Posted on 30 April 2012 with categories: Phi Brain

You know, the actual goal of the orpheus order isnt’ bad at all. If they can figure out the kinks in the Orpheus bracelet and remove the parts that destroy the wearer’s brains, it could mean a very good way for humanity to evolve, and it’s certainly better than “let’s have humanity evolve by killing everyone.” It’s just that their methods are questionable, having them resort to use involuntary human guinea pigs who can easily die when things go wrong.

Also, this episode broke up the formula that the first episodes tried to set already: Gammon prevented his sister from getting brainwashed. Still, you could say that this all was part of the plans in order to challenge Kaito to a puzzle. This episode pretty much failed for the Orpheus order, because the reason why Kaito nearly became “Phi Brain” was by putting him under constant stress. That’s very hard to do with five of them together like that, supporting each other. Also, this episode revealed all of their names, and they are indeed as weird as the rest of the cast. The main villain of this series is a random card game.

In any case, the bad thing of breaking up this formula is that we didn’t really get to see much more about Gammon’s sister. The most logical solution for this will be that the Orpheus order will find some other way to use her. Can they keep these methods fresh enough for the entire side-cast?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Hyouka

My big issue with Kyoani is their lack of ambition. They’ve got some amazing animators in house. The could bring the most amazing stories to life with that. But no, we need the random antics of high school girls! In particular it’s the series Lucky Star, K-On and Nichijou which all failed to capture my interest. worst of all was Lucky Star, which I actually finished in the hopes of finding out why people were so lyrical about it. I didn’t figure it out. And it was a chore. Hyouka features high school students talking to each other a lot, but finally it’s actually going somewhere. The characters aren’t randomly yapping about the same things over and over: there is progression. That’s what caught my interest for this series, and I want to see where it’s going.

Which brings me to another quirk of Kyoani: taking really long to build up and set up everything. This is a double-edged sword: if all of the build-up gets to the point of annoyance, then it will have failed its purpose. The trick with these kinds of series is to still have something redeemable when building up. For example I rate Kobato higher than Mirai Nikki because Kobato’s first half, even though it was random and often cheesy, still was very genuine and had interesting characters. Mirai Nikki meanwhile was a drag because there were too many characters who just weren’t. Kyoani’s series try to tackle this problem with realism: having characters act realistic and down to earth. It worked well with Air and Clannad, but Haruhi and Kanon suffered from characters trying too hard to be moe, leading to me dropping both before eventually giving them a chance to properly sit them out and appreciate what they were building up for.

Hyouka is looking good. The premise of this series hasn’t come up yet (that whole another-like premise of a student dying 30 years ago), and instead it’s keeping itself busy with random trivial mysteries. The way it goes to solve these is actually quite interesting: the train of thoughts of the character sin particular is interesting to watch, even when things are as silly as wondering why five different students would borrow the same book for five consecutive weeks.

The animation of this series is also very fluid and dynamic, but it’s especially the few scenes of symbolism each episode where the artists can really show off to make this a feast for the eyes.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 29 April 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season is massive! Seriously, do you know when the last time was that I ended up listing 49 or more series during my monthly summaries? October 2006. And back then I didn’t watch raws yet, and I included series from past seasons that hadn’t finished yet, along with a bunch of really old series. This season definitely is something special in terms of all of the series that have come out that are trying something interestingand trying to stand out.

Does that mean that we’ve got one of the best seasons ever? Well, no. There is a lot of mediocrity in this season, not to mention there are too many series of only 13 episodes for it to be really able to rival the major seasons like Spring 2006, Spring 2007 and Autumn 2008. I made the mistake in the past of announcing a season as awesome right at the start (did that to both Summer and Autumn 2011), so I’m not going to do that until this season is finished. But damn: things look good here.

