Posted by psgels on 11 November 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum




Yeah, this episode was another one of those “batman having tea with superman”-episodes. This episode was just amazing, as it combined the talents of two wildly different directors, Kunihiko Ikura and Shigeyasu Yamauchi, into one. The result was an episode with a ton of weird twists, strong character development and a ton of symbolism, combined with a style that is masterful at getting genuine emotions out of the characters and terrific at subtle pacing.

I can’t believe how well the two blended with each other. Tabuki really got a wonderful episode through this. Ikuhara even gave Shigeyasu Yamauchi the freedom of handling the background art much different from usual, and that too resulted in a ton of eye candy. Tabuki ended up as a great villain through this. On top of that Momoka also got a lot of depth, and the main cast also got much closer to each other. Especially the aftermath of this episode felt very intimate.

Also, the eye-catch. It just revealed another turning-point, as expected. Right now we’re in the background arc, in which all of the side-characters get the chance to show their stories and backgrounds. At the moment the only ones left are Tabuki and the parents who set everything in motion. I can only imagine what the creators have planned for after that. It’s that final arc where they really have to show that they know how to use their build-up.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

32 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    This episode really got my attention. It was intense.

    There is only 1 thing that bothered me was the semi-predictable scene in the end, which the mass probably wanted (not gonna spoil)

    Also, I would’ve preferred if we actually saw the events in Tabuki’s past rather than seeings scenes about symbolism. Not that I hate it or anything

  2. ojamajo_limepie says:

    Speaking of eye candy, Umakoshi Yoshihiko, character designer of Heartcatch Precure and Casshern Sins, animated key parts of this episode.

  3. DmonHiro says:

    I’m just curious how Tabuki saved Himari at the end. What the hell did he do? Can he fly?

  4. jzar says:

    **some spoilers**

    I really like the show but I have to say this episode was the least enjoyable for me so far. The parts of it that needed to be very believable just didn’t work.

    How could Tabuki could do what he did without a whole team of experts to back him up. It was so annoying that it ended up really getting in the way of the story.

    Didn’t he just run into the girl by accident?
    …Locking the girl in an elevator?
    …How did he have all those remotes and high grade plastic explosives ready for a spur of the moment decision?
    …Grabbing a moving steel cable with your bare hand? that would not just damage your hand it would be like sticking your hand into a high speed cheese grater.

    If Tabuki had photo’s of the black hats why didn’t he follow them back to the man who really did kill his lover?
    …. I could go on and on, it really was that bad.

    I would have much rather seen the mentally unstable Tabuki hold a knife to the throat. Just something spur of the moment and simple.

    The other background stories were really good and worked so well. I suppose it made the flaws in this one stand out to me.

    Just my take and it is a realitivly small thing because the acting and the animation was really good. They have some high standards to maintain and this episode was a bit of a letdown.

  5. hurin says:

    #jzar.

    Kanba also shouldn’t have been able to walk away from getting dragged after a truck, and Shouma should have died from the car crash.

    But of course it is also not logical for dead people to be revived by penguin hats.

    I hope the mystery as to the brothers invulnerability will be explained later. Maybe penguin 1, 2 and 3 are absorbing their damage somehow.

  6. Son Gohan says:

    @jzar: This show is highly symbolical. You shouldn’t think about how Tabuki saved Himari. What’s important is that he changed his mind after seeing the sibling’s love for each other.

  7. jzar says:

    Son Gohan-
    This show is highly symbolical. You shouldn’t think about how Tabuki saved Himari. What’s important is that he changed his mind after seeing the sibling’s love for each other.

    I totally agree…..it saved the episode for me…that was a great moment.

  8. Snowolf says:

    I really enjoyed Tabuki’s backstory- while I felt that it was the most abstract out of all the ones we’ve seen in some time, I did enjoy all the symbolism (the child broiler was really intense!) and you could definitely see how he really bonded to Momoka. It’s interesting how both Tabuki and Yuri view Momoka as some kind of God who came out of the heavens to change their life imminently, instead of just a faithful friend. Their lives revolve around her. Of course, I only have this fear that Momoka, like almost all of the characters in this show, is not what she seems, and that a much more sinister motive lurks behind that innocent smile. Her way of saying “Live for me!” and “I love you” seem almost stand out amongst a sea of almost too-dramatic sayings somehow. I mean, how did these two even really meet? Tabuki, unlike Yuri did not even know Momoka existed before this; of course, this is all figuratively speaking, so Tabuki may have had some knowledge of Momoka’s existence and the POV that we saw was at the specific time when Tabuki was at his lowest point. Tabuki’s parents also reminded me a lot of the parents in this show, and the theme of high expectations passing down from one to another. The Takakura’s unconsciously passed down their sin to their children; the Oginome parents passed down the strain of their relationship onto Ringo, who tried turning into Momoka to save that relationship, Yuri’s father physically abused her (and raped? I’m still not sure and I kind of don’t want to know) and now we see Tabuki’s mother as one who forced her own ideals of perfection (just like Yuri’s father had his ideals of perfection- Yuri and Tabuki almost mirror each other in terms of their parents and how they were treated) onto him and his little brother. Which resulted in him purposely crushing his hand so he could have an excuse not to play piano.

