Posted by psgels on 17 January 2013 with categories: Magi

Magi uses its three main characters in an interesting way: episodes in which all three of them are active are quite rare. First they all travelled separately, then Aladdin lost consciousness for an entire month. It’s quite interesting, actually.

Now, as for this episode… the politics… Alibaba sure came with some ridiculous ideas. It was definitely creative, though and I have to say that I did not expect this. If the rest of this series will focus on turning Balbadd into a democracy and the challenges that come into its way, it’s going to make for a pretty interesting conclusion.

Having said that though, there is one thing I realized this episode: Magi is a series based on middle eastern folklore, based on modern ideals. The slavery already was one hint for this: sure, it’s something terrible and all, but back in those days people just found it normal, and were more preoccupied with their own survival. Then this episode with Alibaba’s sudden decision to turn an entire monarchy into a republic overnight. It is that this series suddenly revealed that there are other republics in this world, but still: it just does scream “freedom! equality for all”. Idealistic and inspiring indeed, but historically accurate? Err… Not to mention breaking off an arranged marriage in those days. I’m not saying that this was bad or anything, though it did catch my attention.
Rating: 4/8 (Good)

38 Responses

  1. Rachnid says:

    yeah, the republic stuff kinda bothered me too. This series continues to convince me that its political stuff isn’t very well thought out, but I guess the message we should take away from this is “Alibaba is King material”. I did, however, like the part where tsundere princess used her position to “trick” Sinbad into visiting her, nothing more deliciously devious than abusing power on perfectly reasonable grounds.

    • Airies says:

      tsuncess is the only reason im still watching.

    • HunterWulf says:

      Isn’t well thought out !!!! .. are you kidding me !!!? the guy dodged an arranged marriage .. voided an agreement to sell the people of his kingdom as collateral to another kingdom .. entered the most powerful alliance in the world .. and finally turned his own kingdom into a democracy … all in one stroke .. that’s some of the BEST handling of politics in anime to date .. seriously.

      • Airies says:

        I think you missed the point about it being a modern mindset in a world were it should not be.

        • HunterWulf says:

          Well and you missed the point that there is NOTHING modern about any of the concepts mentioned here, the concepts of democracy and public assemblies where common people rule and have control are as ancient as the Greek civilization (if not more ancient than that), alliances between kingdoms and countries is an even older concept .. so what modern mindset are we talking about here exactly, there is no reason whatsoever the concepts mentioned this episodes can’t exist in that fantasy setting !!!?

          • Sei says:

            Because Greek is very Arabic indeed.

            I know Democracy exists in Ancient Greek and all.

            But if you write a story of ancient Chinese and pull that crap I will call you bullshit.

            The point is, politics is a result of economy and social development. I don’t think that the society in this setting will give birth to the concept of democracy at this time beings.

          • HunterWulf says:

            @Sai
            Now that’s just getting silly, this is -surprise- FICTION .. and ironically you are complaining about the most plausible/realstic thing in the entire damn series so far .. Alibaba didn’t sit in a room for ten days then came out with the concept of democracy or invented a nuclear bomb or something .. he traveled around and saw many other countries .. some of them were republics that apply the concept of democracy (like the GREEKS).. so he thought he might try that in order to save his kingdom .. and well .. hello .. that’s the whole freaking point of fiction .. this is a WHAT IF scenarios.

            And please, none of the cities here even existed, the letters used aren’t real Arabic, Arabic people in real life didn’t have 30 feet tall Djinn, nor did they have any magical dungeons .. so if a fictional Arabic character coming across the concept of democracy in a foreign country he saw during his travels and wanting to apply it to his own kingdom is far more plausible and historically accurate than anything else here XD

      • Rachnid says:

        Maybe I should rephrase, I wasn’t referring to the content per se. I totally agree it’s awesome, but that’s exactly why it didn’t really work, because it came out of Alibaba’s mouth, I don’t think we can believe at this point he is capable of such a feat. Sinbad? Maybe, but it might even be a stretch coming from him. It’s not that it can’t exist, but instead how and who brought it to that place that is the problem. I think you’re mixing up my opinion with psgels’. And even in his case, I think he just didn’t get the point across well enough, like what happened with my first comment.

  2. minstrel says:

    It’s done on purpose, that Alibaba’s naivety will result in tragedy. The politic will soon turn much more complicated to the point of confusing later on. I wish it would stay as a lighthearted adventure. The next arc would be my favorite arc, I can only stick until that part otherwise I’ll get a headache.

  3. Kaiserin Emma says:

    Now, while I still agree with Airies I however feel that the developments in this episode by the sound of it are acceptable given that this is after all simply just fiction.

  4. Deano says:

    “Idealistic and inspiring indeed, but historically accurate?”

