Posted by psgels on 13 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Natsuyuki Rendezvous



The Noitamina timeslot started back in 2005, as an attempt to air series aimed at an older audience than usual. It was a wide success and spawned many awesome series. Then, in 2011 something happened: Fractale aired. It was alongside Hourou Musuko of course, but Fractale is the best symbol for the timeslot as it headed into a completely different direction, making shows about teenagers like what every other anime was doing. There were exceptions like Usagi Drop and Un-Go, but the general new shift in style was definitely noticeable. Until the Summer of 2012, that is. The past three months, we got to see Noitamina return back to its roots. And it was awesome.

Setting aside Moyashimon, Natsuyuki Rendezvous pretty much delivered one of the two best shows of the year, leaving every other series miles behind. It’s just so well made. The production company may be Dogakobo, these guys manage to deliver the best animation they’ve ever done. The characters are drawn incredibly expressive and they come wonderfully to life. And that can be added to the fact that this series is directed by Kou Matsuo, whose series often have this interesting habit of recording the voices before the animation is made. The result is fantastic acting with voice actors who instead of focusing on matching the flaps, can focus on interacting with each other. This show has brilliant characterizations overall.

And realyl, the story knows what it is. It’s deceptively simple from the outside, with very little unneccessary twists. It knows exactly what kind of story it wants to tell and has paced this out perfectly with hardly any moment wasted or rushed turing its 11-episode run. Instead of random twists, it thrives on letting the characters just interact with each other and create their own tension. It has nailed their background and gradual development, and it really succeeded in creating an awesome romance based on the three main characters who feel real and down to earth.

The thing also is, that I can’t think of any real criticism for it. Perhaps there are times at which one of the characters, Hazuki, becomes a bit too forceful, but really: we’re givern plenty of explanation for him to act that way and his acting is really consistent thoughout the series. Heck, if there is anything such as perfection, then this series comes closest to it this year. It’s a must-watch if you’re into realistic drama. It’s not for everyone obviously: if you want action, then don’t bother. However, I do believe that this is the kind of series that can attract people who normally aren’t into romance, but are interested into the genre.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Goldilocks pacing: neither too fast nor too slow. Really manages to let its characters tell its story.
Characters: 10/10 – Fantastic voice acting, amazing chemistry, wonderful drama.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Very expressive and detailed animation throughout the entire series.
Setting: 8.5/10 – Down to earth and very believable, with a great idea to base its romance on that it uses really well.

Suggestions:
Aoi Hana
Sakamichi no Apollon
Hourou Musuko

35 Responses

  1. TheUltimateReaper says:

    And so, we reach the end. Really nothing to complain about here. Certainly some of the top tier quality. It still isn’t my personal favorite of this year, but that’s only because I don’t watch anime for this sort of story. It hurts too much. There were many fantastic moments, that were very moving. I loved this series, and it really moved my heart. I wasn’t expecting the ending or epilogue it’s nice to know what happened afterward. What surprised me is that Atsushi stayed behind so long.

    • wicked says:

      Yeah, When I first read it, Atsushi stuck around was the biggest surprise. It’s implied that if the room was clean out, he’d move on as well. I personally could not understand how he could stick around to see Hazuki and Rokka be lovey-dovey and have children. Hazuki dying before Rokka was a surprise for me too. I mean I realize women generally lived longer, but Hazuki did have a bit of an age difference with Rokka

    • Scruffy says:

      It seems that Hazuki and Rokka both allowed him to stay. They set aside his room and closed it up, almost like a shrine to him. I can imagine through the years that he would still interact with Hazuki. Still it would have been a very lonely existence for him.

  2. Dop says:

    This show was pretty much exactly the kind of “anime for grown-ups” that probably wouldn’t have a home if not for the Noitamina slot, and the kind of show the slot was originally for, in my opinion.
    I loved it. It’s one of those precious gems I can pull out from time to time, and another round of ammunition when I have to argue that anime isn’t all about schoolgirls, tentacles, and big robots.

    • TheUltimateReaper says:

      It is quite gem, though I’ve always disliked this age/genre sort of thing. A story is a story, it should be meant for anyone who would want to absorb it.

