Posted by psgels on 4 July 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

ZEXCS: this show cost little to make: rotoscoping is relatively cheap and good for a low-budget series. Please some one in there: see beyong all of the negative publicity that this series has gotten. Look past the bile, and see some potential for a second season! Otherwise this was one heck of an annoying ending to pull. Basically all it did was tease us for a sequel.

I really liked that Kasuga could finally see a bit into Nakamura’s mind. That was great. Then there followed this chase, followed by a lot of atmosphere building, to a lot of teasing scenes for events that are yet to happen, like what the OPs have been doing. That was one heck of an evil cliff-hanger. The atmosphere still was really good during all that, and I find it a bit strange that they put so much work into rotoscoping all these random scenes for nothing, but still the chance of this getting a second season are unfortunately really low.

And for me that’s pretty much the only big blemish on an amazing series here. I mean complain about the rotoscoping; if you ignore that than the creators excuted this story basically perfectly with some fantastic atmosphere.

Aku no Hana took risks. Oh dear god, it took risks! More series with the same mentality would definitely be appreciated! I can’t promise to have the actual review of this one out today. There are a number of first episodes that I first want to check out.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

33 Responses

  1. Puran says:

    The thing is: The manga is not done.

    There is however, a point where the current arc is concluded nicely (and actually, we were shown bits of that in the teases in this episode). BUT, there isn’t enough material for another cour of episodes to get to that point.

    The covered up to chapter 20 with the anime (and the pacing was deliberately slow). The point where they could conclude things is at chapter 33. That’s material for what? 7 episodes?

    They could do a movie though…

    • manlyflower says:

      Oh wow, I was thinking the same as you, but I never considered a movie. Maybe even an OVA. And it certainly might be more plausible than greenlighting an whole second season. You sir have given me some hope. Given the pace set by the director and the small-chance of a second season, I was biting my nails the entire time, dreading how they would end it. There’s no telling how relieved I was with the possibility of there being time to properly flesh out that shitstorm that is the end of this arc, especially with a director that has proven himself more than capable of giving the story an incredible adaptation.

    • nil says:

      >BUT, there isn’t enough material for another cour of episodes to get to that point.
      Well, I dunno about that. The first arc’s conclusion is a pretty expected ending for a second season, particularly with the anime’s pacing and because of the last flashed scene in the finale’s roundup. I can’t expect the direction to have any problems slowing down either (after all, this is Aku no Hana we’re talking about).

    • Gan_HOPE326 says:

      I was hoping they would end with that too. In fact, I must say, everything that follows in the manga leaves me pretty indifferent. The first arc of Aku no Hana feels like it’s going into uncanny places of teen psychology – it’s something we’ve all touched upon, but most likely not drowned ourselves in like Kasuga, Saeki and Nakamura do. The second arc by comparison is pretty ordinary. I basically lived personally through every situation Kasuga experiences in that part of the story, and as the manga is now, he even came out of it better off than I did ^^.

    • AkuNoHANA says:

      For this previews to be created, they had to film, then trace over it frame by frame, which is the technique of rotoscoping. If they only did that for these scenes to be a preview, then that was a total waste of money and time.
      Production would never put money on something that is not set in stone. They would if there is a higher percentage of hope that it would air. Like some dramas have been cut in the middle of filming and so on… but this animation we are talking about. Why would they invest money on all these just for a preview? Plus by the way they preview was edited, I can tell the animation part is already done. It’s just a matter of will it air or not? That is what we should be asking. Not if there is enough material.
      I don’t care how cheap it is, drawing animation is not done in one day, it takes time to create something this amazing like Aku no Hana. Even if it’s tracing. I work with ink, tracing over drawings and then applying the ink on it, I don’t do rotoscoping, but I do tracing and it takes a while.
      I doubt they would invest this much time on just a preview. That’s stupid.

  2. Puran says:

    Also, I’m not sure why Aku no Hana is considered cheaply made.

    Maybe rotoscoping is cheaper than traditional animation, but not that much.

    Also the background art was done by Studio Pablo, which is an amazing studio and I’m imagining they are not that cheap. ( http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?id=9407 )

    • manlyflower says:

      XD I’ve been trying to say this since day 1. The backgrounds are so incredibly well made. I haven’t seen backgrounds that well drawn in an long time, if at all, so whenever I hear people complaining about this show as being “cheap,” it annoys me to no end. Once you understand that, the choppy rotoscope seems more like an aesthetic choice rather than one made entirely out of economic necessity.

    • Yause says:

      Aku no Hana’s cheapness lies in the low drawing counts. The rotoscoping adds some extra flair (if you can look past the wonky implementation; it’s choppy precisely because of low sheet counts), but this is a very low budget show regardless of technique.

