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)

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
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