Posted on 31 August 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

I’m not going to recap the manga I read this month due to a lack of screenshots that I have for them, but rest assured that I am planning a sort-of compilation post at the end of the season, including my highlights and overall impressions. In the meantime we go further with the Summer season, which really showed itself as a season of creativity. I’m watching a bit less than usual with only 17 series at the same time, but seriously, with the exception of Tari Tari, Saint Seiya and perhaps Rinne no Lagrange, all these series here stand out with their imagination and that’s a much, much higher share than usual. Especially considering how next season will be incredibly different: Fall 2012 will really be about quantity, with a lot of series that look similar to each other instead.

#17 (14) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – (7.9/10) – Horizon’s selling point still is its boundless creativity, combined with bizarre politics with strange premises. That part is still rock-solid. I have a few issues with the cast though: at this point in the story they should be getting more interesting and lively with development… but I’m still not really noticing anything here, and to be honest this drags the show down a bit for me.
#16 (15) – Tari Tari – (8/10) – Tari Tari is a well done drama series. It’s nothing special, and a bit forced in the way that it jumps from character to character to show their development and story, but these stories do their job to flesh them out.
#15 (20) – Phi Brain – (8/10) – After having my suspense of disbelief broken for a few months, I’m back to enjoying Phi Brain again as it heads into its conclusion as it finally brings in some good character-development and the themes of saving the villains finally get somewhere. The sequel definitely had some balancing issues, but I’m glad that it managed to come together.
#14 (18) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8.1/10) – Whoa, this show has become much better this month! After long string sof rather boring fights, they are getting much more exciting now that the sakes are getting higher. I alos like how this show keeps track of its characters, and how it’s willing to go against “the party must stick together”-syndrome that a lot of adventure series have.
#13 (16) – Sword Art Online – (8.1/10) – Ah, Sword Art Online: brilliant setting, great acting from the main cast… but the main cast definitely needs some better writing to make them more interesting because at the moment this show screams a bit of wasted potential for focusing too much on Kirito meeting cute girls. Show some variety dammit!
#12 (10) – Moyashimon – (8.25/10)

Moyashimon had a string of episodes in which it lost its magic. The school festival arc was dull and for a while I just missed the chemistry between the characters that made me originally like the show. Thankfully this has returned again in the recent episodes, in which the characters were really enjoyable to watch again.

#11 (12) – Uta Koi – (8.25/10)

If I had one criticism for Uta Koi, then it is the animation. I get that it’s really hard to animate character-designs of this scale, and the budget for this series definitely is low, but the still frames do stand out a little too much and interfere a bit with bringing the characters to life. It’s a good thing that the stories it tells are still just wonderful. There is a ton of historical background and detail in this series, and the balance is just perfect: no character is overexposed, yet there are a few characters who get a bit of extra time to show how they changed over the years. And yes, episode 06 was awesome.

#10 (11) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8.25/10)

This show is building up to something, I can feel it. In the meantime there is random comic relief and time to flesh out the characters some more. At this point the cast of Rinne no Lagrange has definitely matured and changed. Now all that’s left is to use this.

#9 (13) – Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – (8.25/10)

Jinrui has improved nicely, in the way that the cast has become much more likable and the stories more interesting. This month also showed that the order of the arcs is completely random, which makes it also a challenge to puzzle together the real sequence of events. The setting with the fairies also is as strong as last month.

#8 (8) – Kokoro Connect – (8.4/10)

Kokoro Connect’s biggest flaw is that it sometimes focuses a bit too much on its drama, making it a bit one-sided. Said drama however, is really, really good and really aims to delve deep into the different characters. The characters clash wonderfully together.

#7 (6) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8.4/10)

While hilarious, this wasn’t the best month for Shirokuma Cafe. It had a few episodes which were too much about panda trolling, and the best moments weren’t as utterly hilarious as some of the earlier episodes. Still, there was enough to like, ranging from Polar Bear’s antics to the whole affair around Penko.

#6 (7) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8.5/10)

It’s unbelievable, but I’m only liking this series more as it goes on. It’s already in its third season, and it still feels fresh despite all of the content it puts in, and the jokes that keep coming are all new and original. I hardly see anyone mention or talk about this series, but I really look forward to watch it every week.

