Posted on 27 February 2014 with categories: Random Posts

You can’t please everyone. And I don’t usually do this, but I do want to give a bit of an explanation for my last post, the preview, due to the surprisingly large amunt of people putting me down on how I jumped to conclusions for a lot of series, and how I should do more research. To that, I have to say the following:

On general, writing the preview for a large season like this one takes about half a day. Not half a workday, I seriously spent more than half an actual day to write some of my previews. This one was not as large as normal, but I’d still say it took me about 8 hours in total to write. to the pepole claiming that I should do more research: could you please hand me some extra time in order to do the research for EVERY single series that’s coming out? Because it took enough time on its own to write everything there already.

And consider this: I could have left these series out completely, but that’s dismissing them even more. In this preview, I at least tried to write a sentence on why shows don’t interest me (on a personal level), because I at least repsect the series enough to want to do that. And I find it important to be able to see the big picture for a season, so you can try to see a bit of the trends that are going on. There are two types of shows that I don’t include: kiddie shows and sequels of series that I haven’t watched. The only reason for that is that I’ve really run out of things to say about them, and leaving a comment about every single one of them would really just end up with me, copying and pasting the same thing again and again and again.

Of course, doing research is fun, and I really want to be able to continue to do research for the series that really interest me. But here’s the thing: when a show has a tagline that the main character’s sister has the hots for him, I’m instantly turned off and not motivated to do that at all. I know it’s shallow and all, but at this point I cannot give every single show a chance. Because of that, I resort to my own experience and hunches to try and guess which series will be worth my time. (Because yes, this is my blog and I write purely my own opinions and impressions). A big green flag is when the premise of a series excites me. A big red flag is having incest in the premise. Want to know why? Because the last series where I’ve seen incest featured so prominently that was actually good was Koi Kaze. That was a long time ago, especially considering how many incest shows there are!

Let me explain my taste here, and what I’m looking for: I’m looking for the big picture. I’m looking for a series that has a good story, an intriguing setting, solid and fun characters, interesting visuals, great music. A series in which all of this comes together. I’m looking for the signs that predict such a series, and a lack of upright creativity doesn’t spell out much good in that department. If you can’t even think of a solid premise, then what am I to expect of the rest of the series then? Perhaps one good episode or something, but that’s nowhere near enough for that I’m looking for.

You may have a great political plot in your second half, and you may have this really detailed look at tennis, but if the rest doesn’t come together, then there’s just something missing. Of course they are only previews, but that’s why I also always try to watch as many first episodes as possible. I mean if your story is good, but when it’s told in a dry or boring way, then it’s still not really exciting. I love shows that have tons and tons of talking and complex plots, like Mouryou no Hako, the Tatami Galaxy, or Ergo Proxy, but all these series also remembered to have an outstanding presentation, with characters and plots that stood out right from the start.

You have series that take their time in the first half to build up, only to get fired off in their second half. However, you have series that are completely boring in their first half, only to suddenly get watchable in their second halves, and you have series that in their first halves take their time to set everything up and build up some stuff here and there about their stories, characters and setting, and bring everything together in their second halves. The latter is the only one I’m interested in. The build-up paying off.

The difficult part is ofcoure trying to point out these kinds of shows. That’s the thing that makes things really difficult: what shows are really building up to something, and which ones aren’t. First of all it helps if it’s not an adaptation, because especially the lazy manga adaptations have a tendency to just not pay off and end randomly. I don’t like that, so unless I can see a good ending working out, an adaptation, especially a manga or light novel-adaptation gets minus points. These stories furthermore were written for a totally different medium, and they take a skilled writer and director to skillfully make them work as an anime. This is not something that’s given!

Second of all, there is this thing as a solid execution that excuses a lot about a slow pacing. I don’t care how incredibly slow you are, if you’re interesting then I will watch you. A great example of that is Aku no Hana: the pacing was incredibly slow, but due to how well the characters were animated and brought to life, it worked. A lot of Bee-Train series are also great examples: they really use their music as part of the storytelling, and while they have a lot of first halves that are goofing off, they’re actively building their setting and characters in a way that perhaps sounds really boring on paper, but gets the viewer really familiar with them in practice. Plus, say what you want about Bee-Train: their series all start with a lot of creativity. That’s what I like.

But this also goes for things as very good acting, believable characters. Something needs to grab me, and most of the times this isn’t the story, but rathe the way in which it’s told. I know that this sounds a bit against what I said previously, that I want series with creative premises, but that’s the thing as well: there is a deal of subjectivity in here. It’s not something you can explain so easily. On one hand, the story doesn’t matter the most, but on the other hand: there’s not so much you can do when you start off like every other show with a bunch of teenagers who fight with magic and are on a high school.

