Posted on 30 September 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

The summer season was quite small, but it stood out. It had one of the best shows of the year, and it had creative premises and executions. It perhaps wasn’t the best summer season out there, but definitely worth watching. And really: there was only one show that I kept watching that really went and disappointed all the way. Apart from that, even the ones that didn’t live up to what I expected still had something interesting to redeem themselves with.

#19 (45) – Hiiro no Kakera – (4.1/10) – The biggest crime of this series is being bland. Way too bland. Have an interesting concept. Have charismatic characters. Have interesting plot twist. Have funny jokes, anything, for god’s sake! Dropped.
#18 (16) – Tari Tari – (7.5/10) – Tari Tari… you should have tried harder. I mean, it’s fine and all that you want to just be a random slice of life show, but you should have tried to use your characters a bit more. Wien remained a joke for the entire series, and the eventual pay-off: the final performance, turned out to be a lazy montage.
#17 (17) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – (7.9/10) – Very over the top, but there still is something missing here. And don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely entertaining, but I just feel like this could have been much more considering the potential it had.
#16 (10) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8/10) – The problem with this month’s Rinne no Lagrange was that it was trying to be too epic. That didn’t really mix in with the other messages of the show, unfortunately and the characters kept bouncing a bit between two extremes. It had some nice moments, but I feel that it would have been better if they just focused on either of the two.
#15 (14) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8.1/10) – Yet again this show proves that you can be simple, yet effective. It all was basic action right now, but because of how consistent it has been for the past months it worked as the mid-climax for this series. I mean, I’m starting to grow a liking to the characters, which is a sign of good build-up.
#14 (13) – Sword Art Online – (8.1/10)I do want to get one thing straight: I don’t dislike this series, and it does some things fascinatingly well. But at others it’s unfortunately still a wasted potential, not to mention how it came with that bizarre plot twist involving Yui that just felt completely out of place.
#13 (9) – Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – (8.25/10)

I feel like it would have been better for this series if the episodes of this month were shown a bit earlier, because that’s where we finally saw some depth on Watashi. Still, because of that this ending did have its charm, ending with the beginning and all.

#12 (12) – Moyashimon – (8.25/10)

Moyashimon was very entertaining, and after its dull in the middle it did manage to recover itself. The fact remains however that it had a bit of a bad premise for an entire sequel. I mean, the side plot of the wine brewing girl was much more interesting than Haruka’s arranged marriage. It’s the rest of the cast that really managed to save this series with their chemistry.

#11 (15) – Phi Brain – (8.25/10)

Aaaand the final month of Phi Brain’s second season was also its best. Who would have guessed? The thing is that everything came together, and it actually delivered what it promised: really good character-development. Sure, it was ridiculously silly, but the build-up actually paid off. And for that I’m willing to cut it a lot of slack.

#10 (6) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8.4/10)

This show still is just consistently delightful. Every week it just manages to find so many relatable situations that are also just so funny to watch. The alien episode was the best one this month.

#9 (11) – Uta Koi – (8.4/10)

The best month for Uta Koi. It had a lot of interesting stories and it ended with a really neat ending that fitted this show really well. Having an episode dedicated both to Fujiwara no Teika and the writer of Genji Monogatari was really interesting to watch.

#8 (8) – Kokoro Connect – (8.5/10)

The third arc was better than the second, and not as good as the first. With three episodes the creators definitely managed to do some interesting things, and especially the character development was top-notch with the way the arc was set up.

#7 (7) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8.5/10)

There was one episode that had me completely in stitches. It’s been months since I laughed that hard, and that is really important for this series at this point: it shows that it still has more than enough material for its second half of 26 episodes. Really , that’s my biggest fear for this series: that 52 episodes will be too much for it to handle. That episode beyond being utterly hilarious was a big confidence boost.

#6 (new) – From the New World – (8.6/10)

What an opening episode! I mean, with the very first new episode of the season, From the New World set a damn high standard to live up to, with a fantastic directing style and an intriguing setting. On top of that A-1 pulled some top-notch animators out of its hat.

#5 (4) – Hyouka – (8.6/10)

The height of Hyouka was the Juumonji arc. The past number of episodes were still really good, but didn’t show the series at its best. Nevertheless, it definitely was a fitting way to close off the series with some very character-focused episodes.

#4 (3) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8.6/10)

We’re nearly at the climax, and Eureka Seven just continues to deliver its plot twists. It does so in a very good way though. There may have been a number of plotholes, but the twists themselves were fun and were very entertaining to watch.

#3 (5) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.75/10)

Yes! We’re nearly at the best part of Hunter X Hunter. The past month was already amazing, but I am so pumped for what’s coming. The only blemish is that the exposition is really boring to sit through, because I already watched the series and all. Because of that there was one dull episode this month, but at the very least Gon and Killua redeemed themselves really well with the episode that followed that.

#2 (1) – Natsuyuki Rendezvous – (9.25/10)

What an ending! It all went perfect, and after all the build up, Natsuyuki Rendezvous closed off with a perfect ending that flowed like water. Every character got some extra depth, it was still wonderfully produced, and it left a wonderful taste behind. Without a doubt the best show of the Summer Season.

#1 (2) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9.25/10)

The characters in Uchuu Kyoudai already were amazing. And here this month came and made them even better. I mean holy crap, the episodes in this month were just stunning in how much charm every character had, and on top of that the newly introduced characters were also all incredibly interesting to watch.

Posted on with categories: Eureka Seven Ao

As I said in my Kokoro Connect review: I don’t include dvd specials in my reviews, simply because it takes too long to wait for them. With Eureka Seven’s final two episodes scheduled in November though, I can wait. My memory will still be fresh. And with such a cliff-hanger, I really want to include those final two episodes, because they are promising to be awesome. YES! Renton finally made his appearance!

Beyond that, this episode also offered a lot of answers, which is quite good. Naru and Ao also finally got a chance to talk again, and overall this was very fitting as the episode before the big climax, especially considering how it has been building up to give a major role to Renton and Eureka in the final two episodes.

Finally, I want to comment a bit on why I ended up really liking this series, even though I also dislike other series that also pulled questionable plot twists. First of all I want to get things clear: there is no formula in rating anime. With these things, not explaining everything or pulling plotholes, it’s not like there is one rule that says if there are plotholes, it’s bad. Instead, I care all about the context in which it happens: does it have things to make up for it? For example, I pay much more attention to the things I don’t like in Sword Art Online because I dislike that it wastes its potential with its setting. With Eureka Seven Ao however, I am for one a very satisfied Eureka Seven fan, so it can pull off a bit more, and it all just works together. The plot twists that it keeps pulling are all true to its themes and allow it to get the best out of its characters and have them show themselves off.

