Posted on 31 May 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This really is a season of building up: half of the shows are carefully preparing for later, so who knows what kind of season it’ll eventually become? Let me say this though: there are a lot of shows that really take good use of their premises. It’s perhaps not the best spring season we’ve ever had so far, but it is a very imaginative and diverse one. Oh, and the fact that there are so many shows that focus on adults also helps.

OVA Releases
#3 – Valkyria Chronicles III – (7,25/10)

Ah, what a shame. This one was really disappointing. I have to give credits for the creators in the way that they did make their main characters far, FAR less annoying than the characters of the TV-series… but they’re completely flat. Every character just has one side and that’s it. There’s way too much of them for just 24 minutes and they’re alll really poorly acted and fleshed out. The production values are also rather bad, and without knowing overall this just gets one big ‘meh’.
#2 – Norageki – (8,25/10)

This was only 20 minutes long, but it was really well told here. It’s a well paced mystery story with quite a nice ending. The characters, while not having any depth, still were interesting to follow as well.
#1 – Armored Trooper Votoms – Alone Again – (8,5/10)

Thankfully this actually turned out well. The story of Votoms got an excellent conclusion after all. Especially the end was great, but the entire OVA was based around a great idea that definitely fills in some of the gaps that the Gen-ei hen left open. This is simple but effective storytelling like it should be, and I’m glad that it really contributed to the Votoms Franchise again, unlike the abominations that were Case;Irvine and Finder.

TV-Series
#25 (14) – Denpa-Onna to Seishun Otoko – (7/10) – I dropped this show. It had potential at the beginning, but the endless discussions about nothing are badly drawn out and not interesting at all. Not to mention that the series was getting more annoying by the minute.
#24 (23) – A-Channel – (7,5/10) – In the end I dropped this. The biggest reason for this was that it was getting really repetitive; the characters just kept comparing boob sizes and they just kept talking about the same things.
#23 (16) – Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi – (7,5/10) – It’s a shame, but I just had to drop this after the fifth episode because I just couldn’t get through it. It suddenly introduced a bunch of completely new characters, but they were the example of how ridiculously forced shounen ai can get. It had no good characterization whatsoever and unlike the first four episodes, this was just there to get guys to kiss and feel embarrassed.
#22 (21) – Hen Zemi – (7,5/10) – Hmm, Hen Zemi has become a bit boring. It’s unfortunately as I feared: the current season is just a list of gross things, without the energy or timing of the OVA. Because of that, it just has a shock factor, and when that is gone I see few reasons to actually come back to this, unfortunately.
#21 (24) – The World God Only Knows – (7,75/10) – I think that because of the hype surrounding this series before it aired gave me the complete wrong expectations about this series. For a laid-back story that aims for modest entertainment… I guess that it could have done a lot worse. It still hasn’t grabbed me, though, but I do admit that the past arc was the best so far.
#20 () – Inazuma Eleven – (7,75/10) – Four episodes in, and I strangely enough haven’t dropped this one yet. It has something that keeps me watching. The characters are all boring and the animation also isn’t that impressive, but the energy with which it presents itself is commendable. Seriously, this is really dark for a kids’ show, and it actually created quite a bit of an atmosphere that retained my interest.
#19 (27) – Astaroote no Omocha – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing with Astarotte no Omocha: it sounds like a really bad premise, but it’s surprisingly heartfelt. It’s nothing special, but the relationship between parent and child is surprisingly well done here. I originally dropped this, but after picking it back up I have to admit that it has surprisingly enjoyable characters.
#18 (10) – Gintama – (8/10) – The Sarutobi-arc was just bad. It tried to be way too silly for the sake of silliness, and was just painful to watch. One more episode like that and I’m going to drop this thing because I don’t want to sit through that any longer. The episode after that was a great recap episode though, but yeah: it’s a little early for that one and it only highlights the production issues that the entire sequel has been having.
#17 (19) – Moshidora – (8/10) – Okay, so the budget was bare-bones, Moshidora actually told a surprisingly good story that made good use of its time of only ten episodes. The end was a bit cheesy, but the premise of a high school girl reading Drucker’s Management was quite interesting.
#16 (9) – Ao no Exorcist – (8/10) – In a surprise, this month suddenly brought the character to Hogwarts and this turned into a school life series. Okay. It’s a bit weird, but in terms of building up it did its job by exploring the characters, discussing their motivations and preparing for all hell to break loose later. Literally, probably.
#15 (7) – Hana-Saku Iroha – (8/10)

