Posted on 31 October 2012 with categories: Kamisama Hajimemashita

Now that was just completely adorable. This episode was the best episode of Kamisama Hajimemashita so far since episode 01. It was all about the recurring characters this time. And Tomoe gets turned into a kid.

What I’ve noticed with a lot of comedies that lost my interest is that they introduce these characters with gimmicks, and the blow all of their best jokes on the episodes that these characters are introduced in. The result are heaps of characters who feel like one trick ponies. Then Shinjirou Kurama returned in this episode (the idol), and he was much funnier in this episode compared to the second episode. The chemistry between him and Tomoe and Nanami in particular was hilarious.

And at the same time, the serious bits again were really good: this episode again kept switching back and forth comedy and drama. The drama was really genuine, especially near the end of the episode. With the previous episode we already got to see Tomoe’s worries about Nanami, but this episode went even further with him feeling depentant on Nanami, and being ashamed of showing his weak side to her. Nanami on the other hand was really well acted when she properly fell in love with him there after seeing Tomoe’s new haircut.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season? Delightful! A-1 is on fire with six series at the same time, two of which are the best of their respective season. After years of begging, there are two Akitaro Daichi series airing at the same time. After years of complaining, Shounen Jump adaptations suddenly show their best sides since the OVA of Hunter X Hunter. After years of complaining, Shoujo suddenly is prominent again with actually good characters. There is very little bad fanservice stuff, and there are plenty of series that treat its audiences as adults. Hell yeah, bring this on!

