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
Btfo Alexander of Russia OMO.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hahaha YES The peoples will has been mentioned in golden kamuy, excellent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: She's a coin toss with me .
AidanAK47
Made some changes. Try joining again.
SuperWooper
The Discord button works for me, Anon. I'll bring it up with Aidan to see if there's anything we can do on our end.
KTravlos
Ok LOGH episodes 10 and 11 were quite good, and it hit me harder than the original on how much talent the alliance lost at Armistar. That said episode 10 at the end showed a major problem with rendition which is long filling shots (in this case the imperial fleets taking flight).
Anonymous2254364
The Discord "Join Server" button leads me to an "Invite Invalid" page, and from there to: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001556852
SuperMario
I'm thinking of catching Maquia in theater as well. I'm not too hot on Mari Okada but every anime releases in global cinema should be a cause for celebration
Kaiser-Eoghan
Part of me is considering seeing Maquia , anime films don't get shown over here often, I feel I should support the cinema releases.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That was essentially my concern, that the writers would muck up Yuri's decision and create some hole in the story. Though they definitely need to commit to killing him off now.
Lenlo
I had a suspicion it would happen Amagi. I figured it would be a question of Yuri's character which way he went, even if I suspected this would be his choice
Amagi
@Lenlo & Kaiser: I expected this to happen. I was only unsure because I didn't know how deeply integrated Yuri's gear was. It's the only good way to conclude his character arc and the series as a whole. Kinda hope that all those "die"-death-hints are actually just a metaphor for the death of gears and the commercialised power-augmentation in sports.
Amagi
@Aidan: yeah and they're overinterpreting stuff. When you really love a series and watch it 10+ times you'll notice things nobody else will ever see and things that are most likely not even there or at least not planned. Then they see a sequel or somethign for the first time and of course they won't see the same 100 hints and deepnesses they believe to see in the original
Lenlo
Alright. Personally, I am pumped for Megalo Box's finale. I am so glad I was right in what Yuri did. It was great at building it up. Heres hoping it doesnt throw it away next week
AidanAK47
Like that's what really annoys me about Evangelion fans. The way they talk about the show, they assume that Anno was completely aware of the impact the series would have from the start and planned every intricate detail to perfection regardless of importance. But that's not just untrue by opinion, but is objectively proven untrue.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, There are some legitimate complaints like the audio Muxing not being great. But I hear stuff like the original character in the first season being SO much deeper and think "What?". If it's one thing that really annoys me, it's when people start talking about a show like it's a planned masterpiece.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Risky move there by Yuri in megalobox ep12.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes the voice acting isn't good in both versions, Elfen lied and the original flcl didn't have great voice acting either in English or Japanese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got into the habit some years ago of watching most anime with dual audio because I used to do short reviews once upon a time and switching back and forth between subs and dub while marathoning a show gave me best of both and I could talk about both the English and Japanese versions when reviewing.
Amagi
I usually don't even watch dubs but considering that there is no other option here (yet) I did it and think it's pretty good, especially Haruko.
Amagi
@Aidan: Was thinking the exact same thing about FLCL. I fail to see how the original is much different than the sequel. For me it's pretty much the same thing - they tried to keep the style but change the frame to avoid copying it 100%. I enjoy the new series and love the characters.
AidanAK47
Dubs pretty good. Watched it dubbed myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably a good thing then that I haven't seen the original in a long time then, which I thought was alright but got better as it went along. How is the dub? Only the dub is out as far as I looked on Nyaatorrents.
AidanAK47
Alright, finished the 3 episodes out. I enjoyed it. It was a fun watch. But I gotta say that the reaction online is rather annoying. I see the original series getting placed on a higher and higher pedestal. Part of the reason I may be enjoying this series is because I didn't examine the previous series under a mircoscope and pretty much acknowledge that it was just a animators showcase.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Probably not as GREAT as Onizuka though.
AidanAK47
So I started watching the new FLCL and let me say that this new teacher is the greatest teacher I have ever seen.
AidanAK47
Don't think it's on Netflix. Though I think that Stardust crusaders is airing dubbed.
Amagi
Is this series on Netflix? It was always one of the few anime that were very popular in the West while still airing weekly and with subs (and despite the fact that we didn't even have the manga in the West)
Amagi
Man that's awesome. Also I have to admit that part 6 is probably my favorite so it's great to know that they'll most likely animate everything.
Amagi
What the hell
AidanAK47
JoJo's part 5 anime announced and it's about goddamn time.
Lenlo
Id agree to that. Im mostly interested in where it goes after what looked like a pretty final ending. Im guessing timeskip of some kind, or World Line switch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't think any of the drama in this episode rung false.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty satisfied with steins;gate this week, kept things moving and the stilted style of the show didn't get in as much the way of the setpiece that was in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite surprised by how I've gotten over a 100 chapters in and Asirpa hasn't been fanserviced explicitly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
HH Holmes had a death hotel actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I think one of the criminals was based on a real person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The author really likes referencing real people to, Bonnie and Clyde , Ed Gein, some American agriculturist and the inventor of some refile .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its very true that golden kamuy does get goofier and thats true for the manga also, though theres a prisoner weirder than the one in episode 11 he does advance the plot further. One of the soldiers gets some backstory too. Sometimes the goofiness works but at others doesn't.
SuperMario
I'm watching the new FLCL and planning to review it once it's done. Maybe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In my quest and love of historical manga I wound up running into this, these guys are translating it over at their site: https://blog.manga.club/blog/mangaclub-blog-vol-10-jose-rizal-serialization/
Lenlo
Not yet, no. Plannin on it this weekend