As for the characters, I honestly don’t mind them, and actually quite like their charms. This episode for example had some good comedy, their chemistry is good and it was all well built up in the first half. It’s not like in Guilty Crown where the characters just changed their personalities for no other reason than raise drama. This is a line that may seem small on first sight, but it makes such a world of difference. Or at least it does to me.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Hunter X Hunter

Oh hell yeah. We’re nearly at the best part of Hunter X Hunter, and they look like they can actually pull it off. I’m going to pick this one up again. Whether I’ll keep blogging it for the remainder of the series entirely depends on how they end up handling the Greed Island arc, but the yorkshin arc is so awesome that it deserves to be blogged here.

With this I also want to wrap up the previous arcs a bit. The thing is, that we’re right now one year in. The animation for Hunter X Hunter has improved in the meantime: the animators are taking more and more risks beyond just shading Hisoka a lot, the soundtrack has gotten better as well, and the lesser voice acting is just something that has to be accepted. It’s not that the voice acting in this series was bad, in the 1999 series it was just that good.

However, I still believe that the 2011 series left a lot to be desired in the Hunter Exam arc. Unfortunately, back when I blogged it I kept dancing around the core issue with it. The core issue is something that bothers me with a lot of other shounen series: being boring in your first arc. You see, in the 1999 series, the creators actually added all those fillers, but those fillers were great in adding details to the characters, fleshing them out and making them fun to watch. because of that it was a really enjoyable standalone arc, even if the Yorkshin would not have been made.

The 2011 series on the other hand skipped all of these details, it saved its best tracks of the soundtrack for later, it waited with its really good animation until after the arc was finished, it didn’t bother looking much into the side characters at all. It was all bland, and instead what stood out about it apparently was the hints it provided for the future arcs. Those hints indeed were nice and all, but they don’t add anything to the Hunter Exam arc itself. And that’s for an arc that lasted 30 episodes. I mean, Full Metal Alchemist took half that time, and that just barely worked out. This lack of detail really made me worried for the future arcs of Hunter X Hunter, but thankfully these were ungrounded: they really managed to get the Yorkshin arc right!

This also is a major episode in the way that Gon and Killua finally have stopped being boring. Finally they also are done with all of that build-up (which is quite boring to watch if you already watched that before), but in this episode they really got to put their skills to the test, and it was an incredibly tense test at that. Here, it really shows how dangerous the spider troupe is, and how the two leads are only just children. They were completely hopeless and captured way too early, but I loved how well they avoided not getting killed instantly.

Right now, the spider troupe is also getting fleshed out really well. Seriously, these guys are pretty much my favorite evil organization in any shounen ever, and this is because of how well they combine with each other. There is no clear structure, like “you must beat my subordinate’s subordinate’s subordinate before you can fight me!”, but instead it’s a chaotic group that works really well in unison. Everyone has his or her own role, and even the ones with barely any airtime like Pakunoda and that guy in bandages have this prescence, like they matter. They really showed that at the end of this episode.

Also, that animation! Take those walking scenes and look at how smooth that animation was. That’s quite rare to do, and the sign that effort is being put in where to put the emphasis right.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

So, I did not like Code Geass. The first season just shattered my suspense of disbelief and even throughout the second season it just wasn’t able to restore this, making it a chore to watch. So when another sequel was announced, I was mostly indifferent to it. And then it got announced that it would be directed by Kazuki Akane, my favorite director ever. Yeah, my opinion changed.

What I love about this guy is that he understands action like no other, and he manages to combine this astonishingly well with his storytelling. His stories are always awesome to watch, he knows how to flesh out settings really well. It’s just the total picture of everything that comes together so wonderfully in his series.

Now, Bokuko no Akito consists out of four movies, so this first movie was just a lot of build-up, so whether the characters and plot will work is still a bit hard to say at this point. I will however say that as a build-up movie this was really solid and it did everything that it was supposed to.

It still takes place in the setting of Code Geass, but on a completely different location. It’s still about a bit of an anti-hero, it still is about the military and it still is about the discrimination of Japanese people, but it removed all those ridiculous elements that the Code Geass TV-series had. There is also no school whatsoever, which also helps. The discrimination issues are also done much better than in the TV-series: the movie added some depth to these issues. In Europe, they’re turned into immigrants and these issues are fleshed out with a slight bit of subtlety that the TV-series completely lacked. All of this together really helped in making me take this series seriously again, something that at the end of the second season, I never would have expected.

And then there is the action: and it really is really well done. The animation is very crisp and clean. The CG stands out, but it’s really well used with intense movements that are all over the place, and are filled with energy. All action scenes just have this sense of power behind them, typical of Kazuki Akane’s action scenes, and they can only get better over the next bunch of movies. The action scenes are also quite grounded for an action series: the creators put thought in their use of explosives and used different ones depending on the situation, and they studied the human anatomy so that when someone is disarmed, it actually looks painful.

Most of my issues were with the characters. The main cast is fleshed out well, they’re likable and interesting, but there is this mindset in this series that I don’t like: the “young people rock adults suck”-mindset. Nearly everyone in this series over 25 years old is incompetent and badly portrayed. This show looks down on them and does not provide an adequate enough reason for it. I hope that this will get fixed somehow in the later movies, but I’m afraid that that will be quite hard to do.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Build-up, but solid build-up.
Characters: 7.5/10 – Some badly portrayed minor characters, but the main cast is solid for the next movies to use.
Production-Values: 8.5/10 – Excellent animation for the fight scenes. It’s a build-up movie, so it’s definitely saving the eye candy for later, but there is a lot for the eyes to admire.
Setting: 8.5/10 – They took the Code Geass setting and removed the ridiculous aspects. The result is quite interesting and it’s good to see this show take itself seriously this way.
Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

Here is my policy on reviewing series that still have important DVD specials coming up: I do not include those DVD specials in these reviews. The reason for this is quite simple: I guess most of you know that my blogging style is very spontaneously: I write down whatever comes to my mind. Most of those DVD specials take months to arrive, some even half a year. At that point my memory of the series in question just isn’t sharp enough to write an accurate review. Kokoro Connect is a special series: it has four episodes scheduled on DVDs that tell its final arc, a procedure that I very much encourage, but this review does not take those into account, other than ignoring the unfinished ending. I’ll talk about it later when everything has finished.

Especially because Kokoro Connect created some very interesting memories during the past season. I mean, every season I watch a ton of bad romantic comedies when every series starts, to the point where I’ve become a bit too biased on some of the clichés and early warning signs. The victim of this was Kokoro Connect, which started off with half an episode of school girls whining and delivering bad sex jokes (just like so many other shows out there do). I completely wrote off this series, and then it turned out to be this genuine and insightful drama. Talk about a surprise here.

So yeah, give this show a chance if you want drama that takes a very deep and close look at its characters. The thing with Kokoro Connect is that it consists out of three arcs, each of them throwing the cast into a situation completely beyond their control, and designed so that they are forced some of their deepest issues. The first arc for example has the cast switch bodies. This brings out tons of interesting issues, both with it shedding a serious look on what it would be like to spend time as a different gender and delving into the characters and their problems.

