Posted by psgels on 4 November 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum



How rare: a Penguin Drum episode devoted to build-up. Or at least, it’s promising a ton of stuff for next episode and its pacing was surprisingly quiet for this show’s standards, aside from one over the top confrontation between Yuri and Natsume. It did not lack in the plot twist department at all.

In fact, in terms of plot twists, thi episode can actually be seen as a turning point, where most of the things that we had to assume in the first half are canceled. The Penguin Drum isn’t the diary at all, and Tabuki has a very clear hidden agenda that he kept very well hidden. And heck, I just realized the parallels between Yuri, Tabuki and Momoka, and the main trio of this show. Add that to the rumors that Shigeyasu Yamauchi (the director of Casshern Sins) will be working on next episode, and yeah: I can’t wait.

I do want to say a bit about the music, though. It is very good, but in the past weeks I have been rediscovering Utena’s soundtrack, and I’m blown away by the utter difference between the two. The biggest thing is that Uterna’s soundtrack spans a whopping 7 disks in total! The creators went and composed a traditional soundtrack, and then they contacted like, three different musical groups to sing in and compose the different themes for all of the duels. This way they had a different song for every single duel in styles that evolved perfectly. Cowboy Bebob had this too.

Modern soundtracks just don’t have this. And yet, with smart production decisions this can still easily be possible. I mean, those different EDs are nice and all, but the creators could have easily used the budget they used for Triple H’s songs to actually compose songs that fit inside the series, instead of stuffing them into EDs. Having a huge soundtrack gives a lot more freedom and expression in terms of storytelling.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

27 Responses

  1. Puran says:

    Mmmm…. You make a good point, but there is also value to music repeating. It binds certain scenes together with the same feel and it can be used to remind you of previous scenes.

    All I’m saying is that it’s probably more of a creative choice than a budget issue.

  2. C160 says:

    I think Tabuki’s punishment won’t be all that bad. Judging from the preview, it’s probably just him telling Himari about the her parents. If he does decide to get physical like Yuri, here’s hoping that the rumor about Casshern Sin director is true. Ringo vs Tabuki,Casshern style anyone? :P

    About the music think, I also thought its kind of a waste.

  3. Perrin4869 says:

    Well, the main gripe I have against the endings are that they are just forgettable pop songs… while the duel themes for Utena are truly memorable and pumping and… It’s by far the best I’ve heard of Japanese music.

  4. Puran says:

    @Perrin: Isn’t that all about taste though?

    I also hate OP and ED songs and find them forgettable (Although I liked the first penguindrum ED, the shoegazing one), but I also found Utena’s duel music to be nothing remarkable. It obviously helps that I dislike with passion most of progressive rock.

  5. Perrin4869 says:

    @Puran: Sure it is about taste, but still, I guess that in a way, Utena’s soundtrack was more original. At least I’ve never heard something like it, and what’s more, I love it. Penguin Drum’s music just sounds like normal pop to me. Of course, I love rock and I usually don’t like pop, so yes, it IS about taste in the end.

  6. Stellvia says:

    @Puran: As someone who writes and listens to a lot of prog rock I would say that the Penguindrum soundtrack only has a few elements from that genre in it. That being said, I do enjoy how the soundtrack makes use of a wide range of texutres, from rock to pop and classical, and in cases like the OP’s manages to blend all the different elements together. That’s one of the big reasons I enjoy soundtracks like this, as well as prog :) As always though, it does come down to personal taste for every indivdiual. I love both OP’s (especially the full versions) but none of the ED’s have really grabbed me at all.

    I agree with Puran in that I believe that the use of the minimal amount of soundtrack material is a creative choice by the directors. I think that having too much in the way of soundtrack material would probably detract from the atmosphere, and since everything else in the series seems to link to everything else having a small amount of repeated musical material reinforces those links.

    Just my opinion, and it’s still a pretty good soundtrack nonetheless :P

  7. kevin says:

    PSGELS are you 12 years old? Why is it that so many of your “reviews” are filled with really obvious spelling mistakes or just plain childish talk? By the way, it’s Cowboy Bebop not “Bebob” and it’s Utena not “Uterna”.

    Also just want to make a point regarding your final statement. Size of soundtrack has nothing to do with story-telling. It can set an atmosphere but it shouldn’t tell the story.

    The problem I see with Penguindrum is that it relies very heavily upon bizarre imagery and music, to give the impression of a story unfolding when as a matter of fact, very little has happened in this series thus far.

    Not only that but this series screams narcissism. It is very obvious that the people working on this want to flaunt their colourful imagery (which really is meaningless), to the point that I personally find it irritating and above all too much of a distraction from what really could be a somewhat decent story.

