's an enjoyable watch though flawed. If you can get past some odd fanservice around the first ten episodes then I say it's worth watching.
Anonymous2133468
So i was thinking if i start watching, darling in the franxx, is worth it? or is just another 6/10 anime?
Lenlo
God damnit. Why Nasu. Just why.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, that ain't even Lewd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In all seriousness its ridiculous, the Japanese will make a cute/moe girl out of anything.
AidanAK47
....Should I also mention that Francis Drake is a big boobed pirate queen?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Posting lewd images on a respectable chatbox.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, But none of these characters are in the anime adaptions. Well besides Jack and Saber.
Lenlo
Aidan, all this conversation did was prove that my decision to only ever watch the Ufotable adaptions was the correct decision.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you can blame Extella for the Attlia the Hun thing. I wasn't too fond of it myself. Also should mention Attila is female as well.
https://pm1.narvii.com/6414/528599445b739909c02993cfdbfc9f277d088cf2_hq.jpg
AidanAK47
Also Masky I will be the first to admit to the ridiculous aspects of the Fate Franchise but do take note that you are commenting on something you know literally nothing about. Which is the very definition of ignorance and is quite annoying. Fate/Zero nails the themes it's going for. So go watch Fate/Zero, come back and apologize.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Give it time. Genghis is getting in there eventually with Grand Order. We just had Anastasia and Salieri introduced after all. And it's not as if this story introduces Servants willy nilly, they need actual story purpose. Genghis Khan wouldn't have fit the Narrative that Fate/Zero was going for.
Lenlo
Wait Attila is an Alien and Edison is a Lion? God damnit Fate. Why are you doing this to me. I was already annoyed at your treatment of Musashi
Masky
(aliens existing in the show is good example of that missing on themes part xP)
Masky
*most successful conqueror
Masky
Honestly was just amused most conqueror of all time not being featured in the show :D But wait, whats this about aliens?
AidanAK47
Anyway the important thing to take into account is that in the Fate universe, King Arthur is a woman, Attila the Hun is an Alien, Thomas Edison is a lion and Jack the Ripper is a little girl in a dominatrix outfit. Any questions?
AidanAK47
And while you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes, it does leave you ignorant of how that show handles those ideas and themes.
AidanAK47
As for the Historical Alexander, he wasn't given the title of King of Couquerors. Fate/Zeros interpretation of him was. As generally accurate Fates interpretation of Servents history can be, they can make changes to suit the narrative.
AidanAK47
In that Regard Alexander was doing the conquest thing before Ghengus did. Ghengus likely has some other title. Hell he may only have the title because public consciousness was is more familiar with Alexander than Ghengus.
AidanAK47
Yeah, looking it up seems the King Title lost quite a lot of meaning in the Nasuverse. Though the King Title is rather flimsy. I mean Arthur is the King of Knights cause of the Knights of the round table. Gil is king of heroes because his tale was the first Heroic myth.
Lenlo
I think Alexander was just the first one they thought of, and they couldnt retroactively give it to someone else.

That said, Broskander deserves it <3
Masky
(And no, you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes of it.)
Masky
(just to note in case I need to note, I do tend to do at least cursory research when I make comments on stuff I don't watch)
Masky
That first part is semantics as Fate gives title "King" to historical figures who weren't kings already :D Also, you can make that argument about historical Alexander the Great? Since that seriously sounds like kind of weak reason.
AidanAK47
Also sees Rider as deserving of title of "King of Conquerors" because that which he strives to conquer most is not lands or material wealth, but the hearts of people, the toughest conquest that can be undertaken by anyone.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Ghengis Khan wasn't a king. He was a Khan.
Lenlo
Ghengis is always a Rider in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, Ghengis would be an appropriate beserker servant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: I know, it feels so wrong I'm still mad I can't summon Karl Marx or Stalin.
Masky
So wait, Fate series is about historical figures with super powers, but "King of Conquerors" title isn't given to Ghengis Khan? :D Seriously? Thats just so wrong
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't feel any point in finishing it, it feels like something that I'd just randomly drop , not because its a bad show, but because I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
I am actually going to drop blogging it.
AidanAK47
@Sash, indeed. I have been watching it but not blogging it for the last few episodes because it just hasn't givne me anything to say. I don't think it's a bad show but I have pointed out the flaws and strengths of it already so there is truly nothing more to say on it.
Sash
I think wotakoi is starting to feel repetitive..
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware Shana and Batman Ninja Harelequinn are both voiced by Rie kugimiya.
Lenlo
I did. It was... It was a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Did you end up watching Batman ninja by the way?
Lenlo
Music is great, yeah. When the music is on point, everything goes up. Everytime the sync the fight/punches to the music I just get hyped. Like the rotating shot with Aragaki or the first fight in episode 1.
Lenlo
Ill do my best to be clearer in the future on that front. Yeah, I dont mind twists like this. Makes the inevitable Mikio fight, narratively, even better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the music does alot of the lifting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, so that was it.
Lenlo
Sorry if I never made that clear.
Lenlo
I would rather have fewer, amazing, fights than a lot of low-quality fights. This is a one cour show, the more meaning/impact they can give each fight the better.

