Posted on 30 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



And as today is the last day of June, this is going to be the last post for my Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope. I am not sure what I’m going to do next season though: whether I’m going to do a Summer Kaleidoscope and blog six full series, or blog seven full series instead: it’s entirely going to depend on that seventh series. Plus, it’s got two huge question marks as well in the form of Appleseed and Last Exile. They’re both two series that aside from the regular line-up I really want to blog.

In any case, this episode was build up, build-up and even more build-up. The creators made sure to make it into a gripping episode though, especially when Kaiji brought in Endou of all people: the guy who was responsible for getting him into his mess in the first place. This episode was really being mysterious in the way that it refused to reveal Kaiji’s plans (much like the previous arc), so a lot of this episode consisted out of cryptic hints at how supposedly awesome his plans are going to be, although the negotiations with Endou really kicked ass in how intense they were.

Now, the big pitfall for this series is going to be the the suspense of disbelief. There is one big difference between Akagi and Kaiji: Akagi was superhuman. It’s not about seeing really smart plans, but about psychology. Kaiji meanwhile belongs in the category of series that specialize in plans and schemes. The biggest pitfall of those kinds of series is to take their plans a step too far and make them just ridiculously complicated, a la Death Note or Code Geass where in the end things depend on the most precise coincidences. That’s also one of the reasons the first season annoyed me, in the way in which Kaiji miraculously danced across death on the beam arc.

In terms of characters though, this arc does have the most interesting side-kick for Kaiji that we’ve seen in this series yet. His Buddhist roots, his incredible temper: all of it works really well and it’s quite a step away from the usual young guys. The villain though has yet to prove himself. He’s just this posh underling, and nowhere as interesting as some of the best villains of this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

This was one of the best months we’ve seen in a long while in anime. It may not look like I followed many series (there WAS a lot of crap this season), but the shows that were good were really, really good, and a ton of them were just amazing. This month showed some rock-solid endings, twists, turns and executions. It turned out to be an incredibly diverse season with series that all stood out in their own ways and not just one genre dominating. More seasons like this, please.

#22 (19) – Astarotte no Omocha – (7/10) – So I ended up dropping this, quite early in this month. It just went nowhere, it just devolved into a generic romantic fanservice comedy: the exact thing that it should not have done with such a premise. It was good when it still focused on drama, but in terms of romance it has nothing and just kept repeating itself. The worst were the idiot prince and the way in which Asuha completely devolved into someone who can’t stop talking about not wearing any panties. This all was really badly written.
#21 (21) – The World God Only Knows – (7,25/10) – The final teacher arc had the poor luck that it ended in a completely nonsensical way. After that the series decided to end with an episode that would have been good, had it any sense of comedic timing. The end result was a horribly forced ending that was a pain to sit through, and only cemented at how tired I am of this series.
#20 (20) – Inazuma Eleven – (7,25/10) – In the end, I decided to drop this. It’s indeed dark for a kids’ series, but my main issue was that the characterization left much to be desired. In five episodes it introduced like, 30 different characters. Now, who are these characters? Why should I care about them? What makes them different aside from their character designs? Only four or five of them really matter, and they are the typical shounen cliches. In fact, this mostly feels like a rip-off of the original Beyblade series (yes, I watched that one).
#19 (22) – Hen Zemi – (7,5/10) – After twelve episodes, was it really worth it watching Hen Zemi? Unfortunately, I have to say no. The reason why the OVA worked so well wasn’t just the fact that it had much better writing, but also because it was short but sweet. The TV-series now is just an endless string of gross things and fanservice: it gets boring once the shock factor wears off. By now we expect Hen Zemi to be disgusting. It is, and hardly brings any extra spice in that aside from that.
#18 (14) – Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San – (7,75/10) – I’ll get to more detail about this when the final episode airs, but what interestingly seemed to be the biggest pitfall for this series was that it ran out of inspiration for jokes. The otaku arc in particular just seemed to not know what kinds of jokes it should make. The final arc was better, but again: it was a tad forced and predictable in the way it played out.
#17 (11) – X-Men – (7,75/10) – When comparing the X-Men to Wolverine, I still like the X-Men better, but that’s just because Wolverine had a really simple story and had lots of issues with its acting. The X-Men unfortunately did dull in a bit in their final arc when the drama all boiled down to teenaged emo. The big problem is that the creators shafted the main cast in favor of Hisako and Takeo, who were by far the least interesting characters of the entire series.
#16 (18) – Gintama – (8,25/10) – The past arc of Gintama was a great one, although it ended rather xenophobic (but then again, that’s Gintama: the aliens are nearly all portrayed as mind-numbing idiots, punching bags for Gintoki or completely evil bastards). The arc however did deliver a lot of depth to Otose and the people from her past and it certainly was a major improvement over the comedy episodes of the previous months.
#15 (new) – Appleseed XIII – (8,25/10)

Forgive me, but I can’t seem to remember for the love of me where I managed to find the first episode of Appleseed XIII. I liked it a lot though. It’s chock full of symbolism to the ancient Greek mythology and the characterization is a lot better than in the movies. Deunan really acts like she’s on her period, though.