The first arc is particularly good at this, mostly because of its incredibly sharp dialogue that cuts right to the chase. This sharpness is unfortunately lost on the later arcs, but these still are really good and chock full of character development. The weak link is the second arc in the middle, which just ends up too forced. It’s nothing but the characters yelling at each other, and the creators make too little use of it. It also breaks up the pacing a bit after how good the first arc was: you’d expect something of the same quality, but the end result just doesn’t match up.

What also made this such a surprise is the studio behind it: Silver Link. My opinion of this before this show started was as a collection of bad Shaft-wannabes. That definitely changed with this series: they stopped trying to adhere to their Shaft roots and instead try to go with their own style (albeit slightly inspired by K-On). The animation ends up surprisingly good. Perhaps not Hyouka-levels, but the attention to detail still is quite impressive. The voice acting also is quite good, and unlike any of Silver Link’s previous hammy series. They really did something different here, and while it suffered fierce competition this season in the drama department (Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Hyouka), it held its own and delivered a high school drama that actually managed to stand apart from the rest.

Storytelling: 8.5/10 – The dialogue at worst is pretty forced. At best however it’s incredibly sharp and insightful.
Characters: 8.5/10 – Excellent cast of characters, with issues that play off each other really well and lead to quite some interesting drama.
Production-Values: 8.5/10 – Good animation, though it does still look a tad generic.
Setting: 8/10 – Um yeah. Perhaps this gets explained in the final arc but things just… happen. It’s done believably, but this is one example of a setting that exists just for its characters to develop. Nothing wrong with that, but it also doesn’t get extra points for that.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous
Asatte no Houkou
Hourou Musuko

Posted on 28 September 2012 with categories: Summer 2012 Kaleidoscope

Ah screw it, I’ve got so much to catch up to when I get back that I’m just going to combine all episodes that air in the last two weeks of the season into one post. A wrap-up will follow once I finish everything.

#1: Phi Brain – 50: Well, colour me surprised. That was actually really good. Seriously, this was a terrific conclusion that wraps everything up and delivered a really heart-warming conclusion for Freecell. The art was also much better than usual with the cell shaded detail. Congrats Phi Brain, you redeemed yourself there. – 6/8 (Awesome)

#2: Polar Bear Cafe – 26: So this was the episode to close off the first half of Polar Bear Cafe. Since episode 25 dealt with the past of Polar Bear and Grizzly, I was wondering how the creators would follow up with that in orderbring a good end to the past half year. Well, they did so with the best episode since the Penko episode. The second half of the episode in Grizzly’s Cafe had me completely in stitches. This show can really be brilliant when it wants to; I haven’t laughed this hard in months. – 6/8 (Awesome)

#3: Hunter X Hunter – 47: For this episode for the first time in quite a while I checked back on the same episodes in the 1999 series. I shouldn’t do that anymore. The differences again stood out way too much, and unfortunately, the thing is that the voice acting and animation still is better. I also now know why: the 2011 series has a lot of voice actors who keep doing one hammy voice over and over again, while this was more restrained and balanced in the 1999 series: the actors knew when to be subtle and when to raise their voice. Those differences unfortunately undermine the actual story and the fact that what happened in this episode was really awesome. – 5.5/8 (Excellent)

#4: Kokoro Connect – 12: And with this, the third arc already is better than the second one. It’s much more than jsut people yell at each other, and two members of the cast definitely showed some depth to their characters, and were able to overcome some of their weaknesses. Very well delivered, also making this show one of those series in which romance is something that can change. – 5.5/8 (Excellent)

#5: Phi Brain – 49: Finally! One episode before the end we finally get to see the meaning of Nonoha pulling her hair down; it’s about time! And really: this was an excellent episode with its focus on conflicting emotions and Freecell’s character. I’m very glad that he ended up the final villain here, because this would not have worked with that other guy still around. – 5.5/8 (Excellent)

#6: Saint Seiya Omega – 25: Whoa, I thought that this was going to be the climax. Instead this series makes three characters come to terms with their past. A pleasant surprise indeed, especially considering the charms with which it did it. The acting has really improved over the course of the series here and I’m beginning to like the cast more and more. That’s a sign of good character development, although I’d wish that this show cut some of its early episodes to make them not such a pain to sit through… – 5.5/8 (Excellent)

#7: Polar Bear Cafe – 25: We’re near the halfway point of the series (I found out about that very recently), and it shows. This episode shows a lot of new things about the cast. The first half was about the interests of the different characters, most notably Penguin and his painting hobbies (which were quite hilarious), the second pulled the adorable card by showing Polar Bear and Grizzly when they were young. – 5.5/8 (Excellent)

#8: Kokoro Connect – 11: So the third arc has started, and it has been revealed what the characters are going to have to suffer through next. And I have to say that this fits much more than the second arc. The second arc was too direct, and in the end it was hard to really use it well without descending into melodrama. Here however, the way in which everyone gets turned into kids has a much more indirect lead to drama. It brings up some great things about the past of the cast and it also forces the cast to look at what they were, and how they changed. That’s good, now keep it up! – 5/8 (Great)

#9: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 24: The big climax in which the creators just go and throw as much action involving weird powers as possible. It was basically just one whole episode of fighting. It was quite entertaining, albeit that with this the meaning of the individual fights was lost a bit. Still, I have to admit that I enjoyed the baseball team and the chaos during the busiest part of the episode when a ton of different characters were involved. Also: Aoi’s contribution to the episode: threatening to actually do something. There’s your main character. – 4.5/8 (Good)

#10: Phi Brain – 48: L33t h4x0rz episode that made no bloody sense, but was fun. Background was solid, nice plot twists. Looks to be a fun ending, but how on earth did this get a third season? – 4.5/8 (Good)

#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 24: So after all the build-up of needing to find someone who masters the thunder element in order to break the final ruin… someone who has that conveniently shows up right at the exact moment. I mean come on, you could at least have shown the cast search a bit before running into her. It’s not like this show is hard-pressed for time or anything. After that though, some pretty good character development on Eden and Aria made up for this. – 4.5/8 (Good)

#11: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 23: A very, very sentimental episode that was supposed to be the climax for two of the big romances in the series. It was nice I guess, but it could have been more. Overall, I’m not too impressed with how Horizon decided to handle its huge cast. It doesn’t come together quite as well and none of them really has much depth or stands out anymore, and that is quite a shame considering the wide variety in characters. – 4/8 (Nice)

#12: Hunter X Hunter – 48: Back to Gon and Killua again, a fairly dull episode, though it did have interesting information about appraising items… that I already watched before once. I remember again how these things also tended to break up the mood in the 1999 series. – 3.5/8 (Enjoyable)

#13: Tari Tari – 12: One thing that could have improved the past episodes is by having people other than the main characters motivated to keep the school festival going. Like what was stated before: a lot of clubs have passionate people who like what they’re doing. This sudden twist that they’re all too scared or unmotivated to do something… it doesn’t really work and feels rather forced. The stereotypically evil corporate businessman behind the whole plan didn’t really make things better. – 3.5/8 (Enjoyable)