Like Aragaki, narratively, was great. Loved it. Its just in animation/choreography that it falls flat.
Lenlo
Im disappointed with the animation of the fights. Narratively, I think they are quite good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*disappointed with the fights in past episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Pretty much what I said I thought of the episode. Although I was surprised how took the episodes ending, I expected you to see it as a slap in the face after being disappointed with the fights.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, I thought Megalo Box did something unique this episode. I wasn't expecting Joe to *not* fight. And the Mikio/Yukiko proxy war is an interesting character motivation. Im betting Yukiko will get Joe a full citizenship, effectively getting her on his side.
Lenlo
I wish I was physically capable of watching Megalo Box without thinking of Hajime no Ippo. I really do. But everytime I watch it, it makes me want to watch Ippo again to.
Anonymous2120908
I watched some more of the Chimera family chinese anime. (Wasn't aware it was monthly released). And geez, I like the concept, the background art is very pretty and contrasts with settings that have become tired in other anime. Yet sadly the animation and script are WEAK. I haven't grasped the quality of what's expected of these types of production but I want to believe, they're trying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not much in the way of action in megalobox this week, but I did like the focus on Yukkiko getting a small character moment and then the big moment at episodes end .
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's some lazy ass trolling buddy. Should have stopped before the hashtags.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even sort of looking forward to supposedly less respectable stuff like Goblin slayer and happy sugar life.
Vonter
Also E3 is almost here. And I can't wait. I think Nintendo will have a good show considering they're revealing the new Smash with a tournament. There's rumors of the new game by Retro Studios (Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong) and maybe they'll reveal something about how Pokemon will be on the Switch.
Vonter
Also there's always the chance of something new being discovered. Not everything needs expectations behind. Sometimes great things come out of nowhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So yes, there are some at least decent shows coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Muh Baki, Muh Bananna fish, muh made in abyss season 2, muh Vinland.
Anonymous2119906
The rest of this year looks like shit for anime and 2019 doesn't look great either #fuckmoe #makeanimegreatagain
Anonymous2119214
@Kaiser yeah it happened in half the amount of eps this time around for steins gate 0; which i expected considering there's a lot of ground to cover
Anonymous2119106
@Supermario Something like Fate or the LOTR films are a different case. I get where you're coming from about your preference, but I'm arguing that if a large story is going to be split into 3 films, it helps that the 3 films feel cleanly cut. Infinity war, even though we know there's a second part to the story, feels like it has that cohesive narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end
Anonymous2119106
@Super Mario yea but the marvel movies are a different situation so i don't think the comparison is as appropriate. Marvel movies are "episodic" in nature rather than a continuous narrative. The films are largely isolated stories that are happening in a similar universe that only happen to "congeal" narratively because of a few overarching details shared between films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I remember when the original series suddenly shifted and got going and it was a really depressing episode.
Lenlo
Oh baby. The storm has finally come in Steins;Gate. Let the true suffering commence
SuperMario
@anon2118276: that's why I don't like LoTR trilogy. It's still a whole body chopped up in 3 parts, despite how clean the cut is. Whereas for me it works better if it was like a branch in a tree. The Marvel movies (despite my disinterest on those) are a good example of this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I did feel some of this weeks steins gate felt fillery, I do like see these characters interact and given the episodes conclusion, this episode acted as a calm before the storm.
Lenlo
Ill agree with you on King Kong. As for the Ralph Bakshi LotR, I have. I am still to this day impressed by the overlay of 2D art onto real/overexposed footage. It makes for shockingly fluid animation in places and has its own distinct style
Anonymous2118208
