Posted on 30 April 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

The main reason why I run this blog is to praise stuff that I like. Criticizing once in a while is fun too, especially when an anime has both good and bad things, but I tend to not focus on hating. Having said that though: enter this season.

This season is huge, which has its pluses and minuses. The plus is that there are a lot of well written and interesting series, which either have great visuals, a compelling background, well written dialogue, excellent characterization or any combination of those. The downside is that there also was a lot to whine about. The result is one of the longest monthly summaries I’ve written in a long while, containing a lot of rants. This season had a lot of great surprises, but also a large amount of disappointments.

Oh, and from this month, I’m going to include most of my OVA impressions in these summaries, rather than doing an entire post about them. They just consume too much time.

OVA Releases
#6 – High Schooll of the Dead – Drifters of the Dead – (3,5/10) – Terrible, terrible OVA that had the entire cast act incredibly out of character just for the sake of fanservice (and with this show, that’s saying something!) and a whole slur of unfunny jokes.
#5 – Votoms Finder – (7,25/10)

It wasn’t terrible by any means. This just lacked ambition, and I have no clue what to recommend it for. Everything was simply decent at best, but nothing really was interesting to watch. The plot was too simple, the characters were likable, but too one-dimensional. Overall it was just a bit of a waste of time.

#4 – Tansuwarashi – (8/10)

The final part of the Young Animator Training Project. It was really adorable, and the creators got a surprising amount of character out of only 20 minutes.

#3 – Otona Joshi no Anime Time – (8,25/10)

Whoa, where did this come from? And why is it so good? This was actually a really interesting look in the life of a married woman with a kid of four years old. At only 20 minutes it really got some depth out of her character. I applaud the creators for actually making such a thing. Encore!

#2 – .Hack//Quantum – (8,25/10)

The finale of .Hack//Quantum was a solid adventure. Overall I expected a bit more about this series, though, but given its length, I’m happy enough to see that the creators actually came up with a full story for just 90 minutes. The third episode held little surprises, but it wrapped itself up quite nicely. It didn’t became anything amazing, but the climax itself was nicely paced and had a good atmosphere. A solid adventure overall.

#1 – Yozakura Quartet – Hoshi no Umi – (8,75/10)

Amazing direction and animation. This OVA was incredibly entertaining and a ton of imagination was put into the action scenes. The characters are all consistently fun to watch, and really brought to life. Only criticism is that sometimes the characters didn’t know what to talk about so they kept talking about their powers.