      Still images such as backgrounds are the cheapest things to create in anime. Producers sometimes skimp on them for small savings (it’s like opting for a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger to save a few cents), but when your animation budget is already so low…….

      • AkuNoHANA says:

        It might be low budget, but the art is not cheap. That is a different thing…in the other hand, low budget or not, I still think the second season has already been done. I just don’t understand why would they invest the “little money” they have just to show us a bunch of previews… it’s a waste of money for a low budget production.

    • AkuNoHANA says:

      Agree… like I said before, tracing takes a long time. People think tracing is easy. Not when you are trying to create art. Tracing over a drawing or frame of motion picture is not done in one minute, because it’s not just the tracing, you actually have to have drawing skills to get the tracing looking just like the original. Then to apply the color… it’s not a one minute job. So I don’t get how it would be “cheap”

      I say, it’s probably more costly because of the time you have to put into creating this kind of animation.
      First film, then trace, then apply the color, and details and so on… how is that cheap? lol.

  3. Litho says:

    The director probably did a good job, knowing his pedigree. But looking at the fairly-low quality of the source material, this most this series could ever be was lipstick on a pig. The bile is the pretentious plot, not the art.

    • Puran says:

      Why is the plot pretentious?

      What is it pretending to be?

      • meaqui says:

        Well, it comes down to tastes, but I maybe I can provide some arguments for Lithos opinion.

        From the very beginning, the plot tried to be something “deep”. “Look how cruel a teenagers life can be, if hes not “mainstream”.

        Well, what we got were actions that are way over the top: vulgar words, sexual abuse, mistreatments…There was barely anything positive. Aku no hana tried to show a realistic side of a teenagers life – and completely lost itself in the “shitty part”. I agree that you can show this side too, but the characters here didnt try anything to ameliorate their situations or understand those around them. And … maybe spoiler?? I havent seen the TV-Show, so I dont know how far they got in the story:
        ………………The suicide-attempt was completely unmotivated. Well not completely, “life is shitty” was their explanation. But come on, at least the main character really didnt have a believable motive to kill himself.

        So to sum up, the plot tried to be realistic, deep and dark, and what was left was the dark part. It became ridiculous in the end, because the plot is inconsistent and motives arent provided.
        I completely agree in calling this plot “pretentious”;)

        And I can only say it for the manga to argue against psgels: The plot certainly tried – and it failed. Trying alone is not enough to succeed.

        • meaqui says:

          Ugh just to explain myself
          “way over the top” – the actions itself are believable and realistic, the amount and the onesidedness is not.

          • martin says:

            the show is pretty darn negative. and i dont really agree with some of these characters at all. they do seem pretty self involved. except i reminded myself a lot that im watching sensitive/troubled teenagers and i’m seeing how they’re experiencing/dealing with things. i do believe there are some teenagers who are that negative. especially in a country that has a high suicide rate. the show is kinda like a pseudo POV of a negative main character/author and how that person sees the world. which personally i find interesting. on the other hand there is nanako saeki, she’s pretty much the one ray of positive sunshine in the show, she offered that much needed contrast.

            i dont think the show is deep as well.
            but when it comes to content, for me the show is just an interesting view of a few teenagers.

            your points are definitely valid though; easy to see how divisive this show is.

          • someloser says:

            that one way to view it, positive vs negative. I saw it as individualism vs conforming to society. Nakumura was the character who didn’t give a shit about society, and thus in a sense was “free”. Only problem was that she also was a bit hypocritical due to trying to reach out to people. Kasuga was the one who believes himself to be special but submits to society, and by being blackmailed by nakumura, he’s allowed to let his true self run free and starts doing shit rather than mumbling about what should be done. I guessing this is the reason kasuga stays with nakumura, because by staying with nakumura, he becomes more and more “human” rather than a robot of society. This might also be why nakumura dislikes kasuga and saeki’s relationship, mostly because it’s as normal as it gets. saeki on the other hand, conforms to society the most, and realizes this. Any by hopefully going along with kasuga, she believes that she can also become truly unique, similar to how kasuga went along with nakumura.

            Truthfully I don’t see the story as trying to follow realism, but rather just to make people think. The reason they did the suicide attempt wasn’t just that “life sucks.” and if it was, they would have done it alone. However by going out and killing themselves in front of a bunch of people, wouldn’t they have essentially broken many people out of their normal cycle of life? does the act of killing oneself have acted as a statement that they were truely unique, and not just walking the path taken by many before them? Or in the end, are these kids just taking everything to an extreme extent, and don’t understand enough? By did nakumura take individualism too far and start becomeing ignorant of all opinions? There’s alot to think about…

        • Puran says:

          @meaqui:

          Your explanation (which by the way I’m not going to argue against very much, because you make calid points), points that the plot is “bad”. Not pretentious.

          I guess I’m taking issue more with the word “pretentious”, because other than that, I don’t want to defend the plot that much.

