Posted on 31 January 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

It’s a solid season. There are few series that really stand out as amazing, but there really are a lot of solid stories this time, and there’s actually surprisingly little crap. It’s definitely an untypical winter season with a lot of series focused either on summer, or just being completely upbeat contrary to the kinds of series you usually see released at this time of the year.

#31 (new) – Senki Zesshou Symphogear – (4,75/10) – I was very surprised to see how many people actually liked this, so with that I at least tried to give this series a few more episodes just in case I really was wrong. But after four episodes, I can’t take it anymore. The amount of stupidity and fake shock factor here is just way too much. The characters do nothing to make themselves more engaging, the entire cast is just painful to watch. This is one of those shows that feels made by people who want to make something epic, but have no idea what it really takes to actually do that beyond explosions.
#30 (19) – Amagami SS+ – (5/10) – I refuse to spend more time on this crap. Especially now that it also started to introduce completely stupid and pointless drama.
#29 (new) – High School DxD – (5/10) – Want some boobs but don’t want to watch porn? Well, then this show is for you. Otherwise, stay away at all costs!
#28 (new) – The New Prince of Tennis – (5,5/10) – This is just completely stupid. I gave this until the second episode, but that was just too much. Why would you bother to give someone a completely stupid power as having a tennis racquet with only two strings… if you don’t even use this?
#27 (18) – Persona 4 The Animation – (5,75/10) – I give up. I can’t take it anymore, I don’t want to watch this. This show moves way too fast, and yet at the end of the day it doesn’t really accomplish anything. The summer holiday arc in particular stands out: that could actually have been a good story with a good concept behind it, but things moved at such a rate that they were impossible to properly follow unless you’ve played the games. AIC was already one of my least favorite production companies out there, and seeing how they treated what could have been an interesting story doesn’t really make that better.
#26 (new) – Zero no Tsukaima – (6/10) – Thank god that this is the final one. There are just too many bad points about this show that it’s seemingly impossible for it to redeem itself to me at this point.
#25 (new) – Brave10 – (6/10) – I lasted about two and a half episodes for this one. This series is just crap: bishies fighting each other who are way too busy trying to look cool, amongst a female lead who grows exponentially more annoying with every single episode.
#24 (16) – Guilty Crown – (6,75/10) – I realized something this month: the creators are making up this story as they go along, don’t they? I mean, previously this series was just bland. This month however, something changed. What caught my attention above all is how incredibly convenient everything that Shu pulled out of his ass was. Never before were the things he did here hinted at all, and all of them turned out to be exactly what he needed at exactly the right time. I mean, this is even worse than Code Geass:at least that series realized it made no sense and just went to hell with it. This show is actually trying to take itself seriously at the same time. It’s very jarring to see the entire cast suddenly make a 180 degree leap in personality while crap like this goes on at the same time. I mean, Mirai Nikki may have plotholes, but even they aren’t as blatant as the stuff that this series pulls.
#23 (new) – Recorder to Randoseru – (7/10) – I can’t get anything out of this series. It’s just a collection of pointless skits that are all just forced. Once in a while it gets a good joke, but most of them are just badly delivered or just don’t work n the first place. It’s also just too short to just build up for anything, really.
#22 (new) – Kill me Baby – (7,25/10) – I’ve also dropped this series. It’s better than I expected, but in the end it’s just a collection of random gags that fall flat more often than not. Over the course of four episode, there is nothing that really progressed or changed, so I see no point in continuing this thing.
#21 (new) – Area no Kishi – (7,5/10) – The problem with this series is that it’s really inspired by Adachi. Sure, it’s about football techniques while Adachi’s series are more about slice of life, but this month was entirely centered around the big Adachi inspired twist. And sorry, but with that in mind, I just can’t help but compare and realize how bloody melodramatic that was.
#20 (15) – Bakuman – (7,5/10) – It’s getting harder and harder to watch this series. I thought that things were missing, and that the first season could be more exciting. I did not expect the creators to turn this into a bloody soap opera. The drama between the characters is just completely annoying and uninteresting. And the bad twists just keep coming. It’s still interesting to see these characters evolve, but I don’t want to watch 40 more episodes of this thing. Because it’s going to be so goddamn long, this one’s on the verge of being dropped.
#19 (new) – Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – (7,75/10) – Danshi Koukousei is a hit and miss comedy. When it misses, it’s very awkward. When it hits, it’s awesome. There are times when the characters aren’t really sure what personality they’re supposed to have, but the skits that work totally make up for it.
#18 (26) – Nisemonogatari – (7,75/10) – Don’t get me wrong: I really want to like this series. This series has a really good artistic direction. Heck, it’s actually more toned down than Bakemonogatari, and actually focuses on the characters instead of random scenery, eyeballs or blank screens. The story for once isn’t formulaic (or at least so far) and it actually devotes a lot of time to flesh out the characters. But seriously. This show has the most fanserivce of the entire season, and with High School DxD that’s really saying something here! It’s all incredibly pointless and grating. I mean, I understand that there’s functional nude: if nudity fits in this storyline, go ahead and show it. This show though is just showing episodes where characters randomly walk around naked for no particular reason, for the largest amount of their airtime! I mean, why bother giving the characters clothes at all if you’re going this route anyway?
#17 (new) – Listen Girls, I am your Father – (7,75/10) – I think that this one is the surprise of the season. It started off incredibly bad and generic, but there was a surprising amount of heart in the later episodes. Now please don’t turn this into another Astarotte no Omocha, because I like how down to earth this show has been so far. And drop the obvious fanservice, please.
#16 (new) – Thermae Romae – (7,75/10) – The best episode was episode 4. Episode3s 5 and 6 were a bit less interesting,but still it’s a very solid comedy overall. Also, I’m not asking for terrific animation. Heck, I’m just asking for animation on the level of Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki, where things actually do not feel like a bunch of cardboard cutouts sliding across the screen.
#15 (new) – Ano Natsu de Matteru – (7,75/10) – Look, I fully understand why this series gets its praises. The characters are well acted. It’s full of cliches, but everything about this series is well written and delivered. I still consider it a very good series. But the main cast just gets on my nerves too much. The lead character still is too much like the same annoying harem lead, and the romantic cliches in the scenario are just things of which I’ve seen too many to really enjoy at this point.
#14 (new) – Inu X Boku SS – (7,75/10) – This show has the potential to go into really interesting directions. With 3 episodes its themes are already quite engaging, but its big problem is that it’s too one-sided at the moment. This both goes for the drama, and the characters. The rest of the series will need more variety.
#13 (new) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8/10) – This turned out to be a very charming series with only five-minute episodes. It makes great use of its time (all skits re about 30 seconds long; compare that to Recorder to Randoseru which drags on its scenes beyond belief)and every skit has a lot of energy and well done punchlines to remain funny.
#12 (new) – Another – (8/10) – Another doesn’t seem to offer anything new, nor will it end up as one of the better horror series out there. Still, it is one thing: very solid. The dialogue is natural and detailed, outside of a few points here and there where it’s trying a bit too hard, and it already delivered a pretty solid atmosphere so far with some good build-up.
#11 (9) – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam – (8/10) – The big problem with Ginyoku no Fam is, well, Fam. Fifteen episodes in, and it still doesn’t really feel like she belongs in this series. Apart from that though, I still am really drawn into this series. The setting is still rock-solid and the series continues to expand upon it, the action is just amazing and the side characters are also growing more on me.
#10 (13) – Mirai Nikki – (8,25/10)

