Posted on 31 July 2012 with categories: Uta Koi

When I first saw the OP of this series, I thought that every episode or half-episode would focus on a different romance story, based on the 100 poems. I did not expect so many recurring characters. This episode in particular introduced no new ones. Beyond that, this was a really unique episode, in that it clearly stepped away from conventions.

Rather than being about romance again, this episode actually felt like a lecture: it had three of the great poets just talk together, after which it explained why they were seen as the great poets. Right now, poetry is ancient, but 1000 years ago, it was still struggling to gain popularity, and it’s these six apparently who managed to increase its influence, solidified by that Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree. This episode took on quite a philosophical direction when it showed some of them at a point when they were unaware of the influence they’d have, and shows them talk about their inspiration.

It really makes me wonder though: I tried to count. There are still around 23 characters who appear in the OP and who haven’t appeared in the series. I assume that this series will be just 12 episodes, so what on earth do the creators plan to do with them?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: Rinne no Lagrange

This was a strange turn of events. The first half of this episode was great: I complain about how Lan’s brother needs more attention, and there the creators go: they put him in the spotlights. On top of that, this episode was about a talk between him and Vilagulio: they actually tried to talk things out, and that’s what makes this series so good: the characters don’t immediately turn to the “let’s beat stuff until problems go away”-solution.

And then that mysterious girl who has been showing up here and there arrived, and showed her true colors: amnesia, the mind of a 9-year-old and Vilagulio’s real sister. Will that really work for this series? The one thing I noticed in this episode was that she took away all reason: Vilagulio broke off the talks, and she seems to harbor a different personality that does the necessary magical stuff, because she sure as hell doesn’t remember strangling Madoka anymore.

Madoka and the others didn\t have much to do, but to make up for it they were quite funny, both with their disguises as when they were watching the talk between Lan’s brother and Vilagulio.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Nice)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

So, this season had a really tough job to live up to the previous season, that was just filled with really good series. It’s definitely much smaller, but on the flip-side it did deliver with a bunch of very interesting series. In particular the dramas are better than ever, but there are also quite a few series that overflow with creativity. I consider this a succeeded season at this point.

Manga Recap:
So, this month I finally started to get into manga. Unconsciously, this mostly turned into an exploration of various one-shots, one-shot compilation, or short manga. Most of what I’ve been able to read are just introductions, and there was some nice stuff amongst them, but there were three things that really managed to catch my attention with their excellent introductions, and carried them further with excellent storytelling.

#3: Hotel
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Hotel by Boichi. This is a mature Osamu Tezuka-esque take on science fiction and the apocalypse, all paired with the most crisp art I’ve encountered this month. Its first chapter shows an interesting portrayal of the apocalypse, but what really blew away was the Tuna story. That really was unique and unlike any other science fiction story I’ve read.

#2: Hito Hitori Futari
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Hotel really only let me down on one area: its characterization. This all felt a bit flat. Hito Hitori Futari however, packed a ton of charm in its two characters. This really was drawn with emotion, and together with the down to earth dialogue, it really managed to bring its cast to life. It’s also got a beautiful art style.

#1: A Million Pound Love
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This is an anthology by the same author of Himitsu the Revelation, and you can definitely see this. This is truly excellent mystery with brilliant character-development put in very short stories. Like Himitsu, she knows exactly how much to reveal at each page to keep you interested.

