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
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
Total users: 29

Star Crossed Anime Blog

5 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 03

DISCLAIMER: this is an original review of an original show from one of our own reviewers. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! At there episodes mark, Kemurikusa’s strengths weaknesses are more in clear view now. In a positive side, the […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 14 [You’re Not Alone]

Welcome all to another episode of Kaze Fui, Best Boy Simulator 2019. This week we have some more qualified times, lots of wholesome bonding and a hint mystery. Lets dive in! Starting of light and happy, I loved Kaze Fui’s attention to detail this week. All of our boys, aside from Yuki and Prince, tanning […]

Dororo – 3 [The Story of Jukai]

Airing at the same time as Mob Psycho, completely independently, Dororo also managed a somber, character driven episode. This week we learn more about Junkai the prosthetic doctor, Hyakkimaru’s past, and the world at large. Let’s dive in! Dororo started off in a very dark place this episode, which contrasted oddly with the beautiful sunset […]

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 3 [One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~]

Another week, another episode of Mob Psycho, though this week is a little different. Last time was all action and comedy. This time, Mob Psycho takes a more somber, character driven tone, and I love it. So that said, let’s dive in! Like I said, this week Mob Psycho was much more subdued than previous […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

Many of you might wonder why I decided to blog this show, despite the first episode spent two third of its time in one single aerial combat, which can be fascinating to watch but bring extremely little to talk about. While I agree that Kotobuki has its fair share of underwhelming aspects (which I will […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 04 [VS The Imaginator 1]

It starts with a girl jumping off the building. I’m always a sucker for this sort of opener (clue in to Lain and Satoshi Kon even though Kon never technically did that for opener), and it feels like a decent start for the next arc to come. It basically repeats the same formula as the […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my […]

Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]