Posted on 29 February 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

At first I thought that this would be a season that would at least be exciting. In the end, what stood out about the most is how many series make me go wtf this time. And they just keep increasing. And really: while there aren’t any absolute classics here, it does make this season really fun to watch and keep up with.

#20 (24) – Guilty Crown – (6,25/10) – In its first half, Guilty crown was offensively boring. Right now however, it’s just plain offensively bad. The plot twists it pulls just are consistently pulled out of its ass, and yet at the same time it’s not really going anywhere. It’s not fun; the characters are obnoxious and Shu is still a terrible character who randomly changes every episode, yet remains consistently obnoxious. Please Noitamina, don’t make writing of this level to be the new standard for your new shows. I know it sold well and all, but for god’s sake this should never become the norm!
#19 (new) – Smile Precure – (7/10) – Here is the thing, Smile Precure: I know you’ve got a big audience who will watch you no matter what, but that’s no excuse to just be completely boring at the start. You can be amazing halfway through, but if you don’t give us a reason to keep watching, then that’s all for naught. All I’ve seen so far are a bunch of dull introduction episodes. There are no major side-characters whatsoever other than the Precure, the standard bad guys and that mascot thing. This show is nowhere near as bad as Suite Precure’s opening, but at the same time I also see no hints that it’ll get better later on.
#18 (new) – Black Rock Shooter – (7/10) – Halfway in, and I’m not very impressed by this series. The biggest reason is because of how incredibly forced the drama and angst is. I could have lived with relatively little focus on the Black Rock Shooter world (because really: that one has even less depth), but the angst is way too forced, and just there for the sake to create drama. It’s gotten very annoying now. Mari Okada, you disappoint me.
#17 (17) – Listen Girls, I am Your Father – (7,5/10) – This show is not like Kimi to Boku. That show used it annoyance to somehow become good. Papa however, is annoying, only to become heart-warming afterwards. It’s nowhere as neatly meshed, especially when the girls take a bath for the umpth time. This show is worth it for the small moments that really are heart-warming, but the rest of the airtime tends to be rather boring.
#16 (15) – Ano Natsu de Matteru – (7,75/10) – Ano Natsu got dominated this month with that cliche-filled beach arc. Sure, the characters developed a bit, but it was all predictable and the fanservice was pointless and obnoxious, not to mention that the annoying harem subplot also didn’t really steer this show into a good direction. I will have to say though that I am at least glad that this show is heading somewhere.
#15 (11) – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam – (7,75/10) – I’m very iffy about Last Exile at the moment: it’s not like Fam is badly developed or anything, and I want to like her, but most of the time she just doesn’t belong in this series. Overall the “war is bad themes” of this series are starting to get a bit boring, and the world building isn’t really bringing anything new to the table at this point. I really fear whether this show would be able to deliver a solid climax.
#14 (19) – Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – (8/10) – This show is a hit and miss comedy: it’s cringe-worthy when a joke falls flat, but it’s also hilarious and very creative when it actually works. The ration at the moment seems to hang steady around 50:50, and at the very least I admire it for this creativity here. It’s not the best comedy of the season, though.
#13 (14) – Inu X Boku SS – (8/10) – Inu X Boku is nothing special, especially for David Production’s standards. And yet, it’s consistently able to put a smile on my face. Even though the characters are simplistic, they are also heart-warming in a way. It’s a bit shallow, but very charming.
#12 (7) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8/10) – Out of the three big mecha/sci-fi shows this season, Rinne no Lagrange is the only one who dulled in a bit this month. This is mostly due to time spent on building up, but the fact remains that lately it hasn’t been as sharp as it used to, though it did offer solid character building. Now all that’s left is to use it.
#11 (18) – Nisemonogatari – (8,25/10)

I actually really liked this month for Nisemonogatari. Fially the plot was about something meaningful other than mostly fanservice, and the animation really is gorgeous as well. I also really liked the way in which the Karen arc ended. And then there was the toothbrush scene. Just… wtf.

#10 (10) – Mirai Nikki – (8,25/10)

It’s about bloody time, but the character development has finally kicked in. And indeed: this show has become a lot more entertaining compared to the first half. In particular Yukiteru has become much more interesting to watch now. It’s nothing deep and it’s still full of plotholes and bad twists and all, but it’s just so over the top entertainment that at this point, I don’t mind.

#9 (13) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,25/10)

I love this show. In only five minutes it consistently tells fun little stories about the entire cast, and really brings them alive. The creative jokes just keep coming, but on top of that: it also fleshes out who the characters are in a really fun way by showing a very good look at their everyday lives. half of the jokes don’t even involve Poyopoyo but instead are about how they live their lives.