#43 (new) – 30Sai ni Hoken Taiku – (3,75/10) – This is the kind of show with bad sex jokes that all fall flat. Moronic characters, bad delivery, terrible animation. Dropped.
#42 (new) – Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai – (4/10) – Oretsuba is abysmal. There’s no way around it, but it’s bad in a completely bizarre way. It’s absolutely nothing but whining, pointless talking and fanservice. And I mean the kind of talking that’s nothing but filler, the type that just goes on and on between terribly written characters. Dropped.
#41 (new) – Hoshizora e Kakaru Hoshi – (4/10) – This was just nearly unwatchable. It committed just about every sin of the generic moe show, but worst of all was the utterly abysmal voice acting. Every time a girl appeared on the screen she was completely unbearable to watch, due to both the acting, the situations they were put in and the utterly contrived and cliched portrayal of these cardboard boxes. Dropped.
#40 (new) – Hidan no Aria – (4,75/10) – Oh god… the pain. Hidan no Aria was a total chore to sit through with these characters who do just about everything to get on my nerves. It’s a boring cliche fest with nothing original about it so far. If it’s supposed to get good later on, why can’t it do this immediately instead of forcing us to sit through yet another Kugimiya Rie Tsundere. This girl is probably the worst one she’s done. Dropped.
#39 (new) – Pretty Rythm – (5/10) – When will we finally get another GOOD shoujo adventure again? This one is terrible, it has all the tropes and isn’t even aware that it’s blatantly lying in front of its audience. There’s no build-up whatsoever, just a girl who randomly gets good at figure skating (at least, according to the audience in the anime. She still looks terrible). Dropped.
#38 (21) – Seikon no Qwaser – (5/10) – Okay, this show has completely stopped pretending. Just label it as porn and watch it for the boobs. Otherwise stay far away. Dropped.
#37 (new) – Fujilog – (5/10) – I really dislike most sitcoms, and Fujilog reminded me why again. It’s just another show about a whining middle aged guy who does random things in order to attempt to be fulfilled. It’s got no charm, no humour, just move on. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Sofuteni – (5,25/10) – There are the good slice of life series like Tamayura, which show the daily lives of the lead characters, making sure to create a versatile cast with characters who have depth to them. And then there is Sofuteni, which is just a collection of random moe antics, fanservice and characters who have just one trait to them. What’s even more annoying is that the lead character’s trait is ditziness, and she surely loves to remind us of that. I like the slice of life genre because it’s able to create really down to earth and life-like characters. It doesn’t really work when the entire cast is too busy desperately trying to be moe. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Dog Days – (5,75/10) – The premise of this show could have actually worked out. But not with such a flimsy delivery. The acting is terrible, the visuals bland, and the characters are all just boring. None of the scenarios are written to be interesting, and overall this was a big waste of time for me. Dropped.
#34 (new) – Sengoku Otome – (6/10) – Sengoku Otome’s biggest sin is its lack of creativity, or any other kind of ambition to do anything interesting. It’s just another bastardization of famous historical figures by reducing them to a bunch of silly cliches in the midst of a random adventure that somehow involves a teenaged girl. Nothing stands out and no attempt is made to make this setting any more believable due to bland characterizations. Dropped.
#33 (new) – Toriko – (6/10) – You know, I refuse to give this series a chance when it keeps testing my patience like this. I tried watching the first three episodes, but the first was a pointless one-piece cross-over, the second was exactly the same as the OVA and the third, while new, was as utterly boring as the other two. Toriko has the kind of charm that wears off after five minutes. Oh, and I also hate this show for making me hungry, only to show terribly animated people eating, taking away all this hunger again. Dropped.
#32 (29) – Jewel Pet – (6,5/10) – This show tries to be completely chaotic. While it is a step above the second Jewel Pet series, it does get old really fast. Dropped.
#31 (30) – Maria Holic – (6,5/10) – I refuse to touch anything more of this sequel unless I see a lot of people claim that it’s much better than the original. At this point my patience on Shaft Sequels has completely run out. I’ve said this many times before, but I have yet to run into a Shaft sequel that wasn’t disappointing. Its first episode also didn’t seem to change that, as it’s yet another one of those comedies that aren’t funny. Dropped.
#30 (new) – Suzy’s Zoo – (6,5/10) – I can really imagine that Suzy’s Zoo must be wonderful for its target audience. The thing is, that that target audience ranges between the ages of 2 and 4 years old. Seriously, even for a kids’ show, nothing happened here. Again, only go for this one if you’re really, really desperate for a big hug. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Happy Kappi – (6,75/10) – This is one for the youngest kids, though it didn’t really capture me. There was just too little that happens, plus the characters are just too annoying. Dropped.
#28 (new) – Yugioh Zexal – (6,75/10) – I actually used to watch the first season of Yugioh a lot before I discovered the internet. Of course, that show was terribly flawed as well, but there is one major difference between that series, and Yugioh Zexal: Yugioh Duel Monsters actually genuinely took itself seriously. It was out there to deliver a serious story. Sure, it was a story chock full of plotholes, but nevertheless, it had a solid story. Yugioh Zexal is more like that obnoxious brat that you just ignore because he’s trying too hard to get attention. It’s not trying to tell a serious story, it’s just showing another random brat and a lot of overacting without any build-up. Because of this, Duel Monsters’ campness became a lot of fun to make fun of, while Yugioh Zexal just gets old really fast. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Lotte no Omocha – (7/10) – Lotte no Omocha is… annoying. Its premise already is questionable, but it also is unnecessarily padded, so things take bloody forever to get somewhere. That’s not good in a show with tons of fanservice, one-dimensional characters and Kugimiya Rie as a tsundere. Dropped.
#26 (new) – Dororon Enma-kun Meera Meera – (7,5/10) – I was about to give up on this show, being really disappointed at how lazy and repetitive it was. And then episode 03 aired. Oh boy. What the heck was that? It’s an entire episode dedicated to fanservice, but it did so in such a bizarre way that I couldn’t help but laugh over and over. Was it a fluke? Were these first episodes just build-up? I mean, the director of this thing remains a very creative guy, so I still have hopes for this series.
#25 (new) – Nichijou – (7,5/10) – Nichijou sets itself apart from the other slice of life series that Kyoani has done with its creativity: it’s about completely random things that took quite some imagination to come up with. Unfortunately though, it lacks in its delivery: the characters are all bland and one dimensional, and the humour is just not funny. The randomness also just feels too much like randomness for the sake of randomness, and what could have been an enjoyable slice of life show just doesn’t have enough substance or anything that could catch my attention. Dropped.
#24 (19) – The World God Only Knows – (7,5/10) – The only reason why I’m still watching this is because of how people have been saying that the future arcs would be good. And granted, episode 03 was slightly better, if only because a character appeared who actually appeared to have half of a working brain cell. She’s still pretty dull, though. At this point, her only function seems to be to show how awesome Keima is. You don’t make characters awesome in that way! Make your characters awesome because they’re awesome. Not because the rest of the cast is a bunch of one-eyed dimwits!
#23 (new) – A-Channel – (7,75/10) – A Channel is enjoyable, nothing more, nothing less. At the very least it does not commit the great sin of having shallow characters, but they’re actually quite enjoyable to watch, and all of them have more to offer than just the cliches that they’re based around. The humour and pacing is very formulaic, though.
#22 (13) – Gosick – (7,75/10) – Aagh! This show gets on my nerves. It’s not that Gosick is bad. Heck, when it wants to be, it can be really good. Episode 12 was excellent and showed more than anything what an excellent cast it has. And yet it just keeps wasting time on these boring characters or stories who just aren’t interesting, and most bizarrely refuse to develop themselves even when they’re in the spotlights.
#21 (new) – Hen Zemi – (7,75/10) – This isn’t as good as the OVA, but to my surprise it’s still worth watching. It’s still completely disturbing and the chemistry between the characters still shines through.
#20 (new) – Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san – (7,75/10) – Azazel-San is not as good as its OVA, and that mostly is because it might be trying a bit TOO hard to be funny. It’s just so incredibly extreme, and that gives me flashbacks to Dokuro-chan,which also was funny due to the shock factor. Still, it’s working so far, so let’s see whether the creators can keep up this momentum.
#19 (new) – Moshidora – (7,75/10) – It’s a tad cheesy, but Moshidora is quite an interesting series about management and high school baseball. It makes use of its bizarre setting to really take an in-depth look into the different characters, and the challenges that the baseball team that this series focuses on has to face. The drama works sometimes, though at other times it doesn’t and moves a tad too fast, though.
#18 (new) – Fireball – (8/10) – It received a number of upgrades here and there, but the premise still is the same and a quite enjoyable way to spend 2 minutes. The banter remains fun.
#17 (19) – Gykakkyou Burai Kaiji – (8/10) – The definite winner of the most WTF-ED of the season, Kaiji is nicely bubbling along where it left off. I haven’t had the chance to watch the fourth episode yet, although the third episode did show that the current arc is quite lazily written. I mean, the creators manipulate lady luck a little too much in order to get to the maximum amount of tension. The first season of Kaiji stood out because above gambling, it was a battle of wits. This is just about people rolling dice and being lucky and unlucky at exactly the most convenient times.
#16 (new) – Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi – (8/10) – This pleasantly surprised me. Alongside a romance, this also is a pretty neat story about a bunch of people who work at a manga publishing firm. The characterization is quite good and it can get quite funny when it wants to. The bad point is that it’s still too eager to get the lead characters to kiss and sleep with each other, though thankfully this isn’t as bad as in the OVA.
#15 (new) – Sket Dance – (8/10)

