Posted by psgels on 2 January 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

Okay, I know. I’ve been keeping up with this blog for quite a few years now. And only now was the first time I witnessed a work of the living genius Naoki Urusawa. I figured that before watching Monster, I’d check out another adaptation of his: Master Keaton. It consists out of a television-series and a 15-episode sequel OVA (this review covers just the former, a review of the latter will come up soon). And here is the thing: out of all of Naoki Urusawa’s works, you hear the most raves about Monster, 20th Century Boys and Pluto. Master Keaton is completely overshadowed by them. I cannot imagine how good these series could be when they overshadow a brilliant series like this.

These past 24 episodes told me enough: whoever wrote this did a ton of background research. This is a completely episodic series about a guy named Taishou Keaton. This guy is a former member of the SAS, studied archeology and works as an insurance advisor. And at all of these, he is very knowledgeable. This anime convinced me that he indeed is.

Professionalism is a big theme of quite a few of the episodes in this series. The thing with writing very smart people is that they’re much harder to write than stupid people. This anime manages to perfectly portray how much knowledge Keaton has about his area of interests, and the action related episodes turn into really good battles of wit because of this, because most of the people that Keaton goes up against are visible professionals too. Once in a while this show also takes detours into other fields of study, for example in a very excellent episode about wine-making. Those too succeed in portraying craftsmen.

The episodes of Master Keaton can be divided into two broad categories: thrillers and heartwarming stories. The thrillers rock because the abovementioned professionalism, not to mention the wide variety of people that Keaton faces as an insurance investigator who sometimes gets to play for detective. The heartwarming stories also really succeed in what they set out to do due to very good characterization, and playful storytelling that toys nicely with all sorts of twists.

The beauty of Master Keaton is that every single story is just one episode long, and yet every episode is interesting and delivers. I did not see one weak moment, and a lot of the people that Keaton meets feel very much like real people. My one criticism is that there are too many “generic thugs” tropes walking around in this series, although it does subvert a few of those when you don’t expect it.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Intelligent, well paced, especially considering how this show consistently is able to tell interesting stories that are just 20 minutes long.
Characters: 8/10 – Keaton is very well acted and portrayed as a genius, the people he meets feel real, although the set-up leaves little room for actual character-development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The animation is nothing special, although the character designs are very good and the soundtrack is nice as well.
Setting: 10/10 – Very well researched and very authentic. Top-notch in how it describes various European cities, and all sorts of fields.

Suggestions:
Mushishi
Mouryou no Hako
Darker than Black

19 Responses

  1. Juno says:

    Yup. You are going to love Urusawa-sensei. This is exactly what he’s good at. I might say, though, that it is only overseas that this series isn’t as well-known as his other series–likely because of publishing and distributing on the part of the ones marketing/advertising the series.
    When I was in Japan, I heard about as much of this as I did of 20th-Century Boys and I heard even less of Monster and Pluto (I didn’t read them until I got back to America). I only wish I could give you a reason that it wasn’t marketed well here… It’s just as good as his other series. Probably not enough “action” for this side of the world, though… that’s just my assumption. =P

  2. joojoobees says:

    I’m glad you reminded me of this series. I am one of the first to complain about there not being enough adults playing real roles in anime, and how great it is when we get to see people doing the work of professions (other than cop, spy, and giant robot pilot). So why haven’t I finished this series? I started it some time in the past, and experienced some sort of computer disaster (I don’t even remember which one any more). One thing led to another, and I forgot all about this show. Definitely something to go on my “things to do in 2012” list!

  3. CJ says:

    Glad you like Master Keaton! The OVA is basically more of the same, of course when it’s this good is that really a problem? I know it says “OVA”, but it seems more like a “Back by popular demand, here are more Keaton eps!”
    Sadly for me, the manga will likely never come over here due to some legal disputes between Urasawa and Katsushika, I’m just happy I got the anime for cheap before disc 5 became like, $50+ to obtain. Geneon didn’t even distinguish between the TV and OVA, there really isn’t any point in doing so. But being a big manga person, this is kinda a letdown for me, you just know 18 volumes resulted in more than 38 stories.

  4. Keira says:

    Yes, the point is, Naoki Urosawa is an expert in building very realistic characters and doing insane amount of background research. You would sure to love it, it’s visible in his other work as well.

