Posted on 28 February 2013 with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

Time for this show to catch up on some of the developments for the characters that are going to be important for the new arc: the one woman who has previously had no background, plus the guy who will be the instructor for the main cast. Both developments that were really welcome. Yet again this show proves that it can be amazing when it just picks a character and somehow gives this one a memorable backstory.

Beyond that there were lots of small moments, like with Serika and her family, Kenji and how he analyzed that strange message that both he and Mutta got, it’s great to see some old faces back again and even some of the new characters who didn’t get any attention look really interesting to watch and I can’t wait before they too can get their own bits in the spotlights.

Oh and it’s been a while since Mutta made me laugh as much as what he did here. It’s both a combination of how he couldn’t be funny when Hibito’s life was on the line, and that this episode was just that hilarious. He did not have many jokes, but the ones he had made me laugh uncontrollably. I especially liked how he just went ahead and dressed as silly as possible, now that he was in astronaut jumpsuit anyway.

Also, about Ena: she has four siblings, and even the youngest is an adult. More series should do that!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 27 February 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Here is why I love Zetsuen no Tempest’s new direction: a second half transition is tricky, and most shows just head into the usual roads: be more dramatic. Zetsuen no Tempest however decided to add more comedy here. My question is: what’s wrong with that? As a story transitions and changes, it needs to use the build-up of the start and head into the most logical direction, while still being interesting. Nobody said that it had to be more dramatic or anything. In fact, Sakurasou is currently showing that that can also hurt a show in a way.

The point of Zetsuen no Tempest’s change of tone is not to just give it more romance. Instead, the romance is a tool to get the other areas to shine: Aika’s death is the center of the story. You really need this well developed. And the characters. I don’t know about you, but I find them hilarious. Their chemistry in this episode again was really fun to watch.

Also, here we have a series that makes excellent use of its main characters being teenagers. A lot of the charms of this series is watching adults go crazy by having the fate of the world dependant on the hands of a bunch of impulsive kids. And the big difference with the usual: despite all their hormones, they remain intelligent. Samon in this episode was hilarious again when he found out that all his plans were foiled again.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 26 February 2013 with categories: From the New World

We were just talking in the shoutbox about episode ratings, and what they mean when I hand them out. I’ve been blogging a lot of episodes over the years, so my standard are pretty high with this: an episode has to be pretty freaking good to warrant a rating above 6/8. And here Shin Sekai Yori pulled it off, with what was without a doubt the best episode of the season. Holy crap.

People wondered why I didn’t rate the latest Jojo episode as high. The thing with that episode was that it was a pretty standard episode that was really well delivered. It was really entertaining, and it deserves points for that, but it did not amaze me. This episode in comparison completely shocked me. It’s here where the series finally reveals what kind of plan the queerats have had since the beginning of the series. And holy crap is it sad! And holy crap they go far here!

Shin Sekai Yori is for children? Hah. This episode showed what amazing villains the queerats are. This episode made brilliant use of how we previously saw the queerats as a simple folk with simple rituals when they start using those rituals on humans. It was slightly shocking when they did it with fellow queerats, but abducting human children in order to let them grow into fiends in order to take over the world and escape the oppression of the humans. Holy crap man!
Rating: 7/8 (Fantastic)

Posted on with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Awww. This show already has an awesome soundtrack, and to think that it has one of the best tracks saved for this episode. This episode was all about Ceasar, and as the episode went on it became pretty clear what was going to happen, but for what they attempted to do, the creators succeeded.

So the death of a major character. Another thing that has set Jojo apart is that really anyone can die, and they once again show this with this episode. It was over the top as usual, and the music really helped. The creators also made his death quick: no dragging on for ages, he was just hit once really badly, and that’s it. He did get to make a very elaborate farewell speech though, but it was well done with all of the symbolism there.

Wham was also a great guy to do it with dragging Ceasar inside the building with weird powers. Byusing them to block the sun they found a new twist to his powers. And it all happened in just one episode. Eat your heart out, Naruto.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 25 February 2013 with categories: Robotics;Notes

And with this we have turned to the final arc of this series, in which we finally take a look at Aki and her sister. It brought in a sudden hint of romance as well now that Aki is in the main picture again (again, this could have been better balanced to take out the harem element because I don’t think it really contributes to much here apart from making Kai a less interesting character. That’s the downside of having a series with so many different plot threads, yet still wanting the main character to poke his nose in everything.

Still, Misa’s part in this episode is something I really liked. Kai really feels shocked by what happened to Mizuka and the creators used that well, only to move over to Misa herself, who seems to have betrayed her job or something…? The answer to that is probably something we’ll get in the next episodes. I really liked the cliff-hanger of this episode and how this showed the tension between Aki and her sister.

