Posted on 30 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 12: I usually use Media Player Classic to watch episodes, but I watched Natsuiro Kiseki’s finale on Windows Media Player (on my crappy laptop I have experienced that it’s the best in terms of smoothness). Unknowingly I had the player settings stand on repeat. So yeah, I got quite a scare when suddenly the episode started looping, ESPECIALLY with this kind of episode. Apart from that, what can I say about it? Wonderful idea for a final episode and a really heart-warming finale. – ** (Excellent)

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 36: Yes, Madhouse: this is how you do action scenes. With lots of dynamic movements instead of frames that look like they have been directly copied and pasted from a manga. This episode did drag on a bit too much, but hey: this definitely is a start. Up next will be the arc that I found to be the single most boring of the 1999 series, so this is really where this show can make the difference. – ** (Excellent)

#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 12: This episode yet again was chock-full of teenaged hormones, though they were used well. The tension between two lead characters is what makes this show fun, and this episode had more than plenty of that. – *+ (Great)

#4: Kimi to Boku – 25: Kimi to Boku goes with the “random episode”-ending, but it’s a fitting one: it’s about the future of the characters, it had a ton of Chizuru being annoying, and instead of being the most dramatic episode of the season it ended on a mellow, yet charming note. Well done. – *+ (Great)

#5: Jormungand – 12: So much for the interesting trio of last week. As for the other antagonists in this episode: the guy who killed off all of Valmet’s comrades was just another snarking bad guy who kept smiling even though all of his subordinates got killed. I know he’s a killer himself too, but wouldn’t he at least be annoyed or something? I like the guy with the many nicknames, though. That scene where we first see him with his family is exactly the thing that the other villains in this series lacked. Also, who did they get for that one great song that popped up in the middle of the episode? There is no way that that guy is Japanese. – *+ (Great)

#6: Sankarea – 12: Well, that was inconclusive… this episode definitely had its char in nothng happening, but having nothing happen also is a bit of a dwnside for an ending. I’m sure Studio Deen are going to milk this into a second season and all, but still this was a strange way to leave. – *+ (Great)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 25: Great to see that Poyopoyo seems to continue for another season. This episode perhaps tried a bit too hard with the slapstick, but it still had quite a few inventive jokes. – *+ (Great)

#8: Shirokuma Cafe – 13: Okay, so for episode 13, this series dedicates itself entirely on to Handa and the comedy takes a much less prominent role. I think that that’s one of the main issues with this series: it dabbles tooo long on one particular subject, because Handa already was a main focus of last episode, and this episode only established that he wants to date Sasako, yet can’t muster up the courage. This episode did have its charms with the Tanabata, though. Also, Mr Tortoise’s wish had me in stitches. – * (Good)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 13: The fight of this episode was boring in which the main cast had to take down some strange fly guy, but I do like that the creators at least went itno his motivation for being evil (being unhappy with Athena). Oh, and Aria finally did something. – * (Good)

#10: The Legend of Korra – 11 & 12: Ouch. Amon’s background was good and all, but the ending… that was not good. Not only was it a huge Deus ex Machina ending, but it also rendered so much of the earlier episodes useless. I really found the idea to take someone’s bending away forever a great idea and it’s part of what attracted me to this series. But yeah, as soon as Korra lost her bending it became obvious that the creators were trying to look for a way to cancel all of that. And really? By having a bunch of dead people show up from out of nowhere? – – (Disappointing)

Okay, now so to wrap things up:
Number of series consistently covered: 11
Series that made the number one spot in these rankings: Natsuiro Kiseki (4x), Another’s OVA, Kimi to Boku (1x), Legend of Korra (1x), Hunter X Hunter (1x), Nazo no Kanojo (1x), Shirokuma Cafe (1x).
Series with the highest average rankings: Natsuiro Kiseki, followed by Kimi to Boku, Legend of Korra, Nazo no Kanojo and on place 5 there is Shirokuma Cafe.
Series with the lowest average rankings: Saint Seiya Omega, followed by Sankarea and Medaka Box.
Biggest improvement: Hunter X Hunter’s latest episodes. Sankare and Medaka Box also improved.
The Best Week: Week 23; every series delivered there and there were many awesome episodes to be had.
Worst Week: Week 26; endings are hard to do really well.

