Posted by psgels 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.

28 Responses

  1. Cryptic says:

    I seriously don’t see why this show receives such praise. I’ve watched numerous slice of life shows so its not like I’m new to this genre. I find myself skipping everyone of Ringo’s delusions because they are annoying. I would give this show a 7/10 because its watchable, just not outstanding.

  2. Engix says:

    @1 I have to disagree, to me mawaru is enjoyable to watch and its actually my favorite show of the season.

    But i have to say 1 thing about Carnival Phantasm i actually found it decent. I also dropped Fate/Stay night, so i guess i like light hearted stuff.

  3. Pafiume says:

    I’m gonna agree that I feel like Mawaru Penguin is just hype at this point. I enjoy it, but it’s just not THAT great so far. The past few episodes of Steins;Gate, even without the one from today which I don’t know if you’ve seen yet, have been stellar. It draws me in so completely. I guess you don’t like the characters too much, but I love them. Tiger and Bunny has also been better in my opinion. It’s hard for me to watch, but only because I’ve come to care so much for the characters. But this is your list, and you have your own opinions.

  4. meow says:

    If you haven’t played Fate/Stay Night: don’t even bother with it.

    Not just FSN. Every Type-Moon title, from Tsukihime to Melty Blood. Characters from all of them show up. And yes, you need to know the story fairly intimately, and even need to know the prominent staff. (I’m pretty sure those weird aliens that are defeated by Phantasmoon every episode are supposed to be parodies of the major creators of these titles. Kinoko Nasu, etc.)

    That said, having played the Fate games, I found this parody very very enjoyable. It was surprisingly well animated and performed and I got to know alot of characters from Tsukihimne/Melty Blood I’d never met before. I loved the original characters and it was painful to see alot of their suffering so it’s kind of cool to see them in this “what-if happy-ending” setting that you can’t expect in the games, anime, etc. Eg. Caster if she had a chance to live peacefully with her Master, Ilya and Rin fighting over Shirou with an awkward Saber looking on, etc. And I never knew Rin had trouble with tech (kawaiisugiru

  5. du5k says:

    Gonna agree with #1.

    Penguindrum’s style is brilliant and it’s filled with creativity, but the story’s going nowhere. Without the artistic direction, I won’t really have reason to watch the show. It’s fun to watch, but I wish something serious would actually happen and the story would move on.

  6. paj says:

    I am also in the same boat as everyone that Penguindrum is just a mediocre show. I guess i don’t see what is so special about it. I find it not really up my alley. So in favor of Cryptic post. . .I have to third or fourth it.

  7. jreding says:

    It is so sad that no one is subbing Hyouge Mono! I watched the first like five episodes which were kindly subbed by Huzzah and I fully agreed with psgel’s praise. But watching it raw would be pointless for me who bare understands Japanese highschool anime slang.

  8. KrazyKobun says:

    I love Mawaru Penguindrum! The other series just don’t have the creative direction that Penguindrum does. While MP isn’t really going anywhere, it remains consistently entertaining, mysterious, crazy, intelligent, and fun. Plus its starting to get the ball rolling. I think its not fair to compare a series reaching its climax to a series that is still in the process of world building. Steins’Gate and Tiger & Bunny didn’t have the best starts either. Most of the interesting revelations are revealing themselves in T&B and S;G, so of course it’ll be more interesting.

    All three are amazing anime.

  9. Riddick says:

    LV is a unique and popular product. Though the cost of producing is cheap, they are sold in exorbitant price. Penguin’s hype is largely due to the branding. If it was directed by someone else, it would not be getting the same treatment as what the series is getting now. It sure is unique. But not as awesome as what everyone is claiming.

  10. jreding says:

    Postscriptum: Good point in highlighting that Ikoku Meiro and Usagi Drop are both excellent, but in completely different ways! Ikoku Meiro is about aesthetics and cultural differences, whereas Usagi Drop covers more realistic social issues like being a single parent. Slice of life can really come at a wide range of varieties! Both shows, however, have super cute characters, look very good and are much higher on my personal ranking than on psgel’s.

