Posted on 30 May 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 80: Once in a while Hunter X Hunter comes with an episode that just stands out. This was one of them. The first half just oozed style and really was a big change from the usual atmosphere and I found it really well done with how it was just in black and white, and how it didn’t show the guy’s face at all. The second half of the episode… let’s just say that it’s the first time in 80 whopping episodes that this series managed to shock me.

#2: Yahari Blahblah – 05: The end of this episode. That’s where I understood the appeal of this series and where it really became better than its contemporaries, rather than just a series with potential. The first parts of the episode were a bit iffy, but at the end it really became apparent that the creators spent time on it: the male lead’s loneliness is actually well.

#3: Yondemasuyu, Azazel-San – 07: This was actually quite hilarious. Yondemasuyo Azazel-san is at it’s greatest when it’s just banter. The characters have a really good chemistry together, and I especially love the creative use of facial expressions as this show tries to parody the murder mystery genre. Of course, they then proceed to ruin it in episode 8 while trying too hard on being weird and gross again. Enough with the jokes about people’s nether regions already!

WTF of the past Weeks:

Saint Seiya Omega – 56: So. We have this ninja, who has been raised in an incredibly conservative ninja village. This ninja then hears rock music, it changes his soul and now he suddenly is performing J-rock in a band of power-ranger impersonators. Okay.

Posted on 29 May 2013 with categories: Chihayafuru

And so the team tournaments finally ends, and seriously I am so impressed with all of the build-up that prepared just for this episode. Every single result for Chihaya, Taichi and Nishida in the previous matches was used in the big finale. It’s just amazing, and definitely worked as a climax.

Also, the individual tournaments. I didn’t realize this, but holy crap there is a complete busload of named and developed characters present at the tournament now. So much variety! I mean that recap was bad and all, but after that I really liked the build-up for the individual tournaments. Take all teams that made it to the semi finals: that’s already more than twenty different characters participating, with all of the bench people, Arata and the Queen and some other random characters. And all of them are great!

So yeah, Chihaya is not going to get far. This really wil be about the Queen and Arata. With the third year, Arata will be getting back to Tokyo, and I predict that that will really bring everything together for this series. If it will ever get made!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 27 May 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

Aku no Hana, you have balls.

I’m probably going to get a lot of people making fun of my tastes again, but heck, it’s not like I suddenly started caring about that or anything. This episode was an amazing aftermath-episode. One of the best in recent years. I mean, it was just perfect for me, it hit all of the right notes.

Let’s start with by far the most controversial part of this episode: the start. Five minutes in which the characters just walked. Yeah, first of all I have not seen anything like that in anime ever. Yeah, I really admire the guts of the creators to actually do that. I loved it to bits, and not just because of its novelty value. What we saw there was an incredibly intimate moment. What we saw last episode was just all hell breaking loose. They completely wrecked the classroom. Instead of just cutting to the next morning and show the superficial reactions of Kasuga’s classmates for shock value, the creators showed the mood he and Nakamura were in on the journey back. Nothing was said, we just experienced it. I’ve never seen any other anime do this, even though it showed so many emotions nonverbally.

And then there was the rest of the episode. I mean, that was some fantastic build-up. Bit by bit, the creators moved closer to Kasuga’s fears of being found out. The responses by the students, the responses from Saeki, everything was just perfect. Seriously, no overacting whatsoever in htis episode! This was by far the episode with the most convincing acting I’ve seen the entire season.

At first I felt a bit let down by how Kasuga’s name was conveniently obscured everywhere, but Saeki more than made up for it by showing that she very well knew what was going on. I mean, that was one heck of a cliff-hanger, even for this series’ high standards.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin

So yeah, the spring season is the worst spring season we’ve had in a decade when you look at the overall amount of series and the diversity. However, there IS definitely something interesting going on here, and that is how much praise I notice on Shingeki no Kyojin. I mean, it really stands head and shoulders above all other series that are even remotely action-oriented this season, and really: I believe that this series both gives a new spin to the action genre, and most importantly: it’s a great series to introduce people new to anime with. I feel that this is the type of series that really gives anime its good name, and shows what can be possible in this medium.

This was the episode that I had been waiting for since the start of the series. What happened in this episode really made me a fan of Shingeki no Kyojin in the manga, and I’m excited to see how right they got it! I mean blahblah, it was to be expected that Eren wasn’t dead and all, but that’s not the point. What was so amazing here is how this series developed its atmosphere. Up till the previous episode, the characters looked completely screwed. There was no hope. And then that giant started fighting back. This episode developed what that meant: if used properly, this would be the only chance for humanity to actually survive. The delivery would have been everything: the atmosphere needed to be tight, the action needed to be awesome. Otherwise these emotions would just come off as shallow, since Shingeki no Kyojin basically is about a bunch of characters, struggling for their lives against almost certain death.

The start of Shingeki no Kyojin indeed is a bit bland, mostly due to the characters only having one side when they start out. Here though, with every episode this show starts to push the boundaries of them (Jean in particular was hit hard in this episode). That’s another big part of what made this so addictive.

One detail also that stands out here: the giants don’t make any sounds, aside from that Eren-giant. It did not stand out at all in the manga, but obviously a very important detail in the anime. And really, I am glad that they didn’t try to give most of the giants a voice. It makes them all the more creepier.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 26 May 2013 with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

Strong emotions. They are always difficult in anime, and it’s so easy to just overact these things. Yet it’s also crucial to nail them in the parts that need to be serious, otherwise you’re just going to end up looking cheesy. An added difficulty is that it’s usually just incredibly difficult to watch people lose control of their emotions.