          I will say this though. The plot didn’t seem very dark to me. It did seem about right. Then again I did have more or less fucked up school years.

        • Puran says:

          @meaqui:

          Also, the parts you have problems with the plot, are parts that the anime didn’t get into. So I’m not sure how your explanations work to defend Litho’s opinion (who is refering strictly to the anime).

        • Gan_HOPE326 says:

          Personally, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a work of art to push a bit beyond realism in its strive to tell something unusual. After all, we are ready to accept sci-fi or fantasy elements used as metaphors for real life problems: why then not a slightly “over the top” version of reality which serves the purpose of stressing problems/states of mind that do exist? I think Aku no Hana drives a few points home, and does so very well. One of these is exactly that Kasuga and Nakamura’s actions are unjustified, irrational, and disproportioned to the causes of their discomfort with their lives. The manga, and the anime even more so, does not justify them, or portray them as some kind of romantic heroes striving for freedom from monotony: they are petty teenagers doing petty things which only make those around them suffer. Kasuga’s self entitlement and his arrogance when he thinks of himself as better just because he reads a few books is blatant. This is made even more obvious by the second arc of the manga that, despite being arguably less interesting, is explicitly focused on how Kasuga finally grows out of all this shit and realizes he’s just another normal person, yet he can find his way to live and be relatively happy within that. The show’s purpose is strongly rooted in shock value – namely, in forcing viewers to confront the memories of their own teen years by showing them how arrogant and stupid they could be back then (personally, I was). I’m not arguing that Aku no Hana is some sort of absolute masterpiece, but it surely is better at psychology than most anime. It’s like a Chuck Pahlaniuk book: not realistic, but ultimately about real mind states – only, taken to the extreme.

  4. martin says:

    damn, i want that 2nd season, even if there isnt enough manga material for another full season.

    i wrote off this show early on because i didnt like that it was fully rotoscoped (i prefer Masaaki Yuasa’s sparing use of rotoscoping), so initially i thought it just came across as cheap and it shouldve just been live action. i gave it a 2nd chance, and im glad i did. love the atmosphere. and i definitely warmed up to the rotoscoping, i thought it was justly used.

    i have to echo psgels, i love how risky and non-mainstream this show is. good to see a studio take a chance on this unique property.

  5. Arno says:

    Hi Psgels, you seem to have a technical problem with the selection of your bottom-right images.

    Sorry, just harmless hazukashi joking…

  6. Tarsio says:

    I love it! I love the episode as a end of a season (if it was the end of the anime, it would be boring). The way Kasuga makes a contract, it close a circle. He finally take the iniciative. He made a choice to follow the “dark side”. And know, everyone want to see how far he can go.

    I just can`t wait to see more. This anime goes more deep in japanese society than any other anime that I have seen.

  7. aryan says:

    Hope it would get a second season and one for mushishi too please nagahama

  8. Dinsdale says:

    This series has been a bold, risky experiment. From the hindsight, I can´t imagine how it would have been possible to achieve its dense, creepy atmosphere, it´s moment of emotional burst, it´s introspective imagenery, without rotoscoping. Using your standard cutesy character designs -kinda like in the manga- and without the librety of a camera actually shooting things like the classroom scene in Chapter 7, would have detracted a lot from it. I really enjoyed this series and i´ll keep my fingers crossed that we´ll see the order of those random scences within the context of a new season.

    Now, to the episode itself, it was kinda a letdown. We had been left to a whopper of a cliffhanger, finally we´re going to get a glimpse of what´s going on inside Nakamura´s head; till now we still had to learn the first thing. Who is she? Why doesn´t she behave the way she does? But alas, her dairy doesn´t reveal anything we didn´t already know. Kasuga´s renewal of their contract? Nothing new there, we foresaw that 2 episodes ago.

  9. chris says:

    Basically another Kare Kano ending.

    • someloser says:

      kare kano was a different type though. By the last episodes there was barely any animation and stuff was done in black and white, showing how bad the budget was. At least AnH actually ended with some form of complete animation.

  10. Keith says:

    I know everyone on here likes to pretend they actually know how production works, so I have a question. Even if rotoscoping is ‘cheap’, what about the expenses of paying actors, scheduling shooting scenes, equipment for the real-life shots, etc? Just because animating the frames themselves might be ‘cheaper’ won’t all of those costs for shooting the scenes add up?

    • sparaflAsh says:

      I was going to say the same thing, but I thought it was quite useless against some lame complaint. They probably think you don’t have to pay all the staff you need to shoot a live action drama.

    • Well... says:

      No. Not at all.

    • AkuNoHANA says:

      You have a good point, and one I have been trying to make up there in reply to all these other “theories” about not enough material and cheap production.

