Posted on 31 October 2014 with categories: Shingeki no Bahamut

By now, I have a general idea of where this story is going. Our characters finally face the main villains of the story and starting next episode, I reckon that we’ll get some real story progression because frankly, the past few episodes did almost nothing to get me to care much for the characters, no matter how charming they may have been.

The problem with the show thus far, is that it uses character tropes borrowed from various Westerns to the detriment of interest on the viewer’s part. This is where the slow pacing is actually hurting character development, an ironic condition owing to the fact that we’ve come to expect slow-paced anime (like Space Brothers) to have too much emphasis on its characters, which usually bores everyone. Even with the slow pacing, Kenichi Sato decides to place fast-action in every episode, and while those scenes are very fun to watch, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. By placing action in a story that is barely progressing, you force the viewers to miss the subtle character expositions you want them to pick up. Sato is clearly much more concerned with the action over exposition, and  I’m concerned where this anime will end up . Take more time to focus on Favaro and Leone’s pasts longer than the forced-in exposition we got in this episode, because the “twist” we get in this episode was way too rushed.

I also worry that Amira might permanently devolve into a vessel for moe, because her character literally did nothing this episode besides acting “cute” and fighting. I much preferred the Amira we got in the first episode, because although that one was very generic and without nuance, she at least had intrigue built into her personality. She’s a badass demon. If you’re going to show a human side to her true form, make the audience become invested in her character with some character development rather than an abrupt shift in personality. Other than that, the only character I find interesting so far is the necromancer, because she’s pleasantly gruesome. If there are to be any highlights in this episode, they are the scenes that involve her. The voice actor does a fantastic job portraying her personality, and I look forward to seeing more of her character.

Ultimately, this episode was not a bad episode so much as it was a red flag.

Posted on 30 October 2014 with categories: Currently Watching:

Sorry for not giving this a first impression but I felt that to do so at this point would be redundant. So Nanatsu no Taizai, or Seven Deadly Sins if you prefer. An anime that certainly does nothing new. Every ounce of which filled with standard shounen battle manga tropes. Yes this anime does nothing new, instead it brings back something old. Seven Deadly Sins is reminiscent of old school shounen such as dragonball, Slayers and Fist of the North Star. Even the artstyle of the manga had a similar feel to that of Akira Toriyama. And in the age where mainstream shounen is that of blatant wish fulfilment such as Sword art online and Mahouka, this is most certainly welcome. To those who grew up on the likes of Dragonball Z, this will hit the nostalgia buttons.

The story is of a kingdom being terrorised by the holy knights, where a young princess Elizabeth seeks out the legendary Seven Deadly Sins. A group of exiled Knights who may be the last hope for the saving the kingdom. On her search she runs into a mysterious boy who owns a pub who could be connected to the ones she seeks. The story is simple but effective and wastes no time in getting started. It’s not long before we are introduced to our first Sin, Meliodas. Being our main protagonist, Meliodas is rather happy go lucky though not with the sense of idiotic naivety like Monkey D Luffy. More in the sense of a powerful warrior with a heap of confidence. The one aspect I am not fond of is his constant sexual harassment of Elizabeth, which is played for laughs. This is not out of righteous indignation mind you, but rather that it gets old fast. Elizabeth is a character chained by her role as a princess. Therefore you can likely guess her personality. She serves the needs of the plot but it doesn’t remedy the fact that she is rather boring. Daine the second sin, on the other hand is a great character. It’s so rare to have a giant as a main character and her method of fighting with brute force is one I love to watch. I also find her concern for her size and how others view her interesting. Such a pity she is crippled with a lovestruck fascination with Meliodas. Again used for comedic effect. The talking pig is a typical mascot character but well at least doesn’t grate on the nerves.

The animation seems fairly good with fight scenes having the necessary thrill. The art didn’t quite capture the style of the manga but it’s close enough to not warrant complaint. I do find fault with the fanservice but in comparison with the standard as of late this is very tame. And so far the story has been adapted perfectly. To those missing the glory days of Naruto and Bleach or looking for a nostalgic fix I do recommend this show. As both the manga and the anime have yet to suffer the curse of long running Shounen battle manga. I only hope it can stay that way. One last thing, the new third Sin in the fourth episode should have kept the beard. He looked much better with it.