#33 (new) – Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru – (1,75/10) – Add some gender-swapped historical figures, and then this series would have been everything that is wrong with modern anime. I mean, Dakara Ecchi was bad, but this is one level beyond that: completely shameless and stupid without any hint of inspiration or effort.
#32 (new) – Hagare Yuusha no Estetica – (2,5/10) – This show was incredibly stupid and sexist, I just can’t remember why anymore.
#31 (new) – Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai – (2,9/10) – Why don’t these guys just make straight-up porn?
#30 (new) – Chitose Get You – (3,25/10) – This series was just cheap and poorly delivered. And I can understand lacking budget and all: but there is no excuse fo the completely uninspired writing and jokes.
#29 (new) – Oda Nobuna no Yabou – (3,5/10) – It’s one thing to gender-swap famous historical figures. But really: why does it always have to be with the same people? First there was the romance of the three kingdoms, now this.
#28 (new) – Campione – (4,5/10) – It looked like for a minute this series had potential to become an entertaining action series. But no, it had to focus on harem clichés instead. This show got quickly dropped once I found that out.
#27 (new) – La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia – (5,5/10) – Look, I used to be a huge fan of shoujo series. When good, they can deliver some of the most heartfelt stories out there. But it’s the series like Arcana Famiglia that make it really hard to remain a fan by reducing most of the cast to mere stereotypes who keep repeating one single gimmick. Chiaki Kon, you in particular should know better.
#26 (24) – Yuruyuri – (6/10) – Yuruyuri was very funny when it started with that gimmick of a first episode. When that ended though, it completely bored me. It’s still girls talking and making bad lesbian jokes. If that’s what you like, then by all means give this one a chance. I just tuned out immediately.
#25 (35) – Dog Days – (6/10) – I was hoping that Dog Days’ would improve on the formula of its predecessor. What I wasn’t prepared for however, was the end of that second episode. Just.. why? Why on earth would you want to do something like that in a series like this?
#24 (new) – Joshiraku – (6,5/10) – Joshiraku was too static: it entirely was about characters sitting in a room discussing wordplay. It got to the point where they weren’t characters anymore, but rather that this became an essay about wordplay from the author.
#23 (new) – Ebiten – (6,6/10) – Well, this one wasn’t the worst of this season, it had some nice jokes and all. But ultimately it’s just random fluff that has way too little potential. Also, those eyes!
#22 (27) – Hakuouki – (6,9/10) – I have to grant it to Hakuouki that out of all of the bishie-series to appear during the past few years, it has been the best. It at least tried something different from the usual cliches. But it just doesn’t seem to really try to stand out. It’s just there. I gave several seasons a try now, but never did I really encounter something that caught my attention.
#21 (new) – Binbou-Gami ga! – (7,4/10) – Comedy is incredibly subjective, but I do recommend watching the first episode of this series: that one was very well-balanced and quite funny. As for what happened afterwards, though: it just wasn’t funny enough for me, and the random references for the sake of references, stereotypical characters and lots and lots of yelling just didn’t do it for me.
#20 (24) – Phi Brain – (7,5/10) – I can live with Phi Brain being stupid, but what is a bit harder to accept is how this series has been systematically ignoring any good potential character-development. This month thankfully wasn’t as bad as the previous one, and there even was a very good episode with the Ana Gram episode, but can someone answer me why the single most pathetic villain of the first season was brought back?
#19 (new) – Tanken Drilland – (7,5/10) – Tanken Drilland has the makings of a really good kids show, but it really needs to try harder for that. It’s really quite charming, and the two leads work too good together, but the third main character is a bit too stupid. Yes, I know this is aimed at kids, but that is no excuse. What happened to the days of the World Masterpiece Theater in which kids series really took their audiences and their characters seriously?
#18 (22) – Saint Seiya Omega – (7,6/10) – Saint Seiya has been dabbling on like usual. Some episodes are a bit of a waste of time, while others are a bit more interesting, but it never really stood out, nor did it ever get annoying enough for me to drop it. Whether I’d recommend this show to others to marathon though… that’d be a different story. It’s good enough to watch weekly, but for now it doesn’t really have enough staying power to be worth it to marathon.
#17 (new) – Total Eclipse – (7,75/10) – Total Eclipse is a strange beast. I actually like that it took its first two episodes specifically to show the background of one of the main characters, but afterwards things went a bit wonky with strange nationalism and stereotypes, along with a lot of yelling and random fanservice. Seeing this, I can imagine that the director was about to break down, but the writing staff also is to blame for some of the strange design decisions.
#16 (new) – Sword Art Online – (7,9/10) – For me,the gist of Sword Art Online is: really interesting setting, gorgeous visuals, rather boring characters. At this point in the story, none of the characters really stand out yet: there were moments in the first episode in which they did, but in the episodes afterwards this series has been very gloomy and particularly bad in portraying its side-characters, on top of being surprisingly formulaic (Hello, girl of the week!).
#15 (new) – Tari Tari – (8/10) – Tari Tari is a charming slice of life series, that has yet to really stand out. The closest it has gotten is with episode two, but afterwards it really made clear that that was just a one-off issue. The blond lead girl in particular tends to get on my nerves, and is a bit too simplistic and clichéd. They still could make this work though, because there definitely is potential here.
#14 (14) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – (8,1/10) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon makes no sense whatsoever. But the ideas it has really make up for it. It’s completely crazy this way, and that’s what I really appreciate from it. Now if only the characters themselves would get a bit better: in particular the male lead is trying too hard to be comic relief. And no, I don’t care if this is explained in the plot. This is Horizon, they can just pull something out of their asses to turn this down.
#13 (new) – Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – (8,1/10) – Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita has one thing that makes it stand out, and it does that really well: its setting. There is so much interesting stuff going on in this series, and it’s all just so inspired. Beyond that though, it doesn’t really have anything that stands out: the graphics look pretty… and that’s it. The characters are… there I guess, but that’s all So yeah, it’s a one trick pony, but that trick it does is damn great.
#12 (new) – Uta Koi – (8,25/10)

Thank you, whoever made this show possible. This series shows that anime can still make series that have no commercial potential at all, and instead are there to teach their audience new things and show their own interpretations of a unique part of Japan’s history. The acting is a bit simplistic, but heck: the content, soundtrack and pacing make up for that.

#11 (13) – Moyashimon – (8,25/10)

Bizarrely enough, the central character of the past month changed to a germophobe. Because of this, the germs have turned into narrators. A bold move, and do the creators have enough to make up for that? I’d say yes: the lectures in this series are very interesting, and the characters all have a very good chemistry together.

#10 (9) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8,25/10)
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Rinne no Lagrange continues its strong formula of mechas and charming characters. With this, we’re heading into the real mysteries in this series, and the themes of reaching out to the enemy still remain, although the main villain of Ran’s brother could do with a bit of character-development at this point.

#9 (15) – AKB0048 – (8,4/10)

This month, AKB really won me over completely. The second season announcement, on top of the characters getting even more charming really did the trick for me. The finale was incredibly cheesy, but it worked due to the excellent direction and musical numbers. Definitely looking forward to that continuation.

#8 (25) – Kokoro Connect – (8,4/10)

This was by far the surprise of the season, after that first episode that left me woefully unimpressed. From out of nowhere, this series suddenly started delivering with excellent dialogue and voice acting, and the characters suddenly revealed complex issues that they all discussed with each other in great detail. This is one case in which my first impressions have been totally wrong.

#7 (18) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,5/10)

I love this show. It’s all just so down to earth. This month was entirely dedicated to Summer, and what followed were a TON of short sketches about the different characters living their daily lives while it’s too hot to really do anything. Seriously, the episodes are only 2 minutes long, and the creators still manage to stuff in enough content as if it was five times that length.