#8 (8) – Aquarion Evol – (8,25/10)

The romantic comedy really is not a genre that I’m often into, and I find the vast majority of these series to be dull and trite. Aquarion Evol is a major exception though. It just has this energy, on top of its just bizarre context and sexual undertones. This month has continued to explore the “males versus females”-themes and it did so with some solid character-building arcs that made the collective cast very enjoyable to watch. The music still is completely awesome, and the graphics still look incredibly flashy.

#7 (9) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,25/10)

This really is the stand-out series in terms of characters feeling real. In this series, there are hardly any stereotypes, and the acting is very believable, and this only solidified more this month. It’s clear that Tatsuo Sato is behind the helm of this series, because it really takes its time to let everything play out. Because of that it’s not the most exciting series yet, but in terms of character and world building it really is excellent. This month also put a lot of focus on politics and really took its audience seriously when it discussed everything involved in being a pirate.

#6 (6) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,5/10)

This month featured the conclusion of the Hunter Exam arc. As usual there were things that I liked and things that I liked a little less when comparing it to the 1999 series, but the things I liked are getting better and better. I am disappointed that this adaptation didn’t spend the same amount of care to Gon’s final fight (an episode that I considered in the 1999 version to be absolutely fantastic), and the cast of side characters is noticeably weaker and less interesting, but the character development on the main cast is still really, really good.

#5 (12) – Another – (8,5/10)

What really makes Another stand out as a horror series is how down to earth the characters are. The acting here is top-notch, and because of that the contrast with the brutal gore really stands out. This show has some very interesting build-up and the atmosphere is still excellent. \

#4 (5) – Phi Brain – (8,5/10)

Phi Brain has yet again just gotten better and better this month. I’m really surprised at how engaging this show has gotten, but the character development just continues to push the characters forward. I just have to wonder: how on earth are the creator planning to top this for the second season?

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

This month had both the most and least entertaining episode of the second season, so it’s a bit hard to judge. When at its stride though, it was absolutely hilarious and without a doubt the biggest WTF of the entire season (and with this season, that has to say something). In particular the train episode was just glorious.

#2 (2) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,75/10)

Not as strong as the previous month, but this series still stands on top of the season with its well thought out stories about youkai. The fourth season is really dedicated to develop everyone around Natsume, and it’s doing a great job at that. My one complaint is that some parts (like Nyanko-sensei) are getting a bit repetitive.

#1 (3) – Chihayafuru – (8,75/10)

This series has been as solid as ever. Where it lacks in varietyk it more than makes up in character development, giving every major character enough time to play out, and it always finds something meaningful for every character in every episode. Now that’s good writing, especially considering how it’s been doing that throughout the entire series now.

Posted on 28 February 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

With this, Chihaya finally learned the lesson that she needed to learn: there’s more to Karuta than just timing. The thing is to also feel the flow of the cards. Humans are only human, and therefore they only have a fixed amount of time it takes them to react. The challenge for Chihaya was to 1) time her movements better and 2) use her trademark speed with that. After all the previous episodes, it was very interesting for her to run into a player who played the same way she did, with a focus on speed.

Also, these people here are harsh: talking down to this nine-year-old girl for not being as good as the second-best karuta-player in the country when she loses one match. It’s interesting how you usually see these child stars being pushed too much by their parents, but this is a nice subversion of that, in the way that her mother is putting so much effort into letting her daughter play Karuta to get her to cope with bullies.

Overall, I must praise this series for piquing my interest in Karuta. It’s not like when I watched Hikaru no Go and Shion no Ou, which made me immediately want to play the game, but that’s probably also because of how incredibly steep the learning curve is at the start: you can play Shougi and Go as a complete beginner and still do something with it; it’s as you start to think about it more you realize how incredibly complex these games are. It’s impossible for a beginner at Karuta to even play: for that you first need to spend a lot of time memorizing cards. After that, it’s not going to be a matter of depth, but rather combining strategy, speed, memorization and timing together. It’s much more a physical sport.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 February 2012 with categories: Another

Thank god this wasn’t just another copy-paste beach episode. This episode felt unique, which just shows that beach episodes are usually terrible in how often they just boil down to the same thing. This episode didn’t bother with suggestive camera angles, and didn’t make a whole spectacle of “what will they be wearing?”, but rather showed the characters as they were. My only complaint here is that twintail girl suddenly turning abusive tsundere. Where did that come from?

Because of this I enjoyed this episode for its variety. With so much death around the corner it’s good to have episodes where the scenery is completely different. That’s something I miss in a lot of anime nowadays: they often feel rather monotone. Another obviously is too, but this episode definitely helped there.

I also loved the use of red herrings i this episode. There first was that truck, the cast catching a puffer fish and suggesting to actually cook it, and then there was that swimming scene. It got a bit surreal when that motor boat appeared right from out of nowhere. With this it’s clear that the ghost has some magic Deus ex Machina powers that can bend all common sense.