So far, Sket Dance is a bit forced, but fun to watch. It’s especially the scenario that is addictive and keeps me going back to watch, despite the characters who could have easily been really annoying. On top of that, the creators succeed in making the school it takes place in feel alive. If it can keep up this pace it can become a fairly enjoyable series.

#14 (new) – Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko – (8/10)

I’ve only had time to watch the first two episodes so far, but if this pacing keeps up we could get yet another great series from Shaft. It’s very annoying, and the characters all try to be way too cute, but the dialogue is well written and drew me in. The rest of this show needs to keep this dialogue going, while at the same time not pull a Bakemonogatari and make these dialogues go on and on and on.

#13 (9) – Showa Monogatari – (8/10)

If you’re wondering why I haven’t blogged episode four yet: I can’t find the bloody thing anywhere. This show is so obscure that people even won’t bother releasing raws, which is such a shame, because despite its flaws, Showa Monogatari has a very good cast of characters to work with. It knows that it shouldn’t only focus on its lead character, and instead gives the guy’s entire family some depth. So come on, don’t let this sink into oblivion without at least giving people the chance to watch it….

#12 (new) – Deadman Wonderland – (8/10)

So, apparently a lot of changes are made compared to the manga. That does explain the random plotholes that just stand out so blatantly, but at the same time I don’t consider this series bad yet. At the moment, I’m still enjoying this series: it does a lot of thing wrong, but it also does a lot of things right. Seriously, the lengths these creators to through to torment this fourteen year old boy is just amazing. At the moment, I’m willing to forgive the plotholes for that.

#11 (new) – X-Men – (8,25/10)

Where Wolverine was a major step above Iron Man, the X-Men is another step above Wolverine by actually having great characters and gorgeous action scenes. Wolverine is adorable in everything he does, and and the rest of the cast members complement each other quite well. If this trend of improvement continues, then I can’t wait to see what Blade will be like.

#10 (23) – Gintama – (8,25/10)

I may be in a minority here, but I don’t really like Gintama’s sequel as much as I thought I would. I mean, it’s still funny, but at the same time half the jokes are stale or predictable, try too hard or just fall flat. After watching 120 episodes of Gintama already, I’ve gotten too much used to their brand of humour. It’s no longer the comedy classic that it once was, unfortunately.

#9 (new) – Ao no Exorcist – (8,25/10)

Ao no Exorcist is really aiming to be the shounen epic of the season. So far, it does not have the most interesting characters of the season, but it does have a rock-solid execution. The action and the delivery of the drama is excellent and this can promise great things for this series in the future.

