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)

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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