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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K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
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