#49 (new) – Sengoku Collection – (2,25/10) – Oda Nobunaga… what have they done to you? Dropped.
#48 (new) – Naruto SD – (2,75/10) – The forced attempts at comedy were horrible to watch. Dropped.
#47 (new) – Pretty Rythm – (3/10) – Even for a kids’ show, this one was bad. It was nothing but one girl whine over and over and over and she would just never shut up. Do kids really enjoy watching those kinds of characters?
#46 (new) – Queens Blade – (3/10) – Completely retarded. Also, boobs. Dropped.
#45 (23) – Hiiro no Kakera – (4,5/10) – I tried giving this a second chance, but bailed out immediately. This is an incredibly generic bishie show that is badly acted and has absolutely nothing that stands out whatsoever. Dropped
#44 (new) – Upotte – (5/10) – Wow. That first episode’s only sense of humour came from having random innuendo jokes about guns. Xebec, I really see that you’ve exerted yourself on this one… Dropped.
#43 (new) – Ginga he Kickoff – (5,75/10) – Very annoying lead character. Dropped.
#42 (new) – Recorder to Randsell – (6,25/10) – The gimmick of this series has worn off for me. It’s nice and all for one episode, but two entire seasons of this. It needs to try harder for me. Having “being a cute premise” as the only redeemable factor is not enough for me to keep watching. Dropped.
#41 (new) – Haiyore Nyaruko-San – (6,4/10) – This show also is a gimmick that’s a bit fun for just one episode, but not much more. Yeah, she is an insult to the works of Lovecraft, let’s have a laugh and then drop this to move on. Dropped.
#40 (20) – Ozuma – (6,6/10) – So in the end, what did Ozuma really do? This month brought in some of the background of this series, but that’s what it was: just background that that one girl read as from a script. It made no impact on the rest of the show whatsoever and could have been omitted without changing anything else about the show.
#39 (new) – Yurumates – (6,9/10) – 2 minutes of random college antics. It didn’t capture my interest. Dropped.
#38 (new) – Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – (7/10) – I gave up on this show when it tried to recycle its gimmicks from the first season.
#37 (new) – Tasogare Otome X Amnesia – (7/10) – The guys over at Silver Link really need to learn about how to get characters to act properly. This is their umpth show of theirs that might have been interesting, if only it wasn’t so badly acted. Especially the female sidekick who can’t see ghosts was a pain to watch. I’d almost say: drop all the visual effects, and focus on your basics and priorities. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Gon – (7/10) – Another gimmick show: it’s fun to watch for one episode, but after that it dies off. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Accel World – (7,1/10) – Interesting premise, but the execution leaves things to be desired. Annoying main character who doesn’t belong in this series, Wastes too much time with boring exposition, has no interesting characters whatsoever. I see no potential for this one in the long run, unfortunately.
#34 (new) – Acchi Kocchi – (7,25/10) – Acchi Kocchi is… just there, I guess. It’s just a bunch of high schoolers doing random stuff with its annoying and cute moments. I could find nothing that really stood out or made it more than just random fluff, though. Dropped
#33 (new) – Folktales from Japan – (7,4/10) – Random Folk Tales. They were interesting from a cultural point of view, even though they really played on what a bitch Karma tends to be. It’s not interesting enough to continue watching, though. Dropped.
#32 (new) – Jewel Pet – (7,4/10) – Getting the director of Milky Holmes and Lilpri to do Jewel Pet. Whoever found that kind of madness a good idea? The result was a bizarre first episode that was funny as a gimmick, but unsustainable in the long run. Dropped
#31 (new) – Kuromajo-San ga Tooru – (7,5/10) – Cute, but not cute enough for me to spend my time on. Needs to try harder. Dropped
#30 (new) – Shining Hearts – Shiawase no Pan – (7,5/10) – I don’t care if you’ve got an interesting story. If you don’t try to show this off, then how am I supposed to know? This series really needs more ambition. Try to stand out like a lot of the other shows are trying to do, for god’s sake. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Saki Episode of Side A – (7,5/10) – The problem with Saki is that its characters are quite charming, but its mahjong is an insult. With the first two episodes, I saw no hints that this time it’ll be different, so I’m bailing out while I still can. Dropped.
#28 (new) – Arashi no Yoru ni – (7,6/10) – In the end, this series suffers from too much competition. I had to cut out some series, and I have already seen this story and it is overacted.
#27 (17) – Smile Precure – (7,75/10) – In the end I dropped this series. It’s a nice show and all, but this season has way too much competition.
#26 (new) – Kuroko no Basuke – (7,75/10) – This had some fun first episodes, but I see no future in this series as a shounen jump adaptation. There is no potential for the characters to improve, it probably will drag on with random opponents that also have shounen-like powers. I feel like I’ve seen all that’s good about this series in just the first episode. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Medaka Box – (7,75/10) – I can see potential in this series. The writing shows that it knows what it’s doing, but at other times it’s aggravating to watch and how everyone keeps going on about how perfect Medaka is. This is a show where it really stands out that it violates the “show, don’t tell”-principle, and it’s not like I’m often bothered by that.
#24 (new) – AKB0048 – (7,75/10) – The plot just makes no sense whatsoever! It has potential though, because at least the characters are bearable enough to continue past the first episode.
#23 (new) – Sankarea – (7,9/10) – Here is the thing: that third episode was really, really good. That’s the reason why I haven’t dropped this yet, and I have to admit that Rea is very well acted and interesting to watch. My big problem is that most of the rest of the cast isn’t, in particular that cousin and the other classmates of the lead character.
#22 (new) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8/10) – Saint Seiya’s problem is that it stays a bit in the shadows of everything. On one hand it’s still in the shadows of Heartcatch Precure and Casshern, who both were written much better and had much more interesting characters, and it’s overshadowed by the rest of this season being incredibly good and good-looking as well.
#21 (new) – Jormungand – (8,1/10) – Slick action in a gritty setting, with characters who can’t stop snarking. So yeah, that combination didn’t work in this show’s favor, but as a gun-slinging show it still is quite entertaining and holds a lot of potential.
#20 (7) – Aquarion Evol – (8,1/10) – Aquarion Evol is in the middle of a bunch of training arcs. To make up for this dull-sounding premise, it has made this some of the weirdest training arcs in a long while. This show has gotten completely bizarre at this point. Whether the character-development worked or not depends on the finale, though, because the character-development has been a bit unimpressive. Especially Zessica is in the danger zone.
#19 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

