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..

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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
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Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 11 [We Are]

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