#8 (new) – [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – (8,25/10)

C is originality combined with a few cliches here and there (the lead character being the “chosen rookie” being the most notable), and the animation also clearly shows that the creators don’t have the correct budget for that they want to do, but it still has a lot of imagination put into it. The setting is imaginative, the storytelling is solid, it leaves no moments wasted and it takes care to give depth to its characters. It’s a diamond in the rough, so all that’s left is for the creators to polish it.

#7 (new) – Hana-Saku Iroha – (8,5/10)

Hana-Saku Iroha had some really amazing first two episodes. That was like, True Tears material. Unfortunately, the two episodes afterwards were a step backwards again, most notably stepping away from the wonderful subtlety. The question is really: was that intentional, or did the creators play their biggest trumps right at the beginning? Even beyond that though, Hana-Saku Iroha has an excellent cast of characters, both the teenagers and the adults are really interesting to watch. It’s definitely one of the top two high school dramas of the season.

#6 (new) – Steins;Gate – (8,5/10)

Steins;Gate is well researched, has excellent dialogue and a great main character to watch. The whole concept of a time machine is looked into with a lot of depth, and at the same time this doesn’t forget to flesh out its characters. The pacing here is slow, but it gets more addictive with every single episode.

#5 (new) – Tiger & Bunny – (8,5/10)

Here’s a show that did a lot of things right. It’s got a great cast of characters, an imaginative setting that both criticizes as celebrates the superhero business, an excellent scenario, it’s consistently fun to watch and it does an excellent job of fleshing out both its cast and setting. Definitely amongst the top of this season.

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

Supernatural impressed me. The third batch was all about the main characters, and it really put them through excellent development. It’s here where this series showed that it’s got an excellent plot and that it can do more than enough to make up for the stiff acting (which really wasn’t much of a problem this month).

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

Madoka Magica was awesome, but I don’t think that it’ll make my top 10 anime or anything. It really was an awesome ride, but to me it didn’t set itself apart from the other series that also were awesome rides. I hate to be negative on such a series and all, but the characters overall could have been a bit better fleshed out. The final episodes were excellent as well, containing very interesting plot twists, though they didn’t blow me away.

#2 (new) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

Not only is Hyouge Mono amazing, it also has balls for attempting to do such a commercial risk: stating beforehand that it’ll be 39 episodes long, having no moe nor any bishies and being fully centered around a bunch of old guys talking. And it does that incredibly well. The main character in particular is incredibly eccentric and a complete delight to watch, but the rest of the cast also consists out of a bunch of complete weirdos. The facial expressions in particular are unique in this series, and to boot, it also has an excellent plot and dialogue. It’s different, yet well written and executed, and I love how this series can be both serious and hilarious at the same time.

#1 (new) – Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai. – (8,75/10)

This show got a huge emotional response out of me. The characterization is just wonderful, the entire cast feels alive and the themes are very strong here, about growing apart. Every character has something likable about him or her, and they all play brilliantly off each other. It’s been only three episodes, but that was just an emotional roller coaster and definitely among my favourites of the season.

Posted on 29 April 2011 with categories: Hyouge Mono

Oh god. I really admire the balls that this series have. Heck, this episode was even less mainstream than the previous episodes were! At least those had some action. This episode was nothing but some guys standing and sitting around, talking. And it just went on and on, for twenty minutes! I still can’t believe that the creators actually had the guts to make such a commercially risky series here.

So yeah, I obviously loved this episode. The way in which it built up its atmosphere was just awesome. It never let go of this atmosphere and actually gave quite an amount of airtime to a character I previously thought to be just a minor side character. It’s bee-Train, so the music obviously helped a lot here, but even that was different from their usual series. This series is actually mostly quiet, and the soundtrack only appears when it needs to, with some wonderful results, and yet this episode was partly meant to establish that the cast consist out of a bunch of complete weirdos.

Also, who the hell was in charge of the camera here? Seriously, that had me in stitches during this episode. I mean, I am a fan of Bee-Train, but I am aware of their biggest criticisms. One of them is the way in which they always really focus on long close-ups.

It really felt like this episode was poking fun at that. Seriously, it took that practice to the absurd. The close-ups got just absurdly close at times. To the point where you could look right up in the characters noses. Apart from that, some of the camera angles were at times just bizarre, like when they keep focusing on Oda Nobunaga’s smirking face. The unique facial expressions only make this even more bizarre.

What I love about this series is that it takes itself fully seriously, and yet it also makes fun of both itself and its characters. I mean, these characters are eccentric beyond belief. Even the lead character of Steins;Gate looks relatively normal compared to them.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai

It’s been a long, long while since I watched a series that made me teary-eyed on such a consistent basis as Anohana. It’s got the most amazing cast of characters that consistently try to develop each other. These people feel real and the acting is absolutely amazing. I mean, even Hourou Musuko needed a number of episodes to get going!

Anohana is really about growing up: some of the characters here already have, while Jinta refuses to do so and Poppo just doesn’t care. The same goes with the rest of the cast, and this friction between the ones who have grown up and the ones who didn’t is amazing to watch, especially with such detailed characterization. These characters just keep telling more about themselves and becoming more rounded and versatile. This was an especially good episode for Tsurumi.

