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.

Suggestions:
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.

Suggestions:
The Law of Ueki
Spiral
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.

Suggestions:
Chihayafuru
Genji Monogatari Sennenki
Aoi Bungaku

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Lenlo
No other sentence has made me want to watch Made in Abyss more
HelghastKillzone
I guess we're finally at the point where Made in Abyss goes all Dark Souls/Bloodborne.
Amagi
Apo's Jack the Ripper had at least a nice idea behind it, it's just the clothes that are a bad choice. But there are just too many lolis for the sake of fanservice in that game. I accept it if there is at least a reason for this but it's usually just random.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. I was never a fan of genderbendings and turning historical people into lolis. The first one I can accept with people like Arthuria because it added a lot to her character, but most of them are just plain and generic. I just see no reason why pirates, grown up men or Blavatsky would ever appear as little girls. Especially since popular beliefs should influence their appearance.
SuperMario
On Altair, one commenter did an excellent job of poiting out the appeal of that show; and frankly the show is wearing on me now.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I'm glad you enjoy Princess Principal. I'm quite surprised myself that in the latter half the show slowed its pace down which mean the focus is switched from action to more characters interactions; which I greatly enjoy
KTravlos
Well I binge watched Princess Principal. That is a very good show. I was surprised. Good animation, good music, the art is good, hell I even did not mind the protagonist art. But what I really like is the stories. All the episode were pretty solid and interesting.
AidanAK47
Just won a fight by the skin of my teeth thanks to my Lancer, Cu Chulainn. You the man Cu!
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Been playing Grand Order myself. It's rather fun. There are some good original character in it but I notice with Quantity certain figures designs were pretty terrible. I thought Assassins of black was the worst but some Grand Order servents manage to top it in terrible. Why all the bikini's?
Amagi
Fate/GO has quite some interesting original characters there. Wish we'd see them in some actual manga or anime series with more backstory someday. - I also like that we finally have an overpowered, interesting and competent Hassan with King Hassan for once. His design is metal AF too.
KTravlos
Binge watched Altair. The pacing of the show is a problem, but in general the raw material is good. Altair is sympathetic, and the world is interesting. But I do feel this is the kind of show that would had gained by a Monster or LOGH type treatment. Also, man it is scary how accurate they got some of the traits of Greeks (Phoenicians in the show). I am a Greek, I should know! :p
KTravlos
forgot to mention. I saw the 91 Days special. Three side stories that give some depth to the events in the main anime, but nothing that goes beyond it's end. Still they were in general ok to good.
SuperWooper
It's got Jude Law playing "this kind of huge robot butler called Charles, who is also a rocket ship." What could possibly go wrong?
AidanAK47
Anime with Jaden Smith? Um..I don't know about this.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: one of the good thing about SoL shows like Centaur and even 18if is that their episodes are self-contained, so you can just jump right in to watch the good ones and ignore the rest
SuperMario
I just love Chise's presence so I might enjoy the last episode more than anyone else. But yeah I'm quite satisfied with Princess Principal right now
AidanAK47
Actually I am quite surprised Princess Principal hasn't gone off the rails yet. Might even turn out to be a fun show in the end. If the man can make it to the finish line without a misstep.
AidanAK47
Hey I am having fun with my Shows. Made in Abyss is still quite excellent and Fate/Apoc is picking up. Even started playing Fate/Grand Order.
Lenlo
Man, sounds like I was the only one to have a good week with their show. Reflection really stepped it up this week in pretty much every category. Not sure it will last, but hey. Ill take one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm so disappointed in 18...if. Perfect opportunity to capitalize on something with a dreamlike feel to it and be creative only it ends up getting held back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I see Vonter and Mario are seducing me into watching Centaur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*can't
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can'y see myself giving re creators a second chance, and from skimming these conversations, why should the show only get going at the end? It just sounds like too little too late.
AidanAK47
Honestly that's what Re:Creators biggest issue is. It builds up these great interesting idea's and then refuses to capitalize on them.
AidanAK47
Then it would be a battle to win over the audience and he who entertains them the most would get the most power. Just think of how many interesting ways that would take the fight. Like Altair could lose power and have to win over the crowd with her backstory and theatrics. A hero could purposefully get beaten to hell just so they can get a powerup from saying a boastful speech about kicking ass.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Exactly. Now there is an interesting fighting element. Imagine if both Altair and the heroes had to fight with the limitation of keeping the audience entertained. Altair couldn't pull out overpowered nonsense because the audience wouldn't approve and her power would drop. Same goes for the heroes.
Anonymous1378112
On the other hand I am not a fan of this whole final arc. It's just not believable to me to gather such a big audience who will do nothing but watch and accept everything you show them. Not to mention that the show is technically live acting to them. Considering how much anime fanbases already hate the DN movie and stuff I doubt many would sit there and accept that
Anonymous1378112
@Aidan: This made me pretty angry. like, they wasted a ton of screentime with these boring info dumps and now they're just irrelevant and the enemy just fucks over it
AidanAK47
Actually the last development was actually a screw the rules moment as well. So the only way to beat Altair is to just chuck aside the rules established with the last 20 episodes.
AidanAK47
You don't need to give Altair a creator in order to to limit her. You just need her to obey the rules the entire series has spent time setting up. Altairs actions are just handwaved with "Screw the rules! I am a OC" audence acceptance doesn't seem to make a difference.
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, The creators have incredibly limited power as while they can introduce anything, it won't be effective unless the audience approves of it. Altair can pull whatever she wants without limit. If anything I don't understand why the audence isn't shouting for her to get nerfed seeing as some random indie character is wrecking fan favourite characters.
Vonter212
@SuperMario - Centaur Worries is the equivalent of Every Flavour Beans. You don't know what you're gonna get, bad, good, cringe, cool, deep, superficial, etc. While the gore isn't that graphic, it is still violent for this kind of show and the alien part has some disturbing body horror, for this show. The shock is mainly because of how light hearted everything else is.
SuperMario
I just watched Centaur, it was heavy as hell, but really poetic in tying these 2 half episodes together. God, it's excellent. And I don't mid the show's constant tonal shifts at all
KTravlos
@Aidan I have to disagree with you. Altair's overpowering does not bother me too much. a) If you think about it, it is their only choice, as creators also have immense power. There only other option would be to give Altair her own Creator, but that would turn this to just a Fate copy. So I am ok with what they have done. b) they do explain it world-wise so it does not come out of the blue
KTravlos
A nice overview of the alternative history genre, but more importantly the work of Kawaguchi http://www.animenewsnetwork.cc/the-mike-toole-show/2017-09-04/.120893
SuperMario
@Vonter: the manga has gore and alien? Really? Now that's interesting
SuperMario
... genre often does. For me its unfocusness works for its benefit. We don't know for sure what we gets each time and that's the main reason I still looking forwards to it every week
SuperMario
@Vonter: I haven't caught up with Centaur's this week but I heard it tackles Holocaust so I'm all in. It's not something cute girl
Vonter
Wow, Centaur Worries, took some really heavy themes this episode. The softy in me, found them powerful, but the cynic in me thinks it might have been a touch manipulative, since this show has interesting ideas, but lacks focus. One episode is cute, another progressive, another ecchi, and another the holocaust. Makes me wonder if they'll show the gore and the aliens from the manga.
AidanAK47
Been Busy with SubaHibi this last few days and boy is this going to be a hard review to write. I have never really seen a story like this, not in Visual Novels or Anime. And yeah...it's pretty dark.
AidanAK47
@KTravlos, Still really annoying how ridiculously overpowered Altair is. I mean she literally pulled out a power of "Being able to revert sudden plot twists" I mean...just come on.
KTravlos
RE:Creators was enjoyable this week and I ma looking forward to the end.

