Posted on 31 March 2012 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

The Legend of Korra

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is the legendary chosen one.
Allright already! I give in; I’ll watch the first episode of this Avatar sequel. Normally I don’t cover American animation, but with this there were so many people requesting it. My impression is, that it’s indeed a pretty good series based on this first impression. The animation is really good: it is inspired by anime’s level of detail in its art, yet manages to retain the amount of fluidity that’s typical of American animation. There are some cliches in the cast of characters, like the spunky kid in the middle of a dignified Asian-inspired setting, which is quite common in these types of stories, and Korra herself definitely has her annoying moments. I am intrigued however by the politics in this series, although I have no idea what role the main character will end up playing in this. Everyone keeps talking about how she’s special as the avatar, but most of the problems that are presented in this episode don’t really seem like problems that can be solved by someone who just happens to be able to “bend” multiple elements.
ED: Very fast credits. Good music.
Potential: 80%

Ginga he Kickoff

Short Synopsis: Our lead character wants to found a football team.
Uh so yeah. Don’t ask me why, but we suddenly got treated to the fifth episode of Ginga he Kickoff. As for what happened to the first four… I have no idea. So I just watched the fifth episode of this series, and really, it’s fairly representative of the nature of this series. There were parts I enjoyed. The cast of side-characters is fairly nice. Better than Area no Kishi in any case. It just has one really, really big problem: the main character! Good lord, this kid is horrible. He keeps yelling and whining throughout the entire episode. In this episode he wants a certain person to become the coach of his football team, and do you know how he ends up doing it? By whining and whining and whining until the coach can’t take it anymore. Yes, the parents in the world will be thankful to this series.
OP: Very cheesy J-Pop
ED: Another dull song.
Potential: 10%

Natsuiro Kiseki

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters are a bunch of middle school girls.
Okay. I am intrigues. I’m definitely going to keep watching this series. I’m not going to say why; you just need to watch this episode for yourself. Instead I’m going to talk a bit about this episode in general. Natsuiro Kiseki was a series that I really feared would just become another copy and paste moeblob clone. However, the execution is different from your average series. There is actual tension between the characters, and not in the usual clown-straight man pairing, but it feels much more natural than usual. It still has its problems of being way too angsty. There is in particular a blond girl in this show who needs to lay off the angst, because she kept causing drama that could have been solved by proper communication. Despite that though, this series doesn’t feel random, but the characters are actually talking about something. Some characters are a tad cliched (the deadpan girl in particular), but others are actually pretty inspired (the green-haired girl in this show is actually an interesting variation on the “ditzy girl”-archetype).
OP: Dull J-rock.
ED: Dull J-pop (for those who are new to this blog: yes, I kindof dislike these genres)
Potential: 80%

Posted on with categories: Mouretsu Pirates

Okay, so the princesses are now recurring characters. Yeah, Gruier found it so much fun as a regular student that she decided to stay a while longer on Marika’s school, taking her little sister along with her. It’s a bit forced, but I get what the creators were gong for: they’re princesses, so they should be allowed to be children for a while.

The rest of this episode was a quiet aftermath, mostly dedicated to the everyone passing a year. The captain of the yacht club is gone now, and there are a few new characters introduced. Nothing special, but it did give a good feel of its characters. The downside is that we’re probably going to have to wait a while until things get interesting again. I was hoping that this series would be more like Stellvia, having just one build-up arc at the beginning, but it seems that this is much more arc-based.

My favorite part of this was probably Ririka. She’s a really interesting mother for an anime: she stays in the background, as it’s obviously not her story, but she is not a mother who is there for the sake of having a mother here. In this episode she actually thought to change jobs, in order to find something to do that she really enjoyed. It’s also interesting how Marika addresses her by her first name, rather than the usual “okaa-san” or “mama”.Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Okay, so during the summer season of 2011, I remember how I kept saying that modern anime are too short, and how more series should try to be longer. Well, the past half year showed the other side of that extreme when a large amount of the big flops were… series that went on for longer than 13 episodes: Bakuman dragged, Persona was terribly paced, Guilty Crown was terribly written, Last Exile had a bit of a bad main character syndrome and Squid Girl II was a pointless sequel.

And at the same time, the three best endings of this season… all were from series based on manga that are still on-going. Hmm…