  11. anim3spy says:

    About Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Uragi have you dropped it or forget to include in your list?

  12. Cholisose says:

    This season has been the great slice-of-life season for me. I’ve loved Natsume Yuujinchou, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, and Usagi Drop–probably the top three shows for this season IMO.

    I tried watching Penguindrum, but it weirded me out so much. Perhaps if I loved penguins I’d enjoy it more? But I couldn’t get into it.

  13. Hogart says:

    Your top five are no surprise, but I’m a bit surprised to see Croisee and Usagi lower than Dolls and Memo-chou. I’ve utterly failed to gain an appreciation or emotionally invest in Dolls/Memo-chou, though, so maybe I’m just getting too old for my own good.

  14. meee says:

    Your top 3 is my top 3. Granted, I’d rank them in the opposite order, but I adore all 3 of them.

  15. CJay says:

    Yeah my top 3 is also the same just flipped with Steins;Gate being my favorite.

    Also I feel that psgels gripes with the characters in steins;gate are all really particular. Like who doesn’t make sex jokes when they are hanging out with their friends? They seem all believable. Okabe is also an extremely dynamic character. Specially looking at the way he acts in these last two episodes…very different from the first few episodes. I mean I definitely wouldn’t say that the characters are better overall than T&B but I just think its odd that you pointed out that they are the weakest part of the show.

  16. Kits says:

    Your post are really silly, Random thing is not bad because you like thing boring for the sake of boring and you like just because is not moe

  17. Frost says:

    Like many said, for me Steins;Gate is EASILY, EASILY the top anime airing right now, the best of the year, and possibly the best of the decade, so Im kinda shocked you give it less than 9

    Penguindrum is indeed overhyped at this point… The first few episodes were amazing, since the survival strategy sequence was still fresh etc, but the last ones have been dragging around pointlessly and nothing really happened.. I am also getting annoyed at the constant Ringo delusions, especially when its obvious Ringo will end up with Shouma

    I also loved the first 5 Hyouge Mono episodes to death, but I had to stop watching due to lack of subs… I have no doubt it would be in my top 3 as well at this point

  18. Kim says:

    I love Mawaru but right now it would be hard for me to choose between that and Croisee as my anime of the summer season. And it’s been a very strong season for me.

    Mawaru I knew I would love from the start. But Croisee was a big surprise for me. I remember I even told you it’s probably not worth blogging. Well now I can admit I was very wrong about that because the series definitely charmed its way into my heart.

  19. Left says:

    This is why it’s all about opinions. I know Steins;Gate is being lauded, but when I first watched the first few episodes, it was a real chore to get into. I just couldn’t get invested in the characters. I’ll probably marathon it later for the plot, but I agree with psgel about characterization. Penguin is incredibly entertaining and I look forward to it every week, but the craziness also does distance me from relating to the characters. In contrast, I’m surprised by how much I like Kamisama Dolls. It’s a pity it’s not being blogged.

  20. Blue Bomber says:

    Just saw Steins;Gate 22. Wow, just wow. Then the part after the credits. 0.o Truly the one show I’ve been looking forward to more than any other this season. Maybe even this year (AnoHana’s a close 2nd). And each ep just keeps solidifying that more and more. There are still 2 more eps, right? ANN shows there being 24, so more epicness should be ahead…

  21. AKI says:

    Same as above your top three is reversed on mine. Steins;Gate is the best anime airing this year, one of the series that i expected to end on a high note. Mawaru is OK, decent but its hype did not resonate with me. But I believe that it has interesting characters and the creativity is something fresh.

  22. Anon says:

    Subjected to uthena’s fandom I suppose… Can’t be help, individual opinions will definitely be bounded by subjectivity

  23. Shippoyasha says:

    I agree with almost everything in the list to varying degrees.

    I kind of find it funny though how you love Penguin and yet you just totally DESTROY Suite Precure like it’s cancer. Suite Precure actually surprised me on how well it’s written and it definitely feels way better than some of the sappier Precure seasons before it. Heatcatch had that freakishly amazing animation, though Suite isn’t by all means absolutely terrible either.

