Posted by psgels on 28 October 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum



Right after episode 14 is a popular time for characters to come with their backgrounds. I just love the way in which this episode did it, though. Natsume’s background was awesome in its presentation. It was completely over the top, but it fits this series really well. It was a really hilarious episode, and especially Natsume’s dreams were hysterical.

What’s more is that there still is order within the chaos: you could really see traits that give no mistake that she and her grandfather were related. This episode did a great job of explaining her background, her role in the story (although please: couldn’t they have gotten a younger voice actor for the young Kanba?). Also, the penguin hat isn’t dead!?

Overall, in a way I can understand where the people are coming from when they say that this show throws random stuff at the viewer. I have this same problem with most Shaft series, like the later series of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei and Bakemonogatari: the creators there really seemed to throw in just whatever the hell they’d like based on shallow wordplay that eventually got way too predictable in its unpredictability. Penguin Drum however has for me achieved the perfect balance between chaos and order: everything is related, but the things it throws at the viewer are all very creative and imaginative, and yet all of it is meant to flesh out the characters. And the thing is that this show is continuously changing: it still has the same style and mood, but it keeps finding new ways to play with its scenarios in lots of different ways.

And granted, Utena WAS better at this. It was completely un-rivaled in how well it used its own repetition to create excellent drama. However, we have yet to reach the ending of this series. Overall it’s a bit hard to compare two series of different lengths at this point, but what I can say at this point is that Utena’s brilliance lied in how much it did with so little. At this point it too still hadn’t shown its trumps yet, but instead of trying to be the roller-coaster ride that Penguin Drum is trying to be, it really tried to go for an as elegant series as possible. And with that it ended up being un-rivaled.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

35 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    Hopefully this post won’t get to 100+ comments. Although I have to say with the exception of a certain poster I found most of the posts both positive and negative to be interesting to read. Everyone is going to like different things in the end and yes get something different out of fiction.

    Anyways while I admired Utena a lot I personally never felt connected to it like Penguindrum. I also felt that series maybe could have used a trim down (26 episodes instead of 39) Although it’s ending was marvelous and I only hope the PD ending will be half as good.

    Also I don’t really feel anything is that random in Penguindrum and I think most of the symbolism has a purpose to tell us more about the characters, the world, & the story itself. Of course we can’t fully judge this series until it’s over. I think some people just naturally dislike this type of storytelling: where even if we get some answers more mysteries are created. We probably won’t get all the answers until the end and even then some things might be left open to interpretation. That’s fine not to like these type of stories but it’s not a problem with the storytelling itself.

  2. Dalek-baka says:

    Should i say spoilers? :>
    did someone caught what was this time on those metro signs?

    and everything seems to be centered on Momoka and what she did (with that puting world into order at the end)

    btw dreams were hillarious :D

  3. hurin says:

    I wish I had noticed this sooner, Natsume and Kanba have the same eyes, they’re brother and sister.

  4. random lurker says:

    …I have never been so confused by this series until now….

  5. Oroboros says:

    @Hurin
    You’re onto something. That little boy in the garden with Natsume was Kanba, wasn’t he? His hair was all black.

  6. BlandUserGsEf says:

    “Everyone went nutso” indeed.

  7. wendeego says:

    @Oroboros: why was his voice so deep, though? I’m betting that it’s a case similar to Utena, where Anthy is able to take on the form of other people in order to manipulate events. Maybe Sanetoshi plays the role of her soul mate in order to lead her along? Could be totally wrong, though.

    Could also be that Masako is related to Kanba. Maybe she’s a bastard child of some sort? That would add a totally new level of squickiness to their relationship, as well!

  8. jzar says:

    As always a good show but boy oh boy…..I think I am dazed and confabulated. So I didn’t get a lot of that …..

    maybe ________
    the changing of fate turned the world onto the off track where = world dies . In order to get the world ‘back’ they have to change what was changed.?