The thing with Nen is that in order to realize how amazing it is, you first need to sit through a bit of explanation about how it works. It’s gonna be worth it, though. I’d also like to say something about the animation in this series: it does have Madhouse’s trademark CG and the inbetween animation can be quite smooth at times. But it’s all feels too much like manga panels that move around. It misses some dynamic movement. Some extra touches on the animation, and I mean more than once in a while showing a character who is shaded really well. Give me interesting movement.

#18 (new) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,25/10)

The peculiar thing about this season is that in terms of pure comedies, there isn’t a lot noteworthy, if you ignore series like Uchuu Kyoudai, where the comedy isn’t the main focus. I could only find two good comedy shows this season, one of which is Poyopoyo which carried over from the previous season. Still, it’s a genre that is over-saturated, so I don’t mind. Poyopoyo still is awesome in how it consistently manages to take everyday situations for cat owners and make them fun. It’s also surprisingly sadistic at times.

#17 (new) – Hyouka – (8,25/10)

A Kyoani series I care about for once! Great animation and dialogue. The big potential pitfall of this series will be taking too long to build up; something that plagues a lot of Kyoani series.

#16 (new) – Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – (8,25/10)

They actually gave a new coat over the original Yamato series. The first episode followed the plot of the first episode of the TV-series, but a lot was added to it, and the creators still nailed the epic feeling of the good Matsumoto Leiji series. I’m keeping my eye on this.

#15 (new) – Legend of Korra – (8,25/10)

This really is an exception. I am not going to watch Avatar. I do not have the time for that and there are too many other things that I want to spend my time on. Nevertheless, to keep track of this every week is just enough. What I really like about this is how it subverts Korra’s status as a hero and plays with it.

#14 (new) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8,25/10)

This series has no business being as good as it is, and yet, I love it. It’s just about a cafe run by a polar bear that has a penguin and a panda among its regular guests. The panda in particular is very annoying. But this show completely nailed all of these characters and their random conversations. It’s brilliant in how it uses the fact that the characters are nearly all animals and how they behave.

#13 (new) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8,25/10)

Interesting setting, completely different from Eureka Seven’s setting. The action is very solid as well, and the characters also are well acted. I like how there are many different parties with all their own interests. This show is building up to something very interesting here.

#12 (5) – Phi Brain – (8,25/10)

The new season has a ton of potential… IF the creators use it. If not, then it can also come crashing down horribly. That’s the kind of double-sided sword that brainwashing is. So far though, things are looking good with some nice side-character development. The visuals also look prettier compared to the first season.

#11 (new) – Kimi to Boku – (8,4/10)

The advantage this season has over the first: we already know the cast, and they’re already a bit developed. That has made this season much more bearable, and even though the blond kid still is annoying, it’s much less apparent compared to how he was in the past. The result is a very charming slice of life series that really knows its drama.

#10 (10) – Mirai Nikki – (8,4/10)

A fun and exciting ending to conclude the series with. This show really went over the top and delivered some very unexpected plot twists. It had some humps along the way, but with the finale I am still glad to have kept up with it.

#9 (new) – Nazo no Kanojo X – (8,4/10)

A very weird show, but I must say that the interplay between the two main characters is very entertaining to watch. It’s also got a terrific soundtrack.

#8 (new) – Tsuritama – (8,4/10)

This is the most grounded work of Kenji Nakamura to date: it’s just a show about a bunch of guys and fishing. It’s still really fun and uplifting, with a lot of quirky and fun characters to watch, on top of quite an artistic look. Can it live up to his other works in terms of depth, though?

