Posted by psgels on 19 February 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

And with this, I’ve finally finished this behemoth of a series. Aside from LoGH, this probably is the most critically acclaimed anime out there. And by GOD, I do agree with that consensus.

I already noticed when watching Master Keaton, how much research its author, Naoki Urusawa, puts into his stories and setting. The same influence can be seen in Monster. It’s completely different from Master Keaton, and yet both shows are meticulously well researched: its portrayal of Germany is fantastic, and like Master Keaton: everyone is a professional. This isn’t a series of impulsive plans: everyone all spends a large amount of time preparing and researching. This has two benefits: it’s incredibly believable what these guys do, and it fleshes out whatever they’re investigating brilliantly.

Now, talking about what makes this show so amazing is very difficult without delving into spoilers, so I’ll try to be as vague as possible with this review, as usual. Let me just say that this series has some of the best villains I have ever seen. Perhaps even the best out there. The only thing I’ll say about them is that their character development is just utterly fantastic.

Now, Monster is long. I have found that marathoning these long series, like most recently Hajime no Ippo and Legend of Galactic Heroes, that while they have some amazing parts, there are also parts at which it’s a bit of a chore to sit through with all of the build-up. And here is the thing: with Monster, I did not have that. It immediately starts off with an amazing display of fireworks, and even though it is paced very slowly, every episode delivers an interesting new twist to the story, and every episode had me at the edge of my seat. Even the build-up episodes are fascinating to watch, and in a personal way that really allows you to connect to the characters. It manages to avoid being repetitive by continuing to push its storyline in different directions, and introducing a wide variety of characters. Seriously, even the development of the minor side-characters has its flashes of brilliance.

On top of that, this show also has a stunning direction, use of music and audio. Masayuki Kojima has really shown that he can direct in pretty much any style. And heck, Ryousuke Nakamura (yes, the Mouryou no Hako guy) was actually the assistant director for this. The result shows, with an incredibly solid show that hardly ever shows any bad animation. The animation that’s there feels real and yet very intense when it needs to, and it makes very good use of its camera angles and fluidity. The music is also just perfectly timed.

This show is amazing. I’m very sure that this show is better than anything else that’s going to appear this year. Did it become my favorite series? Well, it’s certainly amazing, but near the end of its run it does lose a little steam, and the ending itself was excellent, yet left me hungry for more answers. It’s not like the ending is rushed, but because it wasn’t rushed it couldn’t answer as much as I had hoped to. Still, a spot in my top 20 favorite anime has most definitely been conquered.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Brilliant atmosphere and pacing.
Characters: 10/10 – Deep and diverse characters, both main and side. Fantastic development.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Perhaps not over the top or anything, but the animation is very refined and very realist, plus the soundtrack is terrific.
Setting: 10/10 – Again, meticulously researched. A very realistic and believable portrayal of Germany.

Suggestions:
Gankutsuou
Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette
Mushishi

46 Responses

  1. Guigas says:

    Yes, yes, yes. I knew you’d love this masterful anime. LoGH, Monster ,Mushishi and Berserk composes the best animes I had the pleasure to watch in my life so far.

    Urasawa Naoki = Living genius. Too bad you don’t read mangas Psgels. His other most famous work, 20th Century Boys is also utterly brilliant and it shares the same exceptional writing present at Monster.

  2. Myna says:

    Will you be posting an updated list of your favorites soon?

  3. SixFlags says:

    Great to see a post of this old masterpiece!

    By the way, I live in Germany and I wouldn’t wonder at all if Mr. Urasawa actually had lived in Germany for a some time in his life.

    Also I can only recommend to read his other manga works.

    And as a huge fan of his mangas, I can say that this anime is an incredibly good adaption of his manga.

  4. ChobitsChi says:

    Now it’s official:
    Monster was the last contender for possibly surpassing Mahou Shoujotai as your favorite series.

    Now I can say for sure that there won’t EVER be an anime out there that you consider to be better than the one you view as the best.
    But at least it came close…and my prediction of you rating it lower than 90 was falsified. (Thank Goodness!)

  5. sato says:

    Finally! Glad you liked it :)
    BTW, it’s funny how you don’t show either of the 2 main protagonists in your screenshots.

  6. astrocurrent says:

    Ryousuke Nakamura has left Madhouse and became freelanced last October, along with Mieko Hosoi. Pity, I would very much like to see him directing at least one episode of Chihayafuru.

