Posted on 23 January 2014 with categories: Space Dandy

Here is another thing that also really bugged me about anime of the past few seasons: the ones that have a very promising first episode only to just fail trying afterwards. I mean, I hate it, but I have to swallow my words about Nobunaga the Fool after watching its second and third episodes, due to how shoddy it suddenly got. Especially Jeanne D’Arc: she turned out to be completely useless. The way this series looks at women being just there as a second thought is much worse than Space Dandy and Kill la Kill.

Even though these series are bad at how they focus too much on their male audience, there is method to their madness. Kill la Kill is all about outfits being empowering, while Space Dandy is told from the perspective of a guy obsessed with boobs. They keep to their rules, while Nobunaga the Fool took a famous French figure and made her just stand by and watch, sometimes just randomly in the main character’s lap.

That doesn’t excuse Space Dandy. I know it’s silly and Cowboy Bebop also had its share of fanservice, but there is such a thing as taking things too far.

The thing however is, that apart from that, Space Dandy is the series I’ve been waiting for for years to come. Finally after years and years of waiting, another series of its kind has arrived: the kind of series that each episode shows a totally different story involving the main characters. I love these shows, even though they’re often labelled as being monster of the week, or having too much filler.

And granted, this is the kind of format that can be done badly. However it brings so many advantages and when done right it can work brilliantly. Some of reasons why I like it:
– Series that have this can be planned much better into their timeslot because every episode needs to be different. Therefore forcing the writing team to be on their toes.
– Fleshing out characters. Random stories like this are excellent at showing the different sides of the characters, plus the different sides about the setting this takese place in. Great for immersion!
– Variety. Series with a linear storytelling are often very predictable as well, and allow for very little chances to spice things up and make things interesting, because of the ongoing storyline.
– There is no chance to drag on. The creators need to create a new storyline every episode so there are no dead episodes, plus none of the episodes look like each other.
– Episodes are also much more standalone because of this. Because of this the individual episodes can take more risks. There is more chance for creativity and interesting storylines. A show can go on a tangent for one episode and then go into a completely different direction the next.

This is the strength of anime. something it got really good at at one point, but the format unfortunately got in discredit due to the bad reputation that the bad attempts got. There was a point at which I saw many people complain about “filler”, to a point where every episode that wasn’t instantly contributing to the plot as instantly bad. I think that Naruto was a big contributor to that with its 100 episodes of filler. Plus, it’s kindof difficult to objectively describe the difference between filler and plain wasting time, and just a good adventure. And this border is probably also different for everyone.

For me, what’s most important is that there must not be “dead episodes”. Episodes that just aren’t fun to watch or were clearly made to just pad out time, without any inspiration. On top of that, the different episodes also need to bring colour to the characters and show a good collection fo the different sides of the setting. It’s something that you can’t simply describe in a tagline, which is what makes this such a tricky thing to judge, and probably lead to the lumping of all good and bad shows together on one heap.

I mean I’m not saying that every series needs to be like this, but a few can’t hurt, right? With so many linear stories around today that are all rather monotone and more often than not don’t even end, it wouldn’t hurt to have just a few series in which every episode is about a different story, right? Just like how things were in the past? I really hope that Space Dandy will inspire a new wave of series that also will embrace this philosophy again, and the upcoming Mushishi will also help really well to achieve that cause.

When you compare this to Cowboy Bebop this obviously is much sillier, but the thing is that Cowboy Bebop only started to really shine when you look at the big picture. Plus, I’m not going to compare the two too much, because Space Dandy being silly has a very different atmosphere, even though some of its design philosophies are the same. And that’s what I find so good about this series: three episodes in and the creators still are making this look really interesting. Plus, the direction is also quite good, if unconventional.

I especially liked episode 2, the search for those fabled noodles. It was a very emotional episode, for some reason. It had that weird to describe sensation that made everything just come together when they finally ended up finding those noodle bar, and that one creature started telling his life story. The way in which this show changes its atmosphere: it’s also really good. And the music! That also is godly!

The question now is whether the stories will be varied enough. Episode three also was very good, but like the first episode the creators did strand on a hostile planet and got chased by monsters again. However, at the same time it also very nicely subverted parts of the previous episode (the monsters were mostly good-natured save for one, they actually got money this time), which is also very good.

The reason why Cowboy Bebop was so critically acclaimed is that on top of being really well made, it had international appeal. It didn’t feel like an anime, and it was and is very different to most anime nowadays which are often circlejerking each other for the same audience that they know will buy. It had international appeal. Shingeki no Kyojin is a recent series that also had a lot of international appeal that it deserved, I believe. Space Dandy really hopes to be the next one to catch an international audience, especially with the way it’s released simultaneously in English and Japanese.

I think the weird fanservice is because of that reason. It’s on one hand the believe that sex sells so it needs to be in everything, and on the other an attempt to not fall in the standard Japanese fanservice cliches that will only appeal to Japanese otaku and not the other demographic.