@Lenlo - Have you watched the old Ralph Bakshi adaptation of the first two books? It's uneven, but it's interesting comparing and contrasting certain decisions. As good as Peter Jackson is, I feel he makes very longwinded films, I like his version of King Kong a lot, but it is too long.
Anonymous2118276
@supermario i disagree; the point is that even though the LOTH films have cliffhanger endings, they still feel like fils. they have a defined first second and third act with well paced tension and release throughout them. They follow a storytelling macrostructure necessary for films to feel like cohesive narratives even if they are to end on a cliffhanger
Lenlo
I quite liked the individual LOTR movie just fyi
Vonter
Marvel surprisingly has kept their movies simple enough, that while you might miss details nowadays, you can tell what's happening.
Vonter
Another bad case is like with Assassin's Creed, which like Lost, just tried to tease a lot of things, then it grew tired of trying to piece them together and let the last games work more standalone, with little hints of a larger lore.
Vonter
Metroid does both, it has a standalone story and a hint to what a sequel might bring. Though that hint rarely matters by the time the new game is released.
Vonter
@SuperMario - Some videogames trilogies also do that. Gears of War and God of War had good standalone beginnings but by the second game they put cliffhanging endings. Kingdom Hearts does that and I expect 3 to also do it. Megaman Legends and Half Life had incomplete stories, which might be the worse case in regards to trying to make a continuous story.
SuperMario
It ruins the appetite
SuperMario
I actually think Lord of the Rings' trilogy is a bad example to follow. These films are meant to be viewed as a whole, so each film doesn't hold much as an individual story. I just can't digest films that have "to be continued" sign at the end. Imagine having a first course meal and then have to wait for few days for second course
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the current topic, I would be well for the production of a long running, ambitious ova series.
Anonymous2116425
then again, i don't take too much issue with these films feeling like movie-sized eps...the wait just sucks is all
Anonymous2116425
clearly the films need each other to tell the whole story, yet they can be taken for what they are in isolation as well
Anonymous2116425
I don't mind the trilogy trend at all; like Aidan said, when everything is said and done, all the films will be available to watch. I just think a stronger attempt should be made to make them feel like complete films. Something like the lord of the rings trilogy is a great example of how to do this
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am in full confidence that neither I nor Miura will survive to the end of berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course maybe they won't have a future , think about it that way, then they'd never see it, life has that weird way of being unpredictable like that =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
You can always rewatch them just before watching the one after.
AidanAK47
Of course not. But that's the thing. The wait is only a temporary problem. Anyone in the future will have all movies ready to view.
SuperMario
So it's best to wait for another 2 years to watch Heaven's Feel? Hell NOT
AidanAK47
When all the movies come out though you can basically barrel through it like a TV series.
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 7 [Eclipse of Vibronic Transition -Vibronic Transition-]

Oh boy, Steins;Gate 0 was definitely a thing this week, whatever that means. This time we have clashing styles, interesting plot twists and one hell of a cliffhanger. Lets jump in! To start off, lets get the obvious out of the way. Steins;Gate 0 is not an action series and it shows. The opening “combat” […]

Golden Kamuy – 07 [Complication]

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Hisone to Masotan – 06 [I’ll Shout Your Name]

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Megalo Box – 7 [The Road to Death]

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At this halfway mark, I want point out that the comedy of Hinamatsuri isn’t as sharp as the first few episodes (except for the segment including Hitomi’s classmates). There’s still absurdist sense of humor, sure, but it doesn’t make me laugh out lout or even make me chuckle. That is to say I come to […]

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Steins;Gate 0 – 6 [Eclipse of Orbital Ordering -The Orbital Eclipse-]

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, Steins;Gate 0 has stomped the throttle and cut the breaks. Lets skip the intro and just get right to it. Early on I thought this episode was going to be slow, we were going to focus on our characters and relax a bit. I thought it would be drama […]

Golden Kamuy – 06 [Hunter’s Soul]

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