    See it makes my brain hurt like a black penguin was beating on my temple with an apple that turned into a pear.

    Could she please visit me in my dreams and make me strip? Then I would feel better.

    Seriously enjoyed the episode it lets hope it goes someplace worthwhile.

  9. PL says:

    Nice review.
    Thanks for toning the love down, psgels.
    I can’t guess at anything, only watch.
    So that’s what I’ll do.

  10. VyseLegend says:

    Funny episode, the dreams + grandfather segments started to remind me of Excel Saga…

    This show could resolve itself intelligently and turn out to be a pretty great show. I just hope they don’t botch that and make this a train wreck of confusion instead. I don’t think the show will top Utena, though. Its just way too quirky for that.

  11. Mormegil says:

    what

  12. Endon says:

    Okay, am I the only one who noticed Sanetoshi and Himari’s exchange that ended with Sanetoshi telling Himari that she’s an adult, too? What did they do, or am I just look at it weird?

  13. ljf says:

    well that’s nice, now we have two incestuous relationships brewing…

  14. kero says:

    It didn’t make sense, (not like it never really does) but why would Kanba be visiting Natsume in the garden at that age, what?

    Also yes Natsume and Kanba do look alike! and we all know the scene where we’re they mentioned Himari’s mother had given birth to ONE son.

    @endon, yeah, that part where he says Himari is an adult? What is the meaning behind that??

    My favourite part, was the survival strategy written on paper bit!

    And.. I forget, is the symbol on those mens clothes at the end with Kanba the same symbol that his dad used, if that was his dad?

  15. c160 says:

    Not really awesome material for me, would rank it more like “good”. And yeah, Kanba’s kid voice was really something. With the new theory of Kanba being Masako’s brother, it seems Kanba will never escape the siscon label XD Oh and I think the people on the other train are trying to fix the changes that Momoka made with her diary.

    And I think you summarized what was so good about Utena perfectly, they really had so little and yet the end was really good. With penguindrum I really hope the ending will be as good, what’s with all the things they’ve thrown at us.

  16. kevin says:

    The symbolism in Penguindrum is pointless. I personally prefer much more reserved and more human portrayals of characters. I love when a character’s expression can tell you everything you need to know about what they are feeling. That is real, that is honest. Cowboy Bebop was a perfect example of that, you look at Spike and you can read him like a finely detailed book, that is powerful, that is meaningful. That is more telling of a character than this bullshit Penguindrum subjects us too like something that’s supposed to be a birth canal or some stupid shit like that. haha.

  17. Lord of Socks says:

    @ Kevin:
    ok i am not fan of Cowboy Bebop… well it was pretty boring for me to be honest – so I may misread that reading thing.
    But whats wrong in pointless symbolism? If autors are making fun of viewers thats fine, as long as they are doing it in inteligent way. If all those things are put there just to confuse, well I am not against it – that one way you can go with plot.
    And if the end it will appear that it has very simple or even no solution/meaning I still will think it’s a good series – because I enjoyed watching it.

  18. kevin says:

    I am just stating that I prefer understated symbolism and character development.

  19. Kim says:

    As for character development: the scene when Ringo called herself Shouma’s stalker was just great. Even if Shouma doesn’t have faith Ringo will not give up on him

  20. Kim says:

    And my comment was cut off for some reason :/

    I also said I liked that we saw little Kanba with little Masako so we can see that they did have a connection since they were children (the part with Kanba talking in that deep voice just made me laugh).

  21. Puran says:

    Funny how you claim Utena WAS better, when Utena only got *really* good in the last 6 episodes.

    Replace Utena’s last 6 episodes (or, heck, even only the last 2) with average “good” episodes and it becomes a good, but unremarkable series.

    What I’m saying is, don’t compare an incomplete series with a complete one.

  22. AidanAK47 says:

    Exactly Puran. You see that’s why endings are so important. No matter how good your memory is when you look back on the show a year after you have seen it the only things you will recall are the defining moments where as the mediocre to bad slip from your memory.

