Posted on 31 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews

If I said that a really good comedy for the past year was a show about a Penguin and a Panda walking into a bar, would you believe me?

Polar Bear Cafe is an interesting beast here. Series that combine slice of life with comedy are nothing new, but this series does it in a way that has not been done often before. For one, its characters stand apart in their simplicity,and how they try to stay away from often used cliches. One, by being a bunch of talking animals, and two, by focusing not on teenagers, but on the working class adults.

Most humour in anime is energetic. Polar Bear Cafe though, is all about deadpan. If you enjoy that kind of humour, then you should give this show a chance, because on one hand, it contains really every day conversations between its characters, and on the other hand it is really creative in how it delivers its jokes. It constantly pokes fun at itself and its silly concept and contains more running jokes than you can shake a stick at. The self-referential humour is what I liked best about this series: it spends so much time carefully creating its setting, yet at the same it’s also constantly breaking it down and poking fun at it.

50 episodes is long, but I have to say: during the best episodes I really fell off my chair laughing. For me, they were the Penko episode, and the Bar MC episode. Beyond that this series also made me laugh numerous times, but there were unfortunately also plenty of episodes that failed to raise a laugh, or that were just plain dull. Like I said, 50 episodes is long.

It’s a bit of a dilemma for this series. Ideally its length would be at 39 episodes, but the long length does lead to some really good character building. At the end of the series, you really feel like you know these characters. The “people” you see hanging around in bars, cafes that you sometimes talk to and hang out with. The ones who are constantly trolling each other, who don’t try to get others to like them, yet get their charms from that.
One-Sentence Review: Random slice of life combined with deadpan comedy: that’s what makes this show work although it is too long with 50 episodes; plus Polar Bear is a great character.
Suggestions:
– Excel Saga
Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru

Posted on with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Okay, so I thought that this was the final episode so I was ready to go all out. And then at the end of this episode there was this “To be continued”-message. Yeah, I was confused. But boy, am I glad, because it means that there will be one more episode of Jojo. They managed to squeeze one more into the airing schedule. David Production also did this with the Armed Librarians. And seriously, these guys have with this earned a spot amongst my favorite production companies out there. The way they handled this adaptation was just fantastic.

I loved the final battle against Cars, because it was more than “let’s just send a huge beam towards the angry monster until it dies”. No, instead Joseph managed to hijack a plane and turned this into a cat and mouse chase. Future action series should really take this episode as an example for their penultimate episodes, because this: the fight had so many interesting things in it. I also loved the small details again, like the meat eating squirrel.

And Stroheim. God, I love this guy. He’s completely one-dimensional, but his theme song ever since he became the terminator is just awesome, and he always appears at just the right moments, doing the craziest things surpassing even Joseph in this. Last episode was already glorious when he apparead with his squad of lamp-weilding guys, but in this episode… to think that he had been hiding in the plane for hours, waiting for the right moment to arrive.

All of the main villain of this series so far have had their dying moment: an episode dedicated to their final trump when they’re near death: Dio had his head, AC-DC was reduced to a brain, and Wham also had his episode dedicated to his final moments. They really seem to be doing the same to Cars as well, but knowing this series, they probaly are intending this one to be special. And it will be between Cars, Joseph and Stroheim on a burning volcano. Oh my god, so much manliness.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 30 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews

Kyoani. I really respect… your animators. They are able to put in so much detail into their drawings and movements and your anime have much more dynamic movement in them than the competition. Now, would you start making interesting series again? Pretty please?

At this point I’ve already written off Shaft: these guys will just repeat their style over and over unless a really good writer like Urobuchi Gen or something makes them do otherwise. Tamako Market however was for me the final chance I’d give for Kyoani’s slice of life series: if I didn’t like this one, I’d just stop bothering with them. So yeah, at this time I have lost my patience for the as well: I’m not going to give them any more chances. If something like Hyouka appears again, it’ll be obvious that it’s different and interesting right from the start.

Tamako Market did have the best first episode of the new season. It showed a lot of different characters, ranging from high school girls, high school boys, shop owners, adults, families, an eccentric bird, young kids. It seemed so much more than the usual series that are just about a group of random high school girls.

In the end though, this potential never really got used. The shop owners never have any identity for themselves: they are all just lumped together into a collection of random stereotypes. The high school girls aside from Tamako also hardly have any personality aside from one trait. The talking bird got annoying right at the moment he gained weight. The high school boy’s only role in the series turned out to be having a crush on the lead female.

The family is the only part of the first episode that actually got any depth. The few moments the family was at the central focus, this series was at its best. The first half of the series spends most of its time on cultural references. That too was pretty interesting. In the second half though, the series gets overtaken by this really stupid marriage plot that really doesn’t go anywhere. It’s completely mindless, doesn’t really do anything, it’s not charming at all and was really annoying to get through to be honest.

So yeah, with this I’m done with Kyoani. Their series just aren’t for me. Wake me up when they start making something different.
One-Sentence Review: Really good and detailed animation for a slice of life series that doesn’t really go anywhere.
Suggestions:
Aria the Animation
Hyakko
Rumiko Takahashi’s Rumic Theater

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

Some seasons of anime are better than others, but the past winter season has hit a really low point. If you ignore the sequels, then it has been the worst season I ever blogged. Out of the series that did catch my attention enough, Kotoura-san turned out to be best. Not perhaps because it was the most consistent, but because it was the only show that really managed to stand out in a way. Yeah, it’s nothing special, but at least it’s something.