#6 (11) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8,5/10)

This show surpassed itself this month with a number of classic scenes. It’s still incredibly corny, but because of how true it is to itself it really doesn’t matter, and this actually becomes a selling point. Some of the characters, especially Penguin and Polar Bear, were just priceless.

#5 (10) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,6/10)

Yes! Yes! Yes! Finally Hunter X Hunter has arrived at the point that I’ve been looking forward to ever since it got announced (nearly a freaking year!): the Yorkshin arc. This is where the original series really went: “Shounen conventions?” Who cares about these bloody shounen conventions! I’ve got a story to tell!”, and it would be wonderful if this new season would also be able to achieve this. The early signs are all good: sure, the acting is a tad more over the top, but they can really make this work. They really nailed the introductions of the key characters in their own way.

#4 (9) – Hyouka – (8,6/10)

The school festival arc is really big. For how many episodes has it been going on now? 4? Because of that though, it really as been able to put in an attention to detail for the small things, That was great build-up.

#3 (4) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8,75/10)

To those who were planning to check out Eureka Seven Ao without having seen the original Eureka Seven: don’t. You really need to have seen the first Eureka Seven in order to be able to enjoy this to the fullest, that definitely became clear this month. And how! This month just delivered twist after twist after twist, and it all works together. The big ones in particular were just amazing, and this series doesn’t even show signs that it played all of its trumps already.

#2 (new) – Natsuyuki Rendezvous – (9,25/10)

This show is just amazing in every single way. It’s been a long while since in a season there was just one show that immediately blew away all other series that debuted that season so massively. Its voice acting is just fantastic, the characters and their chemistry is just amazing, the soundtrack rocks, the animation is incredibly detailed, the story doesn’t beat around the bush. It really is refreshing to see such a mature romance, in which the main female character actually is in her thirties: these characters are even rarer than male leads of that age.

#1 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9,25/10)

The thing with Uchuu Kyoudai is that the only criticism I might have for it is that its pacing is a tad slow: it really takes a while to get from A to B. But dammit, it brilliantly makes use of this, by using this time in order to flesh out its cast to the fullest. Mutta has become a classic character at this point, but the rest of the cast members are also awesome at this point. Everyone just feels so real and down to earth, and on top of that they all pack a ton of charm in their own way.

Posted on 30 July 2012 with categories: Hyouka

This episode returned to the mystery, mostly to building up everything for what will probably be the climax next week. For the first time, we’re also looking at a thriller, rather than solving a mystery that has already happened, because the classics club will be the last one on the list of clubs to be robbed. I have to give it to Hyouka: every major arc is distinct and different: the first was about solving a mystery of more than 40 years ago, the second about writing a mystery plot and Oreki being wrong, and now this.

I’m especially curious how this series will end up using the really slow build-up of the past arc. I mean, this episode diligently continued that: it shed more light on that annoying club member for Sayaka, it subtly developed Chitanda’s attempts to reach out to other clubs, and Satoshi’s classmate returned, on top of him trying out a few things to catch the culprit.

At this point, I can only think of how someone just stole things for the heck of it. Either to make some sort of statement, to entertain a bunch of people by spicing up the school festival or something. Beyond that I can’t think of why someone would steal these random things, and leave notes about them in the process.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Nice)

Posted on 29 July 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Pion… something tells me that the creators watched Yozakura Quartet before creating this series, because she has the hair of one of the characters and the scarf of another one of the characters.

In any case, this episode really fleshed out the world in which this series takes place, which coincidentally is the best part of this series. As a result, we had an episode ful of creativity. I like how the fcreators used the fairies in order to describe luck. This also was the first episode which made me feel like humanity has actually declines: we saw ruins, it got confirmed that electricity is scarce. I didn’t really get that idea from the hordes of manga fans of two episodes ago.

Bizarrely enough, despite the creativity in the setting here, I can’t seem to find much inspiration to write about. I mean, this series has its excellent backdrop, but does it have something beyond that? Its dialogue perhaps? It’s definitely well written, but so far the best thing that the dialogue has done is flesh out and detail the setting. Kou Otani’s soundtrack also is great, but lacks depth, so there also isn’t much to talk about there. The visuals as well: this show has a unique visual direction, but beyond that there also isn’t much interesting to say about the animation. Hmm…
Rating: 4/8 (Good)

Posted on with categories: OVA Impressions, Young Animator Training Project

Shiranpuri is a short with its very own artistic vision: it’s got very distinctive character-designs, rather than going with the same thing over and over again. This is the entry for the Young Animator Training Project by Shirogumi. You know, the people who are currently animating Moyashimon, and they also did Antique Bakery. These are people who definitely go for interesting and unusual premises, but Shiranpuri is very different from their usual stuff.

Here, we get a story about bullying, and more particular: about being a witness to bullying without doing anything about it. And it really was quite good. On one hand it was indeed a bit preachy, but on the other it was very realistic in how the bullied kid ended up transferring schools, in the hopes of building up a completely new life. There was some really good character-development in just 20 minutes for the three central characters, and the use of adults as bystanders was well-balanced.

What’s interesting is that this shows that Shirogumi is nowhere near dead: they’re still producing things, but at their own pace, but this short shows that they’ve acquired a couple of very good animators. There were a few scenes in which the movement was really dynamic and even the backgrounds (albeit simplistic) moved seamlessly, and they were able to draw the models right from many different angles.