  5. gan says:

    I was thinking of looking up to Master Keaton now that I have finished 20th Century Boys,this review was quite helpful ^_^
    If you’re seeing Monster next,I have to keep my fingers crossed about your review.Monster is excellent without doubt,but one flaw which I found about Urasawa’s works is that they drag out really long.I realized this after I read 20th C.B. The thriller/suspense is excellent at first but then you get used to it.However it is still very well done.
    Since Master Keaton is an episodic series,I feel each story still remains fresh.
    Well let’s wait for your other review ;)

  6. Chiarissimo says:

    You should know : Naoki Urasawa has only done the art for the Master Keaton manga, and contributed very little to the storyline, despite what he may have said (I don’t see why he would have shut up about him being the scenarist of his manga…)

    The big problem with Naoki Urasawa is that he is way too politically correct, this can be seen in his Pluto manga, in which he completely misses the point about what Osamu Tezuka really intended to do with his work, and his Billy Bat series, which is most probably the blandest and most odourless thing he has created.

    His 20th Century Boys manga is amazing in its first 12 volumes or so, and then it turns into an utter mess. He gets lost in his own tracks and hints, he pulls bullshit after bullshit plot developments out of his ass and it concludes in the most mundane and corny way imaginable.

    Really his only real consistently good work is Monster, which has to be one of the best anime and manga out there. A lot people also complained about the ending, which I thought was satisfying enough and its lack of impact is more than justified by the sober nature of the series.

    Anyways, just so you know. There’s some seriously overrated crap in the manganime industry, such as the Gundam franchise and Naoki Urasawa.

    • gurdlo says:

      T thought 20th Century Boys was fantastic, but it did have some rather ridiculous plot-twists. As for Pluto, he missed the point of Tezuka’s work, but that shouldn’t matter at all to someone who hasn’t read it, forgoing it’s ties to it’s source material, it’s stil a solid read.

  7. ojisan says:

    I actually came at Master Keaton from the other end – as a fan of Yawara. Yawara has a lot of charm and a lot of repetitious tournament-style tropes. You can see him get the hang of the ‘professionalism’ thing, write himself into and out of corners, and learn his chops. Chiarissimo may be right about how much (or little) he contributed to Master Keaton, yet I see a lot of Yawara in Master Keaton beside the odd character designs, so I think there’s a lot of Urasawa in there too.

    I still consider Master Keaton to be a guilty pleasure – it’s wonderful, but a bit too squeaky-clean somehow. I like it best when, as in Monster, he shows how political history shapes personal destiny.

  8. someloser says:

    great! from the sound of it, you’re really going to enjoy monster if you find yourself pleased with this already. sad thing is it seems monster is the only series that is out in anime form, while pluto and 20th century can only be read. (though there is a live action of 20th i think…) good news though is that monster follows exactly with the original manga, almost image by image, so almost nothing is altered, totally worth the 74 episodes.

  9. Guigas says:

    I watched/read all Urasawa works and i still think Monster is the best of them all followed by 20th CB. Yup, Urasawa is a genius, my favorite mangaka right now, and considering I already read tons of mangas, that means something.

    “These past 24 episodes told me enough: whoever wrote this did a ton of background research”
    No doubts you’ll love Monster. It is highly realistic and detailed, with even more background research than Master Keaton. You can see the building of the towns matching reality, the distinct culinary of each region of Germany, etc.

    • Chiarissimo says:

      And every Turkish man with the same face and mustache… :P

      • Guigas says:

        Hahaha, that’s also true :D

        In fact the character design of all Urasawa works are too much alike.
        Dr. Tenma(Monster) has the same appearance of Mr. Keaton (Master Keaton), and Epsilon (Pluto) has the same appearance of Johan (Monster). I guess Urasawa is lazy when it comes about thinking about new character desings :P

    • Animeguilol says:

      “with even more background research than Master Keaton.”
      You should read the manga of Keaton before saying that.

  10. K.K. says:

    Monster was fantastic, I can’t wait to see your review of it. It’s too bad that it was so long though, since it puts off a lot of people from watching it, but I still try to recommend it to any anime fan that will listen.

  11. zewho says:

    Chiarissimo, you may think Naoki Urasawa is overrated, but when I think of how great his villains are, from my perspective, I can’t help but disagree with you.

    Johan is my favorite even though he is inspired by one of Osamu Tezuka’s characters from “MW” or so I’ve been told. It is figuring out what Johan’s true mentality, feelings, consideration, and perception of others might be that he hides so well that makes this show such a great mental challenge to think about.