    • wicked says:

      Ah it’s bee a while since There’s been a good Schoolgirl Tentacle robot anime. Wait, What’s wrong with Robots and School girls. Also it’s not like Western animation isnt dominated by robot and people dressed in tights for a good while.

  3. sushi55 says:

    Odd, with all the praising you were giving this series I half-expected you to make this an all time top 20 of yours…oh well.
    Awesome series nevertheless :)

  4. webkid94 says:

    Definitely agree with your last sentence: I do appreciate romance, just as long as the cast isn’t under the age of 18, but in today’s anime world it’s filled with teenage romance, bad acting and other negatives: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is a good example, a great show but really like I care about Winry. She’s useless and that “equivalent exchange” confession was so damn corny, though I expected that much of BONES. I can name a ton of other series, but while I am frustrated with many romance anime I do honestly like the genre and find Natsuyuki to be one of the best I’ve seen so far.

  5. Sudachi says:

    Awesome series! I also really appreciated the pacing and that they just let the story tell itself without getting caught up in unnecessary plot twists or gimmicks. Between Spring & Summer 2012, Noitamina has had a nice little return to form. Thanks for covering this!

  6. Alec says:

    Easily one of my top 3 romance animes:
    Aoi Hana, Honey and Clover, & Natsuyuki Rendevous

  7. Stars says:

    If Psgels hadn’t pointed out the pre-recording of voices I would never have known, and I can’t really tell the difference except that the characters feel so alive. Usually I find its the soundtrack that does what the voice actors did here. So much emotion was put into their characters I wouldn’t mind closing my eyes and just listening while watching this series.

  8. AidanAK47 says:

    Guess it’s time for me to be the wet towel. I don’t share the enthusiasm that most here seem to have. This show may have done nothing particularly wrong but It also didn’t do anything particularly special.

    The plot followed the expected pattern. There wasn’t any surprising twists thrown in. At times there were big twists coming out of nowhere like the one in the last episode just put in to put up the drama for no reason. There were also numerous flashbacks which served no purpose other that to inform us of what we already know. I never felt Rokka had any special feelings for Hazuki until the husband took over the reins so the end choice came across as odd when she suddenly decided that Hazuki was the one she wanted. Then there were these actions which just seem contrived. Hazuki badmouthing Rokka’s husband while he was right on top of her for crying out loud! I also deem it unfair for someone her to consider this one of the best romance anime when it only had three characters. Yes, this show only has three characters. Admittedly that’s all it needs but still, it only has three characters. Don’t talk about the side characters, mentioning them is pointless because they are not present for most of the show and aren’t even good characters. Hell even the main three aren’t great characters. Rokka just felt like bland shoujo lead number 25.
    I know most won’t agree with this and I will admit this show wasn’t exactly my kind of show.

    • spelledwithaph says:

      I completely agree with your comment about the love between Rokka and Hazuki. Up until Atsushi took over that it seemed that Rokka started to fall in love. Until then she was still dismissive of him, constantly reminding him of her husband.

      Hazuki in my view always seemed like a creeper more than Atsushi did. Atsushi had a reason to explain the way he was. He had dated and married her, fell in love with her, and loved her after his untimely death. Hazuki on the other hand had was completely in love with Rokka right of the bat and in the course of the episodes, showed he was willing to do anything to make her love him. Although some might see this as a plus, his love seems crazier and creeper when you add that her dead husband’s ghost was his rival. His relationship with Rokka seemed completely one sided until Atsushi took over. Rokka then at that point seemed to really open up to this “new” Atsushi. In the end it felt like the love between Rokka and Hazuki did not feel very real or profound, but the love between her and Atsushi did.

  9. Tony says:

    Everyone else seems very pleased with this series, so I want to give a dissenting opinion. I thought that everything else was excellent, but that the story line was ultimately very weak.

    I thought it was very promising at the beginning, with Atsushi’s presence being an intriguing representation of Rokka’s psychological dilemma, and I was anticipating a fantasy story which could be understood on the level of psychodrama.

    This never emerged. Rokka’s psychological state seems to meander and vacillate without any clear connection to the ghostly occurrences. The whole fantasy component seemed completely arbitrary to me, with rules made up as the story went along, instead of some overall idea holding the fantasy events together. Atsushi talks as if there are general rules governing when a ghost can “borrow” a live human being’s body, but these rules are never explained, and Hazuki being trapped in Atsushi’s picture book (and then released for no clear reason) is obviously not a situation which could occur in all possible situations involving a ghost borrowing a human body.