    • miguel says:

      last october? it wasn,t in the spring 2010? he worked in ocult academyin the summer of this year(was a tomohiko ito series)

      But he is also not working in guilty crown now and he is very friend of Araki(even worked as animator with Hosoi in HOTD), maybe he is very centred in his new work.

      He it,s no suposed to be directing a film for this year with his usual staff(i don,t know in what studio)?. but, the last things he did was the videoclip for supercell “perfect day” and the storyboard fo the third episode of supernatural, and theese where at madhouse.

      And Nakamura and Kojima usually work a lot with the NTV so is not strange to think they are going to have more work there in the future.

  7. evolstar says:

    It’s great to hear that Monster made your top 20! I also was unsatisfied with the ending, but otherwise I loved the mystery and the suspense.
    What about Gankutsuou? You also gave that series a 95: will that join your list too?

  8. Koby says:

    I found Monster to be extremely slow and boring and the ending made it feel like I watched 74 episodes with nothing actually happening.

  9. headachebaby says:

    I love this anime…the suspense and horror had me on the edge of my seat too. What I applaud is the realism; the story telling was fantastic. Yes, the end was a cliff hanger and I wanted more of Monster but it’s gotta end somewhere…I was still very satisfied.

    After watching this anime, it gave me the impression of a very good movie.

    This anime was truly scary as it dwells into what made the “monster” and featured other monsters.

    The music was wonderful and enhanced the anime brilliantly. The opening song was freakish and gave me the same vibe as the opening song in “X Files.” I couldn’t watch “X Files” when it aired on US television due to that freakish opening song. Monster’s ending song was not scary but the way it complimented the ending credits made it super freakish. I was actually afraid to listen and watch the whole ending credits when I started the anime.

    This is truly an awesome anime and there will not be one like it at all. I would definitely buy this anime if I could find a complete box set.

    More of Urasawa Naoki’s work should be adapted into anime…I’ll definitely watch them.

  10. gan says:

    Finally you managed to finish one of the masterpieces of anime/manga out there!! Yup,like all others out there,I’m a big fan of Monster and loved it.
    By the way psgels,if you wanna know more answers,there is a sequel to Monster called “Another Monster”. Too bad it’s not an anime or manga,but a novel.
    I havent read it myself.
    If you enjoyed Monster,I really recommend 20th Century Boys.It’s as mindblowing as Monster.

  11. dango says:

    Told you he would rate it above 90, It’s definitely a under appreciated masterpiece that was worth watching.

  12. DmonHiro says:

    While I don’t really like this anime, it is the animated version of the old proverb: No good deed goes unpunished.

  13. tktym says:

    yeah monster was pretty awesome, especially the villain. . .wow, the last thing he did at the end just made me go “oh shi*$# and made me think for a LONG time”

  14. zewho says:

    Koby, of course, it felt like none of it had to happen (i.e. it felt like there was no point and so on) that’s why the show is so damn sad.

    I’m one of the few here who loved the ending to “Monster,” I guess. This show is definitely my number one favorite anime of all time.

    You know what, I have completed this show nearly a year ago, and it feels like almost every day since (well, okay, not every day), I have tried to put more of the mystery together, and I am still not finished! Yeah, I am very obsessed with it. (*Cough* this is in no small part because I have mental illness running in my own family.)

    *spoilers from here on out*

    Okay, I am simply going to draw conclusions about the whole show based on the final episode alone so here goes (have fun reading this). The 74th episode finally showed us the twins’ mother and she still does not trust people (which I cannot blame her but wow, unbelievable! And she’s felt this way for how long!?) She still has the precisely same grudge she has had years before, so what’s new? What’s truly changed inside of her?

    In my opinion, her children would have balanced her mind much better if she had been able to find them and then if she *actually* showed them she needed them (easier said than done). You know, if she had done this, it perhaps would’ve helped fix things to an even greater degree than telling Tenma her children’s names. Don’t you think its utterly ironic Tenma is the one who actually goes to the twins and tells them their names?

    Something does not quite sit right with me when she tells Tenma that she actually forgot her childrens’ names she was planning to give them (I feel this is such a bizarre way to put it)! Was this why she could not tell the twins apart!?

    You could write a whole new story based on how bizarre she was–its like writing something down and forgetting who you wrote it for or like getting a present and giving it to the wrong person! What a freaking mental conundruum she created in her own head there, and it makes her sound weird and stupid. Plus the freaky thing is you have to wonder did she subconsciously forget their names just to exact revenge on Bonaparta? If so, that makes her an even more dubious character!