    The mood, suspense, and atmosphere in “Monster” is so thick you can cut it with a knife. (I kind of think of it as an Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allen Poe, or almost an “Adams Family” kind of morbidity that’s lurking in it). So, if dark or depressing isn’t desired by the viewer, avoid “Monster” because at points I thought it was even more depressing than a majority of anime I’ve seen, including “Bokura no.”

    “Monster” is not really to be taken as lightly as “Master Keaton” just as a forewarning, Psgels. Seriously, it should come with a warning sign that says “WARNING this show is a whopping 74 episode slithering beast.” Wait, nevermind, the very first episode does start off with a very creepy passage. I feel this is what makes Naoki Urasawa almost like a mad genius to so many people. There’s a parody fan art that I could post that would sum everything up very nicely. It’s the one where Johan has sprouted Kyuubey’s ears.

  12. Chiarissimo says:

    Go reread what I’ve said.
    Monster is indeed great, and I agree with everything you just said about it and then some; I’m talking about the rest of what he’s done, which is really pretentious in terms of its real quality compared to its ambition and self-sufficiency. I’m not afraid to say that the last 10 volumes of 20th Century Boys (and all of 21st) is a steaming pile of shit; I wouldn’t go as far with Pluto and Billy Bat because they don’t deserve to be called that, considering how inexistant they are.

    • zewho says:

      I definitely read what you said. I’ve read a lot of what critics have said, too, and they can make some very good points. But pardon me if I’m being way too hopeful. I simply want there to be a 95+/100 score on this site, and I seriously believe “Monster” could be it. I’m not 100% positive that it will reach that score, but I’m fairly positive. I will simply shut up and wait and see. I don’t really care if you think “20th Century Boys” deserves a 10/100 score, either.

      As for whether that manga is a masterpiece worthy of being toted as the number one manga of all time I don’t know. I believe you and others have the right to be very skeptical of that claim. I still feel, however, that Urasawa is not overrated in many aspects i.e., his villains are really awesome.

      As for the whole politically correct issue, I wish I could comment on that criticism, but I’m not sure I can yet. I suspect that such a thing may not bother me very much in the same way Tenma’s pacifism did not bother me. I could be wrong, who knows? I’m definitely not not a sharp professional critic here.

    • Guigas says:

      @ Chiarissimo

      I only agree that the ending of 20th CB (last volume) and all of 21st are disappointing. I wouldn’t go as far as you did and say that the last 10 volumes are bullshit… but hey, everybody has it’s own opinion, I guess you have your reasons for thinking like that and I respect that.