#38 (new) – Onii-chan Blahblah – (2/10) – I refuse to spend any more time to try and get the name of these godawful incest shows right. Dropped.
#37 (new) – To Love-Ru – (2.6/10) – Just make this a hentai already! Dropped
#36 (new) – Busou Shinki – (3.1/10) – This one really was surprisingly bad. I mean the OVA was decent, albeit unremarkable. This was nothing but the most blatant of wish fulfillment with some of the dumbest characters of the entire season. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Aikatsu – (3.5/10) – The CG! The horrible, horrible CG! Dropped.
#34 (new) – Liche Light Club – (3.9/10) – A proper studio should have gotten this. What could have been an incredibly dark and twisted comedy got reduced to badly delivered sadism jokes. Dropped.
#33 (new) – Monsuno – (4.25/10) – Very cheesy kiddie shounen series that moves way too fast. Dropped
#32 (new) – Girls und Panzer – (4.6/10) – Why, Girls und Panzer. Why did you take yourself seriously? Did you seriously think that that would survive in this season? Dropped.
#31 (new) – Wooser no Sono Higurashi – (5/10) – Has a nice idea, that wears off after 30 seconds. Dropped.
#30 (new) – Hidamari Sketch – (6.25/10) – Hidamari Sketch never really hit me. It’s a combination of Shaft and characters that never really appealed to me and never really caught my attention. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Hayate the Combat Butler – (6.5/10) – I still haven’t found a reason to watch Hayate the Combat Butler. It wasn’t particularly annoying or anything, but absolutely nothing grabbed me over the three first episodes that I watched. At this point this series has gotten way too long for me to want to bother with it. Dropped
#28 (new) – Chousoku Henkei Gyrozetter – (6.75/10) – Hilariously bad. Seeing little kids who handle actual cars like they’re total pros was worth quite a laugh, but there is no way I’m going to continue with this. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Chuuninbyou demo Koi ga Shitai – (7/10) – Really good animation, but apart from that I have little reason to continue with this show. The characters are annoying, and there is just too little that happens for my tastes. There is much more interesting stuff going on this season, especially considering that there are so many other romance shows airing at the same time that may not be as well animated, but have much more compelling characters.
#26 (new) – Bakuman – (7.25/10) – If Bakuman was just 26 episodes long, it would have made a killer series. I don’t want to bother with it for 75 though. Dropped
#25 (14) – Sword Art Online – (7.4/10) – Well, here is one show that jumped the shark. I really liked the conclusion of the Sword Art Online arc. After that though, the new arc just kept making no sense (I don’t care if it’s explained in the novels), it has the most stereotypically evil villain and I really hate the way in which Asuna has been reduced to a mere damsel in distress, allowing Kirito to expand his harem even more.
#24 (new) – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – (7.4/10) – My problem with this series is the male lead. He’s way too forced: on one hand he’s too perfect, on other he’s too flawed. He’s trying to be everything in just one character, making him an unlikable asshole. The female lead deserves better. Because of that I’ve dropped this series. During a quiet season I would have watched it, but there is too much competition that is just more interesting.
#23 (new) – Medaka Box – (7.5/10) – The second season of Medaka Box is… boring. To me it just feels like a parade of over the top characters with crazy powers, but it lacks personality or any kind of engaging story other than “High School” and “Let’s evolve humanity by killing off lots of people”. The new villains aren’t compelling at all and are very much of the same. Will this really end well?
#22 (new) – Ixion Saga – (7.6/10) – My standards for comedy are high: I really want to laugh when I watch one, and Ixion Saga just wasn’t funny enough and it repeated itself a little too much within the three episodes that I watched. Dropped.
#21 (new) – Little Busters – (7.6/10) – I’m beginning to fear that this will end up more like Kanon, rather than Air and Clannad: nice, but ultimately lacking. Air and Clannad were amazing because they went beyond the formulaic “group of sad girls”. With the build-up that we’ve recently gotten here, I don’t see any hints for the same with Little Busters. It’s funny and enjoyable, but the girls have got some major issues. Their acting is pretty bad at points as well, especially the ditzy girl.
#20 (new) – Teekyu – (7.6/10) – … I’m still watching this series. Why!?
#19 (new) – Code: Breaker – (7.75/10) – My problem with Code: Breaker is this: what the hell is this series about? Witht he other series this season, I know what they’re trying to do and convey. Here though, we’re three episodes in and the only thing we know is that a guy is killing bad guys and a girl is trying to stop him. There is no depth to this so far and the terrible comedy during the school scenes isn’t really helping.
#18 (new) – K – (8/10) – K doesn’t have much depth. What it does have however is the best animation of the season and it’s very fun to watch in the way that it combines lot of different plot threads together. It could have been a bit more ambitious with these ingredients, though.
#17 (new) – Sukitte Ii na Yo – (8.1/10) – Here is an interesting romance: it neither claims its male lead nor its female lead as perfect. Everyone is flawed in this series. Also, unlike Kimi ni Todoke, it doesn’t take bloody ages to get somewhere. Its drama is a bit forced at times, and it tends to get a little overboard with jealousy, but it’s quite a charming series.
#16 (new) – Gintama – (8.1/10) – Gintama still has its problems, like how it’s still formulaic how everyone gets beaten to a pulp with lots of drama, only to walk away fine moments late, but the creativity still has me, especially the way in which the Kintama arc ended caught me by surprise.
#15 (new) – Magi – (8.1/10) – Magi is an adventure show. It can be a bit silly at times and it tends to have one-dimensional villains, but it’s fun, and it’s full of creativity. It’s also got an engaging main cast to follow: Ali Baba and Aladdin have a good chemistry together.
#14 (new) – Btooom! – (8.1/10)Btooom shows the ugly side of humanity. It’s got the bad luck that it airs right next to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure though, because in terms of adrenaline it unfortunately lost by a long stretch. Still, it works as a suspense, even though the bombs aren’t quite realistic. The atmosphere of everyone trying to kill each other works well.
#13 (7) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8.25/10)

This month hasn’t been Polar Bear Cafe’s best, but it still managed to deliver its typical dry humour, sarcasm and corny wordplay. Highlight was the halloween bit.

#12 (new) – Robotics;Notes – (8.25/10)

This show had a slow start, but it’s fun and interesting. The male lead needs a bit of work, but the female lead is quite compelling to watch, and the characterization of the side characters is also pretty good. I’m not going to expect the next Steins;Gate here though.