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three episodes of the new flcl out. I haven't seen it yet and its been ages since I saw the original, has anyone watched any of the new series?
Lenlo
I can understand that. Anything less than a 3 I often dont finish/deem worthy even being talked about. In anime or movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its too hard to give 1/5s or 2/5s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite my complaints I gave it a 3/5.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....feck sorry about that. I didn't think anyone else on here would have been interested =< Thanks for removing it.
AidanAK47
Come on Kaiser, even if I didn't get anything out of it doesn't mean that other people won't. Best not to put a big spoiler on the front page of the site.
AidanAK47
Just deleting a spoiler there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That production company tend to do quite poor trailers that misrepresent their films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would probably punch someone for laughing/talking during a horror film though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Babadook did the grief horror better. Though honestly my favourite horrors this year weren't American ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Upgrade might end up being more fun, which is an action horror comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While terribly schmalzy and lacking a proper ending, quiet place had a better idea and atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end it just felt like comparisons to Rosemary's baby and the Exorcist hurt the film. I just thought it was an awkward mix of commercial and indie horror. Like a lesser version of the conjuring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I didn't laugh but I also couldn't really feel it/connect with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also disliked how it answered its questions and story rather than leaving stuff unexplained and the actual exposition in the last act was quite awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw it on Thursday, it doesn't live up to the witch or even it comes at night. On one hand I appreciate limiting the jumpscares and gore, going more for atmosphere and character drama. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne kind of hold it together for me. But the two kids, like in most horror films were awful.
AidanAK47
Just seen Hereditary. The so called scariest film since The Exorcist.
So scary that people in the cinema were laughing.
Vonter
I've been playing Hollow Knight on Switch. It's perhaps the longest metroidvania game I've ever played. The game has a nonlinear progression with a lot of optional areas, which add wonder to the somber and mysterious tone of the game.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like how much Nagai overstylizes, overdesigns his characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that its abandoned its comedic elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: The twin tailed girl got impaled and its gone in a somewhat darker direction yes.
Sash
apparently cutie honey is getting devilman vibes.. haven't watched it though so take this with a grain of salt
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Somewhere in my head is an image of Baraka from mortal combat in the same picture as Himiko Toga.
Lenlo
Hero Aca, still my favorite Shounen.
AidanAK47
Just got the Re:zero Blu-ray a whole ten days before it's officially released. Gotta be the first to see the dub.
Lenlo
Yeah. Her whole scene was terrible. As much as I loved Maho in a pando costume, it should have stopped there. We didnt need the groping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
FERRIS NYAN-NYAN OmO kill it, kill it with muh-fire, kill it with muh-fire.
Lenlo
Also, Megalobox, hot damn. I love it. I love it all. Mmmm I cant wait.
Lenlo
Partly, yeah. Im mid writeup for it. Suffice to say the fan-service was... alittle awkward to me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Filler episode of Steins; gate this week.
Lenlo
I cant wait to see it, ive heard good things
Amagi
Damn I love Megalobox so much it's my favorite series this season.
AidanAK47
I can't wear a suit to work everyday
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wotaku's
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware that you un-intentionally stealth cosplay as watoki's protagonist each time you go to work.
AidanAK47
Pretty sure Psgels is paying to keep the site up but it's not a sum that one would consider significant. Site is dirt cheap.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've thought about using MPC as an extra player, while mainly using vlc, but vlc can be buggy for me sometimes in that it lags and pixelates the video often , I've used MPC on videos that vlc bugs-out on and they work better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Out of curiosity, what videoplayer (example media player, realplayer, winamp, vlc, mediaplayer classic)do all of you use for watching anime?
Lenlo
You silly old people
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol how do you think I feel, I've been at this for 20 years =P
SuperMario
All these "confessions" just underline how old we all are; and still keep on that stupid hobby after all those years :))
SuperMario
I first visited the site around 2009, 2010 but was pretty much a lurker until I started writing for the site.
SuperMario
As far as I know, psgels gave the admin privilege for K-Off and Aidan, and it's K-Off who pays for the site now (other admins pls confirm)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I have no idea how much it costs to keep the blog up, he could always end up stopping paying for it if he needed to cut costs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually curious in estimating how much longer the blog has left. Obviously psgels must be still paying to keep the site up, but he is, of course only mortal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The blog began in 2005, but I started reading it in 2009, began posting on the chatbox in 2010.
Amagi
I wonder which weekly review was the first one I've read on psgels. I remember .hack//roots but not sure if it was the first one. Could very well be the case, though.
Amagi
Nevermind, despite being an old as shit reader I never actually read the whole text of the about-part.
Amagi
How old is this blog anyway? I am a regular reader since 2006 or something although it was only recently that I started talking here.
Lenlo
Oh I know all about that Kaiser. It was amazing to read about
Raggers
Wow, this is still going? Good on you guys
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wiki article
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Read the cultural impact of the original ashita no Joe on the youtube article, Japanese actually mass mourned him
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some writers just know how to get an un-explainably effective rhythm going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always struggle with commenting/reviewing mood pieces and slice of life mood pieces especially, even when I finish something in the genre sometimes I'll go "I don't understand why this worked so well for me, why wasn't it boring?"
Anonymous2194677
Microsot E3 Press Conference was nuts, they showed too many games.
Anonymous2189608
Hey guys, I made/edited my very first video about a show I greatly love, hope you'll give it a watch too:

