Posted on 31 August 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This month was an interesting one, definitely. There were unfortunately a few series who took a bit of a dip, or a bit of a wrong turn, but what charcterized the series who didn’t do that: charater development. Tons and tons of character development. Characters who one seemed one-sided gain a ton of depth, and just about every series turned out to be excellent in fleshing its cast out and giving more depth to it.

At this point, I won’t be able to tell whether or not this season really belongs among the best summer seasons we’ve had, because a lot of these series depend on their endings. The past spring will be very hard to beat in terms of awesome endings, but if there’s any season that can do it, it’s this one.

OVA Releases
#2: Carnival Phantasm – (5/10) – Okay, so I tried to watch this while not having played Fate/Stay Night. So obviously I did not enjoy watching all kinds of random references that flew over my head. Heck, I even have trouble imagining how those jokes would have worked if you DID know the meaning behind them. If you haven’t played Fate/Stay Night: don’t even bother with it. If you have though… prepare for something really silly.
#1: Milky Holmes OVA – (8/10)

This… was bizarre. It’s pretty much the same as the series, which is a good thing Its high energy just kept on going and going, with surprisingly good animation. It was incredibly cheesy, but knew it and played that for laughs, which worked nicely. My one complaint is that it was entirely fanservice. Especially turning one of the cast members into an is a very trite twist, but thankfully it was nowhere near as badly done as with series as Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka.

TV Series
#19 (20) – Sacred Seven – (7,25/10) – Sacred Seven: just take your characters, design a bunch of interesting looking monsters and just throw one monster at your characters for every single episode. That would have been more interesting than what the creators are currently doing, because the main plot of this thing is so completely and utterly boring. Apart from Arama, there really is nothing that stands out.
#18 (9) – Ao no Exorcist – (7,75/10) – Ao no Exorcist has gone off into anime original material, and I just have one major problem with that: I don’t care about the plot. It’s just not interesting. I’d rather wtach these characters interacting with each other. Satan? Who cares about Satan! Can’t the characters just all have a sleepover or something? That’s something that this show does really really well.
#17 (15) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8/10) – I’m a bit behind on this series and haven’t watched the latest two episodes yet. This has to do with business, but also because the show is currently building up and so we’re in the middle of a training arc. I do not want to watch yet another season that’s entirely dedicated to build-up! There are hints of things getting better though: the villain looks interesting at the very least. Now, let’s not let her derail like the last one, okay?
#16 (8) – Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – (8/10) – Aaand here is the point where this series lost my grip on it: in the end, the pachinko arc was too long. This month featured two episodes that just dragged on and kept repeating themselves. The thing is, that with so few arcs, this thing has lost its dynamic: it’s just waiting for the inevitable to happen. It’ll probably be an adrenaline fest when we get there, but Kaiji: you can also create series of 20 episodes long. It’s been done before. It’s even gonna save you some budget…
#15 (18) – Sket Dance – (8/10)

This month, Sket Dance was testing my patience, both in a good and bad way. The thing remains that it’s not as funny and dynamic as it used to. It however still is creative and is willing to try out risks. Just as I gave up on it, it pulls these strange episodes like the one entirely dedicated on bad jokes, or the double date. At first they may not seem much, but they’re surprisingly clever when you think about them afterward. I in any case want to see where the creators are going with this.

#14 (17) – Dantalian no Shoka – (8,25/10)

At first, Dantalian no Shoka seemed to have an excellent pair of main characters. Now, they’re the biggest weakness of the show, simply because they refuse to evolve. In Dalian’s case, she actually devolved. The rest of the cast, and the stories they run into are wonderfully imaginative, though. They’re incredibly far-fetched, but that’s what makes them fun and interesting. Gainax’s animation also helps.

#13 (16) – Blade – (8,25/10)

Yeah, something has to go really weird for Blade to not end up as the best Marvel series. Sure, its action isn’t as good as some of the other installments, but apart from that it has them beaten in pretty much every other category: the story takes actually interesting detours and has surprisingly engaging (albeit a bit cheesy) sideplots, the cameos are used in the best way so far, so that they actually enhance the characters playing a cameo, the characters have received much more depth than the previous ones and the bond between Blade and the people around him is much more interesting than that of the X-Men and Wolverine, and in terms of setting the characters aren’t wandering around random places, but instead are traveling all across southeast asia. Often visiting places that anime almost never (if they do it at all) touches upon.