Having said that, the creators did a pretty good job on Pico and Vince. Space Brothers is a master of subtle emotions, but here they needed to be big. Vince needed to be just completely shaken up by what happened. In this episode, you couldn’t just have pulled the usual “let’s not show our biggest emotions”, because even though he’s completely stoic, he was a child once. We needed to have seen his development.

I think that the backstory could have been done in one episode (especially with around three minutes of bloody recap for both episodes!). And don’t get me wrong, the slow pacing also had its set of big advantages. Because of that the creators could just dedicate so much time to two side-characters to make them really memorable. They especially used the silences really well to build up atmosphere. This episode may have had characters break down, it still was subtle: there were so many scenes in which nothing was said, but instead the creators just let the images do the talking.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 24 May 2013 with categories: Hataraku Maou-Sama

Last episode I was asked to not focus on cliches anymore, and I agree with that. Cliches on their own usually aren’t bad. If a show is goring, then it’s just boring, whether it has many cliches or not. So with that in mind, I set out to view this episode with an open mind. And then this episode played the pseudo-harem card. Well thank you for making things so easy here, Maou-sama…

But yeah, the pseudo-harem card. Rather than just having a male and a bunch of females in a cast, a show just has to have romantic hints between the male lead and every other hot female in the series. It might not outright state feelings… but the hints lack any sort of subtlety. This is a cliche, but I hate it not because it’s a cliche, but because it’s just a completely stupid and shallow plot twist on its own. The fact that so many different series use it doesn’t really help. It makes the series so much more shallow than what it needs to be. Have the females fall for some side character. Heck, show some actual romantic hints that can be taken seriously for a chance! This is Maou-sama. It’s not a shallow shounen-show that is meant to appeal to young pubescent boys. It has proven to be intelligent in the past! Why is it not that now!?

Thankfully there were points at which this episode was smart again. Small points okay, but they’re there. In particular: for once a disease is treated as annoying, rather than dramatic. Finally a character is just out cold for a few days, rather than randomly fainting followed by heavy breathing with everyone melodramatically worrying over things. Oh, and disguising the holy water as vitamin bottles. That was pretty clever too.

Problem is, that these were mere details that could easily have been omitted without having much of an effect. My beef in particular lies with the holy water, which turned out to be just something to make a sword more powerful and completely pointless unless it goes over 9000. Beyond that… I miss the wit of the earlier episodes, and this show did not offer something else in return.
Rating: 3/8 (Disappointing)

Posted on 23 May 2013 with categories: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

So I understand… some of the intentions behind episode five and six. Really, the logic behind the big picture is more than apparent: we needed time to show Ledo getting accustomed to this new culture he ended up at. We needed a chance for the viewers to get a good view of the Gargantia without any drama in it, until that squid came and Ledo had to stir things up again. I like the outcome, but the way in which they got there was a bit weird.

The thing is, that these episodes just weren’t interesting to watch. The creators really could have spent their time better there, instead of going on and on about the random fanservice. They could have used that time to show some geniune and everyday interactions between the characters. Instead they went with a beach episode and silly dances. Sorry, but that just feels shallow. Especially in two consecutive episodes. The creators can write more interesting episodes.

Episode seven thankfully returned to the real business, and I really like what happened. It’s a great twist that the Hideazu have pretty much already settled down on earth, they just chose not to act for now, for whatever reason. Whether they chose to coexist and have something against fancy technology, or they’re just waiting for the right opportunity still remains a question. It’s because of this that Ledo’s actions aren’t inherently wrong; he just acted really rashly.

Convenient heart attack aside, this episode was full of people clashing with each other based on a lot of different values, whether cultural or practical. On one hand there are the Hideazu who have a status as gods, then there is Ledo’s duty, that girl’s personal preference for not wanting to see the guy in a battle, the captain’s concern for the whole population of the gargantia and then there are these economists willing to take a risk for a possible treasure that will benefit the entire Gargantia in the long run. All of them clash together. That really feels like Urobuchi Gen again.
Rating: 3,5/8 (Enjoyable for episodes 5 and 6), 5.5/8 (Excellent for episode 7)

Posted on 22 May 2013 with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin

Yes! This would be the chapter for the anime where it had to boil down to whether the creators knew what they were doing or not. If they didn’t get this part right, then I had to question whether they knew what they were doing with this adaptation. But they nailed it! They actually made a smashing episode here.

This episode really meant to drive home that the characters are just completely screwed. Everyone gets slaughtered, the main character is death, the only way to escape only leads to even more giants. It’s hopeless. Even the ever-strong Mikasa gave up and just lead all of the survivors on a suicide mission. It all was meant to build up to that one giant who started to fight back.

The atmosphere was very different from the manga, but it worked! This entire episode just had me on the edge of my seat, and the characterization was great. That’s what lacked in the start of this series: it’s really good, but the characters are very one-sided. Here is where they lose all that and get multiple sides.

And the choices behind the music and animation: they really work. The style of the manga made it impossible to animate directly, but the movements here have their own styles and they were awesome! Especially near the end of this episode.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 21 May 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

I just realized some of the details that they put into the rotoscoping here. The shadows and reflections that people make are also added to the animation (Saeki’s television, the floor of the school). Or take that one scene with the helicopter. How did they do that? Was it just a random helicopter that happened to pass by as they were shooting? It doesn’t make sense if they just hired a helicopter for just that one tiny scene.

And about the events of this episode: what on earth did I just watch? I mean, Kasuga actually succumbed to his inner guilt, which is something I did not expect. I really thought that he would try to hide it as much as possible, but here he actually begged Nakamura to help him confess his sins. And that does suit his character much more now that I think about it: he’s obsessed with purity, and Nakamura is the only one he can be totally honest in, even though Nakamura also has a bit of a one-sided view of him.