#14 (13) – Fireball – (8,25/10)

Fireball remained a great watch throughout its entire run. Now it’s of course not hard to remain interesting for only two minutes, but this did it with a style that I really enjoyed. The comedic timing and the graphics were still as great as ever.

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

Irregular releases are still irregular, but we’re nearing the end. This month showed actually some very interesting drama around Yuuko in quite a realistic way. Sure, the acting could have been better, but the themes, and drama really relate back to problems anyone could have had. Of course you have to like history in order to be able to enjoy this, but this by far doesn’t deserve the negligence in terms of fansubs.

#12 (16) – Ao no Exorcist – (8,25/10)

Ao no Exorcist at the moment is surprisingly enjoyable. The fleshing out of the earlier episodes has paid off and at this point there hardly is any boring moment left, despite the generic set-ip. Characters are used well, the banter has gotten funnier, the drama has gotten more sincere. This is the right direction, although it does need to stop putting so much stupidity in its filler episodes.

#11 (7) – Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – (8,25/10)

The Pachinko arc was intense, but it did suffer a bit from Kaiji’s formula: again we have a set-up that consists out of a lot of money on the line, a seemingly easy game and a predictable outcome. What I liked was the introduction of the old man, who seems different from the other sidekicks that Kaiji had so far. Also, that daughter. What the hell are the creators building up to?

#10 (8) – Sket Dance – (8,5/10)

This month saw the best and the worst episode of Sket Dance so far, but the tournament arc really made up for it by being really fun, yet somehow taking its characters seriously. Now all that’s left is to wonder how long this series can keep up this excellent pace.

#9 (4) – Tiger & Bunny – (8,5/10)

This month we got to see the halfway climax for Tiger & Bunny. It;’s a solid story with a ton of character development, but it also spent a lot of time building up. There’s a lot of promise in this show becoming even better for its second half.

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

It really is a bloody shame that Deadman wonderland doesn’t have the time to fully show off its story, because it’s still one heck of an exciting series inside an insane setting. The animation has its ups and downs but when it has its ups it really looks gorgeous, and beyond the insanity, the characters are still surprisingly good. There’s some nice character development, not to mention that the delivery also really knows how to make its scenes count. Only complaint is that Ganta at times may angst a bit too much. At others though, he’s a great lead character.

#7 (3) – Gosick – (8,5/10)

This month wasn’t as good as the previous one, but it really does come close to that. The climax was a wonderful one and the stories again were full of intrigue and imagination. At this point the character development has also really kicked in, which really paid off here.

#6 (15) – Hana-Saku Iroha – (8,75/10)

Now this is a major improvement! The past arc for Hana-Saku Iroha has been amazing, and chock full of character development. It kept pushing its characters into situations where they were forced to confront their flaws and weaknesses and especially the acting was just wonderfully detailed, both in terms of voice acting and animation. If this is the pacing that this show can keep up, we’re in for a major treat.

#5 (6) – [C]The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – (8,75/10)

C was really rushed, and yet it pulled off an amazing finale. The main themes and subplots managed to come together, the direction got better than ever and aside from the way its plot evolved, it was just a damn entertaining series to watch. Especially the ending was really well delivered and brought some great closure to this series.

#4 (5) – Steins;Gate – (8,75/10)

Steins;gate’s plot really got interesting this month, but what’s more is that the execution also got rock and rock solid. The animation makes excellent use of its limited budget, the acting just gets better and better, the pacing and atmosphere hardly ever show a weak moment and it looks like this series has only just started.

#3 (10) – Dororon Enma-kun Meerameera – (8,75/10)

The ending to this sereis was absolutely fantastic. It just released all breaks and delivered one absolutely crazy roller coaster ride full of old references and that just kept upstaging itself in terms of downright insanity. This was entertainment at its finest and I had one hell of a time. Oh, and the background music also was as solid as ever. I can’t wait to hear what the same composers end up delivering for No6.

