Posted on 30 November 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Most studios tend to favor a particular type of series. Sunrise loves mecha, JC Staff often goes with young moe girls, Bee-Train is crazy about series that involve partnerships, Studio Deen has its bishies, Madhouse is there for the dark avant-garde type shows and Hal Film Maker is often into slice of life. Bones though… their shows all are completely different from each other. The only common thread that I can find is that their shows often have action, but that can be said about 50% of all the other studios as well. It’s really one of their strengths, on top of how much effort they nearly always put in their execution. And with this, I bring you Kurau Phantom Memories, a show that is among their top 5 best attempts.

Kurau Phantom Memories follows people with superpowers, but instead of trying to be the epic of the year, it is very much character oriented. It’s as much about the use of superpowers in a corporate society as it is about womanhood. Perhaps the latter is an even bigger theme. And as a result, the creators absolutely nailed the characterization of the lead female character. She’s incredibly well developed, and even though this show can get pretty dark at times, she’s portrayed with an incredible amount of warmth. This show is especially brilliant at balancing its heart-warming and cold-hearted nature with each other, with some magnificent results.

The rest of the cast is also very well written. Characters all act naturally and the main side characters all are significantly developed into interesting characters throughout the series. The side characters that only appear on one or two episodes before leaving meanwhile do a very good job on fleshing out the world of the series, and even they are multi-dimensional as soon as their airtime ends.

The production values play an interesting role here. The animation is perticularly well directed, and even though this show doesn’t have the budget to keep its art consistent, it does know when and where to put effort into its fluidity, leading to some truly excellent and dynamic scenes, on places where it counts. The soundtrack is also just fantastic. It’s not large, but nearly every track that’s there is a feast for the ears and does a brilliant job at enhancing the atmosphere.

The acting does border cheese at times though. The dialogue often is very inspired, but at other times the characters don’t get further beyond uttering each other’s names a number of times. Despite these issues though, ti’s got a strong plot with some real moral dilemmas and situations that really aim to get the best out of the characters.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Really well paced, combines animation, characters and setting seamlessly.
Characters: 9/10 – Kurau is a fantastic main character. In fact, if it wasn’t for the sometimes cheesy acting, this rating would have gotten a 10.
Production-Values: 9/10 – The animation isn’t complicated, but it is very detailed and fluid when it needs to The soundtrack is also brilliant.
Setting: 9/10 – Great concepts behind this world, even though it might not appear so at first. Multiple timeskips also work really well here.

Suggestions:
Witch Hunter Robin
Ultraviolet: Code 044
The Third

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season rocks for having so many long series. Finally, after whining for seasons after each other, this season actually completely lacks the biggest problem that anime has had over the recent years: not having enough time. Finally the barrier of “going for a long series immediately is too risky” is beginning to break down. Now all that’s left is to make use of it.

Again, since this season is long, there is a lot more time to build up for things. But still there are some longer series that are just too long, take their time too much, or forget to be entertaining while building up. That’s the flip-side of having long series, unfortunately. Still, I’m really glad that at least this development is coming. Now all that’s left is to improve, and continue to find the right balance between length, pacing and build-up. There are a few series already in this season that are getting really close to it.

#18 (15) – Persona 4 The Animation – (6,5/10) – This show is annoying to watch. As it turns out, instead of being action and mystery, this is just a show about school antics. While that on itself isn’t bad, although I’m not happy that it picked such an overcrowded genre, but the school life scenarios are really dull, badly acted, and most of the time just not funny. Especially the pee guy (whose name I still can’t remember) is bad here.
#17 (12) – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume – (7/10) – Agh, what a shame. This show hit its shelf life. At the moment this show has completely run out of inspiration and is running on dull hijinks stories that are way too forced and just aren’t funny and don’t add anything to the series. What’s more: this show is becoming a chore to watch through.
#16 (20) – Guilty Crown – (7,25/10) – Oh good lord. Who found it a good idea to make the male lead this bland? In fact, there is a problem with the entire cast of this series: none of the characters really seems to know what they want to be, and therefore keep switching personalities. What this show does is not getting to know the characters, it’s just changing their personalities, based on what is handy for the plot.
#15 (11) – Bakuman – (7,5/10)

I’m really not sure what happened to Bakuman, but it has turned into a complete soap opera, always turning from worst case scenario to other worst case scenario. I especially dislike how immature Moritaka handled when he came down with his injury. The balance in this show seemed lost: the first season moved too slow, but this season delivers its plot twists too fast.

#14 (16) – Kimi to Boku – (7,75/10)

Kimi to Boku’s big problem is the yellow-haired kid. In every single episode, this squirt finds new ways to annoy me. It’s a good thing that most episodes manage to deliver some good drama around some other character, otherwise I would have dropped this long ago, but this remains a test of patience.

