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
SuperMario
@Niello: I watched Aguu first episode. While it has some really neat ideas (including the ritual that is creepy and awesome at the same time), it's the lackluster visual and the stiff character acting that kill my desire to check any more episode of it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think starlight can be too abrupt though at times and could focus longer on certain things, then again it is only 12 episodes.
Niello
I wish I can edit those grammar mistakes...well whatever.
Niello
From that point on, the show is more of a family drama with problem sparked from supernatural shounen shenanigans, and this is where the show really shines. It turns into one of those story where it constantly change your perspective of the characters as you know more about them.
Niello
The interesting bit is how the first couple episodes give you the impression that it would be a more episodic story with enemy of the week. However, after the initial set up and they went to Hong Kong, it has been focus on one single arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I suppose there will always be a show I missed or didn't notice on the seasonalcharts.
Niello
That's coming from someone who hate the premise. I went in thinking it would be absolute shit. It's still not great, but I'm impress that it has something that still make it worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I don't think I know what that is.
Niello
Aguu really surprised me this season. It has tons of flaws, but of all things I didn't expect to see great character developments and dynamics. It's definitely appreciable for how the characters were handled feel different from most anime. The twists are well done as well. It didn't go in the direction I initially expected it to at all. Over all, I think it's actually worth watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it her name, Hikari, i think it means light.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*like it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I liked it when a show surprises me like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Mahiru probably had the most backstory to her. Glad you agreed on how they handled the rivalry between Tendou and Claudine (aka Croissant-chan)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I noticed that and I think it could have been followed up on .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really do love that shot though, it really shows and symbolizes and goes with "how she's lost everything". Actually I liked how the symbolism in this show was clearer at times than expected.
SuperMario
My best girl is Banana. Try to protect all the girls by rewinding the time, Madoka-style? Count me in
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Hikari is best girl, flat is justice never forget *hides*
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hope we see more of that shot from episode 11, the one on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for covering the show. Probably wouldn't have seen it otherwise.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i've never heard of the prequel manga. It's still about Karen and Hikari, I suppose?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Theres a prequel manga for shoujo kageki, I haven't read it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Odd hearing French spoken in an anime series too, I wonder how accurate it is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to the ending this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thought the animation could have been a bit better! The English dub is okayish to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised how endeared I ended up getting into this show.
Even though I liked the central relationship I wish it had more screentime, but I liked what I got and the expanded focus on the other girls was something I enjoyed aswell so I don’t mind so much.
I do want a bit more followup on that “betrayal” moment though, but Mario as you say, this show does hit its emotional moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
different enough as not to become stale, the ones that come to mind best for me was the doubles duel and particularly that really goofy one in episode 6.
Eventually even though the show can be a bit vague/meandering, the character interactions had more point than I thought and they grew on me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a second go through and now that I’ve caught up with it, the standout for me are definitely all the weird stuff with the stage battles and Giraffe guy, regarding the duels, even though the format of this show is repetitive, the duels themselves feel that they are
Kaiser-Eoghan
I initially put off watching shoujo kageki starlight, mostly down to feeling it was one of those “wait and see” shows, based on the first two episodes. I also at first thought the character interactions were meandering and asinine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
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