Also, does every episode have a different OP and ED? That’s what I call respect. Really awesome detail.

Posted on 19 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

I’m tired, and I’m soooo far behind. More details on why below, but I do want to finish my impression of this season, but with so many series looking like each other I’m going to do a quick version of the shows that I missed. I’ll try to catch up on the second episodes the upcoming week. I’m really sorry for all the delays.

No-Rin: This one really was terrible. Beyond moronic characters, incredibly annoying acting, and an incredibly pandering premise.

Sakura Trick: I like yuri because for some reason, creators know how to make some really fascinating series when they have lesbians in them (or even better, bisexuality), not just for the sake that there are lesbians in them. Sakura Trick is a show about girls making out. I’m not kidding: so much of this episode was about the awkward moment of the first kiss. Stupid premise, boring characters. Moving on.

Sekai Seifuku: This one had me intrigued for a while. Who are these people? How are they related? Why do they want to destroy the world? However, then the giant monsters showed up and everything turned generic and characters started wearing the most ridiculous outfits. Uh, the women, I mean. Also, as for why they’re conquering the world? It’s all instigated by a little girl. I see no potential in them developing this into anything worthwhile

Wizard Barristers: This was actually not half bad, for a first episode. Especially the animation here surprised me, coming from Arms. This just shows how much good production can trump a production studio’s reputation when it’s really trying, because this probably contained some of the best animation of the season. My big worry is consistency, because the creators here totally aren’t known for that. I know I have this cynical view now, but there have been too many series in 2013 that betrayed my trust for a good plot and characters. I really hope that 2014 will get rid of this cynicism…

Nisekoi: Oh boy, a shaft-series that actually doesn’t feel like an animated slide-show and the characters actually talk about stuff that’s relevant for once. It’s just too bad that this is the most generic premise for any series they’ve done so far (boring high school romance love triangle). Heck, everything that happened in this episode was standard romance fluff that we’ve seen done hundreds of time before. They did recycle the Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei despair-look, but hey. At least it’s a move in the right direction…

Inari Konkon: Oh thank god, finally! A school series that puts emphasis on thinking and learning. It comes up with situations that actually challenge the characters instead of being so mind-numbingly bland. With the current season I was really fearing that my taste had completely changed with how so many different series bored me to death. Now, this is obviously similar to Gingitsune, which I in the end found to be a bit too corny to work. This series doesn’t have the instantly likable characters, however it puts the characters in interesting situations. It’s about bloody time a show does that. You’re supposed to take characters and think: “what situations would get the best out of these characters?” – not “how can we make this character instantly likable outside of any context whatsoever”. That’s not sustainable in the long run!

Oneechan ga Kita: Yeah, the very first scene we see is about the main character walking in on his sister changing. Aside from that, this this was disturbing and weird when they turned the sister into this obsessive stalker.

Silver Spoon: A big reason for the past delays… was the first episode of this season. I have no idea what happened, but I set myself to watch it, and I just could not force myself to sit down and watch it. Why? This has some obviously good characters and it’s a look at farming… and yet something inside me just did not want to watch it. So thank god I finally managed to sit through it. And yeah, it was okay. The romance was a bit annoying (misunderstandings are rather boring…), but you know? It offered a look at school life in a far more detailed way than the other school shows, and the characters remain very versatile and down to earth. And yet, something inside me keeps yelling that I do not want to watch this…

Silver Spoon is objectively good, but I think that I’ve been to objective this season, and need to go back to my roots: creative and engaging series that most people gloss over. When criticizing, some parts indeed boil down to “does it make sense, does it know the writing rules, et cetera”, but the most important part that’s about whether you really like it or not is entirely subjective and incredibly difficult to really describe well. It’s this X-Factor that some shows have and others just don’t. I mean, say what you want about Nobunaga the Fool, for me it was one of the most entertaining first episodes of the new season due to how amazingly pretentious it tried to be. People made fun of me when I gave it such praises, and I realize that even though I’ve been blogging for a long time, I still notice that I still take all my comments very personally to the point where I’m trying to please everyone, instead of doing what I really want to do.

The thing with taste is that there are very different ways people look at anime, and connect with it. And I’m not talking about that “Type A and Type B otaku” that you see at places, that’s way too simplistic, not to mention that I never really considered myself an otaku (though granted it’s a term that many people have different definitions of). In the end what I really noticed is that I love series that are ambitious and combine storytelling, characters, animation, music, setting and symbolism into one whole that is larger than the sum of its parts.

And I need to really convince myself: only you know your own taste best, every taste is unique and worthwhile, and judging others for their taste in anime is most often… quite immature.

Sorry what you had to witness these inner ramblings of mine.

