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

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

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