My plans for the next season.
Overall, I really enjoyed these posts, so next season I’m going to do them as well. There are six series that look interesting enough to weekly blog. The rest of the series will be summarized in these Kaleidoscope posts. Now, there is only one thing: Phi Brain doesn’t deserve an entire post dedicated per week anymore after what it pulled for the past arcs, so that series will too be delegated to the Kaleidoscope serie. So what should I replace it with? I’m currently toying with a few too many ideas, so I need a bit of guidance.

What should I do next season?
  
Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

By far the biggest surprise of the past season was Natsuiro Kiseki. I mean, it looked like an unoffensive series about four girl who live together, like a Tamayura light or something. The end result being so damn good though… I did not expect that. Natsuiro Kiseki turned out to be completely different from Tamayura. And even better.

So, this series is about this very sadistic rocks that takes the wishes of a bunch of teenaged girls and grants them in a way that troubles all of them. It’s pretty much a writer’s excuse to throw all sorts of wacky situations at the lead cast, like making them invisible or getting the literally stuck at each other. What makes this show so good is how well it makes use of this.

All of the rocks diabolical plans force the characters to develop, grow closer together, face things they have been avoiding, all sorts of stuff lfike that. It’s also a great way to flesh them out and makes for some really varied episodes in which there is always something interesting happening. This transforms a show that could have been just another group of stereotypical girls to a heart-warming full fledged character study with well rounded characters.

There are two main weaknesses with this series. The first is that it’s obviously forced: the characters are always put into the situations most convenient for their development. In this context, I didn’t really mind that though. No, the biggest flaw of this series that I can find is that it can be a bit overacted at times. The characters themselves are easy to create drama, and while they act very subtle on some occasions, on others they just try to hard. But heck, this was incredibly heart-warming in any case and a very enjoyable series from start to finish regardless.

Storytelling: 9/10 – A versatile series and uses its own plot devices wonderfully for the points it wants to make.
Characters: 9/10 – Well developed characters who are continually challenged and forced into coming to terms with their issues.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Sunrise solid animation and production values.
Setting: 8/10 – Juts based on one summer holiday and some local folklore. Works well though.

Suggestions:
Hana-Saku Iroha
Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club
Windy Tales

Posted on with categories: Eureka Seven Ao

With this, I’m sure: ever since creating Eureka Seven, the creators watched Evangelion. When thinking of this series as a cross between these two, it all makes sense, and that only means that things will get even more interesting when the second half hits. This episode once again was really awesome and it loved playing mind tricks on the characters.

This is the kind of series that, once it pulls a background episode, completely changes the characters in question. Elena has mostly been a side-characters o far, but her real background got revealed in this episode and it just kept taking twists and turns, especially since the reason why she did all that hasn’t been revealed yet. The only thing this episode showed that she was spy that somehow ended up performing as a rock star all over the world and that she finally buried that part of herself at the end of this episode. This episode revealed so much, only to kill this off again, yet I can’t help but hope that there will be many different consequences from this episode.

What has impressed me the most here is the interesting things that this series does with its character. Not only Elena was great, but the rest of the cast also had some nice and funny touches, like cutting off George’s nose, or how everyone, ranging from her father to the secrets, are teasing Fleur with any possible hint of romantic development.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

When I try to sample each series at the start of each series, I try to look for potential. I mean, some series are undoubtedly worth watching, but others perhaps might need a bit more time to get going or take off. Sankarea was one such series: it was difficult to sit through, but it definitely had its strong points. After watching the entire series, I have to say that it definitely had its redeeming moments. I’m just not sure whether they are enough to make this series worth watching.

Okay, so here is the thing that sets Sankarea apart from your average moe series: the acting for the main cast is very believable. The male lead, while weird and a geek, isn’t the same harem lead you see everywhere, but instead his characterization is subtle and his worries are very grounded. Rea, the main female lead feels fresh and her father and mother makes for some very interesting and diabolical villains. The combination of these four ingredients didn’t really take off right at the start, but across the series they have quite a few interesting moments and developments that make great use of how genuine and well characterized they all are.

The big problem is that that is about the only noteworthy praise i have for this series… and it has its moments in which it gets really, really annoying. The male lead has this pointless love triangle with this very annoying cousin shoved in, his classmates somehow managed to accomplish ticking me off in every single scene they appear in. I understand having these light-hearted moments in order to balance out the dark stuff, but the light-hearted moments completely fail at being funny, they break up the atmosphere rather than contribute to it and they have the characters trying way too hard to be archetypes.