It’s especially the first and the last episode in this series that made sure of that. Perhaps they’re overdramatic at times, but the first episode plays really well with its mood-swings, making for a nice introduction, and the last episode wraps everything up nicely with a lot of character-development, making for a nice conclusion. Kotoura-san’s characters are by no means good or sophisticated; they’re all really simple teenagers without much depth. Still, they are genuine. That gave them a charm that I missed in all other non-sequels this season.

The series does have some big problems, though. You know the saying “it’s not about the destination, but about the journey”? Well that totally does not apply for Kotoura-san. I mentioned above that for Kotoura-san, it’s start and end are great. Inbetween though… it clearly had difficulties in filling everything in. This results in a pool episode, a beach episode, and a silly crime story that all feel really forced. The creators had some nice ideas for the characters, but they didn’t know what to do with them. Because of that the journey in this series can be really tedious because there really is not much interesting stuff going on. It also does not help that the antics of the bunch of perverts in this series gets annoying really fast. Still, it’s fun. It charmed and entertained me more than the other series this season.
One-Sentence Review: Kotoura-san is about mind-readers: it’s honest and genuine and that gives it a charm that makes it worth watching, despite the fact that it doesn’t know how to use half of its airtime…
Suggestions:
B Gata H Kei
Hitohira
Mahou Tsukai Tai

Posted on 29 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Zetsuen no Tempest



Spiral was a series that was all about mind games. The characters had to battle people who used puzzles and mind games. Zetsuen no Tempest is the next logical step from its original author: a world-shaking plot that can decide the fate of the entire world, but somehow it managed to find a way to make it entirely dependent on the logic of a bunch of teenagers. It was glorious!

This may sound weird, but really: the characters in Zetsuen no Tempest really are excellent. All of them are fresh and witty, and they play off each other really well. I mean, it’s nothing new that series put a lot of consequences on teenaged emotions, but it has never been done with a cast that works so well together, not to mention with a cast that tries so hard to put logic into the plot as well. The two lead males in particular look like your average male hero at first, yet they turn out to be completely different.

I have sometimes called this “mindfuck, the anime”. This series really loves its surprises in its plot. And while it’s not the first series to attempt some mind-screws, it did manage to pull them off in a unique way. The key here was how it played with its own logic. On one hand, it took itself entirely seriously, on the other it deliberately just ignored it and just went wild with emotions. This dual battle is a really big theme in this series. Logic versus emotions, Genesis versus Exodus, Magic versus Technology, Tempest versus Hamlet (this will all make sense when you see the series). My one complaint though is that it takes a while to get going, and the ending is not what it could have been. The goodness in this series really is in the middle.

Also it also helps that this series has an incredibly epic soundtrack. No, seriously. The animation may be normal, but the soundtrack is just amazing. Right from the start, it just bombards you with complex and classically inspired tracks that just keep coming.
One-Sentence Review: If you’re looking for a good mind-screw with a godly soundtrack and fun characters, then this is a series to check out!
Suggestions:
Death Note
Un-Go
Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra

Posted on with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

From the New World and Psycho Pass had endings that really impressed me. The downside to that is that they did raise the bar on endings quite a bit now. You can’t just defeat the evil monster and do nothing beyond that. You have to do something special now as well. I guess that that’s why I was underwhelmed by the first half of this episode, because that was exactly that. Not to mention: this series prides itself inits logic. A fight scene ending doesn’t have the same impact compared to if they would have based it on logic.

The second half of this episode was much more satisfying as an epilogue, though. This really showed everyone being able to move on, and quite a few characters have changed their ways or beliefs thanks to what happened in the series. Aika also showed again that she was a really compelling character to watch. She was a character who was dead at the start of the series, and yet her impact is all over it. She definitely was my favorite character here.

Tempest was great. It’s a shame that there is not going to be a bones series next season, because they are always interesting, even when they’re weaker. But really, their last weak series was Heroman for me. I eagerly await their next work.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo



Teenaged romance shows are a dime a dozen, so it has to take something special for a series to catch my interest. For that, the past Autumn Season was a source of gold. Kamisama Hajimemashita was awesome, Sukitte Ii na Yo was a surprise hit, and Sakurasou also seemed like the series to bring new life in the shounen romance genre. It kinda did, but if you want to stay with that impression, then don’t watch the second half.

Sakurasou really managed to set itself apart with its execution. From the outside it looked like an average romantic comedy, but when you started watching it became clear to me how good the chemistry between the characters was. The banter had a lot of comedic gold in it, and it was full of energy. Scenes were well set-up, and there were a number of really sharp characters in this series, whose lines pierced through all pretense. That made this series a roller-coaster of emotions that was actually really well balanced.

The level of writing really was good there, and consistently so. I can only recall one bad episode, which randomly introduced incest for no reason whatsoever). You’d expect this level of writing to get better as the series goes on and gets more chance to build up, but somewhere along the way it just loses its spark. Especially the final third just misses the energy and wit that made this series so addictive at the start.