And that all culminated into that glorious ending. They like… completely trashed that classroom, and I can only imagine how awkward next week is going to be to watch. I really did not expect them to go that far here. I don’t even know how they wanted to do this scene justice with conventional animation anymore…
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 20 May 2013 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Movies and OVAs to watch out for:
Here is an upcoming list of the movies and OVAs coming out that I deem noteworthy (I basically left out the kiddie movies, or the ones based on franchises that I don’t care about). And really: there are some big names coming up! Lots of great stuff is about to arrive here.

Ark IX

Impressions: This is a single OVA that will come out, as the promotional material of a new light novel series. It’s set in this post apocalyptic world, and the main character is a detective, so I’m smelling a good mystery series here. The problem is obviously that they’re never going to fit all that into just one episode, so let’s hope that this will just be a successful pilot.

Mirai Nikki Redial

Impressions: Mirai Nikki will be getting a new OVA. The interesting thing seems to be that it’s going to be completely anime original, penned by the manga artist. It’s meant to take place after the events of the series, and probably will be some sort of epilogue. But considering how the series ended, I see potential here.

Yozakura Quartet – Tsuki no Naku

Impressions: Hell yeah! Yozakura will not only be getting new OVAs, but sometime in the future there will also be a TV-series, with Ryo-Chimo behind the direction. Prepare for some awesome animation and fantastic direction, combined with lots of fun and interesting characters!

The Garden of Words

Impressions: The Garden of Words is Makoto Shinkai, and based on its trailer, it definitely oozes his style, while at the same time showing how he’s trying to branch out as a director. With Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo this was more towards Ghibli, but this one seems totally different. The one thing that caught my attention was that the acting was much stronger and less subtle than his early works. Let’s see what effect that has on his style.

Hal

Impressions: The premise for this movie sounds AWESOME: it’s a science fiction premise about a girl whose boyfriend dies. A robot named HAL then takes his place for her in order to ease her grief. It’s made by Wit Studio (the guys who are currently also doing Shingeki no Kyojin), and both the director and scriptwriter are rather new. However, remember that one episode of Fractale, that looked absolutely amazing and was nothing like the rest of that series? Yes, the guy behind that will direct this movie. He also worked on some stunning episodes of Kaiba and Yojou-han among others.

Ghost in the Shell Arise

Impressions: Ghost in the Shell Arise is the third installment of Ghost in the Shell with completely different staff members. And the creators are really going to have to fill some of the biggest shoes imaginable: those of Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kamiyama, pretty much the best two directors walking around in Production IG. Tow Ubukata writing it will help a lot, because this guy has a very good sense of creativity when it comes to science fiction. The chief director is a character-designer, which will probably make for some really good visuals, and the director for the first OVA will be the director of Gilgamesh and Shikabane Hime, which means a really solid atmosphere. The ingredients are definitely there to make something awesome!

Kara no Kyoukai – Mirai Fukuin

Impressions: Since Kara no Kyoukai was such a big success, I’m not surprised that the creators are trying to animate more of it. Normally I would call this milking out a cow, but the previous OVA that was made completely sold me due to how daring it was. It did not try to copy the movies, but instead had its own direction, based on a concept that many thought would make an incredibly boring animation, and I hope that this new OVA will also again go into its own direction.

Kaze Tachinu

Impressions: Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film. Seriously, how old is this guy already? And he’s still making movies? I really admire his dedication, even though he’s not as fast as he used to be. Again, he does the direction here, the script, and it’s based on an original story written by himself. At this point, Hayao really can do anything he wants, really; he can even hire Hideaki Anno to voice the main character (yeah).

Short Peace

Impressions: I love these types of movies: the ones that consist out of multiple shorter films, all made by different creators with their own styles. Katsuhiro Otomo (yeah, the Akira guy) is overseeing everything, and this time the stories are based on some of his works, but he grabbed himself a wide variety of different talents with widely different styles.

TV-Series
Well, we’ve got ourselves a first: for the first time in more than a decade, the summer season is actually bigger in terms of quantity than its preluding spring season. I actually have more series to look forward to than what I did with the past spring season. The big downside to this season: too many sequels. Now, whether there are series that have the potential to top Aku no Hana and Shingeki no Kyojin… the potential is there, but to be honest I don’t see it as likely.

Brothers Conflict

Summary: ” The original project centers around a girl who suddenly gets 11 brothers — from 32 years old down to 11 years old — when her father remarries. She joins the Asahina family under one roof at the Sunrise Residence complex.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Jun Matsumoto
Series Composition: Natsuko Takahashi
Original creator: Atsuko Kanase
Character Designer: Kumi Ishii

Impressions: This is the male version of Sister Princess!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

High School DXD

Summary: “The story follows Issei Hyōdō, a dim-witted, lecherous second-year high school student who is killed by a girl on his first date ever. Issei is reincarnated as a devil, and from that day forward, he serves as an underling of Riasu, a high-level devil who is also the prettiest girl on Issei’s campus.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TNK
Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka
Original creator: Ichiei Ishibumi
Character Designer: Junji Goto

Impressions: Yeah, blahblah boobs, blahblah. The first season was already just about boobs and bad humour, I see no improvement whatsoever here.
Trailer Impressions: This trailer can be summarized as follows: “Boob boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs”. This show is about boobs, if I hadn’t made this clear yet.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Ro Kyu Bu SS

Summary: “Subaru Hasegawa is a high school freshman, he joins the basketball team but soon finds out the team is inactive because the captain is being suspected as a lolicon. He miraculously is entangled with the job of being the coach of an elementary school’s basketball team. With these girls and their love for basketball Subaru can only take them so far.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sanzigen (?)
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: ?
Character Designer: ?

