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.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was worried there for a moment thinking sangatsu no lion was ending next week, turns out season 2 is 22 episodes afterall.
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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The Reflection Review – 45/100

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

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

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

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

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

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

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Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

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

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

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

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