Posted by psgels 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)

22 Responses

  1. Kiavik says:

    “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.”

    Well that says a lot on how you rate stuff…
    Let’s not judge the quality, but how unpopular a show is, right? That’s the only way someone could call a piece of shit like Hyouge Mono “Awesome”…

    So yeah, I guess I’ll take this blog even less seriously from now on. You’re the very definition of “hipster” and have no taste at all.

  2. Sage says:

    @Kiavik
    Hey, people’s opinions greatly vary. If Psgels likes this series you’re in no position of telling him that he has no taste. It is true indeed that Hyouge Mono is not a mainstream anime at all (I dropped this series after the first episode)but I don’t start calling fans of this anime “hipsters” or whatever.

  3. DmonHiro says:

    Well, you were complaning about really bad camera angles, and colse-ups, but they were really awesome because you think they were parodies… wow… that’s some delusions. Couldn’t it be, oh… I don’t know… it was actually poorly directed?

  4. m says:

    There’s a type of seriousness to this series that is at times befitting of a period piece, but at other times is a sharp instrument of satire. When it’s used in earnest we have a dramatic tension between the actors that’s enhanced by the use of body language, and a lot of the camera work is to play with this. Then it’s used in the deadpan delivery of absurdities at the expense of the historical characters. Then there’s Sasuke, who is rendered generally in the opposite manner. His absurdities are obvious and passionately displayed, and it’s everyone else that doesn’t recognize them for what they are. It’s quite humorous. I’m especially fond of the abuse toward western fetishism, the quaintness of the instruments of pomp, but I find a lot of the material to be funny.

  5. semtex says:

    This is one of two shows I watch this season. Anything else is usually bombarded with moe cliches and stereotypes. I thank Psgels for directing me to this awesome show and Ano hi Mita Hana.

  6. Mappy says:

    “This episode was nothing but some guys standing and sitting around, talking. And it just went on and on, for twenty minutes!”

    Why yes, I do believe this is a Bee Train anime after all.

    Not putting me off the show, though.

  7. VyseLegend says:

    “This is one of two shows I watch this season. Anything else is usually bombarded with moe cliches and stereotypes. I thank Psgels for directing me to this awesome show and Ano hi Mita Hana.”

    This. Don’t hate the psgels.

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Kiavik: I never really understood those “you like obscure stuff so you have no taste”-arguments. Am I a hipser just because I happen to like series that you don’t, or something? Also, who says that I only like the unpopular stuff? There are plenty of popular shows that I like as well…

    DmonHiro: nah, I didn’t feel that this episode was badly directed. Perhaps with previous Bee-Train series, the camera angles mostly stayed the same, but the camera positions were constantly changing in this episode, and every shot felt different. I wouldn’t call that bad direction.

  9. ojisan says:

    It’s a weird and challenging show, and I’m loving it. And I feel sure that its strangeness (and wonderfulness) is the result of its intentions, not of carelessness or poor choices. It walks a very interesting line between serious, funny and grotesque –

  10. Kiavik says:

    psgels: That’s not what I was criticizing. There’s nothing wrong in liking obscure shows, especially since a lot of good animes lie in there (ie: the tatami galaxy).

    The problem is when you like a show just cause it’s unpopular regardless of its quality, which is what comes across by reading your post. Maybe it was just a poor choice of words, who knows. But Hyoge Mono is undoubdetly mediocre in everything. It’s one of those that is different just for the sake of being different, and personally I didn’t see anything in it I’d ever classify as “awesome” by a mile. The reaction faces, which were the only amusing thing about it, got old pretty damn fast.
    Being different does not automatically mean being good. I myself pursue anime that do things differently, but I always keep an eye on quality contents; be it a good story, skillfull directing, nice animations, or else. And in the three episodes of hyouge mono that I watched I didn’t see any content at all. Just take a look at this review! You dont talk about anything that happened in this episode, only praising it because it’s trying to be different.
    So yeah, I don’t think you’re really knowledgeable about anime. I guess you need to see something really good from the past (I started watching anime in the early 80s) to start building your credibility.
    Even if, as your reviews of Ghost in the Shell and Beautiful Dreamer show, you really aren’t able to put things in perspective. But hey, maybe you just need time.