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KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its down to an idea have about vloggers/youtubers, that the videos will be full of unfunny quips and unrestrained fanboyism due to the guy doing the video can't keep himself in check.
Lenlo
Digibro isnt worth listening to imo
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never even really pursued listening to digibro. Although I probably should listen to eyepatchwolf apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should say the anime youtubers I've actually watched pertain to: Gigguk, one video by blackanimecritic, a few countdowns by Mistychronoxia and Animeman . I think I've watched maybe two of glass reflections reviews.
Anonymous2781300
I don't know, r/anime probably is also not the best sources; Youtube and Reddit are just the places I generally go to for large-scale anime discussion
Anonymous2781300
Oh my previous comment didn't post; basically I was saying that Anitube isn't super representative of audience popularity, at least as a whole, but it might offer some insight to at least a portion of it.
Anonymous2781300
*audience you're looking at: there's the Japanese audience and Western audience, but I feel like there's also like, another half of the world that most be people don't consider.
Anonymous2781300
It kind of depends which audience you
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't even watch gigguks videos anymore.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never really cared enough to overexplore any of those anime youtube critics for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If someone keeps talking about something, eventually it'll sometimes work out and get through, then I'll at least have to see some of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched it because you kept saying not enough people were watching it.
AidanAK47
@Masky, cause Mothers basement did a video on it? Well hopefully it gets it some attention. Don't really like MB though. I mean "Gurren Meets Earthbound"? Jesus Christ.
Masky
Hmm, seems like Planet With is slowly getting more attention to it
Lenlo
I know im Shonen trash, but Hero Aca continues to be fantastic.
Animosh
You know, one person ends up broken through no fault of her own, and then ends up hurting herself and/or others to protect the only happiness she knows. And so the cycle continues.
Animosh
I thought Shio's backstory was really sad too. But yeah, although the show (and many of its characters) can be silly a lot of the time, there's a beating heart behind all of the craziness. Its main characters all have believable - if misguided - motivations, and the show portrays the cyclical nature of trauma very well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I think the scene with satou breaking down near episodes end were the standout. I often laugh at this show for its overthetopness, then makes me feel like a jerk by pulling something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Escaflowne ended too soon and abruptly. I haven't seen rayearth but I have read the manga, so I don't know if the anime original content is as good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've noticed that the voice acting tends to be worse in reverse harems then regular harems.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Regarding otome, one of the worst cases though had to be hakuouki though, just a bag of complete wasted potential.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I didn't dislike Red river, I have the unpopular opinion of preferring Basara because I found the central relationship more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Yes that was babylonia no shishi.
Amagi
I wish we could get isekai like Rayearth, Now and Then or Escaflown again.
Amagi
Sadly these series usually fail elsewhere, with the typical problems shoujo and otome series tend to have
Amagi
@SuperMario: strangely enough this is somewhat typical for shoujo whereas generic isekai can't get off that fake-rpg spleen. There is also a shoujo in which feMC gets transported into some old turkish setting and one with babylonia (think the latter was done by that mangaka that also did Cantarella).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres also a shoujo manga called babylonia no shishi.
SuperMario
maybe it's one of the earliest example of isekai if you don't regard isekai setting as strictly fantasy world.
SuperMario
" Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan." -> actually they did just that. One of the old classic shoujo, Crest of the Royal Family, is about a girl transported into Egyptian royal family. https://myanimelist.net/manga/5284/Ouke_no_Monshou?q=Crest of the Royal Family
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the success is, if a series can distract you and still make you feel something, even if there should have been more to the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Beyond Arthur and Dino, who always came off to me as "the bad guys to be defeated", I think I might have been so into Ash that I didn't really pay as much attention to his character development as you and Mario did.
Animosh
Happy Sugar Life was pretty intense again. It's not subtle, but it's certainly effective. For me, anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*gamer
You could see that he probably enjoyed online games and knew his stuff, wheras it seemed in sword art the writer felt liking he was shitting on everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not much of a game and I know it was a fantasy show, but I guess log horizon is isekai, but in that one from what I saw, I thought the writer seemed to be making more of an effort.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But given how lazy isekai tends toward, while yes a scifi world would be a nice change up, the inherent genre laziness would probably holdback on properly building that world.
Anonymous2771364
Why Isekai are limited to the fantasy worlds? What about one with a creative retro futuristic setting (like Jetsons, John Carter or Flash Gordon). Maybe a western setting. Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan. Anything at this point will be genius if done right.
Anonymous2771364
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Didn't watch Gate but it wasn't kind of like that? Adapting an alien fantasy world to the real world?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a total tangent. Imagine an isekai that dealt with immigration issues ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Ash says a line in the manga at some point that he stopped counting the amount of times he was raped.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose I minor issue I have, is that Yut-lungs design feels somewhat out of place.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could say that there's fujoshi baiting in some of Ash/Eijis interactions, perhaps even n the recent episode. Very obvious, but I'm not complaining ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually glad that the series restrains from being too graphic regarding Goldzine's pedophilia actually , it could have been worse.
Animosh
Its previous attempts at character development (Ash's ridiculously tragic past, Golzine's pedophilia, Arthur's desire to get back at Ash) were a hit and miss at best, and often just had the effect of making the characters more black and white rather than more complex. But I don't know what was skipped, so who knows, maybe it would have made the characters better!
Animosh
And more generally, although most characters are a lot of fun to watch, they're not very deep. Ash and Eiji are both very tropish, and the villains aren't particularly interesting either (with the exception of Yut Lung, though he's rather clichéd too of course). So I'm not sure seeing them interact more would work in the show's favor.
Animosh
@Kaiser: thanks for the explanation! Not sure if I'd want to see more dialogue though personally. I like the Ash/Eiji moments and all, but they can also be a bit ... cheesy? Now I feel like there's a good balance between the various plot threads, but more emphasis on their blossoming love/friendship could easily have made it obnoxious for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know most probably didn't care about these, but I really get nostalgic over stuff like Rune soldier, Lodoss war. I also liked Denyuden and wished it had gotten another season. I never finished the utawerumono sequel, but it had nice character interactions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also kind of looking forward to Goblin slayer a bit because its a fantasy that isn't an isekai .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But not so much dicking around that it gets boring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know what I was thinking about there lately, with the saturation of so many isekai, part of me has a longing for a non-isekai fantasy, but some really REALLY cosy thing about a bunch of friends re-uniting/getting together, most of its banter and SOMETIMES they get into story shit.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Angel Eyes as an OVA would be amazing. Its the only part of Banana Fish I have actually read, to avoid spoilers.
Lenlo
@Mario, I think thats just a translation thing. Japanese language is a lot more formal than English so they have to choose. Go for precise translations, or modify it to attempt to fit it better.