    If only the people working on this were focused enough on putting out a good product instead of stroking their own ego, this could be a somewhat coherent and interesting series. But unfortunately they all have their heads too far up their own asses to see that.

  8. Snowolf says:

    SHIGEYASU YAMAUCHI IS DIRECTING THE NEXT EPISODE OF PENGUINDRUM????!!!!!!!!!!!

    !!!!!!!!

    *______________________*

    !!!!!!!!!!

    /flails

  9. Pink says:

    @kevin

    It’s called typos, genius.

    psgels never said anything about music telling a story, maybe you should quit calling people childish and learn how to comprehend and read English first.

    Do you even know what narcissism is? Narcissism is a self-absorbing interest in one’s self (originating from the Greek myth where the youth Narcissus stares into a pond and falls in love with his own reflection). Is this series about Kunihiko Ikuhara and the show’s creators, producers and developers? What does this show focus on? Fate, different forms of love, parental neglect, sacrifice and death. How are any of those themes narcissistic when they’re universal and humans have attempted to answer questions about them throughout history?

    Just like cubism, fauvism and the more modern movements of art deviated from traditional realistic depictions of subjects, Ikuhara is more of a symbolist, a very post-post-modernist thinking anime director who likes to explore things in his way. If that’s narcissism, then call every musical artist, band, painter and writer narcissistic for having their own style and focusing on the themes they care about.

  10. Snowolf says:

    Oh look Kevin the Troll has strolled in again what a ~surprise~

    For the sake of not having a 100+comment argument let’s not feed him, por favor?

  11. kevin says:

    You don’t have to respond to me. Just thought I’d get my thoughts out there.

  12. kevin says:

    @Pink, I personally believe that they are overly self-indulgent, to the point that it hurts the product. I didn’t ask for a history lesson mate, just wanted to voice my thoughts like the rest of you.

  13. kevin says:

    Also I was talking about the over zealous and ultimately meaningless art and animation style as well as the music, not the themes. Troll better Pink.

  14. kero says:

    I think maybe my enthusiasm for MPD is flagging, today I didn’t really care that much about what was happening, maybe because nothing much happened.

    The duel between Yuri and the other girl was boring for me.

    I guess Tabuki’s promising to reveal something, so that’s something to look forward to in the next episode.

    Overall it didn’t engage me as much as some of the previous episodes.. and I do wonder if I’m tired out by the consistent lack of payoff. Hopefully next episode will blow my mind.

  15. Hogart says:

    I have to say that I preferred this episode’s lower-key symbolism and straightforwardness to some of the more jarring exhibitions the show has had.

    Sometimes it’s nice to not have to constantly study the over-indulgent subtext, and feel instead like the show has actual confidence and isn’t just distracting me away from potential flaws with kanji cards or campy 50’s western parodies.

    I think kero has a point, though. There is a danger that this will give some people enough pause to come to the conclusion that the show’s been genuinely pretentious.. to the point they’re unable to take it seriously anymore.

    I always feel like the weirdo here.. I don’t hate MPD, but I’m not a huge fan either. I like it most when the show isn’t going overboard, but I don’t hate it outright for all it’s excess. The benefit is that I can enjoy it without caring whether it’s pretentious, which is a strange and rare feeling for me.

  16. wendeego says:

    Utena’s music is a lot more distinctive than Penguindrum’s, true. Although that’s only to be expected, since Utena’s was J.A. Seazer choral prog rock, and Penguindrum’s are for the most part remixes of ARB songs from the 80s.

    What makes Penguindrum’s insert songs interesting, though is how they tie into the story. I don’t mean how the lyrics relate to the plot–that’s more Utena’s deal. What I do mean is that the songs exist in Penguindrum’s universe as songs by Double-H. It’s a constant reminder, along with their presence on the subway train, of Himari’s broken dreams and the fact that she will “never amount to anything.” During the ROCK OVER JAPAN sequence, the song is sung by Triple-H: this being Himari joining forces with her two former friends, at least in her own personal world.

    So yeah, as music Penguindrum’s soundtrack isn’t quite as impressive as Utena’s. Realize though, that the soundtrack is an active piece of the show’s massive mystery/tapestry, and your head explodes just a little bit. Makes you wonder exactly how much thought went into planning every little thing so that every element of the story, from the visuals to the soundtrack, was relevant to the central mystery both metaphorically and literally. Mindboggling!