    As for whether the symbolism in penguin drum is pointless or not, I say we left the judgement till the show is actually finished. Then we can decide what was pointless. However practically all the symbolism in episode 13 pointed out that the penguin hat personality was dead. And now she comes back to tell off a peeper, say Haiku, strip her and take pictures. I would be shocked if that scene had a point besides outright comedy. Still I do love the penguin hat personality and I admit that I laughed at survival strategy on paper.

    I am still half and half on this show. From what I see it looks as if the writers have no idea where they are going with it because the past few episodes have been stalling the plot with flashbacks. But I still enjoy it.

  23. Kim says:

    @Aidan

    Did you ever think just maybe the characters’ past are important to the present plot?

  24. Aidanak47 says:

    @Kim

    A characters past helps develop a character however unless something in there past has to do with the present plot it is nothing but sideline exposition.

    From seeing Natsumes past we have found out that shes a manager of a company, met Kanba when she was young, and Mario died because his grandfather possessed him somehow and tried to make him eat blowfish and Natsume pushed him aside causing him to drown instead.

    Thinking of that this episode was roughly 90% pointless. We knew Natsume was well off, we knew Mario is the reason why shes looking for the diary and that he died.(But nobody could guess that ridiculous death) And we knew Kanba met Natsume sometime and when or where is irrelevant.

  25. Kim says:

    @Aidan,

    There were actually things in this flashback that could be important to the plot:

    1) Kanba telling Natsume they have a bind bond binding them together and that is why he will stick by her even if she is cursed..why?
    2) Natsume’s father saying the 4 of them can be together as a family? I don’t think the 4th is the grandfather do you?

    3) And yes the flashback also developed Natsume’s character.

    Also the scene with Mario & the Blowfish was not to show us how Mario died.

    Natsume already knew who Sanetoshi was in that scene & she was not surprised about her brother only seeing her father & Kanba with the men in black. We do not know why Mario “needs to be saved” yet, except he is apparently possessed by her grandfather.

  26. italo says:

    I really feel that the blowfish/grandpa spirit possession was uncalled for. She basically drowned Mario. He was up to his ankles in that pond!

    Anyway, this show feels like utena more and more by the day. As it’s word is not as supernatural as Utena’s, I think something bad might come out of it if this continues. The pink haired doctor is just a very pink copy of Utena’s prince.

    I’m nervous the writers kill this show for me. Really nervous. But the way, momoka’s hair from her funeral was not pink.

    What Oroborus said is still ticking in my head though. There was something different with Kanba.

  27. Stuff says:

    @Aidan
    Im pretty sure that scene where masako eats the blowfish at the end of the episode and pushes him in the water is NOT how mario died. (i didnt consider that scene to be a flashback) He was already dead, since masako already knew who sanetoshi was.

    @italo
    momokas hair is purple in her funeral picture. If you look at the very very bottom of her hair you can see the color. It’s just the way her picture was lighted which gave us the impression that it was another color

  28. AidanAK47 says:

    “1) Kanba telling Natsume they have a bind bond binding them together and that is why he will stick by her even if she is cursed..why?”

    That’s not really an answer. That’s just another question.

    “2) Natsume’s father saying the 4 of them can be together as a family? I don’t think the 4th is the grandfather do you?”

    I assumed it was her mother. I can’t remember hearing anything about her mother being death or otherwise.

    “3) And yes the flashback also developed Natsume’s character.”

    Like I said. Sideline exposition.

    “Im pretty sure that scene where masako eats the blowfish at the end of the episode and pushes him in the water is NOT how mario died. (i didnt consider that scene to be a flashback) He was already dead, since masako already knew who sanetoshi was.”

    I thought that might be the case. So that means that the scene with the grandfather taking over the boy was pretty much pointless.

