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.

Leave a Reply

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Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
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