#12 (14) – Ikoku Meiro no Croisée – (8,25/10)

Out of the slice of life series that I’m still watching, Croisee is the most overly sappy one. Because of that though, it can also get really genuine, which is an interesting trade-off. Its main selling point is its focus on cultural differences, which is really explored well. There’s a ton of interesting stuff discussed each episode, which very neatly relates back to the characters, instead of being just a kaleidoscope of random peculiar cultural differences.

#11 (10) – Usagi Drop – (8,25/10)

The interesting thing about the slice of life series this season is that they’re all excellent in totally different ways. For Usagi Drop, it’s the realism that really shines. Before I’ll fully judge this series though, I want to see how the creators are planning to end it. It won’t have the infamous trainwreck of the manga ending (which I thankfully have yet to be spoiled about) , but the anime still is going to have to tie itself together and I’m really curious how they’re gonna do that.

#10 (11) – Blood-C – (8,5/10)

It’s actually been a while since I’ve blogged such a controversial title. With that, I mean that Blood-C joins the ranks of series of which people have hugely diverging opinions. Personally, I’m at the positive side of the spectrum: I find this to be a very effective horror series with a gripping atmosphere and top notch fight choreography all around. The cast of characters admittedly aren’t the most interesting of the season, but they do really well in holding my attention and remaining plausible.

#9 (13) – Hana-Saku Iroha – (8,5/10)

The thing that sets Hana-Saku Iroha apart? Its drama. The characters themselves are… annoying to watch at times, but the drama between them is excellent to watch. It’s creative, gets some terrific development out of them, it shows new sides of them, the script is surprisingly well written when tit wants to and it weaves its various sideplots surprisingly creatively together. Because of that I find this to be a very engaging series, desipite how much the characters may get on my nerves.

#8 (6) – No.6 – (8,5/10)

Number 6 has only one problem. That didn’t change at all during the past month. It’s still wonderfully written, makes great use of its time to stuff as much plot and character development into its episodes, is really well animated, has an excellent plot and setting… but there still is no way that this one’s gonna end well.

#7 (7) – Kamisama Dolls – (8,5/10)

This still is rock solid entertainment: this month in particular upped the ante by giving the cast some depth to the main cast. Former one-sided characters actually were put in interesting situations and dilemmas, and gained a lot of depth. The storyline is also very effective and keeps making things interesting and entertaining to watch. Sure, there’s some badly placed fanservice, but that’s a minor issue.

#6 (12) – Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou – (8,5/10)

Finally in this month Kami-Sama n Memo-Chou stopped goofing off and showed one heck of a great storyline. Four episodes of undiluted awesomeness with a tight script, creative twists, excellent characters and a wonderful pacing. This is what mystery I expected from this series. It still has the JC Staff Cliches, but it executed them in a completely different manner compared to how they usually do them. Overall this finally lived up to its promise.

#5 (5) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,75/10)

There was one two episode arc and three episodic stories this month. The arc was great, but the episodic stories really stole the show here. The big advantage of the third season is that Natsume is developing like hell here. Every episode is dedicated to his growth. When you’ve also got heart-warming stories added to that, you’ve really got an amazingly charming series.

#4 (4) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

The one annoying part about Hyouge Mono this month was that it took a two-week hiatus, so we only got two episodes. What we got though, was absolutely wonderful. The acting in this series just gets better and better, and is without a doubt the best of the entire season. Just about everything is portrayed with the utmost subtlety, only to break that again with the bombastic emotions, and the cast plays excellently off each other. It’s still incredibly slow, so if you don’t have patience this really isn’t the thing for you, but for those who have it really is rewarding. But yeah, the dialogue is still incredibly complicated, so the chance that it will e picked up by subbers is very slim.

#3 (2) – Steins;Gate – (8,75/10)

Steins;Gate showed itself as the series with the best plot of the season. It’s full of intricacies of time-travel and its multi-layered plot is really starting to pay off now, and I especially like how suddenly, the first half of the series gets a completely different meaning. The least impressive part still is its characters, but they are nowhere near bad. They’re well developed, but perhaps just not as dynamic as they could have been.

#2 (1) – Tiger & Bunny – (9/10)

The plot with which Tiger&Bunny decided to go into its finale with was just awesome. Well built up, imaginative, but most importantly the characters were just awesome to watch. Just about every character shined during the past month and it’s incredibly fun to watch these people together. So yeah, it uses a plot device here and there. Who cares when it’s this awesome?