#11 (new) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8.25/10)

This show has really good chemistry. Its characters are all interwoven with each other and even though they seem like really bad clichés at first sight, they soon grow to be much more than that, and much sharper than I imagined.

#10 (new) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (8.25/10)

Fantastic soundtrack, and this show had the best first episode of the season. After that it lost that status when it went a bit too much into building up, but nevertheless this show has great characters, an interesting back-story and excellent action. This can really turn into something amazing with time.

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

It’s pretty much the same story as usual for Poyopoyo: it’s still delightful slice of life with lots of small relatable scenes that are also really hilarious.

#8 (new) – Jormungand – (8.4/10)

Jormungand’s second season really surprised me with how much it improved over the first one. The characters are actually good, and the villains stopped being snarky and generic. The plot twists were particularly impressive here.

#7 (new) – Psycho Pass – (8.4/10)

Psycho Pass is fascinating. It aims to create these complex moral dilemmas that aim to really make you think. On top of that it’s got some great suspense and an amazing soundtrack to boot.

#6 (15) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8.5/10)

Saint Seiya has really gotten good here. Even a simple recap episode had me at the edge of my seat. It’s simple hot blooded action, but this was done so well in this month with the conclusion of the first half of the show.

#5 (new) – Kamisama Hajimemashita – (8.5/10)

Out of all the romances this season, Kamisama Hajimemashita by far has the best execution. Perhaps the story itself needs a bit more time to get going compared to Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, but the delivery is just perfect: it is really good at combining comedy and drama together, and every single episode is wonderfully built up, ending at an incredibly charming conclusion.

#4 (new) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.6/10)

This series definitely is not for everyone, but it really has been a while since I saw an anime with so much adrenaline as in this series. There really have been moments in which I just wanted to yell loudly alongside the characters. This show is just so completely over the top in every single way, and the creators look like they’re having so much fun in the process. The voice actors as well ham it up, but they ham it up with so much passion that it becomes an incredibly addictive series.

#3 (6) – From the New World – (8.75/10)

After one month, this is the series that has made the biggest impression on me. Its setting is completely original, but what also struck me is its consistency in its characterization: it just keeps building further upon the characters and they make this show compelling. I also absolutely love its variety: every episode has been significantly different so far.

#2 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.9/10)

The past month for Uchuu Kyoudai has been slow, but incredibly detailed because of this. Especially the latest episode was just amazing in how well it portrayed the shuttle launch, and everything leading up to it. I didn’t get bored for a single moment here.

#1 (3) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.9/10)

This show has surpassed itself yet again this month. The spider troupe is for me the single best evil organization in any shounen ever. They’re just so professional and work so well together. Kurapika on the other hand got some amazing development. And we haven’t even reached the best part yet!

Posted on with categories: Psycho Pass

Now this was an excellent episode here from Psycho Pass. At this point I really like what this show is doing: create thought-provoking cases of morders in which no side really is right. It aims to show these moral dilemmas.

It’s not exactly a murder mystery: in this episode it quite quickly became clear that the bullied worker was the one who murdered the three people, but instead what stood out was how it was delivered. The portrayal of this facility was great, and the creators got a particularly good voice actor for the boss of this facility.

The main character also stood out here: the previous two episodes showed him as this level-headed guy, but this episode portrayed a very dangerous side of him that enjoys the thrill and action of crime fighting. It also showed that the female lead is going to have to keep every single one of the characters in check, because all of them have their issues, mixed in with their good points.

Also, the opening for this series is really good. A quick look at the staff for this series reveals why: Sayo Yamamoto, the director of Michiko e Hatchin and Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna. She often gets jobs to do OPs, and they always really shine with their style and execution, and this is no different. She really should do another series again.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 30 October 2012 with categories: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

What also fascinates me about this series: it’s two cours long, and already really engaging. This isn’t like Sankarea or Nazo no Kanojo X that just go on for one season. It’s got me intrigued, because it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen such a long romance series that made good use of its time.