    While it’s kind of sad, I still in no way have any sympathy for Tabuki’s actions, which seemed to be more out of self-loathing and self-pity than actual revenge. Tabuki laments the fact that he wasn’t able to do anything about Momoka’s death, and immaturely puts that blame (in quite a gruesome and heart stopping fashion) onto Kanba and Himari. In the end, he finally grows weary (or gains sympathy, realizes his actions?) and saves Himari, but nevertheless, we were really able to see how desperate he had become. Which leads me to wonder- while both Tabuki and Yuri met Momoka for the better, they have only turned out to be vicious monsters of their own grim fate. As Ringo rightfully (ugh, I love this girl!) says at the end- she won’t grow up hating the family when it was her own sister who died at the hands of the Takakura parents, not just because she loves Shouma, but also because she realizes that grief, loss, and happiness all play a part in one’s life, and it’s up to us whether to accept that or not. But Tabuki and Yuri have grown haunted, almost into corpses reeking of self hatred, shared by their bond with Momoka. Of course, it seems that Yuri is a little more mature than Tabuki, slapping him in the face (damn straight!) after seeing what he did and his patheticness at doing it.

    I’m still annoyed that this show isn’t making full use of Shouma’s character- he’s my favorite, despite his inherent uselessness and lack of tack and coming on time, but that’s not his fault- I blame the show. Shouma is the only character in this show who isn’t fucked up somehow/has shady intentions and thus I really want him to play a major part in the end, if he can. I have a feeling he’s connected to the Penguindrum, considering that the show’s focus on Kanba and his countless sacrifices (as Himari said rightly- enough already!) might just be a little red herring so that we don’t think about Shouma. If that’s true, that would be excellent; I’m just dying for Shouma to actually accomplish something, though I feel like his relationship with Ringo is really going to amount to something important in the end, rather than him actually doing something.

    Going back to the Himari/Kanba scenes- damn, that was intense. I was literally clutching the end of my seat. Damn you Ikuhara! But oh boy, the use of music during that scene was fantastic. A major problem I have with this show is its lack of good BGM- which is actually a bigger factor in creating/evoking emotions than people think (think horror, folks, and all those violins) but this episode did a nice job of using the BGM well.

    Also, Shigeyasu Yamauchi directing this episode was a dream come true. I could totally spot his signature styles of shooting things in different ways and adding a lot of gorgeous visual feasts to the action scenes as well as the flashback scenes. HEARTS IN MY EYES, I’m telling you.

    I’m still a little concerned about how this show is going to wrap up in only eight more episodes, but that’s still enough time. It feels like this is more of a 50-episode show, but now that we have formally introduced everyone (except for Sanetoshi, whose random 2 minute scene was just…weird- what’s up with that rabbit fetish, I would like to know) hopefully we’ll start moving toward a good climax. It’s been a fun train ride, and now it’s finally time to wrap up all of these loose strings and tie them into a grand finale!

  9. nodbgp says:

    I think we will still get a lot of background on the family, I still don’t believe any of the three are bound by blood, we still have to get what the parents and consequently the organization reasons and goals are. The episode in itself was awesome in what it turned Tabuki into. Looking forward to the answers and to the ending, hoping they are able to wrap it up the best way possible, which I have no idea how should be.

  10. AidanAK47 says:

    And the Tabuki flashback as predicted. Thankfully shorter than I expected. Alright, I did enjoy some of it but that this point I sighed at yet another back story which included a parent forcing unreasonable conditions on a child. There are issues one can gain that don’t involve terrible parenting! On top of that we have the highly nonsense plan of Tabuki which I really don’t see the point of. Tabuki previously stated that he didn’t want revenge and now he suddenly does and portrays himself as a dark individual despite being shown as a pretty ordinary and reasonable guy beforehand. So yep, this whole thing stank of an act. I didn’t believe he was going to kill any of these kids for a second. That sort of killed the tension.
    And for the love of god. Himari, pulling the fake death card again? I can’t give a crap any more. I know you are not going to die. Nobody ever dies. Drama = completely pointless.
    “On top of that Momoka also got a lot of depth”
    Yes, she changed from a character who saved a disturbed child to…she changed from a character who saved two disturbed children. Wow. That’s deep.

    “This show is highly symbolical. You shouldn’t think about how Tabuki saved Himari. What’s important is that he changed his mind after seeing the sibling’s love for each other.”

    Just because a show is symbolic does not mean it has the right not to make sense. Besides that a pretty poor overused plot twist.

    Ahh…why oh why can’t I just shut of my brain and ignore this nonsense crap. I can do it fine for Mirai Nikki but maybe that’s because I know what I am getting.