    The ending was “unsatisfying” because she was a rather unfortunately dreary and “unsatisfying” individual to be watch, in my opinion. She deserves that little jab because after 73 episodes of honing in on the twins’ mysterious past, all I see is how barren in the head she seems to be.

    It’s no mystery every mentally ill person in “Monster” was a very sullen person and terrible to be around because of the unintentional (yes, unintentional) way they oppressed others around them with their backward ways of thinking (heck, Johan hardly even had to push). The whole show was practically a study in these variations of thinking, and what may happen if you approach everything in life with this kind of screwed up mental process. The twins’ mother has a special kind of loony just like Johan’s; she’s almost transcendent, she cannot be wrong, and she cannot lose.

    Johan must have felt his mother’s delusion eating away inside of him all the time. This delusion was maybe the only thing that helped him to screw up his own perception of his relation with his sister–he received the message that it was OKAY to mix things like identity around, since they were going to be constructed into a hive mind with no hope, no individual voice, or individual acknowledgment, anyway.

    He was strongly imprinted upon by the things he saw, felt, heard, imagined, and the things he read. He felt strongly that his sister would be imprinted upon as well; however, his sister got amnesia and somehow forgot a good chunk of her past and ended up doing so much better than he. Wow, such sweet and bitter irony!

    I can draw an even further conclusion whether accurate or not that he likely grew up thinking he was a freak and this was who he truly was inside…*sigh* He never seriously addressed this habit of his called murder once his whole entire life because it’s like he thought it would be more amusing not to until it was way too late.

    Oh then you finally see their mother finally remember their names at the very end of it all…because…she…forgot UGH!

    All this happened, because all of the things that the twins deserved from their mother they did not get until 74 episodes and 10-20 years too late, and the person who needed it the most was the boy who was forced to dress as a girl. The boy was left in a coma and might have died tragically soon after. This kind of stuff is so heart breaking it makes me ridiculously sad and want to cry!

    Granted, their mother was being controlled as a part of the eugenics experiment as well, but still it’s not okay to literally “throw” her head away in front of her children.

    In my opinion, monsters do not actually exist as they are figments of the imagination, but the closest thing they resemble that does exist has definitely got to be insanity.

    The worst thing of all is that Tenma never had to be thrown into the middle of any of this, and to think he almost sacrificed his life and or morals for no reason!

    By no means, does this mean the show had a weak pay off for me, though. I feel that leaving us feeling like we still do not know Johan is desirable, but hey, different strokes for different folks, you know.

    The last 5 minutes of the show was truly wtf. I cannot explain how it happened, but I’m sure there could be a rational explanation for Tenma’s brief hallucination (I would guess the enormity of discovering Johan’s true name probably somehow triggered it)–no supernatural or asspull tricks involved what so ever.

    Okay yeah, well, I’ll stop rambling now, and I’m just glad psgels liked it!

    • Guigas says:

      You’re not the only one who loved the ending, dude :)
      I love it as well, it’s probably my favorite open ending of all time.

      BTW, spot on for your comment. Very interesting.

    • Koby says:

      No I didn’t say it felt like none of that had to happen. I said nothing actually happened in the whole show. The entire plot was doctor decides to let some top-class guy die to save a kid. Kid turns out to be a murderer and destroys doctors life, doctor spends 70 episodes trying to hunt down said kid, finally finds him only to be unable to do anything about the kid, and we’re back at step one as if nothing ever happened.

      There was no mystery, no suspense, no drama. The characters had no emotion, it just felt flat and emotionless and I found myself having to force myself to finish the show because there was absolutely nothing worth watching it for. Even the characters were unlikable and extremely stupid.

      There are much better series than this within the same genre.

      • Lairan says:

        @Koby
        Hahaha, great joke dude, I’m laughing my ass off here.
        Next time you rewatch Monster, make sure you understand the show, right?

        “There are much better series than this within the same genre.”

        Do you mind telling me what are these series? Please do not troll me saying “Death Note” or even mentioning the master trolling fail anime called “Code Geass” (and I even like DN).

        • Koby says:

          Code Geass was nothing but a mess.

          Lairan, stop being rude simply because you enjoy something I don’t. I know this saying is cliched and old but:

          Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has them.

          Just most people like you prefer to flaunt their ass a bit much.

          There is no reason why one shouldn’t be able to express their opinion simply because it doesn’t agree with yours.