As for how they did it, I assume they poisoned his Secretary with the drug. They have Senators and such in on it afterall
Lenlo
If the gang war is done right, I think I will enjoy this next arc. I really liked that last ending scene on the train and if thats how this war is going to play out, lots of subtle street violence to avoid the cops, then I am all for it
Lenlo
Im quite happy with Banana Fish personally. I do think Ash is a bit to proficient at everything, like I think I mentioned in one post how I dont like him being a computer whiz and all that.
SuperMario
Then we have many of half-baked subplots. For example, "to think you'd kill the next presidential candidate". No one talks like that. How did papa Dino plan to do it again? Sometimes I don't feel the clear pasage of time in Banana fish. Like in the prison arc, you'd see Max switch in and out between Ash's cell without much explain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I remember the last time I actually cried.
SuperMario
And have a sensitive side at heart. I love this kid but sometimes the show just reminds me time and again how implausible his character trait, and many actions, are
SuperMario
@anon: I'm not too enthusiasm on Banana Fish as a whole. While I must say I still enjoy the ride every week, the main offender for me is how they glamor Ash so much. This kid has been through some serious shit, again and again, and again, yet he has immerse talent of basically everything (gun skill, acrobatic skill as we saw last episode, elegant enough to tell the wine brand with just sniffing...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like this upcoming arc too much because it felt like just a street thugs vs street thugs thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I hope they do the Angel eyes side story as an ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'll never spoiler this show, but if the final arc is done properly and the anime elevates it, its going to really impact.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will be very very angry if they change the ending to suit/pander modern audiences.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One thing the anime is avoiding is the anti-communist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh by the way, Dino is in with alot of people, including the French foreign legion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Nearly went too close to haphazard exploitation route than cool exploitation route.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Previous episode had some animation/art issues, Abraham and Arthur are a bit cartoony, while the mansion episodes and the one where Ash meets his dad, the drama, while tense and interesting very almost skirted with being overboard.
Anonymous2765784
Hope the trend continues
Anonymous2765784
But seriously just loving the anime; most of my favorite anime are old, but recently some quality stuff has popped up like this, Rakugo, (Mushishi half counts)
Anonymous2765784
Yeah, I think I can tell that it's almost as if we're switching arcs now, so it's going to take a while to build back to that extreme heightened tension of the past few episodes.
Anonymous2765784
Also, what are some criticisms you guys have about Banana Fish anime so far? Just curious to see what other people think. I'm just enjoying the ride, whether it's speeding through a burning mansion or cruising around a 9 million condo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say it a second time round, the bits before this is where the manga peaked for a while, then it took me a few volumes to get back into.
Anonymous2765784
I'm actually also interested on what's left on Banana FIsh's cutting board. As an anime-only, it feels like the pacing can be a bit fast recently, but overall it seems fine. In fact, I felt this episode slowed down a bit as we transition between arcs and giving us a chance to breathe.
Lenlo
And I understand not having words for Steins;Gate 0. I have to write it every week.
Lenlo
Shh, im gonna watch it soon
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually this episode was slow compared to previous ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, for episode 11 of Banana fish, I enjoyed this, specifically I liked seeing Dinoget kind of btfo'd near episodes end. But the highlight for me, is the Eiji/Ash interactions, i like these because they add a human aspect to the show, humanize Ash and flesh out the twos relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a scene in the manga where Ash crossdressed. But honestly what I mean is, the manga felt alot talkier with its dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I don't have words for steins; gate 0 anymore. Too hard to say anything else now, run out of them. =<
Animosh
What kind of stuff does the anime generally leave out? Slice of life scenes? Scenes with minor characters? World-building? Something else?
Animosh
Not sure what was skipped, but as an anime-only I thought it was another good episode. Some sweet character moments, some nice set-up for the conflicts with Arthur and Golzino ... I didn't really feel like anything major was missing.
Lenlo
Ah, did it suffer this week? Shame. Looking forward to watching it though
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think banana fishes sped up pacing is definitely starting to show, but as much as I like the manga, it is the kind of thing that needs to be cutdown for the sake of better flow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall watching Raxephon as a teenager, but it never really went anywhere from what I saw.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bokurano which I enjoyed for its nihilism, had a second half that didn't live up to the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did years years later eventually come round a bit on Evangelion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gasaraki I also remember watching, which was ambitious but flawed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nadesico worked for me, probably because I watched it over 20 years ago and it was a pisstake on the genre.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding mecha, outside of Gundam and one or two mazinger things, I can't say I feel as strongly about other stuff in the genre. No interest in watching darling in the frannx , aldonoah zero, regret watching and enjoying code geass years ago. Never got the appeal of gurren lagann and didn't finish eureka 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And with mizukami satoshi in mind, I've never read spirit circle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to be specific, I don't hate planet with by any means.
Lenlo
As is, atleast something actually happens every episode. The pacing is a bit fast, but it all still feels good
Lenlo
It could. Sadly, the 12 episode cours has sorta killed the non-standard episode count though
SuperMario
Whereas in banana Fish they have to burn through 19 volume for only 24 episodes, and it causes the show moving with no brake. Banana Fish could benefit much better if it has, say, 40 episodes
SuperMario
I agree with Animosh. It's true Planet With crams too many plot threads together but I believe its best format is 1-cour. Or to be more specific the creator makes Planet With with 1-cour in mind and it shows. It's one of the few shows where it could stop at any given episode and we still have a wholly satisfying closure. It's like a pancake on top of the others
Animosh
The visuals and soundtrack are really mediocre though. They're serviceable, but pretty forgettable. A better studio may have been able to turn this script into something great.
Animosh
I also quite like how Mizukami often puts a new spin on some old ideas. The show is filled with tropes, but it somehow still feels quite fresh. I'll never be a big fan of mecha shows, but this is much better than most.
Animosh
As for Planet With, I actually really enjoy its fast pacing. It's kind of similar to Banana Fish with how it manages to do a lot in very little time without making its climaxes feel forced or its characters superficial. And because of its fast pacing there's never a dull moment.
Animosh
@Kaiser: that's understandable, Steins;Gate has been pretty forgettable lately after all. ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the not though
Finally going to catch up with shoujo kageki somtime this week.
Lenlo
So, Steins;Gate wasnt bad this week. It tried. It didn't necessarily work, but it tried and had good ideas. If the setup to it hadnt sucked, this could have really worked
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Benika's flashback and though green haired maid girl was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Show had me half rooting for The sealing faction guys. I think another strength of the show is that, even though it feels too condensed and every episode feels like a resolve, it still stays understandable and keeps manages to keep coming out with more.
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Featured Posts