The early parts of this series are about hard work versus talent, and working hard towards your dreams, and coming of age. The show ends with a love triangle and a silly subplot about a bunch of dorms being closed down. It totally lacks any kind of impact, and the series ends with a melodramatic ending that is too scared to really resolve anything. The only good parts about the final third is where the creators focus on the themes that made the first half so good, but there are unfortunately too few moments to really salvage the series.

It’s a shame, really. I really endorse series evolving and changing. Doing the same thing over and over gets boring. But if you want to change your attention, you have to make sure that you have something interesting and logical to follow up with. Sakurasou didn’t and just got bogged down in its genre conventions that unfortunately spoiled what could have been such a good shounen romance.
One-Sentence Review: If you are interested in Sakurasou, my tip is to watch until episode 16, and let your imagination fill in the climax, because if you do you’ll get a really rewarding and witty romance series, instead of having to sit through the downer climax that follows…
Suggestions:
Kaze no Shoujo Emily
True Tears
Yumekui Merry

Posted on with categories: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

Okay, I’m going to combine these three episodes into one entry in order to wrap up Sakurasou. My impression of them is that Mari Okada overshot herself a bit here. Her strength has always been in the way she used melodrama, but the actual climax of this series… yeah.

So the idea of the final three episodes was simple: episode 22 resolved the romantic subplots, episode 23 handled the subplot about Sakurasou about to close and episode 24 was then the epilogue. The best was episode 22. Sure, it was incredibly predictable and had it coming for the entire series, but it was charming enough. I enjoyed that. Been there, done that, but charming.

Episode 23… dear god, what a bawl-fest. I mean, I can enjoy a good cry and all, but that was just too much. It’s in character for Misaki to just hijack something as important as the graduation ceremony. It’s not in character for everyone and his dog to be so emotionally attached to that speech. I mean, that was just total melodrama.

In the past, Mari Okada’s endings have always stood to me as endings that managed to deliver high emotions really well. They were overdramatic, but they were well built up, were believable, and had some variation: they weren’t a bawl-fest from start to finish and had quiet, funny or other moments that broke up the mood. That was like, “Whine whine whine Sakurasou is awesome, whine whine whine I love you all”. There is such a thing as too much love here…

Episode 24, I liked it at the beginning. Until it revealed its true colours as an ending that couldn’t pull through with the decisions it made. The sister didn’t enter the school? Hah! She actually lied to Sorata about her student number. Jin and Misaki go away in order to live their own lives? Hah, they just marry and conveniently start to live next to Sakurasou. What was all of the build-up for? What was all the growth for? I really dislike those kinds of half-assed endings.

So yeah, if I knew what I know today, I would have blogged Kamisama Hajimemashita and Sukitte Ii na Yo for the past autumn season’s Romance shows. But unfortunately, this was something that I just could never have seen coming. Sakurasou lured me in with its 24 episodes, plus its really strong start. It just did not make good use of its second half at all.
Rating: 3/8 (Mediocre)

Posted on 28 March 2013 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

And here are the penultimate episodes of Jojo. And seriously, I loved the fights here. The creators really went to the extreme, while keeping true to their philosophy of putting huge over the top powers on one hand, and really delicate things on the other. One one hand you have Stroheim yelling like crazy, while weilding what is basically a giant lamp as a weapon. And the duel with Cars was also really good in how it used Lisalisa in such a painful position as a hostage.

Surpringly, the least interesting part of these two episodes was where Speedwagon started to explain what happened to Joseph’s parents. It’s not that it didn’t have any good points (I liked how one of the smarter minions of Dio worked his way up as an aviation commander in the Royal Air Force), but come on. You’re about to punch Cars to death. Don’t break up the momentum with that. Thankfully the actual finale promises to be epic.

My only gripe: Lisalisa didn’t really get a chance to stand in the spotlights, did she? I mean all other major characters got their chance to show off, but she has the bad luck to be immediately just brought to an inch of her life. Give her some credit, man. If she’s a ripple master, let her show this off!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 27 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

And these are the penultimate episodes for Zetsuen no Tempest, with its finale about to air tomorrow. They weren’t about a mindfuck, but instead about a complete role reversal from what you’d expect: Hanemura gets to play the hero, while everyone else plays backup. It might seem insignificant, but I find this really refreshing to see: it isn’t trying to force its main characters into the spotlights. Instead it’s offering everyone his chance for this.

And I really like Hanemura by the way, for a character who got introduced in the second half of this series. He is a very good example of a wimpy looking character done right. First of all because amongst the cast, he was often the only one stupid enough to state the obvious. Plus, his little outburst in episode 22 was pretty damn cool for him. I really loved the irony there: this series prides itself with its focus on logic. And here Hanemura just coms and kicks some emotions back into the characters.

What also was really refreshing was the way episode 23 ended: when they were all rounding up those crewmembers on the boats, I was really wondering why everyone just complied like sheep. I mean, I know that they put bombs on the ships and all, but the way in which everyone just complied neatly felt a bit like they were all just plot devices. To think that nobody was crazy enough to try something… And they did. It’s not the first time Yoshino has been shot to near-death, but this is slightly different than before, with all of the build-up of “we’re not going to care about you or anything”.