#14: Tari Tari – 13: So it had it coming that the big climax of Tari Tari would be a musical singing number, and with this, we’ve finally gotten to the ending. Unfortunately though, the creators really rushed through that song there. Instead of taking its time and delivering something heartfelt, they turned into a montage! That’s now that I signed up for. It turned this whole ending into a rather cheesy climax, and the epilogue that showed how they all moved on was just too little to make up for that. Tari Tari definitely had potential, but unfortunately it didn’t really realize this. Have more guts dammit. – 3.5/8 (Enjoyable)

Posted on 27 September 2012 with categories: Manga Experiment

So, after years and years of people asking, I finally started to read some manga at the start of this summer season. I had the time for it, since it was quite a small season, and it seemed like a good moment to finally check up on the medium and explore my tastes. Thirteen weeks later, and I have to say that the experiment succeeded, and I’ve gotten warmed up to reading manga, and I’ve encountered quite a few gems that I’m really glad to have discovered.

So in this experiment, I found that I was most inclined to short manga that were easy to pick up and didn’t take ages to get somewhere. I most noticed this with the shoujo and josei genre, although there were also a number of gems in the seinen genre. It’s the type of stories that combine showing strong emotions with an intriguing and creative storyline that really did it for me.

Some pet peeves that I also found out is that I just cannot enjoy it when a character starts singing. It just feels awkward, and I can’t hear them at all. It may seem weird, but having watched anime for so long I’m just so used to things moving and there being music and audio to back it up that it just feels weird.

Another thing that rather annoyed me was something that a number of shoujo stories were rather guilty of: vague dialogues. It’s this attempt to be poetic by omitting entire sentences. this all makes the story very hard to follow and hard to reach in an attempt to be a bit poetic.Seinen stories on the other hand tended to suffer from being too dull: yeah they were nicely laid out and all, but the lack of emotions or poorly portrayed feelings didn’t catch my interest either.

Overall I am not completely sold on manga, and this blog won’t suddenly get renamed to Star Crossed Manga Blog, but I am going to keep up with the manga that caught my attention and read a bit here and there, because there are definitely awesome stories to be told there. I’m just a multimedia person who likes both visual animation, sound, music, storytelling and everything to come together. On the other hand though, the manga medium is so much easier to tell creative and unconventional storylines, and it’s also harder to screw up because there are fewer people involved in everything.

And finally, I’d like to rank the manga that caught my attention the most over the past season, based on how much I liked them. Perhaps there’s a good recommendation out there. Anyway, I’ve said this before, but next season will be huge, so I’m going to blog 12 series at once. Looking forward to it!

#9: Coelacanth

This is a very short mystery series with a lot of romance. It’s very shoujo, but at the same time it does have well written dialogue and it has quite a few interesting ideas, like a very cynical imaginary sheep that keeps bothering the lead female. The mystery unfolds slowly , but in the end it’s not really worth it in the end. The dialogue is very vague at times, making it hard to follow and because of that the build-up cannot really deliver what it wants to.

#8: With the Light – The Raising of an Autistic Child

With the Light tells the story of raising an autistic child, through a lot of different stages in the kid’s life. The perspective is really from the mother and the challenges she faces, and how to get her child accepted by the people around her. It takes so much work, and his manga’s strength is showing how she deals with them and conquers all this throughout the years (volume 1 already spans like five years). It’s a struggle, but it also shows that the payoff really is quite wonderful.

#7: The Music of Marie

What the Music of Marie did was quite interesting: from scratch, it created this really imaginative world and setting with its own customs, culture, habits, people, religion and folklore. The role of technology in this series is quite unique to watch, and its storyline is very deeply rooted in its own culture. The least interesting part is probably the romance, but the way in which it’s used allows for a lot of details to be able to fleshed out across the setting. The art is also a bit remarkable here: the characters themselves look quite plain and strangely drawn, but the different props, artifacts and backgrounds really are gorgeous and particularly imaginative.

#6: Wish

Wish is a short manga by Clamp, totalling four volumes and takes place in the same world as Kobato. The way it stands out, is how incredibly adorable it is, yet it’s also more than just that. The cast is very diverse and the slice of life is really well-balanced with the storytelling, leading to actually a very good cast emerging from this. The twist at the end is also really well-built up and really charming to watch, although there are a few too many gimmick characters around as well. It also has that singing bug that I mentioned above here.

#5: Shingeki no Kyojin

Shingeki no Kyojin. Oh boy. This one is a real shocker, and while it takes a few chapters to get going, it is just so consistently intense that it just had me in this intense state all throughout reading it. The way in which it portrays the despair of the characters during its fight scenes is much tenser than I could have imagined. The giant art is also something that you need to see for yourself. And then there are the plot twists. These things really make you think afterwards what the hell just happened.

#4: Hito Hitori Futari

Hito Hitori Futari was the first manga to catch my eye in this experiment, and it kept this all the way. It really drew me in where I found myself absorbed in continuing it for as long as possible, more than the other manga on this list in which I always found myself checking how many pages were still left. This is this really unique story about a guardian spirit being tasked to overlook the actual prime minister. Its mood is both really warm, and really cold at the same time, and I really like the way in which the author achieved this. On one hand the characters really sympathize with each other and the main couple fully accepts each other as they grow close together, and yet on the other hand there is so much darkness in this series and there are so many evil spirits present. The art is also just incredible. The facial expressions in particular are just gorgeously drawn.

#3: Hotel

For Hotel, this guy who names himself Boichi sat down with the intent to draw some standalone stories. At worst, these stories were gorgeous art experiments. At best however, holy crap what the hell did I just read. The tuna chapter was just delightful satire with an unbelievable amount of creativity put into it, on top of being very clever, while the pregnant girl story was just a complete mindfuck that was glorious in every single way. It’s all based on these really interesting thought experiments that do what you expect, only to go light-years further than that.

#2: A Lollipop or a Bullet

A Lollipop or a bullet was the kind of story that I hoped to find when starting this experiments. I managed to only find the first eight chapters of the story, but I was completely amazed at what it did there. In just eight chapters it created an amazing main character. Her inner monologues go deep, both into her own character as the character of the other main character. It’s also incredibly subtle: it nearly always just slightly hints at the really sad and pitiful things that happened, but never directly addresses them. The creators really made me sympathize with the cast and if you’re looking for something genuine, then by all means give this gem a chance. I also have a shout-out to the scanlators who brought this amazing series available for English audiences. Good luck with translating the final chapters, and I’ll definitely check them out as soon as possible.

