Posted by psgels on 6 May 2012 with categories: Fate/Zero

An, so this is this season’s kid episode. I like it much better than the first season’s, because instead of giving character to one of the characters of Fate/Stay Night, it’s entended to shed some light into Kiritsugu’s background, and explain why he became a mage hunter. We see him as a kid, growing up on an island somewhere in the south of Japan that gets infested by what I’d call zombies, caused by the research of his father.

This explains that with all of the talk about lineage, we haven’t really seen anything about Kiritsugu’s parents so far. This episode doesn’t explain what happened to his mother, but I suspect that that’s got something to do with anime’s “weak and dead mother”-syndrome. What I liked about this episode is how well it fleshed out Kiritsugu and his childhood friend Shirley, together with Kiritsugu’s father… only for everything to fall apart.

One thing that I do wonder is what triggered Kiritsugu’s sudden character change at the end of the episode. I mean, I get that seeing your entire world being turned upside down is a huge shock, but would that turn Kiritsugu really from an innocent young boy who grew up normally, into a cold blooded killer with no fear of death whatsoever, in a matter of hours? The start of this episode whowed that he’s reckless, when he dived off that cliff higher than everyone else, but I don’t think that any other part of this episode hinted at that darker side of him.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

26 Responses

  1. Qwerty1 says:

    Whenever Kiritsugu did something you could call vicious I’d wonder what could have turned him into such a stone cold killer…

    Zombie-vampire island apocalypse wasn’t at the top of my short list.

  2. JaK says:

    actually psgels the last seasons “kid” episode was non canon filler XD this one is based on the heart of freak story from the light novel and is pretty detrimental to the actual story from kitsuragi’s pov

  3. IronZeta says:

    Basically, what turned him into a killer was realizing that him not killing Shirley before she became a Dead Apostle was what allowed the whole Dead outbreak to happen. Because of this he broke a little bit and from then on aggressively pursued the “kill few to save many” path.

    Natalia also commented in the novel that he was a bit broken in the head in that he was able to disconnect the logic of his actions from his own emotions in a way that normal people would need some years of mental drilling to learn.

    • meow says:

      I got the feeling that Shirley was his first love or at least his first crush. He was worried about her enough to disobey his father’s orders. There’s no way he would have been able to kill her. And yeah, I bet he blamed himself for what happened to the village for not being able to do it.

      And I bet he blamed his Dad for what happened to Shirley and the village too. Especially after that clinical, detached way he dismissed everything that had happened as a simple failed experiment. Reminds me of Tokiomi talking about sending Sakura to the Matous. I have a hard time believing he didn’t know what would be in store for Sakura when he sent her there. Another mage obsessed with the Root and blind to everything else. Might be worth noting that Kiri’s dad had dead eyes too. Well, no matter how angry or how justified he may have felt about taking out his Dad, it would have had an impact. It looked like Kiri almost cried on the boat but switched off.

      Who the blonde mage with the Mage Association? Very distinctive character design. Someone from somewhere else in the Nasuverse?

      I’m also very curious what happened to Shirley. We don’t actually see her get finished off. And you could say she was the “parent”. I’m surprised Natalia called them all “Dead Apostles”. I thought the zombies would have been classified as ghouls to Shirley the actual Dead Apostle, who actually retained some of her original personality. I wonder if she escaped.

      A very chilling episode. Even though I already had a rough idea what was going to happen, it still had quite a bit of impact.

      • Random_Passerby_Number_612 says:

        Let’s see… A blond magus with a distinctively familiar face and haircut, a powerful flame user who can cause a spontaneous eruption of blue flames… Doesn’t that sound familiar? Why, hello, Cornelius Alba-kun.

      • IronZeta says:

        “I thought the zombies would have been classified as ghouls”

        Well, this is where the waters are muddied a little bit.

        Because when you are bitten by a Dead Apostle, most of the time you will just become a Dead, that is just a mindless corpse under the control of the Dead Apostle that just eats people and sends energy to the Dead Apostle parent.

        And in rare cases if you have the potential you may become a Ghoul, which is feral but is actually capable of becoming stronger and becoming a Living Dead, which can then regain its original intelligence by sucking blood and possibly someday becoming a full Dead Apostle.

        The issue then comes in in that neither Dead, nor Ghouls, nor Living Dead are capable of making more of the Dead, only the Dead Apostle can do that.

        Which sort of contradicts what was shown in the episode. Since none of them were actual Dead Apostles (being mindless and shambling), and yet didn’t exhibit the usual Dead or Ghoul behavior of eating people while at the same time being able to spread the infection, an ability belonging to the Dead Apostles.

        So either ufotable just weren’t well-versed in the Dead Apostles, or Noritaka’s test reagent was somehow responsible for the special infectiousness of this particular outbreak.

