Posted by psgels on 9 December 2011 with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum

Well, so I kept hoping for these final episodes to bring everything together. And with this episode, they did. The developments in this episode took this show to a new level. With things finally concluding, the twists i this episode brought in the best out of the characters. The twists in this episode made terrific use of the build-up.

The great development here was the family breaking up. For so many episodes it seemed just natural for the three siblings to stay together no matter what. And yet in this episode things really go horribly wrong. Himari had died before in this series, but this time, it actually seems that this is for real (although I wouldn’t be surprised if she still had some part to play). She finally stepped up and realized what she caused Kanba to do.

What’s also surprising here is how powerless Shouma was: for a long while it seemed like he was going to be the main character of this series, and yet he hardly had any role, aside from the moment we’ve been waiting for: Double-H to make an appearance, only to disappear again. Overall, this is something that I really have to give to Utena: the shadow play girls in the end turned out to be much more awesome, even though you can see here how the creators tried to give them a very important role in the story.

Apart from that, I’m not going to compare the two shows just yet, due to how important the ending was for both of them. There are some very obvious differences, and the next two weeks it will be up to this series to show how well its ideas worked. This episode really was in the right direction, but was it right enough?

What also made this episode awesome was Natsume. Again her role changed completely last week. In this week, we get to see the results of this change, and how her attempts to get her brother back failed. It’s in a completely different mood from her earlier attempts when she tried to get him back with that sweater she knitted. That sweater by the way was a very sneaky hint to the two of them being siblings, when you compare them to Himari’s knitted clothes for her “brothers”.

And on a side-note: what was Shouma doing in that box?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

23 Responses

  1. Jordy says:

    Notice the book Kanba’s penguin is reading. It’s Faust. For those who don’t realize yet, the penguins are the character’s inner thoughts and feelings. It’s foreshadowing because in Faust he pushes away his lover in pursuit of his goal and she ends up dying because of it. But ultimately her soul is saved and she goes to Heaven I believe. Somehow, I feel that whether they live or die doesn’t matter at this point. I feel that they might be stuck in some sort of a loop of fate. In this ep, Himari “dies” exactly in the same place as in the 1st ep. Also, when Himari dies for the second time (Ep12) Princess of The Crystal talks about the wheel of fate and implies that some of the events might have happened already. And remember the dialogue of Sanetoshi implying that Kanba might have burned the world a few times already. “What will be left after burning it away a hundred times for her sake?” – I don’t know by heart what episode it was in, but I do remember that exact line.

  2. Binayo says:

    This episode was more than just awesome!
    Penguindrum will probably be the first anime I will rewatch immediatly after it has finished airing.

  3. kevin says:

    Man this was just terrible. I can hardly wait for the series conclusion which is obviously going to be 20 minutes of Ikuhara’s face wrapped in a sinister snarl laughing hysterically at the viewers for actually watching this far. If you think there is any plot in this series you are an imbecile. The series pretty much forces fans to try and create the plot to themselves. There is literally no real plot, just shit splashed here and there. Utterly terrible, worst anime of the year. Sacred Seven looks like god’s gift to anime compared to this.

  4. Vikkei says:

    @Jordy: That makes the scene where Himari’s penguin shoves girlie mags in Kanba’s penguin’s face all the more…interesting. :P

    @kevin: Great to see that everyone’s favorite Alternate Opinion Commentator made it to the new website — welcome! ;D

  5. Jordy says:

    @Vikkei
    Yep, I especially liked how they used them in this scene. http://gyazo.com/1b1756c94372f305cf98c68dc1ca4093.png
    Kanba was trying to play it cool, but thanks to them Penguins (see the pic) you could tell that he was boiling inside.

  6. Stuff says:

    I believe this episode allowed natsume to get some closure. What she wanted was to not only save kanba, but the be told that he still cared for and loved her. Him saving her shows this. Tabuki and Yuri were also given some closure. Tabuki realizes that what he wanted was to be told that he was loved, and that he should feel fortunate that he had someone, as some children in the world do not, or something like that.

    @kevin: I genuinely believe you’re what they call tsundere for this series. :) I mean, you claim that youre watching this show for shits and giggles, but for YOU to watch this far sure says something. I mean, if i hated a show as much as you claim to hate this show, i wouldve stopped at around the 3rd episode, yet you seemed compelled enough to continue watching. “I’m only watching this show cause i’ve gotten this far, its not like i enjoy it or anything” SUREEEEE. ;) You wouldnt be watching every single episode if that were the case, you would just wait until it ended. Even if you dislike it in some way and find it absurd, theres something about this show that has you coming back to it every week once it airs. It’s okay if you deny this, because it wont have me thinking otherwise. :)
    You can keep commenting though, i actually enjoy reading them <3

  7. kero says:

    ahhh kevin, wonder which anime he’ll troll after this one is over?

    Only two episodes left or so I hear, so make the most of it!

  8. Julian says:

    …. are you high?