#1: A Million-Pound Love

I am a huge fan of Himitsu ~ The Revelation and this is a collection of short stories from the same author. And really: they’ve got the same brilliance behind it. I mean, these were written by an incredibly talented writer. In Himitsu, what amazed me was how well it bit by bit revealed what was going on. That same style is present here. Bit by bit it develops its plot and it develops its characters like, majorly. It toys around with time and how characters can change in the span of a few years, and it just keeps building plot twist upon plot twist, yet making sure that everything fits once everything ends. On top of that, the art also rocks in how well it’s able to portray the emotions of the characters. I was really swept along with their emotions that just kept going from one scene to the other. There are times in which the twists themselves get a bit far-fetched (there is a lot of science fiction with creative liberties in this manga), but still: this is really is top-notch storytelling.

Posted on with categories: Manga Experiment

Coelacanth – Ch.06-08: This concludes the Coelacanth manga (yes, it’s quite a short mystery story). The culprit is revealed and everything comes to a climax quite nicely. I like how subtle the climax was and the way in which the author did the romance, but it also suffered from that vague dialogue that has been bothering me in a lot of other shoujo manga. Because of that this just jumps from one place to the other without much flow and becomes hard to read and follow.

Hito Hitori Futari – Ch.16-19: The prime minister is such an interesting character: he has this strange glow of ambition around him that the art manages to portray wonderfully. Chapter 19 also was a big surprise in how it brought Rihon back to her old life, leading to a very emotional scene. The art still is top-notch here by the way.

The Music of Marie Ch.07-08: This is where everything really starts going crazy after all of the build-up and world building of the previous chapters, and I must say that with the amount of meaning that was put into chapter 8, it definitely delivered a very intriguing cliff-hanger. It used all of the build-up quite well and took off using it as a jump-start, making great use of the two lead characters.

Shingeki no Kyojin – Ch.09-10: Oh my god, I nearly forgot how intense this series is to read, and this episode went even further. Perhaps the twists it delivered weren’t the most shocking, but the state of mind of the main character, and the despair and utter confusion he was in were incredibly well portrayed. I mean heck, waking up after all THAT. I’d be confused as heck too. Mikasa also rocked.

Posted on 26 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Phi Brain

So, Phi Brain. A show that baffled me for the past year more than any other series, and it did so in many ways. It was the source of many frustrations, but also many surprises. When the first season started it seemed like just an ordinary shounen series with very good characters. Then a second season got announced and things started. The thing is that the first season was very conclusive and didn’t really leave many plot threats behind. On top of that, it was all about Kaito and his history, and it really had this storyline that used its main cast at its best. So how on earth were they going to top that?

Well indeed, the second season didn’t turn out to be as good as the first, but it did so for complete different reasons than what I imagined. The creators actually came up with a new set of very good villains here. The charm of the first season, it surprisingly good characterization: it stayed here. There was cheese, Oh GOD, there was cheese, but it used this cheese really well to create memorable villains and actually ended up very heart-warming with a very good chemistry between all of the different members of the cast. The themes were great and it ended with a satisfying climax that really exceeded my expectations. So what went wrong?

Well, the balance is all over the place. The thing is that the stories of the first and second season are about equal in size, but the way in which they spend their time is very different. The first season had random stories: a first half of completely unrelated stories to flesh out the cast. In the second season however, every episode is important to the plot in a direct way. The problem however is that this show doesn’t have the material to fill 25 episodes. The result? Well, four episodes of solving the exact same puzzle over and over again. In a series that prides itself with its creative puzzles, that indeed is as fun as it sounds.

On top of that, the way in which this series manages its cast in this season is really bizarre and questionable. It all works out in the end, but oh boy, it has a lot of hurdles. Most importantly, the central focus of the plot is brainwashing. The entire cast of villains is brainwashed into acting weird and illogical. You do not want to know how long it takes for this to get properly fleshed out and some actual depth, because this series has spent nearly its entire airtime to get to that point. At the start the characters come off as shallow stupid and illogical bastards.

And then there is the great cast of characters of the first season, who honestly have trouble figuring out what to do in the sequel here. In one way it’s good, because the characters who did not have a focus in the first season can now really shine here (with the best example being Ana Gram), but it also is a bit of a shame to see once strong characters wander around slightly aimlessly and looking for things to do. Gammon especially suffered here, but also Nonoha is pretty bad. She keeps wanting to do something, and yet the creators hardly ever let her, despite hinting at how she still is important. Only near the end does that start to matter, and in the meantime she is just there for the token female to cook dinner.

Beyond that, the usual issues with Phi Brain still stand: when you think about it, it just makes no bloody sense. Especially the way in which this series seems to think that you can hack anything and do some mumbo jumbo in order to gather data are really bad if you start thinking about it even once. This show just has a story to tell and doesn’t care how illogical it gets, and yet it does this better than the likes of Horizon, because the story it does end up telling becomes pretty damn good when it wants to and is actually focused. I mean you can say a lot about Phi Brain, but it has a damn good cast of characters.

Storytelling: 7/10 – You call that balance?! Riddled with issues, way too long (we’re at 50 episodes now and a third season has been announced!), yet surprisingly focused and well built up.
Characters: 8.5/10 – The saving grace for this series. Very good and heart-warming all around. A bit too heavy on the cheese though.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Definitely not Sunrise’s dream team here, though it has its moments at the beginning and end where it looks really pretty.
Setting: 8.5/10 – I have to give points for this series: it took a setting that seemed impossible to make believable: people fight using puzzles and brainwash each other in order to evolve human kind. And it pulled it off. Sure it took a lot of trouble, but it did.

The Law of Ueki
Suteki Tantei Labyrinth

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Uta Koi

Anime is a commercial medium. It has to be catered in a way in order to attact sales, so concessions have to be made with the premises that get adapted. With that in mind, there sometimes just appear series that make me really glad that they got made, while avoiding all this. Uta Koi is one of these. It’s based on a manga that wasn’t even officially published at the beginning. It’s about freaking poets in the 10th century. No marketeer in their right mind would usually pick this up immediately, and yet the anime of Uta Koi has been made, showing that yes: we can still get things that aren’t catered in any way.

And really, Uta Koi is such a fascinating series. Very rarely we see series that also end up strengthening other completely unrelated series. This show attempts to show the mindset of famous poets as they wrote the various works that were used to compile the famous collection of 100 poems. Yes, the same poems that were used in Chihayafuru. This series gives such a wonderful background to all of the poems that appear in that series, adding even more depth to them. One episode in this series is also dedicated to the author of Genji Monogatari. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to see something about the people behind the stories for once, making this show without a doubt the most unique series of the entire year.

Now, as for the actual execution, there is also something interesting going on, plus a number of things that take a bit of time getting used to. Most notably the animation is quite bare-bones: the character-designs here are very intricate and detailed, but the downside of this is that they’re very hard to animate, and the budget for this series is not big at all. This leads to great drawings that move around really akwkwardly, and that sometimes don’t move at all. On the flipside, this series is wonderful in the audio department. Voice acting is top notch and the huge cast of characters are all very well delivered. The music also is really good and fits the romantic setting perfectly.