Posted on 28 October 2014 with categories: Gugure! Kokkuri-San

By now, I have a general idea of how the writers are going to go forward with this show. This show continues to jump the gun without setting up a clear voice for itself while pulling off some genuinely fun comedy, creating this weird combination that is somewhat off-putting yet fairly enticing.

However, this episode has its share of very dull/odd moments, which just serves to prove my point about this show’s lack of consistency in both humor and voice. When Kokkuri-san follows Kohina to school, we’re introduced (no spoilers) to a particular character we would never expect to see in a story based around Japanese folklore- this was something one would expect out of Nichijou. While the show is self-aware and points that out itself, it doesn’t change the fact that up to this point, it did not do a single thing to lead us to believe that this show was anything like a surreal comedy. While the previous episodes certainly did contain a lot of absurd humor, it was within the confines of its limited comedic spectra and therefore had zero buildup to what we got. If they’d only played with surrealist humor from the beginning, I’m sure that I could have fully appreciated parts of this episode a lot better.

The inconsistencies aside, that scene and the other parts of the episode were pretty damn funny for what they were. They introduce us to two brand new characters this episode, and Shigaraki in particular is a welcome addition to the mix. He brings a much more believable serious tone to the show, and this episode puts much effort into his character development by putting a spin on his personality that doesn’t shy away from adding a touch of dark humor through his “philanthropist” work. I really appreciate how the writers caught me by surprise just when I began rolling my eyes- because for a moment, the show looked like it was approaching the typical “mischievous person who is actually a good person” route with the character near the middle of the show.

Outside the main highlights of the episode, it was also nice to actually get some insight into Kohina’s character besides her usual static personality by showing how she behaves in her school environment. This show doesn’t take enough time to develop Kohina’s character, which isn’t a problem as long as it makes the interpersonal relationships interesting, which it does very well: That’s where this show excels in, and it’s been solid so far solely based on that- almost to a fault, since the writers are ignoring important elements of writing and comedy.

On a tangent, it’s a bit too late to mention this, but the soundtrack is very nice to listen to and complements the show very well. The opening song is still terribly annoying to listen to, but the ending is pretty nice and an overall pleasant listen. If anything, this show has charm. They played the opening of this show as the ending song in the first episode, but oh well.

If you like chibi animal mascots and something to kill time with (because face it, every season has a day in the week with crappy anime), I reckon that this show is perfect for it so far.

 

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:

That’s it. I give up. I concede. I throw in the towel. I surrender. This is just a travesty, an unsalvageable mess. I have given this more patience than it deserves and it has rewarded me with tedium. The editing is schizophrenic and distracting. The dialogue and events passing by too fast for emotional impact. The animation and art barely passable. The presentation of the source material utterly baffling and without context. I can safely say that if you had not read the visual novel you would be completely lost on the story of this episode. And when an anime requires you to read it in another medium to understand it, then you have failed as an adaption. The music has been ripped straight from the visual novel and quite frankly you can tell. For a reading experience these tunes are fine but in this they are very out of place. Being more intrusive than anything. If I had to guess I say the producers of the anime struggled to search the game OST for suitable tracks, only to just try and force in whatever tune they landed on.

This episode has introduced us into one of the routes of the visual novel. Unfortunately the route of my least liked heroine, the blond fake tsundere Michiru. I previously stated in my last Grisaia review that to jump into the plot of one of the heroines without establishing an emotional attachment first is a mistake. The remedy the producers seemed to think would fix this was to just chuck a bunch of random skits to do with the heroine for the first half of the episode and hope for the best. It didn’t work. The skits passed by too fast and were too lazily done to be funny. The jump into her arc was vexing at best. Switching from a cheap philosophical conversation about life after death to low brow slapstick humor. I am rather confused at what the intent is here. Am I supposed to consider how “deep” that talk was and then after laugh because the girl put her hand on dog poo? Which target audience are we trying to hit here? And the end of the episode was a poor attempt at tragedy. Again this is something that needs an attachment to the characters to work, an attachment we cannot possibly have from some tiny little skits. We barely know anything about these characters. How can we feel for characters troubles when we do not even know the character herself?