          As for superior series imo, for starters Higurashi and DtB.

          • Left says:

            It’s all a matter of taste. If Koby didn’t like Monster, then he didn’t like it. Honestly, I prefer Pluto to Monster, but plenty of people lambast it for being the worst of Urasawa’s big three. Sure, it can be over-sentimental and the character development in Monster is more fascinating (like Eva–she was amazing), but the themes touched a deeper cord in me.

          • Anca says:

            DtB barely had any mystery, and Higurashi… you can’t compare Monster and Higurashi. You just can’t. They’re on completely different levels.

          • zewho says:

            Koby, what are you talking about nothing happened? Johan got shot twice in the head!!! Johan did 99.9999% likely die at the end, so no, we’re not back at step one. He didn’t just walk out of the hospital and go, “I’m free to kill more people, whee!”

            Anyway, this is kind of random coming out of left field, but am I the only one who thinks that Christopher Walken’s performance as Max Zorin in James Bond “A View to a Kill” feel like he could almost pass as Johan’s incarnation?

            Just read the first couple of paragraphs of Max Zorin’s background, and maybe you might agree with me?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Zorin

          • Lairan says:

            @Koby

            Don’t get me wrong, you are free to say whatever you want. I’m not saying you have to like Monster, i’m perfectly fine with the fact that you don’t like this show. I only think that your opinion about the show is way too simplistic and narrow-minded to take it seriously. For example:

            “There was no mystery, no suspense, no drama. The characters had no emotion”

            “Even the characters were unlikable and extremely stupid”

            This anime is 99% mystery/suspense and there is no mystery at all? And the characters are as human as animes can get (except the villian), so I’m not feeling the “emotionless” thing. I guess that’s because the anime isn’t filled with overacting moments commonly present at animes. The cast here is much more subtle at their acting, and it is miles away from being stupip as you state.

            “I said nothing actually happened in the whole show.”

            Yeah, right… and what about the psychological aspect of the show? Monster asks lots of interesting points of human psyche.

            As for DtB, there’s almost no mystery at all. And the mystery present is unresloved: where did their powers come from and why? The anime gives us some poor explanation to answer that :hell’s gate appears and contractors gain powers because of that, pfff. It comes off as some cheap plot device to excuse the random powers that the contractors have.

            The mystery present at Higurashi isn’t bad, but those charaters…

          • AidanAK47 says:

            “Higurashi… you can’t compare Monster and Higurashi. You just can’t. They’re on completely different levels.”

            That’s right. Monster could never possibly reach Higurashi’s level. In terms of mystery Monster doesn’t stand a chance.

          • Hunter-Wolf says:

            *facepalm* Sigh … this creates some interesting mystery … why the heck did you even watch the show to the end if it had no mystery, no suspense, no drama !!!!!? wow .. you’re a masochist or something XD

            And yeah .. everyone has opinions .. but some opinions are more valid than others (and more worthy of listening to) because they are backed by logic and valid reasons .. yours simply isn’t at all.

            Mosnter was probably too good for you XD

          • Koby says:

            @Hunter-Wolf, you’re opinions aren’t worth listening to.

          • psgels psgels says:

            For god’s sake people. It’s great that you like or dislike this show, but can’t you accept that people experienced the show in a different way?

          • Anon says:

            Koby is certainly entitled to his opinion, but I do have to wonder if we watched the same show. To each his own, I guess.

        • Anca says:

          Aidan: that’s so not what I meant *facepalm*

          • zewho says:

            Sure, fine, people don’t like “Monster” I generally have no problem respecting that.

            Heck, it’s funny we have such opposite views on “Monster”! If you think about it, this compliments the show so well!

            I believe it’s likely that one of Naoki Urasawa’s moral reasons for writing “Monster” was to make a clear validation that most if not all individuals deep down struggle with the flaws and imperfections in their own personalities and limitations. In general, people try to form things whether concrete or not concrete that we ideally hope will be valued or make a small difference in life in ways we would not expect (since we don’t have 100% control of our influences on others or control of other influences on us). However, the downside is that our ethics will clash if we react and behave poorly whenever we disagree at points. It is improbable and highly difficult to make people see what you or I see, and it is a lifelong challenge for writers to share their perspectives with others in a friendly and tasteful manner. It is important that we the intelligent creatures known as humans must not forget how to behave civilized (even when writing our own opinions on forums or review sites). Otherwise, we may not behave too unlike the “uncivilized” people we do not wish to become, and according to “Monster” it goes like this (civilized vs uncivilized=moral vs immoral=equality vs inequality and so on.)