#23 (new) – Hiiro no Kakera – (4,5/10) – Yet again Studio Deen keeps making the same bloody show that is as lazily executed as ever. Yet again we have a really dull bishie show with cardboard cut-outs. And what I really don’t get is why this show has the character designer of Ergo Proxy. I mean, the characters in this series look utterly terrible. What was the need to bring a guy like him around if you’re not going to use him?
#22 (new) – Gakkatsu – (6/10) – A random flash show, thankfully better executed than usual. It still was very dull and gimmicky, though.
#21 (20) – Guilty Crown – (7/10) – I… guess that this month wasn’t the worst month in terms of plot, but it was the month that convinced me what a huge waste of time it was to keep up with this series. I really got nothing out of it, other than bragging rights that I managed to finish such a dull and badly written series. And heck, even the ending was full of the most stupid plot twists. I am not looking forward to Accel World, considering how it shares the same scriptwriter.
#20 (new) – Ozuma – (7,6/10) – Considering Ryousuke Takahashi’s involvement, this was a bit of a disappointment in how sloppy it was, and how annoying the main character is. I like the idea of a sand submarine though, and with that the creators played a nice homage to the likes of Das Boot and other submarine flicks. There is way too much techno-babble, though. You can really see that this is a story from the early 1980s that got adapted almost page to page, without any attempt to give it a modern edge aside from the graphics.
#19 (18) – Black Rock Shooter – (7,75/10) – Thankfully Black Rock Shooter redeemed itself in its second half. Finally there was a bit of a link between the two worlds beyond both having similar characters. Having Mari Okada as the scriptwriter really helped in making everything come together, even though it also lead to perhaps a bit too much sappiness at times. Still, the action was awesome as well and while it’s definitely among the least interesting Noitamina series, it wasn’t the disaster that Guilty Crown turned out to be.
#18 (17) – Papa no Iukoto ni Kikinasai – (7,9/10) – I disliked the open ended nature of this series, because there still is some stuff that really needs to be tackled for the main characters. Still, I can’t deny that it was a very heart-warming month for this series, that really put emphasis the situation that they’re in. This also was the least annoying month for Papa and I’m glad that I kept watching it, despite the very obvious flaws it has.
#17 (19) – Smile Precure – (8/10) – Heartcatch Precure was immediately awesome: right from the start you knew that you were watching something special, so you didn’t have to sit through a string of really boring episodes, just to know whether it was worth it or not. With Smile Precure, this was not the case: the introduction episodes were really boring. I kept watching because of how it wasn’t entirely stupid, unlike Fresh Precure and Suite Precure. The patience was rewarded when this show actually immediately after the introductions got significantly better. The main character is still really annoying, but the characters are actually getting some very good development already.
#16 (15) – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam – (8/10) – Thankfully this series didn’t fall apart with its ending. Everyone thankfully stayed true to his or her character, and that’s what made this ending work. The plan of the final villain still was a bit flimsy, and he definitely should have been better fleshed out, but at least he did close off the series well. The final action scenes were again beautifully rendered, but this wasn’t the amazing comeback that Gonzo hoped for. For that, they needed to put more creativity in the plot and characters, beyond the world building.
#15 (16) – Ano Natsu de Matteru – (8/10) – That final twist with Lemon… urgh. The final episode overall was interesting in how it was completely different from the rest of the series. It worked, but the ending was nowhere near the best of the season, nor the highlights of the series itself. Still, it’s a solid ending.
#14 (11) – Nisemonogatari – (8/10) – The strongest point of this series for me was probably last month. The final arc of this series still was pretty good though, and the time that this show was side-tracked was thankfully rather short compared to Shaft’s other series. The pointless incest wasn’t necessary in the slightest, but the creators got a good story out of the characters when it actually tried to be on topic. The gorgeous animation also helped.
#13 (14) – Danshi Koukousei ni Nichijou – (8,25/10)

The ending was pretty good. The final episode in particular had a lot of sketches that worked really well. Overall the abusive girls parts definitely got annoying and repetitive, but once again this month had a number of great jokes.

#12 (5) – Another – (8,25/10)

Another’s ending was not as good as what I hoped. It put a lot of build-up into it, but the finale was full of strange leaps in logic. Still, the revelation of the ghost was very good, the aftermath was well done, and as a gory horror series, it definitely did its job.

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

Akitarou Daichi for god’s sake: stop doing these small comedy series. Don’t get me wrong, Poyopoyo is awesome and hilarious, but a guy of your caliber deserves to work on an actual ambitious full series. Go and have tea with the people from Noitamina or something, because I really do miss that brilliant serious side of yours.

#10 (10) – Mirai Nikki – (8,25/10)

It took a while to get there, and being spoiled in the process definitely wasn’t fun, but now that we’re getting near the end I have to say that the plot took quite a number of entertaining and intriguing turns. In a way, the second half of this series is everything that Guilty Crown should have been, save perhaps from the production values.

#9 (12) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8,25/10)

Overall this was a very solid midway climax. It actually closed a few things off, while giving a hook for the second season and there was a nice amount of character growth. Overall its first half was probably the weakest of the three sci-fi series of Winter 2012, but still the witty direction also was very enjoyable to watch during its final episodes.

#8 (6) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

The most annoying thing about watching this series is my patience. I mean, with Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, the recap just took 15 episodes. It was a bit annoying, but it was manageable. Hunter X Hunter has been going on for 25 episodes and we’re still nowhere near any new material, and to this point while there are some minute differences. At this point, I do not feel like it’s worth it to watch this series. Sure, there are hints here and there to later on in the series and all, and when we get to them it will probably be awesome. But still: 25 episodes. Still, at the very least this series goes at a faster pace, which really helps during the building up arcs. This month also delivered the background of Killua, which also again was quite good. What I currently like most about it is how it still keeps changing with every episode. It’s not as strong as when the series first started out, but it’s still very much there. That’s exactly what a shounen jump series needs to prevent itself from dragging on horribly.

#7 (8) – Aquarion Evol – (8,25/10)

Aquarion Evol still is consistently enjoyable. It’s over the top romance action, but it combines them all so well that along with the action and the best soundtrack of the season it remains a ton of fun to watch. The past month spent a lot of time on its characters, which also really helps for the second half of this series.

#6 (7) – Mourestu Pirates – (8,4/10)

The conclusion of the Serenity arc was above all very interesting science fiction. Seriously, the promotional material for this series looked very silly, but the creators did deliver some really good ideas, and twelve episodes in they still take their audiences seriously and they don’t just spoon-feed everything on a silver plate. Overall, out of the three big sci-fi series this season, this one turned out to be the most solid.

#5 (4) – Phi Brain – (8,5/10)

The annoying thing about finales that schedule them on April 1st is that I can’t comment on them in these compilation entries. Damn you, high school basketball for delaying that finale one week! Seriously though, everything so far is heading into the direction that we’re going to get a very good midway climax. I still have no clue how on earth the second season will be able to top this, but this is Sato Junichi: he did this before. Seriously, this month has shown some really good twists that fit in perfectly with the story and characters who keep developing. The focus on solving puzzles has gone to the background now: the creators turned them into very creative action-scenes instead, while at the same time the concept of puzzle solving remains the central theme of the series.