This is just a detail, but it does make me wonder: to their trip (which by the way actually had a purpose), the cast came in two cars. One of them was driven by Reiko, but the other one? We hardly see any shots of this random old man, as if the camera tries its best to ignore him. Also, when they arrive, Misaki Mei was already at the beach. Why didn’t she just come with them? It’s a bit weird to not have introduction scenes like that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

And we’re into another two-part arc for this series. This one is focused on Hiiragi and Natori, with a few hints that Matoba is involved as well.

The focus on this episode was about Natori actually having to seal away a god, rather than a youkai as he gets a very strange request to do all this within one day. I think this was the first time in which we’ve seen him uncomfortable.

Natsume in the meantime is of pretending to be the opposite of said god, and with this he seems to ignore one thing that I find rather strange: his smell. In the past he has been very often sniffed out as a human when he tried to dress up. I find it weird that he still doesn’t seem to have learned after all that.

Also, someone mentioned it in the comments last week, but with this episode it again caught my attention: the creators are having trouble to separate Natsume and Nyanko. In this episode Nyanko wanders off and something happens to Natsume. After that Nyanko accidentally gets touched by one of Natori’s exorcist-thingies, and afterwards something again happens to Natsume. As much as I like this series, it is starting to get a little repetitive this way.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 February 2012 with categories: Aquarion Evol

With this, Mix and Andy (Andy W. Hole; seriously?) have gotten their episode as well. Because yes, this series has decided that the two of them are going to be a couple. We already knew that Andy’s power was to create holes. Now, it turns out that Mix’s power is to fill them. Truly a match made in heavens.

In any case, this episode was as fun as the rest of the show. The romantic tensions between Mix and Andy in particular were just hilarious. All of the bizarrely epic ways which the creators found to symbolize holes were also hilarious. Yes, of course donuts are like the galaxy we live in. Makes perfect sense!And why is that headmaster still upholding the “no romance”-rule?

In any case, the series progression has been pretty solid so far. The cast here is fairly large, so it’s only natural that we get a string of episodes about the different cast. There are only a few left: that fangirl still needs one, Mikono’s brother is still left and the nun will also probably get one. It’s basic build-up, but it’s tried and true for a reason: it works and this this makes sure to create an engaging cast. The most important thing right now is that while it’s doing this build-up, it’s really fun to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mirai Nikki

When that cop suddenly started to propose to Ninth, I was a bit baffled. I mean, can you possibly find an even worse timing for that? It was obvious that he had a crush on Ninth, but the sheer randomness of actually proposing was a bit too much here. And then the rest of this episode aired, and I understood. Of course: in fiction, proposing to someone in the middle of a story is the equivalent of signing your own death sentence. It’s not really a plot-hole this time, but more like a really bad twist.

The cheese is what sets Mirai Nikki apart from Guilty Crown though: Mirai Nikki knows full well that it’s supposed to be over the top, and to its credit: this was exactly that. This was very entertaining, whereas Guilty Crown on top of being full of bad twists and plotholes is also completely stupid, very badly written, poorly built up and has atrocious characters. Here though, I liked Ninth quite a bit, and I have to admit: Yukiteru’s appearance in this episode was excellent.

This really is the Winter of WTF. First we had Milky Holmes, then Aquarion Evol also took the bizarre train, followed by Danshi Koukousei, Nisemonogatari, and really: Mirai Nikki also caught it. I’d also include Guilty Crown, but that unfortunately is in a bad way.

This was what I’ve been hoping this show would be: straight-up entertainment. It’s nothing much more, and it’s a shame that the first half of this series didn’t really impress much, but with episodes like this I’m glad to have continued.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Rinne no Lagrange

A building up episode, which was used to expand a bit upon the background of this series (ad it’s good to have a bit more information on what the Vox actually are), and to introduce the probably final major character of this series: the boss of the whole organization returns. So obviously she’s a a young-looking blond girl.

At the very least she’s proactive and gets things done, but we’ll see what the creators have in store for her and for that bizarre cross-dressing maid for the rest of this series. What also was a major point in this series is that Madoka isn’t going to be a pilot anymore. Now, that’s the kind of twist that really has me wonder why the creators pulled it. It’s not really going to make a point if Madoka just ends up ignoring all this, piloting her Vox anyway.