#13 (8) – Mirai Nikki – (7,75/10)

Mirai Nikki at this point is still missing something in its characterization. It’s definitely fun, but at the moment its complete lack of subtlety is taking away a bit of the tension. I know that it aims to be like that, but for that it’s just not crazy enough to make up for that. I’m still missing something with this series.

#12 (13) – Phi Brain – (7,75/10)

This show is weird. It makes no sense whatsoever and every episode features some sort of weird thing that just defies all kinds of logic. But it’s fun. The puzzles in this show are always entertaining, and the drama around it also is surprisingly good.

#11 (6) – Ben-To – (8/10)

I’m a bit torn about this show at the moment. On one hand, this show is just hilarious and without a doubt the best comedy of the season. On the other hand however, it had one particular episode that was really bad, and went against a lot of what this show avoided so well up to that point. In particular the penis jokes have been too abused t this point. So that’s why I’m going to give it a safe rating at the moment, and if it can pull itself back up, then that’s only a good result.

#10 (14) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horzion – (8,25/10)

Thee is a ton of magic-babble in this series, but that’s also what makes it interesting. The premise and culture behind this series are very creative and while hard to follow, it’s definitely consistently interesting. And then there is the fact that everyone’s boobs are enormous and the male main character seems to think that groping them is a form of bonding. What the hell?

#9 (17) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8,25/10)

Well, finally we’re getting somewhere! It took a bloody long while, but now that Nurarihyon is finally delivering it has finally gotten interesting to watch. Finally there is a lot of stuff going on at the same time, instead of just dull and straightforward build-up.

#8 (9) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

Hunter X Hunter so far has been better than the first series in terms of pacing (scenes flow much smoothly into each other), and worse in terms of acting (most of the voice actors lack subtlety). It’s shown that it can deliver on the heavy scenes though, so everything is still possible at this moment.

#7 (10) – Tamayura ~ Hitotose – (8,25/10)

This series turned out to be excellent slice of life. It’s not dull enough for nothing to happen, and every episode feels inspired. The voice acting is excellent, the animation really brings the characters alive, and on top of that the setting also feels vibrant.

#6 (7) – Fate/Zero – (8,25/10)

This show has been steadily building up its story, and it’s gradually getting better and better to make up for its rather slow pacing. The themes of chivalry get slowly more and more meaning, and more and more characters start to get interesting. There still are some characters that need some work, like the Caster duo and Saber herself, but there is still plenty of time left with such a steady pacing.

#5 (5) – Last Exile ~ Ginkyou no Fam – (8,25/10)

In this month, Last Exile wasn’t exactly the most consistent series. There were time where it was a little too childish and panderish. The points where it delivered however, it REALLY DELIVERED, with absolutely gorgeous artwork, a fantastic atmosphere, and characters that are very easy to relate to. Especially Giselda stole the show in the latest episode.

#4 (3) – Chihayafuru – (8,5/10)

It’s a simple concept, but this series has really nailed its execution. This month introduced all of the side characters, and they’re all important to the main characters, rather than just being some token characters. The acting still is wonderful, and the Karuta matches are actually starting to get more interesting with each episode, thanks to the passion that the characters put in it.

#3 (2) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

Overall this has been a very consistent series: consistently interesting, consistently silly, and consistently developing its plot. Things still are moving at a steady, albeit slow pace, and it still is a joy to watch this show even after 30 episodes.

#2 (4) – Un-Go – (8,75/10)

Out of all the new shows this Autumn Season, this is definitely the one that stood out. It has fantastic storytelling, combining terrific episodic stories perfectly together with a continuous storyline, and it makes sure to deliver every single week. The pacing is very addictive, the stories are really interesting, the mystery is excellent, and it doesn’t waste a single minute. I complained about the characters before, but even they turned out to be really interesting to watch.

#1 (1) – Mawaru Penguion Drum – (9/10)

Penguin Drum at the moment is really building towards its home stretch. This month was full of plot twists and character development. The direction still is really excellent, which makes every episode a joy to watch.

Posted on 29 November 2011 with categories: Chihayafuru



If you want to be good, you have to suffer. Chihayafuru really nailed that in this episode without going overboard like most “hard work and guts”-series. This show has really convinced me that these kids are really good because of how they grew up, and not just because the plot demands it *coughSakicough*. I loved Chihaya’s mindset in this episode: it’s of course safer to just gradually introduce them to Karuta. But Karuta is a game about the mind. Being able to play against someone very talented is a much better way to get that mindset that is needed for this game. If you continue to play against amateurs, it’s much harder to.

My only complaint about this episode was that the creators have now completely forgotten that Taichi was supposed to have a girlfriend. In particular, no effort whatsoever has been spent into why he fell for her. At the moment it’s much like he figured what the heck and just picked a random girl to hang out with.