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

Bizarre. Just completely bizarre. The finale of the first season took its ending with a lot of grains of salt, but at least it still was a bit comprehensible. The finale of this season, made no complete sense. Oh, it still followed the general conventions of what a finale should be. But the context was just.. completely weird. The intentional cheese was particularly hilarious.

#3 (13) – Inu X Boku SS – (8,6/10)

And so, out of bloody nowhere, Inu X Boku suddenly got 10 times better in its final two episodes. I did not expect that, but the finale of this show was really well written, and everything just came together wonderfully. This show really is weird. There were long strings of episodes where it felt like it could have been so much better… and here the finale comes and delivers with a great character study. It consistently put a smile on my face, and Miketsukami was the first time in a long while where a show actually did justice to a bishie, and actually portrayed one well, rather than making him a walking stereotype. This still is David Production’s worst series, but damn: this made up for a lot here.

#2 (1) – Chihayafuru – (8,75/10)

One of the most difficult parts about compiling this month’s ranking is deciding my favorite series of the season. Usually I have a clear winner: Penguin Drum, Ano Hana and Level E were obviously the best for me in 2011. Here though, I have no idea: my number 1 and 2 are both awesome. Both were by far the best of the past three months, yet lacked that extra oomph to really give them a rating of 90/100. With Chihayafuru, it’s the lost potential of not having a second season. But really,despite such an obvious disadvantage, this series still delivered an amazing ending that managed to push the characters forward. Yes, all of them. Really, the creators should not have bothered with that sequel hook at all. Without that, this really would have topped this montly list.

#1 (2) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,9/10)

This month however, I really have to give the edge to Natsume Yuujin-Chou. Here is the thing with the fourth season: when compared to the other seasons, its middle arc isn’t as good in comparison. The beginning and end however, are the best so far. The arc with which the creators decided to end was just wonderful. It was an arc that we’ve been waiting for ages now, and really: if it turns out that no more sequels of Natsume Yuujinchou will be made, then I’ll be happy with this as an end. The third season already developed Natsume incredibly well. With this, he got even better.

Posted on 30 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

The past winter was a pretty interesting one for comedies; we were treated to no less than three good ones: Milky Holmes, Poyopoyo and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou. Out of those three, I’d say that I found Danshi Koukousei to be the least funny. But heck, it’s still great to see a comedy that manages to bring so much creativity in something as overused as following the lives of a bunch of high school kids.

Every episode pretty much consists out of a collection of pretty short sketches, ranging from one to five minutes in length. In terms of humour, it uses the shotgun shell approach: deliver as many and as different jokes as possible in the hopes that some hit. Because of that, it’s always a bit of a question whether a sketch will work or not, and the ones who don’t work indeed fall flat pretty badly. I’ve got a lot of praise for the ones who do work, though.

As said before, my favorite thing about this series is how creative it can get when it wants to. It loves subverting generic high school cliches, but it also isn’t shy for random slapstick and it also loves to poke fun at Japanese cultural values. The direction and delivery for the jokes is also pretty well done, and in particular Tomokaze Sugita (who also played Gintoki in Gintama) really is on fire as the voice actor of one of the characters. This series also has the same director as the first 100 episodes of Gintama, so it’s no wonder that this guy’s acting talents are used to their full potential. The cast does have a few problems though, most of it has to do that half of the cast can’t decide what kind of character they want to play, and the other half that did decide on this ended up with a cardboard cut-out. Yeah, characterization is not this show’s strongest point.

Probably the weakest sketches are when this series tries to swap gender roles. I’ll leave it in the dark for the sake of spoilers how it exactly does it, but these sketches are too overused: they drag on for too long, they repeat each other too often and they appear too often. The best sketches can’t really be labeled like that. It’s completely random whenever the creators got a brilliant idea, and part of the fun of this series is waiting for those ideas to come. I’d say the ratio between the good and dull sketches is about 50/50. It’s not consistent enough to be a great comedy, but it’ll definitely give you a few good laughs.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very funny and creative when it works.
Characters: 7.5/10 – A few too many cardboard cut-outs. The characters are funny, but have their moments of annoyance.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid sunrise production values.
Setting: 8/10 – Doesn’t get in the way for a comedy.

Suggestions:
Gintama
Hyakko
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

I remember Astarotte no Omocha last year. It was a show that looked like pedo-bait, yet seemed to have something deeper and charming, only to reveal after a few episodes that it turned out to be even worse pedo-bait than what it had originally seemed. I still regret giving that show a second chance, and at the start of this season I really was not keen on doing the same to Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai, a show about a guy who suddenly finds that he’s the father of three cute girls.

Yet, this turned out to be the surprise of the season. I thankfully picked it back up after a lot of people started to recommend it again. And thankfully, this series avoided the Astarotte route and instead it actually tried to tell a very genuine story. It’s not perfect (believe me, it still has a lot of problems), but this series actually delivers quite an interesting look of what it takes to take care of teenaged girls and a toddler, especially when you yourself are only of college age with a measly paying job. It’s quite a heartfelt series, and I definitely did not expect this when I first learned about it.

Even when you ignroe the first impressions though it’s really easy to look past this series. Because it also tries to appeal to the otaku crowd. The result makes this seris a whole lot more annoying than what it should have been. There is a ton of pointless fanservice in this show, and I mean of the worst kind (characters randomly walking into each other changing or bathing. Over and over again…). There also is one particular character: the fat guy. This guy somehow managed to pull it off by being consistently annoying in every single scene he appears in. No exceptions. You’ll get what I mean when you see him.