Mirai Nikki has improved a lot over the past month. It’s gotten more fun to watch, the characters have become more interesting and especially the dynamics between Yukiteru and Yuno improved here. The show still is full of plotholes, but something tells me that the author wasn’t particular on avoiding these things.

#9 (new) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,25/10)

The great thing about the three big sci-fi shows this season is that they’re all completely different, and yet none is inferior to the other. Mouretsu Pirates stands out with its slow execution, really allowing the characters to play themselves out. In the meantime it mixes this with hard sci-fi and interesting theories behind this setting. This series is laid-back, yet very interesting to watch. It’s definitely not what you’d expect based on the title and promo material.

#8 (new) – Aquarion Evol – (8,25/10)

This is another surprisingly fun series to watch. On paper a show that explores males versus females seems very dull, but this show actually made it a very fun series to watch. It also has the biggest production values of the season, and it really leads to a series with gorgeous visuals and music. The direction also is very good here and it’s a very engaging series so far.

#7 (new) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8,25/10)

Rinne no Lagrange has very sharp direction. The chemistry between the characters is quite witty, and it’s also taking care to subtly flesh out the setting it takes place in. It’s got characters who at first sight are annoying cliches, and yet turns out to be completely different. Like the other two big sci-fi shows, it’s consistently fun to watch.