#7 (new) – Natsuiro Kiseki – (8,5/10)

Natsurio Kiseki is forced. But considering its premise, it’s no wonder, and the creators make perfect use of this. Every episode had the girls find out something new about themselves, or come to terms with something,resulting into them growing as a character. This show loves to play around with its cast and put them into interesting situations. And really: the four of them work really well together.

#6 (6) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,5/10)

Mouretsu Pirates has actually gotten better over the past month. The most recent developments are a bit forced to get all of the characters at the right places, but the result of this is incredibly fun and interesting science fiction.

#5 (new) – Lupin The Third – (8,5/10)

Very artistic and mature. You can really see that the creators are trying to turn this into a fun adventure, while also emphasizing on how incredibly feminine Mine Fujiko is. The result has style, and it’s quite fun, even for someone who isn’t a fan of the Lupin franchise. It’s in any case the most unique series of the season.

#4 (new) – Zetman – (8,5/10)

Having not read the manga, I have no idea how good that was, and I don’t care. Zetman is a very fine show with a lot of heart put into it. The animation really knows how to accentuate the characters’ faces, and the acting is bold and gripping. This show stands out, and it has really grabbed my attention, and for that I’m willing to overlook some pacing issues. In fact, I’d say that despite these issues, it still manages to know which scenes to focus on, instead of trying to rush through everything equally.

#3 (new) – Fate/Zero – (8,75/10)

Fate/Zero has really been fired off in this new season, wasting no time and showing huge developments in nearly all of its episodes. The wait after all of this build up was definitely worth it. Episode 2 also was a visual orgasm.

#2 (new) – Sakamichi no Apollon – (9/10)

The star of this season. I can’t believe how well this show is executed. The animation when the characters are playing instruments is incredible, and the best that any television series has ever been in portraying musicians. The drama between the characters is also amazingly well acted. The creators managed to put so much emotion into this series. Oh, and Yoko Kanno… she really delivers on the soundtrack for this one.

#1 (new) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9/10)

In a season with so much competition, Uchuu Kyoudai stands very confidently at the top with pretty much the best characters of the season. No other show comes close to the amount of development that these guys have already had, and Mutta is an absolutely wonderful character to watch. It’s all just so down to earth and incredibly fun to watch. Now let the rumour that this will have 51 episodes be true!

Posted on with categories: Hyouka, Some Quick First Impressions

AKB0048

Short Synopsis: Our lead character wants to be an idol.
Okay, so like expected, my brain just exploded by all of the reasons in which this series just does not make sense. The premise, but also the small details and decisions the characters make; for god’s sake there are just so many things about this series that are in no way possible when you think about them. The good news however, is that this was the best first episode of an idol show that I’ve seen for a year now. For once, it had no annoying characters. Surprisingly, the voice actresses (presumably members of AKB48) actually take up on cues and actually are able to act a bit. It’s nothing stellar or anything, but I expected much blander and annoying than what we got here. And granted, the idol series for the past year aren’t really a big standard to live up to (Uta Prince, Symphogear, Pretty Rythm… only Idolmaster was anywhere near decent), but still this actually felt well paced and had decent writing. It caught my interest. The big question is how on earth are they going to about the ludicrous plot of this. In the original Macross, the idols made sense in the story and had an explanation, but ever since that seems to have gone more and more into the background for Shoji Kawamori. Having an evil government that bans music is by far not enough. Oh, and I also hope that the concert scenes will be better than what they showed in this episode. Ugly dancing CG is something that I don’t ever thing has been done right.
ED: Ugly dancing CG.
Potential: 60%

Hyouka

Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets to be friends with the school idol.
Well, in a season that has so many visually standing out series, Hyouka comes and joins them with some very realistic animation. Along with its own share of very artistic shots. Other than that, this was very solid for a first episode: the dialogue is all well written, and it uses its mystery very subtly by making its mysteries small, and then explaining them with ordinary logic. The characters are already dynamic and far from cliches and it’s definitely the most realistic high school series of this season. However, Kyoani: you are some amazing animators. So why do you always have to go back to high schools? There is a vast diversity of different settings that you could explore. Well, at the very least I’m happy enough because this finally is a show I’m interested in. It’s not just random antics but this episode is clearly building up to something, and with writing and animation that are so good I’m definitely going to follow it. My only fear would be that it would take too long to build up. This series is 21 episodes long, and if it uses this well it can turn into a great series. However if this starts pulling a Pesona 4 it can get boring quite fast.
OP: Nice use of the water ripple effect. The song’s boring, though.
Potential: 85%

Posted on with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

So… much…. character-development.

