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
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do you ever go to those surprise horror/thriller preview screenings? Where they don't tell you what film it is until it starts?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*worrying about
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its saying something, when I haven't seen eternal sunshine since it came out, but even by re-watching the trailer, the feelings, the whole film comes back. At that point I'd grown out of Jim Carey's comedy, so seeing him play against type was refreshing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, I'm more forgiving then, I'm likely to give higher points for sheer imagination that I'm not as bothered by worry about the story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Any negative argument against mood indigo by him can be countered by the fact it has Audrey Tatou in it.
Anonymous2035464
jhonrhean
SuperMario
and I just watched A Quiet Place. A solid indie horror one. It builds on atmosphere and it does the family chemistry right
SuperMario
I don't like The Science of Sleep to be honest. Tons of interesting ideas and visually creativeness but the story itself is a mess
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Gondry needs to avoid making any more commercial comedies, he also needs to start working with Kaufman again, they brought out the best in each other, although on his own, he can be playful and inventive with his films, such as mood indigo and science of sleep.
SuperMario
But check out his other movie Eternal sunshine of Spotless Mind. It has an inventive mind control/ mind altering concept in there
SuperMario
Jim Carrey is kind of mind controller himself. I couldn't take my eyes off him
SuperMario
@anon2028818: it was indeed season 5. SORRY FOR MY IGNORANCE :)
Vonter
The Jim Carrey movies.
Vonter
Dorei-ku seems like a Kakegurui. You see one episode you've seen all. It'll be better if it was crazier like Mirai Nikki. Mind control IMO could be a very creepy setup if it's watched through the perspective of the victim rather than the perpetrator. Losing notion or reality and control. Could liar liar and Yes man be considered mind controlled stories?
Vonter
Ore Mahou Shoujo, baffles me, since I had to skip another long musical off key number, which makes me wonder where the budget cut starts and where the trolling begins. Also makes me sad, there aren't a lot of female to male transformations since it'll be interesting watching that perspective. Maybe a love triangle from both genders could apply since females are more accepted to be bi, in media.
Vonter
Megalobox could be something really special, but I hope like with Ashita no Joe, the anime isn't solely boxing. Joe, had social commentary, had a personal struggle do to the protagonist origin, attitude and view of life, since he started very immature and rebellious.
Amagi
Megalo Box, Tiramisu (I find this genuinely funny), S;0, GGO which is so much better than SAO, Wotaku, Hinamatsuri, Cutie Honey, LotGH, Hisone to Masotan and so on
Amagi
I really love this season as well.
Lenlo
Also personally I am enjoying this current season a alot. But I also know/like a good bit of the reboots/sequels
Lenlo
Oh man... 2015 winter was good. Forgot thats when those came out
Anonymous2028818
@SuperMario: Wasn't that Natsume season 5?, pretty sure season 4 was several years earlier.
SuperMario
Another strong anime season for me was 2015 Winter, where we had YuriKuma Arashi, Maria the Virgin Witch, Death Parade, Durarara whatever season, second cour of Shirobako, Parasyte and Your Lie in April
SuperMario
Even so, with this season I'm still willing to give some shows another chance, like Caligula or Cutie Honey Universe(!)
SuperMario
For me, the best season in recent years was Fall 2016 when we had Flip Flappers, Sound Eupho 2, Yuri on Ice, Natsume 4, Fune wo Amu, Drifters and 3-gatsu no Lion. But I know that Aidan would disagree with me on this
SuperMario
@anon2028201: it's me who said this season is a mixed bag. It's like you said, this season is too heavily on sequels/ reboots and only some new anime stand out, the rest of the pack is just meh.
Anonymous2028201
To me this seems like a pretty good seasons, but judging some of the impressions, it's a bit more of a mixed bag for most. Just curious, what were the best seasons for recent anime? This one seems good to me, but to early to tell right now
Anonymous2028201
Lovin this season so far: a lot of reboots/reimaginings and sequels, but I'm enjoying them all. MHA S3, LOGH DNT, S;G 0, Megalobox, Golden Kamuy are what I'm watching right now. I hear Full Metal Panic is good as well, but I haven't gotten around to watching the original series.
Anonymous2028258
so i just recently rewatched fullmetal panic fumoffu and i gotta say that this is easily one of Kyo ani's best works. It's such a surprise that this was their first anime; it's a damn good romance comedy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
niello
ugh democracy
KTravlos
@Kaiser ultimately LOGH for me was a decisive point in my political life, as I think it made the best defense of democracy in any form I have seen. And it worked partly because the opponent was presented in the best possible incarnation (Rienhard). Yang's continued adherence to democracy, despite recongising its flaws, helped me avoid a personal descent into authoritarian politics.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I am happy you had a good experience. I watched the prequels a while after the main show and I was happy because it was great getting back to those characters. The prequels were also great in fleshing the setting and the characters. So yes, take your time and a break. That way the prequels will be like visiting a place you liked again after a while.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@KTtravlos: I have some other stuff to get through before watching the galactic heroes prequel though =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
YES according to discord poster I'm not a millenial!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for overposting. I have always always being an incredibly verbose person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter; Not that I oppose captilistically made for a buck cinema, it can be entertaining yes, but I set a standard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: As open as I am to trash cinema, I consider the resident evil films, like the superhero ones, anti-art.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand why people don't like Villier, but he did I think work as a device to add extra tension.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel some release at finishing but at the same time sadness at saying goodbye to the show and its characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
, showing its age.
But for something of this length, it kept itself up far better than most long shows and I feel the length its somewhat justified.

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will listen to the podcast more in full later. But I was surprised after asking/suggesting it on the discord, that it came so soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am thinking of re-watching gasaraki and ai yori aoshi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Perhaps after a while of watch the anime I will simply jump on to the manga.
Vonter
I watched Resident Evil: Vendetta yesterday. It's incredible dumb but kind of fun. I do wonder if in terms of entertainment are like the best videogame based movies. Since it plays like a videogame, it's based on a videogame and is more or less in line with the tone the series has had for a while.
niello
It's such a shame that Golden Kamuy art direction is such a train wreck.
KTravlos
and for the sake of Clausewitz there is clinical term for what Reinhard did. It is called "defeat in detail". Napoleon was a master of it. Proper way to defeat it , is to order the threatened force to retreat to a point where other allied forces are converging. The enemy will either have to retreat, or fight at a disadvantage. The 1813 and 1814 campaigns against Napoleon are examples of that.
KTravlos
Episode 2 of LOGGH: Der Neue Thesis was much better than the first. The music is still an issue, but Yang was well portrayed. I do think there is lack of the directors in showing the cruelty of war, like the first one did. We will see.
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 2 [Epigraph of the Closed Curve -Closed Epigraph-]

9 years. It has been almost 9 years since the original season of Steins;Gate. Since Okabe overcame received a mysterious video message, which prompted him to finally save the day. Back then it was a rather clever, if thin, plot device to get a happy ending. Steins;Gate 0 is the story of this video message. […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 2/3[The Battle of Astarte/An Indomitable Prodigy]

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political […]

Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

Leave it to Japanese cartoon that done the Western genre better than the Westerners, at least from what we have seen so far (note: despite my pun, Western the genre doesn’t refer to the Western culture, but to the American Old West). Granted, Japanese cinema and literature has a strong tradition of samurai genre, which […]

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Darling in the Franxx – 14[Punishment and Confession]

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Megalo Box – 2 [The Man Only Dies Once]

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Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

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Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered […]

Darling in the Franxx – 10-12[The City of Eternity/Partner Shuffle/The Garden Where It All Began]

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. […]

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Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

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