    …and I suppose the giant blue magical guys popping out of metal vessals is ‘historically accurate’.

    Come on guys, its an anime show. Allow some artistic licence, or about 75% of all anime can be considered nonsense.

    • Hogart says:

      I don’t think anyone (psgels included) were really griping about it, just noticing it.

      But if you’re interested in debating it, there is a bit of a difference between “historical accuracy” and “physical accuracy”. Having supernatural entities is historically accurate in the sense that the original Arabian Nights mythos this is based on also had them.

      It’s just a bit jarring to see modern mentalities in a setting where they don’t really apply and so don’t quite blend in seamlessly if you’re aware of the mythos it’s based on (Disney-fication of a sort). As psgels said though, it’s not good or bad in and of itself, just jarring.

      • meaqui says:

        Nope, thats fiction;) Trying to apply rules of our reality doesnt make sense at all. As long as it serves its part in the story, every element is fine.
        But I get it – you dont like it;)

        • Kaiserin Emma says:

          @Meaqui and Deano: Ah, excellent both of you get it!

        • Rachnid says:

          Yes it’s fine, but believable and convincing? Not really. When it stands out like that, it’s saying that there is something inconsistent with the context of the setting, and that is where most of us who didn’t like it, i think, don’t like about it. Yes it is fiction, but things can be done in a way that is good or not so good. Alibaba convincing people about going democratic? not so good. From what we have been shown so far, there was no hint at all that democracy has been remotely conceived in that setting, especially with the rampant slavery. The only knowledge of that is given to us seconds AFTER Alibaba suggests it, hence the “jarring” experience. I don’t agree with the use of the word “historical accuracy” too. But I totally understand where psgels and Hogart come from.
          I think nobody is saying that it is bad in and of itself, really. It’s like hitting a road bump you did not expect, and some of us get hooked up on that more than others. Just like you’re about “historical accuracy” ;). Either way, we will all be watching the next episode.

        • Hogart says:

          I guess that’s about the thick of things, yes. In my case it’s simply being forced to compare it to 1001 Nights because they shoehorned their way into the mythos so forcefully. It strikes me as lazy, since I can otherwise enjoy this on its own merits. It’s the price I have to pay for being an overanalyzer, I guess.

  5. hoiut says:

    I feel the same way as psgels concerning the “setting” right now. Pretentious, self-righteous sermons about the beauty of democracy (and somehow equating that with equality) and modern values contrast jarringly with the setting, characters, supposed upbringing, political climate, source material, historical period (albeit one of fantasy), and to some extent, common sense.

    The ideals he spouted are the last thing a believable protagonist would desire after witnessing firsthand the influence of “powerful/good” kings (Sinbad, and to lesser extent his father) in contrast with the abject dependence of the masses and their propensity to easily be misguided by the likes of Kassim and HIS controller. The only lesson to be learned from those particular circumstances from a lad in his position is to install a different (and more powerful/noble) king. Or that revolts are “okay” now and then. But a circumstantially inconsistent and entirely uncalled-for change in the fundamental system of governance?

    Many anthropologists take issue today with the imposition of “western democracy” by Western Superpowers as an artifact of their ongoing cultural hegemony and neo-colonialist global tactics. If anything, the intricate system of financial domination proposed in earlier episodes (a country selling itself out of power/rights) is closer to the modern norm. It can be argued the vast majority of so-called “democratic regimes” in the world today are only successful because one was — and is — and that one is pulling the strings and propping up the others. Proto-democratic city-states of centuries past met overwhelmingly with complete failure, as any student of global history will tell you. And Rome isn’t an exception (or even a “democracy” by anything close to the modern standard).

    I have nothing against democracies. But one look at American history will tell you that without a hell of a lot of luck and the perfect geopolitical environment (not to mention a whole boatload of bloodshed and repeated indoctrination), there’s little chance the One Democracy would have come to fruition in the first place.

    Minstrel’s comment (third on this page as of my post) excites me for this reason, though, at the same time the execution this past episode frustrates me. This particular turn on the road to political intrigue may have been shoddily contrived, but if the destination holds potential, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

    • HunterWulf says:

      Well you seem to think that Democracy is a new thing or as modern as USA .. it isn’t .. and America isn’t the first country to have democratic rule to use it as the main example in your comment … the concept of democracy and giving power to rule over to people and common folk is a very old concept … there are many types of democracies and many nations had their own brand of democracy .. Alibaba traveled a lot on his way to his kingdom and saw many nations .. one of them was probably like ancient Greece .. because if you want to talk about democracy in ancient times then we have Greeks who applied the concept of public assembly and democracy in many aspects of their lives and in many of their cities –>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_democracy … and they weren’t the only one’s who did that.