      Before talking all bout this, they need to get informed on what drawing, tracing, and animating, really is, how it works and how much time it’s actually put into it.
      It has taken me hours to do one piece of art that might look like it can be done within 30 minutes. It is in the details that everything lies… and this animation whether “cheap” or not, is not done to meet a certain date, you can tell there is so much love put into every frame of this animation.
      Aside from all the time consumption that is behind filming, which needs to be done for this kind of technique to be applied, there is time in tracing, coloring, animating, and finally editing.
      Just because they aren’t doing it free hand doesn’t mean it’s less time invested. And time is money.

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SuperMario
I found their posts informative and sometimes even educative. Always learn something new every time I read one of their post
SuperMario
I know I have mentioned it here more than once in the chatbox, but it bears repeating that if you want to know more about the insights of anime industry and technical aspect of anime, go check out https://blog.sakugabooru.com/
SuperMario
@silver: in that case, I'll link you to the original source. Of course, all the credits go to the source as I was just merely paraphrasing what Kevin said in his post. https://blog.sakugabooru.com/2016/08/29/kizumonogatari-i-tekketsu-hen-oishis-story-part-1/
SuperMario
@silver: Shinbou didn't involve in H&C. Who Kaiser meant was Shinobu Morita, a character in H&C
silver
(con't) I've been considering it again because it shares a mangaka with 3-gatsu and she seems to write very good characters.
@Mario: I'll check out that post tomorrow. I've read some stuff about Shinbou describing his work with Shaft, so I'm glad to learn more about that.
silver
@Kaiser: I didn't know Shinbou was involved with H&C. O
silver
Monogatari appeals to me in a way I can't really enunciate despite the myriad gripes I have regarding its individual elements. Even the excessive fanservice feels appropriate in a story about adolescents and coming of age. Hidamari was a home run for me because the modern style and media diversity fit really well with the cast of art students.
silver
It may well be the folks working for Shaft who have the affinity for the unusual direction, but I haven't seen many of their works that he hasn't directed, so I always assumed that he was the orchestrator. A good chunk of those series derive from LNs, so I like the way heavy dialogue is handled. I can certainly understand disliking it both in style and substance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol imagine if Goddard wrote monogatari.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only haven't kept up with monogatari because there is too much to catch up on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At one point honey and clover was probably one of my favourite anime of all time, I loved Shinobu especially and I remember it hitting on every single emotional note it went for. I do recall the ending being unsatisfactory however.
SuperMario
@silver: I said it in more detail here (in case you haven't read already) about Shinbo's role at Shaft. http://psgels.net/2016/10/17/3-gatsu-no-lion-02-akari-beyond-bridge/
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember in the past getting a real kick out of hidamari, zetsubou sensei, paniponi and Arakawa. EF is the prettiest thing they ever did where the style never felt like a gimmick.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, and indeed Cossette was the latest anime that Shinbou directly directed. it was roughly 13 years ago
SuperMario
Regarding Honey & Clover, I've only read the manga (not even finished it and it was longggg ago) so I would love to watch the anime adaptation of it someday. Based on what I read H&C was a certainly worth following
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He directed Cossette no shouzou which I loved.
SuperMario
I can understand why 3-gatsu is the least Shaft-y work. The source material was very well-defined in term of arts and tone that if Shaft adapted it with more Shaft-style, it will stand out in a distracting manner.
SuperMario
@silver: I'm glad we both share the love for Shaft, but to be honest Shaft is a love-it or hate-it studio. I know both psgels and Aidan hate the Shaft with a passion, for example. About Shinbou, despite his name appeared as a director for most of Shaft's outputs, his real role is nothing more than supervising the projects. Long story short, he's directly involved in the Shaft's works.
silver
@SupeWoop: I'm glad Shinbou decided to diversify his techniques and cut down on the head tilts, cheap 2D animation, and other Shafty stuff. To me it shows that he's maturing as a director. Hopefully 3-gatsu will appeal to a wider audience with its more refined presentation. Take your time and enjoy! Episodic reviews are a laborious endeavor to which I could never commit.
SuperWooper
Hey silver, I'm the bum whose first 3-gatsu post will finally appear later this week. It's one of my favorite Shaft series, so we probably like different things about the studio's output, but I hope you enjoy the review when it gets published.
silver
@Mario: Thanks! I hope to catch up on S2 by then! Looking forward to it; it's my least favorite Shinbou Shaft work thus far, but I enjoyed last season despite finding chess boring and the show's lackadaisical pacing (it's a proper SoL indeed), I still enjoyed its characters. Have you seen Honey and Clover? I've passed on it a few times, but perhaps I should try again.
SuperMario
@silver: Wooper will takeover me on 3-gatsu this season, his first 3-gatsu post will come out propably on this wednesday. So stay tuned :)
silver
Mario, are you blogging 3-gatsu this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
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