Impressions: I found Ro Kyu Bu to be really bad and misguided, therefore I’m not at all glad that it’s gotten a second season. I watched for long enough to see what point it tried to make: pushing little girls into this competitive game in order to keep their status quo, even though they just want to randomly goof off. The thing is, that it wasn’t handled well at all. Why did the elemantary schoolers have to dress up as maids. Why was there so much fanservice. And who was crazy enough to think of this set-up in the first place? This could have had potential, but the creators just turned it into otaku-bait, which makes it all the more weird because we’re talking about kids who are not even teenagers here.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Love Lab

Summary: “The comedy manga revolves around the girls at the elite Fujisaki Girls’ Middle School, which has tsundere (initially aloof and abrasive, but later kind-hearted), meganekko (eyeglasses-wearing girl), and other kinds of students.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Director: Masahiko Outa
Series Composition: Takashi Aoshima
Original creator: Ruri Miyahara
Character Designer: Chiaki Nakajima

Impressions: I really dislike how the premise introduces the characters in this series. It just labels them as stereotypes right from the start. It’s as if they’re not going to even bother with any kind of characterization or something. But then again, it’s a 4koma so I’m not sure how much we can expect from this. It does have the team of Mitsudomoe behind it, so let’s hope that they can add some humour to this. They have it, although Yuruyuri showed that they don’t always show this.
Trailer Impressions: Really, really generic.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Futari wa Milky Holmes

Summary: “A bunch of detective mahou shoujo along with their male guardian solve crimes.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori
Series Composition: Hideki Shirane
Character Designer: Mariko Fujita

Impressions: No! No! No! No! Here is the thing with Milky Holmes: the first two seasons were awesome. Why? It was a parody. The creators realized what a hopeless premise they had and just tore it apart with a ton of random nonsense and craziness. It was glorious. However, afterwards, for some bizarre reason, the Alternative OVAs appeared, in which they actually played the concept straight. It was bad. Really bad. Very generic mahou shoujo fare. The first two series also completely removed the male main character, and these two ovas also showed why: this guy is completely generic and pointless! This is a classic example of a corporate milking taking over a good franchise.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya

Summary: “This spinoff re-imagines the Fate/stay night character Illyasviel von Einzbern in an alternate universe as a magical girl” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Silver Link
Chief Director: Takashi Sakamoto
Director: Shin Oonuma
Series Composition: Keni Inoue
Original Creator: Type-Moon
Character Designer: Nozomi Ushijima

Impressions: This really feels like a blatant cash-in on the Fate/Stay Night fandom.Just stuff the girls there into mahou shoujo outfits and you have a series. I really have no faith in the creators here, because it’s typical Silver Link with really bad humour, and many of their staple people involved.
Trailer Impressions: So yeah… they go to school… and I’m still not impressed.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G

Summary: “Two years ago, a pair of idols, Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amō, collectively known as ZweiWing, fought against an alien race known as Noise using armor known as Symphogear. To protect a girl named Hibiki Tachibana, who got severely wounded by the Noise, Kanade sacrificed herself. Two years later, as Tsubasa has fought the Noise alone, Hibiki ends up gaining the same power as Kanade.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Satelight
Director: Katsumi Ono
Series Composition: Akifumi Kaneko
Original creator: Noriyasu Agematsu, Akifumi Kaneko
Character Designer: Satoru Fujimoto

Impressions: How on earth did this thing get a second season? I have no clue what Satelight saw in the disaster that was the first Symphogear, but ah well. A big plus is that this series actually has a competent director. They switched in the director of Hataraki man and Yugioh 5D’s here. Let’s hope that it will be at least… bearable with this…
Trailer Impressions:

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Monogatari Second Season

Summary: “Although there are still traces of the brief period he became a vampire, third-year high school student Koyomi Araragi is human again. He happens upon others with their own supernatural problems and finds that he can empathize. Koyomi becomes involved in their lives, seeking to help them and occasionally asking for advice from Meme Oshino, the homeless man who helped him become human again.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Shaft
Director: Akiyuki Shinbou
Series Composition: Fuyashi Tou
Original creator: NisiOisin
Character Designer: Akio Watanabe

Impressions: The monogatari series has its moments. Unfortunately, I have gotten tired of it. I do not want to watch these moment if it means having to force myself sitting through hours of talking about nothing, or Shaft just repeating themselves yet again. Wake me up when they try to do something new again…
Trailer Impressions: The trailer is small and all, and there was no actual animation, but it did reinforce my opinion: with all the lines I could have sworn that I heard them before. This trailer said nothing about what would be new or different.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku

Summary: “”Kitakubu” (literally, “go-home club”) is Japanese slang for kids who go home instead of joining clubs, sports, or other afterschool activities. In one high school, there is a real “Kitakubu” of girls who do whatever they like. The president is a free spirit named Sakura, while Botan is the combative heir to a school of ancient martial arts. Claire happens to be the daughter of the head of the powerful Kokonoe conglomerate. Natsuki joins the club at the invitation of another freshman, Karin, but she is unprepared for the hijinks there.” – (Taken from SNN)
Produced by: Nomad
Director: Hikaru Sato
Series Composition: Go Zappa
Original creator: Kuroha
Character Designer: Takahiro Sasaki

Impressions: Oh goodies, another series about a club of high schoolers doing nothing. I can see that they really flexed their creative muscles for this one. Go Zappa is a bad writer to start with, so it’s going to depend on Nomad and Hikaru Sato and the original source material to make up for that. I mean, it’s definitely possible and all. But by these guys?