#6 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

As the series goes on more and more, ti also gets better and better. This was pretty much as expected though, because at this time this series still is very nearly the equivalent of just rewatching the first season. There are a few differences here and there, but I still don’t feel like they’re big enough to warrant this complete remake. The big difference between this series and Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood is that Brotherhood just took 15 episodes to get to the new content. At what point can we start to expect this series to reach new material? Episode 40 or something? The good news however is that the series has been a huge success, and Hunter X Hunter has actually managed to conquer a place in the top 10 of TV-ratings. So when we’ll finally get to the point where we’ll get new content, it’s pretty certain that they’ll extend this past the original 45 episodes that were promised. Of course, that brings along other problems of long running shounen, but let’s not worry about that one for now.

#5 (11) – Phi Brain – (8,25/10)

Phi Brain really surprised me in how good it became. Ever since Rook appeared, there hasn’t been a wasted moment, and it delivered some really good character development here, both on the side cast and the main cast. These people actually succeeded in making a show about solving puzzles.

#4 (10) – Tantei Opera Milki Holmes – (8,5/10)

This show is madness! Seriously, this is even crazier than the first season. Every episode so far has been completely hilarious and delivered some of the wtf-like scenarios. The acting and performances are also completely hyperactive and full of energy, and the animation is also really well done. If you’re looking for something with a ton of energy, then look no further. This show thrives on being completely stupid and crazy, and I really like how it’s being delivered so far.

#3 (4) – Chihayafuru – (8,75/10)

Chihayafuru has surpassed itself this month. There was so much emotion put into just this one tournament, and the creators perfectly went into the heads of the lead characters. It was everything that a mid-climax should be. The big question now is: how the heck are they going to finish it?

#2 (2) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (9/10)

This season started with a rock-solid set of episodes. In fact, it’s had the best opening episodes of any season of Natsume so far. Where the third season was all about Natsume’s development, this is more varied, and has a bit of everything here. And somehow, all of them work really well. This show is both heart-warming as tense, and this series is still happily adding all kinds of details to Natsume’s character, as if it’s far from done yet.

#1 (3) – Hyouge Mono – (9/10)

Well, it took a while, but in this month we finally got to see the finale of Hyouge Mono. And it really was worth the wait. The way in which this series decided to close off was really well chosen, and it set a really high standard for the other endings for the rest of the year. We can only hope that they’ll make more series like this.

Posted on 30 January 2012 with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

It’s getting a bit repetitive here, but this yet again was a really heartwarming episode. And as if the third season hadn’t already spent enough time developing Natsume, this episode took a look at yet another different part of his childhood, to the time when he was still passed around from household to household, but when the harsh times from when he was really young were already past.

It’s the point where he doesn’t get bullied anymore, but instead ignored. Because of that he also wasn’t really trying to not involve the people around him as much as he is now,so he caught the attention of one particular girl who started noticing that he wasn’t just randomly actin weird. It’s all told in one wonderful flashback and I really loved how the two didn’t really meet in the end, but rather were reminded of each other due to a random incident. The whole set-up of showing two different perspectives in the two halves of this episode was a very nice touch. The point of this episode I think was to let the people that Natsume met know that he ended up in a kind place.

It’s also interesting how this shows a time in which Natsume was really trying to restrain himself. That one like of his, when the girl asked him if he cut his hair himself. That’s something that the current Natsume would have never said, so it struck me when I heard it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Another

You know, this series reminds me a lot of Ookamikakushi, but well executed. This series pretty much is what I hoped that series to be. And within four episodes, it also has pretty much surpassed Ookamikakushi in every aspect. In particular the cast of characters is a lot better here.

The lead character… he actually doesn’t just passively do nothing, or act stupid like a wimp. He’s actually trying to find out what is going on, while at the same time he’s not the other side of the spectrum of being way too damn impulsive. What mostly sets this one apart is the dialogue, though. You can definitely see that this is coming from something other than a manga adaptation. It actually feels pretty natural here.