So yeah, if I insulted your favorite show, I absolutely don’t hate you or anything. It’s just that I don’t like the series, and I’ve been disappointed too many times by similar series to really get excited about it. If you insult me about having a bad taste, then that’s not magically going to change my taste for the better. The great thing about this world is that everyone has different tastes, and this blog really is purely written from the perspective of my own.

Posted on 25 February 2014 with categories: Seasonal Previews

So, I’m just going to continue to write articles whenever I have inspiration. One thing I always loved doing is compile these previews for the upcoming season, and that still hasn’t changed. There are a few changes now though, because I don’t feel like going into detail about all of the crappy shows that come out every single time, so my entries for them are very much simplified in order to save time. Also, my standards have become much harsher. Series that I was previously willing to give a chance right now are most likely shows that I’m not interested in anymore, due to a huge amount of red flags showing.

For example, in the past I probably would have praised this season for at the very least not containing anything that is absolutely utter crap, but the problem with that is that it glosses over the fact that there is so much mediocrity coming out. The only silver lining I can offer is this: there are hardly any pointless sequels. At the very least there are a lot of attempts at new series, and the sequels that are there, are there for a reason. And in the end, there are a few series with a very good pedigree that I’m looking forward to.

Series that I Don’t Look Forward To

Sengoku Musou

Why I don’t like it: Sengoku Musou is yet another piece set in the sengoku era, just like the countless other shows that preceded it. It really looks like a generic clone of the other series: everyone has weird outfits, the focus is on fighting. Nothing here looks like they put any effort in it.

Soul Eater Not

Why I don’t like it: I watched about half of Soul Eater. When I saw this promo material, I really had to do a double-take. I mean dear god, how much can you moefy something? The original soul eater had its own style, but this looks just like a generic cloned show about cute girls. The trailer’s even worse. Everything looks generic.

Baby Steps

Why I don’t like it: Boring show about this guy who has no skills and joins a tennis club. The same thing we’ve seen many times before, just with tennis. The only mitigating factor is that it’s got a really good direction for the action: Masahiko Murata, but he won’t be able to save this premise.

Haikyu!!

Why I don’t like it: Yet another high school sports series, this time with volleyball. And really, the premise looks to be incredibly generic again without much creativity. At this point a sports series really needs to come with something really impressive in order to be able to beat the standard that was set in the genre a few years ago. The director of Cuticle Detective Inaba is not one to do it.

Brynhildr in the Darkness

Why I don’t like it: Okay while it’s good that Arms is finally stepping away from doing these crappy fanservice shows, this one looks like a boring “boy meets supernatural girl with loads of mysteries”-story, without much more. The trailer has good music, but put the focus too much on bad action and a pointless swimsuit.

Mekaku City Actors

Why I don’t like it: Oh hey. Did you know that Shaft really likes NEET? Well, if you didn’t: here is another one! Obviously my Shaft-bias is working against this series, though granted it does look slightly better than their usual series. The show has promise if the right people were behind it, not Shaft.

La Corda D’Oro Blue Sky

Why I don’t like it: The first la Corda D’Oro was already incredibly contrived and so it really did not need a second season. For those who don’t know: it’s about this talentless girl who receives a magical violin that makes her able to play beautifully and make her compete with the top music students at her school. The same creators as the first season also seem to be behind this one.

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou

Why I don’t like it: Brains Base doing romance again, but it doesn’t really look promising in any way. A generic premise without much to say about the different characters other than that they look boring, Apparently it’s from the people who adapted Blood Lad, so if you liked that one you might give it a chance.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol

Why I don’t like it: The director of KissXsis doing a 4koma adaptation about two idol high school girls. Do I need to say more? Moving on.

Blade & Soul

Why I don’t like it: Gonzo doing another MMORPG adaptation. You know, if this was the old Gonzo then I would have been slightly interested, but this? This looks like your generic battle anime with silly powers and no substance. However, what is the director of Steins;Gate doing there? Maybe this could- no, wait. The trailer contained some really bad action so never mind.

Inu Neko Hour

Why I don’t like it: All 47 Japanese prefecutres…. as dogs. Okay, I thought that this would be a random catgirl show when I first saw the title. At least it’s creative. It’s in no way going to be a good series, but at least it’s creative.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Why I don’t like it: This series has this one line in its premise when I looked it up on ANN: “the young woman who feels far more for her brother than sibling love”. Yeah. It’s one of those shows. Beyond that, it’s a high school show about magic users, so yet again another really bland and boring premise.