So with high confidence I can declare that this can join the ranks of the many failed visual novel adaptions to be thrown into the animated medium. Unless there is some major development like a complete studio change I can safely say this is a lost cause. With my previous review, I stated that Fate/stay night UBW was how to adapt correctly. Well this is how not to adapt. Grisaia no Kajitsu is an adaption in the same way that M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender” is an adaption. The characters may have the names and the story events may be present, but presented without soul and crushed down till it retains none of the quality. A shallow imitation with no charm or meaning. It’s only purpose to prevent the story from being handled by more capable hands and dissuade others from picking up the visual novel. I said before that this story was by no means a masterpiece. But to see it get degraded down to this is a sad sight. So with a heavy heart, I will drop this anime and see if I can find something more worth my time.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April has emerged as a bit of a nice surprise in this young season. The fairly popular noitaminA programming block has been pretty hit-and-miss of late, with some very good shows here and there but a much higher rate of complete duds compared to the block’s past. For this reason I approached Your Lie in April not so convinced that I was going to be a fan, despite a decent (though hardly groundbreaking) premise. Thankfully, through three episodes, the show has settled into a nice groove and has brought some pretty good drama and music to the table each week.

In episodes 2 and 3 of Your Lie in April we’ve gotten through character introductions and have seen beginnings of the various relationships present in the show. Our two leads, Kousei and Kaori, have gotten over their initial but shortlived hostility towards one another that stemmed from their meeting and have begun interacting on more friendly and deeper grounds. The writers didn’t waste much time in addressing Kousei’s trauma related to his piano playing and have faced it head-on in these episodes, ending with episode 3 having Kousei ready to accompany Kaori in her next performance. While there’s not much reason to believe Kousei’s over his trauma, it is refreshing that it hasn’t been dragged out as long as it could have (and as long as I was personally expecting) and that, whether things go smoothly during this performance or not, some kind of progress should be made in the next episode on this front, just as there was progress made in this latest episode. Perhaps this is one of the better aspects of Your Lie in April – there’s been consistent progress made in the story over all three episodes so far without a lot of the dragging out that plagues many stories, especially ones that touch on romance.

Not all is good in Your Lie in April, unfortunately. The main thing that sticks out to me as not being particularly well done is the comedy. While comedy is wildly subjective and difficult to critique without going to vague points, I do think the show’s comedy fails on most levels. In most comedic moments, the art style resorts to a more crude and simple style which tends to clash pretty strongly with the show’s normal highly detailed and well-done presentation. Most of the comedy also seems to be of the slapstick variety, which has never been a favorite of mine on a personal level. In episode 3 we had such moments like Kaori throwing a shoe at Kousei and giving him a heel drop at the end. Our female lead is quite the violent one. There are also a few other problems, though they aren’t very numerous and don’t detract too much from the experience. One such problem was the unnecessary “Friend A” thing thrown around so far. I immediately related it to the all-too-common character trope anime uses with lead characters who are super ordinary and live super normal lives. The thing is that Kousei isn’t that character. He’s already been through a lot as a person, he has a remarkable and outstanding talent, and, as mentioned in episode 3, he’s seen as a bit of a celebrity among musicians from his age group. I just don’t really understand where that whole “Friend A” thing came from that paints him as some forgettable background character.

Overall, Your Lie in April has been a pretty good watch through three weeks. I wouldn’t recommend it to the whole anime-watching world as of now, but I’m sure a lot of people would enjoy it so far. If you’re into drama/romance anime, then you might want to pick it up.

Posted on 26 October 2014 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Well what can I say besides, I told you so. But even though I knew what was coming this is still remarkable. Not only is this episode excellent but it may in fact have topped it’s source material. It is at times like these that it is difficult to be both a Fate fan and a reviewer, as I fear I may just gush about this episode and give a gleeful ten out of ten. So bare with me as I try to appear objective. The episode was essentially one big fight scene between Saber, Archer and Berserker. Viewers of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya may be surprised to see the former magical girl who learned about the importance of love and friendship, tell a giant behemoth to kill the people in front of her with nonchalant innocence. But to those of us who happened to see Fate/Zero we might have an idea as to why she might be full of murderous intent.

