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. :(

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that's good. I love a good mystery and hate it when it's ruined with magical wizard space ghosts.
Amagi
@Aidan: If people who know the original were telling the truth explanations will be rational and the series is rather an actual mystery instead of anything supernatural.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I haven't even watched the second episode of Apocrypha yet. Also behind on Re:Creators. Wonder if I will leave it. So far planning to get two more impressions out by end of day. Got one wrote up and just need to work on the other. Next up Tenshi no 3P...this is going to be painful.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, truly appreciate it. If Vatican can slow down it could really be something else. But I wonder how much of a supernatural element is going to be present in the series.
SuperMario
And now after I've watched all new shows save Gamers, I'll blog Princess Principal and 18if this season. I will watch second episode of Vatican and Centaur to decide the third choice, if I'm unconvinced by both I'll blog Tsurezure Children
Total users: 40

Featured Posts

Shoukoku no Altair – 03 [The Council of Generals]

With this episode, Altair’s first arc comes to a close. Mahmut Pasha, teenage prodigy and commander of eagles, is now simply Tughril Mahmut, a disgraced former general set to leave Turkiye on a journey of discovery. Though its main character didn’t fare so well this week, I thought the show wrapped everything up nicely in […]

Classroom of the Elite – 02 [It Takes a Great Deal and Skill to Conceal One’s Talent and Skill.]

Something about Youkoso, after the end of both first two episodes, that left me there hanging. Something that I feel “off”, but I can’t quite put my fingers on. I guess a big part of it was caused by the pacing, which it takes way too long to get into the intrigued part. I mean, […]

Re:Creators – 15 [Waves Approach the End of Wandering]

This week’s episode didn’t have any action once again but there is a lot more movement on the main plot as each faction solidify their alliances and plan out their new moves. As speculated last week, the latest creation has a snowball’s chance in hell in be competitive against every other creation as her only […]

Princess Principal – 02 [Case 1 Dancy Conspiracy]

Man, plot twists. Through many twists and turns within the episode, we have a big switcheroo Sixth Sense-size at the end that completely change the context of what come before. I mean, Princess Principal walks on a really thin wire here. On the one hand, deceive and betrayal are the backbone of spies, guessing the […]

Made in Abyss – 2[Resurrection Festival]

Made in abyss continues strong as the animation remains beautiful, the music perfect and the story progressing with revelations at a good rate. I particularly lie that they provided necessary details about the different ranks of miners based on whistle colour  through a puppet show. It’s a good way of providing the audience information without […]

Kakegurui- 2/3[A Boring Woman/Slit-Eyed Woman]

Two episodes of high stakes gambles and I do feel that I am going to run out of things to say about this one fast. I suppose I will start with the elephant in the room and address what could be Kakegurui’s most detrimental feature. The fact that it’s set in a school setting and […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 2/3[The Appearance of the Saints/First Step of Fate]

So where do I begin? I am brain dead at the moment so forgive me if this gets a bit too much like rambling but I have to catch up with all this so here’s my best shot at being somewhat competent. WIth these two episodes we have the setup of this grail war established […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu – 3 [Master’s Orders]

The farther into the season we go, the clearer it becomes that Ranbu is a video-game adaptation, as this week Ranbu takes two steps forward and one step back. We start this week off immediately where we left off, with the Dutch steamship mid explosion, and wow was it a beautiful explosion. If nothing else […]

Ballroom e Youkoso – 02 [Kiyoharu Hyodo]

After a strong start to its two cour season, Ballroom e Youkoso has managed to waltz its way past all potential stumbling blocks and deliver an even better second episode. There was a lot to love here, including a carefully introduced rival and love triangle, great voicework from Shinba Tsuchiya, and some promising animation during […]

Latest Reviews

Tsuki ga Kirei (Spring 2017) Review – 88/100

It’s hard for me not to go overboard on Tsuki ga Kirei: out of all the show I’ve followed this season, I resonated the most to this one; but even when I’m judging this show objectively, Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the most perfect one, in a way that it achieved exactly what it […]

Seikaisuru Kado Review 51/100

Seikaisuru Kado was a title which caught my attention for a number of reasons. For one it’s visuals showed not a single teenager in sight and a cast mainly consisting of working adults. Another is that it deals with a premise not often tackled in anime, Philosophical Science Fiction. The story features an alien being […]

ID-0 (Spring 2017) Review – 81/100

Here comes one of the most under-appreciated anime of this Spring season. ID-0 has many hassles that keeps viewers away from watching it: Netflix exclusive, full CG animation and a plot that just plain weird and a bit incomprehensive at first view. I originally took it as nothing more than fun spooky little-seen show until […]

Grimoire of Zero (Spring 2017) Review – 77/100

I remember, back in our first impression of this series, Aidan remarked that Grimoire of Zero isn’t your typical LN-adaptations, but he didn’t know what to make of it. To be honest, after watching an entire cour, I’m still unsure what to make of it myself. This show has some serious flaws, yet despite all […]

Uchoten Kazoku Review – 94/100

(Note: Since psgels didn’t give his final review to the first season, this review is for the entirety of Eccentric Family. If I had to grade the second season alone, it’s 90/100). Doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Eccentric Family is a unique show, in a way it feels and tastes like no […]

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this […]

Window Horses (2016) Movie Review – 87/100

In Window Horses, or its full name Window Horses – The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, many characters keep asking the main protagonist, a Stick Girl in an otherwise fully formed character designs, why is she wearing a chador, in which she’s unable to reply. It’s her first trip to go overseas, so she […]

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]