So yeah, Papa no Iu Koto ni Kikinasai is a slice of life series that at first sight seems really bad annoying, but is very warm and charming on the inside. I wouldn’t recomment it immediately, because there is a lot of fluff in this show, but it’s not a bad watch either if you want to watch something that’s light, yet with substance. My one complaint about the substance is that the ending is a bit flimsy and doesn’t really solve anything. The final episode like, focuses on a problem that pretends to be the climax, yet leaves a bunch of stuff unresolved that really should have been addressed.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Why on earth did this show try to be as annoying as possible?
Characters: 8/10 – Bad moe cliches at first sight, but the development is actually pretty good and heartfelt./td>
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special, nothign that stands out, doesn’t get in the way, although the character designs are pretty bad here…
Setting: 8/10 – An intersting look at parenting. Perhaps not as detailed as with Usagi Drop, but still good in its own way.

Suggestions:
Usagi Drop
Hanamaru Youchien
Kimi to Boku

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

The most difficult review to write thsi season is Inu X Boku. Most shows were fairly straight-forward to evaluate: the likes of Chihayafuru and Natsume were really, really good, Guilty Crown was pretty bad, Black Rock Shooter was pretty decent. Inu X Boku however, is slightly more difficult.

Those who follow this blog probably know already that I’m a big fan of the producers behind this series: David Production. They really spend time into making shows work best, they don’t bind themselves to genre conventions and their stories are always very creative. It’s because of this that Inu X Boku is the worst TV-series they have done so far, because for a large majority of its airtime, it didn’t really seem to be doing that. Instead we got a fairly mellow series about a girl and her bodyguard with a bit of a combination of shounen and shoujo elements, paired with a large and mis-managed cast of side-characters. The plot and characters never seemed to be really trying to do anything, and while it certainly wasn’t bad, if you compare it to the standard that David Production has set before, then it just ends up a bit borign.

And yet, this show has flashes of brilliance. For some inexplicable reason, this series, despite its boring moments, was able to put a smile on my face with nearly every single episode. This show spends a lot of time on the insecurities of its main character, and the way they play out is actually surprisingly heart-warming. Despite having obvious trouble to keep finding enough things for the characters to do in only 12 episodes, there are quite a few really heart-warming characters in this series.

And then the final two episodes arrive and deliver one of the best finales of the entire season out of bloody nowhere. It’s only here where the writing suddenly gets 10 times better, the build-up all comes together, the characters develop brilliantly, and for the first time in years I can say that I found a show that does the bishie genre justice. Seriously, this show closes off amazingly.

These flashes of brilliance can be found throughout the series, but the big problem with the first 10 episodes is that they don’t use this often enough. The cast of side-characters in particular didn’t work out for this series, as there are a bunch of characters who have a lot of potential, yet hardly get any screentime, while there are also a few characters who just have one gimmick and keep using that over and over. The fangirl lady is by far the worst offender of this.

But you know what? Because of these flashes of brilliance, I’m going to give this show a relatively high rating, because it at least HAS them. Seriously, there are not a lot of shows I can say that of. It’s not like this show falls apart in the middle and I really have to say that I enjoyed watching it a lot. If you want to know why I’m a fan of David production though, this is not the series that best shows their talents. Instead, go pick up Level E or the Armed Librarians or something.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Surprisingly heart-warming, it knos when to get creative. Amazing finale.
Characters: 8,5/10 – Loses points on its side characters: some are fun, others are badyl written, others are underutilized. The main cast is surprisingly well developed.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Crisp animation, though nothing special.
Setting: 8/10 – The seetting is far from the main focus of this series. It’s got some nice dieas, and it’s solid, thtough.

Suggestions:
Tactics
Meitantei Loki Ragnarok

Posted on 29 March 2012 with categories: Winter 2012 Kaleidoscope

And so, I’ll end this Winter 2012 Kaleidoscope the same way I started it: with Inu X Boku SS. This really was a series that got on my nerves a lot. Not because it was bad or anything, but because it’s David Production. These are the guys who always try to do something extra. They take their series, and add stuff, try to do something new and really put thought into how to make their series work best. Inu X Boku did not have that. There were flashes in which it was really good. That’s the reason I originally picked it up to blog. And yet it got side-tracked so often. It’s not like it was full of filler, but instead all of the episodes didn’t even seem to be trying to be engaging, and the underdeveloped cast of side-characters also didn’t help either. It really was just this series that was fun and watchable, but really not much more.

And then the final two episodes aired. And what do you know? They were actually quite brilliant. In fact, save from perhaps Natsume and Chihayafuru, they were the best final two episodes out of the entire season. I did not expect that. At all.

I’m not sure what happened. Suddenly the writing got like 10 times better. In two episodes this series actually succeeded in breathing a tiny bit of life into the bishie genre, which has been so overly polluted during the past few years by the likes of Studio Deen, A-1, Production IG, etc. For the first time since… Kuroshitsuji II I think we’ve gotten another romance involving bishies that is actually really good. The main couple totally redeemed themselves for me here. Like it’s nothing, this series suddenly took all of the build-up of the first 10 episodes, and brought it together, and did it creatively. In fact, this creativity is what set this series above Ano Natsu de Matteru for me. They both are flawed, but where Ano Natsu depended on well executed cliches, this series actually delivered some creative twists that I absolutely loved.