First-Glance Potential: 20%

The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc

Summary: “Dating sim master Keima Katsuragi wants nothing more than to immerse himself in the 2D world, chasing digital girlfriends. But when the so-called “Capturing God” answers a mysterious email from an unknown sender, Keima finds himself chasing down real-life ladies in an attempt to help the peppy demon Elsie de Lute Irma capture “lost souls” escaped from the depths of hell. Now, lest the explosive collar around his neck detonate, Keima must convince various girls to fall in love with him in order to scare out the souls hiding in their hearts.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Manglobe
Director: Shigehito Takayanagi
Series Composition: Hideyuki Kurata
Original creator: Tamiki Wakaki
Character Designer: Akio Watanabe

Impressions: I was hoping that in the meantime, the staff has changed or something, in order to give people with a better sense of pacing a shot at this series, But unfortunately not. This series definitely holds potential, but these guys just managed to suck all energy from it. All sense of good characterization was just lost with shallow romance and some really annoying main characters, and I don’t think that that can be fixed, even if the story gets better.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Servant x Service

Summary: “The slice-of-life comedy manga centers on the employees of a government ward office in a city in Hokkaido. The story follows the daily lives of the health and welfare division members.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Yasutaka Yamamoto
Series Composition: Kento Shimoyama
Original creator: Karino Takatsu
Character Designer: Terumi Nishii

Impressions: The thing with this series is that from the outside, it looks very interesting. But that’s mostly due to Terumi Nishii, the character designer, being really good. The characters here look realistic and down to earth and overall very pleasant to watch (this is the guy who designed the characters for Penguin Drum, by the way). Because when I looked a bit closer, it looked like a series that totally was not my type: random jokes about people doing nothing. Both the director, original writer or series composition guy give me a lot of faith that this will be interesting to watch either, unfortunately.
Trailer Impressions: A bit of a taste of the humour that we’re going to get, and I found it to be so boring and dull!

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Kin-Iro Mosaic

Summary: “The story begins with Shinobu Oumiya, a 15-year-old, seemingly “pure Japanese” girl who actually did a homestay in Great Britain. Even after coming back to Japan, she still misses her time overseas. One day, an air mail letter arrives from Alice, the girl in Shinobu’s host family in Great Britain. The letter reads, “Shinobu, I’m coming to Japan!” The “Japanese/British girls’ mixed comedy” follows the lives of Shinobu, Alice, and other girls from both Japan and Great Britain.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Gokumi
Director: Tensho
Series Composition: Yuniko Ayana
Original creator: Yui Hara
Character Designer: Kazuyuki Ueda

Impressions: These girls are fifteen! Holy crap! Seriously though, when was the last time I watched a 4Koma that I actually liked? This seems to go back to Geijutsuka Art Design Class or something. The creators can still make something out of it if they use the clash in cultures right though, so it’s not entirely hopeless here.
Trailer Impressions: Why does the English girl have to be blond?

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyou

Summary: “A story of girls who solve mysterious matters that occur in this world, using the mystical tarot cards that hold the power to read destinies.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: AIC
Director: Keizou Kusakawa
Series Composition: Michiko Itou
Original creator: Haruyasu Akagi, Hidenori Tanaka
Character Designer: Shinpei Tomooka

Impressions: Michiko Itou and Keizou Kusakawa have done quite a few series, but the last time they did something together was with Ro Kyu Bu, a series about a bunch of girls in a basketball team with a lot of fanservice. Genei looks the same only with better production values and fairies. And I mean, I see potential behind this series if the “mysterious matters” that these girls solve are actually interesting. But I don’t think that these people can do that and will focus more on shallow stories with fanservice instead.
Trailer Impressions: Shallow, but at least it will look very pretty.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Kingdom 2

Summary: ” In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Hyou is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Hyou manages to return to the village, barely alive. Shin then meets a boy who closely resembles Hyou, Ei Sei. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Shi Huangdi.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Pierrot
Director: Akira Iwagana
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Original creator: Yasuhisa Hara
Character Designer: Itsuko Takeda, Kumiko Tokunaga

Impressions: I remember the first Kingdom. It had the potential as a good warfare series, but all I could see was the really bad animation and the incredible overacting. Together, this just did no look right and any good story would have been way too annoying to follow with that. I have heard that it got better as it went along though, and at least a staff change seems to indicate that the second season will only get better.
Trailer Impressions: No CG, which surprised me. I mean, the animation still looks really cheap, but it’s not as bad anymore.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Hyperdimension Neptunia

Summary: “This story anthropomorphizes the game console wars as female role-playing game characters.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: David Production
Director: Masahiro Mukai
Series Composition: Shogo Yasukawa
Original creator: Tsunako
Character Designer: Hitomi Takeuchi

Impressions: As much of a fan I am of David Production, this definitely is the worst promotional art they’ve ever done. Having said that though… they’re really going to animate a series about the console wars? I have no idea what I’m supposed to imagine by that to be honest, especially with David Production. They also put on two rookies on the helm: both the director and the series composition guy have never done a full series before. This can really go anywhere.
Trailer Impressions: Aagh, that was really generic! Also hire someone who can actually sing!