Black Bullet

Why I don’t like it: Boring fighting show with a ridiculously complicated reasoning in order to try and explain why the fate of humanity rests on a bunch of teenagers. It fails. Great background art though.

Akuma no Riddle

Why I don’t like it: Another ridiculously stupid premise: there is a school, where one of the students is targetted by 12 assassins who all disguise themselves as random students. Lots of early warning signs, like loads of snarky characters and character-designs that look exactly the same aside from just some hair swapped around. Unfortunately it looks like just another battle show without much creativity.

Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii

Why I don’t like it: I think the best way to describe this one, is if you see it as the director of Fushigi Yuugi doing a similar series. The premise of a princess being sent off to a young king who somehow did a really good job at conquering at least has that same feeling. The premise does seem rather juvenile, though and I don’t have much hope for it.

Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara

Why I don’t like it: The director of Space Brothers doing a crappy harem show. Well, so much for him then.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Why I don’t like it: The one thing that this series has going for it is that the people adapting it have more than a decade of experience. An RPG adaptation isn’t necessarily bad, if enough things work well. However, the central focus of this series seems to be fighting with alchemy. Boring! Been there, done that!

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?

Why I don’t like it: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu is working on this project, and he is a great writer who uses lots of emotion in his storytelling. If only the story he’s going to tell this time was a bit more than “a girl works at a cafe and cute girls drop by”. I mean have some variety at the very least: advertise with a diverse cast. Why does everyone have to be a cute girl on the promotional material? In this way everyone just looks like each other!

No Game, No Life

Why I don’t like it: OH MY GOD, THE EYE CANDY! Anyways, this one probably is the most interesting show in the list that I’m not interested in, it looks good, it’s got a very good director and adapter. I would have given it potential, if it wasn’t for a few red lights that I saw here. First of all, there’s the overabundance of cute girls. They try to hide it, but when you look at the trailer you see lots of shots just being cute girls demonstrating flashy powers. Been there, done that. The premise of this show is that all violence has been outlawed. That’s definitely not something that you can gather from the trailer. The whole premise of this show depends on the games that nations need to play in order to compete with each other. If you can make these games creative and inspired, then that would make a good series, but you don’t do that by focusing way too much on these flashy powers. That’s boring!

One Week Friends

Why I don’t like it: This show. It’s a cross between 50 First Dates and Kimi ni Todoke! It’s probably going to be the best school series on this list, but it lacks a bit of ambition if I have to be really honest here. You can make this work really well, but only if you really put in the effort, which I don’t think these creators will be able to.

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to

Why I don’t like it: Yet another ridiculously complicated excuse to have two characters frisk up each other and just show some touching some boobs. I mean I’m not denying that some mangaka indeed draw inspiration from their girl/boyfriends for their sex scenes and all, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make an entire series about it. Here’s an idea: how about we make a series that’s about a guy and a girl, who are in a healthy relationship and are living together after about a year of dating? Outrageous right? You can show all the sex you want!

Kamigami no Asobi ~Ludere deorum~

Why I don’t like it: Ahem. Let me quote the premise for this series, because this is too priceless not to share: “Kusanagi Yui is ordered by Zeus, a god and the headmaster of a school he created, to teach the meaning of love to young and handsome gods. The reason he has for doing this is to cancel the negative effects of the weakening bond between the world of the divine and the world of the humans.” – This has got to be the most ridiculously far-fetched premise I have ever seen for a bishie series, and with stuff like Uta Prince already existing that has to say something!

Series I Am Looking Forward To

Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun

Summary: ” In the late Edo period, Japan had experienced an unprecedented crisis by Kurofune (Black Ships), the ships from foreign countries. But a giant robot called Onigami, which has existed since ancient time, dispelled the Kurofune ships and the exclusion of foreigners was accomplished. The story begins in Japan where Meiji restoration in 1868 didn’t happen.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ACGT, JC Staff
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Script: Dai Sato

Impressions: This one looks like crap, and it probably will be. However I do want to put your attention to the two main people in charge, who are two of the biggest trolls walking around in the anime business. Takashi Watanabe, I know he is intelligent. Otherwise he could not have directed something as Boogiepop Phantom and Starship Operators. Most of the time though, he just acts like a complete idiot. Dai Sato goes the same: this guy is a really talented writer with a drive to create unique works of art, however has been known to sell out if he’s assigned on a project just to make money. It also doesn’t really help that the art for this one is horrible.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Hitsugi no Chaika