I can’t believe how well the creators made use of this episode where Mutta pays a small visit to Hibiki. It just shows how much the two changed over the years. And it’s not a simple change either: the two of them evolved multiple times over the years and are by far the two most dynamic characters of the entire season. The bond between the two of them in this episode was also just amazing to watch. And that for an building up episode.

I loved how Mutta kept criticizing the tiny things that Hibiki did wrong throughout this episode in order to distract from his own inferiority complex. But really, it also showed that Mutta is a perfectionist, unlike his brother. This perfectionism probably lead to his car being a success. And really: it’s not like Mutta is your average Joe with no accomplishments either. Mutta continues to look over it, but pulling off such a thing is no small feat either. Hibiki in any case can’t boast to have created something like that.

I also loved the dialogue in this episode, and the way in which Mutta and Hibiki talk to each other: it really feels like these two knew each other for their entire lives. This episode also finally revealed the identity of that dog in the OP, and it turns out to be Hibiki’s. At first I really feared it to be this series’ annoying animal mascot. And yeah, it was annoying for a while, but the great thing about it: it knew when to quit.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)

Posted on with categories: Fate/Zero

So now that Caster and Lancer are gone, this series immediately moves on to another thing that it has been promising for ages now: Kotomine Kirei. The entire episode was dedicated to just building up to the moment where Kirei would betray his master. The moment itself wasn’t really unexpected, as right when Irisviel requested him to pull back from the Grail war it was obvious that he wouldn’t just let that happen, and afterward he was handed a knife of all things, but the scene itself was very satisfying. Also helped by a lot of budget being poured into that one scene.

Now, let’s see what he can do in this series now that he has some power again, and can act independently. With four episodes this series killed off a huge amount of characters, compared to how relatively few important characters died in the first 10 episodes. It definitely made good use of the build-up.

The one thing I don’t really get as someone unfamiliar with the Fate franchise is the squiggly lines on the priest’s arm that Kirei took over somehow. How does that work anyway? What power does this guy have, and why does he have it? Why did the grail find it good idea to have a guy like this, especially when he’s allied to some of the masters and could have just refueled Tohsaka’s command spells on a whim? Also, if one needs to defeat all seven servants in order to get to the holy grail, then what about Rider’s wish to become human? And does his master know about this? So what’s in it for the servants to win the holy grail war anyway?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mouretsu Pirates

Now this is where everything just comes together. Talk about an amazing episode here. The plot just got 10 times more interesting.

And the strange thing is that even though when you summarize this episode in just one line, it sounds horribly cheesy: the Bentenmaru saves Jenny Dolittle who has been forced to marry against her will. But the background and detail and all sorts of dependencies and politics that the creators threw into this episode were just awesome. This episode just showed how fragile the pirate business is, and how the Bentenmaru is completely dependent on insurance companies. Those insurance companies can be manipulated. The question remains how Jenny managed to start a company that gained such an amount of wealth, but with her connections, it’s probably not impossible.

Also, I really like how the creators waited 16 whole episodes before revealing that two characters are lesbian. This way it feels much more like being lesbian is just a part of who they are, rather than making their sexual orientation their biggest defining character trait. It worked really well and the two characters in question make for a very interesting and down to earth couple.

Also a nice touch is how this episode toyed around with out expectations and imagination. This series has been so grounded that when the girls started imagining how Jenny must be held captive, in full bride gown and all, it had to be one of those crazy delusions you see everywhere. And in the end, that delusion turned out to be what really happened.