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Fantasista Doll

Summary: “In this science-fiction story, Uzume is an ordinary second-year middle school student who comes into possession of five “dolls” who fight and power up with special cards.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Hoods Entertainment
Director: Hisashi Saito
Original creator: Goro Taniguchi
Character Designer: Hiromi Kato

Impressions: I can only say “smörgåsbord” when I look at the different staff members here. We have the porn production company of Hoods, adapting a story from the director of Code Geass (and Planetes and Infinite Ryvius), with music from the composer of Heartcatch Precure, Jigoku Shoujo and Shiki, among many others, there is the director of Sora no Otoshimono and the character designer of Kobato and Needless. Usually I can say something about the direction of a series based on cast-members, but here this has me just baffled. The only thing I can say at this point is that the promo art looks really generic.
Trailer Impressions: Generic music and transformation sequences. The story had better be really good to make up for that…

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!

Summary: ” Kuroki Tomoko is an lonely “ordinary girl” who has the dream of becoming popular. for her misfortunes she’s branded deranged and lonely and spends most of her time playing games and watching shows. She then enters high school and that triggers her interest in popularity, She tries to achieve her goals in any way she can, but it doesn’t always end the way it should.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Nico Tanigawa
Character Designer: ?

Impressions: Watashi blahblah (seriously, I’m not going to even try and remember how to spell these names unless they prove themselves) will be another one of those high school adaptations, but at this point we hardly know anything about it. Who will adapt it? Who will direct it? That still has to be announced. Does it hold potential? That entirely depends on whether its jokes will work or not. It won’t have anything else besides that.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist

Summary: ” After his uncle’s business fails, William Twining, an intelligent young noble, finds himself in a dire financial situation. With no funds for his school tuition, he searches his house until he comes upon the basement. There, he accidentally summons Dantalion, who recognizes William as a descendant of Solomon, and the Elector—the individual that will choose a substitute ruler for when the Emperor of Hell, Lucifer, rests. From that moment on, William’s life is irrevocably interwoven with the supernatural world as other demonic candidates for substitute king vie for his nomination and Heaven attempts to retrieve his soul.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Director: Chiaki Kon
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Madoka Takadono
Character Designer: Kikuko Sadakata

Impressions: You know what the thing is about this series? It is probably going to be really good if the creators manage to avoid it boiling down to just shounen ai. Seriously, I like the creativity it has, it’s got the potential for lots of intrigue. But all I can see is a manga creator who also did the manga for Utaprince, Chiaki Kon who is still stuck in Junjo Romantica and Michiko Yokote who is doing way too many series this season. Prove me wrong here!

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Kimi no Iru Machi

Summary: “Kirishima Haruto is your average Hiroshima Prefecture countryside Japanese student that is about to start his 3 year High school life. But before that happens a girl from Tokyo, Eba Yuzuki, whose father is the friend of Haruto’s father, shows up at his house to live with him and his family so she can attend the same high school. Haruto isn’t happy of the situation; a stranger that happens to be a girl of his same age, not his relative, living in the same house like him will cause complications. Truth is Haruto has another girl in mind, Kanzaki Nanami, whom Haruto has hidden romantic feelings for since middle school. And so starts his complicated life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gonzo
Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Original creator: Kouji Seo
Character Designer: Terumi Niishi

Impressions: I found the OVA for Kimi no Iru Machi to be terrible. It was a really generic romance with zero personality, so when I realized that there was a TV-series coming out for it, i really was not looking forward to it. Then I found out that it would be produced by Gonzo. Then I found out that it was going to be directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi, and adapted by Reiko Yoshida. That duo has got a ton of experience, and they can actually really make a risk-taking studio like Gonzo shine again. The big question is whether they will also be able to do that with a source material that is as bad as Kimi no Iru Machi. I mean, of all the stories they could have picked. Why this one?!
Trailer Impressions: This does not look good…

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East Second SEason

Summary: ” Five years ago, almost every villager of Ootsuka died due to a tragic plague. But mysteriously enough, three survivors: a girl and two boys, emerged. Now living in a church, the three live in isolation, hidden from those who may seek to find them. Shino, one of the survivors, has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. But when the imperial church seeks to take the Murasame for themselves, their peaceful life becomes a thing of the past…” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Miyuki Abe
Character Designer: Hiromi Kato

Impressions: If there is any series that I regret a bit in dropping the past year, it’s probably this one. I didn’t know that it would have a second season, and the only reason I dropped it was because I didn’t think it would get good enough after four episodes to further spend my time on. So yeah, it’s a series with a pretty good story and set of characters.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Genshinken Second Season

Summary: “College freshman and ACG lover Kanji Sasahara settled down his extracurricular activity in Genshiken (The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture) in order to become a true and thorough otaku. Meanwhile, Saki Kasukabe, the girlfriend of another freshman Genshiken member (also a bishōnen), Makoto Kohsaka, was dragged into Genshiken’s otaku-ish activities reluctantly, yet her resentful attitude towards otakus is changing without her notice.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Production IG
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Shimoku Kio
Character Designer:
unichiro Taniguchi

Impressions: The only thing I ever watched about Genshinken is the first half of its first episode (before starting this blog, actually, so that was loooong ago), but I did not like it. I didn’t really associate with the “otaku”-culture, and still don’t. But hey, it’s like eight years later, the staff has completely changed aside from Michiko Yokote and I like just about everyone involved in this production. So yeah, it’s definitely got potential.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3

Summary: “Yura Yamato has just arrived at the high school division of Stella Girl’s Academy, and Sonora Kashima invites Yura to join a club called “C3.” Sonora is the third-year student who became the new head of this club for survival games. The other members include two second-year students (part-Japanese Karira Hatsuse and G36K-wielding Honoka Mutsu) and two other new students (Rento Kirishima whose family runs a Japanese sweets shop and the really short Yachiyo Hinata).” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gainax
Director: Masayoshi Kawajiri
Original creator: Ikoma
Character Designer: Manami Umeshita