This episode was quite sappy, but I liked it a lot. The point of this episode was pretty much to get Sorata to stay at Sakurasou, but the way in which they made him realize this was something I really liked. There were a lot of subtle and not so subtle hints thrown at him, and I really like how Shiina turned into his inspiration to pursuit game development.

Jin meanwhile is quite a bit unpleasant to watch at times, not necessarily in a bad way though. It’s not just his utter refusal to date Misaki despite his obvious feelings for her, but also how he stops Misaki from running after Sorata… only to go after him himself. As if he doesn’t trust her with anything.

EDIT: Holy crap, I just realized that Rintaro, my favorite movie director along with Satoshi Kon, directed the ED for this series. The ED indeed is quite stylish.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: Magi

Keeping with the theme of not getting the main party together early, this episode told two different stories: one about Ali Baba and what happened to him, and one about Aladdin and a tribe he runs into.

I remember how a lot of adventure series troll their characters with treasure: every time they look like they’re close to getting vast riches… some deus ex machina comes along and makes them lose everything. Supposedly because they need to remain underdogs or something. Because of that I like how Ali Baba put his treasure to some actual good use. And at the same time it’s a very good reason for the pink haired girl to join him.

Aladdin meanwhile got lost in some local power struggle. This episode was meant to show that there is much more to this world than what was shown in the first three episodes, and that a lot of people in power can be big assholes. I like the politics, and this also seemed to show that “Love and peace” will be big themes for this series. Let’s see whether it can add something new to this mix.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 29 October 2012 with categories: From the New World

I love these kinds of episodes: the episodes that just say “screw it” to consistency, and instead go on with their own style based on the vision of someone on the episode staff. It may look weird, but I find that it gives each episode so much personality. I really encourage creators to put i their own styles to spice up the story they’re animating. It’s so much more interesting than the same thing over and over again.

This episode’s animation may not have been as crisp as usual, and there were a lot of distorted faces, but yet the animation was really good. It was full of creativity: the camera angles brought out so much in the characters, and there were plenty of scenes that had movements and actions that are very uncommon in conventional animation. It’s not just the scene at the beginning of that Queerat blowing up, but also where Satoru gets cut on his forhead, the scene at the end of the episode with the slime. The backgrounds looked utterly gorgeous inthsi episode as well, and what also caught my eye were the scenes that focused on touching. They had a strange focus in this episode (not to mention the near-sex scene was stunning).

So let me check for a moment who was behind this episode… and everything suddenly becomes clear: Shigeyasu Yamauchi was behind this episode. Holy crap, this guy is just amazing. I’m not sure whether I want him to do another series, or to keep doing episodes like this, because he is both incredible as an episode director and a series director, bringing out the best in the characters and not caring for conventions at all. This is the first time since Casshern however, that I’ve seen him on an episode that was intended for a more mature audience. Seriously, this is where this guy belongs. His work on shounen shows and romance series is nice and all, but this episode was just incredible, and this is where his style shines like no other.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on with categories: K

This was a build-up episode. It was fun, and I get its purpose, but something tells me that the creators could have been a bit more ambitious with it. Every single subplot was dropped aside from the one between Shiro and Kuro save for two small scenes, even though the chaos of having so many subplots is part of the charms of this series.

What I liked most about this episode was how Shiro and Kuro were retracing Shiro’s steps during the night of the crime, trying to find an alibi. The abovementioned chaos. thankfully was present in that night when a lot of crazy things happened that night. They were all played for laughs, and it definitely got some nice chuckles out of me, but with such an idea I wonder whether the creators could have taken it a bit further by toying with that flashback even more. Right now they’ve got gold in their hands with that if they use it right.

Just forget what I said if this was just a build-up, and the creators used this episode to set up things for later when things really get crazy. There were a lot of hints in this episode that more happened than what was just shown in this episode. It’s tricky to do that though. And in the case of this series, I have no idea whether the creators will actually be able to pull it off. I mean, this series has shown that it has a knack for animation and character chemistry. Build-up is an entirely different matter, though.
Rating: 4/8 (Nice)

Posted on with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

Agh! That build-up!