        • Random_Passerby_Number_612 says:

          What you have described is the life cycle of a Dead Apostle whose origin of vampirism is the blood of a True Ancestor, which is not necessarily the case here. Vampirism achieved via magic research may have different traits. Think Nero Chaos as an example – he is classified as a Dead Apostle whereas in fact he might be closer to a true demon, being practically a walking Reality Marble.

          • IronZeta says:

            Well, I did leave that possibility open, which is why I suggested that “Noritaka’s test reagent was somehow responsible for the special infectiousness of this particular outbreak.”
            Either way, it’s not really important in the long run.

      • Civlov says:

        “Another mage obsessed with the Root and blind to everything else.”

        Actually, Noritaka cares at the least about Kiritsugu as much as Tokiomi cares about Sakura, which means: a lot. Noritaka pretty much raised Kiritsugu alone, since his wife was killed by the Enforcers after Kiritsugu was born. He was actually done packing all that stuff and would have immediately fled if Kiritsugu hadn’t been gone. More details like embracing Kiritsugu or the narrator’s notes make clear there was a strong father-son bond between them.

        Kiritsugu already turned into a machine partially when he killed his father. He hesitated in his heart, but his body pulled the trigger anyway, so he was already a bit out of his mind. But yeah, he killed his father to prevent another incident like in this episode here and because his father was the cause, although it was an accident. Must have hurt his heart a lot, losing everything and everyone he cared for.

        And I can assure you Tokiomi did not know what exactly Sakura would have to endure. The Matou family exists for 500 years already and the records about their magecraft is extremely limited. Zouken lives for 200 years now, but neither the Association nor the Tohsaka clan as the Second Owners of Fuyuki knew much about him – one of the reasons being the Matou family’s attribute absorption and Zouken never really leaving his house except for maintaining his body. It’s because of Tokiomi’s limited thinking that he saw no other choice but to give her away. There must certainly have been better options, but he didn’t find them.

        Btw, Noritaka and Shirley were geniuses. Shirley got a Master’s degree at the age of 13(she should be around 14 when the incident happened), although the education at the island sucks and Noritaka was already hiding for 20 years from the Association’s Enforcers after getting his Sealing Designation, which is quite impressive for a fourth generation magus. All he needed to complete his research was… ha, time. And conveniently, the Dead Apostle immortality and his theory to reach the Root work with time manipulation. Two birds with one stone for him I guess.

        • meow says:

          He was actually done packing all that stuff and would have immediately fled if Kiritsugu hadn’t been gone.

          Hm. It looks like this was changed in the anime. He was just burning his notes and his bags were still half-open when Kiri arrived.

          More details like embracing Kiritsugu or the narrator’s notes make clear there was a strong father-son bond between them.

          Difficult to believe from this episode. Would have made what Kiri did much more chilling and more difficult to comprehend/emphasize with. Was Noritaya’s detached behavior spot on with the novel? I got the impression that Kiri wanted to confront his Dad and decide from there what to do. It was his Dad’s cold/neutral response that sealed the deal. The flashbacks of Chihaya during the shooting also gave me the impression that a lot of the reason Kiri killed his Dad was because he felt his Dad was responsible for what happened to Shirley.

          He hesitated in his heart, but his body pulled the trigger anyway, so he was already a bit out of his mind.

          Didn’t get depicted well in the anime. I got the feeling that he fully intended to kill his Dad, with almost no hesitation. If anything, shooting him at that point would have been a mercy, rather than a slow lingering death from a gut wound. He just had trouble letting go of the gun afterwards, as if it was stuck to his hand.

          And I can assure you Tokiomi did not know what exactly Sakura would have to endure.

          I don’t buy it. While ordinarily the Matous may be isolated from the Mage Association in general, they would have been closely linked to the Tohsakas for generations, collaborating on the Grail War ritual’s development. It’s difficult to believe that during all that time, the Tohsakas hadn’t picked up on the nature of Matou magic, especially since Zouken has been there from the beginning. Tokiomi also didn’t seem surprised at Kariya’s powers or how he suffered using them. Kariya and Tokiomi had known each other for a long time and were rivals for Aoi, no? I would be surprised if Tokiomi didn’t have some awareness for why Kariya left the Matous in the first place. Even Aoi didn’t seem to have any consideration for Kariya’s reasons for leaving the path of the Mage. I don’t see Sakura’s suffering as a factor when Tokiomi decided where to place Sakura. I would buy him thinking the Matous would owe him something for getting their heir from the Tohsakas and dismissing whatever suffering she had to go through as necessary for reaching the Root, just like Noritaka dismissing the loss of Shirley and the village.