Overall, the direction that made me praise the first episodes of this shows has weakened a bit for the past few weeks. There were still some points where this episode was rather sharp, like with the maid, or the point where Madoka agreed to not pilot anymore (hence my worries for the next battle), but I don’t know… it lacks that energy that made it so addictive. Is this just a matter of building up (this is a Tatsuo Sato series, after all), or is this Xebec being lazy?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Phi Brain

This episode… was full of flashbacks. And with that, I mean a lot of repeated scenes of previous episodes. At first I thought that this would mean that this would just end up being another build-up episode. And here it ended up being one of the most genuine episodes of this series so far. I actually got a bit teary-eyed near the end of it. Yeah.

Nonoha. She’s at the moment doing exactly what a token female who has no talent should do. Instead of just standing there and be useless, the emotional support that she’s giving Kaitou is just getting better and better. She has no talent in solving puzzles, and even if she had, she would always just remain in Kaitou’s shadow. This way though, they turned into a very engaging couple here.

The side characters too are also just getting better here. I really didn’t expect this series to head this way, but Kaitou losing himself to that bracelet of his turned out to be a wonderful central conflict of this series. Cubic and Ana also finally returned here, and I also the twist that Jin has been reduced to some vegetable state also has a lot of potential, especially for the headmaster.

There were a few weird things going on in this episode, though. First of all there were those weird spy cameras. I do admit: I kept wondering how POG kept getting such accurate footage of Kaitou, but to think that both POG and Cubic came up with these is a bit… random. Also, I do have to wonder why that headmaster was allowed to roam the POG island freely. I mean, I get that he can’t exactly leave, but with Jin on that island as well, it’s like Rook wanted the two of them to meet or something.

Oh, and POG must be very confident if their sole security is based around on solving puzzles. Heck, it’s like asking Kaitou to break in when he finds out about it…
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Black Jack Final, OVA Impressions

In case you haven’t noticed: the final Black Jack OVAs have finally been subbed. Yes, two episodes of 50 minutes, which were the final things that Osamu Dezaki worked on before his death. I’ve been waiting more than a month for these to come out, because even though I sometimes watch raws, there is no way in which I’m going to try that with a series that’s so chock full of medical terms as this one.

And holy crap, this first episode was worth the wait! I was a bit weary at first when the episode immediately started by promising that it would center around Pinoko, but seriously: her background is amazing. This episode seriously gave me a totally different perspective of her. This is much, much more than just another nostalgia remake.

The whole concept of having her be a Zyst who for more than 20 years lived inside this actress’ body, which was afterwards taken out and reassembled by Black Jack. Holy crap, now that’s something else. At this point I thought that I couldn’t be surprised by Osamu Tezuka anymore, but this episode did it.

And yes, this episode was 50 minutes long, and told in the same style as the other OVAs. Because of this we got a long and detailed look at the actress in question and who she is, and what the impact of her illness was on her life. This lead to an amazing ending and I loved the bond between her and Pinoko.

And yes! This really still has Osamu Dezaki’s influence all over it. The graphics and especially the multiple drawing son one screen are really typical of his, and I’m really glad that we can see them for one last time. He was by far one of the directors with one of the most unique styles out there. It’s something that I’m missing with a lot of debuting directors nowadays: they seem too afraid to put a bit of their own style in. This really shows that you can very faithfully adapt a story, while putting plenty of your own style in it as well.
OVA Episode Rating: 9/10

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

As the final movie of the Towa no Quon series, it indeed closes off with a nice action-packed finale. The action s very solid, and the animation also is overall the best out of all the six movies so far. Overall I like it much more than the Break Blade movies, which was just a collection of uninspired movies. This movie has personality and the themes to back it up with. On the downside however: it was just too much run of the mill.

And with that I mean that this finale did succeed in creating a satisfying climax, but not really much more. It really is the standard finale against an overpowered bad guy that every other series ends with. In the meantime it did wrap up its storylines, but that too was done in the most obvious way. This series of movies is well laid out because of this, and there is nothing rushed or dragged out. That’s good, but I would have wished that the creators took a bit more risk. But then again: this was made to commemorate the death of Umanosuke Ida, so the creators probably focused more on delivering a solid portrayal of his vision.

With the last episode I noted that the villain had become a lot more menacing. And yeah, this was done with this typical ending in mind: he needed more power to actually be a threat, and that was the purpose of Movie 05. In the end though, he’s your typical villain with hardly anything original to him. The big cliff-hanger he ended the fifth movie with? In the end he never really did anything with it and the whole point of that scene was probably the most underdeveloped part of this movie. For the sake of the epic finale, it did focus much less on the themes of the other movies. On the other hand though, the bad guy’s subordinates suddenly got characters and started thinking on their own. That was a surprise.
\

Storytelling: 8/10 – Solid climactic ending. No rush.
Characters: 8/10 – Enjoyable characters throughout the movie, though they remain not very deep.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Best animation overall of the six movies.
Setting: 8/10 – Solid for what the movie is trying to do, however could have tried more in the end.
CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
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