    Still, great to see Penguin up there!

  24. Animefan000 says:

    I am guessing those who HAVEN’T watched Revolutionary Girl Utena are the ones pulling negative opinions on Mawaru Penguindrum since even though both anime have different genres in them, they have a similar style in confusing audiences with visual creativity and all.

    That’s why I suggest watching Utena first then Penguindrum because you get to understand what the director is doing. Utena fans know that Ikuhara loves to pull and put crazy, creative, surreal and weird things into his shows that makes people confused; kind of like what happened in Utena. He also likes to make audiences ‘THINK’.

    Sure Penguindrum is overhyped but opinions vary, but if you haven’t watch Revolutionary Girl Utena, you will never understand Ikuhara’s fabulous style of work within Penguindrum.

  25. Stuff says:

    i dont really understand how penguindrum can be considered overhyped really. There are fans, and then there are critics. I just happen to be one of those people who genuinely enjoys the series and finds it remarkably refreshing. I feel as if everything that goes on with the series has intention and often goes against what i expect of the series.

  26. Stuff says:

    And no, I dont believe people have to watch Utena to enjoy Penguindrum or watch to get a grasp on “Ikuharas Style”. The series can stand on its own merits. However, I suppose for those who dont enjoy the show MIGHT appreciate it more after watching Utena.

  27. Animefan000 says:

    @26 – I’m only saying it’s a suggestion; not saying you have to but it’s better to watch Utena first then Penguindrum.

    I do agree that Penguindrum not overhyped though – I tend to have problems picking sides.

    I love Penguindrum because I finished Utena and understand the motifs, artistic flares and all the other things that Ikuhara uses in both series. I agree that I like Penguindrum because feels fresh, creative and highly entertaining compared to some of the other anime that I’m currently watching.

    I think Penguindrum is more of a love or hate series.

    And I guess people get put off with Penguindrum because of Ringo’s antics. But I don’t mind her antics; sure they are a million times crazier than Nanami’s antics in Utena but I highly enjoy it.

  28. Hogart says:

    Penguindrum *was* overhyped. Now that it’s finally split into two camps – lovers and haters – the hype machine has quieted down and we can just enjoy the damn anime while everyone else is distracted by mindless trolling.

    You don’t have to watch Utena to “get it”, either. That’s the *last* thing I’d recommend, in fact. Utena is far more eclectic and niche-driven, and might just turn you off watching both anime entirely. You wouldn’t recommend a person watches Hidamari before they watch Madoka to get used to Ume Aoki’s style, would you?