    Do you know that poetry is created through the abstract connection of concrete notions, which thus creates an advanced form of critical and subjective analysis?

    Do you know that canonical literary works, such as 100 years of solitude, win Nobel Prizes because of ambiguity.

    Do you know that you’re a retarded freak who is dipped in a shitton of shit crap and melted with the fiery depths of shit hole hell?

    Now, find an argument to this. That is, if your intellect will allow it. And no, your rant is not freedom of speech, it is hate speech as every argument you have is bases and refutable in every possible way :D. Welcome Back cunt.

  9. Snowolf says:

    I loved seeing the Double H girls again. That was a great add to the show because the last time we really got any idea of them was back in episode 9, and it really warmed my heart to know that despite everything (? I’m still not sure what exactly happened) they consider Himari to be a very good friend and they even wore the scarves and loved her and just I have a lot of feelings about friendships. Also even more ironic was Ringo apprehending them for stalking when, er, she’s had quite the history herself. I’m still irritated by how little Ringo is appearing in the episodes as of late, but I guess this makes up for the fact that for the first half of this show, it was all about her and her…..delusions. I was glad to see that she was working with Shouma (who is still whining and it really is starting to get on my nerves- I love this dude but seriously, Ringo needs to whack some sense into him) to find out where Himari was though.

    Then we kind of get a kick in the stomach as we go back to the main plot with bittersweet Himari/Kanba scenes, where Himari literally begs Kanba to stop working with the terrorist PinGroup to the point where she hugs him and runs after him desperately. An interesting pattern I’m seeing is how Himari transforms from someone who waited- sitting in the Child Broiler, waiting for her cure, waiting for her brothers to come back- to someone who is taking up the stand herself, and is now running to get her brother back despite her death coming up soon. I’m really starting to dislike Kanba’s actions (I love him but boy he needs to stop) because all of a sudden, he has become Tabuki in a way that his entire life is validated by Himari’s existence just because of some bandage transfer and he quite lierally, denies her of her feelings. I’m not sure if Himari’s emotions at this point are stemming from deep hearted concern for her brother, or actual love. Kanba has truly become the Knight who has fallen from his pedestal, only to rise in the darkness, and now Himari, who represents all that is pure and kind, is trying to wheedle him out of that track before it’s too late. While this most certainly feels like the typical fairy tale story, it is completely swapped- instead of the Knight trying to save the Princess, it is the other way around. That said, Ikuhara has shown us throughout this show that nothing is really quite what it seems, as demonstrated with Himari entering some kind of state of mind/metaphysical area where she enters the past. She prays to God- the most interesting aspect of this entire episode- and exchanges her life on that fateful day back in Episode 1 so that Kanba can live a normal life. Which is funny, because if anything, Kanba has no life without Himari, as he’s been saying over and over for the entire show.

    However, it does interest me that Ikuhara is finally toying with the idea of a “divine” figure of sorts; we’ve always had the theory that both Sanetoshi and Momoka are on a level that could be paralleled with God, as they both have the ability to visualize fate and transfer it (at a price, with Momoka). The image of Himari witnessing some sort of nirvana or enlightenment is curious because for the entire show, Himari has always placed her faith in her brothers. Once both of them cannot be reached however, she places her fate, literally, in the hands of an unknown being- we could compare this to the story of the Three Lambs back in episode 12 and 13, where the Goddess finally executes divine punishment onto Himari the lamb; and thus, Himari has finally either accepted that she was never meant to exist in the first place (she was always an Unchosen) or that she has finally accepted her punishment and/or role as the Sacrificial Lamb. Now, if this is true, we have come to the point of introducing an alternate timeline where Himari never existed, and while that would be an amazing concept to play around with, we have two more episodes and I don’t think that would fit at all. However, I’ve proposed the idea that rather, Himari had entered a ‘state of mind’; much like the metaphysical place of the Child Broiler which I also feel is a state of mind, and thus is in this area where she wants to desperately give up her life in exchange for Kanba’s. Ikuhara is known for his very twisted endings though- especially the idea of “oh I woke up and it was all a dream~” so I’m not sure here. Either way, I personally believe Himari is very much alive. (They do say the third time is a charm however, and this is the third time they are ~killing~ Himari off)