          • zewho says:

            Oh, btw, it’s easy for me to say why DtB and Higurashi don’t work for me…

            Anything that relies more heavily on realism is bound to strike a chord with me than a story that relies heavily on supernatural, magic, mecha, or any other fantastical plot devices. I’ve always been more fascinated by stories that feel like they could actually happen. This is just me, and it is my preference when it comes to other anime, books, and movies even.

  15. zewho says:

    Dang, I forgot to add one more thing the way Naoki Urasawa draws expressions and even the eyes are freaking awesome. Ever since I watched this show, I became somewhat of an anime art and animation elitist because I really dislike the big boring same old same old eyes that most characters in anime have.

  16. Gintoki says:

    Now if only they’d animate Pluto…

  17. AidanAK47 says:

    I have one flaw I can point out about this show. It’s not something that’s enjoyable to rewatch. I read the manga before I checked out the anime and to this day I have yet to finish it. I find that with Naoki Urasawa stories. Strangely it’s incredibly easy to put them aside while reading them and completely forget about them.
    The fact is that he depends a lot on the twists and turns to interest you but if you already know what they are then the show isn’t as exciting.

    • AidanAK47 says:

      “I read the manga before I checked out the anime and to this day I have yet to finish it.”

      I mean I have yet to finish the anime of monster but I have finished the manga.

    • Rosenritter says:

      That’s a Your Mileage May Vary thing since I’ve seen all of Monster 3 times (with several episodes up to 7 times) and have read through (and own) the manga once. I was incredibly engaged each time, seeing little things I’d missed or just reliving the emotions again.

      It’s my absolute favorite anime/manga of all time and has been since 2004, so I think it’s there to stay.

  18. Taz says:

    now i’d love to watch 20th century boys made into this kind of anime series, not the lousy feature length movie (with real humans! ugh!) like what came up a few years ago.

  19. Snowolf says:

    I’ve heard many great things about this show, but I’ve always been daunted by how long it is. I guess your review was the final straw- as I’ve just finished Gankutsuou, I’ll be sure to definitely try this out soon psgels! Thanks for reviewing.

  20. Piotrus says:

    Does it mean you will be posting a review of Legend of Galactic Heroes at some point? :)

  21. SJ says:

    I read the manga (hooray for my library having the full series of THAT), and the only thing stopping me from seeing the anime is that I know everything that will happen, and that I wouldn’t be able to progress through the story at my own pace. Holding the manga makes you live the definition of a page-turner, and you can tell that Naoki Urasawa plans and paces his story by the PAGE. I keep telling my outsider friends that if they’ll read manga never again, just read Monster.

  22. Commenter says:

    I never got to finish this series. I tried to continue watching it, but eventually I got stuck in another story on the side with relatively little importance. While our titular monster was a great villain, I feel that the overall cast just couldn’t hold my interest. This was probably confounded by how slow the story actually progresses and how predictable it is.

    I’m not suprised that it got as high a score as it did, since it’s widely critically acclaimed, but lets be prudent and say that this show just is not everyone’s cup of tea. To be honest, this show would have been a lot better if it had less episodes. A more concise show with much more to each episode, kinda like mouryou no hako, or like the vision of escaflowne(which was originally intended to be 36+ episodes).

  23. BurnsyCEO says:

    This anime is quite boring most of the time.They should have made it shorter and focused on tenma and johan.Not the side characters who I didn’t give a shit about.Except maybe Eva and nina.The story keeps adding unnecessary characters.The pace of this show is insanely slow.It is JUST interesting enough for me too keep watching.But I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

  24. Another commenter says:

    I agree with what you (the reviewer) said about the characters. What makes Monster appealing are the side characters that contribute to the overarching narrative. They also help to flesh out the various nuances in the personality of the protagonist, Dr. Tenma. The side characters form a cohesive grid for the main characters to move about. No wonder that the manga’s addendum “Another Monster” focused on the characters other than the main protagonist.

    On its theme, Monster toys around the various shades of morality and it handles the ambiguity extremely well. It takes the usual moral dilemma found in other works within the genre and twists them 720 degrees.

    This is one of those shows that stick to your mind long after you’ve finished watching. No nonsense, no annoying weaboo elements, just a realist psychological thriller set in Germany and Czech Republic, exploring the human psyche and the value of life. What a journey!

  25. Excellent post. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

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In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

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Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

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