Now, Uta Koi is a collection of stories: every episode tells a different one, sometimes even two, so this show does not have much time to dedicate to each of its characters. Some of the characters end up forgettable this way, and it does have a tendency to get a bit cheesy in its worst stories, but there are also more than enough characters that make an impact. It’s not a series that thrives on hard-hitting storytelling, because the animation simply is not good enough for that, and a lot of the stories are strangely focused on forbidden relationships. It’s biggest strength is definitely how well it provides background.

But it’s nevertheless an excellent view to how life was in the upper classes in those days. Being a woman basically sucked, and this series has many stories dedicated to that, but also focuses on how these women found their inner strengths. Court politics also are very much present in here, not to mention that one episode in which it deliberately takes the piss out of everything it stands for. If you’re looking for something with historical depth and don’t mind a lot of awkwardness, then this is a fine choice.

Storytelling: 8.5/10 – Episodic, but very well laid out, moving though time across various poets.
Characters: 8/10 – Huge cast, so there are a number of forgettable characters, but also a bunch of great ones.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The animation is having a lot of trouble and looks awkward. The music and voice acting are brilliant though.
Setting: 9/10 – An utterly wonderful look at poetics of 1000 years ago and the people behind famous poems and stories.

Genji Monogatari Sennenki
Aoi Bungaku

I really enjoyed the Burnt Field episodes of 3-Gatsu. They came off as a bit too flashback-spammy and a bit melodramatic like the show always is, but still a great time was had.
KT here: This looks pretty though I am sure I will object to the way the history is presented.
KT here: Classicaloid Season 2 penultimate episode had a whole bunch of anime/game references including an Akuma one.
With Vinland, I think it was that it switched magazines, started as a shounen.
HYPE! HYPE! VINLAND HYPE! I really hope it's a 2-cour where they end with the "End of Prologue".
Wonder how Vinland will be. It's one of the very very very few long running series I still consider as good. Usually there is always a lot of stuff that annoys me once a series switches its tone or genre at some point.
I also wish Wixoss would die and I really loved the first series, even both seasons. But the lastest one without Okada was atrocious.
@Kaiser: that kind of distraction is just the internet's curse I know it as well. It kinda pisses me off because I was a pretty diligent worker once and created a lot of create new content even. Now I often get the urge to check the newest funny tweets/memes whatever.
Well played sir
In my headcanon I'm pretending the crowdfunding for a possible gunsmith cats anime will work.
This will be a good way to re-cap on older chapters of Vinland through the adaptation. I started reading it way back in 2007.
excellent news
So, vinland saga appears to have gotten picked up for an adaptation by WIT
I will watch Legend of Galactic Heroes. Probably give Golden Kamuy a chance.
I'll consider golden kamuy at least.
I'm too busy with galactic heroes original to watch the remake right now and you can bet for certain i am staying far far away from mahou shoujo site.
While I won't say anythong doreikus villain reveal pretty much killed it for me. I never really watched much of full metal panic due to not finding it funny.
Just let Wixoss, Sword art and tokyo ghoul die already , its beating the dead horse at this point.
Kaiser-Eoghan in the meantime you can all content yourself with that preview.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
@Anon, When it's done.
They actually take work you know, not as if I can just cough them up on a whim.
Spring Preview when?
I enjoy TONS of subtitled stuff, but I have to admit...sometimes to re-winding and pausing when the dialogue gets heavy or complex.
I know Aico has a shit dub but sometimes I find myself watching in English and feeling lazy because its easier to watch more now that way.
I used to be able to marathon stuff so easily but now I can't do the 12 episodes in one go thing like I used to.
Something goes off, even after 30 minutes to an hour "Shit....have to see if something NOW....can't stop myself"
I'm not the kind of person who messes with their phone in a cinema, but at home somehow theres this moments where I just get this distracting urge to keep checking some site, E-mail, snacking, going to the bathroom too often or lie down, look at someones doujin/smut art or write something all when I'm supposed to be doing something else.
What I mean is, I'll be reading/watching something and its not boring at all, maybe even interesting, but I can't stop pausing sometimes for...reasons and it takes me longer to get through something because of this.
I know this is pretty much an effect of living in this generation but, for those of you who experience this, how do you guys deal with "distraction." Sometimes this annoys me....
@Amagi: I'm evasive of "non-old man pubs" at night , particularly late at night, I don't want to come across any "characters" I'd prefer not to encounter.
Liquor goes great after copious amounts of beef and steak
@Amagi, Considering that I am here, you probably should have expected a Fate GO review.
Wow I didn't expect a FGO review here
Well it's the reason why I never drink alcohol at home. Even if I were depressed it wouldn't change my mood so it's pointless.
I can reach a point where I feel like dreaming but none of my character traits change. Guess it always varies depending on the person. Same with my best friend, he's just get tired when drunk, but nothing else ever happens.
@Kaiser: Same here. Often go to pubs with friends at night but not only do I not want to ever get my mind "altered" by alcohol, it doesn't even work it seems. Or maybe it's the will or that I am just not influenceable.
Ah, this is just me being in grumpyKaiser mode =)
I have been drunk, I do not like it. I do like being tipsy, but hate drunk. I generally like beer because it does not muck me up as bad as harder drinks (ouzo, raki, and I absolutely despise tequila). The first time in my life I celebrated Valentine's Day was this year. Have to say that it was not too bad.
Baccardi and Vodka were the only forms of alcohol I felt didn't especially taste "off" to me.
I also dislike Valentines day for the schmaltz, insincerity, fakeness around it and the idea there has to be "a day" for it and the captilization, commercialization of emotions.
In all my thirty one years I have never been drunk and never intend to, I dislike the idea of surrendering my mind to alcohol and feeling "altered". If anything you would be safer doing marijuana.
And Guinness is massively overrated.
@Anon: I care for neither really.
Alcohol culture in a nutshell: if you like to drink sweet alcohol that actually tastes good instead of liquor that tastes like gasoline and piss, you're a pussy.
I've no interest in Irelands drinking culture /festival days much.
Its really just a day off or an excuse for 13 year olds to get drunk.
He was Welsh aswell and there weren't exactly that much snakes in Ireland to begin with.
@Mario: Its technically St Patricks day now yes. Not that I personally care for it, I got going to the parade out of my system over a decade ago, never liked the oirishness and cliches/commercialisim around it, in the end it just makes it impossible to get around the city, plus the weather is so poor its pointless going out anyway.
I saw some Irish flags around my area. Is it St Patrick day today?
I did listen to some of aico's dub, I don't think any of these people are experienced or professional voice actors.
Anon: B the beginning was too much of an awkward genre mix. I was content to just ignore aico because I'm not a fan of Bones as a studio but you're the second person to say it reminds them of some old ova.
@Anon: I enjoyed the combination of old and new with devilman, it even being able to eclipse the ovas, aswell as the experimental visual style and transgression, and as you said, the surprising emotional involvement.