The previous episode was already wonderful in outlining Miketsukami’s background and how everything fits together, I expected this episode to be a boring aftermath again, and it sure started out this way, save for some well written very last minute character development on random side-characters that suddenly made them a lot better. The bartender and his kid in particular. The time capsule was fairly standard for an inconclusive ending… and then Ririchou from out of nowhere realized that she got two letters mixed up. This is a common trope, but I can’t think of another anime in a long time that did this as well as this episode.

It came out of nowhere that this happened, since everyone was treating this as a very sentimental moment, and afterwards the creators went really deep into the characters’ minds. Both Ririchou and Miketsukami were forced to deal with their own insecurities, after the entire series has built them up as being so distant and afraid to show their own feelings. It was an amazing conclusion.

So yeah, reviewing this series will be a bit of a problem: I loved these past two episodes. The majority of the rest of the series though… not so much. I need to get my thoughts sorted out on this a bit.

Overall though: I’ll be keeping my eye out on this new director, because he has shown to be able to get good stuff across in his adaptations. He has flashes of brilliance, but at the same time you can see that he lacks experience, due to all of the wasted potential of this series. If I had to give him one advice, it’s this: keep a leash on your side characters. There are a few who really ruined the fun a bit. The worst offender is the fangirl: she only did one thing over and over. Balance that character out more. You also had this great and colourful cast of characters in the staff of the hotel everyone is staying in, but you hardly ever used them. Such a waste of potential! I know this is an adaptation, but it’s still the job of the anime staff to choose what to focus on, what to cut, and what to spend extra attention on. You may have excellent source material, but if that results in an adaptation like Persona 4’s, then it doesn’t really matter.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

Amongst the studios that focus too much on moe, I find JC Staff among the better ones. Sure, they have their bad shows, but you can see that they put more effort into their series, compared to the likes of AIC, Xebec or ARMS and their lazy recycled premises. Ano Natsu de Matteru is a great example of this. Yes, it unfortunately has all the cliches: the main character living together with a hot girl, a childhood crush who is in love with him, him being the bland likable guy, spiced up with the deadpan snarker and the ladies’ man. It’s a very bland romance, but ultimately surprisingly well executed.

The best praise that I can give this series: the romance actually goes somewhere. Yes, in a genre that thrives on indecisive characters and pointless and annoying drama, here for once we have a romance that actually develops naturally. The main characters actually realizes what he wants, and rather than waiting for the final episode to get to some sort of confession, this show deals with that stuff slightly earlier than usual in order to actually give everyone the opportunity to sort out their feelings. The result is a surprisingly good drama.

In the character department this series also demonstrates that you can go an end with cliches when they’re well developed. It unfortunately doesn’t apply to every single character, but half of the cast here is actually pretty interestingly developed. To contrast with unfortunately, there are a number of uninteresting characters that drag this show down a bit. The main character ultimately is too bland to really carry this series. The childhood friend also completely gets caught up in her role as childhood friend, without having much else to offer, and the deadpan snarker also has just one gimmick that gets old fast. There also is this horrid beach arc in the middle that shoehorns two very annoying side-characters into the picture who end up doing nothing other than turn this show into a harem.

With the director of Ano Hana behind this series, Ano Natsu is definitely a step down in comparison. Yeah, it’s probably a bit more realistic due to its slower pacing, but I dislike how this show uses half of its cast as walking plot devices, rather than actual characters, when it on the other hand tries to deliver a somewhat realistic romance. More than anything, this feels like watching a mellow version of the first season of Birdy the Mighty Decode with a lot less emphasis on action and its setting.

Yet, I liked this show, and you can definitely see that a lot of attention went into making it work. The romance that works really works here, and it’s got a healthy amount of character development. The animation is also consistently vibrant, successfully bringing these characters to life.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A romance that actually goes somewhere and that doesn’t drag on. Finally!
Characters: 8,5/10 – Half the cast is bland, but the other half is great and well developed. Does that make them worth watching? Yes, actually.
Production-Values: 8,5/10 – Not the best of this season, but that animation still remains very expressive.
Setting: 7,5/10 – The backstory of this show is nice, but it does have its very flimsy sides that are hard to buy at times.

Suggestions:
Introducing the rating of 81/100 back again (rounded down from 81,25, which would be way too specific). When I scraped this rating I did this because I couldn’t really explain the difference between 81/100 and 80/100. Now I can, though: these are very good series, who have a few highlights here and there that make them enjoyable and worth watching.
Birdy the Mighty Decode
Aoi Hana
Ano Hana

Posted on 28 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Chihayafuru




Most people here will be unfamiliar with the game of Karuta. Its rules are fairly simple: two people sit around a bunch of cards that each contain a half of a poem. Someone on the sidelines starts reading cards that contain the other halves of these poems, and it’s up to the player to get each corresponding card as quickly as possible. At first sight it doesn’t seem like your interesting game that you can make a full series off, unlike games as Go, Shougi or Mahjong. But after 25 episodes of Chihayafuru, I had to change my mind about this. This series really managed to show what makes Karuta a great game.

The execution of this series is simply stunning. When you take a look at the animation, for example, movement is incredibly fluid. Scenes are directed with a lot of force and energy behind them. Every single time a character claims a card, it feels like a ton of energy is devoted to just show how difficult this is. The acting also is really excellent, with just about every character and actor giving off a memorable performance.

What really sets this series apart is the way it handles its characters. Seriously, this episode has a cast of about five main characters. Every single episode manages to add something to these characters. Seriously, from the moment they’re introduced, this series very actively tries to flesh out these characters as much as possible, and every episode feels like we get to know more and more about them. The consistency with which this series does this is almost scary, and even the minor characters are colourful and surprisingly well developed.