    The closure that was brought between Yuri and Tabuki was heart aching because finally, Tabuki realizes that revenge will bring nothing; he and Yuri were blessed to be chosen, in a world where children are unwanted, unneeded, unclaimed- they were the Unchosen, and became the Chosen. As said in 20, to live is in itself, a punishment. But through Momoka’s love and spirit, they were given life, only to realize that life itself is sometimes, as worse as being invisible and never having a destiny in the first place. Does this mean they’ve accepted their fate? It’s interesting how Mawaru Penguindrum really toys with the idea of fate and what it means to fight against it or to accept it. Just because we accept fate does not mean that we are weak, as seen with Ringo as she finally detaches from the idea of reclaiming her family. And just because we fight against fate, denying the impossible, does not mean that we are strong, as shown with Kanba, who futilely fights to save Himari’s life. Yuri and Tabuki have come at their ends, finally accepting what they were given, and moving on; though the price that came with this understanding is extremely steep, as it’s implied that Tabuki is either on the verge of death, or is already dead. (He could be healing though.)
    I feel that everyone in a way, is trying to fight fate but in doing it, are only working with fate. Even more surprising was how Kanba tried to strangle Sanetoshi (this dude is really becoming desperate) when Sanetoshi clearly shows that either he exists on a plane that cannot be physically tangible by any means, or shows powers of divinity, or is really, simply, a ghost. The fact that the Takakura parents appear behind him as they enter the Train makes me feel that Kanba has been hallucinating Sanetoshi, or rather the fact that he is either a concept brought into a somewhat tangible form, or lastly, he, like the penguins, is only visible to the Takakuras and Masako and certain others.
    Masako’s death was the biggest shock though, because honestly, the way she died was extremely similar to how Himari died for Kanba earlier this episode. Both women care deeply for him; Masako is Kanba’s biological sister, who was saved from being brought into the terrorist organization at a young age, while Himari was saved by Kanba through the treatments and such. While both have extremely different personalities, at heart, they are very much alike, and it’s almost haunting to see that Himari, through the idea of fate and destiny, is brought to her death, while Masako, through real cruelty and real guns, is brought to her death. Her speech was quite fitting and brought me to tears; as children, do we really bring our own fate? Both girls made a choice in this episode, but Masako is the one who ties it back to the “curse” of her clan. Can we really escape the bonds of family in the end? Even if those bonds are cursed themselves?

    With only one episode to go for me (I won’t be able to watch the finale until January, as I’ll be on a vacation trip to a place with no internet access, alas!) , I don’t know how things will be wrapped up, but all I can say is that it looks like a serious showdown is about to begin between Kanba and Shouma. I was a little disappointed with this episode revolving around Kanba and little focus on the plot heading toward an actual climax, but I’m grateful at the same time, for fleshing out Masako just at the proper time and giving her a great death that was well deserved.

  10. wendeego says:

    All I have to say about this episode is that I’m now convinced that the soundtrack of Mawaru Penguindrum is just as good as or better than Utena’s.

    I mean, man! Masako’s last stand? That was scored by like two or three major leitmotifs all working together, only to soar into epic orchestral fury silenced by gunshots. Beautiful.

    I am a little worried about how the plot will resolve itself, but there’s been enough evidence interspersed throughout that Ikuhara knows what the hell he’s doing so I guess I’ll sit tight and see what happens.

  11. Hogart says:

    An enjoyable ep, but I’m underwhelmed. I suspect I should have been far more moved by what happened in this ep, but I was too distracted by how shallow the characters are turning out. I enjoy literary archetypes quite a bit, mind you, but for some reason MPD is still feeling simultaneously straightforward and impregnable. Still pretty damn good, but too much work for the payoffs so far. I do have hope they’ll pull off something wild in the last couple of eps.

    • manlyflower says:

      You know, I agree with your point, but I think it’s really important though that they are a little shallower than real people. Just take Tabuki’s final quote, about everyone needing someone to tell them they were loved. I mean this hits a core tenet of the show and I think it’s good that a lot of characters are built around that idea. But yeah….

      Amazing episode. Honestly, I like this better than Utena. I can’t explain it but it just feels more coherent and better executed than it. I am loving this anime. My only concern is them wrapping it up well, so good luck.

  12. vi says:

    you should really ban kevin from commenting. that kid is beyond fucking stupid and contributes absolutely nothing.
    ive been reading your blog entries for a long time and always enjoy reading the comments in between episodes – but i do not enjoy reading some half-assed troll and a bunch of naive people who actually respond and take him seriously.

    • psgels psgels says:

      You do know that you’re not acting much better than Kevin right now, right?

      • Perrin4869 says:

        What’s with the hate towards dear old uncle Kevin? :P
        Kevin, come play with us!

      • Tim says:

        Not really. “vi” may be using un-classy language (ala Kevin) but I’ve been thinking similarly for a while now.

        It’s one thing to have difference of opinion, it’s another to allow a troll to bring his venom continually.

        >Hey, Kev-baby. Since you don’t like it here, why don’t you just go away, huh? Find some other place that wants to read your rants.

        >I couldn’t care less what you think of these shows, or me. I just expect civility — which you obviously have never learned.

        >But no, that wouldn’t suit you because you are a TROLL.

        >You LIVE for being nasty and forcing everyone to have you around even when it’s clear that nobody gives a hoot what you have to say. Not because you are right or wrong — but because of the way you are an ASSHAT about it.

        >So beat it. Scram. Get lost.

        >Nobody really wants you around here because you simply have no idea how to “play nice with others” even if you don’t agree with them.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

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In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

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Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

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