But Bahamut:Virgin Soul..I do not know what to say. That last minute..I am kinda shocked into not thinking. Wow.
Lenlo
Tatara and Mako yeah, they look fine. Hanoaka is the main confusion here. When shes in a dress, age goes out the window.

Its all still a nice style though. Makes everyone, even short Tatara, look tall when dancing
SuperWooper
Tatara and Mako look like teenagers to me, while the other characters seem more adult. I think it fits, because it highlights the gap in experience between them.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: the giraffe neck, you mean? Well, since they have to make up/ dress up for the dance, I think it's reasonable that they look older and more georgous than normal 15 yo kids.
Lenlo
I think the one issue I have with Ballroom is that there is no chance these kids/women are 15. The art makes them looks so much older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The scenes with the bully were especially cringy though. The remake with have one of the kids from stranger things in it and from the trailer it looks like by taking off an hour it'll improve things, although I don't think the new pennywise will stand up to Tim Currys take on the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....this is a case of nostalgia goggles making people remember things wrong. That said I don't hate it nor think it the worst King adaptation, its just mediocre. Tim Curry's scenes as the clown and the whole idea of the character are great, sometimes it builds up a creepy atmosphere , but its far too long and dated at this point. Generous *** stars.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So there is an IT remake coming out next week, people I know at me for not seeing the original, decided to check it out for comparative purposes....
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Comparitively I felt that those two segments didn't feel as bonkers as the others.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I was the one recommending you Night is Short, Walk on Girl. Lucky you. For me, I'm guaranteed to love that movie since I love Morimi Tomihiko's writing and Yuusa's directing to death. If it were the same veins as Tatami Galaxy I'd die a happy fanboy
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah Bringing up Baby is hilarious; and it's great you watched it back to back with his Girl Friday just to see the two contrasted characters Cary Grant pulled of.
Total users: 21

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