Now, as for the actual ending… Zetsuen no Tempest really was an awesome series, but I do not think that it will have the strongest ending out of the “Big Four” of the Autumn Season (Psycho Pass, Tempest, Jojo, From the New World). Out of all of the penultimate episodes, I’d say that this one has the least hints that it’s going to become something special. But who knows? It might surprise us again. I’d love it if it did that.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
@Mario, for Hero Academia, just wait. The hype is real for Shouto vs Midoriya.
SuperMario
This is one of Saekano's biggest issue: while there are 5 main casts, the show seems to care to develop 3 of them. When that rival-guy begs Tomoya to continue the circle, and stresses that "Don't lose Eriri and Utaha". I just feel... dishearten. No recognition for Kato and Michiru then
SuperMario
Another 2 shows that I want to mention this week: My Hero Academia's last episode fight between Ecchan and Urarawa is my favorite match out of this Tournament arc. Saekano's last episode actually frustrated me. When it's obvious that this is the time for Kato's conflict, the show still spends too much time on Eriri and Utaha.
SuperMario
KTravlos: based on the content I thought it's you as well. I actually enjoyed Virgin Soul. It's an important episode actually, where all of out mains are locked up/ imprisioned. Yep, Re:Creators was great as well. But hell, Souta... his character's annoying. The creations, on the other hand, are developing quite nicely
Anonymous1123421
KTravlos here. Hmm wordpress has cast me out :p
Anonymous1123392
what a great RE:Creators episode. I do not know how Mamika will end up. But manly tears shall be shed. A great character.

Virgin Soul had a so-so to disappointing tonning down episode. Expected. Still they are smart to put Favoro there as a "sorry for that mates".
AoT, knowing what I know from the manga, made this episode all that more striking.
Anonymous1123296
Woah, Alice n' Zokuro has some of the most amazing writing I've seen this decade!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And because of the negative space in the picture and guy in the background, it might also emphasize distance.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: This was an obvious shot choice (come on, because they KISSED), but the one I liked the most was the top right one. The characters aren't in the center of focus, and a bit too close to the screen tell us how much Chinatsu wanted to get close to Kotarou, at the same time we feel a bit uncomfortable just like him (too close). Smart visual telling there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should start giving attention to shots in anime as I do in art films. You've chosen a good one for tsuki ga kirei on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Speaking of shots....some of the static photography is Tsai ming liangs Goodbye dragon in is stunning. I saw an Ozu film where the framing was absolutely masterful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The eyeball scene in the restaurant OMO, scenes like that had very good way of creeping up on the viewer.
SuperMario
... and the fireworks in the end. Emotionally satisfied for that bleak film
SuperMario
Thanks Kaiser. Still think Black Coal is a very stylish and well-done neo-noir. One shot in particular still stick with me is the one long, unbroken shot that combine the past with the present.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*reviewing
It was your review that got me interested in the film mario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I know that feeling, having to get out all my thoughts immediately. I also stream of consciousness what I write whether it be a poem or review then go back to edit, shows the passion a person has for what they're review.
SuperMario
It was just 3 years ago. I think I MUST review everything as soon as I finish, otherwise I will forget. Getting old now. Dang it
SuperMario
It was a great review, Kaiser. I also feel comparing Black Coal to Memories of Murders don't do this film justice too (although to be hinest I don't see the comparison). Your review just reminds me that I did review that film on Letterboxd, thou for the life of me, when I read ny own review I had no clue that i did write it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Constantine was really the only reason I would have considered seeing the film, as I enjoyed some of the comics he appeared in.
Lenlo
Yaaay! Favaro is back!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, now I remember, I stopped watching ghost hound at around episode 14 or 15 years ago.
K-Off
Justice League Dark ended up being one of the weakest among the recent animated dc films. The opening was intriguing but it drops the ball as soon as it focuses on Zatanna and Constantine...The demonic manipulation of people isn't tied well enough to the villain, so that premise ends up feeling pointless, everything is inconsequential by the end. Why was this even made?
SuperMario
And for once, I feel that developing the characters isn't a appropriate choice for this type of show. The main cast need to develop, yes, but most of the supporting cast was presented as ambiguous and mysterious, thus making them change in the end feel just wrong
SuperMario
The main kidnapping was never addressed thoroughly, and it should be the main overarching arc, instead of this ending.
SuperMario
So... I've just binged through Ghost Hound. It starts as a compelling psychological mystery series, and ends up being... thriller of sort? The first half, building up stage was its best, and then unfortunately it run out of steam
KTravlos
Hey Favoro is like a good whiskey. You gotta drink it slow and enjoy it :)