https://youtu.be/PdjwePOIbQA
Anonymous2187735
Yeah, and an NES prequel to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night launched a couple of weeks ago. And while easier than NES castlevanias it's quite fun. Also very cheap only $10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alas, I've not kept up much with the videogame scene in a number of years. I know there's a spiritual successor to castlevania being made though.
Anonymous2187735
Sorry Nightmare Creatures its what it's called.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually come to think of it, the 64 games probably had more vampires than the others I played.
Anonymous2187735
Have you played the game that inspired this Castlevania? Deadly Creatures?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never did get round to playing as Henry though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the garden stage being especially frustrating as Schneider because of how slow he moved.
Anonymous2187735
Also that game demands you to play on normal or higher to play beyond that nitro stage.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember having to finish the game in a day because I was saddled with constantly rubbish memory cards for my N64.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry, I post fast and long so some of what I say probably might get missed/skimmed over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I did mention it, called it the nitro stage.
Anonymous2187735
Still I think despite the flaws it's has become fun for me because I surprisingly get better each time I play it. and last time I make the game chug because of how fast I was progressing.
Anonymous2187735
Yeah. But I'm surprised you don't mention the worst part. The Nitro and Mandragora level. In which you have to go across several rooms without jumping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I remember the game punishes you for using the item seller guy too much aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the mansion level being creepy back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the werewolf thing was pretty rad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then there was that crumbling labyrinth stage. I remember on hard mode you have to fight the chainsaw gardener too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The art tower stage is also annoying if you run out of day/night cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also it wouldn't let you finish it properly if you took too long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The N64 castlevanias have so many flaws, weird controls , bad camera , the day and night feature is kind of cool but it also puts a timer on things and certain parts become a pain because of it. They had frustrating bits too like the ice castle part with the weird jump sections and the nitro carrying stage.
Anonymous2187417
Lords of Shadow was another IP the developer had to accomodate into a known IP kinda like Star Fox Adventures.
Anonymous2187417
The other Castlevanias I haven't played are Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. LoS was ok but very long. and it's interquel Mirror of Fate put me off playing LoS2.
Anonymous2187417
I haven't played that one. Seems like a mixed bag. Like Zelda 2 or Metroid 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen playthroughs of simon's quest, but we all know why thats a notorious mess.
Anonymous2187417
Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness are also my guilty pleasures. I think if Konami still made Castlevanias it would have tried aping the Souls type of gameplay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember some very very silly voice acting and dialogue in symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I preferred when they were just platform games. Later ones incoperated level up elements if I recall.
Anonymous2187417
After SOTN I think the game coming closer to that greatness is Order of Ecclesia if anything it keeps the difficulty of the classic Castlevanias and puts it in the Metroidvania formula. It has a platforming challenge level that's very satisfying to play.
Anonymous2187417
I've played most of them. Castlevania 3 is a very tough game, but that also makes the journey feel long and rewarding. Rondo of Blood feels like the cornerstone of the series since it's the Castlevania that got most of it's sprite reused in later games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminds me, the game, clocktower is vaguely inspired by an old Italian horror film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually feel I should have played more castlevania back in the day, I've played bloodlines, castlevania 4, Dracula X, legacy of darkness, admittedly the last one isn't a good game and is more of a guilty pleasure.
Anonymous2186526
They could still meet Grant in the Clocktower.
Anonymous2186526
I wonder if the second season will be the journey to the castle like in the game. And the third season is entirely in the castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Already a season 3 announced.
Lenlo
Oh god yes. I cant wait
Kaiser-Eoghan
New netflix castlevania episodes out next month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was going to mention that. Wish more shows would do o.
Lenlo
Yeah, a lot of plot threads are converging and I like it. My favorite part though was Iglesias and their commitment to non-japanese languages. They were good!
Kaiser-Eoghan
*his bit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Glad that sachio gets hit bit of backstory and that its well connected to the rest of the overall plot.
Lenlo
Alright Megalo Box was pretty good this week. So much to say
KTravlos
Indeed the Alliance system is atypical of mass democracy. There seem to be no organised parties and lists. Instead administrations seem to be formed on a personalist basis(me and my chums). And the Assembly seems to have very weak powers of oversight. A very flawed institutionally system. But I digress . It is still anime and even from Tanaka I do not expect deep discussion of democratic politics
KTravlos
I mean if two of 9 ministers in an administration resigned in any current representative/competitive election system it would be a big news and embarrassment to the goverment. My guess is that they were blackmailed to stay on, or were too afraid of the war party.
KTravlos
busy weeks (finals and deadlines). Watched the latest LOGH:NT episode. It was ok. A bit dry, but so are many of the episodes of NT or the Original on their own. One think it led me to think is that neither the books , nor the OVA, nor NT explain why Rebelo/Lebello and Huang Rui (the two politicians opposed to the Invasion of the Empire) did not resign in opposition. (Turnhit also opposed but..)
Lenlo
I think its cause of Daru's voice. Hes so overt about it and his voice makes it so clear hes not really being serious about any of that, cause it completely changes when hes talking serious subjects
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah I am watching CCS but funny enough I fell behind too, so it might be someone else you're thinking of
Kaiser-Eoghan
Always felt that Daru strikes a hit when it comes to pervy/otaku characters. Most of them tend to be incredibly annoying.
Lenlo
This episode was nice and chill while still moving stuff forward. I enjoyed it. It does seem like we are hitting the main conflict though, with Amadeus and Maho
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I feel with this episode the plot is really moving along now.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Thats the question aint it? How to savem both? We know he does, cause of the original, but alot happens along the way. Its a great ride
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Featured Posts