Impressions: First of all, this show has awesome promo art. I like the use of colours and there definitely is emotion in it, as opposed to the really clean art you always see for these promotional images. The director is an entirely new guy, so let’s see what Gainax can do here to make up for Medaka Box which turned out to be rather generic. I mean, this has the potential to be really dull, but the way it’s presented hints at a very good chemistry between the characters.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Teekyu 2

Summary: “Piyo’s original manga centers around a girls’ tennis team. (The title is a wordplay on a Japanese term for tennis, teikyū.) However, the four high school girls on the team hardly play any actual tennis.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Mappa
Director: Shin Itagaki
Series Composition: Shin Itagaki
Original creator: Roots
Character Designer: Shin Itagaki

Impressions: Mappa, as much as I like Teekyu’s randomness: your next serious project had better be something really awesome here.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Uchouten Kazoku

Summary: “The comedy drama of Uchouten Kazoku is set in Kyoto, where tanuki (shape-shifting raccoon-dogs), tengu (long-nosed goblins of Japanese folklore), and humans intermingle. The story follows the Shimogamo family of tanuki who live in the Tadasu no Mori forest of Shimogamo Shrine.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: P.A. Works
Director: Masayuki Yoshihara
Series Composition: Shoutarou Suga
Original creator: Tomohiko Morimi
Character Designer: Kousuke Kawazura

Impressions: Very nice promo material as well, and I’m looking forward to this comedy from PA Works, provided that they handled the comedy right. Shoutarou Suga and Masayuki Yoshihara perhaps aren’t the best for that, but I don’t know the source material for that to say for sure.
Trailer Impressions: This one said absolutely nothing.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Free!

Summary: It’s about swimming
Produced by: Kyoani
Director: Hiroko Utsumi
Series Composition: Masahiro Yokotani
Original creator: Kouji Ouji (if this isn’t a pseudonym then I don’t know anymore…)
Character Designer: Futoshi Nishiya

Impressions: I love what a brilliant troll move this is. I have been begging Kyoani for doing something different beyond cute girls. So here Kyoani comes with a show about a bunch of guys who look like swtimming catalog models. Regardless of whether it will actually be fun, I approve of this move. The guy from Hataraku Maou-Sama is also doing the series composition here…
Trailer Impressions: What can I say really?

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Blood Lad

Summary: “Blood Lad follows Staz, a vampire that is obsessed with the human world, and Fuyumi, a human girl that was killed and turned into a ghost after wandering into the demon world. Staz promises to help Fuyumi regain her humanity by bringing her back to life, as it means that he would be able to visit the human world” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Shigeyuki Miya
Series Composition: Takeshi Konuta
Original creator: Yuki Kodama
Character Designer: Kenji Fujisaki

Impressions: Hell yeah, another director of Aoi Bungaku is returning. It’s the guy who adapted Kokoro, and who later did half of Supernatural. This will be his next series, together with the guys at Brains Base. And he got himself quite an interesting premise. It’s the kind of premise that can be great with the right execution, and terrible with the wrong one. The big problem will be the series composition. This will probably be a long manga, and Takeshi Konuta has already screwed up once with that kind of problem with Library Wars.
Trailer Impressions: Sounds catchy, provided they don’t put the action above everything else.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Danganronpa The Animation

Summary: “The story follows a group of high school students, each with a different exceptional talent, who are locked inside a school and told that the only way to escape is to kill another student without getting caught. After a murder, the remaining students must hold a trial with their lives on the line to find out who the killer is.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Lerche
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
Character Designer: Kazuaki Morita

Impressions: I like the concept, I like the promo art. This feels like Btooom that requires more thought and careful planning. This is the kind of action series that I’m looking out for, that don’t just revolve arond random action. The only problem is that Seiji Kishi is a bit of a double-edged sword: as a director he can be really good or really bad, depending on his mood.
Trailer Impressions: Good music, stylish, strange character-designs. This can work out pretty well.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou

Summary: “The absurd mystery comedy centers around Kazuhito Harumi, a high school boy who is obsessed with reading books. One day, he is killed in the middle of a robbery — and resurrected as a dachshund dog. Unable to read in his new form, the hapless Kazuhito now belongs to Kirihime Natsuno, a sadistic novelist who uses scissors on Kazuhito to abuse him.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gonzo
Director: Yukio Takahashi
Series Composition: Toshizo Nemoto
Original creator: Shunsuke Sarai
Character Designer: Youko Satou

Impressions: Well, it’s taken a while, but for me, this is the first sign of Gonzo’s recovery ever since they went nearly bankrupt back in 2009 and got majorly reduced in size. With that, I mean that this is their first series since that point that doesn’t hope to cash in on previous successes (Last Exile), or just completely terrible (Leviathan). They are starting to train new directors to fill the old gap as well: this is Yukio Takahashi’s first full directing job, and this is a guy who has proven himself well as an episode director on series as Red Garden, Shangri-La and a unit director of Yukikaze and the second Macross Frontier Movie. Of course the humour can be completely terrible, but at least the premise here holds potential and it looks like they’re actually trying to be a bit creative again.
Trailer Impressions: Perhaps it has some acting issues, but it’s the only trailer this season that actually made me laugh. That’s a good sign.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tamayura – More Aggressive

Summary: ” For her first year of high school, Fu Sawatari moves to Takehara, a scenic old town near Hiroshima, on the Inland Sea. Her father, who has passed away, grew up in Takehara. She loves taking photographs with her father’s old film camera, a Rollei 35S. The story follows her and the friends who gather around her as she comes to love her new home.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TYO Animations
Director: Sato Junichi
Series Composition: Sato Junichi
Original creator: Sato Junichi
Character Designer: Haruko Iizuka