  29. Kim says:

    @Aidan,

    Why on Earth do you think we should get all the answers now? There are still 8 episodes left. We probably won’t get most of the answers until the end of the series.

    I thought that might be the case. So that means that the scene with the grandfather taking over the boy was pretty much pointless.

    What do you mean pointless? You have no idea if that will come back later or not. Maybe it is pointless. But you cannot say it is until the series is over & we actually see what was important or not.

    And you know what even if everything was pointless (which I highly doubt) this was still a brilliantly surreal episode.

  30. Perrin4869 says:

    Life is pointless we all die

  31. AidanAK47 says:

    “Why on Earth do you think we should get all the answers now?”
    Did I say that? I don’t want all the answers. I want just one or two. The reason I want some answers is because we are more than halfway though the series. If these massive number of questions is left till the end then the last episode will be nothing more than full out exposition. Which would be a dull climax.
    I myself said at the beginning that one shouldn’t expect answers from this show. Now I find myself seeking them.

    It is pointless until this series proves otherwise. Which contrary to your expectation I highly doubt. If the directors past has taught us anything it’s that this scene will probably never be referenced again and be left up to the hardcore fans to invent a scenario up using vague symbolism.

    Don’t misunderstand. I am not a villain. I like Penguindrum. I am just disappointed that one of the one of the shows I looked forward to watching has had a drop in quality. Not just in plot progression but even animation. I mean they don’t even bother to draw character faces sometimes now. You can’t tell me it’s because the animation budget ran out because this show hasn’t exactly been full of movement.

  32. Kim says:

    @AidanAK47

    Okay I am not going to debate with you anymore, I think we just have different expectations from this series. That’s perfectly fine. As I said in my first post this type of storytelling is not for everyone.

  33. wendeego says:

    Thing is, though, we have been given answers over the past couple of episodes. A couple of things we’ve learned:

    -Sanetoshi believes himself to be Momoka’s soul-mate (Momoka obviously does not agree)
    -Momoka’s diary (with or without Momoka herself) has a real, tangible effect on the world–it’s not just a sentimental object.
    -Whatever power fuels the diary probably fuels Himari’s penguin hat as well (the infinity symbol the penguin hat made as it fell in episode 13 is too similar to be coincidental.) Whether this means that it contains Momoka’s soul or not is up for debate.
    -Both Yuri and Tabuki were Momoka’s dual childhood friends and soulmates. On that note, the Tragedy of M was early foreshadowing that Yuri is trapped in her engagement to Tabuki! Imagine that.
    -There is almost certainly something more to Tabuki than what we’ve seen–that scene of him kissing Momoka’s foot in the OP, coupled with the cage behind him, is too sinister to be otherwise
    -Also on the note of OP stuff–the shards of glass flying past as Himari falls! Remember all those mirrors that kept falling on the Takakura parents?
    -The secret organization that Kanba is working for is not only a terrorist organization, but Sanetoshi’s terrorist organization, devoted to “putting the world back on track.”
    -Shouma is a lot more unhinged than he initially seemed
    -Ringo’s finally gotten over her problems!
    -Natsume picked up her belief in winners and losers from her grandfather constantly drumming it into her skull, leading her to become a “hunter.” This parallels Yuri in how both women became reflections of the very qualities they initially feared and despised–Yuri becoming an actress despite believing herself to be horrifically ugly, Natsume embracing the “dog eat hog world” to save her brother
    -Moreover, when Natsume is given the chance to descend to Kanba’s level in Sanetoshi’s organization by the leader himself, she REJECTS HIM!
    -Possibly most important: SACRIFICE IS KEY. Momoka’s diary requires a sacrifice to change fate. Shouma risks his life to save Ringo in episode 4. Sanetoshi can get around this for a short while with his vials of life-giving chemical, but ultimately the only lasting changes are made by putting your life on the line for somebody else.