  11. wendeego says:

    Interesting thing about Shouma…from the end of the corresponding chapter in the novel:

    “I have to be stronger too. No matter how unfair it might seem, if this is our fate, then I have to accept it and become stronger. I dried my tears on my sleeve and stopped lying to myself. I’m never going to run away again, not from fate and not from Oginome.”

    So I’m guessing that by the next episode he will be playing an active role in the plot. We will see!

    As for parenting issues and the sense of disbelief…well, Ikuhara loves illusions. The crux of Utena was a fairy tale that turned out to be a cage, and I’d guess that Penguindrum is structurally similar–an inescapable train en route to Death, for example. The conflict of the show comes from breaking out of the restrictions of society and finding a path towards happiness and understanding. That can only come about through sacrifice and enormous love, and I’m guessing that’s closely associated with the Penguindrum.

    AidanAK47, I’d agree with you that it’s a little strange that everybody’s issues appear to come from terrible parenting, if it wasn’t for the fact that carrying the sins of the fathers/mothers is so obviously key to the themes of the show. Just about every main character in the show except for Momoka and Sanetoshi are hanging above the child broiler by their fingernails: Himari on the brink of death, Kanba and Shouma abandoned by their parents, Yuri and Tabuki the product of an abusive mother and father respectively, and even Ringo in a situation where nothing she can do will ever bring her family back together.

    If you think about it, this entire show has been haunted by those recycled children in the child broiler. Remember the OP, with shards of glass flying by as Himari falls? After this episode we know that those are the remains of children who have been abandoned by the world. Think about it that way, and the great majority of the cast of Penguindrum are perversions of fate, somehow maintaining their existence in the world when they shouldn’t even be alive in the first place. Yuri and Tabuki were saved by Momoka, but Ringo and the Takakuras have been getting by through willpower alone (if only barely.) Is it any wonder that they are to be punished?

    So yeah–I think the emphasis on parent issues is more of a thematic choice than evidence of a lack of imagination. As for the strangeness of the plot, think of it more like a Haruki Murakami novel–where momentous things are happening under the surface but are never fully explained–and it becomes a bit more understandable. If you just aren’t digging it than I guess there’s not much anyone can do, though. I think it’s obvious by this point that Penguindrum is definitely not for everybody!

  12. Minnako says:

    @ Snowolf: Exactly!

    Momoka isn’t (at least I think not) a deity – she couldn’t possibly save everyone, even within the realms of plausibility of her powers it would just be too much for her to bear. Yet, instead of taking what she did for them and living on, the people she saved were never really saved – they never got over the darkness in their past, and the minute she’s not there to provide validation for them they turn into warped people intent on revenge. As if saintly Momoka would want that. Which makes me feel that in some way Momoka didn’t really ‘save’ them at all – instead of being turned into powdered glass or whatever, they just became something worse because they never learned how to live for themselves. I don’t know what that’s trying to say about what it means to try to ‘save’ those you love – should you do it? Maybe that they need more support? No, I can’t really condone his actions, either – losing one person, even if it is the first person who gave you validation, doesn’t mean that 16 years later you get to enact revenge.

    I’m not sure that Yuri slapped him because he did something pathetic (she did try to rape Momoka’s kid sister, after all), maybe for having the audacity to lie to her, to take her prey? Maybe for having the guts to realise what a broken individual he currently is, and for not taking it to the conclusion he planned?

    Interestingly, even though Himari could be Momoka’s reincarnation, I think in some ways it’s Ringo now playing her role – trying to validate people who feel they just aren’t good enough through no fault of their own. She’s not saintlike, but at least she doesn’t pronounce undying love for everyone in some selfless obsession for saving them all. I’d be very interested to see what the psychological effects of her power are, though. People in the position to save others (rescue workers, healthcare professionals, etc) can suffer from really bad burnout from getting too involved and literally feeling like they need to save everyone because they can. I’d like to see what the deal is behind her facade, because right now she’s just too perfect.

    It’s not Shouma’s fault he’s late and never the one to save Himari – it’s not like Kanba gives anyone that chance. Kanba’s always been the morally ambiguous one willing to do things normal teenagers just wouldn’t think of, and keeping it all secret from Shouma. So I feel it’s unfair when people think this implies Shouma cares less about saving his sister. He just doesn’t know what to do, and we know he has normal scruples, that he’s had to put aside plenty of times. I’d argue that he’s had it harder than Kanba, because Kan feels that he NEEDS to go to ridiculous lengths, he’s almost masochistic, and he’d be worse off if he didn’t – bearing the brunt of the cost is less of a punishment for Kanba than doing nothing.

    Sanetoshi evidently took the pictures of Kanba at his leisure and then told Tabuki at this particular time – why? Does that mean Himari wasn’t fibbing when she said she had her doctor’s approval? After all, we only saw the rabbit boys talking to her brothers. What is this dude scheming, I wonder?

  13. Kim says:

    @Snowolf,

    I expect Shouma to start playing a more active part in the final 6 episodes…which will also cover the final novel of the story.

    I think the novel does a better job than the anime of defining what Shouma’s role will be. He’s been inactive on purpose because of his own self doubt & feeling of worthlessness. That is definitely going to change.