Three episodes in, and I only managed to spot one cliche: the dead mother. It’s a bit unnerving that BOTH Noitamina series this season have the dead mother syndrome, but Anohana even makes good use of that one. Living in a dysfunctional family had a massive impact on Jinta and probably even strengthened his trauma, let alone seeing him first lose his mother and then one of his best friends. The thing remains though that the easiest way for a character to have a dysfunctional family is hardly ever used: we hardly ever get to see people with divorced parents. Out of the top of my head, I can only think of two that did that: Noein and Kuragehime. Oh, and Hana-Saku Iroha.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 April 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

After seeing so many 1-cour series screw up with their pacing, I’m glad to say that C actually knows that it should not slack off. For three episodes in a row, it has been straight to the point, with no intention to waste time. That’s definitely a good sign.

At the same time, this episode also leaves the battles for what they are, and instead focuses on the characters. Also, very important for such a short series. The introduction for that female with a lollipop was actually very good in the way that the creators turned her into a temporary narrator. These inner monologues of her were well written and took a good look at both who she is and what this setting is like.

This episode also showed the main character’s parents, what happened to them and also Souichiro’s reasons for participating in the financial district were a welcome addition to this series. If you want a mundane episode to bring some variation in the pacing, this is the way to do it.

At the same time though, I’m still a bit surprised that this show does have its share of cliches here and there. The disappearing father and especially being really angry at him for it have been done quite often now, so it’s going to matter even more for this show to make good use of them. The crying scene perhaps wasn’t the best way to do that, though. The acting in this series isn’t the worst of this season, but it also doesn’t stand out either, so that also will have to be compensated by something else.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope

Ooh, Moshidora, what are you doing to me? As if I wasn’t busy enough already…

On a serious note though: we really need more of these kinds of series, who don’t care about airing weekly for 13 or 26 weeks, and instead just create their own schedule. The big problem with anime in general is that it’s just so damn inflexible, and it’s the series like this and Supernatural that really show that there are many different ways to release your series.

Moshidora overall impressed me, because of how much time it spent taking an in-depth look at the baseball team in question. With just three episodes, and Druker’s book was used well in order to help understand these players and get them to perform better. This episode continues on that trend, and takes a look at motivation, introducing a competitive element in the training. They’re all quite nice ideas here. I also like that for once, we get to take a look at a baseball team that isn’t fully committed, and where making a mistake is more the norm than the exception.

This series’ biggest problem is its cheese. Whenever this show gets too dramatic, it just loses my suspense of disbelief because it just overexaggerates things too much, and the acting just isn’t good enough to make these scenes believable. This episode spend a lot of time on this one guy who kept ditching trainings because of a mistake he made. That on its own is very believable: I’ve had this many times myself with my Karate practices. But when he angsted he acted just like his dog died. The way he reacts just isn’t believable. The cheesy violin background music did not help.

Also, what was up with that ending of this episode?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 26 April 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate

Unlike a lot of other series, Steins;Gate has this great combination between plot development and random goofing off. Here you have characters doing the laundry at one time, but you’ll never know when they’ll start talking about the plot again. It’s also a very good thing that the dialogue is really well written here: Hououin is getting more enjoyable with every passing episode.

On top of that, I love also these neat little details that this series keeps throwing in. Take for example that apron that the electronics store owns, which says “I Heart CRT”. A quick look into Wikipedia learned that that CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube”, or the thing that non plasma TVs used in order to display their images. They’re these neat details that seem random at first, yet somehow strangely fitting once you think about it. The laundry for example seems random at first, but 1) it shows that the lead characters are humans as well because their clothes get dirty, and 2) it gives Christina an excuse to bump into them again.

Overall, What really sets Steins;Gate apart from Chaos;Head at this point is its characterization: in Steins;Gate they feel alive and dynamic. In Chaos;Head, they were just plot devices. It perhaps doesn’t have the most exciting or heartwarming start, but I really consider it as one of the four most solid series of the season. (The other three are Anohana, Hyouge Mono and Tiger & Bunny for those who are curious).

My one point of criticism: the creators had better have a good reason for Mayuri’s dead [whatever]. Death in a series can be a powerful thing, but don’t go killing off people for the sake of giving your characters a sad back-story.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 25 April 2011 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions


Short Synopsis: Our lead character enlists as the local school baseball team manager.
Here’s the weird thing about Moshidora, besides its premise: most series try to stand out with their first episodes. They really try to catch the audience’s attention. Moshidora doesn’t do that in the slightest. This episode was mundane, the budget was the minimum of what would be tolerable, and there are no attempts made to make the setting seem any more exciting than it already is. It’s clear that this show has hardly any production values and there are a lot of still frames all around For the most part of this episode I just kept wondering whether anything was actually going to happen. And yet, this series is definitely not bad. This show knows how to write characters, it knows how to stay away from making them pure stereotypes, and despite being slow-paced, it’s not wasting time either. This first episode explored the different characters, it took a look at the baseball club’s history, and it introduced the principles of Drucker’s management book neatly. These characters are not bad, and I’d much rather see Trans Arts put focus on their writing insttead of their animation.
OP: Quite dull
Potential: 60%