Posted on 11 January 2014 with categories: Samurai Flamenco

Oh, Samurai Flamenco… what are you doing? I used to praise this show for being so well put together. Obviously I can’t say that anymore, but still it’s quite a ride to see how crazy the show can get next time. This episode was this really weird combination between the first half of the show and episode 11. The Flamengers were all kinds of cheese, while Goto… he actually stayed normal.

Having said that though, the fight in this episode sucked. I’m not sure whether that was intentional or not, but the thing rather fell apart when that army of Miyamoto Musashis appeared from out of nowhere and were like “Oooh, let me slightly wave my sword at you! That will teach you!” – That completely defeats the purpose of having large numbers in the first place! I get that the budget isn’t that big for tis series, but there’s a difference between cutting corners and simply not trying.

But then again, it can also be a very deliberate jab at the super sentai genre. I mean, one gets large and they defeat that one with the Flamenbot, but the rest… magically disappears? Also those new weapons were completely ridiculous.

Also. The Flamencar. Really?

Posted on 10 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Wake Up Girls

Short Synopsis: Our lead character needs to find some idols.
I’m late with this. I want to finish these first impressions, but I’m tired. And so, in its infinite wisdom Wake up girls decided to have an hour-long first episode. And it’s an idol series! I am not going to watch this one all the way through, however I do want to say that it’s among the better of its genre. From what I watched of this episode, the focus was on the scouting of these girls. That was pretty interesting, and the girls aren’t as overly moe about their personalities. Obviously it’s still blatantly there, but they aren’t trying to shove it down the viewer’s throats. It actually cares about characterization for once. Now, this is not my kind of series and I know that I won’t have time to watch it, but if you like idol shows then this one isn’t bad to keep up with.
Potential: 60%

ZX Ignition

Short Synopsis: Our lead character fights with supernatural creatures/angels.
Okay, so I was under the impression that this was a kiddie show. Well, not so much, actually. I mean the characters are a lot older (one of the characters is 19… despite looking nothing like it), and it actually was moderately entertaining. The entire episode was told a bit out of chronological order, which also spiced things up. The main character isn’t your typical wimp, which also helps. A lot happened in this episode which either means that this will be a fast-paced series, or they blew most of their ideas in the first episode. However, when you look at the context, this series falls apart a bit. You have monsters fighting each other because… of stuff. The monsters all have these really cheesy names because… of stuff. The main character also is important because this angel fell onto him because… he just happened to be where she happened to fall. This episode didn’t explain anything, and while enough explanations may follow, I saw no hints at any sort of depth whatsoever so far.
ED: Copy paste song, boring as usual.
Potential: 60%

Posted on 9 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Engaged to the Unidentified

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has to marry against her will.
I’ve found my surprise of the season with this show. Now don’t get me wrong, the premise is horrible and something that we’ve seen many times before. This series would have been incredibly boring, if it wasn’t for one character: the little girl. You’ll know who I mean when you see her. She made me laugh quite a few more times than what I’d like to admit. I mean, on one hand she uses moe like no other. But on the other she’s like this really weird combination between a child and an adult. Her eloquence is one moment really polite, and the other incredibly childish. The rest of the cast… well they try what they can with a premise of suddenly learning that your grandfather has arranged your marriage behind your back, but the drama is forced and cheesy. That little girl though… she made this worth the watch. The danger with these characters is of course that it’s really difficult for them to carry the show on their own. I mean, this series needs to stay fresh for an entire season. I did not see hints that it will, but who knows?
ED: Generic J-Pop
Potential: 60%

Pupa

Short Synopsis: Our lead character eats stuff.
I really am puzzled for this one. I’d really like to know the story behind this series. How did it get made? Who are responsible for it? Why was it made? I mean, clocking in at only four minutes (three if you ignore the OP and ED) this was obviously made on a shoestring budget. The animation shows the same: there was hardly any inbetween work done here, and the animation that is there looks incredibly jerky. And yet the art itself is very good, and the soundtrack also rocks. Tomomi Mochizuki is a brilliant director who really knows his stuff, so he has to have some kind of idea or vision behind such a series that obviously is going to be short with only twelve episodes. Was this like a project to train some new people at Studio Deen or something? Does that explain why it was delayed one season? I mean, the episode had a good atmosphere, although it was a bit weird and really really short so there was no time to let things sink in. What’s going on here?
OP: Love the art, although it is a bit lazy.
ED: It’s like… the creators made a long version only to hear that it had to be cut incredibly short
Potential: #$@?%

Hozuki no Reitstsu

Short Synopsis: Our lead character works as an executive in hell.
Thank god, finally. Houzuki no Reitetsu was the first episode for which I can really say that yes, it was well written. It already was amongst the top series to look out for, and it did not disappoint. It blows the entire season out of the water in terms of creativity, but it sets itself apart with its script. The way in which the characters talk to each other is delightful. A lot of this series is simple smalltalk, but thankfully the creators did not listen to the Shaft-school of writing dialogue, but they kept things meaningful and to the point, while at the same time throwing in tons of references to Japanese mythology, but also weirdly talked about things like wildlife and Ayer’s Rock. It also weaved in its comedy very nicely: it only makes a joke when it’s got something funny to tell. Some of the jokes were quite clever, something you wouldn’t expect of anime lately where most of the jokes are simply quite crass.
OP: The best OP of the season, introduces the characters with a weird song and trying something different for a change.
ED: This was weird, but still better than the other EDs we got to listen to this season.
Potential: 95%