#1 (3) – Mawaru Penguin Drum – (9/10)

Now this one without a doubt stood on top of all of the other shows this month. It’s got a rock-solid direction and just keeps throwing the viewer for loops over and over. It’s chock full of red herrings and symbolism, the animation has a ton of neat details in it, the acting is absolutely wonderful, the characters all stand out and are wonderfully fun to watch. Seriously, if the other episodes are as good as this, then it’s a very strong contender for the best show of 2011.

Posted on 30 August 2011 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou



Another amazing episode. At this point, things have to go really weird if the third season isn’t going to end up as better than the second one. It even has the potential to still surpass the first one. I haven’t seen an episode that beat the Hotaru episode, but apart from that the new season has just about everything running in its favor, and it has two very important things that the first season didn’t have: consistency and development.

Natume’s development really is THE major selling point of this third season. And heck, this episode added even more of it. I mean, the power of friendship is cheesy and all, but this show completely nailed it. Natsume’s concerns for his friends, and their concerns for him were incredibly heart-warming. It’s a wonderful way to show how much the cast has grown since the start of the series: back in the first season, the characters were still way too distant for this episode to have happened.

School festival episodes are overused, but thankfully not the biggest cliches out there. Those go to the hot spring episode, the beach episode and the pool episode, simply because everybody always does the bloody same there. Of course there are the bad festival episodes that are just there to waste time, but the good ones manage to show the cast in a different light, allow the characters to show themselves off, or highlight development. The best ones re the ones who want to make points that could not have been made without the choice to go with a school festival (so, no cheesy “let’s wait until the festival to confess to each other or something). Here, so much stuff gets thrown at Natsume, and he finally gets the chance to show himself off in the center of the attention by being the store clerk. The festival was a perfect chance for that.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 29 August 2011 with categories: Hana-Saku Iroha



Um… people; I just realized something: 1.

That’s the number of currently airing series where both parents of the main characters are still alive. Usagi Drop is the freaking ONLY one who has confirmed that! With Hana Saku Iroha we could thus far still dream that Ohana’s father was some horrible bastard who left his girlfriend as soon as he got her pregnant. What happened to the days of Noein, where parents could simply get… divorced or something? The best thing we can hope for at this point is for Sket Dance’s Yusuke’s father to be a raging workaholic who is never at home or something.

Having said that though: I loved this episode, for a lot of different reasons. First of all: the creators did not wait until the last episode to resolve the Tohru subplot. Tohru now knows about Minko’s crush on him, he won’t be misinterpreting hints from her anymore, and with Ohana totally uninterested in him, it will be a matter of time before his crush on her fades.It’s nice to see all of this happen gradually, but more importantly: the creators had other plans for the climax. Plans that indeed involve dissolving the Kissuiso, allowing everyone to go their own way. It’s the best way for everyone to really shine, and to pack in a ton of character development for everyone. I applaud the creators for going that route!

The characterization for the wedding also was wonderful, making this a really heart-warming episode. Enishi and Takako really came together as a couple here, and the subtle details, like them holding hands were nicely animated as well. Ooh, and Ohana’s mother has finally returned! Next episode she seems to be making an even bigger appearance, which is going to make that finale even more awesome.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée



Now, don’t get me wrong, this episode was wonderful. However, it did feature the big one; the cliche of cliches: the childhood friends. Instead of having Claude and Camille dating at their fifteenth or sixteenth, the creators consciously chose to show a romance between young kids of around ten years old. Here it makes sense: the theme of this episode would not have worked with older characters, but this is really something that lazy anime just keep using over an dover again.

This is something that has always baffled me about Japanese culture: how serious they view the romance between children. Instead of just playing tag, with everyone going his own way afterwards, anime seem to place a huge value on the memories they made as a kid. Instead of looking back at those childhood romances as an adorable quirk, every anime seems to believe those memories will decide your fate for your entire life. With this episode I was originally planning to question the Japanese culture again, only we’re talking about French kids here. But then again, I’m not French either. Are the French obsessed over childhood romances as well?

Anyway, the reason why I consider it to be such a bad twist is because it’s forced and overused. The big problem being the former, and the latter is the thing that made it worse. Nine times out of ten, when a childhood friend becomes involved, this is just reduced to a flashback, and a cheap excuse to get the main couple dating. It’s like saying: “I’m too bland for you, but we used to play tag together!” – and anime just keeps using that as an excuse.