  11. darkerthanblackswordsman says:

    OK, I can’t take this anymore. Kiavik – shut the **** up. What are you even trying to prove? Why this hostility?

    Only the first paragraph of the review is about the show’s originality. What follows is a giddy tirade of everything awesome in the episode. Clearly psgels really liked it and found it entertaining, while also being impressed by story, directing and animation. It’s simply damn good film making.

    So yeah, somebody liked what you didn’t – get over it. Your taste is not some universal dowsing rod the world should follow blindly.

    As for the final comment about lack of experience – I don’t care who you are; that was beneath you.

  12. Shonen_fan says:

    @darkerthanblackswordsman
    Everybody has the right to freedom of opinion. In this case, Kiavik has some good points regarding the quality of this episode, which, in my opinon was the crappiest I’ve ever seen. I have to mention that the first two episodes of this series were pretty cool, but this one, in particular, was abysmal. Now, I have nothing against Psgels for considering this episode awesome, it’s his opinion and I can’t deny it, but the purpose of a blog is to exchange opinions regarding a certain subject, both good and bad.

  13. m says:

    psgels in general doesn’t write episode synopses so much as impressions of his viewing of the episode. He highlights the particular aspects of the episode that he found entertaining. A lot of that seems to have pertained to the direction and the choice of material to adapt given current market demands. (The latter mystery can be explained by its benefactor) He watches and writes about a lot of shows, so who can blame him for whatever enjoyment he takes out of the shows he watches?

    There isn’t a lot of activity to discuss, and you need a certain degree of historical knowledge to get a lot the humor. If you don’t know much of the language and don’t recognize the characters you won’t get a lot out of this show besides Sasuke’s hijinks. They’re pretty funny, but I prefer to the snarkier stuff myself. Enough that I ordered all of the extant volumes of the manga after watching two episodes of the anime.

    I don’t know anything about you, other than that you’re apparently a middle aged and like to snipe at other people on the Internet. Maybe you can point me to your reviews so I can understand better where you’re coming from.

  14. Sora says:

    cant find ep4 subed anywhere :(
    its a pretty interesting show

  15. Sora says:

    cant find ep4 subed anywhere :(
    its a pretty interesting show

  16. AKI says:

    I have to agree that this show is crap, but I respect psgels opinion of the show – and anyone else’s for that matter.

    On a side note, this season is humongous! Now that I’ve dropped this, I’ll probably replace this one with another series, Dog Days sounds promising.

  17. totoum says:

    @kiavik

    “The problem is when you like a show just cause it’s unpopular regardless of its quality”

    If you’re still around I can come up with quite a few exemples that contradict that statement.
    However it is my belief that psgels is a bee train fanboy (while many people can’t stand the way bee train tell stories) and to me that’s what showing here more than anything else.

  18. vp says:

    Am I missing something here? Psgels is obviously giving several arguments as to why he enjoys this show. Agree with it or not – your claims are empty as you are implying that he likes a show simply for it’s obscurity.

    Anyway, psgels, am I right in understanding that you are watching this raw? And if so – what do you think about the language?

  19. psgels psgels says:

    vp: the language? Really difficult. The character use a) long sentences, b) difficult terms, c) an old dialect and d) talk a lot. It’s definitely the hardest to understand series of the entire season.

  20. Hogart says:

    Wow, so much hate for a show that’s not nearly as bad as you’d think reading some of these comments.

    At least let’s tone down the personal attacks. I mean I’ve taken some cheap swipes myself, but I’ve tried to avoid being personal about it. This level of tasteless vitriol should be beneath anyone who isn’t suffering from a disorder.

  21. vp says:

    Haha, well, I am glad that I am not the only one having a hard time then. My Japanese knowledge is modest at the very least, but usually more than sufficient for anime – however Hyouge Mono has me stumped more than often.

  22. Joojoobees says:

    Thank God episode 4 has been subbed; I was starting to fear that I would never get another episode of this wonderful show.

    I won’t comment on the above comments, except to say that ripping on Psgels for not knowing his anime is laughably ignorant.

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