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
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
Total users: 40

Featured Posts

Ballroom e Youkoso – 15/16 [Taking the Reins/Four-legged]

Boy, this was really a Tale of Two Ballrooms. One of these episodes was almost certainly outsourced, based on the visual inconsistencies that extended even to key poses, but handled its character moments dutifully. The other looked markedly better than most of this show’s recent offerings, but rushed through so much material that its conclusion […]

Houseki no Kuni – 03 [Metamorphose]

It just occurred to me since I watched Bakuman (the first season of it, anyways) fairly recently, but watching Bakuman made me realize how tough it is to have your manga publicize, let alone become a popular one. For those who have watched the anime or read the manga of Bakuman, remember the early Golden […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 03 [Streetlights]

Welp, I never would have thought Girls’ Last Tour can get any better, but this week’s episode is straight up phenomenal. Episode 3 manages to make some new tricks to its well-established formula: introduces another human survivor to the mix, askes a deeper philosophical question about the meaning of life in that stark world (and […]

Inuyashiki – 2 [Hiro Shishigami]

Woe be unto thee who passes further, for today we are talking about Episode 2 of Inuyashiki! A lot happened this week. New characters, dark twists and the start of what I can only imagine is the central conflict of the season. Lets jump in! First and foremost, we need to talk about Hiro Shishigami. […]

Juuni Taisen – 03 [Cutting a Chicken with a Beef Cleaver]

I’m starting to worry about Juuni Taisen. Like what we all predicted last week, this week indeed follows a reverse zodiac order. We have Chicken served as our main POV and at the end she’s the one who get sendoff (with no small help from the episode title. What a huge spoiler). Judge by the […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 15[Differing Paths]

It’s funny that only now, when we are well into the halfway point of the series that it takes some time to flesh out its cast. Sisgou has gotten some backstory, Fiore was fleshed out a little and even Gordes got some time to prove he’s not a complete caricature. The last one is something […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 02[Colosseum]

In an odd turn of events, the second episode of Kino’s Journey 2017 is a retelling of a story done in the original 2003 version. Where Kino is forced to participate in deathmatches upon reaching a country. I find this choice odd as I would consider the Colosseum story in the original to be the […]

Dies Irae – 02[Twilight Girl]

There may be those of you who ask why I would cover this series despite it’s rather disastrous prequel episode. Even I will not be attempting to defend this adaption as I sorely believe it will be rather poor indeed. But when you truly think about it, isn’t it the case that I would be […]

Houseki no Kuni – 02 [Diamond]

Note: due to the fact that the whole cast of Houseki is agender and I DO care about the issue, I will address them either by their name or by gender neutral pronoun. But do forgive me if sometimes the old habit gets the better of me. You readers, on the other hand, can address […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]