This was probably one of the slowest episodes of the entire series. Holy crap, it took its time. They showed everything, from gearing up Hibito in his seat, locking the cabin, the wait for everything to get ready, the procedures in the control room. And Mutta getting kidnapped by this old NASA instructor.

But that’s also what made this episode so incredibly good. I can only imagine that one major part of the experience of such a launch is the wait and the tension that builds up. If the creators immediately cut to the launch here and didn’t use that damned dog as a red herring, the end of the episode would never have had the same impact as it did now, and I also wouldn’t be yelling at my screen at that cliff-hanger.

Space Brothers has really nailed the slow pacing. It’s really dangerous to use, because you still need to be continuously interesting to avoid dragging on and taking way too long. Space Brothers for me has never had a dull moment, and this episode in particular had me on the edge of my seat, hoping that everything would go right.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 28 October 2012 with categories: OVA Impressions

Kyosogiga is so delightful, even if it isn’t about anything, like in this episode. Whereas the previous installments were about something heartfelt, this was about a lost remote (no, really). But there is just so much passion put into this show that it doesn’t matter how silly it is.

This is a short post because the episode itself also was just seven minutes long, but I just have to talk about this show and highlight what a wonderful project this is (I’ll also do this with Masaaki Yuasa’s upcoming project when it gets released). Screw the standard episode length of 20 minutes if 6 minutes also fits this show well. This episode had plenty of style to make up for it and the animation in particular just went all out.

And again this is more than just style over substance because it did create a very enjoyable cast of characters with very simple means. The crow chase scene in particular was great, and even though the henchmen of that one girl were all huge stereotypes, they were also for the first ime in a long while actually lovable. They’re different from the usual thugs you see who always yell at every opportunity. It’s a small difference, but definitely stands out here.

Posted on with categories: Hunter X Hunter

Holy crap. I knew what would happening this episode. And yet, it was a shock to see it again. This is just so un-like any other shounen out there. I mean, Hunter X Hunter already was unique as a shounen series, but this time it really set itself apart. This is something you’d just never see elsewhere.

I think it’s clear now why the Phantom troupe is my favorite shounen villain group ever. With this episode, it just becomes clear how cunning they are, and how far they’re willing to go. They actually managed to hi-jack the entire auction with their powers and connections. Last episode’s battle ended with a huge anti-climax, orchestrated by Chrollo himself. And at the end of it it was revealed that Chrollo could have easily killed the Zoldyck family if he actually tried to kill them, instead of taking their powers. This episode just screamed professionalism in every way. Aside perhaps from Kurapika’s actions.

Kurapika. All of that build-up has come now together in this episode. After all his hard work, someone beat him and defeated the Phantom Troupe instead. He felt utterly terrible in this episode, and the creators portrayed that so well. That only lead to an amazing scene where he was forced to bid for the scarlet eyes.

Seriously, this episode had like three moments that I was looking forward to for SO LONG now. AND IT WAS SO WORTH THE WAIT. Oh and for your information, after this there will be a short part left, and then we’ll reach the part where the original Hunter X Hunter TV-series ended. After that will be part that turned Hunter X Hunter into one of my favorite shounen series ever.

Overall, the 2011 series is a lot shorter than the 1999 series. At this point, without taking future episodes into account, I still recommend the 1999 series over this one. The Hunter Exam arc in that series is just better, and that’s necessary for a good introduction in this series, rather than having to wait through like forty episodes to get to the good stuff. However, I do have to say that the Zoldyck, Skytower and Yorkshin lead-up arc are done better in the 2011 series.