          • Civlov says:

            That’s a general problem from anime and novel. The narrator makes clear that he cares about Kiritsugu a lot, while the anime isn’t very good in doing this. Actually, Noritaka raised Kiritsugu alone because his wife was killed by the Association shortly after giving birth.

            Kiritsugu was definitely waiting for his father’s answer about the incident. Since Noritaka wanted to pursue his research without regretting anything, he “had to” be removed to prevent another incident like this. That’s Kiritsugu’s logic. He no longer hesitates to sacrifice the people he loves, if it can save the majority.

            they would have been closely linked to the Tohsakas for generations

            Not really. They say they are in friendly terms, but besides cooperating to create the Grail, there was never much close going on between these two families.

            Matou magecraft’s attributes are absorption and binding. Furthermore, they are quite skilled with familiars, that’s all one knows about the Matou – nothing more besides this. Zouken never really stepped in any battles for all this time, he was hardly leaving his house at all. The knowledge about other families are always limited, in this case it’s even more extreme, believe it or not.

            Rin prepared herself the next ten years for the war and the information she found about Matou is rather lacking. She only truly realized what kind of monster Zouken is when she found the basement with the worms in Heaven’s Feel. No one except for the Matou family knew what was going on.

            Do you really think he wanted Sakura to get raped by worms and her step-brother for the next 11 years? He wanted the best for Sakura, the suffering would be more something like home sickness or adapting another magecraft that might not suit her as much as Tohsaka magecraft. My dream scenario was Zelretch to come and train her. That would have been just perfect.

            Kariya and Tokiomi had known each other for a long time and were rivals for Aoi, no?

            No. Aoi sees Kariya as a little brother. They were never rivals because Kariya never seriously tried to approach Aoi, thus Aoi never knew about Kariya’s feelings. I said it already numerous times, she is stupid as hell.

            I would be surprised if Tokiomi didn’t have some awareness for why Kariya left the Matous in the first place.

            That’s the thing about Tokiomi. He never understood why Kariya would leave and just dismissed Kariya as someone who would not want to take responsibility as a magus. He simply didn’t care about Kariya and never seriously questioned why he was doing whatever.

            Tokiomi also didn’t seem surprised at Kariya’s powers or how he suffered using them.

            Any magus who has the tiniest bit of experience will realize that Kariya suffers because he keeps pushing himself. He never trained his body or magecraft and now he took in ridiculous amounts of worms to compensate for this. Furthermore he only had 1 year to become a Master. This was Kariya’s problem and not just the Matou magecraft’s fault. And as I’ve said, controlling familiars(bugs) isn’t something Tokiomi wasn’t aware of.

            Tokiomi seriously thought that the trade was better for Sakura. The cons were only to forget that Sakura was ever a Tohsaka and no longer interact with Matou or interfere, as well as Sakura having a difficult time at the beginning. He thought it was worth it, as long as Sakura would get the magecraft and protection she needs to survive. The family adopting her being an old and once powerful family which tries to reach Akasha too(or not, but he doesn’t know that) was a nice bonus.

            Unlike Noritaka, Tokiomi was not a genius. Noritaka managed to fool the Association and the Enforcers for 20 years after getting his Sealing Designation. Tokiomi likely didn’t think he could hide or protect Sakura for long if the Association had ever found her.

  4. Rachnid says:

    That was probably some of the darkest stuff i’ve seen in awhile. Turning into a zombie because you believed that magic would do good? Killing your father for his research which result was completely unintended (also unintentionally causing the death of your crush)? so DARK I love it.

  5. anon says:

    “One thing that I do wonder is what triggered Kiritsugu’s sudden character change at the end of the episode.”

    You remember that scene half-way in, with Shirley and Kiritsugu by the pond? She asked what kind of person he wanted to grow up to be. His answer isn’t said in the novel like here, but the general idea is that he had the same dream as his adopted son (the male lead of Fate/Stay Night) and that was to be a hero of justice. He realized not only that letting Shirley live caused everyone else to die, but more importantly that his father wasn’t going to stop researching the zombies we saw and didn’t even care that the village had been destroyed.

    So he decided after listening to his dad that in order to stop the possibility of a repeat tragedy he had to kill his dad. Of course it’s a pretty insane thing to do, especially to your family – even the hunter woman (her name is Natalia) acknowledged as much. But this is just the beginning – Kiritsugu was more or less with Natalia for the rest of his adolescent life until she was killed herself. So in that time he became much more cold hearted and resolved in his efforts to save people by killing other people.

    His basic idea is this: I can save 100 people, but I need to kill 10 people to do that. I can save 100000, but I need to kill 100 people to do that. Originally he tried saving everyone, but realized he couldn’t. So he ended up bloodying his hands multiple times for the sake of saving people who wouldn’t even know his name.

    I suggest rewatching the speech that he and Saber had after the Lancer-Kayneth-Sola trio died. It makes a lot more sense now when you have the context of his life before he decided to become the hunter’s assistant and be like her.