    The last episode was the worst. The lack of clear direction in Rokka’s psychological state reaches a height when one moment she is worrying about getting Hazuki’s body back home so that he won’t be confused when he comes back to it, and the next moment she is apparently willing to let Atsushi kill her on the spot so that she can join him on the other side. I can’t help feeling this was added to the story just to generate a bit of artificial suspense in a story which on the whole was much too predictable. The “many years later” epilogue also seems arbitrarily tacked on.

    In short, there is little to the fantasy elements in the story once the initial situation has been set up. It doesn’t go anywhere, and it doesn’t provide us with any deeper understanding of the characters. The flashbacks do, but they would have been just as effective without the ghost story.

    • Tony says:

      Afterthought: The ghost story here left me with the same feeling as the one in “Ano Hi Mita Hana”. The ghost in that series, too, started out being a suggestive representative of the psychological states of live people. The rules governing the ghost’s existence seemed similarly arbitrary, however, and the resolution ended up being rather unsatisfying. If we compare either of these ghost stories to the well-crafted ghost story in “Tokyo Magnitude 8”, I think it’s clear that both reflect inferior writing (which was presumably already present in the manga on which “Natsuyuki” was based).

    • wicked says:

      You took that moment a little different then I did. She’s not only willing to die to join Atushi, she’s willing to do it so Hazuki can be free of this mess. It’s a moment of guilt and regret. People may disagree with me, but Rokka probably doesnt love Hazuki as much as Hazuki love her. If all thing stands equal, she’d probably pick Atushi.

      As far as rules goes, it’s a tool and vehicle, not something that needed to be spelled out, not really of any concern to the story focus, in fact doing so might shift the focus and the balance. The fantasy element give Hazuki a perspective into Atushi, who he is, who he thinks Rokka is, and what he thinks Rokka ultimately deserves, and doing it in a different way. Hazuki said it himself that Atushi is now also part of him after his return.

      • Tony says:

        Nevertheless, the result of her agreeing to that would be that Hazuki would return to his body to find that it had just committed a murder. Not very thoughtful on Rokka’s part, in my opinion.

        We will have to agree to disagree about the writing of fantasy. Fantasy, in my opinion, is most effective when it creates a world with coherent rules, and carefully fits its story line into the playing out of those rules. Without this kind of structure, one gets stories which do whatever the author happens to think of next, a common fault of many anime story lines.

        • wicked says:

          Right here’s where why doe magic have to make sense argument comes in. I’m pretty lenient on logic in romance and fantasy, because it simply doesnt have to make sense all the time. It’s whether or not the author takes it for granted that matters.

          Take some classics for example, we never really know if the apparition in Hamlet is his own paranoia and insanity or an actually apparition, but never the less it motivates much of his actions. How exactly did a true love(love at first sight)’s kiss cure Snowwhite’s poison? Didnt really matter in the context. Even something as contemporary as Harry Potter, has a number of magics that just seems a bit too convenient.

        • wicked says:

          I dont think she agreed to it, I think she actually brought it up. Though not sure if she wanted Atsushi to kill her with Hazuki’s body, kind of just went with the moment there

  10. omo says:

    I’m going to dissent too. I thought the show would’ve been great if it ended like, at episode 8 or something. The entire second half dragged on way too much and it basically ruined the series. It’s unclear if anyone understood what Hatsuki’s dream sequences are suppose to mean besides a very convoluted self-discovery trip that did not really engage the emotional aspects of the viewer, as most of us were either too busy hating Atsushi or doing whatever Psgels is doing.

    The other problem, as other dissenters pointed out, is that this show didn’t really do anything really special. All the key emotional drama and flashbacks could’ve been done without the body-swapping aspects of the story, and in that sense it felt like a waste. It distracted the attention of the viewers to a degree, and I feel it was more harmful rather than helpful as far as character development goes.