      • hoiut says:

        You got my point right, but your rebuttal misses the mark.

        The concepts and ideals Alibaba is using to try to create a democracy sound altogether too modern — which the Greek/Athenian version was certainly not (and notably faced heavy criticisms in its time…and today). Democracy was seen as usurping the natural order and quite arbitrary by many scholars of the period. It resulted because of the permeation of philosophy and intellectualism throughout the state and the shabby treatment of the poor by the rich who were running the economy into the ground — the same final stimulus that occurs in Magi.

        But the characteristics of the people, the climate, the social system, and the region’s history make concepts such as these laughable in context, and would not be rationally proposed by a Prince who observed firsthand the corruption of the people’s will by external influence (something that didn’t happen in Greece). Also, a common feature of all early democracies (with the exception of one city-state): they failed. Often miserably.

        That’s not to say some concepts we associate as being “democratic” (or of “people’s republic”) are necessarily part of a particular system. “Almost all cultures have at some time had their new leaders approved, or at least accepted, by the people; and have changed the laws only after consultation with the assembly of the people or their leaders.” — Wikipedia

        ^ ^ So, totally this. This is what I was getting at — Alibaba would have rationally been more inclined to install/become a new, strong king with popular support. It is next to impossible to establish legislative legitimacy without some form of popular consent (btw, the method of extracting such consent doesn’t have to be pleasant to modern ears).

        “America isn’t the first country to have democratic rule to use it as the main example in your comment” — you bet your bottom dollar it is. I am as convinced of this as I am convinced the author only hoists this idealism into his work as a result of living under its modern (American) incarnation. That or the author is far smarter than his naive young protagonist and has plenty of turmoil and sociopolitical criticism in store for his new state.

  6. Sheba says:

    From Ali Baba’s point of view, the democracy was the best solution he could come up with. He saw that his brothers were not fit as kings, he knew that he don’t have the shoulders to stand the burden of power. The best he could do was to give the power to people, or at least a council representing the people. Remember that there are many forms of democracy as well many forms of monarchy. Ali Baba needs to exercise before finding the best compromise that will work for every parties. What he have proposed is just the first step.

  7. HunterWulf says:

    How are the politics not historically accurate !!? .. democracy and public assemblies aren’t modern things .. they are as old as Greek civilization if not older (and Greeks weren’t the only ones to apply the concept of democracy either .. many ancient civilizations did) .. so what historical inaccuracy are we talking about here ?

    • Sei says:

      oh, yeah, the all so mighty Greek again.

      The point is, social advance must be logical. Character action and choice must be logical with their life experience. It’s called consistence.

      WE KNOW that Democracy exists in ancient Greek, but please NOTE that different kind of society give birth to different kind of politics and they will have some other kind of advance. I cannot see that Alibaba could pull that ideal out of his head without the author putting words into his mouth.

      The thing is, that Democracy stuff is literally out of nowhere.

      Politics is difficult to handle, and I don’t think the author of this series could handle it well. As for now I guess we will just see some shallow development that lend way to some cheesy drama, which is not so rare in media nowadays. Not so good, but well nothing out of expectation.

      • HunterWulf says:

        I don’t know if you were asleep during the episode or what, but Alibaba didn’t make this up in his head .. .. i repeat .. he didn’t come up with this by himself.. he saw many EXAMPLES on his travels to his way home .. some of the countries/kingdoms he came across were ALREADY republics and he WITNESSED how they rule and how it is much better than the other monarchies .. it didn’t come out of nowhere.

        And seriously, the series handled politics very well so far .. i don’t know about your expectations but they seem pretty darn unrealistic.

        • kazid1 says:

          Totally agree Hunter, this posts have to much biased comments, “historically accurate?”??? wth? Magi is nottt a historicall anime and repeat “not” is based in 1001 nigths but is not only based in that material, the autor build a whole new world that no enter in the logic of the real world, thus the historicall argument is totally invalid. Second: of course the democracy concept is very weird at first glance but if you put atention to the show is the most convenient solution to the problem Also Alibaba do this knowing that his arguments have to much flaws, but also knowing that other factors are in his favour. For example the imperial princess clearly not want to marry that pig. The other brother is follow him blinded, The king previously have lost to much credits, and others factors, Common I have seen politics whit far more idiots arguments and win, is not about the logical of the argument but the psicological influence they have, the people want a great change, ok I would offer this big change. And the revolutions starts. Also Hunter and the anime explained that in THAT WORLD Republics have been established and Alibaba based his arguments in this. Third. This chapeter is not a wierd follow up that came of nowwere clearly Alibaba was thinking all over past chapters how to save Balbad and finish whit this conclusion. So is a logical follow up. Sorpresive but logical.