    Finally, Sanetoshi is supposedly trying to “put fate back on track.” Assuming that fate was put “off track” by the intervention of Momoka during the Sarin Gas Attacks (as I think we can theorize by now, considering what we know) the main conflict of this series might be a case of one reality trying to override another. In this case, fate has already been changed–by Momoka–and Sanetoshi is attempting to return to the previous track.

    I’m aware that a lot of Penguindrum references other stuff, books and art and symbols, without explicitly confirming much in terms of plot or character. It can be very infuriating that way. On the other hand, if you look close at what’s going on (reading other blogs helps!) I think that a giant, interconnecting framework linking everything together is pretty apparent.

  34. wendeego says:

    Also, not everything in Penguindrum has to have a point! Ikuhara has said multiple times that the secret to Utena lay in Miki’s stopwatch, but I think everybody knows by now that the stopwatch was a running joke and that Ikuhara was just trolling people (as he does quite frequently)

    So yeah, the haiku battle and picture-taking? Plainly ridiculous. The dream montage? Same. Everything else, on the other hand…

  35. Jared says:

    On the penguin hat: as has been noted by others (also, by the penguin hat!), the absence of the penguindrum equates to the absence of the penguin hat. The reverse should also hold true, and we already know that Shouma got half of the diary from Yuri.

    Those dreams: not pointless, they’re exposition. A.k.a. Natsume is OBSESSED with her grandfather: it’s her personal mental defect. It may also relate to her concern for Mario: she thinks that if her grandfather has a hand in Mario’s raising, then Mario will die. She might be wrong, though we’ll have to wait to see.

    The possession kinda fits with the ‘fate/destiny’ thing.

    The… photo-shoot is similar, but unless the maid becomes a recurring character, it’s really only important for informing us of the penguin hat’s return.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
niello
ugh democracy
KTravlos
@Kaiser ultimately LOGH for me was a decisive point in my political life, as I think it made the best defense of democracy in any form I have seen. And it worked partly because the opponent was presented in the best possible incarnation (Rienhard). Yang's continued adherence to democracy, despite recongising its flaws, helped me avoid a personal descent into authoritarian politics.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I am happy you had a good experience. I watched the prequels a while after the main show and I was happy because it was great getting back to those characters. The prequels were also great in fleshing the setting and the characters. So yes, take your time and a break. That way the prequels will be like visiting a place you liked again after a while.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@KTtravlos: I have some other stuff to get through before watching the galactic heroes prequel though =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
YES according to discord poster I'm not a millenial!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for overposting. I have always always being an incredibly verbose person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter; Not that I oppose captilistically made for a buck cinema, it can be entertaining yes, but I set a standard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: As open as I am to trash cinema, I consider the resident evil films, like the superhero ones, anti-art.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand why people don't like Villier, but he did I think work as a device to add extra tension.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel some release at finishing but at the same time sadness at saying goodbye to the show and its characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
, showing its age.
But for something of this length, it kept itself up far better than most long shows and I feel the length its somewhat justified.