    @Weendeego

    Completely agreed! And I can’t believe people are actually complaining that everyone had messed up parents…it’s called tying things together by singular theme? Didn’t Sanetoshi say it in a previous episode: children are supposed to love their parents no matter what? The entire theme of the series has been putting the sins of the parents onto the children.

    And I always wanted to say that people who complain about Penguindrum better never read a Murakami novel so I am glad you brought him up. Not that I think Ikuhara is on the same level as Murakami (who is one of my favorite authors) but the way they tell a story is definitely similar. Of course Ikuhara references Murakami in Penguindrum so it’s obvious he’s a fan & I highly approve.

  14. Snowolf says:

    @Minnako, Kim: You’ve captured my thoughts exactly! I mean, the way everyone portrays Momoka, it sounds as if she’s some kind of magical, divine goddess, combined with her ability to change fate (I am still not sure about this ability, but I have a feeling it will be brought to light soon enough). And yet, everyone who has met Momoka has never actually gotten over their dark past. Yuri ironically becomes an actress to prove her self-worth, and to show that she is beautiful. Tabuki becomes a teacher in the hopes that he will actually be able to contribute something toward other people’s lives. And yet they are fundamentally, two broken individuals who are only married due to their shared connection with Momoka and their shared belief that her Diary will somehow bring her back. In that way, Momoka really hasn’t saved anyone, and I have this terrible feeling that this is the way she wanted it to happen- that she’s the mastermind behind some of this, somehow. Instead of becoming independent, they have grown shallow and lost, more desperate than ever.

    Which really brings me to the main interest behind Penguindrum- the fact that so far, the adults are the ones with childish, immature dreams, while the children are the ones acting mature and trying to realize the reality of their situation. Neither Kanba, Shouma, Ringo or Himari at this point are hopelessly lost or idealistic; even Natsume is working hard to achieve her dreams rather than be dragged back into her past, hopelessly wandering. Tabuki and Yuri however, are ghosts of their own haunted pasts, and are lingering in some kind of limbo where they can’t progress forward because they’re afraid of change, and they are afraid of progress in the first place. Their lives were validated by Momoka, and without her they are empty souls. It’s similar to Utena’s genderswap, but it’s more of an…ageswap in Penguindrum.

    I’m really loving Ringo- she’s my favorite character (and has always been) because out of all the characters in thsi show, she’s the one who has recieved the most development. While I don’t think she’s becoming a saintlike figure, I do agree that she’s definitely gathered up the courage to move on and fight destiny, despite saying that she accepts and loves fate. I don’t think she’s become too perfect- I mean, heck she was a creepy stalker only 10 episodes ago, but I think by meeting Shouma she’s become self-aware and has understood the consequences of her actions. However, the two openings of the show display Ringo being wrapped up in flames- does this mean that she will become the next Momoka and end up saving the Takakura family (how ironic would that be?) and end up sacrificing herself? This kind of ties back to my idea that rather than being an active participator, Shouma’s relationship with Ringo will bear fruit to something more powerful than Kanba’s countless sacrifices. I definitely agree with you on Shouma- just because he’s not there on time doesn’t mean he doesn’t love Himari any less (well he might, considering that Kanba is actually in love with Himari) Shouma has definitely gone through a huge personal identity crisis in this show for the most part, but with the novel/this episode, this suggests that his time of strife has finally come to an end, so hopefully we’ll see something good happen! Kanba irritates me slightly with his lack of self-worth; in a way I feel Himari is HIS Momoka, as she is the person who gives HIM validation to live (as he said when he was saving her life- his life means nothing without her). Which brings me back to thinking- will he end up like Tabuki, if Himari is to truly die?

    I…honestly don’t know what to think of Sanetoshi. Part of me is terrified that he’ll become the next Akio, and then another part of me thinks that this guy is just some sort of hidden plot device. But the fact that a.) he TOLD Himari (or rather, he approved) to go out knowing quite well that she needed the medicine before midnight and b.) took pictures of Kanba and then gave them to Tabuki is definitely devious to me. I don’t know what he’s up to and that scares me.

    Also, some food for thought; The whole “invisible entity” idea? Think back to Sakakibara Seito, the then-juvenile perpetrator of two vicious child murders in Tokyo back in 1997.

    On June 6, a letter was sent to the newspaper Kobe Shinbun, in which Sakakibara claimed responsibility for the slaying and decapitation of Jun Hase, and threatened that more killings would follow. This second letter, delivered in a brown envelope postmarked June 3, had no return address or name. Enclosed was a three-page, 1400-word letter, also written in red ink, which included a six-character name that can be pronounced as “Sakakibara Seito.” The same characters, which mean alcohol, devil, rose, saint and fight, were used in the first message that was inserted into the boy’s mouth.