As for the actual Yorkshin arc itself. I’m not going to even bother compare. Everything about this arc is amazing. I don’t care whether some details are done better in one or the other. It’s not worth it. Just watch any version you’d like.
Rating: 6.5/8 (Amazing)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
I found their posts informative and sometimes even educative. Always learn something new every time I read one of their post
SuperMario
I know I have mentioned it here more than once in the chatbox, but it bears repeating that if you want to know more about the insights of anime industry and technical aspect of anime, go check out https://blog.sakugabooru.com/
SuperMario
@silver: in that case, I'll link you to the original source. Of course, all the credits go to the source as I was just merely paraphrasing what Kevin said in his post. https://blog.sakugabooru.com/2016/08/29/kizumonogatari-i-tekketsu-hen-oishis-story-part-1/
SuperMario
@silver: Shinbou didn't involve in H&C. Who Kaiser meant was Shinobu Morita, a character in H&C
silver
(con't) I've been considering it again because it shares a mangaka with 3-gatsu and she seems to write very good characters.
@Mario: I'll check out that post tomorrow. I've read some stuff about Shinbou describing his work with Shaft, so I'm glad to learn more about that.
silver
@Kaiser: I didn't know Shinbou was involved with H&C. O
silver
Monogatari appeals to me in a way I can't really enunciate despite the myriad gripes I have regarding its individual elements. Even the excessive fanservice feels appropriate in a story about adolescents and coming of age. Hidamari was a home run for me because the modern style and media diversity fit really well with the cast of art students.
silver
It may well be the folks working for Shaft who have the affinity for the unusual direction, but I haven't seen many of their works that he hasn't directed, so I always assumed that he was the orchestrator. A good chunk of those series derive from LNs, so I like the way heavy dialogue is handled. I can certainly understand disliking it both in style and substance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol imagine if Goddard wrote monogatari.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only haven't kept up with monogatari because there is too much to catch up on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At one point honey and clover was probably one of my favourite anime of all time, I loved Shinobu especially and I remember it hitting on every single emotional note it went for. I do recall the ending being unsatisfactory however.
SuperMario
@silver: I said it in more detail here (in case you haven't read already) about Shinbo's role at Shaft. http://psgels.net/2016/10/17/3-gatsu-no-lion-02-akari-beyond-bridge/
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember in the past getting a real kick out of hidamari, zetsubou sensei, paniponi and Arakawa. EF is the prettiest thing they ever did where the style never felt like a gimmick.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, and indeed Cossette was the latest anime that Shinbou directly directed. it was roughly 13 years ago
SuperMario
Regarding Honey & Clover, I've only read the manga (not even finished it and it was longggg ago) so I would love to watch the anime adaptation of it someday. Based on what I read H&C was a certainly worth following
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He directed Cossette no shouzou which I loved.
SuperMario
I can understand why 3-gatsu is the least Shaft-y work. The source material was very well-defined in term of arts and tone that if Shaft adapted it with more Shaft-style, it will stand out in a distracting manner.
SuperMario
@silver: I'm glad we both share the love for Shaft, but to be honest Shaft is a love-it or hate-it studio. I know both psgels and Aidan hate the Shaft with a passion, for example. About Shinbou, despite his name appeared as a director for most of Shaft's outputs, his real role is nothing more than supervising the projects. Long story short, he's directly involved in the Shaft's works.
silver
@SupeWoop: I'm glad Shinbou decided to diversify his techniques and cut down on the head tilts, cheap 2D animation, and other Shafty stuff. To me it shows that he's maturing as a director. Hopefully 3-gatsu will appeal to a wider audience with its more refined presentation. Take your time and enjoy! Episodic reviews are a laborious endeavor to which I could never commit.
SuperWooper
Hey silver, I'm the bum whose first 3-gatsu post will finally appear later this week. It's one of my favorite Shaft series, so we probably like different things about the studio's output, but I hope you enjoy the review when it gets published.
silver
@Mario: Thanks! I hope to catch up on S2 by then! Looking forward to it; it's my least favorite Shinbou Shaft work thus far, but I enjoyed last season despite finding chess boring and the show's lackadaisical pacing (it's a proper SoL indeed), I still enjoyed its characters. Have you seen Honey and Clover? I've passed on it a few times, but perhaps I should try again.
SuperMario
@silver: Wooper will takeover me on 3-gatsu this season, his first 3-gatsu post will come out propably on this wednesday. So stay tuned :)
silver
Mario, are you blogging 3-gatsu this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
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