#2 (2) – Hyouge Mono – (9/10)

This month showed an even bigger focus on politics than this show already had before, still with the rock-solid execution and acting of this series, combined with an amazing plot twist along the way. What I especially like about this series is how much balls the delivery has. There’s a ton of detail put in the way that these people interact with each other, making this an awesome “lots of talking”-series.

#1 (1) – Ano Hi Mita no Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai – (9,25/10)

And with its final month, Anohana somehow managed to actually surpass itself. Its conclusion brilliantly weaved together everything this show needed and give every character a chance to show a bit of himself, leading to a heart-wrenching ending. It’s perhaps not entirely realistic and yeah, it had its share of overacting, but everything remained well within the boundaries of my suspense of disbelief thanks to the script that just kept pushing the characters forward and once again left no moment wasted.

Posted on 29 June 2011 with categories: Random Posts

Sorry for wasting the time of everyone else again, but between July 9th and July 14th, I’ll be on holiday in Germany, so there won’t be any posts published during that time. On July 11th, 12th and 13th I’ll be in Berlin, so if you happen to live there: how about we meet up?

Also, on July 23rd I’ll be on Antwerp’s Atsusacon, so the saem goes there to the people who were also planning on going.

I’ve never used this blog to try and organize meets like this, but I figured who cares. It might lead to something interesting.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews




Milestone time! This is going to be the 750th review I’ve written for this site. Only 250 more until I achieve my goal of 1000 ones! And what a random show to end up reviewing with Fireball Charming that just consists out of 13 2-minute episodes that just feature two robots talking to each other and do random things.

It’s the perfect series for if you’re looking for a quick watch, though. The original Fireball series already was this, but Fireball Charming actually manages to improve on the original series in a lot of different ways. Instead of going with much of the same formula, Fireball Charming aims to be bigger, faster, more random and more dynamic and creative. And it succeeds.

What you often see with comedy sequels is that they end up running out of inspiration, and yet none of this applies for Fireball. Heck, I could listen to Drossel and Gedachtnis for ages at this rate. The creators try to stuff a lot more dialogue in each episode than even the original Fireball, making every second interesting. One nasty side-effect of this is that it really jumps around: there’s no lead-up to anything. and the characters just randomly jump from one topic to the other as you’d expect from two hyperactive robot who have been stuck in the same castle for thousands of years.

The biggest difference with the first season is that this time, the creators really like to show off how good their animation is. Not only does this show look absolutely gorgeous and makes full use of 3D technologies, it also takes every chance it gets to show interesting images, animation and it really likes to throw in as much creativity as possible.

Now, random humour alone isn’t necessarily funny: if Fireball would just have been randomness for the sake of randomness it would have gotten boring really quickly, even for its length. However, it has a great comedic timing and a very eccentric sense of humour that is hard not to like. Not to mention that it has two very likable main characters.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Short but sweet. Completely random and jumpy but consistently interesting to watch.
Characters: 8/10 – No depth whatsoever, but a likable cast this certainly is.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Absolutely gorgeous CG. A feast for the eyes.
Setting: 8/10 – Has a virtually limitless supply of random things to throw at the viewer, and interestingly uses its own setting.

Suggestions:
Kimagure Robot
Marie & Gali

Posted on with categories: Showa Monogatari



Okay, so I know that this isn’t getting subbed and all, and the fact that it has only one cute girl and no hot guys were bound to make it ridiculously ignored, but seriously: someone sub this. I know the acting isn’t at its best, but I keep seeing more and more people who want realism in anime. This is by far the most realistic series of the season!

It’s surprising how few anime seem to focus on bad boyfriends, the only recent one that I can think of right now is Colorful. Are moe girls really that pure that they only attract guys with no personality or something? While previous episodes of this show may have been a bit overacted, this episode hit all of the right notes: it never was too dramatic, and yet it revealed that the guy that Yuuko had a crush on was both a criminal and cheating on her. It’s not like these problems resolved themselves in 50 years time in Japan, right?

This was a pretty great portrayal of the teenaged years. It had angst, but this didn’t come with the cliches that you usually see in anime and it really was about problems that anyone could have had. I really liked this conclusion to Yuuko’s arc. I imagine that the final two episodes will be about Kouhei’s brother. He’s been strangely ignored during the past few episodes.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Okay, so I’ve complained that the characters in this series are too one-sided. Okay, I take that back. With such brilliant acting as in this episode, Okabe and Mayuri have more than shown that they are awesome characters. This episode was just amazing.