#5 (5) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.6/10)

Oh yes! With this month, Hunter X Hunter has really set itself apart from the rest of the shounen series. The Yorkshin arc has finally fully started and it’s great to see Kurapika in the spotlight. It’s great to see people actually working on jobs and acting that way.

#4 (4) – Hyouka – (8.6/10)

This month featured the conclusion for the school festival arc, and I have to say that Hyouka surpassed itself there, making the best with its focus on mundane mysteries. The stories that followed were also really good, making great use of the character-development that has been established at this point.

#3 (3) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8.75/10)

This show is confusing, to the point where I often find myself forgetting important plot points of episodes ago, but I kindof like that about this series and how it doesn’t want to hold your hand along the way. It also still has the best action of the season and the characters still keep this one going really strong.

#2 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9.1/10)

The only fault of this show is that sometimes, it is paced a bit too slowly. But heck, with how incredible the cast of characters has become, I really don’t mind that at all. The conclusion of the third round worked incredibly well and managed to bring the entire cast together, only ending with the message that we haven’t even started yet.

#1 (2) – Natsuyuki Rendezvous – (9.1/10)

This show knows what it is. This month really showed that it makes perfect use of its length of only 11 episodes with how much focus it puts on just one plot twist. This was wonderfully acted once again, and it already had some amazing pay-off as of episode 09. Heck, at this point I’m pretty certain that this will be somewhere in my top 2 of 2012.

Posted on with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Natsuyuki Rendezvous, I applaud you! That was magnificent!

Now this is really how you do a dramatic climax. There was so much emotion in it, yet it was wonderfully restrained. The acting here was just brilliant. Everything in this episode was just leading up to that one moment in which Rokka would realize that for some reason Atsushi is back in Hazuki’s body, and they did so brilliantly.

The way they built it up also was amazing. Whilst Rokka was catching up to Atsushi (which is believable considering his mind has no affinity with being fast in any way), this episode kept showing flashbacks of the most memorable moments that the two of them shared together, which this series very nicely saved specifically for just this moment (now that I mention it: we never saw the flashback of the actual moment in which Atsushi died, right? That’s a wonderful touch right there for this series).

Beyond that I also really want to applaud the dialogue for this episode: that was some really well written stuff, miles away from the usual cliches. It felt fresh and captured the characters perfectly in how it described them. It also flowed so well with the actual animation. This episode didn’t feel like “okay, and now we have a bit of exposition”, but all the scenes flowed into each other, and did so incredibly smoothly. Dogakobo, where have you been hiding this talent for all this time?
Rating: 7/8 (Fantastic)

Posted on 30 August 2012 with categories: Moyashimon

This episode had something: chemistry. It’s the kind of chemistry that drew me into the second season of Moyashimon in the first place, and that had been unfortunately absent for a string of three or four episodes. I’m glad to see it back again.

It’s hard to describe what made this episode work, but the variety had a lot to do with it, how everyone split up in three groups that all did their own stuff, and how whimsical this all happened. There was one part romance, one part comedy and one part character-study and they went togehter really well. The animators also were quite good with their camera angles this week, which also really helped in bringing the cast alive.

I feel that this episode was really needed to keep this show from getting stale. The story from the blond girl about inheriting her family’s business: it was different from the usual things. You know, parents pushing their businesses down onto their children without much more detail. The story of her father and how her entire family is involved: I like that. Especially after watching so many episodes in which Haruka’s story was nothing really more than “girl gets forced to marry against her will”. That also got a bit more detail. It still is a bit stale compared to the wine girl, but at the very least it isn’t so damn cliched anymore.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 28 August 2012 with categories: Uta Koi

Sei Shonagon again, this time with the focus on her actual romance. This definitely was an episode for dialogue, because the two of them loved making quibs to each other and there were a lot of tongues in cheeks this week, along with nice historical details like how hats played such an important role in those days.

A difference between this episode was that it wasn’t necessarily about the constraining environment in which people lived back then, but instead it showed a different side of how things went on for the nobles and poets of those days. Sei Shonagon is a woman who has enough influence over people to make a difference.