Posted on with categories: Hana-Saku Iroha

This remains annoying: the transfer student introduces him or herself to a classroom and the first thing that every single guy does is annoyingly talk about the cutest girl in school who of course happens to be one of the important characters. It has really gotten old ages ago, and yet anime just keeps pulling it. I mean, I have nothing against there being the cutest girl in school and all, but whenever she’s around, every single guy in school just gets reduced to this annoying fanboy who does nothing other than secretly stalk admire her. Nothing else! It’s a good thing that this show doesn’t have a male lead because that would really have been terrible (you know, the main character being the only one oblivious to her charms and all…).

In any case, this episode showed the introduction of the main character to the local school, so it wasn’t as good as the first two episodes because it dealt with a lot of introductions and stuff that unfortunately appears in a lot of other series. In terms of setting up things, it did its job well though. we’ve got a nice romance around Minko, Ohana’s feelings about her “boyfriend” get developed a bit and Nako also got a bit of her past revealed. It’s definitely not a wasted episode.

The most important thing though: after the previous episode, my biggest fear was that this show would abandon the first two episodes and continue on with these silly stories onward. Thankfully that didn’t turn out to be the case. In that case it was good for a bit of variety.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Ao no Exorcist

Yeah, if there was any doubt left after the first episode, this episode took all of that away: this really is the shounen epic of the season. Whereas the previous prime time series (Star Driver and Sengoku Basara) tried to combine action with another genre (medieval politics and mystery/character study respectively), this is pretty much an all out action series about a boy who happens to be Satan’s Son. It really is the classic shounen formula, but it remains a very good rendition of it.

The set-up is not the best of this season by a long shot, but the execution and characters make up for it really well. This episode was an action-packed thrill ride, but the animation and art got really creepy near the end. The priest getting possessed by Satan was the highlight of the episode, but the other action scenes also kicked ass.

So far, the lead character is your typical shounen protagonist, but he has both his good points and his bad points. He can get rather annoying when he just stands there yelling, but whenever he isn’t he’s quite level headed and I liked how bluntly he just said that he’d become an Exorcist. In any case he still has enough room to grow. The side characters so far are diverse and interesting as well. The villains meanwhile do a good job of being a threat, although they are rather stereotypical, but let’s see where this series goes with them.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Tiger & Bunny

Yesterday I was asked about reconstructions by Deedee. Back then I couldn’t really think of a good example that I really liked of one, but as I watched this episode of Tiger & Bunny I realized that it’s actually a pretty good example of a deconstruction. It accepts the flaws of the superhero genre, and then proceeds to create a highly creative setting around this flawed concept that both celebrates it and criticizes it. Of course it makes no sense for the heroes to be able to always be at the right place at the right time, but this series happily plays with that idea and has fun with it.

Also, apparently Tiger & Bunny will be 24 to 26 episodes long. I’ve yet to find official confirmation of this, but if this is true then it’d be awesome. This would really allow the creators to flesh out this setting of theirs, and this episode showed that they have every intention to do so. We finally get to see some background on one of the other heroes: the ice girl. My guess is that the other side characters will also get their own episodes. I also like that finally the most stereotypical character also became a bit more than a walking tramp. It’s a nice addition to see him own his own company, making him constrained by a whole number of different rules.