The stand outs of this episode was…the entire thing. Quite frankly the battle was phenomenal and never let up. This was a fight that would make the shounen big three green with envy. Positively jaw dropping animation with great choreography. But throughout the episode where small breathers. Those being a talk between Kirei and the blonde stranger, a small Shirou character moment and a battle between Rin and Ilya. The final of which I have confirmed to be brand new content not present in the original visual novel. This would normally be a negative point for fans but this actually managed to improve the story as a whole.

One of the biggest negative factors of Fate/stay night when compared to Fate/zero is that the masters of Zero actually got involved with the battle. In Fate/Stay night however in many cases the masters just stood at the sidelines and let the servants duke it out. Partly this was due to the inexperience of the masters of the fifth holy grail war. Here however we see Ilya putting up a fight as a master and showing that she’s more than Berserkers battery. It was a projectile based battle different from the close quarters combat of the servants and made the episode all the richer for it. Another new scene was Saber managing to cut berserker in half. I am a bit sceptical that she actually has the power to do this, however seeing as Sabers win record is rather disheartening I am willing to wave it off. Shirou’s moment was great as well, when seeing the battle between servants he is scared stiff and cursing his own powerlessness. But unlike a standard shounen protagonist who would spend a day angsting about this, Shirou quickly shakes it off and gets himself together. In the visual novel this was conveyed entirely through monologue but here it is done through a few spoken lines of dialogue and his actions. This my friends is the difference between simply shoving a story unaltered into another medium and adapting it for another medium. When you have the power to show, do not continue to tell.

If i was to truly nitpick as hard as i could I would say that some of the movement was exaggerated. In particular midair movement seems to disregard the laws of physics completely, with characters somersaulting and rolling through the air often pointlessly. But any one of you can tell me that doesn’t matter and I would gladly toss it aside as nothing. Because when the end result looks this good, who cares? UFOtable has done so far a amazing job in adapting fate/stay night. My only concern is whether they can keep up the pace. I would be solemnly worried that they wasted the budget on these first episodes. But if they can keep this level of quality…well this may be the best animated TV anime of all time.

Posted on 23 October 2014 with categories: Akatsuki no Yona

Hak and Yona flee Soo-Won’s men, but Yona’s mental and physical condition continue to deteriorate. Yona and Hak are both haunted by memories from the past. This was easily the best episode in the series so far. Whereas the first two episodes primarily took place in the present or the future, this episode is mostly spent in the past and it’s a great choice. A lot has happened already and I was concerned that the characters might start to wear thin if the action continued unabated for another episode. Thankfully, the staff realize this, and have devoted an entire episode to fleshing out Hak and Yona.

For example, in the first two episodes, it’s implied that Hak has romantic feelings for Yona. The flashback in this episode made it abundantly clear that this is absolutely the case, and raises bigger questions about the nature of their relationship. For example, how does Hak feel about the fact that his hands are clearly tied both by duty and friendship? We also get hints at the true nature of King Il and Soo-Won’s father, suggesting that the picture might indeed be more complicated than either Yona or Hak appreciate.

As a backdrop to this, we get Yona and Hak’s travails as they flee through the woods. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. Yona’s idyllic memories of childhood are contrasted with her haggard and borderline-catatonic appearance in the present. This contrast helps reinforce how emotionally devastating all of this is for Yona. In one memorable scene, Yona is covered in leeches while bathing. She reacts feebly and is too weary to even remove them from her body. Hak is forced to do it for her. It’s a sad moment that conveys how drastically Yona has changed from the happy-go-lucky character in the first episode.

I’m really excited to see where this series goes if it continues to be this good.

Posted on 22 October 2014 with categories: Currently Watching:

This isn’t looking good. Let me explain, Grisaia has a somewhat nakige visual novel approach. Meaning that it has a comedic relatively plotless first half, followed by a tragic heroine backstory related story arc. Notable examples of this is any Key visual novel anime adaption you can think of. So for the first half we will have to be amused by hijinks and comedy skits. And I am not amused. From the looks of things they just want to get this part over with and while this section did drag on far past it’s welcome in the visual novel, it was still important for setting up the characters personalities. If we were to delve into the plot now it would suffer because we have simply not spent enough time with the characters to develop an emotional attachment. But truth be told I with how this is being handled I doubt they could manage to accomplish that much.