Lotsa building up here in this series. That unfortunately doesn’t really make this show as enjoyable to watch as it once was, but it’s still fun to watch the main cast together as they try to run the inn. Now all that’s left is to hope that that build-up actually pay\s off

#14 (20) – Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San – (8/10)

Moloch was awesome. He really saved this series from the same fate as Hen Zemi. But granted, the rest of the cast also is a lot of fun to watch here. It’s completely over the top, but surprisingly watchable.

#13 (18) – Fireball – (8/10)

This show still is random, but in a good way. I love these anti-climaxes that it just keeps throwing at the viewer, and its comedic timing is also pretty good here. Oh, and the graphics also look really good at this point. Recommended if you want to waste two minutes.

#12 (11) – X-Men – (8,25/10)

The visuals here are damn good: this show looks vivid and wild, and the action always is interesting to watch. the story leaves the most tings to be desired: it feels too random at this point. The characters aren’t the best, but they’re still pretty interesting to watch at the moment.

#11 (13) – Showa Monogatari – (8,25/10)

In this month, this series has continued to paint a surprisingly authentic picture of Japan in 1964. There were a few bad parts, like the animation or the drama around Kouhei, but overall the cast has grown quite nicely so far. The four preview episodes were weird, but they did show how the cast evolved in quite an interesting way. It’s got this great combination between random slice of life and meaningful drama.

#10 (26) – Dororon Enma-Kun Meera Meera – (8,25/10)

This show. Is crazy. It’s a fanservice show, but it delivers its fanservice in such a bizarre way that I can’t help but love it. It’s completely juvenile and yet fun to watch from beginning to end, with great jokes and a lot of creativity that will go with any idea, no matter how stupid ti is. Oh, and beyond that, the soundtrack is also much better than I expected here.

#9 (12) – Deadman Wonderland – (8,5/10)

This show is extreme. It’s complete balls to the walls in its themes and mood. But at the same time though, it doesn’t forget about its characters. This show has become surprisingly interesting to watch due to the cast of characters who are surprisingly well fleshed out for such a premise. Beyond that, it’s also the creativity that the setting has, and all of the things that it just keeps throwing at the lead character that have sold me.

#8 (15) – Sket Dance – (8,5/10)

After its first episode, I heard from several people that the different stories vary from really good to really mediocre. Now here’s the thing: after eight episodes, I have not seen a bad episode yet. Sure, it gets a bit far-fetched at times, but overall Sket Dance surprised me at what a sincere series it has become. Every episode so far has had its charms, and the best thing is that it’s also surprisingly varied: both the different arcs and characters stand on their own, and this series takes pride in its creativity, which seems a gimmick at first, yet ends up surprisingly well used.

#7 (17) – Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – (8,5/10)

Well, it’s taken a while, but the current arc of Kaiji kicks ass! This arc was very calculate, which makes things pay off even more at the end. The creators really manged to crawl into the minds of these characters, and they really impressed me there. The atmosphere also really worked here. More of these arcs, please.

#6 (8) – [C] The Money Of Soul and Possibility Control – (8,5/10)

The great thing about C is how well it looks upon its subject material: it just keeps offering different views, motivations, people and opinions, some of which are surprisingly well fleshed out. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have the right budget to really animate what it wants, but it does know how to create an atmosphere.

#5 (6) – Steins;Gate – (8,5/10)

Steins;Gate is slow, but very solid. It has a great cast so far, its themes are really interesting, the plot is really well paced and the atmosphere rocks. Sure, it follows a bit of a harem set-up with a guy surrounded by many girls, but it has more tan enough to make up for it.

#4 (4) – Tiger & Bunny – (8,5/10)

If I had to summarize Tiger & Bunny with one word, it’d be lovable. Heck, the entire cast is a joy to watch, even when the main storyline is out of the picture. The bond between the different characters is always being developed, and the whole backdrop of superheroes working for sponsors is still working really well to keep everything together.