In the meantime, the action scenes still are fun to watch. They’re varied, and I like how they always involve multiple and different combinations of superheroes to make them fresh. The banter between the characters in-between the scenes especially is fun, and what the characters say are more than just cheesy one-liners.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Damn fujoshi fuel, but behind all the gay sure Yuri on Ice!!! is a great series.
Yeah, This weeks Flip Flappers disappointed me. Maybe because there was no Pure illusion this week.
@lenlo: Flip Flappers is one the most original anime out of this season, in both good and bad terms. You could try the first episode to see if it's your thing.
@anon381106: I actually found this week's Flip Flappers to be my least favorite episode so far.
How is flip flappers? Only things ive really started watching this season are Yuri!!! on Ice and Drifers
Flip Flappers episode 4 was just lovely.
Also real dickish that she has an attack in her last form that specifically counters shields. Maybe the whole problem is that I just picked the wrong kind of style for the fight but Zeiwhander and shield has never failed me before.
However any time I got trapped in the corner it was because she was just constantly attacking without pulling back. Rolling was dodgy as you could be easily caught in her next attack. Blocking does no real good either as she's still draining your stamina, health and pushing you back.
@Lenlo, yeah I started aiming for him to get through it but then I was still getting blindsided by her. My build is strength based and I was using a zeiwhander and shield. I couldn't wail on the big guy hard or else I would be in a attack animation when the girl lays down the ice.
See, I never had a problem with the second form because the large guy is so easy to hit and will simply miss you if you stay close to him. I think the one gripe I have with the fight is the heal, because with 2 bosses, you cant stop it alot of the time. I would argue that not getting trapped in a corner though is a skill you cultivate and is more the players fault than the bosses.
Though I actually was happy when they went invisible as that's when I can shave off a heavy chunk of their HP. Still if you happen to miss the small sign of where they jumped then you are screwed on that.
Healing, huge area of effect attacks, grab moves with barely any windup, freeze weapon effects that slow down attack animations, three goddamn forms, can turn invisible, long ass combos leaving little counterattack room and having to fight two bosses at the same time. Honestly, my victory here really depended in them not using certain attacks.
@Lenlo, I liked the visual design and the idea of it. However they gave it far too many cheap attacks. The second form is way to chaotic and depending on how they attack can put you in a position where you really can't do anything. Like when one breaths fire while the other starts healing, then you can't stop it. The final form as well, the minute they get you into a corner, you are done.
Whaaat? I loved that last boss.
Took me 2 and half hours to see everything in the DLC. Took me another 3 hours to beat the boss. Damn that boss had me in the zone. I think its was a serious bullshit artifical difficultly boss but man...beating that bullshit boss solo...felt good.
@Mario, starting to think I didn't need my help after all. I hope they make something worthwhile.
On a unrelated note the Dark Souls 3 DLC boss is serious bullshit.
Hey Aidan, thqt Kickstarter project Mecha-ude has passed its goal (nearly double now with 10 more days to go). Seems like people getting real hype for it
Wonder if Bam has played the new Dark Souls DLC. Found it rather lacking when compared to previous DLC from the last games.
@Anon, it's just a video of a still image of anime girls in bikini's with a red circle around one of their chests. Seeing as this thing has no views or subscribers my guess is someones is fishing for views. To which i say...what really is the point of making videos if this is the only way you can get people to watch them?
[link src="
I"] hate this crap that they corrupt anime with (crappy video that insults anime)
So RWBY's back. I actually miss the whole RWBY team. Still prefer Ruby's old custom more. Nora looks cool.
With the fourth episode, Vivid Strike seems to have crossed an invisible line that makes it more like the original Nanoha shows rather than Vivid. The kind of brutal beatdown delivered by the co-protagonist and the build up to it is something quite alien to a normal SoL/Sports anime show.
Ep. 4 of Tiger Mask was a lot better than the last 3, quite a hyped fight that was a full 6mins long. Will continue watching in hope of an awesomely long final fight.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
Going back to the fanservice topic, its very easy to complain about it in anything but then something actually comes along that actually does it for you. I mean I always say that I don't watch a show/movie for its fanservice elements and stick with pictures on image boards, but then I ended up seeing a film where I actually got something out of the fanservice while watching the film its.
Kaiser Eoghan
The oujia prequel was competent genre fare, the director cared about the characters and every now and the built up a decent mood. Although jump Scares are there . And I always appreciate a horror film having a mean spirited ending. One of the rare cases where the young actors do well in a horror film. The pace is a bit uneven, rushed and a bit laggy .
Kaiser Eoghan
In the sense of how messed up/especially bleak those two episodes were.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was the sense too with both those episodes of "Jesus...I wasn't ready for that...."
Kaiser Eoghan
Though the first episode of the first season and the third episode of season 3 are very hard to beat. Adding to what I thought of s3 ep3 I felt that one hit me on the same level as s1 ep1 did so.
Though in previous seasons I generally only really liked 2 out of the 3.
@Kaiser, though the previous seasons where only 3 episodes long and you enjoyed 3 out of 6 in this season. So yo essentially get the same amount of enjoyment as previous seasons.
Kaiser Eoghan
Based on my comments, it looks like I had a mixed reaction to the third season. Three out of six, but the great was was great and forgives it but I still feel that there was more of a consistentancy in quality in the other seasons. I enjoyed every story in seasons 1 and 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
The final episode felt like a movie all on its own, I'd have gladly watched another thirty minutes of it, ending was a nice punch in the gut.
Just finished black mirror season 3. I hear people basically complaining that it's not as strong as the previous two season but I disagree. I really enjoyed this and this is a show that deserves much more episodes. Personal favorite is between shut up and dance and hated in the nation. Worst I thought was San Junipero. Overall thought each episode was interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