Hisone to Masotan – 11 [The Sky of Montparnasse and the Trash Girl]

What’s there to say about HisoMaso? I’ll be blunt but I see this whole final arc a missed opportunity. It builds from neat ideas, but the way the show creates and resolves its conflicts are hammy at best. Take the two main struggles this episode: Hisone decided to quit the job altogether and the grandma […]

Hinamatsuri – 12 [Snow Festival]

And so it ends, but it feels much more like a beginning chapter for the next arc. feel studio opens up for the possibility of next season here, by bookending Mao’s 3-year-later arc. Although I love little Mao with her kungfu storyline, I still feel it’s devoid from the content of Hinamatsuri has established so […]

Megalo Box – 12 [Leap Over the Edge of Death]

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the hypest episode of the season, as Megalo Box lays everything on the table for next week’s finale. Lets just jump right into it. Megalo Box has a lot going on this week. We saw the return of multiple characters and got updates on their lives. We were shown backstories […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 11 [Pandora of Forgotten Existence -Sealed Reliquary-]

Welcome to Steins;Gate 0, this week with the most “final” middle of a series episode ever. We have drama, we have guns, we even have probable time skips! Lets jump in. This was an overall solid episode. It tried to wrap up, or tie together, a lot of plot threads and resolve character arcs before […]

Golden Kamuy – 11 [Everybody, Get Together! It’s a Murder Hotel!]

Welcome to Bates hotel!! Alright, make no mistake, this is the funniest episode of Golden Kamuy we will ever have. Still dark, have very little to do with the main plot, but it’s spooky fun. Even trashy fun with all the dick jokes. This is Golden Kamuy at its loosest shape. Which is not a […]

Hisone to Masotan – 10 [Melting in Love]

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week […]

Hinamatsuri – 11 [A Man Thirsty for Blood, Violence and Money]

The theme of this week is the kind hearts of our cast, and we have 2 parts that take the idea and go into different directions. Remember when I mentioned before how Hinamatsuri would be if Anzu takes Hina’s place? That’s exactly the idea behind the second half. I’m glad that Nitta has some major […]

Darling in the Franxx – 21[For You, My Love]

Huh…wasn’t expecting that to be resolved so quickly. So as predicted Zero Two makes it to Darling and as predicted they power up and drive off the aliens. Also as predicted Zero is is now dead…or dying…or in a coma…or in some state that leaves her dead eyes by episodes end. I admit to be […]

Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in! Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep […]

Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an […]

Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

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It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By […]