I liked Predators.
Spike
8 episodes in we finally get to see who we were all waiting for in Bahamut! ...for 2 seconds.
Vonter
I did watch the version with the alien coming out of the ox. I haven't watched Predators, AVP1 was ok, like the newer movies its just the human element that has consistently gotten worse and unmemorable. I think that element in particular made me enjoy watching Alien 3 now, than if I had watched it in order, considering how it begins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thankfully the franchise can never fall as low as the predator reboot or alien vs predator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Be sure you're watching the extended version.
Vonter
I liked 3/4s of this film, as the plans to kill the alien got more cumbersome the film got more tiring. And I think it was obligated to annihilate the cast considering they take the time to take out a whole bunch of them. I also think it's very noticeable the tiring production this had, and while people praise practical effects now, this movie sadly didn't integrate well the alien puppet.
Vonter
I've just watched Alien 3, the only Alien movie I hadn't seen do to the diviseness towards it. I think I went with the best expectations considering now on hindsight newer movies have made it look more competent, having more weight. This movie has characters, integrates the religious motiffs better, the Alien more than a closet monster is a formidable force of nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....It just dawn on me looking through my letterboxd account...I have never seen afro samurai...
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm on hold with SukaSuka as well after 5 episodes. Ejoyable so far but its LN's tendencies hurt the show
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, like I said in one of my weekly post, Tsuki ga Kirei is simple, but isn't easily obtained. At this point, I'm truly invested in these kids that it makes me tense just to see how they keep up with their relationship, haha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have yet to catch up with sukasuka and don't care about bahamut all that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel its sweet and sensitive approach has a rhythm to it that I started going along with.
It’s obviously slow but I began not noticing the time go by as I watched more.
The art makes me think of Shimura Takako’s and makes me wonder what the series might have been like if she wrote it.
The dub is mediocre so after 3 episodes I switched to subs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The relative quietness and how scaled back in comparison to other anime romances is welcome and it never becomes dramatically or comedically obnoxious which I think is in its favour.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to catch up on tsuki ga kirei. We said this before, but that scene where he meets the publisher about his writing is a stand out one.
For the show overall so far itself, above all I see it as something simple, un-demanding to watch, its good a break from all those old/art films I have to concentrate on harder to follow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe Goth would count but its more o a mystery manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not familiar with shibito or sugar life. May as well recommend everything by Kazuo Umezu and Junji ito. 6000 ended disappointingly, I fell behind in dead tube. Does sugar dark count?
Lenlo
I am a Hero is a personal favorite of mine
AidanAK47
@Anon: Uzumaki, Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi, Happy Suger Life, 6000 and Dead Tube. I suppose.
Anonymous1116992
What is some good horror manga
K-Off
@Mario I also noticed that korean thrillers are way too obnoxious with shakycam.
Lenlo
@Mario, about LWA, that was how I felt. Its just not as magical, as special, as the original OVA was to me. I suppose thats to much to ask for a 25 ep series, but it turned me off
AidanAK47
@Mario, TV Diana has some charm points but I think OVA Diana provided a better dynamic. I mean sure, She was essentially female Draco Malfoy but her attitude made reveals like her being a secret Chariot fan more impactful. Plus her tsundere act torwards Akko was rather adorable.
SuperMario
about LWA again, unlike Aidan I actually enjoy this version of Diana. I know she's one note, too perfect but she's charming. Too charming haha which serves well as a contrast to Akko
SuperMario
...just pop one random film from him. His films are not without its bad side thou, in particular I find the dialogues shapeless and dragging. But well it does add to the naturalness of his films
KTravlos
on LWA I would also recommended it. It is a fluffy show, with a sense of wonder. Some episodes are better, some are more flat, and the over-arching storyline leaves me bored. But it does have that sense of childlike wonder, which I had missed among all the "grim" shows.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a bit of problems with Korean movies lately as now they're heavily thriller style-over-substance films, so films that have very simple style like Hong-Sang-Soo's joints are the welcome change of air. One thing about his films thou, If you watched one of his film, you've watched them all. They're so similar in tones and concepts that I reckon if you feel like watching his films...
SuperMario
So I say it's still worth finishing. It's good but I don't feel the sparks that made it so great from the OVAs anymore
SuperMario
@Lenlo: about LWA. Plus side: Those hijinks. I mean the show is fun and magical. Negative side: I wish the show's storytelling is a bit tighter, each episode feels so loose it doesn't add up much and more like different variations of Akko + one member of the cast's hijink. Doesn't help either that the other casts just disappeared until they have an episode for 2 for themselves
SuperMario
@Anon1113829: I "enjoyed" Beyond the Boundary, but that show was a mess. The episode 10 was stand out for me, and the ending was kinda... a wreck. Certainly interesting but quality-wise I wouldn't reccommend it
Anonymous1113829
@SuperMario KyoAni fan? What did you think of Kyoukai no Kanata? I really wanted to like it, I thought it had some potential, but IMO nothing worked right.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It's good. Fun to watch certainly. Though sadly it falls short of being great.
Lenlo
So question: Is Little Witch Academia worth finishing atm? I started it last season, but for some reason it just fell off my radar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thankfully, while not entirely satisfying, day he arrives is just the Korean film I've been looking for, refreshingly more low key, quieter and I enjoyed the new wavy combined with raw style, making it all feel very natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Well then, thanks for the rec on Hong-sang-so, I looked at The day he arrives. Y'know the reason I sometimes dread going into films featuring romance is because I'm conditioned from seeing the bad ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I may actually read this, the last time I read a manga steeped in politics was Sanctuary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle:_The_Making_of_an_Asian-American_President
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I actually have very limited experience with Ellis as a comic book writer, only read Transmetropolitan, I know he's writing the Castlevania adaptation.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I heard the same thing; can't help being a completist though so I'll eventually get to them
AidanAK47