    Beginning with the phrase “Now, it’s the beginning of a game,” the letter stated that “I am putting my life at stake for the sake of this game… If I’m caught, I’ll probably be hanged… police should be angrier and more tenacious in pursuing me…. It’s only when I kill that I am liberated from the constant hatred that I suffer and that I am able to attain peace. It is only when I give pain to people that I can ease my own pain.” The letter also lashed out against the Japanese educational system, calling it “compulsory education that formed me, an invisible person.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seito_Sakakibara#cite_note-1)
    Wikipedia translated the phrase “透明な存在” (toumei na sonzai) as “invisible person”, but the translation “invisible entity” is also suffice.

    This might be a long shot, but it was one of the first things that came to my mind after I watched the show. But considering that Ikuhara has stuffed this show with a lot of allusions back to the many dark secrets of Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  15. kero says:

    Interesting to read the comment on the possible link to the child killings. Hard to say if it is intentional or not, as I think the idea of feeling invisible as a child isn’t unique.
    ___

    My reaction to this episode was that I like it more last weeks episode, and now at least I know about Tabuki’s hand.

    I think the connection being made to Murakami is probably quite apt in various ways, considering how you could flip it and not be saying that it is as awesome as Murakami, but that it is as overhyped/overrated as Murakami.

    [I sit in between, I have a bit of a difficult relationship with Murakami, he has some great turns of phrases and there is a interesting something about the settings he creates, but there’s also a bit a weird creepiness to the recurrent theme of disappearing/broken women, and more than a hint of misogyny in the way he writes women]

    I was able to watch the flashback and accept it for the symbolism, especially with the whole child broiler thing, I loved the sound of the fan going in the bg.

    As for Momoka, she’s just coming across as a bit creepy? Not sure what her deal, and I’m inclined to agree with others that she’s not what she seems.

    I realise I don’t particularly like the girl with the black penguin, she just repeats over and over again the same phrase, like she’s got some OCD, which I wouldn’t be surprised if she did. They’re all psychos on this show XD.

    Agree with others that it’d be great to see Shouma finally step up and be an active agent.

    I loved the end shot where, he is cradling both his brother and sister. I would love it if he ends up being the one to save everybody!

  16. Kim says:

    @Kero,

    I know this is not a post about Murakami but I found your comment interesting so I had to reply.

    I never really thought of Murakami as misogynist although from what I’ve read so far (and I certainly have not read everything) he does mainly look at things solely through a male perspective. Of course he is a male writer so I am not sure if I can fully fault him for this.

    Ikuhara on the other hand I feel does have a more compelling approach to gender roles than Murakami. This can be easily seen in Utena but I think even in Penguindrum the females are all well written & unique characters.

    However my comparison between the two wasn’t really in terms of content (although I will say both Murakami & Ikuhara can take us to dark places) but more in terms of storytelling style.

  17. Minnako says:

    @Snowolf: Mastermind Momoka is a terrifying thought! Definitely more behind the scenes there, especially when she made THAT face…

    I really hope Ringo doesn’t end up sacrificing herself, she’s spent long enough playing second fiddle to a sister she could never compare to in anyone’s eyes, and now that she’s finally the emotionally stable one in the series, she goes and falls in love with a guy who refuses to believe he’s worth loving (his Momoka indeed).

    I’m not sure what the deal is with Kanba and Himari – both as to how far his feelings go, which entity exactly he is in love with, and of course if they’re even siblings (Kanba being a Natsume looks like sense), but I’d argue that doesn’t mean he loves her more, only differently.

    Taking the ‘transparent person’ references in mind, could the child broiler be symbolic of those who’ve given up, who see no worth in existing, and who feel and are treated as being completely isolated from society? That seems fitting as we don’t see how Momoka got Tabuki out of that colourless place – perhaps because he had to wish himself out to be free? And when Momoka is injured, perhaps that reflects his defensiveness and lack of desire to see any worth in himself at first (not that it’s much better to live for someone else – that’s still obviously depressed.), his defenses against letting himself out of that prison. Momoka may be doing nothing more special than trying to let people out of the emotional cages they’ve put themselves in.

    @ Kero – It would be interesting to see exactly what Masoka (the girl with the black penguin) means – evidently she has a very important part to play, and I’m really wondering why Sanetoshi lets her get away with defying him…

    Shouma saving everybody FTW, now THAT would be a turnup for the books!

  18. c160 says:

    @AidanAK7 In the novels, there’s an excerpt (I think it was either right before or right after the elevator scene, and it was not included in this episode, so I suppose its no longer a spoiler) where Tabuki had an inner monologue where he said that he tried his best to keep his desire for revenge to himself, and not even telling his partner Yuri but he is also reaching his breaking point. Or something like that.

    Himari also had some inner monologue while she was dangling in the air in the novels, which was also not in this episode. The novels is a little bit better in explaining the characters I guess, but I think Ikuhara is holding back some things to make a big bang latter on, especially with Himari and Shouma’s character.