Lots of drama seems to have been created around Gunvarrel. This part did not work as well for me today, probably because it’s a part that has been a bit abandoned: how regular people think of Gunvarrel. It just felt too one-sided and forced at this point. I know that it has been stated before that Gunvarrel has had negative publicity, but for me it was a bit too much when everyone just walked away or when people started throwing with cans…
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on with categories: Psycho Pass

So I already read that the animation of this episode would have… issues. So how did it turn out? Well, it was definitely noticeable For some shots, it felt like the cleanup-animation work was not done, and I suspect it was a case of an outsourcing company that did not make its deadline. Still, it wasn’t that bad and this episode did get across what it wanted to do, and it was a building-up episode anyway. I have seen much, much worse, many times before.

The strongest scene of this episode was where Akane shot Kougami. It was a bit of a strange move in which the Sybil System lacked a lot of subtleties in hiding their true intentions, but still: at htat point they probably believed that nobody could do anything against them and it was worth the risk. Akane has grown much more than what I expected her to do and I loved how dependable she has become.

The inner politics of the police force were really interesting in this episode. And yet again, I have to wonder why the police force is so small and why it’s so difficult to get replacements? I mean I get that there is less crime and all, but society has to be pretty screwed if there can be hardly any capable policemen in the case something goes wrong (like in this episode, where an enforcer starts to think a little too hard). I mean that is the big fault with the Sybil System: it doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of insurance. Did Urobuchi Gen do this intentional?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 24 February 2013 with categories: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

Here is where you can see that the source material really has some problems: it’s revealed that the finale of the series will focus on Sakurasou shutting down. The big problem with that: it’s cliched as hell. I know it will lead to character development and all, but it’s just so standard. We’ve seen this and been there. It’s now up to the writers and animators to really make it stand out like what this series has always done. Did this episode provide a good start?

Um…. this episode had me very, very confused. It was just like the first episode… but without Shiina. Ryuunosuke made an appearance, even though he didn’t do that in the first episode. The weirdest thing is that this was a flashback in which nobody seemed to find it strange that things were suddenly incorrect.

This episode: it was a recap of the first episode, and yet it wasn’t. What the hell?
Rating: $#@!?/8 (Wut?)

Posted on 23 February 2013 with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

After what feels like months of watching Hibot struggle for his life, we finally get a “normal” episode of Space Brothers. For the series’ standards, it is an uneventful episode. It’s meant to build up for later, and introduce the upcoming arc, which will focus on Mutta again as he travels to the USA in order to meet the top astronauts out there. A teaser line-up showed quite a few different characters, so that really sounds promising here!

In the meantime they also took their chance to give Sharon some character with her husband. They’re two people with a great passion for watching the starts that came together. It’s a nice little detail, but nothing more. What caught my eye the most about this episode was how she reacted when she learned what Hibito went through: they didn’t provide the full details for the fear of confusion.

Still, this series has a habit of a lot of dead very inspiring people. There’s Brian, then there is Sharon’s husband, and didn’t Serika’s father also die? Death plays a very big role in this series, but in a different way from normal. And the thing is that I keep thinking that this will be some hint for the future, but in the end everyone manages to survive.. It’s quite annoying, but well played from the creators. Just know that you can’t keep pulling stuff like this…

Also, did they spell Nanba Mutta as “Namba Mutta”? Is that his official English spelling? It’s a bit weird to have that ‘m’ there in Romanji.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: Chihayafuru

And here this series comes and goes like “I’m sorry I haven’t spent much attention on some of the minor characters, let me make up for that.” This episode brought so much life to them. Not just Sumire and Akihiro, but also Chihaya’s parents, her sister, Kanade’s mother, Akihiro’s brothers, even some unnamed people from the school’s band club and some random teachers. The band and their performance in particular was awesome. Now this is how you should spend an aftermath!

Chihaya feeling down over the loss, you see it everywhere, and yet the creators managed to spice even that up with that focus on her parents, not to mention showing how she has grown (being able to tie her own kimono and how she has completely changed from who she used to be). The time she spent with her mother was also awesome. It’s a really personal time with someone she knows for her entire life. There are little other series that have managed to put the same focus there.

And then this show suddenly started to toy with the symbolism behind words and it actually was very interesting to follow how this all related back to the characters themselves.

Also, the budget. I have no clue what happened in the first two episodes, but for some reason the series looks as awesome as it ever has. The differences in animation are not noticeable anymore, and the drawings really look crisp again. Some budget issues at the start or something?
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Chihayafuru

Holy crap. The way this episode begun. I had no clue that the creators would even put so much meaning into the reading. To the point where Chihaya is able to take control of the reader and how this plays off to the actual readers (so that’s why they used that guy for that! He already was an established character so this makes more impact! How is this show able to do so many things at the same time!?).

Heck, yet again this show manages to put so much meaning into just about every scene of its. Every character here has a moment. How the heck has it been doing this for so many episodes already? I sound like a broken record saying this.

And here this episode suddenly comes with the most impossible set-up of a luck of the draw match that is entirely against their favor due to Chihaya’s stupidity, leading to everyone suddenly needing to go after cards that are nearly impossible to get. And holy crap, the end results shocked me. I knew that the end result would not matter because the two teams would pass anyway. But the creators kept it exciting, first by having Retro screw up, and then having Chihaya actually lose again, despite all that build-up. There was so much emotion and build-up put into that match, that in the end result didn’t really matter.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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