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AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Lenlo
No other sentence has made me want to watch Made in Abyss more
HelghastKillzone
I guess we're finally at the point where Made in Abyss goes all Dark Souls/Bloodborne.
Amagi
Apo's Jack the Ripper had at least a nice idea behind it, it's just the clothes that are a bad choice. But there are just too many lolis for the sake of fanservice in that game. I accept it if there is at least a reason for this but it's usually just random.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. I was never a fan of genderbendings and turning historical people into lolis. The first one I can accept with people like Arthuria because it added a lot to her character, but most of them are just plain and generic. I just see no reason why pirates, grown up men or Blavatsky would ever appear as little girls. Especially since popular beliefs should influence their appearance.
SuperMario
On Altair, one commenter did an excellent job of poiting out the appeal of that show; and frankly the show is wearing on me now.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I'm glad you enjoy Princess Principal. I'm quite surprised myself that in the latter half the show slowed its pace down which mean the focus is switched from action to more characters interactions; which I greatly enjoy
KTravlos
Well I binge watched Princess Principal. That is a very good show. I was surprised. Good animation, good music, the art is good, hell I even did not mind the protagonist art. But what I really like is the stories. All the episode were pretty solid and interesting.
AidanAK47
Just won a fight by the skin of my teeth thanks to my Lancer, Cu Chulainn. You the man Cu!
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Been playing Grand Order myself. It's rather fun. There are some good original character in it but I notice with Quantity certain figures designs were pretty terrible. I thought Assassins of black was the worst but some Grand Order servents manage to top it in terrible. Why all the bikini's?
Amagi
Fate/GO has quite some interesting original characters there. Wish we'd see them in some actual manga or anime series with more backstory someday. - I also like that we finally have an overpowered, interesting and competent Hassan with King Hassan for once. His design is metal AF too.
KTravlos
Binge watched Altair. The pacing of the show is a problem, but in general the raw material is good. Altair is sympathetic, and the world is interesting. But I do feel this is the kind of show that would had gained by a Monster or LOGH type treatment. Also, man it is scary how accurate they got some of the traits of Greeks (Phoenicians in the show). I am a Greek, I should know! :p
KTravlos
forgot to mention. I saw the 91 Days special. Three side stories that give some depth to the events in the main anime, but nothing that goes beyond it's end. Still they were in general ok to good.
SuperWooper
It's got Jude Law playing "this kind of huge robot butler called Charles, who is also a rocket ship." What could possibly go wrong?
AidanAK47
Anime with Jaden Smith? Um..I don't know about this.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: one of the good thing about SoL shows like Centaur and even 18if is that their episodes are self-contained, so you can just jump right in to watch the good ones and ignore the rest
SuperMario
I just love Chise's presence so I might enjoy the last episode more than anyone else. But yeah I'm quite satisfied with Princess Principal right now
AidanAK47
Actually I am quite surprised Princess Principal hasn't gone off the rails yet. Might even turn out to be a fun show in the end. If the man can make it to the finish line without a misstep.
AidanAK47
Hey I am having fun with my Shows. Made in Abyss is still quite excellent and Fate/Apoc is picking up. Even started playing Fate/Grand Order.
Lenlo
Man, sounds like I was the only one to have a good week with their show. Reflection really stepped it up this week in pretty much every category. Not sure it will last, but hey. Ill take one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm so disappointed in 18...if. Perfect opportunity to capitalize on something with a dreamlike feel to it and be creative only it ends up getting held back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I see Vonter and Mario are seducing me into watching Centaur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*can't
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can'y see myself giving re creators a second chance, and from skimming these conversations, why should the show only get going at the end? It just sounds like too little too late.
AidanAK47
Honestly that's what Re:Creators biggest issue is. It builds up these great interesting idea's and then refuses to capitalize on them.
AidanAK47
Then it would be a battle to win over the audience and he who entertains them the most would get the most power. Just think of how many interesting ways that would take the fight. Like Altair could lose power and have to win over the crowd with her backstory and theatrics. A hero could purposefully get beaten to hell just so they can get a powerup from saying a boastful speech about kicking ass.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Exactly. Now there is an interesting fighting element. Imagine if both Altair and the heroes had to fight with the limitation of keeping the audience entertained. Altair couldn't pull out overpowered nonsense because the audience wouldn't approve and her power would drop. Same goes for the heroes.
Anonymous1378112
On the other hand I am not a fan of this whole final arc. It's just not believable to me to gather such a big audience who will do nothing but watch and accept everything you show them. Not to mention that the show is technically live acting to them. Considering how much anime fanbases already hate the DN movie and stuff I doubt many would sit there and accept that
Anonymous1378112
@Aidan: This made me pretty angry. like, they wasted a ton of screentime with these boring info dumps and now they're just irrelevant and the enemy just fucks over it
AidanAK47
Actually the last development was actually a screw the rules moment as well. So the only way to beat Altair is to just chuck aside the rules established with the last 20 episodes.
AidanAK47
You don't need to give Altair a creator in order to to limit her. You just need her to obey the rules the entire series has spent time setting up. Altairs actions are just handwaved with "Screw the rules! I am a OC" audence acceptance doesn't seem to make a difference.
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, The creators have incredibly limited power as while they can introduce anything, it won't be effective unless the audience approves of it. Altair can pull whatever she wants without limit. If anything I don't understand why the audence isn't shouting for her to get nerfed seeing as some random indie character is wrecking fan favourite characters.
Vonter212
@SuperMario - Centaur Worries is the equivalent of Every Flavour Beans. You don't know what you're gonna get, bad, good, cringe, cool, deep, superficial, etc. While the gore isn't that graphic, it is still violent for this kind of show and the alien part has some disturbing body horror, for this show. The shock is mainly because of how light hearted everything else is.
SuperMario
I just watched Centaur, it was heavy as hell, but really poetic in tying these 2 half episodes together. God, it's excellent. And I don't mid the show's constant tonal shifts at all
KTravlos
@Aidan I have to disagree with you. Altair's overpowering does not bother me too much. a) If you think about it, it is their only choice, as creators also have immense power. There only other option would be to give Altair her own Creator, but that would turn this to just a Fate copy. So I am ok with what they have done. b) they do explain it world-wise so it does not come out of the blue
KTravlos
A nice overview of the alternative history genre, but more importantly the work of Kawaguchi http://www.animenewsnetwork.cc/the-mike-toole-show/2017-09-04/.120893
SuperMario
@Vonter: the manga has gore and alien? Really? Now that's interesting
SuperMario
... genre often does. For me its unfocusness works for its benefit. We don't know for sure what we gets each time and that's the main reason I still looking forwards to it every week
SuperMario
@Vonter: I haven't caught up with Centaur's this week but I heard it tackles Holocaust so I'm all in. It's not something cute girl
Vonter
Wow, Centaur Worries, took some really heavy themes this episode. The softy in me, found them powerful, but the cynic in me thinks it might have been a touch manipulative, since this show has interesting ideas, but lacks focus. One episode is cute, another progressive, another ecchi, and another the holocaust. Makes me wonder if they'll show the gore and the aliens from the manga.
AidanAK47
Been Busy with SubaHibi this last few days and boy is this going to be a hard review to write. I have never really seen a story like this, not in Visual Novels or Anime. And yeah...it's pretty dark.
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, Still really annoying how ridiculously overpowered Altair is. I mean she literally pulled out a power of "Being able to revert sudden plot twists" I mean...just come on.
KTravlos
RE:Creators was enjoyable this week and I ma looking forward to the end.