#3 (22) – Gosick – (8,75/10)

In this month… Gosick has become amazing. Seriously, the last episode that was even remotely mediocre was episode fourteen. After that, Gosick has been nothing but character development, breath-taking adventures and engaging thrillers. Finally everything has come together, but I seriously did not expect this show to become THIS good. Right now, this show has turned into a roller coaster ride that just keeps coming with interesting plot twists, and not to mention the characters, who received major improvements.

#2 (2) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

This show can both be hysterical and serious when it wants to, and it just rocks at both areas. It has without a doubt the best dialogue of the entire season, even though it’s really difficult to try and understand. It’s a really authentic view at the sengoku era that combines politics, aesthetics, silliness and intrigue with each other brilliantly so far.

#1 (1) – Ano Hi Mita no Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai – (9/10)

This turned out to be an amazing series, with exceptionally brilliant characterizations. Every episode pushes the characters forward and it leaves no moment wasted to give more meaning to them. It’s a sad show, focused on running away, but it has just the right combination between sadness and hope here.

Posted on 30 May 2011 with categories: Ao no Exorcist



Oh, I’m SO glad that this show is going to be 24 episodes long. It really would not have worked at all with only 12 episodes. With this though, this show can actually build itself up well. This episode in particular would have been a waste of time for a short series (there is no way five episodes would be sufficient to wrap everything up right now!), but for a longer show it was a very good look at Shiemi and Izumo.

Also, in true shounen fashion, this episode introduced this series’ class and combat system. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. In fact, one of the things that I like about shounen series is their detailed looks into combat and superpowers. When done right it can make for a very interesting series. This episode for example: when the different powers were introduced they looked like a generic RPG system, and yet at the end of the episode the creators made me really interested in the summon class.

Oh, and this episode subverted the “useless female love interest”-trope. Yeah, she’s naive and all, but it’s good to see a token female who for once doesn’t want to be rescued all the time. I like the chemistry between her and Rin; despite their cliches they have this genuine charm to them.

So yeah, ideally you’d of course want every single episode of a series to kick ass, but as long as it pays off in the end I can understand the need for these school life episodes. I will bitch whenever they’re not interesting, though.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Hana-Saku Iroha



Okay, so with this episode it’s clear: Hana-Saku Iroha is building up to a love polygon: we have this new girl who likes Kou, while Ohana and Kou still don’t know whether they actually like each other, and while Tohru is likely to start hitting on Ohana anytime soon now, with Minko still having her crush on Tohru. The only one who misses at this point is Nako and the entire picture will be complete.

I’m not the biggest fan of love polygons, as they tend to be really annoying, but at the very least this series is aware of that and therefore is building up things carefully. Plus, if the rest of the episodes will be as interesting as this past arc, then it’ll still be a very interesting series.

It’s a nice and stressful episode for Ohana, and I liked how this past arc created its drama, even though it was a collection of coincidences strangely happening all at the same time. This episode however took that idea and rolled with it, resulting in quite a bit of character development and new sides of characters that we hadn’t seen before. Overall, these were the best episodes of Hana-Saku Iroha since the first two episodes.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 May 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



This show is a delight to watch, even when Lunatic goes on a holiday. Instead, this episode was about the Dragon Kid and like all of the previous that were meant to highlight a particular character, it gave a complete new meaning to her.

what’s more though: even in those episodes, the series continues to build the bond between the important characters, even when they’re not the focus. This episode was also about Kotetsu and his daughter, Barnaby becoming more open about his trauma. This was all made possible by a seemingly silly story at first: taking care of a baby. Because of it though, we even got to see the producer woman being put into a situation that would have been impossible to film (the son of the major getting kidnapped would be… really hard to explain), reducing her to a simple assistant, rather than someone who always gives out orders. All of that was really refreshing. This really was an episode where characters could relate to each other.