Posted on with categories: Top 10 Anime

Over the years, even when I just started blogging, I’ve seen enough people get tired of anime, claiming that anime in the past used to be so much better. I remember that I kindof saw their point, however there were plenty of awesome series to keep me watching. However, after the current state of the season so far, I really do long for the anime of the past, and they seemed so much more diverse.

However, the big trap with these statements is to over-glorify the past. “Yeah, the past used to be so much better, in my days blah blah”, so you need to be careful with these kinds of statements: you forget the boring parts and only remember the things that stood out. So because of that I decided to take a good look back at the past winter seasons. I’ll rank all of them, but I’ll talk about them in chronological order. For each picture, I’ll use a picture of the series that turned out to be the best, by the standards I hold today.

Once this season has ended, if I feel motivated enough, I’ll also include it in this list.

Winter 2013


This was a really bad season. The only remotely good non-sequel show to come out of it was Kotoura-san. It had a very strong first episode for a school series, and managed to keep it up for 1 cour. Beyond that, the obvious stand-out was a sequel: Chihayafuru, which admittedly was just fantastic. AKB0048 unfortunately was not as interesting as I hoped it to be, and Amnesia and Tamako Market had promising first episodes, only to crash down horribly. Apart from that, the school setting was again very prevalent (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Mangirl, Sasami@Ganbaranai). Lots of series looked the same, but there also was some historical fantasy here and there (Maoyuu, The Hakkenden, Senran Kagura). Out of around 31 series, I only found three of them actually worth watching.
Rank: #11

Winter 2012


This was a season in which suddenly there were three ambitious science fiction series airing at the same time: Rinne no Lagrange, Mouretsu Pirates and Aquarion Evol. Out of those, only Rinne ended up not fulfilling its promise, but still it wasn’t bad. On top of that there was a solid horror-series with Another, and three really solid comedies in the form of Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou and the incredibly random second season of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Natsume Yuujinchou came with its amazing fourth season that gave a ton of depth into the people around him. So yes, I would say that this was a very good season, with a pretty decent variety as well. Aside from mecha and comedy, there also was slice of life, sports, fantasy and romance. I would call this a very well rounded season.
Rank: #7

Winter 2011


This season stood out due to three absolutely amazing series: Level E, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Hourou Musuko. All three together covered the entire spectrum: one was a brilliant comedy, another brilliantly deconstructed the mahou shoujo genre, and another was a brilliant look into what it is to be a transgender. These three alone made this season worth watching, and on top of that we also get a pretty decent closure to Kimi ni Todoke, a “so bad it’s good”-comedy Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu, and Gosick, an adventure series which started out questionably, but ended beautifully. The downside to this season was that there were a lot of stinkers. Fractale is the most notable for having a wonderful premise, only to completely ignore it, but Yumekui Merry had the same fate: great premise and execution, but just cut off in the middle leaving nothing resolved. Dragon Crisis just went worse as it went along, and Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka also failed to stay funny. Not to mention the epically bad Rio Rainbow Gate, Infinite Stratos and another Oniichan series. A season of huge ups and huge downs.
Rank: #6

Winter 2010


Oh boy, I remember how this was a stinker when it came along. However, looking back on it, it’s not the worst, it’s better than the Winter of 2013, however that season was backed up by a very strong Autumn season, while this one… wasn’t. So we were stuck with Durarara, a series which thankfully had a fantastic first half, only to have a much less interesting second half later on. The one series that stood out was Heartcatch Precure, the series that showed how much you can do with the mahou shoujo formula. Katanagatari also was interesting and fresh with its wordplay, but the problem with these series was that they paid out very slowly: Heartcatch Precure only started in February and had 50 episodes, and Katanagatari only aired once a month. Apart from that there were series that had interesting premises and were nice to watch, but never really were meant for greatness, like Cobra The Animation, a revival of the classic TV-series, and Sora no Oto, which at the very least had a very intriguing setting (really rushed ending though!). However, this also was the season in which the barriers of good taste got lowered significantly: Seikon no Qwaser was pretty much borderline porn. With a measly 17 series total that aired, things did not look good for anime at the time. However, things recovered afterwards.
Rank: #10