          In the end Magi is to much over the top, but are people that not liked how the autor manages this history and is plausible. But for something Magi is the 9 in manga Japan rattings and i this is not for being the tipical shounen manga.

          • Green says:

            Asking a shounen to be historically accurate is too much. The Arabic nights setting was used as a foundation. Example full metal alchemist, zetsuen no tempest, naruto, one piece, ruroni kenshin etc etc. alchemist, ninja pirates and samurai portrayal, none of that were historically accurate. Alchemist, samurai ninja doesn’t work like that. They weren’t meant to be historically accurate. Have everyone forgotten what fiction means? Furthermore it’s shounen.

      • hoiut says:

        Very true. And the democracies he claims to have seen are the icing on the cake of unbelievableness.

        I would propose that Alibaba simply mistook what he saw — or saw only what he wanted to see, and that wasn’t necessarily democracy. He simply saw the leaders supported by the people and who involve them (or take into account their concerns) when forming new laws.

        • HunterWulf says:

          He never used the word democracy .. he said the people in those republics made their choices by themselves .. whether they had public assemblies or were ruled by an elected ruler or by a parliament or a senate is unknown to us as he never gave the details of how those republics worked .. the fact stays that there is NOTHING unbelievable about it .. as the concept of public assemblies and democracy is as old as dirt .. it just wasn’t as widely spread as it is today.

          In fact it’s pretty much one of the few believable things around in the show (same as the negative effects of having a valueless paper currency forced on you instead of using gold or silver coins that have inherent value and global acceptance for use in trade)

          • hoiut says:

            No. Good sir, with these ridiculous assumptions you betray you know too little of their historical scope and context to use them as evidence.

            Yes, the concepts of democracy (people-rule) are ancient. Everyone today knows this. Everyone who has passed through middle school. Thank you for the insight anyway.

            But I can’t understand why you fail to grasp that there were no successful examples in the middle east.

            It would be wise to do a little reading (or go back to sit in on a middle school world history class) before applauding the feasibility of an Arabian/Persian prince suggesting democracy (republic).

            Points to consider:
            – There were no documented democracies in the middle east in any time point corresponding to the original or historically re-imagined Thousand and One Nights. This makes his “I saw ’em around, you know, here and there around the region” a product of his own (or his author’s) wishful interpretation of “hybrid-type” local regimes with a central autocrat. Maybe he mistook a small city council meeting for a scalable, non-autocratic political model. Maybe he just saw nice kings deferring to the people.
            – From the collapse of the Roman Republic to the mid 1800’s the pervading sentiment surrounding the Athenian model was extremely negative and critical by (even Western!) political thinkers, who considered it “mob rule.”

  8. Green says:

    Forrest Gump uses historical events as references and were never meant to be historically accurate. In fact most references were to point of being ridiculous.

  9. Rachnid says:

    The point is…the anime has failed to have us believe that Alibaba is capable of conceiving the idea of democracy, (please don’t assume that we’re all ignorant about democracy, even if we were, Alibaba’s lines about it existing in other countries should have been enough to convince us, but it didn’t, and that says something). That is an indisputable fact, since me and some other people here seem to share the same feelings. I think we are all also willing to overlook it if the coming events at least try to make an attempt to address this. It’s quite common that serialized manga pull something like this, what we need to see is how it deals with it later on. Who knows, maybe the next episode will have all it needs to resolve this.

    • Rachnid says:

      “conceiving” is not a good word, i’m aware he did not invent it. I meant “capable of thinking of using democracy as a solution”

    • Anca says:

      >That is an indisputable fact, since me and some other people here seem to share the same feelings.

      Heh.

      Anyway, I agree with HunterWulf. Democracy in an old as dirt concept, and Alibaba has been shown to be educated and well-traveled. I did find the scene jarring initially – because it came out of nowhere, but it was easy to accept once I thought a bit about it. The show should have foreshadowed it better, but there was nothing wrong with the concept itself.

      And since the manga was written by a modern mind, I’ll bet my knickers that the republic will fail spectacularly.

  10. momotsu says:

    It very amused for me to see you guys critique with Alibaba’s democratic idea is out of no where, though he clearly said that he saw this system work well in other regime while he was traveling.

    hmm

    • Kina says:

      Maybe they want some flashback or proof of Ailbaba’s travels to other places where the cities/town have democracy. Personally, I read the manga so its pretty funny how everyone nitpicking about how historically inaccurate/accurate or out of place Ailbaba’s proposed idea about establishing a republic is when later on in the manga everything is explain/playout. I don’t wanna say any spoilers so just have some patience lol. I really recommend reading the manga though because it is really well written and interesting.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]