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.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
AidanAK47
I will have you know my data gathering services are quite expensive and I don't operate until paid.
Anonymous1014125
Aidan is providing the data for us.
Lenlo
You do know that for the scientific method, you make a hypothesis and then you run experiments to produce data to prove or disprove said hypothesis. It cant just sit in limbo and then you go "I was right". You have to provide data at some point. At this point, you have yet to provide any data to support what you say.
Sir Robin
You seem to have never heard of the scientific method then Aidan. You don't need proof before you formulate an hypothesis. Fortunately this most recent development of you being wrong supports it.
AidanAK47
I am sure Sir Robin would be delighted to hear this but I think I was wrong in my assessment of SukaSuka(Shūmatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii Desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu ka?) That insert song at the begining of the episode was masterful and a number of things have changed my mind about it. It may be more interesting than I first expected. First novel was still pretty boring though.
AidanAK47
Should have another impressions post up today. As for what I am covering that's Little Witch Academia, Attack on Titan and Sekaisuru Kado.
AidanAK47
At least we never have to fight tooth and nail to cover something as what we want to cover never clashes.
SuperMario
Which mean 2 PA Works, 2 original shows and 3 slice-of-life shows. Well done Mario for being predictable and consistently boring as ever
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