Winter 2009


Winter 2009 was weird. It was stunning, completely stunning. Birdy the Mighty Decode still stands in my top 10 because of it. White Album was incredibly annoying, but ultimately worth it and a unique romance. Ride Back started out rather weird, but it turned out to be a pretty unique mecha series about an adult female who drove this cross between a motorcycle and a robot. Maria-sama ga Miteru surpassed itself, Shikabane Hime was weird, but ultimately awesome to watch, and Hajime no Ippo also completely surpassed itself. It was glorious, and yet there were so many annoyances at the same time with how the Tower of Druaga failed to live up to its hype, Natsume Yuujinchou’s second season was not as strong as the first, Koukaku no Regios didn’t go anywhere, Kurokami failed to deliver, and Munto turned out to be nothing more than a blatant recap. I also remember complaining about how there were way too many sequels this season. And true, the amount of sequels at the very least has never been as overwhelming as in this season. 2009 was definitely the year with the most conflicting feelings.
Rank: #3

Winter 2008


This season was one of the best winter seasons ever. The reason was the sheer quantity of amazing series that aired. Porphy no Nagai Tabi is a series that today can not be made: 52 episodes dedicated to a children’s novel, coupled with stunning background art. Gunslinger Girl’s sequel was very controversial due to the style change, but I loved it. Shigofumi had an awesome concept of a girl who brought back letters from the dead, and True Tears is one of those unique romances in which you never really know what the characters were thinking. Hakaba Kitarou seamlessly combined horror with comedy, Aria the Origination was an amazing conclusion to the Aria franchise and Spice and Wolf was a really intelligent look at medieval economics with excellent characters. THIS. This is what a winter season should be. There was something for everyone, many risks were taken and many series delivered in well thought-out ways. There were a few disappointments, but none of them were really big disappointments. Just a few series that burned out in their second halves (Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei and Sisters of Wellber 2), and the obviously bad series like Rosario to Vampire were in a minority and could be easily avoided.
Rank: #1

Winter 2007


The 2007 season had much less quantity. However, what it lacked there, it made up for in quality as it premiered two series that would grow out to be absolute classics: Les Miserables and Nodame Cantabile. This definitely was a season for the people into classic literature or music. No other season has ever been able to deliver two of these masterpieces at the same time. If you look at the rest of the season, the you’ll see lots of action: generic action series or series about people with powers fighting each other, that never really stood out. Rocket Girls was nice, and Master of Epic also was this unique little comedy series. There also was slice of life, sports. That’s the big difference between this season’s lackluster series: in 2014, everything looks like each other. In 2007, things were uninteresting, but at least they were different.
Rank: #5

Winter 2006


This was the first winter season I actively followed. And what a season it turned out to be: Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror, Ergo Proxy and Rescue Wings together. All incredible series, aimed at adults, yet all completely different. Beyond that there was a really solid romance series situated in a hospital with HanTsuki, Magikano was hilarious back when Seiji Kishi was still good. Plus, Nerima Daikon Brothers: an actual animated musical that never got fully subbed, yet was really fun to watch. There may not be as many series here, but here is the thing with this season: all these six series were incredibly well thought out. They had some really interesting ideas and they took their risks, instead of rehashing the most popular thing around. All of these series set out to challenge the status quo and do something never done before. Even Magikano, as its brand of humour was still fresh back then.
Rank: #4

Winter 2005


Here we get to the point where I haven’t seen every series that came out, so my view of this season has also a few impressions here and there. This was an average season, that delivered two really strong short series: Air and Starship Operators. Romance and space opera. Beyond that there was the short comedy Gag Manga Biyori. Beyond that, there’s lots of romance, mecha and kiddie shows. I mean things like Mahou Sensei Negima, Peach Girl, Jinki Extend: I saw small fragments of them but none of them really looked like they had potential. This actually reminds me a lot of the season we’re currently in.
Rank: #8

Winter 2004


This is a weird season since there were two utter classics that aired with strange schedules: Ghost in the Shell’s second season aired two episodes at the start of each month, and Paranoia Agent started in february. Especially Paranoia Agent was absolutely fantastic in every single way. But yeah, this season absolutely rocked. One of the best action series out there in the form of Jubei-chan 2 also was shown here. That’s three completely amazing shows in one winter-season, and the rest of the season, even the not interesting ones, are incredibly varied. There are fanservice series, but plenty of historical ones, there is a comedy, there are series aimed at a young audience, and old audience, plenty of series that took risks and series that just stayed with the status quo. The balance is perfect here.
Rank: #2

Winter 2003


The top three series this season were all really inspired: The Big O’s second season really knew how to play with the mecha genre, Ashita no Nadja was a really creative shoujo adventure that we nowadays never get to see anymore, and Wolf’s Rain, although the execution left a bit to be desired here and there, really stood out with how its main cast consisted out of wolves, and I absolutely cannot fault its setting, which was incredibly imaginative. Beyond that though, this was a small season. Most of the other shows were just harmless fluff or just plain bad series. Oh, and Licensed by Royal, which I haven’t seen but admittedly does look interesting.
Rank: #9