And that’s strange for a series that really aims to get its basics right. Seriously, it really feels like the writers only read parts of “writing 101”. It’s got a whopping three characters who are entirely dedicated to just one side-character in order to give them background and development, but in the meantime, it forgets to be interesting. I would really recommend watching up to episode three of this series, because that really is where this series shines. After that though, it dabbles on a bit with a good moment here and there, but not really enough to stand out anymore, which is a shame because this really had the potential to go somewhere.

Storytelling: 7/10 – This series puts too much emphasis on the basics it feels like it often struggles to find things for the characters to do.
Characters: 7/10 – Some characters are really good, others are really, really bad and are a pain to sit through. That should not be the case in an anime you watch for entertainment.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Granted, Studio Deen has been improving on its visuals lately. It’s the completely wrong area for them to improve on, but granted this show looks pretty when it wants to.
Setting: 8/10 – Neat ideas, especially around Rea’s character. They could have been used better, though.

Suggestions:
Phantom
Natsu no Arashi
Asatte no Houkou

Posted on with categories: Sakamichi no Apollon

Reading this volume of the manga makes me appreciate the ending of the anime even more: they actually successfully stuffed one entire volume of 180 pages in just one 20-minute episode and cut things out brilliantly. More on that below though, because first I wanted to talk about the rest of Kaoru’s years.

What I loved was how Kaoru returned to his mother, and how the two developed a healthy relationship. Beyond that, we’ve seen Kaoru grow up very well through college, and him seeing his family back was also very memorable. The manga had a lot more room to fill in a lot more details, and show how Kaoru subtly changes. Instead of randomly running into Yurika by accident, these events were all set up by Kaoru first running into Jun (that was another part that I loved here, as they showed two different versions of musicians growing up into normal jobs; his change was one that I really missed in the anime version). But as for the question which version I prefer, I’d have to say that I consider the anime ending to be better.

The way in which the love triangle was solved didn’t really work for me . It was all just too concrete: instead of everyone going their own ways, there is this random twist pulled with Ritsuko’s boyfriend turning out to be just some random dude she invited, and at the end Kaoru goes back to where everyone was and the love triangle moves from “resolved” to the eternal “will they won’t they” again.

What I loved about the anime ending was how much it focused on leaving things to the imagination, and how much effort it put in saying as much as possible with as little as possible. The entire college years were cut, but that doesn’t matter when you see the grown up Kaoru: him choosing to be a doctor was also cut, but when you see him it all makes sense. He must have built up a new life in Tokyo with his own friends and when he finally hears of Sentarou again, he can’t resist the urge to see him again ad telling Ritsuko all about it (there only was one shot of a letter, but that was enough to show that they had been keeping up correspondence), cutting out that pointless twist with he boyfriend completely. What happens after they see each other again? Who knows? There were no romantic hints whatsoever unlike with the manga ending, so things really could go anywhere: they will probably remain in contact with each other while living their own lives.

Another thing that the anime changed was how we were introduced to Sentarou. In the manga, the chapter starts and we see him again. In the anime however, we’re slowly introduced to him through the story of the people that he has been living with for the past eight years. We never see him cause trouble, but with his character we can imagine what he has been up to. And yeah, with music the church scene works so much better. He hears the organs playing, and knows immediately what’s going on. That was a perfect example of how to condense an entire volume into just one final episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Sakamichi no Apollon



Last year Kunihiko Ikuhara of Utena fame made a surprise comeback after many years of absence. This year, it’s the turn for Shinichiro Watanabe to direct his first full series again after Samurai Champloo. Sakamichi no Apollon is a full drama. He already experimented a bit with this with the surprisingly good Baby Blue of Genius Party (much like how Masaaki Yuasa’s entry there became the prototype for Kaiba), but here he could go all out with a 12-episode Noitamina series.

Now, this series is a teenaged romance, which unfortunately is a very, very over-saturated genre, so the creators really had to do something in order to stand out. They found several ways. The first way is bringing in music. Playing instruments is a huge theme for many characters in this series, and it deserves to be praised how well the musical performances in this series look. the creators made use of Rotoscoping in order to make the animation of every single musical performance play synchronous with the actual music. This is something i have never seen before in a Television-series, especially with so much detail. Because of this, the creators are able to say so many things throughout these performances alone, and they often are the stand-out moments for every episode.

Second of all, there is the way in which this series portrays its characters, which is a huge level above what you normally see. At first sight they look like the ordinary stereotypes, but they immediately set themselves apart through their acting and by how self-aware they are. The series very subtly shows many different sides of them. On top of that, the series is chock full of events that force them to change and adapt. These are by far the most well-rounded, dynamic and fleshed out characters out of any other series this season. Probably of the entire year.