    @Kim I too agree with how there’s similarities in Murakami’s and Ikuhara’s story telling style.While I haven’t seen all their works,I think the surreal but yet not overtly supernatural or magical feel of their stories is definitely similar.Or how they just refuse to explain everything. Or how they like to throw in some really out there hilarious but yet still somewhat dark scenarios(think Nanami cow incidents for Ikuhara and the short story about the fast-food robbing couple from Murakami) ^^;

  19. kero says:

    @kim

    Sidetracking into a Murakami discussion.

    I’ve not read everything by Murakami either, top of my head Norwegian Wood, South of the Border, Windup Bird Chronicle, Wild Sheep Chase, and Hardboiled Wonderland (but only one part of the story and not the more fantasy part).

    The misogyny is not out and out, but most of the women are either broken or not there, and maybe I never got how all the MC’s could be so cold/distant, but never have any problems finding enough women who want to sleep with them.. it borderlines some sort of fantasy/ wish fulfillment on Murakami’s part. I can’t really think of one main female character who didn’t end up sleeping with the MC or wasn’t mentally ill of sorts(Norwegian Wood spring to mind because it’s the one I read most recently). I couldn’t really read those parts without pulling out from the story and going ‘come on now!’

    On him being a man, and ergo, not his fault if he can’t write women properly. I don’t think gender should play into it, because there are plenty of men who write great female characters, and plenty of women who write great male characters. So I can’t agree with cutting him some slack because of this. I do want to say again I don’t dislike his works completely.. I enjoyed Wild Sheep Chase, and there is still something compelling about them.

    Anyways, back on track. I was mainly trying to say that MPD seems to get the same kind of reaction that Murakami does, aka. “he’s awesome!” or “why does everyone love him? He ain’t all that!”
    Pretty divisive!

    But like you and C160 say, MPD and Murakami give off similar feelings, with their surreal/normality setting although MPD goes a lot lot heavier into symbolism (but if I recall correctly, Wind Up Bird Chronicle was full of it too, read this years ago so can’t say for sure).
    It is a different medium after all, so as a visual form MPD can play with disjointing or synchronizing the dialogue with the imagery, which many people have pointed out.

    @C160
    I didn’t know that it was originally based on a novel! After MPD ends I’d like to hear more about the where they are the same and where it deviates.

    Out of curiosity, does the anime follow the novel closely, with the things that happen (what is it that happens to Yuri in the novel with her dad? Does Ringo still put a frog on her face? How are the penguins portrayed? Are there penguins???!!!

  20. Kim says:

    @Kero,

    I kind of agree with you that some of what Murakami writes might be a little wish fulfillment since the main protagonists always seem to have these “wild nights” lol

    I also don’t disagree with you that there are men who write good female characters but I just think Murakami in general writes from a singular male perspective, perhaps that he is most familiar with. I also don’t know if I necessarily agree that all the female characters are “broken” per say either, but maybe there is one too many like this.

    However that being said I am not sure if I would say “characters” male or female are Murakami’s strong point. I think it’s more the “way” he tells a story & the themes that run across his stories that are so engaging.

    As for the Penguindrum books I haven’t been able to read every chapter (just what is translated) but yes the Penguins are definitely there.

    I feel the anime does a better job at the surreal/symbolic part of the story. However the novels do a much better job at characterization. It’s almost like the best way to experience Penguindrum is to watch the anime & read the novel. So that is actually one fault I do have with the series.

  21. c160 says:

    @kero
    MPD is not based on a novel, its more of a simultaneous release, the first novel released after the first few episodes were aired. MPD is still an anime first :) The latest novel only reached till the point where Ringo called Shouma in this episode I think. The final novel will be released after the final episode airs. So far, the novels follow the anime almost exactly, only omitting certain monologues which I think doesn’t really change much at all.Maybe except for Tabuki’s apparently sudden change of heart in this episode is better explained in the novel.

  22. imredjimmy says:

    I love you all for comparing this to Murakami’s novel! XD I just love his novels! I do agree that they have some similar elements especially in the atmosphere and the universe they create. Awesome episode! I hope they’ll be able to answer the majority of the big questions, I don’t mind if they leave some little details out as long as they manage to wrap it up well in 6 episodes! You can do it Mawaru Penguindrum!!!

  23. marktheknife says:

    This Murakami talk is quite relevant to my post from last week(and thanks @wendeego for replying, I hope I’ll get to respond to that more at some point). I think one of the big reasons I prefer MPD to Utena is this Murakami connection…the plot’s more off the rails, but at the same time there’s a definite real world with a highly symbolic (but in many ways real) magical system running under the surface. It’s really a great system for combining the symbolic depth of abstract/non-literal storytelling with the grounded-ness and satisfaction of a more traditional narrative.
    ——
    As for something more relevant to MPD, here goes:

    I think this week took the Momoka as Christ idea (“the savior of the world”) into an interesting new place. Momoka’s actions, like Christ, were truly selfless and well-intentioned. Both wanted to save people from their current miserable fates (in the Bible, from eternal death), by dissuading them from following their innately bad human nature/fate.