Summary: ” Toru Acura is a 20-year-old retired soldier meandering through life now that the war has ended. He encounters Chaika Trabant, a 14-year-old sorceress carrying a coffin, and follows her in hopes of finding meaning to his life again. The two travel with Toru’s adopted sister, Akari, the employed member of the group and thus Toru’s source of income.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bones
Director: Sochi Masui
Script: Touko Machida

Impressions: Yes, there is hope! This series can be seen as the spiritual successor to Scrapped Princess: it’s based on a novel by Scrapped Princess’ author and the director is also going to return. Now while I wasn’t the biggest fan of Scrapped Princess, I did appreciate what it was trying to do. It just could have been done better, so here’s to a second chance. The premise of focusing on a war veteran after a war has ended? That’s actually pretty nice. Simple, but you can do stuff with that. I do have to put a question mark to the promo art though: that puts the emphasis on fighting with magical powers. Don’t do that! Focus on the psychological aspect!

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Nanana’s Buried Treasure

Summary: ” original novel centers around the treasure of Nanana, a ghost who was once a beautiful but NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) girl. A boy named Jugo was disowned by his father and forced to transfer to a high school on the “Special Student Zone,” an artificial island. With only 40,000 yen (about US$400) a month to live on, Jugo chooses a low-rent apartment that happens to be haunted by Nanana. Jugo and members of the school’s adventure club join a “treasure hunt royale” on the island for the Nanana Collection, a treasure that possesses a mysterious power.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Kanta Kamei
Script: Hideyuki Kurata

Impressions: Well, it IS a Noitamina about teenagers, and granted this does look very sketchy, there are other parts of the story that seem like they have ambition in them. For that I’m interested. Kanta Kamei is a solid director after what he has shown with Silver Spoon and Bunny Drop, and my inner mystery-fan might find this one interesting.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Selector WIXOSS

Summary: “Hope, desire, greed. Girls with each of these feelings in their hearts are being swallowed into the vortex of a dangerous game…” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Takuya Sato
Script: Mari Okada

Impressions: Mari Okada again, this time accompanied by the director of Steins;Gate and JC Staff. This can work. The trailer looks quite impressive: it knows its atmosphere, and this seems to become quite a psychological series that ties these six girls together. I see potential here to become a very interesting series, and Mari Okada can actually go all-out psycho here. Note: a good story takes balance: you can’t just go psycho all the time and think you can get away with it.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Knights of Sidonia

Summary: ” It’s been a thousand years since the Gauna, a strange alien race with no known method of communication, destroyed the solar system. A portion of humanity managed to escape using enormous “seed ships” like the Sidonia, which have allowed them to maintain the population while drifting through space. Nagate Tanikaze is a young man who has been raised deep in the bowels of the ship. When he goes into training to pilot the huge robotic weapons known as Gardes, Nagate is entrusted with piloting the legendary unit known as Tsugumori. Nagate and his fellow pilots put their lives on the line against the Gauna, in the ultimate battle for the survival of humanity.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: POLYGON PICTURES
Director: Kobun Shizuno
Script: Sadayuki Murai

Impressions: Sadayuki Murai is one of the best people at adapting stories currently in the business. He brilliantly adapted Mouryou no Hako, the final two seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou and Boogiepop Phantom for their anime format. This time it’s a manga written by the creator of Blame, which seems to be quite a famous manga, although I’ve never read it. It’s in full CG so the faces look a bit awkward, but the trailer has me intrigued and it looks very good. Just one thing: please let that girl do more than just hold the main character’s hand and get dragged along. If you do that then I’ll drop this show really quickly.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Captain Earth

Summary: “One night right before summer vacation, Daichi Manatsu, a second-year in high school, sees a weird round rainbow floating in the sky above Seed Island (Shuushi/Tane Island) and ventures there alone. He has seen this rainbow before. With the memories of his father’s mysterious death and an encounter of a mysterious boy and girl, Daiji arrives on the island while the alarm of a building labeled “Earth Engine” is going off. Someone asks him if he’s a captain, just as robotic intruders from Uranus called “Kiltgang” arrive. The battle around the shining stars is about to begin.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Bones
Director: Takuya Igarashi
Script: Yoji Enokido

Impressions: Do you know what this is? This is the creators of Star Driver making another series! Basically, what this means is the following: this will be a mecha-series made by people who haven’t been into the genre, and therefore aren’t the most familiar with most of its conventions, as seen with the Galactic Pretty Boy. What has me most interested here is that there are some people involved who can deliver some really great series. Bones is very solid as an animation studio, Takuya Igarashi directed Ashita no Nadja, and Ouran High School Host Club (series that really stood out in their presentation), while Yoji Enokido wrote Revolutionary Girl Utena, Redline and parts of FLCL, and Rahxephon. Yes, there is talent here! One side-note though: the visuals are boring and standard. The robot and characters look generic.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Ping Pong