What this show also does brilliantly is making the skills in Karuta of each of the characters grow. I mean, most training arcs in anime consist of “character trains for a while, character is stronger”. Chihayafuru goes in-depth to this much more than I at first thought it would. It examines what it takes to get good at Karuta, how the best players out there are playing, and it shows the full train of thought of the characters as they try to get better, and try to find out their weaknesses. I mean, this series closes off with an open-ended cliff-hanger (ongoing manga…), but even here the creators managed to actually make all this focus on training come together wonderfully at the end.

If I had to mention a flaw, then it’s this: the series takes place at a high school and is focused on a club whose members enter a bunch of tournaments. The detail on karuta is amazing, but beyond that this series uses a set-up that has been done so often already. This series is just karuta match after karuta match after karuta match, with very little variety along the way. It really solely relies on the karuta and the characters to spice up its story, and it does so brilliantly, however, it also is a bit of a monotone series because of this.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Amazing direction, wonderful pacing. Needs perhaps a tad more variety in its story, but really brings its story to life. The unfinished ending will leave you wanting more, though.
Characters: 9/10 – Amazing characters who keep getting developed and fleshed out. Every epsode adds something new and interesting about them.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Lots of eye candy, very fluid animation.
Setting: 9/10 – When this series started, I thought Karuta was a bit of a boring game. Right now however, I don’t think that anymore. This show really showed a ton of the different sides of the game.

Suggestions:
Hikaru no Go
Ookiku Furikabutte
Shion no Ou

Posted on 27 March 2012 with categories: Chihayafuru

So it was pretty obvious from the start that Chihayafuru and Natsume Yuujinchou would have the best final episodes of this season. But what about the ending? Ironically the best shows this season are both based on manga that are still on-going. Natsume Yuujin-Chou solved it wonderfully. Chihayafuru’s ending did some things really well, but at the same time, it unfortunately also did what I feared for ever since this show was announced: it made me hungry for more. There is so much potential with that ending… that we’re never going to see animated.

But don’t get me wrong though, I loved this episode. Perhaps it wasn’t as intense as the previous episode, but it really brought this series to a great closure, while pushing the charcters even more forward. And yet again it does that for every single member of the main cast. The King match taught the characters a lot about themselves that flowed so naturally from the rest of the series. This episode emphasized even more how different the playstyles of these people.The creators also brilliantly used Arata at the end. Finally he is thinking in-depth about karuta again, and ironically it was Taichi of all people who he needed to remind to do this as well. Everything fitted together amazingly.

And yet, then the second half came, and that teacher suddenly made the deal that the club will lose their position if they can’t recruit five new members. Five new characters will be joining the Karuta club to add to the current main cast!? Talk about potential here! I mean, fleshing out such a large cast is difficult and all, but this is Chihayafuru: if anyone can do it, it’s these guys. This is by far the series that is in most need of a sequel, out of the entire season.

Overall though, I absolutely love sports series. And yet, I have no interest in sports series whatsoever. In fact, I find myself not looking forward to most sports series, because of their premises. And yet, for some really weird reason, the majority of them is incredibly well executed. And this standard just keeps on going. Sure, we have a Knight in the Area once in a while, and I wasn’t really charmed by Major either, but for those series in return we have such beauties as Chihayafuru, Cross Game, Ookiku Furikabutte, Giant Killing, Touch, Shion no Ou, Hikaru no Go, and that list just goes on and on. Net season will have two new sports series: one shounen jump adaptation and a NHK show about a kid and his football team. These two series are really going to challenge this trend, but heck. I have been pleasantly surprised by so many sports shows already. It’s entirely possible.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I began reading here back in 11/12, but never felt the need to post to much till now. Cant remember how I found it.
Topgavin
Googled "anime reviews" in 2013 and this was the first thing that came up. Didn't post until Kyoukai no Kanata's ending forced me to rant somewhere; that being here.
Kaiser Eoghan
I began visiting the site in 2009, though started posting sometime in 2010/11.
Topgavin
@Mario yenah don't worry, this website it one of my 6 or 7ish tabs that never closes. I'm sure many here are like this, but it'd feel wrong to stop reading a site you've been reading for a long time. I've only been here 3-4ish years myself, but I know there's some who've been here much longer.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sex sells baby.SEX SELLS (not sure if anyone biting it thou)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Putting nude screenshots into the Scum's wish posts I see to pull people into checking it out OwO.
SuperMario
@Topgavin: yeah the question is WHEN they will adapt all of these. Great that you're busy now with uni stuffs (always good to be busy) but make sure to check back in often. I don't want to loose the small number of regular viewers here so to speak :)
Topgavin
And yeah, been doing university stuff so haven't had much time at all to do own time stuff.
Topgavin
@Mario Apparently there's a decent amount of content left in the VN, and since it's the first show by the studio I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a second season. Pretty bad look if you neglect your flagship show
SuperMario
and haven't seen you around that often lately @Topgavin. Been busy this season??
SuperMario
For Tanya, there's either this type of episode that focused on war, action and Tanya being badass; or Tanya working her way up rank and fighting with God. While obviously I enjoy the latter much more, I think this was still a solid episode. My 2 main complaints would be I'd love for things go unexpected for once for Tanya and I don't think we have anything close to conclusion this season.
Topgavin
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy that got shot didn't actually die, and that he gets 'helped' by god to be Tanya's main opponent. Or we just continue like normal and that was just a show of Tanya being Tanya. Either way the show is going strong
Anonymous885442
What if Being X decides to help things along?
Lenlo
So I cant remember, whats the gang bosses relationship to Yakumo? I just cant place him.
Lenlo
If she does become a reasonable opponent, there needs to be some sort of time skip or buildup. Theres no way she goes from a little girl in America to a formidable opponent in afew months. Maybe once Tanya grows up some more? I think the Colonel that got killed though would have been fine had they not killed him off so anti-climatically.
HelghastKillzone
Much like how Sophie became the opposing witch for Izetta last season, although I hope to hell it won't suck as much.
HelghastKillzone
We're at latter stages of Vol. 2 LN for Youjo Senki and I think that there is the potential for Mary Sue to become a formidable opponent. She's the only one with any semblance of a motive for going after Tanya personally. Everyone else is either dead or under Tanya's command.
Lenlo
Agreed. My favorite part of the show was Tanya and her attitude/interactions with people. I know shes a badass, now show me where shes an evil monster worthy of being Gods foe.
AidanAK47
I do agree that Tanya hasn't really interacted with those around her. In that regard the shorts show more of that. I think we need to get into her head more as well. We haven't had much monologue these past two episodes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Deus lo vult. Admitly she's likely going to come into it at a later date but it is important to note that this story wasn't written to be chopped into anime seasons. We got 7 light novels and I hear the web novel has already been completed. My worry is that the majority of this season will be setting up a great conflict. This is going to become a world war after all.
Lenlo
But Aidan, we know nothing about her. Shes in America at the moment, so her getting to the war and becoming any kind of threat is ridiculous. He was much better setup to be an antagonist. He had history with the protagonist after all and was clearly skilled because of his position.