    But in their absence, the followers of both Saviors quickly fell astray, into hypocrisy, using the name of their savior to commit terrible acts. Perhaps, one might say that neither savior was successful in their mission – those they “saved” ended up in just as much pain, and behaving just as wrongly (but perhaps in a different way). The attempts of saviors to change fate for the better did not, and could not, work.

    This idea adds another facet to Sanetoshi-Momoka connection as well. Sanetoshi noted that they both wanted to change fate, but that Momoka did not agree with his methods or perhaps goal. I was thinking that perhaps Sanetoshi represents science/secular thought as an attempt of salvation/overcoming fate. (After all, he is playing the role of a doctor, he is a librarian, and he is constantly involved with technology and strange devices.)

    This might even point out a difference in their methods – Momoka worked to change fate with miracles, self-sacrifice, and faith things would work. Sanetoshi on the other hand seems to be playing the role of a controlling scientist, setting up an experiment to determine how he can alter fate, or if he can at all.

    I might be projecting, but I think Sanetoshi may have realized an issue with the idea of “changing fate” that I have – what if your succesful “changing of fate” was itself fated? He may have also realized the way I noted Momoka failed (not truly changing fate for the better for anyone).

    This series of thoughts has turned me in another direction – why does MPD contain the themes/motifs it does? Family, religion, secular thought, penguins…What I’m currently thinking is, at its most general sense, MPD’s about a person’s identity and its clash fitting in with the world/fate. The series discusses
    (1) the challenge that creates (penguins – flightless birds awkward on land, graceful and “itself” only in one situation. The child broiler), and
    (2) the ways you can attempt to “fix” the clash (many of which – religion and secular thought – do not work).

    Anyhow, I’m exhausted and done ranting. Night!

  24. Suumire says:

    I think Shouma has to be the one up next for this coming episode. He’s left in the pit of this episode where absolutely everyone was involved in some way but him.

    I’m sorry, but while I agree with comments that he’s the most normal character since he isnt as extreme, I think always being left out of the action has to have given him a SERIOUS complex. Kanba always seems to just tell him to smile and be good while he takes all the damage, but he was never that character really. He acts goofy here and there but he’s also always the one worrying. And like Himari it’s got to hurt to do his best to do something as well but always get there late or be left out.

    I’m expecting him to emotionally lash out or break down, and soon. Especially in the wake of almost losing his siblings. Even the doctor preluded about how he missed out again on something important.

  25. wendeego says:

    @marktheknife: So much stuff there I don’t think I can respond to all of it. But, what you said about Sanetoshi got me thinking.

    For all he says that he and Momoka are connected, they really are very different, aren’t they? Momoka reaches in and literally sacrifices herself in order to save those she loves, at great personal cost. On the other hand, I don’t think that Sanetoshi is giving any of himself at all. He manipulates things from the sidelines, and gives people cures that can delay, but not change, fate. But to me it appears that rather than change fate for others himself (and burn away by doing so) he tricks others into changing fate for him. That’s probably why he needs people like Kanba, who perhaps does contain seeds of sacrifice in himself. Shouma might not be powerless either, since he saves Ringo from drowning in episode 4 at the risk of his own life.

    One of the crazy theories I’ve heard recently is that Momoka’s potential “attack” on the subway bombings split Kenzan’s son into two, creating the Takakura brothers. What if both of them once had Momoka’s ability, but by being split into two they lost the ability to use it properly? Kanba might be able to wield a semblance of it in keeping Himari alive, but Shouma might hold the rest without knowing it. Unless I’m barking up the wrong tree altogether?!?

    Finally, regarding Penguindrum, Utena and realism–I think you’re right in that the setting of Penguindrum is more grounded in the real world. Personally, though, I found Utena a bit more “grounded” than Penguindrum. Utena was very heavily entrenched in the shoujo genre, and so engendered a whole bunch of impressions and archetypes right off the bat. When the show later broke those archetypes to pieces, it had already given time for the viewer to be firmly established in the show’s world (even though most of it was, as Akio said, an illusion.)

    Penguindrum, on the other hand, doesn’t really fit into a genre. It vaguely fits into the kind of shoujo well that Utena exists in, but otherwise it borrows from all kinds of other places, and innovates a lot of its own stuff as well. I think that’s one of the reasons why so many people find it a little unapproachable–it’s so out there that it requires real dedication to bridge the gap and see the wonders on the other side. I think this might have to do with the fact that Utena came right after Sailor Moon, meaning that Ikuhara and Yojo Enokido and everyone else were still using mahou shoujo lenses. Penguindrum, on the other hand, came ten years afterwards, and is all the stranger for it.

    Actually, I wonder what difference not having Yoji Enokido on staff makes? Is that why Penguindrum’s a relatively colder show than Utena? How would Himari or Shouma have been handled if Enokido involved? Ikuhara picked up a lot of the slack (I think it’s pretty obvious by now that he played a huge role in the formation of Utena, since so many of its themes resurface in Penguindrum) but by how much?

  26. Cryptic says:

    I would read the comments but the giant wall of text are kind of intimidating ._.