Let alone the plot twist at the end of this episode, it rocked because of Okabe and Mayuri’s rock-solid performance. The trust between everyone also was incredibly well detailed, and I especially liked Mayuri as she got dragged around without knowing what’s going on, and how Okabe traced back what she had been doing in the past episode. With this episode the relationship between the two of them really shined.

The biggest questions were asked at the beginning of the episode, and most of them revolve around the part-timer: why didn’t she warn about the obvious villain of Shining Finger, but instead was so hung up over Makise Kurisu? She seemed to know her when she talked to her with those cryptic lines. Also, “42”? Was that really meant to reference the answer to life, the universe and everything or is it just technobabble that we’re only supposed to understand over a few months?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 June 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




The second season of The World God Only Knows has some good points. At the very least the girls that Keima has to conquest (read: get a kiss from) aren’t as terrible as the idol or the rich girl of the first season. Unfortunately, there just still is too much wrong with it for me to really rate it any higher than its predecessor.

Really, I only barely managed to finish this series. If I had to give a tip for anyone checking this out: don’t expect anything from it. The world God Only Knows doesn’t aim to be anything big or spectacular. It’s just there for really light entertainment and to provide some interesting observations about dating sim games. It’s not deep, it’s not funny, it doesn’t have any good characters, nor does it have particularly impressive animation (this is without a doubt Manglobe’s least visually impressive series; just about everything looks generic here). In every area, it does just enough to be watchable.

There are a number of good arcs in this series, in particular the middle one that actually makes use of the build-up that the first season provided (something that unfortunately the rest of the arcs don’t do). It’s here where this show jumps away fro its formula, delivers its best characterization and the most interesting and least stereotypical character of the series. The problem is that all of the other arcs left something to be desired with.

This series follows the same format as the first: we first get a long arc detailing a “conquest”, followed by a short arc detailing something random about either the world of this series or dating sims in general. The long arcs suffer from stereotypical and one-sided characters along with nonsensical conclusions. The short arcs suffer from being completely stupid and moronic. Really, those episodes are completely terrible.

The thing with this series is that it does take care to give its characters interesting back-stories. That’s why I’m not giving this one a terrible rating, and all of the main arcs have their points that make them worth watching. But there’s just way too much fundamentally flawed with this series. This series doesn’t feature a series where a guy needs to save random girls who are infected by evil spirits, it feels more like a guy who needs to collect various characters who magically escaped from his games.

The characterization in this series leaves much to be desired: everyone in this series just has one side, sometimes that side has a twist, but there is nothing other to these characters beyond that twist. Even the main characters suffer from this! I could forgive the first season for that due to the lack of time, but come on: it’s already been 24 episodes and they’re still the same stereotypes.

This series advertises itself as a light-hearted parody, but the problem is that it’s just not funny. This show just doesn’t know how to write comedy: Elcea still is the most obnoxious character, and any joke this show attempts to make falls flat on its face due to poor timing: everything in this show is slow and mellow, even the delivery of the jokes. This show includes a lot of references to other stories, but that’s just what they are: random references that try to be clever, yet aren’t.

At the very least Elcea doesn’t try bathing with Keima anymore, and that second arc finally took this show somewhere other than just a cliche fest, but the main reason why I’m rating this series lower than the first is because it’s a much bigger chore to sit through. The terrible, terrible side-arcs are part of this, but the big factor is that this show has had 24 episodes now and I’m getting really tired of it. I don’t enjoy watching the majority of this series. It’s a miracle that I even kept with it, but that is mostly because people keep telling that the future arcs get better. I’ve been hopelessly caught in this series, hoping for it to finally turn good, fueled by a few good parts here and there that affirm this and yet this bloody show keeps testing my patience over and over with its cliches and complete stupidity.

Storytelling: 7/10 – It’s sufficient, but refuses to try and stand out. There’s a lot of meh in the way it delivers its story, most notably on how slow and monotone it can get.
Characters: 7/10 – It’s a character study, so the characters at least are well explored. They’re all (with the exception of perhaps one) still game stereotypes, though. If they were enjoyable to watch then okay, but more often than not they’re not!
Production-Values: 8/10 – Adequate. But for Manglobe’s standards it doesn’t stand out in any way.
Setting: 7/10 – Offers nice trivia at times, but most of this series isn’t about games, it’s about games in the eyes of an obsessed fanatic. This show did the opposite of what it was supposed to do and made my (someone who never plays visual novels) image of dating sims even more jaded than it already was.

Suggestions:
Kuragehime
Hanamaru Youchien
Skip Beat

Posted on with categories: Ao no Exorcist



Just… what?