Overall, Uta Koi has painted this nice picture of who the authors of the 100 poems were. It doesn’t stray too long on one of them, but it also picks a few of them to give a bit more attention than the others. Whether it’s the most exciting show though… that is unfortunately not the case. The fact remains that the acting still is quite wooden (although this episode wasn’t the worst example of that).
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 27 August 2012 with categories: Hyouka

Once again a really nice standalone episode for Hyouka, so close to the end. I have to say: I’m really enjoying these episodes more compared to the individual episodes of the first half of the series. It’s not just because we now know the characters and that this show is now able to use this in its storytelling (most notably the interplay between Oreki and Chitanda), but the mysteries themselves also have gotten more interesting. I relaly liked the idea of piecing a story together from a random strange announcement over the school intercom.

This was just two people sitting in a room, trying to piece together something that happened, and I like episodes like this, especially considering how much detail the writers managed to put into it and how everything just started with one simple sentence: Oreki picked apart every single detail of it in order to get to his conclusion. Satoshi and Ibara were completely absent, so this was just about Oreki and Chitanda.

Now, I wouldn’t actually mind if the show ended on random episodes like these, or even a short arc of three episodes. In fact, it’s great for the variety in this series to play with the set-up like this, especially after the long school festival arc. Having a series in which the arcs are all the same length does get a bit boring, but here they are able to switch things up, and especially this episode was significantly different from the others. That’s great! Yay for variety!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Rinne no Lagrange

This show is building up to something. This episode however, decided to ignore that for some good old-fashioned character-building. It wasn’t even a calm before the storm, but rather an episodic story that was meant to push the characters a bit further before the climax starts.

So yeah, the student council wants to take away the club room for the jersey club. To avoid that Madoka needs to find an extra member. They find one, but at the end of the episode that member already quit and the clubroom issues stopped being a problem. The new character is also completely insignificant to the story, so the real point of this episode was everything in between.

Aside from fleshing out, what I think was the most important here was the meaning of the Jersey club to Madoka and Youko (who by the way has a way too small part in this second season): how the club was formed, and how they look at it today. It’s a neat piece of character development for both of them.

As for the main storyline, the only thing that was revealed was that that one guy who has been suspicious for the entire series has something to do with it and has been alive for 20000 years now. I’m still not seeing how it’s going to relate back to the themes of the rest of this series though, but this episode was not bothered by that. And in the meantime, the new girl was annoying but had her charms when she revealed her intentions, and it was fun to see Madoka fly off.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

You know, this was actually very adorable. In this episode Watashi gets sent to some random island along with a truck full of fairies in order to “cultivate” it. A few episodes ago it was outlined that the more fairies there were, the more luck you have. This episode showed that you can also overdo it a bit.

The result is an entire civilization being built consisting out of all sorts of monuments, only to collapse again due to a lack of resources. The whole process was quite interesting; again lots of sweets were involved, but I also liked how the fairies basically invented their own foods on a whim. The different buildings and clothing were quite imaginative.

Also, the episode order of this is completely random: this episode showed Assistant again, and acted as if he had been there for ages. Ideally speaking, I’d have liked it if the creators emphasized this random order a bit more. I mean, at this point there are only two stories that really made use of this: the story about her getting her hair cut, and the story of meeting Assistant. Other than that, I noticed that things that happen in one episode are never mentioned in the other again. Whether it prevents the series from coming together or not… I can’t say that yet at this point.

Also, why is grandfather always messing with a gun during the introductions?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: Sword Art Online

So, the main storyline has begun. But does that also mean that this show has gotten better? Well, slightly.

I had my problems with this episode, but what I liked about it was that it further developed the relationship between Kirito and Asuna. It’s actually good that they spend a bit of quality time together, and this was done better than with the other girls Kirito met so far, on top of just being good build-up.

However, the one who is responsible for translating the novel storyline into the anime storyline needs to pay more attention to detail. I feel like this episode left out some key parts in understanding the characters and a few things in this episode didn’t make any sense because some key parts have never been shown. They’re small bits of details, but take for example the point at which Kirito enters Asuna’s house and is impressed with how expensive this is.

Now, I’m actually very interested in the story behind this, because it doesn’t really make sense from the perspective of an MMORPG: Kirito solos bosses and is constantly improving himself. Any loot or money he takes is something he gets to keep for himself. And knowing MMORPGs and boss drops, he can probably get quite a bit of money by just selling all of the rare high-level stuff he finds that is inaccessible to the people of lower level. Asuna and her guild meanwhile may kill more monsters together, but I do doubt whether they kill more monsters per person than what Kirito does. So how do they make money? Escorts? Taking on paid jobs from lower level members?

