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
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Anonymous1014125
Aidan is providing the data for us.
Lenlo
You do know that for the scientific method, you make a hypothesis and then you run experiments to produce data to prove or disprove said hypothesis. It cant just sit in limbo and then you go "I was right". You have to provide data at some point. At this point, you have yet to provide any data to support what you say.
Sir Robin
You seem to have never heard of the scientific method then Aidan. You don't need proof before you formulate an hypothesis. Fortunately this most recent development of you being wrong supports it.
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