  17. Pink says:

    @ kevin

    Try to limit triple posting, “mate.” I’m not sure that your opinions are related to each other coherently in any way considering you can’t explain why you think the art and music are overzealous and ultimately meaningless.

    I responded because you don’t have to be so condescending and nasty to psgels who just happens to be blogging MPD, a show you hate and feel the need to continually troll.

  18. Puran says:

    @Perrin: Ok, I’ll agree on that. Utena’s soundtrack was definitely more original. I didn’t really love it, but I can appreciate its originality and the mood it was trying to create.

  19. zesty says:

    As much as I enjoy the way Penguindrum’s current cycle of music is used, I do agree that it could use a bit more expansion. I hope they’ll add at least one or two more songs in the coming eps., but I’m skeptical. Still, I get the artistic choice – it’s all about repetition in this show – and I’m definitely getting the OST even if nothing’s added.

    Also, a minor detail, but it looks like the subway track diagram at the half-way point in the episode is – and has been for at least a few episodes now – showing where the story is and is headed, structurally-speaking anyway. Just after Sanetoshi’s monologue about the “war” beginning, we saw the position marker/the show’s name move fully from the diagonal to the straight part of the track. If that doesn’t scream “plot shift,” I don’t know what does. Obviously, this doesn’t help predict the specific content of the story, but I do find it interesting. Just another neat little thing I love about this show.

  20. psgels psgels says:

    People, you’re not really helping by trolling back….

    In any case, Kevin: I’m not young? (I’m actually double that age), I’m just a bit chaotic. I do check for the most obvious typos I make for each entry, but there are always a few that slip by.

    Also, I can sortof see where you’re coming from. The thing you mention about how this show distracts with bizarre imagery, I have that with Shaft series, which way for me just way too often try to insert all sorts of flashy colours to hide the fact that they really don’t have much substance. I disagree that Penguin-Drum doesn’t have much substance, though. Sure, it’s not as fast-paced and huge as the likes as the Armed Librarians or something, but on a smaller scale I do find that it created a bunch of interesting characters, with well developed places in the story.

    Also I really disagree with you about the music. For me, music has always been a core part of storytelling, and creating an atmosphere. To each his own, I guess.

  21. commenter says:

    This show has gradually been going down the hill for the last couple of months. I don’t feel the thrill and the enjoyment of earlier episodes. It seems like nothing is going on since episode 9. Perhaps the tell-tale sign that this show should have been shorter. They’re killing time with dull uninteresting characters like Natsume and yuri. A pity. Especially the episode on Yuri’s background felt forced and ridiculous at the same time. There’s only so much before the show changes from interesting and devious to just plain random events.

    By the way, the length of a soundtrack has little to do with how good it is. Kaiba had perhaps sixteen songs in total with just a couple of variations on them. It was amazing for the show. Casshern had mainly one song that was used as a leitmotif and it worked wonders. Escaflowne had a bigger soundtrack, but repeated a handful of songs all the time(shadow of doubt and a far cry, both songs not written&performed by kanno yoko by the way) and it really, really worked. Its crowning song is probably the one you hear when volken and van revisited fanelia. The quality of a soundtrack is not measured in size, and most of the time you’ll be comparing oranges to apples anyways, so don’t compare them. It doesn’t work out.

  22. hikaru says:

    No comments about Himari/Penguin girl losing all her clothes in the dream sequence? XD I was always wondering why she had to lose bits and pieces of her outfit as she walked down that weird bridge but I guess that was all just a set up for this episode lol.

  23. Raggers says:

    Psgels, i’m assuming you didn’t have much time on your hands when you wrote this.

    this episode can actually be seen as a turning point

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the sequence after the ads, where we see the circle move to the next point. This ep it moved past a turn. I saw that coming last week.

  24. marktheknife says:

    Alternate POV here: I strongly disliked Utena’s admittedly unique soundtrack. Though it had lots of tracks, in my head they’ve all meshed into “The absolute destiny: apocalypse” and a less-bombastic remix of it (excepting the few classical/jazz/ballad numbers). And did anyone really like the overly-relevant lyrics sung during the battles?

    MPD’s soundtrack on the other hand is much more varied and energetic. It sets a mood, and ties in thematically, and in Himari’s story as wendeego pointed out. Also, it just sounds cooler and hits emotional notes better – Utena’s soundtrack in comparison dips into a goofy sort of romanticism that combines the cheesiest aspects of prog and ballads.