In this episode things are different, though. It definitely had its purpose; this is a series about cultural differences. Not just between the French and the Japanese, but also between generations and between social classes. The childhood romance wasn’t used as a cheap romance, but instead to give Claude and Camille even more character. It added a ton of things to both the cast and the setting, on top of being adorably executed. And seeing Claude’s father was a plus too.

Here’s the thing with this show: it’s forcing me to reconsider the stereotypes I have in my mind about anime cliches. It’s not like Ao no Exorcist, which just has a bunch of cliches and executes them well, no this is really thought-provoking and it’s forcing me to take a different look at things I took for granted. Now that’s great storytelling.

Also, the tea ceremonies immediately gave me flashbacks to Hyouge Mono. I can not watch those anymore without picturing these overly obsessive faces along with it. It was quite good though: again it was a neat way to show how different something simple like tea can be. Plus, the way in which the Japanese sit. Because the bodies of Asians are slightly different from Europeans, they can sit like that much more naturally. I find it particularly murderous for my legs when I’m forced to sit like that for more than ten minutes.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Ao no Exorcist



The problem with the fillers is that they derail certain characters at times. This time the most obvious was once again Yukio, but Mephisto also acted weird and inconsequential. First this guy gets all serious, and after a really random intervention from the Vatican that he could have stopped easily, he just walks away, abandoning his students that are held hostage. Make up your mind, will ya?

But yeah, Yukio: I still am not buying his subplot. It’s annoying and just feels forced. Like the Konekomaru arc, he’s overreacting way too much and just keeps on angsting about having to protect his brother. That’s just not interesting and gets annoying really fast. It’s not the kind of subplot you’d hold secret for the viewer, especially since they’re being so un-subtle about it.

The rest of this episode had the right spirit, though. Rin’s classmates have been handled quite well in this original story, and this episode solved the biggest barrier between him and them: Rin’s flames. He may have learned to control them a bit too sudden (isn’t it more logical if you gain control of flames like that gradually over time?) and that teacher also was surprisingly interesting. Again pulling his wife in was a bit cliched, but there definitely is more potential in him now than Satan.

Also, why does Yukio shoot with tranquilizers? I mean, with Rin I can understand and all, but against monsters who threaten the lives of his friends. Dude, get a bazooka or something. Anything better than those “it may look like I’m carrying a lethal weapon, but THOU SHALT NOT KILL, KIDS!”-phony weapons.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 28 August 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Yup, now that this arc has officially finished, I can say that it’s the best arc of Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou so far. The two extra episodes really did it, and allowed this series to really create a surprisingly interesting story with some very creative twists. Oh, and Narumi… he actually popped up as a very good leader; that’s not something that many of his counterparts can boast here.

So I have been rather busy lately, so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to really speculate what’s going on. Because of that the truth behind the mystery really came out of left field for me, and that made it all the more satisfying. I love how nearly all makes sense with the build-up that these past four episodes have put into it.

the only thing that I’m a bit iffy about is the Fourth’s reasons for keeping silent. I mean, I understand them, but Renji was willing to destroy everything he built up, which basically involved him putting the lives of everyone loyal to him on the line. Was that really worth it for a simple pride issue? The only thing I can think of is that he didn’t expect Renji to go as far as he did.

I really wonder: can the final four episodes top this? It al depends on what kind of material they’re gonna adapt. The thing is: I do not think that this will get a second season. The thing with JC Staff is that they in general are very loyal with their series… and yet Aoi Hana did not get a sequel (this has been confirmed: disappointing sales were the reasons). Based on recent years this was about the only series of theirs that really left with an open end and that did not get a sequel along the way… but then Uragiri and Yumekui Merry came around, both with disappointing sales. In the same way, I really can’t see Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou’s sales to turn out good. It does have the typical JC staff tropes, but it executes them in a completely different way from usual, to the point where there’s hardly any cliched moe left at this point. Even Alice’s antics are nothing like her counterparts (we can thank her excellent voice acting for that; I shiver at the thought of them putting Rie Kugimiya on the job again…). The problem is that this is just all speculation, of course. It’s gonna take years before we fully know whether this is true.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Tiger & Bunny



Um yeah. That’s possible too. I really kept wondering on how the creators would end up solving the memory alterations of Maverick. The previous episode built up an epic plan to do that, and it really looked like Tiger was going to have to try his best to both convince everyone, while not being too cheesy at the same time. Or just wait for Kaede to show up and zap everyone back.