Winter 2002


One thing to note is that ten years ago, the seasons were much smaller. This season, ignoring the kiddie shows, had about 16 anime. The best of which was RahXephon, which was an intelligent mecha series, definitely. Also good were the adventure series Patapata Hikousen no Bouken for the younger audience, and Fullmetal Panic, for the older audience. Nothing standout like in previous years though. Kanon also premiered, starting the trend of key adaptations, and Onegai Teacher aired as well. Nothing much stands out, but there are lots of cute girls, along with generic action series in which the enemies are strange supernatural beings.
Rank: #12

Winter 2001


Here we get to the part where the winter season was pretty much insignificant. The only series that are noteworthy are Arjuna (a nature series, admittedly very creative) and Tales of Eternia. Ojamajo Doremi also had one of its seasons here, but apart from that… there was hardly anything. That I’ve seen, at least. The thing is that there are surprisingly many series that feature adults as their protagonists. There are 14 series in total, and while most of them indeed do look uninteresting to me, they don’t suffer from the problem of not trying out different things.
Rank: #14

Winter 2000


Only 9 series aired in total. 9. That’s nothing. One series stood out from the bunch: Boogiepop Phantom. Fantastic show if you want to work hard in order to understand a series. Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran was also a very solid period piece. Beyond that though were mostly kiddie shows (we saw Mushrambo and Mon Colle Knights on Dutch TV, actually), but yeah, it’s apparent that producers at this age didn’t see much into winter seasons, and any series airing there is a mere coincidence. I’ll stop my overview here then.
Rank: #13

Conclusion

So, what did I conclude from this? Well, globally, these years can be divided into three periods. In the first period, until about 2005: relatively few series were released, and among them were two or three series that really stood out as amazing series, only 2004 had more and falls more in the period that came afterwards. The rest of the series were meh, however they were varied and were different from each other.

The second period is what I’d like to call the golden age of anime. It lasted from 2006 to 2009, including 2004 (and 2011 and 2012, I guess). The season size got much larger, and with that the amount of amazing series also increased. Every season had so many series that worthwhile. There was something for everyone and so many series came up with interesting ideas, rock solid executions. There were meh series, and series that didn’t deliver, but even amongst them was enough good stuff and things were varied.

And the third period started in 2010. Globally, things returned to having two or three really standout, really good series, with the rest not really being remarkable. But here’s the kicker: as opposed to the first period, the amount of series per season still is huge. There are as many series as in period two, and most likely even more! The result is that while a decade ago, you had the same amount of standout series, this time they’re surrounded by heaps and heaps of generic series that on top of that all look the same and don’t try to be anything new, different or fresh. You get piles of series that are all trying to fit into the same niche and therefore all just end up watering each other down due to the huge amount of competition.

Because of this, the stakes to stand out get higher, so more money is poured into the animation budget. The financial risk is higher, so in terms of storytelling you can’t take many risks either, so people opt for safe scriptwriters and series with interesting ideas are really hard to greenlight. Because of how everything is overcrowded, series that have certain elements in them tend to sell more, so every series needs to have those elements in them in order to also compete for sales. Even the good ones, leading to the excessive amounts of fanservice you see in nearly every show today. I mean, it cannot be a coincidence that Kill la Kill and Space Dandy, the TWO series that set out to try something new and different, both being ended up so crass at the same time.

So yes. I’m not saying anime is dying. I’m saying anime is in dire need of a new business model. The current one is fifteen years old now, and the lack of innovation is starting to hurt. The industry thankfully isn’t as far south as the gaming industry is, however something needs to happen. Be bold! Be creative! Screw conventions!

Posted on 7 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Hamatora

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a detective.
Okay, I now feel really sorry for Noragami for mistaking it with Hamatora. Sure it was boring and all, but at least it was well told here. Seiji Kishi has no sense of timing whatsoever. This episode was a huge mess, and while it wasn’t such a huge waste of potential like Dagan Ronpa, under a good director I could have seen potential here. Seiji Kishi, let me explain something to you: think of any anime there. Do you recall those random background shots that they keep showing? They do that for a reason: to establish the setting, so that we know where the current scene takes place. You can’t just take that out in an attempt to save time. The same goes for small-talk: the purpose of that is to build your characters and show what kind of people they are. You don’t need to make every sentence in small-talk funny, and you by all means don’t want to force a laugh, because now we got this incredibly stupid analogy about that egg of Columbus that just doesn’t make any sense. A lot of directors and writers nowadays have completely missed the point of build-up! Adapt the freaking story so that everything fits well, don’t try to cram everything in! Pick the right points you want to focus on! Make the story flow already!
OP: Nice and artistic, but the song sucks.
ED: Dull and formulaic j-rock.
Potential: 0%