@Mario, From what I heard, it doesn't get better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that scene from the 1st episode of Phantom world lost me... but even then I'm willing to give the show another chance. That's how far I would go ^^ https://mobile.twitter.com/aaapodcast/status/687148875052892160/photo/2
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Looks like they are putting some real effort into it. May actually turn out pretty good after all.
@K-Off, Under the Red hood is a damn fine movie. Likely one of the best of the DC animated universe. Though try Superman vs the elite out. It's pretty good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even phantom world Mario...even phantom world ? =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just the teaser trailer, not much to go on, but heres a short preview of that netflix castlevania thing that got mentioned on here a while back, up the quality to 360p:
SuperMario
At this stage, I'm pretty much KyoAni fanboy now so with every new material, I'll hype it up to the sky ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did follow it up with The spy who loved me though to cheer myself up =P Given that Rodger Moore just died =)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just looked through what Short Men Behind the Sun is about: "human experiments carried out by Japanese army during WW2?" Already sound grim and too real. Then "a graphic depiction of the human experiments" haha no wonder you felt unsettled Kaiser
VyseLegendaire
My favorite Exploitation Flick is An Inconvenient Truth 2.0
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Long story short men behind the sun is finally the exploitation flick that defeated me and actually made me unsettled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I remember you talking about how Salo really affected you as an exploitation film, generally exploitation films don't shock or disturb me, but I just watched the cantonese dubbed version of Men behind the sun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the worst thing about beyond the boundry and phantom world, it discolours my opinion of kyoani as a whole, making me negatively reflect on older work they did .
AidanAK47
Yep, that's the new KyoAni one. Like Puran I don't have any expectations of it. The premise certainly seems like the closest they have come to breaking out of there usual format but I am sure they will find a way to shove in Moe antics. Though based on what is seen so far it looks like they are trying to emulate Key.
Puran
Is that a new KyoAni anime?.. I have lost faith in them a long time ago. Last Anime from them that I cared about was probably Hyouka
SuperMario
Bring you some news, Violet Evergarden will be aired as an anime TV. Though many sources saying it gonna air this year, it has a better possibility to air next year
SuperMario
Well, aesthetically, he's pretty much on par with Yang and Wong. It's just that his films are often emotionally distant, feel more like watching the paint dry hahaa
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I connect more emotionally with Yang and Wong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I went in expecting Edward Yang and Kar-wong-wai levels of quality, which may have been quite unfair standards to put him up against.
SuperMario
I myself find his films difficult to watch, but when the films end they usually hold up very very well. Both The Assassin and 3 Times in particular are my favorite of the year
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I completely understand your reaction because his films are demanding as hell. I remembered watching The Assassin in big screen, 3 people next to me fall asleep, one of them snoring and the other one fall asleep within the first 10 mins. That Hou Hsiao's movies for you
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its such a shame because he makes gorgeous cinema and City of sadness is actually pretty informative account of the times....I just can't jive with him and I actually like "slow cinema" but watching his work is insanity inducingly boring for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I'm really sorry, I don't mind long slow even spiritual, talky, non-narrative, old, complex,meditative , art films but I'm really really finding it hard to watch Hou Hsiao's work, I've tried time to live and the Assassin and I just bailed after 2 out of 3 hours on city of sadness.
KTravlos
I have to say Akko is developing nicely as a character in LWA. Also Magane in Re:Creators reminds me of Hannibal as palyed by Mads Mikkelsen. There is that same est for life married to sociopath that is a bit charming :) Mamika's character is also just cool. Beyond that AofT and Bahamut both delivered competent episodes, with Bahamut a good mix between comedy and tragedy.
K-Off
@Aidan Assault on Arkham was fantastic. Between that and Under the Red Hood, a classic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a lot to say in this week's Eccentric Family. Review will come up later tonight when I get back home from work.
AidanAK47
Seen Assault on Arkham or what it should be called, The animated Suicide Squad movie. Thinking of checking out Dark.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Have you seen assault on Arkham or the justice league dark film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It isn't so much because its Talia x Batman, moreso that it feels odd shipping Batman with anyone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While kind of amusing, initially I wasn't too into Uchouten this week, the hot spring part got me groaning, but then someway through dramatically it really picked up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From reading comics a few years back, I still feel that they adapt better to animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And I say this as someone who was able to defend Alien 3 and Ressurection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Covenent felt like an Infantilized version of Alien.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call either John Wick film or free fire amazing or anything but they had great fight scenes that were actually visually coherent , of course they weren't given a proper release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not watching/paying for anymore of these reboots/remakes/shakey cam pg rated action films anymore. I'll stick with my balls to the wall Hong-Kong/Chinese ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It also had really uneven pacing aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: ....The dialogue is so embarassing, they don't do enough with this backstory, they just keep teasing, none of the new characters have the same charisma , the editting in the action scenes shakes all overtheplace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I gave Covenent a fair chance, I thought it would be an exception to the reboot thing. I'll admit theres the sets, the atmosphere, Fassbenders performance , the idea to expand on the franchises mythos is cool but....
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really really hurts as a film fan, trying to find older, genuinely quality foreign films , finding that no-one is seeding them and theres no proper/in print dvd release anymore. Then finding some awful shakey cam modern American superhero film with billions of seeds and a bluray release.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I don't know. Todd was more the imperfect son always aiming for batmans approval. Damian is more an assasin wondering why the hell he can't just kill his enemies. I hear that Comic Damian works better than Animated Damian. I do think that if given a personality he could work but as he is currently you are right that he's essentially a mishmash of past robins.