Posted on with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

Well, it was a long wait, but it has finally happened: an episode dedicated to Makabe. And it worked wonderfully: not just he himself emerged as a better character from this episode, but the rest of Team B did as well, especially the fidgety guy and the bossy guy (whose names I can’t remember at the moment, unfortunately) got more depth as this episode finally focused a bit more on their personalities.

Makabe though, he really is aware of how direct he is. I love how he’s been trying, yet failing to keep the team together. It’s great for introducing a bunch of flaws for him: he is brilliant, definitely, but he also can be quite self-centered, also shown by how he replies to those women selling magic space stones. The end of this episode was really charming with the way the creators used his daughter to cheer him up again. This episode really brought balance into his character.

And in the meantime, this episode had a hell of a lot of fun, fleshing out the people from Team A. Mutta in particular was as hilarious as ever, but the rest of the cast also had their wonderful moments because of how analytic he can be. I especially liked how he was forced to scream out twice every day, and how Nitta responded after breaking the toilet. This show, just is brilliant.I thought that last year we got lucky with Kotetsu from Tiger & Bunny, but to be honest: the series is nowhere near over yet, but at this point Mutta has completely surpassed him.
Rating: 5.5/8

Posted on with categories: Sword Art Online

Before I got into anime blogging, I was a member of an RPG community, focused on RPG creation. Back then I spent a lot of time fiddling with stories, level designs and gameplay (in fact, this blog started out as an experiment during that time), and during that time I also played my share of MMORPGs, so I know what it’s like to play one. And I also know that SOA brings in one major difference that makes the mindset of its players completely different: the fact that you die once your HP reaches zero.

Generally when I played, I’d run around in areas that would give me the fastest experience with the least amount of hassle. I would then turn on the auto pilot until my SP (or skill points or however it was called) run out, after which I’d probably die from a lack of healing items or efficient ways to kill monsters. Now, would I have done the same if my life depended on it? Hell no. I’d stock up on healing items and focus on running away from monsters.

In fact, it surprises me that Kirito still is alive: his playing style is incredibly risky. Apparently he was this awesome player during the beta test, but back then dying still was a momentary annoyance. I’m surprised that he managed to turn off his automatic pilot that is so prevalent in MMORPGs due to all the repetition. Someone said that in the first month, more beta testers lost their lives than new players, and I can very well believe that: these were already used to the rules of the beta, while the new players were probably extra careful.

So yeah, I’m digging this concept, I’d just wish that the plot of these past two episodes made better use of this. The concept of this episode for example was good, as it showed how the jail system evolved and how this game’s moral system is. But the characters were just boring. This yet again was Kirito interacting with the cutest girl around. Have some variety. What I find particularly annoying is how this series looks down upon the rest of the people in this MMORPG. The girl actually had friends, but she decided to ditch them and go with Kirito. The evil players? We never knew what goes on inside their heads: I see no difference between them and NPCs.

Also, why were all the monsters suddenly equipped with tentacles?
Rating: (Good)

Posted on 28 July 2012 with categories: Summer 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Phi Brain – 41: This was undoubtedly the single best episode of the second season. Finally the creators actually used the fact that Orpheus Rings distort the minds of their wearers well, by making them say things that they normally wouldn’t do. At this point, Ana Gram definitely is the most heartfelt character of the entire series, and the one who suffered the least in this series’ attempts to degenerate the entire cast, and this episode really showed that. – Excellent+)

#2: Kokoro Connect – 03: How? Why? When? Is this still the same show? Is this really Silver Link? With this kind of good acting? Seriously, this was a massive improvement and it went quite deep into its different characters. I’m impressed. – (Excellent)

#3: Hunter X Hunter – 40: Finally! The Yorkshin arc has officially started now after forty bloody episodes of waiting! The calling out names still is a bit childish, but the rest of this episode was excellent build-up. The new characters are all slightly different from what they used to be in the 1999 series, but they can definitely make this work. – (Excellent)

#4: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 15: Well, this was a typical Horizon episode: it really doesn’t make any sense once you start thinking about it, but what went on was pretty damn cool and creative. This definitely was an interesting way to portray negotiations. There’s just one thing: a girl pretending to be a guy in order to avoid gender racism is a pretty interesting subplot. But in the context of this series? Really? – (Great)

#5: Tari Tari – 04: Well, thanks to Wakana and the three musicians this was the best episode of Tari Tari so far. It was quite heart-warming, with the only mitigating factor being the dead mother that has been done to death. Kids, whatever you do, don’t ever get kids! If you do, there is a 50% chance that you’ll die within a few years. – (Great)

#6: Total Eclipse – 04: A simple episode, and the side-cast still is stereotypical, but the two leads… they’ve got interesting chemistry together. It’s a bit overblown and angsty, but it can work. – (Good)

#7: Binbou-Gami ga – 03: This is one that I missed in my catch-up streak last weekend. Overall, comedy is incredibly subjective, but with this show I notice that much more, as people have many different reactions here. This episode was cute. It had “trying too hard” written all over it, but had some good jokes. The yelling however has gotten very dull right now, and it’s also one of those series that just drops references for the sake of dropping references, which also has gotten quite annoying. And it’s only the third episode yet. Ultimately, this just isn’t funny enough for a comedy for me, especially considering the competition it has right now. – (Good)

#8: Polar Bear Cafe – 17: This was one of the lesser episodes of Polar Bear Cafe. It still was funny, but it was pretty much about Panda and Polar Bear trolling again in the first half, and Rin Rin in the second half. It’s not really something new, and these jokes are starting to wear off now. – (Enjoyable)

