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
Amagi
The only exceptions are series that had a bigger cast to begin with and exactly know what to do with them and give every single character specific, human traits. Kaze ga Tsuyoku or Bokura no are examples for that.
Amagi
Sad but not surprising that the Slime isekai is turning into another generic shitfest after a rather strong start. It should have been about Slime and the Dragon alone and those other isekaied humans later as well as world building I honestly can't care about the additions to the team at all. But it only proofs to me that series will always get worse the more characters are joining the team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It does prompt me to read the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Furryguy story got too many episodes. I surprisingly enjoyed the time travel one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, Phoneix, the 2004 series is the definition of a mixed bag, the first story gets gritty and bleak in a way that I liked but its the scifi stories I connect with best, the first one for its premise/set up and the second because the last part kind of hit me and seeing Rock, another Tezuka character cameoing in it was kinda cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto will be something that'll definately hold up for me and i can see myself actually appreciating it more when I watch the eventual adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess I'm reading Adolf then after watching the phoenix anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm thinking more along the lines of wanting a full kare kano adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And I'm not sure if my tastes would be the same now.
Anonymous3115199
Hope it gets a decent episode count that does it justice. Can't imagine it being another rushed 1 episode per volume adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I'm not sure if I'll catch the remake.I've already read the manga twice years ago and seen the original anime twice aswell.
Anonymous3115199
Fruits Basket. Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. And it's a getting a remake next year that covers the whole manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am old enough to remember watching 2 episodes of mysterious cities of Gold and one of battle of the planets aswell as the 90s gigantor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I happy to see studios finally going back to adapt stuff that deserves adapting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have also read angel no oka. Still haven't read Adolf or dororo.
Amagi
I can't wait for the Pluto anime (that was announced like a year ago?).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I won't spoil it, but MW had one cheeky ending that I loved.
Amagi
Well it pretty much is a ripoff of Kimba, I once thought people were joking until acrually googled it. Simba was even meant to be called Kimba at first IIRC.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A manga adaptation of mein kampf exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I used to joking argue with people when I was younger online about Disney ripping off Kimba.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen all the black Jack stuff, metropolis, I also read Book of human insects, Ayako, apollos song, MW, princess knight and some of ode to kirihito .
Amagi
I wish someone would animate Adolf one day. Or a proper adaption of Buddha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring this up because somebody mentioned Phoenix when talking about Spirit circle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must confess to my eternal shame I have never seen Osamu Tezuka's phoenix apart from that one episode with the guy hallucinating that the robot girl was human.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Ah, to be more specific I meant in general.
Lenlo
Im with ya. If your talking about my comment on Ash's breakdown, im not saying I would have prefered to see it. I just think it did its job of disturbing the viewer well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I would rather the characters speak explicitly of certain things in banana fish, sometimes seeing everything isn't neccesary.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps we should race Yagate and Irozuku, see who's faster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I've had it on hold for about 3 episodes , I'm waiting to see if it does anything before continuing, pretty show tho'.
Niello
It already passed the half way point but nothing happens in irozuku...nothing.
Amagi
Yeah I jsut read it in the thread. I love grandpa.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Seems like a big moment in Chi no Wadachi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone is uploading translated pages of the new beastars chapter on 4chan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am behind on some shows, I'm not uptodate with Irozuku or Yagate.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More specifically, I would like a whole side story about old dude and lizard dude before they met Goblin slayer. Also later part of this episode was stressful, such as Priestess bit. I also like that this show isn't afraid to have its MC get their ass kicked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was an anime called ristorante paradiso where all the dudes were old.
Amagi
That reminds me that there actually exists an otome'ish pub VN in which every guy is older than 40. Well I have to admit it's at least setting itself apart from the dozens of male j-rock/pop bishounen harem guys VNs out there. Same with that Pigeon otome VN (yes it's actual pigeons).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goodness, we could have a reverse harem anime called Amagi-san and the 7 battling ojisans =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I wish the geezer in Goblin slayer would have more to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Interesting how I hate certain genres, but when they're put through an exploitation lens I end up liking the genre, probably because it shits all over said genres while cutting out the boring parts.
Amagi
Yeah, same here. I also like it when stories are more mixed regarding age, general look, gender and such which is especially a problem in anime where you usually get 10 characters of the same gender, age and body type. Bonus if it's an idol show and they even have samefaces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course these adult characters can exist outside of a fantasy and also be more relatable to me now, which is also a good thing, in a more serious story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alot of this has to do with getting older and being aware of that fact, knowing theres a 30/40 something able to do stuff I can't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would welcome an age of pensioner-ploitation films.
Amagi
I always enjoyed movies with old guys for example. Not only that, but I usually like it. For various reasons like the stories they have to tell, the nearing death (for very old ones) or a midlife crisis but welp, these movies were common 40 years ago, now it's teens and young adults since these are the demographies that are most likely willing to pay for the cinema or to buy merch.
Amagi
Yeah same here. Modern hollywood movies are way more mainstream than old ones and try to be the lowest common denominator with the most common tropes and stereotypical characters so unless you have more or less the most common taste and way of thinking for whatever reason you won't enjoy it and only get even more bored with every new movie that just feels like the 1000 movies before that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wheras I'd delight in anything left field or out of the box, because I love being constantly buzzed or surprised or seeing something do something uncompromising or weird.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*sense of
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I understand that people feel belittled when they watch something they can't make traditional sense or or morally work out .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've accepted that the stuff I really really like is going to be alien to a majority. I'd watch a lurid ova or b movie over any popular shounen or most post 80s hollywood films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There would have been a time where I'd thought I was doing it wrong or that people would just think me some kind of hipster or contrarian for not liking popular/mainstream stuff/what everyone in the same room/site likes.
Amagi
Same with movies. I guess in the end it's always about being able to relate. If there is a strange character only certain people can relate to they'll enjoy it while everyone else falls asleep and vice versa with more typical characters. Hell I have seen a ton of non-stop action movies that literally put me to sleep because there was nothing for me to root for nor any great twists to expect.
Amagi
It's strange but whenever people hate a series for being too boring it turns out to be a series I like which is weird because I consider 80% of all existing series boring, including many series most people actually consider exciting and/or enjoyable as hell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember there was a devil may cry anime, the guy subbing it didn't do a very good job but it was an okay extended advert for the game.
Lenlo
The man has also said that if someone would get him the rights to Berserk, he would do that to.
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 7 [Bear Your Fangs at the Summit]

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