Super Sonico the Animation

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a gravure model.
Watching this episode really made me facepalm, and realize even more what a terrible state the anime industry is in. It’s not that this episode was terrible. This show does remain incredibl commercialized, being basically nothing more than a way to glorify the incredibly moe mascot of some company. And the moe indeed went through the roof in this episode. But guess what? It wasn’t that bad compared to its contemporaries. The thing with Sonico is that she’s a mascot, so she needed to be portrayed in an as good light as possible. The creators knew that all too well, and in the process they created an actually good character. The thing is: Sonico works hard. She does well in school, she can take care of herself with a part time job, she performs in a band, she models. She has an actual life! Usually characters just have one hobby. One thing that they do, and nothing more. Sonico actually has an interesting life. Sure, there are cliches and the gravure part was cringe-worthy and the preview for the next episode showed that there is no point in watching beyond this first episode, but the creators here delivered a more complex character than a lot of other uninspired series out there. Only because she’s a mascot and therefore cannot be put in a bad light. When such a sell-out actually trumps you, it’s time to start wondering what the hell went wrong.
ED: The CG! It burns!
Potential: 30%

D-Frag!

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is forced into a club.
Comedy is hard. Anime can do good ones, however they’re in the vast minority. D-Frag is about a game design club that doesn’t really do anything (well, where have we seen this before?), who need to recruit new members and they reel in this one weird guy. And to be honest: it doesn’t really get better. The whole gimmick of the series is that it’s got weird characters who all have this “element”, like the water girl throws glasses of water around, and the “earth” girl plays with sandcastles. The jokes are all badly delivered, they lack inspiration, they try too hard. I see no potential.
ED: Oh god the terrible vocals!
Potential: 0%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

The Pilot’s Love Song

Short Synopsis: Our lead character goes to school and falls in love.
You know? It might be because I didn’t read the premise for this series careful enough and all, but I expected this series to be a little more… interesting. I expected this series to be about airplanes. Instead, we got a series about this teenager who goes to a new school with his sister, and meets a cute girl and they instantly fall in love with each other. Also they fly some planes here and there. It’s another one of those series that has inexplicably teenagers piloting airplanes in the army, despite there being enough capable adults who can probably do a much better job of it. Also, there is a giant floating island in this series. So what do the people decide to do with it? They dedicate it entirely to one single school. Even taking into consideration that this was set up by nobles, it’s an incredibly contrived set-up. Oh, and there’s also drama. We have no idea what yet, because this episode only hinted at it. Without any subtlety whatsoever, but it did hint at it. This show is like all cheerful and stuff, and suddenly out of nowhere a character goes “oh my god I hate you so much!”, only to drop it again. The movie was about a simple escort mission. That was interesting! That was about characters who at the very least looked and acted like adults.
OP: Bad J-pop
ED: Pretty good, in the spirit of the series at least.
Potential: 30%

Nobunagun

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is the reincarnation of Oda Nobunaga.
Okay, so shounen action. I’ve gotten bored with it mostly. Like with Noragami, it’s all just too standard and… just not exciting. Nobunagun wasn’t one of those series, to my surprise: the action here is pretty good here for a show that’s supposed to be about this high school girl. I’m not sure about the exact reason why, but this does have energy. It’s got a good atmosphere, and does go all out when it needs to, with a pretty good soundtrack. The creators also tried to go a bit into the main character’s head, which did make up for her rather awkward acting at the start. So yeah, I enjoyed this episode, however: what’s in it for the future? They’re just going to fight these same monsters in the same way over the entire series? That’s going to get old very fast.
ED: Hard rock? Okay. It’s good to hear something other than J-Pop for a chance.
Potential: 50%

Nobunaga the Fool

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a 15th century warlord… sortof.
Shoji Kawamori’s gimmick is that no matter how implausible, he can stick mechas in any kind of premise. The big difference between him and the likes of Seiji Kishi or Shinbo is that he always manages to do this in a different and fresh way. This series is unmistakably his, but at the same time I did not expect him to take the 15th century warring states era that has been butchered so many times by now, and stuff giant robots, flying spacecraft, Joan of Arc, Leonardo Da Vinci and tarot cards all together. The scale of this first episode was huge, and it sounds really promising. It introduced a ton of characters, and most importantly: they were all fun to watch. They’re all characters who have been cameod to death, but this series made them fresh again, even Oda Nobunaga. It also created its own backstory and lore that combines East with West, and Old with New. The episode was actually build up very well and it juggled its different characters around so that we could get a good view of Nobunaga, but also the rest of the cast. Oh, and the soundtrack. Bloody amazing, they did it again. If the rest of this show is like this episode, then we’re in for a treat!
OP: A background OP, this one will probably change…
ED: This one is a bit overproduced.
Potential: 85%

Posted on 5 January 2014 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Noragami

