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
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

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

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
Total users: 36

Featured Posts

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 3 [The Balance Distinguishes Not Between Gold and Lead]

This week, Mahoutsukai moves into a slower pace. Showing off more of its world and delving a bit deeper into magic and how it connects to the world. Lets jump in. There are two main points I want to touch on for this episode of Mahoutsukai. The first being the actual main focus of the […]

Ballroom e Youkoso – 15/16 [Taking the Reins/Four-legged]

Boy, this was really a Tale of Two Ballrooms. One of these episodes was almost certainly outsourced, based on the visual inconsistencies that extended even to key poses, but handled its character moments dutifully. The other looked markedly better than most of this show’s recent offerings, but rushed through so much material that its conclusion […]

Houseki no Kuni – 03 [Metamorphose]

It just occurred to me since I watched Bakuman (the first season of it, anyways) fairly recently, but watching Bakuman made me realize how tough it is to have your manga publicize, let alone become a popular one. For those who have watched the anime or read the manga of Bakuman, remember the early Golden […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 03 [Streetlights]

Welp, I never would have thought Girls’ Last Tour can get any better, but this week’s episode is straight up phenomenal. Episode 3 manages to make some new tricks to its well-established formula: introduces another human survivor to the mix, askes a deeper philosophical question about the meaning of life in that stark world (and […]

Inuyashiki – 2 [Hiro Shishigami]

Woe be unto thee who passes further, for today we are talking about Episode 2 of Inuyashiki! A lot happened this week. New characters, dark twists and the start of what I can only imagine is the central conflict of the season. Lets jump in! First and foremost, we need to talk about Hiro Shishigami. […]

Juuni Taisen – 03 [Cutting a Chicken with a Beef Cleaver]

I’m starting to worry about Juuni Taisen. Like what we all predicted last week, this week indeed follows a reverse zodiac order. We have Chicken served as our main POV and at the end she’s the one who get sendoff (with no small help from the episode title. What a huge spoiler). Judge by the […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 15[Differing Paths]

It’s funny that only now, when we are well into the halfway point of the series that it takes some time to flesh out its cast. Sisgou has gotten some backstory, Fiore was fleshed out a little and even Gordes got some time to prove he’s not a complete caricature. The last one is something […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 02[Colosseum]

In an odd turn of events, the second episode of Kino’s Journey 2017 is a retelling of a story done in the original 2003 version. Where Kino is forced to participate in deathmatches upon reaching a country. I find this choice odd as I would consider the Colosseum story in the original to be the […]

Dies Irae – 02[Twilight Girl]

There may be those of you who ask why I would cover this series despite it’s rather disastrous prequel episode. Even I will not be attempting to defend this adaption as I sorely believe it will be rather poor indeed. But when you truly think about it, isn’t it the case that I would be […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]