She just has no buildup as a major character that I care about in any way
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Agree on that. It's the drifters thing again, if the enemy doesn't make the main character sweat then there no real tension in the action.
Lenlo
We also dont get many character to character talks as you said. Its mostly just Tanya barking orders and chances for her to show off how smart she is. Aside from being a tad aggressive, nothing she has done has had any consequences, shes and the battalion are in no real danger since not even an unnamed member has died, and she has very few notable faults.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I disagree on that characters inclusion being pointless. I think it's setup for Tanya's antagonist. After all Tanya stole his gun, his gun which was a Christmas present from his Daughter and inscribed with his name. When someone sees that gun, they are gonna want some vengeance.
His daughters name is Mary Sue by the way. If she lives up to the name this will be most entertaining.
Lenlo
There was just very little character progress. Sure, the army and the war advanced, but it was just another battle scene with a named character who I thought was going to be reacurring and important, just get shut down immediatly. He didnt do anything. What was the point of his inclusion?
Anonymous884628
My question is what the end game of this anime is. The structure doesn't make it clear where the story will put a closure. And still there's not that many interactions between Tanya and her peers, the only character interactions that have felt meaningful have been with God.
Anonymous884628
Lenlo - So so. I mean I liked a proper mission that it's easier to see the impact to the enemy, taking a couple of railroads and advancing the infantry into enemy territory. Still on the other hand the character they killed makes his inclusion kinda pointless.
Lenlo
I found this weeks Tanya alittle weak. I was expecting something more after that week break
Anonymous884480
Mirror of Fate and LoS2 felt like they didn't know where to take the story they built on the first game. There's a lack of touch in regards to using Castlevania characters and in short they were a mess. The RE6 of Castlevania. Too big, too unfocused, too shallow.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - LoS 1 is decent. Evidently the developers wanted to make an original game that ended with the Castlevania game placed on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Apparently Lords of shadow ruined the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
That castlevania fighting game got stale quickly and Takeshi Obata's art wasn't suited to the characters.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've seen friends play the 3D ones, I remember some of the later ones including leveling up elements I think but those weren't so good.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - If you have a Wii or Wii U or a PSP, Rondo of Blood is good. In regards to the handhelds I think Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclessia are the best ones. The latter looking similar to what we've seen of Bloodstained.
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite my interest and enjoyment of Castlevania, I haven't played enough of the series as a should have back in the day. I played symphony of the night, legacy of darkness, dracula x, castlevania 4, bloodlines . I know the horrors of castlevania II.
Anonymous884275
At one moment Mighty No.09. Also seemed Megaman in everything but name. Both Yooka Laylee and Bloodstained are developed with a more modest budget than the former games. Also a key aspect is if they'll learn or stumble about the flaws the old games had. (Collecthaton and recycled enemy designs).
AidanAK47
Bloodstained is still about and that's castlevaina in everything but name
AidanAK47
Same on character design. Though I am worried they might pull out some adventure time character style.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's true about Ippo. It didn't really weaken as Ippo has a near perfect shounen formula. The problem is that it just stopped going anywhere. Still very enjoyable but plot progression is dead in the water. No ending aside it is likely the better anime. You can pretty much stop at the first season.
K-Off
I say Castlevania was fucked the moment it turned into a pachinko machine
Anonymous884097
I've heard Hajime no Ippo starts good and weakens the further you go into it. And I know Joe has an ending, I don't know if Ippo does.
Anonymous884097
AidanAK47 - I'm mainly worried about the western character design they'll use. Since it has the range of being like the new DC animated movies, or something like Korgoth of Barbaria. I think the castle is intended to not make sense given all the things it contains. Is more like a portal to another dimension.
AidanAK47
Looking at the poster image for the castlevainas animated series made me realise just how structurally unsound draculas castle is.
AidanAK47
@Mario, if your are starting something that long you might as well go for the better equalvent, Hajime no Ippo.
AidanAK47
That Castlevania animation has me worried. Fair enough if they are going to attempt it but the people working on it has me worried that they will try to turn it into a comedy. Adventure time Castlevania edition would make me very angry indeed.
Vonter
Like with the Rose of Versailles, or Remy (Le Naki Ko). It feels like witnessing the life of the main character. Since it also builds off the path to becoming a boxer. It's also in a way refreshing having a like-hate feeling for the protagonist, since he can be cool as well as being a total jerk.
Lenlo
Its the Hajime no Ippo predecessor and laid the foundation. Its pretty good imo.
Lenlo
Ashita no Joe is like, the original sports anime
SuperMario
wait... (looking at the details), so there're 79 episodes... well, I MIGHT give it a try but the long-run anime scare the hell out of me now
SuperMario
@Vonter: Really? If you like it that much then I'm gonna give it a try too
Vonter
Guys. I don't even recall how I ended watching this anime. But I'm enthralled with Ashita No Joe. Despite looking really really rough, despite having a rather easy to follow story. This anime feels with weight, it feels like reading a novel in best way.
SuperMario
...But I don't plan to watch anymore of it
SuperMario
@Spike: I watched the first 3 episodes of Akiba's Strip and I enjoy the show for its dynamic animation and its goofiness, after all I think Akiba's trip represents well the goods and bads of anime medium
SuperMario
This week has to be one of my personal favorite KonoSuba episode. Everything was hliarious from start to finish. I certainly didn't expect to enjoy Darkness that much. She's freaking amusing.
AidanAK47
Yamishibai really has gone downhill since it's excellent first season. Second season was alright. Third season was ruined by them relying on visual horror drawings that were more silly than scary. Fourth season is being ruined by the way that the stories don't seem to have a punchline. All the endings have been just let downs.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never expected this but, there's going to be an animated adaptation of Castlevania of all things.
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
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Featured Posts