My only complaint is how suddenly everyone is incredibly competent at their jobs. I mostly noticed this at the end of this episode. But really: this episode was the one who put Mouretsu Pirates a notch above the other big Sci-fi shows this year. Let’s see if they can follow.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Nazo na Kanojo X – 03: What sets the soundtrack of this series on top of all of the others is hard to describe, but that one track it has that it always plays at the episode climaxes brings out a ton of emotion. – ** (Excellent)
#2: Natsuiro Kiseki – 04: That rock is very cruel: toying with the wishes of teenaged girls, and giving them a big middle finger when they try to fix it. Nevertheless though, this episode once again had some really good character development. I also really like how well this show uses the fact that some of its characters are athletic, while others aren’t. – ** (Excellent)
#3: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 16: I love how the creators are able to take everyday situations, throw a bit of sadism into them, and make them fun. That Civet cat in particularly worked well with that in this episode. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Shirokuma Cafe – 04: You know I could complain about how Panda was annoying again and all. But they actually showed the polar bear driving a car this episode! The drive-through part in particular was awesome. It’s very hard to correctly explain why this series is so good to someone who has never seen it, though. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Kimi to Boku – 17: This episode was about the twins. Quite refreshing to see the blond kid completely gone. Quite heart-warming to see some of the conflicts between them. – *+ (Great)
#6: Jormungand: The crazy obsessive lesbian is a trope that seriously needs to die. What’s wrong with having just a regular lesbian on the cast? I did like the tension that the boy soldier created in this episode, though. – * (Good)
#7: The Legend of Korra – 03: Very good fight scenes, and the real introduction of the resistance holds potential, but the amount of cliches in the first half was a bit annoying, and this show has this “Saturday Morning Cartoon’-feel to it. – * (Good)
#8: Hunter X Hunter – 28: It’s finally time for the introduction of Nen, the single best power system of any shounen out there. And it lacks a bit of subtlety here. The creators just send waves of random CG without much variation to Gon and Killua. At the very least, comparing the old and new version with each other has given me a new appreciation for how well the 1999 version was made, regardless of how accurate it may have been to the manga. – * (Good)
#9: Medaka Box: If a character is good or bad at handwriting: SHOW this. Don’t just have random characters claim this. Don’t tell me that your animators only know how to do flashy action-scenes, Gainax. – (Enjoyable)
#10: Sankarea – 04: Very annoying episode with lots of cliches. Especially that cousin and those classmates are not interesting to watch at all, not to mention that the creators actually went for a “walking into the shower scene”. this episode was saved by Rea’s changes and development.
#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 04: Rather boring training episode with generic RPG element explanation. – (Enjoyable)

Introducing this season’s Kaleidoscope. I like to experiment with these things, as it’s the perfect format to try out different stuff. This time, because there are so many series that stand out, I’m going to do a ranking: from best to worst, the episodes that caught my attention the most each week of all of the series that I’m not fully blogging, followed by a small blurb for each series (blurbs can also just be “unimpressive”, otherwise it would just take up too much time for some shows). This way I can also share my thoughts of Hunter X Hunter, without having to dedicate an entire entry to it (although I will remove it from this list as soon as the Hunter X Hunter fanbase arrives again and starts telling me how I should enjoy my series…).

Every week on Sunday I will post a new entry for this Kaleidoscope, with weeks beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday this time. I usually try to have weeks start on Monday, but this is much more convenient because nothing airs on Friday and Saturday, allowing me time to catch up (not to mention the ungodly amounts of series that air all at the same time on Sunday, on top of me being very busy on most Sundays with this thing called real life), and I’ll update this entry as the week goes along.

Also, as for the series that didn’t make the cut (meaning the series that I’m not going to watch this season):
Arashi no Yoru ni ultimately isn’t worth it. It’s overacted and I’ve already seen the story before.
Accel World has some potential, but it doesn’t have any interesting characters whatsoever, not to mention that it’s got a pretty dull and annoying male lead.
Tasogare Otome Amnesia has really bad acting. Plus, the girl turns round and the guy immediately goes for her boob. Now that’s bad fanservice that needs to die.
Kuroko no Basuke, I don’t think that it can really improve beyond what it has shown here. It’s still a jump series full of shounen powers, and it will probably follow a very constraining format. It in any case doesn’t live up to the standard that sports series have set in the past.
– I actually enjoyed the first two episodes of Saki. However, that got me thinking: the reason I enjoyed them so much, and why I actually managed to finish the first Saki, is because there were no Mahjong battles. I’m bailing out while I still can, because those mahjong matches in the first season were just an insult.
Shining Hearts needs more ambition. The characterization isn’t good enough to make this a good slice of life series, and for an adventure it just goes nowhere with an entire episode being dedicated to… a nasty storm.
Acchi Kocchi fails for me as a slice of life due to its annoying characters.
Kuromajo-San ga Tooru also lacks ambition and is just too dull.
– And then there are comedies like Gon, Haiyore, Zombie and Jewel Pet, which just aren’t funny enough to warrant a watch.

Posted on 27 April 2012 with categories: Eureka Seven Ao

The setting of Eureka7 Ao is completely different now that Eureka somehow traveled through time, but I like that: it shows that the creators really attempt to go for something different here, rather than to dwell on what worked. The big challenge with this approach will be: what can they do in order to make up for it?

In any case, I like how not nationalistic this series is. After so many series that are about Japan being in danger,this series actually split up the country and made Okinawa declare independence. Of course having this set in a country beside Japan would have been even better, but at least this is a step into the right direction.