Also, I wonder how it must be marathoning this series in one go. It’s probably a completely different experience. The cliff-hangers in this series don’t give me the feeling of “must… know… what… happens next…”, but the shock factor nevertheless works really well. It will be pretty hard to eventually explain (aside from that the ghost wants to make the lead character’s life completely miserable), but I like the direction so far nonetheless.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 29 January 2012 with categories: Mirai Nikki

For a while throughout this episode I thought “this is the Mirai Nikki that people have been looking forward to?” During the second half of the episode however, I understood. That was actually a pretty interesting way to use Yukiteru’s father. The show still is chockful of plotholes, though.

The big ones in this episode: Seventh challenging Yukiteru and Yuno to a fight, when they could just as easily just destroy two cell phones. It makes sense to hold onto them in order to manipulate them… but they never actually do that. Also, this really depends a lot on Yukiteru being both a wimp and an idiot. Right from the start it should be obvious that Yukiteru’s father doesn’t know about the fact that Yukiteru dies when his cell phone gets destroyed. Yukiteru forgets about this just until the moment when it’s too late.

Still, at this point I don’t count the plotholes of Mirai Nikki as flaws anymore. What’s much more important for this series is whether or not it’s entertaining and whether or not the characters get to show themselves off. And with that, Yukiter’s father worked really well here. And strangely enough, the thing I like about him the most is not what he added to Yukiteru, but rather his character himself. His ignorance is totally believable and that made him great to watch for the second half of the episode. Also, I liked Yuno again, mostly through her subtle appearances outside of the action scenes in this episode. It’s unbelievable how close she was to actually killing Yukiteru’s father.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Aquarion Evol

wtf… just wtf.

I have to give it to this series: it’s creative. This episode once again was completely weird, but on a completely different level than the previous episode. Instead this turned into this bizarre romantic comedy. It’s like the previous episode promised, but I did not expect electric bracelets that would go off whenever the wearer had an impure thought. It’s even more surreal that all of this was monitored by the people in charge of the academy.

Because of that, this episode was hilarious. And this comes from a guy who normally finds romantic comedies to be really boring. There was a lot of good chemistry between the characters, but I also really liked how well the serious parts were directed. That robot guy’s past, and the climax of this: that really was some well delivered stuff here. On top of that, the art department of Satelight really got to flex their muscles again in this episode, with some really gorgeous pictures as a result. These guys really know like no other how to draw huge and grand landscapes with a ton of detail in them.

Seriously, comparing this to the first five episodes of Macross Frontier, and Macross Frontier pretty much loses out on every area aside from the animation. The romance in this series feels whimsical and fun, rather than forced and contrived as it did there. The overall storyline is much more interesting and has much more potential (for me, “guy dates two idols while bug aliens attack” is much less interesting than what this show is currently doing, exploring the tensions between males and females while actually sentient aliens are attacking).
strong>Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Rinne no Lagrange

The chemistry between the characters is really good in this series. This was supposed to be just a dull building up episode, but thanks to that chemistry I didn’t mind that at all. These characters are very funny when they’re together, and I’m not just referring to the main characters. The side-cast also is full of characters who are great to watch and who love to make quips towards each other.

One of my biggest fears for this series was the third main character. The last thing that this series needed was another ditzy stupid female. And yet, surprisingly she turned out to be a completely different character, using her traces of ditziness actually to her own advantage. I also like how this series didn’t try to glorify how she was using CPR. It’s been a while since I didn’t see someone freak out and link saving lives to randomly kissing.

Unfortunately, one very annoying cliche slipped by. Two, actually. The first is the lead character suddenly living together with a bunch of cute girls. The main one though was the “waitress scene”. That’s something I’ve seen dozens of times before and it was only saved because of the good characterization.

And again: this episode showed the damages of the last episode being rebuilt, both for the main characters and the aliens. Another thing that this series does well is that the town that this is set in feels alive. This show is very good at putting in small details that flesh out the characters, but it’s doing the same thing with the setting. I like that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: OVA Impressions, Tales of Symphonia

Apologies for the lateness. I thought that this was one of the earlier OVAs.

In any case, with this we’re continuing with the Tales of Symphonia Story again, and this definitely was an interesting episode here. Again it had things that it did better than the game, things that it did worse, and things that are completely different.

The big difference really is that the creators cut out the entire storyline for the second half of the games. Seriously, from what I remember the games had this epic storyline that involved firing this giant mana cannon and an out of control world tree. All of that was cut out here in favor of the characters. An interesting decision here.