  27. Guest says:

    I just want to drop in and throw out that you really should read the fantasy half of Hardboiled Wonderland if you’re going to read it at all. It is boring at first but is the thread that ties everything together by the end, and a lot of the fun is seeing how the two stories parallel each other.

    Murakami’s women are almost uniformly plot devices and hollow, though. I don’t think he’s a misogynist so much as he doesn’t use women as real people in his stories.

  28. kero says:

    @guest

    I think the msg is directed at me?

    “Murakami’s women are almost uniformly plot devices and hollow, though. I don’t think he’s a misogynist so much as he doesn’t use women as real people in his stories. ”

    In my opinion, the way you are describing how he uses women is what I would term as being misogynistic: the inability to see them as ‘real’ or being anything other that plot devices. Again I want to reiterate that I don’t think it’s full blown hate of women, but to consistently write women as non-entities does disconcert me.

    I’m not sure I’d go back to read hard-boiled. But I might read a few more of his books, I do want to check out the one about the underground attacks.

  29. marktheknife says:

    @wendeego: Yeah I wrote a shit-ton there, so no worries! Just went off on my excitement on thinking of a new theme.

    I agree that there is a huge moral difference between Momoka and Sanetoshi (barring some horrific plot twist). Furthemore, Sanetoshi’s exact role in the show and his exact plans are still a bit of a mystery. From where it stands though, it does seem like he planned the train bombings to “derail” fate, while Momoka sacrifices herself to mostly undo this damage (and thus push things back onto track). What this means thematically is kind of hard to say at this point.

    And re: Utena v. MPD’s genre “grounding,” this is actually really interesting to me as to its affect on anime watchers’ viewing habits.

    My basic question is, why do anime viewers even feel a need to squeeze MPD into a shoujo? For one thing, shoujo is a demographic label, and there’s something bizarre in how it has pretty wide applicability as a genre label (complete with its own tropes). Another is, why aren’t anime viewers more willing to view MPD as the genre mish-mash it is? Fight Club for instance was a decently-received comedy/drama/psychological thriller with extremely unusual plotting (non unlike MPD).

    This in turn has also made me think about a much broader question: how different communities use different methods to “form” genres, and how that affects the resulting art output (as, after all, genres create the base vocabulary most people use in understanding art). This would also be related to how certain genres are particularly gifted at exploring certain themes. Maybe once I finish getting this together in a grand essay I’ll post it.

  30. wendeego says:

    @marktheknife: One quibble–I think that Sanetoshi stated in episode 16 that what he (and KIBA by association?) is trying to do is put fate back on the right track. Right now my theory is that on the day of the 95 attacks, Momoka performed a track switch and drastically changed the world for better or for worse. Whether returning fate to its proper path is for better or for worse, though, is hard to say (although Sanetoshi’s resemblance to Akio, coupled with his actions so far, makes me think that he isn’t trustworthy.)

    I think that Mawaru Penguindrum is as polarizing as it is simply because it’s just so out there. Anything can happen, characters suffer grievous physical pain and continue to function, and so much is left obscure or hidden in background details for the viewer to parse. We’ve compared Penguindrum to Murakami’s works, but it strikes me that Murakami’s protagonists are generally a lot simpler/more sympathetic. The cast of Penguindrum, on the other hand, is almost uniformly emotionally fractured, and are often hiding their true feelings, to boot! It’s possible to find people to latch onto (though the novels might be more likable in how they give more insight into the characters) but the whole process is very difficult.

    I think it’s also worth saying that Fight Club is a lot tighter than Penguindrum, simply because it’s only two hours long while Penguindrum is about twelve. Penguindrum covers a lot more ground, true! But that amount of sustained, genre-busting weirdness is probably enough to turn people away who aren’t willing to do a lot of the work themselves. I mean, I like Penguindrum a lot, and think that it’s probably the best anime to air this year. But in terms of metaphor, cliffhangers, references to art and literature and willingness to spend time on seemingly inconsequential things (that turn out to be TOTALLY CONSEQUENTIAL) the show is borderline abusive to people who just want to know what the hell is going on.

    It’s a lot of fun too, though! I can just see why it might not be as much fun to everybody. Then on the other hand you have excellent shows that comment on tropes and genres like Madoka Magica, that half the fanbase reviles as overrated, explotative pap. So I guess you can’t win!

  31. Kim says:

    @Weendeego

    But a lot of people DO like Penguindrum. Of course not everyone likes it but that’s true for a lot of things. I don’t think the series is all that polarizing. No more than anything else that gains some popularity really. I do admit a surreal type of series like this is not going to be for everyone but well I can say that about a lot of things.

    As for Murakami’s characters VS Penguindrum’s. I would say the difference for me is I care more about the Penguindrium characters but I relate more to Murakami’s characters. Or to put it another way I feel more invested in Ikuhara’s characters but when I read Murakami I identify with that POV. Then again there is also a different medium at work here so it’s hard to do a direct comparison.

  32. Kim says:

    Oops sorry spelled your name wrong. I hate that you can’t edit on blogs. :(

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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
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