This episode also dedicated a lot of time to the islanders and i must say that I like how this series already has many different parties with their different interests. what’s more, the way they are portrayed makes them all feel alive. The best example of this was the scene where Ao arrives back at his grandfather’s house, and saw his grandfather busy salvaging his stuff from his burning house: it shows that even when the camera isn’t focused on them, they’re busy with their own agenda. It’s been a while since I watched a show that had this done well.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 26 April 2012 with categories: Tsuritama

This episode had a lot of build-up in it, with most f it being devoted to Yuki learning how to properly cast a fishing-line in an almost shounen-like way. On top of that we get a lot of character building. This is the kind of episode of which we can only say whether it succeeded or not at the end of this series. It all depends on whether the rest of the episodes use the build-up provided in this episode well.

The key will be Yuki’s grandmother. This episode revealed that Yuki has very big psychological issues and he gets even worse when something happens to his grandmother. his episode had him sorting his thoughts out on that, but it’s not enough. And no, having his grandmother collapse for real later in the series won’t be enough either. That’s just cliched.

What I did like in this episode was the use of emotion in this episode. Especially the end of this episode where everyone was just yelling out their frustrations worked well with me. This show is well acted, and the characters are quite diverse, while having their distinct personality. The only exception to this is Haru. He’s a bit too overacted.

Also, Tapioca is a duck!? I could have sworn it was a goose.
Rating: * (Good)

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SuperMario
Oh I have one. How about Lovepon? lol
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it was sarcasm actually, if we do it again next year we might cut down some categories. But I totally agree that we're lacking of good villains. Biba and that teacher are the worst as they actually dragged their shows down.
Topgavin
Honestly though there's been a real lacking of good villains last year. I hear some guy from Jojo was pretty good, but other than that they've either been okay or lackluster. Makes you wonder how FMA:B managed to get so many villians right in so many ways when shows usually fail to get even 1 half as good.
Topgavin
@Supermario Biba or Teacher-dude from Erased surely...
SuperMario
Maybe we should include the best villain next time, haha. I honestly don't know who to pick...
SuperMario
oh Rem, that demon girl who tried to kill Subaru many times over. Why is she the best girl again?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Moonlight last night in cinema and it was great. I had high expectation for that and it pretty much delivered. Also Janelle Monae was so freaking hot.
SuperMario
OMG, that 3rd episode of Rakugo was so greattttt. @Lenlo: don't need to understand the meaning of the rant thou, Yotaro doesn't understand either
Kaiser Eoghan
Think of the fine children/breeding stock Aidan and rem would offspring =P
Kaiser Eoghan
Dye their hair, make things confusing ;)
AidanAK47
@Anon, hahahaha, cool joke bro.....
...............................Don't make me destroy you.
Lenlo
The one with red hair of course
Anonymous765953
rem? who's that?
Lenlo
Having read the books, theres afew inconsistencies and I dont like some of the choices for actors.
Kaiser Eoghan
*couldn't
Kaiser Eoghan
Buh buh but Aiiiidan you still have the koe no katachi movie and thaaats kyoani =P But lol phantom world was so poor I couldn't get past the second episode. A shame that they could go with the darker spin the author ended up apparently going for in later volumes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I am currently eh on it as well. Only at the second episode so far. I find it interesting but it has a lot of things that turn me off.
Lenlo
7 YEARS I SAT ON THAT BOAT!