I also have a few complaints about how Kirito’s relationship with Asuna was handled. The scene with that one night was just cheap. It already started off clichéd with that random boob-grab, but even then: he just randomly starts acting possessive, without giving us the chance to see why he does this, especially considering how this guy is probably amongst the oldest people in the game, they just blow it off as stress, but to me this just feels like another one of those “punk”-scenes. You know, the scene where the cute girl is attacked by punks and has to be saved by the lead character for a bit of drama? I feel that the creators are actually doing a pretty good job on the acting for Kirito and Asuna, but this guy was really badly portrayed.

On a side-note: I just realized something: next season, A-1 Pictures will be likely working on six different shows at the same time: Fairy Tail, SAO, Uchuu Kyoudai, Gyrozetter, Magi and From the new World. That’ll be interesting to see if they can handle it.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 26 August 2012 with categories: Eureka Seven Ao

So, this series definitely has this tendency to come with back-stories right from out of nowhere. This episode treated us to the identity of the father of Truth. On top of the nature of the world that the series takes place in: we’re dealing with a parallel universe. Basically this show is what would happen if earth would be invaded by the Scab Coral: it would still thrive, but not as much as we do now. So wait, are the villains in this series trying to move the plot into the current earth?

What’s interesting is how Goldilocks isn’t dead, but instead they never got enlisted. And you know what? I wonder what happened to Bruno in this timeline then: is he still working for Generation Blue, but in a different division or something? Will we actually see him again? What’s also interesting is how Ao nearly loses himself near the end of this episode, leading to quite an interesting cliff-hanger where people actually realize that he is too dangerous with that dimension-altering gun of his. Is that really going to be it, though, or did this episode fail to mention something?

And then there are the characters in this episode who just started to act weird. Elena Peoples… didn’t she try to shoot down the Nirvash a bunch of episodes ago? This episode she apparently decided to try a completely different tactic, but what she has in mind still is a complete mystery. The trio of Gazelle, Pippo and Juno also were different from usual. Juno was in his element when he started explaining things, so that one is logical, but what about Gazelle being so blunt? And has Pippo always been this stupid? The most notable change however was Georg, who sometimes got taken over by a new voice. That one definitely is a plot point that the next episodes will touch upon.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 23 August 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

When it was revealed that Atsushi could move objects, I did find myself thinking “now what?” Well, the creators answered that question brilliantly, and at this point it has become clear that the main plot of this show is all about that body takeover, and the conclusion of this series will very likely also be the point where this will get resolved, and no sooner. This episode was meant to build up for that, and what brilliant build-up it was!

Clearly something happened between Atsushi and Rokka that involves mountains. The first half focused on this from Rokka’s perspective as she tried to puzzle what on earth was going on, and what I really loved was how well her acting was when she called up Hazuki. Talk about restraint! It said so much with so little dialogue!

The second half of the episode then moved over to Hazuki as he realized that there was a slight danger that he didn’t anticipate to the body swapping: not being able to return, with as the highlight that part that had the best track of the soundtrack of this series (the one with the bass-like guitar and piano: a simple yet wonderful combination).
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
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Featured Posts

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Dies Irae – 08[Promise]

Netflix has funded thirty anime which will air in 2018 and this has brought concerns over whether Anime as a whole could be westernised in order to cater to an overseas demographic. I find the chances of this unlikely and the more likely result is a more diverse lineup of anime for both Japanese and […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 9 [None so deaf as those who will not hear]

Hello and welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai! Lets hop right into it. First and foremost, let’s talk about Chise. As the main heroine of the show, naturally it’s going to focus on her a lot. This week zooms in on her relationship with Elias and what it actually is. Characters and situations comment on […]

Juuni Taisen – 10 [A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin]

Juuni Taisen again expands a huge flashback in the middle of the current story, but this one hits all the right notes because naturally its heart is in the right place. It’s episode like this that I am glad I’m still sticking with Juuni Taisen and regain my faith to the overall quality of this […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 09[Various Countries]

I will likely be spending most of this post talking about one segment of this episode as just as the title suggests, these are a series of stories involving different countries. But before I get into that I must truly question why these particular stories were chosen. I have stated before that I love Kino […]

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The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

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Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

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Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

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