#9: Binbou-Gami ga – 04: Sorry, Binbou-gami, but with this I’m going to drop you. The new character of this episode was just a collection of bad SM-jokes. For a comedy, this just isn’t funny enough. When I watch a comedy, I want to really laugh out loud, not chuckle once every five minutes. Comedy is incredibly subjective, so if you like SM-jokes and lots of yelling, then this series is for you. I’d rather watch Polar Bear Cafe and Poyopoyo, though. – (Disappointing)

#10: Tanken Drilland – 03: Anime writers need to realize the boundaries of stupidity. Running into a trapped room? That’s okay. Anyone can make such a careless mistake. A different matter is it when a character falls for the classic “money on a string”-trap. Especially when the “string” is a sticky spider thread. And he wraps it around his arms. And falls for the same trick twice. And that wasn’t even the worst in this episode: a character goes missing and instead of looking for him, they think that he has abandoned them and run off with the treasure. – (Lacking)

#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 16: It’s not like this episode sucked completely. The change of pace was welcome, we saw something different of the world for a change and this was definitely good to bring some diversity such a monotone series. But everything about the restaurant felt like an insult. Like “why are you still watching this? We surely aren’t trying anymore”.I can understand that fillers need to have light-hearted material compared to regular episodes, if you’re going to use them at all, but even with light-hearted things you actually need to try. – (Lacking)

Posted on with categories: Eureka Seven Ao

Plot build-up! And it’s the good kind of build-up that has enough interesting things to do while the chess pieces are all set right. This episode was necessary to confirm a few things: the secrets indeed have been different from what was assumed. This episode confirmed this by revealing that these things are sentient, and that the Japanese government has managed to collect a living example of this.

The characters instead were the ones who made this episode interesting, using Ao’s complete change after meeting with his mother as a catalyst to show different sides of a lot of different cast-members. Ao in particular has really changed in how he views his responsibilities, as shown by how he tried t get these sleeping pills. In this episode it went to the point of taking this too far, where he desperately wanted to live up to what he thinks are his mother’s expectations.