Still havnt finished Flip Flappers. I like it, its pretty, each episode is different, but I can barely tell what the over-arching narrative is and thats a big deal to me
Lenlo
ITS REAL
Lenlo
BOAT TIER
Lenlo
@Aidan, Series of Unfortunate Events was eh. I wasnt a big fan of the TV adaptation, though I did like Neil Patrick Harris
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: BOAT TIER lmao.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats why I LOVED flippflappers so much, where else can I get THAT anywhere, totally its own thing/beast.
Lenlo
My big ones for the year were easily Rakugo and Re:Zero. Disappointments, biggest one is Berserk. Ive been following it for years, have the entire series on my shelf, and I watched it like a captain going down with his ship
Kaiser Eoghan
At the same time well, yes its still good to see a non-highschool story in ANYTHING.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, you see I don't really award points to an anime doing something unique to anime, I judge by all mediums as a group/whole. 91 days may be a mafia drama, kabaneri may be a zombie show but theres already plenty of those in the world elsewhere.
Kaiser Eoghan
I could see myself getting some oldskool charm out of alderman if I watched it. I was waiting for yuri on ice to be dubbed. Drifters for all its problems was some of the most fun I've had in ages.
Kaiser Eoghan
The only thing I saw that I truly abhorred though was the new shinkai film.
Kaiser Eoghan
Most of the other stuff I didn't really bother watching. Its pointless for me to shit on about 91 days and re:zero because I was guaranteed to dislike both before seeing either.
Kaiser Eoghan
Biggest disappointments for me were erased , berserk and joker game. Whereas my surprise was lost passage. My favourites of the year were flippflappers and Rakugo. I wanted Kabaneri and dimesion w to save anime and bring back some oldskool charm but that didn't happen.
AidanAK47
Alright I spent over an hour formatting this thing and now I am knackered. Readers, this summery is over 23 pages long so be prepared as this thing is pretty huge. Don't say you were not warned.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Watch it. I bet it will be up your alley.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats a problem with adaptations, put a voice on certain characters and it can become irritating.
Kaiser Eoghan
And to be fair on scums wish, that it deals with the sex bit in a teen story, well that makes it more daring and thats points for it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Largely stayed away from that series as I assumed it was for young children.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Additionally the relationships in that manga got too convoluted, the comedy stands out worse in the anime too. Still though I DO dig the idea behind the show of two kids who are in a fake relationship.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, you think that's hard to watch try watching Netflix's A series of unfortunate events. Because boy do I want to brutally murder the banker and his family. That may sound severe to you but trust me, you will feel likewise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You were right about it being harder to watch scums wish than read it. I want to hit the twin tails girl with a hatchet.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm laughing now remembering an old ANN review where they stated golgo 13 was a stress reliever for 30 something Japanese office workers, I get that so much more now lol
Kaiser Eoghan
But seriously violence in fiction, anime/manga included is so damn therapeutic.
Kaiser Eoghan
As such I genuinely was able to enjoy the new M night shaylman flick lol
Kaiser Eoghan
Venting here largely because I can, I now imagine the teenage/twenty something audience members at horror/thriller films as the victims in the films, makes it more tolerable to deal with their existence in the cinema.
Lenlo
I cant help but feel theres some cultural aspect I am missing to the Rakugo rant scene. Makes me sad.
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
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Featured Posts

Scum’s Wish – 02 [I’m here for that warmth]

Welcome to the roller coaster of the emotional manipulative anime of this season, are you with me on this ride? Scum’s Wish has the exact opposite issues with ACCA in that it tries to overwhelm us with lots of raw feelings that sometime it touches the line of manipulation. This episode, fortunately, still pretty much […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 02 [The Partner in Crime’s Name is Nino]

I admit that although I think ACCA is one the most solid show this season and I in particular like how they set up the settings and the events to come, the first two episodes didn’t grab me that much personally. As a result, in prepare for this post, I went ahead and watching them […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 15

It was inevitable that Yotaro’s past with the Yakuza would come back to haunt him but boy did it really bite him in the ass. I was wondering as to how the show would work with Yotaro and give him conflict but then this episode comes along and gives him plenty to worry about. He’s […]

Little Witch Academia – 02[Pappiliodya]

I may regret choosing to cover this series as what makes it great is a quality that cannot really be held up to professional scrutiny. Much like Triggers other works, it’s not what’s being presented that matter but rather how it’s presented. You can make the argument that Trigger doesn’t necessarily innovative but rather take […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 13 [Black River (part 2) – Beyond the Door]

This week we have 2 disjoined chapters, which are different in tones and more importantly in their point of view. We go through the first section from Smith-san perspective detailing his own thoughts towards the match against Gotou, and the latter part Rei took the stage, being on his way to challenge Gotou in next […]

Saga of Tanya the Evil – 02[Prologue]

As I initially thought, this series becomes a whole lot better when you can see the disparity between the main protagonists thoughts and how those around her view them. The first episode jumped ahead in the story to where Tanya had established herself somewhat and I believe the intent was to mislead the audience with […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2, Chaos;Child, Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang and Scums Wish

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 Short Synopsis: Kazama stands trial after accidentally blowing up a lord’s manor while saving the town. This show certainly hasn’t lost it’s charm. I had the biggest smile on my face while watching and it even managed to get me laughing out loud at points. I will admit […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Onihei, Gabriel DropOut and ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Onihei Short Synopsis: A captured thief joins the police to hunt down his old leader. For a studio’s first work this is quite a solid offering. The beginning reminded me of samurai champloo though this seems more a traditional samurai story. Animation isn’t anything too impressive but it does the job and there is some […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Hand Shakers, Kemono Friends and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Hand Shakers Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death. GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do […]

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 […]