This season of Noitamina was definitely what the time-slot needed after the disaster that was Guilty Crown. There is jut one downside to it, and that is the huge amounts of angst that the creators use to keep the story going. Kaoru in particular is a character who is hard to like due to his social anxieties, and there is this constant tension between the characters that depends a lot on this angst and social phobia. Unlike other series though, the characters are fully aware of this and it gets used brilliantly for their development, rather than stalling for time.

Storytelling: 8.5/10 – Keeps the twists coming, very well paced for a Noitamina-series. A bit too much angst though.
Characters: 9/10 – Really well rounded characters in the end. Their acting is definitely a step above the norm.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Amidst all of the series with great visuals, Apollon stood out with its amazing rotoscoped musical performances. Plus, Yoko Kanno is awesome.
Setting: 8.5/10 – The setting isn’t the main focus of this series, but really allows the creators to do stuff with the characters that would not have been possible if the time period was any different.

Suggestions:
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai
Nodame Cantabile
True Tears

Posted on with categories: Sakamichi no Apollon

So, while Tsuritama may have edged Apollon in terms of the pre-finale episodes, in terms of the ending Apollon is far superior. In fact, this was by far the best ending of the season, and the type of ending that I’ve been waiting for a long time. The episodes leading up to this indeed were a bit soap-opera-ish, but this episode turns all of that around and completely makes up for them.

This was one of the best epilogues I’ve seen in a long while, and it made brilliant use f how Noitamina is aimed at an older audience. Because of this, it was able to give a great characterization to the characters in their versions of eight years later, in which they all went their own ways. In Tsuritama, the epilogue just showed random couples forming, or people chasing their dreams, but this was so much better, as it showed of nearly everyone how they ended up groing up and the people that they turned into.

I have been especially waiting for a romantic ending like this. I mean, romance endings are usually of two types: the characters finally confess to each other and live happily ever after, or nothing happens and they remain in a state of “will they won’t they”. Then this episode came along with Kaoru finally making his moves… only to screw up completely.

I love how that one played out: romance in anime is always made out to be this absolute factor. Here however, things just didn’t work out. Ritsuko had her moments where she really disliked what Kaoru did, but in the end she still likes him, just not enough to get into a relationship with him. Too bad. And after that everyone just goes on with their own lives. Thank you for this ending, Apollon. Your characterization was always a step above the rest, and this episode cemented that.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 29 June 2012 with categories: Random Posts

Hello everyone, there are only eight blogs left in the Aniblog Tourney, and we made the Quarter Finals. Caraniel’s Ramblings is up next, be sure to check it out before voting.

You can vote here: http://aniblogtourney.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/quarter-finals/

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Tsuritama



Back in 2006, Kenji Nakamura surprised probably everyone with his three episode masterpiece that was Bake Neko, part of the Ayakashi-television series. It was trippy intense and brilliaantly written and built up, Together with Kenichi Kasai’s adaptations, it defined and popularized Noitamina and brought it to a mainstream audience. Ever since, Kenji Nakamura has been releasing a new series every now and then, with 2012’s installment being Tsuritama, at which he completely diverges from the types of shows he normally does.

I loved all of his previous works, but they collectively all had one downside: the characters. Relatively little time was spent on fleshing them out, and most of them were pretty one-sided and didn’t really come to life. Tsuritama is entirely dedicated to attempt to do this correctly, and it works. The plot is simple on purpose exactly to allow the characters to play themselves out naturally. There are relatively few action-packed climaxes in this series, but all of them have clear meaning and kick ass and ultimately make it a really fun show to watch.

And even though this series takes it easy in terms of pacing, it definitely doesn’t take it easy in terms of the ideas it has. This series really thrives on originality: it may have a teenaged cast, but within that it has many fresh ideas, like an alien with a watergun, a duck named Tapioca, or how about an entire series dedicated to fishing? Especially in the second half of the series the scenarios get particularly creative.

A downside is that this series does take a while to get going. The first half of this series contains a lot of build-up and is pretty much fishing 101 as it drills the necessary fishing skills into the main charachter in order for him to function properly in the second half of the series. While this can get a bit boring at times, I can’t deny that this series has a really well written structure: it knows exactly how much story it should have to not get rushed, it knows how much time to spend building up an make its characters feel alive, while stil having enough time to actually deliver on the fun and action-packed bits. Noitamina-series are infamous for their pacing issues, but Tsuritama is a series that gets the balance and format just right.