But still, there are two shows that really stand above the others this season: Un-Go and this one. Chihaya doesn’t just drag every character along with her, she also does so with the viewer. The final part of this episode in which Arata showed signs of life again only reaffirmed this. With this kind of reaction, he has the potential to become a really good rival, miles away from the usual rival.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 November 2011 with categories: Tamayura



Sato Junichi. Do yourself a favor. Get a cat.

Remember the episode from Aria? The one which was entirely devoted to President Aria? Well, for a moment, it actually looked like this episode would in its entirety follow around the big white blob that is Momoneko-sama. It got surreal at times, turning into this bizarre parody of the silent movie to narrate what he was saying.

THANK GOD though, the second half of this episode was about something completely different. And it was wonderful. It’s been a while since I watched such a down to earth portrayal of love sickness. The character it centred around only appeared in one scene before, but her characterization was already terrific.

With three or four episodes left, I do hope that the creators will use this time to do something special. I mean, this episode was a step into the right direction, but I want more. This show already has excellent characterization for just about every of its characters. Now use that.

Also, I’m not sure if I’m the only one in this, but I always really feel sorry for the voice actors who are tasked with voicing simple animals. This episode thankfully wasn’t as bad (seriously at least these cats had some really good voice acting, even though there was absolutely nothing feline about these… things), but it’s especially bad when a voice actor is called in to voice a cow in the background… doing exactly one “mooo”. Do these people feel any pride in their work?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mirai Nikki



I like this show, but I do have a bit of trouble changing my expectations from what I expected it to be, to what it actually turned out to be. I expected this series to be a set of mind games with a ton of mystery and suspense. Instead, it doesn’t focus on building up mystery at all, instead of suspenseful it’s more over the top, and the mind games aspect of the show is rather held back by Yukiteru being a gullible idiot.

But ah well, I guess that that was the intent of this show: it needed someone who can both walk into just about every trap laid in front of him, be wimpy enough to be dragged around so that Yuno can shine, and still at the times where it matters find his balls and act like a skilled action hero. It’s forced, but it does carry the rest of this series, and I do have to say that the new villains here are pretty interesting, with a possibility to be the most interesting villains so far. Yuno in particular was great here.

Though was the underwear scene really necessary? I mean, this is no fanservice show. It’s almost if it’s a prerequisite for a guy to bump into a girl and expose her panties like that. And at the very least: if you’re going to do fanservice: make it creative. Pulling a scene like that only shows that you’re not really putting much thought into this.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Nurarihyon no Mago



What a difference compared to the climax of the first season this is. Back then, this was the point at which everything collapsed in a slew of dull fights after dull fights. This however is much more dynamic. There are a lot of things happening at the same time, and there is a lot of meaning put into all of the fights beyond just “bad guy evil, kill him”.

In particular the resurrection of Nue, or Abe no Seimei was well pulled off here, as a giant fetus floating in the sky. On top of that, there is the irony of Hagoromo Gitsune probably not being the one who killed Nura’s father, but it was some sort of doing from her human part. Beyond that there are a lot of different parties involved that all have some sort of agenda. That’s what makes this finale work. In the first season everyone pretty much melted together. Nobody stood apart.

And on top of that the execution also was a lot less solid back then. Again Studio Deen aren’t the best animators, and one of the hardest things to animate is a battle between small armies. With clever camera work and arc though, a lot of movement was created here. Thumbs up.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 November 2011 with categories: Hunter X Hunter



The first half of this episode, I think it actually worked better than in the first series. It was simple and more to the point, just like Gon really. It had a nice build-up of “oh, this is going to take forever”, only to solve things in minutes afterwards. Although, Gon’s voice actress was trying a bit too hard again in this episode. It’s mostly her range. She’s very easy in just yelling all of her lines.

The second half however… it was a bit of a mess. And it’s not the pacing really. When you just look at pacing, then the new series is actually better than the first. It’s just that the voice acting is so much, much worse. The voice actors are trying too hard and especially the blue guy (why is he suddenly bright blue?) was hamming it up. Compare that to the first season, which had fantastic voice acting and which had voice actors who knew exactly when they should be subtle, and when to raise their voices.

What’s even worse is that we suddenly got to see entire inner monologues of that blue guy, which killed off all of the tension that was there already. It added some nonsensical stuff, while it cut out the stuff that made him quite charming (like the way in which he broke his fist, for example). Also, I’m surprised here: the way in which he refused to wake up, was actually a filler of the first season? I really would not have guessed. That really was something good they added back there.

And then there was Kurapika, who really managed to save this half when he saw the spider. It again suffers a bit too much from acting too hard when compared to the first series, but the moment where Kurapika got his red eyes: that was just wonderful. It wasn’t just a great scene. It also showed that the creators here know how to deliver the darker scenes.