Scum’s Wish – 07 [Lots of Love]

Let see, this week we have a full Moca’s episode. Her role up till now admittedly has been a little insignificant, mostly because her princess, childish persona don’t go to well with the dark themes of love in Scum’s Wish. Thankfully, this episode gives her character justice and yes, she does support the overall theme very […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 07 [The Truth Emerges in the Night Mists]

The plot sure thickens a lot after this episode. Well, last week I mentioned about the possible spoiler of ACCA plot, but the truth turns out that it didn’t really qualified as a spoiler at all. All the hints were there and viewers picked up pretty quickly (or just that I’m a slow picker, yare […]

Little Witch Academia – 07[Orange Submariner]

It’s good to see that the strides Akko made last episode are still in effect as she is not making an honest effort to improve herself. She’s taking lessons from Ursula and paying attention in class but despite this her improvement is minimal. That’s good as I don’t want to see Akko become a top […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 20

Looking over my old review of episode 12, I find that I didn’t really cover the episode decently. I gave a brief summery but I don’t think I really articulated my feelings on the episode as well as I could. I do remember finding it to be a big heel turn when it came to […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 18 [Torrent – Passing Time]

We have a fairly typical 3-gatsu this week, in which its level of quality is what we come to expect now. Its awkward shift in tone and the lack of big thematic plot points are still prominent in this episode, but we also have many heart-warming little moments, occasional touch of visual greatness and the […]

Scum’s Wish – 06 [Welcome to the X-Dimension]

If there is one thing that I really respect about Scum’s Wish, it’s that they commit themselves all the way to that tangled web of broken desires and love, instead of chicken out half-way. As a result this show gets much harder to swallow, but leaves you a big emotional impact. This week in particular […]

Zaregoto Series OVA – 03 [Day 4 (1) Beheading 1]

After nearly two months of patiently waiting (and actually forgetting that this series even existed at all), the third episode is finally out reminding us that Il-chan and Tomoe are still there and it was investigation-heavy that hardly had anytime for characters development. Anyone who is familiar with nisiOisin writing will know that his styles […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 06 [Where Pride and Train Tracks Lead]

Now we’re clear why Lotte looked so worried last week upon hearing Jean was riding a train, turn out that their parents passed away due to train accident when they were young, 13 years ago. The meeting of Jean and Grossular is rather an unexpected exchange, as instead of questioning Grossular if he’s involved to […]

Little Witch Academia – 06[The Fountain of Polaris]

I should start having more faith in Trigger. Just at the point when Akko’s mentality was starting to become a problem, she gets an episode dedicated to fixing that. After gaining shiny rod Akko was under the impression she was something special but now after failing in magic again she is finally acknowledging her shortcomings. […]

Latest Reviews

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]

Fune wo Amu (Fall 2016) Review – 81/100

This series is, in retrospect, a really appropriate title that speaks to the very spirit of noitaminA block: an adult drama slice of life about the making of dictionary that surely don’t try to target the young audiences. Sound as dry as it is, Fune wo Amu’s actually one of the strongest noitaminA show come […]

Your name. (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

As of this writing, Kimi no Na wa, or Your name. has enjoyed a phenomenal commercial and critical success. It becomes the highest grossing film of the year in Japan, and broke many records elsewhere in Thailand, China, America… you name it. Even in the local theatre where I went to, we got a full […]

Occultic;Nine Review – 0/100

I am certain this may seem like an extreme rating for some but the number scale always has been something I only carried over as part of psgels format. But this rating exemplifies my feelings about this show in its entirety. This show is awful, terrible, rage inducing, illogical, nonsensical garbage. Watching this show was […]

Magical Girl Raising Project Review – 65/100

In the success of Madoka there have been plenty who have tried to capitalize on turning the Magical girl genre dark. Few have actually succeeded and while Magical Girl Raising Project doesn’t quite succeed, it is still a much more competent attempt than many others. The story is about a phone app which promises to […]

Yuri!!! on Ice (Fall 2016) Review – 83/100

“Can you hear my heartbeat? Tired of feeling never enough. I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true” That’s exactly what Yuri on Ice offers, a heart-pumping ride to the sport of figure skating. Yuri on Ice’s current success and mainstream breakout is something that no one could have guessed before it aired; but here […]

Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]