It’s a bit weird at first, but as the episode went on I really appreciated what a great anti-climax this was. After all, this episode did avoid exactly what I was afraid of: cheesy monologues for every single one of the side characters. Instead, Tiger’s attempts were shown to have some subtle influences, but they just weren’t enough for the team mentality of the heroes who worked together. In the meantime, Sky High’s brilliant action of touching Kaede on the shoulder still leaves the perfect opportunity for Kotetsu to really scrape the barrel in trying to get the memories of his friend back: for a lot of different characters, this indeed would have been rather weird.

Added to that was that the characters were just incredibly enjoyable throughout the entire episode. Just about everyone shined and was fun to watch. The cast of Tiger & Bunny really has what I’d like to call the X-Factor for me: it’s hard to describe, but beyond well developed and acted, they put in this extra bit to make them even more interesting, and make them consistently enjoyable, even when they’re not doing anything. For me, this is one of the greatest heights a cast can reach. This series has had episodes that hinted to that very much in the past, but this episode sealed the deal.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 26 August 2011 with categories: Hyouge Mono



Finally, after two weeks we’ve got more Hyouge Mono again. While the wait was terribly long, it did make me realize again how special this series is, and how this series just does not care about how many conventions it screws.

The details in the animation once again were sublime. This series may not have a big budget or anything, but the animation when Hideyoshi performed that dance was just amazingly smooth and powerful. On top of that, the amount of detail this series puts in its characters’ facial expressions still is completely un-rivaled. This makes it able to bring its characters alive in such a unique manner.

Even though this was a lot of building up, it’s still a ton of fun to watch Sasuke build up his own… um… “empire”, while at the same time, the focus is really starting to shift towards Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who after Oda Nobunaga rose up to try and unite Japan. I really wonder how this series is planning to use its length. It seems the most logical point to end would be where Tokugawa Ieyasu manages to unite japan successfully. It’s just… how will Hideyoshi and Sasuke play their parts in this? I mean, according to History the hostilities between the Hashiba and Tokugawa clans will end with Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s influence. At this point, I can still so many barriers before that’s gonna happen.
Rating: ** (Excellenty)

Posted on with categories: Blood-C



At first sight it may seem that Clamp are just reusing the same things, though they’ve actually succeeded quite well by now in building their own universe. The wish in this episode was the best example of that so far for this series: it’s of the same type of wish as with xxxHolic, Tsubasa Chronicle and Kobato, but instead of just being the same, they strengthen each other and are all different ways to look at the same concept. This episode is all about the nature of wishes: is this one going to be a good or a bad one?

This again was a very powerful episode, as it revealed that Saya’s father had pretty much been deceiving her. It’s also where the build-up of the earlier episodes comes into play again, and nothing really turn out what they seemed to be. If the earlier episodes would have immediately stated this, this revelation would not have been as powerful.

On the animation front, it is a bit of a shame that the creators couldn’t hold on to the amazingly fluent animation of the first few episodes; probably due to budget issues, but I’m glad to see that they’re still trying. Especially when that giant swordsman attacked: you could actually see him put his weight into his blows (Saya really needed her supernatural strength in order to be able to defend from forces like that!), and he really felt like he made an impact on the scenery whenever he went, destroying just about everything he stepped on, rather than just leaving giant foot-prints like a lot of other shows like to do. The attention to detail still is abundant.

Also, and this is something I just realized while up this entry… we have a dog who is the owner of a shop who sells wishes… voiced by Jun Fukuyama. Could it be? I’m getting some serious Kobato flashbacks here.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum



WTF, Penguin Drum. Just… wtf…

The first half of this episode was predictable enough. Heck, it was even so predictable that I was ready to label it as the least interesting episode of Penguin Drum so far. That actress is shrewd, and this episode pretty much was dedicated to showing the announcement of her engagement with Tabuki for its first half, with the most worthwhile parts being the references to classic shoujo. Ringo still didn’t really do anything worthwhile to stop it and was about to give up, so probably she shouldn’t have any more need for the diary, which would pretty much allow Shouma to take it. Or at least, that’s what I thought would happen.

Then came the toad scene. What the hell were the creators smoking when they came up with that one?

Ringo in this episode…. got completely deranged. I knew she was a bit weird, but this episode just made her outright crazy. And I don’t mean in the way that anime usually portrays crazy people, with lots of yelling and over the top laughing and stuff. Instead her plans to outright rape her teacher completely took me out of left field. I knew that this series had balls, but I did not expect them to be this big. This looks like it’s full of romantic cliches, and then it just keeps subverting the hell out of them.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
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