Besides a fairly funny military chant in the beginning, comedy hit no notes, little in the way of character development happened and the animation may have possibly gotten worse. The only notable event was Amane confessing to Yuuji but even this was brushed off pretty fast with a “Oh well, I will be your big sister instead.” Truth be told I am grasping at straws here. There was jokes here that could have worked. The “Sachi making Yuuji a Bush dog strap” had comedic potential. However it was put off by bad comic timing and some questionable editing. Again the editing seems to have no sense of time, jumping around even to past events without informing the viewer. There is no connection between scenes, at the beginning it showed Yuuji getting up early and being fairly active. Yet later on apparently he didn’t get enough sleep last night despite not showing any signs of sleep deprivation at all in any of the previous scenes. I have not even seen it become night but from what I can tell from my source knowledge the events here are from several different days.

I know that the plot is coming. From the next episodes title there is a possibility of them jumping into one of the girls stories. But In truth I am starting to recall just how tedious and overlong the common route of this really was. So while better material is coming, I am not sure if getting through this poorly put frankensteined together skits will justify it in the end.

Posted on with categories: Shingeki no Bahamut

Okay, so this episode didn’t focus on Leone and Amira’s adventure. Instead, it focuses on building Kaisar’s character and it does so a bit awkwardly.

This episode takes Kaisar and puts him into an overly bombastic situation in order to tell us about Kaisar’s past family problems, but it was so out of tone from the last two episodes that I didn’t care as much as the episode wanted me to do. The last two episodes added an intrepid tone to the show with Leone and Amira’s introductions, but this one tried to add a somber element that really should have been held off until later on.

In any case, this episode was a great one if I see it as the last preparation for the upcoming adventure. When Leone and Amira finally confront the main villains of the story and actually start their journey, we’ll know if this is a show worth continuing or not. However, this episode really answered the lingering questions left by the last two episodes, which I’d say is good for now.

I should also add that I like how this series has a very strong concept of foreshadowing: it doesn’t necessarily have huge cliff-hangers, but it ends every episode with the promise of major developments. The first episode promised a ton of intrigue, the second episode promised change, and now this episode is promising that next week, we’ll get to see what the villains are all about. After all, there’s no way that Satou will wait that out. Overall, this episode was definitely weaker than the last two, but it wasn’t a very big negative to my view on the series as a whole.

Posted on 20 October 2014 with categories: Gugure! Kokkuri-San

This show has a great cast, but some chinks in the armor are starting to appear in the comedy.

So far, this anime seems to lack a consistent tone, which shows through just how hit-and-miss the comedy is. It attempts to mix elements of light and dark comedy along with slice-of-life and tries to excel in all three of them, but, it feels cheap and under-delivered at times. These past three episodes were definitely good, but they suffer from some minor problems in the show’s overall comedic voice that keep it from its full potential.

I was really wondering how the creators would go forward with the show, and while the show does indeed have plenty of good laughs (especially Inugami), the inconsistency is a definite negative and a big reason for my exponentially increasing lack of interest. While comedies don’t need to concentrate so much as delivering the comedic elements well, an irresolute show like Kokkuri-San needs to find focus if it doesn’t want to devolve into a confusing mix of numerous comedic elements.

However as I stated earlier, this episode was generally funny and chock full of premium meme material. As for the acting, Kokkuri-San aside, the voices were charismatic and added a level of quirkiness to most of the cast. This show really knows how to handle its characters well; you can see the ship-worthy relationship between Inugami and Kokkuri-san continue to grow as they get to know each other better as rivals for Kohina. It was completely awesome to see Inugami’s gender-bend ability not being overused as fan service here, although I don’t know how far that’ll hold moving forward. Yes, this shows just how little faith I (along with most others) have in gender bending.

The point is, this show has problems that can easily go away once it finds a clear comedic voice for itself. Both the characters and production are excellently done, so give credit where it is due, because I remain fairly interested in this show.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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