Overall I’m quite positive of this series so far. The creators might actually nail it. However, there is one character who I’m positive that they’re going to ruin if they keep going on like this: Senritsu. I won’t say why, for the sake of the people who aren’t familiar with Hunter X Hunter, but I really cannot imagine her with the current focus on overacting from this series.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews




Here’s a movie, animated by Madhouse, but voiced fully in Chinese, about the highlands of Tibet. With this it already gets a plus for its interesting setting. It’s also a coming of age movie about a young boy, which is a bit unfortunate, but this mvie has more than enough to make up for it.

It’s an excellent look on the culture of Tibetan sheep herders and in particular a doctor in those areas (the lead character’s father is a local doctor). On top of that, it also has a number of very interesting action scnees involving dogs. Those things set it apart quite a bit from the mould of coming of age movies. It’s a movie that is grounded in realism, yet also packs some nice climaxes, and in terms of pacing it’s pretty well paced: the quiet scenes build up well for the climaxes and they remain interesting for the entire movie.

There are two main problems with this movie. The first is the very unfortunate name that was chosen for the golden dog that the movie is all about: Doogie. I’m not sure whether this sounds any less cheesy in Chinese or not, but the mood of the climaxes did get broken a bit when the characters kept going “Doogie! Doogie! Doogie!” over and over. My second issue is that a lot of the characters could have been more interesting. The dogs are awesome, but the lead character does little to set himself apart from other young leads. The bad guys of the movie are also pretty bland. Some of the side characters, like the old medicine seller and the male lead’s father were interesting to watch, though, but unfortunately the dull characters outnumber the interesting ones.

Tibetan Dog is a very good movie, especially considering its settings, but the director, Masayuki Kojima did work on more interesting stuff. The characters in Piano no Mori were just better developed, Hanada Shounen Shi was the example of a young boy lead done right, A Spirit of the Sun had better suspense. Oh, and not to mention Master Keaton and Monster, of course.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Good build-up. Good use of dogs in the movie.
Characters: 7/10 – Unfortunately a few too many bland characters at key positions.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Well animated, but nothing special for movie standards.
Setting: 9/10 – A movie about Tibet. Excellent, and it makes great use of it.

Suggestions:
Piano no Mori
The Star of Cottonland
Kappa to Coo to Natsuyasumi

Posted on with categories: Phi Brain



What mind created this? And what was he on while creating this?

So… this was the dreaded school festival episode. Usually it’s part of the pool of episode templates for creators who don’t know how to fill their episodes. In this case, it’s an excuse of the creators to dress up the entire male cast as women. Heck, just look at the screenshots above: Daimon Kaito had to solve a puzzle in a dress, in the middle of a burning circus tent, surrounded by very creepy melting dolls while Nonoha was turned into Snow White. A tent by the way, which was secretly constructed next to the school, making use of how everyone was too busy preparing for the school festival. How do they come up with these things?

Also, don’t get me wrong here: I am currently enjoying this series a lot here. It’s completely ridiculous when you think about it, and I’m not going to stop ranting about that. But that’s the fun part about it. The thing is, that I find being generic a much worse crime than making no sense. It’s anime. It should be crazy.

What’s even more important however, is the execution. And despite all my ranting… this show is doing that well. This episode was all about the student council president, and it actually worked. It’s bizarre, but the characterization in this show is simple, but effective. There are times at which I’d wish that this show would combine its characters more, like involve more characters with its puzzles at the same time, but ah well. This works as well.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Ben-To



The golden rule of comedy: if you’re going to make sex jokes, then make sure that they are good ones.

I’m not sure what happened here, but this was without a doubt the worst episode of Ben-To so far. I’m not sure what happened. Did the light novels have this exact same chapter? Did the animators not have enough budget to animate any more fights? Did they pull in a bad episode director? In either way, this episode was the typical bad episode that bad harem shows use to fill their time.

This episode was meant to introduce the two major characters of the final arc. And they’re incredibly stupid. That’s what I really dislike about most moe fanservice shows: they reduce their characters to idiots, just for the sake of fanservice. This is something I thought Ben-To avoided, but this episode made this show a whole lot more generic.

It’s a good thing that the creators still know how to tell jokes, because things like Saito’s dive were absolutely hilarious. At the same time though: this also was the point where the Saito Pervert joke passed their shelf date. For one they were repeated way too much in this episode, and for two this episode tried way too hard. The jokes were fun when they were subtle, like for example in episode one. This was once again “let’s strip Saito and laugh, and have him generate inspiration for Hana. I knw that there are people in this world who no matter what automatically laugh whenever a penis is involved, but at least try to also cater to the ones who don’t…
Rating: – (Disappointing)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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