    • jkuro says:

      Wow, thanks for the Natalia spoilers, dude. Seriously, is self control that fucking difficult?

      • Anca says:

        You could infer that much from the portion after the ending, it’s not a spoiler.

      • anon says:

        Its hardly a spoiler to give her name and if he never mentions her then I think it’s pretty obvious? Along with the very last moment after they leave the island. If you read the Light Novel her death is stated there, they only cut it out because there would be no time so it’s pretty much assumed. If I was giving you a spoiler I would be telling you straight out how she died.

    • wicked says:

      It’s really Shirou who adopted Kiritsugu’s ideal to be a hero, Archer said as much that his ideal are borrowed. He knows of magicians and magicraft, but actually harbors deep resentment of it. It not only shun him from people, he also understands it to be something not held back by any value of people or sense of right or wrong. He was happy in the village and was somewhat accepted by people other than his father. He thought differently of his father because his research may save the world, but in the end, his father stated clearly that he was not going to stop.

      It’s kind of a Batman begins thing for Kiritsugu, it’s an awakening of an ideal to save people, but also somewhat of a vengeance thing to fight the system that created the tragedies .

      • meow says:

        Talking about Kiri right? Yeah, I’m not sure how much magic knowledge he had. I think he just saw his dad’s experiments as growing blossoms that were fixed in time. They didn’t grow red eyes and kill people. Kiri’s Dad’s experiments seemed to be about making humans immortal but he was experimenting with vampirism/necromancy to do it and it wound up turning people into mindless bloodthirsty monsters.

        It’s kind of a Batman begins thing for Kiritsugu

        The sticking point is him having to kill his Dad to stop him. That was pretty chilling. I mean, his Dad did something horrible but it was unintentional. Hm…maybe that wasn’t clear to Kiri. And his Dad seemed to lack remorse and was ready to try again. Still, to kill the only family he had, his only caregiver he’d known all his life. Even Bruce spared his teacher. This is grim stuff. I wonder how dark the next episode will be.

        • wicked says:

          In the Typemoon created universe, Magicians/magus are essentially essentially define by family and bloodlines, as Kenneth pointed out in class Waver was attending. He may not know the nature of his father’s work, but he knew he will eventually be a successor to his father’s work which should imply that he knew about magicraft and magi’s purpose. Even children born without magical talent knew about aspects of life of magus, like Shinji in Fate/Stay night

          Kiritsugu definitely made a much much darker decision, but also one that took a different kind of resolve. I wasnt really making a parallel between him and batman, rather I mark it as a moment of transformation. It seems abrupt that he had a change of character, but it was meant to be tranformative. It was not about whether it’s intentional or not, but the fact that his dad will definitely start again. He probably knew that before his father told him, and it’s probably why he lied to the hunter and insisted on going in himself(I think he lied about a barrier), as the father probably could escape from the hunter.

          • meow says:

            Incidentally, Natalia was working for the Mage Association. Was she there to kill Noritaka or capture him alive so the Association could have him continue his work for their benefit? It doesn’t seem clear in the anime.

            I wasnt really making a parallel between him and batman

            Um no, I kind of wasn’t either. It’s a bad example. At that point, the League of Shadows hadn’t actually done anything yet, as far as Bruce knew. They just had extreme intentions. Kiri, on the other hand had to bear witness to his first love turning into a monster, understandably failing to stop her and then having to feel responsibility for the death of a whole village that were friendly with him, including children and a priest. And the root of all that evil was his father’s work. I can’t blame him for wanting to stop his father no matter what, even if it meant killing him. It’s very, very sad. It might have helped if Noritaka had managed to find and stop Shirley himself before she started afflicting the other villagers. It looked like he had become aware of the situation much earlier, which is why he ordered his son not to go to the village. So why didn’t he stop Shirley himself? Did he leave her alone hoping she’d be able to control her bloodlust and complete his research? When the worst happened, he didn’t have any contingency to protect the villagers or perhaps was counting on an outbreak to act as interference against the Mage Association so he and Kiri could escape?

  6. Anca says:

    I’m glad I read the comments here as I really didn’t understand Kiritsugu’s mindset. To me it was like they changed his character halfway for convenience and angst purposes; I wonder how many others thought the same. I really like this sort of subtleness, where I don’t understand everything at first glance.

    The ED is pretty neat. Isn’t it Manten that was released along with the OP? I already thought the song was better that most other bonus songs artists put on a single, so I guess this is why,

  7. omo says:

    The episode sets up the mercy kill opportunity to give contrast, hoping that it will provide enough of a reason for the patricide. I guess it may not work so well unless you are familiar with fate/stay night or fate/zero already.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

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In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

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One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]