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a god.
Okay, so I mistakenly got the director of this series wrong. Apologies, my bad. Still, this episode had its problems: it looked stylish, but ultimately it just got a bit too generic. Characters had basically two modes and nothing more: snarky and serious, and that got old a bit too quicky. The monster design is quite nice, but this series isn’t really impressing anyone in that department after Space Dandy. From this first episode it rather looked like a standard shounen supernatural series to me, with perhaps better animation than usual.
OP: Nod bad. The style works here.
ED: I’m not a fan of this song, it’s very generic.
Potential: 40%

Tonari no Seki-kun

Short Synopsis: Our lead character sits right next to someone with an overactive imagination.
Tonari no Seki-kun is a weird series. It’s only 5 minutes per episode, and it’s based on just one and only one gimmick: during class, the titular Seki-kun does the weirdest things as a means to alleviate his boredom and the teacher doesn’t notice a thing of it. Remember doodling like crazy during classes? This series takes that to an art-form. Here is the thing though: if it’s just got one gimmick, then why would I want to watch more than one episode? The next episodes are just going to be exactly the same, only with other hobbies that the main character ends up doing on his desk. The female lead also is a very stiffly acted for a straight man. That also breaks the flow of each episode a bit.
OP: Yay for spoiling what the future episodes will be about…
ED: Again, there’s no nead to make even more clear what the gimmick of this show is going to be.
Potential: 40%

Space Dandy

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is dandy and in space.
This was an incredibly silly episode. It didn’t take itself seriously at all. But oh my god, the creativity! At heart this is an adventure series in which we follow the characters to all sorts of fantastical worlds with all kinds of weird and crazy creatures. It makes no sense whatsoever in the process, and the obsession with boobs probably wasn’t the best way to start with, but this episode was a lot of fun to watch. The animation in the second half in particular deserves to be watched. Bones really put their top people on that sequences; the movements were amazing! I do have some complaints though: some jokes were really corny (and I mean 1980s corny), plus the animation is quite inconsistent: the animation in the first half of the episode strangely cut all sorts of corners. Given that usually, series splurge the most of their budget in the first episode, Bones does need to have the resources to make this consistently good.
OP: Dandy.
ED: A great ED. It flows really well from the ending of the episode rather than starting abruptly.
Potential: 85%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Saikin Imouto Blahblahblah

Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets to have is own little sister.
Japan…. whyyyyy? Why do you keep making these utterly horrid imouto-series? What is people’s fascination with having their own little sister that they can have sex with, which is something that they always end up implying? This one is especially bad, by the way. Where it’s normally just the sister who for some inexplicable reason fancies her brother, this time it’s going to be worse: the sister is actively forced, against her will, in order to have sex with her brother due to some incredibly stupid chastity belt. It’s the single worst premise for an sister-series that I’ve ever seen! And I guess that this episode did tell a bit about the etymology beind the word “sister”, and why it’s so ingraved in Japanese culture, but that still doesn’t really justify the incredible slew of these series that go to so many lengths for some hot brother-on-sister action. Oh yeah, they’re not REALLY siblings: we all know what’s being implied here. There is also no single excuse to why I had to watch this sister go to the toilet for SIX. FLIPPIN’ MINUTES!
OP: Lazy. Badly sung,
ED: Again really bad J-Pop, plus the chibi character is just not funny.
Potential: 0%

Buddy Complex

Short Synopsis: Our lead character’s future self sends a cute girl to him to date and fight robots and stuff.
Here’s a surprise. Buddy Complex looks like this incredibly cheesy robot-series, and I already started to cringe when the creators somehow managed to wedge a school in there. However, as the episode went on, I noticed that on quite a few occasions the creators were actually using logic in order to advance their plots. You want to escape from this giant robot that’s attacking you? Just grab a bicycle and hide in narrow streets: that makes sense if you’re just a normal high school boy who can’t do anything else. Now, don’t get me wrong, the series remains really cheesy and it’s got no excuse of putting teenagers in the middle of armed conflict as the pilots of robots, however it is refreshing to see that it takes itself completely seriously: it’s got a story that it wants to tell. The cheese will be its biggest potential pitfall, because most of the characters are really hamming it up here.
OP: Very, very cheesy again. I know that a basketball has to do with the story, but you should not look at it like that.
ED: A decent song for once. Nothing special though. Again cheesy.
Potential: 70%

Witch Craft Works

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is protected by a hot girl.
Well, so the first new series of the year… is completely vapid, shallow and boring. Everything about this episode was just taken from the hundreds of other school magic series that exist with nothing new whatsoever, and everything about this show just screamed that the creators were just bored when they made it. It’s another one of those fantasy series in which the completely useless male lead gets protected by the single most popular girl in school, who this time has her own fanclub of crazily obsessed people who use weird catchphrases. It’s another glaring example of how badly a big part of the anime industry is stuck in its own rut by completely retreading the same thing over and over and over again.
OP: Even the vocalist sounds completely bored!
ED: Trying way too hard to be cute.
Potential: 0%

CHANGE USERNAME
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.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
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