The only pity is that the main villains this time only played such a small role. Girls with those abilities deserve to be more than just child kidnappers. I know that it makes perfect sense for the three of them to team up, but they could have been featured in a story that took a bit more advantage of their abilities. Right now they were held back by the one major flaw in storytelling of this series: the way that the main characters are criminal magnets. I know that this series does this to prove its point about superheroes and all, but in this case it prevented a bunch of potentially awesome villains to shine even more.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Deadman Wonderland



It’s still a bit strange to have someone claim that she lost a stomach and all, but I liked this episode a lot again. For the first time it actually brought in a bit of hope. People started to treat Ganta kindly, and for once he wasn’t alone. It will be interesting to see how this series will develop this.

Beyond that, this was an episode of backgrounds as well: there were a lot of flashbacks or characters telling about their pasts and when or why they ended up at the Deadman Wonderland, tying in neatly with the ED. I didn’t like the ED for this series at first, and I still think that Nirgilis did a much better job on Birdy the Mighty and Eureka7, but it’s actually quite interesting to see images of the past of the cast.

I’m not sure what’s up with the priest in this episode. He’s weird in any case, and while he may not be as bad as the Olympic medallist, he still needs a lot of work at this point. Still, this series has a habit of only explaining motives after someone does something strange, so this should be fine. In the end I’m getting more worried about what was originally meant to be the biggest potential pitfall for this series: the length!

The thing with Manglobe is that there is no pattern whatsoever in how their sequels. Their original stories always get the right amount of episodes they deserve, but in terms of their adaptations: Sarai-Ya Goyou condensed the final chapters of its manga so that it could fit everything in. The World God Only Knows came with a sequel that was actually planned in advance, while Seiken no Blacksmith just ended with no intention to fully animate its story. It can be anything at this point, but as great as these past episodes were, episode 12 will be a very bad point to end this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 May 2011 with categories: X-Men




Here’s the thing: after eight episodes, I can pretty much say that X-Men has the best animation of the season. Sure, some of the slice of life series may have more fluidity, but they also are a lot easier to animate and keep consistent. The animation with the X-Men is wild, vivid, colourful and very diverse. C has this too, but at the same time it does have a lot of off-model shots and CG. Tiger & Bunny meanwhile also has the CG working against its otherwise great eye candy. Ao no Exorcist is animated consistently meanwhile, but it instead just looks too mundane too often. The X-Men, while it may not be amongst the Madhouse series with the best visuals, still stands apart with its consistently interesting visuals and excellent character designs. This episode again looked excellent. Perhaps only Nichijou has better animation, but I have seen too little of that to really say something about that.

Overall this turned out to be quite a solid action series: the action kicks ass and appears often, there is intrigue, the characters all have their issues that blend together quit nicely. It’s only the storyline that I’m not yet convinced of: at this point it still feels a bit too random and unconnected. What was the purpose of the U-Men beyond just kidnapping a bunch of people? They really could have used that time to focus more on the characters and real villains.

Apart from that, this episode was really meant to build intrigue, and I’m curious to see whether that will pay off or not. A lot of the series this season are very big on the build up, and most of them are doing a great job on that, though X-Men still feels a bit iffy here. I’ve said before that the main villains here are uninteresting. Wolverine’s ending worked so well because it had a really charismatic villain. What X-Men meanwhile needs to do is build a finale around Sasaki and Xavier on one hand, and Cyclops and Emma Frost on the other hand. It will be much more difficult than just “have battle to defeat the big bad”, although that part definitely must not be half-assed either.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Gosick



Um. Wow. This might just as well have been the best episode of Gosick yet. This past month has just been absolutely amazing for this series, there’s no way around it. The bad stories? All gone. The annoying characters? Who cares about those? Heck, every episode this month has delivered beyond what I could have ever expected from this series.

Cordelia’s background… holy crap. To think that in the past half year, there have been two series that feature main characters that were pretty much the products of outright rape (for obvious spoiler reasons I’m not going to mention what the other series was, but those who saw it know what I’m talking about). This episode really gave some insights at who Cordellia was, as well as completely prove me wrong in thinking that the red haired guy was supposed to be a villain.

I also love that how in hindsight, the series has been dropping hints and references to this episode over and over. Unfortunately this can’t be said of every arc: the pointless arcs still remain pointless at this point, but the good arcs are surprisingly well tied to each other. And heck, this past month has really made up for the bad arcs of this series. Gosick has turned from a cheap mystery show to an amazingly engaging adventure series. It’s not just Victorique who is awesome: it’s the bond between every character here that just gets better and better.