Storytelling: 8.5/10 – Fun to watch and a greatly paced out structure and a creative scenario.
Characters: 8.5/10 – The series is fun because the characters are fleshed out well and get to play themselves out naturally.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Not as trippy as you’d expect from Kenji Nakamura, but still has a unique and colourful look and wild animation where it matters.
Setting: 8.5/10 – Really tries to be original amidst all of the teenaged series that try to see who can rip each other off the most.

Suggestions:

Posted on with categories: Tsuritama

The animation of this episode was slightly rushed, towards the end some distorted faces popped up. But still, this really was fun. Perhaps not as fun as the build-up that preceded it, but this definitely was a worthy way to end this series.

Really, this season is full of interesting endings (not counting the ones that cut off for another season). There is a lot of refreshing stuff amongst them that tries to do things differently from the norm. The best examples of this were Fate/Zero and Lupin, but Tsuritama also had a great climax that was full of emotion, yet avoided hammy drama completely. The big bad guy turned out to be completely different from the evil overlords you usually see. We already knew that he was of Haru’s kind, but for it to be such a fidgety guy is completely different from what I expected.

The epilogue was great too, but I have one problem with that one. This is a series that thrived on originality, and yet one cliche slipped through: the one where a lot of drama is created around the characters saying goodbye to each other. The characters had a great time together, but now it’s time for everyone to move on and go their own ways and… wait never mind! They just return as random transfer students!

Overall, Tsuritama was Kenji Nakamura doing something completely different, and succeeding at it. I wouldn’t sy that it was his best work: Bake Neko still stands out as his masterpiece, and I’d also consider Mononoke to be more interesting. And ultimately C’s ending was more interesting because of how well things came together. Despite all that though, it definitely trumped all of those series in terms of characterization and fun: the character in Tsuritama really felt alive and the plot feels complete and not rushed at all.
Rating: *+ (Great)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
Seiren is worse than I've hoped, but I still want to finish it, along with Demi-chan and Dragon maid
SuperMario
Onihei I will give it another episode but the episodic nature doesn't grab me as much anymore. I will follow Hand Shakers because for Christsake it's just something else
SuperMario
I enjoyed Akiba's trip (still fun to see an anime that inspired by other anime and appeal to anime fans only), Masamune-kun no Revenge (2nd episode wasn't good but the 3rd was alright), Urara and Gabriel Dropout but that's the end of my trip on them
SuperMario
Okay, since we reached the 3rd episodes (man, don't tell me we already passed a quarter of this season already), I'll give you a bit of recap on what I've been following this season:
AidanAK47
Guess we can put that down as one of the most important things a critic needs. Self Awareness.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I won't deny having an inflated sense of worth but Nostalgia blindness? You are reaching man.
Anonymous777074
Just like you :)
AidanAK47
Anyway I never heard of this guy and he seems like the usually case of Nostalgia blindness and inflated sense of worth. Nothing really worth concerning ourselves about.
AidanAK47
"How can I be pretentious when I mean everything I say?" Oh silly silly fool. Being an idiot doesn't mean you can't be pretentious.
Kaiser Eoghan
I bring him up because I feel he'd be more controversial than Tenka seiha/aroduc or digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
Roriconfan/thatanimesnob/Peter Malousis: [link src="https://www.youtube.com/user/ThatAnimeSnob
http://youtube.wikia.com/wiki/ThatAnimeSnob
https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1483389"]
SuperMario
I don't know who would that be either Kaiser? A V-blogger?
Lenlo
Who?
Kaiser Eoghan
We talk about digibro on here, yet we never talk about Rorico.
Anonymous774043
I agree
Anonymous773640
Shitcunt is the greatest anime villain of all time. End of argument.
Lenlo
Best villain was clearly JJ. JJ is actually the best character for every category.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, I just felt there was some social context to the discussion with the boss that I missed.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bah, haven't you heard, the best villain category was for the dictionary in Lost passage, must have been bastard-hard effort getting that compiled =P
AidanAK47
To sum that up, don't bully my waifu or I will end you.
AidanAK47
@Mario, She only killed him once and tortured him for information once. Both times because he had something which showed he had a connection to the witch. Besides, the anime mainly showed off her good points but she still has a crushing inferiority complex and a rather delicate mindset.
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.
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