Also I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Fleur’s father has to be inspired by Ikari Gendou from Evangelion. He’s not as extreme, and there have been points in which he has been fleshed out quite nicely as a father figure, but in this episode he revealed where exactly he has been taking the Quartz that he has harvested. What I find interesting is how, even after the revelation that the Secret aren’t exactly evil as long as you don’t get in their way, he still is more intent on destroying them, rather than the actual scab coral.
Rating: (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I like to keep deadlines. Adds some consistency to things. Appreciate it though
Anonymous1581244
@Lenlo: No need to apologize lol. I don't think anyone expects you to drop everything in order to blog. XD Just do what you can and keep up the great work. d=(^_^)=b
Lenlo
Sorry for the slow turnaround on Mahoutsukai this week. Moving into a new apartment and work is abit busy. Should be up tomorrow though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I dug the premise and though there could have been more dream sequences its prettily shot, especially within those sequences, I was surprised by the suicide attempt and didn’t see it coming and it succeeded in being uncomfortable.
Although I did find the film sometimes a bit sterile and overlylong
Kaiser-Eoghan
@@Mario: I'm torn on Body and soul, speaking as someone who has autism, I genuinely felt that the depiction of the female protagonist was solid and was backed by good acting, as autism is generally overly associated with male characters, seeing it through a female focus was a bonus.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its an odd season, with shows I had no expectations of being favourites and one I looked forward to being a disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know we mentioned before on here but I honestly did wish that one episode, the 6th one WAS an additional backstory, it would have elevated the episode for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The original had a grittier artstyle that clashed less with the setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think some of these episodic shows could benefit from two parters, this kino season especially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But its not a good sign when I forgot some episodes content of this new adaptation less than a week after their airing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I don't say it lightly about the original having a strong degree of consistent quality, even the best episodic series often can't avoid being uneven but again I never felt the original ever fell into that trap .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its the consistency I miss in this version, I enjoyed all the episodes in the original, this being more of a mixed bag sticks out like a sore thumb.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to specify I did love the Murder country episode and the Liar country episode, the ship country episode was an episode of two halves, the latest episode was too slight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I think I'll play it safe with the new Kino and just wait till it ends and pick the most recommended stories.
Anonymous1580206
The ED of Silver Spoon Season 1 is also amazing.
SuperWooper
"Fighter" by Bump of Chicken is the best I've heard in the last few years (3-gatsu ED 1)
SuperWooper
"Ride on Shooting Star" by The Pillows is my favorite (FLCL)
Nie
Also Akatsuki no Yona ending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nepa6vDr-gM
Nie
Seriously though, Freedom Opening is too underappreciated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbIy0zMukn4
Nie
if not just song then: Eden of the East, ERASED, both SSY EDs, FMA ED2, Welcome to NHK, Kekkai Sensen, Conan 40
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I skip the op/ed themes for everything, there are some I haven't even heard.
SuperMario
@anon1579752: personally don't care much about EDs, since I hit the close button as soon as the episode's over. But this one is easy, Flowers of Evil ED
Anonymous1579752
321...best anime EDs of all time...GO
Nielo
Oops nvm IGNORE MY COMMENT
Nielo
@KTravlos: Which part of Chielo? How many heads?
KTravlos
Finally a great Altair episode. For once the pacing was a boon rather than a bane, and I loved the idea of Chielo.
Nielo
I have the Vagabond volumes...still haven't touch it. I just don't feel like starting another manga I'll have to wait forever.
Lenlo
Vagabonds only issue, to me, is the lack of release. I love it, its beautiful, and my god I have waited years for it to update. Its like Berserk all overagain
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I could changed something about kujira no kora, it would be toning down that overthetop shounen-kid villain henchman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel as if I would read more of vagabond if the author ever finished it, the art however is beautiful.
KTravlos
A thing I really like about there stuff is that since they are set post-One Year War, most characters are veterans and they actually behave like veterans. Thus battles are more than just curbstomps etc. I really suggest their gundam stuff. Manga wise start with the Plot to Assassinate Gihren.
KTravlos
I have to say the ARK Performance gundam-verse is one of the favorite uses of the gundam concept . They really do a good job tying their stories together and with the original series.
Lenlo
If were talking manga as well, since I dont realy VNs/LNs, Vinland Saga, Vagabond, Berserk and Basara are all way up there for me
Anonymous1579124
I can probably disect pages on end of Kyousougiga. As for Sun Knight, it's translated from Taiwanese, so the chance of it getting an anime is a big fat zero. Not to mention that it is probably one of the hardest thing to translate into video format, movies or series, animated or not.
Anonymous1579124
@SuperMario Animation vs. Animator?
SuperMario
Kyousougiga was a creative and passionate anime. You can clearly see the love of the creators put into it. But of the year 2013 nothing can beat The Eccentric Family and Flowers of Evil for me
SuperMario
@Niello: I'm willing to give Sun Knight and Dorohedoro (or I should wait for the anime adaptation in few years?) a try but not anytime soon. My next of queue is Night is Short and re-watch of Now and Then. Sorry if I sound like a broken records but lately I haven't had that much time for myself.
SuperMario
..."Mario, what the heck is this??". so we stopped. My friends weren't trying to be rude so I didn't feel any offense, but the thought of watching a stick figure never cross their mind, hence the reaction. Anime fares much better in that regards since people still willing to watch it
SuperMario
(about people's hesitance towards animation medium): Tell me about it. Few years ago I had a Saturday movie night with my mates, one time I convinced them to watch a short animated film "Come one, it's one of the best thing I've seen this year" "It's only 15 minutes so you guys can watch them easily". So they agreed but as soon as the stick figure comes onscreen. My friend turned off...
Anonymous1578845
Lol just found out that there's a Sense8 (on Netflix) easter egg in "Just Because" ep 3 xD, made my day!!!!
Anonymous1578826
Forgot to say this, but anyone willing to give the Sun Knight novel a try, in some ways, it is quite similar to Houseki no Kuni. While it is mainly comedy....it also has a lot of suffering.
silver
@Niello/Anaon1578774?: I watched Kyousougiga maybe 6mos. ago, so I think I'll enjoy it more when I rewatch it sometime in a year or so. Seems most of my top picks cemented their place after a second viewing
Anonymous1578774
@Silver It speaks to me on a personal level no other fiction has comes close to matchin. so it has a very special place in my heart. It's also one of those that get better with each rewatch. I seem to have a penchant for liking what often get described by others as convoluted, this is one of them. I also adore Matsumoto's directing and all the symbolisms.
silver
@Kaiser: I neglected film in my youth as well.. and also in adulthood. A popular gag amongst my friends is that, "silver's never seen any movie ever." I hadn't seen star wars until a girl I dated in uni forced me to watch 4-6...
silver
Hah when I posted about liking works adapted from every medium I wondered if it was going to spark a 'top 10' discussion, but when I was trying to mentally rank them I remembered how hard it was...
@Niello: interesting that Kyousougiga is your all-time #1. I thought it was lovely but probably doesn't make the cut for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Novels are somewhat alien territory to me as I tend to watch adaptations be they film or otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I've watched thousands in the past few years because I neglected the medium in childhood.
Nielllo
Unless you mean animated only.
Nielllo
@Eoghan: I don't think I watched enough films at all, and that's made even worst when I forget most of them after a couple of years.
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I really recommend The Legend of the Sun Knight novel. Think it's something you'll probably enjoy quite a bit. It's quite cleverly written. You can read the official fan translation online.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: A top ten film list for me is even harder, I can't even attempt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akumetsu> death note
FITE ME.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gunslinger girl gets such a strong mention from me because I feel that action stories often work better when you care about the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
<No Freesia adaptation
<No Eden adaptation
<No full production IG Alita film series
<why live =<
Nielllo
@SuperMario: There are some anime I'm not going to watch just because the manga is superior, period. Good examples are Monster and One Piece.
Nielllo
@Eoghan: Oh, I knew about Wolfram mangaka's apprenticeship already :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: First however, When mountains may depart, By Jia Zhangke, I am full romance mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Planetes and Vinland saga have to go somewhere on a list. Oddly they share the same creator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Reminds me Dreams by Kim-ki-duk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I mentioned Dorohedoro's author was Nihei's apprentice, but heres another interesting one, the mangaka for Wolfram apprentice under BOTH Kento Miura and Kaoru Mori.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gladly. On Body and Soul is a weird mix of romance drama, character study and a weirdly magical bond between two people who share the same dream. That weirdness is what make the movie so memorable, although I do feel the ending stays out its welcome
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nihei, Umezu and Itou belong somewhere among my favourite mangaka.
SuperMario
I don't know why you'd mix manga/anime together, but my own top 10 is in my profile (click over my username), I've included anime/ movies together but if the list is purely anime shows I'd add Haibane Reimen as #9 and Humanity Has Declined as #10
Nielllo
