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
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

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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

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Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

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