The only part I did not like about this episode: Bones didn’t have the budget to really animate that dance scene of Cordellia. That’s a bit of a pity.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 May 2011 with categories: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai



This probably is the moe-est show that I’ve ever considered as my favourite of a season. I mean, I have enjoyed teenaged drama romances before and all, but not to the point where they were done this well in such a short time. More than any other series this season, this series really nails the feelings of its lead characters and it continues to push their relationships forward. This episode was slightly special, though: for once it focused especially on Jinta and Menma.

Instead, I can only see this episode as a build-up red herring. That’s nothing bad, by the way. Some of my favourite stories use these red herrings. Rather than pointless, I love it when done well, they are excellent in fleshing out the characters and story, and the same pretty much happened here: the whole rocket story has nothing to do with Menma’s wish and all, but this episode really stressed the bond and the memories that the main characters made with each other.

By the way, it’s great that Noitamina has been pretty much consistently amazing for the past five seasons here: for the past five seasons and eight series since the timeslot turned into an hour long, there pretty much has been an amazingly well written series on, with the best still being Spring 2010. 2010 was overall a mediocre year, but THAT was the best season that Noitamina ever had). Heck, pretty much the only mistake during this period was Fractale. As for Anohana, I’d probably put it somewhere in the bottom of the top 8 of my favourite Noitamina series. Where exactly entirely depends on the ending.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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



Ah, this episode was exactly what this series needed. This was an episode to look back. It took a break from the different battles, and instead gave two characters the chance to play as the narrator, in order to tell a bit more about themselves. In case of Mikuni, it’s about his past, and in case of Mashu it’s about her feelings. It’s a good chance to take a bit of a step back and focus on these characters in order to solidify the finale of this series, and this episode did that wonderfully. Oh, and it was also a really nice touch to suddenly revisit a past character who seemed like nothing but cannon fodder t the time.

I only have a few minor complaints about this episode. The animation for example wasn’t really up to par, even for this series’ standards. I really wonder what this series would have looked like if the earthquake hadn’t happened, and because of that I do have to admit that despite the creative images, Mononoke, Trapeze and Bake Neko have this one trumped in terms of visuals.

As for the individual stories, the thing with C is that none of its episodes so far have been as bad as the worst episodes of Trapeze, nor have they been as good as the best episodes of Trapeze. In terms of the overall story and characters though, C has definitely been better. Of course, Trapeze did tie itself up really nicely in its final episode, but at this pacing, this series can be able to do the same, only with a much better storyline and characters. At the same time though, the direction will never be as good as it was in Mononoke or Bake Neko. It just lacks the energy, force and timing to really draw you in with its pacing.
Bake Neko was pretty much the perfect short story, and ever since I never saw something of Kenji Nakamura that was good as that one. But his shows have always been very interesting to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 May 2011 with categories: Hyouge Mono



This show really knows when it needs to be funny and when it needs to be serious here, often combining the two really well. That falcon scene for example was hysterical, but also the start of this episode was just awesome in the way in which it turned into a political bluff-match where Sasuke had to take care of the food for important guests. The pineapple already was nicely used in the previous episode, but this episode really took advantage of these cultural differences.

Beyond that, this also had a lot of build-up, but it was much better done than in the previous episode. The acting brought the characters alive here, even when they were just talking to each other: it wasn’t as emotionless as it was an episode ago. And yet at the same time, while this series is completely different from anything that Bee-Train has ever made before, there is one thing that makes this series perfect for them, and they took advantage of this really well: the conversations, and the use of pauses there. I’m not sure whether the manga had this too, but the timing of this series is impeccable. It’s a hate or love technique of course, but I love how these silences also speak huge parts about what these characters are trying to say to each other, non-verbally.

The animation for this series has been… interesting. I mean, it’s not like this series is consistent, but the key scenes are drawn really well, and actually are very well animated. The characters may not move around the screen much, but when they do move it’s slow, yet surprisingly smooth, and these scenes really manage to stand out.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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