So i finish, B the Beginning, Aico, Devilman( What a feel's ride). and I must say that they're far from perfect, but they remaind me of 90, early 2000 anime, that i loved so much and that is a big plus. Today's anime doesnt feel quite the same in my opinion, what are your thoughts.. Now im getting excited to watch SWORD GAI!.
While obvious an anime series, After the rain often feels like a live action film.
@Mario: Actually that does remind me, I never saw Pola X by Carax.
Miike is extremely hit or miss, but I loved how Audition minipulated the viewer with its slower first half before really taking off, most of Ichi the killer is just a perversely funny black comedy to me.
Chang-dong-Lee is refreshingly less melodramatic then other Korean directors.
Benh Zeitlin is one I'm not familiar with, but it turns out he did beasts of southern wild and I enjoy magical realism.
@Mario: I wasn't aware Carax was still alive, some sgements of holy motors work, others don't , lovers on the bridge was a more accessible film I recall.
@Fluca: okay. Kinda fixed it. I don't think we have a spoiler code so I just changed your spoiler into white color
@Kaiser: I'm checking movies from indie auteur directors that could come out this year, interested Benh Zeitlin's second movie, Lee Chang Dong's and Leos Carax's one
Would love to see Our Little Sister in anime form, actually
Although Miike directs like at least 40 feature films, I only remember his Audition and Ichi the Killer the most, both of which I have extremely mixed feeling about
Every time I here the title Aico, it makes me think its some kind of eco/environmental thing, which I know it isn't.
The fate/extra Alice character (I looked her up) looks like she belongs in rozen maiden.
The modern Japanese directors can be prolific Miike and Sono pump out more than one film a year.
And it shows, that Our little sister adaptation, that live action adaptations CAN sometimes work.
Quick fact, that action crime josei anime, Bananna fish, coming out in April is based on a manga by the writer of Our little sister's manga.
@Mario: The interest being, how he would handle something so removed from his usual style.
@Mario: Actually re-checking, its next week, The third murder , which seems very different, a courtroom drama with some philosophy in it.
I really enjoy Our Little Sister, but I think mainly because the film is entirely within my comfort zone (Slice of life manga material, about the life of these girls)
@Kaiser: Which one will you see? He now directs one movie per year so it's hard to keep track some times. I really like his style and I reckon people who like slice-of-life will enjoy his movies
@Mario: Hirokazu Koreeda has a new film out, seeing it on Friday, I've only seen Our little sister by him.
@Anon: I essentially deleted the rest of the episodes off my computer after struggling through the first, like most, maybe moreso I got very turned off by the genre mixing. Thats not to say that I'm against genre mixes though, but they have to be weird, I mean really weird.
I am not a fan of breather episodes, something most modern anime are pretty keen to insert. I hate breaking of climaxes in order to show three SoL-, fanservice- or formularic monster of the week episodes before the main plot progresses further. When I want SoL I go watch a full fleshed SoL. Aico is pretty straight forward and kinda easy to watch in one go in that regard. Nothing really new though.
Just finished Aico. Had a few downsides like most series but I enjoyed it. Felt like a classic scifi anime you'd see in the 90s.
@Anon, I watched it. Though it was mixed but a decent enough watch. It really felt like two shows hastily combined into one. Been thinking of writing a review for it and Aico once I finish Aico.
*Have you watch
Have toy watch, B The Beginning?
I would call it somewhat lightweight however, but I won't complain/level too much against it, as it is afterall, a family film.
*in my memory
Nice animation showcase aswell though I don't know how long this will really stay i my memory, though it was nice.
Although it relies on being fairly convenient, linear and simplistic, that Mary witch flower anime movie is at its strongest when visually drawing the viewer into its world and wherever it shows spectacle. I'd say its adequately charming. Fair enough.
Hakata sounds like Gangasta. A series I enjoyed, despite its massive flaws
thanks guys. I will probably give it a try. I am also watching the Castlevania anime finally. Not really worth it for me. Also I watched the first episode of Garo Vanishing Line. I can a say it was fun.
Hi guys, anyone here played Sea Bed VN? Just wondering...
@Anon1880687 - I watched a couple of episodes. Feels like a foreign series. Since it doesn't feel like an anime made in Japan. I did like the group of revengers seem to have more personality than the main leads which insinuate chemistry but doesn't go deep into it. I don't remember if they explain why one of the leads chooses to dress like a girl. Though at least they give him/her a male voice.
@KTravlos: me. Not impressed. First few eps were alright with a set of bold characters, but later the lot just goes around in circle for these characters acting cool and cool rules the day. I dropped it after episode 6
KT here. Has anybody watched Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens? Impressions?
@Vonter: It gets more serious later although I agree it's better starting this without any knowledge about the series, like I did. I just loved the tragicomical jokes and the obsessive nostalgia Bojack suffered from and neither needed nor expected any drama but it was pretty good when it happened nonetheless.
@Anon, Not really. They just wanted to find some justification for the trashy aspects for a show they liked rather than accept it.
And while I understand how obnoxious it can be, there are times when people complain about a show doesn't explain itself and then get pissed off when you try to give an explanation.
ProZD nails it on the head yet again The people who continue to make excuses for kill la kill's fan service are the same ones fapping to episodes of the show to this day
@Vonter: From what I hear, while it does have comedy, by the second season not only does it improve, but its more of a drama.
I've been watching Bojack Horseman. It's good, yet watching certain clips before the actual series made me expect a darker show. I know it's a cartoon, but some jokes reduced the impact of certain events. Though I suppose it's meant to be uplifting and not just mean spirited. It gave me some Nier and Aku no Hana vibes.
We watched the first three episodes of B the Beginning. I must say I enjoyed it. We will see how the rest goes.
*whole franchise bar Macross delta
Despite loving the mans work since I got started on anime when I was younger, I still haven't seen Kawamori's most recent Macross series despite seeing the whole franchise.
I think devilman set me up for the idea that netflix would be putting out more transgressive anime.
If i were to rank the three netflix original shows that have released so far in descending order, it would be devilman crybaby, AICO, and then B: the beginning
so i just finished binge watching AICO...give it a watch if you guys have time, it's pretty good
@Mario: A good dose of reality in that episode though.
@Mario: Well I guess I called it completely wrong on who Chihiro was lol
@Amagi: Steins gate spent far too much time on a jokey first half.
Not that I'm trashing polemical writing, I find stuff by Jean-Luc-Godard fucking funny.
Doing a giant mood piece isn't pretentious, because it probably doesn't have a concrete meaning any way.
While still keeping it with enough sophistication .
For example, doing a rant of a film will only communicate to your intellectual friends and people already in the know, the working class guy you want to inform with your societal/political/religious ideas , was probably watching a western back in the 60s/70s, just incorporate the themes into that while not sacrificing the films appeal
With regards to pretension, I think that comes into play when you have a director trying to communicate ideas but ends up becoming ridiculously, overly polemical, its better to communicate thought provoking ideas through something straight, while also remaining some distance.
I think it often happens when authors create things on the fly, at least with manga. You can see terrible forms of comedy/SoL -> drama/scifi switches among webcomics, which are usually done by "amateurs", some of them being pretty young. It's always good when a series hints or blatantly shows what it is during its first episodes/chapters. Not talking about mysteries but genres.