Vonter
I watched Alien Covenant and I don't know if it improves by being more dumb and less pretentious or if it os the final nail in the Alien franchise coffin. Not since the StarWats prequels there has been a retcon that changes your view of the original movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can recall enjoying a certain Jason Todd centered story called Batman:death in the family.
K-Off
Well, even when Damian does completely cross the line and become a villain, he's not even that interesting, i.e Injustice. Yup, Jason Todd already covered everything, but better.
AidanAK47
Problem is that he's an edge lord cocky piece of shit that just doesn't have enough likeable traits for this to be compelling. What really pushed him over the edge was mocking Nightwing over his parents deaths. That shit is not on.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the contrast that Batman refuses to cross the line and kill but Damian has crossed that line. As well as his potentail to become a villain. Tim and Dick didn't really have that though Jason sort of did. Damian's arc is more about teaching him the morality of a hero.
K-Off
@Aidan I'm not sure I like Damian's concept to begin with. The Bat-son dilemma's inherently addressed by the Robins for all intents and purposes. Damian just goes through the same motion, only difference being he's biologically related.
K-Off
Yup. Wonderwoman either doesn't need to have a love interest, or it needs to be with Steve Trevor, the two have a solid backstory that the movies unnecessarily removed.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I don't mind the Taila X batman pairing. Makes more sense than Batman and Batgirl. But if there's one pairing pushed in the new movies that I just find wrong is the Superman X wonder woman. I just don't get that one.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the concept of Damian as a character. But it's executed so badly.
Anonymous1105941
Teen titans needs one more season to wrap up all the loose ends. Such as what happens to Slade, and Blackfires revenge. The creators clearly wanted to explore those plot lines but got cut short.
K-Off
Teen Titans hasn't aged very well, but one thing I still do like about it is how contained and local the setting and cast were for the first half of that show. When godly superpowers are involved, that appeals to me. Much of the same reason why I like Logan and Raimi's Spiderman so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Very rarely watched teen titans when I was younger, I was vaguely interested in slade, stopped watching around when Terra appeared. I actively avoided comics where Damien appeared, never liked that Talia x Batman pairing much, I can only imagine how much worse it is to listen to Damien than read him.
K-Off
@Aidan, I like some aspects of those movies, but I'm not a big fan of the new continuity and art style in general...and yeah it doesn't help that Damian is irredeemably unlikable.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, There is also the DC animated Teen Titans movies like Teen Titans vs Justice Leage and Teen titans the Judus contract. Though it's not the same as the the TV series and Damian is such a dick.
K-Off
@Anon I don't think Teen Titans needs another season. The last season wasn't that good, but the movie ended the series on a high note and Young Justice pretty much rebooted everything, at least in terms of replacing people's want for a more mature DC cartoon about the Titans.
K-Off
Yeah it's become more of a hassel (for myself and my friends) to set aside time to go to a theater.
SuperMario
I guess in the end it all comes down to how easily it reaches the viewers. Give us a hard time and we don't give a damn to check the new movie/show out
SuperMario
... otherwise have to wait for a year, even more before it reaches Australia. But many companies will raise in the wake of Netflix and that will be where problems arise
SuperMario
This trend isn't happening within the anime industry, but it's happening in the movie world as well. In the past 2 years, Netflix starts to exclusively distribute many films, meaning that they won't have theatrical release, but straight to Video on Demand which caused quite a stir in the industry. Personally, I actually don't have much problem with it as now I will get a chance to see a film that
SuperMario
Dive!! , a series that will air next season on noitaminA slot will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Not that I'm eagerly looking forward to Dive, but that news again makes me frustrated. No one will watch it and then all the hypes it might have will die down eventually.
Anonymous1105394
Considering I didn't even expect a season 5 it's more than I could've evr wanted. Now if only if only Teen Titans could get the same chance.
Lenlo
Oh yeah, it turned out well. Didnt mean to say it didnt.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Considering that the ratio of great to alright episodes is 8 to 2 I say that it turned out pretty well.
Lenlo
I have to say, the Samurai Jack season started stronger than it ended imo
AidanAK47
So this is how Samurai Jack ends. 16 years in the making. Honestly considering how much needed to get wrapped up I knew the ending would be a bit flawed. Really think Gen should have givin it one more episode to flesh out the ending and then it wouldn't feel so rushed. Overall despite it's flaws, it's a decent ending. Not prefect by any means but it will do the job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol theres a surprise, seriously, Black Lagoons manga is updating again.
KTravlos
worst recap ever for me? Gangsta. That was a stupid recap episode. Really like a Public Announcement. Useless, stupid, and ruining atmosphere. Utter stupidity. There I got it our of me :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Unfortunately too far behind in the sequel manga to catch up, I did take a look at THAT in the latest chapter though.
Masky
Huh, for some reason thought Tokyo Ghoul was under shonen when its seinen. Welp now that makes more sense, I was thinking story about cannibalism would be kinda absurd for shonen.
Spike
They serve no purpose except to fill airtime when production gets fucked up. They have 2 bad choices - run a recap or run an unfinished episode. Recap is generally the less dogshit choice. I've seen a few anime that ran the episodes with unfinished animations and still frames.... the backlash was about 100x what a recap is.
SuperMario
I'm about to say that to you as well Kaiser, maybe watch the recap and then continue on. The only thing I kind of take from the recap episode is the editting: how they chop off the fat of 6 episodes to still give you important developments. But as a way to catch up/ to reintroduce the series, it's freaking useless
Anonymous1104087
I don't think anyone should start from the recap episode. Unless there was a long hiatus, a recap in between episodes is unnecessary for new viewers and old
Lenlo
I mean, aside from whatever happens with Mugaro.
Lenlo
Next episode seems early, out of 24 episodes, for Nina to learn the Prince is Chris, yet that seems to be what the confrontation is leading towards, and then she freaks out and he learns shes the dragon. Becomes the conflict for the rest of the season?
Lenlo
Seems I was right, Azazel didnt predict that Nina might not be so easily riled up as she once was. To bad so sad Azazel, she has someone she loves now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How useful are these recap episodes anyway/actually? Hypothetically lets say I was feeling lazy and decided to watch tsuki ga kirei starting from the recap episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="https://www.anirena.com/?s=blame