So it was clear that we were getting a filler episode in this episode, and a beach episode at that. Obviously I wasn’t looking forward to it. But what was that? Who the hell wrote this? There was so much wrong with this episode, but I have no idea whether it was in a bad way. In either case it was completely stupid. And next week we’re going to an amusement park?!

Rather than a filler, this feels like we’re in a completely different series. The beach part doesn’t even matter anymore. From out of nowhere the creators suddenly introduce a young boy who acts like he’s been part of the main cast for ages. The show does the same with a guy who obviously looks like he’s cross-dressing in his spare time and then it suddenly comes with a giant squid story. The subsequent fight establishes the squid as the dumbest monster alive, only followed by a completely bizarre anti-climax.

T=Here’s the thing: as stupid as this episode was, I enjoyed it. The creators actually tried to do something different, and I admit that that climax had me in stitches and the episode overall was a unique experience that was definitely creative…

But it also completely destroyed the credibility of this series…
Rating: @!# (???)

Posted on with categories: Hana-Saku Iroha



This was a wonderful conclusion to the past arc. Instead of using the midway climax as the most dramatic of the episodes so far, it was actually really warm-hearted and entirely focused on character development. Ohana’s mother’s visit was very down to earth and it showed something new about pretty much the entire family. Ohana’s mother’s advice and presence really brought change to this series.

I especially loved that the characters weren’t afraid to use liquor in this. That always turns out to be a great way to flesh out characters. It’s a bit weird for Ohana to get drunk on soda, but the way it finally made her lay out her feelings was really worth it. It also was quite unexpected that Ohana’s grandmother suddenly started drinking. Through this episode you could really see that Ohana, her mother and her grandmother are related: they’re all big workers, even though their personalities are completely different. The only oddball here is Ohana’s uncle: this episode really established him as a third wheel, and I suspect that the rest of this series is going to make use of that.

Also, since next week will be a beach episode, it’s clear now what format this show is going to follow. Setting aside the fact that beach episodes are bloody overused, this show will follow about the same format as Tiger & Bunny: the first half has random episodes with a long climax, the second half also has random episodes followed by a bit of a longer climax.

That’s not a bad thing by the way. When an episodic series is done well, it’s the second half where its episodes really start to shine because it’s there where the characters really start to show themselves off, and it’s here where the creators can really play with their development.It’s been a while since we’ve had series like this, so I’m quite interested to find out whether Hana-Saku Iroha and Tiger & Bunny can pull them off again. It’s a format that I really like because it can lead to a lot of variety. Whether or not we’ll already see this with the beach episode though… I’m not sure…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 June 2011 with categories: Tiger & Bunny



And wit this we conclude the first half of Tiger & Bunny. This episode was… interesting, because it wasn’t exactly the best episode of the TV-series. Because the previous episodes built it up so meticulously this episode pretty much did everything you’d expected, without much surprises aside from Kotetsu using his head again. It’s good build-up though: Barnaby and Tiger will receive a lot of development from this episode.

The thing with Tiger & Bunny is that it’s really entertaining when building up, and it looks like the random episodes will continue again after this arc, so this is definitely promising to become even better. It’s there where this series can really start using its build-up of the first half. I expect the second half of this series to continue with a similar pattern as the first half, with it ending with a climax that focuses both on Lunatic and the fact that the entire city looks like the Ouroboros logo.

What I do hope is that that final arc will use its characters more. That’s the only thing that really bothered me in this episode: in the end everyone aside from Kotetsu and Barnaby was pretty useless and the only parts where they actually helped to solve things were just… cut out. I want to see the creators come up with a story that doesn’t just require the powers of everyone, I want them to come up with a scenario that puts all of them in the spotlights. They’re all great characters, they deserve that.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
KTravlos
That said the last two AMB episodes were quite fun.
Amagi
I would have prefered it if the magical beings were weird looking instead of all of them being beautiful sameface humans. Also the special role of Chise and how everyone gets alured by her give me strong otome vibes and I am really not a fan of this gerne
Amagi
@Lenlo/KT same here. It's just that AMB can't come even close to Inu, Shuumatsu or Houseki. I am no a fan of the pacing and the rest is basically just fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was worried there for a moment thinking sangatsu no lion was ending next week, turns out season 2 is 22 episodes afterall.
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
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Featured Posts

Inuyashiki – 10 [People of Tokyo]

This was a momentous week for Inuyashiki, with lots of highs and single glaring low. We had terrible CGI, an emotional confrontation between our leads and a fantastic payoff for Inuyashiki. Lets jump in! To start, lets get the big issue out of the way immediately, the PS2 era CGI. To quote reddit, the budget […]

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