Apart from Kyousougiga which is always no.1, and The Legend of the Sun Knight, Dorohedoro, Shinsekai Yori and Monster whose places are swappable, the rest I'm quite flexible with. Saint Seiya is in if it's a favorite list, and out among the bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality list, with the exception of The Lost Canvas.
Nielllo
Hmmm, atm it's 1. Kyousougiga (a) 2. Monster (m) 3. Dorohedoro (m) 4. Shinsekai Yori (n) 5. Baccano! (a) 6. Ran to Haiiro no Sekai (m) 7. Saint Seiya (my guilty pleasure, I can't defend it in anyway) 8. Franken Fran (m) 9. The Legend of the Sun Knight (n)(1st tier comedy) 10. Haibane Renmei/Toradora!.Honorable mentions to Gamaran, Beck, GTO, Mushishi, Kaiba and Grave of the Fireflies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Damn....its a harder question to answer than it looks =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Cruel God reigns in heaven would com close.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, nothing would dethrone Gunslinger girl for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even Utena but I feel it somewhat overated as I do Bebop despite enjoying both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of those on the top ten could easily be switched for honey and clover.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also love the works of Shimura Takkako, early takahashi and early Clamp.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Shiki would work its way onto a recent favourites list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite visual novels are Kara no shoujo, saya no uta and Sharin no kuni.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've a soft spot for ah my goddess, basara, 7 seeds , nanoha and Red river.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I was making more modern lists for recent favourites I'd probably add flipflappers somewhere or yuasas works.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh my top ten by mixing manga and anime into the same list? 1. Gunslinger (both) girl 2. Ghost in the shell (anime) 3. Earl cain saga (manga) 4. Angel Sanctuary (manga) 5. Texhnolyze (anime) 6. Lain (anime) 7. Perfect blue (anime) 8. Fruits basket (manga) 9. Monster 10. Kare kano.
Nielllo
I don't think anything will ever dethrone Kyousougiga for me though.
Nielllo
I still need to watch Tatami Galaxy and a bunch of other staple shows...
Lenlo
We could put out a site-author Top 10 list sometime maybe... Some of mine are Mushishi, Steins;Gate, Tatami Galaxy and Your Lie in April. Its got a spectrum of genre.
Nielllo
So what are people's top 10?
silver
Certainly on my top 10 list I have works adapted from VNs, manga, novels, LNs, and originals. I just think originals have a higher rate of efficient visual storytelling compared to adaptations
silver
@Kaiser: I like SEL and Haibane and texhnolyze is on my ever-growing list of things to watch. I also really like Gurren Lagen and Kill la Kill although they're both better if you've seen enough anime to know what they're parodying. My ex who loathed most anime because of the aforementioned over-exposition issue also introduced me to Dennou Coil which I really enjoyed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Body and soul just got released on a webdl , sell me on the film if you can =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: Texhnolyze/Lain/Haibane are excellent examples.
silver
I think original anime offers a different experience than adaptations, particularly regarding 'show don't tell.' By necessity most anime source material is dialogue and exposition heavy and can't always utilize the medium efficiently. Of course, I've watched masterpieces adapted from every kind of source, so it's all good
Niello
I'd love to see this thing animated some day. Preferably with movie budget: http://thepropertyofhate.com/TPoH/Ex position/312
Niello
@Eoghan: Try searching in some Asian languages and you might have better luck.
silver
Most open-minded people I talk with don't have anything against animated entertainment. Shows like Bob's Burgers, Archer, and Bojack Horseman have carved a modern niche for 'adult' animation. Having a show about talking alcoholic horse would be pretty cheesy with live action.
Niello
Never mind, Mario said it. But I also don't agree that idol shows or incest shows are intrinsically bad. On top of idol being a trend in Japan first and anime pick it up because it's part of the culture.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The reason people see the worst side of things, is because that is what is made most on the surface and immediate,
Niello
@Amagi: Considering that all the ones you listed are originally manga, I think you should give manga more credit...
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by finding I mean, hard to buy or torrent .
Kaiser-Eoghan
The infuriating thing is how poorly distributed some things are. I hate seeing Godammn blurays of shit hollywood films everywhere and I have to struggle to find some old/quality eastern film.
Amagi
I think it's the same problem as with endless shounen. Sometimes series get dragged on purpose to make more money.
Amagi
The tons of seasons is what scares me away sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
I keep thinking, why pad a 90 minute-9 1/2 hour story in a billion one hour per episode seasons.
Amagi
Yeah it's always like that, with cinema movies too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also hate ensemble/mosaic storytelling for the larger part, with some exceptions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this excuse won't work with people who love serialized live-action tv dramas but...I don't like most tv shows because of how padded they are and that they go on far too long and the acting is tv standard and not film standard.
Lenlo
I dont want TV that much, but my experience has been there are very few shows worth watching. Just like anime.
Lenlo
Well, in the argument that anime has alot of bad trends to, I would say so does regular television. How many TVs per year are as good/acclaimed in the "best" anime of each season are in the community?
Amagi
I think it's just sad that there are so many people (the big majority) that refuse to watch cartoons in general because they consider them as either childish or a worse version of "real" series. They'll always miss the good sides anime/manga have and therefore certain sub-genres as a whole.
Amagi
@SuperMario: Yeah you're right. I should have specified it to Japanese drawn media in general (VNs too). And yeah most anime/manga are rather trashy or blatantly bad. But the good series are often something live acting can't create and we'd miss without Japan. There are good cartoons too, though
SuperMario
... original ones: Cowboy Bebop, EVA, Flip Flappers, Kaiba, etc
SuperMario
@amagi: I almost agree with everything you said, but we might give anime too much credits. Remember it's a medium that responsible for many, many bad trends: idol shows, incest shows, tentacle hentai shows and so on so forth. The shows you listed here are come from manga as well, and they are strong manga materials to begin with. If I choose an example of what anime can achieve I'd point to some..
Amagi
This season is really good and it shows how lacking fiction would be without anime. Stuff like Shuumatsu, Houseki or even Mahoutsukai can only exist as anime. It's something live acting script writers would never come up with, not to mention that a lot would be lost without the respective drawing styles, be it the moe blobbs of Shuumatsu or the CGI hair, grass and camera movement of Houseki.
KTravlos
btw I really liked this Mahoutsukai no Yome episode. Finally we are getting somewhere
Amagi
@Kaiser: You're right, totally forgot that. Looking forward to this. Also I could have sworn I heard about a new project from Iso (Dennou Coil) last year but I guess I either confused him with someone else or with Children of Ether in which he's involved in some kind of way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That series was going to be devilman crybaby .
Amagi
Wasn't Yuasa also doing a series of some sort this year? Haven't watched the movies yet but I loved most of his stuff so far, with Kaiba being my favorite.
Anonymous1575628
Wow, Houseki did not disappoint for me this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed it for what it was. But I'd say even if you didn't read the subs you probably wouldn't have much trouble following it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually had a look and lu over the wall, coincidentally , there are moments of where Yuasa's imagination/visuals shine through and its a genuinely charming film at times, but it does almost outstay its welcome and there's a sense Yuasa was somewhat restrained this time round, it IS a kids movie and that kind of does need to be taken into account, its not AS mad as mind game or kemonozume.
Amagi
Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta is subbed, but no idea if the subs are good
Kaiser-Eoghan
And its quite natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Florida project succeeds through its free flowing nature/narrative and manages to be hilarious all the while managing to never allow you forget its also a kitchen sink drama, the best performances come from William Dafoe and the girl. At the end it gut punches the audience emotionally.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: also expecting Florida Project, 3 Billboards, and The Shape of Water in my end
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, Kino was a bit too slight this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just Lu, disaster artist and happy end left now for the year. Maybe the new Godzilla.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt that Sion Soni's Noriko's dinner table did the irl acting thing better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to watch The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Consider I regarded The Lobster as one of the best film of that year and Dogtooth and Alps impressed me a lot; I have high hope for this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mooooommm, I want my Lu over the wal subs and I want them now OMO!
Niello
...Can't torrent where I am, grrrr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite fond of Go Nagai's devilman, so I'll be interested in seeing Yuasa's adaptation of it whenever it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kasier: ha! thanks Kaiser. Finally it's out... gonna download it now
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Here is a link to Night is short walk on girl English subbed: https://nyaa.si/view/979508
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: OR JUST MONIKA Amirite =P
SuperMario
in all seriousness though, I hope they can use one week break to smooth out their production.
SuperMario
so Just Because's taking a break this week. The reason: just because
Lenlo
Mhmhmm Inuyashiki was great this week. I just love this show.
Amagi
The hell- no didn't know that. I really wouldn't have expected tribute songs to this series
Niello
@Amagi: Did you know this exists? And it's by Igorrr no less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhQQ57N-9ys&list=PL9ku-W0xIzd4EYUL9bUG2CZXBIy7cCiSk
Niello
And yes, I'm just waiting and waiting for the day the anime get announced. No doubt it'll becomes a classic.
Niello
@Eoghan, I don't think it becomes a mess though, the story threads all come together amazingly well.
KTravlos
I too recommend at least watching 2nd episode of Tanya before passing judgement.