Impressions: Tamayura is a strong contender for the award for the strangest title of the season. I have seen the Tamayura OVA and Hitotose. What on earth do the creators mean by “more agressive”? This is a slice of life series, not an action title…. Either way though: it’s Sato Junichi, who is just terrific at creating slice of life. The characters area already really charming. Now it’s a matter of building further upon that like what he did with Aria.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Summary: “After God abandoned the world, people stopped dying, and people stobbed giving birth. One young gravekeeper, a girl named Ai, meets a boy who slaughters her whole village.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse
Director: Yuuji Kumazawa
Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu
Original creator: Kumihito Irie
Character Designer: Shinichi Miyamae

Impressions: I LOVE the premise behind the world of this series. Talk about potential here. Tomoko Konparu as the main writer and adapter will definitely be able to bring justice to it, like what she did with Ashita no Nadja, Uta Koi, Les Miserables, Nodame Cantabile and Nana. Yuuji Kumazawa’s only directing job may have been Oda Nobuna no Yabou, but I give him the benefit of the doubt for now. It’s not like he could have made anything good with a premise like that anyway.
Trailer Impressions: Good music, it looks very nice. The backgrounds are also very creative.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Gatchaman Crowds

Summary: “The story is set in Japan in the early summer of 2015. 180,000 people live in Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area. Among them are “Gatchaman” — warriors who fight in special reinforced suits powered by “NOTE,” the manifestation of special spiritual powers in living beings. A council has scouted a group of individuals with latent powers to protect Earth from alien criminals. In recent years, the council has assigned Gatchaman warriors to deal with the mysterious entity known as “MESS.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Tatsunoko Productions
Director: Kenji Nakamura
Series Composition: Toshiya Ono
Character Designer: Yuuichi Takahashi

Impressions: Yes, Kenji Nakamura is back! The guy behind Mononoke, Ayakashi, Tsuritama and Kuchuu Buranko will next do a remake of a classic series. The fun thing about those kinds of series is that they always are really creative, and with Kenji Nakamura added to that, it’s bound to be lots of fun. Toshiya Ono who helped write Tsuratama will also be back.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Silver Spoon

Summary: “Yugo Hachiken is an ace with studying, and wants to be away from his family,and believes he can do he could go to any school with no problems, so trading regular high school for Agriculture school, he begins a new journey. Upon arriving at the school and starting classes he is quickly proven wrong, and must uncover the truth about farming, and Agriculture, and how to keep up with his news friends, who are already used to the farming world.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Tomihiko Ito
Series Composition: Taku Kishimoto
Original creator: Hiromu Arakawa
Character Designer: Jun Nakai

Impressions: It’s finally time for Silver Spoon, the next series from Full Metal Alchemists’s Hiromu Arakawa. And it also couldn’t be any more different in subject matter. Adapting it is a very good team at A-1 Pictures helmed by Tomohiko Ito (the guy behind Occult Academy) and Taku Kishimoto, who previously adapted Usagi Drop. Tehse guys know how to deal with characterization. Yeah!
Trailer Impressions: Ska? Awesome!

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Rozen Maiden New Series

Summary: “Due to a deep trauma at school Sakurada Jun has refused to return. He spends his time in his room, surfing the web and ordering anything that takes his fancy, only to return the items just before payment is due. One day, he finds a web site that tells him to put his order in a drawer of his desk. He does so thinking it to be a joke, only to find that the letter disappears and a strange package arrives soon afterwards. It contains an exquisite doll, that, when wound, comes to life. She treats him as a servant of little worth, but over time helps him come to grips with his fears and in the life-or-death fights that soon follow her arrival.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Mamoru Hatekayama
Series Composition: Tomomi Mochizuki
Original creator: Peach Pit
Character Designer: Kyuta Sakai

Impressions: The reason why Rozen Maiden is the series I’m looking forward to the most isn’t simply because I’m a big Rozen Maiden fan, even though that really helps: the concept is awesome, and especially the first season was just perfect. In particular there went a lot of thought into the characters. But no. The reason why this stands above the others is due to Tomomi Mochizuki doing the series composition (along with the script and the sound direction (!)). As a writer to adapt your stories, this guy is pretty much the best guy you can get, bar none. He’s a king of realism, and his sense of characterization is fantastic. But it’s not just that: his adaptations are awesome. It’s not like he aims to be perfectly faithful, but rather he knows what works best for each story, and he takes risks. Oh dear god, he takes risks. Touka Gettan airing backwards? That’s his influence. The awesome conclusions for Kimagure Orange Road and Fancy Lala? He wrote and adapted that. Add that to the character-designer of Steins;Gate and the music from Utena and Asatte no Houkou. Yeah. I’m looking forward to this.
Trailer Impressions: Both new and old material together.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Customize
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
afgm
(ok maybe a little fault should go to them lol)
afgm
@Friend: That sucks, but its definitely understandable. People can be pretty thoughtless at times (no fault to them of course).
afgm
tiger mask did make it into the upper quartile though, which is surprising
Friend
@afgm I don't have a large internet presence with my work exactly because I've had situations with theft on Pinterest. For work, I just carry USBs with my portfolio pieces in them :/
Friend
@Aramus Heya, thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately the fell image won't be available openly unless for commercial purposes, but otherwise feel free to contact me in my business email! :)
afgm
ah you know what? I read the title Time Bokan 24 and thought it had 24 votes x)
Total users: 33

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