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will listen to the podcast more in full later. But I was surprised after asking/suggesting it on the discord, that it came so soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am thinking of re-watching gasaraki and ai yori aoshi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Perhaps after a while of watch the anime I will simply jump on to the manga.
Vonter
I watched Resident Evil: Vendetta yesterday. It's incredible dumb but kind of fun. I do wonder if in terms of entertainment are like the best videogame based movies. Since it plays like a videogame, it's based on a videogame and is more or less in line with the tone the series has had for a while.
niello
It's such a shame that Golden Kamuy art direction is such a train wreck.
KTravlos
and for the sake of Clausewitz there is clinical term for what Reinhard did. It is called "defeat in detail". Napoleon was a master of it. Proper way to defeat it , is to order the threatened force to retreat to a point where other allied forces are converging. The enemy will either have to retreat, or fight at a disadvantage. The 1813 and 1814 campaigns against Napoleon are examples of that.
KTravlos
Episode 2 of LOGGH: Der Neue Thesis was much better than the first. The music is still an issue, but Yang was well portrayed. I do think there is lack of the directors in showing the cruelty of war, like the first one did. We will see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still need to see his short films and black Peter.
Amagi
@Anon: I already know the manga and enjoy it, think the anime is a good adaption so far. Feels good to see a series about video games that are actually just games and romance without tsunderes, tons of blushing or unworldly naive harem girls.
Anonymous2016456
the anime
Anonymous2016456
how do you guys think of wotakoi?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Hereditary sounds pretty promising here
Kaiser-Eoghan
Forman's an interesting case, when you look at the huge disconnect from his early films from the 60s and then what he went on to make.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, unfortunately I am not a fan of country music so Nashville didn't appeal to me =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And before Jack kept playing the same role over and over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Aside from Courtney Love's presence, Larry Flynt is an excellent film. I love the custom camera tricks Kubrick used in Lyndon , dog day afternoon suceeded for me because it did so much more than being just a bank rob film. I wish Spielberg would return to his pre-90s films .
SuperMario
Cuckoo's Nest reminds me of the great 1975 Oscar Best Picture, which for me was Oscar's greatest line-up. The line-ups for that year were: Cuckoo Nest (winner), Nashville, Barry Landon, Dog Day Afternoon and Jaws
SuperMario
@Kaiser: RIP the man. I've seen 2 of his, Amadeus and Cuckoo Nest. Both great but they were more because of the strength of the source
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Milos forman has died =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Indeed the character designs in steins; gate have seen changes....shockingly mayuri's chest is larger than Daru's ;)
KTravlos
I can live with that. Interested to see what made you reserved.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: you won't agree with my series review then. I have a lot of reservations on VE
KTravlos
Also I finished Violet Evergarden. This was an exceptional series in my book.
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 2 [Epigraph of the Closed Curve -Closed Epigraph-]

9 years. It has been almost 9 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 2/3[The Battle of Astarte/An Indomitable Prodigy]

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political […]

Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which […]

Hinamatsuri – 02 [This Is How You Have a ESP Battle!]

Welcome to THE comedy gold of the season. Before I get into anything specific, let’s me discuss about what make this little show about a psychic girl and a yakuza hilarious in the first place. The main source of humor in Hinamatsuri largely comes from situation-based weirdness. Putting these characters out of their comfort zones […]

Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

Last time Darling and the Franxx had it’s best episode yet which raised my opinion of the series and gave me hopes for greater things moving forward. So it’s sad that they follow this up with the worst episode of the series to date. This episode was pure frustration to watch because you knew exactly […]

Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

Welcome to the Spring 2018 anime season! I am proud to present to you the Ashita no Joe 50th Anniversary project, Megalo Box. Easily the most stylish anime of the season. Lets jump in! With just 2 episodes, Megalo Box has become my favorite for the season. Everything about it feels like it comes from […]

Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

That was the best episode of Darling in the Franxx to date. Truly I am impressed with this though it may be perhaps because the fanservice aspects of the show were not present at all during this episode. Todays episode was spent entirely on the past of Hiro and Zero Two. When this episode is […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered […]

Darling in the Franxx – 10-12[The City of Eternity/Partner Shuffle/The Garden Where It All Began]

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. […]

Latest Reviews

Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an […]

Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

Devilman Crybaby – 83/100

It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 69/100

Fantasy is a rather prolific genre in anime, with a vast majority of Isekai and Shounen fitting snugly into it. Most take place in their own unique setting, either Amestris of Full Metal Alchemist or the made of world of the latest Isekai trash. Few however try to set themselves in our world. To peel […]

Mary and the Witch’s Flower – 73/100 (Joint Review)

Wooper: Mary and the Witch’s Flower is the first feature film from Studio Ponoc, which spun off from Studio Ghibli in early 2015. Given Ghibli’s towering reputation, the bar was high for this inaugural flick, which recently made its way to U.S. theaters, giving Lenlo and I a chance to see it on the big […]

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]