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
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
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