This episode was about the half-elves of the story: Genis, Raine and Yggdrassil. This however is one point where previous design decisions come back to bite this series, because from out of nowhere it suddenly introduces the themes of racism that were prevalent through the entire game. So yeah, the creators had to catch up to a lot of building up here in just forty minutes. And speaking of build-up: with all of the hints at Zelos’ betrayal, I thought that he’d get much more airtime in this episode, but he showed up just at the end of this episode. My guess is that the final episode will focus a lot of time on him.

Zelos’ betrayal was really well done by the way. And with this, the creators also neatly avoided the single biggest face-palm of the game (seriously, there were two paths in the games: one where he betrays the party, and one where he doesn’t; the latter reveals that with one heck of a Deus ex Machina). In the game, the small version of Mithos was also acting really weird. I mean, he’s acting really weird here, but there he did the strangest stuff, and nobody really questioned this. Here, his actions make much more sense. This episode was a tad too angsty for my tastes, but they did flesh out this guy pretty neatly and explained why he ended up as the main villain for this series.
OVA Episode Rating: 8.25/10

Posted on with categories: Phi Brain

Holy cucumbers on a stick! Did this series really just pull what I think it did?

I mean: this show here surpassed itself. yet again here. I thought that after the cast got back from their trip to Europe, there’d be some sort of aftermath or something. Not like, the single most important episode of the series so far. This episode explained a lot of stuff about this series. Also, Daimon Kaitou was another test tube kid who was raised for the sole purpose of solving puzzles. Oh, and he turns out to have been adopted.

These are some amazing twists here, and they again show how similar Kaitou is to Rook here, who also was raised with the same thing in mind. The sole difference was probably that Kaitou’s foster parents did really care about him, while Rook was clearly raised by a bunch of sadists. The character development in this show just keeps getting better here.

Now I do have to wonder though: how will the second season be able to top this? The reason this season rocks is because of how well it delves into the pasts of the main characters. With the way things are going though, that will all be solved at the end of the first season. So what can they offer to expand to this?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 January 2012 with categories: Mouretsu Pirates

So, I was ready to sit back and relax while watching the next installment of the quietly paced Mouretsu Pirates. And then they come with this.

This was a very pleasant surprise: the entire episode was just nothing but a long string of dialogue, full of technical terms and concepts that explained what was going on, and what could be done against it. A ghost ship suddenly appeared, and what in particular caught my attention was how thorough the lead character was in trying to find something against it.

I like how you really need to pay attention to follow everything in this episode. This episode actually showed, against all my expectations, that the creators don’t consider their viewers to be idiots. And while at first this episode may seem to have a lot of techno-babble, it does all fit together with the rest of the theories that it has presented so far. I did not expect to get so much hard sci-fi in this series, but it’s a very pleasant surprise nonetheless. And on top of that this episode also delivered some really good characterization on the captain and vice-captain of the yacht club.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

Oh, this episode. It really had me torn about Fam. I’m not certain of this yet, but this episode pushed me much more into believing that this series has the “bad main character”-syndrome.

There was one particular line of hers that really stood out. It was at the beginning of the episode, in which she was crying about the fate of her hometown. I think the line was something like “why? We just want to fly.”

Um, why? Because you’ve been stealing the federation’s ships, obviously. This line really told me that Fam… doesn’t really understand the situation she’s in. She also immediately got cheery after that, acting like everything will be alright, even though a lot of people died here. The rest of the episode thankfully did show that she’s bothered with a lot of things, but she never could accurately describe them, nor find a good solution for this until the salvation came at the end of this episode. That’s the kind of mentality that is good for a side-character, but not a main one who is supposed to drive the storyline forward.She;s still an enjoyable character, but she so doesn’t fit this series. Compare that to Kuniko of Shangri-la: she knew that she was a leader, and she actually kept trying to take responsibility for it.

And the thing with this episode: the rest of the characters were really good here. Milia developed, we know why her sister betrayed her (neat idea to change the federation from the inside) and the dialogue between the different side characters continued to build upon the setting and story here. That all was really well done.

So in the end the problem is a bit with the marketing of this series. Shangri-La unfortunately bombed, so the producers didn’t want to go with an as colourful and strong main cast this time, and instead went for the safe option of having a bunch of cute girls at the center in order to boost the sales. And really: Giselda and Milia are just fine. It’s just Fam whose character just feels out of place here.
Rating: * (Good)

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

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

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