Usually for dramatic comedy to work I feel it needs to let the viewer know early on that the story will feature both....the sudden drama thing generally is a result where a funny film needs an ending and a story needs to be fabricated hastily.
Melodrama is like genre mixes. If it does work it can be something special, but it's really hard to write and most directors just lack the talent to do so. It's like a comedy that turns serious at some point. It CAN work, but there aren't many cases where that happens. Usually they're just alienating their comedy fans and the drama fans weren't there to begin with.
Same here
I think some really old Euro movies, latin ones especially get away with melodrama well because the acting was different and more theatrical .
If the mekodramatics can properly cast a spell on a viewer, I am open to it if the writers strong enough but in general, when I'm watching something, the best stories are the ones where the atmosphere is so assure I forget I'm watching fiction.
I know they just want to make their audience feel good but I think it's a terrible moral or idea. Especially since most people know at least one person they loved that died from such illnesses. No matter what they did or tried to do to overcome it.
Yeah exactly. Honestly most cancer movies are terrible I think. I also hate these series in which the main character, I don't know, wins a match for his cancer-ridden love and then s/he recovers.
@Amagi: Too silly for me, the psycho faces.
@Kaiser: Not using music can be a great method to illustrate serious moments I think.
I've spoken to my father about this, who recovered from cancer years ago, those kind of phrases irritate him, hr said " don't battle, fight cancer, you fucking suffer through it, then if your lucky you get through it"
I mean, again, I loved Madoka but I see how this method they used is kinda cheap. It's still better than many other series of that type. I am aready looking forward to see how terrible Magical Girl Site is, the trailer looks like a psycho face trash fest.
The really annoying thing is when some of these docs and dramas use phrases like "her battle, her FIGHT, her BRAVE fight against cancer.
I enjoyed Madoka but I know what you mean. I think I will never rewatch Madoka but I love to see certain Tutu- and Sailor Moon scenes from time to time. I think Madoka is kinda similar to netflix shows or code geass in that regard. It always ends with some evil cliffhanger to hype you up for the next episode and it throws in one shocking revelation after another for the same reason.
@Amagi: On the music thing, some documentaries do this. What I loved about Shoah and night and fog is that the directors showed the landscapes/buildings where it happened and never used music.
I mean I know how bad ww2 and other things were. I really don't need rain, sad music and lots of actor tears to realize that. It reminds me of the laughing tracks sitcoms have that tell you when you have to laugh. And newer movies have exaggerated effects as well, not a fan of that. I rather see well thought-out content than a bomb-show. Not to mention that I hate sensory overload.
Its also kind of why I can NEVER look at hentai of something I enjoyed when I was young.
Which I admit is bias and a crap opinion lol
I grew up with Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailormoon and looking into lighthearted mahou shoujo , I don't mind nanoha and tutu, but there was always the feeling madoka was corrupting something.
On dark moe, I've stopped with lol edgy when criticizing Madoka, I realize that its the equivalent to Batman porn to me, the idea of that level of a slant on a genre I went for when I was a kid.
I agree. I was interested in Schindler's List when I was ~12 or so because it was something new for me. Nowadays I realize it's not really my thing, there are many western war shows that come of as too "pathetic" to me, they feel too much like, well, Hollywood blockbusters (which is what they actually are) than a serious commetary on war or so.
@Amagi: Thats the trouble I have with Hollywood , a film about Autism like Rain man or a mental illness movie like I am Sam, these American movies never seem real and the depictions feel so hammy and inaccurate.
On the dark moe trope, rather than throwing out words on it, its the tonal inconsistency that gets to me.
Yeah the opposite is bad as well. A show can have good intentions, even lots of good ideas but still have a bad execution.
Schindler's list is a great example of this, personally I think popcorn drama/oscar baiting the holocaust is somewhat distasteful and the film comes off as comparitively ingenuinely when I've seen a couple of eastern war films by people who actually lived during the war.
And "egdy" is very much about the tone a series has and not so much the actual content. Therefore it has to be explained as well, a dark series, even one with lots of blood, isn't necessarily edgy, it depends on the stance the autor has, whom we're supposed to root for and why, how characters and scenes are depicted and the overall tone, moral and so on.
On another note, to go back to "critic proof", this is a terrible practice because it allows people to take an easy topic for a story and it become forbidden to give a bad review.
Yeah, "badly written" for example doesn't mean anything unless you're gonna illustrate how it is badly written by showing and analyzing examples from the show and explain why the writing for these scenes is weak
Thats why I like here, people actually talk about a show in some detail, even the reviewers.
An non-backed up opinion when I'm looking for a show to follow doesn't tell me anything, how am I meant to know to watch something based on a single word or sentence?
I suppose its less of a case of buzzwords and more how people don't explain anything . The reason I say I have to do a 300 word review or long opinion on something is because I feel buzzwords and one word/one sentence opinions are un-helpful.
@Amagi: And I think thats certainly an issue, the lines being bkurred between shitposting/trolling and genuine critique .
I mean there are a lot of badly written shows out there or shows that are too tryhard, but people often use these phrases as buzzwords for everything and don't state reasons for using these terms for a specific show. I see tons of "egdy" posts as soon as a series is a bit darker than the usual harem and it's hard to distinguish these pieces from actual shitposts or trolls.
It sounds better to say that I don't like something because it's too egdy, too stupid and pure pandering (when it's about moe) or "badly written" than saying that I can't relate to certain settings, characters and so one or that I've seen a certain idea too often.
@Kaiser: I think many people just don't want to admit that disliking a series is usually a subjective thing. They rather want to credit their own intelligence for not liking it.
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Mahoutsukai no Yome -23 [Nothing Seek, Nothing Find]

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After the Rain – 10 [Sudden Shower]

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Violet Evergarden – 10 [Loved Ones Will Always Watch Over You]

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Darling in the Franxx – 09[Triangle Bomb]

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Junji Ito Collection – 10[Greased/Bridge]

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Mahoutsukai no Yome – 22 [As you sow, so shall you reap]

These past few episodes I have been rather critical of Mahoutsukai, and rightfully so I would say. The new characters are lackluster, the plot/stories dull. A 7/10 series at best. It is with this mindset, this frame of reference, that I can see “As you sow, so shall you reap” is the best episode of […]

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If I haven’t known beforehand that Violet Evergarden has 14 episodes, I would easily assume that this is the conclusion of Violet Evergarden. And in some ways, there is a strong sense of closure in this latest episode. This last two episodes have their full attention to the core development of Violet, that includes an […]

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