But Bahamut:Virgin Soul..I do not know what to say. That last minute..I am kinda shocked into not thinking. Wow.
Lenlo
Tatara and Mako yeah, they look fine. Hanoaka is the main confusion here. When shes in a dress, age goes out the window.

Its all still a nice style though. Makes everyone, even short Tatara, look tall when dancing
SuperWooper
Tatara and Mako look like teenagers to me, while the other characters seem more adult. I think it fits, because it highlights the gap in experience between them.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: the giraffe neck, you mean? Well, since they have to make up/ dress up for the dance, I think it's reasonable that they look older and more georgous than normal 15 yo kids.
Lenlo
I think the one issue I have with Ballroom is that there is no chance these kids/women are 15. The art makes them looks so much older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The scenes with the bully were especially cringy though. The remake with have one of the kids from stranger things in it and from the trailer it looks like by taking off an hour it'll improve things, although I don't think the new pennywise will stand up to Tim Currys take on the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....this is a case of nostalgia goggles making people remember things wrong. That said I don't hate it nor think it the worst King adaptation, its just mediocre. Tim Curry's scenes as the clown and the whole idea of the character are great, sometimes it builds up a creepy atmosphere , but its far too long and dated at this point. Generous *** stars.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So there is an IT remake coming out next week, people I know at me for not seeing the original, decided to check it out for comparative purposes....
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Comparitively I felt that those two segments didn't feel as bonkers as the others.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I was the one recommending you Night is Short, Walk on Girl. Lucky you. For me, I'm guaranteed to love that movie since I love Morimi Tomihiko's writing and Yuusa's directing to death. If it were the same veins as Tatami Galaxy I'd die a happy fanboy
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah Bringing up Baby is hilarious; and it's great you watched it back to back with his Girl Friday just to see the two contrasted characters Cary Grant pulled of.
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