On the upside I loved black mirrors fifth episode, I'm a sucker for war/action-dramas and I particularly liked the tech in this one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah this is impossible for me to sit through, the romance part is also rather dull.
Kaiser Eoghan
Eh, this fourth episode is plodding and trite, feels like a bad, poorly dated 90s film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Third episode also instilled a great sense of paranoia.
@Kaiser: thanks for that mate. I have too much to say for Flipflappers but to put them all in coherent flow is goddamn hard. And like I said I still fell I left many details out: that gung-ho potato or Yayaka and the twins
@Friend: jugding from the last convention I went to, people loved Re:Zero customs (Emilia and Rem, Ram were highlights. Or you could try RWBY characters (I for once love to see someone cosplay Pirrha Nikos or Velvet Scarlatina)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Didn't care much for new black mirrors second episode, then again I'm not really the target for that story. The third episode while a bit heavyhanded and predictable was suspenseful, nasty/mean and I liked that about it, did in 50 minutes what some thrillers fail to achieve in two hours.
Holo is a good one :0
Materials aren't a problem at all for the most part, except for anything too crazy like working in brass. I'd prefer it to be characters I'm familiar with.
Does it matter to you that they're from shows that you like, or are you just in it for the challenge?
@Friend Aidan has some good ones there. I'd also give the cast of Akame ga Kiru a shot, I don't like the series but it has a lot of neat character designs.
I was thinking simple as I didn't know what kind of materials you got on hand. I was also thinking of Holo from spice and wolf or Kino from Kinos journey either.
Mm, Tatsumaki might be not challenging enough to design for. Doesn't Shiki simply wear either a coat or Japanese kimono? I do work in set design and not in character prop design, but I'd love to try something that would let me reasonably challenge myself.
@Friend, Spit balling here but Tatsumaki from One Punch Man? I know the costume for that one would be simple enough. Or maybe Shiki from Kara No Kyoukai?
*I don't want to do anything too complex for my first try, but I also don't want to do anything boring. Boring would be a character like Rukia or Celty. Any ideas?
I remember talking about this with Emma/Kaiser before, but has anyone here gone cosplaying at an expo before? I thought it would be neat to try designing my own costume and try something else beside drawing on a computer.
@Kaiser, I am up to episode 4. 3 has been the best one so far.Though in all these episodes I pretty much figured out the twist from the get go. Still this shows always tends to get you thinking.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think the roles/identity thing with flipflappers, at least with the protaganist does fit in well with adolescence.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I've only seen the first episode so far. I felt the acting was intentional and reflected the satire Brooker was going for on the shallow nature of society. Bleak as ever but gloriously grotesque.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario:Good in depth reviewing there Mario of flipflappers episode three.
Good god this first episode of black mirror is hard to watch. I know exactly how it's going to turn out but it's just so damn painful to watch.
Well, tbh up to where I've seen there's not much explicit yaoi in yuri on ice, only a lot of fujoshi fuel.
@Kaiser. thanks for the torrent. Gonna blaze through this today.
@Topgavin, as someone who watches a metric ton of anime I am rather surprised at that estimate that 90% of it contains Yuri.
My god those gay scenes in Yuri on Ice are hard to watch for me. Wonder if this is how it feels to be a girl watching 90% of normal anime nowadays.
okay, Flip Flappers episodic review was up. This is my lengthiest weekly review so far and I still feel I missed a lot of points. Damn you Flip Flappers
Kaiser Eoghan
You have seen the light, not needing to know everything thats happening to enjoy something ^_^
Kaiser Eoghan
I've given some consideration to reviewing that oujia film followup.
Whether you see one or the other is entirely up to your preferences, so it makes no difference to me which is worse. I have gotten very tired of generic character types, but again that's just because of the things I decide to regularly follow.
I will say if it must come down to either unnatural dialogue or unnatural character types, at leas the character type is speaking their own words and not the words of the script writer.
Or was that a black and white fallacy? Maybe it was a little of both.
@Realjustified, K-Off wasn't agreeing with me. That's a Moving the Goal Posts logical Fallacy but well I will answer regardless. Honestly it's preferable to have neither. The big mistake you are making here is that you are putting down a condiction that a show must have one or the other. But both cartoons and anime can have both. I just think it's a lot more prominent in cartoons than anime.
Like, having read hundreds of harem manga over the years, a majority of the ultimate love interest always happens to be the first girl the protagonist meets.
Wait wait wait wait. Aidan and K-Off. I get that dialogue in cartoon can seem like it was written by a script writer, but at the same time, lots of anime have characters whose sole purpose is entirely scripted. The whole spectrum of "deres" and everything. What do you think is worse? Unnatural dialogue, or unnatural character types?
You guys should really go fuck yourself, it's a solution and it's nothing short of great!
You guys should really watch the first 4 episodes of Bungo, it's a prequel and it was nothing short of great!
omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
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The Murder Case of Hana & Alice a

The Murder Case of Hana & Alice (2015) Movie Review – 85/100

Welcome to the third installment of World Animation section, but this time we head back to Japan for my favorite anime movie out of last year. If anything, I have always wanted those reviews to be a recommendation if you want to look for something different. So if there is anyone who would check out […]


Legend of Legacy Review – 80/100

Oh Square Enix, this is the kind of avant-garde work you need to do. Developed by Furyu with the people behind SaGa, and written by Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger, I knew I was in for a unique game right from the start. But its gameplay is certainly divisive and for good reason, as this […]