    • wicked says:

      I dont know. How could Atsushi, a ghost unseen by his love for years, felt any more lonely and dishearten the moment Rokka confessed to Hazuki the body which Atsushi occupies, after he did all he could to distance her. Without that moment, would he have truly accepted anyone else but him can be with Rokka, he being a ghost that never left her side since his death

  11. spelledwithaph says:

    This show made me feel real sad for Atsushi, losing everything and more. I can’t believe he was still a ghost in the epilogue. In some sense what a crummy point of existence to continue watching your wife have a new relationship with a new man. Although it is implied, I’m not sure of Atsushi finally went to heaven. I’m half convinced that he is still on the human plane of existence floating around.

    This show also made me wonder about the after life. If you die and wait for your wife in heaven but wife falls in love again with another man, what happens when all of you meet? You are supposed to be with your loved ones for eternity in heaven, but if she has fallen in love with someone else are you just left by yourself to deal with it? There cannot be two Rokkas meaning that once again Atsushi will just be there by himself while Rokka and Hazuki are a couple in heaven forever. I guess in the end everything sucks for Atsushi.

  12. RABUJOI says:

    Our only complaint is that things get a little static and somewhat repetitive at times while trapped in the storybook world, and we had trouble sympathizing with Atsushi the longer he stayed in Hazuki’s body and reached milestones with Rokka.

    Part of why we may feel that way is that we didn’t expect Hazuki to spend a huge chunk of his screen time in this world, and kept expecting him to find an escape.

    Once we realized he’d be in there in the long run – until Atsushi decided to leave his body – we adjusted our expectations accordingly.

    We hope Noitamina airs more series that are about people other than high schoolers – lord knows there are enough of those elsewhere!

  13. Hogart says:

    For me it was good, but paradoxically cursed by its own goodness.

    The positives are quite nice, but ultimately it didn’t hit me very hard. It still worked, but I felt like I had to fill in too many emotional blanks myself. I think maybe it was *too* subtle to sell me on the characters’ love for each other, and so I had to convince myself based on the excellent vocal performances and detail-oriented animation.

    For me, at least, a story about “moving on” needs to be centered around the living characters when it’s more about their own hangups than their love for each other. Here I wasn’t sure why they weren’t moving on other than silly superstitions, so it felt like it was more about their hangups, much like AnoHana.

    Maybe that’s why AnoHana worked better on me. I was invested up to the finale, so didn’t mind it being in a glass case of emotion. Here the finale is ultimately what saved it from feeling mostly-hollow and not quite convincing.

  14. Firechick says:

    One random question: is recording the voices before the animation really that rare in Japan? Because recording voices before the animation is quite the standard feat here in America (and I read that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is one example of this).

  15. bladeblur says:

    Goldilocks? Really? :S

  16. starry says:

    I have to agree with the above posters. It had a fantastic beginning and end but the middle dragged on too much and it never hits any big highs. A decent show but scoring it 90+ is overrated.

  17. rufe says:

    I think it was a very mature work. It’s good to see Noitamina back in form. The acting was *out of this world* for this series and contributed a great deal to how real the emotions felt. Shimao was actually a very interesting character throughout for me. The ending was basically predictable, but it was an experience watching it unfold.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxgmorK61YQ

    You don’t need huge drama to be great!

  18. kurotan says:

    Beautiful show!
    Its completely understandable that some people didn’t like it, its just not for everyone I guess. But I’ve gotta say I loved it. The realistic characters and the story ebbs and flows was simply mesmerizing. The voice acting was top-notch and so was the animation. After it ended I was just sad that I’m probably not to get to watch anything like this in the near future.

  19. kero says:

    Some beautiful voice acting, and some wonderful moments, I really liked the photo album of Rokka and Hazuki with their daughter.

    However.. the final episode really didn’t move me. If I remember correctly, I cried at the end of AnoHana, Cross Game also made me cry at the start and the end, Nodame (which I consider a romance story, that wasn’t a tearjerker type) also made me fall in love with the couple and wanting to see more of their lives.

    This was satisfactory I suppose, but I was expecting to feel more.

  20. sato says:

    Nobody else going to comment on the fact that Hazuki and Rokka died so friggin young?? Their daughter didn’t seem all that old, and Atsushi’s sister was older, I thought?

  21. scineram says:

    This was painful to watch after the first few episodes, and what an asshole Atsushi was.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

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

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

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

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

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

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

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

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

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

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

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

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

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

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

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

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

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

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

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

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

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There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]