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Planet With – 10/11[Karellen and Rashaverak/Azrabarakura]

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Well, no surprises here. Chio-chan flips back to its usual self. Chio-chan has always been a minimalist-set show, with mundane set up in which only a handful of characters carry the gag. It rings especially true this week, as Chio’s antic makes up the first half and Manana’s wild imagination drives the second. As per […]

Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish. This week it slows down, gives us some heartwarming character scenes and the beginnings of a gang war. Lets jump in! So, starting off, the general stuff. Overall I enjoyed Banana Fish this week, but we have started to see issues with the breakneck pace it’s had until […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

This week Steins;Gate 0 gave me, most, of what I wanted. It gave us a journey through the future, a Time Leap chain and the return of our favorite mad scientist. However, for all that I love it, its to little to late. Lets jump in! So, where to start. Leaving the big spoilers for […]

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 09 [On the Night of the Star Festival]

The last three episodes when Revue Starlight focuses on Banana’s arc brush off my own reservation for the show. This episode, for me, is almost perfect in its storytelling department. First, it builds up Banana’s conflict and then resolves them in an insightful manner. It puts Karen back again as the main protagonist (and the […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 10 [Shinozuka-san, Sugar Content, and the Press Conference/ Thousand Spring/ Andou and George]

We seem to have a routine of one below-average Chio-chan’s episode, follow up by one above-average as of late. This week is amongst Chio-chan’s better ones as it fleshes out two side characters with great effect. As you might remember, Momo wasn’t that memorable when she first appeared. Her uptight attitude is a nice foil […]

Banana Fish – 10 [Babylon Revisited]

Banana Fish, so consistently good that I am running out of interesting ways to start these posts. This week we have a jailbreak, miscommunication and a blond haired Rambo. Lets jump in! General stuff first, Banana Fish was all go this week. Really, its sorta been that way for awhile, but this episode was explosions […]

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