Summary: “Tsukimoto Makoto (nicknamed Smile) is a quiet high-schooler who’s been friend with the loud and energetic Hoshino Yukata (nicknamed Peko). They’re both in the table tennis club and are very good at it, though Smile’s personnality enables him from winning against Peko. The club teacher however notices Smile’s talent and tries to make him gain some sportive tenacity.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Tatsunoko Production
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Script: Taiyo Matsumoto

Impressions: I said before: at this point sports series have to bring something very impressive to the table. These are the people to do it. The guy who wrote Tekkon Kinkreet and Masaaki Yuasa. Two people who have an amazing eye of bringing people to life. That’s what a series like this needs. The premise is generic here, so they’re going to have to do something very special here to make it work. But if anyone can, they will. The trailer already showed signs of potential.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by:
Director: Kenichi Suzuki, Naokatsu Tsuda
Script: Yasuko Kobayashi

Impressions: I remember how incredibly fun the first season of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was. And the great thing is that every arc is significantly different, with different characters to do things with. This is the series you need to be at if you want over the top action, because it will deliver, and much, much more. It’s one of those series in which both the source material rocked, and the animation really managed to bring the characters alive. This will be chockful of adrenaline!

First-Glance Potential: 95%

Mushishi: Zoku-Shou

Summary: “They are neither plants nor animals. They differ from other forms of life such as the micro-organisms and the fungi. Instead they resemble the primeval body of life and are generally known as “Mushi”. Their existence and appearance are unknown to many and only a limited number of humans are aware of them. Ginko is a “Mushi-shi” who travels around to investigate and find out more about the “Mushi”. In the process, he also lends a helping hand to people who face problems with supernatural occurances which may be related to the “Mushi”.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Artland
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama
Script: Hiroshi Nagahama

Impressions: Well, what can really be said here? One of the best anime ever made, getting a second season in order to animate the rest of the manga chapters that the first season never got to, all by the same creators and the same director. Hiroshi Nagahama is a brilliant director who screws every possible convention in order to get the best out of his work, no matter what. There of course is the danger of expecting too much, so I’m not going to expect this to blow my mind. And I’ll try to get to the 1-Hour special as soon as possible.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
Posted on 14 February 2014 with categories: Space Dandy

Okay. So you might wonder what I’ve been doing. I’m indeed on kindof a break. The reason for that is due to some weird reason, I can’t sit down and watch an episode anymore. It’s bizarre, but what used to be so normal in the past now is incredibly diffcult for some reason. I keep getting distracted by stupid things like brainless games or videos when I even remotely try to think of watching some anime. It’s really bizarre and I still need to wrap my mind around exactly what’s going on inside my head.

One thing I know for sure though, and that is that I have not lost my passion for anime. It has definitely changed, but the one series that reminds me why I originally fell in love with this medium is Space Dandy. This series really serves to remind me that yes, there can be great series. Many just haven’t appeared in the previous seasons. I really do want to keep up this blog, and put the focus on the kinds of series that do catch my attention, rather than the ones that don’t.

These three episodes. They’re crass, but that’s also just about the only negative thing that I have to say about it. This kind of mentality is exactly what I’m looking for here. We have three separate stories, that are all obviously Space Dandy, but all of them are totally different. Episode 4 is a Zombie parody, episode 5 suddenly gets serious, and then episode 6 comes with this weird surfing story combined with pants and vests. It’s all different, and it’s all creative, and they all stand out in their own way. Heck, even the fanservice is much less, aside from the occasional Boobies mention.

OUt of the three episodes, I think that 6 was the weakest, but even that one had its standout moment when the surfing began. Yes, it was pointless, but the thing is the experience here. Space Dandy is all about adventures here. The ending of that episode was like “okay, they’re dead. Now let’s go surfing”.

Plus, the characters are just really good. Space Dandy is very funny to watch, even when he’s not making a joke. The new characters have their own charms. They manage to bring out quite a few emotions, and some of the episodes are quite intelligent despite Dandy being an idiot. Episode 4 was the best example of that. On top of that the show also has very creative camera work and key animation, and the music also is very varied. That all adds to that experience that I’m looking for. The great shows don’t try to excel at just one thing, they try to bring all of their ingredients together into one. Here is a case where everyone is working together closely, paying actual attention to what they want to make.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
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