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
SuperMario
@Spike: I was like... "tsuki ga kirei has a recap episode, so let's move on to Kado"... another recap. Tsuki ga kirei I'm not too worry as it confirmed that it'll have 12 episodes, but I'm not confident on Kado
SuperMario
@lenlo: in a sense you have to suffer it all alone. No worries thou as I intend to binge watch it when this season's over
Spike
Kado team crumbled under the pressure. Recap this week.
Lenlo
@SuperMario, im happy I dont have to compete with anyone to cover Berserk :P Got it all to myself to whine about, though its been ever so slowly improving.
Total users: 18

Featured Posts

Tsuki ga Kirei – 07 [Hold Back Nothing When Taking Love]

With this episode Tsuki ga Kirei marches on its impressive run. If there is one thing that I’m still impressed about Tsuki ga Kirei, it’s that despite its slow-pacing, the story never stands still. Each episode is a steady step-forward, clearly mark-out stage from its main couple’s relationship. I wasn’t at all expecting that much […]

Sakura Quest – 08 [The Fairy’s Recipe]

This was a solid episode from Sakura Quest. This week is the first of the two-parter (probably) about the Queen and her team making a special dish for Manoyama town that could attract tourists. Now I see the formula the show’s currently employing: the first three episodes focus on Yoshino and her coming to term with […]

Re:Creators – 07 [Everything I Can Do]

The conclusion to the last week’s fight turns out to only eslcate in size with Yuuya and the giant robot joining the fray before ending off on a rather anticlimactic note. You have Mamaika remaining true to her character and trying to put out fires everywhere while everyone else pairing off in a grudge match. […]

ID-0 – 07 [Overstepping]

This week found the three main characters: Ido, Maya and Alice all got “eaten” by that huge annoying rock. Thankfully, being a rock – they themselves call it a wandering planet, or Rajeev retrieved, it can only swallow them whole – not chew – but it effectively cuts down all the communication and oxygen from […]

Little Witch Academia – 20[Sense and Sensibility]

This episode has really nailed home for me just how defanging Diana has been a bad choice. In the OVA episodes Diana was bratty and stuck up but at least then she had character. In the TV series she’s more or less a mary sue through and through which is sadly a much more boring […]

Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan) – 33[The Hunters]

One thing that continues to surprise me when covering this series is that after watching a full 25 minute episode of it and sitting down to write, I think about what happened in the episode and find it remarkably little. Truly, what did happen this episode? Well Reiner and Bertholdt ran off with Eren and […]

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 07 [The Friday Fellows Club, Again]

For a show that has a knack for little moments, this episode is one of the rare times that Eccentric Family goes for big dramatic emotional route, and manages to knock it out of the park. Soun, in the end, serves no more purpose than a pawn in a chess. Wicked all the way, but […]

Sakura Quest – 07 [The Mansion in Purgatory]

This week in Sakura Quest, we have core members lashing out at each other, and some more nice interactions between other members – which in fairness is all I could hope for. You know a cast is well developed when you can pick any two main characters and they still have their unique chemistry together. […]

ID-0 – 06 [The Observer]

With this episode we start to learn more about Ido’s true identity but the reveal feel far-fetched at best. I know he’s supposed to be someone special, but “an enemy of mankind”? Seriously? That trope again? So he was a Titan or some kind of disease that destroy the human kind? Oh since he’s in […]

Latest Reviews

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Review – 90/100

When you have watched a large amount of anime you can come to assume that you have learned a lot about Japanese culture. Though I think it’s testament to how limited it is to view Japan through anime when you come to realize that despite watching so much, you have never heard of Rakugo. Rakugo […]

Youjo Senki Saga of Tanya the Evil Review – 80/100

Isekai stories have become somewhat of a tiresome genre as of late. There have been many stories of people being transported/reincarnated into other worlds where they shed their once pitiful exterior and become some legendary figure in another world. In most cases it’s trit, balant childish wish fulfilment and the stories often become tiresome when […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) Review – 83/100

Imagine my utmost amazement when a show that I wasn’t that confident on taking in the beginning turned out to be one of the most solid offering this season had to offer. ACCA is the most recent anime adaptation from mangaka Natsume Omo, which despite isn’t a household name, many of her works (6 titles […]

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Winter 2017) Review – 62/100

Demi-chan is one of the newest addition to the monster girl subgenre, which usually feature a human helpless male lead get stuck in a harem of mythical creatures, in form of oversized boob girls of course (why usually those monsters are in female forms anyways? Aren’t they sexless?). In this case, we have monster girls […]

Seiren (Winter 2017) Review – 51/100

Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]