Looking forward to the Urasawa manga as well!
SuperWooper
@Anonymous: Thanks! Reading blog posts used to be my go-to distraction when I took breaks at work. Now I have to take breaks from writing them. It's a grind at times, but Star Crossed ought to be alive for a while yet.
Amagi
Adaptions for series like these only work when they're passion projects. If they're not they end up like the Dies Irae anime.
Amagi
It's another one of those series I really wish to see as an anime with music, movement and so on. But same as with Made in Abyss, it needs a cometent director and one that is in love with the work or else it will be a letdown
Amagi
@Niello: Yes and I fucking love it. The gritty style, the setting, the characters and designs and so on. @Kaiser didn't know she was under Nihei that's cool. I love these sketchy styles
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: yes and more people I believe should so, despite that its kind of become a mess, I take the thing as one big black comedy. The woman who drew it interestingly enough apprenticed under Tsutomu Nihei.
Niello
Anyone here read Dorohedoro?
Anonymous1566521
Just passing by to say like the place, it's kinda perfect to read for whenever I take a break. And most importantly I haven't read anything stupid. Hopefully it won't die anytime soon:0
Vonter
Masky - Overlord has an OP isekai, yet I find that series compelling do to the world building, and how even with power and influence, the MC plays like a chessmaster and not brute force his way into doing something.
AidanAK47
@Masky, I wouldn't write off Tanya so fast. Make it to episode 2 at least.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel I need to actually properly get into Godzilla for some frame of reference before the anime film, I've only seen the new one and the original.
Amagi
Or the Hiroshima movie
Amagi
I know you can't have everything but considering that we currently have Blame, the Itoh movies, Lu over the Wall, Godzilla or Napping Princess this is rather a let down
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