    Actually, in general, having started on MPD, and then going back and watching Utena, Utena is a vastly inferior product. I’m honestly kind of shocked to see that people compare it favorably to MPD. It makes me feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    Its storytelling is meandering, with the middle 2/3 of each season just beating on the same few themes and ideas with little variation. Its descent into more symbolic, non-literal storytelling is somewhat abrupt, too broad in its focus to give much clarity to the viewer, and honestly not very engaging. Its world is not fleshed out (perhaps intentionally, but it’s still unsatisfying). Its character development takes way too long, and many characters are absurdly two-faced, often to the point they seem to be two separate characters. Its aesthetics are interesting at moments (particularly its more surreal ones), but overall it’s a very dull-looking show.

    Not to completely hate on Utena. I found it to be a fascinating flop, one that kept me watching for its moments of brilliance even as it kept me disappointed. I could see it being noteworthy for what it did with anime storytelling back in 1997 (with subversions galore). I’ll also give that its theme of true love vs. all the broken forms of love (transference, the pain of losing/not having it, sexual/seduction-based) is pretty interesting. And I’m open to the possibility I just didn’t “get it.” Maybe I’ll give the movie a try!

  25. iwasherexD says:

    @hikaru
    “Anyways, Nadine then begins to walk down the staircase (vagina), stripping all of her clothes off. I’m going to say that this is her path down “rebirth”, and the taking off of clothes symbolizes being “born as a baby” with Himari’s new life.”
    source: http://catchercatch.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/pengidrum1/

  26. wendeego says:

    @marktheknife: I see where you’re coming from. Not that I agree, mind! Pretty convinced that Utena’s the second best anime ever made, right after FLCL, so different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    I think that an important part of appreciating Utena is comparing it to its shoujo roots. Ikuhara came right off of Sailor Moon before doing Utena, and so like the latter, Utena has a ton of stock footage, an incredibly flowery aesthetic and a whole lot of alternative-sex relationships. The difference is that the stock footage is both lampooned and used to make a thematic point, the aesthetic is absolutely brilliant and the alternative-sex relationships go into even stranger territory, from Utena’s bond with Anthy for Akio’s connection to…yeah, won’t spoil it for anybody reading the comments.

    Watching Utena requires a certain tolerance for melodrama, and about as much patience as it takes to watch Penguindrum. I do think that Utena’s a lot more comprehensible, though, since it’s pretty firmly grounded in the shoujo genre in comparison to Penguindrum which isn’t really based in any genre at all.

    So yeah–in my opinion, Utena uses repetition better than just about any anime ever made; its soundtrack is both iconic and massively influential (count me in as someone who liked how the dueling song’s lyrics relate to the plot); the symbolism is perfectly comprehensible so long as you were willing to think; and the cast of characters are almost uniformly not who they seem. Also, the school was basically an illusory construction, so I didn’t have much trouble with the lack of worldbuilding since the school was pretty distinctive otherwise?

    ‘s okay to not like Utena, though. It’s a very strange anime and probably not for everybody (although you could probably say the same for Penguindrum as well.) Word of warning, though, not sure if you’ll like the movie any more than you’ll like the show, since it relies a lot on what you already know about the characters to make coherent sense (and isn’t quite as deep and a whole lot more obtuse besides.) It is one of the most visually stunning films I’ve seen, though, so there is that!

  27. jreding says:

    psgels, I completely agree re Utena’s soundtrack! It has been a favourite on my ipod for about a year now. The songs during the duels are just – for lack of better words – “epic”.

    Btw, I recently discovered the soundtrack of “Galaxy Express 999”. Of course is a completely different musical style but it also fills several volumes and enhances the mood of the show a lot.

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Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Anonymous1014125
Aidan is providing the data for us.
Lenlo
You do know that for the scientific method, you make a hypothesis and then you run experiments to produce data to prove or disprove said hypothesis. It cant just sit in limbo and then you go "I was right". You have to provide data at some point. At this point, you have yet to provide any data to support what you say.
Sir Robin
You seem to have never heard of the scientific method then Aidan. You don't need proof before you formulate an hypothesis. Fortunately this most recent development of you being wrong supports it.
AidanAK47
I am sure Sir Robin would be delighted to hear this but I think I was wrong in my assessment of SukaSuka(Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka?) That insert song at the begining of the episode was masterful and a number of things have changed my mind about it. It may be more interesting than I first expected. First novel was still pretty boring though.
AidanAK47
Should have another impressions post up today. As for what I am covering that's Little Witch Academia, Attack on Titan and Sekaisuru Kado.
AidanAK47
At least we never have to fight tooth and nail to cover something as what we want to cover never clashes.
SuperMario
Which mean 2 PA Works, 2 original shows and 3 slice-of-life shows. Well done Mario for being predictable and consistently boring as ever
Total users: 33

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